Friday, December 31, 2010

Last night of the year

As per tradition, I will be spending New Year's Eve at my aunt's house in Quezon City, across ADMU.

This morning, I was reading the latest issue of STATUS magazine (the one with the David LaChapelle interview) and I was inspired to wear khaki after seeing a spread on the material. I decided to wear it for tonight's celebration, paired with something red, another tradition.

Shirt from Japan; polo shirt from Calvin Klein; khaki pants from Armani; shoes from Hong Kong; necklace is DIY, made from a keychain my brother gave me; sunglasses from a tiangge.

Enjoy your last day of the year!

Nous Sommes

French designers Kizda and Jeremy team up as Nous Sommes (French for we) to create pendants of celebrities in the music and fashion world. Made of old silver metal (in either silver or black), these pendants are shaped like singers Lady Gaga, Grace Jones, and Michael Jackson; director Spike Lee; fashion photographer Terry Richardson; fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld; and actress Marilyn Monroe (not included in picture).

These are available here for 170EUR a pop.
Picture found here.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Parties Pt. I

The other day, I had my Christmas party with the staff of the paper. It was supposed to be a huge event and we planned to rent this resort in Tagaytay for a low price because my associate editor knows some people. We also invited alumni members so it’ll be a Christmas party slash reunion. But the administration (unfortunately, we are under them) wouldn’t let us withdraw the money we wanted because we aren’t allowed to use our budget for parties. We ended up at Mall of Asia and none of the alumni went.

It was still fun because we had tons of games like the Ako Ay Tutubi (?), Pinoy Henyo, Pepsi 7Up, and this one game where we did this cheer while spreading our legs. The objective of the game was to spread your legs until ripping point and the last one standing wins. I won. Those years of yoga did me a lot of good.

(My pants aren’t really that tight. I was spreading my legs so much that it began to look like that.)

We also had awards and I got The Moody Divinity Award for “being divine and always moody due to unknown reasons and circumstances that we may never know.” To explain my divine post yesterday, the staff call me divine. I forgot how the story started but the joke stuck, and whenever I do something incredible, they attribute it to my “divinity.”

We then had an exchange gift program and I got Bianca, my associate editor.

We capped the night by having drinks at San Miguel by the Bay. It was such a wild night and I got totally drunk.

We finished at 4 AM.

The following day (yesterday), I had to go to our Quezon City house to have our Christmas party there. But since mother and my brother already went the day before, I had to commute. It was one of the most horrible commutes ever. There was barely any traffic but I had to wait for long periods of time to get cabs and buses. I was two hours late. The party was awesome because a lot of people came and I had several glasses of good wine. I had a great conversation with Kellyn and Kim, two family friends, about the merits of working abroad. Kellyn works in HSBC, Singapore while Kim is a pre-school teacher in Vietnam. The catering was good.

We had another exchange gift program and I got Auntie Liza, also a family friend.

Hung out with the kids as they tried Yuji’s (my brother) skateboard. None of them knew how to use it so they ended up jumping for the camera to look like they could. The second photo is of my brother, who could actually skateboard and is pretty good at it.

These are the Tin kids, three of the sweetest and most adorable children in the world. I only see them once or twice a year and it’s such a shame. They were disappointed when they found out I’m not coming back after the Las Piñas party tonight. I’m going to Batangas after Christmas to celebrate with my friends.

That's all.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas Shopping

Yesterday I went out to complete my Christmas shopping. I was out with my sister last Friday to do them but we got to the mall late and we only had time to buy a few items. We capped the night at San Mig Pub where we had a couple of beers.

I needed to buy presents for my mom and two of my friends from UST so I went to SM to get something for my mom (I already had something in mind for my two friends at Alabang). She was the hardest to buy for because everything she owns has a designer label. I wanted to get her a bag for her toiletries because she travels a lot. I thought of getting her something from the department store because it would be silly to get her something a little more expensive when she carries Louis Vuitton. Trouble was, I wasn’t impressed with the selections so I ended up looking in Alabang. I stopped by Booksale before leaving and was blown away by the new store’s facade. It’s roomier and it’s even bigger than the Mall of Asia branch. I was looking for issues of foreign Vogue but I didn’t find any.

At Alabang, I couldn’t afford anything in Rustan’s but I did find a sophisticated-looking bag that could easily pass off as Mango from this store called Accessories. I’m not familiar with the brand but their original price tags have British pounds on them.

