Day 2: Docked

Found this docked at the Manila Bay with two-way functions — Yacht by day, Videoke Bar by night. I wanted to join them but I heard that the high number of fatalities in Manila is directly proportional to the number of people singing “My Way” in such places so I decided, maybe next time.

Day 1: Color Wheel

One Saturday afternoon, fresh from the Victory Pioneer Basic Photography, I decided to practice what I had learned and take random shots. Good thing too that Jay wanted to try the new tutorials he learned with his GNP (or was it GDP?) filter. Anyway.

This was at the MOA Bayside Carnival. The ferris wheel looked intimidating from afar but closer, it looked like a giant lollipop.

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(Lumix GF3 + 14-42mm + f/5.6 + 60sec)

My Name Should Be On That Government Project Tarpaulin. I AM A TAXPAYER.

It irks me to watch GMA News TV’s Investigative Documentaries now.

A run-down of majority of public schools both in the Metro and in the provinces showed that most of their previous provincial names have been changed, by virtue of a local government order of (fill in the city/province name), to the current mayor/governor/public official designated’s name.

Neptali Gonzalez Public High School (Gonzalez is a former Senator) in Mandaluyong. Ismael Mathay Sr. High School (Mathay is a former Mayor) and Castelo Public School (Castelo is a former Congressman) in Quezon City. There’s even a Golezeum in Paranaque! (Who else but a narcissistic prick would call a covered court GOLEZEUM?!)

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(photo taken from http://www.panoramio.com/photo/60853319)Image

(photo taken from awonderfulblog.com)

Not only that but monstrosities we call plastic tarpaulins, barangay vehicles in bright colors and even waiting sheds bear the face, name or even just the initials of the current mayor/barangay chairman can be found on every street corner we pass.

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Nakakapang-init ng ulo at kulo ng dugo.

The nerve of these ex-politicos and “public servants” (I shudder at the thought) to put their faces on these huge tarpaulins, to name cemented buildings and public places after them or their dead kin. They were elected on a public position for a reason — to create projects that would benefit the people and not themselves!

I’m paying my taxes diligently. I HAVE NO CHOICE. It gets deducted on my paycheck every single month automatically. It is my responsibility as a citizen of the Philippines to give it back and I trust (blindly even) and believe that it will be put to good use. Those streetlights that guide my way at night, paved roads to pass through on my way to the office. A bustling Barangay Hall that assures me of help and minimum security within my residence. These are the things that I know my taxes will pay for.

But I have never requested for my name to be posted in any tarpaulin. NEVER.

Because I know that it is my duty to pay it. So why the heck do these politicians think that just because they “piloted” or headed a projects allows them the pleasure of seeing their names on print, posted for everyone to see as if it was their idea and THEIRS ALONE to come up with that?!

I understand that “CREDIT SHOULD BE GIVEN WHERE CREDIT IS DUE” so how come I don’t see my name or the name of my office mate, the janitor in our building, the waitress that serves our food, the bus driver and all the other taxpayers I know on those banners or schools!

And to add salt to the injury, some would even say:Image

(photo taken from thechopsueyinc.blogspot.com) 

As if I need reminding THROUGH A PLASTIC POSTER THAT HAS HIS FACE PLASTERED ON IT where my taxes actually go. I think it’s already a given that my taxes should go on that project! Really now?

I wasn’t aware that I would also be paying for your branding, campaign materials and other self-absorbed paraphernalia without my permission. I don’t think that it’s part of my responsibility as a citizen of this country. And it’s not even campaign period yet. I can just imagine how much worse things are going to get when the elections get nearer.

It’s not going to be easy, removing these things and transforming the mindset of these politicos, no wonder a lot of Filipinos are getting disillusioned and apathetic.

I may not be able to change everything or anything for that matter but I will do the best that I can in the simplest way I know — to continue to hope and pray for the best of this country. And I will not vote for a person just because I see his/her face in every street lamp I pass by.

Or better yet, I will put up my own tarpaulin instead.

Project 365

And to encourage me to write everyday, I am starting a Project 365 today.

Take a picture, post it and write something, ANYTHING, about it. Just to get me going. (And hopefully cure my writer’s block)

I really, really, really hope I survive and finish this.

We shall see then, yes?

I’m Not Sure Where I’m Supposed To Be Right Now, But That’s Okay

And I thought I had everything all figured out already.

