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Dear Lilly, it had only been months that I knew Suzanne when you came into my life.

It was September; I was on my way to the coffee shop where we agreed to meet. I was an hour and a half late due to a corporate meeting. Although I called her to cancel; she laid it off. “It's ok, Andrew. I can wait,” she said.

I remember pulling over the side of the coffee shop, and looking in. And I saw her. She was sitting near the claiming area. Amidst the chaos and disarray of the place: people coming and going, friends gathering for a weekender; Suzanne was propped up reading a book. She leafed through each page carefully, and afterwards, she would comb her hair behind her ear. 

Gracefully. Every time.

It might have been a while that I was watching her, and not really watching it seems, because my phone vibrated and it was her.

“You want me to go out?” she said.

“No, no Suzanne. I was about to go in when –” but she was already leaving. I watched her pace along the coffee shop towards the entrance, towards me. At some point she glanced at me and smiled.

“I‟m sorry I was late, Suzanne. I was in a meeting and –,” I reasoned once she got out.

“Oh don‟t worry, I have a book,” she held out the book she was reading as she stepped closer.

“And call me Sue,” she said, smiling yet again.


* * *

The doctor summoned me from the ICU.

It‟s so quiet here, Lilly. So white and clean, and it smells of alcohol. I pass my time observing the other people waiting. There was a woman one row ahead of me; she talked of her daughter, who just turned sixteen, giving birth to her first child. She laughed and told jokes about it, how her teenage girl is giving birth at such a young age. I think even showing a little grimace. But I thought she should have accepted that way back. Nine months, Lill, is a very long time.

Meanwhile, the doctor updated me on Sue‟s condition. He first thanked me for being there, that they were a little concerned that I might not show up. I wanted to interrupt him and say “just give me your update Doc because I sure don‟t want your opinion on this matter”. But I didn't. I was so tired.

He said Sue is okay. He told me that her vital signs are normal, although it would probably take a while. Maybe four hours, or more. And that they‟ll inform me immediately of any complications should one arise. I was nodding as he told me all this, but it feels my mind is somewhere else.

“Would you like to see her?” he asked, I was a bit surprised.

“What?”

“Would you like to see Sue?” He looked at me with those inquisitive eyes, waiting. I couldn‟t say it, but I know I have to.

“Oh no. No, I‟m good. I‟ll stay here.”


* * *

She hates apples, Lilly. She likes dogs too, even though she has asthma, so she always has an inhaler in her bag. It‟s the most staple of her things; the second one, being a book.

She loves Murakami. Every time she has a new book with her, she'll always tell me a brief background about it. Perhaps coaxing me to read them too, to get me interested on her interests.

One time, she got out another Murakami book. It was a thick book, it was a thousand pages long, I remember because I looked. After she told me what the book is about, I actually wanted to read it. She told it with such passion that I just wanted to be a part of that world, her world of books. But I didn‟t tell her that, not when I only finished the first few chapters. Maybe someday, when I finally found a book she‟s reading that I would also like to read, will I understand that part of Sue's world that is so unbeknownst to me.

Maybe.


* * *

It had been an hour since the doctor first approached me. The waiting is invigorating. Three hours more to go. Maybe even more, I thought. I want to see her. I didn't want to remember the bad moments while waiting. The bad days, they were like poison in this alcohol-smelling place. 
I couldn't really shut them off.

There were really good days, Lilly. Good days that I think in sum would outnumber the bad. 

Good days that led me believe of a happy life with her, even when I only met her for a year. 

Good days, moments that you have to know, so that when the day comes when I doubt the love Sue and I shared, because it‟s been so long and because of the things that happened, you will help me remember. You‟ll tell me the story like I told you, and our love will be renewed.

You have to know so I will never forget. Tell me when I start to doubt.

Tell me the first time we kiss, because that's when the good moments start.

In our first date, after we had our dinner at the restaurant, Sue mentioned she didn't want to go home yet. So I took her to a place, the one where you can see the stars.

It was an observatory in Diliman that I frequent with my roommates in college. As a student, it was a cheap and awesome place to drink. We would buy a couple of San Mig Lights and chips and use the decades-old telescopes to look at the night sky. One of my roommates was a student assistant there so we were never reprimanded about it.

When we arrived, there weren't many people around, just a couple of students it seemed. It was a starry night, and in that platform one could see the stars up close. It‟s like in there, stars were at reach. If you like Lilly, I will take you there sometime.

Sue was trying out this two-foot telescope in the west end part of the platform aimed at the moon. It was a full moon: lovely, dark and deep. With the telescope, streaks of silvery gold hues surrounded with craters were visible. I remember because we spent
countless nights there naming the different craters we see. I watched Sue observed this phenomenon, this magnificent place of apparent curiosity.

