A START OF SOMETHING NEW: PEPPERONIPIA.COM


I am starting a new blog (and perhaps taking it more seriously this time) and I'm hoping you can join me. I love Blogger, it's easy to use and I love how it has a dashboard where I can follow blogs from different platforms but I decided to move to WordPress because it has more functions for me to use so as to maximize the space. Also, I NOW HAVE MY OWN DOMAIN NAME! <3 I am so happy.

Please go and visit my new blog: http://pepperonipia.com See you there! ;)

PLACES THAT I WANT TO VISIT BEFORE I DIE


We all have places that we want to be able to visit at some point in our lives. I'm pretty sure that if traveling is free, everyone would not be tied down, that we all get to live out our dream adventures right here and now. But it's not, so we have to settle for making travel bucket lists and wish to be able to save up enough to make them happen. Now, I am nowhere near being able to independently support my wanderlust because 1) I'm unemployed (I just graduated two months ago ok), and 2) med school costs a lot. So I'll just have to wait for my moment when I can travel my heart out (which is like still at least 7 years away).

Photo by: Benjamin Combs
New York. I don't know when I started dreaming about going to The Big Apple (perhaps when I read Ann M. Martin's "The Baby-Sitter Club: New York, New York"?) but whenever someone asks me where I want to go, this city is the first thing that pops into my mind. It maybe because I like fast-paced environments or that I just have a natural penchant for all things hipster. I really don't know. But what I know for sure is that one day, I would like to live there. If given a chance to do that after earning my M.D., I would take it in a heartbeat.

Photo by: Sarah Eskandarpour
I know everyone will agree with me that Greece is one of the most beautiful countries in the world. There's just so much to see! There's Athens and the Parthenon, Santorini and its whitewashed houses, and Zakynthos Island which I only heard of this month when I watched Descendants of the Sun (you guys seriously have to watch it, sooooo kilig!!). Those are just my top picks but I would probably devote three months to travel the whole country and see all the islands. It would make my heart cry with joy because I'm such a sucker for unusual landscapes.

Photo by: Hon Kim
Women from South Korea are so beautiful, they are goals. LOL. I never really had that much inkling to visit this country but really, when I watched DOTS and saw how cute Korean guys are, I immediately looked for flights going there. Honestly though, I was drawn to their people, they all look so young! Other than that, I really wanted to see Nami Island, Seoul, and Jeju for myself. My goal is to visit South Korea in the winter, I wanted my first snow experience to be there. I was actually planning to go this year but winter wear is just so expensive and I want to stay for two week or more! I have to prepare for it, so maybe in 2018? :P

Photo by: neko_star
My mom gave me serious Japan envy when she went there March of this year. She told me how beautiful it was and how much, if given a chance, she would bug dad to get them to retire there. She showed me the pictures she took and it really is beautiful. Of course I would opt for the cherry blossom season to go there because hello, who doesn't want to see pretty pink trees?? There's so much of Japan that I want to experience and see: Universal Studios Japan (hello Wizarding World of Harry Potter!!), Shibuya Crossing, Mt. Fuji, the castles, the California rolls (I'm not keen on sushi), pretty much just about everything! I really really hope we (my mom, sister, and cousin) get to push through with this trip next year.

Photo by: Camilla Bungaard
London's sophisticated vibe is what really lured me in. Next to New York, this is a city that I would also like to live in one day. There's the Tower Bridge, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, the Stonehenge, and of course, Big Ben. Now I pretty much want to travel the rest of Europe so I might as well just include them in this paragraph. If I could really afford to travel the whole of Europe I would! I think it's the best continent among all seven of them. I've already written Greece on my number two followed by London, but I would also like to go to France (of course), Amsterdam, Switzerland, Sweden, Norway (hello Aurora Borealis!), Iceland (OMAM's home country!), Scottland, Italy, Turkey (because hot airballoons in Cappadocia), and Prague. Someone just please give me a Eurotrip that would last for a year! (A year because I really want to immerse myself, not just take pictures. LOL.)

Photo by: David Maciejewski
New Zealand is beautiful. Whenever this country comes up the first word that pops up in my head is lush because of how much greenery there is in the pictures that I've seen. Aside from New York and London, this is another place that I would like to live in. I actually applied to one for their universities and I do hope that I get accepted because I would love for me to be able to move here. I loved their med school curriculum, really wish I'd get in. I don't know much about this country, really (except that it stood for Middle Earth in LOTR) but I'd really love to go and know about it more.

