Monthly Archives: November, 2016

Of shoes and dolls

I’ve been wearing this shoes from Evans (the brand) everyday.

So comfortable. It needs resting for a while.

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So I decided to buy a new pair of shoes in SM Fairview which costs me 1,999 pesos.

A semi-boots style pair of shoes. Love it. img_05471

Shoe display from Vans. Can’t afford them so I just took their picture.

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I also looked at the Barbie dolls. Reminds me of my childhood.

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The End.

 

 

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You’ve got to sell your heart

There are a lot of wonderful advices about writing. But this one I kept. Sharing this with you, from 1938.

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Late-1938, eager to gain some feedback on her work, aspiring young author and Radcliffe sophomore Frances Turnbull sent a copy of her latest story to celebrated novelist and friend of the family, F. Scott Fitzgerald. Before long the feedback arrived, in the form of the somewhat harsh but admirably honest reply seen below.

(Source: F. Scott Fitzgerald: A Life in Letters; Image: F. Scott Fitzgerald, via.)

November 9, 1938

Dear Frances:

I’ve read the story carefully and, Frances, I’m afraid the price for doing professional work is a good deal higher than you are prepared to pay at present. You’ve got to sell your heart, your strongest reactions, not the little minor things that only touch you lightly, the little experiences that you might tell at dinner. This is especially true when you begin to write, when you have not yet developed the tricks of interesting people on paper, when you have none of the technique which it takes time to learn. When, in short, you have only your emotions to sell.

This is the experience of all writers. It was necessary for Dickens to put into Oliver Twist the child’s passionate resentment at being abused and starved that had haunted his whole childhood. Ernest Hemingway’s first stories “In Our Time” went right down to the bottom of all that he had ever felt and known. In “This Side of Paradise” I wrote about a love affair that was still bleeding as fresh as the skin wound on a haemophile.

The amateur, seeing how the professional having learned all that he’ll ever learn about writing can take a trivial thing such as the most superficial reactions of three uncharacterized girls and make it witty and charming—the amateur thinks he or she can do the same. But the amateur can only realize his ability to transfer his emotions to another person by some such desperate and radical expedient as tearing your first tragic love story out of your heart and putting it on pages for people to see.

That, anyhow, is the price of admission. Whether you are prepared to pay it or, whether it coincides or conflicts with your attitude on what is “nice” is something for you to decide. But literature, even light literature, will accept nothing less from the neophyte. It is one of those professions that wants the “works.” You wouldn’t be interested in a soldier who was only a little brave.

In the light of this, it doesn’t seem worth while to analyze why this story isn’t saleable but I am too fond of you to kid you along about it, as one tends to do at my age. If you ever decide to tell your stories, no one would be more interested than,

Your old friend,

F. Scott Fitzgerald

P.S. I might say that the writing is smooth and agreeable and some of the pages very apt and charming. You have talent—which is the equivalent of a soldier having the right physical qualifications for entering West Point.

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25 Reflections, Values, and Lessons I Know at 38

I just turned 38 last November 22. The title of my post is supposed to be “38 Things I Know At 38” but that would be too long. Since I feel like I’m 25 despite being 38 (they were right, regardless of whether you’re 30, 40, 50, or somewhere in between, you remain 25 years old in spirit), I only listed 25, my symbolic age.

1) I BELIEVE IN FIRST CHANCES. We often heard about the wisdom of second chances, of making things right the next time, and second chances are quite thrilling and unforgettable. But those things that I did for the first time despite being scared to death are quite thrilling and unforgettable, too! And some of these first times led me to develop a skill that I never thought I could have, of opening more doors of opportunity, of growing up and learning, changing my life completely. Perfect example: When I adopted a dog for the very first time after 36 years since birth of not having one, my life changed. I had a bad habit that disappeared because of them. I now have two dogs. I can’t imagine a life without them.

2) NEVER SAY NEVER. Never say that you will never ever do this or that, EVER. Well, let me tell you this, I once caught myself saying that I will never fall in love with a man way, way older than me. But I did quite unexpectedly. I fell in love with someone who was seventeen years older but still quite good-looking, unmarried, and with two children. It was a short-lived relationship. It was my sweetest, unforgettable mistake.

3) DON’T JUDGE THE BOOK BY ITS COVER. I always treasure these words of wisdom of someone whom I just read in a newspaper: “Not to let impressions or judgments stop me from getting to know someone at a more intimate and special level. Be very afraid of how first impressions can hinder you from possibly the best relationships in this world.”

