Sunday, December 27, 2009

Quotes, courtesy of "Criminal Minds"

I like watching "Criminal Minds". It's a series (I think it's in CBS) focusing on the cases, personal trials and tribulations of the members of the Behavioral Analysis Unit of the FBI. They travel all over the America, working with the local townsfolk, and helping them create the profile of the criminal, or as they coin it in the show the "unsub" (unknown subject). In knowing the profile of the unsub, it allows the police to know what to look for as they chase/pursue the perpretrator of the crimes committed against humanity.

What makes me appreciate watching Criminal Minds? Aside from the fact that I like watching these kinds of shows (anything that has to do with detective work, catching criminals, etc), I find the format of the show interesting. How so? At the beginning of each episode, the show would start off with a quote, with one of the characters reciting it through a voice-over. The quotes can range from the works of Plato, Socrates to Martin Luther King, Gandhi, even the Bible. Often these quote would serve as the theme of the show.

With the episode I was watching the yesternight, their featured quote is: "It is better to create art without a public, than to create art for a public and lose your self."

Something to think about? Sure does.

'til next time.

Carpe diem!

Monday, December 21, 2009


How do you strike a balance between what your mind wants to do and has decided on with playing smart? I don't know if you know what I mean, but I am referring to the game called politics. How do you play the game, survive, and not lose yourself in the process?

This is my current challenge.

As they say, as you climb the ladder, the stakes get higher as well. The playing field has been leveled-off and you're off to play a totally new game. What worked in the previous level (or in your previous circumstance/situation) may not necessarily apply or work in the new level that you're in. Take note, the players are tougher, stronger, even meaner.

As I've played the game, I've always trusted my instincts, kept my cool and did what I had to do to survive. But as I said, now that I'm on a different playing field, the rules have changed.

All of a sudden, I started second-guessing myself. I know what I am capable and incapable of doing, but this time, it's about stepping out of your comfort zone, taking risks. Sometimes, it seems as though I am thrown into a situation I know nothing of, not my area of responsibility, etc, etc. It's sink or swim, right? So I swam. I survived, thank God, but I was bruised all over. My survival depended on how I reacted to my stimuli, and manuevered my way around. It went well, but I didn't like the idea that I had no plan, no offensive move. I was not the one in control of the situation, but the situation took control of me. I reacted based on what was thrown at me and I didn't like that.

They say that you cannot control everything in your life. True. But I've always lived on this premise and I realized, sometimes, you can.

How much I try to be independent-minded, it dawned on me that when I am outside the confines of my home, others seem to dictate little things in my life (what to bring to a party, etc.). Still, in terms of big decisions, I am the master of my destiny not others.

I veered off topic.

All I'm trying to say is.. I am afraid I'm losing myself. And I'm fighting to keep it.

'til next time.

Thursday, December 17, 2009


.... I reviewed my previous post and my God! I had some terrible grammar issues to address! If my boss saw what I did, I would've had an hour-long (or so) review lecture on the rules of correct grammar and proper usage of words. Imagine my big boss: a sixty-plus year old with short hair, specs, still feisty and gregarious for her age, giving a lecture on proper use of the English language, but add a stick to her hand. Thank God she's not able to read what I just wrote. I might've been up for a whipping... whew...

Realizing my faux-pas reaffirms and strengthens a resolve: reading. I have read some write-ups, commentaries on Facebook, etc. A lot of good people have a lot of good thoughts and are very expressive in articulating their thoughts and putting it down on paper. Well, in this case, typing it on the screen via keyboard. Expressive as the writing may be, we sometimes tend to forget (maybe just a little) in ensuring the correct usage of the words.

I've heard a number of people argue on the premise that, the grammar may not be linenly-perfect, but the important thing is, we get to convey our thoughts and get the message to the receiver. Point well taken. I've used that argument as well whenever I've had grammar slip-ups. Mind you, I'm already in my 30s and I still make mistakes in my grammar. And even if I was really good at it, I'm not going to ride the high horse and lord my expertise over the others. That's just not my style.

Anyhow, however hard we try to argue the 'expression versus form' argument, I have to hand it to our big boss for allowing me to realize that grammar is still important, no matter how hard we try to beat around the bush claiming it's secondary. It is still important. Just imagine, writing to an application letter to a university or for a job, with the tenses and the words of one's letter have no logic nor coherence whatsoever. Old school as our big boss may be, she has a point, too.

Sigh..... I guess this is also a wake-up call for me to read, read, read, read and read more. I've been neglectful on my reading.

A disclaimer: I'm not giving a lecture on grammar, let that be clear. I'm also expressing some of my thoughts. My grammar can be horrible at times, too, but we can all correct ourselves and learn together, can't we? :)

'til next time.

Carpe diem!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Quick entry: changed the name of my blog

Just a quick entry. When I started this blog, I had no idea what I was supposed to do, what to name it, etc, etc. It was all a spur of the moment thingy.

Later, it dawned on me. I've been writing stuff for the longest time and it's saved under the file name "Amelia Earheart and her wings". So I then decided to continue it, and perhaps, include some of the stuff I wrote there in this blog...

I hope you like the new name. Personally, I do. :)

'Til next time.

