Saturday, December 31, 2011

What a Year That Was!

2011 will soon be coming to a close and I had quite a blast. I'd say quite because as we all, know, not everything was perfect. Just consider the following photos to show you how my year went:




I received some rewards and commendations at work. All these why juggling through the effort, the work schedule and trying to learn as much things as I could.




My younger brother JR graduated in April. He had since put up a business and is working as a cinematographer for Bob Nicolas whose name rings a bell in the field of wedding photography and cinematography.

                                         

I met and made new friends; participated in fun events including this summer outing in Subic. Finally, I was able to come back after six years!



I also got to challenge myself in a few dares including getting a tattoo. This was during the Henamoko event; a company fund-raising event for the benefit of the people of Japan.



It was also on this year that I finally acquired the gadget that I have always wanted!






And our family celebrated my parents' birthdays!

I tried going back to my reading habit again this year, replenish my library with new titles. Among those that I've read this year were:



From local authors like Cel Coscoluella to foreign ones: James Patterson, Kazuo Ishiguro and of course, Nicholas Sparks!
                                    
And I have been to the movies again too; something I have not done for so long. Blame it on a movie date that I had in January of this year, but I found out that watching movies still is one feel good activity -- even if I alone. And on the final quarter of the year, there were two more things that happened to me this year:



I resumed gift giving this year

                                        

I made another career move and is now working in a new office. The people that I am working with right now are very much different from those I worked with in the past; the pay might not be that hefty but the work schedule and the task itself is so amendable. I remember challenging God in my prayer to give me a new job in exchange to what I have lost and He took my dare seriously for he gave me this job a day before my 27th birthday.

There are a lot of lessons I have realized this year; from living at the present, how positivity works its magic and likewise, what goes around comes around. Those are only a few; but I get to learn one day at a time. I still don't have any idea of what will be in store for me for 2012. Yes, I am currently having this wonderful feeling, but I will live one day at a time and let the surprise unfold before my very eyes.

Happy New Year everyone.










































Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Simplicity in Giving

Guess what's inside!
I know I've previously said that Christmas gifts have not been my thing for four Decembers. But because of the blessings (career wise) that flooded my door this year, giving out these gifts had made my holidays lovelier. I will not hide it, the Christmas rush is so stressful. I was still not done with wrapping the gifts hours before Noche Buena. But I don't mind. There was excitement in that feeling of slouching on the floor to wrap the little things,  and just thinking and seeing the delight on the person who receives them is priceless (and there was this huge smile on my face as I type the word PRICELESS).


From my cousin's wife, Ate Rea.

Gifts from office mates, Eternity Moment from Tita F.

 In return, I received something for the holidays too. Gifts from office mates and relatives currently adorn a space in my study table. Yes, they might be simple things from pens, sticky notes to custom-made jewelry but regardless, those are all treasured. To others, they could just be little; but for me they mean big and loved.

More than just gifts, there are two more reasons that made my Christmas wonderful this year. It was a surprise that was revealed just last night. I'll probably tell that in another post, hopefully before the year ends.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

It's Proposal Season!

It's fun to think that Christmas season could be compared to Valentine's Day. While one of my friends was addicted to a Valentine's date dinner video, I on the other hand spent Christmas Eve watching these two videos. Marriage proposals seem to be "trending" these days. I know this one's a delayed reaction but I just had the chance to watch a very interesting marriage  proposal that's been viral in Facebook  only last night!



After following the links, I found out that the guy in the video was Timothy Tiah Ewe Tiam, the co-founder of Nuffnang (which provides ads to my blog) and the girl was blogger, Audrey Ooi Feng Ling . While some people call the proposal "was too nerdy", I don't see anything that's corny in it. I even think it's creative as who would have thought image memes could be placed in a wonderful use as that! And by nerdy, I guess it's true that the nerdy ones are often the romantic creatures.




From proposals in a foreign land,  another one that captured my attention was this one posted by a former colleague. Upon watching the video closely, I realized that the guy on it was no other than running coach, Rio dela Cruz. It prompted me to immediately tag some of my former office mates in Makati, who (kinda) know Coach Rio, as they were runners as well. I can't help but be both giddy and teary eyed just watching it and hearing their story. I know it's shallow. but who'd have thought, that the simple query for directions would eventually lead to an accidental meet up inside a jeepney and a love story. Fast forward to 2011, with another jeepney ride, the champion runner falls on one knee to ask a million-dollar question!

Surprises! Love! It really takes a lot to put up something as incredibly great as these. I almost forgot it's actually Christmas and V-day is still months away. :-)

December Party Rock: Our Style

Let me borrow a few words to that of our office Christmas Party's theme for this post. A day before closing for the holidays, we had a mini- Christmas Party consisting of our group and the colleagues from a different team. It was a winning moment because we were able to plan and organize the event all by ourselves-- considering that there was just less than ten people to make things happen. And we succeeded at that!

Now, let these photos tell you how the event went! As much as I want to post the photo of what we had, (each of us brought something for the menu as it was a potluck party), I just realized we failed on the presentation part and the only shot that's good for posting was this:

Mango cake from Dulcinea courtesy of Jec and I.
Each of us had a share: Rommel brought pork barbecue, Beth had maja con mais, pancit andd steaming rice were from Kat, Jen brought leche flan and Rodel shouldered the sodas and the utensils.


For the gift giving, we were requested to write at least three items of the things we wanted (badly, haha!) that will fit the budget that was agreed by everyone.

Beth on a wacky loving her GCs from Bench!
Errol approves his brand new earphones


And so does Kat :-)

Freakin' happy me received a planner from Kat.
Jec received Ricky Lee's Para kay B -- from me!
Jen proudly shows her GCs from Starbucks.
While Rommel received food keepers from Lock n Lock.
We had a blast chowing down the food that each of us brought but what made the event wonderful was we were that lucky to have been allowed by our bosses to take the lunch period together to make this potluck party happen. And I'd like to think the clients probably sensed that we were having this gathering for they never called nor rang our phones even after the party.



photo courtesy of Kat Campos-Fowler's Facebook account.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Pre-Christmas Ritual 2011

Christmas Eve (literally) is a few hours from now. It's a weekend and just like the previous year, while I don't have work on this day, I found myself again in the city -- to shoot some photos and do my usual pre-Christmas church visit. Let these photos and little descriptions tell you what I did.


