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dreams of winter, niagara falls [entries|friends|calendar]

[ stories of people i've met | the truth still shines ]
[ trying to be extraordinary | this is all i can offer ]
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a time for change [03 Dec 2005|04:08am]
[ mood | nostalgic ]

So I finally got a new laptop at work.  I was generally pleased with it, except for one thing: when I logged on to check my blog...  que horror!  I realized that my blog looked horrible at any resolution other than my old laptop's. I tried to fix it, but alas, a LiveJournal free account can only do so much.

So I'm moving.   Thank you for a lovely year, LiveJournal, you have served me well.

And, my dear friends, I hope to see you here.

let it snow.

red coffee cups and full moons [17 Nov 2005|02:02am]
[ mood | content ]

Tonight, the full moon shines on me as I sit in our veranda, enjoying the cool November breeze.  The street is still, except for a few tree branches swaying in the wind.   Everyone else is asleep, long gone to the land of dreams.

I sip on my peppermint mocha, taking in the contrast of mint against the fuzziness of chocolate and coffee.  I shiver slightly in the cold wind, but as the hot liquid goes down a comforting warmth spreads across my body.

There is something about red coffee cups and full moons that fill me with hope.  It's something incomprehensible, even to me.  Perhaps it's the memories each one evokes; of happier days and of better times.  Perhaps it's the lull of doing something as fundamentally mundane as watching the night sky.

Tonight, it dawns on me that Christmas is here again.  For the longest time, I despised Christmas because the holidays only served to remind me of that gaping hole I had inside.  But I was wrong, because, above all things, Christmas was a season of hope.  Amidst all the holiday rush and madness, there is the promise of something better -- a promise to share a part of yourself with the world, and a promise of wonderful moments to come.

And tonight my spirits tingle with the hope that there is something better for me out there, if I only know where to look.

Sometimes you can find happiness in a coffee cup and a full moon.

3 magical snowfalls | let it snow.

off the BEEten track [13 Nov 2005|06:02am]
[ mood | feeling reviewer ]

On the way home from Tagaytay, there is small dirt road that branches off from the Aguinaldo Highway and leads to the Ilog Maria Honeybee Farm.  I had heard of the bee farm countless times, so I decided to see for myself what the fuss was all about.

It was almost closing time when I got there, so I went straight to the store to check out their wares.  (The best part of any trip, after all, is what you get to take home!)  The store sold an array of items: from food products such as honey and coffee grounds; to a variety of personal care items such as handmade soaps, lotions, and lip balms; and even decorative items like beeswax candles.  I decided to try a bottle of honey (PhP200 for 500ml) and a few of the handmade soaps (ranges from PhP30-70).

My verdict?  The honey was delicious -- I was never a fan of honey, but this one was seriously good enough to eat alone.   As for the soaps -- they smelled good enough to eat!  I have to resist the urge to bite into my spearmint and oatmeal soap bar every time I take a bath. Hehe. Quality wise, they're mild enough for sensitive skin (I have sensitive skin so if I use harsh soap I end up looking like a beehive), but still soap-y enough to get all the grease and grime and stinky smells off.

The prices are a bit more expensive than other local stores, especially since you have to go out of your way to get to it. (The farm is 800 meters away from the main road, and is only accessible through a narrow dirt road with talahib growing wildly on all sides.) But then again, Burt's Bees retails its products for so much more, so these are a steal.  I'm definitely going back for more if ever I'm in the area again.

let it snow.

how to be dead [12 Nov 2005|04:39am]
[ mood | battered ]

If the storm breaks out all over you
Teardrops from the sky aren't something new
As the drops grow fuller, you know that it won't be over soon
War of the skies is what you face

It's over. I made a choice.

In some ways, the choice was made for me. I tried to be logical about my decision, and chose mind over heart. Then I curled up in a ball and waited.

What I thought would be a simple, matter-of-fact decision turned out to be one of the most harrowing experiences of my life. Somehow, it ended up not just being about the decision itself. How can you choose between two dreams? When you give up a dream, something in you always dies.

