30 December 2008

a journey to another time

“Vivamus mea Claudia”

Let us live and love not listening to old men's talk.
Suns will rise and set long after our little light has gone away to darkness.
Kiss me again and again.
Let me kiss you a hundred times,
a thousand more,
again a thousand without rest,
losing count,
so no one can speak of us and say they know the number
of our kisses.
-Gaius Valerius Catullus

a horse-drawn carriage in central park
[central park, new york]

21 December 2008


the plane is on the move,
and the traces of the love we had in places
are turning in my mind
-airport, the motors

taking off from aéroport marseille provence
[marignane, france]

au revoir france

I waited inside the bus at Gare Routiere, looking outside wistfully as the last leaves of autumn clung to Aix-en-Provence's trees.

Outside, a couple was saying goodbye to each other, with whispers and kisses and longing glances. The man must have said something funny, because at that moment they both laughed. But when their eyes met, I could see how scared they both were, how hard both of them were trying to be brave enough to say goodbye.

It could have been me. It was the exact feeling that I had-- the sorrow of leaving and knowing this was it. The yearning, the wishing that I had more time.

But the world will spin madly on, even when you feel like standing still.

The bus started and I watched as they said their final goodbye. As the man boarded the bus, he pressed his hand against the window, staring at the woman even as the bus pulled away.

The bus rounded the corner, and for a moment I caught a glimpse of La Rotonde, its waters glistening in the morning sun.

Then it was gone.

The man ran to the back of the bus, waving to his girlfriend as the bus passed her solitary figure on the street.

But soon she faded away, along with my last vision of Aix-en-Provence. All that was left was the sound of the man crying softly to himself.

That was when I started to cry, too.

21 November 2008


autumn leaves under frozen soles
hungry hands turning soft and old
my hero cried as we stood out there in the cold
like these autumn leaves i don't have nothing to hold
- autumn, paolo nutini

autumn leaves blanket cours mirabeau, the main street of aix-en-provence
[aix-en-provence, france]

08 November 2008

holding on & letting go

and maybe you wake up late at night,
wondering why you feel so tired.
well my dear, let me tell you now,
do you hear?
its only fear, its only fear,
its only fear...
that keeps you locked in here.
- it's only fear, alexi murdoch

padlocks on the pont des arts bridge
[paris, france]

02 November 2008

rue de la glaciere

sleep again won’t come to me
i walk outside, the galaxies
and stars surround the whole world like a dome
i’m still alone
and i’m feeling like i’m a long, long way from home
- long way from home, jesse harris

taken while i was sitting on a random doorway, 2am, rue de la glaciere
[aix-en-provence, france]

21 October 2008


i know you've given all that you could give to me
i know there'll come a day i understand
until then, i'll be trying to solve your mystery
and wonder why i couldn't make you stay
-legendary, lou barlow

saint-tropez as seen from the ferry to saint-raphaël
[saint-tropez, cote d'azur, france]

25 September 2008

la crêperie

Ah, the French.

In the Philippines, when we think of street food, we think of fishballs, kwek-kwek, isaw, adidas, and other strange concoctions with funny-sounding names.

Of course, in France they have crêpes. Crêpes sucrées or crêpes salées, having a crêpe on a cobblestoned street in France sounds so much more sophisticated than saying you had fishballs sa kanto.

So anyway, it's way overdue, but here is my requisite eating-a-crêpe-in-France picture, on Cours Mirabeau, Aix-en-Provence's main street. The angry German behind me is my favorite dinner buddy, Flo (yes, Flo, you're my favorite!), who finally made me try a crêpe after one month of living in France.

Bon appétit!

14 September 2008

comfort in your strangeness

Today I found myself sitting alone in the middle of a park, under the shadow of pine trees and a full moon.


But not lonely.


It has been a month since I stepped foot in France. As surreal and wonderful as it sounds, the reality is the first weeks were hell for me. Unable to speak the language, I felt lost and alienated.

I was in France, but my heart was not.

I roamed the streets with empty eyes. I looked without really seeing. I heard things without really listening.

I could no longer see the magic in ordinary things.

I felt like I had lost myself all over again.


The nights have become chillier.

Summer is almost over, and soon I will no longer be able to swim in the pool or spend my weekends by the beach. I find myself wrapping my jacket around me tighter, digging my hands deeper into my pockets.

Yet with the change in season, I find my spirits lifting.

The streets seem quieter, calmer. Somewhere within, I can feel myself more at peace.