I thought that once I step out in faith, everything will just fall into place and be a walk in the park from then on. But I was wrong.

Boy, was I wrong.

When I stepped out in faith, I knew it was onto something great. Powerful. Amazing. I didn’t know it would entail disappointments, heartaches, frustrations and stretching out what little patience I have left. It makes me doubt the thing that has allowed me to take the bold lead.

Right now, I feel short of a wave being tossed in the mighty ocean – not knowing what to do, where I’m headed and when it will all stop. The impulse to put my foot on the brakes of life and just go back running to the comfort zone I left behind is so great that I have to stop and remind myself on why I turned my back on those things

I realized four things.

First, there is a reason I had to leave the things, WORK, I was used to. God is preparing me for something big and much far greater than my tiny little brain could comprehend. And He Will be able to do that if I am where He wants me to be at that moment. It has to be where He has planned it (or I) to be because He is the conductor  of the GREAT PLAN. I’m not saying that He can’t use me in any place because obviously He can. But it HAS TO BE WITHIN THE PROPER SETTING for me to appreciate and understand better what it is exactly He has planned for me.take for example an orchestra. The musical instruments are arranged in a specific order and place in the formation. Otherwise, scattering them will just ruin the beautiful music they produce. I have to be in the place God intended me to be for His plans for me to be MORE beautiful. (Not just beautiful since it already is as far as His Creations is concerned. But MORE)

Second, that’s why it’s called a “leap of faith” because your belief in God will take you somewhere unchartered. New. To some, it could even be foreign.. It wasn’t a “walk to certainty” that I was asked to do. Had I known where I’m headed, it wouldn’t require much of my faith to do that because I would already have an idea, even from the beginning, if the move was something I would like to do or not. But it doesn’t work that way. Not everything in this life is a certainty. Of this, I’m sure. (WOW. Irony.)

Third, it’s OKAY TO DOUBT. I see some raised eyebrows here. But, really it is. You can doubt your self at times, your capabilities, your path. Of course you will. You’re human. AS LONG AS YOU DON’T DOUBT GOD AND HIS PLANS FOR YOU. They’re two different things. the first is focused on the self while the second, on the One who created us all. We’re not omniscient and omnipotent. Our powerlessness oftentimes are the major cause of our doubts and fears. But our God is All-Powerful. And when you have Him on your side? It’s just impossible not to feel the strength that comes from Him that casts all our worries away.

Fourth, I can be patient and wait all I want but it’s not gonna happen in my time BUT IN HIS TIME. I am actually a very impatient person. This is one of the fruits I’ve been waiting to bear on the tree that is myself for a very long time already. Oftentimes in the past, I have rushed things and made them happen MY WAY which ended up in a lot of tears and frustrations that I almost became a bitter witch. I was so self-absorbed and arrogant that I thought putting matters in my own hands will yield the results and dreams I have set up for myself. But I was dead wrong. It’s not gonna happen if God doesn’t intend it to happen at that time. IT IS ALL ABOUT HIS PERFECT TIMING.

You see, I’m not sure where I’m supposed to be right now. But that’s okay. Really.

Because I didn’t create the world and I didn’t create myself and the fact that Someone GREATER made me is my assurance that even if I have not achieved everything that I wanted. That at this point, nearing 30 (Nah, not really),  I have yet to deepen the dent I am trying to make in all of my dreams, is my guarantee that marvelous things are YET TO COME.

It’s okay to be unsure because it is not my job to make things sure, that God’s role in my life! And I can waste all my time trying to fathom why I am where I am, waste a lot of tears figuring out why things are taking so long to materialize but it’s not gonna make it come and happen any sooner!

But because it hasn’t happened yet allows me to keep the faith and look forward for the time that it actually will. When God will finally hand everything to me the way He wants it to be.

When that will be, where or even how it’s going to happen, i have no friggin’ idea. But when it does, I am definitely sure I would know IT IS FROM HIM.

That is His guarantee. And I just can’t wait.

But until then, may my patience and faith continue to be built.

Championship Sunday!

It was an amazing win for both my teams last Sunday in two different leagues. (Yes, i’m a football addict that way)

My all-women’s team, Perx FC won the finals against our alumni team, UP with a 2-0 score in the Loyola Invitationals.

