Bangtan

BTS after their #WingsTour concert in Manila on May 7, 2017 / photo grabbed from the ~intrawebz~

It was December 2014 when my brother Vicoy saved a bunch of Korean songs in my phone and basically required me to listen to them. Hehe. I gave it a try and even though I couldn’t understand 99.87% of the words, I didn’t have the heart to delete them because 1) they were from my brother and 2) they were actually pretty catchy. Who would have thought that nearly 3 years later, these seven undeniably charming and incredibly talented boys from BTS would hold a special place in my heart? (Cheesy, but true!) My ~fangirl~ heart flutters for them all the time especially for my bias (ha! I love this newfound word), the golden maknae, Jungkook.

I mean seriously, how can you not love this kyutie? 😍

So I guess this is just an appreciation post for BTS on behalf of millions and millions of ARMYs around the world. I may be late to the party, but I am so glad I have arrived. Thank you, BTS, for giving us so much joy and for sharing your time and talent with us all.

Fan ahrt (haha) by yours truly 🙈

Saranghaeyo, Bangtan Sonyeondan. ❤

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Happy mother’s day to all superheroes disguised as mothers! Just what will we do without them, right? I, for one, would be totally lost literally and figuratively. Thank you, Mommy, for everything since day 1. You are the biggest proof that there was never a day when I was not loved. Sorry for the days when I’m stubborn and self-absorbed. None of it was your fault. I love you so much, I cannot fully express it in words. You amaze me in ways that still surprise me and I’m the luckiest because you’re my Mommy.

So pretty naman this girl! ❤

Love, Actually

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Tata’s Trusty Typewriter

My grandfather just never fails to amaze me. During our last visit, he showed me a stack of papers and my heart swelled up when I saw that it was none other than the story of how he and my grandmother Nana met and fell in love. Eight pages. Handwritten in his flowy effortless cursive that I can never imitate no matter how I try. Raw draft with smudges and edits. HOW CAN YOU NOT LOVE THAT. It’s such a beautiful thing that Tata channeled all his sadness and longing into writing down how he and Nana started and built a life together. If that’s not love and sweetness, I don’t know what is.

The story is not mine to share and it’s not even done yet so all I would say is that it involved a lot of guts, finding the right timing, and the undeniable and stubborn certainty that only lovers know. (Naks, did I just say lovers? Hahaha.)

I absolutely love the ending. It may be the first chapter of the chronicle of 64 years of togetherness, or it may be a standalone story of the beginning of everything. Who knows.

Here’s a glimpse of “Bakas ng Kahapon.” If I may dare translate the title, I would say it would be “Remnants of Yesterday.” … Excuse me I have to go cry for a while now.

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The thought of Tata pouring his heart out on paper is really comforting. Heart to pen to paper to heart. What a beautiful cycle.

Tagaytay with Tata

We visited my grandfather, Tata, last Good Friday and, as usual, it was a riot in his house in Amadeo. Never-ending teasing and laughter and horsing around among his children and grandchildren. I know that, deep inside, we all just want to glimpse of even the tiniest smile and hear even the slightest chuckle from Tata to somehow lessen whatever sense of sorrow and loss he still feels now that Nana is gone.

After lunch, a bunch of us played Bet Game, a very Pinoy game of cards. I just stood and watched because the game was intense and I’m not hardcore enough. Haha. Tata even joined in a round or two. All of a sudden, my uncle said we’re going to Tagaytay to treat Tata for merienda. We couldn’t all fit in the car so the gamers stayed behind and off we went to Bag of Beans where my cousin treated us to delicious food.

Here are some photos from my blogger cousin Arnie 🙂

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Daddy just had to call me right when this photo was taken. Hehe.
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Arnie and Tricia
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Tattered Jeans Club
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With our youngest cousin, Jerome, who’s an upcoming Grade 7 honor-student-for-sure. Haha. Pressure much?

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There’s our Tata!

I live practically just an hour away but it was my first time at Bag of Beans. The place was huge but it didn’t feel suffocating and somehow still retained its homey feel. There were a lot of people when we went considering it was a long weekend, but there were no queues and service was relatively quick.

In the end, we’re all very happy with the food, the ambiance, and most of all, Tata’s subtle joy.

Remembering Nana

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My beautiful grandmother, Liwayway ❤

Barely two weeks after she turned 82, my grandmother Nana passed away last March 30. Honestly, it was not completely unexpected since she’s been in the hospital since January and 90% of such time she was in the intensive care unit. She suffered a stroke shortly after the new year and it took a toll on her heart. On all our hearts, truth be told.

