Sunday, December 25, 2011

from this family to yours ....

... A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS!

the gifts i've bought have been opened and appreciated, and the noche buena feast has been devoured to put it mildly. i've "recouped" my investment by cash gifts from family members who love me enough not to deprive me of the usual cash gift despite me nearing three and a half decades. tita nilda opened her luggage and bequeathed me with new and not-so-new clothes, including this lovely calvin klein dress i'm hoping to wear on the first day of work for 2012. i think i've had a perma smile on my face since i woke up this morning.

but the biggest blessing, more than all the little things and the big things, is the fact that our family is almost complete this christmas, and with tito mau arriving tomorrow, all that's missing is my mom. i miss her dearly, but i am thankful that the universe (aka GOD) made it possible for this wonderful Christmas to happen.

so, from the entire Villanueva clan, wishing you a very Merry Christmas and praying that your Christmas weekend will be every bit as blessed as ours is turning out to be.

Friday, December 09, 2011

i'm alive

well, barely. so much to do, so much to share, so many details nagging my brain right now. let's just say that if i could, i'd tell you how incredibly fantastic life has been to me, every single detail of it, and how each day now - all the stress and bad things aside - makes me want to thank god over and over and over again for paving the path to bring me to where i am today.

okay, i'm not yet rich. and i haven't found the one. and i still need to lose a LOT of weight. but i'm happy. or should i use the word "content" as for once, i don't think i'm craving for something i cannot have (well, except for forever love -- which is what my officemates know him as) and i'm as happy as a clam just basking in whatever the tides bring in. you know what i mean?

in any case, and if you're interested, i'm:

* addicted to Earle's Delicatessen (i had to glance at the paper bag so i can spell it correctly, haha!) so much so that i wanted to bring home an entire slab. yes, i'm that bad.

* i have half a sandwich and a donut waiting to be eaten ... which i'll do as i continue reviewing/rewriting this contract that's making me crazy

* papa's here and i'm looking forward to the weekend at tita mayu's

i promise that i'll be posting more stuff soon.

p.s. sorry for unanswered tweets, unmoderated comments, and general absence. i promise to make it up to you all soon!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

four years later ...

it's not like i know anyone from leyte. except imelda marcos, i suppose. but everyone knows imelda, right?

so when i first went there in 2007 for a leaders' training for my catholic community, i never thought i'd utter the words, "i shall return," general douglas macarthur style.

{leyte landing! finally}

but somehow, four years after my first ever domestic flight (i've flown international before but never domestic so it was such a big deal for me then!) to leyte, i came back.

the plane left at 4:20 a.m. which meant that just about the time the sun started to light up the world, the plane was landing on tacloban, leyte.



{tacloban runway}

it was a full day. left tacloban at 6-ish (bag took forever to come out of the plane!), slept the entire two-hour drive to ormoc, ate a quick breakfast and changed from wee-hours-of-the-morning traveler self to i-am-so-competent-i-can-do-this-in-my-sleep labor lawyer self, did an 8-hour lecture to the businessmen of ormoc, so 12 hours later, my feet were killing me, the smile had melted off my face, and all i could do was gaze out into the beautiful hotel-scape that holds so many memories for me from four years ago.

{sunset at ormoc villa hotel}

just like macarthur, i did return. and as all the memories came flooding back, i've realized that it's not only good to be back, it's great to realize how far i've gone since the last time i was here.

Friday, November 11, 2011

harbat time!

allow me to spill a secret.

my bag collection is half-fueled by tita celia. and when i say half-fueled by tita celia, what i mean is that i go home to cabanatuan, try to borrow as many pretty bags as i can, and hope that she forgets all about them.

it's been known to work in the past. don't tell her but i still have her gucci bag with a bamboo handle and a dkny bag from long ago. then again, i don't think she. really forgets. after all, when i was trying to make harbat another wallet last weekend, she did remind me that i got her ferragamo wallet and claimed it as my own. so much for that.

in any case, when i was in cabanatuan for the all saints' day weekend, tita celia probably felt extra generous when i told her about my quest to fabulousity. i guess she didn't want me to look too dukha amidst the fabulousity in makati. or she probably just loves me for being the only grandchild who went home. in any case, she offered me this bag to take home.


a gorgeous black kate spade bag. it was the perfect size (especially if you're just like me who brings a book with her everywhere) and the perfect color (remember - i don't have a decent black bag) and the perfect brand (sigh, kate spade is ♥).


and you know what was more perfect about it? the fact that it had a polka-dotted hot pink lining. not only am i in love with hot pink, polka dots happen to be one of my favorite patterns on earth. put them together and it's awesome sauce. put them together in a kate spade bag, well that's awesome some times 2.

*sigh* if heaven was this place where all your materialistic dreams come true (of course i know it isn't, so i'm saying if it were, you know, for the sake of literary license), there'd be pretty kate spade bags with pretty linings floating about for the taking. yes, that would be niiiiiiice.

what's even more awesome was that she first offered this lovely stabilo yellow kate spade bag to me. it's the bigger, even more gorgeous version of the black bag, except that it came with specific "return on 8 november 2011" instructions. uhm, that would be tough, i thought, so i simply deferred borrowing that for now.


be warned, stabilo yellow kate spade bag, that one day, i'd have you in my grubby hands and i'd get to pretend your mine until tita celia remembers ☺ mwahahaha.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

placeholders

{miniature chinese terracotta warriors}

If there's one thing that I learned from working with my Justice, it's that travel will never be a waste of one's time and resources. And if there's one place that piqued my interest from her many stories, it'll be Xi'an's terracotta warriors.

My new company's personnel policy won't vest me with any vacation days until 2013 when I'll hopefully be able to finally visit my parents in the US. Then there's still Cambodia on my travel bucket list. I do know that a visit to China, whether sooner or later, is in order, and that one day, I'll be face-to-face with the full sized terracotta warriors.

Until then, these miniature ones will have to do.

*Thanks to Tin for bringing home these miniature versions for me. Your friendship is too precious for words.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Fino is ♥

Long before I attempted to achieve the “too expensive”, my high school self longed for something from Fino. I think it was the checkered lining that did me in, but for some reason, the simple, clean, and classic lines of the exterior matched with the pretty inside lining made me all warm and fuzzy inside.

Warm, fuzzy, and in major want.

