Sad Day

I buried a friend of mine today. He was 41 years old and didn't want to die. In fact, he wanted to be on his toes by Christmas time to join us in parties and small get-together. But such was not his fate and I went out to Mina today to say one final goodbye to his body. Tonight, I will be meeting up with old high school friends to celebrate his life and we will remember him as he was alive and how he would have loved to join us in such occasions.

During the mass today, I realized my own mortality. I've been talking about death in this blog and kept talking to people that I'm sooo ready for it. That it was everybody's finale - and that everyone will have to go through it at one point of their life. Just ... not now.

I guess when you're on the verge of death, you will always wish you didn't have to go. Maybe because you realize that there's so much more reason to live .. and to see ... and to talk about.

I will be spending time with my family in a few days and I've been looking forward for weeks. I can't die now. Not yet.


are you still having fun?

You are on your own
You do as you please
Having so much fun
Gone and lost your reason
After all is said and done
Well are you still having fun?
 - Eagle Eye Cherry, song "Are You still having fun"

Went clothes shopping today. That's because I had to get rid of a lot of clothes in my closet because I no longer fit them. I'm in panic but I can't seem to stop eating nor bring myself to get back jogging.

Damn. Being stressed is an old and worn-down excuse for eating what you shouldn't. Work should not be prioritized before personal well-being. Tiredness and asthma cannot be an excuse to avoid exercise.

I know all these in theory. Now if only I can summon all my will-power to get to work on the weight loss and the being healthy bit of my day-to-day existence, I'll be fine.

I cannot wait for inspiration. I cannot wait for a kick in the head. The only motivation I should need is that I love myself and I want to be able to feel more comfortable with my body.

Now na. Now na. Now Na! Gadarnit!


It's Just a movie

Just finished the Iran-Iraq movie called "Turtles Can Fly". I started it yesterday and thought it was too heavy so I decided to put it off for tonight. Damn! Now that I'm done with it, I can't be done with it. I'm very disturbed. I can't even say it's good because it was so dark, it's unspeakable. Was it effective? No shit! Yes, it cuts through, bleeds you until you wish you didn't get to finish it.

And this was just after I saw the Rachel Weisz movie about human trafficking in Bosnia - The Whistleblower a few nights ago.

Enough dramas and true-to-life films. It;s just too damn depressing.I now need major cheering up.

It's only a movie, right? But sometimes it's just not.


Time of the Season

So I buried my dad about two weeks ago. Technically, I'm still in mourning mode - the basis being that I haven't bawled like a baby just yet.

I did when Nanay died nine years ago. It happened during the wake. I started crying and just couldn't stop. I was inconsolable for a few minutes and can't get a hold of myself. So they let me cry until I ran out of tears or until my eyes looked like they just had their period.

I think I'm undergoing a different kind of mourning. And even I wonder how many kinds there are. For one, we haven't cleaned out Tatay's room just yet. We cleaned out Nanay's closet about two weeks after her funeral. It was more therapy and closure really. Plus we needed to make the place more livable for Tatay then, when he would be sleeping alone and  didn't need a constant reminder that he was sleeping alone.

Two days after we buried my dad, we went to a neighbor's wake - one of tatay's good friends in the olden days. Two days after that, we also buried my aunt, my mom's older sister. And when I went to work on Monday, I had to set-up a video screen for yet another wake - another of Tatay's political cronies. And then about five days after, I went to attend the funeral of a friend's mom. You'd think that this would make Nov. 1 so much fun now since everybody will have yet another reunion at the cemetery. While that could be true, I still think I need to bawl and I don;y know why I haven't yet.

Death is final. It's the only sure and constant thing that will happen to everyone at any point in their lives. I think that is why we were never to keen at taking pictures during the death of a love one. Aside from the fact that people are not really too sure if they should smile for the camera when they're standing beside a coffin, I am just not comfortable of pictures during a funeral. Well, maybe for documentation later on . Maybe we need proof that we were at someone else's funeral?

