Tuesday, October 16, 2012

On Resignations

I feel sad everytime good hires decide to leave the company. More than anything, we invest time in making better corporate individuals out of them and the worst thing is that they often give up even before we're halfway there. There's a lot of potential in most of them and it saddens me that they allow themselves to be swayed by how they feel, mistaking it for a logical process.

If there's one thing I've realized all these years, it's that it's easy to give up just because we think we're not headed where we're supposed to go or because what's happening is not according to our ideals. Ideals are precisely that-- ideals. Everyday, we have to work towards our goals and sometimes we turn out as planned and oftentimes, we don't.

That's life. Deal with it.

Guess what I really resent is that good hires leaving is a set back to me. I need an heir to my humble throne and I won't get to complete my mission of finding that person if my potential heirs leave before they even prove they're worthy.

Fail. Again.

As in 30-day blogger challenge fail. I wonder how hardcore bloggers do it? :)

Friday, October 05, 2012

Day 8: Hong Kong

Day 8: A place you've traveled to

(Note: I'm continuing the 30-day blogger challenge which I started in August 2011. Obviously I wasn't successful then. Let's see now!)
Hong Kong is memorable to me because it's the first country I traveled to outside of the Philippines. Even though I was only about 10 years old then, I still remember the feeling of seeing a whole new country for the first time. Different people, different languages, different way of life. It was all fascinating to me. After quite a long time of trying to explain myself to the people I talk to, I remember the joy I felt when someone approached me and spoke to me in Tagalog. I didn't realize that there were a lot of Filipinos there, but somehow it was nice to know there were others like us. I was eager to see the similarities and took notice of even the little things. It was my first time to see a place outside of the Philippines and I instantly recognized how much more progressive they were. I think I rode the MTR before I've even tried the LRT!
The entire experience was memorable from applying for a passport and getting the worst headshot taken just outside of the DFA premises, getting on a plane and landing in a different country to arriving back in the Philippines with tons of memories and stories to share. 

When people tell me they're going out of the country for the first time, I get really excited for them, especially kids, because I'm reminded of how cool it was back then.
Fast forward to 19 years later and I've already gone to a lot of other countries after that trip to Hong Kong. The farthest ones I got to visit through work and one of the 'firsts' that I enjoyed was traveling alone. First I traveled back from the US to Manila alone and I was so paranoid about missing connecting flights! And then I was sent to UK on official business -- that was excitement on a much, much higher level. I was alone in a country far, far away, and I survived and made the most out of it.
Weird, but to be in Boracay alone is also in my bucket list. It would've been the easiest to do, but what's stopping me is the thought of the nights. The days I'll survive alone. All I do is hang at the beach anyway. The nights, though, I need to drink and drinking ain't fun alone. Soooo.
The end!

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Day 7: No, we can't talk about it.

Day 7: Favorite Movies

(Note: Because I feel like it, I'm continuing the 30-day blogger challenge I started in August 2011. Here's my second attempt at finishing it!)

Most of the greatest movies have a killer soundtrack and with my being a music junkie, it's just natural that I'm drawn to perfectly crafted moments that months or years later, I sometimes can't remember the whole point of the movie anymore, but I'll always remember the scene.

10. Wicker Park

Precisely for THIS moment.

9. City of Angels

I cried my eyes out for this movie. In this particular scene, I totally understand the longing that Seth feels and how difficult it is to lose a loved one, like I'd be willing to trade anything for five minutes with my brother again.

8. Phonebooth

This one I love just for the sheer creativity of it. I was watching it in awe at how cost-efficient this must be, not to mention the superb scriptwriting.

7. Devil's Advocate

"Let me give you a little inside information about God. God likes to watch. He's a prankster. Think about it. He gives man instincts. He gives you this extraordinary gift, and then what does He do, I swear for His own amusement, his own private, cosmic gag reel, He sets the rules in opposition. It's the goof of all time. Look but don't touch. Touch, but don't taste. Taste, don't swallow. Ahaha. And while you're jumpin' from one foot to the next, what is he doing? He's laughin' His sick, fuckin' ass off! He's a tight-ass! He's a SADIST! He's an absentee landlord! Worship that? NEVER!"

6. Meet Joe Black

It's not in the trailer, but here's one nice quote from the movie:
"Find someone you can love like crazy and who will love you the same way back. How do you find him? Well, you forget your head, and you listen to your heart. And I'm not hearing any heart. Cause the truth is, honey, there's no sense living your life without this. To make the journey and not fall deeply in love, well, you haven't lived a life at all. But you have to try, cause if you haven't tried, you haven't lived."

5. Before Sunrise / Before Sunset

Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy's chemistry is undeniable. I know most people who got bored with this movie because it was all talk and not much action, but I'm such a sucker for good conversations. While watching the movie, I felt like I was with them.  It's one of those 'fate brought us together' types, but here you can really feel the characters connecting. And the endings are almost always open-ended -- leaves us to create our own.
"What if you had a second chance with the one that got away?"

5. 500 Days of Summer

This is a love story that ends realistically. They didn't end up together.  This scene is the most heartbreaking of all.

Deconstruction 101

Tom: You never wanted to be anybody’s girlfriend and now you’re somebody’s wife.
Summer: That surprised me too.
Tom: I don’t think I’ll ever understand that… I mean it doesn’t make sense.
Summer: It just happened.
Tom: Right… but that, that’s what i don’t understand. what just happened?
Summer: I just, I just woke up one day and I knew.
Tom: Knew what?
Summer: What I was never sure of with you.
Tom: You know what sucks? That everything you believe in is complete and utter bullshit. It sucks. You know, destiny, soul mates, true love and all that childhood fairytale, none sense. You were right. I should have listened to you.
Summer: I guess it's coz I was sitting in a deli and reading Dorian Grey and a guy comes up to me and asks me about it. And now he is my husband. So what if I've gone to the movies? What if I had gone somewhere else for lunch? What if I'd gotten there ten minutes later? It was meant to be and I just kept thinking. Tom was right.

4. Any Given Sunday

One of the best inspirational moments ever.

3. Love Actually

Sweet. This movie is pure love. So many characters whose lives, for some reason, are intertwined. This particular scene is romantic but not cheesy. It's so genuine that if it happened to me, di ko siya tutuksuhing baduy!

