First thing I did this day was claim my ugly new grad skool ID from OUR. Spent a good time in the library basement to supposedly work, but obviously I just spent it watching tennis...I do remember being a LITTLE bit productive when I moved to CEM Library, I even made the mistake of ordering peppermint latte and drinking coffee for the first time this year. Broke as hell so I keep buying small foods and not eating real meals, bumped into Julianne, Pola and Basti at the fried isaw place in Dema...also had our first ESM this year, which was a bit nice, but it lasted like 2 and a half hours. Met with Eliseo at Cadapan and had one beer with this grampapi and the first thing Eliseo says is "So kumusta naman po yung homework ng pamangkin niyo?" Beer and coffee rewires my brain in a weird way but anyway, we ate at Tapa P's and had a pretty good talk, and Eliseo was cool to offer me a ride home in Bay. Would've been cooler if he was riding a motorcycle, but an Innova is fine, who am I to complain? Plantasia was playing.
Woke up late and missed breakfast. My family went off to drop my nephews somewhere and I had to skip lunch because there WAS no lunch waiting for me, Tito Boy. Got up and prepped for my 3PM meeting with the Munzinelupa Team at Picked, ate brunch at around 2:45PM in Jollibee Pacita alone. Got in the same jeep as two bikers who gave up in Landayan area, kinda annoying. The meeting was productive, I got to meet Munzinelupa volunteers Chris, Diana, Chesby, Jomz, Josh, Valyn, Hannah (wow I remembered their names!). Some of em were already volunteers from last year, Val was a participant-seller last time, aaaand yeah. Traveled back to Elbi and arrived past 7PM, and waited by the benches near UP Gate til I ate dinner with Pat (salmon sinigang w/ extra rice and refillable iced tea, god is real) at Copa in Square. Had a pretty good talk about life, friendships, nature, and optimism. She gave me a totebag from Thailand! Was gonna cram work that night but I just fell asleep in my bed.
Quite inspired. Did a tweet the day before asking followers how to beat procrastination, and one of them gave a pretty good answer: “What helps me get off my ass…is my mindset na ‘I’ll still be lazy to do/put off doing it tomorrow and it the coming days might as well do it today.” Got a haircut in Pacita and blew cash at Watson’s. Pretty ridiculous how I could spend almost 500 pesos for dumb shit like deodorant, moisturizer, etc. Also got a haircut, which was kinda bad, as usual. This one was importantly bad because I took an ID pic after, and my hair ruined it. BUT the cool part is, the background was blue which was different from the usual white background. Got this idea from Yohann, who I was chatting with the whole day because he was sending me cute vlog clips of Malolos. Anyway, they also announced that #BuhayElbi/Pelikultura is coming back for their 10th run this year, so I was super pumped and asked all my friends if they wanted to collaborate. Oh, and my nephews Stanley and Stephen visited the house to see my grandfather. I think I was a bit pissed for a moment here because it was supposed to be a bday celebration but my mom bought fucking….pansit na toge(???) and porkchop, which BOTH tasted like flowers and I’m just…is this even a real bday if it’s not sweet spaghetti? Pass.
So so weird being home in San Pedro on a Friday morning. The universe edged me this week, was supposed to be my first week of classes as a new graduate student but the whole week suspension didn’t let me. Anyway, we went out for lunch in SM Sta Rosa, got to try this unli food place called Yakimix because it was my grampapi’s bday and it was my brother’s treat. Feeling kinda squinty eyes because he can afford that, especially now that it’s Asshulz Broke Era 2020. Spent time today fixing my phone, installed apps like Daywise and Thrive Away, which notify me when I’m going overboard of my app usage + hides my notifs until certain periods. Not the most effective way to make me productive but they DO kinda take me away from my phone which is cool because I’m more useful when I’m on my laptop. Went on a productive run, got to talk to Raymart, Emilio, and Pat to work on the backlog that is my short film Kapok Tamod Engkanto, which we plan on releasing finally for Pelikultura’s 10th run. Feeling like an excited freshie and made a class schedule that I sent to my friends…next week especially with the first Blessings on a Plate, Czae’s bday, Sarah going to Elbi, some meetings, Munzinelupa, first week of classes. I’m stoked!
