Sunday, December 28, 2003

FILMFEST #1: Crying Ladies

Watched "Crying Ladies" with my friends today. We actually got together since our friend Max is in Manila only for a short while before he leaves for Cebu after the holidays.

I expected the Sharon Cuneta film to be humorous but instead, was pleasantly surprised to see that it's worthy of note. It's definitely far from her usual fare of heavy drama. She did have crying scenes here but it's part of her character. She, together with the characters of Hilda Koronel (who actually carried the film and is more believable and better than Ate Shawie) and Angel Aquino were hired by the character of Eric Quizon to cry at the wake and burial of his dad. Sharon got the accent and mannerisms right but she seems to be too polished to be believable as a relatively poor person. Hilda Koronel was hilarious as a former actress who plays a stage mother to her pretty daughter. Angel Aquino was interesting as a devout Catholic who wants to atone for her perennial sin of adultery.

I had fun watching the whole movie moreover when I verified the accents of the Chinese people (especially that of Eric Quizon's) and the burial custom with Allan (who's as pure Chinese as they come). There are a lot of hilarious scenes to watch out for. Except for a few inconsistencies, I find the movie praiseworthy and really deserves the Best Picture win of the Manila Filmfest

Friday, December 26, 2003

Merry Christmas!

I can't believe that it's over. That must be the most exhausting Christmas I've ever had. Oh wait! There's still New Year! Hmmm...if I survived Christmas, I know I'll survive that.

We spent Christmas eve at our grandparents' house in Makati. It's been tradition that we spend it with them. None of us is excused from that gathering (unless you're out of the country). It's the time that my grandfather also gives out his pamasko. It has been the same amount ever since I was born and it has not changed. Nevertheless, it was still fun.

The gift-giving was ok. I got two items from my wish list--well sort off. My sister and her husband got me the Pug. Well, sort of a pug. It's actually a doggy bank in the shape of a pug. It's so cute! My brother and his wife got me a Lord of the Rings: Return of the King shirt with Legolas featured in front. I almost swooned in delight. I gave them towels with their names on them which they liked. I gave my twin sister shirts which I hope would fit her (according to my mom, who was with me when I bought those shirts, they would fit).

As for my dad, I gave him the new Josh Groban cd and a plaque from Papemelroti saying "Please stop smoking. We want to die of natural causes" or something like that. We've been urging him to stop smoking but he's a bit hard-headed about it.

My lolo loved the gift that I gave him. It's a book of Kapampangan stories. In his old age, he loves anything that has to do with his home town.

Of course, there were downsides to that gathering, like my ref cakes which I was supposed to give away suddenly disappearing for one. I already have an inkling where they went but since it was Christmas, I did not pursue the issue.

As for Christmas Day, my father and I heard mass in the morning then we went home. We basically stayed here the whole day doing nothing except watching dvd's. We had a Lord of the Rings marathon (which made my butt hurt) and saw our maid off as she goes to her home province for her annual Christmas vacation. We insisted that she returns in two weeks though because last year she was gone for almost a whole month. Fortunately, most of us here at home are on vacation which would enable us to do the chores.

I badly need to go to the parlor for a pedicure, facial and the works. With most of the holiday stress over, I need to recuperate. Am going back to work on Monday and Tuesday and then there's another 5 day holiday for us. Work starts again on the 5th and my classes on the 7th. Can't wait to get started.

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

Happy Holidays!

I can't believe it's already Christmas! After all the rushing and pressure, it's finally here!

This Christmas is different as compared to the previous Christmases that I've had. I was not able to participate in he traditional Simbang Gabi's or the carollings. I owe my absence to the demands of work and early on, the demands of my studies. I went to confession last night and I shared this to the priest. His advice was simple and I could not help but shed a tear as I poured out my frustrations. I've always known the answer all along and he just repeated what it's in my head and my heart. With all the things that I have missed to do this holiday season, it might mean that I'm changing. That as I advance in life, my priorities and needs change. I realized that he's right. I could not participate in the simbang gabis due to my work and studies. I could not participate in the church activities because I want to spend time with my family.

