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In The Mourning

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I’m not really a morning person. These days, I find it more difficult than usual. It has been nine days since my father passed and everyday when I wake up I am reminded of my loss. A gaping hole in my chest that I only knew of from reading novels and watching movies is now very real to me. I knew losing someone was hard, I didn’t know it would be this hard. As i’ve told many of my friends who sympathized during the wake, losing a parent was like losing a limb. I can feel I am incomplete. I am fatherless.

At 62, he has lost his battle with Parkinsonism. Sparing you from all the hospital horrors we’ve been through for the past 4 months, i’d like to share how he was in real life.

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He was a pain in the ass – short tempered, impatient, strict, thinks he’s right most of the time, and a stickler for rules. I wouldn’t blame him really, he did have a difficult childhood. Growing up, he got beaten up, spent his early teenage years away from his family, and in order to go to school he had to work at a sugarcane farm. He would tell me and my brother this story when we whine about “our difficult life”. Eventually, he entered the military, got married, had two kids.

He was a hands-on dad. He’d be the one to send me to school on his bike and during my bad clingy pre-school days he would bring a stick and threaten me with a spanking if I don’t get inside the classroom. Yes, I was that kid. I outgrew that thankfully and became this school-loving achiever. I would beam with pride when my father would attend school functions in his blue Philippine Air Force uniform.

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When the angsty teenage years happened, I wanted to trade in my curfew-loving father for a way cooler dad who would let me attend parties and go out till late on school nights. But he was not like that. He knew the importance of teaching responsibility and the value of hard work. There was no sleeping in on weekends and chores were a must. I thought I could cry my way out of it but the water works do not apply. At all.

My father thought that we should learn things the way he did. The hard way. When i was younger, I hated him for it but now looking back sometimes the best lessons we learn are the lessons we learn the hard way.

papa 2

In the last 10 years, he was a retiree who enjoyed drinking his morning coffee or tea, answered crossword puzzles, did some gardening, baby sat the dogs, and even drove me around if I needed it. The scary soldier we all knew became this cool lolo who was more chill and easy to talk to. He constantly took care of my meals (like he always does coz my mom’s cooking is very limited to spaghetti & eggs) and other handy man things around the house.

We were never really the affectionate type but he had his ways of showing his love. Whatever he lacked in words he made up for in action. When he was around, there were no busted lightbulbs, leaking sinks, clogged toilets, untrimmed plants, hot meals were at the table, and everything he could do for us… he did. That was the kind of man and father he was.

He was a pain in the ass, MY ass. He was not a perfect person or a perfect father but he was mine. He was my father. I am who I am because of him and my mom. Now that he’s gone, I’m sad, heartbroken even, that he will not be around to see me walk down the isle or meet his grand kids. But I am happy that he is in a much better place now.

I don’t know how to move on from this really. Or if I ever will. But one thing is for sure, I am happy that he was my dad. I hope he is proud of me as I am of him. He has served the country, he was a family man, and he lived a full life. I’d like to think that I was able to show him and make him feel my love especially during the latter days of his life.

He will forever be in my heart and his memory will live on. But for now, as I try to continue my life without him, I will feel the loss of my father in the mourning.

The Rants of a Wallflower

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“We accept the love we think we deserve.” – The Perks of Being a Wallflower

I read this novel maybe 2 or 3 years ago before the movie adaptation was released. The book captured my attention because believe it or not I’ve always thought of myself as a wallflower. You know, someone who is always on the sidelines watching people do what they do or live their lives. In a way I was like Charlie because I wasn’t the “participating” type. I remember having this feeling of living the lives of my friends. It was like I was living vicariously through them.

Anyway, I have always liked the book and loved the movie version. As a matter of fact, I even cried watching the movie. I don’t know if it’s just Logan Lerman’s portrayal of Charlie but I don’t know it struck a chord. I’ve known the famous quote ever since I read the book but it’s only now that I feel like I actually know what it means.

