Rachel Faith Mago

They say that developing a new skill takes 3 – 6 months but being able to master it takes longer.

Gilian Isles Cebu says that, looking back 10 years ago, she wouldn’t have known what she would be like in this present time. She was born and raised in the Philippines and then moved to the Middle East only mid-high school, and then returned to the Philippines for college. With all the anomalies in her life, she did not have much time to explore her interests.

After discovering her true passion and getting to know herself a lot more, she is not afraid of venturing out to try new things. She has discovered that she loves teaching and writing. She expresses her passion in writing through a lifestyle blog and writing her book titled “Dear People”. When it comes to teaching, she loves teaching English to foreign students.

But teaching and writing does not even come close to the surface when it comes to her skills and hobbies. She also loves baking, cooking, taking pictures, singing, dancing, crafts and arts etc. She says that she may be skillful but believes firmly that she progresses when it is the right season or when there is a need for it.

Moving back to the Philippines from Saudi Arabia in 2021, Gilian says that she had a lot of things planned and that included her family opening a coffee shop and releasing her book.

To open a milk tea shop was their first plan but a few days before their construction began, their neighbor opened one of their own. Going back to square one, they instead decided to open a cafe and called it “Cafe Miya Miya”,  an arabic expression meaning excellence.

To their customers Cafe Miya Miya may seem like a place to lounge on and exchange OFW stories, but to Gilian, it is as a place to combine all her skills and hobbies. From cooking and baking all the food and taking photographs of it, she is able to have an outlet that gave her the freedom to be able to express herself better.

Seeing all the things that Gilian has achieved makes people wonder how she can keep up with all of it. She says that in order to have peace and organization, she goes by the seasons of her versatility. Diving deeper into her own capabilities, she believes that she progresses best when the season of a certain recreation arrives and she makes the most of it until it passes and a new one arrives yet again.

This is a great testament to how she wrote her book. She says that when the season of writing comes, she just writes and writes until she is vacated of her creative juices in writing. There would come a time when she just wants to do crafts and arts and it would be a sign to make all kinds of DIY projects by herself or with her family.

Gilian Isles-Cebu

Gilian’s life is a representation that shows that there are no limits when it comes to developing new hobbies or skills. Versatility is a strength to embrace and to be used as a driving force to enhance one’s quality of life.

At present, Gilian is writing her second book and is focusing on running Cafe Miya Miya with her family.