Sunday, December 31, 2006

2006: The Year That Was

I'm way too sleepy to think of posting in my blog at this time but it has always been my tradition to write a yearend journal entry. Every year I try to remember the year that was and the lessons I've learned the past 12 months.

Year 2006 is a year of change.It is a year of heartbreak and loss; a year of joy and laughter. For short, 2006 is a well lived year.

There are years where you just feel the months go by without anything happening. 2006 wasn't like that. Every month something exciting was bound to happen--be it happy or sad and with each hello and goodbye, I learned a lot. I think I learned more about myself this year than in any other year that came and went by. I learned to brave and to be strong this year. And most of all I learned to let go.

The first three months were the challenge months for my studies. I struggled to finish my dissertation much to the dismay of my mom. I know I disappointed a lot when I didn't make it to the graduation rites but what the heck, I finished it. I got to defend last March 17. I finally earned the much awaited PhD. Earning that was a great feat if you add on the fact that the person who was supposed to keep me grounded and sane through it all broke my heart into a million pieces. So despie nursing a heartbreak I had to struggle to move on.

2006 also marked the year of badminton. I played more hours in badminton this year than in any other year. Although my tournaments were reduced as compared to 2005 I still managed to join quite a number. I won more this year which made it more special. I finally won at the All Jesuit Badminton Tourney in July after 3 tries. I changed partners too this year-- first kei and I became ladies doubles partners then in mixed it was luis who became my new partner. My two partnerships proved to be lucky ones as we won quite a handful of tourneys. My most unforgetable win? Go Badminton last September. How we trained for that tourney will always be memorable to me. And I know partner luis won't forget it either kasi dun sila nagkabalikan ni Byo.

Aside from the winnings 2006 will also mark the year of my retirement from active play. Sad to say I had to stop for a while to move to a new adventure in life called Malaysia. Moving to Malaysia stopped my badminton addiction since I don't get to play as much as I want to there now. The first few weeks I was so bummed about this but now I realized it was the best time to retire. I retired at the top of my game. I retired knowing that I gave badminton my heart and soul. I retired playing the game of my life.

Then came Malaysia. Who would have thought back in January that I'd end up working in a different country? It was an application that started out as a joke and ended with serious 3 year contract and a chance to start anew. I admit my reasons for applying were quite superficial but looking back I guess I needed that reason to push myself to be braver. I was totally lost in my comfort zone and although it was quite comfortable, life was dull.

When I left last november I didnt know that I could last the first three weeks. I had my plane ticket home ready--I just wanted to give it a chance. I cried all the way from Manila to KL. It was so scary leaving the only life I've known.

Four weeks weeks later I'm here in Manila preparing for my return to KL on tuesday. I'm actually looking forward to going back. I belong there now. The girl who used to just sit back and be part of the crowd is now out in the open stage.

Perhaps what I'll remember most about 2006 is the fact that this year I lost one of my bestfriends. I've known him for 12 years--since first year highschool. But somehow fate has decided to end our friendship. There were times that I blamed myself for losing him but now looking back, I realized we just both didn't want to hold on. Friendship takes two people to make it work and I guess, my faith in him wasn't enough for him to stay. I'll always miss the old Peter who used to spend hours chatting with me about everything but I've learned that in life you don't always get what you pray for and in the end you learn to be contented with the memories. No one can take away all those beautiful memories away from me. Despite everything I am still grateful to Peter-- he pushed me to be braver than ever. Without him I wouldn't be where I am today. He gave me the best gift of all-- the chance to do something brave and believe in myself. He helped me find the courage to find and love myself again. For that I shall always be grateful.Thank you Peter. And I'm sorry for not being the friend you hoped that I would be. Sana someday we can be friends again.

With every loss they say, something is gained. I lost my bestfriend and half of my friends but I also gained new friends and new people to love. I met so many new people and got to know a bigger world. Di lang pala sa badminton umiikot ang mundo. At may iba pa palang mga taong pwedeng mahalin bukod sa iilan.

I still havent completely figured out why God let all these things happen but I am not keen on questionning his wisdom. I learned to find my peace in whatever life will throw my way.

In a few hours 2006 will end. I will say hello to 2007. I wonder what lies ahead in the coming year. I hope that it will be as exciting and as well lived as this year. kung pwede less heartaches and more joys but kung di pwede sana at the end of 2007 I still have the same faith in people that I have with me now.

Auf wiedersehen 2006.
Guten Tag 2007!
Manigong bagong taon sa lahat!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Girl Talk, The Guru, and Network Nightmares

Life is a total rollercoaster ride. Today is no exception. From a series of "highs" to a series of "lows" I learned to appreciate the blessings of today despite some very sad news late tonight.

Woke up early and got ready for my day with ella. -- one whole day devoted to the things we both loved-- eating, eating, eating, and parlor. hahaha. I picked her up at 11:30 for our "date." I promised her that we'd have at least one day together when I get home for xmas so it was something we both looked forward to. We picked up classmate before heading off to shakey's for lunch.

You could probably call it glutonny with the amount of food we consumed-- party sized pepperoni crunch, buddy pack of chicken (5 pcs!), 1.5 baskets of mojos, and a pitcher of sarsi. I even had a side order of soup. I don't know how we managed it but we finished almost everything except for the pizza.

