Tag Archives: life

(Dis)connected

Having grown up in a country where families are separated by the need to work abroad to earn more money, I love how technology makes this world a little smaller. It makes families today connect easier via social  media and other apps where all you need is an internet connection and you can talk for hours on  end.

On the flipside, people who are co-located seem to be farther apart because people have become virtually connected but physically disconnected. Ever been with friends during dinner and everyone is so busy taking pictures of food? And if you’re sharing and  start eating when the ‘photo op’ is not yet over, you actually have to put back that shrimp you took into its original place, otherwise you won’t hear the end of it. Seriously.

But wait there’s more! And so food photo op is finally over and you can actually start eating. Or so you thought. Now comes the part where people zone out and start uploading the photos to (anti)social media.That is what the hashtag ATM is all about. Back then, this only means Automated Teller Machine. In the 21st century, it means At The Moment; as though there is an unspoken urgency to post whatever it is we are doing or eating.

But people have data plans too! Photo courtesy of my brother. He snapped this photo from our favorite cheap gourmet resto, Kanto Freestyle Breakfast.

But people have data plans too! Photo courtesy of my brother. He snapped this photo from our favorite cheap gourmet resto, Kanto Freestyle Breakfast.

As if that is not enough, amidst all the conversation and laughter going around, there will be people who cannot seem to part with  their mobile phones even for a while. I understand checking your phone every so often, but to be on your phone more than you are actually engaged in the conversation, that is just rude.  I don’t know how doing this has become acceptable in this modern society.

Do not get me wrong. I love virtual connection as much as I love being physically connected. The internet has made it easy for me to talk to my sister and her family who lives in the UK and with relatives and friends who are living in various parts of the US, Europe and Asia. I love posting statuses and photos too! Of mundane things or some political issues that I feel strongly about. What I am driving at is: never be so busy capturing the moment that people actually lose you in the moment.

The same technology that has connected people from different continents has disconnected people who are just within few feet of each other. I just hope that people realize that it is blatant rudeness to be on your phone more than the company you’re with.  It’s like talking to someone but your eyes keep darting in different directions like you would rather be somewhere else. If that is how you feel, I think it’s more decent to excuse yourself entirely and be with those people you’re chatting with. Because it’s bad enough that you seem disinterested, it’s worse that you think this is the new norm; that this is acceptable behavior. It is not.

The best gifts are indeed free. Your time. Your undivided attention. Bear that in mind.

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Looking Back on Mother’s Day

We had a very simple childhood. The only place we’ve ever been to as children were Sunday lunches at Goldilocks and play time at Fiesta Carnival after. And the occasional trip to Luneta Park and lunch at the resto where the crew were deaf mute.

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We never had a birthday party like most kids do; but we grew up ok. Our birthdays are usually with our extended family at home with the usual pansit canton, cake, and other very simple food that were otherwise very special to us. Because cake is a luxury back then.

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It’s the same place every Sunday because our little salon will be slow on this day. So when customers actually walk in, we get really sad (that’s putting it mildly; we get really peeved! 🙂 ) because it means we can’t go out or lesser time at the carnival.

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It’s the simplicity of our childhood that I appreciate the little comfort that we now enjoy. That’s because Nanay has the uncanny financial skills (a secondary school undergraduate as she is) that she (with my Tatay, of course) was able to send us to good schools no matter how hard up we were.

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If only for that, we are ever grateful. We are who we are because of you. So thank you. Ours is not a perfect relationship, but does one actually exist? We’re very proud of you and how you’ve managed to get us through rough times with your resilience and business sense. Happy Mother’s Day, Nanay! ❤

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The Confinement of Forever

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Sorry to burst your bubble. But there is no forever. Non. Nej. Nein.

And I say that with nary a trace of bitterness or sadness.

It’s just is.

When someone you love passes on, you cannot say you will be forever sad and cannot be happy anymore.

Believe me, you will be. At some point.

