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Happy Holidays!

The obligatory "Merry Christmas from our family to yours" post! As per usual, it's lunch with the Bernardos and dinner with the Vistans.

For lunch, this year, my Ninong Buggy (who's a chef) prepared roast porchetto with baked potatoes, sundried tomatoes and olives pasta, ox tongue, beef salpicao, beer battered fish and chips with aioli, and melba toast with 4 dips! It's always a sumptuous feast when Ninong Bugs is around.

Christmas Eve, with Mom and Papa, in our living room 

With Kuya Ben! 

Then for dinner, we went straight to Marriott where we were also booked for the night. My Tita Karen is home from Bali, so she and my mom decided to treat us for a short staycation for the weekend. We had beef caldereta, sinigang na hipon, pancit canton, and lechon Cebu. The next day, after breakfast buffet, we said hello to Tita Gina at St. Therese's.


And now, I'm at Batangas, where I'm enjoying the vacation-cum-sembreak the only way I know how: by bumming around and eating! Happy holidays, indeed!

I have lots of things and feelings to share about this Christmas, but maybe that's better reserved for my end-of-the-year post. For now, let me enjoy the small things that did make my holidays special, like the company of friends and the pleasure of quiet moments with family. And the taste of my freedooooom! Woohoooooo!


Have yourself a merry little Christmas

It can't possibly get any more Christmas-y than this! Consider this our token loveteam greeting card photo :)) These are the smiles of people who just stuffed their faces with junk food all day as they watched movies and listened to music. Haha! And that is also the face of a guy willing to drive from QC to Paranaque (and back), braving EDSA December traffic just to do nothing and simply hang out with me. Mad props! 

The 25th is just a few days away, so consider this my advanced greeting: Wishing everyone a very merry Christmas! May your holidays be filled with light and laughter. And a whole lot of love.


Some loves just find their way back

Thanks to a little bit of fate and a whole lot of work, I was invited to the Summit Media Men's Titles* Christmas Party last night. My friend Ria is an editorial assistant for the Men's Health website, and for the last few months, she has been asking me to contribute some light, humorous articles here and there when I have the time. I gladly oblige when she thinks of timely article ideas for which she could use my "skillz," and I don't have much on my plate. It's been great so far, actually, and it's something I enjoy doing because it takes my mind off school. I get to do articles I normally wouldn't have the chance to write, for many reasons. We both agreed I'll be writing them under a pseudonym** and thus far, the name has allowed me to be more risque, more off-color than usual. Which I guess, only translated to better writing.

And so imagine my extreme delight when both Ria's editor and the chief of all men's titles invited me to come over for their Christmas party, because they personally wanted to meet me. #KILIG

It was so surreal being told in person of how much your work is appreciated. This is what I miss most about the workshop - and college, in general. Critique and appraisal. You only ever grow as a writer when you get feedback. And when it's coming from people in the industry you respect, it will always get you floored. (Especially when they personally invite you to continue writing for them because they really like your voice.)Shaking hands with "The Chief," and hearing him tell me that I should never stop writing - it's music to my ears. The fact that people of their caliber respect the work that I do (and my sense of humor! They think my writing is hilarious! Lol) is probably the best kind of compliment I've received in a long time. But probably none more adulatory than actually being invited to contribute for their other titles, both on web and on print. It's (pardon my French) <i>abso-fucking-lutely</i> incredible.<br /> <br /> [Bonus: I felt so starstruck that I got to rub elbows and share chips with Top Gear's Dinzo Tabamo! I just had to take a picture with him - for making-the-boyfriend-jealous purposes hehe]<br /> <br /> I sound like such a douche, right now, don't I? Like I'm pumping my imaginary chest and flexing my arms to show off my metaphorical guns? :)) I'm sorry, I just had to write about this because I rarely get to go out and have a night for the books these days. Hahaha. #sad #whatsociallife

The thing is, I think I've reached that point in my life where I've accepted that writing is not going to be my main career. At least not for now. Law, with all my ups and downs, is something I've grown to appreciate. Now that I'm almost at the tail-end of my law school journey, I've come to like it. And yes, I want to finish it. That, I'm already sure of.

