Just Write Just Right

This begins a series of short posts that may or may not be for long. There is still the disconnect. I have said this over and over again.

Anyway, there is still comfort – not guilt – in running close to 7 kilometers, then going home and having panaderia-bought Spanish bread and Finetti (aka upper middle class Nutella) for dinner. And a glass of cold cranberry juice. Whatever makes you happy, you eat it.

Drawing for a Cause

bitmoji183224066No, I’m not making some art for charity, although I wish I am that talented to pull it off.

By “drawing”, I meant not doing tasks and not going to events I expressed interest in. Different factors are in play: priorities, finances, on some level the genuine interest, and tons of excuses.ūüôā HistoryCon? Pop Comicon? Reader’s Fest? Book yardsale? Cinemalaya/Cinematheque/Cinema76? Give me my drawing board, hahaha!

The tiny tinge of regret does not overpower the reason why I put them off — okay lang talaga. I can catch up in some other way. I am not busy busy with other things. Very minimal activities lang — reading (still), organizing my online storage (I mean, ebook cataloguing and album sorting are therapeutic activities), and believe it or not, working out.

Yes, working out. I only started last week, and despite raised brows and carino brutal chides, I still don’t have plans of stopping. Knowing my lameduck (pwede bang lamepig, hahaha) self, sweating it out and stretching my body parts were very strange concepts. I plan to change that. My friend Raft3r sent a stolen shot of me at the treadmill and mygahd, medyo unacceptable na. I’ve always liked my chubby self pero minsan it comes to you na hmm, hindi na bagay, pretty self! Time to¬†work on it, and again, not aiming for¬†the media-obsessed, plump-is-no-beautiful frame of mind. Iproportion lang.

bitmoji-454067576Working out is hard, moreso for people like me who barely stretched. There is something fulfilling in completing a guided workout though. Sweating profusely is another thing. Endorphinssss! But I still have to get myself checked because even if I no longer eat after a workout, I noticed I grew larger after a few days. I may be doing something wrong if nothing is wrong with me. Seriously, one of the reasons why I didn’t enjoy workout before was because I gained more weight when I started going to the gym or running in races. Food portion control does not work on me as fast also. Tumatanda na talaga.

Really, why am I doing this , you may ask. It’s for something I dabbled into with zero, with nil, with no realistic sign that I am up to it. I am praying for it because¬†it’s more the mindset for everything to fall into place. Will definitely share once it’s finally happening. In the meantime, I will continue working out. Hindi man matuloy, hindi man pumayat, kahit lumakas na lang. Tipong I¬†won’t see silver stars and feel like¬†I’m dying after going up a footbridge, mga ganoon.

This is part of something I learned from a talk I attended: do something new each month. It does not have to be large scale, just something you have not done before. Thank you, The Better Story project for the inspiration. Hopefully, in getting into this groove, I won’t be drawing as much as I do.

Not Helping

I’m on my fifth day of a non-restrictive detox cleanse. I don’t think it helps in managing my moods! I said it previously about snapping easily, but the other end of that spectrum is the silly bout of emotions ranging from self-pity to helplessness. I hate them both — see, hate is a strong word which I avoid using as much as I can.

Ang hirap i-manage ng hormonal imbalance, friends and countrymen. No wonder drugs were created to assist people in dealing with it. I thank God for having something to do, actually plenty of things to do, because otherwise, I’d be pulling my hair out of my head one strand at a time.

It’s not all sadness and depression though. My shallowness is better than ever. Kung benta ang slapstick jokes sa akin before, mas tawang tawa ako sa sobrang corny na jokes ngayon. Hahahaūüôā Medyo baliw-baliwan ang aura natin lately.

My detox cleanse ends in 30 days. I’ll tell you more about it, particularly if it works. Right now, natatawa lang ako because one of the fiber drinks is supposed to make me feel full. I am not feeling it! Kinakain ko pa din lahat ng makita ko. Ang husay.

It Comes and Goes, Don’t Trust It

imageMy fuse has been shorter than usual lately. I don’t deny that there are times when my anger management reflects poorly on my personality and I’ve atoned for them many times over. Lately, I can only blame hormones for it.

Someone asked me recently if I don’t get tired being angry. I guess I didn’t comprehend the question that much for I answered no — I took it in the context of letting the anger linger which I don’t do. If you know me long enough, you may have witnessed how I flare up in one big burst and then it dies down immediately. What the questioner probably meant was with the frequency, does it ever take a toll on me. Now that my moods are very erratic, I should have answered yes, I do. Because it does get very tiring and more so when you cannot do anything about it.

