Saturday, November 7, 2015

I Saw The Sign

Whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you will receive them and you will have them.

It has been two days since my birthday. I am another year older but it's a bit funny and weird because I always felt a few years younger. My colleagues and my family threw me a birthday party just like in the past years. And just like how it has been for four birthdays, I spent half of my day in the office to perform my duty.

Save for a prayerful wish for my big day, I really did not receive any other gifts. I suppose material things tend to be insignificant as you get older. Instead, I only had one in prayer and it's been something I have been asking God for for a number of years now. Weeks before my birthday together with my prayer, I finally tried to ask God for a sign. I won't go into the specifics of my prayer but I asked God "the color blue" as the sign that I needed. While I believe more in prayers than in signs, I thought maybe, doing it for once won't do any harm.

But on the day itself,  there was an unexpected turn of events that happened on the last minute. When I realized how the events turned out, I have finally conceded to God and surrendered that probably, my prayer is not meant to be mine to have and so I went home.

I don't know but hours after my birthday, when the celebrations had died down. I found myself raiding the fridge for something to eat. I found the cake that was brought by a friend at our home earlier that day. As I was removing the cake, my attention was caught by the candle taped on top of the box. For a moment, I found myself staring blankly at it.

It was a blue candle. While it was not part of the manner I mentioned, it was the exact color that I asked in my prayer. The moment I saw it, I just froze, my knees almost like a Jell-O and I went into a period of momentary disbelief. I wanted to cry but I don't know where those supposed chest wrenching tears went. Just when I already waved the white flag, accepting that my prayer won't be answered anymore, He unexpectedly gave me a response in a modified but still aligned  manner like what I prayed for.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Sweeter the Second Time

How fast time flies. In February this year, I wrote in this blog about my first time to join the 8" Cut for Cancer Challenge. It happened in October of 2014 and as I write this entry, it has been a week since I sported my normal bob cut hairstyle.

The annual 8" Cut for Cancer happened a month early this year and yes, I am still lucky to be able to join despite the odds. Compared to last year, I went to the event as a walk-in donor because I only found out about it a week before the actual date of the event. Sadly, at the time I found out, online registrations have closed. My decision to brave the long queue as a walk-in participant this year was a last ditch effort. Bahala na si Batman just like what others would say.

Doing so was like becoming a chance passenger on a plane but I still gave it a go thinking, I've done it last year and I wanted to do it again. And given that the venue this year is so near from where I live (compared to last year in SM North Edsa) this should be really something meant to be and I didn't want to miss it as my chance and reasons to do it are already there.

I guess it's indeed true when they say that no good deed gets wasted. The two hours spent falling in line and waiting for my turn was worth it. It didn't even feel like such (I arrived in Megamall at 12:30 pm and was done with everything by 2:45 pm). It felt wonderful to have beaten the uncertainty and succeeding in the end. Hindi lang pang-basketball ang slogan na never say die because at one point, I was able to defy the odds.

Cliche as it sounds, some things (mostly about love) are sweeter the second time around. This has been my second time to join and by the time I passed by Mega Atrium after attending the 5 pm mass in the chapel, they listed 839 hair donations. At the back of my head I remember saying it will reach 1,000 or even more given that they will be hosting the event during mall hours. The following day, I saw the above photo from the Facebook page of Matrix Professional Haircare and Color. It caught me at a disbelief seeing it, I just found myself flipping through the pages of my planner to recall something.

I wrote early this year that among the things I want to accomplish in my bucket list, item 31 was to participate in breaking a world record. And knowing what the event has set, I couldn't hardly believe what was right before my eyes. I couldn't believe what I was seeing that I just found myself sobbing uncontrollably out of shock, disbelief and happiness. Yes, for 15 minutes crying my heart out was all I could do because right next to finding a significant someone to marry and end up with, being able to break a world record is the next difficult thing in my list that succeeding on it is a long shot at best.

Yet, I did succeed and it only took 8 inches of my crowning glory for me to be part of a huge milestone. Coco Chanel said that a woman who cuts her hair is about to change her life. I was just eyeing to support a worthy cause I believe in and in turn, I received more that I never expected. 

And by about to change her life, who knows, maybe this hairstyle would help this "hindi ligawin" girl towards finally meeting The One. But of course for that, I can say I'm kidding -- at least for now.