After finishing my Christmas shopping, I got myself a “Be@rbrick” (note the quotation marks because I doubt the authenticity of these so-called Be@rbricks). They’re adorable and I might start collecting them, authentic or not. I got this one because it kind of looks like Karl Lagerfeld, the Creative Director of Chanel.

I also got one for my brother that has PSP written on its face and the trademark symbols on its shirt. By the way, that’s not my gift for him. I got him a bottle of cologne because he’s a growing boy and he’s terribly conscious of everything.

I wanted to get the Coco Chanel Be@rbrick and have found one on eBay except it costs half a million pesos. True story, guys.

After a solitary dinner at Tater’s and tea at Serenitea, I headed home. I was excited because my ankle boots were chafing and I wanted to try this new way of wrapping gifts, inspired by Carina. She used packaging paper and twine and it looked amazing. Trouble was, I bought manila paper instead of packaging paper because you had to buy them by the roll and the twine I bought was too thick. So now I’ve wrapped the gifts and they look awkward and they don’t have ribbons. I might buy some fancy-looking (and thin) twine on Wednesday because I’m going to Mall of Asia to celebrate Christmas with the staff of the paper.

Here are my gifts!

All in all, Christmas shopping was an expensive experience but I totally liked it because I felt like an adult.

I’m 21.

That’s all.

Sunday, December 19, 2010


So mother came back last Saturday after a one month vacation/business trip to Japan. I was excited for her return because it’s almost Christmas and I asked her to buy me a copy of Vogue Nippon. I’m becoming addicted to fashion magazines and have started collecting them, including foreign ones.

She bought me three issues, from November ‘10 to January ‘11. The magazines are terribly heavy (mother almost had to pay for excess baggage) but incredibly awesome, thanks in part to Anna dello Russo, Vogue Nippon’s Fashion Director-at-Large and Creative Consultant. I couldn’t understand a thing but the editorials were amazing. I just wished they featured local models like what Vogue Korea does. Speaking of international editions of Vogue, I ordered a copy of the December ‘10 issue of French Vogue, the one where Tom Ford guest edits. Oh, for the January ‘11 issue of Vogue Nippon (the one with Gisele on the cover), they gave away a Pucci mirror.

Mother also got me other stuff like underwear from Uniqlo, green tea flavored marshmallows and candy (which tasted divine), a bag from Harrod’s (is there Harrod’s in Tokyo?), and some local magazines.

The following day, I had another treat as a box arrived from my grandmother in California and she got me the complete collection of the Harry Potter series. I’ve been meaning to buy the boxed set but my grandmother was a dear. She found them at a garage sale and I love how they look “loved,” a fancy term for worn. This is my fifth copy of The Sorcerer’s Stone and my second copy of books two to five. I lost all of them.

That afternoon, we went to the World Bazaar Festival in World Trade Center. There were so many people and I hated it. I’m not good with crowds so I wasn’t able to appreciate the wares.

I have a cynical view of tiangges (they sell the same things everywhere) but I did find two adorable stuff: a Hogwarts bag and ankle boots from Brazil (?) that cost P800. The shoes look small in the picture but they’re actually a size 9, which come to think of it, is small for a man’s foot.

Mother must have felt my irritation because she insisted we leave for Mall of Asia, which was surprisingly empty for a Sunday. There I went on an impromptu mission: to go to all seven bookstores/magazine stores (Fully Booked, NBS, Powerbooks, Books For Less, Filbar’s, Booksale, and this little store across Starbucks) to look for other fashion magazines and/or copies of any foreign Vogue. I ended up with two issues of Interview (appropriate because I got a copy of The Andy Warhol Diaries edited by Pat Hackett two weeks ago) and the latest issue of STATUS with David LaChapelle, my favorite photographer.

I also got this Pop Art sticker of Jose Rizal from Team Manila.

On Thursday, I was out with the folks at my ninang’s place for a Christmas party. It was for my ninang and the girls who at one point worked at her modeling agency. She got me a copy of The Teen Vogue Handbook, which her son’s stylist girlfriend picked. According to my ninang, the girl became an established stylist because of the book. She used to work in Singapore but Summit Media got her to work for Candy magazine.

Then yesterday, I was with my classmates from NSTP and we went to Cavite for a Christmas party for some families we adopted. I brought bags of candy and gave them out to random kids and it was such a nice feeling giving to those in need. The guy and girl looking at the camera are two of my groupmates, who were kind enough to adopt me.

