Hi there! How are you guys doing so far in the first days of the week? Anyway I just want to share something to you guys. Last week I together with Billy and some of his college friends went out for dinner and had a few drinks right after (well for me I had water because I don't drink at all anymore hehe). We talked about various things, but the thing that I can recall the most was updating each other on what they are up to now "achievements". It was great hearing their throwbacks of hilarious moments then fast forward on who they are today respectively. By the way all the people in the photo are registered nurses; One practiced our profession, one is a supervisor of an international clothing line, other one followed her passion in teaching in one of the most expensive school I have ever heard of, the other one just got promoted to being a regular to the top hospital here in Mindanao, the other one is a big boss of one of the biggest call center here in Davao, other one is taking up med and probably gonna be a doctor by next year, while the other one got promoted in an airline company from cabin crew to a ground crew supervisor (Hi Billy haha) and list goes on. It makes me really proud seeing them and hearing their success stories. Gosh how time flies dati ako pa gumagawa ng readings ni Billy tapos ngayon he's a very successful man. He is one of the most responsible man of his age that I know and I can't be more proud of him.

In relation to the photo above, I found an article where it could help us understand more the journey towards career and life. Just last week when I was scanning over my facebook feed, I have spotted an article with a caption of "the speech that will be remembered for a long time" and that got me interested. It was the speech by the most famous ballerina in the Philippines Lisa Macuja Elizalde that she delivered in the Ateneo de Manila University Commencement Exercise. I am not that old but I have been to numerous events with different speakers and different speeches and I have got to say 'this one hit like a bullseye'.

There are times I get so lost and scared of where I am standing now. Questions just keep on coming and answers are can't be found anywhere -- I know that is not just the hormones, I guess it's the reality that bugs me on some random days and nights. After reading the speech of Ms. Elizalde it was so comforting that someone understands and that someone just have the right words for this ill-feeling of a mid-twenties crisis. I thought to myself I should make a space of her speech here on my blog, who knows that might help you as it helped me.

Here it is, btw I have highlighted some of my most favorite lines. It's lengthy but it's totally worth reading.

The full text of the speech follows:

You cannot imagine how great an honor it is for me to speak before you today. And that is certainly not a cliché or an exaggeration. Few people would ever guess that despite the many blessings I’ve received in over 30 years as a ballerina, most of my young life was spent pining for something that you all have and I don’t—a diploma from the Ateneo de Manila University.

You see, I come from a certified Blue Eagle family. My father, his brother and my siblings all graduated from the Ateneo, with all four men in my family in the Honors Class since their elementary grades. Although I married a magna cum laude from Harvard. (Sorry, my husband made sure that I stuck that in there somewhere.)

When I was seventeen, fresh out of high school, I found myself standing at a crossroad in my life: I was accepted in both the Ateneo and UP for college.

But I decided to go to Russia instead and pursue my dream of becoming a ballerina in the toughest ballet school in the world, as a cultural scholar of the former Soviet Union.

Given this opportunity, the diploma would have to wait. I struck a deal with my parents—I gave myself two years to devote to dancing, which was my first love. If it didn’t work out, I promised I would go back to school and become an accountant, which was what my grandparents wanted me to be.

That was the first big deadline I’ve ever set for myself.

When I told my parents I wanted to study ballet in Russia instead of enrolling in college like everyone else, my father’s reaction was: “What? So you will become a dancer and just learn to count to eight for the rest of your life?”   My mom, on the other hand, was very supportive. She herself wanted to become a ballerina but was forced to stop when a ban in the 1950s prohibited girls from Catholic schools to dance ballet. My grandparents? Well, they still wanted me to become an accountant.

My dad probably thought I would find life in Russia so hard that I would hurry back home anyway, so finally, he relented. I left right after my 18th birthday and was assigned to the 7th year level of the Russian Ballet Academy in St Petersburg. It was 1982 and the first snow had just fallen when our plane touched down in what was then a bastion of communism.

