Photo grabbed from

Photo grabbed from

This day marks the beginning of my 25th year–my quarter life, supposing I get to live ’til I’m 100. But am I entering some crisis? Nah. With this silver year shimmering right in front of me, why should I be?

Quarter-life crisis is a period in mid-20s when most people feel confused, depressed, scared, and lost. They feel so because they’re at the age when they’re supposed to be adults but don’t have any ideas where they currently are or where their lives would lead them.

It is the time to panic if you have yet established anything significant, and honestly, I somehow felt it at the start of 2013, when I realized that I’ll be getting a year older in a few months. But then the optimist in me kicked in and made me take advantage of the feeling and turn panic into anticipation of good things and experiences, and my 25th year as the starting point of my everything. My thoughts went, I am simply in the middle of my 20s, the decade when it is normal to get bruises, scratches, and even long stitches here and there, so why worry? Just enjoy the trek at the forest and never forget to pick up necessary lessons and bring them to the future.


Silver Goals

I stopped making big plans back in college when the carefully laid-out goals my teenage self created for myself crumbled due to some unavoidable decisions of the higher ups. I used to live in organization and precision, like after I graduate at this month of the year, I MUST take some rest for a month before finally going full-force looking for my perfect job and all. I wrote them in my planner, and I was the strict type that when I write something, they must come true the way I wanted them to. But I guess I wasn’t flexible at 19 so because of what happened, I threw my goals away and simply lived with whatever that came my way, anyway, plans were uncontrollable and could be taken away from me instantly.

I lived like that for a few years, just accepting whatever destiny showered me with. I got the good ones, mind you, which proved Lewis Carroll’s quote: “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there”, and I made sure that I was accompanied by God along the way.

But somehow, I knew that a journey isn’t worth all the sweat and exhaustion without any clear aspirations to grasp. So for my 25th year, I decided to give planning another shot. I am certain I’m a grown-up now and I believe I can handle hindrances better and I won’t end up doing tantrums when my goals get disheveled again. And when I say plans, I mean realistic plans, those I know I can reach considering what I have in my grips right now.

Goal #1:
Save enough money for a house (with my dream private library in it,  of course)

Photo grabbed from my unfinished

The Reyes Residence. Photo grabbed from my unfinished

This is no real rush, but I know I have what it takes to make this possible by the age of 30. I have a talent for saving money, in fact, my father used to remark that I would be rich in the future because of this ability. I am also on my way to my first year in my career as a researcher and though my salary isn’t exactly bombastic, with my abovementioned talent, I can save with what it gives me little by little without sacrificing a few luxuries I have come to live with, except perhaps for my dream of travelling outside Metro Manila yearly. I have a pending application for a part-time job, too, for this. The pay isn’t going to be big, in fact, it’s too low, but I think it’s a good start for freelancing, and if I won’t be accepted, I can look for other companies that can accept what I can offer.

Goal #2:
Open new career paths for myself

I’ve always wanted to be a little bit of everything. Right now, I’m a researcher, blogger, and writer, but I want my Linkedin headline to contain the careers, Researcher, Blogger, Freelance Writer, and Voice Talent. The part-time job I was referring to in my Goal #1 is the freelance writing, and when it comes to being a voice talent, I know that I already possess a good voice for it, it has already been a dream since grade school, and now I already found a company that does workshops for voice/speech every quarter and I would be enrolling for its July batch. It’s a bit expensive, but I’m aware that we have to invest if we want something. Hopefully, the company can help me start a career with voice acting, which will also help in my Goal #1.

Goal #3:
A lovelife!

At the beginning 2013, a friend told me that according to a feng shui expert, those born in the Year of the Dragon will be lucky in the love department this year, and not that I take it as something divine, but it got me thinking, maybe it’s time, maybe it’s time. But the thing is, being lucky in this may mean two things: either I’ll be able to find my soulmate and we’ll live happily ever after (ho-ho-ho!), or I’ll stay single and be saved from the heartaches and annoyance of being in a relationship (well, well, well). The latter is still a luck in the love department, right? Either way, I’ll be elated to embrace whatever the outcome is at the end of my silver year. But what are the necessary steps am I taking to find out which way I’m going with this? You’ll find out later. 😉

Goal #4:
Know how to cook a lot of recipes

At YakiMix at The Podium, Pasig City (Photo grabbed from Boss Deth Alegre)

At YakiMix at The Podium, Pasig City (Photo grabbed from Boss Deth Alegre)

I love food! I can eat non-stop as long as there’s food in front me. But one day I thought, a good eater isn’t enough, I must also be a good cook for fairness’ sake. And since I’m already making a goal list for my 25th year, I decided to make cooking part of it. Actually, this plan should’ve started in October 2012 when I got interested in the Pasta recipe book we have at home, but laziness took over so it always got moved.

