Category Archives: Quarter Life

Happy and Content at 28

Quiet. Simple. Low-key. These are 3 words to describe my 28th year of birthday celebration on earth. How time flies, soon July will be over and there’s no going back to being 27. I’m old. But here’s my little secret – I always feel like I’m 23…. FOREVER 23!

I love that I was able to celebrate my 28th year as exactly as how I wanted it to be. Chill lang. I stayed at home with my family, read a book, baked in the kitchen, slept over the weekend, and was able to get some perspectives centered. It’s such a welcome retreat after weeks of working, traveling, and moving into a new apartment – for the 6th time in 3 years! My ISP providers are becoming ever more curious why I keep on changing my billing address.

Anyway, here are some shots of my relaxing birthday weekend. I have never been this domesticated πŸ™‚

Family Time – sharing my baked goodies!

It’s supposed to be Red Velvet Cupcakes but I think I overdid the cocoa, so it kinda turned out to be dark-scarlet-red-but-real-yummy-cupcakes! I must say my choco-cream cheese frosting is improving, don’t you think? πŸ™‚

Oh my mother did some baking too – baked macaroni. And they bought me the Ultimate Chocolate Cake from Red Ribbon. It was heavenly!

Downtime – with my favorite reads.

I have finished reading it before, but since I wanted to get some perspective now that I am officially at the tail end of my 20’s, I reread God Never Blinks. I find its stories’ insights universal and relevant for whatever age you are in.

And recently, my credit card debuted in to download the Kindle version of the “Dinner with a Perfect Stranger“. I highly recommend this book to anyone seeking some answers to their God-questions. It’s an intelligent book, not a highly religious one. If you think you’re not that spiritual, take a chance on this one – you’d be surprised that you liked it. πŸ™‚ I even found myself sneaking to read it during lunch breaks. It’s an easy yet a thought-provoking material.

Living only with what’s important.

As I have mentioned, I have moved yet again into a new place – the smallest apartment I ever got in all my 6 years of packing and repacking boxes. I opted for a smaller space because it’s cheaper – and easier to clean! Consequently, I had to cut down on my stuffs and REALLY look down into my truest essentials. I did giveaway some of my clothes and books to my community. I never thought I accumulated that much in my years of being a single person. I felt both relieved and excited of the thought of starting anew.

Here’s my teeny-weeny apartment with all my essentials packed in a corner. But I so love my new place! It’s very cozy and it has a small veranda just outside the back door. It’s nice to sit out there during lovely candle-lit evenings πŸ™‚ I am staying at the 2nd floor of the building.

With a smaller apartment and less things to deal with comes the best reward – lower maintenance and bills for me! Since I had my eyes set on something bigger, better, and more permanent – I have joined my friends’ bandwagon of cutting back on expenses to afford an investment. I love this thing going in my life now. It’s like some new-agey stuff I’m into. HAHA!

But seriously, knowing what’s most important for you has a rejuvenating effect on your soul. Less baggage to carry – literally and figuratively.

So what is it with being 28?

  • Society, family, and well-meaning friends urging you to launch the wedding planning bonanza
  • Getting judged prematurely on whether you have enough money to say you’re “stable”
  • You’re old. Period.

But for me, I can only be very thankful to God:

For that peace that comes from knowing what truly is more important, and;

The confidence that in whatever season or age I’m in – He’s mightily in control of everything as all are running according to His plan.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.Β – Romans 8:28


Filed under Great Weekends, Quarter Life, Spiritual

2012 is a Year of Challenge!

I cannot resist but to blog today. But why not? It’s PAYDAY! – the first one of the year FOR ME!

Until now, I can’t believe (and cannot contain my bliss for it) that I have finally returned to my old office, old friends, old home that I’ll cherish for a lifetime I know, cheesy πŸ™‚Β I have come to terms with the fact that success is very personal and subjective. It differs from person to person. And how I define it should be my guiding perspective, regardless of how the world pushes its own image of it. After getting that much needed break, I realized that success for me simply means the fulfillment of my potentials – just like how Maslow figured it out since 1943.

