CN LIFE: First Impressions Proven Wrong

12 Aug


Excerpts from a diary…


MAY 1, 2011 Sunday




Just finished lunch but still hungry.  Terrible May Day at work this morning.  The law of karma is at work and I’m at the brunt of it.


I stayed out until almost 5AM and slept merely two hours.  I half prepared and so there goes my tempting of fate.  I’ve always pushed my luck but today, luck isn’t really cooperating with me.  Let’s see this afternoon and evening.  I’m betting the afternoon would be a struggle but evening’s going to be better.


Let’s say this is karma when I opt to go out and have fun on a Saturday night.  What fun it is, really!


MAY 7, 2011 Saturday




Ditched any attempt to buy materials or prepare for Mothers’ Day Arts and Crafts activity at work.  Like Tina said last night, it’s just an hour anyway.


                                I barely slept the past two nights and I’m not complaining.





Tina made me strong Turkish coffee.  Talk about coffee on the quadruple!!!


BTW, Arts and Crafts activity at work was pretty laid-back.  Tina was really right about not really preparing.


Now, drifting to happy thoughts:

1.       JESSE – Looking forward to a much-awaited cookout and catch-up.  I do miss this guy who’s my best friend.

2.       PASTY BOY – He’s the new guy I met from the Shekou neighborhood.  He‘s like the sorta fatter Tony Romo and he’s hot.  I want him.  I want him.  I want him more.  He’s my karma from the poolside.  I initially told Tina he’s the typical full-of-himself pasty white guy.  What a specimen though.  BAD first impressions be damned.


These excerpts are the last two entries in a handwritten diary.  Two-thirds of the diary has been filled but due to some circumstances like life happening and unfolding so unexpectedly, the writing stopped.


CN LIFE: Space-filler #1

2 Mar

Private time has been cut back due to the resurgence of work as I know it.  Things have been piling up lately; not that I’m complaining.  These days are the good kind of busy and hectic days.  I’m not really whining…just haven’t sat down to really put a well thought of entry.


In any case, here’s one thing to share- some nice street food goodies to warm anyone up on cold days.  Cream cheese optional.



6 Jan

As 2011 starts, I still carry burdens from the past year I really want to get over and done with.  Honestly, I want my old life back.  I want that freedom of being just me in my own space and all that.  It still hurts so much no matter how I try to cheer myself up.

On the other hand though, I’m still keeping myself positive and strong.  I always remind myself there are so many other things to be thankful in life for.  The mere fact I’m still breathing is enough to be thankful for.   Yet, the negative seems to seep more into me.  I’m losing whatever exuberance I usually have and I fear ending up a shadow of myself- very devoid of warmth and life.  This isn’t how I want the year to start.  At all.

This is perhaps my attempt to start pushing affirmations to myself.  I’m not much of a believer in affirmations.  Somehow, I got to start somewhere so that when the negative rolls in or rather, pours in torrents, I could battle it out stronger than stronger.


4 Jan

If the year 2010 was an expression, I could sum it up with “Whew!”  What a rollercoaster year it was.  I wouldn’t have it any other way.  I believe in living life without regrets.  What ifs never served me well.

2010 started rather shaky for me.  It was always a precariously balancing act between the good, the bad, the ugly and in between.  The rest of the months followed suit in pattern.  However, come the last quarter of the year, everything shifted onto another turn.

I spent the first half of the year based in Guangzhou.  While I was caught in the whirlwind of love once again so unexpectedly, my job was on a downhill path.  Things at work started to get a sour taste during the first half of the year.  Changes in leadership and environment sure did affect us in the workplace but I went on and just focused my energies on positive stuff.

The next part of the year, I returned to where I started- in Shenzhen.  I got a better job offer in Shenzhen and took it.  However, with that move, it brought me back to KB.  I couldn’t say it was a good thing- it was rather a major challenge as we both face issues hanging from 3-4 years ago.

After moving and resettling myself in Shenzhen, things took a major detour when I flew back to Manila.  I wasn’t supposed to go home this year, but fate intervened.  Against my will and plans, I spent these last months back home.  At first, I was depressed, frustrated and disappointed how everything I planned for has been taken away just like that.  Later on, I took the time to reflect on the life I’ve been living abroad and figure (and still figuring) what life has for me.

So far, one of the major themes life gave me was more on going with the flow.  I’ve been too controlling, too organized and too planned in life that I’ve hit a wall as large as the Great Wall.  It hurt a lot when I hit that wall so it was another huge wake-up call to hit the brakes and let destiny take its course.  It’s a very bitter pill to swallow, but what the heck, situation is here and yeah, we just continue living life in all its gory and glory.

