home           about           blog           archives           domain           exits           ask

February wrap-up

February was quite eventful, to say the least. It was a month of catching up with old friends, meeting new ones, and celebrating small triumphs. Not what I expected, definitely, but that was a welcome surprise. I guess that's the universe's way of telling me that, doubts and uncertainties notwithstanding, things are going to be alright.

I had so much going on in the last week, I felt like I went out more than I did last December :)) It was lucky that we had a holiday and some free days in the last few days; I found time to squeeze in some things and still made it through the week unscathed. Is this true? Is it really happening? Am I finally adjusting to law school + social life?! OH MY GOD FINALLY. After how many years! Hahahaha!


MOA with high school friends + Meeting Francis 

We finally got to meet Tin's new boyfriend, Francis! In person, that is. Last time we saw him, he was just a tiny, pixelated face on Tin's iPhone. Last Saturday, we were introduced an actual, living, breathing boy!

Ludwin and I drove all the way from QC to Mall of Asia, which is a first, because we've never gone on a date that far South. (With the exception of our ATC lunch last December, post-Christmas party.) It was a good thing the group decided on MOA instead of BF in Paranaque, because I don't think we could've gone otherwise. The traffic's just too much on a Saturday evening; I won't subject ourselves to a back-and-forth trip on our only rest day for the week. That, plus I got to drop by Uniqlo and buy this blazer/cardigan I've been eyeing for months. I'm such a happy girl when I go mall-ing these days, because I rarely ever go out! :))

Mikka isn't too pleased with the seating arrangement :)) 

We ate at Friday's (again), and had the best seats in the house, because just behind us was a view of the Pyromusic Olympics. That weekend was a battle between Netherlands v. Mexico. We didn't know which was which, but man, what a sight. We kept looking behind us every few minutes or so just to look at the fireworks! I think you never really outgrow your fascination with fireworks. No matter how old you are, when you hear them, when you catch a glimpse of them, you're somehow forced to stop in your tracks and just stare in awe. It brings out the kid in you every single time - and we all could always use that feeling :)

 Hi Francis! You're officially initiated :))

TOPS with Portia

One of the yearly activities Portia holds is our kiddie party for the Tahanan Outreach Program and Services (TOPS) in Sta. Ana, Manila. It's usually held every December, but due to the academic calendar shift, we had to postpone this event until after finals at least. It finally pushed through last Wednesday, on the EDSA Holiday.

It was my first time attending TOPS, even though I've been a resident for almost two years now. And it was truly a humbling, enjoyable experience. I really had fun being a part-time ate/mascot/entertainer -- but also felt super tired after! We stayed there for just three hours, but I felt like I jogged around the Oval thrice :)) Masyadong bibo! Hahaha!

The residents with the kids of TOPS

#PortianAndPink, #PortianAndProud

Louie's birthday

Yesterday was Louie's birthday, and being the dutiful girlfriend that I was, all week-long I felt super excited and giddy :)) He picked me up after Corpo to have lunch with his family at Tim Ho Wan. It was my first time, and -- to no one's surprise -- I gobbled up the hakaw and dim sum in utter delight. His family is so, sooo nice to me; I always feel at home because they're very similar to mine. Really glad and fortunate to be part of the "my boyfriend's parents and sister love me" statistic :))

After that, Louie and I went shopping! This is the funny thing about the two of us: when we go around and shop, we're so supportive of each other's taste and preferences, I bet we'd end up buying everything we touch, if we only had the money :)) He's so genuinely interested in the clothes and trinkets I have my eyes on, and I'm always so curious with the manly stuff he likes tinkering with. Which is why he is so fun to shop with! In the last two weeks, I've bought a blazer (from MOA) and a swimsuit (from SM North), thanks to his "support." Gaaah, we are such enablers! :)) He ended up buying some things for me too, without me asking for it, just because. He bought me some notepads, for my calligraphy, and a watch (!), even though it was his birthday. Ever the appreciative and dutiful girlfriend, I promised him a lifetime of hugs and fancy calligraphy notes in return :))

Bombastarr @ 10!