In a way, my father was right. That first year in Russia was indeed the hardest year of my life. It was a life that was filled with change and adaptation—new culture, new language, new dogmas, a new method of ballet training, new weather conditions… Then eventually, I had to make new friends and satisfy new mentors. Beginnings are difficult.

But I stayed. Sometimes being stubborn has its rewards. There were many days in those cold ballet studios in the dead of winter when my body was ready to collapse from sheer exhaustion and it was just my stubborn will that pushed me to continue doing those drills again and again, day in and day out. Even in the many nights when I cried myself to sleep from homesickness or from the soreness of an injury, the pain was gently but obstinately pushed aside the minute I focused on my dream – the dream of becoming not just a ballerina but the best ballerina I could ever become. I substituted the occasional feelings of helplessness and anxiety with visions of achieving that dream. This—plus an attitude of gratitude, an overwhelming sense of appreciation for being exactly where I was and the miracle of how I even got there.

Despite the many sacrifices, my being in Russia was a great blessing and I survived by putting all my energy in practicing, learning and following directions as I was being mentored in the very difficult Russian Vaganova system of classical ballet training. I was like a horse with blinders. Nothing else mattered but my art. The discipline first shaped my mind and spirit—then my body eventually followed. Not only did I stay to finish the two years of ballet training, I stayed on for two more, this time as the first foreigner to be invited as an artist of the 250-year-old Kirov Ballet.

This is where that crossroad of my life has brought me. The journey was challenging but it was well worth it because I pursued a path that brought me closer to my heart’s calling. And when your heart speaks to you, you can never go wrong because it never lies. And it will push you to go forward and excel because at a certain point, your dream becomes like oxygen. You need it to breathe. You need it to grow. You need it to live.

However, in today’s world, the standards of success have become a bit more complicated. You can’t just drill; you need to create. You can’t just learn; you need to innovate. You can’t just follow; you need to lead.

Today, you find yourself in that same crucial intersection in life that I myself crossed many years ago. What can I tell you now that will make your next steps easier, if not more meaningful?

My father was right in saying that ballet dancers are drilled to count to eight. It is in these classic eight counts that a segment of movement is born. Then we start all over again with one. From this repetitive drill, choreography is born. So they actually serve as building blocks for creating something new and creative.

In this fashion, allow me to share with you my own “eight counts” which I hope would serve as helpful references as you find your own rhythm and direction in life:


Decide and commit to something that you are passionate about. The earlier you do this, the better. Make a decision not just on what you want to do and what you want to achieve in the next few years, but try to picture where you want to be 20 years from now. This was something my father taught me. He was a very wise and logical man. After all, he was an Atenean right?  When I was 15, he made me write a list of what I wanted to be and should have done by the age of 35. I came up with the following: to get a degree from the Ateneo and become a teacher; to dance all the classical ballerina roles at least once in my career; to own and operate my own ballet school; to have my own family and be a mom. I committed myself to these long-term goals alongside my short term ones and looking back, I seem to have done everything before I reached 35 – except for the first one. But wait, since I am a ballet teacher, I guess it’s just a matter of getting a diploma then. Hmmm…


No pain, no gain. I cannot overemphasize this point. Nothing can take the place of hard work – not even talent. As they say, hard work beats talent when talent does not work hard. When my own daughter told me she wanted to become a ballerina, a part of me was excited for her and pleased that I could help her to achieve her dream. But part of me was also screaming NOOOOO because I wanted to protect her from all the blood, sweat, and tears that she would have to go through in order to achieve her dreams. In the end, she pursued her intention and now I know how my parents felt back then—extremely proud!


Whatever your goal, get good at it! Whatever it is you are passionate about, you need to keep at it and practice. Repeat. Practice. Repeat. While you are practicing and repeating, don’t forget the “and” count — the “one-and-a-two-and-a-three” connecting counts that link together connecting steps in ballet. Bear in mind that there are also connecting points in life that are just as important as its highs and lows. These are the periods of rest, recreation, and stillness. These in-between moments are just as important because they give you a chance to breathe, to balance and to center. So keep on practicing – but take vacations too. Keep your focus… but remember it’s the linking “ands” that keep you connected.


