Category Archives: Writing

My Five Guidelines for a Happier Year

Happy 2014, everyone! Sorry this greeting and post are weeks late.  Life has been complicated for me this 2014 and this is just the thirtieth day.

How are your resolutions going? This year, I did not make any concrete resolutions, only guidelines. Nonetheless, I am sharing these because I believe that it is beneficial for everybody. Also, tomorrow is Chinese New Year. I do not consider myself as Chinoy or Chinese-Filipino though I have Chinese blood. Then again, this is a great day to do some changes in your life.

 

WHAT WE DO EVERY DAY MATTERS MORE THAN WE DO EVERY ONCE IN A WHILE

Face it. We think that our lives are a bore or some people live better lives than ours. This is especially true now when a lot of us record happy aspects of our lives in the social networks. But you see, those are the highlights of our lives. We do not usually post things that make us upset or our argument with our parents or our significant other or days where we practically did not do anything special at all.

That’s why if you’re a law student or medical student or taking up other courses which requires a long period of staying in school and feel that you are missing out so much in your lives, stop feeling that way. “Living to the fullest” does not mean frequent travels or having romantic relationships or giving in to that pressure of having a family by mid-twenties. Living to the fullest is giving your best every day in the path you choose so that someday you will be able to fully share the world your purpose. Besides, you can never be overdressed or over-educated.

Then again, it doesn’t hurt to reward yourself every once in a while. There is a time for everything. Ecclesiastes 3:1-2 reminds us that,

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

 

INVEST IN YOURSELF

Well, of course, we could all agree that vanity is a sin. I seriously started giving in to makeup and skincare products on about the last quarter of 2012. I’m practically broke every single week because I spend them mostly in Korean beauty products. I also do not return the changes in the bills of my parents because I malverse them as extra money for the said products. Yes, do not dare do this, ladies. The rule of thumb is act your wage or in my case, act according to my allowance.

I’m wiser now. I do not buy new makeup until I almost fully consumed it. I also stopped shopping for skincare products and this act rewarded me. When I went back to the simple cleanse-tone-moisturize routine, my skin became visibly healthier. I hardly had any new zits.

Yes, I will still continue in investing myself. After all, I only have one body and I need to maintain my health because I have so many dreams to concretize. By the way, this is the year I’ve been waiting for all of my life. I’ll take the bar this year. Nevertheless, I will keep it simpler this year. Cleanse-Tone-Moisturize. Add some makeup. Do not forget some sun protection to prevent wrinkles. That’s it. Also, do not forget…

 

MEDIA CALL US UGLY TO SELL US SOME SHIT

There are so many ways of media that tells us we are not pretty and that we are not good enough. They tell petite people to wear higher heels. They make fun of every acne and scars we have. They convince everyone that they are fat by keeping their models unhealthily thin. They also tell us that we do not have enough clothes, shoes and makeup. But the truth and in fact, every one of us is made uniquely beautiful in our own ways. We do not need any validation from others. Feel free to express yourself. Do not wear shoes and clothes that do not feel comfortable to you.

You do not need to be in the trend. You just have to be you.

 

LISTEN TO OTHERS…AND DO NOT FORGET TO LISTEN TO YOUR OWN WORDS, TOO.

True, the ‘selfie’ generation had become a part of us. I love how it made some people in a way empowered to face the camera and share a part of them in the world. Honestly, this wasn’t easy for me in puberty years and pretty much the whole high school. I have looked at myself as a very, very, very ugly person. I hardly look at the mirror and when a person brings a camera with them, I immediately volunteer myself to take the picture. That is how disgusted I am with myself.

However, this ‘selfie’ generation also made some people too self-centered. I hate people who always begin speaking with “I” and end their paragraphs with “me”. Sometimes, I hate reunions or meet ups with some people I know who are so self-centered. They often complained about how stressing their work are, how their bosses bully them, how their co-workers gang up on them, how their family suck and basically how they play as the victim to every aspect of their lives. It’s almost they are implying that the people who are listening to them have no problems of their own. On the other hand, if we are not talking about how life ‘victimizes’ them, they are starting to badmouth some people we know and often gossip on their matters which details they do not know firsthand themselves.

I admit that sometimes I am guilty of saying those things, too. And when I started hearing myself saying nothing but complaints about my life or badmouthing some persons, I know that something is so wrong with me. It’s either I am tired of my life or I am very insecure or jealous of some people I know. That’s why I learned to listen to myself in order to assess the person I am becoming into. Always reassess your words to reassess the person that you are evolving into.

No matter how hurt you are, do not turn into a person you hate.

Always remember the wise words of my favorite Chinese philosopher, Lao Tze:

Watch your thoughts; they become words.
Watch your words; they become actions.
Watch your actions; they become habit.
Watch your habits; they become character.
Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.

 

WHEN YOU ARE LOST, REMEMBER YOUR CHILDHOOD DREAMS

It’s generally easier being a child. We have adults to take care of our money and ourselves. We have our innocence to easily identify the right from wrong. We are beginning our lives that is why it is easy to build a dream.

However, when adulthood creeps in, we realize that the world is not that huge playground that we first thought it was. We get frustrated. We are told we are not good enough. We are told that we are not talented enough or smart enough. Then, we just see ourselves just battling every day to exist and not anymore to live.

I am not saying that you cannot change your dreams. You can. But the beauty of childhood dreams is that they give a mission and vision right away in our heads because back then our innocence is there and our intention for the world is always pure and good. For example, a lot of children want to be a doctor in order to help people. Maybe you have thought that you are not suited to become a doctor but the reason why you feel so empty now is because you are spending everything you own to yourself and not in helping people which you initially perceived as you mission here on earth. Or as a child, you could dream that you want to become rich in order to buy a house for your parents because you were living on the streets before. But now that you achieve your dream to be materially rich, where are your parents? Did you fulfill your promise or are you wasting your life in vices and practically isolating yourself from everyone you know?

