Sunday, October 31, 2010

"Failure Sucks But Instructs"

Here's a genius entry from Good Boss, Bad Boss author, Bob Sutton.

Although the concept of "failing is okay" isn't new, it's still refreshing to read about it, don't you think? Of course, that's not discounting the fact that failure has its consequences. But any kind of action or inaction does anyway, ergo there's really no point in being inanimate.

Truth is, inaction brings you a step closer to risking failure than anything else. That's why I'd rather be involved in something, rather than just watch idly by the sidelines.

Do I feel a leap of faith a-comin'? I think very much so, yes.

Saturday, October 30, 2010


Life likes the curve balls; taking you by surprise and giving you hard choices.
Former employers, and good friends, Emilou and Dencio phoned me out of the blue Friday afternoon with a job offer. Being absolutely unprepared for the entire conversation, I don't think I made sense for a great portion of the talk, and I likely came off as flustered and bewildered. I still am.

Dencio and Emilou are people I look up to. They're part of the new generation of unrelenting entrepreneurs who believe that anyone can do anything because everything needed is at our fingertips. They bravely churn out one idea after another, turning them to beautiful realities, unafraid to risk failure and undaunted by the pressures of success. I'm lucky to know them and to have had the pleasure of working closely with them at near start of it all.

Now they want me back and part of their team again. Wow.

So why the hesitation? If they're as brilliant as I say, why don't I jump on the opportunity instantly? As in any great relationship, there were bumps on the road. Note how I'm not using the word 'few' here... the bumps were definitely more than few. I went thru hell and high water with the couple, we caused each other headaches and messes, and our wrath coming down upon everyone around us with as much intensity as a tsunami. How, when we talk, it seems like no time has passed is short of a small miracle to me.

I guess I'm more afraid of the opportunity suddenly before me. My current job has sort of become a comfort zone. I get paid okay, with the promise of good benefits, and without so much stress. Getting back on Dencio and Emilou's team would mean long hours and pushing the limits of my heart, without the promise of job stability. Current job puts me under the privileged handful who can proudly call themselves as employees of MVP. Working with Dencio and Emilou will bring me under the Intrapreneur banner again, treating the brand that falls into my grasp like my very own business, it's failure and success depending solely on my hands.

Can you feel the pressure in that? I can, and I'm afraid.

But all leaps of faith are scary. All risks are meant to strike fear. And as master Seth G. once said, "No risk, no reward."

January 4 was supposed to mark my one and a half years of employment with current job, and the 1st year as an MVP employee. Initially, I wanted to hit that milestone because it symbolized I'm made of sturdier stuff: surviving an entire year of new management uncertainty, and working with whatever little I had. But also, a year under new management was supposedly my opportunity to ask the hard questions to our HR and my bosses. Guess with this new window open, the hard questions will have to come earlier.

I'll be talking to Emilou and Dencio on Tuesday, to clarify the offer and my options with them. Then, I'll have to talk to my bosses in current job, ask about career path and growth within the group, and weigh in what matters more to me: stability (or at least a semblance of it) in current job or empowerment (I could be a linchpin!) in new window.

Universe, I asked for black or white in terms of BOYS, not jobs. *sigh* Ain't it so true, not everything that comes your way is something you necessarily asked for.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Christmas Bug

Christmas in the our country starts on the first of September. The "buuurrrr" months bring in thoughts of Noche Buena and gift giving alongside the colder winds, and the Happy Holidays décor always outshine the creepy-crawlies of November. Although there is a niché market that celebrates the horrors of Holloween with tricks and treating, the general public prefers Christmas cheer over it.

In a way, my Christmas bugbite is practically two months late! I was hanging out with my colleague in the 7th floor cafeteria of our building and I couldn't help but sing along to the pipe-in music: it was Jose Marie Chan's "A Perfect Christmas." His entire Christmas In Our Hearts album is, by my standards, a classic anyone must have in the iPod Holiday playlist, and this song (*sigh*) is my all-time favorite.

What I love about the song is that it's heart-warming Christmas-sy and heart-thumping lovey-dovey all at the same time, but without being too mushy. It's a simple celebration of being together in the wonderful time of the year that is Christmas. It's the perfect Christmas Love Song! (Don't believe me? Ask the dishes!)

So, from the lyrics written down below, can anyone guess my favorite line? :) Merry Christmas, world! Cyber hug and Holiday cheer to all!
My idea of a perfect Christmas
Is to spend it with you
In a party
Or dinner for two
Anywhere would do

Celebrating the yuletide season
Always lights up our lives
Simple pleasures are made special too
When they're shared with you

Looking through some old photographs
Faces of friends we'll always remember
Watching busy shoppers rushing about
In the cool breeze of December

Sparkling lights all over town
Children's carols in the air
By the Christmas tree
A shower of stardust on your hair

I can't think of a better Christmas
Than my wish coming true
And my wish is you'd let me spend my whole life with you

My idea of a perfect Christmas is spending it with you

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Why I Run

As a kid, I never had a sport. I alway shied away from P.E. class, making up various excuses to spend the 40 minutes supposedly alloted for physical activity in the school clinic. My standard excuse was headache: I perfected the art of lying young. Who could resist a cute little Chinese girl saying "Masakit po ulo ko, Miss." I would sometimes even let the waterworks start just to get away from P.E.

I hated the sports we were forced to learn... basketball, softball, table tennis, badminton and especially volleyball. High school volleyball was hell for me, nearly flunked out because I couldn't do a decent serve and I screamed away holding my glasses everytime the ball flew past my face.

After college, I tried out a few alternative sports. Surfing was almost perfect. I was able to stand on my first ride and I was stoked! But travelling 6 hours by bus for a few minutes with the waves was too much of a hassle. The novelty eventually wore off. Then there was Ultimate Frisbee. I was good at the catch-throw exercise, but when the harder drills began, I was yelling "I don't do running!" to the trainer. He was deliberately throwing the disc in a totally different direction to make me go after it!

