Saturday, May 25, 2013

The year we had Fonzie

I remember the time when Mike and I were choosing the breed of dog we were going to get. He was insisting that we get a chihuahua, but I insisted we get a a mini schnauzer. A few months later and we got our first dog: Fonzie. 

He was a tiny pup when we got him; he could barely stand and was always peeing about. He made a mess of things: he almost ripped my laptop cord in half, pooped and pissed on the couch countless times, and he was always... aroused. There was a time when he positioned himself on the couch and prepared to drop the bomb, and because there was no tissue or piece of paper in sight, I dove to catch the warm package with my bare hands! It was horrific. He gave me a curious look after that. But we loved him. I loved him.

Unfortunately, the day came when his energy was too much for us to handle so we gave him away to a responsible person who can handle him more than we could. It was, of course, a deal we didn't really want, but we really had no choice. Much as we love Fonzie, we just couldn't afford to take care of him anymore. We're not heartless to throw him out the streets. One sad sunset, we bid him farewell.

While we have Pogo now, not a day goes by without me thinking about Fonzie. I'm very sure he's in a better home now. I heard that he's still energetic and he's making another family happy. But I do miss him. Terribly so. And even if he's no longer with us, I will always think of him as a part of my family.

Monday, May 13, 2013

My love for spoilers

A spoiler has the opposite effect on me. My decision to see a film depends partly on it. I have a terrible need to know what will happen, who the characters are, and how the story will end. But I also understand why so many hate it: a spoiler ruins the emotional experience people get from seeing a scene or hearing a very important line firsthand. That is why I prefer to keep details of a film to myself and speak only when asked (or forced). But when asked, I give out a lot.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Beautiful Bohol

The best trip we had for the first half of 2013 (and probably the best one we ever had since Mike and I got together four years ago ) was our three-day Bohol trip. The people were nice and while the air was ripe with the unmistakable scent of a province, it was surprisingly the most pleasant I've experienced. Of course, the trip was made more special by the fact that it was our first local trip by plane. Mike was like a child on his first plane ride: nervous, almost frightened. But he got over his fear on our trip back home.
Upon arriving at the airport, we were greeted by a group of people carrying signs bearing names, hotels, tours and activities visitors can get to enjoy while on the island. We were informed before leaving Manila that a van will pick us up to bring us to Darunday Manor. 

Very nice place Darunday is. Comfortable beds, cozy rooms, free wi-fi, ethnic handiwork, hot and cold showers. What really pleased me was the friendly staff of the hotel. Even though we conversed with them in Filipino, they responded to us in English. It's one of the good places to stay on the island for budget travelers.

On our first and second day, we went to the Bohol Cultural Center in Tagbilaran for a cultural event where, aside from various performances and workshops, we were treated to various handicrafts and delicacies made in Bohol and its neighboring islands. It was a treat to the senses!

By the end of the first day, Mike and his boss went to have dinner by the river and watch the fireflies. Unfortunately, I had to stay at the hotel the entire night to finish some tasks for my other job. Though Mike took photos of the fireflies, they weren't enough to quench my desire to see them.

Before the second day ended, Mike, his boss and myself went to see the second oldest church in Bohol--Loboc Church. We took a tricycle to Island City Mall in Dao and took a jeep to Loboc. The old part of the church was converted into a museum while masses were held at the back. (See photos below)

We finished our little tour of the church a little before 4 in the afternoon and we wanted to see more of Bohol. We wanted to visit tarsiers. Unfortunately, we didn't hire a van or car and the buses that pass by the Tarsier Sanctuary were always full, and the only way to get there was by motorcycle. Two friends with motorcycles offered to bring us to the Sanctuary and back for a small fee. The thought of riding on the back of a motorcycle along the countryside without protection was frightening. And we also didn't know these men; they might have taken us somewhere we didn't want. But we really had to see the tarsiers so we finally and nervously accepted their offer. (I honestly thought of ways to defend myself and Mike should something bad happens) We were wrong to worry too much.

The trip along Bohol's countryside on a motorbike was an adventure. It was almost liberating, really, as you ride past nipa huts, farms and hills, without the police stopping us for not wearing helmets. It was fun! The trip back from the Sanctuary was great as well. When we returned to Loboc, I wished they would take us back all the way to Tagbilaran, but that would've cost us more. The tarsiers, by the way, were adorable. Made me want to joke out loud if they never get tired of drinking coffee. (They're also known for their wide eyes if you haven't seen one)
I guess any trip to Bohol would never be complete without seeing the Chocolate Hills. Unfortunately, we didn't have time to visit--we had to go back for a dinner with the event organizers. (Mike and I decided not to go to that dinner eventually)

On our final morning in Bohol, while we were packing our bags, Mike and I promised to go back and see those that we weren't able to see, the places we weren't able to visit, the food we weren't able to taste. We wished we had more time. So we promised we'll come back and see more of this beautiful island. It's a waste, a travesty even, not to experience everything that the wonderful island of Bohol can offer.

Can't put all the photos. They're too many for one blog post.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Freelancing 'til when?

When I was in my third year of college, I began working as a freelance writer for an Australian website. I wrote hundreds of articles. I did this until I finished my studies and it has helped me pay for projects and allowed me to spend a little more on food. I only stopped from doing freelance work when I began my shortlived career as an account associate at TeamAsia. Then I went back to doing freelance work and it has brought me to places I've never been, meet very important people and allowed me to buy things I never thought I could afford. More importantly, it gave me complete control over my time.

A corporate slave can only wish for what I can do in my spare time (which is a lot mind you). I can do what I want--sleep late, wake up late, meet friends for lunch or dinner, watch a movie in the afternoon--provided that I finish my tasks early. Right now, I am handling two online jobs, I still write for the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, a few PR projects and I host every now and then, but I still have time to manage the house, walk the dog and go to lunch with friends. 

But when you've been doing freelance work for a long time, especially if it's mostly online, it tends to make you want to stop every now and then. There are days when I feel that I'm getting tired of what I'm doing and wish to take a day off and I've done that. I went on leave for a day without actually going on leave. I just made sure that my superiors can reach me whenever they have questions about my work (I haven't done that in a long time). 

Also, there's a thought that never seems to stop bugging me: stability. Obviously, I can't do freelance work forever. The money is really good, but only when there are projects. There are days when I think of working for a bigger events firm like Eventscape or maybe go full-time at NCCA. Or finally working for a magazine. The money may not be as good as what I'm earning now, but there is stability there, experience and professional growth eventually. Besides, what purpose will my degree serve if I do not work full-time for a company?

Hold on. I did not study to become a corporate slave, did I? A degree is a privilege not given to everybody, but does that mean we have to do what society expects us, college graduates, to do and slave twenty to thirty years for a couple of companies? Nothing's wrong with doing freelance because a freelance job is still a job and it does not mean we should only give a fraction of what we are capable of to finish it. My work still gets criticized, we still get feedback (sometimes too much) and we learn from them. I'm not very different from my contemporaries in the corporate world.

But the nagging thought of stability is still there and after giving it much thought, I realized that it all boils down to lifestyle. It's the only thing that's keeping me from leaving my freelance posts. So the questions now is: when will I be ready to give up the lifestyle I have grown to enjoy and go back to the corporate world? Something I'll have to answer soon.


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