europe, florence, italy, life, travel


It has been 3 weeks 3 months 12 months 17 months since I left Florence, and the separation sadness (not anxiety) is hitting me especially hard these days. I’ve tried to write this thing ever since I got back, and I’ve just been editing the number of days or months until I actually finish and publish it. Now it’s been 17 (seventeen!!!) months since. The harsh jerk back into the smoggy confines of Manila is one that can ruin the best of moods, and while deep down I knew it was time for me to leave Italy (temporarily, I hoped), I also didn’t relish being back in the concrete dump that is Manila. Everything that I hate about this city seems to have worsened in the short year that I was away, and only serve as reminders of all the great things in Italy that I left behind.


I had the urge to write about some of the things I’d learned/realized from my time away, but it felt so melodramatic to phrase it that way. It sounded more apt for me to just call this, “Post-Italy”, which encompasses not just stuff learned but also the immense sort of hollowness I felt after leaving a city that had become my second home, brief as my time was there.



6 (Un)Common Sense Things for Non-Italians in Italy

articles, europe, florence, italy, life, travel


10 months and 10 days in Florence as of today. Where did all that time go? When I heaved my bags off of the train and onto Florentine land all those months ago, I had checklists upon checklists of Things To Do, Things To Buy,  Things To Accomplish, Places To Go, and whatever else I had misty ideas about. But as I mentally scroll through those endless lists, it’s kind of sad to see all those boxes that are still unchecked. I’m sure my expectations were probably unrealistic and more the reflection of the idealistic I’m-finally-here! sort of mindset, but I honestly thought–as I’m sure many study-abroad students have done–that I would have more time to do those things, and then I find that amid all the school work, errands, chores, and (in my case) scholarship requirements, I’m suddenly ten months in, with barely three months left on my visa and still a long list of TTD’s to get through.


In Depth Review: Accademia Riaci Firenze – Bag Making Course

articles, bags, florence, italy, leather, life, reviews, school

I’ve moved all my bag and leather related posts over to , just to keep my posts organized into travel and leather/bag making projects.

I’ve also just finished writing a super in-depth review of my school here in Florence, because I felt like I needed to say a few lot of things about it, and other prospective students, like myself a year ago, are finding it hard to locate any useful information about the school online. I couldn’t find any reviews, or any sort of info that was beyond just the basic things posted on their website.

My review is brutally honest, but I hope it helps.

Buon Anno!

europe, italy, life, new year, rome, travel


Rome, Italy. New Year’s Eve 2014/ New Year 2015.

Happy new year from Roma! I’m just not a party-in-the-streets sort of person. I find myself wanting to evade the minefields and potential loss of limbs and just stay at home bingeing on good movies, good food and good company.




Florence Life Lessons After Four Months

articles, europe, florence, italy, life, travel


It’s the halfway point in my school year, and I can’t quite believe I’ve been here for nearly four months already. I still feel like a bit of a noob, like I haven’t gone to all the piazzas and museums and places that I’d been planning on going, or at least I thought I would have checked off a lot more places off my list than I have done at this point.


Living here really makes me realize the difference between the pace of a tourist and the pace of day-to-day. I’m used to having jam-packed itineraries and being always on-the-go, because time is so limited and you’re always trying to get the most bang for your buck, especially in a country as expensive to be in as Europe is. But when you’re living here, that go-go-go pace is not really something you can sustain daily. With all my workload from school, the mountain of scholarship requirements I have to submit every month or two, and just all the errands that I need to do regularly, like cleaning the apartment or going grocery shopping or whatnot, there really isn’t as much time or energy for side-trips as I thought I would have.


Getting Back into a Sketch-ink Groove.


With some of my scholarship-related illustration deadlines looming near, I’ve been trying to get back into the drawing groove so I can work on my requirements. I’m not one of those artists who can just keep churning things out like a vending machine. Creativity and crap are a constant cycle (alliteration not intended), and sometimes you end up with a bin full of crumpled paper before anything remotely good or passable happens.

I don’t know if everyone goes through that, but in my case it really is a combination of mood, mindset and the right type of juices flowing. Otherwise I just don’t have the heart to bother continuing, and I paper-toss the crumpled crap right into the wastebasket. #drawingdilemmas