To have and to hold

I promise to be true to you in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. I will love you and honour you all the days of my life.

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Looking back, when I learned that Charisse had to climb the gate of CVPC because she stayed too late to wait for Crispin, I knew something is not going right towards our plan of walking down the aisle together, travelling et cetera et cetera. Not me and her, but our double wedding plan! She had my ears smoking between my cute little head when she “ran away from me” and left me alone scrambling on how to pass the Chemistry Board Exam. I said to myself then, “he better be worth it!”.

14 years later, and with Crissan and Cyrille joining the Charisse-Crispin tandem, I came home to witness my bestfriend’s church wedding.

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10th year wedding anniversary. Cathedral Church, Dumaguete City. March 21, 2015

Weeks before the ceremony, Charisse and Crispin spent a few days with me. The conversations are endless as usual. There was one point in our conversation that stuck in my head until this very day. It was when Charisse said that during the time of her chemotherapy and at the verge of giving up, it was Crispin’s presence that made her strong and made her feel better after all the seemingly endless vomiting due to the medication. “So it’s true, that there is really someone called The One”, I was tempted to say it out loud, but instead, I silently thought, “if in that terrible condition it was his physical presence that made her feel better, I am convinced he is probably worth all the trouble”. The vow on “in sickness and in health” and the promise on “in good times and in bad” satisfied.

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More than 10 years na, may pa kilig moment ka pa. Naks naman! Haha!

So here is my message to my two bestfriends since I have no other choice, you’re stuck to each other like glue;

To Charisse:

An ordinary woman would have given up a long time ago and will not live to what you have survived. It is your character and strength as a woman that makes you successful in your own right. May you always use it to protect your family. May you also learn to forgive and forget the past and to look forward to the better days.

To Crispin:

You are one of The Few, The Proud. I believe your unquestionable loyalty is to your nation and to your wife. Make her proud to stand beside you all the days of her life.

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I am inviting myself to your silver wedding and golden anniversary. Thank you in advance.

My Dork Diary

To the little girl who believes I wrote the Dork Diaries and lend me her Dork Diaries Tales from a not-so-fabulous life so I can remember what I wrote, you got me digging into my old album for pictures of what my life was when I was 9, like you now, and become inspired to write a short story. I hope you find it fabulous.

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I think we were 9 years old when I met your mommy in a reading competition. We did not become friends. We are not enemies either. We were very young and very shy…

At 9 years old, I have long, silky, black hair, as black as the night. Daddy would brush me and my sister’s hair every morning after taking a bath while we are eating our breakfast. Like you, I have the best Daddy in the whole universe! My Daddy was a fisherman. When I was a baby girl, we had a bamboo house near the sea and I still remember Daddy and I would walk to the beach in the morning to collect seashells.  It was such a fun memory!

Like Nikki, I am not popular. I don’t have many, many friends. I only have Eliza and Toto, my childhood bestfriends. I don’t have a secret crush named Brandon. But I do like this boy since we were second grade. His name was Michael. He smiled like an angel and his eyes glitter like gold in the sun. I can tell he doesn’t like me because he would call me “black bangbang” whenever he follows me from school until I get home. He is only walking me home because my grandma, who happens to be his teacher, told him so. Not like you, I don’t have a kuya, I don’t have a protector.

My skin color then is darker than yours, so they call me “black”. I thought my skin color can help tell Daddy that I am her daughter in the classroom haha! So being dark skinned doesn’t bother me. I am proud of it. I am Filipina.

Opposite to Nikki’s life in the story, I can say I had a fabulous life growing up. I can only remember happy times in my childhood. Our summers are spent in Oroquieta City where we meet all our uncles, aunties, cousins, great grandma, and other relatives. We don’t have celphones or ipad or AppleMac back then, but we have books, we draw, we sing, we dance, we eat a lot of fruits, drink milk together, sleep together and play outside until the sun goes tired.

What made my life not-so-fabulous at 9 was when Daddy died of cancer. I was very sad. My mommy, brother and sister were very sad too. We cry almost everyday until we cannot cry anymore.