Ah yes, family. In devoting myself to my numerous extra-curricular activities and my work, I've somehow neglected my relationship with my family. For the past few weeks, I find myself spending more time at home and going out with them. I'm thinking that next holy week, I'm planning to go out of town with them. It's been a long time since we went out of town together.

I'm going to do some last minute Christmas shopping tomorrow. I still haven't bought a gift for my dad. I knew I would forget something even if I did my shopping early this month. Afterwhich, I'm going to bake some cookies which we're going to bring to our noche dinner with our grandparents.

On Saturday, we're attending the wedding of an officemate. I bought a dress this afternoon which I will wear to the event. Thinking that I could wear it again. It's a nice lavander colour.

Monday, December 22, 2003

"You Owe Me Awe!"

The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King
(possible spoilers)

That line echoed in my ahead after watching movie. Maybe that was why I kept my friends awake trying to remember which movie that line came from (a couple of hours later, I remembered! It was uttered by Ralph Fiennes character in the movie Red Dragon during the scene with the tabloid reporter). Awe is definitely what we owe the movie, Mr. Jackson and the cast. Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King deserves nothing less.

It deserves the title "Best Movie Ever Made" and being an avid movie watcher myself, this title does not come lightly. Now I know I have a ready and right answer every time somebody asks me "What is your favorite movie?" I haven't watched a movie that evoked every emotion from me and were my emotions ever evoked! I laughed, I cried, I screamed in fright.

The whole movie deserves tons of awards. I wish there would be a category for "Best CGI Performance". Shelob and Gollum deserves such an award. They really did good work on the spider and Gollum...Gollum just leaves me speechless.

When Sam said, "Let it go, Mr. Frodo," in the movie's climax, I can't help but relate to the incident. Not only does it involve certain aspects of my life, but I knew I had to let go of the movie as well. Three years is a bloody long time to watch a movie but we've learned to love Middle Earth and all that it encompasses. For three years, we celebrated Christmases with visions of magnificent battle scenes, well-executed shots and heart-wrenching cinematography dancing above our heads. For the past three years, we had something to look forward to during Christmas which made me think what would next Christmas bring?

I cried when the movie ended because I knew it was time to let go. Good bye, Middle Earth. Hope to see you once again. (but then, there's always the books!).

Sunday, December 14, 2003

Driving Ms. Sunshine

We went to the 101st birthday celebration of my lolo's eldest sister at Ayala Heights somewhere in Quezon City. I met some older cousins who I haven't seen in ages and a "kababata" who I haven't seen in years. It was fun reacquainting ourselves with our respective lives and stuff. Moreover knowing that I already have nieces and nephews abounding.

I also met a relative who happens to be a newscaster at a local channel (I think she also did a tv ad for a facial wash) and another cousin who's a close aid of GMA. It was fun though even if I vaguely remember most of their names.

During a lull in the celebration, I invited my brother to accompany me to practice my driving skills. I didn't realize that that would be a big mistake. Being a driving novice, I had no idea that the subdivision's hills with humps would be a humongous obstacle for my minuscule driving talent. I ended up inadvertently killing the motor more than once (while "hanging") and almost crashing into vehicles twice. It was really scary and I shed buckets of sweat the whole time. Going through that makes me wonder whether learning how to drive is worth it. Moreover with the maniac drivers abounding the city.

Friday, December 12, 2003


WARNING: This post is a rant and could be highly depressing. If you don't want your day ruined, kindly leave and come back some other day when I have something more cheerful posted.

I can very much identify with Avril when she sang, "It's not supposed to hurt this way." That's basically how I feel right now.

It's my first day back to work after my finals and everything was not going right. I discovered that my People's magazine issue this week was stolen from my desk last night. Other than that, my pc was acting up the whole day which prevented from processing applications as much as I would want. Curse words were also my favorite sayings today. That's definitely not me. Once I start cursing a streak, there must be something really wrong.