A couple of hours later we managed to do so many things-- go to megamall, had our haircut with matching manicure and pedicure at david's katipunan, coffee at seattles best and then isaw and bbq at Que Rico with Lyzet. By the time it was 8pm I was so darn tired. My foot was still hurting from last night's play at GBC so my energy levels were low already.

Still,I enjoyed it. I miss my days with ella. Ves used to tease us that one reason why both remain single is because we're both so devoted to each other that there's no room for someone else. Ves is partly right-- Ella and I do spend a lot of time together especially when I was still here. We used to talk on the phone almost every day for hours. But that is how best friends are right? Ella and I are so updated with each other's life that at the end of the day, if one of us goes missing, the other would most likely know where one is. But were not totally devoid of other people naman. Ella and I have this pact that we'll always be there to support each other even if it means letting the other one go to find their bliss. Ilang beses na rin kaming nareschedule biglaan because of "someone" or "something." But alang alang sa puso, why not chocnut diba?!

So today I found it so nice to have those moments with Ella again. Kahit na paulit ulit lang ang kwento namin, parang di siya nakakasawa. The best parts of the day were the "Talks" with classmate a.k.a. GURU adrian and the chairman of the guru's herself--Lyzet. The smiles on their faces was worth the wait. I can still remember classmate's smile when I said "no comment" to his question (idol din siya sa kanyang evading techniques on when he'd go back to... hahaha..) and lyzet's complaints of having tired facial muscles from smiling. Sabi ko naman sa yo lyzet eh, i'll find my way sooner or later.. Glad I made you happy. I don't know how I got through the two gurus but despite feeling majorly embarassed most of the time (di lang ako pulutan, ginisa pa ko!hahaha), I was just so happy that I got to spend time with them.

After a short detour sa bluewave to give ann her lotion I was finally able to go home 12 hours after I left the house.

But like any day, rainbows won't be extra special without the presence of some clouds. Network problems due to the Taiwan earthquake caused havoc in my ability to send and receive text messages. Almost all my messages were either late or sometimes even lost. I couldnt connect to my yahoo mobile and even the yahoo wapsite itself. Ang hirap tuloy makipagchikka sa king chatmate na super sipag sa paglilinis ng bahay.hehehe. delayed lahat ng reactions ko. Kala tuloy niya galit ako. Di po no! Galit ang network sa telepono ko! hahaha.

The saddest cloud came in the form of chin's email. Fr. Bu is not well and I am extremely worried. I hope he gets better. He means the world to me. And I know part of the reason why I push myself to be more than I can be is because I always want to make him proud. He's my beloved pabu, and I won't be alive today without him.

Just when I thought I'd cry na, I got a nice goodnight text. God's way of cheering me up I guess. And I am glad. It gives me hope that tomorrow, all these clouds would turn to sunny skies. Thank you for the nice thoughts and concern. It's nice to know that someone cares.

At the end of the day, I am extremely tired and quite confused as to whether I am happy or sad. Too many things happened today. But I guess looking back I am still happy coz I know all these simply means that today was a life well lived.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

The questions that need answers

Every question should have an answer right?

But what if there is none?

And there it remains for you to ponder-- what happens next? You can't go back to the way things were before and neither can you really move forward unless you find your answers.

But maybe some things are meant to be answered at a different time. And maybe waiting it out is the best course of action for now.

Trust that fate will find it's due course. And hope that things will be okay in time.

Ella is right. It's not as if we didn't choose our paths. We are always given the choice and it's up to us to choose which way to go to and find our way from there.

How do I feel right now?

Honestly? I don't know. Happy sad happy sad happy sad. Totally ewan.

And maybe that's just the way it ought to be. For the moment at least.

Hey it's christmas! I'm entitled to some melodrama right? =P

Back Home for Christmas

I'm back home for the holidays and despite the long journey home I find myself unable to sleep. I guess I'm so used to staying up late that sleeping this early seems unfathomable.

I arrived at 11:15am via Air Asia in Clark. I barely slept since last night I had my despedida (kahit na kakadating pa lang) Jom's place. We had beer and tokwa't baboy for pulutan (na naging ulam). So just imagine how semi-zombie like I was when I went through immigration and customs. I didn't sleep after the party so keeping myself awake during check in was quite a struggle.

I think I had some withdrawal symptoms of my LRT rides in KL that I decided to take the MRT instead of riding a cab from megamall. I walked through Gateway mall first before finally heading for home.

Three weeks ago I was so excited at the thought of going back home for xmas. Funny nga coz all I could think of when I was about to leave last Nov was the thought that I would be back in three weeks. In those three weeks life was completely changed and if you asked me if I ever pictured all the things that happened the past three weeks, I would flat out say-- no.

And now that I'm back, I'm quite unsure of how to react-- I'm happy to be home yet at the same time I also feel that this is not my place anymore. I'm meant to be somewhere else. Or maybe I'm just not used to this place anymore. It's true pala when they say that you can never go back to the past and all you can really do is savor the present and prepare for the future. Life changed when I left last November 28. Life moved on and now there's no going back.

