State Of The Nation

1. I left my first company.

I started out as an agent, and spent my last few months with the company as a trainer. Pictured above are cards with messages on them, which my co-trainers gave me on my last day (I think). I had some great times with them, and a handful of the consultants in my department have become more or less my family during my brief stay as a barely-competent but highly-praised shoe-in. Not everybody liked me, sure, but I came to terms with it eventually. I think I made good progress. One reason why I’ll probably never forget that time in my life.

But it was a sad time, so I’ll leave out most of the details for now. I’ll tell you all about it when I have more resources, i.e. time, silence, emotional clarity, and nothing to do.

Bottom line: I felt it was time to get going. So I went.

2. I now work with another company.

One of the main reasons I quit my previous company was that I felt like I needed a break. I was working 12-hour shifts, I was working when I got home, I was working during the weekends. And the hours I had to spend in the office felt like a battle every damn day. You could argue that I couldn’t have expected it to be a walk in the park—it’s a supervisorial role, for cryin’ out loud. Tough going for a 21-year-old brat who’s never had a job before and led a mostly sheltered existence. So I quit.

People were shocked, and of course they wanted reasons.  So of course, I said I wanted to rest for a while. That was far from the main reason, but it was a reason at least. I said I wanted to sit around for a while, think about the decisions I’ve made and how I wanted my life to play out from then on, and maybe watch TV shows and read books while I’m at it. Basically I wanted to act my age again, even for a little while, before jumping back into the cage. That much was true. I’ll lie low for a month, I told them.

Not even two weeks later, I chatted with a friend and former colleague on Facebook. She mentioned that she was currently bumming but had plans to apply to a certain company. I’ve heard about them before, mainly because of their insane pay package (and for a non-managerial post too, might I add) and the somewhat unique job description—making real-time phone call captions for the hard-of-hearing. I barely thought about working for them when I first heard of them, despite the pay. I found it shady that I didn’t know the company, and that nobody else in my immediate circle seemed to. But then it popped up in this conversation with said friend, at a time when I was jobless. Figuring there shouldn’t be any harm in trying, I applied the very next day. And I got in.

Well, sort of. But I’ll elaborate some other time.

I’ve been working here for nearly a month now. I’ve been paid once since I started, and it was pro-rated since my wave started a few days into the cutoff—but it was still more than any single paycheck I’ve ever had. My friend didn’t make the cut for the account, but she works in the same company so at least I have someone I know here. It’s been an odd month, and a lot of my issues have come out due to the changes, and the people. It’s mostly the latter, and has something to do with my angry dumb brain, and my hormones. I’ll tell you about them some time.

For now, I’m being paid a moderately insane amount of cash for a unique and monotonous job (that my mind has wanted for a long time now) which I applied for on a whim. Can’t say I’m doing too bad, I guess. It’s also a long ways away from my area, so I get to travel and explore a little bit—I’m no Bear Grylls but I like to walk unfamiliar streets every once in a while. So there’s that, too.

By the way, I took that photo up there in one of the company CRs. I just wanted to show you how shitty-looking we’re allowed to be at work. And I gotta tell you, it is highly appreciated.

3. I got a haircut, and also wear glasses now.

In case you couldn’t tell from the photo above, here’s another photo:

And another one, because why not?

I’ve been planning to get a haircut for a while now. Having to tie it up every morning and redo it every few hours was starting to get tedious. I also figured that if I was going to let my madman hair go loose, I might as well get it dyed to reduce the eyesore. So I did. As usual, it looked okay when I was in the salon, but since then it’s gone back to being a clusterfuck. I still pin some portions back with a barette or a butterfly clip, but for the most part I’m okay with the mess. Kinda looks like art. Ha, ha.

I got my glasses in Manila, and they’re for astigmatism. They make me dizzy, kinda like Manila does, except I like Manila dizziness. On the bright side, I think they go well with my hair somewhat.

Speaking of Manila..

4. I met the Berlin Wall, and the Spolarium (for the second time).

I was starting to get antsy in my city due to aforementioned-but-unelaborated life-change issues, so in a very rare moment of thoughtless wanderlust I decided to go to Baguio. There wouldn’t be much for me to do there, seeing as how most of my batchmates had already graduated. My college mate who’s been staying down here went home for the week, though, so I figured maybe I could chill with her. She’s pretty cool and doesn’t trip my antisocial alarms, so she was a safe bet. And if not, I could just meditate and get lost. That was the original plan, anyway.

