Thursday, December 31, 2009

"May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you’re wonderful, and don’t forget to make some art—write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can; and I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself."
~Neil Gaiman

In a Word- Progress.

I started the year off with this unwavering faith in life. I knew it, in my bones, that this year was gonna be great. I had a feeling that things were about to change, that life was about to get so much better, and that the answers i had been looking for for so long would finally reveal itself.
And i was right.

I did a lot of growing up. I faced a lot of fears. I got over issues. Did some things i never thought i'd ever experience. I got to know myself better. I started making more serious decisions.

I was at a Christmas party a few weeks ago and was asked to give one word to sum up my year. I thought about it long and hard. Something that put everything together and what the year in its entirety represented. Looking back at everything, i figured it out. This year was about moving forward. It was about learning mistakes and not repeating them. It was about realizing where i was going and taking charge of the reins. It was about knowing what i wanted and going for it. It was about taking responsibility for everything that was mine. It was about learning who i really was and knowing that i was good with that. It was about making decisions and having confidence that i made good ones. It was about letting go and forgiveness. It was change.
In a word- progress.

I could tell that it was the start of something huge. I know it is.
It's funny how people think that the beginning of a new year is the opportunity to make changes and start over. The reality is that it is only continuity. You have the power to change anything at anytime throughout the year.

However, the break between each year is refreshing. The time to reflect is empowering. Starting off with a clean slate is always a good way to look at anything and the thought of "leaving behind" unwanted baggage is a relief.

So here's to the good life- whatever that may be to you.
Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

"The result of conformity is that everyone likes you except yourself."

On The Spot

I'm talking to Ian on Skype.
Dylan sits next to me and says he wants to talk to him.
He grabs the headphones, looks into the screen and says, "Hey Ian. Who do you like better? Dylan or Mommy?"

Paid a visit to the local Baguio City Market early this morning. Surprisingly, people have way more manners over there as compared to the "civilized" supermarket.

Who knew?

Strawberries are in season.
I still haven't found arugula.
Nobody knows what "bread flour" is- but whatever it is, 8 people directed us to the same stall.
Vegetables sold on the outer areas can cost up to twice as much as the veggies sold in the heart of the market. I guess it depends on how much you're willing to spend.
People out there work hard for their money.

I forgot to bring the camera. Again.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


Christmas is over and New Years Eve is 2 days away.

This little city up in the mountains is crammed with people on vacation. The traffic is ridiculous. There are swarms of people everywhere!
If there's anything i hate- it's crowded malls. I will avoid it as much as i can.
If there's anything i hate even more- inconsiderate & incompetent people that crowd the malls.

Mall/Supermarket Etiquette:
1. I wish there was a rule for cutting lines that gave me the right to backhand slap or dropkick anybody that tries.
-have some goddamn respect.
-no, you're NOT special. We all waited, why the hell shouldn't you? Yeah, we're in a rush too.

2. Huge grocery carts do not belong parked in the middle of a small ass isle (or any other opening that is meant for passage, for that matter). Diagonally parked is even worse (only because it's harder for me to kick it out of the way).

3. "Excuse me..." is easy to learn. It's also necessary. So learn it.

4. You do not need to breath down my neck when we're standing in line. As little at 12 inches (a foot) behind me is enough to let people know you're right behind me.

5. When you knock something over, especially if it falls in the way of other people (even if it doesn't), pick it up. Put it back on the shelf. It's polite. It's appropriate. It's EASY.

6. When you hit someone with a cart (perhaps because you were not paying attention or was just in too much of a rush to give a rat's ass)- apologize. It's the right thing to do. Children know this.

7. What is up with people who take forever at the ATM??? I need an explanation for this, because honestly- i don't understand.

8. When someone is trying to get out of traffic (shopping cart traffic), and you're in the way, it's really simple- MOVE. When the person says "Excuse me"- MOVE. Dirty looks are not necessary because, woman... we're doing you a favor. Unless you wanted to join the gridlock- just let me get out of your way and you can go ahead and do that. Don't worry- you will get to where you want to go.

9. When you see me heading in your direction faster than you... don't speed up. WTF, dude?

If you're browsing, then STOP. It's fine if you knew what you were doing or if the store was empty... but you're at a crowded supermarket!

