Puzzle

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What if that day comes
When you’re broken
and someone comes to fix you up
Sews the pieces back together
Tells you that the stitches
Make you more beautiful
and you believe
Because you saw the many little hearts
That he made
To cover the cracks.
And it’s beautiful
Like the color of your hair
When the first rays of sun shine on it.

– Read the full poem here: Puzzle (Poem)

 

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Mount Batulao. I’m Alive.

Over the weekend, I packed my things and put my cap on to brave one of the Philippines’ mountains — Mount Batulao in Batangas.

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While I could tell you the deets such as where exactly it is located and how exactly to get there, I wouldn’t. Partly because this post isn’t meant to be the typical travel post, and partly because I’m too lazy to Google-verify the specifics. Also, I’m an am-I-lost kind of person, so whatever I say in regard to directions is most likely to put your life in danger. What made me say so? Before getting on the bus that will take us to the province, I had a “brainstorming” sesh with my two friends as to which seat would keep us away from the sun’s direction. Long story short, because they believed my rationale, we ended up sitting exactly where the sun was. I know, I deserved a standing ovation for that, but no biggie. (Haha)

Okay, so I’m not an outdoor-sy kind of person. If any, I despise anything that requires me to take a bath. It was a very long drive towards the province, so I basically spent 50% of my energy for the day just tossing and turning in my seat while silently cursing the damn traffic and heat.

However (of course, this part is required), my day turned around when we arrived at the jump-off. It was quite a long walk just heading towards the actual foot of the trail, and it was noon when we started (12nn), so aside from the sandy trail, we also faced the challenge of not sweating our lives away before reaching the summit.

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The walk towards the goal is pretty challenging. The trail is kinda tricky because the actual path required us to walk on a line, else we would fall off the cliff on either side. We met some hikers along the way, and it was kinda warming to be greeted with “Magandang buhay, ingat po!” (“Have a good life/day, take care!”).

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The only way you can know is give it all you have; And I hope that you don’t suffer, but take the pain.

It was through this hike that I came to know how much I can really depend on myself when it comes to death-defying situations. I managed to not ask for lots of help from our guide, I think, just about enough times especially those parts of the trail where we had to tiptoe because it’s steep and just a foot-wide.

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Hope when the moment comes, you’ll say, “I, I did it all.”

I also realised how trusting I can be to people I don’t know. And it’s a good feeling, you know — that I-trust-you feeling. I felt like the world is kind, and for a moment, I forgot those times that made me have trust issues.

halo-halo at mount batulao rest-stop

Hope that you spend your days, but they all add up; And when that sun goes down, hope you raise your cup.

I felt like building a house on top of the mountains. It was so invigorating to be at the presence of nature. It was humbling to realise that I am but a speck of breathing life form in this planet.

peak-view before the summit

Hope that I can witness all your joy and all your pain; But until my moment comes, I’ll say, “I, I did it all.”

It felt good to be alive after almost tripping down the side of the trail. It felt good to be in the company of good friends.

sunset at mount batulao

I owned every second that this world could give, I saw so many places, the things that I did..

With every broken bone, I swear I lived. 🙂

Don’t You Fake It

Nine days from now, The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus’ debut album, “Don’t You Fake It,” will be celebrating its first decade of being loved by young once and young ones alike.

I got exposed to bands when I was in third year high school. Before then, my music player consists mostly of the top songs of the week, some Avril Lavigne hits (because my cousin is a huge fan of hers, and I used to consider him as the closest thing to a brother that I’d ever have so I was “forced” to watch numerous recorded concerts over merienda), and classic songs that my parents (and grandparents) love. It was the start of the school year, and before frying our brains on our Biochem class (which comes after Chem, sheesh), our teacher allowed us to watch Myx. That’s when I first watched Fall Out Boy and My Chemical Romance (bless them), and the rest is history. But then of course, I’m still gonna talk about it because I love blabbering so much.

The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus has performed here in Manila a couple of times already, but it was only until their DYFI tour that I had the chance to watch them live. And man, the crowd, I don’t even know how to describe it.

After work, my friends and I settled at the barricades separating the VIP-pass holders from the others. It was a good choice, I would say, because most of the “VIPs” are kiddos.

I don’t know every band member’s name (because I’m really not good with names, sorry), but I remember feeling so utterly young and excited because I feel so lucky being in the audience of such a legendary pop punk band.

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Now, the crowd. Two guys totally caught my attention during the whole concert – not because they’re cute or whatever, but because I feel like they represented the fans of The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus at that moment.

There was a curly-haired dude who was at an all-time high energy during the almost two-hour performance. He was alone, or so it seems. But he set his things aside and headbanged, pumped his fists in the air so hard that even Saitama will tremble, and jumped all around the space he could move on. He really caught my attention because one song he’d be in front me, another he’d gone missing, then the next one he’s there again.

The second dude is the kind that you’d see on EDM fests. He was wearing a somewhat Coachella-inspired outfit (with a fedora on!). And he moved as if he’s listening to some funky music. He just swayed his body left to right, then occassionally put his hands in the air.

But here’s the thing: I know they love the band. I realized now that they may be about my age, and we may have been all on the same age when we first encountered these bands, and probably all on the same “young adult” transition phase. We all had the “qualifications,” if I’m even bold to say so. But at that moment, I felt like we represented different groups: the curly dude is that friend who doesn’t give a fuck about what people say about him, the fedora dude is that friend who’s always been curious that he ventured to other “genres” of life, and then there was me, the one who got eaten by the system (LOL).

