25 and looking forward!

Note to everyone: this is a bit mushy and very personal blog entry, please bare with me, I know this is too girly. Haha.

“Every scar, pimple and wrinkle in your body is a sign of a life well-lived,” uttered by my ever cheerful mom who always tries to be positive despite the difficulties. For the past 25 years, I lived by that principle and will continue living with it for the years to come.

As 2011 ends and as I come to the realization that I am finally 25, the moment of self-evaluation comes with a celebration. I think I was blessed with a very supportive family and friends and lucky to have met wonderful people along the way (and hoping to meet more for the next years!) who taught me how to do things right and not to stop dreaming and believing. Just like what Elle Woods says, “Believing in yourself never goes out of style.” I listed the 25 things that I dreamed and gambled to achieve in 25 years:
  1. Hiked and Climbed mountains (dreamed and experienced before I turned 18).
  2.  Surfed (finally!).
  3.  Delivered speeches in public.
  4. Produced and directed a documentary about New People’s Army (NPA)– Basically, this was the reason why I took up Journalism, when I experienced being in the middle of the NPA and RP Military encounter when I was in high school then wondered why they were doing such things.
  5.  Camped (with and without electricity)- I grew up with this!
  6.  Won a provincial quiz bee.- Subject: Filipino.
  7.   Had different sort of relationships (long, short, quick, emotional, and easy. Haha)
  8. Published in newspapers (hope there are some in blogs too in the near future. *fingers crossed* Hope I’ll be able to do something interesting and beneficial to others.
  9. Graduated with honors. – those days. Haha.
  10. Worked in TV Production and News & Current Affairs department in one of the biggest TV networks in the Philippines.
  11.  Backpacked in and out of the Philippines.
  12. Slept in the airport and train/bus terminal.
  13. Couchsurfed and explore cultures.
  14. Played basketball and got a medal. (haha. Only award in college)
  15. Got drunk and threw up.
  16. Composed a song.- I used to write poems a lot so it was easier to put a melody.
  17. Appeared on national TV. Haha.
  18. Had a broken heart (twice!).
  19.  Became a manager.
  20. Partied til I dropped.- I can’t do this anymore! It comes with the age. Haha.
  21. Got a degree! – I think this is always in the list of achievements of Filipinos in my generation. I got a few staff interviews and when I asked them about their achievements, it’s the “degree!”
  22. Brought a gift for my dad. I was too glad to finally buy something expensive for my dad last Christmas, watch. I hope this Christmas too!
  23. Got good friends.
  24. Now learned and having the best. *kilig*
  25.  Travel abroad. – I promised myself that I must be able to reach this goal before I turn 25. I thought about it all the time, wrote it over and over and travelled 3 times before 25.
A friend once said that when you’re 25, it’s too early to give up on your dreams and settle for less but too late to not know what you want in life. I suddenly felt that I’m in a very critical age. Haha. I need to start the 5 to 10 years plan again cause I just finished the first 5-year plan that I did when I was 20 and included in my list are the following:

·         Have a few good businesses: Flower Farm & Shop with my Mom (oh! Please help me God!), (Recycled) Paper & Accessories Shop or Travel Essentials Shop because I get high with these stuffs, Coffee Shop and maybe a Marketing & Events Management Company (if I can survive the fast-changing creative industry and will be able to invent and reinvent all the time.  Just like what Jeff Benjamin said in Spikes Festival 2011, “Invent or Die.”)
·         Good savings for retirement! (me and my parents)
·         Europe & South America Trips (Italy hello!)
·    Have good blogs and eventually publish an e-book or books about Marketing & Advertising as a mirror of each nation/culture and a fiction or novel.
·         I secretly dreams of being a travel show host or a show about cultures and nations. Shhh…
·         If lucky enough and fate permits, I’d love to stay happy in love and finally have my little angels. *hmmm*

Just like when I first written my goals when I was 8, I didn’t know which will be achieved but I knew that it must be written to be remembered for me to be better every day. 
Let’s all make 2012 a better year for a better us!

Advertisements

Singapore, it’s always Sunday.