Honor your emotions and acknowledge your fears. It’s okay to be nervous, to feel anxious or to have stage fright. That means you care and that you want to excel. After three decades of dancing, I still gag before going onstage! That’s why I make sure to fast before every performance. Seriously, it’s when you stop feeling nervous that you should start to worry because that means you are becoming apathetic towards what you are doing. And that’s a scary place to be in. Your emotions are a part of who you are. Being emotional doesn’t mean you’re weak. Whether you need to deal with pressure, loss, failure, hurt or rejection, our emotions are not a baggage. Instead, they make us human. They make us whole. So cry, laugh, smile, scream… it’s okay!


For a performing artist, the performance is the product and thus, the most important part of your work. All the classes, rehearsals, warm-ups and preparation culminate into that one performance. That is what the audience sees and that is what they will take away with them. Treat every time you get to practice your profession as a performance. Don’t save your best effort for another day. Always give 100% so you never have to regret anything. But BE PREPARED. You know in jumping, the deeper you do this step called a “plié” which means to bend (in this case your knees) the higher you are able to propel yourself into the air. The plié is your preparation. The soaring into the air is the goal. The more prepared you are, whether for a presentation, a task or a performance, usually, the outcome is also better. Take this moment now to thank your parents, teachers, mentors, administrators, family, colleagues, your Manongs and Manangs and your friends. For they all helped out to prepare you well. And they will continue to support you in the years to come. Believe me, you will need their support.


Do something crazy.  Do something that defies all logic at least once in your life. You never know what could happen from there. I once found myself in Cuba and was asked to dance the full-length Swan Lake. Now you have to know something about Swan Lake—it has the most difficult ballerina role ever. In fact, in Russia, I was warned by my own teacher—who I loved and respected and trusted—that I should never do the roles of Odette/Odile. It’s true. She told me when I graduated that I was already equipped to dance any role out there—except Odette/Odile. “Because Lisa, you will never be a Swan Queen,” she said frankly but with every good intention. Well, my “something crazy” happened twice in my life. First, I accepted the challenge of performing Swan Lake in Cuba with only FOUR DAYS to learn and rehearse it. And I performed what was for me the WORST Swan Lake I have ever done in my career! Honestly, I still cringe when I watch the video. But I did it. No regrets. My second crazy moment was when I resigned from my former company, where I was principal dancer, and formed Ballet Manila in 1995 with 11 other young dancers. No money, no connections, just a lot of drive and dreams to begin with. Well, the company just celebrated its 20th anniversary last month with five times the number of dancers, plus a school and a scholarship foundation that promises a steady supply of well-trained ballet dancers to continue our mission of bringing ballet to the people and people to the ballet in the many years to come! Sometimes closing your eyes and taking that leap of faith will get you there—even if it makes you pass through a lot of heartaches and failure along the way.


This one is a quote I saw on social media but which I felt was truly valid and real:  “One of the hardest decisions you’ll ever face in life is choosing whether to walk away or try harder.” This is where setting a deadline for yourself is most important.  I gave myself two years to become a ballerina, although honestly I do not know what I would have done if it didn’t work out. (You see I hate accounting. Working with numbers was never my forte—unless of course it involves counting to 8).

So push yourself through self-doubts, for they will certainly come. Push yourself through rejection. But also know when it’s time to re-direct. Re-boot. And then decide and commit all over again.


Serve. Offer yourself to a cause bigger than your own needs or ambition. Find ways to make your dreams meaningful to others as well. One thing that I’ve learned from my family of Blue Eagles is that an Atenean means being a “man or woman for others.” You need to serve. Serve your whole life. Serve yourself sometimes. But serve others more often.

I met many of you during two separate visits to the Ateneo that have prepared me for today’s commencement speech. With today’s visit, I must say I haven’t been this often to Ateneo since I was in high school coming to watch Dulaang Sibol.

So what are my eight counts again?

Decide and commit

Work hard

Focus and get good

Honor your emotions

Prepare well

Take the leap

Set deadlines

and Serve.

