Vote for SarWrites at Bloggys 2015

I was never made for popularity contests. I cringe at the attention. Although I was popular on my own before. I was top of the class batch for the number of absences, lates, and incident reports made. But other than that, I am unknown to many. Never won or even joined a contest that decides the winner through voting. My charms, or lack thereof, is not enough to win a vote or two.

But sometimes the inevitable happens that I am forced to compete. So here I am, asking for two minutes of your time to vote for my blog at Bloggys 2015 - Philippine Blogging Awards. Because surprisingly, my blog has made it to the shortlist of the Philippine's most prestigious blogging awards in search of the country's finest bloggers.

Not that I'm aiming to win the "People's Choice" award here. I know my chances are way too slim to nothing. Who am I, anyway? I am barely visible in the blogosphere. A crack on the sidewalk in the avenue of stars. Yadda yadda. Yet, despite being wala lang, I don't want to be the first from the bottom either. Ayaw ko namang maging kulelat no. I'd probably melt in shame if I only get 4 votes by default. One coming from me, my boyfriend, and my mom and dad. Although I don't think I'd even know how many votes I'll get. But still. Kaya eto kakapalan ko na mukha ko.

So, if you could...
Can you say NO to this?

Expecto Patronum!

Do you know what Dementors do aside from guarding the prisons of Azkaban? They suck light and happiness out of you. They feed on every good feeling or every happy memory until you are left with nothing but despair.

We all have dementors of our own. We are faced with dementors daily. They range from the true horrors of our past to minute daily life inconveniences such as the horrible meat and bread ratio in a sandwich you just bought.

Life was never meant to run on an even and straight path. It's not a bed of roses. And it isn't always going to be rainbows and butterflies. And whatever cliches you can think of.  Every now and then, we experience trials, torment, tribulation, or trepidation - which is really my overstated way of saying, life sucks. These inconveniences, no matter how big or small they are, can completely unhinge you and ruin your mood, your day, and your attitude towards others.

Somehow, a lot of us find ourselves in that slump and stopped seeing the brighter side of things. I am guilty of that at some point. But what suddenly dawned on me while watching Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (for the nth time) earlier is that the power of positivity is overwhelming but is often underestimated. All these negativity can actually be warded off. The same way dementors can be repelled with a Patronus Charm.

You see, the Patronus Charm is a projection of all your most positive feelings. It requires more than just saying the spell, Expecto patronum! It can only be conjured when you think of a powerful happy memory. So what I'm really trying to say is, when you are becoming a living proof of Murphy's law (anything that can go wrong, will go wrong), the first step to conjure the charm, just like how Harry Potter did it for the first time, is to think of anything that makes you happy.
Bacon, for example.

Yeah, I may have made life sound so magical, but I regret to inform you there will be no unicorns, incantations, wand-waving, or pixie dusts here. The only magical thing about this is that the seemingly insignificant things have the greatest powers to completely turn that frown upside down on an otherwise bad day. I am a believer of little things. I believe in counting your blessings no matter how small it is.

Recognizing those life's tiny miracles isn't really that hard. It's in the kindness of people you've never met before. It's the stranger that opened the door for you. It's the joke you overheard somewhere that made you laugh. It's your dog who's so happy to see you when you get home from work. It's the food, clothing, and shelter that will let you live to see another day. It's your friends and family that never left your side. It's the air you breathe. It's being alive. It's simply just being thankful for all those things that often go unnoticed. And when you fill your heart with gratitude, there will be no room for discontentment. There will be no room for dementors.

My life isn't exactly how I expected it to be. Yes, I have a broken bike, a thinning wallet, (skill-wise) self-esteem issues, ugly and manly hands, a fugly big zit on my face, but I also have wonderful friends, an amazing boyfriend, supportive family, a sound mind, and a healthy body.

As cliche as it may sound, whatever it is that you experience, however big or small or nasty it is, things do get better eventually. There will always be a reason to be thankful. So choose to be thankful. Keep calm and just Expecto patronum!


I went 3 days without the internet. Not that I wanted to. It's the crap PLDT, that is (wow pldt is getting a lot of attention from my blog lately). I can live without TV. I can live without cake. Hell, I can even live without bacon. No, scratch that. But I cannot live without the internet.

Okay, scratch the last one too. But given the circumstances that I cannot leave home as often as I want to, I had to try to unplug from the web while I stay in solitary confinement within the corners of our home and live to tell the tale.

