i150W: Strange Thoughts

I tend to feel strange at times. And that’s how I started having strange thoughts.

Everything I read, watch, dream, experience, hear, and discover may contribute to such strange thoughts I’m having at the moment. I tend to feel immersed in that thought and that makes me feel excited and anxious at the same time.

Do you know what it feels like to have strange thoughts? Well, it’s like having a warm and fuzzy feeling, almost like a heartwarming feel-good moment. You couldn’t help smiling at the thought of this weird feeling and you certainly don’t want it to end.

Of course, my strange thoughts had an effect on my plans and tasks, and it often serves as an inspiration for some of my writings and fascinations. Even if it only happens for a short period of time, I always enjoy every second of it. Oh well, that was weird.

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#Throwback: A Matcha Drink

Matcha craze is real. We have matcha flavored lattes, milk tea, donuts, cakes, Kit Kat bars… you name it!

Of course, I tried a variety of matcha sweets and drinks. Well, I’ll be focusing on the drinks, since that is the #Throwback topic for this post. But first, what is matcha and how it is processed.

The Green Powder That Everybody Loves

Matcha is a finely ground powder of specially grown and processed green tea leaves.^ It is generally processed by grinding the leaves into a fine green powder, but the preparation is quite tedious. It is classified into three grades: the ceremonial grade (most expensive), the premium grade, and the culinary/cooking grade (least expensive). The ceremonial grade is mainly used in tea ceremonies and Buddhist temples, and are of the highest quality. The premium grade is for daily consumption and contains the full nutritional content. The culinary/cooking grade is suitable for cooking purposes and is slightly bitter than the others.^

Matcha is processed by carefully selecting growing tea buds, which are shaded for 20 days. The harvested fresh tea leaves are steamed at a very high temperature and then cooled. The leaves are then sorted according to grade, removing the stems and veins, and then grinding the leaves into a fine powder.^

Now that I explained what matcha is and how it is processed, then it’s time for some throwback memories about the matcha drinks I’ve had during those times.

April 2016

The first matcha drink I had is a bottled one. It had a milky root crop taste (similar to taro) and it was really good. The moment I want to have one, I can’t find it in some supermarkets. Turns out that it was only available in select convenience store branches and it’s more of a limited edition item.

I must have bought the bottled drink twice or thrice, and I really enjoyed it so much that I wanted to pair it with a matcha flavored donut or Kit Kat. Well, I tried pairing it with a matcha donut, but the donut itself is incredibly too sweet to consume along with the bottled matcha drink that I felt jittery after that. I guess that was the last time I had that bottled matcha drink. Since then, I can no longer find that particular bottled matcha drink anywhere as of this writing.

January 2017

I always order fruit tea or fruit-flavored milk teas whenever I passed by a milk tea shop. But that time, I just noticed something written on a small blackboard beside the counter. Yup, there’s a matcha drink available at the milk tea shop I frequented. I asked the person at the counter if it’s still available, and she said yes.

Before long, I already sat down in one of the tables, with a matcha drink in hand. I enjoyed an entire afternoon sipping the matcha milk tea and marvel at its mild flavor… absolutely not too bitter.

I was hoping to have another sip of the matcha milk tea again, but they always ran out of stock, therefore, they’re not always available. Oh well, I’ll try to have one when I got the chance.

Postscript

Of course, these are not the only times when I had some of the matcha drinks.

Sure, it was kind of a premium (and at times, expensive) treat, but this shouldn’t stop me from having a cup (or a bottle) of it. After all, matcha drinks are something worth enjoying, don’t you agree?

i150W: Hot Weather

It sure was incredibly hot these past few days, and it’s not even April yet. Well, sort of.

It’s that time of the year where we definitely need to stay cool and hydrated, for the hot weather’s going to take over. So for the next two months, there’s always a need to wear something comfortable, eat and drink something cold, go somewhere relaxing, and do all the things you love. It’s fun in the sun, as they call it.

