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Double the Celebration

August 7 turned out to be a highly significant day for me. Aside from it being Dax’s birthday, it was also my one-month milepost of working at HP.

Coincidentally, on that same week, I was assigned to work on a relatively normal shift of 10am-7pm (instead of my usual European shift of 3pm-12mn); thus, my weeknights were all suddenly freed up. And since the situation called for it, we were on for a celebration.

It was actually the first time Dax and I would be able to spend a good amount of time together since he came back from the province; and because we knew that all this free time won’t be happening anytime soon with our work and all, we took advantage of it and went out everyday for a week. #clingymode

Our version of going out mostly just comprises of dinners though, nothing special except for our Thursday and Saturday dinners, so I’d probably dwell more into those. :)

August 7 (Thursday) - We were hoping to go somewhere new, but not entirely out of the QC area considering we had work/ classes the next day. We ended up at a place along Visayas Ave called Crab and Crew. I was kind of hesitant  to try it at first since I was not open to the idea of having dinner at a resto-bar, but I’m really glad I changed my mind.

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We had Crab Tisoy, baby back ribs, and kilawing liempo. Of the three, the Crab Tisoy was especially my favorite. A bit expensive; but I swear, it is worth every penny. It was a 400g crab seasoned with a creamy, buttery, and cheesy sauce, topped with crunchy bacon bits… delectable beyond imagination! Who knew crab, cheese, and bacon were the secret ingredients to ambrosia? Good thing Dax was (sort of) allergic to crabs because then, I got to finish the dish myself. :)

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The best part of eating the crab lies in getting the meat. I bet you would have killed to see me in action then and there. We were like cavemen, eating with our bare fingers and smashing the crab legs using pumice. LOL. No need to worry of making a mess, though; Crab and Crew provides bibs and heaps of tissue at the very least :)

Aside from the scrumptious food, service was excellent. We never had to ask the attendants to refill our glasses of water, or to whisk out the used plates. They were always quick to do so automatically. Plus, the interiors induced a warm and relaxing ambiance in spite of it being a bar.

I’ve never eaten at a restaurant that I felt worthy to be named my favorite; Crab and Crew just might be the first! Money well spent, indeed! <3

August 9 (Saturday) - We already had our itinerary for this day ironed out days ago, yet ridiculous how everything did not go as expected. We had planned to go to SM Aura, and there we would watch Guardians of the Galaxy, have dinner at Ogetsu Hime, and get desserts at Magnum Manila.

Tickets for the time slot we were intending to buy, however, were already sold out by the time we got there. And since no other movies were worth seeing, we had to settle for IMAX tickets and spontaneously shelled out twice of what was originally planned.

After the movie, we were at least able to get good seats at Ogetsu Hime immediately thanks to our reservation. We ordered Ogetsu Hime roll, Rainbow Batera, and Shake Rayu Sashimi. I was looking forward to this because I am just crazy about sushi rolls! And since Ogetsu Hime was specializing in sashimi and sushi, and prices were a bit on the steep side, I had set really high expectations. Unfortunately, though the roll was pretty good, sashimi and the Rainbow Batera were just OK.

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Since then, we were hoping the cookie dough skillet we’d be having at Magnum Manila would make up for our bland dinner. It was admittedly scrumptious, but it had the sort of sweetness that satiated your appetite in a matter of seconds. So even though we had only one plated dessert to share, we were still unable to finish it.

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The night ended, and we realized how everything we were counting on had failed us. Maybe sometimes, spontaneity is still better than always having to make arrangements. ;)

Nonetheless, my week was more than amazing thanks to the people I get to share the days with. <3

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7 Goals in 12 Months

Upon my graduation, people insisted I find a job immediately. I could have, since I was already given a job offer even before I officially graduated. But for some reason, I turned it down. And instead of finding a position in some top-notch international company, I found some time for myself. I started my own blog. I enjoyed a lot of good novels from my long queue of Books to Read. I marathoned some of my favourite TV shows which I haven’t had time for in the past couple of months. And I went through countless days of doing nothing but eat and sleep all throughout. And I’m not even sorry!

But now I guess the 62 days of a sedentary lifestyle have started to take its toll on me, so I finally decided to sign a contract with a company.

