On New Friends and New Passion

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They say you never really need a lot of friends in your life. You just need to have a few that you can really depend on.

Well, it looks like I will be adding new names to that list.

To Batch Hiraya, it was really great bonding with you over crispy dinuguan, #whogoat songs and 7eleven coffee. I’ve never stayed out that late (4am!) for a long time but it was fun and definitely worth it.

It’s amazing how diverse our backgrounds are and yet we have that connection. We may have only met for the second time that night, but it felt like we’ve known each other for a long time. That rarely happens.

I look forward to more fun nights (or days) with all of you. And of course, I am excited to work with you in our common passion as volunteers for LoveYourself.

Cheers to new friends!


New Adventure: Love Yourself

Batch Hiraya logo. Image courtesy of Love Yourself
Image courtesy of Love Yourself

I decided to embark on a new adventure. Actually, this has been months in the making. I signed up to become a volunter for Love Yourself last December after working with them in organizing a World AIDS Day forum for the company I work for. Their founder and executive director Vinn inspired me to be part of their organization.

I got my HIV test from one of Love Yourself’s mass testing back in 2013. To say that the experience was surreal and exhausting is an understatement. It was a life-turner for me. Thankfully, the people from Love Yourself were more than ready to comfort and somehow ease whatever nerves I had. Specially my counselor. It just sucks that I forgot his name. :(

It was not the first time I was involved with them, though. A few years back, when they were just starting, my partner and I joined their charity photoshoot.

This time, I’m joining as a full-fledged volunteer. They did not reach out to me until last month for a quick interview. I went there quite nervous. I was never fond of interviews.

The one who interviewed me, LA, was very warm and accommodating, though. That helped ease the tension I was feeling. But as I left their Anglo clinic, I was worried that I was too frank with my answers.

After a few days they contacted me again and said that they are including me in the newest batch of volunteers and also gave details to the batch orientation, which happened March 7.

Our batch name is “Hiraya” meaning “hope.” According to the latest Love Yourself blog post, “We thought hiraya sounded great and is actually pretty appropriate given the changes LoveYourself is going through.” (to know more about our batch name, read here)

True to my “masungit” first impression, I was mostly silent during the orientation. The one person I really talked to was Giro, who happens to be my orgmate in college. The volunteers who were present to welcome us were really fun and, well, welcoming (ugh, I hate it when I can’t think of a better word.)

Several committee heads presented their projects and responsibilities in the organization. I registered really wanting to be part of the Communications team, and after hearing their representative Kurt talk about their projects, I was convinced that was the committee I can best lend my talents and skills to. Of course, there’s still a side of me that wanted to be part of the counseling team, but I don’t want to spread myself too thin. My day job can sometimes be too demanding.

I’m now looking forward to actually working with my batchmates and co-volunteers. And I promise myself, I’ll be more lax and chill next time I meet them.

And more importantly, I look forward to somehow making a change to the community, in whatever small way I can.

Want to be part of Love Yourself? Sign up here.
Want to get tested? Read here. For Love Yourself testing sites, click here


Cold Stoning

Mud Pie Mojo

A video posted by Billie Bautista (@thepinoybabbler) on


Cold Stone has been in the Philippines for more than a year already but I only tried it this month at their branch in SM Mall of Asia.

I ordered Mud Pie Mojo made of coffee ice cream with caramel, oreo cookie, cashews and peanut butter.

I loved how interactive and fun the service was. They mix your order in a cold table (as can bee seen in the video above). Most of the time, they would also ask their customers to catch their order. If it falls to the ground, they would replace it for free.

Did I mention that they dance from time to time, too?

This Thing Is My Tadhana


I can’t believe it has been four years already. But I know that our adventure is just beginning.

No words can express how much I love this person.

Thank you for the wonderful four years. I’m looking forward to more travels, pig out, and movie dates with you.

What we have is for keeps. You are my serendipity. You are my destiny.

[MOVIE REVIEW] The Last Five Years

From http://lastfiveyearsmovie.com/
From Broadway.com
From Broadway.com

Suffice it to say, I am now a die-hard fan of Anna Kendrick and Jeremy Jordan.

I first heard of “The Last Five Years” when it was staged in Manila last year. I found the story really interesting but never got to watch it.

I did my research and found that there is a movie adaptation starring Kendrick and Jordan. I’ve never heard of Jordan but I’ve seen Kendrick in at least three films already.

THE LAST 5 YEARS is a musical chronicling a love affair and marriage taking place over a five-year period. Jamie Wellerstein (Jordan) is a young, talented up and coming novelist who falls in love with Cathy Hiatt (Kendrick), a struggling actress. Their story is told almost entirely through song. All of Cathy’s songs begin at the end of their marriage and move backwards in time to the beginning of their love affair, while Jamie’s songs start at the beginning of their affair and move forward to the end of their marriage. They meet in the center when Jamie proposes. (Source: LastFiveYearsMovie.com)

Continue reading [MOVIE REVIEW] The Last Five Years