September 13, 2017

Hungry and Angry Grill

Hi everyone,
I just wanted to share to all of you my new found happy place here in my very own hometown. Last Tuesday, my fam decided to eat out for dinner. Also our last fam dinner/bonding together before my Tito's flight back to Panama. The funny thing is that we first thought of going to Unity Park for some barbecue, so we brought some rice from home (also to save money). Yet, we ended going to Hungy & Angry Grill located at Toledo Commercial Arcade beside sea port, just across the public market.

I have been really curious about this place since the day I saw it. The glass window allows you to sneak a peak of the interior. I wanted to see up close the paintings on the wall.  About the rice we brought, the good thing is they allowed us to bring it inside without paying any corkage. When it comes to their food they offer variety of dishes such as seafood, barbecue, snacks, pork chicken and more. At a very reasonable price. Giving them 4 out of 5 for their food. They also offer very good service to their customer. Definitely going back to Hungry & Angry Grill.

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August 13, 2017

Life Hacks // How I Manage My Time

I mentioned in my previous post that last June I went back to university to pursue my other dreams. Though, its not that easy to be in a strange and new environment. I found it very challenging and fun at the same time. Challenging because everything is new - new course, new university and new people with different personalities. Yet, that doesn't stop me from having fun and enjoying this journey. This also opens a new opportunity for me to meet very inspirational and courageous women whom I called friends.

At the same time university can be so demanding and stressful. Especially when most of your subjects if not all requires your time. Wishing you can divide yourself just to finish your projects, homeworks, reports, etc. If there is one thing I have learned in this kind of situation and my past experiences, that would be properly managing your time is the best solution you can do.

That's why I would like to share to everyone how I personally manage my time not just in school but also at home and even at work. Hopefully you might find this post helpful if you are still struggling to manage your own time. LET'S START...

The very first thing I do in order for me to manage my time properly is to know my priorities. These are the things I have to do and need to accomplish for the rest of the day/week/month. I plan my day ahead of time for me not to waste my time and avoid missing an important task or appointment. When determining priorities I  consider the following (1) importance, (2) deadlines and (3) level of difficulty of the task.

Now that I have determine my priorities, I write it down. It is because there is a big possibility that I might forget a task / appointment during a very busy day. So I suggest that you get a planner for you to plot your schedule or just an ordinary notebook where you can write your to-do list. With this we can avoid future conflict of schedule and easily adjust when something unexpected happens.

"I left my report at home", "I forgot my assignment", "I can't find my ID or other pair of socks" and so on....

Sound familiar right? What I do to avoid these situations and of course delays is always prepare everything(bags, reports, projects, uniforms, socks, shoes, etc) ahead of time (before I go to bed). I place my things in one place where I can easily see and grab them in the morning. With this I can also save some time.

Aside from preparing my needs ahead of time. I also prepare my body for a busy day ahead. So I make sure to have a good night sleep for 6 to 8 hours.To welcome the day with right energy.

Yes you know your priorities, you already have a to-do list and you even prepared everything but you feel like doing nothing on the very day. I don't know maybe your not in the mood or just being lazy. Aside from wasting everything, your schedule for the next day(s)/ week(s) may be affected. So when you decide to to something stick to it. You will also learn the value of self-discipline.

To avoid conflict or miscommunication, you should also consider others schedule. For instance you have a group project and so happens that your groupmates has different schedule. So you have to consider each others schedule and set a date where everyone can be around to plan and help. Also, ask your family member or friends of their future plans (trips, etc) so you can freely adjust your schedule.

Time is precious so we should spend it wisely. When you have same free time, use it to do your homeworks, projects or reports ahead of time. You can also study in advance your lessons or review previous notes. Who knows your professor may give you a surprise exam or surprise oral recitation. Avoid spending too much time in unimportant things.
Imagine this....
A friend/classmate of yours invited you to watch a movie but the thing is you still have to finish your project because tomorrow morning is the deadline.

Will you say YES or will you say NO?
Of course you know what is the right thing to do and that is to say NO. I'm not saying you should not have fun after a stressful day. What I'm saying is that there is always a right time in everything, including having fun. Just simply tell them why you can't go or reschedule your movie date the day after the deadline, when all of you are free from any school responsibilities. It is much better to have fun when you don't have to worry about anything.

" I still have time, I will just do it tomorrow" then the next day, you say the same thing.
or " I'm not in the mood to study right now, I will study tonight instead " yet, you end up not doing so.

When we have too much time we tend to slack around and without realizing we are already running out of time. I, myself is guilty with this. If you can do it to day , do it. This will help you avoid cramming on the day of the deadline.

Sticking to your plans is truly difficult but at the same time very rewarding. So celebrate and reward yourself for a job well done. When an exam/project is finally over have fun with your friends, go shopping, go to movie, or spend some time alone.