Fly high Blue Eagle graduates! This is your time to soar!

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That is not the speech that I will remember for a long time, that is the speech that I will remember as long as I am living and I can see myself reading that to my children and grandchildren.
Hope this one helped you as it helped me with my crossroad in life :)

Have a happy and productive week everyone! =)

Day Dreamer Night Thinker

Hello there! You might be wondering what's with the caption on my photo, oh well nothing really special just some random thoughts going on my mind right now. It's already about 12 midnight Philippine time but thoughts just keep on coming and I couldn't sleep. I guess its the night owl in me who is responsible for this mania. Since I can't sleep and there's too much thoughts on my mind, I thought of blogging and sharing some random non-sense facts just to unload and de-clog.

Okay here it goes. I am always the night kind of person, my brain works better at night and I am more alive at night compared in the morning. It's easier for me to stay awake at night than in the morning and I always find myself dreaming at day and thinking at night - hence the title. Alarms don't work for me, you have to pull me out of bed and watch me go (push me) to the bathroom or else I would go back to sleep and wake up screaming at you accusing you that you didn't wake me up and we will have a fight and you'll end up losing because my last line would be "you didn't try hard enough!" hahaha that b**** in me. I know I have to work hard on that and I will.

My boss is on vacation leave and I am very anxious because I have to be the one to communicate with higher bosses (it's really hard without you Khai!), I just hope nothing will happen in that 3 working days that she's not around, oh gosh it will be the longest 3 days of my life *sobs. Before she and her boyfriend left they said it is a test for me (a test of my character), it got me like in the inside *okay I will thrive in the pressure and I will deliver, let's get it on! but there's this thought of "gandjgefisdfkjasifjs nooooo I cannot!". Anyway I already have plans (don't you worry boss!) Plan A. Come what may. Plan B. Pray Plan C. Repeat A and B.

I hate Cebu Pacific! They were having series of seat sale, and since I was able to save up a little, I tried to book a flight to Hongkong for me and Billy. However, every time I reach the payment page there's always this "Error 5022" and it's very frustrating. I tried booking for days (no exaggeration I swear) but still the problem is the same. I even tried to google that "Error 5022" and followed the instruction like clearing the cache but still same b******t. I was too frustrated so I decided to pamper myself instead just to calm nerves down. What happened to the money? I bought a 21k gold necklace and a core i5 laptop --- Sorry I had to brag those since it's from my hard-earned money and those are the first major things I got for myself. For others that might mean nothing and maybe they even consider that as a penny in a cost but as for me it means a lot since again I worked hard for it *smiles. Congrats self! (giving myself a pat on the shoulders now hahaha).

Lastly I have cut my hair really short about 3 weeks ago and I am very happy about it. This is not the first time I chopped it in this length but this is the first time I felt good about it. I like my hair now more than ever! My colleagues went to the salon yesterday and they dyed their hairs, it got me thinking to dye my hair again but right now I have decided not to, I will keep my promise as to keep my hair far from those kinds of chemicals.

I have had travels the past months that needs to be shared here on my blog, I will work on that once I have a spare time. Ughhh that cliche "so many things too little time" that pretty much sums up my life this season -- I am not complaining though I even consider myself really blessed (Thank you Lord!).

Okay now my mind is clear, I will hit the sack in a minute. Till then guys, have a blessed Sunday! Wow Sunday na pala and just like that the weekend is about to be over, plus it's already a "BER Month" - How time flies.

Talk to you soon! :*

Home Sweet Home

Good day folks! Blogging straight from my bed in this ungodly hour, 3:50am Philippine time to be exact. I don't know if it's because my body clock is messed up or maybe I'm just too excited to blog again. I just got my domain back! Yes finally, for over a year or two my blog URL is again. Gosh I thought I wouldn't be able to take this back, heaven only knows how elated I am right now, saying that I'm in cloudnine would be such an understatement.