But there we were. On the same concert. Back to listening to the same tunes. Back to being our rebellious selves.

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It made me feel nostalgic to be there, no matter how corny that may sound to you.

I wasn’t a super fan of TRJA, but I had a major post-concert depression that I played their songs on loop for a week. And I actually bought a copy of their Et Tu Brute EP which I am planning to listen to on the 20th in memoriam of how much that concert reignited the youth in me.

I hope as you go by your days, you remind yourself how strong you are for surviving this far. And yes, “childhood” songs can make you feel that.

Remember if you seek then you shall find.

Chicken or Egg? Chicken AND Egg.

If there’s anything that I learned about life in my 22 years of existence so far, it’s that you have to find and follow what motivates you in order for Mondays to be bearable and life, in general, to be worth living.

I’m off sick today, but I’m ’bout to talk about worklife. Sheesh.

The thing is, I’m a millenial, because being born in 1993 is considered to be one. And also because I carry this “brand” of millenials at the workplace: apparently, we love switching jobs.

I couldn’t speak for the others, but I think I’m about one shade away from being a job-hopper. I am not exactly proud of that, but it isn’t something I am ashamed of either.

Just May of last year, I joined the company I am fortunately still in. What might (or may not) shock you is that the first four months prior to that, I have had two other companies on my resumé. Long story short, it was mid-Feb when I quit the job I’ve had for almost two years already, started on the next one where I was an in-house specialist (which, I thought at first was fun), then quit the latter come April. And in case you are wondering, yes, I didn’t take time off.

Others may have been reading now, and saying, “What the frck is she doing with her life?!” And I would honestly answer that I don’t know, by then.

But now, I kinda feel like I’ve unearthed one of the many missing puzzle pieces of my life. The thing is, I am motivated by the never-ending search for more learning. Salary does attract me, but nothing beats giving me opportunities to explore what interests me at a specific moment, and time for me to do so. I’m willing to be a trainee for a long time, so long as no one’s stepping on me (we all know the horrors of the corporate world, much more the evilness of some people in it). As much as learning inspires me though, I loathe people who make me feel like I will never be better at something. (Come on now, someone popped in your mind for a moment there.) And yes, there are certain people you can look up to as mentors even when you’re already in the corporate world. You’ll just have to be careful.

Anyway, so, because I know what motivates me, I know what to tell people, or my managers, in case they ask me what they can do to help me. On my 9th month at my current job, I was luckily promoted to a notch higher, and, aside from the reasonable increase in salary, the trust that my seniors are bestowing upon me makes me want to learn more. And teach more they are doing to me now. I am a happy adult kid, sans casual work blues, at the moment.

For now, I’ll leave you with what the character Gendry said on George R. R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire: Book Two, A Clash of Kings”, to help you ponder:

A sword’s a sword, a helm’s a helm, and if you reach in the fire you get burned, no matter who you’re serving.

What about you? What motivates you? I know this whole thing is like the chicken-or-egg puzzle – in which I am also not sure which comes first, finding your motivation or finding the motivation to look for your motivation, if that makes sense. What if it’s the same thing? What if the answers are the same? It would be like hitting two birds with one stone, right? (And yes, bad, cliché pun intended.)

I hope you find it out yourself early in life. It makes all the difference, I assure you. 🙂

Starting Over Again

Fresh starts always seem and feel fresh until when you actually have to start them. After then, it’s all a matter of keeping up with yourself for a matter of time. Eventually, it’s gonna be about planning when, in what form, and how the next “fresh start” will be.

So, here’s my fresh start. (My freshest, most recent fresh start. I’m a Gemini, what else do you expect me to do?)

And this fresh start was actually scheduled to commence when the year started. That time, I was thinking I can set the theme as somewhat of a “New Year’s Resolution” kind of thing with some new-me-nah-who-am-I-kidding punchlines. But then, laziness happened. So I pushed it back to the Chinese New Year, which was (or “is”) on February, because I’m Asian, and I love delaying things (even new year’s celebration, it would seem). I guess you already know what happened next.

Who am I kidding, no one gives a damn about all that. It’s just that.. I don’t know how to start this shit. It’s been a while, you know? I’ve been all around the blogging-sphere, and like all “fresh starts,” I figured I need to start from scratch.

What do I want you to take away after reading this post? That it’s okay to start a “start” even if it’s behind the schedule (that sounds spammy, I know, but I’m trying my best to be witty here). We all have our timings – first day of the month, first day of the year, first day in a new place, and so on. Personally, I think the best time to start doing something is when you feel like doing it, because then you are still clear of your goals. (Or maybe, I’m just justifying my existence in this virtual space.)

I’m not a writer. I don’t do writing for a living. If any, I only had experience in writing when I was still in school, because I was a part of the campus paper guild. But I am in desperate need of writing, of something to write about.

I only feel human when I write. I have this weird thinking that no one is allowed to doubt my feelings and intentions when I write. That’s why I want to stay true in my writing this time around. I want to write about amusing things, books, good music, and good people. And I hope you’re A-for-okay with that.

My, my. I am thrilled to do this again.