The people of my 2013

Here we go with the list of people who made a positive influence in my life the past year. They inspired me, stretched me a bit to love more, made me want to become a better person and just ignited my hope that because there are still good people on earth, this will still be a good place to be in. 

Bravehearts and Power of One

These are my two councils for my two coaching stints in 2013. 

L-R: J, John, me, Dancel

In the beginning of the year, my journey with Bravehearts, J, John and Dancel, taught me that life's imperfections are perfected by love. Collectively, they also taught me that no matter how difficult things may be, if one chooses to courageously love, nothing can hinder me from emerging to be a better person. It just takes a quick shift to see the world as an abundantly beautiful world! I am grateful that even after LEAP we remained friends. J continues to teach me to let go of anger. Instead, live life choosing to embrace love. John reminds me that I needed to be treated like a woman; that courage isn't just about being tough but it is just about knowing what you want and going after it. Lastly, Dancel taught me the value of family, the humility to seek forgiveness and own up to one's limitations. 

L-R: Dada, Paul, me, Jacq, Choo, Marius and Ricky

Toward the end of the year, I met six beautiful souls--Choo, Paul, Dada, Jacq, Marius and Ricky. They call themselves the Power of One. Truly they are a bunch of powerful people who journeyed together in discovering who they are and what they can do. They surely made me see my own power, taught me to own it and make great results in my life. I hope they learned from me as I did from each of them. Choo, reminded me about the gift of vulnerability; that it is the place where my truth and beauty springs forth; Paul, showed me the value of integrity of mind, heart and spirit; Dada, again reminded me a well-kept message from God that whenever I choose from love, I will never go wrong; Jacq taught me that it just takes a dose of honesty, love and perseverance to make that difference in my life and in the world. Marius showed me that life can be light and that I can choose to be a joy to others if I will just shine my light. Lastly, Ricky showed me that it is good to love with boundaries; that loving sometimes need to be tough but with a lot of gentleness and care. 

Ryan Flores

I met Ryan two years ago when I took my own LEAP program. He was a coach. I was a student. Our first encounter was somewhat peculiar because it "revolved" around a not-so-ordinary chair (which we later call, essence chair) in a bowling alley in Greenhills. From then, I was stripped of a lot of insecurities and pretensions. And I guess, that started our friendship. :) When I coached the first time, I was so exhilarated to find out that he will be my buddy in that journey. Ryan loved me dearly. He held my hand as I learn the ins and outs of coaching while letting me be. I just cannot contain my gratitude for sending me an angel in such a challenging time. His calm and collected nature balanced my feisty attitude toward life. He taught me that trusting the power of one's love truly creates miracles. I will forever love you, buds! :) 

Angie Siapno

Angie was my Head Coach when I took my own LEAP program. Then, she taught me the value of vulnerability which was completely unknown to me. She led me to get in touch with my true self and appreciate the beauty that I was made of. I am happy that even after my LEAP, we remained friends. She was my constant reminder of excellence, dedication and service. "If you gotta do it, better do it well", would be something she'd live by. Angie can be tough and brutally honest especially to those she cares and loves to the core. I guess, love needs to be like that--straightforward and real. But don't get me wrong, Angie isn't all tough, she's completely a darling too. :) 

Pol Medina

Even before I learned to read newspapers, I was already reading Pol Medina's comic strips, Pugad Baboy . I met Pol's works from a comic book my classmate brought to school and from then on, I was hooked on it's irony and sarcasm. I later followed his works in Philippine Daily Inquirer (PDI), which actually led me to reading newspapers when I was in high school. I found Pol's commentaries on the Philippines' political climate very candid and refreshing. Unfortunately, in the middle of 2013, a fairly forthright commentary on same sex relationships allegedly prevalent in an all-girl, catholic school became too controversial that resulted to his suspension. He later decided to resign from PDI. Personally, I thought it was unfair because of the freedom of speech and what have you. At the onset, I felt that will spell the death of Pugad Baboy but I was delighted to discover that he chose to be part of on June 16. I guess, the passion just cannot be asphyxiated. Pol taught me that if a roadblock comes before you (and it may not even be hurdled), turn around and just find another route. He just did! Now he is reaching a far greater audience and influencing the younger generation. Good job! 

p.s. Pol is a Thomasian. 

