Lovelies

For the past two years my girls and I celebrate Christmas together on the 27th. It's Alyssa who chose the time and place this year: lunch at Arano Restaurant in Guadalupe.

Arano Restaurant Facade. It reminds me of the movie the Secret Garden except that it has less vines.
It's a hidden place. You literally have to hunt for it and that's basically what I love about it -- since it's hidden, then it's private and quiet. We were actually the only ones around that time. 

Two Wheels and Pedals

I was looking around active zone in Ayala today for the first time (I am a loser) and went inside Rox, an outdoor sporting goods store, where someone I know bought his bike. Pretty neat, huh, buying a bike from a mall where everything is almost twice or more the price in downtown Colon. Checked out their bikes. Most of them were climbing up to a hundred K. Price tags hurt my eyes, so I played with the Nalgene bottles instead and tried to decide what color to buy when I got reason to <-- when I get a bike.

This is an old bike from our business. It doesn't fit well and tires my legs quickly.

I don't remember wanting anything as bad as I am wanting a bike now. Sure, when I was 12 years old there were nights when I wished so hard of waking up to the coolest cellphone. I cringe at the stupidity of my childhood wants. I wish I was more reasonable, but what the heck. So now I'm 21 and wanting a bike. I got better reasons for wanting such. I learned to bike when I was around 7 years old. My dad bought us this cute pink Barbie bike but it was our carpenter who taught me how to ride it without the training wheels. My sisters and I used to bike around the compound or in the village across our house and I once hit a kid coz I didn't brake. Kid's mom told me to stop biking so I stopped. I stopped biking in that village, at least. But I still biked, only somewhere else: in the cemetery.

It is the only place my dad doesn't complain of us biking. It's all green and sunny and safe and close to Mommy too. But it's like 10km from our place and we have to overhaul our car just to fit the bike in. It's a tiring prep and drive. 

Since high school, I've little dreamed of going to school on a bike. We have employees who live pretty far and they bike to work. It interests me. Six years have passed and I still haven't realized that dream yet. Pretty dumb a dream to start with, don't you think? I should first be dreaming of having a bike to ride.

I did ask a bike from my dad.
Jamis Trail X2 2011
I saw it in a shop (YKK) I visited in downtown. Seems real neat. A biker friend told me it's a good buy seeing the specs. I don't know what good really is. As long as it brings me to places (with a few conditions), then it is good.

But good or bad bike, my dad won't support me in any way. It is dangerous (for him, at least) and my being a girl complicates it even more. I don't have money to buy it so it's all up to my dad.

I'm temporarily at a dead end. It is a sad situation, and the holidays spirit is no help. The only thing that's keeping me hopeful is the lottery and my first paycheck which is 4 or 5 years from now, God willing.

Happy holidays, you guys.

December in Photos


I've been such a bore. But this month wasn't.

6th: CIM Students' Night. I am Esmeralda -- dressed as, at least. Quasimodo looked so... tree-ish. Haha! My partner, Alfred is adorbs! *Dads' cam
7th: Alpha Mu Sigma Phi Christmas Party. Sounds like a fraternity yes? It's just an organization of medical students and doctors.
10th: Med Congress at Radisson Blu. Oh yes, the freebies were all we were stoked about.


Landmarks and Trip Hop

It's two weeks past semestral break and I realized I hadn't done anything break-worthy but rest at home with all the little kids running around and breaking the door to my room. Now classes resume and I'm having a sembreak hangover.

So last Saturday, I had my break extended afternoon til very early morning.

I

I spent the afternoon wandering around the city with my non-Cebuano classmates, touring them around the landmarks of the Queen City of the South. They've been here for six months and some of them haven't even visited downtown. So our generous bud treated us to lunch and some drinks (on a sunny bright lunch) and a drive to wherever the tourists wanted to check out.

Sto. Niño Church

Fort San Pedro

Taoist Temple

I got home at dusk. Drained and dusty. But not so tired to call it a day.


II

I had supper at home with the family and thought if I should go out with my girls as planned. I was tired. I texted them I might not push through, which was actually disappointing coz I was the one who asked them out for tonight.

Ultimately, I decided to go. Trip hop band from Manila, Drip, was to play at the restobar we were going to, and I'm borderline obsessed with the genre. After slight pleading for my dad to let me go out, I was driving to the mall to pick up the girls and headed on to where all roads lead to on a Saturday night: The Outpost.

It's a personal favorite place. And I was in very good timing to have picked the right place at the right time. Their special guest, Drip, was wicked, "capable of giving you simulated bliss." They play trip hop, which is between hip hop and house/trance. I had to tell my friends a little about the music and the band too, since I was the only one who was into the genre. They might have not appreciated it as much as I did, but I'm pretty sure they enjoyed it. These types of music give me happiness without compare and heck, I'm running out of adjectives, but if happiness means smiling thinking of that night up to this day, then yes, that might be the word.





