a day in the life of chili

going dutch

i’ll be real right now, i really don’t want to be writing at this moment. it’s just that it’s a horribly awkward time to go to bed, and i need to keep my laptop on while i illegally download anthony bourdain travel shows. so here i am, 11:50PM in my room in utrecht, the netherlands; my roommate fast asleep and a dim incandescent light keeping me company. so much has happened since i got here, and honestly everything is just moving at a crazy pace and often i even find it difficult to keep up with daily happenings. i blinked and 2 months have passed.

anyway, let’s keep this light. here’s a list of little things i love about my experience here so far:

  1. cooking your first decent, socially acceptable meal from scratch
  2. sipping on cold belgian beer
  3. peeking at the results of your first roll of film
  4. random dancing with a sweet swede, aussie and swiss miss
  5. introducing vanille vla to a vla virgin
  6. biking with the wind on a rare sunny saturday afternoon
  7. meeting strangers baking in your own kitchen
  8. fitting perfectly into an impulse-buy leather jacket
  9. standing in front of a barnett newman
  10. getting hit on quite unpredictably by a odd irish fellow on st. paddy’s day
  11. hitching on the back of someone’s bike
  12. watching pink tulips bloom on your windowsill
  13. surviving the worst aka getting your entire bag stolen on your first day
  14. talking about andrei tarkovsky with your 6’5″ tall, dutch-italian twin brother
  15. drinking a cappuccino in a cozy cafe along the canal
  16. finding aesthetic sisters among your flatmates
  17. confronting the cutest pizza delivery boy in the planet
  18. winning a bowl of chips (w mayo) in a pub quiz
  19. shoveling down a kaassouffle in a dodgy snackbar at 4AM
  20. sharing bottles of wine with a table of people from all over the world on taco night
  21. booking your flight ticket for your first solo backpacking adventure
  22. indulging in warm and free stroopwafels
  23. slaying at yogalates
  24. saying dank u wel and alstublieft right for the first time
  25. feeling utterly at home in a country on the other side of the world

it just keeps piling up. i love where i am right now. bless.

the plague

Ola. Guess who’s back from the grave. A month into my break finally gave me reason to update this thing again. About my life, lol. Although it remained completely uneventful since the last time I posted. Hmm. Runthrough again with classic enumeration.

On University and Work

  1. Well. Survived last sem. I used survived because I barely came on top of my overwhelming laziness and extreme lack of motivation. Grades turned out alright though, but I want to strangle my international economics professor, that shithead. Anyway. Generally speaking, that semester wasn’t so value-adding in retrospect. Partially because I didn’t like my professors and also because I was just so burnt out from the previous one.
  2. Actually also planned on taking midyear classes, but unsurprisingly, I didn’t enroll because I was too lazy. Here is one of the reasons why I decided to post again.
  3. Signed myself up for more shit and work in my orgs. My friends keep asking me why I did it (don’t do it hoe, then ohmygod) but I guess I just wanted to feel like my work was value-adding and fruitful again. Like they say, it’s satisfying to work with a good team so I’m just feeling my way around for now. Actually enjoying the work so far.

On My Regression Into the Void that is KPOP

  1. Somehow, I found myself back in my kpop phase. Jesus. This is all EXO’s fault. Actually now that I think about it, I spent the latter half of last sem reading all the fic I could get my hands on. I gotta say man, the EXO ficdom is gloriously kinky. Like, sexual awakening levels of kinky. And I don’t say that shit lightly, I consider myself a fic connoisseur (LOLLIN). Bring on the knife play and bottom bitch!Jongdae.
  2. Many surprising gems in the ficdom (surprising because plowing through the EXO fan/ficdom is like going to war and expecting diamonds), so allow me to list down a few favorites: Kkangpae (wonderfully kinky sekai, mafia!AU), Endgame (brilliant spy!AU sekai), Gesamtkunstwerk (who doesn’t love 49k words about creative burnouts, and gorgeous character analysis? top form from the wonderful Di), the heart where i have roots (supreme character and relationship development. cried through this eternal sunshine!AU chankai), The Fine Line Between Love and Jackson Pollock (what can i say, i’m a sucker for art and reckless Chankai), Purgatorio for Two (murakami-like mood. jesus wept. and i don’t even ship baekyeol), Park “Pussy Smasher” Chanyeol (because i’m trash and this won me over with jongdae. this actually hit too close to home i’m depressed because it’s my pwp fantasy come to life). I should stop here. I could go on and on about fic and not run out of shit to say, ya know.
  3. Because of the sekai in LMR, I am /this/ close to writing the fic I want to read. That is, my reckless youths, roadtrip AU. Whiskey, Siken, a bottle of pills, coffee and cigarettes, dingy motels and apple pie a la mode, and Corvettes. Oh the dysfunction! I foresee gunplay and a load of miscommunication. I’m not sorry.
  4. In other KPOP developments, I can’t believe I still don’t have tickets to Big Bang’s concert. LOSER and BAE BAE were my anthems to surviving Hell Week. As well as Chanyeol’s voice. And his grey hair. And Jeonghan’s angel face. And JACKSON WANG. And SHINEE’s Odd Eye and Minho’s biceps and ass. Zitao’s laughter and rap in Rewind. Jesus H Christ. HELP. I’ve got a soft spot for tall Korean rappers with deep voices and I made a fangirl trash twitter account because of it. 😦

