Friday, July 31, 2009

chinks from the world over

my family, last night, decided to host a dinner for our relatives who came from abroad. it always amazes me really how my large family seems to get even larger whenever i would attend dinners such as these. the new additions tonight, my dad's cousin who is visiting from greece, where she in now based with her family, and my grandama's cousin and her kid, who are visiting us from hong kong.

i have heard about this cousin of my dad's quite a number of times already but this was the first time i have ever seen her in person. i can't really say my family mingles often with the family of my lola's sister so beside some familiar faces from their side, the rest are practical strangers to me. she was wearing a black and white sun dress, her skin tanned by the greek sun. one look at her face and her small physique and i could immediately recognize familial features that most women in my family possess. the angular jaw, the beady eyes, the wide hips, the small feet, yup, she's a relative alright.

i didn't really get to chat much with her since, well, she didn't really talk to us that much either. after the brief introductions that she's the cousin and i'm the youngest son of my dad, we basically went on our separate ways and found ourselves occupied by other things more interesting. she went to adore my uncle's siberian husky and rotwieller while i was too engrossed watching UFC.

the other set of guest-relatives however were more interesting. she, was technically my lola's cousin (to what degree, i have no idea) but she's as young as my mom. her son, is a 27 year old national scholar of china, currently taking up his PhD in mathematics. she, is a reserved, soft-spoken, dotting mom. he, is an equally quiet, awkward, big boy. i think, and some of my aunts agree, that he's actually autistic, well, maybe a savant, a super genius trapped in a socially handicapped shell. he spoke very little and interacted very little through the night despite my cousins constantly trying to get him to talk. if ever they do manage to make him speak, he would limit himself to single word answers delivered in a voice as soft as that of a mouse. he followed his mom like he was her shadow and kept himself occupied by staring at people like we were walking numbers (i guess).

again, i however, lost my oppurtunity to know this side of my family better since, well, i didn't really feel like i was in the most socialble of moods. i kept myself to the people i knew and basically stayed with them until the end of the night and after everyone had left for home. it would have been nice, now that i thought about it, to have learned something new from these people but alas, the moment had already passed me. (sigh)

ON A LIGHTER, LESS REGRETFUL NOTE however.... meet my current fixation.

i swear, hacking coughs and effervescents never looked so.... adorable.

Thursday, July 30, 2009


because i'm a fan of hers... :) and of beef and of everything japanois... hehehe

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

beautiful things 4: to bed

1. conversations with mom.
2. dinner shared with my parents. kuya's away kasi.
3. relishing chicken breast with capsicum and yellow beans, baguio bean stir-fry, and mom's rib soup with bola-bola.
4. having apple pie for dessert.
5. writing food and restaurant reviews online.
6. getting excited for work tomorrow.
7. getting excited for my scheduled run tomorrow.
8. chatting with friends.
9. sharing my insights.
10. flirting with a flirt. competitive kasi akech.
11. not getting any attention and feeling fine.
12. not being able to recall anymore.
13. smiling.
14. winding down while writing this post on my bed, in my cold, dark room.
15. learning from the tweets that friends are home and safe.
16. feeling the soft sheets against my skin.
17. finding that pocket of cold air under my blanket and playing with them with my warm feet.
18. loving the smell of fresh linens.
19. pillows. lots and lots of pillows.
20. being able to say good night and mean it.

* * * * *

the beautiful things series was in response to a thought i had to prove to a friend and myself that the world, despite all the hurt and ugliness that resides therein, still overflows with abundant beauty and sources of joy. it was just a matter of a change in perspective. this was a documentation of today, from waking to sleeping, and all the activities and what-nots i experienced and surrounded myself with.

beautiful things 3: from work to home

1. got to share my hakaw with my relatives over lunch.
2. got to do my work with little stress. even multitask without feeling overwhelmed.
3. was able to introduce hakaw to two hakaw-newbies, online.
4. got to chat (and hopefully cheer up) a friend.
5. bought stocks.
6. had a nice laugh with my boss' secretaries.
7. got to offer extensive medical advice to my aunt. i still got it apparently.
8. had fun auditing. surprisingly.
9. finished early at work.
10. drive home was not too fatiguing.
11. got caught in a gridlock in pritil market, but was able to manage to get through.
12. got home smiling.
13. saw the dusk sky and marveled at the wonderful colors.
14. bananas.
15. ube hopia.
16. cold water to wash down the hopia.
17. russian dark chocolate cookies.
18. not feeling guilty for having second helpings to the cookies.
19. greetings from friends over text.
20. reading tweets and feeling happy.