Sure, the hot weather is enjoyable but remember to follow some tips in order to stay comfortable and to avoid heat stroke and sunburn.

  • Drink lots of fluids
  • Wear light clothing
  • Use sunblock/sunscreen and umbrella when going out
  • Stay indoors
  • Avoid doing outdoor activities when the sun is high
  • Avoid sugary and carbonated drinks
  • Avoid enclosed, unventilated areas

Well, these tips should help you make it through the extremely hot weather!

The Listening Room: The Songs I Listen To Through The Years

It’s been more than a year ago since the last TLR post. Anyway, it seems like music never fails to motivate me in some ways. At times, it serves as a memory recall.

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More than twelve years ago, I started tuning in to this smooth jazz and easy listening station and I always listen to that kind of music ever since. While some of these music keeps me relaxed and upbeat, there are times when you tend to get caught up in emotion while listening to some tracks. Music is such a wonderful thing to have.

So here are some playlists of songs I listened to/discovered during a specific period of time. It’s a mix of different genres, focusing primarily on jazz and easy listening music.

The Year 2006

That time, I generally rely on my pocket radio to listen to my favorite radio station (Joey 92.3/923 Joey, now Radyo 5 News FM), and later, some songs which eventually become my personal favorites. Okay, some of the songs listed are not the kind of music a typical 15-year-old [like me, during that time] would listen, but I grew to love it immediately as soon as I tune in.

  • Lee Ritenour – Is It You?
  • Ramsey Lewis & Nancy Wilson – The Two Of Us
  • Stephen Bishop – Save It For A Rainy Day
  • Paulinho Da Costa – Real Love
  • Ive Mendes – If You Leave Me Now
  • Rita Calypso – Paper Mache
  • Dionne Warwick – Deja Vu
  • The 5th Dimension – Ashes To Ashes
  • Burt Bacharach – Living Together, Growing Together
  • David Benoit – When The Winter’s Gone (feat. Jennifer Warnes)
  • Lisa Stansfield – He Touches Me
  • John Kaizan Neptune – Soft Melody

The Year 2007

Well, it sure is fun listening to the radio, but that changed when I started downloading songs on the internet. So this playlist focuses primarily on the songs I grew up listening to, mostly easy listening music from the 70’s up to the early 90’s.

  • David Batteau – Walk In Love
  • Sergio Mendes – Waiting For Love
  • The Manhattan Transfer – Smile Again
  • Shanice – Saving Forever For You
  • The Spinners – Then Came You
  • The Miracles – City Of Angels
  • Sergio Mendes – Let’s Give A Little More This Time
  • Bryan Adams – Heaven
  • Randy Goodrum – Love
  • Aretha Franklin – I Say A Little Prayer For You
  • Dionne Warwick and Stevie Wonder – It’s You
  • Lee Ritenour – I Can’t Let Go
  • Air Supply – Every Woman In The World

The Year 2008

Yeah, it’s a lovely year for me to listen to good music and enjoy the laidback lifestyle. And it gets even better too. Oh, and I discovered some great old songs too.

  • Rita Calypso – Believe
  • Pauline Wilson – Stay
  • The Manhattan Transfer – Birdland
  • Michael Franks – Mr. Blue
  • Dennis Lambert – Ashes To Ashes
  • Peter Allen – You And Me, We Wanted It All
  • Gloria Estefan – Anything For You
  • Karen Wyman – Somebody Waiting
  • Paul Parrish – That’s The Way Of Friends
  • Merrily Webber – It’s Time To Say I Love You
  • Dave Grusin feat. Randy Goodrum – Haunting Me
  • Gregg Karukas – Three Wishes, One Desire
  • Sadao Watanabe – Fill Up The Night With Music
  • Alphonse Mouzon – I’m Glad That You’re Here

The Year 2009

A pretty weird year… but this is the year I got my first MP3/MP4 player. Just a disposable one, I guess, but it’s still a little pricey. Anyway, I discovered some good songs and I loved listening to them on loop.