But in another rare moment of whatever-it-was, I decided to ask my friend go with me. Her parents usually won’t allow her, but she said yes and so in a matter of hours we were all set. We were really excited since we’ve been planning to go there together for Ages.

But (a lot of buts in this particular part of the entry) fate wouldn’t have any of it, so later on in the day we find out that there’s a HUGE storm and that the people of Baguio have been stitching nets into the mountainface to prevent landslides. They were expecting the rain to be so bad they were literally sewing the soil onto the mountain. That pretty much put the fire out for us, so my friend just slept over.

The next day was a Sunday, so we decided we shouldn’t let the day go to waste. That was when my friend mentioned that a chunk of the Berlin Wall was on display at the National Museum. If I had any misgivings before that, I lost them immediately. And so it was that when the lashing winds and rains let up a little, we hopped into a shuttle bound for Manila.

First we went to see the Spolarium, since you simply can’t NOT look at Spolarium when you visit the National Museum. You need to pay your respects. And also because my friend currently has a thing with Philippine history and our national heroes, specifically those involved in the blockbuster history “biopic” Heneral Luna. I saw the painting the last time I was there, and she’s seen it countless times before. Still, its grandiose presence never fails to to mesmerize us.

Then we went to the next building, and made a few detours into the different displays within the wing—mostly artefacts and dioramas, all interesting and insanely detailed. Then we went straight to the Marble Hall, where Section 22 of the Berlin Wall stood before us.

POMELO_20151018155833_fast POMELO_20151018160120_fast

I was swept away. I looked at it and it looked at me. And as I stood there, as odd as it may sound, I felt like I was in a different place, in a different time, among different people. I was flooded with feelings I had long since tamped down for fear of being considered impractical and too idealistic. I was overwhelmed by this piece of history standing right in front of me, and I was at a loss for words.

You could say, “hey, you’re in a museum. Museums tend to have things like that, you know. What’s the fuss about?” And you know what, you are absolutely right. Each and every single shred of wood and shell and paint in all the museums in the world hold meaning, memories, and history in each fiber of their composition. And all of them deserve to be relived and experienced by everyone. But I don’t know how to explain it. I didn’t know much about the Berlin Wall, I’ll have to admit. Before I got to read the stuff on the wall I didn’t even know what exactly it was for. But I knew it had seen things I couldn’t even dream up, and that thought stood like behemoths all around this chunk of concrete, standing before us like a mighty, knowing creature. And when I learned that it once stood between people of a single nation, dividing them, one face alive and colourful and another bland and cold—and knowing that that wall has now been taken down and brought here, man. It almost brought tears to my eyes, knowing that something this meaningful is in front of me.

So I did what any person would, and took photos. I’m a shitbag like that.

The man guarding the wall had noticed our interest and shared some information, mainly about how long the wall is going to be on display here before it’s moved to Rizal park. He said he thought that was better, so that the people outside can see that whatever divides can and does come down. I smiled at that.

It was a very humbling experience, I can tell you that. Right up there with the first time I got to listen to a vinyl record, and that time I saw a meteor shower back in college. Call me sappy, but I’ll probably keep that moment with me for a long long time.

5. I’ve been buying books again.

I bought these from Underground in Manila. I was only supposed to get Irvine Welsh’s Trainspotting because tehnically that was the only thing I reserved.. And I wasn’t even supposed to get that because I’ve only ever been to that bookshop ONCE, and I had a friend with me. This time I had to go alone, and I almost noped the fuck out. In fact I did nope out for a few days, if it wasn’t for the Facebook page’s owner calling me out in the comments section (politely, though) after a few days have passed and I hadn’t confirmed anything. I decided that I had to man the fuck up; hell, I’ve been a trainer, I’ve been through scarier shit.

So with a little help from my Manila-familiar friends, I hopped into an FX bound for Buendia and asked the driver to kindly drop me off at City Hall.

Guess what? He didn’t.

So I got a bit lost, and after some loosely-masked frantic PMs to my Manila friend, I saw a street sign saying Kalaw, and a jeep bound for City Hall. In an instant I knew where I was and how to get myself un-lost. And when I got to the shop, of course, instead of just picking up the book I wanted, I went ahead and picked up more. I have no regrets.

