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‘Malulungkot rin naman ako dun…’ James said over our dinner last night.
‘Eh bakit ka pa aalis?’ I asked the question which baffled me since learning of his decision.
‘For our future.’

It was in 2008 when James and I decided to explore opportunities abroad. Most of our seniors were working either in one of the tax haven islands or in the Middle East. James and I agreed that what we were looking for was for us to work in one city, even if for different companies, as long as we would still be together. I received offers in a city he did not receive any from. It happened the other way when he received an offer to work without me. We both declined.

Years have passed and we have both grown older. Our needs and those of our families have significantly increased. Back when we were still in college, we dreamed of retiring in a farm where it would be easy for old people to relax and enjoy the fruits of our hardwork.

At our age today, we still do not own a house, a car, a significant investment that would ensure our dream. During the last quarter of 2010, there were opportunities to join our friend in a tax haven island for a challenging position with remuneration impossible to command in Manila. He was the first one to receive an offer and we decided, as mature individuals, that it is high time for us to be serious in our dreams. But I was not lucky enough to receive an offer yet.

James and I have shared more than ten years of friendship and almost a decade of partnership. There was no major event in each other’s lives without the other. The longest time we have not been with each other was during school vacation which lasted two months tops without cellphone or Skype.

He signed a two-year contract and plans to save enough money for an investment in the Philippines which means no vacation within the first year, or even within the entire contract period. We had several months to discuss the details, the arrangements of bills, phone subscription and Skype access.

But I know, despite all the planning, this is our biggest challenge ever. We have been living our lives, scheduling our time, allotting our resources, with the other person in high consideration. How can we then adjust to this change? Who will come with me to see the latest movies or admonish me for my extravagant spending? Or to clap his hands whenever I tell my latest success story or to raise his eyebrows for my blatant lack of religiousness?

I am afraid to live each day until I get to fly and work with him or until he goes home. I am afraid I will not be strong enough. I am afraid he would soon forget me (a lot had).

But I know, believe, our love will see us through. We have been to the darkest days and emerged together, stronger. This is just another chapter in our lives that we intend not to be the last.

‘For our future’ he said. The operative word is ‘our’.


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Another year has passed.

Would this post go down as one of those in the New Year’s bandwagon of topics – resolutions, fireworks, past year’s blessings?

Well, yes! I will reserve the first two in other posts but today, I think, my 2010 blessings would take on the spotlight.

There were so many things that has happened in 2010, so many blessings received- big or small – I am very thankful for every single one. And here are the top ten 2010 blessings I received:

1. Topping the list is another chance to still be with James, counting for more than nine years of being together as of date. 2010 saw the worst fights, several severe break-up moments, but we were given a chance to get through the storm – for our love to see us through.
2. Samantha, our dear Pomeranian dog-daughter, completely healing from her pyometra episode which she had after aborting her puppies in the last quarter of 2009. Now, Sam is as active as ever, and who knows, probably, she can have another attempt at having puppies in 2011!
3. Meeting a new set of friends in circumstances which could have been so impossible if only it happened earlier. This group, made up of young, vibrant, happy but insightful people was very kind enough to take me in during one of my worst nights ever. That led to one activity after the other and it is one of the rarest chances that you’ll meet people who have the potential to be your very good friends in the future, in parties and in the last days of the year!
4. Learning that no matter how much you have done, how much you have contributed, everyone, as in everyone, should still have their feet firmly on the ground. I know this sounds more of a lesson than a blessing but learning this, being reminded of this, has blessed me to move on from what had depressed me in 2010, making the year that was one of the most empowering.
5. Spending an estimated P50,000 on gifts in 2010’s Christmas celebration! I am not bragging, please, but someone who had been so blessed this year, this is a small amount to share to the people I love! Plus the fact I am catching up on them since I gave no gifts in 2009!
6. Being on the deepest waters I’ve been in my life! El Nido’s hidden beach required me in 2010’s summer outing to forget about my fear of water and just jump (with floaters and four men assisting) in the water to see one of Palawan’s secrets!
7. Being given the opportunity to handle three different processes within the year. They say, if you get transferred, it’s either you are not performing well on your process or that you are good enough to be given harder responsibilities. I believe it is more of the latter. From performing financial services to the big markets in China to handling services for most of Asia Pacific, I was given the opportunity to land in one of the most challenging tasks of the year – advising for recharges in the whole Asia Pacific region! And so far, despite some mistakes, I think I was able to deliver results in 2010!
8. 2010 was also the year when I took off all my apprehension and just accepted engagements that I truly enjoy doing – speaking in seminars and hosting shows! I’ve been doing this in The Firm before but I decided to keep a low profile in The Bank for me to enjoy my private life. But the call of the spotlight cannot be endured anymore, so together with a group of very good people, we launched a series of seminars that touched the lives of new joiners, and before the year ended, I accepted a year-long invitation to host, together with other friends, our domain’s biggest show in 2010!
9. Shoes! Shoes! Shoes! 2010 saw me coming back to the shoe-fetish scene after laying low in 2009. Store after store, I bought shoes that brought me great satisfaction and I just hope the shopping streak continues in 2011!
10. Lastly, before the year ended, after my self-confidence went below zero in some parts of 2010, I had proven that many people actually loves me – dami ko kasing gifts na natanggap! From wooden bangkitos from Baguio to colorful shirts to wine to coffee beans to travel accessories to Shiseido eye creams to The Face Shop body wash and facial masks to Lion phone holder – sabi ko nga sa FB post ko minsan : nasa Dean’s List ata ako ni Santa!

