Sunday, December 9, 2012

Cosplay Christmas

Boo. I had been too lazy to update my blog for the past few weeks. I know that a lack of inspiration is not an excuse, so if you've been visiting my page and found that there's nothing new to read, my bad!

December started off with super typhoon Pablo, and although it wasn't good a way to kickoff the holiday season, I am so thankful that we were safe here in Cebu as well as my family back home. My thoughts and prayers go out to the victims of Pablo, my fervent hope that they can get back up from its deluge. 

And with the beautiful sun rising up again and our spirits always high, there was no stopping our office Christmas party from happening. This year, we went for the Cosplay theme. 

Cosplay, a portmanteau of the terms costume and play, is an art in which one wears a costume and plays it up with accessories to represent a specific character. Popular cosplay ideas include anime, comic books, manga, video games and films.

There are not a lot of cosplay rentals here in Cebu; and the few existing ones mostly offer costumes limited to anime only. Luckily we were able to find a place in Guadalupe that has a variety of fun cosplay costumes and accessories. Rental is more affordable compared to the others we scoured as well.

I didn't know what character I really wanted to represent but decided to rent this nice, red dress and eureka! I thought this would be perfect for the sexy Red Riding Hood look.


Long lashes and red lips make all that difference. I must say it made me look and feel really sexy.

rodeo hot!

My top three favorites

It was fun and refreshing seeing everyone dress up in their favorite characters. Hands down to my top three favorites, Sailor Moon, Artemis and Selene of the movie Underworld.

Red Riding Hood's fabulous friends

For a self-confessed fashion ennuyeuse like me, events like this can be a breath of fresh air. It makes me look forward to the next time I can play up a little bit of something I'm not much of a player of. And so it makes me wonder...

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Officially engaged!

He asked, and I said Yes! :)

There’s always that one special moment when a man really sweeps you off your feet. It would be your most beautiful, most unforgettable. It happened one beautiful Sunday and I am still on cloud nine. 

I never would have thought that after all that we have been through and having come quite this far, we’d find ourselves to a place worth going further to – to a love that has not only been nurtured on halcyon days, but has worked through tough times. This is where we truly are.  

How could I not forget this? How could you not make me cry? How couldn’t you have taken me by the most beautiful surprise more when you proposed to me in front of the altar at the Basilica de Sto. Nino, took a beautiful ring out of the box, slipped it into my finger, and then said these words “I love you. With God as my witness, will you marry me?” 

How could you not touch my soul?

It was surreal. Beautiful. Perfect. We talked about settling down, yes, but he waited for the right time and he picked the best place to propose. The love that we have for each other wouldn’t be what and where it is now without God in it. Every day I thank God for giving him to me. 

You. My lover, my bestfriend. You, who, have been my pillar of strength, my joy, and my pain even. You, who, continue to fight for me even when I am facing my own demons; even when you have your own battles to deal with. We find ourselves knowing there is more to go, and I do not expect the road we are taking is easy. There was never a doubt in my mind what might lurk for us.  The thorns always come with the rose and that’s what makes it beautiful.

After all that we’ve been through, I know I have found myself to where I truly belong – with you. 

Friday, October 26, 2012

South trip: Terra Manna

I woke up unusually early on a Sunday morning to beat my cousin's ungodly calltime, which was at 4:30 am. We were going to check out a new resort, he had told me. The road all to ourselves, we drove to the south, myself hungry and beating grogginess with crazy convo.

Passing by several towns, we had to make a couple of stops to take photos and just marvel at breathtaking sights.

beautiful Barili sunrise

When we reached Badian, we had to stop several times for directions as there were no pre-approach signs to the resort. A few more stops and a wrong turn later, we finally arrived at Terra Manna. We were warmly welcomed by their staff who helped us how to explore the vast terrain. 

trail leads down to the beach

the spot looks perfect for a date night!

their well is adorned with fresh flowers everyday

Terra Manna's features make it an ideal respite for those who seek to be alone. The view allows the solitary soul to contemplate or meditate. Groups, however, can find that there is something for them here too. Terra Manna has become known a place for happy campers, beach bums, trekkers and even airsoft enthusiasts.

