December 16, 2017

Living with content, love and happiness

Five years ago today, I wrote something about Life being confusing all the time. I ended the blog with:
So don't question why life is confusing because it will always be confusing. Search questions, discover answers, and when you do things, do it because you love to. There will be a lot of choices in life but choose the ones that make you happy. After all, living life is living with content, love and happiness.
After five years, I must say, I think I have chosen to do the things I have done because they make me happy. If I look back to the last five years of my life, looking through the big steps I took - it was because I was searching for satisfaction which results to happiness (whatever it may be).

I might have clung onto things that satisfied (or still satisfies) me because it is the safest thing to do. Some people may think that being on the safe side is mediocrity but I think if you know that you are placing yourself where it can help you flourish in the long run and if it makes sense to you - then it should be fine. At 27, I realized that (in a deeper way, I guess) your actions need to speak louder than words. How cliche - but it's true. It's time to think it through before doing it and before even saying it (if it has to be said). We are all work-in-progress here. We like to enhance ourselves. We want to change our old habits even if old habits die hard. But if these habits don't make sense to you anymore, you have got to get rid of that thing gradually.

Honestly, I have been changing the way I react on things or make decisions. As I said, I want to think things through. Sometimes I think that I am obsessed by it - I hope it's just a phase to becoming older. I try to stay away from doing things just because but doing things with a purpose. I hope I am doing this right. They say that, if you want to know that something is right, then ask yourself if (doing) it makes you happy. I am not happy nor sad - but I am scared to do my own decisions at some point now. But that is the beauty of it - of getting older. You have got to do things on your own now. I think we just have to stick to one reason why we should do the things we want to do - because we want to live. By living the one life we have with content, love and happiness. 

And sometimes, it does not hurt to live a little! By that, I mean, make little adventures for your soul. Go travel, talk to people, create something new, ask silly questions, climb that mountain, cook something new, go there but with a purpose. Life always has its own reason but sometimes the reason only shows up once you have done something that scares you or new to you.

I shall say it again, there will be a lot of choices in life but choose the ones that make you happy. After all, living life is living with content, love and happiness.

December 8, 2017

Ice Breaker #14: What was the biggest surprise you ever had?

me at Dubai Butterfly Garden, December 2017

my cousins (Beau, Ate Evelyn), my sister (Ate Aking), and my sister's husband (Kuya Mel) at Dubai Butterfly Garden, December 2017

I think the biggest surprise I have ever had (so far) would be knowing that I will be leaving home in three weeks for the longest time. My sister have told me that they (she and her husband) got me a visa and ticket to fly with her to Dubai so I had around three weeks to prepare my things. It was such a big surprise for me even though I have wished that I could come with her months before she told me but the moment it was all set, everything was just sinking in. I had to leave all the people and my things behind and live somewhere. I would not say it is easy but knowing that I still have my family around to keep me sane, then I am good.

November 28, 2017

Ice Breaker #13: Are you an achiever? In what way?

Zero Gravity, Dubai, November 2017

This is a difficult question to answer with just a yes or a no. There are a couple of times that I have achieved something that are meaningful to me though they may be just a regular task for some. A couple of times I failed but did not stop until I got it right. A share of achievements with other people who share the same passion and goals as me (at school, mostly). And for sure there are times that I failed a hundred percent - did no even try harder. So, I ain't an achiever all the way but I do have some achievements through the years. Unfortunately, there's nothing geeky about them (Or so I thought, LOL). But those achievements, no matter how small they are or almost absolutely just nothing for some, are what made me who I am today. And so far, I think I am doing just right. =)

October 30, 2017

Feeding Stray Cats in Abu Dhabi

There could be more than a dozen of things that needed to be written here as I have been missing in action for at least a year but let me write about yesterday's event. My sister has been talking about feeding stray cats in a park in Abu Dhabi. She has seen a couple of expats around the area who spend time in the park and feed stray cats! And she thought maybe we could do the same thing.

Of course I am all for it. I was once a cat person and I still am. If you ever ask me to choose between cat or dog, I would not probably give an answer but I would recall the time when I used to have a lot of kittens and cats when I was a kid. Dogs were also there but the kittens were easily accessible for me. 

