Tuesday, November 30, 2010

What Would You Do With 741M?

Apparently someone from Luzon won the lottery already.

Sole winner of 741 million pesos. Are we drowning in zeros yet?

This lotto madness has driven the crazy into so many people. Lines outside lotto outlets every Saturday we reaching roundabouts and turnarounds; it made me wish I franchised a store earlier. In the past few weeks, those stores probably made a killing!

But seriously, what would you do with that kind of money? A million bucks endowed to a single individual (redundant much?) is unfathomable to me already, what more THAT? (*points up*) Where would that kind of money go? What bank would accept that kind of account?

But then again, why dwell on useless up-in-the-air questions like those when it's not your happy problem? It's only one person's concern now, and I'm sure he's hiding somewhere in the Cordilleras already trying to escape from the clutches of relatives looking for balato. Personally, I wouldn't want that big an amount looming over my head. I'd be happy with a miniscule million. :)

Monday, November 29, 2010

Two Stops Over

Channel surfing over the long weekend has its perks! Here's my latest channel surfing discovery.

Two Stops Over is a show about photography and the subjects being photographed. Last night's episode featured extra special athletes. I say extra special because they're truly individuals worth looking up to. The layman would call them disabled, when in fact they're likely to be more able-bodied than 90% of the country's populace.

Check out the site linked above to know more about the episode last night, telling you it's inspiring.

Kind of makes me reconsider photography.

Friday, November 26, 2010

R.I.P. Jekyll

When we revived our home aquariums back in July 2008, Jekyll was one of my very first fish.

He's a pretty Ryukin. I got him for 50 bucks from a nearby fish store. He was part of a pair. Of course I named his partner Hyde. Hyde's big, he's the king of the aquarium today, the biggest fish in the tank. Jekyll just never grew to be as big as Hyde.

Jekyll had a tiny tiny tail, so disproportionate from his fishy body. I always joked that he made a silly put-put-putting sound when he swam. He had permanent lipstick on, I think he's a tranny that way. And I love him.

I found Jekyll stuck to the air filter of his home. He was sucked in and couldn't get himself free from the filter's hold. Glad I'm as old as I am now, because if I saw that back when I was 10, I'd be traumatized. Poor baby was still alive but barely. Yes, I cried. I cried over a fish. A fish I've had for more than two years.

I transferred Jekyll to the "retirement" fish bowl. It's where I transfer all my sickly fish so they can die in peace, away from the botherings of the other fish in the tank. Jekyll stayed in there, belly up, for the evening. He must've passed away during the night, because when I woke up to check on him at 7 in the morning, the retirement bowl was cleaned out and he was gone.

Days like these make me wonder why I get pets anyway. Only end up crying at the end of it all.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Take 5 in...

5 hours!!!

I am so looking forward to my unprecedented 4-day long weekend.

What to do, what to do? Besides run, that is. ;)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


You know what breaks my heart? Strays. They make me feel helpless.
Went on my usual run last night and on my first round I came across a precious bundle of fur. It was a kitten! Scared, untrusting, wary, obviously cold, looking so lost. I swear I heard my heart break in two.

But I couldn't stop. Tiny kitten and I were on the sidewalk of a main road in QC, it was 6:30 in the evening and jeepneys were flying past us like there was no tomorrow. It wasn't the most ideal place to suddenly imbibe St. Francis of Assisi. So I kept on running.

2nd two took me by surprise even more because suddenly, Tiny Kitten had a sister! Or a brother. Didn't stop to check on their gender. But they were two all of a sudden. The new addition was even smaller, but was a bit more friendly than the first. I think it noticed that I stopped in my tracks when I saw the two of them and tentatively approached with a few kitty steps. I was sooo tempted to just grab both of them, stop my run and bring them home.

I've done that before. Suddenly coming home with a kitten, puppy or chick. I never resisted the urge to care for something so tiny and helpless, and my parents could never say no to me when I insisted I'd take care of them. Because I did. Milk, food, toys all came from my allowance (of course with a bit of begging from Papa) and all my time in the world. When I had a stray in the house, the stray took all my time. It'd be the first thing I check on when I wake up and be the last thing I see before I go to sleep.

I can't do that anymore. Bringing strays home have repercussions and I've had to deal with a few back in the day. Fights with other pets in the house, turd everywhere, scratches and bites that I'm almost a hundred percent sure was rabies-free and never meant to hurt... plus my parents won't appreciate a grown woman like me bringing strays home. Don't think my eyes have the same Puss-in-boots effect anymore.

