The Blissmakerie 2016: Beautiful Businesses

Collaboration, inspiration, new friends, and more. That’s the Blissmakerie.


What’s the Blissmakerie? In the words of its founder, Martine de Luna of, it “is a gathering of creative, bliss-making women — bloggers, small business owners and creative entrepreneurs — who believe in authentic community and collaboration.”

the inspiring Martine de Luna of

the inspiring Martine de Luna of

I first discovered it in 2014 through my most favorite blogger Patty Laurel (I’ve read and continues to read every. single. blog. entry. she posted since 2010 and counting!) when she wrote about the very first Blissmakerie. Back then, it was exclusive to people invited by Martine herself. Fast forward this year, several Blissmakeries have already been open to the public for a fee. So when I found out about this year’s event, I didn’t think twice about attending! I immediately signed up. Haha.

This was my second time to attend a Martine-hosted event (the first was Blog : Inspired back in 2014), and the theme of the Blissmakerie I’ve attended last month (there’s a different theme per event) was “Beautiful Businesses.” It was held at a very Instagram-worthy location: La Creperie in Salcedo, Makati.๐Ÿ™‚




From the moment I read what it was all about, I knew that I wanted it. Although I’m very much happy and satisfied with my current day job (at my dream workplace nonetheless! hehe!), I’ve always dreamed of owning businesses, too. I already have several ideas on my mind about what businesses I’d like to have in the future, and attending the Blissmakerie encouraged me more to pursue ’em — just like the special guests.

The special guests — Maricel Mendoza of A Sweet Cottage and Maggie Leather Crafts, sisters Steph and Lady Badoy of Boqueria Lifestyle Marketย (they styled the actual event!), and Kim Tiam Lee of Pulseras by Kim (who’s my instant newfound friend! Hi Kim!!!) — all have businesses that started as hobbies/passions.

Maricel of "A Sweet Cottage" and "Maggie Leather Crafts"

Maricel of “A Sweet Cottage” and “Maggie Leather Crafts”

Steph and Lady of "Boqueria Lifestyle Market"

Steph and Lady of “Boqueria Lifestyle Market”

Kim of "Pulseras by Kim"

Kim of “Pulseras by Kim”

It’s empowering, at the same time heartwarming, to know that more and more women have the chance to pursue their passions, turn these passions into businesses, collaborate, and then repeat!

As a millennial myself, meeting Kim was extra special because I could relate to her more, and she really inspired me. She’s a full-time architect and a jewelry maker both at the same time! I’ve always believed that quitting one’s day job (especially if you love it, as is my case) isn’t necessary to pursue other passions — including running a business. It’s always a choice (and mad time management skills, of course!). So Kim, marami pa talaga tayong pag-uusapan! Hahaha!

millennial blissmakers represent! (L-R: Kim, yours truly, Tiffy - thanks for this photo!, and RJ with her baby)

millennial blissmakers represent! (L-R: Kim, yours truly, Tiffy – thanks for this photo!, and RJ with her baby)

Anyway, another thing I love about the Blissmakerie is the Blissful Box!๐Ÿ˜‰

my Blissful Box...

my Blissful Box…

Every Blissmakerie ain’t complete without it. For each event, Martine and her team collate different brands (some are collaborators), which they think the attendees will love! They were right! I love each item in my own box!!!

...and its contents!

…and its contents!

(For the complete list of brands, click HERE.)

The Blissmakerie 2016 attendees (photo courtesy of Maricel Mendoza)

The Blissmakerie 2016 attendees (photo courtesy of Maricel Mendoza)

goal: to be a blissmaker in my own little way <3

goal: to be a blissmaker in my own little wayโค

And that’s pretty much it! As always, I hope you can also attend a Blissmakerie (or any Martine-hosted event for that matter!). I promise, they’re always pretty, inspiring, and of course, BLISSFUL!!!๐Ÿ˜€

Are YOU Ready for May 9, 2016?

Are You Ready for May 9?

Six years ago, I voted for the first time, and I voted for someone I thought would be a great leader for the Philippines. I’ve even attended his miting de avance (see photo above). Heck, I even voted for his Vice President (VP) — even though a lot of people told me it would be “a waste of my vote” because he was a celebrity and inexperienced in politics. I still voted for my President’s VP thinking that since my presidential candidate chose to be “partners” with him, then my candidate saw him as the “best” person he could run the Philippines with. Why vote for someone who doesn’t share the same “vision and mission” of my President, right? But that was in 2010.

For my non-Filipino friends reading this, my President and VP back in 2010 were Gilbert “Gibo” Teodoro and Eduardo “Edu” Manzano respectively. They both lost, by the way.

But even if they both lost, I don’t have any regrets. I don’t regret voting for them because in a way, I proved to myself that I could stand for what I believed in, regardless if many people were against my decision/s or told me otherwise.

