Going Back and Moving Forward

It may sound crazy to want to go back to the year that was after spending two fun-filled days (not to mention food-filled) in 2016. But as I stare at my ceiling and reflect on what has transpired in 2015, I realize that I have indeed done a lot of “going back,” and this has resulted into 2015 being my most adventurous year as of yet.

I started my love affair with mountains in 2014, and this has continued on to 2015. I climbed six mountains, one of which was the highest peak in Luzon, Mt. Pulag via the Akiki trail. I almost cried as I watched the sunrise from the summit, in amazement of the sea of clouds and the rest of God’s creations. I also did two repeat climbs – Mt. Natib, this time including Pasukulan Falls and Tarak Ridge in Bataan. A little over a year has passed since I scaled these mountains, but a lot has changed in the terrain and of course, the view. I still didn’t get bitten by the limatiks though. 🙂

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I also went back to one of my favorite countries, Malaysia. I explored Kota Kinabalu and its lovely islands and beaches at a time when I badly needed to clear my mind and get a new perspective on things. The many similarities between our culture and theirs is one of the reasons I came back, and of course their food and their malls!

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In 2015, I have also gone back to my passion for teaching. I am a trainer by profession and after spending two fruitful years in Operations, I took a leap of faith, handed in my resignation without any concrete plans, traveled, rested for a month, and landed a job as a trainer for Camp Australia. Little did I know that this was just the start of big things, as I got promoted on my third month and was tasked to handle the training and quality team of the company.

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I found myself going back to the running field as I completed two half marathons in 2015. I may not have beaten my 2014 PR, but I sure as hell felt so proud after completing the 21k run for Run United 1 and 2 without collapsing in the middle of the street (my legs were turning to jelly as I struggled halfway through the run). I am crossing my fingers that my 2016 schedule would allow me to complete all three 21k legs of my favorite marathon.

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I thought that 2015 would be a difficult year for me because I faced some serious issues and had to make tough decisions, which meant leaving my comfort zone and even a few of my good friends behind. Yet it turned out to be one awesome year, and I couldn’t help but be amazed at how each experience transformed itself into another unforgettable page of my 2015 book. And oh, I have just made another milestone when I turned 30 last year, and despite most of my friends not being physically around to celebrate it with me, I enjoyed their birthday surprise.

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It’s the start of another book, which means that we’ve just been given a new chance to make things right. I have written down my “little-things-that-make-big-differences” list and will definitely make sure to keep this list in mind each day:

  1. I will continue making my bed in the morning, no matter how sleepy I am.
  2. I will continue spending more time with my parents even if it means that I have to take them out for dinner at their restaurant of choice.
  3. I will make sure to check on my friends regularly, as most of them are already out of the country (thank you, Facebook and Viber!).
  4. I will hug my dogs everyday even if they have a goal in life to chew on all of my slippers.
  5. I will eat healthy and ditch soda and fries and chicharon (I’d have to TRY my best to not eat seaweed flavored Lays almost everyday though).
  6. I  will start reading the books I bought or received last year (nine books, I think) and will finish them all this year.
  7. I will wear my retainers every night (okay, and every morning before I start my shift).
  8. I will limit myself to buying only two bags this year (promise!!!), and reallocate the money to my travel funds instead.
  9. I will continue with my workout routine everyday (except you know, that time of the month).
  10. I will remind myself of those nine must do’s and push myself to stick to them for 365, or rather 366 days.

 

I have taken a step back and embraced some parts of my past, but it doesn’t mean that I’m stuck and not moving forward. Not a big fan of the “new year, new me” thing because we always carry with us a little something from our past experiences. Yet I have never been this ready to welcome 2016 and wait for its thrilling surprises and twists. Cheers to a new year! 🙂

 

Looking Back and Moving Forward

It’s only been a few weeks since we welcomed the new year with hopes and wishes for a better life. But every time I say “last year,” 2014 feels like many months ago. Nonetheless, looking back at the year that was makes me feel contented and fulfilled. I daresay I achieved what I wanted before the year ended – peace of mind and a clean slate to start 2015 with.

I finally had the chance to catch up with my dear friend Cindy after the holiday break. We talked about 2014 and both agreed that it was the most magastos year ever! Why? We both spent our hard-earned money on our favorite activity – traveling. True enough, last year was exciting and fun-filled because of all the traveling I did with friends and family.

