Just thinking about how I even managed to land my new job leaves me speechless and humbled. I remember how each job-less day was a stressful ordeal Jayson and I had to manage in silence. We did our best to keep our composure and focus to be able to maintain peace and order in the household. What scared me the most was the thought of my credit card finance charges rising till it's impossible to catch up with the amount I'm earning. I told myself that if I was going to prevent this from happening, it has to start working towards getting out of this mess strategically and methodically. Mind mapping my work goals To fight the rise and fall of stress in my chest, I created a mind map. It's the brainstorming method I always use . . .
The KeepCup: Clean the Earth One Coffee Cup at a Time
Choosing to stop plastic usage and go reusable was easy-peasy. Training my family to adopt a no-plastic lifestyle was and is still hella hard. It took me months before I could convince Jayson to stop using plastic bags for our weekly groceries, and even then we're still not 100% plastic-free. If I don't have any of my canvas totes or reusable bags at hand, we'd end up coming home with plastic bags filled with fruit, snacks, or food for dinner. One of my bigger challenges was getting Jayson to stop using coffee cups. 7-11 and Starbucks are his favorite stops for a coffee fix, and the number of plastic caps that end up in our trash always drives me nuts. I eventually got myself a reusable Starbucks coffee mug, and convinced him to . . .
I’m shutting down pagerie.co
The title pretty much explains it all, but I wanna explain the details behind this new direction in case you've heard of pagerie.co, have tried to visit the site, and end up seeing an error where the site doesn't exist. pagerie does exist. It's my very own space where I can talk freely, frequently or sporadically, about paper, pencils, and pens. Since launching it in January, I've written about some of my favorite brands that I've long held close to my heart: MUJI, Baron Fig, Mossery, and Philippine brands like DesignHatch.ph and Sunday Paper Co. Buying a domain and website theme however was an investment I wanted to make early on to see if there was a demand for the very items I wrote about. I also wanted to see if it was possible to . . .
Cyrus’ first weekend in Manila
Growing up, I always looked forward to out-of-town trips with my parents, whether that's through the provinces of the Visayas or a plane ride to Manila. ✈️ Manila was especially exciting because it was a completely different environment when compared to the relaxed and laid back city of Bacolod, my hometown. The capital was filled with skyscrapers, big malls, beautiful shops, and swanky hotels with their delicious breakfast buffets. ? Eventually I moved to Manila for university, and its become a place embedded in my body and memory both for its wonders and its horrors. It's this ugly, heavy-breathing beast that you have to make your way through on tip-toe and with a knife in your backpack. Despite its dangers, I continue to love it . . .
Book Review: The Mango Bride by Marivi Soliven
Stuck in what the reading community calls a serious "reading slump" I decided to reset my reading progress and pick out a paperback from the Philippine Literature section of my book shelf. Majority of the books were unread poetry collections and novels I acquired and received as gifts over the years. One such gift is The Mango Bride by Palanca awardee Marivi Soliven, who won the grand prize for the Novel category and taught creative writing at numerous universities, including the University of California. The title and the Golden Gate bridge on the book cover promise a story about the Filipino in diaspora and the woman's experience as a bride/wife living away from home. I grew curious as I read the blurb at the back: Like Amparo, Beverly . . .
MUJI Notebooks and Why They’re Great for Just About Anything
My first experience with MUJI takes me all the way back to college. I was studying in Manila and had been at SM Mall of Asia when I saw the grand opening of this Japanese minimalist store. Beyond the shelves filled with shampoo bottles and tea towels was a central booth filled with notebooks, notepads, stamps, paperclips, pencil cases, and pens of all tips and colors. Many years later and I still have MUJI stationery in my collection not because of wacky cover designs or novelty pink paper, but the complete absence of any of those things. This approach aligns with the company's vision of taking everyday products and turning them into simple and beautiful products people would want to use for many years. ...to create products that . . .
The Comp Notebook
You've probably seen it in your favorite teenage TV show, or on the book cover of a series you read as a kid. Images and scenes of students going through school halls, their backpacks slung over their shoulders and a composition notebook in one hand. The iconic black and white marble cover of this notebook has always caught my attention as a kid and a stationery collector. It's well-loved across the world too, both for its timeless design and its reputation as the notebook for messy, meaningful work. Quoting Format Magazine, it's "the rebellious cousin of the Moleskine." The marble composition notebook has been around for as long as we can (or try to) remember, but Pentagram graphic designer Aron Fay wanted to create a modern variation . . .
Bookshop Review: Better World Books
While scrolling through a local book-loving Facebook group, a member posted a recommendation for Better World Books in case we were looking for secondhand books to buy at a discount. It's the first time I've heard of Better World Books and considered the option to buy from an online secondhand book store. I really, really like the idea of giving old but good-quality books a new home, plus the fact that this for-profit company funds literary programs all over the world. [Better World Books was] founded in 2002 by three friends from the University of Notre Dame who started selling textbooks online to earn some money, and ended up forming a pioneering social enterprise — a business with a mission to promote literacy. The company offers . . .
The Baron Fig Confidant Notebook
Beautiful, quality paper bound to a simple yet elegant book cover where every purchase plants a tree—it's a combination that left me longing to hold my own Baron Fig Confidant notebook for years. At that time, shipping to the Philippines wasn't available and I didn't have a USA shipping subscription. Persistent, I kept returning to the website checking to see if that limitation had finally lifted so I could buy a Confidant of my own. I'm happy to say that wish finally came true when I received my Kickstarter backer rewards for supporting Baron Fig's Kickstarter for their new bag line (review coming soon!). The bag came with a set of Vanguard notebooks and my first Confidant notebook, the latter I couldn't stop caressing and ogling . . .
Book Review: The Godfather by Mario Puzo
Reading Mario Puzo's biography on Goodreads, I was struck by what motivated him to create his most famous work, The Godfather: Puzo's most famous work, The Godfather, was first published in 1969 after he had heard anecdotes about Mafia organizations during his time in pulp journalism. He later said in an interview with Larry King that his principal motivation was to make money. He had already, after all, written two books that had received great reviews, yet had not amounted to much. As a government clerk with five children, he was looking to write something that would appeal to the masses. It was initially difficult for me to swallow, the idealistic writer in me still raising her nose up at the thought of producing work meant solely to . . .
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