Biggest milestone of the decade. DECADE. Yep, I can use the word DECADE when it comes to this blog now! Woooh! What an achievement! =)) I can't believe I lasted this long, blogging in this exact same place, and not getting tired of it even after ten freakin' years! That's gotta be some kind of feat, right? Right?!

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: I'm happy to have had this blog as a place to write and rant and just be who I am. In the last ten years I've grown so, sooo much as a person, and I think this is one place that's testament to all that, as evidenced by all the hormonal fangirling, writing exercises, adolescence-to-adulthood crises, and everything else in between.

(That means, yep, folks, you've got ten years' worth of blackmail material right here.)

People have asked me why I've never moved into other platforms. The simple answer is that I'm too lazy. But I guess, after ten years, I've come to the conclusion that sometimes there are just some things in my life I'd rather have unchanged. I've been through so much since 2005: high school, college, law school, heartbreak, love, failure, happiness. But at the end of the day, no matter how much shit life throws my way, I have this one thing that remains constant. It may not be much, but it's certainly something. It still gives me something to look forward to; it makes me feel like there are a lot of things in my life worth being thankful for. And isn't that always, always enough reason to stay?


Here's to many more years of living a life worth writing about!


Inquirer.net's Love.Life. feature: "Ode to A Great Love's 17-year-old Self"

"Could a grand romance blossom from a juvenile crush?"
So goes the Inquirer's byline for my article. And the answer: a resounding YES.

Tonight, I found out that a piece I wrote got published in Inquirer.net's "Love.Life." column. I came home from a long day of class (9:00 am to 8:00 pm on Wednesdays), tired, hungry, and all kinds of sleepy. Imagine my surprise and complete excitement when I opened my e-mail and saw a message from the Inquirer saying that my essay went online a few hours ago! I went completely nuts! I was jumping around and dancing like a crazed maniac! My mom, who dropped by to visit since it's a holiday tomorrow, couldn't hold back her laughter because I went from exhausted to ecstatic in less than five seconds :D

Back story: Last Sunday, I couldn't bring myself to sleep for some reason. Usually, what I'd do is try to finish off my remaining digests for the week, but since I've already submitted my assignments a few days before Valentine's, I had a bit of free time on my hands. (Which is a luxury nowadays!) I've always enjoyed reading long-form / non-fiction columns like New York Times' "Modern Love" and The Rumpus' "True Romantic," and after months (months!) of not having written anything, I decided to just give it a go.

I only had one thing in mind at the time — it's post-Valentine's and almost Ludwin's birthday, and I haven't thought of a gift for him at all. So, I wrote him a letter - the form of which has always been special to me since I wrote my thesis about it - and thought it would make for a wonderful surprise. A few hours later, as luck would have it, I came across an article in the Inquirer, calling for submissions for their new column.

And now, here we are. After the last few (very trying) weeks, it feels great to be affirmed like this, in a medium that has always made me feel welcome: writing. Call it serendipity, fate, kismet - whatever else - but I guess like in most things, timing plays its cue when you most need it, but least expect it.

What a feeling :)

"He has this habit of walking by the wrong side of the road. Gentleman as he is, he insists on placing me on the side of the pavement where plants grow and cars won’t hit me, or at least not right away. He unconsciously touches my elbows every time he moves towards the more dangerous edge of the sidewalk, as if to say, “You belong where the road can’t hurt you.”

This is how we met; this is how I first got to know him.

At 16, I didn’t think I was going to meet a great love. Not on the first week of class. Not in PE. Not at 4:30 in the afternoon, when I finally pulled my hair up in a messy ponytail because my bangs just would not cooperate.

The professor wanted us to pair up with someone from the opposite sex, and he paired us up alphabetically. For a convent school-raised girl, this seemed interesting. Our surnames happened to start with the same letter—B. As in, boy this is going to be fun. I looked at him and forced myself to hide a smile. B, as in, Backstreet Boy haircut, parted down the middle a la Nick Carter. B, as in, better find a way to fix my hair on Fridays because there’s going to be a cute boy walking beside me for an entire semester.