2. Almost Famous

Everyone dreams of that rockstar moment. For those who are not in the scene, we've always wondered what it's like to be in it. That sense of being brought together by music, sharing the same passion, loving what you do and the shit that goes with it.

Before this scene, there was conflict among everyone in that bus. There were so many issues that have not been resolved and ill-feelings harbored towards one another. They're a tight group, but it was falling apart. Then the song came on, and without dialogue, we see everyone coming together again.

Don't we all have that moment when we come into conflict with the people we care about, like the "I so hate you right now" feeling?  No matter how big our issues are, our love and affection for those people will never go away. We go through rough patches, but there comes a moment when apologies need not even be said. It can be a joke that everyone can't help but laugh at, or a song that you all just can't help but sing along to. In that moment, it's all understood and we are okay :)

This will go down as one of the best sing-along scenes ever.

1. Fight Club

Nobody does mindfuck as well as Chuck Pahlaniuk does.  Add David Fincher's filmmaking prowess and we get a fucking good film which I saw over and over and over again.

Here's one of the best dialogues --- in kinetic typography.
It's the greatest moment of your life, man, and you're out somewhere miserable!

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Day 6: (Drunk) Plants vs Zombies

Day 6: A picture of something that makes you happy

(Note: Because I feel like it, I'm continuing the 30-day blogger challenge I started in August 2011. Here's my second attempt at finishing it!)

This photo never gets old! Can't help but laugh whenever I remember this one Christmas get-together when all of us got hammered silly and started doing crazy weird stuff. Trigger-happy me just started snapping away and it was only the morning after when I got to see what kind of shots I took.

One of my friends was sitting on the cooler, Indian style, staring at the sky while sucking a straw in her mouth. One was beside a tree doing the Beyonce booty shake with white shutter shades on... And then this!!! They're seriously role-playing I guess. What you don't see in the picture is one of our guy friends crouched on te floor, carrying the flower pot on which this plant was on to make sure that the pea shooter always had the paso with her wherever she goes. Mwahahaha ha shucks. People our age aren't supposed to play like this anymore!

Notice my friend who has the purple stocking on her face with matching facial expression! And the zombie is looking at the camera, bet she's smiling underneath - that or she's giving us the scary face. We wouldn't know!


Tuesday, October 02, 2012

███ ███ ████████ █████ ███ █████ ███.[ʙʟᴏᴄᴋᴇᴅ.] (ʀᴀ ɴᴏ. 10175)

This Cybercrime Prevention Law is just too ridiculous not to write about. If it were to take effect in its present version, consider this an attempt at increasing my years in prison for all the libelous things I said about no one you could identify all over social media.
Good thing my posts have always been vague. You won't know for sure that it's you I'm talking about in those rant posts unless you get to walk inside my head. And if you have a strong feeling it's you, I can't blame you and you can't blame me for harboring those thoughts about you.  And I'm not naming anyone here except for the stupid government who even allowed this to progress in such a state.
What the hell is wrong with you?! To think that the person who added the libel clause plagiarized a blog (read: STOLE) which was why he was subjected to such intense cyberbullying in the first place.  And then the person who signed it claims he reviewed it thoroughly. Either he was lying to cover up his complacency or he's also that stupid to even be able to discern what those clauses really mean.

Are we to blame if we don't take well to stupidity? 
The Cybercrime Law is just so stupid I wonder if those who wrote and signed it even know how social media really works. I can go on and write about this all night but I'll be in super deep shit by then.

███ ███ ████████ █████ ███.[ʙʟᴏᴄᴋᴇᴅ.] (ʀᴀ ɴᴏ. 10175)

Day 5: "My body feels young but my mind is very old."

Day 5: A song to match your mood

(Note: Because I feel like it, I'm continuing the 30-day blogger challenge I started in August 2011. Here's my second attempt at finishing it!)

One day, I'm gonna leave this planet
You know I'd stay but I just can't stand it and
I can feel the warning signs running around my mind
One day, I'm gonna leave my spirit
I'll find me a hole and I will live in it and
I can feel the warning signs running around my mind
Half the World Away, Oasis
Hmmm. I haven't been in the best mood lately. I can be my usual happy self on the exterior and that's because I really don't want to pull anyone down with me. I try to sort things out by myself with the help of some friends who would lend their ears and listen to what I have to say.
I'm actually not sure about what it is that weighs me down, I just know there's something.  I've been needing more trips to the beach lately. I just want to be near the water so I can smell the sea, breathe fresh hair, look at the sky and get some peace and calm. It also helps that I'm surrounded by friends. When we're talking silly and laughing our hearts out, I feel great. When we talk serious and they listen to me, I feel genuine concern.
Of course, those trips eventually end and we get sucked again into the monotony that is everyday life. Then we go live on the surface and try really hard to trick our minds and look okay.  There are times when we forget, but when we remember, it kind of feels twice heavy.  Then there are people you hang with, who call themselves your "friend/s", who expect you to listen to them but not listen to you.  It's okay because when I call myself a friend, I listen. 

THEN AGAIN, it could be my hormones writing.
I think this song comes pretty close to articulating my mood. The lyrics are quite self-explanatory.

Monday, October 01, 2012

Throw Your Arms Around Me.

I'm sorry. I'm sorry that at the end of the day, I find that it's not the work that frustrates me.

And I'm not not sure what I'm holding out for or what's in the way. This frustration is unnecessary and I'm not sure I want to do this for a long time.

This shouldn't be it. Whatever I think, say or do next could be perceived as selfish, but it has got to happen.


Day 4: Dad and Mom

Day 4: Your parents

(Note: Because I feel like it, I'm continuing the 30-day blogger challenge I started in August 2011. Here's my second attempt at finishing it!)