So that's how I manage my time. How about you guys, how do yo manage your time?

Thank you for reading till the end and I hope you learned something from me. Let me know what do you think about today's post.

Photo by Lukas Blazek on Unsplash

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July 12, 2017

Confession // Priority List // Midyear Bucketlist

Before anything else this post is kinda long and I hope you make it till the end. Friends I want to confess something. I will be honest with you, I have been struggling to keep this blog running. This past few months I couldn't draft a single article. If I do, it will take me days or weeks and it kinda feel a little lifeless/boring. As if it's not worth your(my readers) time. My creative juices are so drained out to the point I want to quit blogging. That is why last June I have been debating with myself if I should continue or not. 

Sure it's nice to be recognized and earn money from what you love to do. Yet, the negative side is that at some point I was blended by the perks of being a blogger - fame, popularity, freebies and money. That I wasn't able to give/ show the real purpose of this blog. That I wasn't writing the real stories I want to tell rather I tell stories that needs to meet the requirements and others approval. That I wasn't honest at all to myself and to my readers. 

In this process despite the negativity, I was reminded to why I created this blog four years ago. This blog exist for me to have a space where I could share to everyone my thoughts, ideas, dreams, goals and creativity. Also for me to document my self-growth, learning, experiences and memories. It's not about the fame, popularity, freebies and money. It's about touching and inspiring the lives of people who will ever read this blog.

That before all those negative things, blogging has become a tool for me to freely express my thoughts, stories, and goals. Breaking the barrier to connect with people around the world with the same likes and interest. It also become the way for me to meet some inspirational people like people who I really look up to. People who inspired me to do my very best in whatever I do.

This decision making made me realize how silly I am for thinking of quitting and stop doing what I love the most. So yah! This is a start of a new beginning.

Priority & Midyear Bucket List

Time flies so fast that we are already in the month of July. Before the year ends I would like to share my Priority List and Bucket List. Well, this is rather unexpected since I didn't actually made any list for the first 3 months of the year because of my depression and anxiety. Right now, I'm so glad that I'm starting to recover and enjoy life.

Priority List

I will start with my priority list since these are the things that comes to my mind when I was slowly recovering from all the negativity of life. In fact, I'm so happy to say that I have accomplish my list before the year ends.

☑ Pay remaining university balance and file for graduation.
Not many knows that I didn't actually finished my bachelors degree in Computer Science due to circumstances and financial reasons. Instead I applied for the two year course Associate in Computer Technology which was approve last May.

☑ Go back to university to have a bachelor degree.
Some may ask "why not continue and finish your first course if you want to have bachelor degree?". Hmmmm.... I been doing my best to catch up with my lessons but its not working and I know to myself that I can do better than this. That I'm just in the wrong course and field. Though, going back to university seems impossible for me because of financial reason. I keep being optimistic that this desire of mine will come true. Finally, last June 13 this dream of mine came true. I was able to enroll in one of the university in my hometown. I'm so thankful to Papa God for never forgetting to bless me even I some times forget to call for him. Also, thank you so much to people who trust in me even the world seems to don't.

☑ Move/ Relaunch my blog.
I have been wanting to revamp my blog to give a minimalist and sophisticated look. A new look, url and home for Simply Vanessa. It's been a while since the last time I code yet it was super fun and challenging at the same time. Glad I still remember my web and design & programming class way back in college.

☑ Learn new language.
I have been curious about the similarity and difference of Spanish and Bisaya(Cebuano) or Tagalog language. That's why I started learning Spanish last year though I didn't take it seriously. This time I'm confident that I will learn the language and be serious about it. I also want to continue learning Japanese even I don't watch anime anymore. Lastly for now, I will start learning Korean Language. #ParaSaKDrama #ParaKayOppa hahaha.... #KinainNaNgSistema.

☑ To have a memorable summer.
I just had this sudden thought of wanting to enjoy summer - family bonding, do road trips and hit the beach. Thank you universe , what have I done to bless me big time. This came true when my Aunt from Luzon visited Cebu. Read my blog entry here and here.

☑ Learn how to swim.
You know you're having an episode and then random thought would just pop.

☑ Start a new business. Yay!
Being a young adult we are expected to be financially responsible and independent. Honestly, I dislike(maybe also hate) dealing with people that is why I have been jobless after my last work. So I have to think of alternative way for me to earn money. Though I still have a long way to go especially balancing my time at school and at home.

☑ Fight depression and anxiety. 

Midyear Bucket List

Thank you for making till the end part of this post. I created this list right after I enroll myself last June. My sort of motivational list for the rest of the year. 

‣ Take good care of my physical health.
Stop being abusive to myself. Eat on time. Sleep early....

‣ Be clean and organize at home and at school.
Do house chores regularly. Clean and nice environment for learning.