“There’s no such thing as too much of a good thing”—that’s what I read in one of the under renovation shops in Marina Bay Sands and I think, that’s Singapore for me. Living in Singapore I think is like living only once in a week– only on a Sunday when everyone’s getting together, happily greeting each other, eat out, unlimited sharing of stories, fast paced but friendly environment and definitely can be a day with books and sharing of stories over a cup of coffee. For someone from Manila like me, Singapore is like a big Fort Bonifacio High Street, a safer one.

Singapore is such a mixture of culture and the diversity makes this small country interesting and fun to visit. First stop, Chinatown.

The Chinatown amazed me for its cleanliness and entertaining atmosphere. Maybe it’s because most of the people in Singapore is Chinese and walking in the stretch with Chinese decorations made me feel that I was actually in China. I got our pairs of chopsticks for S$2 each.
Of course the Chinatown experience won’t be complete without eating frogs which has the taste of “in between fish and chicken.”


Bollywood is the new Hollywood, that’s what they say. Well, watching 3 Idiots, I will definitely agree to that, but Singapore can also be a haven for Bollywood fans. Then we transported to a different culture, The Little India.



India is one of the most colourful cultures for me and we were just so lucky when we visited because they just finished Deepavali (also known as Diwali Dipawali, etc), the “Festival of lights” which is one of the most important festivals in a year for Hindus when the families get together and performs traditional activities together. It was a national holiday in Singapore.



Of course Indian food is one of the most distinct and delicious food ever made by mankind. Haha. And so we tried the famous fish head curry in Singapore and finally met Gulaab Jammun.

                After trying out various dishes, our taste buds craved for the original Singaporean food so we headed to Hawker Centreand had a taste Laksa and taho.

   We also tried the famous Chili Crab in Jumbo Seafood Restaurant near Clark Quay. 

     And definitely, Halloween is awesome in Singapore.

                I can consider Singapore as one of the best places for walking, especially if you want to feel like traveling in different places when you can stop your feet (well depends on the mood). Maybe a few steps from Singapore Art Museum, we’ve reached the Arab Street where I found nice shops and restaurants that will definitely transport you to the Middle East. I think it’s one of my favourite streets there.


                A few more steps then we reached Little Thailand, Little Malaysia and maybe the Lucky Plaza can be Little Philippines. Haha. (I’ll surely visit Lucky Plaza on my next trip to Singapore.)

                Every street in this country has different character. Taku and I were so amazed on the architecture of the city.
Look at the water in the ceiling! Woaa!
                We sneaked in the bar of Marina Bay Sands not just for our usual Mojito but to see the beauty of the city from the top. It was breath taking.

                We just moved around the city, tried the bus and MRT, and were wowed with the way of life and amiable nature of the Singaporeans. 



               With Taku’s friendly and nice nature, I believe that he fits in Singapore. I wish I could live there too so that every day is Sunday.


Thanks to Heidi, a couchsurfer from Malaysia for walking around with us! See you soon!


When I grow up…


“…I want to be a doctor”– the usual answer of kids in my time, I used to say the same. Haha.

I used to think about how my 25th birthday is going to be, thinking that it’s quite like a “moment of truth” for each individual. I was born and grew up in a countryside, so growing up, I found myself daydreaming on how I want to live my life. I’ve been writing so many things to accomplish before I turn 25 and I even have this 5-year goal listed in a small index card after my college graduation that made me realize today that I’ve quite did a great job in sticking to my goals (except for being financially literate. Haha) for the past years and how some things really change. But yes, what’s important is how you live every day of your life.

When I was in preschool, I wanted to be a teacher.
When I was in Kinder, I wanted to be a doctor.
When I was in Grade 1, I wanted to be an Accountant (My mom even got mad of the student teacher that told me that I couldn’t be an accountant because I was bad in Math. Haha)

Then I started to think about short-term goals like being top in class, best orator, best in Reading and Comprehension competition or the winner in provincial quiz bee, just because with so many influences and so many options, I couldn’t figure out what I really want to be when I grow up. On my third year in high school, I figured out, I wanted to be a Broadcast Journalist, I simply wanted to be in media because of the observation that Filipinos has been influenced by media a lot (every house has a television regardless of their status in life) and I wanted to contribute to the growth of every Filipino. I’ve wanted to understand each side of the story, I’ve wanted to be part of the history and lastly, I want to influence even a single mind.

