Friday, March 30, 2007


Last night I went out for coffee with two friends and we started talking about food traditions, like how some people must have a coke with their burger, or how my friend’s daily dinner ritual would be potato chips, and a sandwich.

It reminded me all the more of a month-long frustration: I haven’t had my McSpaghetti meal yet! This morning I stared at a bunch of crumpled McDonald Meal coupons which I've tucked in my bag for ages, and with its expiry date being tomorrow, I am preparing my heart to say goodbye to them—especially to the McSpaghetti Meal coupon.

My hectic schedule plus the fact that the nearest McDonald’s is under renovation has been the reason why I haven’t been able to fulfill my food tradition/ritual this month. Tonight a friend of mine is taking me out for a post-birthday treat in a fancy restaurant—so obviously McDonald’s is out of the question—I don’t think it would make any sense to her if I asked to eat at McDonalds instead! I must really be desperate if I prefer McSpaghetti over a fancy dinner!

But I believe we all have our own tiny food rituals or traditions that make our day/week/month complete. I guess I will have to accept the fact that my March will be just a little bit incomplete…life’s like that, I guess.

So what’s your food ritual?

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Turning a Year Older

Turning a year older…

Doesn’t mean I’m any wiser. I’ve learned a couple of things along the way, but I have also been stupid enough to repeat the same mistakes as well. I’ve known friends and colleagues younger than me who are far wiser.

Doesn’t mean I have loads of experiences. Again, I know of people who have gone through so much more than one should in a lifetime. I hear their stories and am amazed and humbled by their courage, strength and tenacity.

Doesn’t mean I have mellowed down. In fact, far from it. Getting older means I have a somewhat clearer perspective of life. I have found my niche. I have discovered where my passion lies. Doesn’t knowing all these make you pursue your dreams with more determination?

Doesn’t mean I am better at handling losses. Having said goodbye so many times in life has not made it any easier. But I have learned to keep my palms open and not clutch at relationships. Friends come and go, and I do the same to them—come and go, I mean. I have learned to simply enjoy the time given to me and my friends.

Doesn’t mean I have less to learn. In many cases, I seldom get to say, “Been there, done that.” Each experience, no matter how similar, is unique and so I discover new things to learn about me, about life, about God.

Doesn’t mean that I will jump on any unfortunate single man that crosses my path. In fact, the older one gets—the higher one’s standard tends to be—especially after having seen a lot of good and bad marriages and especially after knowing oneself better.

Doesn’t mean that I consider kid’s stuff beneath me. I can assure you that my friend’s 8-year-old son can have as much fun playing with me as he would friends his age, and I consider that a wonderful thing.

Doesn’t mean you can’t teach an old dog new tricks...well, depends on the old dog! But as for me…this one-year-old blog is Exhibit A.

Doesn’t mean I have become a disciplined, organized and solid, responsible person. You just need to come and look at my wee little house and my office desk. BUT this is not for lack of trying…

Doesn’t mean I've stopped planning about the future and just taking in what comes along. I still have a lot of plans and dreams—some have been fulfilled and so have not. I have also learned not to fret about things I have no control of, and to take them in stride. But I continue to plan, to pursue my dreams and in so doing, be a good steward of this one more year that God has given me.

Thursday, March 22, 2007


This is fast becoming a really irritating pattern.

Everytime I move to another place, somebody would eventually throw a knowing look at me and say, “Wow...who knows, you might meet your Mr. Right there..”

And now that I am planning another move, well, surprise surprise, the question pops up again. Sigh.

Hope springs eternal in the bosoms of those who want to marry me off.

The thing is, marriage is good and I’m honest enough to myself to admit that it is not exactly the farthest thing in my mind—but neither is it the foremost.

My life’s been really good. I get to do so many things that I would never have been able to do, had I remembered to get married in my 20’s. Those of my married friends who want to marry me off actually see this, and know this. Yet it seems like unless a single girl settles down, she is still looked upon as a somewhat incomplete and unfulfilled individual. I feel sorry that people feel that way—and sorrier for those singletons who actually believe this to be true.

So to my friends, I know you mean well, but the fact is I AM well—and if the right person does come along, hurray to that—but if not, I still have cause to celebrate life and all the amazing things that God has deigned to bless me with.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Pinch Me!

OH JOY!!!!

I just got an email this morning that I have been granted a 50% scholarship for a one-year Masters program I applied for in the UK.

Gasp! Can't believe this is happening!

When I first thought of going back to school for further studies, it seemed like an appealing dream but not really something that I thought would actually happen--I know, weird weird.

Anyway, when my colleagues and friends asked me about the application, I wasn't really all that excited, or even positive that I would get the scholarship.

To be honest, I wouldn't have minded if I didn't get the scholarship--because that would mean another major move for me (I have moved a minimum of 6 times in 6 years) and the Gypsy also knows to get (sick and) tired.

But obviously, God thinks laziness would be an unbelievably poor excuse for not granting this UK schooling.

Now that I got the news (a month earlier than promised), I am beside myself.

How does blogging from the UK sound? WheeeeeeEEEEeee!

Friday, March 16, 2007

Better than Coffee

Kill him! Kill him!!

Now Showing in the aircon bus I hopped on this morning was obviously NOT an Air Supply Concert.

It's Jet Li taking on 4 thugs in a fighting match.

Of course, he allowed himself to be beaten up, left right center, just for the fun of it, before that intent "'s my turn..." look comes into his almost expressionless face and he clobbers every single one of them.

Gore galore.

