Friday, November 25, 2011

Places We've Been

Gone fishing with mi familia in Apalit, Bulacan

Saw the sun rise from the sea in Apo Island, Mindoro

Walked to the rocks in Borawan, Quezon

Swam in crystal clear waters of Kayangan Lake, Coron

Nuni-nuni'd along the shores of Corregidor

Broke the calm of Muntingbuhangin, Batangas with my ever-loud-and-proud friends

And basked under the sun many-a-time with them in San Juan, La Union

Hung out with mi familia in Tagaytay

Saw the breathtaking view of Batad, Banaue
I'm blessed to have seen such beauty among great company.

To my friends and family, here's to seeing more of the world together.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Thank you. More please.

I stumbled across yet another golden movie nugget last night when my channel surfing led me to watch the oddly titled feature Happythankyoumoreplease on Star Movies. Written, directed by and starring Josh Radnor (of "How I Met Your Mother" fame), the story told of friends on the cusp of adulthood.

"Happythankyoumoreplease is a story of relationships that deal with the struggles of people trying to find their way. The film centers on Sam (Josh Radnor), a writer having a bad day who meets a Rasheen, a foster care child abandoned in the subway. Through this story we learn of Sam's best friend Annie (Malin Ã…kerman), an Alopecia patient trying to find a reason to be loved; Sam's cousin Mary Catherine and her boyfriend Charlie, a couple facing the prospect of leaving New York and living a different life all together; and Mississippi, a waitress/singer trying to make it in the Big Apple." (Thank you wikipedia, for the very apt summary.)

All in their late twenties and living in the greatest city in the world, our characters struggle with curveballs that force changes in their lives and destroy comfort zones. Sounds familiar? Yeah. Even the movies know these harrowing facts of life.

The scene, however, where it was basically explained why the movie is entitled as such, was refreshingly new. It presented the concept of The Law Of Gratitude. An addendum to the law of attraction (attract whatever you think about into your life... want something bad enough and the universe will conspire to give it to you), the law of gratitude equates what you have with what you deserve.

"With gratitude, the universe is eternally abundant." Annie explained, when the guy she was dating asked why she says "More please" after her thank-yous. When you express gratitude for what is given to you, you exude that you deserve what you have and therefore the universe will conspire to give you more of that.

Besides corruption, it's a highly plausible explanation why the rich keep getting richer and the poor keep getting poorer. When a rich man is thankful for his blessings, he is given more of it. When he is not, the universe thinks "Hey, maybe he doesn't want it afterall" and takes the blessings away.

It's an interesting concept. Something worth trying, don't you think?


Thank you for friends, thank you for time, thank you for the love that surrounds me, thank you for family, thank you for my Belle, Bubu and Brandy, thank you for my work and thank you for my life.


More please. I'm waiting...

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Hello from the city of smiles

It's a quick trip to Bacolod for leg 2 of our Vismin tour and my first time to step foot in the land of smiles as sweet as their sugar. Arrived at Silay Domestic Airport at approx. 4:40 PM after an EE (exceeds-expectations) flight from Zest Air. :)

Bacolod is gorgeous at first sight. Greetings for the landing plane were beautiful fields of sugar cane. I've never seen more organized farmland. It's different from Batad's awe inspiring terraces, in the sense that it's just this expanse of green green GREEN fields with so many crisscrossing lines for paths. Its like a giant jigsaw puzzle!

First stop from the airport was EL IDEAL, a local bakery and pasalubong shop in Silay. Their guapple pie was cinnamon-y crisp, with a buttery flaky crust. It made me miss the guapple pie of Breadbox (+), the old cafe across Saguijo.

Then we set off for our hotel to check in and settle our stuff and ourselves. El Fisher is nice enough; spacious rooms, comfy beds, nice large baths, scalding hot water in the shower. It's a bit "old" though, but employees can't be choosy! Haha!

Dinner was at MANUKAN COUNTRY, right across SM City Bacolod (giving us our first glimpse of the next day's epic mall show venue). It's this truly local row of restos that served the specialty of province. We had (of course) inasal manok, (Petcho please!) and surprisingly, roaster oysters! The oysters were yuuuuummy! And huge!

