The Dangers Of Anxiety [E]

There are times when I tend to worry about serious stuff, mainly personal. It makes my life difficult. Just thinking about my problems in life make me feel nervous and demotivated, at times depressed. It’s as if something’s torturing my mind with some kind of emotional stress that would make my life miserable.

Yes, I’ve been experiencing this from time to time, especially when things go unexpectedly wrong. I hate it when some problems disrupt my normal, peaceful life, and it’s stressing me out. I feel like I’m being challenged by giving me a reason to worry and behave apprehensively. Like I always believe that something terrible happens for a bad reason.

Just what is this feeling I’m experiencing right now, something that can make my life so unpleasantly difficult?

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What is anxiety? And how is it dangerous to a person’s well-being?

Anxiety is a physiological, psychological, and emotional state that results when we behave apprehensively (worry that something bad or harmful may happen). Behaving apprehensively stresses the body, and a body that becomes overly stressed can become symptomatic. We call them anxiety symptoms because behaving overly apprehensively is the main source of the stress that causes the body to exhibit symptoms.^

Anxiety happens when people think too much about their problems. While anxiety in itself isn’t harmful and can be normal for some people, the stress it creates may be dangerous and often leads to depression.

There are different types of anxiety:^

  • General Anxiety Disorder – it is excessive anxiety for no apparent reason.
  • Social Anxiety Disorder – it is characterized by a fear of being criticized or humiliated by others, something that can lower their self-esteem and makes it difficult for those who have it to gain self-confidence.
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder – a form of anxiety disorder developed after witnessing and experiencing something traumatic, such as an accident or a heinous crime.
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder – it is characterized by a desire to perform a particular ritual over and over, usually habitual.
  • Phobias – it is a powerful urge to avoid certain objects or events.
  • Panic Disorders – it is a panic attack often associated with anxiety, terror, or impending doom. A person having panic disorders may experience such physical symptoms such as heart palpitations, shortness of breath, or chest pain.

Possible symptoms of an anxiety disorder include the following:^

  • Changes in behavior
  • Panic attacks
  • Sense of danger or doom
  • Weakness
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Nervousness, restlessness
  • Irritability
  • Palpitations
  • Shortness of breath
  • Excessive perspiration
  • Chest pain

Possible signs to look out may include:^

  • Emotional and physical health issues
  • Social withdrawal
  • Depression and suicidal thoughts
  • Poor performance at school or work
  • Family or relationship problems
  • Alcohol or substance abuse
  • Repetitive behaviors
  • Fear of a certain thing or situation

It’s important to address the cause of your anxiety so it doesn’t impact your health negatively. Successfully addressing your anxiety can help you go back to your normal, relaxed, and positively healthy life. It’s also best to seek professional help, especially when you’re on the verge of breaking down. Medication, cognitive therapy, and behavioral therapy are some of the treatments a person with anxiety needs in order to get his/her life back on track.

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We all experience anxiety, it’s part of our life. But too much of it can be dangerous to our emotional well-being.

Take a deep breath, relax, and try to figure out the cause of your anxiety as much as possible. If you’re feeling anxious about something, remember that there’s always a way out of this misery. Don’t let it affect you, your life, and the people closest to you. Always seek help if necessary.

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Night Shift

This post tells much about my brief stint as a call center agent (still in training) in Makati, but I also include some basic information about working the night shift and its pros and cons.


The struggle of having to work at night is real. It’s more than just trying to keep yourself awake and drinking coffee to combat sleepiness, as well as dealing with a lot of stress and some dangers. Welcome to the night shift, also known as the graveyard shift, the nightly equivalent of a typical day job.

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Shift work is an employment practice designed to make use of, or provide service across, all 24 hours of the clock each day of the week.^ So when there’s morning shift, there’s also night shift. In other words, some companies are taking advantage of dividing shifts in order to sustain its round-the-clock operations, particularly in hospitals, police stations, fire stations, broadcast stations, newsrooms, and some business establishments such as BPO companies and convenience stores.

The advantage of working on a night shift is that you don’t need to deal with traffic, as well as the busy crowd of people on the streets. Also, you’re entitled to a time differential pay (the percentage rate, however, depends on the country you’re working in). But it has a lot of disadvantages too, concerning mostly with safety, health, and relationships. For starters, night shift workers are the common target of the bad guys. And then there’s the health risk caused by stress, lack of exercise, unhealthy food and lifestyle (from fast food, caffeine, and smoking), and sleep deprivation (due to the disruption of the body’s circadian rhythm). And at times, you’ll be working on weekends and holidays, meaning less bonding time with your family.

