Louis

Since I’ve been watching Kdramas recently, I thought I’d focus on one show/character: Shopaholic Louis.

This show tells the story of a ridiculously spoiled young man who does nothing but shop all day. His parents died when he was young, so his superstitious grandmother sent him to live in France because she was told by a fortune teller that her extraordinarily strong fate (prolly bad translation but I think they meant energy or karma) was killing everybody she loved. She figured if her precious grandson lived away from her, he’d be spared.

He becomes a multilingual (speaks 10 languages but can’t spell properly) shopping expert who claims that items literally talk to him to be bought. He lives in a castle and is waited on hand and foot 24/7 by his personal bitler and a slewnof maids and other servants.

Things change, though, when grandmother gets sick and she calls for his grandson to formally announce the transfer of their company to him. He comes home to Korea and gets into an accident that wipes his memory clean.

Enter Ko Bok Sil, a rough-around-the-edges type of rural girl who can hunt and cook on a woodfire oven. She moves to Seoul to look for her brother who ran away from home but comes across heir-turned-beggar Louis instead. Together, they face thieves, thugs, conmen, detectives, businessmen, freeloaders, and a whole motley of colorful characters who try to bring them down or help them with their goals.

Thisnisnone of the few shows that I actually finished until the end. While Louis himself was adorable, he was also extremely annoyingly and frustratingly spoiled. He acts like a kid, throwing tantrums when he doesn’t get his way. Bok Sil, on the other hand, seems like she is the secret spawn of Mother Teresa. That or she sprung from Mother Teresa’s rib. She was ridiculously kind and optimistic that it’s hard to believe any person like that exists.

Still, because the two were such polar opposites, it was interesting to see ho they complemented each other and how they drove each other mad. The ending was a no-brainer–they end up together, duh–but how they get to that point in their relationship keeps viewers hooked. And that plot twist of an ending was so contrived but perfectly prepped and executed that it brought a tear to my eye.

Moms

One of my closest college friends is giving birth in a couple of weeks and we threw a surprise baby shower for her today. The event was a success; we had good food, good company, and good games (one of which was eating Nutella off a diaper).

Conversation turned to the process of giving birth and motherhood once we finished the program. Those who were moms gave their two cents while the rest of us singletons just cringed whenever someone mentioned the word vagina in the context of givig birth (e.g. “feels like a bowling ball coming out of your vagina;” “You mean you’re going to video the whole thing and see your own sister’s vagina?”)

One of the guests commented that parenting was a scam when she heard how much baby stuff cost. All of us laughed and I guess partly agreed, too. However, none of us laughed when the moms started talking about raising their kids (currently toddlers) into kind, respectful, and responsible people.

Every time my friends talk about their kids’ antics or achievements, I can’t help but feel proud of the kids, but I also am proud of my friends for being great moms who aren’t afraid to discipline their children when needed or teach them to be compassionate. I remember my own mom and think of how much trouble I must have caused when I was a kid myself, and instantly I feel guilty. My SO sometimes talks about his mom raising him and his two brothers while the dad works overseas; I am amazed that one woman can raise three wonderful human beings mostly on her own.

With Mother’s Day coming up in less than a month, I plan on doing something a little bit more special for my mom this year. Don’t tell her; it’s going to be a surprise. ūüôā

Gratitude list

  • Moms
  • Money: I have a new car! Ish. Coming. No more dealing with the heat and rain while commuting. New problem? Parking and motorcycle drivers. But that’s a bridge I’ll cross when I get my license.
  • Meals: I eat regularly even though soemtimes I don’t like the food laid in front of me. That’s a whole lot more than most of my countrymen who sometimes don’t have money to buy even a piece of pandesal (bread).
  • Mornings: Today I woke up feeling excited. I had a disagreement with SO last night, which we also resolved immediately, so waking up today was better than usual because I knew I’d get to see him today.
  • Metro Manila traffic: Okay I absolutely hate traffic in the metro, but because of this, I come to appreciate my life in the province even more. Having grown up a city girl, the move AWAY from the city was crushing, but now I wouldn’t trade it for anything. So… Thank you, Metro Manila, for helping me realize and constantly reminding me that I live in Vacationland.

Duterte

Rodrigo Duterte is a candidate for the presidential seat in the upcoming Philippine national elections this May.

A lot of people are voting for him because they believe that his no nonsense way of handling things and iron hand in dealing with criminals are just what our country needs.

I’m not sold on him for two reasons:

  1. He has been accused of (and he hasn’t denied it) being directly in charge of the Davao Death Squad, which has killed low-level criminals on the streets of that city he used to be a mayor of. I don’t think I want a president who condones killing.
  2. In interviews and presidential debates, he hasn’t explicitly explained HOW he plans on eradicating crime in the country, and this worries me because he just might resort to using the Death Squad but in a national scale this time.

However, I’m still considering him because his compassion is undeniable. When Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) struck our country, he sent help but without emblazoning his name on the relief good bags that he sent.

I have a month left to decide whom to vote for, but the prospects are weak.

