07 March, 2009


i can't believe sometimes that i've hit the big three-O.. and yes, writing the number sometimes still gives me the creeps, though i am not denying it at all (contradicting?). sometimes, i just don't feel like i'm really at this age, because i used to think that once a person hits thirty, that's the start of a lifetime where you get to be really old, act old, and be like mature on everything. *roll eyes* okay, so i'm talking like i'm sixteen, but seriously, i don't feel i got older at all! :)

i remember asking friends older than me, what it feels like to be thirty each time one hits that age. i think it's an age where something phenomenal inside of you should happen - like probably a deeper consciousness that you're not young anymore? and that you should radically need to do something about that. but then, you see your friends not changing a bit, and they still act the same way as they were and you realize, your old theories about being thirty must be wrong. so i guess that's why i didn't see any drastic changes in my friends when they started hitting thirty... well, except their marital status.

when i agreed with the three weeks of work in our cambridge office, i didn't realize that my birthday would fall on the duration of the stay. when it hit me that i will still be on my business trip during my birthday, i thought i would be able to finally feel what it's like to celebrate a birthday on my own, not that i am looking forward to that at all. but you know, just out of curiosity, how deep could one fall into depression when that happens? there goes the masochist in me again, basking on those negative feelings. but well, it was simply out of curiosity if i would survive it or not.

i've probably written about this before that birthdays are a big deal to me, not in a way where i should throw a big bash or something of that sort. but it has always been a big deal for me, emotionally. i find myself often more anxious when my birthday comes. and to fight off any signs of depression, i start to list down the things that i should be thankful for instead, and that always manage to lift me up and enjoy the rest of the day. but you see, i could not recall when i wasn't anxious each time my birthday is approaching, and i am talking about since i was probably only just twelve! .. and now is indeed an exception.

could it be that i was just so busy with my crazy work? or that i am away from all my loved ones - my honey, family and friends - that there's really nothing to expect much on that day rather than treat it as any other day. there's no big deal about that. or, in a more serious note, could it be that i finally got tired of all my anxiety issues on my birthdays? and could this be the phenominal change that i've expected to happen - that i've gotten over my anxiety issues.. aha! so, my theories were probably right after all.. but that they are only applicable to me. :(

anyways, could it be that i am simply happy and content right now that i no longer put a pressure on the milestone that i have to make each time i celebrate my birthday. and that feels so much better. why hadn't i realized this before? it surely would have saved me a lot of worry lines.

so, when you really have lesser worries in life, things would just fall simply right into its place. in short, my birthday turned out to be one great day after all, despite being away from your loved ones. my colleagues in cambridge moved the usual friday lunch to a thursday lunch so that i will be able to have lunch with everyone just before i leave. then they all surprised me with a cake (which never happened the whole nine years in this career life), thanks to skype for broadcasting my birthday to my contact list :D then my old roomie in singapore treated me to a good seafood dinner where we feasted on lobsters, shells, mussels, oysters and shrimp (remembering the great food makes me hungry all over again even if i just had my lunch). and i get to celebrate my birthday for 37 hours because my honey and other friends started sending their greetings based on GMT+8 timezone which is 13 hours ahead of eastern time. so, how cool is that? :)

there's really nothing to dread hitting the big three-O after all, but rather you get to have more reasons to celebrate life.. and for this may God be praised! yey!

13 December, 2008

great to be back

i just arrived in singapore about two hours ago, and i just can't wait to sleep. but my eyes aren't droopy yet, so i'll keep myself busy until they complain :)

work was crazy on-site in south africa, and i am just glad i am having a three-day weekend right now. i felt i was just out of the loop with my friends. i hope these guys would still get me back in the loop :D

i hope i can start feeling the christmas season and i just can't wait to go home to the philippines to be able to spend christmas with my family. i could not imagine how else i would be spending it.

