Karsie and Jack London!

I completely forgot about this video!!! Obviously this was a few months back when my hair was still long! hahaha! July 2012 at Jack London Square, Oakland, CA! And yes, it was shot at night! That time it was summer, so the sun went down by 8ish!

I haven’t made any videos like this in SoCal! Methinks I should, but who shall my camera person be??? (Shout out to my former camera man! Miss you!)

For more videos like this, check out the category “TT videos” in my blog at http://www.quaralande.wordpress.com! SHAMELESS PLUG! Hahaha!

PS: Sometimes I’m just babbling. Pabigyan na, I love talking (obvz).


I’ve loved Watsky, Bay Area based poet turned rapper, ever since my awesome friend Marco introduced me to him (which was actually not that long ago).

This one’s a new favorite of mine, so I thought I’d share it with all of you! ๐Ÿ˜€

Letter to My 16 Year Old Self
By Watsky

Sup, bitch!
Na, I’m just messin’ with ya
What I meant to say was, “Never give up!
Always be yourself.”
It’s gonna suck hearing that over and over as you get older
But as stereotypes start with a grain of truth
Cliches begin with a boulder
And no matter what you’re an animal, a born natural
So you don’t need some motivational speaker asshole
Feeding you reheated inspirational corn casserole
You magical bastard!
Get it through your brain, inject it in your vein
Get infected with the strain
The strange idea you’re a reflection of the greats who came before
More than science
Our body’s our history’s oldest appliance
We’re piggyback riding the shoulders of giants
Which is how we survive when the ceilings keep getting higher
And the light bulbs keep burning out
We learn by word of mouth
And when your time has passed, don’t drag each other down
Cause being a crab in a bucket is mad lonely
Be the crab escaping from crab prison
Who creates a crab rope out the window made only of crab homies
Cause we’re in this together
Future you is just past you with new molecules
We shoot the old ones out follicles
And hair is dead cells, so our faults get shed well
Meaning our parts that are hard to adore
Get mopped up on the barber shop floor
In other words
Although you often don’t remember people’s names
Or are at the center of attention at all the wrong times
And spend, roughly, six hours a night on your side
Watching Boy Meets World reruns
You are capable of outgrowing that bullshit
I’m aware there is doubt
I don’t believe in hell, but I believe in my parent’s couch
You’re gonna get depressed sometimes
You’re gonna have weeks where you don’t feel like eating
Where gravity is working overtime like it’s afraid of getting laid off
And you can barely lift your fork to your mouth
And you are going to have a choice
Do you wanna see this world as ugly, or beautiful?
Wanna know what I think?
Well go fuck yourself! This is my poem
And I think the universe is great
It’s like God just chucked a bunch of candy into space
And Earth is a jawbreaker
So it doesn’t matter if you’ve got the biggest mouth
You can’t just chew the world up and spit it out
You’ve gotta savor it
From the grandest to the blandest nook and cranny
Every crooked alley, every mountain, brook, and valley
From Candyland to Cali
That’s been stamped by Rand McNally
Ordinary is outstanding!
So don’t be impressed by mere miracles
And FYI, looking like a crusty hippy doesn’t make you spiritual
You’re gonna have to climb through a thorny mess of
Contradictions, underground rivers, and sometimes
What you love the most will cause your biggest problem
Because you know what’s awesome?
World peace
And you know what else is awesome?
And that’s just the goddamn truth
This world is so confusing
But you’re gonna be fine
You’re gonna be fine

Vlog 3!

Hello all! Been a while, hasn’t it? Here’s what’s been going on so far with me:

+ Moving from the Bay Area to LA/Long Beach/SoCal (I’m a nomad)
+ Trying to find a new job (maybe as a hostess for a restaurant?)

HAPPY 2013: The Annual Life Review and NY Resolutions!

Happy 2013
One Doomsday theory that’s been going around on the internet is that the Mayans ran out of calendar space thus declaring that the end of the world was to be on Dec 21, 2012. That, or there was alcohol, then a calendar (from @mayansofficial).