I avoid looking in coffins. I personally hate funeral make-up - no offense to the make-up artist - considering they are working with dead people who cannot  suck in their cheeks to show their cheekbones for the artist. No, I just don't like remembering my dead that way. I want to remember them living, moving, laughing. I want to celebrate their life and not their deaths. I want to remember how they lived.

The funny thing is, our community celebrated Halloween today. Our neighbor helped decorate the front driveway with two ghosts, and some pumpkin heads to get the kids into the mood while trick or treating. Our own little boy, dressed in his Superman costume was scared shitless of the ghosts outside the driveway and couldn't bear to go outside without company. So much for wanting to keep things funny and enjoyable. At least, it did what it was set out to do - to scare innocent kids. I wonder why we find that funny. Maybe it's nostalgia for the days when we were scared shitless ourselves when we were small.

And so tomorrow, we will again go to the cemetery to visit our dead on November 1. We had set-up a tent, flowers and candles for the ocassion. We should bring pictures of our parents too = to make it easier to remember why you're there in the first place.

You'd think that all these signs of mortality looming in front of us would want us to live better lives. But no, we didn't buy healthy food to bring the to the cemetery tomorrow. We bought comfort food because technically, we are still in mourning.


That's why they call it life

So I finally got to watch Oprah's last episode.We don't have cable TV so it took me awhile to get there but I finally did it. Now, critics say Oprah should not be a prime authority when it comes to telling people how to run their lives. To me that's full of shit. Anyone who can influence people to want to do better things in their lives should be honored. Of course it will not stop dumb people from misinterpreting their advise - and there's danger in that kind of influence - but still, I believe that people are generally smart enough to want what's good for themselves and what's good for others.

I watched the last episode twice. On the second run, I took notes. LOL. Here are my notes, mostly quoted from Oprah:
  • This is exactly where I wanted to be. This is what I called to do.
  • Everybody has a calling and your real job is to figure out what that is and get into the business of doing it.
  • You will receive in direction proportion to what you give
  • You have the power to change somebody's life. The power is the same for all. Use your life to serve the world.
  • Nobody is responsible for your life except you.
  • You are responsible for the energy you bring to yourself and the energy you bring to others. For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction (Newton's Law).
  • Feelings of unworthiness is the root of all problems. 
  • You are worthy because YOU ARE BORN. and YOU ARE HERE. And YOU ARE ENOUGH. (Reminds me of a line from the movie The Help - You are kind, you are smart, you are impoh-tant :)
  • Everybody desires validation. (Including you and those that make your life difficult - haha- can't resist to add that in). Everybody asks: "Do you hear me? Do you see me? Does anything I say mean anything to you?"
  • Know God - the guidance greater than bigger minds.
  • If you don't pay attention to the whispers in your life - they will hit you like a ton of bricks. 
Makes you think, doesn't it.

So I looked for my original Jerry McGuire moment in this blog and thank God for blogger and search boxes, I found it easily here. Which also led me to my Mondo Beyondo list back in 2005. My list has changed after seven years though. Some of the basics are still there but I got to accomplish a lot of items that were on my list. I feel that because of that list, I got to live my life the way I wanted.

But here I am seven years later. Like marriage, the relationship with oneself needs assessment and rejuvenation. I've reached the crossroads again. I have found myself unhappy - not so much as I was back in 2005 - after all, I did find my calling. But something tells me I'm not quite there yet. So I need to revisit my mission statement and change it to the direction I want in my new age - 41. I need to do it now before it can hit me like a ton of bricks. I feel there's so many things I still want to do and so many things life has to offer. I don't want to reach the end of my days regretting the things I didn't do. I want to say I lived.

That's why they call it life.


Any questions for Ben

I love long holidays. Spent this Monday morning cleaning my room a bit. Moved my bed a few inches then I'm done. Kidding. Then spent the afternoon teaching a friend how to use Photoshop. I was rewarded with chocolate cake and coffee. Yup, I get paid pretty well by just talking. Haha. When I got home I had this Australian movie waiting for me.

I love the soundtrack. I love a movie with a great soundtrack - sometimes I remember the soundtrack more than I remember the movie but this one is a chick flick you'd want to see.

