Friday, November 27, 2009


A writer once said, "A story without emotion is like a human without a soul."

Errr, I don't know exactly why I said that.

A month ago, I decided to quit blogging because I thought I grew out of it. It was an excuse because these days, I've convinced myself that I have been too busy to even think of new ideas to write about. It's like considering changes, no matter how unwanted they seem to be. An old string in a guitar needs to be replaced with a new one, for not changing it might make the songs go out of tune. A child needs new sets of uniforms every school year because he grows up and grows out of his clothes. A woman stops drinking and smoking when she finds out she bears a child. It's like, changes have to take place not because they are wanted but because they are indispensable let alone, inevitable.

Before I got the drive to write again, I had dozens of entries which didn't have meanings at all. They were space-fillers; they were posted just so I could say that I blogged and shared something. It was until the first week of November that I realized, I hate pointless utterances, musings, copies of other people's works on a blog that I call my own. I felt that since the time I started having "A Fish Between Two Cats" for myself without sharing it with another blogger, it has already lost its meaning. Everything was already pointless, or so I thought.

This morning, I watched a Miyazaki movie for the second time. Its English title is "Whispers of the Heart." The first time I watched it, I looked at it from a young woman's perspective--the romance, the lines, the songs and all other cheesy things a teenager can think of. I didn't think of myself to look at it that way, yet to my surprise I did. It was like falling in love with the characters, as if the story retold mine. The second time I watched it, everything was different.

My Literature teacher was correct when she said that it feels good to read a book twice or even more. On the second attempt of an individual to read a book, he learns things he didn't learn during his first. Hence, when I saw the movie again, everything became entirely and surprisingly different.

Shizuku lost her motivation to study when Seiji left for Cremona to be an apprentice and to eventually be a master luthier. She felt nothing compared to him because she was left behind without plans, without goals and without anything she could be proud of. She decided to be a writer and in order to accomplish that, she rendered much of her time trying to write a story. In the process of writing it, she got low grades at school and she became too absorbed with her idea of being like him or perhaps, even more. She wanted to be someone who could get what she wants no matter how tedious it becomes. When she finally showed her work to Seiji's grandfather, and the latter said it was like a stone, unpolished and imperfect. She seemed disappointed after putting much effort on it but Seiji's grandfather said, that a stone can be polished, carved and can eventually become something precious like Lapiz Lazuli, which sparkles when light strikes on it.

It was then that she realized she needs to focus on things that are far more important than impulse and conceit. She knew she could be someone, in her own time. Early morning, when Shizuku was sleeping, Seiji came back and took her for a ride to his favorite spot where they both saw the sun slowly rising up, streaking its beautiful rays across the city.

What does it have to do with everything that is happening? It's simple. I realized, that I looked at things from an irrational and dense perspective. It's not always about human emotions and relationships toward other people. Sometimes, it could be about an individual's relationship with himself. Whether or not it is being irrational, what remains as an apparent point is that people neglect to see the underlying contexts of stories and experiences. What could these actions mean? What do these messages impose? How do these things affect the entirety of the story? Some people prefer looking at the surface, the horizon, the "obvious", and these people are the ones who often struggle in the end.

I thought I wanted to stop blogging. I thought I wanted push myself to do things which seemed far more important. It was a dense idea after all.

Let me share a poem which struck me the first time I read it. The second time I did, I felt relieved.

If I feel depressed I will sing.
If I feel sad I will laugh.
If I feel ill I will double my labor.
If I feel fear I will plunge ahead.
If I feel inferior I will wear new garments.
If I feel uncertain I will raise my voice.
If I feel poverty I will think of wealth to come.
If I feel incompetent I will think of past success.
If I feel insignificant I will remember my goals.
Today I will be the master of my emotions.
-Og Mandino

Photo #3: WELS Christmas Tree

Taken on the 27th of November, 2009

I love the tree and the people who made it.
Thanks, teachers.
Without it, Christmas wouldn't be felt in the office.

I Heard This Song and I Cried.

[If you can see this without boxes, then you're lucky, because your computer can read Korean characters]

태연 (소녀시대)

만약에 내가 간다면
내가 다가간다면
넌 어떻게 생각할까
용길 낼 수 없고

만약에 니가 간다면
니가 떠나간다면
널 어떻게 보내야 할지
자꾸 겁이 나는 걸

내가 바보 같아서
바라볼 수 밖에만
없는 건 아마도
외면할지도 모를
니 마음과 또 그래서
더 멀어질 사이가 될까봐
정말 바보 같아서
사랑한다 하지
못하는 건 아마도
만남 뒤에 기다리는 아픔에
슬픈 나날들이

만약에 니가 온다면
니가 다가온다면
난 어떻게 해야만 할지
정말 알 수 없는 걸

내가 바보 같아서
바라볼 수 밖에만
없는 건 아마도
외면할지도 모를
니 마음과 또 그래서
더 멀어질 사이가 될까봐
정말 바보같아서
사랑한다 하지
못하는 건 아마도
만남 뒤에 기다리는 아픔에
슬픈 나날들이