*Second photo from Matrix Professional Haircare and Color Facebook page

Friday, September 25, 2015

What I Need to Know I Learned in History Class

To the student reading this letter,

If you should ever come across this post, I hope you would find the time to read my letter. I assure you that this can teach you something different.

You might say that we lived in a different world. I know that you will. In a way, yes, that is true. You live in the now while I lived in the then. You are in the world where smartphones and gadgets had replaced lot of the things someone like me did back then. While I loved befriending the Webster's dictionary to learn all about antonyms and synonyms, you now don't need to flip page after page as you can just do it with a touch of a button. While I was lucky to have tried spending afternoons  in sweat and grime playing if not watching  street games like piko, patintero and tumbang preso with other kids, you spend yours tinkering your gadgets over a game of Clash of Clans or Criminal Case.

But let me ask you one thing: How familiar are you with history and our heroes?

Compared to you, I don’t know how Viber works. I do have an Instagram account that I don’t utilize a lot and the worst is, I don’t own a smartphone thus the unfamiliarity. Wikipedia wasn't born just yet in my time. My dose of history came from three people and one important object. Those would be my grandmother, my parents, my history teachers and lastly, the history books that I have to read each and every time for 18 years (yes, that's from grade school until I reached university). You may think that that sounds boring, but I honestly don't find that to be the case.  Recently, something was making rounds in the news and all over the internet about someone who, after watching the movie Heneral Luna asked, why was Apolinario Mabini not standing the whole time the movie was shown. My dear reader, I too am aware of it and I really do hope that that insanely inquisitive person is not you. If there was one thing I appreciated about History is that it showed me how simple yet interesting life in the past was. Blame it on my curious and imaginative mind, next to reading books, listening to my teachers as they discuss history felt as if I traveled back to their time without the need for a time machine. 

Don't take your history subject for granted. I highly suggest that instead of listening to songs that only teach you curse words, why not  listen to your history teachers and ask any question you do have about a particular era of history should there be something you want to know (and I promise you, you’ll get something interesting out of it) . Next to our historians, it is our history teachers who can give you the answers. Ask about how an ordinary Filipino lived to become a national hero. Instead of reading comic books, why not take a moment to read and flip the pages of your own history books? Read and travel back in time. Find out more about the person who bears the name of your town or your street. Because long before the street names became what it is now, its namesake was once a living person. In my case, the street where I spent my childhood was named after a first lady; and while her life was not discussed a lot in history subject at school, I still tried to learn more about her; from how she lived and even to the manner of which she died.  The people who became part of history did not live and die for nothing. Unlike cartoon or comic book characters, our heroes are not a figment of imagination. The person where your street got its name was someone who lived and died just so you can have the sweet taste of freedom that you enjoy today. Rather than memorizing cheats and shortcuts of computer games that teach you nothing but violence, why not memorize the towns and capital cities in our country and what is unique in every place. That way, you’d be able to promote what’s good or what’s interesting about our country and why it really is more fun (to be) in the Philippines.

I may not be as young as you are now as you read this but I learned that history can also be a form of entertainment – and a good one at that. You may think Guinness Book of Records is just a compilation of silly attempts done by crazy people who can’t find anything productive with their time. But it is now that I would tell you that some of those attempts were done by people with one worthy mission: To make and become part of history. When I decided to cut my hair a week ago, I only wanted to do one thing: to help a child with cancer. When it was finished, I felt fine. But when I found out that the event broke a world record, I was more than happy. I felt a sense of pride because at least I still am alive to witness something that’s literally and potentially one for the (Guinness) books. You see, I didn’t have to die a violent death nor do a death defying stunt just to make history. It gave me a kind of pride that I would be able to tell people head up high – that I am a Filipino and I am already part of history.

In the end, I wish to tell you one thing and I hope you won’t let it go down the drain: Don’t treat your History subject as something that you need to take so you can graduate. Learn as much as you can (from it). Remember that the things that you do today, becomes a part of history tomorrow. Never, ever let your ignorance be part of it.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Team Staycation at Linden Suites Ortigas

A couple of weeks ago, our team finally had our long-awaited bonding session which we scheduled during the Australian public holiday last August 28. Bonding as a group free from the stress of our daily workload happens as rare as the drop of rain on summer. So when we found out that we're going to have a holiday in August (and with the approval of our boss, of course) we decided that a team building through the form of a staycation would suit us best. We decided not to complicate things anymore and a colleague booked the team for an overnight staycation at Linden Suites Ortigas.