When I started this effort last year, part of the things that I did was visiting a sacred place (at least a new church). However, there are no churches near my office; only chapels. Last year, I paid a visit to the St. Pio Chapel. For this year, I went to the Holy Family Chapel which is just right across the street where my current office is located. People say that if it's your first time to visit a place of worship, and you do make a wish, it will come true. Of course, I did that (but I won't say what my wish was).





I also had the chance to visit the PLDT Christmas Village at the Citywalk (which was a mere steps away from my former office). This village was put up last year and I was able to see it too though I was unable to blog about it. But this time, I really had to capture the moment that could take me back to some memories of childhood.

I also took a video of the dancing fountains in the open park of the mall though I had to make the trip swift. I was caught a bit in traffic on the way home but I was able to manage. The gifts are ready to be sent out tonight and I am also about to open the gifts I received from my office mates.

I hope you'll have a wonderful Christmas everyone!
  

Friday, December 23, 2011

Two Songs That Saved my Sanity

I say it saved my sanity because today, I (together with my immediate supervisor) was the only person in the project to report to the office for the scheduled mandatory rotation. I decided to get the slot for today since it's the last day of the work week.

What I did? Well, except for just one assignment that I finished thankfully before the day ended, I just sat there observing if in case the phone's going to ring -- which never happened as people are already on a holiday, and to eat lunch at McDonalds. But let me be clear, I'm not complaining. I'm actually thankful that I get to experience this kind of environment as this is positively different compared to what I previously had.

I know I'm supposed to be listening to Yuletide tunes as Christmas is just two days away. But I had to tweak it by listening to these songs. Funny but as I listen to it, I found some wonderful lines too!


Love is joy and love is pain
It's kissing in the rain
It's doing dishes when it's late
Isn't it, baby
It's the art of compromise
It's hellos and long goodbyes
It's the picture of our lives
I found this song after watching Jolina Magdangal and Mark Escueta's wedding video through my brother who is one of the cinematographers who worked on this project.


And all along I believed that I would find you
Time has brought your heart to me
I have loved you for a thousand years
I’ll love you for a thousand more
This one, I found while listening to the radio using my mobile phone in the middle of doing my research at the office this morning. And while it worked its magic in saving me from boredom, I just found myself memorizing the lines of the song at the end of the day.



Thursday, December 22, 2011

Tickled Pink, Thanks to K!


I've started dispensing the gifts one by one. And so does my office mates. This is the time of year that I realize the use of wish lists.

For the second time, I had to pick items to include on my wish list for a small Christmas party with my new colleagues.Some say my wish list has no thrill in it for it's ordinary if not easy to find. Well, that's my reason for putting it up. Aside from being specific, another reason why I tend to ask for the items in my list is to avoid inconvenience to the person who'll give it. Last year, I asked for gift certificates for this famous coffee shop as a gift which I got and for this year, I asked for any of the following, a pink planner, any novel from Nicholas Sparks (which I got addicted to this year) or gift certificates from Gong Cha for my milk tea addiction.

Today, I got my wish of a huge pink planner, thanks to my office mate K, I had a reason to giddily scream (again!). While it's not as pricey as Belle de Jour nor stylish as those given by coffee shops, I'm still happy with the simplicity of this gift. When I first laid my eyes on this item a month back in my happy place, I knew this was among what I really wanted for Christmas.

And I can't be any happier. Thanks K for my new planner. I'm so excited to flip into its pages next year. I now believe that when you ask for something, you'll have to be specific -- and it shall be given to you.

In that case, I hope Santa will grant my wish on my list of having someone like ML for a significant someone soon. But who knows? He might be that generous :-)

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Gift Shopping Revived

Maybe I should get one too? :-p
For I really haven't done decent gift shopping for quite some time. Back then, while I only have one significant person to shop for, I was really meticulous on what to give for that one special holiday. But since 2009, I only had the godchildren to think of for Christmas and since they're still kids, I give off money for their aguinaldo as they're not as complicated as adults when it comes to gifts.

Well, for Christmas this year, shopping for gifts was revived. My godchildren will still receive their gifts the usual way but since I got blessed with a good-paying job, I decided to go the extra mile to shop for some extra gifts. At one corner of my bedroom are bags containing those gifts; from books, toys, kikay stuff and that Parker pen.

I guess, I'm still meticulous when it comes to the gifts -- the kikay stuff should be hypoallergenic, the toys should be apt to the age of the recipients, and for those with a wish list, that they get what they wanted. But what tested me was the Parker pen. Why so? It took me three weekends to acquire the gift. This after my office mates B and K reached to a decision that it will be the best gift for someone in our office. We first discussed about the type of pen to give and the budget (but I started checking it on National Bookstore's website when we agreed on the brand), then since I normally frequent Megamall every weekend, I checked with the branch to make sure that they still have the said type and color. And of course, since the gift will be personalized, I had to make sure that the spelling is correct or else my head will roll if something goes wrong (:-p).

We're off to send this gift next week -- and the recipient has no idea of what we girls planned. While I will start wrapping the other gifts so it will be ready in time for the 24th given that I'll still be going to the office until Friday.

How bout you? Are you done with your Christmas shopping too?

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Do You Prefer Money as Gifts?

How much should you really put in?
I certainly do.

With Christmas just two weeks away, the mall is already crowded will patrons who are busy with their Christmas shopping. Now, it's not that I'm a lazy godmother, I also shop for gifts as i look forward to wrapping some stuff to give on Christmas but I think cash would be far better especially for the kids.

I consider this to be a better alternative. Especially if you're the kind of person who hates to wait in the long line in the ATM, the long queue in the cashier and of course the hours spent travelling (and if worst comes, in traffic). It also saves time if you don't have the wishlist of what the kids want as gifts as they'd have all the liberty of what they want to buy.

For some Christmases, I've been handing the aguinaldo to kids in red Chinese envelopes (ang pao) but after a former colleague shed some light that those are intended for birthdays and the Chinese New Year, I'll be handing them their gifts in these money enclosures.

How about you? Do you give money as gifts too?