It has been a month, yes. It has been a struggle, yes. But there are three more months to go. So much more to experience.

It's high time I start seeing the magic again.


Bonjour France.

I'm finally here.

10 September 2008

ma maison

So, I moved... and of course, when you have a new place, you need to throw a dinner party!

our excuse: ethiopian new year!
(l-r) florian, nawaz, karun, gui xian, meseret, moi, and suds

More pictures of my apartment here.

31 August 2008

the last day of summer

...and my first view of the mediterranean sea!

the calanques at cassis
[cassis, france]

26 August 2008


French class. The last rays of summer permeate our classroom. Everyone is clad in shorts and slippers and summer attire. Voices drift around the room as we introduce ourselves to each other in French.

I look outside the balcony of our classroom, and I see this:

Puyricard. Provence just as I imagined it would be.

I cannot believe I'm here.

24 August 2008


The French are serious about their breads and pastries. If you want really good quality, you must get your pastries from a pâtisserie and your breads from a boulangerie. Most of the time, though, you'll find combined pâtisserie-boulangeries, which sell both breads and pastries but may not be as good -- but I'm not complaining!

Here's a typical sight inside a pâtisserie-boulangerie in Aix:

That's enough to make my mouth water!

23 August 2008

residence de cuques

I seriously wanted to like the rooms at Residence de Cuques.

I initially freaked out after seeing pictures of the dorm room online, but I figured -- hey, it's cheap (150 euros/month), convenient (it has wifi, a laundromat, and a government-subsidized cafeteria nearby), has a view of Aix-en-Provence, and is just a ten minute walk to the city center. I survived UP, I'm sure I can survive "dirty" by French standards.

Apparently not.

My room was much worse than I expected. The wallpapers are torn, the bed is mangy, the floors are cracked and stained with mud, and my room faces the back of a building.

Nice tour, eh? In fairness to the dorm, some of the rooms are actually okay. I think I was just given one of the worse rooms.

But that's bearable. I can live with the not-so-pretty and not-so-clean surroundings. I was even able to get rid of the smell of urine after a night of scrubbing my floors with soap. (Eeeewwww.) And I've met some great people on my floor.

I just really don't like sharing my bathroom with 35 other people. Men and women at that. Especially when the toilets look like the toilets in UP Palma Hall pre-renovation days (yung banyo pa ni Marcos!)

It's not so fun walking into the toilet and finding pubic hair and remnants of someone else's poop on the toilet bowl. Eeeeeeeeewwww. I feel like I need to take a shower every time I use the toilet.

So, I am moving to the Citadines Aix Jas de Bouffan. It's an apartment-hotel a ten-minute bus ride from the center, but...... with its own bathrooms! And a pool!


Sidenote: Well, actually, I kind of got kicked out of the dorm. I went to the caisse to ask what I needed to do in case I wanted to move out of the dorm. Due to the freaking language barrier (they don't speak ANY English!!!!), they misunderstood me as saying I was sure I wanted to move out of the dorm and asked me to move out on August 31 because they're giving my room to someone else. My apartment is only available on September 1, so I'm homeless for a day. Merde!!!! I just hope they refund the 700 euros I've paid them! Wish me luck!

20 August 2008

la rotonde

la rotonde
[aix-en-provence, france]

le premier jour

Residence de Cuques. I knock on Nastya, my Russian classmate's dorm room, to head over to Residence de Gazelles next door to meet the rest of our classmates.  Outside, the air smells faintly of pine, and as we stroll down the street we are greeted by an amazing view of Mont Saint-Victoire towering over the town of Aix-en-Provence.

Residence de Gazelles. Initial introductions done, my classmates and I start walking down Avenue Jules Ferry to catch the bus to school. My laziness overwhelms, so I convince Florian, a German classmate I had previously met in Manila, to catch the Mini 2 bus with me to the center.  It was faster all right, but we got lost once we got to the center, so the rest of our classmates eventually caught up with us. So much for speed.

La Rotonde. After a long wait and a flurry of confusion figuring out where the stop for Bus 21 was, our bus finally pulls up. I hop on the bus.

"Is this the bus for IAE?"

The driver stares blankly at me. I realize he doesn't speak English. "Eee aah ooh?" he asks.

"I... A.... E....?" I repeat more slowly.

"Oui, oui. Eeee aaah ooh!"

Erm. I guess they pronounce IAE differently here. We get on anyway and after 30 minutes of twists and turns through empty streets, the bus driver lets us off at a blue gate with the name of the school printed in large white letters.

