19 is a Weird Age

Hello world!

A week ago today, I turned 19 and entered the last year of my teenage years. 19 isn’t a very monumental age, and considering this was the first birthday since my big 18th birthday party, my birthday this year felt weird.

For starters, it didn’t really feel like my birthday. It’s not like I didn’t celebrate it; I went to Disneyland with my boyfriend and a couple friends the day before, and on the day of I enjoyed a nice dinner with my family, but for some reason it hasn’t hit me that my birthday came and went. It felt like any other day, really.

In addition, I felt sad on the days leading up to my birthday. I have no idea why; I’ve never been sad around the holiday season, as the festivities and the spirit of this time of year usually uplifts my mood. But, to be honest, the days leading up to my birthday (and some days immediately after), I’ve gone to bed crying, feeling upset and empty for no apparent reason.

It’s the reason I stopped blogging for a bit for the past two weeks. I feel slightly better now, and I’m trying to get back into the swing of things before my sadness took over, but I will admit that it was strange, this year. From the way my 19th year of life has been going so far, I thought that this was going to be a terrible year. But I’m determined to manifest only positive thoughts and hopefully recover from the terrible start of my 19th revolution around the sun.

Here’s to hoping 19 won’t be that bad.

Thanks for reading! See you soon.

Izzy ◡̈

Merry Christmas

Hello world!

Today is December 25th, so Merry Christmas to everyone reading this post (and a Happy Holidays to anyone who doesn’t celebrate)! I hope you all have a fun and safe holiday with your families and friends.

Anyways, Blogmas 2018 is now over, and I’ve done… 11/25 days. I didn’t have time and frankly was not in the mindset to blog these past few days. My mental health has declined significantly since I’ve gone home for the holidays and it’s felt like things haven’t gone my way at all. But the Christmas season has lifted my spirits tremendously and I’m trying my best to stay positive.

Anyways, this is just a short post to wish everyone a Happy Holidays. I’ll be back soon hopefully; I want to start blogging again and expressing my feelings and thoughts.

Thanks for reading! See you soon.

Izzy ◡̈

Self Care: Staying Healthy During Finals Week (Blogmas Day 11)

Hello world!

I’m currently in the midst of finals week, and I got sick.

I don’t even know how it happened, but I’m so prone to getting sick, especially when I get stressed out. So of course I would get sick during finals week.

I know this could have been easily preventable if I had just worked harder to be healthy, so for today’s post I want to list some ways to stay healthy during finals week.

get lots of sleep, and sleep at a reasonable time

I struggled with this the most and would often have trouble getting to sleep, especially if I knew I would have a lot to do the next day. I recommend getting to sleep at a reasonable time and sleeping a good amount of sleep every night; sleep is more important than your academics, always.

drink lots of water

Another thing I struggled with was making sure I drank enough water. I would often drink less than one bottle a day (which equates to about 2 glasses of water), which would lead to dehydration headaches. Make sure you drink enough water because a lot of fluids is good for you, especially when you do start to feel sick.

eat 3 meals a day

I would often skip meals in order to study more, saying I would eat once I finished studying one section, finishing that section late at night when everything was already closed, and resort to not eating. It’s a terrible habit that I need to get rid of, especially because it makes me feel even more terrible when I do get sick. Make sure you eat three meals a day and snack every once in a while, just to make sure you have food in your system.

know when to take a break 

Adding on to the last point, I would go hours studying without breaks, which was not only unhealthy physically but took a toll on my mental health as well. There’s more to life than that one good grade on a test; make sure you prioritize breaks and spending time to relax, hang out with friends, and eat.

take your vitamins

The last tip I have is to remember to take your vitamins. I often forgot to take my vitamins as I would be in a rush to get out of the room in the morning, but I needed to remember that I have them for a reason, and I shouldn’t be neglecting them anymore.

Those were just a few tips for staying healthy during finals week. If you have anymore, comment them below. I have a feeling I may need them.

Good luck to everyone taking finals! We’re getting closer and closer to Christmas, we just have to get through the week!

Thanks for reading! See you soon.

Izzy ◡̈

Music Monday: Twenty One by Greyson Chance (Blogmas Day 10)

Hello world!

Happy Music Monday! I don’t know how often I’ll be doing this “series”, if you will, but I’ve been obsessed with this song lately so I figured today was a day to post my thoughts about it.

