Brilliant Sunshine

It's just me, thinking out loud

Till I Met You: A fan’s review

Before I start with the “review” let me first clarify that I am a solid Jadine fan. Being such, I think James and Nadine deserves nothing but a quality material so here I am giving my unsolicited review/opinion on their latest teleserye hoping to put into words what other fans think of the first ten episodes.

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The shots were great, it makes me want to fly to Greece. The beginning of the story with Iris’ (Nadine) narration is a thumbs up. Some might ask why the flashback of Cassie’s (Carmina) love story was such a big deal but we have seen the trailers and it doesn’t really take a genius to figure out that the flashback hints on some conflict at present times. Plus, it shows how Iris’ belief was formed. Another thumbs up for this. Next, Nadine and James’ acting has improved and of course they really have that magical effect to people whenever they are seen together on screen. Kudos to JC’s acting, despite of being a newbie I think he’s doing well in portraying Ali, a guy with a hidden mystery, a guy with inner conflicts. The rest of the cast were all doing well except for those with minor roles in Greece. It is understandable that the options are limited when out of the country but the lacking is obvious when placed alongside the major ones.

Now the story, the story was fast paced at least for the first ten episodes. While I am definitely not a fan of dragging plots I think Till I Met You’s pacing is just too fast. Just take the case of Basti (James), he just realised that he’s in love with Iris, it actually seems like he’s still confused if what he feels is real and not fleeting and yet, he already confessed. Even if you try to justify that he grew up in Europe or that it’s his first time, it’s still too fast especially confessing just a day after the break up. Shouldn’t there be a bit of respect between “bros”? Same goes for Ali’s inner dilemma, they’ve shown some hints since his childhood and we all know where that leads us after having the seen the trailers but seriously? Flying in Agnes (Pokwang) just for Ali to confess? Yes, a mother’s instinct is absolutely true but don’t we all know how far Greece is and that Philippine passport holders need a visa? How can Agnes fly then and there? Maybe I’m dissecting too much.While the story is interesting and promising, there is something lacking. We all want to see Jadine get more airtime together, we want more “kilig” moments from these two but they could’ve done something else rather than pressing the fast forward button. They could have brought in the “kilig” factor using the play of “ligaw tingin”, “aso’t pusa”, the classics. They might be wanting to be show something different, something new, but this is love, we all know how it works. Furthermore, it really doesn’t seem like Basti is fond of Iris, I can’t blame Iris for thinking that Basti is in love with Ali ’cause that is what it really shows.

There are also some scenes that just don’t gel very well with the story. Iris is the obedient daughter who really cares a lot for her family but she went to Greece for internship, just internship. Should she be expected to send money back? Well, it’s more on her free will given how her character was built but the scene in the staircase where she is worried ’cause she doesn’t have enough money to send back? The scene just doesn’t gel so well, they could have done better how to bring in the part that Iris needs to find a side line. Also, Basti may be all over the place but seriously? I think having a lot of connections is just too much. He cannot be OTWOL’s Tita Jack, that one was more normal, we all know how Filipino communities are in the US. The minor scene where he tries to find job for a fellow Filipino is also an attempt to be Tita Jack which is totally irrelevant to the plot line.

Overall, there is a missing element in “Till I Met You” something that was present in OTWOL, that thing that made OTWOL stood out from the rest of the dramas.

Till I Met You’s ratings is still number one despite its flaws but percentage wise, I know the network was expecting more. I still hope that it will get better especially now that the big reveal is over. It’s just ten episodes to date, let’s wait and see next week what the drama will offer. I just hope that they will take their sweet time building up the story rather than doing it so fast. Oh well, who knows this could just be a dream sequence since we have all seen that Iris and Basti will eventually get marry.

All the best to Team TIMY. I hope for redemption as it continues.

I became a Jadine fan because of OTWOL, I didn’t watch the show at first but I saw the kiss when Lea got her green card and it got me curious. I tried watching from the beginning to see how events lead to that kiss and from then on I got hooked. Team Real 🙂

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I love you Lolo


This double rainbow was taken when I visited Lolo’s grave 40 days after his death.

Today would have been your 80th birthday. Most probably, I would have asked that the celebration be moved on the weekend because I have a busy schedule and I can only fly out on Friday night. Unfortunately, that’s not the case ‘cause you reunited with the Creator last May.