I'm not too sure, though, if it was the resort being surrounded by lush greens that gave me and my cousin mosquito bites. So you might want to bring and apply some insect repellant to keep these mosquitoes at bay.

Maybe if I could've stayed longer - I would've started writing a book, perhaps or finished titles I have put off reading while sipping on their freshly made, ice cold lemonade (which I could not get enough of, by the way).

the restaurant

Good food. Good time.

What's refreshing to note is that Terra Manna has an organic farm, of which the produce are freshly picked, prepared and served in their restaurant. I'd have to give my two thumbs up to their food - from their vegetable dishes, to their pasta, to their desserts. I especially loved their sweet and sour fish. I couldn't count the times I went back to the buffet table to get more of it.

To be blown away by the view is one thing. To enjoy good food is another. But to experience really great service by their staff is what would ultimately make me go back to a place. Terra Manna has all three of these things and I must say the long, early morning drive was worth it.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Shisha, anyone?

For a time, I've been looking all over for a shisha bar here in Cebu City but unsure whether they still exist. So when I happened to spot one when I was in Tagaytay, I decided to give it a try. Together with my good friend Rhea, we went to a shisha bar just across the hotel where we stayed. We were like giddy kids that were all too excited to try something new, for the first time - shisha.

Shisha originated in Persia about 500 years ago and is a water pipe used for smoking. Although it has been argued that shisha is more dangerous than smoking cigarettes, realistically though, much of the tar and nicotine is removed because of the water's filtration process.

Starter lessons, anyone?

We had a tough time picking out the flavor for our shisha but settled for a combination of mint and vanilla.Our shisha session started with the pipe already setup - but we were laughing because we didn't know how to smoke it. We had to call the owner, who was Iranian, to teach us how to smoke the shisha the right way. For hygiene purposes, we were each given a plastic mouthpiece for drawing smoke from the water through the pipe. 

Novel experience: Shisha

You need to make long draws on your pipe to smoke it good, and once the charcoals (placed on top of the disk) is exhausted, or when you notice that you're no longer smoking the flavor of your shisha, then your session is done. 

More than what's in the shisha, the fun part of it is its social element. Shisha is not about what you are smoking, but more of who you are smoking it with. As for me, I can't say shisha is something I'd be doing again - the experience was enough to satisfy my curiosity, but it was fun while it lasted.

Note to the reader: Shisha is not for the fainthearted nor for the worrywart. Unless you have zero tolerance for smoking, shisha is something you might want to try at least once in your life, and enjoy while it lasts.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Crispy Wings hour with Cebu bloggers

Friday snack time's just got better this October with Jollibee's Crispy Wings hour!

I had a fun Friday afternoon with several Cebu bloggers, in which we got to try, for free, Jollibee's newest product, Crispy Wings. With this product just recently launched, you can get to try their delicious Crispy Wings when you dine at Jollibee from 3 to 4 in the afternoon for all Fridays of October. 

Jollibee's newest product: Crispy Wings
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I have and will always love Jollibee's Chickenjoy; but I find that their Crispy Wings tastes delightfully different, but delicious all the same. Fried to golden brown perfection, I love how Crispy Wings gives off that delectable crunch as I bite into it, more so that the inside is juicy, meaty and never dry. Dipping it in its sweet chili sauce is just pure bliss. 

Crispy Wings hour with Cebu bloggers

Together with Cebu bloggers for the Crispy Wings hour, it sure was delightful spending break time with them while munching on free samples of Crispy Wings. They were just as ecstatic as I was to try the new product and were even delighted as I was with its taste as well.

You can enjoy Crispy Wings with fries or rice or even bag a bucket of it for 6 or 12 pieces.

Unsure if chicken makes for a nice snack treat?Try Jollibee Crispy Wings for a change and be delighted. 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Plagiarism and the pathetic politician

Tito Sotto is at it again. The last part of his 'turno en contra' Tagalog speech against the RH bill on Aug 29 turned out to have been a translation of a speech delivered by the late US senator Robert Kennedy. 

