We Should Have Had Lunch More Often

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Last night I learned that Migs Borja-Yambao, a friend and former coworker at GesierMaclang, succumbed to pneumonia and died. This made me think a lot about our brief friendship, and all the ways I could have been more present while he was still around.

I remember thinking, “I want to be your friend,” during his first day at work, and how thrilled I was when we eventually bonded at an Indonesian restaurant days later. I remember how my favorite mornings began at his desk, talking food, fashion, and nothing in particular. I remember flipping through his portfolio, flattered that he thought to share this with me, amazed at his ability to tell fascinating stories through food. Then as shit got real and deadlines loomed large, I remember nothing because I stopped coming to his desk for reasons unrelated to work.

It kills me that I never said a proper goodbye, that my last words to him were probably, “I need the content calendar NOW!” instead of, “I miss you, we need to have lunch more often.”

Migs, thank you for your warmth, wit, and sass, for all the times you made me laugh, for caring enough to toss truth bombs at my dating life. If there’s an afterlife, I hope it’s one filled with pretty things and glorious food.

I miss you, we should have had lunch more often.

Who Needs Boys? A North Luzon Road Trip

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The four-day Papal holiday in January gave Kassy? and I the chance to go surfing in La Union. But our itchy feet got the better of us, and we hopped back in the car and did the scenic drive across Ilocos Norte and back to Manila. We saw a lot of pretty places along the way, and even picked up friends? for a joyride around the Laoag sand dunes. And Kassy and I were like, “Who needs boys?” because we were pretty proud of ourselves for doing this crazy drive on our own.

This video captures the highlights of our incredible road trip, and the best 4 days of my 2015 so far. It’s odd to feel so nostalgic about a trip that happened barely two months ago. But as we both get more serious about our careers, I realize what a rare and wonderful thing it is to be able to spontaneously drive off into the sunset with one of your best friends. Who knows when we’ll have the time or energy to be this carefree again? Why does the thought of a vacation now fill me with anxiety rather than excitement? When did I become such a responsible adult? Ugh.

(And yes, I know, I screwed my fin on backwards!)

Life Isn’t a Romantic Comedy – But It Can Be

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Hollywood’s greatest gift to ambitious career women is the idea that you can find true love and have the spacious corner office. I realized this Friday night, when two girlfriends came over after work with pajamas and a hard drive filled with feel-good romantic comedies. A year ago, you wouldn’t have caught me dead watching a rom com; I’ve often dismissed the genre as purveyors of unrealistic expectations and false hope. Lately, however, I seem to have morphed into the kind of woman who can only enjoy films that end with a kiss between two lovelorn protagonists. (I have also since become the kind of woman that does yoga, is pseudo-vegetarian, and works 60-hour weeks. It’s funny how much people change!)

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Ringing in 2015 at El Nido, Palawan

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El Nido is world-famous for its tropical islands and picturesque lagoons, but what’s there to do when you’re there in the midst of a tropical storm? That’s what me and my friends were trying to figure out when we hopped on rented motorbikes to explore the mainland. We had a blast discovering the area’s waterfalls, hot springs, and hidden beaches on our own. And when the weather grew mild enough to let us visit El Nido’s famous islands, there were no words to describe how happy I was to have visited one of the most beautiful places in the Philippines with my two favorite people in the world.

A Video of the Best Time I Went to Bagan, Myanmar

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This time last week, I was cycling through the dusty roads of the Bagan Archeological Zone and shouting, “Can you believe this place???” because I have never been in such close proximity to so many ancient pagodas and crumbling stuppas. I’m still having trouble believing that we climbed through temples with our hands and bare feet, swam in the Irrawaddy river, befriended the locals of Myinhaba village, and did all the amazing things we did. It’s like something out of a indie road trip movie about friendship and self-discovery and maybe romance on the road.

To remind myself that all of this was real, and that we had the best time of our lives in this historic little town, I made a video of our adventures in Bagan. How can I go back to traveling alone when traveling with friends can be this much fun?

The Chicken Tikka Masala that Helped Me Find Meaning

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Do you ever have one of these days where life feels like a pointless exercise in the never-ending struggle to find meaning? Well I was having one of those weeks. I usually jump out of bed with purpose when my alarm goes off, but at the height of my depressive spell, I’d spend a good 10 minutes staring at my ceiling, willing myself to get up. I know that life, however meaningless it sometimes gets, would be infinitely worse if I ditched work and stay burrowed under my blankets. But there has to be a more compelling reason to make it out of bed other than the fear of disappointing your coworkers and not wanting deadlines to pile up.

I don’t know why I sometimes I feel this way, and I’ve been driving myself crazy trying to understand why. All I know it keeps visiting me, the feeling that each day is another stage to play out the empty charade that is my existence, and I keep charade-ing on in the hopes that one day, I will wake up feeling like running towards life and love and meaning with arms wide open.

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Sponsored Post: Historical Casinos Worth Visiting Whilst Travelling in Asia

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Tourism in Asia is booming these days as many people have found out just how easy it is to get across the world on a fast plane in order to see the other side of the world. Asia is filled with interesting places to visit and see, and no matter how many times you visit you will always find something new and interesting to do. Gambling tourism is actually something of a up-and-coming thing in Asia. Many of the countries have changed their laws about gambling to allow casinos to be built that bring in more tourism than ever before, in conjunction with allowing online casinos such as www.casinoonline.co.nz to operate as well. This in turn allows the surrounding communities to thrive off the extra tourists bringing in money and so it is a win-win situation for everyone.

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On Being Grateful, Even When I’m Really Not

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“Do you keep a gratitude journal?”

I was asked this question by a Couchsurfer I shared a host with in Sabah – a Couchsurfer who, no matter how hard I tried, couldn’t stand to be around with. He’s one of those ridiculously extroverted Americans who has unshakable opinions about everything, never misses an opportunity to let their thoughts be known, and is completely oblivious to how this can annoy the crap out of people around them. As someone with unshakable opinions herself, almost every conversation with him felt like an invitation to an argument. I’d try to keep the peace by staying silent, but every now and then I’d give in to the urge to fire back with a counter-argument or sarcastic reply.

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