August 1 is Swiss National Holiday. I was supposed to spend it doing makeup for a wedding but my husband asked me to decline the gig. He wanted to go somewhere because it is rare that he has a long weekend.

We checked out the flight prices and found the ones departing from Zürich exorbitant. The idea of flying from Basel through low-budget airline Easyjet came to mind. Rates were of course much more affordable. We just had to take a train from Zurich to Basel which was a bearable one hour ride. We chose amongst the following destinations: Spain, Tuscany, Poland, and Hungary. We settled on Hungary because 1) We both haven’t been there [It will be my 34th new country to visit and his 37th.] 2) Living expenses over there are relatively cheaper and 3) It is big enough to explore for 4 days and 3 nights.

I can say that in the year and a half that we have been married, this is the first trip that we planned TOGETHER. There was division of labor. We debated maturely about the pros and cons. We equally shared expenses. We totally had teamwork and held each other accountable for making the trip a success. Our past trips were either just planned by him or by me individually. This was the first time that I sat down and showed him AirBNB and hotel options and we both chose which deal we liked best (We ended up staying at the 4-star Marriott hotel for the price of a small AirBNB!). He booked the hop on hop off tour while I reserved the cab that would pick us up at the airport. I must admit that I usually enjoy planning things alone and even doing things my way more. But I couldn’t deny that this was a really good exercise for our partnership.

I guess that teamwork is something that we really had a hard time attaining ever since we got married because we are both strong individually and we tend to make narcissistic decisions all the time.:) It’s funny because the more I think about it, the more I realize that I am not built to withstand marriage. The beauty of it though is that regardless of how you were built, in marriage, you will be made to realize that LOVE has the power to change you for the better. The love that God has placed in your heart for your partner has the power to melt your stubborn soul and clear your brain enough to give it space for understanding, new ideas, and refreshing experiences. It’s so easy to say to your spouse, “No, let’s do it MY way.” But it’s so much more rewarding to be able to extend yourself further, with ego brushed to the side, and say “Ok, what is it that we both want and that we both will enjoy?” Or better yet, “Let’s do your thing first and then let’s do mine.”

I normally talk about what exactly I did on trips but I felt like it’s more fitting to share about this very personal experience because I like reading back what I wrote after a few months. I like marking moments and emphasizing learnings. In this trip, I learned to step back a bit and make my husband lead the way. I made him win a few more battles this time.:) Like the day he all of a sudden decided that instead of going to the Széchenyi Thermal Baths on a Sunday as planned, he felt like doing it right after our bus tour that same Saturday. A part of me was starting to get annoyed that he would go off-tangent but I find that I would really not lose anything if I gave in to what he wanted. We ended-up enjoying the baths more because the sun was not too strong anymore. Good call.

Marriage is a weird thing. My Philosophy professor once said that all relationships are doomed to fail. It’s because, as philosopher Martin Heidegger pointed out, what makes you drawn to each other for the first few stages are the moments of “thaumazein” or “wonder”. When you still think that the other is so beautifully strange and interesting. And then you get to spend time together. You get to share more information about one another. And then all of a sudden, your partner feels all too flawed and familiar to you already. There’s no sense of wonder anymore. And so there’s nothing else that keeps you drawn to each other. And that’s when it starts to dwindle. And so he says that the key to a lasting marriage is to keep surprising each other. Keep making yourself interesting. Keep learning and sharing things. Shake up the routine. Don’t get fixated on the same things. Stop yourself from fighting over the same mundane details. Talk about things you have never discussed. Challenge each other to evolve. Maybe this is why we travel as a couple. To be able to see new things. To be able to talk about newer experiences. To watch each other go out of our comfort zones and beam with pride as we thrive.

Marriage is a weird thing because the law of man and the law of God bind you together for life regardless of feelings and circumstances. Yes, it is weird BUT it can also be so beautiful. We always hear people joke about how marriage can be tough and how it can feel like a prison cell. But we never really emphasize the beauty of that suffering. That in those moments of suffocation, of conflicts, of having to sacrifice your own wants and needs for the other, is when true and genuine LOVE shines through. And it’s the kind of love that an unattached person will never really grasp. And that’s what makes marriage important, necessary, and sacred. It brings out that kind of love that is deeper than all the other levels of love that you have ever felt while you were not yet bound and tied to this one person. Marriage is weird, tough, and exhausting but it can truly be a beautiful and meaningful thing. My friend just recently got married and in her vows, she said that “I will never forget that this is a once in a lifetime kind of love.” What she doesn’t know yet is that it is not even the rarity of it that makes the marriage kind of love special. It’s the depth and magnanimity of it.

