Dig Deep πŸ’›πŸ’›πŸ’›

Currently listening to two well-known, Asian MUAs, Veronica Chu and Christine Cho on Instagram Live talk about Asian hate, which has mostly been a recurring topic among my friends and I on social media for the past days.

If you have been spending time with loved ones this Holy Week and chose to get off social media for a bit, you might have missed the latest occurrences that shookdtdtdt the world and the Filipino/Asian community the past days. The news is already bad as it is, but with the sudden rise in attacks on Asians today and the plague that is Coronavirus, one would think that the world might really be coming to an end. Or it’s probably just me.

Just a few days ago, a 65-year old Filipina walking to Church in NYC was brutally attacked by a man in broad daylight. The security camera footage released by the police was harrowing to watch as the man kicked the Filipina several times; and the 2 men who witnessed the assault closed the door on her.

And last week, a Pakistani Uber Eats driver was killed in a carjacking incident by 2 teenage girls. It was filmed by one of the girls and just as the NYC incident, was also very painful to see.

I talked to my Indian friend about this, who was watching the Day 2 trial of Derek Chauvin (who else thinks that he might be living up to his name?) at the time; and unlike most of us who get our news on Twitter or on online platforms, he gets his on traditional, mainstream media. He insists that he wasn’t aware of the fact that Asians are being hugely discriminated against now, more than ever. He did, however confirmed this with his friend who currently resides in NYC. Said friend did say that it has been going on for a while now, but he observed that the attacks were mostly on East Asians, whom these attackers might be blaming for the global pandemic.

I also talk to my friends about this constantly and somehow because of these discriminatory crimes lately, we can’t help but air shared sentiments of completely aborting plans to migrate to another country in the near future. This brings me back to this episode on Racism by one of my favorite podcasts, “Long Distance Radio”.

Around this time last year, they published an episode called “Racism in the Time of Coronavirus”. It was not long since the countries were put on lockdown then when they released the episode, but thinking about it now, this AAPI hate has really been going on for a while now, maybe even prior to when this virus blew up, just not as violent as it is today.

You can listen to the said episode here:

I do get that people are tired of the pandemic, the crisis, wearing of masks, the loneliness, of unemployment and the of the hunger this entails. And when we are hungry and tired, we say and do inexplainable things; but those should not justify the violence that has gone up to a point of normalcy. It has gone mainstream and people, even kids act as if these actions don’t have consequences anymore.

I am truly sorry for everyone in the world right now. We are all victims of this pandemic, but despite being in a difficult situation myself, I cannot just go around blaming random people on the street just because they’re Chinese. Otherwise, all these fight for equality are completely pointless.

I cannot wait to for all of us to be in better circumstances soon. As the Lenten Season comes to an end, I really pray that when we find ourselves brimming with negativity, with hopelessness and even hate, we dig deep within us and look for that one thing that Jesus died on the cross for us ALL! πŸ™πŸ™πŸ™πŸ˜‰πŸ’–

I’m Just a Girl, Sitting in Front of Her Laptop, Asking it to Write for Her

Char!

It took me a whole season of Bridgerton to finally put up a new post. It’s been a while and I’m pretty sure I was inspired by Lady Whistledown or by some strange surge of energy at 10 in the evening after a long, busy day at work. By work, I mean, field work. Yes! I am no longer trapped in the constraints of my bedroom and glued to my computer screen all day. I can finally breathe fresh, contaminated air again. Char! (again).

I wanna say I had a blast of a Christmas vacation, but toned down to about a hundred notches lower, but still, family time is all I wanted and I’m very glad I got it. Mama couldn’t bear the thought of having a Zoom party, so despite the risks, we still celebrated Christmas physically together! Glad everyone was healthy and happy even though the closest thing to a family holiday roadtrip we had was when my brother and I picked up our relatives in Novaliches. Oh, but we did get our quick roadtrip pala to Tagaytay a day before we went back here in Cebu and when my barkada celebrated our annual Christmas party at my friends’ place in Antipolo. Also got to meet my constant Christmas date, my good friend from college for lunch, at our fave date spot, Makati. Plus, I got tons of film rolls processed, so I must say, I am soooooo lucky I am still Covid-free to date.

