Today was the first time I was able to actually feel that I own what I earned. I withdrew some money to hand my brother his tuition fee, had a yummy ramen for P85 at a Japanese resto, and was able to buy a toiletries purse by cash. I thought it was the most liberated thing I have ever done for the last few years. The moment I browsed into the shelves of purses, I realized I need to find the right item – not-so-expensive but really useful. And I’m glad I did. I paid it in cash. And the moment just brought me to those days when I was single and had the opportunity to think ahead, think of the consequences of this purchase. Hell, I felt so alive! And yes, broke.


Japanese TV series

After having finished two Japanese live TV series (Hana Yori Dango and Oniyome Diary), I decided to purchase another DVD to again immerse myself into Japanese culture, and yes, the language. It has been four years since I started learning nihongo and until now I still haven’t acquired any JLPT license. I flunked my JLPT 3 last 2006. Then I missed my JLPT 4 in 2007 to attend a business trip in the US. This means I need to get back on track. I’m taking this year’s JLPT again, though. And yes, I’m taking JLPT 4 as I realized taking JLPT 3 is far too ambitious.

And so, after I digress, let’s get back to the supposed main topic. I was so delighted by the last two DVDs that I watched both whole seasons again. And yes, I have talked about and introduced and recommended them to my family and friends as well. Hana Yori Dango sort of revives the romantic in me. It’s one of those romeo-and-julietesque stories we see on TV. But what I liked most about this teen-oriented drama is that it gave me some idea on how the poor and rich live in Japan. I have been a long time anything-about-Japan fan, but I never thought there were still poor people living in 35sqm homes and on fried chicken skin for dinner, in a first-world country with the second-largest economy in the whole living planet! Weird, but it was enlightening. Having researched about living expenses in Japan days later, I realized it isn’t really easy surviving in Japan. Everything is sky-rocket expensive. I remember checking for capsule hotel prices. The cheapest I could find starts at 3,000yen for a night. Wow, that’s about the same price as a nice 2-star hotel for a night here in Manila! And that a yummy bowl of ramen costs around 850yen. That’s like eating for three in a comfortable restaurant here in Manila. By the way, I got the latter info from this other DVD that I was gaga over – Oniyome Diary. This one, on the other hand, shows the daily lives of mid-income married couples in Tokyo. I like this DVD more because as a wife, I can easily relate to the scenes. It’s about a timid, but scheming husband who maintains a blog where he can express all the misery he feels about his wife. The wife, although a little too strong-willed, I think isn’t so bad. She always has a reason for everything – damn good reasons. That’s why the hubby continues to be submissive, and resorts to his blog as his confidant. Besides its being very rich in Japan’s cultural exposure, the actors were superb and everything is well-thought out and very comic. Every time I watch it I’m giggling and laughing I almost fall from my seat. Well, maybe because I could relate to the story lines, too.

The new DVDs I bought are titled Oishii Proposal and Saito-san. I have already started digging into Oishii Proposal, a story about an independent, strong-willed, single woman in her late 20s. I’m still trying to finish the second episode. I chose it from among the flock in the DVD shelf because I have a friend who’s also in the marriageable age and is also very independent. So far, it’s okay. But based on ratings, this one rated well on its first run. Numbers spiraled down in the second up to the last then went up again in its last run. It’s drama, so I guess I won’t expect more giggles when I watch it again maybe some time this weekend. I guess I’m just not really into drama. Saito-san, I haven’t started yet. What got me to buying it is because it’s about a single mom – it has truly different story lines (I hope) from the ones I watched. For a change, I’d like to know how single moms do it to raise kids alone in a very expensive and industrialized country like Japan. So, my weekend’s already booked. Maybe I’ll have those ripped and converted to iTunes video so that I could watch them while commuting. Hmmmm…


