Wordless Wednesday #1

Tagaytay City, Philippines

Nomination: Sunshine Blogger Award!

I am both giddy and humbled by @ Mr. A‘s nomination for me for the Sunshine Blogger Award. Despite the low number of blog entries, I am thankful for him for seeing the “sunshine” in words that I weave in this humble page of mine 🙂

And with this, I am sharing my answers to Mr. A’s questions. Here we go:

  1. Can you tell me at least 4 of your core values in life and explain why? (What is truly important to you in life?)

Gratitude – the acknowledgement of and being thankful for things that make and break you, of resources that are around and those that make you grow in order to obtain them. This also covers taking care of your internal and external resources.

Integrity – doing what is right and just inside and outside the light

Love – does not solely refer to romantic love but to the force that wakes you up every day and motivates you to enrich yourself, your family, and your surroundings

Joy – this gives the spring to every hop, the smile despite difficulties, and the ray of sunshine for every gloomy day

  1. What are your Non-negotiable, Unalterable Terms in life?

Same as the above.

  1. Tell us about your relationship with your dad (or anyone that stood as your father figure)? Share your fondest memories with him.

My dad and I are close despite him having worked overseas for 17 years. When he was still working overseas, we (mom, brother and I) would write letters (yep, snail mail) to him (no social media or messenger or Viber back then), and I would tell him anything I could think of, even the most pointless thing a child could do and he would reply back sharing his stories too. We lived our father-daughter relationship in letters I guess. And with that I never felt distant from him. When he comes home for a month’s vacation after a two year contract, it felt like we only talked to each other the other day. Fondest memory… We’re not well off, and I was not really the kid who asks for toys, so I did not grow up with all those fancy dolls and what-not. But when I was 12, he sent me a battery-operated talking doll, and huge doll house, the kind that 5-yr olds play with. He said, he always wanted to give me such but did not have the money. So when he did, he bought them for me even if I am almost a teenager 🙂

  1. When you die, how do you want the people to remember you?

It would perhaps be nice to be remembered as someone who was real, and someone who made  them laugh, and someone who they trusted.

  1. Tell us about the last time you reconnected with a friend?

Just the other day, with my classmates from graduate school who I haven’t seen for quite a while. We are all busy with our own jobs and thesis we barely spoke for months.

  1. For the girls, which do you prefer on guys, rock-hard abdominals or well-developed buttocks? For the guys, which do you prefer, to have rock-hard abdominals or a well-developed buttock?

Well-developed buttocks, something to grab 😉

  1. Tell us about the last time you feel so proud of yourself.

In June 2018, I and two of my friends were invited to facilitate a 2-day seminar workshop on resiliency for some of the members of the First Scout Ranger Regimen of the Philippine Army. It was a huge for me but at the same time it was a humbling experience esp. towards the end of the workshop when the soldiers thanked us and told us that they wished we could be back to teach them more about mental health.

  1. Give us 3 shoes that you consider to be essential to any man’s wardrobe?

I’m not that knowledgeable when it comes to men’s shoes, but from what I see with my boyfriend, something formal, something casual (and comfy for long walks), and something sporty. But not Air Jordans kind of thing, more like Stan Smiths perhaps or Chucks

  1. Again, give us 3 books that you think every man should read?

Life of Pi or Beatrice & Virgil, The Kite Runner, and something from the Philippine Literature perhaps

  1. I will indulge myself this time, what do you like about this blog and is there anything you like to see in the future?

I have told you once offline, that this blog is raw and organic and far from being commercialized. It’s both informative and fun. And what would I want to see in the future? I think I’ll let you continue to surprise and amaze us 😉

  1. In case you didn’t know, the month of May is masturbation month. If you could be so kind and tell us about your thoughts on masturbation (it doesn’t have to be freaky, just your honest opinion about it)?

Masturbation, although usually a taboo, is way to know oneself both physically and psychologically; it is a free avenue for self exploration and understanding yourself without the need to explain to others. When shared with your significant other, which can also be the case, it is another level of knowing each other, and therefore can strengthen the relationship.

I Hope you enjoyed that 🙂

And as we take it forward – recognizing fellow bloggers that bring sunshine to our blogging world, I am nominating the following for always bringing joy every time my eyes see their words:

And I am throwing them the following questions:

  1. In a world full of known and unknown forces, what do you think truly makes the world go round?
  2. What irks you the most?
  3. You were given a chance to replay a certain moment in your life. What would it be?
  4. What do you hope never changes?
  5. When people come to you for help, what do they usually want help with?
  6. What was the best ever present you’ve received?
  7. Mention 3 small sources of happiness. E.g. popping bubble wraps
  8. Do you like surprises? Why? Why not?
  9. If you would be eating one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
  10. What is you ideal date? (I know it’s cheesy, but please indulge me :))
  11. Your life is being made into a movie. What’s the title?

