Tag Archives: my life

My 2010: Highlights and then some

I’ve been going through several drafts of this post, figuring out what to write as a year-ender. In the past, I’ve done this survey about the past year. I’ll still do that, but I wanted to do something else. I don’t know what, but I’ve been inspired by several people’s posts.

There’s Kimmeh’s “first” post, where listed down things she did or experienced for the first time. Then there’s the various gratitude posts, which I truly would love to do, as I feel that 2010 was the year that I have so much to be thankful about. I decided to do a bit of both, since most of the firsts are also things I’m thankful for.

Being able to travel
This year I was able to get out of the usual places I go to. I went on a rather impromptu trip with my best friend and my brother to Bicol. It was the first trip Nez and I ever took together so it was fun. We had a lot of misadventures from the get-go but everything else was just great. It was also a first for so many things: Wakeboarding, going to Peñafrancia, Daraga Church, etc. It was also Miks’ first time on a plane.

I was also able to go to Bohol, and with a people I barely knew except through Plurk. It’s something out of my comfort zone, because I always believed that it was best to go someplace with people you know. However, I was proven to be wrong and had an amazing time with them.

It was also a thrill for me to bring some friends to Zambales. Even though I’ve been inviting people to visit, this is only the second time that friends really took me up on my invitation.

Celebrations with the family
This summer, Mama’s family took a vacation in Candelaria. We spent the weekend there, singing, swimming, eating and having a great time. For Mama and Nunik’s birthday, my Tita Ruth took us to Tagaytay for the weekend. It was great fun as I was with my crazy family and it allowed Mama to catch up with her siblings. Food and laugh trip all the way. It’s something I’m so very happy to have had.

This year we also had a string of family food gatherings, cookouts and trips, mostly with the Bañares side of the family. We went to Binondo, then had several food cookouts (including my birthday) and dinner whenever Tita Ruth and Tito Vic would arrive from a trip abroad.

Lolo Sal also celebrated his 85th birthday. We invited people who knew him from way back, and it was the first gathering we had for him since Lola passed away years ago. I think he enjoyed it, and I’m glad we had the chance to give him that.

Papa also won a position in the town council as kagawad in this year’s elections. It was a tight race, and even with all the challenges he won.

New friends
This year was when I expanded my circle of friends. Most of them are people I met through those I already know, or I got to know better through Plurk (I love that site). In a year’s time, I’ve gone on trips with them, eat all sorts of food, start a new hobby, saw them get married and seen all sorts of things (good ones, mostly).

This is just the tip of the iceberg, so to speak. There’s a lot more things I’m grateful for that happened in 2010. While it’s not the best year, it isn’t the worst either. There were so many challenges this year, but I’m so thankful to have hurdled them. 2011 will bring new challenges, and I think I’m set to face them. I’ve got my family, and I’ve got true friends who I know will help me, support me and give me a kick in the butt if they know I’m being stupid.

And without further ado, my yearly survey!
Continue reading

Halalan 2010: Cast your vote

Took us three hours to get our votes cast, but it was worth it. Let’s pray that there’ll be very little hitches in the next hours. Voting will be open until 7 PM.

Details later.

My parents woke us up early, saying that we should start getting ready for so we can be at the precinct before 7 AM. We managed to get there around that time, and there was already a small queue. I was pretty excited to vote as this would be the 2nd time I’ll be doing so for president, third time for the local government (if memory serves me right).

Let me say that since this is a fairly new system, it’s understandable that there would be glitches and such. However, it would be nice if volunteers could think of a better way to facilitate faster voting (discounting the possible issues with the PCOS machine). In our precinct, there were two tables where voters could verify their precinct number, and that was already a problem on its own. One was supposed to be just a inquiry table for those who didn’t know what to do, while the other was the actual table for verification. Needless to say, there was a lot of confusion until it was sorted out.

After getting your number, voters would have to line up and wait their turn to vote. Since there is only one machine for our precinct (roughly 800 voters), they had to do it in groups of ten. It would’ve been fast, if not for the system slowing down and the voters rather clueless as to what to do.

There should also be more volunteers to oversee the queue for voting. I’ve seen one very tricky woman who managed to sneak into the line with us. She was ranting about how senior citizens should go first, then later she was saying “Dito lang ako sandali ha? Mainit sa baba eh.” Until finally she was in the room with us waiting our turn. What was irritating is that we’ve been waiting since 7 and she arrived around 9. Nakakainis. Even if someone told her, she just ignored them. I felt really sorry for the people who were patient enough to wait their turn.

