Day 14 – Happiness

The past days has always been occupied by dinner with my friends. Times like this is supposedly all about happiness. However, as soon as I recover from the sumptuous meals, stories and laughter, I wake up like a broke piggy bank. (Literally and Figuratively!)  While my wallet is turning empty, my body is accommodating more fats which later on translates to weight gain.

Though going out with my friends make me fat and broke, this is one part of my life I can’t and perhaps will never give up. My real and true friends are the people who make my happiness.

I am sharing pictures of my friends, Clara and Abigail. It was an unplanned dinner. A text message from Abigail did everything.

Quoting Alanis Morisette, I’m broke but I’m happy!

PS This entry is for Day 14 but some internet connection issues hindered me from beating my June 14 deadline. Kainis! E@#$%^ Te@#$% is ruining my 30 day blog challenge.

Day 5 – We invaded the mall!

Tomorrow my typical work day will officially return. I have to teach in the morning and attend to my eight hour office job. I’m back to preparing my lectures, checking papers and dealing with not so cooperative students. 😉

Before I start the week, I spent my Sunday afternoon with my bestest girlfriends, Anne and Anna. We visited one of the newest branches of the mighty SM Department Stores.  The shopaholic trio invaded SM Masinag!

Since the mall is less than a month old, there are a number of vacant shops. Some of our all time favorite boutiques such as Kamiseta, Bayo, Plains and Prints, Bench are there and as expected, I caused damage to Anna’s credit card. I bought a blouse from Bayo, which I need to hide from my mother. Guilty! The mall also houses the famous Yakimix, which we have yet to try. On our next visit, we will surely try their eat-all-you-can promo.

This is what I love about SM Masinag

Cool interior design and lighting! This is SM Masinag’s movie house. We watched Kung Fu Panda 2 and I super loved it. Though according to Anna, the first installment was better.

Before we parted ways, we dropped by Robinsons Metroeast too. Anna and Anne enjoyed their fraps

While I enjoyed my early dinner

Till our next shopping escapade girls!

There are places I remember

Last Friday, I unexpectedly found myself going to SM Centerpoint. I intend to pay my bills, look for a nice blouse and make a relaxing walk, after a long week. My usual destination for this activity was SM Manila. But I found myself too lazy of making a long walk and I was likewise trying to avoid the possibility of walking in the flooded streets of the Manila City Hall.

If we went to the same school, you will understand why SM Centerpoint is a significant part of my life. I studied at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines and SM Centerpoint is about a 5-minute ride. Hence, the mall somehow became my second home during those times of long breaks. When I was in my second semester of my first  and senior year in college, we have a 4-hour vacant period.  During those times, I found myself with my other friends and classmates eating out at Mc Donalds and strolling at the mall.

My trip to SM Centerpoint was 3 years ago, when I had a meet up with my friend and OJT buddy, Gracie. I was attacked by my recurrent quarter life crisis, as my friend Tinee calls it. I was frustrated with a lot of things in life. I felt that I needed someone new to talk to. Gracie and I did not really walked around the mall,  but just made a lot of catching up stories while dining at Wendy’s Hamburgers.

I just mentioned Wendy’s Hamburgers, which brings a lot of memories to me. Back in college, I wanted to eat at Wendy’s. However, my daily allowance could not even afford the cheapest burger combo meal. Hence, I was forced to settle with McDonald’s cheeseburger meals. Now that I am working, I feel a piece of fulfillment whenever I am reminded of that little wish. It somehow leaves a smile on my face upon remembering it.

As I was walking inside the mall, I noticed a lot of shops that I used to go to were already gone. The only shops that I think remained were Papemelroti, Blue Magic, National Bookstore, Pink and Blue Soda, and Marithe Francois Girbaud. The rest were already replaced by other shops. While walking alone, the memories of my college life, friends and classmates suddenly recurred and flashed back to me. The shops,  dear friends and classmates were all gone.

The Heartstrings Kiosk where we usually stop by to check out their cute cloth bags was gone. The Gift Gate Shop that houses the Hello Kitties that we enjoy seeing and touching was gone. The Robee Stickers kiosk where I bought stickers of my favorite PBA teams was gone. The stationery section of the SM Department Store where we roamed around was already transferred and reorganized to another floor. But more importantly, the people whom I spent with those shops were likewise gone to pursue their own endeavors in life.

In going back to the mall, I may have more confidence in entering those shops because I know now that I could pay. I have cards! 😉 However, I never thought before that such confidence will be later on accompanied by the feeling of missing my college life, friends and classmates. Is this a trade-off? Is this the opportunity cost of the little financial uplift I have?

Cliché as it may sound but I suddenly realized of how simple and uncomplicated my life was. My problems that time were confined in passing the examinations, doing my assignments, submitting all projects on time, coming to school everyday, rushing to get home to watch a basketball game, saving pennies and counting them after a semester to buy myself a little reward.