That's all.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Bargain #2

I had my community service this morning (finally, Christmas break!) and I decided to drop by this ukay near my house. I’ve been seeing it for several months now but I only had the guts to check it out now because I thought it was a relief goods center because there were so many clothes and it was inside the court of a village park.

I found this summer jacket from Maldita Man and I got it for P200. What’s amazing is that it still has its tag (original price is P1,699). The zipper’s broken and it’s going to cost me P150 to repair, but what the hey. P350 is nothing compared to P1,699.

If you’re from the south, the ukay is in the park of Philam Village. They sell bags, jackets, shirts, and jeans and some of them still have their tags and are still sealed. Brands include Penshoppe, Oxygen, Esprit, etc.
I’m not sure where they get their clothes and I didn’t want to ask because they might be a syndicate and they might cut my fingers off if I “snoop” too much.

They’re staying there until the end of the month so you better go there ASAP.

Bargain #1

Okay, that post on my new Maldita Man jacket reminded me of two bags I bought a couple of weeks back at another ukay. That one is one of my favorite haunts because they have good finds at dirt-cheap prices. When they’re on sale, dress shirts come at P10 a pop so I end up buying dozens.

A Comme des Garçons backpack I got for P200:

A weekend bag from Hardy Amies I got for P250:

Sunday, December 5, 2010

'Cause you gotta have faith

I got to talking to a good friend about faith. I invited him over for dinner earlier this week because we haven’t seen each other in a while. Over pasta, I told him of my most recent conquest which ended in failure. He consoled me and I told him I’d bounce back, saying I’m not the type of guy who dwells on mistakes. I’m cutthroat with everything and I pride myself for being “professional.” It backfired this time but I’m saving that for another entry.

“True,” he said. “Plus you won’t have a hard time finding dates because you’re always out.”

I suppose that’s true. I have a lot of friends and I meet many more because of my involvement in school and the amount of time I spend online and in parties. I’m generally a friendly person so my amiability is sometimes misconstrued for outright flirtation. I get into a lot of trouble because of that. Sometimes it gets me dates.

“I bet you were dating other guys while you were dating him,” he said.

I laughed and said no. I may be a “flirt” but when I meet someone I like, I’m loyal. Dating is like a commitment to me. What he said struck me as funny because he wasn’t exactly the poster child for fidelity. He had a girlfriend but he was seeing someone else at the side. He proceeded to tell me about them and I wondered, why do people have affairs?

I’ve met both girls and they’re lovely. His first (and legal) girlfriend is a licensed counselor at a university in Manila and is beautiful, successful, and financially stable. I’ve known her before they got together and she’s great. His second girlfriend is his co-worker, who is just as charming. I’ve met her on several occasions and she’s funny and easygoing.

Why cheat? His girlfriend is a mature and intelligent woman who has it all. Is it a need to conquer new grounds? Is it a natural instinct to find someone more beautiful, more intelligent? We’ve heard of celebrity bombshells who were dumped by their partners. Hello, Jennifer Aniston?

I think it’s a desire for us to have the best all the time. Once we tire of something, we look for something more exciting. In a sense, we are just like kids. We always want what we don’t have.

My friend and I met again for drinks days later with some of our other friends. Earlier that day, he was with his second girlfriend and the first kept texting us asking of his whereabouts. That’s why I don’t like having affairs: I don’t have the time and the energy to entertain two or more guys. He got into a huge argument and we decided to drive to Tagaytay to cool off.

On the way (we got into a little accident but I’m also saving that for another entry), he told us about his first girlfriend. She wasn’t there emotionally and they fought all the time and she could be tactless. I didn’t mind because I didn’t want to interfere with their relationship but he was fed up.

And then I realized why we have affairs. It’s not because there’s a higher mountain to climb or an even more beautiful city to explore (although that could be the case), but because there’s something missing in our relationship which we try to get from other people. I mentally googled my friend’s second girlfriend: she was caring, she knew how to listen, and she was sensitive to his needs. No wonder.

The problem is, we can’t get everything we want from one partner. But I guess it’s just a question of finding the right one who can give us the most of what we want and to just forget the rest and accept our partner’s imperfections.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Revenge of the Nerds

I didn't make much of a splash when I was in high school. I had my fair share of friends but I was never the popular kid, the kid everyone wanted to be friends with and everyone wanted to date. Unlike my peers, I didn't go out much and wasn't as goodlooking as the guys on the popular list.

