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Oh My, Girona!

Me: So let’s take that bus to Girona, then hop on to the connecting bus to Andorra for an overnight —
Fate: Nope, stay put! No effing way you’re going to miss Girona.  Continue reading Oh My, Girona!

Adventures in Oslob

Have you ever had one of those days when you already knew everything was going to be epic, and then the day turns out to be even better for reasons you didn’t see coming your way? This was one of them. Continue reading Adventures in Oslob


Since everyone is talking about the looming doomsday anyway, if I could, I would fill my last days with endless conversations — meaningful, gibberish, small talk, profound, I welcome them all. Yes, it departs from my usual repertoire of play-run-play-til-I-die, but the art of conversation holds within it a healing power.

Isn’t it great that as a species, we have long carried the tradition of storytelling without actually giving it any thought? That in bouts, we can actually agree to disagree? That we never tire of recounting old memories, laughing at them as if they happened yesterday?

On providence

God provides — this, despite all jadedness, I still believe.

There is a prerequisite though — you must not only be willing to work for it, but in order for blessings to reach you, you must pave the road by which it comes with your own two hands.

I’ve been in situations wherein I toiled my ass off, yet the fruits of my labor have yet to manifest themselves. Similarly, I’ve been in situations wherein the toil has been worth it — sometimes the rewards were even more than expected. There is added satisfaction in reaping rewards that are deserved.

But I’ve rarely seen situations wherein blessings were provided without having to do anything. I admit, it’s possible that these things have actually happened. But to depend on chance, to actually believe that you are privileged to be endowed with miracles, is to me, nothing but folly.

Speaking of documenting…

Warning: Uber-vain post ahead.

I've always wanted highlights...

Only in this crazy-wonderful-Net-frantic world do some websites come into your life and leave a dent. Yes, some will just intentionally waste your time, but well, there are a few sites that I’m thankful I stumbled upon. I remember running across this page which featured an ingenious family’s take on annual family portraits (check it out at — each year they take id photos of themselves and now they have 30 years’ worth of photos/hairstyles to reminisce. This got me thinking, ‘why don’t I do the same and have a photo shoot every year on my birthday?’. What did I tell you — uber-vain, right?

I bought the first discounted photo-shoot package I saw on one of my beloved voucher sites, but I never got around to taking the shoot during my last birthday. The new year rolled around, and I didn’t get to book either. Finally, on this characteristically lazy weekend, I decided to haul my butt off the couch and finally get that shoot done.

What I didn’t expect was how fun it would be. It brought me back to the grade-school/high-school days when digital cams were yet unheard of, and trips to Galleria meant movie+lunch+neoprint+studiopic shoot. I remember cringing at my smile whenever we got the prints from the studio, but today at DeCharacter Image’s studio (it’s located on Purvis St. near Raffles Hotel), Dana (the stylist — sashyaaaal…) and Kyaw (the photographer. I repeat — sashyaaaal…) put me in so much ease that I only remembered how awkward a shoot should be after the shoot. So kudos, Dana & Kyaw! 🙂

If you’ve read up to here and you’re not puking yet, you may want to check out the other pics from the shoot — .

(If my sisters are reading this — since Ondoy washed most of our childhood pics away and we literally are oceans apart now, what do you say to making our own yearly timeline? It’ll be fun to show it to our kids 30 years from now. 🙂 Let’s have it every Christmas, what do you guys think?)

Leaving Traces

John Lennon said that life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans. I say that this adage can be tailored a bit to suit our generation — life now is what happens when you were too busy documenting it.

A few people realize it, but we live in a time wherein people do have a fixation of documenting even the tiniest bits of our lives. More likely than not, once or twice you’ve found yourself overwhelmed by the volume of pictures and videos that you have yet to upload. Maybe once or twice, you’ve given into posting how excited you were that day, how yummy the snack you had was, or perhaps even (eep!) how bored you currently are (I have yet to figure out this phenomenon). Perhaps it’s due to the deluge of mediums and tools we have today to do so.  Could you imagine if they had WordPress, Flickr, Facebook or Twitter back then? Maybe we would have found Balagtas’ blog to be more interesting than Rizal’s. Maybe the revolt wouldn’t have taken place because Bonifacio and Aguinaldo were too busy having a tweet-war. Shakespeare could have one less masterpiece, because he was too busy maintaining his blog to actually publish another poem. Maybe — just maybe — we could ‘follow’ Jesus and find out what He would actually do. Think about it — how many unsung heroes would we have known if only they could have just left their traces just as we could today?

Maybe that’s just it — at a day and age when almost everything but peace is ubiquitous, perhaps we just have a fear of being obscure. Maybe it’s our silent shout that we want to be recognized and appreciated for who we are, instead of having others describe you through eulogies when it’s too late. Or maybe we just had nothing else better to do at that moment.

And here I am, mocking my own generation while blogging. Kidding aside, I hope that at the end of my days, I can look back and honestly say for each entry here, ‘I’m glad I blogged that.’

What’s in a name?

One thing to surely turn an ordinary day for me into a grand one is to find a Neil Gaiman book for grabs in the library. Already devouring the first of three gems the moment I got home, I ran across this interesting conjecture in one of his short stories — names have power.

For those who’ve read Gaiman, his stories brim with folklore, the supernatural, unearthly beings and the like, but Gaiman may have stumbled across a grain of real ‘magic’ that’s just right under our noses.

Is it true — do names have power? Supposing your friend was called Pete instead of Pedring all the time, would you have treated him a little differently? Supposing that Ke$ha grew up using her second name (Rose), would she still be singing the same kind of songs? If Eugene Domingo had a different name, would she have been still half as funny? Supposing a baby was named Kate rather than Luzviminda, would she have had a different life? If your classmate was called Kayla or Chloe instead, would you have paid more attention? Admit it — if you didn’t call your kid sister Batchoy so much, is it even just slightly possible that things would have been different?

I guess I’ve never really noticed it before, but working in a multi-cultural workplace has made me realized that we Filipinos really have a thing about our names. I mean, others would actually stick to what they’re born with (ex. Robert, Hazel, John, Marcin, Gaurav, Vuong, etc.), but more often than not, Filipinos would insist on ‘branding’ themselves with unique monikers (ex. Eka, Bikbok, Teng, Ayen, Bhebot, and of course, yours truly, Ish. =P)

Thinking about it, what if I stuck to Trish or Pat instead of Ish? (well, first thing, I would have to use a different blog name in lieu of gibberIsh). Would I have gone to soirees instead of concert mosh-pits? Would I have taken on heels & strappy sandals earlier in place of my mo-jo’s and hiking shoes? I think if I delve deeper, this might call for another blog post of its own — the Ish’es of the alternate universes(!).