Behold, I am now an official Application Management Delivery Consultant at Hewlett-Packard! This coming July 7 would mark the first day of my working life.

And so, as a celebratory feat for this momentous occasion, I decided to put into paper a list of personal goals that I need to accomplish on the first year of my career. YAY! (Don’t fuss. This is how I celebrate things. Yes, I’m weird like that.)

Here are the 7 things I’d be busying myself with for the next 12 months. I already spared those lavish tangible items from this list (simply because they don’t need to be written on a sacred list to prod me into buying them). LOL.

1. Stay In Shape

By staying in shape, I don’t just mean attending yoga or boxing classes, or going to gym regularly (thanks to the rebate from HP); but essentially having a healthier lifestyle from the very basic. This is to face the fact that I’ve already stepped onto my 20s and that my body isn’t getting any younger. The junk that I’ve been feeding my body all these years – fast food, sweets, COKE – would eventually lead to the death of my organs. So from this day forward, I want to reverse the potential turmoil that a life in the corporate world could inflict upon my wellbeing; because being seated in an air conditioned room and staring at my computer the whole day everyday isn’t going to make me any fitter.

2. Learn something new

There are a lot of things I’ve been dying to learn to do ever since but just couldn’t find time to squeeze between my acads; things like cooking, speaking a foreign language, pole dancing, swimming (a prerequisite to scuba diving), biking (yes, I still don’t know how to this day),  and a lot more. Hopefully, now that I’m officially past the academe, I’d have the time and resources to tend to these things.

3. Rekindle an old hobby

As a child, I took a few years of piano lessons, but immediately gave up practicing as soon as the lessons stopped. I could also say that I was blessed with the skills of drawing and sketching before, but I took this for granted as I entered a science high school (since only math and science skills were constantly utilized there, anyway). These are only some of my hobbies during my childhood years which I now regret of letting go. I recently found the desire to do these again; maybe somehow I can revive the talents as well.

4. Buy a designer bag

Now I know I said I would avoid extravagance in this list, but I want to make an exemption. Anyway, apart from the fact that bags do NOT depreciate in value over time (unlike gadgets and cars), looking your best is also a requisite which most people tend to ignore. Harvey Specter couldn’t have said it any better, “people respond to the way we dress, so like it or not, this is what you have to do.”

This is at the least of my priorities though, since I already have a few to use by now. ;)

5. Start a personal book collection 

Most (if not all) of the books I’ve read are not my own. I either download an eBook from the internet; or perchance, grab just about any book I find at home. These books, however, have enlightened me to a point; so I would like to return the pleasure to the persons behind the glory in any little way that I can. Let me start with getting legal copies of my own. :D

 6. Travel

Vacation leaves expire, so better not put them to waste. Plus, it’s always going to be more thrilling to travel the world in my youthful vigour.

7. Save, save, save!

I saw an article once where persons in their 30s have confessed their regrets on not being financially smarter during their initial years with a steady income. I don’t ever want to be put in that position come my time. Not that I yearn to save millions on my first year of work, but hopefully I can at least comply with the perfect ratio on saving, splurging, and spending (20-30-50 respectively).

 

Aaaand, that does it. I’ll be going over this again come July 7, 2015 just to see how much I was able to accomplish in a year. Thank you if you’re still reading my post at this point, by the way. LOL. Here’s to an abundant first year of work!

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Melancholy

I woke up this morning with the thought of you in my head. I stirred on my bed, struggling to retrieve that last stop point of my dream, that make-believe expanse where you and I were together, if only to savour even just a short period of illusory yet incessant happiness with you.

I counted the seconds until the feeling of your skin ceased to touch mine. And then, just like that, it was gone. I had fully woken up.

I think of trifling moments with you, mostly. I think of your contagious smile, and our little talks. I think of the sound of your voice, and me in the loving comfort of your arms. It has always been the silly instances like these that I miss; immaterial times I can only vaguely remember and yet still hope to recall. Moments we could have shared, had we been together right now.

Sometimes, I find myself talking to you while I watch TV; or thinking of the various restaurants we could have tried; or looking at pretty gifts to get you while I strolled around shopping malls. Perhaps I would have valued them even more, had I been with you that time.

I miss you so much, it hurts.