Pink Shoes

Heaven for my heels!
I never fail to make it a habit to go to the mall during weekends just to unwind. And today, in between gift hunting for Christmas, I decided to treat myself with a pair of new footwear. My original plan really was to purchase gladiator sandals from Charles and Keith at SM Megamall but then they don't have my size for the style that I wanted (that's what you get for having big feet!).

And so off I went to the other brands and found these pink rubber pair from World Balance. Normally, I ask for a size 8 as most of the pairs I wear bear that but for this one, I had to ask for one size bigger. And despite wanting the gladiator sandals badly, I had to resort to this because of two things: 1) my work wardrobe isn't that complicated -- I wear jeans and shirts to work five times a week; and 2: I walk from the jeepney stop to the office (and vice versa) daily; making walkathon a (healthy) habit.

As per the cost, the pair is at PhP 1,199 (roughly around $27). I normally don't splurge too much on shoes (and yes, I already consider this one to be pricey). But when I first tried it on, it left my feet feeling comfortable (as in, I don't think I'll need heel cushions like what I used to do) which in other words is a purchase that's worth the money.



Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Midweek Outfit Post


Outfit: Pink tee from Reitman's denim jeans from BNY.

This was what I wore to work today. And as much as I would like to blog more, my hands are also a chuckful as of the moment. One of my dad's sisters, Tita F arrived yesterday from Canada to celebrate the holidays here with us (and that dress I am wearing was from her :-)

At the office, we also moved to a new space. While I will have to keep photos of my new office private, I'll make a photo essay so you will still have a clue where to find me on mornings.

Oh, not to forget, I am still not done with the gifts for the holidays and I still got some backlogs pending to be finished.

But don't you worry. I have drafted the entries and will post them the soonest!

Two days before the weekend! Can't hardly wait!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Viral Video I'd Love to Watch Over and Over Again



I first found out about this video yesterday morning when one of my friends shared the link. While she had said she will not cry, I decided to give it a try and watch the video to see for myself what it's all about.

I'm not really a fan of viral videos especially given the fact that majority of these are nonsense. But Coca-Cola's Where Will Happiness Strike Next: The OFW Project was different.

It's a touching video about how three OFWs from different countries were given the chance to come home for the holidays through the initiative of Coca-Cola Philippines.  It was that heartwarming found myself crying (and to think I just woke up when I watched it yesterday morning) when I watched it.

It made an impact on me. And moved mo to tears despite trying not to.

I am no different from the family of the three OFWs. Prior to obtaining their Canadian citizenship,  my dad's two sisters were OFWs as well. And so, I wasn't spared from the sad feeling whenever one of them leaves to return to Canada after spending a month with us -- usually for Christmas. Of all the three people featured in the video, I was moved by the story of Joey Doble, who because of his job as a babysitter had to spend 11 Christmases in a foreign land. When the video reached to the point where he showed the ring he'll give his wife and when he first went to the school of his son when he arrived in the country.

I've seen a lot of Coca Cola ads and this one had touched me the most. If all ads would just contain heart more than just profit, I won't mind spending five minutes or so watching it without complaining.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Twice The Magic

I never wished on that magic wand
Just followed the sign and took my stride
And as the crowd had cleared the land,
You were the one I'd get to find.

I guess I lost track of my calendar today. Leaving home early for work, I found it weird to find roads that are so quiet; with not much commuters, one could freely drive like a maniac if they wanted to.

I only realized halfway through the journey that today is actually a holiday. (Sigh). I guess I still haven't removed this thing of observing foreign holidays instead of our own and I am still used to reporting to work on a holiday.

But if there was one thing I consider great about coming to work on regular holidays, it's this incident that happened this morning. I was walking on the way to our office building when a lady wearing a hijab passed ahead of me. While I thought of it as something ordinary, there also were ideas running in my mind.

Like what if this person is related to someone I know.

Call it funny, call it creepy but something that made me giddy and smile to my heart's content happened minutes after that. Just as the lady disappeared and the halls had cleared, I saw a good-looking man approaching my way.

It was him -- a person I knew and befriended from way, way back. The usual exchange of pleasantries were there. Funny but just when I thought is a usual street meeting, he turned back to verbally invite me to one of their office functions.

I won't be disclosing my response but as I paved my way to the office to begin another workday, I was really wearing this HUGE, delightful smile on my face. Yes, I confess that I sort of prayed that someone as dashingly handsome, smart and nice as him (only modified in some important aspects) would eventually come my way. But then, there's another thing I was telling myself:

Despite the weird feeling of making those coincidences real, I sure am a lucky girl!


photo courtesy of DeviantArt.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Empathy






I was watching KC Concepcion's interview yesterday on TV and compared to the past episodes of The Buzz, where I don't normally pay too much time, this one really caught my attention. I can't help but feel disturbed watching a teary-eyed girl confessing her pain and disappointment over a relationship that went down the drain. It was at that moment I was trying to process some mixed feelings at the back of my head.

With all honesty, part of me has this empathy for her. Seeing KC in tears while she recalled the whole relationship -- from how it started, the way it ended and those reasons behind it that she decided not to tell, in a way, I know how it feels. It feels great to recall how it commenced but it's painful as well to think how it ended. I could relate to that confusion and fear when when she has to tell people why they're no longer together. Finding and giving out answers to the question why is among the hardest things to do and say; especially if those people -- from common friends, family to strangers had been so used to seeing you and your former significant other together.

But what really hit me hard was when she said that she felt the emotion of anger later and that never had she prayed much until the break up happened. In some instances, anger is a secondary feeling. And just like her, when I went through the same ordeal, I had to seek refuge to prayer just to maintain my sanity in the midst of the pain I was going through.

Breakups are among those things that's hard and heart wrenching -- especially if one had invested more than just feelings in it. It's a situation that would consume much of you -- from your emotions and if worse, your whole being. Surviving a breakup is a struggle that sometimes, impossible as it may seem, I wish no one would have to go through it at all.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Sweet Inspiration


This was the first thing that came running into my mind this morning. I decided writing this as my first note of the day. I bumped into a former office mate on my way to the office. The thing is it happened just as I was just having this wishful thought like "what if I'd meet this person along the way?"

I've been wearing this huge smile on my face afterwards. I'm that giddy, I even got to bring that smile home with me.

