Thursday, November 27, 2008

Why I Wanted to Work in a Travel Magazine.

Everybody knows this about me: I am a young adult who took up political science and ended up working in a travel magazine as editorial assistant.

Kind of got off-track, you might say. For someone who took up a course that involved political affairs, you'd think that I choose working that
actually involved politics. But hey, ever since I started working in the magazine, have you ever heard me complain about my work? In spite of the tiring hours, I have never said anything but good about my job.

Truth is, writing is my passion. And though I've never said it out loud, I've always known that I'd be writing for a living. What I didn't realize was how much I am truly enjoying myself in my line of work.

It was during my stay in Kota Kinabalu that sealed the deal. I wanted to travel and I wanted to write about it. I've always wondered what it would be like. Traveling for a living and writing about it. So far? I'm loving it. Everything's right about the whole thing. You go to a place where you see all the wonderful sites, you take in everything about the destination...then in the end, you get to share all that by writing about your adventure.

Apart from my Kota Kinabalu stay, there was something else that pushed me to choose working for a travel magazine rather than a fashion mag. It was an article from Kerygma March 2008 issue.

"Travel for Less: Tips on Traveling on a Shoestring Budget." That was an article I loved to read because it was then that I realized...that's what I'm meant to do. To travel and to write. And what's not to love about the whole thing? You research, you inquire; despite the budget, you don't have to sweat about it because you're there to have an experience. Writer Cecilia Lim was absolutely right, "Traveling is not just a luxury." It's all about taking in the beauty of the destination.

And that, my friends, is why I wanted to work in a travel magazine.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Maggie to Kenny's: Once is Enough

I love Kenny Rogers Roasters! It's one of those restaurants I'd go back when I want to eat a roast chicken with sidings. Yes, definitely a must-try. But despite the good food, there's a branch that really made me just want to forget the experience of eat at Kenny's.

Kenny's Roast & Grill. Located at the ground floor of Powerplant Mall in Rockwell, Makati, Kenny's Roast & Grill unveils to customers an interior design more classy and sophisticated compared to it's usual homey ambiance where one goes to line up and give their orders. The place is inviting, I must say. The serene atmosphere you get is something that really sets the mood for an intimate bonding time with your friends or your family. So yes, I guess that's the reason why I was somehow lured to eat there.

Unlike the semi-self service that most Kenny Rogers restos are, this branch is a la carte, which is a good thing, I guess, considering that all you had to do is tell the waiter what you want to eat, wait for the food to be served and enjoy. Alas, the actual experience is nothing like that. Yes, food is still great, still tasty, still delicious (Will elaborate on this later) but the prices are more expensive there (I absolutely miss the set menus). Maybe to some it's just right, but for me, P325 per person is a little over. Of course, this is not just based on food alone.

Speaking of food, the menu is, as always, superb. Other than its signature roasted chicken, Kenny's expanded its product line. Kenny's serves baby back ribs, which is cooked as a delectable dish. I can't say that it's perfect, though. The food would have been enjoyable had it not been for the service from the crew. Oh boy, how do I begin the regrettable incidents at Kenny's? Sorry, harsh as it may be but truth be told, it is absolutely regrettable.

The service is poor. There's no other way of putting it but that. After ordering, it took about 40 minutes before the first dish was served. Imagine -- there you are, anxiously waiting for your food to arrive and yet your waiter doesn't even have the nerve to tell you what's taking so long. Unacceptable. I could see it. There were enough people to wait on you, and though the place was full, I could still say (from my point of view) that waiters could handle it. It's absolutely frustrating to see that orders of the people who came after you are being served just like that while you're still waiting for yours. Preposterous!

Meanwhile, it took about 45 minutes before the waiter could say, "The Javanilla is unavailable." What was the point of it all? It's a sad thing, I tell you. Everything just went downhill.

And I can't imagine the negligence of waiters. Upon serving service water, I just can't understand how they could miss a lipstick mark on my glass! Right there in front of me, was a glass of water with a pink lipstick on the rim. How could they have possibly missed it?!?

I will continue to eat at Kenny Rogers' Roasters because it's still a favorite resto of mine but I will certainly not eat at the Powerplant branch again.

This is not to influence you or anything. I may have written like a food and restaurant critic in this blog but this is merely to share with you the experience I've had in Kenny's Roast & Grill.

Yes, once is definitely enough.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

A Short Story by Paulo Coelho

I just wanted to share with you all a short story written by Paulo Coelho back in 2007. If you wish to read more other than his books, go to his blog. I'm sure you'll love it.

o O o

Nasrudin was talking to a friend, who asked him:

‘Have you never considered getting married, Mullah?’

