Yo There 2017

Another year has turned. Anyone can agree that 2016 was not that pretty. I would.

Terrible things happened–Iconic people that changed lives of millions has passed on. A qualified woman has lost to a piece of corn in running a country. Hatred to anyone for their gender and their way of life. My own country, is run by a misogynist and murderous and apathetic government obsessed with scandals and is blindly worshiped by millions. And buzzing behind its ears is a spoiled family of pigs with their noses held high as they force their way to literally changing history and throwing away what my fellow countrymen has died fighting for. And so we won’t ever forget and we won’t ever let the fire die out and we will pass on the truth to our children and their children and their grandchildren’s children. And on and on it shall be engraved in the minds of every Filipino. We will never forget.

That’s only a few of the horrid things this year has brought to us but I am not sharp enough to remember and I am not brave enough to relive them all today.

But as someone from the internet says it, this is not just one new year. This is 7 billion new years to 7 billion people in the planet. And even if all 7 billion people agree that this year was terrible, those terrible things do not really wash away the good and beautiful and make them unimportant. Today we can still remember and celebrate the good. As I would in the next paragraph.

This year I get to graduate which is a great achievement not only for me but also for my parents who crawled their way to support me. And I am on my way to building my dreams for them.

I get to find a job that is closer to home without difficulty. And that job gets to be great and close to what I aspire to be. I get to be surrounded by co-workers who are inspiring not only for their crafts but also for their stories. I get to have a boss who cares for his employees. I still get to keep old friends inside the office to reminisce with me the good old college days whenever I long for it.

And well, this year, I get to have someone who cares about what I want and waits for me whenever I decide what I want and spends meals with me and — a waiter. I’m probably talking about a waiter but I’m telling you he is more than that.

He genuinely cares about people and the environment and he understands how appreciation works and he is not afraid to feel. And well, I am looking forward to seeing him more this year.

Okay, maybe in my mind, I see him running off to the sunset with me and we would live in a cottage far away by the ocean with a dog and a pig and he would impregnate me with beautiful children. And we would live merrily singing songs about love and nature and feasting over hearty meals that I would miraculously learn to cook. But hey, it’s much too early for that. So I’d probably stick to just being overwhelmingly grateful for his existence.

I’ve got a lot to look forward this year. I have plans laid out that I am praying I will get to fulfill before the year ends. This year does not have to be a prosperous one. I think, from the events that we experienced, just a peaceful new year would be enough.

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Hungover Gratitude

It was a chilly morning inside the office. Tiredness evident among us as we slept soundly, our breaths stinking with brandy from the after party (which I guess, really is the best part in every event) the night before. My head spins in every toss and turn inside that sleeping bag that I got for Christmas from my boss. I couldn’t think at that moment because I can never function when it came to headaches. So at this very moment, looking back at that scene, thoughts came pouring in about the place that I’ve been working on for the past few months along with the gratitude that I am feeling this holiday season.

I am incredibly lucky to be part of an amazing team in a career that is related to what I wanted and what I graduated for. As a kid who just got kicked out into the real world after graduation, I didn’t know what to do and where to go. I didn’t know where I would work and I was pressured in so many levels because I wanted to take a break but at the same time I wanted to do the responsibility of helping my family.  I was filled with anxiety and doubt and weary. I was just plain lost.

And fast forward to the morning after the office Christmas party, where I was wrapped inside the comforts of the sleeping bag (and the arms of this loser beside me), I never thought an office could be this fun where you’re surrounded with inspiring and hilarious and hardworking people.

I am building grand dreams not only for me but also for the people that I love. I know that I have a long way to go but I can do it, with a little push from the right people, I know that I am going there.

And I am excited for this coming year.

Quiet Time

I have come to realize that the older I get, the drive of creating something slowly fades. This gradual disability to convert ideas into any form of art is killing me and at this very moment, I am very anxious of what shall become of me in the future.

I have a wonderful life. I am incredibly lucky to have a job that supports my basic needs in an environment where everyone is treated with respect. I am blessed to have a beautiful family that supports me in every decision I make. I am in a relationship with a really great person who is appreciative and patient. I have awesome friends who, despite of the great distances of where we work, still find ways to keep in touch with me. Basically, one look and you would think that my life is going swell.

But in the spirit of honesty, there is something that is sort of lacking and it has caused a constant annoying voice inside my head that has been nagging me for a really long time.

Obviously, I have not been writing (or rather posting) as often as I used to. This blog is supposed to be this one great story of my youth that I shall read about when I get old. But how am I supposed to look back when there is nothing to look back to? It is frustrating to look at my recent posts dating months back. I miss the uncontrollable twitches of my fingers everytime I had the urge of pouring out stuff from my head. I miss finding meaning of the simplest words just to make sure it fits my sentences. I miss doing research for additional information when I talk about something that does not leave my mind. I miss rearranging sentences to make my paragraphs easier to follow. I miss eliminating phrases when I rewrite the things that I’ve written from my notebook to this website. I miss sparking up flames on the tiniest thoughts and turning them into something that I can be proud of. I miss getting overwhelmed by people who I can never thank enough for appreciating the things that I produce.

I am still not giving up though. I am still looking for ways to fix this. I am hopeful for the day when I get over this even if it may take quite a while.

Pakbet

My co-workers and I decided to visit the ADAAF–the annual animation festival in our old beloved university last week. One of the main reasons of going was giving our trainees (who were also animation students from the southern part of the region) a tour of the curriculum that our Alma mater has but I guess we’ve completely forgotten about that the moment my friends and I stepped inside the convention hall.

