Ineffable, again

  • 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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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Dream Uni, Milk Tea, and CETs

Hello, WordPress world! It’s close to midnight and I should be sleeping right now but I am here writing this really quick post just because. Also, can I just say that I find the title of this blog post cool and annoying at the same time. Haha 🙂

The reason why I’m blogging right now is because I fear that I may not be able to, at least for the next four weeks, because I will be committing this period of summer in doing school-related stuff. College review classes will start tomorrow, and honestly… it’s not something I’m exactly looking forward to. Just by the word “college” in a bold, caps lock font popping in my head really gives me mixed feelings (I can’t even count how many times I said I wish I was in college already today, but more on that later).

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So today, I took a trip to my dream university. By the sight of the trees above, it might already give a clue of what it is. Knowing the CET starts tomorrow, being there somewhat inspired me and made me set my standards on high grounds… which may not completely be a good thing though. It is tuition fee week so I tagged along. Exactly a year from now, this very same day of the month in 2014, I would already know what college I would be in, so it really scares me. “I want to study here,” I tell myself. I want to spend my next four years in this beautiful campus, in a university of people who hail from different islands of our country. If only!

Probably sticking this picture on my door for some inspiration and motivation, hmm. Or better yet a picture of “Oble” (pronounced as ob-leh), as they say. Haha.

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After being stuck in traffic, I got some really good (and cheap!) milk tea at Simple Line in Maginhawa. I love the tea set collections right there.

And just this evening, I got a letter from the USA, from Jane, my penpal!

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Is is just me or does her writing remind me of Angelique’s? Mika, what do you think? Haha. Even the usage of the gold gel pen is so Angelique-like!

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I appreciate all the letters sent and written by my penpals here and there. It never bothered me if the letter was written on adorable stationery or on a tear of their A4 school notebook, but I find it really sweet if they take some time in making the letters cute and creative. I love how she used the combination of red card paper and gold ink!

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I was chatting with some of my batchmates and we were all worried of what to bring tomorrow. I actually don’t know either, but according to my brother, you’ll be fine with pen and paper, since they’ll be giving A LOT of worksheets. Placed in my bag are my trusty pencil case, unused Cattleya filler, earphones, pad paper in case, and a thin, Miffy notebook given by Joy years(!) ago from Korea. It’s too cute that I’d hate to waste it on something so I’ve never written anything on it. I wish I took a picture of this when there was still daylight, but of course I didn’t… because how could I have, when the thought of preparing my stuff for the next day did not exist yet. Hahaha. Doing last minute stuff is not good. :p

And, speaking of the batchmates I was chatting with…

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As well as…

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And…

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I actually find it funny how different my conversations are when I talk to different people. What’s funnier is that it actually applies to everyone. Who is it do we say “HAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHA” or “Oh, okay, thanks! :)” to?

I am way past my bedtime, I will have to get up in six hours, and I will spend a good five hours in a light green-colored room with people I have talked to and have never had a conversation with, as we all drown in lectures and share that same feeling of drowsiness during our last summer as high school students.

Day 59: On Embassies, Prom and Snail Mail

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Tomorrow is the day. After all these weeks of prolonged anxiety, I’ll be heading off to the embassy tomorrow early morning. Documents are all signed neatly compiled in a paper brown envelope, all ready to go.

Knowing the results after three working days would seriously make or break my summer! I really am praying hard. I’d hate to disappoint people, especially the ones who had high hopes and those who I’ve caused so much hassle.

But hopefully all goes well!

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In other news, my mailbox has been the happiest the past few days! Received mail from three penpals who come from Finland, Malaysia, and Russia. I also got a postcard from a really great language buddy of mine from China. How thoughtful of her to have sent one as she was on vacation at Beijing (she comes from Guangdong). That’s a first among my language-learning friends, so I feel really happy. What a wonderful feeling knowing a friend one thousand miles away remembers you even at times they’re away from reality.

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Tomorrow is also a big day for everyone as the doors of the venue of the long-awaited prom would be opened in 17 hours. A supposed trip up north to Ilocos, then turned Baguio (it’s Panagbenga, how can you miss Panagbenga?), won’t be happening anymore. I hate to exchange a trip for anything, but a crapload of academics-related things must be done first. It’s sad, but I’m pretty sure I’m not gonna remember any of this even happening, as this school year will come to a close even before I start crossing out the days in my planner’s calendar or even do a mental countdown.

I don’t even want to imagine what I’m gonna miss, but oh well, at least I wouldn’t have to worry about my klutziness getting the best of me in some flamboyant dress and gritty make-up.

I wish my schoolmates a night definitely worth remembering 🙂 Let me see if I can make my own prom! Nitch, where at?

Parcel Goodness

I received some snail mail goodies and edibles from France and Germany early this year. Slowly getting back to that (favorite) hobby of mine!

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From Germany,  clockwise from left: homemade cookies, Christmas cards, Haribo gummy bears, and Merci mini chocolate.

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Posting this here in just in case! Who knows?