But some loves you never let go. And when opportunities like this present themselves to me, I will always, always grab it. I guess there will always be parts of me that will never be as happy as when I get the chance to put words on paper. It may be trivial, it may not be earth-shattering. But like I said in my previous post, art finds a way. When it comes knocking at your door, who are you to turn it away?


* Summit Men's Titles include Men's Health, Top Gear, and FHM. 
** A pseudonym which shall not be revealed for now, but let's just say I call her my party-girl-from-Alabang alter-ego. HA HA HAHAHA. Oh, the many lives we live when we write.


Baby, it's cold outside

Why hello, internet! I've missed you for far, far too long! I am finally a free elf! Wow, the last few months sure did feel like forever. It's been four years of law school and yet with all honesty I can still say that my favorite part of each sem is when it finally ends! :))

If it hasn't been obvious yet, judging by my Instagram account, I've been obsessed lately with brush calligraphy. This photo is an edited version of one I doodled in one of my notebooks. This is actually a metallic blue pen on black paper, but I had a little too much fun on Photoshop and ended up making look like a vectorized version of its original self. Anyway, I still love it! Seriously considering changing up my logo for the blog now. I wish I can attend a calligraphy workshop this Christmas break - it's definitely one of those things I've been meaning to do but just didn't have the time for. Hopefully, there's one that can pop up somewhere near where I'm living in the South.

With this recent interest in calligraphy, there's one thing I realized: art finds a way. For years, I've been complaining that my life just doesn't have enough art anymore. I hardly have time to read books for pleasure, and I no longer have the leisure of writing for writing's sake. My mind is cluttered with thoughts of academic stuff. I'm always on a rush, I'm always worried about doing something else. There's no time to just do stuff and make art. Which is sad, really, because what kind of life are you living without any semblance of creativity left, right?

But then, I stumbled upon calligraphy by accident. I started trying it out last year and found myself really enjoying it. I'd like to think I've improved since the first time I did it. And you know what? I've come to appreciate the lightness it brings. Doodling makes me feel relaxed; it takes my mind off pressing things, even for a few minutes. It forces me to think of songs to write about, of words that are beautiful enough to be put on paper. It's nothing serious - nothing groundbreaking comes out of my scribbles. But it brings me great relief, knowing that there is somethin g I can still pursue, something I genuinely enjoy and I am good at. It's fulfilling.

For Christmas break, I've downloaded so many TV series, taken note of so many books, and prepared a plethora of albums to listen to. But I also armed myself with new notebooks and pens to while away my time. Art has found its way into my otherwise hectic, frantic life. Time to give it the attention I think it so rightfully deserves.

Happy holiday break, everyone! :) Enjoy the sweater weather! Brrrr!


The one scene that made me cry in That Thing Called Tadhana

"Nung college lang, sa class ko sa creative writing, pinag-pasa kami ng short story. Eh naka-uno ako, tapos nagsulat yung professor ko ng note, nakalagay, 'You should share this to the world someday.' Ganun. Edi siyempre pakiramdam ko nun ang galing-galing ko na diba.

Grabe noh? Aren't we supposed to be great by this time?"


Okay, back to studying!


betcha by golly wow

I was listening to FM radio while studying a while ago, just like I always do, when your song came along. At this point, I shouldn't be surprised anymore. Chancing upon 96.3 Easy Rock means there's a likelihood I'll hear a song you love to sing, because that's your default radio station. Actually, that's the default station of everyone in your generation. (And, of every office I've ever been in, as a matter of fact, haha.)

So I shouldn't be caught off guard anymore when the first few notes of "Betcha By Golly Wow" start playing. This isn't the first time it happened. Three seconds into the song, every time I hear it, and I'm bawling my eyes out.

And yet it's not something I have gotten used to. Not the sudden swell of tears when the Stylistics begin crooning "There's a spark of magic in your eyes..." Not the gasp for air when the chorus strikes and I hear your voice in my head singing along. Not the thought that long drives from Batangas to Manila with this song in the background will be nothing but memories. Not getting used to any of these feelings, even after many months later.

I couldn't bring myself to stop crying; but I couldn't not sing along either. Write your name across the sky, the song goes. And everyday, if I have to - on paper, on sand, on the pavement, on every inch of space I can find - I will. Because your name is home. You were home. And everyday I come to terms with the fact that there's no place like it.

Hey, Tita Gina. I'm alright, I promise. I just really, really miss you.