Monday, December 28, 2009

Goodie-Filled Night

As I write this down, I just finished arranging (but not yet permanently) the stuff I received the whole day most of them, from, my relatives who came over for the holidays. I know I narrated days back about how simple my Christmas was. There was actually not much of the gifts but then, I realized that maybe that's part of growing old--you don't get pretty much excited on gifts just like a kid--or perhaps, your choice of gifts is a lot different now compared back then.

But don't get me wrong. Despite I've been longing for things in my wish list that are way too expensive, I still get giddily happy over the small stuff regardless of the amount. To which I am thankful; like for this year, I got:

An almost-complete beauty arsenal: Pond's facial towelettes (for the often lazy me who gets to commit beauty crimes (read: sleeping with make up on), Victoria's Secret lip gloss, ELF lipstick and eyeshadow shimmer, Nivea CoQ10 lip balm and lip tint from Bench (that doubles as a liquid blusher) funny but while I decided to invest on such female stuff, family members seem to make a (big) deal seeing me with make up on :-p;

My comfort food: dark chocolate truffles, a huge bar of Toblerone Swiss Dark Chocolate and another limited edition Toblerone Swiss Chocolate;

A loot bag from Britney Spears Believe Collection from Elizabeth Arden with an assortment of hand and body lotion and shampoo from Dove;

Fragrances from Victoria' s Secret Garden Love Spell and their new scent Victoria's Secret Dream Angels Heavenly. I just loved the packaging--it comes in a leather box that's so chic!

My "usual" must haves, A new 2010 planner and some books that I've been dying to read. Being the nerdy one that I am, I was nonetheless ecstatic when I received a complimentary copy of the book 12 Steps to Build Wealth from its author, Sir Alvin Tabañag who I got acquainted with for writing an article in the Financial Literacy Issue of Highlights. On the other hand, Bibeth Orteza-Siguion Reyna's Say Ni Chiz was another book, I bought a day before (after a lot of debating with my thought whether to buy it or not) out of inquisitiveness over how's it like to be Chiz Escudero--actually it's more on his life at UP and becoming a lawyer that I got intrigued about so I decided to buy the book. Turns out, I got my money's worth for the autobiography is one good read.

To Tita Fe and Tita Vins, thanks a lot for the goodies. It will probably take a year or so for me to use and empty all the stuff :-) You know I'm not such a material girl; and while I'm happy over the gifts, I assure you, I'm still the same ordinary girl in love and happy with life's simple pleasures. That with or without it, nothing beats the joy of having you and everyone around.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Ho-ho- Holidays

Writing on Christmas Day. This was how exactly my holidays went. For ten straight nights I've been seriously devoting time for the 8pm Simbang Gabi which has been one of my spontaneous missions this year. I'd say spontaneous because I really never thought of it for months before; not until the last week of November.

And this year is my fourth time of doing this one. Despite impending parties here and there, I was really putting it to schedule; making it a priority. The final evening of Simbang Gabi, I took some time to treat myself over float and fries at McDonalds; at the back of my head, more than just wishing for something as one of the reasons for attending and devotedly going to the Simbang Gabi, I was nonetheless happy completing this task. Upon seeing the said achievement posted on my Facebook page, people started asking what my secret wish was (they say that when you wish during those nine nights it will come true).

Yes, I had a wish too but unfortunately like what I used to say, I would rather have that for myself.

And it feels good to just be within the premises of the mall (which I tried doing because the mall's open till 21 midnight during the 23rd) watching people while having fun myself.

I spent the 24th at home with mom helping her over the preparations for the Noche Buena which I really enjoyed while responding to the messges of friends over text, YM and Facebook (talk about multi-tasking)


It was among the most simple Christmases I had. Funny and surprisingly, while I feared for a cold, blue Christmas months and months passed, as I see it now, it was the other way around. Next up will be the New Year; for sure this one will also be a blast.

Merry Christmas everybody.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Hybernating For a No Longer Private Solitude

I suppose this is one of those times I need it. Badly. Or should I say very badly. I need this space to decompress myself. As I type this down, I'm all cold and clammy because of--as silly and shallow as it seems, a Facebook comment.

I know that the past month, I wrote an entry about my birthday event and for the longest time since then I went on to be mum about the whole thing. It was actually a self-made decision that I had to not speak a word or any about who I was with and where I was during that moment.

A few days back, I answered a question in Facebook regarding a memorable thing with this person. For the sake of privacy, I'll just call him Xavier;* so it's all about what was the best memory I have hanging out with him. While I was darn itching to write the birthday event as the answer, I just indicated this as my response:

"I'll just have to keep it to myself."

Call it playing safe or what ever you want to but there are things which I do believe are better left unsaid. In a way, while I said that to goof around as my "playful revenge" (because that was also his response to one of my questions), my main reason for typing the reply was because I wanted to keep the whole thing a private matter. For the longest time, I had my what and where abouts an open book of some sorts to people; I've been so open and up front about a lot of things--even with those that I should not be divulging and while I find it a bit okay, even an acceptable norm in my view, it also makes me feel uneasy too. Thus when I met Xavier, I came to the decision that this time, I want the said thing to be away from the snooping senses of people around me.

