Found

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The weekend that just well, ended, has been the absolute definition of berserk. This is ironic because I’m supposed to be on some faux cerebral holiday (I filed eight days leave off work and was approved) and yet I know deep-down in my gut that I’ve got no room in my head for vacation. Fine, I confess to spending the first three days just bumming around the house like how my good ol’ previously-unemployed self used to do daily prior to me being corporate slave ver.2.0—movie marathon like there’s no tomorrow and sleeping for hours on end like it’s nobody’s business. Eight movies later and I’m already feeling rewarded and wait for it—relevant! Although who am I kidding, I know very well that I’m just bracing myself for a crazy 48-hour schedule of non-stop commitments and long-awaited life plans.

So to give you a good idea of what I’ve been through, here’s everything in a nutshell sequence: ‘Dawn Watch’ Church Worship Vigil on the wee hours of Saturday morning gave me a good jumpstart, and then I went straight to a Christening celebration of a family friend’s kid as I promised to be a ninang, and then I went all around Cubao searching for Camp Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo High School. I got stuck with the metro traffic for three hours and had to head-straight for the mall to do some shopping and to have Dinner by myself at Kenny’s while reviewing. And then I went back to the office in the evening to get some stuff from my locker. I’m so dead-tired that I ended up sleeping at the lounge and decided it’ll be better to spend the night there. Sunday Morning at 3am, I got up and had to wait for half an hour before I found a cab which took me to back to CGEAHS. At thirty minutes past four, I’m having some last-minute breakfast at the nearby 7-11 feeling nauseous with anxiety and my entire body hurting from sleeping uncomfortably at that strange bed at the office lounge. 6:30 am was my D-Day. There I was, sitting at Room number 5, shading circles on my answer sheet for three hours, praying inside my head, ‘Lord, please, let me pass my Civil Service Exam.’

But I still think that the most amazing part of my weekend is still the peace and calm that filled me all throughout that crazy 48 hours. Sure, I blacked out the moment I set feet on my bedroom when I got home, but wow, I’ve never been so grateful for such energy. Nine months ago my life has been all over the place, but I’d like to believe that now I’m finally heading somewhere—someplace beautiful.

Also, another mixtape after ages! These ten songs I’ve had on repeat are great mind-stimulators and stress-relievers so you might wanna try ‘em next time you’re having a berserk weekend too!  Read the rest of this entry

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Song for the Sovereigns

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Song for the Sovereigns

Darden Avila

Wear your opinion like a hat:
on top of your head,
proud and gorgeous,
a shield and a statement.
Let no one tell you
that this color is wrong
or the size is silly–
it is your hat and not theirs.

Wear it when the sun is too stubborn
or when a storm is too sullen.
No weather ever stayed for good so keep your hat on;
You are protected by your confidence.

Wear it not because it is fashionable and worn by many
but only when you are convinced
that it paints your violent political heartbeats a picture.
Its feathers will not be ruffled,
like the cultural creases of your tongue
will not be ironed out into oppression.

Criticism is but a patchwork
in world of ragged cliches and
worn-out woes.
Our thoughts are threads
and there will be days
where everything will feel
criss-cross and frail and shabby.
You will hurt,
you will come undone
and you will end up with stitches.
I assure you this.

But I also believe that
you will emerge in the extravagance of learning–
You will wear your independence
like your second skin
and you will not be afraid of being naked
You will grow wings and roots
and you will cherish both
because now you fully understand

that bravery is your way of dressing up to the nines

that there is but one way to take off your hat—
when you’re so overcome
by respect and reverence
that you are compelled to offer everything you wear and believe in,
in exchange of a crown: greater wisdom.

Surviving the cruel word since 1990: A Birthday post

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I only post pictures of myself like once a year, so indulge me, okay? Haha.

CANNOT. BELIEVE. I’M. ALREADY. 22.