 

The Rules:

Thank the blogger who nominated you.

Answer the 11 questions the blogger asked you.

Nominate new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions.

List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award in your post/or on your blog.

Notify the nominees about it by commenting on one of their blog posts.

 

sunshineblogger-1

 

Of letter writing…

One of my colleagues at work is leaving work soon and he has invited us, his former teammates for a lunch out, like a going away luncheon. One of my friends from the team and myself have decided that we give him a little something, a memento of some sort, like a going away gift and we opted for a greeting card, a thank you card to be exact. My friend initially volunteered that she be the one to buy the card, however, a few minutes later she texted me that she didn’t find any. Not because there were no greeting cards, but because the selection was… too plain? So I volunteered since I am yet to get to another stationery shop. When I got there, I realized the same. .the greeting cards were “bland”, lacking the personal flavor that cards in the older days used to have as if the manufacturer specifically made the card for you. And right then, as I stood in front of the cards rack, I thought to myself, what happened?

The rate of our advancement in communication and technology appears to be inversely proportional to the existence of letter writing. Now, this is not an empirical statement as I do not have research to prove it. It’s just that in the extent of my surroundings, it appears that no ever sits down to take time to write letters anymore. The kind that makes you think, reminisce, miss the past, and the person you’re writing to. The kind of letter writing that makes you smile, or frown, or cry, or be mad while you recall memories. And holding a pen and paper in front of you has made that happen.

When I was in high school, my friends and I would leave notes of “good mornings” and “have a great days” on each other’s armchair. And at the time, our class starts at 6am! So imagine the effort that we put to wake up early, choose colorful little post-it notes, and write the note to each other.

I think what we’re missing sometimes is that writing letters are a dying art. And art is more than just putting words to form phrases, phrases into sentences, sentences into narratives. It is a “culmination” of different factors, forces, if I may say, that drives a person to reflect and write.

Letter writing allows you to:

  • Be with yourself. It gives you and yourself time together. Finding a nice little spot where you can create the letter in solitude. It’s just the paper, the pen, and your sincerest thoughts.
  • It makes us digest thoughts. A thank you note becomes a deeper appreciation of the other person because when you already hold the pen, you kind of automatically find the rhythm between your hands, your thoughts, and recall of past instances; the reason or reasons that made you decide to write
  • Have an avenue for creativity. When you do sincere letter writing, you kind of create a masterpiece. You weave words to create a material that can be beautiful, lyrical, and poetic. Imagine writing a letter to someone who is dear to you to let them know how you feel for them. As you face the paper and the pen, your emotions associated with that person takes over and lets you express how dear they are to you through words that appreciate, praise, or maybe revere. Or let’s say, you are writing a more serious note, say a confession. As you face the paper, you start to paint a picture of trust and honesty; like a meta-message telling the other person, “I am putting my trust in your hands”, or, “I bare myself to you”
  • Reflect. Letter writing is also a time machine. It makes you go back to a certain time period, past experience, previous emotions, and thoughts. And with that, it makes you experience the whole thing all over again, but with a deeper appreciation because this time, you recall the past, with a yearning to experience it again. Or if the situation is a bit on the negative side, you reflect on how it could have been better. At times it may bring regret, however, the letter, as long as it carries honesty with it, is your protective gear. Regrets narrated truthfully should always insinuate growth.
  • As ironic as it may seem, writing letters creates a connection between you and the other party that you’re writing the letter to. Imagine writing to a friend who you haven’t seen for a long while. You sit at a quite comfortable corner with your and pen and paper; you start to put to paper certain memories of events, of feelings and thoughts associated to those events and after a few minutes you’re not just doing a recall, but already building a bridge, a memory lane towards the other party where only you and them could walk into. Not dependent on the clarity of a phone line or internet speed, but only on that connection that you are transmitting in your own words, through the ink, and the paper.

My father started working overseas when I was 7 years old (which was 25years ago!), And at the time, we are all aware that communication is not as convenient and easy as it is now. No instant messaging, no video calls, and back then we don’t have easy access to a telephone, and the internet I believe was literally struggling in space. Despite these, my father knew every single thing that happened to me and my younger brother in school and at home, every silly joke that I have come up with, and every fight that my mother and I had. He knew just about everything, and in return, we were always updated with his engagements while he was away. Sure it took a week or more before we knew about the things that happen to us, but taking the time to write letters to him kind of bridged that gap in time.

Artworks are timeless. If we treat letter writing as an art, too, perhaps we can also keep it that way, and all the magical things that each written word brings.