"Forget Prince Charming. I'll take the wolf." - Emily the Strange

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

22 And Married?

Christmas Eve and I was seated on the car with my younger sister Louise and her boyfriend Alex when they broke to me the news of their plans to get married by December of next year. I was absolutely happy for my sister right after hearing the news but I also felt a little shudder run down my spine. Not that I’m envious of her or anything but out of sheer concern.

“She’s only 21, she’s too young to get married! Is she aware of how grave a decision getting married would be? There’s gotta be a lot more in store for her over the next couple of years and this is what she wants to do? Can she handle the consequences of being married at a young age? What if she’s already married and she discovers that Alex is not ‘the one’?” That was what my mind was telling me.

I’m just being a realist and this might sound very pessimistic but I seriously doubt the viability of their union. The thought that raced through my mind is whether or not the both of them are psychologically and emotionally mature enough to handle such big responsibilities that marriage ensues. My mom, Angelee (our youngest sister) and I are accustomed to them fighting every week – may it about the most mundane things or major issues. Honestly speaking, I’ve lost count how many times we’ve all caught my sister crying on the phone as she and Alex are angrily battling it out over the copper lines. Both of them could be very immature about things and my sister, in particular, could become the most bullish and stubborn person I know apart from myself.

Since I am an outsider to their relationship, I don’t really have the right to judge them but based on what I see, they still have a lot to learn about relationships even if they’ve been together for nearly 4 years. Compromise would be the number one lesson. One of the last things that they fought about was that Alex prohibited Louise from doing certain things while he himself didn’t abide by their agreement.

The second lesson that they need to learn is communication. Louise gets irritated easily (“pikon”) and when she does, she gives you the biggest pout coupled with silent treatment. There was a time when I tried being the sounding board/mediator for the both of them since they had trouble seeing each other’s point of view and showed some signs of their relationship being on the rocks.

Lesson number three would be trust. My sister is the overly jealous type. During the time that I tried to be a mediator, Alex has told me more than several times that they fought about Louise being jealous of me talking to Alex. I love my sister and I would never do anything to wreak havoc on her relationship with Alex but her paranoia was just whack, I’m telling you.

Another thing that concerns me is if they’ll be okay financially. Louise has got a very good job right now but Alex doesn’t. Sure, Alex works for the business that his family owns but what else does he have to fall back on aside from Mommy and Daddy’s money?

I’m conflicted if I should tell her how I feel about her getting married. I’m afraid that she might misconstrue concerns as hints that I don’t think Alex isn’t worthy of her. That’s already happened once when she asked me what I think of him.

I’m the biggest proponent of “It’s-better-to-make-a-mistake-than-have-shoulda-coulda-woulda’s” philosophy but marriage is a definite exception. The Philippines is one of the only two countries in the world where divorce is still not legal. Apart from that, we’re also highly notable for the inefficiency of the courts and the church for annulling marriages. It would literally take ages before declaring a marriage as null and void comes to fruition.

In the Philippines, there is very strong pressure coming from both the society and the church to preserve the marriage “for the sake of the children” even if it means being very destructive for both parents. Battered wives surely get the shorter end of the stick as they are more or less expected to grin and bear with it, other people in their surrounding refusing to take action against the violence being perpetrated by reasoning out that it’s something to be discussed by just the husband and the wife (“away mag-asawa lang iyan”).

Call me crazy, paranoid or pessimistic but if that's what I'm going to get out of marriage then I'd rather not get married at all.

Out With The Girls

I’ve been in front of the computer for the last two and half hours checking my e-mails, browsing my frequented blogs and websites. I’ve also been listening to my newly bought CD’s – Christian Bautista debut and sophomore album (okay, so I’m a sucker for cute guys with a good set of pipes :D) and Nina’s Live Album (the only reason I bought a copy is because Christian Bautista’s in it otherwise I would’ve just downloaded it. I know that’s bad but times are hard so freebies are very much welcome ;p)

After how many postponements, the girls and I have finally gotten around to meeting up yesterday, Boxing Day. Over the last couple of weeks, it’s hard to pin the four of us together in one room and at the same time what with all the Christmas parties and what-have-you’s cropping up left and right. It didn’t help that Kestrel’s dad gave her a 10 pm curfew which bummed out the four of us.

