The Bliss of Solitary Solace

29 01 2011

I want to go on a trip. I need to go on a trip. Fine. It’s definitely more of a want rather than a need, I’m guilty. What’s more is I want to do it on my own–again.

Let me be clear about one thing, though: I am not depressed, not really. At least not that much. I just want to get over a personal slump as far as travels are concerned. The cumulative disappointments of supposed vacations never materializing are taking their toll. I’m kinda tired of hearing conflicts in schedules, budget constraints, vague responses, or any other excuse that hampers my plans and dampens my nomadic spirit. The idea of flying solo makes all those hassles irrelevant and gone. It brings me the thrill of planning for and anticipating a getaway back. I know if this pushes through, it will give me much joy. It is going to be unforgettable. I will make sure of that. I like how a friend of mine puts it: “Malay mo, flight of a lifetime yan.”

Now it begs the question: Do I book a flight for one? 😉

UPDATE as of January 30, 4:58pm

Yes. 🙂

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The Top 11 Lies (More Often Than Not)

11 01 2011

Here are some statements that make me roll my eyes, shake my head, and silently say “Bullshit” — often out of disgust, and sometimes to mock the person making the declaration.

11 ) “I’m happy being single.” –> Due to insistent public demand (public = Alvin P. Uy), I’m including this one. While this might be true for some, it’s a front for many. Single-by-choice? More like Single-NO-CHOICE.

10 ) “Hindi na ako iinom.” –> You know you’re going to drink again. You know you’re going to get drunk again. It’s the way it’s supposed to happen.

9 ) “I’m happy for you.” –> If it’s coming from an ex or a competitor, you must know, that’s a truckload of bull.

8 ) “Wala / Okay lang yun.” –> It’s the comment one says while s/he is plotting his/her vengeance. The bottomline is: it does matter. Maybe not now, but it will come back sometime in the future and bite you in the ass. So you better prepare.

7 ) “I’m okay.” –> Nah. Sooner or later, you will have a breakdown.

6 ) “Madali lang yan.” –> Then wait until s/he shows you it really is not.

5 ) “Ayoko na sa iyo/kanya.” –> But in their deepest thought, they’re counting the infinite number of reasons why they love this particular person.

4 ) “Everything happens for a reason.” –> I personally and categorically loathe this statement. It sounds too pretentious. Like there’s always a plan? Go ahead, say that to a person who lost his/her entire family and all his/her investments to a natural calamity. Come the fucking on, what good reason is there to accept and understand? Admit it, sometimes, there’s none. It’s just that shit happens. Period. No need to find deceitful and baseless comfort in convincing yourself or somebody else that there is a logical explanation.

3 ) “I can’t live without you.” –> Unless it’s a fetus talking to the womb of his/her mother, this statement is bogus.

2 ) “Try ko.” –> S/He definitely won’t make/do it. Proceed to Plan B. Or s/he knows how to do it. S/He just doesn’t want to appear like a show-off. Two words: false humility.

1 ) “Papunta / Jeep / Malapit na ako.” –> Far from it. Let me paint you a picture: s/he just woke up because of your SMS/call. S/He’d still take a bath, dress up, and eat. Check his/her Facebook profile and you’d see s/he just made an update: “Off to [insert meeting place here].” Trust me, that’s what happens whenever you receive this message.

Admit it, you’ve told two or more of these fallacious statements at a certain point or another. Whether or not it was on purpose, that’s another story to tell. But as Dr. Gregory House would put it: “Everybody lies.”

 





The Year of Transition

31 12 2010

If I had to pick my favorite purchase for 2010, I’d easily choose my ergonomic office chair that I bought to replace my computer chair of nine years. My life at home typically involves spending a great deal of time sitting right in front my laptop, so finding a seat that’s comfortable is an utmost priority. I do think this one’s really a good buy. It’s spacious and stable, its height is adjustable, and it has sufficient  lumbar and arm support. Just perfect.

There are many types of ergonomic chairs available for use. No one type is necessarily the best. Not everything works for everyone. But there are some things that are very important to look for. These will allow the individual user to make the seat work well for one’s particular needs. I guess you can say the same about life. Same rules apply. Nothing goes perfectly smooth. You may wrap your mind around and direct all your might at something, it still wouldn’t go as you had imagined and hoped. Executing your plans could be quite a struggle. It doesn’t matter whether it’s significant or trivial, various factors almost always take their toll. You just have exert your best effort and never lose sight of your vision, no matter how dim the pathway gets.

