I am In love with a Woman

If there is one girl I admire who I never knew, that would be Audrey Hepburn. Yes, she is like the epitome of beauty and who wouldn’t want to be like her?

Happy girls are the prettiest, she said–and now you know why my blog is named as such. Because if you are happy, you become good, and good people reciprocate kindness. But we know how our brains play tricks on us. It keeps on reminding us different kinds of pain–pain we would willingly avoid. But that is how we need to move on. We have to be reminded of the sad things all the time.

All. The. Freaking. Time.

And this is what I will tell you: That is ok. It is ok to cry. It is ok not to be happy. But you need to help yourself back up. How? Trick your brain.

When it tells you that you need to cry over what happened to you yesterday, tell it to stop talking to you. I do that. Once in a while, my brain seems to work against me that it tells me a lot of awful things and why I should hate myself. But then I decided I need to decide. And I decided I wanted to move on. So, when my brain tells me that I will never be good enough or that I should still be hurting over what people have done, I tell this to my brain: that is over. Just like High School.

And it works. All. The. Freaking. Time.

The thing is sometimes, you need to decide where you want to go.

You see, it is just more than the looks that I get to admire. It was also about how smart and sophisticated Hepburn was. And what I can say is aside from idolising my mom–who is like my greatest superhero–I make myself fall in love with women. The smart ones. The strong ones. The happy ones. Then I tell myself that I need to be strong, too.

You know as they say, the greatest revenge in life is showing the world that you are happy. You have to decide for it. We can be broken once. We can be devastated, but after feeling the pain, we need to put our heads up by accepting things that we can never change.

The healing would always take time and sometimes it will break hell around you, but it will come. I promise.

Time Machine 101

I am a fan of Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Tom Hansen of 500 Days of Summer.

I honestly believe he is one of the most underrated actors out there. But aside from the usual performing arts he does, he directs HitRECord, an international collaboration platform. If you follow him on Twitter or Facebook, you would see how smart he is.

This morning, his question was about going back in time. I found myself reading the comments and based on what I have seen, it all boils down to two things: places and moments.

1. Place they want to go back to

I would want to include time in this category as some one-liner answers go something like New York, 1950.  No explanations, just that.

Judging by the commenters’ photos, they are possibly born years after that period.

This told me that, maybe, looking at the world before thru photos make us think of how simple life was then. No technology just pure interpersonal communication. The fashion was different, too. Gender roles could have probabaly been stiffer, but it tells me that people would always long for the things they would never know or are never meant to find out.

I realized that exercises like this reveal our innate gesture of clinging to the past. A past we were never part of, but a product of. It tells me that our generation and future ones would always look for ways to bring back what their precedents would leave behind. Could this only mean that as we progress, we wish to somehow keep all we have had and never make them extinct? That, probably, if we had the physical things all througout the ages, we would always feel complete?

2. Moments they wish they knew were the last

These answers were followed by regrets for after that moment, their lives were changed forever. Morever, all of them wish that they had known so that they could have spent longer hours with it.

Reading was painful. Everybody wanted to change one decision so their lives now might be better. We always have that thought but really, if we would go back in time and tweak it, would our lives really be different?

Nurturing these thoughts not only destroy our potential to be happy and to be responsible for all our decisions, but it also gives us the belief that the life that follows a fateful choice is a broken one. Which isn’t.

There are moments we would want to last because they are happy memories, but then we need to always move forward. Regardless of the emotion involved in a moment, it is always meant to be lived once.

So, this evening, I realized that in order for me to appreciate life a bit more, I need to fuse the past and the present: put technology into a low and focus on the experience as it happens. If I were at the beach, I would take one photo then spend three hours in actual swimming. If I were with a person I love, I would take a photo, then fix my eyes on that person for the rest of the day.

Instagramming can wait. That moment would end.

In this life, we need to make a decision and that is to choose between these: to build a lasting relationship with a mobile device, or to spend real time with real life.


Be real.

Looking for a Makati home 101

I woke up at 4am today. Yes. An hour before my alarm so I can enjoy my coffee and to possibly escape from a sudden surge of rainfall.

The windows in our unit are closed. And it was still too dark outside to really know what was happening. 

I finished my usual morning routine. Went down the building, off to work. But guess what? I was taken aback that the area in front of our building was flooded. Luckily, our room is on the tenth floor so, I did not need to worry about water getting in the house. Moreover, a 24-hour convenience store is just at the ground floor. 

Storm. And everywhere is flood. Lucky to have found a unit that is… well, safe. 
I didn’t know Manila in the rain can be this scary. So, if you are going to look for a home here, consider the following:
<h2><b>Cheap and high rise</h2></b>

Choose a unit that is located on a second or third floor. I really thought that rain is not as dreading here as it is in the province. 

This is the first time I experienced flooding ever!  I have heard of some friends needing to evacuate themselves and their stuff because of water. You wouldn’t want that and it is still good to sleep peacfully no matter if it is rainibg so hard outside.

