fizz out

24 10 2006

Today my three best friends met each other for lunch to pig out, catch up on and whine about our lives. I called them and spoke to them for a good twenty minutes, feeling as though they were just there beside me while they were delivering the same lecture on men and how to deal with them. A litany we’ve reused numerous times on the same issues but on different men ( or boys).


I’ve been here almost five months and there is no doubt in my mind that I love it here. But occasionally, usually when I find out that my family or my best friends went out or that one of our dogs will have a baby (seriously…), I start to miss the life I had at home. I start to feel impatient and scared that I may be putting my life on hold because everything seems so temporary and unknown right now. But then what is security really? Where is the beauty and excitement in knowing where you’ll be exactly ten years from now, of having your whole life mapped out before you? I honestly don’t see myself settling permanently anywhere at this point in time and I haven’t found anything that I’d like to do for the rest of my life.


I’ve learned a lot about myself in those five months… I realized that I’m really a tough loner. I value the time I spend by myself and thoroughly enjoy being alone. And this mood usually kicks in at night, when I’d like nothing more than to be alone in my room to read or to write, after being gregarious and perky the whole day (which can get so exhausting!). I also learned that I love cooking BUT only if it were the only thing I had to do in a day. After a full day in the office and a slew of tiring post-work chores and rituals, I find the idea of making a sandwich for dinner more appealing than cooking or washing an entire starter kit of cutlery, pots and pans. And most important of all, I learned (and am still in the process of living this wisdom) that life is too short to let the excitement and wonder of not knowing fizz out and deaden you and turn you into an anal-retentive, paranoid, control-freak manang hehehe.

****

Because I’ve been ranting so much the past few days, let me try and make this space a bit more socially-aware. Can everyone please make the effort to watch AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH or at least read about climate change? The point is not to make you take sides, politicized (everything is political anyway!) or guilty. The point is that it is real, it is happening whether or not you read about it and that there is something we can do that won’t even cost us our money, our ideologies nor our precious calories.





joke’s on me

19 10 2006

When I started working, I realized how much growing up sucks.  It sucks because you have to start earning your own dough and worrying about day to day nuances like paying the bills and saving money for the “future.”  But most of all, it sucks because you are no longer capable of stopping people from doing sucky things just by throwing a tantrum.  It used to be so easy when I was a kid, just make your eyes water and wail as loud as you can.  That made adults stop in their tracks and give in to your, ahem, “request.”

Someone up there is playing a joke on me, one after the other.

Keep ’em coming.





Sydney, ang Pagtatapos

18 10 2006

Here’s the final installment on my travelogue on Sydney…

***

DAY 3 AM


It’s the last day of our trip here. Yesterday, on our second day, I completed the requisite traditional, detailed and unique shots of the Opera House and the Harbor Bridge. An idea I got from a photography book written by RichardI’Anson.


I went back to Circular Quay West and turned it upside down by going to every nook and cranny of the Rocks and even under the bridge. It was a good day to take photos and wander in the streets alone, the sun was out which made the day warmer than it really was. The highlight of my day was probably going to Auntie Kate and Uncle Edwin’s house and spending the entire afternoon with their family. I realized I’ve been missing family get-togethers and it was good to get a dose of it after a long time. We ate lunch together and went to Church together. It’s been awhile since I went to Mass.


Being with them was great but it also made me realize why I am loving my stay here. I am loving it because of the independence and the freedom it affords me. Because it enables me to make decisions by myself and pushes me to be responsible and wise enough to know what’s good for me. Hearing their insights on life here also made me realize how I still have some way to go before I can say that I have adjusted to how things are down here.


After dinner Uncle Gerard drove us to the city and dropped us off at Darling Harbour. It was a fantastic stroll but it made me feel like I was lacking something… I didn’t like the feeling because I certainly don’t think I’m incomplete… And then the reason finally dawned on me… it was a place almost exclusively perfect for lovers holding hands while walking (at pa sway-sway pa?) ;P. The place was fantastic by itself, but it would have been more wonderful if my family was there to experience it with me. (Note: Did you think I was going to wish for somebody else to be there with me? Hehehe).