Maybe it’s the recent sleepless nights I have been experiencing that has pushed me to introspection so please let me humor you for a little bit.

I’ve been feeling crappy about certain aspects of my personal life (surprise! surprise!). It’s the typical 20-something’s battle with non-existent relationships, friendships slowly drifting apart, uncontrollable family situations, and career related dilemmas. You know, the “usual”. So after the recent developments in my introspection, I have come to a realization that my life has been spent sticking around for people, things, and situations that aren’t exactly favorable to me. You might think I’m too old to be thinking about all these crap but then I’m a late bloomer so please bear with me.

I have been accepting the love I think I deserve that is why I’ve been content on being a (figurative) punching bag, sounding board, second choice, fall back person, back up plan, problem-fixer, pick-me-upper, just an all around kind of person for anybody who happens to need it.

Then one day, I realized that I just had to stop thinking about how to make other people feel comfortable or happy. I had to think about how to make myself comfortable and happy. I had to stop putting myself in situations that will bite my ass in the end just because I have this urge to be the diplomatic one or to be the bigger person. You know being selfish sometimes is not a bad thing. I’ve been thinking about other people for way too long – how are they doing? do they feel ok? are they happy? It’s time to ask myself those exact same questions. It’s now time to follow that advice I’ve been giving out to people: love your self.

We accept the love we think we deserve and I realized… I deserve better.

 

 

I’m F.I.N.E.

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How are you? A friend asked me today and I said, I’m fine.

I’m F.I.N.E.

Ever saw Italian Job? FINE stands for Freaked out. Insecure. Neurotic. Emotional.

So I’m definitely FINE.

Freaked out about my job. The pressure to produce amazing, out of the box, and creative things has risen to a higher level given the recent updates on the ratings game. The trouble is, my career (if you could even call it that) is a series of hits and misses. And today is definitely a miss. Can’t seem to think of a creative 30-seconder plug and I call myself a legit writer. I’ve been wracking my brains for something anything that can pass the pitch tomorrow. I’m freaked out, frustrated, and probably effed up too.

Insecure. Am i the only one feeling like a fish out of water sometimes. Do these people know exactly what to do? Am i the only one worried about how lame I’d look as I suck at pitching the senseless crap I conjured in the past 3 hours?

Neurotic. Thinking about what the 30 pairs of eyes in the ginormous conference room are thinking while they watch me spout my non-sensical mumbo jumbos?

Emotional. Feeling shitty about what I’m doing really. It’s days like these that I become the person I hate. I sabotage myself by feeding it all the negative thoughts I could think of.

But I’m fine. Really. Once I get over my crappy self I’ll be fine. Good. Better even. Just having a bad day I guess.

Everything’s gonna work itself out right? It has to.

The Year That Was 2013

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No more kids running around, constant shouting, and clanking in the kitchen. The house has returned to its quiet and peaceful self. The holiday season has passed and a new year has begun.

I haven’t got the time to reflect, rundown my 2013, or even think about my resolutions for 2014 in the past weeks (come to think of it, I haven’t been posting here since September 2013. Saying I’ve been pretty busy would have to be an understatement) because I’ve been really busy with work and I spent most of my free time with my extended family (the cousins, aunts, uncles, nieces, and nephews were all here for the festvities) and get-togethers with friends I haven’t seen in a long time.

Now that I finally found the time to reflect and now that I’ve got my computer all to myself, it is time to start my year right by posting something about the new year. (What blogger doesn’t write about new year, resolutions, and other shiz, right?)

Looking back on the past year, it has been a very interesting roller coaster of emotions and learning. Pretty cliche don’t you think? But it really is. I’ve experienced the highs, the lows, and the in-betweens. I’d be really happy and thankful one day and really pissed off the next day. Now that made me sound like a crazy person but that’s how the year went and as much as i’d like to sugar coat it… I can’t.