First stop – Banaue Rice Terraces, Sagada, and Baguio

The cold weather, the sights and sounds of Sagada, the simple life of the people up north. I will never forget how breathtaking it was to finally see up close the rice terraces built by our ancestors. A.MA.ZING.

sagada, banaue rice terraces

 

Second stop – Baler

I have a confession to make – I don’t know how to swim. Hahaha. But I loooove the beach, and it’s obvious naman, I went to Baler twice with my teammates. Proud first time surfer here who got on the board a number of times! Yey!

10850024_10152638839791185_9063300470664403559_n baler, museo de baler, surfing

 

Third stop – Caramoan Islands

It still surprises me how something this beautiful exists and takes my breath away. Because of the awesomeness of the islands that we visited in Caramoan, I vowed to make sure that I will visit more islands in our country in 2015.

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Fourth stop – Penang and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

It was a happy, happy birthday for me in October. I got to explore Georgetown in Penang, Malaysia. Corners and streets and walls with street art, yummy street food, and hospitable people – what more can I ask for in a birthday celebration? Maybe no more stalkers while biking around town. LOL. (Yes, I have yet to write about this travel to Malaysia. Soon. :))

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In between all the traveling, I also managed to discover my love for two new hobbies – running and mountain climbing. I never imagined that I’d fall in love with these activities. You see, I wasn’t an “outdoorsy” type of person before. I hated getting my hands and feet dirty with mud, I didn’t like running long distances, and I wasn’t a big fan of sleeping in a tent. But all that changed when I tried hiking and when I covered 5k, 8k, 10k, and finally 21k in marathons. At first, it was only for fun, only to veer my attention away from thoughts I don’t like lingering in my mind. Yet I found myself joining more marathons and wanting to climb more mountains. I started investing in mountain climbing gear and subscribing to all these websites where run schedules are posted.

Girl vs. Mountain series – Mt. Romelo, Tarak Ridge, and Mt. Natib

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Eat and Run series – AmCham Run for a Scholar, World Vision Run, Energen Healthy Run Manila Leg, Eco R3Run, and Run United Philippine Marathon 3

energen healthy run manila leg 2014

rupm 3

 

An important event that capped off the year and made it even more unforgettable was the wedding of one of my college best friends, Irene. I was blinking back tears as she walked down the aisle to the arms of her love. It was a simple yet touching ceremony of their union, and of course I was honored to be her maid of honor.

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I’d have to say that 2014 was unlike any other year. I let loose, I became more adventurous, I forgot my fears and embraced challenge. Looking back, I can sum up what I feel in one word: Thankful. I am thankful for the people that I met in one of the trails, on the road while running, or on the plane while on my way to one of my destinations. I am thankful for the changes that taught me that nothing’s really permanent, and you won’t be happy if you stay stuck in one place.  I am thankful for another year, another chance to move forward and do right.

 

 

Food, Friends, and Finish Lines

I’ve been out of the loop for quite some time, and I just realized on my way back home this afternoon how much I’ve missed writing. I’ve been quite busy with a lot of stuff – work of course, a week-long leave to travel and meet up with friends for my birthday last month, and *drum roll please* Hay Day. LOL. Seriously. Hay Day has been very helpful in making me feel relaxed after 12-hour shifts at work.

When I found out that I had to refresh my blog’s connection to Facebook, it finally hit me – it’s been ages since I last logged in on WordPress and posted something. And because I want to veer away from negativity (hey it’s Christmas in like three weeks), I’d like to share my top three stress busters despite my tight schedule, the daily strain from commuting and the horrible traffic, the unavoidable fact of life that we need to deal with obnoxious people, and the recent changes at work.