  • Basia – Drunk On Love
  • The Carpenters – Sandy
  • Peter Cincotti – Goodbye Philadelphia
  • Stacey Kent – The Ice Hotel
  • Jim Chappell – Living The Northern Summer
  • Eddie Daniels – Emily
  • Yutaka – Warm And Sunny Sunday Morning
  • Basia – Baby You’re Mine
  • The Manhattan Transfer – This Independence

The Year 2010

This is it, I discovered a lot of smooth jazz and easy listening music. Can’t hide my excitement during that time. And I can finally identify unknown songs by means of a PC program, courtesy of Tunatic.

  • David Benoit – Promise Me A Carousel
  • Sade – Hang On To Your Love
  • Jim Chappell – Saturday’s Rhapsody
  • Linda Lewis – More Than Enough
  • Lori Perry – One Chance
  • Al Jarreau – I Will Be Here For You
  • Hiroshima – Why Can’t I Love You
  • Nolen & Crossley – Nice To Have You Back
  • Akira Jimbo – Olivia
  • Paulinho Da Costa – I Believe You

The Year 2011

It sure was a breezy year. Discovered some tunes from the radio too, and certainly not the kind of music you hear in most mainstream radio stations.

  • Bill Cantos – Who Are You
  • Bob James – Friends
  • Pizzicato Five – Sweet Soul Revue
  • Eddie Daniels – Siciliano
  • Akira Jimbo – Sweet Melody
  • Gary Paxton – I’m Living In The Shadow Of Your Memory
  • Yutaka – Chuva
  • David Benoit – Remembering What You Said
  • Basia – There’s A Tear
  • Dave Grusin – Crystal Morning
  • Everything But The Girl – Driving

The Year 2012

From this point on, I never stop discovering a lot of good tunes. So there you have it!

  • The Crusaders – Spiral
  • Randy Goodrum – Flight 136
  • The Kazu Matsui Project feat. Bill Champlin – Then I Heard The Sound Of Rain
  • Sadao Watanabe – Old Photograph
  • The Rippingtons – Weekend In Monaco
  • Acoustic Alchemy – Mr. Chow
  • Weather Report – Elegant People
  • Marlene – Just Say I Love You
  • Joe Sample – Dream Of Dreams
  • The Rippingtons – Taos
  • Sadao Watanabe – Nice Shot

The Year 2013

  • Lisa Stansfield – 8-3-1
  • Michael Franks – Now I Know Why They Call It Falling
  • Acoustic Alchemy – The Velvet Swing
  • Akira Jimbo – The Silent Road
  • The Kazu Matsui Project – Castles
  • David Benoit – If I Can Believe
  • Akira Jimbo – Here We Are
  • Wilbert Longmire – Strawberry Sunset
  • The Rippingtons – Aspen
  • Seawind – Wings Of Love
  • Eliane Elias – Barefoot

The Year 2014

  • Swan Dive – Automatically Sunshine
  • Culture Club – Move Away
  • George Michael – Too Funky
  • Prince – Uptown
  • Govi – Abundance
  • Eddie Daniels – First Gymnopedie
  • Dusty Springfield – Time And Time Again
  • The Crusaders – Maputo
  • The Rippingtons – Summer Lovers
  • Fred Hersch Trio – Con Alma
  • LaVerne Butler – I Cover The Waterfront
  • Marilyn Scott – Giving Up On Love

The Year 2015

  • Stacey Kent – This Happy Madness
  • Akira Jimbo – Twilight Walk
  • Rupert Holmes – So Beautiful It Hurts
  • Elis Regina – Madalena
  • Frank Sinatra – L.A. Is My Lady
  • Johnny Mathis – How Can I Make It On My Own

The Year 2016

  • Peter Allen – Bi-Coastal
  • Diane Schuur feat. José Feliciano – By Design
  • Sadao Watanabe – Desert Ride
  • The Yellowjackets – Homecoming
  • Spyro Gyra – Autumn Of Our Love
  • Bill Evans – Waltz For Debby
  • Chick Corea – Passage
  • Nielsen-Pearson – Sentimental
  • Herb Alpert – I Get It From You
  • Perri – Someone Like You