I’ve been following Greyson Chance since he was discovered back in 2010 by Ellen DeGeneres, and I’ve been able to witness his musical growth from a teen pop sensation to developing a more indie, electronic sound.

“Twenty One” is his latest single, and his last release before his full-length album Portaits drops early next year. Its composition is fairly simple, mostly relying on a tambourine and drum. It’s a far cry from his other tracks, which normally have a lot going on instrumentally.

Lyrically, Chance paints a picture for his listener, immersing them in the middle of a party. It gives the listener a look into Chance’s mind, as well as the thoughts of his friends around him. It’s a feel-good song and embodies the idea of feeling forever young, even though as the song says, we only have one year to be 21. It gives me a sense of nostalgia, almost, even though I’m still two years away from being 21.

The song is extremely catchy and makes me think of the parties I’ve been to so far in college, which have been some of my favorite memories since I arrived back in September. Not to mention, it’s the first time Chance has openly addressed his sexuality in his music. It makes the song feel so personal and so real. It’s why I’ve been so obsessed with it lately.

You can listen to the song here:

Thanks for reading! See you soon.

Izzy ◡̈

My Secret Santa (Blogmas Day 9)

Hello world!

Last night, a couple friends from college and I held a Secret Santa gift exchange. Even though we are all broke college students with little to no time on our hands, we were still able to get each other cute little gifts to continue to spread the Christmas cheer.

One of my friends, Elaine, got me, and her gift certainly didn’t disappoint. She tried to get some of the items I wanted most off my wishlist while still keeping within the $20 limit. I got a scented candle and a set of a mug and fuzzy socks.

I absolutely adored the present. As I mentioned, I love scented candles because they help me relax, and I love fuzzy socks because my feet get cold. I didn’t need a mug per se, because I already brought two mugs with me to college, but the mug that came with the socks is so cute I may end up bringing my mugs home and just use the one she got me instead when I’m in school. It’s perfect for when I want to make myself a nice cup of tea or some hot chocolate, especially in this winter weather.

I absolutely love gift exchanges around the holiday season. It makes it so much more fun and I always love seeing what I’ll get.

Thanks for reading! See you soon.

Izzy ◡̈

Spreading Christmas Cheer (Blogmas Day 8)

Hello world! I am so sorry I missed a couple days of Blogmas – I had posts in my drafts prepared, but some personal things came up so I have been unable to finish writing and posting them until now. I’ll be posting four days work of Blogmas posts today, hope you don’t mind!

Hello world!

Tonight I had the pleasure of going Christmas caroling with PCE’s choral group. It was a pretty last-minute decision, and we had only had about three or four practices before going out and caroling, but we came out in our favorite Christmas sweaters and sang our hearts out.

We went to a retirement home close to campus and performed for a group of elderly men and women. We sang six songs in total: All I Want For Christmas Is You, The Christmas Song, Let It Snow, Baby Its Cold Outside, Last Christmas, and an a capella version of Silent Night.

I will admit it was a bit awkward at first, because we were standing in front of them waiting for our cue to start. But it was so worth it when we sang and saw their faces visibly light up.

Christmas is one of my favorite holidays, and I’m glad we got to spread some Christmas cheer. I wasn’t really feeling the Christmas spirit until tonight; I was stressed over finals, dealing with a lot of other personal issues, and my mental health was starting to decline, but singing my favorite Christmas songs instantly lifted my spirits and made me feel happy. It was possibly the best way to spend a Saturday night.

Thanks for reading! See you soon.

Izzy ◡̈

Unpopular Opinion: I Actually Enjoyed the Quarter System (Blogmas Day 7)

Hello world! I am so sorry I missed a couple days of Blogmas – I had posts in my drafts prepared, but some personal things came up so I have been unable to finish writing and posting them until now. I’ll be posting four days work of Blogmas posts today, hope you don’t mind!

Hello world!

Today, Friday, marks the official end of classes for Fall Quarter. And wow, that was fast.

I knew the quarter system would fly by – after all, we only spend 10 weeks learning an entire college course. But while I was initially worried and on edge that I would be overwhelmed, to be completely honest with you, I liked the quarter system a lot.

Many of my peers often complained about the rigorous nature of the quarter system and how it moved far too fast for their liking, but I enjoyed how quickly the time passed. It always kept me on my toes and motivated me to work harder than I ever have before – I think I spent more hours studying and doing work this quarter than I did my entire senior year of high school.