So I had to turn away and keep running. I almost stopped by the first gated house I passed to ring their door and tell any soul in their to take the poor fluffies in for the night. I was making the perfect spiel in my head already, so whoever answers the door won't be able to say no. By my 3rd round, I had it down pat. I was ready.

But I never need to say it out loud. On my 3rd round, a lady was walking away from the kitten's "area." She had given them food! They were happily stuffing their faces with whatever she put out and she was walking carefully away from them, as if to make sure nothing interrupts their meal for as long as possible, not while she's around.

My spirit soared! There were still good people in the world, and this simple act of kindness proves it. I'm so glad that this woman had more courage than I did. Granted she had one major advantage over me, she lived in the area; unlike me, the strange running girl with nothing but an iPod to her name. But still, for her to prepare them their meal, step out of the house and watch over the kittens was a priceless gesture of love and care. And I'm so blessed to have witnessed it.

Our world faces so many problems, we've got so much more to worry about other than stray cats and dogs, but it warms the heart to know that there are still people who care about the tiny homeless souls that roam our city's streets. It's the little things like this that make me believe there's hope for us yet.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Stuck In The Office

Freak rain. If there's one thing I hate about Quezon City, it's what it becomes after freak rains. I am stranded in the office, waiting for my driver to maneuver his way out of the horrendous traffic caused by the sudden afternoon down pour's flash floods.


I wish I was home. I wish I just ran today instead of wasting another opportunity. I wish I was anywhere but here, doing anything but waiting.

For me, waiting is such a waste. Waiting is short of doing nothing, it's just sitting in some obscure corner, watching minutes burn slow death because you can't frikkin' do a thing about it. It's why I can't sit still. My brain no longer sees waiting as the patient person's way. It's why I'm writing this entry now.

Such a shame how so many see waiting as part of the process. I'd rather do something than wait idly by. Rather write, rather run, rather clean up or organize or work.

Egads, I hope against all hope that the traffic on QC roads evaporate like a trickle under the Sahara sun. There must be something done with this Metro-wide problem, motorists and commuters shouldn't be left at the mercy of flooded highways.

First things first: fix the danged drainage system! Clear up the canals, get rid of the squatters under the bridge (relocate, men!), and you get rid of the flash floods. 2nd, get rid of the suckes who can't drive in the rain! You slow the rest of us down. Shape up or ship out, there are TONS of public means of transport to travel by. 3rd, get me friggin' home. I'm getting cranky and I've got a full day tomorrow.

I wish I was home already! :( Freak rain, I hate the freak everything else you cause... Including the freakishly insane me right now.

Nature Vs Nurture Vs Power of Context

Been reading The Tipping Point for a while now, it's my new falling-asleep book but that's not to say I don't find it interesting or that I'm not learning anything from it.

Learning a lot, actually, and of course so much of the knowledge imparted is useful to my chosen career in marketing, but also in life overall. I'm on the 3rd rule of the tipping point: The Power of Context, which says that a person's actions and decisions are affected by the environment s/he is in at the moment: an above average student with honest principle ethics will still cheat on a test if provided the right atmosphere and circumstance to do so; a normally quiet and conservative employee will turn into a hedonistic evil maniac if put in a sudden position of power and allowed to lord it over minions he is provided with.

This gives a step beyond the normal psychological study of Nature versus Nurture. Nature talks about genes and history and in-the-blood traits that define a person into a character. Nurture on the other hand covers environments and routines that become ritualistic and ingrained in daily life; how a man grows into a street rat after living a life in the ghetto. BUT, the power of context defies all this be saying, in as much as it would be easier to box a person into a certain type of cubbyhole, people react differently when put into different kinds of situations.

I remember writing an entry about different hats back in my days of multiply blogging. I was wondering how it seemed so easy for me to switch for being the good daughter diligently watching a ballet concert with my parents to the girl hanging out with good friends in some obscure bar in the middle of the metro all in the same night. Granted I don't radically change into a wild woman turned loose from the clutches of the overbearing mother and father (one being my parents are NOT overbearing and two, I have no concept of what a "wild woman" does anyway) but there are subtle tweaks that naturally play into my personality when I hang out in different places with different people. I thought it was because I have hats that turn me from being one person into another in a snap.

I understand better now, that my hats are influenced by the direct environments I put myself in. For example, the normally happy and animated me immediately goes away when I'm put in a totally awkward situation, like in a room full of people I have absolutely have nothing in common with. The "search for co-loner" hat is automatically put on and I try to find a place in the room; nothing center of attention, nothing with a spotlight, just me, a drink and another soul who probably wasn't fitting in.

