pinay e-motion

a heart across the ocean

Leave a comment

Reaching for the Stars

Early this year I got a little bit ambitious and decided to tackle three items in my bucket list, which I have very much looked forward to achieving. First, to attend a TESOL Conference outside the United States; second, to submit a TESOL material for publication; and third, to present in a TESOL conference locally. While all three may look modest in the eyes of experts and experienced practitioners in my field, to me these milestones were indeed monumental undertakings. The thought of them, even today, still sends a shiver down my spine. Despite the anxious feelings, however, I never thought of backing out. On the contrary, the more ill-at-ease I have become, the more I have persevered  to carry on. But, easier said than done, I must admit, it would be insincere to say that the question on how to pull this part of my bucket list off did not consume me. The truth is, it was quite the opposite.

Everything is up in the air until God puts His hands unto it…

The Conference

While it is not new to me to attend TESOL conferences locally, attending one abroad posed some challenges. For one, attending a conference always costs a price. In the case of my ambitious plan, not only did I have to pay for the registration expense, but I also had to shoulder the fees for airfare, hotel accommodation, local transportation, food and other miscellaneous items. I knew that if I wanted to carry on with my plan I had to coordinate some major mojo. The solution: using my earned per diem our adjunct professors are given for attending the Adjunct Academy Training sponsored by my college. Problem solved!

Well, not really. While I was able to find an answer for financial resources to support my plan, I still had to convince my husband that attending a conference abroad is reasonable. I honestly found it difficult to justify my rationale of travelling abroad for a conference, which I could very much attend locally. I needed a strong argument to win my case, especially if I have to convince my husband who is a very good detective. But, as they say, “if there is a will, there is a way.”

While researching online for TESOL Conferences slated in 2017, I saw one that was in the neighborhood – Canada. Although it’s only a 3.5 hour flight from Florida, it met the requirement of being out of the country. And, not only was it close, it comes with an extra incentive: the venue of the conference was at the Sheraton on the Falls in the beautiful Niagara Falls, which is one of the places to visit on our bucket list. The idea of attending a conference in Niagara Falls would mean checking off one more fun thing off our list. Bingo!  With all my cards laid down nicely on the table, my detective-husband was immediately swayed to give my plan a thumbs up.

So there it goes, six months after I orchestrated my ambitious plan to attend a TESOL conference abroad, my husband and I flew to Ontario to bring it to fruition.

blog_shooting for the stars

Here’s a link to our Canada trip:

to be continued…


Leave a comment

A New Season


It’s just a few more days and spring will officially be here. Yea! I must admit, spring is my favorite season because it comes after a dull and cold winter. Spring always brings an unusual charm that allures me to get outside to enjoy the fresh air and radiant sunshine. That alone sounds invigorating, doesn’t it?

After reconciling my relationship with my DSLR camera which I neglected for years in favor of graduate school, I am back to my beloved role of shutterbuging. And, in honor of my very first blog for 2017, I would like to share with you some of my favorite images I captured. They are in celebration of the upcoming new season – spring!






“Is the spring coming?” he said. “What is it like?”. . . “It is the sun shining on the rain and the rain falling on the sunshine . . .” —Frances Hodgson Burnett



Leave a comment

Happy Labor Day

I thought of quickly updating my blog today while I have a little time on my hands. It’s the Labor Day weekend, which gives me an extra day of rest (Yey!). Actually, I thought after my graduation in May I would rest from schoolwork for a while, but, of course, it didn’t happen. Here’s the update since I last posted:

  1. I attended my teaching internship at St. Petersburg College in Pinellas County for 7 weeks in June and July. It was the best part of my summer as it gave me the chance to work with EAP students who were getting ready to enroll in college Composition 1. As an intern, I presented lessons, prepared handouts on various subjects, and coached students on listening, speaking, reading, and writing tasks. I also proofread students’ written work and made useful recommendations. For me it was indeed a meaningful experience.