After a couple of minutes, she left it alone and walked toward me. I was trying out this new telescope that could point out the visible constellations at a group of stars. She took her turn in it, and murmured Orion and Cassiopeia, the only constellations present that night.

She left the device and just stood there staring at the stars as if she can see them better without the binocular device. Then she turned to me and smiled.

God I love her smile.

“Thank you,” she said. “I've never been in a place like this before.”

“I suppose there's always a first time for everything but at one point, I begin to doubt the possibilities of first time for me. So thank you.”

She was cheery, happy. And then I couldn't really contain it, I kissed her. It was such a simple kiss. Short, she said when I asked her about it several months after. But under the multitude of stars, the sky as our witness, I can‟t really deny how happy I was at that particular moment.

When I opened my eyes, I saw her staring at me.

“I wished we met sooner,” is what she said.


* * *


Sometimes, being here, right here right now, is not necessarily a bad thing.

This is how it works:
You miss me, and I miss you
You care for me, and I care back
I’m no longer interested in people drama
I’ve had enough trust issues before
I don’t miss anybody anymore

“Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn” – Casablanca

I’ll be your one that got away.
Someday.
      -  CP, September 2013

We’ll meet here. At this same place. At the same time.
Every day.
I won’t miss.
     Sep – Nov 2013

Basically, my life now.

This time I will do right, and come out victorious. This time, I will not regret not doing this because I will. I will not regret doing this because I won’t.

This time, there’ll be no more excuses. There’d be no soft answers.

This time I won’t look back because I need not. This time there’s only one chance and I must hit it no matter what.

As I haven’t done before
           
This time I stop life.

An ode for the next 2 months
Aug 19 – 26
Last week was a first. A 2-day work week due to habagat and typhoon Maring and a midweek holiday. Though I didn’t enjoy it as I could have since I was sick the weekend before.

We watched Sinister. Did my study schedule. Got my Starbucks card hooray! And feasted on banapple pies I really should take my diet seriously.

Last Sunday, we took Devon to the vet and learned he has moist dermatitis. He has this huge bald spot he constantly scratched at for days now and we had to give him a sock so it’ll lessen the injuries.

But still a cutie.

And I’m taking charge of my health. Went to the clinic yesterday for my thyroid checkup after a very prolonged wait, I’m still yet to take my tests though.

And after we ate at Seafood Island care of Czari for her first blood and Vanilla Cupcake Bakery after. It was sooooo good.

And hence the reason I didn’t go to Luneta yesterday along with hundreds of Filipinos fighting to abolish the pork barrel. Well I have more reasons, but this one makes sense the most.

I really wanted to actually; maybe I just didn’t have the right companions.

QTs with friends and families


10th: Lolo’s birthday celebration at our house

11th: Lunch with J’s fam at Rack’s + Percy Jackson with them guys

16th: Dinner with Roby and J



18th: Mama’s 56th

August 5 – 13
In the end, it proved to be a good week, and the start of acknowledging responsibilities and finishing what ought to have been finished a long time ago.

For starters, I made my own version of cookie butter at home, for the mere fact that I’m not willing to shed 400 pesos for a spread alone. I used almonds and chocolate chips for this, and it ended well. I think it has a lot to improve though. I’m planning to use graham crackers in my next trial because that’s way cheaper than chips ahoy.

It’s a sad reality that most of our baggage is self-inflicted. Well, mine for one. I realized this last Tuesday, on the 6th, when I went down to just the basics, figuratively and literally if I may.

It felt light and free.

Currently, I’m on to my next writing project which will turn out to be my last as of the meantime: Allie
Because I needed to finish what I started more than 4 years ago. So I can stop displaying my quarter-life crisis every chance I get. For my dreams other than the first.
 

For the future.
July 28 – Aug 4

I do know that something’s wrong in my life right now, at age 25 and three months old. And I made steps to remedy that, I used to have three alternatives actually but they’re all gone now, and I’m a little back to square one except that I have a little more money and someone at work trusted a bigger responsibility on me.

I guess at 25 and 3 months old, I wasn’t a total loser that I sometimes think I am.

Nope, definitely not.

I am one optimistic bitch who don’t take No’s too easy.

Plus I’ve got sleeps in between lately that might just be the reason of this sudden positivity.

Last July 30, I treated my former officemate to a dinner. We ate at Brgr in Jupiter and made our own burger creations.


I also watched Before Midnight that weekend. I’ve actually been meaning to, I just didn’t realize that my sister already has a copy. I still like the 2nd one the most, Before Sunset, but it’s great to see and be updated with them after 9 years.

