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entry from july 24, 2016 / 3:58AM

Flying over Dubai. I cannot believe time has flown by this quickly. It felt as if I was just on this same flight route but backwards only yesterday, but also I feel as if I’ve left a big part of myself already, somewhere in the canals of Amsterdam, the streets of Budapest, the far stretches of beyond in Switzerland. I have seen and felt it all and they have all been true. They have all been a part of me. I look out the window and the engines whir in whispers, as if to accompany me in some quiet sense that I have changed, that I am changing still; the world beneath my feet and in the palm of my hand. And I feel both distraught and relieved to be going back home–because what if you feel like home is already both Manila and in the company of some other? In a country that doesn’t speak your language, in a place where people will stare but forget who you are?

I want to yet again face the world with certainty. Oh God, let me find the courage and the strength to do so.

I have been so blessed and that is enough. Chili, may you remember that, always. You are blessed and that alone is enough to get you out there.

Forward, forward, forward. Onto other stories…

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tempus fugit,

2015 went by fast! I seriously cannot believe we’re almost through with another year. I’ll just jump straight into updates because LOL I just needed to write some shit down over here. And shoutout to Fatemeh, apparently someone actually reads the shit I post here, amazing. And so it all goes under the cut–

  1. I survived! HELL! aka my latest semester! Fuck yeah! And my grades aren’t half bad! I’d like to thank God, Jesus and all the saints and people I prayed to multiple times over the course of this hellish 19-unit [war flashbacks] semester. Still not feeling that fulfilled about the courses I’m taking (lbr it’s hard to be so ecstatic about theoretical statistics), but who knows, maybe I’ll get another class that I actually find interesting and relevant.
  2. It’s actually the day after Christmas and the day before we fly out to Tokyo, Japan. In 24 hours I’ll be heading to the airport with my family for our first self-planned trip abroad (courtesy of my fantastic itinerary-making skills lol) to visit my sister who is currently studying there. I’m really excited! It was really a last-minute decision, and while that did lead to some drawbacks (in the form of a not-so-bargain airbnb pad) I’m over the moon about it. Y’all know about my endless fascination and personal attachment to that country, so a trip to Japan is really worth the hype, price tag and hard work. I just hope that my family can keep up with my plans (ha-ha) because spending the holidays in Tokyo is no joke…
  3. Current flail-inducing Tokyo dreams: (a) Takashi Murakami’s 500 Arhats exhibition in Roppongi– it’s his first exhibition in his own country in ages and I am absolutely determined to see this in person (also because I feel a strange and inexplicable connection to TOP aka my Dream Guy through TM); (b) SHOPPING– specifically for a decent winter coat, some sturdy white sneakers, and of course Japanese makeup/skincare products. I’ll reserve a number for skincare hehe; (c) FOOD– although I bloated up because of all of the Bacchanalian Feasts of Filipino Christmas (lol k), I am prepared to go all out pretentious foodie in Tokyo. Relying on my research on backalley izakayas and Blade Runner-esque yokochos in what I consider to be the culinary mecca of the world.
  4. ASIAN SKINCARE. The gift that keeps on giving, or the deep abyss that I have fallen into. Either way, this really warrants its own new blog post (I’ll get around to this, I promise?) This new obsession is making me regret a LOT of stupid things like (a) not researching the pH level of my cleansers BEFORE I emptied them and BEFORE I fucked up my acid mantle and (b) not taking my Chemistry classes seriously (but in my defense who would’ve known that I would be hearing “hydrophilic” again after high school right?). But despite all of that I am learning a shitload of things and also burning a ton of cash in the process… but only because the results. are. really. fucking. THERE. ON MY FACE! There are improvements! and they are REAL!!! (ok flailing now). Like I know my skin is really far from perfect but I love the idea of being able to steer my personal care into a direction that will actually give me good results unlike some capitalist myths (*cough* western beauty bullshit *cough*). I’m still building my routine but at least now I’m starting to be aware of the shit I put on my face or ingest, and I think this is really worth it given the stress relief, added knowledge, self-awareness and results that I get out of this whole shebang. I even got my best friend Livi hooked on it too LOL. The learning curve is steep and intimidating but the climb is sooo fun. P.S. I have dry-combination skin.