I am suffering from PCOS and most literature points to hormonal imbalance as one of its effects. My acne breakout of epic proportions early this year was a red waving flag. I still refuse to get medication though because, and this may seem very misguided, I don’t want medications to supposedly fix my reproductive system. I just don’t want to mess it up by introducing drugs. Very misguided, I know. Let us discuss that later.

The outlet that social media provides is healthy. There’s the TMI vs. form of release schools of thought on this, but if you are one to get relief, no matter how momentary, from spilling it out in lieu of an actual person to vent to, then I am totally for it.

For every Twitter meltdown I did, guilt came right after. And the embarrassment of how bipolar I may appear to some because after the end of whiny posts, I will RT or QT something totally upbeat and silly. Hormones, I guess?  Yeah, hormones.

Right now I am thankful to have friends tolerating my cyclical rants. They can be my personal psychologists, too, but with the underlying acceptance that at the end of the day, I will do my own thing anyway.

They say that happiness is an attitude. I find it hard to pivot my feelings to that direction lately. One of my bestfriends said I wasn’t like this for¬†months now — distraction was key, perhaps. I know I can always do other things and distract myself from my routine. It really does work, you know. My struggle now is that I cannot find the will to make that one crucial step towards fighting it. I am not sure why and why for, but I do get pissed very easily lately. And the worse part is, now, I’m not even sorry.

Let me check back on this again in the next few weeks. I hope I have not made many enemies and burned bridges by then.

#BuwanNgMgaAkdangPinoy

Agosto na naman and dahil buwan ng wika ito, what better time to promote and encourage Pinoy readers to engage in a readathon of Pinoy-authored books! (Ironic ba, ang lakas maka-Taglish?)

Ginawa ko na ito three years ago. Matapos ito, local books have peppered my reading progress. All-year round naman dapat ang appreciation na ito although aminin din natin, with the barrage of reading materials from abroad, minsan nababackseat mo sila.

Feeling ko I did pretty well sa unang Pinoy readathon ko. Siguro mas magandang approach ang looking from the inside, palabas. Kumbaga, priority talaga dapat ang mula dito, ang nalikha at naisulat dito, bago tumalon sa iba.

Mula sa isa sa hinahangaan kong Pinoy na manunulat na si Edgar Samar, narito ang mga exciting na pwedeng gawin upang umahok sa kampanyang ito sa #BuwanNgMgaAkdangPinoy:

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Halina at makilahok! Kung hindi mo bet sa ngayon ang akdang Pinoy, ito ang magandang panahon para lawakan ang iyong horizon at i-explore ang Pinoy literature. Magugulat ka sa makikita mo. Isang buwan ito, so kitakits sa kanya-kanyang cyberspace updates!

Rethink

Someone told me that in order to exorcise someone from your system, try to set aside the romantic aspect of your feelings and think of him as a friend. I mean, ask yourself, “If I am not romantically attracted to this person, would I¬†be friends with him?”

Applying it to my case, the answer is I don’t know. Really. Because I knew him and it was built around the perceived him which was thankfully substantiated by what he showed me and how he treated me.

All¬†great relationships are rooted in great friendships. I believe that. You need not be friends for a long time though. Maybe it’s something¬†that you develop as you go along. So I hope I didn’t scare him enough to not want to even be friends with me. Masaya akong kasama, sabi ng iba, so feeling ko carrybells naman ako maging friend. Hahaha!

If at some point this takes a turn for the better, well and good. If it doesn’t, which looking at it parang ganoon na nga, at least I can look at him in the future and tell him, “Remember that time na gusto kita at inaya pa kita mag-date?” And then we’ll both laugh.

But I’m not there yet. A friend texted today, “Delay is not denial, so keep on praying.” I’m still at it. In the meantime, magbabasa na lang muna ako ng libro as I wait for it. Whatever that IT is.

Review: CRUSHINGLY CLOSE

The blog tour for Stella Torres’ latest book makes a stop here in Citizen Judie!

Crushingly Close - CoverCrushingly Close
Release Date: July 19, 2016
Get the book: Amazon // Goodreads

I got an ARC from the author. This in no way affects my honest review of the book.

