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Wandering Sunflower ๐ŸŒป

… explore the world with minimum budget

Where it all began.

Basking in the warmth of the sun and embracing the sea breeze, the powdery white sand, and the freedom. Finally, the day came when my parents allowed me to roam around the world without too many questions and too many worries. They gave back my wings so that I can fly away from home and pursue grander ambitions in life. I was always afraid of something new before and I preferred the ease of routine work. And then I met a lot of people, some were very cautious while others were very brave. It dawned on me that it’s high time to travel the unknown and experience the unplanned even with a short lifespan than to live a long life that is empty and lonely. I dared myself, defied my norms and did the unthinkable: chasing my impossible dreams. It was tough. It was scary. It was heartbreaking. I thought I will give up and quit but I wanted to pat my shoulders for trying and trying until I succeed. I wonder where I pulled such guts and resilience. I was curious where I got all those optimism and faith. Maybe God is just too good on me that despite my being hard headed, He never abandons me. I pray that traveling will not only help me find love, adventure, and freedom. Most importantly, I hope that it will find the inner goddess in me. โœŒ๏ธ ๐Ÿ˜‰ #BORACAY #beach #beachbody #boracay #happy

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TIMEKEEPER: A Book Review

There are authors we begin to read at some point in our lives and there are those that we shelved and let go of. I remembered being crazy over Danielle Steele, Cynthia Freeman and Johanna Lindsay, then I ran through John Grisham and Louis L’Amour. In addition, I am a big fan of Paulo Coelho, J. K. Rowling, and C. S. Lewis. Flipping hungrily through the pages of their books has been a passion and a commitment. I spent years loving their write-ups, collecting their books, and stacking them neatly in my cupboard. However as the time goes by, my devotion has wavered and the time I expend in reading books has lessened.

Recently, I received a gift from a very good friend whom I used to work with in Saudi Arabia. It’s a book written by Mitch Albom who was behind the international bestseller, Tuesdays with Morrie.

This book, THE TIMEKEEPER, was about TIME and how Dor, the one who invented the world’s first clock was punished because he tried to measure time. He can redeem himself though and lift the cursed of an immortal life that is empty and unhappy by teaching two people the true meaning of time.

Banished for eternity in a cave, he came back to the world on a mission: to help a teenage girl who was about to give up on life because of an uncompensated love and a wealthy, ageing man who wants to beat death and live past his lifetime. To save himself, he must save them both.

The book was not an easy read. You have to internalize it slowly in order to understand its depth. There were three stories condensed and interconnected with each other.

First was the story of Dor who was gifted with measuring time through water, sticks, and shadows. He fell in love and had a family. They had a simple and happy life but because of man’s greed for power, Dor and his wife was banished elsewhere. There, they had to struggle daily in order to live and when Ali, Dor’s wife, became sick, Dor had to climb the tower that was built to reach the heaven to find a cure. Unfortunately, when he was ascending the stairs, the slaves who were building the tower climbed as well. The tower collapsed and the people who greedily climb had a great fall. This can be assumed as the story of The Tower Of Babel. In man’s quest to have a God-like power, The Omnipotent One punished them through language differences so that they can’t easily communicate with each other.

The second part was about Victor Delamonte, a self made man who was embittered by his experiences in life. His father died when he was young and his mother committed suicide. Although he was a compassionate and gentle young man who prays for yesterdays to happen again so that he can relish good memories with his loved ones, his parents death and his hardships when he went to the US changed him. He believed that holding on to things or people will only break his heart.

While reading this part, I can’t help but cry. I remembered someone from a not so distant memory. I was broken into pieces when I realized that I can never have him for myself but then it also dawned on me that when he came into my life, I was very happy. They say that when people are most alone, they embrace each other’s loneliness. I had to agree with that though I was not so alone during that time. Accepting and loving him in a short span of time might be questionable, but I know myself well and I loved him. Again, I do not regret. It’s just the way it has to be and I have to accept it and move on.

Victor had a terminal disease with only a few weeks left to live. He can’t accept the fact that a man his statue who is a genius at cracking open a weak spot is susceptible to death. He knew he can’t beat human mortality with conventional means so he planned on freezing himself through cryonics – the preservation of human for later reanimation, that might help him outlast his last days on earth.

