Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – Phuket, Thailand 10.2012

Kuala Lumpur was amazing! It felt so good to walk around the streets of KLCC even at night. I can stare at the stunning Petronas Twin Towers the entire night while lit. Before I actually saw it, I thought to myself, “what’s so special about two connecting buildings? I’ve seen a number of the similar kind.” Then I realized, when I finally got a glimpse of it, it’s a really different sight when you’re actually there. It’s so astonishing pictures won’t even do justice.

But! I think I left my heart in Thailand. The place is so beautiful, people were comradely, street food’s delectable (I love spicy food), and weekend night market in Phuket Town was a riot (in a good way!). Not to mention the many beach choices neighboring Patong, 150 baht/day motorcycle rentals, golden temples, and 20 baht coffee (hot or iced) by the street. It’s only been almost three weeks and I still can’t get rid of the Thai hangover.

Reminisce with me and take a look at few of the shots I took during the trip. Hit the like button if you do like what you see and show me some bloglovin’. 😛 (I wanted to use the term “bloglovin” just because)

If you’d like to explore KL, visit KLCC for a more city-esque feel. It’s the only place I can recommend (for now) since I only spent a day there. Suria mall is humongous and it’s filled with designer brands. It’s THE shopping haven for brand lovers. KL’s famous Old Town Coffee serves appetizing food and their java’s divine. I bought two boxes of their instant Old Town coffee for 12 ringgit each (10 sachets in a box).

Phuket, however, serves the best food by the street. I hardly ate in restaurants while I was there. Street food is where you’ll find the real Thai flavor. Do not forget to tell them to lessen the spice if you’re not a fan of spicy food. You can say, “mai pet” which means “not hot.” Or if you’re wondering whether the food you’re ordering is spicy or not you can ask and say, “pet mai.” Intonation is important though when you attempt to speak in Thai. So while you’re there, observe or ask locals how to say certain phrases to be sure. My favorite phrase is thank you which is, “kob kun kaa.” You say “kaa” at the end if you’re a a girl and “kap” if you’re a guy. Expect to hear “kaa” or “kap” in return when you do so. It’s their way of saying you’re welcome.

I highly recommend you try the famous Thai salad Somtam. It’s my favorite!

Anyway, my friends and I stayed in Patong Beach where the red light district is. However filled with “lady boys,” I fell in love with the place just the same. Ko Phi Phi is on the other side of Patong. If you’ve heard of Leonardo DiCaprio’s movie The Beach, Ko Phi Phi is where it’s shot.

The best shopping days happen during the weekend. Head straight to Phuket Town’s night market and haggle the evening away! The place is huge and stalls sell different stuff. I found one interesting shop where the owner sells metal art. People weren’t allowed to take photos, but imagine life-sized robots and dinosaurs made of steel. The place had a huge food area too where my friend bought fried crickets, worms, beetles, and cockroaches. And yes, they’re edible. I tried one and it tasted like chicken–only harder to chew.

Of course, you need to get a taste of their culture. So head on downtown and see the amazing Buddha temple. My friend told me about the myth of ten thousand Buddhas. Once upon a time, a few years after Buddha died, the people dissected Buddha’s body parts and spread it across the globe. He said that if the parts were collected back together it’s going to be the end of the world. The end. Let me know if you’ve heard of this myth or not. And if I got it wrong… or not.

Tip of the iceberg is the iced Thai coffee fresh from the streets of Patong. For only 20 baht I get a venti cup of delicious iced coffee. Never did I spend a day without having my iced Thai coffee fix. It’s the thing I miss most about Phuket.

Everyday since the time I got back, I still imagine myself waking up in our hotel room, mentally planning my outfit and necessities for the day’s adventure. I miss the food too. Heck I even made my version of  spicy Thai condiments because our home cooked food were all too bland for my palette.

It’s official. I left my heart in Thailand.

The Fine Line Between Getting What You Want And What You Deserve

I’m writing this entry as per request.

When faced with a dilemma, have you ever wondered if that’s what you wanted or what you deserved? How and when do you draw the line between the two?

