Monday, January 31, 2011

Birthday Wishlist

My brother is getting married in 6 days while I'm turning 28 in 7 days. Now if you care for me, you should know what to get me hehehe:

  1. Music box that plays any of the following - The Entertainer, Ave Maria, The Christmas Song, Auld Lang Syne, Moon River, I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry.
  2. socks
  3. Books - Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto, Hear the Wind Sing and Pinball by Haruki Murakami, Black Jack vols. 10-22 by Ozamu Tezuka
  4. CLAMP no Kiseki Chess Board
  5. official TEDS T-shirt

Sunday, January 30, 2011


After stubbornly refusing for so long I had finally given in. I signed up for a Facebook account.


At first, the only reason why I wouldn't sign up was because my laptop broke and I had rare access to the web and I felt like it's useless to get an account if I can't update it regularly. Then it grew into pride, everybody was going gaga over it, specially my siter Ivy, everybody was saying how addicting it is and I felt like I don't want to be like everybody else. I lost appetite. I wanted to be someone who could say "well, I didn't fall for it, sorry".

That was really silly now that I think about it hehehe...

I felt pressured to have one, the reasons to sign up was piling up, it's suffocating:

I don't wanna get sued, it's becoming a law to have a Facebook account. Even the oldies have one!

I need a mainstream medium to sell my toys (click me).

I want to be able to see my travel photos without bothering Che and asking her to email the pics.

I wanted to feel young again hehehe.

I need my fans (LOL)

I need to get updated when my gay friend Kuya Aris will get his greencard so I can marry him (LOL)

I have to prove that I'm digitally alive.

I need prove to everyone else that Facebook is not as impressive or as addictive as many claimed it to be.

It's time!

Just kidding, I'm starting to sound like an old fool hahaha.

I only wanted to get in touch with my friends that I haven't heard from for a long time and I know Facebook will greatly help me on this.

Please add me hehehe.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Gift of Laughter

I have a confession to make.

Well, some of my friends already know this, but I feel like a need to post this...

I'm a huge Ellen DeGeneres fan. Yep, her. I'm not usually a celebrity person, now before you make any judgement, let me tell you that she's the most adorable celebrity out there.

I'm particularly hooked to her talkshow. To say that it changed me is an understatement. It healed me. I was a pessimistic person, full of problems and frustrations. I was limited to anime and anything Japanese. I refused to go out of my box until one day...

I remember, it was a gloomy week day in November. I was at a friend's place. It was boring. She was having a fight with her boyfriend while I am sad for another reason. I was flipping through channels on TV when I came across Ellen's opening monologue about Barrack Obama's election, she was explaining how the election came down to dancing. It was hilarious. Then she would come up with one funny act after another -the goofy dance, the straddling of the coffee table, showing how a hologram could make her life easier, demoing of a vaccuum cleaner at George Clooney's office, the kid inventors. It was just a super fun show that sent me into a burst of laughter until my friend had to yell to turn down my volume and remind me that she was crying. But something happened that I didn't notice. I had forgotten my own problem.

this is the monologue that got me started!

It took me a while, but once I got a hold of its schedule, I've become a regular home audience member.

My favorite part is the monologue, this is where Ellen shows off her brand of comedy, which I really love. She often talks about everyday life and points out inconveniences and silly things we're willing to put up that makes me think, yeah, why is that? I like the fact that she's willing to look goofy and silly for comedy, and it doesn't disappoint, well most of the time anyway.

It's that hour of laughter everyday that got me through and made me realize how much energy I'm wasting on negativity. And I'm not saying I'm completely healed, I still have a lot issues to work out and a lot of pessimism left in my veins, but I'm slowly getting rid of it. The thing is, I need to keep in touch with reality. Because, life can't always be all about fun. There will be hardships, but by focusing on the positive things, I have a much brighter future.

Anyway, it's Ellen's 53rd birthday today and I would've wanted to greet and thank her personally, for this gift of laughter. I know that it's hard to get a ticket on her show (yes, I'm that kind of fan now, I even bought copies of her books!). Here in Philippines, 2nd Avenue channel holds a contest every year with a ticket to her show (all expense paid!)as the prize. But then, good luck to me, one of the requirements is to have a US visa which I don't have and getting one is like passing through a needle's hole. But then again, I'm sure those people who gets a ticket are in more need than I do. So I'm happy to just watch in the comfort of our living room. I'm sure there are million lives healed by her gift of laughter, and on her birthday, I wish she gets the happiness she imparts, ten-fold. Happy Bday Ellen!

Tanay Town Fiesta

Last Sunday, my hometown celebrated the feast of our Patron saint, San Ildefonso de Toledo. Now I don't know how people celbrated way way back, but I've grown up knowing that it's mostly about food. Then there are bands, carnival, flea markets, and of course, visitors from out of town.

This year, I managed to have my own share of visitors from the Metro - Nagi, Chris and Aish came and Dindee with Dr. Fajardo dropped by. I gotta be honest, this was the first time that I brought them with me and introduce my family and I was little nervous that something might go wrong. But everything went smoothly, I was so happy that everybody felt comfortable and at home. I knew that my parents, especially my mom would be delighted to meet my friends and have a sense of relief to know the people I am with, whenever I'd have to spend the night in Manila.

