Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Sleepless in Mandaluyong

My sleeping habits are really bad lately. Though how late I sleep, I always end up waking at 530 am. I don't mind the internal alarm clock if I do need to wake up that early, but I don't know how to turn it off. Like today this instance. I slept around 230 am this morning with the hope that I would wake up at 730 am (I require at least 5 to 6 hours sleep per night in order to be fully functional the next day). As my luck, I woke up at 630 am. This lack of sleep is frustrating me.

I'm going to a doctor by tomorrow or Friday and ask for help. The lack of sleep is not doing me any good. Thinking of asking for sleeping pills but I have to check whether it would indeed be helping me or just do the opposite.

Today was declared as a non-working holiday in commemoration of the 1st EDSA Revolution almost 20 years ago. I barely remember the events which unfolded that year. All I remember was that there were no classes. Instead of staying at home to reflect on this very important event in our nation's history, I went to work (after hearing mass of course).

Other than the EDSA revolution, today is also the start of the season of Lent. A season of prayer, sacrifice and charity. Most people perceive lent as a time of fasting. It is true but they make a mistake by thinking it's just all fasting. The priest's homily today mentioned that fasting does not only pertain to food, but not doing or spending for something which you usually do. Putting it on a concrete example, I decided to fast on taxi rides. I'm sometimes so lazy that I usually take a cab when I could take a jeep or even walk the distance. Then the amount which I'm going to save from those taxi rides will be given to charity. It's not enough that you fast but you also give.

Prayer is also important. I am guilty of forgetting this sometimes. I've decided to move my prayer time in the morning since I noticed that my sleepiness at night prevents me from doing proper reflections. I feel lighter when I go to work that day (and it's not just the lost pounds).

I'm also happy to note that I can fit into my old clothes again. The other week, I managed to fit snugly into a pair of jeans which I last wore last 2001. I was so happy about it that I forgot the company policy of disallowing jeans in the workplace on Fridays. I braved my boss' ire and proudly wore jeans to work.

Sunday, February 22, 2004

I Have a Life!

People at work have been noticing that I've been going home earlier than usual. Last Tuesday, I left my desk at 630 pm and my officemates asked me where I was going since they know that I have no classes during Tuesdays. I told them cryptically, "I DO have a life."

With so many activities in my plate, they were rather amused by my answer. What they don't know is that I added another activity in my ever growing plate, and that's dating.

Dating is something new for me and something someone will not see in my previous journals. People might find it weird since I did have boyfriends before. Did I not go out with them before we became a boyfriend-girlfriend couple? Let me put it this way, all my previous relationships were rather unconventional, not to mention I had no idea on the whats and whys on dating. I was so young and naive before that I thought dates were only for boyfriend-girlfriend couples. Not for people who want to get to know each other better.

After my last relationship which ended 2 years ago, I asked God to just let me experience for once, how it means to have a "normal" relationship. You know, where you actually go out on dates, know each other better, and sharing each other's lives before committing to becoming a couple. I made the mistake before of committing even before I knew a guy. I
instantly became blind to a guy's a faults just because he showed special interest in me. I made the mistake of thinking that serious and intense conversations are enough basis for an actual relationship. I committed an error in deciding that "like" is akin to "love".

Now, God gave me this gift to appreciate and to nurture. It's fun going out and getting to know the guy under typical circumstances. I'm actually having a good time in not rushing in, and instead, just enjoying the moments that we have together.

My friend and I just had our 2nd date yesterday where we watched "Cold Mountain" in Eastwood and walked around in Baywalk along Roxas Blvd. It was fun just being with him and getting to know him in different levels. We already planned another date in the future (not to mention other stuff that we would want to do and movies that we would want to see), I guess that's a good indication that we find each other interesting.

Who knows where this might end up? Maybe that's where the excitement lies. Of course, I do wish for the best but no one can see the future. Who indeed knows?

Friday, February 20, 2004

Pottering at National

I wrote this review more than 6 months ago. Might as well post it here:


22 June 2003


I was at National Bookstore at 10 minutes before 7 o'clock yesterday morning just to get my copy of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. I questioned my sanity for being there that early (National opened some of their shops at 7 am just to release
the new book) when I'm not even a Harry Potter fanatic. Sure I liked the books but not to the point of trying to get the first copy AND finish it in one sitting (or lying)—which I did. I started on the book at 1130 pm and put it down at 5 am.

