Category Archives: Uncategorized

Be at Peace, Be at Peace Evermore

Whatever things I said in all those reflection papers involving spiritual programs (Recollection, retreats and outreach activities) back in college, they were all lies. In those moments where I should be a person for others,  there was never that feeling of fulfillment. I never felt a deeper relationship with God or emotional cleansing or simply just inner peace. In fact, I never felt anything important. I’m sorry, I’ve always thought of myself as a writer of truth but yeah, I wrote my way out of those requirements. I’m not proud.

But things have changed and I am now over the obsessions of passing grades. We were privileged enough to experience a company retreat and an outreach program and they all just happened within the span of a month. So I want to tell you about these recent experiences with these spiritual programs and how my feelings toward them drastically changed.

We held our company retreat at some organic farm sprawled at the foot of a mountain that is a few minutes away from the heart of the city. To be honest, I wasn’t that excited. Aside from my past experiences with retreats, the word “organic farm” didn’t really sound appealing to me and I imagined that it was just a plot of land in the middle of nowhere. But as it turns out, the place was actually really nice. It looked more than a vacation home rather than an organic farm and I almost expected a pool.

Now, it would be a bore to narrate every activity we had so lets jump to the part where I reflect on a lot of things. The whole event has actually brought me ease and I was able to let go of this one big burden that I probably have been carrying in my heart for many months now. I may never even pinpoint what sort of burden it was but there was definitely something there that has been affecting my productivity. Whatever it was, it has made me feel indifferent to the people relying on my skills.

There is this story I heard in a podcast and it’s about this doctor who had that same feelings about her job. No, she wasn’t bored of being a doctor. She didn’t hate her job. She still does her work perfectly well except her heart wasn’t in it. Her work had became such a routine that she didn’t have to think about it while doing it. And the scary part was when it came to the point when she told her patient he can go even though he wasn’t ready. A few hours later, the patient died because his body couldn’t take it and it’s all because she didn’t check on him.

Now, I don’t think a client would actually die if I didn’t put my heart on my job. But I will. Eventually. Not in a physical sense, but in a way where I’d just turn into this mindless, unemotional, pair of hands that work so she could finish her job in exchange for this bits of paper we call money. And shit,  I’ve always told myself I will never be like this but here we are.

I want to care. I want to see things in these people’s eyes. I want to understand what they want, what they believe in and what they hope for. I want to be by their side until the project is done. I want them to rely on me. I want to perfect my craft while I put my heart into it. And I get that I haven’t been that kind of person lately. But I’m starting to pick myself up and I’m trying really hard not miss out even the tiniest details of my work. It may be tiresome but the little things are important. And if get to hang myself around in those tiny details, I may do it within a limited amount time.

It has also cleared up my vision when it comes to decision making. There was a point actually where I want to quit everything. That time when I was in my grandma’s, I almost did not want to go back to the city. It was the only place that I get to clear my mind. But I realized, you didn’t have to go somewhere far off just to figure stuff out. The event really opened my eyes and it was as if the engines inside my head started running again.

The effects of the outreach program isn’t any different. In celebration of our boss’ birthday, he decided to spend time with the people from the Missionaries of the Poor. It’s sort of a home for those who are either orphaned or left abandoned by their families. We had this huge party where we danced the whole afternoon. It’s probably the wildest yet the most fulfilling party ever. Well, probably the only party I’ve ever been to this year.

I have now come to believe that these programs or anything that involves reflection and spiritual guidance is a necessity to everyone especially in the age of adulthood. I guess at this age, we now often forget stuff. Sometimes, we believe that one thing is urgent because it’s on deadline and we completely forget about other stuff like dinners (which when you think about it also has limits in time. I mean, you can’t expect scheduling dinners whenever you want, can you?). Well, we don’t actually forget but we just put priorities in a weird order.

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The Life and Lies of Max Mayfield

Now Let’s Talk About Max.