1. FOOD, FOOD, FOOD!

My close friends know that I looooooove to eat. I take the time to check out highly recommended or popular restaurants (but I have yet to convince myself to line up for a bowl of ramen in Ippudo) and see (or rather taste) for myself if they’re just all hype or if talagang pop na pop. My latest discoveries and favorites:

frankie's buffalo wings, frankies chicken wings
Frankie’s Buffalo Wings!! I know I have previously talked about this, so by now you should know how much I love their wings. My officemates and I have a bi-weekly pact to visit our favorite chicken wings place and get our fill of their Classic flavored buffalo wings plus a few beer bottles.
tim ho wan, baked pork buns
Tim Ho Wan, finally we meet! This Michelin 1-star restaurant that started off as a hole-in-the-wall eatery in Hongkong has established a name here in Manila and everyday, there’s a long queue of people waiting to get their hands on the famous baked pork buns. The other day we got lucky – my officemate and I fell in line for just about five minutes and were seated agad. I ate five pork buns! At least generous ako and I shared one piece. Never ever leave Tim Ho Wan without ordering their Mango Pomelo Sago for dessert.
the burger project, the brgr project, maginhawa street burger project
A recent discovery, like this afternoon lang. Haha! BRGR: The Burger Project in Maginhawa Street. Foodies are well aware how this street has turned into a food haven, and The Burger Project has made a name for itself by allowing diners to create and name their own burgers. My verdict – I love my BURGER PATTY! Syempre, love your own. 🙂

 

2. FRIENDS!

I am just thankful for my friends, especially those I’ve known for a long time, for being my constant source of happiness and strength. One group of friends that I will forever cherish would be my college friends. We’ve been through a lot, and when I say a lot kasama na dun ang tampuhan, months of not seeing each other, and the geographic issues (as in LDF – Long Distance Friendship because two of them are abroad for work and studies), but we’re still as close as ever. I had a great time with them during my birthday dinner, and the dinner was made even more fun because my friend who’s studying in Japan happened to be in Manila for a convention, kaya we were almost complete. We had a laughter-filled night full of bullying. Yes, friends talaga kami pero that’s how we show our love and affection for each other. And one event that we’re all excited about – my college best friend’s wedding this December! I’m the maid of horror honor!

With my college best friends (and their boyfriends) enjoying a night out in Eastwood.
With my college best friends (and their boyfriends) enjoying a night out in Eastwood.
You are missed, Nebee!
You are missed, Nebee!
With the student in Japan and the bride!
With the student in Japan and the bride!
Maid of honor duties! Can't wait to see you walk down the aisle, Ai!
Maid of honor duties! Can’t wait to see you walk down the aisle, Ai!

 

3. FINISH LINES!

In life, there are literal and figurative finish lines. I’m glad to have finally reached a figurative finish line by cutting off ties with someone for good.

Another finish line that I reached is one that I wouldn’t mind seeing again. On October 5, I had my first 21k run after a series of 3k, 5k, and 10k marathons in the past few months.  I joined the Alaxan FR 21k division of the Run United Philippine Marathon 3 in SM Mall of Asia, together with thousands of runners and enthusiasts. The race was organized by RunRio, and like most of their marathons, it was fun, orderly, and well-managed. I loved how hands-on Coach Rio was during the event and how he encouraged the runners (myself included) to run the last few meters and dash to the finish line.

It was probably one of the most fulfilling (and tiring) achievements that I’ve had this year. After covering about 15kms and two hours into the race, I was starting to feel my legs tremble, so I had to alternate jogging – walking – jogging – sprinting – walking. It was exhausting, and I was so close to giving up but kept going and thinking of that coveted medal. After a little over three and a half hours and the finish line was a few steps from me, I badly wanted to tear up and give a high five to everyone as one of the usherettes handed me my first ever half-marathon medal. It was truly an unforgettable experience, something I’d like to do again really soon.

rupm 3, run united philippine marathon, runrio
Yay! Pawis at uhaw at pagod at haggard pero it was all worth it!
That Finisher Shirt!
That Finisher Shirt!
This medal deserves a spot next to my medals from college.
This medal deserves a spot next to my medals from college.
My running buddies na hindi makatawid ng maayos after the run!
My running buddies na hindi makatawid ng maayos after the run!
We were all super hungry but didn't have enough energy left to explore the restos in MOA. We ended up having lunch at Savory. Not complaining though, their chicken was still as tasty and juicy as I remember from the last time I ate there.
We were all super hungry but didn’t have enough energy left to explore the restos in MOA. We ended up having lunch at Savory. Not complaining though, their chicken was still as tasty and juicy as I remember from the last time I ate there.

