Monday, January 10
UP CLOSE and PERSONAL: WHAT A 2010
If the year 2010 was an expression, I could sum it up with “Whew!” What a rollercoaster year it was. I wouldn’t have it any other way. I believe in living life without regrets. What ifs never served me well.
2010 started rather shaky for me. It was always a precariously balancing act between the good, the bad, the ugly and in between. The rest of the months followed suit in pattern. However, come the last quarter of the year, everything shifted onto another turn.
I spent the first half of the year based in Guangzhou. While I was caught in the whirlwind of love once again so unexpectedly, my job was on a downhill path. Things at work started to get a sour taste during the first half of the year. Changes in leadership and environment sure did affect us in the workplace but I went on and just focused my energies on positive stuff.
The next part of the year, I returned to where I started- in Shenzhen. I got a better job offer in Shenzhen and took it. However, with that move, it brought me back to KB. I couldn’t say it was a good thing- it was rather a major challenge as we both face issues hanging from 3-4 years ago.
After moving and resettling myself in Shenzhen, things took a major detour when I flew back to Manila. I wasn’t supposed to go home this year, but fate intervened. Against my will and plans, I spent these last months back home. At first, I was depressed, frustrated and disappointed how everything I planned for has been taken away just like that. Later on, I took the time to reflect on the life I’ve been living abroad and figure (and still figuring) what life has for me.
So far, one of the major themes life gave me was more on going with the flow. I’ve been too controlling, too organized and too planned in life that I’ve hit a wall as large as the Great Wall. It hurt a lot when I hit that wall so it was another huge wake-up call to hit the brakes and let destiny take its course. It’s a very bitter pill to swallow, but what the heck, situation is here and yeah, we just continue living life in all its gory and glory.
Next year, I’m still carrying the burdens of this year about to pass with the hope to make things better. I pray that next year’s better. Period.
Again, what a year!
Posted at 02:39 am by lipat-bahay
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Saturday, October 13
Haojiu Bu Jian! (Long Time No See)
From the far reaches of the big red China, I haven't updated in what seems to be eons. There was supposed to be some continuity in the compoistion of the entries The GZ Diaries but blame my lazy ass, I didn't continue it.
However, for the readers of this blog, due to the complications of living where I'm living right now, I find it hard to access and blog hop. So, I found another resting place for all my inane musings and whatsoevers in life in this addy: http://snapshotaction.buzznet.com.
And to Kass, I mishu too!!!
Posted at 12:19 pm by lipat-bahay
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Friday, August 17
(Un)Breaking The Habits
On the onset of my teenage years, I started my relationship with two very addictive companions. It's called cigarettes and alcohol. Funny, I still remember my Creative Writing professor in college stating that the two most dangerous drugs aren't the illegal kind but rather, these two I just mentioned. I also can¡¯t blame genetics. My family¡¯s predisposed to these anyway...except for my parents.
I wouldn't and couldn't forget their ultimatum when they found my uncle's (mom's lil' bro) box of Marlboro lights in my T.H.E. project-turned-trash can (a pretty and darkly varnished woven basket) 11 years ago. I denied smoking them although I really did. Still, they threatened- which was the most ridiculous thing I heard in my life: ¡°If we catch you smoking, we're putting you in rehab!¡±
Those were my parents' words. Do you think I'd be scared and all that? NO. I laughed my 13-year old ass off. I just discovered the relaxing powers of cigarettes, dare they cu t it off from me? No way. I'm sneaky, so the habit continued. It's part of my Catholic schoolgirl rebellion to make my life fun.
However, my affinity with alcohol started pretty legal. When I was 8, my cousin who's 2 years older had me sip some champagne during my uncle's birthday. For an 8-year old me, it tasted weird. Come the time I was 10, another incident got my paths crossed with alcohol. This time, it was by accident. While my friend Eileen and I were playing in some vacant lot in our subdivision, we found a bottle with clear liquid buried somewhere in that lot. Thanking our luck for such a find, we assumed it was water. We opened the bottle and drank it...man, that was a nasty fiery concoction for a hot summer day! The so-called 'accident' was the traditional rice wine from the north called 'basi'. After calmly explaining what it was, Eileen's brother laughed so hard. In fact, he actually guffawed and almost fell off his seat for our stupidity.