beautiful things 2: till lunch

1. i arrived at a peaceful office with my desk clear.
2. got to connect to the internet with no hassle.
3. i had no pending work from yesterday.
4. was given new auditing work to do, and i was glad to do it.
5. was able to call the painters and schedule for my uncle.
6. my head is clear. i am still steady.
7. was able to greet good morning to friends online.
8. was able to multitask and learn something new about a blogger and his beau.
9. found a comment on my previous post and made me smile.

beautiful things 1: from bed to work

1. the feel of waking under my woolen blanket, while still lost in my dark, cold room.
2. the snooze button, and pressing it 4 times.
3. waking up to see the rising run's rays wash everything in the living room in a soft glow.
4. tweeting "good morning wednesday".
5. finding i did not have bed head.
6. walking to gym and glad my clothes did not smell "kulob" due to the past rainy days.
7. seeing the hustle and bustle of tondo in the early morning.
8. enjoying the cool morning breeze brush against my face.
9. relishing the uncrowded morning street.
10. greeting the obsidian road.
11. beholding a spectacular sky. grey clouds being broken by silver and gold over tondo.
12. being greeted good morning by the gym receptionist.
13. an empty cardio area.
14. biking to my heart's content... all 10mins of it, to warm up.
15. full blast air-conditioning.
16. being able to lift the same weights despite me not pushing myself as hard.
17. glad i could do 140lbs. military presses. i have never done them before.
18. finishing early. being complimented by old patrons.
19. being under the warm sun and a clear azure sky as i walk home.
20. greeting my mom "good morning". her smiling back in reply.
21. cranberry juice and flax seed and psyllium husk.
22. feeling content.
23. a successful number 2.
24. a nice cold shower.
25. finding out i am having hakaw and beans for lunch.
26. anticipating lunch.
28. listening to disco music on my drive to work.
29. my car cooperating with me with a smooth drive.
30. getting to work early, with minimum stress and in one piece.

Monday, July 27, 2009

enlightening sundays

it must have been the yoga, the food at Abe, or the heavy rain, but i found my sunday yesterday quite enlightening. while savoring the dishes the narnian and i were having, and while listening to his opinions and thoughts aboout his past turmoils, i could not help but feel tickled with the realization that our lives were quite parallel.

for the most part, i had wanted to keep my mouth shut and just listen to him talk since i felt there was no reason for me to contribute to the conversation anymore. to do so would just be too redundant, i felt, since my pains, my worries, my thoughts were already being worded out by this more eloquent friend of mine. but the need, i guess, to hear myself just say out loud what i really felt made me do so otherwise. i wanted to hear myself say it out loud. i wanted to affirm that what i felt was not imaginary. it was real. it happened. whatever it was i was going through needed to be acknowledged. i was tired of hiding behind niceness and being proper.

i cant really say i felt good after airing out my thoughts, but it did give me some form of clarity. i guess the heavy feeling im lugging around would eventually dissipate, inshallah, with time and effort. for now however, i think i have to work on stopping myself from being all too caring and learn the value of nipping a bad thing in the bud.

i know i have repeated this many times over already, but it seems like i still haven't heard it enough. God is telling me something and prodding me to go a particular direction. i think He's telling me that i had the chance to do things my way, and that it was about time i give Him the chance in steering my life a try.

i'm not being preachy, this is not the blog for that. but i try to regard God to be as real as the person sitting beside me now, with a mind, a soul, a will, a sense of humor even. i guess this perspective is good. frees me from a lot of that religious crap that ppl keep throwing at me. anyway.... that's a bit off topic na.

so. as of today, i am making a conscious effort to really, surrender and move on. BAHALA NA PO KAYO DAHIL SUKO NA AKO. YOKO NA! take it all. i really have no use of it anymore. goodbye bridges. goodbye memories. goodbye idiotic ideals. goodbye, goodbye, goodbye. it was wrong from the start, and however which way you look at it, it's still wrong. that's the lesson. i really, really shud have been smarter.

haaaaaaaay naku. YOKO NA NGA!