In any case, we’re here and it’s 2013! WHOOPEEEE! 2012 was hellaaaaa awesome (working the Bay Area slang!) and I have no doubt that 2013 is going to be even more so.


While there are certainly MANY MANY MANY milestones that happened last year, I figured I’d choose the best of the best to share with you otherwise this post will NEVER get published!


Oh yes. There were high levels of triumph, relief, and absolute ecstasy as I marched up to the stage to receive my diploma. Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology with a Minor in English Literature? CHECK! 4 years full of ups and downs, trials and successes, academic and personal growth, friends and memories that I will cherish forever? CHECK, CHECK, CHECK, and CHECK. Though I was skeptical about going to college in Ateneo at first (because it offered no degree in Education), and though I had passed all the other universities I had applied to WITH degrees in Education, when it was time to decide where to go for college it just felt RIGHT. I’ve always been partial to my gut, and I’m happy to say my gut was right yet again; “The” Ateneo de Manila University has become my 2nd home, and I feel completely blessed to have taken full advantage of the opportunities it presented me with. Looking back, I’m very satisfied with how my college experience turned out. I believe I made good decisions, great friends, and learned beyond what was taught in the classroom. To quote Jose Rizal (yes, I’m really going to do this) “I spent many happy years there”. I have absolutely no regrets. Thank you for contributing to my education and formation, Ateneo!

BA and BS Psychology 2012 (not the whole batch, though. We probably wouldn’t fit in the photo)
While waiting to march into the Gymnasium for the Graduation Ceremony!
While waiting to march into the Gymnasium for the Graduation Ceremony!
Some of my blockmates!
Some of my blockmates!
My THESIS group! Oh we had SUCH an interesting dynamic!
My THESIS group! Oh we had SUCH an interesting dynamic!
AFTER GRADUATION! Some of the BA Psych grads!
AFTER GRADUATION! Some of the BA Psych grads!
With two of the best women I know: Dana and Alexa!
With two of the best women I know: Dana and Alexa!
Post-grad: Ateneo Batch 2012 celebrates in Boracay!
Post-grad: Ateneo Batch 2012 celebrates in Boracay!
Some of my favorite Psych people!
Some of my favorite Psych people!
In Ginno's words: Hanging out with the locals
In Ginno’s words: Hanging out with the locals


During one of our Poveda girls lunches in school (Poveda is my High School, and a good amount of Povedans went to Ateneo for college), Chrissie talked about her dream of putting up a magazine for fun. Something we could use as an avenue to write about things we were passionate about, and keep us connected after college. A few months after graduation REVEL MAGAZINE was born. We’re basically a lifestyle magazine with 9 columns covering a broad range of interests. We’re heading into our sixth month this January and I’m pleasantly surprised with the growth and support we’ve been receiving! I’m excited to see how far REVEL is going to go! In fact, why don’t you check us out at http://www.revelmagazine.net and see if we’re your cup of tea!

The REVEL Team
Log on to http://www.revelmagazine.net
The REVEL team
The REVEL team


This is probably THE highlight of 2012. I could base an entire blog on this milestone (oh wait…I already am) but for this particular post, I’m going to try and be succint. To do that, I will use bullet points (because sentences have this way of making me turn them into paragraphs) but I’m not making any promises.