On the other hand, Sarah Lemon is a teenager who was led to believe she was loved by a casual guy. Because she came from a broken family, she thought that Ethan, who gave her some special attention is sincere with her and that he can complete the void that she felt. That had led to herself giving everything to Ethan. Sometimes, when you are not getting the love that you want, giving makes you think you will, but this is an absurd lie. It was heartbreaking that some people will tend to appear nice just to score to the point of showing you the stars, the moon and the sky. And when they get what they wanted, they will transform from a sheep to a leopard. Well, it’s not really entirely a guy’s fault. Of course, they love the chase and the challenge and once they caught their catch and outwon their struggle, they will purr satisfyingly without looking back. It’s their nature, some of course, but not the entire race of male specie and girls should be aware of that. Men who are ignorant should know that not all women are strong. Not all can stand the humiliation of being used. Some girls became better versions of themselves after a heartbreak, but others, like Sarah Lemon can’t fight their depression and has the tendency to succumb to the easiest escape from shame_ death.

The book doesn’t want to tell us about broken hearts, though it is an important element in the story. Albom’s book tells us about our notion of time and just how significant it truly is. Some of us wants to speed up time that we forget to appreciate what we have in the moment. Others however want to defy time and in the process, they overlook what is really essential in life. The impending death of a rich man made him crazy over finding a way to escape it that he missed the opportunity to spend his remaining days with his wife who longs to show him her love the best way she can. The shame and heartbreak of a teenager made her gaga over ending her very life without looking back at her mother who wants to reach out to her and who cares and loves her unconditionally.

Dor was able to help the two realized how important it is to live in your own time. A quest for more minutes, more hours or faster progress will lose our sense of contentment and the simple joys of living. Let us live for the moment and be happy about what we have or whom we are with.

It is never too late or too soon. Let’s not wait for the time to realize what we have lost because we were so preoccupied about other things. Let me borrow the sentence from the book :

“There is a reason why God limits our days. It is to make each one precious.”

I am a simple minded reader and this book has given me so much lesson about appreciating the time that I have with my family, my friends, my co- workers, my pets, and every one that has to play a part in my life. There are moments that I have treasured, that made me smile and contented. There are also memories that are best kept aside and buried but I have to remember them once in a while to remind me that I survived the tempest.

My friend, Ate Janice who gave me the book as a farewell gift, told me that TIME IS BOTH AN ENEMY AND A FRIEND. Indeed! But because I have decided to be happy and optimistic all the way, TIME will be my friend and I intend to use it wisely to my advantage.

I hope this review helps.

Love lots,

Sunflower Girl ๐ŸŒป

The Charms of Gardening

When I was a kid, I hate to get my hands dirty whenever my mother orders me to weed her garden. I also dislike walking along damp soil and getting wet while my brother waters the plant. Gardening is definitely not my thing but I do adore the blooms when it’s summertime.

Many years had passed though and I have looked at gardens in a different light. I have learned to love the verdant hues, the fresh flower scents, and the colorful blooms of a garden. I spend hours weeding and cultivating the topsoil and I grow new varieties of plant whenever I have the chance because every time I sit by our small garden, I am mystified.

There is that fundamental, incomprehensible miracle that transforms a seed into a healthy shrub, a shy bud into a full bloom, and a lifeless leaf into a fertilizer. It’s magical even to see them in a complete picture, bright yellow, orange and red complimenting a lush of greens and a few stalks of browns. It can be a therapy to broken-hearted souls for the reason that their beauty brings comfort and joy. Sometimes, when people inhale the fragrance of the morning dew, there is that feeling of hope that warms a lonely heart.

I am awed every time my mother trims her shrubs into an almost perfect cylinder of greens. The garden is beautiful in the afternoon when the sun sets and the birds begin to chirp their way back into their nests just above her fortune plant. Call me a foolish romantic and so? I am always delighted by the natural beauty that is the complete opposite of my life in the city.

I hope to cultivate more roses, of different colors and variety to add spice to the garden. It’s interesting to note that my mother have sunflower seeds on her seedbed. How I hope to grow them myself and I promise to pluck the first sunny bloom to adorn my pretty head. Lol. ๐Ÿ˜‚

I am enamored by sunflowers, not only by its physical attractiveness but mostly by its symbolism. It has become my favorite flower because of the hope that spring from its bright yellow petals.

