Monday, June 30, 2008

What a near-death experience gives

My friend and I had a near-death experience yesterday around 2:00am. It was a car accident and until now I still could not believe that we lived through that experience unscathed. I can still vividly remember what happened, which I find weird because I thought that my brain would just opt to forget the traumatic experience. And as I replay every scene before, during and after that accident --- I keep coming back to the following thoughts that appear like pop-ups in my head:

  1. That acceptance was the last thing I felt or thought about just before impact. There was neither fear nor panic. I remember I was sitting there fully aware of everything that was happening and feeling nothing.
  2. That I was concerned about my friend.
  3. That miracles do happen everyday and that most times we fail to recognize them.
  4. That I should never ignore my gut feeling again. My gut has served me well for so long already. It scares me most times because it is like having a psychic ability that I am not sure if I want. I realized that whatever gift we have, we should always accept and nurture because they are given for a reason. My gut kept telling me before the accident that I should not go but I ignored it.
  5. That this is my second life and I fully intend to live it to the fullest, to treasure it like the gift that it truly is.

As Oogway of Kung Fu Panda said, "There are no accidents." I think that now, more than ever, I understand what that truly means. Things happen for a reason. Near-death experiences happen because there are lessons that are needed to be learned from them. I believe that anyone who lives through a near-death experience is still meant to live. And that it is the kind of living that embraces the gift of life to the fullest.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Where the Hell is Matt (2008)

"14 months in the making, 42 countries, and a cast of thousands. Thanks to everyone who danced with me." - Follow Matt here.

There's no such thing as limitless stupidity in love

because it isn't stupidity to do selfless deeds for that other person. eh ano naman kung bugbog na puso mo sa pagod? i guess at the end of the day, you just have to take a rest, take some precious time to recover and get up again and do what you think you need to do.

sabi nga, simple lang ang konsepto ng space-time ng physics. nothing ever exactly happens twice. kahit pa sabihin mong parang naulit lang ang mga pangyayari at mga bagay-bagay, hindi pa rin. kasi nga, you only get that one chance in that specific space and at that exact time. kaya nga bakit kailangan pang isipin kung tama o mali ang gumawa ng selfless act of kindless sa taong importante sa yo? gawin na lang ng gawin.

of course there's always that chance that the person doesn't even know you've been stretching yourself thin para sa kanya. eh posible talaga yun. baka dense lang talaga or sobrang self-absorbed wala nang nakikita or posibleng bina-block lang because kailangan. pero at least ikaw, alam mo.

yun lang naman talaga ang mahalaga, yung alam mong ginawa mo lahat dahil you care enough to do something while you have the chance. pag finally you decide that you've done everything you could na and you want to move on there'll be no question in your mind that you finally discovered what unconditional love truly means.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

A time to flow

Lately I have found myself spending more time thinking than doing. Not that I do not enjoy thinking. In fact, I thrive on it. It seems to be the only thing that I can be good at. It does not take much skill or effort to do it anyway, which is why I find it infinitely relaxing.

It is just that sometimes, I find myself stuck. I find myself settling in whatever plane I have stumbled into. Exploring gazillion thoughts that fleet like butterflies is an interesting pursuit. But I do not live in my mind. I live in the here and now hence the effort to let go of the comfort that thinking brings and pull myself together to jump back on solid ground.

See, my thoughts are real to me. They mean something to me and I would like to think (see, that word again) that they could mean to others as well. Once in a while, I need to leave that place where I am alone with my thoughts because I feel the need to translate them to something real. I need to do something. My thoughts are a part of me and to celebrate my life while I am here means I need to do something to make these thoughts matter.

There is a time for thinking and a time for doing. I am constantly in a struggle to balance those two. But that is how most things in life go. It matters not if I succeed or fail in unfailingly balancing everything. Ultimately, what matters most is I keep trying.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Think Different

Of Summer Wind, Photography and Glazed Ceramics

Last Saturday was about culture and serendipity. Badette, Justine and I spent the afternoon visiting Mai and baby Fuka, watching Fuka's video and waiting at Shangri-la to watch one of the featured movies in the French Film Festival.

Mai gave birth to Fuka last June 14. Fuka means Summer Wind in Japanese. I think that there is just something quaint in Japanese names. I like the idea of names having meanings. Mai mentioned that they think of the Philippines as summer country hence the name. She said she also thought about naming the baby Tsuki, which means Moon or thrust but she opted for Fuka instead.

Fuka is such an adorable baby. She was sleeping when we arrived. I noticed that she did not seem to be bothered by the chatter. She woke up a little then slept again while her mom showed us pictures taken by the anesthesiologist. We were so amazed by the pictures that documented some of newborn baby Fuka's first minutes in the delivery room.

Mai said that the anesthesiologist said his main profession really is photography and anesthesiology is just a hobby. Apart from the nice pictures he took, he also gave Mai's family a Fuka Yoshida DVD that tells the story of a wonderfully-made baby girl entering this world. We were just so impressed by this person whose passion for photography touched others' lives in a very meaningful way.