<h2><b>Near marts, convenience stores, and terminals</h2></b>

I have food stuck in here but they are cupcakes and a loaf of bread. Good enough if I didn’t want to starve for a single meal, right? But if you need a heavy meal, do not risk going out to the rain and walking through the gray water! Gray water a.ka. flood water: drain water. You do not want infection!  

It is so fortunate that the convenience store is just at the ground floor. They sell medicine there, too. And if things do get worse, I can just mettle my way to the bus terminal. 

<h2><b>Near your friends</h2></b>

When I realized that I cannot go to work today, I decided to just maybe read some things and write this blog piece.

But, dude, how boring this place would be hadn’t my friends’ work been cancelled! You need back ups too, you know.

Ultimately, do not compromise safety over price! Never. OK? 

Why I love “IT”

I have had a penchant for horror films since I was a kid. I remember the kinds of flicks that would show me demons in different disguises: a nanny, a pet, a dolland this was even before Anabelle hit the theatres and we were introduced to The Warrens.

I would cover my eyes then fear every dark corner of our house for a couple of nights after that. But despite the terror, I would still watch a horror series (Okatokat), or a new horror film: Sceam, I know what you did last summer,  Friday the 13th and some of its franchises, Freddie vs Jason, Stigmata, Poltergeist, Jason X, Joshua, The Orphan, Exorcism of Emily Rose, The Exorcism, Patayin sa Sindak si Barbara. My list could go on.

I grew up with them and became tired of the formula: a demon that would possess someone, a scary figure that would appear or float somewhere, or a monster that woud decide to kill random people—and who could forgetleads who, instead of running for their lives, would choose to exchange a dramatic dialogue just when they are about to be eaten alive. If as a younger viewer I would probably scream, at this age, I would laugh at these scenes.

Though they may be successful at giving me the chills, at the end of the movie, I would somehow feel empty as I would be left with questions like why that girl, how did that become a ghost, why would that ghost want to kill that person. And the weirdest I have asked is this: why always Christians?

So, I would always root for horror films whenever they air because I am looking for a difderent kind of scare.

Then I have seen “IT.” Stephen King’s “IT.”

I have read a couple of times that King’s horror novels are truly frightening and I was so curious that I jumped in to the killer clown bait.

 I was not disappointed. It was worth it!

It is not a ghost. It is a clown

Who is a kid not afraid of clown?

Me. I was not.

But then inasmush as there exists a real phobia for these guys, I was awestruck at the mystery of the character. This clown is not a demon as evils are, but was surely a human once. It was not a doll or a monster in dusguise. It is a monster.

It is psychologically creepy

It has a new formula for a shock.

The evil presence does not appear in the usual places and when you expect it. What I loved about the bombs in this film is that they deviated from your expectations.

The movie somehow blends with the audience’s subconscious. As I experienced, it takes your fear to be that evil form. Thus, though the watchers see the same picture or character on screen, the intensity of the panic is different for everyone.

Moreover, the film would continuously imply that you can control fear only if you choose to. And that the movie is only as scary as the voices in your head.

But if you are that movie goer who is after the visuals, then you may only notice the frightening effects but not hear that message outright.

It justified the belongingness of the lead roles

As in the 1990 version, the story focused on a group of kids’ dilemma with Derry’s curse: the 6% higher than average missing persons’ rate every 27 years.

At first, you would think that they met for a basic reason such as being schoolmates; but as the film deepens, you would be introduced to the mental capacities of each kid that probably pulled them close to each other, and possibly, as new targets of whatever “it” is that is terrorizing the town.

It did not rip off childhood from the protagonists

The kids were plunged into a pool of what they are afraid of both in real ife and within the existence of the evil clown. But regardless of the situation they were in, they still reacted like how young people would behave.

Comically, when things would get too much, they would remind themselves that it was “summer” after all. As if they were just playing some kind of a boardgame or something.

Lastly, the girl’s character is something else

I don’t know if it was just me, but the dominance of male players is evident in this film; hence, the presence of the only female lead added flavor to the already whimsical cuteness of the boys.

What is even more interesting is that even if the film presented character development subtly and shortly, the movie was able to give depth to each of them. The dialogue and the behavior of each individual allowed the audience to know and understand the characters more. Especially, their choices. But this girl in the picture has more into her than what was being showed onscreen.

In the end, the clown did not choose to hurt her and one of the boys thought maybe because she lacks “fear for it.” The audience seemed convinced, but as I saw it, following the antagonist’s preferences on victims and the repeated reminder of what her “demons” could be, it made me think that there is another reason the clown would never want her. And no, I am not dropping a hint.

I was waiting for the movie to spill the beans but well… to my dismay, it preferred to leave the judgment to the moviegoer. However, I was delighted at the end credits.
You know why? It is just the beginning of the story! There is a potential sequel! I definitely hope not after 27 years though.

Ultimately, you would need to watch “IT” to perfectly understand me. But if you are looking for a type of horror that is terrifyingly applaudable, this is it.


Why you feel like a failure

Ok. That may be a little too harsh, but really, if you are that person who is suffering from “quarter life crisis,” you know this feeling very well.