Saturday, July 25, 2009

bipolar saturday

i finally made the connection. there's a pattern after all, between my sleepless nights and all the events that lead up to it. first is that thought. then comes the restlessness. then comes the binging. then the nail-biting (i know. it's an old, bad habit). then for sure.... it will be 4am and i'll be in my dark room, watching the nat geo channel, hoping to tire myself out and have some semblance of slumber before "waking" for work a few hours later.

first, the thought.

it crept up upon me all of a sudden, typical really of such despicable things. it was a quiet day at work and i had already finished all the tasks delegated to me. i was in the process of turning my attention to my design work when, i guess, during the shift, i found myself lingering on that thought, memories and emotional residue as i term them. it started with a look, then an introspection, then before i knew it, i was simmering already in hurt. that was when i felt the bitter aftertaste.

it's never easy to be honest to oneself, or so i think. it's never comfortable to acknowledge that you're actually not ok, when all this time you have been convincing yourself that you are fine. you spend so much time trying to convince yourself that you are strong and you are unaffected, even indifferent. you believe this and for a time, really feel like you are swell... then moments like this come along and prove that you have been wrong all this time. repression used to work for me, that was until my physical body decided enough is enough. i get lethargic despite having long sleep. i break out in lesions and bleed. my appetite gets depressed. my endurance runs low. i get fevers every night. i suffer severe insomnia.

i would think i have been a creature raised to lick and tend to his own wounds. i somehow have this impression that it is shameful to show one's weaknesses. the world is a vicious place and despite my meek demeanor, i act on a quiet aggressiveness to achieve perfection, or at least, the image of it, in order to survive. it's tiring work, exhausting me often to the last of my stores. you try to ease on yourself but that program has been ingrained far too deep to allow you to slack off, even if you hear yourself screaming for help already. i would like to think that people, good, kind people, sense this conflict in me, and their kindness would often reach out. i however, fail to connect with them, worse yet, even shun the offers for help and instead muster a misleading, faint smile. it satisfies the need to think that i am ok and in need need of assistance, but it also hints on my true, crippled state.


ayoko na ng ganito.

hurting is a familiar feeling. but it should not be the only feeling. healing should be a feeling i should know as well.

i felt cheated, but it was due to my own foolishness. i have inner resentment, but it's just me passing the blame. this is the price of wisdom. this is what it feels to reinforce and build character.

i had a great conversation with two very good people last night. one over YM, the other through texting. one providing an inflow, the other an outflow. both of which were enriching to the soul. to these two, thank you very much.

* * * * *

found this in chuvaness and made me happy and teary at the same time.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

run for home

dahil wala akong magawang iba...

mom would often say to me in chinese "chia shiu pah!", which literally means "you're too full (of food)". it's a chinese idiom which means i think that i have nothing better to do.

o well...

better this than, shall we say, i get involved with vices, right?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

the eclipse

and how blessed is today
for the least among the least:
when the fallen can again stand;
and the forgotten, remembered.
when the lost can be redeemed;
and the weakest, strengthened.
when the impoverished claim hope;
and the impotent, enlivened.

for rare is the occasion, when
great power is freely relinquished.
when even lord Sol succumbs
to the gentle embrace of Luna.

Monday, July 20, 2009

to dear friends on their birthdays

since it has been quite a while that i had hand-written notes to people, and being the irrational perfectionist that i am as well, i could not muster the courage to bear the shame of handing over these written dedications to good friends on their birthdays, lest they behold my horrendous penmanship. so instead, i gave their presents bare and just, well, TEXTED them their individual messages.

and since texting, i find, limits the things i would like to say due to limited characters, i think it's still not too late if blog what i really wanted to say and re-dedicate my presents to these three very special individuals.

to e,

for those days wherein the Hemingway or the Picasso in you is just itching to come out.
may you find these simple items useful. may they help usher you to eventually achieve and perfect your artistic expression.

... and from the looks of things, you are not that far away from your goal.

always an admirer,


to d,

for those long nights, joyous or not, either had alone or with kindred souls. may you find in these moments the inspiration you seek to help you follow your path to greatness, since ideas, especially the best ones in my experience, do come at the oddest of times.

anticipating your best work yet,


and finally,

to j,

for your possibly cluttered desk, your work surface hidden under nik-naks and thingamajigs and whachamacalits. they are the paraphernalia of your life, the vessels of your memories. add this one for me. it serves no purpose really other than to remind you on those uneventful, boring, and dare i even say, sad days, of the simple joys in life. never belittle these small, minute, minuscule pockets of happiness, for when set against the looming melancholy of grey days, their glimmer of hope can outshine even the brightest sun.