I like the book. I like the story. The story is a bit mature in content too. Honestly though, I don't know how I feel about Harry Potter the character right now. All the previous books started off light and there were lots of things to look forward to throughout the book. In this installment, Harry started off as being angry and stayed angry throughout the whole story. I thought it was Voldemort
giving him a serum which "changed" his personality but I realized soon enough that Harry is growing up. If you were 15 and you grew up in a household such as the Dursley's where they treat you like dirt, and then you find out that you're a wizard and that your parents did not die in an accident but was actually murdered and then you find out that their murderer is still alive and tried to kill you, and then you encounter your would-be murderer and tried to finish off the deed but ended up killing other people you know. These things will definitely change you. It's as if the past 14 years of his life finally caught up with him and he's only dealing with the trauma now.

Throughout the book, I could feel the frustration, hurt, anger and sadness that Harry was going through (and it's not just the ALL CAPS FONT). The whole book also felt different. It's not wholesome. Not wholesome at all.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is 870 pages long. Longer than the Goblet of Fire by oh maybe 50 pages or so. The first 200 pages is devoted to the summer holidays and introduced Harry's negative emotions. The book also introduced LOTS of new characters. I had a difficult time trying to remember them and the characters from previous installments.

There are also a LOT of answered questions in this book. Some of them are quite obvious but some are also surprising. Expect more action sequences from unsuspecting characters. Oh and Harry's first censored kiss. That is so teenger-ish.

The reason why I could not put the book down even if I almost hated Harry was I wanted to get some answers. Maybe that's where Rowling succeeded. For the past four books, she kept us on tenterhooks on why somebody was and is trying to kill Harry. On why he has his scar. On why he defeated Voldemort etc. etc. I could taste
Harry's frustration of being kept in the dark and his curiousity eating him up inside. I know I could always read the last chapter but she has this way of revealing small things somewhere in the book.

Overall, it's a definitely good book. I'm not very happy about it because the book has affected me more than I thought it would. I know it's just fantasy but Rowling managed to portray Harry in such a way that made him more alive and real than before. It made his character more believable. It made him human.

Saturday, February 14, 2004

My V-Day

At least I did not spend it brooding at home. I went out with a friend: had dinner and watched a wholesome Disney movie. I was severely disappointed though when I got bumped off from my spa appointment (for those who intend to get the spa treatment at Fitness First Plus RCBC, think again. They might prioritize more "important" clients over you) this afternoon. I would not mind if they told me beforehand but they had to wait for the exact time that no one can attend to me. They were offering a male therapist but I just gave them this "evil" look which made them back off. My point was I scheduled my appointment on a Wednesday and I arrived 130 pm for my 3 pm appointment just for them to tell me at 3:20 pm that there is no therapist available. That really got my goat. I stormed off to the locker rooms to dress up (they made me wait in a robe!) and hurried off to the reception and DEMANDED that someone explain to me what happened to my reservation. To give them due credit, they were very apologetic about it but I hated the fact that I had to wait! What made matters worse was that I was LOOKING forward to having this treatment! I was so freaking frustrated! Good thing I brought a bathing suit with me so I swam laps instead, and soaked in the jacuzzi. It soothed my temper but did nothing to ease the disappointment. However, they did give me a gift certificate of any massage of my choice--but they can never give back my time.

I met with my friend at around 430 pm. We ate dinner at a Korean place and watched a sickingly wholesome Haunted Mansion. I wanted to watch it for the thrills but it barely moved me (except for a surprising moment or two). It was rather bland for Eddie Murphy and I expected more from him.

Speaking of Disney, there's trouble in the cartoon-makers' headquarters. Stockholders and the some members of the board of directors are demanding for his head. Apparently, Eisner broke his ties with the CEO of Pixar (whose name escapes me right now) which pissed some important people at Disney. Box office sales of Disney made cartoons are not good as compared to the movies done by Pixar.

Anyway, I'm just tired right now. Tired from the amount of time I spent in the gym, and drained from getting mad at those spa people.

Thursday, February 12, 2004


I mentioned beforehand how insensitive I have become and how I'm trying not to be that. My resolve was put to the test when a couple of friends emailed me one after the other about their respective break-ups. Both of them were so torn. Being out of the love business for so long, I was at a loss on how to help them. Do I act callous and tell both of them to get it over with or do I sympathize and emphatize?

