Saturday, December 22, 2012

Robbed with Crown and Glory?

The result of the recently concluded Miss Universe contest, supposed to be the most prestigious beauty pageant in the world, puzzled me to death. Has the organization changed its rules of choosing a winner?And if yes, since when?And if no, did I miss something crucial during the coronation night? 
Miss Philippines, Janine Tugonon during the coronation night of the 61st Miss Universe beauty pageant at Planet Hollywood and Casino Resorts in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. 

I've been watching Miss Universe pageant live on television since 1994 and even recorded the individual scores. Based on the pageant's history (I kept a complete list of the Miss Universe winners since 1952), judges picked a winner based on these critical areas: poise, grace, charisma and intellect, a winner must leave a remarkable presence on stage, she must possess an incredible mass appeal and self-confidence, a woman with substance indeed.

My observation on the way a winner was chosen each year made me believe that Miss Universe organization puts weight heavily on poise, intellect and confidence. The new Miss Universe must have an instant connection with the masses, someone with a sharp intellect and could represent the organization with dignity and honor.

In 1996, I got it right when I predicted during the question and answer portion that Miss Venezuela, Alicia Machado, would bring home the crown, she was smart, confident, attractive and pretty and the crowd's favourite. In 1999, I immediately conceded that Mirriam Quiambao would end up only first runner-up because she got really nervous during the final round of the question and answer portion and she stuttered when she gave her answer, Miss Botswana was remarkably poised and confident and gave the best answer.

However, there were instances that I could not understand the manner of judging of the contest, thus, I have few reservations on the accuracy of the criteria, each year the result seemed confusing, for example in 1994, Sushmita Sen was not considered smart and attractive, her first runner-up, Carolina Gomez was one of the crowd favourites and who displayed a fantastic appeal and charm.

In 1995, I was also shocked when Chelsi Smith of USA was declared the winner when the first runner-up, Miss India, was very smart and highly intellectual, I thought at that time, well, maybe the organization prohibited two successive winners from the same country.

This observation was repeated in 1997 when Brook Mahilanie Lee of USA won the crown, I thought well, the crown must not worn in succession with women from the same country. During that year, Lee was in a close fight with Miss Venezuela but the 1996 winner, Alicia Machado, came  from Venezuela so it was easy to see that Lee would be the sure winner. But this observation was thoroughly changed in 2009 when Venezuela won the title in two successive years. Dayana Mendoza of Venezuela was the 2008 Miss Universe back to back with her fellow Venezuelan, Stefania Fernandez, in 2009.

After analysing the circumstances, results, history of the past Miss Universe pageant, I was not sure anymore what are the basis and criteria of the organization in choosing a winner. What are they looking for in a contestant?

It was recalled that the Miss USA contest this year where Culpo won the title was embroiled in a controversy of contest rigging prompting Miss Pennsylvania to withdraw from the pageant. Donald Trump, the owner of Miss Universe Organization since 1996, decided to sue her for spreading false rumor. Trump, as ever controversial as the Miss Universe contest, and who is famous for giving his opinions to almost everything, heavily criticized Miss Pennsylvania. (When criticizing people, Trump never hold limitations nor consider a little courtesy. In 1996, when Alicia Machado gained weight unimaginable for a beauty queen, he called her an "eating machine, he also slighted Kate Middleton with her unwise decision to go topless, among the "victims" of his technological wrath are Barack Obama and Rosie O'Donnell.)

But despite this confusion, I still believe, up to the last minute of the 2012 Miss Universe coronation night, contest that the basis of the judging would eventually boil down to spontaneity, grace and intellect, critical factors that would assure the contestant of a sure place in the seat of Miss Universe winners.

But I was wrong.

When the hosts declared Oliva Culpo of USA as the 61st Miss Universe winner, I was appalled. What happened? Why the result suddenly became so unbelievable when Miss Philippines, Janine Tugonon had all what it takes to become the winner?

The Top Five finalists from left: Miss Brazil, Miss USA, Miss Australia, Miss Philippines and Miss Venezuela

Don't get me wrong, but Miss Culpo's win was really surprising. When it was announced that she won the coveted title, I was speechless and in great shock, wondering if the official tabulator handed the wrong result or the names of Oliva and Janine were interchanged. For 5 agonizing seconds, I was unmovable in my seat wondering if Donald Trump had made a last-minute decision to change the rule to give way to Olivia Culpo and made USA appeared clean, inspiring and admiring to the eyes of the world amidst  the controversies and disasters that happened lately.

It felt like Janine had been robbed with a crown in the most blatant way and the Philippines looked like being deprived with a third Miss Universe title. Up to now, the reality would not sink in mind, no matter what aspect of the contest I would check, it was really baffling.

Janine and Olivia during the final moment of the pageant waiting for the winner to be announced
Olivia Culpo of Rhode Islands, USA won the 2012 Miss Universe title. Interestingly, Olivia Culpo, at 5 feet 5 inches, is the shortest Miss Universe winner since Apasra Hongsakula of Thailand won the title in 1965.