In a way I was also hoping to invoke my right to privacy.

I decided to keep the whole thing in secrecy also because I am trying to prevent issues from surfacing. I know for a fact, while Xavier has this open-minded, cowboy type personality (which is actually a good thing), for a once burned twice shy person like me, I'm just avoiding [as much as I could] a whole bunch of intrigues and unknown, out-of-the-blue speculations from coming up and brought to my attention just like an unexpected slap on my face. From an experience with Lance.*

Because to put it bluntly, I even beforehand am aware of the description about Xavier coming from people within the same circle--that's he's well--popular (speaking of face value) and intellectual. While that might not seem to matter to him, to me it is (and it does) in a way or two. I decided to stay silent out of respect for him thinking and knowing that he's someone that I don't know very well--not just yet. I simply don't want to kiss and tell, at ayoko lang rin na may masabi siya.

So as to avoid the humiliation if that will be the cost.

However, on that note, I know I also have a lapse on my part for not telling Xavier beforehand that I wanted the whole matter unknown to people--and so I can't blame him if he revealed it. I am not against what he did. Nor am I angry at him for revealing the matter.

* name has been changed.

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Birthday Wish is In...Before Christmas

I know I have posted a wishlist for my birthday a month ago regarding the books I've been dying to read and to have in my possession of course. Now let me tell you what happened.

While that list was more of "wish ko lang" thoughts, this morning the author of one of the books I listed, Alvin Tabañag sent me a text message informing me that their distribution officer is coming to the nearest branch of National Bookstore in my area to hand me the complimentary (READ: FREE) copy of his book.

I came to know Sir Alvin because of my job as a writer when I needed to obtain his permission to use his article in one of the issues of Highlights this year (yeah you need to ask the permission of the author not unless you want to be condemned and jailed for Plagiarism.

It will be stupid to refuse so obviously, I said yes. Everyone knows (okay except for J) I'm a huge nerd who loves digesting the pages of a good book if that's the idea of what a good read is. And so after some hours, I finally had the copy of the book at hand.

Freebies. Call it among the perks of my job but actually, it really is among them. I suppose I'm among those lucky ones to be entitled to these simple joys.

Yes, of course I'm ecstatic over this surprise that came days before Christmas instead. And I'm excited about opening and immersing through the pages of the book. It's still unopened as of this writing.

photo courtesy of National Bookstore Online

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Baby's Finally Here!

...and I'm not talking about the infant conceived the way you think it is.

Indeed there are lots of reasons to be proud.

I'm talking about MMLDC Highlights' last issue for this year. While I was waiting for the text message (that never arrived) from Kenstar Graphics, one of my editors emailed me and told me that the baby has arrived. Which prompted me to go to the office today. Having secured my copies at hand, I went to my darling editor, Ms. Kay Abella's office and asked her (with that wide smile on my face) "your first baby is out! What do you think?" which left us both laughing and giggling to our heart's content.

Actually, this issue isn't just only my darling editor's panganay. In a way, I was like a first-time mother too. I've been with the magazine for three years but I only write my own stuff and sometimes edit someone else's work when needed. But because my managing editor needed to be away, I accepted the huge not to mention tasking yet challenging responsibility of rearing the magazine; which meant overseeing the whole structure not just jotting and editing but coordinating with the editors, the printing press and at times having to decide on my own (when it's just minor) where and what photo to put or remove in the pages. And like a woman going through the whole bout of pains and the birthing process, I must say this is worth the aches and the long, winding, head-turning sleepless nights.

The fruit of months of hard labor--meet the baby! :-p

In a few days, another year's coming to a close. My dear reader, I hope you don't mind if I'll be ecstatic by a higher level just for this time. After all, accomplishing something this big is so fulfilling--including the fact that the effort was appreciated. Worthy indeed to shout it out--cheers for this labor of love.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Santa Baby!

Now it's beginning to look and feel a lot like Christmas--really!

Here's one of my current favorite pictures taken last December 3 during the annual Tree Lighting ceremony in MMLDC. For the past three years that I have been with the center and the magazine, it's the first time for me to witness the event--which I was actually looking forward to.

So when one of my editors, Ms. Angie emailed me and asked me to attend the event, I willfully and excitedly obliged; aside from it was about work, the sole reason that I'll be attending was because I wanted to see MMLDC's vice president, Ms. Leony dela Llana.

But there was actually more to what I had to do that night. The event was indeed fun-filled, full of photos--and Santa was there too. On that night, I was a child again.

Looking back at the question in a game show if there really is Santa Claus, I should say indeed there really is!

Now, if only Santa will give me my one and only wish this year. :-)

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Lasting Friendships Minus the Itch

Whenever I hear the term seven year itch, the first thing that comes to mind is the M word--either monogamy or marriage (but both has to do with the term). Until days ago, I realized there is another word where I can somewhat associate the term with but in a positive light. That is in friendship.