Photo by: bemystrength delobrino
Batanes is a northernmost province in the Philippines. It's really beautiful and so fresh that when I first saw pictures of its rolling hills, I thought it was from another country. It's such a shame that me, a Filipino, haven't set foot yet on this amazing place but I have my reasons. Actually, I only have one, the airfare is crazy expensive! It's understandable though because of its location, it is subject to frequent typhoons, only selected types of aircrafts (from PAL and Skyjet) can land on their airport. I guess it does good for the place too though, so it wouldn't be abused.

Now there you have it! The places that I want to visit before I bid goodbye to this earth (now that's quite gory, lol. I don't have a terminal illness ok). What are yours? :) 

WHAT NOW


It's been a month since I graduated from college, 4 weeks since I received my diploma. The high that I felt as I stood on the stage with my parents has already worn off. I am now hit with the realization that, this is it. I am now in that phase of my life where everyone never fails to ask me this one question, "are you working already?" to which I always have this answer ready, "I'm going to study again. For medicine," and then comes another stream of questions like where I'm going to study and when I'm going to start. To set things straight, I am not going to go to med school straight away. I'm still going to take up extra units at another university and at the college I graduated from, as well as take the NMAT to get the score I need to get in my dream med school. It seems like I have it all figured out but I don't. I consider this as my gap year, and I feel lost.

I wish there was a handbook for aspiring doctors about what they should and should not do, about the steps they should take and what the next move should be. But there isn't and I have never felt so tiny because I feel so clueless. Sure, it seems to my family and friends that I totally know what I'm doing with my life but half of the time, I really don't. I'm shaking inside, wavering. I haven't inquired yet about the extra units and what they would require of me for me to be able to take it, and I still don't know what strategy I should use to get my goal NMAT score. It's all still blurry. Last night I saw a picture of New Zealand and thought that it looked like a great place to live in. So I looked up medical schools in the area and saw that there were only two. I researched about the University of Auckland and found that they have a pretty strong medical curriculum. I suddenly found myself looking for how to apply to the university and to my surprise, I can actually apply online. So I did. I still did even though I knew that the chances of me getting in is one in a million; without my parents knowing what I just did; and without having any idea what I was trying to get myself into. I did because I realized then that I wanted to get away.

I wanted to get away not because I am miserable here. No, my life right now is pretty great -- there's nothing about it that I would change or would like to run from. I'm recently hit with a serious case of wanderlust, I kept looking up plane tickets and accommodations and figuring out travel dates. But just like with graduating, the high I get after traveling eventually wears off. So I thought maybe what I really wanted was to live on my own, somewhere far, somewhere I've never been before. I wanted to study abroad. Not because it seems glamorous or that it would make me appear sophisticated, I wanted to do it because I want to experience how to really be an adult. I want to immerse myself in a different culture, get to socialize with different people, maybe change my study habits, and I don't know. All I know now is that I want to go.

I may not get accepted but I did try. Once in my life, I was spontaneous about my future and that I wanted it to be different. I did. I still don't know if I really want to get in or not, but I [somehow] hope I do.

FAUX-CHELLA: MY DREAM CONCERT LINEUP

For years I have been dreaming of going to Coachella, the ultimate music festival for the hipster in me! And every year since I first heard of it (summer of 2010, if I remember correctly), I disappoint myself because 1) it's held in the other side of the world, and 2) I don't have enough funds! I was especially sad this year because their lineup is such a dream! Of Monsters and Men were there for god's sake! Lucky for me though, OMAM was set to visit Manila and I got to hear them live and I'm gonna tell you: THEY. WERE. AWESOME. It's been a week and I still have a post-concert hangover.

Poster made by TickPick for Future Something
I'm not a summer person, I will always prefer chilly -ber months than the unbearable heat that summer has to bring but what I will always look forward to about it, despite the heat, sweat, and more heat, is that summer is festival season! Man, what I would give to be able to organize my own music festival and choose my own lineup. That would be so awesome, right??? Good thing, the good people from TickPick asked me to create my own! I went nuts because even though it's a one in a million chance that I could actually make it happen, I'd get to have a personalized music fest poster made for me! My indie heart is rejoicing, it's so happy!!!!! Here's the artists that I would like to have for my Faux-chella.

Photo from: Playbuzz
Imagine Dragons is the first band that I loved because they were the first that I discovered on my own through 8tracks. I loved how upbeat their On Top of The World is, how catchy Demons is, and how chill Smoke and Mirrors is.

Photo from: Rockography
I first heard of OMAM when I was in my first year in college because my roommate kept playing Little Talks. I caught the fever and started to play it on my own eventually learning to love Dirty Paws, Lakehouse, Crystals, Human, and Blackwater along the way. Their latest album, Beneath the Skin, is what I love best. Probably because I heard them play the songs live but also because the beat and rhythm just made me want to jump and dance and sway. Total music festival material that they played at Coachella this year!