Why she won the title? What made her stand out in the contest? Was she exceptionally smart and attractive? She was not even a crowd favourite and had no tremendous audience impact, her answer to the question thrown by one of the judges, 2010 Miss Universe, Ximena Navarete of Mexico, was not convincing and her facial expression suggested that she was tensed and nervous in great contrast to Janine's smart composure.

Culpo's presence was not even felt on stage. It was as if she did not exist at all. She romped like a confused neophyte model who just started learning how to trot with her high heels, she almost stumbled on her feet. Her facial expression was terribly awful, or would I say, she displayed no facial expression at all. Miss Venezuela and Miss Australia were smarter than her (I chuckled when Miss Venezuela gave her answer, I did not understand a bit on what she was saying, she pronounced the "laws" as "leys" but I was shocked when she was declared second runner-up when Miss Australia answered the question clearly and precisely).

Miss USA's over-all appeal sent a message that she lacked self-confidence. She wore a vintage, overtly plunging gown that made her boobs looked like two balloons ready to pop out, terribly fidgeting in the open slit and ready to burst, so disgusting. Watching her wore that ridiculous long-sleeve gown, I wondered if she was attending the wrong party. It did not speak what glamour and elegance are all about. The design is so painfully ancient.

I am not biased, but Janine Tugonon exemplified charm, poise and confidence on stage. During the question and answer portion, Olivia Culpo seemed nervous, she even stammered, stared at the ceiling searching for ideas before she voiced out her answer that sounded like an entry in a slam book of my grade school classmate "The next time around I would not fight with my siblings" heaven, so shallow! While Janine answered the question with confidence and spontaneity earning a loud applause from the audience. 

At the conclusion of the pageant, the audience seemed shocked and the people who watched it on live coverage could not believe with the result, soon reactions and angst flooded at the social networking sites, comments favoured Janine Tugonon as the eventual winner.

But there's nothing we can do about it. Miss Universe Organization never entertained complaints, much more bothered the sentiments of the observers. So let's leave it that way.

This is the first time that the pageant did not show the individual scores of the top ten finalists on the two categories: Evening Gown and Swimsuit, so the audience had no idea how each finalist was voted by the judges and who performed well on stage.

This is not the first time that the pageant was involved in controversies. In 1994, everyone was surprised when Sushmita Sen of India was declared the winner when it was very clear that Miss Colombia, Carolina Gomez was more attractive, confident, poise, graceful and smart, Gomez also gave a good answer without baffling in contrast to Sen who seemed confused what to do, she answered the question in a searching manner gripping the microphone hardly as if she was about to collapse. 

Another one was that of Miss Universe 2001, Dennise Quinones won the title when it was clear that Miss Greece, Evelina Papantoniou displayed more grace and poise and gave the best answer. Quinones was also the first woman to win the title from a host country outside USA. Before her, no host country except USA ever won the Miss Universe title.

This year, Miss Universe Organization had to go through lots of controversies and issues. Usually, the pageant is usually held in May or July but in March this year, the organization announced, due to unavailability of the venue, that the pageant would be moved to December, making Leila Lopes of Angola, the longest serving Miss Universe in history. 

The 2012 Miss Universe was initially planned to held in Mexico then in South Africa and finally Dominican Republic but due to unknown reasons none of the above-mentioned countries had finalized the agreement so the organization struggled to find another venue until it was settled at Planet Hollywood and Casino Resorts in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. Another reason of the postponement was due to the conflict of schedule coverage of NBC for London Olympics and US Presidential Elections.

Despite the sad circumstances, frustrations and distress I felt for this year's result, I would still watch the pageant in the next years to come and hoping by that time, Philippines would not undergo the same discrimination and would be fairly treated by the judges.

It was already announced that the 62nd Miss Universe pageant will be held in May 2013 if that would happen, Olivia Culpo would be the shortest-serving Miss Universe in history, she will have only five months to enjoy the title, the crown and the prestige but the most important thing is, she is now part of the history of the pageant and the memories of performing the tasks and responsibilities that go with the title will last for a lifetime.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Wishes do come true


When you are down and disappointed it is easy to believe that you've had months of bad days, that it rained every minute of the day and that people in the surroundings look like hammers ready to nail you down in despair. 

Few days ago when I realized I could not watch "The Hobbit" in cinema because there's no one to go with, I became sulky and very sad. I've been waiting for this movie to come out in the big screen for years, just imagined the amount of exasperation and resentment I felt at that moment. I stayed in my room all through out Sunday, rolling my eyeballs to the four corners, wondering why my destiny seemed like a huge curse.

But I tried to appear cheerful and happy when I reported to work the next day and discarded those bad notions about loneliness. Life is wonderful to be wasted on things that could never be realized. it's totally pointless and I am tired begging for something that could never be given to me. I am very exhausted analyzing why I am so useless and unwanted.

I managed to feel very relax and in good spirits when we had our Christmas party in the engineering faculty room. We'd a good time indeed sharing food and laughter. Then Maam Emma Fuentes, my immediate boss told me she had something for me. I thought it was just a simple present-- sort of bag, earrings, brooch or pouch or girly cutie gifts. 