I've been lucky for being blessed with friendships that have lasted for a long time. Two of them were with Miguel and Apple.

Baguio, 2004

Apple and I had a long way from just being colleagues. From classmates to cube mates back in our college editor days. Our bond has been here for eight years. A friend is the brother or sister that you wished to have. And indeed, Apple seems to be my twin soul. I've seen her astig, ass-kicker and comical side, been through being accessory to each other's crimes, how she defended me over those nasty issues--even to really telling people that she is my twin. I know she's the Paulights McCartney who once (and hopefully still) thought of wearing a fairy costume and pink high-cut Chuck Taylor boots for her wedding.

Yes, she loved to play some pranks on me but she proved herself to be the real, frank friend that you can have. Our bond clicks so well her liberal thinking compliments to my conservative side. We get to run to each other for opinions on things that we don't seem to understand. Some of her slap-in-your-cheek advices can really, really wake my sluggish sometimes stubborn way of thinking. And while she got through the race of motherhood and family life ahead of me, I feel happy for her--seeing her view life on a different perspective. Still, now that she's a mom and a wife, she's the friend I run to--especially on matters and questions which are now related to the whole kit and caboodle of mommy hood, parenting, family life and the thing that I'm kinda naive about.

Just when I always thought and said that I can't survive a long-distance relationship, I realized and found out, I can do it pala. These letters speak so evidently.

On the other hand, the friendship I have with Miguel was something that I never expected to travel this far. It was just a plain, simple introduction in UP Los Baños in 2002 through another colleague during a regional competition. I met him only on one occasion and knowing the complications of a long-distance friendship, I actually had thought it will be just a simple acquaintance then, because to think of it, maintaining friendships need effort; but maybe we were able to do that our way. Our means of communication were over snail mails and letters handed to colleagues and later on, though his sister who was also once a student journalist as well as through text messages, eventually through Friendster and now on Facebook. Fast forward to 2009, it was a "breezy" seven years I should say. Funny but weeks ago, we were exchanging post responses with each other missing the adventures of press conferences, the Palawan trip that we were excited about and how we wanted to bring back those good, old times.

Indeed seven years was a long one and Peter Pan Syndrome had started slowly munching on us. Of course, it doesn't come in rose-colored glasses. The relationship I had with these two people also went through "tampuhan" spells. Quirks that are easily healed by forgiveness.

Seven year itch, in my own opinion isn't a valid reason to be the cause of failed relationships-- may it be friendship or marriage. A bond needs exerted effort to work and happily last. These bonds need to be worked on, each passing day. It's a growing, revolving partnership, and when you venture in such endeavor, it's a process where one should not be tired of; loving, learning and living.

But if there is one good thing about growing kinda old and hitting the ages aside from maturity, it's realizing that I can also able to keep friendships as long like these--minus the itch that can't be scratched. Bonds that hopefully will last 'till old age.

Friday, November 27, 2009

It Took Me Long To Say...

But I still did--to utter...

This morning, I was able to spend some time chatting with my former professor and boss Sir Ariel Vidanes. In the midst of those "kumustahan" I told him of the what abouts at work including the upcoming release of the magazine.

It warmed my heart when he told me that he's happy for me; as I shared to him of the accomplishment I had in the magazine. I can still vividly remember a year ago a few weeks before he left to respond to his calling, I can recall telling him "I'll be a managing editor too someday Sir--just like you." It has been a long way and as I think of it, what I said became a reality in some ways. To which I took the moment (even over chat) to thank Sir Ariel.

All God's angels come to us disguised. ~James Russell Lowell

More than just my former professor and boss, I am thankful to have met Sir Ariel. I know I've been the schoolgirl who was afraid of my own teachers (yes, until I graduated from college) but that's because I see them as authority. But aside from being my mentor, He became God's instrument who helped me in achieving my heart's desire--of being the writer that I am today. Of course, I also handled some other tasks aside from that but then those things taught me lessons too. Lessons that are not found in the four corners of the school.

In a way, I know I was blessed. Indeed, people come in to your life for a reason. I guess I found one of those in him. And while it took me long before saying those words of gratitude, I've embedded it in my being that no matter what, I know, those two words are so important. Quoting writer Sara Holbrook in her one of her poems (entitled Sorry, but I'll change it for the sake of this entry) :

It nags me in my dreams
When I have gone to bed
That thank you virus hangs on
Until it's finally said.

Think of it. How about you, have you said THANK YOU to anyone lately? I'm ending this entry with another word of wisdom from an unnamed author:

He who forgets the language of gratitude can never be on speaking terms with happiness.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

If You Want to Get It, Work on It--NOW!

Most people can describe me using S words for their first impression--shy which makes them think I'm either masungit or suplada and silent. Deep within me lies the persona of a Silent Warrior.

Now, if there's one thing that leaves me concerned (aside from my physical looks), it's being silent. A thing that rooted from the trait of being conservative, which I've been carrying for such a long time. Manang in other words. For the longest time, I raised myself that there are things that I have to wait for; that I have to wait for that thing or person to come.