I think my parents are a good match in that they balance each other out.
Mom is a disciplinarian, owing to her Spanish heritage.  Her dad was pure Spanish, who married a Filipina and my mom and her six other siblings grew up in a very strict and calculated environment.  They had house rules and they obeyed them. Their family is very traditional and so are their values. This is apparent in the way my uncle and aunts from mom's side would raise their children - very strict and prohibitive, bordering on overprotection and suffoctation. From bathing to eating to studying and how one carries himself in public -- everything is covered by rules of what and what not to do.  To a certain extent, Mom shares this mentality with the rest of her family, but I think she's exercising a lot of caution in imposing these things on us given the fact that my dad does not operate in the same way.  I share my pet peeve for dirty toilets with my mom and her spending habits -- we're both impulsive shoppers. We're not the type to shop every chance we get, but when we want something, we have to get it, even if it means realizing weeks, months or years later that we didn't need what we wanted after all.
Dad is very liberated. Although they have traditional family values, our grandparents from Dad's side have been lenient in exercising them, or at least that's what I remember from all the years we spent with our grandparents during our childhood. Dad is not strict at all. Occasionally, we get reminders from him but it's never as if he were scolding us. He would use sarcasm to drive a message and that works for me and my sister.  He leaves the disciplining to Mom, but he steps in most of the time to act as our lawyer. I see myself as my Dad's mini-me. We share a lot of common interests and he's such a big influence in my life. I went to Ateneo because when I was growing up, he made me believe that there was no better school. So when I was in Ateneo, I got confirmation: There's no better school. HAHA. I like fast cars, love the water and drink like a fish -- just like my father.
Most of the children out there would say their parents are the best. I would say the same for me. I am here because of them. I'm having a good great life so far and I wouldn't have had experienced any of this had it not for these two people who are the world's greatest.


Hanging out in a coffee shop because I woke up early and decided to head to work well ahead of time.

I've been doing a lot of domestic traveling this year, and it helps in some way. I'm listing the places I've been to so far. Memories are the best souvenirs :)

January: Boracay, La Union
February: Boracay
March: nowhere
April: nowhere
May: Ilocos, Batangas, FRANCE
June: Batangas, La Union, Mindoro
July: nowhere
August: Iloilo, Boracay
September: Zambales, Boracay


Sunday, September 30, 2012

Driving on a Sunday Afternoon

I cherish long drives on Sunday afternoons, when the traffic isn't so bad and the weather is just right, like today. This is my alone time in the city.

Armed with my Sunday playlist, I set out to drive up north to meet a friend and watch a movie. I took the longer route. Instead of passing through C5, I took EDSA through Katipunan going to Eastwood.

The drive from our home to Eastwood has given me enough time to reflect on so many things, mainly on how I miss the simplicity that comes with youth. I love that not a lot has changed. Katipunan still has that familiar charm inspite of the many commercial establishments that have sprung up since we went down the hill 8 years ago. There is that old familiar feeling reminiscent of the good times; all those crazy nights and lazy days. We hung out with the same people at the same places everyday but it was never monotonous. The days were fun, hectic, boring, dramatic or wild, depending on what episode you're watching.

Fast forward to 8 years later and I'm still sorting myself out. I'm pretty anxious about what lies ahead, but eager to see what more is in store.

Our lives tend to play out in the most unexpected ways. What I am now is not how I pictured myself to be when I was younger.

The present is a result of the decisions I've made in the past and I don't have any regrets. I've come to realize that reality is often at odds with our ideals, but we are in a position to make the most of what we have, take the best out of it, and be grateful for everything.

Being grateful just makes everything look better.


Friday, September 28, 2012

I want a one-way ticket to anywhere.

Boracay used to be a happy pill, now it has become more of a pain killer that can only last for so long.

I think I'm overwhelmed by the monotony of the day-to-day, enhanced by the fact that sometimes, the environment can be somewhat demotivating.

It's a little bit discouraging to feel like as if I don't share the same level of committment with other people who are supposed to have an even higher sense of ownership. And I'm just really, really, really tired of how things are sometimes.

A drink, a trip to the beach  --- they've all lost their magic.


Thursday, August 02, 2012

Reality vs Expectations

Sometimes, it just sucks not to know, and worse, to not have the courage to ask. We just have to live with what we have, accept what's thrown our way and pray that we're getting it right.

And sometimes it gets really frustrating to not be able to say what we want to say and do what we want to do.


Monday, July 30, 2012

Revenge of the Fallen

A lot of things are going on lately and a lot of things are being done around us. It's a challenging time, but when I say challenging, I don't mean difficult. It's challenging in a way that it fires up your insides and pushes you towards a goal.

And all this is brought about by circumstance. It's nobody's fault, but it's everybody's responsibility.


Quick check-in

I've been meaning to write here and I've already thought of several topics.

Pero wait lang, busy ako!


Tuesday, July 03, 2012

We're in hell right now, Gentlemen.

And, we can stay here, get the shit kicked out of us, or we can fight our way back into the light.  - Tony D'Amato (Al Pacino), Any Given Sunday

Actually, we're not in hell. 

Just thought that this line from one of my favorite movies was a good one. The past few months have been pretty cray at work, with a lot of good and not-so-good developments (wouldn't say bad), but We. Are. Not. In. Hell. In fact, things are looking up and I'm positive that we will have a strong finish this year.

Of course, there are crappy days and weeks, but everyone has them, right? Without crappy, we wouldn't know happy. Like many brave soldiers, we carry on day by day and make the best of what's left to us, and fight for what we think we deserve.

We shall leave no stone unturned. I get goosebumps whenever I come across Al Pacino's locker room scene in Any Given Sunday. I feel it. If you don't get even just an ounce of motivation from it, I don't know what kind of cold-hearted creature you are.

"You find out life's this game of inches, so is football. Because in either game - life or football - the margin for error is so small. I mean, one half a step too late or too early and you don't quite make it. One half second too slow, too fast and you don't quite catch it. The inches we need are everywhere around us. They're in every break of the game, every minute, every second. On this team we fight for that inch. On this team we tear ourselves and everyone else around us to pieces for that inch. We claw with our fingernails for that inch. Because we know when add up all those inches, that's gonna make the fucking difference between winning and losing."

Friday, April 06, 2012

Lenten Reflections (Oh My God)

When we were younger, we observed the Lenten season quite differently. This was the time when there were just the malls, TV, radio and nothing else. We felt the solemnity of the season because of the quietness of the surroundings -- malls were closed, TV stations showed religious movies, and radio stations played nothing.

