’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.

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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.

1/12, And It’s Not Yet Too Late

I have been away for quite a time. I haven’t even posted this year’s goals, and here goes:

1. Save

I mean, I say this every year. But maybe I should learn not to spend more than I earn or not to spend more than I save. I will have to negotiate with myself on that.

2. Read more books.

12 books in a year is a pretty feasible target for many. But not for my pretty weird activities and schedule, it’s shamefully hard to reach! So there, I also promise to finish Roland Barthes within the month. Just some theoretical shiz to balance out all the romantic stuff.

3. Listen to good music

8tracks is a gift to mankind! It’s a repository of mixtapes from whoever around the world. I got new contents for my ipod from here. And it’s free!

4. Tour and explore Metro Manila

Because I fancy going places and finding out interesting things from wherever, the culture vulture me wants to explore further places in the metro or places nearby. It’s better to associate Manila with culture rather than traffic and smog.

5. Write more

Just this morning, I came up with a writing idea springing from a friend’s old letter to me. I’m so excited for this, but I guess it will be long project. Release dates will be next year, methinks.

Also, I just wrote 3 fictions last year. 2 of which were published here. I think I need to write more.

6. Learn to cook

I am so much into baking I forgot personal training in the old dirty kitchen. Yes, I will save time for this, uhm, along with baking. Yes.

7. Take care of my phone

Basically because it’s the boyfriend’s Christmas present to me and he saves me the time of updating OS, downloading applications, etc. So in return, I have to take outmost care for this little pretty thing.

8. Be more concerned with skin

I’ll throw creams and lotions to my skin. I’ll moisturize. I’ll learn how to put on make up correctly. Duh.

9. Remain connected with art

There are loves you cannot lose. Never. So here I am, with a red thread spun to my fingers, and with art’s – promising to read, write and feel more about it.

Signed, Calendar Girl

If I am lost for a day; try to find me
But if I don’t come back, then I won’t look behind me
All of the things that I thought were so easy
Just got harder and harder each day
December is darkest and June is the light but this empty bedroom won’t make anything right
While out on the landing a friend I forgot to send home
Who waits up for me all through the night

Calendar Girl who’s in love with the world Stay alive
Calendar Girl who’s in love with the world Stay alive

I dreamed I was dying; as I so often do
And when I awoke I was sure it was true
I ran to the window; threw my head to the sky
And said whoever is up there,please don’t let me die

But I can’t live forever,I can’t always be
One day I’ll be sand on a beach by a sea
The pages keep turning, I’ll mark off each day with a cross
And I’ll laugh about all that we’ve lost

Calendar Girl who is lost to the world Stay Alive
Calendar Girl who is lost to the world Stay Alive

January, February, March, April, May I’m alive
June, July, August, September,October I’m alive
November, December, you all through the winter, I’m alive
I’m alive

*Because I found this pretty apt for my birthday and for the past year and for the 276 months of existence. Birthday blogs (yes, that came with an S) coming up soon.

The 11 Tracks of 2011 – Perhaps The Late-st New Year Post

I have mentioned in my previous blog that I am to answer the generic 2011 survey, but I chose to skip it this time since a.) friends have already done it in their blogs b.) I’ve done that in facebook and multiply some N years ago and c.) I don’t feel like answering a roster of questions as if I’m in a talkshow or something.

I’d opt for a mixtape of sorts instead. 11 tracks for 2011. Yes, what a concept concerning numbers! I guess I will have to try to be more creative next time. Also, all links lead to last. fm since it’s the easiest way for me to search and backtrack my 2011 playlist and ponder about last year through music. FYI, I had my last.fm resurrected/reactivated last year. 🙂

So here goes a little of 2011:

  • Friends Lovers or Nothing by John Mayer – Vague boundaries and uncertainties. Proof that one small lacking thing makes a whole lot of difference to the whole. Lessons in unity of opposites learned.

 

 

This is the last time I’ll ever say I love you/This is the last night I’ll fall among these graves/The first and last time that I’ve cried/And walk beneath the dark lonely sky

  • Happy by Natasha Bedingfield – Instant get-happy song. Reminds me of good little things around and all the reasons to foster a positive disposition.

Keep your pride young girl/It’s your life, it’s your world

  • The Quiz by Hello Saferide – My questions and riddles. Your wit and unpredictable ways. Exactly the prelude to our story.