Of course some will say that “standing for what I believe in” is also a dangerous mantra, especially if it’s something “wrong” in other people’s eyes. That’s where discernment comes in. And it’s always a case-to-case basis. I’m only talking about the elections here, capisce?

So yes, a couple of days from now (May 9, 2016), Filipinos will once again choose “leaders” who they think will bring the Philippines “improvement.” This is probably the first time I said anything about the 2016 Philippine elections (at least publicly), and man, I’m not liking the way how things have been diirrrty and uuugly.

Unlike in other countries who “benefit” from a two-party system, in the Philippines, that’s the exact opposite. Currently, we have five presidential candidates — and these five also endorse their own vice presidential candidates (unlike in other countries that whoever wins as President, his Vice President of choice automatically runs the country with him). So yes, you can say that Filipino voters carry a lot of “election weight” on their shoulders. Given the number of candidates, it’s also no wonder why the Philippines is now “divided we stand, united we fall.”๐Ÿ˜ฆ

We’re all divided right now because of the different candidates we support. Check at least the social media feed of one Filipino (voter or not), and there’s at least one election-related post. Some even became “friends to enemies” without realizing that at the end of election day, whichever candidates win, we’re all going to either rise or fall as one nation. And then these people will think, WAS ALL THE SOCIAL MEDIA DRAMA WORTH IT?! Let me be the one to answer that: NO!

It’s clear that WE, Filipinos, are NOT yet ready for May 9. Or maybe that’s just me. But since we don’t have any choice, we must act on that day.

Coincidentally, May 9 is also the death anniversary of my mother. This year’s election day marks the Philippines’ 16th presidential election, and also the 13th year I’ve learned to live without my beloved mother. And although the pain of losing a loved one, especially a parent, never really goes away, I can at least continue to try to honor them.

Right now, one of the ways I can honor them is to fight for what I believe is right — just like how my parents raised me. I’m not gonna bash other candidates. I’m not gonna fight with my family and friends who will vote for other candidates I’m not voting for. I’m not gonna try to “convince” another person to vote for my candidate/s; that’s the candidate’s job. (Who are we to think that we’re better than others just because they want to vote for a different President/candidate? Don’t you think that doing so just makes you the “worse” person, trying to hold their free will and whatnot? So just don’t.) Heck, I’m not even gonna “blame” the next leaders of this country if the Philippines doesn’t change (and God forbid, gets worse!).

All I’m gonna do on May 9 is exercise my right to choose and vote. After that, I’ll continue to try to be a better person (and not just “a better Filipino”) than I was yesterday.

me, after voting in 2010

me, after voting in 2010

I’ll start by NOT throwing trash at inappropriate places. Simple, but effective. Maybe you have a different idea, and that’s okay. But come to think of it, maybe we should exert more energy on tackling climate change considering how HOT it has been in the Philippines lately. (Now don’t say that that’s probably a reason why people are also hot-headed these days. Seriously, how do you expect the Philippines to change for the better if YOU can’t change for the better?!)

For what it’s worth, I’m voting for a female presidential candidate. There are only two of them, but I’m still choosing not to disclose who. What for? Even if you knew and try to convince me to think otherwise, I won’t budge.

I’ve already decided who I’m gonna vote for this coming May 9, albeit not being “ready” in the broadest sense of the word.

How about YOU, my fellow Filipino voter???

Of Dream Chasers, Invisible Crowns, and Yes, Pia Wurtzbach!!!

It has been a great week for the Philippines and yes, we’re still on a high! If you haven’t heard about the news yet, let me be the one to break it to you: the Philippines’ representative to the prestigious beauty pageant Miss Universe, Ms. Pia Wurtzbach, just won the 2015 crown (albeit “with reservations” — if you already know what happened! hehe)!!! But overall, I’m very happy. Call me biased or not (since I’m Filipino), but just based on her final answer alone, #PiaPinas truly deserved to win!!!๐Ÿ˜€

"Pia Wurtzbach Miss Universe 2015" by Melvin Villacote - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikipedia [click image]

“Pia Wurtzbach Miss Universe 2015” by Melvin Villacote – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikipedia [click image]

But more than the “destination,” it was Wurtzbach‘s “journey” to the crown that’s truly inspiring. Luckily, I found this viral screenshot from Mr. Dex Galban (I don’t know him personally, but we have common friends) on the Internet, which basically sums up everything. He said:

Pia Wurtzbach joined the Ms. Philippines pageant for 3 consecutive years. Only on her third try did she win the Ms. Philippines-Universe. And now, she’s Ms. Universe.

To everyone who has been repeatedly heartbroken, delayed academically, denied a job, or lost confidence in one’s self, keep fighting the good fight!

You just won’t be back. You’ll be Wurtzbach!๐Ÿ™‚

#MsUniverse #Philippines #PiaPinas

Credit goes to Mr. Dex Galban :)

Credit goes to Mr. Dex Galban๐Ÿ™‚

That made me look back in the year that was (2015) and the years before it (FYI, this is my year-ender post! hahaha!).

