Siquijor + Dumaguete

Last Thursday up to Sunday, my best friend and I whisked ourselves away to Visayas.

The plane tickets were purchased way beforehand, and as the date of the trip crept in we haven’t really paid much attention to properly planning the trip. It was so YOLO that we’ve only secured places to stay in two or three days before flying there. Anyway! That is just the beginning of our semi-epic adventure to the mystical land of Siquijor, and a little bit of Dumaguete! Continue reading

Where am I?

Well, my room is being renovated to accommodate a Scandinavian-inspired layout (finally, my dream come true!), and my mom decided to stuff all the contents of my bookshelves into one huge box. Topped with hardbound books and yearbooks of mine and my parents, it has become hard for me to look for my journal which she has lumped together there somewhere with all my books.

SO. What am I trying to say?

Normally I write my feelings in my journal. My penmanship looks horrible because my hand cannot keep up with the stream of thoughts and emotions. Anyway, this post is about something that’s been taking over my mind for some time now.

Quarter life crisis.

I’m right smack in the middle of being 25, and I have never been so afraid of where I will be and what I will become in the years ahead of me. It’s like making your way across murky waters with nothing but a thick fog in front of you, and then suddenly your foot gets stuck in a thick glob of mud and underwater plants. That is my life, currently.

I am afraid of uncertainty.

At this age, I look and find people who are just as lost as I am, and then I also see people who have already got it made. These are the people who know what they’re passionate about, what they’re good at – and all they have to do is figure out how to make it marketable for them to survive.

Meanwhile, here I am working in advertising. For some reason I am sure that this is not a career that I want for myself forever. The only sure thing I see for myself, (again, for some reason) is that I want a quiet life with a small family. How I will be able to sustain it without being dependent on a hypothetical future husband, I still have no idea. Right now, I am riddled with hobbies and interests, but nothing that I am confident in pursuing forever as a means of living.

Crochet? Drawing? Learning languages? An interest in cozy apartment decoration? An interest in progressive fashion? I am a jack of all trades, and a master of none.

I came across this post, something about how the most powerful people in the world focus on their one “superpower”, and how they got themselves successful through this awareness. As of late, I’m still trying to figure out what that one superpower of mine is.

My task right now is to figure that one out, then make a skeleton plan as to how to make it profitable. In the next few years, I need to slowly make this vision into a reality, make true of its feasibility and logistics. I’m kind of inclined to peg my deadline for this by the time I’m 30.

Apart from figuring out my career path, there is also the matter of living abroad. I have contemplated on this for some time, but more so after I’ve met Lucas who has introduced me to what it’s like to live in Denmark. How he described the country made me contemplate about how I fit here in Manila. I honestly don’t think I do.

I love the Philippines, I really do. But I don’t think I can really “grow” here in the way that I want. I want to be able to bike to a park. I want to learn a language. I want to converse with people who are of different ethnicities, and learn about their culture. I’m a woman with unorthodox habits and views that are different from the typical Maria Clara, and I want to be someplace where I can be accepted for that. I want to live a life where people do not hover over my every action and think about how my decisions are not “the normal way of things”.

I want to be someplace unfamiliar.

The Philippines is my home, and I have been spoiled by the comfort that comes with it. Manila is gritty and it’s made me to be tough and cautious on the streets, but it’s really the people that brings out the softness of living here. How do you uproot yourself from your small close-knit family, and the extension of it that is your network of close friends? How do you remove them from your physical life in order to make room for strangers in a foreign land? The thought is terrifying and exciting at the same time.

If I ever do pursue it and become successful in moving to a different country (ideally with a career path in the works to help me live), it would be the most daring thing I could ever be proud of doing. No other form of personal satisfaction could top it.

So now, where exactly do I begin?

Welcome back, Florence Welch!

Florence + the Machine has always made powerful music. But these two new releases are both SO strong, and not in the way her previous albums made me feel. It’s hard to believe that I’m feeling so much with just the two songs that I’ve heard so far.

How Big How Blue How Beautiful is very celebratory, like it made me feel like an underdog that rose from the ashes, exceeding the expectations of everyone who were around me. Maybe getting crowned in the end. That’s what this song means to me.

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Exactly.

And then this second song of hers called What Kind of Man makes me feel angry and frustrated and empowered all at the same time – like I am not alone in all this angst!

I feel that this new direction is a big step into her transformation as an artist. I’m excited to hear more from her!

P.S. And yes, I have abused the word “feel” in this post alone. I’m brimming with emotions lately. FEEL.

Naks

Yup. I deserve a naks. Pat on the back. Slow clap. Et ce tera. These past few weeks have been different for me. I started hanging out with Lucas who is the complete opposite of me personality-wise, and in effect his extroversion started rubbing off on me. It’s a good thing! In a friend’s art exhibit, we didn’t know anyone there at all. We went around A-Space twice, left for some fresh air, then went back in to get some drinks. We ended up speaking with the music performers there, the exhibitors, the promoters; then as we made a French exit, we stopped by the comfort room. After relieving ourselves, we found ourselves in an hour-long conversation with a curator, a girl from CraftMNL, a businessman from Philadelphia, and a student from Turkey. It was so crazy. I never figured myself to be able to sustain conversations with strangers minus the awkwardness of myself.

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Normally I try to make small talk, but it really just ends there. This time I was talking to STRANGERS. Foreigners, even. I guess I got cues from Lucas’ manner of speaking and body language, which helped me keep up with everyone. I like this change! It’s tapping into a side of me that I have subjected myself to thinking that it’s not something to develop.

For example, I now make an effort to accept compliments with a simple “Thank you”, rather than swerving into reasons why I don’t deserve such kind words. Or I try to not give in to shyness by exerting myself when I genuinely want to know more about a new person. Little things like that, but mean so much more, especially to me who hides in the confines of my awkward personality. And then something completely unrelated to coming out of my comfort zone but is equally a progression in itself, I’m slowly developing a mild appreciation for alcohol. It used to be just Tanduay Ice or Vodka Cruisers, but now I drink a little bit of beer without feeling unpleasant about it. Also cocktails! He asked me what sort of drinks I like and told the bartender what to mix with something rum-and-gin-based for me. I had two cocktails, and they surprisingly actually suited my taste! So yes. I have been keeping myself busy with this undiscovered potential of mine to be more sociable. I just needed the right trigger for it. Good luck to me as I discover more about this sheltered side of myself that’s yet to bloom!