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Backtrack (Part 2)

October 9, 2011

I can’t believe another week of October is over.  Time is insanely quick, and even if I hate lazy Mondays, I’m really looking forward to the coming week.  I shall tell you why soon. 🙂  For now, here’s the 2nd installment to my last post. Just a warning, it’s going to be another wordy post, plus I’d like to apologize in advance to my readers who can’t understand Filipino, I’m afraid I’ve used lyrics from Up Dharma Down (a fave OPM band of mine! 🙂 ).  In a gist, the song is about how a girl’s relationship with the guy that she loved had ended. Even if he’s now with someone else, she continues to think of him and wonders if he feels the same. She continues to sing that to this day the guy doesn’t know how she really feels.  Ok, I really have to stop or else I might give away the ending.  But even if you feel like you already know how this will end, I do hope you enjoy the way the story unfolds.

***

I arrived at Anton’s place before Trix, and my brain was going haywire on panic mode.  “Okay Vee, you better get a hold of yourself.  Trix will be here soon.  Just breathe.  What could possibly go wrong? Right? Everything’s going to be fine.” I told myself.

“Vee!”

“Shoot! Fight or flee? Fight or flee?” I kept asking in my head.  I turned to face the person calling out to me.

Happy Birthday was all I could say.

“Uhm, thanks Vee.” and he gave me smile, the kind that still sends warmth gushing through my face up to this very day… even after two terms of not talking to each other.

“How have you been?” he asked.

“Good… good…” before taking a sip of my fruit punch.

“I’m glad to hear that.”

“And you?” I asked, trying to make the conversation last longer (idiotically).

“I’m great Vee. Finally feeling like a normal person.  No longer the goody two shoes who’s afraid to fail a couple of quizzes.  I guess I’ve finally come to my senses don’t you think?” he joked nudging my elbow.

I tried to give out a laugh as normal as I could possibly deliver.

“By the way, thanks for agreeing to perform… your band I mean…”

“Don’t mention it.”

“Ahem! Mind if I interrupt?”
“Trix!”

“Happy Birthday Anton! Of course we wouldn’t miss your party for the world.  Right Vee?” giving me the wink.

“Of course… of course.” Trying to say the words with much conviction. The three of us continued to exchange a couple more lines until Anton asked to be excused as some of his block mates had just arrived.

“Here comes the brain squad.” Trix whispered.

“Shh Trix, don’t be so mean.”

“Ei they’re all Honors Program students… there was no pun intended.” Trix declared.

We met up with the rest of our band mates to prepare for our set.  Damn, why did I ever let the group convince me to sing at his party.  “Huff!” Well, no point in turning back now.  I took a deep breath, the drummer tapped his sticks thrice, and I took my cue.

“’Di mo lang alam… Naiisip kita. Baka sakali lang maisip mo ako…”

As I continue to sing each word with every note that was played

“’Di mo lang alam… Hanggang sa gabi, inaasam makita kang muli.”

“Where did we go wrong Anton?” I asked him with water welling in my eyes.

“Vee… We’ve talked about this… I guess we just fell apart… After you know… when you told me you couldn’t trust how I felt for you, that you weren’t sure if I did love you.  I was really hurt when you said those things Vee.” The phrase “did love” banged in my ear like the echo of a gong. I felt sick to my stomach.  But this time I took all the pride I had left and threw it at his feet.

“Is it really too late Anton? Can we no longer work things out?”

“Vee… You know I did love you…” There goes that phrase again.  “But Sheena’s here for me now…  I can’t just turn my back on her.”

My heart bled like there was no tomorrow.  I knew perfectly well what he was trying to say, and I had to respect him. I thought I was right, that I had things under control.  But I was wrong.  I could no longer hold my tears.  They came streaming down my face and he heard my acknowledgement of defeat. It was a night I’d never forget.

“Nagtapos ang lahat sa ‘di inaasahang panahon at ngayon ako’y iyong iniwan… luhaang sugatan… ‘di mapakinabangan.”

