No More Resolutions. It’s 2017!


We’ve heard it all before. The question posed when classes resume and you’re prompted to write a little reflection about the holidays. The question young  and not-so-young adults fill with answers that don’t make it past pen and paper. 

“What are your resolutions for 2017?”

Yeah, resolutions my face. I think I’d rather just stick to “goals” this year rather than “resolve” to do or accomplish something that I have no full control over. I’d rather set goals that I know I can stick to. Goals sound way nicer, and it kind of gives you a sense of “journey”, don’t you think? Resolutions sound stricter, less room for mistakes and creativity. Or it might just be me. 

But yes, it’s “goals” for 2017. 

Again, to make sure I don’t forget that this past year was good (albeit a little disappointing - RIP Alan Rickman and Carrie Fisher), I’m listing down a summary of things I’m proud of this year (in no order). If you find reading about other people’s feats boring (haha), feel free to skip the list and read the paragraph after. :)


  • Learned more about Social Media Marketing
  • Established The Indy Miss more
  • Reached 1.7k fans on the Facebook page!
  • Got my first two big-paying sponsored posts gig for the blog
  • Learned to read people more (sorry not sorry)
  • Met new blogger friends online and IRL (yay!)
  • Adapted a new art style (& still working on my old one)
  • Got addicted to Himouto! Umaru-Chan and New Game! (animé)
  • Produced stickers and other merch for a mini art fair
  • Discovered the art of Podcasting and voice acting (haha!)
  • Established that money is like a candle in the wind (:/)
  • Got approved to set up shop at Creative Market!
  • Learned how to deal with clients better and keep a good relationship going
  • Learned a thing or two about flat-laying properly
  • Got a little thriftier (looong way to go still)
  • Fixed my portfolio and made it a bit more consistent than before
  • Got better at lettering and calligraphy
  • Started a newsletter (RSS) and gained 28 more subscribers
  • Ordered a mug print of an illustration I made on DA (worth the wait and moolah!)
  • Learned the “business-y” side of my life and career (*shivers*)
  • Learned that not eating lunch and snacking instead at 3pm helps me lose weight (will do again after the holidays)
  • Turned one year young at my first job (the feels)
  • Realized who actually cares about maintaining a friendship with me
  • Made very valuable connections in the real world
  • Got invited to international exhibits in London, Berlin, and California. Sadly couldn’t get funds to support each trip, haha.
  • He put a ring on it :P
  • Got a good sense of when to stop talking and when to just let the words flow.

So. 2016 was quite bomb. It's either you take it positively or negatively. What's great about being a blogger is the ability to go back in time via your posts and see how you've improved and what effed-up stuff have happened. 

I've got a LOT of hope for 2017, and I'm tired of asking it to "please be kind to me". The only way anything will happen this year will depend on what you do with it. Connections you make, friendships you burn and create, people you devote time to, what you stand up for, and how much you'll let it affect you.

But... if I DID have to list a resolution, there'd only be one: SPEND WISELY. 

How about you? What are your goals for 2017? I'd love to congratulate you on your own feats this past year, so leave a comment! :) 

See you in 2017.

A Letter to End-of-2017 Me



Hey girl,

How are things? A lot can happen in a year, and I’m sure you’ve changed yet again. I’m writing this in the middle of Super Typhoon “Nina” at grandpa’s house in Partido, while listening to a song dad is playing on his laptop. Very church-y, complete with a choir and ad libs from the main male singer. I’m super stressed about a lot of things, mostly work-related. Also, I’m still being pressured to go abroad and get started on a career there.

But all in a day’s work.

I’m currently at a point in my life where I’ve figured out some parts of my existence, what to say or not say, whose bad side you’d want to stay clear from - just those random things. I’m currently scared of the future, scared for your present. How is it from the other end of the year? How much have things changed? Are you finally a millionaire (haha)?

All joking aside, I’ve got so many questions for you Vee. I’m hoping everything went well for you this past year. 

Did you finally move abroad for work? If you did, where you at? If you’re still in Naga, what’s keeping you from going forward?
Have you told people about your - you know - thing? The explanation for that bling you’ve been wearing on your pinky?
Have you finally kickstarted The Indy Miss as a proper brand and gained more organic interactions/followings?
How is your friendship with Pauline and Don? Any new ones?
Have you become more active at church? Part of a ministry?
Any thinner this year? Or is the babe still in want of a fluffy marshmallow to embrace?

What’s the biggest thing that happened to you this coming 2017? (Yeah, grammatically incorrect but whatever.)
What new things have you learned from people around you?
Have you attended more conferences and/or workshops this year? 
How about blogging events? Have you made noises in the blogging world yet?
Have you held more workshops for whatever? 
Have your planned collaborations worked out?