But I wasn't a nerd. Sure, I excelled in my literature and English classes, acing orations and debates, and I wrote a piece that impressed an English teacher. But in my other subjects, I only got enough to pass the course.

In short, I was an average joe.

Fast forward to my college life. I lost some of the weight, improved my style, and became competitive. I got into the top section in BS Psychology in UST and joined the paper and two socio-civic organizations. When I transferred to Perpetual, I joined the paper, the debate team, the theater group, the yearbook committee, and the student council. I was class president for two consecutive years and I'm currently the editor-in-chief of the campus paper. It's funny how someone who used to be a mediocre student be where I am today. I am living proof that life is like a wheel - sometimes you're up and sometimes you're down.

It's funny to note that that bit also applies to popular people. When I run into my high school classmates, they're always surprised at how I turned out. I'm no superstar, but I really changed a lot since high school. At the same time, I'm also surprised at how they turned out. The popular people who used to tease me look so normal. While I'm out and about in Armani and YSL, they're trudging along, overweight and wearing the tackiest clothes. Sure, I'd run into some of them in clubs and they'd be all dressed up, but I can still trump them with my custom-made blazers and accessories from abroad. And then I'd wonder, these people were the popular ones?

When I compare high school and college, the popular kids are different. In high school, the populars are those who look good and who are rich. In my high school (an international school), these were the ones who were children of CEOs and celebrities. In college, these are student movers and leaders. Granted, some are popular because they're beautiful, but that's just about it.

I believe that it is better to become famous for what you do, not what you look like. Beauty is temporary and will disappear when you age (unless you have fantastic bone structure) or when you don't take care of yourself. Yes, there are people who remain famous for their looks after they've aged. Such is the case for Gloria Diaz and Imelda Marcos, but really, are they famous for their looks or for what they've contributed to society?

I like intelligent people. These are the people who leave lasting impressions on me and the earth. This semester, I intern for the school's Student Recruitment Services and it is my task to go to high schools and persuade them to enroll in Perpetual. It's like being back there myself. I can see the cliques and the way the kids are distributed. It's obvious to see who are the popular ones and who are the "nerds", and I have to fight the temptation to tell the "nerds" that the popular kids will work for them in the future.

So to the nerds/geeks/losers/or whatever it is they call you to demean you, don't be afraid to enjoy reading and writing. To hell if you don't fit in by not watching low-brow television shows and movies. You shouldn't be afraid of having sophisticated tastes. In a few years time, you'll be paying their salaries. My only tip: cleanse, tone, and moisturize. You'd want to look good when you're on the cover of a magazine.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Russian roulette is not the same without a gun

I can still remember the first time I went to the casino. I don't remember when it was (I'm bad with dates), but I can still remember the way I felt. I was nervous because they might not let me in, and I was excited at the thought of entering a casino. I've only seen them in movies and I was thrilled to be part of the glamour. I wanted to wear a suit but I went straight from the mall so it was out of the question.

I went to Club Tropicana, the joint across SM Southmall with two of my friends. When I went in, I was dazzled by the colors and lights of the slot machines. It wasn't as noisy as I thought it would be, or as glamorous. I expected men in tuxedos and women in long and expensive gowns. One of the things that worried me was the fact that I was only in a polo shirt and sneakers, but it turned out I was more dressed up than many of them. All the games were run by machines (even the roulette and baccarat), which at first disappointed me. I wanted to have a real casino experience complete with dealers and women who blow on your dice but I realized a machine is easier and more organized.

I played the roulette. B insisted I try the slots but I never enjoyed it. He kept telling me that's where the money is but I find the slots dull. There's nothing exciting about repeatedly pressing buttons and looking at patterns I don't understand. I like the roulette because there's the thrill of not knowing where to bet and praying to God that you'll win as you watch the ball spin around the wheel. It requires thought (if thoughts are required at a game of chance - I honestly don't believe in the probability theories of statistics), and the game can get very tense. And besides, I'm not there for the money. I'm there for the fun.

And I had fun. It's nice to know that you can double your money, which I did on my first night, by betting on the right numbers at the right time. I was so happy that I wanted to come back. I mean, I liked the idea of just sitting there, drinking free Milo (which I think gave my age away), talking to my friends while I earned money. It was a great night.