The Year 2017

  • Tom Grant – In A Special Way
  • Diane Schuur – Touch
  • Don Grusin – Shuffle City
  • The Chick Corea Elektric Band – Ezinda
  • Dave Grusin and the N.Y.-L.A. Dream Band – Summer Sketches ’82
  • Eric Gale – Boardwalk
  • Lee Ritenour – The Captain’s Journey
  • Steps Ahead – Kyoto
  • Marilyn Scott – I’ll Be Loving You
  • Michael W. Smith – Place In This World

Mornings, Alarms, And Waking Up

I’m an occasional morning person, but most of the time I’m usually asleep until about noontime. Well, it seems like I’m kind of used to this lifestyle, something that I really enjoyed as a NEET. Oh dear, it looks like I’m gonna be like that until I can find a suitable job, which is practically close to impossible.

Anyway, the thought of waking up early is something I can really live with, but then I won’t be able to enjoy the quiet late nights since I really should be in bed around that time. Yes, I still enjoy being a morning person but only when I feel like it.

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Most of the time, I woke up at around 10 to 11 in the morning since I generally stay up late every night. I generally set my alarm at 10 AM on weekdays and Saturdays and 9 AM on Sundays. At times, I set the alarm a few hours earlier whenever I feel like going out early on that day, mostly on Saturdays.

Okay, so setting up an alarm may prove to be helpful for those who struggled with waking up early, but there are certain instances wherein a person tends to fall back to sleep a few minutes after the alarm rings, or would sleep through it. Sometimes, alarm clocks have the tendency to disrupt one’s sleep, especially if it’s incredibly loud to be heard outside the room.

In my case, I tend to wake up without getting off the bed before the alarm rings. Oh well, my bed is right beside the window, and the brightness of the sun prompted me to wake up even before the alarm rings. At times, I woke up to the sounds coming from outside my room, usually my brother and sister-in-law getting ready to go to work. But then, it’s not yet time to get up so I fall back to sleep for a couple more hours.

Mornings can be a perfect time to look forward to the good things that will happen throughout the day. But while I sometimes enjoy a sunny morning, I don’t get to enjoy this every day as I always slept through it. But when I do, I always feel excited about the good things that are bound to happen that day.

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Mornings, alarms, and waking up. It means that you are to get up in the morning by means of setting your alarm to a specific time, not later than 9:00 AM. In this case, there are some things you need to consider when you’re trying to become a morning person.

Having enough sleep is very crucial, especially if you’re adjusting to a new shift. So if you’re used to staying up late at night, then you might reconsider going to bed a little early. You’ll have to do this repeatedly until you get used to it. Of course, make sure you don’t make sudden changes in your sleeping habits or you might end up feeling tired throughout the day.

On setting the alarm, make sure that it is set to the time that’s suitable for you. If you set your alarm to a particular time and ended up sleeping through it or sleeping again after being awakened by the alarm, then you may reconsider setting the alarm a little later than that.

Being a morning person sure has benefits, especially when it comes to a person’s well-being. How nice it is to wake up when the sun rises and you don’t even need an alarm clock for you to get up and enjoy the morning. When will I get to enjoy this kind of life once again?

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One of these days, I’m planning to reset my body clock probably as a preparation for a change in routine. For now, I can only get used to this kind of life until I really have to.

#Throwback: Battle Royale

1-throwback

But the moment you think you’re teaming up to get rid of someone else, this sneaky friend can suddenly betray and beat you.

Koushun Takami’s Battle Royale (Introduction)

June 2012. It was a rainy Friday afternoon when I passed by a Fully Booked branch in Gateway Mall at Araneta Center, Cubao. That time, I was really excited to ride the LRT-2 for the first time, as well as heading east to the two malls in Marikina. But then, I decided to check some of the books, and this is what I discovered… a dystopian-themed novel by Japanese writer Koushun Takami.