While thinking of what to say, I suddenly remembered a short poem that was sent to me before, which I retrieved from my archives and sent it to my friends with a message that I will always be here if they need me. Hopefully it'll do for now. Here's a copy of the poem.

After a While
By Veronica A. Shoffstall

After a while you learn the subtle difference between
holding a hand and chaining a soul,

And you learn that love doesn't mean leaning and company
doesn't mean security,

And you begin to learn that kisses aren't contracts and
presents aren't promises,

And you begin to accept your defeats with your head up and
your eyes open, with the grace of an adult, not the grief
of a child,

And you learn to build all your roads on today because
tomorrow's ground is too uncertain for plans.

After a while you learn that even sunshine burns if you get
too much.

So plant your own garden and decorate your own soul,
instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.

And you learn that you really can endure...

That you really are strong,

And you really do have worth.

Love being in the air makes me wonder whether I can still fall in love. I thought I was in love a couple of months back, but it turned out to be infatuation and just being in love with the idea of love. What does it really mean to fall in love? How do I know if I'm really in love and not infatuated?

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

Happy Un-Valentine's Day

I have never had an eventful Valentine's Day except when I was in first year college and my friends sent me a singing choir telegram. I can still remember the songs, "I get by with a little help from my friends" and "Love is all that Matters". I was so touched that I could not help but shed a bucket of tears the whole time. Heck, my image was immortalized by our photographer friend in black and white. Everytime I would look at the snapshot, I can't help but smile.

After that, I can't help but compare the succeeding Valentine's Day I had. Nothing noteworthy so far. Maybe because my relationships do not last long enough. So I guess the so-called special day is kind of overrated.

A friend once asked me if I was a member of the "SGV" (Samahang Galit sa Valentine's) and I said no since I'm already an active member of "SMC" (Samahang Malalamig ang Christmas). See, Christmas lasts for almost 2 whole months while Valentine's is only one freaking day. That means I'm only going to suffer for 24 hours. This year, the suffering won't be as intense since Feb. 14 is a Saturday! Hah!

Why do people have to go through this whole courtship ritual thing? Life used to be simple for Adam and Eve. "Adam, meet Eve. Eve, meet Adam. Now go forth and multiply." Even if I've read thousands of romance novels, I will never figure out love and romance. As far as I know, God is Love and Love is God. Unfortunately, people's definition of love differs from mine.

Sunday, February 08, 2004

Texas Chainsaw Massacre

I had a grueling day at the gym yesterday. I was on the treadmill for 30 minutes, lifted weights for another 30 minutes, spent 15 minutes in the jacuzzi and swam for another 30 minutes. I was so hyper afterwards that when my friend came to pick me up, I was literally bouncing. It was no wonder that when we watched a movie, it had to be The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

My friend was laughing when I picked the movie. He said he was surprised since he thought girls liked the mushy movies. I laughed back at him when he said that.

But anyway...

The movie is a remake of the original movie shown last 1983. It was based on a true story where 5 young adults were killed in a far off Texas town by a chainsaw-wielding maniac. The movie opened with a somewhat Blair Witch effect which gave me chills.

The film has its scream-y moments. Lots of them which made me jump off my chair and almost injured my friend. It's good although it's not good enough to give me nightmares. A good horror movie is the one which gives me nightmares.

Saturday, February 07, 2004

Pizza Breakdown

I had some sort of nervous/stress breakdown today. The story is actually very humorous.

I previously mentioned my staffing problems and how I had to take on the slack and have improperly trained people do tasks that are usually delegated to regular staff. I had people come to me these past couple of days regarding errors made by my new temp staffs and the such. There was also an instance today wherein there were three people circling my desk trying to get my attention and I have a person on the phone and another on hold. The last straw the literally broke the camel's back was, funny enough, a Yellow Cab pizza slice.

We ordered the scrumptious feast as some sort of thank you for my staff who's moving to another department. Since pizza is a highly discouraged meal in my diet, I quietly refused the slice that was being offered to me. My officemates not used to seeing someone decline an offer of Yellow Cab Pizza began teasing me and tempting me by waving slices in front of me and kept on pestering for me to take a bite. I refused again and again. I ignored them the best I could while I was on the phone talking to another bank.

It was almost 6 pm when I finally put the phone down for my last call of the day. I was mentally, emotionally and physically exhausted. I propped my head on my hands and to my chagrin, I found myself crying. An officemate saw me and asked me what was wrong and when I refused to answer, he came by to sit beside me and started cheering me up. Unfortunately, such concern made me cry more.

