about Lina

Hello Universe!  I'm Lina, (pronounced "Lee-na") but you can call me Leens.  ; )   I am an event planner based in Oakland, California, and I absolutely LOVE what I do!  I truly believe that life is too short not to chase your dreams, inspiration can be found everywhere and true happiness is enjoyed most when share with others.        

a few facts

  • I am a highly visual person- I have such a deep appreciation for beautiful things, both natural and manmade.  When I manage to create something I consider beautiful, it makes me truly happy. 
  • It took me quite a few years and some false starts to get me to figure out that event planning could be my profession.  I started studying dentistry, then photography, then nursing, and now business. Throw in a bunch of creative photo shoots, a several years of floral design, 15+ years of dental, a whole bunch of part-time event & wedding planning and designing, followed by years of traveling and here I am now as a full-time Event Planner.  My passion for education has not left me though, as I dream of combining my love of photography and teaching the community one day. 
  • I revel in good, meaningful conversation.  I'm not big on small-talk.
  • My favorite thing to do is to hop in my car, drive to a faraway place, and discover a new adventure -all the while listening and singing along to my music.
  • Spontaneity is always a good idea. 
  • I love hearing stories, finding out about different cultures and I am always trying to learn new languages. 
  • I feel very deeply and this reflects in much of my personality and the way I do things.  I love. 
  • I love food.  I love to cook. 
  • The story of my life has given me the opportunity to visit a variety of different places around the world.  All of these experiences have played a role in shaping who I am today.
  • I am eternally grateful for my family and my amazing (and constantly growing) community.
  • I studied photography in college.  I love to create images that are luminous and organic. My goal is to capture beautiful portraits and the candid in-between moments, all the lovely details, and the genuine feeling and story of your day. 
  • I enjoy the challenge of creativity and stimulation of the visual arts.  
  • I'll always say yes to a travel adventure.  
  • I am always looking at the world with positive eyes & spirits.
  • I'm happiest at dim sum, salsa dancing, and jamming to  music.
  • Chocolate is not unhealthy.  I'm absolutely certain the FDA forgot to mention that chocolate belongs on the food pyramid.
  • I am also collaborating with Lotus Baseline Alliance to help CULTIVATE the community.

my driving force

I grew up around a huge extension of family members and we have always gather over food, stories, and activities.  There wasn't a need for a special holiday or a birthday celebration that would bring us together.  It was simply an occasion for the parents in the families to remain in touch and continue community here in the Bay Area. 

It was the Fall of Vietnam that forced a lot families like mine to leave in different waves.  Luck was on their side when their boats drifted towards Malaysia.  They all found each other and reunited at the same refugee camp.  One by one, each family's freedom was flown out of Malaysia only to be displaced in different countries. For those that made it here to the Bay area, my parents were fortunate to adopt other families and build a new community here.  To this day, we all gather as pseudo cousins, nephews, nieces, aunts and uncles. 

I believe in community, sustaining livelihood and thriving off of 'family' gatherings.  There is such a huge network of love, joy, and support.  Let's increase that vitality and illuminate each person's uniqueness. 


           ... photo credit for the pictures above goes to the very lovely James Buenavides ...