WP_20150622_001 (2)


2. My husband and I said goodbye to our beach life in St. Pete Beach and said hello to Celebration, Florida, our new home. I must admit, we were very lucky to have found a beautiful home in one of its subdivisions, considering we only reserved one day for our home-tours. Except for the packing and unpacking, I could not complain. Our 3 bedrooms/3 bathrooms, open floor layout home is just perfect for us.

WP_20150812_016    WP_20150807_013

WP_20150806_0013. I was offered a job as a Graduate Assistant – IEP Instructor  at my university. It came as a surprise. Like I said, when I graduated last Spring Term I thought it was the end of my school days; little did I know that it was just the beginning. When I received the offer, I struggled a little bit. Part of it is because I wanted to rest badly, but the offer was hard to turn down. Although one of the conditions in my contract stipulates completing my Master’s Degree (which means going back to school again), the university waives all my tuition fees. This kind of opportunity doesn’t come around every day, so despite my emotional resistance, I said yes to the offer loud and clearly.

I attended training for weeks and passed all the tests. It was not easy, but I was determined to make it. I felt so grateful to get this chance to teach for the university. It was a dream come true. I never thought and planned to have another Master’s Degree (this is my second one), but I guess God has His own agenda. I am completing my Master’s Degree for free, and, the best part of it is, I’m getting paid for it. I teach two courses this Fall Term while juggling 3 classes in my graduate program. Yes, it is tough, but I am slowly getting the hang of it. Thanks to my loving husband who is always there and always supportive. God is good! I am truly thankful for all His blessings.

So that’s about it for now. Thanks for reading!



Leave a comment

February Update

February Update

February, I must say, was quite eventful. Quite ironic that I began the month with an annual check-up to ensure good health, and yet despite passing all the medical tests, I was not able to escape the common cold bug which made me end my February in bed – sneezing, coughing, and feeling rundown. Nonetheless, besides this minor health encounter, everything went lovey dovey.

Here’s the three important highlights of my L (looking) F (Feeling) B (Being) G (Good) 365 Day Challenge in February:

Valentine Surprise

Roses from hubby

#41. LFBG 365 Day Challenge. My turn to surprise my Valentine. I don’t usually do this – especially not on Valentines. I must admit I am a typical wife who likes to be swept away by her prince charming in every romantic way on Vday. However, I changed my rule this year. I snuck a box in his office before going to bed. Unfortunately, my gift was a flop (wrong size), but my card saved the day; husband thought it was a winner. Indeed love begets love!

CROP Walk to Stop Hunger

#45 LFBG 365 Day Challenge. Walking for a cause. I immediately made my plan to join this event as soon as I read the information on a bulletin board in a nearby church. My husband was a little bit worried that I would not last, but I actually made it. My friends and I finished 3.5 miles (super walking) in 45 minutes. It was a breeze and a hoot to be with friends doing something meaningful.

TESOL Mini-Conference: Tech Day

february 4

#49 LFBG 365 Day Challenge. Tesol Mini-conference. Despite the raining, my coughing, sneezing, and sniffing I made it through the event. I am sure what kept me strong during the 3 talks/workshops I attended was my persistence, if not my eagerness to visit the uniquely beautiful and historical campus of the Tampa University  Well, After the conference, my flu took hold very aggressively and put me to bed for days. No regrets, however.

“This is the highest wisdom that I own; freedom and life are owned by those alone who conquer them each new day.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

My March update will be coming up soon. Thanks for reading, and have a blessed day!


2014 in Pictures: It’s a Wrap

The Year of the Horse 2014, I must say, has been a good one: Far from being perfect, but I would call it an absolutely sanguine year. I had some challenges, don’t we all? Some of them hit me really hard so much so I couldn’t help uttering the famous “ouch.” But I have learned in life to choose your battle and learn to roll with the punches. As the year’s end came near, I was blessed not only with a renewed self-trust but also the wisdom not to take everything so personally. I have learned that when people were mean, it had nothing to do with me necessarily. It was simply a reflection of who they really are, and I cannot change that.

So, as the Year of the Horse comes to an end, I count my 2014 blessings.