Karen Davila

I spend most of my mornings with his woman. Just when I get off the bed or start prepping for work, I would flick the telly on and have Headstart, her daily morning show on ANC, on the background. I love how brilliant she asks her guests questions that as a viewer makes me think more intelligently about the current affairs in government, politics and just your everyday life. I also admire her knack of just speaking her mind.

Atty. Chinky Santiago

I am so blessed to be mentored by CYS, as we call her in the office. She's a legal genius and I appreciate how she patiently guides me as I find my way in the legal circle. Last year, she went through a personal struggle and I was amazed of how resilient she was to fight her way to live a vibrant and meaningful life.

Kathleen Madula

This woman makes it to this list the second time already, and she just deserves it. This year Kath finally made a long time dream of migrating to Australia. Yahoooo! I soooo admire (and sometimes envy. Hihi) her courage and reckless abandon to life. She knows what she wants and finds her way to get it. I have the guts to say that she is Dora (the explorer) in real life. Haha! :) Seriously, as aptly put by our priest-friend, she just blooms wherever she is planted. I love you, bunso and I hope to get to visit you in Sydney! :) Off to the next adventure! :) 

You may find her online at

Shakira Sison

taken from

I am a sucker of prolific literature and Shakira is a blow of fresh air in modern day writing. She is a columnist in and her no-nonsense, down-to-earth articles inspired me to embrace my sexuality. Sometimes, she'd also push me to reflect on my belief systems, challenges them a bit and makes me break self-made boundaries. Some of her articles may be filled with sarcasm and may be distasteful to some but I applaud her grit for individuality, gender respect and self-expansion.

You can read her articles at and  
Follow her at

Pope Francis

He is unorthodox, out-of-the-box, and crazily admirable. He was dubbed as the Coolest Pope of All Time. How cool can that be? :)  In the beginning of his papacy, he showed the world his surprising simplicity by passing off unnecessary protocols. Perhaps, he wants to show the world that he, too, is but human who deserves no special treatment and that Church he leads can be humanly, but authentically good. His examples makes me more proud to be a Catholic. I hope the world will see Jesus in him and finally realize that there is really no gap between humanity and sanctity.

Mia Langas

Ate Mia is my sister from a different mother. She is my strong fortress every time I feel feeble. She is like a river running deep--refreshing, gentle and silent but surely not leaving the course unchanged. I am her constant house guest, which I enjoy because of the sumptuous food she generously serves and more importantly, the long convos and warm company. I am forever grateful for our friendship.

Denise Rebollos

There is more than what meets the eye.  Denise seems like a snob at first, but beneath this smokescreen is a loving and soft-hearted woman ready to give you the love you have always been wishing for. In the past years, she has shown how vulnerable she can be; how loving can be both gentle and tough; and how life can be breezed through by just being. She has allowed me to be myself and through a seemingly effortless way showed me how much I deserve to be loved.  



My heart breaks every time I hear fellow Filipinos callously bash the government with the seeming lack of action with what is happening in Visayas. I begin to wonder, what have these people done for them to feel they know better than the President, at the very least? Yes, we paid taxes, but sad as it is, we have to accept the obvious but evading truth that our money is not in the coffers anymore. The money was misspent and/or stolen by those selfish politicians we trusted and elected to post at some time. Of course, we should hold them responsible, but we have to park that for a while (and not forget).

I would like to console myself thinking that these bashers just feel too helpless and frustrated that if only our leaders did not betray us, we could have done something about the pitiful plight of our fellowmen. But then again, I go back to reality that perhaps, nature is already helping us see the truth that we have been forever running away from.

Just this morning, I heard a few educated people who were ranting about how the President could have ordered his men to anticipate the extent of Yolanda’s possible damage, the moment he knew it was coming. Someone even narrated the story of a nonchalant woman based in Tacloban whose son being a seaman told her to evacuate because he knew how dangerous a storm surge could be. The woman heeded her son's warning and was saved. They all agreed that the President should have known this because a “commoner” knew about it. Talk about expectations. As I was quietly listening to them, I thought: If only this man spoke up, or at the very least some other people who knew the extent of a storm surge (which was unknown to many of us, until it happened), perhaps, we could have saved a city.