The voting process itself was fast. The ballot was hella long, thanks to the party-list. My hands were shaking as I filled in the oblongs (hindi siya circle!). I was worried that the pen would stain on the back page, and it was visible. I just hope it won’t create any problems.

So after I filled in my vote, I went to the machine. I breathlessly waited for it as it said “Scanning,” then “Verifying,” then “Congratulations!” I went back to the BEI, had my finger marked (it’s so unslightly but I can bear with it) and did the thumbmark thing to verify that I voted.

And we were done. The voting process didn’t take more than ten minutes. Had there been little delays, we could’ve been done in less than thirty. But given that this is the first time this system has been implemented, it’s still pretty ok.

So, for improvement?
1. More machines in precincts to lessen the wait time.
2. Better verification process. Have the verification table present at the entrance of the precinct.
3. COMELEC should have verification booths available about a week ahead, so if people can’t find their names and they’ve voted before, they still have time to fix it.
4. More volunteers to watch over the voters and make sure they follow the guidelines. Many voters in our precinct loiter just to see what others are doing, causing confusion. Many also cut in line because they don’t want to wait.
5. Back-up plan should the machine fail (which I hope won’t be the case).

You have until 7 PM. Please vote. It really matters.


Me, my parents, my sister and one of my brothers. By next election, all my siblings and I will be voting. That’s five of us, plus my parents and my grandpa. 🙂

From Friday to Friday

I’ve been really lazy with blogging in past year or two. When I first started I could write about three entries a day. Now, I’m lucky if I would get in the mood to write one a week. I’ve got tons of drafts, but hardly get them posted. I must change that.

For now, I’m going to go through my week really quick, if you’re interested.

Friday, April 23
Went with Presea to Saleng: The Traveling Bonfires at Conspiracy Bar & Garden Cafe on Lornadahl‘s invite. It’s a fund-raising event for ACAY (Association Compassion Asian Youth), a non-profit humanitarian service organization for youth at risk and run under the Missionaries of Mary. Screening of several short films (my favorite was Khavn de la Cruz’ “Cans and Slippers”), poetry reading (best poems of the night were from Of Wisdom and Love) and music was the entertainment of the night. Artists like The Sleepyheads, Anak ni Aling Juana, Ka-Laya, The Late Isabel and one of the ACAY beneficiaries performed to a very appreciative audience.

I enjoyed The Sleepyheads, as Jayvee del Rosario’s playing style reminded me so much of Gene Krupa. Conrad Garcia’s words (poems turned lyrics) were hypnotizing and inspiring. I had a great time with my friends, even though I had to leave early (early by Lornadahl’s standards haha).



Sunday, April 25
I met with Drew late in the afternoon to watch Kick Ass. Since we didn’t make the 4pm screening, we went around the nearby shops to pass time. I had him taste Dr. Pepper (which comes in ridiculously small cans now), looked at comics, furniture shops (I saw an Eero Aarnio ball chair, not sure if it was an original but it sure looked like one) then headed to food court. He had his early dinner, while I just nommed on hakkao from President’s (ironic that I had it here instead of Binondo). While waiting we saw some men sleeping at the Glorietta 4 park. It started off with one man, then two, then three. I couldn’t stop laughing at the scene.

Kick Ass was great! Bloody, violent, but fun and in an odd way, sexy. I liked the audience too, because they just watched appreciatively and reacted well to the scenes. No irritating commentators (like when we saw HTTYD), and I got to love the two guys in front of me who moved to different seats, leaving the seats in front of Drew and me clear. Yeeha. No more obstacles! Thanks for the movie Drew 🙂

Monday, April 26
My grandpa arrived the night before, to my surprise, because I thought it was going to be my dad and my brother. Turns out Lolo had his check-up scheduled so he had to come here. Miks accompanied him for his morning appointment, while I went with him to his evening appointment which we almost missed. The findings were good, his heart and cholesterol were normal and healthy for someone his age (going on 85), but the doctor wanted to check his kidneys. I hope that turns out well too.

Thursday, April 29
Salary came in early and I immediately set aside a substantial amount for savings. I didn’t want to end up using all up of my money and not knowing where it went. Lunch was free since the company was hosting a birthday luncheon for all the April celebrants (something they do monthly). My only expense was the iced caramel macchiato I got when the team went to Starbucks. My boss gave me a mug as a gift, which was actually a request from me.

There were some parlor games during the lunch too. My team lost, because the guys didn’t want to strip. The team that won had the guys stripping down to just their pants, much to the audience’s delight. I didn’t get a prize but since one of the winners already had one before, he gave me his extra. Yay!