I’m not sure if it’s appropriate to say this, but Nana’s death was such a beautiful and profound experience. I don’t think I can fully articulate the experience, but all I know is that I was a changed person after the death, the wake, and the burial. Of course the grief and sadness was ever-present, but it was just amazing how, even in death, Nana was able to unite us all. Each family member – Nana’s children, grandchildren, extended family members, and family friends – drew strength from each other and I think we all unanimously tried to pass on that strength to Tata because no one is more affected than him. After all, they’ve spent a total of 64 years together. I am reminded of a tidbit I wrote in January:

You know how when you look at some couples, you kind of have an idea on who loves who more? That is not the case with my grandparents, Nana and Tata. They might just be the only couple I know who seems to love each other practically equally. I remember a fleeting moment I was lucky to have witnessed some time ago: Nana and Tata were sitting on their chairs as usual and out of nowhere Tata looked at Nana and just stroked her hair and swept it out of her face. It was such a small, almost unconscious gesture, but undeniably full of affection. I realized these moments are what make up a marriage; the constant evidence and fond reminders of a life built together.

Nana’s passing away made me realize that there’s no limit to how you can touch other people’s lives. So many people turned up during her wake, each with their own story of how Nana Way, as she was fondly called, was a part of their lives. A couple, family friends who have not been in speaking terms with each other for the longest time, even got back together after finding out about Nana. Even in death, Nana still touches lives and leaves a positive impact.

A few weeks before Nana passed away, their neighbor who’s a tailor approached one of my aunts and told her about how Nana has already ordered her dress for her time comes. He said Nana chose the design herself. When we saw the dress, we were astounded; it was very Nana – beautiful and regal, yet still simple and never over-the-top. Even in death, Nana never settles for anything less.

The day Nana died and when my parents and aunts did the funeral arrangements, they were surprised when the owner said Nana already arranged for how she wants things to be for her funeral. Again, we were all blown away. Even in death, Nana still took charge.

On the day of her interment, not a single eye was dry. It was a testament to how much Nana was – and is – loved by everybody around her. It was such a pain to see Tata cry so much but I will always remember how the whole family was there to support him all the while. I guess love and pain just always go hand in hand.

I couldn’t stay every night during the wake because of my early-morning work everyday. However, during the few nights I visited, I learned so much from just observing the people, especially our family. Perhaps my biggest realization was that each person copes with death in their own way and you have to respect that. You can’t impose on people on how they should deal with loss and grief. Most importantly, you can’t judge others just because their grieving phase is not the same with yours. Each one copes differently. But the important thing is each one copes. It is probably no linguistic accident that the word “cope” is just a letter away from “hope.” Even in death, Nana teaches us life lessons.

Baguio Beginnings

Practically everyone I know has a memory of having been in Baguio at one time or another. Except me. I’m 24 years old and I’ve never even stepped foot in my country’s summer capital! I was determined to change that ever since last year but I never really got the chance until last week when my friends Jesrell, Joan and I finally pushed through with our trip to the city of pines. Needless to say, it was an absolutely fun weekend!

 

Our bus was scheduled to leave Cubao at 10:30PM so the three of us met up in Ayala to have some dinner first. EDSA was traffic as usual since it was a Friday night, but thankfully we didn’t miss our bus. We didn’t have a place to stay yet, nor did we have our return tickets for Manila, but we didn’t worry about it as we were determined to just wing it. Hehe. It’s fun being more careless than usual sometimes.

In fairness to Victory Liner, they were right on schedule and by 10:30PM, we were already on the road to Baguio. Barely half an hour later, I was already asleep and knocked out and my next memory was when we had our stopover in Pangasinan at around 2:00AM. We had some mami noodles and hopia, but we didn’t have the common sense to remember our bus number. We just knew it was the bus parked nearest the comfort room so when we heard someone announcing that bus no. 7056 was already leaving, we didn’t panic because we could see from where we were sitting that the bus we thought was ours was still parked there. Finally we finished our food and hopped on the bus, but the moment we stepped inside, something didn’t feel right. I told Jesrell I remember stepping on a yellow curb when we got out, but why are we stepping on a white curb this time? The passengers didn’t look familiar and we couldn’t find our bags on our designated seat numbers! The three of us exchanged split-second “we’re dead” glances, mumbled vague apologies to the other passengers, and went down the bus. “Wrong bus!” we screamed, though the truth was terrifying. One of the guards asked where we were heading and we said Baguio, and he said we were the last remaining passengers of that bus no. 7056. We ran like our life depended on it (it probably did) and finally reached the right bus. The conductor said they’ve been looking for us all over the place and we apologized profusely. One of the passengers asked where we’ve been and we just apologized again. It was so embarrassing! When we got to our seats, we didn’t speak a word to each other because of utter shame. How could we forget to remember our freakin bus number?! Was it naivete or stupidity? Maybe a mixture of both. I was too embarrassed that I immediately fell asleep because everything feels safer when you’re sleeping. Hehe.

The next time I woke up, it was a little before 4:00AM, the bus was traversing this uphill road and I knew we were already in Baguio. I smiled to myself, murmured a small prayer of thanks, then turned to my friends and flashed them a big smile. “We made it!” 😀 Continue reading

#Sepanx

It’s almost midnight on a Friday and I’m feeling #sepanx blues all over because my very good friend left our office today. Our boss threw her a send-off party and though the photos are all fun and laughter, it was actually bittersweet. She is such a great friend and I’m going to have to get used to no longer seeing her everyday. What a girl, this girl.

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Thanks to Aaron for sharing these photos.

Dear Red, we wish you all the best because you deserve no less!