Posts from the Past

These old posts are getting lonely in my other blog (the one I’ve sort of abandoned heehee), so I ‘ve brought them over…
09 May 2006 | IN CASE OF BOREDOM, ANSWER A MEME.
It’s past 8, and I am still here in the office. Waiting for the muses to come and inspire me. But the muses are running late. So here are I am, bored. Again.
What to do what to do…I know…(grabbed this from somebody’s blogsite. thank you.)
Total Number of Books Owned:
Around 500, 200+ listed in my online library.
Last Book(s) I Bought:
The Confessions of Max Tivoli by Sean Andrew Greer
Beast by Donna Napoli
The Final Solution by Michael Chabon
Last Book(s) I Read:
Son of A Witch by Gregory Maguire
Romanitas by Sophia McDougall
Currently reading:
The Confessions of Max Tivoli and Beast. I like bicycling books J
Five Books That Mean a Lot to Me that I Really Like:
1. Hope for the Flowers by Trina Paulus – one of the very first books I read when I was 7, that was not part of the Ladybird Classics.
2. The Past Revisited/The Continuing Past by Renato Constantino – for me, these are the definitive books on Philippine history.
3. The Short Stories of O. Henry – when you’re in the business of writing 30-second ads, it’s good to be inspired by those who are able to tell compelling stories in the shortest possible way.
4. Einstein’s Dreams by Alan Lightman – makes you realise that creativity/art and science are pretty much the same, they both happen as a result of a curious, inventive mind.
5. Jane Eyre – am a sucker for love stories, and this classic, pre-dates all other sappy romance novels in bookstores today, where in those could you find lines like. ” On this occasion, we acknowledged with full hearts, that God had tempered judgement with mercy.”
15 May 2006 | MY BANANA PEEL
I have this funny feeling that I came into the world with a banana peel before me, you know, that little prop responsible for many a slip and fall in comedies of the slapstick variety… Or that I was born into a comedy skit… One that always had me landing on my bottom or head first, on cue… My frequent communication with old friends and classmates from elementary has brought with it a mad rush of memories especially of how much of a klutz I was back then.
At 4 yrs old, while playing with my cousin, I slipped off the seasaw and landed head first. My first ever experience of short term memory loss.
6 yrs old, my brithday, while running down the gravel path, I tripped and fell on one knee, the gravel carved out flesh the size of a peso…then the other knee followed, two pesos.
8 yrs old, at home, after school, slipped when I stepped on my Mom’s wet clogs, hit my head on the floor, added to my growing collection of bumps.
11 yrs old, in school, oh yes, surrounded by peers, while walking to the door, I turned to look at my friend, whirled back towards the door and hit my cheek on the side of the door. My face hurt bad, my first remembrance of a bruised ego.
High school, why walking down the flight of steps going to the library, I missed a step and fell on my bottom. Good thing though nobody was around to witness that, except perhaps for ghosts who roamed the area, who might have had a fright seeing a clumsy teenager.
College, freshman year, along the very crowded steps to the registrar, where all the beautiful people always hang out. I, age 16, was an innocent passerby who tripped on a manhole handle sticking from the ground, and found myself on the ground, kneeling before the steps. It didn’t hurt much though my self-esteem was scarred for life. Not.
Leaving college and my teen years, I had thought I would be a more graceful and composed being. But no. Although my legs have better control of themselves, it was my arms’ turn to run amok. Sugar sachets falling into cups of coffee. Fingers getting cut while mounting storyboards. Cellular phones like slippery eels flying in the air. Starbucks umbrellas falling over with a nudge by a wayward elbow. Sigh. My only comfort is finding kindred spirits, people like me who get into these little accidents. Tripping without any provocation, like Dino and Richard. And doing amazing spilling feats with coffee, like my hubby Mike.
Moving to another country, I thought I could run away from my clumsy past. The cosmopolitan, sophisicated life should change me. But I am happy to note that I have not changed a bit. I still slip, fall, trip, bump into things. And just the other day, I ran right smack into an office mate who held 2 cups of steaming coffee. Ouch. I hate slapstick.
27 February 2006 | KINDNESS OF STRANGERS
In life, there are people you meet who touch your heart without them knowing and without even knowing them personally. I met a whole congregation who did just that, in the church Mike and I have been going to every Sunday since we moved to Singapore. A regular mass there is like a UN convention. Every race seems to be accounted for. There is enough familiarity to make you feel comfortable sitting beside anyone, singing within earshot of your seat mates, acknowledging them graciously during the sign of peace. Other than that, they remain nameless faces. And then came last Sunday. When it was time for the second collection, the choir master encouraged everyone to dig deep into their pockets as this collection will go to “brothers and sisters in the Philippines who are victims of the landslide.” I felt tears welling in my eyes. These people I do not know, who probably know little about us, are taking out their wallets, writing up checks, and filling the collection baskets. In the background, the choir sang…”where can I run from your love, if I climb to the heavens you are there” and I look away with more tears. Yes, there is no running away, God must really love our country and he shows it through these “strangers.” Now, if only we could love our country enough to help ourselves.

