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Want To Write Better? Read Up!

WhiteHat Copy

You know how they say “you are what you eat”? Well, I say you write what you read. You’re probably thinking, “Great tip, Captain Obvious” but I doubt people actually digest what this means. Yes, corny pun intended.

you write what you read

Think about it. For someone who writes professionally, I am acutely in tune with my strengths and weaknesses. Sure, I can write pretty much anything the client asks for but some take a little more time and effort than others. And my turnaround time lies greatly on how easily the words flow.

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NiceGift from NiceThings: FREE Fascination Advantage Rapid Report

Ever wonder how you become so enamored with certain brands and not with others even if, say, they bore the same inherent qualities? Why certain people are instantly likable and others not so much?

That’s where fascination comes in.

In Sally Hogshead’s fascinating book,’Fascinate’, she discusses the seven triggers that inspire fascination: Lust, Alarm, Vice, Prestige, Trust, Mystique, and Power.

fascinate sally hogshead

Whether you’re a brand or an individual, it pays to know how you are using these triggers and how you can maximize your own potential for fascination and captivation.

So, I’m sharing this FREE code so you can find out how you fascinate people: JOY-NiceGiftFromNiceThings

To take the test, simply follow these steps:

  1. Go to http://HowToFascinate.com/YOU
  2. Enter the code above + your information
  3. Click START NOW!

I hope you take advantage of this free test. At the very least, it’s entertaining. The code is good up to January 15 only. Hurry!

Please do share your results below. I’ll make sure to share mine if you do.🙂



NiceThings For 2016

Thanks to Facebook’s ‘On This Day’ feature which brings up your posts from years past, I realized that I achieved none of my 2015 goals. Nada. Zilch. I posted it privately so that only I could view it. I guess that made it easier for me to ignore my list altogether.

So, for better chances of project fulfillment for 2016, I’m making my goals public, holding myself accountable to my readers.



Quit soda

Cut down on red meat

Learn a foreign language – I keep changing my mind about which one so I’m just going to keep this open-ended.

Since it’s fasting week, I’ve decided to make my faith goals public as well.


Daily devotional – Daily. No excuses, no matter how busy I get.

Inner peace – Regardless of circumstances.

Serve at Church – It’s time I stopped finding excuses and start serving in a Ministry.

That’s it! That’s pretty plenty to accomplish in a year, I think.  Wish me luck and please hold me accountable.

How about you? What changes are you aiming for this year? Please do share in the comments.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens The Feels


star wars episode vii

I did my best to steer clear of spoilers before I got to see Episode VII. But someone insisted on ruining Star Wars for others and posted a comment on a non-Star Wars thread about Kylo Ren killing his parents Han Solo and Leia.

So when Kylo Ren skewered Han with his lightsaber, I was sort of prepared. But seeing the light go out of his eyes was saddening just the same.

Han Solo was from my generation of Star Wars. Every bit of the old Jedi galaxy that I knew as a child was a comforting, welcoming embrace from a long absence. It was a coming home of sorts for me and to lose a central piece of that galaxy was disturbing *insert Vader voice* to say the least.

star-wars-7-star-wars-episode-vii-han solo

Han Solo and Chewbacca are home.

I could hardly contain my excitement when I caught a glimpse of the Millennium Falcon buried in the sand. When Rey and Finn took the fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy, I was fully drawn into the story.

hero_Star-Wars-Force-Awakens-2015-rey and finn

Rey and Finn learn about the Force and Jedi Knights from Han Solo and Chewbacca.

Now, Rey is one of the biggest puzzles of this episode and I dare say, she’s a Skywalker. Her memories of the night Kylo Ren killed the younglings (like Anakin did in Revenge of the Sith) and Luke shutting R2-D2 down, and the island where Luke was hiding, give me no doubt that it was her father that locked up her memory until #TamangPanahon, as they say, comes and the force awakens in her.


It was great to see R2-D2 awaken as well and to be working with BB-8. Cuteness overload!

bb-8 r2-d2 c3po.jpeg

R2-D2 and BB-8 with C3PO

Of course, BB-8 was an instant love. Much like R2-D2, BB-8 is a feisty, loyal, dependable, cuddly friend. Okay, maybe not so cuddly for everyone since he is made of metal but I do wanna give that little cutie a hug.

Star Wars The Force Awakens Character Movie Posters – BB-8.jpg

BB-8 is this generation’s R2-D2.