Our group stayed at the three-bedroom suite. The place was spacious (as seen on the above photo) fit for our group and our activities given that the games prepared by the committee required space for us to move around.

While I am a homebody, being away from home even just for a night gives me issues with sleep. Namamahay as how others say is not just applicable to kids as I have that problem too. However, the beds  at Linden (that are sooo comfortable) provided me with the comfort that I needed to get a well-deserved rest. It was that comfy that when I got home, I kept wishing my bed is as relaxing as theirs.

Competitive Children!
It was a night of games, games and more games. We staged a few activities inspired by the American show Minute to Win It as well as a kiddie game of "Find that Sound" where we go about in pairs; the one picks a sound to mimic and the blindfolded person has to find his/her partner just by the sound (or in our case noise) the other makes. I guess it was a lucky night (despite of the Friday Ortigas traffic that we were watching from the window of our suite) because our group won most of the prizes.

 We might be a noisy bunch but we did not forget to say grace before each meal. Come the preparation of dinner, we got to observe delegation of tasks. And even though it was just for a night, I have an idea now of the scenario should all of us lived in the same roof. Talk about putting a line between order and chaos hahaha! And while working in a law firm taught me to befriend coffee, it was also in that staycation that I got to consume three cups of coffee in just a night -- something which I don't normally do at home.

The night was a long one for us but we still did not forget to include a funny awarding session. And by awarding session, even our supervisor Precious was not spared because we prepared something for her too. After all, next to our Australian boss, she is the mom/sister of these competitive but  noisy children -- us. Here she is all smiles with her favorite stuff in the world: Hello Kitty!

Our staycation won't be complete without a group shot where we also unveiled our Burleigh Legal uniform.It was one long night (as they all slept at 4 am) but it was so worth it. These activities and being able to unwind once in a while free from the clutter of a work desk and instead spending the night over noisy (even scary) conversations and coffee are good forms of energizers to refresh us and reboot ourselves back to productivity.

And just like that Tagalog song goes, sana maulit muli. :-)

Saturday, August 22, 2015

A Serving of Pop Fiction

I'm not much of a young adult literature fan. While I do love books, I think of that genre to be mismatched to my age. So it's weird why on one payday, I found myself clutching this book, Between Now and Ever After while I left the checkout counter of  supermarket -- that's despite of the fact that the books of David Levithan and Lauren Oliver is still waiting to be read and released from my bookshelf.

Pop Fiction books are published by Summit Media mostly for teens. You're surely asking what does this have to do with a 30-year old, workaholic geek. My main reason for getting this book was because I wanted something away from the hardcore titles (read: thick novels) and true enough, this was far from being stressful to read. Instead, this was a simple, light, feel good book composed of five short stories about everyone's  favorite subject: LOVE.

I have yet to finish the book (two more stories left). As of this writing, I am on the third story but, this little book has bits of love wisdom in between which can sound simple but when you think of it hits right on target:
  1. True love is worth the wait.
  2. Dare to fall in love because life is too short to wonder what could have been.
  3. Make your move before the moment passes. Because in the end, you'll just regret the decisions you waited too long to make.
  4. If you have chemistry, then you only need one other thing: perfect timing.
  5. Sometimes, the hardest to let go of is the one you never really had.
Did I tell you that this book is fit for a 16 year old? And reading this one makes me go back in time about how the feeling is to be 16 again.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

What Transpired in a Month

Besides the usual busy workload in the office, rainy season is finally here. I went on a Facebook hiatus for more than a month mostly because of personal reasons. After more than 30 days of no status updates, I'd limit status updates to once or twice in a day and in a few day intervals. Nowadays, I limit internet usage to reading some blogs and checking just two accounts on Instagram. I know this is nothing new but then, I never thought shutting my online life temporarily has its positive benefits.

I am currently on vacation leave to rest and relax. So how are things going for me the last month without hardly any status? These "photo essay" will tell.

Ba-ba-ba-ba-ba-nana :-)

I joined in to the bandwagon of the Minion craze. And while my office mates have a lot of these little yellow creatures, I just got one and I'm just fine with it..