Today, it's different. I feel that somehow, the significance of the season is a bit diluted owing to the fact that there are a lot of distractions. Twitter, Path, Pinterest, Draw Something... and the tons of torrents I downloaded.  More people see it as vacation season than a time for reflection, and I'm not judging them although our family's the type who would stay instead of be somewhere else because we're all brought up that way.  Now, to me, the holy days sometimes feel like any other holiday. No work and that's it.

I admit that I've been jaded about Lent for quite a while. When we do the Stations of the Cross, it feels like The Rosary. A bunch of repetitive prayers that sometimes lose its meaning in the middle of the act, when your mind begins to zone out, wishing to get it over and done with.  What's more meaningful to me are the personal prayers - praying on my own in my room, while driving in the car or kneeling before the altar at the church because the way we profess our faith now is kind of disenchanting. Some people go to mass for the heck of it, like a requirement that you have to do but would jump at any chance to have a super valid reason to skip it. 

I was bored out of my wits on Holy Wednesday and Holy Thursday.  Staved off the boredom on Holy Wednesday by driving up north to see friends and have a couple of beers.  What made a difference, though, was the decision to do the Way of the Cross at Highstreet on the night of Holy Thursday. I decided to do it for two things: 1) I felt slightly guilty of not doing anything for Lent. No mass on Ash Wednesday, no fasting and not even observing the no-meat Fridays; and 2) I was bored and wanted to go out.

The Way of the Cross at Highstreet made a difference because it personalized the otherwise routinary Stations of the Cross. It doesn't really describe the stations through scriptures entirely, instead, it encourages the participant to reflect, through certain Acts, on the real meaning of Lent. Aside from being reminded of how God so loved the world that He gave his only son, that Way of the Cross also made me think about my own life - the blessings I have and the people around me who make my life worth living. I came out eternally grateful, again, to the Lord, and to all my loved ones.  At one point, as part of the activity, I confessed my sins to the air, and felt comfort knowing that I've been absolved.

I liked it because it was personal. It was an entirely different way of reflecting and experiencing Lent, of recognizing and seeking absolution for my misgivings, of appreciating the blessings and the challenges thrown my way, of praying and seeking strength and guidance, and of reinforcing the fact that I have not lost my faith and that I just needed a more sincere way of practicing it.

Writing a prayer for the people who make our lives worth living. #WayOfTheCross #BHS

I remember one particular moment this afternoon (Holy Thursday), while I was lost in my own world tinkering with my iPod and BlackBerry alternately, my Mom reminded me about how good God has been to our family.  Four incidents of cardiac arrest and a heart attack, but still, here we are, talking to each other on Maundy Thursday.

I have always known this, so I wouldn't say it's a realization, but somehow the thought still struck me: God really is here. He has always listened to and answered my prayers even if I question Him ALL THE TIME.  I do not always understand Him, but I've always believed Him.  And I don't only call on to Him in times of deep trouble or dire need.  God is the first one I call when the roller coaster takes that sudden dip or when Ryan Gosling takes off his shirt or when I finally get that first swig of beer after a long day at work.

OH. MY. GOD. Thank you for everything.

I love you.


Saturday, March 24, 2012

IT IS more fun in the Philippines.

NOTE: This post is ONLY somewhat related to tourism.

With my nephew back in his home in Quezon City to have his measurements taken for a suit, my sister in Clark for a company event, and my father out on his customary Saturday Golf day, I'm the one spending quality time with my mom tonight. Saturdays are the only time when I get to really bond with her. I'm out everyday and almost every night of the week, sometimes even Saturdays and Sundays.  So by my dad's design, I have mom time every Saturday morning. I pick her up from her dialysis treatment then we have lunch together. Depends on her energy level, we can sometimes spend a few more minutes looking at clothes in the department store... or not.

It's interesting to note how the times have changed.  Before, it was our parents making the effort to spend time with us amidst all the work and everything else that they have to do and us children eagerly anticipating family time.  Now, it's us making time for our parents, trying to go home for dinner midweek so that we can all be complete at the dinner table.

It's during these Saturdays that my mom gets to tell me how she spent the week, her worries and issues, and at the same time I get to tell her anything I feel like telling her. As she was watching TV a while ago while I tinker with my iPod right beside her, she begins to show me this news program on TV5 that she loves watching everyday at around 7 p.m.. It has a special segment on the different sights and tourist destinations in the Philippines. I immediately recognize this as part of the tourism campaign, in the same way that TV and radio stations have created their own "It's more fun" station IDs or somehow included the campaign in their regular programming.

My mom mentioned how much she loves that segment on the show about tourist destinations.  She remembered the feature on Siargao, a virgin beach with white sands, and tonight, the feature was on Boracay and how the government is gearing up for the influx of tourists during Holy Week.  She's never really been to Boracay and she's curious about why I love going there over and over and over again, multiple times of the year.  I tell her about the recent beaches I've been to -- the ones she hasn't visited (You see, my mom also loved going to the beach when she was younger).  I told her about Siargao, Boracay, Anawangin, La Union... in a really animated way as I get in the zone when I talk about the beach. Then she drops a one-liner that almost made me want to slam my stuff and run out of the room as fast as I can: "Sayang, sa TV nalang ako nanonood, hindi ko na mapupuntahan lahat yan."

Instead I sat there, frozen. Staring at the TV screen but not watching.  You see, I know what the situation is. I know fully what she meant by what she said.  But somehow, confronted by an instance like that, I was at a loss for words. And it's just like me to gather my bearings in a matter of seconds and utter a comeback which would get me out of the situation: "Alam ko na, gusto mo ng Ice Cream? Wait, I'll get us ice cream!"  *Excitedly exited the room*

The moment I was out of the door, I heaved a sigh. I hate being in a situation like that. I cannot take it. It's just too damn difficult to face. And although the situation is what it is, it's still such a pain to hear references to it being uttered aloud, as if actually hearing concrete sentences verbalized by other people makes something that's been running around your head all the more true.

I go back to the room with ice cream, and as I handed my mom her share, I said: "Don't worry, mom. You will live vicariously through me."

She nodded, smiled and took a spoonful of ice cream.


When you live like this, you're supposed to party.

