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.