About the Book: At twenty-four years old, Agnes Escueta has risen from the ranks to become a producer for Sports Tonight. No one can touch her, it seems‚ÄĒnot even crush-worthy anchorman Daniel Ferrer, who she gets to work with every single day. When a road trip to Indonesia throws Agnes and Daniel together, they find themselves working in close quarters. It doesn‚Äôt take long before Agnes finds herself being charmed by Daniel, and her defenses start to melt with his touch. With deadlines looming and a big game coming, Agnes must figure out how to let Daniel into her life without risking her professional reputation‚ÄĒand without breaking her own heart.

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When I read the synopsis of CRUSHINGLY CLOSE, I immediately thought, This is just what I need. It interested me because I’ve been missing The Newsroom lately (it has touches of Sports Night, too, right?) and my Timehop is rife with my Azkals adventures in recent years, so imagine how much I can relate to the story even before starting it.

What I liked about CRUSHINGLY CLOSE is that it’s very straightforward. Sometimes you really need not have too much issues and drama to weave a romantic story. The character-building may be short but the people turned out to be likable and more importantly, very relatable.

The attraction between Agnes and Daniel was simply laid out. No crazy long build up and back and forth, and when it happened, it was at the right moment. I liked the element of special things happening when you’re away from your comfort zone (or simply, home). It added to the satisfaction which turned to a momentary confusion when they got back and one of them thought, “What now?”

That, that chunk of time in the story was my favorite part. Things unfolding while away, where even the very few people who knew you there weren’t privy to it, that’s what got me. It may have happened too soon, but to me it was just the right time. The characters are human, and in giving in to emotions, in putting down the barrier, I saw that they’re perfectly normal (and again, human).

I liked how Agnes and Daniel were written. They’re both independent and vulnerable in their own ways and letting their guard down, especially for Agnes, wasn’t something done in an over the top way. Agnes knew what she’s in for and only needed a short time to sort things out and decide what she wanted in her life. In hindsight it did justice to her independent nature as a character. Daniel, on the other hand, was consistent. And we all like our men to be consistent, especially when it’s about going after you and staying true to their feelings for you. Naks.

When I liked a story, after finishing the last page, there’s a sappy me needing a sequel. As for Agnes and Daniel, I would love to read about their new adventures in the newsroom! More banter! More affection! More steamy editing room scenes! Maka-demand naman di ba?ūüôā

This is my first book written by Stella Torres and I’m happy I signed up for this blog tour and got to read CRUSHINGLY CLOSE earlier. Off to read her other stories!

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SMT_AuthorPhoto2About the Author:

Stella Torres is the author of Save the Cake and the short story ‚ÄúBe Creative‚ÄĚ from Kids These Days: Stories from Luna East Arts Academy (Vol. 1)). She has a bachelor‚Äôs degree in English literature and worked briefly in public relations, but has chosen to pursue her post-graduate studies in the field of education. She loves dark chocolate, hates flyaways, and is constantly in search of comfortable shoes.

Connect with the author:

Blog: http://thegreatbigjump.blogspot.com
Facebook: http://facebook.com/StellaTorresAuthor
Twitter: http://twitter.com/TheStellaTorres
Instagram: http://instagram.com/stella_meimei

 

At the End of the Day

For the first time in months I had no reason to be out of the house last Saturday. While I slept most it off, I also used a considerable length of time poring over nooks and crannies of our small apartment where my books are. I long stopped listing down books I bought and I frankly cannot keep track of them. This is the kind of itch that will never go away.

I lifted cloth covers and found piles of them. I inspected brown paper bags and saw “I’m here so why not buy one” kind of purchases from different bookstores. The buying vs. reading ratio remains terrible and horrible. This is the kind of guilt that plagues me each time but cannot find the energy to do something about.

When I was a kid I used to imagine that life will be awesome if one minute of my life will be one full day, Earth time. I used to think of the many things I can do with my time, the skills I can master, the sleep I can get, the shows I can watch, the books I can read — without taking too much time in real life. Pardon me, I barely had playmates when I was growing up so I had plenty of time to think about how to have more time. I didn’t know then that this brilliant idea was foreshadowing a desire for when I get older.

The lure of social media and many forms of visual entertainment is very hard to resist. Very hard, not impossible. Plus we should also factor in interactions with people because apparently, real world existence necessitates so.

At the end of the day we can always choose where we spend time on. As a joke I made up how to divide my time in a week, sparing 30 hours for a potential partner. Jokes aside, as creatures capable of thinking and deliberately changing how we order our priorities, maybe I can find the push to read above everything else that requires my energy.

