Saturday, January 29, 2011

Bling Debate

Over the past few months, since last year, I've been hearing and receiving news about either a friend or someone close to the family who took the first leap by getting engaged. Just last week, another friend took that dive by ending her single state. And while other chums were as giddy as her, I can't be anything but silent after seeing the bling she was now giddily and proudly wearing on her left ring finger.

Don't get me wrong. Of course, I was happy for her too. But then there are things that I really don't get (yet). From the significance of engagement rings, to why girls cry when their guys ask the (literally) million dollar question.

If I can still recall, in this old post I wrote almost three years ago, I had laid my own perspective about getting engaged and my view about the whole thing called marriage; saying that I really don't need and want an expensive bling to tell the world that I am about to take a big leap. It was a funny thing that while I was a self-confessed gamophobiac that time, I was able to clearly declare what I wanted. Bling or no bling, if one asks me the four-worded question, I'd definitely give an answer. When mom wanted to give me the engagement ring she received from dad, I politely declined and told her that it's hers to keep. I now own another ring (which by default isn't fully mine since it was still from mom) which I don't wear because it causes talk and entices people to ask probing questions if I am engaged or what Leaving me uneasy to respond and explain. I'd like to think that probably, my disposition for not wanting a huge rock on my finger came about when mom gave me that piece of jewelry. But the first and foremost reason why I am not really into it was because it's downright expensive. I believe that while love is priceless, I don't want anything with a (huge) price tag in it. After all, practicality wise, the money one will spend for a Tifanny solitaire may be used for the ones that matter the most.

For me, more than just material symbols to signify commitment, nothing beats the gesture of living by and with the sacred promise that two people make.

Top right photo courtesy of De Beers.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Pathological Picture Taker Mode

I know I mentioned in an old post more than a year ago that a digital camera is among the items in my wishlist. I've long been enticed with blogging and taking photos. Yet, while I make them possible, it's with the help of my cousin's Sony Cybershot or my brother's EOS 400D. I was really, really dying to have one for my own.

The last photo taken by Ate D's Cybershot-- assisted by Photoshop.

So when the royalty (aka paycheck) arrived this January (and thanks to BIR for that tax refund), I immediately placed part of it to purchase this gadget. I intended not to splurge too much amount because one of the reasons I decided to get myself a digicam is for blogging purposes (that shallow, eh?). It had to sit in my cabinet for the whole week because I was all occupied with work at the office though so no dry run for until this morning.

And since I only have 48 hours for a rest-day weekend, I brought the gadget with me for a dry run after hearing the Sunday Mass at the St. Pio chapel which is just a ten-minute walk from Eastwood. Once done with lunch, my pathological picture taker hormones kicked in enough to produce these shots:

First shot looks good.

Everyone loves you as their backdrop. But for today you're the center of attraction.

Looks like a haunted place of some sorts. But no.

Igiling mo, baby! :-)

So far, I'm happy with how the outputs that were captured. For these particular shots, I didn't rely on Adobe Photoshop CS3 and CS4 for adjustments like what I normally do with those photos taken with Cybershot. I still need to befriend my gadget especially the settings. Case in point, the time and date stamps on the photos were not correct. I just decided to turn this function off so that it will no longer appear in the next batch of photos.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Weekend Musings

I've been gone for like 19 days without any update in this blog and for the same reasons. I have been occupied with things at work. Being in the night shift for two months and six days now, I had to sacrifice some online time in exchange for ample amount of sleep and rest.

And while I have weekends off, it still feels like I have to do everything at a faster pace (think Jack Bauer and the hit series 24). Funny but I'd like to think that the phrase "lots of things to do, so little time" is more than just a cliche to me, because that's what I'm going through most of the time. I am trying to fit as much activities as I could during the weekends, bringing me back to a planner page that's filled with my to-do list of tasks I should finish.

However, if there's one thing that I find great about weekends, it's the fact that lately, I have been spending it (or should I say investing) in engaging conversations with a friend. It was something which I haven't done in such a long time. I kinda attest that nothing beats an exchange of thoughts and laughing my heart out in between. It gave me a wonderful feeling of relief that at least I have a life outside my job and the confines of my cubicle even once in a while.

