May has been a bit of a difficult month for me, blogging-wise. I haven’t had an update since May 8! Life, as is its wont, got in the way. So because I’m conceited enough to think my friends and readers want to know what’s going on in my life, here’s my first ever actual diary-type entry in this blog!
This year, the Philippines is the ASEAN 2017 Chair, which means a hella ton of work for us poor rank-and-file shmucks in government service. Of course, I’m grateful for the opportunity, but I’m realizing that it’s got a price tag attached. Still, it’s one I’m willing to pay.
I went out of town twice for ASEAN events – Davao in January and Iloilo in February – which was great because, hey, I got to see two cool cities I’d never been to before; but it was also insanely stressful. I used to think traveling for work and staying in five-star hotels was so glamorous, but now I know otherwise. Hassle, pare.
Naturally, Metro Manila played host to a couple of ASEAN events as well. I didn’t volunteer to go to the ASEAN Summit Opening in PICC on April 27 (mostly because I wanted to take full advantage of the long Labor Day weekend) but I took part in another ASEAN meeting hosted in the Marriott Hotel Manila. That was a pretty crazy week, with me and my normally easy-going coworkers snapping at each other and losing our tempers, but all was okay in the end. Not to mention the perks of being billeted at the Marriott!
I put off getting a master’s degree while I found my footing in this new career path I’m embarking on, but this year I decided it was time. A couple weeks ago and after careful consideration and loads of advice from my coworkers (most of whom are also taking graduate studies), I applied for the public administration program at UP Diliman. It’s a step further in this new direction of my life, and I can only hope I’m doing the right thing. Fingers crossed that I get accepted!
It upsets me to say this, but I have not read anything new at all since the summer began! I’ve just been rereading a couple of old favorites – Leigh Bardugo’s duology, Smaller and Smaller Circles by F.H. Batacan (in preparation for the release of the movie), and of course, my old standby, Harry Potter.
I follow a ton of book blogs, but since I haven’t been updating regularly, I haven’t been able to monitor what my favorite book bloggers are reading. I’ll be backreading everyone’s posts, but if anyone would like to make my life easier and link me to their reviews or just leave a recommendation in the comments, I would appreciate it!
This part of my life, at least, is a-okay! In April, just before shit got real with the ASEAN hosting, I took a quick day trip to Lake Pandin in Laguna with some friends. (See my Lake Pandin travel guide here!)
In May, over the Labor Day weekend, I went to Magalawa Island in Zambales – with that same group of friends, incidentally (having kaladkarin friends is the best, don’t you think?).
Also, this weekend, I’ll be heading to La Union with some friends from work plus the boyfriend! I’m hoping it’ll be sunnier up north (since the rains have already come to Manila) but even if it isn’t, I’m sure I’ll enjoy myself. A friend of mine who’s there this weekend said that the waves are really good now, and hopefully they’ll stay that way throughout the week!
I’ll be blogging about those trips soon, so keep an eye out for those entries!
Because you are your own best investment, right?
Several years ago, I was really into photography. As in, I was well on my way to making it an actual hobby. My mom had splurged on a Canon EOS 600d for my twentieth birthday, and I loved it. I was no professional, certainly, but I did my best to learn. Through YouTube videos and online tutorials, I learned how to manipulate my camera, how to frame shots, the meaning of words like ‘aperture’, ‘ISO’, and ‘shutter speed’. I took my camera everywhere, to events both important and insignificant, to trips out of the country, to dates in Makati and BGC with my boyfriend, just so I could practice shooting. I got quite good at it, too! But then life happened, and I haven’t picked up my camera in over two years.
When me and my friends went on our Zambales trip, I decided at the last moment to bring my Canon along. While on the island, I took lots and lots of pictures, and fell in love with photography all over again. I’m going to keep practicing and while I’m certainly never going to make a career out of this, it never hurts to have a creative outlet!
Speaking of creative outlets, I don’t remember if I’ve ever mentioned it in any of my blog entries before, but I’ve started writing a novel! Nothing too ambitious, no high fantasy or sci-fi for my piddling abilities. It’s just a simple contemporary novel, set here in Manila.
WordPress is proving to be a very helpful resource for a struggling, beginning writer. There are tons of blogs out there with advice for writers, not to mention exercises one can do to improve vocabulary, world-building, and other facets of storytelling. I may turn to this blog to post about my forays into the world of writing – I’m not too sure, I’m even more nervous about sharing actual fiction writing compared to my blog writing. We’ll see how it turns out.
Last January, completely on a whim (I seem to do most things in my life based on a whim, don’t I?), I enrolled in a Muay Thai and circuit training program at a nearby martial arts gym. I joined up for shits and giggles, but to my surprise, I found myself coming back regularly. For one thing, I discovered that I actually like Muay Thai. Of course, it’s different for everyone, but I enjoy the physical effort of punching and kicking. It’s like, there’s tangible proof there of my strength and power. Not to mention it’s great stress relief and anger management.
I also keep coming back to train because I found that I got along with the people there! We come from all walks of life, different backgrounds, different jobs, but inside that gym, it’s like we’re one weird little happy family with an affinity for pizza, beer, and kicking ass. I think even if I eventually moved out of Parañaque, I’d still come back.
If any of my readers and/or followers live in the south and want to try out their program, check out Forge: Martial Fitness.