“Tara let’s fix that boredom” said Yohann, who I called out nowhere because, well, I was bored at 11AM in my bedroom in Bay. He owed me ice cream so we met up at CDC to just hang out. Saw Gil, Ken & Athena first, the campus vibe was still pretty much :/ because of the ashfall and class suspension. I initially thought Yohann and I would just eat ice cream and part ways but we ended up going to the hidden CHE playground which made me super happy because I finally got to try the monkey bars! Learned that Yohann is actually the coolest person I’ve ever met, because he can talk about tech stuff and quantum computing and scifi movies for HOURS and I wouldn’t get bored. There’s this aspect where he’s like…a military time apologist, but whatever. We ate fried isaw at Dema and some Aice cream…encountered a person I was avoiding at Grove that gave me a slight panic attack…also learned that although it was a Thursday, Blessings on a Plate was cancelled because of suspension. Really made me sad BUT Yohann was also kind enough to cook food for the both of us, so. We ate ice cream the second time in Square, before I went home to San Pedro and slept in my ashy-as-fuck bedroom. This day was perfect. (Oh, and I forgot: fired my project manager because he forgot to remind me of my meds reseta, which expired that same night.) / Jan 16, 2020 (Thursday)
I remember waking up feeling good but also slightly pissed at Marky because he took over like literally 75% of the bed. Sonya slept in my carseat sofa…that night was pretty cold, my entire sleep the electric fan was facing me. Anyway, Ate Mary was driving to campus so us three hitched to campus to get shit done (I wanted my ID pic taken) but we decided to eat brunch at IRRI instead. The theme of that day was #zen because we ate pasta and cheese sandwiches and I brought a pack of Swiss Miss to the cafe, and we just talked and stared at goldfish in the pond, tagging ourselves at pink, yellow, and chonky ones. We originally planned on going back to campus but we rode the bus going to Open University TWICE so we dropped off at wrong points and just decided to visit the playground and have a mini photoshoot…we also went back to the cafe where I bought soda and then Marky and Sonya bought bread and hot chocolate. That day was hopelessly funny, transport from IRRI to UP was difficult to do, so we went on another spontaneous adventure and rode a trike to Tuntungin and then a pedicab to Vetmed area. I got my ID pic taken, and then I hung out at Justine’s apartment. Saw a person I was avoiding at Raymundo that day so there’s that, buuuut the rest of the day was pretty fun. Justine brought Raf and I to the fried isaw in Dema which was SUPER GOOD btw, and then we ate ice cream after. I don’t remember what else I did that day, but I think I went home pretty early. They already announced class suspension for Thursday AND Friday, so. Fun day, but the future was pretty damn bleak.
Tuesday, went to school to get my ID pic taken. Ate Mary was driving to campus with Zyg and me as passengers. We were all still advised to wear masks and shit, my nephew Drei biked all the way to campus wearing anti-ashfall gear like he was on Apocalypse Olympics or something. When I got to OUR, it turns out the ID pic schedule was Mondays and Wednesdays instead of Monday /to/ Wednesday. So that was pretty fucking ridiculous. Went back home to eat lunch, procrastinated, obviously, because I got the idea of making a croptop out of my old t-shirt. Not gonna lie, that shit was comfy as fuck and I felt kinda s*xy….blush emoji. Not a lot of shit was supposed to happen that day, was a bit regretful because it turns out the libraries were open. But anyway, I was in desperate need of motivation so I ended up asking for help from my project manager Marky who does a really shitty job BY THE WAY because he ended up inviting himself and Sonya to my house and we ended up just tripping with lights and eating fucking….chips and soggy fries with pesto. That night was fun, we blowed bubbles and ate poprocks (is that what it’s called?) The whole day just had an odd vibe, esp my walk to Alfamart to meed the 2 kids….dystopian energies and areas around Taal were in a state of calamity.