It’s been a while visiting the old university and seeing our old friends just brought us back to the old college days when we ourselves were participants of the said event. Now, we’re just guests. The ADAAF was still the same: the dim lights of the venue, the audio in full blast bass, the ushers and usherettes hovering over, the students sitting by the ballot boxes and the 3d character fest silently showing off at the back. The only difference would probably seeing less familiar people than last year and these people were far more skillful than us lol.

At the last day, the day of the awarding, my friends won and I am just really proud of them for rocking it. It was decided to take the celebration somewhere we can get together with other college friends. And of course, I’d probably go on talking about how much I’ve missed them and my college years but come on! I really did miss them.

Although another thing happened that night. As our tipsy breaths surrounded the table, a friend started crying. This night was one of those nights when she was not chained into some responsibility and that she actually accepted our invites and I guess that’s the reason for her being this emotional. Then she started talking about the things that I’ve been writing about every time I get together with my friends: how she missed the group so much and how everything is not like it used to. I mean, after this night, we’ll all go back to our own worlds consumed by deadlines and bills. And then we went on talking about the stupidest, craziest things that we did in college and myself also started tearing up (although I didn’t make it that obvious) because dammit college was one of the greatest years of my life and 80% of this blog is filled with stories about it!

Anyway, to top the after-grad changes, is probably how much we’ve gotten over our vices. The one pack of cigarettes was now enough for everyone. The night that used to end at 4 in the morning now became a fun memory because by 2, we all started feeling drowsy. Really, I am now more conscious of my health it’s wild.

I know I haven’t been making that much entries like I used to. But really, I’ve been engaging myself more in the real world and less in my own thoughts. Also, I used to have a lot of bitterness and woes about how things are not meant to be but now, I’ve completely forgotten about those feelings. And everything that I longed for now completes me.

But I will keep on writing here for as much as I can.

Playing Hedwig’s Theme

When I finished reading the Harry Potter series in high school, I promised myself that I would buy my own copy with my first paycheck.

Fast forward to now, this overwhelming emotion of excitement and satisfaction is taking me over because, just yesterday, I fulfilled that promise to my 14-year old self.

I wasn’t really planning on buying it right away. I actually went to the bookstore to buy a copy of the unabridged version of Les Miserables because I have been listening to the musical for weeks now. Learning that the book I was looking for was not available, I just told myself that maybe I should come back next week. And that’s when I turned around and at that very moment, from the corner of my eye, I caught a glimpse of this large box displayed by the corner of that bookstore. I was about to ask myself how many books was inside that it required such size of a box, when I saw it. That iconic name where the letter ‘p’ has a lightning bolt in it. I realized they were everywhere in the bookstore, probably as promos for the upcoming Fantastic Beasts film which is set in the Harry Potter universe.

My heart skipped a beat because it was as if the universe has put that box in that precise corner and that precise angle for my eyes to caught a glimpse of it at that precise moment. And it was as if the universe has put this great scheme of putting any unabridged Les Miserables book away from my sight just so me and this 6 year old dream would be together once and for all.

I didn’t buy it right away. I had to consider things like my weekly budget and budget for Christmas presents and bills. So I let that decision hang for the whole afternoon and went to watch Doctor Strange with my…with someone. Doctor Strange was pretty trippy by the way.

After that, I made up my mind. I can feel it. I don’t know if that was just the illusion of materialism but fuck it I am now sitting here admiring the beloved box of Harry Potter series that now rests on my bedside table.

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Not So Secret Anymore

Long ride. Rad travel playlist. Clouds covering the afternoon sun. My head on your shoulder. Your cheek on my forehead. Breathings in synched. Soft exhales. I can now sleep. Quiet affections. Quiet questions. How? The fuck? is this happening? Have you really fallen asleep? But before long, you slipped your hands into mine and smiled. The dimples on your cheeks made a quick appearance. I sat there looking out the window thinking how lucky we are to be alive right now. Very frighting yet very exciting.

We’d talk about this again sometime. Along with the many long rides we’d have.

We are good.

Enthusiasms, gone.

2008. I was a scrawny freshmen kid who got introduced to the Nancy Drew series. I loved her perfect character too much that it came to the point where I printed out every Wikipedia article that I found about her. I tried so hard to memorize every detail about her life, from childhood to her teenage detective years. And that was everything for me.

2009. It was the first time I read the Harry Potter series and the queen, JK Rowling created an entire world about wizards and magic and stuff. It was so huge that exploring it was so much fun. I made this complicated map connecting every character of the series through their lineage, their houses and their social statuses. It was a present for a friend’s birthday.

2010. My friend and I wrote our very first proper fanfiction. We’ve written a few before but they were only shameful short stories that we now bring up every once in a while to annoy each other. It was a crossover of the Harry Potter and Percy Jackson series and it was 34 notebook pages long. Everyday, for more than 6 months, we took turns of continuing the story. And we finished it.

2011. Another friend and I got so obsessed with Scotland that we wrote a short story adapted from a 1954 musical about an old Scottish town that magically appears every 100 years called Brigadoon for an English project. Pretty sure our teacher thought we just made it up but it didn’t matter because doing research about Scottish phrases fed my soul.

I miss this. I miss getting preoccupied of the things that I find interesting and just making it the center of my life to the point of total madness. Right now, the way I get interested over stuff feels unacceptably mediocre and it just sucks.  I miss caring less about people looking at me in a funny way because of my obsessions. Hell, I miss having obsessions for people to look at me in a funny way.