I've never hated Christmas season as I do now. It's Friday night and while riding the taxi on my way home, the taxi driver played Christmas songs interpreted by Celine Dion. I don't know if it was the song or Dion's caterwauling but I just broke down and cried.

I still can't figure out why I cried. Maybe because I was so lost and lonely with the loneliness biting my ass and munching heartily. Maybe because of nothing else to think about, I could not escape the reality that has been hounding my heels these past months. I remember posting something about it some weeks back, about my siblings getting married. That really got the tears going.

An officemate noticed my mood and asked if I was a member of the SMC (Samahang Malalamig ang Christmas). I affirmed and he asked if I was also an active member of the SGV (Samahang Galit sa Valentine's). I said I'm more of an SMC than an SGV with the fact that I have to suffer through Christmas longer than Valentine's. Valentine's is just one day while Christmas runs up to two months.

Oh God, I hate Christmas. Let this be over soon.

I can't help but also feel guilty whenever I feel this way. Christmas is also the official celebration of the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. All day I kept on repeating that to myself, but the feeling still won't go away.

This is ironic considering I have started giving away Christmas goodies to my officemates. Guess no one could accuse me from being a scrooge.

Please don't let it be this way.

Thursday, December 11, 2003


It's over! I can't believe it's over! I survived my first finals week in Graduate School! Oh happy happy joy joy!

I can actually go back to work with that issue off my mind. The next thing I need to worry about is how to catch up on my work since I was on leave for the past two days and a half.

Overall, I really enjoyed my first term. Pressure and stress aside, it was indeed interesting and an experience in itself. Maybe my brain was craving for the knowledge that it appreciated my jump into graduate school. Moreover, my current studies helped me appreciate my job and created some sort of structure from all the learnings that I had culled in my four years with the bank.

Next term, I'm taking up a core subject (Management Science) and a pre-MBA subject (Financial Accounting). I think I made the mistake of taking up two math subjects in one term. I can take the math, it's just that it takes me quite some time before my brain can absorb a certain concept. That's why I had to work twice as hard to keep up with my groupmates. My groupmates are math gods (not surprising since one is a comsci graduate while the other is an engineering graduate) and our group meetings always leave me speechless.

I also decided to TRY to at least get an honorable mention upon graduation. Yes, I know it's ages away and it's very presumptuous of me to say so, but at least I have that goal in mind. That's a very difficult goal for me considering that I was not considered as an achiever when I was taking up my undergraduate studies. Maybe because I did not take my studies seriously then.

But then, that might be another source of stress for me, which is the last thing I need. I just received the results of my annual medical exam and the prognosis is not too good. Let's just say that if my mom got wind of the results, she will throw a fit since she has already forewarned me and I did not listen to her.

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

Finals Week

Sometimes I take myself too seriously. My finals is one prime example of this.

I took a leave of absence from work to study and do my final papers. Everything is pushed at the sidelines until I finish my exams. I can't understand why my way of thinking is this way considering I'm not supposed to be as pressured as I was in college. Everytime I find myself falling into despair just because my linear regression formula does not want to work or I could not understand the concept of homoestasdicity (I don't even know if I spelled it right), I remind myself that there is life after the finals. I would minimize my excel and word screens and play a round of spider solitaire.

Because of my studying, my room is a big mess. My books and case papers are lying all around, ready to be picked up if I need to refer to something. As long as I can make it through tomorrow, then I'll be fine. Next thing I need to do is to finish wrapping up my gifts.

I think I'm turning into a scrooge. Don't get me wrong. I don't scrimp on gifts nor do I hide from my ever-growing number of godchildren. It's just I'm learning to dread the Christmas season. It's turning into the most hated season for me. Rather ironic since just early this year, it was my favorite time of the year. It must be the commercialism that got to me.

You know, I don't think this way before. I'm not even supposed to think this way. Maybe graduate school changed my way of thinking and turned me into a person reeking of commercialism. It made me see Christmas not as a season of joy, love and peace but a season of exchange gifts and stress.

It's not supposed to hurt this way.