I was also 9 years old when I become Top 1 in our class and got other awards during recognition day at school. Here is a picture. Daddy died before this day so he is not in the picture to pin my ribbons. I studied very hard that year to become number 1, I want to make him proud of me. I think God probably needs an angel in heaven so badly, that is why he called Daddy early. I know he is looking down from heaven to guard me until this very day.

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Sometimes, life is not-so-fabulous but it doesn’t mean it cannot be great! You will meet friends at school who will become your frienemies or enemies who will become your friends. You will have a new crush who will not like you or a boy who has a crush on you that you terribly don’t like. Some people will tease you of your skin color but it doesn’t mean you are not pretty. They probably have not read yet that black is beautiful and being smart is the new sexy, even if you have a big tummy after eating spaghetti. Life is like that.

It is okay not to have the perfect dress or the best glitter shoes in class, or if your hair gets messy — what is not okay is if you become a bad little girl to your mommy, daddy and kuya. Kuya is probably the “worst” kuya ever compared to your classmates’ kuyas who are cool, but remember, kuya is your protector. His strong arms will protect you from your frienemies. I think he is Baymax in disguise. In fact I think kuya will become your bestfriend in the future.

I will end my story with a secret that you must not tell anyone. I met my Brandon and he is exactly what I imagined him to be 🙂

Study well.

Love, Mommy Shine

To My Most Favourite STAR!

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I cannot believe you are 30! You are still 20 to me, at least you look like it hehe.

STAR always lives up to her name and as a sister, I cannot be even prouder. Strong willed, feisty yet sweet and very loving. A strong woman who knows what she wants and works hard to get it. A faithful friend, extremely generous and a wonder woman to Xandy and Ben. She has gone through tough times in life but it never once broke her spirit. She manages to gracefully get up with every fall and emerge stronger, brighter and wiser after every challenge. It is her joyful nature that makes her a winner in life!

Happy birthday to my most favourite Star! I love you and I am very proud of what you have become. My wish for you is that you stay healthy, happy and may all that you see and desire be yours today and always!

Love,
Ate Bang

FAITH Goals for 2015

I have written the things I am grateful for in 2014 and this year I have 12 FAITH goals or things I believe in for 2015. Here’s my top 5 🙂

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I will do my best to achieve my FAITH goals with the belief that everything is possible in God’s perfect time.

What are the things you aim to achieve or hope for this 2015? How do you plan to achieve it?

My year’s theme: #bolder2015

Best of luck for all of us!
SHINE

Things I’m GRATEFUL For in 2014

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1. Grateful for my UAE life and real estate experience. 

I spent five months in the UAE, between Abu Dhabi and Dubai. I am grateful to visit Dubai’s tourist spots and be able to appreciate the gift of creativity of the human being, turning the dessert into life.  I am grateful to visit world renowned iconic buildings. I am grateful to witness the good, the bad and the ugly sides of doing business in a highly multi-cultural community. I am grateful to live the life of an OFW, though brief but very fulfilling and taught me so many things that I have to be grateful for.

2. I am grateful for my new found friends.

To live in a foreign country is not easy. It was made fun by new found friends who become like my family in the UAE. The joy brought by Deeyan, the influence of positivity by Malows, the beauty tips of Gladys, the contagious laughter of Hylin, the mentorship and motherly love of Ate Cassey and the loving support of Ate Alice. The leisurely walks with JP. All these people made my Dubai life easier to live by.

3. Grateful for my family.

My source of strength and inspiration is my family. My family is not perfect but I know they will always be there for me no matter what. I am grateful for mom’s prayers that I will be able to surpass the trials I went through and I did come home in one piece lol. I am grateful for Raymond and Marlon, my two kuyas, who beat me through emails several times haha (I can laugh at it now).

4. Grateful for my loyal clients and referrals.

I am always grateful to my clients and their referrals. Some of them has turned into my good friends and some welcomed me into their families like a sister or a daughter. At one point in my life I have probably done something good for them.