Ooops, he did it again!

As if getting into hot water for accusations of plagiarizing parts of blogger Sarah Pope's work was not enough, I wonder what part of plagiarism Sotto does not understand. I don't think any person with half a brain does not comprehend what plagiarism means, and why it is never okay to commit such. 

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, you commit plagiarism if you commit any of the following: 
  • steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one's own
  • use (another's production) without crediting the source
  • commit literary theft
  • present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source.

What appalls me is that even when it's right smack in the face that he copied, he still does not own up to his mistakes and even attempts to wiggle his way out of a wrong act by blabbing out illogical statements, saying plagiarism is not a crime. 

Seriously, is Sotto implying that it's okay to copy from someone else's work and take credit for it because it is not punishable by law? A simply laughable argument coming from a so-called lawmaker without even trying to be funny at all.

And then he cries crying foul for being a victim of cyber bullying. Who put it upon himself anyway?

I couldn't be more irked because as a writing enthusiast, I am well aware of the fact that in writing, plagiarism is a mortal sin, as much as it is for other forms of intellectual theft and other acts of fraud. This has always been a precept I've lived by since college, when I had poured out so much of my heart and soul into writing and journalism. I've worked three jobs all as a writer, and it even made more sense to me the tackiness of it all. We even had to put our articles through a software to check for duplicate content or if they were all original.

Whenever I am invited to conduct writing workshops for budding writers, I always tell these students to never plagiarize, emphasizing the importance of avoiding it at all times. And if I had to choose between reading a badly written but original copy from a well written but copied one, you know what I'd go for.

What makes my blood pressure shoot up a hundred degrees more is that Sotto continues to open his mouth, lying yet again and shooting lousy tirades against his critics. For crying out loud, why can't he just say sorry anyway? What could be easier a way for him and people to move on than to admit he wronged and acknowledge those whom he ought to give credit to? 

Hungarian president Pal Scmitt resigned when it was found that his doctorate thesis was copied from two authors. Fareed Zakaria, writer and TV host for Time Magazine and CNN, respectively, apologized for plagiarizing an article on gun control. Even Manny Pangilinan took himself fully responsible for a plagiarism controversy that involved him, of which he retired as Ateneo de Manila's chair of the board of trustees. Sotto's arrogance and defiance on back-to-back plagiarism issues confronting him makes me wonder, what is he really standing up for?

How do we expect public officials to serve the country with hard work if even a seemingly simplistic task of delivering a speech is actually done out of an easy, breezy cut, copy, paste function? 

How do we expect public officials to serve the country with truthfulness and integrity if they have been shamelessly copying from other's ideas (and lying through their teeth that they didn't)? 

How do we expect public officials to advance and protect the rights of people if even they themselves outright disrespect others by copying their works and passing it off as their own? 

Now, one wonders who gets more ridicule - Sotto who remains stubborn for all the wrong reasons or the public who put him there in the first place?

Friday, July 20, 2012

Up high in Tagaytay

Ready with a good camera; a pen and notepad for scribbling random thoughts, and a buddy with a devil-may-care travelling attitude, of course, spur-of-the-moment trips can sometimes be more fun and exciting than the ones you plan. 

My good friend Rhea and I have been planning to go to Vigan for the weekend but upon learning that the universe did not conspire to make the plan happen (yet), we opted to go to Tagaytay instead. 

From Baclaran, we took a bus to Tagaytay, which was about a two to three-hour ride. Tricycles are the main  mode of transportation in Tagaytay and can get you around the city easily. There are jeepneys too, but the routes are definite and you have to wait for them, thus, may take you longer to get to where you want to go. 

Breezing through Tagaytay made me forget about the hot and humid madness of Metro Manila and Cebu. The cool climate makes it a popular spot among locals and tourists who want to get away from the city's hustle and bustle. 