Now, I am back in Cebu, but assigned in a different territory. Got myself a printer, finally, which I bought in less than half an hour due to limited choices (to which I am so thankful for). I’ve been printing, scanning and photocopying so much stuff during the first week. LOL. Also got an internet broadband installed so I’m looking forward to saving lots in the coming months! Got highlights for my hair for the first time back when I was at home and I couldn’t be more in love with my new look. Had a dental appointment last week and explained my situation to the dentist and she agreed to continue my treatment for the next 6-8 months as long as I get my old records from my former orthodontist. I’ve also been working out consistently since last year, so really hoping to trim my tummy a bit, with the help of our 15 RF + Cavi sessions. Got myself one of those laptop stands and a pair of 6-lb dumbells. Arriving in a few days are my Wheatgrass and Barley seeds, new Yoga mat and a resistance band, and my hydroponic seedling trays. I have got to write about my Shopee haul on a separate post and how I managed to control myself. LOL. So much happening these days, I didn’t realize til I wrote them all down now.

That’s my 2021 so far. Met a lot of people too so I am almost always talking to someone on the daily. Assigned to a new team and a new boss as well, which was a breath of fresh air. My new counterpart told me once that he has a good feeling about this year and I agreed, not just to agree, but because I genuinely felt the same way. Things are looking up for me and in writing all of these down now, I realize that I cannot let that one bad thing that happened to me this year at work pull me down. I have so much to be grateful for.

I have this pinned tweet on twitter dated January 3, 2020 and it says:

And it all went downhill from there. Lol. Kidding aside, I have been actually doing more this year rather than just telling myself to do them. And I keep this tweet pinned to this day as a reminder of the things that I still want to improve on.

I know we’ve heard a lot about TOXIC POSITIVITY in the past year. If it wasn’t the official phrase of 2020 then it’s probably Tiktok, Sushi Bake or Free Shipping; but knowing that it exists isn’t going to stop me from hoping for the best. I am still hopeful for a beautiful life, not because it will be picture or IG perfect but because I have learned a lot from the past and I am determined to keep my shit together and pray for grace, gratitude and peace pf mind for whatever is up ahead. I hope you do too!

Film photo by yours truly. Art inspired by Geloy Concepcion.

xoxo,

Life Lately / At My Worst

My boyfriend and I had an argument the other night and it took a turn for the worst or best (depending on how you look at it). I thought it will be the end of our month-old relationship. It was a wake up call for me and I’m grateful that we had that fight; otherwise, I wouldn’t have this huge epiphany.

I’ve been single for 4 years and this whole dating thing has always been just temporary for me the past years. I never met anyone again who took me seriously which I have long accepted, as well as the fact that I might end up in a perpetual state of singleness. I was so afraid to let my guard down and I wouldn’t let anyone come close again as I don’t want to get fucked up even more than I already am.

Then came this person whom I never thought I’d end up with. If you remember, a few entries back, I was talking about a different person whom I was head over heels smitten by, and back then, my boyfriend was just someone I talked to casually, never even flirtatiously. Who would’ve thought he would have all the things I’m looking for in a partner, including being able to help me out with my personal issues.

So two nights ago, he brought up some of those issues, which he observed about me in a span of a month and I was caught off guard. That semi-stressful conversation was WHAT I NEEDED to help me think through some of the things I needed to improve on myself. It was an intervention I never thought would slap me hard in the face, at least not this early into the relationship; but I’m glad it did.