Two nights later, I was back with my friend. It was also her first time the other night so we were both excited to win big. Perhaps it was my win, but I was convinced that I would win that night, too. I was thinking about the other gamblers who seemed so tense, who were twitching in their seats and carefully watching the roulette spin. It was funny, but I also felt bad, because it defeats the purpose of going to the casino. Why would you go to a place where you're going to end up a nervous wreck? I swear, some of the people were so nervous that they could have a heart attack on the spot.

That night, I lost half the money I put in. And I found myself tense, twitching in my seat and carefully watching the roulette spin. And then it hit me. I was now one of them. I could now empathize with the gamblers I used to make fun of. At that point, it's not for the fun anymore. It was for the money. I realized that the casino is only fun if you're winning. When you're not, you become this crazy hell-bent person out to redeem what you have lost. It was a scary thought.

Luckily, I'm a stingy person. I'm so cheap, that I spend about half an hour deciding if a purchase is worth the money, even if it's just a notebook or a pen. I'm not like most gamblers who put in thousands of pesos on something so unpredictable. My maximum bet per night is P200 and I still feel decadent.

I was back at the casino last night. We brought another friend, who had her first time. I lost two-thirds of the money I put in, but when I cashed out my last hundred, I still felt like a winner. It's not because I was able to leave with a portion of my original money or that I could say that I still "won" something, but it's because I realized I still know my limit, and that I'm sane enough to know when to back out of a deal.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Hors de Prix (Priceless)

For those who I haven't seen in the past few weeks, I have a boyfriend now. Yes, I'm currently in a relationship and honestly, I've never been this happy. Last Saturday, while we were out to celebrate our first month together, I told him about my previous relationships and how none of them worked. I know it's never a wise move to talk to your beau about your past loves but I was trying to tell him that I've never been this kilig. For our first month, he took me to the place where we had our first date.

I met my boyfriend (who we will refer to as B) two years ago through a common friend. My friend invited me to watch a musical he was in and B was there, too. I had the biggest crush on him because not only was he cute, he also sang really well. I even watched the show twice because I thought the performance was awesome. In fact, I got so into it that I started to take an interest in Broadway musicals. We weren't formally introduced (meaning he didn't know I even existed), but I saw him a couple of times in Alabang after. We were finally introduced two months ago when he came out of the closet and our common friend decided to set us up. And the rest, as they say, is history. Beautiful history.

My relationship with B is different from my previous affairs. I've been with different guys who spoiled me in different ways. I dated a guy who bought me flowers every week and got me a copy of Madonna's Confessions Tour the minute it came out. There was another who took an almost obsessive interest in me, downloading all of my pictures and listening to the music I like. And there were those who seemed to hang on to my every word, who found everything I said witty, even if I was only reading the terms of my restraining order. B is nothing like that.

I am B's first serious relationship. Honestly, it's tough being with a first-timer. Our first month was rocky because I had to adjust to a lot of stuff. He admitted he was clueless and that I had to guide him through. Fortunately, I am a patient guy and I was so into him that I didn't mind. He has his flaws, but who am I to judge them when I have my own?

Sometimes I wish he was more affectionate but I believe it's about appreciation. When it comes to being with a first-timer, there's really no point in setting high expectations. You can't expect him to navigate the relationship maze with as much know-how as someone like Barney Stinson (who if I may add is a fictional character). I'm happy with the way things are and I think it's because I appreciate the little things that he does. I appreciate the way he texts me just to say I love you, the way he displayed me as a friend on Facebook, and the way he knows me in ways others don't.

So B doesn't spoil me the way I am used to being spoiled. He doesn't buy me flowers or bring me to hotel restaurants. He doesn't get me Italian shoes or French bags, but he spoils me with love, patience, and attention. He listens to me when I babble and he always reminds me that he loves me. He accepts my flaws, takes care of me, and makes me want to be a better man. And in my opinion, I think that's more coveted than any bouquet of flowers or designer bling.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Death Becomes Him

Lately, I seem to have developed the symptoms of depression. Not the usual, everyday kind of sadness that people call "depression" but the actual clinical form of a mood disorder. I do know the cause of my so-called disorder, but I'd rather not discuss it because it's a tad too personal. Apparently, my depression has hit the roof and appeared in the result of my TAT.

TAT, or the Thematic Apperception Test is a projective technique (or psychological test) where the client is presented with 20 pictures and he must create a story out of each one. We took the test last week for our Psychological Testing class and I was bothered at the content of my stories. Most of them talked about death and there was a little too much violence. There was a girl on the brink of suicide, a woman who finds her son brutally murdered, a massacre, a child psychopath who enjoys mutilating animals, a killer, a suicidal doctor, and man-eating creatures. I marveled at the creativity of my stories given the fact that we were only allowed five minutes for each drawing, but I was bothered that only two of my stories are positive.