My godchild/niece Hailey turned one and I've received little yet prophetic gifts :-)

I've finally gone into physical therapy to ease the pain caused by Tennis Elbow. I've completed the six sessions two weeks ago . My therapist is also from my hometown. The treatment gave some sort of relief but then the pain would still come every now and then. My ninang whose occupation is also in the medical field said it could already be because I have been working for a long time and my age (aka pains of getting old).

Watched a movie (the fifth for this year) that is The Breakup Playlist. If you're in for loads of Piolo Pascual-induced kilig  and an inclination on music then better see this one (and you'll be surprised how the movie's title came to be).

I also finished Jennifer Smith's The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight which I brought in March.

And I tried my hand at art through this adult coloring book. So far, the experience was nice as I never dared engaging in any art activity before for the belief that it is not my cup of tea. 

As of today, I still have unread notifications. I only get those reminders on my email. While I post a couple of status messages, I still am still unsure as to when I'll resume with my online life but so far, I am enjoying this uncomplicated, simple and productive life free from cyber-stress.

And I guess I'll let that be for sometime.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

What's on my Kikay Kit

I am in the verge of laughing at myself as I type this entry today. I am no beauty blogger nor do I consider myself kikay. In my younger years, while girls my age (as young as 15) can apply liquid eyeliner and mascara effortlessly, I can't even befriend the hairbrush to fix my then long locks. Nor was I an avid fan of cosmetics. If there was one thing I tend to use during those "awkward period" it would be the lipstick but even the only gadget that gave my puckers a pop of color became something i don't like wearing.

But a decade or so would change that. I realized being in a corporate world would entail stress-filled days and affording to look haggard and stressed is a no-no. I only started with the usual lipstick and pressed powder. But as I inspected my bag, I found out I have a make up kit equipped with the basics:
  1. Clean and Clear Oil Control Powder in Natural- My face tends to acquire oil build up especially at the middle of the day so this helps a lot and also makes wonders in taming too much makeup color.Who would have thought a drugstore brand priced at PhP127.00 (for a refill) can do that?

  2. Maybelline Blush Studio- I tried different brands of blush and next to a local brand that I once used, this one suits my skin color. The shade gives my cheek a pop of color without looking too artificially applied. At PPp 349.00, it was worth the money.

  3. Clinique lipsticks- While I had this love-hate relationship with lippies before, it's funny to find out that my kit has not one but a a couple of shades: Rubelite which I use for formal functions ,workdays and when I want to look sultry whenever I go on dates. The other one, Watermelon is the alternate shade I use when I feel like it. The lippies are a bit pricey at PhP1,495.00 per tube but it's worth the price as you don't have to reapply them several times as the products are long-wearing lipsticks.

  4. Fashion 21 eyeshadow- Just to put a pop of color for my eyes. I use the pink shades as they are basic and fit for daily use too.

  5. Chapstick lip balm- This is also a dual purpose item on my kit, as a base before applying my lipstick and to protect my lips from painful chapping which tends to happen given that I am in an air conditioned room 9-10 hours a day every week

  6. Myra BB Cream- This works both as moisturizer(with Vitamin E) and as a makeup foundation base. At PhP 99.00, it's light, non-greasy formula on skin and not to forget it does not leave a heavy stain on my compact powder sponge too.
Who says beauty should be about heavy make up and have to be heavy on the budget? Beauty need not be expensive. How about you, what are the kikay products you rely on? Drop me a note. I'd be glad to know and even try it myself. :-)