‣ Study and pass exams.
Not all is given the chance to go back to school. I'll do my very best in everything. Learn from my past mistakes.

‣ Look for part time job.
Because of the weather my small business is not doing well. So I have to look for another way to support my needs.

‣ Open saving account.
Have to start saving. Money Challenge perhaps?

‣ Be more active in blogging.
Publish at least one article a week? Why not? This might help me regain my creative juices. To keep my brain active.

‣Buy new blog domain.
 I want to establish Simply Vanessa as my brand. Hopefully a new .com or .net this October.

‣ Work on blog banners & logo.
For my social media and blog identity.

‣ Attend Conventions/Events.
ArchCon Cebu, Toficon and maybe Kpop related events.

‣ Continue learning new language.
Spanish, Japanese and Korean.

‣ Visit relative in Quezon Province this December. 
Exploring Luzon for the first time! Yay!

‣ Fixed Laptop and buy new phone.
Helpful for studies and blogging.

‣ Read at least one book a week.
I need to improve my English and to keep my imagination burning. 

‣ Watch more Korean Drama.
KDrama is life!

‣ Refurbish room.
Repainting, Buying new furniture and more

‣ Set up a mini study and work space/office.
A nice and relaxing place for study and work.

‣ Practice drawing skills
Time to give my skills another try. Painting. Watercolors. Sketching. 

‣ Explore new things
Don't be afraid  to commit mistake. There will always be a first time in everything.

‣ Be confident
After shutting down the world I become less confident than I was before. I need to stand up and be positive.

So that's all in my list but I might add more. I'll be optimistic again this time that I will be able to achieve all of them. I will look back to this list by December and looking forward for better life the rest of the year.

Photo Credits: Christoph PeichEwan RobertsonGlenn Carstens-Peters

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June 29, 2017

Summer 2017 // Sirao Garden, Temple of Leah, Taoist Temple

We are in the time where hopping on the plane traveling the world or road trips is on the top list than buying our own house and lot. Hey Welcome to the millennial Age! Yet! not all of us can afford to do so. Let's be honest plane tickets, meal allowance and other expenses are freaking expensive. We have to work hard to do so but what if you can travel the world without spending much money and without leaving your beloved home country? How is it possible to travel to 2 different continents and 3 countries without a plane ride? Crazy as may sounds. Yes it's possible. If you are from Cebu or familiar of Cebu you might already have an idea on what I'm taking about.

I mentioned in my previous post, my Aunt and my cousin visited Cebu for vacation. Aside from our beach adventure we also went on a road trip going north of Cebu. As a continuation of my summer 2017 adventure post here's the second and last part.

We know that a week of vacation is not enough to explore Cebu and it's cities. So as requested by them to visit famous tourist attraction in Cebu. We suggested on visiting Sirao Flower Garden, Temple of Leah, and Taoist Temple as our itinerary for the whole day. We rented a private car for a smooth and hassle free ride also to save for our transportation. Good thing our driver happened to be my other cousins relative and she really knew the way to the north. We took the Transcentral Highway in Balamban which is our first time because of not so good rumors about this road. I guess you just have to drive slowly and carefully but I must say it has an amazing view from the top.

So our first destination is Sirao Flower Garden or also know as Little Amsterdam. It was around 2015 when this Flower Garden was trending topic in social media. It's a must visit not just by tourist but also locals. With the eye-catching colors of yellow, red, orange it's a picture perfect. 
After taking lots of photos at Sirao Flower Garden we headed to our 2nd destination which is Temple of Leah. Just like India’s world-famous Taj Mahal, Temple of Leah is a mesmerizing work of art built as a symbol of one man’s undying love to his beloved wife. Built in 2012 by business tycoon Teodorico Adarna – the grandfather of sexy actress Ellen Adarna. While it’s not as grand, gigantic and spectacular as Taj Mahal, it is a majestic sight nonetheless that will give you a taste of ancient Rome and Greece.
Lastly for this trip is Taoist Temple. Built in 1972 by the Cebu’s substantial Chinese community. The Cebu Taoist Temple is the center of worship for Taoism, the religion which follows the teachings of the ancient Chinese philosopher, Lao Zi. It is open to even the non practitioners of Taoism, this temple is one of the famous attraction in Cebu. It's my second time to visit this holy place and I must say this place never failed to amaze me.
It was a short and tiring trip but we all love all the place we visited. We hope that next summer we can go to another road trip this time going to the end of Cebu in south.

How about you guys which of the three is your favorite? Have you been to any of the tourist attractions? Let me know your thought in the comment section below. 

That's it for now thanks again for visiting my blog. See you next time.

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June 5, 2017

Summer 2017 // The Ranch, Hidden Beach, Park Place

Hey Guys!