Saturday, July 18, 2009

timely help

john: hi there

Me: hi john. no work today?

john: no work on sat you at work?

Me: yup.
dunno why but i feel restless
must be one of those days again, i guess

john: restless in what sense?

Me: i get anxiety attacks every now and then
no particular reason

john: about work?
about personal matters?

Me: a bit of everything i guess

john: siguro age din natin
he he
when there is a lot of concern for the future
but He shepherds us in a special way through our anxious moments

Me: i know
was praying in the car
but had flashbacks of bad times in dubai when i did
hehehe, the praying made it worse

john: he he..
didn't know you had bad times back there
he he

Me: there were

john: really bad or slight bad?

Me: really bad

john: naku
he he

Me: but what doesn't break u makes u stronger i guess
u get buffeted
still, there's emotional remnants of those times...

john: he he it depends from which perspective you want to view it

Me: ... that get elicited every now and then

john: from the human standpoint it seems to be that way
but there is the danger that we, our natural man, fall into the condition of a war veteran
with scars which we somehow are proud to have endured
he he
but totoo yan

Me: o, i try not to parade mine

john: na me emotional remnants

Me: if i cud forget i wud

john: yes i know what you mean
there are things na sometimes you wish you could have forgotten or that they have never happened at all
but they did and are now part of your history
he he
but the Lord allowed them to happen
which means you needed those to experience Him..
I do ask the Lord sometimes
why He allowed certain things to happen

Me: well, thankfully so
the Lord gave me wisdom to see the intent of His ways
despite the hardships
i thank Him still that they happened
wudnt change anything really
well, maybe just how i reacted

john: yes we can thank Him even for those things

Me: i guess for me now
its more about dealing with those emotional remnants of those past events

john: alam mo there are times i tend to linger in past hurts

Me: they can be debilitating

john: minsan the Lord impressed me

Me: linger? hehehe, im good at that

john: about "forgetting the things which are behind.."
by pursuing Him
so siguro
when we pursue Him more, there is more ability from Him to forget
kasi you are more occupied
with more experiences of Him
and more enjoyment of Him
we can only be occupied by certain things to a certain extent
limited vessels that we are
so either we contain the emotional hurdles
or let the Lord fill us more..
there is wisdom in forgetting to pursue
he he
by virtue of our being vessels
and another time
the Lord impressed me
we are like perennially sick persons
in need of medication for maintenance

Me: yes we are

john: until we are fully transformed
so when we dont take our medicine
the symptoms appear again
so the Lord is the Healer and the medicine esp to these wounds in our being
but in principle we have to take the medicine
and do so continually
until we are fully healed
but then it's not all medicine
there is also enjoyable food and nourishment
so that when we take Him in He is all these things to us

: i sincerely need to pursue more.

john: sorry I failed to help you in that matter
he he


john: we can always resume

: true true.

john: singit natin
sa busy sched mo he he

Me: why not?

when i find myself in low times, the hand of God, ever so timely, comes to scoop me up.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

the obsidian road

how the rains have made you lovely
you, my magnificent obsidian road.
as i tread upon your smooth black skin

(careful not to disturb you)
(careful not to harm you)

and slowly fall enchanted once again
captivated by your deep, dark beauty
draped in the heaven's cool silver
bejeweled with the tears of angels
shimmering in the diffused light of day.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

my trainer can break more than bones

my trainer is a small man, lean as a horse, strong as a bull. i recently learned that he's only 23 years old, years my junior and hails from ormoc, leyte. he lives at the boxing gym i go to and earns his living giving lessons in kickboxing as well as mixed martial arts. he earns additional income as well from joining tournaments where he gets paid to fight.

my trainer, i would say, is a proud man. every time we would train, he never fails to build up how his variety of kickboxing (yaw-yan) far excels the others in terms of difficulty, strength, and grace. of course, a conversation about his art would also never exclude a reminder of how deadly yaw-yan can be, how many bones he has broken and joints, dislocated. when in the middle of training and i would fumble due to my inherent incoordination, he would demonstrate the move for me, and add a few flashy moves as well, for added effect i guess. on the occasions wherein i would collapse to catch my breath after an exhausting round with him, he would, i reckon, put up a show for me. he'll take off his shirt and flex his well toned muscles. he'll comment on his leanness and proceed to do some moves, all beautifully executed, all far too advance for me to even dream of achieving.