Anyway, I think this time around is the perfect time to really, really start it ’cause as I said above, I’m making my 25th year as the starting point of my everything. And as a warm-up for this, I’ve already tried cooking thrice (Cooking at YakiMix wasn’t included because it wasn’t proper cooking) before this big year of mine to test if I should continue with it or not. I even created the food sub-category Project Cocina de Camilla in this blog to document my progress in cooking. So far, I’m doing okay and I’m looking forward to more recipes to learn how to cook.



Speaking of warm-ups, I had three mini goals I created at the start of February 2013 to get myself ready for my silver year. The list, called Only 3 But Big Things! #beforeiturn25,  was posted at the sidebar of WoH. My original plan was to have five goals, but because of time constraint, I decided to cut it down to three, anyway, it was just a warm-up. I consider them all a success, by the way.

A widget at WoH's sidebar posted from mid-February 2013

A widget at WoH’s sidebar posted since February 2013

1. Do something remarkable and heart-warming.

This idea alone was what inspired me to make a pre-silver year goal list, meaning it was supposed to be only one, but I thought, hey, it’ll be more fun if there’s more, and can you believe it, I almost failed at this. The “remarkable and heart-warming” act I was originally referring to there was reconnecting with someone whose bridges with me I had decidedly burned a year ago due to a problem we got caught up with. I thought this was nice since I already began asking someone close to her how this person was doing and I was constantly mentioning her whenever I talked to another person very close to her. But then I realized that the next steps would be to crawl back to her, beg her for forgiveness, and make peace with her in my sweetest way possible. It may sound easy but just an imagination of what would happen humiliate me. I wasn’t the only one at fault and I don’t want to think of her triumphant reaction when I do that successfully, so I scrapped the idea altogether.

I substituted it instead with forgiving every person that hurt me the past year (Which included her, anyway) so I could welcome my 25th year with more positivity. I also believe that changing it to this was way better because it concerned not only one person but more than three. Yes, it also included that co-worker from another department who got angry with me and raged at my back for being too silent and failing to entertain her like it was part of my job description.

Forgiving is never easy especially for me who once I forgive, I completely forget everything that happened, which then exposes me to the repetition of the pain. So I until now I have to balance forgiveness with not forgetting to save myself–that I believe I can manage. Right now, I still don’t talk to this colleague, but at least, I don’t feel any grudge anymore whenever I see her. It’s like we just don’t know each other, and again, I think it’s better.

2. Finally embrace the fact that I’m just like everyone else and realize that I. NEED. IT.

Q:  What’s gonna happen to our love lives according to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows? (You ask and you open a page and point to something.)A: “What is that?” he heard her say.

Q: What’s gonna happen to our love lives according to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows? (You ask and you open a page and point to something.)
A: “What is that?” he heard her say.

It was love I was referring to there.

In 2011, my thoughts about love was this (Click here.), and after almost two years, I’m on my way to thinking the other way around. Okay, but did I succeed in this goal now that today’s the deadline, you ask?  Uhhh… Can I get an extension?

It’s a never-ending internal battle for me. Sometimes, when I get lonely and whenever there’s an event or place I want to go to but none of my friends are available, I think of finally searching for a boyfriend, but then I am reminded of a quote that says, “Love when your ready, not when you’re lonely.” So I try to deal with my loneliness by making myself busy with getting ready for any potential relationships, but in the process I realize I enjoy solitude more, the singleness, the freedom, and everything I do alone. So what happens is I get lonely, I try to get ready, but I never get there. Nice.