 

Whenever I feel like life’s so unfair, or when I start spiraling down into that abyss of despair when things don’t go my way, I help myself get back on track by enumerating what makes me cheery and excited about the future. I know my friends and officemates have witnessed my sungit moments and stressed-ako-walang-kakausap-sakin days, but trust me, those moments will not last long. I always make sure that my thoughts and emotions are anchored onto something – like these three Fs – food, friends, and finish lines, and they’re enough to bring that smile back on my face. Have a fruitful weekend ahead!

 

Food, food, food directory:

Frankie’s New York Buffalo Wings
G/F City Golf Plaza, Doña Julia Vargas Ave. Ugong, Pasig
(02) 687-1250

Tim Ho Wan
UG/F SM Megamall, Fashion Hall, Julia Vargas Ave cor EDSA, Wack Wack, Mandaluyong

BRGR: The Burger Project
122 Maginhawa St. Teacher’s Village – East, Quezon City
(02) 351-7474

Pizza, Coffee, and Musings on Holy Week

I found myself strolling around Bonifacio High Street on Good Friday. Staying in the metro during Holy Week is not unusual for me anymore, though I had a brief flashback of childhood days when Holy Weeks were spent in the province. We would stay there the entire week, lounge by the beach which was a few meters away from our relatives’ house, play Monopoly or any board game we have stashed in our bags, and stare at the clock as the minute hand sloooowly ticks. Now that we have dogs to tend to, we find it hard to schedule out-of-town trips. Someone always has to stay at home to take care of our pets. My brothers, both supervisors in two different BPOs, also have to report for work during the holidays.

I was more than happy to join two of my favorite ladies to bond on Good Friday – my travel buddy Cindy and my forever youthful-looking former boss, mentor, and good friend Aina. We dropped by Aina’s place, so I can meet her baby boy, Matteo. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to take a photo of the adorable, curly-haired baby. Aina’s hubby drove us to BHS where we intended to find a good resto and catch-up on a lot of things – especially those good old times with our former team in the first ever company I worked for.

It was my first time to be roaming around High Street on a Good Friday and boy was I surprised. It was crowded! Most of the restaurants were open and throngs of people were walking around, forming queues outside, and waiting for their turn to eat. The people also took advantage of the fact that there was a Station of the Cross setup in the middle of High Street. Good thing we found a vacant table in Italianni’s, and while munching on pizza and salad and chugging down bottomless dalandan juice (it was sweltering hot outside), we spent about two hours laughing, talking about our former team, and yes, missing how everything used to be.

After pizza, we had dessert at White Hat and continued reminiscing. Aina was picked up by her hubby in the evening so she can spend the rest of the day with her family, while Cindy and I strolled around some more and found a spot in Starbucks near Burgos Circle before calling it a day.

 

Cherishing seven years of friendship. <3
Cherishing seven years of friendship. ❤

 

Over our tea lattes, Cindy and I were both laughing at the fact that I got my heart broken on Christmas day, and hers, on New Year. We were both expressing disappointment over some aspects in life. But what I liked about that day – we resolved to do something about it. We didn’t choose to just sit around, waste time, sulk, and feel like the odds are never in our favor.

On my way home, in the cab, I started to realize that the Holy Week is a great reminder of Christ’s sufferings as well as our own. But while we’re still alive, we always have that chance to start over, to look for life’s real meaning by finding out what we really want to do in life, who we desire to spend our lives with, or how we can manage to achieve our goals. In a few hours, we’ll be celebrating Easter Sunday, and I guess this is the perfect time to renew our enthusiasm for life. Sometimes, we just need to be jolted into awareness that everyday is a chance to let go of things that weigh us down and let God lead us to where our heart really belongs.

 

I hope you all had a great time with your loved ones as you reflect, pray, and enjoy the holidays. Let me be the first one to great you – Happy Easter!

 

happy eas

 

 

“I Don’t Have The Lakas” and Other Interview Bloopers

I’ll admit it. One of the many things that I love about my job is the fact that I meet new people through interviews. I enjoy talking to applicants, getting to know more about them, hearing their aspirations, and okay, to be honest, seeing them squirm in their seats, anxious and pale, as I look at them straight in the eye and ask them my favorite questions. Yeah, I’m mean, I know.