So falling in love with running was the biggest surprise to me. My friends started their running love affairs at least a year before I did, they kept badgering me to run along with them and I astutely kept saying no. My famous line haunted me: I had to stand tall to my claim of not doing running.

The first time I signed up for a race was to support a friend who was part of the organizing committee, not because I wanted to run an actual race. It was Takbo Para Sa PGH, a benefit run for the Metro's premiere government hospital, and I wanted to be able to contribute to his efforts by signing up. I was planning to "get a headache" on race day, but then my best friend signed up for PGH's 10k run and I thought I might as well go thru with it.

PGH wasn't my first race, though. NGC Earth Day was. It came a week before. My running friends couldn't believe I signed up for 5k right away, so they thought it reasonable I try a 3k race first. And NGC started the spark. Completing my first ever 3k course in just under 30 minutes was WOW to me. I didn't think I'd even be able to cross the finishline, let alone with a fairly good time.

I was pumped for the 5k run the following weekend. Take note, I had zero practice runs before NGC and PGH. I came from absolutely nothing to suddenly running kilometers in a snap of a hat. Clocked in 48-minutes in PGH's 5k. Still good time for a newbie. After that, I was running practically every weekend. I ran wherever and whenever I could: Green Meadows, Manila Memorial Park, D. Tuazon and U.P. Oval, AdMU campus, BHS, anything paved was my playground.

Since then, I've been asked one too many times by the people who know me as non-sporty girl: Why are you running?

And I answer, to get away. Running gives me peace and solitude. Running is like reading to me. It's time spent solely on myself, and done not for the sake of some result. I don't read because I want to be smarter. I don't run because I want to be fitter. Getting a wee bit smarter and a wee bit fitter are just happy bonuses of doing something I'm really into.

I find a certain kind of joy in running. Friends say its the endorphins. I say, yeah, could be. Or it could be that I'm just purely happy to have the opportunity to run. Endorphins normally come after, I oftentimes find myself giddy even before I start pounding the pavement. I have no idea why I get happy for a run. Even if it's just around and around the lot of our house, I love it and look forward to the 40 minutes I get to spend every other day on it.

Crazy, huh? So that's why I run. I run because I turn into a truly happy individual when I do. It's why I'm running again tomorrow, and the next day and the day after that and so on.

Cocoon is Stuck

Sometimes, I wish I could be more of a social butterfly.

I'm a very reserved person. I don't warm up to people straight away and I prefer to keep a small circle of absolutely-knotted-together friends. Actually, I sometimes choose to be alone with a book over a night of hanging out with my friends. (Yeah... they might not really appreciate knowing that...)

But lately I've been wishing I could shed away my cocoon and blosom into the social butterfly. I've been attending run clinics for the marathon I signed up for, and although I don't find myself huiddling in a silent corner of class, I'm also not making a big effort to meet new people. Not that my co-(soon-to-be)-marathoners aren't nice enough, they actually seem like a very learned and well-versed group of runners, but I just cannot, for the life of me, say "Hi, I'm Tippie." to any of them. Socially inept, I swear!

It's frustrating sometimes, to be locked away in this self-dug hole of shyness and self-preservation. What's even there to preserve?!?! Is there even a risk of losing anything ? Of course not! *sigh*

There has to be a way to get rid of the cocoon and finally break out of this shell. But how do you get rid of the comfort zone called isolation?

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Thoughts from the pages of Elantris

What if... just like Sarene, my Raoden's become an Elantrian?

I'm a slow reader. I've been reading Elantris for a while now, and that's not to say it's a badly written book. Quite the opposite actually. Brandon Sanderson is a gifted writer: how he turns a completely new-world fantasy into a real struggle between the religious and the political is mastery. The twists in his plot are worth the detailed slow start of his works. Reading him is actually like running a marathon! Taking it easy in the beginning, making sure all grounds are covered for a very unexpected and unnerving end.

But going back to the first sentence... yeah, a quick run through may be appropriate.

Sarene is our lady lead; strong willed and a self described "assertive" individual, when the more appropriate words would be "pain in the ass." And as in any other world, a woman such as she isn't really the pick of men's hearts. Sarene's kind of used to the idea that men find her intimidating and inaffable. Used to it, but hating the notion all the same.

However, there was a man to love her. Raoden was betrothed to marry Sarene, whom he'd corresponded with only thru letters and a few "phone" conversations. They're marriage was supposed to seal a political (a.k.a. business) agreement between their fathers' kingdoms. (Did I fail to mention that they're royalty? Sorry.) Despite that, however, Raoden was honestly lovestruck by the strong-willed lass. He has excellent qualities of his own, but his unabashed acceptance of the domineering personality that is Sarene stands out most to me.

Unfortunately, he "died" before they met. They were officially married soon as the treaty between their countries was signed, even before an actual ceremony was conducted, and shortly after Raoden was taken by the Shaod and locked up in Elantris. Turning into an Elantrian is a curse in their world, and it's a shameful turn of events that a kingdom's crown prince could just as easily be victimized. Ergo, Raoden's father hides the fact that his son has turned accursed and simply claims he died of a rare and disfiguring disease.

So Sarene, perplexedly, is widowed even before she met her husband. (Now you tell me if that isn't a artful start to a story. Sanderson is genius!)

I do however see a lot myself in the story through Sarene. I relate best with the way she sees herself: deeply opinionated and vocal with her thoughts, honestly trusting only a few close constants around her, and believing she's meant to be alone forever. In her eyes, hope for a life with a partner died when news of Raoden's death came. In her eyes, she's destined to be the strong-willed old maid.

