Victoria Aveyard in Vancouver

When one day I went to Chapters to wait for someone, I stumbled upon the poster of Victoria Aveyard’s last book of the Red Queen series, War Storm. It also happened to be an announcement of her upcoming book tour of said book to Vancouver. I literally screamed inside and told myself I had to go not only because I have all her books, but because this was a chance I never would have taken if I were back in the Philippines. She was doing the Q&A at Chapters in Metrotown which was 20 minutes away from home! I would kick myself if I didn’t go.

Short story on that day she came: I COMPLETELY FORGOT ABOUT IT. I was all ready to go to the gym when I remembered it was on that day, MAY 27!!! I was off at 4pm, I didn’t bring the books, and home was far (it’s close really but considering I’d commute made it farther and longer). I bolted off when the clock ticked 4. When I got home, I grabbed everything I needed and went straight to Metrotown. I got there sometime around 6:20pm and purchased the book. I didn’t get to sit but I was close enough to see her clearly. So damn happy, you guys.

And because the Red Queen series is YA, of course I was surrounded by a bunch of teens. Me being my awkward self just stood there by myself, unwilling to talk to anyone else. But what the heck, I survived standing the whole hour and then lining up to get my babies signed and of course, a polaroid picture of the queen.

After the event, I went and bought a huge pretzel because Nutella. I was a very happy fangirl. Now, time to re-read the whole thing.

Rise, red as the dawn!

Michelle 6.4.18



It was the most quiet Christmas and New Year celebration I’ve spent. Before moving to Canada, the holidays were spent with relatives. We would fly to my mother’s hometown and spend a week with her side of the family. I always loved the loud bang of the fireworks and how happy everybody was feeling thankful for all the blessings that we received for the year. We would have a big dinner and prepared games and gave gifts to everybody.

This year, since we don’t have any relatives here (aside from my aunt, my mom’s sister, and uncle who flew back to the Philippines for vacation), we only spent it by ourselves. I’m happy even though it was just us because at least we were complete. It’s definitely one of the most memorable.

It was memorable also because I lost my phone and tried hiding it from my parents for 3 days until I somehow convinced my mom to buy a new phone for Boxing Day! She found out…but I also found out I still have my insurance so I’m getting a new one. Again!!!

Merry Christmas, indeed!


2017 Highlights ❤

  • First Dine Out Vancouver!
  • Went to Harrison Lake and Bridal Veil Falls with Ate Charla and Giz (and Giz’s high-heeled boots on a snowy hill)
  • Spending Valentine’s Day with my beagle – ate Charla!
  • Celebrating Vanessa’s 23rd
  • Supposed to be a sunny day turned windy/rainy going to Hope to visit the Othello Tunnel that was closed
  • Photoshoot with the Cherry Blossoms at Queen Elizabeth park
  • Seeing Jenny Han live!!!
  • Watching the sunset at Whytecliff Park (definitely one of my favourites)
  • Hiking (twice) at Murrin Provincial Park and having brunch at Squamish
  • Witnessed the famous Shannon Falls
  • Conquered Joffre Lakes, all three lakes! Breath-taking, 10/10 would hike it again ❤
  • Picnic at Allouette Lake with my second family
  • Fancy dinner at Glowbal for Monique’s 22nd
  • Boodle Fight hosted by the Fernandez family
  • Meeting Ali 🙂
  • Bear-watching at Minnekhada Regional Park
  • Feeling like a child at Vancouver Aquarium with my parents!
  • Field trip kind of date at Science World
  • First time crossing the USA border. Hello, Washington! (1 state down, 49 more to go!)
  • Richmond Night Market – always every year
  • ahhhhh Jollibee after so long with Mon and Reza
  • 360 degree view of Vancouver at the Vancouver lookout
  • Spending a memorable Thanksgiving dinner at the Canosa’s
  • Getting crazy scared at PNE: Fright Nights at Playland
  • Receiving a bouquet of flowers <3333
  • Weekend getaway at Victoria
  • Dressing up for Halloween
  • Our epic emoji get-up for work
  • Celebrating my 25th birthday
  • 2017 TNM Christmas Party
  • Working 2 jobs :O
  • Going to the Vancouver Christmas Market and getting soaked because of the rain
  • Receiving my Fujifilm camera from Ali (!!!!!!!!!!!)

This year I’m hoping I can work harder on going back to school and continue going to the gym and to choose healthier options. I will strive to work on prioritizing my own needs and think about my happiness more.

