Day 001 – 2018.01.01

In a few hours, we’ll be traveling back to Manila from Pangasinan. It’s been a lovely experience celebrating the New Year in a different place and with different people (though they are not strangers!), and I think this was a great start for a new year.

Usually, I think of a theme for the year which I’ll strive to stay in line with, but it often comes to me in the middle of the chaos already. However, this year, I’ve decided that this will be a year of risks.

Yes, it’s not the most comfortable theme, nor the most positive one, but I think there’s a lot of growth that comes with taking risks.

I’ve always thought of myself to be strong and brave, but I think there’s a lot of fear that I just don’t label as such because I avoid it rather than acknowledge even the existence of it. It’s a very good defense mechanism, yes, especially in staying true to what you are, fitting social norm or deviating from it, but I think defenses–if too high–only imprisons a person rather than make it a safe zone for one to leave later and explore more of the world. In April, I’ll be 30 years old, and I think it’s time to step out of that wall for a while. I don’t have to destroy it because it’s also good to have that defense ready when it gets overwhelming outside. Just for breathing, just for reflecting.

Anyhow, what risks will I do for this year?

Let’s start with a dream: solo travel.

This one is particularly risky for women, because fuck, that’s just how the world is for us with boobs and vaginas, and I’ve always been quite dependent on able friends when venturing a new place and socializing, so I wanna see how I’ll fare on my own. I think traveling with someone is awesome as well, so I want to see if solo travel is for me, too. Let’s see how much I’ll grow being completely on my own in a foreign land. 🙂

I already have a list of goals for this year, and I’ll probably share it some other time (maybe tomorrow? haha). I just hope to check them all before 2019 enters.

Cheers!

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Day 365: 12.31.2017

“Auld Lang Syne”
N. Old times, especially those fondly remembered

This is Dictionary.com’s word of the day. How fitting to the picture we receive of my dad today.

He looks dapper in a suit, he looks peaceful, but he’s not moving nor breathing; he’s not smiling or making a joke at something; he’s not even looking at anyone because his eyes are closed–and that’s for eternity.

If Dad was still alive and he’s clad in the same suit, looking formal, looking really proper for a special occasion maybe, he’d ask me: “Pogi ba, Chie?” then I’ll annoy him with a tsk and a nod just to appease him, but he’ll brush off my nonchalance with a jest: “Siyempre pogi Daddy mo.” And I think he was. I think he really was. I just never got to say it to him sincerely because bickering had always been our game, my lambing. He had always been the vocal one, the more affectionate one, and I think that he had too much of it and I lacked some.

I would’ve enjoyed seeing him in a basketball jersey on top of that suit because I think that speaks more of one of his loves than a suit. My dad is laidback, a funny guy, likes to relax and be casual. He was always expressing that he deserve the pampering whenever he went home for a vacation because he’d been working his ass off, and of course, I saw the point in that. It’s just that there were times when I felt the same and I think at some point it became a competition, of who was more tired of life and who deserved more of what’s not given enough to us, so often I’ll roll my eyes and avoid the topic, and him along the way.

I didn’t grow up with my Dad the way my two brothers did, nor do I have the same interests as he did, so there would always be a gap in my heart wanting to understand him more, get to know him more, have him understand and know me more back, but I guess there’s nothing more to hope for now.

What I just wish, sincerely, with the numerous times my dad confided his sadness to me about the disconnect of our family, his situation in the states, the loss of his great love, and his loneliness, I hope all of that had been cleared as he entered a new life.

No more pain, Daddy. No more pain.
I just wish there’s more time to share, but then we don’t have that anymore, so I just wish you well there.

Your death is part of 2017 I’ll say goodbye to in a while, but your memories, the auld lang syne and even the unfavorable ones, I’ll hold on to as much as I can.

I love you, Daddy.
As much as you felt it, as much as I comprehended it.
I’m sorry for everything.
See you again.

Day 364: 12.30.2017

Finally finished buying all gifts for my family members with the purchase of my mom’s requested shirt.

I guess there’s a feeling of finality foreboding as there’s a day away from the last day of the year for 2017.

In my 2017 planner, which has plenty of quirky topics and activities for each month, has a question for today: Ano ang gusto mong maipamana ng 2017 self mo, sa 2018 self mo? (What do you want your 2017 self to impart to your 2018 self?)

Hmmm…

There’s plenty of things I’m proud about myself, especially this year, like consistently showing strength and resiliency in the midst of unfortunate circumstances; writing fiction and non-fiction as often and as best as I can; accepting certain unalienable truth about myself as odd, but totally okay even if others don’t see the charm it in; being a good leader; and challenging myself more in terms of risks and career. All these, I’d like my 2017 self to pass the baton proudly with these.

On the other hand, I want my 2017 self to say goodbye to my 2018 self with these behind: regrets, impulsiveness, and laziness. I’m sure these stubborn things will cling as best as they can with 2018, but I hope they lessen somehow.