I am not defending the government. Partly, I agree that the government could have been more prepared for this eventuality. I am only wishing for a little more courage from Filipinos to care enough, stand up and do something.

As bleak as it is, I would like to believe that typhoon Yolanda came to send us very important lessons to learn. She came to unravel the truth we have always been trying to suppress. Gat Jose Rizal spoke of a social cancer during his time. Sadly, we haven’t really been courageous enough to take on the pain of social surgery to remove this illness and heal ourselves as a nation. I will dare to put a name on this evil and I will call it indifference—that apathy of staying in our own bubble of convenience and superficial concern to our fellowmen and our children, who will inherit the consequences of our choices. For the longest time, we contended in shutting our mouths and turning a cold shoulder in the injustice that has been looming around us. We deceived ourselves that we are powerless against our own government. We also misled ourselves in thinking that the problems will solve themselves. On the extreme end of it, there is righteousness, as some would rather endlessly talk emptily without lifting a finger. I would imagine them typing things away in social media in an air-conditioned room with a soda and popcorn beside them. Bottom line, we just did not care enough.

The aftermath of typhoon Yolanda did not only leave debris to clean up but it revealed a government that needs serious reflection and effective reforms. It also unveiled Filipinos whose love for the country seems questionable. If we continue with our cold-blooded indifference, there will come a point that we do not even need a super-typhoon to wipe out our existence. We will just kill each other.

Philippines, we are at a turning point—an edge of glory that if we could only embrace the lessons we are supposed to learn from this tragedy, we will emerge to be a better and stronger nation. Perhaps, with these lessons at heart, we can move forward valuing each other, our future and ultimately, ourselves.

Walang duda, babangon tayo. Ngunit sana’y bumangon tayong magkakasama ng may pagmamahal, pagdadamayan at pananampalataya. Baka sakaling pag natutunan natin ito, darating na ang tunay na pagbabago. (There is no doubt that we will rise up. But let us move forward in unity with love, cooperation and faith. Maybe by then, more lasting changes will take place.) 


Wear It Your Way with Wacoal

One cardinal rule I learned from my fashion mentors is to never, never wear undergarments that show. No to visible panty-lines. No dark underwear under light clothes. No to inappropriate bra cup sizes. Most importantly, no to showing bra straps! Undergarments are meant to be hidden (precisely why they are called undergarments). Breaking this rule is basically breaking your style. Although this might be a little cost-tricky for us women since we need to get at least one for each kind of bra there is for every outfit we have. 

My personal choice of good underwear will always be Wacoal. Ever since I started working I will always put away a few pesos just to save up for a nice piece of Wacoal undergarment. I tell you, it's always worth every penny! And now that they launched their Versatile Wear It Your Way bra, being stylish will not break our budget and gives us the freedom to wear whatever we want!

Wacoal's Wear It Your Way Bra.
You can wear it  1) the conventional way;
2) center- halter; 3) one-sided and 4) strapless! :)
 It also comes in blue. :)  

Now, I just need one bra to wear these three different outfits:

This halter top is great
for Friday night outs,
first dates and dinner
with friends.

A center-halter bra
is a must.

Top from Michael Kors
A venus cut dress like this is good
for a wedding or a cocktail.

A one-sided bra strap or a strapless
is just perfect!

Dress from Camilla and Marc

Summer jumpsuits which 
are usually with thin straps 
need strapless bras. 

Silk jumpsuit from 
Stella Mccartney

 I think every girl should have this! ;) It's functional, fashionable and fun! :) 

Visit to know more! :) 


A bolt from the blue: a Labor Day project

Like a bolt from the blue, I decided to color my room's immaculate white walls. I chose blue. Midnight blue. 

Although my favorite color is red, I felt that coloring my wall red isn't a good idea. It just felt too fiery and aggressive. I wanted something that will calm me, something more serene and soothing. Hence, blue. 

I just cant wait project done ASAP, and so... I did it myself! Yes, this is my first "major" DIY project! Woohoo! I must really be starting to nest. I have been itching to transform my space. Below are some photos of the project to its completion. 

