STORY: Rphael


I don't know why, but the moment I laid eyes on Rphael two years ago (has it really been two years!!!), I just fell in love with him. We aren't related (of course, duh) but there was just something about him that made me feel connected to him. In hindsight, maybe because it was he looked like a tiny version of Jose. I guess it was that. But then he started calling me "Tita" and learning all these adorable new things and I fell in love with him for more than just looking like his tito Jose, the love of my life haha.

STORY: Future Home

I really miss blogging. I stumbled upon an old entry of one of the most random dates Jose and I had last year and I would have never remembered it happened if I hadn't blogged about it. It would have been a shame, since by the way I narrated it, it appeared to be a very happy day. I can only think of all the beautiful moments that passed this year that I can't remember because I failed to make the feeling permanent through my blog.

Anyway, I've spent a number of posts whining about how I miss blogging instead of just blogging. So here I go. Let's see if I can still do this right.

Today we went to visit Jose's sister's new house (mansion, actually) for Christmas lunch. It's been built from the ground up starting two years ago and there's still a few months until it's finally finished. But when we visited today, It was already looking really fancy. There are a lot of touch ups and major construction left for the back end of the place but its already liveable.

Anyway, as Jose and I were resting on one of the many couches in the massive house, we started talking about our own future home. Maybe its our ageing or we've just simply been together for so long but we can't help but slowly mentally put together our own little home. Before, we used to just joke about it so we could create the better looking home at Sims. But as the years went by, we've really talked about the details of things - like the location, the number of rooms, who would live with us (if any!!!). And this afternoon, sitting in his sister's new house where she would start her new family, just made our yearning for our dream home much stronger.

I've never imagined anything grand. I just want a place where I can finally have my own space and privacy and freely invite people over. I'm not a sociable person but when the social butterfly in me does decide to come out, I would really prefer that people just come over to my place. I am most happy when I can sit at home and just watch movies and eat snacks straight from the fridge without any strangers watching over me or waiting for me to leave or judging how I eat. But since I've never lived in a house that is conducive to such activity, I have to go to restaurants or malls or go to other people's homes (well, by other people's home, I mean Jose's).

I'm still dreaming that I can get my family a house that can finally give us this but the reality of it just keeps kicking back in. I get even sadder when I realize I'd have to choose over building a house for my parents and siblings or my own house for my new family. I know I won't be able to afford both in my lifetime so I'll leave that painful decision to the future. For now, I'll just find joy in the possibility of me living in my own home in the future where I can welcome everyone I love.

THEORY: Dream Home

I've always, always dreamed of having my own home someday. At first, I wanted to build it from scratch... have all my fantasy details come to life. As the years went by, I was ol to buy a house already made, as if what's stopping me is merely my preference. Fast forward to today, I think I may havebu consciously pushed my dreams of having a home aside. It's still one of my heart's biggest desires, since I've never really had a a e to really call my own, but the reality of the dream is just too painful to face.

Just thinking of my dream house makes me feel depressed. What I used to spend hours daydreaming about (actually, I even go as far as drawing and creating 3d models of it!), has now become a source of pain. The helplessness I feel for not being able to give the dream house to myself and my family just hurts so much.

I don't know what to do. I've never wanted money to rule my decisions in life but with what I'm feeling now, it looks like money will be one of my biggest decision makers. Which is anothet realization that makes me sad. I dont want to be a slave to money but only by being such can I fulfill my dream. Ugh. There's just no winning!


STORY: Hungry for Hunger Games

When the first Hunger Games movie came out, I only watched it because everyone said it would be the new Harry Potter series. I'm actually not a big fan of Harry Potter but I do know it defined an entire generation during its run. And if what they say about Hunger Games is true, I wanted to catch from the start what will define this new generation of movie goers.

STORY: Crappy Days

I don't like using the word, "crap" but it's the most fitting one for what I'm feeling now. Everything is just crap. I've actually said the word crap so many times in my head that it actually sounds weird now... anyway, I'm going off topic.
On nights, well mornights like this, I try my best to remind myself of the non-crappy days and to tell myself that this will all be over soon. But like everything in life, it is easier said than done. It is actually so difficult that I'm settling with the counting-to-ten trick to calm myself down. Obviously that didn't work out either so I've resorted to my go-to frustration release outlet - this blog. So far, so good.
Lalalalalalala. Typing enough words until my brain is too tired or distracted to think of my crappy situation. Darn. I just reminded myself again. Might try sleeping this awful feeling away, then. Good night!