1. Officially a Knight

After testing the water of the Graduate Program at another university, I have finally realized what I really wanted.  Subsequent to meditating, praying, and rolling the idea over in my mind, I sent my application to my chosen university, the University of Central Florida, and it didn’t take long before I was accepted. Next summer, if God’s willing, I am completing my graduate program and hopefully moving on to the next phase of my life.

2. I voted

I voted

Who would think that after being denied a Tourist Visa years ago, I would eventually receive my US Naturalization? I still couldn’t believe we (my husband included) made it. It was indeed a long journey through immigration, which was challenging, considering all the documents we needed to produce to prove my case, but we got it all settled – with no glitches nor shortcuts.

Thirteen months after I had my oath taking in a small room at the Bureau of Immigration, I received my ballot in the mail. It felt surreal. Given the rights and privilege to vote for my government representatives made me recognize how far I have gone from my once upon a time chasing the “elusive” American Dream. I decided to cast my first vote in person. Since then I have casted two more votes through the mail (please don’t call me a slacker *wink).

3. Summer Adventure


Visiting the three branches of the government in the nation’s capital last summer was a dream come true. Although I am not as a political enthusiast as my husband, I have always been interested with what is going on in my government. I guess it is a habit established from my former job. Back in the Philippines, I remember my first big assignment in the Embassy was to assist in the APEC as a member of the Secretariat. It was a baptism of fire. During the meeting I met numerous Heads of States (from a distance), including the US President at the time while they were entering the hotel. Call me star-struck because it felt oh so glamourous. Since then I have a continued interest in pomp and circumstance, and that’s how I got my idea to visit the Washington D.C.

4. Another work contract


Sometimes people tend to forget (I included) the blessing of simply having a job. Regardless if it is a dream job or not, the truth remains that employment offers not only economic benefits but also personal fulfillment. After all, it is not always easy to pass the grueling interview, as well as the subsequent performance reviews.  Thus, I am thankful that despite my human imperfections and shortcomings, my employer has continuously believed in me and the work I do. This is my third school year in my job, and I am grateful for each day that I go to work to meet my energetic students who are enthusiastic to learn.

5. Five years of honeymooning

A wonderful husband, happy marriage, satisfying home. Just call us perpetual “mooners.” It was like having heaven on earth…What more can I ask?

My husband gave me a wooden jewelry box and a love letter

My husband gave me a wooden jewelry box and a love letter on our Happy 5th

6. After Christmas Surprise: The Ultimate Crescendo to my 2014 Symphony

When I embarked reading the personal memoir, “My Beloved World” of Supreme Justice Sonia Sotomayor, I didn’t know that it would have a great effect on me. Despite my busy schedule, I would take a break to read a few chapters of the book every night. I was so much taken by her life experiences that after reading the last page, I decided to send her a letter. My intention was simply to express my gratitude to her for sharing such an inspiring life’s journey. I think I understand the enormity of a Supreme Justice’s job and time demands a little. Thus, I had very little expectation of a response. After placing the stamp on the envelope and dropping it in the mailbox, I whispered a short prayer that it would pass the possible screening crew, and then be before her eyes.

Who would think that my beloved SJ eventually got hold of my letter and found time to reply? I was dumbfounded when my husband handed me the envelope. Despite my astonishment, however, what really struck me was the facial expression from my husband who was green with envy. I knew that I had scored a homerun, and the letter will surely be forever one of our priceless possessions. You can count this right up there with hitting the lottery, after all it’s not every day we receive a letter from a SJ, do we?


“The noblest pleasure is the joy of understanding” by Leonardo Da Vinci

I thank my family, my husband in particular, friends, and many people who have served as my shields and angels during those times when I couldn’t help the horse from galloping. Thanks for lifting me up in countless ways every time I slid from the saddle. I appreciate you.

May we all have a happy, peaceful, and fruitful 2015!




2012 in review

Today I received the 2012 annual report of Pinay-emotion from, and I was amazed by how many bloggers took the time to visit my blogsite this year. To all of you, thank you so much! 

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 4,600 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 8 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.