Feels like Adulthood

Growing up 101

Kuala Lumpur 2015: Another Overdue

WordPress reminded me that my last post was about a year ago, so publishing one that has been rotting in my Drafts folder.

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So June last year, my colleagues and I traveled to Malaysia for a buying trip for one of our brands. It was a short 3-day stay, but it was a productive trip nonetheless.

We stayed at the St. Giles The Gardens Hotel. Here’s a shot from the top floors. Kuala Lumpur looks like Manila, a few green areas, tall buildings, creeks, etc., only cleaner and a more systematized transport system. They have a lot of freeways and the queue at their tollbooths is the nearest thing they have to traffic. Gawd, Manila sucks.

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As same as all other LDR (Long Distance Relationship) phases my Boyfriend and I go through, he has letters stashed in my office planner for me to read upon arrival at the hotel. Yes, it’s that specific. This time, it came in a form of origami. I just stole a few minutes while my colleague was freshening up to have this one shot and read. It didn’t come in a series though, only one for the weekend.

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And here’s my travel buddy. Yes, we have Nike Golf for years, and we acquired Exclusive Distributorship of Taylormade adidas Golf as well. Hurray! And yes, it’s adidas we did buying for, thus, the pair. I think this is one of the earliest of the boost technology models. It’s light and has a comfortable sole, perfect for all the walking we did the entire trip.

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Breakfast buffets are the best! I take shameless photos of my plate to send on Viber to my boyfriend for ~food~ updates.

Malaysia is basically a basin of culture, but majority of its population is Muslim. It’s mostly obvious through food options. Pork is rarely served. So here I had baked cauli flower, cheesy baked tomatoes, Basmati rice, hash browns, beef bacon, and chicken sausages. I almost cried, why BEEF bacon, why? The chicken sausage was good though, I liked that it had cheese.
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We visited the famed Jalan Alor at Bukit Bintang. It is an entire stretch of Street Food. It’s crazy – different races, all chats and noise, public performers, cars passing by, souvenir vendors, etc.

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Food was mostly spicy, or maybe I was just bound to love spicy food (and get fat, too).
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Of course, everyone’s favorite…

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And so far, the food that has piqued my interest in all of Kuala Lumpur, the chicken fish. I know it’s cute because, the heck, it’s smiling. But more than that, this sea creature has no bones aside from the hard one through the center. It’s white meat, chunky yet soft. It didn’t taste like chicken though. It was served fried – not oily nor spicy. Just the right hint of herbs and spices.
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This was the crowd to my right while dining. Crazy street.

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Of course, we cannot miss the Petronas Towers. Good thing we went there at night as it was majestic with the lights on and with the full moon.

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We left the next day hoarding Old Town Coffee.

Farewell, KL. Hoping to get back and take a not-so-touristy time out with you next time.

 

 

Bangkok 2015: An Overdue

Honestly, I can hardly think of an introduction for this post as this has been rotting in the drafts folder for nearly a year. Guess it is about time to finally send it out there as this was my first trip and Nike Golf CSI to Bangkok.

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The flight to Bangkok took us almost 4 hours. That’s the longest I’ve been on air. As mentioned in previous blogs, I am quite paranoid on flight. I had a hard time napping. I took a few trips to the loo and skipped sleep music on my ipod. Another hour was spent from airport to hotel. I was at my happiest when I arrived at my hotel room. Rest, finally.

As temporary LDRs with my boyfriend go, he sneaked out and had cute postcards sandwiched between pages of my office planner. This one’s for the day.

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I traveled in a group of three. So I went along with the two boys’ manly instincts and grabbed grub. At least they didn’t opt to stay at their mancave, they took me out for a big lunch at MBK instead. That was the first of the many spicy food I am to taste for God knows when time I’d be coming in and out of Thailand for buying trips. The boys were too lazy to walk and take the train, so we hailed a cab instead. They kind of briefed me with the the transportation system.

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Met a friend on the first day. I was brave enough to take the train on my own, but ok, I love getting lost in foreign places. I just had to keep a map with me, just in case.

