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I'm Phoem Ponce

This is Phoem a lifestyle blogger and photographer. I love saving my day to day life through photographs. This blog will mostly contain photographs of life in infinitely beautiful personas. Join the bella uncover the Pacific!


21 Life Lessons I learned Before Turning 21

This year has been the roughest year in my life. I mean, not 2018 ok? I mean, the 20-year old me experienced things that I did not expect to experience. The 20 year old me has been the craziest version of me, literally and figuratively.

The 20-year-old me has experienced a lot of things which includes 65% mental and emotional breakdowns due to stress in school, 15% physical breakdown and 20% happiness. What a year right?

65% emotional and mental breakdown.
Yes. This year has been the most stressful year yet. I actually expected it since last school year but I just did not expect it to be this stressful. School has been the #1 cause of this. I will not break this down in a detailed manner and just say "school" as a whole. For the first time in my life, I encountered a professor who just says "Alam niyo na yan, ganyan lang yan". He would just show us a power point and reads whatever is in that the powerpoint. Read without thoroughly explaining what's in there. Yes I know I should expect that in college but he is very different. He will give a final period quiz with a prelim period questions only. This year also we had our first ever thesis/company study which constitutes the most of my stress. My parents can attest to this. I would always ask them to call me because I need to release all the stresses I have. Whenever they call I would break down and cry just to relieve myself from the bad feelings that I feel and think. I do believe that I have neglected my other classes/subjects because of this thesis. I actually feel bad because whenever I cry to my mom and dad, they cry as well worrying about me. (But I'm okay now parents!) There are a lot of things pa that stresses me out in school but I just won't go deeper nalang din.

15% physical breakdown
Because of my stress in school I've been in and out of the emergency room. I think I was sent there 2-3 times this year. I had chest pains and was even given a 6-month medicine maintenance due to hyperacidity. I usually forget to eat on time because of school works. School has broken me down emotionally, mentally and physically.

20% happiness
Of course, not everything that I've been through after turning 20 was a mess. I am just happy that I have an extremely solid support system. I have very supportive parents who support me with whatever I want to do. Parents who are always there whenever I needed them even if they are miles away from me. Parents who would suggest things and plans for me. Parents who kept telling me not to be afraid of the future because they will always be there for me naman no matter what. A brother who has been there whenever I am acting crazy and whenever I break down. A boyfriend who is just a call away whenever I feel stressed even if he himself is stressed with his school works too. A boyfriend who has been my constant morale booster. Relatives who would always reassure me that everything will be alright and that I should not be afraid because God is always with me. Relatives who will always help me and become second parents for me whenever I am feeling down. And most of all, I have a God who is the most powerful of all. A God who never leaves me and blesses me with this people. Without him, I do not even know what to do with myself anymore.

What a long intro right? Well here's the 21 things I learned in life before turning 21.

1. You are the captain of your ship.
Your life, your commands. Do not let others dictate what you will do with your life. Ask for advice but you will always have the final say.

2. All work no play makes "Juan" a dull boy. 
I learned this since grade school and has kept reminding myself this one ever since but this year has been an exception which was why I probably felt this way. The reason why almost 80% of my year has been a breakdown. Work and life balance should always be done,

3. Always have time for yourself.
Its okay to be selfish sometimes. Take care of yourself. Your brain may tell you that you can do a certain job even if your body cannot. That's what I've felt this year. I've been pushing myself to the limit which is why my body started to be weak. I lost a lot of weight because of too much stress and even lost too much time for myself. This has to stop, I know and I will do whatever it takes to restore myself back.

4. Learn to say NO
Its okay to be selfish at times because if not, a lot of people will take advantage of you. There will always be people who will only be there whenever they need you and hide from you if you're the one in need.

5. Overthinking kills
This one, I'm still working on this. Not sure when I will stop overthinking but I hope sooner cause this will really kill me. Overthinking has been and is still a posion that runs inside by head. Any antidote for this?

