Monday, April 30, 2007

One Day Blog Silence

One Day Blog Silence

Silence can say more than a thousand words.

This day shall unite us all about this unbelievable painful & shocking event and show some respect and love to those who lost their loved ones.

On April 30th 2007, the Blogosphere will hold a One-Day Blog Silence in honor of the victims at Virginia Tech. More then 30 died at the US college massacre.

But it´s not only about them. Many bloggers have responded and asked about all the other victims of our world. All the people who die every day. What about them?

This day can be a symbol of support to all the victims of our world!

All you have to do is spread the word about it and post the graphic on your blog on 30th April 2007. No words and no comments. Just respect, reflect and empathy.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

My Second Beau

As I wandered around Singapore in between meetings and the daily downpours, I held back from actually taking my first picture with my Canon. I wanted it to be really WORTH being the first picture to grace my memory card.

The problem was that walking down soggy and crowded Orchard Road wasn’t exactly promising in terms of photo ops—but then I guess it depends what you want to shoot. Now there’s the rub. I wasn’t really sure what I photos I wanted to take!

Until I saw THE WORTHY PHOTO. *Gasp* This is it!! I didn’t really care about angles or how artistic it was going to be—just that THE SUBJECT was already quite a work of art so HE can speak for himself. And the way he stared at from the shop window of C K Tang was irresistible. Sunshine on a cloudy day. *Sigh*

This also inspired me to name my Canon. From that WORTHY PHOTO, I named my Canon, TK—as in Takeshi Kaneshiro, my favorite Japanese. *Grin*

The meetings really drained me of my mental juju so, this is a welcome visual. *Wink*

Friday, April 20, 2007

How I Met My Canon

I had been procrastinating about buying a new camera since my old Olympus is already showing signs of senility. My aim was to get one before I leave for Singapore (tomorrow) and of course, cram artists like me would understand why I would end up buying that camera two days before the trip.

There are “reasonable reasons” for the delay—I had to make sure I stay on my budget and get camera out of it. My internet research showed that the Canon Powershot A550 was the right one for me and my requirements.

Then a friend of mine said she had a churchmate who owns a shop in Quiapo and the owner can just give the camera to her at church and I can just send the payment through her. All these sans the hassle of going to Quiapo. But time passed and I was kept waiting by the shop. I called often and they kept promising that their stock would come…”call again tomorrow..maybe it will come tomorrow…blah blah blah.”

Until I decided to just go for the lower-end one which they had on stock, a Canon A430, which was just a 4 megapixel camera. Since I was happy with my 2 megapixel one, so I thought that 4 megapixel should be okey. I can settle for that if the Canon A550 (7 megapixel) one wasn’t available. I know I should check other features as well--but I’m not really savvy so I judge cameras by their megapixels!

For one reason or another, I didn’t manage to make it to Quiapo. The one day I decided to finally go, I was told not to because of that hostage-taking incident near Manila City Hall! Of all days..!

With my Singapore trip breathing down my neck, and checking out the net and realizing that Quiapo is still cheaper than Singapore, I finally took time off work yesterday—at 1pm, a slow time for people, and went off to Quiapo from my office in Commonwealth. In less than an hour, I was in Quiapo (it’s a miracle!). I made my way to Hidalgo Street and decided to just check out each of the camera shops. Nothing seemed to click—not even when I was prepared to settle for less.

Then I remember a tip from blogpal Abaniko about a camera shop called Mayer Photo. I found it tucked unobtrusively in between shops and almost blocked by fruit stalls in front of it. The owner was Chinese and quarreling with his wife when I came in—anyway I took a shot at asking about the Canon A550 and the owner said there’s no more stock and that I should go for the Canon A560 instead.

Oh, I didn’t know about the A560—so much for my supposedly meticulous research! I asked how much it was and he said PhP11,000.

Hmmm, I thought, I brought PhP10,000 with me and made a quick assessment (by memory) that I might have an extra P1,000 tucked somewhere, so I should probably get this one instead of the lower-end A430.

Anyway, being Chinese, I am obligated, culturally, to haggle. I haggled in Chinese and asked if he could give me a discount…I was actually trying to squeeze a word in between the on-going argument between the owner and his wife *snicker.* So he turned to me and said, “Okey, P10,500.”

The shoplady stared at him seemingly surprised at what her boss’ said. So I guess I did get a good deal.

I decided to negotiate with the owner again and asked if I could get a higher MB memory card with my camera for P11,000 and again, to the shoplady’s surprise, he said yes!

So then I fished out my money—tucked in different pockets—in case some resident Quiapo snatcher not on his mid-day siesta took interest in me—I found out I had exactly P10,500--not P11,000! Oops. So of course the memory card had to wait. By the time I finished paying up, I only had enough left to get home!

But I’m a happy camper.

Here’s hoping I get good photos in Singapore!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


* should've been posted yesterday afternoon at 6pm...long story!

It’s 5:30 pm and I should still be working, even if it’s past office hours. But then how do you keep a blogger from expressing herself? I might just burst.

I have a ton of work to finish before I go off to Singapore for a five-day consultation next week. The thing is, the stuff I need to do this week is homework for the meetings in Singapore.

I actually have more than 3 months' worth of lead time to do my homework for the meetings...but there’s one crucial prerequisite for me to do any kind of work effectively: LAST MINUTE INSPIRATION.

Or, you can call it a good dose of panic-induced adrenaline.

