Saved

Mama and I just finished watching Titanic. I found our old VCDs earlier and ended up watching the first half of Vertical Limit and the discs 2 and 3 of Titanic.

This film is (as usual) emotionally exhausting to watch, so we both found ourselves barely moving on our seats as we watched everything right to the very end of the credits (yep, we both even uttered names of those we thought are Filipinos). It was her first time to watch it again after sooooo long and I knew by the look on her face and tears on her eyes that she was a bit traumatized.

Likewise, no matter how many times I see this film, I cannot keep myself from breaking into tears. I know it has a lot to do with the musical scoring, thanks to my favorite, James Horner, but I also have to give it to Jack and Rose for the short but truly sweet thing they had going, until the very end.

I love how this film affects me in so many ways possible and differently each time I watch it. I love how I’m always reminded that life is short and how we always take it for granted.

I also realized how lucky they were (had they been real people) for finding true love, despite it being short-lived. That won’t take away the fact that it was still truly special.

I realized how small my problems are, compared to what the passengers of the infamous liner have gone through. I also realized how love can make everything seem so simple and easy…nothing a little lovin’ can’t fix.

Watching Jack and Rose fight their way through one obstacle after another gave me hope and inspiration to keep moving forward myself. After all, it is what life is all about…

to keep breathing, to pick yourself up, to treat everyone nicely and to love.

In the end, Rose struck me with her little speech and with this line that I didn’t realize was there until today…

“But now you know there was a man named Jack Dawson and that he saved me… in every way that a person can be saved.”

Much like how this film saved me from losing my sanity in such a difficult time.

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P.S. Didn’t know Google has this little treat for their users. Made me smile yesterday 🙂

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Mama

My mother celebrated her 52nd birthday yesterday, but unlike in the past years when I’d normally put up a mushy post on Facebook, this year, I chose not to.

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She shares a Facebook account with my father and even though they are on it, they’re not too comfortable with the whole social media hoopla and want to maintain as private as possible. They’ve warned us countless times to be careful not to tag them on some photos or posts as they don’t want to be overwhelmed by responses from friends and colleagues. Either that or they don’t want to come off as braggy.

Of course, I mostly just ignored them because hello, freedom of expression! I also think that it is another way for them to get the rare recognition they deserve not only for their hard work in their respective careers, but also for their love and commitment to us and to their loved ones.

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For the past years, I’ve made it a point to post something witty or hilarious on special occasions to celebrate their colorful lives without being too mushy. As expected, these posts had the most number of likes and comments on my page, evident of the love and support that friends and family have for them both.

It makes me happy seeing them happy with the responses they get every year. I can’t say that reading these responses myself doesn’t touch me, because it does. This is another reason why I continue to do this, until this year.

If I remember it right, I did not do something special for my papa’s birthday as well. We just had a simple celebration after attending mass, much like what we did for mama’s birthday.

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This year, I just woke her up to greet her at 12:05 am when she dozed off while waiting for my sister to come home. Hours later, I just tried to make her laugh and make her feel good on her special day. I cooked breakfast (and dinner) for everyone, while my sister did the dishes because she and my papa were busy painting and cleaning up. We went to church, had a sumptuous lunch and went back home.

It was the least festive birthday, but it wasn’t bad at all. My sister and I amused her enormously while she’s finishing painting the walls, jokingly sending rude responses to all her friends, family and colleagues that greeted her. Her reactions were as usual, hilarious!

And yes, you read it right. She was painting the walls on her birthday. She also meticulously cleaned up after, while I was just sitting around. I have to say, I couldn’t admire her more for how tireless she is. She has been awarded numerous times for her dedication and hard work in the same company she’s been working for for the last 20-30+ years.

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Truly, she’s a woman who has achieved so much, yet has remained humble, kind and generous. I could never even become half of who she is now, but I try to do good by her as much as I can for whatever we do, it would almost always boil down to how we were raised by our parents, right?

To add to that, I feel blessed to have her as a mother, for not spoiling us and for teaching us the value of respect, generosity and helping around the house and at a young age and for being half responsible for raising really good kids (yes, I’m only talking about my siblings here :P).

I don’t expect my mother to ever see this post, but on the off chance that she does, I hope it leaves a smile on her face as it did when I wrote this. 🙂

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P.S. All photos were taken by papa except for the last 2 🙂

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How to Love (a birthday tribute)

I’m not sure what title to put in up there yet. Usually, I’d think of a title first and work my way through the whole entry, but I can’t quite name the post yet.

I could just write B’s name. That would work too since this is all going to be about him.

