Now Hiring: A Boyfriend

Job Opportunity: The Boyfriend
Location: Metro Manila, Philippines

Photo courtesy of quickmeme.com

Photo courtesy of quickmeme.com

Responsibilities:

* Weekly recreational activities including, but not limited to: eating out, visiting museums, going to the beach, attending Sunday mass, watching movies and stage plays

* Occasional compliments to sustain The Girlfriend’s self-esteem and overall well being

* Occasional attendance in The Girlfriend’s family events

* Occasional posting of “couple” photos on Facebook, Twitter and other social media to validate relationship

* Occasional gift-giving, need not be expensive, creativity highly required

* Regular bed-related relationship-enhancing activities, including but not limited to, sex

* Regular mediated (text, call, chat, email, etc) communication with The Girlfriend, at least once but not exceeding 5 in a day

Photo courtesy of quickmeme.com

Photo courtesy of quickmeme.com

Qualifications:

* Candidate must be 25 to 38 years old

* Candidate should be college level; a holder of Bachelor’s/College Degree, MA, Ph.D and MBA preferred but not required

* Experience preferred but not required

* Applicants must be willing to work in Metro Manila

* Applicants must be willing to travel

* Knowledge of foreign language/s preferred but not required

* Ability to play one or more musical instruments preferred (except bass guitar)

* Candidate should be full-time employee/employer (applications of bums will automatically be rejected)

One (1) full time position available.
Previous applicants need not apply.
The Girlfriend offers an attractive benefits package with long-term prospects.

Send applications through its8am@gmail.com.
Walk-in applicants will not be entertained.

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A Non-lover’s Love Letter

You’ve always been quiet. Sometimes I wonder what’s going on in that head of yours but most of the time I’m just content with the reassurance of your hands holding mine. You always tease me that maybe I talk too much to compensate for your silence. I would pretend to take offense so you’d kiss me as a way of apology.

I love waking up on Sunday mornings with the scent of your skin and the comfort of your arms around me. I’d gaze outside the window and wonder how many people out there are as lucky as I am to be with the man I love.

Infinity is when the wind plays with my hair as we cruise on deserted roads on your bike as the stars keep score on us. And as I close my eyes, I throw a wish that I could hold you like that forever.

We never had arguments but we had bitter fights that would leave me cold and desolate. Your defeaning silence used to tear me apart. We would go on days hurting each other, caring for our pride before we would succumb to a reconciliation.

When I stare at your eyes, I’m reminded of why I love you. And it’s not because you make fluffy pancakes or that you fix my computer because I keep doing the same stupid thing on it, or that you do not go out on Fridays because I always have to work Friday nights, or that you don’t get mad even if I don’t watch those movies you like so much; it’s because I like myself better when I’m with you. At times, you could make me the happiest person on earth. Other times, you could hurt me like no one else could. But always, I feel like I’m a better version of me when I’m with you. I don’t tell you this because sometimes I feel the shame in admitting that.

I have vague recollections of why we broke up. Did we grow apart? Did you get tired of my immaturity? Did I have enough of your silence? But I remember that day we finally said goodbye. You hugged me and wished me a good life. And I had to hold back my tears and pretended to be brave and wished you happiness.

I didn’t hear from you for so long. I did move on and tried to see other people. And so many things have happened since then. You became a distant memory of a first love that haunts me on lazy Sunday afternoons.

And now you’re back and we’re talking again and it’s like the old times. I talk to you about work and writing again and how Sheldon cracks me up. And you’re still quiet but you smile while you listen to my stories. And I couldn’t tell you how much I missed your smile. When you said you would want us to have dinner at our favorite place because you haven’t been there for a while, I had to remind you I still couldn’t go out on Fridays. I thought my heart would explode when you said it was okay because you still don’t go out on Fridays. I could only manage a weak smile but I wanted to hug you so hard that time and tell you how much I have missed you.

I am so happy that you’re back that it scares me to think of you leaving again. And so I’m writing you this because I want to tell you that I’ve watched those movies you downloaded for me (I still don’t like them though), and that I’ve tried so many recipes to make the pancakes the way you make them and that I miss you holding my hand while we wait for the train.

And so before I go to sleep. I pray that in the morning, I’d wake up next to you, bathed in the scent of your skin, finding bliss in your arms around me.