This happened yesterday:

I can say that around a third of the cats we have fed came to us and rubbed their body against our legs! I guess it is there way of saying thank you!

We started around 5 in the afternoon and spent time around the park and walked along Corniche. I don't have a correct count of how many cats we fed but there are a lot along the way for sure!

We had coffee at Seattle's Best coffee shop and enjoyed the view of the Marina. Decided to go back home along the same route and got back home at around 11 in the evening. If I remember correctly, my step count reached 17,000 steps! It was a great day to walk around the capital city, feed stray cats, and see strangers/tourists smile at us! I hope we inspired them to feed stray cats as well if they have time!  =)

October 29, 2017

Stopping By To Say Hi!

To be honest, I find it difficult to write in this space these past few months (years, maybe?). It's saddening that I prefer to write business e-mails than writing for my personal blog. It's good that I am focused at work but I know my boss would want me to have a life. I remember her telling me to not stop writing when she asked about my blog a year ago.

Here I am again, on vacation, trying to populate this blog with one more entry. Trying to keep the ball rolling and hoping my thirst for writing more comes back! It's a shame. I don't remember how much writing made me feel sane. Isn't it scary to not feel anything you used to love once? I think I need to write more but I also need time for it. These past few months, I always ask myself how did I ever write so much content in my blog? How did I write poems, stories, whatnots? How did I manage to create things and even collaborated with different people around the world through digital media and endless e-mails? How did I manage to have always an idea in mind?

At 27, I think I need to go back to the time when I was 21 when I told myself that "at 21, I am undecided but just fine". It's true though - I am 27 and I am undecided and fine but I want something more. I want to go to the next step but I don't know what that is. Funny how at 27 I still do not know what I want but I know there has got to be something there. Something that makes life more meaningful. 

I have so many things in mind that I want to do and the more I think about those, the more I find myself scattered everywhere. But I can't just let myself stay still in one place - that just ain't right. Therefore I choose to be everywhere and keep it that way because that's how I have lived my life for years now and I am still doing okay, I guess. This is why I am back here again... I am writing again. And I will try to keep stopping by.

August 11, 2017

The Friday Currently Vol. 9

Me, Changi Airport July 2017, In the wee hours of the morning waiting for my flight to Dubai

Reading - For One More Day by Mitch Albom. This book was given to me by Eileen on the day of my departure from Davao to Dubai. (She was able to go past through immigration, with the help of our high school friend Jeehu, who works there, and spent the time with me in the boarding gate! How awesome is that? She is just the sweetest!)  I have not read much of it though but so far I am expecting something unusual about this story (compared to what I always read) as it is about having a chance to fix something that happened in the past.

Writing - something about professional development goals. It is nothing formal though it is a personal thing that I wanted to do for so long - it is just a review of my career after two years of happily working as a Web Support Executive. There sure were a lot of things that I am proud of and a lot of skills to want to learn more.

Listening - to nothing as of the moment. I have been enjoying the silence as of now.

Celebrating - 27 years of existence! Well, almost there!

Thinking - about how my preferences of almost anything have changed throughout the years. I'd like to think it is maturity but more of being practical and choosing my own battles in all aspects of life.

Wishing - I could have more chances to travel to places - be inspired and get to know people! It would be great to travel with someone as well. Solo travel does not hurt though.

Hoping - that all the things I am doing right now will be fruitful in the years to come.

Wearing - a green Brunei t-shirt and a faded flower-y leggings.

Loving - the silence and the intertwined ideas in my head.

June 2, 2017

Fly On and some short but sweet memories

Just before this memory fades... I remember waking up to this song while flying from DXB to MNL last year. Looking through my window, it looked like the sun has risen somewhere in Asia. I think almost everyone were asleep in that flight including the little boy who was sitting beside me (who turned a year older the day we got on the plane). So this song has a bittersweet melody in it and knowing that it's just going to be a week short of a trip, you have the power to fill it will good memories as certain things just come and go (and it's okay). That trip was indeed short but filled with adventures mostly with only two amazing people and some good strangers. I will never regret buying that ticket and decided to fly out and spend time with AteAling and Kuya Clarence from Dubai to Manila to Tagaytay to Batangas and back (and talked about anything under the Supermoon! Including control towers, planes, and them good old days, etc)

Those days are now gone but the memories stay forever!

