Manila, Philippines December 2015 Part 3

Welcome to the third installment of my Manila adventures last winter break. If you guys haven’t seen the first and second parts, go and click away (click HERE for part 1 and HERE for part 2).

I remember making a promise to my good friend Jan in university that I’m gonna attend his wedding when that day comes. Then two years ago, he told me that he was getting married to our classmate and friend Jean and as a man of my word, I kept my promise. In fact, this was the main reason why I went to the Philippines this time. Thanks to Jan and Jean for giving me a reason to come home! Honestly, I wasn’t aware that they had a thing until they told me they were tying the knot. Can you believe that? LOL!

It was fun to relive university days with my classmates during the reception and catch up with them after three years of not seeing each other. I’m so proud of them for what they’ve achieved 8 years after graduating. Some of them are resident writers for major book publishers in the Philippines. Some are full-time instructors in our university and are now colleagues with our former professors. Some are taking further studies in our own chosen fields of endeavor. Listening to their stories inspired me to do so much more with my capabilities and push myself to make more use of my talents.


Jean looked very pretty in her wedding dress which was donated by our former Filipino professor, Professor Gualvez, who happened to be one of the principal sponsors of the wedding. Seeing Ma’am Gualvez brought tears to my eyes because she’s one of my life mentors. Most of the life hacks I share to you guys here in Jenne Chrisville came from her and I think I’m not the person I am right now if I didn’t have the chance to meet her in this lifetime. I will be forever in her debt for everything she taught me.


The next day was another blogger day. I went to EDSA Shangri-La Mall and SM Megamall to spend some quality time with Crissey (again!), Tricia and Farrah, who I met for the first time although we’ve been following each other in social media. Funny story: Farrah helped me book my first UBER ride from Rockwell to Sucat, Paranaque because she was feeling for me for having so much stuff with. Thank you, Farrah!

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Manila, Philippines December 2015 Part 2

This is the second part of my Manila adventures last winter break of 2015 and if you haven’t seen the first part of it, click HERE so you can check it out.

My best friend Zowie and I were supposed to visit the National Museum in Manila but sadly, the place is closed on Mondays so we decided to just go around Intramuros for a bit of history and culture. For some reason, every time I go to the Philippines for a visit, I never fail to drop by Intramuros. I did the same thing three years ago (click HERE for related entry) and I’m not sure if it’s the childhood memories (my grade school is located in Intramuros) or the lust for Filipino culture that draws me to the place. Nevertheless, I always enjoy it every time I’m there. My parents didn’t have anything to do that day so I just tagged them along with me.

Luneta/Rizal Park from the car. Though I always visit Intramuros, I don’t get to go here and I don’t know why. I’ll put that in my bucket list for my next Philippine trip. And the National Museum too because I wanna see the larger-than-life Spolarium by the great Juan Luna.


Snippets of Roxas Boulevard. One of the things that I realize during this trip is that Manila is a beautiful city. It has its own charm because you can see it changing right before your eyes. You can see the new infrastructures budding everywhere while remnants of its old self still lurk around in some areas. Continue reading

Manila, Philippines December 2015 Part 1

If you’ve been following me in social media, particularly in Instagram (@gervinmacey & @gervintakestheworld), I’m sure you’re aware that I spent my winter holidays in the Philippines. It’s been 3 long years since I last visited the Motherland and one of my goals in 2015 was to finally make an overdue trip there and do some domestic travels.

OOTD to Narita Airport! I found these leather boots in a vintage store in Ueno for only ¥3,800/less than US$38.

We landed in Manila safely in the afternoon. My schedule was so packed that I was already booked for a Christmas dinner with my friends from high school in the evening of the same day. I only put my bags down in my apartement, changed outfit and went straight to SM Mall of Asia.

I had a great time eating good Filipino food with them while catching up with the latest stories in their lives. It was also great to see their kids who were all adorable and lovely. It feels really good to see that all of my friends are doing well in life.

