TIME is the Greatest PARADOX

Because it is infinite, and yet it is precious.
When I think about the concept of time, I can’t help but see it as a theory – a make-believe measure humans came up with so we can put a tab on the lives we live; when in reality, the only “time” that really exists is the infinite “now,” in which everything is suspended and everything happens all at once – all just waiting for us to see it in its glorious beauty but going unnoticed because we have a fucked-up idea of what a lifetime is about.
Come to think of it, we are probably the only species that go about their day measuring it by the hands of a clock. Birds just when know when it is time to fly out in a different direction when the weather changes. But they probably don’t worry about that. They sing their songs and fly high in the skies until they know it is time to do so.
But humans? We were told from a very young age that we we only have a lifetime, and that within that lifetime is a series of socially mandated “milestones” we are meant to achieve or our lives would have “gone to waste.” So we go about our day, measuring the time it takes for everything we do from the moment we plant our feet on the ground to the time we close our eyes to sleep.
We take hurried seven-minute showers and eat our breakfast in large bites because we don’t want to be late to work. Our movements are dictated by the rythm of the “seconds passing by,” keeping us from realizing how good it feels to take a warm bath. Or taking a moment to savour the food our loved ones made for us. Or even bothering to spare a moment to tell them “thank you for making breakfast.”
My hope for you is to realize that time is infinite, and we are never running out of it. It is so precious it deserves to be spent in moments and not in seconds. It is not the $1600 watch you are wearing on your wrist. It’s that photo of your family sitting on your desk, taken in a fraction of a second and immortalized on a piece of paper. It is not the 12-minute quarter of a basketball game, but the rythm of the ball bouncing on the floor and your heart pounding as you run across the court. It is not the 15-minute coffee break you spend with your colleagues, but those smiles and stories you exchange in between.
“Time” is not a cycle that starts and ends. “Time” is all those in-betweens.
So go ahead. Spare two seconds to say those three words that will last a lifetime. Take five extra minutes to do your makeup the way you want it and feel good about yourself for the rest of your day. Take a moment to pray and say thanks. The “time” that you will spend to do it, you will have it again the day after. But those moments, you will carry them for always and they will always be worth it.

Why filed.com’s Scribble is my Choice of Planner for 2018

I’ve been using this other brand of planner since 2013, and quite frankly I am not a huge fan of pink. But filed.com‘s Scribble Planner 2018 is way too cute and gives off too much good vibes for me to ignore. Here’s a short list of the things that got me into getting one for myself.

Great To-Dos and Bucket ListTwelve-Moons-Filed-Scribble-Planner-Todos Sure, mostly every planner out there has this feature, but Scribble has it in this slum book kind of way that reminds me of high school. (Yes, I was cheesy like that and bugged my friends to fill those out.)

Stickers I’m Sure to End Up UsingTwelve-Moons-Filed-Scribble-Planner-StickersI hardly ever get to use these things but I’m sure these ones will end somewhere in the journal planner as I fill my days out.

Most of All, These Beautiful and Motivational ArtworksTwelve-Moons-Filed-Scribble-Planner-Typography-1Twelve-Moons-Filed-Scribble-Planner-Typography-2Years of work as a designer has taught me to appreciate art that is the product of hard work and awesome talent. I especially love good typography, and the featured artworks in this planner are so beautifully made that just looking at them instantly makes me feel good.

So, if you haven’t got a planner for 2018 yet and plan to fill your days with good vibes, I suggest you get one from filed.com.ph. It is really worth buying and having for a year-long company!

Little Islands, Pocket Beaches, and One Big Paradise

I’ve always had this deep-set desire to travel solo. So when I had a window for vacation before life got busy again, I did not hesitate and grabbed the opportunity to book a 3-day vacation in El Nido, Palawan, said to be the most beautiful beach our country of beautiful beaches has to offer.