After work, I headed to Cubao to meet my family. Tita Marilyn was here with her husband for my cousin Biboy’s oath-taking to the bar. We had dinner at Seafood Island and had a great time. The food was great, the company more amazing. It was wonderful to see my cousins, and get some goodies from Dumaguete. Tita knows how much I love the chicharon there.

Nunik and Cindy arrived home a little later from their road trip up north. They told us stories of what they did, and showed us the stuff they got. Nunik bought two kilos of Vigan longganisa, which I shall cook tomorrow.

Friday, April 30
For lunch, the team went to Cafe Lydia in Marikina. Our manager Mryla suggested this as a sort of belated birthday blowout. It’s a “hole in the wall” place, and I can’t tell you how to get there except ride a jeep from Pasig and when you get to Marikina, it’ll pass by there. I had some pasta with bacon and mushroom sauce, and we had anchovy pizza and buffalo wings for appetizers. It’s a lovely place, with great food (the servings are more than enough for one person) at a very affordable price. Lunch and dinner usually require reservation due to number of people who come there but our lunchtime visit had only a few diners, surprisingly.

Oh, and we did three cities in 5 minutes. Yeah. 🙂

Tomorrow, I’ll be seeing my friends. I hope we make it to where we want to go. Details after.

Little things that make me happy

The long weekend was good. My sister was here, so that meant all five of us sibs were complete.

Saturday, my sister and I spent some time together. We went to SM Manila to look for a gift for my best friend’s sister. I’m glad for the gift checks that I have because I didn’t have to spend much for anything. Afterwards, we went to meet my best friend. Notorious for being late, I knew that we were going to wait for a bit.

Thankfully there was a Starbucks nearby, so while waiting, my sister read the newest Kiko Machine compilation, while I played “Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box.” Yes, I managed to find a copy.

The Starbucks branch we were in was busy, and there were a lot of Korean students. I joked that I felt like I was the foreigner.

An hour later, Nez finally arrived and we went ahead to decorate their place for the party.

It was a good night. I had a blast hanging out with my best friend and her family, and it was great to finally introduce my sister to them. I’ve known Nez since we were 2nd grade but they rarely get to see my family. As her brother said, he had this idea that I was an only child. Haha.

Sunday, Dion, Otki and I went to Megamall because Dion wanted to buy some cards. He’s pretty much into card tricks these days, and he’s collecting different types of these cards. He’s pretty good at saving up his allowance so whatever he buys, he gets from his own money.

We just went around the shops, had lunch and merienda. It was a sale weekend, although surprisingly, there weren’t that much people compared to the last time I was there during a sale. Probably people already spent their money… or they were there the day before.

Monday, I took Otki to the bus station, then played most of the day. Half of the puzzles I solved thanks to the help of my siblings. The game itself became a joint effort between us haha. I finished the game last night.

The story here is a bit more dramatic than “Curious Village,” and instead of being on one location, here you actually get to solve puzzles in three (or at least, the major locations anyway) places: the train, Dropstone and Folsense. Four, if you count London. Oh, and the final puzzle is really clever. It’s so simple to solve but it took me a while to figure out what to do next… and it wasn’t with the stylus either.

Some of the puzzles really stumped me, but a good chunk of them were pretty easy to solve. With “Curious Village,” there were some instructions that had me scratching my head because it was so vague, but the clues here were a lot more clearer, and a few of the puzzles were related to the story, so it works well. I love the animation and the music, and I’m really hoping that the movie will be subbed soon!

I’ve got a few side puzzles and some unsolved puzzles within the game that I’m going to finish, but I want a new Layton game, mostly for the story. Ah, poor Final Fantasy III, I never got back to you.

Emo post

How come bad things always overshadow the good things? Or is it because we let them?

Today, I received some news that had me shaking. I wasn’t really sure what emotion had me doing that, but among that myriad of feelings, I knew I was angry and hurt, a little scared and just so damn disappointed in some people. I suppose in some ways, I am still naive, and am always ready to believe that every person is a nice one, though sometimes, you get a slap in the face and you realize that no, not everyone is nice. They may look nice, act nice but deep down they have a mean streak that comes out when you least expect it.

So this morning, I wasn’t feeling well. Not just physically unwell, but also emotionally. I felt drained, like I was fighting a losing battle. I was ready to rant and curse and throw profanities all over.

Somewhere between that and now, I calmed down. It didn’t make my worries go away, but I realized that I should be more aware of my blessings.