Photo courtesy of weheartit.com

Photo courtesy of weheartit.com

Something Beautiful by Robbie Williams

Photo courtesy of harlowheslop.com

Photo courtesy of harlowheslop.com

In celebration of Women’s month, most of my posts are about women. I initially wanted to make a playlist for women, a mix tape of sorts. But I couldn’t figure out how to put the play list here so instead from time to time I’ll post my choice of songs I hope you ladies would take the time to listen to. Of course, these aren’t truly exclusive to girls. So first up is Robbie Williams’s Something Beautiful. There’s no need for me to elaborate on the prose of this song but I want to emphasize the hopeful message it brings. Sometimes with all the ugliness around us, we forget about the beautiful things, and this reminds us to hold on to hope.

The silence was pitiful that day.
A love is getting too cynical
Passion’s just physical these days
You analyze everyone you meet
But get no sign, love ain’t kind
every night you admit defeat
and cry yourself blind

If you can’t wake up in the morning
Cause your bed lies vacant at night
If you’re lost, hurt, tired or lonely
Can’t control it, try as you might
May you find that love that won’t leave you
May you find it by the end of the day
You won’t be lost, hurt, tired and lonely
Something beautiful will come your way

Dreams, Nightmares And Reality

Photo courtesy of en.wikipedia.org

Photo courtesy of en.wikipedia.org

When I filled out my college application form and chose film as a major, I failed to consider tuition and film-related expenses. I was a sixteen-year old dreamer who grew up seduced by mass media, especially films. I was so sure back then that if I study film at the premier state university in the country then I could easily be the next Lino Brocka, minus the fatal car accident, of course.

When I got into UP, I was ecstatic. The summer I entered Diliman was probably the happiest summer I had. I was a smart, sixteen-year old dreamer who was going to change the world through my award-winning movies, and then probably marry Keanu Reeves when I turn 28. I was also naive and had been pretty much sheltered when I was growing up.

Then of course it didn’t take long for reality to come crashing down on me. I grew up thinking I was smart and then UP made me realize how average I actually am, sometimes even less. Also, a passing grade was not what you aim for. I actually had to work my ass off to get truly decent grades, UP’s definition of decent. Then while at it, I had to polish off my Tagalog (I am Waray) because the one I knew was classroom Filipino, and my embarrassing vocabulary was not helping my already fledgling self-esteem. But the worst of it all was realizing that my parents could barely afford my studies.

My tuition, board and lodging expenses, daily allowance and budget for film projects were obviously way above my parents’ public school teachers’ salary. When I was a sophomore, I seriously considered shifting to another major for financial reasons but my father forbid me. He made it clear that I had to finish what I had started. And so I did. My parents borrowed money from everyone they know just so their dreamer “not so smart after all” daughter could become a film director.

After five years and one semester (yes, I overstayed in college), I finally got my degree. Bachelor of Arts in Film and Audio Visual Communication. So now I have two Urian Best Picture films, one Oscar Best Foreign Film nomination and yes, Keanu has proposed to me on my 27th birthday. NOT!

After graduation, I helped with some friends’ productions including that Jeturian award-winning film, which actually included my name on the credits. I also worked as a casting coordinator for a modeling agency, which in reality meant that aside from pre-qualifying and assigning models to specific projects, I was also a photographer, videographer, talent scout, telemarketer, among others. I was underpaid and had to pretend that my boss and his business partners were not involved in prostitution.

Then after my stint at the modeling agency, I joined the BPO industry and had been stuck ever since. Pay is good and the benefits are decent. Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful for my job. In fact, I love what I’m doing now. But yes, there are still times I feel guilty about not pursuing film. I still feel like I’ve not only let down my family, but the institution to which I owed my education.

If you have attended UP, you are taught to value the opportunity of attending the “top” school and that you are in fact subsidized by the taxpayers. So after studying, you are expected to give back. So far the only way I’ve given back is through my taxes and signing petitions for various causes. I’d like to believe they count. I also have intangible and not so legitimate contributions like fervently wishing the downfall of the Chinese government and ill wishes on the health and safety of inefficient traditional politicians. But those don’t really count.

So why did I have this sudden urge to confess my college drama? Because just last week, a young bright UP student took her own life because she could not afford to pay her tuition anymore. It was the most heartbreaking story I’ve heard in a while. I’ve pretty much avoided the news due to gore and sensationalism but this one just hit really close. I was once in her shoes. I was once desperate and too poor to pay my school expenses. I cried too many times because I thought my parents won’t be able to find someone who could lend them money or that I was again late for my rent or that I still haven’t had my paper printed out because my allowance is gone.

