Sunday, November 26, 2006

Back to Work

Well, it's back to work for me tomorrow. I hope I'm in the proper mindset now. I've been psyching myself up the whole day about work. I still have mixed feelings about it. A part of me is excited to return to work and face the challenges while there's still a part of me that is hesitant and afraid. Hopefully, I can get over that before I face my boss tomorrow.

I slept at 1 am this morning as I was reading my past journals last night. Ever since grade school, I've been keeping diaries but last 2001 during a difficult move of ours, I threw them away as I saw them as dust gatherers. Together with those journals, I also threw away letters, notes, mementos of my grade school and high school days. I regret that I did that. My memory lately is so poor that everytime I'm with my high school and college friends, I'm having difficulty remembering stuff that happened back then. The journals that I'm keeping now has January 1997 as the earliest date--during my college graduation.

It was really hilarious and I just wondered about my naiveity and stupidity before. I cringe whenever I read about embarassing stuff and I envy my life before when I was so close to God. I wrote down my reflections on Gospels and I kept thanking God almost every page. I should regain that kind of spirituality. My recent trials is God's way of reminding me of his presence and how much I've forgotten Him.

Please pray for me.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Getting To Know Me

I have three more days left of my block leave and hopefully am ready enough to return to work on Monday.

During the past two weeks, I spent most of it with friends and loved ones. In doing so, I learned more about myself and what I was going through with regards to my problems at work.

My bestfriend Kay tried to help me figure out objectively what I was feeling. When I think of my work, I get all tensed and stressed. We then dug deeper and tried to figure out what was the source of my stress. It's definitely not the work as I really love what I do; I love the learning experiences that happens everyday. The work is not a problem, it's my boss who I really dread to return to.

Don't get my wrong. My boss is very good at what he does and he's really serious in cleaning up the department. It's just that, it was the first time in my entire life that somebody made me feel that I'm a failure. No, he did not say it directly to my face and I know he did not mean to make me feel that way. When he came in, I was unofficially the OIC of our department and since I was inexperienced and there were too many things to be done, a lot of things fell through the cracks. He kept on asking about things that should've been done but was not done. It made me feel really bad and I felt like a total failure whenever I tell him, "I don't know" or "No, it was not done". To make it short, I took it personally.

I met with my college friend Cessna today, and when I told her of my concerns about my job, she said that I have always been a perfectionist. No wonder I felt the way I felt. My standards of myself are so high that if I fail to meet them, I take it as a failure and failure is something that is hard for me to accept. Though it may not seem that way to some people (and sometimes, even to me), I am an achiever (sometimes, an overachiever). I guess it was something that has been ingrained in me since childhood. My family has kept reiterating how they expect me to succeed and it was something that I really believed in and kept to heart. I guess it what drove me to where I am right now.

My personality demands perfection and am quick to see flaws on things--sadly, even on other people. It was the added pressure of wanting to be perfect so that if I point out a flaw on other people, they can't say the same thing to me. It's a miracle that I did not turn into an evil narcistic bitch. Though it may be a liability, it is what makes me perfect in my current job function.

Going back to my boss, I have subliminally and unconsciously identified him as my source of stress, that the thought of just seeing him again makes me cringe which is somewhat perplexing. My boss can be a tyrant but he is a kind man. He's still a human being and not a monster as my unconscious has portrayed him to be. I have to change my mindset of him and it's something that I really have to work on if I want to be effective and productive at work. I really love what I do and going back to my personal mission, vision and values, this is what I really want to do. As Kay said, I have to let that be my beacon to lead me through the darkness.

So what really drives me? What do I consider as a success?

I am an intellectual person. As long as I am doing something that enables me to learn regularly, I'm a happy camper. Success is also not measured through material wealth or promotions. Success for me is reaching my full potential and being able to use all the talents that God has given me. Success for me is measured by meeting the objectives set AND surpassing them; to see how far I can be stretched; to see how far I can go.

I have different definitions of success in all aspects of my life. As Kay (she is turning to be my personal Yoda. I don't know what I could've done without her guidance and help) said, work is just a facet of my life. To make it as the only facet will somehow lead to my downfall. There are other aspects of my life which I have to pay attention to.

