Sunday, December 12, 2010

Five fictional characters I can identify with

1. Peyton Sawyer (One Tree Hill)

Her passion. Her head that almost completely fills up with dark thoughts; some twisty stuff that gets you mad. Yet in all of it, she shines through with art, with love and with friends. I wish I can be half the person she is; maybe nobody is cos she’s freaking fictional. But her depression, her sadness, and the way she feels that life is a big joke sometimes - - that’s me, and I’m only starting to learn how to get through with the same headstrong passion she battled her fears with. How she braved to change the world by putting up her own record label, by telling the man she loves that she freaking loves him. I’m trying to be as successful with my fight. I’ll do it with her words and music. God I love her.

2. Ted Mosby (How I met your Mother)

Hopeful and trusting. His faith in destiny, and in the good of people that turns out to be a backstab sometimes. His unwavering belief that someone here is meant for him, and that he will find her no matter what. That he doesn’t have to play by the rules and tricks of dating because when two people fit, they just do. I love that.

3. Lee Fiora (Prep)

Realistically, she’s the one I can relate to best, but she’s also the one I wanna get away from. Truth hurts sometimes. She’s growing up tormented by her own imperfections, feeling like the world is always out to get her, and there’s just nobody there to tell her otherwise. This sinking feeling of being alone all the time, the painful, glaring reality that she isn’t special and she’s never going to be. But yet she tries, and tries to convince herself she doesn’t need to change because that would just be another failure on her end. I am Lee Fiora, but I’m trying not to be.

4. Julie Baker (Flipped)

When I fall in love, I really fall in love. I put the boy on the pedestal, I look at him like I’m wearing star-filled glasses that everyday with him in it becomes sunshine delight. Otherwise what’s the point of being in love? It goes for other things too, she falls in love with a Sycamore Tree, she falls in love with chickens and eggs, and they become something else - something deeply special. That’s love, true love.

5. Liz Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)

I actually fell asleep on the movie. And I share the sentiment with a lot of people that Liz doesn’t know how to count her blessings. That she was way in over head to think the doors shut off on her face when actually, it was her who walked away. But I relate to her because when you lose yourself, it’s madness, and a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do to find it. She was brave enough to leave her whole life in search of the perhaps, and honestly, I was just too jealous I wouldn’t ever have the guts to do what she did. I want to, but I can’t. Good for her.

Friday, December 10, 2010


Days ago, I was tweeted by one of my boss, asking me to sign in to this website and vote for her favorite Korean singers/bands. Seeing that it was my boss, I was kind of "under orders" to, but seeing that it takes just about 3 seconds to do so, I didn't really mind. More importantly, I didn't mind because if I were to ask people sign for an online "Bring Leyton back in OTH" petition, I would really appreciate it if not only would they be okay in doing it, that they wouldn't mind as well.

There's a mirror in people that makes it probable for everyone to respect the other. For me, that's passion. I love everyone who has it and I loathe anyone that doesn't. That's why even if one of my best friends constantly blab about cars and robots all the freaking time, and one of them talks about India and I pretend to keep interest, they have my respect. Because in the pool of a million blah people, sadly some of them resides near my spectrum, a buzz of passion is most welcome.

I don't care if your ultimate goal is to decode the world's lengthiest CMS text, or if you go 24 hours without shutting up about Anarchy in the world, and even if you dedicate your whole life to collecting Edward Cullen memento, I would respect you, because there's nothing sadder in this life than to live it without so much an ounce of passion.

I grew up being passionate about certain things at certain times, some were short-lived, some have stayed with me from kindergarten to now, some I cringe about, some I'm proud of, but if I die, and if someone were to write my Obituary, he will have a lot of material because 0f all the things I didn't have, I had passion.

So if you talk to me and rave about the one thing I hate but sound passionate about it, I will guarantee you I will listen. I'd probably be shouting "SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP" in my mind, but you'd be able to keep a record that will last for as long as you hold the heat. And as long as you remain the person whose eyes light up, and whose heartbeat increase dangerously faster by the mention of that one thing you hold ever so dearly, you remain the person whose life mattered.

It explains my addiction for Singing Contests. Everytime there's a soundbite of someone saying how they waited their whole life to be given the chance to do what they absolutely wanted to do, and how their world would fall apart if they come short, I relate too much that I could feel myself cry. I get the passion they dreamt their dreams with, and for that, I can identify. Plus, I love music. But still, I like America's Next Top Model for the same thing even if I absolutely have no inkling towards modelling. I love it because it says a lot about how this life is too short not to risk breaking your heart for that ultimate chance to make it complete.

I have a cousin who draw like she was born just to draw. Unfortunately, no matter how she tried to, her mom could only send her to an IT school. This is a girl who didn't have the choice to follow her heart even if the directions were blazing, but she keeps a drawing pad and would take out her pencils everytime she sees anything that was worthy of drawing. And she keeps her dreams alive just by keeping that pad, so even if she becomes an IT person and hate the world of it, she will forever keep that spark.

Months ago when I was looking for a job, everyone kept telling me to work somewhere else, some place where there's money, some place where I'm absolutely sure to excel in, and I kept explaining myself along the lines of "No I'm chasing my dream." Not everyone got it, most of them just found it laughable, some blamed me for being picky, some said I was too idealistic. It was a hard time, the hardest time actually, but I kept going because those people were the kind of people who didn't know one thing about having passion, about finding what you love doing, and wading through hell just to be able to do it. I wasn't about to start listening to them, because in my world, they don't exist.

I'm blogging this because I've gotten a lot of crap and watched people take crap from people for being passionate about something, and I watched people stop being so engrossed because they wanted to fit in. They wanted it most not to stick out in an otherwise flat, boring, mediocre world of these people who spend their waking mornings having no kind of passion at all. Like it was a duty to love something, like it was such a crime to commit yourself to something that bad it makes you crazy sometimes.

I've had dozen of conversations consisting of the most awkward silences ever because the other end offered nothing but the most stupid, dumbest responses ever uttered in mankind.

I mean come one, do you even fucking care about something?

Please care. About anything, about anyone. And when you do, make sure you're its biggest fan, because even if you're not, the fact that you are trying to makes you matter. It means you count. It makes you visible, it makes your mark.

