Friday, December 9, 2011

Because nothing feels like it like Love Letters can

Love letters: stash 'em or trash 'em?

I have had my fair share of love letters in my lifetime.  I don’t clearly remember the very first time I got mine. All I know is that it was from a boy whom I really liked in fifth grade. It was scribbled in pencil on a piece of intermediate paper.

I recall with fondness how one cutesy love note bore more cutesy love notes which led to something cutesy – more popularly known as puppy love. Alas, my mother read all the letters stuffed in my school bag and crumpled them into a huge ball of rubbish. Unfortunately I was too young to know the importance of stashing these precious scraps away from queer eyes.

My first boyfriend also wrote me love letters, which he’d usually hand me to my surprise. His letters didn’t say much, but were enough to make me swoon and fall even more in love with him at that time. I still have them, hidden safely somewhere.

My second boyfriend, who was sweet in every way, used to write me love letters with so much passion and creativity. One he had smothered in his favorite perfume, another he had embellished with rose petals and tiny little beads - the works, never mind the bad poetry. (grins) I'd write him love letters too, with the hardest attempts at making mine more passionate and creative than the ones I received from him. I didn’t get to keep all love letters he had written for me, as I burned some of them after a bitter breakup.

I also keep letters from so-called 'admirers'. I hardly ever read these notes but on instances when I pore over them, it never fails to flatter me knowing I have, in a way, experienced what it’s like to be adored.

In a world where everything is just a click away, love letters are seemingly a thing of the past; its beauty nearing a halt. Hand-written confessions of love and affection are being conveniently replaced by email, text messaging and other techie means possible.

However, compared to these modern ways of expressing one’s feelings, the beauty of love letters lies in its surefire ability to draw emotional response. It can make you giggle, swoon, cry tears of joy or even embarrass you. There's always a big difference when you receive an "I love you" message from your significant other when it's handwritten than when it's typed in on a keyboard/keypad.

It's a good thing I got to keep some love letters for me. These documents of confessed passion are a stark reminder of how you became someone’s inspiration. It is a written record of someone who poured his time and effort to weave words out of pure emotion, nevermind if he's not a gifted writer.

I've learned of this  now, as I  happened to come across these letters.  I will always remember and be thankful that at some point in my life, somebody loved me; that I became special in his life and that I was once the apple of his eye -  even if the relationship is gone or the feeling had long fizzled out.

It's been a long, long  while since I last received a love letter. My boyfriend of three years, though sweet and one of a kind, has never written me one yet, ever. But in case he's reading this... :)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Alone and lonely




The past few days have made me feel like an emotional wreck, nursing figurative wounds I felt I could not get past with, let alone patch. My psyche disapproves, but emotions are a stronger force than that, succumbing to anxiety attacks and a feeling of helplessness - loneliness beyond reprieve. I've been alone for some time but I've never felt this lonely.

I wish you were here. I need you. So he was told. He could wipe her tears dry, chase her blues away. Yet all he could do was stay on the other end of the line until her tears dried all on their own. 

If it isn't distance, it's the pain of being lonely that's killing her. She has been counting the days when he will come home, she will not know when, but she will wait faithfully.

I miss you. Please come home.


Sunday, October 23, 2011

Palawan lovin'


I know, I know. It took me this looong to blog about this. It's not to say that I have had been overpowered by my blogging-delinquent tendencies, I guess I've finally gained enough inspiration to blog, blog and just blog. 

My idea of a weekend reprieve calls for slipping on my trusty pair of Havaianas, wearing my favorite shorts and hopping on that boat or plane to neverland - a getaway to somewhere new and different. 

What I'd give to explore new sights and have a taste of novel experiences, even if it means having barely enough to last me once I get back to the daily grind. Going on a 'pocket vacay' to Palawan with my bee friends was fun and worthwhile, even pumping up my wanderlust more. 

Just arrived!

Lotsa crocs! - at the Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center

baby, behave :)


Off to the underground river

I had always dreamt of going to Palawan – the last frontier of an island which I’d often see in tourism advertisements and postcards, it's name I’d always hear good raves about from people who have gone there.

Palawan is an ideal haven when you’re looking to commune with nature, and yet even anyone who’s not much of a nature lover will be in awe with their lush greens, breathtaking islands, highly protected wildlife and well-preserved natural resources.


Lush green




the Palawan Underground River:

I'm still gloating with glee that I have, at long last, visited the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park. No wonder it was declared an official finalist to the search for the New 7 Wonders of Nature.