First off, I liked how the show talked about Max’s isolation as being the new kid in school. Because let me tell you, I’ve been in that kind of situation. I’ve experienced going to a new school, without a friend and without the courage of actually making one. Although, Max may probably be not as shy as I was back then, there is importance in creating relationships outside the household especially if the household is not a happy one.

But when the boys finally opened their little group to her (You know, that Halloween scene where she just literally jumped out of nowhere and poof she’s suddenly part of the team),  I felt sad for her because she didn’t really go further to becoming actual friends with them. They were just fascinated by her and nothing more. And with that, she even became more isolated being a member of this group and witnessing how a shared past is still affecting everyone but her. And the lack of information and experience about that past didn’t really help at all.

Now, the combination of Max’s look, personality and the intriguing relationship with her brother really did make an entrance. But there is also a problem with her and that problem can also be seen in a number of good films whenever a new female character is introduced. It’s the I”m-not-like-most-girls character.

Honestly, all throughout the history of storytelling there’s this one girl who is the opposite of the stereotypical girls you see in class. Which elevates her status from everyone who are girls. And I hate it. So much. You know why? Because growing up, I pushed myself to be that kind of girl.

If I can give you an outline of the character choices that I made when I was thirteen, I specifically avoided the path that lead to hair, make-up, fashion and boys. I closed the opportunities of creating friendships with other girls who are not like me because I thought of them as lame and shallow. I isolated myself from them because I thought I was an interesting and special individual which made me think I was better than them. Because that is what I came up with from reading and watching and listening to the stories about girls.

Looking back I wished I hadn’t been that stuck up. Like holy shit if I had been friends with girls who are experts on hair, I would have grown up knowing how to take care of it. I would have looked flawless in every place I went to.  If I had been friends with girls who are experts on make-up, I wouldn’t have paid 500 – 1000 pesos for fixing my face in a one time event. I would have done it myself. If I had been friends with girls who are experts in fashion, I wouldn’t have been that embarrassed showing my high school photos. I would have looked divine in every photo that I had. If I had been friends with girls who are experts on boys, who knows, maybe they’ve already figured out how boys actually are and we all would have warned each other about abusive and toxic relationships?

Now I am not saying that the things that I grown to love is invalid. That what I am now is a facade. I just wish that I hadn’t limited myself from exploring stuff that can actually be useful in the future. I wish I didn’t have to separate myself from other girls so I can feel good about my identity.

I hated how she was also involved in love triangles when she only wanted to have friends. It sucks because now everyone is so mean to her and she didn’t even do anything. Honestly, I hate to be an old lady here but aren’t they a little bit too young to have these serious encounters with love? I mean, having love interests are cute but wouldn’t it be cuter if they don’t dwell on it too much?

Since the show has this theme on friendship, I kinda wished that everyone is actually friends with each other. And that boys and girls can be friends and can hang out without this dumbass idea that at some point they are bound to fall in love with each other. Because it creates this giant wall between boys and girls especially at that age. I do wish that shows stop doing that.

Max’s “redeeming moment” was also unsatisfying. It doesn’t prove any significance on her character. It didn’t put weight on defeating the major villain of the show. It’s just another addition to her “cool” personality. I do not also believe that Billy would eventually stop tormenting Max after being sedated by her. Judging from his character I think he’d bully her even more. I just wish the siblings had that moment of understanding of how similar they are with each other and how much they share a common enemy (may it be a Demagorgon or their abusive father).

I love Max. I really do. I just think that the show didn’t love her the same way I did. Looking forward to Season 3 for justice.

Talking About Stranger Things

Stranger Things has brought together this one big community of people who are nostalgic enough to celebrate the pop-culture references from the 70s and 80s. I belong to that community. But besides that, Stranger Things reminded me so much of the make-believe stories that I played with my sister when I was kid.

Stranger Things is the whole childhood that I imagined and pretended but never had.

Now that the second season has been released, sparks among the audiences have lit up once again like Christmas lights *wink*. I’ve written a few notes after watching it and I will now present the things that I did and did not like about it.