i think my christmas would be fine despite the rollercoaster stuffs that i went through the past months. i am just this big believer of christmas as being the happiest season of the year, and it is important for me to get that feeling every december. good thing, i already received my first christmas gift .. yey! (thanks ri! i'll open it on the 25th na ;)) .. then, i'll also be attending a christmas party tonite, so that's a good start. though i have no idea what's going to happen cuz no one's updating me about it anyways. but whatever, i have my gifts ready. i hope :D

even if i have a three-day weekend, i'll be so busy with preparing my christmas gifts. to my friends who requested some rooibos tea, well, it'll be on its way soon ;) then, i have to be at the ministry of manpower in singapore to get my new work permit.

it's a good thing coming back was not much of a problem despite having lost my travel documents, though i had a little trouble with the south african immigration. the lady who cleared my visa was not in such a good mood, so she gave me a bit of a hard time. but i was glad that was over. i can't wait to posts my pictures soon ;)

well, i know this is just a random ranting of a tired, jet-lagged, traveller. but all i can say, i'm glad to be back .. (i won't be thinking about missing the very fluffy sheraton pillows in my sleep)

27 November, 2008

south african experience

I'm back, Pretoria.

There were several reasons that got me excited for my second trip to South Africa. One is, we're book to stay at the Sheraton Hotel, which is probably one of the fanciest hotels i've stayed so far - and free of charge. Plus, i get to have a very good view from my window - The Union Buildings.

The other obvious reason is that i have a wide angle lens which i just bought two months ago that will come very, very useful for my new found hobby. Then for more personal reasons, the trip would be an escape to the emotional mess i have once again put myself into, and this trip will be my breathe of fresh air.

before i give the wrong impression, i'm not back to south africa for a personal trip (as i can't afford this kind of fancy trips... yet) .. it's a business trip, which my boss effortlessly planned when i was supposed to apply for a leave. but of course, i'm not complaining. at least, when i'm working close with the client, i get to focus more on my work, and the progress i need to achieve. and so far, i'm on track with that.

so, i packed my stuffs and made sure i have my camera and all the other accessories i've brought for it in a shopping madness for that temporary retail fix (the kind where you just close your eyes as you swipe your credit card from one purchase, to another, and say to yourself.. "heck, i deserve this" in the most convincing way). besides, it's my new hobby, and people do invest in their hobbies... right?

the other thing that got me excited was when i was on board the plane to johannesburg, i saw several really pretty, tall, and very sophisticated ladies on board - me included (except the tall part.. hirit pa gyud :p) .. when we landed to jo'burg, the big sign "Miss world 2008 Johannesburg" just greeted us, and that explains the other sophisticated ladies on board. Basically, they were miss australia, miss japan, miss vietnam (by the costume), and two others whom i did not get to check to what countries they were from. hayy, lahi ra gyud ang dating basta pang beauty queen. they just have this distinct way to carry themselves, and i was just awed how thin these women were.

we arrived at the hotel four hours earlier than the expected check-in time. and instead of requesting for an early check-in, my colleague and i decided to treat ourselves with the very delicious south african food we can get in the shopping center where i really liked, during the first visit. we left our luggages and laptop at the hotel, and i brought my camera, iphone, all credit cards, passport, and all cash i had, with me. after the sumptuous lunch, we decided to do some grocery shopping for toiletries.

the huge grocery store really amazed us and we found a lot of goodies that we could not get in singapore. they simply have more choices when it comes to shampoo, lotion, drinks, junk foods, that we got a bit hyped up with our grocery shopping.

then it happened.

i put my bag on top of the shopping cart since my camera was getting a bit heavy. the shopping cart was never out of my sight as i know south africa is known to be unsafe. well, when you are so used with living in a place like singapore, or maybe japan, you simply slack on looking after your stuffs. so, with me standing just beside my shopping cart, and bending down as i returned an item on the bottom rack, i heard a thud. then as i looked up, i saw my groceries disarranged. then about a second later, i realized that i was just ROBBED!