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My first stop in Bangkok was the famed Jatujak market, no less. It’s like Manila’s Divisoria, but only a lot organized. I already had a pasalubong list, so I just had to do the pressure of hunting at that moment so I can relax the days ahead. I had good buys though. I got my mother a nicely weaved table runner. Also got her and my grandmother silk scarves. Haven’t actually bought for myself then, because I was saving for a pair of Nike’s (LOL) but was already eyeing leather bags. It was humid on that day, just had to cool down with coconut ice cream. I think this was just around THB35-50, toppings included. Jatujak isn’t just a shopping heaven, it also boasts of monstrous street food. They have the spiciest balls and grilled pork around, and they perform while preparing your Thai Iced Tea!

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It was rather late when I got back the hotel room. The boys thought I got lost and I kept receiving Viber messages asking where I was, or if I need help commuting, etc. HAHA This was the last snap before I went to bed. Looks just like our own Manila.

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I was never a morning person, but the breakfast buffet definitely motivated me to get up earlier than usual. Their bacon and sausages are the best!

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Nike Golf’s SEA office is just stone’s throw away from the hotel. Thank God! I can get to the Conference Hall in a matter of 5 minutes, depositing of ID at the Reception Area included. Nike really has a sleek modern office! I haven’t taken any photos though as I might be judged of sneaking around. Their rooms/halls are named after novelty shoes. Isn’t it so cool to hold office at Airforce One or at Air Max?

Found Rory McIlroy imitating David lying around. Life (Golf) imitating art, eh? So witty.

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Walked around Paragon and suddenly believed in love at first sight. Heehee.

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Same night, Team PH went out with Team Indo for dinner. We were scouting for real Thai food. We wanted to try Chicken Rice but the train queue was unbearable so we dined at Lek Seafood, which was just right under the train station. HAHA! Good thing I was the only girl in the crew and the only first-timer so I always had the first bite of every dish. All four boys battled it out in the table after I’ve taken my part.

I never thought I’d love Thai food, but Lek Seafood’s Tom Yum and Steamed Fish blew me away. See how beautifully legit this fish is served?

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As everyone ended up being full from dinner. We all decided to swim. Team Indo went straight to the pool area and dipped in the same clothes they wore during dinner. Yes, that Suzanne Petersen-signed shirt was immersed in water. Those two guys were a mix of cool and crazy.

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The next day was more serious stuff at the office, so there just had to be a party by night. This was at Cloud 47, one of Bangkok’s tallest buildings. Beautiful Bangkok city lights. We walked to and fro this venue. We made a detour at Pat Pong on the way back to the hotel. That was one of the craziest walks I had in my entire life. Imagine waking and being followed around by people holding menus of what the red light district had to offer! I was actually asking myself what the hell we were doing there!

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Apparently, fun really starts as soon as the sun sets. As Team PH and Team Indo have been lusting for Chicken Rice, Nike Golf’s head took us to this small Chicken Rice shop on the road leading to the Floating Market. We walked from the hotel to this restaurant, took us almost an hour. We were starving. This better be good!

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And Sui Heng Hainanese Chicken did not disappoint. This quaint restaurant boasts of tasty Chicken Rice, beyond par of those famed Sinagapore counterparts. It was summer and I was already having allergies, but I had chicken to my heart’s content.

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Look at that white tender meat!

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The following day was the Marketing Team’s tour. So tempted to take a dip, but ugh, have to prepare for the long road trip ahead.

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As Nike Golf launched the Vapor line of Irons and Metalwoods, Nike Golf shifted its color scheme from red (remember Covert?) to the Volt Green. I believe this is a good marketing move as it possesses a younger, electric, and more energetic feel. Well, aside from the fact that the color really drives attention. Look at this Limited Edition Driver for Michelle Wie. Doesn’t it look hip?

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And this cute headcover for Rory. I actually asked the Nike SEA team why Rory’s was a dog. (I mean, Tiger’s was a tiger for all the obvious reasons) Well, because Rory had the same headcover for years. Good to know, actually. Would have to consider that a selling point aside from the fact that you could get it for free with a purchase of two dozen Nike RZN Balls.

