2015 in Retrospect

This year has been full of ups and downs, and not just in a typical way of describing years in general, but an actual experience of highs and lows a person could endure in a span of 360-something days.

On the first day of 2015 I found myself crying my eyes out, and who knows? Maybe I might do the same as it ends, although I sure hope not to.



It has been a year full of travel, opportunity, and new things defined by the experiences life decided to throw at me, and instead of hanging on to the bad, I am choosing to draw more attention to the good. It has definitely been a roller coaster, and though there also maybe a lot of dull moments in between, there are some moments that go beyond just being mundane experiences, these experiences are the definite highlights of my 2015:

My lasts with my friends (January) – Cebu City will forever have a huge part in my heart and my life. Although I’ve only lived there for a few months, it is the place where I first became independent, and opened myself to a lot of different possibilities and opportunities. Even if my experiences in that city happened in the better part of the previous year, I’m still counting 2015, because January was the month I came back there, and said my goodbyes.


For my last few days in the Philippines, I decided to spend quality time with all of my best friends together and separately. I was always in the beach (the place I would miss the most) with the people I trust the most.

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Moving to America (February) – It took a while before the thought of moving to another country finally sunk in. In a way, I think it still hasn’t. That was probably the biggest decision I’ve ever had to make in my entire life, a decision which, wasn’t exactly all up to me. Everything up to this point was always somebody else’s plan that I just decided to ride along with. Maybe it was the right time, maybe there was a reason behind it, whatever it is, I hope eventually it’s a choice that I would never have regrets with.

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Traveling to LA (April) – I know I’ve always traveled on my own and with my friends back home, but this was actually my first time in this country.. I had a weird experience on the bus because a crazy woman sat next to me and talked my ear off, but despite that, the short trip with Rose Ann was extremely fun, and we got to meet some of our high school friends in California so it was a bit of a mini reunion as well.


Getting a job (June) – I also wrote a blog about the trials of job hunting and waiting (and waiting, and waiting) for results. The first day of the month of June was also the first day of my first job in the States, it was a multitude of firsts that I was very thankful for, and I feel lucky to meet a lot of new awesome people.


My 22nd Birthday (August) – When you think of a birthday age higher than 20, and celebrating it in none other than Las Vegas, then you’d probably think a night pretty similar to “The Hangover.” What I did was the polar opposite of just that: a simple pizza dinner with my family, and I enjoyed it so much. Also, (forgive me for fan-girling) one of my best friends got Alden Richards to greet me.

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My younger sister is finally here! (October) – There’s a lot of pros and cons to this, but at least now I don’t get to be all alone, and I have someone to boss around. Plus, we also got to go around LA when we picked her up from the airport.

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Visiting Friends – My favorite thing about being Filipino is the fact that we are literally everywhere, so when you are in another city, country  or continent, all you have to do is look up the most common Filipino spot, ask around, and someone is definitely bound to know your friend’s cousin’s mother’s neighbor somewhere. So when I have friends coming to this city, I’d gladly go and spend time with them.

(May) My buddy since grade school Beanca came to visit and spent ten days of her vacation with me. It was fun because I was still new here, so we were both getting lost and wandering the city together. Plus, we both got to see Avicii, and I met Caspar Lee!

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Louise & Nikka came to visit and me and Rose Ann went around the city with them.


(June) Met up with a bunch of old and new friends and spent a super fun night with them.

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(July) On two separate occasions, one of my good friends from Bacolod, Joeliah came to spend weekends in my city, and we just had a bunch of adventures, and funny stories to tell.

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(August) Manang Redj, my co-volunteer at the Negros Museum back in Bacolod, came to visit my city with her husband, and we just spent the whole day, talking, drinking, catching up, having lots of fun, and complaining about the summer heat.


(October) my soul-brother, Aeson & his family came to Vegas as one of the places to visit in their US vacation. By this time, my younger sister was also already here, so there were a lot of us who went around the city at night, meeting lots of different people, and just having a blast.

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Bea, finally came back to the states and went to see me. It was a super tiring couple of days because it was non-stop partying, walking around the strip, doing touristy things and drinking. Plus I spent my very first American Halloween too. It was definitely some experience!

