Sunday, July 29, 2007

I wish I knew what inspired me to open the laptop and connect to the net in the first place. Now that I am facing the keyboard, topics elude me all of a sudden. But the first rule about writing is you just plow through it. if I wait for inspiration to strike again, it'll probably take me half a century before I start. And that's the best of my chances already.

What's stopping my flow is fear. I am sure of that. FEAR OF THE UNKNOWN. For the last few months after my parents death, people we owe money to left us alone. Now, it seems they think its safe to remind us of our obligations again. The woman my parents owed money from when they were still alive is asking if we can partially pay her back. She needs it because she's applying for work outside the country. And the hospital where Mummy died is tired of waiting for PCSO and is now clamoring for us to pay the bill instead. We're talking about a couple hundred thousands here.

Now, we're not expecting big money from SSS, but from the looks of it, it would just be enough to pay them off. I was hopin we'll still have a substantial amount to see us settled comfortably until next year. By then, we'd have bigger savings and I will not live in fear of poverty. But then again, if we pay all our debts off by August, we won't have to worry about anything else in the future. I'm sure Ella and I will manage if we remain living simply.

Lord, I am not asking for vast riches and glory. I am quite willing to leave our well-to-do past in the past. I just want to live simply and comfortably with my sister. Please, help? I know you won't give me problems larger than I can handle, and that every step of the way is guided by Your hand. But please, keep me strong too. I am really scared.

And to my friends who are reading this, I pray you will never have to live in this fear. And if in case, you would have to, may you face it with a braver countenance than I have.

Some times, life seems really unfair. Some times, I can't help but ask why we'd have to go through all these suffering. Wasn't it enough that we broke our hearts over losing our parents early? But what I'm learning is that life isn't just unfair, it can also still get much worse.

I just find hope and gratitude by reading this over and over again and I know I'm still one lucky bird:

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Friday, July 27, 2007

An Expanding Spirit

I don't know what happened. First, I was so down in the dumps that for a time, I thought my depression was coming back. It was almost the same misery except that there was a dimension to it that was just too .... dark for me to grasp. Then, I was suddenly appreciating everything: the dirty pink city skyline, lotuses on the dirty Pasig River, my Tita Agie's gentle remonstrations about what I eat, free LRT passes... the list goes on.

It brought me to realize that I have learned to love more now. Especially when it comes to people. It's as if, back then, all my love was reserved for Mummy and Daddy. But now, the love I should've used for them gets divided into this so many people I am getting to appreciate more.

Not to get me wrong, I still love my parents with all of my being. But they are experiencing a greater love now, and what earthly focus I have can be refocused somewhere else.

I also wonder if it is even possible to go back to the old depressed Olivia. Would I ever find myself that hopeless ever again? Can I bewoe life now that I know that I'm probably living under God's lucky star? Now that I am more certain that God has control over my life and that I have witnessed His miracles? That even in my darkest moments, He set out numerous stars to keep my path lighted?

I hope, and all I need to do is hope,that I never ever will.

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

On a lighter note:

We're going to watch The Simpsons Movie tomorrow! Libre ni Ella! :P Saya ng may sister na working na! :)

Thursday, July 26, 2007

The Second Coming of Will and Grace

I got 2 reactions on my post yesterday. It seems that my friendship with Norman leaves some people baffled.

One of the reactions I got was: Was he your guy best friend you fell in love with and who turned out to be gay? This I answered with a simple Yes. And you’re still friends? Yes. It was the easier of 2 questions.

The other question was much complicated and it came from a close friend. He knew my difficulties relating with Norman (then and now), specifically, how I have difficulties accepting the “Wall” he’s got protecting his heart. You know, the wall which I keep bumping my head on every time I try to dig deeper into him. The massive wall protecting his miniscule self from feeling anything other than what’s logical or sanitary.

The question was, “Why do you still call him the best friend?”

The first thing that popped into my mind is, “For his sake.”

This reply shocked both him and me. I explained further that, it seems this is what normal people do, having gone through everything that we did for more than 7 years now, I have no choice but to call it a friendship. In Norman’s mind, I was a good friend, and as per usual, anybody would want to be thought of as someone good.