6. Life is not a race.
Yup, this one is the realest of all. I have classmates in high school who are now degree holders (congratulations guys!), OFWs, while some are like me still a college student. Before I was too afraid of being labeled as a "delayed" college student but then, I realized, why would I be afraid? There's nothing wrong with being delayed. There's nothing wrong with finishing college longer than others, what matters most is that you finish with a degree. Everyone has a different clock. Wait for your time.

7. Do not be afraid of the future.
My mom has repeated this line for over a thousand times this year because I have been constantly ranting about how I think about what's gonna happen to my future. She would always remind me to let everything fall to their places and that I should just do my best and let God do the rest. Que serra serra~ My dad would always tell me that I'm still young and that there are a lot of things that will happen in the future, things that are worst than what I'm experiencing now that's why I should not be afraid because they will always be there whenever I need a backup. (I have my own set of Avengers as my support system right?)

8. Choose your friends wisely.
This is a given and I am very lucky to have chosen the right friends. Friends who I know will always be there and understand me even if we do not talk often.

9. Choose quality of quantity.
This has been my mantra ever since. I do not care if I only have few friends as long as I know na they are the type who offers friendship that lasts forever. I also do not care if my friends and I see each other once a year only for as long as the quality of the memories we share for that one day is -what millenials call "Lit af!".

10. It's not about the name of the school, it's about how your instructors teach and how you apply what they teach.
In high school, we were told to go to big schools because you will be more successful, get a brighter future and find jobs easier. Yes, they are partly true but not really true. (You get me? haha!) I know a lot of people who are not graduates of big schools but are working to the companies of their dreams. I know people from big schools who are still unemployed. I heard from people in companies that the ones who perform better are the ones who graduated from a non-famous school in the country. Spending 3 years in college made me realize na its not about the name of the school but it's about how your instructors imparted the knowledge that you will need and how you will apply what you learn in the workplace. No one can quantify your success but you.

11.  There will always be people who will not understand your decisions. 
But you do not have to explain yourself to them especially if they are not family. You do not owe everyone an explanation for your decisions. Go back to number 1 for reference ;) As long as you're happy, you do not negatively affect anyone with that decision then do it by all means!

12. Chase your dreams 
Go do whatever you want to do with your life as long as you know that you will be at peace and you will be better with that. Do not let yourself be stucked to doing things you don't like and not happy about. Life is too short, live  your life with happiness and peace.

13. Love yourself always because no one will do that for you.
No explanations needed. 

14. Always choose what makes you happy.
"Life is hard enough to be unfair to yourself. Burn the bridge and learn to swim." - M.A. Buendia

15. Make choices, the choices you want for yourself.
Why? See number 1 for reference! ;D People may not agree with your choices but that's life. Take risks and back up those risks that you take with your 100%. "Life's journey is not to arrive at your gravesite safely  but rather to skid in sideways completely  worn out and say 'Holy shit! That was a ride!'"- Prianka Chopra

16. Its okay to not know what you want to be when you grow up.
A friend told me that majority of the people will only know what they want to become after reaching the age of 24. So do not be scared! I know what I want to do in the future and I just knew that after turning 19. 

17. Do not compare
Never ever compare yourself with others. Everyone is different. Once you start comparing your life, you start failing at life.

18. Age is just a number
Age does not define what you can do or what you're allowed to do (unless you're a minor). Its okay if you're 25 and still in college as long as you finish it, a degree is still a degree and it doesn't matter what age you received that degree. Not married at 35? Who cares? As long as you're happy then stay single and build your own empire for your future family!

19. Life is too short for worries
If worries costs you your peace, then it is expensive. Leave it. 

20. Awards & recognition does not measure your intelligence.
It doesn't matter if you are the first honor in your batch or if you received hundreds of awards in school. If you don't know how to live a happy and peaceful life, they are useless. These awards are nothing if you do not have the right attitude in life- attitudes that will bring you to places. If you do not know how to adapt to your environment or to a certain situation, you will fail in life.

21. I would choose calm and wise mind over an academically smart mind.
I do not want to be called an A- student in class if I will not have a peace of mind- a mind that is away from school pressures. Its okay if I'm labeled as a not so smart student as long as I am at peace. I'm too tired of hearing people's high expectations of me. I get extremely pressured whenever I know that there are people who expect something high from me. I'm tired, both my brain and my body is tired from all the pressures the people in school has put on me. 