He said hi. Cue pleasantries."

— an excerpt from Ode to a Great Love's 17-year-old Self, Love.Life., Inquirer.net

(You can read the entire article here.)


Thank you, Inquirer! It's a great honor to be recognized by you again :) You have made one boy very, very happy with this pleasant little surprise!

Labels: ,


A different kind of Valentine's

For Valentine's this year, we were invited by my good friend Kye to her birthday celebration - but it's no ordinary party. She decided to celebrate her 24th year with the kids of the Sta. Rita Orphanage in Sucat, Paranaque, and she wanted all of her family and friends to be there with her. It was a simple, heartwarming get-together. It was particularly moving, especially because it was truly a joy to see the smiles on all the kids' faces. The entire afternoon was a testament of how kind and generous our friend is, and I'm so, so proud of the woman she's turned out to be.

Not known to a lot of people, Kye was struck with ovarian cancer sometime in 2011. It was a very difficult time for everyone in her life, especially her family, whom we saw struggling to be courageous for her and with her. She is the eldest, the ate, but somehow she also seemed to be the most gentle. Our entire barkada felt completely helpless at that time, because while we wanted to do our part by reaching out to her family in case they needed our assistance, there really was not much that we could do. We wanted to see her, but she couldn't receive a lot of visitors. We wanted to make her laugh, but we had a hard time holding back our tears every time we're told of how physically weak she was. But in those devastating times, it was actually Kye who showed the greatest strength and optimism. She was determined to graduate; she was decided on beating the sickness. And defeat the Big C, she did.

The pretty birthday girl in pink 

Among the nine of us in our group, Kye has survived the most and (I believe) has turned out to be the most beautiful person, inside and out. I've seen her hurt so much in the last few years - physically, emotionally, mentally. She's gone from chemotherapy to heartbreak. She's conquered some of our worst fears. And yet, she's come out unscathed - and still the nicest, gentlest, most sincere person I know.

It's no surprise then, that a celebration like this would come from Kye. We really couldn't say no. So what if it was Valentine's day? Ludwin and I, and everyone else in my barkada, were more than glad to share the love to these children who need it the most. I was so happy to have spent the day with my high school friends, too. All of us are going through our own respective rough patches, but coming together and making an effort for these children was more than enough to put the salve on our own wounds and realize that the world is bigger than our bubble. There are more people in pain; there are more people who deserve to experience joy and love, even if only for a day.

Armand + Kassey, Mikka, the birthday girl Kye, Hope, Trixie + Joa, Karla + Ludwin

The party was sponsored by Jollibee, which meant great food and great fun! It brought out the kid in all of us - although in my case, I think it brought out the frustrated-ate-that-wants-to-tease-little-kids :)) I'm the baby in both sides of my family - an only child, no first cousins in the Vistan side, and Lolas' and Titas' favorite playmate in the Bernardo side. I've always been the girl in the spotlight, the "pinched" and the "bitten." (Yeah I was a very chubby kid.) So imagine my delight upon seeing these little kids that I could gigil and harot! Hahaha :))

Not that I pinched and bit any one of them for real ha! I was just extra excited and managed to tickle every single baby I played with :)) [Yeah, I have the makings of a truly, pang-asar ate. No wonder I didn't have siblings! Siguro kawawa sakin! HAHAHA!]

I love you, Jollibee! You're still my number one (secret) study place in Katip!

There were actually two rooms / sections in the orphanage: the nursery where the babies are, and the playroom for the toddlers. We had to be extra quiet and careful inside the nursery because some babies were asleep, while some others were in sensitive conditions. But it was nice to spend a few moments with them, even though they hardly responded. The way they touched us back, you knew these are little children who are craving for real, genuine hugs. Meanwhile, the bigger kids in the playroom were the ones we got to "party" with. Some were active and cheerful, a few others were more quiet and reserved. I played and bonded with several kids; I think Ludwin had a grand time seeing me try to be a nice ate / tita. Pasado ba? Parang mas kid pa ako eh. :))

Trixie with this cute little Cabbage Patch baby (!!!)