It's true that time flies when you're having too much fun. When people comment about how much time I spend going out, the quantity of alcohol I consume or that I may be abusing my body in that I stay out way too late on weekdays sometimes, but still manage to get up in time for work, I always say that I'm just taking advantage of the time I have in my hands.

I've been exposed to the reality that we really are only young once so we must enjoy our youth. My brother and cousin passed away way before they were supposed to, but in hindsight, they did enjoy their lives.  I wouldn't say fully, but they surely maxed out their time on earth doing the things that made them happy.  Their lives may be short-lived but they were well-lived. I can't imagine leaving this earth without having experienced the stuff I'm going through now.

I am making the most out of my life one day at a time. I don't want to be the kind of person who grows old someday wishing she did this and that. I want to be able to tell my grandchildren about the experiences I had, the things I tried and the lessons I learned.  Pretty much like how our parents are guiding us now.

I used to feel frustrated that I'm single when some of my friends were already starting to be in relationships -- but really, that's what highschool and college do to you if you're not in the flow. It makes you feel some sort of left out, when in reality, it really doesn't matter.  I realize I'm okay and I seem to be enjoying my life even without a constant companion (yet). That, or I've gotten used to it, but either way, I don't feel any less or even feel like I'm missing out on something.

Honestly, if I may say so, while some friends are already getting married, I'm not even convinced about marriage yet. I don't see myself being a homemaker yet, who needs to go home after work to attend to the children and prepare the food. Homework? Google it, kids! Food? Call for delivery!

Of course I understand that's naturally the next phase (eek) but until I get to that stage, I'll enjoy as much as I can.  I want to be able to do everything while I can do them appropriately and avoid being a 50 year-old lady doing sex shooters at Summer Place and dancing wildly as Lady Gaga plays in the background.

But the way I see it, I don't think I'll ever get old. I mean, appearance-wise, yes, I'm going to look older someday, but in spirit -- I don't think so. I don't see it. I can hang with the young ones and engage them in a real conversation about cartoons or the bestselling fictional books of the moment as much as I can talk to the senior ones about current affairs or what not. Then there are people my age and those slightly below or above my age -- I don't have trouble relating to them at all. AGE is really just a number.

We should always be young and wild and free. Appropriately.


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

How does an old computer feel like?

If multiple windows are open all the time.

If the user persistently presses the buttons.

If it's overloaded and only little of its memory is available.

If it never shuts down.

It gets tired. It hangs. It will not respond. After a few minutes, you're lucky if it responds. Sometimes it just freezes. And crashes.

If you don't back up, you will lose everything.

Back up, because you will eventually have to replace it.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Some things are just not meant for some people.

I initially thought that the Foo Fighters cancelling their Singapore show merited its own rant post. We've waited for weeks. We've made arrangements and all that was left to do was get to the airport and leave. Exactly a week before the concert, we heard news of the cancellation while chilling AT THE BEACH. Long story short, concert tickets were fully refundable but plane tickets were non-refundable. I was heartbroken and disappointed, but I knew that nobody wanted this, even the Foos, and no matter what I say, the bottomline is that the show was cancelled, we cannot refund what was lost on airfare and I couldn't fault Dave Grohl and the guys for depriving me of a rock and roll start to my birthday month.

Half-a-week later and the Bar results came out. For the second time, a friend did not make it. Now we're taking about her future, making a career-shift and life-changing decisions. She invested not just funds but also time in trying to fulfill her dream of practicing law in the Philippines. I will never know how it feels to not have passed the Bar, but I see the pain and I can't do anything to rectify that.  All we can really do is try to help her make the best decisions and support her with whatever she decides on. And pay for her beer while she doesn't have work yet.

The cancelled concert and the bar exams are obviously not at the same level, but I believe there's always a reason why some of the things we want are not given to us. I don't really care about the Foo Fighters anymore. I've gotten past that. It didn't affect my life in any major way. The Bar, on the otherhand, is the game changer and I can't wait to see how my friend's life makes a turn for the better. We're all rooting for her.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

My name is Tom. Tom PETTY.

There is value in opening up to the right people. Or at least people who will give you the same listening ear that you offer to them.

After a heartfelt conversation, I told someone to not apologize for pouring himself out to me, and that he can return the favor when I get the chance to do the same (meaning, pour my heart out, talk about my issues and let emotions rule).  To which he replied, "What? eh yang mga issue mo naman petty eh... like gusto mo pumuntang Boracay o whatever. Mag-asawa ka muna, mag-anak at makipaghiwalay ka sa asawa mo then we'll talk."

Ok. I acknowledge that I can be a brat. I can be petty. I don't know as much of the world as those who have piled on the years ahead of me. I make an issue out of needing to go to my happy place (Boracay, not Bora) or submerging my favorite Converse sneaks in a puddle of mud, having to deal with dirty restrooms and warm beer.  I don't know how it feels like to be separated from my spouse. Heck, I don't know how it feels like to have a spouse. I don't have children and I don't know how tough it is to be a single parent. 

BUT I have a mother with a terminal medical condition. At some point in the day the thought of losing ANOTHER loved one in a snap scares the shit out of me but I couldn't call home because I don't want to know.  I can't describe how it feels to see my mother cheat death over and over again. This is an old issue for our family and it's been going on for years. I'd understand if some people who've been hearing about it for quite a while eventually get tired of it.  For us, though, this causes a dire strain in the heart. It fucks up the mind. And going to the beach provides a respite from that. Watching a concert. Drinking beer. WORKING. All the petty stuff I do.

My point is what's petty to you may not be petty to me and that's fine. I understand that some people can relate to certain levels of petty while some carry greater... what do we call them? Burdens? As it is, I really don't open up to people much. When I think about it, most of the time, I actually listen more than talk.  There are a few friends I really open up to beyond the pettiness and perhaps the reason why I open up to them is because no matter how shallow or deep, significant or insignificant, these people have never looked at my issues as any less important or unworthy of drama.

This doesn't mean that just because someone sees me as petty I'll stop lending an ear to that person, too. I won't. If a friend is indeed a friend to me, I don't see their issues as petty because I recognize that everyone, regardless of age, has their own crosses to bear. And I know that even if I don't really know a thing or two about what they're going through sometimes, allowing them to pour their hearts out to a willing ear helps even a bit. I know that because my friends do that for me, too.