5. Grateful for the lessons life and love has taught me.

I did not reach my target income for the year and in the financial sense may have lost but the lessons I learned and the experience I gained, no amount of money can compensate for it. 2014 was a rocky one but it made the journey more exciting. At the end of the year, I came out more excited about life, more passionate about my career, more inspired to explore the possibilities and more determined to find what truly makes me happy. I also learned who to keep in my life and who to just let go, to choose my battle and to always pray for guidance.

I will end this by saying, in everything that you go through bad or good, don’t lose yourself in the moment, eat healthy, don’t take life so seriously and always be grateful.

XO,

Shine

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How to survive LDR

In today’s time and technology, I can say distance is not anymore a big problem. You can do business all over the world wherever you are as long as you are connected to the internet. However, when it comes to personal relationships no amount of Skyping or Facebook Messenger calling can connect the physical length between sweethearts, between mother and child and between families.

Here are my thoughts on how possibly two people can survive this long distant relationship thing. I will not be writing about the physical ways but more on how to nurture the relationship during the distance.

  1. Communicate effectively and consistently.

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For a brief period of time, I experienced the life of an OFW in Dubai. I can faithfully attest it is not easy. What do I want to hear from my family back then? Everything that is happening in their daily lives! We all have different ways to cope with loneliness. If your partner is the kind who wants to take part of your daily existence then communicate effectively and consistently. When I say effectively, I mean explain well what you mean or in detail if necessary. It will help a lot if you somehow screen the little problems that you can solve on your own, as this might add stress to your partner who is already dealing with a lot of stress at work, with his schedule, with his colleagues and from missing you.

If your partner happens to be a seafarer who doesn’t get a satellite signal for days, continue to keep in touch even if you don’t get an immediate response. For sure he/she will be reading and re-reading your messages and viewing your saved pictures before bedtime.

  1. Work on your personal goals.

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Make use of this time apart to work on your personal goals. Time management is the key to everything. Idle and unproductive moments can sometimes lead you to think of unhappy thoughts and create fears that are not really happening. If your kids are sucking up all your energy, make it a personal goal to have your “me time”, your own time wherein you only do the things that make you personally happy and can revive your energy in any way possible.

If you enjoy spending “me time” with your husband in the privacy of your bedroom Skyping, so much better.  It will tell him how important he is to your life as a lover, and as a partner and not just a provider.

  1. Work on that trust issue everyday.

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In order to avoid conflict and doubt, keep your partner posted on your whereabouts. I met a man in Dubai who eventually became my good friend who told me that in everything that he does, his wife is the first to know – from the moment he wakes up (what mood he’s into), the food he eats, the places he’s been to, the people he met, down to the desires of his heart at any given moment. Again, this goes back to my point number 1, to communicate effectively.

In my personal opinion, distance is not an issue as long as the trust, respect and love is keeping your relationship alive. I have witnessed couples that managed to stay together for the sake of keeping the family intact but the love has been long gone. There were also couples that appear sweet but are not really happy.

Long distant relationship will work as long as you are both committed to make it work.

Here’s the funny thing, I have had three serious relationships that are all long distant that didn’t work. So I may not be the best person to write about this after all haha! Thanks for reading, until next time.

Hugs <3

Shine

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My berry happy birthday :-)

This entry I wrote while I was in Dubai but failed to post it. I am posting it now before my memory fails me.

It was my first time to celebrate my birthday away from everyone that matters to me. I had birthday blues a week before the actual day. As it turns out, I had four mini-celebrations filled with surprises.

The first celebration. Sofitel Corniche Abu Dhabi, 5 July 2014.

I was gifted with an overnight stay at Sofitel Corniche Abu Dhabi, which I took a week before my birthday. Thank you very much to the sponsor, you know who you are. You are always so generous and so kind to me all these years. May you be blessed more 🙂

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It was Ramadan time and there were only very few guests, I was given an upgrade. A sea view room :-)
It was Ramadan time and there were only very few guests, I was given an upgrade. A sea view room 🙂
I super love the bath! I enjoyed a few bubble baths during my stay.
I super love the bath! I enjoyed a few bubble baths during my stay.
Again, I have all these food all to myself at breakfast.
Again, I have all these food all to myself at breakfast.
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Forgive my not so lady like image while eating.