Ang haba ng drama ano, gusto ko lang naman sabihin, bigla ko namiss magbasa ng magbasa.

Chillax

The second half of the year is shaping up pretty well. It’s a validation of sorts that people stop me now to talk about the date and immediately after that comes tiny twitches of regret that I wrote about it and was it even worth it. And then I sleep and eat fries and meh, it’s okay, I guess.

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I often joke that whenever great things happen at work, each one takes away twice the potential in my romantic life. That’s absurd, of course, and God does not take one to give one — it’s possible to have both at the same time. Not all the time but…you get the drift.

That said, one possible training is in the offing again although nothing is set in stone yet. There’s a competitive nomination process, for one. If and when I’ll be lucky to get a spot, that scraps my Penang plans in November — unless there’s a possibility of squeezing it on a three-day weekend which I know isn’t possible. If not, then back to the almost-made Penang drawing board which my friend RG helped me with given that he went last year and took amazing photos.

Operational changes are also in full swing at work and even though I still struggle to get them all in my (literally) big head, it’s exciting to be a part of something like it. Operations management is not my strong suit; I’ve always been the correspondence and social media person, so getting out of this small comfort zone is exhilarating if you’re called in to participate at the right moment.

As much as I contemplate working on my romantic life again, I cannot put sufficient energy to do it yet. I’m still reeling, you know. My very concerned friends had a lot to say but they also know I ultimately do not listen to them anyway. I never did. Buhay ko naman ito, walang pakialamanan. LOL

It’s not that I felt bad because maybe I did, parang noong ilang beses ako nag-apply sa (insert agency) and was turned down thrice (pero nakamove on na ako doon, I swear, lalo na when I see they’re more physically tired than us, hahaha). But there’s more “ok lang” than the heavy feeling. Either I have matured or sadyang makapal lang talaga ang aking mukha.

I guess I’m just this big spark douser that when I opened my mouth and showed my personality, whatever tiny possibility there was was prematurely put off. Wala naman pinagkaiba yan, reversely, when there were guys before who’d show me affection and I was, eeehh, sorry, but I still like to be your friend! Yung isa nga doon ‘sis’ na ako kung tawagin ngayon, o di ba? Nagevolve na kami.ūüôā

I am at that umay myself to pieces phase, taking everything I have related to it, and inuumay ko yung sarili ko by looking at it, thinking about it, for when it’s at its peak, the next morning, hopefully, the feelings will be gone. It has not happened yet. I’m not a fan of forcing myself to forget because they never work. Plasticada ng taon ang peg tapos at the end of the day, gusto pa rin naman pala. Gaga lang. So yes, just let it flow, ride the wave, until it subsides. After all, there are far too many things to do. Yung tinatawag na ADULTING ng mga bagets at hipster.

More importantly, there are more relevant things happening in the world, may it be here in the home front or overseas. The world just cannot catch a break. Humanity just cannot catch a break. We may not be in the position of power but as simple as praying for the world may help. And then educate ourselves and if possible, critically engage. If not up to it, it’s okay, too. Wala naman masama mag-chillax lang.

Hemming and Hawing

bitmoji-1972018012After a week of hemming and hawing, and a little wake up call from trusted friends, I am now laughing at the fact that the date I had last week is not getting another one. I don’t date very often so this is not so much a big deal but another worthy source of “Ano na namang pinasok mo, Juday” anecdotes in my sitcom of a life.

I wrote about it¬†after it happened and reading it now, nah, it’s not worth publishing in its entirety. You know how they say you don’t rely on things you say when you’re emotional? So never mind. But many parts of it ring true:

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O di ba,¬†parang first meeting lang ni VP Leni with President Duterte: it exceeded expectations!¬†So yeah I did ask for the date because I’m an empowered woman¬†(naks). Funny thing, that “coffee” thing was tricky. He thought I was presenting a business opportunity. NAKAKALOKA. But it was a good segue to make the invite more casual because I found the chance to joke about it and say, “Hindi ko tatanungin kung open-minded ka, inaaya kitang mag-date ano ka ba?!”

I have not done this dating thing in a while so I really don’t know if they¬†changed the rules or what. It was only over coffee, meaning easier to bolt when things go awry. So when we’re there, parang shet, anong first question dapat? Good thing he started¬†with the book that was on the table and from there he became the Boy Abunda the entire time (meaning he asked all the questions, hahaha).