It makes your Obituary colorful and so brilliant your mourners would be confused whether to laugh or cry. And it would be the best funeral ever.

Make your death count. Make this lifetime be worth something.

Sunday, November 28, 2010


First, and most importantly, I can say I'm finally happy. Like all that months of misery suddenly just became a blur, a distant past, a feeling I could no longer remember because my heart has ran out of room for it. And thus my long absence here, you can never really write happiness. The past weeks, I've not been bugged by the need to go here and share because I worried that what I had would be de-valued if I wrote it, like I didn't want anyone knowing, like I didn't want anyone having access to it, like I wanted it exclusively mine.

Thanks are in order, though. This can be largely cited to my new job. Last week when my boss asked me if I had non-negotiables in work, I told him, "I wanted this too much too long to have non-negotiables." And I meant every single word of it. From the day he interviewed me up until now, I've worn my heart on my sleeve. It might've been terribly broken then, but I'm slowly having it mended. That's why when I learned my almost-a-month salary would be delayed for next payday, I didn't really mind. I was just too happy to be there, to be doing what I'm doing, and to get paid for it is mostly just so I could eat and commute everyday to work. What I've gotten was fresh air, "like I was drowning and it saved me."

You have to know me, you have to have been there to really understand how much my life had changed in a matter of the words "you're hired", where everything about those phrase seemed just absolutely right, and in place. And as I said before, finally, my life is on track.


On a more specific, less-dramatic note, what happened since then were:

1. I've fan-girled over Broadcast Journalists A LOT. So much I could be mistaken for a psycho stalker who can be capable of pulling off the world's most bizarre stalker display of fandom.

2. I've been learning A LOT. On bad grammar, bad composition, bad editorial judgment, dangerously slow buffering of brain in times of newsroom urgency, sucky tech skills (which has a lot do with my job), and the likes. Some of which, I've been learning the hard way, but there's nothing really new with craft-related heartbreak because I've waded through a whole pit of it since college. But it's the good kind of pain, the kind I like, the kind that is welcome, the kind that renders me unable to sleep at night thinking of ways to get better, which is also the kind of insomnia I crave for. Simply put, I'm beginning to have the old me back.

3. I went to Baguio. With two of my best friends, Apple and Angelique. We basically just drove 6 hours and back, did Manila things only in a cooler weather, and nicer people, but I've always held Baguio dear in my heart, so I guess there lies the difference. After all, they say it's always the thought that counts. Plus, I was finally able to buy that The Catcher in the Rye shirt. Apple and Jicky bought one for themselves too, so they owe me that.

4. My food baby has gotten so out of control. I look like I'm freaking pregnant and all I can wear are loose-on-the-tummy shirts. And I don't want to cut back on my eating, and I'm too lazy to do push-ups as many have recommended, so I'm kind of on the doom of how to deal with this pseudo weight problem. But it doesn't really bother me that much. Heh.

5. My holiday season will remain cold, that's all I could say. Haha. You think a big company would offer an array of possibilities, but the closest I've come so far was this one guy I saw around the newsroom whom nobody knows and whom Apple have called as someone who looked like he hasn't taken a bath in a while. Plus my Lee Dewyze of the season (formerly David Cook, Matt Giraud, Ollie Murs), Aiden Grimshaw got booted out of the X Factor, so I've been boy-less in every possible angle. Thank God for TV shows and hot stars it comes with. And thank God for Rupert Grint in the latest Harry Potter movie. Which brings me to...

5. Harry Potter. I was finally able to see it. It just makes me sad to see the magic has disappeared significantly from the past films. It's all been just dark twisty stuff, and although that's what was really on the book, I guess I miss the flashy, wondrous magic I grew up with since the Philosopher's stone. And I still can't believe they took a swing at Twilight, they should've just let it go, if you ask me. I re-watched the first 6 films, and every time, I am left in awe at the genius that J.K Rowling is. She will forever be my hero. Harry Potter is just this humongous metaphor of life, and you couldn't ask for a better way to say it than with spells and portkeys. I actually dread the 2nd and last part of the finale - I can't believe we're done with it. I better save up to buy the books soon and re-read them.

6. Books. I have so many that I'm still yet to read. Some of them are: The Little Prince, Love Stargirl, It's kind of a funny story and Franny and Zooey. I'm a quarter into Jane Eyre and I haven't been able to get back into it. When I go home at night, FRIENDS is always just the better option in bed.

7. Friends. The Jeep will be having a costume party for Cristmas! Theme: TV/Movie character. I've been thinking of going as Rachel Berry, but it would mean more to me if I can go as Peyton Sawyer, although they might see it lazy on my part since the Peyton look I'm thinking of going for is her classic plaid/chuck get-up, which is also basically my look. Or I could go as Robin Scherbatsky but I ain't got no knee-high boots. Or maybe I could go as Jamie Sullivan.

8. Christmas. It's nearing, and however bad things have been in my family, we still try hard to make it merry for some of us. If all else fails, there is always the food. Food never fails.


That, among other mundane things, is, for the most part, the rundown of this last month. Nothing special really, just a girl who's trying to live and be happy, and taking it day-by-day.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Stevenage hey ho

I flew for London Thursday morning. Finally. But not without complications. The Ticket money my mom sent was delayed so my relatives pitched in shares to make up the whole fare, but all the transfer centers were closed before my travel agent can even withdraw it. Fortunately, my mom and my travel agent has had a long working - and sometimes, personal - relationship, so she just payed for it herself in the meantime. I got the ticket at 8 pm Wednesday, so I had to beg my friend DJ to hang out with me at UST until then. Bribed him, actually, with Twister Fries.

My GMA boss knows I'm here in the UK. I told him while I was there last Wednesday, as he was rushing off somewhere and I figured it was the best time to tell him without getting sticky
inquiries about it. It worked, fuckin genius. It's kindov became official, at last: that I will now work for GMA. I'm blogging this in the risk of jinxing it (again). But they're already expecting me Monday, so that's that.