The first Fino product I owned was a wallet, and I think I was already in college when I bought it. I can’t remember now if it was the fruit of a summer job, Christmas money, or saved up allowance. But I do know that when I finally toted home that brown and white paper bag carrying a beautifully crafted brown leather wallet inside, my heart was singing wonderful symphonies.

Over the years, I’ve amassed various Fino products. Ironically, I’ve only ever bought small leather goods, the biggest being this beautiful red planner that I used to bring with me everywhere. The rest – thank goodness, said my wallet – were presents. Some items (like my favorite red key chain that I bought for spike and the first ever Fino wallet) were retired or given away. Some items – especially the bags – just grew prettier with age.

Like that first wallet, each Fino item comes with a memory. My first bag was given by the Martian, went with me to countless classes in the UP College of Law and hearings in the QC Hall of Justice. My second bag was a Christmas gift from Tita Celia, most likely over-generous cause it was bought on her first date with Sir. My pencil case was a gift from one of my brother's longest relationships ever and my matching coin purse and key chain were from students who thought my birthday was in February. And the toiletry case ... sigh ... that was from the pilot.

I've always wanted to add a third Fino bag to my collection except that the first time I attempted to, my friend prevailed over me and told me to save the money instead, so I used it to open a savings account. My second attempt was foiled by another well-meaning friend and, sad to say, lack of immediately available funds.

The third time, I contemplated between something short-term (hence, non-Fino) and long term. And while the call of the short-term (a long weekend was coming up and there was this bag and shoe that I wanted like crazy) was screaming inside my head incessantly, in the end logic (not everyone might agree though, haha!) prevailed and once more, I went home with that white-and-brown paper bag.

{happiness guaranteed}

When I first resigned from my last job, I knew I wanted to be like my former boss who got something major from her last paycheck. Since my last paycheck wasn't going to be that major, I owed it to myself to be realistic. A Chanel 2.55 or a Celine Luggage Tote, while horribly desired, would most definitely be out of the question. So I picked the next best thing, and something that has eluded me for years: my third Fino bag.

{to quote Barney Stinson, It's going to be legen ... wait for it}

I must admit though that the thought of spending that much on a bag scared me. And while i'd done it before, that was (1) a long-term loan from Tita Mayu and (2) an LV. In the end, though, it was the childhood dream coupled with the proven quality that won me over. My first Fino bag is roughly 8 years old and is still as fabulous as the day it first appeared on my doorstep. Who was I to doubt that whatever bag I purchase from Fino wouldn't enjoy the same longevity?

{DARY! yep, it's pink. what else did you expect?}

Okay, not everyone would agree that a hot pink would be the best color for a forever bag. Then again, my first Fino is red and the second is baby blue. Both have been used more time than I care to count. Black bags are boring, and black bags are typical forever bags. I want this forever bag to be all about me, and when it's all about me, well, we know it's going to be pink.

{the standard Fino metal plate}

Well, pink and Fino. Fino is ♥.

Okay, I'll admit that spending my hard-earned money on pink bag did scare me a bit. And I'll admit that I also wanted the black version as I do not have a decent black bag in my closet. I knew that if I were to get my money's worth, it would have to be in a color (or non-color, if you want to be technical about it) that basically goes with everything. The black bag did have the most exquisite red lining ...

... Then I opened this bag and found that it was lined in orange. Ooooohhhhlaaaaalaaaaa! My absolute favorite combination. It doesn't get any better than this.

{the deciding factor: orange lining!}

SOLD.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

the look of things to come

You know what all the fashion books say – a person shouldn’t necessarily follow trends; rather, a person should find her personal style and go with it. So, for the most part, I’ve tried. Even if that means a lot of hot pinks, blacks, and white tops in my closet.

But notwithstanding my own attempts to stick to a look that I admittedly love, at the end of the day, I can’t help but pick on the vibe that comes from my bosses. So, there was the preppy look when I was at the Court of Appeals, the laid-back lawyer look when I worked for a firm (seriously – one time I came to work in a dress – admittedly to go to an interview with another job – one of the partners had to ask if I had a hearing that morning. Clearly, dressing up wasn’t the norm), and the serious love for bling, shoes, and bags at my last job. You know what this chameleon-like tendency amounts to? An inordinate amount of shopping on the first few weeks on the job.

Or months … I’m a girl. You know how it’s like.

In any case, the utter lack of suits and formal shoes that should have dominate my work wardrobe from the get go has finally caught up with me. Where I work now, it seems that all the male lawyers are in a barong everyday and the female ones are in suits. Except for Fridays, I don’t think I’ve ever seen my immediate boss not wearing a suit. Come to think of it, even the intermediate boss wears either a suit or a barong on any given day. And let’s not even begin to discuss super big boss. I don’t even think she owns a pair of jeans.

So, in the spirit of blending in (okay, fine, also in the spirit of having an excuse to shop for pretty things), I got myself a few wardrobe essentials.


{from l to r: old navy, folded and hung, and an unbranded coat}

Yes, those are three black coats. Yes, I know that they’re redundant. No, I don’t think it’s dumb to get redundant things. They’re made from different fabrics, and they’re all different cuts, and they’re all pretty. So no, you don’t get to judge me spending money on three black coats.

{from l to r: charles and keith, dexter, janylin}

Yes, I already have shoes, maybe even more shoes that I can wear in a month. But when (1) shoes are on sale or (2) they have skid proof soles and are pillows on your feet or (3) sport a style that you absolutely cannot resist, I am absolutely helpless. To my defense, the rightmost pair cost me Php299 only. It would’ve been a crime not to have bought it.

Before I left my last job, my boss had specific instructions that in order to finally bait the man of my dreams, I should step up my game. And, if that means learning how to curl my lashes in the morning, teetering around in heels, and making sure that I more than just comb my hair in the morning, then bring it on. After all, to my spending-oriented mind, it only means that I am being given the perfect excuse to shop.


{beribboned green matthews flats and sparkly wool juan flats}

P.S. Before you think i've gone all black and boring on you (what can I say? Black goes well with my favorite hot pink color and makes me look thin), I've got me some sparkly shoes as well. Staid and formal as my new office may be, there's such a thing known as casual fridays where my motto is bring on the bling ... albeit in the form of shoes which can be hidden beneath the desk and will allow me to appear all business-like notwithstanding the party on my feet.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

if you weren't out of the country, i'd tell you ...