You see, I have written so much about him in the past 4 or 5 years (I was writing about him long before we got together) and that’s just because he’s only been a huge part of my life. So big, that if you read all the entries tagged under B or Bri or boyfriend, you’ll know how much and why I am so in love with him.

Today, he just turned another year older. Fun fact: he’s 3 years younger than me for a little more than a month, and 2 years younger than me for the rest of the year. haha! I secretly feel excited me when his birthday comes up coz it only means one thing, I’ll only be 2 years older than him, at least for the next 10 months!

The age gap between us has been my biggest concern, not so long ago. I would have totally turned him down if it wasn’t for the fact the he was so persistent and sincere. So yes, those were what made me fall for him (plus a whole lot more of surprises down the road).

 

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So is there anything else I haven’t told the world yet about him?

Well, maybe. Last night, we went out on a simple date to celebrate his birthday and something happened that really moved my cold, rock hard heart.

Well, we actually went on several dates this week, to start off the year right. I want to document everything here, so…

  • Monday, 4 January: He went with me to do some personal errands for myself, like shopping at the Common Room in Katips before having lunch at Hot Star Chicken, went to Fujifilm Sto. Domingo to have my 6 rolls of film developed, passed by Sto. Domingo church and had a short photoshoot, paid for the art e-course at BPI, had ELAR’s lechon for dinner before going home
  • Tuesday, 5 January: He wanted to go with me and get my films back so he did after I got out of the office, passed by Sto. Domingo church again, then had dinner at The Dimsum Place, had coffee and tea before going home
  • Wednesday, 6 January: Had a Skype date 🙂
  • Thursday, 7 January: Went around Cubao, had dinner at our favorite Japanese restaurant, Tonkatsu Taka, had tea along Manhattan Parkview before finally parting ways
  • Friday, 8 January: Had dinner at El Pollo Loco, then had coffee at this quiet nook which I forgot the name of, in building A of Mega before finally parting ways along Edsa Central

So here’s the thing, almost all the time, he makes sure he sees me off all the way to the tricycle terminal near my house before he goes on another 2-3 hour ride back home. If that isn’t heartbreaking enough, he has to ride 3 different buses to get home, along with hundreds of commuters late at night.

I never wanted for him to do that for me (at least not anymore), but he insists on doing so because he just wants to make sure I get home safe and sound, but it’s never the same for me. I end up worrying when he doesn’t get back to Cubao in time to catch the last bus ride home, or when we gets home so late at night.

So last night, when we went our separate ways in Edsa Central. I taught him where to get on a bus to Cubao. He didn’t have to take me home since I was going home with my parents. This puts me more at ease because he doesn’t have to go all the way to my house and it’s much easier for him to get home.

Normally, when we’re around the Ortigas area, we can’t be seen together (for the same reason why he still hasn’t met my parents). So we usually go our separate ways as if we’re total strangers. I’m unfair I know.

We had a fairly quick eye contact, sent him a text to go home and before I knew it, he was walking away. I was just looking at him as he disappeared into the crowd. Deep inside I wanted to go after him, but my parents were coming so I stayed. It took me a few more seconds before I decided I wanted to see him off this time. When I got to Edsa, I was shocked by how so many commuters were trying to get a ride home. At first, I thought he must have easily gotten on a bus, but I didn’t move hoping I could still find him in the middle of the crowd. I stood there asking God to let me see him before he goes home. Right after I told Him that, I saw Brianne walking just a few metres away from me. I didn’t call his attention because I didn’t want him to want to stay any longer. I wanted to see him off before my parents came, but when he failed to get on a bus, he walked back towards the sidewalk and that’s the time I went near him and called his name.

I was a bit teary eyed, but I’m glad I caught him before he got home. I couldn’t stay so I had to bid him goodbye before walking back towards our car. My parents had dinner, but the whole time I was texting Brianne, asking if he finally got on a bus. I was trying to hold back my tears because I was getting too emotional knowing that he’s out there trying to get a ride home, while I was comfortably sitting inside Yellow Cab with my parents.

Good thing, I got his text right before we went home that he was finally on his 2nd bus ride home (he only had to take 2 buses since he was already along Edsa). I finally felt so relieved.

On our way home, we were just texting each other super mushy stuff and I couldn’t help but realize how much he goes through just to be able to be with me. And he’s been doing that for the past 4-5 years!

While I’m reliving last night, which seemed like a scene taken straight out of a movie (kulang na lang ulan eh), and typing it everything in here, my tear ducts started to water again. I’m just so overwhelmed with happiness and guilt and love that I feel like the I really am the luckiest girl on earth.

I could only sigh at the fact that I love Brianne so much. I wanted so bad to be a better person for him and for us. He deserves so much more than our petty quarrels and my stubbornness so I’m really working hard to better myself this year, for him and for the people I love the most.