Breakfast by the beach? All day =)
So this is the beach front view at the inn where I stayed. The moment I got down the transfer van, I heard the waves and ran to the back without even checking in yet! Doggo is happily getting a tan here! 🙂Beach-Front-Hotel-View-El-Nido
And of course, my getaway won’t be complete without having breakfast by the beach. Got my favorite “Tito” beer to go with the chow! El-Nido-Breakfast-by-the-Beach
That’s just me doing the obligatory “touch-down El Nido, Palawan selfie.” Gezzy-Aurell-Twelve-Moons-Blog-El-Nido-Palawan

Endless Ocean of Endless Wonders
As per popular advice, I booked Tour C and got to spend a whole day hopping from island to island in the most beautiful place I have ever seen. Though if you decide to head to El Nido without any itineraries or tour packages, there are several agencies in there that offer customized packages.
El-Nido-Palawan-Waves
Getting here to the hidden beach was quite tricky for me because I don’t swim and there were sharp corals. But luckily the tour guides had earlier suggested that I get those aqua shoes that came in really handy. What’s more? The currents were pretty strong, and our kind kuyas were happy to drag me along on a lifebuoy to get there! Hidden-Beach-El-Nido-Palawan
They call this the Helicopter Island. I am not quite sure why! El-Nido-Palawan-Islands
I even got to snorkel and see beautiful coral reef communities  that took two decades to develop. I’ll make a mental note to take Go-Pro with me next time so I can also take photos of the underwater community.

Great food, great ambiance.
I didn’t quite feel like going back to my room when the trip ended. I wanted to take in everything this amazing paradise has to offer. So I sat myself down on a random bar restaurant, on a table by the beach side so I could face the sunset while I got me a couple glasses of margarita.Sava-Beach-Bar-El-Nido-Palawan
This was the lunch buffet that was included in the trip package, prepared by tour guides themselves! We couldn’t quite get ourselves to eat the watermelon. It’s pretty obvious why! Lunch-Buffet-El-Nido-Tours-Palawan Back at the dormitel, I sat outside my room for some quiet time in the evening. It happened that my trip coincided with the full moon. It felt like everything was taken straight out of a storybook. In that moment, I felt like never wanting to leave this place again. EcoHotels-El-Nido-Palawan
Kitty taking comfort like she’s mine =)IMG_8243

On the morning on my flight back to Manila, I got up early (something I hardly do) just so that I could take in more of place. I’ve gone to several places, but I’ve never felt this sad about leaving a place all my entire life. I wished that I had booked more days so I could have seen more beaches and done more snorkeling. 

Breathtaking in all its God-made glory, El Nido is a place you MUST visit at least once in your life.

Keeping the Magic of Something Soulmade

=_MG_6266

_MG_6303One of the biggest challenges of being in the business of handcrafted items is this : if your work is good and it sells good, you’re bound to get duped by copycats. It used to bother me that a merchant in my regular event keeps on copying my work. Everytime I put something new out there and the crowd loves it, trust on her to scout and have the same thing the next week. While I understand that all artists get inspiration from the already existing work of others, it is quite something else when a merchant in exactly the same event who deliberately scouts your booth does it.

But there is something to learn from and be grateful for in this experience. One day a customer came to my booth to check my items, proceeded to check the items of the dupe merchant, went back to me and said, “Yours has a much better quality than hers. It’s obvious that it’s not ordinary work.” After days of having doubts about myself, I was deeply touched by her simple act of complimenting my work and her kindness, and became much more inspired to continue doing what I love.

I realized that while many things can be copied and ripped off, good design included, no one can dupe good taste, passion, and hard work. When you do something with your own bare hands and you pour your soul into it, that’s YOU. When you fly things in from halfway around the world to get your hands on the finest materials, that’s YOU. When you spend precious seconds criticizing every detail of the work that you just did, just to make sure that everything is right and looks right, that’s YOU.

I realized that on that day, that beautiful lady was not seeing a nice pair of tassel earrings. She was seeing a portion me. A part of my soul in every detail of my work. Soulmade.

So, I am writing this to reach out to all artists, craftsmen, and passionate thinkers out there. Bear this mind, you beautiful soul.

Your work is YOU.

There is no substitute for it. So keep going and do what you love best. Where there is passion, there is always good work.