I joked while we were walking across the Chain Bridge atop the River Danube that I am admittedly the Buda (coz I’m chubby!) and he’s definitely the Pest!:) But just like Hungary’s Buda, Pest, and Obuda, we were united by fate and all we gotta do is build bridges of love each time we feel like we are too different or far apart.

Here’s our travel video:


Until our next adventure,







We surprised our dear friend M with a bridal shower brunch at Hiltl Zurich. We all wore pastels and flower crowns. She thought she was just having brunch with the Oros sisters. But we were actually a whole bunch of girls waiting for her.

Her fiancé was in on the surprise as well. In fact, the brunch wasn’t the main surprise. We have actually booked for her a train ticket from Zürich to Lake Como, Italy where she was gonna spend one fun girly weekend with me, B, and C! It was the B, C, D girls with M!:) We asked her fiancé to pack her things for her.

B booked for us an airbnb flat that was right smack at the center of Como’s shopping area. Last time I was in Como, I was with my cousin and her hubby from Milan and I was still single. It was super nice to come back as a married woman and see the place from a different perspective.

This was the video I created as soon as we got back from Como:


I feel so lucky to be a part of this sisterhood here in Zürich. These girls make my life here away from my parents and family more tolerable. I love that we are each other’s prayer warriors and cheerleaders. I know that they are really there for me through the good times and the bad. M and I are so blessed to have found friends in our new second home.

I am excited for M! She’s going to experience so many new things! She’s going to be able to travel around Europe. She’s going to learn a new language. It’s going to be a whole new chapter! I really wish her and her fiancé all the best!




When I was 7, my mom took me to the doctor to get my first pair of piercings. As soon as the doctor took out the gun, I bawled like a baby. I was begging Mama to make the doctor stop.

When I got to high school, I surprised myself by deciding I wanted to add another piercing on my left ear. But that was the time my Papa got mad at my younger brother when he found out he got his ear pierced. In other words, fear stopped me from getting another one.

Fast forward to the year 2016. I’m already 32 and married. I passed by Claire’s along Bahnhofstrasse in Zurich and saw the free piercing sign. I thought to myself, maybe it’s the universe’s way of telling me, it’s okay, go ahead, do what you’ve always wanted to do. You are old enough to decide for yourself.

And so I asked my husband what he thought of it and he said he wouldn’t mind even if I get 10 more piercings on both ears.

And so last March, before going on a vacation, I got my 2nd piercing on my left ear.

What I noticed though is that when my earring on the first piercing is big, the earring on the second one seems like it is attached to the first earring. That’s when I thought maybe a third one is necessary.

And so I went to Manor with my friend B to get a third piercing on my left ear.


I thought I would already stop at 3 but it felt like something is out of balance. B already has 4 on her right ear and 1 on her left. She told me she wants to get another one on her helix so just yesterday, I accompanied her to Giahi, a famous shop here in Zurich.

As soon as she got one, I decided that it’s time to get my cartilage pierced! I followed suit. And so now I have a total of 4 piercings on my left ear! Even I cannot believe it!



2016 is definitely the year of multiple piercings. I don’t drink much alcohol. I don’t smoke. I’ve never done drugs. I don’t have a tattoo. But I all of a sudden have a total of 5 piercings now. 😅 It’s really not much of a show of rebellion as I’ve always played within the rules. It’s just something that I think is beautiful and I love the idea of being able to wear more than 2 pretty earrings once all of my “wounds” are healed.

It’s funny how some people (and I have been guilty of this) stereotype persons with multiple piercings or tattoos like they become less of a person because of how they look. I just got 3 more piercings than average but I am still the same responsible and hardworking person that I used to be before the piercings. I really think I have come to a point in my life when I already couldn’t care less of what other people think or say about me. I now know that life is short and we just have to find our bliss and express ourselves the best way we want to and know how. As long as we are not hurting other people, I don’t know why we shouldn’t dare do the things that make us happy. Here’s to staying true to one’s self!





I am home alone and I have time to think about the past few weeks of my life.

May 9 was election day in the Philippines. It was the most publicized campaign and electoral process we have ever had in the country primarily because of social media.

Before, people had a voice, too. But now, the difference is that everyone had their own platforms called Facebook/Twitter to share their valuable opinions on.

I am Atenean. A part of the middle-class, as most would classify me. The most logical choice for the presidency for someone like me is the candidate who is also Atenean and has brought forth economic reforms to the country. As a member of the middle-class who is not suffering from dire poverty, the more obvious route for me to take was to choose continuity over change. 

But why did I go for the candidate who was offering radical change? I know I do not have to explain my choice to anyone precisely because it is MY choice but I am still writing my thought process here for future reference and for posterity. I want to remind myself of the time I went against the normal flow and stood up for someone who was obviously flawed, crass, and somehow polarizing. 

