Saturday, April 26, 2014

Unplanned Reunion on a Long Weekend

Since I started working for a foreign business, my schedule had been aligned with that of the client country-- including holidays. It's a win-win situation still because while I get the perk of being paid with premiums working on Philippine holidays, the number of holidays between the two countries aren't much different. And besides being sick, there are just four holidays that I consider absence from work as a must: Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year's Day and Good Friday.

Yesterday was Anzac Day which is among the recognized public holidays in Australia. And since it meant another long weekend (I only reported to work three days this week given that Australians also observed Easter Monday last April 21), I had the liberty of time to either do anything or go somewhere else. Realizing that the mall is kind of overrated and knowing that going there will possibly burn my pocket, I opted visiting my alma mater again. 

Despite of the fact that the university is currently being evaluated for accreditation, it's a good thing that the schedule was not nerve wracking the day I went to visit. Coincidentally, I was told by my former professor, Ma'am Cez Villegas that Joemar Aquino, a former colleague was also going to drop by so I decided to stay instead. Joemar and I used to be colleagues in the school publication back in college and save for Facebook, I really have not seen him for a while. 

Likewise, just like in the past, this impromptu reunion was held over dinner (filled with the usual time-killing conversation) and two rounds of the game of chess at Bean Addicted because Joemar and Ma'am Cez's husband, Jonathan were former chess players. As luck would have it, our municipal mayor, Mayor Gerry Calderon was also in the same place brainstorming over dinner with his staff. While I don't know what have gotten into Joemar asking a photo op with the town's highest official, this one became a lifesaving evidence for me -- as this prevented me from being questioned and eventually scolded by my parents after coming home way past the schedule.

Monday, April 21, 2014

The Week I Was Not on Facebook

Image from this site

These days, I have been finding myself getting MIA on Facebook. I only normally do it only during Holy Week which comes once in a year but lately, I have noticed doing it often. Posting a single update and no follow up the whole week. People may find it either weird given that I did not deactivate my account but instead I was just not doing anything. Others may say it's another form of "kaartehan lang naman" and for sure some would say it's a way of grabbing some attention .

But then, to me, none of those apply.

When I tried going on a one-week Facebook hiatus during the second week of March, I was just testing myself if I could stay away from it for a week. And while temptations act up on me and that feeling of wanting to just take a peak and don't post anything, I was able to stay away from it for almost two weeks. During the Holy Week, I went doing it again, ignoring Facebook from Palm Sunday until later afternoon of Easter Sunday. If other people have different forms of fasting and abstinence, this would be my share of it.

On the other hand, this week-long break from technology has its advantage. I was able to be productive, devoting time to do the things that I had either neglected or put on hold like the following:
  • Having lengthy conversations with my family
  • Watching news programs and Holy Week-related shows on TV
  • Seriously reading a novel (38 chapters and counting)
  • Making updates by writing on my journal 
  • Picking those sampaguita garlands found in our garage and putting them in the altar every morning. 
  • Quality time with our family pets
  • Ticked an item on my bucket list by attending a Mass celebrated by a well-known priest.
Those could be just little things but I am unable to do those on regular days given that I spend a great amount of time at work and coming home, I just want a good dinner and quiet time to rest and recharge for the next day. And putting the tecchie aspect of my life on hold for a time being allowed me to appreciate the beauty in doing those things.

Or probably, one of the reasons why I decided to temporarily shut down my existence in social networks is because I too get a feeling of being tired about it. I realized that while humans are indeed creatures of habit, habits tend to be tiring too in the long run.

I could not say the disadvantages of being away from the keyboard are minor. Within the week, two former classmates got married, a great friend's grandmother passed away and my best friend moved to another country. All those were happening in silence. But I know I could make up to it in a more better form of presence -- the one that is physical and which is more realistic. And if you're asking me if I would try signing off again in the near future, I would say yes.

By not going online on Facebook, I got to "embrace what is real". And by real, it's what surrounds you and not the ones confined in the computer screen. So if I were you, even just for once, have a break, get a life, go offline. Be productive and trust me, you'll do yourself a huge favor.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Wattpad Wonders: Sir You're Hot by Lee Miyaki

I have not posted about reading any new book I have read for months. Given that my schedule at work has made me occupied, I had to put reading aside for the time being. But during my recent visit to National Bookstore's recently-renovated branch in Cyber Fashion Mall, this one caught my attention:

Scanning through the cover and blurb at the back, it mentioned that this book, Sir You're Hot by Lee Miyaki was one brainchild of the website Wattpad. I did not immediately buy the book upon seeing it and instead, browsed through some chapters found on the website. And it only took me two chapters to make my decision of getting myself a copy.

Just a short overview, the book tells the story of a kick-ass student Rebecca Canlas and a campus heartthrob in the person of a professor named Railey Medrana. In its blurb, the book promises a story that contains a riot of some sorts (and by riot, it does not mean violent) but more of a funny, nakakakilig one. And while student-teacher relationships are actually forbidden in real life, the author did not forget of putting the whole story in a wholesome perspective while giving its readers that giddy feeling.

The book brought me back to my college years -- complete with the scenarios of thesis days, gay college friends and yes even the terror and crush worthy teachers. The female character Rebecca reminds me of my best friend and myself (attitude-wise). And while anyone who could read this would even tell me I am somewhat old to get giddy over a Wattpad novel, I won't mind feeling so even for once. The book was a feel good one and a light read. Something to pick-me-up especially these days that schedules are so unnerving.

The last time I visited Wattpad, the author is working on the second book, and seeing the prologue, there's a possibility that I'll be including it in my reading list too once it's out in bookstores.