Things I Noticed in Over The Moon As An Architecture Student

Over The Moon is a 2020 animation film available on Netflix and here I’ll share the things I noticed while watching the film.

For the first few minutes of the film, I immediately thought that ‘this is Chinese’ pertaining to where the film is set and the characters themselves.

When I had the thought, it got me thinking of how did I instinctively knew that the film is set in China? And so what I did was I looked for clues.


Its really amazing how all these details have come together— nature  technological advancement, folktales, and asian culture to craft an amazing story.

Everything sums up and supports the development of the characters. Also, I hope there would be more animation films, not just in Japan, and China but in other countries as well that truly depicts their authenticity. It would be an amazing learning experience to compare different animation films (from various countries) and discuss what’s different in each of them and by then, we will be able to understand each other more deeply through film and design.

Healthy Relationships in Books

I am one of those people who grew up during the early days of Wattpad and during those times, most of the main male characters in Wattpad are extremely possessive, *bad boy aura*, rich, a CEO or someone from a wealthy family, etc.

But now my taste in romance books has changed. Note that I really like them a lot when I was young and I’m not at all regretting that I read those kinds of books in the past because if my younger self had refused to just read then I would not even be reading right now.

Going back, what I look for in romance books right now are healthy relationships. No fidelity, no extreme possessiveness, no men telling women what to do, no changing each other but instead loving and respecting their partner’s decisions.

I extremely believe that you cannot change someone but the only thing that you can do is love them.

I am grateful that such books do exist today and I hope that this will continue. The following books below have main characters that have gone through challenges in life and they found someone who does not try to change them but rather accepts them for who they are. Character developments are amazing in this books. The love in this books are compassionate and the one that makes you love yourself too. Also, I love that these books feature strong heroines (yay!).

  • Love In The Afternoon by Lisa Kleypas
  • Beach Read by Emily Henry
  • Rush by Emma Scott
  • Archer’s Voice by Mia Sheridan
  • Most of All You by Mia Sheridan

Dont Let it Dominate You

“Don’t let it dominate you.”

A sentence I read on author and artist Austin Kleon’s IG stories. (I’m not sure if the quote is his as I was too busy pondering on the sentence itself).

And here is digital creator and my fav youtuber, Dinara, on her IG stories:


There are so many deadlines (and its not yet even midterms) to do and it takes constant conscious decisions to always choose joy and think that I am more than just productivity and academics.

Now that I am much more laidback in academics (like I do not so much burn myself to death to accomplish assignments), I felt better, more satisfied, and I felt much more in control with my time and overall, with my life.

And I realize that when I do not put too much importance to academics, the better they turn out (same as with Dinara’s conclusion). That is why I always remind myself that this too shall pass because then I will not be worked up so much when faced with grueling homeworks and plates.

I will not be put into some happy, magical place once I finished my homework, there will always be more work and hence, I should control how I would like my life to be like.

I hope you don’t stress out yourself so much on whatever it is you are working on right now. Steal some time for yourself and don’t let anything dominate you.

Procrastination is more than just Laziness

I have a design project that I have to submit in a few weeks (although its still far away, I’m the type of person who prefers to do tasks right away) and after starting it, I realize that my progress is slow. I thought its because that the deadline is still so far away and that I do not feel the need to rush. But, I began thinking about it differently after I watched this video of @evolveandbloom. (Fun fact: I created a Tiktok acc because of her. In Facebook, I saw a video compiling her best Tiktok vids and I created my own acc just to watch her other videos.)

Based on my actions, I would honestly say that I am procrastinating and that is why I progressed really slow. But from her video, I began to understand and rethink my perspective about procrastinating.

I’ve been hearing this a lot from my professors and a few of my classmates that the reason why people procrastinate is because of laziness. But there is so much more to procrastinating than just laziness.

I am reminded of what social psychologist Devon Price wrote in an article entitled Laziness Does Not Exist, “People do not choose to fail or disappoint. No one wants to feel incapable, apathetic, or ineffective. If you look at a person’s action (or inaction) and see only laziness, you are missing key details. There is always an explanation. There are always barriers. Just because you can’t see them or don’t view them as legitimate, doesn’t mean they’re not there. Look harder.”

