Tsubibo

Ocean_City_Ferris_WheelIsang simpleng teleserye na araw-araw kong pinapanuod ang biglang humatak sakin pababa sa isang kumunoy ng ala-ala. Bakit kailangan siyang dalhin sa perya, isakay sa isang tsubibo, hangad lamang ang kaligayahan, ang pag-ibig nito? Hindi ba ganoon din ang ginawa niya dati? Pinaibig ka, dinala sa isang malayong lugar na masaya, isinakay sa isang malaking tsubibo at hinawakan ang iyong kamay? At kung tama ang aking pagka-alala, takot siya sa matataas na lugar, o sinabi lang ba niya ito para makahawak ng mas mahigpit sa iyong mga kamay?

Pagbaba ninyo nang gabi rin iyon, napuno ang kalangintan ng makukulay at maliwanag na paputok. Isa iyon sa pinaka-maligayang sandali ng buhay mo noon. Pakiramdam mo ikaw ay prinsesa, ngunit hindi, sabi niya, ikaw ang reyna at siya ang hari ng buhay mo. Hanggang pauwi ay halos hindi niya bitawan ang iyong kamay. Pinagmamasdan ka kahit dapat nasa daanan ang kaniyang mga mata habang nagmamaneho. Sa inyo lang umikot ang mundo noon. Wala nang iba. Halos maniwala ka na sa walang hanggan noon. Sino ba naman hindi maniniwala habang ikaw ay nasa mala-panaginip na mundo?

Pero sabi nga nila, walang forever. Pero nakakagulat din ang bilis ng mga pangyayari, gaano kabilis ang paglaho at pag-gunaw ng kung ano man ang namagitan sa inyo noon. Hindi mo na ninais na balikan pa ang sakit at kabiguan, tuluyan mo nang sinubukang kalimutan. Madaming taon na ang nakalipas. Halos hindi mo na nga maalala, maliban sa mga paminsan-minsang mga panahon tulad nito.

Napapaisip ka nga kung kilala ka ba ng nagsulat ng teleseryeng iyon. Sinasadiya ba ng mundo na ipa-alala sayo? O baka naman, masyado ka lang affected.

What 2013?

If I were to summarize 2013 in one word, I would have to say… Blah.

Indeed, it was as if 2013 just passed by in a breeze, not leaving a mark, and probably not be remembered if ever I reach my old age. Most other years past were little treasures – the year I graduated, the ones I got to travel around, the ones that brought love (and heartaches), the one’s that marked my life with big “trophies”, successes that I worked hard for.

Unfortunately, 2013 was not a year like that. There were no grand events, no triumphs, no international travels, no dreams fulfilled, no falling in love. Nothing significantly bad happened that year, and at the same time nothing significantly good either. It was just blah, just so-so, just living through another 365 days. It wasn’t sad or depressing though, just a smooth cruise across life.

I do intend to make 2014 a different story. Perhaps around this time next year, I’ll have a more interesting review of this year.

Remembering the long lost poetry

Lately I have been rediscovering the inner poet that is in me. Was able to “naturally” write four decent (or perhaps good or great?) poems in the past few months, the first of which was written back in May while I was aboard a plane. It has been slowly coming back, maybe?

Then, there are the poems I wrote from long ago. I had setup a blog with some of my poetry so many years back, and I almost already forgot about it. I rediscovered it too, read through it, copied and archived everything. I deleted the blog from the virtual world in the meantime, while I’m trying to figure out what to do with those poems. They mostly dated from late 2005 to 2007, with two more posted in 2009 and 2010. Even before 2005, I remember having a lot of poems written in scratch papers and spring notebooks from way back in high school. Those are probably still hidden in my chest, just lying around somewhere there, gathering dust, being almost forgotten. I might post a few of the old poems when I feel like it, in the next few months.

I’ve noticed that my poems across time revolve around very similar topics – love, longing, or grief. Perhaps those are the most powerful emotions that I encounter that really squeeze the poetry out of me.

I wonder what good these poems will be, beyond their lonely existence on paper, in my files, or online. I wonder if anyone really appreciates them, or will ever remember them. I highly doubt that I will be remembered or recognized because of my poetry. I am also playing with the idea of finding a way to publish them, but I wonder who still buys poetry books aside from myself (and yes, I have a few books of poetry by some writers and some collections).

Nonetheless, I shall continue writing those rhymes and non-rhymes as long as the pen calls and the heart desires.