I have been doing interviews for the past six years. Nope, I was never a part of the recruitment team at work, but I always get chosen to screen applicants for my team. Even now, my position requires that I conduct interviews with potential employees and interrogate ask them the usual questions to size them up, to know whether they can fill our vacancies. I have been blown away by a handful of interviewees, but there are a number who have made it to my “unforgettable” interviewees list.

What should you do to have your name on my list? Commit the five mortal sins, the five absolute no-no’s during your interview with me:

1. Speak in the vernacular. I always conduct my interviews in English, so I expect to be answered in English. Carabao English is fine, I could give points for the effort. I keep a mental scoreboard of an applicant’s grammar lapses because I believe that being able to express yourself clearly is a sign of confidence and possibly, intellect. The more grammar slips I hear, the smaller the chance of getting hired (that’s just me). Don’t get me wrong, I am a Filipina who loves our language, but in interviews I find it unacceptable when I throw a question in English and the applicant responds in Tagalog. I expect a YES or a NO when I ask, “Are you nervous?” However, I also get extremely annoyed when an interviewee answers in “pasosyal na kolehiyala” English. As in kainis, like duh.

Patty: Any attendance issues in your previous company? Were you ever tardy or absent?
Applicant: No Ma’am, no issues. Sometimes I cannot avoid it though, I was absent for a few times because I don’t have the lakas to go to work. I get sick.
Patty (napataas na ang kilay ng konti): How do you ensure that you get along with your teammates and that you enjoy work?
Applicant: Uhmmm.. We always have fun, eat, and during shift we make kulit to each other.

What the hell! Sorry, but I didn’t have the lakas to hire her. I didn’t even have to make isip, like duh. Kaasar much.

2. Dress like you’re going to the mall or worse, like you’re going to a party. Believe me, I’ve seen it all. From interviewees dressed in jeans and shirts to interviewees wearing cropped pants and dirty footwear. Please, we all know that first impressions last. Appearance says something about an applicant’s preparedness. I am immediately impressed by an interviewee who shows up on time in a crisp polo, ironed pants, and black leather shoes or looks put together in a nice, conservative blouse and pencil skirt. I am absolutely ticked off by applicants who never bother donning decent clothing for their interviews. One time I interviewed an applicant who wore a mini denim skirt. Gigimik ka, ‘teh? Pengeng cellulites! Juiceko.

3. Come to the office or interview venue late, or call a few minutes before the appointed time to have the interview rescheduled. Unless you got caught in a life or death situation or you were abducted by aliens, you should always arrive at least 30 minutes before the scheduled interview. Parang yung tagline lang yan ng pizza delivery – I hate late!

4. Lie about your capabilities, your skills, your knowledge about something.

Patty: Please rate your Excel skills from 1 to 10, 10 being the highest.
Applicant 1: 8, I think 8. For reports.
Patty: So you are familiar with formulas? Like VLOOKUP, or you can create charts, pivot tables, macros?
Applicant 1: Uhmmm Ma’am Word po pala ang ginagamit namin sa reports.

8 pala ha!!

Patty: If you were to rate your Excel proficiency from 1-10, 10 being the highest, what score would you give yourself?
Applicant 2: I can give myself a 9. I’m really familiar with Excel.
Patty: Okay great! So here’s a quiz, ten items for five minutes. You just have to show me the answers using formulas. (Gave a quiz which requires VLOOKUP, Sum, Average, and Text formulas). After 10 minutes, the applicant gave up.
Applicant 2: Ma’am I really think I need a refresher because I forgot the formula for adding. Hihi. But I used them before in our reports po. I just need a refresher.

Eto tubig, ibuhos mo sa sarili mo ng ma-refresh ka. Pagpunta mo dito sa office bigla mong nakalimutan ang lahat ng alam mo? Memory gap? Mental block? Liar, liar pants on fire…

5. Don’t pay attention to my question, or don’t try to comprehend what I mean. Answer in short sentences, do not sound interested, do not try to sell yourself. Never expound on your one-worded answers.

Patty: So how much is your expected salary?
Applicant 1: Oh it’s okay.
Patty: Pardon?
Applicant 1: It’s okay.

Wow. I-hire na ‘to, libre lang! Pa-kapehin lang at bigyan ng pamasahe!

