Friday, August 27, 2010

lowering expectations

Every year, I wish that I could buy myself something grand for Christmas. It's sort of something to look forward to after a year of hardwork and a motivation to earn for that thing. One Christmas, I bought a 32-inch flatscreen TV, which now has a much depreciated value. Another Christmas, I bought myself a camera, after browsing through all camera reviews. After consultations with friends, I got myself a Canon digicam.

In recent years though, I haven't been able to achieve my grand wishes for myself. And though I still celebrate a nice Christmas with family, I only disappoint myself for getting myself nothing. So now, I have decided to aim for something much simpler (that foot spa machine from Watson's, prized at 1 thousand). Though it isn't as grand, at least it would make me happy, and the price won't depreciate that much. :)

And this year, I would never disappoint myself on Christmas day.

Opportunity of a Lifetime

My officemate has resigned. He will be leaving for Europe in 2 weeks. He got himself a scholarship for a year to 3 European cities in biogenetics, I think. All has been paid for by the grantor organization, except maybe for NC short term health insurance. He will also be given allowances and places to stay, which he said is enough for his stay in Europe. Well, everything is expensive in Europe, from our perspective, so to have "enough" there is probably more than one could ask for.

Our CEO does not want him to leave. He is good in this medical writing field we are in. He probably is a good doctor, if only he would practice. So, he was offered a 1-year scholarship in the States, also in a medical field. He respectfully declined the offer because he might not get the course that he wants there.

The funny thing is he still wants to be back in this office. He said he'd apply again next year once he's back in the country. I don't know what to make of it. I felt like he already has his opportunity of a lifetime, yet in his mind, this one here is his gold find.

Whatever it is, I wish him the time of his life. And for us all, I hope we also get our opportunity of a lifetime!

Monday, August 23, 2010


Because I would transfer again to another apartment, my fourth in Metro Manila, the wishful idea of having my own apartment/condo/house again lingers in my mind. Of course, nothing beats the idea of paying for something every month that is truly yours.

I remembered sheng's stories of little by little completing their new house, their own house. I can feel the hard work needed and the joy of seeing your dream come to life. I have been to eks new house, and it's such a serene, lovely place, like the place is always on vacation mode. I am happy for them, and I am taking inspiration from these people.

And if I get my own, I would never have to transfer apartment ever again.

Sarap lang mangarap. :)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

do you believe in second chances?

Do you believe in second chances?

This week seemed to have a theme of second chances---at least in the old movies I've watched this week.

In our theology class, we've watched probably a 1990s movie starring the young Robert Downey. He could see 4 dead but friendly people who had watched him and grow. All 4 died in a vehicular accident, but they did not fly to heaven right away. They had unfinished business to attend to. The living Robert Downey was instrumental in accomplishing all they needed to do---returning a stolen stamp, singing in front of a crowd, looking for children left behind, and returning an unrequited love. Their deaths were abrupt, they never had the chance to do all these. No amount of riches left to family or health insurance quotes matter when you suddenly lost the chance to live your life. Thanks to their young, living friend, somehow they got a "second chance" and do whatever their heart's desire. And they all took the bus to heaven smiling.

The next movie is The Lovely Bones (starring Mark Wahlberg and Rachel Weisz). It was a story of 14-year-old girl murdered, and the story was recounted by Susie, the dead girl, herself. The film was surreal, and I especially like it for its "dreamy" scenes. Susie died the day when the love of her life finally asked her out. She never even experienced the bliss of the first kiss. The second chance in the story lies not in the life of Susie, but on the life of her family. Her father became obsessed in capturing her murderer, it eventually led to the breaking up of their family. Susie's mother couldn't really cope with her death and her husband's obsession, she had to leave their home. But eventually, she came back. Their home was rebuilt, and they all had another chance to life.

I was slipping away, that's what it felt like, life was leaving me, but I wasn't afraid; then I remembered: "There was something I was meant to do; somewhere I was meant to be."

Susie must have described the feeling well. I hope all of us would never come to that point. I hope we never get a second chance---because we would get it right the first time.

I particularly like this poem from Susie's love:

If I had but an hour of love
If that be all that is given me
An hour of love upon this earth
I would give my love to thee.

Letters from John

I heard a rather interesting news today. It's about a letter 34 years late.

A then 21 year old aspiring British Folk Singer, Steve Tilston, gave an interview in 1971 to the now defunct “Zigzag” music magazine and expressed his fears that fame and fortune could ruin his career and personality.

Little did he know that the late Beatle, John Lennon, read the article and scribed a handwritten letter to him giving brotherly advise that material wealth would not change whatever he felt inside

Lennon wrote: "Being rich doesn't change your experiences in the way you think. The only difference, basically, is that you don't have to worry about money - food - roof etc. But all other experiences - emotions - relationships - are the same as (anybody's). know, I have been rich and poor and so has Yoko (rich - poor - rich). So, whatya think of that. Love John and Yoko." He ended by including his home phone number.

I can only imagine Tilston's frustration. Imagine a rock god writing you a letter, personally and with his phone number! A man who had been eternally hounded by die-hard fans!

Personally, reading this one-paragraph letter provided me with a new perspective. Though I've never really thought about it, I think, subconsciously, I expect more depth from artists who have experienced poverty. But hey, John has a point. Whether we bathe in jacuzzi tubs or in the polluted, dying Pasig river, we basically share the same pains of a lost of a loved one or the angsts of a convoluted society, if we care enough. But of course, some of life's trials can only be deeply understood through experience.

The letter was sent to Zigzag magazine’s office but it never reached Tilston. It was only in 2005 that he saw the letter, now valued at US$11,000 in the hands of an American collector who sought verification of its authenticity. It is only now that Lennon’s widow, Yoko Ono, gave a confirmation.

"It was so frustrating because Lennon even included his home phone number on the top of the letter," said a now 60-year-old Tilston. "I know it's silly but I wanted to ring him up across the ages." Tilston added he "felt rather angry to start with to think that someone had just sold the letter rather than passing it on to me, but you have to let these things go.

Legends really have a way of coming back to life, don't they? After all these years, John Lennon is still the talk of the town.

Friday, August 13, 2010

under the bright blue sky

Staring blankly at the bright blue sky from this Ayala building, I can't help but think that I want to be somewhere else. Under the vastness of this bright blue sky, I am thinking, why am I here in this place?

Of course, I know the answer. It has always been that practical answer. Still, there are times when you envy people who have that dream job, or at least a job that they enjoy. The truth is I shouldn't be complaining at all. I have a relaxed environment at work, accommodating bosses who aren't around to watch you all the time, and relatively good compensation. In fact, I am lucky to be here. I am not even a doctor.

Then again, from time to time, one couldn't help but daydream of a better life or a more satisfying way of living. I dream of becoming a lawyer. I wonder how it feels to be the boss of yourself and to really be out in the world talking to people. I wonder how it is to have control of your time and be there with your family in all the occasions, regardless of time in the day. I wonder if it really is self-fulfilling to actually help people.

For now, I am only hoping of having enough time to study. It is not as if I can take gmat prep test or review classes for my everyday recitations. And I do not want just to pass; I want to learn, to be good at this profession. If my luck turns to the good side, maybe in a few years, I'll be standing in the place where I want to be under the bright blue sky.