Happy Feet

29 04 2007

we had a really wonderful weekend in phillip island and i’m now growing to love road trips around australia.

the clear sunny weather on saturday was a pleasant surprise because the forecast consistently said there was going to be a lot of rain. i consider this trip as my most perfect weekend in australia to date but i can’t pick one single thing about it which made it perfect, maybe it was the beautiful island itself, maybe it was the great friends i had for company, maybe it was the weather, maybe it was the laing, sinigang na hipon, adobo and inihaw na liempo, or it could have been the beautiful moon and the bright stars out that night which reminded me so much of my favorite Dumaguete or maybe, just maybe, it was all the alcohol we drank which led to drunken discussions about open bars in office parties and taking photos of the penguins on parade.

i guess it doesn’t really matter. days like this can wipe out several weeks’ worth of negative feelings.

in case you’re wondering, those feet and funky shoes are Melanie’s.


Pinoy Kase

27 04 2007

I’m still reeling from watching the Australian production of Miss Saigon a couple of hours ago. I never expected it to be that moving and riveting. I have heard the songs a thousand times in Pinoy sunday afternoon shows like ASAP or the more vintage SA LINGGO NA PO SILA but I felt an entirely different sensation listening to them in context, sung with raw emotions.

I also didn’t expect to see so many Filipino performers tonight. To hell with sounding cheesy, but it was indeed a very proud Pinoy moment. Leo Valdez should be revered for how well he plays the Engineer.

Since moving here, I’ve always tried to tag every Asian with Malay features I see as Filipino. I guess it’s one way I stay connected. I always feel a sense of warmth whenever I hear someone speak Tagalog or Bisaya or Waray in a crowd buzzing with a myriad of other languages and dialects and that feeling was multiplied a hundred times tonight when I heard the Filipino members of the cast perform with passion and when I saw other nationalities applaud them with gusto. Astig =)

Regaining my Religion

23 04 2007

Level 2 of my photography class has began and I feel alive again. I especially like this class by this instructor because he always focuses on the basics and he lets you know which items and knowledge you really need and which ones you can do without.

This is definitely one of the few things that gives me reason to wake up each day, especially with some of the uncertainties looming over my head these days. I don’t have to please anyone but myself when I’m photographing and I guess you could call it a religion because it defines who I am and how I want to live. Photographing is also a good opportunity to spend some alone time and express your thoughts through your images. My favorite shooting partner would be Marl (I know you’re reading this, don’t feel too proud of yourself haha) because he allows you sufficient creative space (wow, where did that phrase come from?!), we just meet up at the agreed location and then separate to do our own thing. We do not trail behind each other like kids clinging to their mothers’ skirts, which is great because we both have enough time to compose shots and enough space not to get into each other’s subjects. That and the fact that I don’t really have any other shooting partner haha.

The part I least like about it is the gear talk, I honestly don’t enjoy discussing about them and I’d rather wax poetic about photos, not about lenses and flashes. Besides, I do not have enough knowledge to contribute to any discourse about the latest camera models and lenses so I’d just be wasting people’s time. If I need a new gadget, I let the need/purpose drive what I buy and not what’s currently being hyped up.

Wow, I didn’t know this post about my photography class was going to be a mouthful ;P

happy camper

20 04 2007

My flatmate Melanie and I have decided that it’s time to move to another apartment, one more grown-up and can fit more people so we can invite friends over for dinner and finally accept overnight guests. You see, a lot of our friends are planning to visit us this year and stay at our house for several nights, so it’s only right that we have a nice place to welcome them into. There’s honestly no major, practical reason to move but I can’t see any reason why we shouldn’t either. Life’s too short and last time I checked, being impractical wasn’t yet punishable by law. Plus, the excitement of decorating a new house from scratch would do us a lot of good and give us something to look forward to and first on the list is filling the new house with tons and tons of artwork from indie artists, Melanie included hehehe.

I can sense that a lot of positive and wonderful changes are about to happen soon =). Or maybe I’m just really good at deluding myself but in any case, I’m at a point where I can welcome any change coming my way with wide-open arms.

