My love affair with a mermaid

 

After several months hiatus from blog, I am finally able to post a new entry in my blog. Working evenings really took a lot from me physically the first couple of months and I found myself just wanting to sleep whenever I got home. Also, I have once again rekindled my love for Starbucks coffee.

 

We have free coffee at the workplace. You can get as many as you want, need, or allowed to by your doctor. Thing is, it’s really not good and strong coffee. I get caffeine alright, but it doesn’t taste good. So one faithful day (or night to be exact) I passed by a Starbucks on my way to work. I think to myself, “Hey, why not? I work pretty hard, I deserve a treat. Plus, I need a good coffee fix.” And so I find myself ordering my favorite basic espresso drink, a tall latte with 1 pack of brown sugar. I pay for the drink, wait for it at the bar, small talk with the barista, and get that steaming drink on their signature, white to go cup.

 

I take sips of my latte as I was walking to the bus stop which I would ride to Alabang and immediately feel warm and contented. I realized how much I missed that drink of steaming milk with an espresso dropped into it. I intended to take the drink all the way to work, but it was so good that I finished it in the bus, halfway to my destination. I was energized when I got to work, didn’t even approach the free coffee machine.

 

I always get crass comments from people about why I would pay a heaping amount for just coffee and milk. But to me, it’s worth it. It’s also a very comfy place, well most of them.   It’s a place where you can relax after a busy day, to while away the time, a good meeting place, rekindle old-time friendships, do some reading, write. The short talk I had with the barista, I found someone who felt for me and my very long commute to work. And please, those that they say they prefer Seattle’s best (just to be different)! It’s a subsidiary of Starbucks people! It’s basically the same!

 

The Starbucks that are heaping with people, those stores I do not like. Two immediately come in mind, the one along Ayala Avenue (Security Bank building) and the one located in Smart Araneta Coliseum. The former I dislike because it is basically a venue for networking (which in my first post in this blog, I do not condone). My favorite spots are: Molito Complex (Alabang), Glorietta 5, Greenbelt 1, Dela Rosa Avenue (Makati), and Robinson’s Galleria Veranda. Especially the one in Molito, I really find that one relaxing.

 

 

Also, I’m not sure it this is only in the Philippines, every Christmas time is a good time to buy drinks from Starbucks. That because they have the limited edition planner promo. They give you a card where stickers would be, well, sticked. Each drink equals one sticker. Half are for the basic drinks (my latte included, yes), and half are for their Special “Christmas Blends”. This year they are the past favorites, Toffee Nut Latte, Peppermint Mocha, and my favorite the Dark Cherry Mocha. Once the card is full of stickers, you exchange it for your planner which comes in three different colors this year namely black, white, and light green. I’m eyeing the black one. A total of 17 stickers are needed this year. Nice huh?

 

Again, people tell me, why would you buy expensive coffee just to get a planner? You can get one cheaper in a bookstore or you can use your damn blackberry! I want it, okay. I want my planner to have the Starbucks name on it, and it doesn’t emit harmful rays like my blackberry.

I’m not saying I can afford Starbucks coffee everyday. But every once in a while, to comfort myself or as a reward, is good. Sort-of. In any case, green mermaid and the coffee named after a character in Moby Dick will always hold a special place in my heart

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The most egostistical, arrogant, and idiotic thing to say ever! (in the Philippines, in my opinion)

Here in the Philippines, we have this age-old idiom about experience.

in our native language, it sounds like so: “Papunta ka pa lang, pabalik na ako” (You have only begun your journey, I am on my way back already). To me this is one of the most egotistical, arrogant, and idiotic things to say ever!

This short statement implies to the person you are telling it to that they are nothing compared to you, that all he knows adds up to nothing compared to you, that he should bow to you because you are his senior, egotistical.

It’s very arrogant since the statement has an air of arrogance. It’s supposed to convey “you still have a long way to go” but “I am better than you, rookie. If you ever want to be anything, be like me” or something like that also tags along.

It’s idiotic because if you are still alive and still talking to me about being “on your way back”, then that only means you have stopped the pursuit of knowledge. If anything globalization and the advancement of technology has taught us, information about a lot of things in this world and beyond it come at a neck-breaking speed. What you have learned today, can be obsolete in a week or even days. If you give that crap statement then I shall laugh at your face. You’re still alive and have already given up on the pursuit of knowledge and experience. I pity you, you started your journey long ago and only coming back now learning a few snippets. What you have learnt in your lifetime, I can have in months.