Just one of the amazing rock formations inside the cave. Our tour guide calls it the 'elephant'

One of the reasons why I wanted to explore Palawan was the enchantment of seeing for myself if schools of fish would really swarm you, as my aunt once told me. And sure it did happen when we we were at Snake Island. I never got to ask the locals why the island was called such but it was a delightful experience to be swarmed by fishes, not veered away from by them. Mind you, I don't think I'll ever get to experience that anywhere else than in Palawan.


Snake Island


I've found that Palawan is one of the cleanest places I've ever been to. In Puerto Princesa, you could actually get fined for littering anywhere, which brings me to ponder that if they have commendable waste management practices, I don't see why other cities in the Philippines just can't do it.

Albeit short, visiting this beautiful place made me, for a while, forget just how crazy this world can get because the place is just so relaxed and laid back. It makes you truly thankful and proud to claim such breathtaking a scenery our own which grant us worthy of bragging rights. It also makes you aware and conscious of preserving the environment (because their locals are bent on keeping it so).

I wonder when I'll be able to satisfy my wanderlust again. Anyone up for another getaway?

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Plod on


Yesterday was a horrible rainy day. I got stuck in the rain for what seemed like eternity, myself wondering about, and wishing for things scattering my brain like rain showers and thunderstorms. It was actually my first time to experience the brunt of getting stranded because of flooding in the streets, and the lousy part was that I could only do so much. 

You wait helplessly to get a ride not knowing whether or not you can, and while you do, you see right before your eyes how worse it could get when you can't do anything about the angry rain, not even the flooding. 

But then, you're not too sure if there really is nothing you can do but just sit and wait for a miracle to happen. When I think about it, this seemingly inevitable a headache, no matter how I abhor it, happens perhaps to make me see something more profound.

Life's tough. Plod on.  

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Of beauty pageants and boo-boos


Well done, Shamcey. You've made us proud.

Yes. Shamcey Supsup did very well in the recently concluded Ms. Universe 2011. I was confident that she was going to take home the crown. After all, she had the looks, the confidence, the grace and the intelligence. I was one amongst the crowd in fever pitch hoping she was going all the way for the win.

But no, she only made it to the 3rd spot. Eyebrows raised as to Ms. Angola getting the crown, or why Supsup ranked lower than the two other contenders, and then reactions came in different sways.

Our high hopes falling short, people stoop into making snide and sarcastic, even stupid remarks, a normal inclination that may qualify as bitterness because we knew our bet fared so well in the first place. If it wasn't showing support for Supsup with great fervor, I don't know how to put it.

Perhaps this could be brought about by all that hype that many Filipinos have with beauty pageants. Yes, I watch them whenever I get the chance but I have never been a fan of them. I have always thought of beauty pageants as a root of insecurity to some and a source of entertainment to many - not so much with substance if we're really talking about real causes and issues, if you know what I mean.

People seek and expect perfection, but ironically take delight in spotting imperfections at the expense of others. Now what does that speak of a person? People are made to believe that it is acceptable to quantify beauty through physical appearance and intelligence through the hypothetical and plain rhetoric.

But looking at the other side of the spectrum, I'd like to think that the public's blind fixation on beauty pageants stems from it's ability to bring about some sort of 'escape' from the harsh realities of everyday life. People want to be fascinated, and in a way, find fascination by the glitz and glamour often associated with beauty pageants. They delve into this realm where 'beauty' is highlighted, showcased, more so glorified, making it their own. After all, who doesn't like beauty and want to be surrounded by it?

So there are remarks from some who talk about the pageant's results in unsensible, distasteful fashion, poking fun at race, skin color and even the lack of, or inability to answer in English. I say, stop the bitterness. Beauty is relative and it is never defined by what you are, where you're from or the language you use.

Shamcey Supsup may not have taken home the crown but she made us all proud. She may not have won the title, but she outshone the rest of the candidates and was a crowd favorite. She may not be Miss Universe 2011 but many believe she deserved the crown and should have won.

Now isn't that something we should all celebrate? 
Image source: http://goo.gl/zwl8L

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Well hello, Singapore!

Exploring Singapore for just three days wasn't easy and yes - bitin, needless to say. Checking out what this fine city had to offer constituted lots of walking (expect muscle cramps!) and catching buses and trains in between taking deep sighs from marveling at Singapore's splendor. No matter how pressed for time I was, it was well spent and enjoyed. The best part of it all: winding up back in the arms of my boy, who's based there. 

There are just so many things I am amazed with in Singapore. 

1. The city is generally clean and clutter-free.

2. You can easily get around the city. Getting 'lost' does not really scare you that much, especially if you're a tourist.