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STORY: Sunsets and sparkles

I'd like to take a moment to just share with the world how grateful I am to be alive today.
I witnessed not just one, but two beautiful sunsets in a row. One on top of the city and the other by the beach with family.

This morning, I finally got to take a concrete step towards the realization of my dream. Actually, just  confirming that I found the one thing that makes my eyes sparkle just talking about is a blessing in itself. Some people spend their entire lives trying to be happy without even knowing what will make them so. I'm halfway there and it has me filled with so much hope for the future.


As I go home tonight, I got to see this common yet so subtly beautiful side of the city I love and live in.
So much reasons to be alive, I don't want to feel otherwise ever again.

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THEORY: Jose


I've been with Jose for over six years and my love for him only continues to grow and deepen. I can't explain it and I don't even know why I try to but I just want to immortalise this feeling of joy, gratitude and love. I still don't understand what I have done in my life to deserve him, but I'd rather not dwell on that because the universe might realize it and take him back. 

STORY: Travel young. Travel Often.



I don't know if it is just a generation thing but I honestly believe in the many benefits of traveling young, traveling anywhere and traveling often. I haven't gone to that many places since I started working but already, I'm looking at the world as a much bigger place. Now, I don't just know, but fully realize and believe, that the daily struggles I go through are so petty compared to the big world I have yet to explore. 

More than having photos and experiences I can treasure forever, being aware that there is so much more to learn, to see, to be, does wonders to my perspective of myself and the world. It makes me reflect to much deeper levels about who I want to be, where I want to go and what I want to do with the rest of my life. 

I know people would look at travel as a whim or a leisure activity (I used to), but with the cheap flights and accommodations available to everyone, it's feeling more like a crime to deprive one's self of what the world has to offer. Don't get me wrong, I'm not rich. I also struggle from pay check to pay check (admittedly, partly due to my poor finance management skills) but after my first trip, I realized I'd rather it be that way than to struggle through life without fully giving myself the chance to evaluate what the struggle is for. 

To more trips, self actualization and bigger pay checks! :)

STORY: Mother

I hate having this heavy, sucky feeling in my stomach. I’m trying to ignore it but the more I do, the more I’m aware of it. My mother and I fought today and I’m feeling really uneasy about it. I may appear like I couldn’t care less about people hating me but believe it or not, I’m struggling to fight the urge to succumb and just take the blame for the whole fiasco. You know, just to get it over with.  But, no… I will not take the sole blame. That wouldn’t help the situation; it wouldn’t help both parties and will definitely not help future arguments.

I don’t want to get into the details (we have so many fights, does it really matter at this point?) of what went down but I just want to share what I think was wrong about the entire thing.

My mom has this tendency to always assume the role of victim during arguments. Everything happens TO her, like she has no part whatsoever in the outcome of events. Also, once everything explodes in our faces, she has this reflex of finding someone to blame. It is always someone else’s fault, never hers. The hardest part is that she hasn’t come to terms with this, so it is very hard to talk to her about it.

I’m not writing to hate on her. I love her. I really do. But that doesn’t make any of what I just said less true, at least from my point of view. The traits I just mentioned are flaws, like everyone else has, and the silver lining is that the flaw is fixable. It’s not an incurable disease; there is something we can do about it. The problem is, every time I counter her reflex to put the blame on someone other than herself, it ends up blowing in my face and back to her “I am the victim mentality.” Other people just let her be, so it ends up looking like I hate her; that I’m the only one with the problem, not her.

I on the other hand am not very good at controlling my temper in heated arguments. I try to hold my tongue for as long as I can but when I feel that the other end is not receptive of what I’m trying to say, I snap. It’s wrong to snap at people, especially so if said “people” is your mother, but that is my flaw. And I’m working on that as much as I can. I haven’t snapped at people for a long time (not counting Jose, sorry) but no one is keeping track of this nor will anyone be giving me a plaque for how far I’ve come.  And to my mom, I’m just as bad as I was during the last time I snapped at her.

So let’s look back at what happened today: My mom was freaking out; I shouted my frustration at her and she started pointing fingers.  I shouldn't have shouted, I should have controlled my temper and calmed her down. She pointed fingers when she should have realized that it was not helpful, and should have instead acknowledged that someone was trying to help her find a solution.

