Notice: This entry was published 4 years ago and may no longer reflect my views today.

Most pictures I took of my weekend in Texas were of family and my grandfather’s service. We were so busy preparing for the service and entertaining guests that there wasn’t much time to go out and explore. That’s fine though; I wasn’t there to sightsee, but it was good to see my family again. I haven’t seen my cousins in years! It was great catching up with them. <3 I'm not too bummed about missing out on fun activities because I plan on coming back for Christmas! :D For now, here are some quick snaps of my stay in Sugar Land. DSC00267

Bought two boxes of chocolate-covered strawberries for everyone. My favorite dessert! <3 I saw the white chocolate version at the store, and I just had to try them. They're so delicious!


Wally!! XD He’s my cousin’s dog, and HE IS SO CUTE. My grandpa loved him. When he passed away, Wally wouldn’t come into his room anymore. :( When I first arrived, he offered me his toy and kept following me around. When I was packing up on my last day, he stuck to me. I think he could tell. We sat on the floor together while I folded my clothes. I’ll be back, furry baby.

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We managed to squeeze in some time to go out before I had to fly back. We ate at Black Walnut Cafe and then took a few pictures around the town center. It’s so pretty. It kept raining on and off, and the raindrops were huge! o_O


My mom and aunt gave me some old family pictures to keep. Here’s 3-year-old me with my grandmother and cousin. I haven’t thought about my grandma’s house in a very long time, but I still remember that floral chair on the far right, all those books on the living room shelf, and that tiny TV! She passed away when I was 11, but of course, she’s still alive in my heart. <3 old-pic-2

4 years old, I think…? When did I lose my fierceness in front of the camera? I mean, look at me WERKING it. Baby Yayi, tell me your secrets.


This picture was taken in 1999. It says 1987 because my aunt didn’t set the time on her camera. I wasn’t even born back then! XD This was during my summer in New Jersey, and my family took me and my mom to Ellis Island. I treasure this picture for two reasons: the Twin Towers.

Everyone I’ve talked to say they remember exactly where they were when 9/11 happened. I do too. I was back in the Philippines. I had just started learning HTML, so I was on the computer messing around with a webpage when my mom came into my room and told me the Twin Towers got hit. She turned on the TV, and we watched the news nonstop for the next few days. My dad cried. Everyone was talking about it at school. I didn’t understand the gravity of the situation at the time, but it was definitely an event that shook all of us.

This picture shows a glimpse of the past, of my childhood and a society without fear. Now I’ve changed and so has the world.

That’s all I have for my long weekend with my family. I’m still reeling from my flight back yesterday. My first flight got delayed, and there was a big possibility that I was gonna miss my connection and get stuck in St. Louis. I ran to the gate as soon as we landed and I barely made it. I got home at midnight. Then I had to go straight back to work today, and I had a very stressful day. Needless to say, I’m tired. I’m just gonna take it easy for the rest of the night. I’ll catch up with messages and comments tomorrow!


  1. Those chocolated covered strawberries look sinfully delicious! I’m drooling just looking at them.

    Wally sounds so adorable, and his actions are so heartbreaking. Who says animals are not sentient? They know when their loved ones are gone!

    The three-year-old you is adorable. Thanks for sharing your photo of you as a young tyke and your family.

    And that photo of the Twin Towers. Seeing the towers brought tears to my own eyes. I remember 9/11, but I was in bed when it happened, but I still remember the day after Korea time.

    I’m sorry to hear about your flight/day being stressful. You get some well-deserved relaxation <3

    1. My grandpa loved animals so he and Wally were best buds. My aunt had pictures of them together. They looked so happy. XD

  2. Sad I didn’t get to see you, but glad you had time spent with family! There’s always next time for us though. :D And I love Black Walnut – it’s one of my fave breakfast spots. Nummy!

    And omg, your photo of your 4 year old self – you are so ADORBZZZZ!
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    1. I’m so sorry we didn’t get to meet! :( I was looking forward to that but preparing for the service took up a lot of my stay there.

  3. Yum, those chocolate covered strawberries look good. And Wally is so cute! He sounds like such a sweet dog, and that’s sad that he won’t go into your grandpa’s room anymore. I guess he knows :(

    I love these old photos of you :) You look so cute in them! I think that’s awesome that you have one with the Twin Towers. I remember very well what I was doing on 9/11 too. I saw the news before I went to school, and it was what everyone was concerned about that day. I used to visit NYC every other week when I lived in NY. Going back to visit family afterwards and seeing the towers missing was really sad.

