29 Things I Am Thankful for at 29

At the beginning of 2016, I wrote that “…adventure only truly begins when you learn to embrace it”. I wrote about the things I learned in 2015, and how those lessons would arm me for the year ahead. Now I am not one for New Year (and in my case, Birthday) resolutions, because I’ve never been able to keep a diet longer than two days. But I’ve always been about learning. Learning through mistakes, experiences, and time. And through a pretty rough 2015, I did indeed learn. I learned how to embrace change and adventure, and I took some pretty amazing leaps too. Thus making 2016 one of the most exciting and fulfilling years of my life.

So I’ll be honest here. I couldn’t get on the “Can’t wait for 2016 to end” bandwagon. Sure, we lost a lot of beautiful, magical people. *All hail The Half Blood Prince and General Organa! Wands up and Sabers off!* And that depressed and pained me as much as the next Wizard, Witch and Jedi. But 2016 was special to me. (So special in fact, that I didn’t have a single free day to write.) My year was wonderfully full. 2016 changed my life for good, and showered me with enough happy thoughts and pixie dust to fly through the years to come.

These are the happy thoughts that stop me from complaining about how old I am and about the fact that I literally add another year to my existence at the start of every year. (That’s what happens when your birthday comes so close after the New Year.)  So as I turn 29, I’ve decided to list the 29 things that 2016 gave me. I’ve decided to count my blessings instead of sheep, if you will, and to share with you the adventures I’ve so wholeheartedly embraced.

Well past 16 going on 17

Well past 16 going on 17


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Portkey Events | The Team

The Friendship behind the company


Portkey Events | The Team

Team photo by Daily Prophet photographer Paw Castillo


People who look at this photo for the first time always think that these laughing faces have been the best of friends for several years. But I will let you in on a little secret. Two of these girls I only met in August of last year, and two of them I only met in December. If you actually count the days that we’ve spent together, you’ll probably end up with only a month’s worth of coffee dates, dinner dates, breakfast dates, and sleepovers. But if I’m being honest with you, I’ve rarely felt so free and so comfortable and so happy with new friends as I do with them. You know why? Because long before we met, we were already going on adventures together. Long before we met, we already agreed on our principles and our beliefs. Long before we met, we were already meant to be friends. Because we all grew up with one common friend: Harry.

Some people might find that a very loose and shallow basis for friendship, but I beg to differ. Potterheads make an Unbreakable Vow with each other the moment they open the first book, regardless of distance and circumstance. And as they get older, they find that family easily – people who understand and accept and love them for who they are, because that’s what they grew up with. That’s what they know. That’s who they are. And that’s pretty wonderful if you ask me.

Finding these girls felt like the most natural thing in the world. And even I was fooled by the length of time that we’ve actually known each other. Because to me, they’re already my sisters. And I love them like the sisters I never had.

Portkey Events, Inc. has always been a dream of mine. But truthfully I never knew how to begin. Then all of a sudden this is where I find myself, barely a month in it with this spectacular team, ready to take on the world. Already our plans are moving, and it’s quite funny to think that that fun girls night a few weeks ago would lead to this. A company of five. Actual #squadgoals

“When are you going to get it into your head?! We’re in this together!”                                 – Hermione Granger, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

I am so thankful for this group. And I cannot wait to see where life takes us. Let’s do this team!

*For more information on Portkey’s exciting events, tune in to:

portkeyevents.com | ig: @portkeyevents | twitter @PortkeyE | tumblr: http://portkeyevents.tumblr.com



Troll in the Dungeon


“There are some things you can’t share without ending up liking each other, and knocking out a twelve-foot mountain troll is one of them.”
― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

Goodbye, Professor

You all know the scene. Harry and Ron running to save Hermione from the troll, Hermione saving their butts from Professor McGonagall, and well – just them saving each other. I’ve always loved that scene, tame it might be compared to the adventures the Golden Trio shared when they got older. But I always loved it because it set the precedent to their entire friendship. They were so wildly different from one another – each of them had their own priorities, their own insecurities, their own fears, but no matter how dark the path ahead was, no matter the odds, they chose to stay together. At the end of the day, they always chose each other. And it was that constant choice that protected, and ultimately saved the entire Wizarding World.

But for me, Harry Potter was never about the saving the world part. It wasn’t about the Boy Who Lived part either. It was always about the in-betweens. The love, the courage, the friendship, the sacrifices, and the choices – always the choices. I grew up admiring Harry, Ron, and Hermione, and wondering if I’d ever have the courage to stand up for myself and for my loved ones like they so often did. And as much as I admired how brave they were when confronting dark wizards, I admired their determination to make simple brave choices in their everyday lives more. How they stood up for each other with Malfoy, or Umbridge, or even with Snape. How they stood by each other when most people turned their backs on them. Their unconditional love for one another was the kind of love I wanted with my friends. And like everything worth having, the journey was quite tough.

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My first show of 2016

Ole! with Philippine Opera Company

“Ole!” A Concert Staged by the Philippine Opera Company | January 16, 2016

What a night it was! Flamenco, zarzuela, opera, and a bit of pop with the talented members of the Philippine Opera Company, and some very special guest artists from different parts of the globe.

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Thank you, Professor.

Katsie Llave

Photo by Khrister Llave | Accessories by Fandom Trinkets | Snape’s wand from the Wizarding World of Harry Potter Orlando

A short post about Snape

Still mourning the loss of a great actor, whose work has helped shape the kind of life I’ve led so far, and the kind of person I’ve become. A lot of people ask me why the deaths of actors like Christopher Lee and Alan Rickman affect me so, especially because I never knew them. What they don’t understand is that their characters were with me when I needed them the most. They were there for me when I felt misunderstood, lonely, and different. They were my friends growing up, my heroes. Losing them was like reaching the last pages of a beautiful book – like the older I get, the closer I get to the end. But with that loss and sadness comes great, great gratitude and love.
“It is real, isn’t it? It’s not a joke? Petunia says you’re lying to me. Petunia says there isn’t a Hogwarts.
It is real, isn’t it?”
It’s real for us,” said Snape.

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A New Year Message

My first ever blog post. Wow. Who would have thought I’d ever get into blogging? (more on that later)

Technically though, this “things I’ve learned” thing I have here is a little old, because I wrote it on New Year’s Eve and posted it on Facebook. Meh. It’s still the beginning of the New Year for me, so here it goes! So, from my nerdy heart to yours, Harry Happy New Year!

Photo by Khrister Llave Tattoo by The Skin City Temporary Tattoos

Photo by Khrister Llave
Tattoo by The Skin City Temporary Tattoos

Looking back at the parties and costumes and excitement of the past year, I realize now how truly magical it has been. This year I reconnected with a part of me I thought I had forgotten. This year I opened the part of my heart in which these things were kept and allowed myself to understand why the stories I loved so much as a child never truly left me – It wasn’t the spells and fight scenes and princess dresses. It was because I still had so much more to learn.

“…adventure only truly begins when you learn to embrace it”

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