So in order to make things better for us and more importantly for ME, I’m listing the issues I need to work on:

  1. My negative and giving-a-fuck-about-everything attitude/mindset
  2. My insecurities and self pity
  3. My immaturity (turned 31 years old a few days ago, need to keep up with my age lol)
  4. My PDPG attitude (I need to really and only SAY WHAT I MEAN and MEAN WHAT I SAY)

I also listed these things in my private journal when I woke up this morning and I am 101% committed to be better!

And that’s me, basically at my worst and just as Pink Sweat$’ lyrics say, “I need somebody who can love me at my worst and know that I’m not perfect but still see my worth” and I think I found him. Not to jinx this or anything, but really I am blessed to have met this beautiful person!

P.S. Discovered this song through him!

Landi in Time of Corona

A few months into the quarantine, I finally downloaded “Bumble” to see what the fuss is about and because I was bored and curious AF. It was overwhelming and fun while it lasted, but today, I uninstalled it (again), hoping that this would be the last time that I do so! LOL.

This was the first time ever that I tried a dating app, because a) I didn’t wanna get caught using it and b) I am very much aware that dating apps are really just hook up apps. So since I was a dating app virgin, I tried the mildest of them all, or so I thought.

3 of my friends all tried dating apps and for a time, I was amused by their stories of endless dates, rejections, even ghosting which is pretty much a big part of online dating. One of them found true love on the app and we are all very happy for her because her now boyfriend is a really good man and we are all witnesses to that, and they are a perfect fit!

With all that giddy feeling in mind, I thought why not give it a try? It wasn’t til a few weeks into the lockdown, that I decided to give it a go. Being the noob that I am, I took the time to make my profile interesting, and saw how that brought about overwhelming responses. The swiping was too easy for me. I have to admit though, I did swipe right to those I am physically attracted to initially, but that was just the first step to my meticulous “screening process”. I also took time to go through the rest of their profiles and read their stuff to see if their physique is not the only thing that makes them attractive. So obviously, some of the good looking ones also did not make the cut. Ang taas ng standards! Ganda ka teh?

To be fair, those I met were artists, designers, software engineers, photographers and they turned out to be interesting conversationalists. I always loved meeting new people and the app was a good avenue for that. Although most of them never really stayed long, some surprisingly did and I get to talk to until now.

I think it was a month after I signed up that I met this guy. He is my type (duh). I didn’t realize that he looked middle eastern-ish/Indian til one of my friends brought it up (yes sorry nacurious ang friends ko so pinakita ko sa kanila). I liked that he had a tattoo band on his arm (which later on he told me was a Polynesian pattern) and that he also liked to go to Iceland (which is a country I am in love with but never told him). Apparently, we turned out to be a match and I wasn’t disappointed as he was very funny (always a pogi point for me), and that we really jived. Later on, after days of chatting in English, I found out that he was Tagalog too and just moved here to Cebu when he was in high school. Pinahirapan pa ko mag-English! So that was a bit refreshing as all of the other guys where either foreigners or Bisaya. (So I would always chat with them mostly in English or sometimes, when I am feeling a bit confident, I try to converse in Bisaya.) There was one red flag though, he is a fuck boy and he clearly told me early on that he had commitment issues, but I brushed that off, which was the start of a disaster waiting to happen. LOL.

So there I was, flirting with the guy that I found more attractive as days passed. He works at PAL, he’s half Indian and half Ilocano (another similarity we have, but never told him). He lives alone here in Cebu, because according to him, his dad travels a lot, and his sister lives in Canada. He didn’t say anything about his mom, and I never asked because I didn’t want to intrude. And he didn’t share a lot about his personal life, so I did the same (fuck boy alert #2). Weeks after, I sensed that he got bored and suddenly became inconsistent and made excuses about work (of course, I know everyone’s talking to a whole bunch of other people at the same time). When I felt that he was feeling disinterested, I talked to him about it in a casual way of course, and I could not forget that last conversation we had because he called me “clingy”. In a way that offended me, so I did what I felt like my escape plan if things get ugly, I blocked him and then eventually, deleted the app. LOL.