The three naughtiest girls in the playroom: Nina, Mary Anne, and Rea

Ludwin with Krisha (whom I kept tickling because her kili-kili is sooo chubbyyy! I couldn't take a proper picture with her because she was too malikot), and me with this little boy in the nursery (whose name I didn't get to ask but he was so sweet and cute and loved touching my hair)

Since it was a kiddie party, we had all the games, singing, and dancing. Yep, including the time-honored traditions of Musical Chairs and Hep-Hep-Hooray :)) No surprise that we were all such eager beavers! I think the grown-ups enjoyed more than the kids did, because they were just too caught up with the food and prizes to even care about what was going on :))

It was certainly an afternoon worth remembering. Truth be told, I've always been a recipient of something special for Valentine's, ever since high school. (#habanghair!) This was the first time Valentine's meant something different, but conveyed love all the same. It was refreshing to do something not-romantic, yet nonetheless meaningful. It's so humbling to be reminded that yours is a blessed life; but it all the more compels you to serve and give back to those who have less.

Happy, happy birthday, Kye! Thank you for inviting us; you're always a blessing and an inspiration. Couldn't have celebrated February 14 any other way :)


We didn't plan on anything special for just the two of us, but when Ludwin and I got back to QC after Kye's party, we decided to eat dinner together somewhere (1) not crowded, (2) not expensive, and (3) not too far away.

So we ended up at Brickfire. Which isn't too special... except that it is, because some time during the meal, we suddenly remembered that it was the place where we first held hands! About a year and a half ago, we went on our second official date at that steak place. That was the night I almost gave up on eating steak because I couldn't cut up the meat (I'm an idiot with knives, haha), and the night he promised he'd be the one to slice all my steaks from then on. Hahaha! :)) #cheese

 Sorry, we suck at selfies :))

We're not big on flowers and all the grand gestures, but I'm the luckiest girl in the world for having a man who cares for all the little things instead. Sometimes I still shake my head in disbelief when I realize how far we've come since we first met, and since we first started going out. Who knew I'd end up with my crush? And that he'd turn out to be such a great boyfriend/best friend/lover/person, inside and out? Well, naka-jackpot rin naman siya sa'kin. Hahaha!

Happy Valentine's day, love!



Crazy, not-stupid, love

Remember that scene in Crazy, Stupid, Love, where Emma Stone "picks up" Ryan Gosling from the bar, after finally admitting to herself that she found him irresistible? Remember when he brought her back to his place, and Emma forces Ryan to reveal his big move, a.k.a. the Dirty Dancing Patrick Swayze/Jennifer Gray lift?

This is nothing like that. This isn't even close.

But it's the same song we danced to, and we've never felt this way before, I swear, it's the truth, and we owe it all to.. Just Dance :))

My college friend, Tof, celebrated his birthday last weekend and invited some of us over. I haven't seen the gang in a long, LONG time, and boy was I glad I found the time to drop by. I decided to bring Ludwin along since my college barkada is the only group of friends that he hasn't met yet (my high school friends - check, law school mates - check, sorority sisses - check); and it's about time they got to know him as well.

And well, what better way of getting to know, i.e. "initiating," the new guy than by asking him to dance? :)) It was my first time to play the game too, and it's definitely one for the books. It's not everyday we get to channel our inner Johnny and Baby! Hahahaha! Challenge accepted!

We were reluctant at first, but it was the birthday boy's request, so of course we couldn't refuse!

Obviously, I got carried away. A little too much, actually :))

New goal for 2015: do that final lift ever so effortlessly! We have the rest of the year to practice! WATCH OUT, YOU GUYS. Nobody puts these babies in the corner. :))))