My hopes and beliefs were challenged. My trust was shattered. And through all this soul-searching, I found some friends and lost some along the way.

I guess it's what made this decision the hardest. While I have been blessed with a lot of people who cared enough to listen, some people I expected to be there for me failed me. The disappointment is unbearable.

When your pillar crumbles, you lose all your strength. And the moment I realized that they were not going to be there for me, I lost all mine.

My choice has been made, but this is far from over. I'm not going to say I'm okay. But I'm on a mission to find myself again, and to pick up the pieces that have chipped away. The other night I found myself wandering alone on the streets for hours, eventually ending up on a park bench watching people pass me by. Strangely, I found comfort in my solitude. I realize I hadn't done that in a long time.

And while I know that there will be many more moments of quiet desperation, there will also be days where I'll find refuge in myself.

One day I will finally be able to say I'm alive.

I've been asking questions
Looking for direction
But something tells me to listen as though
The wind knows where to go
-War of the Skies

11 magical snowfalls | let it snow.

get well soon, enzo! [08 Nov 2005|04:03am]

let it snow.

lost [04 Nov 2005|02:55pm]
[ mood | waaaaaaaaaah ]

What the HELL am I doing with my life?!?


I know I promised not to rant in my blog, but I just had to write this one down. I wish I could buy one of those lightbulbs they have in cartoons, where all your questions and worries are resolved with a single ding! and a bright lightbulb hovering over your head.

Looking at the bright side, I cannot be thankful enough for all the people I have in my life right now. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for being patient with me. Sometimes, I think I'm so lucky I should just be banished to hell for never being satisfied with what I have.

I know that whatever happens everything's going to be alright.

4 magical snowfalls | let it snow.

c'est la vie [30 Oct 2005|12:01am]
[ mood | confused ]

"It's hard to let go, isn't it?
That's life. What can I tell you?"
- Bill Parrish in Meet Joe Black

Ah. Life.

One week later and I am lost as ever. It's true what they say. When it comes to the weightiest decisions, you should always take your sweet time. Because you may just be having a fit of temporary insanity. Or, in my case, a month of insanity. I'm just not sure how much more agonizing I can take.

My horoscope says that when it's easy, it's right. Does that mean I'm making a big mistake? Aren't the most important decisions the hardest?

I guess I'll just have to wait and see. I read somewhere that there are two types of prayers. One, where you pray to God and tell him what you want. Except God doesn't always do what you want because he has other plans for you, leaving you with the doubt that your prayers have gone unanswered. Then there is that second type of prayer, where you submit to God's will and allow yourself to be. Thy will be done. I pray when the time comes, everything will just fall into place.

This, too, shall pass. That's life.

3 magical snowfalls | let it snow.

perchance [25 Oct 2005|03:21am]
[ mood | thoughtful ]

2am & im still awake writing this song
if I get it all down on paper,
it's no longer inside of me
threatening the life it belongs to...
 -Breathe (2 AM), Anna Nalick

It's funny how a chance encounter with a stranger can turn your life upside down.

One moment, you're ambling along in your own existence, then... WHAM!  Life hits you with a baseball bat in the form of a complete stranger.  And suddenly, as if recovering from a bad case of amnesia, you remember.

You remember a little girl who had dreams larger than life and the courage to pursue them.  A little girl who believed hard enough to reach out and touch the stars.  A little girl who sparkled with all the magic life held, and treasured it with the fragility of knowing that dreams, once lost, can never be found again.

But the little girl is gone, and you realize you have wasted a quarter of your life on things that no longer seem to matter.  And that stranger beside you is a reminder of who you could have been; of what life could have been if you had held on a little bit more.

For the longest time you have been wandering aimlessly on the plateau of forgotten dreams.  Now your future is unfolding before you, dazzling in its simplicity.  As that stranger smiles at you, you thank the heavens for sending you the angel you had long been asking for.