2012, for the most part, has been a half ho-hum, half-sad year so far, and I know we all still have three more months ahead of us for me to throw this judgment too early in the game, but whatever. Not a great way to begin a birthday blog post, I know, but you get the drift. I looked forward to this too, you know. Yet somehow, a few days before the tenth, I found myself in an extraordinary state of pensive self-reflection, and I was so sad-bordering-on-mad depressed about everything in my life so far. I was so discouraged about this gnawing sense of self-pity, this apparent lack of accomplishment, this habit of failing everyone’s expectations notwithstanding my own. I was all of a sudden too tired of everything, so dissatisfied and sensitive about every little darn thing. It’s like an unwanted invitation back to puberty; I was so moody and sullen and introspective—and I knew exactly why.

Because I know I could do so much better than this, could have had more than this. And it kills me, you know. It hurts so bad that I almost despised my upcoming 22nd birthday. And then it happened. Nothing like the love of God and the love of people around you to bring you to your knees again, back to gratefulness and the overwhelming blanket of grace, of mercy, of a lot of things that still makes our miserable lives bearable, and in so many ways worth it.  Read the rest of this entry

Drama Addiction Tell-All part 2: Japanese Drama Favorites

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Ain’t that poster so beautiful and quirky and symbolic and intriguing?

Yup, that’s pretty much how I’ll describe Japanese Drama in a nutshell. Truth be told, I have a very limited experience in watching Japanese shows in comparison to either Korean or Taiwanese, but I love it all the same. My rare Japanese drama discoveries are so often so addictive and fun to watch; they’re like precious little gems I find and chance upon once in a while.

Japanese Dramas are in average very short, spanning usually no more than fifteen episodes, but that actually has a lot of perks for someone like me who usually get tired after ten episodes running. This also makes for faster pace, which means every scene is direct to the point and every episode has a lot of action and substance. Personally, I like how J-dramas are so concise and compact and how faithful they are to the original premise of a story or plot. No fluff, no fillers, no dragging moments. If ever there are any, they still contribute to the bigger picture and premise. If not, it’s probably because the drama is episodic and is intentionally structured to be such.

Also, J-dramas can be quite extreme in nature. Light, breezy high school dramas are very cheerful, vibrant and at times can border on slapstick comedy, while on the other hand, psychological dramas are so much darker and off-beat, and are usually portrayed by eccentric characters. Like two sides of the same coin, each has their distinct charm and nuances, all of which, I find brilliant and unforgettable.  Read the rest of this entry

Drama Addiction Tell-All part 1: Korean Drama Favorites

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I missed talking about things I love. It’s something I should do more often, I believe. This blog is already three years in the running, and I know that I kept everything simple by sticking with my structured theme of random poetry, mood-colored mixtapes, book-talk and the occasional film reviews. I can’t even remember when was the last time I blogged about a movie, which is ironic, because aside from being a corporate slave (read: going to work for cash), hoarding and reading books and sleeping, I pretty much do nothing in life besides watching flicks and shows.

Okay guys; brace yourselves for a much-shallower version of yours truly.

I’m a sucker for Asian dramas, see. And I can’t believe I’m just blogging about this for the first time, given how much I stayed up late downloading and watching these things in the last couple of years. I know, right? My girlfriends and my siblings are already well aware of how non-existent my social life is because of this stuff. So why talk about them? Why not?

Hence, a compilation of sorts to outline my favorite dramas of all time, because it’s essential (and not to mention, inevitable,) for every drama-lover to have one. Besides, I love lists. They make me feel coherent. A quick note though: my list would only consists of Korean, Japanese and Taiwanese dramas because I’m yet to discover sites wherein I could find subbed versions of other Asian dramas. I also limited my set to shows that I’ve finished in entirety, because wouldn’t you know, I actually have this ‘last-episode-syndrome’ where I totally give up watching dramas one episode before its finale. Yeah, it’s an annoying inexplicable quirk of mine. To cut the story short, these shows already earned additional brownie points on my book for the sole reason of my urge to watch them until the very end. And finally, I’m doing this in three parts, because it’s just too big of a mess to do everything in one monster post. I’m starting with Korean Dramas because it’s where everything started for me in the first place.