Rather than focusing on that "what your mind can conceive, your body can achieve" mantra, that incident this morning left me thinking that maybe, God really knows how to goof off with my shallows thoughts -- enough to make it real in no time.

Not to forget that what I've written could count as a form of positive faith. I can't help but feel light just thinking that I am really a lucky girl.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

A Fresh Start

Tomorrow, my life begins anew. And I will confess, I feel a bit scared. I know that this should be nothing new and that I must get used to this but still I feel odd. From working for an advertising company, I am about to embark a career in another industry.

Beginning anew, starting afresh. A new office, new technologies, new tasks, new people, new schedule. Yes, it's scary. The first time will always be difficult. But I don't want to think of negative ones.

Someone said the endings you go through are the beginnings you've been waiting for. I pray for God's guidance as I go through a fresh start. I hope things will be fine.

A Treat to (Hopefully) Calm My Senses


I was trying my best to reserve my energy and was hoping to stay home since I had been so busy the past few days securing things for a new endeavor. But then, I found myself en route to SM Megamall today for the Sunday mass.

Part of my ritual is dropping by Gong Cha at the Atrium to buy their Gong Cha Milk Wintermelon Tea. I had missed this the past few weeks. I guess this is really one of their best sellers because it went unavailable during those two weeks that I frequented the store.

I have tried a few milk teas out there but unfortunately,it has this weird reaction in my digestive system. But with Gong Cha's Milk Win termelon Tea, my digestive system is well-behaved and my sweet tooth calms down as well. Maybe it's because the combination of the tea and the cream tastes heavenly. While the store also suggests adding pearls or coffee jelly to their drinks, I prefer my own to be as it is. For me, it tastes great even without the extras.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Race of the Stickers and Stamps


Another year's soon coming to completion. And what more do some people anticipate when another year opens? Planners. Some friends and people I know had started collecting stickers for the 2012 Starbucks planner. While I am a planner person, I actually prefer the usual bookstore-bought journals ( I even saw stylish planners in Fully Booked-Eastwood this week).

When I dropped by The Coffee Bean in Eastwood Citywalk this morning to grab an iced Moroccan mint, I was offered this mini booklet for their 2012 giving journal. Now, I really am not planning (yet) about availing their planner especially since the price of their beverages had increased. the drink I ordered costs PhP140 now when it was only PhP135 when I was still working in a nearby office (and I only left a month ago. But compared to Starbucks, you'll just have to purchase 18 drinks from Coffee Bean (to complete the 18 stamps for the planner) and the other thing is, they don't specifically oblige you to order a particular drink so the choice of what to buy is really yours.

What further caught my interest was when the cashier, Sheryl informed me that I don't just get their planner for free, I also get to help send someone to school.

I'm still thinking about it. The price still is expensive for a planner but then, I get to participate in a worthwhile endeavor as well. I really need to think, think, think.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Bring Out the Christmas Decors!

I know Christmas is still 46 days away. Here at home, we were given advance notice not to put up the decorations yet as one of my aunts in Canada will be coming home for the holidays with I guess a box full of Christmas stuff. But it looks like we can't really stop ourselves from inviting the Yuletide breeze in.

And so, despite the warning, our house is now adorned with these:

Outside our house...

Outside grandma's house, they have lights too! Gaya-gaya lang!

If you think Farmville is the only place for a topiary, I have one at home too, plus three Christmas trees!

I still want to add few more pieces to what mom had already arranged. I'm thinking of putting white poinsettias since it looks like our unit's motiff is a white Christmas. Either way, maybe gold would be nice as well. 

Monday, November 7, 2011

Impromptu Wish List

Kyowa Blender (SM Appliance Center), Black leather bag (SM Department Store), Kara Nina make-up bag (SM Department Store), The Choice and Reader's Digest (National Bookstore) 

I used to create a wish list a week or so before my birthday. But for this year, I decided to forgo with it and just be spontaneous (but still not becoming a huge shopaholic, so nothing to worry).

And so on my big day, I practically bought the things I so wanted (but I know I need as well). The justification for the items pictured above are as follows:

The blender. I am addicted to the show Junior Master Chef lately. And being 27 and thinking about getting married eventually, I just know (and it's important) I have to hone those kitchen skills so I started investing on kitchen gadgets. Now I can make those smoothies that I used to spend much on even if I am at home, minus hurting my pocket.

A black leather bag. Since the beige leather that my aunt from Canada gave me had started showing signs of irrevocable (read: irrepairable) resignation, I decided raid SM's shelves for replacement. Originally, I was thinking of buying a leather doctor's bag just so I won't need to lug a huge one whenever I go out but I purchased this black shoulder bag instead since it's spacious and it could fit my netbook as well.

A cosmetic bag. Make- up has been a staple item in my bag for a long time now. It's among the things I invested to as well. This make-up tote bag from Kara Nina is enough to hold my beauty essentials plus it will save me time from looking for the items in my bag. Not to mention given the red, white and green prints, it looks Christmas-y too.

This month's issue of Reader's Digest and a copy of The Choice by Nicholas Sparks. I am a bookworm so these items are part of my brain diet. I know in the previous post that I would like to own The Best of Me but I opted for another title the last minute. I'll probably have the other book some other time. By the way, I also got a back issue of Reader's Digest together with its new issue for PhP 160. It's like hitting two birds with one stone. What a steal indeed

I'm giddy with what I have got, seriously. How about you, what have you purchased recently? Drop me a note and let's talk about it here.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Thank You For Another Year

Since I turned another year older, it's time again to respond to this year's list of people who didn't forget my special day. As weird as it seemed though, and I will not be afraid to confess, I forgot to sing Happy Birthday when the clock striked 12 yesterday morning. Instead, there were tears welling from my eyes; for what reason those tears were for, still I don't know.

I almost thought the celebration won't push through since I woke up feeling almost unwell yesterday morning. I thought asthma had recurred though I was telling myself to spare me from another bout at least for a day.

I spent half of the day at SM Megamall to look for some of the things in my simple wish list (it's actually an impromptu list and nothing complicated compared to how it was years back). I also dropped by the Chapel of the Eucharistic Lord's Adoration Chapel to say my prayers. Here at home, relatives mostly my aunt, uncle and cousin from mom's side came to visit.

