I Tried Bullet Journaling And Spoiler Alert: I Was Terrible At It

I Tried Bullet Journaling And Spoiler Alert: I Was Terrible At It

Last year, probably around this time of the year din, I developed an unhealthy obsession watching bullet journal videos on YouTube. I don’t know, must be the calligraphy, sobrang ugghhh orgasmic, or the designs, or it’s just therapeutic for me watching people plan out their lives when here I am, just living my life one day at a time. Sobrang amaze-balls!

To cut the long story short, watching those videos made me buy a journal again after a very long time. I also picked up a few brush pens, colored pens, and washi tapes. I was excited to revive my love for arts and crafts/scrapbooking. And I did!

For a noob, I was pretty proud of myself. Sobrang sakto rin because my friend Chinny taught us the basics of brush writing and I was loving it. And so started my bullet journal journey.

Upfront, I have decided I’m not going to do everything I’ve seen in bujo videos and I’d only pick the ones that made sense to me, lalo na’t naiinis ako sa usual journals that stationery companies sell every yearend, like, anong gagawin ko sa mga ibang areas dyan? Kebs. None of those journals speak to me, so I never really got into it. I was never hooked with the Starbucks journal as well. I’m that girl who asks the next person in the queue, “Nagco-collect ka stickers? Sa ‘yo na lang yung akin.” So customizing my own was really the logical answer for me.

To start off, my logs included the following:

  • A year in review page for 2018 to chronicle the “amazing” things that happened to me. (hindi ko nasulatan because hindi pa tapos taon nung sinimulan ko. It seemed like I was waiting for my 2018’s plot twist. Spoiler alert: walang plot twist na nangyari.)
  • An index where I could write the content (hindi ko rin nasulatan because tinamad na ko.)
  • A calendar (that I am very proud of!)IMG_7787
  • Mind map (na hindi ko rin nasulatan kasi I never had the time to really think about what I want for the year. See the pattern already? Nakikita niyo na ba ending ng journal na ‘to? Hahaha)
  • Habits to Kill and Habits to Grow (in fairness naman, I did some of the things I’ve written here lalo sa habits to grow!)IMG_7791had to redact 7 and 9 hahaha!
  • Ideal Schedule (I wrote wake up at 5am hahaha! Did this for a month when I was writing the book. But after that, I started waking up at 8am)IMG_7789
  • Travel Goals (everything I wanted in this lifetime so I won’t get distracted from the usual travel goals ng mga tao. Must be the reason why I also didn’t travel a lot this year, save for that one time in Bohol when my sister got married.)
  • Financial Goals (still on my way to completing the goals I set for myself. Had a major setback in January when we had to pool our money for a family emergency)
  • Travel Fund (still working on this)
  • A master plan for the entire year (e wala ring nasulat hahaha)
  • The monthly logs (included an expense tracker)IMG_7790

I was doing pretty good during the first quarter, “new year, new me” vibes everywhere e, writing on the journal every night, updating it with what has happened, logging meetups with friends, family, and other things that needs to be logged.

And then April came…

I really thought I could do it for an entire year, haha, but joke’s on me, it only lasted for a few months. Buti na lang hindi ako bumili nung napakamahal na Leuchtturm journal haha. What happened was I got tired of designing it in the second quarter of the year. I remember I was a little down then, ewan. I was not feeling good about myself and I didn’t want to write about it. So anong isusulat ko? So I figured I want to take a break from it all. It also felt like a chore. Na para bang obligasyon ko siyang gawin kasi binili ko na yung journal sayang naman yung P299 ko at pens and all napakamahal din ha, di ko na kayang panindigan. Naisip ko, why does this feel like kailangan ko siyang gawing assignment when it should be fun, ‘di ba? I should have fun planning my life, ganoin? Kaso I’m really bad at planning. Even my trips, I only ever plan a week before leaving because tinatamad nga ako. I usually just decide on the spot. Must be my problem, no?

Anyway, I’m slowly going back to writing in this journal sans all the fluff of designs and shit that I see on the internet. Will probably just do the design thing if I feel like it, otherwise, wag na lang. Content over style tayo. I feel like writing on a weekly basis during my downtime is something that is working really well for me, it’s also something that I’m looking forward to, tbh. On some days, I even brainstorm with myself, “ano bang magandang isulat?” Ano bang tawag pag brainstorm tas mag-isa ka lang? Haha. I even try to find new ideas from other blogs and get topics from podcasts I listen to just to have something interesting to write about. Something I want to give my opinion on. Also decided to veer away from politics, I have Twitter for that, unless 240 words won’t cut it.

In fairness naman, my current journal has turned into a smorgasbord of stuff, a peak inside my head: a brain dump journal where I put in ideas I could go back to if ever I run out of ideas; budgeting for two weeks (ang goal ko ay to live off of last cutoff’s paycheck one day haha kaya natin ‘to self); a “friend” where I can really write about what I feel without filter, no judgments e, nakakagaan din ng loob mag-dump lang ng mga bagay na nagko-cause sa ‘yo ng joy or pain, like Joker. Okay, not turning into an evil villain, ‘kay? I’m writing about it to prevent that from happening, actually. Haha!

Okay, few realizations in the many years that I’ve been journaling, albeit on and off:

As mentioned above, bujo as a planner does not really work for me, nai-intimidate ako magplano ng bonggang-bongga. I have this feeling na kapag sinulat ko kasi siya, dapat magkatotoo, tapos pag hindi natuloy, naiinis lang ako. So I don’t think bujo as a planner is for me. It’s more of a journal for all my thoughts and things that happened to me that I don’t want to share on the web for everyone to see. It may seem like I share everything here, especially yung mga nagpe-personal blog, but I still believe that may mga bagay na dapat sa ‘yo lang talaga.

Writing daily is not just for me, probably because I already write for a living. Parang ang redundant na, guys? In retrospect, hindi rin naman ako nagsusulat daily sa diary ko dati.

Speaking of old diaries, my sister gave me my old photos she got from our old house back in May. Today, I unearth it and there are a few pages from my diary in fifth grade as well. Re-reading it is a little hard. Cringe! Hahaha! I realized that even then, I was very secretive with important details – especially names, scared that people get to read it and know how I truly feel and be seen. To this day, I’ve never really opened up to anyone besides myself. Sure, I share bits and pieces of my life to people I trust, but I never really have a person who knows everything. I don’t know if that’s sad or that’s just how I’m wired. Tulad nga ng sabi ng mga kaibigan ko, “ang taas ng walls mo.”

I hope one day I’d find myself brave enough to show my vulnerabilities. But until then, I am starting small, really hoping that I can continue this whole shebang because honestly, this whole “pause and reflect” thing is working really well for me.

 

November AKA Life Update No One Asked For

November AKA Life Update No One Asked For

I wanted to do a Sunday Currently post, but since it’s a month-ender (wuw may “month-ender” post), let’s just do a “November Currently” or things I did/happened to me this month so my non-existent stalkers can easily know what I’m doing with my life.

Reading

Gots to finish Shonda Rhimes’ “Year of Yes” via Audible. I used to want to read actual books, but times are hard man when you’re an adult trying to juggle a lot of things, and the only time you could ever really “read” is during commutes to work and while doing mundane tasks like rearranging your clothes after doing two weeks’ worth of laundry. It’s easier to just plug in your headphones and listen to an audiobook. But Shonda’s book is making me want to buy an actual copy (will buy one soon!) just so I can highlight her thoughts and go back to it whenever I need to. Ooh! Could also be one of my options for this year’s Christmas party office exchange gift!

If you’re a big fan of TGIT (Thank God It’s Thursday) shows, especially Grey’s Anatomy, you’d love this book more because she references a lot of her stories to the characters she brought to life. Lots of wisdom and would recommend to anyone who would want to reinvent themselves, or you know, if you’re into that “new year, new me” shizz.

Writing

This post! Surprisingly, I am able to complete this month’s challenge of writing one post every Sunday!!! YAY ME! But a big chunk of that is all thanks to my ever-reliable friend, Marvie, who messages me every Sunday night to remind me that I need to post something, stat. She’s like my blog editor who hounds me if I don’t post something and I feel guilty so I do it anyway even if pwede ko naman sabihing tinatamad ako. Pero syempre, hindi ko pa ginagawa kasi libangan niya magbasa dito iniisip ko na lang na break niya ito sa pag-aalaga kay Raylee so ano ba naman yung magsulat ako ng ilang paragraphs? So far, okay naman, nakakapag-post pa naman ako. The real problem though is trying to constantly post something that is worthy of reading because I don’t want to waste people’s time reading shit on the internet, we already have Facebook for that, but then I thought this is my page where I just dump all my random thoughts and every blog entry doesn’t always have to be perfect, it’s not as if I have mindblowing stuff happen to me every week – unless I fabricate one – hindi naman teledrama ito, ano?

78164824_791552444603166_3435258127744761856_nMarvie sent me this screencap of her alarm to remind me of my promise hahaha what have I done?

The good thing though is that I’m writing this without Marvie’s prompt, maybe it really does take 21 days to form a habit? Which reminds me, sino kaya sa mga crush ko ang worth it na sendan ng “Good morning” ng 21 straight days tapos hindi ko na sesendan by the 22nd day para lang ma-test ‘tong theory na ito? (Fun fact: Nag-message si Marvie after ko i-type na hindi niya pa ko mine-message to remind me to write).

Listening

As I type this, Ben&Ben’s heartbreaking song, Masyado Pang Maaga, is playing in the background. But we’re talking this month ‘no, Spotify said my top artists include Ben&Ben, Reese Lansangan, and Taylor Swift. My most active hour is at 12mn, 39% of my tracks are danceable, my top genres: pop, pop rock, OPM, neo mellow, Pinoy indie, and Pinoy rock. Lovin’ this Spotify algorithm shizz.

Screen Shot 2019-12-01 at 11.55.38 PMScreen Shot 2019-12-01 at 11.55.28 PM

Thinking

How it’s already December 2019 and I still haven’t done anything that leads to my ultimate dream of world domination. I got a few friends to boycott Jollibee, Nutriasia, and Regent, (or they try to avoid it when I’m with them) so I guess, baby steps?

Smelling

nothing, just the smell of my dinner from Souper Hot (which is a little bland tonight, their soups usually taste good, but not tonight), but I’m thinking about that short article I read about how you can’t really tell how your house smells and will only know how it smells when you come back from a vacation and return to that familiar scent. Kasi matagal kang nawala. I’ve always wondered how my house smells, particularly my room, to other people. Friends who have been in my room, anong amoy? I hope it’s not bad at all. I try to use my diffuser as much as I want to naman hahaha!

Wishing

that I will find peace in everything that I do; that I get to go on another solo trip to the beach, Camiguin, come through!; that we sell a lot of clothes and small items in our concept store hehe come on Laguna peeps, give us your 13th-month pay!; that I will always remember to thank myself. We never really thank ourselves as much as we need to, ‘no? I feel like as much as I say I try to have more self-care activities, I realized sometimes, hindi ko naman kailangan gastusan sarili ko just to feel pampered, minsan kailangan ko lang i-appreciate ang sarili ko for still being the “strong, independent” woman even if minsan talaga gusto mo na lang gumive up.

