Monday, February 21, 2011

A few thoughts on love.

"When a boy, out of the blue, tells a girl he loves her, magic could happen and the world is less two lonely people."
I wrote that. Back in July 25, 2010, in a post entitled Action/Reaction. I think I wrote the entry after watching a Criminal Minds episode that featured a foster kid turned serial killer after years of abuse from the person he grew up to know as his "mother." The point of the entry was simple enough: every tiny thing we do has some effect somewhere else and it's not always pretty.

Yet the little quote above... WOW... So out of the blue. My best friend and I have long discussions on marriage, commitment and family life, and I've told her one too many times that I'm open to a life of single-blessedness. My take has always been, "If it happens, fine. If it doesn't, that's one less headache I have to worry about." Right?

So, where on Earth, from a post that stemmed from a serial killer episode on TV, did two-less-lonely-people come from?

Love has forever been my taboo. I try, as much as possible, to not write about it because truthfully, it scares me. The thought of two people committing, to being loyal to each other, to seeing each other through the good and the bad, to accepting faults and failures, and exuberantly celebrating triumphs... Yeah, I'm afraid of that.

It would be so much easier to say love baffles me. Or claim that I find writing about love weak and too frou frou emotional. Or that I don't think about it much at all. Easier and all together wrong.

My fear of love comes from experience. Cheating, lies, hiding, denial... Name it, I've likely been through it. And I am this because of it: Jaded. Untrusting. Closed off and always on the side of self-preservation. I've been hurt... too often in my opinion, and I suppose being protective and overly critical when it comes to the craptastic, icky-luuuurv stuff is my natural reaction.

Despite the fear, though, love is still part of my bucket list: to be in-love and be in-loved back. Did I ever tell you that one of my most favorite love songs comes from the animated Disney classic "Cinderella?" My favorite line from So This Is Love goes, "This is the miracle that I've been dreaming of" because it sums up exactly how I see love. A mystery; a miracle that happens only in dreams, and dreams hardly ever come true. Its the something that happens to everyone else but me. Then, Jaded-Me pipes in with "That's okay." Sometimes, I wish I could just tell Jaded-Me to put a sock in it.

I admit, I have issues with love but I have to accept the fact that a part of me still thrives in the thought of it. I would never have written that line above in a previous entry if I didn't. Despite the fear, there's a part of me wants to stop being jaded, to start trusting again and be open to the possibility of forever.

Someday, the universe will hear the plea of non-Jaded-Me. I look forward to the day a boy looks me in the eye and tells me he loves me. The world will be less two lonely people and I'll be over the moon with joy. :)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

I take my TV time seriously

... and I mean that to be VERY seriously.

I find that a quiet respite and solace overcomes me when the buzz of the boob tube goes on and on and on. Even though most of the blah-blah-blahs that flow out of the TV are nonsense (hey, it's just like this blog o' mine!), I'm actually fortunate enough to find shiny bits of treasure every so often in the stream.

Like this morning, as I was relishing in my weekly marathon of Season 1 Drop Dead Diva episodes, a happy tidbit falls into my lap.

In a reply to Greyson's thought that "You are what you eat is the same thing as I am where I live, and I am who I was when I lived with Deb, then who am I now?" Deb (now in Jane's average American-woman sized body) states her own theory: "I am who I am and that's all I am. It doesn't matter what you eat, where you live or what you do. You are who you are and that's always changing."

I especially liked the it-doesn't-matter-what-you-do part because it rings so true my current outlook in life. I've written about it before: Why does every small talk have to start with the question, "So, what do you do for a living?"

If we tweaked that a bit into "So, what do you do to live?" we would get a much more interesting, honest and revealing answer. To that I would reply: I write to live, I read to live. I eat what I want to eat when I want to eat it to live. I run for hours on end to live. I deal with the pain that comes after running for hours on end to live. I hug my Belle, Bubu and Brandy and kiss their noses every morning to live. I watch endless TV and pick up little useless whatnots like this to live. I do all these because these are the very things that make me who I am and make me feel alive.

Let's stop asking the silly, mundane questions that literally shed zero light on the magic behind the humanity. I am who I am, and I dare be the person I want to be. This is who I am now and even though I can't pinpoint exactly what it is, I know it's different from who I was a few years ago. I find comfort in the thought that I am who I want to be today, and if that changes a bit with time, experience and knowledge, then so be it.