First of all, I did love how Mike has not moved on from Eleven’s disappearance. I love that he still has fun with his friends but at the end of the day, he longs for her presence. His sense of ownership to the group when Max started hanging out with them was good but I kinda wish the show figured a way to create this resolution between Mike and Max; probably a scene of Mike finally accepting that Max is another individual and he finally opens those closed doors making room for new friends without having to replace Eleven.

By the way I have a lot to say about the new character Max but I will have to put her on a separate entry.

Steve and Nancy’s break-up was unclear so the moment Nancy and Jonathan had a thing, it was confusing for me if she cheated on Steve or not. Well, the guilty look Nancy gave him was probably the answer I was looking for but still, there was no closure on that break up. I mean, if they were going to give that closure on the next season, they should have showed that Steve and Nancy weren’t officially over. That would make the whole thing intriguing since that would make Nancy and Jonathan’s relationship an affair.

Oh and Steve, I knew he was a cinnamon roll right from the moment he appeared on that show. I knew it. I knew it. I knew it. And I have ever been so proud of him for becoming this mature, thoughtful and reliable babysitter as the season progressed.

I have nothing more to say about the other characters because my thoughts are really centered on Max right now. Yes, I just really have a lot of thoughts about that girl that I am now cutting this whole review to move on to my next entry.

 

Farm Life

When you ask me where I would want to spend my days when I grow old, I would automatically tell you about my grandparents’ place in Sorsogon. Of course, it’s just a mindless, unplanned desire. I mean, who knows where I’ll be when I grow old or whether I’d live long enough to be called “old”. But having to wait for death to come around when I grow old in a place as pleasant and peaceful as my grandparents’ is probably what I would call, the dream.

I was on leave for almost a week to spend All Soul’s Day in my mom’s hometown to visit my grandfather’s grave. Also, we went looking for someone to be with my grandmother since there are things that she now finds difficult to do by herself.

I just realized how much she’s gotten older as the years went by after my grandfather died. Sure, grandmothers are commonly visualized as old but this is really the first time I’ve seen her as this delicate woman who is in much need of assistance. Her eyesight has now gotten worse and she is now dependent to a cane which makes her move a lot more slowly. She would now ask these mundane questions about the weather or anything that can be answered through observation. And she would ask them over and over throughout the day.

Most of my days there were just lying in a hammock reading Still Alice–an incredible book by Lisa Genova about a woman who struggles with an early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. Sometimes I would drift into a pleasant sleep while other times I’d just watch the chickens as they peck the ground.

You know, there isn’t really a word to describe the unbelievable lightness that I felt while I was in that hammock. I really needed a break from a lot of things. To put things nicely, I have been feeling a lot of anxiety over daily responsibilities. There is toxic in the atmosphere around me and the days are just too long and monotonous.

So the whole leave really helped a lot in clearing my mind.

Plus, I missed my grandfather so much and talking about him with the people who also love him was nice.

Year 1 ft. Skyrim

Celebrated our first anniversary last week which also happened to be his birthday. You know, a year ago I declared his birthday to be also our anniversary because I thought it would be practical when it comes to buying gifts. Now I realized how much pressure it actually is to look for the perfect gift that would weigh as much as the celebration it was for.

But I guess it’s a year late to be changing that now. I mean, we did have a great lunch. It wasn’t perfect and we were showered with deadlines, but it was a great day. And do you know the best anniversary gift I received that any girl would dream of having on this special occasion? A Video Card!

Now if anyone here does not conform to this ridiculously awesome taste, let me tell you, in a less technical way of how much I need this thing. A video card or a graphics card is this essential computer part where you get to have the best, and the most aesthetically pleasing look on the graphics especially on video games. This is where you get to see more refined hair and fur textures. You get to see characters in detail even at a distance. You get to see more sparks and flames and glass shards on scenes. Everything is in detail while the performance is still smooth.