I don’t know if I’ll always feel this way; after all, I got lucky this quarter and only took 14 units, with all my classes meeting between 8-2 PM from Mondays to Thursdays. I got stressed out and overwhelmed the first week of school, but eventually I fell into a pattern and was able to efficiently manage my time. If I was productive and didn’t mess around too much, I was usually able to be in bed by midnight.

This quarter I tried to reinvent my studying methods and get rid of the bad habits I developed in high school. I forced myself to do homework the day it was assigned, walking to the library immediately after class and starting it then.  I actually did the class reading, and took notes on it, even when I knew we weren’t going to be quizzed on the material. I also would write my notes not one, but three times: I would write out my notes hastily in a composition notebook, type it up on my OneNote, and then rewrite it neatly and put it into a binder. It helped me retain the information for long-term memory. I changed from a notorious procrastinator into a responsible student in a single quarter.

While in the midst of my studies, I also managed to get a job as a desk assistant in one of the residential halls. This helped me get work done, as it gave me an environment to do work without being distracted by social media and other devices. I also found a home in the Pilipino Cultural Exchange, a cultural club on campus. I devoted all the other free time I had to the club. I looked forward to our weekly meetings on Wednesday nights and practically lived in the first floor of the library, where I would socialize and study with other members of the club.

I will admit, I did slip a bit. Even though I was putting hours of work into my education, I didn’t always get the results I wanted. The first midterm grade I got back was for my statistics class and I scored a 71% on it. I wanted to cry, because I studied for hours and I thought that because I changed my old ways I would start getting better grades. But college doesn’t always work that way. I learned that I wouldn’t get everything handed to me like high school, and that I had to work even harder to get the results I desired. And sometimes, I couldn’t obtain those desired results, and that’s okay. As long as I continued to put in the work (and go to class, something I need to work on for future quarters), I would be fine.

Overall, the past ten weeks have been nothing short of busy. But I kind of liked it. I can’t imagine my life without the quarter system.

Here’s to a successful finals week and future quarters to come.

Thanks for reading! See you soon.

Izzy ◡̈

My Spotify Wrapped 2018 (Blogmas Day 6)

Hello world! I am so sorry I missed a couple days of Blogmas – I had posts in my drafts prepared, but some personal things came up so I have been unable to finish writing and posting them until now. I’ll be posting four days work of Blogmas posts today, hope you don’t mind!

Hello world!

The 2018 edition of Spotify Wrapped came out today, and everyone and their mother has been posting their statistics on social media for the world to see. I opted not to post about it on my Instagram but instead blog about it and reflect on my music choices for the year.

My Spotify Wrapped overview.
My Firsts

“You started 2018 by listening to Crank That by Soulja Boy, and the first artist you discovered was Cookin’ On 3 Burners.”

Okay, let me explain… I held my big 18th birthday party (called a debut in Pilipino culture) and I used these two songs at my party. Crank That was one of my roses songs and Cookin’ On 3 Burners produced my entrance song, That Girl.

“You spent 22,975 minutes listening to music this year. Those are minutes you’ll never get back. But then again, why would you want to?”

I wasn’t expecting to listen to that much music this year, especially because I prefer watching Netflix and Hulu over listening to music. But I guess I still found time to listen to Spotify.

“You spent 23 hours with your favorite artist, One Direction, and the pleasure was all theirs.”

I have absolutely no shame. What can I say? I love One Direction and I always will.

“Your top artists are One Direction, LANY, Taylor Swift, Shawn Mendes, and Sam Smith. Your top songs are Lost In Japan, Best Part, Sky Walker, Hollow, and End Game. Your top genres are Pop, Indie, Rock, Hip Hop, and RnB.”

I have absolutely no shame in the fact that my top artists were all mainstream. I will admit that my music taste may be dubbed as “basic” by some, but I love pop music. And I was 100% expecting Lost In Japan to be my favorite song, because I replayed it way too many times when it came out earlier in the year.

“Your favorite musical subgenre is Post-teen pop. There are only about 1,382,183 listeners who love this type of music as much as you do.”

I have no idea what post-teen pop even is, but the image they used was of Shawn Mendes so I’m guessing it’s mainstream pop not targeted towards younger crowds?

“Even with all the newfangled music coming out, you still found time for oldies like “At Last” recorded in 1960 by Etta James.”