Take your TV time seriously, too. I highly recommend it, as it's most often much better (and cheaper) that retail therapy.

Oh, by the way, what do you do to live? :)

Friday, February 18, 2011

(Re)Defining My Goals

I've always known what I wanted and for the most part, I've always gotten it.

In high school, my goal in life was to be Ambassador of the Philippines to... wherever. The thought of representing my country to others mesmerized me, ergo step 1 had to be land a course on International Relations. Got that, AB European Studies, AdMU 2003.

College, though, introduced me to marketing. Yes, I was in Euro Studies, but I took the International Business track as opposed to the Political Science directive. So we took up the many basic management courses and Marketing 101 was one of them. I fell in love with the dance that happens between buyers and sellers, with the power and authority brand men and women had over sales, logistics, purchasing, HR and consumers. Ambassadress was out the window, overtaken by the power hungry marketeer. I wanted to be the neck that turned the big gun's head, all towards making the wonderful plans in mine happen.

I became a marketer. Turns out, though, being one isn't as powerful as we were led to believe back in class. Or not at first, at least. I've made my own way "up" the corporate ladder. I've achieve some level of authority, and command a certain degree of respect. It wasn't the easiest, nor funnest of all climbs and I'm sure there's still a length of a way to go to the top but as any growing individual experiences, I've gone thru another bout of changes and getting to the top of the corporate ladder isn't one of my goals anymore.

I'm actually in the very strange place of not having a goal. My chant nowadays is "... a job is just a job is just a job." I do what I do because of two simple things:
1) To earn my keep and help my family juggle the household expenses,
2) and to save enough for the next destination paradise or the quick beach getaway.

But Chris Guillebeau's latest blog entry rang yet another bell in me. His "out-there" question for the day was "Are goals necessary?" and he's gotten many a great feedback from AONC readers. However, only two lines from his entry struck me most. The first is his favorite comment: "Goals are simply chosen destinations that we’ve decided are worth the trip." said Barbara Winter. I have yet to explore her site but her book title looks mighty exciting. The second line is from Chris himself, "My view is that the odds of life passing you by are much higher if you have no plan for life itself."

Now, tell me, are those two lines not enough to stir the longing of goal-setting in anybody? I've always been the girl with the goal, yet I've also always understood that my journey towards the goal is oftentimes more important than the actual goal itself. So for me to learn from the journey, I must choose my destination and start the travel towards it, because I don't ever want to wander thru this life aimlessly.

Y@H is one goal. I have no idea how I'll start it or what it's going to look like. All I know "Young @ Heart" will stand for exactly what it's named for. It'll be FUN, creative, colorful, loud in places it needs to be loud and quietly serene it places it needs to be serene. Y@H will be my legacy in this mundane industry of never-ending meetings, up-tights and screw-overs. And truthfully, Y@H will be my excuse to not work in the workplace.

My bucket list is another. Thus far, I've ticked one item off: I've conquered my mountain. The marathon, although not on March, will be next. I will, however, try to put the Komodo Dragon and Blue Iguana experience as far back as possible. I wrote my bucket list to get me excited about life. I think I'll go thru it again to re-energize my deadened senses.

Writing down these goals, I realize I've always had them. They've always what I travel towards everyday since I first wrote them here in my blog. I guess I just kind of lost my way a bit somewhere in the latter part of 2010. It's just Feb 2011, not much time was lost. I've got my whole life ahead of me to make these goals happen, and I joyfully look forward to the amazing journey ahead of me to get 'em.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


I really have no idea why I readily put myself in situations that I'll be absolutely grossed out, disgusted, near-barfing with the movies I watch. Readily, because hello, of course the dude whose arm is stuck via boulder in a crack in the canyons of Utah will surely cut it off to survive.

It's like the time I watched Inglorious Basterds, uncut, alone. Egads. Pluck my eyes out, please. Aldo the Apache and his merry men's bloody antics are forever etched in my brain. Gah! But I still loved Inglorious Basterds because it had a fascinating, intricate story to tell. Hopping from one cut to another. Classic Tarantino.