3. Traffic flow is 'liquid'. Motorists strictly observe traffic rules and have a full understanding of what a pedestrian lane is. 

4. People don't spit. Because this is one of my major peeves, I've found great relief here. 

5. Safe. The only thing I actually ever worried about while touring Singapore was if I could still walk (what with all that heavy walking), not my bag getting snatched or getting poked from behind by a stranger inside a packed train. 

Travel tip # 1: Dress for comfort. Your body will thank you for it.

Travel tip # 2: Bring water at all times. Water is quite expensive in SG too, FYI

Travel tip # 3. Wear protection. Sunblock and sunglasses a must.

Travel trip # 4: Have earphones. Will travel.
 
Travel trip # 5: Bring a map. It always helps.

Singapore is pretty much a small city but there's actually a lot to explore and discover. I'm amazed how this city has flourished from its humble beginnings as a fishing village to a fabulous and bustling cosmopolitan hub, its rich cultural diversity making it a popular destination.

the famous Merlion

Fantastic view of the city at night aboard the Singapore flyer

When in Singapore, try hawker food. Tasty, local food for cheap.

Checking out art at the Esplanade

All that walking, to the point of getting cramped that I could no longer seem to walk was a shame when I realized I've only explored parts of Singapore's beautiful whole. Blame it on time constraints. But then I can always go back there, perhaps discover there's something bright, bold and new that awaits me. I feel lucky.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Love, after all

My most unforgettable experience in Singapore:

Tired and cramp from a fun day at Universal Studios, I fell almost face first in front of many people at the bus stop in our attempt to catch the bus. Bruised and embarrassed, Cyril took me into his arms, wiped my tears, hugged me tight and nursed me the entire night, not minding that he, too, was cramped and even more tired than I was. 

I am the most blessed girl in the world.

Not lucky, only blessed.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Nothing but memories

My grandparents' two-storey house - now demolished.

I am sad. This is what my late grandparents' house looks now, a far different picture from that cozy and lovely home where I used to spend summer after summer back when I was a child. 

This used to be my playhouse. To the little girl that I once was, my grandparents' humble abode was like a house made of candy - simple pleasures that make for my once unadulterated joys. There were times when I didn't want to leave.

This was once a house that was so full of love and happiness. And that was so because my grandparents showed me love and cared for his grandchildren so much. Now nothing is left of it but memories of my happy childhood with Lolo Ating and Lola Tinay. 

Back in my childhood days, I'd wake up in the morning and rush downstairs to find lolo in the kitchen preparing my milk. He wouldn't mix it with coffee the way he did with his drink because he said coffee was bad for children.

Come dinner, he would knowingly ask what we wanted to eat. He knew we wanted him to pull out corned beef or canned paksiw from his sari-sari store, with softdrinks to boot. He'd tease me about just having sardines and then laugh when I'd wail. When it comes to food, lolo spoiled us to bits. He was an excellent cook, and I'd always finish his plate full and happy.

The sari-sari store was another favorite spot of mine in the house. It was so stuffed with goods they had to put up a bodega to stock other supplies there. My eyes were always on  those colorful assortments of candy placed in glass jars. I always craved for them; and when I'd be tempted to get some, lolo always knew when to quell it.

Whenever he was tending to something else, I'd sit at his table and fiddle with his abacus, even when I didn't know then how to use it, or what it was for. I'd get to play little cashier every once in a while too. I never liked it one bit, but it was my way of helping them out. 

They had a spacious living room as well, which could accommodate a good number of people at one time. The mood was always fun and festive whenever we'd all gather after a meal and the elders would make the kids dance while they sang in chorus. All I'd hear was laughter and happy chatter.

the shack, where we used to gather and lounge around.

Lolo and lola also had a big backyard, where lolo built a tree house for me and my sister to spend  lazy afternoons in. Their backyard was also where I would run around with the other kids, play games and even chase stray chicken too.

Lola grew a variety of plants, flowers and fruits as well, to which lolo would cut sugarcane, pick buungon (pomelo), among others, much to our delight. Lola would gather cacao for me to eat, and  then I would help her make tableya out of the leftover seeds the next day. She also often warned me not to go further out into the backyard because of the presence of tungaw or red mite which could be extremely itchy to the skin. And when I wouldn't listen to her, she'd treat my poor, rashed skin expertly without the proverbial "I told you so" remark anyway. 

Their washing area was my most favorite spot in the house. It had a tub which I loved soaking into and just playing with cool water that seemed to be running non-stop.The last time I visited their house, I'd find that the tub appeared to be way smaller than it used to - I must have become all grown up now.

