Dance When Bored Angels Ignore Us

It’s the last quarter and when I realized that I haven’t gone out of the country this year, I got sad.  When I counted that it has been close to eight months that I have been limiting my movement outdoors, I got sad.  I actually got sad when I realized I got sad.

Gazing into the affirmative, bouts of sadness may be good for us.  Can you just imagine happiness if there is no sadness?  Life then would be so dull, nauseating and mind-numbing.  Angels in heaven must have been so bored with happiness they prefer descending down to earth in search of sadness and turn the same into glee, delight and gladness.

Life is not about wishing storms to pass. It is about learning how to dance in the rain.

I am not saying that I would love to bask on sadness.  I had so much of it already.  But sadness as unwelcome and unwanted as it may seem is a life ingredient.  And if bored angels up above ignore us, what is good about us being humans is that we cope.  We have the capacity to manage, the ability to handle and the aptitude to deal.

Sadness is like a life’s unwanted storm.  It can be intense, horrible and devastating.  But life is not about wishing storms to pass.  It is about learning how to dance in the rain.  Therefore, we simply just have to dance if bored angels ignore us.

Frustrated Japanophile

Let me be a little materialistic today!  My avaricious stance at the moment is caused by the airline who texted me that my October 29 flight to Japan has been cancelled.  And since I cannot take a trip to magnificent Osaka, I let bits and pieces of Osaka take a journey to me.

i love everything japanese! except for the karokke (croquet) chips, all these are actually available in my country. hahaha!

I have just received the package full of Japanese stuffs I ordered from my Japan-based niece!  Yihee! These are the cheap Japanese junks, the absurd Nippon messes and the silly Japanophile stuffs I would have purchased in Osaka if my trip pushed through.  Please excuse me but ordering and receiving these stuffs are my coping mechanisms in expunging my extreme frustration when I learned about the cancellation.

japanophile! 

Let me then I agree if you find me so worldly and so twisted in this circumstance. Got to go!  I need to do my airline refund! Haha!

I Miss Going To The Movies

Do you remember when was the last time you went out, go to a cinema and see a movie?  I miss doing that.  It is so long ago that I no longer can recall what was the last film I saw inside a movie house.

For me, going out to watch a movie is some sort of a social activity.  It’s like having a mini-party that is to be attended either by a bunch of friends, family and even strangers.  No thanks to the ongoing pandemic, I have yet to get inside a cinema and have this mini-social activity done this year!

Yeah, I too is a Netflix subscriber, but I miss the fun of falling on queue outside the theater, the buzz of selecting which time slot to watch at the box office or the angst of running in a hurry because the film is about to start.  I also miss the delight of selecting what to binge and snack on – chips, burgers, hotdogs or a pail of buttery popcorn.

stuck at home, gone grumpy and mad… i wanna go to the movies!

Going to the movies is a perfect social activity for it hits all-encompassing purposes of having an enjoyment, relaxation, stimulation and a sense of belongingness.  But this social communal pursuit seems dying.  Aside from the fear of catching the deadly bug, human beings now prefer watching at the comforts of their home.  Yeah, I know that watching movies at home is more convenient, safer and cheaper but it misses the mark in terms of us being social beings.

I’m betting my skinny butt, count forty or fifty years when people evolved and become solitary species, those cinemas can be considered dead, extinct and a thing of the past.  Young folks by that time would be so shocked to find out that movie theaters run and existed and they would innocuously utter “ridiculous people of the past are so weird?!

Enough said.  I want to be that weird dude of the future and I definitely miss going to the movies!

I Had Coffee With Your Avatar

Now that the world has gone bonkers, I think gaining and winning friends by the present generation sits quite fine and okeydokey with me.  Generation now would consider that the minimum requirements for at least two human beings to be considered as friends is that they have to have a photo together posted on social media or that one has clicked accept a Facebook invite by the other.

Though I am truly glad that I am not part of this peculiar “friendship” scheme.  I think I would still recognize and accept such a modern way of developing friendships for the mere fact that such scheme and pattern is positive.

It is totally different from the way how friendship develops and flourish during my young though not so vibrant time.  Friendship development and occurrences then were face-to-face, non-tech, unknowing, fluid, extemporaneous and does not require having an avatar.

my present globally recognized avatar! hi friends!