  5. ASIAN SKINCARE II: MY WISHLIST (this is really more of a note to myself so skip if you want): Benton Snail Bee High Content Skin toner (yes, I’m a sucker for snail goop), Missha Time Revolution Night Repair Science Activator Ampoule (apparently the greatest SkII dupe in history), Innisfree Jeju Bija Anti-Trouble Spot Gel Cleanser (one of the very few affordable low pH (<5.5) cleansers in the market), Hadalabo Gokujyun Super Hyaluronic Acid Lotion (moisturizer from Japan, rave reviews like. everywhere.), Skinfood Strawberry Black Sugar Mask (less intense sister of their black sugar mask), Clinique take the day off remover for lids, lashes and lips OR Lancome Bi-Facil double action eye makeup remover (interestingly enough I used both before when I was a skincare noob, how sad), Su:m37 Miracle Rose Cleansing Stick (the HOLY GRAIL OF ALL CLEANSERS, sold out eveeerywhere), Cerave Foaming Facial Cleanser (cheapish pH 5-5.5 cleanser I think), Cosrx Acne Master Pimple Patch (miracle worker, apparently), Ciracle Pure Vitamin C20 Serum (Vitamin C is great for PHI problems), and lastly Innisfree’s Jeju Volcanic Pore Clay mask. Some things I would consider purchasing too: Banila Co’s Clean It oil-based cleanser, Cosrx’s BHA blackhead active (some swear by it) and maaaybe Innisfree’s green tea line when my face normalizes. And some discoveries of Shit to Avoid/Be Wary Of: coconut oil (comedogenic for a sad minority), alcohol in anything thin (this is why I’m still not sold on Etude House’s Wonder Pore Freshner even though I sooo badly want it to work for me), charcoal anything (no scientific evidence that actually lathering this shit on your skin does anything significant to it), aaaand literally basic cleansers (meaning high pH, HUHUHU I’m still a victim and my chin breakouts speak for themselves).
  6. I AM LEAVING FOR THE NETHERLANDS IN A MONTH. I am not ready?!?!?!?! Idk man. I’ve never done anything remotely close to this kind of insane before…. but I’m always up for an adventure. Again, Chili, why must you be so bored so easily…
  7. I finally got around to writing back to my penpals after n months. I feel kinda bad, but shit got waaaay outta hand. Now, to actually mailing the letters is the next hurdle.
  8. I downloaded this app called Headspace on my phone and basically it’s a intro to meditation. My new age lola was super overjoyed to hear that I started meditating, and although I’m not completely sold on the idea of starting Raja Yoga anytime soon, I feel as if this will really become an integral part of my mental health. I find the exercises quite difficult though 😦
  9. I really have to start budgeting. PSA for all you uni students slugging it out with an empty wallet or with red flags in your back account, I suggest you email the kind folks over at You Need A Budget to send you a free activation pass while you’re studying! I direly need to fix my life financially because I’m tired of being such a predictable college student by being broke all the fuckin time. 😦 LOL.
  10. Thinking if I have the time to beta since exordium is posting beta sign-ups… I haven’t actually done this so this miiight be a first for me if I ever decide to do it. But who knows! Maybe I should just write some Meanie or Jinson/hyungline fic instead LOOLOLOLOLOL

Anyway that’s it for now?? I have to go to the gym before our annual family christmas lunch and it’s 3:30 AM FML!!! I only intended to stay up until 3 LOL………. Then again, my body clock is already screwed to begin with. Guess my body is already trying to prepare me for the European life. Hehe. Wish me luck guys! I really tried with the positive outlook on life thing here.

as we were.

“I’ve always tried to make a home for myself, but I have not felt at home in myself. I’ve worked hard at being the hero of my own life. But every time I checked the register of displaced persons, I was still on it. I didn’t know how to belong. Longing? Yes. Belonging? No.”

— Jeanette Winterson, Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?