Friday Madness – A letter to my future husband part-2

Perhaps it’s a good time to post part-2 of my “letter to my future husband” series. This was written way back in December 3, 2011, almost 2 years ago. And Christmas will be coming soon too. Still, I don’t know where he is yet, or where to find him. And yet, I just stay steadfast in hoping that he’s just out there somewhere. I’ll meet him someday soon.


To my future husband,

I’m taking a bus ride home. Yes, I’ve been riding the public transport lately because my car have yet to be fixed, but don’t worry about me, I’m ok taking the bus alone, as long as I take it at a good time.

December has just started. Each day brings us nearer that longed-after day of the year. And yes, save for one Christmas four years ago, all Christmases in my history were happy days. And I can’t help imagine how wonderful to get to that Christmas that will finally bring you to me.

It would be such a wonderful day, that first Christmas that I would be spending with you. I replay it again and again in my head, that Christmas waltz being sung by She and Him. I dance across that small living room with you, my love. Just dancing cheek to cheek with you, my right hand in your warm left hand, and your right hand firm at the base of my spine. You ask me to forgive you for not being a great dancer, and I answer that you’re doing just fine. A smile. A mild laugh. A giggle. I love simple moments like these.

But you won’t be around this Christmas. I do not know who you are yet. You haven’t found me yet. Or have you found me already but not realize it? I would never know. But don’t worry about me, it will still be a happy, merry Christmas. The entire family will be here, and good friends are near. I’ll be able to prepare my favorite Christmas goodies, decorate the house, and wrap the Christmas presents. We’re finishing our museum this December too. So many blessings.

Each Christmas brings both joy and longing as I wait for that someday I’ll be spending Christmas with you. God’s gift, I hope to see you soonest, ok?

A different kind of throwback thursday – A letter to my future husband

Because the past may be about the future that isn’t in the present yet…


September 7, 2011

Dear love of my life,

I am having breakfast and coffee by my own right now, and I just thought of writing you a letter. How very much I wish you were here with me because I know any morning started with you will just be a wonderful day no matter what. I know you can’t be here now. Not yet.

It would’ve been nice to tell you that I had a nice drive to work today, or maybe even how wonderful the ride was with you driving. I would’ve wanted to tell you about my plans for the day. Imagine all the funny, absurd, geeky, serious, and all other things we could talk about. Imagine how we couldn’t run out of things to talk about. I sweep off all the strawberry syrup and whipped cream I could with my waffle slices, and you don’t mind. We finish our waffles and coffee, and you tell me I could beat Starbucks belgian waffles and coffee anytime. I promise you I’ll cook for you tomorrow, and any other day you would crave for them. We know it’s time to part for the meantime, you walk me to my office and kiss me goodbye. I tell you how much I look forward to see you at the end of the day.

It would’ve been wonderful to spend the morning with you, but I understand why you can’t be here now. You probably are somewhere driving to work alone and just having brewed coffee from the office pantry. You don’t know me yet. You still haven’t found me. I don’t know who you are yet. You could be anywhere.

But don’t mind me yet. I am happily having breakfast by my own at a corner starbucks near the office. Happy, because I know how blessed I already am, even on my own. Happy thinking of a wonderful morning in the future spent with you.

I’m done with my waffles already, but will probably walk back to the office with a half-full cup of latte. I look forward to seeing you when the time comes. 🙂

Feels like High School all over again

Almost one month into my new job now, and it’s been a challenge in all aspects. Well, aside from the standard “new work, new environment, new responsibilities” challenge, I am also on my toes struggling to make a lifestyle adjustment. My life this past month has been a lot like high school all over again… simply BECAUSE I have to wake up at 5AM and leave the house before 6AM each and every workday. I didn’t need to wake up and get ready that early each and every day for the last 12 years of my life. While in the university, I was free to choose my schedule, and I swore off 7AM classes after just having them twice a week for two semesters. When I started working, I didn’t have to wake up that early, since work started at 8AM or 9AM, and I hitched a ride to work during my first year and brought a car for the next few.

The entire game has changed this time. Everyday I have to commute to Makati, and the best way to do that is to take the same ride that my sister takes from the house to the northern end of the MRT, where she needs to catch a company shuttle at 630AM. If I don’t take that same ride to MRT, my travel would be a lot more difficult, or I will have a problem with arriving at work on time. I am not considering bringing a car again because of the traffic, and the expensive fuel prices and parking fees. Hence, the best choice was really to sacrifice that early morning comfort to wake up and get ready to leave very early in the morning.