I still can't believe that I am now on my late 20's.

To the following people who had remembered me on my big day, thank you for the greetings:

Friends: Jay J., Elizabeth C., Sir Matt M., Sig C., Henry L., Sir Loel M., Grace Q., Peto J., Joseph M., Ryan Vincent C., Cris R., Darlyn dC., Erika E., Medel P., Darcy R., Barbie Bell AC., Rochelle C.,
Former colleagues and friends from PowerOne Online: Scarlete FS., Fleur B., Mikhaela dL., Marco D., Mel B., Josua P.,

Former colleagues and friends from Yell Adworks: Jhaz P., Joncarlo S., Drew M., Jahz M., Lori C., Gary R., Alex C., Tin B.,

College friends and professors from URSA: Lyca PG., Abby TS., Ma'am Aireen M., Eric T., Sir Reigh A., Ma'am Waj C., Jemaima M., Joanne CV., Erzen R., Carlo T., Joemar A., Sir Reggie G., Toni M., and Diane R.,

Former bosses, editors and co-writers at MMLDC Highlights Ms. Angie T., and Ms. Kay A., Alex P., Jeff Z., Helen Grace B., Ms. Peng Y.,

It was a simple celebration nevertheless. Cheers. Three years more before the big 3-0!


photo from Google.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

A Letter to a Stranger From The Birthday Girl

Dear Stranger,

As I write this down, I just turned older by another year. Never in my wildest thought that this day would come and I’ll be writing this note for you as part of my birthday ritual this year.

Forgive me if these words will come from me but I don’t feel like celebrating my birthday anymore. Call it the irony of getting older but it’s among the reasons why. You see, I’m 27 now – obviously, I’m not getting any younger. Prior to writing this, at the back of my head, I would wish that the clock would tick ever so slowly just so the day won’t change easily.

In a way, this is one of those birthdays when I’d feel empty. Honestly, I don’t know why, but it was one thing I’ve been feeling lately. It’s like walking in the cold with both hands hiding in the pockets of my sweatshirt.

I will not hide it. For two birthdays, I have been wishing that someone like you would come along. When I was younger, I had planned that when I reach this age, I will get married. But I guess, life is really what happens to you when you’re busy making plans. Just when I thought I’d get married to a stranger in my past, things fizzled and I have to be alone.

I am alone until now.

Back then it felt okay. Before, I don’t find a deal about seeing happy couples walking hand in hand, seeing that twinkling eye that is enough to explain their happiness. But these days, especially in the past months, I just had these feelings as if feeling that way has been starting to feel a bit different.

It’s like longing. It’s as if looking at those people and saying I’m just fine has been starting to feel no longer okay anymore.

I remember someone say this: “come to think of it, if you chose to stay alone for the longest time after being left by someone, imagine how many Christmases and birthdays would go by lonely.”

I guess mine was both by chance and by choice. I will not hide that while I am hoping to meet someone like you, there still are inhibitions and fears that though are haunting me, I am trying so much to fight. It’s like me having to walk on a thin wire with a fear of that dizzying view of what’s below. It’s like jumping in an ocean but doubting to swim.

But these days, I would sometimes just find myself staring at those couples then wondering about when will these hands of mine have someone else’s to hold? That feeling of bear hugs and being in someone else’s arms and indulging in late-night conversations over coffee. I guess that more than these thoughts (and others wandering in my mind), I have this feeling that I hope I’d finally meet you.

Yes, I’ve been longing for someone like you to share those things with. I’m uncertain as to how many more lonely birthdays and holidays will pass my way but as I blow that candle on my birthday cake, I’d wish for that one day. For that day to come when our paths would cross and we’d tell’ each other, “finally, I get to meet you” and that we won't be strangers no more.



Wednesday, November 2, 2011

In For Some Laughter



Among the things that I did after the one-week house arrest was to watch the movie The Unkabogable Praybeyt Benjamin. I have been raging to watch this film and upon feeling better, off I trooped to SM Megamall Cinema 9 with my friend Beth; my constant movie date.

The story revolves around Benjamin Santos (played by Vice Ganda), who was forced to to enlist and join the army in behalf of his ailing father and save his grandfather from the hands of the terrorists threatening to dominate the country.

All seems to be well, if not for one thing -- Benjamin is gay!

Of course, I won't tell you what happened next. And while it's prohibited (as much as possible) to asthmatics to engage in too much laughter, I had to give in and laugh to my heart's content. Nothing still beats Vice Ganda's punch lines.

As to the moral of the story, I guess I can share at least two: 1) Being gay doesn't mean you can't contribute, or even do a heroic deed (I'm just wondering what runs in the mind of people in the military if they watched this); and 2) The best way to uncover someone's well-kept secret is by having a bottle or two of beer.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

2011 Birthday Ritual

I can't hardly believe that it's already November again -- and that the day is approaching real fast. Now, it really sends a very weird feeling to me whenever this month comes along. Mainly because of two reasons: it's my birth month and getting older.

I started doing a birthday ritual few years ago (I am uncertain what my age was then, but I was already in my early 20's). Apart from blowing a candle on a birthday cake, I wait for the calendar date to change once the clock strikes 12 midnight, and I softly sing Happy Birthday to myself (if you're asking me why, I'll reveal that in a separate post). I also don't sleep immediately after.

There is also an additional ritual that I do on the last night before the date changes for my birthday. However, I just want to keep it a secret. The past few days, I have been thinking what to do for this year for the ritual. And after few nights thinking, I know now what to do.

But I'll need to organize the words. For now, I have to go to bed to be able to wake up early tomorrow and meet my movie date -- my friend Beth. Finally, after a week of being at home sick, I'll be going out to watch a movie.

Monday, October 31, 2011

This I Did on Hallow's Eve

After five days of staying home to recuperate from an asthma attack, I was finally able to leave the house today. I should say I obliged myself to because there are errands to do. I really did not stay long outdoors, blame it to my hypochondriac attitude, with the pollution outdoors still bothering me, I decided to come home after two hours of being at the mall.

Tonight's the last night of October. While it's a tradition to watch those scary TV shows even do horror flick marathons, I decided to veer away from it. Instead, I just watched movie trailers last night from Dear John to Look Who's Talking -- that's what I was watching until one in the morning.