The moment I preview a few pages of the book, I decided I want to have it. Thing is, I don’t have enough money to buy the book (the book costs about 700 pesos… it was quite pricey for me) and I don’t have a job yet, having graduated from college roughly two months ago. But that doesn’t stop me from aiming to own a copy of that book, which I finally did 9 months later.

I spent the next few months checking every bookshelf for the book. But then, considering the controversy it garnered when it was first published, as well as the possibility of running out of stock due to limited availability, I knew I might give up trying to have a copy. Well, I didn’t.

March 2013. I passed by a bookstore in SM Fairview on my way home from Eastwood City and I was surprised to see a handful copies of the book on the shelves! And I just happened to have enough money to buy a copy (which costs about 400 pesos), though it’s different from the ones I see in Fully Booked branches and it doesn’t have the afterword from the author and some extra stuff. I believe it was the first printed English edition of the novel. Well, it’s better than not having a copy at all. Oh, what a joy!

I started reading the book a few days later and finished it in about five or six months. Considering I’m a slow reader, it took me long enough to finish it. So far, it is the longest novel I’ve ever read at 600+ pages, and it hasn’t been surpassed ever since. The book itself is a worthwhile read, quite detailed and dramatic. This adds to the list of my favorite books and I really loved it.

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So here’s a brief summary of the book. The summary may contain spoilers, so proceed at your own risk. *laughs*

The book’s summary is taken from the Wikipedia article:^

A group of students from Shiroiwa Junior High School prepares for a field trip–among them are wannabe rock star Shuya Nanahara, whose father was killed by the regime, Noriko Nakagawa, the demure crush of Shuya’s best friend, Shogo Kadawa, a quiet, tough young transfer student, and psychopathic prodigy Kazuo Kiriyama. En route, they are gassed–the “field trip” was a ruse for the Program.

They awake in a classroom in a small, vacated island, surrounded by troops, and wearing metal collars around their necks. A teacher, psychopathic sadist Kinpatsu Sakamochi, briefs the students: the class has been chosen to participate in the Program. They have three days to kill each other until one stands as the victor, or the metal collars will detonate, killing them all (as Sakamochi gleefully demonstrates on one student). The students are issued survival packs and a random weapon/tool and sent out to the island one by one. While most of the students receive guns and knives, some acquire relatively useless items like boomerangs, dartboard darts, or a fork. Hiroki Sugimura finds a radar device that tracks nearby students, and Toshinori Oda receives a bulletproof vest.

To make sure the students obey the rules and kill each other, the metal collars around their necks track their positions, and will explode if they linger in a “Forbidden Zone”, randomly selected areas of the island that increase as the Program goes on to force Students closer to each other, or attempt to remove the collars. The Forbidden Zones are randomly chosen areas of the map that increase in number as time goes on, re-sculpting and shrinking the battlefield and forcing the students to move around. The collars secretly transmit sound back to the organizers of the game, allowing them to hear the students’ conversations, root out escape plans, and log their activities. The collars will explode if the students go a full day without anyone dying.

The students desperately fight amongst each other for survival, with mentally-ill bully Mitsuko Souma and Kiriyama killing many. Shuya takes Noriko under his wing after his best friend is killed, believing that he has a duty to honor his fallen friend by protecting his crush. Shogo–the latter of whom was in a previous Battle Royale and hopes to put an end to the Program–avoids the fighting, joining with Shuya. Shuya’s friend, athlete Shinji Mimura, attempts to hack the system running the Program and bomb the building where Sakamochi and the other personnel overseeing the Program are stationed but is killed by Kiriyama.

Eventually, halfway through the third day, only Shogo, Shuya, Noriko, and Kiriyama remain, with Kiriyama dead set on hunting down the trio. After a frantic car chase, Kiriyama is finally gunned down–but Nanahara and Nakagawa are held at gunpoint by Shogo, who taunts them over being so naive as to trust anyone in the Program. The collars record gunshots and Shuya and Noriko flatlining.