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Getting from one store to another was quite tiring. I just had to have my sugar fix. Now, this one’s the Thai Tea Crepe Cake. Which is like the best dessert I ever had in Bangkok because duh?! That’s Thai Iced tea and Crepe cake in one! My photo makes no justice and I can’t find the right words to describe what heaven on earth this tastes like!

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Had a lot of curries too. This one’s Green Beef Curry with Roti. It’s a mild curry so it’s easy on the palate.

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One of the most anticipated part of the trip, Nike Factory Store!

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Had to take a photo of this washroom, as it looks like a public bath area in Greece circa Renaissance era. I just wish I didn’t include myself in the photo.

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We had a cruise at the Chao Praya River. It was a beautiful tour, I just hope there was someone who actually spoken about the historical landmarks along the river instead of a voiceover which was hardly ever heard.

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I wasn’t able to take enviable photos of the tour. I was just struck in awe with the images of their majestic temples. I can’t believe I’ve seen a temple in gold, shining at night, or a temple with intricate details seen from afar, or parks and homes of royals luminescent in the dark.

This is the Rama VIII bridge. Majestic is an understatement. I’d like to walk upon it one day.

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Met with my friend, or twin should I say, the next day. We met at Jatujak again. She helped me complete my pasalubong list. She was actually on her last days in Bangkok too. After a few days, she flew and relocated to Norway. So sad, I wouldn’t be able to meet her on my future visits to Thailand.

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I always compare Philippine airports with those abroad. That’s a dreadful thing to do, I know, but this one I can’t help to.

Thais are deeply rooted in their history. They take so much pride in their country and culture. Their gateways (airports) have guardians (see pictured below), narratives and depictions of their gods and goddesses. And mind you, these are enormous.

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Finally, it’s time to board the plane. Farewell, Bangkok. Until the next Nike Golf CSI.

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Dear Lover, Some Little Thing I Owe You

Dear Lover,

I don’t remember saying “We’d see the entire world together”. Or maybe I did, but entirely forgotten because a few memorable places would actually already do.

Remember when I told you I’m taking you to Baguio? In my head I was actually telling you I’m taking you home. And just a month ago, I did. As promised, we took the midnight bus. We did not have the luxury to recline our seats as we missed the bus we’re supposed to take. I would have wanted to keep the curtains open for you to watch the outside pass us by, but I chose that you take rest instead, for mostly, the ride we took were all freeways in sight.

The sun had already declared its might by the time we arrived. I briefed you of my soon-to-be tendency to point out random places and tell stories of what happened then and there. You let out a small laugh because I have already started right before I warned.

We jetted to Tam-Awan Village after that. We were greeted with a massive wall of graffiti my friends did for the village. It looks brighter and a lot less gruesome than it had been. We were welcomed by my old friends, whom to you are new. But at that moment, I knew you knew what I meant how faces become places and how places become faces. Their sanctuary has also become ours.

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You insisted we take the trek past the view deck before leaving. You loved how the weather afforded us a sweat-free trek up until the borders of the village. We hopped on to museums – of people and works you knew. Might have been because you met them once, or I acquainted you with them as per stories told then and there. We took the road up to meet the Oble of the North. I roamed the halls I used to roam. Some ten years ago, I was here, without any idea we’d exist here at one point.

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The night has finally put on its veil just as the rain poured, we sought refuge in a cafe because I promised to give you a taste of the best Strawberry Shortcake. I knew you’d find it not sweet enough, you requested for a slice of Apple pie. We felt we needed something to refresh our palette so we crossed Session Road and headed to an artsy vegetarian restaurant. I know I promised you a glimpse of a lesser known road but equally beautiful as Session, but the weather did not afford us – it was washed white from where we stood. Oh, it was that night you took literally The Magnetic Fields’ The Night You Can’t Remember – deluded with alcohol, you forgot how you wounded up in our room the following morning. And I, of course remembered, how you took a cold shower and jumped to the bottom bunker naked.