Anyways, we agreed to rendezvous by 8 pm in Shanri-La Plaza Mall just hours before. We were all relieved that Jewel was able to come since she had a scheduled overtime. She said that she was going to try to make it but it turned out that the programmers weren’t able to finish their part on time. Kestrel was the first to arrive – 7:30 pm – as she was scouting for materials to use for another Crossplay costume. I got there 10 minutes to 8, hoping I could take a quick stroll over at Mango and Topshop (stroll – I didn’t say shop) and see what have they got in there. I would’ve arrived earlier but I waited for Alex (my sister’s boyfriend) to pick us up at home since I was hitching a ride with them.

It took quite some time for Jewel and Cathy to arrive and that gave me and Kes time to figure out where we’re going to eat. I was really hungry but Kes only wanted to eat dessert as she is still quite full. We went around the entire 5th floor checking out the restaurants. We stopped by Cravings and was just about to reserve a table for us when the thought of looking for other places seemed like a better idea. Kes had mentioned a French restaurant that she went to and proceeded to look for it. We failed to find it and just settled for the first restaurant we saw – Bon Appetit.

It turned out to be a very bad decision. The food was great but the service just sucked. First thing I noticed was that the waiters looked very gloomy like that their frowns were permanently etched in their faces. Plus, it took forever before the waiters attended to us. You literally have to hoist your arms up in the air for a long span of time before they’d come to our table. There’s this one guy who saw me raise my arm but just ignored me and proceeded to clean one counter. He didn’t even have the decency to tell one of his colleagues that we needed something! One more thing that irritated me was that they didn’t even alert us that we were supposed to place our last orders, in case we had any. Urrgh! I wanted dessert!

By the end of our meal, we were all grumbling to ourselves and to each other how lividly bad their service is. We were even more pissed when we got the bill – the waiter that went to our booth was very rude and they had the nerve to slap us with a 10% service charge. What the fuck?!? Where was the service? We certainly didn’t see it anywhere. Cathy, upon handing the payment over to the attending waiter, told them off about not deserving to be given any service charge for the worse-than-lousy service. If they call that service at all.

It might be the end of the day but it is absolutely not an excuse to give lousy service. Giving unsatisfactory customer service is like biting the hand that feeds them. Without the customers or patrons of any establishment, they wouldn’t have a job.

Moving on, Kestrel had to go home right after we left the restaurant. Jewel had to go back to the office to start testing the website that the developers have been working on since that morning. Cathy and I still didn’t want to go home so we’ve decided to pass the time in Jewel’s office. Kestrel gave us a ride to Jewel’s office in Emerald Avenue and dropped us off at the Starbucks two building away from Jewel’s office building.

After purchasing our drinks, we went straight to Jewel’s office and managed to fool the guard into thinking that we were working with Jewel. We gave the guard the excuse that Cathy and I left our ID’s on our workstations ;p We had a fun time talking about stuff while Jewel was working. When it came time to go home, Jewel went home with me since she’s lost her keys to the apartment that she shares with her sister in Antipolo and nobody’s in there at the moment.

It’s great to have Jewel at home – a lot of reminiscing about our high school days (we were classmates for two years) and updating each other about our other common friends from high school. Next time that she sleeps over, she’ll be helping me with changing my hair color since she’s the expert ;p

I’ll be seeing those three again tomorrow – they’ll be cosplaying (crossplaying for Kestrel) at the International Gift Show in Megamall. I wish them the best of luck and may one of them bring home the prize of being the best cosplayer :D

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

The Shopaholic 'Fesses Up

The song “Santa Baby (Gimme, Gimme, Gimme)” is playing on my laptop right this very minute. I’m thinking of stuff that I have on my Christmas wish list – the ‘Yayana’ variant from Stella McCartney’s footware line at Adidas, the Mrs Fairy ring and the Starissim set from Swatch Bijoux, the Quartz Power Ring from Diane von Furstenberg, the pair of slippers from Philippe Starck (I’m such a big fan of his designs – I’ve collected the 4-piece jewelry-watch line he created with Fossil), Creative’s 20 MB Zen Micro and Motorola’s A780.

Some of these things on my list are well within my budget while some are not but there’s definitely no harm in dreaming that one day, I just might be able to afford some of those goodies. I am, admittedly, a shopaholic (a big time at that) and I’m damn proud of it!