2013 has been a year of fulfilling moments, disappointments, triumphs, failures, and rude awakenings but most importantly it has been a year worth remembering. Here are the things I’ve learned in 2013:

1. Let things go. If you’ve been reading my blog you’ll probably know that i’m a bit sentimental (okay, a lot!) and it’s hard for me to let go of things and people but 2013 has shown me that sometimes we just have to let it go. Holding on to things and people (especially) does not make things better, it just holds you back.

2. Stop comparing yourself to others. I am guilty. Guilty of checking my Facebook news feed whenever possible (which is always! With the technology these days, people are always online rather than offline living in the real world and actually socializing. Anywho! Going back…) And whenever I see people getting married, buying a car/house, flying somewhere, having a baby, or whatever momentous event plastered all over Facebook I always ask myself why I’m not doing the same and I end up feeling bad about myself. It’s a shame. I’m ashamed to admit that I’m shallow like that. Hey! I’m human aren’t I? Those who are never envious of anybody or anything, please cast the first stone. But now that I’ve come to terms with it, I realized that it is NEVER OKAY to compare yourself to anybody. We can never measure our successes or failures based on other people’s lives. Success means different things to different people. We just gotta count our blessings and always be thankful.

3. People (and things) are not always what they seem. This one I learned the hard way. In a working environment that relies on other people and team work it is imperative that you’re able to count on those people around you but sometimes you just can’t. It’s a harsh fact but it’s true. Someone who’s friendly in your face might probably be the biggest jerk when your not around. But don’t think that it’s all bad, sometimes people and things can pleasantly surprise you. All you can do is hope for the best and don’t pass judgments.  

4. You can’t control how people treat you but you can only control how you react. I’m a control-freak. But you probably knew that. We are all different. Some people may nice, too nice to a fault sometimes. There are those who are indifferent while others are flat out assholes. And as much as you’d want to push these not-so-nice people off a few flight of stairs just to give them a bitter taste of their own medicine, it’s not worth it. Unfortunately, we can’t ask people to act a certain way that is pleasing to us but you can always control how you react. Be nice to good people and be nicer to the bad ones, that’ll piss them off more and it’ll make you feel better. Win-win situation.

5. Be firm! Don’t ever be a push-over. Stand by what you feel and know is right. The real world may sometimes feel like high school with all the bullies but it’s never an excuse to be a push-over. I have been tested on this all through out the year and the only way to beat bullies is to stand up to them. People-pleasing is not a good habit. Believe me, I know. If you are are ever in a position where you are pressured to do or be something you are not comfortable with, have that courage to say NO.

Wow. What a list I got there huh? 🙂 I guess, 2013 did make me a better and smarter person! Kidding aside, I am truly happy of how things went. I mean, I could proudly say that the turn out was great. I may not be earning a lot, my passport may not have a single stamp on it (yet!), I may not be a size 2, I’m as single as I’ll ever be, and I may still be a little lost about my future plans but I’ve definitely had a great year. This year there are no promises and no plans just adventures. Here’s to a year of worrying less and living more! Cheers to 2014!

Happy Blogger-sary!

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Just logged on my blog after my three-month absence and I was greeted by this notification:

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Apparently, today marks my 3rd year as a blogger. Wow. I was never counting so I was pleasantly surprised.  Now whatever happened that resulted to this little project of mine called “Vent-o-Machine”?

I’m taking you back to a little trip down memory lane – that’s if i could still remember – hold on to your seats and buckle up! Or maybe not, you could just sit there and scroll down. Here we go.

I’ve been wanting to have a blog back in college so i started a Multiply account called “Stop & Stare”. It wasn’t a bad blog name but it’s not very original. Haha. It came from a One Republic song and I kinda stuck with it. Anywho, after posting some photos, and a few entries – some were even imported and posted here. Check out the old old posts if you wanna see. – real life happened and I kinda neglected it.