When I want to give up on law, I remember my first year high school math teacher who defended me from the person who bullied me. I always thought that for thirteen years, I’ve been battling my bullies alone. It feels so good to be defended by someone that is why when I grow up I will do everything in my power to protect the suppressed through the power of their rights vested in them. Unfortunately, my math teacher died in 2012 at a tender age of thirty-five because of esophageal cancer. But I will offer to him my license to practice law as soon as I get it next year.

 

Well, there you have it. Have a great 2014 and life ahead. Feel free to share some life guidelines to me as well!

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Sky Lanterns. I edited this photo of mine in an App called Moment Cam and used it to greet my Chinese-Filipino best friend a Happy Chinese New Year. It turns out that the Chinese do not make Sky Lanterns fly in their new year; there is a separate festival for that. Nonetheless, I am always fascinated with sky lanterns (as if it is not obvious in my blog’s name). It reminds us that in letting go, beautiful things are coming ahead of us. That is why, let go of all the heartaches, the past, the what ifs and embrace the life’s surprises coming for us. 🙂

2013: A Year of Life Lessons

I had high expectations in 2013 mainly because this is my “silver year”. Yes, folks…this girl grew from that awkward teenager to that still awkward, twenty-five years old adult. (It both amuses and baffles me whenever someone still thinks I’m still halfway through college). Anyway, there was a trending topic in Twitter a few days ago, #My2013InFiveWords. I described mine as ‘a damned roller coaster ride’. But now I thought that how I described it has a negative undertone to it with the word ‘damned’. Sure, 2013 had a lot of downs but it also has a lot of ups that cannot be compared to yesteryears.

So, I’m changing it. My 2013 in five words would be: A year of life lessons.

Definitely, if I have to enumerate everything what has happened to me this year, I would not be finished before the New Year starts. So, instead of doing that, I will share the top five lessons that 2013 taught me.

 

LIFE IS SHORTER THAN WE THINK.

Cherish every moment you have with your loved ones. This year, I said goodbye to a close aunt of mine. She was sickly all her life and this year, she was bitten by an insect which made her bedridden for weeks. When we thought she was about to recover, we received a news that she had died.

There are two more deaths that affected me although I personally do not know these people. First, my father’s former boss died days before Christmas. My father used to be a medical representative when he was in law school. That boss of his is like a father to him. His boss was obese and diabetic for years so we all expected that the cause of his death was diabetes or some sort of heart attack. But, no…that did not kill him. What causes his death is a canker sore aggravated by some sort of virus. For my Filipino friends here, canker sore is our regular singaw. According to my parents, who were there yesterday in his burial rights, his wife, who is with him every single day after his retirement, is still in shock and could not accept the fact that her husband already left her.

Second, the fifteen-year old brother of my twin school bus mates back in high school died. Actually, I don’t know the cause of his death because her sisters refused to talk about it on-line. Nonetheless, I know that it was a very sudden death based on the tweets and statuses of her sisters. At fifteen years old, that boy is about to graduate high school. I also know that he was a CAT Officer, a violinist and a very smart boy. I really have no words for the twins because just thinking that my younger brother is hurt breaks my heart.

I just know one thing. This is the day for you to express love, say sorry, kiss, embrace and laugh with the people that matter to you the most. Tomorrow may be too late.

 

BURN BRIDGES IF NECESSARY.

My Facebook account was deactivated for almost half a year and I only reactivated it a month ago because the holidays are coming and I want to see all my tagged pictures in Christmas parties. Anyhow, I just realized that I have 843 friends but only a handful really matters.

I used to comment on significant moments on the life of those 843 ‘friends’ and make sure to greet them in their birthdays. I also kept in touch with some people I do not like and secretly labelling them as my ‘frenemies’. But now, I do not care with those excess people in my life. They do not do me good. I just waste so much time and energy with those people. I do not ‘unfriend’ people though. I simply ‘hide’ them from my timeline. Out of sight, out of mind. I now keep things easy for myself and do not take hurtful comments personally now. I only put my time and energy to the people that really matter.

 

MOTIVATE YOURSELF—AT ALL COSTS.

There are so many times in this year where I feel depress and I had no motivation to do work or anything at all. I simply stare on my tablet or computer monitor for hours tirelessly and let the time pass. But really, for 2014, this is the lesson that I must keep on remembering. The bar exams would probably be on October and I feel like there are still so many pieces of law unclear to me or is not yet interlocked with many concepts. That spells trouble for me. Anyway, UE cursed/blessed me to stay in class for this semester. It was compulsory yet it was free of charge. I really cannot explain much the details because it was also a clear as mud why I’m still in school but I’m taking it as free bar review for me.

 

TIME WORKS DIFFERENTLY FOR ALL OF US.

When we were still in school, life was simple to us. If we are in first grade this year, next year, we are looking forward to become second graders next year. But starting college, life does not go on as planned. Sometimes, you have to stop school because of lack of funds. Or you have to transfer schools because you did not reach the maintaining grade.

However, after college, it is worst. Those classmates of yours in college and high school are now earning big while you are still in school. They are also having their dream-like weddings and starting their family. You, on the other hand, just gawk their happy pictures in social media while taking a break from your long readings for school.

But I realized that I could not afford to have a relationship now, much less a family. Again, there is a bar exam waiting for me next year. Also, with all those jerks running around the world victimizing one girl after the other, I thank God for saving me from them. I have faith that someday, I will marry the man God planned for me. I will bear our beautiful children and live in a big house while at the same time being a successful career woman.

