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Speaking for MSU TCTO CHILDS Commencement Exercises

Yesterday, I spoke before the graduating class of MSU TCTO Childhood Integrated Learning Development School (CHILDS). It is a new institution inside the cradle of MSU TCTO. In fact, yesterday was just their 3rd Commencement Exercises. As young as it is, the faculty consisted of young and driven individuals, as well.

CHILDS is under the umbrella of College of Islamic Studies that my father founded when I was really young through the help of many of his friends and colleagues. The curriculum of CHILDS is a balance between normal and Islamic education. It is a very timely endeavor for the people of Bongao and Tawi Tawi as a whole.

I tried so hard to evade talking about myself nor my parents in my speech yesterday, because I don't want to be emotional. I always have a tendency to burst into tears every time I talk about my parents. And I think I did a pretty great job. I also talked in mixed English and Tausug for everybody's benefit. Who says you can't speak native language for a commencement exercises anyway?

The graduating class yesterday wrote better speeches than I did back in elementary. 😅😅😅 Back then, I didnt even know that I had this thing with writing. Only when I reached highschool that I was exposed to essay-writing, etc. But, the kids yesterday started young. Ma sha Allah.

I am so thankful for the opportunity that kah Almira, CHILDS Chairperson, gave me for the speaking engagement yesterday. I think I got more motivation than I gave yesterday by just looking at the kids and their parents. I realized, I may be an orphan now, but I had amazing parents. They sure were.


Dress: Shea Rasol
Hijab: Metro Hijab Ph
Shoes (you can't see haha): Zalora 
MUA and Hijab stylist: Myself :P

2 Catalogues with Summer Collection

As the temperatures slowly increase, it can mean only one thing: summer's just around the corner. If you're looking for cool, casual summer dresses, tops, jeans, shoes, and accessories, you've come to the right place. Shopping with UK catalogues gives you more choice than ever before and you can spread the cost of your payments. The result? You can budget better and control your finances. Here are two of the best catalogues which offer a summer collection.

  1. Very 

 Very have thousands of items in stock, as well as must-have summer essentials that will keep you looking and feeling cool in the warm weather. From light jackets to summer dresses, this catalogue brand has you covered.

The retailer, which has a range of home ware too, offers free next day delivery and click and collect services. So, now there are more options when it comes to placing your order and receiving your goods. You'll be able to apply for a credit account on the Very website or over the phone, which will enable you to pay instalments for any items you purchase. You can then make repayments using various repayment methods that suit you.

  2. Jacamo 

 Jacamo specialises in men's clothing and has a summer collection that you need to check out. From casual tees to footwear, you'll find clothes that will keep you sorted all the way until the Autumn months. You can spread the cost your payments when you open up a new credit account with the company.

Once you've been accepted, you can choose from thousands of items online in a wide range of sizes, including 5 x large. Then, you'll receive a monthly statement detailing your purchases and minimum payment limit in the post. Jacamo is part of the JD Williams collection of catalogues, so once you're accepted for a new account, you'll be able to use your account to purchase items from a range of retailers.

Photo credit: Karolina Grabowska of kaboompics.

Plaid and Prejudice

This is just a quick post as I am getting really really bored studying. Jsyk, I am currently enrolled for a certificate program in Islamic Online University. I am taking six subjects: Aqeedah, Fiqh, Principles of Accounting, Principles of Economics, Islamic Economics and Professional Development. So, I am really busy because I work and have social life, too. LOL!

Anyway, this outfit was the one I wore to office last week. Don't ask why I am not wearing corporate attire. (Those are too boring and uncomfortable.) I am loving the rubber shoes, too! ^_^ 

Classic Crown Hijab
Thrift Store Polo Dress
Anta Rubber Shoes

Here is my usual flatlay these days. Busy is an understatement!
That is all for now.

My Cup of Tea: Stop Abusing Animals for Tourism!

I love traveling, exploring new places, meeting people and learning from them. However, if there is anything that I hate the most, it is animal cruelty especially for the sake of tourism. From petting a lion to feeding milk to tigers, swimming with whales and riding elephants, I don't support them at all.

Unless I am a hundred percent sure that the animals people use for tourism are being taken well care of, I will not put any of those 'exotic' adventures in my itinerary. Just recently, Sambo, an elephant used to transport tourists died of heart attack in Angkor Wat from being overworked.

PETA said in a post, "Reports say that Sambo was being forced to ferry tourists to the largest religious monument in the world, Angkor Wat, in Cambodia. Temperatures exceeded 100 degrees, and there was not even so much as a breeze to cool her. Overworked and overheated, she succumbed to the punishing conditions and is believed to have suffered a heart attack. She collapsed beside a road and died, and passersby reportedly wept over her body."