As a writer, I usually write these kinds of things but I'm guessing it's not appropriate with psychological tests because projective tests such as these project your deepest desires, fears, motivation, and fantasies. I can't say that I wrote what I did because I wanted to impress my professor with my morbid imagination, I wrote them because that's what I saw when I looked at the pictures. When I saw the kid imagining a surgery, I interpreted it as a psychopath who wants to cut people up. I was silently laughing while I wrote about the kid, who I described as obnoxious and haughty, because I felt that most of my classmates saw a kid dreaming to be a doctor. After the class, I asked my professor to read my work to see if she thought my interpretations were unusual.

When she talked to me last Tuesday, she told me that she was disturbed with my stories. She said that there was a lot of reference to death, to emptiness, and loneliness. I told her about how I wanted to kill myself, or at least be dead inside. For some reason, I didn't tell her about last Saturday's night out with friends where I wore non-prescription glasses and called myself Christopher because Koji is dead. I told her that the content could be explained by my passion for Stephen King and serial killers.

"It's okay to read those things. But you have to be careful because there's already a thin line between reality and fantasy," she told me while I sat there, scared. "I'm afraid that if you expose yourself too much to this, it will carry over to reality."

I thought about that child, that little kid I knew most of my classmates saw as a kid growing up to be a doctor, and there I was, thinking it was a psychopath who laughs while cutting up dogs and rabbits. I couldn't imagine myself mutilating animals. When I read the part about Patrick Bateman torturing a dog in American Psycho, I flinched.

"Why are there so many references to death in your interpretation?" she asked. I knew she was observing me, watching my every move. I knew she was looking for signals, signals only a psychologist could see, like a sudden shift of mood or topic. I couldn't look her in the eye and I was sweating, even though it was cold.

"I don't know. I don't really want to die.... but I don't want to live either," I said blankly.

"There are so many things to be thankful for. You have been given so many opportunities, many of them others don't have. You have great talent, and it would be a waste if you kill yourself. You have been given this opportunity to live while others can't." She said so many other things but everything led back to this.

She's right. While I am complaining about how I haven't seen Alice in Wonderland after waiting for almost a year, while I sulked about how I didn't get my way in a particular situation, other people have no money, homes, or clothes. I know I sound like I'm preaching but a little gratitude won't hurt anyone. Right now I'm making a quick mental check list of the things I should be grateful for and I'm not even done. But to summarize what I have: a very comfortable home, a loving family, a good school, great friends, a knack for writing, and a kickass style to boot (indulge me, will you?).

The same morning, I saw the music video of We Are The World 25 for Haiti, sung by Justin Bieber, Nicole Scherzinger, Josh Groban, Barbra Streisand, Carlos Santana, Snoop Dogg, Kanye West, and many others. The video included footage of what happened in Haiti and it made me feel bad for hating my privileged life. I actually cried while watching the video.

In hindsight, I have been pondering the things my professor said even before she said it. But hearing it from her, a professional, who I associated with a mother image, I suddenly felt a lot better. I guess it's now time to cancel the IMI Uzi submachine gun I ordered on eBay. I kid.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Hope and expectations

My homeboy Samuel Johnson once said that he who expects much will often be disappointed. I believe that, the same way I believe black goes with everything and pink should only be worn by those under 35. My problem is, sometimes I tend to forget that bit about expectations and raise the bar every now and then. I've been doing that a lot lately and it got me thinking about expectations and hope. I realized that there is a fine line between the two and many confuse one for the other. I myself have fallen victim to this slippery slope.

First let us define the two.

We all live with certain expectations. We expect the professor to show up at the time alloted. We expect to eat dinner in the evening. We expect Manny Villar to come up with another commercial. There are certainties in expectations.

In hope, we get by with faith. There is no assurance that what we're hoping for would pull through. There is an immensely frightening possibility for it not to happen. I have discussed the courage of those who hope, but the trouble is, in hope, sometimes we expect. The sad part is, sometimes our expectations blow out of proportion and we are absolutely sure that it will happen. And when it doesn't, we get hurt. By expecting too much, when we should have been hoping, we make ourselves vulnerable to pain.

