Surviving Boredom

Because I'm being paid to be bored to death and have nothing better to do than surf the web, sleep and eat, I'd like to post what I wrote for my Gender Politics class last semester. I was too sick and tired of writing research papers (I wrote a total of four last sem) so I decided to deviate from the norm, wrote informally and chose Lysistrata- women characters written in male perspective- as my topic.

Four women clad in their designer bags and high-end fashion statements strut in the famous streets of Manhattan. But their friendship goes beyond Jimmy Choos and Manolo Blahniks, Pradas and Guccis. They are a shoulder to cry on, and a person to rely on in times of failed relationships and troubled lives. Theirs is a story of big-city professional women clearly advocating feminism, manifesting empowerment and girl power in every sense of the word. This is Sex and the City, a series turned flick based on the book written by Candace Bushnell. The book which eventually became a bible for single women of today's generation, draws inspiration to women in seeing themselves in the characters of Carrie Bradshaw, Samantha Jones, Charlotte York, and Miranda Hobbes. This is today- a story about women written by a woman.

Rewind to the time when Pradas and Guccis are nonexistent. Enter Lysistrata, a Greek heroine who was the advocate or leader of the no-sex for peace movement in the ancient times. Women in the movement with her were first reluctant but nonetheless for peace and reconciliation, and with Lysistrata’s decisiveness, they gave in. How uncouth it is to read about women living for sex and house chores alone, that a literary playwright even has to highlight women's seemingly uncanny interest for sex and of the shallowest of all things. This was yesterday (or maybe of yesteryears)- a story about women written by a man.

Feminist thinkers and feminist literary critics must have been grateful of time being fast forwarded from the ancient Greece to the city of Manhattan, where women are written as independent beings who live their lives without any controls from the "other" sex we call as men. This paper aims to study how male literary writers write about women in male perspective, why they create false images and representations of women, using Lysistrata as the basis of the study. Postmodern feminism studies will also be included in exploring the male playwrights and their literary style.

My Gender Politics class is one of the elective classes I enjoyed the most in graduate school. It's a course under the English-Literature department so I have to ask permission from the professor if I could take her class. Our professor is just superb, she's an expert in her field, and generous too! We ended the class with pizza and pasta! And my favorite line from her, "姐姐妹妹站起來!" When translated, it means "Sisters, let us stand up!" The class covers all areas of feminist literature and gender politics.

Now going back to being bored.

Musings on Life Again

Staying in a place so far away from the city can really give you a reflective mood. I have been spending time to reflect about everything and it's like a breath of fresh air every time I think not about myself but about other people whose lives also matter to me. Like last night while it was dark and quiet, it dawned on me again- how life can be so unfair and cruel to some, perfect and wonderful to others. I have been people watching lately, from people I see on the streets to people on top of the world. See the great disparity there?

I hate this fact about life. Others get to enjoy, others suffer. Is it just a case of fortune versus misfortune? Some work their ass off to make both ends meet and yet even if they work from day to night, their income wont still be enough live decently. If a friend of mine would be able to read this, she'd tell me that I'm thinking too much again. But isn't it time to think of others too? It is just such a pity that at this point in my life I cannot do anything about this, and I blame myself that I think and blab too much but I cant even do anything. I promise to mother earth and to the highest heavens that after I get this degree, it's time to do something, nothing drastically life changing but something that will make these people feel that life can be good too and that somewhere out there lies people who still care.

And then I was on Skype with a couple of best friends. We were again discussing where we will end up after all these things. Where we're headed to seems like the most ubiquitous question now. We're (at this point in time) far from quarter life crisis, but it is always the next step that we are thinking. In just a snap, I thought why do we think of these things when other people have greater problems? We think of who will we be in the future but others out there are thinking if they even have a chance for a future. Such is the life and so we begin in step one of all things, to enjoy this moment and seize every day that comes our way. Easy to say, hard to do eh? Lets focus and we'll get there.

