Mar 27, 2010

New Blog :)

Hello, everyone!

I have just recently transferred to another blogging site. I really wanted to stay and blog my life away here, but certain circumstances have urged me to create a new blog site. First, I find my new location much more accessible; and second, I like how the dashboard is organized. However, this blog will not close down. I will try to update this blog as much as possible though.

Visit me often here. :)

xoxo, ICON

Mar 18, 2010

The Art of Restraint: An Ode

My parents brought my siblings and I to operate on the context of this line I directly quote from them: “Just because we have better jobs than some or most of the parents of the kids in your school, it doesn’t mean that we’re rich”. Every morning, before the hired carpool arrives and just after the family morning prayer, Pa and Ma would tell us this. And of course, as kids, we couldn’t really understand what they meant.

It was a puzzle to us that we were deprived of material things. Back then, I suffered from the constant haranguing questions some of my classmates and schoolmates would throw at me. “Why don’t you ask your Papa to buy it? He’s a doctor isn’t he?” — quizzical brows would be drawn when my answer was a mere shrug. My siblings and I would ask Papa why he wouldn’t buy us the latest gadgets that were “in” those days, and his answer was always, “We’re not rich” or “We can’t afford to be luxurious now, you will need a lot in the years to come”. As expected, we did not understand.

Although we lived in a city, my hometown was not as big as Cebu or Manila. At that time, there was not one mall that boasted of a variety of boutiques where people could shop what they really needed, and wanted. The family’s solution to this was to travel to the nearest highly urbanized — Cebu, to buy clothes, school supplies and etc. However, our trips were scheduled: 1) just before opening of classes (for our shoes, bags, and other school supplies), and 2) a few weeks before the Christmas season (for our party and holiday clothes, Christmas decor, etc). Unscheduled trips were exclusively for emergency purposes.

At home, we were never allowed to watch television. It was only during Sundays that we were able to gaze at the entertainment box. But only for a few hours. What did we do? We were all obliged to do our assignments and study our day’s lessons before supper, and to be continued after. Then we were sent off to bed.

During summer breaks, Papa would enroll us to summer schools and workshops to keep us busy. Piano school, art school, calligraphy lessons — we did that and many more! Then, he would urge us to read books of fiction and literature. Still no TV. On semestral and holiday breaks, the parents would encourage us to play musical instruments — the piano, the guitar, and the flute. Reading was always soldered, but still, TV wasn’t allowed. Until our interest in the little box diminished and went *poof*.

When we were all in High School, everyone had cellphones. I only got mine when I was in my senior year, a gift from an uncle.

College — I was dispatched to live in a dormitory managed by nuns. The rules were not so much different from my parents’. I didn’t find it hard to adjust with the dorm life. Most of all, I danced through College easily, and with flying colors. Modesty aside, I daresay, that it was funny that I didn’t have a hard time, considering I had to balance my studies with being the Editor-in-Chief of my college publication and Vice-President for the biggest inter-school organization for my course.

Now that I am 22 and earning a doctorate degree; my sister being a debater in one of the best debating teams in the country, and due for Law school; and my brother almost done with his Pre-Med degree being a Vice-Governor in the College of Nursing, we finally understand what my parents have, all these years, inculcated in us, encapsulated in one word: restraint.

If we were not dispossessed and had full access to the world’s luxury and caprice, maybe we would have grown as spoiled braggadocios wasting away time, money and our lives. Who knows, I might have been out of school and with child if not for that minute piece of order that symbolized my parents’ authority.

We were taught and showed to live simply, and not want for much. We were pushed to explore and develop our skills, especially that of reading, writing, critiquing, and public speaking. We were forced to be content with what worldly items we had, until being self-effacing has become part of us. But we were not constantly nagged about these virtues. The values that grew in us came from a tiny seed, manifested by a single phrase that started with “Just because …” and continued with “… it doesn’t mean”. We were taught, showed, and encouraged, and we learned.

What we have achieved, and all that we are, we owe to that one line that screwed our heads firmly on our shoulders. And that, we owe to our parents, who really had a hard time raising and molding us into the leaders and champions that we are in our own right.

From that small seed of restraint, of being deprived from lavishness, grew a tree of discipline. At this point, it may not be as tall nor as sturdy as a sycamore, but it exists, and continues to grow.

They say that children go into the world as tabula rasa — blank slates. It is up to their stewards to feed them with the values and morals they will need to survive through life. I am overjoyed — beyond words — that my siblings and I fell into the life of a couple who may not be perfect, but fitting embodiments of God’s ideal masterpiece

Mar 12, 2010

A Nonsense Note To My Crush

I was scribbling away on my notebook while I was waiting for my friends to arrive at Hebrews. This is what came out.

