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.

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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? 

How Do I love Myself


How do I love myself?

That is the question I ask me everyday. I live in the idea that I am well but really, I never feel content with anything I have now because I know, but I refuse to see, that my life is anchored in the past and in all my wonderful dellusions.

I chose pain. I choose it. All the time. I hurt but I still go back to the thing that broke me. And he breaks me everyday: when he is sweet now and ignores me kfor the next eight hours, when he invites me to a date, and then cancels at the last minute, when he asks me questions and then never responds to my replies. 

But it was OK. 

So, I tolerated the chains he starngled around my neck. I was his dog on a leash all because I thought it is better to have some than none. All because I thought I was in love.

This is not love. Thisi s neediness.

Love makes you grow. Love makes you hurt then makes you happy. Love makes you feel your worth. Love does not make you wait. Wait with hours on end. Love does not make you question. Love makes you feel secured. Love is crying happy tears and not of brokenheartedness. Love is loneliness sometimes and making up after that.

There was happiness in the little showers of time but there is greater somber in our woven false timelessness. I know. But I desist acceptance all due to a bit of hope. And there are times hope downs healing.

I love, he loved. 

And real love does not beg. 

Belies

Exhaustion.
How do I love myself? 

I must let go. I must bleed but I’ll let go. It would hurt but I’d let go. Because no matter how much I tell myself that it is going to be “us”,  someone someday will be giving me the love I am worthy of without me doubting what I am to him.

Then I should srop waiting. Because ladies do not beg. They are loved.

Note: hypothetical piece

The girl who’s always ignored

I am the girl who is always ignored.

People amaze me. I always believed that each person lives seeing a different view of the same world I am looking at.

I always wondered how it would feel to be them or, if by any chance, if they were thinking about how another goes about existing.

So, I try to be part of their world if only to understand my life, this life, thru their experience. I gained friends who I loved and adored. Not only because they are skilled and talented but because they are all nice and they would make a wonderful member of my made up family of acquaintances.

And then I grew up and fell in love. The kind of love you vow into “from now throughout a lifetime”. So, I do everything to keep them with me. To keep them, him mine.

But then after all the caring, the “how are you” texts, the hellos, and thousands of failed attempts for a date or a reunion, I became the friend, the ex lover, the acquaintance they ignore.

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It is as if my presence never mattered that they don’t mind me waiting at all. Waiting for their replies, their time, them loving me back.

I am the girl who is always ignored. The girl whose messages are always just seen.

I am the girl who hurts. All the time. But who cares? No one does. And one day, I will be growing tired. And one day, they will be my used to be friends who I will also ignore. Not because I turned bad, but because I will get used to being ignored I could forget they even existed.

Nobody needs to be born intelligent

Beautiful.
Smart.
Talented.

The epitome of a perfect person.

But if you would be watching pageants and contestants would be asked to choose between beauty or brains, they would usually choose brains for the reason that beauty fades and intelligence is sexy.

That is ideal if we live in that kind of ideal world. Unfortunately, this is the life we have: prejudices and general beauty standards. We wish beauty were relevant but the relevance could only vary to some little degree. And of course, intelligence is measured in somehow non trivial matters: the foolish tends to be louder while the real Einsteins of the generation become smart shamed or tagged as elitists.

However, as much as people would wish for an intelligent child so they could be honor students, I would prefer I’d have kind children.

The Average Child

When I was a kid, I was always left behind: I had never been on top of my class though there was one thing I was the best at: reading.

In fact, my first memory is my parents teaching me how to read.

I could read fast. My reading ability at 4 was like that of a 7-year-old and as early as 10, I knew I wanted to be fluent in several languages so I started with English. At 11, my teachers were in awe at how eloquent I was. At 13, I was highly conversant in English that my verbal ability score in the language is always almost perfect.

Then again, I was never in the honors list but I could go on a head to head debate with my top notcher classmates and score in educational arguments. Why? Cause I was more wide read than they were.

Still, I was also lazy. I would get failing marks in most my subjects but given things I love, I produce good outputs: I write and one of my teachers told me that she likes the way I write and that in my words she sees more of talent than skill. That moment, I finally understood what I was for. That was a happy moment for someone like me who was bullied due to being fat. Well, I got back at them by saying, “E ano, maganda naman” (So what? I’m pretty).

Academically I was a mess but in other things, I was authority.