Today, my life is overwhelmed with a lot of concerns. Office work, teaching preparations, students’ concerns, consultancy work, payment of bills, generating savings, maintaining a healthy diet, getting rest, enough sleep and I’m sure, a lot more to come. As I walk around the mall, I can’t help but see places as a starting point of what and where I am right now. These places reminded me that some time ago, I was constrained with my allowance. My cabinet was so big to fit my few clothes. I only have three pairs of shoes. I was limited to two pairs of  jeans. I lived with one shoulder bag and a back pack. I do not have my own computer. Come with that constraints in life, I started dreaming for myself. I started telling myself that someday I will come back to those shops as a different person. Someday, I will earn and I will make sure that I will be able to buy all the things I want.

Today, I could proudly say to myself that in one way or another, I am able to buy the things that I ambitioned. Today, my closet is getting smaller because of my clothes, I have more than three pairs of shoes, I have pants of different colors, I have bags of different sizes, and I don’t anymore bother my cousin and relatives to use their computers.

However, the fulfillment of some dreams also meant closure and leaving places and people.  These places and people whom I have once shared my dreams and ambitions in life were gone. They have been transported to different places, in order to pursue and explore other ventures in life. I don’t know if they share the same feelings and sentiments with me. But for now, all that’s left for me is to remember these places and realize that once in my life, I have passed on them…

You are my few, counted and best

I was not blessed with plenty of friends. I was rather blessed with a few, counted and best of friends.  I met her five years ago, as I was entering another chapter in my life. I never knew that as a new phase in my life unfolds, a new friendship is likewise about to unfurl.

From being a classmate, she became one of my greatest educators, adviser, listener, sister, shopping buddy and my preventive ego in many ways.  

As an educator, she everyone now and then relates to me her painful and joyful experiences in life. She would tell me how she suffered, laughed, enjoyed and learned things on her way. She would tell me her personal sentiments, imperfections and dreams for herself and her family. One thing I would never forget about her teachings is how to be confident, brave, strong, and laugh at your own mistakes. Bravery, which meant being able to withstand and confidently ignore what other people, would say. I was always conscious of what other people would say against me. She was however my extreme opposite. 

Having a Chinese blood, she likewise taught me some important and useful practices from their culture. Pearls are not lucky for the single females and giving sweets for newly wedded couples are just some of the few Chinese beliefs she taught me. How could I forget our Binondo escapades! Binondo may be negatively characterized for its narrow and crowded streets. But she made me admire Binondo the way it is. She introduced me to Salazar Bakery’s mini-tikoy. The tikoy strips and the tikoy with peanut fillings, I just love it.

As an adviser, she would constantly correct my mistakes, especially on overeating and buying food, which you can’t consume in the first place. She may not be the best person to consult about problems of the heart. However, she would really try her best to help me analyze situations and give the best possible advice.

She may not be the best adviser, but she redeems herself for being a great listener. She’s always the first of the few people who makes the effort to respond whenever I am troubled with problems and hardships in life. I hope I will be able to do the same for her. Whenever I am in those trying moments, sometimes I don’t really need sound advices. Having someone to listen and join you in those moments of agony would already suffice.  

She is my shopping buddy. She taught me a lot of things about shopping including the concept of those plastic rectangular devices, credit cards! She is now partly responsible from all my shopping swipes. She introduced to me the heaven of being able to fall in love and take home those shoes, clothes and bags.   

Lastly, she is my preventive ego. You read it right, not an alter ego. In some instances, I am always empowered with the idea of do it or regret later. When I once got struck with Mr. Someone, I exhausted all means to fulfill that dream. However, she was one of the few persons who keeps telling me, “no,” “no,” don’t do it. Later on, she said agreed with that plans but gave me the necessary precautions. Both that intentional and unintentional text messages sent changed my entire life. At some point, I was regretful for giving in too much and not listening to her. However, regardless that text message was sent or not, what I will rather regret in the future is the opportunity of not allowing her to enter in my life.

Today is your day girl! On your second year of being 30, I wish that you would have a great life ahead. You definitely deserve it. I hope that you will be given more opportunities to touch other’s people lives, in the same way you have marked in my life. I wish you more strength, good health and more, more, more PATIENCE girl! Good luck in all of your endeavors and I am looking forward for more malling, shopping and eating escapades with you. Thank you for the simple reason of coming to my life. Our other married and committed friends could have already forgotten us or are just too occupied with their own lives. However, one thing that I can promise you is that you will never be erased or set aside in my life. You are one of the few people who made me what I am today. Diane will never be the Diane without you. 

You are simply one of the few, counted, and best friends I have. Happy Birthday!