4) I CANNOT PLEASE EVERYBODY. Some people will like me, and some won’t. But I try to not let it stop me from doing the things that I love, whether they like it or not.

5) FRIENDS ARE GREAT BUT ALWAYS KEEP FAMILY AS TOP PRIORITY. At 38, I’m single. I don’t have children. And my family are my brothers and sister and my one remaining parent, my father. Friends are only there when they’re there. But your family, they are the ones who’d be there beside you on your sickbed despite your sins. They’d be the ones who will throw your poop or urine to the comfort room because you cannot do it yourself.

6) THAT SAID, I SHOULD ALSO KEEP MYSELF AS TOP PRIORITY. To never forget to take care of my myself first, love myself first, before I can share my love and care with others. You cannot share what you do not have. Applies here also is filing for a sick leave when you’re not feeling well. Your employer will not pay for your medical expenses when you force yourself to work to please your boss who, by the way, doesn’t really care about you. He/she is busy thinking about his/her own ambitions, of trying to please the higher ups, just like you, just like everyone else. So file that sick leave when you’re not feeling well! Or even when you feel like not going to work and you need a breathing space away from all the stress.

7) BE NOT AFRAID OF SHOWING YOUR TRUE FEELINGS. When I find a guy attractive, I tell him. When I don’t like what a person whom I considered a friend did to me, I tell her, regardless of whether she denies it or not.

8) NEVER LIE TO YOURSELF. We cannot be honest with others until we are first honest with ourselves.

9) KEEP THAT CHILDHOOD INNOCENCE. I like comic books. I still like those songs from Sesame Street and Batibot. I still have that childlike reaction when fascinated by something, or by someone. In my darkest and saddest moments, I have that ability (thank you, God) to still laugh at the silliest of things and that helps in making myself feel better.

10) I LOVE ONE-ON-ONE CONVERSATIONS. With a group, most of the time you talk about superficial things. Trivial stuff, chismis. But in one-on-one, you’re focused on this person’s story. And if he/she is a good listener, you can also share your own story and somewhere during your sharing, you are also discovering something about yourself. And somewhere during this person’s sharing, you are discovering something about this person that are not so obvious but because he/she shared a secret with you, you start to feel that you and this person have a bond.

11) THE QUESTION IS NOT “WHO I AM?”, IT’S “WHOSE I AM?”. Somebody who met me for the first time has described me friendly and gaily. A higher up during a meeting has described me as obtrusive. An aunt has described me rude, impolite, a shame. My ex-convict cousin (may he rest in peace) admired my quietness and being modest. My only sister thinks that I am brave. A grouchy colleague has accused me of being grouchy. A high school classmate thinks that I’m maarte pero mabait naman pala. I’ve also been called weird, highly sensitive, frank, nasa loob ang kulo, walang inuurungan, madaldal, sobrang tahimik, magaling, hindi magaling… I am A LOT OF THINGS to a lot of different people. And they’re all part of who I am.

12) TO ALWAYS TRUST MY GUT FEEL. Have you ever experienced your stomach turning when you hear someone say something that you feel is not what it seems, or just by seeing someone for the first time and you feel discomfort and you don’t know where it’s coming from, trust that gut feel. If you want to avoid that person, avoid that person. Sadly, there are times that I did not listen to it because I thought I’m just being judgmental but it turned out to be right. What’s that saying? Love everyone but only trust a few?

13) THAT SAID, “I don’t believe in taking right decisions. I take decisions and then  make them right.”

14) THE FUTURE IS NOT WRITTEN IN STONE. Your past does not define your future. Life can change in a moment’s notice.

15) I’VE ALWAYS LOVED WRITING. When I was younger, I was writing a script of a drama scene. Back then I didn’t know I was writing a script. It’s not yet part of my vocabulary as a child. But I did write script because my imagination was quite active then it stopped. Ningas cugon I guess. Or perhaps I don’t know what I was doing back then. When it comes to talent, nobody encouraged me. Despite that, I continue to write. I keep a blog. And I take comfort with what Jessica Zafra said that you don’t need to be a graduate of Creative Writing or any related course to become a better writer. Great writers simply offered these three tips to become a better writer: read, read, and read.

16) THAT SAID, I write to release my demons. (Hello, Neil Gaiman.)