On Other Interests

  1. The annual film festivals are nearing and I’m really looking forward to Eiga Sai (Japanese film fest). Hoping to catch Princess Jellyfish and couple of other films. Apparently the theme is something about food, so it’s perfect.
  2. Also starting to rekindle my romance with animanga and comedy TV again. My break’s been spent by basically switching around marathons of Bob’s Burgers, Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun, Orange is the New Black and Yowamushi Pedal. I swear, I’ll get around to updating myself with Game of Thrones soon.
  3. Oddly enough, I didn’t keep track of my film watching this year. I guess the whole list thing unconsciously put pressure on me that I feel strangely burnt out. Still watching movies though, but I guess that also took a back seat in lieu of KPOP reawakening, lol. Mad Max was brilliant. Also enjoyed crying over the Korean classic My Sassy Girl.
  4. Finished a book on the art and science of memory by Joshua Foer called Moonwalking with Einstein. Take that, naysayers! Mind palaces are real and effective!
  5. I’m trying to tell myself to create more reports about the shit I want to learn (i.e. Map of Africa, Dutch 101, etc) but my body clock is so fucked up that I wake up past noon every day and find that I’m just reacting to my life. But I really want to remember how it feels like to learn something for myself again, without any pressure.
  6. I’ve gotten into the hobby of penpalling and it’s a wonderful thing! I have penpals from all over the world– from Arkansas, to Amiens in France, to India. It’s slow, unassuming and intimate. Glad I have something to keep to myself right now. Although I really am coughing up serious cash because of the godforsaken postal service here. Worth it though.
  7. Also had a brief stint with calligraphy. Materials are serious investments so I’m still thinking if I’ll push through with it. Probably will end up trying out cross stitching again instead.
  8. I really, really should get around to posting my Japan 2015 photos because it was a lovely trip. Lightroom is just a little shit and again, laziness.
  9. I’ve been trying to learn how to live ~independently because The Netherlands 2016 is really starting to calcify. I’m actually currently alone in our new pad. Learning how to cook and uhh, /chores/ are really foreign to me (shit, what a millennial!) but I’m liking the freedom. I’ve been spending a lot of days here and even developed a habit of swimming, so I guess this is working out fine. I can cook chicken wings now.

On The Plague of Thoughts 

I guess this isn’t really a blog post from me if I don’t talk about anything related to my thoughts eating me up. Just yesterday I felt an overwhelming feeling of nausea. Psychosomatic, I think. After going out with a couple of friends I just came home literally wanting to puke my guts out. And I thought of all of the things I wanted from myself and what I wanted from everything and what I didn’t want and I just wanted to literally vomit. I keep telling myself to take every feeling as it is, to let it pass, to not let it control me and I’m getting better at it, I think. I think of the lives I could lead and the one I currently have and it’s hard not to weigh yourself down with the usual, useless disappointment. And like. How do I stop getting so frustrated by other people’s actions? It’s not as if I can change them. Ultimately it ends up with me mad, frustrated, chainsmoking reds into a coffee sachet because I’m poor, jaded bitch with ridiculous, stupid life decisions. I think I just need some time off and have a sundowner again.

a belated new year’s post

Well hello there, 2015. You’ve been a sly little bitch so far.

