You’ve got the love

I am no longer a fan of romantic statements that try to pass themselves off as “deep” and/or “literary.” You see, I used to be a sucker for romantic comedies and was envious of girls who got large bouquets and serenades in the middle of class. In fact, a long Valentine’s day ago, I was disappointed for a while cause boy Y didn’t seem to have a surprise for me. Then two Valentines from then, I got mad at current guy for not giving me a “good enough” surprise.

The problem with romantic movies, comedies, and those silly e-mail forwards about “true love”, is that they set women up for unrealistic expectations. I was an unlucky victim.


Single folks put Valentines into perspective: Why should you force yourself to be sweet on one particular day? Isn’t it more heart felt and touching if it was done on another, unexpected date? It’s also much cheaper and less of a rip off if you give flowers and chocolates in the summer.

So, are over priced roses really worth the extra celebration?

I can happily say YES, it is. Roses, chocolates, and a delicious dinner is worth all that trouble if you’re enjoying all that with the right person. And I got to enjoy all that on the 15th of February with someone who has taught me that happiness is a choice, and it’s a feeling worth fighting for once you’ve conquered every other negative feeling and aspect together.

For those who are still lamenting at single hood: happiness can be found in loving yourself, your friends, and your current state in life. After all, that’s what we couples do come Vday. So don’t cry over unrealistic expectations from Hollywood–instead, look at the wonderful things life has given you. Love is all you really need, and it doesn’t have to come in sweeping romantic declarations.



So far in 2012

The new year welcomed me with a rush of work. Three magazines, four full-time individuals, two “part-time” helping hands, two new faces, and surprise deadlines. In between: an event that delayed what had to be done, catching up on the rest of the year’s work, black outs, printing issues, and deals that were suddenly closed. Yet finally, after six weeks of uncertainty and unnecessary but worthwhile push and shove, we closed all three issues. The first three for the year,  in fact.

Saying finally never felt so satisfying. Thank you to everyone (you know who you are) who did more than they should. Wait, let me rephrase: those who did what they didn’t have to. Ibang level sense of duty niyo! 

I’d like to think that the last month or so foreshadows the rest of the year–the good parts at least. I look forward to more projects, extra helping hands, new friends, and less limited decision making. That said, I hope the universe takes pity on the ever understaffed team and cuts us a little slack with the drive-me-crazy delays.

Surprisingly, the first thing I thought of after sending everything off for printing: freelance gigs. Yes, my name is Gela, and I am a workaholic.

Apart from the satisfaction of getting the job done, my job let me enjoy last week’s 17th Hot Air Balloon Festival.

We caught the sunrise so we could witness these colorful balloons lift off into the sky. Before, in between, and after, me and my three wonderful friends shared memorable quotes, tanga moments, and relaxing (most of the time, anyway, haha!) time together.

Using the Olympus camera’s Black and White filter. Not in picture: Nigel, the boy behind DPP’s media partnership. Thank you babes! 

Here are more of the adorable balloons that flew at the festival:

All access location, I love it!

I’d end this blog with some cheesy epiphany how these balloons represent opportunity, hope, and dreams lifting off into ambition. But I’m too realistic and cynical sometimes, and it isn’t “me” to say such. The festival was simply a nice break from all the stress I previously mentioned, and a rare opportunity that my work provides. Thank you Hot Air, Caltex, and Nigel. I’m glad to be a girl who happens to be working at the right place, at the right time, and with the right people.

2012 doesn’t quite end here. There’s more, but I have yet to get the right snapshots. To those who are concerned about my mere existence in this universe: abangan!

My latest boob tube obsession

After months of delay, I finally got down to watching Downton Abbey, a gripping show for proper English speaking enthusiasts and period piece fashion enthusiasts.

One cannot quite say what this show is exactly about–to put it at its simplest, “it’s about life.” And even though it revolves around the lives of the artistocratic Crawley family and their servants, a working class “commoner” like me found instances so close to the workplace and within friendship/family relationship.

Then, there’s the period fashion!

The posh ladies of the Crowley family.

The three beautiful Crowley sisters. In the middle is my new style icon: Lady Mary.

What draws me to Lady Mary’s style are the elegant drapes and simple but eye catching patterns in her dresses.

There’s also her coats and long skirts, which can easily be worn in today’s work setting!

And it certainly helps that she’s got some arm and eye candy to dress well for.

Yes, I’m a sucker for a gentleman. If only the ways of flirting back, seeking genuine passion, and polite exchange back then could be brought to today’s age of women’s rights.

And yes, after my Morgana medieval dress phase, I’ve moved on to this similar piece from Lita Gown. Thank you!

Obviously this could be yet-another-style-phase, but I think I’ll start canvassing for blouses and skirts that bear a similarity to Downton’s age. Here’s to hoping I have fruitful finds!

A Pale View of Hills

It’s been a while since I’ve read a book that I couldn’t put down. Thankfully my lovely friend Sam gifted me with another masterpiece by Kazuo Ishiguro for my birthday:

Having spent the last few months reading on a Kindle, this paperback copy reminded me why print was (and always will be) my love. Not only my first, but actually, perpetually my love. I missed being able to bring books to the bathroom, inserting one hurriedly between other accessories in my bag, leaving it carelessly on the bed without the fear of its pages being crushed, turning each page and having the smell of new pages wafting into my nose, and being able to fold the spine as the plot gets thicker. I experienced the book in all its print glory–not merely appreciating it at a distance from a screen. I’m a book reader, a former newspaper writer, and currently a magazine editor-slash-writer–now I wonder why I readily welcomed the digital format of the kindle.

Couple this reader high with the subtle yet vibrant prose of Ishiguro, and my love affair for print was truly rekindled (no pun intended).

A Pale View of Hills is set in post-World War II Japan, particularly in Nagasaki, where residents are struggling to rebuild their lives after the bomb’s disastrous aftermath. The story’s narrator, Etsuko, recalls her post-war life from the comforts of her now home, England.  Etsuko’s recall of the past brought me back to my passion for Ishiguro’s language. You would expect pain and devastation in Etsuko’s recounting of events–instead, you feel as if you are reading yellowed postcards written by an old friend, who is simply telling stories of an age you are too young to have lived through. You are merely there as an observer, yet you can’t take your senses away from what is happening in front of you. Etsuko pulled me in as an observer as she recounted her friendship with a woman named Sachiko. Sachiko is an odd addition to post-war Nagasaki’s community, and what makes her even more interesting is her relationship with her daughter, Mariko. As Etsuko gets to know this mother-daughter tandem, she is carrying her first child. It is through her responsibilities as a typical Japanese housewife, conversations with Sachiko and Mariko, and her relationship with her family that Ishiguro slowly unwinds the difficult conditions of their existence.

Read More »