We left Mai, Fuka and her lola filled with high spirits. We felt as if dark clouds were lifted and we left much happier than we were just before that visit.

Next stop was Shangri-la because Badette wanted us to watch a movie in the French Film Festival. I did not plan to go initially but I missed watching foreign films so I decided to join them. We watched Je crois que je l'aime (Could this be love?) which is a funny and moving love story about glazed ceramics, trust and how every creation is a victory over fear.

I remember asking myself why I stopped watching films like this. There are just so many nice, simple and special things that are shelved and almost forgotten. This is probably why I consider it a blessing to find things that I did not intend to find but end up finding anyway.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

URCC XII (Supremacy)

Eduard and Kevin are up against Elorde MMA fighters. There's no doubt in my mind that those two will definitely make their respective fights interesting and remarkable. Go Team Lakay!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Someone wants to go to middle earth

Excerpts from an email thread started by Mr. Ramos:

Mark: Today I went out in a 4x at the West End Rowing Club. We rowed at the Whau (pronounced as "Fau") River. After the row, tea and cookies were served. Quite interesting.

Mr. Ramos: MARK, its about time you influence the Kiwis to drink BEER after the row!

Mark: In due time I will. Haha.

Jerz (thought balloon): World Rowing Championships in 2010 is in NZ. I wonder when James, Mark and I would have our first umpiring assignment for a world championships. It would really be a great first if it would be in Middle Earth.

Monday, June 16, 2008

May nawawala

random thought of the day: hala! I honestly don't feel anything for a lot of things anymore...nasama ata sa ginupit na buhok ko yung capacity ko to feel. ayus!

Where the cradle rocks

Parati naman akong nagkakaroon ng pagkakataong pumunta ng campus. Hindi naman maiiwasan dahil nariyan ang mga samut-saring dahilan para bumisita. It could be just to meet with old friends, pahirapan ang sarili sa capoeira training, sumali sa mga fun runs, bumisita sa mga sisses, mag-lunch sa Beach House, tumambay at kumain ng sandamakmak na cake sa Chocolate Kiss, lumamon ng isaw sa may Kalayaan at napakarami pang maisipang dahilan just to hang-out in U.P.

Mahirap naman kasing alisin talaga sa sistema ang U.P. Sa malawak na campus, sa loob at labas ng apat na sulok ng classroom - doon hinubog ang payak na kaisipan at puso ko to be who I am now. Doon ako natutong lumangoy sa kumunoy.

I stepped out from U.P. but I never really left it. I sometimes think that my blood turned maroon from that moment I unpacked my bags in my room in Kalayaan.

Naisip ko lang, schools are like labels. The best and worst of us wear them like a badge. I wear my badge not because I believe that it represents the one true source of that breed of intelligent and gifted individuals. Other schools are equally equipped to produce such great minds.

Basta for me, my badge is a reminder to myself of how I learned to view the life I had in that cradle that nurtured my young mind. It was there that I began to believe that beyond intellect, beyond logic, beyond the values we give to superficial things - there are other important things that are waiting for discernment. Sometimes, it just takes an open mind to find an easier path to learning. It would be good to remind myself time and again...walang pakialamanan ng trip helps.

(Photo from here.)

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Girl Talk #4

...on haircuts...

A trip to the salon is not something one would frequently find in my planner. This is probably the reason why I am fascinated with girls who always manage to look like they just finished an appointment with a hair stylist. I cannot help but admire them because I believe that a visit to the salon is an exercise in patience.

Patience learned from regular visits to the salon is something that I have been meaning to teach myself. I think that it entails a lot of patience to wait for the stylist to finish whatever it is that s/he is doing to put even a semblance of style to my hair.

Unfortunately, I seldom get the chance to learn it since I reserve said visits to what I call a need-to basis, which I categorize into the following two (2) possible reasons:
  1. My hair is so dry it would put those Baguio walis to shame.

  2. A spur of the moment desire to have my hair cut.

The urge to get a haircut is something that just happens. Munen muso at its best. No thought, no conception. All I know is I like the feel of the scissors cutting my hair. The longer the length of hair being cut, the better. There is a sense of power mixed with ruthlessness in seeing something that has been part of me being cut like that. There is a quiet finality in that moment. And it is in that quiet finality that a sense of utter lightness and freedom begins.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Coffee for Melancholy

Every picture tells a story. I have the picture rife with interesting tales. I have it because Bix sent it just when my melancholic soul was quietly wondering if it would soon find a reason to smile again.

Stories are brewing as I speak. Stories that make for interesting insights into people's lives, into my friends' lives. It is always good to remember that stories are best told over a good cup of coffee. I think it is high time I indulge on a few cups with my friends.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

The Downside of Good Intentions

Every step of the way, there will always be well-meaning people who’ll try to steer the course of your life as to how they define success and happiness that a person can achieve in a lifetime. They could be family, friends, colleagues, bosses and random people you just meet and chat with.

