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. :-)