Monday, January 25, 2016

Socializing the Media

I consider myself an introvert. Back then, it was difficult for me to make friends. Starting a conversation can be quite difficult. When I was a child, I would rather spend my spare time in the library.

Up to now, I can still say that I'm still introvert in a sense that I would rather stay at home rather than go to parties. I've somehow gotten over my difficulty in starting conversations and learned how to approach people but I'm not what you can consider as the life of the party. I'm pretty happy just to stay in the background.

Maybe that's why I found my voice in social media. I've always been better in expressing my thoughts in the written word. That's why when mIRC chats were the in-thing more than a decade ago, I made so many online friends as I can get really chatty (and my 100 wpm typing speed certainly asserted my loquaciousness online). I even started this blog so I have a more permanent avenue to air and record my thoughts (being the forgetful person that I am, it definitely helped me remember things). And when Facebook and Twitter was born, expressing my thoughts in an abbreviated manner became easier for me (thankfully, I still managed not to make text speak a habit).

Relationships also evolved around social media. Case in point, ALDUB.

Maine Mendoza and Alden Richards have their own Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat accounts. Being the fans that we are, we follow them religiously and even have our notifications set to on whenever they post something. Their posts last night set the online world abuzz and probably lead to fans not being to sleep due to a healthy dose of giddiness brought about by the indirect exchange of the two.

At around 7-730PM Sunday night of January 24, Alden posted a video of him Dubsmashing to Boyce Avenue's version of "A Thousand Years". It sent their fans (including myself) in a frenzy as the hashtag used (#whereitallstarted) paid homage to how his pairing with Maine started. Moreover, the song was also used earlier that day during their segment in Eat Bulaga. Just when we thought we've calmed down, a couple of hours later, Maine posted a video of her dubsmashing also to "A Thousand Years" but she made it a point to start off where Alden's version ended. Twitter world was suddenly jolted awake and you could literally hear people screaming their hearts out online. And what added to the excitement was Alden' "liking" Maine's video.

A video posted by Alden Richards (@aldenrichards02) on

A video posted by Maine Mendoza (@mainedcm) on

Screencap of Alden "liking" Maine's dubsmash video

The relationship dynamics have changed since social media came to life. Letting a girl know that you like her was to bring her to school or bring her gifts. Nowadays, a simple "like" even to an innocuous IG post can speak volumes.

I'm still having second thoughts whether such dynamics is actually healthier. It certainly made communication easier and connecting to people you've thought you've lost track of faster. Nothing could replace face-to-face conversation but as of now, seeing things unfold like this makes it so much fun to watch. Definitely looking forward to the next installment to Aldub's twitter/IG-serye.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

My 2015

I initially did not expect much for 2015 as even if it was the year I turned 40, I just wanted to quietly celebrate it and get it over with. Didn't know that life had other plans for me. It was literally a roller coaster but I'm glad I survived to tell my tale of 40.


1. My Father-in-Law

It started mid-June when my in-laws returned from their US vacation. My Father-in-law (FIL) was not feeling well so my mother-in-law scheduled him for a check-up. He was scheduled for an angiogram and they found out that he needed a bypass ASAP. No wonder he was feeling poorly and it was a miracle that he did not have a heart attack while they were in the US. So on July 1 at 7 in the morning, we waited outside the Operating Room while my FIL had his open heart surgery.

The doctor came out around 6 hours later and informed us that the surgery was a success. There was no touch and go moment and my FIL responded well to the procedure. Breathing a collective sigh of relief, we all then decided to do our own things while we waited for my FIL to wake up. My Mother-in-Law (MIL) went home with my husband while my Sister-in-Law (SIL) and I decided to watch a movie.

In the middle of the movie, our phones started ringing. We were being asked to return to the hospital immediately as my FIL was rushed back to the Operating Room due to excessive bleeding. When we were eventually picked up by my brother-in-law, it was very quiet in the car and nobody was speaking. Getting to the hospital, we immediately jumped out of the car and ran up the second floor where my MIL was waiting. She started crying when she saw us and I ran back downstairs to buy water for her. It was a tense two hours while we waited for the doctor's verdict. When the surgeon eventually came out, he informed us that they were able to trace the source of the bleeding and address it. Our second collective sigh of relief was more pronounced and accompanied with tears.

