A homecoming of sorts.

Last July 7, the day after my birthday, my lola (grandmother) on my mom’s side of the family passed away.

Lola Melding passed away in her sleep at the age of 93. The last time I saw her was a few years ago while she visited Dumaguete. The last time I was in La Carlota City (where my mother’s family hails from) was over 10 years ago.

I decided it was only proper to pay my respects and go to La Carlota for her interment and burial.

On July 11 I left for La Carlota aboard the 1am Ceres bus to Bacolod, along with my younger sister and cousin. We arrived at the crossing (the buses to Bacolod don’t pass through La Carlota, so you would have to get down at a certain crossing/junction) at around 6am, and we were picked up by an uncle soon after. Aboard my uncle’s van, I had some time to think and just look at the sugarcane fields that whizzed by. It was somewhat surreal, thinking that the last time I had visited my Mama’s hometown was when I was still a little girl. It had been way too long.

We arrived at our Tito Joelu’s house, and after settling down a bit and placing our things in the spare room, we went to the cathedral (which was a lot nearer than I thought it was) to wait for the casket. It would be brought in from Bacolod, where it had spent the past few days in a funeral parlour; many visitors and relatives coming in and out to pay their respects. The casket arrived at around 8am, and it was only when they brought it in that I was able to see the lifeless body of Lola, all decked out in a Filipiniana-type ensemble, face made up nicely, rosary in hand. It felt surreal. It always does, seeing someone you know already in a casket.

My cousins and I went for breakfast together at Jollibee, then returned promptly to the church. The mass for Lola would still be at 1pm, so we were permitted to go back to Georgina (Tito Joelu’s house.. I don’t know why they called it that) to rest for a while. It was a good thing – I had barely gotten any sleep on the bus ride, not to mention I had not slept the night before.

After a good nap, we had to get ready for the memorial mass. As we went back to the cathedral, there were a lot of people already seated among the pews. I think it was my first time to be at a Roman Catholic mass for the dead. (Mama grew up in a Catholic family, but converted eventually to Protestantism after she married Papa.) I was told that I would be participating in the offering, that I would be carrying a bottle of wine. It was entirely new to me, but I figured I would just follow my cousin in front of me.

The mass was quite short. After the readings, Manang Gaita, who is the oldest cousin in our generation/Lola‘s oldest grandchild gave some words in memoriam. I don’t think there was a dry eye in our family, or at least in my pew and the pews in front of me. The way she talked about Lola made me feel a little envious that I did not get to experience that. I think by the time I would have been more conscious of spending time with her, she would have already been having memory loss. But it was nice to at least hear how she was as a grandmother to Manang Gaita. Two of the clergy (there were about eight priests during the mass) even shared their memories of her, because she was such a devoted member of the church. Tito Boboy, the youngest son of Lola, also gave thanks to everyone for attending the service.

After the mass, the casket was loaded onto the hearse and then we had a procession towards the cemetery. I was surprised at first that we would be walking, but then I was told that it wasn’t too far. It was bearable, though it was hot. The hearse played some Josh Groban songs that really lended to the somber atmosphere. Once we reached the cemetery we were allowed to look at Lola one last time, before the casket was closed and loaded into the niche in the Jalandoni family grave. We threw flowers into the niche before it was sealed. There was a lot of crying.

We had merienda at this place across the church, and everyone was invited. I was able to meet some of my younger cousins, as well as aunts and uncles that I had only heard of but never actually met. It was really nice to be around family.

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I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling 22– plus 2: My 24th birthday!

Last Monday, 6 July, was my 24th birthday! To be honest I wasn’t expecting much; it was a school day after all.

I decided that I would celebrate it on Sunday instead with my younger sister and nephew. We had a late lunch at Gabby’s Bistro (which I forgot to take photos of.. sorry!), then we were supposed to have dinner at Shakey’s at Robinson’s Dumaguete.

I was supposed to just have dinner with Lucille, so when I arrived at Rob I texted her and told her I was going to withdraw money first, then go to Booksale (I like a good rummage through their stock). She kept texting me saying there were no seats, just a big table for around 10 people. I told her we could just stay at an end. It was a bit of a hassle, honestly.

..until I found out it wasn’t just her who was there! Papa had arrived as a surprise!

Papa was here! Plus Tito Ed too. (They are kind of a package deal HAHAHAHA)

Papa was here! Plus Tito Ed too. (They are kind of a package deal HAHAHAHA)

(Papa is the one in the checkered shirt. Tito Ed is sitting beside me, haha!)

We had a yummy dinner of pizza and chicken at Shakey’s – it’s one of my absolute favorite places to eat. Their recipe hasn’t really changed in what seems like forever, and I like the consistency of it. Always nice to come back to favorites!

Papa also had a HUGE bag of treats for me – he called it my “birthday loot bag”. You know when you attend a kids’ birthday party at Jollibee/McDo/wherever and you get a little loot bag as a souvenir for attending? I got something like that – but it came in a giant Duty Free shopping bag! He went to the U.S. last month for an alumni gathering and I had asked him to buy me a few things, he added some other nice things as well since it was my birthday after all.

Needless to say I was a very happy kid.

Needless to say I was a very happy kid.

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In the Mail: Manic Panic Lethal Lipsticks in Daughter of Darkness and Nosferatu

First post of 2015, woo!

I apologize to my readers for the long delay in posting. It feels like months since my last post. I’ve been swamped with law school, and I chose to spend my holiday vacation bonding with my family and catching up with my friends (especially if we’re friends on Facebook or connected via Instagram). Also, when I returned to Dumaguete on the 5th, I found out the next day that I was in the early stages of chickenpox, which meant 2 more weeks out of school spent in a super-sedentary lifestyle because I couldn’t even take a few steps without groaning in pain from the high blood pressure. I need to lose weight, too–

ANYWAY! This first post of the year is about my first big purchase of 2015 –  Manic Panic lipsticks!

I’ve always known about Manic Panic hair dyes, because my friends use it and I’ve also seen a lot of bloggers and celebrities use it to dye their hair all rainbow-brite. Hopefully this summer I’ll get a chance to dye even just part of my hair with it! (I’ve already contracted my friend Gax to dye for me. Muhahahaha!) Then I found out they had a cosmetics line and I just HAD to browse through their site, after which I browsed through some local online sellers for availability.

I purchased mine from GWYSHOP, whom some of you may have seen manning a booth with a couple other sellers during cosplay events. I’ve actually bought a few things from them such as NYX Soft Matte Lip Creams and contact lenses, but this is my first online purchase from them.

Because I currently reside in a dormitory in Dumaguete City, it’s not very easy to get things sent to me. I usually opt to get items picked up at a nearby courier branch, most likely LBC since it’s the nearest one I know, not to mention there’s so many branches in Manila so it’s easier for the sender to send it to me through branch pickup. (Am I making sense..?)

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Compared to the LBC and FasTrack wrappers, the sent items are actually quite small. ㅋㅋㅋㅋ

If you’ve known me for a while, you’ll know that I love love LOVE receiving things in the mail, whether it’s a package containing a photobook or an album, or an order from an online shop, or even snail mail like postcards and letters. So of course, when I receive something I tend to go snap-happy and take photos of it!

Let’s take a glance at the packaging first, shall we?

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