Also, wishing to experience better mass transport in this lifetime. And see the corrupt officials go down.

Hoping

that we will win at the SC level sa regularization case namin against GMA. We recently got the good news that CA upheld their initial decision and junked GMA’s appeal, so we’re one step away from winning this labor case we’ve been fighting since 2014. This is going to be a landmark case, wow lakas ko haha, and could be used as a precedent for other media labor cases in the future. To be honest, I just want it to be over and done with so we can all move on from this. Why can’t companies just treat their people right, ‘no? Why do they have to be such scumbags? #endcontractualization #buhaymedia #TAGumpay

Wearing

shorts and my “Gabriela’s Revenge” shirt from Team Manila. But this month, I’ve been wearing a lot of checkered and gingham, ewan ko ba. Oh yeah, I wasn’t able to complete that challenge where I try to wear every single item of clothing I own before re-wearing clothes again so I’d know which ones to keep and give up on because may mga favorite lang talaga ako haha! But something good came out of that, I’ve taken out at least 1/8 of the clothes I own and will either sell or give them away.

Loving

that my friends still remember me whenever they need a writer for their projects. Just goes to show that when you do your job well and right, people will continue to want to work with you. So kids, do not send half-assed outputs. Not cool.

Wanting

to save more. I updated my budgeting system, and so far, so good. And wanting to sleep earlier, I really need to train my body to sleep early. And wanting to meet up with friends often. That quick Tagaytay trip this one weekend really perked me up. And wanting for this hormonal acne to stop. 2019 has not been good to my skin. I want my 2017 clear skin back.

Needing

a much-deserved vacation after a hard daysssss night. It’s not just the day job, but side jobs, and tita duties. And my overthinking and overanalyzing things. Fuck it. The only good side that comes out of this is that I get distracted from things that usually bug me when my mind is not thinking about work i.e. my crippling self-doubt.

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Feeling

Meh. November had its ups and downs. I’m mostly just waiting for myself to be able to sing Taylor Swift’s “I Forgot That You Existed” and actually mean it.

 

Inabutan na ng Monday ‘tong post. Inabutan na rin ng Disyembre. Meri Krismas, mga Kapuso!

Chapter 31.

Chapter 31.

I realized I’ve never written a birthday blog last year when I turned 30, but as I type this, I also realized I wrote a 150-page book about the things I learned as an adult-ish, so I feel like I don’t owe anyone a big 3-0 birthday post, ‘no? Also, no one really asked about it nor why didn’t I write one when I turned 28 and 29, so aal izz well.

DSC09970Here’s a photo of the birthday gal at the lake where she celebrated her birthday with the fam

But this year, there’s no book on the horizon and no other big plans coming up whatsoever. I’m just another soul going through life like a leaf getting blown by the wind to wherever it wants it to go. But I figured, even if that’s all I did this past year, I still learned a lot of stuff.

So yeah, they say sharing is caring, so here are a few things I learned over the last year, a birthday blog two months and four days late hahaha what a procrastinator (some stuvvz may or may not have appeared in the book “Adulting and Winging It”):

I learned that saying “please,” “thank you,” and “good morning” is not that hard. The best thing about it is it’s free. Say it the most to security guards, service crew, and people in the service industry in general, it’s going to make their day.

Kids, your grades will not define you. I graduated with honors in elementary and high school, and I had good grades in college (may 2.75 ako sa isang subject nung freshman year, so di ako qualified for a laude even if pasok yung GWA ko sa bracket lol pazaway). But you know what I learned? Your GWA has no bearing whatsoever in your life nor will it define your future, except maybe after you graduate. I mean, look at me now! Aliping saguiguilid pa rin. Wala, tignan niyo lang ako bakit hahaha. So, study hard, but have fun.

Not everything is the internet’s business. Do not feel the pressure to share everything in there. Coming from someone who always has IG stories to share, ‘no? What a hypocrite, Carmina. Lol. But seriously, what I mean is the good ol’ “do not wash your dirty linen in public.” A lot of people are honestly just trying to gossip about you and your problems, utang na loob, sarilinin mo na lang yung iba, or have a core group of friends to tell all your woes. At least those people really care about you at hindi lang masayang miserable ka. Ano nga ulit yun? Schadenfreude. Pak. Tama spelling in one go. Oha. Oha. Don’t get mad if people ask you why you and your SO broke up kung post ka naman nang post ng feelingz mo sa internet about it. Duhhh. They probably thought it’s okay to ask since you’re very open about it. If not, then don’t talk about it on the internet.

Sabi nga ng favorite teacher ni Olive Penderghast,

“I don’t know what your generation’s fascination is with documenting your every thought… but I can assure you, they’re not all diamonds. ‘Roman is having an OK day, and bought a Coke Zero at the gas station. Raise the roof.’ Who gives a rat’s ass?”

You are never too sleepy to double cleanse. Imagine all that grime sitting on your face. Imagine getting wrinkles before you turn 25 just ‘cause hindi ka naghilamos. Ghorl.

Screen Shot 2019-11-25 at 1.33.59 AMcalligraphy credits to Kat Torreliza

Use body oil instead of body lotion. WHAT. A. GAME. CHANGER. I used to love Nivea’s Moisturizing Lotion, but by afternoon, I can already see my skin flaking from the cold, cold air conditioner. That’s when I decided I need a better “lotion.” That’s when I came across body oils, tried Beachborn’s Bath and Body Oil a few years back and it literally changed the way my skin feels. Oooh, moisturized ba kamo? No more flaky skin! It was a little steep at P350 for 100ml, so I decided to use Human Nature’s 100% Sunflower Oil as a substitute since I’m already using it as an oil cleanser, so dual purpose ‘di ba? Works just as well, a little greasier than Beachborn’s so a few drops go a long way talaga. Cons: walang lavender smell since I use it on my face, too, but that’s okay. It gets the job done and I have perfume naman. Pro tip: Use it right after you step out of the shower, when your skin is damp for better absorption.

Trust the process. I used to bitch about this whole “tRuSt tHe pRoCeSs” thing; until I realized that it is indeed true and applicable in every aspect of your life. How we all shouldn’t compare ourselves to other people because your journey is never going to be the same journey as another person’s. I still do it, but I’m glad that on most days, I get to catch myself when I do it, and then everything feels a little better. More on this in this speech I gave earlier this year.

Give it your best shot. Always. If you’re going to do it, do it right and well. Whether it is for work, for your family, even the most mundane things, give it your best shot. I don’t know, it somehow gives me the peace of mind that if I did it right and well to the best of my ability, I wouldn’t have to ask myself the dreaded question, “what if?”

Mas okay mag-save sa PAG-IBIG MP2 over sa bangko. Currently, it’s at 8.11% na raw so opening up my own account soon. Dapat lahat tayo wais na misis kahit hindi pa misis. #praktis To know more about this, Google it!

Know when to leave. And know when to speak or shut up. If it makes you feel uncomfortable, leave. If you feel something is off and your gut is saying something isn’t right, it almost always isn’t right, so leave.

Always try new things. I hope we all never get tired of trying new things, and having that feeling of excitement over a new thing, challenge, or even say, new food you’ve never tried before! You’ll never realize that you are far better, stronger, and have better taste buds than you think you have (meh waley) if you didn’t take a leap of faith. Plus, you will discover a lot of things about yourself.

Do not live in your own bubble. Just because you’re not experiencing something like say the horrendous Manila traffic (but srsly, saang time-space continuum yan kung di mo ‘to na-experience on a daily basis please take me) or wasn’t alive when that thing happened ehem Marcos apologists ehem doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. P. S. A bigger world awaits you.

Choose your battles. In the world we live in today, remember, yung mga mas tanga, sila pa yung mas matatapang. Tread carefully.

I learned that while it is perfectly okay to be raised as an independent person, it is far better to be raised as someone who will perpetuate good deeds to other human beings. Can you imagine if every single person spread one good deed a day? The world will become a more livable place.

Learn to unlearn things. Dapat may character development tayo. May utak tayo, sundut-sundutin ito every day.

Do not skimp on giving appreciation to people. This is something new that I learned from Wake Up with Jim and Saab. Palakpak lang yan, “Huy, ang galing mo dude, pare, chong!” lang yan. “Ang ganda mo today!” lang yan. Hindi natin alam kung gaano nito mae-encourage ang isang tao na ipagpatuloy pa ang ginagawa niya and how these nice things will make their day. Nabatukan talaga ako nitong lesson na ‘to bilang sobrang dalang ko magbigay ng appreciation. Not that madamot ako, it’s just that I feel like it will not come as sincere as I’d want it to be, so I save my “ang galing mo!” “lodi kita!” and “sobrang ibang klase galing mo!” for when I really, really mean it. I promise I will say it more. And I will also speak my mind more. ❤

If you know you’re right, speak up. Women, I am talking to you. Introverts, kayo rin. ‘Wag kayo matakot hingin yung sukli ninyong piso sa jeep, because that’s your money. ‘Wag kayong mahiyang mag-suggest ng ideas kung tingin ninyo may value add naman. And do not be afraid to speak up if you want to say, “NO” but the person thinks your non-verbal answer means “YES.” Kaya mo yan! 

ACV is not good for your skin, apparently. Nakakasunog ng balat, bes. And that a lot of hyped up “skincare holy grails” are really not true. So contact an expert and get to know your skin better, because YMMV (Your mileage may vary) from every other skincare junkie out there. Fuck, I really need to visit a derma. My hormonal acne has fucked up my skin since the year began. I am so mad.

Say what you mean, and mean what you say. Kung kaya pa, please naman yung actions niyo dapat ganun din yung words. Saan ang follow up, dude, pare, chong? Nakaka-confuse ka kasi! Okay, may pinanggagalingan ako. HAHAHA. But from someone who speaks her mind, I hate it when people do something and then say something disconnected, like what the fuck is up with that, dude? I may not always speak my mind, fine, but if I get asked about it, madali akong kausap, I will answer honestly. It’s one of my best and worst traits.

Forgiveness is a gift you give to yourself, not to the person who wronged you. That’s the time na masasabi mo nang, okay ka na. Kung napatawad mo na at kaya mong pabalikin sa buhay mo, e di good! Kung kaya mong patawarin at hindi mo kayang ibalik sa buhay mo, okay pa rin! Buhay mo yan, isa lang yan, and you get to choose who could be in it because we don’t live forever and the stress is not worth it. Only choose those who #SparkJoy

Epilator is a balbon girl’s best friend. 2019’s best buy, hands down. I’ve saved more than 5k in leg waxing with this, still not counting other people who I loaned it to. ROI na ko agad, di pa tapos taon. Oha oha.

Do not rely too much on people. Sure, you can put faith in them, but put your 110% faith in yourself first. Aminin mo man o hindi, people will fail and disappoint you. So learn to be self-reliant, because in the end, when everyone has left, sarili mo lang ang hindi mang-iiwan sa ‘yo. But never lose faith in people. Eventually, you’d know when to draw the line. Promise.