And for an important piece of news, Melanie is celebrating her birthday on Monday, I’m sure most of you know her and have the link to her blog, so batiin nyo na sya na maligayang kaarawan. Daliiii.

First and Foremost

11 04 2007

One thing I learned and have taken to heart since moving here is that when you’re living abroad alone (by alone i mean that you have no partner or family with you), you have no cocoon to retreat to but yourself when things become too much to handle. It’s not something to be sad about because it’s a fact. You can’t go home to your parents’ house on the weekend to regroup and/or recuperate, you can’t round up your best friends to pour all your grief and you can’t lose your grip and break down, because it’s not a luxury you are entitled to.

It’s a fact you need to live with, and living abroad is not a bed of roses so there’s no reason why it should be masked as a painless and smooth adventure. It’s an adventure because it will bring out the best and worst in you, it’ll stretch your patience, your strength and your sanity.

Having said those, I also think there comes a time when you should accept that the situation is not working out so maybe it’s high time to go back to your original cocoon and regroup. Besides, going home is never a bad idea.

Post formerly titled Undas

7 04 2007


i must admit i’m feeling a bit homesick because of easter. it’s not that i’m ungrateful of the fact that i have a lot of friends here. it’s just that easter, next to christmas, is a family affair for me and celebrating it without them is a bit displacing.

i miss the heat during good friday, i miss dressing up for church with that scorching heat, i miss doing the stations of the cross with my aunts and cousins (the dads normally stay home to drink, they’re exempted from easter duties, unfair isn’t it?), i miss playing around the house/yard with my cousins, i miss eating ginatan at 3pm on good friday, i miss pre-cable channel days when all you had was the ten commandments and charlton heston to entertain you, i miss going swimming and ending lent on black saturday. i miss the good old days. i’m wondering if we’ll ever be complete as a clan, complete as in having the house full, with people lining up to go to the bathroom and meal times split into two sessions, one for the kids with the non-veggie dishes and another for the adults where all the vegetables and fish and non-kid-friendly stuff get dumped. it’s the usual story of the kids growing up and leaving town and starting lives, schedules and socials circles of their own. our parents must long for the days when they could just get us dressed and dump us in the car without fuss. i really miss home =(

Update: I have mistakenly called Easter Undas instead of Semana Santa. Adik.

Another update:  And for the record, I did have a fantastic Easter, even with a week of sleepless on-call nights.  Maundy thursday was spent dining at Taco Bill (this one’s better than the “Bell” variety) and bowling while Good friday was well-spent too with lunch at Eva’s apartment which extended to a movie marathon and dinner.  We had halo-halo for dessert and merienda, top that!  If you’re a relative of mine, before you go tell my mother how I’ve gone from bad to worse in fulfilling my Catholic obligations, please know that Australia’s a very secular society, so… so there.  Really, it wasn’t my fault… ;P

The Dinner Party

1 04 2007

Last night we held our first dinner party at our flat. It was originally meant for Nancy & Paul, who arrived from Manila the other weekend, but it grew to a huge number which was a very pleasant surprise. It was a pretty simple dinner, we prepared garlic chicken and sinigang, Herbie brought tinolang manok, Bien contributed several pieces of bacon then Paulo provided the entertainment.

Even though I consider cooking as something that should only be as frequent as your twice-a-year holiday, I may start throwing small dinner parties regularly now. I am quite serious about this and today Melanie and I marched into Myer and bought two new sets of cutlery and 8 pieces of new Marie Clare dinner plates. I’m sure our guests last night enjoyed the food and the conversation but I doubt they appreciated having to bring their own set of cutlery and plates haha ;P.

Parties with heaps of people and loud dance music are good fun but I think intimate gatherings where you can have great conversations with friends are even better, not to mention great for the soul =)

Speaking of parties and dancing, after dinner we went to a pub in the city for Chie’s birthday drinks, wherein Faye and myself got properly smashed within an hour of arriving. I’ve forgotten the last time I had a good night out, getting drunk enough to laugh hysterically at even the corniest of jokes.