Going back to my design project, the reason why I procrastinate or progress slowly (than what I hoped for) is because I don’t know what to do. The project that we have is a new topic and we haven’t even been able to discuss it. I’m just so lost that I do not know where to start. In other words, I’m avoiding negative emotions.

When I’m in the act of doing my project, the negative emotions are too much and they impede my progress.

Wharton organizational psychologist Adam Grant wrote in an article, Procrastinate Much? Manage Your Emotions, Not Your Time, “The psychologists Timothy Pychyl and Fuschia Sirois have discovered that procrastination isn’t about avoiding work; it’s about avoiding negative emotions. We procrastinate when a task stirs up feelings like anxiety, confusion or boredom. And although it makes us feel better today, we end up feeling worse — and falling behind — tomorrow.”

And how do we deal with it? The answer is not better time-management.

“This means that if you want to procrastinate less, you don’t have to increase your work ethic or improve your time management.” Mr. Grant wrote. “You can instead focus on changing your habits around emotion management.

One thing that I practice (that I essentially works for me) is writing down what you want to make progress today. I cannot possibly complete the project in a day but I can complete small tasks of that project. Before I start working, I write down things that I want to accomplish for the day relating to the project and sticking to it. It helps me to reduce thinking about the project as a whole or the more daunting tasks far ahead.

My negative emotions are holding me back and they gradually stop once my head is on a task that is not too hard but not too easy. Another tips are to gamify the task and give yourself a deadline (I use this a lot and it really works).

Basically, Parkinson’s Law. I give myself like an hour (I have a timer beside me) to finish a task and sometimes, I went overboard for a couple of minutes but the vital thing about it is it gets you to work and to progress at it quickly because you have a deadline to meet.


So, recently our country, the Philippines, has been hit by Typhoon Ulysses just days after the strongest typhoon of the world this year has hit our country.

I ask for your help either through donations/just simply reblogging or reposting.

Here is the link for general infos on donation drives:

Our organization set up a donation drive as well. Any amount is appreciated.

I hope that you are having a wonderful weekend.

We are all struggling

We are all struggling.

This is what I’ve concluded after my ninth interview for our college newspaper. I have been part of it for over three months now and had talked with so many new people during those months and I’ve come to the conclusion similarly to what Canadian astronaut Col, Chris Hadfield said in an interview. He was asked what what advice would he give to his 20 y/o self and he answered, “I think what might’ve been worthwhile to explain to myself at 20 is to recognize that every single person you meet is struggling.”

I watched the video above a couple of months ago and I remembered his line just as I was reflecting my latest interview with a blocmate. He was one of my close friends in my first year of uni and when we started online schooling, we barely exchanged messages and I noticed that he hadn’t been attending classes. So, I became curious on why he isn’t attending (although he is enrolled). Also, I’m working on an article that focuses on various circumstances that certain student faces while we are undergoing online classes during the pandemic. I had an idea of featuring him in the said article.

After interviewing him by exchanging messages, I am just amazed by how brave and strong he is. The interview ended with an agreement that I would not feature him due to how personal his story is and it would not be a really nice idea to share it to the public. But I just was so speechless that he even make time for university despite his personal problems and workload.

But the point here is, we are all struggling. The least that we can do or what our professors can do as well is to acknowledge that we are all in various walks of life and be considerate of each other. As what T.S. Elliot stated, “What do we live for, if it is not to make life less difficult for each other?”

I recently discovered this music video of For King & Country for their song ‘God Only Knows’. After watching the music video several times, I cried.

What made me cry is how “normal” the scenes displayed in the music video. There was neither bullying nor abuse. The music video simply depicted the “normal-ness” of life. It’s so normal that I can actually see myself in the video and that is why I cried.

I can remember the moments when I’m in train going home from university (pre-COVID) and I would look at my reflection on the train windows and I’m surprised by how ‘normal’ I look whereas on the inside, I am just so exhausted and I just want to go home quickly and cry.

I also have this habit of scanning the faces of people who are taking the public transport with me and thinking ‘one of them might have been scolded at their job today’ or ‘one of them might be feeling exhausted like I am and we just want to take a break from everything’. Although, I’ve been doing this subconsciously, I observed that this is a way for me to practice empathy.