Well, sure, suicide is complex. Kristel did not simply kill herself because she was no longer a UP student. There are many factors at play here that led to the finale of this tragedy. One thing is clear though, her forced leave of absence was the final trigger.

One of the issues the many isko and iska had been fighting for and taking to the streets for the government to pay attention to is the budget cut on the university. The faculty are not well compensated, which is very upsetting since the university has the best there is in the country. Researches are not funded, and a lot of other cost-cutting measures are done.

Clearly, there is something wrong with the system. UP had been struggling with budget cuts from the government but it had also successfully leased some of its assets to multinational companies. And tuition has tripled since I graduated. Yes, I don’t understand all the facets of the budget issue that the university faces but doesn’t the university have a commitment to educate the brightest minds of the country? Kristel was a young, bright student who dreamed but her dreams were crushed by the very same institution who promised to guide her on her journey to learning and a better life. Her dreams were spat on by bureaucracy who valued profit rather than upholding its commitment to education. Because Kristel could not afford to pay her tuition she was rejected as a member of the academe.

UP prides itself for the eternal quest for knowledge and service to the country as symbolized by the Oblation. Forcing Kristel to file a leave of absence due to inability to pay her tuition certainly does not validate the values of UP. Taking away her school ID so she could no longer enter the premises was the final act of ostracism. They drove her away and so she decided to go somewhere else, maybe a better place. Wherever she is now, hopefully, she is not being judged for her finances or the lack thereof. May she be in a place where she can continue her education without worrying about tuition and student loans. And may she help us pray that UP can soon fix the problem before another life is sacrificed.

Photo courtesy of panoramio.com

Photo courtesy of panoramio.com

The Things About Women I Want To Tell Men

This is a list of some of the things I want to tell men. I don’t claim to be the voice of women, hence, I used I in the title. This is for the men who are/were friends, boyfriends, friends with benefits, husbands, colleagues, practically every man out there who has to deal with women

Photo courtesy of girl.com

Photo courtesy of girl.com

1. Don’t compare me to other women. Not to your exes, friends, your sister/s, especially, not to your Mom. I am my own self. I have my own flaws and strengths. My identity may have some characteristics like the other women in your life, but I am not them. I am me.

2. You don’t need to carry my purse. I won’t be using it if I can’t carry it myself. But please do hold the door for me and help me carry my grocery bags. There’s four of them for crying out loud.

Photo courtesy of owned.com

Photo courtesy of owned.com

3. I am sure that The Smiths, Led Zeppelin, The Cure and the others whom I forgot, are great musicians, I just happen to not be a fan. Please don’t judge me for that. Also, I would appreciate it if you keep a straight face whenever Taylor Swift comes up on my playlist. Her songs are catchy and gives me good vibes. I listen to Radiohead, too, and U2, Oasis, Vertical Horizon, Mozart, and yes, boybands. And please don’t start a lecture on your rocker chick friend’s musical influences. Just because I like Taylor Swift doesn’t mean I’m gonna start writing songs about my exes and how douchey they were. On the second thought…

4. I think it’s sweet that you let me have my way with a lot of things but still keep your spine intact. A spineless guy isn’t hot at all. (This applies to women, too.) You don’t need to take charge of everything but please do have your own conviction and do stand up for it.

5. There’s so much more about women than shopping, makeup, boys and clothes. We’re just like you, complex human beings. We also care about the environment, the lack of efficiency in the government, the plight of OFWs. We can even discuss the economy if you want. But personally, I’d rather not get into physics even if CERN has just confirmed that it indeed has discovered the Higgs Boson. Not that I won’t be amazed if you can discuss the God particle to me. But seriously, many women I know think geeks are hot.

Photo courtesy of funmeme.com

Photo courtesy of funmeme.com

6. We value communication. If you don’t appreciate getting text messages every 15 minutes, please say so. If there are certain topics that you think are off-limits, then tell us. Just don’t keep everything bottled up. If you don’t like that resto or this movie, speak up. Sulking is for 5-year olds. We can’t read minds. And second guessing rarely yield good results.

