Days until the last day of the year and I cannot wait for 2013 to end. I still have a lot to go through but I am so excited for Summer 2014. Bring it on. Fast forward to mid-April. I really cannot wait.
- I purposely haven’t been writing anything on here because I would feel a bit selfish if I do so. I didn’t think that putting my conceited writings and shameless selfies would be a good idea after everything that my countrymen had gone (and are still) going through because of the super typhoon. As I channel scan and watch the news, it leaves me so helpless. I feel so selfish for doing my own thing while people have lost their homes, family members, lives… there are really no words to describe what happened, and it really hurts me seeing people broadcasting their dead relatives’ names on air, crying and pleading for help. I don’t aim to sound like I’m the most conscientious (or what) person out there… but this is what I really feel. Well, fast forward to today, now that stores and banks have already opened and that the flag-raising event in Leyte occurred a week ago, this means a lot already.
- I am really grateful for the kindness of the universe. The goodness found whether in individuals or in nations as a whole gives me hope that in this world of hatred, anger, and selfishness, there are still genuinely kind-hearted beings. It’s amazing to see so many different countries and international organizations helping us and reaching out. A few online friends who I don’t really engage conversations with anymore have messaged me and their genuine concern makes me happy, and their words of encouragement tell me that there is still hope for humanity. Like how my Russian penpal said, “The whole world helps your country, we won’t leave you alone!” in verbatim. Made my heart smile.
I’ve written the words above last week, and I couldn’t think of a better way to conclude the post… until three days ago. What happened has really given me another reason to prove that the first few sentences of the second bullet are, indeed, true.
Last Thursday morning, I received a snail mail letter. I haven’t received one for so long because I am not in an active correspondence with anyone at the moment, so I immediately wondered who could send one at the moment. As I read the name of the sender, I was really surprised. Who could it be?
It was my penpal from way back 2010! For a split second, I was thinking of possible reasons on why she sent me a letter (considering we’ve lost touch), but I couldn’t really put a finger on it. We were penpals when I was still in freshman year. It was even so thoughtful of her to send me a package with the most adorable things (such as homemade Huckleberry taffy) out of her own want during our few months of correspondence. So I really wondered why. It’s been too long.
As I flipped the envelope to the other side to open the sealed flap, I caught myself saying endless aww’s and omg’s. I was close to shedding some tears, but it was more of the happy feeling overpowering me.
Omg… it’s about Yolanda… I said aloud. I couldn’t believe it.
That was my assumption because of the drawing of two girls in dresses with the flags of the Philippines and the USA as the designs. It was the first thing that popped into my head, and as I was reading the letter, it turned out that my guess was right. To say I was really shocked is an understatement.
I was truly touched by the very sweet and thoughtful gesture of hers. Considering we haven’t talked in years, she even thought of sending me a letter, just in case I would receive it, as she mentioned in the letter that she was unsure whether or not it would reach me. She was hoping I was okay.
I just wanted to check up on you. Please stay safe, healthy, and happy.
Her letter made this ever so serious face of mine light up. For a few seconds, I was in a state of peace and absolute happiness—it was the reassurance I felt in me that the world is an amazing place with wonderful beings. Never did I even imagine that my friendships with strangers around the world would go beyond the topics of hobbies, culture, languages… it’s an unexplainable feeling.
As I got home from school, I immediately opened my cabinet and went through my stuff and, luckily, being the sentimental person I am, I still had the package she sent in 2011. I was overjoyed. Knowing that someone a thousand miles away, unsure of how you may look like, is concerned about you and the current situation of our country, is seriously a wonderful feeling. I am running out of better adjectives and synonyms of “feeling” to use… ineffable, I say again. Forever grateful, Catlin!
Local brands, high street stuff, known and familiar names, and no brand shops make up the renowned shopping district of Myeongdong. You will see that tourists and locals alike thrive to the place for some shopping. A bit pricey in quite a lot of stores, but very affordable in a handful as well. I love how the establishments are all compacted together in buildings that are quite high. It really gives that distinct Myeongdong feel.