Declared the winner by Sakamochi, Shogo is escorted to his transport off the island, surrounded by soldiers. Sakamochi, however, reveals that he knows Nanahara and Nakagawa are alive and that his supposed execution of Noriko and Shuya was a ruse after he found a way to disable their collars, and attempts to kill Shogo. Shogo kills him as a hidden Nanahara and Nakagawa hijack the ship and kill the soldiers on board. As the boat sails towards the mainland, Shogo succumbs to his wounds sustained during the hijacking, and dies, but not before thanking Shuya and Noriko for being his friends.

On the advice of Shogo, Shuya and Noriko escape to the mainland and plan to escape to a democratic America, pursued by the government.

Love At First Sight… This Is Not About Romance

All right, so I’m not talking about romantic relationships here. Oh well, do I really need to explain further?

When you love something, you’ll do anything just to have it. So if it’s an item you love at first sight, then you’re in for some serious thinking… are you planning to buy it or not?

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Like the title says, this is not all about romance. Okay, so what does it mean to love something at first sight? Apparently, you’re attracted to something and then got fascinated with it. In the end, you tend to get obsessed with it until you can’t hold it much longer. It may sound like I’m exaggerating, but some people would rather check some interesting and/or cool stuff like books, clothes, and stuffed animals, and immediately buy it if it’s something that caught their eye without even checking for some noticeable or hidden defects. Oh well, that’s what you call love at first sight and totally unrelated to romance.

So what makes people love something at first sight? Is there a possibility that they were simply attracted by its appearance or its wonderful features? Or maybe there’s more to it than that? Is a good offer also the reason for sudden fascination?

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There are times when I was initially attracted to a particular book, clothing, or an item that I find interesting. At first, I wish I had enough money to buy that item. I just couldn’t get my mind off that item, and I’ll do anything to get my hands on it, even if it means spending your allowance intended for snacks or lunch. It’s hard to resist such items, even if it ends up gathering dust later on.

And that’s how I ended up buying some of the books that are really awesome but quite obscure and are hard to find nowadays. I can’t imagine the joy I had upon taking these books home and browse through its pages. Of course, I may be overdoing it at times, since I tend to spend more than I should. Same thing with some of the clothes that I bought last year, including the black fleece coat which is more comfortable than the black double-breasted wool coat that I bought years ago. Sometimes, I just couldn’t help myself, since I knew there won’t be another chance. Oh well…

Anyway, there are reasons why some people would rather buy a specific item the moment they laid their eyes on it. First of all, there’s a chance of it being rare or hard to find and there’s a chance you might not see the item again the moment you decided to come back for it. Second, it’s hard to fight off temptation, especially if you’re captivated by its wonderful design (mainly for clothing or household items), its contents (books, CDs and DVDs, and magazines), or its usefulness (tools, appliances, and gadgets) that you couldn’t resist the urge to buy it. Third, you simply want to have it for little to no reason at all, as with the case of compulsive buying. So a simple fascination with a certain item can lead a person to do just that.

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Well, that’s how fascination works… a love at first sight approach. The moment you find something interesting, you can’t take your eyes off it. And knowing that you may never have another chance to see that item again, you decided to buy it, even though it’s outside your intended budget. That’s how it works, all right.

Love at first sight? Yeah. And it’s not just for finding your one true love, but it’s also for the item(s) you wish to have… at the first sight of it.

A Single Life

Being single is a blessing, and certainly not a curse. Take it from me.

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I know some of you will object, but finding your one true love isn’t meant to be rushed and does not have a deadline. So is marriage. Everything takes time, and patience is the key. And of course, there are people who would rather focus on their career than their love life. I find it amusing, to be honest. Besides, what’s the point of falling in love when you can’t even support yourself?

That aside, is there really a need to find your one true love? While some people are desperately searching for one, those who have are either happy to have one or not happy with the one they have right now. Come on, what’s the point of being in a relationship when your heart’s not in it? You know how relationships can be unpredictable, right? And you certainly knew how painful it is to break up with someone you’ve loved for a long time. Heck, even marriages don’t last and tend to end up in divorce.

