Thursday, December 14, 2017

Thank you 2017.

Few days left of 2017. Where have all the time gone? Since I have a forgetful memory, I look back at my Instagram and rekindle the fondest of all kaganapan ng 2017.

1. Food poison. Never thought there could be worse. I had to bring myself to the hospital at 3 am. Due to language ineptness, para tuloy akong naging hayop as they were figuring out what was wrong. Yes, language goes a long way but I never took much interest. Dami kong opportunity to learn before but I just could not feel it. Why push? So when you bring yourself to emergency, you could really become second best to being a monkey.

Lesson Learned: Don't prepare your food if you are as lousy as me. And the after effect, I make sure I check the expiration date in the label. 

2. Japan. I travelled Japan twice this year and fell in love with everything Japanese again. All the more that I need to come back and stay a little bit longer next time. I always feel the 'wanderlust' if I spend time there. The rush, the 'gentle loneliness' around, and the sophistication. But I had the challenge each time applying for a visa here. They always ask me for additional requirements. I guess if you're a foreigner applying Japanese visa in a foreign country, they take extra notice of you.

Lesson Learned: I still want to spend more time in Tokyo, Kyoto, take as many tourists train, eat good food, visit paper and notebook stores and Hobonichi shops, go up north to Sapporo, and visit as many onsens and just having zen moments. I would love it more if I travel with my loved ones.

3. Life in Korea. I tried touring as far as I can around Korea. But weekends can be rather busy with my Filipino community, opting to catch my reading and sleeping, just lounging around, which are all totally fine. I never run out of things to do. And sometimes, weekends can even be more tiring for me. I could not complain. I feel I have exhausted my capacity to get to know this country already, haha. Most of the time, I join my visitor-friends when they tour around. At the same time, we can also catch up. That is how lazy I can be, hehe.

Lesson Learned: Since I will not reside here next year, I will make the most of my stay. Like I have never really been to Busan. But it's winter and it makes me feel lazy. Anyhow, let's see. 

4. Mid Year Frustration. I thought I could be stable enough. But my every day dealing with my boss got worse. Do not get me wrong. She is nice but her work ethic is below sea level. As I saw her each day, I began to see less and less of my future. It took toll on me. Let's face it in any organization, your boss is your compass. But if you know it is giving you wrong direction, you need another one. I know that if I still work for her longer and stay here, I will be losing all the opportunity back home.

So by October, I told her I do not intend to renew my contract in January. Homesickness was a good excuse. I never felt good after I told her. It was a breeze from there since I had it made certain. Whatever the future brings, just believe and work on it.

Lesson Learned: I still feel frustrated for what happened not because of her and myself but because of the big work that still needs to be done. There have been talks if I can still work from home, I said it is a win-win if my boss can find a way but if none, I could not do anything about it.

2017 is supposedly my year but somewhat counterproductive. I hope I'd get a better run in 2018. I want to spend more time with my family and catch up with my friends. And Begin Again. Or Continue what I have started here.

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

At the bend

Let me tell you one thing. How easy was it then. I would always wish it would be weekend. For me to see you. Your presence could light up the whole class. You were different, mostly quiet, strange, but I imagined all the possible things. I was happy. We could be friends. And perhaps If I could get into your world and if you would let me. We would go to as many restaurants and review its food. How nice could it be when you would open up to me deeper things about yourself and I would listen. I knew I could stare your beautiful face the whole day. Funny how one person could give you that kind of joy. I did not know how I survived it. After you went away. Our roads diverged. There was no way where I could see you. I was content with watching you in social media. And I hope my likes would resonate far more than other likes. Everyday, there was this ritual. To see you and like you. And find your posts.  I knew it could get tiring. Because you are far away and there is no way we can meet. This is perhaps the most foolish of me. How have I stayed in this kind of ritual far too long. One night, I prayed hard if God can let me see you, or let you see me. One day is short but for me it's enough to just feel the possibility to close all possible things. And we can part ways. Perhaps there will be no way other than a casual goodbye. How I will be grateful by then. Not sad. But a heart content, and ready to search to a farther road. You were a river that ran through my heart. There was not a day, how I wish I could just be simpler so I could be braver to tell you, to offer you perhaps another kind of possibility, and if rejected, it would be an easy way out. How I wish I could be your neighbor, your officemate, your colleague, your friend. There is not much but just this desire. And this desire could not let stay any longer. It was not enough so I gave up on you. 'Two drifters off to see the world, there is just so much world to see. We're after the same rainbow's end, waiting round the bend, my huckleberry friend, moon river and me' So I will wait for you at the bend then. I hope by then the heart still remembers.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Muni Munis of the Day (Friday-Sunday)