Photo from: Entertainment Wallpaper
I've only started listening to them last year and I feel ashamed because they're good! I especially loved Where The Sky Hangs because it's catchy and it really made me want to dance my ass off. And I don't even dance! I also liked Take A Walk, Lifted Up, All I Want, and Love Is Greed. I always feel like I could dance to their songs -- just what a music fest needs, dancing people!

Photo from: GirlsChannel
Tim was the one who introduced me to them so they would always be special. LOL. But why I wanted to listen to more of their songs was because Good Life was the first that I heard from them and I liked it right away because it was just so chill! I love chill songs and they really did it for me.

Photo from: Laurence Ourac
The band who gave us She Will Be Loved, This Time, Payphone, One More Night, Sunday Morning, and Sugar. WHO WOULDN'T LOVE THEM??? I'm pretty sure I would sing along to EVERY ONE of their songs, I need them in my music fest! Also, Adam Levine is such an eye candy. Plus points!!!

Photo from: Guided by the Sound
I think I've already established that I like bands that makes me want to dance and sway. And they do!!

Photo from: YouTube
We gotta have something to jump up and down to. Also, his Heroes is bomb.

Photo from: MmmmmGood
Because, Roses. Duh? Do I even need to say more?

Photo from: USA Today
Again, WE. NEED. TO. DANCE. Icona Pop will do just that, I know because the first time I heard I Love It, and All Night, I did.

Photo from: ThingLink
To wrap up the night or to make us feel the feels.

Photo from: Purveyr
The Ransom Collective is a Filipino band. I like the indie feels of their music!!! They actually played for Wanderland (what I would like to believe is the Filipino equivalent of Coachella) in 2015! You guys should listen to their Fools, Run, and Images.


There you have it, my Faux-chella made possible by TickPick! You guys should check their website out if you're looking for concert tickets, NFL tickets, and more! What's your dream festival line-up?

LIFE AFTER COLLEGE


I am finally done with college! And it kinda feels underwhelming. Maybe because I have bigger plans after this that I feel like this just isn't it yet. Nevertheless, it feels good because I have actually achieved something -- I am now a degree holder, and with honors too! As a young adult there are a lot of things that we are expected to be capable of doing: chores, driving, being able to run our own errands, being able to run errands for our parents, and most of all, being financially literate. As an impulsive buyer, I made it a resolution for myself that when I turn 20, I will try my very best to be financially responsible. It was tough but I'm slowly learning how to adult through it. 

Living away from home taught me how to be very careful with what I put in my shopping cart because I have to live on my allowance. It also taught me how to budget. Sometimes it would take me an hour and a had just to buy my toiletries because I had to weigh the pros and cons of two products -- like would this product cost me more in the long run or if the other one is just luxury. Another step in being financially responsible for me is opening my own bank account. I used to have another bank account that my dad opened for me but it ended up being frozen by my dad because I kept draining it to the point that I always withdrew the maintaining balance so daddy has to pay a fine. He closed that account because I was spending too much. A year after, last year, I finally had the courage and willpower to open my own account. I can now manage to not drain it. I am very proud of that. LOL. I am also very proud to say that I was able to save up enough money to buy myself a ticket to Hong Kong as my graduation present for myself! It feels so good! But saving up for it isn't easy. How did I do it, you ask? I kept track of all my expenses and from there, I saw the unnecessary stuff that I keep buying and eliminated them. Through that, I was able to deposit money to my account and it grew.

Now that I have just graduated, my parents and relatives, knowing my travel plans, gave me bucks to spend for my trip. And of course I have to keep track of how much my net worth is now (such a grown up term!!). Thankfully, I came across Personal Capital, a financial software that helps you keep track of your bank accounts and credit cards as well as helping you plan for the big ones like paying your student loans or buying yourself a new car. I've recently just started using it and it has already helped me see where I stand financially. Super useful, right? And it's free! You guys should try it out and let's adult together!

To the Class of 2016, this is only the beginning. There is so much ahead of us, the world is waiting for our taking. Let's go!

THE GREATEST ADVENTURE, YET


With the release of my final grades is a realization that I am finally done with college. Four years, eight semesters, it has been such a roller coaster ride. I dreaded my first few weeks in college because I wanted to be back to what I was used to. I felt like I won't make any friends, but I did, slowly, surely. I thought I wouldn't make it through because of algebra but I did and with grades I didn't expect. I finally felt in sync with college -- its craziness and unending challenges. College is bizarre and it does make you want to shoot yourself but despite that, I learned more than I should, more than what my curriculum required, more than what college should have taught me -- I learned to live.

