An Aborted Grandeur Illusion for a Halloween Costume

When a friend relayed that he read my recent blog post about my Osaka flight cancellation, he knew that one of my agendas in going there was to celebrate and attend again the big Halloween street party in Osaka. He then asked who would I be this time if my Osaka Halloween attendance pushed though.  I simply responded King George.

I have been the Riddler and an Indian Warrior in the past Osaka Halloweens, but I was really looking forward to being the mighty and loony King George this year.  But when my friend further asked why King George, I told him that we Filipinos seem to secretly yearns for a king and has the weird fascination towards noble families.  Though our country is not under a monarchy, we are so in love with kings and queens!

crowned prince of the twisted! hahaha!

 Here in the Philippines, every primary or grade school seem to have coronated their little prince and princess.  Even rich and affluent people featured in society columns in the past were tagged “royals and royalettes”.  And when people are elected to a public office, they have to go around with a whole battalion of body guards to signify how important they are, waving their hands to their constituents as if they are kings and queens of their barrio or little municipalities. 

Classic examples are the effective portrayal of the late dictator Marcos and Imelda who depicted themselves as the modern king and queen of the Philippines.  This outrageous couple thought that it was their obligation to the people to live a fabulous imperial-like lives for the poor. Hahaha!   

Also, we are so fascinated with grand majestic coronations, that we look forward to the annual coronation of the queen of the universe (Miss Universe pageant) and we go extra crazy if the crowned winner is from the Philippines!

Now that I will not go back to Osaka, my friend still further asked what then should I do during Halloween? I told him that as a message to myself, I will have to settle singing the song “You’ll Be Back” by King George in the Broadway musical Hamilton. Hahaha!

You, who would you be this Halloween?

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 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!

Bought Two Robot Toothbrush Hangers

In a couple of months I will be celebrating my 20th birthday on being 30 years old.  I must be excited because I am already writing about it. Or am I really excited or just anxious about this uncertain point in one’s life?  A lot of people embrace it others are unenthusiastic while some are simply numb.

What is alarming about my about-to-celebrate birthday the fiftieth time is that I am still single, lone, solo, free and unattached (do I really have to accentuate this much? Hahaha!).  People can say that in the aspect of finding and attracting a life partner I may be the living proof that The Secret revealed by Rhonda Byrne in her book regarding the law of attraction is nothing but a futile idea and an unsuccessful suggestion.

I have done all Rhonda Byrne has opined.  I slept in only one side of my bed which at times I find myself waking up on the floor because I unconsciously fell while sleeping at some point in the middle of the night.  I prepare food good for two servings which only resulted to my having to purchase larger sized clothing.  I allotted a space in my dresser which caused me to buy and install further dressers so as to have more space for my retail therapy.  I even bought and installed two cute robot toothbrush hangers inside my bathroom!

robot toothbrush hangers on my bathroom wall

hoping to have fun when i’m five zero

Despite this unsuccessful approaches and years may have passed, I would still like to believe in Rhonda Byrne when she say, “There is no such thing as a hopeless situation.  Every single circumstance of your life can change”.

I really hope and wish that Rhonda Byrne would prove me wrong.  According to her, thoughts become things.  But I really wish that in this coming November thoughts would finally become a person.  Keeping my fingers (and toes) crossed!

One Thing Missing by Tom Goss

When I commented “Wishing this song is dedicated to me”, the composer and artist of the song responded, “Who says it’s not?

my youtube comment… wishing…

Here’s the semi-popular yet very cool (acoustic version) song by Tom Goss…

With such a comment by Tom, let me then assert that this song is indeed dedicated to me! 

A Tiny Good News in the Midst of Ongoing Uncertainties

Good news has been so left behind and seem to have totally been overshadowed by bad news.  Everybody would agree with me when I say that there has been a surplus of bad news this year.  Situations has been so cruel in this ambiguous and uncertain times of the world. Everybody if given the opportunity would go back last year (2019) so as to reboot the year 2020!

Let me then relay a tiny good news.  Because of the vague, hazy and unclear future of my personal life which I could no longer seem to control, influence and regulate due of the bad news that lurks around, I decided to flung and cast all my worries to God.  Because of the ongoing impact of the pandemic and all its effects of oversupplied bad news which has directly affected me, I was left with no alternative course of action but to pray and call God, Mother Mary, the angels and the saints for support, assistance and furtherance.

my nightly weapon

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, bizarre and strange as it may seem, the tiny good news I want to relay is that I now pray every day.  And prayer has been my only weapon now in these times of crises.  And I am glad to say that I don’t just say a little prayer, I actually do the grander scheme of things.  Since middle of March this year. I do recite and meditate on the beauty of the mysteries of the Holy Rosary every day without fail!