I remember nine to ten years ago, our teachers in high school repeatedly asked us to draw what we vision ourselves ten years from now. I just thought that if all my classmates’ dream came true and I could see almost every one of my classmates as nurses abroad earning dollars. Fortunately for some, halfway through their nursing courses, their parents gave in and let them choose their preferred course. Unfortunately, some stayed in limbo here in the country, having very little opportunities for them.

Life does not turn out how we plan it, especially if you let others decide the dream for you. But even at this age, do not hesitate to start again.

 

HAVING A LEGAL DISPUTE, EVEN A CIVIL CASE ONE, IS MADDENING.

When people ask me what kind of lawyer I want to be, I always answer that I want to be a family court lawyer or at least a lawyer who handles civil cases only. I really do not want to be stressed dealing with criminals. Also, I thought, handling a civil case is ‘easier’.

But then before the year ends, my parents decided to buy a new house. After having a deal with the price, my parents and the vendor executed a deed of conditional sale and my parents gave their down payment. In the deed, full payment would only come after she leaves the house in two weeks. However, it turns out that the vendor is one with the worst personality in the world. She spent all the money we gave her and she demanded for the full amount before leaving the premises. She also made my parents look bad to her father, who is my father’s friend, and her ex-husband. She made stories of us harassing her. These cause sleepless nights to my parents, especially my father. The amount paid to her is huge and without it, we just could not buy a house anymore most especially because my sister is just starting medical school. Also, my father retired from work this July. I would not go into details anymore because somehow, they had an agreement in the barangay level. Let us hope for the best. I do not want to take this to court any more.

Nevertheless, this taught me empathy to my future clients. I now know the feeling of losing such a big amount of money and therefore, I will do all legal remedies in order to protect my future clients’ interest.

 

So, that wraps up my 2013. I am not looking forward to anything in 2014 except the bar exams and perhaps moving in to the house we are trying to buy. Also, hopefully, I could get a job right away after the bar exams. After all, I passed my Civil Service Exam this year.

Goodbye 2013 and hello to the biggest and boldest stepping stone of my career, 2014. Yes, I’m ready for you.

And Because I Won Something…

It’s rare that I ever win anything. That is why I’m going to share with you my winning entry from Tony Moly Philippines‘  Happily Ever After Story-writing contest. Don’t laugh. I just type the whole thing without thinking for an hour. And after I wrote everything, I did not bother re-reading or proofreading it.  Actually, I was not supposed to join this entry anymore because firstly, I initially lacked time. Secondly, I just won one of their contests two months back. However, I posted on their wall last week that I would join and it hurts like hell for me if I break promises. Also, my professor told us that he will not meet us on Thursday in advance.

So, I gambled and tried making it to their 12NN deadline. But you see, I had fun writing it. The feeling reminded me of my teenage years where I spend some time writing fan fiction. It was a good experience for me.

Lastly, just to emphasize, I am really using Tony Moly products. I first started with their skin care products like their Appletox scrub, Latte Art Cacao Pore Pack and their Intense Care Live Snail Ampoule Set. Slowly, I am now buying their cosmetics like three days ago, I bought their Backstage Self-Smoky Eye Collection which is a conveniently packaged gel eyeliner, eyeliner brush, two eye shadows and a mirror paraphernalia. I really liked it. It is like a Swiss knife of makeups. Anyway, keep supporting Tony Moly Philippines!

The Story:
I woke up suddenly. It was a dream. It wasn’t a dream. I could still hear the sound of the soft jazz ringing and the soft sighs and laughter of the people last night in my ear. The taste of the scrumptious food lingers upon my tongue—and the delectable cupcakes, yes, the cupcakes! I could see all the decorations that night imbued with magic. Then suddenly, I could just see myself plainly upon the mirror facing directly across my bed.

No makeup on. The red, frilly dress is now replaced by my old nightgown. My hair is now a mess. I guess I am back to my own reality.

But still, I could feel how they held me last night. I never felt more like a lady until last night. Jae-joong was dashing. He captivated me with one look. When he looked upon me, it is as if that I am the only girl in his world. He is really romantic. He gave me a teddy bear with a card asking me if I could be his Valentines. In there, he promised the best view of Seoul, the candlelight dinner and the fireworks. Just thinking about it makes me go lost for words that I just find myself snuggling his bear blushingly on my bed. Then again, he seems to be a little lost for words. We did not have a proper conversation last night.

“What music do you like?” I asked him.
“I listen to everything.” He replied.
“Oh,” I quipped. “What is your favorite food?”
“I eat anything.”
“Oh.”

And then, the scent of roses filled in my room. Upon the corner, I saw a bouquet from Joon-soo. I picked it up and I noticed that there is a card attached to it too. He asked me if I could be his Valentine and also asked me for dinner date. But it would be by the pool this time and there would be violinists serenading us. Joon-soo is really a God-sent man to every woman on earth. He knows how to handle me and is the most gentleman person that I have ever met.

When he approached me last night he said, “Hey, beautiful lady in red.”
“Me?”
“Yes, you…” he looked at me lovingly. “You’re perfect. I love the sharpness of your eyes and the redness of your lips. God was probably showing off when he made you.”

I swear that I could have melted at that moment.
Nonetheless, I am not so sure. He seems to be very friendly to be—but as well as the other girls in that party. I wonder if he also promised this to them.

While I am about to choose my Valentine, I remembered that I received one more gift.

Oh. Right, a card from Yoo-chun!

