Sunday, April 20, 2014


Scoring 70 in "Flappy Bird" or getting 20 likes for your #selfie is impressive, but not really epic enough to tell your grandkids, or cats if you're likely to end up a cat lady. They'd want to hear more about the exciting and crazy adventures that you had. Did you sail in the Pacific Ocean with a Bengal Tiger? Did you eat barbecue scorpions? Fun stories rarely have anything to do with tapping an obese bird to pass through pipes.
Pocahontas Nicolas Cage
Feel the colors of the wind!
You don't have to be a cliff-diving Nicolas Cage daredevil to enjoy life. All you need is to loosen up a bit! Here are some things you could try:

1. Be brave and ask
Ask important life questions like "where's Wally?" and "what does the fox say?" Seriously though, ask and be nonchalant about the response since any person might be game or not.
Sometimes it's a pleasant surprise when someone is nice enough to play along. One of my friends in TLG asked if we could have a group shot in a photo booth we happened to pass by. The booth was from a fraternity party. The booth guy eventually said yes.
Thank you to Monica's charm!
2. Let it go a la Elsa
My "Dove Girl" body means that I have no abs (yet) so I've been self conscious about my physique for a long time. But I thought, 50 years from now I'll be really old (wow brilliant epiphany). I don't want to be 75, regretting not checking one of the superficial items in my short term goals. This was wearing a 2-piece swimsuit. Sooo sing with me! "My tummy never bothered me anywayyy!" I wore the swimsuit that I've always wanted to during one of TLG's road trips. It was liberating in the sense that I finally stopped caring about what others would say. Sort of hardcore!
group shot quirino
That's me on the left with the blue swimsuit and Vicki Belo smile

3. Be okay with being goofy in public
I'm an Xbox Kinect superstar in "Dance Central" but in real life, I'm no twinkle toes. In a sea of graceful women who are seemingly spineless, there is Sheena, the dancing 5'1" walking stick attempting to wiggle my hips while looking flawless. I obviously fail in this department, similar to the time that I challenged one of the Philippine All Stars' dancers to a dance-off. Thank you strobe lights for making me look cool anyway! My friends had a good laugh and I felt like a winner.

4. Don't try to control everything
There are a bazillion things that you have no control over. This includes "One Direction's" new tattoos and the insane traffic during pay day Friday.
Another example are the prints from an instant camera. One perk is me staring at the cute guy who is shaking our photo. He thinks it'll develop faster. I didn't correct him because I was enjoying the gorgeous view. What was my point? Oh right! Just like 1D's tattoo and the instant print, be okay if things are far from what you expected. It can be liberating or frustrating, that's up to you.

5. Stay Curious
Breaking free from the dull life involves an open mind to new experiences. You get to learn about yourself and get to meet new people too. From places I don't normally frequent, I've discovered that: I like being a pretzel from Yoga, I don't enjoy crowded bars, and painting a park wall is fun stuff.
esteban abada, park, shark, fish
Majestic creatures! Just look at the brush strokes! Wow!
Overall, a good chunk of enjoying life is about loosening up and being open to new things.  that might be a mistake or one of the best things that you could ever experience. 
So go ahead, yell P.I.O.L.O. (which stands for <bleep> I Only Live Once), be a free spirit and go find a more catchy motto!
That's my name!
(photo courtesy of ABS-CBN)
What new thing have you done lately? I'd love to know!
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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Sandwiches and Traveller Friends

Imagine bread. Add a generous layer of Nutella (or lettuce if you're vegetarian). That alone is an impressive sandwich. Now add an equally thick layer of cookie butter (or almonds? I don't know how to make vegetarian sandwiches.) Just like making an awesome sandwich extra awesome, travelling is extra memorable when you get to interact with locals and fellow travellers. Who knows? Maybe one of them can turn out to be one of your life-long friends!

I should also probably note that I'm part of a team who interviews celebrities for our job. We try our best to polish our skills with conversations. Credibility boost!

Here is a quick guide on the do's and dont's of making conversation:

Asking routine questions like: what do you do, where do you live, etc. I hardly think you will tell your folks at home "Guys, I met a social media specialist from QC yesterday!" These are dead-end questions most of the time. How do you branch out to more meaningful topics?

Be genuinely curious about the other and ask questions that aren't limited to a yes or no. Opinion questions are a good place to start. I like to ask where people would hide during a zombie apocalypse. It generates a lot of ideas and helps me be prepared should it happen. Such wisdom!

Ignoring the quiet ones. After all, it's easier to notice and talk to those who are uber charismatic

Talk to the quiet ones. Often they are excellent speakers and are just introverts. With a very active filter system, they like to analyze what they say (is it appropriate, what should the tone be, will people relate to it) before actually talking. The good news is that what they finally do say is golden. 

Finding ways to outshine anyone. If someone says MOA is the most beautiful mall she's been to, don't horde the attention, butt in and mention your sky-diving trip to Germany. First, it is impolite. Second, those things are not connected. You get the idea. 

Follow the golden rule and treat everyone nicely like you want them to treat you. Let them have the spotlight and wait for your turn. 

Spreading negative vibes. I usually notice people gossip, complain about their jobs, etc. I then associate them as people who bring the energy down and not so fun people to be with.

Spread good cheer and focus on giving genuine compliments instead! People will feel great and you are happy because you made them smile. Can I get a virtual high five? Up top. 

A random road trip in the Philippines is a perfect place to practice your social skills! Visit for more details. 

Sheena Peña interviews and snaps photos of both veteran and newcomer local celebrities for a living. She finds it challenging to add a witty second sentence to her bio.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Cafe Ysabel for the Anniversary: Like a Sir!

Jopeena is 3 years old! No, that is not my baby's name! What better way to celebrate our anniversary than to eat at an elegant restaurant? A trip to Hong Kong of course! But this is about an elegant restaurant! He chose Cafe Ysabel and it was perfect for our special day.
Outside Cafe Ysabel San Juan Philippines
It looks like a really pretty ancestral house from the outside

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Let's See a Waterfall!

One morning...

"Sheena, bring extra clothes! We're going to the waterfalls" 
"Uhm, yay!" 

I haven't had a legit vacation while being employed in quite a while, so this was literally a breath of fresh air.

Also, so I won't bore the readers, I decided to make this a photography guide as well. I am not a pro, but I've been to several workshops along with what I read and apply from online, so I hope this helps someone teehee.
Chocolate river!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Magnolia Flavor House and Why It Wasn't Super

Also applies to the flashlight and paperclips
What used to be an old ice cream factory was closed, and around a year ago was re-opened to a modern-looking ice cream house. A few weeks ago, my friends and I decided to eat dessert in Magnolia Ice Cream House located outside Robinson's Magnolia.

magnolia flavor house sign
Oh boy oh boy oh boy