Unfortunately, there was no trauma over that. 3 years after, my folks included me in their toasts of wine and champagne during holidays and other family celebrations-slash-gatherings. My uncle (same uncle I stole the Marlboro from) even taught me the boys' drinks and the girls' drinks one Christmas Eve. Soon after, both combination of nicotine and alcohol turned my teenage years to the good girl-turned-bad behind closed doors.
The closed doors didn't stay closed very long. Even if I'm still discreet with the cigs at home, I drink like a kanto boy. Thank God for my strong alcohol tolerance. Thing is, after college I wanted a lil' clean break since turning Vegan. That means cutting down on these habits. It's tantamount to cutting off my best lovers. But I got to start somewhere.
So I tried. It's a constant battle. The pattern for my smoking ¡°rehab¡± of sorts expires in 3 weeks. After 3 weeks going cold turkey, my left hand would latch on any pen or pencil and start reflex motion of holding a cigarette stick. The longest I held out so far was my first month and a half in China. Afterwards...is another story.
Now, I'm free as a bird in Guangzhou so I'm trying to forget to quit. My conscience is warring. My loneliness at night is my ammunition. I ignite.
I'm (un)breaking the habit(s). Tonight.
Line seems familiar, ain't it?
By the by, my other friends in Shenzhen are Tsing Tao and then Absolut and 7-Up. Before I moved, Jack Daniels and Cola was also introduced to me (Thanks, Janna!). Now, in Guangzhou, my new pal is Absolut and Red Bull.
I'm still traumatized over tequila after one drunken episode in Shekou.
Posted at 05:37 pm by lipat-bahay
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Saturday, August 11
Disclaimer: This is a semi-fictional work of the author. Real names and events altered or changed, para naman maiba. Nonetheless, this is the story of a Tsinanera in Guangzhou.
"Knock, knock. "Opportunity Said
It's been 2 1/2 weeks since I moved to Guangzhou. Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong province. The South. What I call a microcosm of the world. It's a little of Hong Kong, of my hometown of Manila, of China and the rest of the world. It's a convergent zone primarily for its geographical location. It's one of the Mainland's ports to the world, so to speak.
And now, it's what I call my second home. Nine months ago, I was based in another southern city. It's Guangzhou's little sister named Shenzhen. I have nothing against Shenzhen. It's a promising city. I loved my life there. 90% of my friends are there. Yet, there's a longing in me. Something like a calling. I couldn't pinpoint what it is at first. Yet an opportunity came one summer I was bummed out of bratty children called my students.
I was about to start my summer classes teaching English to expatriate children in an international school. Most of the children are in kindergarten and are also mostly Koreans with paranoid mothers. No offense to their race, but their culture of having their children study so much is the pits. Why can't they first and foremost let the children enjoy their childhood and socialize? Haven't they enjoyed their childhood? If they didn't, then there's no need to pass around misery and hang-ups. Plus, whatever drive they have for their children to be the best won't happen as quick as instant noodles. Each of us have our limits and not all are born geniuses like they expect.
That's besides the point. 75% of the class is Koreans and most of them are boys, bratty and really test my patience. However, going back to that particular morning, I suddenly lighted up like a Christmas tree when I got a message from Miss X about a prospect relocation.
So, the message goes: Hi. This is Miss X from the GZ campus. I got some news for you. Are you available for a meeting ASAP?
My heart beat faster...another city? Hmm...I dunno yet. My thoughts were racing all over. I mean, I'm pretty much established in Shenzhen. I'm active in my community. My social life is bustling despite my sheer annoyance to 90% of my students. On the other hand, maybe I should just try for the heck of it. The offer may be better and besides, Guangzhou is pretty near Shenzhen. I could shuttle back and forth during my days off. I was also thinking about the possibilities of freedom. I've had it with the homestay program anyway. Unfortunately, I also lived with a Korean family so the more miserable I am always adjusting to them.
Socializing, shopping and partying are my therapy for internal debacles. I usually find my sanctuary, my solace somewhere else than the four or so corners of our spacious apartment.
In response to Miss X's message, I consulted my roommate whom I shall call Jiejie (big sister) about it. She gave me a go and I replied to Miss X without any haste: Hi. That will be no problem, can Thursday at 10AM do?
Miss X and I set our meeting at 10:30AM on Friday so I started counting down the days from that Tuesday about this unexpected sudden turn of fate.
Everyone in Shenzhen practically advised me that when an opportunity like that knocks, take it. Otherwise, it won't knock again.