The lead character is into product re-branding and marketing - which is probably why I can relate. Made me ask the same questions though. Why am I doing what I'm doing. Sucks! LOL. But really, what AM I Doing? But that merits another blog post so let's set that aside for now.

I was never an Aussie fan. The accent disorients me somehow but the movie is ... cute - not entirely "You've Got Mail". More like British humour with Hugh Grant, without the drama. The comedy gets me chuckling which is great on a quiet evening holiday. Oh, and keep watching when the credits comes up because I find that part strikingly funny and apt. Too many good looking people in this film though. I think that's my only complaint. The script was charming, sometimes witty. Josh Lawson plays the lead as Ben - he's appealing in all the right ways. Rachael Taylor, the love interest is a pretty little thing - I love her clothes  - all of them! I love them so much I hate them! You get my drift. As I said, too many good-looking people in this movie.

So you want to know the meaning of life? Ask Ben.

And with that, let's listen to the songs in the soundtrack :) Yey!

All Right Now by Free

Are You Still Having Fun by Eagle-Eye Cherry

Time of the Season by the Zombies

Ain't That A Kick in the Head by Dean Martin

More Than A Feeling by Boston


The sun always shines on TV

If I allow myself to go to my dark place, I feel that I'm stuck in a land of missed opportunities and get constantly sucked back in like sago in a straw every time I try to pull myself out. It's the weight gain, the constant working, the insufficient budget and the house falling apart. I have to continuously remind myself that the best thing about life is that you can always start all over again. Tsk tsk tsk. Will need to listen to some Adele after this.

It's a long weekend and I'm so happy that apart from my small workload this weekend, I can actually squeeze in a bit of R&R. So I have parts of my weekend planned and on the list are vital stay-still-as-an-eggplant activities - or rather non-activities :) Yey!

So I began my early weekend after work Friday. My sister and I walked from SM City to home. We've been doing this for three days during the week just to get some exercise. So we would walk, bags in tow but in running shoes and jeans from the office to the Diversion Road. Last Friday, we got a ride from work friends and landed on SM City. So we walked from there to Mandurriao cutting across the new Mega World road where a sign confirms that road is passable for pedestrians between 6:30-8am, 11am-1pm and 4:30-6pm. I like open spaces and that was one route I'd like to pass again.

When I got home, had a quick dinner and headed back to SM City with my guy friends from CROSS to watch Bourne Legacy (SPOILER ALERT!). I don't really know how the world liked the movie but I'm easy to please. I love the scenes shot in the Philippines. I always wondered why they never bothered to shoot Bond movies here when there are so many places to hide here LOL. I mean our police can't even find Rolito Go when he gets kidnapped - imagine the possibilities of James Bond hiding out around here. Anyway, I especially love the scenes in the shanties, the climbing using protruding kabilya, tight-rope walking on electricity cables, jumping on galvanized iron roofs which surprisingly did not collapse. And the scene where Weisz was trapped in a narrow passage way and Renner sliding through with his foot for friction - hehe. That was exciting. And may I just mention the motorcycle race with Manila traffic - hmmm, might give riding in tandems ideas for escape though - oh well. I'd like to see Jason Bourne and Aaron Cross meet. Oh I love Jeremy Renner. I've loved him since Hurt Locker, The Town and Mission Impossible. I love that he doesn't look as suave as Bourne and that he is somewhat more human for an assassin. And Rachel Weisz - well, she's married to James Bond - she's got to be more than perfect to pull that stunt.

To continue, I worked all morning to finish my small jobs so I could get to the tough ones today. I had a three-hour nap yesterday - and I read in FB that a nap is not more than 90 minutes and if it's that long it's called a lazy man's nap. I'd like to be called lazy even just for three hours.

I spent Saturday evening singing with high school friends in Highway 21. We belted out the Bohemian Rhapsody like we owned the place. Yup, the 80's have unmatched music for lyrics that don't really make sense but we didn't care anyway. Here's a question: What does "Take On Me" mean? There was a discussion that maybe the meaning was lost in translation because A-ha was a Norwegian band and didn't really speak English.

