End of 2022 | New Year 2023

2022 was like lyric poetry. A stack of unopened boxes full of mystery. It started with intimately wrapped presents encased under pretty gift wrappers, opening to a delightful surprise at a new dawn. A series of firsts after the long lockdown and life began to restart after 3 years.

Work came in full swing and I was busy as an ant building an enormous colony, you get lost in days, weeks, months.

But it rewarded me with views of the clouds, the sound of feet over cobblestone streets, a taste of historic monuments and foreign delicacies, interesting conversations with different colors and old friends, even an introduction to a scent I will never, never get used to.

I’ve woken up to foggy mornings and the sound of chirping birds and slept under fairy lights with a preview of the milky way.

I soaked in the sun, I dug my toes in the sand, I savored the remnants of salt in my skin, in my hair, I watched a collection of mesmerizing sunsets and it was breathtaking every time. 

I reunited with family and it was filled with long ago laughter, it was a streak of hangovers and countless sleepovers.

Despite starting the year right, until maybe to the first of the last quarter, with the universe having a sick sense of humor, I opened the twelfth box to an unexpected plot twist and I find myself crying through December, utterly frustrated and defeated. I have no words.

We are handed different, sometimes explicit, circumstances and we are exhausted maybe, but I only wish for renewed strength and a bit of happiness to survive the unchanging uncertain. And ultimately, just be thankful for everything in between, the big and little things that has put a miraculous glow on my face.

May we look up to the sky and find the stars align to be a compass that sets out to guide us when we are lost in the darkness, to ignite the spark of hope we need that burns to a fire that will lead us out. Out of misery, out of loneliness, out of exhaustion.

And as the year finally closes, keep in mind that everything will eventually fall into place exactly as it should, when it should, even when we go forward into another start of unopened mysterious boxes.

Have a happy end of the year and start of another year.

/ DMV /

To the Beach We Go! | Juancho’s 9th

Road trip Southbound!

Celebrated Juancho’s birthday at the beach! (post pandemic shenanigans)

Much needed break from everyday and so timely it was also a holiday.

We stayed at Casa Praia along White Beach in Punta Ballo, Sipalay. It’s a private beach house with 4 bedrooms (10pax capacity) and 1 and a half bathrooms. It’s fully furnished with a complete kitchen in case you choose to cook.

Day 1

Pre-birthday sunsets and swimming and the adults with cards and drinks.

Day 2

Sunburnt and happy. Swimming all day at the beach since it’s conveniently just in front of where we were staying 😂.

Happy birthday Juancho!

Happy birthday Juancho!

Day 3

Breakfast and some family time then homebound.

Weekend well spent!

xx DMV

38th | And my August Pt. 2

So after spending a week in London, off to Paris we go.

We took the Eurostar to Paris, just 2 hours train from London.

This was actually near Kings Cross Station, where platform 9 3/4 is but we did not have the time to visit the place. Maybe next time.

Day 1

We met up with Arcie to check in at our hotel, we checked in at Hotel Colisee at the heart of Champs Elysees and just killed time roaming around the place.

Arc de Triomphe

One of the famous monuments in France and just a short walk from our hotel.

Day 2 | Walking City Tour

Went around Paris riding trains, getting lost and blistered feet.

Place de la Concorde

Jardin des Tuileries

The Louvre

Eiffel Tower

Day 3 | Disneyland Paris

At the happiest place on Earth!

Day 4 & 5 | Shopping, shopping, shopping

Went outlet shopping and more shopping! 😂

Galeries Lafayette Haussmann

And random things along the way.

Day 6 | Stranger Things

They had a pop-up store right at the corner of where our hotel was, lined up and had a blast.

Compared to London, you really feel the summer in Paris, it was really hot when we went 🥵 but overall, Paris was a wonderful experience. Paris is always a good idea.

Thank you to the overly awesome and crazy company I was with, the lost episodes and the never ending laughter, my August was perfect.

xx DMV

38th | And my August Pt. 1

Here we are again, late in posting as usual. I have to get back to my habit of writing for sure.

This year’s August was memorable. Marks the first time I get away since being locked down by a global pandemic (that just had to happen in my lifetime!) almost 3 years ago.

But first, of course my friends had planned to hang (like how they’ve been doing for the past xx years) somewhere on my birthday and up to the mountains we went.

For those who are new here, I stopped celebrating my birthday when I turned 20 but my friends have since planned to, every year, with no miss 😂, so I started getting away and go on adventures instead [of hassling them]. That until the pandemic hit, and it’s back to how it was but I’m not complaining. I savor these moments with my closest people, the few precious ones.

A week after, we flew out.

Here we are: me, my sister Sarah and Christine checking in to fly to London to visit the Queen (may her soul rest in peace).

Unlimited drinks on board and the crew of Singapore Airlines were just awesome!

After 18 hours, we finally arrived! My 🍑 is squished.

Back story:

This plan to travel to London started last year when Christine randomly mentioned that Coldplay will be touring again and just announced their MOTS World Tour dates. And her being the true-blooded Coldplayer that she is, asked, no cross that out, announced, lets go watch the concert at Wembley! Next thing we know, we’re queuing to buy concert tickets 😂

The concert was not til August 21st as it was moved from the 19th due to train strikes around London, so we had like 5 days to kill.