내가 바보 같아서
사랑한다 하지 못하는 건 아마도
만남 뒤에 기다리는 아픔에
슬픈 나날들이

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Photo #2: Aileen [Eugene Jeong]

Taken on the 21st of November, 2009

I always tell her she's pretty but she doesn't believe me. She tells me sorts of excuses, and humble statements like, "No, I'm stressed." When she smiles, she's like Tiffany of Girls' Generation. I've been teaching her for two months but it feels like I've known her for a long time. She tells me we have the same passion for food, and we both suffer from sudden appetencies, but it doesn't show because for two months that I've been having classes with her, she hasn't added a gram to her weight--or maybe she's good at hiding it. She doesn't feel upset about having an entire page covered with comments for improving her essays. She's open-minded about corrections and constructive criticisms and she's not hard-headed, compared to other students out there. She's good but she doesn't brag about it. She just lacks confidence in talking but with luck, I can make her talk more in the future. She has assertion; the kind that isn't easily manifested by a foreign language student. People may try to be assertive but they still give up anyway. As for her, she knows what she believes in and she doesn't easily concede. She values freedom and I think that's one of the qualities that I share with her. She likes to try new things and she doesn't get scared by the appearance of Filipino food. Sometimes, I'm afraid I might gross her out with the food that I give her, but she doesn't mind. In fact, she even likes most of it. She's one of the nicest and most intellectual students I've had. 

When will we ever stop laughing when we have a class Aileen? I hope we won't. 

This is so Cool

I came across this website and I got this. If you want to do crazy stuff on your pictures, you might want to try this. Have fun!

Photo of the Day

Taken last 24th of October, 2009

While everyone else was drinking booze at Metrowalk, or perhaps some may have gone home to savor the wee hours of the first weekend morning, I ate out with Jepoy [his Filipino name] and Evelyn in a not-so-popular Korean restaurant somewhere in Ortigas. Koreans do not normally eat meat without vegetables, so when we ate at Sarangbang, they served mixed vegetables in the absence of lettuce. It was a bummer though, since I was expecting the real Samgyeopsal, wrapped in green veggie leaves. Everyone, say hello to Pajori.

I took this photo using Jepoy's Nikon god-like camera, and thanks to its nifty features, I was able to capture the beauty of this dish even before Ebak [as I fondly call Evelyn] ate the whole lot. As I was writing this post, I felt fluids oozing out of my mouth. I feel like I haven't really eaten good food for years. Oh, god. Let me have some of this again. 

I got the steps in making Pajori from this site. You might want to do this for me this Christmas.   
  1. Shred about 3 bunches of green onions to make 5 cups. Soak it in cold water.
  2. In a large bowl, combine 1/4 cup soy sauce, 2 tbs hot pepper flakes, 2 ts sugar, 1 tbs sesame seeds, and 1 tbs sesame oil. Set it aside.
  3. Drain the shredded green onion.
  4. Add the green onion to the bowl and mix it with the sauce. Set aside. [What do you mean set aside?! I think the writer should have said something like "Enjoy"-Jing

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

There was a Little Girl

There was a little girl
Who had a little curl
Right in the middle of her forehead.
When she was good
She was very good indeed,
But when she was bad she was horrid.

There Was a Little Girl
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


I wake up.
Jump out of bed
and head for the sink.
I look at my face and tell myself,
"You're too beautiful for all this crap."
I eat, burp and thank heavens for food. 
I take a bath, get dressed and out the door 
I see people busy with the latest gabfest
They argue, laugh, and blabber some more
and I tell myself,
"You're too sensible for all this crap."
On the street, men walk past me, and look back
and mumble certain compliments which I'd 
rather take as indecent remarks
Get on a cab when I'm really late,
 or more frequently a jeep when I know
I'm gonna get on time before the bell rings
People keep on asking for my help
in passing their fares to the driver
and tell myself
"I'm too lazy for all this crap."
I get off, walk a few meters to the building
Do a little combing of my hair
Put on some more make up
Face my student for two hours
I laugh, talk some more and teach a bit
and I tell myself,
"I'm too absorbed to do all this crap."
I bid her goodbye, I'll see her around
Have lunch, sleep, do a little tattle-fest
Then talk on the phone
while talking I tell myself,
"I'm too asocial for all this crap."
I laugh, worry a little, sound a little too perky
then I smoke and I smoke some more
then I tell myself, 
"I'm too weak for this crap."
Work ends.
I get out of the building, with friends
head for the nearest cafe we could find
Talk more and eat more
My eyes are sore and my feet more banal than ever
and I tell myself
"I'm too jaded for all this crap."
I walk home, get on a jeep and walk again. 
I sit in front of the computer and play
Farmville. Harvest. Plow. Sow.
I hop into bed. 
Think a little
and tell myself
"I deserve more than just all this crap."
Then I realize, 
maybe all this crap is all I need to get by. 

Well, what news do you want to have first?

Let's start with the good news.

The good news is, I'm blogging again. 

The bad news is: I'm still thinking of a good comeback entry.

Oh, wait. This is a good comeback entry. 


[Special thanks to those who dropped by my blog, for inspiring me to write, again. I've been reminded of how wonderful it feels to hear the sound of my keyboard as it transpires into wonderful words.]