Early this morning my sister and I took the baby and checked out the newly opened Esplanade. We need to plan our walking route home. It's narrower now but great for jogging. Still too many people though but that's because it's quite new. Wait a few more months then it goes to the serious joggers. Looking forward to start jogging there again. I need to get in shape.

Will turn off the TV and the computer after I get my work done. The sun may shine in TV but it's brighter and warmer outside.

And work begins ...


I Hope I Don't Fall In Love With You

I woke up at 3AM again. This time to silence - no thump thumping - of the construction being done at Mega World. Maybe because of the rain. Trying to remember the last few strains of a dream - copper haired Damian Lewis in a white unbuttoned shirt bringing me coffee :) Dang! That could have been a good one.

Anyway, one of those early mornings when I can't shake off a song in my mind. First heard this one from the Hootie and the Blowfish - love this version:

The original song is sung by Tom Waits, an American singer-songwriter, composer, and actor. Waits has a distinctive voice, described by critic Daniel Durchholz as sounding "like it was soaked in a vat of bourbon, left hanging in the smokehouse for a few months, and then taken outside and run over with a car" (Wikipedia) - hehe. I like that description.


 I'll stick with the Hootie and the Blowfish version though. Makes me want to get drunk and learn to play the guitar. And here are the chords. Still no thump thumping.


Thump thump

I should write something. It's 3am and I can't sleep. Somebody's building a large complex near our vicinity and I could hear the thump thumping of large cement poles being buried somewhere in the deep by huge machines. I don't even know why they do it at night. And I hope they don't disturb other light sleepers like me nearby.

So I said I should write. I've been so busy lately that I don't think I've had the time to think. Or maybe I'm just avoiding thinking all together so I don't get really over critical of myself and add a dark mood to the dark weather. I hope it stops raining soon.

Nothing new to report really. My house is still falling apart. I wish I were working on something significant and life-saving but that doesn't involve blood or other bodily fluids. I wish I was not so overly critical of the world or if I have to be, I wish I could spend more time with like-minded individuals - just to cure boredom and have some decent mind-blowing conversations. I wish I had more discipline and not too opinionated. But then again that wouldn't be me, would it?

So much for not darkening the mood.

The thumping has stopped. Maybe i should get back to bed.


50 shades

Finished my first 50 Shades yesterday. I'm halfway through the second book. And I didn't skip parts - LOL. Let's just say I had to cough more than usual to get through the book. And I would've thrown it against the wall (like I did with the Twilight Series) had I not been reading it on my laptop.

I now understand why they call it "Mommy Porn". And why they compare it to the Twilight series. And why they want Ian Somerhalder to play Christian in the movie version. It's definitely not for the young to read.

Do I like it? No comment. Hahaha.


Re-arrange the skies

When I run out of titles for my blog, I use the lyrics of the songs that is playing in iTunes. The one above is from "It's Raining Men" by the Weather Girls. Sometimes it fits, sometimes not.

So hi folks. Haven't blogged for a long time. Saying I'm busy is a constant boring excuse but it's true. Now people might see I must be raking bucks with all the work I'm doing. I'm not. I've been selling myself short and most of my projects are probono work. Baaaaaad bad. But it can't be helped. You pick your fights. I'm lucky enough that I can choose my clients - at least in my design job - but I keep saying to myself that it was never about money. But now that I'm paying bills left and right - I have to say that yes, sometimes it has to be about money. And selling myself short is one of my naive, idealistic perceptions of how to stay happy. Sometimes, I can be a huge idiot! Ah, there, I said it. Time to get smarter. There's a new tomorrow.

I've been talking to a friend of mine this morning. I told her that people call me naive sometimes. I always answer that I'm not naive really but hopeful. Naive is when you trust too much without reason. Hope probably means the same thing - LOL. But I'm hopeful that when things are not what they should be, there should be someone or something to make it right - that's hope. Hope for things not seen. Maybe others call it faith, but to me it's hope. And maybe, just maybe -that hope will "re-arrange the skies".

I am disillusioned, disappointed and dead tired. I felt that I have indulged myself way too much on hope, and food, and work. Maybe, just maybe, I need to take stock and re-arrange my skies. I'm too selfish to let myself hurt myself but that's exactly what I've been doing for the last few months.