Next year, I’m still carrying the burdens of this year about to pass with the hope to make things better.  I pray that next year’s better.  Period.

Again, what a year!

MLA LIFE: A Day In The Life

8 Nov


My life has been nothing resembling the vibrant, lively, exciting life I’ve had.  It all went downhill the moment I landed here the second time around.  I tried to amuse myself, tried to go out so many times but I find no real satisfaction.  Everything is fleeting.  Nothing is the same flavor anymore after being gone for quite a while.  Boo.

However, I just constantly try to amuse myself with the small joys of life I seem to have taken for granted in this whole quest of something.  To start off the new day in the life of me, this is how after so many years things changed.

Around 6-7AM

I battle sleep and morning grumpiness to drive mom, just like ages ago.


In case I don’t have any appointments, I just turn on the TV and start my Nick Jr. (how nice!) marathon.  The marathon starts with “Dora The Explorer”.  In between watching TV, my laptop is appropriately on my lap and I work stuff online.


TV time concludes with “Ni Hao Kai Lan” while teaching my little sister Jessica some Chinese.  We then decide it’s time to eat lunch/brunch.

After Lunch

This is where all the appointments and everything I need to step out of the house for.  The rest remains a blur of a day.

My timetable everyday seems so simple now.  I haven’t been intensely jotting down my schedules in my calendar or planner.  I wonder how much more time I would be staying like this.

On to other stuff here and there.  Yesterday, my favorite aunt was here together with one of my fave cousins.  This weekend I was down with the fever for the nth time and while I was talking to my aunt, she took notice of my rather pale and bony hands.

Aunt:  Look at you, you’re losing weight.

Me: *smiles*

My weight has been criticized the moment I went home the first time after my first year in China.  My family said I gained so much weight and I’m so fat compared before.

So, while I was smiling when my aunt told me I was losing weight, I want to shout out loud:

“You like the way I look when I had anorexia?” Why not?

Amazing how standardized beauty is now.  Furthermore, I can’t help eating.  Sorry auntie.

MLA LIFE: A Julio Iglesias Song

8 Nov

It’s been a long while since an update.  Life is a real-life soap opera I should be writing the script for now.  Instead, I’ll be writing of other things that I am fond of writing in this blog.  This would be always the matters of the heart.

The past weeks I’ve been away from this blog, so much has happened.  First things first, that guy I wrote about who used to live at the opposite end of my street in Guangzhou has contacted me after almost half a year.  In the words to my BFF galore Jesse, it was the perfect closure and in a way, that wake-up call to tie up all the loose ends and broken hearts I’ve left in the wake of my typhoon called ME.

Second, things get worse with KB.  Working with him again is a challenge.  I want to just give up and quit but like the fool I am, I’m still here.  Working for what?  Nothing so far.  It’s a learning curve for me but after months of working, I haven’t reaped any of what I sowed. On a personal level, that SOB broke my heart again.  I repeat; he broke my heart again.  I ask myself, should I retaliate by jumping ship called work right then and there?  That would hurt him bad.  No one so far has been able to pull things off my side of work with the same panache as I do.  I have better manners than that I’ll stay and bide time first.  No one knows reasons why.  I want to also figure this out.

I swear to God, I think I should’ve just let out whatever bad feeling I had about those incommunicado weekends KB had because my instincts were so damn right.  SO MUCH FOR HOPE!

*breathe in, breathe out*

Okay, life goes on after this catharsis online.  I always move forward and try to whip up something better after every typhoon I come across in life.  It’s like all the recent natural disasters in Indonesia and here in the Philippines are by-products of my inner upheavals.

So, as a perfect conclusion to this, I dedicate this old Julio Iglesias song to the men who walked in and out of my life.  I still believe one day soon, love will come again, regardless of gender.

Gracias, senor Julio! Tu cancion es mucho perfecto por mi vida! If you’re not the original one for this track, then your version is the best.

To all the girls (boys) I’ve loved before
Who travelled in and out my door
I’m glad they came along
I dedicate this song
To all the girls (boys) I’ve loved before



SZ LIFE: Meeting KB, in a story…

17 Oct


I fully recovered from my flu as soon as the Chinese National Day Holiday finished.  I missed our school party.  Lydia was gushing about seeing Mr. M.  Anna gave me a China Mobile sim card.  I finally have a China number and I cut off my Manila number.

October officially marks my totally new life!  New career.  New phone number.  New friends.  New stuff.  Almost everything!

I’m even celebrating my very first birthday away from home!

OMG, I’m turning a year older in about 2 weeks!

I am clueless what to do on my birthday.

1. My closest friends aren’t here to plan and conspire a party.

2. My family’s also not here and it seems they’re pretty oblivious about things lately.  Feels like they’re okay without me.