But I guess all those times I spent since February thinking, conditioning myself, and reading books and Internet posts about love paid off because “A lovelife!” made it to my silver year goal list (Please see above). Yey! LOL. I just don’t know what my reaction would be when I’m actually there. XD

3. HEY! That couple-of-months-late pasta. Remember? LOL.

This was a cinch. It only got moved often because I was either too lazy or preoccupied with other stuff. Anyway, what’s important is I was able to do it a couple of days before the deadline, and if you want to know what kind of pasta it was and how it was, watch out for it one or two posts from this one, it’s part of my Project Cocina de Camilla. 😛


As they say, prevention is better than cure, and maybe this move of making goals for myself is my way of evading a possible quarter-life crisis. So now I’m on my quarter life minus the crisis part. How cool is that? I’ve never been this excited about my birthday! I’m getting older? So what? At least my maturity doesn’t get left behind my age. I just hope and pray I get to reach all my goals in God’s perfect time. 🙂


FYI: The exact time I turned 25 this day was at 11:20am. :3

Morals of the Story

For every trouble that comes our way, it is important that we do not only overcome the pain and turmoil, but also get lessons which aims are to make us better persons and give us a better perspective of the world.

In 2012, I met my biggest problem thus far and it sure shook me, and crippled me for a while until I decided to break free and stand up if I really wanted that genuine smile on my face again.  It was no cinch, letting go and moving on with life, but with the careful analysis of everything that occurred, which helped me learn God’s purpose for giving me that chaos, I was able to do it and now I’m reaping good fruits.

I have no plans of recounting what happened now that everything is completely over, but I believe what I learned deserves a space in my blog. So here they are:

Do not be too likable. Sometimes, having no one who has any problems with you can cause you a big problem.

Sometimes, it’s helpful to follow your intuition. If you’ve felt any doubt about something or someone right from the start, maybe it’s better to stay away from it or that person immediately. Set aside your being stubborn and say-no-to-quitting attitude.

Ask if you have questions, worries, or doubts. Ask.

Be cautious on who you give your care to. Especially if you have the tendency to care too much. At the end, you may already be doing it for the wrong people and this can hurt you big time.

Fight if you know you’re on the right side. Make sure you’re heard.

Sometimes, it’s better to take sides instead of settling to be in the middle. ‘Cause for all you know, the safest place may turn out to be the most dangerous.

Stay away from people with big problems. You may sink with them and become a codependent. Tsktsk. Bad for your health.

Making a mess is sometimes good for it can show you who your real friends are. It can also yield good results.

Okay, it’s your life. But sometimes, it’s goddamn better if you listen to your friends. If they tell you to stop, maybe they see that you really need to stop. Remember: They are concerned about you and they are just protecting you from pain.

Do not completely trust anyone from the other side.

It’s never wrong to have the habit of looking at the brighter side, but learn when not to do it. Remember, too much optimism lets your guard down, making you unaware when bamboozlers have already crept their way toward you, tainting you with their horridness.

WTP  (Acronym for ‘Wag Tanga Please, in English, Do Not be Stupid.)

Shut your big mouth if you can’t say it to the person you’re talking about.


The Dragon Baby Says Thank You!

Earth Dragon baby in the 2012 Year of the Water Dragon. ~

The best year isn’t always the one that gave you the most laughs and fun times. Instead, it may be that when you received the proper spanking, which made you learn so much in life.

The year 2012 is that year for me. It topped my 2008 as the most unforgettable with the way it fastened me tight on a roller coaster, giving me the ride of my life. It made me laugh harder and smile wider and more often, breathe fire in anger, get butterflies in my stomach, feel stupid and weak, set barriers up with people I don’t feel good about, appreciate friends and family more, fight for what I think is right, feel my heart pounding hard due to stress, learn and try new stuff, spend more time awake than asleep, become more vigilant, submit to forgiving and forgetting, surrender my proclaimed independent mind and seek people for help, and even create rivers of tears for so many nights on my way home from work–which scared my Mom and sister for witnessing that one deemed the strongest in the family at her most vulnerable.

It was a crazy year that proved I’m a warrior armed with all the metaphorical weapons all over my body. It showed me that being unbelievably nice is noble, but there should be a boundary between it and that pathetic thing called martyrdom. And that I shouldn’t expect everybody to reciprocate everything I do for them. It also taught me to love myself, to put myself first before anyone and anything else, because with an incredibly stubborn mind like mine, it is only I that can really save myself from drowning at the end.