May 12, 1997- Monday | 5:47 PM, St. Luke's Medical Center
- the date, the day, the time and the place where I was born. I was born to be happy. God is probably disappointed that I wasted 1 year of my life full of stresses and breakdowns. But I did not regret anything. My 20- year- old self will be my teacher in life. I learned a lot this year and I hope that my 21st year in this world will be different. 

I will completely revamp myself. A new version of me, a stronger, a fighter and a more determine self will be seen. Of course there will always be challenges but this time, I will not let the challenges bring me down. Why? I have an Avengers of a family, strong support system from my friends and God. What else will I fear?

Jeremiah 29:11
Philippians 4:13

Places I want to Visit: Philippines

So I am back! I am finally back in blogging! I was too busy in school that I have forgotten to update my very own website. School has been tough lately and I haven't found the time to do some updating in any of my social media sites. You may even check my Instagram. The last post I have there was I think two months ago?

Nevertheless, the tough times are finally over! I am done with our thesis defense and we just have to do some minor revisions. Only 1 month left until summer break begins. And it is now the time for me to give myself a breather. Back to my regular programming: relaxed brain, on time blog posts, and many more! 

For this post, I will share to you an updated travel bucket list. What is this, you may ask. This post will list down the places that I want to visit for the next... 5 years maybe?

So without further ado, let's go with the list!

1. Siargao- Surigao Del Norte

This one is my number 1 as of this year. I have seen a lot of IG-ers visiting the place and through their photos, I can see virgin islands/beaches. I am a fan of clean and serene beaches. Though this island is known for catering to surfers because of the big waves of its beaches, there are parts in the island where waves are so calm that you can even sleep on your inflatables while floating to the beach. 

2. Cebu City

This will soon be ticked out from this bucket list. For now everything is a "secret" but I will definitely let you guys know if this travel will commence. I am a fan of going to museums, historical sites, thanks to great Social Studies teachers back when I was in high school, I was able to appreciate the beauty and importance of Philippine history in all aspects.

I am also looking forward to the Oslob Whale Shark Encounter and Moalboal island hopping as well as waterfalls

3. Tagbilaran, Bohol

Bohol is very near Cebu and if time allows, I hope to visit Bohol too. I have read lots of reviews about how beautiful and lush Bohol is. Hoping to see Tarsiers as well as the very famous Chocolate Hills. 

4. Vigan City- Ilocos Norte

There are lots of places to visit in Vigan. My thesis mates all have been there the week before our defense and I have been hearing lots of positive things about the place. I actually do not need to hear those because I know that Vigan is really a great place to visit. It's like you are going back to the 1700's Philippines Era. The windmills and other places... hayy.. I just hope we can visit Vigan ASAP! 

5. Sagada, Mountain Province

"Where do broken hearts go? To Sagada!" As Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach said, this place is one of the must-visit places for me. I am not broken hearted though. I am just looking forward to see first hand the very famous (but scary) Hanging Coffins, Sumaging Cave as well as the Lumiang Cave. 
How about you? What are the places that you wish to visit in the Philippines? Do you have any reviews about the places above mentioned? Link them down so I can read them too!

Photos are not mine. All photos are credited to their rightful owners.

Healthy Restaurants to Visit this Summer!

It’s always the best to eat something healthy for our body. It is one of the things we must do for ourselves because of course, we deserve all the best in life- that includes best health. With the growing number of food chains present in the country- particularly in Manila- it can be very difficult to pinpoint which place is the best place to savor healthy food.

            Fear not! This article will list down the perfect restaurants for you to enjoy not only mouthwatering but healthy food as well!

1.    The Wholesome Table- Bonifacio Global City

Located in Bonifacio Global City, The Wholesome Table caters organic food to help you improve the way you eat “one plate at a time”. From the very healthy salads to burgers, pastas and pork chops, they have it. Their menu ranges from Breakfast to Dinner and has separate menu for their pastries. So much love in one restaurant!