It feels like High School again, only a lot more challenging:

  • in high school, I didn’t have to put on make up and set my hair, and choose what to wear early in the morning
  • in high school, my dad was still willing to wake me up several times to make sure I get out of bed early enough
  • in high school, I took a schoolbus and didn’t have to take the MRT or walk the busy streets of Makati to go to work
  • in high school, I could sleep in the vehicle all the way from my house to the school, and I could sleep in between my classes (and sometimes even during class hours)

I am definitely not a morning person. If I could choose a life to live, I would prefer one that would allow me to wake up at 10AM every day and accomplish everything that I needed to do. But I live my life the way I need to live it right now, and that’s by waking up early every day. I do hope that it grows on me eventually. Perhaps after doing this every day for a few months, I might be able to find myself automatically waking up and eventually having much more energy in the morning than I do now. I do hope and pray that this may soon come true, and that mornings won’t be as much a sacrifice or burden as it is now.

Well, that’s the semi-shallow part of my new work. Work itself is interesting, challenging, and inspiring, and it started on the fast track just on the first week… but that’s another story. 🙂

The lessons of 2012

The year 2012 is another landmark in my 28-year life, because of achievements and travels, but most of all as a significant transition stage in my life. So many great life lessons were learned, and not the easy way.

I finished one of the most challenging goals of my recent life – to finish and open The Mind Museum to the public. But somehow, I had to move away and move on, because I am still meant for something else, possibly something grander than the world I moved in while still with The Mind Museum. My career was to take a big leap forward, towards where I ought to be.

However, I had to go through a rollercoaster, just to find the guts to keep on moving. At first I resisted the change. I was personally committed to the project until we finished. Everything after that was already a bonus. Then, something really made me decide to leave. Whatever that something was, it turned out to be one of the biggest blessings in disguise for me.

I had about four months of “soul searching” after my resignation. Those four months involved a lot of staying at home, freelance work, travel, and job-hunting. The most challenging was the job-hunting, because there was so much possibilities, and I had to narrow down the choices and “sell” myself properly. At the end of it, I found what I wanted, and a company who seemed to want me for who I was and what I am capable of. Big career leap, I may say. We’ll see how it works this new year.

I got to travel around in 2012 too. Twice to Boracay for vacation, to Bacolod for a wedding, to Singapore for a conference, to Malaysia for a personal adventure, and to Australia for a vacation with the family. The Malaysia and Australia trips were after I resigned, and in a way it was good because I got to spend three weeks in Australia and go around a bit. We mainly visited my brother in Sydney, met up with a lot of extended relatives, and went sight-seeing. We also got to experience Canberra, Gold Coast, and visit other relatives in Melbourne.

That’s a gist of what happened in 2012. Some important realizations and lessons:

  • I am lucky to have a wonderful family who I can always rely on, and I am quite sure they will always have my back no matter what. And I also now fully appreciate when they say “mother knows best”.
  • Introspection is very important. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what everyone else thinks about you. You can never please everyone. Just focus on the things that are important to you, and just be the best version of yourself. I am who I am. I cannot be someone else. There are parts of me that I cannot change, and I would like to be accepted the way that I am, fluff and stuff.
  • We should be careful who we trust, even with the “good friends”. Be careful how much you share with them. I’ve been burned twice before, by two people who I thought will have my back no matter what. Seems like they were the ones who judged me the most, perhaps because they knew too much. They thought they knew who and what I really was, but they were already blinded by their prejudice and their own biases.
  • Boys will be boys. I can never understand how some of them are so willing to cheat on their wives or girlfriends, but I have no plans of getting involved in such. I can’t stand to be someone’s number two or someone’s mistress, and I do not want to be the cause of hurt to spouses, partners, and children.
  • I’ve completely closed and abandoned my “hope” for my first love. Finally, first love “dies”, after 15 long years. I now understand why it was never meant to be. It never was, never is, and never will be. The book is closed.
  • I’m bankrupt. I’m almost done paying-off my liabilities though. I’m now learning a better way of managing my finances, saving on basic expenses, and eventually putting something away for the rainy days. The credit card is taking the backseat from now on.
  • I’ve found myself into Twitter. It is indeed one useful tool of communication.
  • Home is where the heart is. It is not a single place, but rather, wherever love (and family) resides.
  • Simplicity and calmness. Two wonderful things I’ve learned from yoga and meditation.
  • I know now where I want to be, and what I want to be. I’m going after that now.