I still have some unfinished business here in Manila but I have more unfinished stuff to go back to when I go back to KL--things that I have figure out sooner or later. But for now, I won't think about it and instead will just enjoy this vacation. Tutal what's the sense of going home for christmas when di ka mageenjoy diba?!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Afternoon Lunch Conversations

After lunch today Melissa and I dropped by Liz's office to bring her KFC chicken. Azlan (who is on leave) was there so we had an interesting chat with him. Melissa asked Azlan what makes a man happy in marriage and these were his answers--"1) when she doesn't try to change me from the way I am, 2) sex-anytime and anywhere (haha), and 3) not being a nag." When asked about what makes a woman happy in marriage, his answers were slightly different--"1) listening to her, and 2) not solving her problems for her/not attempting to save her all the time." There's a third answer to that but I kinda forgot it. We had a great laugh when Liz bugged him about why sex is not part of the woman's list. His answer about the nymphomaniac was hillarious (okay when i do find one, i'll send her to you okay? hahaha).

Interesting right? From a man's point of view it was quite interesting to hear it from him. He's been married for quite some time now so I guess he knows what he is talking about. The conversation continued with him telling us that men and women were different essentially but what makes a marriage work is understanding and accepting each one's uniqueness. Pang Mr. Universe na sagot ha!hehehe.

Seriously though he makes sense. Maybe if we take time out to just understand each other, the world would probably have less fights and less confusion.

Melissa and I were chatting on the way back from KFC about how I'm kind of eng eng when it comes to matters of figuring out romantic relationships. I'm kinda lost when it comes to it, and so unless its right smack in front of me, I wouldn't be able to figure it out. I kind of admire the people who seem to find relationships a breeze.

Our brief get together was cut short when we saw Brian pull up in the driveway. hehehe.. Syempre pasaway kami at dun din kami nagpark sa tapat ng driveway kung san bawal diba? sabi kasi ni bossing eh. hehehe. Melissa and I hurriedly said goodbye and off we went back to our sleepy orange building.

The chikka will have to wait for another time.

3 more hours and I'm off to vacation!!!

Puto Bambu & the Monorail Adventure

In the Philippines we have the famous puto bungbong-- the purplelish puto that reminds us that christmas is here. Yesterday, Melissa and Liz introduced me to the Malaysian version called puto bambu. How it was cooked was the same except instead of being purple and topped with margarine/butter it was whitetish with palm sugar in the middle and grated coconut on top. It was quite yummy actually. And it made me long for home some more.

We've been eating out of campus for the past two days since the restaurant has been closed. I'm slowly learning how to order food in malay (walang kamatayang chicken rice and Iced lemon tea!). My tongue still twists whenever I say teh-ice-limao (tama ba to?) but at least its understandable now. haha.

I went out to buy myself a portable hard disk for my laptop yesterday at the Plaza Lao Yat in Bukit Bintang. I had a vague idea where it was so armed with my fighting spirit (sabi nga ni Brom, "That's the spirit - one part brave, three parts fool. ") I headed towards KL sentral after work. From there I was supposed to take the KL monorail to get to Berjaya Times square. The map looked so neat. Unfortunately, in reality it was not.

So true to form, I got lost again. I think it took me about 30 minutes to finally figure out how to get to the monorail from KL sentral. I didn't want to call my lifelines yet since I wanted to find out for myself how to get there. I didn't want the taxi either coz that would defeat the adventure. When I got down in front of Berjaya Times Square, it took another few minutes to figure out where Lao Yat was.

The bravery paid off and I got myself a new portable hdd for only RM245. About half of what it costs in Manila. Now I have enough storage space for all my movies and downloaded tv shows. hahaha.

Para di naman sayang ang adventure ko I did some christmas shopping na din but it turned out to be more like a window shopping adventure. I treated myself to Mcdonalds before heading back to my room. I was sooo tired when I got back but what the heck, it was an adventure still. I enjoyed it. Even if I was just by myself.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Morning Walks

Yesterday a friend of mine told me that I was different from the girls he knew here coz I actually preferred walking to taking the bus. We were walking back home from the LRT station after spending the day at KLCC and the embassy. It got me thinking-- why do i like walking? I have to confess, I didn't do much walking back in Manila since I have my own car there. I usually just enjoy walking when I'm out of town.

For the past week, I've been doing just that- instead of taking the bus to the LRT station, I just make it my morning habit to walk. Sometimes if I'm up to it, I also do it in the afternoon on my way back to my room. And I really like it. I agree with Jesse that walking helps clear the mind (mukhang seryoso naman siya nung sinabi niya to hahaha). This morning as I was walking to the station, I realized how relaxing it was compared to impatiently waiting for the bus. I was even humming a song while walking not minding that I was crossing a busy road. And since it was still quite early, it wasn't hot and there was no smog in the air.

I realized then that walking gives me back my sense of lost control since moving here. Depending on the bus and the train can be quite frustrating at times. Walking on the other hand is purely under my control. I control how fast or how slow my pace would be. And for sure I know I'll get to my destination in the time I want to be there. And though I still prefer to walking with someone than being by myself, walking alone is not as lonely as sitting inside a room by my lonesome self.

When I'm walking, I don't feel so alone anymore.

one of the gifts of my morning walks is the realization that I finally understood why you had to go. and i finally found the guts to finally say the final goodbye. Now I can finally say that I've happily moved on. I don't think of you much now. And when I do, it doesn't hurt as much now. I can even laugh at our old jokes and the past. I just remember the good times now. The bad times have been forgotten--chased away by the early morning winds that calmed my spirit.

The giraffe may still have two legs for me but I don't cry anymore.I've got others to share the joke with. Thank you for the memories. And thank you for teaching me that I am much more stronger than I can ever imagine. And that I can let you go without saying that I regretted ever knowing you. You will always have that place in my heart but now you are just a memory I'll cherish. I'm still singing the songs I sang for you last year but it's a lot different now. I'm actually happy when I sing them. I'm okay now. I am happy. I hope you are too. Merry christmas partner.