It was crazy. Crazy, indeed. But as nerve-racking as it may have been, 2012 is still the bombastic year I wished for during its New Year’s Eve. I can even confidently say that I have no regrets with every move I made. In fact, I cannot imagine doing otherwise, more so any other aftermaths than what there is now. I know everything that happened will play a huge role in how I’ll act, think, and perceive the world in the future. And with the abundant optimism God blessed me with, I am thankful that I still see the world the same as before, He only tainted me with a little bit of pessimism to balance everything out and to protect me. God designed my year 2012 to get me ready for more lemons that will be thrown at me in the coming days. And now, I’m very much ready for more challenges.


Of course, everything wouldn’t be possible without the people around me.

With no hard feelings now that it’s turning into a distant and blurry past, I give my sincerest thanks to those who shattered me. I have come to understand that God sent them to me to wake me up and help me realize gazillion things. They were blessings in disguise to me, and without them, I wouldn’t discover who and what matter most. THANK YOU.

Then my warmest gratitude goes to those who helped me pick the pieces up, not just to bring me back to my old self, but also to form the happier, stronger, and wiser person I am today. They know who they are. For those I have baptized as my “brutal friends”, thank you for the sweet but piercing reprimands and the constant and forceful pulls whenever I seemed to lose track of the right path. This extremely adamant Aries-meets-Dragon lady needed those blows. For those who have chosen to treat me the tender way, thank you, too, especially to those who listened to me and obligingly gave their advices and opinions ’til who knows until what time it was–thus the term “unhealthy friendship” was born. For those who listened to my stories and endless rants and never got tired of them, for those I have frightened with the tears that always came unannounced, for those who supported me and are still standing at my back waiting for the next chances to help me more, for those who didn’t and hopefully will never give me up, for those who effortlessly made me laugh, smile, and appreciate life and its every moment more, for those who shared their lives to me, for every helping hand whenever I need them and even when I didn’t ask for them, for all the good times, for the friendship, THANK YOU. THANK YOU, EVERYONE. I am unsure if I have already thanked everybody enough, so I just immortalized my appreciation in this page.

For some who are unaware of what I went through and even those who think they have little to no contribution in my life, I would also want to thank them. For just being around me, being able to make me smile, laugh, think, and some, even irk me, they have also made significant impact in my life and helped in my growth, I assure them. Again, THANK YOU.














Charisse Reyes

Charisse Reyes

Carlo Reyes












Clarissa Catalina Repollo

Jocelyn Que

Mary Ernestine Yao

Rajiv Idnani

Yuko Konishi-Legaspi

Yuko Konishi-Legaspi (Photo grabbed from Yuko Konishi-Legaspi)

Meynard (the only guy on the photo)

John Joseph Santiago (the only guy on the photo)

Abigail Lucas ~

Mae Winky Mozelle Veluz

John Herald Cachola (middle) *












Desiree Quijalvo (Right)

Desiree Quijalvo (Right) *

John Carell Fababeir (the only guy on the photo) *

Jorice Oliveros (left)

Tita Elvira Angeles (farthest left), Tita Gregoria Candelaria (third to the right), Tita Josefina Evangelista (second to the right), and Nanay Priscila Nazareth (farthest right)












Ate Beverly Candelaria-Garcia (left)

Ate Jeramae Evangelista-Santos (farthest left) and Ate Pamela Angeles (the woman holding the baby)

Michael Rey-Ann Norte

Michael Rey-An Norte (left) (Photo grabbed from Cha Reyes)

(Top, from left) Cedric Reyes, Lexus Reyes, Ate Charm Rebong, Cha Reyes, Alexis Reyes, Gelai Rebong, (Bottom, from left) Me, Monique Rodriguez, Jay Ar Rebong, Ivo Rebong, CarloReyes

(Top, from left) Cedric Reyes, Lexus Reyes, Ate Charm Rebong, Cha Reyes, Alexis Reyes, Gelai Rebong, (Bottom, from left) Me, Monique Rodriguez, Jay Ar Rebong, Ivo Rebong, Carlo Reyes (Photo grabbed from Lexus Reyes)

The Reyes Family

The Reyes Family (Photo grabbed from Tita Malyn Reyes)

