Saturday, February 28, 2015 0 Comments A+ a-

Yesterday was a hodgepodge of happenings. It felt like I was taking one school subject after another - except I am no longer in school. I really miss school though. I mean, I miss my friends and our antics, but definitely not the lessons. Life is already giving me so much lessons; at least, without gauging my mental capacity by the way of grades. However, school subjects even when left unattended never left me anyway. So what subjects have I taken yesterday?

I am reading The Lies of Locke Lamora. I admit, I find it difficult to read at first. I found myself learning a lot of names and places and unfamiliar terms of the world I have set my foot in. And not to mention, I find it difficult to stay focused whenever I read in public places. I read on my way from home to work because that's the only time that I am given the luxury to read. It's been a week and I just got past the hundredth page. Not that it's bad, it's actually interesting. It's a book that's hard to put down but I just have to put it down because I've got other important things to do too (weekends included). Bummer.


Wednesday, February 25, 2015 2 Comments A+ a-

I remember somebody suggested that I should take photos of my journal entries and turn them into blog posts. I cringed at the idea at first. I have my own private life and that's what journals are here for. But I guess, I will make an exception just for this time.

I just want to share the day a question began to skim across on my mind. A question to which answers began to fall one by one like leaves that smell of autumn. 

Is it love?

I hate Facebook but...

Tuesday, February 24, 2015 0 Comments A+ a-

I still use it anyway.

I'll be honest with you. Facebook, or the people using Facebook can be annoying as hell. However, no Facebook posts are more annoying than a person who complains about how annoying Facebook is. Just like this one. So yeah, I'm gonna annoy you with things about Facebook that annoy me so much that I have to waste precious time blogging about it. Here goes...

1. Check-ins. Do we really need to know where you are and what you are doing every effin' minute of your life? Unless you're in some grand tourist landmark like the Eiffel Tower, because I believe that is worth sharing, then you are excused. And yes, you can actually go to the gym without posting about it on Facebook.

2. Attention whores a.k.a people taking selfies of the same face from different angles trying to fish for compliments. Worse, those pretending-to-be-asleep kind of selfies. Seriously?

3. Nudity. I'm in no position nor am I a goody-two-shoes to abhor such thing. But in Facebook, really? There are other places for that. You want links? I'll gladly email them to you.

4. Graphic photos and videos. Not everyone can tolerate stomach-churning images as much as you do. Be sensitive with what you share.

5. Chain messages. I can't believe people who share such bs still exist. I thought they were gone for good the time I lost my eudoramail. Geez.

6. Endless rants and fights that surprisingly have the ability to pull down your vibrant mood too. This.

That Thing Called Tadhana

Saturday, February 21, 2015 0 Comments A+ a-

Yup, this is me losing the battle against cheesy Filipino movies. I don't really like watching love stories, let alone Pinoy movies for their unoriginal, predictable, and overly promoted but usually half-assed quality production. To tell you honestly, Pinoy movies suck big time right now. No. Let me rephrase that. Over-hyped Pinoy movies suck big time. But this, this film that humbly made its way to the big screens really got me. It somehow hoisted the downward spiral of the once great Philippine movie industry, didn't it? We need more movies like this. Movies that actually foster creativity over profit.

Of Tikoys and Smörgåsbords

Thursday, February 19, 2015 0 Comments A+ a-

I regret not paying attention to my Chinese lessons. You see, I have spent my entire preschool and grade school days at Stella Maris Academy of Davao, where almost everyone you meet is fair-skinned, chinky-eyed, and with a surname that consists of only two to three letters. For eight years, I have repeatedly written stroke after stroke after stroke those Chinese characters in our shadi-po, I felt I am fluent during those times of our graded oral recitation, I sang songs in Chinese, and I knew how to pray in Chinese fairly well. But all these felt like a formidable task that I dreaded it just the same as my Math lessons. Surviving that eight-year plight didn't mean anything though, for all I can clearly muster right now are the words wo ai ni, ni hao ma, and count from one to ten. Although I fare very well at cussing in Chinese - which is the only thing that I didn't have to learn but learned it anyway. Haha. Well, who didn't?

If It Ain't Broke, Don't Fix It

Monday, February 16, 2015 2 Comments A+ a-

I am reminded of this old adage when Jan tried fixing what he thought was a broken bike and ended up frustratingly putting it away instead. While that saying is true in so many ways, it doesn't apply to everything. Relationships, for example. Being in a very long term relationship taught me that - and I learned it the hard way.

More often than not, we allow our relationships to stand still, to be static. Something that's not exciting nor exactly is boring. Neither awesome nor awful. It's somewhere in between and it's not bad if you think about it. But either way, it is not going anywhere.

Why do relationships become static? Because we are okay with okay. That's how the mentality, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it", comes in. Why fix something that is not broken? Right?

Yes, being okay is okay. But then at some point, relationships will inevitably start screaming bland and boring, the excitement wears off, the flame becomes a faint ember, and happiness will seem elusive. Then we start to question what went wrong. If we are to dig deeper, if we are to look beyond, it is the seemingly unbroken aspects of the relationship that creep in on us and eventually, inadvertently break us. It comes to us in a friendly, non-threatening form we call a routine. And routine tends to be the thing that we ignore because, well, we find comfort in it and it doesn't hurt us after all.

The thing is, routine adheres to comfort zone. Comfort zone feels comfortable that we tend to refuse to go out of that zone. Little do we know that setting boundaries around us is not as comforting as we think it is but rather dangerous. It will make us resist to change and impede the opportunity to grow. And lack of growth can kill a relationship.

