Sunday, August 30, 2009

Singing a Love Story

Few months ago, at the height of Michael Jackson's death, I have been so engrossed singing The Way You Make Me Feel. Just to discover that I could actually let that out in the shower.

Now, I found another favorite. I was actually unaware of the name Taylor Swift; if not after seeing Aiza Seguerra while singing her version of the song Love Story from a past episode of ASAP (I know the song Love Story but actually that's the one from the 70's inspired by the movie taken from Erich Seagal's novel).

And so for the past few days, this has been running ad playing at the back of my head. (Never mind the ad at the beginning of the video).

Now, if only all love stories would abide by the lyrics of this song, it's going to be worthy to be lovesick. If you enjoyed the video, read the lyrics and immerse your thoughts:

We were both young when I first saw you
I close my eyes
And the flashback starts
I'm standing there
On a balcony of summer air

See the lights,
See the party the ball gowns
I see you make your way through the crowd
You say hello
Little did I know

That you were romeo you were throwing pebbles
And my daddy said stay away from Juliet
And I was crying on the staircase
Begging you please don't go, and I said

Romeo take me somewhere we can be alone
I'll be waiting all there's left to do is run
You'll be the prince and I'll be the princess
It's a love story baby just say yes

So I sneak out to the garden to see you
We keep quite cause we're dead if they knew
So close your eyes
Escape this down for a little while
Cause you were romeo I was a scarlet letter
And my daddy said stay away from Juliet
But you were everything to me
And I was begging you please don't go and I said

Romeo take me somewhere we can be alone
I'll be waiting all there's left to do is run
You'll be the prince I'll be the princess
It's a love story baby just say yes

Romeo save me, then try to tell me how to feel
This love is difficult, but it's real,
Don't be afraid
We'll Make it out of this mess
It's a love story baby just say yes, oh,

I got tired of waiting
Wondering if you would ever coming around
My faith in you was fading
When I met you on the outskirts to town I said

Romeo save me I've been feeling so alone
I keep waiting for you but you never come
Is this in my head, I don't know what to think
He knelt to the ground and pulled out a ring

And said

Marry me Juliet you'll never have to be alone
I love you and that's all I really know
I talk to your dad go pick out a white dress
It's a love story baby just say yes

Oh, oh, oh
Oh, oh, oh, oh

Cause we were both young when I first saw you

What else can I say now--how I wish I was Juliet. I loved the whole song but most especially the tenth stanza. Nothing would be sweeter than a Romeo talking to your dad to ask you for marriage right? But seriously, I just love it.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

A Different Tagaytay

The whole Acad crew landed to Tagaytay Monday night. While I thought there's no Amazing Race for this leg, there actually was for I received the scribbles of text message and phone calls that
mid-morning as I was in MMLDC Antipolo and was planning to have lunch with a friend. So I had to reschedule the lunch date and return home as fast as I could to pack my things, leave my status on Facebook that lasted for two days and rush to McDonald's Marcos Highway before 4 pm.

The trip to Tagaytay was such a breeze I should say. It was fast and such unusual for surprise, surprise--there was no traffic jam in SLEX. And everyone especially Ms. Amor was so happy at that; to think that there's an ongoing project in that area, it's really a miracle for that highway to be traffic-free.

We arrived nearly 8 pm in Tagaytay and at the first sight of the city, I have found it already different compared to how it was when I last visited in 2005 with my Petroglyphs staff for the annual PressCon. The breeze itself was already distinct. Not spine-chilling at all (probably because it's already August).

I think Tagaytay now is more "civilized" and urban. The last time I was there, I only explore on Picnic Grove, People's Park and a Mc. Donald's outlet in Oliveros Plaza. Now as I return, there are lots of the fast food chains and a Puregold branch too. One teacher from Tagaytay City Science National High School even told us, "ma'am baka sa susunod na balik nyo may SM na dito." (ma'am maybe when you return, there will already be SM here.)

And it's possible. In fact, as soon as we arrived and found a place to stay (it's a nice 8-bedroom house with individual bathrooms, aircon and TV) just three minutes away from the Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, we had dinner in a restaurant (Bacolod Chicken Inasal) near the Robinson's Summitridge Hotel. And the building where we had dinner could be compared to Eastwood.

And another thing that caught my attention was this place called Wisteria Lane ( readers, it's a fictional street made famous in the show Desperate Housewives).

