My aunt, my mum’s youngest sister, and other yaya of my nephew‘s (as you know, I hold the first Yaya title), arrived today. She’s one aunt who’s fun to have around. We probably hit it off because we’re both the youngest, but I can never be sure.

All I know is that my heart goes delightfully haywire when jokes and sarcasm explode with loud limitless laughs coming from, where else, our mouths, unmindful of whoever is snoring during that time of the day.

I’m excited to have company, to have an extra set of eyes to chase around baby J’s fast-crawling legs and far-reaching arms that drop the vase from the table, to have the chance for idle time just to hoist my legs up a bit on the couch and watch “New Girl” with little interruption, to complain about the cold with, to chat about the folks left behind in Manila, to gossip and engage in small yaya-and-yaya talks, and to go to Rome with this weekend (yes, we’re going!).

I think I am halfway through this trip. In a little over a month from now, I will be heading back to where I (supposed to) belong.

But the thrill is just starting.

Christmas will never be the same for me as we’ll be setting off very soon on a continent-wide roadtrip, at least to as many countries as possible within 10 days, in a van, with six other people, a baby, and on a shoestring.

Europe is waiting for me.

For now, I’m babysitting.


Waiting, however inconvenient, is necessary.

*This is part of a 68-Day Travel Diary called Reflections of a Nearly Thirty. Read the full Reflections Series here.

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About hellopenville

Writing is my one true north. (The other is eating spaghetti. I make the best pastas in the whole world I swear!) I have been writing since age 10. I remember being in another school a lot because of Campus Journalism contests. I was a grade-school copyreader, headline-writer, and feature writer, who emerged to be a college editorial writer and eventually a TV news writer. However, I have always been an insecure artist. These constant condescending thoughts always stopped me from creating: “No one would read this.” “This has been written before and therefore no one would read this.” “This is not interesting enough and therefore no one would read this.” “This is not relevant, or factual, or trendy enough and therefore no one would read this.” But I learned to risk to write even if no one reads it, than not to have written anything at all. To resist writing is to resist truth itself, to betray that which comes freely to you when you do not allow it to be manifested through you. I didn’t think writing was serious work. But every time I thought about writing, it would make me nervous. It would rattle me and frighten me. I would shake the ground under me. Aren’t dreams like that too? Read more at


Europe, Holland, Italy, Travel Reflections Series (3 months in Europe)


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