03 October 2015


I know, I know, I'm getting cornier by the moment. I'm just finding a variation for "what's up" and combining it with the day of the week as title. I'm even going to "sup?" levels, haha! In my defense, it really is the easiest way to put together a hodgepodge of things that happened. So, let me distract you with a super smiley selfie coz I'm sticking with the title.

I've finished three books this week. Not only did I get them discounted (thank you Lord for MPH/Times/Kinokuniya cards!), the real win is how each of these books were really good and moving. In case you're wondering, it's FH Batacan's Smaller and Smaller Circles, Rachel Joyce's The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry: A Novel , and David Levithan's Every Day. Shout out to Alissa for being the convincing push to finally check out Every Day. ;)

I've also started a "splinter" blog. It's actually more of a journal for private consumption that delves into my daily thoughts and emotions. I decided to keep it separate because I wanted the deep (and sometimes darker) musings to have a space of its own, somewhere free from preconceived notions from myself and others, and LiveJournal doesn't offer the same amount of customization. So yes. It's called I'm Okay, hehe I'll still keep this one coz where else would I post my food trips and whatnot? :)

Speaking of food trips, I've finally got to try Gordon Ramsay's first restaurant in Singapore: Bread Street Kitchen. It was good but with the name Gordon Ramsay attached, you just can't help but to expect fireworks and confetti. I'll post a proper foodie post here, so watch out for it!

We tried it out before catching Saturday Night Fever whose cast was mostly Filipinos. It's based on the movie of the same name, featuring John Travolta and the songs of BeeGees. Needless to say, it really gave us the dancing mood. Burn, baby, burn, disco inferno! Then it got me thinking that should there be any musical about our generation, or at least this current period, it should feature Maroon 5 songs. What do you think?? 

For a time, I started to not like Adam Levine because he seemed more "hollywood" than singer. Don't get me wrong, I've always been a Maroon 5 fan and I've always loved Adam, but yes, I had an "ugh Adam" phase. But then I saw him sing Tiny Dancer and all is well in the world again.

I mean, obviously, not everything in the world is well. Can we talk about the devastation in Syria and the plight of the Syrian people? The numbers are really heartbreaking as it is, but if you add a face to even just one or two, it makes it 1,000,000 times worse! Check out Humans of New York if you haven't yet. Start out with this one and find yourself questioning humanity. 

But thankfully, there's little things, such as attending my manager's daughter's first month celebration (baby R is such a precious cutie!), The Voice UK, and Pope FrancisFake (but funny!) video aside, our Pope is just a bundle of joy and light. It's truly a blessing and an honor to be led by him. ♥︎ 

So, that was my week. How about you? How you doin'? ;) 

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27 September 2015

Book It: FH Batacan's Smaller and Smaller Circles


I was only supposed to mention this book in passing coz I wasn't really confident with my book review skillz, but fuck it, this book deserves more. I chanced upon Smaller and Smaller Circles by FH Batacan in National Book Store in UP Town. I really wasn't supposed to be buying any more books, but it was so hard to resist a novel that, okay, major bias here, featured two Jesuit priests. And it's not just any novel, it's a crime novel. I was still a bit hesitant coz aside from the required readings in high school, I haven't really read Filipino literature but colonial mentality kicked in - it was published in my favoritest city in the world, so it should be good. It wasn't good, it was great.

"Serial killing is not as impossible a phenomenon in the country as popular perception and opinion seem to suggest, but one that local law enforcement has barely any capability or inclination to detect." 
- FH Batacan

Set in Quezon City, the year is 1997 and a serial killer is running around killing pre-teen boys. Killing doesn't even begin to suffice what he does to them - he disfigures their faces, takes off their hearts, cuts of their genitalia, and disposes them into the Payatas dumpsite. The new head of the National Bureau of Investigation, Director Lastimosa, reaches out to Father Saenz, a Jesuit priest trained in Anthropology, to assist in the case.

Aside from the thrilling murder mystery, Smaller and Smaller Circles' strength lies in its spot-on observation of the consuming desire to socially climb up the ladder and the increasing apathy towards "undesirables". It gives a brutally honest commentary on how Manila is ran by authorities who would much rather serve their self-interests than that of the people's - especially those who have nothing and need them most. That even if there are good people, the bureaucratic, underfunded, toxic system can get the best of them. But even so, one mustn't just throw in the towel because it's hard. It sucks, but that shouldn't stop you from doing the right thing.

