2016: The Year of Wonder, Wander, and Faith

2016. WANDERing in Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom

2016. WANDERing in Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom

Ever since I started posting year-ender entries on this blog, I’ve always been amazed on how each post serves as a reminder of how blessed, at the same time, how humbled I was for the year that was ending, as well as on how each post serves as a “guide” for the year that’s about to start. Each year-ender post has its own unique “highlight” which I try to reflect on (“try” being the operative word! haha!) before hitting the “publish” button.

And this year, it’s WWFWonder. Wander. Faith. (not World Wildlife Fund, although I totally support that too!) 😉

WONDER

If there was a year that made each person on this planet scratch their head in wonder or because of WTF moments, it’d probably be 2016! Just take the “current events.” From the never-ending wars and struggles in some countries to the results of local and international elections, to Brexit, to a controversial burial, etc. — it seemed like everyone WONDERed (at least those that I know!) what the eff was happening to the world!!!

But you know, even if I don’t agree with some of the things happening now, I still believe that everything happens for a reason — just continue to pray and keep the faith that it’ll always be for a good reason and for the greater good! “Bad” or for personal interests just won’t cut it! But yes, it has truly been one big “WONDER” for all of us this year!

WANDER

As I’ve mentioned in a social media post earlier this month, 2016 was my second “travel year” — the time when I travel as much as I can using my own hard-earned money and making the most out of my work leaves and holidays. The last time this happened was in 2012 (four years ago!) when I found myself traveling to Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei in January; Bohol and Cebu in April; Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam and Siem Reap, Cambodia in May; and Hong Kong (for the nth time!) in June.

my 2012 "travel year"

my 2012 “travel year”

This year, it was extra special because I was finally able to achieve one of my lifelong dreams: travel to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (in short, the UK!) ❤ For those who are close to me, they know that I’m such an Anglophile (and British Royal Family fanatic!) and going to the three “lands” (England, Scotland, and Ireland) was really one big dream come true for me!

Wander Mika's second "travel year"

Wander Mika’s second “travel year”

But aside from that, I also went to other places I haven’t been to before (and two places I’ve been to before — can you guess which?! haha)

Anyway, it seems like my “travel year” happens every four years! So if I follow through with that pattern, my next “travel year” will be in 2020!? It’s highly likely! Like I said, one of my “secrets” on how I can go on travel sprees is pacing — which you can read all about HERE.

But you know, even if my travel years happen rarely just like the Olympics, I make it a point to travel at least ONCE A YEAR during my non-travel years. So yes, I will still travel in 2017, but not as frequent as I did in 2016! Wahahahaha!

Aside from the literal travels, though, the “wander” part of this entry also involves other things that unleashed my inner “Wander Mika” — my yearning to pursue my “impossible-turned-possible” dreams without really knowing what the future holds, but guaranteed with lessons to be learned! Hehe! This year, I also “wandered” in…

  • Starting a business

In July, I attended a basic jewelry making workshop without really knowing that it will lead to what it is today: Metallic Gems & Crafts by MGC — MGC being me! But connecting the dots backwards, it’s not that surprising because I’ve always loved all kinds of jewelry, fancy and real, and I realized that I just needed the right push to finally make it a passion project/business. So that “own a business” item on my bucket list? Consider it check! check!! check!!!

handmade, handstamped, and custom-made metal accessories by moi!

handmade, handstamped, and custom-made metal accessories by moi!

  • Registering a new domain name

In the first half of this year, I’ve rebranded my blog from The Lady Is In to Wordy and Worthy (WAW). I came up with the WAW theme more than a year ago actually, and I’m just really glad that I finally had the guts to “publicize” it, even name my blog after it. Why Wordy and Worthy? The answer is HERE! Hehe!

In fact, a few months after I decided to rebrand this blog, I got a prompt that it was my 7th blog anniversary on this site. And to commemorate that, I also officially registered the domain name WordyAndWorthy.blog (yes, dot blog — which WordPress proudly started!). So whether you type that or my main domain name, MikhaelaGeorgette.com, either way, you’ll still end up HERE on my little happy place on this big, big worldwide web! I do this whole blogging thing mostly for myself and no one else (so yes, even if nobody reads it, I’ll still continue to do it), so despite that, I want to thank you for still taking the time to read (hopefully you get something meaningful in whatever post you end up reading, btw! haha)!!! 😀

7th Blog Anniversary last December 9, 2016

7th Blog Anniversary last December 9, 2016

FAITH

And of course, the highlight of my year: my renewed self and relationship with the Lord!