The Eagle has landed!
The Eagle has landed! June 13, 2012
  • If you don’t already know, my primary reason for moving to the US of A is a familial obligation. Everything else like pursuing a graduate degree is secondary to that
  • I didn’t want to go, I thought I’d be abandoning a life full of promise in Manila, I thought I’d be leaving all my friends and loved ones behind. But whoever said I couldn’t have all of that here too?
  • Being plucked out of your comfort zone and dropped into a new country can be scary. But also, very exciting. It really depends on how you choose to adapt to the change. I’ve chosen to take full advantage of the opportunities and experience the US of A has to offer!
  • My life here is just beginning, so to those of you who constantly ask me this question: no, I do not have a boyfriend, nor have I begun dating. While I know you’re all looking forward to that sort of kuwento (and believe me, you know I’d tell you if there was anything to tell), I honestly would like to be more or less a whole person, have my life kind of figured out, before getting into that. I want to be able to really stand on my own two feet and be really comfortable in my own skin first. So yeah, timing is important and my priority right now is MOI.ย  Anyway, it’ll happen whenever it happens and you’ll definitely hear about it ๐Ÿ˜‰
  • My older sister and her husband think I need to “get a life” and make friends cause I’m always at home. I think I’ve already begun “getting a life”, and making friends will come naturally. After all, I’m me. HAHA. But to be honest, I’m liking the alone time I’ve been having for the past months. I realized my life in Manila was so fast-paced; full of places to be, people to meet, deadlines to beat, etc. that I never really had much time to myself. I was on the go 24/7 and my health would suffer because of it. My mom and dad kept telling me to slow it down, but I was too busy to slow down. Some of my relationships with important people in my life suffered too (but it’s all good now!). This change of pace is nice because I get to make up for lost ME time.I have more time to retain a sense of calm and introspection. I’m trying to find a balance between by workaholic tendencies and my newly acquired chillness. I now have a chance to sit down and ask myself; what is it that I really want out of life? Am I doing things for the right reasons?
  • It’s true:The US does make you grow up faster. What I mean is, no one is going to spoon feed you, so you have to grow some balls or else you’ll be eaten alive.
  • Am I liking it here? Surprisingly, yes ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s definitely different and I’m still feeling my way through, but so far it’s been a great learning experience altogether! One thing that stands out is the relationship I am building with my older sister who left for the US when I was 10. Since then, occasional emails over the years kept us in touch, but not really connected. Now, I feel like she’s really my older sister and it’s nice to have a real relationship with her. Our younger sister Bianca was 5 when my older sister left, so she and my older sister have a lot more relationship building to do when Bianca gets here.
  • In relation to the previous bullet point, I believe everything happens for a reason. Maybe one reason of this move is to bring me closer to my family. I’ve always been jealous of close-knit families and wondered why my family wasn’t like that. I mean my younger sister, my mom, and I get along great but the rest of my immediate family is spread out. My older brother and his family are in Canada, and my dad, my older sister, and her family are here (in different cities, no less). So it has always felt like my family was just my mom and sister, and my friends. But now I’m getting to know my family and my wish for 2013 is that we can all be together. I know that’s been my dad’s wish for years, which is why we’re all moving here for a while. Eventually though, the plan is to move back to the Philippines, but we’ll see how that turns out. Anything can happen. Personally though, it’s still my goal to put up my school back in the motherland, and raise my own family there. But for now, I’m going to make the most of my stay in the US of A! ๐Ÿ˜€
Dad, Mom and Bianca, Kuya HP and Justin and ate Girle, and Me!
Dad, Mom and Bianca, Kuya HP and Justin and ate Girle, and Me!
Now with Ate beside me!
Now with Ate beside me!
Check out Kuya and my nephew Justin trying to get their wine open in time for 2013!
Check out Kuya and my nephew Justin trying to get their wine open in time for 2013!
Cheers to the New Year!
Cheers to the New Year!

4. Getting a job I really like & meeting inspiring educators

I feel blessed to have gotten not just a job, but a job I really like, right away. The school, teachers, parents, and kids are just so amazing, warm, and inspiring. I can say the same for the other 2 schools I volunteer for. It just makes me all the more certain that I’m in the right field.

5. Meeting up with friends for a weekend in the City!

Last December 1-2 was a blast. A number of my friends from college have also moved here after graduating, and we’re pretty much all trying to adjust to our lives here. It was great to see them all and catch up! Kat flew all the way from Maryland and Em from LA!

