Current Stuff I’m Geeking About // 2

I really enjoyed the premise of Rainbow Rowell’s Attachments (add me on Goodreads!). It’s the end of the 90s, people are just discovering the Internet, I suppose I’m biased since I really like emails/letters structured stories.

Other than that, I’m in between waiting for progress on fanfics of Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl (yes, I went on a whole Rowell rabbit hole and yes, I can’t move on from books, shh), and reading Freakonomics on the metro when I’m not tired.

It’s been pretty interesting, from the comparison of crime rates with legalized abortion, to the similarity of cheating schoolteachers and sumo wrestlers. One thing I’m learning (and remembering) is how economic issues are both simple and complex, and of course, based on innate incentives.

Internet finds

An abandoned fishing village from China’s Yangtze River. (Photo via Elle Decor).
  • 20 of the most beautiful abandoned places in the world‘ brought some places in mind I’m definitely adding to my bucket list of places I want to go for photo shoots, ahhhh!
  • You just out of prison, now what?‘ from The New York Times Magazine shows how two ex-convicts are helping released inmates rehabilitate back to society through their ‘Ride Home’ program. It’s admirable and it just goes to show that it’s just all about making the best out of it.

“I remember being so tired that when I looked at patients in beds, I’d think, ‘They’re so lucky that they get to lie down.’”

Haven’t seen any new movies in a while, but below is a quick video from the NYT Magazine article I mentioned with the ‘Ride Home’ program.

And the article about Japanese kids walking to school brought me to this old TV show called Hajimete no Otsukai, or My First Errand, wherein children are sent out to do an errand for their family around the neighborhood, followed secretly by a camera crew. I’m between wondering why they’re doing that to kids, slash finding the kids so adorable and rooting for them.

TV Shows
Believe it or not, this is my watch list that’s cut down already: Doctor Who, The Arrow, Flash, iZombie, Fresh Off The Boat and Grey’s Anatomy.

Three things; one, sonic sunglasses wearable to replace the sonic screwdriver? That’s a joke, right? Two, I’m so happy for -excuse my fangirlness- Olicity!! Three, oh my gosh Zoom, he’s just not going away, is he?


Just LSS from Planetshakers’ concert and I’ve been listening to old The National and Kodaline albums lately.

Planetshakers live in Dubai, 2015. (Photo via photodiary)

Misc. current favorites
Sleep, baked potatoes, teal, textures, light leaks, natural lighting and shadows.

Chasing light (Photo via photodiary)

Writing about what you can’t write about

There’s something about seeing the process, how things are done, how people got to where they are. Often what we see is just the end result or the finished product. It would awe and inspire you, but at the same time, make you feel inadequate of failing to achieve the similar seemingly perfect endgame. Most people don’t indicate the struggles, failures and abrupt ideas. So, here’s mine.

One of my worst habit is starting something I can’t continue or maintain. Self doubt and insecurity, coupled with the need to comply to perfection gets me stuck. Case in point, with writing, for every one piece I finish and share somewhere, there’s five or more I’ve left erased, abandoned or forgotten. On this blog alone, I have nearly 11 drafts. I came across one of Daily Post’s prompts (yes, it’s quite old, but I found it while aimlessly looking for an idea) on pulling fragments and craft “found poetry” from my sad list of forgotten drafts.

My rules: Will probably not stick to poetry, as poetry is not my forte at all. I’ll take phrases from any draft titles, drafts and put it in any order, but no editing of words. If you cringe at painful attempts, thank you for sticking out, but thank you, please know you are free from obliged reading.


