Saturday, February 10, 2018

Loving Never Forgetting (and Things in Between)

Photo from Pinterest
I don't recall being obsessed with foreign drama series like other people. If there was one thing I enjoyed watching, it was just Meteor Garden and It Started With a Kiss and their respective sequels. However, after going on a Meteor Garden marathon during the Christmas holiday, I discovered another interesting series:Loving Never Forgetting.

I remember that it was one of those drama series that was shown in the Philippines back in 2015 entitled Unforgettable Love. Back then, while I am aware of the show's existence, I only see trailers because of its late-night telecast (I can't watch it as I have a day job which needs me to be up early every morning). At first I was only interested because of the legal battle ingredient of the story (not to mention the good looks of the show's characters) But once I started with the first episode, I instantly got hooked-- despite that what I am watching is in it's original form -- spoken in Mandarin Chinese and I had to rely on English subtitles, which thankfully were translated well.  

Anyway, I must say that Loving Never Forgetting is one beautiful drama and it was worth watching. It's a poignant story about the value of family, strength and resilience, of true and unconditional love, kindness and forgiveness. I was interested to see how Li Zhongmou's character (played by Jerry Yan) slowly changed from a cold-hearted bachelor businessman to a loving father and husband in the course of the story. And how Wu Tong's (played by Tong Liya) generosity, kindness and unconditional love healed broken relationships and brought a family back together. On the other hand, while I enjoyed watching Denny Huang as the dashing, handsome lawyer Xiang Jun, there was also a point in the story that I felt hatred in his antagonistic portrayal towards the last few episodes. But thankfully, there was a transformation that happened that somehow redeemed his character. 

Now, you might be confused or maybe wondering why I said these. But you need to watch the series yourself to find out why. You must have the patience though because aside from it is spoken in Mandarin, each episode runs from 35-45 minutes. But I liked how the series included courtroom scenes and legal battle scenarios concerning family law (the area of law that I find interesting) and business perspective with the usual romance, drama and at some points, comedy scenes in it. At a certain extent, this drama series tackled how to deal with the subject of "unrequited love". 

Upon reaching the last episode, I can't help but ask myself why I did not watch this three years ago. Honestly, it's a show I wouldn't mind watching again-- and I surely would, probably after a few months -- or at least I have crossed half of the items on my current to-do list!

Thursday, February 1, 2018

The Funny Thing About Falling in Line

Pila and Paghihintay is life. That's the motto that I have been living by for so long. You see, anywhere I go, two processes tend to be constant -- falling in line and waiting. From commuting, doing my groceries during lunch hour, getting bank errands done, even using the elevator to transport me to where the office is, that beeline and waiting time are always a tandem.

Don't get me wrong. I am not complaining though. While it could make others lose their cool, and considering that I knew myself as someone who "doesn't have the patience of a saint", I would admit that I have been so used to it. Falling in line and waiting has become a part of life. However, yesterday, during a transaction at the supermarket with my colleague, this routine was given with a comic twist.

I accompanied my friend Cherry to do her groceries. As she is a PWD (person with disability) just like me, she's entitled to use the first checkout lane (which is also for senior citizens and pregnant customers)  While waiting for our turn, the lady (in her 60's) who was next to us had this weird look on her face as if scrutinizing both of us. I guess she couldn't contain her curiosity any longer, because what came next was a question I never thought I would hear:

"May buntis ba sa inyo?" (TRANSLATION: Is anyone of you pregnant?)

Okay, while becoming pregnant (and becoming a legit wife and mother) was once part of my future hopes, the question kind of placed me in that "wait hindi ako na-orient" moment. Part of me felt giddy for a second but I felt awkward right afterward. It didn't offend though. All it took was just a polite explanation that I was just accompanying a friend who is a PWD (which makes her entitled to the use of the lane). And while she didn't have to, the lady gave an apology. Apparently, she didn't know that neither Cherry or I was amongst those classified as PWD's.