I acknowledge that the combination of fervor for knowledge and experience are essential for all people, but please. Don’t brandish your experience to anyone, especially those younger than you. I’ve seen it countless of times, the junior outshines the senior in no time and the senior gets kicked to the curb. That statement also connotes insecurity, the main fact that you used that on anyone was because you already felt threatened by that persons potential, and used it to diffuse his confidence and boost your own.

To be fair, that “Papunta ka pa lang, pabalik na ako” thing I have not heard in a long time. I guess it was more for the generation of our parents who absolutely were forbidden to go against their elders.

In any case, peace 😉

We are not poor!

Who says Filipinos don’t have money?

I am writing this post while in the middle of a very busy mall. It is father’s day. And I am telling you this place is packed! Everybody’s eating, and everyone’s taking advantage of the free wi-fi service with whatever device they have (that includes me right now).

And this isn’t one of those upscale malls like Glorietta, Greenbelt and whatnot. No. I am here a mall located in the province of Rizal.

Who says we Filipinos don’t have money? We can afford wi-fi capable stuff. We can afford to celebrate father’s day. The parking lot is also packed full, so we can also afford to buy automobiles.

Were not poor. We just love to spend our money first and then think of necessary expenses and (if any) savings. We’re not poor, we just spend too much that when it comes to important stuff (like school, everyday food) we don’t have enough.

Yes the foodcourt is packed with people, but not everyone is eating, and some are eating just snacks. Everyone’s taking advantage of the free wi-fi service simply because not everyone can afford data charges on their handheld devices or to have internet access put-up in their homes. The parking lots are full simply because it’s a small parking lot, and that a significant portion of this has been dedicated for motorcycles (the cheaper alternative to four wheels that we Filipinos prefer nowadays.

In reality, we’re just kidding ourselves.

Peace 😉

 

I don’t like to travel

I don’t like to travel.

Okay, let me rephrase that. I don’t like to travel just for the sake of travelling. You know, going to a place just so you can take pictures and post them in Facebook for all to see or just so you can be able to key in on conversations about Boracay, Puerto Galera, Hong Kong, Singapore and so on. If I’m gonna travel, I don’t care if it’s not a very big tourist destination. I’m more interested in what I’m gonna learn from that travel.

My favorite places that I have gone to so far is Corregidor Island. It’s got amazing views, lush greenery but you don’t go here just to soak up some sun in a beach full of people (actually, the beaches here are very rocky). You go here because of the history.

Being a key defensive fortress for Filipino and American forces during World War 2, the island is surrounded by various heavy guns and barracks which were relatively left to what they looked like after all the bombing during the war.

I love seeing these mammoth guns up close some as big as cars, some the scale of buses. The scars on the metal from shrapnel seems eerie yet beautiful. Bunkers near these that are black and very scary excite me. Tales of ghosts add intrigue.

 

Ruins of buildings left as they were during and after the war seems to travel you back to those years. You imagine what it would have felt like when all bedlam was going down. War movies set in the WW2 seem very real all of a sudden.

 

I have been here twice, and still long to come back some more. No amazing beach, no major hotels nor bars/restaurants, but plenty of history and pleasant views.

I haven’t been out of my country of the Philippines yet. Part of it is that I do not want to use up my money for expensive travel but another part is that I want to get to know more about my country. There are so many places I haven’t gone too, I haven’t been to Mindanao.

It’s okay to have a trip just for relaxation of fun. Swimming during the hot season is nice. But going to Boracay because the beach is one of the best in the world and that it’s very popular among people is not a reason I would use to travel.

I will be attending graduate school in a University located within the walls of Intramuros. Apart from the great MBA program in a relatively smaller price, the prospect of gazing at those old stone walls every time I go to school was a winning perk for me.

 

This fascination for the old world Philippines also made the god-awfully long land trip (14 hours) to Pagudpud in Ilocos Norte seem lighter (and having my lovely girlfriend with me as well) since we got to visit Paoay Church (amazing, breath-taking) and the preserved village, Vigan, in Ilocos Sur (remarkable).

Some people’s passion is to get to places. That’s cool. But not for me. If I’m gonna be pulled from the ease and bustle of Metro Manila, then I better really love that trip.

(Again, I do not own any of the pictures. Peace ;))