Carpe diem!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Filcom Christmas Party, 6 December 2009 and in memoriam

I was planning to do my entry yesterday after coming back from our workplace. We had our Christmas party together with the other members of the Filipino community (Filcom for short) here in Beijing. Really planned to, but I was sooooo tired when I got home, so I am doing it today.

As I mentioned, we had the Filcom Christmas party yesterday. I attended the same party a couple of years ago, but back then, I was just a student living on a small stipend here in Beijing. This is technically my second Christmas away from home, but my first under the auspices of my posting.

It was also something I look forward to because there were Pinoys who put up their stalls, selling Pinoy food and goodies, shirts and the like. As a tradition, the Pinoy bands rendered their respective numbers, the Embassy personnel performed a Battle of the Brainless skit (as a backgrounder, there was a gameshow back in the Philippines called Battle of the Brains. Comedians made a spoof out of this gameshow and called it Battle of the Brainless, wherein all the contestants would give wrong answers and nobody guesses it right eventually. What makes it funny is that these 'contestants' really believe that their answers are correct. If you are able to understand Filipino culture, you'll find this hilarious), a Christmas carol contest, parlor games for kids and adults, and of course, a raffle with the grand prize of an round-trip ticket from Beijing to Manila and back!

As the bands performed, the audiences were moving to the beat of the music and made the hall all lively, hen renao as they say in Chinese.

Thankfully, the crowd was receptive to the Battle of the Brainless skit. But while preparing for it, I really wished that the earth would open up and I'd hide inside it during the duration of the performance. It's nice to be on stage, but of late, I've become more of a backstage kind of a person. But it's nice to be back in the limelight, once in a while. ;)

The parlor games went well, thank God. The kids were all eager to participate and were all looking forward to the goodies they will receive after winning the game. It was always nice to see whenever they play the "Bring Me" game. Everybody was scrambling just to find what they need to 'bring' the gameshow host. Then we had the games for the adults, which was also fun. The adults played a game we called "Pinoy Henyo", or Filipino genius in English. This is a game played in pairs. One will wear a hat with a word pasted to it. He/she needs to guess what that word is. To do so, he/she will ask questions answerable only by yes, no and maybe. His/her partner will be the one responding to the questions and the person wearing the hat will formulate the answer based on the answers to his/her questions. Sounds complicated? It's pretty easy. There's also a catch. The players are given 2 minutes to guess it, and the pair who were able to guess the word correctly in the least amount of time wins. Honestly speaking, eventhough I was not the one participating in the game, I had fun. I was glad to see the crowd cheering at the players as they went through the game. Tired as I was, I was smiling inside.

And we also had the Christmas caroling contest, which comprised of 4 groups. They sang melodiously and performed with much gusto. I was kinda pleased that we had a Christmas caroling segment. It gave people a chance to do and strut their thing during this time of the year. Besides, when they were singing Tagalog Christmas songs and the audience were singing to it. Busy as I was running around with errands and preparations and all, I remembered my aunt, whom we all call Ate, since she was the eldest of the siblings.

It's been 2 years since her passing. Happy as I am with the Yuletide season, it also brings in a sad feeling. Though she was not my mom, but I grew up with her in the same household for past 29 years of my life. She looked forward to Christmas, for Ate was the one who takes charge of decorating our house back in Manila. Every year, she would inject new ideas, additions on how our decorations were traditionally ornated or placed. She also had her specialty dish every Noche Buena. It has been 2 years. Our family have mourned and grieved her loss, moved on. We've accepted the fact that sad as we are for the loss, we also have to live our lives and be grateful that everyday, we get the chance to do what we weren't able to the day before, the chance to start over, realize our mistakes, make amends, take risks, love, get hurt, but love again.

Yes, it has been 2 years. Christmas is not the same, but this is also a chance for me to create my own memories of Christmas with my new life here in Beijing.

I don't know why, but I was just planning on writing about the Christmas party yesterday then all of a sudden, my writing shifted.

I dedicate the success and merriment of yesterday's event to Ate. She has always been supportive of me and my work.

'Til next time.

Carpe diem!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

My First Blog Entry

Well, what do you know? Today marks the first day of my first blog entry. For the longest time, I've resisted creating a blog account, because by doing so, I open my thoughts and my life to a vast, overwhelming world. But I've decided to give it a shot. Besides, I so desperately need a creative outlet (though I'm not much of a writer but I love the power of the written word) and a way to document my fresh start in Beijing.

I lived in Beijing for a year a couple or so years ago. My circumstances were different back then since I lived here as a student. Now I'm back, a whole new adventure and life awaits me.

I've been living in Beijing for half a year. Time does not fly anymore. It teleports. One day, I was just packing my stuff on my way here and the next thing I knew, it's already Christmas. It's actually my second Christmas in Beijing, away from family and friends. I do miss my family, but this is what I've always wanted: to live on my own. Hence, herein I wish to share my adventures and encounters within the next few years of my life.

Anybody who is reading and would be willling to share bits and pieces of their life, I'd be most happy and honored to read them. I do love listening to other people's stories. It makes me appreciate the diversity and commonality of this wonder called life.

Till next time.

Carpe diem!