Monday, December 24, 2018

Travel: Hobbiton Movie Set

"In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit." With the release of Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, New Zealand became known as the home of Middle-earth. I was fortunate enough to live in this country with incredible sceneries that look straight out of a painting or in this case, a striking similarity to J.R.R. Tolkien's myth lore. I've seen the movies and BTS videos including all extended versions during a binge-watch with the family on Christmas eve. I only read The Hobbit, which I got from a book sale in Manila. Although the films were shot around New Zealand, stepping foot in the rolling hills of The Shire was a fairytale come to life.


Monday, November 19, 2018

What Living in Fiji Has Taught Me

When packing for our flight to Fiji, I was only required to bring the essentials. There was a slight panic because I normally bring the whole house with me. After a few deep breaths, I thought of the ocean in those holiday brochures to justify this decision to pare down. I was about to live a tropical island dream. Who needs stilettos anyway? I set aside 60% of my belongings in an empty container and gave everything to my sisters. It was my tipping point on decluttering and also, learning a few valuable lessons in life.


Saturday, September 1, 2018

Travel: Vanuatu

Vanuatu is one of the scattered island nations in the South Pacific Ocean that would only appear on Google Maps when you zoom in. I've heard of Vanuatu from a reality show, Survivor. They called it the "Islands of Fire" due its location that sits right at the Pacific Ring of Fire. If you want to reset your compass and jump off the beaten path, visit Vanuatu. This fiery island offers a multitude of sightseeing options that immerse you in a mixture of nature and adventure. Although Fiji and Vanuatu may seem alike in terms postcard perfect views. Each has a diverse culture that represents the island's identity waiting to be discovered and explored.


Sunday, July 29, 2018

Frequently Asked Questions About Veganism

IT'S MY VEGANNIVERSARY! One year has passed since I made the switch and I never regret it once. Making a difference in this world as a vegan can be an empowering feeling. I may sound a little preachy at times but I only want to plant a seed of compassion. In honor of this milestone, I will be sharing my personal views on the most common questions about veganism.

What made you decide to become vegan?

I went vegan for health reasons after watching What The Health on Netflix. I could never consume meat and fish again. I went on to research further about animal cruelty on industrialized factory farms, which made me swear off eggs and dairy too. Check out Earthlings, Cowspiracy, Forks Over Knives and Gary Yourofsky's Speech on Youtube.


Tuesday, June 26, 2018

My First Experience Dining Out as a Vegan

One of the struggles I experienced when turning vegan was dining out at restaurants. I was staying in Manila back then where the only vegetables you can find are limited only to a side dish. Eating meat is deeply ingrained in the Filipino diet and culture so don't be too upset when restaurants do not cater to vegans. Sometimes it's easier to mention "vegetarian" or "allergies" when ordering. But you still have to ask whether the food is cooked in animal fat, oyster sauce, fish sauce or dairy. Being vegan doesn't have to take the joy away out of eating. Accidental slip-ups may happen at first but you have to embrace the difficulties in order to move forward. I don't speak for everyone but nobody is running to be the perfect vegan. We are on the same path of not causing harm to animals, reducing impact on the environment and becoming healthy.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda

Do you ever find yourself slipping into a "what if" zone? I do this whenever I'm faced with a major life decision. I think of several scenarios attached to each choice. I would dig my way back into history if I ever learned from any of the loose ends. "What if I didn't leave?" "What if I accepted that job offer?" But since I can't take those moments back, I try not to let the fear of possibilities take over in my decisions.


Monday, May 28, 2018

Travel: Mount Yasur in Vanuatu

I never really see myself as adventurous because (1) I just couldn't be bothered with that much physical effort and (2) I have low tolerance for uncertainty. If it's any consolation, I am grace under pressure. Although I try to push myself out of the comfort zone, which made me start looking at things differently. As cliché as this may sound, you only live once or twice in my case. We hiked the cliff of Morne Blanc in Seychelles two years ago. I thought that was my peak experience until I had the opportunity to climb an active volcano in Vanuatu. Mount Yasur was an unforgettable trip that literally lit up my birthday week.


Tuesday, March 20, 2018

10 Lessons Living in the City Has Taught Me

I was born in the province and spent my idyllic time in a small town where everyone knows you by your kin. Mornings were for climbing trees and afternoons were often filled with adventures exploring the fields. As a child living a simple life, nature was my playground. By mid '90s, we moved to another countryfar away from the familiar, comfortable and happy childhood memories. I don't remember having bitter recollection on the big transition since my parents never forget to make us feel grounded. Also, Abu Dhabi in the early '90s was the ideal place to raise a family. My father has been there since 1990, and even my grandfather in the early days. Like a tectonic shift, my life was rearranged. I became the expat kid.


Thursday, February 22, 2018

The Art of Slowing Down

You must have witnessed a sunset at some point in your life. If you haven't, I'm judging you. Get into it! Find a perfect spot. Relax and observe. I've always been a sunset seeker; attuned to the manifestation of oneness with nature. We often get caught up with work or cram in as much as we can to be productive. It's like we're constantly stuck in a cycle of rushing things. But at what cost? Why feel guilty of slowing down to nature's pace and admire everything around us?


Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Our Wedding Suppliers

Whenever I get asked about wedding planning, I always say how much I enjoyed every part of it. There were a couple of pre-wedding freakouts but you really don't have to make it harder than it has to be. We decided not to get a full service wedding planner. This will be the first decision you have to make as a couple on the early stages of wedding planning. If you agreed to organize everything on your own, here's a dose of wedding wisdom: Learn to split up tasks. I work well under pressure, my husband can effectively communicate with suppliers. I love playing with design and ideas, my husband trusts my aesthetics. Heehee! We had a year of preparation but I suggest to start as soon as possible. Some wedding suppliers are already booked in advance so have your binder/folder/Excel file ready and start your research. Try not to get caught up in the stress! (See also: Your First Steps In Wedding Planning)

© Aletha Jane. All rights reserved.
Alis volat propriis.