Time has a way of healing our pain. We start feeling better again and it’s nothing to be guilty about. Being ok doesn’t equate to forgetting them. Life is about accepting what is and recalling moments with them with fondness and maybe sharing a few laughs with people who knew them.

I think that’s what our loved ones wants for us. To continue living in their death.

When you finally found The One (nope, not Jet Li); that happy ending to your own fairy tale, you cannot say, “I’ll be forever happy because I’ve found you”.

Believe me, that “forever happy” will be tested with dirty clothes strewn on the floor; dirty dishes left lying on the sink; outfits haphazardly thrown in the closet that in your head looks so much better than the one they chose to wear… and the list goes on.

Even that most perfect person in your lovestruck eyes has flaws. And that goes both ways; your partner maybe thinking that too. It takes acceptance and a whole lot of love to see beyond those flaws.

So there really is no forever. We only have this lifetime. Make good of every single day. Be thankful that you get to wake up and start anew. That’s as forever as it can get.

Even tomorrow is promised to no one.

What makes you think you can promise forever to someone?

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#AngLoveParang : Commuting Edition

You’ll be surprised at how love can be easily associated to our daily commute.

#AngPagibigParang pagsakay lang yan sa tren.

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#AngPagibigParang EDSA at C5.

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#AngPagibigParang pag-abot ng pamasahe.

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At ang huli, #AngPagibigParang paghingi ng sukli.
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Why You Should Travel Solo (at Least Once)

This year has brought me a series of bipolar life episodes that sent me to cloud nine then sent me right back down to confusion. And in the midst of it all, I found the perfect cure for a reset: solo travel.

Of all that has happened in 2014, it was my solitary travel to Hanoi that really made my year. It was such a wonderful experience that I wish for friends and those who stumble across this blog to try traveling solo even just once in their lives.

Travel solo

You learn to love your own company.

Too often, we’re surrounded with family and friends and we love the happy chaos it brings. But when you’re alone, you learn to see just how wonderful your own company is.

It’s difficult at first. You feel stupid and awkward wandering or eating alone. You even feel scared; and that’s a good thing. Fear makes you more aware of your surroundings; keeps you on your toes and restrains you from doing anything remotely stupid.

Independence is empowering.

As you slowly start getting used to your own company, you begin feeling confident. You even smile at a fellow tourist as you walk along or at a family seated beside you at a cafe.

You even start feeling smart! I am such a dunce with reading maps and directions that I manage to get myself lost around Marikina when I jog. But when I was alone in Hanoi, I’ve learned to map the places I want to visit using the offline map and GPS on my smartphone.

You loosen up and meet new people.

Traveling as a group gives you that ‘protective shield’ that closes you to the people around you. But when you’re alone, you learn to open yourself a little to the people around you. And you will learn the wonders of a smile or a simple good morning to the person in front of you on the breakfast buffet queue can do for you.

The people I chatted with during breakfast, gave me a ride back to the airport; went out with a couple for dinner, shopping and drinks! And those two buddies I met on the city tour, they went shopping with me for a backpack and helped me get a good deal for it.

Less things to worry.

Traveling solo simplifies your itinerary: You go where and do what you want when you want to do it. You stop worrying whether your companion wants to go to a particular place or if another is too tired to take another step. You just go.

Appreciate your friends and family more.

And since you’re traveling solo, you think of your friends or siblings when you see something funny and you don’t have anyone to laugh with. Or you ate a local dish and you thought they will love it too.

You also found a place where you can take your friends and loved ones and be their personal tour guide.

So for the coming year, conquer your fear of traveling solo. Start with having coffee for your me time and just do people-watching. Don’t hide behind a book. Take photos if you like. Then level up to going around the metro on your own. Try Intramuros. And when you feel you’re ready, go somewhere where you’ve never been before. Arm yourself with info on the place you’re visiting and a lot of good sense.

Travel by yourself. For yourself. One day, you’ll be thankful you did.

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