Gratitude list

I don’t know why I didn’t do this for letter G, but there’s always room for gratitude any day of the year.

So today, and the past week since I’ve been back from the beach, I am grateful for the following:

  • finally getting my driver’s license (still nervous about the expressway though :/)
  • my gorgeous tan hallelujah. I usually end up burnt to a crisp or not dark at all but this time my tan is JUST RIGHT. Sad news is that it’s quickly fading from my face because I’ve been indoors most days recently
  • tomorrow’s overnight trip to hot springs hot spot Pansol. Not actually sure if the place we’re renting is a regular pool or hot spring pool, but it’s  still an opportunity to work on my tan. 
  • Vacation. I haven’t had a decent vacation in years which has resulted in my skin turning a pasty pale brown instead of the beautiful morena shade I should have and want to have. But more than my skin color, I’m absolutely grateful for the opportunity to rest and recharge. This year so far has been unbearably difficult, so this short time away from work is blessing.
  • Netflix. I’ve been binge-watching Riverdale, Iron Fist, Jessica Jones, and Gilmore Girls, and all for free thanks to the free first month. Not sure I’ll retain the subscriotiin, though, since Netflix PH is horrible.
  • Viu. This is the Kdrama equivalent of Netflix except they don’t charge ANYTHING. ­čÖé Just finished She Was Pretty and Love in the Moonlight. 
  • My brother gave me spending money since I used most of this month’s salary on car payments (among others) already. Hooray for siblings!
  • Ice cream and Ice.in this sweltering summer heat, not even the Laguna winds is enough to keep us cool. Thank goodness for these two.
  • Water. There’s this TVC being aired about how much water you waste if you leave the tap on while you brush your teeth. I grew up in a house with no running water. Well, technically we had it, but t had to be delivered to us. The water guys would come with a truck of water that they’d transfer to our backyard tank which is the source of our running water. The downside is that for some reason, the water wouldn’t go into our toilet, so we had to “manually” flush it. We had to learn to save our water by putting a small container under our heads to catvh the water when we’d rinse our hair and we’d use that to flush the toilet bowl. We brushed our teeth with a cup and we had to use that amount of water when we brushed our teeth. We had a bunch more water-saving practices that we followed daily, so I thought it was pretty normal until we moved to Laguna when I was a teenager. But until now we still try to save as much water as we can. Even if we have a working shower, we still use the traditional tabo at balde when we bathe because we use less water that way. What I AM thankful for is that we have water. Even if we have to conserve and be mindful of our usage, we actually have ready access to running water. We have ice, filtered drinking water, a shower and toilet that work. We have water, and I am thankful for this every single day.
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Chances

C

I woke up to bad news: I wasn’t accepted to the #ADE2017 program. It’s been the second time I was rejected by ADE and the second time I was rejected this year.

If that old saying was true, that bad things happen in threes, then I’ve got one more rejection coming this year, and I hope it’s not by the┬álicensing office. *pray for me*


The major rejections this year coupled with the minor ones (both personal and work-related) have seriously put a dent on my already teeny tiny ego, and it’s hard to see, recognize, and acknowledge and and all chances or opportunities that come my way.

Everybody struggles to proceed with life, and so do I. It is hard, and more effort is needed to look for those silver linings. However, I do recognize that this is not the end of… whatever. Life is grand, and all I need to do is look up and see it.

Of beaches and (good)byes

B

My first official beach trip in two years is this April’s trip to Baler, Aurora in Northern Philippines.

Baler is one of two main surfing havens in the north, the other one being in the west: La Union. The last time I went to Baler was more than┬áthree years ago, and it was then that I had my first surfing experience. I don’t have pics, unfortunately, but the memory will forever be embedded in my brain and my muscles, I think. ­čśÇ The body pain I got from that surfing lesson had me immobile for a good few days.

This time, though, I stuck to sunbathing and facing the strong waves with my two new good friends while our other companion was off surfing. It was all very… chill, for lack of a better word.