Plane Rides** Hmm. The best thing about travelling is the people-watching you get to do at the Airport. Especially at stop-overs and the lounges look like freaking United Nations Assembly. And oh btw, Qatar Airways isn't that bad. The food is actually good. They have a selection of salads, pastas and pastries on the side, and their main course always comes with rice. Which is perfect. My only complain is their TV selection. The TV guide listed a lot of programs but all I got were 5 episodes each of How I met your Mother, The Big Bang Theory and Friends. And all of those, I've watched in the last week. AND. Plane movies are supposed to be of wide range, that's what I loved about plane rides to London the most, that I get to watch a lot of new movies, sometimes even those not shown in the Ph yet. I expected to watch the
Social Network - and all they had was fuckin Eclipse. Which wasn't bad, I thought, since I wasn't paying for it and I had 14 hours to burn, why not, right? But I couldn't get through it. I changed the channel at the scene where Jacob was telling Bella about imprinting on someone (which in normal people language means falling in love.) Sorry you Twilight fans, but that's just ukgrh. They're attempting to create magic out of the words and concepts they use, but it just came off really pretentious. And in an obvious way. But they got one thing right, doesn't Jacob Black own a t-shirt? But the silver lining was - they had Grown Ups. Starring Adam Sandler. Right on the Money.

I shared the Doha-London ride with 2 foreign guys. My first guess was that they're French since their English had that exotic-nonenglish-twang, but they lined up for the Non-Eu passports queue with me. It looked like they went backpacking, maybe they still are, and their next stop
is London. The cute guy was singing Taylor Swift's You belong with me, trying to prove to her newfound British friend (they met only at the Doha Airport) that he can speak good English. I eavesdropped on their conversation and found out, cute foreign guy was on a h0ok-up world tour. He was going through the list of all the girls he 'got on' with, and said the best girl, 'definitely', was China girl. He pronounced it like Chee-Na. Go Asian, right? And for all the time I was on listening range from them, they kept talking about the girls they met along the way. It made me think of Cha and how she would've loved to be in that list. Because they're both so mercilessly hot, and if I only had that kind of guts, I would've went for it just like the British girl they were all over at the airport. Imagine 7 long hours above the clouds with them - especially the China boy, the 'above the clouds' part would've turned so literal.

I arrived at Heathrow around 10 pm. My mom was already there, with, guess this - BACON WRAPS. Bacon freaking wraps to welcome me. I'm telling you, my mom, for all the t
hings she's clueless at, that, she got perfectly. We took the Picadilly Line to Southgate, where Nigel (my stepdad) picked us up. It's 13 degrees here, so it's really not that bad. And from that sweltering, suicidial summer in Manila, this is a very welcome change.

My mom went to work for an early shift, but she should be getting home soon. Because it's such a 'nice weather' (meaning, it's not raining BOOYEAH), she suggested we visit University of Hertfordshire and ask around for my application. Which, I remember, I've not completed yet.

So I'm just lazying around here at home, cooking Bacons, putting Butter and Cheese on everything I could get my hands on, feasting on the open bottle of Nutella, and catching up on some X Factor, and admiring my sister's newly-renovated room. When I was here last, there was leaka
ge in the water pipes abover her roof, so they got it fixed off of the Insurance. And the clever person that my Mom is, she ripped some of the wallpaper apart so the insurance people would think the leakage caused it, and therefore, replace it. And because my mom's friends were getting rid of some things like beds, and tables and cabinets, they gave it away for my sister's new room, and add that to the OC clean-up my mom did with it, it now looks immaculately tidy. And I just can't stop lingering around. Plus she left her closet with a lot of her clothes still in them -- bad decision. I'm gonna return with lots new stuff, I can't even!

I will be flying to Dundee on Sunday to visit her, because my mom thought it was pointless for me to go here and not see my sister. AS IF WE'D DIE IF WE DIDN'T SEE EACH OTHER. But my sister sounded sincere about me coming over so I guess, that's a good thing.

My itinerary's kinda hectic, especially with a Fred Perry-hunt I have to go on to for Dharel, because my Mom has heard about him quite a lot and I guess, likes him because she's willing to look for it wherever. And with only 6 days here, I won't forgive myself if I spend so much a half day here at home, where the only evidence of being in the UK is that even with a jacket, it's still cold. Everything is basically like I never left home. I'm watching House here on the cable, btw, as if I've not had enough House Marathon, and don't even get me started on Friends. And I really have to go out since my only memory of this trip would just be from my mind because surprise surprise, I forgot my camera. With everything I've been through, I kindof need this 1-week stay to count, and matter like it never did before. So I better spend my time wisely.

Which reminds me, it's now nearly 2 in the afternoon and I have not taken a shower yet. But here: greetings from our sala with the stinky me and my trusty Nutella:

Though that hair, I shall cut. Maybe tomorrow. Have a good day, y'all.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Faith restored

I know, I make the agnostics weep. But I was once given the full scream by my sister when I declared I was agnostic. Because she's the Philosophy major in the family, I couldn't really argue with her when she said, "I didn't know what the feck I was talking about." It's still true what I said though; that if God were here, I'd really like to talk to him in private because I'd like to get to the bottom of my main concern on Earth, explained best by this passage from Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre:

Why could I never please? Why was it useless to try to win anyone’s favor? Eliza, who was headstrong and selfish, was respected. Georgiana, who had a spoiled temper, a very acrid spite, a captious and insolent carriage, was universally indulged. Her beauty, her pink cheeks and golden curls, seemed to give delight to all who looked at her, and to purchase indemnity for every fault. John no one thwarted, much less punished, though he twisted the necks of the pigeons, killed the little pea-chicks, set the dogs at the sheep, stripped the hothouse vines of their fruit, and broke the buds off the choicest plants in the conservatory; he called his mother ‘old girl’, too; sometimes reviled her for her dark skin, similar to his own; bluntly disregarded wishes; not infrequently tore and spoiled her silk attire; and he was still ‘her own darling’. I dared commit no fault; I strove to fulfill every duty; and I was termed naughty and tiresome, sullen and sneaking, from morning to noon, and from noon to night.

Luckily, I think I've successfully applied the rule of attraction the last few days so every positive thought that I sent out to the universe were bounced back to me through positive manifestations. ( Read/or watch: The Secret for more on these rules of attraction meme.)

Here are some of the things that's been slowly restoring my faith the last couple of days:

The Jeep Birthday Tradition, where celebrants are mandated to treat the gang to a round of Red Box. But because this was a double-celebration (me and Jicky's) thus more money for the group, we kind of felt we had to feed them as well. Only Chiara was missing, but her spirit lives on! (Haha) It's rare to gather us all in one place, so this was kind of a milestone.