11. If my cart is in the way, let me know. Again- simply saying, "Excuse me" works. Don't move it to the middle of the isle like i'm a dumbass. Which then makes me look like i'm responsible for #2.

12. It's not okay to pick up my son for a hug. Seriously, it's not.

Yeah, it was so terrible today i couldn't help it. I actually experienced stress for the first time in a loooong time. And here i was thinking i had already mastered the art of the freedom of stress.
I can't wait til everything falls back to normality.

Market and baking tomorrow.
Yay! =)

Monday, December 28, 2009

"Saying 'I love you' is like saying Superman is just strong."

~Best analogy ever. Best boyfriend ever.

Arbitrary Mind Picks #31

1. I have a set of values, i abide by them. I do get irritated, but at least i'm not a hater.
That's a winner.

2. I'm always myself. I don't have to pretend to be someone i'm not. It makes life easier.
I know what sincerity looks like, i've learned my lessons well, and i choose wisely. With that, i have real friends.
Win. Again.

3. I actually like who i am and i'm comfortable in my own skin. I don't need gratification from anyone else. I don't thrive on attention. I know what i know- that's good enough for me.
"The one in the room who is the loudest motherf***er... is the weakest motherf***er."
-Frank Lucas, American Gangster

4. I never try to bring anybody down to get ahead. I don't go back on my word. When i make poor judgment calls- i admit to it and i apologize. I keep it real- that shows character. With this, you gain respect.

5. He loves me- more than anything. He picked me. With that, i have already won.

Now back to my regular (zen) programming.


That's Fresh.
I wanted to make shelves out of decks for Dylan in his room... too bad i can't drill holes on our wall. Or can i?

So, like...

We attended a birthday kiddie party at the Baguio Country Club today. Sounds so bougie, dunnit?
Adjective meaning extravagent, often to the point of snobbery. Usually used in relation to the conspicuous consumption of the urban upper-middle class. Dervived from "bourgeoisie".
"What kind of chips are those?"
"Organic Parmesan Oregeno with Olive Oil, they're 4 dollars a bag."

"Man those are bougie chips..."

On our way there we saw a girl (obviously, not from here) riding a horse... while listening to her ipod.
(freakin' weirdo)

A few blocks down, we caught a glimpse of a lady beating the shit out of her kid, who was going out of control on the side of the street.
No, that was a lie. I'm totally kidding. haha

We get to the club and find our way to the party. (That sounds like my old life but it totally means something else today...)
It's a costume party with nobody decked out in costume except for the celebrant. *sigh* You know what that means? Lazy parents. Yes, myself included. (Which also made me feel relieved that i didn't go crazy out of my way to make Dylan another costume)

I see an 8 year old girl with an SLR camera. She's looking through the viewfinder. She wants to take pictures. She snaps a photo and the flash pops up. She's shocked and slams the flash shut. "Stupid! Stupid! I don't want flash!!", she scolds.
Wow. Zen out. Maybe you should start with something more age-appropriate. Unless you're a genius, then that's my mistake, i guess.

Dylan doesn't participate in any of the games. The food was good. The loot bag was awesome! They were playing uncensored hiphop music. Erm... yeah.
People arrived late and left early. Erm... yeah. Again.

We're outside waiting for a cab. Dylan tells me he feels like walking home. I figure it'll do me some good and help with what i ate at the party. It should take no more than 15 minutes. 3 minutes into the walk, i regret the decision but i'm committed to finishing what we started. 7 minutes into it i hate the fact that we're walking- i'm carrying a balloon, some toys, my sweater, a heavy loot bag and my shoulder bag. 10 minutes into it, i'm miserable. 2 minutes from the house Dylan says he's tired and wants to take a taxi. How convenient.

Yeah, it was an interesting afternoon.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

"Life is like riding a bicycle.
To keep your balance you must keep moving"
~Albert Einstein

Vision Board 2010


My sister's boyfriend, who we last saw 2 days ago, joins us for lunch. Dylan loves new company so he makes it a point to sit next to him. This kid loves conversation and attention (my son, not the boyfriend). His first question?
"So, Carlo... did you miss Aica?"