Posted at 04:29 pm by lipat-bahay
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Friday, July 13
An entry for Shally. A long overdue entry. So I say, better late than never! :)
Each player of this game starts with 6 weird things about you. People who got tagged need to write a blog entry of their own 6 weird things. They should as well as state the rule clearly. In the end, you need to choose 6 people to be tagged and list their names. Don't forget to leave a comment that says you are tagged in their comments and tell them to read your blog.
Weirdness is relative. Here are mine as of this moment of typing this entry:
1. I recently discovered, I am super selosa. I just don't show it.
2. I still call friends and family at random when bored, especially now that I am oveseas.
3. I like the curry or Sichuan tofu at 7-11. That, and those cheap fried noodles at Shenzhen Da Xue (or Shenzhen University). I crave for it like weeks and would eat them all the time.
4. When I'm in Shenzhen, I automatically wake up at around 5-6am even if I went drinking. Here in Guangzhou is another matter- I always wake up late!
5. I don't mean it, but when I see an African (or African-American) person, I avoid them. Something with the skin color gets me iffy, really. I'm cool with them, but visually, I don't think so.
6. I mix my languages nowadays.
And I tag:
Posted at 12:46 pm by lipat-bahay
Wednesday, July 11
Time and again, a huge gap in entries has been found in this space. Time and again, it's another season of changes. Insofar as living abroad is concerned, it's the common lingo. The lingo of changing ever so often. It's cool, at times tiring and most of the time exhilarating. And so another change is happening to this overseas Pinay.
1. I moved to another city here in the grea big CN. I'm temporarily saying goodbye to SZ and a big hello to GZ! Who would've thought after 10 years, I will be back here in GZ! Also, KB and I are not neighbors anymore. Awww, shucks.
2. I' so sorry to fellow bloggers 'cause now I could not access blogspot. Sheesh, talk about security issues. As the famous saying goes: When in Rome, do as the Romans do.
3. It seems I am going to be here for another year and methinks it would be quite a while before I go back to MLA. But I will definitely back for sure, date TBA. Tee-hee.
4. Time passes quickly, I am about to celebrate one year here in CN.
5. I have conquered a part of the Great Wall this summer. Oh yeah! Hahahaha.
6. My nose is sunbrned that looks moke like frostbite due to the heat. Many will argue it's effing humid here; but for me, it's so dry that's why I got this...and I haven't even set foot on the beach. Was planning to go to the beach with my yoga classmates, but it was thwarted by the rains and it kept up until I moved here. Ai-ya!
I am quite excited about whatever's in store for me here in GZ. It's a little of MLA, a little of HK and a whole lot of CN. A microcosm of home and the world for me. Just my luck.
When luck knocks, openly welcome it. So I did and for a second week here in GZ, it's fabulous!
Posted at 05:52 pm by lipat-bahay
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Sunday, May 27
It's another rainy day here in SZ. All of a sudden, this afternoon, while I was on my way to yoga class; from the sunny morning, rain poured in torrents as I exited the Hua Qiang Lu subway station.
Time-space warp ngayon din!
And Miss Nostalgia remembers the rainy season back in home sweet home of MLA.
But anyway, lemme post something I miss so much. Hopefully, my friends could treat me fare going to MLA. It's two hours away...like, by plane. Haha. Suffice to say, I'll just have to make do with the current situation so I'll be there in spirit, na lang.
SOME KINDA GIG SCHED:
MAY 26 - Pinikpikan, Rinka and more
MAY 29 - "Sandwich Listers Night" with guests; Duster, Libidoand more
MAY 30 - "Terno Inferno" feat; Up Dharma Down, Musical O, Paramita, Bandang Shirley, and Swissy
MAY 31 - "The Dawn Listers Night" guest bands TBA
JUNE 1 - "Part One of SaGuijo's 3rd year celebration" feat; Imago, Sugarfree, Hilera, Menaya, Peryodiko, Severo, Giniling Festival, Sandwich, Dicta License, Typecast, Kjwan, Greyhoundz, Pedicab, and Radioactive Sago Project
JUNE 2 - June 2 - "Part Two of SaGuijo's 3rd year celebration" feat; Up Dharma Down, Sino Sikat?, Chillitees, Sound, Triggerbliss, Silent Sanctuary, Musical O, Bagetsafonik, Drip, Duster, Soapdish, Stonefree, and The Dawn
HAPPY ANNIV CafeSaGuijo!
