On short hair prejudices

short hair

A brawny looking man came up to me and told he’s the one cutting my hair. I was slightly taken aback as I show him a photo of the undercut I want. I have to remind myself, I am in a salon and not in a barber shop. Seated, looking at myself in the mirror, I contemplated for a couple of minutes before I finally decided, let’s do it! With my closed eyes and pounding heartbeat, I let him shaved my hair.

I was known for having the best-maintained hair in my early teenage years. Continue reading

The Rest is Noise

The Reast

There is a similar title published by Lourd De Veyra via Spot.ph and a non-fiction book by Alex Ross. In pursuit of finding the more important things in life, I fancy this phrase ‘the rest is noise’. There is beauty in silence, in the hushed sound of your own breathing, birds chirping outside the window or even the continuous sound of the room’s air conditioner is quite calming. Personally, stillness aids in bringing a total perspective of every situation.

As inaudible thoughts come into writing, allow me to pass on recent realizations. Foremost is how I consciously bring constant pain to others and endure a heavy burden on my chest afterward. My spiritual journey has become a cognitive process, a mindful effort to always do the right thing. Notwithstanding, I firmly believe that goodness naturally comes with people yet we are also capable of causing others to suffer. This moment of silence brought an emotional clamor, resulted into telling myself, “I should know better next time”. There is always something to be loved about a person, I just have to let love eventually wins. I say a prayer of forgiveness and courage to let go of my deep-seated resentment that comes with the fleeting sense of guilt.

Secondly, how series of circumstances tested my own principles. It’s challenging to stand ground when the universe seems to be tempting to go against one’s general truth. I guess I needed the pause and a step back as Ate Ed’s talk resonated in my subconscious. My younger self will cringe when I say this but in the truest sense, attending regular church service has been life-changing.

There is so much unnecessary noise in the real world and if we can only filter the good things like how we intend others to see us virtually, then we will be in total peace. Fortunately, that is not the case as certain uproars are essential for one’s growth. If you are resting in absolute peace, increase your volume frequency because you are still alive.

Sunday Currently Vol. 2

SUNDAY CURRENTLY

Reading

Nothing, in particular, just constant updates on Facebook. Okay, I’m reading the plot of some riveting movies and documentaries in IMDB playlists

Writing

Aside from this Sunday Currently, nothing else.

Listening

Soundcloud playlist dubbed as Vandals on the Wall’s 100 essential Filipino tracks of 2015, currently playing Nice Choreography by Stomachine.

Watching

Gaspar Noe’s Love which was released in 2015 Cannes Film Festival. It’s like Closer (2015) and Blue is the Warmest Color (2013) combined but intensified in some levels. I’m planning to watch Enter The Void (2009) by the same director soon.

Thinking

About having my first office-acceptable undercut, I need to wait for a few more weeks before I can shave sides of my hair. Emphasis on the office-acceptable because I don’t want to look like a lost, full-blooded rockstar princess in a corporate setting.

Smelling/Wishing

The scent of my freshly washed bed sheets. I prefer plain white bed linen, it gives the feel of sleeping in a hotel bed.

Hoping

For someone to buy me yeast and deliver it to my place. I want to bake soon but I’m so stubborn to go out. Friends, please buy yeast for me and I will cook for you.

Wearing

A comfy dress 🙂

Loving

I love how my beef bolognese turned out today, I came back to the home-cooking mode and loving it. I’m also baking chicken!

Wanting

To have the willpower to continue learning how to play the violin. Don’t get me started on what stage I am in now in this musical undertaking. Six months of infrequent self-study and I only know Twinkle Twinkle Little Star up to this date.

Needing

To process the refund for my unsuccessful remittance last Friday night. It’s my third time to have transaction issues about remittances, twice in Western Union and the first time in eRemit. I should get accustomed to this kind of frustration but oh well, still hassle.

Feeling

Content, I think it’s a positive feeling of not wanting more nor less. Does it equate to genuine happiness? I think so 🙂

Clicking

Researching about Sundance movies and watching the trailers.

The Sunday Currently was originally created by SiddaThornton

Tindahan Tales

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This has been published in Philippine Daily Inquirer dated May 11, 2017.

Our family is buying our first ever air-conditioned car, a Mitsubishi L300 cab. Yes, you’re reading it right, the typical L300 white delivery van you usually see roaming in your hometown – that is my father’s dream car.