Walking back to the office, Cherry and I just had a good laugh at that incident. Because as funny as it was, while we tend to see ourselves as the "physically-challenged" folks, apparently, there are people who saw (and thought of) something else -- only not in a way we were expecting.

Now, who says falling in line is always a temper-losing activity? At least to the two of us, it's not. For that was one time we got to say, as that tourism tag line puts it, it's more fun in the Philippines :-)

POSTSCRIPT: I am a PWD myself. And while I am entitled to privileges, I rarely use it and only do so when it's REALLY necessary. I don't mind falling in line and waiting in the regular line just like everyone else :-)


Sunday, December 31, 2017

A Blessed Year

I am taking a break from all the holiday drama binge watching to write my thoughts on the last day of the year. As I type this down, the household smells of roasted meat and everyone busy with the New Year's Eve preparations. On the other hand, I am in my pink bathrobe and with a purple towel on top of my head.

A few weeks ago, out of sheer playfulness, I took that silly quiz on Facebook about how the summary of my 2017, it was described in a single word: Blessed. And looking back,  believe these photos speak strongly.

Two months after the release of results, I finally obtained my eligibility certificate last February -- which made my feat official! 

While my career service award arrived in May, I finally reached my fifth year in the company in March.

I went on a few personal missions. One of which was attending Dia Internacional del Libro (International Book Day) of Instituto Cervantes and the Embassy of Spain in April. And aside from the attendance, what made it more special was I took part in another endeavor -- as one of the 500 writers who volunteered to write Don Quixote dela Mancha -- by hand!

Photo: @iam_aru

2017 was also a year of meeting new people. In the case of the photo above, it's meeting fellow volunteer employees from different offices (most of them I don't get to see often) during our annual project planning.

This year, I graced the page of a finance magazine, Moneysense Philippines in their Millennials and Money issue. It felt kind of surreal because during one period in my life, I was the one chasing others and asking for interviews. But this time around, tables just turned as I am now a resource person giving a talk about my career to millennials!

I turned 33 in November. and celebrated the occasion three times! :-)

After being in the company for half a decade, I got to experience how it is to celebrate one of America's favorite holidays for the first time: Thanksgiving with fellow volunteers and Career interns.

Photo: @jukariluna

I ended the year with another meaningful endeavor: by choosing to volunteer for the gift-giving event in a depressed area in Tondo for the first time. While this was something new to me, and at one point, made me feel worry for myself healthwise, conquering this kind of activity felt good and was also a humbling experience.

Most of the time, Wittybunny to me is just a silly application. But this time, I'm willing to give it the benefit of the doubt. This year was filled with ups and downs, stresses and easy days. It's a mixture of the equal stuff. This morning, upon waking up and realizing it's the last day of the year, I prayed for a number of things -- including another meaningful, blessed year.

I shall now resume my holiday programming but not without wishing you one thing: to have a safe, peaceful and happy new year.   

Monday, December 25, 2017

A Lesson About Gratitude

Taking some time again writing on this blog during the holiday break.  the last few weeks leading to Christmas has been busy and was somewhat stressful. I'm trying to give myself some well-deserved leeway from everything because it's been taking some toll on my health. And because of the busy schedule I had the past few weeks, there are some things I would either do in a hurry, or worst, had to skip entirely this year. One of them was attending and completing the anticipated masses for Simbang Gabi.

But in spite of an erratic schedule, preparing and holding Christmas parties and a bridal shower, I still had the chance to attend at least one of the 9 nights of the mass held at the church near my workplace. 

Next to thinking of how the Homily relates to someone else's situation, I believe I got to be there to hear it for a reason. Just days before, I went through a quite scary ordeal, falling a victim to theft as I was waiting for a ride home from our team's Christmas dinner. My wallet, ATM card and a sum of money was among those that were stolen. It stressed me and left me worried that I failed to get some sleep.