I accidentally got to know of the story of Eragon when I was searching for a gift last March for Banjo. I was browsing through the booktitles of National Bookstore when I chanced upon the novel. It looked interesting and since I couldn't think of anything else to give Banjo, I decided to buy it. Turned out Banjo liked the book and he told me it was good.
I never got around to reading it but I told myself I'd watch out for the movie. So when it was shown here in Malaysia last week, I told myself I'd watch it. So yesterday I saw it after going to the embassy for my OEC.

The movie is all about a farm boy named Eragon who found a dragon's egg. When the egg hatched he was decreed to be its rider and that's where all the adventure of Eragon and Saphira begins. The story is quite simple-- small town farm boy who becomes a hero against an evil king. Eragon is taken under the wing of a former dragon rider named Brom, who, years before, lost his own dragon to the evil men of king Galbatorix. There's romance in between and lots of battles. In the end, Eragon saves the day. How did he do it? Panoorin niyo na lang!

We've seen this kind of story before. Medyo gasgas na nga siya if you think about it. Yet there was something about the simplicity of the plot that made it worth seeing. The story was all about hope, courage, and taking chances. And I think that is what is life is really all about. We need that-- hope to keep us believing; courage to keep us strong; and risk taking abilities to keep us dreaming new things.

I cried during parts of the movie much to the amusement of my moviemate jesse. Hay nako! Eh sa nakakaiyak eh! At least di siya nakatulog! hahaha. For those who know me, I'm a sucker for crying in movies. Inaamin ko iyakin ako sa pelikula. Hey! I even cried while watching Space Jam (Yup! the Michael Jordan cartoons! haha!). I couldn't help it especially when Brom died. Fortunately I had some tissue with me.
I loved Brom's words-- "That's the spirit - one part brave, three parts fool" coz I'm somehow like that from time to time. I realized in the movie that we need to be fools from time to time. After all, it is our obligation to follow our personal legends.
Once upon a time I was told that if I keep myself open, it will come again-- the movie reminded me of that-- to always keep the faith. =) Even if we end up looking like fools.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Sunog Baga Group

I've just been inducted to the Sunog Baga group a.k.a mga tomador at tambay sa endah villa. We have different names-- Boy Brocha, Troy Troso, Boy Kuneho, Boy Phookistan, Kooluntoy,Happy Feet, EssTenLess, Prof. Guess who am I there?

For the past 3 weeks that I've been here in Malaysia, I've been regularly attending the sessions at Ann's, Obet's, and Charles' place. Just when I thought that my days of late night drinking sessions were a thing of the past, it became it clear that it only has just begun.

Saturday night's drinking session stamped my membership for good.hahaha. Who would have thought that the formerly indomitable drinking buddy of everyone will finally meet her match in the form of 5 guys (6 na pala kagabi) and finally get drunk. hehehe.

The sessions of the gang have become pretty frequent recently. Monday afternoon I received a call from obet telling me to go home early so we could start the session early. Hay naku when I got there, tulog ang mga mokong! hehehe. Last night, the boys were finally complete kaya may super late night session again. I was so pissed off with a very interesting fellow at work so I was in the mood for some pamperings. Cong Jessie and Obet cooked Adobong atay at balunbalunan ng manok with Ginisang Monggo for dinner. The thought of eating a lovely dinner was enough to send me packing home early from Semenyih. The drinking session was supposed to end early but when Glenn, Charles, and Jomer appeared, tapos na ang maagang gabi. May humabol pang isang biglang laya! hahaha. It was fun getting to know the guys kahit ako ang favorite target nila from time to time. Buti na lang may isang tao na mas asar talo! hehehe. peace! Who would have thought that someone would actually agree with me when I said that a giraffe had only two legs?!! And worse, may 2 pang nagsecond the motion! With all conviction pa! Winner talaga ang mga Sunog Baga boys!

When the vodka ran out at around 11pm, the boys went for round 2 of beer. Napagkaisahan ata kami kaya nawala lahat. The drinking didn't end with round 2. May third round pa! And that was only 1am! Grabe! Ibang level na ito ng inuman. I escaped the hangover thanks to my tagasalo ng tagay. Salamat po!! He ended up drunk instead of me. Hehehe. He couldn't even remember how many bottles we had. FYI, 6 liters po ng beer ang inubos niyo not to mention the vodka na tinira din natin.

At 1:30 am the group packed up for the mamak stall. Is this a new tradition? I was so full when we got there that all I could think of eating was iced lemon tea. I picked on the cheese naan ordered by cong jessie and the laughters and banters continued on until almost 3am when the guys finally brought me back home.

It felt nice to be part of a group here. They are quite a unique group but nonetheless a great one. Although I'm one of the boys I still feel pampered with them. aba minsan lang ako mapagluto ng dinner and matawag na princesa. hahaha. I guess one of the things I was afraid of when I moved here was that I would not belong. Now I know that I am part of something. I'm not a homeless person anymore. I belong again. And that makes me happy

When my old group left my life I was so sad. And as I try to put back the pieces of my life together, getting to know these new set of friends makes me feel that no matter what happens life would send me blessings. It's like in a survivor game. No matter what, I'll find a way to survive.

Life does indeed have a way of working out.