After graduation, I landed a job that was not what I wanted really and I was so lost I didn’t know what to do with my life. I was in the middle of adjusting myself to the “real world” and I had a lot of things to say and a few people to talk to. Wait, that sounded sad. Haha. I mean,  let’s just say that everyone was busy getting their life together that I was in need of an outlet to air out whatever it was that I was feeling. I didn’t have the energy to punch the real world in the face but I had tons of energy to vent so I decided that it was the best time to start a blog and call it VENT-O-MACHINE. Yeah, I’m witty like that. Here’s my first ever post aptly called: “Stuck in a Moment”. Come to think of it, I still kinda feel like that sometimes. The fish out of water sort of feeling.

Anywho, that’s when I started to blog. For 3 years, i’ve been polluting your screens with emo posts about life, love, and everything in between. Hahaha. After 3 years, I guess, I’ve been through similar things in different places with different people. Although, I’ve read back some smack-on-the-head-worthy-posts, I hope I’ve grown both as a writer and as a person in a span of 3 years and this blog is a concrete witness of ALL the over thinking that I do.

Hope you continue to read all my crazy random shiz. 🙂 Here’s to more blogging years! Happy Anniversary! 🙂

A 20-something’s Career FAQ #8: How do i do that?

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I woke up disoriented yesterday.

My alarm was set very early. As my clock struck 6:30 am, I was awaken by Maroon 5’s Beautiful Goodbye and nearly jumped off my bed thinking it was Sunday. Sunday meant I had to work for the live show. My first thought was: “Fuck! Did I email the script?!” then I realized it was Tuesday… it was freaking Tuesday.

Guess I haven’t really recovered from the tiring week I had last week.

There are so many things to do and I often feel that 24 hours a day is not enough. I’m really in the industry, aren’t I? Just half a year into it and I already have the taste of what people I know who work in the industry often tell me… it’s draining.

It is fun. No doubt. But the exhaustion will eventually get to you. SIGH. And as the stress of it all takes a toll on me, physically and mentally, I get pissed off easily. Irritated with people even.

After an hour or so of venting out, I thought to myself, am I becoming one of those people. Those people being cold-hearted, ego centric, exaggerated career driven individuals who don’t care for anybody else. People whose lives revolve around their jobs. The typical industry people our professors warned us about. I don’t want to be one of those people.

I’m afraid, that i’ll wake up one morning and I have become the person I hate. Scary thought, huh?

Maybe I need to think of a way to manage all this. Being new and all. I have to immerse myself to be the best writer I can be without losing sight of what is really important. At the end of the day, it is only a job, right? How do you do great at what you do by getting really into it but not losing yourself while you’re at it.

How do i do that?

 

Finally

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After a whole month of being on an unofficial and unintentional blogging hiatus… i’m back!

So how have you guys been? Me? Well, to say that I’ve been busy is an understatement. Work has consumed most of my hours but I am not complaining because… DRUM ROLL PLEASE! My training days are over!!! Can you believe it?! I passed the evaluation and I survived!!! (Can you feel the intensity and excitement with all the exclamation points?!?! :))

Who would have thought that I’d actually be a legit writer  for a big TV network?? I mean, it is something that I wanted to do – yeah – but a year ago I was so sure that I wouldn’t get a job like this. I thought i’d be stuck in a cubicle somewhere in Makati and be an office drone for the rest of my waking life.

Everything is just so surreal. You might think that I’m over reacting but I guess it’s just too big of a deal to not feel ecstatic about. Looking back on last week’s evaluation meeting with the head writers and executive producer, I was all teary-eyed, and I probably looked like an idiot shaking their hands after they told me I got the job.

The script deadlines, writer’s block, the screaming directors, the annoying people, the bubog-nights, stressful but exciting live shows, the trainee bullies, the get-togethers I missed, the out of town trips I wasn’t able to come to, the long hours of commute, and the hundreds of pesos for taxi fares during late night pack-ups, were all worth it because I got the freakin’ job.

I’m not just a writer wannabe who rants and posts random stuff on the blogosphere anymore. I’m actually a writer for a living. How cool is that? I just feel so happy and proud. I feel like all the career choices I’ve made have lead me to this. Now that I’m here, it’s time to start living the dream. 🙂

 

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