20 Facts About Me

There’s so much content I want to create. I felt that the only thing holding me back was how much you might not know about me.

Over the past year and a half, I’ve shared tons of personal stories with you on my Instagram. I never felt the need to share much about me on my blog except when using anecdotes as examples.

Lately, I’ve been focusing on the kind of content I consume. Most of the content I truly love and get lost in involves others sharing their personal experiences and background. If you’re like me, I hope you enjoy these 20 facts about me and find some parts you can relate to!

I was born in Miami, Florida and raised in Broward County.

Basically, I grew up in South Florida.

I’m a first generation Filipino/Japanese-American.

My parents were born and raised in the Philippines and immigrated to the US in the ’80s. My grandma on my dad’s side, whom I called “Mama”, was full Japanese.

I have a Bachelor’s in Nutritional Sciences from the University of Florida (UF).

I’m the child of two nurses.

Well, pretty much I have an entire family of nurses (my aunts, cousins, and extended family included). It’s a Filipino stereotype for a reason.

Both of my parents worked in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at their respective hospitals. This meant that they saw every worst possible scenario come to life, resulting in major helicopter parenting.

On the bright side, it’s also a big reason why I’m studying to become a pharmacist. Growing up, my parents would talk about surgeries, blood, guts, and even poop at the dinner table. These were normal, everyday topics for us.

Their stories working at the hospital are the reason why medical information just clicks for me. I attribute my love for health & the medical field to them.

I’m allergic to grass.

Yes, I lived my entire life without picnicking or frolicking in the grass.

I only speak English.

My parents didn’t know that learning another language improves intelligence. They were told in the Philippines the exact opposite–that learning another language would just confuse us and stunt learning altogether.

As a result, my brother and I grew up with our family speaking Tagalog at the dinner table, contributing to the already apparent cultural gap. It was a confusing time, but my parents did the best they could with what they knew and the resources they had.

For my first job, I worked as a Food Technician Intern.

I was considering minoring in Food Science, so I started applying for Food Science jobs to see if I’d like it as a future career. That summer, I snagged an internship with the Department of Research and Development of a dry food company in Tampa.

Dry food includes all those mixed cake batter boxes, seasonings, and anything that says “add water” in your local grocery aisles. Basically, I was a glorified baker and food taster.

I’ve been gluten-free since 2014 and for two of those years, I was also vegan.

I became gluten-intolerant in 2013 out of nowhere. It took me that entire year to figure out that gluten was the culprit for my painful indigestion and heartburn.

Becoming gluten-free was pretty isolating in the beginning (being the foodie that I am), but the gluten-free industry has grown immensely since then.

In 2014, I watched Forks Over Knives while doing laundry. To my surprise, the documentary did more than just convince me to eat more salads, and I vowed to never eat meat or dairy again (also to my surprise, I later broke that vow).

I spent those two years learning how to cook all my favorites, using gluten-free and vegan alternatives. Yes, it was as ridiculously expensive as it sounds. But my fiance and I agree that our taste palettes have evolved from the experience! We literally try (almost) anything and everything now with an open mind.

Growing up, my older brother, Jon, and my two cousins, Amanda & James, were the only family my age that lived near me.

All of my other cousins were either in California, the Philippines, or Japan. Only recently did one of my mom’s sisters and her children immigrate to Canada.

However, my parents made the most out of their new life in the U.S. by creating an extended Filipino family of Tita’s (or “aunties” in Tagalog), Tito’s (or “uncles”), and godbrothers and godsisters. Basically, any of my parents’ friends were Tito’s and Tita’s, and any of their children were considered godbrothers and godsisters (whether or not their parents were actually my designated godparents through Baptism).

This extended family originated when my mom flew a one-way ticket from the Philippines to work as a nurse in Miami, Florida. Little did she know that the other successful Filipina nurses on that plane (and their future families) would one day be considered part of our family.

I was raised in a multi-generational household.

My Lola (or “grandma” in Tagalog) and Lolo (or “grandpa”) both helped my parents raise me in Miami, FL. My Lolo worked as a cashier at our local Walgreens, and my Lola stayed home with us.