A funny YouTube commentator once said, “What do we get from Korean dramas aside from being dissatisfied with our own lives and raising our standards of the opposite sex so ridiculously high?” How true, how true. Haha. Read the rest of this entry

Goin’ Gastronomic

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Yes there you have it: My very first attempt at food blogging and failing at it.

Being a full-time procrastinator-extraordinaire means that I always have a lot of catching up to do, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that I need to disclose everything that’s going on in my life so far because 1.) My real life is not that interesting 2.) I’m too lazy to talk about it 3.) When I’m not too lazy to talk about it, I tend to talk too much 4.) I’d like to keep the pretense that there are still stuff happening behind-the-scenes to keep up with the theme of my faux coolness. Yes, you and I both, let’s be cohesive. So.

See, i’ve been busy…with food. Although, who am I kidding, I’ve always been busy with food anyway, so what’s news? I don’t know. I’ve always loved dining out since I’m a firm believer that food is one of the most valid luxuries in life we should splurge on, but I guess it’s really a lot better when you’re already earning some cold cash for yourself. Somehow, spending for these extravagances seem legitimate and worth it. Yes folks, nothing more rewarding than a full satisfying meal at the end of a long stressful day at work. Ewww, I know how much of an office girl I already sound by now, but indulge me. Anyway, enough of the appetizer prelude and on with the main course already. (Cheesy food metaphor successfully inserted.)  Read the rest of this entry

Nostalgia for Breakfast

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Nostalgia for Breakfast

The scent of rain
takes me back on staircases
I no longer remember;
Memory, Gravity and Kisses–
these slippery roads we hate but
can never say farewell to–

reasons for rooftops,
warm hands,  lone cup of coffee on an
innocent thursday,
songs about flying.

Blankets of blue
and pillows fluffy
in promise of gentle storms
all of them hanging,
beckoning me
from uphigh —

Your footprints are always
engraved on the sky.

Hello,
I miss our messy issues.
It’s unfair:
When I think of you
I still think of tissues

All the morning-afters
whisper this clear:
You were once here.

12 December 2010

The Classics make a Comeback!

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I’ve been reading for as long as I could remember, but strangely enough, I didn’t really grow up reading the classics when I was a kid. For most bookworms (especially those who are blessed to be raised in a home environment where reading is strongly encouraged), fairy tales, adventure books and classics are always their babysteps to the inevitable, bibliophilic path of geekhood. Me? I am the eldest among four children, raised by parents whose idea of pampering is showering you with thicker-than-life encyclopedias and bible stories serialized in Sunday-school-ish comics. My chef dad reads nothing but recipe and gourmet books while my mom is a hardcore hoarder of inspirational and self-empowerment literature. Yeah, I grew up with these things, and maybe the occasional pocketbook romances from my yayas that I secretly read when they’re not looking after me and my siblings.

I was in my third grade in elementary when I saw this injustice: students my age could only care less about their text books, while I, who was deprived of my own textbooks at that time, can only borrow from my classmates whenever there’s a chance. And boy, they just let me borrow these books like it’s not even worth a penny. So I read and read and read and read some more. I was inexplicably hungry for words and stories, so I make do with what is around me. I remember skipping lunches just to linger in the library; I remember reading biographies soaked to the core with highfalutin words about famous people I don’t even know. I remember reading petty doodles and vandalisms on school chairs and bathroom doors, I remember staying awake during car trips just so I could read road signs and traffic posts and banners and billboards and sidewalk scrawls. I’m not ashamed to admit that even in my late teens, I still beg my baby brother who’s in grade school to lend me his textbooks in Filipino and English because those books are rich with stories and brings back so many memories of my early days as a reader. And finally before I officially entered high school: me, chancing upon a book of poetry, stunned by the loveliness and genius of rhymes, metaphors. I was weeping because I know that the love of reading will be with me forever.