So! Today is another one of those “list” blog posts πŸ™‚ Whenever I watch TV interviews and hear speeches about “taking on challenges”, it rings a big bell inside. I guess, my theme for 2012 stems from the word CHALLENGE. Yes! 2012 is the Year of Dragon Challenge for me!

Let’s start off with:

> Waking up early –Β 7-7.30 should be in front of the computer office

> CONSISTENT Daily Devotional reading

> Everyday SEO Challenge – I get “advanced” SEO questions both from the boss and their clients. You cannot underestimate the gravity of these surprises every morning. Napapa-heavy breakfast ako!

> Challenge my writing speed and quality – Working on a new “online travel raket”. It’s demanding/challenging: but all good πŸ™‚

> Double my savings – Tall order, I know! But I can only imagine the huge sense of accomplishment once I am able to conquer this Β one.

> Learn to Bake – check! But I guess, won’t help my next item below πŸ™‚

> DIET – every year na lang, ano?

> Blog 3x/mo. – good luck to me!

> HK with aunts and uncles – hopefully by August

> Eat, Pray, Love with my dearies πŸ™‚

> DIY Projects to finish

> Spend more time at home with the family – baka kse mag-asaw na’ko next year. Chos! πŸ™‚

They say, a 30-day challenge is more feasible. I’d like to start from there. On a monthly basis, will try to accomplish a challenge.

How about you? What’s your list of challenges and goals this year?

For some inspiration, read:

Those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles.

-Isa 40:31


Filed under Quarter Life

Unemployed, Unchained

For the first time in my life (not even after graduation), I am officially unemployed πŸ™‚

Sad to say the new job I just got into last September went with a bitter ending 😦 I learned a few lessons there, and one is to be ready when one has realized that things aren’t what she expected to be. Change is good, but what will you do if it turned out for the worst? The answer is to endure first, obey first. Then do all you can to get that graceful exit. Life is short, let’s not spend some more time on things that simply make us unhappy. But there is always a better way to get out of any situation. Good thing, DOLE is always pro-employee! Haha!

Anyway, so I decided to quit even when there is no sure employment to jump into yet. I’m choosing not to mind it for now. However, I cannot hide my excitement to make a comeback and handle new online projects with my old friends. I guess God is asking me to trust Him more – even if my usual comfort pillows of a stable career and financial capacity are lacking at the moment.

This unemployment thing is really doing more good than bad. I have learned to take hold of myself and control my spending. And shall I say, it has lead me to surrender my life plans to the Lord. That is already a blessing in disguise.


Enough with the jobless talk, let’s go to the fun part πŸ™‚

Needless to say, the best thing about not having work this time of the year is that fact that I can get some vacay time while everybody is harassed doing their holiday preparations. My mom is relieved to have me handy at home while she and dad are extremely busy with business. Also, my extended (and unexpected) holiday has allowed me to spend more time for things that matter – a.k.a. (1)bridal showers, (2)Christmas outreach and parties, and of course (3)romance!

<insert picture here; next time don’t forget your digicam!>

I wish I have not forgotten my digicam, but I did. Sorry. I feel blessed to have done our simple feather-and-marshmallow-themed bridal shower with my long-time girlfriends in SFC. One of my bff is already 3-years married, one is still waiting like me, and the soon to be bride is happily leaving singlehood in favor of being someone’s wife πŸ™‚ We recalled the fun and unforgettable old times, especially the out of town conferences we attended. I heard a lot of marital advice, as well. I’m genuinely happy for my friend who has finally overcome her waiting and is now more equipped to start married life.