I was half a world apart, I was at the other side of the Pacific Ocean smiling ear to ear for my little achievement for the first day of my solo trip until I received the sad news that you passed away. I can’t describe my feelings. All I know is that things will never be the same again. I felt a bit dizzy, I can’t cry, I suddenly ran out of strength to continue with my plans for the night. I called home, looking for answers even if I know there will never be. Why? Why so soon? Why at this time? I thought you have recovered. What should I do? Should I cut this trip short and fly back home? I don’t know what to do. On my way here, I really felt happy that I have the financial capability to afford a two-week holiday at this side of the world but at that moment, how I wish I am rich enough to book a flight back home without having to care about the money that I’ve already spent on booking everything and the cancellation fees. Saying that I felt guilty was an understatement. I have been to a lot of places but I wasn’t able to visit you. What kind of a granddaughter am I?

You are one cool grandpa but more than your jokes and always smiling face you are a very caring and loving person. I still remember the time when you will travel for five hours and show up on our doorstep carrying a box full of freshly harvested mangoes. You don’t mind how tiring it is, you just want us to taste your latest harvest. There were also times during summer months when instead of selling all your harvest you will save a number of trees for us when we visit, those that bear the nicest mangoes without caring how much profit was lost. You attended my high school graduation and you were so proud. You bought that newspaper with my name when I passed the board exams and showed it to your relatives, “that’s my granddaughter”. I can still go on..there’s just so much memories. The last time I saw you, you embraced me and kissed me which is kinda weird, it was the first time you did that, little did I know that it will be the last time. I took you out for dinner and you keep on telling me that we should go to the beach. Maybe we should’ve and I should’ve visited you when I went back to the Philippines last May, it was just a few days before you left us.

I am deeply sorry for my shortcomings, sorry that I didn’t visit you that time, sorry for not attending your funeral. I still feel the guilt from time to time. I know I am not your sweetest granddaughter but I hope that you know that I really love you. Christmas parties will never be the same again without you wearing your smile and your jacket telling us to wrap it up ’cause it’s getting really late. No one will be at the gate anymore to tell us to take care, checking the car if the wheels are okay. I still remember how proud and happy you are when you found out that I can drive and that I am driving my own car. Every moment that it hits us that you are no longer with us brings sadness. We know that you are happy now watching us from above. I hope that you know how much I love you and how sorry I am.

Happy 80th birthday Lolo!

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Life Lessons



The Peak Observatory Hong Kong May 2016

Dear Kids,

Stories, poems, quotes talking about valuable lessons in life are abound. We can read them from social media, hear from friends and family especially the elderly or sometimes even a random stranger. Sometimes we even write it down on our facebook status, blogs, diaries and random notes. But has it ever crossed your mind that these lessons are actually simple but more often than not we lose track and forget about it or sometimes we overanalyze until its devoid of meaning.

“Early to bed, early to rise”, we knew this even before our first day in kindergarten but here we are browsing on countless instagram post at 12 midnight even if we have an early 9am meeting tomorrow.

“Honesty is the best policy”, you might have this as your motto in your gradeschool yearbook but how about white lies, we normally choose it for convenience, right? So, is it still the best policy?

“Happiness is a choice” yet we sometimes wallow in despair when we feel like we fail. We do crazy things until we either become numb of the pain or we have accepted defeat and go back reminding ourselves that we need to choose to be happy.

“Love is patient, love is kind…” Does this apply when you find out that your husband is cheating? Will you still be kind enough to treat him well and not even think of spraying insecticide on his morning meal.

“Great things come to those who wait.” Is this real? Like you waited for 14 years and didn’t get anything in the end. Waited for six years only to end up disappointing yourself. Where is the greatness in that?

It is us who complicates life, in the end we need to go back to the basic lessons in life and remind ourselves to sleep early, choose to be happy, still believe in love and wait patiently for our turn. It’s the circumstances that were either imposed upon us or something that we took part of that leads us to life’s complicated tapestry.

So just in case we get lost wandering through our journey let’s go back to the basic lessons in life and the reminders are everywhere, there will never be a shortage of it. We will keep on reading, hearing and writing about it everywhere because while the message is simple we still forget about it sometimes when things go complicated.




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Moved on * Better version * Achievement

Sometimes the monotony of your life gets disturbed by certain things and when that “thing” vanishes away, you just can’t go back to the calmness that you used to have in the midst of monotony.

So there I was, catching up on Grey’s Anatomy and Gossip Girl on Saturdaymornings. Sometimes I go out in the afternoon to meet some friends, dine out and do some shopping. It was a routine that I do enjoy. Then someone came, asked me out in a sneaky way. Why not? What’s the harm? So I said yes to a dinner and little did I know that this will disturb the monotony and take away the calmness. There was nothing official, we just went out on a few “dates” until he went away from another assignment.