yes, i was robbed and my camera now is gone, my nikon d70 with a 17-50mm f2.8 tamron lense, my iphone, my money, my credit cards, my PASSPORT, my employment pass in singapore is gone. i was screaming for security, but my GOOLY-MAMA .. everyone was acting like nothing happened!! the security did not alert anybody, people were just standing looking at this crazy asian shouting "i got robbed! i got robbed!! somebody help me!! ... my passport!!" (yes, i was amazed that i still was fluently speaking in english when this shocking incident happened). the security of the place was really unbelievably poor, that i bet, if i was robbed in a shopping mall in cebu and reacted the way i did, security would have acted on it faster. i have to even scream for the store's manager since nobody was really helping me. i demanded for the store to show me their surveillance videos, but they could not. i did not know if i would be hysterical over the loss of my stuffs, or the incompetence of the security of the place.

but then, i had to calm down to be able to act reasonably over the very unfortunate thing that happened. i know that screaming at anyone, or blaming the poor security of the place will not get my things back. the only thing that i could do was go to a police station and file a report, put evidence on what just happened in order to have support as i try to get my travel documents back. it was a first-time experience for me to get robbed, and another first time to visit a police station. good thing i was still able to compose myself and do the things i needed to do over the bad incident.

i went home to the hotel, settled the rest of my stuffs,and called our travel insurance company, which was very, very helpful (makes you realize how insurance companies are very useful for situations like this). as i tucked myself in bed that night, i tried to absorb all the things that just happened in one day.

i closed my eyes telling myself to still be thankful that i was not harmed over the incident. despite it all, i still think that the whole thing was a humbling and a learning experience for me. and if i plan to travel more in the future, i know i should be more cautious and learn more about the place to which i am traveling to. i am just lucky that i'll be staying for a month here, and i have more time to settle my travel documents. another blessing is that there is a Philippine Embassy just right here in Pretoria, and they were able to issue me a new passport in a week's time.

i've been here for less than two weeks yet, and so far, i have recovered well over the incident. i have come to accept that some things just come and go in your life, and we should not be too attached over material things, most specially, as they can be replaced. and your safety is still the most important thing over material possesions. though i had to comfort myself, on my own as i am far away from my family and friends, i am just glad that the people you need the most are just a phone away, or email away, or skype away, or ym away.. and the electronic hug is far better than none. i am also glad that my company was really very helpful and supportive too, that i am having second thoughts of leaving this job.. LOL. see, i get to smile over adversity, but then, that's me.

last weekend, i bought myself a new camera, the cheapest point and shoot i can find here (this is not singapore so gadgets aren't as cheap, and you don't have too many choices at all). it would be such a shame if we could not take any pictures from this trip, because despite the horrible thing that happened, south africa is still a beautiful country. And, i will enjoy the rest of my stay here. good thing, my boss was kind enough to say we should really enjoy our stay here by taking any of the day tours the hotel has. that way, we get to see more of the city and have our weekends filled. whatever tour we take daw, sagot na daw nila..

so, johannesburg, here i come!

08 November, 2008

i never thought ...

It no longer makes me cry and die and tear myself to see her go because everything goes away from me like that now--girls, visions, anything, just in the same way and forever and I accept lostness forever.-Coltrane

06 November, 2008

moral of the story

the eternal lesson that i have to learn ...

"Never Leave Your Heart Alone" - Butterfly Boucher (Grey's Anatomy)

And it's open
For distraction
You found all the words you need
Well I found nothing
I just grumble
'cause I don't know what I feel

The moral to the story goes
Never leave your heart
Never leave your heart... alone

Run for shelter
An umbrella
Fights the rain but not the wind
And I'd be silly
To start preaching
'cause I don't know which point to make!

The moral to the story goes
Never leave your heart
In a box
Locked up
With cold cold ice
Never leave your heart
...Never leave your heart... alone

Am I frozen?
But it's summer!
Is that rain or is that me?
Yes I'm melting
Please be happy
One day soon
We might just swim

The moral to the story goes
Never leave your heart
In a box
Locked up with cold cold ice
Never leave your heart
....Never leave your heart
.... Never leave your heart alone

11 October, 2008

my little drama

there were several times that i have been so tempted to just delete this blog for many reasons. it's been four years that i have been ranting my heart out, and sometimes, disclosure wears you out too.
but it's just one of those habits that is difficult to kick out of you. it's a feeble attempt to keep my thoughts organized...they really have this tendency to get wild, y'know.