In 25 years, I lived by my mom’s advice: “every scar, pimple and wrinkles in your body, is a sign of a life well-lived” (you can imagine what my legs look like because of outdoor activities).

My first life lesson: determine what you want at the moment, trust your instinct and follow your heart. It’s a bit tough to try to convince and prove to everybody that “it will make you happy” especially with Filipino closed familywhich everyone has something to say about you and what you do, that’s why you have to trust your instinct because it’s your life and it’s definitely what defines you. Just like what the great Steve Jobs said, “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards.” Everything happens for a reason. Five years from now, you’ll know why things happened that way because no matter how hard the rock hit you in the head, you surely learned something good from it. 

Second lesson: determine what you deserve and life will give it to you. If I hadn’t written my life goals in 5 years, I would never know where I was going and what will definitely satisfy me. In life, you need to have a benchmark, to evaluate and define your life. I will now renew my 5-year life goals and maybe make it 10 years since things are getting clearer in my view as time goes by! But one definite example is that, in 25 years, I’ve been in a few relationships, was hurt, cause hurt, didn’t get satisfaction but learned, that forced me to list down the things that I deserve and in a few months of aiming it and living with it, I got the relationship that fits… just crazily beautiful.

Third lesson: no matter what you achieve in life, you’re never greater than others because the moment that you think that you’re better and greater, that’s when you start to be envious, judgemental and greedy. This is related to what Steve Job’s said “stay hungry, stay foolish.” There’s always something to learn so always keep an open mind and heart because life never fails to give us surprises.

Hearing about the great Steve Jobs death recently and reading his speech is a devastating moment, knowing that in the era that I belong, this great man contributed a lot in every progress of my time and of my life. I am fascinated by Apple and used iPhone for a couple of years. I know Pixar and love their movies. Job’s stories happened in my time that’s why they feel so near and real. He is a great man whose contribution will always be in our hearts and inspire us to choose, now.

It’s still 4 days to go before my 25th birthday, all I know is that I promised myself that I’ll explore the Philippines and make sure to go out of the country before I turn 25, and surprisingly, I did, twice. Now, I need to make another list and I still have 4 days.

Traveling to next level?

 

Have you ever heard of the song “Breakaway” by Kelly Clarkson? I fell in love with it the first time I heard it. My imagination flew to the future, did U-Turn, then, flashbacks. 
 
It’s my song (now in my possession. Haha). 
I grew up in a small town and when the rain would fall down, I just stare at the window. Dreaming of a could be and if I end up happy, I would pray. I’ll do what it takes til I touch the sky, make a wish, take a chance, make a change, and BREAKAWAY.
 
Since I was a child, I know I would like to travel the world and discover its wonders. But I think, before beginning the sally to world’s discovery, I must master my own little archipelago. So, for the past 24 years of my life, I’ve tried exploring it as much as I can. I didn’t care how should I get there, when it comes to travelling, I try to be spontaneous and open-minded. I believe that we will only see the best of the world if we don’t hinder or limit ourselves from what the world could lay at our feet.  I think I’m prepared to take this self-imposed benchmark of world discovery to its new heights because I’ve already climbed, droved, trekked and cleaned up mountains; cooked with stones and drank with bamboos; ridden the waves and glided with the fishes and became amazed with the beautiful corals; drunk and danced til I dropped…

…met wonderful creatures…


…met wonderful people… 
Lapu-Lapu, Jose Rizal, Enchanted (what’s his name?) and kissed the hand of Josefa Llanes Escoda.
 
I still have a lot of places to discover in the Philippines and it awes me everyday. I’ll visit Mindanao soon!
 

Based in my LIFE GOALS which I’ve written when I was in gradeschool, I should have traveled most of the places in the Philippines and experience being out of the country at the age of 25. Oh my! I’m included in the long list of “EDSA babies” so I’m turning 25 this year! I panicked when the year started and booked a flight to somewhere out of the country right away! Haha. Well, time indeed flies so fast, I’ll be leaving on Friday for Jakarta and looking forward to the fun and exciting new experience. 


The food, language, people and culture— I’m delighted!