1. Relaxing Friday night with Sade Greatest Hits. Lakas lang maka Smooth Operator. This at-the-moment feels is bliss. Just stillness. Not to mention with Korean mask for some rejuvenation.

Probably after writing this entry, I will try to catch up some reading. I am conserving energy though. I have a ten-day out of office mission in Colombo for the big event. The office has been been preparing for this for months with me having an equal share of the work burden. Finally, it is happening. This must be tiring for sure during the conference. But I do not know, my dominant feeling is excitement. It should be fun, sabi ko nga sa mga colleagues ko. After this event, I can now focus my energy on my 'relocation'. 

2. Weeks after I 'unofficially' tendered my resignation to my boss (officially means in writing), reality is setting in. What Reality? Well for one, I know I am not ready for this. I think no one is ever ready. I need to hastily prepare my financial contingency. And I do not yet have a job waiting back home. My good friend Emy told me I have to condition myself for my eventual unemployment phase because I will get bored. At baka hanapin ng katawang lupa ko ang 8-5 pm routine. So I have been preoccupied writing my 'Pantawid' Plan lol. For one, it can be exciting but jittery as well. It is like I am developing this sort of program for myself, taking account the risks and limitations. 

3. Despite the occasional jitters, I have never felt at peace with myself. There is this core that is solid and relaxed. I must say I am recovering my mental and emotional state of being. And yes, I have been reporting to office feeling like a feather. I express myself well in the office. Nagiging totoo ako. Ganoon pala ang nangyayari kapag totoo ka sa sarili mo, kung alam mo yung gusto mo at malinaw kung ano ang gusto mo. I get to be more productive, tiring yet productive. Umuuwi ako na magaan ang loob ko. Will this change my mind? Sometimes, I remind myself, 'Hello, you are leaving na, limit your commitment.' And yes, I do not really expect from my officemates. Believe me, they can be impersonal. 

So will it change my mind? No. When I think the reasons why I am leaving - my boss, being uprooted from home, not learning at all. I can not be in this situation again - when you know you can compromise a lot in the long run. And yes, all the more that I am ever convinced that I won't change my mind.


1. It feels good when you get lost sometimes. Earlier, I went for a late afternoon to early evening walk around Hongdae - Sangsu area. The weather was giving me the cool and calm to just blend in the setting. Lakas lang makabagets ang Hongdae. It felt good to get lost in the crowd. I could not help but remember my younger days though. How could have I not maintained such youthful energy when I had so much back then. I mean I was not referring to an energy of a 'party girl' pero nakakamiss din yung innocence and persistence of being young. When you felt there was so much in your hands and it felt like you were ready for the world.

Well, I must say, it did not turn out that way - unless your parents are millionaires or you live in a first world country where the government can even pay for you to achieve your dreams! Pero hindi din siguro.

Of course, nasa Tita sphere na ako and I subscribe to a different view. I lost a considerable degree of innocence, expended a great deal of energy, could not claim it anymore and I gave up on some things. I am working within my limits but every once in a while I try to explore. I thought I was ready for the world and but I realized no one is really ever ready for whatever world that is. You just take the freakin' plunge.


1. Went to the office for a rush work. Still in relation to our big event. But as soon as I tried opening the file, it won't open. All files in the program server could not be opened. Crap. Just when you thought you were at the moment to do it then by some unknown force, it would water you down. I could not complain more other than I went to the nearest cafe and tried working on some documents, albeit half-baked. But that was it. At the least. 

The weather was rather chilling today, because it was also quite windy. Hindi na naman ako nainform. The jacket did not help. Everytime this happens, I usually rush to the nearest indoor I can find. There was a big lovely fair down our office street but I let it pass. After I finish working in the cafe, I found myself rushing to the subway. Ang laki ng problema ko. Char. I brace myself for winter again. It is usually winter that I am quite susceptible to things affecting my health - like food poison, stomach ache, excessive dryness of skin and not to mention, sentimental mood swings. 