After my Lolo passed away, my Lola lived with us up until a few years ago. She took care of me and my brother while my parents worked alternate shifts. My mom would pick us up from school then work the nightshift. The next morning, my dad would drop us off at school then work the dayshift.

My Lola was the only constant. She cooked, cleaned, did laundry, and yelled at us to go to bed. I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

My Lola moved back to the Philippines a few years ago and lives in the same house they left when coming to America. She’s still in a multi-generational household with my cousins and one of her great-grandchildren. Living with Lola is considered a blessing in our family, and my brother and I were blessed enough to be raised by her.

When I was younger, I took singing & piano lessons for four years.

I also took ballet lessons when I was much younger but stopped when I realized I looked too different from all the other dancers.

My dad wanted me to be on American Idol, and I kinda did, too. Probably because of all the karaoke I sang growing up.

Looking back, it was performing that I loved the most. For someone that doesn’t like to talk all that much, it felt good to fill the room with my voice and take up space for once.

People in mascot costumes terrify me.

Yes, even if they’re supposed to be cute & cuddly. Absolutely terrified. I will cry.

I’m not athletic at all, but I have a competitive spirit.

My dad wanted me to be a tennis and/or basketball star. Let’s just say I tried. At least I came out of it with a huge appreciation for both sports!

As for my competitive spirit, it comes out when I’m watching a Manny Pacquiao fight or playing any sports/games with friends. I get so focused & hyped even when I have NO skills whatsoever (which is most of the time).

Although, there was one time I almost won a rock-paper-scissors tournament. I went up against someone ACTUALLY experienced in rock-paper-scissors tournaments. It was a proud moment even though I lost.

I have a blue & tan, long-haired, mini dachshund named Beemo (after BMO from Adventure Time).

I bet you didn’t know there were that many adjectives to describe a weiner dog.

I’m in an Asian-interest sorority.

Growing up, I didn’t have any Asian friends outside of my extended family. Then I started college at UF and made a whole 180. I dived into my Filipino culture by joining the Filipino Student Association on campus. There, I fell back in love with performing through cultural and modern dance. I even sang in performances with my friends.

My entire freshman experience was just me realizing that all the funny quirks and “weird” foods I grew up with were really just a part of growing up Filipino.

My junior year I decided to join Kappa Phi Lambda Sorority, Inc. (KPL), the first Pan-Asian interest sorority brought on campus in 2004. I crossed Fall 2013 as part of the Sigma Class, alongside my two Line Sisters. The last semesters of my university experience were spent finding my identity as not only a Filipino-American but also as an Asian-American.

Cuteness aggression is real, and I have it when I come across anything mini.

I try my best not to apply that same cuteness aggression to my mini dachshund, Beemo. Alas, I’m only human.

I’ve been President (twice).

I was President of UF’s chapter of KPL my last year of college. Then when I started pharmacy school at UF, I ran for President-elect of the hospital pharmacy organization on campus.

The President-elect position was a two-year commitment where you took over the presidency in your second year. Three entire years of responsibility, speeches, and a whole lot of problem-solving.

Don’t ask me how I did it. All I know is that it was pure adrenaline and passion that fueled me.

I took my first MBTI test & found out I’m an Introvert in 2017.

A year later, I started my blog…on introversion.

My love for skincare started due to my problems with acne & skin sensitivities growing up.

In addition to my allergy to grass, I also became sensitive to synthetic fragrance when I was 12.

Unfortunately for me, the skincare industry was nothing like it is today. Almost every product had synthetic fragrance–I was limited to using Aveeno, Eucerin, and anything my dermatologist prescribed me.

I spent most of my pre-teen years loading MakeupAlley.com through my dial-up internet connection, just to sift through reviews of skincare & beauty products that aren’t half as good as the products out today.

Now, I dub myself a skincare enthusiast. I even have a separate skincare budget as part of my monthly expenses. My love for skincare continues to grow as I’ve only recently started embracing my imperfections and listening to what my body needs.

I love surprises.

This puts a lot of pressure on my fiance, but I can’t help it (: If you want to see how that pressure manifested into the best surprise proposal ever, watch our proposal video here!

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