Eight years ago, my associate editor Joemar Aquino described me to be this:

"Malakas ang loob na iyakin. Makapal ang mukhang mahiyain."

Sometimes I want to believe it to be for real. But then, I know I like to know a person more. I'm aware if I don't work or do anything about it, chances are I'd be on the losing end (again). And frankly while I'm afraid of being rejected, I am also afraid of living a life of regret and unsettled what-ifs. I've been there four years ago and I know the feeling--which I don't want to feel again.

I am now discerning about it as there is something that I want to achieve. I know I want this thing and I want it to happen. But I'm seeking for an answer from within. I want to know the person and move towards the realization without being tagged a flirt or any negative word.

Sometimes it takes a bit of nudging. And a lot of things are telling me to do it.

And these words that I found days ago seem to push me:

"Mas mabuting mabigo sa paggawa ng isang bagay, kaysa magtagumpay sa paggawa ng wala."

"We tend to get what we expect." (This sent a good-dose of whack on my head, kung negative ang ineexpect mo, yun ang makukuha mo.)

"Help yourself and God will help you."

"First is always difficult. We don't know things can be done, dreams can be fulfilled, that great accomplishments can be realized until somebody takes the first step."

"Ang taong pumipili ng isang desisyon ay nagiging malaya."

"Life offers you a thousand chances. All you have to do is pick one."

The answers are found within like what someone said. Now, I suppose I better decide. Not unless I'd want the losing end again.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

When the Bullied Becomes The Hero

How do you define a hero? Does it really take bullets, blood and painful, harrowing ordeal in order to be one? Tonight, as I tinker down these thoughts, I am watching another magnificent triumph for the country. Just days after Pacquiao's victory comes another reason to be proud of.

His name is Efren Peñaflorida. A school teacher who bagged this year's CNN Hero of the Year out of the 10 finalists vying for the said honor. I first saw him in the Ako Mismo commercial. Funny but at that time, we in Highlights were busy thinking about who to feature in our final issue for this year with the theme Proud to be Pinoy.

Maybe we weren't lucky enough to get him in one of our pages for a greater reason. He won't just make it to our pages because he will make it for the rest of the world to know. He was named Hero of the Year for his advocacy to bring educator to street children as an alternative to gang membership like what normally happens through pushcart classes. He founded Dynamic Team Company to train young children in becoming responsible, systematic and principled.

What surprised me was that he was also a victim of bullying back in high school.

Look inside you and be'll finally see the truth that a hero lies in you.

Quoting Efren on his speech during the awarding ceremony at Hollywood's Kodak Theater, he further stresses a hero defined:

"Our planet is filled with heroes, young and old, rich and poor, man, woman of different colors, shapes and sizes. We are one great tapestry. Each person has a hidden hero within, you just have to look inside you and search it in your heart, and be the hero to the next one in need. So to each and every person inside in this theater and for those who are watching at home, the hero in you is waiting to be unleashed. Serve, serve well, serve others above yourself and be happy to serve. As I always tell to my co-volunteers ... you are the change that you dream as I am the change that I dream and collectively we are the change that this world needs to be."

Many people are called to serve but few are chosen. Efren Peñaflorida heeded this call--even did something extraordinary. And it did not need any amount of suffering to be a hero; but instead, all is takes is one powerful word--SERVE.

Like Ralph Waldo Emerson puts it, a hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is brave five minutes longer. That man happened and proved to be Efren. He was able to be brave five minutes longer to bring a very significant change to society--and that five minutes will long be a prized, living legacy.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Infected by the Last Song Syndrome

One way that saved me from the burn out syndrome is music. Indeed it's the language of the soul. During the height of typhoon Ondoy, it was the contents of the iPod that helped me survive the day in the midst of the heavy rains and brownout.

Working on the issues of the magazine in the office, the same actually helped soothe my revision-stricken nerves. Through Ms. Kay, my darling editor, I came to encounter and eventually love this video

Waiting For a Star to Fall became my energizer. When Ms. Kay learned how addicted I became to be with this song, she was really laughing her heart out seeing me move and sing with the video. And addicted indeed, I got to memorize almost the whole song just by listening to it thrice. This was an old video from 21 years back and was supposed to be sung by Whitney Houston. The singers were from the former husband and wife tandem of George Merill and Shannon Rubicam who called their duo Boy Meets Girl.

And as fun as loved singing to this song on a normal day, this was the same music that was playing at the back of my head as I waited for the Leonids meteor shower last Tuesday. Just in time with the event.

Anyway, the lyrics of the said song goes like this....

I hear your name whispered on the wind
It’s a sound that makes me cry..
I hear a song blow again and again
Through my mind and I don’t know why..

I wish I didn’t feel so strong about you
Like happiness and love revolve around you..
Trying to catch your heart
Is like trying to catch a star..

So many people love you baby
That must be what you are..

Waiting for a star to fall
And carry your heart into my arms,
That’s where you belong, in my arms baby..

Waiting for a star to fall
And carry your heart into my arms,
That’s where you belong, in my arms baby..

