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Mixtape: Love is a Bloodsport

i     Bloodsport Raleigh Ritchie
ii    Nitesky Robot Koch feat. John La Monica
iii   Astronaut Joel Compass
iv    Simple Things Miguel
v     Lurk The Neighbourhood
vi    Sex On The Beach Partynextdoor
vii   Attica '71 Olivver
viii  Her Majid Jordan
ix    Technicolour Beat Oh Wonder
x     No Other Way Sinead Harnett feat. Snakeships
xi    When I Say I Love U Shy Girls
xii   Open Season Josef Salvat
xiii  Expectations Brika
xiv  The Rain Oh Wonder


woke up for some reason; so this mix happened.

guess sometimes the body clock works in mysterious ways,
just as much a slave of the brain as it is of the heart.




Hi. My name is Karla, and I like crazy prints.

I don't do OOTDs but the place we went to for Papa's birthday lunch, Romulo's, had the right amount of classic-but-eccentric prints, I just had to go near the walls and not blend in!

I mean how could you not, really


La famiglia

"You must remember, family is often born of blood, but it doesn't depend on blood. Nor is it exclusive of friendship. Family members can be your best friends, you know. And best friends, whether or not they are related to you, can be your family."

— from "The Mysterious Benedict Society," Trenton Lee Stewart

I don't think I've stressed enough lately how grateful and lucky I am to have my family around. I've been in law school for three years now, and I can, with all honesty, say that if it weren't for them, I would've gone out the big, wooden doors of Malcolm, by chance or by choice.

I distinctly remember Chief Justice Sereno's speech in a law graduation I attended a few years back, wherein she mentioned that law school is something the entire family goes through. When one member of the family is a law student, everyone suffers along with him/her — lunches and dinners on weekends are cut short, vacations are postponed, schedules are adjusted. Every member has to work around the law student's study hours. Everyone adapts to the mood swings. Each one must be a willing ear and a shoulder to cry on. When the law student fails, the family weeps with him/her. And when he/she wins her battles, it is the the family's victory as well.

I'm lucky I have a set-up like this to call my own. My parents are my best friends — I can call them up anytime, message them on FB or Viber, and they can immediately assuage my fears and calm my nerves. It's happened quite a few times over the last year, where I cried to my mom or papa about some subject in the middle of the night, and they readily came to sleep over and stay with me for a few days. It's a huge adjustment on their part, to have to drive or commute all the way to QC, and then worry about going to work to Makati the next day. But then, this happens also even in times of non-despair, i.e. I am happy when they come over during the week and just come visit me to check on how I am. When my mom feels like having her hair done in a parlor near my place, or when my dad has a meeting somewhere in the area, I really appreciate the fact that they come over and spend time with me because it somehow recharges me and puts things back in perspective.

Aside from my parents, I have my grandparents and my aunts, whom I consider my pillars of strength too. I have a very small but extremely close family, and it's no surprise that we like making daldal to each other over the phone or through Viber every once in a while. I love that I can talk to my Wowa and Dodo about anything, and I always look forward to their visits in Manila when any one of them has a reunion with old friends based in the city. And I enjoy my calls with my titas from both sides (my parents' siblings), because in many ways, they've become the sisters I never had. From boys to books to beachwear, we can talk about everything, and it always reminds me that there is a life outside law school; that there is a fuller life that awaits beyond the walls of Malcolm Hall.

It's no secret that I'm such a homegirl. I can ditch my friends at the drop of a hat, if there's a chance to go home to Paranaque. During school breaks, I'm almost always MIA from the rest of the world. I love spending time with my family; I actually, genuinely enjoy their company. I guess the biggest thing I "regret" about law school is that all the time I have I only spend on studying instead of being with them physically. I wish I had the luxury of spending all my weekends back home in Paranaque (or in Batangas, or Singapore, or Bali, where my grandparents and titas are); of moving around my schedule for them instead of the other way around. But alas, that's not how things go. It's probably not the set-up that will work formeveryone (and I'm sure there are people who can manage their time better than me), but this is the one that works for us, and I'm lucky they're there to understand.

Guess I'm writing this in the middle of the night because I'm reminded that all this — the ups and downs of law school — isn't a fight I'm doing on my own. It's been three years, and still there are days of great uncertainty. But at least I know that I have people who have my back, for better or for worse. They've been keeping me together since day one. The least I can do is be at my best. Hopefully, in the end, they'll still see me through. When I get to wear my Sablay again, when I graduate, when I pass the bar, it's not just for myself, but for every single member of the small family I call my own. And it will be our triumph — theirs, just as much as mine.


That moment when your Tax 2 professor asks you about forever

Karla: "...but for tax returns that were filed fraudulently, the prescription period is 10 years, sir."

Professor: "And 10 years is like forever, right?"

I actually answered, "Not long enough, sir." Cue laughter.