Anyhow, snow is always enchanting naman but I need to prep up again. 

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Muni Muni of the Day

[Dateline Oct 8]

Same month and in the next few months, two years ago, I had been receiving updates of my would-be employment. Tatlong buwan din ang recruitment process. Two examinations and one Skype later, I found myself going to Seoul in Winter on January 2016.  How time flies! I was feeling brave to just go.

But somehow, realities would sink in day by day as I started working here. The winter was harsh. I had to learn the language. The homesickness I endured. Sa totoo lang, I never thought I could get homesick that much. Akala ko sanay na ako since hindi naman talaga ako palauwi sa Bicol before, sa Manila lang ako chumichika, pero iba pa rin, merong iba.

And then some people whom you expected but failed you along the way. Siguro dito ako pinakaapektuhan. For one instance, I was never really motivated by my work anymore. Leadership has played a factor. My boss was below expectations. Universal pala ang mga taong ganoon - Yung mga mabait pero pangit katrabaho.

It took a toll on me. I took it up close and personal. Kahit sabihin nilang you have to separate work from personal. Hello! Work is personal. How can it not be personal. You spend 8 hrs. of your freakin day and you say it is not personal. At yung trabaho naman namin hindi naman ito puwedeng i switch on/ off, problema ng mundo ang trinatrabahu namin.

Anyways, halos hindi ko naapreciate ang city kalaunan, ang Korea in general. Nawala yata ang wanderlust ko. haha. Halos naooverlook ko ang mga blessings ko. Marami akong naging mga tita friends and they opened their homes to me. Nagiging cynical na din yata ako. Ordeal sa akin na everyday it is going to be a day of futility. Ayokong dumating na isang araw I will ask to myself para saan ba tong ginagawa ko? Medyo scary kase yun to be fair. Kahit anong gawin kong pros and cons, bumabalik pa rin ako doon sa point na at this point in my life, ayoko ng mag compromise.

I promised myself not to make a big deal about it anymore since I decided to try to just finishing my contract and get a good options back home or in the region and may the Divine help me. One wish is sana magtugma ang skaydule!

As I look outside the cafe, the leaves are becoming pale and autumn is arriving soon. Full autumn colors na naman, one last hirit bago ang taglamig. Iba talaga si Mother Nature. Siya yata ang nakaimbento ng Last Hurrah. Kailangan may fireworks, may paandar. Kailangan niyang magwaldas ng kulay. One last paandar before the colorless winter. Mother Nature reminds me that do not worry, it will be alright.


Stephani, my Indonesian colleague and I were having lunch and the talk got personal. With her Italian husband also working in Seoul, I asked her what will be their plans once she gets pregnant. Will they raise their child in South Korea? She said they are preparing to settle in a country liveable enough to raise a family. Maybe Switzerland, London - or if in Asia, Singapore, Bangkok, and Hongkong - or maybe not Hongkong, too crowded, she said. Japan? It would have to be the same as here. US is a bit far from me and Davide, she adds. Definitely not Korea, she said.

'And you? you are more free to go elsewhere.' I replied, either Manila or anywhere in the Philippines or Bangkok'. That is the farthest that I can think of, even 'I am more free to go elsewhere'. So much for the contradiction for myself. I do not know if I am shortchanging my indpendence, this sense of freedom, this flexibility. What is keeping me from doing it?

The bottom of it all is I need some sense of stability, and that has been my preoccupation for the past three to four years. Seoul is not helping. I never tried to look for one in the first place.  It has been always a compromise of some sort. I think I need to stop it. I can always lose focus, always wanting to move out of the loop. But always wanting to stay.

Sunday, August 06, 2017

Muni Munis of the day

1. Summer 2017. Grabe ang init dito. To be fair, mas mainit naman sa atin. But there is something about the heat here. Very humid at nakakasuffocate. Ang pangit niya sa balat. For one thing, ok na rin ito in contrast sa winter since I am still your tropical girl. At the moment, I hear cicadas 'chirping' in the neighborhood at umaabot sa 13th floor, at medyo creepy siya. Malaki din kaya ang mga cicadas. Ang tagal mag cool ng weather. Buong Agosto pa ito.