I’ve learn to feel what I cannot see
But with you I lose that vision..
I don’t know how to dream your dream
So I’m all caught up in superstition..

I want to reach out and pull you to me
Who says I should let a wild one go free..
Trying to catch your heart
Is like trying to catch a star..

But I can’t love you this much baby
And love you from this far..

Waiting for a star to fall
And carry your heart into my arms,
That’s where you belong, in my arms baby..

Waiting for a star to fall
And carry your heart into my arms,
That’s where you belong, in my arms baby..

Waiting, however long.
I don’t like waiting, I’ll wait for you..
It’s so hard waiting, don’t be too long..
Seems like waiting, makes me love you even more.

Pretty enough; that while the countless magazine drafts and revisions has almost came to a halt, now I can wait for that another star to fall.

Been Through Busy Weeks

It has been two weeks since I last wrote on this zone. And now I am saying anyongihaseyo (in Korean, that's HELLO) again. My long absence was because of a lot of things; from updating or should I say revamping a concealed blog to overseeing the operations of the magazine. My managing editor had to file a leave thus entrusting me with the task as coordinator (I'd rather put it that way--rather than call myself as OIC managing editor, which I don't think to be appropriate) for the quarterly publication. Which really left me really busy.

The said endeavor left me working on like the usual office schedule. For most days, I found myself working from 9am to 5 pm in front of the PC monitoring the emails from my editor, checking the drafts and coordinating with the printing press. This seemed to be a routine that mom actually finds taxing.

But don't get me wrong. Despite having the task, I don't complain. I am used to it actually. And handling the magazine taught me new lessons. It showed me how it is like to do the whole thing; not just write and revise like what I have been doing for three years (actually it's eight years, if you'll include being in the college paper). It was fun that because I've been seeing the same pages, emailing the same stuff to the same people, it came to a point that I have memorized the contents and the place where to put what already.

The great news is that we're almost done and the magazine is just a few steps away from being printed. I can't hardly wait for the output.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Silver Year Girl

I was one of those who experienced a huge turn yesterday--by becoming 25 years old.

I never really had an extravagant celebration. Waking up to the reality that another year has been added to my life, it gripped me that I need to accomplish a lot and establish myself; living a stagnant life is absolutely scary--especially if you have reached this age. And while I decided to take a birthday leave, it never materialized much. Two days before the celebration and until yesterday morning, I was having an almost-disabling bout of hyper acidity and the heebie-jeebies over an anticipated event.

I had to do some email check and coordination with the printing press through phone for the magazine--answering calls while in bed two times during the day.

And while it was a rainy day for my birthday (hey, they say it's a sign of a blessing), I left home at 4pm to visit the church to say my prayers of thanksgiving for another year and off I went to Sta. Lucia for the scheduled appointment with a friend. The thing has been planned days ago including the plan of introducing me personally to another Facebook buddy. Funny but this was the first time ever that I spent almost an hour for my preparations and mom giving me another permission to come home late.

I'm 25 now. And more than just the wishlist, I have a more sincere wish--a more blessed and stable career, a life full of wisdom and development in the L/R department (that's actually the wish of my friends for me, but then in a way, I also wish that for myself hee...hee...)

I'll take this space for these people to say THANK YOU for your greetings and wishes:

Mom and Dad, my nephew Andrew (for that crying version of Happy Birthday), Tita Fe and Tita Vins, Tita Renee D., Ate Jenny RS.; my friends Brian D., Karen Grace R., Lalaine C., Mark U., Elizabeth C., Carmela V., Ate Sands C., Excel D., Mikhaela dL., Eileen T., Noelito C., Paulo S., Maricris R., Hermil I., Chona A., Love B.; my professor at URS, Ms. Jo J. (for an advanced greeting from Singapore); and to my bosses from MMLDC, Sir Noel A., Sir RJ C., and Ms. Angie T.

And to my two wonderful birthday guests (you know who you are), for that wonderful night with you guys, Thank you, thank you, thank you. I really had a blast! Sa uulitin.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

A Bit of the Kilig Moment

Writing this entry a few hours before the big day.

Last month, my brother JR and his girlfriend April celebrated their anniversary. Browsing through the files shared in this PC, I got to find this video. Which turned out to be JR's anniversary gift.

I know April from way back. Her family was my uncle's neighbor and we're childhood friends with my brother and my late cousin. Funny how JR laughed his heart out seeing April's photos back when they were younger. Who would have thought they'd be the way they are now?

I loved the part where he wrote these words:

"My heart is filled with you."

Awwww....I never expected my brother would say those words--like it's not in his personality. I to squeal in delight whenever I see him do those sweet gestures to April--in a way he's also sweet contrary to what I thought.

Indeed, they're lucky to have found each other. :-)

Monday, November 2, 2009

Love in the Time of Facebook

Gearing away from the usual serious posts, I’m typing these down inspired by my friend B and my Darling Editor—and what Facebook has to do with this post.