7. Most women pride themselves of their outfit, meticulously chosen depending on the occasion and the people they’re with. Hence, don’t be so narrow minded as to judge them as slutty and ask them to change just because you think guys would be ogling her. But if she is wearing a see-through top and a barely there skirt to church, then please talk to her. She may be needing more than just a discussion about appropriate outfits.

Photo courtesy of zipmeme.com

Photo courtesy of zipmeme.com

8. Most women value friendships. If you are her friend, she’ll do everything in the name of friendship: help you with your paper, give you advice for that chick you want to date, help you find a gift for your Mom, get drunk with you when you get dumped and help you bury the dead stripper. I kid, I kid. If you are her boyfriend, the list even becomes longer because more or less, she thinks the universe revolves around you. So please let her spend time with her friends. She loves them too, y’know. And they make her happy. And of course, you want her to be happy, too.

9. Do take note of important dates. Technology has made it easy now so you don’t have an excuse to forget birthdays and anniversaries. She doesn’t need gifts (well, she does like them) but do take the time to celebrate it with her. It doesn’t have to be expensive, you just have to be creative.

Photo courtesy of tumblr.com

Photo courtesy of tumblr.com

10. When you suspect that something is wrong because of her silence, don’t force her to unload. Assure her instead that you’re willing to listen once she’s ready to talk. And when she does, do listen and try to stand in her shoes. If you still don’t get it, tell her so and don’t be afraid to ask questions.

11. When she’s irritable due to PMS, work stress, traffic jam or hunger, be patient. She can’t be sunshine every time. Same goes for you, right? Remember that time she was quiet and kept out of your way because the Celtics lost (for the nth time)?

12. While your girl friends are okay with you checking out other girls while you’re hanging out with them, your girlfriend won’t be as forgiving. That’s tacky and disrespectful. Your girl friends might also have the patience to listen to you rave about the endearing qualities of Megan Fox, Maria Ozawa, Angelina Jolie, et al., but don’t expect the same for your girlfriend. Hey, she chose you even if you’re not a fraction as hot as Matt Scannell.

Photo courtesy of jambase.com

Photo courtesy of jambase.com

13. This list does not apply to all women. Also, this list does not have everything you need to learn about women. But it would be nice if you would take note of some of these things and appreciate more the women in your life and give them the respect they deserve.

Of Crowds and Fridays

Photo courtesy of hmdigiart.com

Photo courtesy of hmdigiart.com

Weekdays are hectic. The days go by in a blur of sweaty commute, hurried lunches, deadlines, office gossip, punctuated by his text messages reminding you that in another part of the city, he’s also caught in a routine and can’t wait for the weekend. Friday is a reward for the sacrifices of the week. But you’d have to contend with traffic jam and people flooding the malls due to weekend payday sale. And early summer heat reminds you that your feet are numb and you badly need a massage.

Then you see him waiting for you in the midst of a sea of faces, and you swear you can almost hear that The Cure song playing in the background. And the way he lights up when he sees you in the crowd is precious. You love this man and as he hugs you, you’re reminded of the promise Friday brings: that it’s gonna ignite the fire of a lover to burn through the darkness of your daily routine and the passion to satisfy the hunger to touch another soul.

The weariness of the whole week fades. The world is right again because it’s Friday, you’re in love.

XXXI

I’ve always been grateful for my friends. I can never stress that enough. You are one of the kindest persons I know, one of the smartest, too. Two licenses in the field of medicine is no joke. We laugh and we fight and we talk about babies and food and men and sex. And I trust you with a lot of things I don’t tell other people. And you can see right through me. And I can also see the truth behind your tears and what makes you smile. And you are a beautiful person and I care about you so much and I don’t say that enough.

And all I wish for you on your birthday is for you to get that car. If not, then, probably a guy. A man is just as fun to ride on.

Happy 31st, Jing.

S

Purple and Red

Photo courtesy of anitamurphyart.com

Photo courtesy of anitamurphyart.com

You hide in the shadows, and the darkness is your protection. You have built defenses for the unknown. On rare instances that the light reaches you, I catch a glimpse of your beauty. Do you see it, too? But you are afraid to look at your reflection. I have asked you this a thousand times but you quickly avert your gaze.

I saw you again today and I see your bruises. Dark colors smudge your skin screaming the pain in your spirit. I feel the shame for the injustice of your pain. Why do you let it so? Why don’t you fight back? Again, you cast your eyes to the floor and embrace your silence. The bruises are a quiet testament of your acceptance.

