Holiday hauls

30 November 2014

A blink and a sigh, and it's the last day of November! Can you believe it? Christmas is almost here!

The best thing about having a job is having the means to pay for my everyday necessities and little treats for myself every now and then. I still love rewarding myself by splurging a little when I achieve or accomplish something, but I'm happy to say I've now become more discerning of the things I buy and have grown more conscious of my finances. Okay, enough with that long winding introduction, all I wanted to say is that I remember I started this blog sharing photos and stories of my shopping hauls. Now, allow me to be superficial for a bit as I think I'd like to do that again just because I missed it!

1 My True Love Gave to Me, a collection of holiday stories from various authors, edited by Stephanie Perkins. Holiday romances in fiction is one of my guilty pleasures. Think The Holiday, Dash & Lily's Book of Dares, Let It Snow... I loved them all. I'm planning to start reading this book this week. 2 Washi tapes. I can't resist buying these tapes even though I know I won't be able to use them all up! At about P65 each, they don't exactly come cheap but what can I do? I am planning to buy more use them to decorate my 2015 planner. 3 Increments, Kapitan Bayaran, and Footnotes to Misplaced Items by Joanne Cesario and Michelle Bacabac. I want to support local makers and story-tellers so I get them whenever I get the chance. My favorite from this selection is Increments. 4 The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin. I bought a bunch of eBooks from Amazon for my Kindle and this is one of the titles I got. I AM ENJOYING MYSELF THOROUGHLY that I paused reading because I didn't want it to end just yet.

I can't say much about the packaging except that it's flimsy and looks cheap, but I'm not complaining because I love the staying power, pigmentation, and staying power of BYS! Everything's crazy affordable, too! I got two lipsticks, a brow liner/ pencil, and an eyeliner, and they all amounted to P966. The SA at Watsons - Fisher Mall was also extra nice and gave me a lipstick case and a pouch even when my purchases did not reach P1,000. 

Optical illusion or stubbornly sticking to what is apparently my favorite print on clothes. YES, I LOVE STRIPES and I cannot lie. I also love polka dots and graphic heart and star prints. Basically I love patterns and prints on my clothes. The story behind this photo is that I went shopping with my friend Marsha wearing the dress on the left, and ended up buying the dress on the right. Can my love for black-and-white stripes be any clearer than that?

And finally, my Book Depository purchase that I was afraid would never come because of port congestion issues! I've been hankering for one of these Magnetic Poetry Kits for so long that I finally got one when Book Depository held a store-wide sale. I am enjoying this kit A LOT and am looking forward to getting more. The only problem I have with the Book Lover kit is that it didn't contain the word 'read' in it. It would've been perfect had that word been included, but oh well.

I also replenished my stash of watercolor pads and bought a set of watercolor pencils. I'm looking forward to practicing and painting more! I should write a post containing my newest artworks; hopefully I can get to do it this week.

So there! Twenty-five days before Christmas yet I've already bought myself about nine different gifts already. I should start shopping for my family and friends also, hee.

Enjoy the holi-daze!

Bloggers United Strikes Eight!

25 November 2014

Hold your horses, the eighth installment of the Bloggers United Bazaar is here!

We’re leveling up this Bloggers United 8! Come join us and find not just your favorite bloggers' pre-loved clothes but also other items like gadgets and other unique finds! It's OLX in real life! ;)