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The next day was a stroll on Baguio’s scariest. I must say, I am one lucky person – to have someone like you who looks at these kinds of places with utter admiration of beauty and history rather than what they are shallowly known for. I love how you marvel and wonder like a kid presented with an idea that aliens exist or something. And of course, you made the same face when confronted with a plate full of meat and protein. We took a cab home that evening. It was a toil getting one along Session Road, but it was along the trip you admired Baguio’s city lights. You struggled to take a photo from the moving vehicle. I laughed a small laugh and slipped into my mind that image of you in awe of Baguio’s lights.

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I took you out for touristy things the following day. You knew this was not my forte, I hated to do this actually. We strolled Burnham Park, maybe I just had to lend you stories which unfolded there – afternoons at the playground and some moments affront the lake. We judged a few people because it was what I used to do there. We felt a pull towards SM Baguio, you insisted we watch a movie for sixty pesos. But that was then, two hours spent at the cinema now costs a hundred and fifty. Well, still not bad these days. We stayed a little while at Harrison as we did thrift shopping that evening. It was not really your thing, but I got you sniffing around looking for vintage shirts you could parade and be proud of.

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We woke up early the next morning to oblige for everyone’s pasalubong requests. I took you to the outskirts of the wet market – not everyone has ever been to where vegetables from La Trinidad or Sagada is dropped off, not everyone sees how vendors wash their goods onsite, and not everyone knows there’s a fifteen peso kilo of carrots there.

We no longer left the village after that. We strolled back again to the roof deck, but we caught rain. We missed the sunset, which beauty I promised you forevers ago. However, we were presented with a dazed view of the mountains and South China Sea. We stayed there for a little more while, unmindful of the sharp shudders, without need of a coat, a jacket, or a warm cup of coffee. It’s like a cheesy scene in a movie bound to make you cringe and giggle at the same time.

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I thought the trip would be totally over when we set foot at the bus. On the way down Marcos Highway though, you pointed out again how beautiful Baguio’s city lights were and how it kind of reflected the serene night sky. Just when I thought we missed that part on the beginning of our journey, you brought it to me even before it came to an end.

I kind of smiled myself to sleep, knowing those days have been very exhausting, but promising and exciting. We may not have been able to tick off all that was in my Baguio checklist, but I was glad to have brought you to my heart’s home. Now, it’s yours as well.

Love always,

Asteorra

To my Little Penguin

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I know it embarrasses you to have been called as such now that you’re a grown man. On my part though, it makes me a bit melodramatic.

Everything is vivid. From the little boy bound to piss me off everyday, to a teenager whom I was in charge of looking over aka take cover when school trouble arises, to a yuppie whom I did style consultation for in exchange of free food or a pair of pants, then suddenly to an army official.

You were a bright kid, but you were equally hard-headed and mischievous. Some of your teachers even disliked you for your curious and sometimes sarcastic inquisitions. I was called to office a few times because you were caught throwing pieces of paper at ceiling fans, vandalizing school property, forging our parents’ signature, etc. We kept these our little secrets then. Our parents only knew of a few years ago, they only laughed their heads off, but could have fumed in anger that time.

Everyone knew you as the happy-go-lucky kind. I guess it’s just us, your family, who believed that there’s a grown man underneath your childish antics. Because we listened more than your words, we took notice of your silent sacrifices, we took note of your dreams. But who knew, right? You were sneaky. You never told anybody. There were a few signs, but no hints. I didn’t even know that the reason you borrowed my neck ties was for your application for the army. Still I mull, if I had known, would I let you? Maybe yes, maybe no.

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And here you are now, looking mighty and strong, with a respectful stance and assertive but calm demeanor. You’ve come so far from the laid back and annoying guy we all knew. Look how a year has changed you!

Proud as we are, it worries and saddens us even how all of these entail threat upon your life. You may have briefed, acquainted, and had us ready for this, but we never were. Never will we be. If only there’s a way I could make offering to the gods just to have you assigned some part of Luzon or Visayas instead of Mindanao, I swear, I’d roast a thousand suckling pigs!

We have barely three days to spend with you before you proceed to your assigned division. Can tomorrow until Sunday be composed of 48 hours each? I’d cut the drama, just get home safe.

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I look real mean in this photo, but I love you in real life, abnormal penguin brother Bobek!