To everyone, I wish you all a sexier and happier new year!

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November 11, 2010.

That was the last time you read something from this blog.

I thought that was the last post I would have made.

No, I am not yet dying. No, I am not yet giving up on blogging either.

I am just plain tired. And sad.

My new process has taken a considerable toll on my activities. As the professional accountant in me keeps on pushing me forward, to achieve more than what my predecessors have achieved, the person hiding behind the curtains of the strong façade I keep weeps as he feels the tired muscles, sleepy eyes, and sometimes ill-functioning brain.

As anyone who had taken the course of time management can attest, if you just plainly run out of time, you must learn how to prioritize. Do the things which need to be done first. Sacrifice those which can be sacrificed.

And sadly, blogging was one at the bottom of the list.

And I paid a price for it, I know.

I grew even more listless, frustrated, cranky. Yes, I delivered the results but I lost track of the things that keep me sane.

As anyone whose Facebook, Twitter or WordPress account nearly once died can attest, in order for you to keep a balanced, time-managed life, activities should be sorted out between those which NEED to be done and those you WANT to be done, and get equal amounts of work done on both categories.

With that and for that, I am back!

I am so back in what I want to be done.

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It was a breezy Sunday midday, around 11AM. I was at the garage getting all the slippers I put on the gate to dry after being washed. Beside the bowl of potato also drying under the midday sun (at may kinalaman talaga ang patatas sa story ko diba) sat Fabio, the black-and-white neighborhood Puspin (pusang pinoy) who had the habit of resting in our garage and sharing food with the rest of the puspin gang.

My mom, an animal lover herself, would save kitchen scraps to feed the puspins and aspins in the street. She would put these scraps in an old ice cream tub placed in the same spot beside our home.

Going back to that breezy midday when Fabio, upon seeing me, immediately got up, purred, and went in between my legs, asking to be scratched. I obliged. I went down and scratched his neck, which made him purr even more. He is so adorable, I quickly got inside after remembering that we will have rellenong bangus for lunch – for there’ll surely be some fishbones for him.

I got out with the bowl of scraps and went to the spot beside our house. But before I could pour the contents of the bowl I was holding, an aspin was running towards me, learning of the free lunch. So for fairness, I took out the two sets of fishbones (for dogs don’t like them) and poured the rest of the scraps in the tub.

I saw Fabio waiting by our gate and I slowly put the fishbones I was holding on the garage steps so he could easily take it away with him but he suddenly went forward and bit me! I was surprised! I was still holding the fishbones and thought I could not jerk lest I traumatize the animal even more. I looked at Fabio, who was also shocked by what he has done, and placed the fishbones on the stairs.

I went inside our home, washed my hand with water (for the puncture wound was already bleeding) and told James that I would be taking a bath before lunch so we can go to the hospital to be vaccinated.