Now, Yoo-chun is not a stranger to me. He is a fairly new guy in my work because he was accepted just two months ago. He is always funny. He makes me laugh all the time and cheer me up whenever I get frustrated because of work. He’s like an older brother to me who supports and teases me all the time.

We did not danced last night. He simply excused himself while I was trying to have a conversation with Jae-joong and gave me a card. It is a plain, blue card. No fancy hearts or words on the cover. There was no bear or flowers coming with it. In there, it was written: “By your balcony at 10AM.”

I looked at that big digital watch on my study table. It was already 9:59!

I went to my balcony in a hurry. Nothing seems to be different except there was a rope tied on one end of it. Did I put it there some days ago? I could not recall.

And then, lo and behold…a huge blue hot-air balloon floated suddenly. In there, Yo-chun was there, smiling at me.
“You’re finally awake, sleepy head.” He chuckled.
“Hey…” I uttered in amazement. “What is this?”
“Well, it is a beautiful day.” He started. “Look how blue the sky is. Care to fly?” He then reached for a basket. “I even made kimbap and bibimbap. I know you have not had your breakfast yet.”
“Be careful not to eat too much,” he added. “Otherwise, we might sink suddenly in the Han river.”
I didn’t know how exactly how to react.
He smiled, “Hey, I’m just kidding! Hop on!”
“But wait!” I exclaimed. “Look at me…I just woke up. I am not dressed properly. I do not have makeup on yet!”
“It doesn’t matter!” he answered. “You look beautiful whether you’re fully dressed or stressed from work. And now, you proved that you’re beautiful even if you just woke up!”
“But…”
“Go on, sweetie.” a voice from behind me said encouragingly.

I look behind me and it was mother. She was smiling and there was a bouquet of red roses in her arm.
“Eomma!” I went to her. “Wow…you have roses!”

“Yoo-chun gave it to me.” She said tenderly. “I never knew that I would receive roses again since your father died five years ago. Yoo-chun was here two hours ago and asked me properly to take you out this Valentine’s Day. I really like that boy. He gives so much respect to us elderly and my tummy now hurts from so much laughing. He made me laugh so much! I also love how witty he is.”

I just smiled.

“Go on, sweetie.” She said while kissing my forehead. “Have a good time. Also, he promised that you will be here to have a lunch with me. It’s a date.” She winked.

“Well?” Yoo-chun said. “Shall we go now?”

I turned to him. “Wait! I will go get something downstairs for you.”
“For me?” asked Yoo-chun.
“For him?” asked Mom almost at the same time as Yoo-chun.
“Yes. Just a minute.”

A minute later, I arrived with a box and with my phone.

“This is for you,” I glanced at him with some shyness. “Happy Valentine’s Day. Go open it.”

He opened it and saw several heart-shaped chocolates inside.
“I made them myself two days ago.” I said proudly.

“Thank you.” He uttered blushingly. For the first time ever, I saw the great prankster, Mr. Yoo-chun Park lost for words.

“I know you were raised both here in Korea and the United States,” I started. “In Valentine’s Day, it is the women who gives something to men and on March 14 or White Day that man will answer. I made that to you two days ago as a thank you gift for everything that you had done for me. I mean, I don’t have a boyfriend and I only have you in my mind to prepare for Valentine’s Day. Had I known that you will surprise me with this, I should have prepared something grander, maybe? So yeah…Happy Valentine’s Day.”

He suddenly embraced me and from there I literally heard my heart pumped so fast. He then led me to the hot air balloon and he winked to my mom, “Later, Madame!”

“Come on, Hyo-rin!”

I texted Jae-joong that I could not make it and when I was about to text Joon-soo, I saw him walking down the street with another girl. Oddly, it did not hurt me. It only convinced me more that I was really with the best choice.

Seoul never looked this beautiful. I lived in this city all my life but it was so fresh and dazzling in my eyes. For the first time ever, I am with a man who is like my father, best friend, brother and soul mate rolled at the same time. This is it. Everything is new. Everything is wonderful. Everything is all that I ever hoped for.

Sarang hae, Park Yoo-chun.

Kamsamhamnida. Why did Tony Moly Philippines chose my entry? According to them, "Your romantic Valentines story about friends turned lovers was a big hit!"
Kamsamhamnida. Why did Tony Moly Philippines chose my entry? According to them, “Your romantic Valentines story about friends turned lovers was a big hit!

The Entire Truth

I’m so sorry for not writing as much as I’m supposed to.

I want to say I’m busy. That’s true, but that’s not entirely true. It’s true that I have summer classes, but I have three weeks off last April. But, besides writing that previous article on how I took pleasure in mocking the North Koreans, I could not write anymore. But that is not entirely true. I did tried writing with quite a number of times but I could not finish it. I can’t finish just one freaking article. Now, that’s true but I have no explanation why.

I want to rant now on how frustrated I am on not having a single vacation this summer season, nevertheless, I’m just too tired now. My summer class will end Saturday of next week and my regular semester will begin on the fourth of June. I just feel so tired. I want to say that I’m tired this summer studying three law subjects namely Special Proceedings, Special Penal Laws and Legal and Judicial Forms but again, that statement is just partly true. True, that my Special Proceedings class is such a pain in the neck as my professor assign at least twenty-five cases per meeting, there are some cases in Special Penal Laws and Legal and Judicial Forms have these occasional very long home works.  However, it is also true that I go to class without reading anything. Good grief, I’m so blessed with luck in Special Proceedings. Never mind the two other classes for they are pressure-less. But Special Proceedings is a different case. However, whenever I did not read a thing, I’m not called at all. I’m never close to being called. See, I cannot rant at all.