Anton, Me, Lianne, Em, and Kev
Anton, Me, Lianne, Em, and Kev
Kat's arrived!
Kat’s arrived!
At the first stop of the night! Some "Irish" Pub!
At the first stop of the night! Some “Irish” Pub!
Having Sangrias at somewhere at Haight & Ashbury
Having Sangrias somewhere at Haight & Ashbury
Day 2: Cable Car riding!
Day 2: Cable Car riding!
It was slow, but we got to go around most of the city!
It was slow, but we got to go around most of the city!
The November 20s
The November 20s
At Dolores Park
At Dolores Park
I'm a sailor like that
I’m a sailor like that
Em likes to do this
Em likes to do this
Mural hunting!
Mural hunting!
This one is my favorite!
This one is my favorite!
Gotta have a solo!
Gotta have a solo!
I had to. Don't ask.
I had to. Don’t ask.
What's the name of that painting? Scream?
What’s the name of that painting? Scream?
Kat likes the elephants!
Kat likes the elephants!
I believe you will too, Em!
I believe you will too, Em!
Definitely! :)
Definitely! ๐Ÿ™‚
Christmas at union square!
Christmas at union square!

5. I chopped off all my hair!

(Okay, maybe just about 10 inches or more). I figured, new life, new country, new hair!

Me and my older sister!
Me and my older sister!
This side
This side
That side
That side

Thank you 2012! I’m sure 2013 will be just as eventful! And to complete this NY post, here are my 2013 resolutions:

1. Sleep earlier – Sleeping at 1 or 2 and waking up at 6 am seems to really mess up my system. Not to mention, my skin has been reacting badly to the consistent late nights. AND if I don’t have work, I end up sleeping in until 12 noon, wasting the first half of the day ๐Ÿ˜ฆ So my goal for 2013 is to get my body clock used to sleeping at 11pm the latest!

2. Walk more – anyone who knows me knows that I prefer not to be active. I’d choose reading a book in bed over going out for a walk. But lately, I’ve been feeling really lethargic even if I’ve had a good amount of sleep, and I’m thinking it’s because I’m not at all physically active.ย  Also, my work requires me to move around a lot (especially when the kids want to play Hot Lava Monster) and I find myself quick to tire. At 23, that’s not such a good thing. I should be at my prime, but I feel like I’m 50. So, I resolve to walk more. That means, instead of taking a 5 minute bus ride to work, I’m going to walk. Sure it’ll take about 20 minutes longer, but it’s a pleasant neighborhood anyway, so the walk’s going to be enjoyable. Now all I have to do is hide my clipper card so I’m not tempted to take the bus!

3. Make sure to have ME time – I know that this is the calm before the storm and that I’m going to get really busy again VERY SOON, but I resolve to make sure I have some time every week to just unwind and refresh myself. Whether it’s meditating or playing the uke at the park, I have to remember to step out of all the busyness and just be.

4. Be a better lover – OHO I know what you’re thinking! What I mean is, I’ve been really happy and full of love lately, and I want to channel that into others in a positive way. I am also blessed to be so loved by my family and friends, the kids I work with, etc. There’s just a lot of love going around, and sometimes I can take that for granted. A few days ago, I was reflecting (like I said, I do that a lot now!) and I realized that I can be really difficult especially to people very close to me. And sometimes, I don’t even let them know, through words or actions, that I love them or that I’m thinking about them or that I care. Isn’t that weird? You’d think that I’d be laying the love on pretty thickly, but that’s not the case sometimes. And yet, they continue to love me, and accept me, and be patient with me. So I have resolved to be a better lover; to be more appreciative of my family and friends, to love without expecting anything back, and to be wise enough to know if someone is worth loving or not.

5. Grow some balls (figuratively) – sometimes, I get this urge to do something but I don’t because I’m scared. Of what, I’m not exactly sure. Maybe I’m scared of the unknown, or of looking like a dolt, or of feeling out of place. But I think now is the time for me to really explore every part of who I am and if I find something that can contribute to my growth, then I should stop being scared, quit doubting, and just give it a go. Like I’ve been meaning to join this yoga at the park thing, but I haven’t yet because I was thinking…what if they’re all super pro and I can’t keep up? Or what if this, what if that, excuses excuses. I realized that the person holding me back is…well…me. So if it interests me, and it’s going to teach me something new or challenge me, I should just go for it. And anyway, isn’t experience the best teacher?