I remember this boy I used to date. This happened two years ago and we were very much in love. He dedicated a Beethoven poem to me and he used to make this really stupid but cute sound to make me smile. Like most relationships, it failed. I remember the last thing he told me was that wasn't our time. Because I loved him, because I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him, I held on to that. But, instead of hoping, I expected. I expected that when he resolved his issues with his sexuality (he was confused around the time we dated), he would get back with me and we would live happily ever after.

It took quite a while for me to move on. I blindly held on to his last words, believing that he would sweep me off my feet again. I stalked his social networking profiles, texted him randomly, went to certain places hoping I would see him there. I was pathetic. A good friend slapped some sense into me when she said that I shouldn't expect. While she didn't tell me to hope, it was pretty much the same thing. She told me to get on with my life. That way, if he doesn't come back, it won't hurt terribly. And when he does, it would be a pleasant surprise. I still remember those words, and I had the pleasure of telling her the same thing when she was in a similar position. That guy didn't come back, but I'm glad to say that my days of pining away for him has ended.

Hope and expectation are very tricky things and must be handled with care. I know our emotions can get the best of us but I think we should do less of expecting and more of hoping. There is something sweeter when the thing we hope for suddenly comes true. There is that triumphant feeling of awe and surprise that makes the situation even more beautiful.

Also,when it doesn't happen, it won't hurt as much. Sigh, I should have realized this a week ago.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Boyfriends and tea

Last night, I went to Alabang to meet a client for my case study in Guidance and Counseling. Because I was desperate to have him as a client, I bribed him with offers of dessert in Coffee Bean or in any dessert shop of his choice. He agreed, which was a blessing, because the thought of pouring your innermost problems to a relative stranger is unlikely, even at the thought of free French apple pie.

I've been hanging out a lot in Coffee Bean lately so I decided to try out their collection of teas. I've been a fan of CBTL for three years and have sampled most of their coffee so I thought why not their tea? I've been trying to live the healthy lifestyle and tea is as healthy as you could get. This was actually my first time because I always order the tea lattes.

Maybe it was my expectations, but I wasn't satisfied. Perhaps it was because I drink tea practically everyday, but I expected a special something, a kick that would say that this is designer shit. I ordered the strawberry flavored green tea after the recommendation of an HR supervisor in Generika who used to work in Coffee Bean. I don't know, but I actually prefer the Earl Grey being sold in supermarkets by the bunch. I'm still open to trying their other flavors, though. The raspberry looks really promising.

What I did like though about the tea in CBTL was that you can ask for hot water to steep another cup. This pleased my stingy heart because I could have endless cups of tea for only php95.

While I was listening to my client's stories of abuse in college, my mind wandered to the sheer joy of having another cup for practically nothing. I also made a silly but thought-provoking analogy regarding tea and boyfriends. This is, however, not the first time I connected the two because I once called someone my Earl Grey because I didn't know whether to like him or not. It takes a while to get used to that guy, and bergamot in general.

So, my analogy is this. I'm not going to expound on it, seasoning it with quotes from chick flicks or theories from psychologists, because I was trying to focus on the things my client was saying. I realized that ex-boyfriends are like tea. You enjoy it, basking in the bold flavor of jasmine or oolong or chai while you do your activities. But in the end, you finish your cup, and you're left with nothing but the residue of leaves.

However, what's good is that you can refill and enjoy your cup of tea again. Like ex-boyfriends, you can take them back and relive the thrills, the joys, and the good times. Sometimes you have to put more sugar to capture the taste of the first cup, but still, it's attainable.

But there is that point where you get tired of it, that one cup is enough. There was this one time my friend gave me a pack of Japanese rice tea which tasted really awesome. When I tried to make another cup, it made me want to puke. I suddenly remembered this ex-boyfriend who after three years is attempting to make contact and rekindle the flames of romance. He doesn't make me want to vomit, but I think once was enough.

After I got my second cup last night in Coffee Bean, I wasn't able to finish it.

Ha. I feel like such a genius.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Okay, so I got this book two weeks ago as a birthday present for myself. I've been hearing about Kokology since high school and had been asked several "innocent" questions I knew came from the theory so I felt it was time to get my own copy and get to the bottom of the whole thing.