our fragmented selves
online accounts
a curated and edited version
characters are more relatable and loved because they’re three dimensional
why can’t we be both? why can’t be all?
out of sight, out of mind

alone, but not lonely
and someone patted me, “It’s okay, Pam.”
are we still shaming someone who wants and likes being alone?
being alone on a Saturday night
trying to exude an illusion of extroversion
it’s okay
I’m put together beautifully

how can someone be happy with being imperfect?
it’s okay
His love isn’t based on your perfection
my imperfections remind me how I need to rely on God’s grace
the sweet spot of allowing ourselves to be both flawed and loved
Let His love be stronger than the pressure to be perfect

moments where I wonder, “why I am not doing that?”
freaking early-twenties
this is me, inexperienced
between just letting go
breaking away from the archetype
we all have a little bit inside
remind me to always
be curious, be observant, take notes, and ask good questions
we have to let ourselves just be

to 1970s rock music: Pearl Jam, David Bowie, Ziggy Stardust
bring yellow Post-its everywhere
anxiety of turning in an assignment late
paralyzed from overthinking
being able to talk to anyone confidently
having the body and metabolism of someone who goes to the gym three times a week
the level of how fickle I’ve been is laughable, and even obsessive.
the pressure to be perfect in everything I do
between just letting go
because you never know

“Voice for 2020” installation at SIKKA, March 2014

I know, I know. As it’s a year late, though I hoard a lot of art show brochures, I eventually throw them out or it gets recycled to a gift wrapper or something else. Since previous SIKKA shows aren’t archived, I’m using only scraps of notes and what little I can remember. Excuses aside, this is one of the exhibitions that resonated with me.

“Voice for 2020”, Voice of Wish, By People of Dubai, For 2020, year of EXPO, Connecting Minds, Creating the Future

Located in House No. 16, Voice for 2020, started as a live art installation encouraging passers-by to express what they love about UAE and wish for in 2020 (the year Dubai would host the World Expo), it turned to a space where the wishes and dreams of locals and expats alike hung from threads of paper.

“All I wish is PEACE”, “Want to explore the world”
“In God We Really Trust” MAH

It’s pretty cool to see how diverse everyone’s desires were, yet they all lead to the universal yearning for peace, love, happiness and success.

“Love and peace for Syria”
“Ang dami kong pangarap, Mapapansin kaya, Maririnig kaya, Masasakatuparan kaya, Sa pinakasulok ng kwarto.” Translates to: I have many dreams, will they notice? Will it be heard? Will it come true? From the corner of the room.

This year’s SIKKA15 art fair will start from March 14 till March 24 at the Al Fahidi historical neighborhood/Al Bastakiya area. Showing Emirati and Dubai-based artists’ talents alike, it’s always my favorite from the month-long Dubai Art Season.

Apart from that, I’m also going to Art Nights at DIFC on March 16, which is, alas, happening at same night as Galleries Night at Alserkal Avenue. Both opens more or less, the same kind of galleries, but it gets you curious, “What’s happening on the other side?”

There’s also Art Dubai at Madinat Jumeirah from March 18-21 which exhibits more than 50 galleries from around the world (they’re not kidding about this, I went in 2013 and it took me two trips to see half of it!), and Design Days Dubai at Downtown Dubai from March 16-20, which I would definitely recommend to interior and product designers, architects and art students . Both of which I don’t think I will be going to, but hey, if you can, go for it.

On remembering David Carr and his words

Back in university, I remember coming across David Carr’s Twitter account when I was looking for journalists and editors to follow online. From being a former drug addict to advocating for and being known as an early adopter to all things tech (which, in a way, made me feel better about my tendency to try out new platforms), having an innate love for pop culture, speaking at journalism classes to mentor aspirants in and out of the newsroom, he was one of those media reporter and critic I looked up to. In the documentary Page One (a must-watch for any media student, by the way!), he defended the future of newspapers, and you could clearly see and love his commitment to journalism, in whatever form or medium.

His writing exemplified the kind of writing analysis on culture, television/films and media that I want to (and try to) tackle, a few examples are his articles about ethics, selfie sticks and more on his Media Equation column. It’s ironic, sad and equally heartwarming that he died what he loved best- in The New York Times newsroom. Thank you, David Carr for your epigrams of encouragement.