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Looking back, I did say a lot about myself, and really, kung masama lang na tao yung date ko, OMG he can practically sell me out, and use my identity to be implicated in some crime. Hahaha! But¬†I only cringed for a short time. Wala na, naidaldal ko na ang buhay ko eh.¬†Plus he’s not that interested anyway so¬†there’s even a chance he didn’t remember everything I said (though he might, matalino yon eh. Naks.)¬†You know why I don’t bother? Coz I know in my heart it was only my “jittery Juday”¬†reaction. Remember this?

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So sorry na lang, date.

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This is the part I’ve spent much hemming and hawing on. I told someone I very rarely feel this. So when I did, as much as I told myself never to expect, the silly expectation monster creeped in and waved its evil hand at me. See, this guy is so smart, makes strong cases about things even with what very little he posts on social media, and jeez, he types in complete sentences kahit pumapatol lang sa¬†shallow issues (minsan napapadami ang emoticons but it’s okay, my love, hahaha). Intelligence is really a turn on for me and add to that yung konting smugness na hindi naman tipong inaalipusta ka na, okay? He’s all that and more. He was evasive in spilling some details (that was a red flag there) but in topics where general thoughts were needed, ay mga toto at inday, swooning ako. Deep inside lang.

Where was I? Yeah, the part where I did not feel the compulsion to impress, and all the first date/best foot forward shenanigans. Wala. Waley! And yes, I remember using ‘waley’ in one of my comments to him. WAY TO GO, JUDAY.

If all these reasons made me oddly comfortable, could it be the very same reasons why he became uninterested (or disinterested ba? Help.)? Maybe.

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I mentioned above how I lived off on very little I know about this person before meeting him again. So I’m open to the possibility that I might see something off or iffy na matuturn off ako talaga. But I know it’s¬†God’s sense of humor at work. The guy was everything I made up in my head and more, like this little “MFEO yata tayo” moment:

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Although there is one thing that made me think a teeny tiny bit — when he told me I was brave, not once but thrice. Kinilig ako in a warrior kind of way (tapang daw eh), for it’s like a¬†validation. “And you said yes”, I even remember telling him. It would have been clearer had he finished it off with what that katapangan meant to him. Without it it’s like (this is the proud side of me talking), ang tapang mo ha, to do this to me. It’s hard to fully convey but sometimes, I think about that. Kahit wala — waley — naman na magiging effect.

That, and the reality that it’s been a week and there’s nothing, and then there’s the rain. When he was paying the bill, I knew I wanted a second, a third, a fourth date. When we said our goodbyes, I knew there’s never gonna be a second one.

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I knew it that early. It took me a week to process it fully. The wait was agonizingly slow. Kahit at the back of my head wala naman na akong hinihintay.

I’m no longer in the business of dissecting what went wrong. The reason was simple. And once I (kind of) got past that, natatawa na lang ako sa sarili ko. Then I started remembering the little details. Plots B, C, and D kumbaga. Like hindi ko maexplain¬†kung kinikilig ba ako talaga or because I needed to pee badly (I had tea latte, and hello, diuretic). Or when I cannot look at him (dahil kinikilig ako), napapatingin ako sa payong niya (it was raining hard when he came) at naisip ko, Ay, floral yung payong nya. Pero sloppy ang pagkakalagay dun sa plastic. Isinaksak na lang talaga sa loob. Hihihihi. We’re good.¬† And how he’s taller than I expected. At mahaba ang paa. So hmm, divided by 2 plus 2. Hahaha! #objectificationofmenūüôā Mga ganyang kababawan that I didn’t gloss over much dahil overall, every word feels like a shooting star nga¬†di ba?

I told myself I won’t be asking anymore. Tama na yung isang beses. Sometimes though, the stubborn part of me thinks, eh bakit hindi ko na kayang tanungin ulit? Bawal? That’s the struggle. It’s like applying for a job. Nainterview ka na. Ayaw ka nila. Humanap ka na ng ibang trabaho. The chances you will be given a second look and the decision will change? Possible but does not happen very often.

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This is not a unique experience. Braver people have done this many times that it doesn’t¬†even merit talking about it. As for myself, it could have been a great one kasi. Could’ve been so beautiful, could’ve been so right, sabi nga ni Tiffany. That’s what I thought of it. I still like him a lot.