But still, nothing beats to this wonderful view that left me amazed like a child:

Loved the road trip, the air, the view, people and pasalubong too. Now I'm off to rest, rest and rest. For compared to last week that I was awake for 20 hours, this time, I reached to 39 hours of no slumber.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Enjoying a Day Off

Since I've been through with the first leg of the race (including the third issue's magazine articles and the SBMDP impact study) I guess it's time for a much needed and anticipated break. Being on the go the whole day of Tuesday (I started my day at 4 am until 12 midnight--that's a record-breaking 20 hours of being up and wild awake), I needed the whole Wednesday to rest, sleep, eat and blog.

Come Thursday was payback time. But while I was really, really looking forward to racing to the nearest mall, just some important advertisements.

Swinging by the office, I turned over the photos of the first leg of the SBMDP study at the Academic Services department where I also found Ernest and proud daddy Sir Rye (who I think still has hangover with his paternity leave =p). Meanwhile in marketing I met my editors in Highlights. I had to do some revisions on one of the articles that I wrote (and despite they're just minor, I was still washed up arranging the words). Upon seeing me, my dear editor-in-chief remembered about who to feature for the upcoming magazine issue.  Lunch time was spent with him together with the office people; goofing off and laughing one conversation after the other.

After doing the business at work, it's time for us to do some bonding time. This is mom smiling for the camera. After the tasks, we both deserve this treat so off we went to the mall. Too bad however, I was an hour late for our appointment. Spent hours visiting shops. My mom's actually my personal shopper--she knows fashion and what fits more than I do.

Got this shirt from Bizaare. Since most of my shirts are in red, I decided to opt for purple for a change. I also bought another one in pink.

My colleagues and friends are telling me I look thin in my photos, because I don't eat that much especially when I'm darn busy. But today, I'd forgo with the schedule. Food is one of the reasons I'd love malling too. I've been into fruits laltely; from santol last week to grapes and oranges days ago. And this one's what I've been missing a lot--my ultimate comfort food, pancit palabok. Pinoy na Pinoy.

Coming home, the highlight of all the whole thing is giving this gift to my nephew. He asked me for this pillow as my gift for his birthday. While this one's kinda pricey, I don't have time to care. After all, a promise is a promise and nothing else feels great seeing everyone happy.

Next week is going to be an agenda full of activities. I better start writing down my to do list lest, I'd forget them.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Back From an Amazing Race

I'm back a day after that first leg of the mission project of MMLDC. For two Tuesdays, I'll be joining the team in conducting the said activity to schools in Cavite. Well, the first leg was finished yesterday and it was indeed fun for me.

Enough of the rain. I miss sceneries such as this.

The photo above was taken in the afternoon on our way to the second school. Enough of the rains though but I appreciated it. I've longed for the green pastures of provinces since Rizal doesn't have much of that. Likewise, I told my mom that I needed to breathe a different kind of air; enough of Rizal's kinda polluted one =p. Just for a change.

I haven't been to Cavite for quite a long time. Ms. Joji, one of our program officers asked me on the way if I have been to the province and if it was for buiness of other reasons. I've been to Kawit back in 1995 and to Tagaytay in 2004 during Mom and Dad's 20th wedding anniversary. Both periods were several years back. And visiting the province again after many years was in a way challenging. I love to travel--so much that I don't feel that exhausted on the way but instead, I get to feel that when going home.

The trip was such an adventure. Getting lost in search for the shortest way to the destination, our trip was like an Amazing Race episode (in Cavite version with us as participants). It took us three hours (I think) just to drop off the first group to their assigned school.

With me was Kayen of ABS CBN. And the officials of Gen. Alona Elementary School in Biclatan Gen. Trias Cavite

This was taken after lunch in the first school we visited. Forgive the mess, and the blurred shot since we were in a bit of a hurry. The HE students (who actually cooked our sumptuous lunch) forgot to remove the plates; and the student who took this shot is not a photojournalist so please don't expect too much :-) .

Despite of painstakingly enduring the supposedly shortest way, it felt so good that we were warmly welcomed by the school heads and participating individuals. This was my first time to join such a challenging endeavor and I won't mind the exhaustion. After all, the warm welcome me, my partner Kayen, and others had received were more than enough.

We still have two more schools to visit next week. And I'm looking forward to that. But for now, I'll need a day to pamper myself, get my paycheck, and bring my nephew to the mall or buy him a gift (whichever would apply) because I missed his birthday yesterday.

Oh and eat the fruits too.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

I'm Part of a Milestone

Meralco Development Center is celebrating its 10th year this month. The past, week Highlights released a special anniversary issue which looked so great.

For this issue, I was tasked to do the article on the editors and writers. As my managing editor, Ms. Peng asked me which to work on, I asked for this on which she happily obliged. This article actually consumed three or four pages. Yep, it's a lot but I enjoyed writing and doing the research for this article; because of this, I was able to know and learn more about my darling editors. It sent my goosebumps up again seeing my article next to the message of one of the big bosses.