2.    Lucy in the Sky Café- San Juan City

This café does not only serve healthy meals but can also be a great spot if you need a quiet and relaxing place to stay. This instagrammable restaurant caters affordable healthy food or snacks perfect for your break time needs. They serve burgers, shawarmas, pasta and soups and you can choose if you want it to be served “vegan”, “Su Veggetarian” or “Gluten Free”.

3.    Satinka Naturals- San Antonio, Makati City

This restaurant boosts its MSG and GMO free delicacies to offer their customers. Located in Makati City, Satinka Naturals offers food that can be enjoyed by both vegetarians and non vegetarians who are craving for something healthy. T-Bone steak, Vegetarian Lasagna, Salads, sandwhiches, pastas- name it, they have it!

4.    Green Pastures- Shangri La Plaza

Serving their very famous Farmhouse Salad, Green Pastures is a health conscious safe haven. They serve delicacies with style. From the ever loved grilled seabass to their very healthy toasts, pastas and signature salads, this restaurant is the place to go.

5.    Susi – Bonifacio Global City

Relaxing interiors plus mouthwatering food perfect for foodstagram, this healthy restaurant is very famous for their Emerson, Carb- no- Nara  and Alcott dish. This restaurant is the Philippines’ first 100% Vegan and gluten free menu. Vegans will definitely love this soothing restaurant- do not forget how affordable the cost of the dishes in this resto too!

6.    The Clean Plate by Twist- UP Town Center

Serving high quality dishes, The Clean Plate is the healthy conscious’ place to go. Budget friendly and healthy! What more can you ask for? They also offer Farm to Table concept that assures customers that ingredients are the freshest of all. Their signature chicken alfredo, OMG Burgers, French Toasts and their best seller Procheta Roulade are top of the line!

7.    Runner’s Kitchen- Tomas Morato

Kamuning’s pride, Runner’s Kitchen boosts its healthy food packed menu where customers can choose whether they want their dishes to be served “vegan”, “vegetarian”, “gluten free”, “dairy free” or “nut free”. They also serve their breakfast dishes with organic cow’s milk! On a low carb diet? Don’t fret because they have a menu for you as well! Truly a place for the health conscious!

What are you waiting for? You got to try these restaurants ASAP!

Photos: I do not own these photos. All photos are credited to their rightful owners. (Grabbed from their respective Facebook Pages)

My Blogging Essentials

Hey guys! So this post is a semi- continuation of the last post I had weeks ago. This time, I will share with you the things that I always use for blogging.

Let me start by telling you guys that I do not write posts whenever I don't feel like it. I never force myself to write if I'm not in the mood. This might affect the quality of the blog post that I will be sharing with you- and I do not want that to happen. Usually, since writing blog posts require lots of time and effort, I do not write when I am busy with classes.

There are a lot of things to consider when writing a blog post. Will you add photos? Videos? Infographics? Hence a need for gadgets. Though these things are not required when writing blogs, these multimedia will add to the beautification of your post.

I will share with you guys the things I always have to have prepared before writing blog posts.

1. List of Blog Post Ideas

Usually, when I have classes, my blog posts are not scheduled. I only am able to follow blog schedules during school vacations, long holidays and the likes. So whenever I feel like writing a blog post to share with you guys, I always look through my Blog Post Masterlist. In this list, I have all the blog ideas that I may or may have not posted already. I just choose whatever my brain feels like writing about. Actually, I am planning to start a blog series. I am just in the process of choosing what specific series to write about. Any ideas? Comment them down!

2. Photos

Before I write for a specific topic, I always make sure that I have photos for it. I post my own photos on my blog post but there are times when I do not. But I do give credits where credits are due. Blogger code!
(Photo I took from one blog event I attended)

3. Camera

Of course, if I do not have this one, I wouldn't be able to take my own photos for my blog. Before I own a Canon 60D camera and this new year, my dad bought me my new baby, this new Fujifilm X-T20. This camera is perfect for bloggers like me because it is very handy. This camera is not that heavy compared to the previous one that I own. And of course, specs wise, this camera is better than the other one. But of course, it's not about the camera, its all about how the photographer takes photographs. I use my camera to take videos as well. I do vlogs too but not that often compared to blogging.