Most people would probably think that my travels this year are the most memorable in my 2016 “life” book. But to be honest, you’d be surprised to know that my travels take only second place. The first place goes to the silent retreat I attended at the start of December. 🙂

In the last few months of 2016, I “struggled” with my faith. No, I didn’t become an unbeliever. After all, I know that I believed, believe, and will always believe in God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The struggle I encountered was more of not being satisfied with my then “walk of faith” that instead of working harder to find my “answers,” I chose to become complacent instead. I knew that I still had the belief, but I thought that was enough. I started missing Sunday masses, almost became tired of praying, blah, blah, blah. In short, I had a lot of “excuses” — deep inside, I knew I could do more, but the enemy really was trying to make me believe that my then state was okay. My soul, as per one of the novena intentions in the Divine Mercy Chaplet prayer, had “become lukewarm and indifferent.” It could also be called sloth or something else, but the bottomline is, there was a struggle, and it sure as hell was very real!

But you know what, God really works in mysterious ways. Sometimes, things happen in our life — good things and unfortunately, bad things — as God’s way of waking us up from our ungodly way of life. This meme here from the Internet pretty much sums up what I realized:

5/7, I think.

5/7, I think.

To make the long story short, after that beginner’s silent retreat (which lasted for one entire weekend), I came out renewed and refreshed. That’s what you call soul searching! The real kind! Not traveling!

Of course I’m still human, there are still struggles in bettering my ungodly way of life, and changes for the better don’t happen overnight. But the important thing is, I’m more discerning now than before. For example, if someone has wronged me, my initial reaction before was to blow up in anger (either obvious or hidden), think of revenge, and pretty much anything that’s opposite of being Jesus-like. Now, when someone has wronged me, I still feel anger (again, it’s a human thing!), but I already take a step back, think that if I stayed angry, the only person who would be dragged down by that anger would be me and not the one I’m angry at, PRAY, and then I would slowly start to relax and release the anger — even forgive, not just the one who wronged me, but also myself.

I’ve also started reading the Bible again (which is why my social media contacts can now often read Bible passages/quotes on my feed/timeline!). In my current walk of faith, I still chose to belong to the Roman Catholic Church and supplement it with the guidance of the Light of Jesus family (e.g., Brother Bo Sanchez‘s ministries, The Feast, etc.). This is my personal choice, and each person has his/her own walk of faith, but in Catholicism/Christianity, reading God’s Word is really a must!

And again, God has reminded me that He really just “woke me up” this latter part of the year because when I saw a photo of me from seven years back (see below), I realized that reading the Bible has always been a “me” thing. I just really kind of lost my way.

Featured in Candy Magazine, July 2009 issue

Featured in Candy Magazine, July 2009 issue

So yeah, I guess now, you can say that I was a lost daughter that has been found — AGAIN. It’s easier said than done and the whole thing’s a process, but yes, I realized that it’s not impossible to feel inner peace despite all the outer chaos happening in my life. It’s really just all thanks to Him!

And there you go. 2016 has been a year of wonder, wander, and faith FOR ME. Life goes on this coming 2017. I’m grateful for all the lessons I learned, learn, and will learn along the way! As I mentioned in another social media post, in this journey called life, my own definition of “wandering” is living without knowing the future. This kind of wandering is continuous. And that’s where FAITH comes in. Luckily, in this wandering of mine, I always have the best travel buddy: God.

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance." -James‬ ‭1‬:‭2-3‬

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.” -James‬ ‭1‬:‭2-3‬

So yes, in all that I’ve been through this 2016 and all that I’ll go through this 2017, to God be the power, kingdom, and glory!!!

2016, signing off…

short hair_wacky

HAPPY NEW YEAR, friends!

Let’s all start 2017 with peace, joy, and of course, looove! ❤

The Blissmakerie 2016: Beautiful Businesses

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

Blissmakerie

What’s the Blissmakerie? In the words of its founder, Martine de Luna of makeitblissful.com, 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 makeitblissful.com

the inspiring Martine de Luna of makeitblissful.com

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. 🙂

Blissmakerie

Blissmakerie

Blissmakerie

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 Market (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! 😉

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 way ❤

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!!! 😀

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.” 😦

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???