Street speak/local gay lingo for wala, which is Filipino for “nothing.”

Starting today I will be emptying my mind into waleyness (nothingness) as I embark on a three day retreat. I have been feeling TOO much and thinking way too much lately that I’ve ended up crying most nights, so hopefully I am emptied of all these negative thoughts and feelings during the retreat and I find peace and be able to reconnect with God.

Wish me luck. Will be scheduling posts for the other days I’m gone.

Gratitude list

  • Walks: I’ve pretty much led a sedentary lifestyle this summer, crashing on the couch to channel surf when there’s nothing urgent to be done, getting up only to do the yoga challenge and to eat and go to the bathroom. I took a physical walk and a mental walk recently and I found myself refreshed after both. The physical walk got me some good old exercise and the mental one made sure I was still sane.
  • Water: in this intense summer heat, water is both a necessity and a luxury. I am grateful I have easy access to clean, cold, and refreshing drinking water.


One of my closest college friends is giving birth in a couple of weeks and we threw a surprise baby shower for her today. The event was a success; we had good food, good company, and good games (one of which was eating Nutella off a diaper).

Conversation turned to the process of giving birth and motherhood once we finished the program. Those who were moms gave their two cents while the rest of us singletons just cringed whenever someone mentioned the word vagina in the context of givig birth (e.g. “feels like a bowling ball coming out of your vagina;” “You mean you’re going to video the whole thing and see your own sister’s vagina?”)

One of the guests commented that parenting was a scam when she heard how much baby stuff cost. All of us laughed and I guess partly agreed, too. However, none of us laughed when the moms started talking about raising their kids (currently toddlers) into kind, respectful, and responsible people.

Every time my friends talk about their kids’ antics or achievements, I can’t help but feel proud of the kids, but I also am proud of my friends for being great moms who aren’t afraid to discipline their children when needed or teach them to be compassionate. I remember my own mom and think of how much trouble I must have caused when I was a kid myself, and instantly I feel guilty. My SO sometimes talks about his mom raising him and his two brothers while the dad works overseas; I am amazed that one woman can raise three wonderful human beings mostly on her own.

With Mother’s Day coming up in less than a month, I plan on doing something a little bit more special for my mom this year. Don’t tell her; it’s going to be a surprise. 🙂

Gratitude list

  • Moms
  • Money: I have a new car! Ish. Coming. No more dealing with the heat and rain while commuting. New problem? Parking and motorcycle drivers. But that’s a bridge I’ll cross when I get my license.
  • Meals: I eat regularly even though soemtimes I don’t like the food laid in front of me. That’s a whole lot more than most of my countrymen who sometimes don’t have money to buy even a piece of pandesal (bread).
  • Mornings: Today I woke up feeling excited. I had a disagreement with SO last night, which we also resolved immediately, so waking up today was better than usual because I knew I’d get to see him today.
  • Metro Manila traffic: Okay I absolutely hate traffic in the metro, but because of this, I come to appreciate my life in the province even more. Having grown up a city girl, the move AWAY from the city was crushing, but now I wouldn’t trade it for anything. So… Thank you, Metro Manila, for helping me realize and constantly reminding me that I live in Vacationland.

Jumping jacks

On top of yoga, I do THIS workout, and I hate it. The only reason I haven’t quit yet is because I don’t quit easily.

It’s called the seven-minute workoit and it’s literally just seven minutes long. Tne first one is the jumping jacks. For thr past few days I’ve cheated because I don’t do the jumping part; I just do the arm raising part. Today I did the jumps and because I did this after yoga (focus on warrior poses–strenuous for the legs), my legs were ready to kill me. I have no idea why I even decided to do it after so many warrior poses.

In hindsight, I’m glad I did it just because.


I cheated at jumping jacks


Gratitude list

  • Jumping jacks
  • Joy: I’m counting the days to my next period using an app I just downloaded, and one of the things it asks me to input as part of its cycle analysis is my mood for the day. I realized that I only pay attention to my mood when I’m PMS, which in my dictionary stands for PLENTY of MOOD SWINGS. The app reminded me to keep track also of my happy or joyful moments, and this has helped me be grateful for each day. I end up reflecting if I were happy or joyful by recalling my day, and the brief reflection allows me to find something good within my day.
  • Juice: I’m no fan of juice, but sometimes it’s a welcome break from ice cold water on a hot summer day.