{heels!}

* i'm totally loving my new job especially all the lovely lunch places (cheap and not-so-cheap) i've been trying out with my new lunch buddies. of course, i've challenged myself that i'd be svelte by the time i get my regularization papers but at the rate were attacking the makati cbd lunch areas, i'm beginning to doubt myself.

* then again, if i need a major motivation to diet, it's going to be the fact that it's soooooo fun to dress up at work, and wear major heels. it doesn't hurt that the commute to work is just too divine (so quick, so fast, so painless, and i'm dropped off five meters from the building's main entrance ... it couldn't be any more amazing except if i were to get a car that would drop me off five meters from the building's main entrance. in due time, rosa, in due time.) that wearing four-inch heels aren't really a problem anymore.

* a friday night chat with new friends made me finally realize that i've been short-changing myself all of these years. and while it did leave me sad for a bit, ultimately, i know that everything's for the best. i exchanged a bazillion text messages with tita mayu and gay about it (and with you probably had you been home) and they both said the same thing. ☺ of course, i didn't truly realize the wisdom of their words until i was at mass this afternoon. yes, i am a slow learner.

* i'm addicted to game of thrones which i watched straight through last weekend and bought the book last monday and i'm now planning to read more about medieval nights and what not and how good it is to finally be reading a lot again. been too busy with stuff that i haven't finished book 1 yet, but i am so excited to buy books 2 to 5 and can't wait to read them over the next couple of long weekends.

it's funny how you don't really realize how much you unload/share/text/rely on a person until that person goes on an extended vacation and it's not as wonderful sending text messages when said person won't really reply. so i pity that person when he comes back from vacation because his ears are so going to bleed.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

faux-ductive weekend

so last weekend it was all rain and what not and definitely a perfect day to sleep in but for some reason i woke up early.

and even weirder was the fact that i felt compelled to take on a project. like organizing my closet. will wonders never cease.


it wasn't exactly the world's most organized closet. in fact it was far from it. and while i knew where everything was, it was horrible. so i took everything out.

when everything was piled onto my bed, i wiped down that closet, tried to figure out what would go in here, and put everything back.

it took a while - i was busy catching up on my internet reading and doing the laundry and exchanging text messages with my friends - but eventually, it got fixed.

put a rack inside so that i don't hang my cardigans.


and, viola, good job. an organized closet. *pats self on back*

then again, who am i kidding, my room's a horrible mess.


and i've got the other side of my closet to tacklet yet.
maybe tomorrow?

or maybe not.


p.s. here's a little something from my past which i've kept till now -- a calendar inside my closet where i list the day's outfit. something that prevents me from doing something i'm bound to do: wear my favorite outfits over and over and over again!



Monday, October 10, 2011

good girls don't finish last

{me and gay - nice girls both, except she's much nicer!}

dear gay,

on a particularly sad day, i remember you telling me that good girls finish last. and while i remember telling you that it isn't true, there have been bazillions of times when i didn't exactly believe that myself.

since i met you in 2005, we've been through good times and bad, including liking "mitsa", buying a "special" present from rustan's, waiting for the results of the bar examinations, and countless text messages. you were the one who encouraged me to leave the court of appeals to become a "real lawyer" and you were instrumental in helping me leave the firm when it was time to go. so i couldn't imagine a better person to share one of the most amazing weeks of my life than you.

thank you for your encouragement, for replying to my bazillion text messages, and for listening to me go on and on and on about probably the same things over and over again ... like the window with a view! and thank you for not getting bored even though i've discussed nothing with you but the impending move, the actual move, and the first week at work. thank you for your patience and your kindness and your understanding. after all, who else will i share solsagamnida stories and issues with except for the person who made sure to look up the korean word and actually memorize it?

neither of us know what the future brings - if the weather is unpredictable as it is now, i'm sure our careers will be unpredictable as well. but if there's one thing i'm sure of, it's that your september 16 and my october 1 are both proof positive that good girls don't finish last; good girls finish in god's perfect time.

much love,

rosa

Sunday, October 09, 2011

here's to the new me


i don't exactly remember when this annual report arrived at my doorstep, but being the irresponsible homeowner i am, it basically stayed inside its envelope, right beside my front door (it got wet in the rain when it first arrived so i didn't want to bring it inside the house - excuses, excuses!) up until last sunday. so friends would come and they'd ask, "don't you want to bring that in?" and i'd say, "oh it's perfectly fine there." story of my life.

well, it stayed there, until last sunday. cause that's when i realized that inside that envelope contained information that -- given the career change -- is now important to me. so, as i sat on my doorstep waiting for a friend to pick me up, i started going each and every line of that annual report. but, while the figures and the information i picked up were interesting, i was taken aback by the words on the cover of the annual report:

it's not just about moving forward.
it's about changing the game.

and that, my dear friends, was how the past week was like.

i arrived a little before 8 am - the commute from home to work is now DIVINE i tell you - and the staff (who i met the afternoon of my orientation) welcomed me warmly and ushered me into my "room". now, it technically isn't a room - it's made of cubicle walls, but it has a free standing desk and visitors' chairs, and cabinets and what-nots - but 11 out of the 13 years i've worked, i've been ushered to either a desk or a cubicle on my first day of work. so imagine how it felt like to finally have a room where i can bring a lamp, a couple of personal items, and a hidden stack of shoes and not feel the least bit cramped!

but if having a room was the moving forward part, here's the game changer: i have a window. a giant kick-ass window, where, if i tilt my head properly, i'd see louis vuitton and if i close my eyes a bit, i'd imagine hermes calling out "rosa! rosa!". i have NEVER had a window, not unless you count the window near my desk at the CA which had a view of the green roof of the building beside mine. so no, we're not counting that. we're counting this giant kick-ass window with a view of louis vuitton as MY FIRST WINDOW

all shallowness aside - which is truly what the last two paragraphs are all about - indeed, this leap is life-changing (which, ironically is one of the company's taglines: "we're changing lives"). i get up every morning with a better sense of who i am, with a stronger belief in my own self-worth. i enter my room, and as i open the blinds to breathe in the view, i utter a short prayer thanking god for giving me this job. and all throughout the day, little things like budding friendships with new co-workers, a very pleasant boss, the male secretary strutting around in wedges (yes, and that's the subject of another post), and learning all about the business slowly but surely, i still can't believe that i have been blessed way beyond than what i deserve.

there was this minor hiccup in my week and i exchanged several SMS with friends over that. then came saturday morning and i saw something that felt like god's way of telling me that no, i'm absolutely forbidden to complain.

and you know what, god is right. i've moved forward. the game has changed. october 1 marked the switch to the new me. why should i even bother thinking about the hiccups?