I’m hoping this honest assessment, written with so much love and care, will help the two of us move forward in a new, mature way. I don’t want to deal with my mom the same way I have dealt with her when I was 15 or 17 or even 20. I’d like to believe I am past that stage… and I also strongly wish that she has gone past that stage, too! I am hoping and praying that she sees that I’m trying to fix this with her and not fix her.


Here’s hoping she doesn’t put fingers, instead holds my hand and that I don’t lose my temper, instead find my mother by my side.

STORY: Lone Traveller

I like travelling. I get so excited just thinking about the new places I'll see and the new things I'll try. Up until the company trip to Japan last weekend, I always get excited about these things with a travel buddy in mind. Be it my family, my friends or my boyfriend. 

I never found anything wrong with wanting to have a constant companion when I travel. However, after jumping from group to group this last trip, I realized learning to be by myself when travelling has its own perks. It actually was kind of fun and I'm thinking of doing it again. To be honest, I think it made my trip even more memorable!



STORY: Oh, brother!

It's my younger brother's first day of work tomorrow. It didn't mean much to me until he knocked on my door just before he went to bed. When I opened the door, I saw him all wide eyed with a big smile on his face so giddy to tell me how excited he was about tomorrow. He was going to go get some requirements here and there with mom in the morning and he'd report to work right after. 

He then asked me how he could get his own "card." What he meant was his first official savings account that mom didn't have to deposit into for him. The way he asked about it, like it was a big deal and confusing and scary, made me realize how I felt the first time I opened a bank account on my own, too. As a kid, to me, any person with a card "looked" like someone who had money. They were big shots who made their own decisions and paid for their own stuff. Of course, eventually I realized that anyone with an ID could open a bank account and that most cards don't even have anything in it! 

But looking back, getting my first card still feels like a big deal... even if I barely kept any money in it. It would always be a "symbol" of my first step towards independence. I'm not fully independent yet, and I doubt I ever will be (although I'm still hoping) but I've come a long way from that first card. I still barely keep any money in it, but I now have a credit card to go with it, a mobile bill addressed to me for me and an insurance policy for myself that I pay for quarterly. I also have itineraries of trips I paid for myself and clothes and shoes and countless movie tickets and restaurant receipts I didn't ask anyone to shoulder. 

But again, after two years, I barely have savings to call my card a savings account. When I look at how little a difference my balance is from when I first got the card to what I have two years later, I am reminded of how much more I need to work for my independence. It's just that now, I have a brother who is about to join the ride with me. 

It sounds a good thing at first but as I thought about it some more, it suddenly hit me. I now have a brother on the same ride as I am. A ride that will eventually take us on a path away from home. A path that will lead the both of us to separate houses and new families. Families that will replace the family we have now. I suddenly felt like our dinners at home, movie weekends or ice cream runs as a family are numbered. I know I'm getting ahead of myself, but my baby brother is getting his own card tomorrow? What did you expect to feel? 

STORY: Flasback, Maybe

This morning, as I was getting dressed (quite hurriedly actually), I was able to blast some songs from my dock like I usually do. Since I share the room with my sister and school's been out for about a month now, I couldn't really make much noise in the morning with her still sleeping. Usually, by the time I start prepping for work, she'd already be in school so I always had the room to myself and my loud and random playlist. But for the past month, I had to settle with silence. I have gotten quite used to it actually that having music playing felt surprisingly new. 

Anyway, one of the songs that blasted was Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe." The first thought that went to my head was the video of Jose's college classmates (who were 17-18 at that time) dancing to the song. I first found out about that song through that video, actually. As I thought about that video and how I stumbled upon it due to my paranoid-girlfriend and too-old-to-be-a-teen-too-young-to-be-an-adult phase, I realized how distant my current self is from my past self. I no longer care about what 18 year olds are doing and I definitely do not have the slightest desire to be able to do any of those. I remember watching that video and having a mini reflection on my life. I started worrying about how everything was over for me since I was already 20. I suddenly felt so jealous that these kids had the next few years of their lives planned out and that they had the freedom to do so many things, making mistakes being one of them. I felt all the pressure crash down on me and it left me clueless and scared and lost. 