On August 2, we had a bridal shower for a college orgmate at Victoria Court. It was my first time to go there. Haha


And on the 4th, Cinemalaya! I’ve always been a Cinemalaya fan way back college and I always make an effort not to miss it. This year, J and I with some college friends watched Sana Dati and Ekstra, both of which got awards in the recent festival.

I like Ekstra more, getting to see Vilma Santos had always been a wonder; while Sana Dati’s illustrious and dreamy states are familiar and nicely done.

July 21 – 27

It’s so true that upon seeing that one wrong thing in a picture for the first time, the whole picture would start to fall apart. The gap would serve as a bridge to the other mistakes in the puzzle that wasn’t visible before, in fact even felt okay but how surprisingly contrived they feel now. And thus enter the concept of reality goggles, once I had it on, my corporate picture again turned gray.

In grayscale, I started noticing and acknowledging how lonely I really was and how the alternative can be way better. My next activities with J even fueled that now fact.

Last July 26, Globe sponsored a Wolverine screening, and they have a ticket to spare so lucky for me. I did crush on Hugh Jackman in his Les Miserables days so I could not pass on this one.

There, I felt the huge difference of working in Globe compared with ours that Friday afternoon. They were perky and lively, and leave office at 5 to watch a movie screening for free spells it all. It reminded me of my college days.

At work, I’ve often wondered if it’s possible, to actually be genuinely happy with your work and your co-workers that daily life at work wouldn’t be so much of a burden. And then I’ve seen that it can, and I continued to wallow in deep remorse of how cruel my work-life can be while stuck in a 2-hr feast on Hugh Jackman’s abs.

And on the 27th, I accompanied J in his badminton tournament sponsored by again, Globe where they won 2 matches out of 3. I am starting to realize how important in my given deteriorating state of mind that I find a hobby.

I don’t do sports. I’ve sworn to jog around the Triangle after work and even left workout clothes in my drawer but I did that only once I am so not proud. (But I really hope to, it’s just raining hard recently.) My main hobbies are reading books, watching movies and writing/blogging. But I feel that I needed more, something new in my life that is not work-wise because I seem to not have a big say on that no matter how hard I try.

Maybe I’m not meant to be happy at work; after all I’m happy with almost everything else besides.

The news that came up last July 12 shocked my well-made plans. But the change was fully welcomed and I was more than happy to do some tweaks on plans A, B and C. The days that came after were all a breeze, I was on cloud nine and I couldn't really care less because I was right where I wanted to be.

The original plan ends me having a haircut, only after I made everything through, but after what happened, I figured my hair will be pretty long when I stick with that. So the next Sunday I had my haircut.

All I know is I wanted my hair short. And so I did, and the gay who cut my hair for a long thirty minutes did so too. I didn't really like how it turned out, I think it was shorter than what I actually wanted but I had a lot on my plate and sulking about it was not how I wanted to waste my time.

Come my next step of splurging on self: I bought a pair of office pants and a couple of little things. Thus the Sup Up Project.

The truth is I have no reasons to be lonely at this point. Even the week had its right load of unique awesomeness.

1. It was my first time to eat at Chicken Charlie, with J and my sister.
2. I got a dozen Krispy Kreme glazed doughnuts for only P152! Never mind that I waited in line for more than an hour.
3. Pacific Rim with JACI is love.
4. And I had my #SocialLifeFix after a loooooong while. Unlimited chika with a good friend from college and lunch with 2 of my best friends from high school.

And I post this so I should remember that once, things seemed absolutely right.

The week of July 14 to 20 was such a busy and awesome week for me. I would suppose it could have lasted a while though. But it didn't.

It gone as fast as it came.
 
Because misery kills and therefore should not win me over, here are 5 pretty little things for the week (July 7-13). I’ve been meaning to make this a blog habit, and to be honest, I think I need this more than ever because lately I’ve been one of them old pessimist rats.
 
I hope soon [not anymore].
 
… and I won’t tell them your name.
 
I started the week like the old me, and downloaded new finds/alternative songs, which in most days would suit my everyday temperament. They weren’t really new songs, perhaps it was the first time that I’ve heard of them. My recent favorites include: Breathless by BTE, Everybody’s Changing by Keane, Human by The Killers, Name by Goo Goo Dolls and Overjoyed by Matchbox 20.
 
Music-wise, I am so stuck in the 90s.
 
* * *

Burgers… How I so love burgers. I think this fascination was fueled with that best-burger episode of How I Met Your Mother (I miss them already!) and since then I’ve tried a string of burgers from Maple, BRGR, Brother’s Burger, Crave and the immediate bestselling burgers of the most popular fast foods in town.
 