And hearing the words of the priest made me recall of what happened and what I have forgotten -- gratitude. When I got home that night, on my Facebook wall was a comment that Januver left on my status post. Reading it made me think how spot on his words were. All those times, I was worrying about what I have lost and how it could lead to financial issues and how I could make ends meet. Whereas here he is, saying and implying how my safety is more important than anything else.

I disregarded the fact that I was safe and unharmed. A thing that he seemed to care about more. And it shook me back to my senses. Next to his words, it was also my parents' advice that pacified my worries and consoled my heart from the somewhat traumatic experience I want through.

In the end, I may have lost something but by God's grace, I was able to make ends meet -- more than what I expected.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

10 Love Lessons I Learned From Binge Watching Meteor Garden

I never thought I would write a nostalgic throwback post on Christmas Eve. Blame it on the recent news that Meteor Garden will get a millennial remake, but for the past weeks, I found myself binge watching Taiwanese dramas. First on my list, Meteor Garden of course!

When this drama series was shown here in the Philippines 14 years ago, I was still in college at 19. A few weeks ago, I remember confessing to my office mate Cherry about re-watching the show again. To which I told her how your perception differs as you age.

And true enough, as I was watching Meteor Garden's episodes, I can't help but realize that. Iba ang pagtingin mo sa mga sitwasyon at bagay when you are only 19, but it becomes all the more different when you are 33.

And that includes love and relationships. At 19, you only see love as that one with handsome boys that give you the giddy feels. But watching this drama series at a time I consider myself to be "old", left me with a few realizations. And those were lessons that I never learned back when I was a teenager filled with "kilig" hormones over a group of boys who never spoke English on TV!

So what did watching Meteor Garden at 33 made me realize? That would be these:

  1. Sacrifices (and doing them) are really an essential ingredient, and is always present to any relationship.
  2. While they say actions speak louder than words, there also are times that Love has to be declared.
  3. Patience always come with wonderful rewards.
  4. It might look complicated, even difficult. But despite the adversities along the way, love is still the most wonderful feeling in the world.
  5. Though they might look complicated, silent guys more often are men of sense. They think sensibly and deeply -- something which compensates their silence.
  6. It pays to have a kick-ass sister  and group of friends as a source of support -- and someone to seek help.
  7. You don't really need to mold yourself and be someone else just to fit in and and find love. Sometimes, even a strong character is enough to earn one's respect and more -- love included.
  8. Love is a powerful force that can really transform a person. It could bring out a kind heart even out of a bad boy.
  9. Bad boys can still possibly become ideal boyfriends.
  10. Even if people and circumstances are against two persons in love, with perseverance and faith, love wins -- always.

I still have a number of episode to watch. The kilig feeling is still present just like how it was when I watched it in 2003, though I know that just like me, the characters in the series have also grown up and gotten old. And while I have yet to see the remake (it's scheduled to come out next year), I guess I would still prefer the first and original version than any others.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Thirty Three

Age is just a number :)
I turned 33 almost a week ago. I've reached the "Age of Salvation" if I may say so. That term got stuck in my head after reading somewhere that it was the age of Jesus when He was crucified and saved mankind.

Save for the traditional advanced surprise that was given to me by my officemates in the firm, I was able to get the kind of celebration that I wanted -- a birthday minus the festive (read: noisy) stuff. When these folks showed up with their "pasabog" on All Soul's Day, I was seriously wanting to tell them to keep quiet (kasi nga Undas pa --at least in my calendar hahaha!). But I didn't want to be a killjoy and spoil their fun and effort so I decided to let them be. Though I guess it's among the realities one gets as they grow old. You tend to prefer simplicity and solemnity even in celebrating your own birthday.

Tropang Trenta (except for Jim and Eloi!)
On the day itself, I just went to church to hear Mass. The good thing about my birthday falling on a first Sunday of the month was that I got to be blessed and prayed for by the presiding priest and be serenaded with the Happy Birthday song by the church choir. Compared to the previous celebrations, I must say that this year was a bit ordinary, odd and different-- because I found myself sending a message of condolence to someone whose ex-wife died the night before in an unexpected manner while attending to a commitment overseas. Honestly, the words ordinary, odd and different aren't even sufficient to describe how I felt as I typed and sent the said message of sympathy.

