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? 

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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.

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.

Christmas in a cup: Starbucks Peppermint Mocha

I am not a Starbucks fan—I had like two to three Venti cups way back some three years ago and that was all about me trying coffee the shop way.
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I went with a friend to the nearest Starbucks just across the building I work at and landed my hands on one of their infamous Holiday Drinks. Yes, the Starbucks Holiday Drinks that will get you stickers to collect for your 2017 planners. For my midday coffee trip, I opted for the Starbucks Peppermint Mocha.

I am no expert, but as a first time drinker who can actually give recommendations based on what I think is good, here’s the verdict: for a non-SB fan, I’d give it a 7/10.

It’s Mocha

If you’re looking for a stronger kick of caffeine that will wake you up, I say this drink is not the one for you. It tastes more like it’s chocolate mint than it is coffee.

However, the blend is quite perfect that first time drinkers won’t find it weird. It’s actually something that will give you a feel of the holidays: sweet, relaxing, and crisp.

The way they present it… total eye candy!

It’s strong

I loved how it tastes but the back lash is I got quite acidic for the rest of the day after drinking it. And it also has a real strong sweet aftertaste. Something that will encourage you to get a glass of water afterwards.

Nonetheless, the real treat here, that might work for younger coffee drinkers, was with the whipped cream and the sprinkles. When you get to the bottom part, you would be tasting a combination of chocolate, vanilla, and mint that would feel like you’re sipping a mouthful of melted chocolate bar.

Would I recommend it? Yes, I would. But again, if you prefer coffee, this Starbucks Holiday Drink won’t give you a taste nor aroma of one.

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Why I am anti Marcos Burial and why I am still accepting my 13th month pay

There’s no denying that Marcos was one of the most advanced thinking presidents the Philippines had. Economically, technologically he did a lot of good (w/c we still benefit from and will benefit from).

Am I a supporter of Marcos burial in the Libingan ng mga Bayani? I am not. But that doesn’t mean I am taking political sides.

Honestly, I am at awe at how intelligent he had been and I am happy with the advances in urban development he spearheaded. But the gravity of the consequences of his declared martial law somehow outweighed all the greatness he accomplished.

Technically, he never hurt the victims. It were the people who abused their granted powers then who did. Nonetheless, his decree  incited ruthless acts and the outcry of the masses is far too heart wrenching and overpowering that his systematic achievements as a Philippine President had been toppled over. As a result, the surprise Marcos burial in the Libingan ng mga Bayani led the people to the streets again.

Though the intention was sincere, we still can see different political agenda being inserted into the matter. Pathetic.

I am not pro this nor anti that… I am pro Filipinos having a good life they deserve.

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photo not mine

The 13th Month Pay Challenge

Then here comes the challenge.

Marcos was the proponent of the law that states that every employee must be given a “13th month pay” by the end of the year—that is a type of wage bonus about one to two months worth of salary.

Now, people say that if you’re against Marcos burial in the Libingan ng mga Bayani, you must not accept this bonus to show how strongly principled you are.

As former President, it was his obligation to help produce a quality life for Filipinos. Thus, passing of this law was his duty.

More so, originally, the workers included in this decree were only those earning P1,000 and below a month. After his reign, it was amended by the Cory Aquino administration to be granted to all employees regardless of income. As such, it is then a combined effort from two different Philippine Presidents and since then has become a basic right of the working class.

So, if you’re anti the LNMB burial, should you give up your 13th month pay? Not necessarily. A right is different from bribery. Why should you give up the privilege that is rightfully yours especially your bonus is the fruit of your hard annual labor?

Yes, he was the proponent but it was because he ought to.

Should we accept this challenge, it then must be equal to not using the public highways and technically not being part of anything today that stemmed from Marcos’ economic partnerships and projects with other nations. Where would Filipinos go then, when every economic or national gain we have today has built up on top of each other that it will be plainly difficult to label them as achievements of a particular administration only?