Talk about assignments, since some of the other writers were busy with their own business, I obliged to handle two more sections. MMLDC is such a nice place (okay, aside from it's famous too) for teambuildings and business events of other top companies and of course, a top choice for blissful events like weddings. (FYI: MMLDC just made a special appearance on one of the episodes of The Wedding which starred Anne Curtis, Zanjoe Marudo and Derek Ramsey; also, some parts of the Pendant episode of MMK which starred Toni Gonzaga and Ryan Eigenman were shot here).

Being one of their writers, I had handled a lot of topics in the three years. I've been a witness to some of those fruitful endeavors (including the yearly Educator's Forum and the SBMDP project) and by being a part of the editorial board, it makes me feel good at the fact that MMLDC is more than just being Meralco's own. It feels good seeing that the company gives back to the community too. More than just a business, they help out in making a difference in the society.

MMLDC has been in the business for a decade. I've been writing for the magazine for more than three years. It's such a nice thought that despite of the freelance job (which hopefully would emerge into something more promising), I was able to take part in celebrating a milestone in the company. I feel lucky to have been given the opportunity to tell people by writing what this institution can do.I know this is the least that I could. In one of my posts, one of my editors thanked me for giving so much (of my talent and devotion probably) but then, I am just giving them back what is supposed to be due. Because they gave me much too. More than just the opportunity of working with a world-class institution, they helped me achieve my heart's desire.

Cheers to the first ten years. Hopefully, I would still be writing for the next ten--or more.

photos courtesy of MMLDC Foundation Facebook account.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Can an Erratum Clean This Up?

A day after the burial of former President Aquino, this photo came out in the issue of a daily broadsheet here in the Philippines. For the sake of safety and also to prevent further disgrace, I will refuse to name this broadsheet since I am also one of their avid readers.

I was one of those who (should I say lucky?) have received a copy of this photo on my Facebook account through my fellow writer Dante Gagelonia. And well, as I posted this on my page and asked people to comment on this, a lot actually responded and as expected, the said photo spread like a wild fire.

What could be "special" about this photo? Readers, if you paid attention on the photo's caption, it says there that the coffin was President Arroyo's (instead of Aquino's). And as you all know Mrs. Arroyo is still alive as of this writing.

And being a writer and journalism graduate, this photo brought me back to one of the best lessons I learned back during my days in the university. Aside from the Journalist's Creed, my former professor, Ma'am Cecilia Rañola-Villegas instilled on us this protocol: be careful with the names of people and the way you address them. Commit mistakes on anything but not on grammar and people's names.

And indeed, this makes sense.

It was one important chunk of advice. I say chunk because I was able to use it in my craft. Back then, I served as the editor-in-chief of the school publication and I'm not saying this to brag but I should say I was the most critical, OC and detail-oriented editor-in-chief; to the annoyance of my staff. And being a writer, there's no such thing as a room for mistakes. I even came to a point back then that I summoned the whole staff because of a mistake regarding grammar.

Despite that publishers can actually issue an erratum (written apology to correct the mistake that previously appeared), this single, even typographical error could actually cause a lot of humiliation and the worse, pain in the neck for the business.

Thus, in the written profession especially in newspapers, to err is human but to forgive is not their policy.

When I became an editorial assistant for a university press and then a writer for Highlights, I still try to comply with the said protocol--and learned how important the said rule was.; a violation is like committing a huge crime. I should say that despite of the fact that my editors in Highlights are way kind, gracious and forgiving tyrants, I try not to make such mistake. Because I know the cost if I'd do so. Yet, in times that I'd commit some, the humiliation dwells on me first--and it sticks in a lot.

One of my friends even suggested to fire the proofreader since this is his job. But then, in lieu, I told her, they're not 100 percent accurate all the time. And while the erratum is easily written and pasted on the newspaper's pages, sadly, it's not easy to patch this humiliation ASAP.

At the back of my head I wonder, maybe upon seeing this photo, President Arroyo looks that of the Chicaco Bulls logo out of disappointment. You guys know why.

Friday, August 7, 2009

It Takes a Lifetime

I postponed writing on this space for some days following the death of a well-loved former president for a lot of reasons; the past few days I've been full of stuff to do from a scheduled doctor's appointment in Manila, a visit to MMLDC for the magazine and for the meeting and schedules for an upcoming assignment from another department (which I hope will push through), accompanying mom to Makati, an unexpected bout of asthma and watching the coverage for the necrological rites for former President Cory Aquino.

