Monday, December 31, 2012

Thank You 2012

Today is the last day of the year. Time really flies fast and I can say that everything that happened in 2012 made me stronger.  It was a year full of disappointments in personal life and career, with a dash of cheating and betrayal. It was also the year that I lost a friend and my dearest nanay. 2012 tested my character, my patience but not my faith because it even led me to reuniting with St Jude.

I don't want to end 2012 in a sad note so I've listed that things that I'm thankful for

  1. Maybe its because of the thought that the world can end or its because of social media that I've had countless catch ups and reunions with all of my set of friends.
  2. Yes, Im really on that age where people greet you with "When are you getting married" instead of "hello, how are you?" The gown fittings, bridal shower, stag party and epic 4 weddings in December is an awesome pero magastos experience!
  3. It was an exciting year as a basketball fan. Ginebra Kings have no finals appearance  last season but Mark Caguioa finally bagged the MVP award. UST Tigers fell short on the UAAP finals but won their 1st PCCL Championship. Dear Studio 23, please let us savor the victory and allow us to watch the replay.
  4. I was happy experience Boracay but La Luz will always have a special place in my tummy =))
  5. I never even dreamt of going to Thailand but I did. 
  6. I bought a lot of shoes this year. period. Shoe salon is my piece of heaven on Earth.
  7. Gold's Gym & S&R memberships!
  8. I've spent a lot of Friday and Saturday nights on videoke places with friends!
  9. The adventures of Baking Meisha, I even bought my own oven!
  10. A year in full bangs that automatically becomes a side bangs when a haircut is overdue.

When I was 23, my new year's resolutions are 1. save up and 2. stop slacking on the things that I need and want to do - Just do it! Now! Now that Im 4 Years older and wiser I still believe that those 2 resolutions will cover everything. 

I will claim it, 2013 is my year!!!

4 Beautiful Weddings and a lot of notes

I attended 4 weddings in December and all are equally beautiful because I know that my friends are marrying their loved ones. I also got the chance to meet and dine with the kind families of Titony & Abi. After travelling to Cavite, I need to give Romela a slowclap, her wedding folder certainly helped her DIY wedding in 4 months. I also learned new things about my long time college buddies 1) that Andrei is also known as bududoy and 2) JP is well loved by his in laws!  I better stop, this is not meant to be a cheesy or outburst post, I just want to share my notes to my future bride self ;)
Titony& Abi * Romela & Romer * Andrei & Anna * JP & Riccia
I was a bridesmaid in 3/4 weddings that I attended and it was certainly a great experience, from knowing that they chose you to be on the entourage, gown fittings, upto the actual ceremony! The silver kitten heels and Mango bag that I bought on sale, turned out to be good investments because it goes well with any motif! The kitten heels are also very comfy and wont wear you out even if you've been wearing it for 6 hours +. It really helped me move quicker on those single ladies reception games. =))

Bridesmaid of the month =)) 4 Different Hairstyles for full bangs
Dear future groom, If you happen to stumble upon this blog post, please dont be shocked or scared or think that Im weird, I just want to list what I've learned.
*Small church and venue is key for a more intimate wedding
*The church and reception venues should be near
*The priest and church coordinators are key to a stress free ceremony
*No to bubble machines
*A good host and food are crucial for the reception
*The ninong and ninangs ALWAYS leave after eating
*The bridal gown and shoes should be comfy
*On site videos are cool but expensive
*A 150k budget is not enough 0.0
*Red is a nice theme
*Photobooths are fun
*Invite your immediate family and closest friends ONLY they will stay until the end of the program
*Wedding coordinators are great help
*A good relationship with in laws will go a long way

Philippines, HIV is REAL!!

21,000 Filipinos are living with HIV todayDecember 1 was HIV/AIDS awareness day so the internet exploded with related news, blog entries and tweets about it. There was even a Maalaala Mo Kaya episode about it, too bad i missed that. 

BUT statistics are just numbers unless someone dear to you passed away because of HIV

While the global trend is a decrease , Philippines has an increasing number of new cases, there were 295 new cases of HIV in October this year – a 48% increase  compared to last year. Along with Indonesia & Pakistan, we're tagged as expanding epidemic by UN AIDS. What makes it worse is that its certainly a silent epidemic. Its a taboo. Actually few people know that its the real reason of my friends's demise.

I have a different relationship with this friend of mine, he's the type that i would see once or twice a year to catch up. He's very vocal about his different lifestyle, I dont judge but I've often felt worried about it.  I last saw him on January for a get together dinner. He was even on a middle of a date with a guy that he just met. He asked if his date can tag along, but we said no. It was kinda mean but we wanted to have a quality time on our once a year get together with him.