When I wake up tomorrow, it's going to be another month. And honestly, It makes me feel uneasy. And I cannot understand the reason behind it.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

One Thing I'd Love For My Big Day

If not for being sick, I would have been in Podium to check out an event. More specifically author Nicholas Sparks' book signing. I've been a fan of his after reading A Walk To Remember and watching The Notebook. But as luck would have it, I had to stay home lest my asthma won't go away.

Anyway, I had to be content watching his TV guesting-slash-interview with Boy Abunda on a late night news program. I like how Nicholas answered Boy Abunda's "Best Questions" (who would have thought a famous author actually loves Whitney Houston's I Will Always Love You.)

More to that, I was moved when he was asked about how will he write Dear God (in the case of his novel Dear John) rather than asking the question straight, he began with two words -- FORGIVE ME. And to be honest, I have yet to hear any writer or author begin their work with such.

And speaking of books, in time for my big day next week, it gave me an idea of what to put on thew wishlist. This:

Because I am a bookworm and I'm thinking of replenishing the little library, I want a copy of his new novel, The Best of Me. I have yet to finalize my plans for that day although I guess, it will just be a simple celebration.

Now, if only I'll get better the soonest, it will be the best thing ever.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Procrastinating

It took me a few seconds to finally get that title out. Right now, I am going through a lot of adjustments, particularly concerning the household. I'll have to reorganize my own room since it's been converted literally to both a room/library/office (which means I will not be using my room for its sole purpose of sleep and sex). Papa had finally moved the internet connection here in my room this morning and I am slouched on the floor typing this entry. The decision was done last night after not much thought. It was all impromptu since someone has moved in to our home last night and she'll be here I guess for good.

And so, together with my plan of practicing some kitchen skills (which I am enjoying lately, thanks Junior Master Chef!) I'm doing some renovation of my space as well. I've been wanting to get my Acer Aspire One netbook its own laptop bag too. I have seen one at National Bookstore but likewise, I have not bought it yet.

Not to forget, I have been planning to pursue fiction writing again. I already have this piece written, title, content and all but the plot's a mess and so, I will have to reorganize it as well. I also have this movie I've been dying to watch but I'll have to wait for the release date.

Notes here and there of the things that need to be done appear handy just so to keep me posted.

I'm willing to do these things, I'll have to wait 'till my body cooperates. As of the moment, my body is acting under the weather again making me unable to do what I should and postpone doing them until further notice.

And so, pardon me if I feel lazy to update this blog -- at least for now.


Saturday, October 22, 2011

How Do I Keep Myself Safe?

In cyberspace that is.

Because a few days ago, I encountered three alarming cases of duplicated, Facebook accounts that had to be reported. Two of those were impostors of my friend Beth where it contained a lot of bogus information, from her gender to her affiliation. After helping her out on setting the privacy account of her profile and reports from friends, we were able to remove the fallacious account. But the poser was that persistent because a day after successfully defeating, Beth informed me of another one.

The other case was done to Frances, the author behind my favorite blog where a poser used the photo of her family and even claimed her husband and her baby to be that of the poser's own.

Of course, it gave me fears. Call me paranoid but I really got praning after those incidents. OC enough it prompted me to really check the privacy settings of my own Facebook profile. Now, I will be honest. I Google myself too and it is embarrassing regardless if I don't thankfully see obscene pictures of myself.

To keep myself (hopefully) safe from the identity-grabbing jerks out there, I follow these rules. I know that what I'm about to say has been mentioned but then, it really is better to be safe than sorry:

1) Keep personal information to yourself and your (trusted) friends.
2) Never accept friend requests from people you don't know. Regardless if you have common friends, if you don't know the sender personally or haven't met him or her yet, don't gamble.
3) If you can't keep your pictures private, limit your pictures to the decent ones. People might find your profile and your photos on search engines and admit it or not, it's not a good feeling when people feast on your alcohol-driven self through your pictures.
4) Turn public search off. This way, I get to control who views my profile or in this case, no one will be able to view me even if they search for my Facebook account on Google.

The internet as they always say is a big world. I agree with what broadcast journalist Howie Severino keeps on saying about their advocacy. Think before you click. Because what you post there for a minute will be visible and familiar to people for a lifetime.


Friday, October 21, 2011

The Case of Delayed Gifts

My big day's about to come two weeks from now. I was supposed to write this days ago but since I've always been from home on mornings for three straight weeks, I had to postpone writing until today.

I was browsing the older entries I wrote about in the past and came about the post I made two years ago prior to turning 24. Well, it was only until two weeks back that I realized how those wishes just came to happen. Some of those aren't exactly what I wanted but then, consider these:

I asked for this at 24:


and got this at 26:
Might not be exactly the same. But it's still love, love, love!

On that blog entry, I wished for this:


And just months back, I anonymously received this at the office:


It's not as many as I wanted but it's still a rose -- and more inportantly, it's RED.

It's fun to think that wishes do come true for real. Wishes just like prayers that are delayed are not denied. It only takes four letters.

W-A-I-T.

I still haven't planned what to do for the big day. All I know is that it's going to fall on a weekend. And the gift that I wanted? It's finally here. Though I hope someone would give me a reinforcement to go with it.


Move over Martha Stewart, I'm almost there! :-)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Two Years, Nine Months

That falls exactly on this day, and you may ask what was that for.

Well, that stands for the length of time when I got my freedom. The length of time as a single  Yup, for the longest time, it's what I have always looked forward to when the 18th day of each month comes.

Each month. For 33 months. I have to admit that while the first few months were hard to face the pain just got fed up of me because for trying (hard) to ignore it, it fully subsided when I reached the second year. Back then, whenever this particular day arrives, it's a roller coaster of emotions running inside. Now, call it weird,but lately reaching this day is like a milestone.

Especially when that comes and I'd find myself dateless. That's like a clean slate.

Now, I know some of you may call me pathetic for what I've written. Some too, may say I'm kind of a sociopath but let me explain. My decision to stay single is not out of bitterness; to go solo happened first by chance and eventually, by choice. It was something I made out of my own will -- and probably one of the most difficult but the best decision I had made. I cannot remove friends from the picture who'd urge me every now and then to hop in and join the in a relationship bandwagon. Quoting the late Steve Jobs, "as with all the matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it".