Learning to budget is a never-ending learning process. Find the best one that works for you, and keep on improving it. Ito talaga true test of being an adult. Over the last few months, I keep on dipping on my savings once a month and it didn’t feel good, until I decided to review the way I spend my money again, and lo and behold, I am now able to save again, and even give money to my father. May extra pa!

71519553_10220198176924031_4838163569545576448_omali yung unang try, so galingan ko next time #readyfireaim

Ready, fire, aim! Okay, quick lesson if you’re unfamiliar with this business strategy. And yes, it’s “ready, fire, aim!” not “ready, aim, fire!” The idea behind this is that you don’t need to perfect something before going public, you create a prototype, an MVP – minimum viable product (ready), you release it to the public (fire), and then iterate based on the public’s comments and then re-release version 2.0 (aim). But here’s the cool thing, you can apply it IRL as well! Say yes more! Be more courageous! If you fail, learn from it, and then do it all over again! Think about all the things you said “NO” too and then think what could’ve happened if you said “YES” di ba?

Be grateful for the little things. This year, I’m keeping a “grateful everyday bottle” where I would put in a post-it with things I am grateful for, and even if I almost always, always forget to write something in it, just by looking at it and knowing that I had a lot already (even if I’m inconsistent with it), I am excited to open it by Dec. 31.

Material things lose their value over time, so invest more in experiences. Kapag namatay ka, hindi yung kotse mo ang maiisip mo, sure ako dun, kung hindi yung memories na kasama mo yung mga taong mahalaga sa buhay mo.

Develop a self-care ritual. It’s going to change your life. Y’all know stress is the silent killer and is linked to a lot of major deaths like heart disease and cancer. Sixty percent of people reading this will get sick because of stress. I’m not even kidding, JK, I’m totally kidding. But honest to goodness, destress. Some people go to the gym, online shop/window shop, or talk to their loved ones about their day. Mine is having a nightly skincare ritual while watching Netflix, then listening to a podcast or a mindfulness app, whatever fancies me that night. Just to refresh my brain. The idea is to do something predictable, something that will not stress you out more. Works. 10/10 would do it every night.

Never lose your magic. Sabi nga ni kumareng Shonda,

“Everyone’s got some greatness in them. You do. The girl over there does. That guy on the left has some. But in order to really mine it, you have to own it. You have to grab hold of it. You have to believe it.”

If it doesn’t make you uncomfortable, it’s probably not worth it. Here’s the thing, yung mga bagay na nakakatakot usually ang mga bagay na mas makakapagbigay ng kaligayahan sa ‘tin. High risk, high reward. Simple. Think about it. Now, go do that thing that makes you feel uncomfy.

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Lastly, I am enough. And yes, YOU, too, are enough.

 

Top 5 Apps I Can’t Live Without

Top 5 Apps I Can’t Live Without

photo-1462078563783-650e23af549dlitrato mula sa Unsplash

Last week, I was listening to this podcast, “Wake Up with Jim and Saab” (Thanks, #WUWJAS for the idea!) and their topic was about the five apps they need in their lives. I figured that’s a really cool topic and started asking my workmates to get to know them a little bit better. And seryoso, as in totoo nga yung kasabihang, “tell me what your favorite apps are, and I’ll tell you who you are.” Charot. Syempre imbento ko lang yan. They say the average person has at least 21 apps on their phone, and if you tell them to list them according to their most favorite apps, it would take them an average of 47 minutes to do so. Syempre imbento ko lang rin yan.

Anyway, I decided to answer the question myself, hence, this filler post. (Hinahanap na rin kasi ni Marvie yung post ko for the week kasi nga ‘di ba sabi ko magpo-post ako every week e hindi ako nag-post last week so hinahabol ko ngayon ‘to kahit na gagawin ko pa sana yung inventory ko lol o di ba priorities tsaka super super late birthday post sana kaso kailangan yung mabilis lang isulat so ito na muna, next week na yun).

Spotify. AKA the only app I am paying every month. Sobrang scam talaga ng P9 for three months promo, after mag-expire, mapapaisip ka talaga ng, “Yes, I need Spotify premium in my life, ayoko na makarinig ng ads at gusto ko ng unlimited skips.” But really, I think the P129 is worth it naman considering how I abuse the app every single day. For one, I am a big fan of podcasts and I won’t be able to choose the episode I wanted to listen to if I’m using the free version. Plus, the music! Mamamatay yata ako ‘pag nawala ito sa buhay ko, bukod sa ‘pag sinabihan akong di na ko pwede magsulat ever. Or kumain, malamang. It’s just that I take comfort in knowing people won’t bother me if I have my headphones on and I would gladly pay a premium for that peace of mind.

Calm. AKA the only reason why I’m writing this post – to promote Calm. Haha! Tagal ko na iniisip paano ‘to i-promote e buti na lang haha. I’ve started using this mindfulness app last year when we had a session in the office asking us to meditate for 30 straight days and document them in a diary. Wondering if I should write about that, I had thoughts that we’re pa-deep and funny and gago hahaha and it’s always nice to talk to yourself every now and then. Should I?

Anyway, Calm is the number one app in mindfulness eme, haven’t tried Headspace or the other apps in this realm (wuw realm,) but what I really like about this app is the fact that it really works. The Sleep Guided Meditation is my most used feature since I always have a hard time going to sleep at night, hirap maging overthinker minsan. Hindi pa tapos yung guided meditation, tulog na ko agad, ganun ka-solid. So take a deep breath, close your eyes, feel the air coming out of your nose, relax your head… hahaha! Ewan why these steps work, but they do! It’s a little steep at P2,390 for an entire year and my free 7-day subscription is expiring tomorrow, so I’m still on the edge if I should pay for it, because kuripot days. Ughhh. I want it so baaaaad.

Grab. I was originally veering more into Angkas bilang Angkas ambassadress na nga yata ako haha, but the additional features made me swing the pendulum to Grab’s side. GrabFood, Grab delivery, and tbh, the charge to debit card features are just some of the things I like about it. Pero shet naman Angkas, bilisan niyo mag-upgrade, the audacity of Grab to use their fucking advantage creating that GrabShare scheme na eight minutes waiting time, sobrang scaaaaam! I hope one day, makakuha ng katapat ‘tong Grab e. Is Owto even good? We need more options!!!

Messenger. Lam niyo na, para ma-message ako ng mga crush ko syempre. Charot. Do people still text these days? I mean, thank God for messaging apps, mas madali na talaga to communicate if you have data/WiFi connection. Talking to my mother who’s in abroad becomes easier, I mean hello, thank you naman madali niya na nase-send yung mga pictures ng mga binili niya for me. Lol. “Gusto mo ba ‘to, Chill?” is just one of my favorite messages to receive along with my friends’ “Alam mo ba?” videos and photos of my nephews and nieces, and screenshots of messages my friends have with people hahaha! Bakit tayo chismosa, guys? Also, venting to my vent buddies helps as well! Good for the body. And messages of “Mins, kaya mo pa ba magsulat? May raket ako sa ‘yo.” Good for the wallet.

Netflix. Thank you, mama, for paying for my Netflix. I hope the whole shebang of not allowing multiple users to use Netflix will not push through because I’m poor and stingy. And cannot afford to pay for my own subscription. Hehehe. Currently watching the latest season of The Crown and I’m on season 3 na nga HIMYM because I’m planning to write a “HIMYM shitfest” here where I shit on it ‘pag nakaluwag-luwag. Para may pansagot na ko sa mga tao why Friends is the better show kasi mas madali mag-defend ‘pag may points ako against the other show, right?

Other apps I frequently use that I chose not to include here because pwede naman sila sa desktop or Safari (o ‘di ba pinag-isipan ko talaga): Twitter (had to really think hard because this is my favorite social media), Instagram (because I’ve been meaning to cut down my use of this and updating my story pero syempre fail, nagpo-post pa rin ako), Shopee (because I can do that on my laptop), and my Notes app (nakalimutan ko palang sabihin yung qualifier na “apps you have to download” lang at yung pre-installed di na kasama), Waze/Google Maps because magaling naman ako sa direksyon chos hindi naman ako nagda-drive so super dalang, Toy Blast!!! YouTube!!! Facebook, not so much. I can proudly say that I can live without it na. And my bank apps (UB, BPI, and BDO) because mas importante yung above-mentioned and hindi naman sila mawawala at post lang naman ito.

Di ko alam paano tatapusin, so let’s put my made-up stats to the test: What are the top 5 apps you can’t live without? I’m curious and want to get to know you more. And judge you. Chos.

Game.

 

 

 

Pass your papers!

Rich Conversations Over McDonald’s Rich Chocolate Pie (Wuw)

Rich Conversations Over McDonald’s Rich Chocolate Pie (Wuw)

Ever since we welcomed 2019, I’ve missed having heart-to-heart conversations with my workmates. See, we used to have these familial partnerships sessions where we are asked to answer mind-numbing questions about yourself, which I’ve talked about this here a few times. The goal is to make you think and feel uncomfortable at hindi patahimikin ang kaluluwa mo, basically.

“Nakaka-miss mag-FP,” I think one of us said during that day’s merienda break. We were having a taste test of McDonald’s rich chocolate pie. We got curious because Pau’s friend said, “masarap naman. Kaso, alam mo yung para kang nakipag-sex tapos may biglang pumasok sa kwarto? Ganun.” Uhm, di ko alam. Di ko pa nae-experience. Hahaha. That is one odd way of describing how a certain food tastes like.

“Sabi ni Chinny, masarap daw. So baka for her, ‘it’s better than sex?’ Hahaha.” I chimed in. “Hoy, hindi a!” Chinny said. “Baka naman parang alam mo yung mga clingy na tao na nung una wow okay ‘to ah, tapos biglang fuck, ang clingy niya, makikipaghiwalay na ‘ko dito, nakakaumay?” I added. Hindi naman daw.

mcdchocpie.jpg

To be honest, I don’t know how we ended up describing that pie that way, baka pa-deep lang talaga kami that day. Kasi instead of having the usual ‘watercooler talk,’ we were talking about loving yourself vis-à-vis completing yourself, di ko pa rin alam paano kami umabot dun. ‘Di ba? Pa-deep nga.

“Alam niyo ba sabi ng therapist ko, magkaiba yung loving yourself sa completing yourself?” Pau said out of nowhere.

“Oo.”

“Sabi niya, kapag nakipag-break ka sa jowa mo, dun mo mararamdaman na worthless ka. Basically, mababa ang self-worth mo. Sobrang hirap mahalin ng sarili mo after the breakup, kasi ni-reject ka e. Ayaw na sa ‘yo. So parang ang pangit-pangit mo ‘di ba? So how the heck are you supposed to love yourself? Ganito yung tinuro niyang exercise: Think of the characteristics of an ideal partner for you. Tapos work on yourself to become this ideal person. Ang tawag daw dun ‘mirroring technique’ para mas mahalin mo sarili mo. You need to become the ideal person you want to be with. Kasi ‘di ba, pag nasa salamin ka, tapos may dumi ka sa mukha, hindi mo naman lilinisan yung salamin para mawala yung dumi, sarili mo yung lilinisan mo. Ganun din daw sa relationships.”

“Ah. Oo nga ‘no. Makes sense. Ang galing.”

“Yung completing yourself?”