I cannot end this piece without giving Han Solo a proper goodbye.

Thank you, Han Solo, for one more wild ride in the fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy. You will be missed.

star wars the force awakens han solo

Han Solo – Smuggler, Friend, Husband, Father.


NiceThings About The Star Wars Saga: A New Hope

I still remember my induction into the Star Wars cult. It was late morning one day and we had just installed our new betamax (yes, I realize I’m dating myself here) when my brother excitedly introduced me to the spectacular world of a galaxy far, far away.

A New Hope

As the massive, celestial theme blasted through the speakers, my jaw dropped. I knew I was in for a ride. But I remember bugging my brother as the opening crawl rolled. I thought he missed episodes one to three. My little seven-year old mind couldn’t wrap itself around the fact that Episode IV was the first movie in the franchise.

star wars episode iv

Star Wars Episode IV: The Gateway Star Wars Drug

Watching Princess Leia stand up to the horrifying masked man was inspiring. It was actually the first image that made a mark on my young mind. I would have been terrified of Lord Vader and the armed storm troopers if I were in Princess Leia’s shoes. George Lucas sure beat Disney to bringing gutsy princesses to the screen.

But then again, George Lucas beat a lot of people to a lot of things with Star Wars. Truly ‘epic’ is an understatement.

One of my favorite scenes, of course, was the now iconic Jedi mind control hand wave.

these aren't the droids you're looking for

These aren’t the droids you’re looking for.

Imagine watching this at 7 years old. Mind = blown!

One of the things that fascinated me about Star Wars was the realms it introduced me to, like Luke’s home – Tatooine – which had two setting suns in one of the scenes.

star wars tatooine twin setting suns

Luke is drawn by an invisible force to explore the world beyond Tatooine.

Luke’s use of the Force that pulverized the Death Star mere days into training, was of course, impressive. But the death of Obi-Wan Kenobi was both tragic and baffling for a kid such as myself.

obi-wan's death scene

If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine.

Obi-Wan was one of my favorite characters. My consistent favorite in the entire saga is the adorable R2-D2. He’s cute, he’s loyal, and always reliable. I found C3PO annoying when I was a kid and I still kinda do.

r2d2 and c3po

The adorable R2-D2 with the rather annoying C3PO.

Of course the love angle between Princess Leia and Han Solo was lost on me at seven. But I appreciated it when I saw the movie again as a teen. I’ve seen the entire saga several times by now and the magic remains.

I can’t wait to see the latest episode in this timeless wonder, till then, I’ll be binge-watching and reliving awesome childhood memories.

May the Force be with you!

NiceThings Answers The Proust Questionnaire

My BFF Patintera and I went through a Care Bears phase while we were living in Singapore a few years back. Perhaps the homesickness made us ponder on our childhood more than usual. She always called me Share Bear since she realized sharing was one of my more dominant qualities. I’m feeling particularly Share Bear-ish this morning so I decided to answer the Proust Questionnaire to give my readers a better idea of who I am on my first anniversary.

Care bears stare!

Care bears stare!

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

Losing the ability to love.

Where would you like to live?

On a farm.

What is your idea of earthly happiness?

Learning real contentment regardless of situation.

To what faults do you feel most indulgent?


Who are your favorite heroes of fiction?

Atticus Finch, Elizabeth Bennet, Fitzwilliam Darcy, Aslan.

Who are your favorite characters in history?

From the Bible — Joseph (son of Jacob), Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, Azariah.

Who are your favorite heroines in real life?

My bestfriend Patintera — her selflessness is inspirational.

Who are your favorite heroines of fiction?

Elizabeth Bennet for defying the norm of her time.

Your most marked characteristic?

Fluidity — I can change my mind without prideful hesitation if I realize I’m wrong.

What do you most value in your friends?

Niceness — good manners, kindness, consideration of others.

What is your principle defect?

I tend to succumb to anxiety.

What natural gift would you most like to possess?

Inner peace.

How would you like to die?

Quickly and painlessly in my sleep.

If you would like to answer the questionnaire yourself, you will find the complete list here. Please do share your answers in the comments and I’ll make sure to check it out.

Nice Things About The Jets Live In Manila

I…I was just seven when The Jets first came out. I may not have known who they were then but I certainly enjoyed their music. I was raised in a very musical home. My dad played the guitar and he was an amazing singer. Although none of us kids learned any instruments, we all enjoyed singing and dancing growing up.


