Wednesday, August 29, 2007

THINGS

As I sat on my bed, still recovering from a short trip, and surveyed the things strewn around me, trying to put away stuff from my recent trip, trying to sort out what to bring to the UK, what to put away and what to give away. I am overwhelmed.

Things. A vague word we use to refer to what we cannot or are too lazy to give specific labels to. Yet, what a meaningful, burdensome word.

Shoes.
Clothes.
CDs.
VCDs.
Photos.
Letters.
Toiletries.
Bags.
Magazines.
Books.
Knick knacks from travels.
A collection of rupiah, ringgit, Singapore Dollars, Thai Baht.
Gifts hardly used: coffee mugs, trinkets, wallets, souvenier items, T-shirts, and more coffee mugs.

Pile them all together and they’d be a Mount Everest of things. Imagine if I were married, the pile could probably fill the whole stretch of China’s Great Wall…shudder.

I would like to think that there are worse ratpackers than me, but just looking at my collection of things—many of which are hardly used but never disposed of—I wonder.

Why is it so much easier to accumulate than to throw away things? Why can’t I throw away my old Kathmandu T-shirt which has been mothballed to one side of the closet for the past 6 years? Why can’t I give up a pair of well-worn (during its heydays) sandals that has not seen the light of day for two years? Why can’t I just give up a lot of these stuff.

Beats me!

There is a saying that goes, “The one who dies with the most toys, wins. Wins what, I wonder? Anyway, what does one do with all these toys if one is six feet under? Somehow, these “toys” or things hardly make me feel like a winner---more like a “drowner.”

Sigh.

Ironically, I just found out that my airline has graciously granted me extra 10kg luggage allowance…to make room for more “things” to bring to the UK. Now my feelings are mixed.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Talking to Myself

On the eve of an overseas trip:

Me: (taking a deep breath) Okey..I’m using Barbie bag tomorrow…

The Other Me (TOM): What’s that deep breath for? It’s just a bag!

Me: ..but it’s pink..*sigh*

TOM: So what? The important thing is for you to use it a few times, sort of like a test drive, before you bring it to the UK.

Me:…but I’m worried what people will say…it’s just sooo not me.

TOM: My goodness! Just because you got free media mileage from Snglguy’s blog post yesterday doesn’t make you famous enough for people to take notice! What an ego you have…

Me: But I’m worried about my colleagues when we meet up tomorrow night at the airport, I am sure they’ll laugh at me!

TOM: You don’t only have an over-active imagination but you’ve also got an overblown sense of self-importance…the thing is, who cares?!

Me: I can already see them snickering away—maybe I should just use the green one.

TOM: No, you are suppose to use this one and see if it works okey, besides you are only away for a week, you don’t need a bigger bag.

Me: Yiiiii-ikes…I can see myself and Barbie bag glowing beside me…

TOM: You know what, there are more important things to think about…like making sure you’ll bring your passport, your ticket, your money…

Me: Oh yeah, I’ve got that covered…sigh…it’s pink…

TOM: (frustrated sigh) Hello, will somebody out there give this girl the “Silliest Blogger Award?”

Monday, August 20, 2007

I Don't Mind...Really!

The fervently prayed-for rain has come and everyone cheers—of course! Since the lack of rain has been a real issue these past months, the rainy days has been a welcomed inconvenience for many of us commuters….yes, really, a welcomed inconvenience!

I don’t mind, really, that I get splashed by muddy water by passing cars, tricycles, buses and motorcycles…

I don’t mind, really, that the rain has made commuters sitting ducks to taxi drivers morphed into opportunistic sharks (hmmm….come to think of it, when aren’t they sharks?).

I don’t mind, really, that this means getting your shoes and pant legs all soaked because of the floods or water that has pooled up in our uneven sidewalks.

I don’t mind, really, that this means double the traffic especially along Cubao where, if you’re a commuter on a bus, you have no right to use the express underpass (only those who can afford cars or taxis have the right not to be late for their work or appointments, it seems).

I don’t mind, really, that you have to think three to a hundred times whether to make/keep appointments that would mean getting out of your house (where you stay warm and dry).

I don’t mind, really, that it means having to share an MRT ride with others who are all sweaty under their rained-soaked jackets.

..really! I don’t mind!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Five Over Three

That is, five goodbyes in over three days. Two of them are to people I am not sure I will ever see again. For the rest, if things go as planned, I will see them again in a year’s time. But then again, who’s to know in this unpredictable planet we live in?

It can be a trying practice, this goodbye business. No amount of farewells, hugs, despedida meals or goodbye gifts can take that pang away.