But I lost sleep over this response, and now, I think I have clarified the intensity of the reactions his question brought upon me. I still call him my guy best friend because I want to. I need to, because I don’t want to think I lost years of showing who I really am to just one person by distancing myself from him. He will never know it, dear P, but he saw the best and worst of who I think I am. I don’t think I’ll ever do it again with the same intensity. So the relationship I built with him, it’s a museum piece.

To end this entry, I am enclosing parts of my confessional letter to him last 2006.

Each and every word still rings true until now.

"Here's a bit of revelation from me: I have known you for about six years, right? Let it be said now that I have loved you in varying ways in that duration of time. At first, the ease of your company endeared you to me, then the closeness we had confused me. At one point I dearly loved you beyond friendship, and it took some time for it to evolve into this comfortable state of platonic-ity (? is that even a word? :).

(Shux, I'm glad I'm writing this because I think my courage will fail me if I had to say it to you in person. Cowardly as this is, just think that the Olivia who is truest says her piece in the form of writing. This is my element, you kinda knew that, right?)

On that longest bus ride home, I realized that I love you the best way now -- as a friend and willing to be there for you through thick and thin. I have gotten over a lot of my adolescent issues the last couple of years and I think this is my last step to freedom --- just as you had yours yesterday. And though I made semblances of moving on the last four years (i did it twice actually, now wipe that smug look off your face, hehe), this is what I needed. I got over my feelings for you a long time ago, but this is the final release.

Sorry ka, ma-drama friend mo. This is me trying to dispel the heaviness of this e-mail. And in some way fishing for the answer to the most important question I would ever ask you, so please consider your answer carefully:

Friends?


Grace to your Will,

Olivia"



He answered, "Of course we're still friends. You're one of my best friends." And that sealed the whole thing.

The End.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Correspondence of 2 Geeks

Not that I don't feel like composing a different entry; but I think this actually captures what i want to say, so why reinvent the wheel?


Dear Norman,


How do I phrase this....

My heartfelt gratitude... nah...
My utmost thanks... erg.

okay,
THANK YOU!!!!!

Still feel like discussing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows? I've finished the whole thing yesterday. My boss wouldn't thank you coz I didn't do ANY work the whole day. Just stared at my monitor while my pointy finger pushes the down key --- ALL DAY. But what he doesn't know wouldn't kill him or lead him to kill me-- yet.

And another thing --- I'm terribly sorry. I feel like a dork emphasizing things like "I've got other priorities now" ek-ek when you texted me that you thought I "invested" on a copy of the book this time...I was terribly depressed the last few days, felt responsibility hanging like a noose around my neck, ready to snap and suffocate me any minute now. I was actually, wishing, hoping (!), I die early too so I wouldn't have to carry it for very long. Drama!

But, HP 7 totally engrossed me, and when I resurfaced to the real world at around 1:30 a.m. this morning, my heart was pumping fast, I was still wide-eyed with excitement over what I just read and I was happy (happy!) to be alive (and that Harry was alive too). Me! Who, 26 hours ago, was planning to overload on sweets so I would go kaput early in life.

Promise me one thing, won't you? Don't let me accidentally kill myself before I've written anything half as fascinating as HP, okei? Kahit half lang.

Buti na lang I can't hug you through email, because I want to squeeze you and Hagrid-esque, I might not realize I'm breaking your pretty little neck. Thank you for reminding me who I am; although knowing you, you'd have no idea what you did or the consequences of what you did were at all. :)

Til next time,
Olivia

P.S. You also worked for some Divine hand, you know that? I think I was actually angry that I couldn't be that Olivia who can go moony-eyed over a book anymore. I was angry that a part of me had to die because "they" died. My Daddy knew I love Harry Potter, and he knew I wouldn't be as impractical throwing away half a month's sweldo on one book (unlike before). He never wanted me to feel "kawawa" and he would do anything in his power to keep me from wallowing in misery. I don't know how you got that copy, and why you decided to send it (probably kasi tinatamad ka lang maglista ng pangalan), but I recognized it for the gift that it was. Thank you for being part of it.

Sincerely,
Liv channeling Luna Lovegood


----- Original Message ----From: "Lapid, Norman"
It's the real book 7. I checked. Hehe, I have my sources. ;)

Norman

-----Original Message-----From: Livia Burgos Subject: Re: book 7

wait, are you sure this is the real one? where'd you get it?

sure ka, ha?