I am not saying that those that I connect with via social media or the world-wide-web as not friends.  They are indeed!  But it could have been more enhanced if I happen to at least smell or touch these new found friends.  Yeah, I am a touchy person (and not a smelly one)!  And I would have love to have at least a coffee or dinner with these new found comrades.

Case in point are the new found friends I developed while writing and posting on this blog.  These are the amazing and beautiful people who cared to read, like, comment and/or follow the Nengkoy blog.  Conversing via the comment sections and responding to emails, believe it or not, has been very fascinating and enriching experiences.  Some don’t even have a face since their avatar would be a painting, a cartoon character or the photo of their favorite pet yet I would consider them as my modern virtual friends. 

And since, like what I have said, the world has gone bonkers, you may not know it, but I have had a coffee with your avatar in the past few days! Hahaha!

Finding new friends is positive and in the affirmative, whichever way a person achieves it would be so fine with me. 

Abe’s Farm Is Like Next To Someone

I know that being next to someone is the ultimate favorite place of everyone.  But if a spot that is about 2.5 hours drive and you no longer cannot count the number of times that you have been there, does this mean that such a place is also one of your favorites?

the compulsory posing! hahaha!

This will be short…

Abe’s Farm, a quiet staycation venue at the foothills of dormant volcano, Mt. Arayat, north of Manila is the place.  For me, Abe’s Farm is one of those perfect getaway places where one can just stay quiet, have a short social media detox, simply breathe and relax.

A perfect add-on to this is the food that they serve.  Situated right in the heart of Pampanga, the culinary capital of the Philippines, Abe’s Farm food offers what one can call an assault to the senses – texture, color, presentation and of course taste.

happy eating! yum!

Yeah. I gave myself some short quiet break.  And just this weekend I am again at Abe’s Farm.  I guess Abe’s Farm though not a “next-to-someone” is one of my favorites.

A Plantito with Black Thumb

I have always recognized that I do not have a green thumb.  Though I love plants and have taken cared quite a number of them in the past, plants don’t love me back.  My relatives can attest that I have purchased countless number of plants in the past, but all chose to breathe their last breath and declined to settle with me in my condo unit.  I sometimes correlate my relations to plants as a form of unrequited love! 

When I and my family would go out of town, I would often suggest to stop at a garden store by a roadside before heading back to Manila for I want to acquire new greens.  “Are you looking for a new victim?” or “You’re just wasting some bucks” are the usual remarks of my relatives when I would suggest my buying new plants.

the recent garden shop where i purchased my succulents… i can hear these greens saying… “no! not me!!!” LOL!

I have always thought that I would make a good gardener because I had an A+ grade in my Botany subjects during my old school days and would even had the time and fortitude of talking to these plants.  But all these photosynthetic members of the Kingdom Plantae refuse to live with me.  My relatives has even tagged me as having the black thumb or even worse the black-kiss-of-death thumb!

Owning and taking care of plants here in Manila is the new craze.  Like me, this has been some of people’s emotional outlet or thing to do and be busy of indoors during this time of quarantining and pandemic. 

This has been evidenced by the steady increase in the number of social media posts of people posing behind, in front or beside their happy and healthy plants!  People call these plant-fanatics and shrub-obsessed folks as Plantitas (for female) and Plantitos (for male) of Manila.

In my recent out of town adventure, I again purchased a new batch of plants to enjoy and take care of.  I hope these creatures are as glad as I am.  I am really hoping that this new batch will live a long life and would finally erase my being a black thumb.

if those trees can run, i’m pretty sure they’ve moved way way farther! hahaha!

my not-so-happy green companions! please don’t die…(my recent purchases)

But if these plants chose to reject me and die instead, I will still care for one and would just have to melodramatically remind myself that old warriors may have to fight a long battle more than once to win it.  And if one zany plant would finally decide to settle it out with me, I will call myself a Plantito who would be smiling while sharing social media pictures with it.

Looking forward to having photos with these new plants!

Smells Like Grandma!

Have you ever wondered what you actually smell like? Do you know what object when smelt will be reminded of you?