I went for the candidate offering change and has a track record to show for because of the effect he had on the Filipino masses. I saw how even OFWs spend hard earned money to produce campaign materials for him. I interviewed taxi drivers, security guards, even salon personnel all inspired to do good because of what he stands for. 

I also personally felt that spark of hope reignited in my heart for the Filipino people. That hope that I lost a long time ago that made me complacent and very forgiving of our public officials (as my friend so eloquently put it). I rekindled that hope that made me think I am done giving excuses for the way we are and dismissing it as “ganyan talaga ang Pinoy”. 

I rooted for the one who can incite change and more importantly, can organically inspire the Filipino masses to change their ways. I supported the one who made me trust that our nation can be better once again because they have done it in Davao. I supported the one who made me think it is not yet too late to rise up from this quicksand of hopelessness, chaos, and complacency that we all just got stuck in.

I respect all of the other candidates especially the administration bearer. I commend his efforts and I believe in his economic reforms. But economic reforms will not be for long-term if we do not solve the root cause of the problem of the Philippines: lack of discipline/peace and order. More than lack of education, it is the lack of self-restraint that cripples the nation. Everyday, we see this flaw along the streets, in our local government units, in the farthest barangays and even inside huge and popular malls. Most government officials are corrupt. The police force is ineffective. The people are not disciplined enough to even respect the simplest of traffic rules.

We needed to solve this core problem first before genuine and long-term economic reforms can fully and inclusively materialize. It is not a chicken or egg story. It is one after the other. Some say that we need to provide more jobs first so that people will be more educated and that peace and order will follow after that. But how come even educated people in the Philippines easily and carelessly break traffic rules? It is precisely because lack of education is not the root cause. You can be highly-educated but still lack self-discipline. And an illiterate can admirably still manifest self-restraint. Integrity is what you do when noone else is looking. And this is something that I think Filipinos need to relearn and regain.

Look at all the rich nations. Before they even had a long-term economic boost, they first instilled discipline and regard for the law in their constituents. Before Subic got reformed, it took a Gordon to rally the people to volunteer and change. Before Singapore became a global economic leader, they needed a Lee Kwan Yew to discipline the citizens. Here in Switzerland, people have high respect for the police force and the government. They do not create crazy memes poking fun of their leaders.

Anyway, I voiced out my support because my own platform has a lot of followers. When my first cultural post became viral, my audience suddenly became bigger. And that’s why I felt I needed to participate and voice out my support. I NEVER forced anyone to listen to me or to follow suit. I merely shared what I thought was in my heart.

But there were people who couldn’t seem to respect my opinion. There were those who still continued to challenge my position even after I have clearly told them that it was a carefully though-out one and they need not even waste their time in dissuading/persuading me. I have never commented anything bad on any other person’s post supporting a different candidate. I wholeheartedly respected everyone else’s choice. But I had uncles, an auntie, and even a friend who cannot seem to control themselves. Some even used my mom to guilt-trip me into changing my position even when my mom herself is respecting my choice and yes, even my brother’s too.

But everything is all water under the bridge now. I have forgiven those who attacked me. And I have even directly apologised to the people who got offended because of my choice. The president I supported already won. The vice-president I also supported seems to have already won (as of this writing, they are still questioning the numbers for VP).

But here are my take-aways from everything that has transpired in the past few weeks:

1) Respect other people’s choices. There will always be someone more intelligent than you are. Never think that your logic is the end all and be all of everything. People base their votes on different parameters. You will never understand what influences your neighbor’s choices completely because you haven’t lived their lives and haven’t seen everything they have been through. If you cannot get them to agree with you, go beyond yourself and your ego and try to respect their choices by keeping quiet and getting off their pages. Just campaign peacefully on your own platform.

2. Never demean anyone. Do not call other people “idiots” or “retards” just because they are not voting the way you do. Inspire by uplifting others. Nobody got more followers by making others feel bad about themselves.

3. Have a forgiving heart. I had an uncle who attacked me and called me judgmental on Facebook. He even went straight to my dad to complain about me. I messaged him personally and told him that even if I felt like he was being rude to me on MY OWN PAGE, I will be the one to first say sorry because he took offense on my choice of president. He accepted my apology but he didn’t even bother to issue the same to me. But that’s fine. I have already forgiven him because I cannot allow my heart to be burdened forever by his actions towards me. 