Akalain mo nga naman, it's been 3 effing years! Kampai!
Posted at 08:14 pm by lipat-bahay
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Saturday, May 26
imma celebrity, well, sort of.
Posted at 07:11 pm by lipat-bahay
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Thursday, May 24
Okay, so I kinda am in the fattest of my life right now so I will further the cause of good eating with these...
Besides, I kinda miss Pinoy food already. As in the authentic one.
P.S. Translations for my foreign friends and readers whoever and wherever you are...
1.Marunong ka bang magluto? Do you know how to cook?
No. I don't.
2.Kumakain ka ba ng ampalaya? Do you eat bitter gourd?
Eck. Hell no ever since...
3.Anong mas gusto mo, Mcdo or Jollibee? Which do you like more, McDonald's or Jollibee?
4.Anong madalas mong inoorder sa number 3? What do you usually order for #3?
Apple pie, large fries and iced tea.
5.Mahilig ka ba sa maanghang? Do you like spicy food?
6.Nahilig ka ba sa scrambled? Do you like scrambled?
7.Anong mas gusto mong sawsawan ng fishball, ung matamis o ung maanghang? What fishball sauce do you prefer, sweet or spicy?
Spicy...but I usually go for the vinegar! That's also spicy! Haha!
8.Anong paborito mong sangkap ng halo-halo? What's your favorite halo-halo ingredient?
Corn, banana, sago, gelatin, gulaman
9.Sumusunod ka ba sa instruction ng isang recipe? Do you usually follow recipe instructions?
I try as much as possible, but usually I find no luck whatsoever.
10.Anong kakanin ang gustong gusto mong kainin? What rice cake are you craving for right now?
Maja mais and kutsinta
11.Bumibili ka ba ng samalamig na may sagong maliliit? Do you ever buy samalamig with small sago? (or pearl drink)
12.Banana-q o Turon?
13.San ka madalas kumain ng tapsilog? Where do you usually eay Tapsilog?
When I was a heavy meat-eater, I usually have it at Rodic's in the UP Shopping Center, but now, NO. Sorry, I'm vegan.
14.Nasarapan ka ba sa Pearl Cooler? Do you find Pearl Coolers delicious?
Yeah, they're like the classy version of sago't gulaman.
15.Thick crust or Thin crust?
Thick crust anytime, baby!
16.Kinakain mo ba ung taba na nasa dulo ng pork bbq? Do you eat the fast by the end of a pork bbq stick?
When I was a meat-eater, YES. That's the yummiest part for me.
17.Bumibili ka ba sa manong na nagtitinda ng tuhog tuhog na mangga at singkamas? Do you buy green mangoes and turnips from the street vendors?
Yeah, ultimate fave!
18.Catsup ba o Mayonnaise ang sawsawan mo ng French fries? Do you dip your fries in ketchup or mayonnaise?
It doesn't matter as long as my fries have a lot of salt in them. :P
19.Ano ang madalas na Special Order request mo kapag umoorder ka sa fast food restaurant? What's your special order request when ordering in a fast food restaurant?
Upsize everything. Extra gravy.
20.Dine-in or Take-out?
I'm always on-the-go, so it's take-out for moi.
21.San ka nakakain ng masarap na sisig? Where's the best place you ate sisig?
When I was a meat-eater, nothing beats Mang Jimmy! Oh yeah!
22.Ala Carte or Set Meals?
It doesn't matter depending on the budget.
23.Mahilig ka bang mag-softdrinks? Do you like softdrinks?
24.Kumakain ka ba ng nakakamay? Do you eat with your hands?
When the mood strikes me. Especially when I don't wanna clean a lot of dishes when I'm on my own.
25.Anong paborito mong ipalaman sa tinapay? What's your favorite sandwich spread?
Cheese, cheez whiz.
26.Nakakain ka na ba ng adidas at ulo ng manok? Have you eaten chicken feet or head?
27.Tinatabi mo ba yung komiks sa bazooka? Do you keep the comics in the Bazooka bubble gum?
28.Chicharon or Fish Cracker?
Before, both. Now, Fish Crakcer.
29.Bumibili ka ba nung laruan na may candy sa loob?
My mom does. I'm not that much fan of candies.
30.Nakatikim ka na ng kwek-kwek? Have you tasted kwek-kwek?
