Finding God In The Mundane

Recall this scenario. You’re at the tail end of your final year of college. You’re ripping your hair out as you eagerly finish your final papers and cram information into your brain in preparation for the last of your final exams of your undergraduate degree. You’re almost there and you can almost smell and feel the magnificent glory of finally walking across the stage at graduation. You can’t wait to be done with school, having dedicating almost two whole decades of your life so you can get to this moment right now. You can’t wait to start your full time job working in the field that you’ve dedicated your early adulthood studying. But then what? What happens when all of the excitement dies down and your life plateaus?

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Patricia’s Story

For the past few months, I’ve thrown myself down many rabbit holes, doing as much research as I could to find out more about my family history. I prepared myself for the inevitable dead ends I would encounter, and kept my expectations low in terms of what sort of information was available out there for me to find. On my dad’s side, I was able to go back six generations in my lineage, all the way back to two sets of my 4-times great grandparents (Atanacio Caybyab & Francisca Del Rosario, and Santiago Tuazon & Eduarda Gonzales). Though all I found was a long list of names in my paternal lineage, nothing can quite describe the feeling of being able to create that extensive family tree. There was something quite extraordinary about being able to see my ancestors’ names appear as I, their distant descendant, wrote each of them down one by one. Seeing that my research on my dad’s side of the family wouldn’t go any further, I began my research on my maternal lineage – and discovered a lot more than I ever expected.

I remember being told as a child that my maternal grandmother was born in Hawaii, and thinking how groundbreaking it was to find out that my family had roots in places other than the Philippines. Because my grandma and her siblings spent the first part of their lives in what was then an incorporated territory of the United States, I stumbled upon more documents on Ancestry than I could have ever imagined, and was able to piece together the narrative of how my relatives lived, and how that ultimately culminated into my existence.

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From One Filipino-American to Another: An Andrew Cunanan Commentary

By now, it’s hard to deny the existence of the recent surge of nostalgic television, from the monsoon of classic 90’s sitcom reboots to the plethora of true crime reenactments. The current season of American Crime Story takes part in this nostalgia, and transports American television viewers back to the late 90’s with the reenactment of the events leading up to the assassination of Gianni Versace. Having been a fan of the highly successful first season revolving around the OJ Simpson trial, I expected nothing short of amazing with the proceeding season. As expected, I found myself clutching my sides in anxiety, gasping (and sometimes scream-yelping) at alarming pitches, and shielding my eyes from the intensity of the show. I watched in horror, bewilderment, and anger as the scenes played before me. Being that American Crime Story is another bullet point in Ryan Murphy’s long list of high-intensity, boundary-pushing television shows, I was ready for the sleepless nights I spent pondering the latest episodes and eagerly awaiting the ones to follow. What I didn’t expect was the sudden rush of empathy towards Andrew Cunanan as his life story unfolded before my eyes.

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Blogmas Day 25: 2018 Goals

Let me first preface this blog post by saying that I’ve never been big on new year’s resolutions. I believe that if you’re serious about making a positive change in your life, there’s no room for excuses, and there shouldn’t be any reason why you can’t begin working on yourself in the present, and constantly be working on yourself every single day. Being a goal-oriented person myself, and for the sake of challenging myself once the new year starts, I’ve made a list of things that I’ve been wanting to accomplish, things that I intend to seriously start working on in the new year.

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Blogmas Day 24: Best of 2017

Merry Christmas Eve everyone, and welcome to the final week of 2017. Every year, I usually compile a list of all the cool things that happened to me that year, and every year that I’ve done that, I felt like I would constantly be grasping at straws, desperately trying to find things groundbreaking enough to mention in a blog post. This past year was filled with so many incredible memories and growing moments, that I actually found it difficult to narrow down to just five highlights. After an hour-or-so-long stroll down memory lane, scrolling through my Facebook and Instagram feeds and camera roll, I was able to pick out several highlights from this year that truly stood out.

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Blogmas Day 23: Thoughts On Going Vegetarian

If you had told me as a child that as an adult I would become a vegetarian, I would have thought you had hit several branches on your way down the crazy tree. Growing up, no matter how much my parents tried to force them on me, I had an extreme aversion to vegetables. If they were present in my food, I would eat around them. If they were anywhere on the dinner table, I would avoid them like the plague. When my parents would announce dish with so much as a hint of vegetables in them, I would purposefully fill myself up with snacks before dinner so I would be too full to eat any of it. As of today, it has officially been 6 months since I made the switch to become fully vegetarian, and don’t see myself going back to meat in the foreseeable future. In this blog post, I’ll go over what led me to make the switch, what the journey has been like since then, and any advice I have for anyone wanting to go vegetarian.

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Blogmas Day 21: Things To Watch On Netflix During Your Time Off (Part 3)

Over the past two years, I compiled a list of shows and movies I came across that I feel are binge-worthy, and being that today was my last day of work for the calendar year, now is the perfect time to continue that series. Netflix continues to slay the television game with its original TV shows, films, and specials. This year marked another great year in television for Netflix, releasing much-anticipated series, and premiering new seasons of their already-smash-hit TV shows. Here are five of my favorite Netflix original series from 2017.

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Blogmas Day 20: Missed Connections – Celebrity Edition

I’m not gonna lie. One of the things I was looking forward to when I moved down to LA county at the start of college was that Tinseltown would be within reach, which meant inevitable run-ins with famous people. Growing up in Sacramento, any chances of meeting or running into celebrities were incredibly few and far between, only being able to see them from our TV and computer screens, and maybe in person if they were to come by on a tour of some sort. So it’s easy to understand why the idea of meeting a well-known person in the entertainment industry was such an exciting concept. Having now lived here for almost seven years, the excitement has gone down quite a bit, but I haven’t necessarily grown numb to the possibility of meeting one of my favorite famous people. I’ve gotten the chance to attend meet and greets, conventions, and show tapings where I got to share the same breathing space as celebrities. After going to a handful of these, it’s safe to say that I’ve gotten my fill of rubbing elbows with the rich and famous, but that doesn’t mean I still don’t get excited at any opportunities, should they come my way. While I have formally met some of my favorite Hollywood darlings, there are several that I came so close to getting to meet, but just barely missed my chance. I hope these stories frustrate you as much as they frustrated me at the time.

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Blogmas Day 19: Favorite Board Games

I’ve always regarded board games as a fun indoor recess activity whenever it rained, an after school treat when homework was finished, or just something to do on the weekends during the days I wasn’t old enough to drive yet. At an early age, board games were a great way to foster the idea of teamwork, collaboration, and healthy competition among children. At a basic level, games like chess, Monopoly, and The Game of Life introduced lessons and applications about the dealings of life we would need later on in life. As an adult, game nights seem to be resurfacing among friend groups as a way to end a long week in a fun way. As I graduated away from games like Scrabble and Monopoly, I was introduced to higher level and complex board games that are enough to keep the adult mind engaged, while also serving as a callback to the simpler times of being held in during recess on rainy days.

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