On a normal day, I'd find myself stuck on a trance aimlessly scrolling over social media and getting bored with every mundane post made by my friends; hating every political, showbiz, and same-old-sh*t news; engaging to forums and online communities and learning how stupid people can get; checking email from time to time and seeing the same subscription crap every day; googling how-tos, where-tos and whatnot as if my life depended on it; and pouring precious time reading social media wars by enraged keyboard warriors because it's pathetically the only entertainment I get.

It's not that I don't have a choice here. I know I have just locked myself in ball and chains of the digital world. And I've got the key to set myself free.

On a bad day, and by bad day I mean no internet, I see myself reacting poorly to the situation by getting agitated by, excuse my language, inutil customer service representatives who cannot help solve internet problems brought about by my ISP's poor quality service. BUT on a bad day, I realized it wasn't much what I lost, but what I gained. Losing my internet connection gave me TIME. A lot of it. I gained a few extra hours a day. And let's not forget, I've added a few more hours of sleep which internet has robbed me off since forever. But that doesn't mean I won't lash out for the frustration of not having a decent internet connection. I didn't pay hard-earned money for crap. Yes, I'll get back at you, PLDT.

So for three days, I was far more productive. I finished my tasks gracefully ahead of time and I've got spare time for a hobby or two. I felt good about myself. And even better to have miraculously survived. So aside from exercising, breathing fresh air, and catching a glimpse of the sunshine... for the past three days:

1.  I drew something.  If it wasn't for Facebook, I wouldn't realize adult coloring books are a trend. They said it's a good way to relax and de-stress. Pero mas lalo ata akong nastress sa presyo ng isang coloring book. So I figured I just have to make do of whatever I have: a pen and paper.

I decided to draw something that I can color later. But then I realized I'm pretty bad at coloring. There are too many lines and it stresses me out. Plus, I couldn't even follow one simple rule: to stay within the lines. Pfft! So I just let it stay that way.

The GuLat Project

This is an old, old idea.


But I cannot think of a better way to fuse my love for writing and drawing than to create blog posts devoted to both. Hence, the GuLat ProjectGulat is a Filipino word that means shock or surprise. But I've also coined this from two words, Guhit (draw) and Sulat (write) - which are apparently the things that I absolutely love to do.

As you can see, I've been including doodles in my entries lately and this is what I plan to do on my succeeding posts. I got this idea from Doodlemum - a blog that I've been following for a long time. What separates her art from mine is that her doodles are waaaaaay amazing while mine are just mere stick figures you wouldn't have to second guess if they were drawn by a five-year-old. But, oh well.

Some days my hands are as stubborn as my head that they refuse to draw what I tell them to. Some days I invite myself into a self-hosted pity party themed "I suck and can't do anything good." Some days I allow myself to hear voices telling me "You will never be a good artist, Sarah!" Voices that I just made up. But nothing stopped Barnett Newman from selling Onement VI for 43 million dollars and I'm absolutely sure my stick figures are way better than that, so maybe I can sell one for 10 million dollars. And some days I am delusional.

From this point on, I'll be spending a minute or two slaving over a doodle that may or may not be relevant to each post I write. I think two minutes should be enough because more than that already defeats the purpose of fun (and I've an excuse for this crap). Plus it saves more time I can watch a cat video or two instead of looking for images at Unsplash, StockSnap or Gratisography just in case I don't have awesome pictures of my own to post. Yes, that is where I get my free stock photos. You're welcome.

I should have done this a long time ago. Jan has been encouraging me to do this before. But it took a little while and a little push to get my hands doodling just for the heck of it without seeking any body's approval or worrying about what others will say.
Well, not everything I draw has to be the best and be liked by everybody. But it sure does pay when I do things just for the sake of having fun. :)

Of Writing, Peanuts, and Belgian Waffles

I never really wanted to be a writer. Not that I consider myself to be one. As a matter of fact, I didn't like my English classes back in high school and college. I have even failed English (literature) once. My lack of interest in the English Language and Literature, however, unexpectedly warranted me to end up writing stuff for a living.

Well, that's what I did a long time ago and I tried to do the same thing recently. I was under the impression that I can make writing pay the bills again. Before I glued my butt to the swivel chair to write a 1000-word essay, I was so pumped up by the mere fact that I really do love writing. I can write more than a thousand word blog post in an hour or so.

This should be easy.