  1. This holiday season was spent eating my heart out with my immediate family. And a sidetrip to the boondocks with stunning views while we all tried to pretend we could stand one another.
  2. My grades were surprisingly superb given the hell I went through last sem. Excluding EL50 since my professor refuses to post our grades yet (much to my chagrin). I have no idea how he’ll grade us– the wait will either lead to (1) a beautiful ending to that hell sem or (2) me shitting on his face. There is no in-between.
  3. Love is sharing your last cigarette with a friend.
  4. Well. I should quit cold turkey anyway– but you know, fuck it.
  5. I have reached the low point of pathetic and desperate by listening to nature wave sounds on Spotify. I really, really, really miss the beach. I went to El Nido, Palawan (my favorite place on this planet, legit) with my best friends and I have a terrible case of separation anxiety. That trip convinced me that I am meant to live on a beach forever. The withdrawal symptoms are making me antsy. Reminding self to post photos soon.
  6. Not to mention depressed as fuck. This recent wave has been keeping me drowning in misery. To the point that I’m really connecting with Dostoevsky.
  7. Survival is masking your depression with kitten photos and vodka sprites.
  8. As for resolutions. I’d like to (1) exercise regularly, (2) learn something that people wouldn’t normally associate me with (ex. “wow! you can fix a car?”), (3) become that cool yoga lady who wakes up at 5 am to look at the sunrise and greets people with namaste, (4) read more books, (5) improve my make-up game and (6) afford my lifestyle. Not bad.
  9. Diving and driving license. iPhone 6. Faster laptop. #goals
  10. Turns out people really do get fed up with themselves as they grow older. I only like myself because I have new pillows.

Here’s a sneak peek to my post-processed El Nido photos. Also. I hope to upload my backlog of travel photos soon (Cambodia, Vietnam, Korea). Taken during the breathtaking sunset of our last night. I miss the trifecta (sun, sea, sand).

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YES I AM STILL ALIVE

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STYLE IN ART: Eyes in J No Subete.

Currently drowning in work and academics, but yes wp, I am still alive. I’ll be close to dead at the rate I’m going, although I’ll get by somehow.

  1. My insomnia’s gotten so bad again that I only slept a total of 14 hours last week. It’s 12:35 am now but I feel kind of sleepy already, so I guess that’s a good thing.
  2. Crawling my way through my majors, really. It seems as if I am working myself into a corner that may be difficult to get out of. Never thought I would be BS Org again… yet look at me now. Cue priority adjustments.
  3. I’m sort of having some trouble with some people. Not quite sure yet if my issues are enough for action on my part. It’s mostly just an annoyance and momentary frustration, but if this shit continues I won’t stand for any of it.
  4. Realization: you are the still point of a turning world. Push forward, friend, push forward. We will get by.
  5. My friends are the bravest people I know. I wish to be half as strong as them.
  6. Poetry slam. Phases. Renaissance. Man the Maker. Que horror.
  7. Once again I am reminded that gender is fluid. And that love is SPG in Japan too. Love you Emi Takei. and Tori Matsuzaka. *dreamy sigh*
  8. Movie recommendation: The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, The Wind Rises, Jiro Dreams of Sushi, Tokyo Story. J-Drama recommendation: Asuko March, Kyou Koi Wa Hajimemasu. Manga recommendation: Ooku, J No Subete. As you may have noticed, I am back in my all-things-Japan phase. Only thing keeping me alive tbh. Naruto is ending in a month and Hirunaka no Ryuusei only has around 3 chapters left. Sadness.
  9. I’m going to Japan next year and I’m damn excited. Initially it was set for April, but I’m thinking of rebooking to June so I can spend a month going around the country, and to visit my host family. I know it’s a bit far from now but the thought is very, very comforting.
  10. I want a vintage cigarette case. and a Zippo lighter. Partially for aesthetic reasons, but why are they so pretty in the first place lol.

Here’s a random quote that’s sort of keeping me going:

“For what it’s worth … it’s never too late, or in my case too early, to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit. Start whenever you want. You can change or stay the same. There are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people who have a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of, and if you’re not, I hope you have the courage to start all over again.” (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, screenplay by Eric Roth)

Slowly trying to loosen my grip on the railings. To fly is to fall. Carry on.