I want to say I’m happy now, but again, it is not entirely true. True, I conquered my fear by finally telling him how I really feel about him. It’s something that I really want to do for more than a year now. I just thought that maybe the feeling is just like the feeling I had after finally convincing myself on riding that infamous Space Shuttle ride in Enchanted Kingdom. In my mind at the long queue of people in the line of Space Shuttle, “It would be nothing. It’s finished in fifty-six seconds.” Yes, confessing your feelings did take just about fifty-six seconds but it’s a little different after riding the Space Shuttle. In Space Shuttle, there is no “yes or no” for there is only go. In confessing your feelings, you await that answer. Will he reject you or will he say that he feels the same? Will he thank you and say that he loves another or will he just look at you in silence? The man I love, being a twisted and complicated yet still loved by me creature that he is, gave an answer I practically did not expect at all in my more than a year of thinking on how he would react. He answered that it’s like a yes but with something ridiculous that makes it kind of no but definitely he did not answer it with a maybe. God, why did you let me fall in love with a confusing man? But God, I want you to know that I still love him. God, I want to see him but probably we’re both not yet ready to face each other again. In Korean dramas, this is the point wherein the main girl and boy will not see each other for two years so that they could focus on their career and think if they are really meant for each other. I do not know what the hell is with two years but believe me, it has been three weeks but it feels painful. Can I really wait for two years so that I could see him again? By that time, I’m midway on my review for bar exams! But wait…what am I talking about? We are not Koreans in the first place! Anyway, that single moment of courage is the best birthday gift I had given myself. I ended the last couple of weeks of my life as twenty-three years old finally free. Even if I miss him, I cry considerably less now at night compared to when I was pondering on whether I’ll tell him or not. I sleep longer and more soundly now. In fact, ever since I told him my feelings, I never remembered a single dream that I have at night which is probably a good thing. I’ve read that there is a psychological finding that you are most likely to remember your dream when you are depressed. Perhaps, I’m no longer depressed? And yes, thank you so much for very supportive friends. Now, don’t get me started with them. That is why, I want to say I am unhappy but that is not entirely true. A part of me is truly happy.

So now I want to say that I want to restart my life. That is true yet impossible. They said that when you are nearing the end, that’s the part where you are most likely to give up. I might seem losing passion with law studies at this point but it is like a crime to give up now. But what I can do is to reorganize. I need to throw what is no longer essential, keep what is needed and also set aside things which I must do but is still impossible now at this time.  I also need to settle the unholy trinity—my brain, my heart and my soul. They are not in synch in almost every single way. So yes, I’m restarting my life in a way that I was when I was studying law—someone filled with hopes, dreams and passion. That’s how I started things so that’s how it will end. So I feel like I’m restarting my life but in fact I’m just restoring myself on how I should really be.

Yes, I should write more. That’s how it supposed to and that’s how it shall be. 🙂

 

Strawberry Wishes. If I could recall things correctly, the last time I had cake on my birthday was back in grade school. It’s amazing that I received FOUR cakes on my 24th birthday and I get to blow two of them—both strawberry flavored. It may be a sign of good things to come. Happy Birthday to me. 🙂

Before I forgot, I thank my sister Lea, for creating a blog entry about me and our relationship as sisters as a birthday gift (besides that Strawberry Cake above). Thank you, my dearest sister! I love you a lot. 🙂

Rain Traffic Confession

You are likened to the full moon
In rainy and moonless night in the city
The yellow lamp-posts and car lights
Make me still crave for your glow and mystery.

My life is proper, isn’t not?
I live justly and could see truth clearly
But truly, I am incomplete, my dear
Your stillness thieved my soul completely.

On happy days, I want to share with you
But on melancholy, I seek for your strength
You’re the bitterness of warm caramel
And my  hidden waterfall of tears’ depth.

I walk by everyday hoping that
It’s a day nearer of seeing you again
Your shadowy figure I see everyday, but
I want to hold you as solid as this pen.

How much yearnings can a woman’s heart
Endure yet kept hidden only in prayer?
Only God knows this—does He listen?
Unknown hope makes my day a little merrier.

The most difficult thing in the world
Is your nightmare is longer than dream
Reality is harder because you aren’t there
In slumber, it is warmer—the sunbeam.

I must be a fool searching for full moon
In summer rain and thick, gray city
Yes, I’m seeking you in an absurd world
But I cling to it—our fates are still mystery.

—21:42, May 18, 2011

You are likened to the full moon in rainy and moonless night in the city. The yellow lamp-posts and car lights make me still crave for your glow and mystery.

The traffic was so bad this rainy evening that I could literally write well on the bus. I haven’t written a full poem in three months. I tried but it’s really hard to finish for I am always lost for words in poetry. I know I still lack the technique in this form of writing but I wish I could give poetry time.

Needless to say, I am madly in love with the rain. Thunders and lightnings included. 🙂

The Vainest Post Ever: 100 Facts About Me

A week ago, Twitter had a trending topic called #100factsaboutme. I worked on it slowly for a week. It’s really so hard to come up with things about you at times and it makes you feel like nothing but a speck of dust in the universe. Nevertheless, it’s a miracle that I finished mine. It may be the vainest article that I could ever post on-line but I think that it’s also a good practice for everyone to do. In a way, this is another channel for self-discovery and self-appreciation. I promise though, that the succeeding articles won’t be as vain as this. Anyway, here goes nothing… 🙂