The biggest fashion blogger gathering in the metro, Bloggers United, partners with the #1 online buy and sell platform in the country,, for a grand holiday fiesta this December 7, 10am to 7pm, at Whitespace, Makati! Mark your calendars and expect lots of great finds at affordable price tags from your favorite fashion bloggers! 
OLX offers a fast and easy way for Filipinos to sell their secondhand items online. It is the Philippines’ largest marketplace for buying and selling items of all kinds, such as clothes, mobile phones, cameras, bicycles, musical instruments, furniture, and cars.  It is available on the web or on the OLX app on Android and iOS phones. 
BU just keeps getting better with lots of fun activities, games, prizes, and new participating bloggers, so make sure to be there at the best pre-holiday celebration for you, your friends, and your family! Since we’re partnering with OLX, expect your favorite bloggers to sell a wider variety of items! It’s also the season of giving so our charity partner Philippine Red Cross will be there to collect old books and toys.
You can also win an iPhone6, a GoPro Hero 3+, and H&M GCs by attending the event and posting the goodies you bought that day on Instagram with the hashtag #BU8xOLX and tagging @bloggersunitedph and @olxph. Exciting! 
Tickets will be available at P100 on the event date, or you may win passes from the BU Bloggers and our event sponsors.
Now I have some special news. I won't have the luxury of time to sort through my stuff for things to sell, so I asked Mina V. Esguerra if she wants to use my booth! You know her as the author of several romance novellas like The Interim Goddess of Love trilogy, Fairy Tale Fail, My Imaginary Ex, Love Your Frenemies, and a LOT more. (Lady churns out more stories than my reading speed can keep up with.) She has also helped several other authors to publish their own books via her #romanceclass project, and I thought BU would be a great venue for her to interact with her fans and followers. She'll also be selling books from other #romanceclass authors! As for me I'm just excited to fangirl over Mockingjay Part 1 with her. ^_^

And now we come to the fun part! I'm giving away ten pairs of passes to the event so you and a friend can go in for free! Just check out the Rafflecopter widget below.

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For more information and updates, follow Bloggers United on:

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See you there!

We need to talk about The Daykeeper

23 November 2014

It's that time of the year again when we pause and wonder where the months flew by. In just a few weeks, we'd have to get used to writing down a completely different year when we note the date. Yep, it's that time of the year again when people are in the market for a new planner.

I've never been the type to collect stickers for planners, mainly because I don't have the patience and EQ for that. In most recent years the planners I used ranged from the Le Petit Prince Moleskine to Moonleaf Tea Shop planner to Belle de Jour Power Planners to Best Buy Date Books. For this coming year, I got myself The Daykeeper and I think it's my favorite among all the planners I've gotten to date. Why, you ask? Well...

We need to talk about how simple yet elegant it looks. That navy blue cover and that gold lettering and corner tab speak to my newly-acquired preference for things that can be considered "classy and mature."

We need to talk about that slip case with beautiful typography done by Tippy of Googly Gooeys.  It was personalized with my name, too! If you're giving The Daykeeper as a gift, just state it in your email so they can write the name of the recipient.

We need to talk about how the repetitive stamping of the word 'courage' all over the front inside page and back inside cover as well as the "Courage, dear heart." quote by CS Lewis on the first page are giving me, yes, courage. A little more than a month still remaining for 2014 but I already have a clear vision of what I want to achieve for 2015.

We need to talk about the great job Abbey did for The Daykeeper Manifesto. Beautiful words done in beautiful calligraphy.

We need to talk about how we can make a letter to our future selves, to be tucked out of sight and be opened again come the eve of 2016. I do this every year at FutureMe.Org and it's cool that there's an IRL version.

We need to talk about how The Daykeeper has a calendar at the beginning of each month coupled with a beautiful photograph and an inspiring quote or a Bible verse. I plan to write ARC PR events and birthdays here.

We need to talk about how The Daykeeper has a weekly view with the left side acting as a planner where I can note my plans for the week and the right side acting as a journal where I can list down 'things that made me smile today'. All interspersed with beautiful photographs, of course. No two pages are the same. I particularly love this because I can always read the things written here when I am feeling sad and less grateful than I should be.

We need to talk about how you can just flip to any page and be instantly inspired.

We need to talk about how The Daykeeper encourages you to count your blessings and review the year that has passed. I look forward to reading the things that I will write down here after a year.