Fast forward August, amidst the kids parlor games my other friend blurted that she can no longer keep this secret. I was shocked when she said that our friend casually texted that he has HIV and tuberculosis. BUT I shouldn't contact him because he'll get mad that I knew about it. He also wants to get well on his other condition, TB, before we can visit him. It was a difficult situation because I wanted to reach out but Im not suppose to know about it. I was helpless so I just did what I can do. I prayed for him and even offered several candles to St Jude. Knowing about his condition also prompted me to read everything I can about HIV. Its sad to know that it cant be cured but they can live with it.

It was October, on a stressful Friday night commute, I received a text message that our friend's condition is not good and we need to visit him soon. I told my other friend that I have a previous commitment on Saturday plus I need to spend time with my nanay who'll be going back to Cabiao on Sunday. I told her that I'll go on Sunday morning instead. 

On Saturday night, I was crying with my other friend on the phone while she told me about our friend's condition. He's so weak and they cant even recognize him because of his condition. His skin is full of scars, he lost a lot of weight, he cant speak but he'll just look to say that he recognizes you. I cried myself to sleep that night and I prayed to God to give me strength. I was actually scared, not of his disease, but I'm afraid to see him like how our other friend described him.

I woke up early that Sunday morning, I spent time with my nanay who will be leaving early to Cabiao. By quarter to 9AM, I was done blowdrying my hair and Im ready to go the hospital. I was even practicing my stories for him. I was psyching myself, Im a crybaby and I know that crying in front of him wont help. It turned out that I dont have to worry about my friend seeing me cry because I received a message that he passed away. I was an hour too late. 

The first day on internment will be for the immediate family so I cant see my friend until Monday, I just spent my whole Sunday crying because of guilt and regrets. I regretted that I didnt even call him to check his condition, nevermind that I'll break a promise. Silently praying for him is different from actually letting him know that you care.  Losing a friend is really hard because unlike family, you get to choose your friends. I also realized that it was the 1st time that I lost a friend, although I dont think that the next time will be easier. 
I cried a bucket more of tears during his wonderful eulogy ceremony. There was even a time when his grandmother consoled and hugged me in the middle of my almost hysterical parang byuda ang peg na iyak. It was an iyak-tawa moment. His family, colleague, friends and students shared how my friend touched their lives and how envious they were of him being good at everything. I learned a lot about his life. No one mentioned about his different lifestyle nor the real cause of his death but come to think of it, if you remove both, he has a life well spent. But you cant, its part of him and thats the reason why he's gone although not everyone deserves to know. I guess its better for people to have good memories of him.

Im just comforted by the fact that he wont have suffer anymore, that he's free from pain and scrutiny of close minded people. 

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Wensha Timog Experience

My cousins and I were supposed to play laser tag but my sister was just recovering from flu so we had to use plan b. It was days before Christmas and the malls are too crowded to be an option for an all girls bonding.

Wensha Spa Timog
1st and 2nd Level Pasda Mansion Bldg. #4Timog Ave. Cor Panay Ave, QC 
While browsing for restaurants in Timog, I suddenly remembered about Wensha, a spa with buffet place, that was supposed to be my treat for my dad's birthday last March. I inquired through phone and fortunately we can be walk in guests that day. I was also informed that they increased the rate per pax from PHP650 to 780. I still think it's a good deal since it includes 1 hour body massage, buffet and maximum of 8 hours use of the facilities (sauna & Jacuzzi).

After paying to the cashier, we received our slippers then changed to robes provided to us.
We also wore these bracelets which served as the keys for our lockers. A lost bracelet will cost PHP2000 each so its also a good thing that its waterproof and we have no reason to remove it.

We proceeded with our 1 our body massage on a big, cozy room that can accommodate upto 6 guests. The masseurs used ginger oil and the technique was a combination of thai and swedish. Overall it was a relaxing experience because of the ambiance and skillful masseurs although I hope that tipping wont be shoved to customers.

We went back to the locker room to leave our stuff and proceeded to the women's shower area. It was actually my first time to be naked on a public Jacuzzi and it was a liberating experience. LOL. It was funny to be on your birthday suit but what the heck, we are all girls, I dont know them and they are also naked =)) I even overheard a lola who wouldnt give up her brown silk panty that didnt make any difference hahaha After several minutes, I followed my sister and cousins on the Sauna area where we stayed for 10 minutes. We had enough of the heat and we're famished!

On the dining area, we had shabu shabu which consists of several sliced veggies and then buffet lunch. The food was ok, nothing spectacular, just rice, lumpia, adobo, soup, spaghetti, and unlimited mango juice or iced tea no dessert :( BUT still Wensha is still a good one stop place to relax and eat.