Joseph Got Kimi

I couldn’t forget how he proposed to her.  When the word proposal enters my mind, I would think of candle lights, music, and the people who support the couple, just like in the movies. However, theirs was different. The proposal was simple yet romantic. They were at Kimi’s house trying on some caps for an upcoming NBA game. Oblivious to her, Joseph was holding the box underneath. Then, he knelt and popped the question. Kimi got teary-eyed and said yes.

I love the simplicity of Joseph and Kimi’s love story. It’s not the ‘love at first sight’ type. Instead, they started off as friends and got engaged after five years. This made me validate the idea that the best relationships were grounded in friendships. As they say, opposites attract. Kimi was reserved while Joseph was more engaging. Since they saw other in an unbiased way, Joseph and Kimi complemented their differences.

Kimi was my grade school buddy, we get along well because were both introverts. She and her family migrated to Vancouver when were in high school. During that time, I’ve met Joseph on a separate encounter. I was informed by a common friend that he will also move to Vancover. It’s funny that they were not able cross each other’s paths that time.

As a makeup artist, doing pre-nup tops my list because I’ve got a chance to be a part of the couple’s love story for a day. But this one’s special because this is my first time to do makeup for one of my closest friends. I haven’t seen Kimi for a while, so I took this opportunity to catch up with her and get to know Joseph as well. After hearing their story, I realized that my grade school buddy is good hands. Joseph is simple-minded yet he wants the best for Kimi. On the other hand, Kimi found her prince. I’m excited for both.

For this shoot, I partnered with my photographer Kathleen Ira who’s such a breeze to work with.  We chose two locations, Manila Harbour Square in the morning and Kimi’s residence at Alabang in the afternoon.

Here are the photos.

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Recharge. Recover. Restore.



Took this photo on our last day, before we make our own reflections.


Someone told me that. “For us to move forward, we need to step backward.” I agree. This is true when I joined the Singles Love Life Retreat a few months ago.

I consider myself as a goal-oriented person. Every year, I update my bucket list and dream board. I would look at the list every night and the board every morning. This has been my routine for quire sometime, as if my goals were written in stone. Looking at my dreams in vivid color gives me a sense of euphoria and confidence.

Last year, I envisioned myself as someone successful. With a promising career in the corporate world and with the people that I meet along the way. I was confident that I was going to make it. With my job back then, I felt blessed that I could share in the expenses at home and buy what I want.

One time, after buying a few items at a mall, I waked around and decided to enter this quaint bookstore. I sat at one of the chairs facing the bookshelves and pondered on my life. I was there wearing my favorite dress, but I was not that happy. I asked myself the following questions: “Is this the kind of job that I really want?” and “Am I the kind of person that I want to be?” My job is not exactly my field, but I justified that I should persevere in it since it’s the one that pays the bills. The demands of my job back then made me stay longer in the office most of the time to the point that my personal relationships were sacrificed. I went to a nearby chapel and prayed about it and asked for guidance.

Life unfolded and things did not turn out the way I planned it. I was not able to keep up with the challenges that I had in my job. Along with this, I also faced some struggles in my personal life. As a result, my confidence eroded. During these trying times, I was invited to join the Love Life Retreat. I knew I badly needed it and signed up without any hesitation.

The retreat was a two-day event that enabled me to reflect on my life. For me, it was a breakaway from the daily grind. For two days, I detached myself from my phone and communed with God. The sessions helped me to look back into my life and my learnings along the way. It somehow taught me to have a better sense of who I really am and what I would like to become. I became sensitive with what God was telling me.

I believe that God is creating a wonderful masterpiece out of my imperfections. My life is not always ideal, but He is a God of Order and I believe that the detours that I encounter will lead me to possibilities that I never imagined. I just have to allow him to steer me in the direction that He wants me to go.

It has been said that our feet are designed for us to walk forward and backward. But, sometimes we need to step back and ponder if we are really going out to the right direction. During the retreat, I’ve also learned that we need to get back to the source – our Heavenly Father.

To embrace the blessings that God has in store for me, I must Recharge, Recover, and let Him Restore me. I’m thankful to God for having done this in me through the Love Life Retreat*.



Every New Year, it’s a common practice for most people to make resolutions, buy new clothes, and even get a makeover at a salon for that new look. Then, it dawned to me that this season motivates us to change for the better.

No matter how much we plan our lives, we cannot control the circumstances around us. We cannot always stay where we are. If we get too comfortable at something, it will eventually become boring. Life is a series of detours which makes it more interesting.  We may have lost a job that pays well due to unfortunate events, but if we reframe it, it’s an opportunity to step back and figure what we want. We may lost someone who we think is “the one”, but if we reflect on the reasons why it did not really work, it’s actually a chance for us to ponder on the kind of relationship that we would like to have with that person.