And there it is. 

Institut d'Administration des Entreprises d'Aix-en-Provence, my school for the next few months.

19 August 2008


8pm. Amsterdam. It was at the Amsterdam Schipol airport that I began to feel the first twinge of panic. I stood in line at the gate, backpack and giant duffel bag in tow, listening to the chatter of people around me.

None were in English.

I searched around for any semblance of home, or even just one of Asia. I needed to see just one person, one single Asian, to keep the panic down and reassure myself that I could do this. That home was not so far away.

But there were none.

That was when it hit me that I was really no longer in the Philippines.

This was the end of my life as I knew it.


11pm. Marseille. The Marseille airport was deserted except for the passengers from our flight. I trailed over to the information desk to get some brochures about the city.

None were in English.


"Parlez-vous anglais?" I ask the taxi driver as Xian, my Malaysian classmate, and I queue at the taxi stand.


I whip out a sheet of paper and show him the address of my dorm. He points to the next taxi, indicating that the next taxi would take us to Aix-en-Provence.

I turn to the second taxi driver. "Parlez-vous anglais?"

"A little."

Thank God.


12am. Aix-en-Provence. Angel #1. The taxi pulls over onto to a gated driveway. "This is Residence de Cuques. The gates are locked. The taxi can only go up to here."

"This is it?" I peer through the gates, but only see a dimly lit street and a deserted building. There is no sign of a dorm. "But where is Batiment 2?"

The taxi driver reads my arrival instructions sympathetically. "You want I go with you to find the building?"

I heave a sigh of relief. "Yes, please."

He steps out of the taxi, carrying my luggage for me. We walk down the street, looking at each building until we finally find Pavillon 2 at the end of the street. We ring the doorbell. The night watchman appears from behind the glass doors and opens it for us.

"Sheila?" he asks.




Angel #2. The night watchman gives me my room number and keys in broken English. "Your room is through those stairs. Wait for me. I will help you bring your things up."

I heave another sigh of relief.


12:30am. Residence de Cuques. I am breathing heavily by the time we reach the fourth floor. A group of men and women are clustered in one doorway, chattering in French.

My room is at the end of the hall. I turn the key and the door swings open. I am greeted by a tiny room with torn wallpaper and the sour smell of dried urine. The floors are dusty and caked with mud.

"Welcome!" the night watchman repeats enthusiastically as he sets my luggage on the floor. "This is your room, I'll leave you alone now. Good night!"

And finally I sink down on the gray mattress and let the homesickness come.

one last taste of luxury

and then it's back to being a poor, hungry student again...
siiiiiiigh, i'll miss business trips!
[manila, philippines]

18 August 2008


I'm scared.

In a few hours, my family will be driving me to the airport for my flight to France. I won't be seeing them again for two years.

You see, I received a two-year Erasmus Mundus grant to study my masters degree in France, Finland, and the Netherlands. It's amazing, I know. I always dreamed of travelling to Europe, but never in my wildest dreams did I expect to actually have the opportunity to live there.

I expected myself to be jumping with glee and raring to go on my next big adventure.

But right now, all I feel like doing is curling up into a fetal position and willing the hands of my clock to start turning counter-clockwise. I can almost feel my regrets spilling out onto my pillow. I wish I had done this. I wish I had done that. I wish I had spent more time with my loved ones. I wish I had lived life instead of just letting the days pass by.

It's ironic how two years ago, I felt exactly like this. Except that time, I didn't want to go back to Manila.

This time, I don't want to leave.

The fear is still there, gnawing quietly in the back of my mind. I've managed to keep it at bay for the past few days, but I can feel time racing by. Soon, goodbye has to come. I'm terrified that the moment I step into the passengers-only area at the airport, the fear will overwhelm me and I'm going to start crying uncontrollably.

Things will change again, just when I thought I was finally getting back on track.

I'm not ready.

But it's time.

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed
by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do.
So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor.
Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
- Mark Twain

04 July 2008

i found the one

I was choosing between the Toshiba M800 and the HP TX2000 tablet, but I wasn't too sure how long the TX2000's hinge would survive (I broke my last 2 laptop's hinges!) and the M800 ended up being too expensive. Then I found the one...

I'm not a techie geek -- I usually choose electronics based on how yabang they look (heehee) -- but the HP Pavilion DV3000's specs are pretty good, too! Now the only thing missing is for HP to release this outside Asia, so that I get international warranty for this laptop, too!