To the people I met this 2017, please still stay with me this 2018. To the people I will meet this year, hello! I’m awkward but I’m friendly!

Hello, 2018!



Victoria, 2017


October 20-22, 2017

It was all I wanted and more. Two nights and two days in British Columbia’s capital city was one heck of an adventure for me. Even though the weather was bad the whole time we were there, it didn’t stop us from having the time of our lives. For two people who didn’t plan what we were supposed to do there, it went pretty well. Another one crossed off the bucket list!

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We got to the ferry around 2:45 pm to catch the 3pm ride to Swartz Bay. It was a fairly good weather that time. We stayed out for a bit until it was getting too cold so we just went inside. From Tsawassen to Swartz Bay, it was an hour and a half trip so what did two people do? We took a lot of pictures!

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Around 4:30pm, we took a cab to downtown Victoria which is not advisable if you’re going on a budget. Taking the cab would cost you roughly $80 to get to downtown. There’s always the double-deckered bus which would only cost you $2.40? We got to our hotel and just dropped off our stuff before we went out again to buy food and get ready for the night!

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It was a good thing that we checked out some places ahead of time while there was still sunshine. As I’ve said, the whole time we were there, it was raining! It would’ve been fun to walk along the dock, hadn’t the temperature was too cold.

We bought Burger King and got some bottles of water and went back to the hotel. But before preparing (it was still early), Ali went to sleep again while I was getting ready. We were going to go clubbing! We went to Distrikt at 10pm and that time was still too early! There were only a few people inside so we decided to go to another one. Sugar nightclub was a good one, he said. But when we got there, there was an event going on and their tickets were sold out. So we went back to Distrikt and in that short amount of time, it was already packed with more drunk teens. We stayed until around midnight until I called in a night. I was getting kind of tired and I was already sober! Not that I was even drunk in the first place.

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On Saturday, we went to this Mexican place called Santiago for breakfast. I had their Santiago Benny’s while he had their burrito. I wasn’t disappointed as it was as good as it looked. I was very full! After breakfast, we got back to the hotel and got ready to explore. Although we couldn’t go far as it was really windy and the rain was getting worse. We stopped by at a liquor store to get one more bottle for our Saturday night.

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Around 7pm, we took a nap and then woke up at 9pm. We ordered pizza (it was so good even though the toppings were limited). We decided to go to Lucky Bar and it was fun because out of all the clubs I went to, it was where I saw a lot of eccentric people. I meant that in a good way. At about after an hour, we went to Paparazzi nightclub. We went back at 1am feeling sad that it was already our last night at Victoria.

The following day on Sunday, I was looking forward to it because according to the weather forecast, it was going to be sunny and cloudy. We woke up and it was raining! We had to checkout at 11 and we didn’t wake up until at 9am. So we grabbed our jackets and looked for a nearby place to eat breakfast.

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It was one of the best I’ve had.

We quickly went back to take our shower, pack our things and check out. 😦 It was difficult to be carrying around our bags, still about to explore under the rain. A lot of my co-workers asked me if it was a romantic getaway. Well hey if running under the pouring  rain is romantic, then it’s a definite yes lol!

We took the boat tour that went around Victoria Bay. Our tour guide was a retiree. It was cute when he said all of their employees were retirees. We stopped for a bit at this place where there were lots of food but we weren’t hungry then so we just looked around.

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Once we got back to the main bay, we waited for bus to take us back to Swartz Bay to go back home. It was a sad time to go home as I really did enjoy Victoria and there was still so much more to see. I wanted to check out their beaches but I guess that will just have to wait until the next time we go back!

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Thank you for a wonderful time, Victoria! We had so much fun!

Until next time!

Michelle 11-05-17


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How do I put to words exactly what I feel for you? As I write this, I am thinking of all the wonderful things you made me experience. You are more than what I deserve. You make my heart full.

I remember hearing your voice for the first time. I think you had me at hello… I told you I was a little bit awkward but the whole two hours with you over the phone flew by so fast we never noticed it was almost midnight. I remember getting nervous and not knowing what to wear when we met for the very first time. I wanted to make a good first impression. I could still feel the heat from the dress that I wore that matched the colour of the sunset. I still can’t imagine how we walked the whole English Bay and back and then still walked all the way to Granville Island only to stop at Yaletown! When you held my hand and kissed my cheeks while watching the sun set, I knew the butterflies would start fluttering their wings in my stomach. From there, walking became our thing.