GK Kids Christmas Party - SFC

GK Kids Christmas Party - SFC

Every year, lots of good-hearted people of our SFC community reach out to the kids of GK-Ancop. We call the pre-schoolers “Sibol”, the grade-schoolers as “Sagip”, and the youth/teens as “Siga”… On this 11th of December, the kids definitely had a blast with our games, prizes, and spaghetting pababa at pataas! πŸ™‚ Nothing compares to the joy of sharing to these young souls.

Lately, I’ve been spending a lot of quality-Christmasy time with the sweetie. From group dinners to exclusive one-on-one conversations with this guy, it surely is making my holiday ever so warm. It’s our second Christmas together. You may now close your browser as what you’ll be reading next is a string of too much mush… hehe! It’s not everyday that you meet someone who connects with you on an emotional and spiritual level. Nowadays, it’s pretty difficult to catch someone who is loyal and supportive. I have found in him a man who is the most loving and understanding guy I have ever met. Christmas is indeed a celebration of love.

So as long as I can keep my finances on check, keep my faith grounded on Him, plus loads of lurrrrrrve to share to family and friends – there isn’t really anything wrong with being unemployed in December πŸ™‚

IΒ came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly. –Β (John 10:10)


Filed under Career Life, Quarter Life, Singles For Christ

If you can think it, you can make it!

We all know by now about this film called, “The Secret“. I wasn’t able to finish the whole thing but somehow I got the message. And most of my friends would tell me about the theory behind it Β – positive thinking.

Now, my mom is the type of mother who keeps all her child’s mementos and what-nots. I’m sure all moms are. One day, she handed me this (see below) – yep, that’s right. It’s a rough untalented sketch of how I once perceived my future would be. I think I was still a college student when I drew this. I know, it looks more like it belonged to a grade one pupil – pardon my stick people.

Romela's Life Dream in the Past

Exhibit 1

Upon closer look, you will find that I once dreamed of my life ahead of me. And that “life ahead” included:

> Helping Filipino kids I’m happy to be serving Ancop/Gawad Kalinga kids today

> A permanent family homewe once rented an apartment, but now we have our own home sweet home!

> A financially-rewarding career – pagtutulak ba ito ng droga? SEO, it is.

> Travelhad a chance to grab a few tickets for domestic, Asian, and Australian travel!

> Finding true loveI’d like to believe, this has come true πŸ™‚

> My own housethis one is still in the drawing board, hehe

Well despite the lackluster illustration, I feel blessed to claim that I gave justice to my life-dream drawing πŸ™‚ Most of what I wrote there have already come true in my 20’s! I think that’s a feat, and an awesome evidence of how great God is!

Because of this sketch, my conviction became stronger that if I can think it, I can make it!

And so, I have created another “This is my life ahead of me” proclamation version 27 (yep, that’s my age). This time, it’s in digital format. You gotta believe me, I swear. I did try to draw but it was a disaster, so never mind.

Thank you,Β Photoshop! πŸ™‚

Romela's Dream

Exhibit 2

Now you see I picked out a white house with a white picket fence, a family car (yes I’m specific: 2 kids – 1 boy, 1 girl), a colorful kids’ room that I plan to design for my children, and of course… a honeymoon in Rome! (read: Romerla in Rome) hehe!

It’s free to dream so I guess, why not? I’m sure most ladies my age would have similar pegs. I remember this morning while I was on my way to the office, I happen to see a young married couple (maybe 28-29ish). The wife is beautifully preggy while holding hands with his hunk husband.

It makes me think – should I be doing that instead of preparing another boring PowerPoint Presentation for a SEO client?

But as they say, the key to happiness is contentment. Never compare your life with others. You do not know what they’re going through. So I guess, fine! I am happy. I am blessed! *no sarcasm, promise*

Back to my “Exhibit 1” – I noted down this particular area that looks like a bend in the road. It’s actually that. What I wrote there is a handy reminder when you come to a point of Β quarter-life anxiety.

“This is where I am right now. It’s just a bend… a difficult turn – yet not the right path to take. But I can always get out of it!!!”

Funny how the past can bring answers to your future.

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Filed under Quarter Life