I used to reject the idea of us buying a delivery vehicle but in retrospect, I believe my father deserves to get what his heart desires after all. To give you a background of what it’s like to live in a sari-sari store household and the reason why he wants to get the L300 van, be my guest. Read on, sir/ma’am.

My parents were never employed, my siblings and I were raised in a house with an extended sari-sari store and bakery in one. We used to live in an overcrowded area in Quezon City near Landmark, this was where my parents first ventured into self-employment. To give you a picture: If you are riding the MRT, departing from North avenue bound to Taft, you can notice a series of cramped makeshift houses beside Landmark – we used to live there until I think I was 7 years old before we transferred to Bulacan and even up until some time in college, I used to stay there because of its proximity to PUP, Sta. Mesa compared to Bulacan. I wouldn’t say that the place was out of harm’s way because real-life gangsters and knife-carrying neighbors clashing on the side street are real, believe me. Despite the unfavorable environment, my parents made it clear to us to always behave in a proper manner, reach out for their hand to bless every time we reach home and to actualize kindness to others. The only thing that we cannot compromise during difficult times is my mother, Mama is like our kryptonite. When my mother lovingly speaks, no one can resist her charm within the household — everything can be settled, including petty sibling argument.

Both my parents usually wake up at 4 in the morning to open our store, go to the wet market, look after the bakery operation while attending to buying customers. It was their daily routine for as long as I can remember – no weekend off, no holidays. We even had a karinderya and tried selling vegetables one time! When we try to go out as a family once in a blue moon for an occasion, our constant concern would besinong magbabantay ng tindahan?” When I say “Go out as a family” that means going to a nearby mall and eat in a nicer restaurant than Jollibee, our favorite was Max’s. In most cases where we cannot close our store, either of my parents would buy roasted chicken or ice cream to liven up the mood of our home and then everyone’s happy.

Our first ever out of town as a family happened two years ago in Batangas which coincided with their 26th wedding anniversary. Now that my siblings and I can somehow set aside a budget for our little travels here and there, we want to give them the experience they never had because of absolute dedication in providing everything we need and securing our education through the sari-sari store. I detested waking up 5 in the morning and be the assigned weekend tindera for the day but right now, I couldn’t be more grateful for our family’s collective efforts to keep our humble business up and running.

It’s challenging to raise a family of six and I can only imagine the hard work my parents had to go through starting from a small-scale sari-sari store. If there’s one significant lesson my parents imparted us through all these years is that nothing worth having comes easy. It’s a mix of persistent dedication, hard work and having fun along the way. After all, my father wants the L300 van so it’s easier for him to pick up goods from the supermarket to our home. Even at his age, surviving two abdominal operations and a mild stroke, my father won’t settle down in managing our business. He specifically wants the L300 Mitsubishi cab because it’s air-conditioned, I believe a little luxury wouldn’t hurt.

No waves, no problem in La Union

Processed with VSCO with c1 presetLa Union used to be my tropical haven, an accessible escape from city life and after being based overseas for almost a year, I couldn’t resist San Juan. The city’s atmosphere seemed to be so serene where time moves at a slower pace, the perfect setting to loosen up for few days. I went forth with one of my closest friends, Chabi as I long for thought-provoking discussions, waves of laughter and an impending comical misfortune (example: life vest situation).

Departed from Partas bus station in Aurora, Cubao last Sunday around 7pm, we were lucky we didn’t catch the Holy Week fever because regular holiday has yet to start on Thursday. So, fewer passengers = less waiting time for the bus schedule. I once waited for three hours for the bus schedule to La Union!!! 🙂

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The Circle Hostel has been my go-to accommodation in LU, a popular budget-friendly yet cozy hostel in the area. They have co-ed/all-girls dormitory type bed structure out of bamboo, decent beddings provided with mosquito net and own locker (tip: you need to bring your own padlock). The entire facility is filled with colorful excerpts and passage about the what we call ‘millennial-feels’.

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Six hours later, we were in the hostel’s common area lounging because wala ng staff sa reception to process the check-in. But, it’s totally fine! Our exhausted selves couldn’t ask for a better bean bag and lo and behold, we deeply slept for almost five hours. The first day was spent mostly on walking and swimming under scorching heat and shocks ang inet! Not complaining though, it felt good actually. Sadly, we were advised that there were no waves that week. No surfing! 😦

The following day, we started the trek to Tangadan falls around 6 in the morning. I love long tricycle rides + morning fresh air! In two years, this was the first time I heard my heart beat so fast, breathe and sweat like a horse. Two years na pala yung last hike ko, in Pulag!