The days that followed have been amazing. We somehow managed not to get lost going to White Rock and the Night Market. From feeling like kids looking around what Science has brought us at Science World to wandering the streets of old Gastown. Being able to witness Vancouver from hundreds of feet above with you was incredible. Let’s also not forget our lazy days just sitting on the couch watching Netflix for hours straight with pizza on one hand (props to you for watching 8 episodes of Riverdale in one day). Of course, the best days were when we were eating, trying out one food place from another – two portions for you and one for me.

I will never regret saying yes right away even when I just knew you for barely a month. I didn’t think twice. I wanted it to be you. I am so happy with you.

Thank you for finding me, Ali.


Second Regatta

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And WOW was back in action! It marked my second official competition. We had a month or so of practice and we were never complete! The boat was never full so we never really experienced how fast we could really go and how long it would take us to row for 500 meters. But we still practiced like crazy! There was one Monday that I didn’t know how I managed to go to work because my body was so sore I couldn’t properly get up without whining in pain. But it was all worth it!

May 22, 2017

We had a total of 3 races, 500 meters each along with a very lovely warm weather on that day. In total, we only had 16 members including the spares from other teams. So our coach kept on looking for other spares so we would have a full boat. Luckily enough, we found some who were willing to paddle with us even after rowing for their own team. Their dedication AND endurance is unreal, I didn’t think I could do it myself.

We were on the 4th lane for the first two races. Our times were meh which I was half expecting considering we never practiced together! Now for the whole race, I was front stroke, which means I get to lead the speed along with my partner who, mind you, only had one practice with me and it was 2 days before the competition. She was quite fast which I wasn’t too used to but I’m glad I was able to keep up with her!

For the third and finale race, we were on the 2nd lane, an answered prayer, I thought. I never really liked the last and farthest lane. I felt like it was a bad place to row! It was a rush of adrenaline and I loved that our coach was the one who was drumming because I’ve always liked how she motivated us. During practices, any coach would say to look ahead of you, keep your head on neutral like there’s a baseball in between your chin and neck and not mind other teams but for a split second I saw our coach look to her right in the middle of the race because we were so close to finishing gold. I couldn’t help myself but look as well. The other team won by 2 freaking seconds! AND WE WEREN’T A FULL BOAT, TOO. Only 19 women paddled on our 3rd race and it was a stroke of luck that we even found 3 other spares last minute. But nevertheless, we were incredibly happy because so far, that was the best time WOW ever had for a 500-meter race. We didn’t get. medal but it was okay. It was a fun experience!

Thank you WOW, One Dragon, Paddle Rangers, Eh Team, and our coach!! Good job, team!!!

I can’t wait for the next competition! Harrison (hopefully), here we come!


June 3, 2017

READING: *re-reading To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han **She just released the last book for the trilogy last month so of course I’m going to re-read the first two, like I always do!**

PLANNING: On how to get back in shape… Did you happen to find my motivation? I’m still looking for it!

WATCHING: And can never finish Grey’s Anatomy. I lost momentum, guys. I used to watch this straight for 8 hours but after I stopped because we moved, its like my interest also moved to some other series. Okay, I’ll just wait for How to Get Away with Murder Season 4!

EATING: Right now, I just finished my carrot cake muffin with walnuts. Yum!

DRINKING: You’d think water, but it’s green tea.

LOVING: the new *adventure* decals I bought from Michael’s yesterday!

FEELING: Gloomy because of the weather. People, I’m going to get SAD (no, not literally, it’s short from Seasonal Affective Disorder) because I’m happy when it’s warm and sunny but kind of eh when it’s cloudy and windy.

LISTENING: to Selena’s Bad Liar. I’m obsessed!!!

CELEBRATING: my dad’s 45th birthday! It was yesterday, so I’ll just say birth week!

EXCITED FOR: my dad’s 45th birthday surprise which isn’t really a surprise anymore because he got upset on the day of his birthday because we weren’t at the house (we forgot the party was a surprise so we were all thinking we’ll be celebrating it anyway therefore made plans on his birthday) so my mom ended up telling him the surprise. He was in a better mood after! And we went for sushi!!!

PRACTICING: how to better at squats!!! I want those round butts, ya’ll.

Jenny Han in Vancouver


My first thought was “Finally!”