But a line from the one of Sarene's constants, Duke Roial, gives her, and my own doubting, hope for the future:
"You're an excellent judge of character, Sarene - except your own. Often, our own opinions of ourselves are the most unrealistic. You may see yourself as an old maid, child, but you are young, and you are beautiful. Just because you've had misfortune in your past doesn't mean you have to give up on your future."
I've said it before and I'll say it again, inspiration come in many a-strange form and today's came from the fictional works of a novelist in a far away land. I haven't finished the story of Sarene yet, but I'm a hundred percent sure it's not going to end sad and lonely, whether it involves Prince Raoden or otherwise.

And so my reading continues. There will be more thoughts from the pages of Elantris to come but for now, this entry ends with a newfound hope.

Addendum: Slow reader my ass. Finished the book in a matter of hours after writing this entry. Adventure in Elantris done. *sigh* The curious will be happy to know that Sarene and Raoden lives happily ever after.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Hard Habit To Break

We all have disgustingly bad habits, no one just dares put ‘em out there like any other dirty laundry. In the spirit of zagging, I’ll hang one of mine out.

I am a scab picker. Yes, 28 to date, yet I never outgrew the bad habit of picking away at my wounds. My parents and friends still slap my hand when they catch me in the act. An excellently recent example would be the latest mishap on my right knee. I was running a couple of weeks ago and tripped over the uneven sidewalk I was on. Fell hard on my knees and scrapped the right one solidly on the pavement. The then-fresh wound was bleeding for a good part of the rest of my run. It dried out a few days later and started to itch like frikkin’ hell! It was only automatic for my hands to relieve the “pain.” Now I can’t wear skirts to work because my already-unpretty legs just got uglier. If Dive Master Kuya Toto saw it, he’d say it was “samting… panget!”

I know it’s wrong but this bad habit, like any other, is hard to break.

What I realized today, thru an amazing apt analogy made by my best friend, is that I don’t just pick on my scabs literally; I do it figuratively, too. If you backtrack a few entries, you’ll see my recent history. Short of it is someone decided to take my heart and crush it in my face. Been living with a hollow for a few weeks now, waves of sadness come and go, and last night was bad.

I had a moment of weakness. Somehow I brought myself very near heart-crusher’s vicinity. Out on the semi-silent, weeknight streets of Makati CBD, I was standing in front of his building, asking myself “What the fuck am I doing here?”

I was out there a good ten minutes, while an internal debate raged on between the girl who wanted to fight for him and the girl who wanted to keep a semblance of strength and pride. Then, it dawned on me. If I really wanted to see him, I would’ve been in there ten minutes ago. So I walked away.

Walking away was easy, but it was painful. I cried myself to sleep again last night. Prideful, strong girl was angry for nearly giving into the weakness. She was screaming, “What were you thinking in the first place?” in my head last night, and I honestly couldn’t answer. I have no idea why I keep putting myself in that sort of situation.

I told Chaw, my best friend about last night’s incident today. Plus I added my glorious insights: 1) that I am jaded for a reason, 2) and it’s because I’m always the dumpee. Chaw’s a very patient and understanding soul, but I think my "insights" frustrated her and she told me, point blank, “You have to stop picking on the wound.”

And it’s true. Reading back what I’ve written so far… I have a mix of pity and sorrow for the girl going thru the pain, but frankly, I must say the pain is mostly self-inflicted. I pick on the hollow… I haven’t allowed my heart to heal right.

It was a good realization. No. Not just good. It was the perfect wake-up call, for both literal and figurative scab-picking. The wound on my knee still itches, but I’m leaving it alone. The hollow still hurts, but I feel my heart growing back and I’m getting rid of the things that hinder the healing. He may have said his goodbye a few weeks ago, but I can honestly say mine is beginning only now. No more turning back, no more fighting. I’ll never forget, but I forgive and I truly wish for nothing but the best.

It's still there, but I’m leaving it alone. Hard habit... broken.


Chris Guillebeau posed an interesting question today: "What would you do if you knew you would not fail?"

I reply... "I want to save the world."
What we wanted to be when we grow up was printed alongside our pictures in my school's nursery class yearbook. I sometimes look it over and read my batchmates' answers. Of course there were the standard Doctor, Lawyer, Nurse hiccups. There were the few rarities like Veterinarian, Housewife, Gymnast... then there was me: "I want to be Supergirl."

It was 1986, the movie Supergirl had probably just gone out in betamax copy and I probably saw it alongside the rest of my family. And I guess it stuck. I wanted to be Supergirl then. Of course, reality sets in thru the years. I realized I wasn't Kryptonian; apparently that's how you get superpowers, and my "what do you want to be" eventually turned practical, like everyone else's.

But the mental bubble of being Supergirl was brought back by Chris' question of the day. If I took failure out of the picture, what would I want to do? I associate failure with losing money, so I turn the question to, "If money were no object, what would I want to do?" and my honest answer is to save the world.

It's amazing how much humankind has progressed in technology, science and art, but not in terms of eliminating poverty, or saving the Earth's resources and biodiversity. The way we've boomed for personal advancement has had detrimental results in so many other aspects of the Gaea and although there are a handful of people working towards awareness and turnaround now... a handful is not enough.

I know in my current state, I can't do much to help. I attended a NAUI Orientation last night and one takeaway I got from the lecture was, you can't help anybody if you can't help yourself first. Knowledge of self-rescue is the first step of the whole saving process, coming even before the knowledge of rescue of others. (Singing Man In The Mirror in my head now.)

I guess that means I have to be Supergirl to myself first, before I start trying to be Supergirl for the world. My first baby step to being Supergirl to me, I think, is my bucket list. My bucket list somehow outlines a few next steps I can personally take to make a bigger impact in how society treats the world we live in. Kind of strange, isn't it? How something initially self-empowering can turn into an outward movement for the broader good.

I guess that's the point of Chris' movement also, in posing the question of the day, and in being the backbone of the art of non-conformity. Inspiration comes in different forms.