Your smile never reaches your eyes. What is the truth behind it? What is the color of your solace? Do you mourn the sunrise and eagerly wait for dusk? I want to climb your wall but I’m afraid to fall.

I saw you again today. You were holding his hands as you were walking down the stairs. Does he hold the key to the mystery? Does he make you happy? You gave me a nod and a little smile. You remind me of a little girl on the train waving at strangers.

I didn’t see you for a while since then. I thought you had moved. Maybe you went away with him. Or maybe you locked yourself in your room grieving the silence of the phone. Did he forget your birthday or was it anniversary? You wanted to paint your bedroom red but you are waiting for his approval. So now it’s still the lifeless gray that matches your gloom.

I see you again in the hallway and you’re covered in bruises. Do you even see them? Are you aware of your pain? Am I the only one who can see them? I finally had the guts to tell you what I should have the first time I saw the marks. He is not your savior. You are beautiful. Stop hurting yourself. You stared at me a long time and I saw a twinkle in your eyes. Did I just imagine it? You smiled and walked away.

I headed to my room and when I walked in, I pulled the blinds up, unhooked the phone and started painting the walls. Red is for passion and courage. Once done, I looked at the mirror and saw that the bruises are gone.

Best I Ever Had (Vertical Horizon)

Photo courtesy of weheartit.com

Photo courtesy of weheartit.com

So you sailed away
Into a grey sky morning
Now I’m here to stay
Love can be so boring

What was it you wanted
Could it be I’m haunted

But it’s not so bad
You’re only the best I ever had
I don’t want you back
You’re just the best I ever had

’09 to ’13: Ordinary People Part 3 of 3

And so the weekend saga of the now rowdy group on a natural high continues. This time they’re headed to Trinoma or for those who veers from acronyms, The Triangle North of Manila.

Photo courtesy of ayalaland.com.ph

Photo courtesy of ayalaland.com.ph

Why Trinoma? Red Box. What could be more Pinoy than a get-together belting out pop songs with cheesy video montage of C- and D-list celebrities at best.

Photo courtesy of synzmemoir.blogspot.com

Photo courtesy of synzmemoir.blogspot.com

So here we are at Red Box with a playlist ranging from sappy Tagalog love songs to teen pop, 90s RnB and classic Pinoy rock, aka, Eheads and Parokya. Can you match the genre with the faces?

group

The classic duo can replace Jaya and Janno anytime. They can also do Boyz2men and Ariel Rivera among others. For parties and events, please contact me at 0906-xxx-xxxx.

Met and Ryan Takes Araneta By Storm

Met and Ryan Takes Araneta By Storm

The caption says it all for Lester, in more ways than one. Seriously, if you don’t care much for his looks, you’ll fall for his songs. And I mean really fall. Like off your seat? Rolling on the floor? Lol. Seriously, I’m selling him as the complete package. Looks, brains and voice. And a new car!

"The Man Who Can't Be Moved"

“The Man Who Can’t Be Moved”

Move over, Alicia Keys and while you’re at it, put ashes on your hair (in keeping up with lent) and weep for there’s a new girl on fire. And I mean on fiiiire. Pen not only rocks keyboards (the ones attached to monitors) but also microphones.

This Girl is on Fiiiiire

This Girl is on Fiiiiire

Now here’s the duo who conquered Madison Garden. True? True. And with none other but Taylor Swift songs. Love Story. Our Song. Never Ever Getting Back Together. You Belong With Me. If you want Taylor Swift with less syrup, more grit, then here’s the perfect pair. Plus these two don’t write songs about their exes.

Taylor Swift Can Rock!

Taylor Swift Can Rock!

Backstreet Boys and Britney Spears songs are a must at karaoke. If it’s not part of the repertoire, then that is considered a serious disrespect of your growing up years. So hit me baby one more time as long as you love me.

making faces

And the perfect finale was the group singing Pare Ko by Eraserheads. Of course, it must be sang Various Artists-style like paying tribute to the iconic band of our youth.

group -karen

And to cap the journey, here’s a photo relatively disconnected to this part of the adventures. The saying that a picture speaks a thousand words is true in this case. We just don’t have a clue as to what the words are. So, lovely readers, if you would be so kind as to put an appropriate caption for this, that would be greatly appreciated. Captions will not be edited. Seriously no censorship. More captions, more fun. I wish there was a price for the best caption. Or maybe there is. Hmm.

Caption This!

Caption This!