 

  • One Sweet Love by Sara Bareilles – To being lost and found, and the anticipation between. Because all Sara Bareilles songs need not be sad and sappy, some just have to be slow and sweet.

 

 

  • We Will Not Grow Old by Lenka – Says as much as Jewel’s This Way but with a more upbeat and playful touch. Cheers to our youthful hearts!

 

 

  • Your Song by Ellie Goulding – Part of the random mixtape of us I made up in my head. When no song seems to fit us, this might be probably apt. Or so I said because this is one song I wish I could sing you, or maybe I would, one day.

 

2012’s Gameplan

Keeping up with the dates

Happy New Year and Happy Birthday to my WordPress! YEY!

My greeting’s pretty late since my internet connection at home has zonked out during the holidays and I can only resurrect online through my office PC.

I won’t be pointing out a long flashback of 2011. It was great, ok, and I have sort of written about it and my learnings on my birthday blog. Or maybe I lied, I might do a generic 2011 survey in a separate post.

This is the first time I shall be writing my plans for 2012 for the netizens to see. And here it goes:

Turn my tadpole belly into hot abs. My bulging tummy doesn’t compliment my stick thin body. I do not want to stick with that body type either! So I better excercise and discard carbs off my diet. This sounds a lot unlike me, but La Union and my new shoes better be my motivation.

Travel. I don’t have concrete plans yet except spending Holy Week at La Union. I don’t know if I’d get to Mindanao and/or Visayas again, but I’d be more than willing to be a little help to my father when he visits his hometown in Bohol. Also, I am still lusting over Vietnam and Cambodia.

Decide whether to get a new job or take MA. Will speak to my father about this over the weekend. Will ponder about this for a longer time. Adulthood, omigahd.

Write more. I am just very excited for an upcoming group blog with C and D. We haven’t finalized details though as we are discussing them via profound and relevant email exchanges aka online penpal-isms. And yes, love letters shall always be sent to you.

Save. Adulthood issues again. I’d opt for a new bank account and a new piggy bank. Plus maybe, an accounting sheet. 😛

Read more books. I got more pending books on my shelf in 2011 compared to all the past years. I haven’t succumbed to reading for I was more of a sleepy slug. I just hope to finish everything in my shelf and borrow more books from friends. Suggestions and interesting titles are very much welcome.

Learn to cook. Just because I’m getting older and not gaining credits in the kitchen. Hope by the end of next year, I get to whip up a sumptuous holiday dinner for the family. Ok, mama, papa, and Mr. Snooze, I need your help.

Get adequate sleep time. Simply no oversleeping nor lack of. This seems quite impossible, but will have to try.

Include patience in my dictionary. I should have earned this thing in my younger years so I can use it by now. Tssss.

Be creative. Do more weekend projects and/or gift projects for people. Ok, to make this quite easy, include creative blogging/writing in this category. I’m already sort of cheating when I haven’t even started yet.

Learn to be more girly. Wear a little more make-up. Dress like a woman. Take care of my skin and go through some sort of beauty regimen. Well, I shall start simple like using a toner, a moisturizer, and sunblock. I use sunblock everyday anyway, I already have cookie points! 😛

That’s it for now. I shall add to the list as the year goes on.

Have a happy 2012! 😀

This is NOT a Birthday Blog…

…because this is about me, my dear love for writing and our years together.

I have been writing for god-knows-when-time I started holding a pencil. The first I wrote was a story entitled “The Sad Fish” in red-blue-red sheets of paper, which I believe my mother kept in some buried place of the house after showing off to my aunties and uncles how genius I am. Until now, they all believe I’m good in writing.

However, I don’t think I am utterly gifted in writing. I am no Shakespeare and I know no rules in writing (except for grammar, of course). I shied away from Language and Literature in college because I didn’t like writing to be a chore and I don’t want to be too critical of myself when doing so. I write when I want to write. I write what I like to write. Shallow or contemplative entries, that’s what have been keeping my pen alive these years.  My former blogs can attest to that. Yes, that was my premature writing phase when my blog was a compilation of love-hate relationships with this and that. Add the fact that I don’t consider capitalization in most posts, but I’d rather say those entries are allusions to ee cummings.

