It’s amazing how people can slip into a comfortable conversation after quite a long period of disconnect.

When people grow up and take on the responsibility that comes with independence, there’s the tendency to be separated by priorities. Every once in a while, one craves for those evening sessions of Pusoy and Tong-its. One misses the regular after dinner conversations – sarcastic comments abound. Those phone calls to people requesting them to sing (and amazingly, people obliged). In hindsight, one wonders how they were able to come up with topics to talk about even when they spent quite a lot of time in each other’s company.

It’s great when we do have the time to ask how the others are doing – and really get to ask them. It’s best when we get to have that conversation. We never had photographs. We never had friendship rings or friendship anything. What we had was captured – only through memories. I miss you guys.

back in the corner

Sometimes one needs to get away from the spaces that mean most to you. When you spend most of the time in that corner, you can’t help but associate it with a lot of things. It just happened that most of the memories you associated it with are the stressful ones. Unpleasant memories are easier to recall. It’s easy to come up with excuses not to stay there.

After quite a while, I find myself back in the corner.

what you get from waiting

“Number 28 water bill,” the teller called on. I looked at the 1.5-by-2-inch-ish crumpled piece of board I held. The numbers 3 and 7  scribbled with a fine permanent marker. One deep breath and I got my notebook and pen. Writing (and somehow thinking) is better than staring at something. Anyway, I’ve already studied all the paintings at the bank in my previous visits.

“At least it’s cool here,” I thought. After enduring a few hours of blackout at the office (meaning, no air conditioning unit and electric fan) and that long walk under the summer sun, I’d definitely appreciate  waiting in an air-conditioned room.

I started writing about the 2009 planner I found as I attempted to clean my corner space at the office. How my entry ended about defeat, control, and negativity is beyond me. Here’s what I wrote.

Letting oneself become upset is a form of defeat. You became upset because you let yourself be. It’s not because of an irritating deed or the heat or your hormones. It’s because you let yourself be affected by these things. They can be anything. They can be everything. If you choose not to let yourself be, you will not be upset, irritated, disappointed, [ …insert all the negative emotions you can think of here].

If you submit yourself to negative emotions – worse let yourself wallow in it, you are accepting defeat. You are accepting that you failed to master your own emotions. You failed to be the master of “you”.

Letting others, any external factor, affect your default positive self is letting them take control over something dear to you – your emotions, your perspective, your self-control. You become angry and irritated because you chose to be that way. Do not blame the heat, lack of tact, or the uncommon sense for that negativity in you.

Wallowing in negative emotion for a short period of time is acceptable. We all need to be in that state every once in a while. But an extended stay in that state is already a waste of time. It’s such an easy thing to do. Be irritated, angry, cranky, and the like. Everyone can do that.

What makes people standout is not how angry or irritated they can be – but how they manage to retain their cool in the most chaotic situations. In these situations, you never remember exactly who lost it and panicked – almost everyone did. But you remember how one or a few individuals managed to stick  to reason and calm. These are the people we look up to.

It so easy to find unpleasant things everywhere. Try looking to positive things and it becomes a challenge. People who find the opportunities in every context, no matter how difficult or complicated it may be, belong to an elite group. They are the few people grounded on reason and positivity.

In every situation, we choose what we want to be. We may change who we opt to be depending on the context. Reasonable and calm in the morning, irritant at noon, or perhaps something in between. We are humans after all, prone to inconsistencies. A “few” would be tolerable. Make that “often” and it’s not anymore.

In every action we take, in every decision we make, it’s good to remember that we do the things we do because that’s what we opted to do. It’s not because of the heat, lack of tact, or the uncommon sense – it’s just you.

Basically, this is me lecturing well… – me?


BOOKSALE Los Baños remains to be one of my favorite shops. It’s where I get my books. Aside from me being stingy, it’s the search for good previously owned books that I enjoy. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone remains to be my greatest find up to date. I bought it when I was still in college. It cost me 65 Php then.

There’s also Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere. I remember buying this book because the author’s name had a ring to it. I may have read or heard about him before. Plus the price was less than a hundred pesos considering that its original Fullybooked price was 382 Php. I also unearthed the Divine Secrets of the Ya-ya Sisterhood. It cost 40 Php. The novel was definitely better than the movie. Sometimes it takes months, even years, for me to realize a major find.

I’m no book expert. I usually buy books based on the title, book cover, price, summary, and how the author’s name sounds – in that order. I only get to research about the authors after purchasing their books – if I liked it. Of course, I’ve had my share of books that makes one wonder how come they were even published. So far, I’ve purchase more books that I kept than threw away.

From Mills & Boons (the really old ones), to novels, to management/design books, I found them all at Booksale. It’s the best way to kill time, both the search for good books and the reading part.

Today, I got three books for 85 Php namely, Joseph Andrews and Shamela by Henry Fielding (20 Php), Safe Harbor by Luanne Rice (45 Php), and Candy Everybody Wants by John Kilmer-Purcell.

These would keep me busy for the week. Even for me, three books for 85 Php is already an achievement. Plus they threw back issues of Time and Newsweek 😀

a good day

I wish every day could be like today.

It’s not the blackout on campus or the extreme heat  on a summer or the still-closed-salon that I’d want to encounter on a daily basis. It’s my outlook, my mood, my everything for today.

I did not complain or got irritated. I did not complain. I found time to write. I settled my water bill. Today feels so light.

I still have the same deadlines, same loans (yeah, that’s plural) to settle, same everything but one – perspective.

I’ve read and I’ve heard a lot of time times that what one gets or encounters depend on how one views things. A blackout, for example can be a hindrance for finishing one’s work or it can be time for settling bills or a visit to the bookshop. A long line can be a waste of time waiting or it can be more time for writing, simply a moment to think.

I have complained about a lot of bad days – and I do mean a lot. I just wanted to write this down as a reminder to my future self that a bad day is bad because I viewed things negatively. Today, I can say I’m leaning on the positive side of things. It is not a situation I commonly find myself in and I really value this context I’m in right now.

Perhaps bad days happen so we can appreciate better days. Today is a good day 😀