So when I was a little depressed on Thursday, J decided to bring me to Charlie’s. We ordered a Black Angus Burger (I forgot its whole name). I loved it, the 240-peso burger made up for its size, and with a depressed me I could eat the whole thing very easy. They also have a variety of condiments available, and there’s mustard!
 
* * *

On Jogging.
 
Okay it embarrasses me to admit but I think this is the first time I went for a jog this year. (Insert long sad face) I really should come out more often than this. And I said that like a sweeping declaration, but 7 days later and I haven’t gone out for a run yet. Though in my defense, I wasn’t feeling well lately.
 
and this Week’s Pick-Me-Ups.
 
This week’s pick-me-ups include Amici’s Choco Sansrival and Starbucks’ Mocha Cookie Crumble care of their buy 1 take 1 promo. It pains me to think that I need more and more pick-me-ups as time passes.
 
And last Saturday, we celebrated Papa’s birthday and got him a cake. A whole round Sans Rival that I love.

It is a gloomy midweek morning and all I can think about is it’s a good day to write.

The upcoming rain, the bed weather, the need to cuddle in a wool blanket or even just a black thick blazer, the smell of coffee which brings forth the promise of a productive day (but no, not work-wise) – do you have that too? Do you also associate coffee with a productive moment of writing? 

And because I’m just clicking away in an overdrive. 

Deviating thoughts: Whenever I try to will myself to write, I make myself a cup of smooth coffee latte at home (I made it up so its name may sound way better than the actual). It’s different than the coffee I make in the office, which is 3-in-1, fixed and easy to drink I can finish it in I think five minutes. At home, usually on Saturday mornings, with the security of a long undisturbed day, then I make my coffee. I’ll spend minutes in the kitchen heating water, finding the right cup, mixing nescafe, creamer and sugar, and then a little bit more nescafe because I always put just a little amount at the start. And I have my perfect coffee for at least half an hour.

Sometimes I’ll get the right words, sometimes just the good ones. Most often lately, none of them comes and I am left with a blank Word screen, its cursor blinking like hundreds of silent screams and my left brain murmurs the possibility of a more productive day studying stocks and actuarial notes.

But it’ll be okay, I say. I saved my perfect coffee for days gadammit. 

You met me at a sad phase of my life. When everything I do seems like a contradiction.

This is the reason I will never pass actuarial exams in a cinch. This is the what when I said “what I wasn’t sure of with you”. This is the face, the one I was looking to flip when I turned my cards, every twenty-different of them and I couldn’t find what I was looking for.

I have three cards on my table now. Three last cards if I can be blunt, to emphasize the overwhelming reality of my situation.

Because the thing is, I will never be happy this way. No matter how I conceal in buying the things I want, or the weekly date nights, or the endless movie viewings. It doesn’t work that way anymore. It no longer comes in waves. It’s a constant feeling everyday, that the life you knew and would have wanted years before are so far away from reality. And at 25, that feeling peels away at any happy pills you’ve got left.

Fortunately, this is not me just ranting away. Because in between blinks, I know what I want, and I know the right thing to do. I’ve got three cards left, and I had everything betted on those three (literally up to the last strand of my hair), and I feel good about it.

There’s got to be more to this.

The three weeks that came after the company outing at Club Manila East had been a little disorienting. First off, half of the year is almost at its end and that always deserves a think-through. But all of my think-throughs, though they left me encouraged and empowered, also leaves me a little depressed as well. I think I should stop doing think-throughs if I can be just a little bit non-masochistic about these kinds of things but...

Just a few days after “my break”, I realized I’m in a kind of infatuated position for some quiet several weeks now, which sucked, and it made me conclude that I don’t really have guy friends I could turn to for some guy’s point of view things, not that I need it now. I mean, I don’t think I need it now right at this moment, it just seemed very weird to acknowledge something missing.

Waiting for the MLC results is a very tiring task, and with less than a week now, I’m completely tired out I don’t know what to feel once they’re out. 

Our new schedule which started last week is disconcerting. Of course it has its advantages but the underlying reason that led to this change calls them off. And I can do nothing but participate.

I wish for a new phase in my life, is my biggest goal for the year.

And I’m currently acting on that, quite aggressively to be honest. It’s just sad that I’ve been trying to find that new phase for a very long time now, and here I am. Here I still am. Forlorn and defeated, trying for maybe the 20th time…

I sincerely hope, and with concrete actions I do on the side that the next time I’ll get to this particular topic of the next three weeks, I’m too excited of this new phase even this blog can’t hide

[UPDATE: On July 7, the MLC results are out and I didn't make it.]

Last Friday, I watched Monsters University with my friends in SM Megamall. And though I haven't really watched the first monster movie, Monsters Inc, I found it so adorable and cute that I immediately downloaded the first one this weekend, which marks the first movie I ever downloaded on my own! Aye new record!