Night owls may have a hard time resetting their body clock, especially if they’re used to it in the long run. It’s like forcing yourself to use a new smartphone without familiarizing yourself with all of its features. Preparing your body for a change in circadian rhythm is necessary in order to avoid problems.

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It was October 2, 2013, when I started my training at a BPO company in Makati. Considering how far my workplace is to my residence in the north, I wouldn’t mind accepting the offer since I badly need a job (well, at least after I was drawn to the booth during a job fair). And since I’m on the graveyard shift, I don’t have to worry about getting stuck in traffic and, at times, I don’t have to worry about missing the last train too (since MRT/LRT operations are until 10:00 PM that time). It only took me about an hour and a half to get there. And of course, since I’m applying as a customer service representative, I need to be prepared as well, both physically and emotionally.

At first, it’s kind of weird to go to work at night, since there are fewer people in the streets and most of the shops are closed… not to mention lack of transportation too. Upon reaching the building (where the training area is), I was a little tired so I took a seat. I almost fall asleep, considering that it’s already past 10:00 when I got there, but someone noticed me and asked if I’m all right. Of course, it feels kind of awkward since I’m not supposed to do that in the workplace, not even in the lobby.

All of the trainees, trainers, and even the security staff are speaking in English. I’m not surprised at all since they’re all supposed to speak in English as most BPOs strictly enforced EOP (English only policy) inside the premises, and this also extends anywhere inside the building, particularly in the elevator and restroom (this only applies to us call center employees).

During the orientation, there are a lot of rules and regulations we trainees are expected to follow. Of course, one of them is we have to speak English at all times, and we’re not allowed to fall asleep during the training and at work (but we’re allowed to stand up and do a few movements in order to combat sleepiness).

Everything went well in my first day of training, but not by the time I got home. I find it difficult to sleep during the day, and I tend to get up just as I was about to fall asleep. At this point, I feel frustrated since I really need to rest up for the following night.

Of course, I also need to comply with the requirements so we were given a day off just to prepare the following documents needed for employment. We also need to undergo the pre-employment medical exam, one of the requirements for employment. That was the time when I actually fainted during a blood test. They checked my blood pressure and it was below normal (below 90/60, I assume). I had to rest for a while until I can finally get up and walk.

A few weeks have passed and I’m starting to adjust to a graveyard shift lifestyle. I’m getting used to the strong smell of coffee and the not-so-bright lighting of the office building, as well as the extremely cold air conditioning and conversations in English. And of course, the sight of trainees watching TV (usually HBO or Star Movies) in the pantry or the lobby. While most of the shops are closed during the night, there are a few dining establishments (fast food chains and convenience stores) open 24/7. Of course, there’s the office pantry, but they’re usually closed on weekends and holidays, so you’ll be relying on fast food a lot (unfortunately). To be honest, I had an aversion for strong coffee as I tend to get jittery after drinking it (with a lot of sugar and some cream), but I really need caffeine to get through the night. So I stick to drinking tea and hot chocolate. Now come to think of it, I even tried having instant arroz caldo on my tumbler, since there’s hot water in the pantry too.

My communication skills are somewhat poor, but I managed to do well during the call simulation, applying what I learned during the training. Of course, there are times when I got nervous and did a lot of mistakes during the call simulation. Eventually, I passed the first part of training, which is the Global Communications Training. I was looking forward to the next part of the training, which is Product Specific Training.

Later on, I started having mixed emotions about continuing my call center training, but I went on anyway. From here on, it’s serious training and we’re supposed to do better at this one. I also get to sit in with some of the call center agents, and learned a few things when it comes to customer service.

And that’s where the stressful part begins, taking calls from customers. I don’t know, but I actually break down after a few calls and one of the coaches helped me calm down. Eventually, I’m getting used to handling irate customers and escalated calls, as well as being calm and cheerful despite having such rough moments. I can really do well in being friendly and respectful to the callers, but there are times when I feel like I’m going to scream and talk back at them for being rude. But of course, we’re not supposed to do that. It’s kind of difficult, to be honest.

