Wednesday, November 30, 2011

hello, goodbye

for a while i've been considering starting a whole new blog where i can post stuff about things i've been doing these days - which includes wedding preps of course, though that's really just browsing wedding websites rather than actually getting things done. it's still 1 year and 22 days away anyway so there's absolutely no hurry. the problem with this current blog which i've used for 5 years now, is that the blogskin has quite a dark aura about it. i love it still, that's why i'm never gonna change it. but it doesn't seem to be the best place to post wedding inspirations on. instead, i want a brand new clean slate (literally) that's light and sunshine-y. :)

so this might likely be my last post here. i hate saying goodbyes, especially to things that helped keep me sane through the years. so yeah, christinesixteen is not over, over. :) there's no deleting this blog, so if you feel like reading old posts that might have tickled your fancy (fat chance!) or doing a random history check, then feel free to visit this blog. i'm sure i'll come back to this site when i want to take a quick trip down memory lane. or reference something i've written before.

ci vediamo! :)

edit: so it's december and i've decided to just start a new blog here in blogspot instead, cos it's so much easier! :) here's the link: watch out for my posts!

Thursday, October 06, 2011

stay hungry, stay foolish

I've never been too affected with famous people dying, save for Pope John Paul II, Cory Aquino, and now Steve Jobs. I keep telling Raymund how I found myself on the brink of crying one too many times today, learning that Steve Jobs had passed away, followed by "you don't understand..."

I'm not a big Apple fan. Apple was so big in the States, or at least in California - Palo Alto, to be exact, where I stayed when I was there, probably cos Steve Jobs lived there and that it's Silicon Valley. I only own one Apple gadget, and I bought it cos I needed a new phone at the time and had never owned an iPod, so the practical thing to do was to get myself an iPhone - the original iPhone. I didn't exactly keep up with the trend, i.e., upgrade to the newer iPhone what-have-you. I had an urge to buy a MacBook once, when my Dell laptop kept getting viruses, but was still a starving student then so I couldn't really spend my money on it. All I bought from Apple was my iPhone and 2 iPhone earphones. That's it. So why am I so sad about the fact that Steve Jobs is gone?

It was all because of that speech. I stumbled upon his Stanford commencement speech some years ago, before attending Stanford myself - I already knew then that I wanted to get my master's in the best university for environmental engineering (which coincidentally is Stanford), and upon watching the video, I was sure that pursuing that dream would be one of the best things I could do for myself. It wasn't because he gave that speech in Stanford, no. It was about something he said in those 15 minutes where he talked about 3 stories in his life. He taught me important things that would eventually keep ringing in my head.

1. Connecting the dots.

"You can't connect the dots looking forward. You can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something - your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads you off the well-worn path, and that would make all the difference."

I think a couple of posts ago, I wrote about how things just fell into place, it's amazing. A few years back, I still had "what if" questions in my head, particularly regarding my relationship with someone who I thought I wanted to be with. Before leaving the Philippines for the first time for a job abroad, I was thinking that had he asked me to stay, I probably would've considered it. He didn't, but he gave me one memorable trip before I left, where I spent the day in one of my favorite places in the Philippines, with my 3 closest guy friends. Eventually one friend who was with us in that trip told me that he was actually planning to ask me to stay. Anyway, we grew apart though I'm sure he's happy where he is, and I am too. In retrospect, I'm glad he didn't have the guts then to ask me that. Had I stayed, I wouldn't be able to save money for my master's, and be with the person I can't live without. I don't consider myself lucky, in the sense that I've always worked to get the things I want and they don't just happen to fall on my lap. But I guess in the grand scheme of things, I'm quite lucky after all.

2. Don't settle.

"You've got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do."

I wrote something like this in my personal statement for my Stanford application. I wrote something along the lines of knowing that the work I want to have for myself has got to be something I love to do, and I knew my passion was in water/environmental engineering, so pursuing graduate studies in that field was the way to go.

Back when I was working to save up for my master's, I already felt that it was just not sustainable for me to be working on stuff that I don't find fulfilling, and so I thought the way to get out of it was to further my studies so I can do what I want, that is, in my field of interest.