Good times~

April 3, 2017

Never Let Love Go, A Short Story

***not based in  real life. I'm just bored on a Sunday night and thought maybe I can write a random story... it does not even have to mean anything to my current situation. 

My workplace - Cluster W,  Jumeirah Lakes Towers

It was quarter to six o'clock and I just came back from work. Luckily, I live 15 minutes away from the office so my pup and I have a good afternoon stroll just before the sun sets. He needs to get outside and smell fresh air after being trapped in a studio apartment. Sometimes I think about him and what he does in there while I am in the middle of a conference call. I know he looks forward to our daily afternoon walks even though we walk on the same path every single day. As for me, I try my best to finish work and leave at half past five. 

It was a Thursday afternoon and everyone were looking forward to the weekend! I look forward to staying at home all day and run some errands in between. Living alone in Dubai is a terrible thing especially when you are not open to any kind of relationship except business. I am glad my pup is there to keep me company.

I came here nine months ago and started my work since. I had no time to meet anyone and I am not the kind who spends time in the bar alone. Also not too adventurous to go alone and purposely meet someone there because I can never make the same mistake twice. Meeting someone at the bar and ending up with them did not work for me. As if it's a fairy tale. It has never been.

5:45 in the afternoon and my pup woke me up from an afternoon siesta on a Saturday afternoon. He knows exactly what time it is to take his stroll around the lake. It's as if he has an alarm clock somewhere in his head or maybe he knows how to read my digital clock. Saturday afternoon stroll means we get to meet other dog around the lake and a few people who works in the office. I got up and changed to my sporty look and looking forward to a walk to the coffee shop for a quick afternoon caffeine fix.

My pup loves to see other dogs for sure. He barks at them, comes near them, or, unfortunately licks other dogs' faces. He knows just how to make me feel awkward to other people by making too much unwanted public display of attention to other dogs. But I always end up smiling at other people - some smile back, laugh and continue with their walk and others are disgusted by it they actually pull their pup back and walk away. 

While on our way back home, my pup pulled me near to another dog who was smelling the flowers in the corner. The owner was standing five steps away from it and seems to be in a bad call judging by the hand gestures. I did not bother to pull back thinking that the owner won't mind my flirty pup. He would not notice for sure. As usual, I expected my pup to do some weird things around his new friend and I am there looking at them while sipping my almost cold cappuccino. The guy turned around and looked at me. I stared at him and realized his familiar facial expression meant something was going on somewhere.

"I know, I'm sorry. He's always like this. As you know, he likes others a little too much."
"He's just like you,"
"That will never change."

He smiled.
I smiled back at him and motioned away.

I pulled back my pup gently to avoid any unnecessary awkward situation but it's hard to let go of someone who was too familiar to you. It has been five years since that break-up... it's never easy to let love go.

March 26, 2017

Ice Breaker #12: What is your unusual hobby?

I can't quite pick which one of my hobbies is unusual though I would say making lists of almost about anything could be my best answer. I have a thing for papers and lists so these two would go very well together all the time!

I have a list for my weekend stuff, grocery, things I want to buy, places I want to go to, work lists, and there are lists within a list (within a list, rarely!). It just makes life easier for me. This morning, my friends felt very anxious about her day because she seems to have too many things to do in a short span of time so I told her to get a piece of paper and write everything down and then prioritize. 

Life is much better with a handy notebook as well. And those cute stationary for To-do lists would be the best gift I will ever receive! I have been eyeing one from Paper Chase. Hmmm!

March 25, 2017

1984 by George Orwell


This is one of the most difficult books I have read so far. It was a test going through this book especially that I was on a reading slump for the longest period and it was my first book of the year. 

For the record, it was the first book where I did not have any attachment to the characters at the very first few parts of the story. The reason probably is because the story did not really brought me to get attached to the characters but brought me into the kind of world they are in instead. The experience in reading this book is so scary yet satisfying.