I’m growing old now, and I know there are some people wondering why I am still single at this point.  Well, I was wondering why there are some people who wanted to get married so early in their lives. In the end, you can decide what to do with your own life and not let others influence you into doing the same thing, like desperately trying to start a relationship with someone who will break your heart in the end.  Well, why bother?

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Does it really bother me that I’m still single until now? Of course, not. After all, relationships may prove to be difficult if you’re not prepared for it or your heart’s not really into it. Not to mention that your love life may restrict some activities you used to enjoy, such as partying at the bar and a boys’/girls’ night out. After all, having a relationship comes with a promise to remain faithful to your partner and certainly not to cheat on him/her. Of course, there’s also a promise to stay together ’til the very end. Oh well, it seems like I’m definitely not into having a relationship with someone, even if she appears to be my soul mate. Nope, I’m not that kind.

I’m not keen on getting married since I’m not capable of being a good husband to my potential wife. Not to mention that I don’t want to end up like my dad. And I certainly don’t want to be a dad. Sorry, but that’s how the way it goes. I guess you already know why I said this… it’s just that I don’t want to.

Now that I’m growing old, they would probably ask when will I get married. Well, I only have one answer, and that is… I’m not planning to. Again, that’s just the way it goes.

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You know, being single isn’t really bad at all. You see, you’ve got all the freedom you need and you don’t have to stress yourself with lots of arguments and too many expenses during dates and wedding preparations. Oh well, I can’t believe I said such things, but I only speak what’s on my mind.

Anyway, there’s no need to search for your one true love out of desperation. Believe me, it will come one day… but until then, enjoy being single.

Forever… Not!

There is no such thing as forever. So why are we falling for it?

Admit it or not, we can only hope that everything will last for an extended period of time, even if it may sound impossible at times. But forever? No, that just doesn’t cut it.

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The reality of continuous changes proves that nothing lasts forever. The once beautiful Earth is slowly turning into an industrial wasteland. The coolest gadgets will soon become obsolete. The beautiful body you once flaunt will eventually become unattractive due to a lot of factors, including unhealthy lifestyle. And of course, there’s no such thing as immortality–we all die in the end. So are you still convinced that there’s still forever given these disappointing facts?

Okay, so I think I may be quite a pessimist when it comes to that sort of thing, but it’s a fact. And there’s no way to change that… unless you have magical powers.

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Forever Is A Promise… That Can Be Broken

Ah… yes, forever is a promise to hold on to each other ’til the end of time, or until one of you break your promise or die. Some of you tend to refer to your special someone as your forever, even though you’ve just started your relationship. Oh well, they really believed in that sort of thing and there’s no stopping them.

So here’s how a relationship works. You and your special someone were formally or informally introduced to one another, get to know each other, go out more often, meeting their respective families to ask for their approval, get engaged, preparing for a big event you’ve all been waiting for, start a family, have kids, sort out your differences, and living together until both of you are old and gray. Now, that’s what I call forever… at least a promise to stay together until you’ve breathed your last.

Anyway, relationships can go wrong and may end up unexpectedly. So are you gonna call someone your forever if he/she is gonna be the reason for the (sudden) breakup and an unexpected heartbreak? Come on, it’s too early for you to say if that so-called special someone is really right for you. Who knows, there are some plot twists to your very own (true to life) love story that either end with a happy or a sad ending.

Forever Is When You’re Using It Properly…

All material things may reach their end of the cycle, especially if it is used often. So for example, a couch may either last long or not, depending on how a person cares for it. You can repair it a lot of times once it’s broken, but it will eventually turn into something that’s beyond repair.

The same thing goes for electrical appliances. Depending on how much you use it, they should provide you with much-needed usefulness and enjoyment, as long as you take good care of it and you don’t abuse it (i.e., keep using the appliance without giving it a much-needed break). Anyway, no matter how useful these electrical appliances are to you, they will soon become outdated and it can never keep up with the newer models no matter how much you fix it.