Drip's Song Number 9
This is what trip hop is like

For an awesome-er track, click here.

I'm through with sembreak. Now I'm having that Saturday night hangover.

Stop All the Clocks

I woke up to a dark sky and a little bit of rain.
It's my mom's 10th, and it's the same weather the day she left.
Ten years is long and my memory is slowly, depressingly fading.
I miss everything about her.

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message She Is Dead,
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

She was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

W.H.Auden


Photo by Loralyn Lau. Taken at my mom's resting place, 2008.

She Taught Me How to Smile

We were in a cab on a rainy night. I asked her how to look good on stage for a particular event coming. The one thing she told me that she knew she was sure about was that I should give a heartfelt smile. I didn't know what that meant. I was 10 years old. So I asked her.

"This is a heartfelt smile," she said, with a smile she just described, "and this one is a fake." I was looking at her face with the help of the yellow street lights as the cab was moving.

That was a month before she passed away. Ten years ago.

I just looked through pictures of her in albums and the ones hanging on our walls. I just remembered she didn't smile a lot in pictures. And now it's painful to try to imagine so hard her smile. I just realized it recently: It's fading... my memory is.

Some people look through my photos and tell me how happy I look, the way I smile. Just a couple of weeks ago a random stranger messaged me about my smile. That was weirdly flattering. But it led me to think of the person who literally taught me how to smile. My mom.

This is a picture taken around 1992, I guess, at our house in Oman, with our neighbors. This is the only picture I could find of her with the biggest smile. It's not so big, actually. But it's the only one I could find. She's only got a few. I don't know how she managed to teach me how to smile when I could find too few pictures of her doing so.



I've been thinking and writing a lot about my mom lately. And I just wish she'd visit me in my dreams. We'd talk and share smiles. It's been so long since. I can't even remember the last time.

Gloomy



I was surfing the internet for few of my favorite people and I am, without fail, always amused by the talent they have. Such awesome artists with so much humility. No they're not celebrities, they're just some random people I found on the internet, with ordinary jobs and simple looks, and just living within my country, but whose talents keep me visiting their pages again and again.

I want to be as good as them. Be able to draw and paint, sing and play those instruments with so much ease as a feather is flying with the wind. But all that's left of me now are frustrations. I could only sit here and think of how gifted these people are and how much I wish I was too.

I'm 20. I could have done so much.



*photo by inertia09 on DA

I Can Only Look Back at the Memories

I was with my 3 friends, Jane, Alyssa and April, hanging around in our school lobby killing time. It was late in the afternoon and the campus was getting quiet. We were talking about ourteacher who was a terror because she once tried hitting us during our duty in the health center. ASSAULT. Alyssa told her mom about it and said her mom would sue the teacher if she'd get physically assaulted! I told them that my dad had another response when I told him about it. He just asked me if my teacher was old (or around his age) and if she was, then he wouldn't be shocked about it. He could relate. He said people like him and our teacher are really like that and that they would do things (like assault, I believe) just to discipline us. LOL. I agreed a bit.

I didn't talk about my mom, but Alyssa did and she said that my mom would have said the same thing her mom said. I just gave her the "maybe" look and gave it a thought.

My mom passed away 10 years ago.

I didn't know if my mom really would have said the same, that she would be suing my teacher if ever she crosses the line. But my friends told me they were sure she would have done the same.



That's me and my mom on October 20, 1990 in Sabro, Oman.

I was getting a bit sentimental trying to remember instances when my mom tried to defend me when I was a kid. I haven't really talked much about my mom with my friends. And my friends haven't asked me much about her neither. They must have known it would not be a comfortable talk. But today I guess my friends wanted to know.

Earning It

I was at a gas station having my tires air pumped when a man passed by bringing chaffing dishes, tied in straws, for sale. By his looks he was in his late 30's, neat and kind-looking. It wasn't hard to miss him wearing a bright orange shirt on a sunny day. I looked at him and he gave me a light smile and he showed me the dishes saying they were only worth 200 pesos and I could pay it in installment basis, 10 pesos per day.



I thought about buying one but eventually I said no, thinking I didn't have enough money with me and I won't be using that at home either. He walked ahead as I got inside the car and drove off to school. My heart broke. He didn't seem to be living somewhere near so it must have taken him a long walk to get there.

Austen


If there is one thing I'd like to have in my own house in the future, it would be a library. One as jaw-dropping as Belle's in Beauty and the Beast.