Winston Smith, the protagonist who works in the Records Department of the Ministry of Truth. His main job is to rectify articles to make sure that the Party is always right and good. He hated the totalitarian control of the government and so fed up with the system. He was so frustrated that he cannot write what he knows and always have to "sugar coat" everything. However he has a diary which kept him sane for a bit. Owning a diary is a big no in the government so he has to keep it otherwise the police will take him down.

He met Julia, who works in the Fiction Department of the Ministry of Truth and became his lover. She is tired of how the system works as well but Julia is less of a rebel compared to Winston. After a couple of secret meet ups, the two met with O'brien, who is a member of the Party but has convinced Winston that he has a group called "The Brotherhood" which comprises all the anti-Party rebels. At some point, Winston and Julia were caught by O'brien's trap. Things got scarier from there.  

Of course, there's this guy who is always watching you... Big Brother. He has no actual appearance in the book but he is everywhere. If you know what I mean. BB has set up telescreens in every house, office, everywhere. He can not only see you but hears you as well. It's psychologically disturbing that the slogan "Big Brother is watching you" is everywhere and that the government can brainwash and convince you that 2+2=5. History has been re-written in favor of the government to justify the present. 

In this world, they created a new language called "Newspeak" which lessens the ability of a human being to express oneself. It has taken away everyone's freedom of speech where you use the simple words to make a straight forward point. For example, if you want to describe something that is really good, you say, doubleplusgood. You need to use the simplest words and combine them altogether. Another Newspeak word is doublethink which means "ability to hold two contradictory ideas in one's mind at the same time." It is where your controlled mind believes to what you have been told but, at the same time, you know the opposite side independently.

I think Orwell has foreseen the world today and wrote this story as a warning of all mankind. At some point, this book was banned in US and USSR because of its communism content  (please correct me if I'm wrong). What makes me like the book, however difficult to grasp everything in, is that it is interestingly relevant to the present world. At some point, the dystopian and real world, overlap in such cases where people are somehow controlled and conformed with the presence of CCTV/recorders among others. Reading this book is like reading from fiction to non-fiction.

In the end, Winston became someone who is not himself. He is not the kind of thinking individual that he was before. He exists as the kind of normal human being who follows whatever BB says and be what the system asks him to be without any questions at all, just like everyone else.

To be blinded from the truth just to live comfortably. Big Brother has been watching us ever since.

February 24, 2017

The Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon

The Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time written by Mark Haddon. He is a British Novelist and Poet and known for this book which was published on 2003.

The story is a first-person narrative by Christopher who is 15 years old with autism. He likes mathematics (in fact, he is very good at it!), he is very keen to detail and lives in a "logical" world. It all started when he found Mrs. Shears' dog that was mysteriously killed in her yard. This made him write a book about the murder case and tries to solve the mystery behind it. Little did he know, he will unveil a much bigger mystery and it all revolves around his life and family. Every bit of investigation uncovers a truth which will change his life.

Reading journey: Reading a story with a POV of an autistic boy felt discomforting at first but, honestly, gets interesting in the long run. Anyone who has read the book must have something to find in common with Christopher and I think that's when I started to feel that there is a connection between me and the protagonist. At some point, we were all young detectives and we have our own ways of thinking and always have "logical" reasoning behind it. As I read on, I grew some empathy about the kid especially when he knew more of the bigger things - which now involves his family. He knew about so many things in a blink of an eye and I felt that it was too much for him as it was for me. 
"And when you look at the sky you know you are looking at stars which are hundreds and thousands of light-years away from you. And some of the stars don’t even exist anymore because their light has taken so long to get to us that they are already dead, or they have exploded and collapsed into red dwarfs. And that makes you seem very small, and if you have difficult things in you life it is nice to think that they are what is called negligible, which means they are so small you don’t have to take them into account when you are calculating something."
The author has captured me into the world of autism at least in Christopher's world. Having a glimpse of how it is in their world is awkward but, honestly, interesting as it takes more effort to ask your self WHY? Then, you'll later realize, BECAUSE WHY NOT?
"A lie is when you say something happened which didn't happen. But there is only ever one thing which happened at a particular time and a particular place. And there are an infinite number of things which didn't happen at that time and that place. And if I think about something which didn't happen I start thinking about all the other things which didn't happen."
I appreciate the efforts in showing some diagrams, equations, and sketches to explain what Christopher wants to portray. It helps the reader to understand more and move along with the story. As far as I can remember, the book has covered the emotional, physical and intellectual part of Christopher. Emotional, for example: the extremes of becoming too sad (feeling too sick to the point of not saying anything) and too scared (feeling too dependent with his Swiss knife). 

