Last Friday Night

The girl holding the huge cake is Anjelica Uy. She’s holding our surprise, a cake in the shape of her favorite beer: Gilbey’s Premium Strength!
We’ve known each other since the 7th grade, officially, which means we’ve been friends for 10 years! We’ve had lunches together throughout high school and occasional meet ups-slash-meals in college. She’s seen me with braces on and off, and I’ve seen her go from the one who won’t dance to the celebrant bringing the boys and girls to the bar on her 23rd birthday.
The girls, either before we hit the dance floor (because of the drink in my hand) or resting from the night of nonstop dancing 
I wouldn’t have believed 16-year-old me if you told me 7 years ago, that J would throw a crazy, EPIC party like this. A party almost reminiscent of Katy Perry’s “Last Friday Night.” But she did, and we all welcome change in its sometimes unexpected forms. And what makes our celebration of life even better is the fact our friendship hasn’t changed. 
Thanks for the awesome, legendary, smile-worthy (and sometimes embarrassing-slash-blurry) memories girls and boys of last Friday night 😉 Here’s to hoping for some more! 
Photos care of Lor and Chinky 
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The delayed update

My life has been relatively routine:

  1. Wake up as early as my body wills, after a night of interrupted sleep thanks to mama’s snoring 
  2. Eat a quick breakfast, chug down coffee
  3. Board two trains, hiss or swear at crazy women/pushing their way in
  4. Board the jeep then cover my nose or cough at the awful smog at EDSA and JP Rizal
  5. Walk a few minutes to the office
  6. Follow up articles, wait for them, edit, proof
  7. Stare at the work MAC blankly when no articles come in
  8. Have lunch and snacks around the area
  9. Come home to taft, repeating 3&4 in reverse, with added crazy crossing to the condo
  10. Number one in reverse, with dinner at home or nearby
In between these usual moments, I always find something to be irrirated at. It could be a bike or motorcycle rushing into a pedestrian lane, or the mass of boarding passengers who won’t let people out first. It could also be those unmotivational moments where my ‘career’ feels like it’s going nowhere. I find it most unsettling that this feeling of ‘nowhere’ was the same sentiments I had exactly a year ago, only at a different job, office, profession, and location. I had hoped to avoid history repeating, but it has. Thankfully the repetition is due to factors beyond my control (we cannot change other people, but we can change how we react to them), which means, as a friend said upon telling him my dilemma: “what’s next?”
But to move forward means to take a look back, and see how far one has gone. A year ago, I was somewhat different, but I don’t think I’ve completely changed. I still think I’m not as brave as I should be. To take that next leap of faith, without any fear of the consequences (but still taking them into account). The confidence to do something BIG has yet to be built, and at this point, I just think I should go ahead once the opportunity comes up. Leaps are important, but the jump should be like a hunter’s–pursuing and waiting for the right opportunity to come up, and once the time feels right, the attack comes into play.
Routines are necessary to repeat for the sake of moving on day by day, but we can pursue a somewhat deviant action that we can look forward to. Having something new always refreshes one’s view, making the sometimes blah grind worth going through. 

Of great and lost potential

My title may be too heavy for this post, but it’s an idea that’s been going on in my head for quite some time. It was inspired by a talk I had with my friend Darcy, a college professor who teaches at our alma matter. He described to me the frustrating lack of initiative, memory and hard work his students possess. Our conclusion? All the information is laid out by the Internet, social media, etc., that the generation that grew up without Internet no longer knows how to seek out and analyze. I don’t want to generalize, but a person’s perspective is certainly different when you’ve grown up reading encyclopedias, as opposed to just searching a keyword in Google. Back then, you had to read the book, rephrase on a pad paper, and process the information. Now there’s the ease of copy+paste on a Word file, print, and submit. Because the option to be lazy is there, there will be students who will take it.

But I’ve also read articles by individuals who grew up in the encyclopedia age (and are now holding positions of influence), and write as if they never went through basic elementary and high school grammar. So, attributing a general cause can only do so much.

In the end, it’s really up to us and how much effort we want to put in processing and transforming the information we receive. There are those who make the effort of actual processing, writing blogs, online articles, or a clever, well-edited video. To take time to write a piece or make an interesting graphic/drawing/video out of what we learn is an effort we should all hold on to. If something strikes you, transform that experience. Updating the rest of the world with a Twitter or Facebook update gets piled with the rest of the other cries of attention (guilty, of course).

I’ve learned that passion–really caring about something and not limiting it to your own feelings–can really go far. I’m very thankful for all the reblogs and retweets of my Tumblr post about the unholy homily I heard at mass last Sunday. A friend also told me today that a Business Mirror article quoted the blog as well, so ego yay for me, haha! I’m even more glad it reached the influential media individuals on twitter, who can direct more attention regarding the delicate matter that effects my extremely embarrassing barangay. The other side of the feedback hasn’t been a walk in the park, but that’s a given. When one takes a stand, there’s bound to be disagreements. All I know is, replying on Twitter is a lost cause when it comes to opposition. The same way that a mass is not a place for gathering political signatures.

With everything that’s happened this week–the Tumblr/Twitter hoorara, and now, the Japan tsunami/earthquake–one can really see how powerful (and abused) the connections of social media have become. Let’s just hope a good number keep it in the right direction.

Transitions

Apart from my solo trip to Saigon, other moves have happened in the last few weeks. Not sure if I’ve mentioned it here before, but for about three weeks now, I’ve been living in our flat along Vito Cruz on weekdays. The location is convenient, allowing me to avoid traffic to and from work, thanks to the speed and walking distance of the train. I’ve also been able to meet up with friends who live in the area, letting me see them more often than I did back in Alabang. That, and I appreciate how much more interesting those social interactions are than spending overpriced coffee or cake for the sake of Internet. I have yet to install Internet at our flat, but I’ve been delaying since the need isn’t as pressing.

We’ve also moved office. Unfortunately, the location is not as convenient as my weekday home. It’s in Rockwell, the most uncommutable area in Metro Manila. Top that with the fact food is more expensive and Php 50 meals are nonexistent. I could choose to shelve out more for food, but I’d also like to grow my savings account.

 The South Girl in me actually admitted how Quezon City is so much more accessible compared to the exclusive area known for Powerplant Mall. The train may be fast, but the station I now get down to is much busier, crazier, and not as safe. Cars drive into sidewalks and the people who board the train while others are getting out are much, much more. Also, the jeep ride into the office’s area doesn’t drop me off right in front of the office. It’s a five to ten minute walk after the stop, which is a huge inconvenience come rainy season. To sum it all up: the office is located in the residential area, not the commercial side. So getting to the 9-5 grind is a bitch. I can only hope that the “you’ll get used to it” advice I got from a fellow Taft to Rockwell regular comes true soon. But then again, getting used to it could also mean a sense of resignation.

The best I can do for now is look on the bright side. There are beautiful, wonderful surprises that stay in my life, such as delicious food and the friends who enjoy these delicacies with me. As for everything else that isn’t as easy, time and my courageous efforts can only tell.