Somehow, without meaning to, you’ll begin to feel that you’re not doing enough with your life just because they don’t understand why you pursue things that wouldn’t earn you the big bucks. This is when you begin to feel again that you are walking along a straight and narrow path but you can’t just get to the end fast enough. Mostly this is because you love juggling too many balls, you often stray from the path and lose yourself in diverging roads, swim against the current in streams you find a long the way and take a leisurely rest under the canopy of leaves in wooded areas you stumble into.

The trouble with well-meaning people is that, they mean well. So you find yourself thinking maybe you should try to follow what it is that they want you to follow, dream that dream they wish you to dream and succeed in life as how they wish you to succeed. You consider doing all these and desperately ponder on how you can recreate your life to make the well-meaning people happy.

You find yourself trying. One by one, you drop all the colorful balls you’re juggling effortlessly. You choose the prettiest ball, the one you know is exactly what the well-meaning people wants you to hold on to. You stay on the path and play a game that is acceptable to that path.

You now are playing to win, like what you’re used to doing, only this time it’s in a game they chose for you. You give everything of yourself to that ball and to that game. And the well-meaning people at the sidelines are pleased with your focus and intent to win.

The thing is, you miss the other balls. You miss the colors they infuse in your life. You miss the feeling of being alive in juggling so many balls. But still you play with that one ball you chose. You begin to win games. You begin to make people happy. You imagine yourself happy.

Sometimes, in the quiet of the night, when you’re alone with your thoughts you hear your head and heart ask you if the prettiest ball was worth losing the simple and ordinary balls you’ve been juggling with for most of your life. It is only in the stillness of the night that you let the fa├žade slip and answer honestly that the prettiest ball makes you feel dull and unhappy.

Everything now revolves around one straight and narrow path, one pretty ball, one game, one rule and one goal. It’s the oneness that makes you wonder about how fleeting everything is. Sooner or later the pretty ball will be gone. And you know with all your heart that when that time comes and there’s no more pretty ball, you will be left alone with nothing at all. There will only be vivid memories of colorful balls you let slip from your grasp.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Purposely in Love

I have always loved Sex and the City because it was a sort of “coming out” for women stories that are often relegated to the darkest corners of society’s consciousness. The show is essentially about women who challenged stereotypes. But I think the core message was really about being human, touching on things that transcend gender boundaries, things that shook the rafters of dogmatic pedestals where stacks of boxes sit and accumulate dust.

I was probably among the millions of fans who followed the show closely and got really excited when the movie came out. I watched the movie without expectations though, which is probably why I was happy with how the story unfolded.

Once again, SATC managed to weave such a colorful story, so colorful that I got caught up in a swirl of powerful emotions that opened the lids of seemingly forgotten thoughts and feelings. That was one of those moments that I wished I was a writer. I had all the stuff in my head about stories created, developed, ended and shelved. These were stories collected and many of which were about finding love, losing it and moving on.

There will be no attempts from me to write those stories though. Instead, I will try to write about random thoughts that popped in my head post-SATC. And here’s me hoping I caught those fleeting thoughts that I am sure were just filed away in the many bookshelves somewhere between my ears.

On love – I think it is inevitable. It is simple yet complicated. It could either have a happy or a tragic ending. I have had my share of tragic love stories and yet, I remain to be a strong believer of love.

On moving on – It is a nasty feeling to have your heart broken. But really, there is not much choice but to move on. It is pretty much like falling in a deep gorge – if you end up alive at the bottom, then it means that you are meant to live. And while you are there broken, you wait and allow yourself time to heal. This is the time you focus on every pain you feel until such time you do not feeling anything at all. Then you begin to look around and realize that you no longer want to be in that place. And then you look up and see the light. You realize that there is no other way but up and you decide that you do want to go back up. So you begin to climb, without fear and without hesitation. You climb without fear because falling is something that no longer scares you anymore. You have fallen hard and survived. The possibility of another fall is something you live with. It neither daunts you nor stops you from moving on.

On being the one – I can be the one. I am among the multitude of people looking for love. But it is not something that validates my entire existence. Everything comes in due time. And in the meantime: I work, practice sanshou, play futsal, enjoy learning capoeira, run, row, fulfill my duties as a rowing international umpire, prepare myself to be an international sanshou judge, do volunteer works, travel, read, try to be a good daughter/sister/friend and continue doing more. I live.

As for the love I am looking for, he will come. He will be the one who looks beyond that is seen, recognize that I am worth a lot and would bravely give his love regardless of whatever doubts or fears he may feel.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Fates Playing with a Heart's Desire

I hurried home last night just so I can watch the first episode of House season 4. I haven't had the chance to watch the series for a long time that I got so excited when I saw the trailers on AXN a few weeks back.

As the Fates would have it though, my cable connection has gone kaput and I absolutely have no idea why. It took a long while for me to realize that my evening plan was busted. Maybe my mind just failed to process what happened.

I kept the TV on for a few minutes more and just stared in disbelief on that blue deadness on the screen. It was only when I realized I'm wasting electricity on the whole denial business that I finally decided to turn it off.

Since I had time to kill and with sleep pretty much still elusive, I decided to finish the book I borrowed from Mayee.

And started with another one...

It was precisely one of those moments when the Fates seemed to have toyed with my heart's desires and gave me something else that still made me smile.