God, I’m so awful at this friendship thing. I don’t even know what to do with myself anymore. Nowadays I just feel like surprise news flashes– breaking news! girl tries to initiates contact with l’etranger, he shoots her instead!— all too sudden and quick to leave so I can avoid opinion, like a permanent shoot-first-think-later gig, so afraid to hear what you think about me. A graveyard out of a bone white afternoon. And it’s always the fucking corpse staring up at me. Waiting for something interesting. Too bad, honey. You’re fucking dead.

Here are a few things that have given me solace from myself:

  1. It’s Okay, That’s Love. 2014 Korean drama. 10/10, totally fresh. I suggest you educate yourself and try to feel something relevant again. I’ll reserve this for a later post.
  2. Only Lovers Left Alive. 2014 Jim Jarmusch. Utterly mesmerizing vampire movie. Hiddles The Bæ and Mother Swinton amidst a background of incredible, beautiful music.
  3. Food porn. To be perfectly honest.

As you were.

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).

DSC_0779

as per usual, richard siken takes the words right out of my mouth

“Personally, I’m a mess of conflicting impulses—I’m independent and greedy and I also want to belong and share and be a part of the whole. I doubt that I’m the only one who feels this way. It’s the core of monster making, actually. Wanna make a monster? Take the parts of yourself that make you uncomfortable—your weaknesses, bad thoughts, vanities, and hungers—and pretend they’re across the room. It’s too ugly to be human. It’s too ugly to be you. Children are afraid of the dark because they have nothing real to work with. Adults are afraid of themselves.
Oh we’re a mess, poor humans, poor flesh—hybrids of angels and animals, dolls with diamonds stuffed inside them We’ve been to the moon and we’re still fighting over Jerusalem. Let me tell you what I do know: I am more than one thing, and not all of those things are good. The truth is complicated. It’s two-toned, multi-vocal, bittersweet. I used to think that if I dug deep enough to discover something sad and ugly, I’d know it was something true. Now I’m trying to dig deeper.”

— Richard Siken, Spork Editor’s Pages: Black Telephone

I GET SO EMOTIONAL WHEN PEOPLE TALK ABOUT ACHILLES AND PATROCLUS

My love, how was I to know
that they would make a myth of us?
Did we not die? Are we not dead?
Are your bones not my bones?

Before the war.
Before we had to
kiss Troy out of each other’s
teeth, we were a paradise.
You were the only one I kneeled
before.
You made the warrior in me tired.

They write about your death.
How I sliced through countless
men trying to build a
monument to the monster
I was after your body
blazed before me.

I can tell you now that
I begged for the arrow.
Welcomed it.
My last wish was to
sleep beside you in our tent.
To hide you so well in the afterlife
that no God could take you
from me again.

My quiet love was yours from the
beginning.
I call my ankles by your name.
When mother dipped me in the river, she was introducing us.

by Caitlyn Siehl, Achilles to Patroclus

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?
  12. 20140317-010459.jpg

  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!

on friendship and actual human connection

I’m starting to have trouble connecting with people.

I’ve been thinking about this for a while now, honestly. It’s very disconcerting because I’ve always /sort of/ identified myself as an extrovert (at least to some extent), so I’ve never actually had any major problems with “socializing” per se. I actually sometimes enjoy the small talk with random people, but nowadays I just kind of… shut down. I don’t know what changed in me– maybe it’s just the perfunctory awkward freshman phase or just a self-preservation thing because of the major changes in my life. With college and 2013 shit, basically.

I feel as if I’m tethered to a kite that is slowly flying farther away from reality and genuine connections. I used to pride myself in having the flexibility to be able to talk to all sorts of people, but now, everything just seems so dishonest or forced. It’s like I stopped believing in making new friends because I got so used to the same people for more than a decade. I might be too young to be this disillusioned but I’m just… so sick of having to deal with fake things, fake people. Having a shitload of acquaintances or strangers as Facebook friends. I can’t have ‘friendships’ that revolve around meaningless jokes or awkward, superficial small talk– I have too many of that already.I crave real, human connection. I long for conversation– not just exchanges on twitter, an online chatbox or text talks. I want to be able to have coffee with an actual human being without the veil of virtual reality. I want to eat dinner with someone who has the decency to turn off their phone for an hour at least. I want to know people, truly, their stances on issues, their ruminations and experiences, their questions in life. I want dynamism. I want to be uncomfortable, I want to be conflicted. At this point I would take anything over a teasing one-liner or worse, a damn Facebook group for a gossip clique that is the modern day friendship.

