Sunday, May 28, 2017

Beautiful Sunday # 267 - Smile

Train rides in Manila every Friday usually gets more crowded and exhausting. The additional influx of passengers is attributed to the Friday devotion to the Black Nazarene. Last Friday was no different. I was expecting the worst, given the sudden outpour of afternoon rain. I was tired, I was hoping to have a relaxing trip home. I intentionally skipped the first train because I wanted to secure a seat. Despite being first in the line, I was pushed away by some rude passengers. I ended standing in the middle area of  the humid and crowded train. I wore my earphones and shifted to my usual introvert mode. When the train started to depart, my attention was caught by a family. The grandmother voiced out her frustration. She wanted seats for her daughter and two granddaughters. This is a common episode in my train rides. Hence, I never felt any form of consolation or sympathy. I was ready to ignore everyone not until  I noticed a tiny baby resting on her mother's chest. The grandmother started to relate the fate of her tiny yet "special" granddaughter. I took off my earphones and learned that her daughter caught the Zika virus during pregnancy. At that time, all I could remember was the congenital abnormalities to children. The grandmother mentioned that they regularly attend the Friday devotion for her granddaughter. 

The love, patience and faith of the grandmother were more than enough to warm my heart. All the negative sentiments and petty issues that agitate me went away. It was one of those times when I felt too selfish of my shallow problems. In the course of the train ride, another heart warming moment caught my attention. Fellow passengers started to make all means to provide comfort to our most "special" passenger. Some lent their portable electric fans, bottles of water were offered to the family, and a group of college students started entertaining our special passenger. The best thing that happened, our special passenger rendered her sweetest smile. And just like that, my heart melted. It was one of those rare times when I felt something genuine and heart warming. What further amazed me is how a tiny human being can give that much needed harmony and relief in the always complicated world of grown ups.

In addition to this rare heart warming train ride, here are the other beautiful things that made the past week

Trips to Taal Vista Hotel and Pinto Art Museum

Chinese, Korean and Japanese cuisines in one week 

Weekends with my cousins, recalling our trip in Macau and some random photos from Bag of Beans in Tagaytay

This has to be my last post for the summer of 2017. When did time go again? Three more days and it will be June. I have mixed sentiments for everything that happened from April to May. A few things I remember include the absence of most people at the workplace. My colleagues were enjoying their leave credits, while I was left alone in most weeks. I started spending lunch breaks with my friend A. I scored freelance works that augmented much of my income. My reliable Samsung deteriorated because of some accident. I thought I was able to score a great deal when my Smart plan gave me an opportunity to acquire an iPhone. Much to my surprise, I have been visiting PowerMac twice every week since May started. I discovered years of friendship that eventually fell apart. I made some financial related decisions. And that one great wish that seemed to be so elusive.

I'm not sure what's in store for the next month. I have a number of concerns to deal with. I guess it wouldn't hurt if I would receive another smile from someone enough to warm my heart.

Wishing everyone a great week ahead!

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Beautiful Sunday # 266 - Cycles

Life and its cycles. It was one of those weeks when I sit down and become involved in accomplishing a recurring task. If my memory serves me right, it has been 6 or 7 years. While it has been the same activity, its outcome remains unpredictable. On the rare times, I ended the day feeling fulfilled and grateful. In most cases, something sad and frustrating is bound to happen. This task eventually brought me another recurring realization. There's a different system governing the world of grownups. 

As a kid, I was taught to help anyone in need. In the world of grownups, helping sometimes means an opportunity to emphasize one's inferiority and highlight another person's superiority. A person who never apologize and admit shortcomings eventually become praiseworthy. When did pride and ego become a measure of strength and superiority? This is way contrary to that classic childhood reminder that being good meant being humble, admitting mistakes and saying sorry. As kids, everyone is encouraged to make friends. In the world of adulthood, one becomes selective in accepting and initiating friendships. We try to protect ourselves from people who befriend us for a selfish purpose. 

On the positive side, I love how the world of adults redefine happiness in its simplest and shallowest form. Handwritten notes never fail to warm my heart. I don't remember having the same level of appreciation as a kid. A pat from the back, hug and those appreciative gestures will be more than enough to make my day.  

I guess I'm making a long and serious post. To lighten up things, here are some photos that made the past week

Some postcards showcasing my dream space - Having my own library still counts both as a childhood and grown up dream

Journal entry for this week - Looking at my planner, I worried a lot about something this week. ;p Only to find out that 90%  of it did not happen. Hahaha 

Another thing that consumed me this week, the defective iPhone I received from my plan. The phone kept shutting down on its own. It was the third time I visited Power Mac's service center in SM North Edsa. I feel so exhausted and irritated.

I gave in to the white Keds sneakers :p -  I was reluctant to purchase a white pair of sneakers because it easily acquires dirt and looks too bare and simple. Unfortunately or fortunately, I have been surrounded by people who were able to wear the pair with "class" and "style." :p Though its color does not complement my dark skin tone, I love that this pair feels so soft and comfortable. Better than my usual pair of flats because of the thicker sole support. 

Meanwhile, in my efforts to console myself :p Found some refuge in an old book

It's been weeks since I was able to devote a Saturday night for a blog post. I miss Saturdays like this. Watching weekend shows with my parents, potato chips and a decent internet connection. I was occupied with freelance works over the past weeks and the defective iPhone unit is testing my patience. I'm hoping to be given a replacement unit. I can't accommodate another diagnostic test that will declare the absence of problems. When I eventually use the phone, another set of previously undetected issues will arise. I will again return to Power Mac and ..... the same cycle will recur. Seriously, I'm beginning to lose trust with Power Mac's service center and Apple's devices.