Memories of Blood and Strawberries

Yesterday, I posted a throwback Thursday photo on my Instagram. It featured an artwork from one of the first art exhibitions I worked for. Nostalgia struck through me the moment I was editing and uploading the photo.

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The Menstruation of the Goddess or the Apotheosis of the Strawberries. Sandra Palomar. Coloratura Exhibit. mospace. 2009

Coloratura was the second show I officially worked for. The first one was Gaston Damag’s Exploding Idols at Pablo Fort, but it wasn’t as full on as this one. For Coloratura, I read books and journals, including texts in French. For this exhibit, I learned photoshop, laid-out manuscripts, sourced for volcanic rock and paper stock, documented a performance, and written and submitted press release personally.

Yes, it was the first time I wrote press releases. Back then I had little confidence for my writing. I was barely out of college and it was so much pressure knowing my words will come out in the Lifestyle pages of broadsheets and magazines. I made two drafts, so the editors could choose which to use. I initially submitted the copies to our Project Manager, Sandra, who was also one of the artists, just for her to review and judge my writing before the rest of the world does. I remember her telling me “This would do”. It came out the papers several days later. We were having a meeting in our office then about last minute preparations for the exhibit when she told everyone that my Press Release was beautifully written. It all felt glorious that moment, considering it came from a Paris-based artist whose aesthetics and literature were so refined. I was more than flattered. Eventually, she assigned me as head of exhibitions/events planning and PR for the gallery.

It was really a tough project. That was but one portion of the entire learning experience. It was not just writing. Actually, there were more physical activities involved, like transporting the paintings, hanging them, using those weird rulers, adjusting lights and wall texts. I was a fresh graduate then, and this I thought was some surprising kind of training. I loved it though. Everyone was not afraid of committing mistakes, if they did, they would turn it out into something they can work on. That’s one of the things I actually love about artists. They can always think of a creative way of turning things around. They make the process lean more to fun and learning.

It was all tedious and messy work, but I felt the happy kind of tired at the end of each day I was working for that exhibition. The entire experience was happy and fulfilling.

I rarely get that kind of feeling these days. So much feelings for a throwback Thursday.

When “it” is Over

I remember to have written before in my old defunct blog something about love, loss, and longing, and the waiting, uncertainty, and anticipation entailed. It was about you.

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I have already been used to not seeing you, not speaking to you, not even thinking about you. You were my “could have been”, though eventually I deemed you my soulmate. Sounds weird I know, but remember when we went around randomly and wasted time on things that were irrelevant to our lives yet seemed to have made sense? Those became remembrances that brought clarity as to how and why we can never be. Those were the moments that haunted me, but at the same time hauled me back to safety and sanity whenever I was in great irrepressible pain.

I even wrote to you and wrote about you. How can I not? When you were the one who taught me the meaning, value, and gravity of each word, more than the dictionary could ever offer. Of course, I added romanticism to that. That’s how we deal with things and people we used to love, right? Also, I could not help it then, knowing that’s the farthest we could ever/never be.

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And as you always do in the past four to five years, you came to me as a surprise. But this time, with utmost realness (discounting the fact that it was virtual). It was not surreal though. Nothing magical, really. It was unexpected, I cannot put a feeling on it. This was what I wanted years ago. This is what I would have given up things for. But that was not an option then. All we did was pack our things up and leave.

It kind of makes me happy though of the time we have spent apart. Maybe we needed that to wonder and wander. Maybe that was one way of making us grow and realize some things. Maybe it brought us into thinking how we cared for each other in each’s absence.

This is my story of love lost. A narrative of longing, waiting, and anticipation that have gone. It will never be the same love as before. This is now the kind of love/friendship far more than your words can convey.

I am thankful I already have my life on track, and to have people I have lost back is a mere bonus. I guess friendships really do not end. You gobbled up your own words. In the end, it came from you even; that it has to be rekindled.

You were one of my greatest (and weirdest!) friends after all.