When 2010 came in, I was hugely optimistic. I had such great hopes. After all, it was the beginning of a new decade. Add to that, the previous year was a bit of a dud for me, so there was no other option but to get better. I set limited but very specific goals: I vowed to open my personal savings account, finish my master’s degree, and lose weight. I did not achieve all of them, no, but I wouldn’t automatically say that 2010 was a failure. I was able to open my personal savings account. It doesn’t have a lot in it right now, but hey, it’s a start and it’s mine. Maybe one day, it would be loaded enough to be accepted at a Swiss bank. Who knows? I haven’t finished my MA yet, but it’s a work in progress. I may be taking my sweet time, but writing it has become a sphere of discoveries for me. New things continue to pique my attention, which is a whole lot better than being aimless and stagnant. Fine, I didn’t lose weight. In fact, I even gained more pounds. But what the heck, bingeing is such a victimless crime. I just need to watch what I eat so as not to get any kind of health disorder again. LOL! But seriously, I don’t think 2010 was a waste or a disappointment in any way. It did have a lot of wonderful moments that I will muse back with a smile. Most of them were unexpected, but they were most certainly fun, cool detours.

2010 sent me to several winding turns. It was, for me, a transition period–testing the waters to know which plans could work and which ones would need fine-tuning. Still, here’s one thing I learned in the past year: never be afraid to go off tangent. You never know what these good distractions could bring. They widen your playing field and open you up to an infinite number of interesting opportunities you never even considered because you never even bothered to know what they are. There’s nothing wrong with being focused. And I’m not saying setting goals is ultimately futile. These are still essential for you to know what you are working on and why you are doing it. You need to have a framework and foundation. How you develop your strategy is what you can adjust, fiddle with, and make improvements. This is where being amenable gives you an upper hand.

2011 has arrived. And I am still optimistic. I know this year will be a lot more dynamic. For me, it will be the year of making things actually happen and working toward long-term plan(s). Less dilly-dallying, I hope, but I’m sure there will be more eventful things to anticipate. So buckle up! More roadtrips await us!

Have a JOLLY 2011, everyone! 😀





The 2010 Jolly Awards

30 12 2010

So, here it is. The second serving of my most- and least-liked yearend list, which I began in 2009. While this was one draining writing assignment, doing this was absolutely fun. I had the best time reminiscing how 2010 went by.

MOST-LIKED WEBSITE
The Envelope – You think you know all about the Oscars? Or the Emmys? Or the Grammys? You better think again. I bet you haven’t met the moderators and posters from this forum. Everything you need to learn about award-giving bodies is right here. Get familiarized with the nomination and voting process, trends, traditions, and controversies. The message boards really get exciting (and exhausting) as the awards season approaches (which, by the way, is just around the corner).

MOST-LIKED SONGS
Just The Way You Are by Bruno Mars
Fuck You by Cee Lo Green
King Of Anything by Sara Bareilles
Waiter by Eevee

MOST-LIKED MOVIES
The Social Network – I loved its crisp and exciting storytelling. Unexpectedly great ensemble, too.
Toy Story 3
– The story of Woody, Buzz Lightyear, and the whole gang came to a full circle. An epic tale that took 15 years to complete, and yet never lost its heart and magic.

MOST-LIKED MOVIE QUOTE
“I just don’t want this thing you’re going through to define your life. Do what you gotta do. Let your freak flag fly. Just make sure you have an exit strategy.” –Mrs. Griffith, Easy A

MOST-LIKED TV SHOW (NEW)
Raising Hope – Members of a quirky family try to pull themselves together and make it all work as they raise the adorable baby named Hope. Good writing, good cast.

MOST-LIKED TV SHOW (RETURNING)
Modern Family – The second season’s been a bit less stellar compared to the first, but still an amazing sitcom, nonetheless.

MOST-LIKED TV CHARACTER
Manny Delgado of Modern Family– With lines like “Stupid is not following your heart and taking a chance on love.” and “The universe is cold and loveless,” how can you not like this kid? LOL.

MOST-LIKED TV EVENTS
Lost series finale – Hands down. Best. TV show. Ever.
Showtime Season 1 Grand Finals – Just pure entertainment bliss.
Modern Family winning Outstanding Comedy Series at the Emmys – I was seriously rooting for the show, and would’ve been distraught had it lost (to Glee).

MOST-LIKED TV QUOTES
“They call me weird. I was weird. Fun weird. This is the funny thing about growing up: for years and years, everybody’s desperately afraid to be different, in any way. And then suddenly, almost overnight, everybody wants to be different. And that is where we win.” –Mitchell Pritchett, Modern Family
“You can do anything you want in life… Unless Jay Leno wants to do it, too.” – Conan O’Brien, The Tonight Show
“Complicated relationships are a breeding ground for misinterpreted actions.” –Kalinda Sharma, The Good Wife

MOST-LIKED VIRAL VIDEOS

These individuals raised fanaticism to a whole new level. Go, Alec! Wooot! Hahaha!