It's time.

let it snow.

bright lights, big city [14 Oct 2005|02:14pm]

This city needs no introduction, so just sing with me now...

tat-tat-tararat.. tat-tat-tararat...

start spreading the news

i'm leaving today

i want to be a part of it

New York, New York...

these vagabond shoes

are longing to stray

and make a brand new start of it

New York, New York...

i want to wake up in the city that never sleeps

to find I'm king of the hill, top of the heap

these little town blues

are melting away

i'll make a brand new start of it

in old New York

if I can make it there

i'll make it anywhere

it's up to you,

New York, New York!

6 magical snowfalls | let it snow.

the city by the bay [07 Oct 2005|03:00am]

San Francisco from Treasure Island

A white blanket of fog chills the air as I gaze out the car's windows. Postcard-pretty houses line the streets, shaded by trees the color of autumn. As the wind blows, I can almost hear these houses whispering to me, each with its own tales of a bygone era.

Cable cars toil up and down the steep hillsides, bells clanging. In the distance, the Pacific Ocean shimmers, bringing stories of heartbreak and sailors shipping out to sea. The Golden Gate Bridge and the Bay Bridge frame the peninsula, standing guard as the years pass by.

Wandering the streets of San Francisco feels like a walk back in time, to a genteel existence where towns were small but life was grand.

People often talk about how places had souls. I never understood what they meant.

Until now.

let it snow.

the san francisco checklist [07 Oct 2005|01:05am]
[ mood | hyper ]

1. Go house-hunting. The Victorian houses are so pretty, they almost don't look real. It’s amazing to think that most of these houses are a century old!

2. Get a 360-degree view of San Francisco atop the Twin Peaks. From here you’ll see a breathtaking view of the San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean.

3. Take a whiff of the air in the Ghirardeli Chocolate Factory. Here, the air is literally sweet. Indulge in the sinfully delicious chocolates and ice creams (my personal favorite are the mint chocolates), or, if you're tight on a budget just try the caramel-filled samples in the chocolate shop.

4. Act all touristy and go to the Fisherman’s Wharf... of couse, use the most tourist-y way to get there: cable cars! Catch the steepest line, Powell-Mason, on the turnaround along Powell and Market, then head off for some tacky tourist action on the piers. (Think rows and rows of souvenir shops, canned music, and wildly colorful displays.) Hidden gem: Just a bit off the wharf is a beach with an amazing view of the Golden Gate Bridge.

5. Escape to The Rock. Just a short ferry ride away is the infamous Alcatraz, where you can relive the horrors of prison life. Ironically, the view of San Francisco from Alcatraz is one of the most magnificent ones.

6. Cross the Golden Gate Bridge. Enough said.

7. Channel your inner European in Sausalito. Across the Golden Gate Bridge is Marin County, where you can drive off into the sunset until you reach Sausalito, a quaint little town with a Sorrento vibe. Enjoy some gelato as you window shop in the chic little shops and admire the uber-expensive houseboats on the piers.

8. Stand in awe under the giant redwood trees in Muir Woods. Quoting Robert Frost, "the woods are lovely, dark, and deep." Walk in the shade of thousand-year-old redwoods that tower to stunning heights, and watch as autumn leaves drift slowly down to the ground.

let it snow.

greetings from a sweetie cow [07 Oct 2005|12:30am]
[ mood | i miss harassing sweetie pao! ]

Happy Birthday, Euge!

It was almost two years ago, when I discovered that he could "figure-ski", that I fell for Eugene. Actually, I didn't fall -- more like I crashed through the fence, tumbled down the hill, and plowed through the snow. Bwahaha. Since that day I professed my undying attraction to him, Eugene has been the object of my... erm, harassment. I hope your birthday was fun, even if I wasn't there to harrass you, Sweetie Pao! Mooo-wah!

P.S. Doesn't he look like such a Sweetie Pao in this picture? :P

on to the next chapter [26 Sep 2005|12:07am]
[ mood | thoughtful ]

Since I won't be here to give Carla a proper send-off before she flies off to Canada, let me do it by way of this blog.

