Look ma, no hands

Jerv and I celebrated our first year together by doing what we love doing most: eating. We were choosing between Kyo and Twist of Mingoy’s in Eastwood but since Mingoy’s had their buffet set-up outside the restaurant for everyone to see and smell, the paella and the oysters got the better of me. For the sushi-lovers, the eat-all-you-can at Kyo is also worth it so the next time you’re at Eastwood I strongly recommend you give it a try. After stuffing ourselves with oysters, seafood salad, paella, roast calf, spareribs, callos, chicken fajitas, panacotta, banana strudels and caramel pudding (oh yes I can eat this much), Jerv bought a bottle of sangria and we finished it under the stars. Yeah..you can say I am taking my Spanish lessons way too seriously.

Time truly flies fast when you’re having a ball and I still can’t believe that I am attached, something I never imagined myself going into before. I’d like to share these bits of wisdom from Sex and the City because I think they best encapsulate what I have learned when it comes to relationships thus far, mine or otherwise. Being with Jerv has actually made a lot of things clearer.

Inspiring quotes from Sex and the City...

1. If a man wants you, nothing can keep him away. If he doesn't want you, nothing can make him stay.
2. Stop making excuses for a man and his behavior.
3. If you have ANY doubt in your mind about a man's character, leave him alone.
4. Allow your intuition (or spirit) to save you from heartache.
5. Stop trying to change yourself for a relationship that's not meant to be.
6. Don't force an attraction.
7. Slower is better.
8. Never live your life for a man before you find what makes you truly happy.
9. If a relationship ends because the man was not treating you as you deserve then heck no you can't "be friends." A friend wouldn't mistreat a friend.
10. Have faith in God regarding your relationship, but don't let faith make you stupid. God does things decent and in order.
11. Don't settle.
12. If you feel like he is stringing you along, then he probably is.
13. If he keeps changing his mind about the relationship--take that as a BIG sign that he is unstable. Do you really want to be with a man like that?
14. Don't stay because you think "it will get better." You'll be mad at yourself a year later for staying when things are not better.
15. Honorable men take care of their business and aren't involved in a whole lot of mess.
16. The only person you can control in a relationship is you.
17. There's only one 'reason' a man dumps you; he doesn't want you.
18. Avoid men who've got a bunch of children by a bunch of different women. He didn't marry them when he got them pregnant, why would he treat you any differently?
19. You really do have to kiss a few frogs before finding the prince.
20. Always put yourself and your happiness first.
21. Always have your own set of friends separate from his.
22. Maintain boundaries in how a guy treats you. If something bothers you, speak up.
23. If he doesn't call, he just isn't that interested.
24. Be honest and upfront.
25. Know when to cut the cord, don't be strung along.
26. Don't fall for the "I'm confused role". Remove yourself from the situation to let him figure things out (but don't wait for him, move on).
27. If you want to have a clue as to how he will treat you, watch how he treats the WOMEN in his family (not just mom).
28. There's more than physical abuse, there's emotional and mental abuse. If he causes any of them...flee.
29. You cannot change a man's behaviors. Change comes from within.
30. Don't let him place rules on you that he is not willing to follow himself -- double-standard.
31. Don't EVER make him feel he is more important than you are...even if he has more education or in a better job.
32. Do not make him into a quasi-god. He is a man, nothing more nothing less.
33. Demand respect and if he can't give it, he can't have you!
34. Don't compete with other woman, but be aware that men are attracted to what they see.
35. If you think he is cheating, he probably is. Confront him right away and if you feel he's lying, let him go.
36. Actions speak louder than words.
37. Never let a man define who you are.
38. Never rely on a man for compliments, look to yourself for that.
39. Never borrow someone else's man.
40. If he cheated with you, he'll cheat on you.
41. Just because he says he loves you, doesn't mean that he won't hurt you and it doesn't mean that you are meant to be w! ith him.
42. To use painful hard-won wisdom -- 'get it right' the next time.
43. Know that you deserve to be the number one person in the life of the #1person in your life.
44. Love is a verb ...
45. Learn to give up your lifelong task of trying to make someone unavailable - available, someone ungiving - giving, and someone unloving - loving.
46. A man will only treat you the way you ALLOW him to treat you.
47. All men are NOT dogs.
48. You should not be the one doing all the bending...compromise is a two way street.
49. If you don't love yourself...you can't love anyone else.
50. You cannot mend someone else's broken heart.
51. You need time to heal between relationships...there is nothing cute about baggage...deal with your issues before pursuing a new relationship.
52. You should never look for someone to COMPLETE you...a relationship consists of two WHOLE individuals...look for someone complementary...not supplementary.
53. Dating is fun...even if he doesn't turn out to be Mr. Right.
54. NEVER give more in a relationship than you are getting out of it.
55. Never become your man's "therapist".
56. When actions and words conflict, believe the actions. Respond to the actions.
57. A real healthy relationship requires two people. One person can end it - but it takes two to make it work.
58. Don't fall for the "I'm not the loving type"...when a man loves you there is nothing in this world (within reason) that he wouldn't do for you.
59. Make him miss you sometimes...when a man always know where you are, and you're always readily available to him he takes it for granted.
60. Give him his space...let him go out with his boys, don't pressure him to spend time with you, you can’t force a man to hang out with you.
61. If you wouldn't allow your daughter to be with him you shouldn't.
62. Never let a man know everything. He will use it against you later.
63. Never move into his mother's house.
64. Provide financially for yourself and don't depend on anyone.
65. Never co-sign for a man.
66. Never believe you have the perfect guy and he is so innocent.
67. Never spoil your man; let him spoil you.
68. Never let a man mess up your credit.
69. When it's time to let go; let go.
70. Good men should be treated like good men.
71. Don't play games.
72. Don't fully commit to a man who doesn't give you everything that you need.
73. Keep him in your radar but get to know others.
74. Compatibility in terms of educational attainment, values, beliefs, personal and career goals, and socioeconomic status, are important.
75. Never date a guy who wears colored contacts.