For a week now, I've been enjoying free internet in my tablet care of, I think, Smart. But I have entirely no idea how I got that. I mean, mine's a prepaid sim card, and in automatic, I turn off the wifi and GPS (to save battery supposedly). And lastly, I haven't loaded the thing in three months! To be honest, I'm not such an internet-lover-every-minute kind of person, but my waiting time which before was most spent reading novels and stocks stuff had turned to browsing facebook, 9gag and overheard posts (that I admittedly like but I'm not so good at resisting I hope I won't turn into an internet addict, at least not again). I seriously don't know if I like or hate this free internet all the time. Haha

But really... Free? Is always better!

Last June 8, we had our company outing in Club Manila East in Taytay. It was actually my first company outing (the whole company I mean) after 4 years so I can't really pass it off. It was fun; we enjoyed a lot of team building activities including cheering (that we won!), mind games (that I kind of hate because I purposely left my workmode-brain at home) and jumping rope (that I found out I suck at). 


Pink Panthers

And for me, it was a day without reason and purpose and a tablet that reminds me of the schedules I need to keep. It was my free day. After the short-lived but most of the time depressing MLC, after the deadlines and the harassed zombie-like days, after I hope the un-me. 

It was my free day, kayaking in the middle of far-from-familiar, with nothing in my hands but a pair of shades and -- yup, just a pair of shades. 



The world went on for a day without me and for a while, it felt like everything, EVERYTHING is totally okay...

But that was a far three weeks ago and I swear it is weird talking about free and fun and relaxation when at present it's really otherwise, that is why I really need to blog sooner rather than later, which I always strive to do to no avail.

*I tell you about the three weeks that came after. Hopefully, I will get to that.*

The world is full of good vibes. Even in this tiring week.


We celebrated independence day by taking Devon to the vet, had him xray-ed, and found no needle whatsoever. And I came out a proud Mama pug.


Last Friday, Jun 14, was quite eventful for me. Went to SM Aura for the first time for the ASP quarterly meeting, did some retail therapy because some side of me think I need it badly, watched Man of Steel with Ate care of Nuffnang and Schick. I love free blogging events! 


A day after that, J & I ate at Dad's. As if buffets are so ordinary now. As if we'll do this all this time. 

Crush level: flipped

             " Iyung tipong tatayo ka from your desk para makita ng mas maigi si crush. Pero di                         
             ka na makatingin, kasi nakatingin na siya sayo. Haha Chasesallthebluesawayyy "

And a good thing:

             " Fancies me how dreams from the past still hold true after all this time. "

It's a big place, and I can feel happy if I will it to be. 


Except for my 2013 goals post, I have always flocked away from this particular topic. But since a lot of my time now is consumed thinking about stocks, formulating my trading plan, and monitoring the market, I think this couldn't hurt. After all, I always write about my interests, and this, the Stock Market is my latest fancy.

I opened an investment/trading account in Citisec last year, the day I turned 24 to be exact. It was actually something I've always wanted to do since 2010, when my college friends and I were talking about Bo Sanchez' Truly Rich Club and how it was smart on our part to do something with our money other than stash it up in a savings account. Two years passed and we never had the guts to do so, we were just so full of plans on that subject.

When one time, I had lunch with a former officemate and he mentioned he opened an investment/trading account with his friend. And I was like: I could have been doing that right now. And a surge of utter loneliness and regret rushed to me for postponing things I always loved to do, I hated it.

Three weeks later, after cutting my savings accounts to their minimum (and thus I’m left with no emergency money just in case. Please don’t do this because this is totally not ideal, although I have no regrets in the end), I opened a regular account in Citisec Online.

I took a leave from work, actually a birthday leave, just so I can spend half-day in there, maybe talk about the stocks that are profitable. I thought I would learn investment stuff that day, at least on my plan.

I didn't  In fact, the girl who took my application seemed to discourage me from opening a regular account. She was asking things like: Do you have any experience investing in the stock market? Do you know what support is? Resistance? Fair value? I answered negatively to all her questions, each no and head shake an appalling admittance of my ignorance. I was so speechless by how seemingly uninformed I am in thinking of conquering the stock market, and how stupid it felt cutting both of my savings accounts. The girl who took my application did a good job of discouraging me.

But alas I wasn't discouraged enough to come home with a changed mind. I read books and articles and stock forums for the latest news and updates. I guarded my trades with caution, and a target value so I know the purpose of each of my trades. I devised my own templates in excel (I know, how geek) summarizing my trades, stocks on watch, profit lost on expenses and commissions.

And after one year of medium to long term investing, I had a 30% profit (computed conservatively). I wasn't sure if what I did is good enough, if I earned more than an average investor in a same trading time frame but I didn't really care. My point of comparison is a savings account so getting what I got in one year seemed like a big plus for me.