Because you know, when you hear and see 10-year marriages crumble, or couples on their 24th year getting on each other's nerves all the time, it only reminds you that, actually, forever is an illusion. It's a social construct. It's an idea man created, on which we can cling on to so that we can find it in ourselves to wade through the uncertainties and difficulties of life.

This, coming from a person in a very happy relationship, raised in a normal household with complete sets of parents and a strong sense of extended family.

And it's funny, because for someone who's supposed to be idyllic, sweet, and optimistic, I'm hardly the typical "romantic" girl. Sure, I catch myself imagining what my future wedding dress will look like when I'm bored. But I'm hardly the kind of person who thinks that love is easy, that love is given to you on a silver platter, and it stays that way, just because. I couldn't care less about chocolates or flowers or grand gestures every month, every year. I don't believe that there's only one person in the universe for you. I hardly agree with people who think that true love means finding the person who fits all the requirements in your list. This isn't some Disney-princess movie where prince charming comes waltzing in while you're singing about a guy you dream about.

Love is, to be quite honest about it, work. To borrow from a great Maroon 5 song (that I always sing in the shower and will never ever stop playing on any of my devices ever), it's not always rainbows and butterflies. Love is compromise. It's about finding someone you like, and working at a lifetime of tolerating them, so that you don't end up hating them.

Yes, this, coming from someone who proclaimed her love on a newspaper of general circulation.

But I think even he will be on agreement with me on this one. (And so will all the parents out there, I'm sure.) I guess when you're 23, at your nth shot at dating, and exposed to failed relationships (and not necessarily terminated marriages, mind you), you get a clearer grasp of what love really is. Or rather, the promise of "forever" that a "true love" in marriage entails.

A few weeks ago, I came across a really beautiful talk from Dan Savage, "The Price of Admission." He answered a reader’s question about romance deal-breakers and, in the process, offered some really insightful and honest advice on relationships and love in the process, which I completely identified and agreed with:

"There is no settling down without some settling for. There is no long-term relationship not just putting up with your partner’s flaws, but accepting them and then pretending they aren’t there. We like to call it in my house “paying the price of admission.”


You can’t have a long-term relationship with someone unless you’re willing to identify the prices of admission you’re willing to pay — and the ones you’re not. But the ones you’re not — the list of things you’re not willing to put up with — you really have to be able to count [them] on one hand…

People, when they’re young, have this idea… “There’s someone out there who’s perfect for me”… “The one.”

“The one” does not fucking exist.

“The one” is a lie. But the beautiful part of the lie is that it’s a lie you can tell yourself.

Any long-term relationship that’s successful is really a myth that two people create together … and myths are built of lies, and there’s usually some kernel of truth…

When you think about it, you meet somebody for the first time, and they’re not presenting their warts-and-all self to you — they’re presenting their idealized self to you, they’re leading with their best. And then, eventually, you’re farting in front of each other. Eventually, you get to see the person who is behind that facade of their best, and they get to see the person your facade, your lie-self — this lie that you presented to them about who you really are. And what’s beautiful about a long-term relationship, and what can be transformative about it, is that I pretend every day that my boyfriend is the lie that I met when I first met him. And he does that same favor to me — he pretends that I’m that better person than I actually am. Even though he knows I’m not. Even though I know he’s not. And we then are obligated to live up to the lies we told each other about who we are — we are then forced to be better people than we actually are, because it’s expected of us by each other.

And you can, in a long-term relationship, really make your lie-self come true — if you’re smart, and you demand it of them, and you’re willing to give it to them… That’s the only way you become “the one” — it’s because somebody is willing to pretend you are. “The one” that they were waiting for, “the one” they wanted, their “one.” Because you’re not — nobody is. No two people are perfect for each other, ever, period — No two people are 100% sexually compatible, no two people are 100% emotionally compatible, no two people want the same things. And if you can’t reconcile yourself to that, you will have no relationships that last longer than two months.

And you know what? It’s not going to be their fault — it’s going to be your fault."


10 years isn't forever, sir. Maybe for tax purposes it may seem like so. But maybe we shouldn't be looking at love in terms of large, "unquantifiable but definite" units of measurement like forever. Maybe, just like the idea of The One, we're better off leaving forever as a myth; maybe we're better off treating every single day of choosing to be with a person as what's real and tangible and symbolic of what love is.

One day at a time sounds more comforting than "always and forever." One day at a time is hearing him on the phone at the end of the day, telling you about a feng shui expert arriving at their meeting to discuss good and bad luck before the construction of a building. One day at a time is being reminded of your Gaviscon (and other acid-related medicines) every time you switch bags. One day at a time is coming home to an empty bed, with so many things to read, but receiving a text excitedly telling you that it's 24 hours less until Saturday.

I guess we have our own ideas about love that we cling to. You all can have forever; I'll have one day at a time please.