We need to talk about how The Daykeeper even includes four postcards you can mail to your loved ones from wherever in the world you may be. Ah, the joys of receiving thoughtful thoughts in the mail. ♡ 

We need to talk about how The Daykeeper inspires me to go after my dreams and make the most out of the coming year. Thank you for bringing The Daykeeper to life, Kat San Juan! Indeed, amazing things will happen.

Find out how you can order your own by visiting The Daykeeper Datebook on Facebook and Instagram. This is not a sponsored post. I bought my own copy after seeing Marika's post about her planner on Instagram and now I'm hoarding pens and washi tapes to decorate and personalize my datebook with.


The Gift of Time

22 November 2014

It has been almost a month since my Kuya left us but we still haven't fully recovered. Personally, I have accepted that he's gone and will never come back, but I know our Christmases, New Years, and family gatherings will never be the same.

There are mornings I wake up and feel perfectly fine but feel my world spin out of control when I get reminded that he's gone. Sometimes, when I go home alone, I think of him and get terribly lonely. Earlier today, my aunt Jean and I spent a couple of hours just talking about him and crying together. We're all reeling from his loss. but I don't think anyone took the hit more than my grandmother. They say a parent should never have to bury his/ her child, and I know my Lola is suffering more than she lets on.

When Tomato Time offered to give me two watches with one of them going to a loved one, I instantly knew there's no one else I wanted to give it to.

The two watches came individually wrapped in gift boxes. I excitedly opened mine right away.
I initially chose Struktur Eternal. Keyword is 'initially'.
When we opened the boxes, Lola said she prefers my watch so of course I agreed to switch. It helped that I also secretly preferred the one that I initially chose for her, heehee.

My Lola is one of my favorite people in the world not only because she spoils me tremendously, nor because she used to get me a lot of comic books when I was really young, igniting my love for reading and making stories, and not even for her great cooking. My Lola is one of my favorite people in the world because her love is unconditional. My Lola always feels like home.

I get too busy sometimes but as much as possible I go to their house on weekends so I can spend time with her, or she goes to ours. Lately she goes to Navotas more frequently to visit my Kuya's grave. Life flies by so fast and I intend to dedicate more time to her. Thanks to Tomato Time for giving us something tangible to represent the Gift of Time.

My Tomato Time Party Tinsel Watch and Lola's Tomato Time Struktur Eternal Watch
This Christmas, the Gift of Time is one of the most important and valuable gifts you can give your loved ones, for in giving them time you are also giving them a portion of your life you can never take back. Why not throw in a nice watch from Tomato Time while you're at it? Tomato Time watches are affordable yet stylish, and even come with one-year warranty on mechanism and battery. Browse online or visit Tomato branches and Tomato Time kiosks near you!

Connect with Tomato Time
#GiftofTime #TomatoTime

Disclosure: Tomato Time got in touch with me and gave me two watches for me and a loved one in exchange for this blog post and social media posts. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for writing this. Read my full disclosure policy here.

Are you excited to see Mockingjay Part 1?

20 November 2014

You should be.

I just came home from AXN Philippines' block screening of Mockingjay Part 1 and like the first two movies in the trilogy, I just. Can't. Contain. Myself!

The books are written in Katniss' point of view, and since she spends a good part of the last book suffering from Post-traumatic Stress Disorder I was a bit concerned that the last two movies won't be as action-filled as the first two, but then Francis Lawrence just proved that he's a great director with a clear vision of how the struggle between the Capitol and the rebelling districts should play out. Everything we didn't know from the books because Katniss didn't know them herself, the movies were able to show. I can't reiterate this enough: the Hunger Games movies are all excellent condensed yet expanded versions of the books. 

I didn't catch Interstellar because I didn't think my EQ was ready for the emotional ride it promised. (Haven't you heard? I take my movies seriously.) I am still reeling from my Kuya's loss and I wasn't up for having my heart broken again but I couldn't miss this for the world. And what a ride it was. As expected, it was quite a heavy film with a little (and much appreciated) comic relief from Effie Trinket. I teared up at the scenes between Katniss and Prim, and Katniss and Finnick. “It takes ten times as long to put yourself back together as it does to fall apart.”