With that, I throw the question out to the rest of the world. If you took failure and money out of the picture, what would you want to do with your life? I know everyone's answer will be just as ironically un-selfish as mine turned out to be.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

My Bucket List

Never had the urge to list down the stuff I want to do before I kick the bucket... until now.
  1. Run a marathon. March 2011, baby! I will run my marathon because I am young, I am strong and I can. This will push limits I never knew I had and it will be worth it. Crossing that 42-km marker will be a dream come true. Pray I don't do a Pheidippides at the end!
  2. Climb a mountain. But not just any mountain. Climb BATAD! My best friend just came from there and she's RAVING about it. Clean crisp air, real mountain dew, far from the noise and mess of the citylife, peace with Mother Nature. I'm in love with a place I've never been to, so much so that I can hear the crash of the falls from here.
  3. Be a NAUI diver. It's NAUI or bust! Why? Because I'm hardcore like that. PADI's the more popular counterpart, 4 out of every 5 divers are certified PADI... ergo... I zag! And being a NAUI diver will get me free dives in Apo Reef, courtesy of Kuya Toto (NAUI DM/Rockstar... a.k.a. "samting... panget...!").
  4. Speaking of diving... Fly back to Busuanga and San Jose, to dive the depths of Coron and Apo Reef. See the beauty 'neath the waves from the proper fish-eye view. And why stop there? Tubataha, Verde Island, Anilao, the Great Barrier Reef, the Blue Hole, you name it, I'll dive it.
  5. Then see the Humpbacks in Batanes, the butanding giants of Sorsogon, the Thresher Sharks of Malapascua, the Great Whites of Guadalupe Island, and the Dugongs of Sarangani Bay! See them while they're still here, while I still can.
  6. Take up and finish the Master of Environmental & Natural resources Management: Major in Coastal Resource Management course of UP Open University. The sea and everything about it is my passion, ever since I was a wee lass. Now's the time for me to learn as much as I can to represent the world's oceans well and true.
  7. And I'll do that by volunteering my time to the DENR and the DOT. The 7,101 islands of the Philippines is biodiversity central. We're a hotspot of eco-tourism and natural resource protection, but these government offices need help from the passionate and willing.
  8. And one of my projects will be to rehabilitate wildlife to campaign for animal protection awareness. Be it a mouse deer, a wolverine, or a full grown tiger, all undomesticated animals belong in their natural habitat, not in barred or glass cages for people to gawk on. There are other ways of educating the public on the wonders of nature. A sound rehabilitation project may be key.
  9. Be an MBA Marketing scholar in another country, preferrably Australia. Bond University of the Goldcoast really got my attention. I hope I'm not yet too old for their scholar-internship program.
  10. Bring Y@H to life. Y@H stands for fostering creativity in the workplace, being allowed to be silly despite the corporada setting, bringing back joy and laughter and camaraderie. It'll be small, it'll be unprofitable, but it'll be worth it. Bring on the boardgames and the conundrums!
  11. Celebrate five years in a company. Because 10 years is so easy after that!
  12. Get published! Fiction, biographical, column, one-time-big-time article, ANYTHING! The goal is to have something available on print with a "by Tippie O. Tan" attached to it.
  13. Fall in love and be "in-loved" back. 'Nuf said. ;)
  14. Drive for Mr. and Mrs. Tan. Through heavy rains, ultra-long distances, mind-boggling traffic, etc. etc. etc. I'll be a road-rager before I'm thirty, but at least my parental units will be happy.
  15. Touch a live Komodo Dragon and a live Blue Iguana. No, this is not to get over my fear... sort of. Because I know even after I do this, I'll still be deathly afraid of the tiny, scurrying, gross things that are stuck on the wall of everything. I'll do this because I think the Komodo Dragon and the Blue Iguana are beautiful.
  16. Be part of a play. Eponine in Les Miserablés is my dream role, and to sing "A Little Fall Of Rain" with my Marius is my dream act.
Many items will be ticked off as many more will be added to this bucket list of mine. And with each step I take to making these come alive, I'll be cheering my good life on!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Wanton Wishes

It was early afternoon. I was on a bench, in the middle of my old college campus hanging out with friends. We were laughing about something silly and childish, and making a complete ruckus in the normally quiet area of school.

No one minded us anyway. I guess people expect five girls coming together once in a blue moon to be shrilly.

Then he walks by. I feel myself stop in mid-laugh, my face flushing with what I’m sure is the color of the communist flag. I just can’t hide anything from him, can I? The raw anxiety brought about by the sense of the new yet familiar always made me blush. Everyone could see I was in love. I was the only one trying to hide it from myself by playing it cool… and failing miserably.

He sits beside me, taking the tiny space between me and the edge of the bench, so I scoot a bit to make room for him. His arm automatically wraps around my waist and my heart starts to beat a little faster. Be still my heart, I say to myself but no amount of lullaby would calm it down.

Inasmuch as we’d have wanted to stay and chitchat for a few more hours, he actually came by to pick me up and take me home. It was suddenly our new thing, to have our quiet time together in his car as he drove me to my house. There was an unspoken respect for that few minutes of alone time and we both naturally followed the unsaid rule to the T.

So we stand in near perfect unison and say goodbye for the day to our friends. As we walk away, his hand clasps mine. I love it when he holds my hand. It makes me feel safe, that I have a stronghold in him and I can only pray that I give that same stronghold back to him by holding his hand back. It would mean the world to me if I knew for certain that he knew I would be on his side always. And that if he knew I was there, he has nothing to be afraid of. I could only wish I knew what he thought in his head, and what he felt in his heart. Wanton wishes for the fool in love.

When we approach the car, he opens the passenger side’s door, but tells me not to go in yet. He turns me to him and wraps me in his arms in a warm, deep embrace. I nearly melt to the ground as tears well my eyes. We hold each other for a while, neither wanting to let go of the other. A tranquil peace falls around us, a total sense of belonging, longing and home. I feel like I’m home. He makes me feel like I’m home. Maybe because he is home. And I know I will love him forever.