And just when I thought my life is a series of disappointment, failure and abandonment, a surprise gift that really brightens came in. There's nothing more exciting than be given with a precious book about Steve Jobs' life!

Yeah, I felt very special! I've been waiting for 13 months to own this book. This is an exclusive, most provocative biography of the late great innovator of our time.

You know, I greatly admired Steve Jobs, his influence, his legacy, his unique charisma, and the only way to keep his memories alive is to own this book but I could not afford to buy it because it is very expensive. This is part of my wishlist, in 2011 Christmas, in my birthday last April and this Christmas and finally, God listened to my wishes!

One thing I love about this book is that it really speaks for the real Steve Jobs. The author, Walter Isaacson, had a close relationship with Jobs since the early 1980s and according to Isaacson, Steve Jobs was the one who contacted him to write his biography, so if there's one book about Jobs who really speaks the truth and reveals everything about him, it's this book. I've been following the life of Steve Jobs even before iPhone was introduced in the market in 2007 so having this book in my collection is really a grand treat of a lifetime.

This book is a genuine testimony and remembrance of Jobs' greatest legacy to the world and I want his memory remained alive for the next decades through this book. But I never thought I could have it in the coming years so I would often take a trip to the national bookstore and flipped the pages of the book and read each chapter almost every week, Maam Emma knew it because I often shared to her about this amusing habit.

And three days ago, to my complete shock, she bought one for me as her Christmas gift. Heaven! God is so good!! I was so speechless and tearful when I opened it, felt like Santa Claus had come so real. I was deeply touched that I cried in my room while holding the book haha!

God! It's just so real, I could not believe it!

This is one of the most precious Christmas presents I'd ever received in my whole life. I am so thankful and grateful to Maam Emma, I don't know what to say, it seems the words of thanks are not enough to express the happiness I felt.
A precious Christmas present from Maam Emma. I've been dreaming to own this book since its released in November 2011. I never thought somebody would buy a book like this because it is so expensive. I felt really special upon receiving this gift. I was deeply touched and I cried a bit when I opened it. This is the only book about Steve Jobs that I want to buy because the contents are not just rumor but facts. The author, Walter Isaacson, was personally asked by Jobs to write a biography about him.

Well, life is super generous...all you have to do is hold on to your faith and keep praying. Miracles do happen everyday.

Despite the distress, sufferings, chaos, conflicts and tribulation the world had experienced recently, there are still plenty of reasons to celebrate this holiday season, life itself is a gift, and the fact that I am healthy and in good mental health, there’s no reason for me to be morose.

Well, it's Christmas season and I want to focus on things that can make me happy. One thing I love about Christmas is the essence of the celebration itself, the joy, the unity, the happiness, fun and everything that goes about giving and sharing.

True enough, the horrible events that happened recently: typhoon in the Philippines, massacre in the US, the passing of RH Bill (which I extremely detested because I always believe it will pave the way of legalizing abortion in the Philippines which I considered the work of the devil), wars and misunderstanding everywhere, you’ll think the world really gone mad, but why dwell on the bad side of life?

I love wrapping gifts by myself, it makes the gift giving more special

There’s more beyond misery. The laughter, the excitement, the fun and surprises that Christmas season brings are more inspiring than those awful disasters.

You know when you wake up each morning and see the beautiful sunrise, hear the magical music of nature, the soft melodies of the fresh morning air and all those exciting thoughts of a beautiful life ahead. These are fantastic gifts of life and everyday miracles we often overlooked. So why not celebrate it and be grateful?

Last Sunday, I started buying items for gift giving. I went to different malls in the city to look for something to shop. Giving gifts brings so much joy to my worn out system, it increases my wisdom and value as a person. Whenever I give gifts, it is unconditional. It is a free will.

Everytime I give someone a gift, I would love to wrap it by myself. I hate buying a ready-made bag or box because it won’t give me an opportunity to spend extra effort to customize the gift. There’s something in gift wrapping that I find very fulfilling and satisfying, maybe it’s the joy of working on something that can make others happy. I love surprises and by mere thinking that I would be giving something that would surprise a person provides a different kind of happiness deep with in me.

Every Christmas, I never hope somebody would give me a tremendous gift, it's beyond my expectation. But like the rest of the people in the world, me too, has this long list of wishes, though I am not expecting to make each one come true, but sometimes hope is such a fascinating word to hold on, and you see, it happens!

So, I want to end this year with a happy heart, a blissful spirit and a cheerful attitude. Amidst all the disappointments and frustrations I felt on some occasions, I still believe life treated me fairly in so many ways.

I want to thank all the people who have been very generous to me in so many ways for this year. Thank you for making my life worth living, may God continue to shower you with wonderful graces from heaven all year round.

God is so good!! Merry Christmas everyone!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

2012 NTP Christmas Bonding


We rarely have a Christmas party (non-teaching personnel of UIC) because we could not agree to almost everything. The last time we agreed to have one was in 2008. Most of us felt it’s a way too much since some offices already organized their own party then we have an institutional Christmas party to look forward to.