Our first stop was at the Tagaytay Picnic Grove, where we got a picturesque view of Taal Lake. I'd love to come back here with my family, spend quality time whilst enjoying the breathtaking view with them.

The ground was muddy post rain, making it quite uncomfortable for me to walk around in my slippers. Some areas, with it's somewhat steep orientation, have sadly become a dumping site for trash, an eyesore that obviously do not go well with the lush green surroundings. 

Tagaytay Picnic Grove

It was already late afternoon, perfect time to go to what I've found as the perfect spot to get a magnificent view of the sunset - People's Park in the Sky. And boy, we sure weren't disappointed. 

View from the top. Rustic charm.

Here comes the sun. It goes, and we're all in awe

Although with happy souls, our muscles were tired from moving about the entire day. It was then time for a relaxing massage at the hotel's spa. 

O Spa at One Tagaytay Place

The next day, Rhea and I took a bus to Nasugbu to check out Sonya's Garden. We got off at Buck Estate and then rode a tricycle that would take us there. Travel time takes roughly about thirty minutes from Olivarez. 

Just one of the garden's many wonders in full bloom

Busy taking pictures hehe

A downside, perhaps, of a spontaneous trip is that the impulse that comes with it may make you forget about  what to take well note of (like bringing cash, as there are not a lot of ATMs in sight or that only a few hotels accept credit cards) or what other interesting places to see, aside from the most popular and highly visited ones.

But then again, spur-of-the-moment trips can give you that unexplainable, often fulfilling sense of high not knowing what to know, and yet still having the balls to go with it. And if it means satisfying my inner nomad, which to me is a lot better than only getting stuck in my comfort zone.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

BELOw the belt advertising

My brows still creasing, I wonder if that Belo ad, which promotes skin whitening products for men was well thought out, or if the people behind the said concept were in their right minds to have come up with such. I've always been a staunch believer of responsible advertising - it's impact does not just rest on how creative the ad is, but the kind of message it delivers to people. I see nothing creative nor intelligent about this Belo ad at all.

The visual aspect of the ads could be forgiven, more so forgotten - it was not enough to tickle my fancy. But more than the visual works, the copy just made the ad below the belt, slapping one's intelligence as if people do not think at all. 

Maybe if I were the approving authority of this ad, I'd take a good look at the copy and examine it more deeply, putting myself not just in the shoes of those I am marketing the product to, but to those who can see the ad when it goes up and live.

I would change everything about this ad. Everything about it is misleading and offers no inherent value, even if, say I'm offering this to a more discerning market.

My take on the ads would be these:

Ad A.) A guy being surrounded by ladies.

Argument: Qualify, not quantify. The measure of a man is not by the number of ladies he has, has had or can score, but the kind of person he is towards them, and to everyone else.  

Ad B.) An elderly man introducing the guy as his future son-in-law to his friends. 

Argument: Any doting father would not mind if his daughter's future husband had bright white or dark skin, as long as he is confident that he could give her a bright future.

Ad C.) A guy throwing his car keys to a valet.

Argument: A whiter complexion does not equate to being 'sosyal'. On a personal note, I'd never go for a guy who speaks conyo. It's like hearing nails scratching on a chalkboard.

So much for the Streisand effect on the ad, this was recently pulled out after receiving so much flak. I'm not sure if the 'creative team' behind this were not aware of that Bayo ad gone haywire or if they just haven't learned from it.

Apologies have already been issued. And so this soon shall pass and die in no time.

Lesson learned: Creativity can go a long way, but a little sensitivity makes a big difference.

Saturday, May 26, 2012


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1. Ladies, if you suspect or catch your partner cheating on you, never confront the other woman.  Yes, I've been cheated on twice in my past relationships and yes, it hurt big time. And if you ask me if I’ve been in that spot when the other woman was willing to play second fiddle to me, believe me, you have no idea. 

How I had reacted when I found out I‘d been cheated on was a far cry from what is commonly depicted in movies and teledramas where :  (1) two ladies meet face to face, exchange civil pleasantries, talk about the same man and then emotions spiral out of control during the course of the meeting.  Or there’s the more entertaining scene where (2) the lady meets the other woman face to face, engage in cheap talk, slap each other's faces and a cat fight ensues for more drama.