But there is growth and a lot more to it. Like keeping journals to myself then, to lifting the pages, publishing and sharing them on the internet now. There might just be a few who care to read and listen, and that’s enough. Not everyone needs to know about everything, while I too, curate my own pages and decide what to put into writing. It’s a matter of privacy. I’m no sister of the president, you know.

I don’t even know what’s the point of me yakking about this, actually. Well, it might be because I don’t write creatively now. I’m not pertaining to rhyming poems, ok. But to writing short stories and the like. I must have forgotten since I got busy with work. Yuppie thing, yes. However, work afforded me to more ideas and possibilities I’d rather plant on myself than to fictional characters. Thus, I might stick, or let’s say write majorly about myself and what’s going on rather than incorporating and inventing. This makes me feel so mature I’m sticking to reality, come on! But hey, I’m serious.

So, 23’s going to be a year all about me and whoever’s around.

Again, this is not a birthday blog, just a little glance upon me and my dire passion of sorts with writing. Birthday blog will come soon, perhaps when the month ends. My birthday is always a month-long celebration anyway.

Oh yes, birthday blogs – personal tradition aka annual writing project. Good thing, every year, something significant comes up. 🙂

Dear 12-Year Old Ted,

Some ten years (and so-so months) ago, I used to be a bratty yet boyish, sheltered and secretive girl. It’s a pretty weird thing how I came up to be this big me. And since I am this big girl writing, maybe I could give the young pre-teen me a mean set of pointers.

  • Do not be pressured of getting into a Science high school or an Art school. Enrolling will neither make you an astronaut nor a National Artist. You’ll learn the basics of Science in a normal high school anyway, and art? You’d better go for that in college.
  • Do not let go of writing. Your grade school folio is only an annual publication. Do not rest your pen after the deadlines. Write at the margins of your notebook and at the clean sheet of Math scratch paper. Ask your aunties for journals as presents.
  • Appreciate your baon. Your mother will rarely do that for you in college and you’ll surely miss that.
  • Remember boys from the Honor Section. Two from which will sweep you off your feet. Thus, start drafting their records.
  • Hoard more books from the library. Read more classics so that they won’t have to interfere with your studies in the future. Don’t mind the extra charge of a new Borrower’s card, it’s just worth two days’ snack.
  • Do not be afraid of dogs. They’re one of the cutest and most adorable creatures on earth.
  • Do not fear your teachers, even the “terror” ones. They’re supposed to teach, not to traumatize. You can always tell your father about them, and he’ll show them who’s more of an RSA.
  • Take real good care of your hair. It will be the hardest to maintain when you get older.
  • Cherish every moment you spend with your father. One day, his presence will be rare. Or maybe, his voice will be just as good as his presence.
  • Earn patience now. You’ll have to use tons of it later in life.

In Case I Forget What It Is Like To be Twenty Two

Yes and No.

Yes, I am twenty two. And no, I am not making a countdown with the less than fifty days left for me to be twenty two.

I would just like to make a rundown of the things that existed in the life of the twenty-two year old me. I’ll cut the drama and excitement of a sixteen year old, which I believe is my heart’s age anyway. And by default, everything will go in a random order.

  • Spent the eve of my 22nd birthday with an awesome surprise thrown by really awesome people.

 

  • Gatecrashed the Philippine Fashion Week. My friend and I cut her black ribbon in two so I can have a pretty good seat.

 

  • Reread my favorite books and got a copy of “Love, Stargirl” as a birthday present from my sister while sifting through piles and piles of books in Booksale.

 

  • Became addicted to torrent downloads. This is more of a confession actually. My music and movie downloads have gobbled up more than half of my office computer’s disk space.

 

  • Earned the “Curatorial Courage Award” during one of my paper presentations/workshops. Now that’s sarcasm from the academe.

 

  • Traveled out of the country for the first time. I spoke to strangers and felt at home in a foreign land. It was actually in art I found refuge.

 

  • Published an article for an exhibition. I did this for the love of the artist group and my unending fondness for my heart’s former sanctuary. I sounded like the very same girl who wrote my thesis though.

 

  • Built a sort of book club or a book swapping activity with my friends. I believe this helped my friends understand me better, just so they know where my thoughts and ideas spring from. You can say that my randomness has probably come out from the variety of books I read – from young adult (Polly Horvath and Jerry Spinelli) to philosophical (Kahlil Gibran and Richard Bach).