Fast forward to 2 years later, I look back and think of how silly I was. I couldn't see where my panic and worry was coming from. Being in your 20s totally beats being in your teens. I have more freedom than these 18 year olds have combined and I even have the money to pay for all the things I want to do with my freedom. I don't have the next few years of my life planned out but that isn't necessarily a bad thing. When you're in your teens, life is laid out for you. When you are in your 20s, you lay your own plans. You direct the pace, the direction, the company, everything! 

In short, with just that one song and that one flashback, I suddenly found a sense of satisfaction with where I am, what I'm doing and who I'm turning out to be. I can't believe I ever dreaded entering my 20s. Right now, I wish I could stay in my 20s forever! It's so much fun being able to make plans, act them out and not  be obliged to worry about things other than your own actualization! It's sounding selfish but this is the only time in any one's life that being selfish is actually encouraged. I am so thrilled to be in this phase of my life. I'm actually excited to turn 23! 

STORY: Tuesday Mess

There are days when the universe just decides to pick on you. Maybe this is payback for all the times I decided I had the power to just pick on my sisters. Maybe. I don't know. I just know that it is just 11:41am on a Tuesday yet it feels like I've messed up enough things to keep me buried in shame until the end of the year. 

You know, every time I'm situations like these, I tell myself, "Never again." I tell myself that I should never, ever f*ck up this bad again. I never want to be in the same situation, feeling this terrible, terrible feeling of stupidity, failure and worthlessness. But it is never "never again." It is always "always again." To save some face, I have to share that I don't mess up with the same things over and over. It's always a different thing. But why can't I ever perfect anything? Once, twice, even thrice is reasonable... but I've been doing this thing for almost two years now... when can I do something without any thing going wrong?

I'm just tired of always thinking I've got something mastered only to realize the next minute I don't. And I'm not a very confident person at that ha. It takes a very long time for me to tel myself that I actually know what I'm doing so imagine the pain it must feel to tell yourself that you thought wrong. 

Hay, life. I know I've asked this time and time again but I won't stop until you listen... please be kind to me. Please.

Late Post!!!

I just found out that my last two posts (one written in March and one last week) weren't posted! Ugh! Now, I upload them at the same time at too late a date.

I know no one will really care because no one actually reads my blog but it is still very frustrating! Hay


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STORY: Bogart

Bogart, our old but trusty CRV, is officially gone. Actually, it was yesterday afternoon that Bogart left his parking spot for the past 17 months for good. I know he's a car. I'm not crazy... but I'm also not heartless. I can't help but feel so depressed about losing him... and more than 24 hours later, I still feel really sad (tears rolling down the cheek sad) about it.

He was a car but he was mine and my family's car. We didn't always have an "extra" car that was available to us at a whim. We would only have a car when my dad was around. Because of Bogart, my mom and sisters went to places at random days and random times. I also got to go to places ON MY OWN and even bring companions around.

Bogart, in a sense, gave us freedom and independence. I learned to drive in Bogart. Bogart was the first car I ever snuck away with in the night. I had my first parking ticket with him (I still keep it with me). I was able to fulfill my 6-year dream of driving Jose to school, too. I got lost with Bogart so many times but I also found my way with him. There were times I got so frustrated about taking the nth wrong turn and wished I had someone drive for me instead but if not for those (mis)adventures, I wouldn't have disovered new roads and routes I never understood as a passenger. I appreciated GPS with Bogart. No, I worshipped GPS. I actually enjoyed listening to a car radio with Bogart. I experienced overheating and the pain of car repairs. I also experienced pride in being able to take care of myself because I could bring myself home.

I laughed out of Bogart's open windows and I hid and cried behind his tinted windshield, too. I lay in the driver's seat and just enjoyed being by myself with Bogart. I belted tunes and danced on mornings I drove him to work. I was happy in my alone time... which Bogart afforded me and accompanied me in.
I miss Bogart. I miss him so much. If I had all the money in the world to maintain his growing needs, I would never let him go. I wish I could fight for him like I did the day I first laid eyes on him. I remember driving away from him when my dad told me to think some more before buying him. It was love at first sight and about 5 to 10 minutes away from Bogart's first owner's house, I had mu dad  take a u-turn back so I could pay for him and make him mine that same day.

There were times I almost regretted that day, when I'd have to shell out thousands for repairs... but today, no regrets at all. Only love and longing and a lot of missing.