my trainer is a vain man. 23 years old, earning his own keep, a man from the province with rather provincial ways would certainly not do in the city. he colored his hair crimson, always styled in a semi Mohawk, probably held up by some hair wax he purchased from a store. despite the many clients he would handle in a day, i have never seen a strand of hair on that head of his ever fall out of place. he keeps it impeccable, always careful to check in the mirror every so often. his fingernails are always clean, and his toes, pedicured. he is always presentably dressed, his clothes nicely put together. instead of the usual flip flops his fellow trainers wear on the floor, he struts around the gym wearing his light grey clogs, to which i find so endearing about him since the image always reminds me of a child playing in their parent's shoes. he carries a certain arrogance in his stance, not really offensive but similar to the arrogance of a horse on a canter. it really is more of a natural state of being rather than a contrived display of over-confidence.

my trainer is an ambitious man. on certain times, we would talk about his future in the martial arts. he would tell me that he would like to have his own school, and have students of his own. he joins many competitions and gets himself to fight popular foes to get his name more well known, investing in himself as a product i guess. he trains religiously, in all disciplines he could get his hands on. boxing, kick boxing, wrestling, he has done it all, giving him licence to develop now a mix martial arts program, which at my gym, is also starting to develop a steady following.

yesterday, my trainer offered to sell me a pair of boxing shorts and a shirt from his kickboxing league. the shorts were of of a polyester blend, stiff like it was starched. it bore a camouflage print and was studded with embroidered symbols in alibata. it also bore the logo of his league, a triangular patch sewn on the front. it had no lining. it had no zippers either but was held together with velcro straps. the shirt was a plain black cotton tee with a yellow silk-screened print saying "yaw-yan". he inquired me of my size last week and said that it would be nice to have a uniform for his clients. i was surprised that he actually had the items already prepared for me when we trained last night. after inspecting the pieces, i inquired for their price, to which my trainer gave me the figure. it was high. it was unreasonably high i have to say. i did not hesitate to react to this and jested that maybe he could offer me a discount. i have to admit, i was never really interested to purchase the items from the start and felt that i just needed to entertain him and the idea. however, my rather dissatisfied reaction to the sale somehow got to my trainer. in a hushed tone, he explained and tried to justify the rather high cost of these very ordinary pieces. that they were official gear, that they were discounted already, that they were unique, that they were a means of us showing our unity in the sport. i tried to listen, i tried to understand, but all i could hear or see now was a boy, trying his best to convince me, without begging, to buy his over priced wares.

tomorrow... i will however, be adding two new pieces of clothing to my closet. money can always be earned. oppurtunities to help on the other hand...

Sunday, July 12, 2009

choosing the lesser "worse"

i admit. i care far too much. i really should learn not to give a damn about a lot of things and have tried, but every time i attempt to be calloused or indifferent or even frank, i screw things up by saying things i really don't mean. i come across as hurtful, abrasive, rude and tactless, characteristics i was taught as a child were some of the worse things a civilized human can be or do to a fellow human. i end up feeling miserable, even more than the draining feeling of being emotionally available and empathetic. so i guess, it is just a matter of choosing which makes me feel less "worse".

so... i feel bad then that there are those who walk the path of betrayal. but i will feel worse to tell them that you reap what you sow. the universe always moves in a circle.

i feel bad that there are those who can't see the inherent kindness and strength in character of people i see. but i will feel worse if i share my mind about their narrowness and their bigoted ways.

i feel bad that there are those who ignore the purity of their natural, unembellished selves. but i will feel worse if i tell them that their need for attention only makes them look foolish and dreadfully unattractive.

i feel bad that there are those who settle for the easy, who sell themselves short and belittle their great abilities. but i will feel worse to tell them that they are cowards and lazy and will learn their hard lessons soon enough.

i feel bad for those who fall victims to the foolishness of the heart. but i will feel worse if i say that this is what we get for being too emotional.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

the recovery of the sage

ling-ling walked towards me and patted me on the head. two brief taps was what she offered me, followed by a tight smile. it was an awkward gesture from her as she was never one who was skilled in showing emotions. she hesitated for a moment and then rubbed by back, stroking it with all the gentleness she could muster as she tried to ease me of my burdens.