Whatever it is called, I find myself so dependent to this “drug.” Does it make my work better? My colleagues say I’m efficient and I do deliver the goods on time so to speak, but of course, Jiminy Cricket who has taken up permanent residency in my head, would shake his head and say, “You can do so much better if you put more time and careful thought to it.”

Alas, Jiminy is probably better off with Pinocchio than with me.

Now I’ve expressed myself…I'd better get back to work before I lose my inspiration.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

(Un)Common Courtesy

"How are you?"
"Thank you!"
"You're welcome."
"Excuse Me."
"I’m sorry."

These are words we utter absentmindedly or casually…or not at all.

Lately, I find these words uttered less often than should be. Manners seem to be going down the drain these days. How sad!

I wonder why?

What is so difficult about saying the above words?

I remember once when I was having a really bad cold. I got a call from a friend I haven’t heard from in ages. I asked him/her, “How are you?” Most of the time, I mean it when I say it. As the friend went on to chatter about news of his/her life—I coughed and sneezed through my “uhuh’s” and “really’s.” When I put down the phone minutes later, I realized that this friend never even bothered to ask me how I was—or if I was sick!

On the other hand,

I helped another friend through a rough transition period. She pulled through and went on to do a lot of things that made me proud to be her friend. After some time I got a greeting card from her. She wrote “You were there from the very start. Thank you, it meant a lot to me.” No big fanfare, just simple words. Yet they warmed my heart.

Let me set the record straight, it’s not that I want people to shower my path with roses or fall prostrate with gratitude every time I do something for them or talk to them. Far from it. I don’t mind helping people out. Really, I don’t.

But a simple “thank you” would be nice. Nicer especially nowadays when its fast becoming an uncommon courtesy.

But maybe….life is just too hard these days. Maybe we’re just too stressed out to bother with courtesy. Maybe we’re just too worried about ourselves. Maybe we just need to expend all our energy internally to survive this rat race called life…

So, then..

Wouldn’t a bit of courtesy help us become less stressed, less worried and make life less of a rat race?

Anyway, I can’t control other people’s behavior.

But I can control mine!

So…to all who visit my blog:

Please do leave a comment on any of my posts if its convenient for you.
I am sorry if I have made comments in my blog that may have hurt anyone of you.
Thank you for dropping by my blogsite.
You are always welcome to visit.

Have a great day!

Friday, April 06, 2007

To Keep Me Sane

I’m pausing from doing email stuff and looking up at the view of blue ocean mellowed by the rays of the setting sun, framed by green rustling leaves of trees standing just below my bedroom window.

What a moment to freeze-frame.

But I guess time marches on. For now, I am pleased that I can enjoy fresh cool sea breeze here in Calapan, Mindoro—far from the madding Manila crowd, far from the choking pollution, far from Karaoke-mad neighbors.

Tomorrow, I look forward to waking up one last morning to this dazzling view of the sea. Then its time to pack up and leave.

Part of me would love to stay on in this quaint place in Calapan. But I know that this feeling is fleeting, I know for a fact that I am a city girl at heart…that I (mysteriously) thrive in the smoggy, noisy, in-your-face culture of Manila. That after a while in an idyllic place like this, my feet would itch, my soul would grow restless and I would actually miss those hair-raising rides in cockroach-infested buses. I would miss the air-conditioned, food-aroma-infused, never-have-a-moment’s-peace, sardine-packed malls. Don’t ask me why, I’ve given up figuring that out myself.

Meanwhile, I’m just happy to be in an idyllic place like this for my regular ration of sanity.

What keeps you sane?

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Dear J,

The first time I met you, I was impressed by you and all the things you’ve done. In fact, I was so bowled over that I committed myself to a relationship with you. I thought that everything you did was so awesome and made so much sense. My admiration for you deepened all the more as I read your love letters.

I enjoyed the relationship I had with you—more so because of the many things you did for me, and the words you whispered to me.

The problem was, you were more committed to the relationship than I was. I wanted to have "more" than what you gave me. Now as I look back I realized that what I wanted to explore and enjoy outside my relationship with you turned out to be a poor substitute of what you offered me. I was like a child enjoying the muddy shore when I could be enjoying the cool inviting waters just a few steps away. How stupid of me.

As I hurt you again and again with my betrayals, your love never wavered. You waited for me, hushed me and comforted me when I come running back into your arms, crying from self-inflicted wounds.

I often wonder how you could love me so. Why don’t you just give up on this relationship? How could you continue to help me, put your hopes in me, trust me to be faithful to you when I have betrayed you again and again? How can your love be so strong, so tenacious?

But even as I struggle to be faithful to you, even as I fail at times, even as I get back up again and continue returning your awesome love with my own feeble and sorry version, I see myself change. I see how your love has subtly empowered me, cleansed me, healed me and helped me to go on.

There are still times I wonder if I should just let go of this relationship. I am no good for you…I have hurt you too much and loved you too little. But whenever I feel guilt prying my fingers from holding onto yours, I find myself unable, nay, unwilling to let go. Who can take your place? I have no one else if I do not have you.

And so I cling on to you, especially in moments when I feel like giving up and letting go, I cling on. I cling on to you, your whispers of love, your promises and your strength.

Thank you, Beloved, that one day there will be no more guilt, no more hurts, no more betrayals. One day I can love you back with that perfect love you so deserve.

Basking in your love,