I miss you Bogart. I hope I can get you back some day. For now, I hope your new owner gives you the makeover I have only imagined and hoped for you.

I love you, Bogart. See you on the road, buddy. I'd race you but knowing you, you'd already won.

STORY: Radio

I was never one to listen to radio. I'm a very visual person so I guess the idea of staring blankly didn't appeal to me. So it's no wonder that the most interaction I have with radio would be during drives and only if there was no CD or iPod available.

But tonight, as I tuned it to Papa Jack (don't ask, it's a work thing), I actually "see" the charm of this, dare I say, "ancient" medium. There's something warm and cozy about how laid back listening to the radio is. You have no way of telling what will happen next. There are no visual cues, no body language, no colors to give away what will happen next. So you don't bother and just pause your brain, sit back and listen to whatever plays. You are forced to stay at present and let things come to you as they unfold.

And because you have no idea what will happen next, you get this nice, tingling, surprise feeling in your stomach when just the right song plays at the perfect time. Almost like it's saying something to you.

I want to blabl about radio some more but right now, 1205am after a week of sunrise bedtimes, all I can hear the radio saying is SLEEP. And so I shall. Good mornight!

THEORY: Content

Growing up, we are taught two opposing things:

1. Be contented with what you have.
2. Never be contented. 

For years, no one ever pointed out (to me, at least) that this contradiction was going to be a problem. Well, some may have noticed it early on but no one ever actually clarified (again, to me, at least) how we were going to live by these two ideals at the same time without going crazy. Well, those two ideals finally collided tonight and I'm trying to recover from the explosion. 

How can I be ever contented with what I have? I mean, especially with where I am now, discovering the world for the first time on my own with new found financial freedom, how can you expect me to just be contented? Two years ago I couldn't book myself a plane ticket. I couldn't even afford an out of town trip without any help from my parents. Fast forward to two years of work and surviving (well, technically I still rely on my parents for the life essentials) through my own money, I have booked more than one ticket in the past quarter alone. Imagine, I have two more trips lined up this year and I'm still itching to book another! With that fast a climb on the financial capacity scale, the expectations have climbed even faster. I can't help but feel that everything is and should be within reach given the short time it took for me to go from zero to well, more than zero. I can't help but feel that everything is possible and that I just have to find a way to make it happen. If I become contented, it feels like I'm wasting so much potential growth, success, experiences, and many, many more. 

Of course, never being contented gets exhausting. Then it becomes frustrating. Then it ultimately ends with bitterness and sadness. Never being contented is just another way of placing your happiness side by side with the horizon - it will aways be out of reach. 

Don't get me wrong. I want to be contented. I want to be happy. I want to stop thinking of what could be and start appreciating what is. Actually, I used to be that way. I would value everything I had and would be very hesitant to spend whatever I am able to earn in fear of spending it on something I don't really need. I mean, why should I buy anything more than what I need when I'm already so contented with how I'm getting by? It was a long time since I didn't constantly yearn for something more but I remember vaguely that I was more carefree and definitely happier. 

But then again, once you've opened your eyes, there's no way to unsee what has been seen. I know what's out there and I know that I can (well, try to) get there. I know I will have to scramble from payday to payday to afford this kind of lifestyle of always wanting more but it's so hard to live life any other way. I want to save. I want to be able to breather easy even if it's been more than a week since the last pay check. I want to feel confident that should there be an emergency, I've got myself covered. But it's so easy to talk about savings and the future and stability than actually living it. It's even harder when I look around and see people who did those things and see that they haven't even stepped foot into this world I'm now experiencing. I can't help but feel very, very sad for them. I don't look down on them like I'm better though. Let's have that one clear. I look at them with so much regret. Sayang. Such a waste. They've spent so many years (none of which they can get back) making sure that five years from now they would be exactly where they are, when they could have been making this year something they'd be looking back to five years from now. 

I'm sounding so preachy now and I want to slap myself for it. But I'm actually just preaching all of this to myself. I am very confused. I know that I should be saving and should be learning to get by with the essentials but I also want to grab opportunities as they come. I know I should be contented but I also feel that I shouldn't be. Either way I miss out on something. Either way I get frustrated. Both ways will make me unhappy. 

With that point, maybe the question all this time shouldn't be about what makes us happier rather what makes us less sad. I guess that's a more realistic question. Then again, it didn't make deciding between the two any easier. 