This was our one of our first stops in Seoul and this was where we had our late lunch (really awesome street food!), bought three Face Shop nail polishes for less than a hundred pesos, and got quite a lot of Korean beauty samples randomly handed to us by salesladies!
Myeongdong is such a happy place. You see and hear at least four different languages written and spoken here. Korea is so tourist-friendly, it’s amazing. The red banner above is written in Chinese. What I like about stores and shops in Korea (in general) is that there is at least someone who can speak Japanese or Chinese to assist you as you buy. Of course I took advantage of that opportunity, not by speaking, of course, but by listening to people conversing. Tested my non-existent skills. Hehe. You also get to see random guy groups dancing to G-Dragon’s music and people playing their instruments for a tip or two.
On a semi-unrelated note, a random seller actually talked to me in Chinese! It wasn’t in Myeongdong but in either Namdaemun or Dongdaemun market (I’ve got a terrible memory). As we were walking, the man selling in one of the booths said something in Chinese to me. I actually don’t remember what the sentence was, but all I remember was replying, “我不会中文！“ then ran away laughing like an idiot because I realized what I said was wrong (I think it can be used in chatting or what, but yeah). I missed one word which was “说” (say) so it pretty much came off weird. Well, with what I said, I wasn’t lying anyway right? Haha. But then, him talking to me in Chinese means he thought I was Chinese? I wonder what was in his head right after. I didn’t fool anyone!
One of our biggest regrets was not buying stuff. Since it was only me and my brother depending on each other on budgeting our money, we would say no to purchases most of the time. Joy was our living conscience and she would always tell us, “Buy! Buy! Buy!!” My brother and I were so afraid that we would spend all our pocket money and not have a single cent left. We were too overwhelmed that we barely bought anything! Looking back, I could have bought so many more things because they were relatively cheap.
Would you believe I didn’t even buy any article of clothing throughout the trip? I don’t know what was going on my head… I was already in the land of pretty clothing. There were denim jeans in the perfect shade of blue being sold in the underground shopping markets for three hundred pesos and I didn’t even buy. I have so many regrets about this trip that even up this day I cringe. Joy was right. We should have bought, bought, bought. Haha.
This was our lunch! Joy, her oppa, my oppa, and I shared these two plates of ddeokbokki and sausages with a name I’m unsure of. Served with them were warm tea. Street food can make you feel fulfilled so easily.
Today has been a pretty nice day in school. We surprised the two birthday girls of the week during lunch time. We were really in the brink of failing in successfully surprising them because Mika and I had absolutely no idea how to pull it off but things just happened and I guess it turned out well. Mika what do we do?!?!?!? Good thing that Tim came to the rescue! The situation is still so clear in my head that I am laughing until now… haha. Joy’s birthday is still tomorrow and Mariah’s the day after that, but it was a good idea to surprise both of them today, because neither of them suspected at all! Since it’ll be their birthdays, most probably, they would’ve already figured one way or another that we would surprise them with a cake or something, as what we did with Anna and Tim who celebrated theirs months ago.
Mariah was so persistent in asking how we’d surprise Joy and I told her that I’d take care of a “red velvet cake from Red Ribbon”. (Does that even exist?) Haha, biggest snap lie ever. That was today on our lunch table, a couple of minutes before the actual surprise happened. Joy heard our conversation and said, “You’re buying a cake [for tomorrow]? No, don’t!!” If that really happened, then so much for a surprise. If we did surprise Joy tomorrow, then Mariah would expect to also be surprised the next day, so why not hand the surprise when they would least expect it?
This is the last birthday for us to celebrate among us this year, and this is the last time we’ll get to surprise each other for a birthday in our high school life (aww). We’ll all be of the same age by Friday! And Mariah even said she wasn’t excited for her birthday. Well, yeah, whatever. :p Too bad I wasn’t able to take a close-up picture of the cupcakes. I hope they liked our almost-epic-fail surprise! Thanks da for buying them, and ma for tying the ribbons. Traced their names on art paper and cut them during one of my early classes… lol.