The worse part is the fact that when animals are not being used for tourism, they are chained as if they are criminals in prison. The tigers used for selfies are beaten down just to be still. You are not doing them a favor when you feed them milk. They have mothers to do that for them. You may look like the adventurous girl to others when you are pictured beside a wild animal such as elephants, but to me, you look like the person who adds hell to their lives on earth.

I have been to Okunoshima Island in Japan wherein tourists went to see thousands of rabbits dwelling in there. But, the rabbits in the island are free to roam around, get food for themselves and live with the nature. Nobody is putting pressure on them. They are just there - thousands of them. We did feed them, but they came near us wholeheartedly - no beatings needed for them to sit still.

Choose which kinds of tourist spots you delve into. Do not give into the notion that you need to ride elephants when you visit Angkor Wat or you need to pet tigers in Thailand or Africa. Islam suggested that we travel to awe ourselves of the generosity of the Almighty. But we are not allowed to abuse other creations just to make ourselves look good in this world.

So please! Let us be responsible travelers. Crash out those items in your itinerary and bucket lists that include animal abuse.

How to Plan Your Next Travel

We all love to travel. Who doesn’t want to see new places, meet new people, experience new culture and humble oneself with the beauty of the world that The Creator made it to be? 

However, planning for a travel can be really painstakingly hard, unless you are that person who would rather enjoy the surprises of another land. But, of course, you still need to plan some parts of the travel, despite wanting the thrill of the unknown. 

Picking travel dates and destination
Planning your travel starts with the dates inclusive for the trip. You will need to look at the calendar for non-busy days that you can use for relaxation and vacation. Most of the people tend to book flights on holidays because of work and studies. However, take into consideration that this is the peak season. And fare is at its highest during peak season. That is why others prefer to travel during non-holidays to get the lowest flight rate. Travel dates are also important in order to pick the lowest possible fare. If you are already sure to travel at the said date, it is important that you book tickets ahead of time to get low rates. 

Your destination is as important as your travel date. You may need to research on the culture and other important matters of your destination, especially if you are Muslim, as you need to know if there are halal restaurants you can eat at. Your travel destination will also be crucial in packing your luggage and how much baggage allowance you will purchase. 

Planning your itinerary
Your research about the destination and dates of your travel will most likely affect your itinerary. This is the answer to the following questions:
  1. What do you want to do in your chosen destination?
  2. Are you meeting with someone in these places and time?
  3. Which places in the destination that you want to physically visit?
  4. How much time will you allot to each activity and place that you want to do and visit?
  5. And, so on!

As cliche as it sounds, you need to plan your budget. If you are on a tight one, you may need to widen your research on how to make your travel budget-friendly. The easiest way to do this is to look at blogs of people who have traveled to the same destination on how they managed their budget.

Be sure to commit to the budget you have created. If it can’t be helped, just stick closer to the amount you have put in there. This allows you to be disciplined for your other upcoming travels. Also, make yourself accountable for any excess you made during the actual travel. 

Booking tickets
Just like what is mentioned in the first bullet, travel dates and booking dates are important in getting low fares. If you have low budget, it is rather helpful that you book flights ahead. 

One trick in getting low fares is to book your flights one by one rather than clicking continuous flights. Also, it is a plus if you enroll yourself to loyalty programs of the airlines and ferries if you travel frequently. Points can be converted to tickets when you reach minimum needed. 😉

If you need a Visa, you may want to check the websites of the embassy of the country you are visiting to know the requirements and what you need to do to acquire one. 

Book your accommodation
May it be hotels, inns, Airbnb or Couchsurfing hostels, it is best to book them ahead of time. A lot of accommodations will be fully-booked in touristy places during peak seasons. So, it is more appropriate that you reserve rooms earlier. 

Packing your luggage
Your destination and itinerary will dictate what you will be bringing for your trip. If you are going to a hot and tropical country, it is best to bring clothes that are appropriate for summer. If you are going to a cold place, then you may need your thermal long johns and jackets. 

Toiletries are also very crucial. It is best to bring smaller bottles or sachets, if available, to minimize the weight. It is best to bring extra tote that you can use to separate used clothes from unused ones or just for another use, too. 

It is best to call and ask your airline of choice about their hand-carry luggage terms, too. Some airlines do not require that your laptop, camera, magazines, etc to be included in the total weight of your hand-carry luggage; while others require them to be included.