----- Original Message ----From: "Lapid, Norman" Subject: book 7

Liv,

Here's the full text of book of book 7. If you'd still prefer that I e-mail you the list of everyone that died and went back to life, let me know. :)

Norman

Friday, July 20, 2007

Des Nudos

Did he or didn't he?



Pose naked that is. We all were surprised when he did his stint in Equus. These promotional photos certainly shocked us:







But did he really allow below photo to be featured? Or is this a manipulated image? Better judge for yourself. Hehe, but that would entail studying the photo minutely, so, goodluck. :)

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Stuck in Rewind

I know an old man who is excellent in making videos. He often speaks loudly as if conversing with another person atop a far-off mountain . A lot of people avoid him because he tends to engage them in long-winded conversations where he always emerges right anyway. They call him old-school and passé.

I will not play the hyprocrite and say that I enjoy his tirades and his one-sided point of view, but I will not shut up until I defend him a little too. In the short months I knew him, my ears are ringing with the number of times he will come out of his secluded cubicle and exclaim anger / amazement / befuddlement about one topic or another. Everyone else will smile and nod and let him run out of steam. I usually end up being the bearer of the yoke because I cannot pretend not to hear him. Seeing that I’m the only one listening, he’ll beam down on me and continue his yarn. I can’t bring myself to be rude because, 1) he’s old, and 2) sometimes, it’s interesting, what he says.

Like today, he came out of his room with wide-eyed amusement and started talking even before he knew there were people in our room. As it turned out, I was alone. Huh. He was so amazed with an email he received about Warren Buffet. He started sharing what was in the email and he spoke as if clearly enamored by the enigmatic business savant. And you know what? It was interesting!

I will also never forget the day he caught me crying alone in the office missing my parents. He tried to comfort me, and the next day, he lent me a book entitled Dispel the Darkness ---- and you know what? It helped.

He can be irritating and brash most times, I so know. But am I the only one who can see the excited little school boy that emerges whenever something catches his interest? Or the stiff grandfather trying to be soft to a sobbing grandchild?

I’m going on and on about him today because I happened to peek into his room and he was watching one of the videos he made recently. He used the song Pinoy Big Brother to showcase our recent activities. Actually, he watches this video a lot. And today, he looked indefinitely sad, watching it.

Ewan ko, baka drama ko lang ito, but I think I saw something there. I think he’s sad because that video was his bid, his effort to update himself in new videographing styles. He looked tired and wizened, just about to give up in keeping up with modern times. But again, I may be wrong. Baka gutom lang siya. Baka talaga ako lang yun.

Chocolat and Death

I have been reading Chocolat by Joanne Harris for the last 2 days now and I am still, proud to say, in Chapter 5. Ha! Aside from the fact that I am reading it in between clients within the PBSP booth during the recently concluded CSR Expo at Sofitel Philippine Plaza, it is also too delicious to just gobble up without chewing.

Seriously, the book is something to be savored. I can almost feel like I was in France and that I am being harangued by the narrow-faced cure of the small provincial town. I can imagine myself inside the chocolatiere and actually selling them to people.

I can't wait to finish the book so I can watch the movie. :) Delicioso!

But other than taking my reading pleasure from the subject, i find that Chocolate is loosening its hold on me. The other day, a Snickers bar was waving at me from the grocery check-out counter, and I even went as far as touching the bar, but it did not tempt me. The word I think was, I felt "suya" of it already.

Maybe, the fact that indulging in it would be suicide due to my diabetes has a greater sway now as well.

Tsk, tsk. I think I'm no longer a kid. To be afraid of Death, one has to be old.

Ironically, I found myself thinking the other day that I do not want to live for very long. I even prayed to God that He should help me finish my mission early so I can also just go Home.

So which is it? To die early or not to die early?

That is the question.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Order of the Day

What happened to Daniel Radcliffe? Where did the adorable kid go? Who the freak is that hunk doing his lines? Y'know I'm a sucker for geeky-looking guys...

Times like this, I hate being older than most of the cute guys I see.... Just watched Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix... Loverly... I don't know what other people say about it. But me? I was just transfixed. Without an LOTR movie to divert my attention, I am beginning to understand the phenomenon that is about to take place come July 22.

The end of the Harry Potter books. Which might mean the end of Harry Potter himself. :)

Love it. Haven't reserved it yet, but I know I'll get around to doing that one of these days. MP4 muna, then the book .:()


GO WATCH IT!!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Book Lust

OMG. I have 4 of the best books in the world and I only had to shell out Php 940 for it. (Book Geek!!!!)