Now this trio have always been bubbly, I understand that they had to tone done in front of my family in our living room, and they were like whispering while talking. But when i finally took them to my room and got some privacy, their demons unleashed! It was a riot but at the same time really fun. We took a lot of embarassing pictures that I can't even post here because we all love our future hahaha.

I was surprised that a day is not enough to have more fun like take them to some popular spots like the dyke. I was so worried that I would be a bad host and bore my guests to death, but Thank God, everything turned out to be a great day.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Mt. Pinatubo

Disclaimer: All photos are owned and taken by Cherryl Gurrobat

This post is long overdue, but I still want
to share this. Last week, I went treking to Mt. Pinatubo.

My friend, Che's photos inspired me to go out and see the country. While I often express frustration over the corrupt government and how we Filipinos lack discipline, I had forgotten to appreciate the good things we have. And we have a lot!

Together with Che, her sister Cha and her friend Janet, I decided to start off with my new goal of seeing the beauty of the Philippines, here in Mt. Pinatubo.

It wasn't an easy trail, but it was probably the right start for me. From the foot of the mountain (or whatever part it was), I had to endure a 2 hour walk! Another 2 hours to go back. And it doesn't sound so hard if you're gonna do it on an even plane. Now it's a "mount" I'm talking about so you can just expect all the tough things you could think of hehehe.

It was an overcasted Sunday so I didn't sweat as much as I expected, but the biggest threat was the rain. It's not safe to go there when raining because of the lahar and I've heard of death instance due to bad weather, so all throughout the trek, my only prayer was not to rain. It drizzled a little, but Thank God, I made it through without any scratch.

My knowledge of Mt. Pinatubo was fairly limited to its 1991 massive erruption. How can I forget getting up in the morning and seeing the outside of our house covered in ash. I was so young at that time and I thought for a moment that it snowed. I had no idea the disaster that had just happened. So when I finally made it to the top, I was just blown by the beauty. How can something so beautiful come from an ugly tragedy?

Despite the gloomy sky, the crater lake boasted a turquoise color. What can I say? The sight
reminds me of dinosaur era, I was hoping to see a big bird to hover around and give me an illusion that it's a Pteroducktyl! It didn't happen, but what the heck!

After the trek, my body was aching. I felt like an old lady, and I was longing for my bed so badly but it wasn't the body pain that gave me a heartache. It was the sight of the Aetas living in poverty. The knowledge that our trek guide is underpaid despite the hard work he did for us. Our trek guide's name is Raymond and he's a hard working fellow. The only thing we could do for him was to give a small tip and some food.

Overall, it was a learning and an inspiring experience. I hope to go back someday but next time. I hope to do something better for the people who live there.

Friday, January 14, 2011

The 13th Zodiac Sign (?)

This cracked me up. I just learned that there is a new zodiac sign, how it happened? Read on (from The Huffington Post):

Astronomer Parke Kunkle says that due to changes in the Earth's alignment the dates of many zodiac signs have changed, according to NBC. In addition, there may be a 13th Zodiac sign: Ophiuchus.

Kunkle says that as the Earth and Sun slowly move the signs gradually change, as expected. The change didn't happen over night either. The 12 signs were designated to different periods of the year almost 3,000 years ago, when astrology began, and since then the Earth's position in relation to the sun has changed.

While the sign many people were born under may now be different, it shouldn't affect horoscope readings, according to NBC.

See if your Zodiac sign has changed below:

The New Dates:
Capricorn: Jan. 20 - Feb. 16

Aquarius: Feb. 16 - March 11
Pisces: March 11- April 18
Aries: April 18 - May 13
Taurus: May 13 - June 21
Gemini: June 21 - July 20
Cancer: July 20 - Aug. 10
Leo: Aug. 10 - Sept. 16
Virgo: Sept. 16 - Oct. 30
Libra: Oct. 30 - Nov. 23
Scorpio: Nov. 23 - Nov. 29
Ophiuchus: Nov. 29 - Dec. 17
Sagittarius: Dec. 17 - Jan. 20

Hmmm.. I'm a little confused. There are overlapping dates, not my problem though since my birthday doesn't fall on any of those dates. But based on the new ZOdiac sign dates, from Aquarius, I am now a Capricorn! No way!!!

First of all, I'm not affected that much. Who is Parke Kunkle anyway?

Second, I was reading the comments, and just can't help but laugh at people's stubborness and obvious resistance to change. Then I also realize how much people love their birth sign hahaha.

Third, I'll always be Aquarius, just like anybody else, I love my original birth sign, unless, being a Capricorn would make me a millionaire hehehe.

So what's your new zodiac? Are you amendable to this?

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Sam Needs Help

A couple of months ago, I received a text message from a so called "Sam". She said she's an information management major from Bacolod and wants to go to Manila (so badly) to work but can't afford the fare. So she asks for help and said that she's willing to do "anything" in exchange of my help.

So I did the most logical thing any decent person would do. Delete!