The house was already barren the last time the family came to visit. I barely saw a hint of lola's once well manicured garden. Lolo's sari-sari store was nothing but an empty, dusty space; the backyard looked as if it hadn't been tamed for ages, and the tub was dry out of water. Now all that is left are just remnants of nothingness. Who knows, although I'm not sure, that maybe if the house were kept to stand still, it would have been a lot less sad for us. 

Nothing is left of it now, I know; but the memories will always live with me. I will always be thankful to my lolo Ating and lola Tinay for making my childhood the happiest days of my life and I will always remember how they helped raise me to become what I am now.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Would you believe me if I lied?

Reposting this from my Friendster blog. Just one of my older posts I dont cringe re-reading at all. 

I love the usual office chatter. It is, perhaps, the only breather i get from the gruesome work that i do in my little blue cubicle. There’s always witty banter involved, with lots of humor to boot. Anyone in the room can just bring up a topic or throw a question at anyone, and you have to think on your toes and come up with something that will them blow them away. 

Of course, that’s not expected of me, nor I am obliged to do so anyway. But between shutting them out of their wits and enjoying the amusement of being playfully picked on, you know what I’d go for.

The other day, one of my officemates asked a female colleague in the room at what age she lost her virginity. Without batting an eyelash, she answered, and the rest broke out in chorus. Then, they turned to me and asked the same question.

"Mel, how old were you when you did it?"

"Would you believe me if I lied?" I said.

For a second or two, the room went silent. Dinky, my trainer and the eldest in the team, broke the silence and said "Philosophical ang approach ni Mel, ah."

What am I trying to say? Whether or not i am a virgin, it’s none of their business. And even if it didn’t matter to them whether or not i am a virgin, it’s still not their business to know. Besides, being asked that kind of question from people i barely even know on a personal level is like being given lingerie by a boyfriend on our first date. You get the picture.

You don’t have to know. And i dont have to tell you.

image source: http://goo.gl/gkmPu


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Goodbye, baby Cy


In the afternoon of February 1st, I met up with Cy's father and two sisters, Cherry and Cyndie, at a diner close to my office. They wanted to see me, and when I spotted them at the table, they didn't look too good.   I sat down with them, with my attempts to create a cheery environment gone futile. Tito, in between biting into his sandwich and fighting tears, broke the news. "Wala na siya, day".

I looked at Ate Cherry, who was holding back her tears and wouldn't look at me in the eye. I couldn't believe what I heard that I kept asking them what he meant. That was when tito explained what happened. No one in the family had the courage to tell Cyril about it, and wanted me to let him know. 

I didn't know how to tell Cyril about it either. Since he heard about the accident, he was just not the same. He was so sad and worried it bothered me that he didn't want to talk whenever I'd catch him online. That night before they told me that baby Cyrus was gone, Cyril told me to visit them at the hospital because he had a bad feeling about something. But it was too late. Their little angel had to go. 

But I had to, and he had to know. I called him up, and as composed as I could be, I broke the news to him. That was the first time I ever heard him cry. 

Cyril dearly loved his nephew. I saw how he was there for him even when he was still in Ate Cherry's womb. He'd buy whatever they needed or even fancied for their little angel. Everytime we're together, he'd never miss talking about 'dodong', as he'd fondly call, his face always lightening up whenever he was the topic. My boyfriend stood more like baby Cy's father, in the absence of his papa who needed to work abroad for his family.

No one ever thought this was going to happen. He was spoiled by the family and everyone was very fond of him. I remember how I used to carry him into my arms and play with him each time I was with them. I couldn't get enough of him because he was too cute and adorable, nevermind if he drained everyone off their energies because he was hyper, which was normal of babies.

We couldn't believe how one incident could lead to his passing. I feel for Ate Cherry, her anguish over the  babysitter for not telling what really transpired even when medical results showed something did happen; for making false statements about baby Cy, whom she said was 'sickly', just so she could cover up for her negligence; for having the nerve to utter words of nonchalance about what happened and walk freely around town without a hint of remorse.

I am sad this happened to baby Cy. I am sorry this happened to Cy's family. I couldn't bear hearing the pain in Cyril's voice everytime we'd talk on the phone, or see him cry whenever he'd go on videochat. And though it sucks because he's away, all we could do is to be strong and pray.

And though we may never know why God took baby Cy, it is in prayer that we come to understand why this had to happen. It is in submitting, surrendering and lifting up everything to Him wherein we find peace deep within. In time, we will.

Goodbye, Dodong...