  1. My teacher once gave us homework when I was in second year high school. The question was, “Who are you in your past life?” This question is incorporated with our topic on Indian Literature on reincarnation. I answered:  I was an Empress of China. I wore the best clothes, had servant and was revered by the whole country. Yet I cannot stand my husband having many concubines. I also do not feel any love with my husband. I want to be loved truly, wholly and undividedly by the person I love. But still, I did my duty as empress the best that I could. I stood by my emperor in all circumstances. Hence, when I was reborn again, God turned me into a regular girl to find love myself. I got a perfect score in that assignment! Beat that! 😀
  2. I am the eldest child of my parents. I was born 8th of May, 1988. I actually chose that date. I was supposed to be out on the 5th day but for some reason, I did not come out. My mother is happy though because I was born on a Mother’s Day.
  3. My name is Maris Angelica. My parents want me to be named after Mama Mary, but they do not want to give me the “regular” form of her name like Mary or Maria or Marie. They got Maris from the doctor next door my mom’s obstetrician. Her name was Maris Stella. Angelica was after my father, “Angelo”.
  4. Maris Angelica literally means Sea Messenger. Ummm…so does it mean that I am destined to be an environmentalist or something?
  5. Despite my name, I never swam on the sea yet. I just “passed by it”.
  6. Coincidentally, I am now trying to follow my father’s path. He’s a lawyer and I’m now a law student.
  7. I am a Christian by faith. I am forever a follower of Christ. Being a Christian is my decision and not merely my description.
  8. I have terrible eyesight. My eye grade is now 900-850. As soon as I take the bar, my parents promised that I would undergo lasik surgery. Also, it’s naturally brown.
  9. My parents are strict and overprotective. They bought me all the toys I like when I was a kid and I’m still keeping them. Hence, about one third of the junk in my rooms are toys.
  10. My favorite colors are red, white and pink. But actually, any pastel color makes me happy.
  11. However, most of my clothes are colored black because of the corporate nature of my law studies. I could wear white but I could not. I don’t like it being a dirty after my long travel every school day from North Fairview to Manila.
  12. I was born in Capitol Medical Center then I lived in Cubao. But shortly after my 4th birthday, we moved here in Fairview.
  13. Fairview is such a suburban place that my alarm clock every morning would be rooster crows.
  14. Since I was born on a Sunday, St. Michael the archangel is my guardian angel. Also, I later found out that May 8 was really his feast day.
  15. I’m suffering from Japanophilia since I was about six years old. Well, it is not exactly a disease but I love all things Japanese! Don’t worry though…the Philippines is still my favorite country. But I believe that we have a lot of things to learn from the Japanese in order to succeed.
  16. My Japanophilia started when my father had a business trip on Japan. I was amazed a his story on how clean the country is, how beautiful the flowers are blooming despite the fact that it was autumn going to winter when he went there, how disciplined and high technology the people are there and they have their own Disneyland. It was the first time in my life that I ever felt envious. I want to see it all for myself.
  17. I admire the Germans and the Italians too. Go, Axis Powers! 😀
  18. But I also admire the Jews. Look how many great people descended from the Jews despite the fact that they aren’t many in numbers and they suffered so much during the World War II.
  19. I like the smell of apple, cinnamon, cherry blossom, rose, chocolate, green tea, vanilla and newly-sharpened pencils.
  20. My first crushes were anime characters. I am such a crazy child, I know. I actually had my first crush on a boy when I was in second year high school.
  21. I remember things as early as two years old. I could remember clearly what I was doing during the Great Luzon Earthquake of 1990. I was dancing at that time. I thought the world was dancing with me. However, people in our house, pulled me under the dining table while they were frantically praying the rosary. But still, under the table, I continued dancing.
  22. But, honestly, I am the worst dancer ever. I cannot follow the simplest steps in dancing. A little kid could easily insult my dancing skills.
  23. I am not a good singer too. But, Lord…how I love to sing.
  24. I studied in five different schools in my lifetime. Nursery and Kinder was in Holy Child Montessori. Prep was in Flos Carmeli Institution. First Grade to Fourth Year High School was in School of Saint Anthony. College and a year and a half in law school were in University of Santo Tomas. And now, it is my first semester of law school in University of the East.
  25. I watch Korean dramas and movies, too. But I have not watched for quite sometime now because the plot is becoming too repetitive for me.
  26. But oh…Korea is the gold mine of hunks for me! Taiwan is a close second. I like guys with small eyes especially if they always seems like smiling—it makes my heart melt.
  27. I barely watch Taiwanese dramas though because their original plot has always got to do with amnesia. Those without the amnesia are usually based on Japanese manga.
  28. Anyway, going back to Korea, I am so in like with Lee Min-Ho and I am so in love with Hyun Bin. In fact, his birthday, September 25, is my “personal holiday”. Yeah, I celebrate it.
  29. I am complex yet very childlike.
  30. I have a younger sister. She’s 19 and she studies in UP-Diliman, majoring Chemistry. Ewww, I know. But she’s my best friend so I support her.
  31. I also have a younger brother. He’s still in high school. He wants to be a Civil Engineer in college. Most probably, he’ll be a Thomasian, too. But we’ll see about that.
  32. I love amusement parks! Space Shuttle of Enchanted Kingdom? Piece of cake.
  33. I am right-handed. I have tried teaching my left hand write endlessly but I am so unsuccessful. But, at the very least…my left hand could type alone like what I am doing now.
  34. I am a Filipina of Chinese descent. I also have Spanish and English blood but they are very minimal. But I am raised 100% Pinay.
  35. I am sort of a loner. I live in my own world. I understand that because I know I am really weird for a lot of people with my views and likes but really, I do not care.
  36. I like to draw. I was also painting when I was in high school. I really want to do that all again.
  37. Things that I would like to do in my lifetime: become a family lawyer, a diplomat, a book publisher, and the president of the Republic of the Philippines.
  38. Actually, I already planned on my presidential bid on 2028. The Election Day 2028 is exactly my 40th birthday. So please, do vote for me. I am serious.
  39. Don’t take everything that I say seriously. I am crazy!
  40. I don’t smoke. I could drink socially though.
  41. But I am addicted to C2 Apple and to the Internet. A day without even one of them drives me nuts.
  42. I do not like eating anything with squid, eggplant and okra in it. The tastes are sickening.
  43. I only learned about sex when I was 12 years old. Before, I thought that if you got married, the priest would give you a secret key that would help the woman conceive. I’m such a naïve child. Needless to say, I only learned about broken family, children born out of the wedlock and common-law relationships when I was in mid-high school.
  44. I have soft spot for children. That’s why I want to be a family lawyer. I do NOT want their parents to separate and I want homeless children be adopted by their own loving families.
  45. I got hospitalized twice. First was when I was six years old to correct my “banlag” eyes. The second one was when I had dengue when I was fourth year college. I missed our class picture!
  46. I like boys with small eyes. I like how they always seems to be smiling when they got embarrassed of just plain happy. I find it unbearably cute!
  47. I adore dimples, fair skin and broad shoulders on men as well. If you fit those description perfectly, sorry but I can’t help but to ogle at you.
  48. The sexiest part for me of a person is his smile and his intelligence.