I was watching the Today Show this morning and I tuned in just in time for their feature on the new research that shopping has positive health effects. Campbell Brown, filling in for a sick Katie Couric, had two guests on the show – Psychotherapist/author Olivia Mellan and Money Magazine’s Jean Chatzky. Both guests had a lot to say about the topic (for example, they explain that men “go for the kill” while women are natural hoarders) and answered the question of ‘how,’ ‘why’ and ‘what can be done’ to curtail shopping’s negative effect.

How? It’s pretty much obvious - purchases give the individual an instant gratification and I bet everybody can relate to that. I mean, who wouldn’t be happy if they found the perfect outfit or got to buy what their heart’s desire is with a huge discount attached to it? As to the question of why – shopping triggers the release of the chemical ‘dopamine’ in the brain. Dopamine is primarily responsible for the feeling of happiness and ecstasy. Need I say more?

There’s a saying that what comes up must come down. It’s the same thing with shopping – you get both the highs and the lows. The lows would be being an overspender and having a nasty case of buyer’s remorse. Both are so very true for me at times although some people might disagree ;p

It’s interesting because Olivia has identified 5 distinct shopping personalities – the ‘Money Is Love’ spender, ‘Blue Light’ spender, ‘Overboard’ spender, ‘Esteem’ spender and the ‘I’ll Show You’ spender.

The first shopping personality shops to lift one’s mood; the second one (to which I partly belong to) are “consummate bargain hunters;” people belonging to the third category are collectors (people who have such a huge collection of something that they could open their own museum); Esteem spenders go for designer duds (a tad bit guilty on this one as well) and I’ll Show You spenders are revenge shoppers a.k.a. girlfriends/wives going on shopping sprees using their man’s money or credit card as a way to make them pay for something that they’ve done wrong.

Jean Chatzky gave four useful tips on how not to overspend – Don’t shop when you are not in the right mood as it will allow you to make really bad choices. Know what triggers your impulses to shop as a preventive measure. Think of the bigger reward of not spending your money now and keep a picture of your long-term goals in your wallet as a reminder. Put items that you want on hold and see if the urge to buy it is still strong after a couple of days.

I’ve recently overcome credit card debt and believe me I’ve definitely learned my lesson on making smart choices when it comes to my finances. I’m trying real hard to curb the shopaholic in me and only time will tell whether I win the battle or not. I’ve recently opened a savings account and I’m just about ready to start the practice of putting away a percentage of my salary to use on a rainy day. As much as possible, I no longer go to work with my credit cards to prevent me from buying any more unnecessary stuff. I’m happy that my mom confiscated my other credit cards a couple of months ago.

I’m thinking of buying Olivia Mellan’s book “Overcoming Overspending” to prevent the possibility of having a relapse. It would definitely be a good investment. Also, I now closely follow MP Dunleavey’s column on MSN Money, especially the ones about the Women in Red and the “Take Total Financial Control Campaign.”

Monday, December 12, 2005

The Biggest Lie

Martin wrote to me early last week that he recently went out with his ex-girlfriend Dani to a club in Frankfurt two weekends ago. He adds that she’s taking a break from her studies in Holland and recently came back to town. His good friend Bene accompanied him and she as well by her Finnish friend (he didn’t tell me her name). Things didn’t go well throughout the entire trip because when they got to the club, they had a ‘Gay and Lesbian’ night theme (not that he’s homophobic – his best friend Michael’s bi) and their misfortune was topped off with a huge row between him and Dani about things that happened in the past when they were still together. I admit that I was a tad bit curious as to what it was about but didn’t really bother asking since it’s their business and not mine.

Anyways, that just got me thinking – the biggest lie that you could ever say to someone after you’ve broken up is ‘Can we still be friends?’ Sure, there might be a number of cases wherein it’s highly successful but in most cases, it’s not. I mean, there’s a lot of complications and as well as questions with regards to being friends with an ex. Is it really over? How could you expect to move on if constantly you’re reminded of her/him or his/her presence still hovers near? Are both parties ready to face the nuclear fallout that breaking up has created? How do you handle snoopy friends and relatives? What if one of you finds a new love? Would you be able to find the necessary closure if that would be the situation?

I have two unique experiences on being friends with an ex. My first ex was Alvin, a guy I dated for a little over a year. He’s an okay guy but I just fell out of “love” (for lack of a better term) with him. We still kept in touch until he found out I was seeing my next ex – Jay.