Free Books. For my birthday, Nachi (How to be bad) and Apol (The little Prince) gave me two of my book-lists as presents for my birthday. They had cute dedications, but I don't have an internet at home, and where I'm doing this, it doesn't have bluetooth. You get the tech complications and whatnots. Plus, I bought myself a Ned Vizzini too, because its old cover was available at FullyBooked gateway and I didn't really want another book with the movie poster on the front.


I'm flying to London this week! The exact date is still on the works. I was supposed to go Thursday night but I can only book one on the morning, which I think, won't do since I still have stuff I need to sort out before I leave. Which leaves me with Friday, or worst, Saturday. I really wanna go ASAP. But I'm better off just "letting it be". I think. I'll be greeting from Stevenage soon! But wish that I get there string-free first. Cos it's all crazy right now.


A new job, which I will reveal the day after I start working there. So it would already mean it's legit and fo shiz, because if there's one universal element that works wonders for me, it's jinxes.

Kthnxbye. And hope that I keep the faith.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Oh you know, I'm just losing my faith in Humanity

It's become a habit lately for Nachi and I to root back from history where we'd gotten our being agnostic. Why we're not necessarily in love with God, and why, over the years, we've lost our appetite for Religion.

It began at a very young age when I realized I was the only one in my family who didn't have a Father. My mom wasn't there as well, and whenever she came home, there is always this wall that we've continually mounted for the years we've spent apart that's become too high to tear down. And I so badly want to tear it down. But it's not always easy to relearn how to love. If I was a character in Ricky Lee's Para Kay B, where this girl descended down to earth from a place where there's no love, I'd probably be her, shocked by the x-ray vision of her chest through her eyes that revealed, she had no heart.

Growing up, I had to put up with an Aunt who constantly scared me, and I had to live along the current of her mood or patience or else, I'm dead meat. In my 20 years, I've probably ran away from home more than 10 times. Because there is always this vacuum inside our house which never passed up on the opportunity to suck me in, and often, I found myself gasping for air. Very young, I knew, I wasn't one of the lucky ones. I lose important documents, get in trouble for the most mundane things, be humiliated crying in Grade School and my sister will refuse to come to my defense. I joined writing contests and lost them all, I get sick on the days of our Field Trips. On the day I didn't, my mom and I were left behind by the bus while we roam around Megamall clueless of what to do next. This, of course, was the reason why I wasn't always allowed to come to Field Trips. I once spent my recognition day in Grade School home alone, and my yaya had to scrounge around for any relative available to pin me my ribbon. I'd gotten a 3rd honor award, but by then, everyone was more interested with my sister's gold medals in sports, art, and beauty pageants. It was one day during those years when I got slapped (softly) by my aunt when I refused to pray the rosary in bed because, "he never listens anyway."

And then I went to come live with my mom in London. And I just got tired of praying because I knew that nothing will ever be a blessing if I was stuck in London, sulking every waking morning for being too damn unhappy. Nobody understood, they all thought I was just a spoiled kid who wanted things to go her way. But ofcourse I wanted them to fucking go my way, because it never does.

And did I mention? In the wide number of my generation, I was picked to inherit the family disease. I have a heart illness, while every one of my cousins live in perfect health. I don't wish sickness on anyone, not even on the person I loathe the most, but you just don't overlook the fact that as if your life doesn't suck enough, the universe gives you a ticking time bomb inside your chest. (No it's not so serious, I won't die from it - well maybe someday I would - it's just an inconvenience I have to live through for the rest of my sad life.)

By High School, I became happier. I thought I found my niche, and then I decided to fall in love. Which started the long-running streak of insecurity and self-pity and this infinite thought of never being good enough. To say it short: I grew up wading through a chain of defeat and failure. That whenever I succeed at something, it almost always fades out with whatever wrong is going to happen next. And they never wait too long - tragedy, I mean.

I managed through College, because I was already aware that I'm jinxed. That not only was I fated to trip on public places with a dozen other people there to laugh at me, I was also fated to fall short on the bigger things in life. And even if I manage to come through, I had, by then, drained out every bit of emotion until I'm too spent to really celebrate the good thing, because I've already become numb.

I thought that I had my time coming after Graduation. That I'll no longer be categorized into the status quo where I always lose among, and that this was my time to live without strict walls of judgment. But I failed each and every job application until I was just forced to take one that's already there, one that don't necessarily make me happy. During those times, one failure after the other, I visited the church to plead my case. I was bargaining for something; something little that I need to have compared to all the other hundred people who were getting everything they wanted without having to ask.

It's true: Bad things happen to Good people. And it's not an isolated case, because I've spent most of my life watching jerks and bitches get to their pedestal when I'm always tripping through hurdles. And God knows I've worked hard. He should, because otherwise, I have maybe not cried loud enough.

It's gotten to a point where I'm comfortable with being the girl who never gets what she wants; where my name is associated to bad luck, and nobody is ever surprised to see me fail any more. They just feel sorry, because I'm the kind of girl who gets bare and naked vulnerable for the whole world to pick on. And I don't mind, I've grown accustomed to having an audience to my heartbreak story, it's just, it would be nice to be the girl who gets something for once. Not even everything, just anything.

And up until this point, I have not had the break. I'm still the girl who spends her birthday looking pathetic waiting for a call that would never come. The girl who ends her birthday with a terribly aching heart. For as long as I can remember, I've always had to wake up the morning after my birthday, trying to mend the extent the Universe has chosen to break my heart this time.

It's not as if I'm the most oppressed person. But heartbreak is relative. I couldn't just compare my life to a girl who has nothing to eat in Africa, because in life, you get what you get. And whatever we're given with is proportionate to things you can and can't have. I have not asked for too much in my life, I never did, but I've never felt like I was blessed. Most often, I feel forced to settle for whatever's there because after 20 years, it has become the story of my life.

And I'm just really having a hard time believing that there is someone behind all of it, with a glowing robe and a wand waiting for the perfect moment to cast a spell and make my life magical. I know he supposedly carried the cross, and died so we could live, but am I suppose to carry a cross too? Isn't my burden heavy enough for a girl who only ever wanted a tiny hint from life that she, too, is being taken care of by whoever is in charge?