“Pinayo niya rin sa ‘kin yung sabi mo, Mins. Na magpunta pa rin ako sa Japan mag-isa. Yung idea is puntahan ko ulit yung mga “lugar” namin and make new memories para mabuo ulit ako.”

“Oh yeah. Alam mo ba, ginawa rin yan ng kaibigan ko after ng breakup nila ng boyfriend niya. Pero siya, ginawa niya, nagsama siya ng iba-ibang kaibigan sa mga pinuntahan, kinainan nila. Para raw iba na yung memories niya. Hindi na malulungkot.”

“Oo. Tapos mag-try din daw ako gumawa ng mga bagay mag-isa. Dinner, movie. Yung magpapasaya sa ‘kin na ako lang mag-isa. Dapat maging comfortable muna ako sa sarili ko.”

“Kasi hindi ka naman nga raw dapat papasok sa relationship para mabuo ka. Dapat papasok ka dun ng buo ka na tapos gusto mong may mapag-share-an ka nung happiness. Kasi ang dami mong love na ibibigay para sa taong ‘yun. Kasi pag binigay mo lahat, tas mawala, tas dun ka naka-depend, shet, wala, tae ka na.”

“Alam mo, sabi nga ni JE, mag-isa lang naman daw talaga tayong nagjo-journey. It just happened na may nakilala ka na same lang din naman kayo ng pupuntahan. So why not sabay na kayo papunta dun tas let’s see where this goes. Pwedeng mawala siya or umiba ng daan in the process, pero kaya mo pa rin mag-isa. Buo ka pa rin.”

“Yung di ka pilay or di mo kailangan ng alalay o yung maliligaw ka kung mawala siya ‘no? Kaya mo pa rin.”

“Feeling ko kailangan ng ate ko ng completing yourself eme, ‘di ba?”

“Hindi. Kailangan ng ate mo ng talk about personal growth. Hahaha. Pero alam niyo, meron nga akong napakinggang podcast something similar dyan sa loving yourself e. Alam mo, parang dito ko talaga napapatunayan na we are all on our different journeys and trajectories and that we shouldn’t compare ourselves to other people. Kasi iba yung gusto nila sa gusto mo. Sabi dun sa napakinggan ko, iba-iba tayo ng idea ng ‘rich lives’ and that you should live your rich life the way na nakikita mo, not the way society wants you to. Yung kung ano magpapasaya sa ‘yo. Parang same sa kung paano mo i-define ang ‘successful’ sa ‘yo. Like for instance, may kaibigan ako, for her, mayaman/successful siya kapag may bahay, kotse, may pera, the works. Pero ako napaisip ako that time, I think for me, successful ka kapag nanalo ka ng award, nasa GMA pa kami nun. Or yung alam mo yung may impact ka sa mga tao sa paligid mo. Yung kahit patay ka na, buhay ka pa rin sa mga alaala nila. I guess, in one word, ‘legacy.’ Ikaw?”

“Ako siguro, yung pwede kong gawin lahat ng gusto ko. Yung masaya lang ako.”

“Freedom?”

“Contentment?”

“Yun siguro.”

“Yung akin is balance. Yung tipong may hanap-buhay ka na fulfilling pero may inuuwian ka pa rin na buhay outside work.”

“So work-life balance / work-life integration?”

“Parang ganun.”

“Ang simple. Pero ang ganda.”

 

Ubos na ang rich choco pie. Masarap naman. It speaks to me on another level. Nung una parang saks lang, pero reminiscent of moron (suman version ng Leyte na gawa sa tablea at giniling na bigas tapos may mani, ini-steam habang nakabalot sa dahon ng saging). May nostalgia e, 7.5 out of ten. Mas masarap yung Choco Mallow Pie ng Jollibee, but #BoycottJollibee so this will do. Sulit at P40.

Nasarapan din si Pau. Kaso bilang may diploma siya sa culinary, masyado raw maraming cornstarch. Halatang ginawang extender. Pero siyempre, anong maaasahan natin sa mass produced na item?

“Magluto na lang tayo nito sa bahay ninyo,” tanong ko. Ngumit lang si Pau. I’d take it as a “Yes, in the future.” Masarap, but he’s had better. 6/10 daw.

Back to work. Hindi tatapusin ng script mag-isa ang sarili niya.

 

***conversations in quotation marks are re-imagined. I should’ve recorded this instead and uploaded it as a podcast. Haha.

October Hanash

October Hanash

photo-1540580633806-c1761a8dd4d5photo from: unsplash

 

Here’s a quick sanity break. I feel like I needed to write because tangina naman unti-unti na naman akong kinakain ng insecurities ko sa buhay ng hindi ko namamalayan. The other night, I found myself crying myself to sleep. Probably just the hormones, or overanalyzing my life again. Ang dami kong feelz tangina.

(Note: If you’re reading this part, wag niyo ko tanungin about it, I open up when I want to or I’m comfortable telling it to you. Or kung may alak. Whichever comes first.)

So free write ulit tayo, walang maninita sa ganito. Wala munang pansinan ng typos o grammatical errors mga kapitbahay. Teynks.

So try natin yung nabasa ko sa Twitter o Facebook yata yun, kapag daw nagsulat ka gamit ang Comic Sans, mas magfo-flow nang maayos ang thoughts mo. Shet, hindi ko alam kung totoo ‘to. Baka nga, si Bob Ong ang daming libro niya printed in Comic Sans, so tignan natin? Game.

A few days ago, may nakwento sa ‘kin yung friend ko and tbh, ‘Twas the craziest thing I’ve heard last month. Sobrang random, one of her Facebook friends messaged her asking her if she needs money. She was a bit puzzled by the question, wondering if she ever told her about her family raising money for down payment to this house they’re buying. Anyway, she asked why, and this girl said pwede silang maghati sa 120k in exchange for uhhh pictures.

Apparently, some foreigner had been giving this ate girl money in exchange for nudez. Di rin namin alam bakit biglang kailangan ng ibang babae na, baka nagsawa na si pervert sa face ni OG nudez sender, ewan. The funny thing was if you knew my friend, she’s the last person you’d think who would do this, as in.

Sakit ulo ko guys, 120k. Kahit yung half lang na 60k, mas malaki pa sa one month na take home pay ko potek. Pose-pose ka lang jusko. I mean, I’m not alien to the concept of sugar daddies, there’s an entire compilation of stories about it on Twitter sent by followers to my kangkarot friend, Dickson, but to actually personally know someone who’d be asked to become a sugar baby, ‘day! Sumakit lalo ang ulo ko, pati bewang ko.

So you know, it really made me wonder how far people would go for easy money. Shoot, bakit ko pa ba tinatanong, e yung gobyerno na lang natin glaring na how far they would go for money, binebenta na nga tayo, G pa rin tayo e. Sadnu.

But that’s not what I really wanted to write about. Hindi natin brand ang sugar daddies wala tayong alam dyan, hindi ko lang talaga mapigilang hindi ikwento. Last week, may napakinggan akong podcast ni Matt D’Avella. Isa siyang YouTuber na mostly self-improvement ang mga ganap sa buhay ganyan. Minimalist. Hindi ko alam kung bakit pero sobrang drawn ako sa mga self-improvement hanash sa buhay. Baka dahil din siguro sobrang self-aware ko?

Sa isa sa mga fireside sessions nga namin sa office, nagsabihan kami ng magagandang salita sa bawat isa. Tapos may nakapagsabing gusto niya yung pagka-self-aware ko. Ewan ko, good side ko pala yun? Pero sa totoo lang, kung may sasabihin kayo sa ‘kin, either masama or maganda, lalo kung masama, malamang sa malamang, naisip ko na yan tungkol sa sarili ko, dahil nga sa pagka-self-aware ko. Minsan may mga situations na nangyari na tapos ilang beses ko ipe-play sa utak ko on how I could have handled it better. Sobrang critical ko sa sarili ko kaya madalas rin siguro I am so hard on myself. I try to be better, but to be honest, I like that I am very self-aware because I can actually correct the things I don’t like about myself. Ayokong sabihing, “e ganito na ‘ko e. Sinong mag-a-adjust?”

Naniniwala akong hindi tayo nabuhay sa mundo para lang mabuhay nang walang natututunan. Dapat meron tayong character development, wag tayong tumulad kay Bong Go na senador na, wala pa ring arc yung character niya, parang tinamad yung writer na bigyan siya ng konting screentime. Alila ng presidente pa rin tingin sa sarili niya. Kung ayaw mo ng character development, e di sana naging tae ka na lang.

Speaking of tae, grabe pala talaga pumoops ang mga baby ‘no? At grabe rin sila kumain. Si Andres, yung youngest pamangkin ko, born last Oct. 19, 16 times ang personal best niyang pagdede. Shookt ako. Kauuwi ko lang mula sa bahay ng kapatid ko. At holy mother of fuck, nakakapagod talaga mag-alaga ng baby. I don’t know how you moms do it. Puyat na puyat ako, considering hindi pa ako yung nagpapadede, ha? Parang na-drain ako. So hindi ko na lang alam yung kapatid ko. Feeling ko drain na rin silang mag-asawa sa pagod.

Pero kung ganitong mga ngiti naman ang ibibigay sa ‘yo, nakaka-recharge bigla e, ‘no? Nasa stage ka bigla ng ayoko ng baby vs shet gusto ko na magka-baby. But srsly, Carmina Mones, NOT YET READY. Pero sabi naman nila, hindi ka naman talaga magiging ready sa maraming bagay, ‘pag nandyan na sa harap mo, saka mo na lang malalaman anong gagawin mo, ‘di ba?

Dahil nasa usapang character development at pagkilala sa sarili na rin naman tayo, at free writing nga ito, so far, tina-try ko pa ring maging outgoing, kaya finally, nagkita na kami ng isa sa mga “internet friends” ko. Malamang papaluin ako sa pwet ng nanay ko kapag nabasa niya ito, “bakit ka nakikipagkita sa mga taong hindi mo kilala? Ganyan ba kita pinalaki?!” hahaha. Uhm, para makakilala pa ng ibang tao outside sa circle ko? Magkaron ng bagong kaibigan?

Okay, bukod sa 2019 na, naniniwala naman akong magaling akong judge of character AKA praning ako sa mga strangers in general so pag sumama ako sa yo ibig sabihin walang warning bells sa utak ko. That, or crush kita. Charot. Pero yun, pinakain naman ako. Haha. Nakauwi pa naman ako ng buhay. Happy naman ako. Nasusulat ko pa nga ‘to ng walang permiso niya e nakalimutan kong sabihang, “wag kumaibigan ng writer kung ayaw mong may nababasa tungkol sa sarili mo.” Charot. At sa tatlong taon naming nakakapag-usap ng kung anu-ano, okay naman, mej kampante naman ako. Siya pa nga takot sa ‘kin. I think, I really do have that effect on people? Guys, clear ko lang, madali ako lapitan. Madali akong kausap. Hindi ako nangangain ng tao. Tanong niyo pa sa pamangkin kong napanaginipang monster ako at kinain ko siya sa nightmare niya.

