random thoughts, musings and workings of a totally warped mind. tintin is a colorblind writer who paints,dreams of flying a kite along EDSA, teaches middle & high school writing & literature, and is the future mother of Kulay and Una Rosa Maria.

Friday, January 28, 2005

Warning: Sugar Overload

It's actually a nice Friday afternoon despite the dreadful news that we won't get our salaries (again!) on the 31st. It's quiet here in the office except for the sporadic sound of fingers pounding on the keyboard and a faint how sweet it is to be loved by you playing on some colleague's radio. Nice, isn't it, I've even lit one of my candles to keep the calm energy flowing. But I miss Kulas.

It's 12:01 on my PC clock; Kulas would already be hungry by now. He would be striding towards my cubicle and playfully pout that I'm forgetting I have somebody to feed. He'd then go to the pantry to get our plates and utensils and sit while I heat our lunch in the microwave. Always, always, and even I get annoyed at myself for being makulit, I would remind him not to mess up his shirt with the soy sauce or the catsup or his ulam. Kulas is a five year old boy when it comes to keeping his shirt clean while eating. Sounds like my husband-to-be is a slob? It's endearing actually. And shucks, I miss him.

Get well, na please. Posted by Hello

Kulas and Tintin, 50 years from now Posted by Hello

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Have a job, thank God

I’ve always complained about my job: the bureaucracy, the unwanted admin work, emotional vampires surrounding me, and the pay that will never reach the ceiling. For one, I work in a foreign-funded project lodged in one of the government’s bureaus. My job as a project coordinator allows me to travel a lot (earning me PAL Mabuhay miles that could take me to Bangkok and back if I would only get to finally fill up that application form), meet and work with interesting people of varying status, come up with cool projects without worrying about funding, upgrade my workstation every so often, go and frolick in the beach (albeit for work) almost every month—and lots of other exciting perks that an ordinary office job (read: corporate) will never give me. But that’s really the thing. I will never be able to bear the eight-hour-a-day routine. I would want to be in control of my time while I work. If my creative juices start flowing at midnight, then I’d burn fuses till dawn. Who said working at the wee hours means you’re not disciplined? Discipline means you’re able to deliver your outputs at the end of the day and it’s only better to have some extra work done—not always the requisite. Efficiency and good workmanship do not necessarily mean burning your fat ass in your swivel chair for eight straight hours.

Even when I was still that Lit major in a white blouse, blue A-line skirt combo, I’ve firmly resolved that work hours will be a considerable factor in getting a job that suits me just fine. Teaching in college—check. You let yourself be plagued with grammatically-challenged Lit papers from students, debate on the merits of the New Critics and the Beats, give lectures on days depending on your schedule, and that’s it. But then you also get disillusioned with how these students turn out to be after graduation. Freelance write—check. But this one you can’t feed a husband and two kids with; freelance like it’s also a fulltime job to survive. My inane CV spews these jobs and pages of freelance gigs and publications in magazines, newspapers and websites but my dream work is yet to be mine: running a clothes-bags-shoes store and a creativity studio for kids. Being in my present job for four years already has taught me that running a business is the way to go. Both the tedium and creativity coupled with intense pressure it entails are definitely a high; plus I like the thought of maintaining your business like it’s your baby (literally) as you do everything to let it grow the way it should be: thriving with life.

And so for now, I am doing what I like and I let it be enough till I can finally do what I love. The thought that it would someday come to reality propels me to move forward; yes, despite the eight-to-five glitch.


Tita A : "Talaga, Tere's working in Singapore now? Wow, that girl has dreams ha? Galing!" Then proceeds to look at me like she says tsk, tsk, bakit ikaw walang nangyayari sa iyo? (I'm very, very proud of my sister, though)

Tita B: "Why don't you go abroad para naman may marating ka?"

Some guy: "What you have no plans of going abroad to work???"


Yes, I want to set up my business here, work here, and do wonderful and creatvie things here in this tsunami-spared, croco-politico infested country. So what?

Saturday, January 15, 2005

It's not one of those usual Saturdays when I spend the mornings lazing in bed, wishing for a terrific breakfast in bed of pancakes and bacons perhaps, the sound of my man singing while he cooks in the kitchen. Today I woke up at six a.m., put on my contacts and headed to jolt myself with a freezing shower. The third Sunday of January is the feast of the Santo Nino de Tondo, and that's tomorrow. When you're a true blue Tondo kid, you know better than going out on the day before and the feast day itself. With or without a car, it's just impossible to haul yourself out of its streets. It's your typical Filipino fiesta only more colorful and vibrant: ati-atihans, street dances, traditional Pinoy games of basag-palayok and agawang buko, amateur singing contests, comedy shows and beauty pageants--name it and there's Ms. Barangay Panday-Pira 2004 to crown you.

