Happy snaps of my 3 month sabbatical

February 29, 2012 § Leave a comment

I would call this a photo dump if the word didn’t imply such thoughtlessness. I thought a bit about these photos, at least. These are the highlights of my three month staycation in Manila through some photos I snapped using my phone. While these photos wouldn’t hold the same emotional relevance for you as it does for me, dear reader, I hope you enjoy them nonetheless.:)

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Sunny Sundays.

February 26, 2012 § 3 Comments

You know those days when absolutely none of your friends are free and even all the members of your family are busy? Last Sunday was one of those. After the initial panic of seeing a dystopian future in which all my future offspring leave me, my friends are off to who knows where, without even a dog for company, etc.etc., I decided to tag along to my parents’ date with some friends, despite the shame of admitting to having absolutely no cool young things to do on a weekend. Like most things in life, however, it turned out better than expected. It turned into an impromptu road trip! There’s nothing quite like a quick getaway to the country to rejuvenate the senses, quiet the weary mind, etc.etc.

The morning started with a trip to the driving range where the adults were given a chance to break out their Tiger Woods and I was given a chance to plug in my bossa and commune with my book, Jane Eyre. In the past quarter, I’ve rarely had a chance to be quiet and keep quiet, let alone read and listen to my iPod. Of course, the cool breeze was a delightful surprise too. I’ve often been sceptical of what people deem “cool” and “cold” here (seeing as there are people who wear boots and scarves in this tropical climate where the average temperature is somewhere around 26 or 27 degrees), however, I was most glad to have been taken by surprise. « Read the rest of this entry »

Like how a bird flies south for the winter

February 20, 2012 § 2 Comments

I wouldn’t mind being home right about now. I miss my bed and my car. I miss the sunlight that streams through the clear windows of the dining room at breakfast. I miss sitting with my coffee and a book. I miss my room and my privacy, the quiet that being alone affords. I get a lot of me-time here, don’t get me wrong, but being alone in a place where social connections abound, has an oppressive quality to it, somehow. As if I’m not spending my time as wisely as I should, holding hands, having deep conversation over even deeper cups of coffee. It’s strange how the brief moments of being alone in a place where I am constantly with someone or someones makes me feel lonelier than I am over there where being alone with your mind and being able to do things for yourself is necessitated by circumstance.

Starbucks satisfaction not quite the same as breakfast table (in my jammies with my book) happiness

I know I will miss this – the noise, the flurry, the unavoidable bumping into each other. But I miss my freedom too. Being able to sit quietly with just my feelings, being able to examine them as much as I wish (while often not the healthiest of past times), is a luxury I can ill-afford here. And yet, this is what I come home for every single year, like clockwork, like how birds fly south every winter. « Read the rest of this entry »

Why I wouldn’t trade my best girlfriend for Michael Fassbender on Valentine’s Day

February 15, 2012 § 8 Comments


 #1 While we try to dress up and look pretty for each other, it’s fine for us to mess up our makeup, or see each other in our home attire as well, even before we’ve washed our faces and/or brushed our teeth.

#2 We can talk about everything and nothing at the same time. We can talk for hours and hours on end, yet, we can also shut up and sit quietly watching people passing by. We can gossip and be generally catty girls, yet we’re also able to talk about the bigger things in life, like what do we do with our lives, where do we go from here, or what to get for dessert! I can discuss with her the plot of Jane Eyre or my favourite telenovela (hey, no judgment. I’m learning spanish!) without shame, and maybe even get her hooked on one or the other.

#3 We roll our eyes together or let out a not-so-silent ‘Ugh!’ at the sight of couples kissing on escalators or holding hands like there’s no tomorrow, and it’s perfectly acceptable. « Read the rest of this entry »

What Jane Eyre taught me.

February 13, 2012 § Leave a comment

After being disappointed by the newest Jane Eyre (save for Michael Fassbender, of course, duh), I decided to go back and re-watch the 2006 version with Ruth Wilson and Toby Stephens and re-read the novel. I was reminded of why I loved Jane Eyre in the first place. It’s like reading chick lit, only with much better writing and a much more intelligent, sensible, feminist heroine with bucket loads of integrity and an iron-will. In a time when people gain fame from accidentally leaked sex videos and most music videos consist of humping and grinding, it’s refreshing to find a leading character who is, and who wins in the end, by being a good girl. A very good girl, in fact. While being a good girl may never be cool again, Jane Eyre is a reminder that it’s still possible to be a lady, stay true to oneself, stick with your morals, and still get the dark, brooding leading man at the end.

The 2006 mini-series with Ruth Wilson and Toby Stephens, the best (read: sexy but still accurate) version to date

Here are a few quotes from the novel that struck me as particularly relevant…

On the restlessness of (my) human nature

“I climbed the three staircases, raised the trap-door of the attic, and having reached the leads, looked out afar over sequestered field and hill, and along dim sky-line — that then I longed for a power of vision which might overpass that limit; which might reach the busy world, towns, regions full of life I had heard of but never seen — that then I desired more of practical experience than I possessed; more of intercourse with my kind, of acquaintance with variety of character, than was here within my reach. I valued what was good in Mrs. Fairfax, and what was good in Adele; but I believed in the existence of other and more vivid kinds of goodness, and what I believed in I wished to behold. Who blames me? « Read the rest of this entry »

On glorifying sadness

February 1, 2012 § Leave a comment

What is it about dark things that draw art to them? Every masterpiece (every painting, every great novel, every great poem) was about sadness or death or heartbreak. The greatest artists are those who have suffered and managed to churn out something heartbreakingly beautiful from their suffering. Heartbreaking beauty. What is up with that? What is up with liking/loving/wanting to be sad and frustrated and lonely? Nobody would ever wish this upon themselves, but we talk/sing/write about it as if there were no nobler pursuit.  « Read the rest of this entry »

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