Well, I have to wait for that but right now, I am just happy and charmed by our small garden. I don’t mind getting my hands and nails dirty, or my palms getting rough as I crumble and pulverize the soil. It has made its way into my heart and I will surely love to make a mark in our small garden.

My Travel Buddyย 

Traveling with my sister is an exciting adventure and this is just the beginning of our extensive journey together. Rain or shine, we will giggle our way in exploring the world. She is a versatile companion. In fact, she comes in handy with locating landmarks and attractions of a certain place. She is very smart with budgeting of finances as well. She can bark like a seal but I just rub it off my shoulder, I can rap like a parrot too. Lol. Plan our adventure and your outfit of the days. Until our October journey little sister. Love lots, Your Big Sister Sunflower Girl ๐ŸŒป

Budget Friendly Style

When I go to places, I make sure that I celebrate my womanhood by wearing the right pieces that match my personality and my story. I love to express my feminine allure through effortless pieces and timeless silhouettes. During my first vacation abroad, I chose a maxi dress that is spaghetti strapped and adorned with floral patterns. It has few ruffles and a sexy slip with a hem that falls just above my feet. I love branded items but for this piece, I got it at 69SAR from Max. What a steal considering how beautifully it hugged my curves and frolics when the wind blows. It can certainly compete with other notable brands when it comes to design and quality. Every woman has to be confident, sexy, and a little bit edgy. To give me a confidence lift, I wore a Forever 21 green dress. It was sleek considering the green shade and is lovely with an antique necklace but I opt to wear it without any dangling jewelry. I paired it with a Keds sneakers for a polished and bold look. My Hongkong trip will not be complete without a Korean inspired dress. The semi black floral mini dress is trendy and reveals just the right amount of skin. It looks youthful and playful too and is very comfortable to wear. I wanted to look refine even in shorts, so I chose the classic sky blue A-line short and paired it with a black spaghetti strap cotton shirt. It looks classic paired with a great eyewear and trendy and fun with a good sneakers. Temples are sacred so I chose a minimalist pink dress. It was a bit heavy to wear since it’s made from a denim fabric but since it was cold in the morning, it’s a nice pick to combat the cold weather. For my night look, I chose a black short and complimented it with a gold crochet beaded top. It’s comfortable and at the same time gold stands out and glitters at night. I preferred simplicity and comfort for my adventure in Ocean Park Hongkong. The aeropostale cropped short and the round neck shirt was pretty clean and easy to don. I partnered it with a comfy sneakers from Guess so trekking the five mountains of the park was not that exhausting considering the ease and comfort of the garments. It’s great to celebrate our feminism by what we wear. Be happy, be grateful, and be tenacious and your confidence will naturally boost your womanhood. #rabp

Cinderellaย 

Shy smile

Spark at first sight

Erratic heartbeats

Stolen glances
Hopeful, daydreaming
Will he ask me out?

Roses dainty white
Birds humming love songs 
Sky’s azure blue, idyllic 

Butterflies in my stomach
Stars twinkling at broad daylight
While I am grinning

Clock’s tic tac
A looking glass, mirroring
a happy face

Love letters
Fresh flowers
A visit

Modest smile
Knees buckling, asks permission
Hmmm… 

Thorough investigation
Sincerity, kindness, politeness 
Let go of your worry

The one
Maybe
Let God, let it be

JOB DILEMMA :IELTS WRITING TASK 2

Some people argue that it is more important to have an enjoyable job. Others disagree and think that a good salary leads to a better life. 

Discuss both these views and give your opinion. 

INTRODUCTION 

It seemed that these days, there are clashing views between individuals who prefer a satisfying occupation and those who favor a high compensating profession. Although it would be best if one can have a gratifying job and at the same time can earn a lot of money, it is thought to be impossible especially for the majority of people. 

BODY PARAGRAPH 1 

When it comes to work, it might be the case that some people will opt for gratification and happiness. For these individuals, doing something that they like even if they are not compensated very well is not a problem for the reason that they feel a sense of fulfillment after finishing their tasks. For instance, a writer who belongs to a family of bankers, finds contentment and joy whenever his articles are published though he receives a small income out of it. It is deemed that if that same writer works as a banker with a good salary, he might feel empty and unhappy at the end of the day. 