4. Laptop

This one is a given. Of course I won't be able to write blogs without my laptop. I am using a Macbook Pro 13-Inch Retina which my parents gave me for my 18th birthday. This baby is now 2 years old and its is still working perfectly fine. I also use my laptop for editing videos. I particularly use iMovie for my vlogs. I also use my laptop to reply to emails from sponsors/collaborators.

5. Phone

When I do not bring my camera, my cellphone rescues me. I just had this new Huawei Nova 2i with dual camera specification perfect for getting crisp photos for my blog. Through my phone, I get to be contacted by brands too. This is where I would reply to emails, calls or texts for sponsorships. 

You actually do not have to have all of these, laptop for me is enough but photos as add ons will definitely bring your blog to places. Do you think I've missed something? Comment them down!

How to Start Blogging

Want to become a blogger this 2018? You got to start NOW because you have to! 

MUST HAVE: Design Your Life Planner

Hello Bellas! For today, I will be sharing with you a post that I know will give you an idea as to what planner to get for this brand new year.

For the year 2018, I got myself this Design Your Life Planner in Rose Gold Binding from Fully Booked. I initially ordered online but then the thrifty side of me came up, I decided to cancel the order (shipping fee probs). Good thing that while I was looking for a "Yup! I'm That Girl" of Maine Mendoza in Fully Booked SM Southmall, I was able to see this planner. Without hesitations I bought it!

The planner comes with a ruler and a mini thank you card from DYL. The magnetic bookmarks are not included. I just placed them there because why not? :D I bought these magnetic bookmarks from Stradivarius in Oman. 

These cutie stickers are included to add designs to your -already fully decorated- planner. Aesthetics is life! This planner has a lot to offer you!
  • 12-month weekly planner (jan-dec 2018)
  • dimensions: 6.75" x 7.75" including binding
  • cover: hard cover with matte finish
  • paper type: book 80# (120 gsm)
  • 192 pages
  • monday start
Here are the pages of this planner that I believe you would love!

1. To Do List

I'm not sure if I will be able to use this part of the planner since I usually put my to do list on the weekly planner portion of every planner that I have- even with my previous planner: Eskwelahan Planner.

2. The Last Time

I love how they added a tracker portion of the things that I do (things that I may not frequently do but needs monitoring)

3. Monthly Updates

This one is one of my favorite! At last! A portion where I can list and tick down all appointments I have monthly: Dentist appointment, doctor's appointment, and bills payment! 

4. Weekly & Monthly Planner

Very comic! Look at how artsy they made the weekly planner portion of this planner. Though it looks a bit crowded, the artsy design makes me feel like having a busy week is okay! 

I also love how they did the Monthly Planner portion. The square partitions were made extremely well that I can write on it without making my handwritten font size small. No need to squeeze in the things I have to do because of the perfectly allocated space for me to write on.

5. Cashflow Tracker

Told you! Trackers are life! Though most planners have cashflow trackers, I am loving this kind of tracker because of how they made the breakdown. 

6. Travel Planner 

How cool is this?! This planner has a TRAVEL CHECKLIST as well as a TRAVEL PLANNER portion for your adventures! You get to list down places where to eat, your itinerary and even reminders as to what to bring for your travels! 

7. Project Tracker 

Other planners that I owned did not have the Travel and Project tracker portions which is why I am superbly loving my DYL planner. This project tracker portion will definitely a BIG HELP for me especially now that I have tons of papers (research and company studies) to do. Hopefully, I will be able to utilize this portion of the planner well.

I am really very happy to have this planner. I've been wanting to own a DYL Planner even last year (2017). By the way, this post is NOT A SPONSORED POST. Design Your Life Planner has no idea that I am blogging about their product. I am just very happy and excited to share this planner hoping that I can be of help if ever you are still looking for the right planner. Also, please notice how cute my new blankets are and the cute paw prints in it!

You may contact them through:

Oh yeah, and voting is still on and it will run until JANUARY 22, 2018 at Promo Code and I am hoping that you guys can spare few seconds to VOTE FOR ME in Lifestyle Blogs Award 2017.

Lifestyle Blogs Award 2017

With love,

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Phoem Ponce
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