Maybe the greatest lesson of the year is learning to let go. Let go of things that you don’t need anymore. Let go of things that do not work anymore. Let go of the negative emotions. Let go of expectations. When you learn how to let go of the right things, you’ll learn to travel lighter, with less baggage. Then, you’ll have more space for new things, and possibly for the best things that have yet to come.

I have all the space now for everything that 2013 will give me. I’m ready.

Back to (a different kind of) normal

My life is back to normal. At least, it’s an entirely different kind of normal from the normal I’ve been used to for the past few years.

I’ve somehow chosen a different kind of life to live now. I’ve given up the luxury of driving to and from work five days a week. Gone is the 1.5++ hour drive (one-way) to and from work, and the thousands of pesos spent monthly on gasoline charges and other car maintenance expenses. I am back on the daily commute. I’m back to working in my comfort zone, my timezone. It’s about two-thirds of the distance I used to travel every day. My new work is a short walk from the MRT station. I take the MRT everyday now, going to work in the morning and coming home in the evening. I then take a shuttle after MRT in the evening, and take a leisurely walk (under the stars) from the village gate on my way home.

I try to pack my lunch everyday too. I make myself a yummy sandwich, enough to fill me at lunch. When I don’t get to pack my lunch, I buy a sandwich at a nearby convenience store. It costs a lot less than what I used to eat for lunch, and has a lot less calories too.

Work is both something old and new. I’m starting to get into the groove again. The project I’m doing now is pretty interesting and challenging, enough to give me just the right push to give my best, as I always would like to do with whatever I do.

My personal life is also warming up too. No lovelife yet, though. I’m just loving the time I have on my hands to write blogs, do errands, read books, study/review on some topics and interests, pamper myself, relax and meditate, and opportunities to do many other things.

There’s just something that feels really nice about the new kind of normal. There are less expenses, less calories, more walks and physical activities, more time to just look around and observe the real world, and more time to be me again. I guess I really needed this change.

A better me everyday, that’s the goal. Sometimes it happens in small moments, in baby steps. Sometimes it happens with long strides, or with some jumps. This time, it was a leap for me again. I’ve landed, and am back on the ground, but this is an entirely different land already. Time to continue walking.

The Traveler’s Dilemma

The Tourist vs. The Traveler

I’ve heard someone say that one should be a traveler and not just a tourist. What does that mean? Maybe it’s the difference between going on a vacation and going on an adventure. A tourist goes away to relax and enjoy as much luxury as one can afford. It involves a comfortable hotel, having recreational activities like lounging on the beach or going skiing in the mountains, and doing touristy stuff like sight-seeing and such. I am only assuming. Indeed I am partly a tourist. I’ve gone to the popular stops, joined tour groups, taken a lot of pictures of very familiar landmarks. One steps away from one’s own reality to relax a little bit, and see the things that most other people travel to see.

I do wonder if I can already consider myself a traveler. Every now and then I’ve tried to step away from the usual busy track, and try to immerse myself in what the real local scene has to offer. I usually do this by just taking a walk around. I still remember those baseball-sized buchi that we found on the side streets of Beijing. There was a time I’ve tried walking around the community in Vancouver with my little 5 year-old cousin who, turned out, don’t know a bit about where we were going. And of course my last trip in KL, which allowed me to go wherever I wanted, and as far as my body could bring me. I wonder how much of the city I would’ve explored and discovered if I had stayed a little bit longer. But that’s left to be done another time.

I am a “cowboy”, ready for anything, and perhaps that gives me the potential to be a good traveler. I’ve tried sleeping, taking baths, and traveling in certain odd and absurd ways from during my college days. Very strange to give examples now though. I may be able to take and tolerate a little below comfortable, if needed.

Maybe one should be both a tourist and a traveler. To see the usual popular things, and at the same time be able to immerse one’s self in the scenery, the culture, the people, and most especially the food. To be able to relax and be comfortable enough, but still go beyond one’s comforts to be able to discover what can be discovered.

Would you rather be a tourist or a traveler?

 

On taking pictures

I love taking pictures of beautiful places and beautiful things while traveling. I also am a frustrated photographer. But sometimes I am caught in between taking lots of pictures or just slowly moving around an soaking in the beauty. There is a certain beauty that one cannot completely experience looking behind the lens.