By far, the most enjoyable Lady GaGa song cover I have seen.

MOST-LIKED GUILTY PLEASURE
Face To Face“Pagbibintangan mo akong nagnakaw ng tortang talong samantalang ang ulam ko’y menudo?” says the guest to her neighbor who accused her of stealing their viand. Campy scenes, snarky banters, domestic squabbles. Gotta love ’em all.

MOST-LIKED ADIK
Shalani Soledad – Well, she’s not crazy per se (unless you consider agreeing to work with Willie Revillame an act of insanity), but seeing how she lifelessly hosts a primetime variety program makes me laugh my ass off.

LEAST-LIKED NEWS
Quirino Grandstand standoff – The hostage drama was such a disturbing incident for the victims and their families, but it was more alarming to realize that our police department isn’t equipped with the know-how to deal with this kind of situation.
Joseph Estrada garnering almost 9.5 million votes in the 2010 Presidential Elections – What. The. Fuck.

LEAST-LIKED TREND
Glee fantardism – I must admit, I was a huge fan of the show when it started. But after its 13th episode, it became a victim of its own success and a parody of itself. And many, if not most, of these hardcore Gleeks are infinitely annoying. They feel like everything in the world originated from Glee. Puhleeease. *rolleyes*

MOST-LIKED PERSON(S)
Filipino athletes – Special shoutout to Asian Games gold medalists Rey Saludar (boxing), Dennis Orcollo (billiards), and Biboy Rivera (bowling). They have little support and they lack financial aids, and yet they pour their hearts out to give honor to the country.

LEAST-LIKED PERSON(S)
All stupid, insensitive, gigantic pricks who thought that the site of the standoff was an ideal place for photo ops.

LEAST-LIKED INSTITUTION
Catholic Church – Excommunicate me. I support the RH Bill. ‘Nuff said.

MOST-LIKED TWEETS / FACEBOOK STATUSES
BANAT NG MGA NAKA-LET GO NA: “Hinanap kita sa dictionary ko pero wala ka. Naalala ko, wala ka na palang meaning sa akin.” YUN YUN, EH! (February 7)
Poot, pagod, pagdaramdam. At ang walang hintay na paghihintay sa hindi dumarating na pagkakataon. Lahat lunurin natin sa alkohol. KAMPAY!!! (March 20)
“I voted during the first automated election in the Philippines.” –> Ang sarap sabihin at pakinggan. Ang sarap maging bahagi ng kasaysayan. 🙂 (May 10)
Ang pinakamahalagang bilin ni Mama sa akin sa tanang buhay ko: “Ibili mo ako ng Tanduay Ice, ha?” Hindi kinaya ng bagong gising kong utak. Haha! 😀 (September 23)
Ay kinumutan ni Aling Josie habang natutulog kanina. Aaaaw… Naramdaman ko yun. Teehee! Love you, Ma! 🙂 (October 18)
“Ano nang nangyari sa anak mo? Matino naman yan noon. Nakapagtapos naman. Bakit nagkaganyan?” –Ang sabi ng kumpare ni Papa sa kanya tungkol sa buhok ko. Apparently, may mga sektor pa rin ng lipunang hindi tanggap ang mohawk. HAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Classic ‘to. 😀 (November 19)
Ay sa wakas, matapos ang limang taon ng employment, nakapag-open narin ng savings account. Haha. 🙂 (November 23)
“Hi, Rexy Jolly! We miss you!” –Mga damit mong SMALL ang size (December 13)
Mga ganitong panahon, wini-wish kong estudyante pa rin ako para ma-enjoy ang tunay na Christmas vacation. Kaya mga bata, wag niyong madaliin ang buhay. Samantalahin niyo ang pagkakataong nakapagbabakasyon kayo nang walang kahit na anong iniisip at iniintindi kundi ang maging mabuting anak. Nangaral? Hahahaha! 😀 (December 19)
Papa, Mama, and I are singing our lungs out to Total Eclipse of the Heart as we drive our way home. I feel like I’m in a family sitcom and the credits are about to roll. Ah, the good times and great memories the holidays bring. Priceless. Just priceless. 🙂 (December 25)