However, 127 Hours is different. It had one overly oh-dear-God,-take-me-now scene, and the rest was left open to introspection. The plot was of predictable. How else can a man survive a predicament such as Aron Ralston's without losing a limb? From the trailer alone, you could count on that.

I think it was how James Franco portrayed Ralston's will to live, refusal to accept that that was it, that was the end of life as he knew it, and fought on, that I found to be inspirational. It's unbelievably unfortunate that such a thing ever happened to someone for real, but it did and he's ALIVE here and now to tell his story. Director Danny Boyle's crazy way of viewing life (Wins, you called it split screen madness, and I agree it was gorgeous) added only more beauty to the appreciation of living.

I've said it on FB and I'll say it again, 127 Hours is painful to watch alone, yet I did and I have no regrets. Highly recommended. Close your eyes for the arm cutting part, though. I was jumping around everywhere to get my jitters off from it, and it didn't work. Buti na lang talaga nabuhay sya.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Not Running My Marathon

Because I'm scared and not prepared.

That rhymes. Can it be a song? It'll be a sad one.

Darn it! I sooooo wanted to do this. Don't get me wrong, I still *heart* running and as I told my best friends, not running the marathon on March doesn't mean I won't be running anymore at all. But in reality, that seems to be how it's shaping up.

I'm reverting back to an old, sedimentary lifestyle; one of ill-movement and nil exercise and it's not a happy place. It's a rut and I feel stuck in it. And it's not just the running or the build-up to my marathon. It seems deeper than that.

When I was working this no-brainer, dead-end job in the now-major TV network, I had all the time and energy in the world. I was "working," getting good pay, running after office hours at the most runner-friendly place in the Metro (in my humble opinion), and living the simple life.

Now, I'm part of a visionary company, with enough responsibility and workload to really put this job on the line. Nothing is sure and secure, I still haven't adjusted to the job, to my colleagues or to the company's directive, and I don't know why I keep making it my excuse for NOT RUNNING! This job challenges me in ways I never dreamed it would, and I think I'm afraid if I put too much effort into it and lose it all again, I'd die. Well, not really die, but I'd be crushed. Accepting this position was a major decision, not just for me, but for my family as well, and I think it's some twisted way of self-preservation that's keeping me from loving this too much, from keeping it at arms length and blaming it for my inability to now run and properly train for my marathon.

It's not my jobs fault. It's all mine and my lack of discipline. I guess I didn't fully realize that accepting a new job, even if it's for a company I had previously worked with before, would mean changes.

But the excuses stop now.

I think I'll run today. I may not run 42-kilometers on March but that doesn't mean I shouldn't try to get my stride back. And maybe I'll bring a boardgame to work tomorrow. High time I showed my real colors in my "new" workplace.

Monday, February 7, 2011


I've blogged about the advanced stage of readiness to buy before but here's a brilliantly concrete example for everyone's benefit.

Chaw and I were running in UP Oval last Saturday morning, and of course a gazillion other runners were there also. (Along with a few bikers... one in particular was cute and greeted us with a proper good morning when he wove past us.) As any other weekend at the Oval goes, it has turned into the activity hub of the city.

So I supposed it really was only a matter of time before someone did this: selling sports-related stuff on the side of the road! Here is the picture of the dude's tiny "store" by UP's Abelardo Hall. On it were singlets and running shorts of different cuts and colors. He came with variety!

Now this for me defines availability in a venue where your target customers are in an advanced stage of readiness to buy. I hope motorcycle vendor will be there again on Saturday. One of those running shorts caught my eye. :)

Friday, February 4, 2011

Tim Burton, I'm a fan.

I remember back in elementary I was obsessed with "Nightmare Before Christmas." The thought of Sandy Claws and the Boogey Man scared me witless, but I couldn't resist watching the movie over and over and over again. I memorized many of the songs, was in love with Jack, the Pumpkin King, and wished Halloween was just as big in Manila as Christmas was because the creepy crawlies didn't seem so bad.

What hooked me in bait, line and sinker were the songs and the intricacies of the film's clay work. Only Tim Burton's brilliant mind could have dreamed up this other-world experience and say it's best translated in stop-motion photography filming, with grotesque figures singing and dancing to the haunting themes of the musical.

