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Archive for May 2015

Society is cruel on women of certain age. If you get past the age of 30, you’re already dismissed as old. But honestly at 35 I still feel like I am 25 but wiser than my 25-year-old self. I would rather be my 35-year-old self than be scatter-brained, clueless 25-year-old me.

Hollywood is one of the biggest proponent of age-ism:

Aging Actress Maggie Gyllenhaal ‘Too Old’ to Play 55-Year-Old’s Lover

37-year-old Maggie Gyllenhaal was recently told by a Hollywood producer that she was “too old” to play the love interest of a 55-year-old man. In an interview with The Wrap, Gyllenhaal said she was surprised by the producer’s admission, but that it’s just one of the many “disappointing things about being an actress in Hollywood.”

“It was astonishing to me. It made me feel bad, and then it made feel angry, and then it made me laugh.”

When will society stop feeding our insecurities?

I oftentimes feel ugly due to weight issues but maybe in reality I’m not really that bad-looking. Then the pressure to be the perfect size 10 after giving birth has never been that greater than before. Social media has made it worse, with photos of your elementary school classmates frolicking in the beach in their two-piece swimsuits dominating your Facebook newsfeeds.

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One of the massage places in Chinatown, Singapore

Because I often wear uncomfortable footwear whenever I am in Singapore, I always end up paying for expensive foot massages to ease my aching muscles. SGD 50 (PHP 1,673) for 60 mins is already considered ok for foot massage in Singapore but highway robbery in Manila. More so in the provinces. For that price I could have 60 mins of Karada massage in Makati or full body massage with foot reflexology for 90 mins.

Sigh. You pay pretty money for some comfort.

So for this reason I still love Manila–the drama queen of Southeast Asia, where everything seems to happen at the same time: trains colliding, bus bombing, parking altercation shootings, riots, earthquake scaremongering, epic traffic jams, and Biblical floods.

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I took this photo during one of my walks in Singapore. Reminded me so much of our Old Post Office in Liwasang Bonifacio and the potential of that old Neo-Classical building. In fact, the company behind this Fullerton Hotel in Singapore had talked to Philippine Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima about wanting to develop the decrepit old building into a hotel similar to what they have done in Singapore.

The thing here is the Old Post Office is sinking, i think. Its foundation is already lower than sea level/ Pasig River and I’ve been traversing the road behind the building going to Intramuros for years. When it rains, vehicles cannot pass through that road anymore because of flood either from trapped rainwater or the overflowing river.

But then, it would be nice to put the old building back on the map. One of the old beautiful buildings that survived the massive bombing after World War 2.

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Old Beach House location, UP Diliman

If there is one fond memory I have of my graduate student days in UP Diliman (yupielbi girl forever here), it’s this: eating outside the small canteen called Beach House adjacent to the UP Diliman Main Library. Brought my classmate (whose undergraduate school was Letran, hence, her ignorance of the place) here to eat after our Anthropology class (something that I regretted taking because it was just an utter waste of time). Two barbeque sticks, veggies, rice and soup for less than PHP 200. After that I usually went to the library to do my thesis (when I finally buckled down to work on it after leaving it to stew underneath my aspirations to become the best business reporter my newspaper had–but failed on that front, i guess). Or sometimes pretended to do my thesis. I have slept with my head on the table among the musty copies of theses that I painfully had to read. Then I would go out here again at the Beach House, by that time it would have already been closed for the day, to sit and ponder my future.

I haven’t been to this spot for a long time. Probably time to visit.

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I have been reading Brian Welch’s autobiography Save Me from Myself: How I Found God, Quit Korn, Kicked Drugs, and Lived to Tell My Story for two nights now. Although our roads were different, we had the same feelings, the same realizations, and same reactions to how we found God. What struck me the most was Brian’s account of startling “coincidences” that pushed him to go back to Him. I have experienced similar (albeit different in the sense they’re not replicas of Brian’s) “coincidences” that were sooooo weird and yet–these were messages that I couldn’t dismiss. And whenever I ask Him to tell me something, to answer some difficult questions, He answers back with “coincidences” so stark, so in-your-face that there’s no way you could ignore it. Reading Brian’s words–no flourish, no drama–of how he felt about it at that was comforting to me because now I know that when “coincidences” like those happen, I know it is God who is talking to me and so I must pay attention. I’m still halfway through the book though. If you are a fan of Korn, you should read this to be able to understand why Brian “Head” Welch quit the band at its height. If you are a Christian looking for inspiration and wanting to know how unlikely people can turn around 180 degrees, pick this book up. You’ll be surprised at how God can be persistent and really, really crazy in His own way of letting you know He got your back and you can rest easy forever.

I remember my journo cousin asking me why Pacquiao is very popular here in the Philippines and why is he revered as a national hero (Interview became an article for a US publication).


Clash of the Titans: Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao finally fight Photo: GETTY IMAGES

I told her that Manny is the epitome of rags-to-riches story that all Filipinos can relate to and aspire for. He literally fought his way out of hunger and rose up the economic and power ladder with sheer determination without having to earn a college degree. His English is stilted at best but he manages to grant interviews even in monosyllables.

Pacquiao embodies every Filipino’s hopes and dreams. He represents the downtrodden–the underdog that overcame the odds. He is a reminder that good things happen to the poor and the oppressed. To maids being maltreated by their Saudi employers; to the seafarers away at sea for 9 months; to the caregivers receiving pittance of a salary washing bedridden old people; and to boys hitching their carabaos to carts in the ricefield at dawn before walking to school on empty stomachs.

Manny is not only fighting for himself but for a whole country that looks up to him for inspiration, for citizens that seek reasons why we should be proud to be Filipinos when it seems like there’s nothing for us back home except corruption and poverty. And that is a very heavy burden to bear.

No, Westerners cannot understand. Rich people cannot understand.

So, go Manny! May God be with you always.

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life in business journalism

crazy. exciting. boring to some but hey, you get to understand the world better when you're a business journalist. you learn to be patient with tons of documents, make sense of numbers and charts. all geeky stuff. this is my story, behind the scenes.
May 2015
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