I also learned that last year was a bull time for everyone, I consider myself very lucky at that.

Finally, last Wednesday, May 29, I attended a seminar in COL on Technical Analysis, and thus the interest in shifting from fundamental which I’m doing now, to technical. I've always wanted to do technical trading; I do believe that’s where the money is, in trends. I was doing so well in trading medium to long term that I got a little lazy to challenge myself, but there’s got to be more than this.

It’s not so much as greed, but it may be a wasted opportunity if I do not even try.

So after a year of doing well on Fundamental Stocks Trading, I am bit by bit (slowly, because as of today the market’s too down) shifting to Technical Analysis. And the challenge poses a promise of a passion fueling me like there’s a fire on my heart.


I welcomed June in Ace Water Spa with J and 2 of my best friends from college.

We first had an overnight at our house, me playing the host this time, so they can finally meet Devon , my pug. Then we left home at around 8 and waited for J in Mcdo Banawe for almost an hour. We arrived at Ace Water Spa at around 10:30.

It’s funny how such simple things can go unforeseeably wrong. For one thing, the black tankini I bought in Freeway turned out to be cotton, which I only found out that day after three years. And an innocent light bulb realization lingers in my head: that’s why it’s tight all this time, it goes, even when I shed an inch of belly fat. Mystery solved.

But cotton wasn’t allowed in the pool, the lady in blue who pointed out my black cotton tankini said. And I should have brought my other swimsuits is what I kept thinking; only it was a 1-hr fx ride too late. Luckily, my girlfriend who brought a bikini she originally planned to wear with an overcoat like in a beach offered to lend it to me. Only I don’t wear bikini, and sure my tummy’s not ready for it.

But in the end, we all get to wear each other’s swimsuits. It was a funny thing.

After 30-minutes of stressing over tummy fats, and a locker that wouldn't close, and the uniform red head gear ala Stepford wives, we finally let lose ourselves in the pool. Yup, girls, you say.

And J had already explored half of the place. Thus again, Mars vs Venus.

It was 4 hours of water bliss: water that pound on our head and shoulders as if in a falls; drumrolls on our back like we’re mighty Samsons; jets of alternating fast and soft plunges that can only make us laugh out loud.

I really like the Hot Herbal Pools (ours were mint, jasmine and lavender) and the idea of alternating it with the cold pool for 3 minutes each. But we didn't made it to the cold pool. We probably stayed there 5 seconds tops, our teeth chattering like we’re rabbit caricatures of ourselves.

We had our lunch at around 2 already, in Maki Haus, a Taiwanese restaurant a couple of blocks away. And after that, milk tea in Lucky Tea although I never really got the hang of it, of the craze and the various tea stalls that emerged in every corner out of nowhere.


But when you’re with good friends really, it doesn't matter whether you got the saddest-tasting milk tea of the bunch, and because you’re too safe to spend something you might not really like you order Dark Chocolate with RS&C because chocolate and dark at that works all the time (it didn't, just to add); you'll drink out of theirs too anyway. Or if you brought a cotton swimsuit to an indoor pool that forbids it (and by now, you might think how na├»ve I am because I didn't recognize it but I’m not very knowledgeable about clothes in the first place) because your friend brought an extra bikini you sure can borrow.

It didn't matter. It’s that first day of June, and shame on distance and maturity that sucks out the life in Life, we have jetting waters and lucky milk teas on our side.

Happy nearing 2013’s 2nd half!


Schick and Nuffnang bring you Man of Steel on June 14 at the Shangri-La Cineplex. 


To join, simply answer this question: 
"If you had the powers of MAN OF STEEL for one (1) week, how would you use it?"

I for one, would use it to achieve two things. First, I will try to instill on the Filipino people that there is hope and will do so by being/playing the hero myself. May it be as simple as helping an elderly cross the street, or as grand as saving a man who attempts suicide by jumping off a billboard along the highway. I will be the Man of Steel, the hero we need in this moment of crisis, and uncertainty in our society. And second, is personally, as it had always been a dream of mine to travel the world, I will use my ability to fly in exploring other countries, continents I have always fancied. 

To find out more on this promo and win movie tickets to the screening, click on the image below.

Schick. Free Your Skin.

Per DTI-NCR Permit No.1843 Series of 2013.

Fantastic reviews from friends in facebook and the blogging community entice us, J and I, to try Maple as our next food trip. 


Located at the newly open East Wing of Shangri-la Mall, Maple features breakfast items such as tapa, eggs benedict and various selections of pancakes. 