He turns his face towards mine and I see love staring back at me, his eyes boring down into mine. A slight smirk touches his lips, and I can’t help but laugh out loud. He looks boyish when he smirks like that and he does it just to draw a guffaw out of me. I still can’t believe how this beautiful man came falling easily into my life, how one moment no one was there then the next came along and there he was.

“Are you for real?” I ask, not meaning to say the question aloud. I flush with embarrassment the second the words escape me.

His smirk disappears into a frown, as he replies “No.”

Then I wake up. All a dream. And the hollow that was once my heart is here again. Only the tears were real and they fall freely down my face.

Friday, October 15, 2010

There are just some days...

...when it hits you, you're not doing your job right.

Today is that day for me. And I'm paying for it. I just pray to God it doesn't get any worse from here, that I learn my lesson and start being more proactive.

I've always said that working in Media is a dream come true for me, and it really is. But I guess I've grown lax and haven't put my heart into work the past few months. And I can pass blame on other factors but why pass the buck when it can just stop with me.

I lack heart. It used to be my driving force for bringing a brand to life, for taking something out of nothing which for the most part of my career I've been able to do. For a great chunk of my life in TV5, I had heart because I thought what I did had great effects on the network. I could say that I lost the heart when the whole takeover happened, but why, in the first place, did I? A takeover shouldn't change a person's outlook on one's job, especially if he or she was retained in doing practically the same designation anyway.

But I did along the way, and I realize that now and I'm deeply sorry for it. I love TV5, this is my new family, my new home. I was bitter with the changes, as I supposed any youngling would be, but I should have learned to look beyond it and still see the importance of my position's outputs.

Doing major overtime for something I should have been perfectly on top of is a small price to pay, but its the decisions that will be made here on out that will make the real difference. I don't want other people (specifically my boss and our boss above her) saving my ass for this fault of mine, but at the same time, I hope they do because I don't want to lose this. Not yet.

Oh God, I'm scared. I really am. Do I still have time to make things right? If I live through this, it's not going to make up for anything. Not enough. I have to get my groove back, get heart and move forward. Nowhere to go but up from here.

Children of the corn, learn from me. Regret only happens when something horribly tragic goes wrong and it slaps you hard in the face. There will be pitfalls in every situation but it's best to be prepared for the worst by being always being on your A-game.

I'll turn this around, you can bet my life on it.

Let's Twist Again

McDonald's online ad on the Yahoo's News page got me today.It was a simple enough ad with a dancing Large Fries posing the question "What's up with your fave fries?" Good question. Because the McDo french fries really are my favorite. Ergo, li'l Miss Curious Me clicked find out.

And happy news, the Twister Fries are back! I love those squiggly potato things. They're what I consider to be gourmet (Haha! Yes, I'm shallow like that) and the fact that they're only available for limited periods of time make them oh-so-much-more mouth-watering.

Plus, how this particular ad was executed is flawless for me. It was simple, unobstrusive, it caused a cute clutter on my monitor, with pieces of dancing twister fries all around, but only for a short period of time. It was just enough to capture my attention, give me the urge to write this blog entry and have an imaginary post-it stuck to my head to buy twister fries later for lunch. So fun!

I've never been one to be interested in online ads. I hate those things on bottom of Yahoo Messenger that blow up if you simply scroll over them. This ad of McDo is clean-cut and simple. Only the people who really want to know "What's up with the fries?" will be the ones to click on the link. And, get a happy answer at the end of it.

Goo'job, McDo Ad Team, whoever you are. Your execution tells me good marketing still abound in our mundane society. :)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

♪♫♪doop doop doo, da roop doo♪♫♪

(Sorry... I need to get this out of me... writing it down doesn't guarantee its disappearance, but it's worth a try.)

Stupid song. Merry Happy by (guess who?!?) Kate Nash. Yes.

I had to go exploring the music of (one of) his favorite artist(s). Cock gun, place barrell by temple, pull trigger, KABOOM. Aren't we on a happy-merry suicide mission?

Don't get me wrong. Kate Nash is beautiful, she makes wonderful music and she's a talented lyricist. So talented, in fact, that her words burn into me!
Yeah you make me merry, make me very very happy
But you obviously, you didn't want to stick around
So I learned from you
(doop doop doo da roop doo...)
I can be alone, yeah I can watch the sunset on my own
But you obviously didn't want to stick around. Wonder when I'll learn from that. Please, pagan gods of moving on, grant me the will to do just that! I really, really want to. I want to be over it, I want this to be done. When will it be done?

(Oh, and by the way, if YOU happen to read this, would like to inform you that the song you said was by Kate Nash on Bride Wars... EEEEEEEH! Wrong. It's by Priscilla Ahn. "Dream." Look it up. No, I will not give you the privilege of a link. It's simple google search, I'm sure you have time for that.)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

And The Long Haul Begins

I ran my first 10-kilometer race today. Although the race organizers completely messed up the finish (in my opinion), I timed myself at approximately 1 hour and 40 minutes. Still on my 10 minutes per kilometer mark, although I'm quite certain if the race wasn't as crowded as it was, I would've finished earlier. My fear of crowds and being brushed by the sweaty arms of strangers forced me to slow my pace to avoid getting possible foot-and-mouth disease contamination. (Okay, okay, I'm judgmental. Sorry.)

Despite the horrors of over crowding and the useless rowdy wannabees, 10.10.10 Run For Ilog Pasig was still a good run. Ten kilometers wasn't so bad! I was superbly nervous about it. I've been doubting my capability of finishing the distance, especially since I haven't really done any serious training. My last run before today was a week ago, and it wasn't even a real run. I mostly just walked around my old college campus. So, yeah, I felt very ill prepared for today's 10k.