But this year, well, most of our colleagues argued, that we should have our own Christmas party. We don't have institutional Christmas party this year because the RVM sisters decided to donate the money to the Pablo typhoon victims in Davao Oriental. For individuals who struggled everyday just to meet daily needs, this kind of social activity is simply inconceivable. But despite some objections, the plan pushed through and the venue (and date) was chosen – Grand Menseng Hotel, December 11, 2012.

One thing I detested about this formal gathering is the anxiety of thinking what to wear. It’s simply too much to my mentally exhausted brain to contemplate on clothes and accessories. So I decided to buy a dress that is not excessively flirty (hahaha!), what I am trying to say is not very revealing and formal.

Since at this stage, I am controlling my finances and carefully working on my budget to fit every concern next year ( comprehensive exam, foreign tour, start a business), I hopped from one mall to another just to look for an affordable outfit, a very tiring process that left my thighs extremely wasted.

Eventually, my effort paid off (this is one thing I love about my frugality, it stretches my patience and increases my wisdom) and found something that truly defined my goal at the moment -- spend less. The dress I bought can be worn on Sunday and other celebration so it's worth the value of my money.

You know, I am very proud of my spending habit hehehe, I am not really into trendy stuff. I am a wise spender. I know how to balance my finances.

My fashion taste is not overtly trendy but not gone with the ages either, I know how to play with style in my outfit and I hate to smudge my face with something like a fake pancake. Every time I shop, I would logically choose a dress that won't make me appear like a hopeless Hollywood starlet nor an ancient bombshell because it would appear like I am pretending somebody I am not.

Christmas party at Grand Menseng Hotel, December 11, 2012

The party went smoothly as planned and for the first time I won a raffle prize! Ohhh, so my destiny made a re-routing this time away from bad luck and misfortune. In my life, I never won a raffle promo or anything that has something to do with prizes, so this is a bit amusing. I won this really really cute stuff -- 10 pieces of cups.

I went home with a relaxed mind that night.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Frustrating Weekend

Felt extremely bad.

I wasn't able to watch "The Hobbit" in cinema, I've been waiting this film for years to get its way to the theater but when it finally arrived there's no one to go with. None of my friends showed interest on it. Their movie type is that damn shit cheap mistress concept film I find cranky and dull-witted. I prefer historical and adult fantasy films so we are not on the same league. I never dreamed to go to cinema alone, so I ended up fretting in my room cursing my destiny why I could not be with somebody.

But when I got back to myself, I thought, it was not because of my failure to watch The Hobbit in cinema that caused my distress. There’s more into it.

There's this old...really, really old unresolved issue that kept thudding inside my brain and still hanging in my horizon. You know the feeling when you keep on promising yourself to stay calm and relax and thoroughly forget the unreachable things that could never be realized and yet your mind wrangled and kept insisting to give it another try, to prolong the sacrifices, to take more risks, to invest more patience and energy because you believe that life is super generous.

Now my misery skyrocketed. Why it's always have to be like this? It seems I committed a horrible mistake in life that I have to keep repaying it.

It’s December, supposed to be the joyous month of the year, but it felt like Holy Week. Looks like distress and resentment would never go out of my life. Why I suffered so much, what have I done so wrong to deserve all these tormenting circumstances.

Sometimes I pondered what if I would just vanish to allow time to eradicate those traces of sufferings and start a new life? But the question is where would I go? Am I ready to live a life of a beggar? How about my dreams? Am I ready to give it up?

But this is not the time to remorse and mope. Christmas is the happiest season of the year and I am lucky that I have something to eat and spend for the holiday season. I am very fortunate that my family is safe and we are all in good health.


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Forex Trading Demo

Today is December 12, 2012 to spell it in figures: 12-12-12, well, I am always fascinated with a triple number because I believe it brings some sort of luck (chuckle) so I used this day as a good timing to try forex trading online.

No, not the "real" mode of trading but just a demo account, an environment where I could practice trading on real time using the amount provided by the forex trading site.

When I logged in to the account I created, I was so confused what to do, what I saw was a strange world, a totally different scene from what I had thought about forex trading.

I did not understand a thing, so I did not post an order instead, I made more research and readings how to understand the movement of the market, the terminologies used in trading and other practices that a new forex trader must know.

The concept of Forex Trading is Buy Low, Sell High. for example you buy Euro at 1.40 dollars, if you sell it when the exchange rate becomes one Euro is to 1.43 then you have a profit of .03 credited to your account. Experts say that the safest currency pair to choose is Euro/USD.

But before I would put an investment into this form of trading, I will undergo a thorough tutorial first on how to make money on forex trading to avoid committing many mistakes. Most sites would allow an investment starting $50.00 so it is quite affordable for low income earners like me. 

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Travel Adventure



I rarely go out.

I hate being in the crowd, ever since I was a teenager, I don’t like hanging around with friends, I fretted their noise, their nonsense talks. Back then, I would hide in my parents’ room every time they would come to our house.

When I attended college and lived in the city for good, my attitude towards “hanging-out” did not change. I would still prefer to stay at home rather than go out. I considered disco and bar houses as nastiest places on earth.