Anyway, nalibang ako, circle back tayo dun sa podcast. Medyo nahihirapan ako ngayon ayusin yung finances ko, nagyo-yoyo siya, I mean sure, I shelled out some from my savings account for a small business, and my father asked for financial help for the next 18 months, so medyo nagpa-panic naman ako ‘no? So nung nakita ko yung episode tungkol sa pagma-master ng personal finance mo, e pinakinggan ko. Syempre last week pa yun, last week pa rin dapat pala itong blog na ‘to. Kaso ngayon lang ako sinipag, shet, umeepekto yung Comic Sans sa ‘kin mga baks, what sorcery iz thiz?!

So kwento ko na lang yung takeaway ko. Ang ganda kasi. Isa sa sinabi nung guest is kailangan mong i-define ano ba ang “rich life” para sa ‘yo. Anong pre-conceived notion mo nito? Ito ba yung, “I can buy you, your friends, and this club!” na rich na gusto mo? O baka naman yung nagda-drive ka ng Lamborghini? O ka-rubbing elbows mo na finally ang mga old rich?

And then I realized, it’s interconnected with how I personally perceive success. For instance, meron akong kaibigan na ang notion niya ng success is may bahay, kotse, kayang bilhin lahat, whereas my perception of success is meron kang impact na nagawa sa mundo ng mga taong nakapaligid sa ‘yo.

In the same manner, ganun mo rin tignan ang “rich life” mo. Your rich life may differ from other people’s rich lives. So ‘di ba, babalik na naman tayo sa wag tayong magpakain sa mga nakikita natin sa social media at mag-focus lang tayo sa sarili nating timeline kahit na yung mga bwisit mong tita sa reunion mas nakikielam pa sa timeline mo kung bakit ka mataba, bakit wala pa kayong anak o kung kelan ka ikakasal napag-iiwanan ka na. Daworst. Pakyu po kayo. Very much. Pero sa totoo lang, napakahirap naman talagang gawin hindi magkumpara sa ibang tao. Nate-tempt na naman nga akong mag-hiatus. So ‘pag nawala ako ulit, wag na kayo magtaka, inaayos ko lang ulit sarili ko.

Sabi pa sa podcast, mag-focus ka sa mga bagay na nakakapagpasaya sa ‘yo. Tapos mag-all in ka dun. And then let all the other stuff go. Hindi mo kailangan yan. Decide what your “rich life” is. And then make a plan on how to get there. Change your mindset.

Ganda rin nung discussion tungkol sa utang. Sabi niya, bukod sa tapangan mong ilista lahat ng utang mo, alamin mo rin kelan mo sila dapat mabayaran. Saka ka gumawa ng paraan paano mo sila mababayaran sa set date mo. Kasi kung wala kang deadline, ay pucha, mamamatay ka na’t lahat, may utang ka pa rin. Ang masama niyan, baka pati mga anak mo pa ang magbayad niyan.

Awa ng Diyos, wala akong utang. Sobrang takot ako sa utang. Ang problema ko, masyado naman akong liquid. Wala akong masyadong assets, at kailangan ko yun. I think. O baka yun ang dinidikta ng society sa ‘kin na kailangan ko. Hindi ko pa alam. Isipin ko pa ulit kung kailangan ko ba talaga yun dahil in the end, pare-parehas naman tayong mamamatay at lalamunin ng dagat-dagatang apoy.

Paano naman kumita nang mas malaki? Syemps, manage mo expenses mo. Ganda ng tip kung paano tamang mag-negotiate ng raise sa kumpanya bago pa ang annual raise. Kailangang kausapin mo ang boss mo ng mga ito, ganito ang mga kaya kong gawin. Ito ang mga gagawin ko, gusto kong mag-take ng mas maraming responsibility dahil kaya ko na. Hindi ako manghihingi ng raise, pero kung magawa ko, pwede ba natin itong i-discuss sa future? Tapos galingan mo bes. After six months, pakita mo results. Circle back ka sa usapan niyo six months ago, then negotiate ng sweldo base sa market rate. ‘Di ba? ‘Di ba? Galing! Di ko lang alam kung ubra sa kultura nating mga Pinoy na mahiyain, o medyo mababa ang self-worth. Obserbasyon lang naman.

Maging yung tip kung paano ka makakapag-charge ng mas malaki kung freelancer ka. Ang pro tip niya, tignan mo ano pa bang pwede mong i-offer na hindi ino-offer ng iba? I-one up mo sila. Likewise, alamin mo yung ginagawang iba ng mga taong kayang magbigay ng rate na x10 sa current rate na binibigay mo. Aralin mo. Imitate, then innovate. Ayos. Kung may sumubok nito, pakibalikan ako ng results ninyo.

Sa mga ganitong pagkakataon talaga ako napapaisip na sana nakinig ako sa personal financial management class ko nung second year college. Sana mas pinagtuunan ko ng pansin yun kesa sa communication theories na hindi ko naman nagagamit IRL. Sana rin mas naging magaling ang mga magulang ko magturo kung paano humawak ng pera o instead of telling us, “mag-aral kang mabuti para makakuha ka ng magandang trabaho,” itinuro sa ‘min paano maging sarili naming boss, lalo na’t may maliit na yelohan naman si papa dati na siya ang boss. Or you know, sana kaya kong lunukin yung pride ko para pumose-pose para mas madali na kumita ng pera o di kaya magaling akong mag-photoshop para mag-edit na lang ako ng nudez kahit di talaga ako yun tapos send ko dun sa sugar daddy para wala na kong problema. Charot, joke lang yung last.

NOT IN THIS BODY. (Dahil wala rin namang titingin.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Life so far…

Life so far…

In an attempt to keep this site active, here are some stuff that I have been doing lately, not that any of you care…

IMG20190926125306
Here’s a photo of me during our retreat. Wala siyang connect sa post, pang-featured photo lang, bakit? Perhaps since I wrote this nang walang edits, I wanted to post a more candid shot of me, too. Am I reaching, your honor?

Our mini-business is up and running since the second week of September. A few months back, Venice, one of our work friends, started her own brand for a concept store told us how we can be her partners in other concept stores in the south (Laguna, where her family lives). If you’re not familiar with concept stores, ito yung mga nasa mall na ‘pag pumasok ka, hindi pwedeng hindi ka lumabas na wala kang bibilhin. It’s kinda like Watson’s except that iba-ibang sellers and nag-converge sa loob in the hopes na ma-“scam” ka sa mga produkto nila. From clothes to swimsuits, skincare (local and international brands), shoes, arts and crafts, eco stuff, jewelry, bags and other accessories, meron lahat. It’s also kinda like SM, that has it all for your regular maarte girls and guys, now that I think about it.

Anyway, nagpa-“downline” kami kay Venice and so we have started selling clothes in a concept store in San Pablo, Laguna and I’m also selling small items (fancy jewelry and other thingamajigs) over at Sta. Rosa, Laguna. Our first month’s okay, a little disappointed than what I expected, but Venice said sales is going to pick up once Pinoys start buying gifts for Christmas. So I’m keeping my fingers crossed for that. My sister and I, who I recruited in this, are thinking of other items to sell like rebranding lip tints and this month, I’ll send in new eco-friendly items I use myself. Hehe. So hope those get sold out, too.

Work’s so-so. For the past few months, we have been doing brainstorming after brainstorming it became a little frustrating; but finally, last week, we finally nailed it! Not that we’re coming up with shitty ideas, it’s just that we keep on iterating on what will really work for the comm strategy to use for our client. Excited for the sprint in the coming weeks because I know I’ll learn a lot about design thinking and other things I might be able to apply in the business and life in general. Maybe even apply in my writing raket on the side, ewan. (Pahingi ng writing raket guys, ya ate girl’s gotta save more!)

For a few weeks na, I’ve been trying to wear all my clothes (not the way Joey did to Chandler’s clothes in Friends) but wear everything at least once. Still on the cycle. The idea is once I’m done with the “experiment,” the ones that I didn’t get to wear or ayoko na isuot, ica-Carousell ko or bigay sa mga pamangkin. Ang dami ko ng naipamigay in fairness, but I want to keep my clothes at a minimum na talaga (ehem says the girl who recently purchased clothes in the Forever 21 big sale anong problema mo ate huhuhu Marie Kondo is disappointed). So yun. So far, so good. I’m unearthing clothes I forgot I bought and mixing and matching more.

Oh, we had a team retreat aptly called, “Discovery Days” in the last week of September and it was a really nice exercise for us to self-reflect and evaluate our lives. I might do another post on that and try to answer the questions thrown at us here, wala lang, added content. Also, y’all might want to answer them as well. Some of those questions are what led me to write my book.

Oh yeah, I turned a year wiser a few weeks back. Might write about that ‘pag sinipag si ate girl. No. I will definitely write about that. And maybe review this lash perm I had done on my birthday. Hehe.

I wish though I could read more, I feel like kinakalawang na ‘ko mga mumsh. I need to cut down on my social media consumption and Netflix and try to do things like work out again (sayang naman yung pa-dumbbells ko di ba) and watch better movies and series. I will list the ones I recently saw and make mini-reviews din on them in future blogs. Shet I missed free writing!

On a more personal note, I’m just so happy I’ve started dancing to songs again. Hindi ko alam sa ibang tao, but I noticed that whenever I start singing to and dancing to music, I know I’m doing better. I have nothing big to look forward to so far, usually yan yung mga nagpapasaya sa ‘kin, but maybe, just having a better relationship with the people I love makes me happier. Like having constant conversations and just cultivating those relationships with people I want to stay in my life. In general, I just try to be positive and ooze with happiness because lately, people are telling me that a lot of the stuff I do rub off on them. So I feel a bit more responsible with my actions and shun the negativities (at least work through them, I think?)

If you’re interested in the songs that are currently making me sing and dance, here’s a link to my Spotify playlist:

Eargasm

OPM

I’m also keen on discovering new music similar to the ones posted above, so if you can leave your playlist, that would be so cool. I’m always on the lookout for new music and curious about the music people listen to!

Love Letter to Matutina

Love Letter to Matutina

Ang pangalan niya ay Erlinda Manuel. Kulot ang buhok niyang boy cut na uniform cut yata ng mga Pilipinang senior citizen. Gabi-gabi niyang niro-rollers ito para ma-meynteyn ang mej madame curls na gusto niya. Balingkinitan ang katawan niya, pero sa lakas at tinis ng boses niya, aakalain mong may megaphone siya sa lalamunan. Dahil dito, nabansagan siyang “Matutina.” “Daldal” o “Mengay” (maingay) pa nga minsan ang sabi ng kapatid niyang si Ben na madalas ikinapipikon at ikinagagalit niya, “ANONG SABI MO?!” lalo niyang isisigaw ang bawat salitang namumutawi sa bibig na para ngang si Matutina sabay irap nang nakamamatay sa kapatid.