Abot tenga ang mga ngiti! Mariah, Malipayon na Kaadlawan! And Saengil Chukahae to Joy! Woo long live the international group~ haha. 永远永远最好的朋友，爱你们！
Thanks to my buddy Jamie for taking the pics!
The sun hasn’t risen yet and I was trembling because of the cold air I wasn’t used to. With my crumpled, cream cardigan hugging my body and my black shawl wrapped around me like a blanket, I braved the wide and crowded hallways of the place. Tucked in my left hand was my purse filled with some bills to be converted to the local currency, and in the other was a tiny, brown book waiting to be kissed by fresh ink of a stamp. Unknown destinations, food trips, and cultural immersion were in store in the new and unfamiliar place. Although afraid, clueless, and helpless of the current situation I was in, the beginning of an adventure in a place one thousand miles away from home, all alone with my brother, was one of the most surreal feelings I had in such a long time. It felt so liberating yet restricting, humbling yet empowering, fulfilling yet unpromising… all at the same time.
What a way to start the five-day break. Watched Eat Bulaga live last Saturday—something to cross out of my bucket list!
This is the second time I’ve watched a TV show live. The first one was the now defunct Party Pilipinas, which was way back sophomore year. I always get excited for things like this since I like the feeling of getting starstruck, having celebrities ten feet away, as well as seeing what really goes behind-the-scenes. For some reason, this time, I didn’t get *that* starstruck, maybe because I’ve outgrown that phase of mine already, which I never thought I would. Or maybe it’s because my fangirling has escalated to Taiwanese stars (naks). I mean, that weird and crazy feeling of breathing the same air with them will always be there, but then, now, it isn’t really omg omg omg they’re in front of me!!
We were at Broadway Centrum at around 9:30 in the morning and gladly, there wasn’t much of a line. In less than an hour, we were already inside the studio. I really like how it was so organized and disciplined at Broadway. The staff was extra friendly too!
As we got our seats, they distributed the number cards for the jackpot segment. Funny how they even asked the audience to write how they’d spend the jackpot money in case they would be chosen. “Dapat dramatic!” my tita said. My life isn’t anything dramatic (lol yeah whatever) so I didn’t know how to write something enough for me to be worthy of winning. I didn’t know they had to do stuff like this… probably because they have to screen the potential winners of the jackpot?
And guess what… the jackpot segment didn’t even happen! We had to hold on to the numbers for nothing, as well as to give our personal details away. Maybe as they were reading the papers, they felt nobody was worthy enough of the money. Haha. I don’t know actually.
The remaining minutes before the show was on air were spent on the last minute practices and rehearsals of the dance crew, the celebrities, and the singers. As we entered the studio, Jose and Arnel Pineda were rehearsing their duet and they were so amazing! Didn’t realize Jose sings that well. The opening dance number was by Alden Richards(!!!), Mark Herras, and Rocco Nacino. Aaaah sobrang gwapo ni Alden, as in.
Bwiset mapapatingin ka talaga.
The emcees behind-the-scenes labelled all of us as a celebrity audience. Meaning, we were required to dance, clap, scream and shout, and stand up and sit on cue. We were taught the dance steps of the opening dance. This rainbow lighting tube necklace was also given to us for us to wear during one of the performances.
Selfie selfie din pag may time… haha. Proof!
Sam YG, Julia, and Keempee hosted the opening. I wonder if they also use manila paper when delivering the news?
Ryzza! She was so cute. Very chubby, but it suited her. I admit, I used to be annoyed at her when I would see her on TV because she was so pacute. Well, turns out, she was, just, naturally cute… in her own way.
It turned out that that Saturday was an extra special episode—it was the Dabarkads concert. The hosts performed, as well as other known celebrities.
Interesting things happen when the show isn’t on air—watching all the props being pushed to and away from the stage within a time limit of two minutes, seeing what the celebrities and hosts do when they step right out of what the camera sees, letting Ryzza guess the words during a mock up Pinoy Henyo game.
I saw a celebrity girl crush of mine, Isabelle Daza! Love how morena she is. To her right is Valerie Weigmann, from an old season of PBB. She was super pretty too.