’13: A Prerequisite Year-Ender

I didn’t post a wishlist during my last birthday. I thought it would be a little off listing down things I would have wanted to receive when people from the Visayas region are struggling with their lives. Thus, instead of “needs and wants” bullets, I am listing things that made me happy and/or things I should be thankful for this past year. So, that makes this a partial birthday and year-end blog

1. Less rampant skin asthma. As much as I wanted to skip the beach in summer, you just can’t say no to sunny sunny places. Surprisingly, my allergies didn’t shoot up, or was I just OC re-applying SPF like crazy. On the other hand, the trip to Sagada made my skin a lot better. I guess I am really meant to live in the mountains.

2. First time to spend Christmas and New Year’s Eve with the boyfriend. I used to hate my boyfriend’s work schedule: night shift and very few holidays. For last year’s holiday however, he took the toilsome drive from his workplace to our home. He arrived with so much glee. He even played the guitar for everyone and brought a puppy for me to adopt.

3. Seeing Stars in concert. Last year’s birthday wishlist included Stars and Sara Bareilles concert. Guess I was a good kid then, heavens answered my prayers by bringing Stars to the Philippines in February! It was a surreal experience to see them perform live. I cried, sweat, jumped, and felt every kind of emotion to each of their songs.

4. Spending the Boyfriend’s birthday in Boracay. It has been a tradition for the boyfriend and I to take a week off from work on our birthdays to have it to ourselves. It’s usually a time for adventure, food, culture, and peace and quiet in between. This time, we chose the shores of Boracay. Midst the bipolar weather, we braved island hopping, parasailing, and helmet diving. Our nights were usually capped off with beer and good music. It was relaxing and fun.

5. Friendship level up with colleagues at Burot Beach. The office Breakfast Club hit the beach in late June. We were camping newbies, but we survived. Nothing fancy for us, but we enjoyed the bonfire, smores, drunk dips at dawn, crazy games/dares, and confessions. Friendship level went up notches higher.

6. Crying over John Green’s “The Fault in our Stars”. It’s been a while since the last time I shed tears over a book. (Last was Marley and Me, I literally bawled and tucked my face into pillows haha!) It made me cry buckets. It was cute and romantic which makes it all the more sadistic, sad, and heartbreaking. I can’t wait for the movie.

7. Sweets and treats delivery from the boyfriend. As mentioned, I used to hate my boyfriend’s work schedule, but one of its perks was he can drop by the office to hand me things I need, like for emergency: meds, supplies etc. But a sweet boyfriend is a sweet boyfriend, he randomly drops by to give me dessert, snacks, and bonus chicken rewards.

8. Well-spent birthday celebration in Sagada. I have always wanted to go to Sagada. I have always believed it has the same promise as Baguio. As part of my birthday celebration, we (friends and boyfriend) took an adventure and nature trip to Sagada. We braved the grumpy weather, trekked to Bomod-ok falls, and conquered the Lumiang-Sumaguing cave connection. I knew it will be one of my favorite places. I will be coming back.

9. Weird birthday surprise from the boyfriend. My boyfriend is abnormal. He takes delight in pissing me off first before giving me surprises, rewards, etc. For my birthday, he asked me to pick him up from his office. It’s really annoying, come to think of it, but hey, maybe he prepared a surprise with his officemates. But so happened, we just hopped and took weird routes from Eastwood to almost Marikina part of QC, from the C5 area of Pasig to Meralco Ave to Kapitolyo. And picked up an avocado cake with greetings from him and my pet rabbit (HAHA). The next week, we no longer traveled far and wide. Instead, he teased me into getting a new pet and picked me up from the office, already with a new female bunny munching grass.

10. My brother finally ending up with something he really really wanted. People consider my brother the happy-go-lucky type of guy. Little are they aware that he’s the kind who’s up for just about anything just to go after what he dreams. After graduation, he sought our parents’ approval regarding entering the PMA. Unfortunately, my parents didn’t allow him because he was still young and immature etc. Just this year, he secretly filed for application for the military. He just broke the news few days before his one-month training. Now, he’s already at the Tarlac camp for his year-long training. I am so proud and happy for my brother.