With this, the blueprint of Filipinos’ way of living after the martial law is the result of the democracy and is the payback from all the shortcomings and the horrors of that period brought upon to the people.

Our gains today is our privilege. It is our basic right. It is the “Filipino Life” not the “Marcos labelled Filipino Living.”

Again, as a former President, Marcos was great. But not all great people produce only great things.

If you are given a share of something legal you worked hard for, it is lawful and moral. There are logical boundaries to what we deem righteous—it’s relative. Stop judging people who disagree with your beliefs. Halt from challenging people to prove what they are fighting for.

To forgive and move on

Basing from legal criteria, Marcos’ burial in the Libingan ng mga Bayani is legal. He was a president and a soldier. However, in the judgment of people who lost loved ones who never get to know what happened to their children, wife, husband, sister, or brother,  it is a spat to their loss and pain.

While Marcos is finally laid to rest, their wandering minds continue to ask lingering questions—where is s/he? When can I build a tombstone in my beloved’s name?

Yes, we must forgive. We must forget. But how can we possibly forgive when forgiveness was never asked?

How can we forget, when the very same right to a decent burial that was given to a deemed dictator was never granted to victims we would never know what happened with?

Though a name maybe just a name, it cannot cover the fact that among the heroes who fought against terrors in society, The President who incited public hysteria was laid to rest with them.

Perhaps, our definition of a hero is flexible. Depending on the ideals that are favorable to whoever’s in power.

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photo not mine

A missive for my expected child

Dear My Anticipated Child,

If ever this gets to you, it means that my life has turned out perfectly well after the heartbreak and the immense hope and you are the commencement of all the laughter, the tears, the pain, the pleasure and every word you can think of that comes along with love or marriage.

Congratulate me, your mom, on this. It was never easy getting you “here.” Before you think of anything else, what I meant was “this life”, “you”, and most importantly, “your father.”

He is the man I know I wanted to marry the first time I saw him. I remember perfectly that he was wearing a black, leather jacket, denim, and Rayban. He had a smirk on his face as he approached me.

And me? Well, I was wearing a gray shirt and denims and uh, I was just staring at him until he was whoa, on my face.

He lived in the North, I, in the South and we never celebrated even a single anniversary because we would always forget. Like all the time. On our 22nd month we decided to call it quits. He. Actually. But one weird thing about your father is that he never stopped being there. Although he became a jerk one in a while. But he never left.

It was like an unofficial affair we had and your dad got me confused for a couple of years more. And we never became official again—rhetorically, at least.

But here you are. And I am so happy that you are here because I have always wanted a “you”.  I am ecstatic that your dad is your dad and he is the love of my life.

I know that he has craziness in him and you might just actually be his exact replica and I don’t know if I can handle two of him… but I am excited!

But you can be whatever ypu. Want to be. I will never push you into something you don’t want to except if you don’t want to brush your hair or take a bath, well, that’s a different story but you are me and your dad so I am sure you are a bundle of everything that is wonderful in our world.

Just be who you are. Sing. Dance. Play the piano. Jump off a cliff. Fly. Do it! Do whatever will breathe life into your systems but most importantly be our baby.

Love your dad for aside from me, yes he is head over heels for me, you are his next most favorite person. Well, actually you share the same rank as Zean. But he is also a very cute boy, I am sure you’d love him as your kuya because he already is and I care about him too.

I love you baby.

I am happy you are about to come. Because I was broken and I only wished for us to end up together but here we are. Again. Together. With you.

Do not pressure yourself to fit in other’s standards because the only standard an you have to exceed is the standards you set for yourself.

You can make it in life because you have my genes. And your dad’s. So, life you are as smart as you are good looking and talented. Haha. Kidding aside, with persistence and a good intention, you can accomplish anything.

Don’t be disheartened at any point. You can make it life isn’t always fair and beautiful but it is normal. Don’t strive to be the beat but aspire to always be better.