Sure beats coffee.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Five Random Facts About Moi

I was tagged by Beng centuries ago, but never got around to make the list—there’s just too many odd things about me so I had to sift through them (and make sure I don’t scare people away!)

1. I’m an almost-UP Fine Arts student. After graduating from Ateneo de Davao, I came to Manila to check out the supposedly greener pastures. While waiting for a job, I checked out UP Fine Arts and wondered if I could get in for a second Bachelor’s degree. So I went and drew sketches and whatever the entrance exam demanded. A few weeks later, I found out I passed! But by then I already got myself a job, so I chose to earn rather than spend!

I spent one memorable month in Nepal. I thoroughly enjoyed hiking up the Himalayan range (Tibetan side), playing with Nepali kids, warm showers under gazillions of stars (some shower stalls were roofless), wrapping myself up in my warm sleeping bag of down feathers, sipping ginger milk tea, eating vegetarian food (dhal baat) and apple pancake every day during the trek and playing UNO cards with our porters under a candle light, making it all the way up to 4,000 meters above sea level, and greeted not only by snow-capped mountains but also by a San Miguel Beer sign. (Go figure!)

3. I bring sachets of tomato ketchup wherever I go—courtesy of McDonalds, Jollibee, KFC, etc. That is, I love smothering ketchup on my sunny side ups, anything fried, on my stir-fried noodles, burgers, etc. Sometimes the places I go to don’t have ketchup, so I bring them along—in case of emergency. It has worked well for me. Hehehe.

4. My colleagues suspect I have dyslexia. Symptoms? Well...I’m embarrassingly slow at telling time from watches with hands, (analog watches--is that you call them?) that all my wristwatches are digital. I’m also bad at identifying the push/pull sign on glass doors, or the close/open symbols in elevators and…the piece de resistance…I can’t tell my right from my left.

5. When I was a kid, I used to love reading Tagalog comics. I would go to the nearest comics rental stall and rent and read the whole day—sitting with the neighborhood tambays (loafers) and tricycle drivers who were as addicted as I was. This is why my grades in my Filipino subjects were always good. Ahem.

I guess I can’t really tag anyone else, I might just be the last remaining blogger who hasn’t done this meme! Anyway, thinking through this was fun!

Friday, March 09, 2007

You Know You've Had Too Much Coffee If...(Part Two)

You don't need a hammer to pound in nails.
You don't get mad, you get steamed.
You don't tan, you roast.
You eat the can along with the canned goods.
You have a picture of your coffee mug on your coffee mug.
You have to watch videos on fast forward mode.
You haven't blinked haven't blinked. Period.
You help your dog chase its tail.
You name your cats Cream and Sugar.
You introduce your spouse as your coffeemate.
You short out motion detectors.
You ski uphill.
You sleep with your eyes open.
You speak perfect Arabic without ever taking a lesson.
You speed walk in your sleep.
You spend every vacation visiting Maxwell House.
You think being called a drip is a compliment.
Your first-aid kit contains two pints of coffee with an I.V. hookup.
You coffee mug is insured by Lloyds of London.
Your life's goal is to amount to a hill of beans.
Your lips are permanently stuck in the sipping position.
Your nervous twitch registers on the Richter Scale.
Your only source of nutrition comes from Sweet and Low.
You're so wired, you pick up the AM radio.
You've built a miniature city out of little plastic stirrers.
You think CPR stands for Coffee Provides Resuscitation.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

You Know You've Had Too Much Coffee If...(Part One)

You don't sweat, you percolate.

Your eyes stay open when you sneeze.

You lick your coffee pot clean.

You grind your coffee beans in your mouth.

You get a speeding ticket even when you're parked.

You can jump-start your car without cables.

You want to be cremated so you can spend eternity in a coffee can.

The dishes in your house are all coffee cups.

Starbuck's owns the mortgage of your house.

You suck on the used coffee filter and grounds whenever the can rans out of coffee.

You've worn out the handle of your coffee mug.

You slip into a coma if you drink decaf by accident.

Your birthday is the national day of Colombia.

You go to the doctor because your afraid there might be blood in your coffee stream.

You have coffee-scented air freshners, soap, deodorants an colognes.

All your kids are named Joe.

Instant coffee takes too long.

People can test batteries in your ears.

People get dizzy just watching you.

The nurse needs a scientific calculator just to take your pulse.

The only time you are standing still is during an earthquake.

If someone asks you how you are, you say "Good to the last drop."

The Energizer bunny thinks you should calm down.

You can take a picture of yourself from ten feet away without using a timer.

You can type sixty words per minute using your feet.

You can't even remember your second cup.

You channel surf faster without a remote.

You chew on other people's fingernails.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Cheese in the Morning

This morning, I took the aircon bus to work as is my wont, and as I settled down on a comfortable seat, I looked up and what do you know, there was a video playing inside the bus: an Air Supply concert!

Yikes. Cheesy!

That was the first thought that came to my mind—but against whatever my conscious brain had against cheese, I found myself singing (under my breath) “Here I Am” and “Two Less Lonely People” with the Air Supply guys.

Well, I guess I don’t mind a little cheese.

Come to think of it, I didn’t mind a lot of cheese in my younger days—we used to allow Air Supply to tide us over our thesis writing agonies. (oh noo—I’m giving myself away!) I guess the reason why Air Supply set me in the good mood this morning is not so much the lyrics, but the memories I have attached to their songs—of bygone, carefree days with friends--when our only major concerns were stopping zits from popping up all over our faces and finding the nicest Rick Springfield poster.

“Here I am...the one that you love….”