2. Umuwi ako ng saglit sa Bansang Sinilangan. May official business kami at medyo haggard talaga ang preparation weeks. But I must say I was more than satisfied on the outcome. Minsan talaga or most of the time, work wise, mas naiistress talaga ako pag weeks leading to a big event. Strange enough, on the event day itself, parang ang Zen ko na. Lahat na ginawa ko yata sa Manila event namin. Naging social appointment secretary, naging conference moderator, logistics officer. Ang suwerte ng mga boss ko sa totoo lang! Kapagod pero ok naman.

I took an extended weekend, that's the reward. So, I caught up with my socio friends and my bff Bing. I also visited my sister and pamangkin. One of the realizations I have this year is now I know the secret to avoid homesickness. Mas okay pala sa akin ang mga five to seven days lang sa Pinas pero mas frequent.

So when I went back to Seoul early last week, I was physically tired but I was not emotionally haggard. I went back grateful, a bit chill, and surprisingly calm. I felt this twice in a row already this year so it must be working for me. I pray for this consistency.

3. Speaking of uwi, after few days after I arrived here, I booked myself a flight going back again! lol. This time, the fare is on me. There will be a long (almost 10 days) holiday - first week of October and it will be terrible if i do not do something about it. Anong gagawin ko dito, to be fair. I need to be in Manille again to show support to my sister's upcoming wedding this December (since I feel I will only have shortened days by December) and of course, catch up with my friends at magpapabakod na rin ako ng lote. One thing is for sure, when you know your priorities, ang bilis lang mag decide.

But then, on another thought, ibang level ang presyo ng flight tickets. As in triple. To be fair, kahit siguro six months before ka pa magbook, eh fixed na ang mga dates, kung may ibababang presyo, konti lang. Tipidity na lang muna in the next few months to offset the cost. For one thing, installment naman ang bayad. Thanks to ever reliable credit card. So I look forward to coming back again.

4. As soon as I arrived here last week, I realize my calender has been filling up for the rest of the year. It can be overwhelming but only if you sink it in. I have the rest of the year to Make It Right. So many unread books, so many personal things overdue, so many things to do. Like, my Filipino community organization is counting on me on the program design. And yes, I am even thinking of looking for another job especially if the offer is long term. I am happy to oblige and try! Keep the faith and be patient. Plan and be patient.

5. Two Less Lonely People. I wonder, at what rate the world is having two less lonely people an hour? Ang daming tao sa mundo, but why do others have the hardest time to end up with special someone. Do not ask me. I do not think I am even capable of imagining the prospect of feeling it. It got lost somewhere and I kind of accepting it each day. But this song is refreshing. It makes me wish to bring back that lost feeling - It will come - and wish for two less lonely people everyday.

Friday, July 14, 2017

My Favorite Things.

As Maria Von Trapp would have sung, 'When the dog bites, when the bee stings, when I am feeling said, I simply remember my favorite things and then I don't feel so bad'.


Iba ang level pag nakakakita ako ng mga notebook. By mere touch of its cover, scan of its paper. My mood lightens up when I see them, lalo na yung with nice cover design. But the most important part is the paper. There is this 'spark' when I spread my palm on to its clean sheet. I get excited what to write on it. Sometimes I get excited by not writing on it, just keeping the notebook to myself, is enough. Pero feeling ko naman wala pa ako within 'hoarding levels'

And so one of my favorite past time is to drop by stationary stores and go straight to their notebook session. I remember years ago, I always had this habit of finding The Perfect Notebook kuno. I had found one at Fully Booked and I made it into an office notebook and it served me well. I guess it was around 399.99 Php. I miss having a nice notebook. I would not mind purchasing an unusually priced one. Of course I can be highly selective. I need 'to feel' it as it is luring me to buy it.

It has become rare since I got here, this Finding the Perfect Notebook thing. They have lots of quality notebooks here, for the record. Again, the mood to buy it is rare. I am even thinking of going to Japan just to buy one. lol. But still notebooks is ever fun.

