Thursday, April 14, 2016

Revival of the Fittest

So I’m going to revive this blog by saying that I want to revive my other blog (the one on fashion, which I haven’t updated in years yet coincidentally, gets more hits than this one. Like what). I have been shopping constantly lately (despite the fact that I can't even feed myself three times a day), and although I’m pretty sure I will regret this in the very near future, I want to share my hauls with other cheap queens who would only wear H&M if it was an overrun.

And there’s this, too:

1. Visit all UP campuses
           UP Diliman
           UP Baguio
           UP Los Banos
           UP Cebu
2. Watch an Up Dharma Down gig live
3. Go somewhere far, alone
4. Come up to a stranger I'm attracted to and tell him/her that I find him/her attractive
5. Design (and pay for) my dream bedroom
6. Read Pride and Prejudice in one day
7. Go on a candlelit dinner date
8. Buy my parents new wedding rings
9. Save 100k
10. Find a man who will love all of me
11. Go to a gay bar.

Apparently, straight guys still exist. And most importantly, I can still get one to like me.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Nothing is Too Late

"Hi jaja your existence gives me hope for the human race <3"

Roughly a year ago, I was struggling with depression. Every day, I thought about killing myself. I never would have imagined that someone would ever say these words to me. It goes to show that no matter how useless you feel, there is someone out there who thinks the world is better because you decided to wake up one more time.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Updated Updated Bucket List

1. Visit all UP campuses
           UP Diliman
           UP Baguio
           UP Los Banos
2. Watch an Up Dharma Down gig live
3. Go somewhere far, alone
4. Come up to a stranger I'm attracted to and tell him/her that I find him/her attractive
5. Design (and pay for) my dream bedroom
6. Read Pride and Prejudice in one day
7. Go on a candlelit dinner date
8. Buy my parents new wedding rings
9. Save 100k
10. Find a man who will love all of me
11. Go to a gay bar.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

December 2014 Wishlists

December Wishlists a.k.a. Hi Mom and Dad, I love you.

The Idealistic Wishlist:

1. A mini sewing machine
2. A camera
3. A ticket to Japan
4. A ticket to Australia
5. My PhD diploma

The Realistic Wishlist:

1. Three cans of Pringles
2. Two new blazers
3. Adidas sneakers
4. A day of sleep
5. A grade of 3.0 and above for both my PhD subjects this term.

Although on second thought, the last one probably belongs to the first list.

Monday, June 30, 2014

My Awesome List

My best friend Kat challenged me to think of ten things I like about myself and then write them on my blog. If she had asked me to do this five months ago, I would have probably said that the only good about me is that I have the ability to avoid getting hit by a truck despite making strategic attempts to.

Now is a different story. Now, ten is just too easy.

Ten Reasons Why I'm Awesome:

1. I am a pro at job interviews
2. I give great advice
3. I am a fantastic listener
4. You can sit me beside ANYBODY and I'll be best friends with them after five minutes
5. You can trust me with any valuable or any amount of money and I will never get the urge to steal it. This must have something to do with my remote interest in material things
6. I am unbelievably good with children
7. I am a loyal friend
8. I am generous (to a fault, sometimes)
9. I have great legs even though I'm short
10. I'd just have my girl Iggy sing this one for me:

Aww yeah.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

The Fourth Saturday: Ongpin

I just realized that I should not have restricted this project to Saturdays because recently, my trips have not exactly been on that certain day. An example would be this particular outing on a Thursday. My mom and I are preparing for my graduation and we wanted to look around for some jewelry. Mama said that they had excellent gold jewelry in Ongpin, loads better than the overpriced junk they sell in malls, so even though I had work that night, I did not sleep, and we headed straight for Manila.

At this point, three things have become clear to me: 1. It was a really short trip; 2. I did not take enough pictures; and 3. That place was freaking awesome.

Manila seems so unexplored to me. Even though it is one of the busiest places I've ever been to, the city contains so many nooks and crannies that I can hardly fathom how people go around oblivious to the wonder all around them. The place is an eclectic mix of the old and the new with its aged, crumbly buildings and newly built highrises, fat tangled cords of electric wire and clomping calesas, Chinese billboards and lofty churches; I wish I had eyes at the back and sides of my head so that I could have taken everything in. I'm pretty sure I looked like a tourist, what with all the oohs and aahs I emitted while we walked the narrow streets of Ongpin. I'm kind of embarrassed to know that despite living in the capital for my entire life, I have gone to Ongpin only three times, and this last one was the longest I've spent there and the time I was most aware of where I was.

We went to two churches and sat through two masses (I felt so holy lol). We bought fruit (that was so affordable and exquisitely ripe), we went to lamp shops to scout for perfect lighting for the new house (50% off! I thought I was going to go insane!), and we went to eat at what I think is the first and most authentic Hap Chan branch in Manila (I need to research this, but judging from how everything tasted, I don't think my assumptions are that far off).