Context is powerful because it has the ability to change a normally dormant side of us into one that's immediate and fully functioning. Heck, context turned a silent man like Bernard Goetz into a multiple murderer. Of course nature and nurture still play their major roles in character and personality formation, but oftentimes we forget to look at situations on the here and now. The power of context reminds us that nothing is absolute, nothing is set in stone and nothing is certain. Everything changes at a drop of a hat, and those tiny boxes we like to stereotype others in are blown away.

Still reading and learning from The Tipping Point as I write. Looking forward to reading more of Malcolm Gladwell's genius in Blink!, Outliers, and What The Dog Saw.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Meet Lula

She's my faithful pair of NB running shoes. I think I've been running with Lula for about 6 months or so now. She's the first official pair of rubber shoes to be use specifically for a sport that I bought for myself. (You ask why? Have we not established I was NOT sporty girl before 2010?) Actually, make that have we not established I'm not at all sporty girl... I just LOVE to run.

Anyway... I got Lula on sale from some store in Waltermart (Sports Warehouse Planet something or another...) and she's worth all 2,000++ of her. Cheap for good running shoes; investment already for me. My palawan buddy (you know who you are...) dubbed her Lula, a funny nick derived from TRULALOO... ah yes, we're strangely gay like that. (Trulaloo!!!!) Trulalula was Lula's first identity, which Palawan Buddy eventually allowed to be cut short to a prettier sounding name.

Lula ran my first 15-kilometer race with me today. I clocked in (by my watch) at 2 hours, 4 minutes and 10 seconds. Wow. 15k in two hours was my target, just never thought I'd actually be able to do it. My previous pace of 10 minutes per kilometer is now down to 8.26. Who would've thought?!? Certainly not me.

But I guess the running on a near regular every-other-day basis with Lula helped a lot. We've gone from short 30-minute runs to steady 01:10's; thru our share of campus tours (UP, AdMU, STC), BHS pavement and now the Morato area for our training and she has not let me down! Naturally my feet and legs ache after the runs, but I've never had (and hopefully will never have in the future) dead toenails, in-growns, fractures, sprains and cramps because of Lula.

She's a lucky, lucky find and I'm so darned glad to be running races with her. We've got 21k coming in two weeks. New route, new distance. EGADS! I'M STOKED! Lula, I *heart* you as much as I *heart* running. Here's to pounding more pavement with you, and to our quest to 42.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Moment of Silence

This has been one helluva week. Whirlwind, fast tracked, jampacked... gimme synonyms for these adjectives and I'm sure it'll fit how I would describe my week thus far.

I'm happy, yes, as I've said in my post yesterday. But at the same time, I cherish these sudden moments of silence. Went out on another run today. Left the office at around 6:00 in the evening, everyone was practically still in. Not necessarily still working, most were probably waiting for the right time to log out. It was noisy, people were excited to end the day and go home.

I'm not a fan of noise, so I was glad to get out and run my laps on my own. Did 5 rounds in my now usual route, not sure how far that was but it took my an hour and 20 minutes to finish. Not all run, of course. I strongly believe in the walk-run principle our TBR Dream Marathon mentors are trying to enstill in us. I think the major flaw in my work out is that I walk more than I run. Haha!

Anyway... so after my run, I come back to the office to get my stuff and WOW, 7:30 PM and it's absolutely abandoned. Quite, still solitude awaited me. And I think it's beautiful. Now all I have is my laptop, this entry on the blog, the steady tapping of my fingers on the keyboard and The Script's Science and Faith album playing on my iPod. This, to me, is bliss.

I'm ending my day on a high note, something that's now fast becoming a habit.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Its been a while

...since my last post, and the lapse is with good reason. I'm changing it up: new job, new colleagues to deal with daily, goodbye media, hello again FMCG, hello linchpin movement.

And I'm generally happy of the change thus far. Of course, naturally there are challenges on the way but I look forward to them. Life won't be easy, breezy anymore but who cares! I'll stare down any obstable to cross my path now, and overcome it because I'm strong and smarter this time around.

Hopefully, this new workload won't alter other aspects of my life so much. I was able to run for an hour and ten minutes today, my first run on the new job. Will be running again tomorrow to push my limits further, and on Sunday I conquer 15k.