Later on, the graveyard shift lifestyle and the stressful life of being a CSR is making me feel even more depressed. Sometimes, I couldn’t wait to finish my shift so I can feel the much-needed relief, yet I still find myself doing the same stressful job every night. Realizing that I wasn’t really happy with my job and I was close to being terminated (mostly due to my tardiness), I asked my coach for a little advice regarding the resignation, and she explained the process. Of course, there’s a possibility of rendering a few more days before I officially quit my job, so I decided to do just that. As soon as I handed my resignation letter, I knew I’m about to head back to being a freeter.

And that’s how my four-month stint at a BPO company ends. At least, I get to experience being a CSR on a graveyard shift. I don’t know if I’ll reconsider applying for the same job again, but then it’s decided that I’m officially done with it. Having experienced the struggles of being a call center agent, I truly had high respect for my friends (including my trainers, coaches, and team leaders) who are still in the industry.

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I don’t know if I’ll ever appreciate this kind of life… I mean, working at nighttime and sleeping at daytime. Sometimes, I enjoy it. Sometimes, I don’t.  Maybe it’s because I find it difficult to adopt a night shift lifestyle. Yes, I may be a night owl in some way, but I’m still a morning person who is struggling with insomnia and falling asleep at bedtime, as well as adjusting my body’s circadian rhythm. I really need to work on resetting my body clock once I finally have a day job.

Then again, maybe I’m still open to working the night shift, but I don’t think I’ll be able to enjoy the daytime activities I loved the most. What a compromise. Well, this kind of lifestyle isn’t really suitable for me after all. Who knows, this kind of thinking might change… probably in a few years or so.

What It Means To Be Cool (And Look Cool)

Being cool is being your own self, not doing something that someone else is telling you to do.

Vanessa Hudgens

Coolness is a great quality to have, but not everyone is born with it. Either you’ll need to work hard to achieve that level of coolness you desire, or simply accept the fact that you’ll remain uncool forever.

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For some, coolness is the behavioral, admirable kind of quality that they’re after, mostly from a person. It could be the way he acts, he behaves, or he dresses… anything that can be perceived as something “cool” in the eye of a person. Some people, however, may not look into the dark side of coolness, as long as they keep seeing the good qualities of the person they adore so much.

Of course, there are dark sides to being cool. For starters, there’s the possibility of some cool kids getting into trouble, such as alcohol and drug addiction, problems with friendships and romantic relationships, and criminal behavior.^ There’s also the possibility of being idolized by their peers and the tendency of being selective when it comes to making friends (and severing ties with not-so-cool ones). And there’s the feeling of belonging in the company of “cool” people.

But being cool is really “cool” if you’re actively pushing to be a role model to everybody, in a positive way. A person’s coolness is determined by his/her good intentions, which is a good way to influence others and for them to earn respect from everyone.

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So what it means to be cool? Well, the term we used for admiration can also be used to describe the actions of some people that are deemed awesome, or for items that are popular, stylish, and cutting-edge (like gadgets or clothing). I don’t really understand what being cool is all about, but I’m pretty sure it had anything to do with aesthetics.

And speaking of aesthetics, the word “cool” is often used for outfits that are fashionably attractive or trendy… well, at least not to the point that it becomes too mainstream for it to be labeled as uncool. Of course, some of the coolest outfits are those involving layered outfits, especially the ones with hoodie jackets, knitted vests or blazers. And probably something that’s nerdy/geeky or preppy, maybe emo. Oh well, this isn’t only about how you dress up, but also how you look.

And going back, the word “cool” is commonly associated with popularity. As mentioned earlier, there’s the possibility of being idolized by some people, mostly due to your good qualities such as your looks, attitude, or ability. And by that, you are often seen as a role model (unless you’re the terrible kind). Or maybe, they thought you are cool because you look like one.

The word itself is ambiguous, but always remember that coolness should be used for good reasons. Cool or not, you must always set a good example to everyone so you’ll be greatly admired by everyone. And for an uncool person, who knows? Your good deeds may lead you to a path to coolness.

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And switching back to the aesthetic side of coolness, you probably knew which outfit really looks cool on you, as well as how you look and how you act. Now here are some tips:

  • First, take a good look at yourself in the mirror. Okay, this may sound narcissistic, but that should help you determine which outfit suits your look. If you’re fine with having facial hair, then go on with it. Otherwise, you need to do something about it.
  • Second, your chosen outfit must be pleasing to the eye of the wearer. Just a simple mixing-and-matching won’t do, you need to consider color combinations and patterns, as well as the accessories you’ll be wearing with that outfit.
  • Third, so now you look kind of neat and you look good in your outfit of choice… now it’s time to refine your movements. It helps to keep yourself relaxed while walking and make sure to act appropriately. If you’re not sure how to do it, then try to do it naturally. But don’t force yourself to conform to other people’s movements.
  • Fourth, smile and be nice to everyone you meet. It adds up to your coolness and it makes you feel good inside too.
  • Last, but not the least, learn how to deal with awkward situations. Don’t overreact like you need to yell loud just to let them know you slipped. Try to gain composure and redeem yourself from this clumsiness.