Patty: What have you been busy with for the past three months? (Applicant has been unemployed for three months already)
Applicant 2: Uhmmm, nothing.
Patty: What about reading? Checking articles on the internet? Outdoor activities?
Applicant 2: Uhmmm sometimes my friends would pick me up. Gimmick. Yun po.

Errr. Friends of this applicant, paki-sundo na ang babaeng ito at gumimik na lang kayo habang buhay bago tuluyang mag-init ang ulo ko sa pagsasayang niya ng oras ko.

Patty: We need someone who can easily learn the systems that we use here. In your previous job, did you use any systems for data management or encoding?
Applicant 3: Yes Ma’am, we do. Uhmmm… I forgot the name, it was for attendance keeping, what do you call that?

Malay ko sa’yo! Isipin mo muna tapos balik ka na lang ‘pag naalala mo na!

Patty: Do you have any questions or clarifications?
Applicant 4: Are you strict with attendance? Do you give ten minutes grace period? Paano po kung gustong mag-leave or mag-change ng schedule?

Yes, I’m strict. Now leave, mag-leave ka na lang habang buhay.

Every time I recall these interviews, I laugh and cringe at the same time. An interview provides the applicant an opportunity to highlight his skills, qualifications, and assets. Pero epic fail lang ang mga interviewees na biglang nag-Tatagalog, mukhang hindi prepared, late at pawisan pagdating sa interview, or parang lost lang or nagmamarunong sa Excel.

Interviews are scheduled in advance to give applicants ample time to prepare, even to rehearse if necessary. The corporate jungle is a big, chaotic space where everyone fights for his own spot. Interviewees who show that they have researched about the company and came ready to ace the interview, and of course dressed up for the one-hour (or even less) encounter with the person who has the power to decide their fate will stand out compared to those who lack the confidence to even converse in straight English.
I have always taken delight in being interviewed, most probably because I have done too many myself that I already know the usual questions and even the answers that are expected from me. To avoid these blunders and successfully finish an interview, here are some tips (tried and tested, promise):

1. Be confident. Kahit pa manager or kataas-taasang pinuno ang interviewer, you have to show that you are confident. Unfortunately, hindi nabibili ang confidence sa suking tindahan pero nakukuha ito through practice, practice, practice. Ask someone to pretend to be your interviewer. Rehearse your lines.
2. Research about the company. Mahiya ka naman, huwag kang lalabas ng bahay ng wala kang alam sa kumpanyang gusto mong pasukan. Pero sana ‘wag mo naman i-memorize yung Vision Mission statement or history ng company at i-recite verbatim during the interview.
3. Interview etiquette – shake the hand of the interviewer properly, look the person in the eye, talk at the same pace as the interviewer, ‘wag maging kiti kiti sa upuan. Be conscious of your posture and mannerisms. Huwag magkamot, lumingon sa kisame dahil wala dyan ang sagot, tumawa ng malakas lalo na kung hindi naman nagpapatawa ang kausap, at matutong mag “Thank you” sa interviewer (kahit na malakas ang feeling mong hindi ka niya ipapasa).
4. Mag-invest sa maayos na polo, slacks or skirt, at shoes. Promise magagamit mo ‘yan ng maraming beses, so buy a few pieces of clothing that you can use for formal occasions like an interview. Dress to impress. Pero please konting ingat sa pabango.
5. Imagine that you are a product and you are selling yourself to a potential buyer. Make sure lang na hindi ka eksaherada at sabihin mong alam mo lahat lalo na kung hindi ka talaga marunong mag-VLOOKUP or hindi ka naman kagaya ni Kuya Kim na nakalunok yata ng encyclopedia of scientific names.

Hope you found the bloopers funny and the tips useful. Good luck!

Interview blunders, interview tips
Image grabbed from Google

Starting Over Again: Bakit ako nainis, natawa, natuwa, naiyak.

*SPOILER ALERT*

Hindi ko alam kung suicidal yung plan na yun na manood ng sine at makipag-date sa mga college friends ko ng Valentine’s Day. Maraming couples (BF-GF at BF-BF) na nagkalat na may dalang teddy bears (pink fugly teddy bears) at flowers at masayang namamasyal at HHWW pa. Anyway, ganun talaga. So go pa rin kami manood ng Starting Over Again as planned. Matagal ko rin inintay tong movie na ito starring Piolo (Marco), Toni (Ginny), at Iza (Patty).