I have never read a book similar to this yet but I am giving this book three stars out of five. The content was good and it keeps me moving from page one up to the end but I think the story ended too fast. The first part of the story is unpredictable compared to the last chapters of the book. The story created a bubble slowly in the start but it burst too fast.

February 10, 2017


it was a cold night
the stars were shining brightly
wrapped around your arms

February 3, 2017

A Quick Recall

On the eighth day of September in the year Nineteen ninety,
you were holding me with both hands,
close to your chest, your heart.
You were there.

When I started to know that life is
all about going to school everyday
and spending weekends with family and friends.
You were there.

When papa went to another place,
you were there - trying to hold us
in place altogether.

Then you decided to go with him.
That was not a short notice,
we knew you would want to go
as well.

When all things have gone down,
I'd like to think that you were still there.

Now, I am standing on my own;
paying my own bills, cooking my own meals,
preparing for the next day...
I wish you were here.

To see me how I have become.
I don't know what you would think of me
but I'd like to think that you are proud.

Thanks, mama! For raising us well.
I know you're happy in heaven
with papa whom we miss dearly
as well.

January 20, 2017

Things I am grateful for & Hello, 2017!

me at Dhayah Fort, Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates 2016

How surprising I did not write anything about new year's and its goals. What a shame, right? I've done a lot of thinking and less writing. It's kind of a bad thing, isn't it? 

To make up for the times I wanted to write but choose not to (because I have other things to do which doesn't mean I have a life... just making up a reason right there!), I am finally sitting in the middle of the living room at eight thirty in the morning and forcing myself to write something. I have been wanting to write ten things I am grateful for but could not (again) find time to sit and think about it. However, I did write a similar list in my notebook but I ought not to re-write everything here. It's nice to try to recall what I wrote a few weeks ago and see if I still have the same things I am grateful for during the past few years of my life!

1. Family - well, always. I am grateful for the life I had from childhood up to now. My family is there through bad times and good times. We may be far apart from each other now, we are scattered in so many different places (countries!) but we still get in touch sometimes (thanks, fb). The important thing is to reach out to everyone else.

2. Friends back home - hello elementary, high school and college friends! Always grateful that all the groups of people I spent time with ever since I learned to mingle with other human beings. Those memories were unforgettable. Most are more on adventure, nature, music, arts and crafts, books, engineering (omg), writing letters, blogging, making videos, making mixtapes, etc. All those years are so precious to me! And I am glad I was all over the place. Who would have thought being all over doing random things would make sense to me at the age of 26?! 

3. Work - forever grateful for my colleagues who inspire me to work hard and build my career. I mean, it's great to be part of the travel and hospitality industry and communicate with professionals anywhere in the world! Also, if not because of work, I would not be able to drink coffee every single day (or twice!). You know what I mean ;)

4. Beautiful writings, melodies and both at the same time - who does not love a good piece of writing and beautiful melodies? Or patch both of them together? Ah, nirvana! I love that despite having my bad days, I have something to calm the sh*t out of me.

5. People who keeps me sane and Aurelien - do I sound like a helpless teenager who isn't ready to become a proper adult at 26 yet?! This list is crazy and so does life! Always grateful I have a couple of people who I can dwell on different random things, keep me sane and try to love meeee!

Cutting the list into half would be a great idea. So my list ends here. No need to put up the rest of the half because I know I would end up writing so many things that even myself at the age of 90 won't even continue to read although a part of me thinks I will regret doing so. Ha, it's okay. I am grateful for lots and lots of things and not just ten. And if I am not really that grateful enough then most probably I would not remember it in ten years time but I can't be bothered. Life is good with family, friends and some nice strangers. 

May you all have a great year ahead, internet! 

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