Thursday, September 29, 2011

today...

... i was honored to have been invited to eat lunch with two of the people i respect most at work. i know how crazy busy they are, and yet they called me, set aside time, and treated me to a wonderful lunch. crazy amazing.

... i got to run errands that usually fall in between the cracks, including going to this out-of-the-way bank to finally close an account.

... i spent time "preparing" for the new job. translation: a bit of shopping. two dresses, both on sale. good job me!

... i witnessed an act of kindness inside the bus. the world is still an amazing place to be in.

yesterday, i went to work for the last time. tomorrow's my "official" last day at the old job. by saturday, i'll "officially" be employed by my new employer. and on monday, i'll be saying goodbye to the trike-fx-bus-mrt-long walk commute to work and will be saying hello to a trike-shuttle-cross the street. things are ending, and things are starting. but today, today was just perfect.

it's time to say goodbye

{biggest send-off sign ever!}

today marks the first day of my pseudo-unemployment. yesterday marked the last day i had to officially tender work for my present employer but since 6 hours was spent doing a lecture and 2 hours finishing up last-minute meetings and turn-overs i didn't even get to say goodbye to any of the people on my floor. at around 630 pm, after packing up the last of my stuff in a big recyclable bag, i bid adieu to the company which i called home for the last 363 days.

after all my countdowns (on FB, on my bathroom mirror, on text messages to good friends) i can't believe that THE day is almost upon me! my aunt asked if i had gone out to get new kick ass outfits (uhm no) and my friends are all asking if i'm excited over the move but, oddly enough, i've lost all the hoo-hah and i know feel oddly scared. thank goodness we had that orientation where i got to meet my "batchmates" and they're all cool and real and nice so i'm hoping that it's going to be all good. i'm keeping my fingers crossed!

the quiet i'm-slipping-out-now-and-you-won't-see-me-again-tomorrow thing notwithstanding, i did have a wonderful, intimate, and totally undeserved dinner party at gwapo boss' house last monday. while the rain was attacking the floor-to-ceiling windows of his gorgeous condominium mansion (yes, it's not a unit - it's bigger than my single detached home and it's floating hundreds of meters up in the air), we were inside partaking of yummy food (and chicken that oddly tastes like chicken joy!) and drinking champagne. his toast and jewel's toast were the kind that makes you all warm and fuzzy and these two amazing people loving me and my work (or so i'd like to think) are more than anything else all the random people in the office can do for me. i don't need quantity, i need quality!

funny thing though cause here i was being all sad last monday since meetings prevented me from spending time with my favorite subsidiary head and his two sidekicks and this morning i get this call from his secretary telling me that papa smurf wants to talk to me. so i was waiting on the line while i was scrambling to get my "work notebook" -- i was prepared to update him about the status of the turn-over i did with the other lawyer -- when it turned out he felt bad they never got to say a proper goodbye and would i be free for a super-dooper (okay - not so super-dooper anymore now that i've blogged about it, haha) quiet intimate send-off? oh wow. yes, even if it means driving all 30 kms to quezon city in traffic.

so fine, my ego may actually demand more than one send-off. seriously though, what's important is that i'm able to properly say goodbye to the people i loved from that company the most, and after monday's dinner and this prospective lunch with papa smurf and his crew, it'd be all i need.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

random friday goodness


{so the picture has nothing to do with the post,
but admit it, it made you look twice, right?
this is an old picture from 2009 i think}


since my days aren't terribly exciting these days (translation: i basically spent the last three days at home), allow me to share with you random stuff which happened wednesday, thursday, and friday.

♥ while the e! channel could be fun if you fit it on random times of your day like when you're getting ready for work, it has very few shows which they rotate over and over again. this means i've basically seen the fashion police emmy edition ten billion times in a span of three days and i can actually speak the lines of all the hosts by thursday lunch.

♥ i had the bright idea of organizing my house -- so that i'd have something to show for the three days off from work -- and i ended up making things worse. i AM proud, however, that (1) i got the car washed; (2) i washed the seat covers; (3) i prepared a present for the HR manager of the new company who i'm wooing to volunteer with us at tuloy; and (4) i was able to convince my brother to come in, and to hopefully clean out his room so that i can (finally!) get some productive use out of it. that last part, we still have to see.

♥ i love atis so much that i will constantly press and press it in the hope that it will ripen with me doing that. so far, it hasn't worked; rather, it's just gotten totally squished and sad. yes, i am an impatient person.

♥ trust that the day your frustration reaches i-am-so-ready-to-give-up is the day that heaven sends you five billion signals, basically saying, "if you're still not listening with all of these messages coming your way, then you must be totally dead." okay, okay, i'm listening!

♥ probably since there's no real food at home (translation: i haven't eaten rice since forever), people said that i lost weight. maybe i should stay at home more often.

happy weekend, universe!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

this is what happens when i don't have to go to work


{thank you for the warning}

first, a back story. i got the offer on a friday (which was a QC holiday) so by the time i actually saw the job offer and got to talk to my boss, i was a couple of days past the 15th and a couple of days before the 30th. translation: either i don't comply with the 30-day notice or i tender a more-than-30-day notice resignation. or i could opt to tender a 30-day notice and then spend a couple of days jobless. since (1) i won't do a less-than-30-day notice (after all, i teach labor law and this is one of the provisions that gets asked a lot) and (2) i can't afford not to work, even for a couple of days, i opted for the more-than-30-days notice.

which brings me to why i don't have to go to work: turns out, i have a couple of leaves (6.5 days actually) that i can consume as my terminal leave. and since being at home for an entire week doing nothing (yes, there's something to be done but it's so not me), i broke up my leaves so i could go to work (and not be so out of the loop, haha!) and have exaggeratedly long weekends. this week, my "weekend" began on a wednesday. coolness, right?

i was supposed to go to singapore (feeling rich, i know!) but i realized since it's not very prudent so i nixed that option. i was supposed to go to cabanatuan but i told my aunt i have to work on a couple of things that would require me to be out and about on weekdays. so yesterday, after puttering around the house for a bit (translation: finishing build-a-lot 2 on the PC), i showered and left at 10 to work on my errands. on the agenda: bank, have my portable dvd player repaired, and find the perfect small table for my new printer/scanner (since my desk is already tiny as it is).

