Category Archive: Musings

Youthful Melody

Music. It soothes, it heals, it stirs the spirit. It evokes memories, emotions. Paints pictures. Feeds the soul.   And all meet in singing, which braids together the different knowings into a wide… Continue reading

Airport Curiosities

A Swarovski tree. Airport aquariums. Language Delay. Humorous, peculiar, frustrating, memorable – most everyone who has ever flown has a tale or two (or several) from the airport. For instance, despite how much… Continue reading

Hope lives in Pompeii, Italy

In the southern Italian region of Campania, the remnants of an ancient city yet stand. Withstanding the direct path of destruction during the tragic Mount Vesuvius eruption in 79AD, its ruins continue to provide… Continue reading

Whiteboarding Italy

Typically, an office whiteboard serves a functional purpose. Perhaps it’s a to-do list, a message board, a space to map out a flowchart or ideas from a brainstorm session. The whiteboard hanging on… Continue reading

Speaking of Another Language…

There is ample evidence that in a bilingual’s brain both language systems are active even when he is using only one language, thus creating situations in which one system obstructs the other.” –… Continue reading

On the Subject of Language

  What is it about language that affects your perception of a people? In regaling others with tales of foreign lands, you find yourself pronouncing certain foods and locales with accents, often without consciously… Continue reading

There Goes My Gallbladder

Day 1: The Procedure “Take a deep breath for me,” says the anesthesiologist, placing a mask over my nose and mouth. I inhale. Blurred images from the day swim behind my closed eyelids:… Continue reading

Why Travel

Call me adventurous. Call me curious. Call me restless. Call me an addict, even. My choice of drug? It’s no secret: It’s travel. As a Filipina who grew up on Guam, lives in… Continue reading

Immediate Action Required: Take a Vacation

You know that vacation you’ve been fantasizing about all year, but haven’t gotten around to planning? That trip you always wanted to take? That time you wanted to just walk on the beach… Continue reading

A Beautiful Teaparty

Tweedledum and Tweedledee, in a fit of uncontrollable laughter, rehearse a dance number as The Mad Hatter briefs the party staff. As I admire the enchanted space, the Queen of Hearts poses for… Continue reading

To the Superheroes We Call “Mom”

A mother is more than just a provider or a caregiver. She also a teacher, a friend, a confidante, a project manager, (sometimes a bank account), a chef/nutritionist, a tireless role model, and… Continue reading

Travel, My Choice of Running Shoes

  All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.” – Martin Buber   I am a runner. I don’t mean this in the marathon or athlete sort of way, but… Continue reading

After it Rains, There are Rainbows

  On an overcast day at Moss Landing, the seagulls fly low and fast over the water, flocking together in the wind. It’s been raining intermittently, and as much of a pathetic fallacy… Continue reading

Lately, on Instagram

I’ve been scrolling through Instagram a bit more than usual lately, in the kind of mental state where I just want to see travel photos and get lost in them. Coincidentally, I’ve come… Continue reading

4 Videos You Want to Watch

Like the title says, here are four videos (and a BuzzFeed) you want to check out. Well, I thought they were worth it anyway. Happy viewing!   1. The Meaning of Life –… Continue reading

Look Mom, I’m on YouTube!

“Jump to the left,” says the VP of Engineering. I jump. I’m a good sport. I’m confused, but I’m more curious. “Now step to the right” says the VP again. I step to… Continue reading

Virgen del Rosario Learning Center

It’s 4:30 am when I suddenly awaken. Curses, jet lag! But that’s ok, because at least I have some dawn quiet before the streets fill with cars and tricycles and the occasional street… Continue reading

Travel Notions

Today marks a year since I departed on my grandest adventure thus far: a career break that took me across three continents, four months, five countries, and countless cities. As this year comes… Continue reading

Beautiful Day

People come together for a good cause. It’s a beautiful, moving reminder that, amidst greed and selfishness, there is also generosity and benevolence. I spent some time volunteering with an organization called Beautiful… Continue reading

A Penchant for Travel

Some girls splurge on expensive handbags. Some girls live for their designer shoe collections. I prefer to spend my hard-earned money on travel. I’m not declaring I dislike pretty shoes and I’m not… Continue reading