win-win situation

After all’s been said and done, hubby and I came up with a few realizations. One of which is very new to me is splitting the payment of our bills. He actually came up with the idea out of rage, when he was so mad about something he missed to understand. It has been more than three years of our marriage of combining both incomes, and spending it as one source. But now, we both realized we need to try this new system as well. And I redefined it – it’s not “yours will be mortgage, tuition, gas; mine will be allowances, electricity, water bills”. Instead, each bill will have to be split in two for both of us to pay in halves. I thought it would be fair. Hubby was delighted by the idea, given I have absolved him of the responsibility of sending my brother to school, and that he earned way more than me. I thought it was win-win because it had been really unfair for only him to absorb all the financial pressure. What I did was just earn and put my income in a common place, and I had no idea how my income was spent. I had no idea of my worth, of my value. I had no idea on how to manage my income. I had no idea of the financial pressure that hubby has been going nuts about. This time, I’ll learn, and he will enjoy his money. Win-win, alright.



It was memorable last night, when me and my office buddies spent our after-office hours at a place called Pilange. Pilange is a videoke place that is dirty cheap, but their offering is something you would want to write about in your blog and say nice things about it. I would want to recommend such a place for budget-conscious groups who just want to have fun with the company of their friends. Local beers are almost free, for only P38 per 280ml bottle. Food, price-and taste-wise, isn’t bad either. The pancit canton that disguised as something that crawled from a creepy karinderia turned out really superb! The only downside there is that its list of songs is not that updated. But if you’re the type who’d wail for the oldies, then this place is your own nirvana.

The gathering was to celebrate, or should I say, grieve over the departing of one of our girl friends. She’s leaving the company and country tomorrow to try her luck in Singapore. I wish for her to be lucky, safe and happy in her new journey to success. I’ll miss that kiddo, who sat beside me for the last 10 months of my stint with ENP. She was the little girl who would ask me about her lovelife woes, and we could talk all day about 90’s alternative music. Although we never got to make our band happen, wherein she’s our rhythm guitarist and I’m on bass, we were crazy excited about it we were daydreaming of what it would be like to be on stage with those big guitars. I’ll miss the girl, alright.


Nth nostalgia

Okay, so nostalgia hit me again today. In the morning, it seemed like I'm missing my previous job – editing stories from Chinese writers – one major feat you’ll never forget in your lifetime. I miss my old boss, that brilliant Singaporean whom you’d like to work with all your life. I missed both work and boss. However, I wouldn’t want to go back to doing that ultra-tedious job anymore. Well, I guess I could do it once in a while, for a change. In the entire afternoon, I was listening to Bread’s Make it with you on my computer’s media player. I’m truly a hippie, I guess, even if I was born a decade later. Then I remembered the high school boyfriend who gave me a The Best of Bread cassette tape, which featured the said song. That was the first gift that I have truly treasured. I kept the until, maybe college, when it broke down and cassette players have become scarce. I guess it was the sweetest gift I have ever received in my whole life. The guy chose it as a gift (for no occasion at all) because he has seen me unceasingly borrow a similar copy from one of our classmates. Well, I think that was sweet. He was really a sweet guy. No other boyfriend has topped that of his, not even my hubby. It didn't work between us because maybe, when you’re 16 and ready to take on the world, sweet guys aren’t the most important thing in the world.


Fountain-frolicing at the Market! Market!

That Saturday get-away of ours got me red-nosed and sniffing since Monday morning. I guess really could not stand the heat of the sun for too long. Taking open-door/window rides on a very humid and dusty day pisses my lungs. But it was fun, really. My son had his metro-train ride the second time. The funny thing is, the little tyke expected the train to go up a mountain and reach North Pole just like what he saw in the movie The Polar Express. He has seen that movie like a gazillion times! But luckily, he didn’t make a fuss out of it. We simply explained to him that this train will only traverse the “road”/Edsa. He quickly nodded, “ah…” and rolled his eyes and probably thought how long that “road” is, or what it’s like way further. We just let him wander for a moment in his imaginary train world.

After lunch, we dropped by the church only to find out that office hours start at 3pm. We proceeded to Market! Market!, a shopping mall, park, playground and a whole lot of everything in one place. When the little tyke saw the dancing fountain, he was amazed by it that we stayed only at that part of the mall the whole time. He was running around the grill that surrounds it - “railways” as he calls it. He probably made twenty loops, yelling “chagga chagga choo choo! chagga chagga choo choo!”. Being an only child, my son is used to playing alone, in his own wonderland. While my son frolics and later joins other kids, me and hubby zip our frappucinos to keep our eyes open while the kiddo joins a battalion of his kind.