Hopefully, my next post on this blog will be the song playing on my iTunes - Tayo'y Magsayawan. Sumabay sa Takbo ng Tugtugan. :)

Rolling my sleeves. Re-arranging my skies has never been easy. I should start start dancing towards it. Let's start by turning up the volume and getting out of this chair. LOL


Out of Touch

I've been stuck in FB. That's why this blog has been neglected for far too long. But I just can't give it up right now. While everybody's in facebook, blogging still remains my greatest love when it comes to embarassing yourself in public. LOL.

I haven't been inspired to write. Just been going through a phase that I can't quit. But just to give you a glimpse of what's been making me happy ... or mad. Here's a list: (wink)

Don't you just love Daryl Hall. LOL.


Practice Play

I thought I'd drop a word before I head off to dreamland. It's twelve midnight and I just finished editing two websites and my back hurts. That's because it's the first day back to work after the 5-day long vacation of the Holy week. That's also because, of the 5-day vacation, I spent 4 and a half days working on these two websites. One of them is a paying client, the other is probono work. And I give them both equal attention because I love to put my name on my work and I don't like embarrassing myself with mediocrity. That's how proud I am. LOL. So here I am trying to get sleepy because in 5 hours I have to get-up and plant trees in the mangroves of Leganes. It's been a hell of a month. But I'm not complaining. Not really. LOL.

The good news is I've scheduled some me time next week. For one whole day. That's all I need to keep me alive and sane. So just want to tell you all good people, that I'm quite alright, still single and without a man in sight LOL - but continuing to love life, freedom, art and the glorious, wonderful world.

Christ has risen. Alleluia. Certainly non-practicing Catholics slash agnostics are allowed to rejoice during Easter too. Hehe. I can hear my mother frown. LOL.

I wish I could write more. But facebook seems to be doing a great job at keeping me away from this blog.

Ahhh, mahna mahna. Will be back real soon. I do miss the mundane.


Love-Hate ... Choices

I usually love choices. I think people who have choices are the luckiest people in the world.  It's the privilege few who have a vast array of choices and the poor who don't have that much options - and if they do, it's usually a choice between the bad and the ugly.

Now, I usually love choices. But my greatest fear is regret. And choosing between two good options is the biggest conundrum in the world. But not deciding ... is laziness or just plain cowardice. Right now, I'm very fearful of making the wrong good choice. Mostly because I fear I'm going to hit my head on the wall once I make it.

So I'm making a choice and letting the world decide if it was meant for me or not. I would be lying if I say the outcome will not affect me. I have a strong feeling that whichever way the wind blows, I will probably end up banging my head on the wall anyway. And I'm bracing myself for that which I dread.

A wise man once said: "Do that which you dread and cherish your victories with pride. Nothing here can harm you except yourself."

So I choose to be brave and face the consequences even if the consequences will not make me happy. Face my fears. Cherish the victory of my decision. And kick my head in the aftermath.

Hopefully I can pick myself up later and brush my mistake aside. And more importantly, learn from my mistakes. And kick myself some more. Then move on.

I usually love choices.

If only I don't have to make one now.



My passport expires end of this year. And there's this Singapore-Malaysia trip being planned just before the fourth quarter. My mind tells me I can't afford it. My heart tells me, I only live once. LOL. I've been to Singapore but never been to Malaysia. I've always wanted to visit Singapore again because there's so much to see there - and Malaysia - Yeoh! I mean Michelle Yeoh - enough reason why I should see Malaysia Truly Asia.

Now, see- I'm not some rich girl who goes abroad every other year. Most of my travels are funded by hard-earned freelancing jobs - of which I've lost sleep. A lot of my expenses were freebies from my brothers who are generous enough to let me see part of the world. Travelling it's not cheap. But it's a great way to open your mind. My parents were travelers - a very good reason why they ingrained curiosity among their children. So now the curiosity never stops. And why is my favorite question.

If I had my way, I'd like to travel locally too. But they say the cost of travelling locally is not more expensive than travelling on promotional tours outside the country. And If you have money to spend, you'd go for the one which you would rarely get the chance to go to, right?