It’s a widely known fact that the best thing about liking someone is the undeniable new meaning it breathes to your life. The very instant you realize that you hold a certain degree of admiration for someone, every day, from that moment forward, everything just feels right. It’s as if the whole world has conspired to make you feel brand new; to make you see joy even in the most unfortunate of things --- like nothing is impossible. And every day, you simply know that not only are you alive and living, you are existing.

Suddenly, you feel so good about yourself. You feel your lungs getting fresh air. You feel your heart beating once more. Each morning when you wake up, even if it’s cloudy outside, you see the skies open up. You sing, even when you’re out of tune. You dance, even if there’s no music. You see light, even when the world around you is in havoc. You see a ray of hope, a flicker of radiance in almost anything. Worst of all, you smile for no absolute reason --- exactly like a crazy, unbalanced person. And all this … all this, is because of one soul.

What I love about one-sided admiration is the amount of complication involved --- none. You simply marvel at the person, in all his glory, from afar. Zero mayhem because there are no strings attached. No one really knows how you feel, but you and a few of your friends. But of course, you get into miniscule troubles. The entire production of getting him to notice you, and keeping track of him is one. Accepting the fact that he won’t look your way is another. But, the rigmarole of it all is good fun and worth every inch of the mess. You get that jolt of electricity even at the mere sight of him, after all. What’s not gleeful in that?

So, to my crush:

I don’t even know if you’ll have the chance to read all this nonsense, however, please know that you have caught my eye. It was unexpected because usually, I wouldn’t look at guys like you. Normally, I wouldn’t single you out from the crowd. Not so long ago, I have used several adjectives to describe you, including “childish” and “retard-ish”. But I was completely wrong, and in turn, though quite embarrassing to admit, I swallowed what I said. You must know that the guys I would typically prefer are not half the man you are. Also know that I have technically been stalking you, all thanks to the internet, especially Facebook, and the few common friends we have. Although there’s really no likelihood of you having the same feelings as I have, there’s a small spark of wishful thinking inside me. I hope you understand. I don’t know how, I don’t know when, I just woke up one morning and realized that you’re absolutely amazing.

I utterly feel like a kid with a teenage crush. And I think it's okay. It's alright to be happy even just for a while.

Mar 8, 2010

My Take On The Ruffa-Kris Issue

I got so curious about this latest buzz that I found myself watching and reviewing the YouTube video of The Buzz that Sunday, where it all started.

Just an opinion.

The conversation was open and no one hit below the belt. The way I see it, there occurred no 'pambabara'. I heard no rude comments or hit-backs from Kris. It was an all-good, fierce but fair, exchange of thoughts. Everyone, even Ruffa, pitched-in their point of view.

Let me quote some lines of a blog post by DJ Mo Twister, which was reblogged by

"Just a few days ago she told me personally that the working environment there is uncomfortable and at times a power struggle or a over display of "power" which almost makes it unbearable. So it's not a surprise to me that she is leaving."

Here is my two-cents worth of this. If she (Ruffa) feels there is a 'power struggle' in the working atmosphere, she should step-up her game and compete, too. Channel the energy positively, that's it. This is a competitive world, and to survive, especially in their industry, one must showcase the very best of his/her capabilities and seek further advancement. Theirs is an awfully cutthroat trade, so to withstand everything that comes along, showbiz people really have to stand the pace. And if the display of power is agonizing, let's go to the cliched saying everyone in show-business always quote: "If you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen".

Annabelle Rama's reaction, I totally understand, though the display was quite callow and gauche. She is a mother, and every mother feels the hurt their offspring bears. And I agree with Jobert Sucaldito's statement, when he said that Kris did nothing wrong.

That's all.

Just my judgment though. :D

Like vs. Love

Got this from Budjette Tan's blog.

True enough, "like" is "love" only drowned by a solvent of so many things taken into consideration. Like is second-rate, only because it refuses to be dictated. It's all there is to offer, and nothing more.

Mar 3, 2010

A dose of vitriol

Aja's leaving for the States this Friday, we're all going to miss her. So much. I feel so bad, I don't have a send-off present for her; and I can't join the girls (and guys) to the airport to send Aja off, because I'll be traveling that day too. I hope to see her again soon, really soon. I miss my friend already.

Leila, Ayeenda, and I have officially become "dudes". Let me give a direct quote from the movie, (500) Days of Summer, to explain how this happened.