Monday, December 18, 2006


I finally knew what a real hangover felt like last Sunday. For the first time in my life I actually got drunk. I had a drinking session with the boys (hanggang dito ba naman one of the boys pa din ako?) last Saturday night until 3am of sunday. It was an all guys session with me being the lone girl in the group. It actually reminded me of our Ilocos trip last September and my inumans with Witart in Provident. Nakakamiss din yon.

We played badminton at 7pm first. Almost three hours of non stop laughter. Charles kept us playing till we died of fatigue. It was fun and was quite tiring especially when I played against the men's doubles of bambang and jessie/jet. Nakakapagod tumawa! My play was still way below my usual play but I was amazed at some of my newfound abilities to run and get the ball. Nagkakabackhand na ako! hahaha. We ended play at 10 pm just in time to force rajah to cook for us the last order for dinner. We were all so hungry then. I think I wiped out my food in less than 10 minutes.

After dinner we went back to the condo to wait for our kainumans--glenn and don obet. Glenn and Obet brought vodka home after work and when that was wiped out, they went out again to get beer. They made this concoction of regular beer with dark beer. I don't know what hit me-- whether it was too much alcohol, hunger, fatigue, too much laughter (i swear my tummy ached from all that laughing trips) or all of the above. I don't actually recall how many shots I had but I knew it was way too many to mention as my head was spinning na! hahaha. We were all laughing all night. Asaran and kwentuhan. I was on my kulit mode din kasi. We listened to Obet's new Ipod and his collection of cheesy christmas carols. Being here abroad gives new sentimental meaning to the song Pasko na Sinta ko and Sana ngayong pasko. Namoody tuloy ako. Napakwento pa tuloy ako ng drama ng buhay kay cong! hahaha.. Pero promise last na yon. ibabaon na sa nakaraan ang nakaraan.

And of course we still had our regular dose of kailan. Talk about kajologan. But hey! It was fun! There's something about being far from the Philippines that makes all those jologs songs a lot nicer to listen to.

After consuming all the beer the 6 of us decided to have an early morning snack at the mamak stall. I couldnt eat when we got there coz I was so bloated already. I was sleepy and quiet. Okay naman pala akong malasing. After a few minutes I decided to go to the cr and throw up. YUCK!

Jessie went with me to the toilet to witness my first ever drunken state in life. How embarrassing. Finally I think nakarmi ako from all that "i never get drunk statements" of mine. Imagine 7 red horse bottles sa ilocos and I didnt go down. I thought I was well trained by witart george and lolo mark na. Kulang pa pala! hahaha. Dito lang sa Malaysia pala ang katapat ko. I told the guys yesterday that they are the lucky ones who witnessed my first lasing state in life. Divina couldn't believe it herself when I texted her yesterday morning.

I woke up at 8am yesterday in Ann's room and my head was still spinning. I was so dying to take a shower so I forced myself to get up and go to my new sleeping quarters in the next block. For about one hour there I was telling myself that I'd never drink again (hahaha! tingnan natin!).

So that was how a hangover felt like. It was bad. My headache finally subsided at around 4pm already. I was supposed to go out and do some shopping yesterday but I ended up crashing in Ann's, Obet's and Charles' unit to bum around. Charles and I had lunch at 2pm in carrefour before I headed out to meet marisa for mass. My shopping expedition was completely forgotten. kaya pag umuwi akong walang pasalubong, yon ang dahilan non. hehehe.

So that was how my weekend went. Drinking expeditions. I got to play again last night with my friend Marisa and her group. I was the lone pinoy there so it was kind of a weird feeling. I couldn't say all the things I used to blurt out when I play (like my favorite, "siomai!" and "shet" and "bakal!") coz no one is bound to understand a thing I was saying. After the play I went home and had late dinner with au, obet and jessie sa bakuteh. We watched Star Wars Episode 1 after.

I got home around 1230 am I think. Finally I slept in my new room. It's not yet home to me but sana it will be soon. I don't feel I'm jelling well with my housemates. But I guess it's because were still new. Let's just wait and see.

6 more days and I'm going home!!!! Can't wait! There's a rumor that our salaries will come this week. SANA!!!

Friday, December 15, 2006

Nottingham Dinner & Inuman at the Condo

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The Nottingham staff had a university dinner last night at the Marriot Hotel in Putrajaya. I finally met the other members of staff. After two weeks here, I finally so more people apart from the one's I regularly see on campus. I went there with Liz and Melissa and all the way from Semenyih all we could think of was the dinner and how big the chicken would be. We got to Marriot hotel a bit early so we had lots of time to dress up and make ourselves pretty. It was pouring outside so we expected the dinner to be quite late.

A few minutes before people began to pour in, I got accidentally (=P) volunteered by Liz to sing! I think Roselin took it seriously so she really asked the music people to put me in their program. Goodness gracious! Talk about introducing myself to the nottingham people with a bang! Eh kung videoke ba to sa garahe nina len okay lang no! but no! 100 strangers itong kaharap ko! The thought of me singing out of tune is a nightmare!!!!hahaha Yan ang tinatawag na karmic blooper!

I practiced with the band (or should I say duo) for like 10 minutes. For several minutes there I couldn't think of a song. Fortunately they knew my national anthem, "Till I met you" so we did that. And I also did "You" by the carpenters. I think I went out of tune in the first few lines of you but after that okay na ko. I just imagined na sina divina or sina luis ang nasa harap ko and not all those people from the university!