Before stepping into the bathroom, I looked down at the garage from my bedroom terrace to see if Fabio took the bones and seems he did. I am glad he was not too shocked to forget about food!

After our lunch with so much hilarious conversation on my mom’s accusation that I am developing a fetish for anti-rabies injections, James and I went to the Medical City in Ortigas. It was a year ago when Mitos, pour deceased first-born dog-child playfully bit me. It did not bleed but I did not take any risk. I went to Makati Medical Center the following day (but less than 24 hours, of course).

After waiting for an hour in the Emergency Room (sensed the irony?), I was finally given my dose of anti-tetanus booster and anti-rabies on both my arms. I still one to go on Wednesday (October 27).

Most peoples’ reaction when bitten by a cat or a dog is anger towards the animal. Let us remember that primarily, they are animals. They are guided by their instinct to survive and to protect themselves. Humans should always think of this and should not do anything to provoke an animal, even if it is domesticated, more so if it is our pet.

When bitten by any animal suspected of rabies, please wash the wound and the surrounding area with clean water and soap and have yourself injected with anti-tetanus and anti-rabies within 24 hours, sooner if the one bitten was a child and on the upper part of the body.

This is because a child’s immune system is generally weaker compared to that of an adult and a bite on the upper part of the body is more dangerous due to close proximity to the central nervous system.

If bitten for the first time, you would be given a shot of anti-tetanus and a shot of anti-rabies on the first day. This would go on for several days with the prescribed interval period (like D3, D7, so on). If bitten for the second time, please tell the attending physician of the dates of your previous immunization for it will play a factor in knowing the dosage you need and frequency of administration.

These post-bite shots would set you off a few thousand pesos in big hospitals but if you are kind of short in cash, San Lazaro Hospital has one of the cheapest anti-rabies shots available in the country. It is in Manila and the people there are specialized in dog and cat bites. You just have to go around asking people to share a vial with you (and its costs) for one shot uses only a portion of the vial and it is you who will buy it from nearby drugstores.

If in case you have a pet cat or a dog, please have them immunized with anti-rabies as soon as their sixth month of age, with yearly booster shots. If you obtained your pet with much an age more than six months and you are not sure if it has been immunized, I suggest we err on the lesser evil and have our dear pets be given anti-rabies shots. This would only cost less than P500 a shot.
But of course, rabies can be transmitted from one animal to another through the saliva of an infected species. So please have your pets stay inside your homes and never allow them to wander by themselves. They can get rabies from other dogs and cats that way.

I hope this post helps you and I will keep you posted on my health. So far, I am still drinking water and not afraid of it!

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Though I was raised to be polite, there are times when you just have to give it to people.

I am no longer friends with many of my classmates back in high school after they forgot about me the moment I could no longer provide for their academic needs. Though some of them are in my Facebook account, it has always been clear, at least to me, that things are no longer what they used to be more than a decade ago. I have accepted their requests for access to my FB account but I no longer answered their private messages, posts on my Wall, chats, pokes. There is just no reason for me to reply other than disinterest in what they have to say or ask. For me, it’s enough that I have given them access to my account. Period.

Then there was this reunion of sorts last year. They invited me many times but I did not respond. Any mature person can get the message that I do not want to be reunited with most of them. Then there was this post that turned into a chat in one of my classmate’s wall with more than 50 comments. I was curious to find out. Apparently, I was the topic. The former poster boy for academics no longer wants to spend time with them because

a. He is very rich by now (and has forgotten how poor he was back in high school)
b. He was brushed off by all the boys in the class that’s why he is retaliating
c. He feels he is now the hottest gay in town!

I was moved by these comments. First, I am not very rich though I can now afford better than before but my head still rests on my shoulders and my feet are still on the ground. Second, though I fell in love with mostly straight boys in high school, I do not hold grudges against them as they are no longer my type. Third, I am not the hottest gay in town, but I am not denying that I am hot! And lastly, me, generating 50 comments? Seriously, I am still that famous to you people?

I politely declined the reunion invitation, took all those who commented out of my Facebook and blocked the pasimuno (the one who started the conversation).