I have to think that they are experiencing pain in their lives too. Just because I do not know them doesn’t mean that I have to dehumanize them. With that in mind, the least that I can do for them is to be kind.

Col. Chris Hadfield:

“… to recognize that everybody you meet, every single one of them, no matter how expensive their suit is or how serious their expression is, they are looking for significance. They are trying to do the best they can, and they fail regularly. And they’re within their own particular battle of their own life and so cut them some slack for that.

Don’t let them off the hook but recognize the shared nature of being a human being and let people be themselves. Make some allowances for them, treat people a little more kindly as a result.

Treat people a little more kind today. Thank you.

Commonplace Book

My own commonplace books!

Commonplace books is where I jot down passages, paragraphs, sentences from books, articles, movies, documentaries, and speeches that resonates with me.

Sometimes, it hasn’t even resonated with me yet but the way the author stated it is beautiful and I just write it down.

I got the idea of writing down sentences that I want to remember from Ryan Holiday. He shared in his book that he kept index cards wherein quotes are written in there and the ideas stated in his books are all from his index cards.

And while I was reading that more than a year ago, I thought that its cool and I wanted to try that too. And so I did.

For everything that I read or heard that I found beautiful, I write. And not until a few days ago did I learn that what I previously call ‘quotes notebooks’ are actually called commonplace books and it has been practiced by a lot of people!

Here is what journalist Dwight Garner wrote about his own commonplace book: “I use it as an aide-mémoire, a kind of external hard drive. It helps me ward off what Christopher Hitchens, quoting a friend, called CRAFT (Can’t Remember a F— Thing) syndrome.”

One of the reasons why I continue to jot down in my commonplace books is because I want to remember.

I considered going for my phone to jot down but most of the time, I just want to sit down and read my quotes notebook without a lot of distractions and getting tempted to open other applications.

Also, one thing that I’m fascinated in is how I have read them dozens of times and yet, somehow, I still get new connections from them. That this paragraph from an author is actually connected to the one this person stated. Or I have read something new and a quote from my commonplace book is actually related to that but they are not even the same person!

And commonplace books are where I get blog post ideas and that is why my blog posts are full of what other people has stated and I am not complaining. They are amazing, amazing people. They expressed what I want to be said better than I can and they shared something that I do not know and hence, I’m so grateful to have an avenue where I can share what I learn, that hopefully as much as it resonated with me, it can resonate with others too.

I thought about reading other people’s commonplace books must be so exciting of an activity because it shows what you prioritize, what you value, and what you focus on. Like for example, Ryan Holiday’s index cards are mostly about stoicism.

Mine’s all over the place but most of my quotes are somewhere along psychology and design. And it shows how you grow over time. Mine started with a lot of stoicism passages, then moved on to sentences about creativity, then went on about being an artist and showing your work, and now, its more of being grateful and living life.

Consider starting one and watch yourself grow through the pages!

Make your own Bible.

I have this notebook that contains design projects that are human-centered or empathizes with its users and I actually refer it as my Bible.

Those projects I wrote in that notebook are things that I want to remember especially once I partake a job. And somehow, those things that I wrote in my Bible became stepping stones to the start of my design blog and I started writing articles in our college newspaper about how space design can affect users.

Until now, even though my ‘Bible’ is full, I still go back to it from time to time because my plates in my design subject are human-centered so my Bible acts as my guide.

Moreover, I find it interesting that there are so many others before me who have their own Bible as well, and that Ralph Waldo Emerson actually recommended to everyone to create one,

Make your own Bible. Select and collect all those words and sentences that in all your reading have been to you like the blast of a trumpet out of Shakespeare, Seneca, Moses, John, and Paul.

Aside from a design notebook, I also have a quotes notebook.

Will this choice enlarge me or diminish me?

In the first issue of his weekly newsletter, Sunday Snippets, youtuber and doctor Ali Abdaal wrote how he and his friend have the hedonic adaption in their minds as a reminder while they are picking out houses to live in Cambridge.