Day 1

We stayed at Wembley so we are near the event venue and true enough, the hotel we were staying at was walking distance to Wembley Stadium, like literally right around the corner. It was early in the morning when we arrived and it wasn’t until 2pm that we could check in so we left our luggage with the concierge and just roamed around.

Wembley Stadium

Bicester Village for some outlet shopping.

Day 2 | Central London

St. Paul’s Cathedral

Buckingham Palace

Westminster Abbey

Big Ben and London Eye

London Bridge

Day 3 | Notting Hill

The place is one big flea market! So many things to buy! We also visited the famous sites from the Notthing Hill movie, it’s not so nice anymore though.

Day 4 | Sightseeing Tour

This package tour (Windsor, Stonehenge, Bath) took one day! The places were outside London City so it took quite some time to get to these destinations.

Windsor Castle

The oldest and largest inhabited castle in the world and has been the family home of British kings and queens for almost 1,000 years. It was an official residence of Her Majesty The Queen (when she was still alive) and is still very much a working royal palace today, home to around 150 people.

It would have been so nice if we were allowed to take pictures inside the castle, it was like watching historical documentaries in live action, so detailed, the rooms filled with richly decorated interiors, it was just so so beautiful.

Stonehenge

Alien architecture at its finest. Glad to have seen this world heritage in person (hihi).

Bath

The City of Bath was such a mesmerizing view. Clad in Georgian and neo-classical architecture, it was indeed one of the most beautiful cities I have ever been to.

Day 5 | Coldplay at Wembley

Finally the day we have all been waiting for, the main reason why we flew 18 hours to London 😂

Music of the Spheres World Tour 21 August 2022

Secured VIP tickets with early entry passes and dude, this was our view! Right beside the bridge of stage A and B.

One of the best productions I have been to so far, the concert was so well organized given attendance was 80K strong, that much people! But there was no pushing, no one cutting in line. Everyone was so nice and friendly and just excited to finally watch Coldplay live!

Awesome awesome experience!

with the most awesome people!

London, England, overall was such a nice experience! The weather was great, the people were lovely, will definitely be back!

Next stop, Paris 🗼 !

Click here ——-> for Pt. 2

Lonely Thursdays

It was a lonely Thursday when I impulsively got on that plane to find myself. 

Soothe the trembling hands from a longing so unbearably painful, the noise from my throbbing chest so awfully loud. 

Is this how it is to love truly? To intentionally be blind from candied lies and dilated pride? Could I even take it all in? For the longest time, could I or should I or would I? Must I? 

Blank spaces. I remember staring at the wall of the four corners of this cramped up space I pretty much called home for the weekend, waiting for a call that will never come and started to ask my self, am I even significant? So many unanswered questions kept running through my head and it kept me awake most of the night, inviting insomnia overthinking on the past 12 years.

And in between the commotion of what ifs and regrets I try to battle when evening comes and the silence sets in, I realize that life is a fleeting goodbye and peace is a fragile bonus. I realized, as I grew older, the circle I treaded, once wide, has become small and narrow, and I’d rather that. My time is now. This is my time. And I choose to be selfish. I will release myself of anything that does not curve the corners of my mouth and quiet the insecurities that threaten to surface. I will feast on wonder, on silly nonsense, on joy, on self love; to wake and greet the reflection that has evolved into this beautiful version of Me. Wounded, scarred, but slowly healing.

xx DMV

The Kids are Out | Holy Week 2022

Writing this in the rainy season to maybe remind me, us, some remnants of summer.

First proper vacay out of town for the kids, finally out after 2 years!

Now off to Boracay Island!

Road trip took maybe 4 hours if we haven’t stopped by some Mcdonald’s and Jollibee to eat. Aftermath of the typhoon was still very visible, the roads we passed by were either collapsed or flooded. Arrived to a very chaotic Caticlan port around past lunch time, took us maybe more than an hour to finally board and transfer to the island.

And just in time for sunset.

Stayed on the island for a good 4 days, from Holy Thursday to Easter Sunday, and boy, did the kids have a lot of fun!

First night, finally caught up with half of my forever dates!

Random beach day views

and random skies.

And as everything else, all things come to an end.

Arrived home safe, sunburnt, hungry and happy.

Thank you Universe!

xx

DMV

You Will Heal

I’ve visited pain inflicting places I swore I never would.
Dove down to hurtful memories and surfaced out of breath.
I’ve listened to tear stained songs I thought I couldn’t bear to hear.
Laughed like a crazy woman between mundane circuses.
I’ve danced tirelessly on the dance floor since after I thought my bed was my only comfort.
I’ve opened up to new faces when I swore I will never trust again.
I’ve apologized for things I wish I have never done, things I wish I have never said.
And I’ve forgiven myself for all of it.

You will heal. I promise. In time, you will heal.

xx DMV


Photo is of my 96 yo grandma’s place, totally devastated by typhoon Odette. First floor of her house was entirely submerged in flood, water stayed for 2.5 days. Road to is not yet cleared, had to park the car on the roadside and walk going in carrying supplies that would last for a month. No electricity, no clean water available, they have to go to the nearest town just to secure. Despite all, still thankful they are safe. Much repair is to be done, but we’ll get there. We’ll get there.

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