I do not remember listening to this song at all this year, but it is a good song.

“It’s in the stars. In 2018, you listened to more Aquarius artists – like Harry Styles or Khalid – than any other star sign.”

I find it funny that they included this, because my boyfriend and one of my close friends are both Aquariuses. What a coincidence.

Overall, I enjoyed my 2018 Spotify Wrapped and the playlist they curated for me, but most of my songs are mainstream and not diverse. I wish I had explored more music this year, but let’s hope 2019 is better. Here’s to another year of music.

Thanks for reading! See you soon.

Izzy ◡̈

Tokyo: The City That Never Stops Moving (Wanderlust Wednesday #1 – Blogmas Day 5)

Hello world! I am so sorry I missed a couple days of Blogmas – I had posts in my drafts prepared, but some personal things came up so I have been unable to finish writing and posting them until now. I’ll be posting four days work of Blogmas posts today, hope you don’t mind!

Hello world!

I may have forgotten to mention this in my introduction post, but another thing I love to do is travel. I’ve been bitten by the travel bug ever since I was a little girl; my mom used to be a travel agent and would take me on business trips whenever she got the chance.

Because of this, travel is going to be a frequent topic of discussion on this blog. I want to reflect on some of my favorite travel experiences and memories, so I’ve decided to make my travel posts into a series of sorts.

Introducing, Wanderlust Wednesday, my travel blog series in which I talk about travel. More specifically, my past travel experiences and dream destinations for future trips.


For the first Wanderlust Wednesday post, I want to tackle one of the several cities I visited during my high school graduation trip to Asia this past summer. One of the countries we visited was Japan, specifically two of its most populous cities: Tokyo and Kyoto.

In case you couldn’t already tell from the title, I’ll be talking about Tokyo in this post, because we spent the beginning of our stay there.

When I stepped off the plane at Tokyo Narita Airport on Monday night, I knew the city was going to be busy. Our group of 9 got into downtown Tokyo at around 10:45 PM and opted to take the subway to our hotel. We expected to be the only ones on the streets, because it was a weeknight, but the subway was crowded with many other Tokyo residents on their way home from work.

Our first photo in Tokyo, right after getting off the plane.

It was because of the heavy crowds on the subway that we had a hard time finding our way around the city. After all, we were a large group of American tourists carrying an even larger amount of bags. At one point, we even lost my friend Sheena’s mom, because we were in such a hurry to get out of the subway car that we left her behind. It was pretty funny, but also a little worrisome because it was nearing midnight at this point and our phones had died, so we couldn’t contact her.

We ended up reaching our destination, only to discover that we arrived at the wrong hotel. My mom booked a room at a chain hotel but got the location wrong. We were lost, and it was past midnight at this point, so the subway station was closed. So, we took a cab service and finally checked into the right hotel at nearly 1 in the morning. To say I was exhausted would be an understatement.

But because we would only be in Tokyo for four days, and the city didn’t stop moving for anyone, I persisted and got up at 6:30 to start my day at one of my favorite locations of the trip, Tokyo Disneyland.

Me, my mom, and my little sister Missy in front of the Tokyo Disney castle on my mom’s birthday.

Tokyo Disneyland was so cute! Although it was smaller than the regular California theme park, and I couldn’t understand most of the attractions because of the language barrier, I had a great time. I especially liked the different flavored popcorn they had at the park. My personal winners were soy sauce and butter (!), caramel, and milk chocolate. Curry was unique, but kind of strange to be honest.

I was expecting to spend the whole day at Tokyo Disneyland, but we left at around 5 because we had pretty much seen most of the park. So we took the subway once again (didn’t get lost this time!) to go shopping and eat downtown.

Another thing I loved about Japan was how ridiculously cheap the prices were. I spent so much money buying souvenirs for friends, dorm decorations, and even Polaroid film, because their prices were much cheaper than US prices.

We got dinner at a local restaurant, where I had omurice for the first time. If you don’t know what omurice is, it’s a Japanese omelette where the egg is cooked and placed on a bed of rice and sauce. The egg is then sliced so you get to see the soft interior of the omelette. It was so good and I wish they had it in the US.

After a late night dinner and a fat hit to my bank account, we went home and rested in order to prepare for another busy day in Tokyo.