"the clouds are upon us again, child, and we need to be ready. be steadfast, boy. you have gotten weak lately and i sincerely do not know how to help you. whatever it is that is bothering you, you have to deal with it soon for, my bones are telling me, this next wave is going to be a big one and i cannot carry us all alone."

she spoke without looking at me while i sat and pondered on her words. we were of like-mind so we knew we understood each other. as i listened to her speak, i could not help but feel gratitude and love for her for ling-ling had taken over my role lately as i had been struggling to recuperate. she had taken it to herself to be the pillar of strength and reason in my incapacity, as best as she knew how. she had softened her usual uncompromising hold and learned to feel before she reasoned, a great feat coming from one whose stare can even melt the hardest stone. she had become tolerant of nata'sya and had even consented in some of her frivolous ways.

my jaw began to tremble, and my body began to shake, as my pent up emotions surged from their long repression. i felt a sudden choke and my eyes began to water.

natas'ya was resting by my feet, looking up towards me, inquisitively, wondering if the elder woman's efforts in comforting me were working. i recomposed myself and returned her gaze with a faint smile and she eventually turned away, satisfied by my response. i took a deep breath and exhaled, softly blowing out the contents of my soul, hoping in the process i feel some degree of relief, a brief freedom from the overpowering emptiness i feel within.

the cosmic winds blew against my face and i smelled a charged aroma in the air. a flashing of light called my attention to look far into the distant horizon. ling-ling and natas'ya we standing beside each other and were too looking at the same direction. towering plumes of thick clouds were billowing before us, an ominous creature of terrible might and proportion. the winds grew stronger, sounding with a rumbling against my ear. "it's here", the old woman coolly said. natas'ya shifted from her position and put her cold hand on my shoulder. "we need you now. please." she voice soft, her exotic accent now lost in impending storm.

Friday, July 10, 2009

the lime green mini truck

almost everyday, as i drive off to work, i always chance upon this lime green mini truck. it's really impossible to miss since, well, it's lime green. it practically sticks out like a sore thumb against the dull grey sooth-laden background of a. boni avenue. anyways, seeing this cute vehicle had become a daily fixture of mine, it and it's orange fisherman cap-wearing driver. every day, i would encounter it at almost the same point, near the turn at the north cemetery. we would then part ways at market where it would turn right into the alleyways while i continue on the main road. we however, would meet again near my work place as i turn in to park while he continues on to where i presume is his workplace.

every day, for almost a few months now, this would be "our" routine, every day except thursdays wherein the truck is coding (i noticed) and on saturdays since, unlike me, the bloke probably doesn't have to work on saturdays!!!

for a creature of habit like myself, having consistent events such as seeing this, my lime green mini truck, brings about a sense of comfort to me. i catch myself smiling everytime i see it now, boxy thing that it is, while it weaves in and out of traffic. i don't really understand why i am writing about it now but just thought of doing so when again i saw it this morning. i somehow feel like i owe this little truck some gratitude. i feel grateful that it's there, for standing out amidst the depressing scenery to work; for being the cute thing that it is; for its driver who looks like he too is a cheerful fellow; for always being there at the start of my day (except thurdays and saturdays, that is); and for giving me that tincture of joy whenever i would lay my sights on it.

ah, simple joys are always the most precious.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

not your usual shopping vacation

this post is LONG overdue.

it has been but a few days since i ended my first vacation to the lion city and i'm already dreading to forget the many insights i had from the trip. though i never really expected anything much from singapore besides experiencing their famed discipline and their chili crab and cereal prawns, this trip afforded me an enlightening glimpse of what really made this island nation what it is today, and hopefully, what we can also do to help our own situation.

something that struck me while kuya and i walked along the popular shopping streets and weaved in and out of people of various ethnicities was how this nation, in such a short time, just around 30 years or so, was able to transform itself from a struggling territory, freshly recovering from the aftermaths of war and left to fend for its own, into the first world country that it is today, a rich nation notorious for its drive to excel and whose success at developing itself is now envied and emulated by other nations. indeed, what singapore had to endure right after the japanese devastated the country and the Malayan Federation turning it's back on them must have been truly incredible. devoid of natural resources to support itself, the country only had its people and probably the sheer will to survive, to depend on. led by an unwavering leader and adapting a policy that required clear vision and driven by a bullish stubbornness against mediocrity and failure, singapore was able to attain for itself something that, to this day, no other country have yet done, that is, to rise from a once impoverished land to what is now an economic superpower.

this trip was definitely not one of my usual touristy trips. though i still did what was expected of someone who goes to singapore, that is to shop (though i really didn't buy as much as i ate! hehehe), part of the agenda my kuya and i arranged for ourselves was to spend an entire day understanding this city-nation and learn what really was it that made it tick. how we decided to to do this... we went to the museums.