But, as I always try to tell myself, life goes on—everyone moves on. It would be unnatural to hang on to someone and refuse to move from a certain spot in your life unless that person moves with you. Now, that kind of messy goodbye, I can do without, thank you!

We all have our journeys to walk, and along the way we bump into people, we get helped—or lend a helping hand. And when that patch in life has passed, we go our different ways. Sometimes we meet again somewhere in the future, sometimes we don’t. Sometimes we keep in touch, or try to, other times we can’t--or don’t want to anymore.

Some people will be sorely missed as we go ahead with our journeys, others will become pleasant memories, still others will be forgotten. In some ways, forgetfulness can be a real gift—when the pain of separation, through the help of forgetfulness, will fade into hazy but good remembrances.

We then can go on with life, embracing new friends, not keeping them at arm’s length—knowing that friendship is worth risking the pain that goodbyes, which eventually comes, bring about.

Just as I thought, life is a bed of roses—you have to lay down on both the petals and the thorns.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Crying for Jack

*written a couple of weeks ago.
**WARNING: If you have not seen the last episode of 24’s Season 6, there is a bit of a spoiler here... but only a little bit, I promise you!

I haven’t cried for such a long time. But Jack Bauer had me sobbing away. Since he can do almost anything humanly possible, that shouldn’t surprise me, I guess. Just watching him fight to get his own life back for a change, at the last episode of 24, made me root for him all the more.

“Way to go, Jack!”

“About time, Jack!”

Season 6 ended with everyone in the United States of America getting their lives back after a series of terrorist attacks, with CTU staff, the president, the vice president and the rest of the gang, including the pregnant Chloe getting their much needed sleep after a stress-filled 24 hours.

Everyone but Jack.

Yeah, I know, I sound like a starry-eyed fanatic who can't tell my fact from my fiction. But just thinking of Jack Bauer made me realize how even in fiction, our heroes are all too human.

Whoever our heroes may be, like Jack Bauer, when they say “I promise you” they will not always be able to deliver, even if they promised with all their hearts and tried their very best. They will fail us somehow, sometime. Once you’ve walked with them and witnessed their own angst and struggles, you will root for them, cry with them and pray for them—but you will know for sure that they cannot always be there for you. Because they are just as human as we are.

Whatever the case may be, we hope to see you again soon, Jack!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Rocking Away!

After a scholarship, after a one-year visa, what would be the icing on the cake?

How about an award?

Imagine that, I was given another award from that girl who rocks, Ipanema! Oh wow, to be awarded twice is such a privilege--especially from someone I look up to as a really rockin' blogger herself!

So now, I need to pass the blessing again--and this is one other reason why I am so happy I got this award, I can pass it to those I would have also wanted to award the other time...

So here's the list of rockin' girls I am delighted to pass this award to:

Jenny! She writes well, she takes great photos and she speaks French! Tr├ęs cool, don't you think?

Toe! Which should not come as a surprise to many of us who are so much entertained by her posts...and the fact that she is making a difference in Cambodia, that rocks, too!

Chesca! She is a great gal who has a great family and loves to share her diving adventures with us. The fact that we both used to work in this unique place in Bataan makes her special to me, too!

Jojie A! Because not only takes great photos but she is an eagle-eye when it comes to those really funny ones that make my day! Plus she was my classmate in my college days--where we first discovered we have the same warped sense of humor--that keeps us both afloat through the rough times. Right, girl?

ZJ!
Another lady who is making a difference in Cambodia! I am sure the Khmer people are know that they are blessed with your contribution there. You rock, girl!

And, Ipanema, you know, I will also have to give this award to you, too! I know I may not be following the rules, but hey, I rock (as you say) so I have the license to break some of 'em rules, don't I?

Friday, August 03, 2007

Happily Tired

Ever been tired and happy at the same time? That is how I feel today. I just got back from an overnight trip out of town and had one meeting after another today—after a couple of hour’s trip back to town. The last meeting just wrapped up a couple of minutes ago.

But even with the tiredness, it’s nice to know that many things got done and that you can go to sleep happy, even though you know that there are still about a week of "meeting marathon" (one more long-distance travel included).

Two factors that make my work meaningful and fun are the fact that I believe that what I do and where I am in what I do is my “place in the sun,” so to speak—my niche—and the other factor is that I am with colleagues (though only here for a short visit) who are so easy to work with and who share the same vision and passion I have with what I do. It does help that we’re able to “click” in such a short time (two days!), so much so that we can swap jokes and laugh at each other’s bloopers and antics without fear of being misunderstood.

If only everyday were like this, then there is nothing else I can ask God for …well, almost nothing!

Okey, better go and get ready for bed—another big day coming up tomorrow! And the next day…and the next…

Have a happy (even if you get tired) weekend!