Addiction or dedication?

My day job involves putting magazines together and making sure the text and layout are flawless and comprehensible enough for public reading. Most people distance themselves from their 8-hour responsibilities at the end of the day. But me? Well, I decided to celebrate my second payday by buying the following magazines.

The August issue of Details, with the ever charming, adorable, and eee-able Joseph Gordon-Levitt graces the cover. Spent a week’s worth of commute money and food on this. But his gaze and fine suit form (oh, and the well-written article!) make the sacrifice worth it.


For Php 30, I was able to get a second hand copy of Vanity Fair’s Tina Fey cover from Booksale. Awesome sauce in all ways, considering she’s my idol and she’s absolutely STUNNING in this photo. The piece on her is just as witty and hilarious as her SNL skits and Sarah Palin impressions.

Next on my inspiration list is…


He’s my ultimate inspiration; the one I fangirl with all my heart and soul. I honestly felt hurt and angry when I heard someone insisting he was too “fat” and not so good-looking. Hopefully I run into it in Booksale one day. The universe may be holding it back because of all the work that needs to be done. I’d be way too distracted having this by my side. Hee.

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Thank you

The last three weeks of work have been quite a blur. Not that it’s been completely out of focus; with my former life as a chemistry student and a college paper editor/writer, it can’t be helped that I always look for something to keep me busy. After my first week at work, a friend asked during that weekend, “So, how’s it going?” and I answered, “Busy. Busy. Busy.” She replied with some uncertainty, asking, “That’s good right?” And I proudly said, “Yes.” Despite the busy and hectic commute home (as stated here), the ever long list of tasks, impromptu comments and revisions, the painful grammar mistakes, and the pressure of it all–I’m ever grateful to be where I am now. Nine months ago, I couldn’t even imagine how happy I would have been. Top that with the fact I have an officemate who’s been at it for two years and an old friend leading the way, I’m glad to know I’m somewhere where I can stay for a long time.

Comparisons with my previous work can’t be helped. It’s probably why I’m extra thankful for being where I am now. But if it helps with keeping sane, who am I to complain? Gone are the days of waking up and wishing I had an excuse to call in sick. The only thing stopping me from waking up at 7 am is the lack of sleep from the previous night and my body saying “OH GOD WE’RE COMMUTING AGAIN?”. But that’s about it. You could call it a honeymoon period, but here’s the thing: I enjoy the challenge of what I do. I want to work in magazines and I want to be a renowned journalist. And of course, there’s the happy, crazy, random and fun environment of the place. People never run out of jokes and lunch is always an ab exercise from laughing.

Also, in my former stint as an online writer, my only “hope” was making the money. I had nothing to look forward to in the previous office, so all I really looked forward to was payday and the extra from my freelance gigs. The material world was all I held onto; which wasn’t much, since the bliss of such is only temporary. The environment was terrible–cracking jokes was uncalled for and a manager even said “You’re not here to make friends.” For someone who likes conversation and completely Pinoy about pakikisama, I had nothing but cash to wait for.

Money isn’t my god. It never will be because I’ve seen how it eats people alive. What matters to me is the fulfillment of a career and building a name for myself. Call it pride versus greed if you will, but I’d much rather focus my happiness on what lasts.

The journey is only beginning. I’m sure there will be more seemingly impossible challenges on the way, but my enthusiasm for ambition can’t wait for the bit when I overcome those.

This post is probably subconsciously inspired by Vanity Fair’s cover story on TINA FEY. I’ve always admired her for being all things intelligent but fun in the media, and her attitude for it makes me believe in a woman’s power even more.

The road home

A five-minute walk to the tricycle. About five more minutes of waiting till the trike is bursting with six individuals. I get dropped off at the barangay entrance, and walk towards the bus/fx/jeepney stop. If I’m lucky, I can catch an FX to Ortigas or Ayala. But to avoid being late for work, I take the bus to Ortigas. That takes about forty minutes to an hour. Then there’s the walk along the “fresh and clean” road of EDSA. It takes about ten minutes till I reach the train station. I take the second train to arrive since the first is too full with people. In twenty minutes, I’m by my office’s street. The final trip is the most relaxing of all: a short jeep ride to our building. Repeat all this in reverse to go back home.

Philippine transportation is always an adventure. You get exposed to all the elements: air (pollution), water (especially during rainy season, but most of the time, it’s people’s sweat), fire (the blazing heat in the morning or afternoon), and earth (Metro Manila is also a concrete jungle).

Common sense—it’s a concept commuting Filipinos have no grasp of. If we did, then we’d have more organized lines and a sense of etiquette when getting into vehicles. Here are some helpful suggestions that could help each Filipino in making the trip to work and back easier for themselves and everyone else.