I went back to Bottled, which is an app that used to be just for meeting decent people around the world, but now turned out to be so much like a dating app. For two weeks, I tried meeting new people and flirted a bit (coz it was much easier to flirt with foreigners), one even became a really good friend and guess what, he’s Indian!

A few weeks after, I realized I missed Bumble guy so bad and decided to reinstall the app to see if he was still on there (pathetic alam ko!). First day on the app, I quickly swiped on guys just so I could get to the end of the list. Sadly he wasn’t there anymore, but instead of deleting the app, I decided I’ll try meeting new guys again. The next day, there was a bunch of new guys on my feed, so I swiped for the sake of swiping and right about the end, I saw a familiar face! It was him! He was back! I froze and wondered if it would be pathetic to swipe right on a guy I blocked the first time. Good thing, Bumble lets you see the guys who have swiped right on you (except that the photos are blurred), but you could still make out the guys through the colors and shapes on their main photo) and I saw that he did swiped right on me again. This blog post would probably end here if I didn’t swipe right back, right? But thinking that he was the reason I reinstalled the app, it would be a waste to let it go, so I did swiped right again. Landi diba? Teka ano bang title nito? LOL.

As they say, it was landi the second time around. LOL. Since girls had to initiate convos on Bumble, I dropped him a message , which I could not remember what exactly but it was something about meeting him again there. LOL.

We did talk for a bit that night and on the next few days, but since we were both busy with work, I got used to talking to him less than we used to, but we still did. I think it was also that time when I agreed to finally meet him. I knew it was risky as he worked at the airport and the virus was worse than ever, but I was curious as to how he was like in person, so we met for the first time right after I parted with my friends one Saturday night. I remember meeting him before 7pm and almost all the establishments were closing. He was cute, but kinda got turned off by what he was wearing. LOL. It wasn’t anything special. He made an excuse to get his wallet from his car when we decided to get milk teas. I sensed it being a fuckboy move so I quickly paid for my own milk tea. We talked and since I was nervous, I was laughing a lot. Also, I knew what he was thinking at the time. He was kinda quiet and before we parted ways, he asked me to go to the airport (he mentioned about the need to meet the passengers of the last flight they had that night) with him, in his car, but I declined. Fuckboy alert #3!

We met again for the second time after that, and it was on the night before Cebu city was declared to go back under ECQ. Again, whatever he was thinking of doing that night didn’t happen. A few weeks after, we talked less and less and then, I remember blocking him the second time around like what I do with guys I lose interest in, only that time, I did not delete the app.

Weeks passed, I sort of forgot about him until one day, I received a text from an unknown number. I didn’t know that he actually saved my number. I knew it was him, but I ignored it. A few hours after, he called. I picked up and I pretended that I didn’t read his message and I that I didn’t know who he was. And then we started talking again. Ang rupok diba?

Then we also added each other on WhatsApp and after a few weeks of flirting (again), we agreed to meet by my place (he had checkpoint privileges so he can go wherever he wants). It was a Sunday night when he came to visit his friend who lives nearby, sent a selfie and asked if he can drop by. My heart was pounding, I was excited to see him again after a long time on ECQ. He was looking good as ever with the right amount of facial hair just as I like it (which he knows). He didn’t seem tipsy even though he said they downed 7-8 Red Horse bottles. I couldn’t let him in our place so we just stayed in his car and talked. He still didn’t get what he wanted LOL except for momol galore, but I couldn’t do it and that was the third time I turned him down.

After months of talking to my friends about it, I thought that there was probably nothing wrong with getting into a FWB arrangement with Bumble guy. We just had to be safe every time, right? And of course, biggest rule of all, I CANNOT FALL FOR THE GUY, EVER! It was pretty easy, but at that time, I knew I liked him a lot already, which was a red flag for me. Then when I was constantly thinking about it, an Instagram post suddenly slapped me in the face out of nowhere and I knew it was God telling me, to take heed.