After Nightmare, I always associated Tim Burton with the strange movies... the psychotic ones with the haphazard colors and crazy scream scenes. Yes, he is the genius behind everything oddball, but beneath the visual magic of his films lies deeper truths. If not truths, then deeper insights.

The message in Nightmare was simple enough: there's nothing wrong with exploring possibilities, just know when to stop, admit defeat and stick to the stuff you're excellent at. Even as a kid, I got that easy enough. But I was lucky enough to catch two 2009 movies of Tim Burton a few days ago: Alice In Wonderland and 9.

Alice's story talked about self-belief. A line said by the Mad Hatter struck me the most: "Back then, you were much more muchier." he said, speaking to Alice when she was having one of her slaying the Jaberwocki is impossible bouts. "You've lost your muchness." As what happens with many of us when we grow up and start feeling the strains of adulthood. We lose that drive to reach for the unbelievable, the creativity to solve problems and the ability to see in full-color because society dictates only black and white.

Then, what I found most intriguing with 9 was the way the ragdolls were identified: 1 is the protective leader, 2 is the source of inspiration, 3 and 4 are the chroniclers of history: know your past to better define your future, 5 is guidance, 6 leads to revolutionized thinking, 7 defends and fights for all she loves, 8 guards his charges, and 9 is compassion. They all came from the scientist who gave his soul for life to these dolls, and they represent what defines mankind and humanity.

Watching the film, I thought maybe I'd be able to identify with one ragdoll, perhaps with 9 since he was the lead and brought about the salvation in the end, but I don't think the producers meant to identify with just one doll. Protection, Inspiration, Curiosity for Knowledge, Guidance, Forward Thinking, Fiercely Defensive, Strong and Compassionate are traits that define us a person. Some traits may be more potent than others but we all have a mix of these. It's what makes us human.

Tim Burton's films are meant to enrapture an audience visually, because as in any Hollywood hullabaloo, the entertainment factor is a must-have. But they go beyond it, if you're only careful to look closer at the movies. Don't give them the bad raps just because the storyline can seem weak at first glance. The plot was made easy so deeper introspection can happen.

Plan to torrrent and load Nightmare into my iPod. Ya never know what new insight it'll offer this time around. Thank you Tim Burton for your movie magic.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Birthday Me, Birthday My!

This was supposed to be a countdown post but I got home late last night... so yeah.

Maligayang Bati to me! I can hear the Mad Hatter and his cohorts singing a very merry (un)birthday already. What a great way to start the new year in the life of... opening the social networking page and seeing all the greetings there. Maraming salamat! I'll be thanking y'all individually later in the afternoon.

Would you believe, even my credit card knows about the birthday. Citibank, iba ka. *bow* Salamat. Now, if you'll only stop charging such high interests...

But seriously now, this is the birthday post and it's supposed to be smart, introspective and future-driven. Pressure's ON, baby! Hahaha! But yeah, so the birthday has come and the last year of the 20s has begun. Twenty-frikkin'-nine! Aray, my rayuma. I feel so old! Egads, what more next year when Chapter 30 in the life of begins. *tears*

But you know what, 29 doesn't feel all that much different from 19. Nineteen felt a whole lot different from 9, let me tell you that. But the ten years between 19 and 29... very little has changed. Let's see: I still can't do my own make-up or fix my own hair. I still dress myself in the most outdated fashion and I could not care less. I'm still fat, don't watch what I eat (at all) and besides running, do nil exercise. I'm still the good little girl (YES I AM!) to my parents. Still batang-kaladkarin to my friends. Still the friend to showcase to parental units because I leave only the bestest of impressions. Still pasaway. Still a nerd. Still desperate to sing my heart out. Still never dancing in public (that one time for acting class recital does NOT count!).

I haven't changed much the past 10 years, and frankly I don't think I ever felt the need to in the first place. I'm happy with where I am and who I've become. True, there still is much to be improved, no one's perfect and I'll be the first to admit I'm far from it. But the tweaks and improvements will come over time.

Maybe changes did happen between 19 and 29; likely they were just too small and far between for me to realize them. I'm sure 29 to 39 will have those teeny-tiny changes too. Small, hardly noticeable, that when I get to 39 I'll be saying not much has changed either.

So, cheers, boys & girls of! Thank you for sharing a few moments of my birthday with me. May yours be as peacefully uneventful as mine. :)