Sunday, May 24, 2015

The 500th Post

On the fifth day of being MIA. It's only now that the groove is starting to return to my system after weeks of not blogging and days of being away from work. Right now, I have been MIA from the office for five days after being sick since Wednesday. But given that this is the 500th post since having this blog (it's been 6 years na pala since I wrote my first piece), I'd rather put up something meaningful. In this case a few things that I realized since being away and recuperating (which is still the case as of today).
  1. No human can outdo an Enegrizer Bunny. I don't always get sick. And when I do, I normally need two days maximum and I am well enough to return to work. But this time it was different. While I was really wanting to return to work last Friday (and badly wanted at that), my body this time would not simply cooperate. And when the body fails to do what you want, you have no option but to waive the white flag even for once.
  2. The need to slow down when one gets older is necessary. Prior to going on an unexpected sick leave, I have been going through a stressful time at work. Something which is unknown to some of my colleagues. They'd been telling me to slow down, get some rest or even go on a vacation but I dismissed it opting to just work my body out. But after what I've gone through, I guess I'll make use of my vacation leaves.
  3. It's better to be 30 and healthy than to be 30 and flirty. I have been getting busier at the same time that I am indeed getting older. Unfortunately, there had been times that my body could not keep up with the pace of my busy schedule. My mom and one of our family friends who is a physician had been warning me about going on a slow pace and with what I had been through the past few days, the advice could no longer be dismissed but instead be taken into serious consideration.
  4. It's not always love that makes the world go round. Sometimes vertigo could do it. Now this was the real reason why I went MIA from work since Wednesday. I've never been bothered by vertigo but for the first time I did and I know now how it feels like to go through that malady. I'm still on medication but as per the doctor's advice, given that I lessen stress and live a healthy lifestyle, another attack won't appear until after three years (although I prefer not to be bothered by the ailment anymore for good).
  5. One has to be ready to receive an unexpected but wonderful compliment at a certain time. Okay, this is actually a rather personal note which I learned from a recent incident (read two days ago). as much as I'd like to narate how this happened, I guess this piece of advice would be best say it -- or perhaps it deserves a separate post in the future.
So there goes my 500th post. I shall get back to making the most out of the recuperating period (though I feel much better now compared to the last few days) and I'm looking forward to returning to work by tomorrow.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

I Did It!

Besides finally seeing a rehabilitation medicine physician for symptoms that have been bothering me for a month, one of the highlights of my week was returning to my alma mater, University of Rizal System Angono to grace this year's Recognition Day. Contrary to the past two instances, my schedule this year had allowed me to accept the invitation given that I was informed two months prior to the event. Next to my week-long vacation last February, I had to extend my vacation this month for one more day as the ceremony fell to the date next to Easter Monday which was an Australian Holiday.

Time for a photo op just before the ceremonial march starts. This is me with the campus director, Dr. Hermy Estrabo (formerly from URS Morong campus) and my former History professor, Ma'am Achie Elvina who is.currently the dean of College of Arts and Letters, the department where I belonged back during my student days. A lot of things had seriously changed given that I had left the university 10 years ago. Case in point, in 2005, I was the one listening to  the guest speaker and fast forward to last Tuesday, all eyes and ears are on me. 

I wouldn't hide it, I had a wonderful time attending the said event. Part of me still could not believe that it has been a decade. As I was being ushered and escorted by faculty members who used to be my teachers, I was having this recollection that I used to walk through these halls as a 20-year old student back then. Where did 10 years go? It is not something in my bucket list though, but being a guest speaker, just like attending an event with someone in politics (in formal outfits) was once among my wishes. And those were accidental wishes that eventually became a reality. 

I've always felt nervous with public speaking but this one unexpectedly changed that. Delivering a speech right in front of a lot of people have always been a scary task for me but when I pulled this one off during the Recognition Day, there was no fear pumping my veins at all -- which was a weird thing to me. For once, my spirit felt so serene in front of the students who were listening to my story as a student then and as a professional now. All the stress of thinking what to tell the students and how to inspire them eventually became worth it after seeing my former professors and being encouraged by my boss and my family too.

It has been days since the event but things still linger on. And the whole thing to me is new and overwhelming given that I was not used to it. I am not used to the attention as I have kept and trying to keep a low-key life. Receiving congratulatory messages from people and hearing from them how proud and inspiring I became made me feel (silently) overwhelmed at one point it made me cry.

The day before the event I remember telling a former professor, I don't know what they saw in me to choose me to be the one to speak at the event. At 30, I don't own a car, nor do I own and lead a company or have the title like Dr. or Atty. on my name. I only have a job that I treasure and community volunteer activities to devote time to. Whatever it is, I just learn to think that it was what God wanted for me. Despite my fears that I won't be able to attend and not knowing what to say, He made things to work according to His plan. While I was looking for answers if I really am successful 10 years after leaving the school, God made a way to make me realize that my life can be an inspiration too--success,  trials, handicaps and all.   

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Three Years and the Code Orange

If schools give away loyalty awards to students during graduation rites, our office on the other hand has this so-called Palit Lanyard tradition. Each year, the company provides each employee a new one of a different color corresponding their years of service. I don't know for sure, but wearing a color-coded lanyard seemed to be a status symbol separating "newbies" from the "veterans" especially to those who had been with the company for years. 