I chose to go back to my not so old life, catch up on what happened to Meredith and Blair but I just can’t, not when I am willingly responding to Skype messages, eagerly browsing on Facebook for his posts. Slowly, things faded until it died a natural death as I used to say.

From the outside it seems to easy to go back to the routine but when your mind is filled with one major question, “Am I not worthy enough?” Sometimes I just have the initial tendency to ask if I am lacking for certain things before thinking that maybe it’s him who is not really worth it or it’s just that the circumstances are not in our favor but whatever the reason was, I ended up in the four walls of a classroom.

I signed up for MBA classes. I know, MBA is too much for a distraction but it just suddenly felt like I have so much time in my hands that I would rather use to invest in myself rather than lying in bed replaying everything in my head, where things went wrong. On my second class for my first day of school the professor’s opening message was “You don’t go to graduate school to find a husband or a wife although there were a lot of success stories on that area. Much more, you don’t go to graduate school because of a broken heart. You don’t go to graduate school for those reasons, at least not in Ateneo. This is not for the faint hearted.” There goes my over thinking self, am I in a great denial that I am broken hearted? Maybe, I don’t know, all I know now is that there’s a greater purpose why things went that way, not because I am lacking or he is, it just didn’t work out. So I went to Day 2, Day 3,4,5 and so on, before I knew it the term is over. And here I am again, signing up again for the next subject, getting closer to the MBA degree. Without me noticing, my motivations have changed and I am almost half way through it. I have met new friends, discovered a different side of life, I enjoyed it, amidst the complaints and struggles. There even came a point in time when it almost seemed impossible to complete it ’cause I had to travel across continents for work assignments but I fought for it as much as I can. Then for my last subject, I am just three units away, I had to transfer to the Lion City. It was a good opportunity that I really can’t say no but through God’s grace, I was still able to finish. I had to make sacrifices physically and financially, those almost weekly flights weren’t cheap and juggling work and school is not a joke.

So now, why I went to graduate school? Not to find husband neither to heal a broken heart but to become a better version of myself which I believe I was able to achieve and I will always be proud of it. To the person who disturbed the peace maybe that was your purpose why God sent you in my life, to disturb me so I can step out of monotony.

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Choosing a career


Dear Kids,

I finished high school in the year of 2002, it was during this period of time when students are flocking to nursing schools because countries like US, UK, Canada and those in the Middle East have such a huge demand for nurses. Coming from a third world country like the Philippines, a lot of people are looking for opportunities to earn a currency that is stronger than our humble peso. Multiplying your earning more than 40 times really sound like a great deal.

We used to have a neighbor who earns her living as a caregiver in the US. She was able to buy a house, send her children to a decent school and buy a decent car. She has all these stories about the US, she’s so loud that even if I refuse to listen to her I don’t have that much choice. The smartest child among her brood of five went to nursing school, she became a nurse and as expected, went to the US to earn some green money.

So this loud neighbor of ours heard from my aunt that I just finished high school and decided to take up Accountancy and her reaction was, “Sayang, matalino pa naman siya dapat nag-nursing sya” (“Such a waste, she is smart, she should have gone to nursing school”). Imagine a 15 year old girl with all her high hopes hearing this, needless to say, I was furious. So in reaction to what this loud neighbor said, I told my aunt in front of my mom, “How can someone be so stupid? Can she imagine a world with all the people as nurses?” I have nothing against nurses, in fact I admire them for their dedication and hard work especially those who chose to stay in the Philippines but my point is, we all have our own strengths to sharpen and weaknesses to conquer. I can analyze a full set of finance accounts but that does not mean I can assist the doctor on an emergency procedure with blood all over. A nurse can act calmly during emergency but might go crazy seeing a spreadsheet on budgets and variances.

We are all wired differently so that we can coexist we need nurses as much as we need accountants, lawyers, engineers, IT professionals, scientists, etc. We just need to find where we are good at and how to make a living out of it whichever currency we choose. Not because our neighbor’s life became a lot more comfortable from being a nurse it does not mean we all need to become a nurse to improve our family’s life. I chose to become an accountant and I can assure you that I am living a comfortable life. I was also given the opportunity to be assigned to abroad and earn a stronger currency. I believe it’s because of the choice I made in the year of 2002, to capitalize on what I am good at. To those who are yet to make a choice, this is one big decision that you should make. Do not just go with the crowd, find out where you are good at and what you feel like you can do for a significant length of time. If there is no path that leads you to where you want to go and what you want to be do not be afraid to be the one to build a path and don’t forget to leave a trail.