who knew that finding a small table for the printer will be that complicated? in the process of looking for one, i ended up buying four rolls of wrapping paper, sticker paper, board paper for business cards i want to print out (yes, i have an inordinate love affair with paper), cute foldback clips with hearts, unusual cable ties with a bird that looks the the twitter bird, piles and piles of boxes (which i intend to use for my christmas presents), a new usb (i told myself i'm investing on my "sideline" by getting a usb that'll be exclusively have all of my lecture-related materials), and a chair (yes, a new chair, totally unplanned, i know!). still no table. so, while i scoffed at my friend's suggestion (who i dragged to go on a second table hunting expedition yesterday afternoon), i did end up plonking the printer onto its own box (which was actually a perfect fit for the spot - turns out a table wouldn't have fit there!) after fortifying it with a wood-backed corkboard i had since i was a freshman in college. as it's sandwiched between my desk and my bookshelf, the possibility that someone will see the totally inappropriate scanner/printer storage device is next to zero. i envision it'll stay there until (1) i get a bigger desk, (2) move my "home office" somewhere in the house, or (3) the box deteriorates. i'm hoping either 1 or 2 happens before 3 does. otherwise, i'll be in big trouble.

and as for that pic, i spied it in the washroom over at robinsons bf. while i was experiencing a desperate need to pee (TMI, i know!), i had to pause and read the signage, and ended up chuckling to myself. whoever cleans that bathroom is either crazy thoughtful or has had to deal with a clogged toilet way too many times. i'm thinking it's the latter.

(in case you were wondering, i washed my hands first then i snapped the picture.)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

to papa smurf, with love



when my new job became final, one of the things on my agenda was to get my picture taken with this man. oh, he may not look much, but next to my boss and gwapo boss, he was one of the reasons that made the major pay cut worth it. he's the epitome of hard work, brilliance, fearlessness, and leadership all rolled into one and in my great desire to perpetually bask in his presence.


and you know what's even better? after he found out about my plans, he talked to me about it and told me that while he's disappointed that we couldn't work together on future projects anymore, he's sure that i'll be okay wherever i am. can i just say how my heart swelled with pride with that statement alone?


dear papa smurf,


i know you don't read this blog (although with your extensive network i wouldn't be surprised if you actually find this) and i'm too crazy shy to tell you this in real life but you're my hero, and you're one of the few people i look up to, and i hope that even when i'm gone you'll always think of me fondly, cause i know you'll always be my papa smurf.


with love,


rosa

Monday, September 19, 2011

to the best boss i've ever had




{i hope you'll forgive me for shoes that don't go with the outfit ...
i didn't have the energy to pack another pair of shoes!}



dear jewel,


if i have any complaint at all about working with you is the fact that notwithstanding the copious amounts of food you take in and two children (both of whom are amazing specimens of healthy, smart, and fun boys), you have all these wonderful curves and i look like spongbob next to you. that said, the only thing that isn't so happy with the impending move is i'd surely be working with a less fabulous, less amazing, and less kind boss. i guess you can't have everything.


i can still remember how our first interview was like. while the entire world philippines was listening to the manila hostage crisis, i was in your office and i couldn't believe that it seemed like you actually wanted me to work for you. funny how gay didn't give me a background (nor did i ask for one) before i actually went to the office to interview with you in person, so i was expecting the jfaustria i emailed to be this old heavyweight who wasn't cool or anything like that (uhm, now that i think about it, i had an image of your predecessor in mind! haha!) if only cause the title "general counsel" demanded someone squat and of a certain age. needless to say, "surprised" doesn't even begin to capture how i felt then.


i don't know if i told you how many prayers i offered then -- prayers you wouldn't find someone else cause i needed to tender in my 30-day notice first, prayers that you'd like me, prayers that you'd get the HR to increase the compensation a bit. and when all my prayers were answered, october 1 seemed so far away (especially with all the stuff i had to finish for the law firm) and then all of a sudden it was there and you were my boss and because you complimented my shoes (one of my favorites), i knew i would be in for one of the greatest experiences of my life.

thank you for taking a risk with me, the girl who loved labor law but was horrible at anything corp related. thank you for taking me under your wing and for making sure i shined. thank you for editing my output (which usually has a myriad of typographical errors and a spattering of grammatical errors) and for allowing me to send these out myself, even if there were times that your corrections far outweigh my own inputs. thank you for making sure that the BOD got to know me and for singing me praises and for being my number one supporter at work.

but more than the work-related stuff, thank you for being my friend. thank you for telling me that i can treat you like an ate since i don't have one and for living up to that promise, which includes being the recipient of sooooo many presents from you. thank you for sharing your thoughts with me, the good and the bad, and for not freaking out when i go through my emo moments and i text you long-winded stuff on a friday night. thank you for introducing me to designer's boulevard, that wonderful caterer where we order paella from, dr. jennifer, and to bootsie and yoshi. and thank you for being an example to me, both in your professional and personal capacities, that one can indeed have it all.

and as for that december 2010 agreement to raid your closet, well, i still have 3 months to go. who knows, a miracle may happen yet. ☺

in a couple of days, i won't be within hollering distance from you anymore, and i won't be able to sneak out to jollibee with you when there's nothing good in the canteen. i won't be part of the happy group that makes a lunch break trek to trinoma to buy shoes and clothes anymore. after a while, i won't be able to relate to c1, c3, bacood, bff, and orange eyes hirits anymore and we can't be indignant over some things together any longer. but, i do know that you and i will still be fabulous friends and you'll still text and email me stuff, and i'll text and email you stuff (there's a girl named mocha - mocha! - in my new office) and we can laugh and cry and be mean still. i know that because that's just who you are - an ate, a loyal friend, and the best boss i've ever had.

love,

rosa

Saturday, September 17, 2011

♪♫♪ you get what you need ♪♫♪


i can't even remember now how it all started. maybe it was a bad day, or maybe it was when we were at the thick of a variety of things that weren't particularly happy. it could've been after my brother treated me after he got yet another promotion or it could've been after i found out that my friend who gets paid insanely well already was getting overtime and holiday pay on top of the pay she was already receiving. all i know is that i was feeling tired, frustrated, and poor.

always a bad combination.

so when a text message arrives from an old officemate telling me of an opening for a lawyer at this real estate firm which will pay me enough to get my roof of my house fixed, well, i felt it would've been downright dumb not to even try sending my resume. so i did.