31.Kinakain mo ba ung sisiw na nasa balut? Do you eat the chick inside the balut?
Yeah. It's inhumane, but I can't help it. It's good!
32.Nagmimidnight snack ka ba? Do you have midnight snacks?
Depends on the situation. Usually, it's a yes for me since I'm insomniac.
33.Malakas ka ba sa kanin o sa ulam? Which do you eat more, rice or viand?
34.Champorado o Lugaw?
35.Cheese Ensaymada o ung plain lang? Cheese or plain Ensaymada?
36.Boy Bawang o Cornbits?
BOY BAWANG! Is there a Girl Bawang? :p
37.Kapag Wet Goods, Grocery o Palengke? Wet Goods: do you buy in the market or grocery?
In Manila, both. Where I am right now, it's Wal-mart.
38.Anong part ng manok ang paborito mo? What's your favorite chicken part?
Drumstick and breasts
39.Nasubukan mo na bang iulam ang chippy? Have you tried eating Chippy as a viand?
40.Curly Tops o Nips?
Curly tops, then Nips peanuts
41.Anong paborito mong luto sa itlog? What kind of egg dish do you like?
Sunny side up!
42.Kumakain ka ba ng dinuguan? Do you eat dinuguan?
43.Cold drinks o hot drinks?
Hot. That's hot! :p
44.Ginagawa mo din bang lipstick ung cherry ball bago mo kainin? Do you use the cherry ball as a lipstick before you eat it?
45.Hany o Chocnut?
46.Anong pagkain ang binibili mo pagkatapos mong magsimba? What food do you usually buy after attneding mass?
Right now, it's straight to McDonald's after mass, most of the time anyway.
Posted at 11:33 am by lipat-bahay
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Wednesday, May 23
...children, in all their innocence. Sometimes (or most of the time), they make adults reevaluate their lives.
Lately, I've been indulging in some after-school reading. It's called sneaking in the library or borrowing from the kids this book called Junie B. Jones.
It's catered to gradeschoolers but it's so hilarious, even adults like me love it. I've started on some so here is the good news from the little lady and then some...
Junie B. Jones and her Big Fat Mouth
1. A 'noncement is the school word for telling us something very important.
2. Mrs: ...who can tell me what policemen do?
Junie B: I can! They rest people! 'Cause one time some cops rested a guy on my street. And so that means they made him take a nap, I think.
3. They're not having any courtesy for me.
4. Girls can do anything boys can be! Right, Mrs? Right? Right? 'Cause I saw that on Sesame Street. And also on Oprah.
Junie B. Jones and that Meanie Jim's Birthday
1. B is my bestest letter. On acocunt of my favorite food starts with that guy.
Its name is birthday cake.
2. Very slumping is when your shoulders are sad. And your head can't hold up that good.
3. Attendance is when you say, I'm here. Except if you're not here, you have to be quiet.
4. Daydreaming is like nightdreaming.
Only it's not night.
And you're not asleep.
And you're not dreaming.
5. 'Cause teachers who count numbers are the scardiest kind there is.
6. Unruly is the school word for not being ruly.
Junie B. Jones Loves Handsome Warren
1. My other friend is named Grace. Me and that Grace ride the school bus togeher.
She has my favorite kind of hair. It is called automatically curly.
Note: Hurrah for mah curly brothers and sisters! Mabuhay and mga kulot!
2. Speechless is when your mouth cannot speech.
Tibud and Father Before Holy Week
During the homily last Palm Sunday, the priest asked one of the kids in church. Here is that unforgettable account that's been etched in my mind ever since...
The priest walks around and asks this French kid named Tibud.
Father: What do we have on Saturday and Sunday?
Tibud: The weekend!
Tibud flashes a smile, much to the horror of his mom who looks sideways away from him. The answer was supposed to be Black Saturday and Easter Sunday. That's besides the point, Tibud got away with it, being as cute and adorable as he is. And during the Easter egg hunt, he got the most eggs. Haha.
P.S. I'm planning to order the whole set of Junie B. Jones as soon as the Scholastic order form comes again. I'm gonna pretend it's for my little Trixie, when it's actually for me. Anyway, Trixie and I pretty much look similar. And maybe, I could actually introduce that kid to read Junie B. when she's a little older. Tee-hee!
Posted at 09:36 am by lipat-bahay
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