Prophylactic Treatment

If only I could go to dentist each month, I would have done it. When I was younger, the sight of a dentist's chair was most dreadful. I felt you could be at the mercy of the dentist. I had the worst set of teeth and it was losing me confidence. During my early professional years, sabi ko, I needed to do something about it. So I saved some money, braved myself to my dentist tita and she unleashed everything in her powers to make me her one successful project.

The dental clinic had become a pilgrimage with an average of two hours twice a month. After surgery and surgery and all the countless injections, the brace, the colorful rubbers, and all the blame to the universe, it paid off. It was a nice experience after all or maybe I got numb about it. lol. But I ended up liking it.

So, prophylactic treatment serves as maintenance to make my teeth and gums healthy. I used to go to my sister's clinic in recent years. And since I am away, buti na lang may free dental service dito for expats and so I started availing it. Maganda ang equipment nila to be fair. Hindi ito Libreng Dental ni Mayor peg! I had my second appointment already. Pero comment ko lang, walang Tender Loving Care dito, mabigat ang mga kamay ng dental hygienist. No choice. But at least, I take joy the moment the suction is put into my mouth.

Massage at Mag Moment sa Bathtub. 

Na miss ko na ito. Pero ok na rin yung mag Korean sauna then magpamassage. Pero gusto ko na sana yung individual sauna with matching view of the greens, ganern. Ewan ko, ibang level pag minamassage ka na. All the more kung ang gaan ng kamay ng masahista. I miss this. Well, what's keeping me from doing it full blown is the price, an average of 100 usd mga The Spa levels pa lang dito.

Anything about Japan. 

Parang hindi ako nagsasawa sa bansang ito. My default morning channel is NHK World English. I take interest in everything about Japan and its culture, its people. I envy their discipline and their nation's achievements. I would want to go back again and again and just people watch. I like their art and way of life, their persistence, precision, and discipline. Yet they can be most extreme and lonely people too. I am ever curious. I am attracted to it. I hope to spend more time getting to know this country. Lately, I have been randomly youtubing their trains and those 'single living in Tokyo' thing. Believe me. 

The sight of lit candles. 

Therapeutic siya. Some plain and those not strongly scented ones. Kahit isa, with wine, dim light with a book or just youtubing or scribbling notes is bliss, basta yung candle within my peripheral sight. Medyo worry din ako baka lumiyab ang balur.

And so, these are some of my fave. And yes, they are part of my human make up.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Fair Share

I have had fair share of rejection. It was tough and I felt it was mostly unfair. I could not complain and I could not do anything about it anymore. Looking back, there were times when you felt overwhelmed by biases of some people on you. Simply put, they just do not believe in you. Or if they do, it is a matter of interest for them. Sometimes, it makes me think, Kamusta na kaya sila? How have they been? Those who had refused to listen to me, refused to accomodate me, or simply, who did not believe in me - at varying level of degrees.

I have long forgiven them. For my peace of mind. Besides, I let Universe do it for me. It does not really matter to me anymore. Of course, sometimes, the pain still lingers. Late this week, it was triggered again. I cannot help it since part of my work is still dealing with them.  

I cannot help but think they do not treat me seriously nor a priority. I do not know if it is affirmation from my part. But here came the past reminiscent. Here came the moments when I needed to play second fiddle for them. Or here came the feeling that probably they were treating me like a joke. Many times, I did not do something about it when I was with them. I was never confrontational in the strictest sense of the word.

It was ridiculous from my part. It was privileging at least. I have basis but it has been all under my impression. It made me drained just the thought of it. I thought I had moved on from this. 

They say success is the sweetest revenge. I can only rechannel all of this into a more positive action, hoping it will insulate me from the memories of people who in more ways had bothered me. I do not need to prove anything for them. 

I feel there is no even point in trying. It is a waste of time. I just simply move on. It is inevitable for me to acquiant with them every once in a while. And it is enough. 

But I feel it takes time for me to further realize that simply this habit of recalling moments with not so good people can only be helpful to remind you to a certain limit and other than that, it should only help you grow. As I close my eyes, I can only hope that someday, I will be just humming Joey Albert's 'I Remember the Boy, But I Don't Remember The Feeling', much more with feelings. 

Thank you 2017.

Few days left of 2017. Where have all the time gone? Since I have a forgetful memory, I look back at my Instagram and rekindle the fondest o...