So, when he texted me last week, I had to turn him down, for good. I was gonna ghost him again (I blocked him on WhatsApp prior to this), but then I manned up and told him I couldn’t do it. I never have and I don’t think I ever can. It is tempting, but I know myself well enough to see that I will eventually fall for him if ever I do the whole fubu thing. Inasmuch as I like him and wanna do so many things to him (CHOS!!), I had to choose myself over him, because I love myself too much.

So now, I ask myself yet again, why do I always attract wolves in sheep’s clothing? Or kind assholes? LOL. To be fair, it was fun while it lasted and I know that these guys I meet are probably good people (otherwise I wouldn’t be attracted to them in the first place). They’re just not the right guys for me. So I’m taking a break from Bumble for the 2nd time around and hopefully, there won’t be a need for me to go back. It is exhausting after all, to constantly meet new people and to be in a perpetual “getting to know you” stage. I could tell why some of my friends also stopped using the app, but at least I got to satisfy my curiosity and on this day, this experiment is overrrr! LOL!

It’s gonna be a while before I get over this, so for now, I’ll listen to these songs and laugh at myself for this epic fail at love again!

https://open.spotify.com/embed/playlist/4VSJ1HHphoMbPgoMKw4vsv

xoxo,

Life Lately / I Finished a Book and I Liked It

As much as I would like to brag about my long list of completed web series and movies or the tons of dishes I made during this lockdown, none of those can compare to the pride and joy that finishing a book brings, at least for me.

You see, I’m a book hoarder. I’ve been to numerous book bazaars since I started earning my own money. I even went out at 3:30 in the morning once to get to the Big Bad Wolf bazaar here in Cebu. Sadly, I also have a habit of reading only a couple of chapters before moving on to the next book that pique my interest, mostly mood-dependent. It is either that or I have the attention span of a toddler. This is why I couldn’t help but dance to the first of many victories (fingers crossed) in my 2020 book challenge.

Being a fan of Mark Manson‘s writing, I’ve also come to learn one or two of his reading habits, which motivated me to finally pick up my phone (yes, I am also an e-book hoarder) and finish at least one book that I started.

He shared a tip on how to remember stuff you read. The secret is not everyone can do so, not even him which is understandable as he reads A LOOOOOOT of books, but he makes sure that he remembers what the book is all about; and when he wants to refresh his memory, he simply goes back to re-read the specific chapters.

I also read somewhere that it is okay to read a couple of books alternately, especially when you want to take a break from the first one. This tip might have been from Mark too, but I’m not completely sure (see?). All I know is that I couldn’t agree more, because it’s what I do with TV series sometimes. And personally, it works for me!

Upon reaching the very last word of this first ever pandemic book, first thing I did was to immediately log it on my Goodreads “READ” list. Book is Bo Sanchez “How To Find Your One True Love”, which I found to be helpful in love and life alike. His tips registered to me as life hacks too as most of them can be very useful in making general life decisions and not only in matters of the heart.

I am also proud to say that I actually bought this e-book along with other FEAST BOOKS (mostly about career and finance) during their website sale a few weeks back. These are probably the only electronic books I bought apart from the ones I got from this e-book seller on Instagram, @thepinkreaderph about 5-6 years ago.

While I am on the topic, I’s also want to thank Amielle for sharing her hack on how to find free e-books online. Thanks to you, my reader is overflowing with books that I can’t help but gush over and hope to read this year!

So along with my goal to increase my daily fluid intake, to work out at least 3x a week, write more blog entries and commit to my night time regimen, I am also committing to read at least 10 more books before the year ends! I’ll still be reading a lot of short form writing such as my forever favorite, MEDIUM articles and Mark Manson MFM newsletters, but I am motivated than ever to finish more books this year! Hope you do too!