But I digress.

I went to Kythe's orientation for volunteers at the East Avenue Medical Center this morning. I was initially worried about how I'd manage to leave my place as the Mardi Gras and processions started as early as 4 a.m. today. I could always attend next month's orientation but I'm sure I'll already be even busier by then with work and wedding preps, so I hied off and prayed that the Holy Child give me a cab on time.

At half past nine, I was signing my name on Kythe's volunteer sheet. And for some divine moment, the famous and historical image of the Santo Nino de Tondo was just passing across my street when I finally decided I'll go. It was almost cinematic. And I feel so blessed.

I'm now here at Surf@ Quezon Ave. sipping Java Republic's Americano (though that means, it's just your regular cup of coffee, it's still too light and almost has no texture at all; Nescafe's 3 in 1 is actually better--not a fan of that either). The cafe's cleaning person changed Norah Jone's to Andrew E. Can't complain much, I'm too content with my day unfolding as it is. I've bought some stuff for the surprise gift I'm making for Kulas and Mama's birthdays on Monday and Tuesday respectively. I'm already tired but I'm secretly looking forward to working some more later.

Oh and I've found a new design for my dress--it's not the One I really like but that will do...Thanks to all of you who have expressed their concern about it. I'm moving on and no, changing the dress is not an act of subservience rather it's humility. Too, I'm not going to allow something like this (or worse) to happen in the years to come. I've never let that, have I?

I'll be in Ormoc on Monday till Friday so Kulas and I will just be celebrating his birthday there. A good thing really, because even if that's going to be work, we'll have a much-needed break from maddening Manila. When I come back, I'll be meeting my first "patient" at the pediatric ward of East Ave. There are things to do and people to care for. It's a good life, after all.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Not Just A Wedding Dress

After finally being able to find a designer whom I’d like to do my dress and actually deciding on the costs and design, I started to think things are really finally falling into place. Relieved and excited, Kulas and I dropped by his place where we chanced upon his mom and an older sister having dinner. We told them the news and when they heard the designer’s name, they began exclaiming positive remarks about him. I was glad, of course, and despite a few qualms, I, too, got thrilled that I’ll be getting him. Somewhere along the dinner, I was asked to show them the design, which I got from the car.

It’s going to be a white bustier with accents of beadwork and crystals along one side of the hem. I want to go on and on describing the gown; after all, it’s been on my mind for months. I’ve seen myself in it countless times, laughing and dancing the wedding night away—until they saw it last night.

I understand their reaction perfectly. They are a very conservative and religious family and are members of a prelature of the Catholic Church, and as tradition dictates, I cannot wear the dress I have in mind to my wedding.

Neither Kulas nor I expected such reaction because his family has always been supportive of us. I tried to be cheerful about it. So the design is too bold? Alright, I’ll look for something else. My shoulders shouldn’t be exposed? Sure, I can go for a turtle neck (heck, I’ve always thought other women envied my shoulders). I tried to smile, be expressionless, quiet, defensive all at the same time. I tried not to be angry: why are they meddling with my wedding? It’s my dress for heaven’s sake! But no, really, I wasn’t angry. I was heartbroken and very, very disappointed.

I’d rather that they didn’t see me cry; but I did cry. At first, my eyes were merely welling up. But after they had made it clear that I really couldn’t wear something like that, I excused myself to cry and wished my mom was with me.

Having been raised in a devout Catholic family, I have learned to espouse traditions in my life. Though most people who know me would consider me to be the “rebellious”, non-conformist person who speaks her mind and stands up to anybody, my values have always remained intact. In my relationship with Kulas, in fact, my integrity has been put to test and I passed it. I know what his family’s like, what they do and do not approve of. At first, it was enough that they like me and welcomes me to be a part of their family. But last night, the issue about the dress has become more than that: it now stands for all that I am, which they have to see, know and accept. More importantly, it has become a symbol of what I value most and what I have to give up…

I cried because, first, I will be a bride in four months. A woman would simply and undeniably want to be the most radiant and beautiful on that day, a woman so beautiful all women who’d see me would wish they were me. Last night, I felt like I was being denied of becoming that woman, though I know that they didn’t intend for me to feel that way. I cried because I felt that they didn’t have the right to tell me what to wear and not. My own family has never withheld that freedom from me. In fact, nobody has. Nobody has had to tell me what to do. I have never lived a life of suppression in any form. But the thing is, Kulas’ family has their own values and I respect that. I cried because I respect these values, because I honor them and value what is important to them. I cried because I couldn’t tell them without hurting anyone that what they were telling me was too constricting and narrow. I cried because I wanted to tell them I would still be facing the Blessed Sacrament with honor and grace even if I would be in that dress. I cried because I wanted to tell them it would be wrong if I’d pretend I could settle for something else.