I’ve been reading Jenny Han’s books since I was in college, that was 4 years ago! I picked up the Summer I Turned Pretty trilogy and even though I’m one of those readers who doesn’t really like reading about fluff and cheese, I was drawn to the main character’s world. I think mainly because it was centered on first loves and heartbreaks, which I was going through myself at that time. Good times 😉

So when I saw To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, I immediately bought it because I saw it was written by Jenny Han and also because I loved the cover, even if I’m not a fan of book covers with people on it. Her books are an easy read, that’s what I like about them. You can imagine them happening and they are very relatable. I lost the first opportunity to see her when she went on a book tour to the Philippines – one, because it was in Manila and I would have to get plane tickets for that, and two, I was stuck at work. So when I saw that she included Vancouver in her book tour for Always and Forever, Lara Jean, I thought that I should definitely go!

I almost didn’t want to go on the day of. It was a gloomy and rainy Monday and I was stressing on the amount of people that would go but I couldn’t let this chance pass by. She’s so much closer now and I know I’d regret it if at least didn’t try to go. I went and arrived at Chapters around 5:30 pm, bought the book and waited patiently. I felt so old to be there. All I was seeing were a bunch of excited teens with their mothers! Knowing my personality, I would never start a conversation because I went there alone but it was fine, Jenny Han finally came out around 7:05! She started talking about how the third book came to life. I know for one there was never supposed to be a third book. But to anyone who has read the first two are definitely happy that the third one came out, especially me because it was because of that book she decided to go to Vancouver for the first time for a book tour!

The line was a little bit long and I was so close to going home. Seeing her in person was enough for me to be honest. I couldn’t ask for more. But then I was already so close to actually get her to sign my books physically and to have a picture taken with her. I got to her close to 8:30 pm and I know she was already tired so I just opted to get TATBILB trilogy signed and just kept the other three in my bag, even though I wanted to get those signed, too. I told her I really wanted to go for her PH book tour but couldn’t and then she asked me how living in Vancouver was. It was a short talk but I got really nervous my lips were shaking! I got a really nice polaroid picture after.

Thank you Jenny Han for making the fan girl in me happy! Thank you for coming! Here’s to the next book. 🙂


Here’s a quick re-cap of my 2016:

Migrated to Canada and became a permanent resident (starting the year right, eh).

Landed my first (and still, thank God) job! First met my BKK friends.

I bought a Polaroid camera after getting my first pay! After debating for so long, I finally decided to get it and I. Have. No. Regrets.
My Aunt came to visit and it was one of the most fun short vacation I had – went to so many places such as:
Whistler – we didn’t stay long because my Aunt just really wanted to see snow because it never snows in Florida (???) and Sea to Sky in Squamish – spectacular view!

First time experiencing Spring! What I was looking forward to most were the Cherry Blossoms – my favourite flower ❤
Went to the Tulip Festival.

Mother’s Day celebration with just me and my mom. Felt a bit lonely but at least she has me to celebrate it after 5 consecutive years.
Met new people 😉
Went to Richmond Public market for the first time and it actually felt like I was back in the Philippines because feels!

Getting more warm ❤
This month marked the first time I attended rowing practice! I didn’t know what to expect, just that it was going to be difficult. Survived and loved every second of it!

Happy 18th birthday, Isabelle!
My dad and sister were back for good!
Jogged on a daily basis with the sister at the park because hello, Summer!
First official hike – went to Quarry Rock. I am a little scared of heights but I told myself I will conquer it, one mountain hike at a time.
Hiked Garibaldi Lake with Ate Charla, my sis, and Ragveer! I have a separate post for this!

Went to Capilano with my sisters. I was so scared at first but the view was so worth crossing all those bridges.
Joined my first Dragonboat Festival. It was held at Steveston and I actually have a separate post about the whole event, too!
Hiked with a few from the Filipino Community at Mt Seymour Provincial Park.

Our first clubbing with BKK and the very first time I got so drunk that I blacked out. It was like 80% of what happened from 10:30pm-2am were hazy. It was really fun before the alcohol kicked in because we spent the whole day walking around downtown Vancouver! Definitely doing it again!
PNE with the family.
Went hiking with Ate Charla and my sis at Golden Ears Park. The waterfall was such a breath-taking view!
I went clubbing again with Vanessa (!!!!!!) but that wasn’t really the highlight (BUT I HAD SO MUCH FUN). The highlight about this part was when we spent the whole day going around Vancouver ❤ AND finally getting Ernest ice cream! It was heavenly.
I won an Instax mini 90 thanks to BCIT. I bought something from there store and got one raffle ticket. Thank you, lucky star!