Jay and I started out as really close friends. I knew he had a girlfriend but he kept on telling me that he fell for me due to our constant togetherness. Our personalities jibed really well, our schools are adjacent to one another and his house is just walking distance away from mine. He would often pick me up to and from my house to school and when we were in school, we would meet during breaks to smoke (footnote: I no longer smoke) at our spot – the famed “Friendship Bridge” that connected Miriam College and Ateneo de Manila University. We would always hang out together during the weekends. There were times when we were together 7 days a week while he and his girlfriend (now his wife) Abby haven’t seen or spoken to each other for days.

As soon as Jay entered the picture, Alvin became increasingly agitated until he got to the point that he finally ‘fessed up – that he wants us to get back together. The lowest that Alvin ever went to was to beg repeatedly for us to give the relationship a second shot. I said ‘no’ and that just broke his heart.

With Jay, he said that he’ll break up with the both of us so that he could think things over after our mutual friend Coco found out about our coupling. Soon afterwards, I found myself just being friends with him – hanging out in this particular fishball store half-way between his house and mine. We still talked the way we talked before and there was no indication of trouble whatsoever. At that time, I was still hopeful that things would turn out okay for “us” but he just faded away. I would text him but I wouldn’t get a reply. Just about the only time he tried to contact me was when he wanted to “make love” as he would call it; that was about after a year. It was one of the biggest mistakes I ever made – I agreed for old time’s sake thinking he’s going to keep his promise to come back when he’s free. When we were done, he was suddenly very distant and cold and I’ve never heard from him ever again.

I felt crushed. Crushed that he gave me false hope. Crushed that I was too stupid not to see it coming. Crushed that my heart got broken into a million pieces as he left me standing there in my driveway – too stunned for words and too numb to cry.

Monday, December 05, 2005


I got this in my e-mail this morning. I don’t know if I should laugh or if I should freak out. I also don’t know how the hell this person was able to get a hold of my e-mail address.

greeting's to you in matchless name of our
God" how is your health? hope fine" to God be the
my main of mailing you is that there is something in
mind that i want to tell which i can not hide in mind
any longer since have seen your profile, that is why i
must confess and tell you right now.
i keep on thinking of you" my co-worker was
worried about me, but i only know what really happen
with me and it's you .
Firstly" im happen and know you will love my work
as a musician bco's if you dont love my work, it could
be hard for me to make you have interest in me.
im a man,looking for a Godly fearing
wife to marry b4 the year end's.
you may wonder why am yet to marry" yes you're right"
but i will explain to you the reason, due to my work
,though female love to see me playing at the stage,
there interest to see me on show's tell's me that am
not doing bad and i appreciate it but yet i've made a
vow within me that i can never to get's into
relationship with any club girl's or club woman,
year's ago this make me sad without a person" not
untill i met you , i dont know how to convince you
for you to allow me into your life, pls let's start a
new life together????
you're the only one im having for now that i can
call a wife " only if you accept me, God know's that
am saying you the truth and bco's you mean so much to
me now, you dont know how important you are to me.
i know you may probable wonder how you mean to me"
so i'd like to share this with you to tell you that
you mean's the world to me YEMI..
this is why am using this oppurtunity to mail you
now before it's too late, and i'm using it to share my
hearth with you bco'slooking at your profile i
believe you're a caring, humble and God fearing
person" i just want to say I LOVE YOU.....
i bear you in my heart" this is going to be first
time i will have some one ever met physical and so
close to me like this, I APPRECIATE IT.
I have not met you before" yet you have won me
over, i think of you every moment, i imagine your
graceful stride toward's my heart, body and soul and
your king sized hug's.
i have not seen your smile yet i imagine it's
sparkle, i have not slept by your side, yet you cuddle
me to relax" non sleep.
i imagine us doing thing's to each other,promissing
never let go and to remain as one at all time.
i have not seen you physically but you appear to me
like an angel in my dream.
you are the pricess that conquered my world and im
your slave in love, yet" i have not met you"" Oh what
an abstract love.............
from benin Republic
NB/i will like you also to send your pic's to the
above mail address, i want to be seeing you often in
my bed room,

The question right now is if I should reply to his e-mail message. I don't know what to think of what he wrote - if he's serious or if he's just tripping or if he's psycho. He's very poetic, I give him credit for that but he just wreaks of desperation. What person in his right mind would give a marriage proposal to a complete stranger?

Sorry, dude, I'm taken.


While I was preparing to dress up for work this morning, the telly was tuned in to ‘The Insider’ and the major story was about the anorexic Australian twins. I was mortified to see how frail and sickly they look. They’re only in their 30’s and yet they look as if they’ve already hit their 90’s.