I still believe that finding someone for everyone is a law of the universe. I know that there will come a point when I will eventually find one for me. On the topic of prolonging this state until January next year? Why not? I'm thinking of staying this way up to three years (at least :-p)


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

It Was Almost Perfect Then




Quoting Snow Patrol from their song, Chasing Cars:

If I just lay here,
Would you lie with me
And just forget the world. 
As short as that.

For I could no longer find the words to illustrate the present.



Friday, October 7, 2011

The Firestarter Makes it To Reader’s Digest Asia!

Have you got your copy of Reader’s Digest Asia October 2011 issue?

No, it's not about the Angry Birds craze!
I just did! And I feel giddy about it.

I will go straight to the reason why this issue makes me squeal in giddy delight. And it’s because of this:

My friend, Jay Jaboneta and his brilliant project Zamboanga Funds for Little Kids graces this month’s Heroes page of Reader’s Digest Asia. Since Jay first announced his “debut” on RD few days short of his birthday last month, I have already looked forward to it. To the fact that I had been checking out National Bookstore branches as early as the third week of September.

Excited much, huh?

Now, back to the topic, this month’s Heroes story narrates how Jay, a fire starter as how he once defined himself in his FB profile, was able to positively utilize social media and put that into a worthwhile endeavor that is now helping kids in Zamboanga City and in Masbate as well. And for that achievement, he was even invited to the Facebook headquarters in California to share that idea with people from different parts of the world.

And if you think that was enough, the said effort made Jay one of the seven modern day Filipino heroes in the initiative Pitong Pinoy of Yahoo! Philippines.

How cool is that?

But nothing would be more awesome if you too could extend a helping hand. So, if you want to know more about the inspiring story of how someone was able to ignite change, and how you could possibly help and become fire starters, get your copy now or visit their Facebook page.

PS: Jay, if ever you get to read this one, don't worry about your pictures. It looked relevant to the article naman eh :-)

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Goodbye, Mr. Jobs

I am multitasking as of tonight, listening to the radio on my laptop, answering an email and writing this post.

All while reading the news about the death of Apple CEO Steve Jobs. Now, I don't own techie gadgets like a Mac Book or an iPad, I was able to experience at least the comfort of an iPod. And I would like to attest that his innovations had indeed changed the world. In my case, his invention saved my sanity at a time when I cannot get anywhere on a stormy, powerless mornings two years ago.

Steve Jobs's innovation through Apple had reinvented technology. It had made our lives easier but more to that, it saved us from the maladies of intellectual hunger and eventually, being foolish.

Steve Jobs had changed the way we live. You've contributed much to our lives and to our existence. You will surely be missed.

Thank you, Mr. Jobs.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Setting Things Aside

It has been a week (well, almost) since I prematurely left work. It never really dawned on me at first but during the weekend, it started sinking in that Monday would be different. Yes, I was in the office last night but it was not for the whole eight hours but for only 10 to 15 minutes.

I still haven't told people I have left. At least not unless they asked.

And since Thursday last week, I had been finishing tasks that were left neglected for the past ten months that I was employed. Today, I threw up the bags to the washer and when mom asked what I was doing, I told her that I am washing the stuff and later on hide it in the closet.

Some things need rest, myself and as weird as it seems, even my things. Of course, at some extent, there was a tinge of pain pinching my heart as well.

But then likewise, goodbyes are necessary.

If there are positive effects that I left work, its saying bye-bye to the "unknown" subordinate that sent my goosebumps rising and Mama would no longer have to be worrying when I travel to work at night.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Last Night

I was about to sleep a few minutes before midnight when I checked my mobile phone before dozing off and found this message from my best friend, Apple:

The message read:
"Lex, I'm teary. You didn't know how happy I was having you with me at work. I felt comfort when you're with me sa office."

I will be lying if I say I did not cry after reading that message. Apple and I had been together as friends for a decade now. We've been through a lot. She had seen me through those happy and tough times. She had been there with me during my struggles, including those moments when I was waiting for a tough decision on a certain event that in a way changed the course of what my life is at present. We were more than just mere confidants and friends.

Someone once said, a friend is either a brother or sister that God created but you never had. And I'd like to believe that while we treat each other as best friends, Apple is probably the [twin] sister I hoped to have.

Today while at the church (I'm back to the parish where I originally am from), it dawned on me. By tomorrow, Monday's going to be different. There's a feeling inside me that I find it hard to describe. Of course, given the personal concerns I have at present, I can't help but think about not being with Apple at work as well. Knowing that she too is going through a hard time, it's as simple as just being there to listen that I know I get to comfort her.

Apple, in case you get to drop by, I just want you to know that while I might not be physically around the four corners, I'm just a call and text away.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Good Morning, Green Visitor!


This was what greeted me upon waking up this morning on my doorstep.

Aside from rainbows and dragonflies, this is one of those creatures I don't normally see nowadays.

And he's not a teeny, tiny grasshopper.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Last Day Thoughts

As I type this down, it's already six minutes before four in the morning. You might be wondering how I managed to write down this entry at a time I should be on my desk doing a certain task.

Today officially marked my last day at work. I won't be divulging the whole story and just leave it as it is to myself (perhaps, I'd let my handy-dandy diary know everything). Funny but as of now, I am not feeling anything. Probably, it has not dawned on me yet that by tomorrow, things would start to be different again.

My colleagues were caught by surprise when I told them (I only informed four of them, actually) the news that it's my last day. One of them, J, asked me why I never wanted them to know. Well, primarily, that's because while goodbyes are necessary, it's a thing that's hard for me to do. As for the final cry, I did cry -- in the shoulders of my office mate GV as I told him to watch over and take care of my dear "neighbor" DML who's going to be among those who'll I miss (and miss badly at that) as well as those chitchats with him.

But maybe, the reason why there is absence of pain for leaving is the fact that part of me was looking at the bright side of things. You win some, you lose some. If I were to think of it, leaving would allow me to finally get some freedom. I will not hide that at times, I still want my old life back -- when I am awake at day and asleep at night. When I can watch local news on prime time TV instead of watching more of The Today Show and NBC Nightly on mornings.

