“Confessions: What It Really Feels Like Being Labeled Gifted and Talented Since Kindergarten” Series – Part 1 of 5 “Elementary” (2 min read)

Hi, Guys! Hope you’re doing well! If you’re new here, welcome to my little space in the internet.

I just came back from a morning run and this idea popped into my mind. I couldn’t get the idea out of my head, so I knew I needed to write about this. Where I live (Rio Grande Valley), there’s a lot of early college prep/AP/IB/IDEA schools/magnet/private schools blossoming. It’s got the notice of educators beyond the valley that now they’re studying the education system infrastructure and partnerships with the community. ¡Viva RGV! ¡Arriba!

Now back to the real talk about what it really feels like to be labeled gifted and talented at a young age. This is based on over 15 years of personal experience and observations from other “remarkable” students.

Part 1 of 5: Elementary

  • In kindergarten, you have no idea you were “talented” or “gifted” and don’t even remember taking the GT assessment.
  • You are really excited to transfer to another school for 1st grade but have no idea what to expect.
  • You are surrounded by GT kids your age and feel it’s the norm.
  • Just like any other class, you see other GT kids bully other GT kids.
  • You are exposed to fun activities in school: cooking, cross-stitching, paper mache crafts, growing crystals (lol!), writing/directing skits, field experiences (visiting a local ecosystem), reading and listening to the Lord of the Rings (lol!), junior gardening program, how to write a check/budget (lol!), etc.
  • You get jealous of other GT kids but still be best friends with them
  • You have amazing, supportive GT teachers and parents
  • Overall, you’re just like other kids: being weird/silly, playing games, watching cartoons/movies/Disney/MTV, going to the mall, listening to music, making friends, trying extracurricular activities, growth spurt, getting crushes, etc.
  • You’re bored a lot
  • Your heart breaks and you cry when you realize you’re not going to the middle school of your dreams.

I could really keep going, but I’ll stop here. Come back for Part 2: Middle School!

Wishing you the best in everything you do!




Picture: My 1st Grade GT class in 1998-1999

Experiment: I Didn’t Use YouTube for 5 Weeks, Instagram 7 Weeks, and FB for 4 months!

Hi, Guys! I hope you’re doing well!

Several months ago I wanted to sacrifice something I really enjoy using for Lent, so I stopped using Youtube, Instagram, and Facebook for several weeks and in some cases, it went on for months. As a side note, I don’t use Snapchat or Twitter.

I love taking breaks from social media because I’m curious what I learn from not using them. I’ve been using FB for 12 years, Youtube for 11 years, and Instagram for 5 years, so I grew up with social media (anyone remember Friendster and Myspace?! Haha). Despite these numbers, I prefer to enjoy the outdoors and connecting with nature much more.

Anyways, these are my takeaways and reflections from my social media detox!

  • For me, YouTube was the hardest social media to stop using because I used it for the following: music, fashion, film, self-growth, development with God, and learning anything under the sun. Honestly, I still have no idea how I made it for that long without YouTube. But it is possible.
  • I hanged out with friends a lot without social media. Almost every week I would hang out with my friends regularly so using social media was not necessary to maintain true, close friendships.
  • Honestly, I like not using social media to a great extent. I’m one of those people who believe that if there’s something really important to know about, someone will tell me about it. Don’t get me wrong, I love current events and ideas. But sometimes I just want to have peace of mind.

Now, I am utilizing YouTube, Instagram, and FB with more intention than ever. I believe moderation for everything (eating, exercising, sleeping, working, social media use, etc.) is very important. If anyone has ever been interested in unplugging from social media, I highly recommend it because you’ll learn a lot from the experience.

Will I ever do a social media detox again? Absolutely. The best moments in my life are the ones that cannot be posted. 🙂

Wishing you all the best in everything you do!



7 Filipino Classical Pianists Still Alive Today!

Hey Everyone! Since growing up I didn’t know ANY famous Filipino classical pianists, I thought it would be beneficial to do a roundup of 7 Filipino classical pianists who are still alive today! This will be an ongoing list since I know there are more Filipino classical pianists out there sweating it out on the keys  that the world has not heard of.

As a side note, to be honest, even though I was a classically trained pianist, I still don’t identify myself as a classical pianist because I’ve never had the desire to be a touring concert pianist. I’m just crazy about classical music and love teaching others from my own experiences in the classical repertoire (including other genres!). So until further ado, let’s get started!

  1. Ingrid Sala Santamaria

2. Cecile Licad

3. Albert Tiu

4. Jovianney Emmanuel Cruz

5. Adolovni Acosta

6. Maxelende Ganade (For quick reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maxelende_Ganade)

7. Rowena Sánchez Arrieta

Being a classically trained pianist requires extreme discipline, dedication, and artistry. When I was starting out in music school, it was encouraging and inspiring to know there were famous Filipino classical pianists who dedicated their lives to sharing their love for music with others. Thank God for Google!

Even if you’ve never played the piano before, don’t be fooled by the notion that it’s too late to learn. I truly believe playing the piano is for everyone, regardless of age, social background, or talent. It’s all up to you.

If you made it this far to my blog post, thank you for your time. Please share this post to anyone you know who might need encouragement that it’s okay to be a classical pianist or have a career in the fine arts. You are not alone.