Sa sobrang ingay ni Aling Linda, bali-balitang minsang na-detain na siya ng isang gabi sa kulungan dahil lang sa ingay niya, kasama pa raw niya ang maliit pa noong anak. Tinalak-talakan daw at inaway niya ang asawang si Jose, narindi yata, dinetain sa presinto si vakla. (If this isn’t police brutality or domestic violence, I don’t know what is.) Pero siyempre, di pa rin siya nadala, makuda pa rin siya. #strong

Tulad ng mga tipikal na babae, simple lang naman si Aling Linda sa loob ng bahay, pero wag ka, pag lumabas siya para kitain ang mga “amiga,” kuntodo pustura. Maglalagay ng old school powder foundation na mas maputi ng isang shade sa totoong kulay niya, tapos ekspertong guguhitan ng tig-isang linya gamit ang black eyebrow pencil ang puwang kung saan nandoon dapat ang kilay niyang hindi ko mawari bakit inaahit niya. Full on. Kumbaga sa vaginal waxing, Brazilian wax. Konting blush on, papahiran ng pulang-pulang lipstick ang manipis niyang labi, at magwiwisik ng pabango. Pipili siya ng damit na nauso noong panahon niya, pero klasik pa rin namang tingnan ang panepok niya minsan et voila! Ready nang rumampa si Aling Linda!

Hindi ko alam kung saan-saan siya nagpupunta. Basta ang sinasabi niya pupuntahan niya ang mga kaibigan niya. “Pupunta ako kay doktora.” Si doktora ganito, si doktora ganyan, bigay ni doktora ito. Yan ang laging bukambibig niya. Kung hindi si doktora, si attorney, o kung sinong mataas ang posisyon ang nine-name drop niya. Lakwatsa dito, lakwatsa doon. Pag-uwi niya, may dala na siyang pagkain. O ekstrang pera. Ganun siya kadiskarte sa buhay. Trenta na ko ngayon, pero hindi ko pa rin alam ano bang “scam” niya, asking for a friend lang naman.

Minsan nakasakay ko siya sa jeep pa-Mabini nung mga panahong nag-aaral pa ko ng Maskom sa PLM, pero hindi ko siya tinawag. Malayo pa lang nakita ko na siya. Minamasdan ko lang siya kung mapapansin ba niya ko. Mayroon siyang kakaibang paraan ng paglalakad, taas ang noo, diretso tingin, akala mo may libro sa ulo na hindi dapat malaglag. May aura siyang para bang pag-aari ang buong Quiapo at tauhan ang lahat ng mga nakakasalubong niya. Mukha siyang madame sa totoo lang. Nakakahiya ngang magpakilala ng kaibigan sa kanya, kasi para siyang yung mga artista sa TV. Bella Flores o Celia Rodriguez ang datingan. Kung makatingin, head to foot. Pero hindi gagalaw ang ulo. Mata-mata lang. Parang buong pagkatao mo ang jinudge niya sa sampung segundong nakilala ka niya. Parang alipin niya mga tao. Buti nga hindi ipinanganak na mayaman. Matapobre siguro lalo.

Tatlo ang anak niya, puro babae. Anila, lumaki silang madalas siyang wala. Kaya siguro ang tiyahing si Emma na kapatid ni Aling Linda ang itinuring nilang nanay. “Uuwi yan nakakain na. Wala siyang pakielam kung nakakain na kami.” Kwento ng panganay niyang si Eva at ng sumunod sa kanyang si Beng. Hindi masyadong maalala ng bunsong si Rowena ang mga kwentong ‘to. Dahil ‘di tulad ng mga ate niya, lumaki siyang paborito ni Aling Linda. Yes, I’m saying she has her favorites tulad ni Grace Salazar. Kung itlog ang ulam ni Rowena, tuyo ang ulam ni Eva at Beng. Kung itlog ang ulam ni Eva at Beng, manok ang ulam ni Rowena.

“Malupit” kung i-describe siya maski ng sarili niyang mga anak. Pero hindi yung kung paano natin gamitin ang salitang “malupit” ngayon. Hindi siya “petmalu” o “shet ang lupeeeet!” Malupit as in malupit. Brutal. Minsan cruel.

Sobrang malinis at masinop din siya sa bahay to the point na may pagka-hoarder na siya. Ultimo mga diyaryo, bote, kahon ng mga kung anu-anong pinamili, sisinupin niya at itatabi. Baka kasi magamit pa raw. Sa sobrang linis niya, madalas nagiging dahilan ito ng pagkakapalo sa tatlo niyang anak. Madalas ikwento ng panganay niya na kapag natulog silang marumi ang paa o hindi naglinis, magigising sila sa hagupit ng kurdon ng plantsa. Kapag kumuha sila ng damit sa aparador at nagulo ito, palo. Kapag hindi ka umuwi sa oras at narinig mo na ang matinis na boses niya tinatawag ka pauwi, palo. Madalas nga raw na parang naglalaro ng doctor quack quack ang mga bata, kakampi ang lola nilang si Toyang. Si Aling Linda ang laging taya. Ang goal niya? Maabot ng kurdon ng plantsa ang mga anak na nakatago sa likod ng sarili niyang ina. Madalas si Lola Toyang daw ang nahahampas. Iba talaga magmahal ang mga lola.

Kung paano mahalin ni Lola Toyang ang mga apo niya, ganun din naman si Aling Linda sa mga apo niya nung tumanda na siya. Pero dahil nga siya si Grace Salazar IRL, sa kinseng apo niya, dalawa lang ang paborito niya. Paboritong mga apo mula sa paborito niyang anak. Hindi na rin naman nakakapagtaka. Tulad ng ibang lola sa mga apo nila, spoiled niya ang dalawang ito. Siya na nga halos ang nagpalaki. Hindi lumalabas ang dalawang bata ng hindi kuntodo polbos. Nagmumukha na ngang espasol kung minsan. Sunod lahat ng gusto hangga’t pagtanda niya. Yung mga ekstrang ibinibigay sa kanya ni doktora? Sa kanila lahat napupunta. “Lola, pahingi ng baon.” “Lola, bili mo ko ng ganito.” “Lola, magpapa-load ako.”

Dahil sa malayo ang loob niya sa dalawang anak, hindi na nakapagtatakang malayo ang loob ng ibang mga apo niya sa kanya. Hindi rin nakatulong yung mga panahong minsan kung umasta siya, akala mo ibang tao ang mga apo niya. Minsan, iwawagayway niya ang isang kamay na senyas sa “wag na,” sabay simangot sa mga apo kung mag-a-attempt na magmano sa kanya. Dahil laging ganito, at napapahiya ang mga bata, minabuti nilang ‘wag na lang magmano sa lola nila simula noon.

Hindi naman daw ganoon dati si Aling Linda. Minsan, naisama niya pa nga ang isa sa mga apo niyang manood ng sine sa lumang sinehan sa Odeon, yung pugad ng mga pokpok ngayon sa Recto. “Kristo” na pinagbibidahan ni Matt Ranillo III ang pelikula. Baon-baon nila sa mainit na sinehan ang isang plastic ng buto ng kalabasa at tig-isang Coca-Cola, ang paboritong inumin ni Aling Linda bukod sa kape. Dahil bata at first time makakita ng buto ng kalabasa, hindi raw alam ng apong si Aditey kung paano kainin yun, kaya puro supsop sa balat lang ang ginawa niya. Mabuti’t nakalabas naman ang mag-lola na hindi namolestiya o naturukan ng heringgilyang may dugo galing sa taong may AIDS. Namolestiya nga lang ang murang balat ni Aditey ng mga kagat ng surot sa lumang sinehan.

Bukod sa memories niya ng panonood ng sine sa Odeon, karamihan ng mga alaala ni Aditey tungkol sa Lola Linda niya ay hindi niya sigurado kung totoo o panaginip ba. Dahil sa sobrang tagal na, o dahil wala namang masyadong emotional connection sa kanya, madalas iniisip niya pa kung totoo bang nangyari ngang nag-sleepover sila sa bahay ng pinsan ni Aling Linda na si Lola Carmen (yung attorney niyang pinsan na mayaman) at first time niya ring nakatulog sa water bed at kwartong de aircon. O yung isang beses na dinala niya ang bata sa isa sa mga bahay ng mayayaman, na sabi niya, bahay raw yun ni Sharon Cuneta. May mga framed photos ni KC Concepcion at Ate Shawie sa loob. Tapos nakipagchikahan siya saglit sa megastar na para bang matagal na silang magkakilala. Baka nga panaginip lang.

Bukod sa dalawang experience na yan, wala na masyadong “fondest lola experience” si Aditey. Siguro yung nakuha niyang hand me down na plastic slippers na may glitters mula sa anak ng kaibigan niya? Saktong-sakto sa paa niya, kaya naman tuwang-tuwang rumampa-rampa siya sa sala parang si Cinderella. Aba! May glass slippers na si gaga courtesy ni Lady Tremaine the Wicked Grandmother este Stepmother! Prince Charming na lang ang kulang!

Sa paglipas ng panahon, walang nagbago sa relasyon ni Aling Linda sa mga anak niya. Ganun pa rin siya. Yung mga anak niya, may mga kanya-kanyang dalang hinanakit sa ina. Minsan, nasunugan si Aling Linda, wala siyang nagawa kung hindi makipisan kay Eva. Akala mo magkakaayos na sila? Hindi pa rin. Kita pa rin ang indifference sa kanilang dalawa. Civil, pero hindi yung ine-expect mong relasyon ng mag-ina. Mas kasundo pa nga raw ni Aling Linda ang manugang niyang kung tawagin niya ay “Bisaya,” ang paborito niyang manugang.

Umalis rin siya makalipas ang ilang buwan, pero ilang beses ding babalik-aalis sa bahay ng anak. Kinalaunan, doon na talaga tumira ang matanda hanggang sa huling parte ng buhay niya.

Wala naman siyang sakit. Malakas siya sa totoo lang. Madalas pa nga siya hingian ng pera ng mga paborito niyang apo pambaon sa school. Nakakainis kung iisipin lalo’t matanda na nga, pambili niya ng gamot na sana, ibinibigay pa para sa paborito niyang apo. Madalas na siyang mag-nebulizer nun. Hindi naman siya hikain. Madalas siyang magpa-checkup kahit sinasabihan na siyang wala naman siyang sakit bukod sa high blood niya. May maintenance naman siyang gamot. Hypochondriac yata si Aling Linda.

Isang gabi, walang tao sa bahay. Dumadaing daw at nagpapadala sa ospital, sabi ng apo niyang naiwan sa bahay. Dahil para na ngang “boy who cried wolf” ang matanda, hindi na masyadong nag-panic ang apo. Dinala siya sa ospital ilang metro ang layo sa bahay, pero sa daan pa lang daw, wala na. Dead on arrival. Hindi ko alam anong dahilan ng pagkamatay niya bukod sa pneumonia. Sadyang mahina ang baga ng mga Manuel talaga.

Malamig na siya nung nakarating sa Ospital ng Sampaloc ang paborito niyang apo. Umiiyak ang binatang tinanggal ang kumot sa mukha ng lola, binuhat ang wala ng buhay na katawan nito at niyakap habang umiiyak. Naka-simpleng shorts at t-shirt lang si Aling Linda nung pumanaw. Pero kung siya siguro ang masusunod, mas gusto niyang mawala nang nakapustura. Kulot ang buhok, pula ang lipstick, pink ang pisngi at ang signature Bella Flores one-line kilay niya.