And as I’ve mentioned before, I’ve been living in the world of Skyrim so you see how this connects to everything. Yes, the Skyrim hype is far from over. I play it for almost 10 hours in a weekend and its the only thing I ever talk about. It’s an adventure game set in the medieval period. In it, there are these endless quests and each quest has a separate storyline that you get to follow. Also, there’s a ripple of consequences in every decision you make which makes it very compelling.

Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is the one great thing I come home to after a long day at work. I mean, my family is great too but this whole world that I get to be in, is something else. Here, I can be who I want to be and time is never the limit. Right now, I am a professional thief, a member of this creepy family of assassins, a werewolf, a bard, a thane in four different cities who also have the privilege of owning four different houses in each of the cities, a husband to a loving and beautiful huntress, a hero to the Gods and a friend to many.

And there will be a lot more. To be honest my friendship with the people in Skyrim really comes from my eagerness to help. I never said “no” to anyone ever which makes me open to a lot of quests. Now that I think about it, I kinda wish I had that same attitude in real life.

Anyway, this was supposed to be an anniversary blog and I just filled it with Skyrim nonsense. But yeah it has been a great year for both of us. I have come to realize that when you get into a relationship, you do not only get to know the other person. You start to unravel things about yourself. You get to see what kind of person you are under pressure. You get to see what makes you tick and what triggers you. You also get to see how far would you go out of intense anger or love or joy.

I can say I have been blessed having this person in my life. More stories this year, love.

Calaguas 2017

I was supposed to write something about our Calaguas trip months ago. Oops. But to summarize it all, the whole trip was as breathtaking as everyone expected it to be.

It was a long and nauseating ride. For someone who doesn’t go to far off places a lot, it was difficult for me. Ever since my childhood, long car rides are just the worst. I hated the cramped feeling of baggage and people. I hated the smell of the air freshener. I hated the swerves, the bumps and the breaks. The moment I would step inside the car, I never wanted to interact with anyone else. All I wanted to do is drift into a deep sleep and I would wake up in our destination ready to come out of that confined space without having to experience all the mentioned hated things above.

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We left at dawn if we wanted to reach the island early.

But all was worth it when you actually reach the place. The awful experience from the ride is suddenly forgotten. Man, Calaguas is the most beautiful beach I’ve ever been to. I didn’t mind how hot it was when we reached the shore. All I wanted was to bury my feet on that powdery sand. It was heavenly.

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Damn right, it’s holy shit.

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This is what you get to see up close.

Anyway that’s all I can say about that trip. It’s not that the whole experience was not as exciting. It’s just that there’s no more to tell except the place was wonderful.

So what else to say? Nothing much happened in the span of two months. My days have been filled with deadlines and Skyrim. Ah yes, the lands and lores of Skyrim. I have surrendered to the fifth installment of the Elder Scolls. I feel like I have lived more in this game than in real life. Real life is just filled with endless revisions from this never ending project which started like 8 months ago.

Now that I’ve mentioned it, I think there’s this stupid rant that’s brewing just waiting to be let out. So I’m gonna have to stop here and get back to the wonderful trip we had 2 months ago.

For some reason, I can’t put actual captions. We also had the chance to go island hopping just to make the most of the whole trip.

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The last destination would probably in Bagasbas beach where we had burgers. I’ve already mentioned this place back when we visited a friend and made a film here. The burgers were still good as I remembered them.

We didn’t go home right away after that. While waiting for our boss’ dad to come and fetch us, we went to this mall just to look around. There were old ladies having the time of their lives dancing at the activity center with these gentlemen. It was very entertaining. We also had the courage of playing dance off with each other at the game arcade. There wasn’t a tiny bit of embarrassment doing that because no one new who we were at that place.

I guess that’s about it. I almost got carried away ranting about unnecessary stuff. My emotions almost got me using the wrong words that could probably get me in trouble. I may talk about them soon.

Roads To Take

Here’s what’s been happening recently. Well, I am not quite sure how recent these stories are. But here’s the thing, I’m starting to feel okay about not writing as often as I used to. I’m starting to accept the fact that I can’t really do everything and that there is a limit to the list of priorities we have to do in every single day.

