This time, it’s not about a business trip or a long vacation like what I would usually do in the past.
It’s actually because a very dear family member is really sick at the moment. When I found out that her sickness was worsening, I impulsively booked a flight to Manila without much preparations. I think that I had mentioned it before that going home was not part of the plan this 2015 because I wanted to concentrate on the work projects we have for the entire year.. but if a special person / your family needs your companionship, how can you ignore the situation? *sniff* I will never forget the smile and look on her face when I “surprised” her with my presence and haggard self. It’s amazing that with just your mere presence, you can light up someone’s day.
Nanay. We all fondly call her as “Nanay” (which means “Mom” in English) and we treat her like our real grandmother. She is actually our family nanny and all of my siblings and I grew up under her loving care. She cooked for the entire family too. Everything that Nanay made before in her prime years… super delicious, for sure! Oh how I treasure those moments. ;u;
I’ve been here for the past 2-3 weeks already (got lost track of time) and I’ll be going back to Japan soon so that my other cousin can go home too while I take over & help my brother with our work. I can’t wait to book again a flight after saving up enough money in Japan. It really pains me and bothers me a lot that I cannot be here at home for a long time so I could take care of Nanay. 🙁 Honestly, it has been such a whirlwind of emotions recently and I’ve had a lot of sad moments. It’s okay to be not super okay at times, I guess. I am just praying a lot right now for her health. ;_;
Anyway.. I don’t want to finish this blog entry while having a sudden crying fest.. or continue to write about sad things. Yikes!
For now, here are some photos / moments that made me smile and happy during my stay here. : )
Had a Jollibee date with Anne Kate after my surprise Cosmania visit.
Having a great day with a friend + meeting your kawaii family spontaneously = the best! I temporarily forgot my problems and fears that time.
Went out the house to refresh. Bought books and read a lot to keep myself from thinking about sad things.
You really have to find and create yourself your own sunshine during a stormy phase / week.
After Nanay’s hospital check-up, mom gave us a treat. Yay for simple joys such as this sundae from McDonald’s!
My hyperactive niece Riona really cheered up everyone’s spirits!
“Everything you’ve ever wanted is right outside your comfort zone.”
I don’t know why but these past few weeks, I’ve been experiencing some personal challenges. These are actually quite work-related & I could not pinpoint why I was struggling (even with all my positivity and optimism energy bars lol.. Kaila is a human after all haha) but I think I’ve finally figured it out. I was feeling overwhelmed by my responsibilities because I was getting more & more uncomfortable each day. Naturally, anyone who experiences discomfort would either take it as a learning, or a negative thing. And one bad day, the negative side of me took these challenges “as a negative thing”. And I cried my eyeballs out. People would usually not blog about these bad days, but here I am, showing & writing my vulnerability for the world to read. I don’t know why but it does not bother me anymore whenever I share my “from 0 to 100 percent” days, haha.
Whenever I feel like I need to reenergize myself.. or to keep myself back on track, I would reach out for my favorite colored pens and notebook and draw positive doodles. After that, I would feel much better. Then my negative self would start to fade away while my positive side reawakens itself. I guess this is what makes “living” interesting. It’s how you rise up whenever your knees get weakened by the fear of uncertainty. And sometimes.. many people forget about the fact that where uncertainty is, there is also the place we realize our dreams.
These days… I have been thinking, thinking about what “success” really means to me. Is it the fact that “I’m already living my dream” in Japan..? As I began to think, I think I could say that “living my dream” has been checked from my checklist already. But something still feels a little bit “off”, my self would tell myself (lololol). And then one random night, it hit me.
Since my computer is not cooperating with me today and I couldn’t upload photos from my phone for a major blog update (and I couldn’t work on my website commission because of server issues huhuhu LORD HELP)… I’ll just write all my feelings about Kyary’s newest music video…
…. and how much it reminded me of my past and all the things that had happened in my life ever since I’ve moved to Japan.
Before you go and read a very personal entry, please watch the music video below and enjoy the music (with lyrics you can’t understand haha).
I think that the music video alone explains it all, with the kawaii visuals included.
If you are a Kyary fan, you might become a little more emotional than usual. *wipes tear*
“Goodbye teacher, my friends~“
All The Feels
According to this entry that Asobi released together with the music video, the video tells us about Kyary’s “Encounters and Farewells“.
For some reason, I feel that I could relate so much. In order to reach my lifelong dream of making my “mark” and “place” in this world , I had lots of encounters… and same as farewells.
When I was bound to go to Japan after receiving my hard-earned student visa (quite literally for my brother, who worked hard and sponsored my language school) during my last year in my university… I had a lot of people to say goodbye to. Actually, I didn’t even have a formal “farewell” party.. because I hate saying goodbyes and I prefer saying “see you later” more. And I thought I would go back again just after a year.. but things and circumstances became different.
Honestly, I did have a pretty comfortable and life back in Manila. I could find a stable job there with my resume. I could even apply for a job in Singapore / wherever if I wanted to. If I wanted to meet my friends, I could just text them anytime. I could have chosen the job offer given to me (from an Advertising firm) right after graduation. But I knew from my heart that I wouldn’t be able to reach my wildest dreams if I didn’t challenge myself enough…. I wasn’t totally prepared for the new journey and opportunity given to me but I took everything as a challenge for me to grow as a person. I said “Yes” to my brother without really knowing what would happen to me. Oh boy.