At least, I now have enough time to de-clutter the mess and spend time immersing in the pages of the books I longed to and failed to read for so long.

Little stuff that I miss doing.

I know that in return to having my life back, I will have to temporarily say goodbye to tall Starbucks Mocha Frappucino during payday, the weekend trips to the mall and that pair of Charles and Keith? Sadly, it would have to wait.

A line of a certain song goes, "there's got to be a morning after". Part of me is a bit uncertain knowing that I have a bill to pay and prescriptions to fill and those about what's going to happen next but then, like how a priest once said in his homily, "do not worry about tomorrow. It will deal on its own. God will suffice."

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Eight Things I Learned This Week

Now this post will be the last for tonight. Just to relieve our minds off of that previously posted scary story (I don't want us sleeping with those frightening thoughts -- they're not the right way to dream land).

Here are the pieces of wisdom I realized this week:

1) Just when I thought that self hatred is more of an emotional problem, it is actually considered as a sin.

2) People keep secrets mainly for fear of being rejected and because they are scared of how people might react once it is revealed.

3) That aside from being chivalrous, my office mate also possesses such charming eyes.

4) More than entertainment, blogs could be a source of positive influence.

5) That Red Box in Eastwood is such a nice place to unwind and have fun after a week of work.

6) My team mates at work are also good singers.

7) There is always someone for everyone. That is the law of the universe.

8) When I thought I have enough, I actually have A LOT of the blessings to which I am thankful.





It's Scary -- And It's Not Halloween Yet

I know. But there was this odd and kind of freaky thing that happened to me before the weekend ended.

Disclaimer: What you're about to read does not intend to scare you.

It happened in the office during the wee hours of Saturday morning, because there was a lengthy interval for my next call, I decided to just give myself a quick shut eye to give my peepers some rest. But given the fact that I just got three hours of sleep that morning, the quick shut eye became a ten-minute quick nap (don't worry. I don't sleep on the job and despite that, I still am able to quickly answer a call when it comes in and the phone rings). suddenly, I had to wake up because I felt a light tap on my knee (it felt as if someone really, as in physically did it). But when I opened my eyes, of course, no one could be hiding under my table. Thinking that it was only because I lacked sleep, I simply dismissed it and went on with what I do.

Then came minutes before 3AM when the second shut eye happened. Again, I don't have a call to attend to. But this time is what I really consider odd. While I was again on a quick nap, I found myself opening my eyes after feeling a shaking motion on my right shoulder as if someone was waking me up.

I looked around thinking that it was someone else ( a team mate or perhaps a supervisor) but I found no one walking within the bay where my space is located. At that point, I already started feeling my goosebumps rise.

Who or what could that probably be?

Creepy I know. And this was not the first time it happened. I remember almost a month back, my friend and her team mate was telling me that she saw and heard me attending to a call (even complimenting me about it) on my old workstation

What's odd was it happened on the night when I was not around because I was sick and can't report to work.

I only thought it was as simple as a doppelgänger as it has happened to some of us before. But upon hearing that from my friend's team mate, and now involved me, I will not hide it that it's kinda scary.

Friday, September 23, 2011

And Then There Were Punchlines

Just when I thought I've had enough of that entry I posted days ago, it seemed that the funny part have not ended where I previously left it. Checking on this blog recently, I found out that there were nine people who thought of liking the shallow thought I wrote in there.

Then the other night I was sitting with my friends at work discussing my thoughts about arranged marriages in other cultures. I remember telling them that if I were entrusted by my family in an arranged marriage set-up, I will certainly disagree to my heart's content.

Out of the blue, my best friend Apple blurted out the following question:

"Eh, what if your parents arranged you to marry Diether Ocampo?"

Then there was split second silence before I finally picked what to say. Which was:

"If ever that happens, I'd rest my case and submit myself to what they want. I'll even tell them to push through with the wedding ASAP! (insert villainess laugh here)"

Talk about, like what Apple joking referred to before -- illusions, hahaha!

But most probably, it's also about best friends finishing each other's silly, shallow sentences. And seeing the bright side of things -- even conversations as simple as this.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Frozen on a Blissful Moment

I guess this is how busyness has been taking its toll on me; I tend to forget dates if not occasions. While I remembered that today a former friend has been married for six years, I almost skipped on an event that I used to remember.

Today, I have been single for two years and seven months. Indeed time nowadays run really fast.

Now to the reason for this post, I shall be quoting (as an addition) lines from the poem Freeze This Blissful Moment by Filipino author B-Ann S. Echevarria to describe an event happened that days ago.

Freeze this blissful moment
And let good time stand still
As my beloved traverses my visual field
And my heart quickens with every step he fills.

Preserve this fleeting moment
And suspend the approaching second
As I alone, bestow on him a single look
No longer stolen or wreathed with shame or fear

And when at last he is out of sight
And vision has served its purpose well
Let me delight in the image he leaves behind
In one cherished corner of my mind.
As much as I want to divulge the story, I simply cannot; believing that at times, it pays to be silent. Yes, part of me was happy then but at the same time, I was totally uneasy. And I don't know why.

The author (in her poem) hoped that time would simply stop for her to savor that blissful moment with someone "special". As for me, while the moment I had was indeed blissful as I see it, I was the one who froze the whole time. I was not my normal self so to speak.

It was the longest 20 minutes or so that I had with a person that I just can't look into the eye.

Funny but while other people would probably want to trade places with me to feel that blissful moment, I on the other hand wanted to call that moment to a halt ASAP at the time it was happening.


Thursday, September 15, 2011

Date Relic: The Song




So, I was thinking of what to post again when all of a sudden this song just played out of the blue. Cheesy, I know! But if not for the person who kept playing this song at the office every morning, this post won't be here in the first place. Now, this one from Richard Marx and Donna Lewis never fails to bring me back to the time when I dated a former colleague, J almost eight months ago.

I first heard of this song from a wedding website (if I'm not mistaken, it was that of his brother's -- which I saw on Facebook). At the Beginning was a song used in the animated film Anastasia. While I still dream of bringing home Mickey Mouse, whenever I hear this song, it never failed to remind me of J; and that's despite he loves Broadway soundtracks than that of Disney's.