1. You cannot occupy an unoccupied space- No, this does not apply to the jeepney siksikan rule (read: fill up the entire jeep before it leaves). This simple and easy-to-understand fact of science is applied when people walk into the train during rush hour. Filipino insist on pushing into the train even if the door isn’t open. Yelling at them that Top that with the fact the passengers from inside haven’t even gotten out yet. Despite the announce saying “padaan muna ang lumalabas,” the bitchiest and shortest women and smelliest men manage to push forward without letting people inside get out to provide space to occupy. You can’t fit into something if there’s no room. So please, let them out. I almost had my foot into gap between the train and the platform because of people’s disregard for science.

2. A gentleman offers a seat; it’s an uncalled for to ask for it- I’m eternally grateful for all the guys who’ve given up their bus seat for me. They were particularly helpful when I had a thick textbook in my arms back in college. But since we live in the 2000s, I don’t expect every guy to give up his seas. Equality is equality—I’m sure those guys are tired from work too and want to sit down. I was appalled when I heard this woman say “Kuya pwede diyan na lang ako umupo?” (Sir, can I be the one to sit there?), displeased tone and face included. Talk about feeling entitled. A friendly reminder to commuting women: These guys are offering their seats. It’s a favor. Don’t ask for it.

3. Flag ceremony practice should apply to lining up- Remember when we used to line up in grade school to sing the national anthem before class? I suddenly wish the discipline of this exercise was applied when people run out of the train towards the exit or when boarding a bus. Instead, people rely on the first come, first serve basis to get out. Sometimes, it doesn’t matter if you were first. Most manage to come in first when you’re not looking or have no patience to secure your place. Etiquette is thrown out the window.

Anticipation

After a busy day at work and the almost 2-hour commute home, it’s seems impossible to really sit down and properly update this blog. Not that I’m regretting the responsibilities in my new job-it’s not boring and there’s always something to laugh about. But writing is a constant struggle and getting that perfect piece takes continuous time and effort. The details need to be analyzed, the structure fluid, and the ideas speaking a clear but palpable message. These challenges are ever present with what I do. The price I pay is the exhausted will to create something for myself. But I need to sit down and release those personal-but-not-so-private thoughts just to clear my head and put things into perspective. In fact, I’ve been doing this exercise where I write whatever’s on my mind in the morning while waiting for office hours to kick in.

Creation. It’s the struggle of any kind of artist, whether painter, writer, dancer, or singer. You want that striking piece that gets people talking. At 20 something, I’ve got three pieces in mind. I may not have a rigid five year plan but these goals are clearer destinations down the career road. I’ve kind of given up the whole I have to do this by so and so age because the last months have taught me the present can come out surprisingly unexpected (read: wtf, did that just happen?). Not that I have NO concrete plan. But there will always be that certain something or someone that will shift most, some, or even all your plans entirely.

Either the universe clears the path for you, tells you to slow down, or stops your plans all together. You have an entirely new problem in front of you that doesn’t seem to mesh with your intended future. But you have to stop and fix what’s in front of you. The problem will either change your plans entirely or advance. The present is just as important as your future. After all, you can’t get to the former without passing the latter.

A new chapter

One of the greatest things I’ve learned in college was to be patient. And I don’t mean being able to wait long hours. It’s more about letting things fall into place and come in their own time. There are moments we wish would happen right now. I’d definitely want a million dollars, a boat, and a disposable income for shopping. But the universe will only provide what is necessary. I’ve learned this valuable lesson in the last two months. During the time my sister was hospitalized, my family needed me. It was only natural for me to be unemployed and help until she got better. The universe let things go at their natural pace. Despite the moments I wished I were earning, I knew my family needed my time and presence more than anything else.

Things got better for all of us. My sister’s surgery was successful. She is fast with her progress in surgery. Eventually, I was scheduled for more interviews. Once again, a journey was in place. I went from the other end of Quezon City to an unpopular location in Pasay for companies I’ve never heard of before. A part of me didn’t want a successful interview because of the location’s inconvenience. And I got my wish. The universe knew the inconvenience wasn’t worth it.

Soon enough, it was down to two companies. One was an online application; the other, via a friend’s referral. Both gave me challenging tasks to prove I’m deserving of the job.

In the end, I actually enjoyed the latter company’s challenge. It brought me back to what felt natural in college: editing and making words work. Without knowing this natural feeling, I wouldn’t have a career path in mind. Once again, everything fell into place. I knew working for this company would be it. It wouldn’t just be something to pay the bills. I’d have something to look forward to each day. Talking to the boss, I learned so much. This had to be it. It just had to.

And I got it.

It’s only my third day. Thanks to a lucky brownout, things were pretty chillax (read: lunch and a movie! haha!). But otherwise, I think this is something for the long-term. Environment’s awesome, work’s challenging but fun, and people are friendly.

Here’s to more beautiful times at Bella Luce. 🙂