Picture this, a lion that stealthily pounces on an unsuspecting prey is pretty much the same as the stunted growth in a relationship that sneaks in that all-consuming monotony, then we get eaten before we even know it. Without growth, a relationship enters a phase of stagnation that could dangerously lead to a repetitive, monotonous, boring lives, and will eventually end up couples growing apart. Trust me, I have been through that. And it was not easy.

Is being passive really better than striving? Is it really okay to stay just okay? I don't think so. It's about time we throw that old adage out of the window. Because in a relationship, we need growth, we need an upgrade, we need to add new features. The same way we need to update our apps and computers, even if it is deemed not broken, for optimal performance. Sometimes, we need to look at the unbroken things and start to think how to make it better. Because life shouldn't be static, a relationship more so.

So if ever you feel you are stuck in a relationship routine, when things are running on a flat line, think about why you fell in love in the first place. That spark won't be reignited unless you rev up the engine. Being just okay is not okay. Just because a machine turns on does not mean that it's working. So break the routine. Get out of your comfort zone. Communicate. Be imaginative. Play. And believe me, it wouldn't hurt to start doing things differently as much as it hurts trying to fix a relationship that's already broken beyond repair.


I miss...

Sunday, February 15, 2015 0 Comments A+ a-

Having a pet.

I have always been a dog person. Since the time I was born until I graduated in college, I have always had a dog. Being the only child (for 14 years), I considered my pooches as part of the family - a sibling. Someone I've slept with, cuddled with, shared my food with and talked to whenever I feel down. They're smart and they know how to empathize that you'll forget they are not human. I bet, they are even smarter, more compassionate, and have more heart than half the people you meet.

Much Ado About the Valentine's

Thursday, February 12, 2015 5 Comments A+ a-

A few days ago, while Jan and I were having some hot chocolates at McDonald's, we had a conversation that went like this:

Jan: *while browsing facebook, he saw one post from his friend* Unsa diay ang naa sa valentine's? (What's the big deal about valentine's?)
Me: *shrugs* Hapit na man diay valentine's. (Didn't notice valentine's is coming)
Jan: Sa atoa kay valentine's man pirmi. (Well, for us it is always valentine's)

I just nodded in approval and gave out a meek smile. But deep inside, I was grinning from ear to ear and my heart was already melting. Ayeee. Haha. (Not the exact words though. And I know I suck at translating one dialect to another. But it doesn't take a genius to get the message.)

Everyday is indeed Valentine's day with him. I know it sounds corny and cheesy, but honestly, looking forward and marking February 14 special among any other dates doesn't change anything. I am no longer a huge advocate of celebrating month-anniversaries (monthsary as what they call it here), let alone Valentine's day, because everyday can be treated just equally special.

Just this week, I have been asked quite a lot of times if Jan and I have plans on Valentine's. Well, there's none that I know of because first of all, I would like to think we're broke. Haha. Second, I might be working on that day. Besides, we can just celebrate Valentine's the next day or the day after the next, or whenever we feel like it.

Random Thoughts About the Telly

Monday, February 9, 2015 2 Comments A+ a-

There have been times when I feel left out whenever colleagues would talk about last night's episode of [insert tv show here]. Clueless, I could only give them a shrug and simply say, "I'm sorry but I don't watch tv." And I leave it there. Still, nothing can budge me to turn on the tube even when everyone is already down with it.

I gave up the habit of watching tv a long time ago. TV is boring. Yeah, sue me. But really, I don't think it does any good to me, unless gaining weight from watching too much tv while munching on snacks counts. Everything is so cliched and unoriginal that tv networks (yes, you, local ones) come up with nothing but bullsh*t. I would rather do that hellish 5-km uphill bike ride (that I surprisingly did earlier. challenge accepted and succeeded woot!) than endure a 10-minute same old, predictable, worthless, lame-ass and overrated drama on tv with commercials in between that constantly insult the audience by reminding you that you're not pretty enough and still lure you out to buy their sh*t. The media feed us crap. It is poisoning. Really.

Of Wrinkled Clothes and the Zero F*cks Given

Thursday, February 5, 2015 2 Comments A+ a-

You know you're old when you start not giving a f*ck about what people will think about you; case in point, I went out in public, unkempt. If wearing a wrinkled clothing is a crime, I would now be serving a life sentence.

Not that I did it unknowingly. Since I was already too late for work, I didn't mind warming up the iron. Besides, I never really iron my clothes. I avoid creased pants like plague. I know it's not one of my best days and I definitely looked sloppy (pants and collared shirt fresh from the clean laundry basket, matched with Chuck Taylors that has seen better days). But who cares? I strode down the road as I wore what seemed to be cringe-worthy, with pride.

Childhood Games: Then and Now

Monday, February 2, 2015 9 Comments A+ a-

I was born in 1985. Needless to say, I spent all my childhood days during the 90's. That time when being stinky, drenched in sweat, and dirty is perfectly natural. That time when smartphones, computers and virtual games did not exist. Or maybe they did, but physical play reigned over gadgets - which is probably the greatest thing that ever happened during my childhood.

Yes, I am lucky.

We did not have the luxury of technology back then yet we know how to enjoy the little things the world can provide. We only had tin cans, old slippers, plastic cellophane, twigs and branches, and whatever it is that we can pick up on the streets but we enjoyed it very much.  I was a certified batang kalye. I played on the streets and under the sun. Aside from piko, patintero, taguan, takyan (sipa), tex, chinese garter, luksong tinik, luksong baka, tumba lata, and so on and so forth, here are some notable Filipino childhood games of the 90's that I enjoyed back then which are surprisingly (almost) comparable to the games kids enjoy nowadays.