We started the second day at Tokyo Disneyland’s adjacent park, DisneySea. From the title, I thought it would be a water park, but turns out its name comes from the fact that its attractions are based off movies about water, including Finding Nemo, The Little Mermaid, and Atlantis. I thought the park was pretty neat and original. I had way more fun at DisneySea than Disneyland because of the variation of attractions.

Posing in front of the Little Mermaid themed section of DisneySea.

After a day spent at DisneySea, we took the train to go to the world-famous Shibuya Crossing and attempted to take artistic photos and videos of us walking across the crosswalk. I was intrigued for a bit, but after taking a few photos, I quickly got bored. So I went to get ramen from a nearby shop then peered into some Japanese stores.

Missy acting as my muse in front of Shibuya Crossing.

Next to Shibuya Crossing was a Muji store, as well as a stationery store, so I took the opportunity to buy a journal, pack of Muji pens, and Zebra Mildliners for my stationery collection. I was obsessed with the different types of pens, highlighters, and miscellaneous stationery they offered.

We left Shibuya at around 9:30 and went home earlier than usual. We had to get our rest because our third day would be the longest one, because we were going to Mount Fuji.

We departed our hotel rather early, because to get to Mount Fuji required a two-hour drive. We were lucky and got a Filipino driver who also understood English, so we were entertained the whole way.

On route to our destination, we stopped at a museum at the bottom of the mountain in order to learn about the history of the mountain and the cultural significance of it. Then, we arrived at the base… Only to discover that our view was blocked due to the cloudy weather. Just our luck.

What am I looking at? Absolutely nothing, because of all the clouds covering the mountain.

However, the cloudy weather went away almost as quickly as it came, and we were lucky enough to get some shots in front of the mountain before the clouds covered it up again. And that view was worth the wait – it was so beautiful.

Me with my best friends, Vanessa and Sheena, in front of Mount Fuji.

After our mini photoshoot, we went to the nearby Mount Hakone to get Owakudani eggs, which are basically black boiled eggs. They don’t taste any different, but get their color from being boiled in the springs of the mountain.

Fresh from the spring!

After our little snack, we drove back to Tokyo, stopping along the way for sushi and ramen for dinner and Hokkaido ice cream for dessert.

Our fourth and last day in Tokyo, we went to the Tokyo Tower with the intent of looking at the city skyline before departing… Only to have our view interrupted again due to the clouds. This was the only thing we had room for in our schedule before we took a bullet train to our next stop in Japan, Kyoto. It was a bust that our last destination was ruined by the rain, but it’s okay, because we still had a great time.

Missy pointing at our non-existent view from the observation deck.

Overall, the people in Tokyo were kind and welcoming, but were also so busy. Because we opted to commute to our tourist destinations using the subway instead of using taxis, we got to see how the locals really behaved. They were helpful and would guide us to the right location whenever we needed assistance, but for the most part, they were busy and did not want to be bothered. They always had somewhere to be, and they never stopped working or moving.

Hope you enjoyed my first travel blog! I hope I get to do this again soon.

Thanks for reading! See you soon.

Izzy ◡̈

Dead Week (Blogmas Day 4)

Hello world!

It’s the beginning of December, so that means one thing… Dead week has arrived.

If you don’t know what dead week is, it’s basically a week where college students prepare for their final exams and basically die a little bit inside, myself included.

This is my first time taking college finals, so I’m a little intimidated by what is to come. It hasn’t hit me yet, because my finals aren’t until next Thursday and Friday, but I’m worried that I won’t perform as well as I should.

But while I’m not stressed out at the moment, I know that so many of my peers are. Which is how this post comes in.

I’m an active member of the Pilipino Cultural Exchange (PCE for short) at Cal Poly, and one of the things they organized is distributing finals week care packages during dead week. I got one yesterday and I think it’s the cutest thing, so I’m sharing it here.

It’s small, but there was a lot of thought put into the package. I got a Scantron (so useful, because Scantrons cost money in college), a pen (another useful item because I was running low), hot chocolate to enjoy in the cold weather and to destress, and a positive note. I thought that the whole thing was so cute and it lifted my spirits a lot, especially because I’ve been dreading finals.

I especially really like the quote. “Strive not to be a success but rather to be of value.” It’s super uplifting and something to keep in mind as I go into finals week; there’s more to life than high test marks.

To all my college students reading this: good luck on finals! We’ll be done soon and can finally enjoy the holiday season.

Thanks for reading! See you soon.

Izzy ◡̈