Latest Stories

LIFE LATELY, FROM A DISTANCE.

Manila, Metro Manila, Philippines

I came to a point where I did not want to look at my phone anymore and scroll into my Instagram or Facebook feed just because it didn't make me feel that connected to anyone or anything at all anymore. I'm sure most of you have more or less watched a drama or a movie that has a scene of a prisoner numbering his days in his cell by writing through his prison walls. I know, it may not be the most positive or vibrant example out there, but it is the best way to describe how I've been feeling about being stuck at home lately and I know most of you would more or less resonate with me at some point. We've probably maxed out all the plants in our garden, watched a ton of Netflix series or listened to a bunch of podcasts, and yes, baked a whole lot of bread and whatnot. Don't get me wrong, there's really nothing wrong with trying to divert our thoughts and ourselves from cabin fever but I honestly came to realize that these can also be paralyzing. There comes a point in our days now where the sight of a zoom window does not feel all that comforting anymore and you just wish you could go out and actually see the faces on the screen, hug them, share a meal with them, or just be able to walk freely outside without the barriers and fear. 

I went through this kind of burnout this month and I want to share with you moments where I tried to battle it out by doing something outside the comforts of my social media feed, times where I just allowed the longing to linger and utilized it to help me process situations and accept them with gratitude and hope. Here are bits and pieces of my life lately, from a distance, in pigmented squares.
Going out to get a glimpse of the sunrise served as a great reminder that it is a new day and that it's another opportunity to learn and grow. I suffered from a minor back injury this month so I was basically staying in my bed most of the time to recover, but when I got back the strength to stand and walk, I made sure to at least go out in the garden to take a peek of the sky. Simple moments like this remind me of what it truly means to be alive, and I praise God for each day that passed and will pass.
It's been raining torrentially here in Manila making it harder to schedule a fixed time to go walking. But when there is a chance to, my husband and I really make sure to leave the house and just see a completely different scene, even for just a while. A change in scenery really helps with cabin fever, even if it's just in your neighborhood park or simply walking around your street. I have also observed how the trees are so much more vibrant and lush now compared to how they were in the summer. It somehow became a good representation of how life could be - we have to go through the unexpected rains and tails of wind in order to grow new leaves and grow.
Getting groceries is the only time I get to leave the house. And I have to be honest, It's something I truly look forward to doing on a weekly basis. It's the only time I get to dress up, sit in the car and observe the road, see other people from a distance, and somehow feel what life is outside the comforts of my home. I grew up going to this mall, but it's only recently that I've actually paid attention to its architecture and how much it aged with time, in a great and comforting way.
Once in a while, after our grocery runs, my husband and I will decide to grab takeout food or just a cup of coffee. And though I feel comfortable and assured with the idea of coming inside a cafe or restaurant without people inside, I also felt sympathy for the businesses who have taken a huge hit from the consequences brought about by the pandemic. It made me wonder, how many of these beautifully designed places will make it through at the end of the year? Call it an occupational disease, but I also tend to wonder how commercial spaces will move forward when it comes to adapting to the needs of the new normal. I truly hope that we use our skills and gifts to be able to not only help ourselves but more importantly, our community as well.
I've also been rediscovering past interests that I've burrowed somewhere for quite a while. Like taking out all the soy candles I've made last year and lighting it up at night. I've also recently purchased a book by my long-time favorite blogger and artist, Todd Selby. It's an old book, but I haven't really got the chance to find a copy anywhere around me so when I happened to chance upon one copy in the bookstore, I made sure to grab it. I've been enjoying each page as Todd really has a way of narrating through his images. The Selby is in Your Place is a book focused on presenting people and their homes in a more personal and candid way, away from the dangers of curation.
Receiving a package from someone I'm well familiar with gave me so much joy. It was such a random act that made a lot of difference during this time. To be able to know that someone thought about you and went the extra mile to let you know about it is one of the most comforting and joyful events at a time like this. The idea of my package being switched with someone else made it funnier and memorable at the same time!
I've been making art a lot during the past few months and it's definitely one of the best ways to keep me out of the screen. It's a great way to relieve stress from work and being overexposed to emails and taking calls, it's also one of the best ways to express yourself and create something that you can call your own. Last weekend I invited my husband to paint with me, it was his first time painting with watercolor and I was not really expecting to have such a wonderful time seeing him produce quirky outputs.
Remember my illustration of the prisoner numbering his days on his cell? I've been doing the same thing as well, but instead of taking in the negative impact of being inside the cell, I've come to slowly accept the reality and used this time to be a bit more conscious of what I take in digitally, be more verbally expressive about how I truly feel, and using my time outside the screen for something random, something creative, something mundane yet surprisingly life-changing if only we look at it from your own lens - not what the vlogs or podcasts, not the pins or posts. Sometimes embracing the season with your eyes fully set on what's before you make the most memories, meanings, and impact in our lives.

How have you all been lately? The breeze is a bit colder at night from my part of the globe and it only means one thing, Christmas is coming. And though most of us might say that it's hard to 'feel' it with everything happening around us, I hope and pray that we'll find the heart to be joyful and grateful for all that we have and not of what we do not have.
Writing to you from a cold and gloomy Sunday afternoon in Manila, wishing you today and always, a Happy Heyday!