Sunday, December 07, 2003

Return of the King

Fourteen days to go and the journey will end.

I got my premier tickets for Return of the King this afternoon at Greenhills. At least I can rest easy now. I don't think I can wait until January to watch the movie. For fantasy buffs like me, that will be an eternity.

I remembered reading the about Middle Earth when I was a kid. I saw the collection sitting on top of my aunt's television. Being the bookworm that I was (read: nerd) and seeing that it's a classic (the edition is as old as I am!), I borrowed it from her and never returned it. The prose can be a bit tedious to read but the universe that Tolkien crafted is the birthplace of the worlds created by other fantasy writers.

I could barely remember the story when my friends and I bought tickets to the first Lord of the Rings movie. All I know is that they're very excited about it. Three hours later, I suddenly remembered why I'm such a fan. I really can't wait!

CHRISTMAS PARTY #1 (and counting)

December 1 does not only mean that the birth of Christ is a few days away, but it's also the start of a string of Christmas parties.

My first Christmas party this year is that of our bank. It was held last Friday at Makati Shangri-la. It was the best so far and I truthfully mean that. Deviating from the usual prizes of appliances, our benevolent CEO (sipsip!) gave away trips abroad. Originally it was supposed to be trips for two to Hongkong, Bangkok and Europe. An hour before announcing the trip to Europe prize, Mr. Simon Morris (our CEO) suddenly announced that they will be giving another prize and that's a trip to Australia! No one left (except for a few) that night and we stayed until 12 midnight waiting for the announcement. Unfortunately, I did not win but I still had a great time. Moreover, with our division winning the Christmas presentation. Too bad I had no part of it this time since I was too busy with work and studies to attend the practices. I guess we're thankful to the "Otso-0tso" craze for winning the prize for us.

I have another party coming up on the 19th and some others which I don't want to attend but we'll just see.


Our group of 3 had our case presentation last Thursday. I'm proud to say that it turned out quite well. Our classmates actually applauded our presentation and our professor heaped us praises. My groupmates are indeed very brilliant and I give them credit for my good grades. Jek and Ryan made my first term in La Salle very memorable and worthwhile indeed. They helped me understand the concepts being taught to us by our very abled professor, Mr. Montesclaros, and they never hesitate to answer even my most inane questions. Having them as groupmates also made me strive to study harder so I could contribute something to our case papers. I am truly blessed.

Thursday, December 04, 2003

Birthday Girl

"It's my party and I'll cry if I want to, cry if I want to, cryyyyy if I want to. You would cry too if it happened to you!"

I can't recall offhand who sang that song but I remember it being included in one of Cher's movies (but then I could be wrong).

The reason why that song came up is that it's my birthday today (actually yesterday. It's already 1237 am of December 4 by my watch)! I just turned 28 and I'm proud of it. It's been a rather hectic day.

There are three highlights of my day. First, a really good friend sent me an appropriate and heartfelt greeting. It just simple said: "I doubt you'll get your peace on earth in our lifetime,so I'll wish you peace in your heart." With all the things that are happening in my life right now, I really REALLY needed that.

Today was also the first time when I received almost 40 messages from different people wishing me happy birthday. Does that mean that there are people out there who really care for me?

The third highlight was when I dropped by to attend a prayer meeting after class. I only stayed for an hour because my mom is leaving in a few hours and I wanted to spend the next few hours with her. We had some snacks and they honored me and my co-birthday celebrant with words of support, friendship and love. They truly are great people.

I also received some really nifty gifts. From my officemates, I got a bottle of Eve cologne from Plains and Prints which I have so wanted for the longest time. One of my staff also gave me a bilao of biko. A good friend from the community gave me a book which somehow appeased my turmoiled soul. To top it off, my Tita Rosa gave me a copy of "The Book of Jabez". I've so wanted a copy of this book for the longest time but was not able to buy it.

All these things basically tell me one thing--that I am a blessed soul. I have friends and family who has always and will continue to care for me. For that, I will be forever thankful.