It is easy to split hairs if you’re coming from a third person’s perspective, but being the one tangled in a shady predicament feels like nothing’s ever easy and it’s best to just breakdown.

The question is tricky though. It is to me because I always believed that if you allow something to happen, you deserve it. Hence, you wanted it since you allowed it. However, the word deserve does not belong in that context. It is not deserving in a sense that a person is sentenced or comforted in exchange for choosing to do either a good thing or a bad thing. It is, per contra, intertwined with one’s worth.

Our wants depend on our current needs. And needs come from this imaginary haze we call ego. When we need something so bad that we can’t operate without it, be aware that’s it’s the ego screaming. Also reflect on how people present themselves to others  to get what they want. Women, for example, oftentimes perpetrate the common blunder of using sex as a bait to catch that one big fish. Of course the sexual male sea creature will succumb to the game. But in the end, it’s those types of women who suffer from immense distress and suffering. Then they announce to all mankind that men are jerks. Really?

Sure we achieve a certain level of satisfaction when wants and needs are met, but once the ecstasy fades, we’re like hungry vampires craving for more blood to suck. And it sucks to be in that state. It sucks that we try to compensate for things that we feel are deficient in our lives when in reality, we unmistakably obsess on the outside rather than what’s on the inside.

It’s what’s on the inside that matters anyway. The rest are just spectators. If anything goes wrong in the future, as long as you take very good care of yourself, you won’t feel even a bit of shortchange. You’ll then stop blaming others for problems that were in fact caused by you. Try to shift that perspective as well.

Remember: those who put blame on others are the people who are so good at deflecting responsibility in their own lives.

Needy people are repugnant, don’t you agree? Exactly. So why be one?

That being said, in order to extricate one’s self from a terrible entanglement, one has to perform a mental check-up on how he/she grades himself/herself according to worthiness instead of drowning in melancholy.

Let’s do an exercise: rate yourself from 1-10; ten being the highest. If you think you’re a five, I suggest you work a little more on self-love. If you think you’re a seven, not bad, but still needs a little more work. Try spoiling yourself with your personal needs and make sure to not overdo it. If you see yourself as an eight or a nine, good for you! As long as you’re not saying that just to win the discussion to get this over and done with. And to those who rated themselves as a ten, congratulations! You all are ready to face the world with much less hesitation!

Here’s the thing, like what the English teacher, Bill said to Charlie in Perks of Being a Wallflower, “we accept the love we think we deserve.”

Therefore, if you’re a ten, you are always open to receive love from a fellow ten and so on. It’s common sense that isn’t used commonly. I, too, am guilty of drenching my pillow in tears when I am faced with a difficult situation. But tell you what, I don’t stay in agony for so long. I allow myself to release whatever type of resentment and bitterness inside of me then I rise up to the problem. Because really, what is there to sulk about? And for a long time that is. Besides, hating and blaming only contaminates my whole being. It sure does the same thing to you.

Finally, do yourself a favor. Stop selling yourself short. Refrain from settling for anything less than what you deserve just because it’s what you wanted in that certain moment. Keep in mind that ecstasy fades; it’s temporary. The one thing that’s continual and can or may leave a legacy is no one else but YOU. You are beautiful, amazing and worthy. Never ever forget that.

“I am so beautiful, sometimes people weep when they see me. And it has nothing to do with what I look like really, it is just that I gave myself the power to say that I am beautiful, and if I could do that, maybe there is hope for them too. And the great divide between the beautiful and the ugly will cease to be. Because we are all what we choose.” ― Margaret Cho

Those Days When Lyrics Meant So Much

As I was reaching puberty, I was exposed to music by the likes of Michael Jackson, Sting, Mariah Carey, Everything But The Girl, Swing Out Sisters, George Michael, Wilson Phillips, Madonna, Kenny G, and Whitney Houston.

It was during those days when every lyrical piece meant every word to me when I sing along to the songs. I also search for people to dedicate certain personal favorites to even if I was limited to about ten playmates back then. This one in particular, I would always sing and dedicate to lady friends I hold close to my heart who are going through a tough time in their lives. I recall attempting to compose lyrics similar to this one. And when I’m down, I secretly wish that someone would sing it to me too.