Once in a while, there's a chance to do more. And you take it. 
Right. I get it. My life can't just be interesting. It has to be meaningful
Something like that, yes. 
I'm no crusader, Gus. 
No, my boy. You're just an ordinary man. 
-FH Batacan

Be sure to check out Smaller and Smaller Circles! Seriously a literary gem, and I don't mean it just because she's Filipino. I mean, sure, check it out because she's a Filipino author published in New York - I'm ashamed to admit that this was my primary drive - but I guarantee you, her work's own merit far transcends my affinity to her for sharing the same race. Well-developed murder mystery plot with an even better social commentary, the only thing you'll want more is well, more. More from the author, and more from and for the Filipino people.

with my Immersion family from Payatas Trese (2009

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25 September 2015



Whenever I'm in Manila, one of the commonly asked questions is when I'll fly out. Normally, it's explicitly versed as "kailan ka babalik ng Singapore?" or "when are you going back to Singapore?" but when it's phrased as "uuwi ka na?" or "are you going home?" I have to pause and ask the all important clarifier - where?

You see, in my 3+ years of living in Singapore, I have also built a life here. 3+ years is a long time to have no commitments whatsoever in another land. I have a contracted mobile phone plan and I also come home to my rented room (which I recently added a fluffy white cloud into). My dad's friend, a local Singaporean, was even surprised that I've been to most of the places he showed us on a drive around central Singapore. On that said drive, my dad asked if there was also Uber in Singapore, and being the happy Uber customer that I am (use my code: gr6hc), I proudly said that, "yes, we have Uber here!" to which my dad's friend commented on my use of the term "we". It then hit me, that yes, I may have carved myself a small home in the little red dot, but I was still an outsider.

The funny thing is, I also feel somewhat like an outsider when I'm in Manila, my home home. Being away most of the time, I try to hold back the tears as I comment that "ang daming kong na-miss." And I mean that in the most literal sense that I've missed out on a lot of pivotal moments in the lives of people I hold most dear to me - my family and my friends. Like what this NY Times op-ed says, quality time is a myth. It's being there in the present, in the mundane, that reaps the most rewards. And I quote, "They understand, consciously or instinctively, that sustained proximity is the best route to the soul of someone; that unscripted gestures at unexpected junctures yield sweeter rewards than scripted ones".

This leads me to my newly-decided life-check slogan - para que?! For what?! Why don't I just return to Manila then if I'm being too sentimental about not physically being in other people's lives? Because of the opportunities abroad. Then why complain about Singapore? Because I know it's not for me forever-wise. I respect the difference in culture but there are some aspects of it that I am really apprehensive about. Then why are you still there? Because I know Singapore is where I should be right now. And to answer that all important para que? For growth. For improvement. For betterment.

And no, I am not blaming anyone for my feeling of not being completely at home. I know this is all on me. Life is a matter of perspective, after all.

So with one foot on each homes, I find myself trying to keep my balance. Because as strange as it may sound, I'm trying to build a solid foundation for myself within me. I want to be self-sufficient and whole enough to feel complete and comfortable wherever part of the world I am. I want to feel at home in my own skin. I want to be able to look at Manila or Singapore or New York (hopefully, hehe) and be at peace with my relationships and self-worth.

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24 September 2015



Today, I got out of bed singing "Oh, I just can't wait to be king!!!". Wait, whutttt? Truth is, I had such a hard time waking up. Blame it on a very busy past few days, my new pillow, or maybe even my innate sleepyhead nature, but my body felt like lead. I sang it in reference to tomorrow's upcoming holiday where I'll get to sleep in and be king. Boo yah!

We had a barbecue after work, so having learned my lesson from more than a dozen mosquito bites from Manila, I went all out wearing long sleeves, jeans, and my Nike's.. To which I asked my boyfriend, "do I look like a boy?", hahaha

Speaking of my boyfriend, today, I gained a new insight regarding relationships: You don't fight to win, you argue to better understand each other. We, okay, mostly I, wanted to make an anniversary blog post about the lessons we've learned in our two years together, but it's a lot harder than I thought. You know you've learned a lot but when you need to rack your brain and jot it down from the top of your head, you draw a blank. So, yeah. Back to the lesson. It's important to speak your mind and air your grievances to resolve your issues. There's no point in just blaming each other or mercilessly defending your ego and not listening. You don't fight so you can win, you fight so your relationship can win.

(check this photo on my Instagram)

So, that's how my Wednesday has been. Sorry if you find this a bit random, but I wanted to do a bit more casual, slightly personal, LiveJournal-ish blog post. The past few days have been surreal, in a less than ideal way, and I'm trying to put everything into words in the hopes that it can get through to someone, if only me at the very least. Have a good rest of the week! I'll catch up on sleep and hopefully be able to churn out a deeper post and sort through the roller coaster that was.

My agenda for tomorrow, hahaha!

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