Why Do You Wear Clothes?

Hola, Everyone! My last post was 10 months ago! I’m surprised whenever I check my Stats and see that people are still reading my past posts. Woah! Thank you so much! I hope this little passion project of mine brings value to those who visit.

Anyways, I was really excited that there are so many stores and fashion bloggers online promoting modest fashion that I just had to share! To be honest, I was not that interested in dressing modestly until the last several years. I think a lot of it had to do with the media I consumed and, of course, dressing modestly was not really a topic for conversation amongst my friends when I was younger. Lately, as I browse fashion bloggers and online stores, I felt underwhelmed about what I was seeing. I wanted to see outfits that required more thought and more awareness of where that person’s heart is.

Now, I love how it’s so easy to find stylish pieces and a global community of women who advocate for modest clothing. It really makes you more intentional not only about what you wear, but why you wear it.

List of 147 Modest Fashion Brands: www.mode-sty.com/pages/ultimate-list-of-modest-clothing

Screenshot 2018-06-23 14.24.21Screenshot 2018-06-23 14.25.47Screenshot 2018-06-23 14.26.52

Happy shopping!



25 Things I Learned in 25 Years

Hello Everyone! Happy Saturday! I hope everyone is having a great week and weekend! Since my 26th birthday is in 10 days, I decided to make a list of 25 things I learned in life so far. Here it is!

  1. Develop your relationship with God.
  2. Appreciate and love your parents and family.
  3. Maintain your friendships.
  4. Take care of yourself (mentally, physically, and spiritually).
  5. Value experiences (trying new restaurants, traveling, reading books, etc.).
  6. Always do your best (FIGHT, FIGHT, FIGHT!).
  7. Be kind and care for others.
  8. Don’t worry too much.
  9. Do what makes your soul happy.
  10. Everything takes time.
  11. Be confident about yourself.
  12. Face your fears by getting out of your comfort zone.
  13. Find people that inspire you.
  14. Stay positive.
  15. God gave us the responsibility for our lives.
  16. You are your own competition. Don’t compare yourself to others.
  17. Respect others.
  18. Don’t settle. Have high standards.
  19. Forgive others and yourself.
  20. Make mistakes and take risks.
  21. Live your dreams.
  22. Have a support system.
  23. Save money.
  24. Keep challenging yourself.
  25. Choose to love and be happy.

I hope you and I continue to grow to reach the best versions of ourselves. I’m thankful that I’ve reached 25.97 years old so far. Onwards to 26 and the next 25 years of my life!



Makeup Products I’m Loving Right Now!

Last week my sister surprised me with some back-to-school gifts! Among them were these 5 makeup products I’m loving right now. I just wanted to share these products just in case anyone was looking for a new foundation, concealer, mascara, eyebrow pencil or highlighter. To be honest, I’ve been LOVING these products, hence the name of the blog post! 

  1. IT Cosmetics Confidence in a Compact (Pictured Above) – Woah! This first-ever solid serum foundation works wonders for my skin! Developed with plastic surgeons, this foundation provides full coverage and SPF 50+ sunscreen. For the past few years I’ve been using liquid foundations. The last time I used foundation in a compact was back in high school! I’m really happy my sister gave me this foundation because I’ve been thinking of getting a new foundation that provided better coverage. This one does the job and much more! I would definitely repurchase this product and highly recommend it to others!




2. Tarte Shape Tape Contour Concealer – This product was another win! My sister knows me really well! I’ve been needing a better concealer for my dark circles under my eyes. This shade (light sand) is a lot lighter than I’m used to, but it’s better to help me look more awake compared with the darker, beige colors I usually use. I love putting this on because I instantly look more radiant and less tired. Just like the foundation, I would repurchase this product and highly recommend it to others!




3. Benefit Roller Lash Mascara – My sister is on a roll! To be honest, I feel like this changed my mascara game. I’ve never experienced a mascara like this before. Just like the package says, this mascara is super-curling and lifting. I love how much control I have in putting on the mascara to my upper and lower eyelashes by having a short applicator wand. It was way easier to obtain precision in the curl compared with the other mascaras I’ve tried. Since I love using this mascara, I would definitely repurchase this product and again, highly recommend it to others!




4. Benefit Precisely, My Brow Pencil – I love this eyebrow pencil because it’s not greasy and has a smaller ultra-defining tip that imitates hair-like strokes. Also, I liked how unique the design of the pencil is, reminding me of a dart. With this pencil, my eyebrows look clean, natural and well-groomed. As you can guess, this is another product I would repurchase and recommend to others!

5. BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed Highlighter (Champagne Pop) – Last, but not least is this beautiful, shimmering powder hilighter! It’s a soft, white gold with pink, peachy undertones. After trying several other brands and types, including liquid highlighters, this is hands down the best highlighter for me to achieve a radiant, inner and outer glow. I love putting this on because it automatically brightens my face without looking glittery. I would definitely repurchase this product and recommend it to others looking for the best highlighter for themselves!
Overall, these 5 products hit the bullseye in what I’ve been wanting and needing lately. Thank you to my awesome sister for buying these for me! I hope you guys try these products out and love using them as much as I do! If you have these products already or recommend other makeup products to try, please leave a comment. Thank you so much for reading!

Have an awesome week!