1. Tales of Genji - the first novel in the world written by lady Murasaki. Now I get to read the un primera novela ever.
2. Chocolat - Johnny Depp. Need I say more?
3. Meditations on Middle Earth - Tolkien, Pratchett, Le Guin in one book. Heaven
4. Beyond the Looking Glass - A collection of fairy and fantasy stories from the Victorian era. A little bit of research eh?

Also, happy to report that I am making headway on my collection of short stories. I am now done with "Turn the Key." One down, 11 more to go. ")

All in all, I'm good. It's all good. Good times.:)

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Big Little Miss Practicality



Last Sunday, my Tita brought us to a mall in Mandaluyong to shop for shoes and clothes. Seeing I only had Php 1,500 cash in my pocket, the quest was more than improbable. This Reubenesque girth and this Amazonian height to find something in a shop for Barbie dolls with cash to throw about? Nuh-uh. Don’t think so.

Cash-strapped times such as this calls for practicality --- and good fashion sense. So what if most of my clothes are from SM? I mix and match ‘em, and there you go! My personal style. Have you ever seen that TV show on the Lifestyle Channel, Look for Less? That’s my motto. Every designer look out there has got a practical counterpart. I don’t need mucho dinero, I just need a lot of good sense.

So went to SM afterwards. Needed to buy groceries anyway, the convenience of a department store and a hypermarket is just way too useful to be ignored.

Generation All-In-One

3-in-1 coffee, pour-hot-water-and-eat noodle soup, cellphones you use as radios, computers and cameras besides… just try to deny that we are living in the fast times of the Generation All-in-One. Just try and you will fail miserably.

Much as we want to go bring back all that hippie-lovin’ and spacin’ out under the mango tree, the reality that we are living in a hyper world will still be a reality. Your boss will continually nag you about it, your mother will keep at you, even your dog will bark at you (or worse, bite you) if you forget about him in the flurry of your daily activities.

Accept it, time has become a precious commodity. No matter which way we like spending our time: frenetically at work or taking it slowly, we want to feel certain that it is time well-spent. Say for example, you wouldn’t want to go to different grocery stores so that you’d be able to get all your favorite food because that would take time and waste gas and energy. Believe me, I know.

I am not exceptionally picky, but I do have my standards. I.e., for our detergent soap, I need to buy Ariel with Downy. Other supermarkets have other kinds of Ariel (ultra, sunshine fresh, etc.) but mine is just plain with Downy. You wouldn’t believe how many times this stock runs out. For Hungarian sausages, it needs to be Treffpunkt or Royal Deli. For my facial wash, Ponds Anti-Bacterial… etc, etc.

I am sure you all have your preferences too. The dilemma now is to be able to get to your preferences the fastest and most practical way possible. The time I spend in a mall is better spent browsing in bookstores rather than hopping from one place to the next trying to find groceries. That’s why I am eternally grateful that the beefed-up Hypermarket in SM North The Block is just a 20-minute drive away. Never had a problem buying stuff there. Everything is just there --- All-in-One stop and I can spend forever at Fully Booked upstairs. Availability and variety of goods, helpful people to help you locate the proper aisles, and need I say, practical prices?

Consumer heaven, I tell ya. Makes me think that once in a while, I am so glad to be part of this generation.

-=-=-=-=--=-=-=-=--=--=
For those interested, my 1.5k was able to buy: 1 pair of sandals, a shirt and groceries for a week. Not bad, eh?


Wanna learn more? Browse: http://www.smhypermarket.com/


Be updated and interact with SM Hypermarket through their blog : http://smhypermarket.blogspot.com/

Guess What?

I think I got the Operations post I applied for. Our Human Resource Department posted the new PBSP openings and I saw my current position being advertised as vacant. Yes, it can mean, I'm fired, but I'm taking courage in the fact that the Senior Training Officer position is now NOT on the list. Hehe!

Or, I could just ask HRD about it, eh? But isn't it sweet, this long, long period of not knowing?

Love it.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Caught in the Act




Enjoying a quiet moment with a book inside our Inn in Palawan. I want another vacation...

Jane Austen Returnee



Before Harry Potter, there was Mr. Darcy.