Days ago, I was one of those who were surprised by the recent change of status of my darling editor. The said “news” earned a lot of comments from her friends (including me—who was really, really surprised at that!). Funny but as I key in this observation, I can’t help but grin at the thought that Facebook is somewhat better and faster—dinaig and news at press release ng CNN or even Fox News.

I also see these social networking sites as a modern venue for engagement and wedding announcements. Indeed, the web could make someone a star by her own right—even just by a changed status reflected on her profile.

When I entered a relationship (with now an EX) some years back, I only have Friendster. In a way, it gave me the privacy that despite of my then “in a relationship status”, I was saved from the prying eyes of people searching for the photos of “the guy”. Because compared to Facebook, Friendster’s option doesn’t include naming the person you’re in a relationship with. And being private when it comes to who I’m seeing, dating or even with, I was spared from the wildfire of comments from friends and colleagues—even successful in keeping the whole thing a secret for four months—if not only for my Literature professor who told the class that the guy and me were then four months into couple hood. It’s great to keep people guessing about the real score.

And the whole wildfire of happy comments she received left both of us laughing to our heart’s content. But don’t get me wrong. I don’t have anything against that; and to people who are taking pride in declaring their new status—like what they say, share the happiness.

My dear Darling Editor, I’m one of those people cheering for you. For being a crazy River Girl in love with Jesus, you’re hereby rewarded with a nice love story. Your guy is so wise to keep his identity—photographed as one of the characters of Sesame Street. Maybe if time comes and it’s my time for a change of status, I’ll ask him to dress up as Elmo—or the Count perhaps.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

It Isn't Easy as You Think It Is be a writer -- even being an editor.

And so I can't blame fellow blogger and Facebook buddy Frances Amper-Sales if she has a lot of qualifications for someone for that job--and she's actually on the look out for a fashion and beauty editor for her magazine OK!. I had tried my luck at publishing for a university press and at her magazine back more than a year ago when I applied for a position--as an editorial assistant and....

indeed it to be a writer or even an editor one tough job.

Back in the university, I became the editor in chief and I feel for Frances. Don't be surprised if the job qualification entails a lot. Because it really is. Being an editor is really a hard job--especially if you're the editor-in-chief so don't complain if editors are bitchy as Miranda Priestley. Back in college, I was also a horrible, bitchy editor-in-chief and my adviser could attest to it.

You cannot mistake it's (read that apostrophe) with its and your with you're--those are two different things; and that mistake would make the whole thing different. I learned this the hard way when worked for the university press--scoring b******t from my boss, the editor-in-chief (never forget the hyphens in between!) just because I mixed its with it's. As horrible as it is, committing a mistake like that will score you those words to last the whole day. Thus aside from fantastic writing (and almost perfect grammar--including punctuations), being a meticulous creature is also a MUST!

You need to have the will power to read, research, write, revise and go through the whole cycle. Writing and editing isn't just all about tinkering on your keyboard without minding if your information is right or if it's up-to-date. That's probably why I was able to stay in this job because I have grown to love reading, befriending Webster and sharing my bed with pens, paper and books.

Being a writer means doing all the nerdy stuff. Some people think being in the media (broadcast or written) is all about glamor, parties and rubbing elbows with the stars--actually, that's not always the case.

And while I'm blessed to have angelic, calm and heaven sent editors now in Highlights, (yep, no more of those BS language--just email reminders for revisions which are far better!) I'm still an OC girl when it comes to editing my own stuff (sometimes it extends to others too) because a single mistake could cost a lot--sometimes hundreds even thousands of pesos to resolve. While an erratum can apologize for a mistake, it simply cannot clean the humiliation caused by a lapse.

Being once an editor-in-chief, I understand that in being a writer and editor part of the job description is to make the chief's life easy. Editing is darn laborious--thus one need not to be another liability.

When you are a writer, people do think of you as somebody famous--even rich. Yes, a lot has this misconception that once you're a writer, you've got a lot of moolah in your wallet. But I'd like to burst your bubble. No it's not. When you are a writer even an editor, becoming an overnight millionaire is the least thing you'll have. So if you're craving for money to splurge for your shopping spree, this job isn't for you to take.

If you have what it takes for this challenge of being the next fashion editor, read Frances' blog by clicking here.

Craving for GC? Then Join

....the New DiscOVIries Contest by Nokia

If you are a Nuffnang subscribed-blogger like me, then this is your chance for another up for the grab prize just by joining. All you have to do is:

1. Open an Ovi account by visitng
2. WRITE. Yes, you saw it. Write about your latest discovery on fashion, food and technology and send them to the respective email address:


Oh, and don't forget to include your details like your name, address, OVI email address and mobile phone number in your entry. Who knows, you could be one of the 10 winners of 1,000 pesos worth of Ayala E-GC courtesy of Nokia.

What are you waiting for? start tinkering and squeezing those juices now because the contest runs from October 27 till November 20, 2009 only.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Bringing Home Broadway

Back from days of absence resting and recuperating from the stress and strain of my busy workload. While friends are aware of my state, I was actually working on my deadlines despite my internal clock's bargaining plea for me to rest.