A few months ago, I was getting frustrated about finding a job, but Steve Jobs' words were firm in my head. "Don't settle." I even told Raymund, after interviewing with some companies that I didn't think would give me projects that I'd enjoy doing, "sabi ni Steve Jobs, don't settle eh". Luckily, I eventually got a job that I like. My title: Engineer - Water & Environment. Just what I used to dream of. And I'm glad I'm learning a lot - all these things I try to grasp would be handy when I go back to the Philippines to teach in my alma mater.

So there... thank you Steve Jobs for giving me these thoughts to live by. Who knew that with just that speech, you've helped me stirred my life in a far better direction than I imagined. You are a brilliant speaker, and an even more brilliant person. You're a revolutionary. I'm sure you are at peace.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

second spring

this is the second time i'm experiencing spring this year. if you're wondering how that is - it's cos i'm in the southern hemisphere now. :D since last year, it seems that this is the first time the constant cold has left me. this time last year, i was in the US, trying not to bail on aquatic chemistry (i didn't have a good chemistry background since i took civil engineering in undergrad... it turned out pretty okay though since i was one of the 2 who got the highest score on our midterm exam, a 98% - i was so proud i've kept that blue book... sorry for that bit of cockiness :p). so yeah, it was fall then, then came winter and spring... then i came back home to the philippines and it was raining all the time. when we got here in australia, it was still winter. now it's getting warmer and we don't need jackets anymore.

we're settling in okay, everything's been pretty convenient - market/grocery, church, gym, even work. i don't take the bus except when going to the city. which is good cos that meant less carbon footprint for me. :)

i read something the other day, some tips on being happy. one of them is to be happy in the present. i kind of needed to be reminded of that, well sort of - cos i'm one of those people who delight in waiting (i have an old post about this). i used to always think of things that would make me happy, something i can strive to achieve in the future - and it seems that my head is always there, in the future. but now, having completed my masters, something i only used to dream about, and having a job as a water engineer, give me some sense of contentment. i often tell raymund that i'm happy where we are - i got my MS, which paved the way for lots of opportunities, i got a job that i love and learn a lot from, i'm getting better at spin class and body pump (hehe), and we're not miles apart anymore. i guess one can always come up with a list of things missing in his life, but i prefer to be just grateful for what i have now. everything else would fall into place anyway. :)

i guess if there's one thing i'll be looking forward to, it's the wedding. one of my best friends got married recently and i missed it. i was so excited for her but sad at the same time that i couldn't be there to witness it. i was supposed to be one of her bridesmaids... anyway, she told me that when she finally tried on her wedding gown, she was so overwhelmed. i told her i knew the feeling. sometime after i got engaged, i went to a bridal shop to ask for a quotation for my dress. i tried on a sample wedding dress, a huge ball gown - and the feeling was just magical. i felt pretty even though it wasn't really my kind of gown. and i learned that day that if you opt for a dress like that, it's gonna be incredibly heavy, with all the cloth and petticoats underneath. anyway, i'm trying not to expect too much, and not to be too particular with details. the last thing i want is to be stressed or disappointed. though i'm sure at the wedding day itself, every flaw would be overshadowed by how lovely and momentous that occasion is. i can't wait! :)

anyway, here's a picture of a happy/sleepy-looking me with the story bridge and brisbane CBD for my backdrop. :) enjoy the sun!

Friday, July 22, 2011

i'm back

Hello! I thought I'd stop writing here. I used to do that to get some stuff off my chest, or when I'm lonely and bored, or when I had too much time to contemplate. Ever since I finished school, I have more time to actually do something fun, travel, read recipe books and magazines, watch movies, work out. I'm back in my happy place, with my family, and Raymund, and I thought I won't have to time to write anymore (since it's easier to post pictures in my Snapshots Lately album to 'tell a story').