You get angry of course. You get angrier at your man and the other woman even. Sure you may find her to be at fault too; after all, it takes two tango. But no, you don’t confront HER. Firstly, the relationship is between you and your man. Not you and her. You don’t talk to her and ask about the score between them. You will never find the real answers to your questions. You put your trust in your man and he broke that, so why pin your anger on her?

Confront the other woman? And what, waste my time?

Besides, if your man really loved you, he wouldn’t have bitten the bait. If he really loved you, he would be strong enough not to give in to the seemingly bewitching but dangerous sorcery of an affair outside of your relationship. If he really loved you, he would have long called off and cut ties with her. But he didn’t, did he? Think about it.

Unless you’re willing to fight for him all the way, you can  drop your trust issues, take him back and forget about it or stand by him and remain suspicious. Whatever makes you happy. In my case, I cried a river, dumped the jerk, licked my wounds and got back on track. I've never been happier now.

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2. You can be happy with Mr. Right, and still get attracted to someone else. Reality check, even if you find the right person, there will always be someone who is better than him/her – more good looking, more intelligent, funnier, more sensible. There is nothing wrong if you find yourself getting attracted to someone else. It is instinctive and you can’t always control that. What you can do about it, though, is how you deal with it. The ball is totally in your court, you are not forced to act on it anyway. 

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3. A person's confidence is based on experience. So don't be afraid to experiment. While it pays to try to do good and be good, it makes sense to be bad sometimes. That's why you need those juvenile, sl***y, fuzzy moments to find out what you like, experiment and get it out of your system. In the words of Mark Twain, "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." He couldn't have hit the nail more right on the head. Let loose a little but never forget to pray.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Awesome Avengers iMax experience

Jollibee recently teamed up with Marvel as part of its exciting slate of summer activities, that which includes an exclusive feature film presentation of this year's epic superhero adventure, The Avengers. The Jollibee Avengers iMax screening is a treat to lucky Jollibee customers for purchasing its limited edition Jollibee products and merchandise (just one of the reasons to be excited and look forward to upcoming Jollibee promos).

I felt really lucky to watch the exclusive screening of The Avengers premier at SM City's iMax theater last Wednesday for free, along with colleagues and friends from the media. (just one of the reasons why it's fun being a Bee!)

This superhero film is based on the Marvel comics of the same name, featuring a team of iconic superhuman characters namely Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, The Hulk, Hawkeye and Black Widow. 

I'm not really big on action films, let alone superhero stories. But watching The Avengers on iMax gave me a cinematic experience that's a breath of fresh air - new, different and exciting a whole lot. I found myself chuckling at Tony Stark's witty one liners; gushing over Loki's sinister yet charming looks; laughing hysterically when The Hulk was slamming Loki like a rag doll and just being completely awed and absorbed by its fast pace, thrilling action and spectacular visual effects.

Needless to say, I finished the 142-minute flick impressed with its unfaltering level of fun and excitement, myself contemplating a second viewing.The Avengers is definitely best to watch on iMax, I must say. 

With all that Avengers hype, I now know why it fulfills.

And we all had fun! (My Bee family)

Monday, April 2, 2012

When I was little...

with my sister 

1. I'd borrow my mama's chalk and eraser, write shilly-shallies on walls and play little teacher with my sister as the student. Then we would switch roles. 

2. I'd treat my wounds by myself. I didn't like mama telling me the "I told you" tirade because I loved playing out and about a lot. 

3. I'd sit up straight on a table holding a newspaper and read out loud like I was a news anchor.

4. I'd direct a play using small, empty bottles as characters. I did the arrangements, script, voice-overs, the works. It was fun and a lot better than having a dollhouse! 