He stayed with me after breaking into sobs, even tried to make me laugh like he used to.  From time to time I’d forget that it was over… but when the time came to finally end the phone call, I just couldn’t… maybe because this time I knew it was really the end.  I knew we wouldn’t be friends after this.  I was stupid to have let him go… To have hurt him the way I did.  Now, he was gone. (to be continued)

Backtrack (Part 1)

October 5, 2011

Because today was a holiday, I finally had the time to do some cleaning. I was starting to raise dust bunnies in my room, hence the need to clean. After much sweeping, wiping, and a 20-minute warm shower, I changed into a set of PJs and snuggled into the blankets. I didn’t feel like sleeping yet, so I decided to browse through some movie downloads I had on my laptop and found Before Sunrise… yes, it’s an old film and I’m such a loser for not having watched this earlier because I really loved it… I liked the idea of how two people take chances, go through an adventure and discover more about themselves.  It’s really nice to find someone you can talk to about anything and everything under the sun… or should I say against the backdrop of Europe. Though I fell alseep through the last 30 minutes, I hit rewind and watched the parts I missed this morning. Without contentment, I went on to watch Before Sunset. It was nice to see the characters years after, in a more mature state.  Both trying to be cool about an opportunity missed, but knowing in that deep inside their lives were forever changed after that day they spent together. It’s pretty much a happy ending, but as tackled in the movie, some may say that instances like these are merely “projections”, which brings me to the real content of tonight’s entry… Not everyone who backtracks or comes across an old flame will always be given that 2nd chance.

I sorted through my laptop files and remembered that at some point in my life I really wanted to be a fiction writer… and digging up some of these pieces, I’m somehow reminded of that dream and I’d like to share them with you guys, my devoted readers… though I know there are only a few of you loves… I do appreciate you taking the time to read my posts. 🙂

Going back to the story, I wrote this one for someone really dear to my heart… though I think this person never really got to read my work.

Just a warning, this piece is quite long for an entry so I’ll be posting it in parts.  Plus, it’s pretty raw and I never really got to finish it, so I’m not sure if you’ll consider the end to be “an ending”. But for those who wish to leave comments, you’re welcome to do so, I’d love to read your constructive criticism. 🙂  Ok, I’ll now stop with this long intro…  ’til my next post. 🙂

***

The message was pushed across clear and simple… and I meant that literally. The words weren’t written on some fancy musical card. It was neither etched on the trunk of a hundred year old tree nor engraved on hard stone. The letters were written on a folded piece of ¼ pad paper, black ink, in two types of penmanship.

Puffy-eyed, I mustered up all the strength she had to get out of bed. It must have been past noon already, though she could only tell by the way the sun blinded her through the bedroom window.

I couldn’t even utter a single word as I stared at my stressed out reflection. I knew deep inside that I was a total mess. Maybe it’s just the side effects of college. You know, the ton of homework daily, using up more hours studying for the next day’s tests rather than getting enough snooze, not to mention the fact that you eat a lot. God, “Eating a lot” is even an understatement. You don’t eat a lot, you simply pig-out every chance you get… while studying, when you’re tired like shit, when you’re chillin’ out with friends, and even while sulking over a failed exam. The first two terms of school went by pretty fast.

My cellular phone rings and I stop passing judgment on my face. I rush out of the bathroom excited to see who was calling. “Hey Trix! What’s up?”

“Just checking on ‘ya Vee. Wanted to make sure you weren’t up to doing something crazy.” She said trying to hide her snickering.

“Cut it out Trix! Trust me, I’m fine.” I lied.

“Alright, I’ll see you tonight then. You ready? I sure am excited; it’s been quite some time since we did a gig. It’s nice Anton decided to throw a party to celebrate his birthday.”

I swallowed hard. “Yup, sure is great.” There goes my stomach. “Catch you later Trix! I’ll just grab a bite.” Another lie. I had already lost my appetite a few seconds ago.

“Okay sis. Look great later. Promise you’ll do fine.”