A little spoiler-y so please highlight the text below ONLY if you have already seen the movie or you just want to read. I didn't think the movie would be divided that way but I think they did it for the benefit of those who didn't really read the book and wouldn't appreciate the cliffhanger that much. End of spoiler-y statement.

The goal was to dress up like Primrose Everdeen (little duck, get it?), but I think I ended up looking more like Maria von Trapp
I didn't display *that* much level of obsession anticipation for this one as I did with the Catching Fire movie - essentially because that was my favorite book in the series and also because Mockingjay was depressing as hell. But I did see the trailers, TV spots, propos, and the collaborations they did with famous Youtubers to come up with District Voices, and oh man. I geek out at books, movies, and awesome advertising campaigns so I'm getting goosebumps just thinking about how amazing the movies are and how these promotional campaigns tied everything together.

My secret dream is to work on a project as large-scale as this.

I am dreading seeing Mockingjay Part 2 not because I don't want to say goodbye to this dystopian universe just yet, but because it's going to be so nerve-wracking and heartbreaking.

Where is sleep? How can I find it tonight?

New look for krissyfied dot com

19 November 2014

Hello! Did you notice anything different around here?

If you're visiting for the first time and thus have no point of comparison, hello and welcome! But if you have been coming here for quite a while now, you might have noticed the new layout. (If you're reading through a feed reader, kindly visit the website now as it looks pretty, hee.) 

Or okay, here's a screenshot ❤ 
I suddenly grew sick of my old layout. I have been using the same template for years now, just tweaking the color schemes and changing the banner every now and then. I liked it, but all of a sudden it just looked too cluttered for me. I looked for a simple white layout I liked, and came across this one made by Leah. I am using my old banner from my old template, but as Rose suggested I am thinking of painting an artwork I can put up in there. I also used a free washi tape digital design I found online, tinkered with the codes a bit, sorted 1,200+ posts into new and simplified categories, and voila! Did you like it?

I also have a new About me page. Care to take a peek? Let me know what you think!

And that's it. Just a quick note, really. Hope you guys are having fun! Who's excited to see the Mockingjay Part 1 movie? I'm watching tomorrow!

About asking

17 November 2014

When I was a little girl, I was wildly curious about everything. I was that annoying kid who has an incessant and endless barrage of questions about things, how they work, and why. I wanted to know everything. But as I grew up, I became more reserved and retreated more into my shell. I was still wildly curious but instead of asking, I relied on books and the Internet to point me to the answers to my questions. I learned to be more independent (in this pursuit of knowledge, at least), and acquired skills on how to get the information I need. "Google before you speak" became my new "Think before you leap." 

But then, I also know that asking help from other people is not really a bad thing and I should't have to bite my tongue all the time. In my line of work where I always get to interact with people in person and online, I had to develop my social skills and get over my shyness (that can be terribly crippling at times).

After all...

I'm sharing this because I got a Fully Booked Discount Card today that gives an outright 10% discount for cash purchases of books. And what is the significance of a discount card to this hullabaloo about asking, you ask? Well, it's because you can only get one if you collect P15,000 worth of purchases in Fully Booked within one year, or you spend P10,000 on a single visit, or you pay a fee of P700. Pretty costly, if you ask me, especially since I've started buying less "tangible" books ever since I bought myself a Kindle. The only "tangible" books I buy now are those I personally consider as collectibles, like Neil Patrick Harris' Choose Your Own Autobiography. So yes, the Discount Card will cost me a pretty penny that I'm not sure I can earn back if the card will last me for just a couple of years, which is usually how long discount and loyalty cards last before they expire and go up for renewal. Renewal, meaning, you'll have to pay again. Maybe if the Discount Card offers a lifetime membership, then I will gladly sign my name in blood. I've always been curious but never got to ask (and this information is not available on their website).

