Sunday, March 28, 2010


Something must have triggered my sumpong. I can't really identify the specific culprit, but I highly suspect that it's an effect of my monthly menopause-inducing medication.

It started when I was preparing to go to church, and I was deciding if I would take our household help with me (who has been going to church with me since I resumed this my religious obligation) or not. Suddenly, I couldn't think of bearing her company. I know it's unfair, she hasn't done anything wrong. Or maybe I'm starting not to appreciate her presence because when she's around she just sits or stands there and says nothing at all until I talk to her. When I go silent, she goes silent too.

But I couldn't consider that as a trigger to my ill temper today.

Later while at the church grounds, walking towards the door, I noticed all the palaspas vendors blocking the way of the church-goers. Some parishioners even stop on their tracks to buy the weaved palm leaves, which cause even more slow-down on the flow of people going to the church. One middle-aged female vendor blocked my way in a swoop with a palaspas she's selling. I was instantly annoyed as the leaves would have hit my face had I not slowed down. I gestured that I wasn't interested, and I think I had frowned at the woman. I know I've lost grasp at the essence of the season because of the way I acted, but the scene on the church ground at that moment hardly showed "Holy" nor respect. Behind the sight of the sea of palaspas, I saw trade - the exchange of goods for money - and the sellers do not care where they make the transactions.

And then I saw people bunched at the front door of the church. I opted that we go for the side doors and I was right - there were not much crowd there. We were able to get inside the church, no sweat. But inside there were hardly any vacant seats. And the people that were seated, sat in a spaced manner that one would not consider squeezing into those spaces. (Pinoys have huge personal space.) We decided to stand on the sides until the end of the mass.

At first I was absolutely fine. Until more and more people trickled in. With my hot flashes, I barely stopped fanning. And then there were too many people around me that the effect of fanning has diminished. I feel guilty about not being able to properly pray. Every now and then, distractions pop out in front of me that makes my mind wander. And then with little space to move due to the crowd around me, my claustrophobia started to kick in. I was starting to feel like screaming in my head.

I decided that we get out of the church immediately after the blessing. Just as the people were raising and shuffling the palaspas in the air, we were on our way out.

At the street, it was sooo hot as the sun was directly shining at us. Jeepneys lined the lanes, making it impossible for other vehicles to pass through. I was already feeling bad from the heat when I spotted a taxi. I hailed it and told my companion to get on board. Once inside the taxi, I felt relief from the heat due to the air-conditioning. But then, something else made me even more sick - it smelled like rotten, thawed fish inside the cab. I wanted to barf but held it. After a few minutes I asked the cabbie to pull over, feigning having to buy something at a shop along the way, paid the fare, and got off with my companion. We hailed another taxi.

We headed to the mall, which is a bad decision. While half of the city's populace were in churches, the other half were in malls. Too many people undergoing retail therapy. And the crowd is maddening. Some people just stop on their tracks, insensitive of those behind them. And then, while I'm about to check out a merchandise on a rack, someone gets in the way... and stays there. (Hmp!)

It felt like my head's going to expand, so I decided to buy take out food and go home.

Home. I locked myself in my room. Felt the ire filling my head. I screamed a soundless one. And then I cried.

Feels a bit better now.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

severely itchy feet

SG on July

Barely a week after arriving from Korea and I'm planning another out-of-the-country trip with my friends. This time it's the (mer)lion city of Singapore.

We're planning to have our visit on July - the end of the Great Sale. But aside from shopping, our - of course - agenda is to see the attractions of the city and immerse in the culture as much as we possibly can. And one way to do that is have a food trip. Apparently (and luckily), food sits in the center of Singaporean culture.

I'm excited at the thought of seeing another foreign land, but this doesn't match what I felt when I was about to go to Korea. Maybe it is because of the effect of Hallyu, or because the landscape is so different from what we have.

Cebu (or Palawan) on June

My brother and his family will be having their vaykay from the States on June, and they plan to take the family to Cebu for a few days. However, I will try to persuade my brother to spend our vaykay in Palawan instead. I'd love to see the subterranean river and the powder-dust like sands of Honda Bay.

Macau/Hong Kong in August

If I could squeeze this trip in, I would! Really!

South Korea in October

Yahoo! I hope this pushes through. It would be my first autumn. :)

withdrawal symptoms

this is the difficult part after touring South Korea... the withdrawal symptoms!

It's not just that I'm afflicted with wanderlust, but I fell in love with the cities of Seoul and Busan. A week after I've come back from my travel (with friends) to the "sparkling" land, I still have images of these two cities flashing in my head. And at night, I still dream of being there. On my waking hours I still could smell the food, feel the biting cold in my skin, and hear the incomprehensible chattering of foreign tongues. I miss South Korea!
I am also in serious envy of that country - their advancement in technology, social systems, and citizens' discipline. If only our government officials were truly honorable and true to their duties... if only we Pinoys were patriotic enough... maybe this land of ours could even be in better state than theirs. We Pinoys show so much potential in intellect, talent, and diskarte. Our land is so rich in every aspect. Sadly, so far, hanggang potential pa rin tayo.

Pero hindi ko pa rin ipagpapalit ang Pinas. Manigas sila sa inggit, ako nakatira sa isang tropical paradise.Maybe this is just the effect of being plucked out of an environment that I've been in my entire life. New sights, new sounds...

What amazes me more is the (general) niceness of the Korean people. One allowed us to take the cab first in a taxi stop even though he and his friends got there first. "You are guests. We take care of our guests," he said.

In Busan, an ajumma gave back my extra 20,000 won after I mistakenly gave her 3 pieces of 10,000won bills to pay for a 3,000won pack of bread (thinking I gave her 3 pcs. of 1,000won bills - I was confused with the number of zeros), and then gave me the change to the 10,000won.

And the food... the food! Hindi sila nagtitipid sa ingredients. My friends and I found Crown Bakery, a bakeshop/cafe in Insa-dong where they serve goodies similar to those of Bread Talk. But you would say "Bread Talk, what?" if you saw their goodies. I had a pizza bread - its bread is almost twice the size of BT's and the topping is sooo thick! They used mozzarella that really forms a string when you bite off it. Isang bread lang, busog na ako. And their prices for their products are just right. Mas mahal pa ang same type of food dito sa Pinas.

Before going to SK, I was excited about the thought/possibility of seeing an actor in one of those novelas, but when I was there all I could do is wonder at the sights and think of immersing in the culture as much as I could with the little time we have there. Walang K-Pop sa utak ko. I enjoyed whatever it is before me, wherever it is I am in.

I highly recommend to anyone visiting SK to go to Busan. That city is just beautiful even in the cold of snow-less winter. Check out exhibit A: Yeongdo Park

Taejongdae Park