My first biggish get-together with the Filipino Community.
Also, my first Cranberry Festival. I was so unprepared for the weather. I was only wearing slippers and it was like 0 degrees!!! People thought we were crazy because of what we were wearing. Once you get on the boat and start paddling, it gets warmer though so it was all good. I’d do it all over again.
My first *really* killing date.
Hey, Fall!!!
Went to a Halloween party with Reza and people I don’t know but I had so much fun!
Halloween party at the office. Well, not really a party. It was just another normal day except we were all dressed up and there was potluck, too! Me and my sister won Best Pair (as if there was another competition lol)

Celebratory dinner with my WOW fam.
It’s not so much of a highlight but I loved every minute we practiced for our dance for our company Christmas party. We were able to bond more because of it!
And of course, TNM annual Christmas party!!! It was a month early because duh November, but it was fun! We were finally able to meet most of the people working in the main office (we from Processing Department rarely get to see them because we work in a different office) so it was nice that we got to see what they actually look like. Also, the super duper highlight was our win from the talent show! AND OF COURSE THE AFTER PARTY THAT GOT ME SICK THE NEXT DAY.
First time that I went to a Canucks game because duh, free tickets. Thanks, Dr. Z!

Moved to OUR house – more exciting than my 24th birthday. I love the place because there’s so much more space compared to the one we previously rented. My room is bigger which meant I got a bigger bed.
Celebrated my first Filipino Christmas party! The people I was with were all from work (there’s a lot of Filipinos in my work place) and I’m so happy we are so tightly bonded. It was a craaaazy night!!!
Grandparents came to visit for month.
Surprise, surprise, happy birthday, self!
Merry Christmas! It was the most quiet Christmas I ever experienced. We just had a simple dinner and then I fell asleep at around 10 pm. Meh.
NYE (a day early though) clubbing with my bb ❤

2016 was definitely my year. For some people, it might be just another year but for me, it was amazing. There were so many things that happened to me this year that I didn’t know I would experience. I am so thankful for all the blessings!
See you in 2017!!!

Michelle 01052017

I hope you read this…

She Overthinks Because You’re Constantly Giving Her Mixed Signals
By: Mariya Hoque

She overthinks because when you stare at her, you always look so puzzled. She questions why you have no excuse to text her until the sun rises but during the day there’s always a reason not to see her. She worriedly laughs off how someone who memorized all her habits by heart can make her feel like a stranger.

She overthinks because the girl who broke your heart is still in your life. She wonders why she spends so much time mending your heart yet, you spend so little time trying to win hers. She’s nervous that she is only temporary, a healer, and once she fixes the heart another girl broke – she will be left with a broken heart of her own.

She overthinks because you kiss her slowly but are in a rush to not let it linger. She doesn’t understand how you feel about her because you don’t understand it, either. She contemplates about finally cutting you out of her life until you send another 10:15 PM text pulling her right back into yours.

She overthinks because she is curious if you will ever talk about her the way you talk about your ex. She tries to understand why you still hang on to your ex’s memories but claim to have moved on from the past.

She overthinks because you close all doors when you call her your friend but open an unexpected window when you hold her hand. You blur the lines of all the boundaries but refuse to stick a label. She worries that you are making unspoken promises. You leave hints of defining a hazy picture, but refuse to spell the words to describe it.

She overthinks because you tell her you’re busy with no money however, you spend your weekends drinking at bars with your friends. She is forced to hold back a frustrated sigh when you text her a “happy birthday,” but don’t make any plans to celebrate it.

She overthinks because you said you will be there for her yet hesitate when she tries to make plans.

She asks herself what could she be doing wrong when you pull her into your arms but don’t try to keep her there.

You’re not ready for something “serious” so she prepares herself for all the excuses.

She overthinks because she hears the words you didn’t say to her more loud than the words you did. She wonders why you open up your past to her but don’t say anything about wanting her in your future. She wonders why you tell her you “like” her, but don’t ask her to be your girlfriend.

She overthinks because she’s falling for you, and finally realized that she read too much into the “signs” that made it seem as if you were falling for her too.

She overthinks because you make her think too much about what she means to you, instead of just telling her the truth.

You know who you are.

Michelle 12272016