Anyway, my blog as you can see is still under construction, I'm still working on some details. I have so much to share to you guys and I can't wait to finish this new home of mine. :)

Talk to you soon. Happy weekend. God bless.<3

P.S. Thank you so much to my boss Karen Abucay for my domain and to Mark Cabrera who helped me set this blogger theme. Thanks guys! xoxo

Crocs Super Sale Caravan Returns to Davao (up to 90% off)

Crocs Super Sale Caravan Returns to Davao
Summer Filled with Hot Deals.

(Davao, Philippines) – With the Summer heat on full blast, hot summer deals are in demand as shoppers expect great bargains during the season with all the vacations lined up. This season, Crocs, thru its exclusive distributor, Sixdegrees, Inc. shall be having another super sale event of Crocs footwear and accessories from March 26 to 29, 2015 from 10am to 9pm at the 2nd level, Abreeza Davao Ayala Mall, Poblacion District, Davao City.

Crocs shall be offering over than 100 designs at up to 90% discount during the 4-day sale where more than 10,000 shoppers are expected to line up and grab a pair, or more.

The Davao event is the second in the series of the sale caravan lined up to take over different areas of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao; a great news for Crocs lovers and bargain enthusiasts.

About Crocs, Inc.
Crocs, Inc. (NASDAQ: CROX) is a world leader in innovative casual footwear for men, women and children with more than $1 billion in annual revenue. The company offers several distinct shoe collections with more than 300 four-season footwear styles. All Crocs™ shoes feature Croslite™ material, a proprietary, revolutionary technology that gives each pair of shoes the soft, comfortable, lightweight, non-marking and odor-resistant qualities that Crocs wearers know and love. Crocs celebrates the fun of being a little different and encourages fans to “Find Your Fun” in every colorful pair of shoes, from the iconic clog to new sneakers, sandals, boots and heels. Since its inception in 2002, Crocs has sold more than 200 million pairs of shoes in more than 90 countries around the world.

Road trip: Waves of Dahican, Mati City

Summer basically runs all year round here in the Philippines, so beach is always an option for us. Beach bumming have always hit the numero uno when it comes to de-stressing for the family. I have shared to you our 3days road trip, here are the links to the 1st and 2nd day trips. To cap it off here is our last destination, we made a detour towards the young and burgeoning beaches in the city of Mati.
It was already dark when we arrived in Mati. We headed first at the baywalk and had our dinner somewhere there. We stayed at the Botona Beach Resort, spent the night at the beach star-gazing while drinking wine (okay except me 'cause I don't drink, I just did the star-gazing part haha). And when we woke up we spent the few hours by the beach watching over the waves to come for a jump start of our Dahican experience.
Beach = Chill pill!!!!! problem-free, stress-free, worry-free life. Good job kuya Charlie for yet another awesome paparazzi shot!
Look how lovely the beach in Mati is, just don't mind my crappy face kindly focus on the beach behind my back :))) The Dahican's clear blue sea just screams jump-in and get-wet! Btw the entrance here is free, the only things we had to pay for were the parking fee and the use of comfort rooms which is way way affordable!
The boys and the kids gamely pose for a photo. It says it all!
To my SPMC friends and family especially to the OB ANNEX people, look who I bumped into! The ever generous, mother to all kiddos, great defender and super sexy fabulous ma'am Pam! Hi ma'am Pam I miss you!
We were taking some snaps at the same time enjoying the breeze and scenery while watching over some extremely talented skimboarders and soul surfers do their thing.
 top: Seductions | bikini: Roxy | shorts: Roxy | watch: G-Shock | Flip flops: Havaianas | necklace: Quantom Science
Get ready as you all will be seeing our frolicking moments with the waves :) enjoy our faces haha.
 So much happiness put in one picture <3
When in Mati, you need to have an obligatory photo with the very popular sleeping dinosaur.
The travel buddies Billy, Dinky, Ginberg
presenting our sun-kissed skins <3
It says keep coming back! and Yes, we sure will!!!!

Summer is around the corner, do you already feel the summer heat? 'Cause I do kaloka ang init-init na haha
I hope this will help you guys in planning your next destination for this summer :)
See you in my next post <3