So, to be contented or not to be contented? That is the question [I will sleep with tonight].

Dropping by

It's been a while, blog.

Since I last visited, I've read a couple books (which I haven't done in a looooong time) and I've got into and got over a few series. (which I've been doing for the longest time anyway, so new news there). The old me would've raved or ranted about any or all of those but the new me seems to find other things more pressing at the moment... like playing with make up and taking selfies then being confident enough to post them then embarassed the moment someone brings it up outside the online world.

I guess I've changed over the past couple of months. And though I have changed many times before, this change is an internal thing. No outside event forced me to be this way, well, directly. I wasn't hurt by anyone nor did I meet anyone new. I guess this time I didn't need to, I just wanted to change.

And though the new me isn't as frequent a blogger as the old me, the new me (and all versions ever) is still too talkative to not have anything to post every once in a while.

'Til the next post.

P.S. This doesn't mean I don't miss you. I do. But not because you miss something, you go running back to it even if doesn't feel right. Yes, right in the heart, there. Sorry.


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99 Wins & the 1 We Lost : PROLOGUE


99 Wins & the 1 We Lost

PROLOGUE

It’s mom and dad’s 30th wedding anniversary today. It’s a warm afternoon outside the chapel where they first said I do’s when their hair were less gray and their faces less wrinkly. It would be really nice if I could say that they look as in love as they were before, but I know they aren’t. I wasn’t there that day, their wedding day, I was born three years later, but I could tell from the photos that they were very much in love. The kind of love that believes thirty years wouldn’t be that hard of a journey. Today though, as I saw my mom get ready, putting on the same white gown that’s turned a little yellow from storage, which we had altered to have a nice contemporary cut, I saw that her eyes were tired. Not tired from no sleep, even though she just slept for five hours as she has for the past year or so, but tired from years of making things work. She was excited and she was happy, for sure. And she loved my dad, no doubt, but she didn’t have the kind of love I expected in her eyes. What she did have was a nice blend of dark brown and beige eye shadow in her eyelids, which I told the make up artist to put on her. Mom looked up and saw herself. She then looked at me and told me, “Still beautiful, huh? Wrinkly, but still beautiful.” I smiled and though I spent my years annoyed by my mom’s over confidence, she did look beautiful. And though she didn’t have the kind of love I expected in her eyes, she did have a bride’s glow.

I walked down the aisle of the intimate chapel decorated like it had been thirty years ago. The walls were pale yellow now, but the bowl shaped ceiling was still as grand as a tiny chapel could possibly have it be. I saw my aunts and uncles seated on both rows, with some grown up men and women dressed up a little silly. We had attempted to recreate their wedding day from the d├ęcor, to the entourage. Unfortunately, thirty years is a long time. A lot of the original guests have outgrown their wedding duties, like Mike outgrew his ring bearer bow and Lisa didn’t look as cute with that flower crown. Others though weren’t able to attend – some moved to far off places, some passed away, some just didn’t bother. But for those who joined us, it was nice of them to be game. Everyone even posed for wedding photos after the ceremony, copying the original photographs already faded and with edges tattered.

We all went outside, with the sky already the perfect orange-y pink from the sun setting, for reception. We had tables and chairs with pretty twinkly lights set up in the garden with the wedding singer already singing mom and dad’s wedding dance song. I took a few photos with the guests, partook in a little chitchat with relatives I still do not know, which you know I dread, and found a seat at the other side of the park. It was far enough that the noise from the celebration was a mere buzz. The lights, though, casted a soft glow, that made the park look more romantic that it was considering it was really a cemetery. As I sat there, I was thinking of you and where you were. The ceremony was over and there was still no sign of you. I told myself that when you got here, if you got here, we’d have such a big fight only appropriate for fight number 100. Not that I was keeping count of all our fights, wins and losses, all these years but yeah, we’ve had about ninety-nine of them by now and each one of them, one of us has won. And since we believe what’s mine is yours, and what’s yours is mine, even if we haven’t tied the knot (or ever will, if you don’t get here in the next ten minutes), when one wins, we both win. So yeah, we’ve won 99 times now. And I'm about to win us the 100th one. 

STORY: Break out!

Ugh! I hate to rant about superficial stuff like pimples and weight but there are just days that I can't help it! And obviously, today is one of those days. I'm breaking out like crazy! I feel like my face is part of the ring of fire, with volcanoes popping all around forming an ugly circle! And what's worse is that I can actually feel the eruption of each one! Gross, I know!