17) It’s interesting. And I have empirical evidences to prove this. You can get an inside scoop about what is happening in the marriage of a person based on how he/she reacts or treats single people. Happy married people will give you inspiration, hope, and guidance. That it is okay to be single so make the most out of it. Unhappy married people make fun of the single people. Because they are so problematic and insecure with their own marriage, they try to conceal it by putting down a single person, provoking that single person to doubt himself/herself, pairing him/her off with anyone they could think of, making them feel that they are “unlucky” if they don’t get married.

18) Regardless of whether you are single or married, what is important is that we love.

19) When you’re not too conscious about money, success, and recognition, when you’re just focused on doing your craft or your job well, money, success, and recognition will follow.

20) If it’s meant for you, it will come to you. Kahit ilang sibat pa ang humarang. Naniniwala ako dito. So stop blaming or accusing somebody that if only he/she did not steal that post or opportunity, it should be mine. Nooo! If it’s really for you, it will come to you without you lifting a finger.

21) Just be yourself and don’t be afraid to commit mistakes. We’re all but human. What’s important is that you’re taking risks.

22) If you feel sad, then be sad! Because that’s what you truly feel. It’s a natural human emotion.

With your sadness, don’t do something about it. DO SOMETHING WITH IT! Sadness is not a disease. Sadness, to me, is an important experience. For it teaches you to be real. To be human. And it forces you to move. To examine yourself. It can also move you to greater heights!

Sadness has helped writers write the best story they’ve ever written. Sadness has helped musicians compose the best song or music ever sung or played. Sadness has helped artists paint the best work of art. A selfish endeavor for the sake of healing oneself that turned into something selfless because of the inspiration it brings to other people who are going through something.

Sadness can be a gift. It’s not a wonderful emotion but it’s a gift that only you can understand and learn from. It’s uncomfortable but it will tell you who you are at a particular moment.

23) I learned this from a guy I dated (he’s married now, by the way): Sometimes, you need to mingle with people you don’t like. Make it part of your human experience for here you will also learn.

24) I do think about the what-ifs. Like what if I do get married? Who would that guy be? Will I turn out to be a good wife, a good mother? But right now, or perhaps for the rest of my life, not having a wedding ring wrapped around my finger is okay.

25) I am what I am. If you don’t like me, that’s your choice. If you like me, thank you. I hope we can chat over a delicious chocolate cake or a bottle of coke one day.

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My first experience at the Komikon 2016

My first experience at Komikon 2016, the 12th Annual Komiks Convention, November 19, was unforgettable. Takes away all the burdens. The last day is today, November 20. I was there last two minutes, figuratively speaking, malapit na mag-closing.

It was overwhelming. I went there alone. So many artful stuff that you can check out and buy. I bought a few to add to my collection. But darn, I wish I could have worn an astig T-shirt unlike what I wore last night.

I was happy to see Manix. I still am. I was smiling, gushing all the way from Mandaluyong to Montalban, while floating on air. I mean not only did I get to hold his hand, get his penmanship to write a message to me as a fan, I also seized the moment of hugging him. Weee!

“Hello po, first time ko sa Komikon,” sabi ko kay Manix Abrera, writer/illustrator of my favorite Filipino comic strip, Kikomachine.

And then he smiled, reached out for my hand, and enthusiastically said thank you to me for coming over. And then we had a small talk. He asked where I’m from. I said I’m from Montalban. Then he said thank you again for falling in line and waiting. He’s the only artist there with a long line of people asking for his autograph and a selfie. Well I got his autograph, I got a picture with him, and then I asked him this:

“Pwede ko po kayo i-hug?”

“Sige,” he said graciously.

So I hugged him. Then I thanked this cute, tall guy who took our picture. Thank you Komikon 2016! Bitin experience ko, next time I’ll be early.

My ticket to Komikon 2016.

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From Manix Abrera to me!

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Hello Manix.

He’s just a simple, ordinary guy. Unassuming. When I met him, I feel like I want him to be my friend. So much positive aura around him. Ang gaan ng feeling to be around him. Proof of that was his light moment with the staff from Visprint.

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Up close and personal with Manix. (Kilig)
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A quick glance.

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I met this obscure artist, Ms. Ellezier Ominoreg.
She’s a sweet girl, lovely, a total opposite of her creation,
Womenstruation, which is daring, vulgar, for lack of better terms.
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Womenstruation by Ellezier Ominoreg.

I wish I could give you a peek. And yes, I bought this.
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With the author, Ellezier Ominoreg or Elle.
This is the closing part already, the rest were packing up their things.

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I asked for her autograph, too.