All right, enough with the melodrama. But seriously, bring to mind the types of friendships we had before the internet age and all the clubbing and “sexing” music went out. Wasn’t it much sweeter, much more… from the heart? But I give credit to some of our artists now who write pretty well. Pardon my memory I just can’t recall one.

Let me just share my favorite part from this song. It goes:

“There’s a place inside of all of us
Where our faith in love begins
You should reach to find the truth in love
The answers there within, oh
I know that life can make you feel
It’s much harder than it really is
But we’ll get through it, just don’t give in”

I found out about this music when Waiting To Exhale showed in theaters here. Although I have blurred memory of the movie, this song just stung the sentimental in me the first time I heard it.

I just wish that artists these days make more music with meaningful lyrics and not repeated intro and chorus. Or better yet, since I write, I can compose lyrics that I like. Hmmmm…

The Missing Piece Meets The Big O

Here’s a quite accurate picture book by Shel Silverstein about self-completion. The Missing Piece Meets The Big O is a succession to Silverstein’s first book entitled “The Missing Piece.” I remember a number of friends who narrated this to me; some in details, some preferred to give a bird’s-eye view. Either way, I am fascinated by how metaphorically apt this piece is considering it is literature for children.

Personally, I love this story because no matter how short it is, it tackled most of the grown-up issues many are oblivious about or possibly choose to ignore. I was told once that suppose I’m feeling lonely or unconsummated (or both), it is mainly because I don’t pay so much attention to my own needs. Case in point, I am going to grow old in this body and psyche, so why neglect it?

I love how Shel Silverstein chose to depict this story the simplest way possible. It is simple, yes, yet direct nonetheless. Areas of concern such as being too flashy, looking way too close than necessary, ignoring the pieces on the side and just rolling away with life. Plus the idea that the missing piece was left by the one that fitted the first time they met. Through it, I imagine outgrown relationships in my past be it intimate or platonic.

And then we all meet the one who’ll teach us about what we ought to learn, trust that we can do it on our own (at our own pace), and support our big change, which was well, the Big O’s role.

The rest is history.

So to those who haven’t read it yet, here’s the video version of the book (just don’t get carried away with the background music):

I love looking back to this story especially in times when I feel like I am missing a piece.

Thoughts? 🙂

Cybercrime Law

Today is the day that our government implements the bill on Cybercrime Law. I’ve only been online for a few hours and I’ve already witnessed a lot of protesters do their own thing to voice out their grievances on the said bill. After all the online controversy on Tito Sotto’s plagiarized speech et al, the government has gotten too far with this I suppose? I’m all for moderating human rights and governmental rules, but in my opinion, there are far more important things to prioritize other than this law. Besides, it has been written on our bill of rights under the 1987 Constitution, and I quote,

“No law shall be passed abridging the freedom of speech, of expression, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and petition the government for redress of grievances.”
-Art III, Sec 4

Also…

“The privacy of communication shall be inviolable except upon lawful order of the court, or when public safety or order requires otherwise as prescribed by law.
Any evidence obtained in violation of this and the preceding section shall be inadmissible for any purpose in any proceeding.” -Art III, Sec’s 1, 2

It may be unlawful of me (at this time) to post about it, but we all have the right to freedom of speech and privacy don’t you agree? Considering the number of budding bloggers in the Philippines with different niches, how can they survive with this law? Our RH Bill is pending for the longest time now, why don’t they focus on that? Just because one senator got humiliated online? Is it even fair? Are we not allowed to speak for ourselves anymore? Are we the epitome of an abusive country that’s why our privacy must be taken away from us just like that? I read somewhere that “nobody owns the internet,” so why monopolize it now?
To be truly honest, I don’t see the point in this bill. It doesn’t even help our economic growth and our homeless fellowmen for crying out loud.
Please help us obtain our online right as a nation. The longer these public officials stay in position, all the more they’re becoming demented. And I don’t mean it literally, just so we’re clear. Unless you think otherwise.
I respect your opinion.
For more information on this new law that they want to pass, click: http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/276136/scitech/technology/phl-cybercrime-law-outrages-netizens