Pretty odd day. Apologized to my Twitter mutual whomstve I blocked, and so we're kinda friends again now. Stayed all day sleeping and being lazy that I don't remember accomplishing anything noteworthy. Had a good talk with my good friend Xavier, who assured me that I'm an okay person, because I've been losing my marbles about my actions lately. But now that I think about it, this is just another one of those man-made problems that I get addicted to when I'm avoiding important work. While the world is crumbling in other places, it felt weird enjoying spaghetti and cake for dinner with my Elbi family. Today was also the first time I heard this band called Mabuhay Singers and their Ilokano discography, and it's life-changing. So stoked about this week because I'll finally be attending classes again, which I'm convinced will restore order in my life and I'll be able to do the things I want and need to do.
I was supposed to wake up at 2AM to catch up on work. This was the primary reason why I headed to Baguio anyway, but I failed and instead woke up at around 7 and spent hours just taking a bath, eating LU bibingka, and watching tennis. I initially planned on going to Coffee Library and work til night, and hopefully finish work so I could visit Kevin and stay there til Monday morning, but instead I bumped into Eugene, an attendee at the BLTX Elyu the day before, and I kinda invited myself into her and Miles’ hangout day which was really crazy when I think about it. They were super nice - we ate breakfast at this bakery/restaurant in Session Road (the food was a expensive lol), and then we walked all the way to UP Baguio to visit the new exhibit at the Museo Kordilyera. We then went to Plakafe, a place that served really good lemon green tea, and then we went to Mt. Cloud Bookshop. We separated after that, because I realized I needed to be home - took a bus and I was already off to Cubao before I knew it. One of the worst bus rides ever, btw, because I got stuck in traffic just looking at the places I missed by not staying one more day, and my hands were freaking COLD - I was listening to Caroline Polachek’s “Parachute” while looking at mountains and mountains of greens and sunflowers and kinda wanted to disappear. That night, I also had a long, online conversation with one of my Twitter mutuals. The bus ride home was so eerie because it felt like I was going straight into the Taal eruption disaster…when I landed in LB I didn’t have any mask on, and ate super late dinner at LB Junction, and then I headed home. Out of impulse, I blocked this Twitter mutual of mine (because she told me she liked me, and I panicked lol) and felt as if I was being engulfed in volcanic ashfall. It was also this day I realized I’d never felt this distinct, creeping fear for my own life in a long time. And that perhaps I needed fear, because this kind of fear is what erases the future and pushes me to act in the now.
Was supposed to wake up at six to actually dive into the waters of San Juan Beach but I woke up at late, like 7am. We ate breakfast at this place called Barefoot(?) and bitch it was so fucking good. It was eggs, mushrooms, bread, tomatoes, and pork n beans that made me cry because it was so so so good! Laughed at Mio and Celene because they were so cute walking around wearing face masks carrying Hello Kitty mugs….iconic. That morning was pretty nice, saw a dog bathing on its own in the rocky part of the beach. We left for San Fernando at around 10:30AM, and BLTX was lookin pretty vibrant. A lot of cool people were buying our stuff and talking to us about La Union, their work. The Library was so fucking nice, too! Lots of good books on The Internet, they have food and drinks, and it’s just overall a nice place. Andrea was there from Baguio with her cousin. Magpies gave a talk on “Archiving Resistance”, sad I didn’t get to hear Northern Dispatch, Amihan, Makô & PHSA’s workshop, plus the RPG night. We ate free dinner, and I got to finally talk to Levi, a member of Pendantic Pedestrians, whose zine and blog I thought was really funny - he recommended 3BU, the hostel where I stayed in Baguio after the event. The road from LU to Baguio made me dizzy…but eating lugaw at landing, and walking wearing my LU getup with Andrea and her dad felt pretty nice, haha! The hostel I stayed in was snuggly and I fantasized about building my own capsule pod/bedroom in the future.