MOST-LIKED TWITTER ACCOUNTS
@PCOSmachine My #1 goal in life is to ensure a clean, honest, and orderly elections. 2nd is to remove Justin Beiber from trending topics. (May 10)
@PCOSmachine To everyone complaining about us PCOS machines overheating: have u been to the Philippines? It’s freaking hot here. (May 10)
@PCOSmachine
 I can confirm that ERAP did not vote for a vice president on his ballot. I heard him say na trauma na daw sya kay GMA. (May 10)
@superstarmarian nakuha q na yung planner q sa starbacks. eto na ba to?! ang liit nmn pla. tsaka walang pwedeng gawin. didikitan mu lang ng istiker ng kape. (November 7)
@superstarmarian OWMAYGAD! peyborit q ang gym blossoms! dito na pla cla titira sa maynila. nabasa ko o — gym blossoms live in manila. (November 19)
@superstarmarian naghahanap aq ng things na pwedeng ipamigay ngaun kc happy things giving daw ngaun. may ganun plang okasyon? (November 25)

MOST-LIKED REXY JOLLY PHOTO

 

The subject of many tweets and statuses; the object of judgmental stares; the butt of jokes; and the most-used conversation-opener: the Rexy Jolly mohawk. This photo defined my year AND those who reacted about it. I got to know myself a bit more and the people around me. *wink, wink*

See you again in 2011! 😉






The Christmas Rush

24 12 2010

“How can anybody say NO? It’s Christmas.” –Richard Fish, Ally McBeal

Whenever the holidays are approaching, you hear terms “Christmas” and “rush” thrown away together a lot. I guess in a word, it’s called CHAOS. Perhaps maybe a beautiful mess for optimists, but pretty much chaotic just the same. Everybody is just everywhere, everytime. It pushes your patience to the brink, it drains out all the energy in you, and it puts a crimp in your plans since you are at odds with things you have no control over.

However, in the face of all these unwanted annoyances hounding us during the holidays, people are still in such a cheerful mood. That’s probably a good way of putting the concept of Christmas rush into perspective. And despite some worldly asses who seem to have forgotten the true meaning of the season by promising Santa Claus they’re going to be good for the rest of their sorry lives if their wish came true, these holidays aren’t just about people flocking the malls and flea markets and whining and cramming to muster (and spend) every penny they could find. I’m thinking, it’s also a dash of emotions — I suspect mostly good — people feel during the holidays. It’s like an endorphins haven that offers a tad happier place for everyone to at least feel a little less lonely and a bit more loved. Of course it doesn’t work that way for all. “Holiday blues” are just as popular this time of the year, but still. I know it is all sorts of cliché, but the atmosphere’s simply and totally different when it’s Christmas. The jollity is just so apparent, even the most stoic person could not deny.

Look, I am not trying to shove the joyous spirit down everybody’s throats. Each one has his/her own reason to experience Christmas the way s/he opts to. I’m just all about trying to see things in a different light instead of being down in the dumps. So go ahead, let’s celebrate. Cut me a slice of the yuletide pie. 😉

Let’s all have a merry and meaningful Christmas! 🙂





The Thank You Note

28 11 2010

“Today, we are tackling the thank you note. People don’t write them anymore. Why? Because they think a smiley face on an e-mail says it all. Well, it doesn’t. So stop emoticon-ing and start emoting. It’s almost the end of summer here, people. I’d like to think that I’ve taught you something, so maybe you won’t grow up to be thankless shits. So write to someone, anyone, and thank them.” –Cathy Jamison, The Big C

Several days ago, I, along with other former editors and members of my college org Plaridel (which celebrated its 26th anniversary this month, by the way), visited DLSU to bid farewell to Student Publications Office’s very own icon Ate Virge, who, after more than 30 years of serving, has decided to retire. After celebrating with her, we proceeded to Plaridel’s office. We spent more time in there catching up with one another, recollecting our good old days as writers for the school paper, and comparing our lifestyle back then with situation of its current staff.

Almost a decade ago, we were just happy to be able to type our articles in computers called Jurassic and Super Computer (there was a third PC, but I don’t remember its name because it was busted more than it was available for us to use), save them in our often virus-stricken diskettes, and print them out in a printer that almost always suffered from toner insufficiency. After we’ve submitted our drafts to our editors, there was nothing much left to do in the office except make conversations. Not that we were forced to do so, but timidity was not an option. You can try to study, but that wasn’t exactly an intelligent choice, either. 6pm was the most important time of the day. It was when most staffmembers swarmed the office to serve their residency. It was when most (good) things happened. It was the primetime. It was a riot. So if you had a 6pm class, poor you. You were going to miss a hell lot.