  49. My province is Pampanga. I like it in there. I always feel like home even if I do not speak Kapampangan. I understand it though.
  50. When I was a child, I thought I was special because the moon is following me. When my playmates said that they were being followed by the moon too, I did not believe them.
  51. I also thought that I have powers before because when I whistled, a soft breeze would suddenly happen.
  52. I don’t know how I choose Economics for college. But I’m proud to say that an Economist.
  53. Instant joys for me: spaghetti with thick tomato sauce, banana-chocolate shake, sushi, creampuffs and strawberry shortcakes.
  54. I’m a tea and coffee addict. I dislike drinking them cold though. My tongue and lips are so sensitive that they easily become scalded. I love my drinks ice cold.
  55. My Chinese sign is Dragon. My zodiac sign is Taurus. Both signs always emphasizes that I am a very stubborn person. How right they are!
  56. I always ask for the intercession of Mother Mary. I always at peace thinking and talking to her.
  57. I’m good at saving but I hate the fact that I’m a very impulsive buyer. Hence, I often leave home with very little cash.
  58. I was born with big eyes, black hair and dark skin. But eventually, my eyes became smaller, my hair turned chestnut brown and my skin became fairer. I have no idea why.
  59. My hair is naturally wavy, but I sometimes have it straightened because of my belief that wavy hair breaks easily compared to straight hair.
  60. I’m not a picky eater but I really have difficulty in liking squid especially takoyaki and adobong pusit. I eat calamares and squid balls but that’s very seldom.
  61. My teeth were all permanent at age 11. I wore brace shortly before I entered fourth year high school. I got them removed at second year high school. Recently, I felt my wisdom teeth are growing.
  62. My best birthday gift ever was my 17th birthday held in Disneyland in Los Angeles, California. Seriously, at that moment, I won’t be surprised if someone would wake me up from my sleep. It was too happy and magical to be true.
  63. I am a big girl but my shoe size is only 7! I easily trip because of this defect.
  64. …and also because, I am the type of person whose head is on the clouds.
  65. …Hence, in Disney princesses, I identify myself clearly with Belle. But my favorite girls are Mulan and Rapunzel.
  66. Vital statistics? Hahaha! I have no idea what’s mine. Ignorance is bliss. I do know that my cup size is B. That’s all I’m sharing to you!
  67. I could easily laugh, cry or flare up. But I easily cool down as well. Happy now, crying later, and then cursing afterwards. I told you, I’m crazy.
  68. I love listening to the piano. My favorite pieces are Rhapsody in Blue and Canon in D.
  69. I first saw myself in television when I joined the Digital LG Quiz. I lost though I had kept the blue cap.
  70. When my mother had a job offer in the United States and my father allowed her, I immediately cried almost non-stop for two days. I cried everywhere and at any time…from the moment I wake up, while eating with my family, while having a shower.  Eventually, I influenced my sister and brother. Hence, because of that cry campaign, my father revoked his consent. My mother refused to talk to us for days but after three days, she bought ice cream and we’re okay.
  71. I find silk sexy…and laces too. And animal prints also. But I do not find anything sexy with leather and whips.
  72. My parents taught me how to hear the mass seriously. I never missed a Sunday Mass, though some of them are anticipated, in my life except the first Sunday of my life—the day of my birth.
  73. I love all kinds of flowers, but I love Casablancas and roses the best.
  74. But I identify myself as a daisy—energetic and spunky. Also, a bit informal too, compared to Casablancas and roses.
  75. I’m unusually good in remembering dates. I could remember birthdays even without facebook reminder. In college, too, I had the best grades in World History and Asian History.
  76. I love nail polish, but I can’t apply them myself. I tried all colors except black and green. I don’t know…I just felt that I do not express my true feelings with those colors.
  77. I could speak and write Filipino and English very well. I understand Kapampangan, but I do not speak it. I understand little Spanish and Japanese. We have Spanish subjects in college and I learned Japanese by watching their subbed dramas and anime.
  78. Like my Chinese ancestors, I believe that the greatest things in life are predestined but it won’t happen unless you work hard for it. In short, I believe in both faith and fate.
  79. I usually plan what I’m going to do for the week ahead, but I barely follow schedules. I am so spontaneous which brings out the best and worst in me.
  80. I am bad in remembering class room numbers though. I need at least two weeks to perfect the place where I am supposed to be.
  81. In case that it’s not obvious yet, I am a geek and I’m proud of it.
  82. My family usually likes eating in Chinese restaurants. My personal favorite is Hap Chan and Flavors of China.
  83. I tried my best to excel at using chopsticks, but no matter what I do, nothing beats spoon and fork.
  84. I can’t lie. I tried, but I end up saying the truth.
  85. When I meet a person who asks for my name and I think I cannot trust that person, I instantaneously say that my name is “Abby.” That’s the first name that you would see in a baby book for girls.
  86. Speaking of baby names, I love reading them when I have free time. So you might find me weird when saying, “Eh your name is _______, which in Latin/Greek/Hebrew/etc. means _______. That probably means you are a _______ person.”
  87. I used to read palms when I was high school. I saw a book in the library that tells me how to do so. That made some girls that I hardly knew come to me during breaks to have their palms read. Some boys did come to me too. However, I decided not to practice it in college days. Now, I can’t even remember how to read my palm as well.
  88. I hate last minute changes. This drives me temporarily nuts.
  89. I prefer cats over dogs. I want a Manx or a Birman or a Tabby someday.
  90. I own a Wii named Aka-chan, laptop named Freya, cellphone named Momo-chan and and iPod which is named iTouch.
  91. My favorite novel is Stargirl. I’m really as eccentric as Stargirl Caraway in the story. But I don’t like its sequel Love, Stargirl so much. I really like Leo too. I feel that she is out of character in that novel.
  92. I obtained my driver’s license when I was eighteen. However, since my father feared that I might break his car, he did not let me drive it hence, I forgot how to drive a car now.
  93. I would be twenty-three in a month and I think that I am ready for a relationship. However, I really cannot find someone who I like and vice versa. I give up looking for this already so in this aspect of my life, I fully trust this to the Lord.
  94. Science was my best subject from preschool to fourth grade. I started hating Science when there was already Mathematics involved. Math was a subject that I struggled on since I was a kid. But when I was in college, I am more or less average in that subject.
  95. I hardly studied in high school but I was a web developer, a blogger and a fan fiction writer. Now that I think about it, it’s no wonder that I brought the lowest of grades to my parents compared to my brother and sister.
  96. I am corny but that is just me. I laugh at everything too, including my mistakes.
  97. According to psychology tests that I have taken since first grade to fourth year high school, I am an introvert. According to UST when I was third year college, I am an extrovert. Now, I do not know. Probably I’m back in being an introvert?
  98. In anime series, nothing beats Detective Conan though I was also obsessed with Ghost Fighter and Fushigi Yuugi before. I still watch Detective Conan up to now. I love detective series but I refuse to watch those like CSI because of my fear of blood. Yes, I’m hematophobic.
  99. I dislike shoes or slippers. At home, I usually walk barefoot. I feel freer walking in barefoot.
  100. Given a chance, I would like to be a TV host or an actress. I love knowing and influencing people and I think that is my purpose in life. But in the meantime, I am doing it in writing. 🙂

