About The Writer

When I graduated from college, my first job had nothing to do with my major (Speech Communication). Work wasn’t fun and I was crying in my office cubicle during my first month because I knew nothing about the shipping industry (imports, exports, container terminal regulations, supply chain, etc.). Clients kept on demanding for container rates they knew they could never afford. The information was just too overwhelming! Nevertheless, it was a blessing in disguise working for a multinational shipping line. Even with just a little knowledge about the ports all over the world for 10 months, the experience was like visiting the globe everyday. We had container offerings from Manila to Kaohsiung, to Tanjung Pelepas to Jebel Ali and to locations I’ve never heard before like Zeebrugge. I even found out our local beers are being shipped to Africa every week! That was in 2007. Fast forward to 2014, I was able to visit Brugge, the largest city in the province of West Flanders in Belgium. It’s the place where Zeebrugge is located.

Mini me in Brugge Belgium, April 2014
I left the company without any plan of what to do next. All I knew at that time was that I wanted to write. Though I preferred a profession as a scriptwriter for a big movie company, I ended up being a copywriter for a BPO company, then a content manager for an online media business, and then decided to focus on SEO and online marketing serving American and Asian markets. For almost 7 years now, my career head out to this digital direction, but I never lost the urge to write -- to tell a story. After all, maybe I’m predestined to pen stories that aren't fictional, maybe not the tearjerker type, but more of a true-to-life account that will inspire whoever lands on this little digital haven of mine.


TRAVELS

I started traveling in 2010. Although my family and I yearly go home to Ilocos for vacation and spend Christmas at the beach, I don’t consider it traveling. For me, traveling entails experiencing first-hand culture shock and getting lost in a foreign place. The first time I boarded a plane was also in 2010 (I know, I’m a late bloomer). I went with a friend during my first out-of-the-country trip to Macau and Hong Kong. Why Macau? Because at that time, there was this Korean TV series Boys Over Flowers which was very popular in the Philippines. They shot one or two episodes in Macau. Wherever Geum Jan-di went, I wanted to go there, too. Why Hong Kong? Well it’s just a ferry away from Macau! In all honesty, my first travel experience wasn’t smooth-sailing. I had no luggage, no map, not even packed snacks. Heck, I even lost my brand new Converse and unused, limited-edition Longchamp bag while running towards our gate at Hong Kong International Airport! Nevertheless, I get to see The Venetian Macau, the Ruins of St. Paul, free show at the City of Dreams (not free anymore as of writing), Victoria Peak, Avenue of Stars, Hong Kong Disneyland and a lot more -- with my own money.


I needed the travel, the new surrounding at that time, not only for the experience, but because I needed the healing (Whaaat?! Lol). My heart just got broken in 2010 after a 7-year relationship and I had no idea what to do with my life after that. That year was a turning point and I had a lot of firsts -- both mishaps and thrilling adventures. It sounds embarrassing and funny now that I’m happily engaged (with a different man, of course), but really when you visioned your life with another person and suddenly that person secretly decided to live their double life without you, starting all over again is always the hardest step. Those four days away from the Philippines got me into thinking about plans from A to Z and somehow, I realized there’s really MORE to life than dealing with a broken relationship. First of all, I needed a relationship with myself. I was undeniably bitter at that time (I had every right, you know), but it was a wakeup call for me to better myself. And while the other person chose to be happy without me, I chose to see the world freely, one plane ride at a time -- and that made all the difference. As of February 2015, I already traveled to 19 countries, plus a number of countries and cities to be discovered this year. Some places I even get to travel with my future husband!

Pattaya Thailand, September 2012
How do I fund my travels? Work of course! I have a day job and I do some work on the side. I’m a typical office girl who enjoys work (and the casual attire) because it entails me to have my “me time” after my 8-5 shift. And no, my work now does not stress me out. Most of my travels are with family and those are free. I get to tag along with my parents. Honestly, we’re not rich. We just don’t have an extravagant lifestyle and my parents are very hard-working and I'm forever grateful for that. The ones I pay for are trips with my fiancĂ© within the Philippines and around Asia. I admire those who leave their jobs at a young age and defy being a corporate slave, become a modern-day nomad and move from one country to another after a month or so. I know, you solo travelers will shoot me stories of having a blissful life of travel and that I can live that life, too. I won’t be able to do that -- for now. Why? Hmm... let me see. I’ve been investing in my own place which I bought, plus I’m saving up and planning for a wedding set next year! Maybe someday, it will be easier to book a plane ticket or a train ride not limiting myself with budget, but I’m not in a hurry. I want to experience a little bit of everything in life at the moment -- career, travel, love life. One aircraft at a time will suffice for now.


FOOD

The best thing about having my own place is that I can cook whatever dish I want. When I was younger (living at my parents’ house), shopping was indeed therapeutic. Drinking with friends after work was therapeutic. But now that I’m a mature individual with financial tasks (a.k.a. grown up problems), my priorities shifted. Instead of going out 3 to 4 times a week to have dinner, I happily work my magic in my own kitchen. Cooking has become my therapy for three years now. I started out making Filipino dishes like sinigang, adobo, afritada and paksiw and then geared towards preparing different pasta dishes and even made no-bake blueberry cheesecake. Sometimes I invent dishes of my own because that’s what you do when you have limited cooking equipment (I swear, someday I’ll have a bigger kitchen with an oven, a turbo broiler and a food processor). I can cook pochero but I don’t think I will ever get a pork chop fried right. Though I’m bad at frying fish and pork, I pride myself in cooking the perfect mozzarella sticks -- golden brown and crunchy on the outside, cheese melting on the inside. Yes, I still go out to try new restaurants (cheap, affordable and a little expensive) because I love food!!! (while I’m trying my best to stay less than 105 lbs.)




LIFESTYLE

During my early 20s, I buy clothes, shoes and accessories, especially when they’re on sale -- whatever’s the trend. Yes, I have tons of clothes and they don’t fit my closet anymore! (I have this continuous battle organizing my wardrobe.) I believe this is very common for women who just like to go shopping (especially during sale season), but they really don’t need any new garment. I feel like I already graduated from this phase because I seldom buy clothes these days. If I buy one, it means I really need it or because it’s a basic top or bottom which I can use over and over again. Also, I now pay more attention to skincare products rather than makeup. After 3 or 4 eye cream brands, I still haven’t found the best product to cure my eye bags so my hunt still thrives on (I will write about this soon). Naturally, I’d thoroughly research on reviews first before buying any beauty must-haves, cosmetics and all these girly stuff. Sometimes I’d find a detailed review, sometimes not. So maybe when I discovered a not so popular product or a new one that worked for me really well, I could relay my experience to someone like you who’s going through the same serious beauty/skincare/makeup situation.


Featherdale Wildlife Park, Sydney Australia, October 2013
At the moment, my posts are based on personal experiences. I apologize in advance if anyone will be offended along the way. I’m no expert, but this blog is my gift to myself and a lifetime record of how I spent my life -- as long as there’s internet (and a resource to pay my domain) then that’s a done deal! I will forever be Jena Pastor in my heart -- even if I get married more than once. :D

For any comments, harsh or loving they may be, you can drop me a message at jenapastoronline@gmail.com.

Like My Page on Facebook

Follow Me on Twitter