The second celebration. Abu Dhabi, 8 July 2014.

The night before my birthday, I got depressed while walking around MOE and decided to go to Abu Dhabi where I had a little surprise dinner from my kambal. I know he had gone out of his way to prepare something at such short notice. Thank you as always.

happy belly and happy heart :-)
happy belly and happy heart 🙂

The third celebration. House2HomeUAE office, Churchill Towers, Business Bay, 9 July 2014.

My boss bought me a blueberry cheesecake (my fave), which we all shared with the Property Consultants.  Despite the Ramadan the guys still showed up in the office to greet me. It was a happy day.

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The fourth celebration. My home in Business Bay, 9 July 2014.

Dinner with my roommates! The most fun part was the surprise! A fruitcake, a pink rose and balloons with LED lights waiting for me on my bed! I felt guilty that they stayed up late while waiting for me to arrive the night before. That would probably make me give way and burst to tears. I love their greetings on the balloons.  I am so blessed to find such room filled with a bunch of happy, generous people. Guys, you’re the best! I will not survived the day without all of you. Mabuhay ang 301 Al Fardan haha!

From Abu Dhabi, barely dressed as I prepare for office, this was waiting for me on my bed. I am so close to tears.
From Abu Dhabi, barely dressed as I prepare for office, this was waiting for me on my bed. I am so close to tears.

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Thank you for all your wishes and greetings. I am now 33 years old and rocking it 🙂

Shine bright like a diamond

Last Friday, November 21, I got invited to grace the 2014 Grand Partners’ Appreciation Night of Primary Homes Inc. primarily because I sold a penthouse at their Woodcrest Residences weeks before I flew to Abu Dhabi for my international real estate exposure. The walk through, follow-up and documentation would not have been made possible without the help of one of my good friend and mentor, Gilda Hubahib Villaceran. I dedicate this entry to this super woman who in one way or another inspired me to become a reliable partner.

With the LAGPN brokers and agents.
With the LAGPN brokers and agents.

When I first knew Gilda, she was still a Regional Property Consultant at Land Asia Realty. I always remember her as the agent with a loud voice and a big laugh, which to be honest irritates me in the beginning. I also find her strict and unapproachable. Her round eyes sometimes frightens me. Well, these are the first common impressions I had with my now good friends and mentors Ismaela Puerto, Lydia Dela Rita, Gloria Econas and Raymond Ong.

With me and her downline Vicky Paracuelles.
With me and her downline Vicky Paracuelles.
Her solo before the awarding.
Her solo before the awarding.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The first deal I closed with Gilda as far as I can remember was an apartment in E. Chavez Extension. As a newbie at that time, I made an honest mistake, which could cost me personal money and could have stopped the transaction from moving forward. Experience is always my best teacher in this industry. I tasted a little “scolding” so to say, but I was relieved that Gilda was on onboard and rescued me from that mess. The rest of our deals went smoothly especially after learning her work ethics and business skills. She has taught me a lot on documentation and offline marketing strategies.

In her gold purse of course! Winner mode :-)
In her gold purse of course! Winner mode 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

She was such in high spirit that it is contagious.
She was such in high spirit that it is contagious.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Back to the party, as always Primary Homes Inc. throws one of the grandest parties by a developer in the city. From the choice of location, Oakridge Pavilion, to the buffet, to the entertainment and the amazing prizes they give to their partners every year. Each closing agent gets points which is equivalent to a number of raffle tickets that can win her/him showcases, gadgets, trips, motorcycle and a house and lot package tax free! Every agent who is a reliable partner is looking forward to this big event. Gilda won a house and lot in 2010, isn’t that amazing???

Gilda also won an office showcase.
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She also won a tablet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This year, Gilda was one of the five finalists of their first Huwaran Award. This award is to honor the agent who has been a consistent top seller through the years with unquestionable good moral character. Without a doubt she is one of the two Huwaran Awardees that were recognized that evening, another shining moment for this super woman.