‘I have,’ replied Nasrudin. ‘In my youth, I resolved to find the perfect woman. I crossed the desert and reached Damascus, and I met a lovely, very spiritual woman, but she knew nothing of the world. I continued my journey and went to Isfahan; there I met a woman who knew both the spiritual and the material world, but she was not pretty. Then I decided to go to Cairo, where I dined in the house of a beautiful woman, who was both religious and a connoisseur of material reality.’

‘Why didn’t you marry her, then?’

‘Alas, my friend, she was looking for the perfect man.’

o O o

Perfection is an eternal dream we may never find in this lifetime. Yet we still seek for it.

Monday, November 17, 2008

It Made Me Think Again.

I was browsing through my old blog and one entry has once again caught my attention. It never gets old, I tell you. It still makes me think whenever it comes across my mind.

Oftentimes, we ask for signs..
For us to know if the person is the right one..
But what if there are no signs?
Is the 'absence of signs' a sign?

What is it trying to tell me?

Saturday, November 15, 2008

It Ended Before It Even Began.

This is a highly unlikely situation. In this blog entry, I have no patience to think twice of what I will write. So be warned. From time to time, you will be reading Tagalog words, phrases, and even sentences. Maybe I'll end up using Tagalog in the whole paragraph. Note that this is not a rant or a complain or anything negative. This is meant to be my expression of a realization I had since last night. Some of you will get it, some will think twice...probably most of you will be lost. One thing's for sure... this is probably the most candid entry you have ever read from me.

Ready? Here goes.

At 22, people have thought that I would be in a relationship. A relationship with someone who I could possibly spend the rest of my life with. Yes, believe it or not, people have the tendency to think ahead for you. Halos lahat ng bagay, pangungunahan ka ng mga tao. Let's face it, this happens to everyone in every part of our lives. Whether it involves your education, your career, your relationship with your family -- everything! But the most talked about, and sometimes most presumptuous, is about your love life. H'wag nang pasikot-sikot pa! Alam naman natin na kahit ayaw mo, napag-uusapan lagi. After all, we can't do anything about it. Man's nature.

I don't know if you know but I've always wanted to live my life in low key. But that never happened. Truth of the matter is that ever since college, I never got to have a low profile life. It's always me on the spotlight. Though some would have loved to have all that attention, I, on the other hand, would have wished that I was invisible. I didn't mind being known to fellow students as the one who wrote the article on this or that. What I didn't appreciate was how people get involved in my personal life. In my relationship with the opposite sex. No, I don't have a boyfriend...haven't had one for years! And yet, people assume I have one because I spend some time with a guy. It's unsettling!

I wish there was a way to satisfy everyone. Alam kong halos lahat ng nakakakilala sa akin, may hinihinala tungkol sa akin at sa isa kong kaibigan. So let me clear this up before this gets blown out of proportion.

There comes a point in your life where you realize that what you thought was in front of you was actually something else. In my case, something I thought was a possibility in the foreseeable future was in truth a highly unlikely situation. Spare me. Hindi ko kailangan ng mga akala.

To those of you who know me,

I know who I am and I know how I feel. And it's disappointing to see that you think I don't know how I feel. I am not in denial. I know that at this point, I am not in love.

I get to spend time with a guy I am comfortable with. Almost every week in fact. But throughout our friendship, the realization of what we have now and in the future is clear. We're never going to be more than friends. He and I can only be what we are now. He is my friend as I am his. We will always have that hanging above our heads.

Honestly, ok. So if I had to choose someone I can fall in love with, I guess he would be the easiest choice. Maybe the most obvious, to other people. So you want to know why I can't and maybe won't fall for him? I will never get past that one little fact.

I remember writing a prayer to God. It was a list of what I'm looking for in "the guy." Up until this very day, that list is right inside the Bible I keep. Not a lot of people know this but one trait I can say that is included is "a guy who can love me for me." No labels, no titles, just me. Not a sibling's friend, or a friend's classmate or a cousin's acquaintance. Me. And that's not what I saw in him.

So you see. It's not going to happen. And I've accepted that.

This "supposed future" has ended before it has begun.

Friday, November 14, 2008

God's Answer in the Most Unexpected Time.

I thought that by the end of the day, I'd be sharing a story of what I did today. But I had to blog about this one.

No, I won't be ranting. I won't be complaining one single bit. But this is something I must share. This is going to be short.

It was the most unexpected answer I got from God. If I was waiting for His answer, this was the farthest from what I was anticipating. He answered a prayer I have offered six months ago. Little did I know that His answer would be the one I really needed.

I was reading Boy Meets Girl. It's a book about an honest, romantic and refreshingly biblical look at relationship. Dating with a purpose, to be more accurate. Author Joshua Harris writes about friendship plus possibility, about romance chaperoned by wisdom. It's about finding a lifetime partner in a way that's God-centered and not self-centered.