I never had an opinion on anything when I was younger maybe because I never really cared that much but college taught me how to. It has opened doors that I never even thought were there. I felt like a child finally learning how to walk because college made me learn to have my own opinion. It's the best thing college has ever taught me because I know now how to stand up for myself and how to fight for what I believe in. As such, college has also taught me how to be tolerable towards those whose beliefs differ from mine. Sure, it's annoying when someone sees something differently than you do but it served as an opportunity for me to practice not to force my beliefs down someone else's throat no matter how hard they're pushing theirs down mine. Not all people are close-minded idiots though because there are people who knows how to compromise and we just gotta thank the universe for them. College taught me to be myself, no matter how cliche that is it's still true. I learned how to ride the current but I now also know how to make my own ripple, if not a wave. I learned to stop seeing myself through the eyes of other people because college has taught me to love myself, what with the sappy ~heartbreaks~ I went through. I learned to be on my own, to be comfortable by myself, and how to be happy with myself first before allowing someone else to do it for/with me. I learned to trust myself and my capabilities, and I learned that to be great you have to take risks and grab every opportunity. I have had my share of regrets because college has taught me to stop being scared of failure because every great idea came from a difficult process. We don't get to be successful overnight -- it takes a lot of hardwork, maybe even a few failures but that shouldn't stop us from trying. Just as important is how college taught me how to have fun, it had taught me how to be carefree and that it's okay to be young and stupid once in a while. I've had drunken nights that resulted to bruises and scrapes that I still don't know where I got them from; reckless days that we'll go somewhere completely far off from where our parents thought we were; and nights (sometimes afternoons) that we laughed so hard and ate too much (my friends will get this, lol). 

College has allowed me to feel more comfortable with myself because I know myself better now. It allowed me to grow and become who I am today -- better, stronger, and much more determined. I feel ready to conquer what lies ahead. I'm about to graduate two weeks from now and I just have a few more words for everyone who doubted me...

There's nothing sweeter than looking at all of you who said that I can't, from above the stage achieving something you once told me I can't. This is for all of you.

For every idea you have frowned upon, it only fueled me to work harder towards it. It made me want to put it to action and make it come to life. You told me I can't, it only made me want to do it more. For every shake of your head when I'm speaking, it allowed me to go through my point with more conviction. You made me fight for my beliefs much stronger than ever. For every belittling words, every smirk, it gave me courage to finish what I have started.

You see, you are the reason for people's mediocrity. You stomp on their ideas, you spit on their brilliance, and you try to crumple their dreams. You made them scared of becoming who they can be. You robbed them of being a better, greater versions of themselves.

So this is for you. Every "no", every eye roll, every sarcastic smile, every "maybe but probably not", every "are you sure about that?", and every ounce of doubt you tried to put into my being -- I want to be a somebody and damn it, I will be.

Pia Loraine P. San Felipe
BS Psychology
Cum Laude
Batch 2016
[See all my thoughts from my first year in college up to now, here!]


365/365: A 2015 WRAP UP



This year has been a very challenging one. An extreme roller coaster ride that would go up and would suddenly drop me down so low. It would feel like everything is going so well and I would just get surprised that it somehow didn't. Mixed emotions, things falling short of what I expected, feeling like I've hit rock bottom, 2015 had all of it in for me. But despite that, I have learned a lot and for that I am very thankful.

I have learned that when you want something, it wouldn't hurt to work really hard for it; that when someone matters to you, it's okay to show them how you feel; that when the going gets rough you gotta toughen it up and face it head on; that there are things we can't escape because sooner or later we have to face them; that when you want to do something, you shouldn't put it off because when you think you finally have enough courage for it, it might be too late to make a difference; that wanting to excel at something isn't so bad -- be a go getter, be an over achiever, be more than who you think you could be; that I shouldn't let other people validate my existence; that it's fun being by myself sometimes; that I don't need a whole battalion of people beside me, a few but very good friends will go a long way; that there's no place like home; that acceptance is the key to almost everything; and most importantly, I have learned to not settle for less than what I deserve -- sure it might take longer to be who I really want to be but it's better than settling for something and then wonder what it could possibly have been had I waited it out and tried again.

More than anything, this year made me realize that I shouldn't be in a rush because great things take time. I wanted to be a someone and it will take time. The things that I have planned out for myself should be adaptable to the lemons life may throw at me. One day I will be a someone and to be that, I have to get out of my comfort zone and let my life begin.

The future will come, as it should, which is why we should always savor the present because it will soon be in the past. Here's to new beginnings and staying in the moment. Happy new year everyone!