In my almost 30+ years of existence, I’ve come to learn that life is not always ideal or romantic. It’s not the situation that defines who we are, it’s about how we respond and what we do about it. One of my professors in college told us that, our present situation is a product of our choices in the past. I agree, because it’s up to us if we would succumb to everything that holds us back or if we will choose to move forward. We cannot always use the hurtful experiences as an excuse to inflict other people’s feelings. We cannot blame our upbringing if we live in mediocrity. In other words, we cannot use the past to expiate us.

The past will always have a good place, but we must move forward. We will never embrace those that are in store for us if we keep on looking back. Our feet are designed to move forward and not backward. No matter how good or bad a memory may be, we must leave it there. Opportunities that are overlooked will lead us to regret. As my former boss said, “It’s okay to leave a good place if it makes way for better opportunities.”

It may sound a cliché, but yes, change is inevitable. We cannot upgrade ourselves if we stay in our comfort zones. Stepping out of it can be downright scary. But, along the process, we will discover some qualities in ourselves that we thought we never had. There will be situations that will test our beliefs, principles and values, and eventually force us to take necessary actions. Successful people that I know and emulate don’t stay where they are. In fact, they embrace what lies ahead of them.

Change is not something to fear. If we want to make our lives more interesting, we must revamp once more. Just like our hairstyle, all we need is a makeover.

Begin Again


A title of a movie I watched a year ago about starting from scratch. This is pretty much apt for my first entry since I’m currently experiencing transitions. In my three decades of existence, I’ve had a fair share of joys and heartaches. And, I just learned how to roll with the punches. Someone said that , “Life is not always ideal or romantic, the best thing that we could do is appreciate and forgive”. Indeed, things happen and I’ll just forgive myself and others, and move on. Enough of the drama, I’ll just open myself to all the great things to come.

Before I welcome  2016, I’ll look back how awesome 2015 was….

I agree that life begins at 30 because this is when I realized that there were doors opened for me before I knew it. This year, I was able to check of those items in my bucket list. To give justice to this post, I grabbed some photos from my files.


  1. Attended a Beach Wedding for the first time

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I’ve attended wedding several times but this one topped my list. This is my first time to go to a beach wedding. I couldn’t be any happier than seeing one of my childhood friends getting hitched to a wonderful man. When we were kids, I recalled a moment when we talked about finding our “Happily Ever After”.  Twenty years later, she walked down the aisle. That night, we celebrated life and love.


2. Volunteered for an Outreach Program

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Last year, I’ve been planning to do things differently after leaving my former community. U happy events is an organization that support and teaches values to marginalized students in the country. This was introduced by a friend who has passion for kids. I signed up for their program called, “Art Reach”, a whole day event that enabled me share my artistic skills with the kids.


3. Climbed a mountain

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For the first time, I conquered my fear of heights. With a difficulty level of 4/9, I climbed Mt. Pico de Loro. This experience taught me how to challenge my limits and allowed me to realize the things that I can do.


4. Met two Inspiring Women

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This was totally unplanned. I was supposed to volunteer for an Art Workshop in Las Pinas, but got stuck in an FX terminal in Ayala. Afraid not to make it, I decided not to go. I felt bad since I’ve been looking forward to this event for two weeks. As I walked along National Bookstore in Glorieta, I people falling in line for Miriam Quiambao’s book signing. I told myself that it’s not everyday that I meet the people that inspire me.I consequently purchased her book and too a photo with her (too bad, my outfit was too casual compared to those who attended). As I was leaving the place, I saw Rissa Singson-Kawpeng and was starstruck. She was much prettier in person. I told her that I was a fan since college and how her book helped me during the trying times in my life. In return, we had our picture together and gave me some few enlightening words. I could use the hash tag #maypagasa, hahaha. I’ve learned that of things didn’t go as planned, beautiful surprises come along the way.

5. Re-visited Manila

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 Intramuros was a typical location for field trips when I was in grade school, during that time, I admit that I was not able to appreciate it’s value. It changed when I was in college when our professor required us to write a paper about the place. The research taught me the value of knowing our history and made me proud of our heritage.

6. Attended the most “Interesting” talk (so far… :P)

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I attended very inspiring talk with an interesting topic, “How to avoid Jerks and Jerkettes”. An eye opener indeed. This talk tackled about the “Red Lights” or the traits that we should avoid in the people that we meet.  I’ve been blessed to be part of a community that educates us not only in our faith, but also in practical things.

7. I Became a Cover Girl

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As a freelance makeup artist, I used to work behind the scenes. But this time, i was asked to model for our corporate planner for the first time. The company that I was working with featured employees that have other passions outside work. It’s honor to be part of this project that showcases other things that we can offer.

I hope to share more of my adventures. If 2015 was awesome, 2016 will be a blast.