Sure, living in Japan is undeniably more “comfortable”. Third-world problems and first-world problems.. I could write a long list to compare both worlds, haha. But living in Japan has taught me how to be strong, even I had to be “alone” a lot of times. In my language school (Bunka Institute of Language), I was the only Filipino there. I didn’t have a lot of friends.. and we’re just a small group (hi Dawa, Shouro and Sabrina.. and Lily! Haha) most of the time + my Indonesian bestfriend Leen was a lifesaver. I was having a long distance relationship with my folks and friends (and someone) back home. Homesickness got me but I knew that in also order to help alleviate my family’s situation, I had/still have to help out my brother with our small company here. During my loneliest times, I would just go and explore the city and take home lots of ninja-snapped photos.. and this blog filled with kawaii photos (that became a straight online portal for some people for japan’s kawaii culture) became my anti-depressant.. sort of. Haha! (It’s also funny that I could just tell these stories with a “haha” after, hehehe..)
Living here, it became a challenge for me to go out and introduce myself to meet new people. There was a point in my life when I felt frustrated.. and I realized that it’s because I had let myself “stuck” in a place (masked as “comfort zone” hehe). I became envious of my friends back at home who could conveniently see each other when they’re sad or happy. So I went out, tried to converse with my funny Nihongo, met amazing people… and sadly, along the way.. because of various differences, I had to say farewell to some and move on with my life. I’m still thankful for these people despite the differences. I guess I wouldn’t become this much of a stronger person / woman if it weren’t for the troubling times I survived and faced head-on. And my gallstone attack moments (got hospitalized, etc.).. wow. I still cannot forget that morning when I was rushed to a hospital again by an ambulance and I had to go home fast (after taking meds) to put on make-up, wear my outfit.. and go to Harajuku for the first day of shooting as a “Harajuku Reporter” for Kawaii International. Whenever I reminisce the most overwhelming times in my life, I just smile now (and cringe ? haha!)… Hehe 😀
As I would say and tell to my friends whenever we have heart-to-heart talks, it’s not always rainbows, sunshines and carebears for Kaila… even if I do and sincerely love sharing these cutest photos here / on my fb / eslwehere (and this is also my job so.. hehehe). And it must’ve been the same case with Kyary-chan (or maybe more difficult!), especially when you’re in that kind of competitive industry. This is why I support her a lot because she has inspired many people like me (raise your hands, kawaii fans haha) to be comfortable in your own skin and there is nothing to be ashamed when you’re being child-like (not childish, there is big difference, haha!). I have so much respect for her. It takes a lot of hard work and energy to be where she is right now! I cannot help but feel so proud of her like a real friend. *A wild Kyary fan appears lol*
During my 6-month long vacation in Manila, I had to say goodbye temporarily to my folks and friends again. It’s never easy, saying goodbyes even temporarily.. will never be an easy thing to do, especially when you’re already enjoying a lot. But one thing is for sure, we’ll never go to places we want to.. if we don’t decide to step out and seek for new adventures. 🙂
When people would ask me why.. why I make so much effort on building my current projects (such as Kawaii Philippines, Japan Lover Me). My answer is, I want to make this thing I’m doing as a real job fueled by passion/mission/purpose. I don’t want to be away for a long time again from my homeland Philippines.. nor my second home, Japan. I’m aiming Japan to have closer ties with the Philippines through introducing and making the Kawaii culture more accessible to PH. Hopefully, with the efforts my team and I put on.. this grand dream of ours will come true. :pink:
Only Kyary can make me a reflection paper out of a cute music video, hahaha~
I was just browsing through my old profile pictures on facebook, and found this photo of myself during my birthday last January (2013). And it’s going to be in less than a month…. again! Time flies so fast when you’re having fun! TT_TT
It gave me a shudder by just looking at it because it also somehow reminded me of that dark period in my life, haha.
2013 literally started from my zero / negative number.. and I’m happy to say that it’s going to end with a positive 100% or… even more! 😀
It isn’t obvious in the photo but during this time (check the eyebags guys haha), I wasn’t truly happy about myself… and ..
I couldn’t sleep right and all I did for the whole first week of 2013 was.. to cry. Why? It was because I just found out that time, that le past had already someone new. And I cried over that… TT_TT #why #WHY #WHY : ))
I don’t know how I managed to hold it all in, not telling a single friend what the hell happened to me.. so everyone that time was surprised. Bright and cheerful Kaila was crying her eyeballs out, tsk. :)) You know you’ve moved on when you laugh at your mistakes / past problems and worries.
Anyway, enough of the past. This post is actually going to be an OPEN congratulatory / happy / love letter to my 22 yr. old self! :heart: *dances*
I know that this is a weird thing to do, but I know I deserve a self pat on the back from time to time. Even though I’m usually very optimistic, I admit that I’m quite hard on myself too.. and sometimes I’d believe in my own voice that “I’m not enough” and the like… I guess it’s just natural to want to become better, just a human being here, haha.
The figure below is too accurate to describe what I’m feeling right now. :))