First things first. There was a company outing that happened just the weekend before Labor day. It wasn’t as grand as last year, there were no island hops or boat rides or treks or any of that kind. But I had fun, because for one thing, there were more of us compared to last year.

Yeah I forgot to tell you that there are part timers and interns right now so the office is packed than usual. Another thing is that I have been dying to get outside the office this summer and experience the sun (well, we all had too much sun considering we fried ourselves outside till noon). I’m guessing everyone needed a day off as much as I did.

Second, I bought myself a bike. Yeah, I kind of been keeping myself active. I felt like my health has been depleting lately; my hair is falling out, my blood pressure is getting lower than it already is, I get out of breath just by walking up the stairs, my weight is almost below normal and my period is later than scheduled. And these things that’s been happening on my body is seriously scaring the fuck out of me.

So I needed to start with keeping my body as active as I can and decided a bike is exactly what I need. At first, I just really wanted to go explore the town and I sort of wanted a bike that is not as intimidating as a mountain bike. Like a cruiser bike! Which is a chill and a really cute bike. Where you can even put a little basket in front and it’s like you’re this village girl with flowers on your hair and you’re biking around the prairie. That was the plan!

And then this salesguy in the bike shop kept on persisting me to go with the mountain bike because he said it’ll last even the farthest distance. Dude, I have no plans on going the farthest distance, I just wanted to ride around town??? Plus I can’t even ride a mountain bike??? But then he told me to try it.

Okay, in my lifetime, my experience in biking is not really that rich. I was actually forbidden to go biking by my mother because she told me it was not for girls. But there was a bike at the market that is just right for my 10-year old size. It was owned by one of the helpers there. And every afternoon, I would tell my mom I would go to the market to, you know, help my dad with business and stuff. But I didn’t do a single thing there that involved helping, which was okay with my dad, to be honest. Instead, I would hang out with the helpers there as they’d teach me how to ride a bike. Believe me, they’re like the older brothers that I never had. Plus, I was pretty sure my mom knew about this escape and she didn’t say anything.

And that’s it. The 10-year old sized bike was the only experience I ever had with biking. How am I supposed to ride this monster that is larger than I am? But I did. Holy shit, I did. Of course, I was absolutely terrified. The elevation that I felt was very unfamiliar and it was as if the bike was controlling me and not the other way around. Every pedal was a panic despite having zero cars in the area.

I didn’t want it. But at the same time I also knew that I would go nowhere with the comforts of a cruiser bike. I needed to get myself used to the thing that terrifies me. So I picked the mountain bike. See here that I am taking the road not taken.

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The day it was delivered home, I was excited, of course. But there was that terror again despite my dad being behind me the whole time. I kept on forgetting about the breaks and my hands were wobbly. This time, it came from my fear in everything that had to do with roads.

As much as I love roadtrips, I never wanted the responsibility of decision making in that great big open space that we call the road. It’s like a community in there where people communicate with telepathy and hand signals. And yes, the road that I took was not even a highway, but I was really scared. I was starting to feel like I just made a big mistake of purchasing this two-wheel, human powered mode of transportation because I was not quite sure if I wanted to ride it anymore.

Now, if my boyfriend hadn’t given me this set of headlights and this adorable bell to encourage me, it would have been a long time before I try that bike one more time.

Fast forward to now, I’ve been biking around town with my childhood friends on the early mornings that we can. The most memorable thing about that would probably be the time we went back to our elementary school.

It was an early Saturday morning so the place was almost empty. As we walked around the campus, we pointed at particular places and reminisced stories that happened there. And omygod I was so filled with nostalgia I could almost see young versions of ourselves running around in front of the classrooms.

And that’s about it, I guess. In week, we’ll be going on a trip to Calaguas and I am excited. So excited my feet clenches just from the thought of it. I do hope that I will be able to talk about it when I come back.  Anyway, I am now running out of words so I guess I’ll be going now.