Gratitude list

  • Down time: my SO’s home department invited me to help plan a surprise birthday “party” for him and his department-mate. Their birthdays were right after each other’s. We went to a nearby country club, had lumch, played billiards and bowling and overall just had a great time in each other’s company
  • Dogs: They used to scare me so much because I got chased by a big black one when I was a kid. How ironic now that our own dog (1 human year and 3 months old) is big (ish) and black, but he’s the sweetest. He’s surrounded by the cats that my sisters own, so he has imbibed some of their mannerisms. Instead of jumping up and licking our faces to greet us, he runs to us and rubs his body along our legs. When we reach down to pet him, THAT is the time he jumps in us and licks our faces. Our dog Bono is part Malinois, part labrador, a tiny part chow chow. I’d also like to think he’s part cat, but maybe that’s just me.
  • Desserts: at the party earlier we has two types of cakes: a banoffee bundt cake with chocolate chip walnut and cinnamon streusel, and an ice cream cake. I just lost all the calories I burned from doing yoga from these cakes.

Almost on break

I refer to the annual semestral break and not a personal one.

I sit at my desk with piles upon piles of papers surrounding me and I find it necessary now to just pause and sigh and write. All these students, eager to pass, eager to get a high grade, but neither understanding the text completely nor writing very well (“decent” is the best adjective I can give them) break my heart. I echo the perennial cry of teachers around the world, “WHERE HAVE I GONE WRONG?! WHAT AM I GOING TO DO WITH THESE KIDS?!”

And so I sit and listen to Beyoncé screech Love on Top and Mumford and Sons mumble and rage about white blank pages and love.

Ah, love.

I would like to believe that my heart has grown bigger, that I’ve learned to be more accepting of people no matter how disagreeable they may be to me. My dislike of certain people remains, but… I’m trying to be more… well. I’m just trying to be nicer and kinder.

Be kind. Everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.

Be kind when you’re working.

Be kind when you’re on break (academic or personal).

Be kind to your family.

Be kind to your enemy.

Be kind to that poor person knocking on your car window, asking for some change.

Be kind all the time.

Adele says HELLO, and I do, too

My Twitter feed was abuzz this morning with people talking about how Adele’s newest single, “Hello” was deeply moving or beautiful or haunting.

I say, “Meh.”

While it channeled the usual sad and melancholy tone she’s known for, gone was the beautiful lyricism that added the oomph to her already troubling tunes. It just fell flat for me. Add to that the fact that I was expecting it to be a Lionel Richie cover when I heard the first few notes and words.

All in all, this song isn’t horrible, but it’s not her best…

YET.

I can’t wait to listen to what else she has.

Welcome back, Adele.

Brain vs. Heart (again)

Listening to more senior colleagues last Friday night talk about life, love, and work over a refreshing ginger-lime fizzy drink got me thinking about MY own life, love, and work.

And I still got zilch in the love department.

When I was younger I thought I’d be an old maid like my dad’s older sister. I like her. She¬†doesn’t fall under the cool aunt stereotype, but she was cool in my books (ahem) because she ALWAYS gave me books (there you go) as presents. She’d give me an occasional piece of clothing, but she knew me well enough to know that I loved my Nancy Drew and Sweet Valley. I thought that if I’d end up an old maid then I’d be cool like her.

My dad recently asked me if I were the only one left in my circle of friends still single. (Fortunately) I wasn’t; there were two of us, and I told him so. He merely grunted in reply.

My mom on the other hand used to be relentless in asking for a granddaughter until I stopped showing her all my friends’ babies.

My colleagues keep teasing me about guys who supposedly have a crush on me, but they never say who. Makes me doubt if these guys DO exist because I haven’t heard from ANY of them.

AT ALL.

My brain says it’s okay, but my heart says I need a man (screw you, oppressive society expectations). My colleagues have backed up my heart and wiggle their eyebrows at me, saying I should go after so and so or some other so and so.

And I’m like…

Give me a book na lang.

X

I’m going to cheat a bit here… You know that emoticon with X’s for eyes?

Today (Tuesday, April 28) is supposedly the execution date of Mary Jane Veloso, a Filipina who was caught with drugs in her luggage in Indonesia where she was supposedly to start work as a domestic helper. Her story–that she did not know there were drugs in the bag because it was just “given” to her–sounds true, and this was corroborated, albeit too late, by the surrender of the person who recruited her. It was originally set for 5pm, but somehow it got moved to Wednesday, April 29, 1am, Philippine time, and this is an hour from now. What pisses me off is that President Widodo says that staying the execution will be seen as a sign of weakness. NO. It is seen now by people (even Indonesians who have put up a petition to save her [see pic below]) as a sign of INJUSTICE. Punish the guilty, yes, but this woman is NOT guilty and therefore does not deserve to be executed. Screen Shot 2015-04-29 at 12.09.51 AM Screen Shot 2015-04-29 at 12.23.37 AM One hour to go. I cannot imagine what she must be thinking or going through right now. I cannot imagine what her family and children must be thinking of now. My heart, my thoughts, my prayers go out to her and her family and to the Indonesian president who seems to think that saving an innocent person’s life¬†is a sign of weakness.

Might is not always right.

UPDATE:

She’s safe… for now.