So summer just officially ended here in the Philippines and rainy season is officially here. Though we cannot feel it yet, because of the scorching heat. Even if we already said bye to summer, our adventures and time we spent together remains in our memory. A happy memory.

When I was younger way back when I was still a student, I always look forward for summer vacation to take a break from studies, homework and projects. And it is a plus if we can get to do a road trip or go to the beach at least once before the new school year begins. Then, I guess those kind of things change as we get older #adulting. It is now a different story when you have a work. Days may just pass like a normal and boring day. You'll be lucky if you get the chance to enjoy your summer and hit the beach or a road trip or even out of the country trips. So yah! I'm one of the few percent of the people who gets less chance of enjoying summer.

However, this time it's different. Aside from starting my business that keeps me busy everyday. All thanks to my mama's older sister and her daughter who is now living in Luzon who decided to spend a week here in Cebu for vacation. Our normal day to day routine have change. They have been away for so long that my tita can't barely speak and understand Bisaya anymore. Their trip here in Cebu was very unexpected like they inform us a day before their flight. All of us was super excited when we found out since also it's my cousin's first time here in Cebu. Ahh.. Finally our travel plans over the long phone call is coming to life. Yay!

Definitely no dull moments and less anxiety attacks. I'm so happy that I'm now able to share our summer adventures here. I'll be dividing this into two part blog post and I hope you make it tell the end. So let's start...


The first outdoor adventure we did was swimming. It was perfect time because it was during Easter Sunday where we usually go to the beach after we celebrate the holy week. Actually, it was only my cousins and their school friends who went to the ranch resort. I guess tita got bored being the only one at home also we are the only one left in the neighborhood because they also went to the beach. So she decided to follow them and invited me and our cousins Keisha, Sophia and Kent Rylle.

It's my second time in The Ranch Resort and still its one of my fave resort. You might want to read my previous entry about this place to know why. On our first visit, I was just at the 4 ft pool or at the corner of the 5 ft pool. Haha... The struggle of non swimmer. This time with the help of my dear cousins I was able to conquer my fears and go deeper in the water. They also give me a swimming lesson and hold me when I feel like drowning. At time like this I envy them at the young age they are really good swimmer.


Ah!!! Finally the beach! I don't know why beaches feels much better than pools. So yah! When my tita and cousin went home to Cebu, one request of them is to go to the beach specifically "White Sand Beach" because they haven't been to any. Also, parang nasa Boracay feels (Pretends to be in Boracay) ahahaha...

Though because of the short period of time and budget we cross out the white sand beach from the list and instead we decided to go to an ordinary beach. Huhuhu no white sand beach for now. But then again we feel so lucky that my godmother who's living in Aloguinsan paid a visit at home when she found out about my tita's arrival. In the middle of their conversation she suddenly invited us to visit their place. Then later I remember bojo river, hermit coves, island hopping and white sand beach. So I told them and my cousins tried to convince them that if we have some extra time and money we can go to one of Aloginsan's white sand beach. And we got a big YES if we still have time! woho! White Sand beach is back in the list. Though, we are still unsure we just prepared and brought extra clothes.

We arrive around 11 in the morning and my godmother suggested that we can have lunch at the beach. Like hell ya! We all agree. So we went to Hidden Beach which is the nearest in their house. When we arrive we took the chance to take lots of photos without knowing around 2 in the afternoon is going to be low tide. So we miss the chance of swimming. But it was memorable because for the first time we got to go far and far from the shore. Picking some starfish and sea urchin. I was really amaze about marine life. Also I got to experience eating sea urchin for the first time.


Lastly for this post is our last beach outing. This happened right after our Aloguinsan trip. Well, we did enjoy starfish and sea urchin picking but we also badly want to splash in the water. Which we are not able to do because of low tide. The water was far far away from the shore and high tide will be at the evening. So the ladies suggested to drop by at the ranch resort to bathe before we go home. Though, they didn't allowed us but instead we went to Park Place the next day. So we could also invite our other relatives. The more the merrier. Why not? right?

So we went to Park Place in Tajao early in the morning. We brought our own food and had barbecue some pork. After we almost finish cooking, I finally joined my cousins in swimming. What I like about Park Place is aside from the beach they also have 2 new pools for kids and adults. So in the morning I spent my time nursing/ looking after my little cousins. Which is really fun. They ride at my back while practicing my swimming skills and slowly teaching them how to swim too. Around the afternoon I ask my tita's to look after my little cousins. So I was able to join my other cousins at the pool. There we had chitchats and off course my most fave part eating in between. Haha

Definitely a summer to remember. Isn't it? How about you guys, how was your summer?

Part two of our summer adventures will be posted in no time. So please stay tuned and don't forget to subscribe to my mailing list to get the latest update. Thanks again for dropping by!

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