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.