The highlight of the night was when we had a Christmas raffle for ourselves. We collected a hundred pesos from each other and divided the money for the 1st prize to 3rd prize winners. Imagine how noisy and chaotic it was in the restaurant when we started screaming in excitement. Continue reading

2015: The Year That Was

Although I’ve already made a 2015 year-in-review post outfit edition here in the blog, allow me to post another 2015 review since I wasn’t able to make blog that much last year. After all, it was great and I thought I should share with you some of its highlights.

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I started the year right by traveling to one of the most amazing cities in Asia, Hongkong. This was also the last trip where I took my old Pentax KR camera with me and lost it after three years of being in a relationship with it. Click HERE to see my post about my trip to Hongkong.

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One of my greatest fear is my fear of heights but I always love challenging myself. That’s why I went to Fuji Q Highlands Amusement Park and rode all of their crazy roller coasters with my friends Satchiko, Gilbert, Kaila and Kiko. It was a great way to celebrate Kaila’s birthday and have some bonding time with them. Click HERE for my Fuji Q adventures.

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The Outfits Of 2015

Happy New Year, everyone!!! Another year has ended! 2015 was a blast. Such a blast that I had a three month hiatus in the blog in the middle of the year. Do I regret it? Errrrrr…not really. I think I needed that break from blogging to make me more focused on things that I really had to do. I love blogging but I’ve been doing it for some years now and as time passes by, I realize that my energy has to be directed and spent to some other stuff in my life too.




A Guide to Self Confidence

This is a post close to my heart because I know a lot of people out there are struggling everyday because of low self-esteem. And this is my way of helping them out.

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Kyoto November 2015

Hello, it’s me! You can sing that ala Adele or Lionel Richie. It’s been a long time but I’m here now. And this time, I wanna share to you guys my recent adventure to Kyoto. I decided to celebrate my birthday in the famous prefecture because autumn is my favorite season and Kyoto is the best place if you wanna enjoy some autumn colors. Plus, I wasn’t able to explore it during my first visit three years ago so it was the perfect time for me to do so.

Let me start this with a funny story. It was the morning of my birthday when we took the bullet train from Tokyo to Kyoto. . We were already in Tokyo station, changing from local trains to the bullet train when I realized I forgot my wallet at home. That’s what happens when you have a train pass. You don’t really need money for a ticket that’s why you don’t bother checking your wallet too. It always happens to me especially in times when I’m in a hurry to get to one place. It’s pretty annoying. Good thing, my place was only 15 minutes away from Tokyo station so it didn’t take me long to go back and get my wallet from my apartment.

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Let’s give a moment for the majestic Mount Fuji. This was taken from the shinkansen when we passed by Shizuoka prefecture. It was a pleasant day when we left for Kyoto that’s why the dormant volcano greeted us with its admirable beauty. Please don’t mind that photo bomber of a cable on top of the picture.

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After 2 hours and 47 minutes of travel, we arrived at Kyoto station and I immediately bought my Icoca card to make my transportation in Kyoto much easier. Suica and Pasmo are for East Japan while the West has the Icoca. It’s pretty convenient to use.

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Like what I said a while ago, one of the main purposes of my trip to Kyoto was to visit the places I missed the last time I went there. That’s why I chose Fushimi Inari to be our first destination. According to Trip Advisor, Fushimi Inari is Japan’s most popular spot for tourists. It’s a well-known Shinto shrine dedicated to the rice god Inari and has a long track of torii gates from donors and sponsors that goes around Mount Inari. The torii gates make a very long path that Fushimi Inari became one of the popular spots for hiking in West Japan.

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The guys from Public Nuisance AKA PN! Streetwear were kind enough to send me this nice RUN tee. PN! is the newest street wear brand found in London that aims its customers to STAND UP and STAND OUT with its monochrome range of t-shirts, hoodies and sweaters. Founder David Power derives inspiration from minimalism and combines it with underground vibe which he clearly got from his early experience of being in a rock band. For this look, I paired it with my tattered jeans and my classic overbite cap to give a cool edgy and monochromatic skater boy look. By the way, David was also a member of Skateboarders of Southbank, London in 1977. How cool is that?

t-shirt: PN! Streetwear
cap: OS Accessories
bracelet (non-beaded): Diesel 

Let’s talk about the word RUN.