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We stopped by the 20 feet cliff diving area and swam for few minutes. Chabi jumped a couple of times while just for the sake of the moment, I jumped once dun lang sa 10feet haha! We still needed to further walk to reach Tangadan Falls and guess what walang tao! We were the first ones to arrive. Picture-perfect moment! (refer to first picture above).

We rented life vests for two reasons:  #1. we don’t know how to swim and #2 one salbabida provided = one person (dalawa tayo, Chabi may I remind). In the end, I insisted we rent our own life vests because we still love our lives. We okay, I caused a scene. Let’s move on to the next happening, shall we?

We were seated under the falls, lingered in the moment, huhu ganda ng Pilipinas. After some #proudPinoy momentz, the guide told us that we should visit the smaller falls. I’ve been to Tangadan falls twice but that was the first time I saw the upper portion, medyo secret ata sya kasi kami lang yung nasa area that time.

Then we went back, repeated the walking mode in reverse direction (only hotter because Mr. Sun is up and shining towards noontime). After reaching The Circle, we cleaned ourselves and stayed in Moonleaf for #aircon and #wifi while waiting for our bus.

We went back to our hometown in Bulacan with sunburnt skin and aching legs but most importantly, adventure-filled memories!

March 2017 Rundown

Tadom Hill Resort with Feast Family

As part of our regular activity, we had a core group session in a private resort 1-hr away from KL. Our ministry headed the agenda and believe me, laughing marathon until pag-uwi sa bus. Super memorable ng Pinoy Henyo game, ehem Ken Matulid!

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Singapore Sidetrip 

My sister celebrated her birthday with me in Malaysia.  It’s her first out of country trip and to compensate for my one-week absence in KL, I surprised her with a trip to Singapore. Five hours later, we were in SG waiting for the sunrise in East Coast Park (surprise! the sun doesn’t rise from that side hehe medyo fail!) Luckily, there’s a pink hue above the calm sea level so it was still a sight to behold.

Stayed in Rucksack Inn Hostel along Lavender Street, a 6-bed all-girls dormitory for three days. I always look forward traveling with my siblings and yehes let’s start with the birthday girl. The first day was spent entirely on sleeping hahaha we were out around 6 PM because we were so tired from the lack of sleep. We visited famous SG landmarks first and took tons of photos. If 500+ photos are normal for you in two days, you will understand how we stop on every corner!!! Thank you, Walter, for joining us on this trip, bearing with our intolerable sense of direction and being the dependable photographer and tour guide in one! I am near convinced in buying an OPPO phone for the pictures taken. haha!

Ate dinner in Makan Sutra and opted to go for Gerry’s Grill haha! Pinoy food pa rin hanggang SG! In time for the Earth Hour, we were lucky to catch the astounding light and water fountain show in front of Marina Bay Sands and check the art installation within the area. We were again, exhausted for all walking, circling around MBS to Merlion area thrice, I think? Long way vs. short way, LONG WAY of course!! *inside joke with Walter and Carla*

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The second day started early in Haji Lane where we took photos using the visually appealing street arts as the backdrop. Instagram-worthy!!! Went to Sentosa Island for some more photos haha! And nope, we didn’t go to Universal Studios for now because  #budget. Suddenly appreciated my low cost of living in Malaysia while in SG!

PH Trip

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Currently in my home country and finished a week of productive business travel. It’s always a great time to catch up with colleagues + see the new office in SM Aura Tower. Time for some rest and relaxation as I head to La Union tomorrow. Beach, please!!! 🙂

Sunday Currently Vol. 1

sunday

Reading

Currently checking travel stories from PS. I’m On My Way by Trisha Velarmino. It was in December 2015 when I was reading an entry in her journal about pursuing your travel aspirations. Presto! I booked the plane ticket four hours before my flight to Batanes. I spent four days with the locals touring the panoramic and serene sights on the northernmost province of Philippines. It was an eye-opening experience!

Writing

Personally, it’s easier to put words into thoughts when I feel downright disheartened. I think this just shows that I am at the moment where everything falls into place. I haven’t been writing anything except for the constant update from this journal (aka collating films).

Listening

My album of the decade, The Neon Hour by BP Valenzuela.

Watching

Hitler’s Bodyguard in Netflix episode 4, I can’t believe the structured and internal competition protecting the Führer had a lot of drama on it — a lot enough to produce a documentary with 13 episodes!