I was still shaking even way after I sang. In between songs Nadia from finance gave me a flower which was really nice. After my singing stint, I readily went back to our table and had my dessert. buti na lang masarap! Brian and Paul both told me that I was brave for doing it. Haha. Kung alam lang nila ang nerbyos ko no! Hindi ko inisip na i'll be able to do that! Before we left Azlan bought us the marriot teddy bear. It was so cute.=) Liz, Melissa, and I each got one. I guess he was in a good mood last night. We kept on teasing him about his formal look.

When I got home I was so tired. I think all my nervousness finally kicked in. I was almost asleep in the couch when I heard voices come in. Ann and the rest of the nokia gang came home around 11:30 for an impromptu drinking session. binalak pa kong drawingan ng isa dyan sa mukha ha! kala ata di ko naririnig!hehehe We got semi drunk with beer till 1am. My tummy was aching because of laughing too much about their call center kwentos. My favorite was the "maam ang spelling po ba ng jaja ay G-A-G-A?!" Oh my God! I nearly died laughing there. When the beer disappeared and we started to feel sleepy again, it was time to say goodnight.

A fruitful night I should say. Tiring but fruitful. Makes up for my cramps today. Thank God its friday. I'm looking forward to the weekend.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Reunion at the KTM

After a lousy morning thanks to my stupidity about my ATM pin, things finally picked up when I met up with my kumare Trina at the Kajang KTM station. She's on a mini tour of malaysia on her way back to Manila. She rode the bus from Singapore yesterday. Since we didn't have much time together we spent 2.5 hours just chatting away inside the KTM station. It's been years since I've seen Trina and we had a lot to catch up on. She shared her harrowing experience in Indonesia last week where she and a friend got held up in the taxi. Fortunately they did not hurt her or her friend. What a frightening experience it was. We also had lunch together at the nearby mamak stall. I treated her to our version of the carinderia. Yummy food and cheap too! For the two of us I spent at little over 130 pesos only! I think I'm getting immune to the spicy food of Malaysia so it's not so harsh on me now. Unlike two weeks ago, I was really getting tummyaches because of the spicyness.

I used to think of the KTM as a boring place to stay in. But with Trina being there, it was somehow more homey. The train people kept staring at us but what the heck, we just ignored them. Just imagine how much stories we had to share with each other! buti nga wala pang topic na lovelife dun!

I got here in the office a little past 1:30pm. Very late but at least feeling very accomplished. My stupidity was fixed already and thanks to Brian of HSBC, I'm not lost anymore. I promised him I won't forget my pin again! hahaha. It was a costly blooper indeed. Sana hanggang dito na lang.

Two more weeks and I'm home na! Can't wait!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Walking Tour of KL

It's a public holiday in Selangor today so it means no work for me. So I decided to take a tour of KL and do a little bit of shopping and sightseeing. Armed with my brand new floral light blue umbrella (sa wakas bumili din ng payong!) and my purse, I went with Ann to KLCC early this morning. We took the LRT to Masjid Jamek first and got myself a touch and go card to make life a lot easier in taking the trains (no more pila!!) then took another LRT to KLCC. I went around for a while and got myself a new pair of shoes from vincci. Have this semiformal thing to go to on thursday and I can't possibly go there wearing my boots or my sneakers (hmm..badminton shoes kaya?). I also went up the Petronas towers skybridge. Wow! Finally saw it. I stood there for about 10 minutes or so. I missed the skybridge tour last july coz I arrived late for the tours already. But now, I finally made it. I even met some pinoys on tour who asked me to take their picture. Jay, Amy, and Ian were their names and they were quite a talkative group. It was sure nice to meet some people from home.

Ann and I met again after about 2 hours to go to Sungwei Wang in Bukit Bintang. She left me there so I had lunch at Mcdo. I was quite optimistic coz I've been to Bukit Bintang before back in July. So I wasn't totally a stranger to the place.

Ann warned me that it might be traffic if I stay there till four so at 3:20pm I decided to head back to KLCC. I'm supposed to meet trina but she's still somewhere in between singapore and KL. I couldn't get out of Sungwei Wang at first coz I kept getting lost in the maze of shops. After about 10 minutes I finally found my way out. I thought I could relax when I got to the taxi stand but no! There was no taxi!! I stood there for 45 minutes and wala pa din. Feeling ko magkakavaricose veins na lang ako, wala pa din! goodness gracious! I was about 7th in line and taxis were coming in about 1 every 10-15 minutes. So after 45 minutes of boring waiting (not to mention a pila-mate na sobrang kulit) I decided to walk.

I didn't know exactly where to go but what the heck, I have good sense of directions right? (haha!). I headed towards mcdo and saw petronas towers on the sky. So I just used that as my north star--my target-- my pitt stop and walked towards the direction of where I saw the tower. Finally I found a signage in Malaysia that worked right-- there was a walking street sign that led also pointed me to the direction of KLCC. So I walked and walked and walked... 30 minutes and about 3 photographs later (madami pang uzi ha!) I made it to the Versace boutique at KLCC. The pitt stop at last! Feeling ko nag amazing race ako at inaantay ako ni phil koegan sa dulo! hahaha! Sabi ko na pwede kong mag amazing race eh. .

My legs are killing me and I think I lost another 3 Ilbs or so. But still it was quite fun. It would have been better if I was with friends though. While walking I chanced upon a group of pinoys. I don't think they recognized me as a fellow pinoy but I was so dying to but in when they were making conversations. haha.