I realized then that I must've been pretty hard on myself. I have so many things on my plate that my body must be telling me to slow down. Heck, I go to the gym everyday where I push myself to my available limit; I have my demanding work where I sometimes work 12 hours a day; I have my school where I have to deal with people I do not usually get along with; I have my 2 choirs where I sing once a week at church; I have my service for Singles for Christ; I have my friends who keep my grounded; and I have my job as our the family household administrator. I managed to balance my time, effort and energy to do all those things, but in the process, I forgot to factor in instances such as stress and temptation in the equation. The pizza incident is a prime example.

Tuesday, February 03, 2004

Trust (No, not the Condom)

I was a bit perturbed with something that happened at work today.

Apparently, there are rumors circulating that are linking me to a certain colleague at work. I did not make a big deal out of it since by doing so would further fan the rumor flames, moreover, since the news is not true. So I opted to keep quiet and pretended that it did not matter.

Nevertheless, the whole incident bothered me. It just proved that I could not trust people at work--even those who I thought was worthy of my trust and respect.

Monday, February 02, 2004

Monday Blues

I had a blah day today. One of those days when you're not sure whether it's good or bad. It was my officemate's birthday yesterday so we had pancit and barbecue for lunch. We bought him ice cream (which I did not eat any bite of. Yay!).

I could feel the pressure starting in at work. I could see it as a challenge instead of an inconvenience. Work volume for my unit is starting to build and I'm having staff problems. My regular head count is 2 regular staff and 1 temp. One of my reg staff went on maternity a couple of weeks ago while my other regular staff is transferring to another department effective next week (did I mention she also just got back from her maternity leave?). I had to get a temp staff to replace the one who was on maternity but had to terminate her due to absences. I had to get another one who I had to train almost from scratch. On top of that, there's my usual workload at school and at work. Oh well, I guess I'm still lucky.

I saw the trailer of Piolo Pascual's new movie. Grabeh! I could only stare open-mouthed when I saw him at ASAP and The Sharon Cuneta Show yesterday. He is absolutely gorgeous! Judy Ann Santos hit it right on the money when she said, "Puwede mo nang ulamin yung mukha niya". He's so scrumptious and delicious! I wish he'll have another movie soon, minus Claudine Baretto. Heck, though how much I love Piolo, there's no way I'm watching a movie of his with Claudine on board. I love you Piolo!!!!

To fight off the stress, I went back to the gym right after my class (good thing the La Salle campus and the gym are in just one building) and swam some laps. It was embarrassing again since there were 3 other guys in the pool with me. I had to get out since I was interrupting their respective work-outs due to my slow pace. The pool is long although it's wide enough to only accommodate 2-3 people. I consoled myself by soaking in the jacuzzi for 15 minutes or so.

One interesting thing that I culled from the sermon yesterday was selfishness. I realized that I've been very selfish lately and I'm trying to improve. I've been focusing too much into me that I'm forgetting the people around me. Especially those who needs my attention and help. I pray for the appropriate sensitivity to sense those times.

Pirates of Ayala

No, I'm not talking about the people that hawk their pirated dvds/vcds along Ayala every afternoon. I'm talking about the more high scale kind--those who pirate people.

Young people nowadays like being pirated. Hopping from one company to the other, using one company as a stepping stone to get a job with higher pay and larger responsibility. It's a good way to advance your career but it's something that one should not take lightly.

There are times when I think about this. According to studies, a big percentage of why people leave their jobs is their bosses. Compensation is only 3rd, believe it or not. I'm ok with my work right now but I still have lots of room to grow. There are still numerous things that I can still accomplish in my role but I just need the right opportunity to do so. With my staffing problems right now, it's rather difficult for me to fulfill the other half of my job description.

Anyway, I'll just cross the bridge when/if I get there. I just have to make do with the situation and do my best with what I have.


is the opposite of overeat. I had my 2nd session with my dietician/nutritionist yesterday and I was surprised to know that I've been undereating. I'm not consuming enough calories. Based on my food chart, I'm only consuming an average of 75% of my allowable calories per day when in fact I should be hitting 95% or more. I was surprised because the time I ate 95%, I felt like I overate! I guess that gives me more leeway to still eat carbohydrates.

She gave me a food pyramid which somehow helped me with my menu planning. I'll discuss it tomorrow. I left my list at work.