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(December) The second time around for Joe, who this time brought her friends Nikki and Eric with her.

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So pretty much, my whole year’s been spent missing home, and having a taste of it when I have people from home come over to see me. I can’t wait for next year. To more birthdays, travels, and friends. Thank you 2015!


xx Gizel

What would you do if you weren’t afraid?


When I first encountered this question, it was from a book my aunt gave me as a graduation gift. I brought it with me the very first time I moved to a different city because I figured it would help me. The book is called “Who Moved My Cheese?” It was a sort of children’s story that you, as an adult could learn a lot from.

The question bothered me so much, because I can never seem to figure it out on my own. Usually, I would require third-party assistance in the form of “life advice” or just a plain nudge towards the right direction: the direction that would lead me to answers rather than more questions.

What would I do if I weren’t afraid? Honestly, I have no answer. I can’t even begin to imagine how infinite my choices would be if I was, in fact, fearless. I have excuses for every little thing that could even become a slight possibility. Maybe I’m just being an ass to myself, or maybe, I’m not doing much of a job to self-motivate.

Sometimes however, you have these moments of epiphany, where you realize that the outcomes of your actions are better than how you usually expect them to be. That the means to these “ends” weren’t exactly daunting, all you need to do is take the first step.

Like, why is it really so hard to apply for a job you know you will love and grow in? Why do we fear going up the stage and being in front of a bunch of people even if we know deep inside that we have talent? Why would we not step foot to a place we have never been in, or eat food we have never tasted or even trust people we have never known? Why won’t we allow ourselves to fall for the wrong guy?


Fear is in our every being. They are those little devils on your shoulder that whisper in your ear to step back when you’re too high up, maybe literally, sometimes figuratively. But is it so bad to be on top? Is it so bad to be so high up on everything that you could see yourself in every possibility? So high up that you can see what you’ve become just because you chose to make the first step. You’re in that certain place where you realize that getting there wasn’t exactly so hard if only you stopped talking yourself down from the beginning of your journey.

Maybe the company will hire you because they see potential in you. Maybe the people will love you because you decided to share your talent. Maybe you’ll fall in love with a place, discover your favorite food, turn strangers into best friends, maybe he may not be the wrong guy after all.

I know these “maybe’s” are not certain, but so are the other hesitations you have that scare you into not doing what you want to do. Obviously, I’m not saying that you should just do these things to call yourself fearless. I simply meant the things you’ve always really wanted to do, but prevented yourself because of reasons you can’t even remember.

Of course there will always be risks, but the positive outcomes usually make you believe that the risks were worth it. If you think you can’t do it on your own, do it with someone who is just as scared. You’ll realize towards the end that you are both pushing yourself to do it, and at the same time gathering the courage from each other.

The best kinds of fears are the ones that you conquered. Some of these take a while, some, you would need a support group or person for. But definitely overcoming your fears slowly will make you realize how tiny your worries were in the first place. It will make you a happier person in general, and that kind of happiness extends to other people as well.

I’m going to start making a list, and I’ll slowly be crossing off things in this list. Maybe you should too…

xx Gizel

Falling in love is like watching a scary movie…

Lakeside Weddings & Events, Las Vegas

photo by: myself

Falling in love is like watching a really scary, well-written horror movie. You do it because it’s terrifying and exciting at the same time. The thrill is unlike any other. You start by fully guarding yourself, because you understand what you’ve gotten yourself into. You know the movie will be scary, it will make you scream and cry, it will make your heart jump out of your chest. The monsters will look real, the darkness will be suffocating. You will do anything you can to prevent yourself from making any sort of reaction. But at some point, you unknowingly let your guard down, and in that exact moment, it will let you do whatever it is you’ve been trying to avoid from the beginning. You will scream, you will cry, you will get your fragile little heart broken, and that’s when you realize, the monster is actually real.

I’ve realized that on most nights I can’t sleep, I would try to find a pen and paper and words would start spilling out. I decided to make a new category for my blog called “Words at Two in the Morning” because I’ve had pages of journals, diaries, old notebooks, and blog posts that come alive at this hour. After I’ve finished spilling my thoughts out, I would be able to sleep soundly. Is it just me?

xx Gizel

The Struggles of Finding a Job

Post-college job hunting is terrible! Doing it post-college-vacation is even worse. I mean, who would like to find work after lazing around in the sun for a long time?

