Hello! Mabuhay! 안녕하세요! 你好!
I am Alenna Dawn. Ako si Alenna Dawn. 저는 새벽 입니다. 我是 黎明 (officially known as 艾莉安).
Currently, I am in Taiwan doing an internship and student exchange program in Chung Yuan Christian University located in Zhongli District of Taoyuan City (less than an hour away from Taipei).
I’ve been living in Manila and studying in a university since 2014. A small town girl, I grew up in the province of Batangas (southern tip of Luzon which is 2 hours away from Manila). I grew up yearning to travel outside of my hometown. Don’t get me wrong, I love Batangas – it’s my little paradise. Since I was a kid, my parents would bring our whole family to the nice beaches, farms, mountains – all those nature’s landscapes. This might be the reason why my heart whispered, “See the world.”
As soon as I turned 18, I went out to (Coron/Busuanga Island) Palawan for my first solo travel. The island itself made me fall in love with my country even more. Apart from the experience, gaining friends from all over the world was definitely a highlight of my first adventure. From that point on, I told myself, “Go back, Palawan is where you belong.” And I did. The last time I was there was September. It was before I left Philippines for the first time to see another country.
#DawningInKorea: I went to South Korea for an exchange student program that lasted until December. When I was encouraged by the adviser of the electrical engineering department to participate in the program, I jumped into the opportunity since I knew it would introduce me to a whole new perspective (of the world, of people, of other countries, of culture, of tradition, of academe, and all other aspects). True enough, life as a student in Kumoh National Institute of Technology situated in Gumi of Gyeongbuk (three hours from Seoul) was exceptional. I must say that despite not being able to travel as much as I should have (due to the winter season) in South Korea, I still had a great time because of my Korean friends and other international friends.
#DawningInTaiwan: Once again, I was granted an opportunity of a lifetime to study abroad. This time, I told myself, “You have to see the whole country. You’re going to travel and be blown away by Taiwan.” Ever since I’ve arrived (the end of February), I went out couchsurfing while traveling. I’ve been to Hsinchu, Taitung, Taichung, Nantou, Xiao Liu Qiu, Taipei, Fulong, New Taipei City (Tamsui, Muzha), Kenting, Kaoshiung, Tainan, and I’ll be seeing more and exploring more for the next few months till I leave at the end of June. It wasn’t hard for me to fall in love with Taiwan. It’s a beautiful country made even more beautiful by its people. The Taiwanese people are the best, I must say. I am looking forward to meeting more people during my travels.
I’ve always been different, at least I felt like it. There was even a point that I thought I was weird. I was treated differently by my family, my friends, and other people. I never really understood why. However, I learned how to embrace my individuality. I realized that there will always be differences between me and another person. It must have been just a feeling. I’m unique. We all are.
Standing 173cm tall, I’m a proud morena. I love how the Filipino skin color envelops my entire being. For me, it’s beautiful. My dark brown hair falls straight through past my shoulders until below my chest. (I honestly wished it was longer. I can try to make it longer, right?) I’d like to think I’m fit. (Maybe not so much, but fit enough, I guess so. This might have been due to genes, but I’m guessing more of from what I love to do.) I love being active. From starting Taekwondo when I was 13 (stopped when I turned a brown belter at 14, though I’m a varsity Mapua Institute of Technology), to practicing boxing and kickboxing at home and working out through Muay Thai – I view martial arts as an art form. I’m glad that my father opened my eyes into getting into it. My only regret was refusing to do so when I was younger. At a very young age, my father (we call him “Papa”) taught me and my siblings how to ride a bike. Sharing his love for cycling, me and my brother grew up loving it. I peaked at biking during my high school days, I would bike every single day (before sunrise and after sunset during the weekdays while whole days of the weekends). I also joined a couple of mountain biking competitions. (Of course I won, I’m very competitive, you know!) I excelled in both of those sports that’s why I dedicated and committed myself while I had the time to do so. Otherwise, some other activities I do are surfing and hiking.
One of the things I’m passionate about is the marine life. I love swimming, snorkelling, and especially scuba diving. I was a SDI/TDI open water diver and now a PADI advanced diver. Growing up in Batangas, I was always sent to Lobo at my grandfather’s sister’s house which is beside the beach. I swam everyday during summer vacations. It sparked my love for the underwater world. A goal of mine is to dive all over the world and to be part of an organization that promotes marine conservation.
