Digital Detox

I recently came across the phrase “digital detox” and it resonated with me on a deep level. There was a point in the beginning of my (adult) life that I was unknowingly going through my first digital detox experience; It was after I graduated college and wanted a clean slate. I deactivated my facebook, changed my phone number, cut my hair and travelled around the country. It made me feel good. It was a great and humbling/freeing experience to not depend everything on technology and social media, but then it also felt that I was basically cutting off everyone and everything in my life. If you know me and understand how my brain works, you’d know that whenever I tend to decide on one thing, it would always be one of the extremes.

So instead of getting either too in your face everyday that you’d get sick of my shadow, or falling off the grid completely, I decided to now try and find the perfect balance. I know. Seems easy enough, but such an arduous task for someone like me. (Why can’t I just be a normal person?)

Starting today, Im gonna try this social media hiatus. I am not gonna be gone completely, but I will definitely be online a lot less. I’ve already deleted my facebook app (not the account, coz I still need to talk to my family and best friends that are continents away) so I don’t have as much things to waste my time on. I’ve found myself more invested in the relationships of other people rather than the ones I have, and I grew tired of making comparisons and unnecessary judgments. I honestly don’t think me deleting anything makes a difference to the people around me, but it will make a huge difference to myself and the way I perceive things.

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The plan is to decrease a significant amount of time staring at my phone as the first step. I’d be a hypocrite if I said I’m not on it as much as every other person. Its almost impossible to set it down because somehow there’s always gonna be content that I would unashamedly devour, no matter how nonsensical it is. It also already proves to be such a challenge considering how working in the fashion industry, I’d always have to be well versed and know about whats going on around it. I literally get emails of runway shows from my manager that I have to watch and share knowledge about. Giving myself a limit on media time is a smart way of prioritizing what I need to look at, and what I shouldn’t even bother concerning myself with.

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Step number two is to reconnect with the earth. I’ve found that I personally always get a sense of balance whenever I do nature trips and the like. It’s somehow a sort of reset button that whenever I go up to the mountains by myself or go to the lake with my friends, I always “come back” to the world with a renewed sense of energy.

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Going up on little hikes without any phone service actually helps you look a little less at your device and a little more at what surrounds you. Spoiler alert: its beautiful.

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A few days ago I went floating with a couple of my friends and just looking at the scenery or listening to the river and to the birds was such a calming experience that it made me not want to leave that state of mind.

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With that said, step three is to spend more time with people. Actual physical people that you get to have conversations with right in front of you. I want to make a habit of just being in the moment with my friends and family without any worries of what the rest of the world will think. I want to be there and be present instead of being in their company, but occupied with some other people’s curated lives on their pages.

Buying plane tickets to go to places and see my friends and family, just so I could be physically present in their lives is something that I found very important. I had the realization that I didn’t really mind spending money to travel because that’s what I was saving up for in the first place. To see the people I care about in person instead of through a screen has proven great benefits for my mental health.

These little steps are the beginning of my so called digital detox. Cleansing myself from the negativities of the internet, and trying to get a break from it every once in a while.

Less screen time, more nature time, and more people time. It would make me become a better person, and it would give my poor phone a chance to rest. 🤷🏻‍♀️

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#findgizel @ Maroon Bells, Colorado

xx Gizel

Have you heard, there’s a rumor in St. Petersburg?

This is not a review.

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Over the course of this trip, my four-year-old self would’ve probably been leaping for joy for having her dreams fulfilled. Growing up, I was obsessed with the cartoon Anastasia as well as the real one. I remembered always researching about Russian history even though I never really needed to learn it in school. I’d get giddy reading about the Romanovs in history books as well as fiction books. I loved learning about Anastasia’s life and family.

I used to have this CD of a collection of songs from the musical cartoons of “my time.”  My mom would play it in the car for me and my sisters and that’s how I was able to memorize the lyrics to even the most random songs such as “Poor Unfortunate Souls” by Ursula from The Little Mermaid or “I’ll Make a Man Out of You” by General Shang from Mulan. One of my favorite songs from that CD was Anastasia’s “Journey to the Past.” There was something about the way she was singing her story that captivated me. I think that started my passion for musicals and theatre.

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When I first found out that they were making a broadway version of one of my favorite cartoons, I just about flipped. I made it a goal to see it live. I never thought that it would’ve even been a slight possibility considering I also made it a goal to watch Britney Spears live and was never able to despite the fact that I lived in Vegas for two years during her residency. I think it began with what was just a random conversation between me and my friend Skippy about Harry Potter and the Cursed Child show that suddenly led us to rush ourselves into buying tickets to New York.