I detested girls who are loud, who compulsively drink and smoke, who enjoyed night life, who had an unthinkable lifestyle, I often think they are bad influence and hanging around with them would not get me anywhere. Going elsewhere with people I am not comfortable with, bores me to death and wandering around is not my idea of living life to the fullest.

Oh well, maybe I was not born with itchy feet.

Even today, except for making grocery and other errands, I seldom go to the malls. It's maddening to stay there for an extended time and watch people come and go. I love being at home because I can move comfortably without intruders, the serenity and quietness provided by home gives me enough space to think, to indulge in my two precious habits – writing and cooking. It also gives me plenty of freedom to be with myself.

I grew up without househelpers, so early in my life I was trained to do household chores – doing laundry, cooking and cleaning the house. Today, I enjoyed it very much, it’s part of my routine every weekend, I am not comfortable being served by others, I love doing things on my own way. Being at home gives me protection and comfort.

My Travel Adventure
From left: Lake Agco in Kidapawan City, during our educational trip (for my masteral subject) at Mt. Apo Geothermal Plant, February 17, 2012. Pearl Farm and Malipano Island in Samal, August 23, 2012.


But lately, I realized that at times, it’s also good to turn my head and see the other side of life, after all, I lived only once and my journey would be incomplete without figuring what are the things beyond writing and cooking.

In the past months and years when I started joining with friends on excursion and holiday getaways, I discovered the joy and excitement of seeing other places, it brings delight to my redundant routine and allows me to discover new things.
 The first banner I created for this site

Well, life is a beautiful journey, we should never take a short cut because we might miss the best part, instead, take the long route and enjoy the scenery, and see how far we’d travelled.

Now, I am ready to take that long route.

Monday, December 10, 2012

I would never return to Facebook

Sometime in November this year, due to several reasons, I had deactivated my Facebook account. I became increasingly annoyed with its disgusting features, the TIMELINE is so irritating that I thought Facebook is no longer a fascinating fad.

But due to several pages I created for my sites (Royal World, Wedding Guide, Party Essentials and Dew of Nature), I was compelled to create a temporary account to serve as "admin" so that I can still access my pages. I have no plan to invite friends there but I will only log in to visit and update my pages. 

Since Facebook pages are dependent with who created it, the secondary "admin" could not access the profile of the people who liked that page (unless that "secondary admin" is also a friend to those people).

When I deactivated my Facebook account, I thought of reactivating it in the future because I recognized its importance of driving traffic to my blogsites, but now that I read something from yahoo about a newly introduced feature, "couple's pages" which other users around the world described as "creepy", "sickening", "repulsive" and "a digital scrapbook which you never asked to be created", I felt so aghast that I thoroughly discarded the idea of reactivating my account.

Well, I am not affected with this feature in the first place because I had no "In a Relationship" status update ever since but I felt that through this feature, Facebook really gone too far. What will be the next? Privacy is no longer protected.

So what's this Couple's Pages feature? According to the news, it is a page that charts interaction via posts and photos of two people who have registered themselves as "IN A RELATIONSHIP". 

So just imagined its dreadful impact if you hated your "ex" and then suddenly your sweet memories and cheesy conversation and photos you want to bury to the floor of the ocean will reappear. Well, if you love your ex and still could not get over then it's an advantage, it's as if you are taking a journey back in time, to the days of sweetness and romance. But what if you have a new someone? Is it a nice idea to keep revisiting those memories?

Well, as I said, I should not be alarmed with this feature because I have nothing to fear, I never had any "In a Relationship" stuff in my profile, but Jesus! This is a total nonsense, so rubbish! 

It was as if Facebook would want users to be mystified as teenagers, forever attached to mushy things and in fantasy, oh c'mmon let's move on, there's real life outside, beyond the wall of Facebook, plenty of beautiful things to look forward to than reminisced those gone with the ages memories.

It seems Facebook is running out of good ideas to keep its users under its wings and to keep the excitement alive and go on with competition. The result is a messy world. The next thing we know, our profile will be transported to our enemies.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

World's Most Powerful Brands

This list is taken from Forbes.

A year after Steve Jobs died I still have a hard time accepting that Tim Cook will now be the face that I should frequently see everytime Apple Incorporated will launch a new product. But that's it and I should live to this reality.

Here's Forbes magazine's list of World's Most Powerful Brands

Brand               Brand Value (in $)        Consumer Perception Rank

1. Apple                  87.1                                          11
2. Microsoft             54.7                                            1
3. Coca-Cola           50.2                                           29
4. IBM                    48.5                                           20
5. Google                37.6                                            7
6. Intel                   32.3                                             6
7. McDonalds          37.4                                            85
8. General Electric    33.7                                           49
9. BMW                  26.3                                             5
10. Cisco                26.3                                            15
11. Oracle               25.9                                            50
12. Samsung          19.3                                              9
13. Disney              19.0                                              8
14. Toyota              21.9                                            37
15. HP                    18.3                                            23
16. Mercedes-Benz  21.8                                            54
17. Louis Vuitton     24.5                                            93
18. Gilette               16.8                                            14
19. Honda               20.9                                            62
20. Nescafe             17.4                                            27

Monday, December 3, 2012

Felt so useless again

Happiness is simply, an attitude of the mind...but what if agony still prevails?