Though how much perfection I demand on myself and others, I just have to accept that I am an imperfect being; that I am human and that I commit mistakes. Sometimes acceptable, sometimes unacceptable mistakes and I have to learn to live with that knowledge. I just have to learn how to forgive myself and move one. Maybe once I have accepted that then maybe I can be more at peace with myself and my own humanity.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


I haven't read a fantasy book in ages (excluding the Sandman series). When I saw Eragon (the book) was on sale and knowing that it's a coming movie, I bought it. It took me almost 3 days to start the book though. Maybe because I had no idea what it was about.

It was a typical fantasy tale with dwarves, elves, dragons, mages and of course, the hero, 16 year-old Eragon. I do wish the author named him something else. His name looks like an allusion to Lord of the Ring's Aragorn.

I like the book though. I've forgotten how a fantasy tale can hook me up and would make me unable to put the book down. I think I slept past 1 am with barely 100 pages left. Upon waking up this morning, it took me less than 30 minutes to finish it. Much to my chagrin, I've forgotte that this was a BOOK ONE of a series of books. Gosh, I hope it's only a trilogy and not like that never-ending Wheel of Time series of Robert Jordan or Terry Goodkind's Sword of Truth series. It never ends!

Anyway, I'll write more about it. Am starting on "Labyrinth" which I bought weeks ago. HOpefully, this won't be a series.

Pagdating ng Panahon

Coming home last night from a doctor's appointment (I was informed that my left eye grade is LOWER than my right. All the while, I thought they were the same), I planted my seat in front of the TV and channel surfed. As I was changing channels in warp speed, my fingers paused when I came upon the PBO station. Blame me for being not nationalistic but I really don't like watching Filipino movies. If ever I do watch one, it's because it's really good and highly recommended--and that's quite a few. But while watching the opening credits roll for this movie, I don't know what made me stay and watch it (maybe because Mamu--Kiko's yaya and our wonderful cook was watching as well).

Pagdating ng Panahon, if I'm correct, is the second (or is it third?) movie featuring the Sharon Cuneta-Robin Padilla tandem (I don't dare call it a "love team". Somehow, "love team" is more appropriate for teeny boppers, but not in the age group of Sharon and Robin). The first one was Maging Sino Ka Man where Robin Padilla popularized the line "taas kamay ko sa yo!" (and that was during his pre-carrying-firearms-without-a-permit days). If there was a second movie, I can't remember it. (Disclaimer, the reason I watched the first movie was that my twin sister had a huge crush on Robin Padilla then and she wanted to watch it.)

Anyway, I was not able to catch in the credits who directed "Pagdating" but I really have to hand it to her. Surprisingly, I really liked the movie. It's really great to watch a movie without any expectations. Liking it was a pleasant surprise.

The movie started off with sweeping shots of a coconut farm where tuba (it's liquor made from the juice of a coconut) is being harvested. I love the cinematography here. I like watching Filipino movies that features the beautiful places of our country. I was kept guessing where the movie was shot though. Probably in the Laguna/Batangas/Quezon area. That's where tuba is usually harvested and cultivated. And the town plaza was the typical provicial town plaza--with a big church in the middle with the town square in front of it.

The story is also a bit interesting--although it could use a bit of tweaking--but interesting nevertheless. There were still cliches, but enough non-stereotypical characters and funny dialogue that kept me entertained. Lynette (Sharon's character) lives with her widowed mother (Rosemarie Gil), old-maid sister (Amy Austria), and a couple of widowed aunts (Baby O'Brien and Marissa Delgado). Their family runs a buko pie business in the province. Marissa Delgado's character married into the family of Robin Padilla (Manuel) but the guy (Manuel's uncle) died in their wedding night. Apparently, Sharon's family has a curse that the men die early into the marriage.

Fortunately, the story did not focus on this so-called curse that caused the feud between the two families. Moreover, Manuel was Lynette's crush since grade school and when she mistakenly mistook a question posed by Manuel as a wedding proposal, she hurried off home and announced that she's getting married to Manuel. Talking with her family, there was a line that really had me in stitches when Sharon was arguing with Amy (honestly though, I feel that Sharon is OLDER than Amy but the wonder of make-up really made Amy look older than Sharon. Haha). Sharon said, "Ate, sabi nga ni Ninang, malaking karangalan na i-rape tayo sa edad nating ito." (Sister, it's a big compliment that we can still be raped at our ages) It may seem so politically incorrect, but it was really funny. Their ages were not revealed but I would assume that they're in their late 30's or early 40's.

