7 days and the train lady

My futon on a sunny Saturday afternoon
For 20 years I haven't spent my birthday week without cramming. It's usually the time of the year where most deadlines are on a roll. In short, my birthday week always come up as the busiest of the year, but this one's different. Because amidst the chaos of deadlines and the anxiety of the upcoming board exam, I haven't felt this relaxed.

I'm 21 and I like it.

My alarm blared like the sound of a goose being raped by a dog. I grabbed the phone beneath my pillow and it marked 5:30 am. Yeah,it was another day of going to work but with a twist: mom waking me up by saying "Happy Birthday."

Pls. don't mind this uber emo photo of HK skyline.I just like it.

This chilly monday morning didn't fail in pinning me to bed. If not for that ounce of guilt screaming "You'll be late to work again if you don't hurry up", one should have found me dozing off in my oh-so-comfortable floor-bed. And I like it.

It wasn't a really perfect weather, actually it was worse than I expected. I was praying the day before that we may be given clear blue skies and tumbling leaves in the ground while birds hum my favorite song...but no. It rained the whole day. But I like it.

Arriving at the office on time was also a miracle. If not for the habal-habal that saved me 20 mins. of waiting time for the bus, I could have been awfully late. It was such a liberating moment; being one of the first people in the office, and I really like it.

Apprehensive on how will I treat my officemates during merienda, I opted to order food from a restaurant with a reasonable price. It has been a tradition in our office to talk things out while eating and to celebrate occasions over food, hence the constant gain of weight. I didn't expect that the food I bought was more than enough for them, in fact I was still able to give to some of my friends from the other department. Their smiles while saying "thank you" was priceless. It was like a scene in the "miracle of the five loaves and two fish" from the bible. I was not able to try the food, but I still like it.

Going home wasn't that easy either. With only a couple of coins to spare in the bus ride home, I was disheartened by a multitude of people in bus queue lines especially in Ayala, the voracious hardworkers that are desperate in going home (including me). Most of them turned hostile because of the rain (it's like they turn berserk when they get wet). So I have no choice but to tackle the crowd physically in order to acquire a little space in the rickety old bus en route home. And I like it.

Apart from receiving gifts from friends, phonecalls, greetings via e-mail, SMS, and facebook, a dedicated call from my cousins, aunts, brothers and parents telling me to go home that afternoon was what made this day extra special. My plans of bringing food at home didn't push through though, as mom told me that it's enough. And once again, as they sang an out-of-tune-acapella birthday song, the supposed to be "my day" also turned to be "our day". I like it.

As I am writing this, I'm already dozing off but there are only a couple of thoughts in my nutshell. Being a fickle-minded bastard that I am (I may forget that I wrote this in the future so at least I have a chronicle), I made a resolve to just be thankful on the present. Planning is great, dreams are greater, but enjoying NOW is the best.

I'm already twenty-one. For two decades and a year I have been in this world, nothing grand has happened. Just like others,and just like any other day, I started this day with gratitude, and so it should end with it as well.

There were no fireworks nor life-changing experience much more any divine intervention that took place. Again, it was just like any ordinary day, and I like it.

Snap 0002: CCP lights

CCP (Cultural Center of the Philippines) lighted their exterior walls last holiday season. This was part of my unpublished last installment of "Apology to Manila" series. Walking the streets of Manila with 3 talented photographers, we tried to capture images of what seemed to be the city that always screamed "Could have been this... and Could have been that."

Snap 0001: Books

Remember my Project 15 images? In my struggle to be consistent in projects like these, I ended up discontinuing it. Mind you that's only 15 images per month, only half of the famous 365 project. So, to make it more easier, I'll just post any photo I feel like posting. :)

A good friend and I found some books for sale in the streets of Manila, specifically in Manila City Hall sidewalk before you cross Taft avenue. The books are laid just like in bookstores but the only difference is that it's outdoors. The prices aren't that discounted compared to books inside mall but you can still haggle the price. This is where I got my Franz Kafka's Metamorphosis.

What's up?!

It has been a month since I posted my last entry and the blogging elves inside me are currently on revolt. No matter how much i try to update, I always end up with dozens of drafts unworthy of posting. January has been one hell of a month, with three weekends packed with unforgettable adventures (one international, and two local) including my first plane ride.

January 5-8, 2012. HongKong bound - The family went to HongKong as a celebration of my mom and Dad's 25th year anniversary.

January 21-22, 2012. Mt. Pundaquit, Anawangin, Nagsasa Cove, Capones Island - a very spontaneous trip with travel bloggers and a celebration of Ivanlakwatsero's 20th birthday turned out to be one of my unforgettable trips so far. With four destinations in just two days and a night and spent only 1400php, it surely made me realize that traveling isn't just for rich people. :D [photo by Ian dela pena of Brownmantrips]

January 28 - Treading the lahar-laden landscape of Mt. pinatubo with 29 lakwatseros was a great way to end the month. A lot of photos are still pending so forgive me. [photo by Cheska of cheskamanuel.com]