The willing child

Toss me a book, except academic books, and I was good. Back at 11, I preferred reading English stuff that my classmates began teasing me that I am, in Rizal’s words, a malansang isda (pungent fish) for I was apparently discriminating Filipinism. I wasn’t. Anyone who was open-minded enough, if there was anyone in my batch even that young, would understand that learning is growth and that development is not always a hostile act that pulls people away from their roots — that hostility is brought by the intent behind the actions. And for me, I just wanted to be a good speaker because no matter what, Filipino is in my roots. Filipino is me. And I had never been insecure about my nationality.

So, I continued what I do: read, speak, breath English and I improved a lot. Regardless of how eloquent I had been then, I know it didn’t chip off even a bit of me being a Filipino so I knew I was doing right.

The excelling child

My academic mishaps continued up to my high school days. I flunked every Math exam there was. I got low scores in English but I was the editor-in-chief of the school pub and I did not understand a bit about the technicalities of a newspaper. I was the essay writer, the programs host, the school’s broadcast journalist. I was winning quiz bees in English Literature, I bested representatives from Region IV-A when I became the champion extemporaneous speaker.

I was not smart academically but I was achieving momentous prices in the area I was good at: communication. I was lucky my school looked at my skills more than my ability to memorize history books.

And so I found my place. I knew what I wanted and I grew tired of people maligning my talents.

“The only thing you’re good at is English. Nothing else” became a household joke in school. My parents were happy at what I love and they were supportive. They never pushed me to become an honor student because I did not want to.

But people outside my family circle started talking at me and I told myself, I will show them my true potential.

From being a nobody, a flunk, an academic so-so, suddenly, I was The Full Academic Scholar, The Dean Lister, The Department Top One. I worked willingly hard enough that I got to a point my education was almost free: I was only paying $21 (P1K) per semester. Not because I was smart but because I chose to excel.

Four years after, I was the class valedictorian in my College Graduation. I was not smart. I had to work harder than the rest: my focus span is short I had to continuously remind myself that I was doing something, I had to do things ahead of the others so I stay within the same pace as them. It was hard. It was draining but it was all worth it.

I became one of the good ones not because I am intelligent. I am not and I will never be but because I chose to excel.

Success always starts with the decision to become one and follows suit after we have worked out our plans.

To people who say only the smart ones get the privilege, introduce me to them and I will prove them wrong.

How not to have pimples

What do you use on your face?

The usual question I get from people. This is not to boast or whatever but people commend that I have good skin: in their terms pimple free and smooth.

To bust the myth, I do get pimples but not a lot. Usually one here and there, but mostly within the hairline.

So what product do I use on my face? None.

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I have tried using Ponds, Clean&Clear, Mary Kay, and Usana Sense.

Of course I have my favorite, but after a few days, I stopped using them for two reasons: first, I can’t stand the beauty routine and second, I think I am quite allergic to beauty creams.

Ponds: I got itchy skin after about a week.

Clean&Clear: I got oily skin after a couple of days.

Mary Kay: Tolerable up to a month but eventually my skin got itchy

Usana Sense: Good up to as long as I can remember but yeah, like with others I ended up getting itchy skin, too.

So what do I do to get rid of pimples?

1. No soap just water

Back when I was a teenager and most of my friends were being conscious and starting a beauty regimen, or they are getting zits, I was too lazy to maintain any, so I stuck to washing my face with just water.

Yup, after a long day at school, I go home to splash water on my face.

The result?

I was one of the few teens in my batch without pimples or oily skin all throughout my teenage years.

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2. I drink plenty of water

Like more than 8 glasses a day.

Check my bag and you would find my notebook missing but not a bottle of water. Sometimes when I eat, I get to consume about a liter. Sometimes even more in one meal. Cons: I was often in the bathroom.

3. I sleep on time

8 hours of sleep is mandatory for me.

I never had a moment when I found it cool to be up until 3AM streaming whatever and then waking up at 6AM.

Why?

Not due to skin issues but because I cannot function the next day. Aside from that, the body needs sleep to detoxify, so lacking it would greatly affect how your skin looks.

4. Less chemicals on skin

Aside from the usual moisturizing lotion or UV protection creams I only use when I swim, I do not pay attention to any creams at all.

I think they help but not completely. Medical books I have read say that the nourishment should start from within. Aside that your DNA does a great deal to how you look, cell nourishment does more than topical creams. In short, whatever manifests outside the skin is caused by something underneath.

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5. No vices

I don’t drink nor smoke.

Chemicals. Toxins. Do they affect your usual body processes? Definitely! (Remember no 4)

Did you know that if your liver is healthy it can actually produce Glutathione? Yes. Then you no longer need those injections or pills.