My love for books started when I was around 11 years old and curious when I discovered a novel my dad bought way back 1985. It was JRR Tolkien's The Hobbit. Well I've read some few Sweet Valley High's but they weren't enough to keep me wanting to read more until I've read The Hobbit. That was probably the only novel my dad ever bought.

So I started borrowing books from the library and my friends. Buying wasn't really an option. My allowance doesn't do me well. And my dad doesn't support me with this hobby. He's a huge huge huge reader, except for fiction. He'd rather buy me a new collection of General Information books rather than buying me novels. Argh. T_T

I go to malls usually ending up in bookstores. Looking for books I've heard/read some good stuff about. Most of the time I wish I hadn't entered because I would only be skimming through pages and putting them back on the shelves and be sad at the fact that I cannot bring them home.

Yesterday I was at Fully Booked in Ayala trying to decide if I should buy Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility since it was at a really reasonable price and it came in a good package but I ended up putting it down because I remembered I had more important stuff to buy ASAP. Austen could wait--for years, I'm sure.

I was lining up in the cashier for my cheap item (a birthday card) when this man in front of me, along with his late-teen-year-old-looking daughter looking so excited, spoke in a very loud voice asking if he has a membership discount. The lady behind the cashier then packing like TEN POCKETBOOKS answered him, "Yes, sir. That would be 3,***.00 all in all."

If my ears had jaws, they would have dropped right away. But they didn't. And I almost died of jealousy. But before my demise, I remembered my own tiny conflict between Austen and my money, and the birthday card I was about to buy and I thought, "I'm sticking with you, birthday card. Austen is dead. So am I soon."

Jane Austen Portrait by stargatequeen on DA.

Shotgun

I come by a soul
quirky yet mysterious
whose wits unlikely
and humor, wicked.

She happens to be a friend.
The cure and the cause
A curse and a blessing.

Born to be a four-eyed creature,
she trips over smooth ground
cries for a middle-aged man
but laughs over The Ugly Worm.

Emotions of hers kept hidden.
Digging we did but unearth we failed.
Then one Saturday, a paper arrived
Her secrets revealed.
I laughed, she cried.

Oatmeal sucker, her taste is bland
her eyes blind, and ears plugged
but she is one of the pretties
and happens to be my babe
a curse and a blessing
the cure and the cause.

Jane always riding shotgun in the car. One day it'll be my turn. ;)

Goatie Moviegoer

by prohoroff on DA

Before I left for vacation in Manila last December, I made sure to watch Avatar in 3D because by the time I'll be back here in Cebu, all that's showing in theaters would be films for the MMFF. Moreover, I'm a die-hard fan of Titanic. I've seen it a million times, reruns over and over, and still cry. So this movie has been in my to-watch list for quite a long time since I've heard about it as another Cameron film.

After our college department's Christmas party in school, I went straight to the mall--despite the many invitations for an after party at my classmate's house--and bought a ticket for the last full show. Other than my bag, I was in good company with my free donut and drink. I was alone and it was my first time to watch a 3D movie, which meant wearing those huge shades so I could experience the 3rd dimension. But hey, I wasn't the only first-timer around. As the movie began, I could hear the wooooooows of the people who weren't able to keep silent about the amazement in front of their eyes. It was cool. I like it when grown-ups unleash the inner child in them. I smile to that. :)

In Out Whatever

I'm not usually a fan of fads. Huge shades, flipflops, plaids, headbands, gadgets, whatnot. I even just had my hair cut so short I didn't mind my friends' plea not to.

It was a sunny afternoon a while ago and I was in a car whose windows have not the slightest tint on them, with my girl friends, on our way to our favorite fast food up to meet Jes. Jane shotgun, as usual. The sun was scorching hot and the aircon not cooperating. There were five bodies inside the car, too insulated from the weather. Squinting and sweating, I took my black rimless shades from the dashboard and jokingly told my friends, "I'm still your friend while I put these shades on, okay?" Hell yeah they were still my friends. I could hear the burst of laughter from the front and back seats.


Thinking while looking at them and sharing their laughter: do I look really hilariously horrible with these shades I chose according to my own taste? sheeeeeesh.

I took them off. My passenger was laughing and telling me I looked so yesterday and that I should have something like Jackie O's. Like I ever cared about their taste--which they consider IN--to be mine as well. I like looking at girls with those huge eye accessory even though I know their noses aren't as long as the shades require them to be, which leave the glasses to just hang on their cheeks. HAHA. No offense. It's an okay sight though. I don't really care. Til you care about mine.

People with the original taste (before the fad came out) have to drop their love of the just-now-craze for fear of being labeled a wannabe. Argh. To hell with fads.
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