But today, as I picked up my copy of My True Love Gave to Me that I have reserved in their Greenbelt branch, I asked the Book Specialist on duty my question about the length of validity of these Discount Cards, and he told me it's a lifetime membership! My heart, my heart! I confirmed this with the cashier, and paid an additional P700 to avail the card right then and there! She then took 10% off my purchase today so I only paid a little over P700 for my new beautiful hardback.

Now I'm thinking of all the money I could've saved if only I had the gall to ask this question years ago, huhu. I mean, it's not that big that I could've bought a house, but it would've been substantial enough to buy myself more books to fill this imaginary future house with. (The most expensive book I ever bought, I bought from Fully Booked!) I seriously wanted to kick myself in the face.

Oh well. I guess it's never too late to start maximizing my Fully Booked Discount Card's perks. 

So yes, before assuming anything, ask. There's nothing wrong with asking if you're not sure about something, especially when it comes to important things like your job or how to do the Heimlich Maneuver properly. Ask.

As for me, a brand new copy of Neil Gaiman's The Sleeper and the Spindle is waiting for me to buy it.

Scratching the itch (to make)

09 November 2014

I am happiest when I make. Weaving words is still my favorite medium of self-expression, but no matter what I'm making – prose or poetry or crafts (my 28th How I Met Your Mother-themed birthday party made use of a lot of props I DIY'd) – I'm always in the zone when I'm making something out of nothing.

This weekend, I turned down two invitations to go out because I wanted to stay home and make. I can do this anytime, I know, but given my default staying-in-front-of-the-computer-all-day-even-during-non-work days state, I don't get to create as much as I like. This time though, the urge was so strong I knew I couldn't resist it. Seriously, you guys, it *felt* like my hands were the ones directing me to get all my supplies from storage and start tinkering with paint and nibs and rubber and ink.

First on the agenda: watercolor. I haven't picked up a brush since I attended Liz's workshop more than a month ago, so I was afraid any skills I learned that day have already gone rusty. BUT I'm pretty happy with the two paintings I came up with yesterday.

A swing-set because I've always been fascinated  by them and because they match my current solitary mood
(Curse you, PMS!)
Adding in a starry sky and not being quite successful...
"Swing-set under the Stars" in watercolor
This is for my friend Anne, who requested for a starry sky painting from me even when I didn't think I could do it.
I know the stars look like fireflies LOL, but I love its mix of cartoonish whimsy, if I say so myself. After all, I didn't even expect I would be able to come up with anything close to this. For next time, Liz suggested for me to use white acrylic or gouache for maximum opacity, or to splatter masking fluid on unpainted paper to be peeled off after the painting's done to leave white spots that will serve as stars.

The next  painting I did immediately after I finished this one was a little bit more personal and inspired by the loneliness and isolation I was feeling boxed into.

I started by penciling in an amateur cityscape
... and then I painted the buildings with black.
"There's got to be someone for my soul somewhere" in watercolor
I'm not even going to dwell on the explanation behind this piece. I'm just glad that Crafter Extraordinaire/ Watercolor Mastergirl Meream loved the wash. It's actually my favorite out of everything I've painted so far.

I also tried to carve but I couldn't think of anything I wanted a rubber stamp of at the moment so I ended up with just a shape that looks like it's trying hard to be a heart.

Today, I practiced calligraphy. I also haven't played with my Speedball nib-holder and nibs since I attended Eula's workshop at the beginning of the year so I'm positive this wouldn't be good. (I have a problem with starting hobbies and not sustaining them H E L P.)

I just crossed my fingers (figuratively) and hoped for the best. Worse comes to worst I'd end up with a few sheets of paper with squiggly lines, and seeing as how I can still use them to recycle and make handmade paper then I'm okay with it.