* I believe I was a fast runner when I was a child. Now, I hate to run because I easily pant and lose my breath. Thanks, weak lungs due to asthma. But for some reason, I enjoy running with my children at school during playtime. Maybe I’m just experiencing a time slip to my youth whenever I’m with them.

* Once I’ve accepted a job or any kind of responsibility, I make sure I stay and finish it until the very end. When I was in university, there had been many times when I wanted to quit my other activities, specifically theater, because I wanted to focus more on my studies. Yet, I just couldn’t do it because I’m a man of honor. I don’t know how I got it but not finishing something you’ve agreed doing has been instilled in my system as early as I can remember.

* I like Whitney Houston’s “Run To You” and The Corrs’ “Runaway”.

* In relationships, may it be friends or romantic ones, it’s not important who walked or ran away, what matters is who stayed and who will be staying for the longest run.


Stories From Jebin Sensei

 Do you wanna know how I truly feel when I’m wearing Comme des Garcons? RIGHT!!!!! Wearing Comme des Garcons feels so right. And it ain’t never gonna be wrong.

I wear this ensemble last summer in Omotesando when my senpai from Teatro Tomasino Pam came to Tokyo for a visit. And he asked me to take him around for some good shopping. You know you’ve been living in Tokyo for too long when you know where to take your friend for shopping just by knowing his style and taste.


shirt: Comme des Garcons BLACK
pants: Comme des Garcons
slippers: Nike
photos: Pam Pamintuan

I’ve been teaching for almost a decade and there were a lot of moments (most especially conversations with students) in my teaching years that I can’t just forget.


Student: Gervin sensei, I love you.
Me: Really? Till when?
Student: Till I go to heaven.
Me: Well, try going there now.
(both of us laughed)


Student: Sir Gervin, what should we expect when we go to college?
Me: It’s a big jungle with lots of temptations- vices, bad friends, sex. Be careful. Be very careful.


This was during the announcement of winners in one of the inter-school competitions that a group of students joined and I was their coach.

Me: (on stage whispering) Ok guys! Whatever happens- win or lose- stay calm and don’t cry.
Students: (with a smiling face and energetic tone) Yes, sir!
(The hosts announced the winners and we lost)
Me: (turned to my students) Well, we lost.
(Both guys turned their backs from the audience and started to cry hard. And my heart broke)


This was in the bus with the group of students that joined the same competition.

Me: (while looking at the sad and crying faces of everyone) We might have lost in the competition but by joining and participating here, you actually didn’t. Take all the lessons you learned in this experience with you and treasure the memories in your heart.

(Then tears fell from my eyes after holding it for a long time since the announcement of winners)


A child said that he didn’t want to be that occupation when he grow up because it’s a “woman’s job”.

Me: There’s no such thing as a “male” or “female” job. 


A child was running in the playground and he fell down. 

Me: Are you alright?
Student: (face is in the verge of crying. nods his head)
Me: Does your knee hurt?
Student: (shakes his head)
Me: Do you want me to take you to the nurse?
Student: (shakes his head again)
Me: Ok. Go and play again.


A parent came to talk to me about his child being bad in English

Parent: What should I do with my child, Gervin sensei? He’s really flunking English no matter what I do.
Me: Well, maybe because he’s not yet “ripe” to learn English and he needs more time to mature. Or maybe it’s really not his thing. But if that’s the case, I’m pretty sure he’s better in doing something else and whatever that is, you need to support him because that’s what’s gonna give him a bright future.
Parent: Oh, thank you, Gervin sensei. That’s really good advice.


Student: Sensei, how do I say I love you in Filipino?
Me: “Mahal kita.” Why
Student: Because “mahal kita.”
Me: Awww!

That student is in sixth grade now and doesn’t fail to greet me when he bumps into me on the way to school.


I love my students. I love my profession. And as each day passes by, my love for it even grows bigger.