And it was during this segment of the show I had an encounter of such below…
Hahahaha super awkward I swear. The emcee was right about not looking at the monitor! I shouldn’t have looked. My poker face is so annoying. I could’ve stroke a pose (naks) or looked away. Ay grabe. Nakakaconscious talaga!! I’m really not meant to be in front of the camera. Hah, it’s fine, this was a split second shot anyway. I just managed to print screen continuously. Hahaha.
The commercial breaks were the fun parts too actually. It was always a hilarious time with the gay emcees (I don’t know what you call what they do). They would go interview the audience and make all of us laugh.
*interviews an American guy*
Gay 1: What do you do, sir?
*American guy says something*
Gay 1: Oh, that’s great!
Gay 2: …anong sabi niya?
Gay 1: …’di ko rin alam eh!
I swear I really thought it was Megan Young. I even said, “Tita! It’s Megan Young!” Turned out it was Paolo Ballesteros. He and his amazing make up, as always. Fooled me this time!
The last part of the concert slash show was Vic Sotto’s number with the children’s choir.
I would rate my experience four stars, four because the ending was bitin. Once the song was done, all the lights turned on and everyone just left the stage. It was just like, cut! Yun na yun? But overall, it was such an experience—genuine laughs abound and talents overflow.
Watching live is something I would do over and over again, although another TV show for the next one. If I were given a chance to watch Eat Bulaga again, I think I would give it another few years or so. Seeing celebrities and the things you don’t get to see on the TV monitor is indeed fun. Next show in line… Showtime, maybe?
Ended up reading the archives of my e-mail (e-mail from way back ’08!) and I came across those chain messages I would forward to my friends and penpals. One of them was this survey! Reading my (and their) responses really made me laugh. Can’t believe how much we’ve all changed… and I wonder what they’re up to now (my penpals back then).
1. What time is it?
2. What’s your name?
M a i t a
3. What is a movie you will watch over and over again?
Three Idiots! I’ve watched it thrice this year with different groups of people. Same reactions, same feels. Never fails. Aal izz well.
4. What is your favorite comic strip?
5. What is your favorite restaurant?
Uhm… Mann Hann? Never thought about it actually.
6. What is your most unforgettable moment?
I hate questions like this. Haha. It’s either because there are just too many (naks) or there really isn’t any. Hmm… usually it’s something related to travel. Going to Korea is something so unforgettable, just because.
7. What is the first thing you do as soon as you wake up?
Squint (to check what time it is).
8. Name one weird hobby of yours.
Collecting newspaper clippings in different languages… lol. Yes, it’s weird. Different people have told me it’s weird.
9. What is one thing most people don’t know about you?
I used to be part of chorale back in grade four… for barely a month or two. Quit because I wanted to join another club. Hahaha.
10. Love someone so much it made you cry?
Napakanta naman ako… haha.
11. What is something about yourself that you are proud of?
Nothing actually… haha, okay, seriously… I make career PowerPoint presentations for school! (Sorry, not sure how to say it in a non-conyo way. Wow, I sound so annoying.)
12. What is your favorite day of the week?
SATURDAY! The worry-free day. Fridays < Saturdays.
13. What are boardgames you love?
14. What time is bedtime for you?
11 pm is normal when there’s school.
15. What is your report card grade?
I don’t know. Hahaha. It’s decent I guess… nothing extravagant.
16. What is your favorite website?
17. What do you do when you are bored?
Lol. My classmate actually asked me this last time. I said, “Nothing, use the computer all day.” I have no life.
18. What is one thing you are always teased about?
My height… they tease me like it’s the only thing I have. Lol. It’s something that generally doesn’t bother me until someone brings it up. HAha.
19. What are three obsessions of yours?
Can’t really say “obsession” but more of an interest or inclination? Idk actually. Milk tea, Zhongwen, Scandinavia…?
20. Describe yourself in two words.
Super simple (sorry corny)
21. What book are you currently reading?
For some reason, it’s taking me years to finish The Alchemist. I really, really regret not reading books in high school!
22. What time did this survey end?