Every year I see to it that I travel on my birthday so I have something to look forward to aside from the day itself. This year I chose Maldives as my destination. I've got nothing much to say about this place but WOW!!! Really a paradise on earth.

Maldives is a perfect place for honeymoon, but since I am forever romantically challenged (HAHAH)  and my own honeymoon is like rain on the Sahara (HAHAH again), I decided to go now with my friends than wait for the impossible.

We stayed on the local island called Maafushi and on my birthday we went to a nearby island/hotel/resort called Anantara (about 20-min speedboat ride away) to celebrate my special day. The entrance to this island costs USD185 each (plus USD30 boat ride fee per person). Local people told me about 2-3 months ago a trip to this island costs USD300 and prior to that it was USD600+. Whoaaaa.

Sorry, I'm flooding you with pictures. Don't be jealous, please? Lol. Anyway, let them speak for the island's beauty. :)

Happy Birthday to me!!!! :)


Happy birthday, my love. 


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I've been to Japan several times before but it was only my last visit that I was able to explore Tokyo. I was with my mom and stayed in the city for 2 nights.  My parents lived in Yokosuka for about 5 years in the 90s when my father relocated to Japan from the US (military duties). Interestingly though, my mom has never explored much of Japan (although they stayed for another decade in Nagasaki, Japan) so when I booked a trip to Tokyo I decided to bring her along.

I've long been wanting to have my photo taken at the famous Shibuya crossing so I was happy my wish was finally granted. Oh yeah, I know it's funny. I just thought that a Tokyo trip isn't complete without crossing this busy, somewhat 'chaotic' intersection. Colourful city lights were pleasing to my eyes, too.

If you are familiar with Hachiko the dog, a photo with his statue is also a must. It is found near Shibuya Station, close to the tourist information center. It can get crowded though, because it's already become a waiting area for locals and tourists alike. Also, situated nearby is a smoking area so expect to inhale smoke.

I told my mom I'll take her picture with Hachiko but she was just like.. "sino ba yang aso na yan?" LOL. Their picture came out a little to funny so I'm just sharing a solo shot of Hachiko.

Like I said we only stayed in Tokyo for 2 nights; the first day was spent touring around Hakone and visiting 5th of Mt Fuji then stayed back to Tokyo to spend the night there. The following day we headed to the US Naval Base in Yokosuka to visit my dad who was temporarily based there. Yokosuka is in the Kanagawa prefecture of Japan, probably an hour or two drive away from Tokyo. 

It was interesting to know that my mom hadn't tried riding Japan's bullet there (despite living there for close to 2 decades) so when I booked a Mt Fuji tour I chose a package that included a bullet train ride back to Tokyo.

She seems happy she got to do a lot of things she's never done before. Thanks to me, LOL. Kidding. I was happy spending time with her, too, although she can get really stubborn at times... Mahirap magpalaki ng magulang eh. :)

That's the bullet train behind her. She asked me to take her photo with the train because it was her first time. LOL.

Too bad we didn't have much time for Disneyland anymore, she brought that shirt for that. Sayang.


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It's still vivid in my head how I argued with my friend about a decade ago if love is a choice or a feeling. He was very firm on his opinion that love is a choice while I insisted that it is a feeling, something that we have no control over. I even told him I never wanted to love my boyfriend at that time because his life was a mess, I just couldn't do anything about it because I fell so hard. He said I had the option to just turn my back, which I just shrugged off. My friend is 5 years my senior and already on the marrying age -- except that he had been single for years and still on a hunt for someone to love. He would frown and tell me how much of a sucker for fairy tale I was. Being surrounded by men fighting for my attention, it was instilled in my mind that love is all about sparks, butterflies in my stomach and whatnot. Little did I know that it is so much more than that...

Yes, my 20-year old self always believed that falling in love is something inexplicable, or the answer to why we love a certain person would always be a mystery.  Fast forward to today, I finally realized that love is a choice. It is not merely something that you feel, it is that 'feeling' you nurture to bloom. It is a product of conscious effort to find things to love about a person. More often than not, it is built from friendship and trust. Sure, it sometimes starts with either attraction or connection (or even lust) and hitting it off can happen by chance.. but you decide whether you will let that person enter your life or shoo him away.

Through time changes occur. People change and so do feelings (and also the way we see things). It is then that we question ourselves if we are still in love or just staying for the sake of keeping a promise? The "kilig" factor might have diminished, the excitement and passion have probably withered but remember, love isn't always about butterflies-in-the-stomach and hues of pinks and reds; love is about growing together, surviving storms and bumps along the road. This is because you chose to stay in love and decided to stick together no matter how much change you've seen in one another. Of course, being with each other means getting to know his/her likes and dislikes, finding out his/her worst habits and whatnot, witnessing how monstrous he/she could and yet if you still willingly embrace such flaws -- that is love working right there.

On the other hand, when one falls out of love; you thought it happens just because you no longer feel the same? Perhaps without any reason at all? That you just woke up one day and poof! the feelings were gone? Staying in love entails hard work. When something goes wrong, would you try to iron things out or let them fall apart? Again, it's your choice. The ball is in your hands. Shit happens to test your limits and your will to make the relationship work. And this is what makes love amazing -- discovering how far you can go in the name of love. Your willingness to put forth efforts in keeping love alive definitely matters, even that will to live up to that promise of loving each other for better or worse significantly plays a role.

I am now in my 30s and often caught myself contemplating about loving someone. And it's not only me that is making choices, but also the man I am asking to love me back -- he will have to decide whether to stick around and be with a scarred, (dark) humorous, harsh, indifferent and emotionless woman OR to walk away just because she's too difficult to handle.

Love is always a choice. However, it is not as simple as turning left or right, it is a choice where you ask, "What is in store for me if I turn left or right?" I guess when we get a glimpse of what's fated we make decision on which direction to track. Although happy endings aren't always guaranteed, we wouldn't really know it unless we pursue our choices and give love a chance.

That is why..... Whatever choices I make or whoever I choose, one thing is for sure -- I will always choose to love. No matter how many times I get hurt. :)


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"If you love a flower, don't pick it up. Because if you do, it dies and it ceases to be what you love."

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