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MANDIRIGMA NG TADHANA, Kikomachine Komix Blg. 12 (the latest issue)

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MGA TAGPONG MUKHANG EWAN AT KUNG ANU-ANO PANG KABABALAGHAN, the first issue of Kikomachine Komix.

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Issue No. 1 of Mawmag Magazine.

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I was already at the next table when a guy reached out to me to give me this, a bookmark. Then I came near him, he turned out to be the writer of Ophir.

Alas, the first issue is sold-out. I wish him and his female co-tandem,the artist, success. Ophir got three issues already.

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I also met him. I checked out his works.

Didn’t buy so I just asked for a calling card just in case.

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I finally completed my Trese collection. The new additions are Trese 5 and 6.

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Thank you Komikon 2016!

“You never meet the right people at the wrong time because the right people are timeless.”

Was looking for a particular quote in Google when it led me to this. Different from what I was actually looking for but effortlessly made me look into it more, read about it.  And what can I say, the author Heidi Priebe makes sense!

Long ago an ex-boyfriend once told me that if he only he had met me before her (her longtime girlfriend, the reason why we had to break up because they got back together), then it would be me he’s spending time with.

Huh?

We’re just not meant for each other.  And it’s not because of wrong timing.

The Truth About Meeting Someone At the Wrong time

By Heidi Priebe, November 14, 2014

Timing is something that none of us can seem to get quite right with relationships. We meet the person of our dreams the month before they leave to go study abroad. We form an incredibly close friendship with an attractive person who is already taken. One relationship ends because our partner isn’t ready to get serious and another ends because they’re getting serious too soon.

“It would be perfect,” We moan to our friends, “If only this were five years from now/eight years sooner/some indistinct time in the future where all our problems would take care of themselves.” Timing seems to be the invariable third party in all of our relationships. And yet we never stop to consider why we let timing play such a drastic role in our lives.

Timing is a bitch, yes. But it’s only a bitch if we let it be. Here’s a simple truth that I think we all need to face up to: the people we meet at the wrong time are actually just the wrong people.

You never meet the right people at the wrong time because the right people are timeless. The right people make you want to throw away the plans you originally had for one and follow them into the hazy, unknown future without a glance backwards. The right people don’t make you hmm and haw about whether or not you want to be with them; you just know. You know that any adventure you had originally planned out for your future isn’t going to be half as incredible as the adventures you could have by their side. That no matter what you thought you wanted before, this is better. Everything is better since they came along.

When you are with the right person, time falls away. You don’t worry about fitting them into your complicated schedule, because they become a part of that schedule. They become the backbone of it. Your happiness becomes your priority and so long as they are contributing to it, you can work around the rest.

The right people don’t stand in the way of the things you once wanted and make you choose them over them. The right people encourage you: To try harder, dream bigger, do better. They bring out the most incredible parts of yourself and make you want to fight harder than ever before. The right people don’t impose limits on your time or your dreams or your abilities. They want to tackle those mountains with you, and they don’t care how much time it takes. With the right person, you have all of the time in the world.

The truth is, when we pass someone up because the timing is wrong, what we are really saying is that we don’t care to spend our time on that person. There will never be a magical time when everything falls into place and fixes all our broken relationships. But there may someday be a person who makes the issue of timing irrelevant.

Because when someone is right for us, we make the time to let them into our lives. And that kind of timing is always right.

Trump and Duterte

Headline from yesterday’s paper.  Two controversial presidents, U.S. President-elect Donald J. Trump and President of the Republic of the Philippines, Rodrigo R. Duterte. I am still hoping for the best for and from these two.

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Supermoon

I was able to capture the Supermoon from Montalban sky! In my camera at least. It is called supermoon because it’s “when the full moon will be closest to Earth since January 26, 1948. The next time it will be closer will be on Nov. 25, 2034.” Honestly, I cannot see the difference between this supermoon and the bright moon nights I’ve experienced already going home (no need to turn on the flashlight, my flashlight was the moon). But who cares? I love the moon!!!

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I’ll close this entry with a quote by visual artist, Veronica Pee:

“I find the moon to be a curiously recurring subject primarily because it is there, imposing its presence upon us like a reference point on existential issues.”