Seeing the Write Light.

I wonder what makes it interesting to write in your own life and exposing it afterwards to the entire world. What would one think that other persons would be interested in him and his everyday lives? What could the thoughts of one person do in the pool of almost 7 billion people running around in the planet?

My birth name is Maris Angelica. But nobody calls me that. Almost everyone that I know calls me Maica—just remove the ris from Maris and angel from Angelica and combine them together and tah-dah. I first blog when I was 12. Then I stopped when I reached college and I decided to write again when I was about third year college. Then I stopped again when I was about to enter law school. Then now, while I am about to enter my third year in law, I decided to blog again. Now that I think about it, I wonder why such a pattern was made.

The first step in a new chapter in life is always the hardest one. You want to give your all. You want to show everyone that you are that worth it to be in your position. That you are worth it. But a year after that, you will find yourself wrong. In the next year, you sink even deeper. That’s the part when you would feel the staggering loneliness. Then you would find yourself in isolation. Or at least partly in isolation. You communicate with old friends through social media but barely do anything  to meet up with them. You feel like they are too busy. You do not want to disturb them anymore. You cry alone. You eat alone. You pray alone. You feign happiness alone. You say to others that your okay but later you have that inkling to go to the confession box because you had lied then again.

And then you want to write again.

You write because you are human. Sometimes, the form does not count. Sometimes, grammatical errors are nothing. You write because you are overflowing with happiness, fuming with anger or weeping of sadness. But then you didn’t realize that somehow, something had changed in you. Now that I’m in law school, I realized recently that the most effective way for me to learn and memorize countless laws and jurisprudence is by means of outlining them first on a piece of paper. That’s the only way for me to read, comprehend every concept, every article and every idea communicated by law to me.  By writing, everything makes sense in your very eyes. And by making sense, you start learning—and that is what life is all about.

By writing too and publishing your thoughts, maybe someone, somewhere in the broad world wide web, someone is experiencing the same pain as you do. Perhaps, she’s a thirteen-year-old girl from America or Switzerland or Namibia, experiencing the agony of first love and reading your life’s lessons somewhere in the web made them feel better and understand things.  Maybe now, your ideas seem absurd, crazy or inappropriate but still you just wrote them down in your blog. Maybe nobody would read them today, or tomorrow or even after two years. But someday, who knows what great ideas may be derived of you. Leonardo da Vinci wrote the queerest of things, drew and conceptualized everything in his notebooks that has never been published but see now…besides his paintings, those ideas that are written in his notebooks made him a legend.

But then again, very few people become a legend. So write just because you are alive, write because you are special and write because you want to.

I see the light.

Now why do I write? I write to see the light. 🙂