My financial status isn’t looking good, currently. My 13th month vanished into mid-air (haha) because of the pending bills and I still have more to pay. My salary is okay, but not enough to settle other payables. I’m hoping in your present situation you’ve been able to save up enough to not be subjected to this same hardship. 

The pressure to leave the country and work for a higher pay is like a root growing inside me. It’s getting bigger and more pronounced.

I want to cry, Vee, and it’s Christmas. CHRISTMAS TEARS, yay. It’s like I’ve dug a hole and wasn’t sure I’d be able to build a ladder afterwards. I’m powerless over this. If you’re in a better situation by the time you get back to reading this, then good for you! This means we were able to get out of that hole we dug in 2016. 

Veeyah, how is your heart? Is it happy? Sad? Calm? Is it bitter from anything? Just breathe an let what can slide, slide away. You may feel wronged or hurt or disappointed, but it’ll go away.

2016 wasn’t the best, but it was good. Good because more opportunities opened up and your skills expanded. You were able to land decent side jobs online with good pay, mostly writing jobs though. You experienced your first paid sponsorship too! Also, you didn’t get a Starbucks 2016 planner because the paper sucked. It couldn’t hold watercolor even if it tried. You got the Bliss and the DYL though, and got gifted the ABC Daily Journal via the office sneaky santa thing. You didn’t buy the Hobonichi this year because you were really struggling if the money would be worth it, and so you left it for 2018 instead. 

You got a package at the office that had all the signs it was for you aside from the name. Who is Ma. Myra Austero?! At this point in time, I still don’t know who she is, why my new number was on it, why they got every detail right aside from the name. It’s still actually at the office and I don’t plan on taking it home until the new year passes, just to be sure.

So yeah. It’s been reeealllyy weird. 2016 is hella weird. 

Let me know if anything major has changed with 2017 me (us?). 


Loving & hoping,

2016 Veeyah

What's Going On?



So it’s happening. I’ve breached unknown territory. I might have a stalker on my hands. 

I don’t know who has been sending me gifts at home and at the office, and it’s getting ridiculous. Even the boyfriend (who was supposed to have taken off last Saturday and arrived in Australia yesterday) didn’t leave because apparently, he couldn’t shrug off this mystery either. 

Here’s the sitch: Last week, some packages arrived at the office, and as customary, one of our officers received them from the courier. We don’t really bother reading names - as long as they’re addressed to the company, we take them in. Since I wasn’t expecting any parcels, I took no notice of the mail. 

The next day, there was a single package left on the table. Some officemates were beginning to question why none of us have claimed it yet, and the assumed owner of the parcel had already denied having anything to do with it. We were all curious, and upon checking the name on the plastic, we realized it was named for no one in the office. It was addressed to the office, but we knew no one by the name indicated. 

This was baffling, so someone decided to ring the number on the package. 

It was my number

My NEW number. Just one (or two) week/s before, I had upgraded my postpaid plan, so that set bells in my head almost immediately. It had the address and name of the company, with my number and a stranger’s name written on the “send to” area of the bag. On the “sender” area, it had nothing. It had the tracking number written under the receiver’s address, but we couldn’t trace it online since it was missing the three-digit BC (which can only be found on the official receipt/document). 

How were my officemates sure it was for me? Aside from my number being on the package, the contents were too telling. It had Kuretake brush pens, Pilot Petit refills, and a few more calligraphy items - stuff I was just about to order that same day. Creepy as hell. I was so freaked out (still am) about it all I’ve left it in the office ever since. Tried the items once, but that was it. I’ll contact the courier and have them track where it came from ASAP.

I decided that if someone from my Facebook friends list had sent them to surprise me for the holidays, they’d at least send a message if I asked around. So, I posted a photo of the contents of the mail and asked who it could’ve come from. 

Still no word. 

As if that freaky incident wasn’t enough, someone paid for my drink at Starbucks last Saturday. 

So I was in line, okay, ready to pay for my grande Santa Hat Frapuccino and Banana loaf combo when the guy behind me offered to pay for them. While it was great to get something for free, it was an unwelcome “libre”. I politely declined and laughed along with the barista taking my order, saying, “Ay wow, kuya, hehe. Christmas treat?” I meant it as a joke, but the guy took it seriously and insisted it should be charged to him. I just wanted to hide behind the barista who was staring at me then back to the guy. I tried putting him off and making him take back his decision but he handed the girl his card and insisted so much I just had to let it go. I’d been avoiding looking at the guy but I took a quick peek and gave him a quick smile. After thanking him, I went back to my seat by the window and could feel his eyes surveying me. 