Hubby left by 2:30pm to go back to the church and get the document. The little tyke is still restless, finally deciding to get his clothes wet and really enjoy the waters. Some bystanders were amused by him because he was like “the last tyke standing” there; the rest of the kids have already given up, or were already tired. Good thing, I brought with us a set of changing clothes. I explained to him that after changing into his fresh clothes, he can never go back to playing at the fountain again, some other day perhaps. Am I surprised that he didn’t again make a fuss out of it. Oh my gosh, my son is maturing! He’s not anymore the bratty terrible-two who tested the hell out of me several months ago. However, when we were about to leave the mall, we have a little bit of an argument. I said we have to ride on a jeep to get to the train. He said he wanted to ride the train – right away. So I had to explain to him that the train is way too far we had to ride on a jeep first to get to the train. It took me around 10 agonizing minutes to make him understand that. Finally, I used an easier technique. I told him, I’m going to the train, I’m gonna ride the jeep and then the train. He was teary-eyed, then later took my hand and told me he will also take the jeep. I know it’s a little bit of blackmail, but talking logical with a (almost) tantrum-stricken toddler is not the greatest solution at that time, either. It took a whole lot of patience and courage. But, whew! That was such a relief. And so we met his dad later at the train station with a cheerful mood.

And you thought he was already dozing off at the bus on our way home? Not a slim chance! Despite the heavy traffic along the coastal area, my son was very excited to talk about his experience earlier that day. And he was prancing here and there and singing his fave songs “Hot-cross buns, ABCD…, and Twinkle, twinkle, little star”. Although it was a little exhausting, that get-sway was such a very happy experience for the three of us. Later on, I got a headache and never got to join the poker game at our cousin’s that night. The next day, I’m having a stuffy nose.


Nothing much

Nothing much since the last post. I was glad i finally got back to working out. It was such a very invigorating 30min workout. Besides, i need to build up stamina for the upcoming 10km (hajimete desu yo) this Aug 17. I should be running today, but my back aches a bit, DOMS from yesterday's workout. I guess i'm just gonna do it MOnday morning, if i can't do it tonight. As usual, we will be spending time at our cousin later this evening, and the drinking session will probably finish off daylight the next day. Sunday is rest day, that's why Monday is the day.

My son is having his quarterly exams next week so i really had to rush home from work so we can do reviews. My son is doing excellent in most of his classes, except for his writing exercises. Writing exercises require patience; my son has short attention span. But he managed to do several slant lines and curves before he gives up. I thought what's important is he was immersed in such aspects as these are basic skills. I don't wanna push him really. He's only three.

And so today, we will be heading to that church we had him christened to get that baptismal certificate his school requires. Hubby, whose snoring i can hear from the bedroom, said we'll leave by 9am. Dang, it's already 8:13 and he's still in snoreville! Oh well, i guess i'm gonna have to take a bath now. The kiddo is busy with his dora the explorer moments. 9am it is. I hope.


Me, the eternal sponge

Two of my close friends came by my office to see me yesterday, One was an old buddy, someone from high school; the other, an ex-colleague. As usual, as what most of my friends do - both were unloading their life stories, miserable or happy, unto me like I was some kind of sponge, or some garbage dump. Of course, I love it like that. They’re my friends, and I enjoy listening to what they were saying. Not only do I offer the ears they need, but I also can get lessons from their stories.

My old buddy is totally broke, but I’m glad she still has the will to carry on. She’s aiming to work in a first-world country to help her family, who is counting on her for almost everything. Theirs is the typical rags-to-riches-back-to-rags story. But my friend has shown courage and hope, something I could have not expected from her. She was the bratty girl friend I had in high school, speeding her motorbike with me at the back while I try to control my tears. We went to college together, but later she has given up engineering as aside from it being difficult, she thought her dad of good political connections could secure her a job with only a two-year course. She worked for a while, and started seeing a high school lad, whom she thought was the sweetest person in the world. Both work and relationship didn’t work as planned, apparently. Having just ended an 8-year relationship with a guy five years her junior, focusing on improving yourself and the situation of the people you love could be the sweetest revenge. And I applaud her. I believe she can surpass all these and someday lead a mishap-free, happy life that everyone deserves. Gambatte, Adelyn-chan!