“Thanks Trix.”

“NP love.”

“Seriously Trix, thanks for checking on me.”

“Hey, what are best friends for?”

Trix and I dropped the line, much had to be done before the main event this evening. Not to mention raiding my closet to pull out an outfit. I wasn’t sure whether I should go all out performer or just go simple yet noticeable, besides, it’s not like I’d be the belle of the ball. Nonetheless, I pulled out hangers and hangers of clothing. It took me almost over an hour to finally decide on what I wanted to wear. I chowed down some pizza and Charlie’s chicken pasta my parents ordered for our weekend merienda. Good thing I was able to convince the folks that I was busy over final papers last night and didn’t get scolded for sleeping past lunch on a Saturday. I had to eat; I didn’t want a churning stomach on top of my 100% being sure that there will be butterflies fluttering in my gut. (to be continued)

A rabbit and his lantern

October 2, 2011

Hello blog world! I am back after a super duper long break. It’s been nothing but work these days, but I know that’s not enough reason.  So here I am trying to make a come back… this time with another simple watercolor painting I did during the Mid-Autumn Festival.  I know it’s way past the celebration, but I still wanted to share what I drew that day.

Gist: Mid-Autumn is a special occasion celebrated by most Chinese families (especially here in Hong Kong).  We got off work early that day and most of my office mates went home to have dinner with their families.  They said that the moon that rises during this festival is the largest in their calendar.  It’s been quite some time since I last experienced this festival and it’s really nice that this year I have new friends to share it with.  We had different kinds of moon cakes this time, unfortunately my phone broke and the photos I had got wiped out.  So here’s just a little something to remind me of this year’s celebration. Hope you guys like it.  🙂

Saturdate with Dad

August 22, 2011

Whenever Dad comes back from Manila, he’d usually spend most of his time working until the wee hours of the night.  But when he mentioned that he had gained weight (yet again!), I found the perfect opportunity to invite him for a nice walk… but not just around the block or the park.  Instead, I invited him for an afternoon stroll at Stanley.

Tourists who come to Hong Kong usually visit Stanley to shop for souvenirs and bargain buys.  Others, come to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city.  Thankfully, Dad agreed to to my invitation and I took him to Saigon at Stanley for some “afternoon tea”.  We did take a “walk” before and after eating… 🙂

Since traveling in HK is really convenient we just took the 260 bus to Stanley.  If you’re on the 2nd level of the bus you’ll get a chance to see the gorgeous view of the sea… I took one with my phone.

When you get to Saigon at Stanley, you’ll be greeted by its balcony seating. Since the resto is located on the first floor of Murray House, you can choose to dine with a seaside view.

Dad’s really a fan of Vietnamese food which is why I wanted him to try out one of our restos to see how he finds our dishes. We decided to order most of the house specialties. I honestly have a difficult time describing Vietnamese food because of the amazing way this cuisine blends flavors, but I can say that the dishes we had today were light,sweet, and refreshing. 🙂

For starters, we tried the Banana Flower Heart Salad (aka Puso ng Saging) with Shredded Chicken.

Then we had the Pork and Prawn Spring Rolls.

Next was the Soft Shell Crab Roll. I super love this dish!!! 🙂

For  mains, Dad and I shared a bowl of Beef Pho… Tender beef in hot rice noodle soup. Yum!

And lastly, we (or rather) Dad devoured a plate of tasty Bo Mon (beef tenderloin with tomatoes).

Here’s a photo of Dad enjoying his Pho. 🙂

After a light but filling merienda, Dad and I took a short stroll around the place.  Here’s a photo of Blake Pier.  People can go down the stairs to fish or get on a small boat to visit the outlaying islands.  This is actually a nice spot to sit and watch the sun set.

Another photo of Blake Pier from a different angle…

A few docked boats…

And a photo of the waterfront while the sun was going down…

Dad and I stayed until around 7pm and took another bus ride home.  Because Dad loved the food so much, we didn’t go home empty handed… We just had to order more of the appetizers. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hope you enjoyed this entry! Left the details of the resto below just in case you guys plan to visit HK.