Have I been heartbroken before? Yes! Many times! But it’s true that it’s better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all (as Alfred, Lord Tennyson once said). Besides, if it weren’t for those past heartaches, I wouldn’t be where I am NOW: happy, in love, and definitely loved back.โค

Have I been delayed academically? Errr, not necessarily. I actually graduated college at the age of 18. However, graduating early also has its own CONS. But I can say that I’m already past that, so let’s move on. Harharhar.

Have I been denied a job? A BIG YES! Heck, that’s even the gist of this post and how I came back, rather Wurtzbach-ed, after it!!!๐Ÿ˜€

Have I lost confidence in myself? Every. single. day. But I don’t let the feeling linger because I know that there’s more to me than my flaws and imperfections. Which brings me to the next question…

Have I been fighting the good fight? Yes… and no. Of course I’m not perfect (who is, anyway?), so I also have my fair share of pathetic moments when emotions come in to play. The important thing is I KEEP fighting the good fight. It’s a struggle but as long as I know that the people who truly matter and God always got my back, I continue to bounce back from every setback life throws at me — stronger and wiser!

Having said those, this year alone, I’ve been through A LOT. I’ve felt both happiness and sadness. I’ve made tough decisions in my personal and professional life (probably my highlight of the year). I gained new friends (as well as felt distant to some old ones). I learned new things (self-publishing, surfing, cooking, etc.). And the list goes on…

Just take my 2015 highlight — my dream workplace — as an example. Like what I recently posted on my Facebook timeline,ย I can’t help but relate to Wurtzbach. No, I can’t relate to her sexiness (ahem!) and pageant experience (especially what happened in the end! hehe) — but I can relate to how she never gave up with her “dream.”

How exactly can I relate? In May 2012, I wrote THIS blog postย after not landing a job at my dream workplace. Fast forward to today, I can’t help but SMILE. Two weeks ago, I just “celebrated” my sixth month at the said dream workplace!๐Ÿ™‚ Sure, I’ve had a few more “rejections” here and there in the years that followed before making my dream come true, but I sure realized that those rejections were just “redirections.” I needed to experience those for the lessons I learned along the way — which surprisingly prepared me for where I am today. #everythinghappensforareason

And that’s probably one of my takeaways this year and what I’d like to impart to you as we start another new year. If you think that only “famous” people can make their dreams come true, think again! If an ordinary citizen like me proved that it can be done, YOU can too! After all, it’s true that the only time you “fail” is when you give up and stop trying. Kaya basta walang involved na “agawan” at talagang paghihirapan mo, i-push mo lang ‘yang dream/s mo, friend!!!

#TiwalaLang, darating din ‘yan sa #TamangPanahon!๐Ÿ˜‰

Most importantly, keep dreaming, especially big dreams. As David Cook once said (or sang), “if you don’t dream big, what’s the use of dreaming?” Because it’s true, our “dreams” in life, whatever they may be, fuel us to continue. Combine that with your faith in the Supreme Being and your surrender to His mighty hand, and you’ll be making your dreams come true in no time! Believe it, I’m a witness to this!!!

"Always wear your invisible crown."

“Always wear your invisible crown.”

Of course once you make your (big) dreams come true, don’t get used to always having your chin up, up, up. Stay humble. Learn to touch the skies when your knees hit the ground (#HillsongUnited).

So to all of you reading this, especially to my fellow ladies, always wear your invisible crown — always be classy! (Your laugh is an exception, though, just like me! That’s probably the only unladylike thing about me: my laugh! Just ask my friends! WAHAHAHAHAHA! But hey, that’s one of my “classy” advocacies: learn to always LAUGH your heart out while you still can. Many people don’t have that privilege.)

Anyway, I can feel that I’m already rambling. So before I completely make you lost, I’ll end here and bring you back to DREAMING. No, my other dreams don’t involve titles and crowns (except maybe my dream to see the British Royal Family in the flesh — but who knows what can happen next year?! *hint, hint*). But if there’s one thing the Pia Wurtzbachs (yes, plural!) of the universe and I have in common, it’s that we’re all dream chasers. We know what we want (dream). We work hard to get what we want (act). And we definitely don’t give up, despite challenges and setbacks, until we succeed (persevere/persist). So again, if we did it, YOU can too! Let’s all aim to make more of our dreams come true this coming 2016! Again, claim that you won’t just be back, you’ll be Wurtzbach! #push๐Ÿ™‚

“Disappointments are just God’s way of saying ‘I’ve got something better.’
Be patient, live life, have faith.”

Join me in my 2016 adventures! HAPPY NEW YEAR, Y'ALL!!!

Join me in my 2016 adventures! HAPPY NEW YEAR, Y’ALL!!!