Starting over again, starting over again movie

At sa loob ng sinehan, ang dami kong naramdaman. Nainis. Natawa. Natuwa. Naiyak. Bakit?

Bakit ako nainis?
1. Kasi naman, parang pasok na pasok, swak na swak, relate na relate sa buhay ko ang movie na ito. Parang yung sumulat, nakakabasa ng utak ko. Nakakainis kasi, instead na magpakasaya ako nung gabing yun, naisip ko yung movie, hanggang pagkagising ko.
2. Ang gwapo ni Marco. Yung hinahabol niya under the rain si Ginny, at umiiyak siya at nagmamakaawa, pero biglang bumakat yung shirt niya sa perfectly chiseled chest niya, nakakainis diba? Nasira yung moment kasi dun ako napa-focus sa dibdib niya. Pero mas nakakainis kasi alam kong may kumakalat na chismis (or confirmed na nga yata) na bakla si Papa P.
3. Mahaba masyado yung mga dialogues nila. Yung feeling na parang ten minutes na silang nagsasalita at nagda-drama. Ten minutes of dramatic dialogue, each.
4. Ang ganda ng shoes at mga damit ni Ginny. Yun lang.
5. Ang fake nung scene na nabagsakan ng mga dos por dos sila Ginny at Patty. Kainis.

Bakit ako natawa?
1. Actually, natawa at naiyak at the same time ako sa eksenang naglulupasay si Ginny sa kama niya. Yung moment na natatangahan siya sa sarili niya for letting Marco go. Nakakatawa kasi at some point, ganun din yung na-feel ko. Although hindi ko pa nata-try maglupasay sa kama. Next time na lang pag queen sized bed na rin ang gamit ko.
2. Natawa ako sa paghahabol ni Ginny sa taxi at pagsakay niya sa tren. Naka-heels, naka mini dress, naka YSL pa yata na bag. Sabay naghahabol ng cab para mapuntahan si Marco. The things we do for love.
3. Natatawa ako sa friends ni Ginny. Yung line na “ang hope, nakakaadik,” something to that effect. Na dapat i-try ni Ginny na lumaklak ng realidad. Parang yung mga friends ko lang na gusto na akong pukpukin sa ulo sa ilang beses kong pag-iyak sa kanila noon.
4. Si Vhong Navarro kasi! Naghiyawan ang mga tao sa sinehan after makita si Vhong. Pasakay ng taxi, malamang papunta na sa condo at magdadala ng foods.

Bakit ako naiyak?
1. Sino ba namang di maiiyak sa mga lines na ito?

“More than three years and I thought we were good. Hindi ko lang alam kung bakit, kung pano, kung pano nag-simula. Ano ang nangyari sa ating dalawa?” – yan din ang tanong ko, Papa P. Mukhang hindi ko na siya masasagot, ever.
“I was willing to wait… Kaya lang napagod ako. Napagod ang puso ko na maghintay, magtanong, magalit.” – yan din ang gusto kong gawin. Maghintay. Umasa. Yung willing kang magmukhang tanga pero nakakapagod rin pala. Although I’m trying to see the good in getting tired of waiting.
“Sabihin mo sa akin, how do I unlove you?” – posible bang makalimutan mo kung gaano mo kamahal ang isang tao? Lalo na kung sa bawat sulok ng mundo merong nagpapa-alala sayo sa kanya?
“Closure.”
“Para maging buo tayo ulit.”
– eto naiyak ako, at the same time narealize kong eto lang ang kelangan ko. Yung maayos na closure, para mabuo ulit ako.

2. Nakita ko yung sarili ko kay Marco nung iniwan siya ni Ginny. Pero nakita ko rin yung sarili ko kay Ginny nung tinanong niya si Marco ng “how do I unlove you?”
3. Naiyak ako bandang huli, pero tears of joy. Kasi hindi nagkatuluyan ang mga bida. Gusto ko yung mga ganung movies minsan. Realistic kasi.