Forever Is… Something You Wish Will Last

Like I said, the reality of continuous changes proves that nothing lasts forever. Now, take a good look at your surroundings, close your eyes, and imagine how your surroundings look like years ago. Perhaps, you will see the difference. Do the same with taking a good look at yourself in the mirror and compare it with a picture of yourself taken ten or twenty years ago.

The changes in yourself and your surroundings meant that there’s no such thing as forever. Okay, so you look handsome during your teenage years. But will it ever be the same once you reached twice or thrice that age? Probably. As for your surroundings, will it ever be the same as ten or twenty years ago? Well, depending on how people take good care of it.

It’s sad to think that we can never revert back to our better selves, and there’s no way to rollback the changes the Earth or the people had done. We can always move forward, but not backward.

Forever Young

Ugh! That’s one thing I really hate to discuss since I’m growing old. And now that I think of it, I can still look young while trying… but trying to achieve your younger look as if you’re in the early teens? That’s practically next to impossible.

All of us humans are undergoing a life cycle. From the moment we were born, there will be a lot of changes… in our bodies, our minds, and the way we do things. As we all grow up, we were gradually transitioning from one cycle to another, then we eventually slow down as we age, and then we cease to function. Oh God, I really hate thinking about this. Reality sure is pretty harsh, but we have to face it.

Going back, how can we achieve looking young without having to deal with our age? Simple. Just stop thinking and keep trying. Who knows, you might get stuck with the perception of looking young while your age stealthily increases. But then again, you can never be like that forever. So enjoy being young while you still can.

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There is no such thing as forever. So why are you falling for it?

Honestly, it’s nice to think that we still have a positive outlook on life despite such disappointments, and that is something we hope would last forever.

#Throwback: A Moment In Binondo

Binondo. The first time I see you, I suddenly had an interest in you… and that’s what makes me come back more often just to visit you.

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It was June 2012 when I first visited Binondo, more popularly known as the Manila Chinatown. Having ridden the LRT-2 eastbound, maybe I’d like to try going west and visit a newly-opened mall in the area, the Lucky Chinatown Mall.

After dropping by my university to get the transcript of records, I thought of going somewhere else and I ended up going to Binondo just to check out the newly-opened mall. Going there, I think I took a UV Express to Cubao from Novaliches (if my memory serves me right), and then took the LRT-2 to Recto Station, currently the western terminus for the line. Getting off the station, I decided to walk along Soler until I reached my destination.

Since the mall is newly-opened, most of the shops are not yet open. Anyway, the mall itself is pretty nice, and it has an upscale feel to it. Being a lifestyle mall, it stood out from the rest of the malls in the area. Also, some of the store signages had Chinese characters on it, probably translations of store names.

The mall’s exterior was done in a mix of modern and neoclassical style. The strip of open space between the two buildings (the City Walk) serves as the alfresco area for some restaurants located on the eastern side of the main mall. The area is decorated with either red or multiple colored lanterns and an arch in the front entrance. The area looks beautiful and vibrant at night once the lanterns are lighted.

While I visited the newly-opened mall in the area, I didn’t bother checking the rest of the malls in the area (which is already part of Divisoria) since I’m not yet familiar with the place and I might get lost. I somehow managed to familiarize myself with getting around the place later on, so I always keep coming back.

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All right, so there are some reasons why I keep coming back to the place. Of course, I always feel like checking out some of the stalls and buying cool items, especially anime merch like posters and shirts. Also, I simply love the idea of going there just to soak up the multicultural atmosphere and to try out some authentic Chinese cuisine… which I never did as of now, but will certainly do the next time I got back.

Walking the streets of Binondo is more than just shopping and sightseeing… it’s also understanding the culture as if you’re visiting another country. But then again, I can’t be a foreigner in my own town, right? Anyway, I’m looking forward to another visit.