My favorite out of the eleventy thousand times I tried to write 'hello'
Well, what do you know. Even the crappiest handwriting looks pretty when done in calligraphy. I also wrote down 'peace, love, & lip gloss' a lot and there are several 'gloss' calligraphy words I liked that I wish I wrote them down on nicer paper and not on this practice graphing paper.

I'm glad I also got some writing done. (If there's anything I wish I can make, I wish I can make cupcakes but I don't have an oven, heh. Oh well.) I loved this weekend and hope I can get more weekends like this. I'm happiest when I make, and I wish I can make a lot more things I can show off in the world wide web be proud of.

My happy places

08 November 2014

I am naturally wired to be happy - or at least always strive to be happy - so when things get a little bit crazy crazier than usual, I turn to my fool-proof happy places.

Libraries and bookstores
I'm lucky because I've always been in the vicinity of bookstores. The first time I read The Fault in Our Stars was on a Kindle reading app when I didn't have a Kindle yet. I loved the first few chapters so much that I dressed up, went to the nearest bookstore, and bought myself a hardbound copy of the book. Now, after particularly stressful work-days, I just drop by any of the malls in the Makati CBD and let myself be surrounded by books. Most of the time, I leave with a new book or two.

Aside from the books I scored from the Philippine Literary Festival 2014, my most recent literary acquisition is Choose Your Own Autobiography by Neil Patrick Harris.

Barney Stinson approves.
Written in second person and inspired by the Choose Your Own Adventure books we used to devour as a child, Choose Your Own Autobiography lets you live NPH's life and make his choices for him! Will you achieve fame and success? Love? Failure? Or death by piranhas? Just make the right choices and you're good!

It's such a fun read! Neil Patrick Harris is definitely one of my top favorite celebrities ever.

For me, bath-times are sacred pockets of time within the day with which to prepare for the day ahead and to refresh before retiring for the day. My current favorite bath-time companions are The Body Shop Spa Wisdom™ Africa Ximenia & Salt Scrub and  PHILIPPA Aciete de Coco No. 6 Rosemary & Peppermint soap.

Zen from scents
I have a hyper-active sense of smell and I'm very picky when it comes to scents, but the new Fijian Water Lotus range from The Body Shop captured my heart (and nose!) hook, line, and sinker! One whiff and I'm reminded of the beach - another one of my happy places. (Can't wait for our beach trip happening at the end of the month!) I have the Fijian Water Lotus Body Lotion (250 mL/ P995) and Fijian Water Lotus Eau de Toilette (50 mL/ P1,395) and using them instantly transports me to where there's sun, sea, sand, and palm trees. I love it. Visit a The Body Shop branch near you, try it on, and see what I mean. Additional info: the Fijian Water Lotus Eau de Toilette and Fragrance Mist (100 mL/ P995) contain 100% organic Community Fair Trade alcohol from Cotopaxi, Ecuador.

I have a lot more like the chapel my The Breakfast Club-mates and I go to before work, concert stadiums, and cinemas. How about you? Hope you're in your happy place today!

How old are you?

05 November 2014

I'm not gonna lie. Getting surprised reactions from people who didn't know how old I am makes my heart sing. ♥ That doesn't mean I'm ashamed of my age, of course. I'm just saying it's nice to receive compliments that I look younger for my age.

But YES, as this cake says:
I am 28 years old and I am beautiful.
Thank you, Dove.
New year blues I get, but never birthday blues. Instead, I look forward to each and every birthday, when I'm given extra-special treatment just because it's the day commemorating my grand entrance into this world.

Lily and I share the same enthusiasm.

Not all women can say the same, though. Just watch this short video:

Women become increasingly hesitant to share their age, unlike their younger counterparts. Where does this come from? I'll hazard a guess that it's from our society's weird obsession with everything younger, glossier, and newer. As Barney Stinson says, "New is always better."

