MY STEPS UP FROM THAT SANDTRAP SLUMP

This is probably by far the most honest blog post I might be putting out so far but I’m happy to be back on my keys again.  It did just occur to me, why do I have wait to be in a completely better place before actually getting back to you guys?  I’ve finally managed to scribble this reminder onto my brain — I don’t need to become better before having something valuable to say.  Not everything in my life needs to be picture perfect for me to share what’s close to my heart with you.  Besides, my experience of deciding to kick the bucket and get up and make an opportunity for myself may or may not help some of you out there.  God’s grace and blessings have been revealed in the most unexpected ways for me…however He just might be waiting for you to take the first step and get up.

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Winona Ryder, Reality Bites 1994

The FOMO (Fear-Of-Missing-Out) during my freelancer blues while looking left and right at every other freelancer or influencer was paralyzing me and actually making me miss out and get stuck.  My mistake was I looked beyond MY lane.  Suddenly everyone was posing and posting non-stop about anything and everything and where they were at.  I had never hit a WALL like this and it was new to me.   Read on for the full post and see the steps I took to reach higher ground.


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THE WORD “PERFECT”

In the last couple of months I’ve been working and doing makeup work in the offline world to make ends meet.  I almost said “real” world but I’d be quite wrong in saying the blogging world isn’t any more real than a dutiful desk job we can all be thankful for.  I was coasting through and snagging threads of what I was trying to weave into a prosperous adult life but there were just some things left hanging in the balance that needed my attention.  We had to clean out the thought attic.  There’s this word most humans fear, the word “PERFECT”.  I think deep inside many of us can’t stand it for real.  Nobody really likes being reminded of something they’re not.  I think we needn’t fear it though because I recently remembered that “perfect” is also an action word and not just a descriptive word.

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To “perfect” is to work at and finish or make something as close to being complete as possible and to be “perfect” is to be finished completely.  I never managed to put up a post for Spectrum bazaar because I felt back then that the event, while pretty, didn’t particularly strike a unique chord in me that day.  I never delete pictures if I can help it just in case they can support something I want to say.  One of the key words and phrases among the varied definitions of the word “perfect” are “complete” and “lacking nothing”.  I’ve had my heartstrings pulled this month by the word “perfect” and also felt my Spirit telling me to no longer be afraid of this word.  I just need to embrace what it means and the verse above that helps me in this does not contain the word “perfect” itself but bears its essence “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13  We are only able to attain perfection with the guidance of the One Who lacks nothing.

May whatever you choose to perfect today bring you pure joy.… To full post & COMMENTS...

DROPPING A LINE WITH PIZZA AND I’M FINE

Hello, all of you, I know it’s been like two weeks.  In a very gradual, slightly reluctant way I decided to take a break from blogging not because something happened or anything like that but because real life concerns were at hand.  I just had to take a break from all of it and get me pretty bum back on some work.  On this end, all the online media was just overtaking my brain, pressure to keep up with all this “influencing” and even some “insincerely influential” stuff was rising in a not so healthy way inside me.  It was affecting how I planned to produce posts, and take photos…some of you who blog know this feeling.  Today everyone wants something from talking about something or showing off something.  That’s real life and you need to ride the wave to stay in this.  It wasn’t like that for me when I began this blog before so I just managed to paddle back up to the surface for a quick breath.  Blogging burnout is a bummer, but I just needed to take a lengthy refresh…and perhaps have some pizza from Caruso on hand-painted Italian crockery.

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There was also a highly unpleasant situation where due to unfortunate circumstances we didn’t have power in our rented apartment for two weeks.  Lately, I have been living though without wondering what products I just needed to slap on my face because of some important things that needed my attention…and while it was completely important to get back to loving all that good stuff  it was beginning to feel redundant.  I just hit the reset button for all of it to feel new again.  So here, peace and pizza to you and yes, you still got me!  The blog’s here to stay.… To full post & COMMENTS...

BLOG SALE AND A “ME BEFORE YOU”-ish TOPSHOP SWEATER

Just wanted to quickly announce that my spring cleaning blog sale is up here at the second tab  on the upper left corner of the site (after About Julia)  and this sale consists of ten tops I haven’t been using in awhile but are still eye candy and in good condition…INCLUDING what I believe to be the main event of this sale: a TOPSHOP real knit wool sweater that I spotted and very likely being worn by Emilia Clarke in the Me Before You upcoming film trailer.  This particular piece I’m convinced is the main event of my blog sale.  If you’re one who travels abroad a lot this is for you, sadly we don’t have whether chilly enough locally for me to use it more often.

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I’m like 99.9% sure it’s the same sweater, given that Me Before You is pretty much a British film with British actors and Topshop being a UK brand.  Obviously there is film grading in most movies, so I didn’t spot it right away, only when I applied a cooling filter (to match the grading in the film) to the warmer photo of the texture of my sweater (which killed all the orange dots) did I realize that it most likely is what it is.  If it isn’t that exact sweater  it’s twinning quite closely to be sure.  To buy this sweater or the other items I have for sale go here for the links to ebay or to the tab after About Julia.

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THE NON-ELECTION REFLECTION

Following the electoral count over the next few days a new President will be sworn into office.  At home, while both my family and our household staff patrol the tube for election updates I decided to retreat into reflection…not about the elections nor about politics, but about righteousness, which sadly has been plastered and marked as a highly-overrated commodity these days…naturally, because these are the end times.  Armageddon in case you didn’t know, is not a fairy tale, it is imminent.