I’ve made goals for 2018 (which I think I missed to do this year), and I really hope to be able to check all of them as I start talking to my 2019 self at the end of the coming year. After all, I’ll be 30 years old next year, I think I should be stepping up my game already. I can always remain young at heart, but being more compassionate, being more responsible, and being more of a doer than a dreamer would really do me good.

Good luck, 2018 self. Can’t wait to meet you.

Day 363: 12.29.2017

Was able to accomplish plenty of stuff today, so yey!

ü Grid for next week
ü Fix shoes
ü Set-up make-up storage
ü Update blog entries

Currently talking to my friend/former co-teacher over many things I like society, culture, psychology, philosophy, career, etc. which I really, really appreciate because there’s not a lot of people in my life who doesn’t find these topics boring to discuss in one chat.

Thank you, Glen!

Day 362: 12.28.2017

Well, some revelations today!

After mom and I finished at the city hall for some NSO document, she was very keen on going to the mall because she didn’t want to be stuck at home stressing on matters that should definitely not be her worry anymore.

So revelation here is that I got that destressing method from mom.

We bought lots of stuff at the mall, of course, and I got my gift from her! I was thinking between shoes and book, and of course I got a book (is that wise?)–since my kindle remains unresponsive too.

I’ll still buy a new Kindle is Benedict cannot be repaired anymore, but I’m also thinking of starting a book savings. Like, I have 500 pesos now in my Fullybooked card and I’m thinking of dropping like 300 or 500 pesos there every month until it accumulates to an amount I’ll just be surprised to learn about in the future. Hahaha! If I have a Kindle again, I’m sure I’ll stop buying books again (since I’ll be living off the kindness of ebook uploaders), but why not? I’m thinking of investing in many many things next year actually: insurance, funeral plan, etc.

Ah well.

Day 361: 12.27.2017

Holy shit I was able to write again.

Since I met a fellow writer yesterday, I ought to try my hand at writing again since it’s also for a project we’re both part of.

And lo and behold, I was able to finish it!

I guess the hardest part of writing is always forcing yourself to sit down and get started because I always use the excuse of not being in the mood to write even if I love it so much. But well, there’s also the lack of ideas, so bleh.

LOL.

Also met Anna today!

In our ICBB friends, I guess Anna’s my one true companion from before until now. Cheers to three years of friendship, chehebam! ❤

Day 360: 12.26.2017

Day 360: 12.26.2017

It was a busy day trudging through crowded malls (which I hate) to buy remaining gifts for friends and family. Fortunately, I was done before I had to meet my brother to accompany him shopping for his girlfriend, and leave for a set time since I had to meet another friend in a another mall.

The best thing that came out of that short bonding over shopping with my lil bro is the Punyeta plan.

I’m not sure what punyeta actually means, but it is an expression one used when pissed about something and it is Spanish in origin.

Anyhow, there’s a funny spoof shirt of the Pringles logo mixed with Heneral Luna (from the movie) and his favorite expression. I’ve been wanting to buy that shirt since last year, waiting for it to be go on sale, but it never did go on sale. Salesladies said it remains a bestseller so it’s still not part of the discounted ones.

Well, expensive things are easy to buy when you’re not the one buying. This is what I’m most thankful of Christmas for.

Since my brothers and I had been reduced to cheesy siblings ever since my dad passed away (we only have each other now), we’re suddenly talking of a siblings savings account to buy a vacation house in the future (Tita and Dad have always wanted one), siblings day twice a month, and the siblings Punyeta shirt which we’ll wear on New Year’s eve! Hahahaha!

Well.
This is the cheesiest I’ve been with my brothers, but I don’t mind. Not even a bit.

So, from Megamall (North) I traveled to Mall of Asia (South) to meet my co-MES writer, MEL!

Out of all the MES writers, I think I’m closest to her. Remember that time I wrote about finally making peace with the fact that I’m not for everyday chatting in a chatroom full of young people? I think it’s because of her. I mean, I’ve never been fond and open with anyone new for such a long time. We’ve talked about many things through chat, and although we’re connected through MayWard, we actually began our chats about anime, then it was about books, being single, movies, etc. She’s also the kind of friend that even if you don’t talk to her for a long time, she doesn’t mind, but the enthusiasm remains. So when I met her in person today, I was met with a tight hug and she held my hands because she said she was nervous! AHAHAHHAHAHA! Our conversation in person easily settled into how we chatted online (we talked about an array of topics seamlessly) which was soooooooooooo nice.

I wasn’t awkward, yay!

So we promised a 2019 meet again, and I do look forward to that, seriously.
Nice meeting you, Mel! Mwah!

Day 359: 12.25.2017

Finally. Finally.

“Call Me By Your Name” had been made available by the great pirates of the World Wide Web. Gracie.

So. Verdict?

One of the reasons I was so enticed to watch the movie version of this story is because based on the trailer, it is not very faithful to the book. Most of the time, fans of a book would frown at this, but since Elio is a very unreliable narrator, we don’t have a point of view of Oliver, of his parents, and even of the servants of their Italian mansion who were all witnesses to what Elio didn’t know himself or care to share in the narration of the novel.