11. Boyfriend’s new work schedule. How many times have I ranted about the boyfriend’s morning being my evening and vise versa? Well this year, he switched companies and received new work schedule. Though he gets to the office at around 6am, still, that means more time together. Yey!

12. More kitchen collaborations with the boyfriend. From plain brownies to smores to cookie crumble. From lasagna and baked macaroni to lemon garlic dory and baked chicken. Here’s to more awesomeness in the kitchen!

13. Welcoming new babies in the family. Just a month after my boyfriend got me a new female bunny, it gave birth to four tiny kittens! It takes a lot of effort feeding and making sure they’re growing big and strong but seeing them hop, roam around, and open their eyes for the first time is priceless. I’m a happy grandmother.

14. Mini reunions and meet-ups with college friends. My friends and I have come to a point where I rarely see each other due to our busy schedule. It’s such a delight to see them once in a while and spend endless hours talking just about anything like our younger years. Though now, we no longer opt for crazy night outs. We’d rather spend time somewhere cozy while stuffing food on our faces, if not settling down for coffee or tea.

15. My father’s survival from the Bohol quake. Perhaps this is one of the things I am really really grateful for this year. There’s no such dread as knowing someone you love has been affected by such calamity. I am just plain thankful that he wasn’t hurt or anything. Moreover, he helped people in his community.

The Skinny on the Skinny, The Flat on the Flat

I am skinny. I was a skinny girl who grew up to be a skinny woman.

***

Puberty arrived a little late in grade school. I was already awkward then when all these growing up things occurred, which just made me even more awkward. I was a bit envious of my gradeschool friends who already looked like full-grown women. Their bodies already have shape, they have already grown breasts, their hips have widened and their bottoms have become plumper. I thought I’d be the same come my period. But nothing happened, even after years of monthly bleeding.

My mother was alarmed of my health. My weight was no longer proportional with my height. She had me eggs every day, aside from the smoothie (?) she prepared which consisted of raw eggs, chocolate, banana, and milk. It tastes good you know, but it kind of wears you off knowing you are basically fine and wasn’t sick or something but had to do/drink it anyway.

***

I remember wearing my first brassiere in high school. It did not fit me well. The A cup size was already too large for me, but my mother insisted that I should start wearing because that’s just what a growing woman should do. I came to school the next day and people thought I grew boobs overnight. I was teased – that it was all pad and air inside. They asked me if I had put in pieces of bread to make up for the hollow spaces. I hated these jokes. Aside from the fact that these are corny Pinoy jokes, they were all just mocking me.

I hated that they associated flat chested-ness with me. I hate it when flat chested comes up their thought bubbles when they hear my name. I hate it that they made fun of what I didn’t have or what I partially had. I hated people because I was aware that I am more than my lack of boobs. I’m smart and witty. But this was the idea of me that stuck to them. I mean, come on! This is puberty people, you learn this in school, along with GMRC, so be nice to those having this kind of bad phase.

Good thing, I was not the type to dwell on physical things. I give credit to my parents for always telling me that I have my brains to boot and nadaaah to what other people say about how I look. Flat-chestedness did not become an insecurity. I was no longer looking at other girl’s boobs. I mean, what do I get from comparing anyway? The story went on, and I made it through high school skinny and flat.

College came and the people I knew were less judgmental. Must be the carefree environment of the university, or the theoretical and serious approach of the academe, or must be my course’s focus on thinking and problematizing, or maybe we were more drawn on what appeals to the mind rather than the physical.

Adulthood came and I still had the same body type. I don’t remember anyone mock me as much as in high school. Or maybe they do, but I just shrug my shoulders and that’s it. I met a lot of people, men and women, and not even one dared to take make a big deal out of it. Well, except for my current boss who thinks I have the perfect model type body (at size 0 or even smaller); he even transforms me to a mannequin at times. And honestly, that is kind of gratifying, knowing finally, someone takes high regard of what others have made you feel terrible about.

I guess it’s just that people really get into dirty and awkward phases, or worse, never get out of it. My story is no less different as those who have been mocked and laughed at most of the time because of what they lacked. It’s a struggle, but it’s just a matter of acceptance – of knowing and being aware of who and what and how you are and turning everything around for your own good. After all, what people see is in you is what you pass on to them.