I'll just go ahead and say it: youth is overrated. It would be cool to go back and do everything all over again as guided by my present self, sure, but that's impossible. Besides, I'd just rather not go through all those awkward and angsty and reckless teenage years all over again.

I am 28. I am nowhere near what my teenage self had envisioned I would be by this age (neither am I a mother nor a wife even, and I still don't have my own library nor am I editing my own magazine), but I *think* I'm doing okay. I am doing well in my job, I've managed to have a healthy work-life balance, I enjoy my many hobbies, and even though I don't have romantic prospects at the moment I can honestly say I'm fine despite momentary bouts of loneliness when there's no one to go to movies or concerts with. Late 20s is a good stage to be in, at least for me, since I get to stand on my own two feet while applying the lessons I learned early on.

A dependable skincare regimen and never forgetting sunscreen don't hurt, either.

This has been a very interesting year so far and I am thankful. I am 28 years old and even with these eyebags I am beautiful. Thanks for reminding me and for everything that you do, Dove!

How old are you? Are you proud of your age? Join the conversation!

"Do not regret growing older. It is a privilege denied to many."

My worst heartbreak, magnified more than twenty thousand times.

03 November 2014

What was it like to lose my Uncle Karl, who's one of my favorite persons in the world?

Like my worst heartbreak, magnified more than twenty thousand times.

We buried Kuya yesterday. I couldn't go to work last Monday but couldn't miss going to the office for the rest of the week, so after I got off work I went straight to Funeraria Central to assist during his wake. It was one blurry and hazy week of going to work, lack of sleep and appetite, and utter sadness for our whole family.

It was a week that we wanted to end soon but not really, for even though we wanted to stop feeling sad, we also didn't know how to say goodbye. Still, during that week that didn't seem to end, we found little pockets of peace and happiness.

We were touched by some who came from far away places like Tagaytay and Laguna just to say their final goodbyes.

Uncle Karl's eldest son Loui went home from Dubai
Shown in photo with our second cousins Gillian and Lorraine, who are twins
We were thrilled to see family members we haven't seen for some time. 

My brother Ken and my cousins Migui, Jerico, Gabriel, and Loui
Loui and Migui are my uncle's sons, while Jerico and Gabriel are my aunt Jean's
We were awed by the kindness of our friends, who came to support us during this difficult time even though they didn't get the chance to know my uncle personally. My heart is also filled with gratitude at the numerous emails and messages I received. Thank you.

“What separates us from the animals, what separates us from the chaos,
is our ability to mourn people we’ve never met.”
― David Levithan, Love Is the Higher Law

With Marsha
With Ralph, Chum, Sheila, Ahyen, and Mike
With RG and Third
Finally, we were amazed by the many people who flocked to the funeral parlor and the church, all telling stories about how great my uncle had been to them. Mr. Congeniality in death as in life, y'all.

His high school batchmates prepared a mini tribute for him on Thursday night, while the family did ours on Friday
The San Jose de Navotas Parish Church is a huge church (seriously, google it!) but he managed to fill it with people who want to pay their final respects and say farewell

"There is sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than  ten thousand tongues. They are messengers of overwhelming grief and unspeakable love."
― Washington Irving

My worst heartbreak, magnified more than twenty thousand times.

... But we find comfort in knowing that he's in a much better place now. I was feeling sad when I was looking out at the gorgeous sunset the other day because he wasn't there and will never be there to see them again, but I'm sure he has a better vantage point from up there. We find comfort in knowing he had a lot of true friends who are sharing our grief with us. Our reunions and New Years will never be the same, but we find comfort in knowing our family will always be there for one another and will remain as close-knit as we  always have.

We find comfort in knowing he was loved.

We love you, Kuya.

“Sorrow comes in great waves... but rolls over us, and though it may almost smother us, it leaves us. And we know that if it is strong, we are stronger, inasmuch as it passes and we remain.”
― Henry James