here you see the diverging of interest between my kuya and i. while he got himself excited by being able to share with me all the valuable lessons he learned from the words and works of lee kuan yew and singapore's other visionaries, i on the other hand walked around the corridors and galleries in awe of the preservation work done on the museum structures, as well as the modern expansions added to it. perusing the superb architecture of the museums rekindled dreams i have had of renovating our own national museum and making it worthy too of international envy.

anyway, freshly inspired will idealistic zeal, kuya being saturated with ideas from the masters while i was emotionally charged from the art as well as learning of the multicultural history of the country, he and i had a nice discussion while on the commute back to our hotel as to what we could do (theoretically, for now) to maybe help uplift the sad situation of our country. using singapore as a template, we, well, kuya mostly, talked on ways as to how our country can finally break away from being third world. now, i won't really bore you with all the things we discussed, but of all the things we did discuss, one thing had me going the most, that is, education. education and having our civil servants to be one of the highest paid members of society. government officials, teachers, soldiers, that way, you attract the best to RUN, EDUCATE AND PROTECT the country.

diba? it makes so much sense. it's actually frustrating when you think about it since we as a nation have more than enough to actually help ourselves and then some, and yet, we still remain one of the worst countries in the asia. it's rather insulting, really.

grabe... i'm getting emotional again just thinking about it. anyway, i'll plug this post here for now. i have been writing and editing this post for the past 4 days and can't seem to find enough words to express what i feel. also, i keep getting distracted with work so medyo putol-putol and train of thought ko. hehehehe....

speaking of work.... back to work!

Friday, July 3, 2009

blog-ger holiday

will be taking a much needed hiatus during the weekend. kuya dearest was kind enough to drag me along for some culturati indulgence, which in his vocabulary would simply translate to as shopping, eating, and more shopping!!! :)

so far, after a rather long flight and some minor delays, day one of the grand vacay went quite well. the hotel where we are staying at alone would have been enough of a highlight for me since, get this, EVERYTHING IN THE MINIBAR IS FREE!!!! ALL MY MEALS ARE FREE!!!! and this is a boutique hotel, mind you. how they make money is beyond me but i definitely am gonna make full use of all these freebees before the management comes to their senses!!! hehehehe

till i'm back in manila or i get me some major action, TTFN!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

the half year

july 2 is exactly the middle of the year (according to dear mgg), and acting upon his suggestions that this is a good time to reflect, here is my, um.... reflections.

this half year, it seems has been a half year of building relationships for me, that of friendships or even of the romantic kind. either way, i have found a significant increase in the people i know, quite a feat i have to say since i barely consider myself to have a healthy social life. much thanks to the connecting powers of dear joel mcvie and the after effects of his blogging and texting tentacles, i have had the great pleasure and honor of rubbing elbows, bumping into, and shaking hands with disassociate-personality plagued creative writers, cement mixing measuring tapes, southern-based accounting belles, frustrated doctors, real doctors and their hilarious hubby lawyers, expatriated banking divas, formerly closeted children's book characters, free_lancers, previously mega-nega tarsier fanatics, rainbow runners, jet setting art enthusiasts, wacky call center agents, perennially lost commuters, talking bathroom fixtures, relatives of classmates, corporate seahorses, transmorphing emo goddesses, artists, newscasters, sensual entrepreneurs, blog royalty, self-secured fairies, fierce chroniclers, ultimate blogging islams, lion city speed junkies, not so diminutive talking trees and their not so diminutive atheist fans, braces-sporting urbanites, fag hags, song writers, composers, photographers, film makers, bitches and pseudo bitches, fags and well, pseudo-pseudo fags.

i have met a not-so-green man in his not-even-close to green showroom. i have met a gentle bookworm yogi. i have bumped into and semi-stalked, or so it may seem, a genuine tripper and collaterally, his beau. i have been introduced to a fellow classical music loving, nutty wanderer, and through him, chatted with a reclusive southern errand boy.

i have gone to walking tours with these people, parties with these people. museum trips, food trips and coffee meet ups that last till near morning. i have jogged with them, joined marathons with them, i even chaperoned on a date.

it has definitely been a very colorful half year and i could only be happy and grateful for the days that were. now that i did look back, i have more than enough reason to be excited for the days that will follow.

to all the people i have met, thank you all for enriching my life this half year. i am eternally thankful.