Loving the state I'm in right now. This feels good, it fits me. And I'm happy.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

♪♫Ooooh we're halfway there♪♫

Thanks to my faithful yaya, Maumau, I was able to catch a Bon Jovi concert streamed live over youtube. Glamrock for breakfast, baby! Endorphin rush caused by Jon Bon Jovi's hotness in the morning, watta way to start the day.
Can I just say: I love the world wide web, I love that Yaya Maumau had her bout of insomnia (poor girl... hope you caught up on some sleep after the concert) and I love classic glam rock! It just never ever gets old. Songs like Livin' On A Prayer, Wanted Dead Or Alive, and It's My Life just wakes up the good old rocker days in me.

After the concert, my high was further streched courtesy of my iPod's glamrock playlist: Mr. Big, Harem Scarem, Bad English, Def Leppard, Aerosmith... yeah, it was a pretty loud and rockin' morning for me. Haha!

But seriously, I love Glamrock! And I don't think I've ever met anyone who feels otherwise about it. I can play name-that-tune with the Glamrock genre with anybody, I swear, because everyone knows the classics. And I think it's mostly because glamrock reminds us to be uninhibited, unsuppressed, and unhinged! Everyone's a rockstar when it comes to this genre: doesn't matter if you look like a hillbilly, or a pop princess, or the nerd down the street. Soon as the guitar intro of I'll Be There For You comes on, all hairs are let loose.

Friends, promise me that when I die, you'll have a glamrock night at my wake to honor great music. Rock on, luvrs! We sing til we die.

Monday, November 8, 2010

With Childlike Wonder

The genius that is SETH GODIN will never cease to amaze me.

Here's but another awe-striking, inspiring entry.

I can only wish to be as childlike as he describes.

Hurray for the Doglovers!

Basta aso, naiiyak ako.
-Tippie O. Tan
I saw “Hotel For Dogs” for the first time on HBO last night. Wasn’t lucky enough to watch it from beginning to end (probably missed the first 30 minutes), but then againit had a simple enough storyline so catching up wasn't difficult to do.

Quick synopsis: Orphaned siblings, Andi and Bruce, turn an abandoned building into a make-shift home stay for the stray dogs, because their new foster parents won't allow them to keep their cutesy wire-haired terrier "Friday" in the house. Of course, mishaps happen, their hotel for dogs is discovered and the orphans were forced to let go of their project as they were separated by child services. I don’t have to tell you that all gets better in the end, but you should still watch the movie to see how they make it work out. And the end is every dog lover’s dream come true: a safe house for a jubilant bunch of tail wagging furries!

What made me cry though (please be prepared to discover how much of an oddball I am) was the credits. Yes, the credits. You did not read wrong.

It started with the simple text of “Cast & Crew, with Friends” followed by a stream of pictures: everyone who was part of the movie’s production posing with their beloved animal companion. I cried because it was beautiful to see so many people loving and in love with their animals. There was the single white male with his cat, the new family with their daughter and the couple’s mixed breeds, the grand mother with her macho German Shepherd, the buff guy with his gardner snake, the puppies, the huskies, the labs and St. Bernards, all showered with love by their faithful humans.

I happily wept my tears of joy! We're just so lucky to be loved unconditionally by the furries we come home to. So for me, loving a dog, or a cat, or any being not human, without shame, without fear of being ridiculed, is honorable and shows strength of character. The human who loves outwardly just for the sake of loving outwardly is my ideal! It's only right we try our best to love them just as unconditionally back.

I recommend the movie, not for the lessons it tries to teach about family and responsibility. I recommend Hotel For Dogs simply because it's a celebration of LOVE!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Highlights 2010

My friends and I once played a game on the beach I'm now coining "Highlights." We each looked back in the past year and picked out the top 5 moments to narrate.

I'd like to share my (thus far) 2010 highlights with you.

It was the perfect all-girl beach trip: four days of sun, sand and seawater with narry a mobile signal in sight. This trip cementized the bond of 5 beautiful strangers into one giant KORAKCHA and we're now a mighty family with a few odd-ball boys. The Apo Reef trip was also the first time I went thru tentlife! Mindoro's Apo Island had no electricity, no running water, no nothing! We pitched our own tent, slept in it for the night and folded it up again come morning. It was also the first time I encountered wild dolphins. We saw two pods! And countless shooting stars! Apo Reef is the trip to beat in my book.

My first ever race. First in 2010, first in life. And it started this blooming love affair with a sport! Who would've thought?!? Since NGC, I've run at least 2 times a week, frequency now getting higher because I'm running a marathon on March. YES! Marathon! Wooohooo! Looks like 2011 will have it's first highlight already.