BODY PARAGRAPH 2

On the extreme, having a high paying job can bring so many benefits to a person. Moreover, it is noticeable that he can afford the luxuries of life like traveling, cruising, and shopping which is already an indulgence for a minimum waged worker. He can also send his children to the best universities while providing them with a comfortable lifestyle. In addition, his family could get treated by the best physicians in better health institutions with state-of-the-art facilities during times of emergencies. It is unfortunate that with all the perks of a man’s high paying job, he can’t seemed to figure out how to make time for his family. 

CONCLUSION

On the whole, it is said that having an enjoyable work could suit best for some who might value a simple, contented life whereas for people who seek pleasure in a grander way, then a high salary occupation could help them have a better life. Whilst both have an honourable and dark side to them, in my point of view, having a good paying job is more beneficial especially nowadays that everything comes with a price tag. 

-rachel ann pedroso

Homeย 

Home is more than just a place to go to when things get crazy and unbearable. At the end of a hectic day, it’s more than just the comfort of the place where I live or the strong arms that my head so long to lie down on. 

Home is not only a physical place. It the feeling of love and belongingness, the comfort from the security and the peace and quiet from the hustle and bustle of our busy days. Home is where our heart is. 
Photo credits to: Iloilo Provincial Library

CRAZY FRIDAY NIGHT

If Mondays are considered the riskiest day for heart โ™ฅ  attacks, then Friday should be tagged as the come what may day for passengers, especially during “uwian time”  . As long as you can fit that butt of yours in a jeepney ๐Ÿš™  and bus ๐Ÿš , then be relieved. You can guarantee a seat ๐Ÿ’บ on your way home ๐Ÿก . But please, don’t forget to inform your parents that it will take longer for you to arrive home, otherwise, you’ll hear a seal bark and you definitely won’t like it. 

Let me tell you some LESSONS I’ve learned while I’m on my way home today against the horrendous drop ๐Ÿ’ง of the rain and the strong brush of the wind ๐Ÿƒ in this Crazy Friday Night ๐ŸŒƒ . 

1. Listen ๐Ÿ‘‚ to your mother. 

Sometimes, we ignore our parents because we thought ๐Ÿ’ญ we can handle every thing since we are not minors anymore. Oh no, think again. Mothers have the best instinct and when they tell you to go home ๐Ÿก at 4 pm, then so be it. They have more experiences compared to us, and they knew how difficult it is to go home on Friday’s. 

2. Always know the day of the week. 

After praying ๐Ÿ™ and doing your morning routine, it’s best to check what day of the week you are in. Days like time are uniquely engineered and they mean a thing. If Sundays are rest day and God’s day, Mondays are starters, then Fridays are the bottleneck ๐Ÿพ of the week. It’s the day when most people go home to rest after school and work so expect a stampede of passengers on bus ๐Ÿš terminals. 

3. Don’t put your phone ๐Ÿ“ฑ on silent mode. 

Phones are necessary during emergencies and highly important cases. Well, a mother  miscalling ๐Ÿค™  her daughter for the umpteenth time โŒš but was unanswered because the cellphone was in a silent ๐Ÿ˜ถ mode is worried to death. If you put your profiles in silent ๐Ÿ”• mode, don’t forget to activate the vibrate alarm ๐Ÿ“ณ so you will know if someone is calling or texting you. You never know, it’s a highly classified information that needs urgent attention. 

4. Always bring your umbrella โ˜”. 

No one can predict ๐Ÿ”ฎ the exact weather of the day so be wise enough to bring an umbrella. It’s very handy for both sunny โ˜€ and rainy season and can also be used as a weapon. Lol. Just bring one.  If the need arises, you’ll be thankful you have it kept in your bag ๐Ÿ›„. 

PS. I had to type this against the overcrowded bus I’m riding right now. No complaints here. I believe I deserve such inconvenience because I failed to listen to my mother. I can’t wait to go out of the bus and rest my exhausted body.

Afterall, I’m praying ๐Ÿ™ for our safe arrival to our destinations. May God bless us all. 

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