Woke up at around 6am and crammed packing for our trip to La Union. Took a jeep to campus and another jeep to the Los Baños Municipal Hall to meet with Shaunnah & Rae, where we rode a van with PHSA teens to San Fernando. Chowking for brunch, sipping hot chai tea latte while looking at the sepia-filtered fields and trees of The North. We arrived at around 4pm in San Juan after paying like 150 pesos for a trike ride, and saw Celene & Mio staying at Lokal Home! The whole place was pretty cool, except that we were roommates with some ugly straight men. Walked to the beach late afternoon to evening, took a gazilion pics with Shaunnah, and then we ate sashimi & Asahi at a Japanese restaurant. A lot of just chilling and walking around…the full moon was pretty wild. Got a taste of arroz caldo and some really good iced tea at the Coffee Library. La Union is a pretty cool place to live in, I imagine. Internet was pretty fast, too.
Typing this with groggy memory. I remember telling Marky that I desperately needed to work. Xavier thought of roleplaying as my rival in fucking…Pokemon Emerald, calling me “loser” so I’d attend to my responsibilities. I ended up prioritizing my GPOA for the school paper, because I wanted to become Managing Editor in my comeback sem in grad skool. I also produced copies of my zine after a very long time, which was for BLTX La Union this Saturday. Fetched some Munzinelupa posters from Czae’s apartment, and met with Shaunnah after the long Christmas break. I met very briefly with Karize, and I spent almost three hours in a meeting for the school paper’s sem planning. I got the position as Managing Editor! And we ended up eating at the Lomihan after. It was a productive, good energy day (despite the fact that I’d still been avoiding actual important work), and I ended it playing this new mobile game called Adorable Home, where I named myself Asiong and my waifu Sakura from Street Fighter.
My first xannies of the year. Feeling anxious because I’ve been avoiding work for a few days now, it was a bad idea because I slept even more before I went to campus. I missed getting my new ~grad skool~ ID taken because I left my form5 at home. Ate super late lunch alone at Tapa P’s before heading to a client’s place and did a handpoke session. It was a tattoo of batteries and a plug, because she wanted to hide her scars and “wanted to recharge”, something like that. After that, I learned for sure that inking skin areas with scars are much much much harder to do, because they absorb ink more differently. She was also from Mindanao (South Cotabato, to be exact), and so was her roommate, and it was interesting overhearing the stuff they were talking about, the way they saw things, etc. I’m making a promise to myself that I should be working towards meeting more people who AREN’T Tagalog so I could broaden my horizon or whatever. It’s good to be reminded that I’m living in a bubble. I left home early, because I was supposed to work, but I ended up playing this new mobile game called Tennis Clash, and then I fell asleep.
First day of enrolment! Woke up a bit later than expected, went to ICS around 11AM to get my last COI signed from Sir Dani. He wasn’t there, texted him and told me that he was gonna come back after lunch. I bumped into Leo who I ate at Tropical Bowls (again) with for lunch & ate ice cream. After talking to Sir Dani and being told I’d need to read up on basic web programming tutorials, I rushed to GS to enlist my subjects! Went to OSA for SLB, got my $$$, and was able to pay for my tuition in the nick of time (Fuck da guardz who told me it was cut-off already when it wasn’t). Also bumped into Denise, and we went to Homespun for some coffee & drinks, and then I get her tattooed at the [P] office, another spontaneous decision. It started raining when I was about to go home, so I impulsively ended up going shopping for a study table, which I bought with a discount at Novo. Went home thinking I’d be super productive, but I fell asleep way too early. But look at the bright side: I’M GONNA BE A STUDENT AGAIN AND I’M SOOOOO SOO SO SO HAPPY!
Really fucking stoked about school! Went to LB after eating breakfast at home (San Pedro), and fixed some papers for grad skool. Today was pretty eventful, too. I finally located the monkey bars in CHE, now I just need a person I can hang out with at the kids’ playground before/after I go to my classes in ICS. I also met with Mannie, who I took pics with at the new sunflower area in CEM, and built a collab account for scamming sugar daddies (I’m half-joking). Ruined a really good shirt because I leaned on wet paint…saw Gil and James at their apartment which was cool. I also ate at Tropical Bowls for lunch! Spent dinnertime with [P] at Hanbok and made friends with this person from UPD's College of Science skool pub (I forgot her name), who treated us to gudshit brownies @ Micha's, and I treated them to that ice cream place in Square. Sonya spontaneously decided to get tattooed by me, and I was pretty proud of the outcome. It was a solid filled-in set of suits (clubs, spade, heart, diamond), a true pusoy dos kween. I’m getting a real good feel about this year, I hope I finish all the shit I need to do! I need exercise!