but then, i've been mum the past months. not only was i preoccupied with my ever-challenging work, but my life's little drama was quite difficult to keep up. i do not want to get into a teleserye mode, but i had to say that in those short months, i had to deal with loosing love, loosing a friend, and almost loosing myself.

i do get tired picking myself up each time i mess up. and yes, i had (emphasis on the past tense) entangled myself with another kind of mess. this time, it was the not-in-my-life-time-i-can-imagine kind. i had my friends' literally pop their eyes out in disbelief when i spilled the news. this explains the recent chronic restlessness - i was simply panicking for the nearest fire exit.

one of the realizations that hit me though is that .. am i not too old to keep running away? haven't i had been through enough hard times that i have not learned to face my problems, head on? why do i always see my life as something that's difficult to live? a friend asked, why do i invite misery in? the only answer i could think of at that instant was.. because i love basking in the pain? (i had to mentally give myself a big slap on the face to make me realize what i had just said)

seriously, i should have realized by now that i am all geared up to fight my weaknesses.

i have:
* my heart (the one who is always putting me in to trouble can also be a good weapon)
* my head (yes, i realize that logic has to be a part in these kinds of troubles)
* my faith (it's time i admit i'm no superwoman, i can't do this on my own. besides, my heart and head is nothing without my God)

... and of course, i have an army behind me, and they are my friends who patiently listened to my rants and rambles and whines and all other synonymous words you can think of. the more i get into trouble, the more i realize who my true friends are ... they are always the ones who are ready to share a bit of their strengths to keep my head up.. so, i'm shouting my thanks to all of you.

now, i need time to heal and forgive myself and i do not have to go anywhere this weekend to do that. besides, i have saved the next two weekends for two out-of-country trips already, so i do not mind staying put this time :D (OA na pag three consecutive weekends nako maglaag :X) ..

so what do i have to do to keep myself occupied tomorrow? the options are open to shopping, shopping and more shopping :D ... kidding! seriously, i do not mind if there's no specific plans. i do not have to be restless anymore. what matters is the peace that i am inviting in :)

i still do deserve to bask in sunshine, right?

(thank you Lord, i can't believe the number of second chances you are giving me)

08 October, 2008

chronic restlessness

if restlessness is a disease, i could be suffering a chronic one. i have blogged countless times about this restlessness, the itch to be somewhere other than here. and, i have always made myself believe that the only way that can make me still is to find someone, or something to anchor me.

but i was wrong. i think i'm wrong. i had never been so restless in my life as i am right now. not even the tons of work that has managed to make me sleepless the past months had done anything about the restlessness. rather, it had made me more restless than ever. i dream about places i'd like to travel. i plan on trips that i know i just do not have the luxury to indulge in. i have visited airline websites for the next available flights for the next best destinations and mentally justifying the splurge i am about to take. i have even checked what is the best weekend trip to make other than batam or bintan in indonesia, or malacca in malaysia (why not?). only if spending 1,000 sgd is justifiable, i would have booked a flight to chiang mai in thailand, or bali in indonesia. if only budget airlines offer a good weekend flight schedules to siem reap in cambodia, i would be taking pictures of angkor wat this weekend now. i will not even mind flying to nepal if only there are good deals for a weekend trip. but no matter how much i argue with myself and my bank account, 1,000 sgd for a weekend flight will never be reasonable. so, forget about the week long trip to los angeles with nats, or a visit to xavi in san diego, or a quick high to josh in seattle :(

sigh. will this restlessness ever stop?

the thought of even finding the thing that would stop the wanderlust in me scares me right now. so, is my problem really that i can not be still? or, i do not want to be still? if i have this much passion about traveling, then what am i freaking doing in this job that traps me in the corners of my freaking cubicle? okay, so i get some travel perks, that should make me happy. it does actually, and i can not almost contain myself when there are plans for the next business trips. :)

now, why am i ranting about these? lately, i got the chance to know people who are just amazingly content about where they are right now and what they are doing and i can not find an ounce of that contentment in me that i am really indeed almost convince i am suffering a chronic disease of restlessness.

is it too late to believe this is just a phase? it is just a phase. yes, this is just a phase. it's a phase! .... :x