Finally: Les Miserables in Manila

My siblings and I grew up singing along and listening to our eldest sister Ate April’s old Les Miserables casette tape. She had everything: Hugo’s unabridged version of the book, a VHS of the broadway’s 25th anniversary concert and a book of the broadway music sheets. I specifically remember my sister teaching me how to sing Cosette’s ‘Castle on a Cloud’ while she played on the piano. So when the broadway finally came to Manila, I was beyond psyched!

The set was amazing and the cast was just perfect! I literally had goose bumps every time Jean Valjean and Javert do their solos on stage. I have to admit, I was wow-ed by Rachelle Ann Go’s performance.

On a side (but very important) note, we were all nostalgic after the show, remembering how Ate April made it a point for us to love both the story and the broadway.

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After watching the broadway, we had tea time at Solaire’s Oasis Garden Cafe. Php 888 for four pieces of scones, six pieces of hors d’oeuvre, and another six pieces of pastries/desserts. The set come with a pot of Oasis branded tea, and we got to try their variant Passion Green Tea, infused with passion fruit flavors. I have to hand it to them, the tea was pretty good! IMG_0370IMG_0363IMG_0364IMG_0314

Here’s to more nights we will never forget! :)

My Christmas people!

Needless to say (but I’m saying it anyway), Christmas will not be Christmas without dear friends and the most cherishing tradition of love and family.

I hope you had a swell Christmas! :)

Look Back: June.

I only have two words to accurately describe how my June went: rain and good byes.

The Philippines entered the gloomy climate once again, as expected of this time of the year. And it followed in the most inconvenient manner that heavy traffic going to work and going back home were to be part of the norm–again. I love rain when I can ceremoniously appreciate it from the dry side of a window. I abhor heavy traffic. The mix of both in one ride to or from work has been very confusing. Hah!

My eldest sister and 4-year-old nephew, Ozzy, left for Malaysia. Real family drama is what I’d call it. I spent almost the whole day of their scheduled flight fighting back tears and trying not to break down in my office workstation. It will be a while before we can have a complete family picture again. But they’re happy (according to my sister’s latest report) and that matters way more than a picture.

We also had to say good bye to a very close friend from the office. It’s sad in the sense that our clique (yes, it’s a clique) has been seeing one resignation after another. But try as I might to feel sad about the leaving, I’m starting to see it as a fact of life. Change and whatever it may require of anyone simply happens, and it’s always for the good.

The last bit that literally closed my June was me saying good bye to my position as a copy writer. Just in time for July, I said hello to me being our department’s first ever Junior Producer! Crazy, I know. But I’m liking it so far. Will update you soon. *wink*

On Instagram:

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Heart on the cross!

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[Image via]

A few minutes ago, before I said good night to my siblings and began pounding my fingertips on the keyboard, I nonchalantly exclaimed (as if it had to be heard), “I need to write about my Holy week reflection! Otherwise, Holy week won’t happen!” A complete exaggeration.

Now here I am, a little clueless on how to write what I need to write. My mind has been scattered these past few weeks (should I say months?) and my emotions have been a perfect panorama of a storm. Some days are calm and peaceful. While there are days filled with worry and unsolicited pain, of which I was either the inflicted or the inflictor.

I’m stating these with no intentions of jiving into the drama of the season. I’m stating these as facts. For some reason, I have been a little more difficult than usual to both myself and the people around me. I beat myself for not being good enough, and it follows that I treat people the same way I’ve been treating myself. You think it stops there? I’ve also been consequentially angry at myself for being the way I’ve been (as if that would help anything).

“Lord! Make me less of a human!” I found myself desperately shouting in my head while I was at church yesterday. Had I been more of a supernatural, I would have enough capacity to understand other humans and be extra patient with them when needed. I wouldn’t even have to worry about my own flaws because I would have less of them, if not none! It was quite a fun plan to play around with in my head. Fool.