Recent Reading

It’s been seven months since I started Roland Barthes’ A Lover’s Discourse and I am not done with it yet. I’d like to think it’s because I juggle it with J. D. Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye and Tracy Chevalier’s Girl with the Pearl Earring, but truth is, I have not dedicated hours and days to reading anymore.

It’s a shame I haven’t given as much time to novels. These days I’d rather spend the entire day at the office getting exhausted of Social Media matters which Forbes recently deemed, not an actual career. Sucks, I know. And on weekends, I do errands like grocery shopping, walking my pet to the park, girlfriend duties, etc.

I miss the luxury of laying down in bed, leafing through the pages, meeting characters, and getting immense sympathy for them to the point of investing emotions and bawling in tears at their expense. I can only recall how much I loved Salinger’s detailed conversations in Franny and Zooey that I actually played the scene on my mind the moment I was reading it. I can only remember the feelings the unnamed characters endured in David Levithan’s  A Lover’s Dictionary in order for them to keep the relationship. I can only recollect becoming victorious and infinite with Charlie in Stephen Chbosky’s Perks of Being a Wallflower. With Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye, I find joy in picturing Holden Caufield and his relationships and conversations with schoolmates which reminds me of my years studying far from home and not being somewhat aloof to the new people. Yes, I have not yet moved from that part of the book.

As for philosophical reads, I take more time to digest them as compared to fiction. I try to relate and ponder at every chapter and identify myself with the text. Yes, I recall instances of my life and compare and relate to what I have read. Think: Antoine de Saint Exupery’s The Little Prince, Blaise Pascal’s On Human Happiness, and letters and writings of Kahlil Gibran. These are the kind of books that are not just as easy to read. I mean, I always feel like reading into them means more than reading into them, like there is a whole lot of message you need to understand.

And right now, I take the same particularity in reading Barthes. You see, the problem with reading his text is that, knowing he is a semiologist, I tend to read, let’s say a paragraph, all over again thinking he embedded somewhere between words some sort of sign. It is kind of confusing how familiarity brings about complexity in reading. Or, am I just being too critical? Ugh.

Oh well. Bottomline, I need a time off and save a date for a date with these books lined up on my bedside table.

Writing and Funneling

Hello blog!

It’s been a while. I see that your interface has changed. Not that I do not notice every time I log in to see updates on other blogs, it’s just that I haven’t posted a new blog post since. The last one was a blog submitted via smart phone because I thought my phone can’t be smart enough without a wordpress software/blog function.

Well anyway, I haven’t been writing for lame and justifiable reasons. One is that I have been out some weekends, as seen in these photos:

Boyfriend's Boracay Birthday

Boyfriend’s Boracay Birthday

Camping at Burot Beach with the office Breakfast Club

Camping at Burot Beach with the office Breakfast Club

After these (this is number two), I suffered from viral infection for more or less a week. Good thing it didn’t turn into dengue or some other disease. I just took a rest and stayed indoors. My allergies also zoomed up and I have red patches all over my arms and chest and face. Too much sun and stress I guess.

Speaking of stress (third on my list), I have been pretty much pre-occupied with work lately. My mailing initiatives have gradually declined, yet I am already preparing for my holiday letters. I am kind of excited for this since I have always been excited for Christmas. I received bad news some two weeks ago, I lost my copywriter and I am to make my own captions for all the company’s social media platforms. That means more marketing writing and I don’t like it. Remember when I wrote press releases for the gallery? Yes, almost the same. This one’s worse though, I am to embed hardsell in one to two sentences which is like really going to scream hardsell.

The boyfriend noticed I haven’t been writing him as much letters as before. I blame reasons one, two, and three, plus my emotional instability aka hormones, mood swings, impatience, and temper. With that four, I haven’t afforded to write him romantic verses, not even dedicate random lines of a poem. I chose to sulk and suck. That was a safe decision though, rather than write about mess.

And so, that was my art of filtering/funneling. I promise to make good entries soon. Also, forgive the language of this blog post, it is so blog-gy.