McKenzie: [drunk] So do you have a boyfriend?

Summer: No.

McKenzie: Why not?

Summer: Because I don’t want one.

McKenzie: Come on; I don’t believe that.

Summer: You don’t believe that a woman could enjoy being free and independent?

McKenzie: Are you a lesbian?

Summer: [laughing] No I’m not a lesbian. I just, don’t feel comfortable being anyone’s girlfriend. I don’t actually feel comfortable being anyone’s anything.

McKenzie: I don’t know what you’re talking about.

Summer: Really?

McKenzie: Nope.

Summer: Ok, let me break it down for you–

McKenzie: Break it down!

Summer: Ok. I, like being on my own. I think relationships are messy and people’s feelings get hurt. Who needs it? We’re young, we live in one of the most beautiful cities in the world; might as well have fun while we can and, save the serious stuff for later.

McKenzie: You’re a dude. [to Tom] She’s a dude!

Tom: Ok but wait–wait. What happens, if you fall in love?

[she scoffs]

Tom: What?

Summer: You don’t believe that, do you?

Tom: It’s love, it’s not Santa Claus.

You see? This is how we think, and this is what we believe in. Well, at least for now. But of course we have a slight idea of what's coming at us. We know that one day, someday, we will find someone who would completely, utterly, sweep us off our feet and make us fall deeply, madly in love. And when that time comes, we're going to hurt like or more than our friends. And, yes, maybe we will eat our words and be converted. We are well aware that it's to happen. Maybe not today, but soon. It is truth acknowledged that cynics or non-believers don't stay the way they are forever. They change, because people do change.

On other matters ...

The truth bites, it hurts.

My sister and her debating team are now in the final four of the National Debate Tournament. So technically, they are one of the country's top four debate teams. Such a historical accomplishment not only for our university and the team, but also for the entire region.

Updates and progress on how they are doing in the nationals I post on my Facebook account (Facebook again). Not only because I am damn proud of them being my sister's older and only sister, but also because I owe people an account of their ladder success. I had to inform their friends, including the people who know them, of their state. And because not everyone's in Twitter, Facebook is obviously the most practical way to go.

Yesterday, I posted the debate team's triumph as my status. Many liked and commented, saying their congratulations and wishes of good luck for the final round. I replied to my sister's fellow student council officer, giving him a summary of what the team went through: that they had less than 24 hours to make and complete their speeches, let alone to practice; with only an hour of sleep, they still managed to pull-out their magic, and the date of the championship. That was all. I had the luxury and every right to do so, it was my wall after all.

Then this gay person I know managed to poke his nose in and gave quite an unfriendly, sour, and sore comment. I was sort of disappointed at his lack of etiquette and breeding. Without any intention of hurting his feelings, I spoke my mind and commented back: "Well, it's not my problem anymore. This is MY wall. You're just dipping yourself in." In my defense, I was just saying the truth. It was my wall and I can post whatever I want as long as they don't break the rules of conduct. Then he commented back that he was miffed by my reply and all that. So I told him that I was merely pointing out a fact universally accepted about personal walls. Then he answered back, "If you don't like it, you can just delete it or delete me in your friends list. My comment is my comment". I didn't bother to reply. What for?

Wait a second ... Was the vitriol unpleasant? *sarcasm thick*

So maybe he was insulted by what I wrote. And, yes, I admit, I have a sharp tongue --- I speak my mind, sometimes maybe too much. But the thing is, practicing a little respect and manners wouldn't hurt even just once, right? I have never, and I would never do what he did. I think sharing other people's happiness wouldn't burn a person. I just don't know why a friendly remark wouldn't do. Maybe I really did give him a dose of his own medicine.

Saying the truth is something I do. Was his ego just shattered because he didn't expect me to write something he anticipated --- a meek reply, like a "Ha-ha"or a "Whatever"? It might be that I caught him off-guard. Or did I break his pride when I pointed out a sheer truth, which at that point, he can't accept? Or was karma astonishingly fast? Was he unable to bear the taste of his own medicine?

Before playing with fire, make sure you are flame-proof. Sometimes we say things, only to end up eating what we said; or worse, slapped by it. Reality bites. The truth is acidic. Giving remarks should be handled with caution. We don't want to be fried in our own oil. And we don't want a mortifying experience of ingesting our own bile, do we?

I hope this serves as a reminder. Enjoy your day! :)

Feb 19, 2010

A boring update

It's very obvious that I have failed to update this blog, and it has occurred to me that I do so even if I am not in the mood to write. Yes, I'm having a very long writers block slash writing break. So anyway ...

