This year, Jayson and I decided to take the kids to Cebu for our very first family vacation. The 6-month long wait felt like forever, but we're finally here enjoying the pools and water slides, the fancy-schmancy hotel beds and carpeted floors, the wide lawns and playgrounds. The kids are having a blast, and I'm "relaxing" after months of work and stress. We're staying at the Jpark Island Resort and Waterpark. Jayson and I visited this hotel seven years ago, so it felt a bit surreal to be back with the kids. I couldn't remember any of it when we arrived until Jayson pointed out the pool bar where we bought a mango shake while enjoying a swim all those years ago. The trip to Cebu also reaffirmed popular advice to bring kids on . . .
If there's one brand I'd want to take to the Philippines, it's Yoobi. It's a school supplies brand that gives back to classrooms in need across the United States. I've followed Yoobi and their progress for years, and constantly wish we had something similar here in the Philippines. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mBXPs29wSh8 Pronounced "you-be," the name basically means "one for you, one for me" in that a Yoobi item is donated for every purchase made. I admire the business model albeit the criticism that arose since TOM Shoes introduced it to the business world. As of this writing, over 2 million kids have benefited from Yoobi's initiatives, so I'm sure it's working out for them. What caught my attention though was how a company . . .
If something is of no value to me, I throw it out. This is my principle when tidying up the house and, well, pretty much my whole life. It sounds ruthless, but this mindset enables me to throw out trash and give things I don't use away: receipts, expired warranties, badly written books, scented stationery, etc. With the internet, I'm a freaking garbage truck with a Sunday-to-Sunday schedule. My inbox is always empty. I clean up my 1Password vaults every now and then. I remove pseudo-friends on Facebook and noisy people on Twitter every year. If you're special and valuable, you stay. You can already tell hoarding and clutter drive me nuts, and frankly there's not enough effort to get rid of all of the shit around the house. But I . . .
I grew up in a household that loves playing games. Board games, video games, computer games. Anything that has great objectives or a good storyline. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ioSaPJHxSkU As a child, I would watch my parents battle it out on our now-ancient Playstation 1. They loved Space Invaders in particular. My dad, however, enjoys other games such as Oddworld: Abe's Odyssey, Crash Bandicoot, and Tomb Raider. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dJ4G6WNeNNg&t=26s I loved watching him play, but would hide behind his back whenever jump scares or boss levels came up. "Talawit!" he'd exclaim, laughing. My dad encouraged us to play games. I remember how he'd persist with our search across the city for a second copy of . . .
Back when I needed some sense of organization to my phone, I used to have a folder for apps that I like using to pass the time—"Time Suckers," for a lack of a better name for it. In it are my favorite social media apps + this one gem that makes idle time both fun and meaningful: Kickstarter. I'm a huge fan of the crowdsourcing platform and have already backed seven projects since becoming a member three years ago. I only discovered the mobile app last year and enjoy using it whenever there's an exciting project to back that can't wait till I sit down at my keyboard. I'm currently using Kickstarter for iOS and have since placed it among my favorite apps because of how often I use it. There is an Android version available for . . .
As soon as morning rose to January 1st, the first thing I did was to create a roadmap for goals I wanted to achieve in the next 3 month. One of these goals is to leave my current job. I was tired of the salary cut, the lack of benefits, being ignored and stuck in the weekly routine. I couldn't take the pressure and the stress of working while I was sick or when I had important errands to attend to. 👎 But before doing so, I should find a job where I knew my contributions would matter, and a company that took good care of its remote and in-office employees. By God's grace I discovered and was accepted by Kayako, a help desk platform that believed in bridging the gap between businesses and its customers through personalized and . . .
This is Diwa Daily, the second and last blog I'll ever make in my lifetime. This is a soundboard for everything and anything to do with my passions and personal stories: games, stationery, being a shitty parent but still trying to get good at it, failure, literature, and more. It's a comeback of what blogging was before—personal, intimate, unique, and shameless of the writer's voice. The Who I'm Stephanie, and it's my birthday today. 🎉 I'm the eldest of four sisters and two half-brothers. It's funny how my parents finally had sons after their split twelve years ago. I was born and raised in Bacolod city in the sugary region of the Visayas. I eventually grew tired of the toxicity of that particular society, so I moved out and . . .
This year, I made a personal commitment to devote 2017 to learning and practicing a new skill. This sprouted from a long-term frustration with my inability to make things. I can't paint, cook, bake build, repair, or craft. I feel useless whenever there's something broken in the house or if we need to nail a picture frame to the wall. I soon discovered leather crafting, and fell in love with the process and the products born out of it. A limited number of classes are currently taught here in the Philippines and Singapore. I wanted to sign up for a workshop, but I'd have to fly to Manila to and pay at least P3000 to register. This is a huge drawback as it meant spending additional money on airfare for this project. While browsing . . .
Determined to start the year right, I got myself a new planner to organize everything—my daily to-do's, appointments, activities, and projects. I loved the feeling of checking things off the list. It's my kind of endorphin that motivates me to keep on finishing. I wanted to take things further than the checkmark though; something visually appealing and that would push me to focus even more. So I thought it would be nice to have a DONE rubber stamp to mark the important tasks and events as complete. I follow several social media channels promoting locally handmade products, so I asked around for recommended Filipino makers who know how to make custom stamps. I eventually found my way to Tish Hautea's Etsy shop called SQooiD. Specializing . . .
I bought my first domain—stefgonzaga.com—back in 2010. It looks clean and profesh now, but it went through so many identities and changes before this look. From freelancer website to personal blog to creative writing journal, you just couldn't tell what it's meant to be anymore. Getting this domain was a HUGE thing for me though because it's my piece of space on the internet. This tiny thing became a growing excitement over building and designing basic WordPress sites. I bought domains and built sites for creative projects, an online shop, and new blogs. They expired and were deleted eventually, but I made a quick audit of all my active sites before they returned to the digital oblivion. I've been doing this audit since 2012 . . .