Shot this from the roofdeck of our house.
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Supermoon being surrounded by clouds.
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Supermoon like the star of Bethlehem. (Pasko na!)
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The courage to be a “Nobody”

I’m not afraid to compete. It’s just the opposite. Don’t you see that? I’m afraid I will compete — that’s what scares me. That’s why I quit the Theatre Department. Just because I’m so horribly conditioned to accept everybody else’s values, and just because I like applause and people to rave about me, doesn’t make it right. I’m ashamed of it. I’m sick of it. I’m sick of not having the courage to be an absolute nobody. I’m sick of myself and everybody else that wants to make some kind of a splash.

~J.D. Salinger, Franny and Zooey

The last two lines are significant.  I haven’t read J.D. Salinger’s Franny and Zooey but the above quote is just so… real.

For a long time, we’ve been taught by our teachers, our parents, our boyfriends/girlfriends, people around us to dream higher, to be “somebody.” That if you get to be this–a lawyer, a doctor, a boss, a celebrity, or simply famous–then you have arrived!

Indeed, it really takes great courage to be an absolute nobody.  Ordinary.

Here’s a thing, I do get insecure sometimes. I do get envious of people who have achieved something, who is always surrounded by people.  When I was younger, I thought being “promoted” was my only key to success.

While it’s true that you shouldn’t remain complacent all your life–and I’m happy to let you know that I’ve been promoted last year and I’ve been given more challenging tasks and a better salary, an accomplishment that I really felt proud of and thankful for– just being simply who you are despite the world pressuring you to be cool and popular and rich really does takes courage.

Of course, everybody wants to be cool and popular.  We all want to be liked.  But when some people don’t like you, or don’t appreciate you as being you, what now? Hey, we got to remind ourselves that it’s normal to experience rejections from time to time.  And it’s okay.  It’s part of our human development. It’s impossible to please everybody.  We gotta move on, pick up the pieces and lessons, and maybe somewhere along the way somebody, other people will appreciate who we are, what we do.  And the rest will be history!

It really takes great courage to be a nobody in a society that demands you to be on top. And if you’re not on top, you are no one. It will be easy for them to take you for granted.

But you know what, even if you’re just an ordinary clerk in an office (my first job was being a clerk in a bank), a nobody, and you’re doing your job extraordinarily well, you remain sincere, to me, that is courage.  You don’t think low of yourself just because your job is lowly although at times you may feel that way, but don’t ignore it, instead feel it then after going through it just continue moving forward.  You try to rise above it.  And I believe this is how you become Somebody in the eyes of your clients, your colleagues, your bosses, and most especially, in the eyes of God who continually watches over us.

 

Being an Adult

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An evening to remember

TRENTA (The Repeat), The Dawn’s 30th Anniversary Concert at the Music Museum, 5 November 2016, Saturday night. I thought I was going home sad when they didn’t perform my most favorite song. So when they left the stage, we screamed for more, more, MORE!!!

They came back for the encore, they performed more than one song for us. Then Jett Pangan, on lead vocals, spoke:

“This song is dedicated to each one of you who braved the traffic, who cancelled their appointments just to be here. This song is called Bikining Itim… Just kidding.”

Then he said the first word of that song and we all were happy. I wanted to cry. We wanted it longer (the show lasted for two hours) but Jett says his back hurts already. And from time to time Jett would check JB Leonor on drums (already bathing in sweat) if he’s still breathing, Francis Reyes on guitar to ask about his blood pressure, and if Carlos Balcells (on bass) had a 10-minute nap when Mon Legaspi replaced him in one or two songs. They’re getting old but they’re getting more handsome and better as they age.

“Ang gwapo nya pala sa personal,” says my friend, Joyce, who is ten years younger than me, about Jett Pangan. Jett Pangan, meanwhile, is ten years older than me. This is my second time to see them perform live in person.

Salamat, The Dawn! Loved the performance, the songs, the gimmicks, and the lights!

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Me, with soon-to-be married, Joyce. Us, before the riot!

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My photo from our corner of the room.
 

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Oh God, I super love the lights. Takes me to a different world!
 

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Letting us sit back and relax first during the first few songs and just feel the music. It was in the middle part when we were all standing and grooving.
 

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Grabbed photo from Jett Pangan. Thank you Ms. Keyboardist (from Identity Crisis), Romel Sanchez, Carlos Balcells, JB Leonor, Jett, Mon Legaspi (from Wolfgang), and Francis Reyes for an evening to remember!
 

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Sent the photo above to Jett Pangan’s personal Facebook account.
And he replied! Kilig to the bones!

Thank you, The Dawn, for your last night’s 30th Anniversary concert at the Music Museum, Trenta (A Repeat). You made the tickets affordable, thank you. And you gave MORE than we paid for.