I feel that my mind is rotting away because of my lack of reading these past few months. I know I need a new book, but every time I go the bookshop, there's nothing that could somehow feed the intellectual hunger I am suffering from. I've read a few books, but most them were fiction with nothing much to ponder on and exchange opinions with with friends.

Is it me or are bookstores just overflowing with too much fiction and non-fiction leisure books these days? Yes, I do think some non-fiction books are not that meaty, I don't know why. I can't seem to find any interesting titles these days. Or maybe I should go out next week to check if there's anything that could catch my fancy.

In a matter of days, my sister and the rest of the University Debating team, and a few significant others, are traveling to debate for Nationals; they call the whole event PRISAA, though I don't know what it stands for. I would've loved to come, too bad I can't, teehee.

Yesterday afternoon was my teaching demo for the Graduate School. My panel said I was good and that I'm okay for teaching. But what I was really looking for was the exact phrase, "You're hired". A friend who was given a few teaching loads recently, said that was it --- I'm hired. And one of the panel told me that the office will just call me for my load. So, it does mean I'm hired, right? I'm still a little confused (boohoo); because as I said, I was looking for the "You're hired" dialogue and all that. So now I'm praying that I'll be given my first teaching load soon.

I think I need a new environment. The normalcy of daily living has become monotonous.

Feb 12, 2010

Remember Me

On March 12, I want to rush off to the theater with my friends and watch this movie.

Feb 9, 2010


Good things have happened for the past couple of days. I want to blog about them, I really do. But because I am not feeling very well at the moment, maybe some other time, soon. But I promise to share those with you.

I'm feeling really out of sorts right now, and I don't know why. Although I want to explain it, I find it hard to do so. It's quite a mix of emotions. I feel irritated, annoyed, and depressed; at the same time, there's this sense of gloom with a strong hint of being in a limbo. Again, I don't know exactly why I feel this way.

I hope all this comes to an end because it's quite exhilarating.

Jan 26, 2010

Freakin' AMAZING

Two words: Freakin' amazing!!!

They just brought the awe in AWESOME. I should really watch them in person! :D

They make me super duper proud to be PINOY --- Cebuano!!!

Oh, and Will Devaughn, wonderful job hoisting the Martin Luther picture. You look fanstastic!

Jan 22, 2010

What's up

For the past few months, I have been living a life similar to that of a hermit's. Well, not only me, but a few friends as well. Because the world is dumping so many tasks, issues and ects on our shoulders, we have found a little refuge on spending the morsel of time left in our own bubble. The equation has been like that since, I think, the last half of 2009.

The world has seen less of me. I haven't been in public for quite some time now, and frankly, I enjoyed the time and space I have given myself. But, no matter how much I enjoyed "me" time, I owe so much to a lot of people. And, I think, I owe myself as much. With that said, I am slowly breaking the recluse.

I wasn't around the Sinulog '10 mardi gras. So when I came back to Cebu, I was compelled to go out and chill, study, eat, and karaoke with a few friends. It marked my turning point.

Because, as I said, I was on invisible mode for a couple of months, many have been wondering what I'm currently up to. In a nutshell, and in random they are:

a) Doctorate studies - This is the culprit of my social absence. It has been stressing me out since day one. I am almost halfway done, and I really hope I finish. After this, I will be rewarding my self with a long vacation --- I do think I deserve it.

b) Family stuff - I've been running countless errands for the family lately, hence the recent travels. I'm proud to say that I'm doing quite well in being my parents' partner in keeping everyone, and every concern in the family organized. :)

c) State board - Yes, I am reviewing for another licensure exam. Though I've just started, it would be such a treat if I get to take and pass before the year ends. My parents have decided to send me off to another country for such, the idea of travel is making me all giddy and thrilled! :D

d) Asian tour - I'm having my passport prepared! The details are still in the works but I'm super excited!!! Who doesn't love to travel? :P

That's quite about it. The reason why I haven't been in touch with the rest of the world in a while is because of these. A and C are weights I am trying to juggle with as much finesse and dexterity. It's quite a life, but I'm pulling things together and doing what I can to stitch loose ends. Sometimes I lose balance and suffer defeat. But the light at the end of the tunnel is what comforts and keeps me going.

I leave you with my 2010 motto (courtesy of Mark Gosingtian). Have a great day ahead! :D

Jan 8, 2010

New Year Handbook

An uncle gave me this note that's absolutely a perfect year-starter. I think this is better than coming up with the proverbial New Year's Resolutions that are, more often, forgotten as soon one begins to carry them out. I loved and enjoyed every bit of it. I hope you will, too.