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I read something today that upheld my sentiments about the commitment I made to the Lord when I was nine years old.  I committed to live a life pleasing to Him and one thing He promised me that night was that I never needed to be afraid of the dark again.  It was a simple enough request because I didn’t know how to sleep alone in my room.  He didn’t promise that darkness would not come, it most certainly would, He just promised that He would be with me.  Wherever He is more than enough light shines for you to know where you’re at.  Read on to the end.… To full post & COMMENTS...

MY 2016 BTS VLOG FOR TEAM KIKO

As you can tell for the stretch of over a week I’ve decided to fully focus on the elections as a matter of importance.  I was given an opportunity to have a sortie run with Team Kiko once again after almost 11 years (in 2007 I did a web series on YouTube with them, very low-res).  My contribution this time wasn’t as consuming, but I gave what I could.  I shot a simple vlog or behind-the-scenes video as a follow-up to my cousin Gab’s full-on crisp, HD take for the campaign here as a tribute to a lot of the sometimes unseen hard work of Team Kiko.

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Oh, by the way the pink VMV Hypoallergenics lipstick I’ve been loving and wearing here I’ve already blogged about at this link :).  This was shot on my birthday.  Watch the campaign BTS/vlog video embedded below.  MUSIC Credits: “PANGAKO” Paolo Valenciano with Julianne Tarroja for Star Music (official lyric video here).

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KIKO PANGILINAN’S FULL CARAVAN VIDEO BY GAB VALENCIANO

There is I believe a uniquely small handful of people in the world with the energy, tenacity, and talent for massive impact video craft (the sort that makes you think there’s an entire fleet of cameramen doing it) and one of those people is my cousin, Gabriel Valenciano, who was only assisted in shooting by one good friend, David Lamar.  Our very own expressive wild one has certainly outdone himself on this piece which he flew home for.

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This is his full serving of the Kiko Pangilinan Caravan campaign video, featuring destinations like Iloilo, Cebu, Bohol, Naga, and Legaspi as well as special moments from Tito Kiko Pangilinan’s 20th anniversary dinner with Tita Sharon and the rest of the Pangilinan family.  Read on for the YouTube and Facebook embedded links and videos.… To full post & COMMENTS...

WHEN THE SKY DIMS

I’m an artist and a writer.  When circumstances start to overwhelm me I tend to spiral quite quickly because I’m so imaginative.  I imagine things and I describe them…even to myself…which can sometimes be an annoying, wasteful combination.  Sometimes I dread the strangest things even with no proof on the horizon.  This doesn’t happen all the time, but I am human and I visualize extremely well.  Over the last year and a half though I’ve trained myself to do something as soon as the most fleeting spell of sky dimming thoughts loom overhead.  You don’t sit pretty ’til things turn pitch black, you don’t comprehend, you don’t overthink while plucking daisies in one hand, Alice, you run at the first sight of shade.

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It isn’t escape, it isn’t flight, it’s common sense.  Just move somewhere else.  Strap balloons to your mind palace and transfer!  You don’t belong under darkness and dispelling darkness isn’t your job description, it’s His.  You can certainly try going all Gandalf-versus-Balrog but sometimes it’s just simpler to cease coddling the existence of darkness. What you need to be doing is focusing all your energy on unleashing light.  By no means am I saying that you’re not supposed to face your problems, letting light in begins exactly with the tough stuff, tackling each step.  Our wrong assumption is always that the “to-dos” constitute the darkness over us, they do not.  Focus on untangling each knot instead of finding yourself stuck in a looping monologue of how each knot sucks.  You’ll get somewhere, as long as you stay somewhere bright so you can see exactly what it is you’re doing.  Stay in the light.

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1 John 1:5-7 NKJV

“5 This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.”

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A NAMELESS FEAR AND CAMPAIGNING FOR HOPE

From a very young age I was often taught to learn to lead and get involved and not just sit back and watch the show.  I ran for student government (positions in the wings mostly) both in my tiny high-school and in my large university, or if I happened to not be officer in grade-school or high-school I was writing essays, little school skits, or once editing our little school newsletter (it was a small school but still, got it done).  Politics, wherever it turned up in my life, wasn’t some toxic blowfish word mentioned in our family that carried a foul stench, unlike for some.  It was highlighted in our family for my generation as an avenue or space for possible improvement, anything was possible if worked for with zeal and integrity. Beginning Saturday I shall be duly serving in the ranks of my uncle Kiko Pangilinan (IG: @kiko.pangilinan, #40PANGILINANsaSenado) who is campaigning for the senate once more.  I will be shooting behind the scenes material on the campaign trail in 7 destinations in a span of 5 days, whew.  I see no reason why I shouldn’t involve you in this, I’d like to take you along somehow, if I can manage it.  It matters to me and I see that my beloved country is limping.  I crave protection of whatever beauty we find in the freedom we have today.

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Nearly a decade ago now in Tito Kiko Pangilinan’s 2007 campaign I conceptualized and spearheaded a web series project called KTubed which you can watch in glorious low resolution here and here, an online portal to see him as a normal person as well as a celebrated leader.  Passionately, I used OPM music from people I knew to generously season the videos with young flavor.  The project was of enough significance that the search for the mere Multiply website I was embedding the KTubed YouTube videos on in 2007 was being slapped by hackers, search engines were often being masked from searching for the site.  Following the release of that web series campaign I was interviewed for my small role and the use of YouTube on ANC.  That was a little project I was quite proud of which I produced, shot, and edited personally on a well-loved Toshiba laptop.  By the way, of course I will be mentioning my presidentiable but I choose to do so on my social media platforms instead.   Read on to the end of the post.… To full post & COMMENTS...