Hmmm, do I give my passport another stamp before it is replaced? Or should I set my priorities straight and satisfy curiosity in other things?

I hate good choices.


Take A Break

I'm home today - a working day. I should have lunch at Jaro - there's this huge fiesta there and several friends have asked me to drop by. But I felt I needed to really stay home today since I will probably be working until Sunday again. I caught a cold last week and have been battling asthma since Sunday. I went to the office doctor Monday and been taking meds for anti-allergies, asthma, anti-biotics and for pains and faver. Four days into the meds and I'm still sick. A friend said that I had to take a rest. I told him that asking a workaholic to stop working is like asking a drug-addict to quit drugs. He suggested that I don't give myself time to rest and sleep. And yes, I'm guilty. So here I am at home and not working.

Anyway, while in bed, I watched Mammoth, a 2009 movie which stars Gael Garcia Bernal and Michelle Williams. I've read the reviews and was surprised that it didn't get that much attention. I love the movie. I do realize that a movie-goers disposition affects much of the movie experience, and I've heard people say that the movie made people guilty about working away from the family, and how judgmental it is. I do not agree with that. And I do not see that at all. A movie can mirror reality, but it was not meant to make people guilty of anything. If you get certain feelings in a movie, it's because you get hit by your own realities or of others but it certainly does not  call you evil. Movies just tell stories. Like books, we may hate them or we may love them. But judgement - that comes from our own experiences. There are movies that are banned because people say they promote a certain belief or culture not acceptable to society. Sigh. Wake up people, so does TV! Once we sensationalize something, we put it at the center of attention. I'd like to think though that movie-goers are given too little credit. We can think for ourselves. 

Let me not get started on the Corona Impeachment - LOL!

I just want to say that I appreciated the movie and I can relate to the characters there. We all have to make sacrifices to make our lives better. It will affect everyone around us, and our decisions may not always be right to others, but it will be our decisions and we all have to live with it. And I just want the movie to get the appreciation it deserves because I thought it was well-directed, well-written and the characters made a superb performance.

Okay I'm off. Time to gas out the bad elements from my lungs.


My Prayers

Last January:
Lord, help me understand that all good things in life that happen to me do so because I deserve them. Help me understand that what moves me to seek your truth is the same force that moved the saints, and the doubts I have are the same doubts the saints had. and my frailties are the same frailties. Help me so be humble enough to accept that I am no different from other people. Amen.
This February:
We are human beings, Lord, and we do not know our greatness. Lord, give us the humility to ask for what we need, because no desire is vain; no request is futile. Each of us knows how to best feed our own souls; give us the courage to see our desires as coming from the fount of your Eternal Wisdom. Only by accepting our desires can we begin to understand who we are. Amen.
Borrowed from Paulo Coelho's Brida


I'm back to work

Or that what I keep telling myself. I haven't been lazy. There's too many things going on it seems that I keep neglecting a little bit of everything. I did get some jobs done though but they were mostly edits and tweaks and nothing that required any artistic, dig-through-your-soul passion. So now, I'm back to work. Already have jobs lined up, about two probono projects and a few serious ones. I haven't had time to close my books yet but I'm projecting a bad verdict for 2011. Too many expenses although the income was alright. I'm now beginning to think I charge too small for my services but I don't really want to change my prices for now. It's a passion so as long as my bills get paid, money is really not that important. I have decided not to travel this year - at least that's the plan. I think I need to recover my losses for 2011. Last year I had Davao, Macau, Hong Kong and Boracay as major vacations and it made a huge hole in my pocket. But no regrets though. They were deserved and much needed. I've also given up coffee and sticking to water. I need to be healthy to work. Just finished a hectic weekend with Kasadyahan and Dinagyang Festivals. I stopped focusing on photography for now. Better photographers are around whose talents I really appreciate so I will leave it to them to produce the goods for the festival. Had a good time but a bit sun-burned. I have a wedding to attend to next week plus a mini-reunion with my yahyah friends. Everything's good. So I'm back to work today, Chinese New Year. to design two website templates. Kung Hei Fat Choi everyone :)