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And so, we already wrap up the ambiguous meaning of coolness. Whether it’s associated with behavior or looking good, it certainly is a term worth noting.

So what it means to be cool and look cool? Well, it’s the good quality in you that counts, and probably your good-looking outfit too.

A Balanced Life

Balance makes the world go round. Without it, everything is in disarray and that’s not a good sign.

Born under a zodiac sign Libra that represents balance (the scales), I know how important it is (for me) to keep things balanced, as much as possible. But of course, I tend to disregard this, as I didn’t think of such consequences, something that I might regret later in life.

So for this post, I’m going to share my thoughts about the importance of keeping your life balanced.

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So what makes a balanced life?

A balanced life is a healthy and productive life. It’s like when you’re taking good care of yourself (like eating something healthy), and accomplishing all your goals in life without the stress and pressure (like doing important work). It is when you prioritize and schedule your tasks accordingly, as well as knowing what’s important and what’s not.

There are times when you’re too much focused on your work that you tend to forget your physical and emotional needs. You ended up getting stressed, just because you need to finish all of your tasks in a given time. And by neglecting your health, there’s a possibility that your body is giving up on you. Remember, you’re not a machine that operates 24/7, sometimes you need to take a break.

At times, you tend to dwell on your dark past that you forget to focus on doing things that will make you happy. As a result, you missed out on a lot of fun things that you could have enjoyed had it not been for your negative way of thinking. Conflicts (particularly personal) may also disrupt life’s balance depending on how you react to it. Like, when someone is disturbing the balance by means of an upsetting situation, you tend to lose focus on whatever thing you’re doing. A peaceful environment translates to a well-balanced life, meaning you can only do well without a disruptive moment.

So are you into workouts or are you planning to be a couch potato for the rest of your life? Do you like healthy food or unhealthy food? Are you willing to do anything just to satisfy yourself or do you just take time in doing the things you love? Or maybe you prefer ‘wants’ to ‘needs’? Sometimes, your preference(s) may lead you to an unbalanced life. Maybe you’re working too hard just to satisfy yourself without even looking at the consequences of your actions. And by that, you’re being reckless when it comes to your desires.

It’s important to focus not just on the external things such as work, relationship, and activities, but also the internal things (such as what’s inside your mind and body). It’s okay to work hard, for as long as you don’t exhaust yourself too much in the long run. It’s okay to fall in love with someone, as long as you’re not too absorbed in a series of dreamy, romantic thoughts and not paying attention to your emotional well-being.

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Keeping things balanced is as simple as organizing everything in life. All you have to do is remember these tips:

  • Know your limits. Remember, you can only push yourself to do a certain amount of activities at a time, and nothing more than recommended. I understand that there are a lot of goals for you to fulfill (heck, there are even bucket lists of activities, places, and/or some items to buy) and you’re willing to work hard and save up just to achieve such goals in life. But overdoing it may put all of these goals to waste, something that you wouldn’t want in the end.
  • Schedule everything. A well-balanced life can be achieved through planning your activities in advance. Say, you are incredibly busy with your life that you don’t have much time for your hobbies. While you can always have time for work, make sure to have some for play too.
  • Stick to the plan. A little preparation may do the trick. Say that you wanted to save up for your future, then it’s necessary to prepare yourself for a little cost-cutting measure. Too many tasks? Then focus on the important (high priority) tasks first before anything else. Think you’re heading off the track? Check the list.
  • Think positively. You’ve been through a rough time lately, but that doesn’t mean you can always dwell on negative thoughts. Sometimes, the negative thoughts you have in mind may overpower your positive outlook in life. No matter what happens, make sure to have a positive outlook at all times because not all bad moments are really bad.
  • Motivate yourself. You can’t be demotivated forever, it’s like being cruel to yourself and missing out on a lot of opportunities. Motivation helps in keeping balance to your not-so-positive life, whether it’s work time or fun time. You’re empowering yourself to do something better.