Last week, no, I would not start spurting despair and disappointment again but it really had some kick to my self-esteem. I know there's nothing wrong with me and the other party, it's just that I am not desirable, so I stop there.

It was just a simple request yet deliberately turned down. Why I always received this kind of return?Is this what I deserved after all?But why if somebody asked for some favor or request for something, I could not say no.

It's just so disappointing to find out that I was not valued. I am being used and exploited!And this is painful. I felt so useless.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Low Point

Have you ever been in a situation where things are just so unbearable?

It feels like hell lately.

Everyday, I would look at the mirror and see nothing but a wretched girl trapped in the abyss of nothingness. Everything is a bloody pretense, I would go to the workplace with a fake smile, a dull enthusiasm, a dreary temper.

Watching myself rolled into desolation, I wondered why I allowed myself to invest too much emotions. Why I never learned a lesson from the past?

It feels like I am in a torture cell wondering what my torturer would do next.

It was as if someone had screamed, "hey, idiot didn't you know you're horrible?you're ugly and you are not really valued and appreciated and nobody really wants you and I only think about you if I have something to ask or I need some help and beyond that you are nothing but a useless crap!"

So emotionally draining.

And I don't want to go on like this. I did so many sacrifices already and wasted so many years yearning for that miracle to land in my palm, to no avail. But I've no regrets, taking sacrifices is not bad. At least I've tried and took risks.

But now, I think I had enough. It's time to save what is left for myself, for my self-worth. I don't want to spend another day thinking why my sacrifices did not pay off. The world is a fantastic place to live and I know life is great and as bright as the brimming sunshine.

I must do something. I must make a decision before despair will consume all my hopes. I need to move out from this state of misery.

Sometimes you need to open your eyes and mind to see what's going on. And just accept thing the way it is.

I don't want to burn bridges, I just need enough time to heal, to think about myself, to find my own place where I could have peace of mind, but first I must allow emotions to subside, to vanish completely.

I just want to be honest now, with what's deep inside. It's just so hard to ignore. But it would never be reciprocated I know it. So I want to extinguish it completely, I want to forget everything and dart my attention to other useful things.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Weekend Diary: Birthday and Strolling


I rarely wrote entries in my weekend diary category because there's nothing extraordinary to talk about every week, I hate raking my brain with something not worthy to share anyway. I got so tired spurting my distress and discomfort all over again, in fact I get used to it that I am no longer surprise why my weekend is painfully exhausting, mentally.

But this week is slightly different, well, not that I suddenly realized I should update my blog, but there's something into it that I want to share, it's all about surprises and inspiration. It's the last week of November and I am always excited when December comes.

November 27, Tuesday. We attended a birthday party in honor of Dr. Amy Gravino who turned 50, her children and husband surprised her with a kiddie birthday party at Jollibee. It was so funny and very unique, all of us became young again, traveling back in time when nothing matters in the world except fun, laughter and foods! 

I joined others in a fun-filled game, oh well, it's pretty crazy doing some childish stuff when you are on your high heels, hehehe, but I carried on and helped my team won the game! Well, I love surprises, there's something in it that really make me so emotional, the fulfillment of being cared and the idea of being unconditionally loved. Watching Maam Amy reduced to tears impelled my heartbeat to pound really fast. It's so heart-warming to see someone emotionally happy because of surprises.

Dr. Amy Gravino celebrated her 50th birthday with a kiddie party theme at Jollibee
 Party Game Prize I received, Jollitown activity book ^____^
....and just like all kiddie parties at Jollibee, the event was wrapped up with the presence of Jolly and Hetty!

November 28, Wednesday. Surprisingly!I was back in my old habit. Before I started attending classes in the graduate school in 2010, I had this amusing habit of visiting the national bookstore not to buy books but to read anything I find interesting there and last Wednesday I did it again. I went to a shelf where there were two books unsealed related to Steve Jobs. For two hours, I stood behind it and read the first two chapters. I put it down just before the closing time of the mall.

December 1, Saturday. For the first time, I went to SM Lanang. I and my two boardmates made some wandering around the area, we're so curious with its enormous edifice, entering from one store to another, staring at its magnificent display of elegance, then decided to go to SM department store, there I found the things I would love to buy this Christmas: wallet, blouse, bag, organizer, wedge, double CC drop earrings (sigh!). The huge Christmas tree dominated the lobby and the facade looked like a winter wonderland with its sparkling white lights, then we moved toward the sky garden, I was not really impressed with its bare architecture. I was hoping I could see something extraordinary or fascinating feature like the Garden restaurant in Trinoma Mall in Quezon city but none at all.
 Huge Christmas tree at SM Lanang
The child in me....I bought a bag of cotton candy!hehe