4. You cannot control other people’s feelings but you can decide what you allow yourself to feel. I will always choose peace and positivity over pride and prejudice. I have learned at a very young age that I cannot please everyone. Even if I do my best and have the best of intentions, there will always be that someone who will not be impressed. I’ve learned that I am bound to disappoint someone along the way. My mom is a clear example of this. She has served her town for more than 18 years and there are still people not pleased with her. She cannot control what they feel but she can definitely manage her own feelings towards ungrateful people. And so I recognize those who got disappointed with my choice of candidate. But I will not allow my heart to despise all of them because I cannot be a bad person just because I have disappointed a few.

5. I have also learned early in life that politics is ungrateful and it is really just a game of numbers. But politics is not the point of all of this. It is about public service. And if you really want to serve the public, you need not be in office to do so. One can serve his public by being a mindful citizen. One can serve the public by helping and contributing in his own way. This goes beyond just typing our rants on social media. This means going out there and paying it forward. And even if you help and people still get displeased and disappointed, at the end of the day, there is a God, a higher being, that knows and sees your heart. And that is the true victory. When God is happy with what you did with your platform, there is nothing to worry about. In Him lies real and genuine triumph. 



Where do I even begin?

Japan is such an awesome country that I feel that even if I spend more than a month there, it still won’t be enough.

This was just a quick trip and so my soul is begging for MORE. I haven’t even gone to Kyoto or Osaka. I was just mostly at the center of Tokyo.

I tagged along with the family of my cousin’s groom. We were 12 in total with 2 pairs of senior citizens, 2 kids, 3 middle-aged couples, and 2 ladies (including myself).

I normally travel at a very fast pace. I hop from one tourist spot to the next. But this time, I couldn’t afford to do that because we were just too many. We all stayed at this quaint AirBNB house in Nishi-Shinjuku.

The highlight of this trip for me was the time I finally traversed the Shibuya Crossing. It made me realize how blessed I am to have crossed similar intersections all over the world– New York’s Time Square, London’s Picadilly Circus, and Sydney’s King’s Cross Road.

I also loved the cherry blossoms. I first saw these blooms in DC and then near St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. Just last year, I realized that there are also a lot of cherry blossoms here in Zurich. What made Japan’s blooms so special is that they are EVERYWHERE. In the mountains, at the downtown area, and some are even encircling the famous Tokyo tower.

I told my husband when he was complaining about how short my Tokyo trip was that my only goal is to taste authentic ramen from both Ippudo and Ichiran. After that, everything else is just a bonus. Imagine how I took my time finishing both bowls. I ordered iced cold Coke to go with it. I don’t normally drink soda but when I was in Tokyo, I took advantage of the chilled Coke they were serving alongside each meal. Ooooh Open Happiness!

We were also lucky enough to go outside of the city and take the bus to Ashi Lake. That was also such a beautiful and calming sight.

Sharing with you our video from the trip and a few snaps.

Japan, I shall return.







After more than a year after I got married, I went back home to the Philippines.

I cannot even recount everything that happened during my almost one month break but here are the highlights:

  1. Hugging my family again


2. Checking all of the food that was on my list of what to eat when I get back home


3. My Anvaya trip with the “men in my life”






4. My first cousin’s despedida dinner and grand wedding

5. My 2 cultural and political posts going viral on Facebook (One is explaining my choice for the Presidency and the other is this one questioning why Filipinos lack self-discipline)



I might have gotten my education in the UK, married and lived in Switzerland but Philippines will always be my home. Despite the heat, the chaos, and the quirks, I will always love spending time in my motherland. And so we will come back in November for our friends’ wedding. Looking forward to spending more quality time with family and friends.




When the DHB told me he was about to book my flight to Manila via Singapore Airlines, I asked him to arrange it in such a way that I would be able to go out of the airport during my stopover.

It has been a few years since the last time I was in Singapore. My flight arrived at 5am and I went straight to the immigration for a transit pass. I then took a cab from the airport to the Quay food court.

The cab driver was very helpful. He suggested I walk all the way to the Fullerton Hotel to see the Merlion and the full view of SG’s skyline. 

I had time to be by myself and reflect on so many things. I was inspired by the workers I saw awake and starting their day very early. I was motivated by the joggers that were already running around the Olympic Walk even before sunrise.

I was there so early that the Merlion was still sleeping and not yet spewing water. I had the rare opportunity of seeing one of the wealthiest and cleanest cities in the world awaken. It’s the kind of sight that truly energised the traveller in me.

Apart from revisiting famous sites, I also wanted to shop at Sephora. I bought a few stuff in time for summer’s sun-kissed makeup look. Before going to Sephora though, I went up Marina Bay’s Sky Park to see the entire city from the top. I spent an hour at the hotel where I had my coffee and cookie. I really cherish alone time like this. I’m lucky I have a husband who understands my need to explore the world and to sometimes just travel by myself to find my inner balance once again.