According to Science Direct,

“Hedonic adaptation refers to the notion that after positive (or negative) events (i.e., something good or bad happening to someone), and a subsequent increase in positive (or negative) feelings, people return to a relatively stable, baseline level of affect (Diener, Lucas, & Scollon, 2006).

From: Advances in Motivation Science, 2018

He and his friend have the concept of hedonic adaptation in their heads so that even though there are houses that are looks great but costs a lot for their budget, they would not be tempted to choose it because in the long run, it will not affect their happiness.

After pondering about this matter, I remember what writer Oliver Burkeman shared, an advice he received for making major life decisions,

When stumped by a life choice, choose “enlargement” over happiness. I’m indebted to the Jungian therapist James Hollis for the insight that major personal decisions should be made not by asking “Will this make me happy?”, but will this choice enlarge me or diminish me?” We’re terrible at predicting what will make us happy: the question swiftly gets bogged down in our narrow preferences for security and control. But the enlargement question elicits a deeper, intuitive response. You tend to just know whether, say, leaving or remaining in a relationship or a job, though it might bring short-term comfort, would mean cheating yourself of growth.

To bridge over this two concepts, I remembered how, a year ago, my father asked for my thoughts about living on a bigger house with a swimming pool and wherein me and my siblings will have our own rooms. I answered how I think that our current house is fine. It’s small but it’s perfect for our family.

Back then, if I was asked the question, will a bigger house make us happy? I would have answered yes.

But knowing about hedonic adaptation and reflecting on my past actions, such things would make us high at first but it will not affect on our long-term happiness.

But if I was asked, will a bigger house enlarge us?, I would answer no. And with that, we could focus on bringing our money to other much more important matters.

And today, whenever I get anxious about a project or an assignment, I will remember that whatever may be the outcome of it, I will always return to my natural state which is happiness.

I don’t know what career title I want to take in five years

I started committing to this blog around April 2020 and it has been a road full of exciting possibilities since then. I am aware that in order to have an output, I had to make an input—read, listen, watch, feel.

And since then too, I learned so much from the comfort of my home than I ever did in my first year of university. The Internet completely changed how I view myself and the world. And it hasn’t been around for like 50 years???

And one of the best thing that I learned is its definitely okay to follow what’s interesting to you at the moment.

I always write about this in order to remind myself: It’s okay to not follow the desired path. Continue following your interests and desires. Continue doing your hobbies. Continue spending your free time from university on what YOU wanted to do, instead of what the society wants you to do.

And since having this mindset—on focusing on the work and not any career title—my future became less and less clear to me and that thought makes it even more exciting.

If someone (and I know someone will ask me sooner or later) where do I see myself in five years, I will honestly say, I don’t know.

I like overthinking about the future but I want to be at peace with myself and unapologetically state the truth that I don’t know and that’s okay.

Writing and reading has completely changed my life. And like I mentioned, when I started having my interests and desires as my compass, every day seems to be an adventure. I never know what I may find, what opportunities I will attract, what ideas I will receive, and people I will know of (recently, I discovered Ali Abdaal through one of my favorite authors—who I discovered just by following my interest too—Austin Kleon and god. why did I just knew him now?? Please do check his youtube channel thank you)

Last year, I never knew that I’ll start a personal blog nor a design blog. I never knew nor even dreamed of that I’ll be interested in human-centered design, study of play, creativity, and joy. But I did.

And this goes to show how unpredictable the future can be and hence, I will not stress myself out on trying to figure out what I want to do in the future and instead, be at peace with myself right now.

A few tips from the amazing Unjaded Jade (she got this tips from an incredible business woman she did not mention her name though):

1. Give yourself options.

And you do this by gaining lots of different skills i.e. following that most interests you right now and never minding whether its something related to a career or not. just do it. Then move on to the next interesting thing you find.

2. Put effort into everything that you do.

So now you followed the interesting things, next thing is of course, the work. Make sure you learn through this experience. Make every day count.

Lastly, if you do have a plan for the next five years, that’s great! I love how you plan things out. I see you.

But for me, although I do not have exactly a five year plan, I do have values. Values, hobbies, interests, and desires that will lead the way for me as I go on to these unpredictable life.