Robin also delivered a funny line that I swore I'd memorize and write down. In the movie, it was rumoured that he was gay. When he was strolling one evening in the town plaza and he saw the town bullies beating up the town gays, he approached them and tried to stop it, but one of the bullies hit him in the process. He said, "Alam niyo, tingin ko sa inyo mga bakla kayo dahil binubugbog niyo eh mga bakla. Pero dahil sinuntok ninyo ako, tingin ko na sa inyo, lalaki na kaya puwede ko nang gawin ito", (I thought you were gays when I saw you hitting gay people. But now that you hit me, I see you as men so I can do this) and he hit the guy in the face.

Anyway, going back to the story, Lynette later found out about the mistaken proposal and overnight, she made a transformation. She put order into their buko pie business, changed her "old maid" outfits to more sexy ones and decided that she'll move to Manila to stay with her cousin (Bing Loyzaga). So she left Manuel and put up a business in Manila. Manuel followed her but threw a jealous tantrum when he saw her going out with her business partner. This lead him to go back to their province where he nursed his broekn heart.

Lynette, in the meantime, was called home due to a family emergency. While there, she mended her relationship with her sister, who was very bitter over her leaving, and her relationship as well with Manuel. They did end up together.

One thing that I did not like about this movie was the abundance of talented actors and actresses who had no use at all. Baby O'Brien had less than 5 lines in the movie. In terms of casting, the story would've held if it was just Marissa Delgado as the aunt. Her character had more flesh and she was absolutely entertaining. While Baby O'Brien rarely said anything which contributed to the story. And Ruffa Mae Quinto. She's there as a kababata of Robin and Sharon. She was just a decoration in the movie. I really love Ruffa Mae (I remember my friends who dragged me to watch "Booba" with them and even if I was the one vehemently opposed to watching it, I was the one who laughed the loudest in the theater. Thus, I did not put up much of a fight when they dragged me to watch "Super B" with them) and her comedic acting style. Though it won't win her any awards, she just makes me laugh.

The family of Robin's character almost had no use at all. I wish they did not had to sing "Pagdating ng Panahon" harana style as it was really embarassing, and his mother just disappeared in the end. What happened to her? Why was not she present during the pamamanhikan? And Bing Loyzaga. She's a talented actress but again, she barely said 5 lines in the movie. Her character just has a nice house and a couple of really loony maids.

I liked Marissa Delgado's character most of all. She's really kooky and funny. When she converses or tells story, she does so through multiple choice questions. During the burial of her husband and while she was sobbing over his coffin, she said, "Bakit mo ako iniwan? Dahil ba a. hindi mo na ako mahal? b. panahon mo na? or c. talagang may sumpa kami?" the last one being added by the family of her dead husband. ("Why did you leave me? Is it because a. you really don't love me? b. it's your time? or c. we're really cursed?") Though it may not be too believable, it was a very convenient tool to build and flesh her character.

Oh, and what's with the advertisements??!! It was so obvious that the movie was also sponsored by Alaska and Dove. The milk being used in the buko pie factory was blatantly Alaska (and the aprons featured the Alaska logo as well). Dove soap was also on the vanity table of Sharon. Three bars of them, I think. And the town fair was sponsored by Dove! Wow. I didn't know Dove's campaign brought them to even the most remote provinces.

Nevertheless, I still liked it. The editing was really good and believable. I remember watching a Filipino movie wherein I was just amazed how unbelievable the whole thing was. Imagine, the bida and his lady is running away from the bad guys on top of a mountain and the next scene shows the bida running with the heroine along a beach with the bad guys hot on their heels! Naman, it's really an insult to our intelligence. And for the life of me, I don't know why a beach scene (complete with a production number) is mandatory.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Who Knows?

I miss blogging for the purpose of expressing my thoughts and for the past month, my posts have been about work and stress. Hopefully, that will change.