During college, I learned through lectures, readings and studies (Psychology was my major), that olfaction or the sense of smell can harness evocative power towards a person’s emotion.  I personally believe that people can fall in love towards a food, a location, an animal or even a person because of the odorant organic molecules that these objects of affection diffuses.

Just imagine the aromatic smell of coffee that relaxes you in the morning or the joy you feel when you smell freshly baked bagels?  Have you ever wondered why some stunningly beautiful and well-mannered lady can be so head over heels towards a rude dude who only takes a shower once a week? It must be the odor!  Furthermore, multiple journals in Psychology asserts that memories and recollections as evoked by smell are usually localized to the childhood period.

this reminds me of lola teray… ow i wish you can smell this.

All these stance and viewpoints about olfaction were further reinforced when I and my younger sister bought a buy-1-take-1 Japanese-made charcoal soap from a grocery store!  I of course paid for the “buy one” and she took the “take 1”.  Hahaha!

On my initial use and as soon as I lathered it on my hands, a vivid childhood recollection was evoked by the subtle fragrance of the soap!  The scent clearly reminds me of how my Lola Teray (my mom’s mom) smelled like.  On an impulse, my brain suddenly replayed some of the beautiful childhood memories I had when my adorable Lola Teray was still alive.

my lola teray… she smells so good…

lola teray’s photo when she was a chosen subject for a photography session

My family lost my Lola Teray more than 30 years ago, and I could not imagine how an object now can actually trigger and remind me of my long-forgotten scent of my grandmother!  How amazing is that?!  And as soon as I finished my shower, I messaged my younger sister telling her that the scent of the soap reminded me of our sweet and gentle grandmother, Lola Teray.  She agreed!

Now, I wonder how I smell and what odorant chemical compounds that I diffuse?  I wonder what crazy object do I smell like? Hahaha!

Small Victories

I got two words for you today…  Small Victories.

When I saw these words tattooed on a stranger’s left arm, it suddenly invoked some thoughts and emotions.  I became joyous and thankful.

It made me realize that I have actually been achieving countless small victories.  And though I often brush these aside and do not think about it, seeing the man’s tattoo made me contemplate how lucky and blessed I have been.  That I should appreciate and take into account these tiny accomplishments in life.

celebrate your small victories peeps!

Learning how to cook, freeing oneself from zits, waking up relaxed, sending a civil message to your ex, making someone smile and staying afloat when everybody seemed to have drowned are some of the small victories each one of us has to acknowledge and be joyous about.

Stay alive, be happy and keep achieving those Small Victories!

I Pay for Autumn, I Buy My Winter

It’s September 1.  Considered as the start of the BER-months, this is usually the day I would start getting excited about my purchased autumn or winter season.  Yes people, since I live on a spot where there are only two climate periods in a year, I buy my autumn and winter seasons.

Living and growing up in the Philippines which only has wet & dry seasons, my childhood is deprived of knowing what it’s like during autumn and winter.  And because I live in a climate where it is either hot or hotter, donning on thick coats, a beany and earmuffs would result to some fatal heat stroke.  Instead of owning trendy coats and jackets, me and my friends grew up possessing either a plastic rain coat or the mighty umbrella.

me and my sister love osaka!

And guess what?! During my early childhood days, I thought countries where snow falls are wealthy because that is where Santa Claus lives.  I would often wish that snow would fall in the Philippines so that it can finally get rich and Santa would have easier access getting here!

Now that I am old and my silly childhood wish for a cool autumn and frosty winter in my country will never ever occur, I purchase these seasons for me to personally enjoy and experience.  How do I do my purchase?  I simply apply for an elusive travel visa, book an airline ticket, reserve a cheap hotel and file my treasured vacation leaves so as to journey to a chilly northern or southern hemisphere spot on the planet.

Here’s some of my purchases…

happy at a snow festival in hokkaido!

braved trekking the ihlara valley in turkey during winter! 

my recent purchase! a chilly autumn in st. petersburg, russia

have always been a fan of autumn in koyasan, japan

Yeah! I envy people living on places where the leaves turn bright orange and where fine white snow falls. I guess, folks who say “people long for things and places they do not have” are so correct.  But for those who got yet hate these seasons, you just don’t know how blessed you are!  I so envy you that I even spend heaps of time and money purchasing it!