Flower Drawing

I found an old flower doodle on one of my notebooks and decided to digitize it with Photoshop:



I definitely need more practice on the pen tool. Eeks. But I’m happy with the color palettes I used on this one. If you wanna see what this looked like on paper, click here (yeah, I did say it was a doodle. LOL. Sorry for the messy paper).


Road Trip to Zamboanga del Norte

We’ve wanted to go to Zamboanga del Norte for the longest time but we always, always chicken out because of fear. We weren’t familiar with the roads, we had never been there, except for my dad who went there when he was younger, almost 40 years ago. We absolutely had no idea what it was going to be like, save from a few horror stories we read and heard from the news.

When my sister vacationed here a month ago and we were looking for a place to go swim and have fun, we all decided to finally just do it. So, on Eidl Fitr, we packed our bags and headed to Dipolog – no hotel reservations, no idea where to go and what to expect. All we had were ourselves, a bucket of Jollibee Chickenjoy, chichirya, the car, and the long road trip ahead of us.

While we still had our fears, no one really talked about it. We happily listened to one of the CDs I had burnt from months ago with all my favorite Frozen tracks and a bunch of other songs I liked. The CD was on loop the entire time. The whole trip took about 7 hours including a short stopover for a restroom break and to stretch our legs. We were surprised to see how the roads were a whole lot better than we initially thought. There were very few instances of isolation as the roads were always dotted with houses and farms which eased us a little bit and took our minds off our fears. After a few hours on the road, we began to feel comfortable and we started enjoying the ride and just took in the beautiful scenery of lush greens, the sea, and tall mountains. Zamboanga is such a beautiful place.

The initial plan was to share the driving task between dad and myself. But knowing my father, he would not let me drive on unfamiliar roads so he took on the responsibility and drove us all the way to Dipolog — he didn’t even eat, except for a couple of ginger sweets! The least I could do was turn on my phone’s GPS so we could follow Google Maps.

I searched for a hotel in Dipolog and found D’Hotel. We got there by following the GPS voice prompts (I love technology!). We checked-in, settled ourselves, ate, and then slept until the next day.

The next day was our trip to Dapitan City and our destination was Dakak Beach Resort. We ate breakfast at the hotel, checked out, and then went on the short drive to Dapitan City. If you guys don’t know yet, Dakak was like the Boracay in the late 80′s and early 90′s. No, it wasn’t the party scene that is Boracay today, but it was a popular destination of the rich and the famous, as it was the first 5-star resort in Mindanao. (You can read more about their history here – http://dakakresort.com/about-us/.

Dakak Beach Resort

The place kind of reminded me so much of Pico de Loro (Hamilo Coast) in Batangas. 

Here are a few pictures at D’Hotel:







And here are the pictures from Dakak:

DSCF1313 DSCF1306 DSCF1303 DSCF1269 DSCF1260 DSCF1255 DSCF1253 DSCF1249 DSCF1247 DSCF1244

We went home the next day, and this time we made a much longer stopover to eat at Jollibee in Ipil. It was cloudy and the weather was great, not too warm.

All in all, I think I’ve enjoyed this trip even though it was a rather short one. At least now I can say I’ve been to Dakak, one Philippine beach scratched off my list. – RA


Revisiting my Livejournal-blogging days

Senti Thursday

Over the weekend, while I was contemplating on how I feel like there’s something missing in my life, I went back and revisited my old blogs. There’s nothing like a good blast from the past to kick you back to your senses and remind you that things are gonna be alright, no matter how bad they may seem in the present. In a matter of minutes, I was transported to past heartbreaks and kilig moments, triumphs, failures, and adventures. I sure didn’t leave much to the imagination of my readers / followers / friends. I wrote a whole damn lot.

But what made me the happiest (and the saddest) was how reading my posts reminded me of my enthusiasm and passion for creating and designing. I had three Livejournal blogs (THREE!), one I kept for my fangirling stuff, one for personal stuff, and another one dedicated for my graphics and design. Aside from those three, I was maintaining a small photography Livejournal community with my friends. Where and how did I find the energy to do all those? Youth, perhaps? Or was it because I wasn’t really focused at anything else, so resorting to fangirling and spending hours and hours on the computer were the highlights of my day? Possibly.

Is becoming boring really a part of growing up? God, I hope not. I want that enthusiasm back.


Crazy About Spotify


I love music. It’s a constant thing in my life. I may lose interest in a lot of things, but music is always there, every time. The funny thing is, I don’t listen to the radio, or watch MTV, so I don’t really know what’s new. I’ve been listening to the same songs for a very long time, because I am too lazy to find new music.

That was until Spotify came along. Spotify is a music app that allows you to play music online and offline (if you purchase the premium). It has practically every song I want to listen to. You can create your own playlist and share it to your friends. I personally like listening to the Radio function. There are several categories you can choose from, and my favorite so far, is the 90s. All the songs of my childhood! OMG, I just can’t stop raving about this app!!!

What’s good about this is the artist / rights-holder earns from each play, which means it is anti-piracy. Okay, I’m not saying I have not downloaded or pirated a song or an album, ever, but if I like an artist or singer, I make sure to buy a copy of their CD. With Spotify, this is a whole lot easier! If you purchased Spotify premium at P129/month, you get to download the music to your device and play it offline. It’s so easy. (I am starting to sound like I’m being paid to write this, but I am not! I just really, really, love it!)

Now, listening and searching for songs I like is a breeze. All the songs I thought I’d never find are on Spotify. It’s a daily staple for me. It’s on my iPhone, iPad, and my laptop. Have you tried the app yet?