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Remember, a life that’s balanced is a life that’s healthy. There may be a lot of factors that can affect your life’s balance, but there is a way to keep things in order… even if it’s a complete mess, to begin with.

A healthy, productive, and stress-free life. That’s what balance is for. You simply need to breathe in and feel relaxed as you go through the usual tasks with a clear mind and a cupful of motivation. Yup, that’s how the way it goes.


[Reference(s)]

  • Tanjeloff, Jasmin. “How to Create a Balanced Life: 9 Tips to Feel Calm and Grounded.” Tiny Buddha. N.p., 11 Jan. 2015. Web. 03 Oct. 2017. ^

A Prank Goes Overboard

Pranks can be entertaining if it doesn’t hurt anybody, right?

Many years ago, my friends are much into pranks, and I don’t have a problem with it. However, not all of their pranks are funny, sometimes it ended up in a not-so-good manner that the fun part ends. You can always say that a simple prank will always be a simple prank until something else happens.

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Pranks are something to laugh or cringe about. It can be a simple practical joke or a hardcore one that may cause injuries or may cost you your friendship with the person you played a prank at. Just so you know, it is supposed to be a nonviolent way of having fun, but it’s considered bullying if it involves violence or cruelty, and/or if it’s done in a not-so-good manner.

Okay, so what is the actual definition of the word prank? The word prank is synonymous with playing tricks/practical jokes on someone and ends up with a good laugh. It is always attributed to mischief or a wicked deed, but it is meant to be a lighthearted way of surprising someone or make a person feel humbled or foolish, but not victimized or humiliated.^

But there are some people who would use this as an opportunity to victimize people, inducing fear or rage to their victims. The victims, in response, may either retaliate or suffer from a mix of depression, fear, or frustration over a mean prank. The worst case of response can be really deadly.

I don’t mean to be a killjoy when it comes to these kinds of things. It’s just that some people tend to overdo it at times, and it isn’t really nice at all.

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What happens when a prank goes overboard?

  • There’s a possibility of an accident–Sometimes, people do outrageous pranks that may cause accidents to pranksters and/or their victims. Since pranks are usually done with a surprise attack, there’s a possibility of an accident if the person executing the prank isn’t careful.
  • It becomes a case of bullying–If it’s done cruelly, it automatically becomes bullying. And bullying is no fun.
  • It ends up in violence–If the victim didn’t like what the prankster did to him/her, then there’s a possibility of a violent retaliation. It could be a brawl between a prankster and a victim, or a victim pulling a gun at the prankster.
  • It may end up in a legal case–If the prank ends up in an accident that leads to a victim’s disability or death, there’s a chance that the victim’s family may file a charge against the pranksters.
  • You may be liable for damage to property–Some pranks may end up in arson and property damage, prompting the owner/s to make the pranksters pay for all the damages the prank has caused.
  • You may be liable for such disruptions–Well, there are some pranks that may cause alarm to some people in the vicinity. Bomb jokes, gun toting folks (using fake guns), fake threats, etc., may cause a great deal of commotion that these are no longer considered as pranks, but a case of disturbance that may end up in a legal case against the perpetrator.
  • It may cost you your future–Take note of this. If a prank goes wrong and involves a series of unfortunate incidents such as arson, property damage or the death of a victim, then there’s a chance that these pranksters may get more than a simple punishment. For students, it may be a suspension or an expulsion, depending on the gravity of their actions. For seniors, it means being barred from attending school graduation. As for the rest, it’s criminal liability. Whatever it is, your future is tainted.

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All right, so there are some cases where a prank goes overboard. It’s a great deal of trouble to get yourself involved in doing outrageous pranks against a potential victim, but you’re in a bigger trouble if your pranks involve someone getting hurt or seriously injured… or worse, sustain life threatening injuries that may lead to death. Of course, you’re always responsible for your actions, so don’t even think of pulling a prank on someone and run off when things go wrong and leave your victim/s in a great deal of pain.

Not all pranks are bad. But of course, you certainly knew better than to do outrageous things that may cause harm or trouble.

Something To Look Forward To

Exciting times ahead!

We tend to get excited for a variety of reasons. Whether it’s an upcoming outing, a new TV series, infrastructure projects under construction, we simply can’t hide our excitement when these things finally happen and come to fruition. Worth the wait, they say.

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When we look forward to something, we tend to smile a lot and we tend to be restless a lot. Good things are bound to come in the end, no matter how long it will take.