And I finished! Double digit distance, baby! From here on out, the distances will only get longer. 10k in the bag. Half-mary is up next in 2010. Then full marathon in 2011 1st quarter. Wow! What mighty ambition you have, little girl. The better to live strong with!

Tired, spent but unbelievably happy. This is day one of the real long haul. Nowhere to go but up from here.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Old School Ain't So Old

... because if it really were, then it'd be like admitting that I'm old. And I'm not. (I can hear Bruce from "Finding Nemo" say "Denial.")

This morning, en route to work, I played a really old cassette tape in the car. (Yes, we still use our cassette tape player, you got a problem with that?) It's the very first Asian edition of the successful NOW That's What I Call Music franchise. Released in 1995, this was my generation's playlist back when I was a wee freshman in high school!

When was the last time you heard Wet Wet Wet's Love Is All Around, or Janet Jackson's Whoops Now? How about Bon Jovi's rock ballad Always? Or Ace Of Base's classic Don't Turn Around!?!?

I was singing along to every song on the tape, with the volume specially turned up when Boyzone's Love Me For A Reason remake was playing. Laugh all you want but it was just so darn good to hear these tracks again. They brought back memories of simpler days: when life was all about getting to class on time, finishing up homework and passing that pesky surprise quiz. The simple life complicated only by the idiocies adolescents rake up with raging hormones. If we'd only known what we'd be getting into after graduation, maybe we wouldn't have shed that many tears or exerted that much effort into the petty of back then.

Then again, how were we to know? All we had for guidance were silly songs like Zombie (of The Cranberries) and Vulnerable (of Roxette). I take that back, they weren't silly. They AREN'T silly. These songs may not be the anthems of our generation (in my opinion, You Learn by Alanis Morissette is) but they do define our 90s to the T.

I wonder what the high-schoolers of today will be reminiscing to 15 or so years from now. Maybe I'll be looking back with them, still in denial that I'm old and decrepit. :))

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

I Used to be a Left Brainer

Now I'm a no-brainer! Wahahaha!

Funny! Did you not find that funny? Seriously?

Seriously now, for quickie reference, let's turn to to (yes, there is such a site)

Left Brain
Right Brain




Looks at parts





Looks at wholes

Pretty good birds-eye view of the whole Right Brain/Left Brain thingamajiggy, yeah? Left Brain people are the ones good in math and science, patterns and x+y=z. Right Brain people are the ones good with art and words, obsessed with color splashes and figuring out why x and y have to equal z.

True, I was never good in either math and science, but I was once a very logical, analytical person. I tried to look at things and situations from a third-party point of view, so as not to mix in personal opinions with decisions to be made. I would also break stuff down to parts, because parts were more manageable and easier to tackle. Left brain me also never took the road less travelled because she feared the uncertainty of it all.

But now, amazingly, I'm finding out that I've turned into a right brainer. This blog alone is proof of that. The messes I've been through in 2010 proves that, too. I was mulling over whether this turn of events is a good thing or a bad thing... and I've come to the conclusion of... why even bother thinking about it?

Not everything I do is defined by which lobe of my brain I use more strongly. When I need to be creative and care-free, the right side automatically wins over. And I'm hoping... wait make that I know... that, when objectivity has to come up on top, I'll still be able to use my left brain with ease. So what am I writing this for?

I dunno... maybe so you can think about which brainer you are... :)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Why I Write

I used to write stories and poetry.

Back in high school, in lieu of gifts, I wrote poems for friends. They were cheesey-rhymie things, mostly a play on words, but each was well received. Although I doubt if any of them were kept to forever. I hope so... maybe I'd better ask.

I also wrote short stories. I remember this particular piece just flowed out of me in 7th grade, entitled "The Addict." I had no real grasp on drugs and addiction back then but somehow I was able to write a fictional short about a young woman hooked on coke. She died at the end of my one-pager. Morbid writing for someone in elementary.

Now, I write about everything and nothing. Boon and bane of the blog world, I guess. I write to get whatnot thoughts out of my head, just so the crazies don't drive me up my imaginary wall. But I love writing here, you know. We're so lucky to be part of the generation who has the gift of freedom to express anything at such an easy whim. Techonology is a blessing that way.

But I write here to get a message across. I've been wondering for a while what that message is in particular, and I think I've figured it out. Insights from the Movies is here to say that anyone can get anything across. No rules, no limits, no holds barred. We're free, we're young, we're allowed to be crazy, be anonymous and be open all at the same time. Its a beauty that allows us to be real. For me to be real.

So, write, dear friends. Go and type it all out, let your hair down and let loose! We've got a world wide free-for-all right here, right now. Why let it pass?

Monday, October 4, 2010


It's that time of the year, filled with good cheer, blood, guts and chum. It's Shark Week on the Discovery Channel and us cartilage-loving fools are in for a treat.

Shark Week has always been something to look forward to for me. I'm a big fan of the ocean and everything that dwells in it, new and old, but sharks have always been up on a higher pedestal. I'm fascinated by their majesty, the perfection of their being, how every single part of them has a specific function to make them the perfect predators they are: the rough teeth-like lined skin, the lateral line, the Ampullae of Lorenzini, the giant livers. They are amazing to me! And as everything amazing ought to be, I regard sharks and rays with the utmost respect and awe.

My fascination with sharks didn't start with Hollywood. For many, Jaws was the turning point of either developing the great fear or the great curiosity. Apt because Jaws starred the Great White. But my real WOW started with a book! Steve Alten's MEG was my very first shark read. I was on a creature-rush in first year high, devouring books like The Relic, Congo and Watchers (Jurassic Park and The Lost World were consumed in elementary, along with a few Agatha Christies) as if they were childhood reads, and I stumbled upon MEG in the "50% off" pile at NBS. Looking back on it now, it wasn't the best work of fiction in the world. It did however, give me my first encounter with megalodon. King of kings, Jurassic shark, stuff of nightmarish legends. The mere thought that such an animal once swam the waters of our Earth can be enough to drive the common man to hydrophobia. Thank heavens there's nothing common about me.