My other friend, whom I thought got married for the wrong reasons, dropped by to give me her long-due Christmas gift she was telling me about. It turned out she gave me something I have been wanting to buy myself for like since history. And so, we started asking about each others’ lives. And, yappari, she was still having petty problems with her husband. The hubby, having had an earlier relationship that bore a lovechild, is trying to mesh his past with the present. I mean, this is where it gets tricky. Hubby wants the kiddo to spend some “quality” time with madrasta; madrasta/my friend, knowing the biological mom is still alive and thought that seeing another woman “playing mum” with her daughter is rather distasteful, kept her distance. I can’t blame both parties. And since I was there to supposedly just listen, I only blurted out a very important, short advice – “communicate with your husband everyday”. I have proven this to be a very effective method to stay with each other. In the real world, I and my husband only talk on the phone or chat while at our own work areas, and on weekends. I get home from work early; he goes home late. And when he’s about to get home, I’m already too tired to talk to him that even sometimes he’ll just see me already comfy in bed with our son. That creates the problem here. Because I would miss him, and when it’s weekend (when we wakes up between 11am-1pm), I would nag him, shout at him, in short – I hate him. But I really don’t. I just hate the idea that we didn’t get to spend time to talk, and now he’s wasting half of the day sleeping. And so, as my friend admitted, she was also being harsh, and thought she could’ve used the best words so that the hubby don’t get her wrong the next time. You don’t call her an editor for nothing! But I’m glad she has reflected on her actions, as well.

My crowd is already maturing, indeed. And I’m really glad.


Importance of writing constantly

My son is still recovering from his already week-old cough, but it seemed like he was feeling good this morning. It was such a relief. I was again late for work today, god, for how long can I be this messy. But this time it wasn’t because I wanted extra slack time, I wanted to see if my son is in good health. You see this cold and cough of him had been disturbing his sleep for a week, and we’ve been just giving him lemon juice. However, I bough a bottle of expectorant last night as I got worried this may not be just some ordinary cold.

Hubby went home a little much too late last night, or should I say, this morning. It was another one of those interesting conversations with his office buddies/band mates that nailed him at the bar. I was a little furious, because I thought he had only little time to play with the tyke. He, however, told me later that they did spend some time before the kiddo went for school. That was a relief. Otherwise, I’ll be spending the rest of the day being cold with his calls.

Anyway, yeah, I guess I need to do some explaining here. I got so hooked with working out since April it made it hard for me to squeeze in blogging time. I also did a lot of research on diet, and losing weight. One reason for keeping fit was the company outing that was to happen in June. I had to wear a swim suit at the beach so I got to at least get rid of my bulgy stomach. The research further convinced me to not only strive to look good during that event, but to also lead a healthy lifestyle, in long-term basis. I want a fit body to keep up with my son, to later be able to attend his college graduation, wedding, perhaps my grandchildren’s weddings as well. I guess being health–conscious runs in the blood, not only because I was a Virgo. Dad has and always been a health buff. Although mom wasn’t very much the type, she would always remind us to eat healthy food and maintain a stress-free state of mind. I told myself I could do this. Though, lately I realized that I can’t realistically work out everyday. But I had to at least have a rigorous activity at least an hour three times a week. I walk maybe around 40min everyday, so that would keep the blood flowing steadily for the day.

But now I’m back. I realized that writing about whatever there is to write about is important to me. It lets me reflect on what activities, important or not, have happened during the day. And perhaps grab some lessons in life. Back then, during my depressing college days, writing helped me understand myself more to become the person that I am now. I don’t think it is just a college thing. Besides, I need to revive and re-strengthen this writing skill of mine. Someday, when I gain back the confidence, I might pursue a novel. Have the confidence like the one when I was 15.