 

***

 

Apat na taon na mula ng namatay si Aling Linda. Nasa bahay ng paborito niyang anak ang abo niya. Hindi ko alam kung bakit, pero napanaginipan ko siya nito lang. Baka dahil ghost month, hindi ko alam. Sa panaginip ko, nasa isang marumi at lumang bahay ako. Mayroon daw batang umihi, tapos sa lugar na yun, hinuhuli ang mga umiihi tapos ikukulong. Parang martial law season. Biglang may maingay na baby. Tapos sa takot ko na makulong ang mga bata, itinakbo ko sila at itinago sa lumang bahay.

Biglang hinahabol na kami ng isang monster. Natakot ako kasi nakita niya ‘ko sa pinagtataguan ko. Tapos nagtatakbo na ko. Nakuha niya yung baby mula sa mga kamay ko tapos lumaban ako, pero malakas siya. Nagtagpo ang mga mata namin, tapos pagtingin ko, nag-transform ang monster at naging si Aling Linda, ang lola ko. Gulat na gulat ako.

Bigla kaming napunta sa lumang bahay namin sa Legarda kung saan siya nakitira sa amin ng ilang taon. Yakap-yakap ko si lola. Sabi ko sa kanya, “bakit ka ba galit sa amin?” Nabigla siya sa sinabi ko. Tapos nag-iiyakan kaming nagyakapan. Dumating si Cat at nakiyakap. After a few dramarama minutes, bumaba kami para kumain. Nandun si Eva, mama ko. “Bakit kayo umiiyak?” “Wala,” kako. Nag-alarm na ang telepono ko after nun, binalik na ko sa reyalidad. Nagising akong magaan ang loob. Nagpapasalamat dahil dinalaw ako ni Aling Linda sa panaginip. At alam kong okay na kami. Thank you, Lola. Sorry parang siniraan kita dito hahaha. Hindi ko man naipadama, mahal naman kita.

Mula ng mamatay si Lola, hindi ko naramdaman ang presensya niya. Ni hindi ako sigurado kung nagmulto ba siya nung mga panahong biglang bubukas ang gripo sa lababo ilang araw matapos niyang mawala. Madalas ko kasi siyang sitahin nun na hindi marunong magsara ng gripo.

Binabalikan ko ngayon at naisip kong hindi naman ako talaga galit sa kanya dahil hindi siya “nagpakalola” sa akin. Hindi ko alam ang mga dahilan niya o pinaghuhugutan niya bakit ganun na lang ang pagmamahal niya sa dalawang pinsan ko, at iba sa aming mga apo niya. Minsan inisip ko rin na siguro, may kasalanan din ako na ni hindi ako nag-attempt na mas kilalanin pa siya. Kung minsan gusto niyang magpakulay ng buhok sa akin, tatamad-tamad pa kong gawin. Samantalang masayang tutulungan siyang kulayan ng buhok ng dating girlfriend ng kapatid ko. Minsan may sasabihin siya, hindi ako nagpe-pay attention. Siguro dahil hindi niya ko binigyan ng atensyon dati so kebs ko sa ‘yo? Quits lang. Ang sama pakinggan. Pero hindi ko alam. Hindi ko na malalaman ang mga rason.

Hindi ko man naramdaman ang pagmamahal ng isang lola, hindi naman kami lumaking salat sa pagmamahal. Sa katunayan, nito ko na lang na-realize na parang kulang pala ang kabataan ko dahil hindi tulad ng mga kaibigan kong mahal na mahal ng mga lolo’t lola nila, o ng mga pamangkin kong sobrang spoiled sa mama at papa ko, hindi kami lumaking ganun. Kaya siguro madalas clueless ako sa pagmamahal ng isang lola. Lalo’t nakabase sa Leyte ang paternal lola ko na si Lola Poncing. Kaya siguro amazed na amazed ako sa mga batang lumaki sa piling ng lola nila. O yung mga kaibigan kong grabe mag-post sa social media pag birthday ng grandparents nila. Sabi nila, mas mahal daw ng mga lola ang mga apo kaysa sa sariling anak. Hindi ko na malalaman kahit kailan kung totoo ito. Alien na concept siya para sa ‘kin.

Naisip ko habang sinusulat ‘to, wala yata akong litrato kasama ng lola ko. Kapag namatay ba ako, ang mga kapatid niya, ang buong lahi ng Manuel at ang lahat ng mga taong nakakilala sa kanya, ano kayang pruweba na nag-exist siya sa mundo? Kung ultimo yung mga kokonting good memories ko ay hindi reliable kung totoo nga bang nangyari para ikwento sa mga susunod na henerasyon ng pamilya naming hindi siya inabutan. Shet ang lungkot. Mapapaisip ka rin tuloy sa sarili mong mortality, kapag namatay na kaya ako, anong ikukwento ng mga taong maiiwanan ko tungkol sa ‘kin? Ng mga magiging apo ko?

Siguro, isasama ko silang manood nang manood ng sine, hindi lang isa kung hindi maraming-marami para maraming-maraming memories. Pati Netflix! Kung may Netflix pa nun! Mga zombie flicks na paborito ko, indie films na sana mainstream na sa panahon na yun, at ng mga walang kamatayang live action remake ng Disney. Sa hindi masurot na sinehan, preferably yung La-Z-Boy na upuan, kasi marupok na mga buto-buto ko nun. Popcorn o pizza siguro ang babaunin namin, o yung paborito kong 52% dark chocolate almond ng Candy Corner, ang hirap kasi talagang kainin ng buto ng kalabasa habang nanonood ka ng subtitled ahrt film.

Tapos ipapakilala ko sa kanila ang Harry Potter, tapos FRIENDS, tapos Game of Thrones, tapos Beatles, si Taylor Swfit at Eraserheads at lahat ng mga paborito ko! Tapos paano magluto ng sinigang, pachambang luto, tapos ipagyayabang kong huyy, cool ako dati nagsulat ako ng libro, tapos magbasa ka ng libro marami kang matututunan, tapos sasabihin kong pota garl, magtravel ka, tapos isuot mo lahat ng gusto mo tapos mag-speak up ka at tumayo sa mga pinaniniwalaan mo, tapos hindi totoo yang mga nasa social media wag ka ma-insecure tapos maganda ka, pogi ka, at mahal kita tapos tapos tapos your lola is a blabbering idiot and couldn’t finish a blog post hahaha bye apo. Byuti rest na ko.

 

My Maid of Honor Speech

My Maid of Honor Speech

Hey! Sharing my maid of honor speech to my sister’s wedding. It took me a few hours before the actual wedding to write it and was even re-writing it a few minutes before I got called in front to deliver it. The best man, however, had his speech, printed in Arial 12, 4 pages. Ganun siya ka-prepared at ganun ako ka-nagmukhang crammer ahahaha! Charot!
But here goes…
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Hi everyone, I hope you guys are having a great time. First off, I would like to thank you for coming here in Bohol to show your love for the couple… and for not asking me kung kelan ako susunod kay Cat. Except sa tatay ko.
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For those of you who do not know me, I’ve known Cat since birth. Benjie, since yesterday. The day I met Cat was the day I met my best frenemy. My mama said na kinuha ko yung “baby girl” bracelet niya and then threw it sa kanal because hindi na ‘ko bunso, yes ganun ako ka-maldita. It has been 28 years of crazy since that day.
The first time I knew about Benjie was when Cat told me she went out with a guy sa Wildflour sa Makati at umubos siya ng isang tipak ng chicken at nagulat yung lalaki sa kanya. Tapos nagpatugtog siya sa kotse, at ang unang tugtog sa shuffled songs niya ay “ahhhh shitenya babaritsibabaaaa” Benjie, buti hindi ka na-turn off haha.
Since I know Cat her entire life, I was there for all the worst times and the best times of her life. The best would be the day they said “I do” in front of their family and their friends. For a few of us here, twice.
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Baks, I know I’m not the best sister you could ever hope for because sobrang kuripot, sungit, at hirap kong patawanin, but I want you to know sa harap ng mga tao dito, that I love you very much. Kahit na ikaw ang unang pinapapili ng pantalon ni mama, ikaw yung tinitirhan ng ulam, at ikaw naman talaga yung mas mahal ni mama. 
You always say that I set the bar too high for you, but I want you to know that while you’ve learned a lot from me, (I hope) I, too, have learned a lot from you. You’ve always had the bigger heart between the two of us, you’ve taught me how to forgive and forget, and showed me how to love someone unconditionally despite and in spite of. And with all of that and so much more, I am very proud of you.
As a little girl, you always want the best things. So much so, that you grew up always wanting my “approval” on a lot of things (correct me if I’m wrong haha), even big things for this wedding. Kulang na lang maglagay tayo ng isa pang upuan sa tabi ninyo sa dami ng decisions na ako ang nag-tie breaker. Kahit hindi mo sabihin, lalo pagdating kay Tito Benjie.
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So tonight, I want to put on record that I, Carmina Giezzele Gonzales-Mones, fully, whole-heartedly, and 100%-ly approve of Tito Benjie. I realized he really was the one for you when he cleaned up after we messed up the condo the night of your bridal shower. How many guys will do that knowing full well some guy stripped in front of her fiancee? It showed me how much he loves, cares, and truly supported you and your endeavors. Nung una kasi ano lang 99.9% lang, pumirma na yung last na bacteria sa pagtanggal niya ng mga kalat-kalat natin.
Tito Benjie, I have two things to say to you. One, I do not need to tell you to take care of Cat because I know for a fact that you do. But remember, “happy wife, happy life, happy ate.” Number two, know that hindi na lang ako kakampi ni Cat ngayon, kakampi mo na rin ako.
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Congratulations, Baks and Tito Benjie. I do not need to wish you a happy marriage because I know that the day you guys swiped right was the day it became

♪♩“strawberry fields forever.” ♪♩

 

Bachelorette Party Masterclass (WUW!)

Bachelorette Party Masterclass (WUW!)

Fact 1: I hate organizing parties. I know this for a fact because last year, when I turned thirty, I wanted to throw a McDonald’s Kiddie Party for adults to celebrate turning another year older, but the idea of inviting people and organizing stuff, even if it just meant calling a strategically located McDonald’s branch where all my friends can go to without them complaining, “Ang layo naman!” made me think twice about it. Suffice it to say, that party didn’t push through, so uhm, I decided to write a book instead.

Fact 2: I love my sister very much. So much so that when Cat said she’s getting married, I planned and successfully throw her a bridal shower two weeks before she said, “I do.” And no, I did not do it just because I am her maid of honor, but I did it because I actually wanted to do it.

Bridal showers/bachelorette parties apparently is a thing in the Philippines now, along with prenups, SDEs, 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17…..hundredth-month celebration of babies’ ewan ko sa inyo mga paandar niyo para sa social media ha.

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Anyway, I think I did a pretty good job because one, everyone had fun at that party, my cousin even said that it was one of her best days ever, LOL, and two, everyone ended up becoming friends after that fateful night that we were still all hanging out in Bohol pre- and post-nuptials and our group chat is alive up until now that the event happened exactly 35 days today.

Since I did a pretty good job, instead of giving myself a high five, I decided to give a bachelorette party masterclass instead. Seasoned event planners whomst’ve? LOL.