Our excitement grew the moment we anticipate the best thing that will happen sooner or later. It’s unavoidable, and it’s unstoppable. But of course, we should be aware that the excitement may turn into disappointment in case the anticipated event never came or the so-called good things in life aren’t really worth the wait.

A certain excitement comes with an expectation that may determine whether the good things in life are really worth looking forward to. Of course, once we get there, the happiness we experience can be truly priceless depending on how much you actually look forward to it. But it’s more than just the expression on their faces, it’s the fun and excitement that comes during the event, the moment they start watching the series, visiting a newly-opened place, or trying out newly-bought items (such as gadgets or appliances).

Well, this kind of anticipation always happens when something good is bound to happen. I guess it’s pretty normal, at least for some of us. After all, we deserve something wonderful when that moment comes.

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Anticipation is a state of expectation or excitement about an upcoming event or situation. It is a state of suspense and expectancy.^ So it’s all about the joy of knowing that something good is bound to happen, maybe through a surprise announcement or a declaration.

We all anticipate the happiest experiences in life. Usually, the brain is always wired to anticipate positive experiences, as opposed to negative experiences. It’s due to dopamine stimulation, which happens when we experience and expect good things. Dopamine is a chemical neurotransmitter that’s released from the brain’s frontal lobe and acts as a stimulant that prevents pain, stimulates arousal and causes excitement.^ So the moment we anticipate the good things in life, we know the reason why we’re so happy about it.

And speaking of experiences, past experiences also play a role in anticipation. So for example, you’ve been to an otaku event and you really enjoyed being there very much, then chances are you’re looking forward to visiting the next otaku event and may start anticipating for that much-awaited event to happen. Of course, you might as well be preparing to go to another otaku event the moment it’s announced.

Technically, this isn’t all about the prediction of good things that will happen soon, but rather it’s an emotional expectation filled with delight, pleasure, excitement… even anxiety. But yeah, it centers on happiness since we’re talking about the good things that are bound to happen. Would you rather look forward to the worst moment in your life? That just doesn’t sound right.

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So, the moment you start thinking about the next visit or something you’ve been eyeing on, this is how you anticipate the good things in life. You deserve to get excited about it, and that’s how you look forward to it.

Keihancarl’s Guide To Budget City Travel

Once again, this is me Keihancarl, your fashionable city traveler. In the last five years, I’ve always visited a lot of places in the metro, particularly shopping malls and townships, sometimes parks and downtown areas. It’s becoming an obsession for me, but it is something that I enjoy very much that I often do this.

Yes, every city travel comes with an expense, mostly on food and transportation fare. But how can I enjoy a city travel without having to spend too much?

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You don’t have to spend too much just for a nice travel in the city. Here are some of my tips for a worry-free budget travel:

  • Plan ahead–Yes, there’s no better way than to plan your [city] trip ahead. It doesn’t matter whether it’s inside or outside Metro Manila, or even outside the country. But let’s focus on the former, as this is the primary focus of this post. Anyway, planning ahead is essentially helpful not just in avoiding traffic or following your intended itinerary, but also for your budget since you wouldn’t have to take too much transportation just to get to a place, which is accessible by just a single jeepney/bus/van/train ride.
  • Do some research–Of course, part of planning for a city trip (especially if it’s your first time going there) is doing some research on how to get there, which shops offer the best deals, trying out great food at an affordable price, upcoming events, and so on.
  • Budget everything and keep track of your expenses–This is a must for budget travelers for we sometimes don’t stick to our budget and tend to spend too much on anything (food, shopping, amusement) without tracking the expenses. Also, it’s important to set aside some budget for emergency situations, these may come in handy if something unexpected happens. Always remember to have a breakdown of expenses, to see where your pocket money goes. Alternatively, you can always calculate on how much you’ve already spent along the way, to see how much pocket money you have left.
  • Follow the one-way rule–All right, so I probably made this up, but the purpose of this rule is to be able to visit every place on your itinerary while following a single direction, from the nearest (first) destination up to the farthest (last) destination and either going straight back or taking a different route to the starting point. Of course, there are times when your starting point is in the middle of the two destinations. In that case, you’ll have to prioritize the possible first destination on either side of the stretch, depending on your preference. This is mainly for time management, but of course, this can be economical too.
  • Visit as many places as possible on a single trip–Don’t just focus on visiting a single place just to spend an hour and then heading back afterwards, especially if it’s located far from your place. If you’re planning on visiting another place within the same vicinity, then why not do it on the same day instead of another time? Combining two or more places to visit within the same area or vicinity is much more economical than visiting other places at different times.
  • Consider walking, especially if it’s just a short distance to your next destination–Nothing beats walking to the next nearest destination. It’s economical and healthy at the same time.
  • Cut back on unnecessary expenses–This you should always keep in mind, especially if you’re doing a little shopping on the side. A little luxury isn’t a bad idea, but if you’re on a budget city travel then you should know better than buying some useless stuff (that you’ll never need eventually) or drinking expensive coffee. Priorities, my dear.
  • Try bringing some snacks with you–Or alternatively, you can buy some food and drinks (like biscuits, fruit juices or some chips) at the supermarket. Although you can buy these at a convenience store, chances are they’re a little expensive unless you wouldn’t mind paying a little extra for it.