The mango sago wasn't as good as it looked, though

Finally, we window-shopped for jewelry. I was not expecting to find jewelry stores at every street. They lined Ongpin as though the Philippines was a gold mine. From asking around and talking to my mother, I learned a couple of things. The first is that "commercial gold" is fancy sales talk for "fake" or at least "nearly fake." The second is that genuine opal jewelry that had diamonds the size of a nucleus costs 68,000php. I lingered at the store where they had that opal set I so desperately wanted and felt like a kid at Toy Kingdom who constantly pointed at the doll house I was dying to take home. My mother said we were going to go back for it. But I'm pretty sure that if ever we did, I would have to pay for it lol. It's all right, though.. I believe that you have to work hardest for the things you want the most.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

The Third Saturday: Zone 5 Photo Studios Inc.

I finished my MA thesis last October and will finally, FINALLY get to attend my second UP graduation in April (I'm old-- don't remind me). Part of the whole pomp and pageantry is getting graduation pictures made. I have been really looking forward to this because my first set was not that...likeable. For my creative shot, my peg was Imelda Marcos. What I got was "Poong Inaalayan" (idk even know how to translate that; yes, it was that bad). So this time, I said I'd prepare even more. I have been conceptualizing even before October and was pretty partial to a Dark Alice theme. There would be time, I said. I can pull this off, I said. We had asked the college about when grad pics would be scheduled, and we were informed that they would start in January. So my friend and co-graduate, Shelley and I stopped bugging the office and just went back on the second week of the said month.

Only to find out that the grad pic schedule was over.

After a brief seizure, we asked/begged around some more and were told we'd be contacted if the people in charge of this year's graduation would have additional schedules. I hung on to the hope that I still had time to prepare since we were told this on a Friday. But since the Universe just loves seeing me have a panic attack, our contact called and said they had a final schedule on the next day, Saturday. This meant that not only did I not have anything prepped, I would also have to go to the studio and have pictures taken right after work, right when my eyebags have taken full control of my face.

Alas, there was nothing to be done, so I met up with Shelley and after some dispute with the GPS on my phone (the taxi driver was pretty vocal about his unbridled hate for it), we got to Zone 5 in Project 8.

The first thing we noticed was the awesome wall artwork that welcomed you as you go up the stairs. I asked Shelley for a quick pose because it was just too edgy!

Before the photobombers
I would have wanted to take more pictures but people kept accidentally photobombing my shots, so I gave up and headed to the lobby. Since Zone 5 was the assigned studio for UPD, we had special rates and packages. However, you can still have your grad pic taken even without a schedule, something I was very relieved to know. They have walk-in rates (slightly more expensive) and they cater to a number of colleges and universities so you don't have to worry about them not having the right toga. The prices are not that steep, too, considering the quality of shots. We were automatically awed by the creative shots posted on the wall of the lobby and got us pretty pumped for our turn.

Shelley and I were the first ones to get to the studio, so after settling our payments, we didn't have to wait long to have our hair and make-up done. The first shots to be taken were the formal shots, so my stylist just ironed my hair and gave me a nice and simple look. [Warning: selfies ahead]

It didn't take long for me to finish, and after the beautification process, we were led to the photography area. The place is divided into sections because Zone 5 has a variety of sets for creative shots. They take the more formal ones in a smaller area, and apart from the nice photographer, there is an assistant who helps you dress and choose accessories from the studio's own stash. For one of the formal shots, you get to choose the color of the fabric that you wear, and the assistant artfully ties it around you to make an impromptu dress. Another cool thing is that after the serious shots, the photog asks you to pose for a wacky one!

Afterwards, you are asked about what concept you'd like for the creative shot. If you're like us and you have no idea what to do, you can ask them for their catalog of past creative shots. They have a couple of huge albums so you can get a ton of ideas. For my shot, I chose a Audrey Hepburn-esque one, but I wanted to put my own gothic twist to it. This required a change of hair and make-up, so I had to pay extra. I do not regret this, however, because I ended up having the most awesome beehive in history since Marge Simpson.

I can hide my wallet up in there

They also let me borrow accessories and then let me choose my set. I chose a Victorian one, and then waited for my turn.

Sexy paneling
I was not prepared for what happened next. I found out just exactly how hard it was to be a model and look good while doing awkward poses. The photog took so many shots that my entire body hurt after the shoot. It was a one-of-a-kind experience that I wouldn't trade for the world!

After everything's all done, you now go to this little booth where you get to choose the shots you want reproduced. Yes, that fast! They will show you all your unedited shots that very day so that you won't have to wonder how all those poses turned out. Depending on the package you chose, you can get to keep all your photos in a CD and just edit them later to your liking. To be honest, the choosing took longer than the photoshoot. It was so difficult to choose the ones I liked best. I seriously wanted to go with all the wacky ones, but my mother would kill me so I had to go for the ones that made me look halfway decent. After all that was done, Shelley and I went on our merry way to Trinoma to finally get some lunch.


Although we didn't get to go to the UKEAS UK Education Fair as planned, this Saturday was unforgettable because it will be another five to seven years before I get to do this again (yay PhD!). And I'm happy knowing that this time, my grad pics will end up the way I want them to look.