It IS odd that at 25 years old, I indulge in young adult and speculative fiction whereas I indulged only in the classics when I was 11 years old. I don't expect anyone to believe it, but I knew Captain Frederick Wentworth (Persuasion) first before I knew Captain Carrot Ironfoundersson (Discworld).

Recently though, I am getting a bit tired with fantasy. I have read most of my favorite authors' books (Tolkien, Gaiman, Pratchett, Le Guin, Rowling, Cooper, Pullman, Nix), at least most of what I can get my hands on here in the Philippines. It is harder to buy good books because 30% of published fantasy really are quite mediocre, and 50% quite suck. That leaves a 20% chance of finding a good read.

Classical fiction though, rarely dissapoints. Maybe it's because these are the tried and tested stories that already fought their way through time to remain on the surface of man's imagination.

So my reading list for this month will involve less fantasy and more classical books. By gosh, they're much cheaper too. There's a Penguin Edition that can only cost you Php 69 - 99 / book. :) Happeeee.


1. Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
2. Emma by Jane Austen
3. Father Brown Stories GK Chesterton
4. Brothers Karamazov by Dostoevsky
5. Wuthering Heights by Charlotte Bronte
6. Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman by Haruki Murakami
7. Points of View: Anthology of Short Stories

Oh, and can somebody help me find A CLOCKWORK ORANGE by Anthony Burgess and NEVER LET ME GO by Kazuo Ishiguro? it's so dang hard to find!

Friday, July 06, 2007

FU.CKEN. ADD.ICT.ED. T.O.

  • it doesn't do anyting for me. Who in this world cares if three minutes ago I gained my level 3 certification and that out of my 119 precious answers, 45% (54) was voted as best answer?

  • No one. But I don't think that'll stop me from participating. It just makes you feel so much part of something. And kind of smart too, I have to admit. Everytime you get that "Best Answer" nod, I feel validated as a genius. Ego-trippin, in short.
  • But I guess, the first reason: that you feel part of something is also valid. I've made friends in Yahoo answers, believe it or not. There's this do-gooder from Davao and this 11-year-old kid from Singapore. There's the awesome God_lives_underwater too! I never really udnerstood how people canlive a life through the internet, but now, I think I can see the glimpse of it. I don't plan to indulge to netopia forever though.

  • But it does approximate some semblance of living a life. And for now, I'm good.

Bad Girl

Book in Hand: The Devil and Miss Prym by Paolo Coelho
Song in Mind: Sewn by the Feeling


I'm supposed to be somewhere else right now. Some of my parents friends from Church are going to hand out a post humous award for their contribution to the community and they're asking for a representative.

Me.

And I'm not going. I feel guilty, YES. But I also feel uncomfortable.

1. It's so out of the way. Scary to commute there by myself.
2. I think I'll just get sad.
3. I am not comfortable with the church people.

I ought to go. If only to revere my parents. But just thinking of going there makes me want to cry. Argh. Confusing.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

When Sickness Falls

Gilda did say it is the "firsts" which would hurt a lot. First birthday without them, first anniversary, first fathers day or mothers day... and now, first illness after they've gone.

I was only semi-conscious of what our parents really did for us when we were sick. Thinking back, yes, there were sponge baths, waking me up in the unholy hours of the night to give me medicines, the dreaded ice-cold thermometer stuck between your armpit. I was often sick (am a sickly girl) and this happened frequently. It was usually my dad who'd wake me up. But my Mom would be the giver of comforting massages when my back hurts or my legs ache.

Now I got to experience the other side of this "family healing" phenomenon. Ella fell ill yesterday due to an infection and some other. She had a 39.8 degree fever and was succumbing to chills once in a while. No more Daddy or Mummy to rescue the day. And so, ganun pala yun.

To give sponge baths, one must bend over the ill persons body, make sure all heat centers of the body are cooled down. To give medicines in the middle of the night, one must summon all forces to wake up herself first to retrieve the necessary water and pills, before she wakes up the ill person . To apply the thermometer, one must know how to read it.

It reminded me again of what a deep and true loss we had.

Caring minstrations from adults are the least of it. They were also parents who sacrificed everything for us. And I will never get to show them how much sacrifice we can give back.

Save for the hesitant promise, that yes, I'll try to carry on as an adult must, drawing inspiration from the good things they've taught me when they were alive.