Nonetheless, maybe the idea of you I’ve crafted so perfectly in mind is nowhere near what you must really be right now. Maybe today, we would have been fighting over trivial matters, and yet I choose to believe that you and I are cuddling. And I guess the reason I miss you so much boils down to it. It’s only natural to long for someone when all we’re holding on to is the imagined feeling of joy – no boisterous fighting, no exchange of glares, no cold shoulders.

But still, sometimes, I need those fights. Sometimes, I’d rather hear you yell at me, than be stuck with another happy conversation in this virtual reality. Because some nights, the stickers and emojis just don’t cut it. The reassurance that you’re there with me, is clobbered by the sight and feeling that you’re not.

Generally, I just want to be surprised one day and see you show up there and then. At times, I would have even settled with you feeding me deceptions that you would arrive on the morrow. I would have believed whatever lies you come up with, anything that can tranquilize this bursting longing inside me. And if that’s still too much to ask for, then at the very least, I just want to hear from you that you yearn to be here… with me. Just once, I want to wake up to a reality that is better than my dreams.

But then we only end up fighting, and my illusions remain as is.

I guess I’d just have to endure 44 more days like this. Oh, if only I could dream my way through it.

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Savoring the last few days of my life as a bum

Savoring the last few days of my life (as a bum)

I remembered downloading this iOS app (AutoDesk’s SketchbookX) a few weeks back; and just now, I thought of giving it a go. So after a tad too many hours of doodling, I present to you my masterpiece! Apart from some references for the Hogwarts uniform, I did the entire thing from scratch. Haven’t drawn anything with such dedication for so many years now, so imagine my feels after finishing it!

This is how I perceive the trio based on the book and NOT the actors; because save for Rupert Grint and Alan Rickman, everyone doesn’t look anything like the characters they’re portraying. (My opinion, IDC if you don’t share the same sentiments). And as much as I love Emma Watson, she’s definitely too hot and gorgeous for geeky Hermione. FYI, big bushy hair does not translate to soft luscious curls. And that she’s a graduate of any ivy league university doesn’t change a thing.

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Left the faces blank because I suck. But someday, I will have the courage to draw in the faces. ;)

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Kintsukuroi

You were the first man I fell in love with; or at least the man I thought I was in love with.

I can still remember those days, vivid as if it were only yesterday. You told me you loved me; and then I, engrossed in my petty notions of love and ever after, decided to offer you my all. I ceased to seek my own dreams – what I want and who I wanted to be – because every part of me was solely invested in you. I put you and the ambitions we shared above all else.

But in the vein of every other tales of heartbreak that ever existed, you left me. Without even a word. Just that it’s over. And for a moment there, it seemed as if my life was too.

While I wallowed in pain and self-pity on one corner, you were already on romantic escapades with other girls. It didn’t matter that the sight of you flirting felt like a repeated stab in my already shattered heart. Truth be told, the sight of you was probably the only thing that mattered.

Seasons passed and gradually, my tears were able to wash away my misery. And in the nick of time, you decided to show up; allegedly regretting the monstrosity you’ve inflicted upon me, upon us; professing your unresolved feelings after three fucking years of not caring.

These were the words that would have brought me to heaven and back, the very words that would have had me running back into your arms. But that was the case three years ago – before you stripped me down to my most basic, bare, and raw self; before you destroyed me to the point that there was no other option, but to rebuild myself based solely on the little remains of my life.

I survived that whole ordeal. I freed myself from the cuffs of torment you strangled me with; and from there, I emerged a better person. A stronger one.

So, thank you for breaking my heart. Before, I was naive. I was so consumed in the promises of forever after and happy endings, because I refused to feel pain. Now, I can embrace love and contentment despite the pain. Thank you for being a person I had never ever expected you to be. Now, you would be a constant reminder for me not to blindly trust people. And most of all, thank you for letting me know that I was capable of loving someone that much. Because now that you’re gone, I get to have that kind of love again… but better. For I get to share that love with someone worthy of it.

You were my first love; and apparently, you will always be, no matter how much I compel myself to see this as an aftermath of a wounded pride. But along with every other memory of you stashed in a far corner of my heart, I believe this business is best left untouched.

Getting over you was never easy, I will not let myself go through it all over again.

Tea bowl fixed in the Kintsugi method, n.d. photograph, viewed 28 May 2014..