25 June 2008

still the proud owner of a pair of tonsils

After spending last night psyching myself for my surgery, I woke up today all pepped up for my tonsillectomy. However, a chain of unexpected events unfolded which eventually ended up with me postponing the operation.

A couple of hours before I was due in the hospital, my doctor's nurse called me. Apparently, my doctor wanted to use his own set of tools for the surgery, so I needed to pay PhP27,000 for the rental of his equiment because my health insurance would not cover it.

I know, I know. It's bad to scrimp when it comes to your health, and I honestly would have paid the cash up front -- but the thing is, last week, when I talked to my doctor about the costs of the surgery and verified with Philamcare that it would be covered, my doctor failed to mention anything about preferring to use his own equipment.

And he was asking me to cough up PhP27,000 on the day I'm supposed to be admitted to the hospital? I thought it was kind of fishy.

I asked the nurse what exactly this equipment was, and her answer was, "Naku, di ko rin po alam yun e, basta pinapasabi lang ni doc kailangan yun daw ang gamitin."

"Well, can I talk to doc so I can get the name?"

"May laryngitis po siya ngayon e, hindi siya makakausap."

Great. So apart for billing me for some mystery equipment, my doctor is also planning to operate on me while he has laryngitis.

Hell, no.

A couple of phone calls later, Philamcare informed me that tonsillectomies are normally fully covered, unless my doctor really insists on using his own equipment. (Kudos to the excellent customer service of Philamcare for giving me honest advice about my situation!) In fairness to my doctor, he really was using some high-tech machine that the hospital did not have, which I personally would also have preferred to use. However, it looks like St. Luke's also has the same machine and is only charging just a fraction of what my doctor was charging me.

Since my surgery was elective, I decided to postpone my operation until I had more time to think about it.

Maybe this was also the sign from God that I had been too hasty about having a tonsillectomy. (I've gone to 5 doctors so far, all of whom have had different opinions about what was causing my symptoms. This was doctor #5 and I was pretty tired of going to doctors at that point, so I just decided to go ahead with the tonsillectomy if that would solve the problem.)

The whole experience did leave a sour tase in my mouth, though, so I'm probably back on the market for a new ENT again.

And yes, I am still the proud owner of a pair of tonsils!

24 June 2008

tonsillectomy thursday

They'll be taking out my tonsils on Thursday.

When the doctor proposed a tonsillectomy to get rid of my jelly-bean-shaped tonsil, I wasn't too concerned. After all, Jessica Wakefield had it in Sweet Valley Kids and she was able to eat ice cream right after!

I made the mistake of researching about adult tonsillectomies on the internet, though, and now I'm absolutely terrified. Apparently, having a tonsillectomy when you're an adult is waaaaaay more painful than having one as a child -- something to do about your tonsils being more welded to the rest of your body when you're older.

Reading first hand accounts of those who've had tonsillectomies freaked me out further:
  • "I thought I would be okay since I've already given birth twice, but this was worse than childbirth!"
  • "It hurts. All that you will read is true. It hurts like absolute hell. And…it is going to hurt like hell for a couple of weeks. Swallowing anything is a true challenge. It feels as if you swallowed a jar of tacks, nails and shards of glass. This does not abate."
  • And the best one: "You will want to die."

I am seriously, seriously terrified. This is my first surgery, so I don't even know how well my body will react to the anesthesia, bleeding, and the other stuff they do to you during surgery. I pray I'm not one of those 5 out of 100 people who get complications from tonsillectomies.

Tomorrow, I'll be admitted into the hospital for pre-op. It's my last chance to back-out. Do I live with my constant hairball-in-the-throat feeling, or should I go through with the surgery?

Please pray for me.

27 May 2008

goodbye, fugly silver canon!

Hello, roaring red Sony Cybershot DSC-W150!

and equally kikay DigiPod! ;)

Thank you, Cheng, for the awesome birthday gift, and thank you, Tsak, for delivering this all the way from Indiana!

01 May 2008

what does my handwriting say about me?

I got this off Chasky's blog, and it's amazing how it hit some aspects of my personality right on the spot. I did a handwriting analysis here some years back, but my handwriting has changed quite a bit since then. I used to be this obsessive-compulsive notetaker back in college (think color-coded pens), but now all my notebooks are filled with hasty scribblings, underlines, circles, and arrows all over the page, written using the nearest pen I can grab.