I just had a rundown of my things a few weekends ago and as of now, I have four of those lanyards in my possession. The gray one as a new hire, gold during my first year and blue for being in the company for two years. Instead of giving them away, I make sure that I keep them in a box together with my other things. I also have a separate document folder which contains all the documents issued to me by the company.

This one came as a surprise more than two weeks ago while I was on the phone with a client. We normally wait six months after our anniversary before receiving a new lanyard but mine arrived after my anniversary last March 5. I have been working for one company for three straight years thus the orange color code. 

Four color codes, a couple of thousand case files, one excellence award and few scheduled vacation leaves later and here I still am. During a meeting with one of our operations officers, I was asked, "what made you decide to stay?" I don't have to seek for answers. Despite the physical pains of getting old, the fact that I can see that I am able to help people every day, I have a kind boss and I still am happy with what I am doing those are more than enough reasons for me to want to stay and stick to the job. 

Now, the funny part was when a colleague inquired, "paano yan pag inabot tayo ng 10 years in service? Eh di ba seven lang ang kulay ng rainbow?" (what if we reached 10 years? The rainbow only has 7 colors?) That's a question but then, I'd rather stick to the plan for now. :-)

Saturday, February 28, 2015

A Spark of Hope in a Song

Weddings have become a staple occasion in our household. Not because I've got family members getting hitched but primarily because of my brother's occupation as a freelance video editor. Right next to our house is his studio where he spends his time mostly editing weddings shot for clients and partners. Most of them are with established names in the industry. 

Just last week, the highlights of this much talked about wedding of Heart Evangelista to Senator Chiz Escudero made buzz in the news and why wouldn't it? As for me, I found myself around Wednesday night at the comfort of my bedroom with my one-year old niece watching the highlights of their wedding as captured by the lens of wedding cinematographer, Bob Nicolas and his team.

Video from Bob Nicolas Wedding Films

The event exudes mostly elegance not to mention the heartwarming (and partly funny) part of wedding vows. But what got me hooked (apart from getting teary eyed with the vows) was the music that they've used in the wedding video. I was caught in awe with how Johnoy Danao crooned his song Buntung-Hininga. Just listening to the lyrics were more than enough to get me hooked I was literally bitten by the Last Song Syndrome for days.

Sa dinami-daming tao sa mundo
May nag-iisang para sa’yo
Kanyang pupunan ang ‘yong pagkukulang
S’ya ang sasalo anumang ibato ng mundo

Ang’yong pag-alala, kanyang mapapakalma

Ang dating ayaw mo, ika’y magkakagusto
Ang isa’y dalawa, kayong dalwa’y iisa
Saan ka man magpunta, hindi ka na mag-iisa

Kaya pagal na puso, ‘wag na ‘wag susuko

May hihilom, sa mga sugat mo

Sa iyong mga patawa, ay ‘di ka na papalya

Siya ang tanging bangka, ‘pag baha nang ‘yong luha
At ‘pag naliligaw na, kamay nya ang ‘yong mapa
S’ya ang antipara, pag malabo na ang ‘yong mata

Kaya saradong puso, buksan muli ang iyong pinto

May kakatok
Balang araw

Sa dinami-daming tao sa mundo,

Aba’y akalain mong tayo ay magtatagpo

Nagkatugmahang puso, sa wakas simula na ‘to

Buntong hininga
Buntong hininga
Mag buntong hininga kaya muna tayo.

I was that enticed I included this on my playlist (and am playing the song as I type this entry tonight). Johnoy Danao showed brilliance in playing with words and I was, not just humming the song in my head, but appreciating its lyrics. He has placed a nice message about hope in this song. And just like what I've said in a previous Facebook post, he knew how to ignite a flicker hope in a big yet positive way.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Just a Few Updates

I am writing this entry right from my bedroom nursing another bout of allergic rhinitis that has been bothering me since Friday. I'd like to think that the change of weather combined with pollution and a few stressful days earlier during the week to be the culprits of this malady. I am already eyeing the possibility of having this health issue attended by a a specialist by the coming weekend. I have been going through occasional bouts for years but that were bearable compared to what I've been having lately, which tends to bother me even at work.