Feel free to drop me a line if you want more info on the food. 🙂

‘Til my next post! 🙂

Saigon at Stanley

1/F Murray House, Stanley, HK

T: 2899 0999

And I begin anew… =)

July 11, 2011

It’s been several weeks since my last post and my erratic blogging is breaking my at least once-a-week-post promise this year… 😦 Honestly, the past few weeks went by fast like a roller coaster ride and I have been pre-occupied (would you believe?).  But being busy these days isn’t enough reason for not sharing what I’ve been up to. To finally break my blogging hiatus, I’d like to share another chapter of my life with you guys.

Ok, so about three weeks ago, I was a few days away from ending Level 2 of my Cantonese course.  I took the course thinking that it would make job hunting easier.  But it was also getting sort of costly and didn’t want my Dad to pay for my classes.  So I really wanted to start working to be able to afford the next 5 levels.  So while Dad was away, I finally found the courage to apply for about 8 companies (and this was after days and days of praying hard).  So I sent out my resumes one Wednesday afternoon and almost forgot to send out to one that I found in the weekend paper.  The following morning, as expected there was no response.  But when I returned from Canto class, the last company I emailed replied to me and asked when I was available for an interview.  I thought, maybe Monday the following week was best so I could prepare and not worry about Canto class.   So, I gave HR a call BUT they asked if I could meet them that Friday because one of the bosses was going abroad for a week.  I said YES.  But when it finally sinked in I PANICKED!  I didn’t have anything decent to wear for an interview so that same afternoon my aunts got me shopping.  There was a mixed feeling of hope and fear.

The following day, I went for the interview that lasted for about two hours.  I felt that it went well, but I couldn’t tell if they liked me or would at least find my work experience valid.  From the office I had to travel to another venue to meet the F&B Director.  My interview with the big boss lasted 5 minutes.  I knew he was busy but at that point I honestly didn’t know if I made an impression for him to hire me.  I went home tired that day, but happy.

Come Monday, I checked my email and there was no response… it was already around 4 in the afternoon and just when I thought I had to move on my phone rang.  The HR representative asked me about the interview with their boss.  I told her it was short but I thought it was alright.  I heard the happy tone in her voice and I swear I felt my heart jump when I heard her say… “That’s good ’cause I’m about to give you an offer.”   To cut things short, I was hired that day and started work the following week.

I am now officially the new Marketing Executive of Chiram Strategic Group.  It’s similar but slightly different from my last job.  There’s more writing involved and I now go over menus since we handle 5 speacialty restaurants, Shakey’s Pizza HK, and a trading company called Equip Asia  (Click here to know more).    After that brief backgrounder, I’m now happy to introduce to you our Marketing Team. 🙂

From L-R: Joanne, me, Mirelle, Dannis, Roy, Yvonne, and Louis
From L-R: Our Graphic Designers Dannis (Shakey’s HK) and Roy (Specialty Restos)
L-R: Roy, Yvonne (Marketing Supervisor) and Louis (Marketing Assistant)
Ruby Tuesday’s Giant Brownie a la Mode. YUM! 🙂
Birthday girl Louis with the birthday dessert! 🙂
L-R: Joanne (Our Marketing Manager), Roy (with the Shakey’s box), and Dannis (hiding)
Mirelle (Marketing Officer for Shakey’s HK)
I sit opposite Dannis, but Roy’s there too because they usually discuss design stuff.
And this is my desk!!! It’s messy as always. I guess some things just never change. 🙂
And this is what I wore on my first day. 🙂

Yes, I now where skirts/dresses more often and at least do simple make up every morning.  Before I use to dress up for meetings only, but now I gotta try to look my best everyday.  It’s a big change, but somehow I’m liking it.:)  What do you think?