Thank you Brianne and thank you God for making me realize all these.

So that’s it. It got a bit longer than expected, but I just wanted the world to know how lucky I am to have this guy here in my life…

I love you Brianne, for everything that you are and have become. Just so you know, I love you so much more now than I ever have.

I once read that your spouse should be your best friend. I agree with that and it took me a few years before I realized how true it should be. You wouldn’t want to be living with someone you don’t want to connect with, or bond with or be best friends with. Otherwise, life wouldn’t be as good as it should be.

I’m not married to Bri (yet), but I would like to be, someday; and for the rest of our lives, I want us to remain best friends, apart from being overly weird and corny lovers. I want us to remain strong, to be friends even long after we get married and grow old. I want to keep this relationship for a really long time, if not forever.

I love you, B, even if I always say that I don’t really know how to love.

If I am doing it wrong, for sure, I’ll learn how to, with your hand intertwined with mine, of course.

Happy birthday again, my love, my favorite person, singer and 2nd favorite model in the world.

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Happy Birthday: The One When I Didn’t Wish for Anything

Wow. It sure looks like a lot has happened since I last wrote something here. This will be my first ever November post and the blog editor looks different, but much better. I like it!

So November huh? Ain’t it my favorite month and time of the year!?! It’s almost Christmas, but not quite yet. The air is definitely cooler in the morning and most people have started to decorate. Malls are getting busier (even on ordinary weekdays) and Christmas trees are up on sale again, and so are Poinsettias! Yay! I spelled it right!

It’s also my birth month and this year, I got to have 3 days off from work! Woot woot!!

Last year, we traveled south to Cebu to visit my brother, but this year, sadly, he wasn’t with us to celebrate my 26th birthday. You see, it’s also the APEC week so most flights in and out of the country/metro have all been cancelled to make way for the world leaders’ arrival and departure.

We haven’t really planned anything for my birthday. Papa thought it would be nice to have lunch or dinner buffet (again), but a day before my birthday, I saw a pretty detailed article on Looloo on things to try up north. Papa told me he printed the article out (right then and there) and the next thing I know, we were driving along NLEX-SCTEX, heading to Tarlac!

Originally, we were supposed to try Sandbox before finding our way to Tarlac, but since it was a pretty busy and long weekend, it took us half a day just lining up on various toll gates, so we went straight to Tarlac. It would’ve been too crowded in Pampanga anyway, said the bitter girl.

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First stop was the breathtaking and sacred Monasterio De Tarlac. Behind us on the third pic is a 30-foot statue of the risen Christ.

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Among the 3 stops we were to make that day, the Monasterio was the farthest from McArthur Highway (we were counting on the km road signs to see how far it was going to take before we reached the monastery-30km from Tibag, if I’m not mistaken) and in going there, you would pass by Tarlac Recreation Park.

While traversing the almost endless and empty roads (and a single-lane bridge) across vast fields of green, one would think that the place wouldn’t be flocked by city-dwellers, but we were wrong. The parking lot was full, and the place was peppered with tourists. We even saw Fr. Jerry Orbos just before we left.

The place is a go-to hideaway in times when you have too many things going on in your mind. It’s quiet (except for some excited, shrieking tourists :P) and tucked within several mountains of San Jose, Tarlac.

You can also offer petitions and prayer requests and feel like whatever you put in there would be granted, so long as you wouldn’t lose faith.

Next stop on the itinerary was of course, the aforementioned Tarlac Recreational Park.

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Here I was, obviously with feet itching, literally and figuratively. #slippersanddenimpamore!

You should get there in 10-15 minutes from the monastery. We got there at around quarter past 3. The 2 groups that registered just before we did signed up for kayaking and dune buggies and since they said there wouldn’t be enough time for us to drive buggies after the first group does, we opted to just bike around the place.

I must say, their bikes were all in good condition and probably well-maintained. They have trails that are shared by both bikers and buggy drivers and we found an easy-enough one (at least for beginners) just beyond the football field beside the oval.

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Here are my parents flushed and probably with hearts racing at the time as it has been years since we biked together as a family, excluding that time back in May when we went to Bataan.

There weren’t a lot of guests that day (which I extremely love). Most of those I saw were young families who were there to swim, 2-3 pairs of biker couples, the 2 groups I mentioned earlier and a big group of about 25-30 students training at the oval. The place is huuuuge and there’s so much to do so there’s a very little chance of you bumping into the other guests.

An hour should be enough to go around the trails, thrice, but then we also needed time to take photos of each other. As you can see, we were there right during the golden hour! It was the best time to bring out all the cameras, including my newest, a Yashiflex TLR.