Surfing on the internet as I do my articles (yes, despite illness and recovery, I was still doing my backlogs and assignments; need to meet the deadlines. :p) I chanced to surf the Summit Media's showbiz website and found out few stuff:

1. Tara Santelices' life story will be featured in one of the episodes of Maala-ala Mo Kaya (probably next month) where Karylle will be playing the lead role; seems to be a nice choice, I actually saw it that she looks like Tara when I glanced at her photo in one of my entries months ago. She's fit for the role actually. While I followed her story until her tragic death in July, I will surely be looking forward to that episode.

Measure your life in love.

2. Broadway musical RENT will be having its Filipino adaptation. It will be shown by February of 2010. And realizing that, it made me miss the good old days back during my stint as a teacher when...

3. We had our own rendition of RENT's soundtrack music, Seasons of Love. This one's quite memorable for one, I sang the part of Joanne in the original version--despite my social phobia that has been with me for such a long time. It also made me miss Luigi, the school's academic manager and my conversation buddy who really loves Broadway musicals, Sweeney Todd and Stephen Sondheim (and Sweeney Todd will also have a Filipino adaptation next year.) Unfortunately, I no longer have his number; I know he's gonna love it when he hears that a Pinoy version of these Broadway hits will finally arrive here.

It was such a happy discovery--and a way to reminisce the good old days. This is like a commercial. It's already the 26th and I didn't forget that I was unable to update my wishlist--that's because I'm finishing my deadlines too.

The big day is in 10 days.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

From Wish List to Iron Chef

I'm taking a breather from posting my wish list today. When I learned that yesterday was already Wednesday, I had to scramble on the post for the wish list. But then, because of an editing assignment that I had to do and finish till the wee and ungodly hours of the morning, I let a pass for the list today. Instead I caught up sleep; (I just woke up a few minutes ago as of this writing) and cook. Yes, you saw it clearly. I tried a hand at cooking.

For now, on a Thursday, I am trading my usual work table of pens and folders for pots and pans. I tried my hand at preparing macaroni and cheese. For some time that's what I've been craving for. Good thing this manufacturer came out with macaroni and cheese as their newest product. So yesterday, off I went to the supermarket.

A year ago, I tried a hand at preparing the recipe using Kraft Macaroni and Cheese my aunt from Canada sent for us to try out. And frankly, comparing Kraft to our local brand I prefer Kraft's product. Never mind the whole preparation but I think it gives the real taste of what macaroni and cheese should be. Classic compared to our local brand that tastes smoky.

And as I try a hand at cooking, I learned and attest to what Rissa Singson-Kawpeng said in her book, Confessions of an Impatient Bride--the instructions on those easy-to-cook meals are not complete. Indeed, you have to go through the whole kit and caboodle of a recipe. With Mac and cheese as my first test, I learned, you still need to put salt on the water before boiling the noodle--even if it's not written in the package instruction. Or else you'll come up with a bland recipe.

Yeah, what I discovered sounds really funny. But my nephew still loved it. For me, that's what I call kitchen education. I plan to do cheesecake next.

BY THE WAY, I discovered stirring on fresh milk on Mac and Cheese is good. May it be with the one from Kraft or the local, store-brought ones that we have here in the grocery shelves.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Indeed The Advice Was Right

In the middle of my busy weekend's agenda writing another article for one of my editors (who funny as it seems love to inform me of an assignment in the evening rather than at daytime), I slipped into a moment contemplating with some what-have-I list. And sewing the things together, I found out that one of the advice sent to me once by this editor over email months ago really makes sense.

Of all the advices written there, words that I normally go through and read most of the time, I was challenged to try and see this advice really work:

Remember, the voice telling you that you cannot do something is always lying.

In relation to that note, I figured out that:

1. I could do things and go out of my comfort zone. Career wise it was what I learned. Back then, I know I really wanted to go write for a magazine; the glossy (READ: commercial) type--the one that you see in the racks of bookstores. But I know, the world out there is too complicated enough for someone like me who feels uneasy wearing the latest fashion statement, or is too manang to write on topics like sex and those related to it--which is a must in such industry.

When I was first offered by my former professor Sir Ariel Vidanes to write for Highlights, the first thing that actually ran at the back of my head was, "look, this office is with MERALCO, I don't know anything about a power-generating company except for the electric bill that I receive every month. What am I going to do and write about?" But I still gave it a try. And time had ran so fast that three years, 12 issues and after a number of articles and subjects (and still growing) had been written, I am still doing it. I found out, being out of your comfort zone is great too. It made me realize there is to more to corporate writing--not just business jargons like I once thought.

2. I could actually have my own business. Dad and Mom wanted me to go into business school in college--to which I have always protested and declined because of a simple reason: I hate Math and numbers isn't my cup of tea. But early this year, I started a small venture still with freelance writing. And while Mom and Dad first had doubts (asking, are you sure, they will pay? for every assignment that I get) they are the same person who grin at the thoguht seeing me leave the house after finishing a job order. I also get offers abroad but I simply can't gamble--yet as I am still new with my business, I'm learning how to run the whole thing.