Anyway, since I chose to stay home today (just to stay safe, so I won't hopefully have to call in sick tomorrow), I decided to have a quick update as I rarely get the chance to catch up with my writing.

I finally have a copy of James Patterson's novel First Love that was given to me by a friend as a Valentine's gift. While I'm not much of a fan, I got enticed after reading one of his books, Sundays at Tiffany's in 2011. I've previously seen the large print format of this book and I found it quite expensive so I postponed buying it. But thanks to a friend for spoiling me, my craving for this literary pleasure's solved. And the gift came with a box of Kleenex, just in case reading would cause me to become all too weepy. 

Another thing is this ongoing project. It was last year when I came across the idea of keeping a memory jar. It's an interesting endeavor which I tried last year but got unsuccessful given the turn of events (read: getting both all to busy and exhausted that I just want to sleep when I get home). This year, I tried a hand at it again and luckily, I am able to religiously update it.

It's a good thing to find out that if there's one thing that this little project taught me, it's learning to see the good in everything; that despite of what has happened the whole day, it's a challenge to look for something worthy to be thankful for. It's good though that not all days are the same. If a day has been exhausting, you get to look for something worth thankful. And if a day contains a lot of good things, I get to pick one that's the best, write it and keep it in the jar.

I hope to maintain the habit though. At times it scares me to think, I had gone past two months with it and there are 10 months remaining. But something to be grateful has to be present every single day and that would be more than enough to keep me going. :-)

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Celebrating Valentine's Day Single Style

It's a day after Valentine's. How was the aftermath for you? Mine'sjust plain simple and will be told in this (hopefully) short post.

While I spent most of my mornings at home, I had  blocked the afternoon for personal agendas including the 2:45 pm showing of Fifty Shades of Grey at Robinsons Place Metro East -- alone. Okay, just for the record (and I'll be on the defensive side this time), I decided to watch the film to find out if Sam Taylor-Johnson gave justice to EL James's novel. And save for some parts, most of the content of the book was followed in the film. I watched alone and most of the audience were well, couples. So kapag maraming ipapanganak na baby sa November 2015, alam na kung bakit.

Just a reminder though to those planning to watch, cinemas are seriously implementing their policies as the movie is rated R18. In my case I came there with my office ID just in case I would be asked, which was actually the first query before I got my tickets so I offer the same advice. Keeping your ID handy won't hurt.

After the movie and a short trip to the mall, off I went to SM Taytay to meet up with a friend, Lee Miyaki. She's the brain behind the Wattpad novel Sir, You're Hot which was first Wattpad story turned book that I have read last year. We spent three hours chatting about her book, the inspiration behind it, as well as its sequel. Not to mention answering a lot of questions she had for me -- over our Java chip and strawberries and cream.

Of course,  because I am a big fan of books, I did not let the opportunity pass to have the copy of my book signed by her. She was kind of shy but still, she did not just sign it, she scribbled on the page.

In the end, I may not be among those who celebrated a couples holiday in a cheesy way with flowers and teddy bears but I still had a blast celebrating Valentine's Day this year.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

A Meaningful Gift of Self

Today is the last day of my  week-long vacation leave. I know it's been a long time since I wrote anything and this post was inspired of an endeavor I vouched on some months ago and after visiting the page of Matrix Professional Philippines. Indeed this is a long overdue post.

It was in October last year when I just had this sudden urge of wanting to bring my short hair back. I've been sporting a long hairstyle for quite some time and was really decided for a change but my office mate, JR told me to put the activity on hold and showed me the article about the 8" Cut for Cancer Challenge of Matrix Professional Philippines.

The stylist wasn't done yet when they took this photo.

The said activity was a win-win situation to those who dared to participate, because you get to help a cancer-stricken child gain his/her self esteem while you get to have your haircut for free courtesy of volunteer hairstylists from the different Davids Salon branches. I have always wanted to join such activities that encouraged donation, but I don't deem myself to be fit to be a donor given that I am taking medications often. It surely hampered me from doing so. But this one proved that there still is a way for me to do it. My hair was indeed a sort of life saving asset and helped me accomplish one of the things I really wanted to do. At the end of the event, it was announced that there were 400 people who donated on-site and I am more than happy to be part of it.

My hair had started growing longer again given that it has been four months since this event happened. And participating in this activity was one of the best things I have embarked myself to prior to reaching 30 and I am indeed a very happy adult with what I did.