Now, while I was able to watch the necrological rites, I opted to simply listen to the coverage of the funeral because of two reasons; I was chatting with my friend Paulo (who was at the office despite the non-working holiday) and two, I was having a bad bout of asthma attack that I can't bear much to cry for it could choke me to death.

As I was all ears to the ceremonies, I can't help but shed a tear hearing Kris Aquino bid her mom farewell. Indeed letting go of a loved one (especially parents) is not easy and it takes a lifetime to be fine again. As she was delivering those words, I can't help but think--about a lot of things.

For every heath setback that I face, I had the end in mind. I remember asking myself back when I was young and diagnosed with a then-unknown neurological condition, rather than asking if I'll be permanently disabled, I asked if I'm going to die. Years ago, I remember telling a former beau that if ever we'd end up together and I'd be the first to go, I told him that he should get married.

He declined my point and told me he doesn't want to choose between the inevitable and me.

And with what I have heard and Kris' parting words, it was now that I understood why he said that. I myself feel the same. Yes, I do welcome the possibility of dying young with the things that I've been going through. But then there are times too when I say I don't want to--yet. For one, I still have a thing I want to achive. Despite that I have gotten my wish of being a published writer before 30, seeing my name in the newspaper and visiting Baguio, I, more than anything want to get married, have a husband and children.

To leave is in a way easy. But to be left behind isn't.

And if ever I'll go early it will really take a lifetime for my family maybe especially to my mom to be okay. While death is inevitable, I try to make my plans come true. I just hope God will lend me time.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Yellow Ribbons Reaching Heaven

It was just days ago when I wrote about someone's death on this blog and I was not expecting to do the same thing again today.

This morning, I woke up to my dad's voice telling my mom, "Patay na si Cory." (Cory is dead.) Dad was talking about former president Corazon Aquino. She has been called home by God at 3:18 am today after 17 months of battle with colon cancer.

Now, I don't know much about her. Nor was I been blessed with a chance to meet her in person. But as a Filipino, I knew she was one reason to be proud of being who I am. Hearing people's recollections about being with her, as a leader and friend, I was astounded. That someone who was once a simple housewife and mother had that strength and courage to be a leader and a mother not just to one or four Filipinos but a million of us.

She had shown leadership by example. As I watch those stories and testimonies given by people close to her, I agree to the statement I once heard. No other leader would surpass the respect that she had earned and gained from the Filipino people. And she deserves that kind of respect for the things and the sacrifices that she had done for the country.

I was a year and a half year old when she became the head of the country. I met her youngest daughter Kris, five years ago out of chance. Yes, people tell a lot about her but in that succinct moment that I have seen and talked to Kris, at the back of my head, I was firmly telling myself "now I believe that a president can actually raise a beautiful and kind daughter." Far from the usual connotation that once you're from a famous family, you're a spoiled, disrespectful brat. And Cory was able to do that despite the demands of her work and the status of being the powerful person in a country.

As a common Filipino I admire her. It was such a blessing to have a leader like Cory Aquino. It was through her and her husband Ninoy that we have the democracy that all of us are enjoying today. We won't be this free if not because of her husband sacrificed his life and her courage to fight and continue what he had started. She and her faith was a proof that we can achieve freedom-- and call for war is not necessary. If not because of Cory Aquino's efforts, we won't be able to tell anyone or everyone that "I live in a democratic country."

She was an epitome of how faith in God and prayers greatly help in effective leadership. The power of a praying wife and president has been a great weapon before, during and after her reign. Her faith has helped the country and its people be united at the time of crisis. Even during the last few days of her life, she was able to pull the Filipinos together in prayer. Hoping that God would hear the people who are in deep prayer for her healing.

Now that she's finally on her way to heaven, I know that yellow ribbons like these are lined up waiting for her. The same way that she will be welcomed by God and her husband, Ninoy in the gates and premises of Paradise.

It is indeed a loss to all of us to be left by someone as great, dedicated and faithful as her. But then, she left us a legacy--something that even the next in line will cherish. And now, it's her turn ro reap the rewards of the good deeds that she performed here on earth. She deserves all of them.

Thank you President Cory. You will be greatly missed. More than every Filipino (or individual for that matter), God is surely proud of you. I end this post quoting what Father Jerry Orbos stated: "When there's a presence of suffering in a person then she is an authentic servant of God."

And indeed, our dearly beloved former president was not just a public servant during the course of her life. More than that, she is indeed God's faithful servant.

Top and middle photos courtesy of
Ribbon photo taken through Wikipedia courtesy of Library of Congress