Health :

1. Drink plenty of water.
2. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a beggar.
3. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured in plants..
4. Live with the 3 E's -- Energy, Enthusiasm and Empathy
5. Make time to pray.
6. Play more games
7. Read more books than you did in 2009 .
8. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day
9. Sleep for 7 hours.
10. Take a 10-30 minutes walk daily. And while you walk, smile.

Personality :

11. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
12. Don't have negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.
13. Don't over do. Keep your limits.
14. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
15. Don't waste your precious energy on gossip.
16. Dream more while you are awake
17. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need..
18. Forget issues of the past. Don't remind your partner with His/her mistakes of the past. That will ruin your present happiness.
19. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. Don't hate others.
20. Make peace with your past so it won't spoil the present.
21. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
22. Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn. Problems are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away like algebra class but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime.
23. Smile and laugh more.
24. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree ...

Society :

25. Call your family often.
26. Each day give something good to others.
27. Forgive everyone for everything..
28. Spend time w/ people over the age of 70 & under the age of 6.
29. Try to make at least three people smile each day.
30. What other people think of you is none of your business.
31. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.

Life :

32. Do the right thing!
33. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
34. GOD heals everything.
35. However good or bad a situation is, it will change..
36. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
37. The best is yet to come..
38. When you awake alive in the morning, thank GOD for it.
39. Your Inner most is always happy. So, be happy.

Last but not the least :

40. Please Forward this to everyone you care about, I just did.

*** I did number 40 by posting, it would be great if you follow suit. Let's spread the cheer and most importantly, try to start the year right. God bless and, once again, a blessed and fruitful 2010 be ahead of us!

Jan 5, 2010

1st for 2010 :D

I guess it’s a little too late for me to greet you with a Merry Christmas, since the holidays are over. But, I’d like to wish everyone a happy and prosperous year ahead. Happy New Year!

I couldn’t find time to blog or even tweet during the yuletide season. It was a very busy Christmas for me and my family. There wasn’t a day where we were able to sit down and relax for an entire afternoon. I don’t quite get exactly why we were busy as bees during the season, but we were. Occupied and jolly; doing this and that, going here and there. Recalling the quality time I spent with my family is such a treat, I’d like to share some of the ‘events’ that transpired at our home.

One night, just a few days after my siblings and I arrived, Papa decided to make a family affair of his piggy bank withdrawal. The piggy bank was, I think, a give-away from one of his Medical Representatives. It’s colored a sunny yellow. A few months back, Papa started to fill it with 5- and 10-peso coins. December was the perfect time to get all the coins out; we decided that the money raised will be used for our holiday expenses. We gathered around our dining table as the coins were shaken out from the piggy’s belly. We counted and grouped the coins into hundreds. It was amazing how it reached +5,000! It was such a happy and proud moment for everyone. What saving your coins can do! The piggy bank is a tradition in the making.

The piggy bank is now empty and Papa just started filling it. Mama is also planning to have her own piggy bank. I’m looking forward to Christmas 2010  Hmmm … maybe I’ll drop my coins in a piggy bank of my own too.

Being the family’s cook, I tried to experiment with the dishes I prepared every meal and especially during Noche Buena and Buena Noche. The two special dinners was something I made a big production of. This year’s Buena Noche, however, was my sister’s first assembly, I was sick and so my job was to supervise her cooking. She did extremely well; we all loved her pansit and fruit salad.

My kitchen trials taught me that basil leaves have such a strong flavor, a very, very small number of leaves will do. That when making my apple wanton, I should mix a little sugar in the filling since my family’s not really a fan of cinnamon. And I also realized that using Sesame oil to fry my meats enhances the flavor.

This year, I was able to cook new dishes for the entire family to try and critique. Now, I have recipes I can call my own because of the modifications I made. Some of these dishes are: omelet, fish cake, tuna carbonara, spaghetti, lomi, fried prawns, pansit, and bangus daing. Also, I was able to perfect my mocha bars after two attempts to bake it right, hurrah for me! I was so happy to see my parents love it. Already I’m planning for the dishes and desserts I want to serve when I visit home, and, of course, for the holidays.

Recalling these and the many memories of home cure my homesickness.

Yes, I am missing home. I miss how I am able to take care of my parents --- cooking, running errands and doing stuff with them. I’ll have to wait until February for my next visit; I’m looking forward to that.