13 October 2005 | SO WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE?
When we were kids we were often asked this question or encountered it in autograph books (a.k.a. slumbooks), sometimes disguised as what is your ambition in life? To which, we, wide-eyed 8 year old girls and boys would answer: To be a doctor! To be an engineer! I, for my part, had run through the gamut of to be’s. I wanted to be a doctor. And then later on, a lawyer. And an accountant. Then an architect. And then a nun ( being surrounded by ladies in black and white habits for eleven years could have that effect on you). But by the time I had to choose a course in college, I didn’t know what to put in and ended up taking Fine Arts. So here are I am, writing for a living.
A while ago (and more than 10 years in my current profession), someone asked, “What do you want to be… in ten years?” I blurted out, “a teacher in my own school” And if my mate wasn’t expecting an answer that sounded like “e.c.d” I would have actually said, “Barista!” (Mike, on the otherhand, came up with Farmer.)
In truth, I would love to be and do something else when I get even older. Teaching is one, It would be like giving back to the world what it has taught me. By then I’d have enough to pass on. Teach kids not just with books and theories but with how things really go. Some kids graduate and think they already know everything. But I feel there is so much to be learned that are not actually taught in regular school. I dropped out but met the best teachers right were I worked, people like Ompong, Louie, Lilit, David, and Richard. From them I learned not just the skills but things like a good work ethic, integrity, and a love of life, food, and yes, coffee. So while my future students wrack their brains in the ad lab, they’ll be sipping tons and tons of coffee, from my own café. Did I mention I wanted to be a barista too?
Another great life after advertising, for me, would be in a farm with my dogs running free, with cows and chickens and piglets, with a vegetable patch and a little orchard. The last two are very important because by then, I would have turned vegetarian as I would not be able to bring myself to eat creatures I gave names to.
Ah well…in my dreams. Or maybe in ten years. Who knows.

09 August 2005 | POEA, OWWA, OEC, ATBP.
Acronyms or whatever you call those group of initials pretending to be words. I’ve lived with them day in and day out. Spent 11 years in a school called SMA. 3 years in UP CFA with tuition paid for through STFAP while my dad went AWOL. Went to work in LINTAS (shorthand for Lever Advertising Services) and handled J&J which introduced me to FGD’s and BUMO’s. Moved to O&M. Watched my favorite broadway shows in NY. Learned visual basic programming in NTSS. Went by JFK, LAX, SDY, SIN, BKK. Landed in HLB where I worked on McDonald’s which was a QSR owned by GTY, led by KSY and had SLP’s, BTL’s, MSM, MDS, among other things. Then P&G where there was the OAT, MDO, BM’s and ABM’s, SWOT, and others that I am glad I did not get to know.
On our way back from R&R in Manila, Mike and I encountered some more very important acronyms that usually did not mean anything to us. At the check-in counter for SIA flight SQ75, the officer was spewing acronym after acronym “You need an EC from OWWA or go to POEA then I’ll take your O.R.” And since Mike and I replied with a “HUH?” (short for Hehe Uy Hanokamo?) she pointed to the sign by the door that said it all. Good thing we were in NAIA 3 hours before our flight. Enough time for all the new initials to sink in. And, thanks to the good people at the OWWA counter, we got through easily.
Yes, I am now a certified OFW.