All I know is that if God was to be human for a day, I will make sure he hears it from me, and all I've kept through years are vent out to the one person who actually can do anything about it but haven't.

I haven't given up on faith, i'm just saying, I will kick the next person who will tell me "it's all in the plan." Because that plan sucks. Really, really does.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Birthday Post

I have had a very, very hard year. And I don't think a smooth couple of months could recompense for all the heartbreaks that I waded through everyday since March. And all I wanted to do before that was be happy, and I had all these expectations about what my life was going to be by the time I'm 20. And this isn't it.

I have long snapped out of my depression, but I just thought that my happiness goal could make it in time today, so I wouldn't have to wake up on the morning of my birthday feeling totally lacking and empty, which I did. Coupled with a phone call from an estranged cousin who told me I should go by their house, when all of us knows it's not a good idea to drop by considering all the tension around us. But still, I could never cut ties easily and it just breaks my heart to be reminded of all the things wrong in my life on my birthday.

And my mom hasn't called me yet. And I'm having a frustrating time at work, while I wait for my fate to suddenly grow in color or collapse right back to tiny more little pieces. The waiting is the hardest part, indeed, and instead of look forward, I dread the day because I've long been accustomed to having my heart breaking that it's kind of normal for bad things to happen to me. Apparently, that's my deal with the universe.

I'm having spaghetti and Ice Cream for dinner today with the folks at home, and if this were any other day, I wouldn't have cared enough to treat - - but this year, I need all the good vibes I can get. To come home to a dinner-less table and glee-deprived household as my birthday comes to its end after another painstakingly dragging day at the office would just be.........It would be too much.

And I've gone to the bathroom and cried soundless twice this day already, and I haven't even gotten past Lunch, which I decided to ditch because 1.) I have no appetite 2.) I don't like to be greeted over and over again when I'm aching to spend this day being greeted by the only people who could make me happy 3.) I didn't to spoil their happiness with my sourness. They already think I'm weird as it is; I don't need any more bad rep.

So if we could just fast forward please. Because I put the C in Crappy Birthday, and I'm sick of it.

Monday, October 11, 2010


This morning, as with every morning, I battled with my rebel bangs to look even just a little like a bang. I was running late for work, as with every morning, and I was getting every bit desperate. Then I remembered I still have that Bench Wax from a year ago that I lent my cousin. (Plug: It's great, girls, really fixes up your do' for ya.)

I was applying it on my hair when I couldn't resist taking the container up my nose until I've smelled every last bit of the fragrance. Every last bit of last year, when I bought it with my best friend (Karl) because my best friend (Jicky) told me to. Every last bit of 5 months ago, when I'd sulk to the side of the classroom by the podium, fixing my bangs with it like I was doing then, with my friends making fun of my "trying hard to have a bangs", when clearly, my hair just wasn't fit to. Every last bit of my last birthday, when that wax, my Pond's bottle, my Nivea deo spray, my ipod, and my ipod charger were the only things I needed to survive during the hell period of school, when we were barely sleeping, and each time we did, it's usually in Cara's house where you could get every thing you needed anyway. (Ipod charger, included) Basically, every last bit of the life I remember being truly happy.

After that long, the wax still smelled as great. (Plug: the product really lasts through time, guys) But it left a sting on my nose, like suddenly, even my sense couldn't recall the association of smell to happiness. Like they went together, and without the other, it just wasn't the same thing anymore. And it wasn't. I don't remember where and when I read it, but some character in my book, or movie, or series, said that the reason why they say 'you can't lie to yourself' is because your body is hardwired to know the truth, and recognize every inc of lie you make, even silently; silently as smelling hair wax at a bland morning, looking for something that turned out not to be there. Not anymore.

As a result, I came in for work, itching to do something different, go some place else, somewhere that's not here, because obviously, my bench wax doesn't get along with it. I need something that could make that thing smell as great.

But what the fuck do I know? I'm a girl who's basing life on the smell of a hair wax. Really, what the fuck do I know. I don't know anything.

Except for the fact that I can't bring myself to use the wax anymore.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Book List

I still have a lot unread books from my tower bulging undersized shelf, but as I was browsing through the Barnes and Noble Website, I came upon some that barged itself right in a cozy spot up my book list. Add these to the ones I have been meaning to get since 2006, and I've got myself a whole to-buy section that's so hard to stare at. Mostly because I am poor, and there's always something better to spend my money on, like, you know, Jollibee and McDonald's. But here goes:

1. Raymond Carver: A writer's life by Carol Sklenicka

2. The
Imperfectionists by Tom Rachman

3. Naomi and Ely's No Kiss List by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

4. It's kind of a funny story by Ned Vizzini

5. The boyfriend list by E. Lockhart

6. Commencement by J. Courtney Sullivan

7. Love, Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli

8. The Alchemyst: The secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel by Michael Scott

9. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
(yeah snicker your little snickers, I haven't read it yet)

10. Franny and Zooey by J.D Salinger

11. The Harry Potter Series by J.K Rowling
(because each and every one of my copy - except the last - is squandered by book theft)

And those ladies and gentlemen are what's keeping me alive. Recently, I was really struck by the latest commercial of Nescafe: Para kanino ka bumabangon? And since then, I've been thrown into this deep pensive, to look for that something(one/place) I really wake up for. It's sad, but as of the moment, this list, my friend, is what I get out of bed for.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

I wake up, it's a bad dream, no one on my side, I was fighting, but I just feel too tired to be fighting, guess I'm not the fighting kind

This is slowly becoming a drag more each day.

Office job really kills the energy, whatever of it I have left. I just sit here, and wait for the series to be up so I can hoard the office internet to download them. I refresh the multitude tabs of the social networks I'm a member of, in dire hope of something to really, truly inspire me. It has been a fruitless quest.

Writing for a Magazine has its perks I surely wouldn't have gotten anywhere else. Firstly, it's not much of a stress. Since Nachi arrived, it has been less boring, I now get someone to infinitely talk of hollywood memes and judge people with someone who really gets it. It's always nice to have more than just a familiar face. So no matter how laughable it gets inside the office, I'm not too much unnerved because we usually just smirk it off and de-stress by discussing feel-good tales, mostly memories of college, and The Jeep anecdotes. Not that it's really heavy -- well for now, at least it's not -- but from where we are at the moment, it's essentially an easy job.