Sir Hermie Morelos

Sir Hermie Morelos (Photo grabbed from Ms April Ramos)

Boss Deth Alegre

Boss Deth Alegre

Sir Butch Reyes

Ms April Ramos Ana Marie Nibal Juvy Tan (L to R)

Ms April Ramos, Ana Marie Nibal, and Juvy Tan (L to R) (Photo grabbed from Ana Marie Nibal)

Cristine Leal (Left) and Darah Manigo (Right)

Cristine Leal (Left) and Darah Manigo (Right)

Randolf Santos (right)

Antonio Apatan Jr












Mary Antonette Basbas

Abraham Basbas

Jayson Domer (the only guy on the photo) (Photo taken in 2011) *

Shirley Tito (middle) *












Malou Alvarez (Left)

Malou Alvarez (Left) *

Eldie Arubang (farthest right) *









Sir Karl Acepcion (middle) *

Rosanna Manansala (third to the left) *

Licelle Andaya (Second to the left), Sir Jojo Munoz (only guy), and Ms Shiela Ecube (farthest right) *

Noli Pionilla (farthest right) *

Sam Jaictin (farthest left) *

Tito Fred Alcaraz (Only guy on the photo)

Tito Fred Alcaraz (the only guy on the photo) *













Fellow Hikers

Fellow Hikers at Mt Daguldol *

Ms Ana Valencia (second to the right) and Ms Tonet (farthest right)










Guia Trinidad (middle) *

Suzanne Uang (Photo  grabbed from Suzanne Uang)

Ivan Anyayahan (the only guy on the photo) *

TY Joan San Diego

Joan San Diego












Joanna Ayroso (farthest left) (Photo taken in 2011) *

ITI Philippines Interns (people on the left side) and Michelle Joy Dela Cruz (girl in pink standing on the left) (Photo taken in 2011) *

Yttel Anne Robles (farthest right) (Photo taken in 2011) *

Of course, lastly, I would like to thank my partners- in-crime in photo taking: Kiki, my Sony digicam, and Steven, my iPod Touch. ~












Lastly, and the most important of all, there’s my Creator. I have the greatest feeling now that I have completely rekindled my relationship with Him. I still have my shortcomings, but still, I know that He’s just there, patiently waiting for me and loving and protecting me. I have realized that optimism minus Him is as good as a life filled with nothing but negativity. I thank Him for the dark days for I know He placed those to make me come running back to His loving arms, and so that’s what I did. I thank Him for the unyielding love and concern. He truly is amazing and I don’t know if I have already praised and worshipped Him enough to deserve the overflowing blessings He has been showering me with. LORD, THANK YOU, I AM YOUR SERVANT AND I’LL DO EVERYTHING NEVER TO GO ASTRAY EVER AGAIN. 🙂


It’s been a few days since we said farewell to 2012 and my original plan was to post this on the first day of 2013. I failed because I had a hard time writing this entry as memories came rushing back, thus, I was teary-eyed every once in a while. I actually thought of discontinuing this, but a friend encouraged me saying that since she witnessed how my 2012 is very different, it deserves a space in my blog for the record. And she’s right. With everything that happened, though I didn’t specify them here, the year deserves to be written and be re-read again and again in the future to remind me and to poke me whenever my over positivity will make me forget of what I’ve been through.

With this post, I close another chapter of my life and turn to the next blank pages for a more fruitful and more blessed year.

2013, I’m ready! 🙂




Photo Credits:

* – Champy Cachola

~ – Abigail Lucas


Just a little empty joke and it comes rushing back. Not even slowly, but recklessly swift with a promise that it’ll hit every corner of my fragile side.

And then I hear it, that satisfied, vicious laugh for it got its desired effect again. And my heart, oh, that poor little thing, it can’t even do something, anything, though it has been yearning to jump off my chest and run away from it all.

It’s always like that–I get long moments of bliss, then one day, it’ll suddenly slap me. Hard. Hard and proud.

It’ll happen again in the next days. It will.
When will this end, this fluctuation of emotions?

Stop… Stop… Stop…

Pain is vital, but I don’t want even a single thing about this anymore.
In time, I’ll be able to stand up. And when I do, I’ll be taller and definitely stronger than before.