Now I'm here at an internet shop waiting for trina's call. I'm dying to put my legs up so I figured writing in this blog would at least let me rest a bit. I wanted to do some transfers but it seems that my access to my bank is a bit limited today. So I'll leave that for tomorrow.

Friday, December 08, 2006

A nice thought for the day...

"At the end of the day, when it comes down to it, all we really want is to be close to somebody. So this thing where we all keep our distance and pretend not to care about each other, it's usually a load of bull. So we pick and choose who we want to remain close to, and once we've chosen those people, we tend to stick close by. No matter how much we hurt them. The people that are still with you at the end of the day, those are the ones worth keeping. And sure, sometimes close can be too close. But sometimes, that invasion of personal space, it can be exactly what you need." (meredith grey)

Was reading the grey's anatomy episode guide and chanced upon this quote. I thought it sums up everything I've been thinking about the past months. Well said.

At the end of the day, the people that are still with you are the one worth keeping.

Tinola Soup For the Soul

Arrived at Ann's last night feeling really really tired after a long day at work. Had another blooper filled experience navigating Kajang town so I was pretty much pooped out and looking forward to just sleeping. I was thinking of what to eat for dinner again--fried rice? sweet and sour? o stewed rice? But when I got home to my surprise, there was something special waiting. Nagluto si obet ng tinola! Nothing made my night more than the thought of eating an authentic Filipino dish. So relished every bite of the tinolang manok. Yummy!!!

After dinner we had a short inuman. The group took turns in drinking vodka laced mango juice and eating pringles for pulutan. Ann and I reminisced about the bridget days. We had a great time laughing about our batch's antics especially the coleman inuman during the retreats and the floorwax incident back in grade 4 (back in grade 4 I was part of the cleaning group that applied wax on the blackboard to make it look cleaner. Of course it ended up in disaster coz no one could write on the board.hahaha

Today is friday. Thank God! It's the feast of the Immaculate Concepcion and it's a public holiday in the catholic schools in Philippines. Of course here hindi. But were having a holiday on monday (sultan of selangor's birthday) kaya quits na din kami. ..

I'm playing my beloved sport tonight-my first time since last november 27.I'm starting to have withdrawal symptoms already. I'm meeting some new friends over at Jalan Gasing to play with them. Part of me is so excited and a part of me is also scared that I might not know how to play anymore. I'm counting the hours now and I can't wait for 7pm.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Peanut Butter on Wheat Bread

I missed the bus again today. That and the KTM and the bus near the condo. The timeschedules of public transpo here as I'm slowly finding out can have a standard deviation of +/- 10 minutes to 30 minutes.So I was stuck in the bus stop behind endah villa for a good 15 minutes. And for another 15 minutes at the Tasik Selatan Train station. And lastly 45 minutes at the Kajang KTM station. Too much time wasted I know. But somehow, I've come to relish those moments the past week. I usually have my breakfast during those long lulls of waiting. For the past two days my breakfast have consisted of peanut butter sandwiches and orange juice. The peanut butter is nothing like my preferred lady's choice chunky peanut butter. But it was still okay.BTW they have gardenia here.

Sometimes I also read while waiting. Yesterday I read a magazine and this morning I decided to read a book- Persuasion by Jane Austen. I've been wanting to read it for months now but never seem to have found the time. Now I think life is giving a little bit of time to stop and explore the surroundings. I hope the book turns out to be an interesting read.

I meet a lot of people while waiting for the train or the bus. Two days ago I met Yogish at the Kajang KTM, one of the staff from the school of engineering. Yesterday, Samuel, a staff from my building was my seatmate on the same train. Sometimes strangers would come up to me and ask me for directions and after I tell them that I don't speak the language, they'd ask me where I came from.A lot of the people here mistake me for a local. We usually exchange pleasantries.Sometimes even if we don't understand each other's language, we resort to shortened english phrases and hand signals or sometimes a simple smile would do.I find the malay people quite friendly. The other day I was trying to find my way home from the Bukit Jalil train station and a chinese girl was kind enough to show me where I could take a bus home.

Waiting for the train or the bus is like relishing a peanut butter on wheat bread sandwich. It looks plain on the outside and can even be quite sticky and messy to eat. It can be boring at times as well. But when you forget about the hassle of waiting, you'd realize that it can actually be crunchy and full of fun.

That's me in my "busog na ako" moment. Try talking to me after my cup of milo. hahaha.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Introducing Nottingham

I've been here at UNIM for exactly one week now. So I thought I'd show you guys what my workplace looks like. Picture this--put ateneo right smack in the middle of tagaytay. Make all the buildings bigger and the gardens larger. Take away about 2/3 of the population and make the ethnicity of everyone more diverse. That about sums it up =)

I work at the orange building (aka faculty of social science and education). Our buildings here are color coded (green,purple, yellow, red, etc.) Why, I have no idea? Our orange building which my friend Melissa describes to be "too orangey" is a two storey facility that houses three schools-- school of business, school of education, and school of applied psychology-IWHO which I am part of. Our school is quite small.. There is only ME, MYSELF, and I here in Malaysia. No kidding! hahaha. Melissa is our school administrator shared with the other two schools. Then there's Angeli and Steve the MSc course directors who are both based at Nottingham UK. I go to work everyday. I take a train from Bukit Jalil to Tasak Selatan then move to the KTM (another train) and ride that one to Kajang. It takes me about 15 minutes or so. Then I wait for the UNIM shuttle bus that takes us from Kajang to the sleepy town of Semenyih where the university is located. The bus ride usually takes 30 minutes if the driver is not so slow. Today, was quite a slow morning. The KTM to kajang was delayed for 30 minutes thus I missed the 8am bus and had to wait for the 9am bus. Then the bus was late as well so I got here at about 9:45. I was just in time to bump into Azlan (the security head) having morning coffee.