YOUR WHOLE LIFE IS A PREPARATION FOR SOMETHING ELSE, AND WHY I THINK THIS IS COMPLETELY STUPID

There is nothing like seeing your mom disappointed. Because of you. Specifically, your lack of a boyfriend. At the age of 17. Surely, there must be a god-fearing, decent enough man out there to recognize that you are girl of ripe age, bourgeois upbringing and good education, a man that will one day save you from your single, dumb freedom and provide you your maternal purpose. Surely, you will meet a boy that will gain the approval of your parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, friends of cousins, cousins and second-cousins, maids, your parents’ Facebook friends, parish priests and your drunk, gossiping neighbors. The man is perfect as long as he’s (1) devoutly Catholic, (2) not black, Indian, Arab, and/or pure-Asian, (3) dripping with masculine charm and homophobic vitriol, (4) rich, (5) not bald, (6) emotionally distant except at the sight of failure, femininity and your future children, (7) well-mannered until provoked, (8) a ladies-man as long as he goes home every night and never goes too far, and most importantly, (9) willing to marry you and plant his seed in you before your biological clock stops ticking. Surely, there are still ‘real men’ out there for you (albeit rare like unicorns) but in the meantime, let’s build your dowry under the disguise of your once-braced teeth, your long, jet-black hair, your not-too-brown exotic skin, your shaved everything, made-up everything, your curves in the right places, your legs crossed in right position, your hymen intact, your skirt in between asking-for-it and prudish, your button nose burrowed in a book everyone reads, your hands holding some flowers or a spatula, your feet in the perfect ballerina turn out, your voice in the right decibel, laughter in the right timbre, your mood always cheery never bitchy (unless you’re on your period, but of course that’s a different matter), your head to the sky but nowhere too far, you in your right place. Beside a man. 

Because no matter how you frame it, your life as a woman is in preparation for something else. Marriage. Children. Everything you do now leads up to that walk down the aisle, to meet the perfect man for your perfect life, because you’re a girl, and you aren’t yours, even your name isn’t yours until someone lends his to you. But don’t think about it now. Don’t look depressed, stop frowning, no one likes a girl that’s angry, a girl who fights. Stay silent, stay the right things, don’t try to argue, pray to God and the ultimate He will offer you the world if you ask for it kindly through His virgin mother. Don’t think about it now. Study hard, but not too much that you won’t be open to meeting boys, be kind to all of them no matter what because you’re a girl and you’re supposed to, let some of them break your heart but never take it seriously, because we’ll send you abroad to meet a white French man who will sweep you off your feet in his chalet in the mountains so you can drink wine and have beautiful children, far more beautiful than the ones your friends will have in the future. Or if you don’t meet one, go back as quickly as possible so you can get a job in a beauty company here, build your resume up and work hard until you meet a nice man here, but make sure to seal the deal before you turn 30, or else you’re in danger of our pity. You can be single but looking, or single but devoted to God, or single but chaste.

Never single and free, don’t say that, don’t even think about that, that’s just sad. Because sweetheart, you’re not free until you meet the man of your dreams. Because that’s all you dream about, right? Meeting the man of your dreams. Study all you want but not if you don’t meet someone. Talk all you want until he starts talking. Travel and search the world to find him. Study to find him. Talk to find him. Work to find him. Pray to find him. Exist to find him. Because that’s all you dream about, right?

TRAVEL: NSTP SURP Camping Trip with Basquille, Mt. Makiling

Well hello there, people of the interwebs!

I am crawling out of my cave of inactivity to post this set of photos I took last April 25-27 during a field trip in Los Banos, Laguna. For the summer semester I took a rappelling and survival CWTS (Civil Welfare Training something) class under the School of Urban and Regional Planning to fulfill my NSTP (National Service Training Program) requirement.  Basically it’s a month long program where we learn how to respond to emergencies and disasters as citizens. For the past 4-5 weeks my teammates and I have been learning rappelling, CPR, compass navigation, proper carrying, bandaging, knotting, camping strategies and general fun things like ziplining and trekking. So as a culminating activity and a test of our new abilities, we all had to attend this 3 day camping trip in the heart of Mt. Makiling.

This trip earned a special place in my ~heart~ because (1) this was my first college field trip (and it definitely was UP material), (2) I was with the clingiest, vainest, craziest and best team ever (#BASQUILLE), and (3) it was ridiculously fun and almost disgustingly unforgettable. I’ll break it down for you later on, and you’ll get to know my insane teammates too. LOL.

Shot using my Nikon D3100 55 mm. Post-processing using Photoshop CS6. All photos taken and edited by yours truly.

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 Gilbert traverses. Instructor relaxes. 