This kid has the right idea going on...

Yes, please.

As comfy as it looks- it also seems dangerous. It's tail bone damage waiting to happen. And red wine on white linen? uh, i don't think so. Not in my household, anyway. haha

But it's a great concept.
Again, with my interior design fascination.

Comfort is Priceless

"It's ok to spend a lot on your bed and on shoes. If you're not in one, you're in the other."~unknown

Friday, December 25, 2009

What to Wear?

Shit. I know how he feels.
I go through this everyday.
I'd go for the large, green boot. I've always liked that one. Or the frog suit. haha
“Having children makes you no more a parent than having a piano makes you a pianist.”
~Michael Levine

[Or having turntables makes you a DJ. Just my 2 cents.]

Arbitrary Mind Picks #30

1. My dad's blog actually snows this time of year. Incredible.
Christmas is not the same without him...

2. Happiness at age 5: When you're called to open your presents at midnight and once you've opened the packages, you find out you got everything you wished for.
Happiness at age 26: Watching your 5 year old scream with excitement when you tell him he can open his presents and seeing that look on his face when he discovers he got exactly what he asked for.

3. gluttony |ˈglətn-ē|
habitual greed or excess in eating.
-in other words, ME- the entire day yesterday and all of today. I have no self control.

4. " Family is just accident.... They don't mean to get on your nerves. They don't even mean to be your family, they just are." ~Marsha Norman
-aw, but you love em anyway.

5. Must. NOt. Eat. MOre. Pie.

6. I think it has become family tradition to put on gory/morbid movies while waiting for Noche Buena. In our defense- it makes us more grateful for our lives. (haha)

7. We make bomb polvoron, carrot cake, apple pie, & lasagna. It is beyond me why we only do that once a year.

8. I think Christmas is the official Karaoke day of the PI. Loud and proud, my friends. All over the country. All day long.

9. I thought '09 was gonna be great- and i was beyond right. =)

10. I think i'll skip resolutions this year. Spare myself the build up to disappointment. lol

Happy Holidays

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

"Social depression, financial depression, and an overall hopelessness brings the best of art."

After 17 cups of coffee... i got my Starbucks planner. =)

I just granted more than 3,000 wishes of a brighter future- according to Starbucks & Spark A Hope.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Basic Manners

There was a ridiculous crowd at the mall today. Completely expected from the christmas rush. On my way out of a store, i witnessed a man carrying his little girl who was playing with one of their packages. As i neared them, she accidentally dropped the bag. I gladly reached for it to hand it back. I know how hard it is to reach for something when carrying a baby, especially at a crowded mall- personally, i would have appreciated the help. I returned his bag with a smile. He grabbed the bag and walked away.

Not even a hint of appreciation. Definitely no Thank You.

Dylan never forgets his please's, thank you's, and you're welcome's.
Basic manners is just that- BASIC.

Monday, December 21, 2009

"Unless it's mad, passionate, extraordinary love, it's a waste of time.There are too many mediocre things in life- love should not be one of them."


I Am Horribly Limited

by Sylvia Plath

I can never read all the books I want;
I can never be all the people I want
and live all the lives I want.
I can never train myself in all the skills
I want. And why do I want to? I want to
live and feel all the shades, tones, and
variations of mental and physical
experience possible in life.
And I am horribly limited.

Happy Christmas

John & Yoko Peace Campaign Billboard
Christmas 1969

*This message still holds true today... 40 years later and an entirely different war.

Let it Shine for '09

"A New Birth of Freedom"
The United States of America swears in their 44th President- Barack Obama.
Based on combined attendance numbers, television viewership and Internet traffic, it was among the most observed events ever by the global audience.