Then, we went to Calea for desserts, this happy cake cafe across our hotel. I had a cup of good Cafe Americano and a slice of heavenly White Chocolate Cheesecake with strawberry jam of the side... do I have to say it was delicious?

So day one ended with an extremely full stomach, just as day two was beginning in the very wee hours of the morn. With a wake-up call of 4:30 in the friggin morning, day two's palengke tour was a resounding success that ended with a well-deserved culmination at Pendy's, the pasalubong shop.

I spent too much on food again. Because there were cheese tarts and mango tarts and butterscotch squares and piayas and too many other things to be had! The pasalubongs, of course, was the cause of the miraculous multiplication of baggage (flew in to Bacolod with 2, flew out with 4).

The rest of the trip was basically work-laden so nothing interesting there anymore. Overall, my first ever Bacolod trip was a foodie's dream come true. Thanks, City of smiles for the great "escape". I'll be back, hopefully on more relaxed terms. :)

Friday, November 4, 2011

Get Busy Living

Disclaimer: I've been meaning to write this post for a while now. Still finding the right words so this particular entry is a work in progress.

I remember when I first saw The Shawshank Redemption in laser disc waaay back when... I found it to be such a game changer. It shook the limits of my youngling, spoiled-brat paradigm and introduced harsh truths like corruption, injustice and the cruelty of the power hungry. I was watching a masterpiece, one that would transcend time and age. I knew if I saw it again later in life, the film would still have a profound effect.

I was right.

One miraculously slow weekend, while surfing SKY's digibox channels, I stumbled upon the opening credits of The Shawshank Redemption on HBO. As its been more than 15 years since my original viewing of the feature, the cable recap was like watching the movie for the first time all over again. This time though, a line Andy Dufresne said to Red in their last prison yard discussion struck me most. Andy was talking about what he'd do once he got out of prison; move to Mexico, build a hotel by the beach, buy an old boat and fix her up to take guests out fishing... Red took the realist's road, bursting Andy's bubble early so he won't get his hopes up too high. To that, Andy's last words were "I guess it comes down to a simple choice really. Get busy living or get busy dying." then he walks away.

Red feared Andy meant to commit suicide. He seemed to have lost his hope, his patience and his marbles, and Red seemed to have lost his friend in the conversation. But of course, we know its to the contrary. Andy was just putting the last finishing touches to his escape plan, in hopes that his friend would remember their last conversation so they could meet again beyond the walls of Shawshank. Andy refused to let the dreary prison life bring him down, and he tried as best he could to infect his best friend with his hope.

Get busy living was his choice because the walls enclosing him were not the limits of the life he wanted to live. Get busy living because dying is way too simple... and easy. Get busy living because life is good and is meant to be experienced to the fullest every damn day.

I choose to get busy living.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Life Lessons

No one lives the ideal life. There will always be something wrong, something crappy, something blue and something nasty happening every other day. Shit happening on a near-daily basis is a fact of life; its how we deal with the shit that makes the difference.

Despite it all, be thankful. Whether its for a piece of bread passed over the table, the pre-opened door, or the 14-month paycheck your boss decided to award you on Christmas, say thank you. Even the tiniest of actions deserve gratitude.

Smile. Besides triggering endorphin production and less stress on facial muscles, smiling is the easiest way to make a day brighter. A generally happy disposition is better than a sour one any day.

Whining gets you nowhere. Don't get me wrong, though. A good rant every now and then is a great way to ease up tension and release pent up anger. But don't be a whiner. Nobody likes the negastar.

Breathe and be centered for a few. Watching TV (talking to self here) doesn't count. Goofing off with your dog (again talking to self here) doesn't either. Yoga once a week, though, does! Goojab, girls!

And, the latest from Chris G... Never save it for later. Do things now, while we're young and able. There's no point putting things off (like writing a quick blog entry) for another day, because you just never know when the other days will end. What we have is the here and now. Make damn well use of it.