It's actually the third time I've read it. The thing is just now that I have come to realize what the author was talking about. I was reading the fourth chapter of the book, "Tell Me How, Tell Me Who, Tell Me When!" The chapter speaks of how God guides us to the right thing at the right time.

Just as I closed the book after reading that chapter, I got a message from a friend. It read:

"God doesn't give you the people you want, He gives you the people you NEED. To help you, to hurt you, to leave you, to love you and to make you into the person you were meant to be."

It was perfect. I felt it. It was what I needed to know from God.

What this message really meant...let's just say, it's between me and Him.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

My Saturday Off from Everything!

Yesterday, I had the whole day to myself. Yes, after a rather tiring week, the whole R&R for yours truly was the best thing to do. So after watching television, cooking and eating lunch, I decided to spend the day hanging out at Starbucks-Estrada. Yes, somehow, it seemed like a good idea at the day. And it was. I ran into an old schoolmate-slash-friend, Karen. We were both heading there. She was meeting Kate Laceda (another schoolmate), while I wanted to spend some alone-time in a place I feel at home -- the coffee shop.

Oh yeah...before I forget. There was a little mishap that happened on my way to Starbucks. I got stuck in the middle of the road because the jeepney I was riding got one of its tires trapped in an unforseen manhole. So there I was with a couple more of the passengers, just waiting until our jeep got its tire loose from the manwhole (This is when I realized Karen was riding the jeepney too). Good thing there were two good guys who offered to help and they were able to wiggle the tire out.

This is actually the first time in months that I got to drink Starbucks again. Oh how I missed it! Am I glad to have bought it. Now, since it's the month of November, that actually means Starbucks is already giving away it's 2009 planner after filling up their promo cards. Unlike before, you only need 16 stickers -- 8 for the holiday featured beverages and 8 for the regular beverages. So yes, it will be easier to acquire the planner. Here's the thing. I haven't had one and I doubt if I'll have it now. But who knows? It's been so crazy with work and all, I just might be able to complete all 16. I've just begun with the nothing to be excited about yet.

Speaking of planners, I have my eye on a particular planner. The Belle De Jour 2009 Power Planner. Though it may not be my ideal kind of planner-slash-organizer, I'm inclined to get one because it's absolutely fantastic! Yes, for P598, this ringbound organizer is definitely a must-buy for me.

So, all right. After spending much time in Starbucks, I decided to call a friend who's just a few minutes away. Next thing I knew, I was at Nyx's place, hanging out with a couple of my friends -- Euki, TinJan, Nyx, Roselle, Francis and Rbhie. great it is to see them after a very long time. It was Nyx's mom's birthday. So when I got there, celebration galore! Although they were having drinks, I couldn't join since I was drinking coffee and who knows what might happen is you mix caffeine and liquor together. It's a good thing, too, since I don't want to go home with my breath smelling of alcohol. My parents would just go ballistic!

After two hours of hanging out with them, I decided to go home. I still had to cook. So I bid everyone farewell and went on my way back to our place.

And that's that.

I wish I could go on further but I'm a couch potato at the moment.

Till next time!

Friday, November 07, 2008

This Thing We Call Love.

Looking at the time, I realized I should be sleeping right now. Unfortunately, I'm not even close to falling asleep. Somehow, a thought has stuck in my head and I guess it's not going to move out until I blog about it. Although, truth be told, I don't know if I should. Who knows? That person may be reading this blog and I don't know how to react. Then again, who cares, right? This is my blog and I sure can write about anything I want.

As always the thought is caused by the constant watching of romantic movies and reading of timeless tales of love. And every time I finish doing so, I end up asking myself -- was I really ever at that point when I absolutely fell in love? Or was it really just me loving someone?

As you and I both know...there's a fine line between loving and being in love. A fine line that separates what seems to be so similar but in reality, it's absolutely different. Me? I admit. I have fallen in love. Once. Just once. And instead of the way I had hoped it to be -- happy and memorable -- everything turned upside down. The heartbreak. The trauma. The devastation.

Once upon a time, there was a guy who broke my heart. A guy who didn't feel what I felt was there.

Once upon a time, there was a guy.

Fortunately, after that period of heartbreak, I was able to accept the fact that life goes on and so must I. I was able to face those feelings of rejection and anger by being honest to myself, by accepting the reality, most importantly, by achieving closure. I was back.

So to him who caused me this unbelievable pain called heartache, I thank you. Because of you, I've learned to think of myself. To love myself more. I never told you this, but I thank the Lord for allowing me to be hurt by you because it was then that I realized that despite everything, love is worth waiting for.

Time came when someone else came into my life. A friend. A good friend. Not a day goes by that we don't get to talk to one another. We always find time for each other. No matter how early or how late it may be. You know what's great about what we have? It's platonic. Yes. Purely platonic. I realize that the longer we have been friends, the more people around me think that we're meant for each other. That's what they see from their point of view. And I respect that.