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Oh, what fun it is to go out and visit a lot of places! But of course, there’s always a good reason to be mindful of your spending habits, especially if you tend to spend a lot of money on such luxury. There’s no need for you to spend too much, all it takes is careful planning and budgeting the trip.

So from here on, may you have a fun and safe travel… on a budget!

The Dangers Of Wearing All-Black

Nowadays, I always find myself wearing an all-black outfit whenever I go out. Of course, I always look good on it. But it seems like I’m casting bad vibes, and others might think that I’m so dull or depressed that I always wear black.

All right, so I think there are some cases wherein I don’t feel good when I’m wearing an all-black outfit. Though this is a rare occurrence (color doesn’t have anything to do with it), I sometimes find myself feeling anxious about something. Sometimes, I have negative thoughts while walking down the street, while listening to some depressing music. So am I being emo then?

Admit it or not, black is the preferred choice of color among teenagers, young adults… even older people. Rock stars and goths are always seen wearing all-black, and some serious folks too. Protesters sometimes wear black to express their disappointment over a certain [national] issue.

Even though I love wearing an all-black outfit, I sometimes have mixed thoughts about it… something that can be of serious concern just in case I have a hard time getting over it. I mean, I wear all-black whenever I go out, I wear all black when I feel like expressing my dark, depressive thoughts, and so on. I just imagine myself wearing all-black for the rest of my life, looking dull and serious and unfriendly and depressed. Sometimes, I really need a break from wearing this monotonous, dark outfit.

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So what makes wearing all-black dangerous, in a certain way?

  • Wearing an all-black outfit brings out the emo in you. Well, this may not sound dangerous at first, but it has anything to do with the feeling of angst and depression while wearing it… more of like having a mood swing. Also, since black is often associated with negativity, you might be casting bad vibes while donning your favorite all-black outfit in public.
  • In some cultures, black is the color of mourning. Therefore, wearing all-black gives the impression that you’re attending a funeral or you’re mourning for someone’s loss.
  • Wearing all-black clothing may be beneficial to your figure as it makes you look slimmer. However, for some people, wearing all-black can highlight dark lines under the chin, shadows around the eyes, and wrinkles on the face… in other words, it ages the face, according to experts.^
  • Wearing an all-black outfit carries some safety risks, especially at night due to the lack of its reflective properties. Since an all-black outfit can make you look invisible in the darkness, there’s the possibility of an accident happening, like getting hit by a car while walking down a dark alley.
  • Black absorbs light and heat. So yeah, wearing all-black under the sun is not advisable… unless [some of] the black clothing is made of light material.
  • An all-black outfit can make a person look intimidating and powerful. It’s not surprising, given the fact that the color black is associated with authority and power.
  • Black represents elegance and formality, as in black suit and tie, but wearing a black shirt to match with the black suit and tie ruins it.

Well, you can always wear black and there’s no way I can stop you from wearing all-black. But here are some suggestions that can try so you don’t always have to wear all-black all the time:

  • Add some color to your inner clothing to break the monotony. Any color will do, even darker ones.
  • Try wearing colored socks or footwear. At least, there’s some color in your outfit without having to compromise on you all-black outfit.
  • For formal outfits, if you’re wearing a black suit and tie, always consider light colors for the shirt. Dark colors for the shirt works too, for as long as it’s not too dark to nearly match the black suit.
  • If you’re still insisting on wearing all-black including accessories, then why not try adding a splash of dark gray to your outfit? Black and gray really do complement well in some cases.