When I saw my friends sometime last week, we were at a bookstore and my friend, Kay, pointed out to me a small Chinese horoscope book which she says was very accurate. I picked up the book and turned to the month showing October 2006 and true enough, it said, "This is the darkest month of your year", (actually, I could not remember whether it was "year" or "life") and it was eerily accurate. It mentioned something about health and family being threatened. October was really a horrible month for me (year of the Rabbit). And Kay, also a co-rabbit, also had a taxing month. She got sick for 3 weeks and the security of her family was threatened, and I experienced almost the same thing. October was when my sister got into an accident, my brother left his house, and I got stressed out of work and had a nervous breakdown.

Regardless of the accuracy, I don't think it's enough for me to buy next year's edition. Not only is it against my beliefs, but I don't want my decisions to be influenced by something that was written down by someone. I do not underestimate the power of suggestion.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

I'm Still Sane

My block leave is halfway over and I think this break is just what I needed to get my bearings back.

Last Wednesday, I went to Divisoria to go shopping for my godson's birthday on Friday, after that, my Tita Rosa accompanied me to an opthalmologist over at Sta. Mesa, after that, she dropped me off at Waltermart so I could meet with a possible OTD coordinator and after that, I met with my high school friends where we had an early dinner at Amici, and THEN, Leo picked me up where I accompanied him to have dinner. It was really quite a long day but it was fun!

Thursday, I stayed at home and watched CSI episodes the whole day. Tita Rosa picked me up late afternoon so we could go to Southmall Toy Kingdom and buy Kiko's birthday presents. It was really quite fun. While I was there, I went Christmas shopping as well.

Friday, I went to the gym and then went back to Dita to attend the birthday party of Kiko at his nursery school. It was quite fun even if there were not much activities but I did get to see my nursery school teacher again. She still looks the same after all these years. If Leo agrees, I want my children to study in that nursery school as well--even if it's quite far from our home. Heh. I had good memories of that school and I want my children to have the same.

For my last week, I have quite a line-up of activities which I'll be doing with my high school friends. We're planning to go out of town--just a day trip. Can't wait for that.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

My First White Hair

On my second day of block leave, I spent the whole morning at the gym. Towards the end of our training session, she pointed out to me that I have a strand of white hair. I was shocked! And I mean shocked! I know that white hair is natural for everyone, but the point that I have it now may mean a couple of things: 1) it's hereditary (which is possible) and 2) I must be really stressed. I'm thinking that it's the second. I've already noticed other people in the office who began to have white hair due to stress and I guess I belong to that club as well. It almost ruined my day.

I had my teeth cleaned yesterday. At least I'm sort of productive. It's also my godson's birthday on Friday so I bought him invitations which he'll give his classmates. I was supposed to have lunch with some friends and have dinner with another set of friends but they had to cancel. I guess I could just go home and get that foot spa/pedicure that I've almost postponed.

Last night, I accompanied my aunt while she took her sons to Cavite (they stay there during the week as they attend school there). I didn't realize it was quite far--compounded with the traffic--it took us an hour and a half to get there and an hour to get back. Too bad it was dark already. We passed by the house of Emilio Aguinaldo and I wanted to take a picture of it. Maybe next time.

As for what I'll be doing for the rest of my block leave. I still don't know. I'll probably do my next update after it's over or if something eventful happens--whichever comes first.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

How To Be Really, Really, Really Happy

Last Wednesday while I was at National Bookstore, I saw this book on display which made me reach for it and turn the first page. The book is called "How To Be Really, Really, Really Happy" by Bo Sanchez. The title hooked me and reading through the first pages made me pay for it. Later on, I was laughing by myself and people were giving me odd looks. The stories are Bo's humorous tales of his own life and how he relates them to God's teachings/learnings. It's a very good book that does not feel very preachy and you really feel good about it. I've taken to reading it first thing in the morning (I think I've read through it 3x already since I bought it) to give me some sort of happy feeling which would help me through the day.

After finishing the book for the first time, I really sat and prayed. I knew then something was missing from my life. I thought I had it all, I mean, I'm getting married to a man I love next year, my career is going somewhere, my family loves me, what else do I need? Unfortunately, I HAVE forgotten something, or rather, Someone. My current trials are God's way of poking me and reminding me of His presence and how much I owe Him for all the blessings I have received. It's such a humbling experience.

I intend to spend the next couple of weeks (am on block leave!) getting my life back together. Things have sort of collapsed last month and it already affected my emotional, mental, physical and psychological well-being. Please pray for me.