Huwaran Awardee
Huwaran Awardees 2014.

This year Land Asia Realty awarded Gilda as the Salesperson of the Year during its 22nd anniversary. Guess what? She also grabbed the Salesperson of the Year for 2014 from Primary Homes Inc. with a brand new car to drive! She was speechless, well who wouldn’t? She deserves all the awards and recognitions she has today.

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All smiles as she receives her Huwaran Award.
With Mr. Espina, VP Sales and Marketing of PHI.
With Mr. Espina, VP Sales and Marketing of PHI.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Looking back at her story, which I wrote in one of our Skyline anniversary issues, I can truly say she is a gem, a well-polished diamond over the years. She remains simple, grounded, still with a loud laugh that is contagious and is now learning how to enjoy life by travelling and have dinners with her classmates and friends. One of the things I learned from her is to treat every person well and to take care of my relationship with clients, colleagues, friends, and family and extend kindness even to the persons who turned their backs on me, for someday they will refer business haha!

To Gilda Hubahib Villaceran, nobody deserves it better than you do! Congratulations!

Our grouphi
Our grouphi. We didn’t win but I still think we are the cutest!
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Our grouphi take two!

 

 

 

leave it OR live it

A few nights ago, I received a private message from a friend, a beautiful, young woman. It is very rare for me to receive this kind of query at an unholy hour, which I understand. Matters of the heart usually give us those sleepless nights.

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My reply to this and I quote:

“Cool off is u are still in the relationship but giving each other space and time”

“Buwag is the relationship ends na”  (buwag – broke up)

“Buwag is no more chance to heal it. Communication is closed na.”

And she replied:

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Haha! Oo nga naman Shine …

This may be a common issue among young relationships but when you are in their shoes, sometimes you get confused too (like I did in the past lol).  It is a war between the emotion and the common sense, which when we are in cloud 9 we lost all senses.

We all go through this kind of relationship at some point in our lives. Lucky are those who have found “the one” earlier in their lives, and grew together in the relationship. Remember your grandparents’ love story?

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I cannot relay her entire story but here’s my take.

  1. Space and time.  I am the “LEAVE ME ALONE” kind of person who doesn’t want to be bothered when hurt.  We all need space to think clearly and time to nurse our hurt ego. But it is important that you know where you stand. Baka wala ka na palang hinihintay o babalikan.
  1. Communicate. It is a choice if you want to fight for the relationship. Sorry to say this, but for me, once he cheated thrice (mabait pa ako ha), he is a certified cheater. It is an addiction that is hard to let go. Relationship is built on trust, respect and friendship and all three takes time to flourish.
  1. Love yourself a little more. This is not pride talking but your sense of self. You may lose everything for that love, but never let go of your self. Therefore, eat less sweets and shop for the healthier stuff.

This is Shine, your love guru for a day 🙂

XOXO

to my sunshine in Dubai – Ate Casey

If I am in Dubai today there are two things I surely did, I will be at Safestway Hypermarket buying a bouquet of flowers and cake for this amazing woman for her very special day.

The rest of the girls call her Tita, but I call her Ate Casey. She is like our mommy in Dubai. She takes care of all of us. From Dubai weather to fashion to events to surviving Dubai to teleseryes to dealing with our personal matters – she is our super woman.

Kindhearted, loving, caring, generous, strong in character, brutally honest yet graceful – I cannot find the perfect words to describe her. She is my kape-mate in the morning, my Whatsapp buddy at mid-day who absorbs all my frustrations (sadly) and my good friend who listens how I survived the day at night.  To me, she is the Ate that I never had but I am most grateful to have met.

To Ate Casey,

May you have more birthdays to celebrate, more sales to come and more happiness in life.

Deeyan always says, “be your own sunshine”, I just realized, you are my sunshine in Dubai.

Don’t worry Ate, I will go back in Dubai, a stronger, better, happier person: buong-buo pati ang puso <3

Thank you very, very much for everything.  I miss you so much!

I love you.

XOXO

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