The Lush Who Was

My name is Caroline, and I’m a lush. (“Hi Caroline” echoes the imaginary room.) At least, I used to be one. During many a recent dinner, I’ve been called out for not drinking… Continue reading

A Denizen of the World

I don’t travel to brag about where I vacationed last summer, or how many miles I’ve racked up. I travel to experience other cultures – outside of stereotypes and cinematic staging. I travel to… Continue reading

Write to Me from Naples

“As they say here, ‘Vedi Napoli e poi muori! – See Naples and die!’” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe   Napoli is probably best known for being the birthplace of pizza (or at least… Continue reading

Wedding Dominoes

Gold satin. Bejeweled, silver-lined pink organza. Cream ruffles. A red A-line. Lavender frills. A sparkling green Filipiniana. Coral chiffon. Dresses. More specifically, dresses I’ve worn as part of a bridal entourage. Between a… Continue reading

Midwest Zest: Cincinnati

Cincinnati is one of those places that, in my opinion, gets an undeservedly bad rap. “There’s nothing there,” you might hear; but did you know that it was once commonly referred to as… Continue reading

A Foreign Perspective

It’s a tad cliché to talk about taking things for granted, but that doesn’t make it any less true. Sometimes you have to be reminded of beauty around you. In all its forms.… Continue reading

Green Thumb

Back in April, my CMO brought dozens of young tomato plants into the office. She’d grown too many at home, she said, and was giving away all sorts of varieties to any takers.… Continue reading

Special Delivery

Who doesn’t enjoy an unanticipated postal delivery? Presents are great during events like birthdays and Christmas, but they’re even better when they come as surprises – no matter what size. It’s like a… Continue reading

The Return, Part III: The (Italian) Hangover

I like California, I do. But over a month after coming back to the Bay Area, I’m still on an Italian hangover. I miss it all – the vibrant greens of the rolling countryside,… Continue reading

The Return, Part II: Living

No, I haven’t eloped with a tall, dark, and handsome man in some exotic country. (I did receive a few casual marriage proposals though…does that count?) As spontaneous as I am, and as… Continue reading

The Return, Part I: Where Did Caroline Go?

I was called a mushball today. Well, there goes my reputation. It’s not like I was ever an emotionless robot or anything, but “sentimental” and “delicate” are probably not the first adjectives people… Continue reading

Parting is Not Such Sweet Sorrow

Whoever said that parting is such sweet sorrow was a liar. Sorry, Shakespeare, I don’t mean to blaspheme, but…. Saying goodbye can be done sweetly, and parting is often sorrowful, but sorrow is… Continue reading

The Art of Faith

It’s almost impossible to avoid churches in Italy. They’re everywhere. They’re art; they’re landmarks; they’re history. They’re an intrinsic part of the culture. It’s no secret that Italy has countless beautiful churches. Sweeping… Continue reading

Raindance

I danced in the rain today. Well, more like I ran in the rain today. Not intentionally. A friend and I were out walking her dogs when it started to drizzle. Since we… Continue reading

When the Moon Hits Your Eye Like a Big Pizza Pie

When the moon hits your eye Like a big pizza pie, that’s amore. When the world seems to shine Like you’ve had too much wine, that’s amore.” – Dean Martin, That’s Amore  … Continue reading

Oh, Those Italians!

I’ve often said that Italians are among some of the warmest people. There are, however, many other quirks and interesting aspects of their culture that are endearing. *These are just my personal observations,… Continue reading

La Fontana di Trevi at Midnight

  My very first wish at the Trevi Fountain was to be back as soon as possible. I was back less that 24 hours later…and promptly made another wish to return within the… Continue reading

Becoming Italian

Everything reminded me of Italy. Prior to this trip, I somehow managed to frequently find an Italian connection in names, words, places, people, and restaurants. In California, I got excited over a “Tuscany… Continue reading

The (Nonexistent) International Driving Standard

They say if you can drive in Manila, you can drive anywhere else in the world…. A fellow blogger commented on one of my recent posts, saying that “Folks always let you move on… Continue reading

The 10-Second Read

Color outside the lines. Pursue happiness. Take a leap of faith. Go on that grand adventure. Be bold. Be open-minded. Be fearless. And when life presents you with those rare serendipitous moments? Be… Continue reading