When we arrived at around 7PM last Friday, we were already 10th in the waiting list. The place was jam-packed; we were advised to come back after an hour or so as they will prioritize those in the list. So we came back at 8:15 and the place was crowdy than ever, the woman who had only arrived then was already 19th in the list. We finally got in after a couple more minutes of waiting. 


The interior of Maple is light, more formal than laid-back. The design would bring forth a fairytale vibe – script words scribbled on the walls, a bordered maple tree as the centerpiece, and a rack with books, reminiscent of kids’ bedtime stories. It’s a shame we didn’t took a lot of pictures of the place and interior but the place was really crowded. 

We ordered Maple Burger (P475) as I’ve always been on the search for a favorite burger after I watched the burger episode of How I Met Your Mother. And to J’s delight, Stuffed French Toast (P350) and Maple Buttermilk Pancake (P275) because he said, these should be their specialties. 

And now here is the reason I wrote a food blog post for the first time.


I found my favorite burger by far. And J totally agreed. 

I loved all about the Maple Burger. The patty literally melts in your month, like chocolate, but instead cheese and beef. The dressing is just the right kind (I actually forgot how it tastes like but it was really good). I saved the bacon for last because that’s how I do things, to serve like a prized trophy. The appetizers that came with it, deep-fried potatoes and onion rings were filling too.
 

I ate the burger so slow it’s as if I didn’t want it to end.

To be honest, I was so full after eating just half of the burger (J & I divided it in two) that I knew we were going to take out most of the pancake and French toast. But here they are nevertheless.


The Stuffed French Toast was really creamy, it’s soft like chiffon, so it felt like we already have a cake. Inside, it overflows with blueberry spread like a surprise (I’m not a fan of blueberry, it’s a little sour for me) but J loved it and he likes blueberry too. 


The pancakes were solid and filling, and they have chocolate bits all over. The maple sauce is smooth and not too sweet for my taste. It’s “pancakes like your day will be as comfy as the morning”.


The best thing is I now have a standard best burger on my list. And I’m sure will be coming back for that.




My Purple Thumb

Last Monday, May 13, Filipinos held the national elections. And at 25, it was my first time to vote. Yes, I’m guilty of not voting in 2010 elections together with my family, as in all 6 of us. But nevertheless, I’m just glad that I get to practice suffrage finally.

These were the senators I voted for:

Angara, Edgardo
Casino, Teddy
Hagedorn, Ed
Cayetano, Alan Peter
Gordon, Dick
Hontiveros, Risa
Pimentel, Koko
Trillanes, Antonio IV

Although I’m a part of a religious group which more or less practice unity when it comes to elections; in most ways, I try to be ideal and hold my personal values quite intact -- this is why I practically dragged my family to register in the last day of voting registration last year in October.

There are some things we just don’t compromise.

My top pick was Gordon but sadly he landed on the 13th spot. Sigh.

May 19 is JACI’s Day

JACI stands for me and my siblings, the first letter of our names in the order of our birth: Joy April Czarry Ivan. Cool huh.

Last May 19, the four of us went to Star City . Before that though, we attended church service and then had lunch at Burgoo, my treat. And we all realized we didn’t like steak. (Even when I ate one at Vikings, I didn’t really appreciate it very much. I’m a faithful Baby Back Ribs lover. Haha)

Ever since I went to HK with my sister, I felt that my fear of heights had lessened. And if given the chance, I think I will accept the challenge of Star Flyer but Czarry and Ivan didn’t want to so we opted for the less height-scary rides.

Girls

For missing Sex and The City, I found Girls.

I remember staying up until two on college Friday nights with my sister, watching the latest Sex and the City copies that we have, with a bowl of home-made popcorn, until our eyes would shut involuntarily and we have to resist watching just one more episode.

I remember the long lines of the last full shows on the first night of the two SATC movies, and going home almost midnight with our feet wet with street water I think it was August.

That was Sex and the City for me eight years ago, with the friendship, and the girls, and their love lives, and of course the sex. Now, at 25, I’m currently watching Girls.



The main characters are also four girls but in their early 20s (the lead role is 25 which may be why I find the series relatable) who are struggling in their life as young adults. Problems with boyfriend being too nice, guys who won’t commit, job and career-wise, the easy communication brought by technology trivializing relationships.

Girls are easy and honest and just light, without the heavy drama or phony smoothness of some tv shows.

And my favorite character’s Marlie. I feel her uptight-ness, and serious nature is characteristic of me.


In the stretch of March and April until May 9, I dragged myself everyday to fulfill the duties of MLC studies. It wasn’t really as bad as it may sound; until I turned 25 and only spent a day to celebrate (I was so used to making April, my birth and favorite month, occupied with the things I love doing). But I guess I had to sacrifice that part.