Of course, for the medium, some parts of the novel had to be omitted (regrettably), and it’s understandable. Elio and Oliver’s connection spans 20 years as Elio reflects on his life pre-Oliver, Oliver, and post-Oliver. It’s kind of sad that they didn’t include that special point in the novel when Elio meets Oliver again, now more mature, more experienced, but still with lingering longing and wonders, after 15 long years of avoiding direct contact. However, as one reviewer of the movie stated, the film highlights the youth of Elio, at 17, his passions and awakening which Oliver’s presence in his life that one summer of 1983 brought. Thus, the ending was different, but still satisfying.

The overall atmosphere of summer in that small Italian city of Crema which was very much alive in the novel, was of course, more alive in the movie which I really, really appreciate. The retro colors of blue, mustard yellow, wine red, and greens against washed-out layer of highlights and shadows of sunrays, nature, and solitudes of a room with a veranda were a feast to the eyes. Lovely.

I also appreciated how, despite the downplay of Elio’s ramble and expounding of what the title carries in meaning (being a total reflection of another person–being one in mind and heart, transcending the physical by taking everything physical), the sexy scenes were heavily sensorial which I really, really appreciated.

I mean, there are many sex scenes that can be overwhelming with the sounds of lips smacking, the rustles of fabrics, and of course the visual of limbs wrestling. I appreciated how smell is very much present in that first night. By taking his time when Elio first latches to him, you see and hear Oliver smell his hair, his neck, his chest as he tries to take in the reality of his passion with open palms grazing and running through Elio’s back and buttocks. He smells like he’s eating food.

Well. Oh, Armie. I love you for that acting.

Anyhow, gosh how Timothy and Armie were so good at what they do! They look so natural together and I’m sure people are shipping them hard. I’m not, but I sure ship Elio and Oliver with their faces in my head, so I’m good with that.

So anyway, to anyone to has read the book and liked it too, do watch this version!

Rating: 5/5

Day 358: 12.24.2017

Day 358: 12.24.2017

My heart and mind feels like a paradox…somehow.

When my best friend asked how I was, I said I was not happy, but I wasn’t sad either. Just okay.

I feed as though my dad is not dead because I’m not very sad as I think one should be if one’s father passed away. It just feels like normal days when I’m not responding to him and he doesn’t bother to communicate either, and we’re passing the days fine without connecting with each other.

I’m not sure.

I’m sure there will come a time that everything will sink in and the feels will come crashing down. For the mean time, I’ll live my days this way.

However, I feel there’s an onset of anxiety–sadness–that I don’t recognize very well. I just suddenly asked my bestfriend to accompany me to jog.

Jogging. Exercise.

Dude I don’t do exercise. Especially if it meant cutting my sleep short to wake up early, gear up, and travel to a place quite far from the house to exercise. WTH.

To be honest, it kind of reminds me of when my best friend revealed that I was anxious because I suddenly called her our for lunch and I didn’t even notice that.

Today’s Christmas eve, but meh. I didn’t even bother going out to greet my family, just my mom. I used the excuse that I’m grieving for a feeling I cannot explain myself.

Still, Merry Christmas to you, who is reading this. Thanks for dropping by.

And yes, I’ll be fine.

Day 357: 12.23.2017

There’s still a lot of things to think about from here on getting my dad transferred from the US to the Philippines. No matter what, my siblings and I are determined to have his body delivered properly to where he wanted to lie in eternity with, even if it means being in debt for another 10 years of my life.

I think I can live with that.

This is my amend to Dad. This is my way of making up to him, for everything that I lacked as a daughter, I’d sacrifice more of my years to deliver him where he should be.

On the other hand, I’m very touched by the number of friends reaching out and assuring me that their lines are open for me to reach when I feel the need to talk to someone. I’m not that kind of friend to begin with, thus, I’m very happy that I actually have friends who show the initiative to be that kind of friend for me. Despite my lack in affection when it comes to reaching out, they still like me, they still care for me.

My younger brother was crying again tonight, expressing his doubts in God because both his parents are gone. I’m a bit lucky my mom is still here, but he’s technically parentless, although he still has us, his remaining family members.

To be honest, I didn’t know how to console him. Consoling crying people had always been awkward for me, and I feel my way of consoling doesn’t really comfort people. It’s tough love for me, and not everyone appreciates it. Because when one is feeling vulnerable, I don’t think anyone would like someone too strong with words. Comfort is associated with softness, and other than my fats, I don’t think I’m very soft anywhere else. Moreover, I don’t believe in the Christian god. I believe there’s a higher power though, and that everything, probably happens for a reason. The only thing we can do is live through life thinking that our life is molded by the decisions we make, and the ones we do not understand, like death of a loved one, is supposed to serve a greater purpose to our life.

Tita’s death proved to be a turning point in my life, causing a very big shift in the way I view life and myself. I didn’t understand my father before, and I think I never would, but I saw a very different side of his life that was in hindsight before: that you love because you want to, despite repeated rejections, you love because you want to. It’s possible.

I’m not sure where our lives will go from here, and honestly, I’m not that keen on seeing it yet, but I’m sure Tita and Daddy will be guiding us from where they are.

I love you both so much.