The inescapable truth is that I have the kind of patience the size of a peanut, a positivism that’s as fickle as a flickering light bulb, and an understanding that can sometimes be akin to that of a sloth’s. It’s enough to make anyone go, ‘It’s a bad time to be a human.’

Yet a single glance at the crucifix — taken in the proper context and in the proper disposition — made me feel just how loved I have been in spite myself. Do you know what that’s like? To know that you are loved in spite your mucky self? That mixed feeling of gratitude and hope is what I call elation.

If only I would acknowledge it more, then I’d be able to open my eyes to how this love raises me to a level above my own; how it sets me apart from all other things. If only I would constantly live my life in His presence, then I would be able to see this very same love in other people. I’d start seeing them through His eyes, with tender affection of patience and understanding. This very same love will free me from anger, pain, hatred, pride, arrogance, and my twisted sense of entitlement in picking on people’s flaws — as well as mine!

I was told that when people know they are loved, they feel powerful; as if they are capable of everything beyond their measly human abilities. I hope I give this love the justification it deserves.  Maybe by then I could start living a life of peace with God, His children, and myself.

Must-listen: Empty Space by Bukas Palad

Look back: March!

I’m posting this early, since I’m considering the Paschal Triduum as a month in itself lol (three intense days of worship can do that I suppose)!

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This March was all about

1 Rides to work with dad on certified Pinoy streets.

2 Puppies, puppies, and more puppies!

3 Kitchen experiments — that actually worked!

4 Marketing ads I was really really ecstatic about.

5 Meals and goodies shared with old and new friends. :)

6 An office surprise from a man in a coat and tie!

7 Precious family time!

8 Catching up with old friends over crepes and chocolates.

Look back: February.

February

This month of hearts:

1 Difficult decisions were made — and I was part of the back up team.

2 A crazy Valentine’s day was spent at the office with girl friends.

3 Books piled up.

4 Realized I was made for breakfast.

5 Discovered I have a doppelganger in the office.

6 Was the last month of our very reliable intern!

7 Office dramas and victories were shared.

8 It was me and shrimp against — well — me.

Striking a deal like a human.

If God were to ask me this week, “Have you been behaved?”

I’d answer, “This week? Generally, yes.”

If God were to ask me, “Have you been behaved this month?”

“I’ll get back to you on that.”

I have been in an irate bubble. For some reason, there is this specific person I just can’t seem to give allowances to. Normally, when new people come in, I’d be intrigued, and would be the most welcoming. Hosting hat on, shake a hand, and wish we’d be best friends the next day. Or, if best friends can’t cut it, at least I’d be chill about the person, whatever or whoever she/he may be like. That has always been me. Except for this one person who’s been making it so easy for me to act otherwise. And I’m actually serious about this.

I would enumerate the ways she gets to me. But from my readings, even shutting my mouth up in moments I’m so itching to vent can serve as an offering to God. Um.. Okay? I don’t know how saints did it but sure, let’s try that.

So I want to strike a deal with God right now. Not that I’m entitled to it or anything with how I’ve been behaving lately. But mostly because I now realize how trivial these emotions are in spite their compelling killer nature.

These are nothing compared to watching my real friends cry over obstacles and burdens I wish I had the capacity to take away from them.

Here is my deal with you, God, and I’m not taking no for an answer: these small inconveniences and little irritations that I now admit hardly amount to anything, please use them to purchase a family I have in my heart.

Look back: January.

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How my month of new beginnings was marked:

1 Awesome officemates.

2 Slowly but surely easing into work-work-work!

3 Cake was shared on my parents’ 35th wedding anniversary.

4 My nephew turned 4 with a chocolate fruit loop cake.

5 Korean food with childhood friends.

6 Food trips with officemates. Ribs, anyone?

7 Reunited with old friends.

8 A life-long promise and a kiss were shared by two good friends.

9 Life’s sweets of friendship and gifts of words.