for the record, i wasn't feeling very confident about it. after all, when i first started trying to get a corporate job after my work with the law firm, i almost always never made it past the HR interview. yep, it was horrible. so imagine my surprise when i got there and the HR manager took me straight to the SVP for my interview and how, at the end of our conversation, the SVP told me, "you know what, i like you."

and she was a girl. and i'm not always a hit with girls.

i had to send samples of my work (i have this bunch of work samples that i always send out cause i love them - a decision in a case, the gifts policy i drafted for a client, and a pleading in a labor case which i won) and it was a tense week before the HR manager finally called me and said that yes, they want me. i wanted to jump and scream and shout but something in that conversation stopped me short -- i was asking for her to send me a formal offer and she asked me what else would i like to see considering that the take-home pay they were offering me was a 65% increase over what i was presently receiving.

i was dumbfounded. so when i told my friends about the situation, all but one were unanimous in telling me that if the HR manager had acted that way, then there's a huge possibility that things would get even more complicated when i get in. oh, i insisted and insisted this was the right thing (yes, the 65% increase blinded me with greed!) and cited what would be the argument i'd use to shut people up whenever they'd ask why: tumutulo ang bubong ko.

incidentally, at the time i was waiting for the real estate company's decision, i had mentioned about the application to a friend and he told me -- as he always does -- to forward to him a copy of my resume since they had an opening in their legal department. since my resume had been recently updated, i forwarded it to him and thought nothing about it until i got offered the job by the real estate company and was given a july 31 deadline. i then followed up with him and he told me that he forwarded it to their hr and their hr forwarded it to the legal department so it would be up to the legal department if they'd call me or not. my initial thoughts: maybe it's a no-go.

apparently, i don't have the ability to predict the future: three days after real estate company offered me the job, they asked if i could come in for an interview. so i did and let's just say that while the salary wasn't 65% more than what i was currently receiving, it would still be higher than my current pay. and the non-cash benefits, well, the non-cash benefits were things that powerpuff girls were made of: sugar, spice, and everything nice, and a good dose of chemical x.

i spent an entire flight to cebu thinking about both jobs and while the second job trumped the real estate job on all fronts except the take-home salary, the real estate job was a sure thing.

those two weeks (i got an extension on the deadline since i was negotiating for some other benefits with the real estate company) were nothing short of hellish. all of a sudden, the things my friends were saying about the real estate company (i shouldn't go for it, the HR manager is a premonition of things to come, something good is bound to come sooner) were all fighting for attention inside my tiny little brain. i'm sigurista so if it were just a matter of certainty, i would've so gone for the real estate job. after all, the second company was this giant corporation with a giant parent company and giant sister companies and giant subsidiaries so i wasn't so sure that they'd accept someone (1) who didn't pass the bar on her first take (2) had barely a year of corporate work experience and (3) like me.

the notebook i carried around? oh, it was full of prayers and questions and charts (yes, i do charts comparing pros and cons when i'm worried) and got even riddled with more stuff after i sent the email to the real estate job turning down the job offer even with zero certainty that i was going to get the second job.

it was a tension-filled waiting period: the interviews were fine except that they were considering a number of other candidates. the test was easily scheduled but it was this complicated online thing that kept restarting (which made me afraid i was so screwing it up). the pre-employment medical check-up discovered i had an enlarged heart (all the more to love my crush with). they couldn't contact any of my references. but on the ferry between caticlan and boracay i received the text that would change my life forever.

you're in.

okay, this has been a long-winded post and i've yet to explain the title or the song. so here goes:

had i been stubborn, i would've accepted the real estate job in a flash. but in the end (which required major prayers, major patience, and major trusting in God's perfect plan), i got what i needed. and it isn't just the money, or the perks,or the benefits. having been accepted by this job and all the wonderful words people have told me after they've found out i was leaving affirmed the fact that i am good at what i do and i deserve the things that come my way.

in between the real estate job offer and the second job offer, i received this email from my gwapo boss. my previous bosses had all asked me to stay, MPC telling me that i was crazy to leave government work and the partners telling me i had so much promise in litigation to give up so soon, but this one letter, sent even before i had made a decision to move forward, was the letter that told me that the day i tool the LAE was the day i said yes to not just work as a lawyer, but to a vocation of changing lives.

Hi Rosa,

Now that you have been with our company almost one year, I wanted to give you some observations of how you've done with the Company and your possible future.

First, you have been very valuable to the Legal Department and to the entire company. Specifically, the work you participated in ... November 2010 and more recently in June and the governance processes that resulted despite challenging circumstances demonstrates your willingness to do the tough jobs and produce material results. Additionally, your work on labor issues ... has been very helpful. In fact, as one of your interests, specifically, your enthusiasm with labor issues can contribute tremendously in building upon a culture that has made [the company] a leading local company but will need help and guidance in transforming it into a regional player. Also, your work on the ... project illustrates your initiative and management skills in coordinating the info gathering and communication internally and with our external partners. Moreover, the professional and personal way in which you comport yourself and perform your work is an excellent model for other women and men in our organization. We need more examples of young professional women.

Second, for your professional development, working under the guidance of Atty Jewel, you will have no better mentor in the legal field. She's one of the best I've encountered and you are extremely lucky to be able to work with and learn from her. Third, as I know you are also interested in CSR, you have a lot of opportunity to initiate some projects; you are only limited by your imagination. Please begin to design and implement any CSR projects you may be interested in leading. I will ensure you get the necessary support.

Finally, we are in the process of building a great company. It has not been easy nor will it get any easier changing the way people think or act; that's the challenge of building something great. At the heart of all this are the people - and Jewel and I see you as one of the key people who can help lead this company into the future.

I know that we still have a long way to go to pay compensation that is market rates. Hopefully, with the professional freedom, development, and significant responsibility to lead your own projects, we give you compensate for some of the financial sacrifices you make when working for us.

Atty Jewel told me that you are considering another offer. As you are an excellent worker, I am not surprised that you are receiving offers. While it is a very personal decision for you, I can say that working for our company you will be contributing in an important way to the community but also to our company culture especially as it goes through a transformation. Atty Jewel and I hope you can help us with this daunting challenge, something both visionary and frustrating. If you do decide to leave, I wish you much success. And if you ever need help or a recommendation, I would be privileged to write one. In such a short period, our company has been lucky to have you. I hope you will continue with us for a long time and have patience with us as we move toward a brighter future for the company. Please remember my door is always open to you.