Before her operation, Belle (my precious black lab) was living with a lump on one of her breasts. Her doctor didn't want to put her under the knife until it was absolutely necesssary, I guess she didn't want Belle to go through the stress of an operation and gave us alternatives on dealing with the lump instead. But, just as anything bad in the world, the lump got worse. Belle underwent a masectomy procedure and I wailingly waited for the whole thing to be over. Two frikkin' hours crying like a lunatic in the waiting area of Animal House Banawe. *sigh* But now, she's soooo much better. Happily lump-free, three months and counting!

It was either a scheduled non-working holiday or I was just absent from work. I was at home, not really doing anything, just watching HBO, and Joe's Apartment came on. I loved that movie back in high school. I think I was one of the few girls who wasn't totally freaked out by the singing roaches. So I watch, and Ralph Roach says his magical line: "The funny thing about shit, only good things grow out of it." LIGHTBULB!!! How can one not write after hearing such words of wisdom from a cockroach?! As I always say, inspiration comes in many a strange form and from this particular instance, Insights From The Movies was born.

I was contemplating on whether I should make my blog more public by posting links on my facebook page. I wasn't sure if my thoughts were worthy enough to be read by other people besides my eternally dear friends because most of what I write are useless and mundane. I say that in the present tense because they still are. Anyway, around the same time, I was introduced to The Art Of Non-Conformity of Chris Guillebeau. His site said to feel free to contact him anytime, as he personally replies to all his messages, so I took a shot, asked him when he knew it was time to bring out his thoughts to the world and gave him a link to here. A few days later, I discovered that Chris wrote a comment on my "This li'l blog o'mine... should I let it shine" entry, and he said "Shining is good. Keep it up!" I nearly fainted with happiness. It was the first day I posted a link to my blog on my facebook page, and it was the day my writing started to be more real, more thought-out, and more me.

I hope my highlights inspire you to look back at your 2010. The new year's almost here and we've got more highlights to come! :)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Choose Your Own Adventure

I was never really a fan of the "Choose You Own Adventure" books. I guess I wasn't mature enough to realize what an invaluable lesson choosing your own adventure could be...
I was always up for adventure. Back in the day, when household responsibility was nothing more than a pinprick, I saw my career as one big adventure, and I was always (ALWAYS) up for the next unexpected turn.

Reality struck eventually, changes happened in the home and us "kiddies" had to take a hard look at life and priorities. Suddenly the adventure turned practical, and the need for a steady stream of income became the first and only concern. We're still there, but the yearning to be part of something great is still is, too.

To my TV5 family, I love you. You make everyday at work a blessing. Working for the media industry was a long time dream and it came true when you took a risk on me. I've learned so many invaluable lessons and gained solidly strong friends. I will miss you all terribly, but I'll still see you on YM and FB! Dun tayo mag-gaguhan!

So I take a leap! I've been given an opportunity that could mean big changes for me, to be in a place where I could be indispensible and the things I do will have direct and near immediate effects on set goals. I'm nervous, scared, unsure but I've jumped off the ledge already. Nothing left to do but open my eyes and see the horizon as I fall.

Choose My Own Adventure book starts in 5...

The Tigger & Eeyore In Me

Just read a portion of Gretchen Rubin's most popular entry of the month, and a swift take away from it is: Tigger and Eeyore are personalities, not persons.

I've always considered myself an Eeyore, sometimes a Rabbit because I tend to be a realist as well, but Eeyore has always been the character that called out to me because I'm most of the time a pessimist. I always look to the dark side when it comes to the unruly situations I somehow put myself into, therefore minimizing the hit of the worst case scenario when it comes.

BUT... I do notice that when I'm around fellow Eeyores, I automatically turn into a Tigger. And of course it's not to change anybody's mind about anything shitty we're in: I simply don't like the gloom brought on by too many Eeyores being in a 5-feet radius. Too many little grey rain clouds can cause an intertropical convergence zone.

To me, this says I can't box myself or anyone else as an optimist or a pessimist... or maybe even a realist or a dreamer, because as people of free will and free mind, we tend to adjust to the types of personalities that surround us at the moment. In fact, I couldn't imagine living the life of the eternal Eeyore. I'd probably drown under my own rain cloud if I did that. On the other hand, if I were with someone who's perpetually the Tigger, I'd likely wring his/her neck the first chance I get.

It's good to know that we're not all just one type of personality, that we have the innate ability to adjust when faced with certain individuals or certain situations. Question now is, do you prefer you being the Eeyore or being the Tigger?

I still love being Eeyore... and being Rabbit. I'm just forced to be Tigger sometimes.