Is it a sign of me growing up, or just a side-effect of my harried lifestyle?

Sheila uses judgment to make decisions. She is ruled by her head, not her heart. She is a cool, collected person who is usually unexpressive emotionally. Some may see her as unemotional. She does have emotions but has no need to express them. She is withdrawn into herself and enjoys being alone.

The circumstances when Sheila does express emotions include: extreme anger, extreme passion, and tremendous stress. If someone gets her mad enough to tell her off, she will not be sorry about it later. She puts a mark in her mind when someone angers her. She keeps track of these marks and when she hits that last mark she will let them know they have gone too far. She is ruled somewhat by self-interest. All her conclusions are made without outside emotional influence. She is very level-headed and will remain calm in an emergency situation. In a situation where other people might get hysterical, she has poise.

Sheila will work more efficiently if given space and time to be alone. She would rather not be surrounded by people constantly. In a relationship, she will show her love by the things she does rather than by the things she says. Saying "I love you" is not a needed routine because she feels her mate should already know. The only exception to this is if she has logically concluded that it is best for her mate to hear her express her love verbally.

Sheila is not subject to emotional appeals. If someone is selling a product to her, they will need to present only the facts. They should present them from a standpoint of her sound judgment. She will not be taken in by an emotional story about someone else. She will meet emergencies without getting hysterical and she will always ask "Is this best for me?"

People that write their letters in an average height and average size are moderate in their ability to interact socially. According to the data input, Sheila doesn't write too large or too small, indicating a balanced ability to be social and interact with others.

Sheila will demand respect and will expect others to treat her with honor and dignity. Sheila believes in her ideas and will expect other people to also respect them. She has a lot of pride.

Sheila is secretive. She has secrets which she does not wish to share with others. She intentionally conceals things about herself. She has a private side that she intends to keep that way, especially concerning certain events in her past.

In reference to Sheila's mental abilities, she has a very investigating and creating mind. She investigates projects rapidly because she is curious about many things. She gets involved in many projects that seem good at the beginning, but she soon must slow down and look at all the angles. She probably gets too many things going at once. When Sheila slows down, then she becomes more creative than before. Since it takes time to be creative, she must slow down to do it. She then decides what projects she has time to finish. Thus she finishes at a slower pace than when she started the project.

She has the best of two kinds of minds. One is the quick investigating mind. The other is the creative mind. Her mind thinks quick and rapidly in the investigative mode. She can learn quicker, investigate more, and think faster. Sheila can then switch into her low gear. When she is in the slower mode, she can be creative, remember longer and stack facts in a logical manner. She is more logical this way and can climb mental mountains with a much better grip.

Sheila is a practical person whose goals are planned, practical, and down to earth. This is typical of people with normal healthy self-esteem. She needs to visualize the end of a project before she starts. she finds joy in anticipation and planning. Notice that I said she plans everything she is going to do, that doesn't necessarily mean things go as planned. Sheila basically feels good about herself. She has a positive self-esteem which contributes to her success. She feels she has the ability to achieve anything she sets her mind to. However, she sets her goals using practicality-- not too "out of reach". She has enough self-confidence to leave a bad situation, yet, she will not take great risks, as they relate to her goals. A good esteem is one key to a happy life. Although there is room for improvement in the confidence catagery, her self-perception is better than average.

Sheila is sarcastic. This is a defense mechanism designed to protect her ego when she feels hurt. She pokes people harder than she gets poked. These sarcastic remarks can be very funny. They can also be harsh, bitter, and caustic at the same time.

Sheila has difficulty trusting anyone. In fact, she trusts no one completely. This is a result of her trust being betrayed in the past. She has closed up, thus ceasing to allow close friendships. Sheila truly wants close friends and desires physical relationships, but she fears she will get hurt, again. She is lonely, yet has a crying need for close friends. This trait can cause much unhappiness. However, it can be changed.

Sheila is selective when picking friends. She does not trust everyone. She has a select group of people that are truly close to her, usually two or three. She is careful when choosing her inner circle of friends.

For a graphologist, the spacing on the page reflects the writer's attitude toward their own world and relationship to things in his or her own space. If the inputted data was correct Sheila has left lots of white space on the all four borders of the paper. Sheila fills up just the center area of the page. If this is true, then Sheila has a particular shyness toward people and a fear of moving too fast in any direction. In some cultures, respecting people, rules, and adhering to protocol are ways of life.

The right side of the page represents the future and the left side represents the past. Sheila seems a bit stuck in the middle, afraid to take action.