Right? I mean no sane human being would prefer being tired, bossed around, and hating Mondays over an endless summer. But let’s be realistic here. No matter how appealing beach life or constant traveling sounds to us, we are not all born rich. Hence, the need for financial stability (and also the realization that we are becoming adults thus encountering terms such as ‘financial stability’ in ordinary conversations.)

You just somehow don’t want to admit that you’re not as special as you think.

But as soon as you start the process-slash-journey or rather, the excursion of finding a job, you realize you’re pretty much just like everyone else.

I know I’ve used this gif a thousand times, but it’s just a true depiction of how most jobless twenty-somethings are when they realize they need to grow up: confused, messed up, and desperate.

But before you begin, you already encounter you first fork in the road, which is the burning question:
What do you actually want to do with your life?


To think four years (or even more) of college has prepared you for this one, but no. Some people change their mind even after all of that. It’s just that, the decision of what job to do is too final, too rest-of-your-life-ish, that you know deep within, that this should be a job that you love, a job you become passionate about; the kind that makes you actually excited to go to work, and not just the to-pay-the-bills kind of thing.

Trust me, I’ve been in a job that I hated, and it’s a real waste of life.

Once you’ve finally made up your mind about the important things (What industry you want to be part of, which companies you want to apply to) you have this certain confidence in yourself. There’s this little person inside your brain telling you:
“Psh, this is nothing, you can handle it! I know you can! How hard can it be?”


And you’re so sure of what you can do. You have a long list of achievements that you’re proud to add to your resume. You believe in the fact that you can be a “huge asset” to the company you’re applying for, and you don’t miss on emphasizing on every single skill you can possibly have.


But lets be honest, half of everything you put in that tiny piece of paper are not true, and the other half are just fancy words used to describe your ordinary skills.

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And now, the next step is to wait…


and wait…


and wait…


Then you begin to realize that you still have too much time on your hands.


Which means, none of those you’ve applied for saw anything desirable in you.


Not one of them saw the potential that you see in yourself.


Then you finally get a phone call, then an email, one after another they keep coming, all to let you know that you don’t meet the requirements, or you don’t fit the description of what they needed, or that they already hired someone else. It’s all “Sorry’s” and “Unfortunately’s” which are becoming redundant, and really, a well-deserved blow to your ego.


Now you will start to think of alternatives, lower your standards a little…2brgrls


But you get another phone call, and an interview, and just like the first ones, they all come at the same time. Things are starting to look up for you.


And then after the interviews, it’s all over. You’ve given everything you have and done all that you could.


And we’re back to waiting…


The waiting game is absolute torture.


And then you get your worst nightmare: REJECTION.tumblr_mdd5t7swtN1r42p92o1_500

A girl can only take so much rejection…


You can hit a new kind of low with this one.

(BTW, Kat Dennings is my spirit animal)

But you know what? This doesn’t change things. You need to have a positive outlook in these situations, because you don’t need to figure everything out right now. You can keep looking, you can start small, you can even change your direction. You have endless possibilities, just as long as you never give up.


Because, soon they will call. And you WILL get the job that you want and need.


Now all that’s left to do is hope and pray they don’t realize how much of a complete weirdo you are, and take back the job they gave you.


Good luck on the hunt!

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.


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:


Then I finally decided to grow some balls and left:


And when work people tried to get me to stay:


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


Something is seriously wrong with me:


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



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:


That you’re leaving..


All you’ve ever known…


And everyone you’ve ever loved…




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


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


Then you get to the new place:


But you’re all alone…

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And everything is new:


And you start missing your friends:


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


And you see them making new friends:


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


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


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


Because they’re just a call away..


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


Get to know the place:


Start fresh:

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Okay, actually START..


  You’ll be okay.


xx Gizel

About tears and feelings.

As far as I can remember, I’ve never really told anyone how I felt about them. “Love” is such a strong word that I couldn’t even say it out loud. Being in love seems so- usual, so ordinary, and yet it’s always been so hard to admit that it could also happen to me.