 

  • Had my heart broken for the nth time and found it gradually mended through surprising and unexpected ways. He has certainly taken the alternate route to my heart.

 

  • Finally received original copies of my Diploma and Transcript of Records. UP and its genius system!

 

  • Wrote short love notes to random men of my life for the whole month of February. No, I am not boy crazy.

 

  • Got my SSS, TIN, PhilHealth and etc files. This sounds rather shallow, but this made me feel like an adult.

 

  • Spent McDate evening aka cheap fastfood dinner with friends. This is also an ode to adulthood. It’s a meeting where we address our unfiltered thoughts on work, career, family, and love over a less than a hundred budget meal which is deducted from our mean salaries. Yuppie talk.

 

  • Spent the eve of Valentine’s Day drunk and bore a whole lot of emotional and alcoholic baggage throughout the day. Epic, yes I am.

 

  • Signed up for a WordPress account for serious blogging. Well, if this does seem serious.

 

  • My brother graduated. Since then, he has made lots of money more than I did, compared to my whole employment history.

 

  • Received a present nine months prior to my birthday. I just woke up one morning with the news that I’m going somewhere a week after my birthday. He didn’t only have the travel tickets, he had in hand the passport to my heart.

 

  • Had one of my post-PR’s plagiarized by a writer. Sigh. Somebody forgot her writing ethics.

 

  • Spent the Holy Week away from home for the first time. Just loads of plain fun in the sun. Not to mention, we almost got lost on the way home.

 

  • Got myself a phone and ipod from my own money. Adulthood made me feel good I didn’t have to ask extra from my parents.

 

  • Got addicted to Timezone’s Terminator and Silent Hill. Money and f-words spent and said in the most relevant way.

 

  • Went totally crazy about food. I raved about chicken wings, soup, and sandwiches most of the time. Plus, it seemed like there should always be an open food tab while working. I don’t like food, I love it!

 

  • Went night trekking during a storm for my first mountain climbing experience. I have earned more than the courage of a pro.

 

  • Lost two mobile phones in less than a month. This is the best thing I’ve done in my whole life. Ever.

 

  • Grown equal fondness for cats and dogs since Mr Snooze has a pack of dogs and cats, and dreams of becoming Philippines’ Cesar Millan.

 

  • Edited my friend’s short stories for a project, in which my own past love affair became her basis for the story.

 

  • Received a warm and cheerful welcome at a hospital after riding an ambulance. It didn’t develop a love for hospitals though. It’s still traumatizing.

 

  • Executed a fail but rather sweet surprise for someone. I’ve been always into beautifully written love letters, exquisite music and lyrics, good books, and delectable food.

 

  • Created a history of us together in letter form compiled as “Guess How Much I Love You”. It’s a lengthy bullet list of little things that answer a lot of why’s and how’s.

 

Dear Quarter Life Crisis,

I used to believe I have gone past through you sometime in college when I was dying and all that for my thesis and for the organization’s what-not’s. I’ve spent moments thinking about random matters which I am not even certain of whether to deem important or not. Lately, I feel like going through you again – minus the thesis and org issues of course.

I joined linkedin some months ago as my boss was telling me to start building professional connections. I believe he persuaded me to do so, not only for the growth of our gallery’s contact list, but for my career as well. The site says my profile is only 40% complete. I have not been updating my CV for two years now. I believe there are necessary bullets to add, but I’m a little hesitant of putting them into the list. I don’t even know why am I bothered by this or should I even wonder why.

I have been on the same job for two years. I’ve been doing the same things and I’m starting to feel that this job is becoming a routine, which I fear may become boring. I have tried to weigh recent events, for maybe, I am just frustrated that some projects failed to launch. But regardless of what happened in the recent shows, here I am stuck at the office facing an LCD monitor which for many times I wished was a closet leading to Narnia.

I would like to believe that I am just torn between my adventurous random self and the serious career-oriented me. I would like to think that I need to try on other things before settling down in a field. But I am not sure whether I’d like to take such risk when the Arts is already pulling me towards their plane. Also, I feel like I’m not good at anything now. I am stuck in a lifetime of heavy traffic.

I’m having enough of my rants. So, tell me dear, have I been deceived? Is this the real deal?

And please, grant me the long weekend. I’ll be negotiating with you after then.