I tell people that when I travel and am not able to take a lot of pictures, it’s most probably because I enjoyed the trip so much. It’s true most of the time. There is that part of me that forgets about the camera when I truly enjoy what my senses capture. I forget about the camera when I am with really good friends, or having a great time with new people. I hate bringing the big, bulky camera to the beach or high up the mountains. It’s just so wonderful to experience the beauty of things around you first-hand.

How can one strike a balance between taking pictures and just enjoying the scene?

 

To travel alone / with a partner / with a group

There are pros and cons to the three possible scenarios: traveling alone, traveling with a partner, or traveling with a group. There is a beauty in each, and also a disadvantage. I’ve tried doing all, but I can’t say that I prefer one the most. Maybe the most important thing is to just enjoy the trip whether you take it alone, or with other people.

Never travel with people you HATE. You can maybe travel with people you have not yet decided on liking yet. Trips and being away from the usual hustle and bustle of life can actually catalyze any relationship. It can help jumpstart or develop relationships (not just romantic, but also friendships, work relationships, family relationships, and what-nots), or sometimes sour relationships if a trip does not go well.

Do you have a preference between traveling alone or with someone?

 

Finding one’s self while traveling

Besides catalyzing relationships, traveling and being away from the usual stuff can help one discover deeper into one’s self. When away, there are a lot of things which may be new or unfamiliar to you which can make you realize different things, both good and bad. Sometimes, the mere feeling of physically moving (while on an aircraft, ship, or land transportation) can also move your thoughts and emotions.

I love being away. It always gives me a chance to really think, to be introspective. I always try to bring a notebook and a pen when I travel (although lately the Evernote on my iPhone does the job), and I do scribble down thoughts when they come, even in the middle of my trips. There has been a time when I wrote an entire blog while aboard an aircraft (perhaps out of boredom, but also maybe because of a spark of inspiration). There was another instance I drove alone all the way to the nearest “mountains” (it’s just Tagaytay actually), to just sit and think, and then drive home at the end of the day.

How does traveling and being away make you feel and think?

It’s a small world (after all)…

The world is indeed getting smaller and smaller. In the digital technology era, internet and social media communications across the globe, and the advent of budget flights, budget accommodations, and couch surfing, we find ourselves more and more a “citizen of the world”.

I have proved this in three aspects during my trip in KL, Malaysia:


New Found Friends (NFFs)

That wonderful opportunity I had during the ASPAC conferences I attended in New Zealand in 2010 and in Singapore this year has imparted me more than just professional and career development, but a discovery of many new friends across the world. I still continue to communicate with some of them via Facebook. I was also lucky to be part of the ASPAC Future Forum this year, and was able to interact more with specific people from the entire conference. During my KL trip, I was able to meet up with my Malaysian friends Melissa and Nensi, who were my group mates for the Future Forum, and Daniel, who I’ve met during both New Zealand and Singapore conferences.

I’ll be glad to meet a few more of my ASPAC friends in other countries, probably some in Australia during my upcoming trip. I’m also hoping to find a lot more new found friends across the globe, even the people I’ve met online through my blog and my other online accounts.

Long Lost Friends (LLFs)

Not really “long lost”, but LLF is just a label we use for really old-time friends we haven’t seen for a while. While in KL, I had the opportunity to meet up with Singapore-based friends Arnold and Wenna (and yes, I’ve met up with them in Singapore last April and in Manila just recently). Isn’t it so interesting to meet up with the same friends in different places around the world? I wonder where I’ll encounter them next. Also, I was able to see Esti, who I honestly haven’t seen or spoken with in a long while. He’s working in Malaysia now. It was nice to see him again.

The “Global” Family

Without really knowing about each others’ plans, my sister and I booked separate international trips happening on the same weekend. I went to Malaysia, and she went to Cambodia with friends. My brother is based in Australia, and my parents were left back home in Manila. We have a very healthy habit of chatting with each other via iMessage when we can, and that was what we were doing during that weekend. Very interesting to have a chat with your family while on different countries.


I’ll probably be planning a lot more trips around in the next few months and years, as far as the finances permit. I would really love to see the world, meet new people, find old friends, and discover and learn many new things. Perhaps in our world now, it’s not so lonely anymore when you go away from your hometown. Well, as long as there is wifi connection wherever I am going, I’d probably be ok. :p