After some time, the thread starter apologized via her son’s FB account (for I also blocked her from sending me messages) and begged for me to accept her request again. I am not the villain in this movie so I told her the block would be taken off, she would be accepted again, apology would be enough, and let us all move on. The message was pretty clear.

What was funny was that, two of those who joined the conversation chatted me up and told me how things have not gone well with their reunion. I did not ask for details but I am sure, reunions with people who you once hated, or still hates, can just result to a bad time and waste of effort.

Reunions such as this would revolve around talks on how much one earns and who married who and how many kids one has and who is doing who (ooooppsss) and who went to where. Honestly, can people who never spoke with each other for ten years be so comfortable having chats like these? I am not.

I thought high school reunions are done once in blue corn moons, but I was wrong. I have received several invites this year for another one, and the funny thing was this girl, this annoying girl, sent me a private message asking for my number so I can help organize the party. My big question was – who are you? I really do not remember her at all.

I do not think it was polite to tell her upfront that I do not know her so I just ignored her requests and messages. Probably, I won’t get noticed as that invite might have been sent to so many people. But I was wrong. Yesterday, she sent me another message that said something in the lines of me ignoring her messages and that she is just inviting me to a reunion and she said thanks and lastly, she said ‘God bless you’ and that sparked me up.

I am not Catholic, I am not even pious, but one thing I know is never use His name in vain. Especially if it was more of a curse than a blessing. It is the same as two people arguing and one says (due to lack of something wittier to say) ‘salamat na lang sa lahat’ (thank you for everything) and ‘God bless you’. This is pretty annoying.

So I replied to her saying in gist that the reason I am not replying is basically because I am not interested in their reunion, that I do not know her, that she should watch out for things to say or not to say in vain, and that I am sure they will have tons of fun without me as they have been doing so for so many years.

Then the girl had the guts to say that I was right, I won’t be missed but that she was just inviting me. Yeah right, with all those messages and requests, I was not really much invited.

But the nasty in me even went on to say further ‘that’s great to hear, thanks!’

I just hope that annoying girl stops making herself present as far as my network pages are concerned.

But I forgot to tell her one thing – to feel free to spread the word.

This makes the obvious more obvious – that real friends do not come a dime a dozen, but are like pink diamonds, rare, time-tested, and one of the most beautiful things to have in your life.

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For those of who have read my earlier posts would have known that I am an animal lover. I used to take care of cats when I was a kid. I also had a chance to take care of a goldfish in a fishbowl (but sooner learned that having a fish in a fishbowl without filtration is not very responsible).

In 2009, James and I decided to have a dog-child and we got Mitos, a two-month mini-schnauzer from a breeder in Quezon City. It was February 28. On May 22, he passed away due to complications. I would tell you all about it in a separate post. I was so devastated. Then my brother brought home Samantha, a four-year old Pomeranian who took our hearts away. A month later, my brother’s friend gave us Contessa, a cross between a Maltese and a Japanese Spitz.

Both of our dog-children, Sam and Tessa, are doing very well. But I am thinking of ‘giving birth’ to new children. But of course, we need to do some family planning. But given that money and other resources won’t be of any concern, my dream children are:



Sun Conure

Giant Gourami

San pa kaya ako matutulog pag ‘ipinanganak’ na silang lahat?

PS Special thanks to www.pluspets.netwww.minifauna.com, www.thelensflare.com, www.petfish.net for the photos

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Bread Crumbs

In several minutes, I’ll be going home. I am supposed to spend some few more hours as my desk is still filled with papers to review and my mailbox with queries and requests for assistance and comments. But my mind and body are not up to it. Not even my eye cream.

I never thought I’d run out of ideas to write about. This blog is not even a year old but I think I just lost the momentum. I hope it won’t be for too long.

I am hoping, someone out there, there, yeah, over there, still wants me to write and still wants to read what I write.

Again, the dark clouds are coming. Not now. Not when I see the latest competition formally beginning. When I am about to step into the arena where gladiators kill, not to win, but to survive.

The dark clouds are closing in and my peacock patronus just ain’t preening its feathers!

The last thing I want to do is to bring the dark cloud myself. I bring sunshine. I bring laughter. I bring joy. But all resources are finite.

The dark clouds are closing in. I am curling up, doing my best to keep my eyes wide open till I get home.

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