So the book is divided into different situations. Each scenario is followed by certain questions like how do you feel...., how would you react...., and what would you do if... Supposedly, your answers reveal unconscious facets of your personality like your libido, self-esteem, stress, and fidelity. Knowing that each question is loaded with unconscious interpretations, I couldn't help but try to guess what each question meant. I got some right, while others were really hard to figure, which made the game more exciting, even for someone strongly involved in the field. The trick is to answer what comes to mind first, instead of trying to analyze the question. There's this whole bit in Psychological Testing where the client tries to impress the examiner with his answers.

Of course, there is the question of authenticity. Apparently, Kokology was constructed by a Japanese psychologist so I suppose these questions were carefully built using sound theories in human behavior. I noticed the writer relied heavily on Carl Jung's Archetype theory, which states that there are symbols universally recognized by all. For example, the shadow is supposed to be an individual's "dark side." Some of the archetypes mentioned in the book include whales, horses, actors, and souls. Simply put, if we react positively to a question mentioning whales (which is a mother archetype), we have a positive relationship with our mother. Makes sense, eh?

However, some of the questions are circumstantial, especially one question regarding strawberries. Supposedly, strawberries symbolized infidelity in a relationship. That might be true, but what if the person really likes strawberries? What if the person is allergic to strawberries? These things have led many to believe that Kokology is a fad much like astrology, something fun but nothing to take seriously.

Being a Psychology student, I admit I was impressed with the results (keys are provided after each situation), because many of them were accurate. Of course, there are those that didn't seem right, which I thought was understandable because even a legitimate test would require backups to test its reliability.

All in all, the book is enjoyable. The questions really made me think and it provided great insight to my self and my personality. There were things I discovered about myself, things I didn't know and things I already knew but never acknowledged. However, my advise to those who are planning to buy the book is to take everything in here with a grain of salt. In order for any Psychological test to be reliable, a series of similar tests must be taken to check its accuracy. But it's fun all the same!

Sunday, February 7, 2010


Midterms this week! Must study!

I miss blogging!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Don't Cry For Me, McDonald's

For someone who people think is masungit, I'm pretty balat sibuyas. I'm very emotional and I tend to cry easily. I don't know where this sometimes embarrassing habit comes from, but I can't help but tear up when I see something sad or inspirational. It's silly because I cry from the totally normal (like Madonna's Confessions Tour), but sometimes, something good can make my eyes well up with tears. Something like the new McDonald's Tweens commercial:

McDonald's Philippines has a history for making touching commercials. Who could forget Karen and Lolo in the 90s?

There is also First Love, with music provided by The Eraserheads, which to this day can make me cry like a baby.

However, the original of this TVC is from the States and was released 10 years ago.

Even though the Americans pioneered the First Love concept, I still say the Philippine version is a lot better. Now to wipe away my tears.

The Gold Digger Manual

What every gold digger needs to get. The Complete Idiot's Guide to Wills and Estates. And when you have sucked your geriatric husband dry and have turned to more subservise methods to buy the new Chanel, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Getting Out of Debt.

The Complete Idiot's Guide. Making gold digging easy as pie.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Resolutions for 2010

2009 is officially over. Honestly, I'm glad it is because we can now put the year that was behind us and start anew. With the start of 2010 comes an opportunity to change ourselves (and our country) for the better. Here are some of my personal resolutions for the year:

1. Lose weight. I gained so much that many of my clothes are starting to feel a little too tight. Made a deal with my mom to prepare healthier food with less beef and pork (which I'm hoping will lead to the complete annihilation of meat from my diet). I'll also cut sweets and junk food to focus on fruits and vegetables. So far, it's going great. For lunch today I had chicken and vegetables (with a slice of watermelon for dessert) and oatmeal with apple chunks for dinner.

2. Start exercising. Because a diet overhaul is not enough.

2. Be more thrifty. Must avoid shopping impulsively. I'm getting rid of my habit of buying books by the bulk without checking to see if they are any good. That annoying habit ended up with me drowning in books I haven't read, and preventing me from reading the books I want to read. Now, I'm faced with the formidable task of giving them away to friends, which is tedious because I have to make sure it's the kind of book they'd enjoy.

3. Read more. Because it pays to be intelligent.

4. Focus on writing my book. As my 21st birthday is slowly approaching, I'm drifting away from publishing within the confines of youth. Frankly, I don't want to be an established author when I'm in my thirties because by then, my priorities would be bills, bills, bills.

5. Be more.

I know that new year's resolutions are never fulfilled (I make a list every year, to no avail). But that was because I wasn't focused and willing to change. Now that I know how important these five resolutions are, I think I'll be able to do it. Wish me luck!
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