Easy because we've been doing it for the longest time. Hunting for Human Interest stories, going down some place to interview, and bleed off in front of the computer to make an article out of it. It's life as far as we know it. Only now we get to do it without ridiculous side-homeworks from subjects we don't give a rat's ass for: we actually have all day, 5 days a week, to do our stuff. That's like liberty in a bottle, you just open the cap, and drink it all in. Plus, we get paid. How awesome, right?

And truthfully, I'm thankful for this job more than I'm thankful for anything in my life right now. I went through some pretty dark shit months ago, and this job has been more than like the end of the tunnel. It's actually a bit disarming sometimes to wake up every morning and realize that, no, Nami, you are not miserable anymore. Well, really, to not be depressed, because misery is just so much more complicated than being in the state of casual non-sadness.

Best of all, there is a very clear promise of a national byline soon. How soon, that depends on how hard Nachi and I are willing to work (haha) and ofcourse on the company's gamble choices. My cousin once joked me that this would all amount to nothing, because it's a new Magazine, and its genre is not so much mainstream, that maybe after one issue, we'd be laid off. And I just said that I didn't care. At the time, what's important for me was to have something to do, and not be depressed while doing it. So far, so good.

Maybe I'm just built this way. To want what I don't have. To be consistently in desire of something more, or something different. And that's pathetic, but I just can't find comfort in anything that's mine-- because anything I'm involved in is bound to end in the mediocrity bin. So I always beat myself up for things I couldn't do. Oftentimes, it's stories I cannot write. I've definitely grown more secure with my talent over the years-- that's saying I believe that I am a readable writer. That my pieces don't invite a lot of mocking judgments, and pity snickers for being too crappy. Or do they? My point is, I think I'm kinda decent. But this is my blog, I can commit grammatical error and dump shit all over this and it wouldn't be such a big deal because it's my life. And my life is basically just as drab.

But my stories, for publication later this year, or early next-- that is gonna carry my University, my Professors, my company, and most importantly, my career. Everything I will write, people will see, and If I don't do well, I'm committing a suicide. Not saying that we'd incur that immense readership, but this is something very personal, "If I can't be great at it, then I don't wanna do it." But do I have much choice? This is the only job that took me in, and frankly, it's the only one I wanna do now. So all this is up to me, and it's too much pressure. I usually find myself wrapping up stories out of hopelessness because if I linger around it, the more the suckyness shows, and the more depression creeps in. So I just send it out.

And while I wish it won't be torn apart into something totally unrecognizable, I also think that it could use some retouching. But there's this issue shared by the other writers here about the editorial leadership, and it's making me uneasy towards whether humbling down or standing my ground, even if it's just an internal battle. Many of you won't understand this, and might even think we're some sort of egoistic, lowless beginners to be challenging power this way, but when you see me, remind me to tell you the stories in which all of this were based on in the first place. If you're my batch mate, I'm confident you'd understand.

So my struggle? I need help with my writing. Any kind of indirect, implied, applied, mentored, suggested-- basically anything-- help just to hold me down because I'm fluctuating out of sanity. But I'm not getting it professionally, and by my severe insecurity, you probably already know I'm also not getting it personally. I guess what I'm saying is I desperately want to be better at this, and I feel like I'm so far from any of my dreams.

Having a Professor tell you you're not fit for Journalism is another blow to what is already a broken psyche. Maybe I just need some rush, some adrenaline, some energy to bring back what it used to feel to be doing what I'm doing. It's the best natural high because I've felt it at one point, but all of those are foreign to me now. Not even narcotics could take the place.

And there isn't even something to recompense. Books have done that to me quite a few times, but because the novel I'm reading now is boring the wits out of me, I am, again, left alone. But I don't know how to be social, I'm not a stickler to those rules -- befriending, dating, mingling -- I'm usually often confused, and don't know what I'm doing, so most of the time, I'd rather have my face stuffed on paperbacks. Not that I don't like to, trust me, I fuckin love it. But when I get to the page of so much passion, so much love, so much energy, and I just want to dog-ear the hell out of the paper, run around the house and grab somebody I could kiss, and hug, and probably make out with if I'm too damn carried away, but whenever it happens, there is no one there. And I just settle for a tumblr post, or twit, or facebook status, and one time, a creepy Group Message, just so I could have an outlet for firing emotions because if I don't let it out, I wouldn't be able to sleep.

My life is a ball of too many emotions, and there is not much to do about it but curl it up for the future when I can share it with somebody who'd understand. Maybe it's just hormones. Maybe it's because I've had my period for two and a half weeks now, and as my friend once observed, I usually go crazy during my awfully long menstrual phase. Maybe watching John Mayer with my best friends who are so much more of a fan than me will help, maybe I just need those kind of energy be pumped back to me. Music is always a pleasant salvation.

But I kinda need something long term here. I'm thinking of sponsoring a child in World Vision. Never a pet. Maybe getting a boyfriend? Definitely getting a boyfriend, but it's not exactly something you could just get. The universe would have to conspire first and the cosmos would still have to decide first before weaving our fates together and all that, and that just takes too long. I'm getting impatient.

This has been a ridiculously long vent-out, and I still have not started my story, which would be our maiden issue's cover. Imagine the pressure. Thus, this post.

God please help, but in the meantime, Tom Chaplin, thanks heaps.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Not a love letter

And so again, I write about you. I wouldn't have, if only I haven't been reading books that reminded me so much about you and so much about myself when I fell in love with you.

But I did promise never to write you a letter again, let alone a love letter. And I barely have 5 minutes to do this; else, I'd wake up tomorrow being reminded of all those moments I've poured through the pages of my books, weeping silently for I have known what it must've felt to love hopelessly, and be aware that I knew simply because I once knew you. And for that reason alone, tomorrow, I'm gonna wanna worship you, and build you a statue made out of whatever words I will write here. That's not gonna happen.

Because if people were rain, yes, I was drizzle, but you were never a hurricane.