Thank you,

L

Monday, September 12, 2011

the old maid and the man who is not as amazing as he believes he is

para sa taong itatago na lang natin sa pangalang jo-bro,

hindi po ako nakatitig sa telepono ko at naghihintay lamang ng mga text at tawag mo. may buhay din ako, at masaya ang buhay ko kahit wala ko.

hindi din po ako libre para na lang lumabas tuwing mag-aaya ka. at kahit libre ako, hindi din ibig sabihin na pipiliin kong makasama ka. malay mo, mas interesting pang bilangin ang agiw sa bubong ng bahay ko.

hindi porke wala akong boyfriend ay gusto kong makipag-date sayo. ito na lang isipin mo -- kung si pilot nga na sukdulan ang kagwapuhan, hindi ko pinapansin ang mga text at tawag paminsan, ikaw pa kaya.

at kahit na naka mazda 3 ka na isa sa mga pinakagusto kong kotse sa lansangan, ibig sabihin winner ka na. yung kotse mo, winner; ikaw, may-ari lang ng winner na kotse. higit na madami akong kilalang naka-mazda 3 na mabait, magalang, at di mo kasing yabang.

kaya kung natarayan kita kahapon, wag ka na magtaka. ikaw ang nagpumilit pumunta, ikaw ang late dumating, at ikaw ang kung umasta ay parang hulog ka ng langit sa mga kababaihan. dahil ayaw naman talaga kitang pumunta, at ayaw ko ng late, and di ka hulog ng langit sa mga kababaihan, siguro maiintindihan mo na kung bakit ganun kalamig ang pagbati ko sayo.

malay mo, pag talagang last trip na, at ikaw na lang ang lalaki sa buong mundo, mag-bago din ang isip ko. pero, now that i've thought about it, hindi din.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

grabbing a sick day from work

sometime over the long weekend marking the end of august, i got sick. it began with a throat irritation which turned into sore throat which turned into a cough which turned into a slight fever which reverted back into a cough and is now on its last stages known as "my nose may be running in the middle of the meeting so you'll have to excuse me if i'm gross". yep, i'm that person. but since the "flashy" (translation: the part that the big bosses see) part of our job in the office involves being prepared for the board meetings (not like i present, but you know, you have to be alive, alert, awake, enthusiastic(!) ready all the time ☺), getting truly sick was not an option.

and now that the subs where i serve as assistant corp. sec. are done with their meetings (and now that the stuff they need have been polished and sent, and the balls aren't in my court anymore), i can finally take a sick day. bless my boss, she didn't only approve of it, she encouraged it. after all, you can't have crazy lawyers spreading a virus around the office.

but this body of mine, i does know how to take advantage of a sick day. i woke up with a bum tummy (must be from eating all that bingo choco-orange cookies) and a nose that just won't stop producing slime. so, i must really be sick. fudge, and double fudge.

oh well. at least i'm at home.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

♪♫♫ leaving on a jet plane ♪♪♪♫♪

ahhh... ormoc. it brings back memories of my first domestic trip. it was 2007, i had only recently passed the bar, i was majorly in love with this guy but sort of ended up dating his high school classmate, and i was on a high. to be thirty and on top of the world.

when i think of ormoc i think of the time when i brought a luggage so big someone thought i was sharing it with two other girls. i think of the time when i was surprised to see that there's such a thing as an andok's restaurant. and i think of the time when i majorly slipped and fell on my ass before hitting my head on wet concrete. was in embarrassing, yes, but at the same time, i had hoped it would be the perfect chance for the guy i was majorly in love with to come to the rescue. unfortunately, he didn't. hahaha.


in any case, what's up with all the ormoc memories? well, i'm bound for ormoc this coming november and *hopefully* i won't be spending a single centavo. you see, i'm bound to do a lecture for the ormoc chamber of commerce and since it's all about labor law, one of my greatest passions, then it's truly bound to be a blast.

Monday, September 05, 2011

remind me of how fun it was a little over a month ago, please?

cebu was more than a month ago, and as i was uploading pictures to my FB account for my friends, i was reminded of some lovely (yes, i'm entirely subjective) pictures i took while i was there.


while we were waiting for the boat, we decided to make our way to bantayan town and we chanced upon the end of the parade the school had to mark the end of nutrition month. apparently, all the pre-schoolers had a muse-and-escort thing going on and i fell in love with this chubby kid in pink who is THE poster child for a happy and healthy kid. the cuter part? when she saw me taking her pic, she even flashed me a smile! winner!


on our second day, we made our way to virgin island and this was the view from our side of the beach. our boatman said that years ago, a bunch of researchers rented the island to explore the possibility of oil (or some natural resource) and they built this hut where they stayed (or something like that). no sense to the pic really except the fact that i just love the variety of blues and greens.


it was virtually isolated ... exactly my kind of beach!


still, all vacations must come to an end, and this one did early sunday morning. i love how my new camera has this setting for you to easily take pictures from airplane windows. and, when i think about that and the new memories i've made with the new cam, i'm *almost* glad that i had a legitimate excuse to replace the old one.

i'm on a not-so-great mood right now -- i watched a rom-com and i'm feeling all why-am-i-alone-when-i'm-supposed-to-be-fabulous ... *sigh* but, it's all great. after all, all this a month ago, plus boracay less than a month ago ... and, guess what, possibly ormoc two months from now, so it's good, it's all good!

Sunday, September 04, 2011

go away shopping monster

there we were, all set for corregidor when sun cruises called us to say that our trip had been cancelled. since we were all on our way to the meeting place anyway, we had to figure out what to do with our long weekend.

trust the shopping monster in me to rear its ugly head because within five minutes seconds, i thought of spending the day at 168.

glorious, glorious 168. it never disappoints.


[my prize for coming up with a replacement activity: hello kitty stamps
i've always wanted but could never justify buying]


[cheap accessories that fulfilled our respective wishes]


[new watches!]

we got there at around 11 and it wasn't until they were ready to close (at 7pm) before we finally struggled out with our packages. when we got to the condo, we compared with each other how much each of us had spent on getting our goodies and i couldn't believe that in spite of the money i had spent, everything fit in two tiny bags :(


then again, i did indulge on accessories (which don't take up much space) and pretty tape (yes, i am addicted to supplies). several times that long weekend, i recomputed how much i had spent and i still arrived at the same amount. boo, rosa, boo.

still - and this is my favorite excuse ever - if a little bit of money can still buy you happiness (albeit the temporary kind), then i'm all for it. saving money is highly overrated!

p.s. again - please don't be alarmed :) we all actually spent way below our corregidor trip budget so we ended up spending less than what we would've spent had our trip pushed through. and since the trip was planned, we had all saved up for it. so there.