Coincidentally, when I went to Starbucks this evening with a few colleagues, he was there AGAIN. I don’t know if it was just a blip, but when he and I saw each other, he stood up and hurriedly left. DOES THAT NOT COUNT AS WEIRD?!

Mistake No. 1: I posted the package mystery on Facebook and got a reaction from le boyfriend. That sort of prompted him to become all too concerned about the whole thing.

Mistake No. 2: I posted about the incident at Starbucks. That added to his concern. 

My concerns: He missed classes for his Master’s Degree because of this hullabaloo. I don’t think I’m in any danger since these have been harmless (albeit insanely weird and mysterious) gifts. 

A popular theory in the office is that they were sent in by a “fan” of my work. I’ve never mentioned my name on my page/s so that could be why the sender couldn’t put my name. However, why didn’t he/she just put “The Indy Miss” or something close to my brand? Why write a completely foreign name on there?

It just doesn’t make ANY sense to me.


Yes. Yes? YES.


“Yes.”

That one word was enough to set all his hormones on fire. His eyes grew wide and his face flushed a deep red. The room started feeling a little less cooler as our body heat intensified. The gorgeous man in front of me bounded to his feet and gave me a dangerous, bone-crushing hug. It seemed to last forever. Not that I was complaining.

“Yes?” 

He asked, still unsure if he heard me right, no doubt. He had a habit of asking twice on anything that concerned me, as if I always had to rethink my responses to his questions. Perhaps, because I had always carried a sarcastic tone right from the beginning. I gave him a fleeting look, teasing. His eyes were serious, masked with shadows that soon vanished when I gave my affirmation.

“Yes.”

Again, the bone-crusher. He had asked me twice, and twice I had said “not now”. I could tell he was doing his best to feign that “I knew it”, calm response he always had, but it was pretty hard - especially when I plopped down beside him and snuggled up to him. I could feel him smiling, his breath ragged. He embraced me again, but this time, it was a hug of contentment. This made me scoot closer to him.

“Why now?”

His voice momentarily cut through the welcomed silence. It caught me off guard. I didn’t know “why now”. I just… felt like it was time. That he had waited so long and been rejected twice broke my heart the same why his did. I didn’t know how to tell him that. I moved up so I could plant a kiss on his cheek and whispered in his ear.

“Why not?”

He laughed softly, sending those lovely ASMR tingles soaring through the back of my head. He sat up and groggily made his way to the coffee table by the balcony. Had I said something wrong? Should I have answered differently? I sat up on the bed, my mind racing. Did I just ruin a perfectly good moment? 

“Thank you.”

I blinked, not sure I had heard correctly. So he wasn’t mad? 

“Thank you?”

He grinned. I was losing my shit, but it was so hard to lose my temper with my sunshine of a man looking adorable in front of me. I think I smiled back. He came back to the bed and handed me a Heineken. I wanted to slap that smug smile off his face, but I knew it was just a reflection of my own. So we’ve finally come to this point. 

“I love you.”

I smiled, hiding my face as he uttered the last word. I had always had something when it comes to saying those three words out loud. I’ve never felt comfortable about it, even with people from my family. I could tell he was waiting for me to say something. 

“Why are you hiding your face?”

I could hear him trying to stifle a laugh. I pouted, my mouth only to be met with his. I pushed him away in shock. He laughed loudly, stretching himself on the bed. He grabbed my fat excuse of a waist and forced me onto the bed beside him. I covered my face with a pillow and tried to pretend I was pissed off at him. Not that that would’ve stopped him from whatever he wanted to do. He knew my weakness to a “T”. 

“You know why.”

He took the pillow away and left me staring at his face. What have I done to deserve such a dream? I’ve told him over and over and over that I wasn’t pretty and that all I had to offer him was everything but that. Aren’t all guys in want of a voluptuous, A-breed girlfriend they could show off to their friends and create hot photos with? 

“Whatever you’re thinking, baby, STOP.”

He might be a mind-reader after all. I feel like with all the years we’ve been together, it was inevitable that we would adopt our partner’s way of thinking. Either that or I’ve been telling him those exact things all the time. He grabbed the remote and started flipping through channels on the TV. I was grateful he knew when to give me space to think, when to insist on hearing my mind or when to just stop altogether. 

“Sorry I still can’t… say them.”

“Hmm?”

“I still can’t say ‘I love you’.”

Again, he laughed. Stupid Veeyah. What did you do just now? You just said them! I closed my eyes and inhaled everything. He patted my head and gave me another kiss on the lips. 

“You’re adorable when you catch yourself being ironic.”