There. I just wanted to express what I really think dot com. And maybe this exact same post can be used as another example of why I'm petty.

I don't care. I'll be in Boracay by tomorrow!


Sunday, February 12, 2012

Hello, E.R.

Trips to the hospital Emergency Room are not unfamiliar to our family.  In the last seven years, we've had a lot of them in varying levels of urgency and each was always different from the one before it.  Suffice to say, we know how it feels to bring a loved one to the ER. Having never been confined in the hospital, I've always wondered how it felt like to be on the hospital bed, IV drips and all, but not that I wanted to experience it.

Around this time last year, I took a personal trip and experienced it for myself. It was harrowing, it  being a 'first' for me in many aspects: first allergic reaction; first time to drive myself to the ER; first time to feel extremely out of breath - the type where you grasp for air not knowing when you're going to pass out; first time to be injected for a hep-lock; and first time to lie in a hospital bed as a patient.

It was the uncertainty of it all that bothered me to a great extent. I didn't know what was happening. I didn't know if I was going to die. I didn't know if I could really trust them with my life. I wasn't sure that they were the best in their fields. Inspite of all my concerns, everything was resolved eventually. The doctors gave a good explanation (enough to satisfy my curious and discerning mind), including a proclamation that I shall avoid eating clams and similar shellfish for the meantime.  After that incident, there were three more instances where I had to be brought to the ER. Two of them because of allergies and one because of heartburn.  The heartburn was the scariest and most dramatic. I almost had an Armageddon moment when I thought I was having a heart attack, which turned out to be just an extreme case of acid reflux from all the vinegar I had that morning with my longganisa. I was imagining scenarios in my head while they took me around in a wheelchair, transferred to a hospital bed, injected with a hep-lock and attached wires to my chest for ECG. I noticed that the wrist tags were color-coded. The blue ones were for children (pedia), yellow ones were for adults, while red ones were for priority cases (read: SOMEWHAT critical) regardless of age. Camown.

That seemed a lot for a person like me who has never been confined or subjected to any life-saving treatment prior to this, but then again, it all seems minor when mom enters the picture because she always steals the show in terms of levels of urgency.  Most of the time, I wouldn't even inform her that I've taken a trip to the ER in order not to stress her. My father, on the otherhand, seemed to make fun of the situation everytime (I think only my mother can really make him enter a state of panic), snapping pictures of my swollen face and fingers and yapping about how I ate too much shellfish, more than what I deserved and this was why the universe was trying to get back at me.  Somewhow, that helped ease my worries a bit. Someone with a sense of humor holding my hand in an urgent situation is one thing I'm really thankful for. I had the happiest (and weirdest) emergency bed in the hospital.

Two months into the new year and I haven't had any allergic reaction even when I accidentally ate shellfish.  I hope I don't get to take any more trips and that the allergic reaction goes away. It sucks to not be able to eat all the shellfish that I want.

I swear.


Friday, February 10, 2012

I consume alcohol.

It does NOT consume me.

Needless to say, but I'll say it anyway -- I survived the 7-day sobriety challenge and I've rewarded myself with... er, what else?


Wednesday, February 08, 2012

The Iceman Cometh. Again.

Yes. Again.
Kimi Raikkonen is back and I couldn't be happier. F1 needs a driver like him and he is more suited to F1 than any other racing discipline he's tried.  I didn't really lose interest in F1 when Raikkonen resigned from Ferrari and decided to do WRC, but I watched less of the races because it became too predictable. Red Bull was just so superior that there wasn't any doubt that they'd finish the season as champions.

Kimi, on the other hand, was okay with WRC. He brought life to the sport. His stature in the racing world is similar to David Beckham in soccer -- he has the ability to draw crowds and encourage them to patronize the Red Bull brand. I've been reading articles where journalists would say that Kimi's presence alone has helped the economy of the sport since he drives attendance and viewership. Too bad it was boring for him. Guess he missed the adrenaline of physically racing with opponents as opposed to setting best times.

I still have to get used to not seeing him in Ferrari Red or Red Bull Blue and the fact that he isn't in a tier-1 team, but I'm not expecting anything grand as of this point. I don't want to be speaking ahead. Just look at Schumacher. The guy just couldn't stop himself.

But at least I have another distraction. Kimi, I hope you win some races this year! I'm excited! :D

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

This shouldn't be so hard.

You're just so anal and paranoid. What happened to keeping cool? We want to motivate people and inspire them to work, not make them work because they're scared.

Just saying. No worries, I'll say this to your face, too.


Monday, February 06, 2012

The Great 7-Day Sobriety Challenge

People really do underestimate me sometimes. I have officially begun a 7-day no alcohol challenge last Friday and I'm determined to see it through. This, after someone made a bet with me saying I couldn't stay away from alcohol for seven days straight. Of course, it was up to me to prove him wrong. My competitive side will always be evident in instances like this. I love being challenged and rising up to it, moreso when almost everyone says I couldn't do it.

Friday was movie night. I got three calls for booze last Saturday and turned them all down. Turned down a drinking invite yesterday and this afternoon, too. All these people from different sets of friends said the same thing: sober for 7 days? Not happening.

Funny, there are too many non-believers that I'm actually second-guessing myself.  I'm beginning to doubt that I could do it, too. Imagine that ice-cold bottle after a long day at work.... NO. I cannot imagine.  It's now less of winning a bet and more of proving to myself that I can set my mind into doing something and actually achieving it.  It is senseless and totally useless, but I'm prepared to see it through.

Day 4, here we go.


Friday, January 20, 2012

Happiness often sneaks in through a door you didn't know you left open.

Now I can write about it (because I think I'm a better writer than a speaker and because I've realized that tributes should be given to people while they're alive, not when they're dead).

There's not a lot of people who would use the words cool and awesome on their bosses, but I'm one of them. I must say I'm really blessed to get Obi Wan Kenobi, Yoda, Mr. Miyagi and Dino Tengco rolled into one!