It takes effort to find things to be grateful for every day, but it keeps one grounded and appreciative of even the smallest things.

Gratitude list:

  • Grace Poe: I’m not sure I’m voting for her, but I’m grateful to her for the impressive character she’s showing. She’s tough and she comes to debates prepared. Despite her inexperience, she’s popular enough to hold influence over a significant number of people. Plus she hasn’t resorted to bullying during her campaign which is very impressive. The drawback? Her family’s American. Kind of problematic if the first family isn’t Filipino.
  • Galcris: Galvin and Cris are the wonder couple behind the community Every Teacher A Reader. I met them again at the FIT2016 conference and they shared plans of having another gathering of teachers at the beach. Provided that my schedule permits, I am completely on board with this plan. Books and beach? Perfect combination!
  • Gentlemen: they are a dying breed, so I’m grateful that my SO is part of that rarity.


Today’s word refers to two things: F.I.T. (Frontiers and Innovations in Teaching) and the adjective.

F.I.T. 2016

This is the education conference I mentioned in my previous post. It’s on its third year, and every year I leave with a ton of learnings that I am able to apply in my own teaching. 

The theme for this year is FUTURE READY, and what’s interesting about this is that for the first time, they dedicated an entire breakout session schedule to be purely student-led. Three of my former students were speakers, and I am immensely proud of them.



I joined different challenges this month: the A to Z blogging challenge, the April CBF portry challenge, and the Mermaid Yogis yoga challenge on Instagram hosted by @stoked_yogi, @fluid_sup, @zengirlmandy, and @seavibesyoga. I haven’t felt fit in a long time especially since I haven’t done yoga or any form of exercise in over a year. I’ve never progressed past the beginner stage, so I’m excited to get back to the mat on a regular basis.


Gratitude list

  • Fitness: going to get fit and feeling healthier
  • Food: I’m thankful I always have food to eat when I go hungry.
  • Friends: my friend agreed to get my ID from the main office of the regulatory board for teachers since she was going there anyway.

Gratitude List for Today, August 13

Horrible things this past week:

  1. checking
  2. checking
  3. checking
  4. dishonest people
  5. kids who don’t want to think and prefer everything handed to them on a silver platter. one class was just horrible.
  6. people who won’t cooperate.
  7. plans that don’t push through
  8. scheduled quizzes that get moved because people keep messing with the schedule without telling affected people beforehand
  9. my back acting up during class, confining me to the teacher’s chair. thank God for SRA. I didn’t have to stand up as much.
  10. char kway teow

Here’s my gratitude list to remind myself that it wasn’t all bad.

  1. Patchi chocolate from CJ
  2. sandwiches
  3. SRA
  4. kindness
  5. concern
  6. friends
  7. my bed
  8. a partner. i don’t have to prepare for two levels anymore
  9. a song just for me
  10. Doctor Who

This isn’t working so far. Let’s try it again. Good things that happened this week.

  1. I’m alive and well
  2. my family’s alive and well
  3. my friends are all alive and well

Gratitude List

This day has been full of just absolute horrible things, from useless and infuriating conversations with customer service agents, to airconditioning units that don’t work when you need them, to not having time to eat lunch, to students misbehaving, to getting my period today, to having back pain to crying my eyes out over old blog posts… I’m doing all I can to just keep myself together right now.

A gratitude list would help with that.

  • chocolate chip cookies to stave off hunger
  • cooperative students
  • a hug (even though I was the one giving it and not receiving it)
  • a quarter of a pepper jack cheese sandwich
  • friends who offer to feed you because you forgot to eat
  • my bed
  • spending only Php10.75 today
  • accomplishing what i needed to finish in my classes
  • finishing one worksheet (2 more to go)
  • getting to help people (it distracted me from my horrible mood)
  • stock emergency sanitary napkins in my drawer
  • wordpress autosaving this post

Well, will you look at that. I still have a lot of things to be grateful for. I feel much better already. 🙂