Thinking

About my upcoming trip to Philippines for work plus a side trip to La Union. Ahh, beach!

Smelling/Wishing

Veggie Fiesta pizza of Dominos, how come I only discovered you recently?

Hoping

I hope to start investing in online stocks. This morning, I attended an initial briefing about the basic concept and how we can utilize online stocks to secure our financial goals.

Wearing

Comfy pajama and over-sized shirt, my weekend home uniform.

Loving

My impulsive decision to cut my hair very short came after a disappointment of my ATM card getting suspended. I think every woman should try to cut their hair very short once in their lifetime, to try shying away from the hair goals demands of society.  I always believe in cliché millennial adage that goes with #YOLO. Loving it, so glad I did it again.

Wanting

To visit Japan and see cherry blossoms. If all the odds are in my favor, I am looking forward to catch the season in Hokkaido this coming May.

Needing

The need to eat healthier and regain interest for home-cooking! I think there’s a phase of my expat life where for a month I’ve been cooking and saving all possible Tasty recipes  whereas the following month I’ll just order pizza or eat outside.

Feeling

Happy to be a friend to someone – from shisha midnight talks, weekday bowling activity and Light Group discussions.

Clicking

Have you watched the cute viral video where the children interrupted the live coverage of their father in BBC news? I watched it several times today to heighten my euphoria!

The Sunday Currently was originally created by SiddaThornton

Move

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Migrating to WordPress because I think no one’s using the Tumblr as a platform anymore and it’s now full of annoying ads. I was able to retain the old domain as well. I hope I could write and document more of my life recently. Planning to start a passion project soon so I can keep updating this online journal.

Just so you know, I also migrated my online journal circa 2007-early 2016: Sta. Mesa Files

Time check: 12:37am

For now, I will sleep.

*artwork from above done when I was still in my early 20’s hence the quarter-life crisis

2016 Musings  : Part 1/2

If I were to describe 2016 in a word, it would be ‘expansive’. No in-betweens, no middle ground, just extremes. The magnitude of circumstances, opportunities and companionship this year defined my character at all ends up. I didn’t realize how migrating to Malaysia will change me, at least I believe in a positive way.

If you are existing for almost three decades, one naturally aspires to be socially acceptable grown-up contributing to the GDP of your beloved country, solely responsible for your life decisions, changing wardrobe to mute color scheme, sending precise emails with less text, paying duties at home and trying your best to keep cool and be objective at all times. Kinain na ako ng sistema, mga bes! On the contrary, there is an immense desire to travel as much as I can, learn new culture from the other side of the world and see scenic landscapes. I guess this is the stereotypical adulthood where everyone wants the best of both worlds and crossroads determine your future. Living overseas, still a work in progress but I am learning how to set my priorities straight (way to go 2016! you’ve given me some lessons the hardway!).

Speaking of crossroads, I was able to watch Before Sunrise yesterday and it’s funny how the characters somehow speak for yourself, saying lines in your head. Not to sound too melodramatic (okay yes, this is me romanticizing the movie), how can you potentially read my mind Celine? If there’s a character that will personify my thoughts on independence, romance and feminism, it would be Celine from ‘Before’ trilogy. If you know the story of the film, you should know how missing a single trip to Vienna changed Celine and Jesse’s fate.

I have lost and gained a lot of friends this year. Lost – I think this is the best way to describe it as I feel I lost ‘our’ dear friendship as a whole. If you know what I mean, #collegefriends. I also survived holding my ground after conclusions about me. I was hurt, gone through pain but now I feel more invincible. Imperfections won’t define me as a person discerning I am more than all my bad decisions in life. It’s a combination of all those little successes and setbacks that makes one human. On a lighter note, I have met a lot of friends in Malaysia who are more like family now – my Philippines teammates in the office plus most of them, I met through a Catholic community where we have weekly gathering. The readings and testimonials presented direct to me as a personal one (more often than not, nakakarelate ako!). At the end of every service, I just can’t help but reflect on His grace and seek for continuous guidance.

I developed interest in various things – I fancied baking, cooking for lunch, ice-cream making and even to the point of learning how to play violin. I feel it’s important to find something interesting in your mundane weekend life (aside from binge-watching movies online or rigorously cleaning the entire household). Jack of all trades and master of none.

For six years now, at the end of every year, I try to collate and track monthly significant events. I am keeping an online journal just so I can read this to my future grandchildren. For example, “Mga apo, this is your bedtime story for tonight.” Haha