Sheila seems to have a fear of looking bad or of crossing boundries. It will be easy to work with Sheila on a team, because Sheila will usually follow the rules. However, this desire to respect the boundries can often be construed as a lack of confidence and people will walk over Sheila if she is not careful.

Source: The Handwriting Wizard

22 April 2008


So, late last November, I stumbled onto this video.

This film is dedicated to those who love to travel, those who have never traveled, and those about to travel for the very first time.

It's an ad for Contiki, but there was something in that phrase that had my wanderlust knocking.

So, I decided that this year, I'll finally tour Europe. (This year marks my fifth year working, so I figured it's high time I rewarded myself for all that hard work!)

Join me?

05 April 2008

so, what have you been up to?

We are so obsessed with doing that we have no time
and no imagination left for being. -Thomas Merton

"So, what have you been up to?"

It's a common conversation starter, but it's one that always leaves me stumped whenever I try to answer it. Not that I haven't been up to anything -- it's more like I'm not sure whether anything I've done is worth sharing with other people.

Or maybe I just take small talk too seriously.

But, I haven't blogged much over the past year, so I figure maybe I'd be able to come up with something slightly interesting from a year's worth of experiences.

Let's see.

I started over by moving to a new team at work. Spent two days in an airplane to attend a three-day meeting in the UK. Lugged home a giant bag of stroopwafels and cheese from the Amsterdam airport. Rechristened myself as the Dual Maintenance Goddess at the office. Burned out. Got sick. Got better. Taught myself the art of looking like you know what you're talking about, when you're actually clueless as hell. Spent the summer learning how to do a proper freestyle, crawl, and backstroke... plus a not-so-proper butterfly. Sailed around Boracay. Discovered that nothing beats the calm of being in the middle of the sea, with no sound but the wind flapping against your sails. Got sick again. Got better again. Adopted two dogs, Goldie Woldie and Tagpi. Spent a week falling in love with the Japanese culture (and Kobe beef) in Kobe. Mastered the art of cooking something out of any ingredients on hand. Swung by Singapore and relived the Toronto and Montreal turista days with Iris. Lugged home an overweight maleta filled with shoes and Bee Cheng Hiang pork, beef, and chicken jerkies. Worked some more. Discovered a secret recipe for making fall-off-the-bone baby back ribs Swiss Chalet-style. Booked a long-overdue family outing to Bohol, bonding with my mom, dad, and sister over seashells, Chocolate Hills and tarsiers. Kayaked. Discovered the tranquility of lying down in a kayak in the middle of the sea, watching clouds roll by. Took on a project management role at work. Got my hair straightened, then accidentally had it cut to chin length. Fulfilled childhood dreams in Hong Kong Disneyland. Got carpal tunnel syndrome and started wearing a splint. Rekindled my relationship with God. Learned to appreciate the blessings I have and the people around me. Learned to take care of myself.

Fell in love.


30 March 2008

wala ka sa lola ko

When I was young, I had all these children's books that depicted grandmothers as little old ladies with sweet little smiles and eyeglasses perched on the tips of their nose, carrying a basket of freshly baked cookies and knitting sweaters for their grandchildren.

I always thought I was losing out on something because my lola is nothing of that sort.

Now that I'm older, though, I've come to appreciate the fact that I have such a groovy grandmother. She's a not-so-little old lady with a sweet little smile, who calls J. Lo "Jello", has an addiction to Koreanovelas, has a crush on Marc Nelson, and encourages me to "collect and collect then select!" men.

She's been in the hospital for over a month now, bedridden due to complications with her recent surgery. Dreariness of the situation aside, visits to my lola always gives me a good laugh.

Last Sunday, my sister and I walked into her hospital room to find her talking to a nurse:

Lola: Sigurado ka ba diyan sa gamot ko? Baka mamaya masakit yan ha!
Nurse: Opo, Lola! Hindi masakit to, araw araw naman kita binibigyan nito e.
Lola: Sigurado ka ha, pag masakit yan sisipain kita!
Nurse: Okay lang, lola, basta po left leg yung gamitin niyo ha! (my lola can't move her left leg yet due to her surgery)
Lola: (thinks, then frowns) Ay ang daya mo!!!! (brandishes her fist) Susuntukin na lang kita! diyan e! When I get well... I will come back for you!

Yep, that's my grandma. Bedridden but still feisty as hell.

Now, you can't get 81-year-old lolas like that anywhere.