Friday, February 6, 2009


When you’re at my age, it’s not unusual to go tracing back on your years. A particular point in my life that truly stands out is my time in college. Not for the wonderful memories it brings though, still memorable nonetheless. They weren’t exactly the best years of my life. I’d be very swift to supply an answer to an overused question, “If there’s one thing you could change in your life, what would it be?”

Although those four years signaled a lot of “firsts” (I’ll spare you the details now), it was during that time when I felt so completely lost. For years I fought real hard to flush it out of my memory and pretend the period never transpired. 

The manifestations of misery could not be easily dismissed. Only those who really knew me would have taken notice. The true indicator was graduating with less than average grades, as opposed to my commendable high school track record.

Invisible, that’s what I was in college and I guess, what I wanted to be. I can easily count with my fingers the people I considered college friends. It was expected. I made every attempt to spend the least possible time in the university, preferring to eat at home than eating alone in crowded cafeterias. Avoiding busy hallways and areas where the “cool” students hung out. Situating myself at the last row of seats in every class, nearest to the exit. 

For quite a time, these recollections haunted me. Why had I spent the supposedly golden years of a student’s life as a loser? And for years, this question I asked myself almost every night, remained unanswered. Eventually, it did dawn on me. 

I was going through that early stage of self-discovery and like most people, I got tangled up in the process. All of a sudden, I found myself thrown into this bigger and more complex arena I was so unfamiliar with and totally not ready for. The inner issues, compounded by the culture shock of the transition, sucked every ounce of confidence in me. I didn’t have a clue where to place myself in that microcosm. And so, I conceded to situating myself in the shadows where I felt safe. 

Devoid of self-confidence, I managed to convince myself that I wasn’t good enough for anything. I wasn’t cool or rich enough to hang out with the hip and fashionable crowd, didn’t possess enough IQ to hob-knob with the dean’s listers, wasn’t skilled or talented enough to take a slot among the revered varsity pool and arts groups. Yet, on my second year, I struck small success putting into use my writing flair and landing a coveted staff position in the school paper. Even then, my insecurities sank further and obliterated my chances of making it to the editors pool. 

Frustration after frustration, I was reduced to this faceless entity who stealthily navigated less-chartered corridors, whose existence was known only by a few. I never imagined how severe it was until I bumped into a batch mate months after graduation at a job interview. He was in utter disbelief when I told him we were in the same batch. And this was a guy who sat a few seats away from me in most of our major subjects.  

There’s a lot of truth behind the saying that “you are what you make”. This experience clearly shows that. I consciously decided to make myself invisible, so that’s what I’d become. I settled at being a loser, so that’s how I got treated. The good thing about life is, it doesn’t always have to stay that way. The reigns are still left in your hands. There’s no fairy tale ending coming here, but yes, I succeeded in pulling myself out of that black hole. And I’m totally proud to say it was without the aid of shrinks, SSRI’s, Oprah’s book picks and anonymous support groups. But I wasn’t alone on this one. Most often than not, it takes another set of eyes to help you see who you really are. I was fortunate enough to have met the bearer of such eyes. 

I can’t change my past. I can’t bring back those lost years and re-live them. But it’s taught me well. It has painted me a good picture of my real worth. I can now look back at this point in my life without cringing and just move forward.  

I’m definitely attending my college batch reunion whenever that is.  And I have no intention of bringing the invisibility cloak with me.

Monday, February 2, 2009

My Favorite THINGIES

We all have our favorite possessions. I bet they have stories to tell too. Well, let me share some of mine. Today, I was pleased with what my amateur photography skills produced.

Definitely my favorite nook in the house. This is where all the work takes place (blog-hopping, Facebook, Friendster and blogging). The chair supports comfortably and I get a good view of outside by drawing the curtains.

    Where all the magic happens...

This bed holds the record for comfort and sleep-inducing powers.

Tina, my co-worker from school led me into this hobby of collecting fridge magnets from places we've visited. This is all we have by far since we only started last year. "I love NY" definitely tops the bunch. 

I will never grow tired of this shirt. The moment I laid my eyes on it, I knew we just had to get it. I've worn it countless times and it's managed to retain its form after a battery of washings. Feels like second skin, it's that comfortable. From my favorite shirt brand, TOPMAN.

My favorite pair of jeans. A self-confessed 501 fanatic, the tides took a turn when G-Star Raw appeared on our radar. Impossibly light, impeccable details. This pair goes with anything we have, there's simply no way of going wrong.

My favorite specs. Again, comfort truly plays a major role for such selection. It's an ordeal finding the right frame that complements the shape of your face, I'm glad I found mine.

The mirrors on this shoe cabinet are simply wonderful. It brings out the best reflection (illusion) of you. And I just love the simple design and symmetry.

The only good thing I can say about going to Hanoi was finding awesome bargains just about anywhere. These photo albums were just some of them. Got all four for 10USD, how do you top that?
These decks and mixer will somehow bring me closer to my dream of becoming a DJ. I practice as much as I can. And they've definitely turned cold, lonely nights into 
electrifying ones!

I confess, I'm one of those people who feel naked leaving the crib without a few sprays. Acquired the habit from my mom. 
These are my all time favorite scents (for now) in the right order: 
1.) Issey Miyake for men (made to be a classic) 
2.) CK In2U for men 
3.) Be delicious green for women 
4.) CK Summer

Bought these colorful boxes at a Tesco Lotus store. I just love these eye-candies. They store anything from credit card bills to credit card receipts, just what you need. 
Pink: Unpaid. 
Green: Paid. 
Orange: "Now what do we do with these?"

My ever-dependable diver's Swatch. Has served its master for more than five years and shows no signs of retreating. Keep it strong dear comrade. 

My newest ally against grime. Compact and powerful, just what I needed when I took the reigns of looking after the cleanliness of a two-storey house. Bless you mighty partner, don't you dare chicken out on me.

We bought this bag in Taipei, Christmas 2007, from a Taiwanese brand called Paper. The material isn't leather, but I swear it's the next best thing. For it's price it's way worth it. I just like the look of it and it packs a whole lot. Been using it for all our travels. Now, can't imagine traveling without it.

Ahh! The color-popping Christmas tumblers from Swensen's. They're perfect for any iced drinks with straws. They have a total of 8 colors, but I'm not really a collector. Three's already a crowd in our cupboard.
And finally, my long-standing and torrid affair with underwear. 
So far, I don't detect any signs of it wavering. It's forged in stone!  Like I said, I'm no collector, but if one does catch my eyes or my crotch... it goes through a series of tests before acquisition: 
Material (comfort is everything)
Cut (should complement the goods)
 Fit (supports, lifts, enhances! 
Note: some shops now allow fittings--- What do you think? 
A welcoming thought or an eyebrow raising one?)
Design/Print (don't mind prints at all, my favorite pair has a gun print on the side,
 it's definitely bangin!)
 Waist band (if it peeps above your pants, it should be pleasant to look at)
Brand too, I suppose (I'm not a brand hog mind you). 
A perfect combination of all and then I'm had.