I snorted a laugh. It was ridiculous how one person can make you feel so many things all at once. I loved this man. This bundle of joy I was cuddling with. This guy who waited for years even though I’ve continuously gave him reason to drop everything and leave. This guy who makes me smile everyday without even being with me all the time. I love how his voice does things to me. And I’ve just sealed my forever with him. 

“You’re weird.”

It was his turn to get confused. 

“I like that you’re weird.”

We both laughed and downed two more cans of beer. I could feel myself getting tired and he offered his lap as a pillow. I chose his chest instead. Much warmer and softer in my opinion. I drifted off to sleep while he quietly tapped away at his laptop’s keyboard. More ASMR goodness, yes. My breathing steadied. I could freeze this moment and still not get enough of him. 

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Art Spit for December

You know that post where you just shove in all (or in this case, most) artworks you've done for the month to mark the nearing end of this period of your artistic journey?

This is it. It's that type of post.

I'm really grateful that despite my busy schedule, there are still moments when I can just quickly take my art materials and letter away all the stress and worries. It pairs amazingly with music trips (of course) and makes everyday a little happier despite the weather.

If you're more into videos, I've created a short time-lapse of a few of my art recordings for you. I tried using Final Cut Pro for the first time ever (I've always been an Adobe AE person) and so far, for this mini video, it worked well.

BGM: "Ride With Me" - Feelo 

*Watch in 1080p!*



*You might've noticed an error in one of the lettering videos, haha. Let's just say I got a little too carried away by the flourishes and felt the need to cover up that space.

Here are some photos I took right after shooting each bit. Had real fun, too.






So many personal projects on my plate that I don't know which I need to do first! They're all equally exciting to me so there's that factor too. Ugh, hahaha. I think I'm really just trying to fit in more practice sessions for my drawing before the year ends. 

I'm also readying something for the blog. Kind of like a resource section of some sort. What do you think? Too soon? Haha.

Lance.


It's the hour when most people are asleep, cozy in bed and curled up next to their significant other. It's the time when the most sincere, unfiltered thoughts find their way into shallower waters of the mind and let themselves have the spotlight for a short moment.

It's the hour when I can let myself think about you and what we can have together and not be burdened by the day's things to do or people to meet. It's the time I get to linger in the place in my mind where you reside 24/7. Everywhere all at once.

Baby... I love it when you call me your baby. Your voice is music to my ears. I don't kid when I tell you you'd make a good ASMR artist. It has a texture to it that makes women's hearts melt. I know that from experience. It has that throaty growl and that adorable accent I've always been attracted to, one that becomes more evident when you give me a call upon your waking. Each sigh, each breath, each word that comes out of your mouth gives me a sense of calm.

When we shared a night together a few months back, just your presence was enough to knock me out for a whole 8 hours of sleep. Not that you're a boring companion but because - well - I felt like I could do anything and you'd still be there when I woke up. And you were.

I used to hate it when you call me "honbun" or "honey bunny", but the more I hear you speak it, the more endearing and warming it feels. How the letters roll out of your tongue like sweet, decadent chocolate syrup on pancakes.

Every time you wake me up with that sweet, sleepy voice of yours, I can't help but smile and want to stay in bed longer. Why would I want to leave the safety and truthfulness of you when I know the world only sees what they want in me? If I could, I'd lie in bed just listening you talk about anything - and that would be my happiness.

Baby, do you remember the day we first met? We were just kids then and had no real notion of "love" and "forever", but we knew how annoying the other could be at times. I disliked you for being immature and loud; you didn't like me for being the stuck-up Miss Priss I was at second grade. Funny how the world creates a story weaved into the likeness of ours.

When you asked me to be yours years back, I didn't think it would matter if I said yes or no. I didn't think you'd stick around after figuring out all my flaws. I didn't think you'd still find me attractive once we started living our own lives away from each other.

What did you see in me that you thought was worth chasing, huh? I'm not beautiful. I'm not a millionaire. I'm not the smartest human being. I'm not perfect. I'm not the type a guy could introduce to their family and be accepted into the "gene pool". What made you say to yourself you'd be better off with someone like me and not with those gorgeous model friends of ours that obviously think I'm not worth your time?

I'll never forget the way your eyes gain that dark and smokey stare when you tell me how much you love me and sends welcome chills up my spine. I didn't think I could ever be loved like that. Still having issues with that if I'm being honest. But, you've proven me wrong. Thank you.

Baby, when we celebrate your birthday on the 15th, please be assured that whatever I do, I'll be doing out of love for you. Don't ever think I was forced or coerced into doing "the surprise". Though I have restrictions on my end from telling the world I belong to you, I want you to read this and know I have no reason to reject you, or make you feel like you haven't given me every bit of you.

Simply put, I just love you, and I think... I'm ready.