When packing your luggage, be sure to use methods that would help you fit more into a tiny luggage. You can either fold your clothes at the size of your luggage or roll them to make use of every corner of the bag. You can search for tutorials on Youtube for this. 

My mom always tells me to have at least a pair of clothes and undies in my hand-carry luggage, just in case your checked-in one gets lost in the airport. This has been helpful when one of our luggages went missing in Brunei International Airport last 2011.

Moreover, be reminded of the things that are prohibited to be carried on your checked-in and hand-carry luggage. It is also best to have a weighing scale available to check the weight of your baggage ahead.

The most important reminder is to not carry unnecessary things with you!

Important Documents and Stuff 
From passports, valid IDs, tickets, itinerary, gadgets, cards, address books to extra cash, double check everything. 

An important note to all government workers and employees is to bring an Authority to Travel document signed by your supervisor and head of agency to avoid hassles in the immigration. It is also recommended that you have a soft copy of your documents in your flash drives and emails for emergencies. Moreover, always carry in your bag your passports and other documents during the travel. 

Bring extra biscuits, candies and water (unless prohibited) just in case you may starve at airport and ferry lines. I also bring first-aid medicine on every travel. 


These are only few of the many tips and reminders you need to know in order to have a worry-free vacation. If you have more, don't forget to write them on the comments. I will be writing more tips as per experience in this blog, so subscribe to newsletter and follow!

Hoping to see you chasing places, as well!

My Cup of Tea: My Favorite Rumi Quotes

I have not known any person who does not like quotes, poems and books of Rumi. All of his writings are spot on and everyone can relate to. 

Here are some of my favorite lines and quotes from him, although I love most of what he said. ^_^

In generosity and helping others, be like a river 
In compassion and grace, be like the sun 
In concealing others' faults, be like the night 
In anger and fury, be as if you have died 
In modesty and humility, be like the soil 
In tolerance and acceptance, be like the sea 
In presenting yourself to others, either appear as you are or be as you appear.


Your task is not to seek for love, 
but merely to seek and find all the barriers 
within yourself that you have built against it.


The wound is the place where the Light enters you.


The minute I heard my first love story,

I started looking for you, not knowing
how blind that was.
Lovers don't finally meet somewhere.
They're in each other all along.


Don't be satisfied with stories, 
how things have gone with others. 
Unfold your own myth.


Do you know what you are?
You are a manuscript oƒ a divine letter.
You are a mirror reflecting a noble face. 
This universe is not outside of you. 
Look inside yourself;
everything that you want, 
you are already that.


You think you are alive
because you breathe air?
Shame on you, 
that you are alive in such a limited way.
Don't be without Love, 
so you won't feel dead.
Die in Love 
and stay alive forever.


Your heart is the size of an ocean. 
Go find yourself in its hidden depths.


Hardship may dishearten at first, 
but every hardship passes away. 
All despair is followed by hope; 
all darkness is followed by sunshine.


You are not a drop in the ocean.
You are the entire ocean in a drop.


Life is a balance of holding on and letting go.


Are there any Rumi quotes that you love? Share them to me in the comments.

Boulevard of Lovely Dreams

Heyya girls! My girls and I were eating out at a local by-the-beach food stand yesterday. And it was just the perfect spot for OOTD - not only that it as the golden hour, the sea looked great, too! I had a lot of photos taken on this spot already, yet it never gets old. The lighting is just so perfect, add the background, too. 

Anyway, lately I've been wearing a lot of polo dress shirts. Gosh, why did I not realize the need for this type of top years back?! It is a mixture of coverage, comfort and style. And guess what? I literally splurged on all the dress shirts available in Zalora Ph. hahaha. Btw, if you want to purchase in Zalora with 15% discount, you can use my discount code: ZBAPZWTI.

Also, as you can tell from the watermarks, the link points to this domain! yey! Same with I actually started taking down other blogs to focus on this one and Hijabi Mag more. It is really tiring to maintain numerous blogs. teehee!

Hijab: Classic Crown Hijab Store
Top: Chictees (Zalora Ph)
Pants: H&M
Sneakers: Converse

Poetry: Crazy is the Girl

Crazy is the girl,
  who looks into somebody
  to find home.

Lost in space.
I look for tiny pieces to complete my being.

Crazy is the girl, 
  who loves the idea
  of falling in love.

Lost in love.
I look for companions to accept me.

Crazy is the girl,
  who seeks happiness
  from others.

Lost in thoughts.
I look for belongingness in all the wrong places.

Most of all,
  crazy is the girl,
  who writes things about herself.
Crazy is she for not finding
  happiness inside her.

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