So in those more than two months of seclusion, nothing much happened except for the never-ending review, late night cuddling up with Devon with the desk lamp shade as the only light and the regular 10-minuted 9gag trip which served as my pastime on study breaks.


But at some point there were good days and moments that made those sacrifice months better, and thus the list of the little things that counted nevertheless:


Luma-life peg


I’m not really a big fan of superhero movies. Most of the time, I go with the movie’s storyline, so the time spent swooshing in the air, saving random people from bad guys (and sometimes from doing stupid things), getting the girl – I find that whole stuff dragging until the inevitable happy ending of saving the world that is characteristic to superhero movies.


But then I watched Avengers last year and had a great time, and immediately crush on RDJ even though most of my friends swooned over Thor. 


So when Iron Man 3 came out, I intend not to miss riding the bandwagon.  And boy I loved that. I’m crushing on RDJ even more and on his character. He was actually very inspiring in that movie. *gushes*


Vikings


Last April 13, J took me to Vikings. And it was happiness.

Family Blessings

Both of my sisters graduated this year. My younger sister graduated from Miriam College as cum laude and our eldest graduated from her master’s degree in UP OU. And I’m one proud sister!


Taken at UP Open University, Los Banos Laguna
during our older sister's graduation

Pitong Patibong, etc

These past months I left my creative side rot, which is why I vowed to turn it around after my MLC exam. Watching Pitong Patibong, which my friend found advertised in facebook, was my first step. I have also finished reading Delirium by Lauren Oliver. And I again read Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott (I’m not sure if I finish reading it before eh), coupled with short writing assignments on the side. Add to that writing rakets and some blogging perks. All these until end of June where I am again expecting a major career decision (haha!) to take place. It’s getting sooner by the day, but I still have more than a month, I just hope it’s ample time for me to be happy that I am again taking a step towards the “writer” I feel I am.


Wilkins


My mom was one of five winners of Wilkins in their Mother’s Day contest, and we have unlimited Wilkins supply in the house for an estimated 6 months. Hehe



I've always thought that when I star in a movie of my imagination, it will be as grandiose and magical as in Tim Burton's movies like Big Fish and Alice in Wonderland. So I will make it so... 


It starts one morning I wake up before going to work, when I notice that things seem different. When I look though, everything is at their proper places: I still live in my house with my family and three dogs, so I dismiss the initial thought and go back to my daily routine and start preparing for work. 


I'm taking a bath when suddenly a black hole appeared in the bathroom floor, large enough to fit me in. But I was alert and got out of there quickly, only to find out that my room, the sala and the house as a whole were all covered in trees so green with thick vines and roots I could not see the flooring and the walls anymore. I scamper towards the other rooms looking for my parents and my brother and sisters but they're all gone, their beds untidy like they hurried to get out of it. 


I realize I am completely alone in our house, and the walls start to close in, and the black hole grew bigger by the minute until I was sucked inside to no one knows where... 


I wake up in the middle of a vast field when I hear someone approaching, a chariot led by black dogs, but huge dogs they could eat me alive if they will to. I hid myself under a rock until they have gone past my way. 


Then suddenly someone or something coughed behind me, and I jumped. I looked and it was a little man, probably one foot tall at the most, and he looks at me with questions in his eyes. I figured I could just kicked him with my karate skills if he became nasty. But he didn't and he seemed to be a friend, well at least at the moment. And he told me what happened just hours before I magically appeared out of nowhere.


He told me his name is Abanaga and I'm in Ra-a Kingdom, an alternate universe from Earth, where animals are vehemently large and served as the rulers, and humans are like ants in Earth, minute and quickly dispensable. Abanaga said they start "importing" humans from Earth to teach them how to be as tall as us, so they can change roles with the animals, and rule Ra-a like we do on Earth. As he said this though, I felt myself shrinking and shrinking to his size. Abanaga sigh, this always happens he said, when they import humans, they too shrink to their size. 


I also learned that my family is in the care of their leader, a large hawk whose wings expand to an entire field. He said when Hawk took trips to look for humans as its meal (and I gasped because then my family is in real danger), its wings covers the sky completely as if it's night.


Then and there, I vowed to rescue my family from the claws of the evil human-eating Hawk. And Abanaga said I can't do it alone. "You need us", he said. Apparently he meant the hundreds and thousands of little people like Abanaga (and me too unfortunately). 


And so we devised a plan that would overthrow Hawk and the hundreds of huge animals by luring them to eat poisoned "human bones and meat". Until the little humans, however small, took to rule Ra-a and I saved my family and together we were sucked into the black hole once again, this time towards our house in Earth. Back our home. 


And what better way to enjoy movies than a big bag of popping Kettle Korn that is sure to delight even the pickiest movie-eater?



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