We all do. We always feel like we are never as good as others or we haven’t achieved enough. My tip is this: do not listen to that!  It is a lie.

After observing and talking to friends that felt the same way, I have realized this: you feel like a failure because:

1. You keep on comparing

You have a different skill set compared to others. That should be enough reason for you not to focus on others’ milestones because you can set your own.

You get stressed to do more and to achieve more because you think everybody should be somebody at some particular point.

Truth is:  success becomes you when you are ready. You being successful also depends on your own definition of success. Do not look at others to monitor your progress because it would be like eyeing a size 10 when you are a size 8: it will never fit.

2. You think about acquiring

If this is about knowledge, then I am all about that, too. However, some think that being somebody means having material things in their possession or travelling to as many places as possible.

Again, go back to your own definition of “being on top.”  When you pressure yourself into fitting in society’s image of success, you start demeaning your self and your own pace.

There is no general or standard measure for anything in this world, but we are sometimes firm to think that we can put things and people in boxes. We can’t. And if you try and think you want to jump in that box, that means you are not ready to believe in your own potential. Why? Because you are willing to be categorized under a label that might never actually fit you. Who knows, maybe if you just keep on doing as you please, you can set a new standard for “success.”

3. You don’t know what you want

Some say you need to plan ahead. Others say enjoy the moment. So, what do you do? Common choice is to side with what is convenient.

I say, set your own goals for whatever reason that is going to be beneficial to you and to people around you. Because if you do not set goals for yourself, you tend to just go with the flow. When you do not know what you are working for, you would really feel lost.

The thing is this: you need to set goals no matter how small they are. When you do finish them, you would feel more fulfilled.

4. You are afraid

How many chances have you let go because you think you are not ready? How will you get that next step in your career, in your personal growth, in your life if you keep on saying “this is not yet the time”?

Nobody is ever ready, but because we need to do things, sometimes, we just do. I have found a video from Prince Ea teaching how to kill fear so you can chage your life and you can watch it here.

This is what you need to do: stop thinking you can’t! 

The first rule to being succesful—that is after defining it in your own terms—is believing in yourself.
When you think that the opportunity presented to you is something you are not familiar with, do not back down right away. Read, ask, learn, then try.

Everyone is trainable. Nobody is absorbed into a team knowing 100% what to do. But guess what, the persons who started as rookies being trained by many would end up being the leaders later on.

What does this mean?

Everybody is capable. You just have to say “yes” when a chance is given to you. Nevertheless, be careful not to mistake confidence with arrogance. The former is knowing you have limits but being decided to keep up with the challenges, the latter is thinking you are perfectly invincible.

Ultimately, what we are now is sometimes just a result of how we see ourselves. And our common mistake is regardless of what we have done, we always undervalue who we are.

What I learned When I let the Love of my Life Go

I had been stubborn. I kept holding on to the thing I knew I already lost years back. But I thought that it would be better to have it in anyway, in any form, rather than to lose it at all. I said that people who said ex lovers can never be friends were wrong. But they were right.

Staying with him after the break up was the worst I did to myself. I spent years crying until I fall asleep for the self doubt I was fed with, his lies I chose to ignore, the worries regarding whereabouts, his indifference, and ultimately, the love unreturned.

But what was strange was I kept sticking to the torture even when I despised it. I kept going back and being dependent to what would bleed me dry. 

I thought it was love. And I did fall. Too hard. I had a strong love, the kind that chose to see only the good things. I thought it was happiness. That he was my contentment with misery. Yes, he would give me joy and then desolation afterwards. I accepted it as normal.

But I realized that when he decided to go, he chose to forget. And when he said he wanted to still be with me without our label, he actually meant being together only when it was convenient. Of course, I did not want to see that. I denied that and convinced myself he was still in love but unready.

I couldn’t admit that I lost his love a long time before and that it was only pride that kept me with him. I did not want to endure that it was I  that was dumped, unchosen, and forgotten. So, I held things together.

My mistake was I did not love myself good enough that when he started to purposefully hurt me, I embraced it for years and mistook it for confusion he would outgrow or that it was me who was misunderstanding.

And then one day, I couldn’t tolerate him anymore. So, I just stopped being there for him. I stopped communicating with him.

I waited three days for him to miss me, but he never came back.  That moment, I validated my belief that I never mattered. Or no longer did. And on the fourth day, I melted my heart out. I would still get moments of sadness out of it but letting him go was the best thing I did for myself. 

It devastated me to know that the person who loved me so no longer sees me as important, but what was good is that I started healing and redirecting my affection for him to myself.

I was distressed, but now, I could start being the old me again: no more waiting by my phone, singing-in-the-morning or in the shower, reading again, talking to my best boy pals I chose to ignore on his command, no more being careful with what I wear or say, no more being afraid of losing him because he was no longer mine to begin with.

I held on to him and to the heartache because I believed he was my delight. But if he really were, there wouldn’t have been nights when he would make me desperate for his voice.

How I wish I had been strong enough to have cut ties with him, on that Wednesday evening when I was so much younger than today, when he dumped me over SMS.