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a return after long wanderings

Chili’s real life updates and random musings:

  1. I am finally a member of UP Philosophical Society after a fun semester of applying and a grueling 12 hours of darkness and things I’d like to forget. I’d like to thank Albert Camus and Michel de Montaigne for guiding me throughout this app process. Teehee. ❤
  2. I just finished reading Milan Kundera’s The Unbearable Lightness of Being. Such a beautiful book. I almost underlined the shit out of those passages, 1/2 joke. I suggest you pick it up the next time you’re out book shopping. Also I’ll probably write about this soon. Maybe. (my poem “the flame” was inspired by the book actually, jsyk)
  3. March is my last hell month for SY 2013-2014 and I’m surprised I actually found some free time to blog, lol. This semester was actually pretty fun (thanks to a combination of interesting classes and freshman free time) but alas, all good things must come to an end. Opposite sentiments re: Math 100 though, I’m so excited to throw that bitch out of my life soon. (Oh yes I aced my most recent Math exam; I cried like a baby after, I’m sorry guys, I’ve turned into a nerd who cries over exam scores– I’m still proud of myself though you can’t take this blue book away from meee)
  4. POETRY! SLAM! I’m actually organizing one of Manila’s first poetry slam competitions with a couple of my orgmates and wow I am so excited!!!! Really guys. As April 4 approaches my poetic muse stirs slowly out of her sleep… Y’all in it for a ride. Performance poets + art auction = CULTURED F.U.N. (Plug: if you live in Manila and are vaguely interested in slam poetry please attend The Polaris Project’s TINDIG)
  5. In line with my 2014 goals, #CultureWeeks are starting to take full effect! Thanks Cassidy! Basic principle is this: every week you have to keep track of the way you spend your free time. Challenge is that you have to use your free time productively but creatively– so for example, I started using my free time to build my Art Appreciation files by analyzing and exploring paintings online! Also I began learning how to play the Song on the Beach (from the film Her) on the piano. It’s been really, really fun so I suggest y’all try it too! I realized that I wasted so much time on shit that didn’t matter before… all that fucking time wasted, what a shame. Anyway I do hope the internet supports me on this endeavor because as of the moment our wifi is shit. All time low: 30 kbps MAXIMUM SPEED. Fucking hell, no internet is better than slow internet. Trust me.
  6. 25 movies, 8 books so far for 2014. I’m not at my ideal number yet but the month is not yet over!
  7. LESS THAN A HUNDRED DAYS UNTIL THE FIFA WORLD CUP MY BRAIN IS CRYING (official teams for Chili: Spain and Belgium). Also FC Barcelona in the UCL quarterfinals, fuck yeah.
  8. I think I shall attribute my level of depression to the amount of mosquitoes that I know have been born to attack me these past weeks. I have earned a new life skill: killing mosquitoes. I can feel you shitheads from a mile away. Y’all better piss off. Other than that I’ve been sleeping well. Surprisingly.
  9. South Korea was fucking cold. I don’t ever want to see hotpot in my life again. I quite miss the hot Asian men. And perhaps the impossibility of sweat. And SKIING.
  10. Areas of concern: health, love life, money, the absurd. As usual. The world spins on.
  11. Random musing #1: One day I will achieve this cool nonchalance while smoking. I’ve decided to keep nicotine out of the picture this Lent (LOL x 100) but lately I’ve been finding myself looking at photos of Alain Delon (my favorite French actor ugh what a dreamy guy) with those damn cigarettes and wow are these withdrawal symptoms?
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  13. Random musing #2: I should really attempt to sit through those Wagner operas. The farthest I’ve gone was 1/3 into Tristan und Isolde. Fuck.

Bonne nuit!

life update, basically

Just wanted to tell you strangers that I am flying out to Korea today!

I don’t know why I had to blog about it but then again, I am quite excited. Y’all don’t know how happy I am for this break… to eat delicious Korean food and hopefully even more delicious boys WAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA (i’m a pervert 1/2 joke)

Idk if I’ll be traveling again out of the country this year so I’ll be sure to make the most out of this trip! I’ll be seeing snow and skiing for the first time in my life so wish me luck I guess? [[I actually am significantly bummed because I’m missing the Philippine Contemporary Art exhibit this weekend. Alas, a trade-off.]]
Anyway have a happy weekend folks! Thanks for keeping up with unusually chipper Chili.

rage against the machine

My life is turning into one of those comic panels where the dude shakes his fists at the proverbial “machine” and then the huge robot steps on him.

Life, you’re fucking messed up. Every time I try to fix you, you crush me.
I really, really do not know what you want from me anymore.

I just want to swim in a massive vat of Moroccan Mint Tea. 500% done.