Add that I'm feeling extra disgusting with all the fat that's becoming more difficult to hide. I keep complaining about how fat I am but to be perfectly honest, I am not really 100% bothered by it. Maybe that's why I never really took any diet seriously. It's because I could still cheat my way around the weight gain by finding the right clothes to hide certain areas. But now that the fat has began to restrict my clothing choices, things just got serious. I'm not a fashionista but I do like dressing up. With my busy schedule, I already had to give up a lot of things - my sketching, my blogging, my artsy projects - so I am not about to give up another thing in my life. I want dressing up in the morning - no matter how stressful it is for me to find a top to match my skirt, or which pair of shoes to wear with the dress I wore last week!

And gobbling up that order of greasy large fries definitely didn't help me at all. Ugh! I can feel something erupting again... excuse me while I take cover! 

STORY: Aimee

I am very, very sad. I don't even have enough joy in me to be poetic about it. I'm just sad. 

Aimee's last day in the office is today. It doesn't sound like a big deal to most people, but it is to me. A very big one that I am not sure I can handle it. I've been thinking about this day and how I would feel when it comes but I guess it only really hits when it's already there. 

THEORY: Fork

It feels like I'm at a fork on a path I'm not sure of. How can you decide which road to take if you don't even know where you want to go? At this very moment, I'm inclined to pick one of the two simply because the other one has thorns and rocks in it. Then again, the other road, though without thorns and rocks, is just blank - complete darkness. 

Which do I choosee? The road with visible hurdles that I can plan how to face or the road that shows me nothing which could mean absolute happiness or absolute pain? Do I take the one I am sure will cause me pain but is calculable or the one that gives me the possibility of absolute extremes? 

Help. 

STORY: Fight or flee?

I don't think I've ever stalled anything longer than I have these past few months. I'm so afraid that the result of my decision will be unfavorable that I've been dodging anything that will bring me close to any sort of confirmation.

This is crazy. I'm running away from the same thing I'm running to. In short, I've been running in circles. I'm trying to buy myself more time so I can decide if it really is time to fight or flee.

Although I'm sensing that more time isn't really helping...but still, I hope I buy myself another week. I feel safer in the dark. I find relief in not knowing, for now.


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STORY: Struggles of a twentysomething woman who drives

This post isn't about driving, well, technically. But the story does start with driving.

I was going through my social feeds this morning, just before I got up to start the day when my mom barged into my room. She started ranting about the car getting bumped this morning and how it's a sign we shouldn't sell it (we've been trying to get the car off our hands for months... although not aggressively, which is sort of an unconscious way of saying we don't really want to sell it). She then followed up and said that it's actually a good thing that we keep the car. I asked why. She said that she's going to enrol my brother in driving school this summer and it's better he practice on a worn out car than a new one.

This is our usual morning routine. Mom would share whatever news she has to me while I get ready in the morning, which I actually welcome since it is my version of the morning news which I hardly get to watch these days. Everything was fine until she added that my brother should've learned to drive years ago. My brother is 20 and I learned to drive at 21. I told her that and asked her what the issue was. She said it's "different" with boys. She said that they should learn earlier on and, in an implied way, that girls don't really need to.

STORY: Travel Diary - CDO, Camiguin, Bukidnon


Here it is! My first detailed travel post in fulfilment of my promise to be a better neighborblogger. It's been a week since the trip (how fast time flies!) so I'm hoping I get all the details, more importantly the prices, correct. I hope that this post helps you enjoy your trip to CDO-Bukidnon-Camiguin because there are so many things to do and places to explore in these three provinces. I am actually already looking forward to heading back to Camiguin, soon! Three days just wasn't enough.

STORY: DIY Fancy Closets

Here it finally is! As promised, here is my first DIY post on my interior design adventures! I can't wait to post more of these so I'm excitedly getting this first one out of the way.

THEORY: Marathon Retirement

No matter how much I say I am comfortable in my own skin, I always still feel weird and awkward and  well, uncomfortable being the "introvert" that I am. 