3. No one knows about my birthday here except Lydia.

In any case, I could always settle for a quiet dinner at the Portofino Lake area across our apartment complex or maybe at the restaurant row at the OCT Park near Walmart.  Then, afterwards, maybe explore town…which translates to going to a bar and partying the night away.

I still continued my usual schedule which was work then home.  Occasionally, after work, Lydia and I would drop by Walmart, buy small stuff here and there like DVDs and sweets.  At home, after work, I’ve developed a habit of unwinding consisting of a DVD, some Pringles (or any chips we get from Walmart, Park N’ Shop or 7-11) and Tsing Tao beer.  China carries our San Miguel but it’s way expensive so Lydia had me try Chinese beer.  Good enough, Tsing Tao’s just right.

After unwinding with a DVD, Lydia, Anna and I would talk then end the day around midnight.  I’d fall asleep by 1AM since I’ll still enjoy looking out at the skies and stars.

It’s really dawning on me how almost 2 months away from home how different my life really is.  My old life is slowly fading away.

The weekend prior to my big day, Lydia took me shopping as usual.  Lydia’s usually the latest person to wake up but on a Sunday morning, she woke me up.

“Hey, wake up.”  She softly said as she sat beside me.

“What time is it?  Is it late?”  I sleepily asked.

“It’s only 7AM.”

I was surprised and suddenly sat up.

“You gotta be kidding me Lydia!  You’re up at 7AM…on a Sunday!!!”

“What’s wrong with that?”  She asked innocently.

“One, it’s a Sunday.  Two, you don’t like waking up early.  Three, I’m supposed to be the one to wake you up.”

She answered sheepishly, “I was thinking since you’re going to celebrate your birthday this week, why not we spend the day shopping?”

“Do we really have to?”  I gave her a pleading look.

“Yes we do.  Look, it’s your birthday and you need to look and feel good and brand new.  I’ll take you to major shopping places I know!”

I can’t resist the offer. I surrendered and said yes.

Lydia took me to an upscale shopping mall in between Luo Hu and Dong Men called Mix C.  Got some pretty stuff from Mango then we now headed to Luo Hu and busted a good 300RMB which covers everything from the inside to outside.  I’m starting to really get more addicted to shopping, especially with such an enthusiast like Lydia.

Shopping concluded right before the shops closed and we had a good dinner at the Korean Pizza Joint near OCT Park at 7.  We went home at 9 with Anna bewildered at the sight of our shopping bags.  We spent the rest of the night trying out the stuff we bought.

On the morning of my big 2-3, my family was obviously the first to greet me.  It was followed by a barrage of text messages from friends at home.  It was then followed by Lydia waking up early again and greeting me.  Anna and the children even surprised me by giving me a great birthday breakfast.

It feels like a blessed day.  I can’t wait for the rest of the day.

A very cheerful moi arrived in school which infected my wonderful angels called my kindergarten class.  A month into the job, my performance was pretty good so they added an afternoon class in middle school, Grade 7.  I’m really getting the hang of teaching.

During our afternoon storytime, we decided to do a pirate story and decided to look the part using paper cut-outs we did during art class.  However, after everyone looked like pirates, our pirate storybook wasn’t in our room!  Alicia then remembered her little brother Sung Mee borrowed it and so we went to Sung Mee’s classroom in our pirate gear.

Alicia knocked and a deep male voice called out and said: “Please come in.”

We came in and I was face to face with the most beautiful blue eyes I’ve ever seen in my life.  They were deep blue seemingly tinged with gray. They seem to be smiling eyes I couldn’t take my eyes away.  When I got my eyes to cooperate, I saw an interesting face to go with those eyes.  But I am so riveted to those eyes.

He smiled and asked me, “What is it?”

I seemed to have lost my mind for a while; then, as soon as my sanity returned, I said, “Sorry to interrupt, could we just borrow that book?”  I pointed to the pirate storybook on the shelf.  Before he could even reply, Alicia went to get it.

“Please help yourself.”  He weakly said upon seeing Alicia getting it.

“I’m really sorry again.  And sorry we look like idiots.  Thanks.”  I said and covered my face, realizing I really did look like an idiot with a paper eye patch and beard.

He smiled again and stood up.

My heart almost stopped.

“It’s okay.”  He reassured me with that smile again.

I swear, I think the world momentarily stopped.

I took Alicia’s hand and we headed out of the room.

“Who’s your brother’s teacher?”  I asked her on the way back to our classroom.

“Mr. Mark.”

So, if Mr. M is Mr. Mark, then I think I have just received one of the best birthday gifts from the gods.



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