Although I did send you a message tonight. I'd been meaning to since last night. I ended up sending it to a couple of friends, but it was originally meant for you, wherein I quoted John Green's Miles Halter in one of his internal monologues on death, wherein he had said that he had been irretrievably changed, and wherein I added, "Do anything, but please never die." You didn't reply - why would you? Such a random, creepy text of a former admirer asking you not to die.

But for what it's worth: Please don't. Because I'd made a promise with myself to someday, when I can write better, when I'm wiser, write a novel about you. And I don't ever want to end that non-love story with you dying, and with me moping, more than your loss, over the fact that you had gone too soon and left me not knowing you. We are young, and even though I've said a million times about how I'm no longer in love with you, I would still wanna know you. Because among all the things I do not know, I knew love. May it be considered Young Love - but who are people to say? Because when I read these things: of how many times they question themselves worthy of loving someone else, but never having to question the worthiness of the someone else, it seemed to me I had loved. Whichever of the kind it was, I had, and for that, at least, please don't die.

Besides, all my material comes from you. And that's why even if you were never a hurricane, you were still, and forever will be the event that had "irretrievably changed" me.

And all the poignant sadness, or suffering, or self-destruction that came after found shelter in the fact that there was once you; and that I once had found my "Great Perhaps."

I am 22 minutes past my stopwatch and I must stop writing now. Not because you also left me Perhapsless, but because you didn't even have to die. You just had to be you, and I just had to be me, and if love was rain, we make a very good Alabama Summer.

And for that, you don't deserve 22 minutes, not any more, at least.

* The books mentioned and sporadically quoted and cited were Curtis Sittenfeld's Prep and The Man of my Dreams, and the most recent, John Green's Looking for Alaska.

Book Review: Pacific Rims by Rafe Bartholomew

Well, kind of.

All along I had called him "Reyf", it seemed more sophisticated, more fitting to a tall, white, blonde man: more American. It turned out he hates being called that, (it's pronounced as Rahf). The players and coaching staff from the Alaska Aces, the club who took him in as some sort of an Insider, had injected an offensive pun. They called him Reyfist. How Filipino.

This is more a testimony of the author than the book. Because frankly, nothing in there surprised me. Well, nothing except the talk-off that ensued between Roe Ellis and Tim Cone during the halftime huddle of an all-important PBA Finals game 6 - - in some level, I guess I knew that the players and coaches are bound to clash at one point, I just didn't expect it to go down as dramatically. I would've loved to see it, but when I think about Tim Cone yelling "Fuck you" and kicking off a board, I scare off and change my mind. Everything about the flip-flops, the weird, albeit mesmerizing, rims, the traces of Basketball in all walks of Filipino life, and most importantly, the phenomenon that is the Ginebra Fandom (and how it really takes you on a cloud nine to be chanting GINEBRA! GINEBRA! even if you were losing), are somewhat old news to every Filipino hoops fan. Rafe's historical account of Philippine Basketball was more an offering to non-Filipinos; we, however, could only nod in recognition.

But still, I found myself squinting in either laugher, amazement, and disgust in the tales, as if I was only encountering these stories for the first time. There's something about an American writing about the most colloquialy Pinoy trademarks that is truly endearing. I can't believe Rafe had stopped at random sari-sari stores and taken part in corner-of-the-street leagues playing three-on-three with sweaty men who probably made fun of him in local dialects every time they get the chance. But Rafe loved all of it - every single bit of it, and because of that, Pacific rims becomes more than just a Basketball Book, it becomes a commentary on the beautiful country that Philippines is, and a reminder that some of us aren't loving it enough.

Halfway through the page, the pessimist in me was leaning into the thought that maybe Rafe was being phony. Countless people have helped him to achieve what would come to be the breakthrough in his career, ofcourse he owed the Philippines hearty praises. But when I got to the chapter when he started defending the Fil-Ams and their westernized swag, he proved to me his sincerity. I, too, find this Fil-Ams a little too airy for comfort, and to have an American defend them sets the point of the book's truth and the author's commendable candor. I also got the sense that when he described the Filipino players' strange fodness for carressing each other's butts, he was creeped out a bit, and that all the more warmed my heart because it meant the Philippine Culture was still very much our own, despite being reviewed as the melting pot of all foreign norms and thus, lacked identity. A dedicated gay heckler whom the players treat as if they didn't know the "ladyboy" lusted them incessantly - that's pure Pinoy for you, and I was kind of proud.

Let me share to you my favorite line from the book. Now this line came in many forms all throughout the pages, Rafe sees to it that this point was clear consistently, but this line, I think, painted the best picture of the immense love for Basketball Rafe said Pinoy had: "The devotion it must have taken to build an entire court from scratch touched me. It was one of the most sincere expressions of love I've ever laid my eyes on."

For a PBA fan, Pacific Rims was the locker-room pass I've always wanted. Granted, I would've much appreciated if it took me that deep into the Ginebra team rather than Alaska, but the Willie Miller anecdotes made up for it. I've always known the Thriller was a clown, I just didn't know it was that much, and for that, and for all the locker room exlusives, I'll forever be thankful for. You, Rafe, had just made a fangirl's dream come true.

It was during the last chapter, when the book got into a play-by-play narrative of Alaska's championship rally, that I found myself really manifesting the love of the game. When I read Fred Uytengsu's pre-game pep talk -- "I take a lot of pride in this organization because we play by the rules; we do it by the book. We're decent human beings. Guys, you are great men. Tonight, you are going to beat the little men." - - I felt a hot sudden surge of air in my nasal area, the one which is usually a pre-emptive when I'm about to cry. Well, I didn't. But I was almost there, and that's exactly what Basketball does to you, even if it was some other team, it was still Basketball, and it could very well move you to tears. I don't exactly remember watching that game, but as a die-hard Ginebra fan who took the Gary Granada lyrics of the 90's Alaska reign over the Gin Kings seriously, as a Tim Cone non-believer and a loyal, often-harassed, follower of Mac Cardona, I was probably on my couch enthusiastically waiting for Alaska to lose. But to be taken back to that moment, in the behind-the-scenes of Alaska's debacle, I almost wished I could've rewind back to that game and cheered for the Aces instead. I felt for them at that moment.