I cried because I have changed so much and no longer the stubborn girl who stomps her feet when she doesn’t get what she wants, and I love Kulas so much that I have grown to love the people he loves.

I am torn between my own beliefs and what they value. Kulas was asking for a compromise. The dress has become bigger than it really is. It’s not even about the question of who’s getting married anyway, or who’s paying for the dress. If it was my reason, I would be reduced to a shallow, self-indulgent person and this, I am not. And to answer a very good friend’s question, no, this is not going to be a preview of my married life. I will settle for a compromise now but I hope I’d have the heart to tell them that this will be the first and last time I’ll be crying and feeling miserable for giving up something I really want…


I couldn’t go to work today because of this. I’m here at home and I’m glad I am. I need to be in a safe, familiar place. I’ve cried all night and all morning, thinking about the dress and the bigger picture. My friend Tina’s right. The dress is just a small detail of joining a new family. I miss Kulas now but I want to stay here at home first and deal with this feeling of vulnerability on my own. I have shown this side of me to his family last night and I hope they acknowledge it. I hope they realize it’s not just the dress.

I pray, too, that they’d see I value truthfulness in my actions and in my life; and most especially, that I’d be able to move on after this—until the twelfth of May 2005 and beyond.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

In an attempt to improve my tardiness tally here in the office, I slept at eleven last night, woke up at half past five in the morning, took a freezing cold shower, packed my breakfast of oatmeal and some brown bread, and hurried out of the house. I was here by eight. Good, good. I surprised myself for being cheerful and perky. It was a cool morning after all. But now, I feel like a zombie ready to go back to the land of the living dead and reign in my queendom. I’m not sure I can do this every single day for 300 more days or can I? The will power is there but my body’s too shocked, I guess, that it refuses to cooperate.

First, I had to give up smoking, and then slowly, coffee will have to go. How else can I go on? *insert Lindsay Lohan spiels*

A Sheryn Regis hit is blaring through an officemate’s MP3 player. Avemariapurissima.

And it’s only Tuesday.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

It's my first day back at work and the stress is killing me already. But this year, I vow to stop complaining and just keep going. I’m also espousing Kulas’ mantra of I will be the source of joy to other people, and well, it’s been a struggle since I stepped inside the office this morning. Ang hirap, `noy.

How can you stop other people’s negative energies to rub off on you? An aura-shield should be invented very very soon because no matter how a person strive to be sunny, when somebody comes bouncing with all the unwanted negative aura in the universe, you will just be sucked into whatever black hole the other person is headed to. It’s just simple human nature: nakaka-hawa ang “bad trip”. Pakiusap lang sana, wag na mangdamay ng ibang tao.

There, I just whined again.

In other news, Mama has been in the hospital since Monday. At first, we suspected it to be a stroke but thank God, it isn’t. It’s like a prelude to a stroke, you know—had she not been taken to the hospital the minute she complained about the symptoms, she could have had it. There’s a problem in the blood circulation in her brain that’s why she experiences sharp pains and numbness in the left part of her body. Her reflexes are also weak, again another sign of a would-be stroke. She’s been wanting to go back home since day one because she wants to smoke and have coffee already. Sigh, she’ll really have to change her lifestyle once she gets well.

My back is killing me again. It’s like this when I’m stressed. I’ll go to the spa this Friday and surrender to the glorious hands of Jenny or Cristy. Can’t wait.

So it’s settled. It’s going to be at the San Agustin Church on May 12, 2005 at 3pm. We’re still deciding on the reception. Kulas’ folks want to get Albergus as it’s a family friend but Father Blanco’s exclusive to the Makati Skyline. Coconut Palace is another option. Either way, I’m fine with both venues and caterers so I’ll let them decide on this.

I’m also choosing between Patrick Rosas and Denise Go to do the hair and make-up. I love both of their work so the decision points will be based on the prices. Patrick’s sched for May 12 is clear, so that’s another plus.

We’ve also decided on the giveaways; it’s going to be Joyful, joyful Joy’s confectioner’s chocolates in cute boxes that my family and I will start making next month. Kulas wants to give away Choc-Nuts but I’ll have to check out the costs first. We both love chocolates, Choc-Nut, specifically and it will go with our theme of “sweet and simple”.

The entourage is yet to be finalized and a million other things to do. Five months na lang! Oh well, I’m used to cramming, he he. But I sure won’t spoil my own wedding!

i sharpen them when i want to shut off the world..then i'm the energizer bunny again Posted by Hello

one of my greatest dream jobs is to just sit in one corner, smell pencils and sharpen them Posted by Hello