I can’t seem to imagine myself like everyone else in love, I’ve always hated clichés. I’m one of those girls who’d choose action films more than romance, James Patterson over Nicholas Sparks, or rock instead of rnb. I hated happy endings in movies where the main characters end up together, it’s too… unrealistic. In reality people give up, people get hurt, and they don’t get what or who they want.

I’ve always been strong ever since I was young. I protect my friends from bullies, I fight back to boys who go over the line because I hated seeing my friends cry. I feel uncomfortable when people cry, I’m always clueless as to how I can comfort or empathize with them. That’s why I never let anyone see me cry, it makes me feel weak and vulnerable and I never wanted anyone to see me in that stage. I was always brave, and I was happy about that.

Years later, after all the pseudo-relationships that consisted of me having the hardest time to show any sign of affection or at least admitting that I “liked” them, I met you.

Thus began the hand-holding in public, the kissing and hugging in front of our friends, the actual cliché that I never wanted to be when I was young. I was being weak, but still I guarded myself. I was still cynical; for me, we were just playing. So everytime you’d say you were serious I’d tell you I don’t trust you; or everytime you accidentally say the L-word, I’d glare at you until you take it back, and you always do.

And I thought we were okay…

Until I started falling for you.

I still wouldn’t admit it, I still wouldn’t say it out loud because it would mean I was weak, and by then something was also happening to you. It wasn’t fun for you anymore. I knew I was slowly starting to lose you from my grasp. You wanted more from what I could only give and it went downhill from there. I couldn’t be the girl you wanted, and by the time I was willing to be more than I could, we already ended.

So I started building my walls up again; pretending I wasn’t affected, pretending I was okay, when in reality seeing you everyday physically hurt. I wanted to hold your hand again, and it didn’t matter whether a lot of people could see us, I didn’t care anymore, but I knew I couldn’t do it.

We started being friends again, because at least I could still talk to you, but you know what? It was worse. It hurt even more because that was when I realized that you were already over me and having you back that way meant completely losing you.

As far as I can remember, I’ve always been a brave girl, I’ve never cried in front of anyone, I’ve never told someone how I felt about them, and yet, I told you that I love you while I couldn’t help my tears from falling.

Keeping positive

From my most recent post, I could say that a lot of things have definitely happened to me. It has actually already been six months, and I haven’t even noticed that time was moving.

Since then, I’ve already moved to a different city, gotten a new job, learned a new language, (well, still learning) and met a lot of new people that will probably make a difference in my life.

It’s a funny thing, time, sometimes it’s too slow, other times it’s too fast. It’s never just right. Nothing ever happens to you where you’d feel like “I want to stay like this for a while.” It would always either be “I can’t wait for this part of my life to be over,” or “Wait a minute, everything’s happening too fast.” No matter what the situation is, you’ll always feel like the rug is being pulled out from under you, and always, you’d fall flat in your scrawny little ass.

Aside from time, I have another qualm that seems to be laughing at me and my decisions lately: responsibility. Half your life, you wish to be given the chance to spread your wings and become independent- live on your own, with no rules, no curfew, no parents to tell you what to do. And here you are a few months later berating yourself because nobody reminds you to do this or do that and obviously, without that chiding guidance, you always fail.

So here I am now learning to walk on my own, like a little parent-less toddler, with no one to soothe my butt when I fall. But the thing is, this is normal, and I’m not the only one who is going through this. Millions like me are wishing we were back at our own homes with someone to cook for us, take care of us, and make the right decisions for us.

But this is what growing up is like, it is scary, it is daunting, and most times you’d feel lost along the way. You make the absolute worst decisions, you work for a job you didn’t choose, you hang out with people you don’t feel comfortable with, you miss the people whom you actually hated spending time with, you start becoming unhealthy, you spend for a lot of things you don’t need and you start thinking about things that shouldn’t actually trouble you in your early twenties.

It’s a new chapter, and no matter what happens, you will come out of this a changed person; and as long as you know that you’re strong enough to handle all the new things, you’ll be okay, and you’ll be prepared for the next chapters to come.

xx Gizel