7. Be openย – I’m the type of person who does whatever I can do to achieve my goals. While this can be a good thing, it can also be limiting. My dad often tells me, “Be open, see the forest instead of the trees.” I have a tendency for tunnel-vision and I miss out on alternative courses of action that might be even better than what I’ve set out to do. I can get pretty focused on one thing that I tend to neglect other things. So for this year, I’m going to develop my sense of open-mindedness and flexibility; I’m going to consider all options available to me before zeroing in on anything.

I’m sure that as 2013 goes by, I’ll have added more to this list. But for now, I’m going to focus on living out these resolutions.


A Quiet Christmas

This time of the year is usually spent with countless friends and relatives, attending various Christmas parties and binging on holiday favorites like Bibingka and Food for the Gods. I’d be dressed in my Christmas best, trying not to fall asleep during Simbang Gabi or Misa de Gallo…whichever I manage to lug myself out of bed to attend.

I’d be going from one party to another, hardly able to rest in between but loving it all the same.


Christmas 2011 with some of my favorite women in the world!

Noche Buena would be absolutely stressful with the insane amount of preparations needed, but all that exhaustion would disappear and be replaced with excitement and warmth at the knock of the first guest. My house (or anyone’s house) would echo laughter, cheer, and Christmas carols sung charmingly out-of-tune by that one uncle who loves wine and karaoke a little too much.

I can’t even begin to describe the lights and decorations, but know that they would be absolutely gorgeous, especially the capiz shell parols.

img src: google.com

The following day would be spent at my lola’s oven of a house, the heat made bearable by the presence of cousins and titos and titas. All kinds of food would be laid out on the table to accommodate the vegetarians, pescetarians, and meat-eaters in the family. There’d be some Swedish dishes too care of Timmy and Sandrine, my half-Swedish cousins. For dessert, perhaps one of Nevin’s many delectable pastries or home-made ice cream creations.

Of course, we’d gather around the Christmas tree for the traditional Herras family photo. It’s still a wonder how we all manage to squeeze into such a small space and still look like we’re breathing normally.

Then the opening of the presents, which threatens to initiate hyperventilation in my younger cousins (although that has yet to happen).

With the Philippines having the longest Christmas in the entire world, the festivities would go on until the Feast of the 3 Kings, in which we’d all find ourselves back in the oven, checking for what we got in our Christmas stockings.

I imagine that this is how it’s going in the homeland; a huge contrast to my quiet Christmas in the US. I haven’t really been hit with homesickness since I got here, but it’s starting to ht me now.

It isn’t a bad Christmas, just a quiet one. And for anyone who knows me, “Quiet” and “Karsie” aren’t exactly synonymous. Hahahaha! But then again, as I find myself wishing that I could be part of the festivities back home, I think of my dad who I am spending this Christmas with, and howย much more he must miss the homeland. He’s been here for about 5 years, and has spent only 2 out of 5 Christmases in the Philippines. The rest of his Christmases were spent here, working, away from his family. And even on the Christmases he did get to spend with us in Manila, the family still wasn’t complete. You see, my Kuya and his family are in Canada, my Ate and her family are in the Bay Area, and Mom and Biancaย  are in Manila (and back then, I was in Manila too). But now we’re spread apart evenย more and I can’t help but feel a little jealous (okay A LOT jealous) of families who are celebrating together.

But it’s only a matter of time before my family can be together again, and I know that in his heart, that’s all my dad wants.

So as we spend this Christmas together, I am thankful that my dad isn’t spending yet another one alone. Sometimes, it’s better to have a simple and quiet celebration to really make the most of our time together ๐Ÿ™‚


Me and Dad (SoCal)

kuya christmas

Kuya, Ate Girlie, Justin, and tita Ces (Canada)

Photos from Ate and Kuya Mike in the Bay Area and Mom and Bianca in Manila to come! ๐Ÿ˜€


Hello, December!

My lack of blog posts betray the insane amount of kuwento I have for you. Unfortunately I haven’t had time to really sit down and write a proper blog post, but I feel like I’ll finally be able to, once I get to L.A. for Christmas. So until then, I’ll leave you with my new song of the mome…this FAB song from Cider Sky!