He is many things to many people and I've seen him go out of his way to ensure the happiness of those he cares about.  To me he is a giver of wisdom, knowledge and alcohol.  He's primarily a boss who morphs into a brother figure, friend and life coach slash drinking buddy. His is the voice that challenges me to do better everytime, in everything (surprise parties included). 

His 40th was an opportunity for me to give him something in return in my own little way. Not only because he asked for it, but also because he deserved it. When he first said he wanted a surprise party, I remember shrugging it off and thinking to myself: that's a tall order. Imagine having to pull-off a surprise event for a guy who organizes surprise events? It's like getting hired to be Michael Schumacher's family driver.

As his birthday drew closer, it became clearer to me that I was really going to have to do it for him. Not that I needed to be pushed to do so. I wanted to do it, too.  I just wished I could execute it the way I envisioned it, but of course, we did have certain limitations. It's great that someone came forward to fund it (hehe) and sort of initiate it.

For all that he is and for all that he is not, I want to see him happy and I'm glad to have had the chance to do this for him. That night felt like what he probably feels everytime he does something for someone -- that genuine feeling of happiness in making someone feel appreciated and loved.  He may have had another agenda in pushing for his own surprise party, but I guess we all had our own takeaways after everything's said and done. :)

Few can say that they have superiors who can put up with their quirks. I know I have to put up with his occasionally, but he really doesn't have to deal with mine... and yet he does. Honestly, it could be a bit hard to get to me. I'm not exactly easy to get close to, but if people get to me, they get me for life... but this does not pertain to an employment contract. If that whirlwind romance happens, I can't promise anything anymore. HAHAHA. Anyway, even if I don't agree with some of the choices that he makes, just like all of my friends, I will always have his back. That's not to say I'll turn a blind eye - he will also always have a piece of my mind whether he likes it or not (because I'm stubborn this way), but nonetheless, right or wrong, I'm on his side... because Robin will never leave Batman no matter what.


Monday, January 16, 2012

It's the time of the month...

for sappy love songs. Yes, sappy love songs. It's one of 'em days. I couldn't work without music and I couldn't work with my usual playlist. So today, it has to be sappy. It just has to be. I have to listen to random lyrical depression and stay silent and sullen, taking in the quiet, reflective mood as if the lyrics spoke of my life story. Until I realized, it doesn't. It's quite depressing that I have nothing to be depressed about, so I'm in a funk for the sake of being in a funk, just because the universe calls for it. Nothing is really wrong. Nothing is amiss. It's just the way it is... for the next five to seven days at best. No one is allowed to be giddy happy all the time. There has to be a dip somewhere and this is it.

In between emails and phone calls are my iPod and Twitter. And in between them is blogger as a form of release. I have to qualify that my brand of sappy isn't as sappy as your brand of sappy. I'm not listening to Kenny Loggins or Bread or Martin Nievera. Mawkish music is brought to me by bands like Switchfoot, Aqualung, The Script, One Republic, Daniel Powter, Dashboard Confessional and the like, and they put me in a pensive mood, seriously. Songs like this one, playing on my iPod now:

Dare You To Move

Welcome to the planet
Welcome to existence
Everyone's here
Everyone's here

Everybody's watching you now
Everybody waits for you now
What happens next?
What happens next?

I dare you to move
I dare you to move
I dare you to lift
Yourself up off by the floor

I dare you to move
I dare you to move
Like today never happened
Today never happened before

Welcome to the fallout
Welcome to resistance
The tension is here
The tension is here

Between who you are
And who you could be
Between how it is
And how it should be yeah

I dare you to move
I dare you to move
I dare you to lift
Yourself up off by the floor

I dare you to move
I dare you to move
Like today never happened
Today never happened

Maybe redemption has stories to tell
Maybe forgiveness is right where you fell
Where can you run to escape from yourself?
Where you gonna go? Where you gonna go?
Salvation is here

I dare you to move
I dare you to move
I dare you to lift yourself
To lift yourself up off by the floor

I dare you to move
I dare you to move
Like today never happened
Today never happened
Today never happened
Today never happened before

I need ANOTHER trip to the beach.


Sunday, January 15, 2012

Hi, 2012!

I realized that I haven't written my yearender for 2011.  And with that realization, I shall take no action! Haha. The questionnaire I usually answer now seems boring to me so I'll probably just summarize it.

2011 was a relatively great year. My social life was busier, and liver more hardworking than ever. I've always said that I might have just a few friends, but the ones I have are all I need. And this still remains true. I've met new people, but I've been closer to my inner circle. My friends have always been there for me through the years, and after more than a decade, I didn't think we could grow closer than we already were.  But in 2011, we did. I think it was a year of strengthening relationships. I bonded with a lot of people and in the process, discovered a lot about myself, too.  In 2011, I've had a lot of realizations and have become more open to things and feelings that I wasn't keen on acknowledging before. I learned how to enjoy moments, live in the present and forget about the future for a while.

There were those nights spent in the company of good friends where we'd get just a little buzzed but nonetheless drunk in good conversation, long talks and endless laughter, some of them ending just before the sun rose. 12 days after we welcomed 2011, I fell on my knees on the streets of Burgos Circle, inebriated and a little bit high, giddy, happy and shameless. I gathered all the confidence in me, stood up, held the hands of my friends, laughed a bit, took a few steps and then fell again. So we repeated the procedure: Gathered confidence, held the hands of friends, laughed a bit... took a few steps, successfully entered the bar, went up the stairs and fell on my knees again. I fell thrice in one night, all those times I got up and laughed. This was pretty much how I dealt with life's blows in 2011: I gave myself a chance to laugh at... myself each time I fell and then I rose from the fall like nothing happened.  Having the ability to laugh at myself eases the blows and in some way provides an outlet for me to acknowledge my misgivings in a way that I'm comfortable with.

I celebrated my 28th birthday in Boracay, my happy place, and it was one of the memorable moments I had in 2011. At the stroke of midnight, I was in the company of good friends having drinks by the beach coupled with an awesome party playlist, walking, dancing and skipping on the shore while I spoke to my family and friends on the phone. I couldn't have done it better. Until now, I smile whenever I remember the good times.