Bakit ako natuwa?
1. Kasi napantayan ng movie yung pagkagusto ko sa One More Chance. Mas mabigat lang itong Starting Over Again dahil nga, hindi nagkatuluyan sila Ginny at Marco.
2. Kapangalan ko kasi yung bagong GF ni Marco, si Patty. Cute lang.
3. Refer to item number three under Bakit ako naiyak.
4. Mala-500 Days of Summer ang ending. Nakilala ni Ginny ang magiging bagong BF niya sa movie (at ang long time BF niya in real life).
5. Pinatunayan ng movie na posibleng maka-move on. Kahit gano kasakit, kahit gano mo kamahal ang umiwan sayo. Kung nagawa ni Marco ang makahanap ng Patty, kaya ko rin humanap ng Marco.

Bakit ko gusto yung movie at bakit kita pipiliting manood?

Dahil nainis ako, naiyak, natawa, natuwa at the same time. Dahil naka-relate ako sa reality na pinakita sa movie. Dahil marami na namang nadagdag sa mga favorite tagalog movie lines ko. Dahil magaling si Piolo at Toni at Iza. Dahil hindi ka tuturuan nung movie na umasa sa wala, in fact, tuturuan ka niyang marealize na may bagong pwedeng dumating sa buhay mo para maging masaya ka ulit.

Missing the Holidays

Words to describe the week that was: busy, busy, busy. Oh did I say busy? It was a week full of emails to respond to, issues to solve, appraisals to finish. It’s the nice kind of stress that I welcome and embrace though, a diversion I need. Yet I can’t help but miss the two-week holiday vacation with family and friends, highlights of which were eating out, exchanging gifts, and just having pure fun.

Christmas was spent with the whole family as we gathered at Lola’s place, only this time we missed her presence. Our tradition of having noche buena together and exchanging gifts was fun and surprising still. We opened our gifts together and found out who our secret santas were.

Wearing our "Tulong Na" shirts which we bought to help out Yolanda victims.
Wearing our “Tulong Na” shirts which we bought to help out Yolanda victims.
Gifts gifts gifts! Hello to my alter ego - The Iron Mouse.
Gifts gifts gifts! Hello to my alter ego – The Iron Mouse.
Our Christmas family picture - including my baby Crystal of course!
Our Christmas family picture – including my baby Crystal of course!
The much-awaited exchange gift, and yours truly as the host. Our fourth (or maybe fifth) year of doing this!
The much-awaited exchange gift with yours truly as the host. Our fourth (or maybe fifth) year of doing this!

 

I didn’t pass up the chance to meet up with my college friends for dinner and coffee, discussing life, love, and showbiz chismis. LOL.

The funniest and smartest people talking about losing weight after the holidays. The Biggest Loser is on!
The funniest and smartest people talking about losing weight after the holidays. The Biggest Loser is on!

 

And before going back to the daily grind, I slept over at Cindy’s new place. I poured my heart out over cups of wine, made plans for the new year over bottles of old school sarsaparilla, and resolved to live 2014 to the fullest while staring out at the stars.

So yeah, we didn't have a corkscrew. But the girl scouts in us will never let a cork thwart our plans of getting drunk!
So yeah, we didn’t have a corkscrew. But the girl scouts in us will never let a cork thwart our plans of getting drunk!
Ha! Bye cork! Don't worry, we didn't drink the wine with floating cork bits in it.
Ha! Bye cork! Don’t worry, we didn’t drink the wine with floating cork bits in it.
And because Cindy has just moved in and she doesn't have wine glasses yet, we used her measuring cups. Hihi. So much for sophisticated wine drinking.
And because Cindy has just moved in and she doesn’t have wine glasses yet, we used her measuring cups. Hihi. So much for sophisticated wine drinking.
Bundaberg sarsaparilla
Our new favorite – Bundaberg Sarsaparilla. Sign of aging, yes.
Waking up to this view after drinking and nursing a broken heart. I felt soooo much better afterwards.
Then waking up to this view after drinking and nursing a broken heart. I felt soooo much better afterwards.

 

I’ve read somewhere that if you cried after looking back at the past year, then it was a meaningful one. I shed buckets of tears from frustration, sadness, and pain. But tears of joy also overflowed from moments of happiness and that realization that I am still alive and blessed.

I’m getting ready for another jam packed week ahead, but hey, I’m waiting for it with arms wide open. I’m buckling up for another wild ride with more determination than ever before.