Now, at least based on what I saw that day, almost everyone was busy with their personal laptops (and other gizmos) and not one was using the lone desktop unit found at the corner of the room. For a quite a long period, ticking keyboards were all you could hear if you put us, the visitors, on mute. There were two separate worlds existing in the office: theirs and ours.  Moments later, thanks to Pinoy Henyo, the present members and alumni of Plaridel had something to break the ice. It was the first step to a long, fun-filled night that even extended to a dinner. It was delightful exchanging anecdotes with them. It was actually more of them listening, us talking, and nobody minding the triviality of what we were telling.

What’s funny about it is that I remember the feeling when I was in their shoes. At my time, when senior editors paid Plaridel a visit and we were there, we intently listened to their stories, too, even if we didn’t know who they were talking about. We’d laugh and try to comprehend their musings. But now, the tables have turned. My role has changed. I’ve become the person with two cents to share.

I’m not complaining. In fact, that was one wonderful day that would probably take a long while to be forgotten. It was nothing out of the ordinary, really. It was a typical evening spent in the office that just happened to be a bit more jolly for all of us. It was just nice for me to see the innocence and awe in their eyes. It was good to be reminded of individuals who are reeking of potentials and full of optimism. I’m glad they opted to join Plaridel to get them ready in braving through life after college. I couldn’t have asked for a better training ground. A big part of what I am today emanates from my rich and valuable Plaridel experience. I will be forever grateful for it. And I pray that these students would make the most out of this unique opportunity of being a part of something great and meaningful.

Thank you, Plaridel, for giving me the best years of my youth, and thank you to its current staff for reminding me. 🙂

Ipagpatuloy ang pagsusulat.
Ipagpatuloy ang pasasalamat.
Ipagpatuloy ang ALAB.

–Sapantaha, 2003-2004





The Indifference

17 10 2010

At this very moment, I’m supposed to respond to a memo that was handed to me last Wednesday regarding my “frequent tardiness” at work, but like how most things in my life play out, I am momentarily going off tangent.

Alert all major dailies because they have to know that crime rates and market prices aren’t the only digits surging up. They might be interested to see the number of times I came in late since January and the accumulated minutes. They’d be shocked I still have a job. I am. My mom is. Just imagine that.

This isn’t the first time that my attention was called about this matter, though. I had this last year. As a matter of fact, I blogged about it:

“Yes, unfortunately, I was tendered this memo today. Nothing major; just my extreme tardiness taking its toll. They say that we are only allowed to accumulate 100 minutes’ worth of lates in a month. Lo and behold, just like my credit cards, I maxed this one out, going waaaaay beyond the limit even. I haven’t written my explanation yet, as I’m still contemplating on how to explicate and euphemize being “uninspired” in many words — at least plenty enough to call my response a letter, which is supposed to be composed of several sentences/statements. Bwahahahahahaha!”

Obviously, the situation has not changed. In fact, it’s gotten a lot, lot, lot worse — still always late, and yes, still uninspired.

The other night, I had an IM conversation with a friend who recently resigned from his work. A part of our chat went like this:

FRIEND (F): i’m sleeping most of the times. hahaha
REXY JOLLY (R): hahahaha! i figured.
R: i envy you, btw.
R: i wish i could do the same. lol.
F: you mean, money-less, purpose-less, full of self-doubt, and finds redemption in being asleep?
F: hahahah
R: you think i’m not any of those things?
R: ang difference lang natin, i still have work.
R: otherwise, bookends!
R: hahahahaha!
F: hehehehe bookends
R: why did you decide to quit your job, nga pala?
F: i didn’t feel good about my writing any more
F: eh i felt it was a disservice to the company
R: wow.
F: yeah
F: i was copy-pasting my old articles
R: i wish i had that principle.

Re-reading this became a gateway to more realizations. I used to be so passionate about my job. I remember conceptualizing and thinking of topics to discuss in the services I handle before I doze off at night. I recall getting excited for article assignments and eagerly prepping for interviews and event coverages. And most importantly, I always came in on time. Too bad, as time passed by, personal saturation kicked in and the heydays of the industry died down. Now my biggest motivation for reporting to work is where I’m gonna be buying lunch. All potentials and promises have fatally waned out.

Truth be told, I’m seriously considering not to give back any reply to the memo. The NTE (notice to explain) did state that failure to answer would mean that I am waiving my right to air my side. As a result, I’d be given a written warning, which would appear on my permanent employment record. And the worst part is, I don’t really care.

It makes me sad the I act so cavalier and unconcerned about the whole thing. It does. I hope I’d be able to get this mass of apathy weighing me down, off my chest soon enough. I want to be inspired again. I want to be productive again. I want good things to happen again. That’s still possible, right?