I was a journalist when I was in high school. (Started as a writer for The Leaf, I ended up being chosen as the editor-in-chief during my senior year.) Since I was a little kid, I read and read and read – a lot of books. I also wrote poems, stories, opinions, and kept journals/diaries throughout the years. It may be through writing that I best express myself. (Although, for personal reasons, I stopped. I had a complete stop from reading and writing for a while. There was even a point that I thought I wasted my time on reading and writing. What’s important is that’s all in the past now.) Through my past experience in journalism and as an avid reader, I developed my love for the surprise of the unknown. It developed me into life learner where the harmony of the world around me becomes fascinating. In order to satisfy my hunger for knowledge, I read a lot about politics, social issues, culture, travels, and especially people.
I value conversations, the good ones though, involving humor where you’ll be able to laugh at yourself, natural flow of communication, culture in general and even specific, social issues, staying healthy, and most especially the freedom to think out of the box. In a nutshell, I am a restless, analytical, and opinionated person. Sarcasm is a spice of life, so bring it on. No, a dirty joke doesn’t easily offend me and I can even dish out one of my own. However, a great level of respect is important at all times. Despite my straight forwardness and honesty, I always keep politeness a priority. I would define myself as independent, embracing feminism. I support equality.
In terms of fashion, you would see me at my simplest in my day to day life. I never really learned how to put on makeup. I always had someone do it for. My usual get up: yoga pants, comfortable shirt, running/training shoes, and pulled up hair (if it’s hot outside). It might seem like I will be going for a workout session. I just feel comfortable this way. However, I also love dressing up; painting my lips red and putting on some high heels occasionally is something I do. Through being a muse for my high school, participating in traditional Philippine festivals, and representing my college organization in beauty-related shows, I got the chance to wear all these glamorous clothes and be made up like a queen. It was actually a nice feeling when you look at the mirror. I’m impressed by how makeup artists can transform one person from being so simple into a grand whole new being. I admire people who wear makeup and who can do their own makeup, It’s just never been my passion and I feel like I can’t maintain it. An eyeliner, little lip tint, and clear mascara is my go to look – i hate putting powder on since I sweat a lot.
My taste of music varies from moods and activities. Generally, I love classical music. All kinds of classical instruments from different eras and countries are very much adored. Though I also enjoy listening to jazz, RnB, EDM, pop and newly released hits, I prefer to listen to them in specific times regarding what I am doing. If you’re wondering if I play an instrument, the answer is no. I can’t even sing. I never really exerted much effort into learning anything in terms of music. Despite the fact that Papa has a complete set of band instruments at home; acoustic guitars, bass guitars, drums, keyboard. My older brother plays the guitar and drums well while my younger sister is a great composer and guitar player as well. Mama plays the piano since she was a teenager. Papa? He plays everything. He sings well too! I enjoy watching them play. I’m part of their audience. (What else can I do? Come on, I think that’s good enough.)
I love watching movies and TV series. Horror movies are certainly movies I would pick. (I usually go the cinema alone to watch horror movies. FYI, they don’t scare me at all.) But then, I watch any genre and criticize on a movie’s quality. Some of the movies I found interesting are Frequencies, The Theory of Everything, About Time, and A Beautiful Mind. But being a chick that flicks, I am in love with Love, Rosie. It is one of the movies that really got into my emotions and made me cry all throughout the entire movie. For TV series, I watch/watched Big Bang Theory, Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, How I Met Your Mother, Two Broke Girls, Breaking Bad, Leverage, How to Get Away with Murder, Suits, Grey’s Anatomy, and Once Upon A Time.
Speaking of OUAT, I have two lovely dogs named after the show. Papa’s gift to me, my Siberian Husky who is more than two years old is named Captain Hook (Killian Jones). He has red hair and blue eyes. On the other hand, my new puppy, a Labrador Retriever given to me by Norman’s mom (Tita Hedy) as a gift, is named Sergeant Snow (Snow White/Mary Margaret). Your guess is right! She’s white as snow. I used to have Rottweilers before, Harley (female) and Davidson (male). They both passed away due to age and sickness, respectively. I love dogs, all of my friends know this for a fact. However, I do love cats too. (It’s a long story on how I drifted away from loving these cute creatures too much.) All animals actually. I was once a vegetarian when I was younger, since I loved animals so much. (Yes, I was indeed a weird kid.)
I have a lot of things I am passionate about and I will definitely write about them, so stay tune!