It's funny how eventually you'd realize how things fall into place, even when just a few months ago, you didn't have the slightest idea that this is how things are gonna turn out. So let me tell you how things turned out:

1. I got my MS at Stanford, yay!
2. I chose not to apply for my OPT in the US and it happened to be the right decision cos I'm moving to Australia in a week's time maybe.
3. I got engaged.
4. I finally gave in and signed up in a gym so I could at least do some physical activity and build up my endurance.
5. We're planning our wedding and it's fun.
6. So far, we've booked the church, reception & photographer.
7. I just had my gown sketched and I love it.
8. I keep playing songs we're going to use for our slideshow and onsite video at the wedding and it makes me giddy. :)

I wanted to share our wedding details but I'd have to stop myself and just share them with my closest friends. For now, this is all I'm sharing:

The song that Raymund surprised me with on his 2nd attempt at proposing. 8) I've always loved this song and actually dreamt somebody would sing it to me. He played (i.e., guitar + vocals) another song but we're using that for our wedding's onsite vid next year! ;)

That's my life lately. And I just feel so blessed and thankful for everything. :) AMDG.

Friday, May 06, 2011


I only used to do countdowns for my birthday, but getting a year older is not that thrilling when you're past 25. Anyhoo, now I find myself counting down the days for my trip back home. Just a month and a week to go! It's a little tricky with the different time zones so I'll just say it's about 40-ish days til I go home and don a dress for the wedding (not mine!).

I get so excited sometimes, the kind that makes you jittery, it's hard to focus. Like now for instance: I was preparing my slides just a while ago then this happy thought of going back home (or wherever), going back to a normal life, i.e., not alone, suddenly made me update my blog. :p

So... this song's kinda stuck in my head. And these lines actually give me knots in my stomach (I decided to just post them here, which only a few people read, cos I hate sounding emo in FB):

And I wonder
When I sing along with you
If everything could ever feel this real forever
If anything could ever be this good again

*Sigh* Can't wait!

Saturday, April 30, 2011


Despite a not-so-good midterm, I can still say yesterday was one of the best days I've had here. Nerds' night out was so much fun!

Learned a lot of crap from this game... Only nerds would still think and argue why a crap is what it is. :P

4 more Fridays to go! So excited to spend more time with the gals. Disney princesses movie marathon, yay (so psyched)!! :)

Now about the prince...

I found a boy who had a dream
Making everyone smile
He was sunshine
I fell over my feet
Like bricks under water

Seriously, the boy has a contagious smile. :)))

Okay, now prepping up for hell week... but still grinning. :)

Friday, April 15, 2011

friday blues 2

gad, this is the 2nd time i'm using that title. my classmates are having a game night but i had some stuff to do and my parents would be online tonight. there's no skype dinner though boo. :( i only had takeout from subway, tuna for friday. sigh, i miss subway at keypoint. why am i feeling terribly homesick again?

i'm missing singapore so bad. while i was folding my clothes this evening (what better way to spend friday than folding your clothes, right?) i suddenly just started tearing up and checked out my old post in my multiply - it was about my 1st anniversary in singapore, and my plan of studying here. seemed like such a long time ago but it's only been 2 years. i was still excited to pursue MS, and now i can't wait to be done with it. i know it's not in keeping with the famous motto 'carpe diem' but that's what i feel and i know i need to snap out of this funk. after all, i only have exactly 2 months left in california!

i haven't prayed fervently for a particular thing in a long while, particular being something that's a long shot. i think i've gotten pretty much everything i've prayed for then i've stopped asking for special things. i guess i should start asking for *it* so that it happens. again, i'll ignore statistics (i never liked that course anyway) and just wish that even if there's a one in a hundred chance, that i get that 0.01, and 0.99 won't matter.

i remember my friend saying the difference with school and work is that at work, once you leave the workplace, it's all play. with school, you're still working til you sleep. that's not necessarily the case (especially if you leave the workplace at 10pm and just go straight to bed after) but for the most part it's true. i'm excited to work again, to shop and fill my apartment with ikea stuff, and NOT be alone. can't wait to have nice dinners and watch movies on fridays again. i really wish i get to have *it* by july.

that's all. just like in my previous friday blues post, i'll end this saying that i'm off to watch 30 rock. sigh i miss tv series marathons. later!