Tired of hollywood

Last weekend I saw two films, A Very Long Engagement and My Sassy Girl. I watched the French film at Greenbelt 3 with Jerv and I saw the Korean one with my sisters on dvd.

I am not a very big fan of romance flicks. Watching a movie now in a movie house is so expensive and thus I make it a point to watch something really good, one that will make me think, and not some sappy film. I watched A Very Long Engagement on the premise that it is a war movie. And what can I say, I loved it and yes, moreso the love story. It’s the first time in a long while that I liked a movie this much and I liked it better than Amelie, which also starred Audrey Tautou.

A Very Long Engagement is a story of hope and faith set in the background of World War I. Long after the war ended, Mathilde (Audrey Tautou), a polio-stricken girl, continues to believe that she hasn’t lost her fiancé Manech, a war soldier who was court-martialed and sentenced to die. As the search progresses, one can’t help but feel Mathilde’s excitement and despair, agitation and anticipation. Everyone in the movie believes that she is wasting her time. She even found her fiance’s tomb. The movie reminded me so much of the famous line from Paolo Coelho’s The Alchemist which goes like if you want something so bad, the whole world will conspire for you to get it. The ensemble of actors was good and the production and costumes even better. Even if A Very Long Engagement is a period movie, it is not too heavy and the prominence of whimsical and quirky scenes will not disappoint Audrey Tautou fans.

My officemate Peter has been obsessing about My Sassy Girl and has been pestering me to watch it since the time he knew a dvd of it has been accumulating dust at home. My brod Harry also recommended that I watch it and so I finally did last Sunday, the first Sunday in months that I stayed home. Again, after watching another great foreign film, I wondered why we can’t make movies like that. The story is really simple but the execution is funny and poignant at the same time plus the actors didn’t mind looking silly. It shows none of those supposed-to-be-wealthy-overly-dressed adolescents that is the trademark of every teeny-bopper Filipino film. The story of My Sassy Girl even revolved around the subway. The movie is truly endearing that until now I can still playback its soundtrack in my mind. It is a boy-meets-tough girl-they-fall-in-love story but the lines and the character build-up are extraordinary and the ending is a pleasant twist. I loved it.