So anyway: ‘tis the season for sales again at the malls, and, well, I’ve got a job that can somehow shoulder my insanity for books. So. I ended up buying twelve brand-new gorgeous titles, all of which I’ve been dreaming of owning for as long as I could remember. They’re all now sitting beautifully on my shelf, still wrapped in glorious, shiny plastic, inanimately awaiting me. And yes, there is a reason for that dramatic prelude for this post. Like I’ve said, I only knew of classics through word of mouth and media adaptations, but I never really got around reading them in paper. Oh well, I guess most of us really started with Disney, so I’m not really alone in this particular statistic. So I figured, hey, my wallet can back me up on this, this must be the chance! And just look at these colorful, artsy covers! Irresistible, irresistible.

I can’t wait to dive towards these pages and catch up on what I missed when I was a kid. These days, after all, are the days that I need these stories the most–no I don’t need happy ever-afters; I need my kid-self who believed in them regardless of the impossibilities, my kid-self who hopes, my kid-self who sees magic in every day, my kid-self who dreams.

The Aww, The Ouch and The Whoa!

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In the sweet introduction to Amy Benson’s “Sparkling-eyed Boy“, Editor Ted Conover playfully mused, ‘To the list of the three events that anthropologist say characterize human life around the globe–birth marriage, and death–I wonder if it isn’t time to add a fourth: first love.” And already I am exclaiming at how brilliant that idea was. 179 pages later, I’m not just nodding my head in vigorous affirmation; I am clench-fisted crying yes, yes, all first loves deserve documentation as heartstoppingly beautiful and honest as this. The Sparkling-eyed Boy is a book which presents itself as a memoir of a love grown-up and it is, in every sense and in each sentence. The charming nuances of childhood crushes, the unforgettable tremors of longing, the gut-wrenching regrets and the maddening what-could-have-beens—it’s all here.

I have never quite encountered a book as intense and intelligent such as this and that makes Amy Benson’s voice so special and set apart from an otherwise vague and faceless genre. It was exceptional as a memoir but it has also been many things to me from chapter to chapter. From a no-holds barred diary to a devoted ode, a fiery loveletter, a disquieting requiem, to a shameless journal of imagination and hesitation, a bible of sorts about the many dangers and delights of passion, a penultimate serenade to young love.

She writes: “Is this what I want from the sparkling-eyed boy, then? I want him to have triumphed where I failed. I want him to be an emblem of what won’t ever be possible: to be of the stars and not just a visitor to them. It was important, dangerous, fathomless, to stand over a crying teenage boy turning himself inside out on the sand. But I merely watched as if I were preserving the moment instead of living it. Time–the things we think it takes from us–allows us the dramas of our lives: Take a last look, take a last look. It’s going to be a long time. “ Read the rest of this entry

Books and Pictures

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A brief aside: I can’t draw to save my life. And for some insane irony in my uneventful life, I have actually taken up Multimedia Arts as my degree on my first two years in College. You know what they say about people who can’t dance having two left feet? Well in my case, in the sole context of drawing skills, it is legit to say that I have two left hands. That didn’t mean I fail to appreciate good drawing skills whenever I see one.

It’s probably true that I’m more inclined towards watching anime and cartoons, but I get a kick out of reading mangas too when I’m in the mood. And it happens to be one of those days, you know. I just happened to be casually strolling around a bookstore after an excessively stressful day at work when I went past this shelf of colorful book spines. The story synopses at the back weren’t bad either.

Or I don’t know. Probably I’m just feeling so adult and so worn-out these days that I subconsciously had this idea at the back of my head that reading mangas would bring back the feeling of being a child again. Enough about my gloomy nostalgia though, on to some kick-ass zany fun!

Little Queen, Yeon Joo Kim
Kamen Tantei, Matsuri Akino
Otogi Zoshi, Narumi Seto
Threads of Time, Mi Young Noh