Wishing everyone a great week ahead! Hopefully, better than mine :p

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Beautiful Sunday # 265 - Trips and Treats

Before anything else, Happy Mother's Day!!!! I've been waiting for this day weeks ago. It's the rare chance I get to treat my mother on a weekend. These days, it's quite a challenge to encourage my senior citizen parents to go out. We went to the mall, had great lunch and did some shopping. I also took advantage of the time to return the defective iPhone I received from my plan. :( Actually, much of my weekend was consumed by that phone. I was able to use it for several hours until it died and went to iCloud heaven. :p Part of the photos for this Sunday posts were taken by it's camera, which I failed to back up. Award! hahaha I was able to salvage some photos from my old phone. 

I was tempted to use the word revelation for this post. It was another week when I discovered something that changed the way I view some people and I guess, life in general. My doubts were confirmed. I was able to open another can of worms. Over time, I gained this grown up realization of how ignorance define real bliss. The unfortunate trade-off of knowing the truth includes having doubts, confusion and losing that hard earned trust. The irony of trust, it takes years to build and a snap to ruin everything. It sounds like I'm on my way to deliver a negative blog post. :p

On the positive side, some great news came along the way. In the middle of the week, I received my teaching evaluation results. The testimonies of my students were enough to make me believe on the rare times I've done something right in my life. :p I accomplished all my errands on Friday. I finished and gained another set of freelance works. The past week could have been less exhausting if I had sightings and interaction with my crush. ahahahaha 

Meanwhile, here a few photos I was able to salvage from the past week

I toured my friend M in my hometown last Saturday. The real intention was for her to try Rustic Mornings by Isabelo. We finished early so we visited the nearby Shoe Museum. Though much of the collections belong to the popular former first lady, the place is still worth a visit. 

Left is the photo of an old church in my hometown - Honestly, I wasn't impressed with this church. It took a friend to make me appreciate its structure and the spacious area it provides.

On the right is a beach front somewhere in Batangas - It wasn't another vacation, some errands enabled me to discover this area yet to be developed.

Unexpected meet up with my friend T - They forced me to treat them at our favorite pizza place. Hahaha 

French macarons is love - A few of the treats I savored during Mother's Day

Breakfast at Rustic Mornings by Isabelo - Goodbye exercise hahahaha 

While typing this post, my legs feel so heavy from all the walking I've done this week. Same as with my arms filled with strips of Salonpas. Proof that I needed to shed off some weight. :p

I was looking forward to have a relaxing week. Unfortunately, the activities lined up spells another exhausting story. I'm also feeling quite rattled because of some pending works ahead. Wishing everyone a great week ahead! Hopefully, it's a little less exhausting than mine. :)  

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Beautiful Sunday # 264 - First of May

I'm typing this post feeling a little relieved. For a change, I think I'm starting my Sunday post on a positive note. :p My happiness radiates from some discovered solutions to my list of grown up struggles. The grip around my neck is starting to loosen up. While everything is still uncertain, I'm starting to feel optimistic because of the little progress I'm making. Hopefully, everything will turn out as planned.

I was "home alone" at the workplace the past week. Most of my colleagues were on vacation leave. The atmosphere felt melancholy, silence was deafening, but I was able to accomplish my tasks. There's something about silence and stillness that make me motivated and productive. To keep me alive and entertained, I steal office hours by browsing my Facebook newsfeed. :p There were a number of events that sparked discussions enough for one month. Starting with the elected government official who left an insensitive label to unmarried mothers. There was also the dedicated cabinet secretary whose appointment was rejected by the another set of government officials. As it appears, everything boils down on protecting some vested interests. 

Other than political issues, I will never forget the young professional who was able to produce millions in his bank account. This started several weeks ago, it was only this week when I remembered everything. Unfortunately, the expected admiration was overpowered by criticism. While he gained my respect from the discipline in saving, I cannot dismiss the opinions of the netizens. True enough, it was not impossible to raise millions from someone who earns a six-digit rate. His intention to become an inspiration didn't work out. More than the negative sentiments, this case captured my interest in the field of image management, social media branding, analytics and the like. Is there a profession dedicated in planning and building social media image? I can already identify a list of potential clients, those who once tainted their reputation with a mere post from their social media account.

Setting aside all these news and controversies, here are the beautiful things that made the past week

What weekend mornings are made of , a coffee table book, sunrise and a slice of my favorite cake

Messy planner output this week

My Melody and a witty quote :p - 90s kids who love everything about Sanrio will love this My Melody toy from every Mc Donald's Happy Meal

Philip & Ana's maiden book - I'm thrilled to receive a free copy from a friend. Thanks Mother E! Know more about the book and the company here.

Me and my love for vintage diecast cars  - My grown up boy's wish is to collect these beetle cars in different colors. 

I'm typing this post while watching some late night news. I somehow regret it because I'm beginning to absorb all the negativities. :p I gained some unnecessary stress. So much frustrations and disappointments around. This is one of the major reasons why I love to stick with my K. dramas. Sure, it would make me dumb and hopeless. But heck, the absence of unnecessary stress seem to be so worth it. 

Meanwhile, my family will be on a road trip tomorrow. We'll be visiting some relatives in the province. I'm looking forward to have a great time. By this, I mean my relatives would stop asking me when will I get married. :p I guess the blame goes to my crush who cannot compensate all the attention and efforts I'm giving. Hahahahahahaahaha

Wishing everyone a great week ahead!