It's one of my plans for this year -- have some me time, social life, leisure moment whatever you call it and put a space between work and life outside of it; I hope I'll be able to stick to that. It has begun in a manner that's well and with loads of fun (I think). I hope it will continue to be so.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Part of the Process

“What you need to know about the past is that no matter what has happened, it has all worked together to bring you to this very moment. And this is the moment you can choose to make everything new. Right now.”

For the longest time, I had been putting my thoughts down on paper. Much of what I wanted to say had been expressed letters and poured in countless pages of notebooks and journals.

And while reading journals and returning back to past events could be nostalgic, there was one journal that I left unread for such a long time. Case in point, that picture on the left.

For almost two years, I left that journal unread. Despite it was filled with some adventures and misadventures in between, it also chronicled a lot of hurts and pains. It contained a lot of realizations about the stupid things I've made back then. It kept my regrets, angst and those moments where I should have made that decision or listened to that vital advice but never did. I suppose I was that afraid even unprepared to try and get back to something that was actually a past yet ultimately disappointing period.

I know that while I can't really run away from the past, I just needed time to adjust back to my old self. And it took me a few days short of two years to achieve that. At past three in the morning last week, I was flipping on those pages. Without the bitterness, without any difficult feeling inside like how it was before.

As I type this, I'm nine more days short of reaching the end of the two-year prescribed period that I imposed on myself to recharge and finally, take charge. If taking hold of and reading this journal that I once ignored signifies being restored to the original me, I am glad about it. And I am proud to say that I am back -- happier more than ever and without a trace of fear or pain of the past. I am ready, to start anew.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

What Made My 2010

In my previous post, I mentioned the past year was a period of a lot of milestones and discoveries. Some of them were mine to realize and see while there were also fortunate (and not to mention exciting) things that happened to people close to me.

And so, just to mention a few, this was what made my 2010 in pictures.

People. Side by side career hunting, the first month of 2010 sent me into joining worthy causes including this one, a blogger's event for then senatorial aspirant Atty. Alex Lacson (who was one of my fave authors for his book 12 Little Things Every Filipino Can Do To Help the Country). Upon the invitation of my then editor-in-chief, Kay Abella, it was an event I didn't miss for a word. Being a first time voter, the screening process for my candidate was that important. Suffice to say, that after the event, he's worth a vote. :-). But aside from Atty. Lacson, I was also lucky to have met individuals the past year including blogger Rochelle Sy-Chua of Hearty's Haven, Angelu de Leon, who I met through Ms. Kay Abella's invitation, when I once attended their fellowship service at River of God Church in Robinson's Galleria, the band The Bloomfields and crooner and ASAP Sessionista Richard Poon (which are actually by accident :-)

The Magazine. It was also a year where I got challenging (if not "big") writing assignments. During the second quarter of 2010, I wrote an article about Knowledge Channel which I would like to think as a funny coincidence because prior to the assignment, I was actually applying for a position in the said office. The third quarter left me in disbelief because it was on that issue I wrote for the cover story. One thing which I have long been waiting for. However, I had to close this chapter with a final article for the fourth quarter because...

I needed to shift gears career wise. I changed careers twice the past year after coming to a decision that there is a need for feasibility in some aspects of my life. While I felt sad leaving my editors and the magazine, I can't be happy enough because I was able to fulfill one of my earnest dreams of being a published writer.

2010 also marked happy moments I'd love to recall over again. Including these:

Barbz, my grade school best friend got married in April.

I voted for this year's elections. Newbie no more. Enough said.

My brother, Jay-Ar's artwork made it as a finalist to this year's 43rd Shell National Students Art Competition.

My kinakapatid, Ate Roan who's based in Singapore got engaged during their holiday vacay in Cambodia.

My college classmate Joy got a champion through Jeff. Where did their story start? Brace yourselves, it was through the micro blogging site, Twitter!

So, that was how 2010 came and went as I see it. Another year and day unfolds and I hope it will come with a whole lot more wonderful things just like before. How about you, what would you remember about the past year?

Photos: MMLDC website, Jensen Bantaya, Joy Cabaltera and Barbie BellVi Ariquez-Carandang's Facebook accounts.