The bookkeeper, Iris was his name I think? He was the same guy in the shop the first time I was there. He was busy then, and he only had time for a few suggestions in between rearranging books and stacks of books with his gloved hands. He struck me as eccentric (of course, running a shop like that in the middle of the Lagusnilad underpass, you couldn’t be anything but), but I never got to talk to him in length.

This time, though, he engaged me in this conversation about why people only ever seem to read the books that everyone else does, and I was quite surprised. He also asked me what I was reading right now, what I liked reading, and what my opinions on certain authors like Charles Bukowski and Murakami were. For the most part I was dumb as a cucumber, but he didn’t seem to mind. Afterwards, he even told me to leave titles on their wall so he can look for them for me. He was really nice.

I haven’t been this happy about venturing out of my comfort zone in a while. It was refreshing. And also, BOOKS!!!!!1

6. Not so new news: I now have a smartphone? Yeah.

I don’t know how I could have missed telling you this. Hell I was blogging straight off of this damn phone. Anyway, I bought it for myself on my last birthday, seeing as how I had already lost two phones(!) within the year. I wanted to get a cheap phone because 1) I still did not have enough money for the phone of my dreams, i.e. Xiaomi Mi3 (and also I couldn’t find stocks anywhere in that damn mall), and 2) I just got my phone fucking stolen, am I really gonna replace it with something more expensive?

Well, the answer to the second question is yes. I bought an Asus Zenfone 5 with my own, hard-earned cash. By this time the Zenfone 2 had already come out, so a lot of people asked me if I bought it and, upon finding out that I didn’t, would ask why not. I dodn’t really have a reason—there was a version of the Zenfone 2 that was still well within my budget, and it was the newer model that can basically do what the Zenfone 5 can and more, so what gives? I dunno. Maybe I just figured that I didn’t really need the latest model, and this was a few thousand bucks cheaper, so I took the one that would save me money and still meet my needs. I did a little research before buyin the phone, of course, so I know it’s pretty damn decent for its price. So far it has been meeting my expectations quite well.

So since I can’t really take a photo of my phone using my phone, here’s a screenshot of my lockscreen. I dunno, go figure

7. It was Joche’s 2nd birthday last Saturday.

Happy birthday, buddy. I coulsn’t ask for a better friend. I’m glad you’re still with me after two years, and I get to spend more time talking to you and doodling shit and showing you off to the people I care about. Sorry if I abuse you sometimes, and whenever I don’t talk to you for weeks, months on end. That’s also partly why you’re still with me: I barely have anything to say anymore. Or at least, none that I think would deserve a space in your pages.

I’m so grateful I have you. Humans can be so volatile—I should know. So thanks. Here’s to more doodles and shitty feelings!

Anyway, I guess that’s it for now. I’ve been itching to write this post for literally days now, but I keep falling asleep midway and remembering that automatic drafts don’t work here (at least, not the way I want it to), so I just gave up.

But I’m glad I get to post this, here. It’s been a while. I feel like a bastard sonuvabitch who only ever goes home when he needs money. That’s a bit harsh, but I probably should try to visit more often. This felt nice. I feel like a fat lot’s rolled off my shoulders. I should do this more often.

In Which Nag-Taglish Ako Sa Sobrang Sama Ng Loob

Sobrang nakakasama ng loob how I can’t update this blog anytime I want to. Nakakainis yung kawalan ko ng access sa internet, yung kabagalan ng laptop, yung pagbaha ng mga thoughts and ideas every time may internet—so much so na hindi mo na lang ma-handle yung dami at you end up not doing anything dahil masyadong madaming ideas to keep up with—and the mere fact na I made this blog to be privy to my multimedia thoughts pero hindi ito nakaka-live up to my expectations, and it’s mostly all my fault. Kasalanan ko na walang matinong internet yung bahay na tinitirhan ko, na wala akong pera pambili ng matinong laptop, na wala akong oras mag-ayos ng mga kaisipan kahit buong araw ako nag-iisip. Kasalanan ko na deprived ako.

Ah tangina. Gusto ko pa din talagang i-maintain ‘to, I swear. Kaso I want to be able to do it on my own time, in my own pace; how I want to, when I want to. And you know me: pag hindi ayon sa gusto ko, madalas ayoko nalang. Sobrang sakit sa kalooban na patapos na ang November ay 12 posts pa lang din ang nagagawa ko dito—may daya pa yun, like 75% of that number is made up of Sky photos or music—kahit pa sobrang dami kong mga naiisip. I mean, sure, most of those thoughts end up sa journal ko, but like I said, I made this blog for a purpose, and that purpose is to cater to my multimedia thoughts, which make up the bulk of my thinking process.