When I got to the office, the first thing I saw in my mailbox was the new digest from WebMD and the focus is on Ana and Mia. I read all the related articles about them at such lightning speed that I was done in no time. I suddenly thought about the past and everything just makes sense now. I AM ANOREXIC… or at least, I used to be.

The earliest memory that I have of me obsessing about my weight was when I was about 8 or 9, I was sitting at the kitchen table with my grandmother and her younger sister. They were trying to offer me some hopia for merienda but I declined, saying I’m going to get fat or something. Instantly, my grandmother began her tirade about Karen Carpenter and her death. I’m not really sure what specific day that was but I think that was the time after I saw a tv-movie about her. I think that that was also the time that my grandmother introduced the term ‘anorexia’ to me. I didn’t fully grasp the concept behind that big word until a couple of years later.

I was in high school and the thing I remember the most was me joining my friends in the library for our entire lunch break just to read books. The thought about me eating during recess is also kind of fuzzy. Practically the same thing happened during my college years – going out with my friends for lunch break just to watch them eat saying that I’m not that hungry. Summer breaks, I remember exercising like crazy – 60 to 90 minutes straight in the Thread Mill or in the Stair Master and eat only crackers throughout the entire day for weeks on end. I researched a lot on the internet anything and everything about dieting and losing weight.

Things would get worse a couple of weeks before our scheduled mandatory check ups in the clinic. I obsessed a lot about reaching my target weight – no more than 80 pounds and would weigh myself everyday to see how my progress is. That perverted attitude continued up to the time that I entered the work force but it didn’t really last long. I think I grew tired of it after how many years. On the one hand, the stress from my old job taught me the concept of food being my way to cope. Up to now, I’m not really sure what happened that just shook me up completely about my old eating habits. Maybe it was a combination of everything. I mean, I did discover how much fun exercise could be when I bought my first Swiss/gym/physio ball or whatever you want to call it.

I’m wondering now what would’ve happened if my distorted thoughts about my body image prevailed. I could honestly say that I’m okay now in terms of eating and dieting but I still observe that sometimes when people notice that I’ve been gaining weight, my knee jerk reaction would be very averse when the three letter word is mentioned within their comment – F, A and T.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

The Inventory

I've finally moved back to my parents' place in Marikina after living with my grandmom, my Aunt Lydia and her two kids for about a year or so. It was Thursday last week when my grandmom talked to me about my aunt's husband coming home by the first week of December (they don't know exactly when, though) and that I'd have to vacate the place a.s.a.p. because they don't have any room to spare (My aunt and her kids and my grandmom sleep in the master bedroom. When Uncle Rudy comes back, the kids would move to my room to give their parents some much needed alone time and privacy). That news just left me stunned because my grandmom's place is very ideal - it's located in between Makati and Malate, making it easy (not to mention cheap) for me to go home after gimiks (especially if I had one drink too many). Plus, I love the fact that my grandmom is not my mom in the sense that she doesn't ask a lot of questions when I go home late or if I go out with my friends.

Saturday that week, I've packed 75% of my stuff (mostly clothes and shoes) while doing my laundry at the same time. I really hate moving - packing up is a bitch and unpacking and putting everything away in their proper place is even harder. Saturday afternoon, I went to UP Kame to meet up with Jewel and Cathy so I could give them their pasalubong. It' my first time to attend such an event and it was so cool - didn't expect Thom to be cosplaying. Going back to my story, went home to my parents' house that night and returned to my grandmom's the next day to get my stuff (my dad's picking me up because he had our van with him).

I didn't know that my aunt packed the rest of my stuff and temporarily stashed them in the stock room. I just couldn't believe my eyes how stuff I have - those items I came to my grandmom's house with and those that I manage to accumulate during my stay.

I’ve decided to do a little inventory on all my clothes, shoes and accessories. Up to now, I’m still not done due to a lot of interruptions :D but the main discovery is that there’s a lot of things that I haven’t been able to use because of the sheer volume of things that I have. Still, that doesn’t stop me from making new acquisitions ;p Now, I’m trying my best to curb my ‘shopaholic’ side and it’s even harder to control than smoking :D So many goodies out there! Sale periods makes it even easier to justify purchases and using plastic makes it a lot harder to track down how much money that I have or don't have that I've already spent.