To me, I feel like it's just not going to happen. I don't know. I don't want to close the door to the possibility of falling in love again. But to fall in love with you is simple inconceivable. How I wish it can be that easy. I remember people saying, sometimes, love is right in front of just don't realize it. Truth be told, I wish that was true. If only you can simply be the one I'm looking for...then maybe this wouldn't be necessary.

So to him who has been my friend, I don't want to put an end to what I am going to say but I feel that if I was given a chance to choose someone to spend the rest of my life with...I choose you. Yes, I am aware that someone else has claimed your heart. Still, you could be my perfect match. Regardless of the little things we don't agree on, we don't care. We just focus on what's great about each other. Every day is like a day I get to learn something from you. The Lord knows how grateful I am that He has sent me one of the best angels on earth.

There is also that certain someone. Another good friend of mine. Now him...Him, I can say -- he was able to rid me all the pain in the most surprising way. Though I am not yet at that point where I can definitely declare, "I'm in love!" I can say for certain that he holds a special place in my heart...and that may be until forever. Everyone noticed. Ever since he came into my life, I was happier, more stable...different in every good way. Imagine...just by being there, he managed to change me in a way I never thought I could be.

Unlike myself who has yet to find love, he has been in a roller coaster ride of love. Finding it, losing it, finding it again...losing it again. When asked about him, I merely say that we're friends. Though they feel there's something else. How can I convince them that I can only think of him as a friend because of reasons too obvious to mention? It's difficult to convince people how much I care about this certain person without being in love. But I stand firm on it. Even if people say love is staring me right in the eye once again and I have not clinched. Although sometimes, when I think about it, I it possible that he would find love in me?

To him who has my friendship, I ask you. Is it possible for me to be better than her? Should there even be a need for me to compare myself with her? If you are the one that God has sent for me, will I ever be able to have what you have given her? Am I really worthy of that love from you? Maybe I'm taking this too personally. Maybe I am being too sensitive. Whether this is me being selfish or not, I believe I deserve love. I cannot help but compare myself to her. If I am meant to be with you as you are to be with me, I pray this. Maybe I am asking too much but I pray to God that though I may not be your first, I will be your last.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

I Can Have Tantrums, Too!

I don't get angry easily. Truth be told, I'd much rather keep quiet than confront the person. Some people say I'm too kind, which can be a negative thing at times. And I agree. So to those expecting to read a "nice" or "happy" blog entry, might as well check out other sites because you're not going to get it from this one. At least, for this entry. It's sad, really.I was planning on blogging about a happy thing. Unfortunately, an incident occured and now I've chosen to rant about it.

It was a typical Tuesday at work -- writing articles, editing them; captioning photos, following up on press releases; calling contacts within the metropolis and in the provinces -- when I unexpectedly received an incoming call on my Yahoo! Messenger. It was Jane. Though I didn't want to answer it (because I was working), I didn't want to be rude. So I put my headset on and clicked on the Answer button. The purpose of the call was what I expected it to be. An invitation to meet up with the LG (our clique during the good ol' days). I asked them where and what time. She said we can meet up after work at SM Mall of Asia. I told them that I can pass by but I can't stay long because I still have a lot of things to work on and I'm too tired to go out and "have fun."

6:00PM came and I was leaving the office. No message from the group. I told them I was already on my way to MOA and asked where to meet them. No reply. After 45 minutes of riding the bus from Ayala to MOA, I have arrived. Still nothing. I texted again. "I'm here na. Where do we meet?" I texted them all. Nothing.

After ten minutes strolling around the North Wing building of MOA, I received a message from Tetel, "Ancy, biglang napa-Glorietta. Sunod ka dito."

I was furious! I wanted to call them and shout! I wanted to tell them off and say how inconsiderate they were. But I had to be nice. I replied, "Malabong mangyari. Kung kanina nyo pa ako tinext, eh di sana tumawid lang ako from office. Andito na ako sa MOA, malabo na akong bumalik dyan sa Makati."

I guess they all got the point because they have been apologizing since. "Si Marvi kasi nagpabago ng place eh." The message read. Damn it! I have been holding on to both my Globe and Sun cellphones. I don't understand why NONE of them informed me sooner.

If I wasn't able to restrain myself, I would have turned into a bitch and I would've said, "Ang daming paraan para pagsabihan ako diba? Don't tell me lahat kayo walang load. Kung bakit naman hinintay nyo pa na ako ang nagtext bago kayo sumagot tapos gusto nyo sundan ko kayo dyan?"

If I really lost it, I would have probably cursed all the way. Good thing, I didn't.

So there I SM Mall of Asia with no one to meet. Damn it!

There. I've let it out and I feel better.