So yun. Nakakaiyak man, tanggap ko na siguro na I won’t be able to maintain this blog, or at least not as much as I want to. I’ll be waiting for the time na magkaroon na ako ng kahit maayos na internet man lang—when it does come, I swear I will come back to this blog and post every single damn thing that crosses my mind and I will love every minute of it—but until then, kailangan kong magtiyaga sa cramped situation I am in, i.e. being able to make posts within the daily 30-second window in the dumbfuck internet connection, or not post at all.

The cracks of my heart grow in micromillimeters with every single urge to blog ignored, but there’s nothing I can do but tape over these cracks and wait.

Thoughts & Events, As If There’s Anything Else To Talk About

I feel like I should get back to this blog more. It’s been difficult not being able to post things when I want to due to the damn internet connection at the boarding house—honestly, I’d have been better off if they cut off the wifi altogether rather than have it sit there like an ugly trinket taunting me with its uselessness—and I had noticed that Facebook was once again becoming my go-to outlet for ideas and interesting finds, though nowhere near my old Facebook addiction. It’s actually a lot healthier now, and my Tumblring has been a good thing too. These social media serve to add to my knowledge because of the info they bring within my reach, plus a little social interaction to strengthen real-world friendships and connections. They’re great, honestly. I just feel that this blog should still be my priority, and that if I have things to say, it really ought to go here and not anywhere else, because this is the designated place for those things. Information gathering is to be done on those sites, and information translation or output is to be placed here supposedly. This site is a little difficult to navigate—especially if you want to make a multimedia post that expresses feelings and states of mind accurately—when the internet connection is so flimsy it can only hold up to about 3 minutes of scrolling before it breaks down completely for the next few days.

—–

My mom saw my cuts the other day. She didn’t yell, or lose her head. Not at all. She sounded more irritated than anything, like she couldn’t believe the sort of immature thing I had done. She did tell me how crazy it is, though, and how I’m not, and that the only one who can make me better is myself, and that I have total control of what my brain does.

This is one of those times when my mom becomes a part of the human populace in general, and is a perfect example of why I don’t like talking to people too much: what they say almost always makes little to no sense to me, and it gets me frustrated.

Sigh.

—–

I don’t think I have told this blog that the reason I became obsessed with skies for a time was you. It’s probably an omen of something good that I have been taking less and less photos of skies—though that’s not to say that I don’t love skies truly, because I do. It’s just that now I know which skies to treasure and which ones to let slip and eventually forget.

—–

My brain is truly determined to cram every single academic requirement I need to finish this sem into the last milliseconds of their deadlines. I don’t know what stimulates this kind of thinking, that I don’t have to hurry even if the deadline’s in a couple of days because I don’t need a lot of time anyway, cramming has always gotten the shit done so there’s no need to panic, my work often turns out good even if it was done in less than a few hours. Excessive overconfidence? A sort of loosely-masked panic paralysis? Last night I remember having said something about needing to definitely get my shit together today, and I swear to god when I said that I was not expecting to say it again today, but here I go: I need to get this thing over and done with tomorrow, because tomorrow’s Monday and there’s seriously no time for me to go on believing that some miracle will happen in the last few seconds before all my deadlines. It’s just not gonna happen. So maybe this time, I’m serious.

—–

I also saw Love In The Time Of Cholera last week, around a few days before watching The Hobbit. I had been reading Villa’s Selected Stories prior, and was so deeply moved by the stories’ restrained romance and depictions of the solitude of humanity that I felt I had to make the feeling last somehow. I remembered that I haven’t finished the movie since the last time I attempted to view it (I fell asleep at some point) so I pressed play and let myself be drowned in it. Unax Ugalde and Giovanna Mezzogiorno were beautiful and perfect, but what really made my heart leap and do backflips and cry in a corner was Javier Bardem and his goddamn eyelashes and RDJ-ish face. The story itself was heartbreakingly beautiful (syempre Gabriel Garcia Marquez ba naman e) and I am not ashamed to say that I laughed and cried my heart out to this movie more than any others I have seen in a while. The images were beautiful, and I didn’t even mind the three hour runtime, because it was worth every second.

——

Nearly 20 minutes to 1AM and I’m still up rambling. Maybe I should do this for a living.