Good luck, Carla! Although we got off on a somewhat rocky start, I'm thankful that we were able to move past that and get to know each other better. You're one of the most thoughtful, vibrant people I know. Here's to all the happiness in the next chapter of your life -- you deserve it. Cheers to you, Jay-Ar, and Sophia! c",) Mark G. will surely miss one-half of his Silly Girls! (On a side note, shyeeeet, do you realize Euge made us pose like this in front of all our customers?!?!? Haha, nagpauto naman tayo.)

intramuros: the walled city [25 Sep 2005|04:09pm]
[ mood | satisfied ]

For someone who goes to even the lamest tourist spots when abroad, I have never really explored Intramuros. So, when my Toronto colleagues visited us, I finally got the perfect opportunity to do so.

We took a walking tour called If These Walls Could Talk, which I had discovered while blog-hopping. Carlos Celdran, our tour guide, was quite a sight. He took us around the city within walls like the Pied Piper of Intramuros, clad in a barong and playing songs reminiscent of the historic period on a small radio. A messenger bag filled with pictures and whatnots hung on one shoulder, with a speaker wrapped around his waist and a microphone taped to his face. But even more interesting were the stories he recounted and the animated way with which he told them.

The tour started at Fort Santiago, where we heard about a prehistoric Manila and how Spain conquered it; learned about how Jose Rizal was the 'it' guy, even if he was actually just as tall (or rather, as short) as President GMA, and saw the spinal column of Jose Rizal with a bullet lodged in it.  Next was a calesa ride around Intramuros, which took us to the 400-year old San Agustin church and convent. Here we looked for turtles in a pond, visited tombs, and learned more about the Spanish, Japanese, & American colonization.  Lest you be discouraged about having to hear about Philippine history again, I tell you -- this was not boring at all.  Carlos was such an excellent storyteller that a group of priests doing the rounds in Father Blanco's Garden decided to stop and watch him, cheefully waving to us as Carlos announced "The Church was our enemy!"  Haha.  History lesson done, we then traipsed over to Casa Manila to take a peek into the extravagant lifestyles of the Filipino elite of the era. They threw their poop out on the streets. Nice.

Owen, me, Rose, and Michael at Father Blanco's Garden.

Binondo Church. This wasn't part of the tour, but Sweetie Pao, being a
Chinese mestizo (bwahaha!), kindly offered to tour us around Chinatown.

Busy, busy Chinatown. That's Sweetie Pao, Owen, and Michael
in the middle of the street.

3 magical snowfalls | let it snow.

there's no reason to complain [21 Sep 2005|10:56pm]

I am exhausted, for all the wrong reasons.

The night bore a sadness that floated heavily in the air. Perhaps it was the rain that patterred on the windows of my car or faint glow of the lamps in the hazy darkness of rain. The road was filled with cars, people on their way to the rest of their lives.

And then a child, not more than six years of age, started tapping on my window, holding out a bunch of sampaguitas. He was drenched, his bare feet covered with mud. "Sige na po, ate, pangkain ko lang po."

I didn't want any sampaguitas, so I just gave him a twenty peso bill I found crumpled up in my purse.

"Salamat ate."

I had never heard such a heartfelt thanks as the one that came from that child... for a twenty-peso bill that would normally have gone to something useless like toll or parking.

Suddenly, I felt like crying.

Here I was on a way to a dinner, where I would indulge gluttonously in a buffet when I was not even hungry. Here I was complaining that my work was messing up my schedule, when this child had to sell sampaguitas in the night to get his next meal. Here I was complaining that I did not get enough sleep, when this child probably did not even have a proper bed to sleep on.

I am angry, because I was lucky and this child was not. My life and my future has been handed to me on a silver platter. Sometimes I complain about not having enough, when so many people could have a better life if only they had even one fourth of what I have been blessed with.

I am angry, because the world is unfair, and I am part of it. Because much has been given to me, and I deserve none of it.

let it snow.

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