Paint and Roller

First (uneven) coat

I am so happy and proud to see my blue wall! :) Weeee! And because of that... I decided to clean up my room and redecorate it altogether. Seeing that some thing has changed in my little space made me want to re-arrange everything else in it and make my room more pleasing to live in. I deserve a beautiful space, right?

I pulled out some old photo frames (and bought some new ones), have photos printed and voila! I have finally put up a pretty kinda-of-montage.

Neat! I am almost done. :)  
Now, I feel I  have an old-new room..and yes, it is calming. I get more peaceful sleeps at night. It feels like there are a lot more to be done, but I am perfectly happy with this. :)  


Yellow arrows on the platform

I do have a love affair with trains and today, after a long while, I rode one again. 

More than the convenience of a quicker travel, I love having a different perspective of the metro while I am on board trains. This experience leads me to reflect on a lot of things about myself and about life in general. Deep, right? Funny as it is, I seriously do get these thoughts perhaps because in these rare occasions I get to observe people and what is supposed to be the daily grind of an ordinary city commuter. 

Today, I boarded a train from GMA-Kamuning station in Quezon City and upon setting foot the escalator, I already noticed a sign saying: "Stand on the right. Keep left side open for rushing commuters." I was amused that finally Filipinos are reminded of public etiquette. There were several violators (foreigners at that!) but I was fairly impressed that this rule is observed by most of us. As I looked up, I wondered if commuters are more disciplined up there by the platform. 

Upon reaching the platform and waiting for my train to come, I noticed that arrows were painted on the floor where the door of the train was supposed to stop. I remember seeing these arrows in Hong Kong in order to  control the influx of people in and out the trains. 

My satisfaction was quickly interrupted when I noticed a girl to my left, also waiting for the train but was inside the yellow box where the arrow points downwards. It must just be the OC stickler for rules in me that wants to pull her to where I was standing. But then again, I held back. In just a few more seconds, people were lining behind her already!!! It was annoyingly funny! Then our train arrived.

Then I thought that indeed, our laws are good, but it is really the lack of discipline that sets us off track as a society. But then again, we fail to recognize that. Instead, we point fingers and don't take responsibility for our actions.

Then I remembered that elections is just a few days away. We will be relinquishing a portion of our freedom to people we, in fact, barely now from Adam. I just hoped every Filipino has grown a little bit wiser. But with my experience in the train station with that lady (and her followers), I can just remain hoping. :)



I have recently crossed out one item on my bucket list -to become a life coach. I am grateful to be given a chance to join OCCI's LEAP Team 55 which we dubbed, "One Love". 

More than a dream, I feel that this is a calling, as if your soul is yearning to share a huge part of who you are to people you barely know and choose to support, grow with and ultimately love with no conditions. And I guess, the last one was the meat of it. 

In this journey, I met four souls who definitely changed my life forever. :) To J, John and Dancel, I am so proud of the three of you. You will always be 'my barakos' who taught me to love to the core! And to Kaye, who chose to take another path right after we drove through a few curbs together, I hope you find your bliss. Carry my love with you wherever you go.

Together with a kiss, I will seal the journey that was with this letter:

My dearest Bravehearts,

In this journey to One Love, you have proved that love is never for the faint of heart. Our journey was indeed filled with a lot of challenges but out of these challenges love, courage, compassion, abundance, responsibility and commitment were born.  As your coach, it was a joy to witness how you have transformed from your old selves filled with hesitation, anxieties and fears to men of character. Perhaps, this is the mark of a true Braveheart--one who rises every time he falls, one who chooses virtue in the midst of vice and one who keeps trying...and trying until the prize is won.

Thank you for constantly choosing your greatness despite difficulties.Thank you for inspiring me to keep on choosing love, especially when there seems nothing else left to love. Thank you for teaching me that life's existence is enriched not only by familiar things but by welcoming changes.  I can say that in this journey, your presence in my life changed in a very different way.  In fact, my heart was stretched and formed to love in a bigger and better way.

 Now, as you set foot to fulfill new misssions in your lives, it is my prayer that you will carry with you everything that you've learned in this journey. Always remember that you are Bravehearts and now, much braver to face on whatever comes your way, much braver to win your battles and much, much braver to love.

Your names will forever be etched in my heart. :) I love you.


Coach Faith