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Handwritten letters make my day. The less you understand, the better… kinda.

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The beeeeeeeeest card ever just because! Ahhh, the super shallow Maita was hyperventilating.

And I was so happy to receive Haribo! Danke for granting my wishes! I first heard about it when Jem introduced it to us when we went to her house. When I have the chance to talk to someone from Germany (say, online), it usually starts with a oh-you’re-from-Germany-I-love-Haribo conversation. True. I know, I really am the ultimate weird conversation starter.

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The sweets were already spoiled the day I got the package box! It took more than a month to get here, and I feel bad since the sender baked these herself. I was actually able to taste a piece without knowing it was expired already. Spoiled chocolate tastes like… spices. Or maybe it’s just me.

To preserve or not to preserve? THE LATTER! Haha.

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Here’s what the parcel from France contained — VSD and Air le Mag magazines, Tele Z, which was a TV schedule guide (how come we don’t have those here?), receipts (yay!), a French paper (I believe it was an instruction manual of something) which I forgot to include in the picture, and Ritter Sport.

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Tell me the Ritter Sport found in the shelves of groceries tastes the same! Haha.

Shameless plug-in: If anyone’s interested to do some snaps, even as lightweight as bookmarks and stickers, or even some candy with a handwritten note maybe, let me know!

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“We all have a friend,” thanks, Google Translate!

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I may be wrong, but I noticed that the French have this thing for Asian culture, which makes me happy actually! When I am on language slash snail mail websites, the French people usually state their interest in Japanese culture and the language… a bit on Korean too, but mostly on Nihon. This page from the magazine explains quite a lot. Hopefully their interest spreads far enough to reach the Southeast Asian islands. Forgive me, I have this in-explainable and undying love for the region (the continent, actually). One day, one day.

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Whether this reaches them or not, the senders deserve a big thank you and a virtual hug! Merci, danke, salamaaaaat!

Favorite Finds: September

Saizen. Current guilty pleasure: window-shopping at retail and variety stores!

There is always that joy inside of me when I step inside 88-peso stores. It seems like you just want to buy everything you see, even if it is deemed useless and impractical. Some are really worth it, like those knock-off signature perfumes for ₱80.

Postcards. Sent some to Belarus, China, Germany, the Netherlands, Russia, Taiwan, and the USA! I’ve never sent that much all at the same time. I was just in the mood to write and compose, and I felt as if my mailbox had been so empty these past few days. What I like about this is sending a postcard to a random person from a random country, and getting something back from a random person from another country, so when I click that Yes! I want to send a postcard button on the website, there is always that feeling of suspense. One thing I wish to experience is to get a postcard from someone just a few island hops away.

Private swap. Jeanna from Russia messaged me if we could do a private swap. I sent her three coins taped on a Boracay postcard, a receipt from Sunday at Mercury Drug, and cute Filipino crafty stationery from Papemelroti. Hopefully I receive something similar, but only cooler: with Russian letters!

If anybody’s interested, let’s!

Snail mail. Sending the postcard along with the coins and receipt made me remember those times when I would write a lot of letters using gel pens, while painstakingly thinking of which sticker to use to tape the folded paper, and writing a foreign address, unshare of the spelling, on the envelope. Bliss. I really miss those days. I miss the feeling of receiving an envelope with your mailing address written by a person a thousand miles away, with the excitement of guessing what’s inside it; what’s contained in the letter. Things changed as I got older. Less time made me resort to the non-correspondence type which is the postcard exchange.

Now, it makes me want to start writing to penpals again.

Robinsons Magnolia. I really like this mall! It opened just this August and I find myself here every other week. Everything’s just so nice about this place. I love the ambiance, the stores, and the happy foodcourt.

Places to go: Saizen, department store, Happy Lemon

Happiness. I was at the department store, looking around, and this shirt definitely caught my attention! It has words of two languages I am trying to learn, but all the nine words written are all equally beautiful in their own right.

You see, I am currently seeking the road to happiness… the signs point left, while some point to the right. Which path must I take? Lol, jk.

Ersao. I first found about this place online through a few clicks on Google and it is now my favorite milk tea. Everything (and I mean everything) in this restaurant is really affordable. For only ₱50, you can satisfy your daily fix of cha!

Not only that, the owner is super nice and accomodating. He gave some tips and encouragement in learning Chinese. Coming from a native speaker, I felt so motivated!

(No, I am still an idiot. I did not even attempt. Lol.)

Lenses box. It looked like Rilakkuma (the cutest ever) from afar, so I decided to check it out.

It turned out it was a contact lenses box! I found it too cute. Perfect for traveling.

Bigbang. Joy lent me an album of Bigbang! I have yet to listen to the songs but anything Bigbang is undeniably great. I didn’t really get into this K-pop craze if not for them (well, partly!).

Camera. Story of my life. :p

Literally, yes! Figuratively, yes, and I prefer it that way. (Go figure!)

Happiness (again). Wishing for more days like this, not only for me, but for everyone out there.