05 September 2005 | 34 AND COUNTING
I’ve read and heard of people who just turned 24 and hated the notion of getting another year older. So how does someone who recently turned 34 feel? Well, somebody did ask me and I answered, to my own surprise, “better than ever.”
24. 34. Ten years passed, what has changed? I’ve gained a few pounds (10, to be exact), have 1 grey hair for every 100 black strands, my tolerance for alcohol have gone down several notches. But on the whole, still the same person. I still don’t wear make-up and dress in sneakers-jeans-shirt to work, still spend weekends idly, still prone to buying on impulse, still look at the world with child-like wonder but this time, going through it with less of the childish petulance.
Yes, it does feel good to be this age. The added years bring with them wisdom and self-assurance that one didn’t have in younger days. You feel more secure about yourself, more confident of what you can actually do. Of course, new surroundings still tend to intimidate you, but you know you’ve been through worse. And aside from the widening around your waist, your acceptance and understanding of people also broaden. Your relationships reach new levels…you know who your true friends are, you take care of your family better, and the god of your christian education becomes a personal experience.
In a world that tends to define a person by what he owns, how he looks and what he has achieved, I am just extremely happy to be alive, being able to love and be loved, counting my blessings, and enjoying life’s simple pleasures, like blogging this way every once in a while.

17 July 2005 | A CASE SLIGHT OF DYSLEXIA
We all know how irony works, like for example, being a writer who happens to have dyslexia of some sort. Yep, the words, numbers and letters I see get jumbled up on their way to my brain. In school, I thought I had the answers right in multiple choice type questions but never got perfect scores because I keep writing “b” for “d” and “d” for “b”. When being asked to write on the blackboard, I’d often miss a word or a whole paragraph which my teacher would point out before everyone else followed. When I take down phone numbers or type them in my phone, I usually miss out a number, have an extra numeral, or mix up the sequence. Great excuse for not calling friends I’ve not spoken to in ages, bad when I have to write checks.
Often when reading, I have to read some parts twice or thrice just to make sure I got them right. One day I thought I saw a sign that said “wet when slippery”. I also thought writer Neil Gaiman’s really talented if he were coming over to “sing books for his fans”
and wondered why J.K. Rowling would write about “Harry’s Poster Half-Blond Price”.
And if there’s such a thing as hearing dyslexia, I would be needing therapy for it. “Look at the sky, the sky is oh so blue” is how “Look at this guy, this guy’s in love with you” sounds to me. Even the Eraserheads song lyrics, “shake your hand and walk away” turns out “shake your head and wash your hair.”
It is a great wonder how I ever became a writer.

18 July 2005 | NICE ROUND FIGURE
I recently got a message from someone calling me sexy. It was rather amusing. The person obviously doesn’t know me at all.
I am not, by any modern definition of the word, sexy. Had I been born, say, in the baroque era, I would be gracing the paintings of a guy called Peter Paul and would be regarded as rubenesque – pleasantly plump, full-figured, voluptuous, and yes, sexy.
But alas, I was born 400 centuries later, in a place where “baroque” is Barok (the pinoy version of Captain Caveman and Fred Flintstone) who has a mammoth of a wife named Dabyana. (And if I continue on my sedentary lifestyle, I might be mistaken for her twin.)
Blame metabolism. When I was 24, my waistline was, ta-dah! 24 inches. And as I gained years, the inches also followed. Now that I’m a month away from 34, I am quite surprised that my waistline hasn’t caught up—yet. Although, my thighs could rival any christmas ham, my arms are as big as Bologna, the town, not the cured meat. And instead of six-pack abs, I have, well, a keg, with two little dents on both sides.
Lately, I’ve been swimming regularly and it’s helping. Don’t think I’ve lost the excess weight, it’s being distributed throughout my body and I am hopeful that it gets to the parts where I need the extra padding.
At any rate, I am really happy just to be…Me – pleasantly plump with round cheeks, and able to do things I want to do…To live, love and eat, as Wolfgang Puck would say.

2 responses to “Posts from the Past

  1. Mike Less

    Just another name. Like yours.

    Looks like you’re having fun.

  2. It’s hard to search out educated individuals on this subject, but you sound like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks

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