I also knew how the series was going to turn out. But I poured into those chapters feeling like it was all just happening now, gasping over late-game scrambles as if I didn't know Alaska was eventually going to be champions anyway. I guess that explains why Basketball Fans still watch replays with the same mood they watched the real thing with - there's just something about the tipping of the ball, the flight towards the basket, the monumental pauses the ref takes before making the call, and the joy that moves through your entire body if the call favored your team - - that even if you watch it a thousand times over, the magic remains the same.

And that's what made reading Pacific Rims an unforgettable experience; the passion Rafe had for writing the book I share - - definitely not as much, not even close, but still - - the language he'd written this love story in, I understand. And that made me feel the same unexplainable flutter in your heart that Basketball gives you: like you were part of the team, like you belonged. And that to me seemed quite marvelous.

*The last sentence was borrowed from Paulo Coelho's Zahir

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

My long-running, open-ended plight

I woke up today particularly hopeful to write just a bit better. Yesterday, I stunk the whole place up with a story I did. I can't even get myself to think about it - - it just reminds me how much I've fooled myself, why I ever thought I could be a writer one day, why I ever considered this kind of life in the first place. Because plainly and simply, I suck.

But yesterday, there was hope. I figured that it might just have been the lack of material, the lack of inspiration (which is, most of the time, the case) or the fact that I haven't been eating good foods lately. Or that I haven't been getting my customary 10 pages a day (I can barely get through 5). So for hopes of some spark to fly by, I pulled out copies of Time Magazine from my office's stack. I've been meaning to get this particular issue for myself, (the first time ever that I'd purchase Time), it was the one with the cover story on Aisha, the Afghan teen who had her nose and ears cut off by the Taliban when she attempted to leave Afghanistan because her in-laws were abusing and maltreating her.

I read Aryn Baker's piece, and not once was I stuck on a complicatedly-stitched sentence. Her words were clear, they were outright, they were simple, but damn, they were intense. And here I am, always trying to puff my words with a whiff of wit - sometimes with the called-for puns - or even drama, because without it, my story screamed of mediocrity. No not even mediocre, it was useless, it was a grueling, catastrophic waste.

Now I know I shouldn't be going off comparing myself to Time (or Newsweek, which I often do) because it would have been such a hilarious, depressing attempt at an otherwise super uneven contest. But this is what I like to do, I like to think in big bubbles, it's the only way I can insert some sense of...well, bigness to my dwarfing career. It's like when some actress think of Julia Roberts when she does scenes, surely, she wouldn't par with one of the most decorated Actress of all-time, but putting herself up to such an immense test would, at best, heighten the lowest she can fall.

I saw at the issue's backpage something of an Asia's Prize Essay writing contest. When I saw that the deadline was August 31, I felt a tinge of sayang!. (For God's sakes, I don't even know how to put this sayang emotion to an english equivalent.) But while I was reading the directions, I felt as though a thousand mocking eyes were at me, whispering to themselves how a lowly, talentless pseudo writer could possibly fathom joining a Time-collaborated Essay contest. I mean, fuck, what was I thinking? I can't even write a decent write-up on a coffee from an animal's shit - - how do I even write "a fresh idea on the key challenges facing Asia that will have an impact on public policy and business in the continent"? Pretty delusional, right?

And in that split-second, warped into the realization of my petty, hopeless dreams, all that I've been about, all that I've worked for - and practically lived and breathed for - came crashing down and pulverized to tiny, sharp, broken pieces. That if I try to put it back together, I will cut, and further injure my already wounded spirit.

And that's exactly what happened today. I woke up this morning absorbing, for the first time in my life, the idea of a 'new beginning.' Out from my bed to the bus going to my office, I've already been writing inkless word on my head, on the faces of passengers next to me, on the bus window that reeks of Manila's congested traffic. And for a while, I felt motivated. I couldn't wait to get my ass in front of the computer and type these words. I had a whole lead on my head. I put it on the screen, and there, greeting my day, staring me bluntly in my bewildered face, was yet, another set of catastrophic mess.

But I wasn't about to let my spirits fall - it was only 9 in the morning! If I can fall down the bell jar at 9, how miserable could I be at 3 in the afternoon? I was determined.

The result? Me, sitting blankly in front of the computer, at 11:47, a dozen tabs of articles open in my browser, and not a single word (not even a single idea) written. Not because I can't (although yes, I very much can't) but because I don't want to. I already know I'm bad - - but to see the physical evidence of it blinking at me, ready to leap out of the screen to punch me, just so I could wake out of this senseless, ridiculous dream of wanting to be a writer, would kill me. It would, literally, put me out.

It's not as if I don't have the material for a good story (which in fact, I don't) - I can have the best material in the world right now. But I can't seem to find it, I don't seem to be able to spot it, or the have the right eye to see it, and even the right mind to understand it - I don't have the sense of a writer. And even when, by some miracle, I do, I doubt that I can even make something out of it. I'd probably end up butchering an otherwise majestic tale.

And the worse part is: I don't know how to do anything else! And frankly, I don't want to do anything else. This is my life - my air, my food, my lover, my heated affair, my best friend, my business partner, my nemesis, but also my rock - this is everything. And to see it flail desperately out of form, I was terrified.

I don't expect you to understand. My mom doesn't even get it. Only my closest friends would know. (Monica, you of all would know, after witnessing my 1-hour walk-out slash breakdown over a low-graded paper, how I'm just about feeling right the fuck now.) But in an effort to explain the immensity by which writing affects me, imagine Mariah Carey, waking up one day, realizing she could no longer belt out what has once been the world's perfect note. Hell, let's not even talk about the pros here. Imagine some of the UAAP's worst (in technical skills, in commercial potential, in mass appeal, in raw talent, and sense of the game) players -- imagine them as young boys, holding a ball and baking themselves every day under the sweltering sun, perfecting what they think is a pretty rad touch, imagine them on the day a College called, recruiting them, imagine them realizing that their dream is finally going to come true. And imagine them today, from the Team's second team, and a multitude of bad press, all of them saying he simply sucks. Imagine him dribbling a ball on a deserted court today, and he can't even make an undefended, well-positioned, timely trey - - and finally realizing it all has been a big, cruel, prolonged joke. Imagine him in that heartbreaking moment - then imagine him in me.

That's what it means to me.

That's how much I am torn to pieces right now.

That's how much I'm screwed. So if you're not me today, right in this moment, and on the moments to come, good for you.