The Heart

The heart is the primary organ of the circulatory system. It pumps blood and carries oxygen to all tiny blood vessels to the different parts of the body. It is the heart that makes us, human beings, live and experience life. Apart from this primary purpose, the heart gives off physical manifestations of our emotions. It beats faster if we're nervous, it beats slower if we're all calm. But sometimes, the heart can also feel all the hurts and pains, that it manifests by giving us crushing, throbbing feeling. Have you been hurt so bad that your chest has started to feel heavy, painful, like it's already crushing you?

It just makes me feel bad that it's really one of the people so dear to me who's giving my heart some scabs and scratches. I have never felt so insignificant that I have been bypassed all the way. I feel like being "used" all this time, being remembered randomly if they need something. The feeling is horrible, my heart, still aching. I have never done this to anyone, more so, anyone close to me. But that's the story. I forgive all too easily, but it may take me a lifetime to forget what has been done. My heart brings back those raw emotions in just a snap, crushing me again into pieces.

Moving on, even if people treat me like an object, there are still people who spoil me and make me feel ever so priceless. I have always and will forever love my mom's side of the family. With older cousins who spend time with you, giving you worthy pep talks, and life advice, what more could you ask for? My Achie Gracey treated me to lunch in Greenhills and after which we watched the matinee show of Legally Blonde The Musical! It's been years since I last watched a live theatrical performance and it was refreshing to see Nikki Gil and Nyoy Volante together on stage! I wouldn't have gotten the chance to watch this (last showing day tomorrow so hurry up!) musical if not for Achie! Thankeeeee Achie :)

One more reason why my heart is happy despite everything- my reunion with my Fs, my high school best friends! We only get to see each other few times a year so our date together is always something to look forward to. I'm happy that both my Fs are doing very well in med school (Monica, despite the stress), career (Monnette, earning and saving for the future) and love aspects (blah blah blah hahaha) of their lives. Our out of the country tour next year should push through by hook or by crook! I just cant imagine us growing old, spending time together in the same salon, perhaps having our hair dyed (which I still have to think of as an option because of my "自然美" mantra) Hahaha! Friends will never fail to make you happy!

I have the best set of high school and college best friends, and I have the best achies in my mom's side. I'm sure that we'll back each other up in times of heart aches and whatever aches life will offer. It just feels so nice to surround yourself with people special to you and to fill your heart with goodness and love.

P.S. Something big is happening on Monday. I'm still praying that it will turn out positive. Lord help me!

I'm Home

Word vomit. I'm just truly happy that I'm now at home, bonding with the parents and the rest of the family who I missed all so dearly, catching up with good friends, good reads (my Chinese book 4 for now) and good eats. If only I can eat more than three times a day, I'll stuff my stomach with kare-kare, inihaw na liempo, asado, halaya, Sonja's cupcakes at kung anu-anu pa. Sabi nga ng pinsan ko, enjoy life, wala ng dieta dieta.

Here are some pictures taken from the nine-day Philippines trip of my friends I met in Taiwan. We had a fair share of unfortunate events that I wouldn't want to happen again to anyone visiting the country, so the best thing I would suggest to international students planning a trip to Pinas… skip Manila (even if it means skipping all the gastronomic feast that will make your tummy happy, keeping Loperamide tablets on hand) and go straight to the paradise that is Boracay.

The highlight was of course, Boracay.

We stayed in Alta Vista so we have direct access to two beaches, the Long Sand Beach and Puka Beach. I love love love Puka Beach, owned by Alta Vista and Eco Village. It's a private beach you can even call it your own because it's so secluded. Since the private beach is exclusive only to the two resorts' guests, other people reach Puka if they go island hopping.

Watching the sunset was an "ooh… ahh…omg" moment.

All that time I was just whispering my thanks to God for creating such a beautiful island in my own country.

Massage by the beach was just pure bliss.

I will never ever get hungry when I'm home, and I hate Taipei for making me feel hungry all the time with the lack of "good" food selection. Thank you Bea for the red velvet cupcake treat!

...And lastly, picture with Pop in Tagaytay (I brought my other French friend to Tagaytay last weekend.) I was not able to write a father's day post for him because I was busy with mom in Taipei that time. I always feel so secured and protected when he is around. And when the *incident* happened and I heard his voice on the phone, I know everything will be fine. I missed his chubby cheeks, and I love him soooo much even if his temper goes out of whack at times. Belated happy pop's day Pa!