5. I'd make my own chocolate recipes - pudding, cookie fudge, cake - using soil. :)

6. I'd stop whatever I was doing whenever mama came home from work. She always brought something I really liked. 

7. I'd make coffee for my papa & serve it to him whenever he got home from work. I still remember putting too much sugar in it, but he'd drink it anyway. :)

8. Powdered milk was my favorite snack. Mama would keep the milk jar out of my reach and close the lid so tight because she knew why it was easily consumed. :)

9. I'd ask a lot of questions, it tested my mama's patience and intelligence. Haha

10. I loved to read: children's stories, textbooks, Ibon facts and figures, mama's Economics books, novels that had racy covers, descriptions on product labels, even my papa's electronics references (haha).  I carry on this love for reading until now. 

Oh my happy childhood. 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Magnum mad(ness)

It's amazing what viral power social media holds, it did a pretty good job not just at heightening my curiosity about, but also getting me to buy, a product that is highly trending on popular social networking sites, that which is Magnum.

Magnum is an international ice cream brand made with Belgian chocolate, which is said to be one, if not, the finest chocolate in the world. This ice cream on a stick comes in three flavors, namely, Classic, Almond and Chocolate Truffle and is available in supermarkets and convenience stores.

My first few attempts at scoring a Magnum were in vain, coming home empty handed as the bars easily sold out really quick. And when my Facebook and Twitter became even more flooded with photos and tweets of people gloating about it, that was when I started to get sick. If it wasn't my crazy ice cream craving nagging me to try it, perhaps it was this gnawing feeling that this was just another hype. 

They say the proof of the pudding is in the tasting. Much to my chagrin, I could simply say that Magnum is all hype. Yes, it is good (the Belgian chocolate coating is surprisingly thick and the inside is rich and creamy) but it is not the kind of ice cream I'd come back for more of - probably not even when I feel like indulging.

Shelling out fifty bucks for a pop doesn't even sound practical an idea for me either.  In fact, I'm better off with dirty ice cream, it's a lot cheaper and yummier even. 

If you haven't tried Magnum yet, don't expect too high. At the end of the day, it's still ice cream, plain and simple. Many may relish in pompous gaiety sinking their teeth into a Magnum, but what difference does it really make if you just simply want to enjoy the kick out of a universal comfort food that is ice cream? Is it the social media hype? The high profile brand ambassadors? The seemingly ridiculous designer ice cream price? Certainly not.

Hypes. They sizzle so hot and then they fizzle out cold. Who knows what will make of this ice cream when all the brouhaha dies down. Think of Coney Island ice cream - once a fad, now a dud.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Jealous, I am

I am a self-professed drama queen, guilty of throwing tantrums at my boyfriend when it comes to jealousy. He’d just laugh about it, a quality that is so endearing of him. And when he’s past the bemusement of it, I’m just glad he has extra patience to deal with me whenever I throw yet another fit.

I surmise that the size of my green-eyed monster may just be too big. It makes me wonder a number of things: if there ever lived a person who’s never jealous; if my jealousy is beyond normal; and when too much jealousy is enough.

Amazingly, there are just some who are good at hiding their emotions, so much so that they may not, at all, appear jealous of other people. With all confidence, I know that my boyfriend still gets jealous whenever some guys come around, despite his calm and collected stance. But yes, he sure knows how to handle his jealousy well. He is the type who doesn’t seem to worry about other guys because there is nothing he can do about it anyway. He can only do so much to change the guy’s behavior, let alone mine.

I guess I should just hoist my white flag up – he has always shown maturity in all his ways, allowing him to understand that even if he may not like it, get pissed at the other guys or prolly get hurt if I bite the bait, he can never change my actions by getting jealous. He has a hold on my demon, a terrible force that can break anything it gets its way on. Perhaps, I could learn from his ways and just chill.

But just when is too much jealousy enough? A little jealousy sure won’t hurt, but I admit that I couldn’t have too much of it. I get jealous to the point that I turn into a psycho, bursting into tears thinking he might have bumped into this girl on one of his ‘long days’. I become a stalker too, forcing him to give me his password to his Facebook account, in a bid to never be caught off-guard. As if it’s not enough, I even pick fights over imaginary people and circumstances that are mere figments of my imagination.

