Saturday, November 19, 2022

Shutting out the noise.

It's not an exaggeration to say that, as depressing as it was as a whole, the pandemic actually changed my life for the better. It gave me time to reflect on what's important and it allowed me to truly tap into my full potential as a person.

It also allowed me to eliminate all of the negativity in my life - both at home and in my social life. I moved out and look at that: no more meds or therapy. I stopped drinking every single night and trying to find validation in all the wrong places. I've cut my social circle by a million and have become very selective about who I share my time with. So when even the slightest petty issue pops up nowadays, it's an automatic ignore-and-block situation for me.

As Edward Furlong says in one of the best movies of all time (American History X), "life's too short to be pissed off all the time." While I'm not an expert at it yet, I'm learning to surround myself with people who make me a better person. Who, instead of fanning the flames when I'm having a bitch fit, act as the Natashas to my Hulk. Who, instead of pushing me to open up and telling me to man up and get it together when I'm having a mentally unwell day, simply send me memes and videos to uplift my spirits, and let me know they're there when I'm ready.

I've learned to choose my battles and block out unwanted noise. And I'm not sorry for it. I now fully accept that I can't control how other people feel or react nor can I make them listen to or believe what I have to say. I can say my piece and still be secretly hated for it, so what's the point in even trying? It's a waste of time, a waste of energy, and quite frankly, a waste of space in my life.

There's nothing wrong with cutting people off, especially as you get older. If they no longer make you happy, if they start to become abusive, if you don't feel a void when they're not around... just cut them loose.

In fact, I've learned that losing people opens up precious space in your life for other people who are more deserving of you. As your parents may have told you, you're a precious little snowflake. Don't let other people make you feel or believe otherwise. x

Friday, October 7, 2022

"Luckiest Girl Alive" has inspired me to write (for myself) again.

After watching a snippet of Luckiest Girl Alive on Instagram, I jumped straight onto Netflix to watch it. For reference, this is the clip that I watched:

Honestly, I expected something along the lines of Gone Girl or You but it was absolutely nothing like that. I guess you could say I was duped. But by the end of it, I'm not really that bothered by the fact that I was. After all, here I am, writing a blog post after six whole months of blogging silence.

Now, I'm sure the movie had good intentions; but what should have been the overarching message - to inspire victims to speak up about their experiences and hopefully stop their assaulters from getting more victims - drowns amidst the addition of a school shooting and a rocky marriage amongst other things.

Fortunately, Mila Kunis is gorgeous and plays her part to a tee so I sat through it. Her character was incredibly relatable too (to me, at least). All of her narrated thoughts hit oh-so-close to home and her acting differently in front of a man because she thinks he wants her to be a certain way... let's not even go there.

So while it wasn't necessarily a bad watch - I finished it, after all - do set your expectations on the lower spectrum. It is not a thriller ala Gone Girl so don't expect it to be. I also heard the book's better so you might wanna pick that up instead.

Funnily enough, I'm not actually here to talk about the movie in-depth (sorry!) especially since I don't know how to talk about it without going on a long tirade about my own personal traumas. What I am here for is to share that there was a line in the movie that I really needed to hear: "Write it like no one will ever read it. Just say what it is you want, not what everyone else wants."

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you'll know that I always speak my mind here. I have always written for myself - screw if the people involved read it and find out how I truly feel.

I gush when something touches my heart. I whine when I feel like the world is out to get me. And I open up about hardships other people might not be comfortable sharing with others. Never mind the fact that I might feel completely different in a few days (or even in a few hours). I prided myself on being the kind of writer who owned their personal space and said whatever the fuck they wanted.

In my head, talking about my mental health issues, my struggles with motherhood, and my semi-heartbreaks was a way to connect with other people. I had hoped that by speaking up about these things, someone somewhere would be able to relate to my words and maybe feel less alone.

But earlier this year, a family member said my blog was nothing but an "attention seeker". And it hurt me enough to make me stop writing and "over-sharing" my thoughts and my emotions.

Hearing that line in Luckiest Girl Alive reminded me that some people seriously just need to go and fuck themselves. If you want to spill out your emotions on your blog, go ahead and do that. If you want to post about every little thing that you do on your stories, go ahead and do that. If you want to splurge and buy yourself expensive things, go ahead and do that. You don't owe anybody an explanation for the way you live your life and for doing what you want to do.

That's all. Just wanted to put that out there in case you needed to read it too. (And yes, I'm back for good.)

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Villa Bridgerton Manila is an Instagram-Worthy Place to Visit

 Dear lords and ladies of the ton,

Villa Bridgerton is opening in Manila soon and I was fortunate enough to be able to get an early glimpse at its beauty today.

I have always been a lover of period pieces and while I was late to the party when it came to the Bridgerton hype during season 1, I made sure I wouldn't be late to the Villa Bridgerton party.

In fact, I prepared for it even before I was invited by ordering dresses on Shein. When I finally got the esteemed invite, I then panic-bought heels and gloves to complete my ensemble. Having been stuck at home during the pandemic for more than two years, I was more than ready to "cosplay" again and this was the perfect event to start.

And while I always saw myself as Siena, I thought I'd surprise everyone by channeling my inner Daphne Bridgerton for a change. I'm happy to say I didn't disappoint and I was oh-so-happy to see the Netflix team and some old friends from the media again.