I got to spend time with one of my best friends, Den. We didn’t do anything special: had lunch, walked around, bought books then did some grocery for her mom. It was only for an hour or two, but it was a balm to my turbulent mind.

When I got home, my brothers and I watched “G.I. Joe: Rise of the Cobra” and though it was far from the original series than I remembered, it took my mind of things. It was, on the whole, an amusing movie. Not special or spectacular, not even “Wow!” but just entertainment. Plus, my brothers never fail to make me laugh, so they cheered me up tremendously.

I started this blog entry by listing down things that I am thankful for. I wrote down my parents, my siblings, my friends… there were a lot! Even within the day, there were so much to be happy about.

So even if I’m still worried, well, it’s not so much now. I’m not saying that I don’t know what I’ll be doing about it, but at least I know that I won’t be floundering.

Whew

Today was pretty busy. It wasn’t a bad day, but it was just… busy. 🙂 And since I no longer update my Project 365, this is sort of a make-up post.

It’s my grandfather’s birthday. Yesterday Mama said he wasn’t feeling well, so I made it a point to call him as soon as I woke up. He sounded really happy, especially when I said that my brother Miks and I were going home this weekend. Later, I found out that my uncle & his family will be there tomorrow so that should make Lolo doubly happy.

I went to the bookstore today to get a present for him (hurrah for subsidy!). I found this U.S. Presidents Factbook by Elizabeth Jewell, which I know he’ll like, being the history buff that he is. I gave him a book last week, and Papa said he was devouring it. Awesome. I love you, Lolo. 🙂

I also got to spend some time with my friend & former co-worker Winston, who was going to watch Transformers 2.

Photo spam

This is where I get yappy.

Hello Dumaguete

I still managed to go around Dumaguete and see the sights, as well as taste their food and learn about the place. I had read up on it before I went, and I was given some tips on where to go by my online friend Zerisse, who is from Dumaguete. Still, nothing quite beats the actual experience.

On the plane again
The only time I’ve been in a plane was when I went to Cebu last 2006. The experience was truly amazing, from the moment I arrived at the airport until the plane landed in Mactan. I still felt excited, as giddy as any kid who still finds wonder in something so ordinary (though I think flying is not an ordinary thing).

I was disappointed that neither Lolo Sal nor I got a window seat. The plane (we took Philippine Airlines) was a small one, with three seats at either side. I was in the middle, and Lolo had the aisle seat so he could stretch a bit. Occasionally, I’d peek over my seatmate’s shoulder to the world outside.

The weather wasn’t good when we left. It was raining really hard since the morning, and the flight had been delayed for nearly thirty minutes: first, the call to board was about ten minutes late, while the weather hindered take off for nearly 20 minutes. There were already five planes behind us and two ahead before we were cleared.

Other than that. It was a rather quiet flight. When the captain announced that we were descending, I took a look outside and was surprised that the plane was flying very low above the sea. That had me worried because my previous experience with flying had us above land at that height. Soon, the water was so close, I nearly asked my seatmate “Kuya, wala pa ba lupa?” The next thing I knew, I felt the thud of the plane’s wheels as it hit the runway. I learned then that the Dumaguete airport’s runway starts/ends at the shore of the beach. Continue reading

Write stuff

I’ve started two part time writing jobs over the last few weeks. The first one is at oDesk, where I post comments in a gardening forum. It’s fairly easy and pretty fun work. I’m no gardener or farmer but I’ve got my fair share of that from my elementary and high school days in our agriculture class (yeah, we mucked about in “gardens” and studied plants/horticulture and stuff). Plus, there’s the knowledge handed down from my grandparents and parents about farming, not to mention the years of reading Better Homes and Gardens.

Besides, there’s the Internet if I need anything else.

My other writing job is for a local children’s magazine. I write several short articles on various topics that kids are into (cartoons, movies, video games, books, etc.). I like it because the topics are something I’m really interested in and it feels like I’m writing for myself and not for someone else. I started on it last night and will continue on it today until I finish all the topics for this week.

I’m still looking for other writing jobs. Who knows, maybe I can make it my permanent source of income?

P.S. I just realized I have no category for “writing” until now!

My Project 365

I decided to the Project 365 thing, but not in Flickr. I can’t accommodate 365 pictures there (unless I delete everything else), and I didn’t want to create a new blog or mix it with this one, so I decided to utilize my Posterous.

For those who don’t know what Project 365 is about, you can either check the Flickr link above, or read about it here.

You can check out My Project 365 here, or by clicking on the RSS feed link on the sidebar. I was supposed to start on April 14, but my DSL was down so I couldn’t post *sulk* Ah well. :p