Then there were the epic trips to Batangas and Bacolod with the Barracudas, Cebu, Naga and Singapore for work, weddings, bridal showers, trips to Tagaytay every now and then, Thirstdays (and all the other days), BF Hits, Resorts World, Nuvali, Walking Tours of Manila etc. with the GGirls, Mercato / Banchetto / Foodtown and Soderno nights, the one-on-one nights at Gweilo, Agave, Eastwood, everywhere else (I swear even Tomas Morato AND Strumm's), including of course that Tiendesitas night that started in Hap Chan and ended in Jollibee with my not-so-horrible boss, Breakfast Club mornings, Pilipinas Tara Na shooting nights and day meetings, the food trips after and the great search for balut footage at 4 in the morning, the crazy family gatherings, wine nights, Starbucks nights, movie nights, the concerts (Incubus, Justin Bieber... SIDE A (don't you even!))... so yeah, that's pretty much how I spent my year. Fun, yes?

For the most part, yes, except for a last-minute mom scare which still ended well. 2011 was a pretty good year for me and as with every year that ended and a new one began, I'm thankful for all the people in my life: A wonderful family filled with so much love, laughter, drama and annoyance; a crazy set of friends who always talks sense into me then takes it away; and work, work and more work, including all the people who love me and all the people who hate me at work - the feeling is mutual. I love and hate them, too! :)

Twenty Twelve, just by the way we say it, already sounds so much fun. I heard it's a good year for most of the signs, astrology-wise. May the stars align and make it our best yet.



Saturday, January 14, 2012

"A family that does not give up on each other because love reigns among us."

Today's tears-in-my-eyes moment was brought to me by my Lola. I only knew one grandmother, my dad's mom, since my mother's mother already passed away long before I was born. When Wawa was alive, I was able to express my appreciation to her countless times -- for giving birth to my father, raising him well and teaching him to raise me well, too.  A lot of the things that shaped who I am now was influenced by Wawa and Wowo. Unlike some children who've had broken families, absentee or overprotective parents, my cousins and I were never out of love. We were taught that family was indispensable. It's the only thing constant in the world. This is why I could never understand family feuds, siblings who fight with each other much less kill each other or parents who create factions among their children. What the fuck are they talking about? We were taught that whatever happens, wrong or right, our family will always be behind us.

On the occasion of Wawa's birthday (Jan. 14), one of our aunts posted her speech during her 85th birthday in 2005. I remember that this was the first big event that I hosted. I was 22 years old.  Reading the speech, you will see how Wawa was very much the head of the family that she was. Our guiding strength. I love and I miss you so terribly! :(

Remarks by Ofelia C. Mirasol,  January 14, 2005

Good evening to all of you!

They say that life begins at 40, 50, 60, 70 or 80 but to me life begins at 85. They say that if you have long ears, you will live a long life. They say that the bad grass never die...When I look at the mirror and see my ears, "Oh my God! Will I live long and am I as bad as I am supposed to be?"
But the Lord is in charge because my life was chartered before I was born. Thy will be done Lord! If I still have a mission, I'll take it willingly as I have done your command -- "Go forth and multiply." Thanks to Adam and Eve. When Joe and I started, we had nothing on but ourselves and now we have 7 children, 21 apos and apos sa tuhod and still counting.

Growing older is a beautiful experience. I began to appreciate the value of life, the joy of living. I won't stay long for I am not strong as in my youth, having fun, playing tennis and pelota, bowling, swimming and jogging three kilometers a day. My eyes are getting dimmer, my knees getting weaker. Names and places I can't even remember. It is but natural and rational that everyone must go home soon like a sailor coming home from his journey.

My job is done! These years are bonus years for me. Thank you, Lord, for guiding and protecting me. Healing Marilyn, one of my dauthers from the big C and guiding my grandson Dino.

Great is your mercy, your blessing plenty. I give my thanks to all of you, relatives and friends especially to a very, very good friend so caring and true. To Msgr. Jose for our friendship all these years, a good chaplain to our CFM group and was the moving spirit in the construction of the Divine Mercy Shrine in Mandaluyong.
Papa, I know you are with us tonight, against all odds we were able to raise our children well to be the persons they are now, gave them the best education we could have afforded.

To my children who made this affair possible, to my daughters-in-law Jane and Matett, sons-in-law Jun, Willie, Tek and Aaron, I love you all. You have been very good to me. You are my precious possessions... A family that finds its glory not in its perfection but in its ability to weather the storms of life. A family that does not give up on each other because love reigns among us.

Thank you to the singers. They got their talents from their genes. Maybe 10% of it from my father and mother because during their youth, they were very much involved in the zarzuelas. All of these children are members of the choir in the parish of Mandaluyong and in their respective parishes now. Maki took lessons from the Pop Center of the Philippines and Dida from the Yamaha Music School.

Good night everybody, thank you for coming.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Nay to the naysayers. I only have to answer to myself (and my immediate superiors). And I type this with a smile on my face.

I feel the judgment from some people who probably don't think I'm doing my job well. Honestly, I recognize that they have the right to do so. Anyone can judge, complain or criticize when they think that things are in disarray. I just hope they also take time to see beneath the surface and not take everything at face value. I also don't appreciate how one's opinion becomes another's, a sort of collective thinking that they eventually believe to be the truth. I've already said that I'm often not confrontational, and in this instance, I also don't see the necessity of explaining myself and using up all that energy. I acknowledge that I have misgivings from time to time because no one's perfect. But it's not like I party all night and not go to work the next day. I work hard and party hard. Oftentimes, the gigs after work even seem like a reward, like I deserve it, because I worked. So I really don't need to explain myself to any of them. Call me arrogant but there are many ways of fixing things. I'm way younger but I sometimes feel like I'm way older in thinking. THEIR way isn't helping at all. It's not helping improve the organization; it could even be stunting its growth. Unfortunately, we'll have to live with it because it's too late to take it out of the system.

Damned if you and damned if you don't. So the best resort is to keep the peace. WWJD (what would Joy do)? LAUGH. My seven years of passion for excellence is supported by a sense of responsiblity and an even greater sense of humor, without which work becomes an unbearable blackhole that will suck the life out of us and drive us to insanity.

And yes, thank God for Beer.

*Blogging via mobile on my bed in Boracay Beach Club. HELLS YEAH!