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Of course, there are times when you couldn’t resist wearing all-black, especially if it really looks good on you. Black is elegant, black is formal, black is exquisitely attractive… anything that you can best describe the color synonymous with darkness and negativity. Well, I can always wear all-black if I feel like it.

But there are times when we need to consider the disadvantages of wearing an all-black outfit, as this may have a negative effect on a person wearing it. So make sure to wear all-black in moderation.

i150W: Popularity Is…

Popularity is being admired by someone, or by many people for your good qualities and performance. It is something that we deserve if it’s something good, but something that we don’t deserve if it’s something bad.

Popularity comes with a great deal of responsibility so make sure you maintain a good image. Although you can achieve popularity by doing illicit, scandalous or controversial acts, you will never have a lot of fans.

Popularity is not permanent. In fact, some people tend to lose popularity after a certain period of time or when they did something terrible to others. Lack of interest is also seen as a reason for their decline.

But popularity isn’t actually limited to people. It also applies to items such as food, gadgets, and some consumer products. And some places and trending stories too.

People, items, places… Yup, popularity makes the world go round, all the time.

#Throwback: Lagro Revisited

August 23, 2014

These days, I find myself frequenting the area often for three reasons. First, it’s the shawarma place at the far end of the village and the milk tea place near the school. Second, I feel like visiting the place, especially the area near the high school where I graduated. And lastly, I was hoping to run into some of my high school classmates who lived in the area, especially the ones in my freshman and junior years.

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It was more than seven years since I graduated from high school and about three years since I last step foot on the campus. To be honest, it was kind of awkward to just pass by the school without a reason. But then, I suddenly had the urge to have a beef shawarma after seeing some posts on Facebook, as well as some reviews about the shawarma place (in the area). And that’s how I spent my Saturday afternoon with a weird smile on my face as I try out their beef shawarma and passing by my high school, despite not feeling well due to a persistent cough with a sore throat…

I took a deep breath as I begin my trip. Having realized I’ve run out of Tic Tacs, I passed by a 7-11 branch in Novaliches to buy a pack. Well, the flavor I just bought was a strawberry flavor called “Strawberry Fields”, something that’s previously not available (I think). I was quite curious about the newly introduced flavor that I decided to buy that one instead of the usual spearmint or fresh mint flavors.

After a quick visit to a mall in Novaliches, I then head on to my destination… the shawarma place in Lagro, a jeepney ride from the Novaliches Proper. Of course, I decided to get off near the church (Our Lady Of Ascension) and walk the rest of the path towards the destination. I don’t know, but my heart skipped a bit since some of my high school classmates are living in the area, yet I managed to shake off this strange feeling by listening to some feel good music on my MP3 player. I took a moment to enjoy my stroll along the quiet streets in the residential village while heading to the shawarma place. And I did get to see my high school once again. And yes, I noticed some of the changes since I graduated from that school back in 2007, such as the additional school building near the cafeteria, as well as the renovated gate arch.

Reaching the shawarma place, I ordered a beef shawarma and sat down at the table beside the window. I took a moment to dig into the savory taste of beef shawarma with cheese as I observed the quiet street, with a few cars passing by and all that. After finishing the beef shawarma, I got up and walked to the highway to take a jeepney ride to SM Fairview/Fairview Terraces.

Later that day, I bought a small tripod, for use with my monopod that I just bought two weeks ago. It wasn’t exactly a good tripod to use as the monopod’s base due to stability… but never mind, I didn’t feel like using that cheap tripod anyway.

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To visit Lagro again after a few years is like revisiting the good memories I had during my high school years. Until now, I always keep coming back to the area, especially since I just found a perfect place to relax and it’s just in front of the barangay hall near the school. Yup, it’s the milk tea place that I always frequent whenever I feel like visiting the place, mainly for nostalgic reasons.

There are a few changes, such as some buildings in my high school and the building at the barangay hall complex, as well as some business establishments along Ascension Avenue and Bristol Street. Except for some changes, everything remains the same as during my high school years.

That moment… it was kind of exciting and awkward at the same time. But then, I feel attached to the place where my high school is, so why should I feel awkward about it? Of course, the weird feeling wears off the more I frequent the place. But still, I need to overcome my awkwardness and shyness, just in case I happen to run into some of my high school friends and classmates.

My high school, the shawarma place, and the milk tea place… my high school friends and classmates… and of course, my high school memories. Yes, dear Lagro, you are definitely worth revisiting.