We got tickets as soon as they went up for sale! #80sKids

The Jets treated the audience to a trip down memory lane with their greatest hits and dance moves. They opened with “Bustin’ Loose”, followed by “Cross”, and “Mix It Up”.

The Jets Live in Manila

The Jets busting a move

Us 80s kids grew up with The Jets quite literally. They were just kids as well when they belted out songs like “Make It Real” and “You Got It All” but their unique sound made these love songs relatable to a gradeschooler like me and my bff Patintera.

The Jets Live In Manila

One of my favorite parts of the concert was their tribute to The Jackson 5.

The concert may have started a bit late and some of us dozed off while waiting but I would love to see them again. I just hope it would be at a better venue with more comfortable leg room.

The Jets Live In Manila

Take My Hand is a song about their greatest treasure — their family.

The Jets is an inspiration, not just for their music but for their family values as well. The family that plays together stays together, apparently.

*All photos courtesy of Patintera

Nice Things about The Horse and His Boy by Trumpets

As a C.S. Lewis fan, I felt incredibly blessed last night to be invited to the press preview of The Horse and His Boy by Trumpets. Traffic was extra horrendous so I missed about 15 minutes of the show. Good thing they remained faithful to the book so when I got there, Shasta, Aravis, Bree, and Hwin had just entered Calormen. Their adventure was just about to begin.

I knew Trumpets‘s treatment of the third book in The Chronicles of Narnia was going to be good. What I did not expect was that it was going to be spectacular.

Trumpets brings CS Lewis's 'The Horse and His Boy' to the Meralco Theater.

Trumpets brings our beloved C.S. Lewis’s ‘The Horse and His Boy’ to the Meralco Theater.

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NiceThings at the Digital Influencers Marketing Summit 2015 #dimsummit

I was blessed to have snagged a seat to the recently concluded Digital Influencers Marketing Summit. Now on its 7th year, the #dimsummit is DigitalFilipino‘s “unique conference designed to motivate, empower, inspire” digital marketers in digital leadership and social media marketing tactics.

digital influencers marketing summit 2015

Digital Influencers Marketing Summit 2015 #dimsummit

The speakers were very generous in sharing their best practices. Here are my favorite takeaways:

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NiceThings at Prism Gallery: Giselle Kasilag’s Short Stories Exhibit

I had the privilege of meeting Giselle Kasilag, a photographer/writer at the launch of her exhibit, Short Stories, at the Prism Gallery last October 10.

prism gallery giselle kasilag

It was a joy speaking with Giselle Kasilag. Her passion for her work is inspiring.

Giselle not only captures stories with her lens, she marries her talents in writing and photography by captioning her photos with fictional short stories. Is your interest piqued? It should be.
Here’s a sample of her work, my favorite piece from the exhibit — Wordsmith. I love minimalism and the simplicity of this image drew me in. The short story that goes along with it amused me. It’s like a private joke among my friends who struggle to keep from editing posters, billboards, and public notices.

Wordsmith by Giselle Kasilag

This photo was taken in Barcelona, Spain at an art exhibition celebrating the written word.

The Short Stories exhibit is the result of Prism Gallery’s challenge to Giselle to come up with a series that has never been seen from her before. The result is Giselle’s best work to date.

Giselle showed her work in her first solo exhibit last year at the Yuchengco Museum. Some of her photos have been featured in Times Square in New York, and the Louvre in Paris.

prism gallery giselle kasilag exhibit

Giselle’s wanderlust fills her treasure chest (translation: hard drive) with beautiful photographs.

The opening of Short Stories was graced by Giselle’s family, friends, and Prism Gallery’s habitues. It will run until October 24.

prism gallery giselle kasilag exhibit opening

Short Stories will run until October 24.

One thing I loved about the Prism Gallery is the absence of snooty curators. The place had a very laid back, open, and welcoming vibe, quite  unusual for an art gallery.

prism gallery giselle kasilag exhibit opening night

A guest admiring Giselle Kasilag’s exhibit.

If you love art but are uncomfortable with the buttoned-up, straight-laced feel of most art galleries, you might want to pay Prism Gallery a visit.

Prism Gallery is located at Island Tower Condominium on Salcedo Street, Legaspi Village, Makati City. For inquiries you may reach them at +63.886.3947.

prism gallery

Prism Gallery is tucked behind AIM.