You may want to ask the effects of my praying the Holy Rosary.  Well, let me just say that it has helped me a lot to keep my sanity.  It has helped me to stay hopeful and optimistic that all this bad news will soon come to an end.  And the little requests, wishes and appeals that I would sneak in between my praying of the Hail Mary-s and Glory Be-s has so far been fulfilled and realized.

Happy day to all and I hope you have a tiny good news to share.

My 2020 Song: Fall On Me

Last year, my chosen song of the year that best described me was This Is Me by Paul & Pasek.  It was such a big hit it actually became the most preferred personal theme song last year of almost everybody.  It was about self-acceptance despite the private struggles and personal oddities that every one of us, in one way or another, possesses.

fall on me…

This year, I decided to have a personal theme song once again.  I actually tried pressuring myself by listening to a bunch of emotional and poignant songs that would best describe myself and my vision this 2020. 

It was actually quite easy to pick one from among the selection of poignant songs composed by Lauv or by Billie Eilish or by Troye Sivan.  But none of them popped my bubble. I actually ended up choosing one song with no intent of actually choosing it.  A song sang by A Great Big World and Christina Aguilera, it was a mere recommended video on my Youtube.  And once I heard it, I knew it was the one.

I fell in love with the vagueness of the song.  The song’s lyrics and dynamics actually needs quite a measure of wit and intellect to really absorb and understand its message.  Thus, this song’s imprecision, its haziness and its abstractness is so me!

Last year I was so clear and on point about my humility and self-acceptance.  This year, let me be a little odd with my value, be a little puzzling on being caring and a little baffling with my unselfishness because I want you to Fall On Me.

Visa Application: The Expensive Way of Proving My Being a Human Being

My comment on a Facebook post by Business Insider “Hahaha! No need to read the article.  I know this so well… (Filipino here)” is gaining semi-popularity.  This article written by a Syrian was about how difficult it is to travel when you don’t have the power of a privileged passport.

And like Syrians, Filipinos like me has to face expensive challenges and time-consuming process of obtaining a travel visa.  Like Syrians, Filipino-world travelers has very weak passports.  We are not privileged to travel easily like the French, the Norwegians and the Singaporeans to name a few.

new zealand: visa fee usd 140

shanghai, china: visa fee usd 27.50

Belgians and South Koreans and other nationalities with powerful passport need not plan so much ahead of time.  They can easily go and hop on the next flight available to another country if they wish to.  But Syrians and Filipinos need months in advance of processing our visit visa.  We need to prepare a long list of proofs of our being human beings as well as present our capability to finance ourselves during our travel.

We have to pay the expensive visa fees which Australians, Americans and Canadians can already apportion to their room accommodations or meal expense during their travel.  We have to allot a separate budget for that. Hahaha!  And these pricy visa fees does not actually assure us of securing our needed visit visa.  We need to do loads of prayers to the heavens plus tons of luck!

mexico: visa-free entry if you have japanese or us visa

israel: visa free (yohooo!!!)

turkey: need to have US visa + usd 20 for evisa

As of this writing I have to pay 60 euros to secure a Schengen visa, 160 US dollars to obtain an American visa and 832 US dollars to acquire a 5-year UK visa.  And according to 2018 schengenvisainfo.com report, Schengen embassies and consulates in the Philippines processed 175,700 visa applications.  UK on the other hand processed 78,482 applications.  And these are just Schengen and UK, we Filipinos love USA so do the math on how much these embassies profited from travel-loving Filipinos.

Wealthy Malaysians, Japanese and Singaporeans has to pay nothing.  Zero.  Thus, Schengen, UK and US embassies and consulates don’t earn from them considering that they can effortlessly afford it. 

If for some people getting lost in a foreign country is the most tough, Syrians for and Filipinos on the other hand, the process of obtaining visa is the most difficult.  Hahaha!  It is actually the very element that hinders me from going to places I want to explore.  It is one sad truth that a travel lover like me has to endure and undertake.

Happy 2020 Everyone!

Tomorrow, is the first blank page of a 365-page book.  Write a good one! — Brad Paisley

Let me take this opportunity to thank all the people who has been a part and made the pages of my year 2019 complete.  And to all those who I am to meet next year, please take it easy on me.

Happy New Year! — from me and Nengkoy (my mom)

I wish for more love, happiness and success to every one of us.  Remember to believe in yourself, be an inspiration to others and have an awesome New Year every one!