So¬†why blog about it? Well, if I got a second date, I wouldn’t be talking about this. Eh waley. So, tadaaaaa!ūüôā

Six Months of Itchy Feet

bitmoji-1452480305The first half of 2016 didn’t fly as fast as the past years and I can attribute it to opportunities to travel since January.¬†Hindi pa din naman jetsetter levels but knowing me and my attachment to sleeping in and my catatonic extent of TV and movie marathoning, this has been a welcome change.

I was ready to book my solo trip to Penang for my birthday in January when I learned that my office bestfriend R was being sent to DC for training. We had talked about going to NYC for years so I definitely had to join her!¬†Looking back, my first decent lunch on that trip (we were graciously hosted by R’s sister’s friend) was in Penang Malaysian Restaurant in downtown Boston so it’s like saying, “Sorry Penang, this shall do for now!”

It was all fun and new adventures from Harvard, Boston Commons, Quincy Market, Faneuil Hall, the 4-hour Amtrak ride to Penn Station, snowy tour of the common NYC touristy spots, the Hamptons, more DIY tourist walks, to my forever love affair with San Francisco and its famous spots, wineries in Napa, burgers and more burgers, Tselogs (which serves the best Pinoy comfort food in all of the West Coast), and basically more food and time for friends and family. Some photos below:

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April saw me in Bangkok for a leadership training. I skipped the usual Thailand tourist activities because I did them 10 long years ago, when without wise counsel I booked a flight to Bangkok because it’s my birthday. It was all kinds of, “What the hell am I doing in this area of Bangkok?”¬†and “I’m naively stupid, let us just charge it to experience.” So when I went back, it felt familiar, save for impressive urban developments (which made me¬†slightly jealous). I didn’t pay for it so I was housed in a fancy hotel with an incredible view while having breakfast, kung saan a fancy buffet breakfast had me eating their anchovies for seven straight days. I tried almost everything in the buffet spread AND PUT DILIS ON THEM. Ang sarap ng anchovies nila doon, I swear — even the ones I bought at a 7-Eleven to munch on at night! Dilis-cious. Ay, ang corny.

We’re lucky my office¬†observes legal holidays of two countries, so when we chanced on a cheap fare to Guam, kaladkarin as usual, off we went.¬†With all these traveling¬†I also had to make it up to my mother, so from¬†a big Cebu Pacific sale in March I scored HK tickets for almost 6K. Yes, 6K for two adults, round trip. Hindi ka pa ba pupunta? By the way, I am about to finish short travel tips in both places, as my very small way of giving back to the blogosphere where I got many of my valuable itinerary tips from.

“Travel now, pulubi later,” said this one funny photo I saw in Facebook. Traveling, while not necessarily¬†expensive all the time, still requires you to spend. And with very little gaps in between trips,¬†tipid mode ka talaga, to the level of jeep na lang and carinderia after each one.ūüôā But is it worth it? YES. I’ve known it for so long and I remember one guy I had a super crush on telling me that I¬†should travel more because¬†the experiences will last longer than a good book, a hearty meal, or a great outfit. That was nine years ago. I didn’t heed it until three years ago. God always provides naman.

I will be quieter this second half although there’s one booked trip long ago (mura eh, sabi naman sa inyo, just be on the lookout, and have a friend with a credit card, LOL) which I can save up for until it’s time to go.

If my budget permits, I still intend to pursue Penang before the year ends. I have researched it and I think I am ready. If I delay it, baka mawala yung momentum and all the information I mapped out eh.¬†Maybe it’s also because I conditioned myself I will go and I didn’t, so closure, I guess?¬†Mga ganung first-world personal dilemma. Let’s see.

A big part of me still wants to travel more locally, solo or otherwise. There have been plenty of tourism¬†jingles but what’s stuck in my head until now is¬†Regine Velasquez singing Biyahe Tayo¬†whenever I travel within the Philippines.

Anyway, that’s six months of relieving the itch of my feet. As always the case when something itches, kamutin lang! Pero sa pagkamot alalay lang, para walang damage, only relief. Naks!

The Day I Gave Up Online Dating for Netflix

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Logos lifted from okcupid.com, eharmony.com, tinder.com, iflix.com, and netflix.com. The cartoonized me is from Bitmoji.

With finality, I can say that I am done with online¬†dating. ¬†There wasn’t any “dating” that occurred in almost two years anyway. And before I believe (and you conclude, you heartless judgmental monsters LOL) that there is something fundamentally wrong with me let me tell you: most of its failure was for lack of trying.