The vicious cycle of avoiding work continues. My Quest NPC was away for Sunday so I was tempted to waste time again. Installed Bumble and swiped 100+ faces in an hour, and ended up uninstalling after making like, 5 matches. Hung out with Sheena, Jovy, met with Chot for the first time at their place near SM North…it was kinda fun. I commuted all the way back to San Pedro from QC, which was the worst bus ride I’ve ever ridden, because the aircon was so cold, and I was hungry, I couldn’t feel my hands. I ate Pares at Pacita and got home feeling really good because I got a new lamp and realized my family loves me and the people I’m friends with love me, except my bosses, they hate me. I’m living a good life, it’s kinda inspiring, but there’s so much work to be done.
Woke up 8am-ish at the P office from a gruelling sleep. I hate aircon and Basti was bashing me with his head on our shared mat. I commuted to Bae where I reunited with my Elbi fam, showered, smoked a bit and rode a flat-tire bicycle to buy toiletries at Alfamart. Commuted longway back to campus, where I ate lunch @ Homespun with my grandbb Leo who revealed to me that he was going back to school and that he wasn’t dismissed from the previous semester after all. I talked to him about me getting a project manager, and he said I basically hired a Quest NPC. I spent the rest of the afternoon in a room in CEAT, where the Solidaridad Congress was being held. Felt the rush of being surrounded by super crushable people, amazing student journalists from faraway UP campuses. Made an impulsive decision to go to QC “so I could work” at Tabi’s condo, but we just talked, drank wine, and fell asleep. Need to make better decisions.
Back in Elbi. Wasted some time thinking my presence was needed here for early UP Solidaridad Congress/GASC concerns. I went shopping with Pola, bought a picnic mat in the home curtains section of 268 Mall, some fruits/vegetables, a Peppa pig ring which I now realize is missing, cutics. We spent the afternoon just lying on the grass and blowing bubbles. That night, I made friends with some younger kids from [P], and a girl from UP Mindanao’s Himati. Played Jengga, Werewolf, and ate at Hanbok and Tapa P's. Ended up tattooing Jandelle, Pola, and Red that night & sleeping at the office. My first paid handpoke sessions! I must be doing something right.
Today was pretty eventful & productive. I woke up and ate breakfast at Hannah’s place, I laid out all my plans for January and realized I gots a shit ton of work to do. I’m going back to Elbi tomorrow, and it’s making me a little bit anxious because I haven’t been there for 2 weeks now, I think? And, seeing people again makes me feel…ugh. I spent the afternoon with Czar, and he introduced me to the lakeside of San Pedro. Who knew this…weird urban city of Laguna had room for a Calamba Bayan-esque view? Gross update but I went to ukay right after, which I deeply regret because I'm already so broke. Spent 2 hours trying to videocall with Sheena while eating dinner. Anyway, I love Telegram, I love work, I love Neocities, just please God, give me more time.
Goodbye, Philippines! Hello 2020! ✈️ 2019 was such a bad year for me initially, but it closed off so well that I lost all willpower to write my entry for my dramatic year-end essay. My first day in 2020 was terrible. We ate at a cafe somewhere in Isko Moreno Manila for lunch, and then my family decided to do a surprise Visita Iglesia. We ended up attending mass somewhere in Laguna, and that’s when I decided that I’m gonna invoke my atheist rights this year and never go home to San Pedro on the weekends just to avoid church. I mean who does a Visita Iglesia AND attends mass on a WEDNESDAY? That’s illegal, it’s wrong, it’s a BIG no for me, Tito Boy. I spent the night at Hannah’s place, together with Steve, which was pretty fun, just walking around Harmony Homes and feeling like I’m high school again. I hired a secretary, by the way. I realized I didn’t need a new year’s resolution, just a simulation of my favorite film Heart Attack (2015), where I’m the protagonist and my project manager just nags me to fix my life.