As enthralling it is to learn of the different life cycles and styles of the numerous shark and ray species, the more pressing issue at hand nowadays is the conservation of these apex predators. Many shark species are in danger of extinction due to human greed.

When reefed beaches are netted off to be tourist destinations, the nets trap a lot of animals: dolphins, sea turtles and sharks. Did you know that netted sharks drown and die? When a shark can't swim, oxygen can't be filtered through its gills. You don't need a bio degree to tell you no oxygen equals no life.

Sharks are also rampantly mutilated for their fins. There's an entire industry specifically catering to the Asians' inhumane craving for shark's fin soup. Do you know how the fishermen of this illegal trade get the fins? They hook the poor things with long lines baited with fish heads, reel in whatever shark takes a bite, hack off the fins and throw the rest of dead animal off board. A life for a piece of supposed delicacy.

These are the things that Shark Week try to fight against in its yearly quest. As stewards of the Earth, it is our responsibility to ensure that everything under our care survives. The scary fact is, our lifetime is faced with more endangered species than any other, only surpassed by the meteor annihilation of the dinosaurs. I hope my little lecture can be a wake-up call to many a-slumberin' spirits out there. Maybe it'll spike your curiosity and you'll find yourself tuning in every night of this week to the Discovery Channel.

For now I only ask for one thing: NO TO SHARK'S FIN SOUP AND NO TO NETS. It's their waters, we're only swimming in them. Have a happy Shark Week.

Sunday Run, Bonfire & Rockstars

My parents are die-hard Ateneo fans. Papa is an alumnus, the only one in the brood to get in and graduate from AdMU. Mama, though she never stepped an academe foot in the University, was brainwashed since her 2nd grade to hate La Salle, and worship the ground Ateneans walk on.

Friends don't believe me when I say I wasn't even allowed to touch a La Salle university application in 4th year high. My parents specifically said, study anywhere but there. Hard core? Yes. Imagine their happiness when I landed in, by their definition, the most ideal university in the country.

Of course, when the Fight-Fight-Blue-And-White won the 74th UAAP basketball division (prada midgets, juniors and seniors teams), bagging in the triple win three-peat, we just had to go to the Bonfire. I love my school and I'm proud of everything the Ateneo does, but I'm not really a hoops fan and I don't do crowds. The past two bonfires were hell on Earth for me, so I wasn't really looking forward to this one.

But *light bulb* flashed in my teeny brain and I thought, while everyone else is a-partyin' in the AGS parking lot, why don't I and my li'l feet go a-runnin' 'round campus? Genius! And run I did. After helping the parental units get settled in the designated tent, I went off for a good hour and a half of running. Okay, fine, so I was mostly walking but it still felt great! Going around the school with my standard Imogen Heap/Frou Frou playlist was liberating. While everyone else was on their way to the bonfire, I was running (literally) the other direction! Only thing missing was the rain. Running in school in the rain would be a dream.

I was back in the tent by 6:30 in the evening, the celebration's program proper hadn't even started yet. Starved and wounded (nadapa ako), but happy and sated, I settled down with my family to cheer on the Ateneo teams who have, thus far in the season, won their respective trophies (basketball, swimming, judo, dance... I don't remember them all). Like I said, I'm not a fan, apparently not just of basketball but of the whole UAAP concept.

However, after all the teams have gone up on stage, and had been congratulated by the crowd, the bonfire was lit while "We Stand On A Hill" played in the background. I love that song. It makes even the non-fan like me want to yell win-or-lose,-it's-the-school-we-choose, and mean it with all my heart. And after the Ateneo anthem, a grand display of fireworks! My school knows how to party like a rockstar.

Speaking of rockstars, here's my highlight of the night. My ultra, mega, ay-caramba , mama mia all-time favorite band in the world was first up to perform. Parokya Ni Edgar rocked the stage with Buloy, Halaga and The Yes Yes Show. They really bring out the high-pitched, silly high school girl in me. I was off my seat and jumping to their music. Of course, Mama and Papa were looking at me and my sister like "Huwaaaat?!" but we just seriously love-love-love the band. I knew their entire first album by heart back in the day, and I'm sure if you play it back to me now, I'd still be able to sing along to every one of their songs.

BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE! Three songs by the awesome Parokya Ni Edgar was enough to cap off my night but here comes Marty (our bunso), saying he knows how to get backstage. AYIIIIKIIIIIEEE!!! I swear, blood was rushing thru me like nothing else at this point. You see, I'm semi-obsessed with their most useless band member, Vinci. He is H-O-T!

And so Marty brings his two older, but somehow more-immature-at-that-moment, sisters backstage to meet the band. And we met them! All of them, even saving Vinci for last and we had a picture taken with them. I wasn't able to stop myself from admitting to Vinci's face that I've had a crush on him since forever. He was such a sport about it! I love him more now.

The end! Beautiful Sunday. Congratulations, Blue Eagles, Blue Eaglets, and everyone else. Happy to say today that my blood boils blue. Animo Ateneo!

Friday, October 1, 2010

It's Raining Friends

I am blessed.

I simply have the GREATEST support system in the form of people around me.

Mi Familia. Although they have no idea what the hell is going on with me now, they know well enough not to ask. I need my space to breathe and they give it freely. No questions asked when tears are falling while in the car on our way to work. No prodding over dinner when I'm unusually quiet and rushing thru my meal. They let me be. And I love it.

Special mention of my Achi. Hay, Ach... Your shobe's crazy, you know that right? But thank you for taking in my tears, even when they were unclear. It's a messed up story, I'm telling you. I'll tell you completely one day, when I'm ready to share my shame. I know you won't judge me, but I've been judging myself from Day One and it's hard for me to get into the nasty details... especially with family. I love you. To my core.