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This team beat us during the eliminations, 3-0. We were doing so great in the first 45 minutes and all blows came during the second half. Possession was great and attempts, though minimal, were mostly from our end. It was quite unfortunate and the score made us realize how lolas (loosely translated: old) we all are. And our fitness sucks. We could only last for 45 minutes. So imagine our surprise when we actually got to the finals and more so when we actually won it!

Jean fighting for ball possession.

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Bea going against a UP player.

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Fitness coach, Armand with the girls in huddle.

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(I didn’t play that day though as my sprained ankle is still swollen and I don’t want to aggravate it any further. Plus ze doctor-boyfriend is adamant i rest it. So too bad for me.)

Meanwhile, on the other side of Katipunan, a certain blue-colored team, is fighting for the top spot in the Mixed Fun Division of the 2012 Ateneo Football League.

I arrived in Ateneo during the second half and it was already 7-2 in favor of us. We were playing against Team Popoys and I knew pretty much some of the players from their team as they were my teammates in UP before. (Hello Nina, Teri and Brie!) We won the game with a final score of 8-3. Team Captain Gene Lee received the Best Goalkeeper Award while Team Top Scorer Cholo Catahan won the Most Valuable Player Award.

Jay in action.

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Cholo and his last goal for the game.

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UP Fighting Maroons represent!Image

ACU 2.

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Despite not playing, I got tired cheering for two games at the same day (and almost the same time!). But it’s a good problem, right? Now I know that football is, indeed, here to stay!

(For the more photos of the Loyola Invitationals and AFL Mixed Fun Division Finals, please visit this site: http://maasterized.shutterfly.com)

Not Your Regular Fairytale

Last Tuesday, I decided to watch the movie Snow White and The Huntsman everyone was buzzing about. It starred Kirsten Stewart, Chris Hemsworth and Charlize Theron so with the fame that accompanied the three actors, i figured I’d be in for something. Of course, i had to lower my expectations since I also saw the movie Mirror Mirror featuring Julia Roberts a few months back, and really, how many more adaptions of Snow White can you do, right?

Off to Rockwell and with it being a holiday (it’s the Philippine Independence 144th Anniversary), I anticipated a large flock of people (mostly students, on my mind) to catch the movie as a last hurrah before school starts. Good thing, people opted to stay home as indicated by the short line in buying tickets and the number of available seats. Either they’re celebrating the holiday somewhere, preparing for the school year or they used up all their money for tuition (I highly doubt, this IS Rockwell I’m talking about, ako lang yata ang pulubi dito), I have no idea but I’m pretty glad they’re not there so choosing seats weren’t that difficult.

(This poster somehow reminds me of Game of Thrones. Probably because of the color and weapon and the beautiful but evil queen. Or pretty much the same eerie setting. Maybe.)

Powerplant Mall Cinema 1 isn’t exactly the nicest cinema. We sat at the last row and it was so narrow! Once we were seated, our legs pretty much covered the whole space/aisle. So every time someone would have to pass by us to get to their seats, we have to stand up. Every single time. So much for convenience.

So this is the usual Snow White story. Except for the bigger role they gave The Huntsman, who in the original story was a rather forgettable character. Cinematography and setting was superb. I liked how dark the forest and castle was. Really eerie and majestic at the same time. Plus its setting by the seashore added drama.

The only thing I didn’t like (WARNING: SPOILER ALERT) was the love triangle between Snow White-The Huntsman-William(Snow White’s childhood best friend). I am a sucker for best friends falling in love with each other and this movie is no exception so I was really anti the whole Snow White and Huntsman love story. (I believe that William deserved her love since he never stopped looking for her and thinking of her all those years she was imprisoned in the castle). Good thing, the movie never actually brought Snow White and the Huntsman together. Well, except for his kiss that woke her up.

One thing that i also couldn’t figure out was how Kirsten Stewart is more beautiful than Charlize Theron. Come on, it’s Charlize! But of course, someone HAS to play Snow White in this movie and in the story, she is MORE beautiful than the evil queen. Sadly. I’m not sure too if it was just me but somehow, i can’t seem to take Kirsten Stewart from her character, “Bella” in the Twilight Series and with the creepy forest and her costume, I don’t think it helped at all to remove that “mindset”. But hey, that just means she’s effective as “Bella”, right?

Anyway. The movie was so-so in my opinion. The take was different, since Snow White was more of a warrior in this movie. Something to look forward to if you’re into star-studded movies with beautiful faces. And if you’re into a different take on your regular fairy tales. Not for the Disney fan though – you’ll be disappointed.