Saturday, September 03, 2011

attacking KFC's tower burger

you know me and kfc, we go waaaaaaaaay back. so while my relationships haven't exactly turned out to be long term, at least my relationship with this chicken place has withstood all kinds of test, major allergies to chicken included.

so you will understand why after i saw the commercial for the tower burger, i knew i just had to taste it despite all of the comments that i'd just end up sorely disappointed. you do, after all, have to take the good with the bad in relationships. that's just the way it is (so saith the expert, haha!)


a fellow kfc-lover and i then made a pact -- one day, we'd try it together. until then, we'd just have to satisfy ourselves with original recipe chicken (like that's a major sacrifice). so when our corregidor trip didn't push through and we were trying to figure out what to do with our monday morning, we miraculously found ourselves at kfc ordering, what else, the tower burger.

[now, if you see some jollibee stuff in the pics know that (1) our friends who got there first were already at jollibee and (2) yep, we at our tower burgers at jollibee!]

now if this burger was anything like double down, well, i knew i was going to be in for a treat. and if it at least approximated the crispy chicken burger thing, well, that would be great as well.

unfortunately while the box was promising (you know when things come in a box they must be the best the fast food chain has to offer, right? like big mac, or champ. yep, my food choices have clearly not improved with age!), the tower burger didn't exactly have me at hello.


in fact, it felt more like, uhm, hello, are you really there?


cause while it seemed it had all the ingredients for a good time, it didn't seem like it was up to giving me a great time. pretty much like being with a sulky friend at enchanted kingdom. in theory the happy part is supposed to overshadow the bad but in the end you can't get over the bad part. in this case, was it the lack of bacon (which so propelled double down to stardom, hands down)? was it the greasy and not-so-crispy hash brown? was it the paltry excuse for chicken? was it the substandard bread? i dunno really, but in the end, the chicken had too many sad friends that it was bound for failure.

of course when i started out, it didn't seem like it. i wanted to be all commando about it and just attack the thing like i was fighting japanese invaders (sorry, i was sorely disappointed by our trip not pushing through) but while it appeared massive in this picture, know it seemed ginormous only cause me holding onto the stacked burger was pushing out its contents -- you know like what too-tight underwear does to your lady parts.


eep, did i just say that?

in any case, it was a sad moment for kfc (and for me -- i KNEW i should've just ordered chicken which, incidentally, i did the following day, hahaha!). but, there's always unlimited gravy. and in my world, as long as kfc keeps on giving out free flowing gravy, well, it couldn't break up with me even if it tried ☺

Friday, September 02, 2011

sound of silence

my voice has virtually been non-existent since monday evening and while the lack of speaking voice should not have prevented me from writing (since they are absolutely unrelated), it sort of feels like being unable to speak in the real world has likewise hampered my ability to write here.

either that or i'm just a lazy cow.

in any case, allow me to regale you with pics taken of my attempt at parasailing. as i said before, it was an experience i absolutely loved, and no regrets having spent my hard-earned money for fifteen minutes of flight.


[ready]




[get set]


[go]


p.s. i so wish i took my camera up there with me as the view was absolutely spectacular! while tita celia took a video of me while i was up in the air and during my descent, the boat was pretty noisy and all she was saying was, "pababa na si roxanne" over and over again, which got boring after a minutes, haha! on the other hand, up in the air was absolutely quiet and being the talkative person i was, it wasn't long before i was chatting it up with God thanking Him not only for the blessings that manifested themselves in the weeks leading up to the trip but for the natural bounty below me.


p.p.s okay, fine, i also prayed to God that the rope won't break!

Monday, August 29, 2011

♫♪♪ take me down to the paradise city ♫♪♫♪

while mina is raging outside my bedroom window, i've still got that fabulous white beach on my mind. i mean, who wouldn't right? and i'm not even a beach person.


that boracay trip came to me via cash cash pinoy. yes, i'll admit it: i have a healthy relationship with vouchers and when they put up for sale vouchers for P15,000++ for a 3-days and 2-nights trip to boracay for two with airfare, airport transfers, hotel, breakfast, and a dinner a zuzuni, well, i wasn't about to let go of the chance.

not only was it pretty affordable, i have never been to boracay ever. yep, how's that, right?

thing was, i have zero idea about boracay geography so i didn't mind that the voucher was for this hotel located on diniwid beach. my officemate told me that diniwid = nami and i knew that nami = upscale so i assumed that hotel on diniwid automatically meant upscale.

it wasn't bad, but let's just say remote is the more apt term.

in any case, we stayed at this hotel with hardly a lobby to speak of.


but not only did it have two double beds (which was fun especially if you still sleep in a twin bed at the ripe old age of 34), each bed also had three pillows each. *sigh* have i told you that i book hotels on agoda based on how fluffy the pillows are on the pic? well, if not, then consider yourself informed. one look and this almost felt like heaven.


well, almost. i must admit that it was unfortunate that the side tables didn't have lamps so if i wanted to read a book till i fell asleep, it would mean keeping my aunt awake as well. and the view, ugh, the view was of someone's backyard. hence you understand why no pics were taken, haha!

after i surveyed the room (with strict instructions to my aunt not to mess the beds up till i had gotten my shot!), i checked the bathroom out which is usually where i get disappointed. but, with a rainshower head, bidet, and uber strong water pressure, well, let's just say that they got uber-high points in their survey on the bathroom aspect!

i just don't understand who the heck thought of putting the towel on the bathroom floor as "design" ... was it to signal that the floor was clean? and take note that nope, it wasn't the towel that was meant to be a bathmat (it was there, but it wasn't on the shot). that's "art" for you!

oh, if i haven't mentioned it yet, we stayed at microtel boracay. and let's just say it was ♥.


thank you, microtel. it was amazing staying with you. the staff was lovely, the hotel was lovely, the ice machine was lovely. and while the not-red tocino for breakfast threw me in for a loop, i enjoyed your hospitality.
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