HOW TO THROW THE BEST BRIDAL SHOWER EVERRR

Know the bride. And the guests. This will help you set out the tone and theme of the party. Luckily, I know what my sister likes and what makes it even easier is that we have the same taste on most things that this was an easy part. I’m guessing since you’re throwing the party, you’re pretty much close to the bride, so this goes without saying na siguro naman alam mo kung anong mga gusto niya ‘no? Kung hindi, itanong kung ano bang bet niya. Gusto niya ba clean fun? O may stripper? Gusto niya ba uminom o tsaa-tsaa lang arte-arte lang kayo ganyan? Remember that this party is for her, do not make it about you. Make sure that this is something that she will really like and enjoy. I will discuss further on this sa ibaba.

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Likewise, you also need to know sino ba ang guests niya? In my sister’s case, I asked her sinu-sino bang balak niyang imbitahan? Game din ba sila sa may pa-stripper tulad niya? Mga hayok din ba sila sa laman? Wala bang mga relasyong masisira dahil may mga immature boyfriends? Char. Anyway, she assured me that everyone is game for whatever I have in mind. True enough, everyone was excited. My mom, who couldn’t make it, even said her regrets by saying, “Hindi pa ko nakaka-experience nun e.” Ma, sorry, maaaaa. Hindi ako available ng kasunod na weekend may three-day shoot ako kaya in-adjust na namin hahaha!

Finalize the date, time, and location. And budget! Since I am a poor girl who does not have a lot of money in the bank, I decided to create a working budget for the party and a few workarounds on it. A big chunk of bachelorette parties’ budget usually goes to the location, so Cat and I decided to hold it in her unit to cut down on hotel or AirBnB cost. Thank God, wala pang ibang tenants so pwede pang magsigawan ang mga baks nang walang magrereklamong kapitbahay. For the food, we decided we’d do a potluck. A big chunk of the budget goes to the stripper’s TF, and then I just had to take care of decors, props, and cake.

Pick a theme and menu. This goes back to tip 1: knowing the bride. Since I know the things she likes, I decided to pick a film, music, and TV show she loves and would appreciate for her shower. I created an outline for a Taylor Swift-inspired party, a FRIENDS-inspired party, and a Mean Girls-inspired party and had all the girls vote for a theme. TSwift and Mean Girls were neck and neck, nobody voted for FRIENDS (because para talaga yun sa bridal shower ko in the future, please take note!) and in the end, the Mean Girls-themed party won! Which was really nice because mas madali siyang i-pull off kesa sa TSwift ahaha!

64575167_635290360321052_2020403880768045056_n“Hindi nanalo Tay-tay theme” face

Sadly, Cat’s heart fell when she found out natalo si Tay-tay. I dropped her a hint that a mermaid-themed party won instead so she should prepare the mermaid fin blanket I got her because kailangan niya umakting ng Ariel. Wala lang, just to throw her off. Haha! Naniwala siya mga ‘day.

Here’s a breakdown of all the themes and what each one consists if you’re interested.

THEME 1: Taylor Swift-inspired party

We all know how our girl is a big Tay-tay apologist.

Here are some ideas:
1. Everyone will wear their best Taylor Swift outfit. Kahit yung signature red lips lang niya pwede na yun.
2. We’ll print a customized shirt for her na may nakasulat na “It’s a love story, baby I said “Yes” and then we can all sign our names on it ala her shirt sa You Belong With Me video.
3. Create parang fan signs that we can use as props for photos with her songs, (initially naisip ko maganda rin sana if we can have this printed on shirt kaya lang mahal haha) Example: Today was a fairytale, nightmare dressed like a daydream, We found wonderland — you and I got lost in it, Fearless, look what you made me do, hold on to the memories, they will hold on to you. (Kung may maisip pa na iba, feel free to add. I can have a friend design it and print na lang).
4. Tapos rose gold and pink na decors na lang yung gamitin natin para classy.

THEME 2: FRIENDS-inspired party

An homage to her favorite show in the world.

Here are some ideas:
1. We’ll call it the “The One Where Cat Gets Married”
2. A guest book lagyan ng design na “The One With the Advice for the Bride”
3. Create parang fan signs that we can use as props for photos with lines from the series appropriate for the party (Hello Mrs. Ross, He’s her lobster!, I’ll be there for you, Mrs. Chanandler Bong, etc.)Kung may maisip pa na iba, feel free to add. I can have a friend design it and print na lang.
4. Colors ng Friends yung decors.
5. If may game, we can do something like this: https://www.pinterest.ph/pin/552605816776855159/ – something that Monica would do, TBH.

THEME 3: MEAN GIRLS-inspired party

One of her favorite movies, gawin ko sana Shawshank Redemption kaso kulungan yun haha!

Here are some ideas:
1. We’ll call it the “Get in loser, it’s Cat’s bachelorette party” – stretch na ba? Haha
2. Everyone should wear pink. Ang hindi naka-pink, cannot sit with us.
3. We’ll have an advice for the bride burn book.
4. Pink decors obvi.
5. Create parang fan signs that we can use as props for photos with lines from the movie na appropriate for the party (That is so fetch, Grool, Personally victimized by Cat Mones) Kung may maisip pa na iba, feel free to add. I can have a friend design it and print na lang.
6. We could also probably buy a rainbow cake as a nod to the “I wish I could bake a cake filled with rainbows and smiles and everyone would eat and be happy” line
7. We can print a shirt for her that says “She’s not a regular bride, she’s a cool bride.

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I copied the menu from Pinterest, where iconic lines from the movie were mentioned, and so we had the following: rainbow cake, tacos, hotdogs, cheese fries, “a hump day treat” (alcohol) and then Cat bought pizza and pasta because may promo raw siya sa Shakey’s.

64609953_439477940223054_1619732313074040832_nMark randomly put a condom on the cake.

64232483_454647265318572_6656211358947737600_n“I wish I could bake a cake filled with rainbows and smiles…” Cake was a hit!

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Figure out the program. I had no program in mind. In my head, I know, we’ll do the “surprise” kahit hindi ito surprise talaga, then kain, kwentuhan, tas bahala na yung stripper kasi may sarili naman siyang program at pa-games ahaha! All I wanted was for people to come, talk to each other, and have fun para hindi kami awkward sa araw ng kasal. Luckily, one of her friends, Mark AKA Chan Dee, suggested he’d take care of games, and that already set the mood of everyone. May mga competitive mga baks!

64306660_2186239298353141_1926428342769156096_nHindi raw sila competitive dyan. E wakwakan na ng mga pwede mawakwak e.

64444855_877348999280586_3610846887705313280_nDesign your own wedding gown. Catriona Gray daw yung slit kong abot hanggang bewang.

62495618_2393160740908625_5402563375076999168_nCompetitive ang mga bakla

64456007_427098178112859_389306388444086272_nOur team won, by the way.

 

Buy decors and props. Thank God for online shopping, sobrang dali na lang ng task na ito. I got hot pink, pastel pink, gold, and white balloons, letter balloons that spelled “Bride to be,” champagne bottle and glass champagne balloons, bride to be sash, foil curtain, and a balloon pump from a store in Shopee. Made sure to get all items in one store so I don’t have to pay for multiple shipping.

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Aside from that, I also bought a “bride book” ala Mean Girls’ burn book that everyone in the bride tribe can sign, bought a tiara and sewed a yard of tulle in it, and had a shirt printed with “I’m not a regular bride, I’m a cool bride” na kinainggitan ni Wangie.

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Finalize everything. A day before the event, I  bribed my art director friend Pau with Starbucks so he’d make additional props for the party. I had him design photo booth signs with Mean Girls references, decorate the bride book, and the bridal shower sign. I also printed out actual movie lines that we will put beside the food, because wala lang, extra lang haha!

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Night before the party, I reminded the male stripper for tomorrow’s call time and all. Kaso si koya hindi nailagay sa kalendaryo niya. Buti na lang he was responsible enough to find a replacement na okay din naman. Too bad, he could’ve been the perfect sausage since his name is also Aaron. Like Aaron “his hair looks sexy pushed back” Samuels.

Have fuuuun! D-day has arrived! I got the rainbow cake I ordered from a pastry shop near Scout Area, went to Cat’s place and started decorating! Three more girls arrived by 4pm and we were busy pumping balloons and decorating the place. In fairness, pakak naman!

We “surprised” the bride, made her change into her shirt, put her tiara and let the festivities begin! We had games, food, talked about Bohol plans, and got tired waiting for the performer.

Random baliw photos ahead… hindi pa kami nakainom nyan.

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By 9pm everyone was a bit cranky because late ang sausage sa call time! The guy arrived past 10 o’clock and sadly, some of the girls already need to leave, but we still had fun!

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Sobrang educational, mga baks! Walang sinabi yang Sex Education sa Netflix. Charot. Hindi ko pwedeng i-disclose ang mga nangyari online, pakwento niyo na lang sa ‘kin in person mga baks, masyadong marumi, baka may masirang relasyon at mawalan ng trabaho charot!, but he had prepared three games and three dance performances that gets raunchier and naughtier as we go deeper into the night.

By 12 midnight, ang sakit na ng panga namin lahat sa tawa, the condo looked like it was ransacked, but we had fuuuuun! It really was a night to remember! And sabi nga ni Taytay, kahit hindi theme niya ang nanalo, “it was rare, I was there, I remember it all too well.”

General Tips:

If you’re the organizer, be sure to make “executive decisions.” Minsan yung democracy, hindi yan magwo-work, mas okay magpa-iral ng autocratic rule. Some guests wouldn’t mind that you make the decisions and just inform them anong plano. True enough, mas nag-move ang mga plano when I made decisions on my own.

Assign tasks to people. (without them knowing it charot) Aside from Mark volunteering to be in charge of the games and the girls taking dibs on what they want to bring, I assigned my cousin and her best friend (our fake cousin) to arrive early and help out on the day to decorate. This could be a bit hard for people who like doing things on their own –like me — but remember, more hands make things so much easier, so get people to work, work, work!

Create a buffer in your budget and be honest with what you can contribute. I think I would’ve gone way overboard with my budget if I had not been honest to everyone involved that I can only contribute so much. This is how we were able to host the party in the condo and had Cat join in in the potluck. She really didn’t have to, but buti na lang! I also asked the other girls who will not bring anything to just pitch in ng cash to cover for the night’s performer and tip and so all’s well that ends well. I mean we all have to be honest with ourselves, hindi madali kumita ng pera and the bills wouldn’t stop if kulang ang pera mo hahaha!

Another good way to do if you want to go the whole traditional way of shouldering the expenses is to save up for it the way you would save up for a trip. Sadly, I wasn’t able to do this because I had very little time to prepare because ang bilis lang din ng preps for the wedding itself.

But no worries, I am so sure everyone had fuuuun despite it being a shower stripped to the bare bones hehehe. Company talaga ang magdadala so future brides, ang payo ko lang talaga is have a cool, non-KJ set of friends who are up for anything! Lelz.

62605647_2218543544898549_5666897519561408512_nCHEERS, BEYOTCHES! IT WAS A GOOD NIGHT! A new friendship forged over our shared love for ****!!!