2. My Sister-in-Law

Around mid-July, my brother announced that his wife is pregnant with their second child. It's a big deal for them as their eldest is already 10 years old and they've been wanting a baby for the longest time.

Come last week of July, we learned that my SIL's pregnancy was ectopic. She had to be operated on immediately. Since I know my brother would not be able to afford the hospitalization bill by himself, I went to the hospital to use my card to pay a certain portion of their bill.  It's a big blow for them but we've accepted that it's really not meant to be and that there are other plans for them.

3. My Dad

On August 2, I was having a quiet Sunday evening when my phone started ringing incessantly. I was in the other room so I didn't hear my phone. My husband brought my phone to me and it was my brother on the line. He said that our dad had a heart attack and was at the ER of Makati Med. I quickly dressed and Leo drove as fast as he can to get me to the hospital.

I initially started crying when I called my stepmother who was with my dad in the ER. The doctors were asking me to make a decision if they are to proceed with the medical procedures that they intend to do. Unfortunately, it would involve a huge amount of money which my dad, nor I, have. Taking a deep breath, I agreed to their proposal and they whisked my dad off for an angiogram and later on, an angioplasty.

The surgeon was very nice in a sense that he spoke with us before, during and after the procedure. He gave us a short Heart 101 lecture and showed us where the infarction happened and how they inserted the stents which propped up the veins. It was a tense evening but my dad pulled through. He was kept in the ICU for a couple of days and was eventually moved to a regular room.

Since as previously mentioned, my dad did not have sufficient cash to pay for his medical bills, I had to shoulder most of it -- through credit. My sister and mom helped out but it's still not much. Who knew that a small piece of metal such as a stent can cost P100,000? And they had to use two on my dad.


I once jokingly said that in 2015, if I was not in the hospital, I was in a funeral home. I think I visited funerals at least five times last year. One of them, was for a dear friend which I posted about here. But if I'm not mistaken, I was in Loyola Memorial Chapels over at Guadalupe 4x, and once in Manila Memorial. It was definitely draining but it is the cycle of life.


You need bad days in order to appreciate the good ones.

Probably one of the joyful highlights of my 2015 was when I discovered ALDUB. You might probably scoff at that but it literally changed my life. I wrote about them also here.

It is not my habit to watch noontime shows nor to idolize celebrities. But since a dubsmashing girl smiled shyly at a bedimpled young man on live TV, I got hooked. It went to as far as me joining the multitudes of people that filled up the 55,000 seating capacity of the Philippine Arena just to watch them dance and exchange hugs. The joy that I felt then was indescribable and one that I will treasure in my lifetime.

From then on, seeing them filled me with happiness and it translated to whatever it was that I'm doing. I became more sweet towards my hubby and was actually more patient at work. I also went out of my way to go to Alabang Town Center just to see them shoot their movie (well, it was not out of the way as it's just outside my village--but nevertheless, it's still not my character).

Of course, another joyful memory was my 40th birthday.

A few weeks after my dad's operation last August, my mom contacted me and asked if I wanted to go to Vegas on my birthday. I was hesitant at first as I was cash strapped due to my dad's angioplasty but she said she'll take care of it. Next thing I knew, my plane ticket was in my inbox. I was due to leave for LA on November 26 and will arrive on Thanksgiving. The best thing was that I was going to surprise my twin sister who had no idea that I will be joining them in Vegas.

I arrived in LA where my aunt picked me up at the airport. Being the social media savvy person that I am, it was so difficult for me to stay quiet online as I could not give my sister any idea that I was in the US. Unfortunate circumstances however (aka, a death in the family) forced my mom to tell my sister of my whereabouts and I almost flew to the East Coast. However, we still pushed through with Vegas where we had a blast celebrating our 40th birthday.

2015 was definitely a year that I will remember and a great way to mark my 40th year. Here's to 40 years more.