This Baler trip, personally, was both an escape and a recharge of sorts. I am a beach person. Leave me on the beach with the sun and a good book, and I’ll be happy. I’m glad I had the opportunity to take this trip with three new friends who took me in when I had nobody these past few months. I sort of ruined it, though, with an argument┬áthat first┬ánight there, but that’s another story for another blog entry. In hindsight, though, the fact that they accepted and tolerated my presence was something I will forever be grateful for.

I will miss those three friends, all of whom have already resigned and are moving on to different career paths. The Baler beach trip was one final bid for bonding and a final opportunity for an extended goodbye.

unnamed

Pork buns

Gratitude list time ­čśŐ

  • PORK BUNS BY TIM HO WAN ARE THE BESSSSSSTTTTTTT

 

Yummeh pork buns are yummeh

 

  • Philippines: My country may be messed up, but I still love it. We are crazy and young as a democratic nation, so all these political pains are expected. But you know what, atthe heart of it all, my fellow countrymen are kind and generous and compassionate. (Now about discipline… Um…)
  • Potato Corner Flavored Fries: Every month I get salty-food cravings, and one of the few that can satisfy these would be the barbecue flavored french fries of Potato Corner. Eez juz guuuuuud
  • Phil: Okay there’s this noon time series that my mom loves to watch (forgot the title), and the lead guy is Brazilian-Japanese model-turned-actor Daniel Matsunaga AND HE IS JUST DREAMY. Cheesy, but still dreamy. And his character’s name is Phil. ­čśŹ

photo from a googled site

Online

I am a millenial, and I am addicted to my phone.

Well, okay, not really. I’m close to it, though.

In any case, the past few days have seen me glued to my phone reading and responding and reposting stories and articles and opinions about that rape joke that presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte uttered last week. I won’t post links lest I be accused of curating what I want visitors to this blog will see. Google it and you’ll find a lot of netizens both in full rage mode against the guy and his supporters still, well, supporting him. 

My main beef with the guy is his morals. I cannot stand to have a national leader who will demean women like me just because that’s “who he is.” He will no longer be who he is if he assumes the oresidency; he will be assuming the role of every single Filipino in this country. He will be representing us if he wins, and therefore he has a lot more responsibility now to the nation as a candidate. As such, he should shape himself up for the job. 

I got into an online discussion with one of his supporters–a colleague of mine from my previous workplace. He condemned the joke, but retained support because of Duterte’s political will. I agreed with him that the candidate was tough, but I still disagree with his use of his machismo and his misogyny.

There were a lot of other comments online that were really misinformed, and this is what ABSOLUTELY frustrates me to no end. We have Information at our fingertips, yet people still react anyway without being informed. They don’t bother to do research or even READ. They don’t bother to listen or communicate PROPERLY. We have the tools at our hands, but sadly, the majority of its users do not use it responsibly.

I’ve spoken my piece about that guy on Facebook, and I will not repeat it here anymore. All I can say now is that whoever wins had better deserve the trust of the people and had better to do a hell of a job keeping this country moving forward.

Gratitude list

  • Om: I finally got to go back to the mat yesterday after almost a week of no yoga. I caught up with the challenge and did some Om chants to calm my mind and my whole being after reading through the hate online (so toxic huhu).
  • Openness: not many people are open to other people’s point of view. People don’t realize that you can still listen to others’ opinions and not have to change your own views. What irks me though, is if their views are wrong, like in the case of Duterte’s supporters who respond to indignant cries of people over the “joke” with “LOOK AT THE CONTEXT OF THE JOKE.” And we go, THERE IS NO FRIKKIN CONTEXT IN THE WORLD THAT JUSTIFIES RAPE JOKES!!! Besides, we weren’t even questioning the narrative behind the incident that brought that statement out; we were indignant over the thinking that it’s okay to crack jokes about raping somebody because no harm was meant, they were just words, they were said in the heat of anger yada yada. NO. Rape jokes are NEVER okay. NEVER.
  • Om: I need to chant Om again.

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. ­čÖé

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.