I actually hate using the word introvert to describe myself. Not because I am ashamed of it or anything, it's just that I've noticed people using the word to associate themselves as part of some "exclusive" group. It's like everybody just wants to proclaim to the world that they're an introvert waaaaaaay more than I feel is necessary. Maybe they think it makes them sound cooler or mysterious or whatever other adjective that makes them feel good about themselves. Being an introvert doesn't make anyone cooler. If anything, it just makes you a little more, well, awkward and self-conscious and uncomfortable... like I am at this very second. 

I love being who I am. I really do. But like everyone else, there are days I wonder why I do. Sometimes I wish things like small talk and greetings would become so much easier! I hate scrambling my brain for things to say or constantly thinking whether I should nervously shake her hand or give her an awkward "beso."I hate having to think whether the person at the other end of the table thinks I'm a snob for not moving closer or think I'm a weirdo if I suddenly do move closer. I am frustrated that I have think whether it will be offensive or funny to deliver a joke at a certain moment. I am tired of having to think whether the person across me wants me to talk to her (and if I dont, I'll look like an elitist snob) or doesn't want to be bothered (so if I talk to her, I'll look like an intrusive b*).

Being who I am just takes too much energy out of me. If I had actually ran the marathons I ran in my head, I'd be Victoria's Secret model fit by now. But no. My mental exercise remains as it is... mental. And in the process, I just manage to exhaust myself internally which makes me cranky, frustrated and uncomfortable externally.

Oh, when will everything be less awkward and weird and uncomfortable? I want to retire from my marathoning already... and yes, I'm aware I'm just 22... but I want a new activity already, maybe sleep marathoning this time.  

STORY: Lisa

I just found out Ate Lisa died. Apparently, she's been in the hospital for six months and just passed away due to brain tumor. But what do I care, right? Who is Ate Lisa anyway? She's just the street food vendor from across the street. She's just the familiar voice who would call my brother "Tangkad" and my dad "Boss" and ask me how things have been. She's just the familiar face that would nod at me, and in recent years, Jose, to get as much as we want from the fishball, squidball, kwek-kwek, isaw, etc spread and after, ask us how much our bill was and not even question it. She's just Ate Lisa. But then again, she's not. She is THE Ate Lisa and now she's gone. Just like that.

THEORY: Friendly Neighborblog

You know what, I've been thinking... I should start posting detailed travel blogs (with itinerary, actual spending) and simple tutorials on my DIY home makeover projects on my blog. I mean, when I travel and when I "renovate," I would usually go online for tips, suggestions and inspirations so, why not pay it forward? I know I'm not an expert on either of the two items, but I guess a little info wouldn't hurt? 

I'm trying to recall some items from my last trips to Laoag and Pico De Loro from 2013 but I'm afraid the info might not be accurate if I jot it down by memory. So I guess I'm going to start my travel entry with my next trip instead. 

For my DIY stuff, I've totally lost count of how much I've spent on my previous projects. I would buy items when I would need them at that instant and I would usually buy items piece by piece! So again, I'll just start documenting and detailing my DIY adventures with my next one (which I'm currently finishing actually - I'm revamping my closets and my curtain thingies --- I don't know what it's called!)

Here's to being a friendly neighborblog to other surfers out there looking for tips, suggestions and inspirations this new year! :) 

STORY: 2013 In Between

The year 2013 wasn't one of my best years. It also wasn't one of the worsts either. It was somewhere in between and it left me feeling in between as well. 

I guess it's only normal to feel like the whole year was a transition/filler year. The year 2012 was filled with so much firsts that I should have known that I would spend the whole of next year simply catching up. I was no longer treated as a baby (which I wanted) come 2013 which meant I had to step up and take full responsibility for everything. In 2012, I would search for responsibility and rejoice in finally getting it (hello, getting a bill addressed to me was a milestone!) but now responsibility is chasing after me! That said, I messed up a lot this year. I made so many mistakes that were no longer forgivable. I finally realized this when I said sorry for something and that person told me, "Ay, bago ka?" I was no longer given as much consideration or understanding because I was expected to have already mastered a number of things. I was no longer a first timer... and we all know things are only exciting at first. 

But when you think of it, 2013 wasn't really just a filler. It was really a learning year. And because it was a learning year, it simply felt boring compared to other years. But then again, learning is always a positive thing so no matter  how "in between" or boring the year felt, there is still so much I am thankful for. I trust God always has a plan for everything so as I look back at my filler year, I'm hoping 2014 is the year that I have been "filling" up for. Here we go...