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Dear Kids


We gain wisdom as we go through life, there are times when we look back and realize that we were so stupid for doing certain things back then. Age may just be a number but there’s no denying how aging changes us. So here I am thinking that I have a thing or two to advice the younger ones. I am adding a new category “Dear Kids”.

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Over you just not over it

So after two years, there you are as if coming from nowhere…greeting me with a big smile on your face and asking “How are things?” I look at you and surprisingly my lips moved to smile but my expression is a bit confused and it made you ask “why the reaction?”. I made up some petty excuse for my confused expression which I hope you bought. How are things? Doing good. Well, that’s all that I can say.

Yes, I am doing good. Since you left, I got promoted, I was able to get into graduate school, I just bought myself a car and I turned down quite a few invitations to go out on dates. Yes my dear, I am doing good. What about you? Well, I couldn’t even bring myself to ask you that. Maybe ’cause I know you are doing well.


P.S. Found this on my drafts folder. This should have been posted some time in June 2014 but decided to post it anyway.

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Let go and soar

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Virtual Boy friend


Grand Hyatt Bali- Indonesia June 2015

You are my boy friend, not boyfriend but a friend who happens to be a boy. They were asking me if there is something more than friendship or at least an indication, I always say “no” while dropping hints here and there how some actions of yours may be interpreted as such.

There is nothing special how we first met but the circumstances surrounding how we really got to know each other was kind of unusual… like how we almost died together. Our friendship was far different from hanging out after office or during weekends. The times we spent together were either over some social media ’cause we are at least 1,002 nautical miles apart or super together in one place that we only part ways when it’s time to sleep. I thought once one of us leaves the set up that we used to be part of or when time comes that you’ll be back to your “normal habitat” our friendship will be over.  I was wrong, despite of being 8,298 nautical miles apart, not to mention the minimum 12-hour time difference our friendship continued.

Even if we are apart, I can feel how you care for me, how you are still trying to look out for me, you still encourage me, you are still my friend. I miss the days we spend pigging out, blaming each other that we gain weight when we are together. I miss how you rant when something or someone annoys you, your facial expressions and gestures. I miss how you evaluate the hotels and compare them with all the ones you have been to. I miss how crazy you are with massages. I miss how you are amazed with things “Asian”. I miss how you complain when I ask you to take pictures of me. I miss spending time with you outside social media.

While our friendship still continues, things has changed now. You have someone to really talk to now, open up about things, someone to take care of. I am not jealous, I am genuinely happy for you that after a while you were finally able to find someone. At one point, I wondered if I like you more than a friend or if I am falling but I guess the answer is no, no denials whatsoever but I must admit that for some time I didn’t notice that I don’t have a special someone because you really showed you cared for me and to this day it amazes me how we get along so well despite growing up from the opposite sides of the world.

I know you are not saying goodbye neither am I but I guess this is my way of telling myself to get used to the new dynamic of things like I won’t be the first one you are going to ask to go with you to the beach, so my opinion is not needed anymore on which hotel to choose or which shirt goes well with the tie or vice versa or even something as trivial as popcorn or cup noodles for a midnight snack. I will miss the things that we do for each other, how you bother me but then again, I am happy for you. I will miss you.

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Begin Again



Ulun Danu Temple Bali, Indonesia June 2015

I thought of starting another blog under a different pseudonym but my attempts were not successful. It’s not that I cannot get enough viewers but I just can’t bring myself to upload my latest writing for reasons that I cannot figure out.

It was until 2013 when I was consistently posting in this blog but due to my crazy schedule and sometimes me being lazy, the posts gradually stopped after almost five years. I tried to continue to post every now and then but I just can’t seem to find the correct rhythm again, even tried reinventing my style but then, I just can’t seem to get it altogether.

So much has happened since 2013, I am living a totally different life now and I am back here on my blog. I will try to write as much as I can to share with you my experiences, realizations, places I’ve been to…anything that I seems worthy of a post.

While I was thinking of going into blogging again, I realized that this blog is indeed a piece of me, a reflection of myself and while I can always change as a person (hopefully for a better) even reinvent myself to a better version there is no escaping who I was, who I am, what’s in the core of my being. So after all the procrastinations and hesitations, I decided to resurrect this blog, pick up from where I left off. There is no need for a new blog site but…

It’s time to BEGIN AGAIN…

P.S. Apologies for using a gloomy picture for a post aiming for a positive restart. While it seems gloomy being there really 

How I wish there are instances in life where you can just pick up from where you left off.

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