They say the people you are meant to meet will gravitate towards you in one way or another. You’ll know your friends when you meet them. But I think there’s more to it– I’ve also forgotten how to nurture a friendship. Maybe I’m having such a hard time because I’m looking at it wrong. Or maybe I’m searching too hard, or too far, or searching for the wrong things. There must be something wrong with me if the last time I had a ‘friend crush’ (a strong urge to be friends with someone) was months ago. I don’t know how to make friends and I’m stuck in between wanting everything and expecting nothing. It sucks. It sucks to see naturally likeable people instantly connecting with others and you know you want that for yourself too.

There’s so much more to this, I think. I’ve gotten used to a shit kind of laziness that it bleeds to my current friendships. I see myself blending into the past, or blurred at the edges. Sometimes when you have something you forget that it can leave you at any time. You wake up one day and it’s gone without a trace. I’ve gotten used to getting things instantly, and now I’m trying to slow it down but then I see everybody else racing away as I attempt to chase after lost things. It’s selfish, I guess. I often forget that friendship is not one person– it is compromise, it is selflessness. I have yet to master this.

I have no excuse for myself. I’m probably the shittiest friend in the world but I think I subconsciously feel entitled to the best of people. Once again, pride leaves me safe in a cocoon but more alone than ever. This is pure fear. Fear of inadequacy, fear of missing out, fear of opportunities and fear of denying opportunities, fear of forgetting, fear of being forgotten, fear of boredom, fear of challenge, fear of meaning, fear of meaninglessness.This dualism leaves me undone. I am at a crossroad and I choose all and none. I have no one to blame but myself. But I try. My God, do I try.

01/16/91

No matter how far we back away from ourselves
this scene will not reveal itself as a movie set.
Not the low building not the couple meeting out front
& not the desk clerk who is sick of it all.
The sign flashing dirty green / pink / off & on again
eludes through its perfectness– a dull trick–
the possibility of being a propmaster’s deceit.
STOP HERE / X-L MOTEL / STOP HERE.
Because this is all there is to know
we know that someone here is desperate.

by Joshua Clover

on diversity, and feminism

To many people who know me personally, I am a feminist. I am not afraid of the label. I wear it proudly because if there is one thing I am sure about myself, it is this– there is nothing I deem wrong about fighting for gender equality. In a still horrifically patriarchal world, there are more women than men but there is always less room for us– encompassing glass ceilings, burqas and bikinis, MRT cars and Indian buses, etc, etc. I believe in equality; I believe in freedom; I believe in respect. 

I almost got into a fight last Friday. It turns out that even in probably the most liberal school in the country, I can still find misogynists and bigots in abundance. It was an English class, and my professor previously told us to write about a moral code we felt strongly about, so I wrote about rape culture. (I’ll post it if my prof returns it.) So on Friday, she picked two papers to share to the class– one being my feminist piece, and the other the total opposite of mine. We had a discussion about it right after. 

I get it. In a fairly conservative country, my more radical beliefs are considered to be extreme. Fine. But the fact that more than THREE PEOPLE (women and men) said very sexist and harmful things was beyond any of my expectations about my own university. I embrace the diversity in the people but I never realized that there was actually room for sexism in such a forward university. I was more than shocked– I was disgusted even, not only by their opinions but also by their frankness and certainty, as if saying that “women should know their place” was something completely ordinary to say out loud. By the middle of it, I wanted to strangle people. 

I’d rather not share any other comment made then because that would just make my blood boil again. I really just wanted to write about what I felt after arguing with so many misogynists– that the fight is still so alive, so vicious. At this point, I don’t think I can befriend any misogynist. Hearing all that patriarchal bullshit and first generation excuses (fucking larger hypothalamus my ass) made me want to shoot myself in the head, while fueling my motivation to fight stronger. 

This is a pledge to fight against bigotry and misogyny for the rest of my consciousness. Fuck the patriarchy.