I adored oriental foods so I convinced my two boardmates to spend dinner at Tokyo Tokyo, but gosh!Nothing extraordinary, I was disappointed with the California Maki, it was not what I expected, it was far from the authentic California Maki I tasted at Sangkai, a Japanese restaurant along Jacinto extension. After dinner, I bought one cellophane bag of cotton candy because I was attracted with its pastel color hehehe
 Shadowy appearance behind the fancy Cherry Blossom tree
 We strolled around the parking area for a while and noticed the artificial Cherry Blossoms trees nearby. Oh I loved Cherry Blossoms!!So I pleaded to my friends to take some pictures while I stood behind the sparkling tree but to my chagrin, the takes were not that good because we're only using a cellphone camera. But we agreed to come back there before Christmas, my 2012 would not really complete without getting a clear souvenir at these fancy trees!^_____^


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Story of Us

Memorable quote from "The Story of Us"

 "There are some hurts that you never completely gotten over. And you think that time will diminish their presence and to a degree it does, but it still hurts because well, hurt hurts"


Had a chance to watch this film two nights ago and I'm quite pleased with its plot. It is a 1999 film and just like most of the movies in the 90s, The Story of Us tackles relationship, separation and dealing with couple's differences. 

I am not really into this kind of film, I hate being lectured with separation and divorce issues, we have so much on it in the surroundings, and I disliked couples who don't honor their marriage vows, and that is something I never look forward to in a film. I loathed couples who are infidel, who betray each other through extra marital affairs, that's why I extremely detested films that tell the story of a mistress!

But The Story of Us is quite different and for unknown reasons, I kept rewinding each scene. It was really beautiful, though some reviews did not actually exhibit the same fascination.

The Story of Us tells the crumbing marriage of once very in-love couple and officemates, Ben (Bruce Willis) and Katie (Michelle Pfeiffer). They have been married for 15 years but after having two kids and a comfortable life, they grew apart and could no longer stand with each other. A slight provocation would result to shouting matches, there were no talks  without engaging into a heated argument, they seemed could not agree with everything. 

Until they agreed into a trial separation. During this time, the couple pondered hard on the fate of their marriage, remembering the good times they shared and the things that made them fall in love with each other in the first place.

While watching the film and reassessing the couple's relationship, I made to think quickly that the reason why they drifted apart is their inability to handle the pressure and tension of married life. If only they would open their minds, value each partner's worth and listen while the other is talking, then a slight argument would never result to a yelling episode.

In the end, Ben and Katie realized how much they loved each other and why they could not live another day without being together.

I've never been into a relationship nor a date but I am completely aware that loving someone entails sacrifices and suffering, after all, that's what unconditional love is all about, the moment you decide to love someone it's also the time that you start taking your cross. 

Many years ago, I bought a book entitled "Loving Each Other" authored by adult counselling expert, Dr. Leo Buscaglia, which offers one of the best meanings of a loving relationship:

“A loving relationship is one in which both parties feel so loved, so accepted and so safe that they can share their innermost feelings, dreams, failures and successes without reservation. It is a give-and-take, two-way reciprocal interaction rooted in mutual respect and trust cloaked with dignity, where tears and smiles are of equal importance and one that continually nurtures and supports growth,

….It is like an ideal home which you can totally be yourself, be accepted, understood, supported, valued and respected as a human being. It is a nurturing environment where effort is made to provide enough caring and security so that one can share hopes and fears without anxiety and discomfort and where one is encouraged to learn and grow.”

The Story of Us is a provoking film about relationship which every couple (married or engaged) must watch and understand. It's a very simple story but carries tremendous lessons about married life or simply dealing with each other in a relationship.

The lessons I'd learned from this film: 
  • Learn to bend
  • Maintain communication
  • Be open-minded
  • Recognize that argument is imminent but do not allow it to grow into a destructive monster.
  • Recognize your partner's value
  • Listen when she or he talks, do not interrupt.
  • Do not let pride dominates the relationship
  • When time gets rough, stop for a while and think hundred of reasons why you stick with her or him through all these years.
  • Settle the differences before night time comes.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Wedding Like no Other

Carmina Villaroel and Zoren Legaspi on their wedding day at Fernbook Gardens. I loved the atmosphere of the event because I am always fascinated with a garden wedding reception and Cherry Blossoms motif! What Zoren did was a tough act to follow and I am wondering if there are still men left in this world who have the same devotion, level of commitment/fidelity and declaration of unconditional love toward their partners. 

Last night, I was one of hundreds of girls in the Philippines who was extremely enthralled with the display of unconditional love of local actor, Zoren Legaspi, to his long-time partner, Carmina Villaroel. As I watched the episode of their civil wedding on TV and how Zoren planned the ceremony without Carmina suspecting it, I could not help but think how many men left in the world who have the same devotion and level of commitment as Zoren. 

It was so fascinating and moving. Women in general loved surprises and longed to meet someone who could sweep off their feet all the way to the altar, and being surprised with a wedding ceremony right away is so touching and heart-warming!

I cried a little bit, especially the scene where Zoren led Carmina to the artificial Cherry Blossom tree to make his marriage proposal, it was so amazing because I loved Cherry Blossoms too and if ever I could still get married in the future I want to have a Springtime Wedding Theme with Cherry Blossoms motif!