Online dating sites are great. I know people, friends, who have successfully built happy unions that started via online dating. I encounter too many of them at work, too. They do work. But it’s not for everyone.

I had the guts to finally pay for an account in 2014 because it was almost Christmas and heck, I needed diversions. I forgot how much exactly but it was probably around $25, a one-time payment for one year. It allowed me to view photos, make my profile viewable to paid¬†account holders, and jump to the direct messaging option than wait four to five stages of pre-made questions and answers. Then when my one-year fee ended, there’s a retainer of $5.95 a month.¬†Not bad, ‘no? Not bad.

It was exciting at first. I “talked” to a few guys and siguro for lack of having someone who paid me attention, lahat sila interesting. Go lang, choosy pa ba? I talked to a teacher in Hawaii, a martial arts instructor in Fresno, some government guy in Virginia. I forgot why exactly they didn’t prosper. One guy I cannot forget¬†was the most polite¬†online¬†sex proposition I got. When I made it known I wasn’t into it (not yet at least; first night ng usapan, ganun agad nagmamadali, may lakad beh???), he politely said thanks and goodbye, and wished me well in my online dating journey. Made me think, grabe talaga ang Canadians, kahit¬†online predator activities, ang galang pa din nila.

I simultaneously¬†signed up for a free account in another site and it became my “local’ searching site. Medyo mabenta naman ako doon but for very short conversations. Yung iba pa jejemon. I mean, sorry ha,¬†kelangan talaga ang salitang “sabi” maging “sv” and ang “kuya” maging “kua”? Kuwa ang pronunciation doon, tigilan nyo nga ako! /rantover

It was also there where I met someone potentially okay pero — I didn’t even try that hard to research — a simple Google search yielded a child molestation record. It was in the past and I know people must be given opportunities to change¬†but…sorry. I also talked to someone who writes for a news website (one of the more mind-stimulating chats I had in recent memory; lasted a few days; mutual decision naman na tamarin magcontinue so it’s okay) and one also writes for print media. Both of them follow me in my social networks now. Ok lang kami. We’re cool.

Then came Tinder. Ah, Tinder. I posted about this before:

tinderthought

Tinder was prospect-laden than most and to think it’s a free app. I also happened to try it fully when I was in the States in January and wow ha, if only for validation and score in the hookup barometer, ang daming lalaki!!! Hahaha! It’s a hookup site so location is material. I moved in three states in two weeks so mahirap yung iba masustain. Two guys came close and in one nagmaganda ako even though I had the leverage naman to say no. I was supposed to meet him at an independent bookstore in North Beach but put it off at the last minute. In hindsight it’s a combination of low self-esteem and weakness to say no. Kaladkarin nga ako di ba. So better nip it while I still can. Baka maging sex slave naman ako nyan without me knowing. The other one was completing his PhD in Archaeology so you can just imagine all the “digging and excavation” undertones in our chats. Hihihi. Let us leave it at that. LOL. Both instances though, wala din.

Okay, so why did I say I’m done with this whole thing?

It’s not¬†really for me. I have poured my energy on things and activities I wanted and I got results. I am no longer thinking hindi ako mabenta or anything because I AM NOT A FRIGGIN’ COMMODITY.¬†I put in irregular effort and time into them, and there were times babalikan ko lang ulit and ica-career when I hear someone na may bagong guy na kausap (momentary inggit factor, in short).

More importantly, through all the times I was searching online, there’s a guy I like at the back of my head. I was waiting for him to come back from his trip and then he did, so maybe I have been focusing on that rather than pursuing online¬†prospects.¬†And in general,¬†you know how it is — when you have that guy,¬†you tend to go back to him, the imagined him, the memory of him, regardless whether you have a hundred different sites you’re a member of. Kalokohang phantom loyalty, alam nyo na.

Again, it may not have worked for me but it did and it will for others. If you are still single, try it. Except for a few thousand pesos na pwede mo kitain ulit, wala naman mawawala. Iba din ang experience.

Now that I gave up my paid online dating account, I used the money to pay for what really makes my heart and mind rested and happy — TV shows and movie streaming! Netflix charges ¬†Php370 a month while iFlix charges Php130. Each has extensive TV shows and film collections, original series, documentaries, and local shows. Too many shows, too little time indeed.

Is it worth the investment change? Definitely yes.

Online dating isn’t for me but video streaming? It will always bring me joy. If you were me, obvious naman ano pipiliin mo di ba?