Comments

  1. These are some absolutely BEAUTIFUL shots. I loved getting an insight into what you have been doing and how you have been keeping sane during this weird period of time. I feel like a prisoner also too much of the time, so it's nice to know that not only am I not alone in feeling so, but also that there is another way to look at the glass! Half-full, not half-empty! I'm so glad I read this post and stumbled upon your blog!
    Thank you!
    Rouba - glossiermusings.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Half-full, always! I'm really glad to be able to hear from you, Rouba. Indeed, being able to read about how other people are keeping up with this time is one of the most comforting activities to do whenever you're online. It helps us keep a certain kind of support group where we get to encourage and comfort those who are going through the same things!

      Thank you for spending time with me on the blog and for the kind words. I appreciate it a lot!

      Cheers,
      Hanna

      Delete
  2. Hi ate Hanna! I can totally relate when you said you are like a prisoner counting days in the cell. At this point there is nothing much we can do but yes it can get sooooooo draining at times. Netflix has been a staple, cooking has been a hobby (coming from a no experience at all like me!), cleaning / redecorating the house has also been a pastime. But nothing can still compare to actually going out with friends, strolling / window shopping at malls, or dining at a good restaurant with your loved one. What I miss the most is going to random events just for the sake of it! I used to check wheninmanila very so often before I left! I miss going to Star City, Pinto Art Museum, Divisoria, & night clubs at BGC! Oh good old days :< I hope everything goes back to normal soon so I can visit Philippines again.

    Keep safe always ate Hanna!

    Much love,
    Anne

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi there, Ann! I can feel your desire and longing from home so much, and I truly admire you for being able to brave through the longing and look forward to the day you get to go home again. Like you, I also enjoy randomly roaming around and discovering new places! I love Pinto Art Museum so much as well!

      I'm sure that you'll get to see the new spots here in Manila once you get back, and I know that things will only improve from hereon. Take care always!

      Cheers,
      Ate Hanna

      Delete
  3. Sorry to hear about your back pains. I know what its like not being able to walk! Also just wanted to say what gorgeous photos!

    Zoey | www.zoeyolivia.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey there, Zoey! Thank you so much for spending time with me here. I feel a lot better now and slowly going back to my usual activities. I hope you are doing well and staying safe :)

      Cheers,
      Hanna

      Delete
  4. I adore your illustrations they are so lovely, and as you say a great way to keep off the screen! Your photos are great too, it's definitely easier to stay inside when its raining. It's been raining a lot here too recently! Hope your back pain is ok!
    best wishes x
    www.lexiealexandra.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lexie! Thank you so much for your kind words, been a bit rusty since I've practically stopped painting for a year. But getting back to it now is pretty much one of the most exciting activities I look forward to these days :)

      I hope for warm and cozy rainy days for you! Best accompanied by your favorite cup of tea or hot chocolate and a good playlist!

      Cheers,
      Hanna

      Delete
  5. I understand how you feel. Social media (in general) is quite exhausting. I understand its appeal but I have no desire (currently) to even scroll through it. I guess my numbers would be higher and more engaging but I could honesty care less. I like it like that.
    It seems like the year just went by so fast; I mean we only have four months left. It is what it is, I guess.
    Happy your back!
    xxx
    https://ooomaye.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey there, Omaye! I'm glad to hear from you :) I would have to agree with you about the exhausting factors of Social Media, it just pains me to admit that I also do it for a living so I can't fully veer away from it as much as I want to. But I have come to learn how to manage it slowly! It's September already and just like what you said, time went by so fast! I hope you are doing well, and I hope that you'll be able to get the best out of the remaining months ahead.

      Keep in touch!

      Cheers,
      Hanna

      Delete
  6. Hi Hanna,

    I definitely feel you about the burnout - indoors can be opportunistic but can also deafen you slightly. I've been struggling myself too, keeping up with my passions as well as trying to enjoy my time in limited spaces. Good thing is I'm slowly getting back up on my feet and it's so great to see the same for you :)

    Over here in Florida, the seasons aren't as expressive as colder places but I can definitely see the changes in the trees and the falling leaves - which means autumn is near!

    Hope you're doing well and stay safe <3

    nicole | nicole-isabel.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Nicole!

      I'm glad to hear that you're slowly getting back up and that is one of the most beautiful phases in life, honestly! I'm glad to have been reminded that I'm not alone and there are a lot of us slowly pacing through our feet <3

      I'm so excited for your new adventure in school and even your passion project. I have nothing but love and well wishes for you!

      Cheers,
      Hanna

      Delete
  7. Your take on being stuck inside is really lovely and I enjoy the little glimpses of your world! Your photographs and paintings also have such a nice aesthetic and I hope you keep a positive outlook! xo ♡

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for taking time to read through my blog and appreciate my work, it really means a lot! I'm glad to have come across your blog as well, let's keep in touch!

      I hope you are doing well and staying healthy.

      Cheers,
      Hanna

      Delete
  8. Yes I feel the same. These are really truly trying times. I have gone through the same. You really present some great way to cope. I try to get out everyday for a walk not just for the change in scenery but for exercise and to counter act too much sitting. Sadly things are still quite bad in many ways for big cities in the U.S. People are leaving the big cities e mass and they are becoming ghost towns. Almost overnight. I feel like we are living in the after math of war.

    Allie of
    www.allienyc.com

    ReplyDelete
  9. i personally think that your art work can be combine at our hijab style community, try to put your designs on Hijab

    ReplyDelete

Form for Contact Page (Do not remove)