Day 3 PM


Our last day was spent at the Darling Harbour again and we killed time by going to the Sydney Aquarium. I guess the highlights of our last day were the afternoon spent in Hyde Park dissecting life and love; and the free hugs at the Pitt Street Mall. Yes, our sojourn in Sydney ended with big, tight and very warm hugs from people we never met before. It was started by a guy who goes to the place every thursday with a poster saying FREE HUGS in bold letters. When I asked him what the gig was for, he simply said “for good cheer.” Isn’t it amazing how an effort so simple could have a huge impact on people? And he gives really good heartfelt hugs.


They say travelling teaches you a lot about yourself and changes you in some way. What this trip taught me is that it is good to say yes all the time, to be in the moment and to bloom where you are planted. There are things in life that you do just because it’s what your heart is pushing you to do. Life is too short to think about who wins or who loses, or to care about which course of action will be more palatable to people who, ultimately, don’t count in your life.


I almost ended the trip lonely and disappointed, I went through a whole gamut of emotions because of something that may even appear juvenile and irrational to some. But my angas session with Mel at the park (Note: wow parang paco presents…concert at the park na pinapalabas sa ptv 4 hahaha) has made me realize that there is salvation in knowing that I did everything I can to make things happen. It didn’t turn, so it’s time to get rid of it and move on.

***

There you go, that’s my take on Sydney.


It’s a wonderful and beautiful city, definitely, but maybe I’m getting old, because midway through our trip, I started missing Melbourne and its provincial vibe. I’ll gladly go back for a weekend, but if it’s a question of where I’d like to live long-term, the probinsyana in me would no doubt choose Melbourne.


And because I always try to mean what I say, I am going back for a weekend next month to celebrate my birthday there hehehe.





Sydney Part I

17 10 2006

The trip to Sydney was the first time I had a simultaneously written travelogue. The piece below has been sitting in my journal for a couple of weeks now.

***

DAY 1

We flew in here at half-past 7am (note: I’m getting with the lingo, using “half-past” to denote time is very Aussie :p). From the airport we took the train to the Town Hall station and the second we went up the subway and out unto George St, the first words out of our mouths were “Where to?” There was this fleeting moment when our minds were totally blank and didn’t know where to go and what to do. It’s an incredible and slightly daunting sensation you always feel whenever you’re in a new city.

 

You find that knowing nothing, almost nothing is unnerving but then you welcome it because being new to a place (or to anything for that matter) allows you some space for mistakes. So you prepare to conquer it and to laugh at yourself in case you do something stupid.

 

I’ve spent an entire day here and my take on this city so far is that it is more cosmopolitan and fast paced than Melbourne. Even the traffic signals sound more hurried than the sing-song rhythmn of those in Melbourne streets. We ticked off more places than we planned in our itinerary and we were even able to squeeze in a seafood fare lunch at Doyle’s, which is by far the most expensive lunch I’ve ever digested here in Australia.

 

I’ve seen the Opera House from different angles, varying distances at various times of the day except morning. Same with the Harbor Bridge. In a nutshell, I’ve been officially baptized as a bonafide Sydney tourist. But the highlight of today has to be the Manly Jazz Festival. I thank the goddesses for giving me the wisdom to choose this weekend when I booked this trip. I feel as if I have glimpsed a part of heaven with the beautiful beach, cooling seabreeze and soothing, awe-inspiring jazz music.

 

While trying on the different performances at each of the concert stage, I met Nada, a 73-year old woman who was born in Croatia but has been living here for 50 years and has not gone home to her homeland in 28 years for various reasons, one of them being that she had an open-heart surgery and her body won’t do well in overseas travel. Nada is lonely because her dear elder brother passed away 4 months ago. She says she has 2 othr siblings but they don’t care much for her, unlike her just deceased brother who even sends a Christmas card every year. She’s also worried about her health and she feels she doesn’t have much years ahead of her. I told her she shouldn’t worry too much. I remember telling her that she appears to have lived a full life from her stories but I forget if she responded by being offended by the morbidity of the statement.

 

But I do clearly recall receiving good vibes from her and her telling me that she liked talking to me because I had so much love in me. Hear that? Allow me to gloat for a second. Done.

***

Note: There was another highlight to our first day there but I’m afraid it isn’t for public consumption. You’d be surprised how the world can get so much smaller with the internet so I’ll just let it sit quietly in my journal. Anyway, I’d like to post my travelogue in installments so reading it won’t get so tedious.

Day 2 and 3 travelogue to follow. I do love delayed gratification hehehe.





A Proper Post-Sydney Post…

11 10 2006

Sydney Opera House

…will be written in a few days. Think delayed gratification. Mmmmm.