My office mates. OH WOW! Hahaha! They saw firsthand the horror I can become with a messed up heart. It's U-G-L-Y! Trins, Aids, I'm sorry for shutting you out and thank you for welcoming me back with open arms when I was ready to talk (which was today!). Masas and Fully Booked for lunch was an excellent idea. Badette, it's amazing how you sensed I was broken, and that was over YM! Thank you for being "affected." Of course I know I have a friend in you. Always and forever! Madam, IKAW NA! Witness to banyo-breakdown #2! Haha! Fine, fine, you may take what I've said in the past against me. But I know better now. Badeth, you gave me words of wisdom from the start. I knew you'd get where I was coming from, given your own life with (Sir) Tatti. Lisa, I owe you kwento. We must do lunch again before we make the move to Marajo. Sbarro ulet? TV5 is family because of you guys, and more. And I hate that our family isn't complete. Let's TALI!!!

Friends overseas, you ROCK my cyberspace! Yaya, despite being all the way in Irishland, you hold me together. I'll give a full blow-by-blow account on TMYG because typing it all out on YM will tire me out. But you know the gist of it, and you are one of the reasons why I'm fine today. Tala, I ruined our last lunch. But I'm glad you heard my story out. You and Pau were there the night I was explaining myself to the group. Favorite line: "I can play, too!" O-M-G! Apparently, I can't! Good to know now, though. Hug your asawa for me when you get to Sri Lanka.

My boys, how can you live without them. Secret Keeper, *sigh* just when we thought we were getting somewhere, eh? Oh well, you live, you learn. You're overprotective but I love you for it. G-tired, you and your fixin' a broken heart song. SHATTAP! Haha! I'm hanging on, luv. And from the looks of today, I'm hanging on real good. James, feeling close?!?! We're already close. Korakcha ka na! I have a question, did Oplan Wonderland push thru or shall I conspire for something else with you? I'm a PM away, my boy. Bok-bok-bok.

My korakchas. My heart & soul. They give me strength, passion, love and cheer. They hold my world together in the darkest of times and keep me sane by listening to my crazy obscenities. Chaw, bestest friend in the world. You know me, inside out. Thank you for holding on to me on night one. You are a true pillar of strength. Rowena, LA-GU-NA!!! Haha! Things we come up with when we're together. You got me out of my stupor! Thank you for stress eating and sharing your Aiden-afternoon with me. Palawan Budz, why didn't you get the code words!?!? Pick-up-the-pieces, ang your comeback was Elrond and taboo?!? Stress-Oreña-Drillon! Haha! But you are amazing. I knew you had my back from the start, it's one of the reasons why I so bravely took this on. Beej, last again on the memo, but I love your facebook hug. You'll know everything soon enough.

Today was a good day because of ALL of you. I'm overwhelmed by the love and life that surround me when I'm among you. I love you, really. I'm getting over this hurdle, seemingly a lot easier than I initially thought, because of you.

Finally, I can close this chapter. It's been a long time coming, and I'm glad you saw me through the ride and now seeing me through the rough waters. Thanks is not enough, but it's all I've got. THANK YOU. Truly. From the bottom of my healing heart. :)

Escape To Elantris

In the face of inevitable heartache, I turn to published pages. I have 3 or so books lined-up for me, so yeah, good luck eyesight! I'll probably be seeing my eye doctor soon after finishing all of these.

"The Art Of Racing In The Rain" is nice enough, although Enzo's lolled out dog tongue makes dialogue with his humans difficult. The very strange 1st person perspective of a dog is heartwarming. But I guess I'm not in the mood for heartwarming now.

So, I started with "The Tipping Point" last night, but my dad's want of darkness forced me to put it down. Love going back to the basics this way though, rediscovering the Law of the Few and other insights like that. Though, something still didn't stir in me. There's no rush to finish it off. Maybe I want to take my tipping point slow. Relish in the pain. Yeah, masochistic like that.

"The No-Asshole Rule" is one I haven't even dared to touch. I was so intrigued with it's concept when I first discovered Robert Sutton's genius mind online, but now I'm so scared of it. I'm surrounded by assholes, I know it. I'm an asshole, I know it. This book might be rubbing salt into an open wound... so not just yet. I'll get to it, soon enough.

My nexts-in-line were supposed to be "Her Fearful Symmetry" and "The Art Of Non-Conformity." My office mate is lending me her copy of Symmetry, as she advised against me getting my own copy. I was, however, so close to getting my very own AONC book today, its just that the staff of Fully Booked GB5 couldn't locate their possible copy on shelf. That means, the book was showing up on their inventory record but they couldn't find in the store. *sigh* Not meant to be, I guess.

But scouring the shelves of Fully Booked did get me something, and it's completely unbelievable! Hidden in their sci-fi section was the branch's last copy of ELANTRIS by Brandon Sanderson. Being a nuvo-fantasia addict, Sanderson is one of my favorite authors. I've been trying to get hold of books 2 and 3 of his Mistborn series, but to no avail. This gifted novelist was hand chosen by Robert Jordan's wife (and editor) to complete the Wheel Of Time. Wheel Of Time is like the next generation LOTR! Isn't that something? Well, it's something to me.
So here I am, in my workstation, gleefully typing away about my latest purchase. I'm only on the first few pages but I can say right away, this has got me hooked: sinker, line and rod. My only irk is that it's not the best looking copy in the world. It's got nicks and folds on the cover (sadness) but its nothing a little adhesive book covering can't hide.

Genuinely happy with the latest addition to my collection. I think this is just the escape I need right now. What better way to get out of the shambles of my heart than to run into someone else's make-believe. I'm escaping to Elantris, boys and girls. Likely, when I decide to come out, I'll be more than fine.