    I’m glad you got to spend time with your family! I’ve been to Houston several times, but I’ve actually never been to Sugar Land. The flight back sounded stressful though. I hope you’ve had time to relax and get some rest!
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    1. My mom said Wally was the first to sense that my grandpa was going. He stayed by his side on his last day, and then wouldn’t come back in anymore after that. :(

  4. wally is so cute uwu what a beautiful dog (>////<) it's always really adorable how dogs can understand and have this emotional connection with us, humans. my dog likes to just sit there looking dazed and confused beside me when i'm gaming in the room lol

    welp, raisa is a time traveler she took her picture before she was born HAHAHAHA creepy.
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  5. I recently went to New York and visited the 9/11 memorial. It hit me pretty hard. I remember watching it all on TV, but you don’t realise the reality of it all until you visit the site of where it happened. The towers completely dominated the skyline of Manhattan.

    It’s funny that they were still selling those Statue of Liberty foam crowns back in 1999. I bought one back for my friend!!
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    1. I visited NYC again a few years later. The skyline was so different without the Twin Towers.

      Haha I loved that foam crown! I don’t know where it is now, but I remember wearing it for days.

  6. It’s so awesome that you have that photo of the Twin Towers. I still remember that day, too. My brother and I were getting ready for school, and I thought my mom was watching a movie. When my dad dropped us off at school that day, I remember he was just really quiet. It was my friend’s 11th birthday, but she didn’t pass out her cupcakes in class because we were glued to the television. I’ll never forget that day and how devastating it was. At that time, our town had the most military personnel per capita in the United States. I grew up with a lot of military “brats” and I just remember everyone being scared.

    Whenever the anniversary comes around, I just think how much the world has changed since then and just how humbling it is to know that I’m part of that generation that knows pre/post 9/11, how vastly different it was to travel and really, just to experience the world and say you want to go visit a place without any added fear.
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    1. I feel like people in general were a lot more optimistic and hopeful back then. Now we’re all scared and distrusting of the government and each other. I’m sure Bush’s handling after the fact had a hand in it too. I remember the word “terrorism” being thrown around all the time. I don’t think we’ve recovered from that.

  7. What a lovely dog! Animals can definitely tell if a loved one is moving away, so I think he was trying to tell you not to go ;)

    I remember the news about the Twin Towers. I think I was still 8 years old back then. I saw the news on TV and my parents were really shocked by the events, but I never understood any of it nor was I aware of the impact. All I knew was that everyone was talking about “terrorism” (which was really new to me back then) and everything just became stricter.
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    1. I felt bad for leaving Wally, huhu. ;_;

      Yeah, that’s what I remember the most about the whole thing. Travel rules became much stricter. We didn’t have to take off our shoes before, and well wishers could follow us all the way to the gate in some places. @_@

  8. Wally looks like my Panda dog who died last year. I miss her. He’s adorable. <3

    I was in La Union when the Twin Towers fell and it was my cousin's wife's birthday party (they were still dating back then) because I remember my tito telling him: "kaya pala wala ka sa bahay nung 9/11." I didn't understand what was happening back then and why it was such a big deal.
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    1. I’m sorry about your Panda dog :(

      I think 9/11 shattered the “top of the world” feeling the US had after the Clinton years. Some people compared it to the Pearl Harbor attacks, in that no one could fathom an attack on American soil.

  9. It’s great that you got to reunite with your family during the service. You’re right, you have plenty of time later on to explore around Texas :). Sugar Land is actually the name of the place? Sounds like a candy theme park XD. Have you tried making homemade chocolate dipped strawberries before?

    You looked so adorable as a kid!! (And still look adorable but emphasize on kidness). I can see a lot of similarities from before and now. When I look at my kid pics, I don’t think I look the same @___@.

    You had a great opportunity to take a picture with the twin towers up. As a kid, I didn’t understand what was going on or grasped the degree of important at the time. That’s the thing with kids, we see the world to be a peaceful place (given that you’re in a good environment) until a series of tragedies like this happen :/.

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