A snapshot of Obama's inauguration being watched in Kibera,
one of the poorest quarters in Nairobi.
Jan. 20, 2009
Photograph by Yasuyoshi Chiba

This year saw the end of an era as we bid farewell to Michael Jackson.
His death triggered an outpouring of grief around the world, creating surges of internet traffic and causing sales of his music and that of the Jackson 5 to soar.
His public memorial service was broadcast live around the world, attracting a global audience of up to one billion people.
They're calling 2009 "The Year of Death" due to the number of other casualties met throughout the year.
RIP: Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett, Patrick Swayze, DJ AM, and just today, Brittany Murphy. (along with many others)

Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao defeated Miguel Cotto on
November 14, 2009 giving him the WBO World Welterweight Title which made him the first fighter in boxing history to win seven world titles in seven different weight divisions.
The fight generated 1.25 million buys and 70 million dollars in domestic pay-per-view revenue, making it the most watched boxing event of 2009.

A slow and painful death to the hipster regime and the gladiator sandals' worldwide domination- 2009 said hello to anything and everything black, babydoll dresses and/or muumuus, the comeback of the hippie hairband, stripes in every which direction, high waist shorts, and tights- all kinds of tights. Anything with a hole in it was deemed cool and only douchebags are known to wear anything Ed Hardy.
Personally, i overdid it with the purple this year.

500 Days of Summer, The Wackness and Inglorious Basterds
made it to the top of my movie list. UP was an awesome cartoon, The Time Traveler's Wife was highly disappointing, The Cast of Harry Potter have grown immensely, and The Twilight Series is just ridiculous.
Star Trek takes home the gold for Most Pirated Movie of 2009. It also went crazy at the Box Office. Transformers 2 was a close second.

Mayer Hawthorne (album dropped Sept. '09) is my rookie pick for this year. Then again, i refused to listen to anything else that was new (that was me being ignorant).
Sade's long awaited first single off her 9th album made it out on the last month of this year.
Lady Gaga released hit after hit, Jay-Z came out with a banger about New York that sits on top of the billboard, Miley Cyrus was voted worst role model, and when Susan Boyle sang she gave the world a new meaning of hope.
Hiphop started sounding like Electro for a minute, Techno still gives me a headache, Mashups are now extinct (finally!), and apparently, more people are listening to Country. Beats the hell outta me.

If you don't know who Sheldon, Leonard, and Penny are-
you're living in a different galaxy. Or you're old.
People are still (surprisingly) following Gossip Girl and 90210. They came out with a gazillion TV series about vampires (nice try, but nothing beats Buffy), and this show called Glee have fans calling themselves Gleeks.

Everybody and their mother owns an iPhone or a Blackberry.
I only upgraded to a Nokia E-series smartphone.
These handy gadgets that are practically considered to be an extended part of your anatomy no longer just texts messages or makes phone calls... you can now check your Facebook and Tweet too.

Their WiFi status determines what coffee shop you chill in.
The Twitter bandwagon is off the charts. Facebook is overcrowded & more stalker-friendlythan ever. What's Myspace again?
Skype kicks iChat's ass, Youtube still doesn't show nudity, Mac users are skyrocketing, MSN is threatening to shut down e-mail addresses unless you forward 8,975,363 messages due to lack of usernames because it's all being used up, "lol. omg. ftw. fml. mmt. wtf." and emoticons are part of your normal-everyday-routine, and nobody meets in person to catch up with each other's lives anymore.
No, seriously.

The biggest fuckup fail of the year goes to Kanye West for his interruption of Taylor Swift's acceptance speech at the 2009 VMA's.
Since then, Taylor has been sweeping up back-to-back awards, gaining incredible fame and pity.
Kanye has been labeled an ass and has been the butt (pun intended) of never-ending jokes.
It was the hottest topic on the web, the world was talking about it for ages, and 3 months later- we're all completely over it. I mean, really, it was terrible and shameless... but Taylor Swift for Artist of the Year? See, that's taking it too far, man.

In Local News:
H1N1 enters the P.I.
Corazon Aquino, former president and first female president, passes away.
Hell comes in the form of 2 back-to-back Typhoons leaving hundreds and thousands either dead, injured, or homeless. Recorded as the most amount of rainfall in 6 hours in the history of our country.
The Maguindanao Massacre places the Philippines as #1 most dangerous country for journalists and condemned worldwide as the worst loss of life of media professionals in one day in the history of journalism.
Our ex-President (who was in jail for corruption) announces his candidacy for President. He's not joking.
On a lighter note, Efren Penaflorida is declared as CNN Hero of the Year.

Did i miss anything?