I have my own room here. It's a big space. I have my pc and my own local phone with my name on it! cool! The phone is so high tech you can customize the rings and locate the local number of any personnel in the university. Plus when someone calls you, their names appear. Kaya wala ng "hello sino ka?" dito. It's so complicated though I barely know how to use it. kaya pag nag ring siya natetense ako!hahaha.

Yesterday it took me about 2hours to get to KLCC (aka petronas towers). I was going to do some window shopping while waiting for ann. Aside from the delayed KTM (hmmm..uso din ang late sa kanila) I also ended up in the wrong train line again at the KL Sentral. I somehow managed to end up riding the opposite train again.hahaha. I was supposed to meet a new friend Joan at Masjid Jamek but had to cancel it na lang. Kaya by the time we got to sri petaling-- I was dead tired. I just watched Zhang Nhing cream that korean girl sa singles ng asian games and I was asleep na soon after.

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makakalaro na ako ng badminton soon!!!! i can't wait

Monday, December 04, 2006

The Despedida Nights..

Here are pics from my despedida nights back in Manila last week. I can't believe that it's been almost a week since I said goodbye to the folks back home. And that it has been a week since I got to play my beloved sport of badminton. I miss home and I miss playing most of all. But I'm learning to just count the days till I go home again. 20 more days and I'll be back-- well at least even for a week..

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I went to several goodbyes over the course of 4 days-- from the P10 dinner at Cafe bola to the pamilya badminton despedida dinner at my place, to anthony's breakfast trip last monday and the two wakes of the dads of my two good friends.

It feels like only yesterday when we had that final queing at GBC. I played 5 matches in all (mixed with marlo, 2 ladies with joy, mixed with luis, and mixed with sir rey). Luis and I replayed the rush semis against tito morris and tita connie. It was so much fun. After the games Tita connie practiced parking and I nearly died laughing at willy's instructions. He was so funny parang announcer sa sta ana race park!!We took a lot of goodbye pics before I finally said my final goodbye to my newfound friends. The GBC folks have been so kind to me all these weeks especially when things were pretty rough. They taught me a lot about hope and moving on.

After queing luis and I went to Loyola memorial park to visit Grace's dad. He passed away the previous day along with Honey's own dad. Nagtatakutan pa kami sa loob ng loyola. Afterwards, I brought Luis home for one final time. I'm gonna miss our hatiran nights. I'm gonna miss the "text mo ko pag uwi mo" reminders from my makulit na partner.

Maybe someday I'll get to do those things again.. I hope so..

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Finding my way...

Still trying not get lost anymore on and off campus. I've improved a lot and lost all my shyness in asking questions. I've learned to just laugh at my bloopers and shrug off all the things that I still don't know. Yesterday I got to experience the rains for the first time. It's almost like home. =)

Today is the start of class. Paul introduced me to the students and I think they are all surprised that Im their teacher. Magbobolahan kami mamaya.hahaha. I learned that our staff come from over 20 different countries all over the world. Being the only pinoy here makes me feel kinda proud. Although i miss speaking tagalog. Sometimes I still forget that Im not in Manila anymore that I'd end up muttering tagalog terms. Melissa, our school administrator would just give me a puzzled look whenever that happens. That's when I realize that I need to speak a different language now.

I was so homesick the other day when I heard a familiar tune-- Your heart will lead you home by kenny loggins from the tigger movie. It made me feel much better..

When you feel lost and on your own,
And far from home
You're never alone you know
Just think of your friends,
the one's who care,
They all will be waiting there
With love to share
And your heart will lead you home..

Can't wait to come home...

Friday, December 01, 2006

Train Adventure--Day 3 of Expat Life

Tried my hand at commuting and ended up riding the wrong train line. Spent the night with Ann at Sri Petaling and she took me to the nearest station so I could get to work. Of course mga lost children so ayan, I ended up riding the train that goes towards KL rather than Kajang where I was supposed to go.Fortunately I realized it about 10 minutes into the ride so I got down at Midvalley and crossed over to the other side. Buti na lang pwede dito ang lumipat lipat ng tren kundi sayang ang aking pamasahe!hehehe. I finally made it to kajang at 9:30 am but the bus for nottingham didnt come till 1015 so i just had to wait. I'm finally here at work at 11am. Walang time in kaya okay lang na late! =P

Other than that, commuting wasn't as bad as I pictured it would be. Mas mahirap pa rin yung magcommute papuntang divisoria from katipunan. Ann and I went around KL last night and it was great to finally see people again. I spent time sa bookstore and found a nice book for a friend. We had late dinner sa starbucks and narealize ko mas masarap ang pastries sa tin. May stickers din sila but a lot more harder to complete. 12 drinks an pure frap, 5 na required, 4 na kahit ano. something like that. We slept past midnight and I was tired but happy.

yung mga nagantay sa kin sa queing kagabi sa gbc, sorry ha, ang tagal ng magical karwahe ko eh! hehehe