3. That I can flee away from am abusive relationship. Probably, it was more of I woke up from the whole emotional abuse. A former boss told me that I was a Silent Warrior for I tend to keep things, suffering and all to myself--and maybe I really am for I was like what I told my accountability partner N during one of our conversations, suffering in silence for five years. But in the end, I thought "this man doesn't have the balls to call it quits. He''ll just make a rag doll out of me and I don't want that. I have given enough and I know, I also need to receive something in return--and I mean receiving something positive" So I fleed away.

And as I contemplate on these, I realized, the advice was real. And it keeps on happening everyday. Noawadays, when people hear what I have been doing or what I have done, they would say, "ang tapang mo girl" which actually surprises me. For I don't normally see myself that way. I do things like that for other reasons and being courageous is the least thing in my head.

To which when I try to ponder on their words, I'd find out I have followed the advice. That little voice that said I can't do it was indeed lying.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Thursday Techie Galore

It's another Thursday. And so likewise, it's another day and entry for m wish list series. In my first entry, I posted the paperbacks I've been dying to read and immerse myself on, this time I'm moving another notch higher (and probably more expensive...unfortunately).

My Must-Haves for My Job
And so aside from the ever reliable buddies named Webster, Encarta and Mozilla Firefox (they're three now--before it was only Webster!) there are some things that I need to acquire to survive the needs and demands of my career (which is also growing when it comes to assignments).

First in my list, a laptop. Coincidentally, as I was planning to write this entry, I read this news from Yahoo Tech! that HP will come up with these low-priced products since they have acquired Compaq ( this Compaq CQ61z laptop costs $399--that's PhP 17,955 in our currency). However, at PhP 17,955, I still find it pricey and probably occupies a lot of space.And since my space rarely becomes clutter-free, I need a gadget that can be tucked even in small vacant slots. So for a lappy, my choice would be this Asus EeePC. I wanted something small enough to be discreetly hidden in my backpack. Too bad PC Gilmore only has black and the white colors. As per the price, I was surprised that it's almost the same as the laptop above (a year ago, I checked on the same website for the price and it was just PhP 12,000 ). Small enough even to sleep with in my bed knowing that I normally do my work in bed with me (contrary to what a psychiatrist-friend told me, I don't use the bed and the room for sleep and sex--I use it for sleep and work).

Another must have in my list is a mobile phone. I've been using a Nokia 3660 for three years now and it's starting to resign one at a time. And of all the models I've checked, I was only satisfied with the Nokia 6070. Not only that it was the phone I really targeted to lay my eyes on, honestly, being the cheapskate me, that's the phone my budget can afford. I don't really deem for the Über-high tech phone. Just the one enough for me to do the backlogs and the nerdy things that are part of my daily routine.

Last on my list is a digital camera. Despite of the technology, I still have the old, film-leaded camera (although I don't use it anymore).I love pictures and this is one must-have since I normally am not convinced with camera phones. My cousin has her Sony Cybershot which I borrow on occasions and I think it will be more convenient to own one for myself. This works double purpose since it can also work as a handy cam (minus the bulk) and being the video maniac me who loves to document my whereabouts, this one would be a great buddy.

But the wish list is pricey. So I'll have to save up for these stuff--I mean really, really save up, but who knows, there might be a Santa out there.
photos courtesy of and Nokia Philippines.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Can't Get Enough of the Books

Just an update, last night I posted about the fear of having this blog corrupted or perhaps hit by an unknown virus (and that's no joke--office PCs are even suffering from it. Last night just before bedtime, I was finally able to solve the whole HTML problem. What turned out to give me headaches was just the need to troubleshoot the editor settings option.

Now back to business.

I know I have posted and voted for books as the first thing on my birthday wishlist. However, it seems I can't get enough of it.

Last Saturday, as I was browsing on the bookshelves of National Bookstore, I realized that aside from my first batch of books, I long to have these paperbacks that I refer to as must haves:

Merriam-Webster Concise Handbook for Writers. Being in the writing profession, I am still into the whole kit and caboodle of proofreading, punctuation and stuff like that related to writing and publishing articles--despite of graduating from the whole thing taught in school years ago. And even if I blog to express myself, my thoughts and to put writing into practice, I know I still have to further expound learning other aspects of the craft.

Merriam Webster Manual for Writers and Editors. If doctors have Merck Manual and PPDr, this is what I consider to be my editor's bible. Being into writing for a magazine, I know there still are some critical terms and procedures I have to know--especially that writing for business and speaking corporate is REALLY different. And browsing this book, I know this will be of great help. I've grown to reading Alito Malinao's Journalism for Filipinos back in college; and though it made me learn the basics (word count for headlines, shortening lengthy words and producing real headlines), I still want to learn more of the whole thing.

On the other hand, one of my favorite bloggers Frances Amper-Sales who's also about to celebrate her birthday next month (and our big day's one day apart from each other) also has a jampacked list. Check out Topaz Horizon now!