Fast forward to us finally being in the Broadhurst Theatre for their evening performance, watching and falling in love with Christy Altomare and pretty much everything about the show. The best part was me not realizing that my ultimate broadway crush, Ramin Karimloo was also performing. As excited as I was about everything, I did not do research beforehand, so I just enjoyed the pleasurable surprise.

Before it started, I practically had to drag Skippy in with me. He was mostly “Oh this is no big deal,” “These things don’t make sense,” and “I’m not that interested in musicals.” Imagine my surprise when after they ended the first act with “Journey to the Past” I looked at him and realized that both of us were huge emotional wrecks. He told me he’s been crying (in secret) because of how amazing the show was.

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Towards the finale, the crying wasn’t a secret anymore. I have converted my friend into a broadway geek, and finally ladies and gentlemen, my work here is done!

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If you’re ever in New York for a quick visit, I highly recommend watching Anastasia: The Broadway Musical.

 

xx Gizel

Hello, Aspen!

How do you fall in love with a place?

How do you decide you just want to leave everything behind and begin again?

In somewhere new, somewhere exciting, somewhere like… Aspen.

Hello, Aspen! from LAD Films on Vimeo.

January 27-31 2017 Trip to Aspen Colorado. (X-Games 2017)
I fall more and more in love with this town every single time I come to visit! Now, the question is, should I move here? Big thanks to my maga, Nenita for showing me around! x
Music used:
Follow You – Cheat Codes
Shots – Imagine Dragons (Broiler Remix)

On Wines and Castles.

I am one of those people who’s slightly a little bit obsessed with old castles. It’s not the grandeur or the lifestyle, but more of the history and mystery of huge places that  served as a home for some people that’s just so attractive to me.

Castles are dark, outdated, dingy, sometimes scary, but for some reason, something about it draws me in. I am in love with them! I love watching old movies set in castles, or the new ones that feature them. I’ve always wanted to live in one (not as a royal, but just a regular person living in a really old, really big house.)

Because everybody in my family has a weird work schedule, we knew that spending the holidays together would be difficult. So we planned to see each other earlier to spend our very own “Christmas” and “New Year.”

The thought of traveling always puts me in a good mood.

This December, we flew to San Francisco and visited a little castle-slash-vineyard in Napa Valley.

The drive up to Castello di Amorosa was such a sight. I’ve never seen this much greenery in Vegas, where I currently live. It made me sad for a little bit, but I quickly moved on as soon as I saw the castle.

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I don’t understand what it is about a dark place that could make me so happy, but I just let myself bask in the joy it gave me. I was slightly disappointed the vineyard looked a little empty, I wasn’t sure if we arrived before harvest season or just after harvest time, so I just  went ahead and distracted myself with walking around inside.

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Also, wine tasting, because why not?

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Maybe it’s because I’m weak, or just because I’m Asian and get embarassingly tomato-red when I’m a little drunk, that I prefer getting buzzed as slow as possible. I may know my way around tequilas and gins, but for wines, the sweets will always be my go-to.

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The courtyard was pretty, the corridors were charming. I may have secretly pretended to be a princess prancing around the hallways the whole time we were there. I wish they had an AirBnb or bed-and-breakfast sort of setting because I would definitely book a week’s stay to just day drink and run away from work.

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Castles and Wines are the perfect combo!

Link to location for questions and reservations

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#FindGizel

xx Gizel

This is what Twenty-two looks like.

Turning 22 in 2015 probably makes me one of those whom you would call a “millennial.” I can’t even  begin to understand what that word means, let alone describe it. I guess in the age of social media and advancing technology, my generation is, for lack of a better word, obsessed with trivial things such as telling the world what’s on our minds, or turning our faces into dogs.

We (yes, I am including myself) love the whole 140-character sentences, the flat-laying, and the follows and the likes. Weird, I know. The only thing that I probably still have issues about would be the whole taking-a-million-photos-of-food-before-eating, which my friends and sisters have done enough of when eating out with me.

Sometimes, it gets a little too overwhelming that you would just like to cut yourself away from everything and just be free from all of it.

I’ve had my fair share of disconnecting and just going places without the thought of having to post something for the benefit of my newsfeed. But honestly, documentation is not so bad, especially if the mere purpose of it is to just give yourself memories to look back on.

I got this idea from one of my good friends who took a video every single day for a year and showed it to me. Its a 365-second video of the most random things but I saw how much it meant to her to see her past year in a short presentation.

I wanted to do it too but I didn’t really know when to start, or what I wanted to do with it. Last year I downloaded the app called One-Second-Everyday and just completely fell in love with it. It’s a collection of videos, pictures, and memories if every single day ever since I turned 22. It probably won’t make sense to every single person, but it’s good to share it with people I’ve spent time with this past year.