I’ve only been working for a week, but even if the whole team is new it really feels like home.  They’re very open and helpful and I appreciate the fact that they always make an effort to speak English because I’m the only Filipino on the team (and if I’m not mistaken, in the entire office!).  So thank you God for this wonderful blessing.  I didn’t only get a new job, I found new friends as well. 🙂

My apologies if this was so long, I just felt like sharing this milestone. 🙂

‘Til my next post.

To my Rock Star

June 20, 2011

Even if it’s a little past Father’s Day I still wanted to share this with you guys.

WARNING: This post is text heavy but I still hope you could take the time to read it.

Back when I was a little girl, I already knew what I wanted to be when I grew up. I remember listening to you sing whenever you’d perform for the Filipinos in Hong Kong during the yearly Concert in the Park gigs. I was in kindergarten then and I recall listening to your voice as people cheered. But I never watched you and would always have my back facing the stage.  I couldn’t exactly remember why, I guess it’s because I was pretty shy.

 

I wasn’t as bibbo as other kids and I couldn’t sing for the crowd during parties like other little girls.  I wasn’t anything like you… You knew how to put on a good show, how to please the crowd, and how to put a smile on their faces.

 

In Primary school, I sucked at Math so I tried to balance things out through extra-curricular achievements.  I remember how you use to help me with my homework when I had difficulty drawing animals for science class, how I’d get scolded for bad penmanship, and how you’d reward me with one item from Toys’R’Us whenever I did well in school.  Come Primary 6, I still knew what I wanted to be, but I couldn’t find it in the list of occupations provided by the career tests.

 

I know life was tough and we didn’t have much property to our name, so my dream was pretty simple.  I wanted to be a singer just like you – to be able to do gigs at famous resto-bars.  Never really put much thought into the importance of attending Secondary school, more so getting into college.  But you changed that for me and showed me that there was no harm in trying to dream big.

 

Now that I’m done with school and trying to find my way in this world, I think about how far you’ve made it and how proud I am to have you as a Father.  I know you can be strict at times, but it turned out to be for the better.  You are my strength and inspiration, I don’t think I could ever get to where I am today without the love and support from you and Mom.

 

Thank you for everything Dad…

– For letting me watch Disney movies every night just so I wouldn’t cry when you and Mom went to work

– For making my first ever mix tape of The Carpenters just so I could sleep after watching Hocus Pocus

– For serenading us with your Barry Manilow favorites

– For providing for me

– For never pressuring me with my grades

– For trying your best to make me happy

– For supporting me in every crazy little thing that I do

– For accepting the fact that I can’t really sing as great as my siblings… 🙂

 

Dad, I will never get tired of listening to your stories because I know there’s still a lot you have to share.  Know that even if there are people who try to bring you down, you’ll always have me and our family to back you up.

 

You are the most generous person I know.  And even if you put up that strict facade, deep down you’ve got that soft spot. 🙂

 

Though I don’t always say it, you mean the world to me.

Thank you for being the music in my life.

You are my Rock Star. And I will always be your number One fan.

I love you Daddy.

Happy Father’s Day! 🙂

The sun, sand, and sea.

June 15, 2011

Finally got the chance to upload another wonderland post of my last summer in the Philippines. 🙂

I went to Boracay during the last week of April with family and friends.  It was my first time there after staying in the Philippines for like 10 years (would you believe?).  Thank you Bes for calling me one afternoon and inviting me to go on this crazy trip.  Even if the rest of the gang couldn’t make it, we still had a hell of a good time! 🙂 So here’s to drinking mango shakes on the beach, pigging out, and partying every night! 🙂

1) Just lounging about Station 2

2) The must-try BBQ ribs

3) Taking an afternoon walk

4) Getting all emo… 🙂

5) Grilled burgers at Bite Club (Artwork by We Will Doodle)

5) Having a mango shake while sunbathing

6) Enjoying the gorgeous sunset

7) And of course, our vacation wouldn’t be complete without this… a snapshot of Ali with the adorable Marc Nelson (I just had to add this love.) 🙂

‘Til my next post! 🙂

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