And I thought that was it. But then, weeks later I received a follow up SMS from this Sam. I found it a little odd to get a follow up spam. I deleted it again of course.
And so I thought that's the end of the story. Or so I thought... I received another follow up weeks later. Then last week, another one. This time, I thought to myself, okay, I'm not gonna delete this one. This is starting to get annoying, why do I feel like somebody's playing a prank on me?

There's no way I would respond, I kept it in my inbox so I could post it here, the exact SMS:

Gud am po, c Sam po to, ung girl na humihingi ng tulong makapunta ng maynila.. M22lungan nio po b ako? Gagawin ko po ung kapalit na hhngin nio, para lang makapunta npo ako ng maynila.. Parang awa nio napo..

Yesterday I received 2 more messages, the other is another plea for help while the other one is a short profile that says she's a DOST scholar.

First of all Sam, I'm not a dirty old man.

Second, if you're a wise girl, you know better than I do, that there are million ways to get here than randomly asking for help from someone in exchange of "anything".

Third, this is really beginning to sound like some kind of prank. Whoever you are, I'm not gonna fall for it.

There, now that I blogged about it, it's time to clean my SMS inbox. Sorry Sam, it's not gonna work. Anybody interested to help her, contact me and I'll give her your number when she send another follow up.

Friday, January 07, 2011

Today is the 33rd wedding anniversary of my parents. What can I say? If I'd sit and reflect all the things I'm thankul for, I'd start with my parents, and end with my stubborn siblings (kidding hehehe). In a world where 50% of marriages result to divorce, annulment, or any form of separation, being part of the other 50% is a big thing. Something that should never be taken for granted. Over the years I witnessed how my mom and dad stayed sweet and inlove with one another. Sure there are times when they bicker, but then my dad would always end up giving in to please my mom. For some, he'd be called "Andres", but I'd call him a true gentleman. While my mom never fail to please my dad in her own special wifey ways.

I'm just so proud to have great and loving parents.

Mommy and Fodsie, happy 33rd year! Cheers!

Monday, January 03, 2011

Happy New Year

It turns out that I got lazier than I expected hahaha. I wanted to get on with the updates and here I am, slacking myself off. I don't always get a 3-days off, 2 weeks in a row, so I have to make sure I have something to share. But first...

We spent the New Year's eve like we used to, though I can't help but notice some changes. This year Pipay was not here but Richard and his family celebrated with us at home -he was with his in-laws last year. This season is generally all about family, it's the time of the year where everyone take it as an opportunity to spend time with their family or loved ones. So I can't help wishing we were complete.

I think that this is the most subtle new year's eve we ever had. It's a lot more quiet than the ones we had in the past. Relatives stopped coming and some neighbors have gone somewhere else-some went abroad to work, while some passed away (the old ones). There was huge noise for the last 5 minutes of 2010 and the first 10 minutes of 2011, the bangs and the booms, the bright flares of fireworks and the smoke, but it was unusually low compared to past celebrations in the neighborhood. Not that it's a bad thing, I'm not a fan of the explosives anyway and I despise the smell of smoke. But I like making noise (using other means, like horn) and watching fireworks.

My mom didn't even cook food, she was tired and ever since she got hospitalized, we were careful not to exhaust her. It's a shame that nobody in the family can cook. Pipay knows how, but then she's far away. I decided that this year, one of the things I should learn is to cook! We ended up buying a Chowking family platter. My Aunt Carmen also shared macaroni soup with us and I bought a chocolate cake from Goldilocks. I made sure that there is something sweet or it wouldn't be a celebration for me.

Things to do in 2011:

#1 Get a "health" cook book.

In addition to that, during the Holidays, I watched a documentary film called "Food Inc." It's about how the food we ate are made. Mostly the truth about farm factories -the living conditions of the animals, what "farmers" feed and inject to make 'em grow in a short period of time. How crops are genetically modified to produce more than natural method can produce and accommodate the demand and needs of the mass. No wonder all kinds of diseases pops out. But to make the story short, I was appaled with how big corporations manipulate the trust of consumers. But we have our options, we can be aware and we can decide what to buy and what not to buy, and though it's gonna be real hard for me the things I need to start on are:

#2 allot a meatless day in a week

#3 look for organic foods (where to buy?)

#4 less visit to the fastfood chains

#5 read labels and ingredients

So much about food, going back to new year's eve, after the traditional firworks and noise making, we ate, my brothers and my dad had a little drink, we chat, took pictures and then dozed off.
Despite the changes i noticed, I am happy. I am incredibly grateful that we still get to celebrate like this. So many things had happened in the past year, good and bad, that taught me to back off from my stubborness. How lucky I am to realize that I was sticking to my gun that had no bullet in the first place. Together with the year 2010, I am saying goodbye to all the bad things that consumed me. I am still working on some of my issues but I know, with the baby steps I'm taking, I will get there. I will get to live with my highest potential and be a person who can contribute to the society. I am positive that 2011 is gonna be great year.

#6 be physically active without going to the gym

#7 to travel and appreciate the Philippines more

#8 to save, save, save more money

#9 to give to charity

#10 to go to the dentist (I've been having intermittent tooth ache)

#11 to save the world (LOL)

Rock on Kidd!!!