HELLOCARIS.COM is the bullet journal with unlimited pages I only get to open during weekends. It’s that flimsy old notebook that I carry around and would not throw away; something that I come back to whenever my heart yearns for nostalgia. It is the poem I wrote in a piece of paper that I folded into a plane, a song that’s stuck in my head that I keep repeating. It’s a dump of cringe-inducing things I formerly consider as inspirations from my youth. It’s messy, disorganized, directionless, but it’s home.

You’re welcome, by the way. You’re always welcome. The world is cold and always in a hurry but here, you can just grab a chair and sit for a while. I can tell you stories. I can sing you songs. I can probably lull you to sleep. I’m that boring, random, indoor-loving stranger whose only moving parts were basically her eyes and fingers, but my heart is full of sunshine and cobwebs and storms and rhyming words. Maybe you can find something nice here.

A few questions you did not ask but I answered just because

Who are you?

I am Caris. I was born on the last day of an Ox year. It was raining fireworks when I first cried. My parents gave me a boy’s full name, tweaked it by adding an ‘ne’ to the end, made it more feminine. My second name could have been Joy. They skipped it on my birth certificate.

People had a hard time pronouncing my name OR believing it was mine, so I settled with this nickname. I am female. I speak two main languages, read a third, practice a basic fourth.

What do you do?

I am a writer by profession – an empathic one at that. I took Information Technology, fell in love with making websites back when they were free at Geocities, but sorry kids; times have changed. I started freelance creative writing in 2010 when I decided an office desk job (or being out there, socially exposed 24/7) wasn’t for me. It was a beautiful decision. It was a prayer answered.

Writing was my first love. I wrote my first song when I was 9 years old. I finished my first novel when I was fourteen at the back of a notebook with a Sanrio character on the cover. That notebook is still tucked inside my shelf. As of today, I am sending out emails to agents with a query for an already-finished manuscript with Filipino elements in it.

Other than writing, I draw. I own Caris Creates Things — a shop featuring my artistic attempts at illustrating and typography. Sometimes I’m good at it. Sometimes I’m not. I’m better with words. I also write songs.

During weekends, I minister to the kids at the church my family is currently serving. Sometimes, I speak to the youth and the adult congregation. I was a former worship leader and I wrote songs for the choir and band.

On social media, I post bits of poetry in Caris Writes.

Where are you based?

I’m the cheerful Philippines, kissed by the sun, blessed by the tropics. We’re warm-hearted, humor-loving individuals who have learned to smile at just about anything the world throws at us. You will love it in here.

Who takes your photos?

I DO! I’m not good at smiling at someone else, so I put my mirror-less Sony A3 Alpha camera on timer and then I pose away. I also took all the photos on this blog, unless noted. All of my photos are color-edited (I love the washed-out, vintage effect) with scripts from Creative Market.

Do you travel?

Sometimes. My brain travels better than I physically do; I’m always somewhere and just here at the same time. You’d rarely see travel posts here, but when there is, I’d make sure I’d bomb you with pictures (especially in Europe; they have such amazing lighting there)! Please see Traces for photos + stories of my trips.

Got any questions? Proposals? Comments? Prayers? Email them at info@hellocaris.com