So much for not liking sappy films…


To infinity and beyond

Last Friday, my mom threw a despedida party for Kaye, the newest member of our family. She married my cousin just last December. She works as a nurse in L.A. I call it the Axis Powers party because we feasted on sushi for cocktails, pasta, german deli, sauerkraut and baked salmon. After this despedida, I went to Trish’s despedida in New Manila. Trish is one of my best friends from high school and she’s going to work in Singapore for HP. Our other friend, Leo, was not around during the despedida because she’s now in either Sicily or Dubai (I really can’t tell) doing shows for Bayanihan.

I’m just pleased to know how far these girls have gone. I’ve known them for almost all my life and I’m hell proud of the women they have become. There is just too much opportunity going around and it’s crazy to let these things pass.

I believe this is what being young is all about. One shouldn’t measure his or her youth in the amount of alcohol one has taken in (and out) or the number of relationships you got yourself involved in, but by what you have substantially accomplished or the places you have reached because of work or study. In this day and age of increased interdependence, where opportunities spring from Manila to Toronto, we should exploit every chance towards personal development and career growth, even if it means leaving our comfort zone.

I think this is where the risk-taker and adventurous attitude should be maximized and not in dragracing or in casual sex. I don’t mean to be self-righteous nor preachy. I’m just giving a reality check on how our generation has been using the liberties we asked for and the responsibilities that come with it. Are we measuring up to those who came before us? Are we worth all the gadgets we buy and all the conveniences we have? Because essentially, living now is practically just a push of a button and whether or not this luxury has made us a better breed is still sketchy.

And this is why I celebrate small successes like being able to work abroad, especially when you have been sheltered all your life, and knowing or losing yourself in the process. For as long as they give something back to the country and continue their civil duties, I salute men and women who leave for greener pastures.


El entiende

I was neckdeep in work the past two weeks that I was unable to write anything about my birthday.

Petite and I decided to celebrate our birthday with the family by ordering to-go from Banana Leaf Curry House and Wok Inn. We had char kwai teow, spicy clams, buttered chicken, stuffed squid, oysters in oyster sauce and wok inn famous sipa. My sister’s boyfriend Dondon brought sans rival from Icings, called Melting Moments. I was hesitant to include the name of the cake in this entry but I also felt the urge to show how ridiculously the sans rival was named. Try it though because it’s really good.

I also ordered lasagna and shanghai from Mark’s mom for the office blow-out and among my guests were Berna Romulo-Puyat and Anna Larucea (haha I know they’re both out of circulation..i just wanted to give my office party star quality, thanks to Director Cui). The following Saturday, I had dinner with Jerv at Casa Armas at Podium.

I received gifts from my sisters, cousins, aunts, officemates and from Jerv. I got pieces of jewelry, bag, shoes, blouse, South Spa GC, cake, two dozens of roses, etc. But among these, the best gift was my Tuesday gift. I call it the Tuesday gift because Jerv gave me something for each day of my birthday week and this was the gift he gave on Tuesday, the eve of my birthday. The Tuesday gift was a powerpoint presentation of 23 things about me. It was supposed to be a scrapbook of some sort, only it was digital. I think he was inspired by the scrapbooks my cousin, Ate Jan, makes.

I was very touched by the gift he made and very proud of how my boyfriend perceives me. Good thing there was a lot of pictures available in the office network that he was able to use pictures of me in action (read: Bubbles singing in office videoke parties, Bubbles sorting donations for landslide victims, Bubbles cheering, Bubbles in “maangas” look in one roundtable meeting, etc. etc.) He also has pictures of me in college, pictures of me with my family (which I think he got from my e-groups with my cousins) and a baby picture of me. If only I can show it here.

I loved this gift above all because it showed me how far and deep my boyfriend already knows me. It’s good to know how your boyfriend or girlfriend sees you and I can say that Jerv knows me as much as I know myself. I learned that the things he values about me, all 23 of them, are the same things I actually value. And ultimately, I believe that it takes someone like him, a person who truly and unconditionally cares about me, to be able to execute something as grand and jaw-dropping as that.

It was pure bliss viewing myself on the monitor from the point of view of Jerv..just pure bliss.