Photo Credits

Tea bowl fixed in the Kintsugi method, n.d. photograph, viewed 28 May 2014. < http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Tea_bowl_fixed_in_the_Kintsugi_method.jpg >
Photo edit by Ada Felipe.

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My Perfect Man

I was only 12 years old when I crafted my idea of a Perfect Man; and I swore from then on that if a man does not tick every single box in this stringent list of demands, then he will not be worthy of my love.

Years passed by and I conscientiously held this belief that my Man will bear the face of an angel; one that will make me fall in love a thousand times all over again at each glance. His tanned skin will be complemented with a straight nose and a chiseled jawline; plus a sexy cleft chin to boot! And whenever he would speak with a cute foreign accent, the movement of his exquisitely curved lips will lure me into utopia.

Aside from a face that would make Ben Affleck and David Beckham seem substandard, he will also have a brain like that of Einstein’s. He will be someone who practiced Medicine, Law, and Engineering at the same time. He will be a well-travelled man who speaks many languages. And he will be the inventor of a lightweight rocket-equipped belt, a device which would propel you into the sky and would soon be the most practical mode of transportation.

My Man will be a billionaire, one that will spontaneously fly me to Italy just to curb my insatiable craving for pasta. Each day will be a romantic whirlwind; we’ll have Belgian chocolates and red roses and fancy candle lights for dinner.

Moreover, he will have the majestic gait of a six-footer, and he will pass on his half-giant genes to our aspiring runway-model babies.

And lastly, my Man will be an athlete. He will be a man who thrives on excitement and adventures. He will have the 16” guns of Chris Hemsworth and the washboard torso of Zac Efron; so he’ll always be ready for physical combat when I’m in the midst of danger.

For years I have waited in vain as I searched earnestly for my Perfect Man. I was stuck in a reverie, consumed by the thought that, someday, he will come knocking on my door.

But he didn’t.

Instead, you showed up. An archetypal male from the world of basic. A scrawny guy with a tight fist. And yet, one who gives me every reason to believe that I’m the luckiest girl in the world.

I looked back and I realized… My Man wasn’t so perfect after all.

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Another shot at writing

I remember vividly how in one of my job interviews a few weeks back, I got stuck in a limbo as I was posed with quite a challenging question. “What is your biggest achievement in your four years of stay in UP?”

In a split second, millions of memories flashed in front of me; from my first day as a student in the university, when I was looking frantically for my 8:30 class in the wrong building; to a more seasoned encounter around four years after, as I stood in front of a panel for a thesis defence. But no matter how hard I racked my brain, I found it impossible to recall any experience that could even remotely pass as an accomplishment.

I realized then that 3 seconds have already passed, and any more second wasted would just make my answer look lamer than it already is. So I tried to force my thoughts back into some semblance of order and blurted the safest response I could come up with, “I was a college scholar for 5 semesters.”

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I had already set this incident aside for some weeks, until it piqued my interest once again during the Engineering Recognition Rites. My friends and I were all gathered under the sun’s scorching heat; all eagerly waiting for that one glorious and final moment of ascending the stage to receive a flimsy piece of paper that (supposedly) justifies the four toughest years of our life. And yet, I had this feeling that my emotions weren’t on a par with the triumphant bliss permeating those around me. Instead, I felt a dreary sense of relief. I felt incomplete.

I pondered over the interview question again, and I realized that for four years, I haven’t accomplished anything entirely rewarding. To begin with, I wasn’t graduating with Latin honours. And when an opportunity came up for my thesismates and me to participate in a computer security competition in Korea, we deliberately allowed it to slip from our grasps.

While one could argue that graduating on time – in UP Eng’g, particularly – is already an achievement on its own, this has never been the case for me. I was fourth in my family to have graduated from UP with a CS degree. The previous two received Latin honours on a Google-less era and on a time when the revised GE program was not yet implemented. So unfortunately for me, I was fated to carry a ton’s worth of high expectations and unsolicited burden on my shoulders.

This wouldn’t have been as difficult had I been there first. It’s like getting a score of 95 in Flappy Bird right after someone else reaches a 100. 95 isn’t that bad, yet it wouldn’t matter. You would still be deemed a loser, because the goal has always been to surpass the best.

In reality, however, you only play once.

I had my chance, and I lost. Perhaps it’s time for me to try a new game.