I have not been posting anything lately, mostly because I’ve been busy with GISHWHES and storms and academics. It’s going to be a lot less busier in the coming days, but before it does it will of course have to swell and burst like a boil first, like last weekend. Maybe a week’s worth more of reports and papers and exams, and then it’ll be smooth sailing again after that. GISHWHES ends in a couple of days, so that’s one less thing to worry about (though the experience itself is taxing; I won’t go into the details right now, maybe on another post). There’s always the threat of more storms, but hey, this is the Philippines; I don’t really expect anything otherwise.

A very short life update, everybody.

On Blogging, Fatigue; The Usual Things

In the 4 or so days that I forewent posting in this blog for spending time with my family, I forgot all about it. In the moment before I decided to log back in and post something decent to make up for everything, I was seized by a weird feeling of foreboding, of fear that this place won’t be as welcoming and homey as it used to be, because I left it alone for so long and actually forgot about it. And I felt that it somehow knew. (side: I’ve always thought of some inanimate objects as living things, with emotions & cognitive processes. I still do. Is that crazy?) And in that moment, I was filled with the kind of guilt that makes you want to scramble to your knees and try to do something about what you did.

But I was too tired from my travel to be able to do anything more mentally-taxing than “like” random things on Facebook & download dozens of handwritten fonts. I couldn’t force myself to write, even about the most mundane things that I can (and do) usually over-romanticize and make a short paragraph from. I was spent, and I didn’t want to be with anyone, or do anything. Even this blog, which usually served as company (though it’s been a more sporadic friend recently) I had to get away from, because the obligations felt like they would crush even my big bones.

There are a lot of things to be done these coming days: research on a language’s grammar which I have zero idea how to go on about, an exam I skipped simply because I didn’t want to take it, a poem to do a close reading and a paper on, countless missed homeworks on one subject, plus my household planning. My flying brain refusing to accept everything that has to be done has got to be the worst thing that could happen at this time in my life, but it’s not like it hasn’t happened before. And I thought that I couldn’t handle this blog right now, especially if it has become cold and strange in the time that I left it alone.

But it didn’t. If anything, it doesn’t feel like anything. It’s probably my own inability to feel things at the moment that’s causing this. This is a lot better than resentful, to be honest (and that has happened with my previous blogs: one day they just felt strange and unwelcoming). I can work with this. Hopefully my proper emotions come back to rise up from this dull buzzing, and soon. In the meantime, I’ll try my best to keep this blog alive. I seriously don’t want this one to fade away from me, like all the rest. I can’t afford to lose another friend because of my stupidity. Not if I can help it.

Oh, It’s The First Of August. What Did I Miss?

I just got up from a 12-hour sleep-coma, and I can’t go back to sleep anymore. Well, it’s not like I want to; you get sick of sleep after a while. But anyway, since I really don’t have anything else to do, I figured I might as well post something here. I’ve accumulated quite a few things in my head these past few days, having skipped blogging & opting to waste away every waking moment of my life sleeping. August’s here all of a sudden, and I am genuinely surprised.

Continue reading

On The Dwindling, & Silence

So I’ve been slacking off on the posts. Big deal.

I feel bad about it, really I do, but what am I supposed to write when there’s nothing to write about? My life has been fairly empty these past few weeks (though if I say “years” it would still be true) so I really have nothing to tell except for life’s daily events which, unfortunately, don’t amount to much, either.

I don’t write too much anymore, and I don’t go online except to giggle and whale-moan over Daft Punk fangirl things for a  couple of hours. It’s a good thing that I sleep early now, and that sometimes I get enough of a self-starter to get on with my nightly hygienic rituals, but at the same time it somehow seems like another indication of the boring turn my life has taken. I don’t even know exactly what it is that’s eating up my time. Hours of the day go by and I truly, honestly, cannot remember where they went.

To be honest, I think I didn’t totally recover from that one bad weekend. My issues are starting to resurface again, what with the aborted attempt at seeking help (the counselor told me to come back, but apparently she forgot that she was actually too busy).

I have not been talking to anyone except for my best friend, and a couple of others. It’s an active avoidance, but it’s all the more frustrating when you find that no one actually gives a shit whether you’re there or not. Which is sadly the case with me all the time.

So yes, I am once again all alone in this, in the knee-deep emotional shit that I am in, in everything. What a feeling to have on the day before your birthday.

Life is crawling by like a salted slug; slowly, and dying. Won’t someone spare it mercy and just douse it in bleach?