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Here we were, the sedentary trio, an hour later, all parched and weak from biking uphill and on rough terrain, but not quite ready to quit just yet as we had one more stop to make before we called it a day.

After the obligatory feetfie and groupfie, off we went to our third and final stop…

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Just when I thought the day couldn’t get any better, it just did!

I remember I used to be friends with this girl back in grade school, whose dad races and who happened to be the only girl I ever heard of enjoying karting, to think we were only kids at the time. I mean, how can a kid drive a race car, right?

I’ve never tried karting in my 26 years of existence until my 26th year of existence, but one thing I know now for sure, I’d definitely do this again, over and over if I can!

TRIVIA TIME! Did you know that apart from zombie-killing and other shooting games, I also love playing GTA (just so I could drive around) and of course, Forza Horizon. I’ve always wanted to drive fast and I’m really good at it with a gaming console, but I’ve also had the chance to drive soooper fast in an express way once. Of course, I was still really cautious because I’m a girl. 😛

Going back, I think I definitely got the hang of it instantly. During the first few laps, I was “half-braking” when going around the curved parts, and was sooooper stiff too, but I learned to loosen up in the end.

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I have to say, with an entire year that mostly sucked, I never thought I’d have a birthday as beautiful as this one. Like what I said, this was the only year I never asked for anything (at least none for myself). I just wanted to spend time with my family and God gave me more than that. So thank YOU.

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I can’t say that I’ve been a good girl this year because I have been literally the opposite of being good. I have pushed people out of my life and I’m not going to blame anyone but myself for that. This is all me, but despite everything, I’m still thankful. Thank You, for never giving up on me and for giving me people who will love me no matter what. You are the reason why I am here and You have a purpose for me. Whatever that is, please, please help me find it. One more thing, Could you please never let go of my hand? Please?

So there goes another year and came another one for me to be thankful for, again! We can’t thank God enough and those who love us unconditionally. It was a happy birthday, indeed!

P.S. All photos were taken by my beautiful sister, Kat and yes, the title was patterned to be like those FRIENDS episode titles (I have been looking for and watching the Christmas episodes yesterday).

Celebrating Life!

Hey Juannina!!! No I refuse to admit that I forgot your birthday AGAIN, because otherwise, I wouldn’t be writing this blog post now!

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I’ve talked a lot about you over the past years in this blog and I can’t deny the fact that you’ve been a big part of this from way, way back. After all, you’re one of two people closest to me who knows about this so thanks for being my virtual pal as well!

So let’s see, I can talk about how we met or how we became friends……………………………….naaaahhh I’ve already done that a couple of times before. But what I can write about though are the good things you ought to hear! So Brace yourself!!

You’ve been a really good friend to me for the past years. I would go to you whenever I have problems or questions about work or whenever I’d feel bad about myself. You’re also one of the few I can really share my passions with. I feel so comfortable talking to you about them because I know you’d understand and because we kind of have the same interests, artsy fartsy-wise.

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Well anyway, you do know that already too. So what else is new? Well, Jan, I want to tell you that I admire your wit. You do have a very gifted brain, thus you have a knack for making complicated things seem pretty simple. So this is why I probably like consulting you for a lot of things. You calm my mind in so many ways.

For a long time, I have also admired your relationship with Marc. You never seemed to have any problems as a couple so I really looked up to you and often wished to be as strong and as independent even with a boyfriend. When you told me you were going through something, it didn’t change the way I looked at your relationship. Call me a hopeless romantic, but I really believe you guys were made for each other 🙂

Lastly, I’d like to tell you that I also admire you for your weaknesses. You’re human too and you have your fears, but I know that no matter how you see yourself now, it won’t matter a few years from now because I know that you’re gonna get to where you want to be.

P.S. I wish that you could find time to do the things you’ve been wanting to. You’re always gonna be busy, so might as well squeeze in whatever those things are, in your free time as much as you can. DO IT NOW! Find courage, time and conviction to do as much as you can while you still can. Don’t hold back because for me, Life is all about taking risks and being happy. It’s as simple as that. Celebrate Life! Happy birthday! 🙂

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 P.S. #2 I know how scary it feels to turn a year older again especially when you’re turning 25. Being 25 seems and feels so much different than being 23 or 24 and not just because of the obvious, but because we feel pressured to achieve something big or life-changing when in fact we already have, we just don’t see it as big of an accomplishment especially since we always compare our lives to others’. One thing to keep in mind though, almost everyone goes through what they call a quarter life crisis (or so I think), but it doesn’t mean we’re not gonna get past it. 🙂