So it was really a poignant scene watching Carmina stood under the Cherry Blossom tree accepting her partner's proposal...

Men's degree of sweetness and love is just so rare today, you're a lucky girl if you find one. Of course, but I believe men are born with a unique attitude of sweetness and each has his own way  distinctive way of expressing it, but the question is, where are they, can we still find them?

Zoren must be the concrete symbol of the description of a four-leaf clover "Hard to find but lucky to have"


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Less Visibility

I want to minimize my "visibility" in the internet so I decided to deactivate my Facebook account and deleted my Google+ account. I am now concentrating in Twitter for the sake of attracting more traffic to my sites.

I've several public blogs, searching me online is a lot easier than finding me walking in the street so having a Facebook account is a way too much, I am afraid my privacy is in danger.  After eight years of joining several social networking sites, from Friendster to MySpace, to Facebook and Google+, I had enough. I became disillusioned with "socializing" online.

I joined Facebook in 2007 when everyone was still emotionally attached to Friendster, by that time Facebook was still a quiet place, now it looked like a messy gang street. I detested its new platform and features, I fretted other people's vulgarity and blatant showdown of vanity. So despising. There was no more excitement, no more mystery to hold on, everything is very public.

I want to retain some degree of mystery and discretion for myself, I don't want to share every detail of my day-to-day life, it's simply brassy. I want to protect what is left for my privacy.

But I have a twitter account to maintain my connection with the public for my blog links. Twitter is more ideal because I can follow the people/organization I admired, read their updates and interact with them. With twitter I am not tempted to read details of my friends' posts and became intrigued hehe!

I felt my life now is more quiet, peaceful and normal and I love it!
 

Monday, November 19, 2012

Movie Marathon Part II


BREAKING DAWN, Part II

Finally, I was able to watch the finale of the Twilight saga --- Breaking Dawn part II, last November 17, Saturday at the cinema. In fairness, the last part of Breaking Dawn is quite interesting, lots of action and vampire things, there was a fair balance of excitement, action, surprises and humor, and for the first time I saw the other side of Kristen Stewart's acting talent (finally she showed some degree of facial expression!), she was a revelation in this last Twilight installment. Surprisingly (hehe) I was not bored with the film unlike the other three series (New Moon, Eclipse and Breaking Dawn part I) where I almost fell asleep in the theater.

Michael Sheen who played Aro, the head of the Volturi pack, brought life to the story, as always he lived to high expectations of credible acting skill when it comes to playing Vampire, the same impression I had on him in the movie "Underworld". He knew how to interpret a creepy, ancient character that would really jolt the viewers. His team contributed to the lively finale of the story.

Breaking Dawn Part II's execution was impressive. The fight scene in the snow was entertaining, it felt like I was watching the championship of two teams in the NBA hehehe. I read the book years before but I was not disappointed with the outcome in the films because motion picture is always different from the book, it's a different medium so it should not be compared.  

MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE

Last Night, November 18, while fixing my room, I found this really old file of DVDs in my drawer, and saw the copy of "Message in a Bottle". I haven't seen this film before, so after dinner, I wasted no time and gone through with it. 


The story is based in the book by Nicholas Spark (author of the Notebook, Letters from Juliet) and if not for its subtitles, I would never understand the whole thing since the scenes were not too exciting, very slow pacing and there were lots of narration, it only picked up when Kevin Costner's character, Garret Blake discovered the bottle (with the two letters) in Theresa's drawer (played by Robin Wright).

Message in a Bottle retells the story of a man who was grieving for the death of his wife, whom he could not let go, he refused to move on, he was forever stuck in that emotion, and he simply would not let her memories go. Until someone came, but then due to his refusal to move on, he just let the opportunity slipped away. He realized it in the end but it was too late, time and circumstances intervened and inscribed another fate for them. 

But it was a good film though. It helped that Paul Newman was there (he played Costner's protective and thoughtful father), he infused humor and interest in the film, his dialogue was terrific. Overall, the film punched a heart-warming message, it was self-pondering. Nicholas Spark was known with his poetic and whimsical lines and its richness provided magic to the whole story.  

It was not a formula movie because Garret Blake died in the end, just as he realized he wanted to start a new life with the woman who made him fall in love again, so there was no happy ending, but I love the conclusion because it was not a tailored concept, it was more of a conviction of a tragic love story that should not be dreaded, but something to look back with warm memories.

Robin Wright's character, Theresa, said this in the end:

"If some lives form a perfect circle, others take shape in ways we cannot predict or always understand. Loss has been a part of my journey, but it has also shown me what is precious, so has a love for which I can only be grateful".

After watching the film, I realized that the clinging of the man to his wife's memories was not all about love, but about guilt. In real life, there are people like him, who, after losing someone they thought they could not get over with the loss, they simply refused to move on and accept the reality due to "what ifs", because of some form of guilt, because they are continue savoring the idea that the one they had lost was the perfect one for them. Such a foolish thought. Things happen for a reason.