Photo by Azrael Coladilla

As for Villa Bridgerton, there was a string quartet that beautifully performed the same songs heard in Bridgerton itself, a remarkable ballroom performance, delicious food fit for a duke, maids and coachmen with an actual horse and carriage, a garden set up for promenades and croquet, and ladies and gents who dressed the part.

@lilmisswonderwoman Ganito ako ka-awkward pag may gwapo. 🥲 #memeph #fyp #foryou #foryoupage ♬ original sound - Anj Rodriguez

The best part? The event was hosted by Justine Luzares, famous for being our very own Bridgerton Marites on TikTok. (Di naman ako nag-fangirl. Medyo lang.)

If you want to get dolled up and experience the British Regency Era yourself, the mansion in Quezon City will be open to the public from March 25 to April 3 - just in time for Season 2. You may book a visit to the villa here. Each reservation is good for two fully vaccinated guests so you can bring a guest and have a ball together as you get a glimpse of the grand and elegant world of the series.

Bridgerton Season 2 premieres on Netflix on March 25, 2022.

Friday, March 11, 2022

The Path to Perfection

I don’t recall the exact moment I started to lose my confidence but it was definitely after I moved to the Philippines. 

I was the only Asian when we lived in Germany, as well as the shortest one in class. But no one ever pointed that out. I was the only one whose first language wasn’t Deutsch, but no one ever made fun of me. In fact, they helped me become better at it. I was the only one who could get through English classes without having to study but I was never smart-shamed. I sucked at all of the sports you were supposed to be good at there. But it didn’t matter. Because I was trying.

In Bangkok, I weighed almost 200 pounds. I spent my days lying under the sun and getting darker and darker. But no one ever commented on my appearance. My weight and my skin tone didn’t faze me then. Today, everything fazes me.

I spend a lot of time (more than I’d like to admit) lying in bed and wondering how I can improve on my “flaws”. Heels for my height. Practicing Tagalog so as not to have an accent for people to pick on. Practicing English with a slight accent so people won’t feel intimidated when I speak it. What to eat and how much to exercise even though I’m currently just a little overweight. I've started caring about what time I go to the pool or the beach now so I don’t get TOO dark. Sometimes, I stare at food I really love and calculate the calories in my head. I spend a lot of time staring at the white hair growing on my head and the facial lines that are starting to show on my face even though it’s all a part of natural aging.

And it’s depressing. The person I have become within the decade I’ve been here isn’t the confident person she once was.

We live in a country where so many people judge you for so many things and where it’s practically impossible to get anything right.

I came here speaking English and got the “nosebleed” comments so I learned the language and now I get the “ang pangit mo mag Tagalog” comments.

I lost weight and became a size 0 and was called anorexic. Now that I’m a Medium, I’m being called fat. When my hair was long… “Hindi ka ba na bibigatan sa buhok mo?” When I cut it short… “it looked better long.”

People constantly make unwarranted comments about our appearance, our failures, our decisions, and our achievements. There’s always something to be said. There’s always something wrong. And sometimes, these comments even come from complete strangers.

I know I’m not supposed to care what other people think. I know I’m supposed to just brush off negative comments, especially in my line of work, but that’s easier said than done. Particularly given my mental illness, these negative comments repeat themselves in my head at the most random times and they become a mantra that eat me up every day.

Last month, I started going through plastic surgery options because a part of me hopes that if I look perfect - if I look the part people want me to look - maybe the negativity will go away. But today I realized that it won’t. 

There’s something about Filipino culture and nitpicking and finding flaws that simply won’t go away. But I’m tired. And I wish people here would just be kinder. 

Monday, January 31, 2022

Where to Play Fun Food-Centered Online Games to Pass the Time

Do you love playing games online? Are you looking for new fun games you might not have discovered yet? Whether you're looking for basic games for your kids or more challenging games to get your brain to function better during your work breaks, has a ton of options for you to choose from!

Here are some of my personal favorites:

Tap Supermarket

I don't know about you but I've always loved games like this. In fact, I used to have a ton of them downloaded on my phone. Fortunately, I can now save on phone space and play Tap Supermarket instead.

In this isometric game, you have to manage a grocery store by restocking produce, expanding the line of goods that you sell, and checking out customers. The more you play, the more displays you'll unlock. It's a great game to zone out on and there's something weirdly relaxing about tap-tap-tapping your way through the game.

Burger Time

Ahhh... Food-serving games are another guilty pleasure of mine. (Actually, I think food games, in general, are just something I'm really into. Did anyone say 'Overcooked'?)

In Burger Time, you have to make burgers for your customers with the ingredients in the order that they mention. It's pretty straightforward, but you do need to work your brain a little and you gotta be quick; otherwise, the customers might leave.

DC Super Hero Girls Burrito Blitz

Alright, so as Wonder Woman, I'm a little biased; but of course, the DC Super Hero Girls game has to be in here.

In DC Super Hero Girls Burrito Blitz, you need to help Barbara Gordon serve customers as they show up. As a bonus, the music is really catchy for this game, too.

I love how the games on aren't just fun to pass a time, but can also be shared with my daughter. In case you're looking for some new games yourself, make sure to check them out!