To many people, (including you perhaps), you’d think of me to be overboard. I have been warned that if I do not mellow down, he might dump me. I honestly don’t care. Anything in between can happen in a relationship. And when it comes to jealousy, it’s not the extent of jealousy that matters but how both partners deal with it.

My boyfriend has been putting up with my shitty behavior and I’m thankful that he's still there, hanging on for dear life (lol). If only it were easier for me to understand that there really is nothing for me to worry about. So what if his face lightens up whenever I mention about two of his major crushes? What is it to me if his ex’s number registers on his “Missed Calls” list? What do I care if he compliments other chicks for being bountiful there?

He is with me. He chooses to be with me. As long as we both feel that way about each other, I guess that’s more than enough to banish whatever insecurity there is.

Easier said than done for now, really. I’ll learn to get past this eventually, though.

Friday, February 10, 2012

That terrible Monday

That moment when the floor shook, I thought it was fine and would simply go away. But when treble  started to come alongside the tremor, the shaking getting more intense as if the building was going to tear down, that was when I got really scared.

It was a good thing everyone in the office tried to be as calm as possible, even when we could tell from one another's faces how frightened we all were. From the 12th floor of the building, we took the stairs all the way down to the open field where everyone else gathered for safety.

It was a 6.8-magnitude earthquake that struck the city, alongside other parts of Visayas. The town of Guihulngan in Negros Oriental was said to be hit the worst, leaving several casualties and injured people from landslides and ruined infrastructure.

Although earthquakes aren't new to me, this one scared me a lot, it was as if I experienced something freakishly new. The aftershocks, which are said to still be felt for about two weeks, is perhaps the reason why people are still talking mad about what happened that terrible Monday.

Terrible, you can say that again. You wouldn't believe the chaos that happened out there in the streets were actually for real, all because of word that a tsunami was looming, which was a mere hoax all along. People panicked. There was pandemonium almost everywhere.

There is only so much one can do when it comes to preparing oneself in the event of a disaster such as this. You can never be too sure you can even think you know what to do when it happens, as it happens. This I've learned, that terrible Monday.

However difficult it may seem for one to remain as calm as possible, not allowing panic to get the better of you could save you a whole lot than letting it simply run your mind.

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Monday, January 23, 2012

Remembering Mama

Make that twelve years ago when it would be the last time I'd see her. It would be the last time we'd talk, the last that I'd see her smile.

'Be good", that was what she told me, her voice frail, her breathing ragged. I'd listen to every word she said, although she no longer said much anymore.

She had some fight going in her. I saw it in the way she looked at me. She was trying to fight back. But somehow she had lost the fight. She succumbed to it.

That was twelve years ago when I lost my hero to breast cancer. That person was my mother.

There is never a day that I don't miss her. And each time I look at myself, the pain of missing her hurts even more because I've grown up to be a spitting image of her.

There is never a day that I don't long for her, wishing she was still here to celebrate with me in my happy, glorious days, even more so to back me up when I'm down in the rut. After all, she was the person I'd first run to whenever I had something great to share or whenever I needed help.

I miss saying the word 'Mama' and having someone to call that, because there is no one else that could ever take her place; no one who loved me more than she did. I still long to hear her infectious laughter, and the things she used to tell me are still fresh in my mind. But she was gone too soon.

She didn't get to put a medal around my neck with Papa when I got an award at my highschool graduation.

She didn't get to have me as a student in Economics in college, something which she really looked forward to.

She wasn't able to beam with so much pride when everyone else congratulated me for 'causing trouble' in school.

She didn't get to cheer me on when I got my first job and celebrate the sweet reapings of the first pay with me.

She never got to meet the guy whom she prayed would be right for me.

All that's left with me are joyful, lasting memories of her - the blessing of having her as my mother even though her physical presence may be shortlived. She may be smiling and looking on with pride for the good deeds I've done, or perhaps frowning upon the boo-boos I may have gotten myself into, because deep in my heart and mind, I know she is and will always be with me.

I love you, Ma.