I’m pretty sure I won’t ever do it again. It’s tedious, annoying and sometimes I forget to do it and just settle with a before to bed clip, but now that I’m done, it feels great looking back at every day that happened, and I had a lot of fun doing it!

22nd. from LAD Films on Vimeo.

Thank you to every single person who helped me fill this little project! Hello 23!!❤️
xx Gizel

So no one told you life was gonna be this way…

I have now officially moved to an entirely different and completely far country; and this is not even a metaphor or something, I have had a few weeks to let it sink in but it has not actually happened yet.

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I’ve left quite a lot of things back home that I would very much have loved to have brought with me, and this list includes not just material things, but humans too, and if the thought of bringing them here with me would’ve been short of impossible, I’d like it if I could at least have had closure with them. I never said proper goodbyes to everyone I loved, I suck at goodbyes and I hate it. I’m trying to move on with my life. It is not an exact invitation to forget about the past, but it is somewhat convenient that you get through the process a thousand miles away.

And that “process” includes me being left here alone at home bingeing on Netflix re-watching Friends, because hey, how else could you cope being away from your actual friends and family?

This is, a “Friends”- themed narration of my exact feelings before and after I moved:

When I realized I was stuck in a place with people I don’t like and a job that I hate:
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Then I finally decided to grow some balls and left:

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And when work people tried to get me to stay:

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Then I saw myself back home doing exactly what I did when I decided to leave and find a job:

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Something is seriously wrong with me:

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Then I’m lost again going through the quarter-life crisis, having absolutely no idea what to do next…

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Then when news came about me finally getting to leave the country and starting out a new life with better opportunities:

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And then it finally sinks in:

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That you’re leaving..

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All you’ve ever known…

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And everyone you’ve ever loved…

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But you know that this next move is for you, and it’s gonna make everything okay.

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On the plus side, it’s a good way to start over.

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Then you get to the new place:

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But you’re all alone…

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And everything is new:

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And you start missing your friends:

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And you can’t find a right time to talk to them because of the freaking time difference

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And you see them making new friends:

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 But they call you, and you’re happy again, and you just miss them so much..

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And you know you’ll still have them no matter what

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So you don’t need to get scared about this next chapter.

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Because they’re just a call away..

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And well, all you have to do is face it head on.

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Get to know the place:

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Start fresh:

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Okay, actually START..

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  You’ll be okay.

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xx Gizel

Travel “Shoe-Selfies”

For some strange reason, I’ve acquired the strange habit of taking shoe-selfies.

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I have been doing it for quite some time now, and only recently have I figured out why exactly. I realized, that most of these “feet pictures” are usually taken in places where I felt that “calmness.” Like when you go to a certain place and you look at the view and think to yourself: “This is amazing, and I want to document it.”

But somehow, you’re too ashamed to take a photo of yourself in a public place, or in a somewhat weird position (i.e. backriding on a motorbike) so you tend to just look down at your feet and decide they’re more interesting than what surrounds you.

You subtly take a photo of your shoes as proof that you’ve set foot on that wonderful place (even though it doesn’t show anything much, aside from the ground you’re standing on) and walk away contented with what you took.

But as soon as I went through my cellphone and camera photos, I have no idea how to appreciate these pictures of the ground and my shoes. I don’t have a foot-fetish, so I don’t know why I’ve been keeping these pictures all this time.

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Somehow, I’ve found a purpose for these “shoe-selfies.”

I’ve always wanted to try and create a travel tradition. Like get something wherever I go to take home with me and keep as memorabilia. I used to collect rocks from places I had happy moments when I was a little kid. What can I say? I’m sentimental. But it didn’t work because they’re too bulky, and not everywhere I went to had rocks. Most of the places I had happy moments were indoors, plus, I keep forgetting where exactly I got those rocks from since I never really labeled them.

Instead of rocks, I decided another creative way of keeping memories from places I went to would be these shoe-selfies. However, because these photos obviously don’t show the actual places I went to, I made collages. Simple, yet effective.

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Orchard Central Mall Singapore

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Universal Studios Singapore

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On-the-Spot trip from Cadiz to Concepcion with my friends Anika and Rhaizza.

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For RJ’s birthday, we went from Dumaguete to Dauin.

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Mission to the recently disaster-struck Bohol that was ruined by a 7.4 magnitude earthquake.

I had a lot of travel experiences, mostly in beaches, but I figured 7 more pictures of my weird looking feet wearing slippers would be annoying.

A new tradition begins! Although I do realize, for this sort of collection, I’d probably need a bunch of new shoes.

xx

Gizel

NaBloPoMo November 2013