I decided to go on vacation leave after my birthday. Next to wanting a quiet celebration, I did so just to catch up on rest and sleep and just basically take a breather and free my mind away from anything work-related. I may not be vocal about it, but I'd admit now that the past few months (and weeks leading to my birthday) has been stressful. I just wanted to hopefully de-compress my mind and body (to which the stress and strain of everything has been taking its toil lately). So I took the opportunity to some get some RnR even for just two days.    

Yes to fangirling while on vacation!
Next to getting rest, long hours for sleep, and quietly celebrating, I spent the two days held and curled up in my bedroom reading. Like what I said in my previous post, I wanted time to immerse in books that are not too hardcore to the brain and it was such a welcoming respite. Books that are for "light reading" seriously left me refreshed after I reached and finished the last page. Oh, and I also got the book in my wishlist so I was really satisfied.

Literal na may pa-cake si mayor! 
And just when I thought I had enough of the whole "birthday shenanigans", I came home yesterday to a treat from our mayor. While I am not really used to these kinds of surprises, the fact that the special day was remembered is much appreciated (at oo, hindi lang biruan sa hometown ko yung usual na linyahang "may pa-cake si mayor!" Totoo sa lugar namin yun  hahaha!)

Looking at it, I left being 32 having achieved a number of things, and that's good. Now at 33, I can't help but think, that age is seven years into reaching 40. Yes, it's still a long way to go, however, the thoughts like what lies ahead and the question whether I would still be alive (and blogging) by then have already entered my mind. 

But those are something to wait and see. For now, what's for me to do is just in these two words: Carpe diem!

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Needs and Wants

My birthday is happening in a week. Another year has gone and a new one about to come. But unlike other people, I am not looking into an elaborate, booze-and-fireworks-filled kind of celebration. I guess longing for simplicity in things is among the pieces of wisdom that getting old gives. Because even my wishlist contains nothing but the stuff that matters to me -- and right now I only have four of them.

1. The gift for more borrowed time. So many things, so little time. I've always heard that line on countless occasions. Not that I am complaining but when you are getting older, trying to fit a demanding career, social life, a hobby, relaxation and sleep seem to be difficult. To the fact that I sometimes feel like 24 hours is not sufficient to fit everything in.

2. A good nights' sleep. For the past five and a half years, I have been running on four to six hours of sleep. And I have also learned the art of sleeping in public transportation on the way to work everyday. And to be honest, I yearn for a restful night of slumber. If I could sleep in the same way as a cat, I definitely would do it. Pahinga over pera (or pag-ibig) pa rin ang motto ko!

3. To read a good book. My supervisor once asked me, if money was never an issue, what would I do for a day? Aside from sleep, it would be going to the beach, sip coffee and read books-- to my heart's content.

Photo: National Bookstore

And while I still have books piling up unread in my room at home, there are just two titles I yearn to immerse my mind into once I finally get a day (or days) away from work -- Alden: In My Own Words by Alden Richards and Yup, I Am That Girl by Maine Mendoza. With the kind of job that I have, dealing with legal jargons, clients with complicated (read: upset, irate) attitude, and reading law-related books that are totally hardcore to my brain for half a decade of my life, I sometimes need something that's light and easy to read to allow my brain to breathe from all the stress and highfalutin words.

Photo: Cake Central

4. A birthday cake. And a Minnie Mouse inspired one at that. Because I am a fan of the color red, anything Disney (especially Mickey and Minnie) and simply because a birthday doesn't seem to be complete without blowing a candle on top of a birthday cake.

You see my list has nothing complicated in it. Back in school, I was taught that there is a difference between "want" and "need". But in reality, if there's another thing this "getting old" feeling is telling me, it is that during these times, the things that you want are actually the things that you do really need. 

*All photos courtesy of unless otherwise stated on the caption.