Selected from his AMA at Reddit and NY Mag , here are some of his advice on different topics that has pushed and inspired me to be better:

On doing and creating things on any platform:

You have to make stuff. The tools of journalism are in your hands and no one is going to give a damn about what is on your resume, they want to see what you have made with your own little fingies. Can you use Final Cut Pro? Have you created an Instagram that is about something besides a picture of your cat every time she rolls over? Is HTML 5 a foreign language to you? Is your social media presence dominated by a picture of your beer bong, or is it an RSS of interesting stuff that you add insight to? People who are doing hires will have great visibility into what you can actually do, what you care about and how you can express on any number of platforms.


On the changing media landscape:

“A bunch of old crusty white guys who looked a lot and talked a lot like me, they decided what the news was. It’s not really up to us anymore. It’s up to you. It’s up to your audience.” — 2014 UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism commencement address

When asked, “What is the best piece of writing/journalistic advice you’ve ever received?”

Keep typing until it turns into writing.

“Modern” love

Back then, there wasn’t Facebook to stalk ex’s, dating social apps to meet random people, platforms to talk to people across the world, and the like. Technology and culture has influenced the concept of romance.

The New York Times has a Modern Love column, a series of hilarious, sad, strange and happy stories of people chasing or finding love. In an article called ‘How We Write About Love‘, I found this to be true- that while women think their ideal relationship is in the future, men romanticize the past.

“A woman is more likely to believe her romantic ideal awaits somewhere in the future, where her long-held fantasy becomes a flesh-and-blood reality.
A man’s romantic ideal typically exists somewhere in the past in the form of an actual person he loved but let go of, or who got away. And he keeps going back to her in his mind, and probably also on Facebook and Instagram, thinking, “What if?”

In their multimedia section, there’s a video called ‘Breaching The Seawall’

Sweet and fleeting; it’s a story of a Filipino-American in the Philippines finding love on a visit unexpectedly. Two things that stood out for me. First, is the prose itself, wherein, the writer of the article –‘In Manila, Two Seasons, No Regrets’– where the video is based on takes a conversational-like approach to telling the story, like it was just a story I was hearing from a friend. That was lovely, and a smart/reminds-me-of-Serial approach.

Second is how the story was told in illustration on the video. I love the metaphoric implication of the bicycle and her heart. Khumo Sebambo said it nicely in Design Indaba:

“..the characters have no faces. Instead, squares and cubes represent Fantauzzo, and circles and cylinders represent the woman with whom she falls in love.
The blue and orange colour palette creates a surprisingly effective contrast. The geometric shapes and angular figures are key to Wells’ contemporary animation style – one that handles a challenging narrative in inventive ways: tears are illustrated with a cascading waterfall; the shapes interlocking into one another like toy blocks represent intimacy.”

Though they’re two different mediums, the ending in both video and text were poignant, and even sounds like a nice ending for a short film.

Before I forget: loving God in busyness and stillness

This is my cry, my one desire
Just to be where You are Lord
Now and forever it’s more than a song
My one desire is to be with You
Is to be with You Jesus

During an evening worship at SHOUT, as we were singing this song, I paused.

You see, I had to remind myself to not just sing for the sake of singing, and actually pray. Too often, after being spiritually high from an encounter or experience, reality sets in, old sins come back and weeks can go by without prayers. There would be days when His words would fail to resonate with me- no realizations or affirmations. God seems quiet and far, and I understand what St. Augustine meant with, “Our heart is restless until it rests on You.” I yearn and long for the blazing fire, when only a spark is present.

This time though, God revealed a few things to me. Maybe He seems silent because He is so close, and I’m too caught up with my daily life that praying has become a chore. The daily Bible readings turns to a skim-through, I rush the Our Father’s and stumble hastily on the Hail Mary’s.

Before I forget: loving God in busyness and stillnessPerhaps, like tea, it’s better to let it simmer. Reflect and ponder, as I was constantly reminded this year. Remind myself that this -whether worship song or one of the prayers- is a prayer. Otherwise, it turns to another task we can tick off on our to-do list, when praying is not supposed to be an obligation but a consistent act, done out of need and love for Him.

Loving Jesus is not like loving a person, wherein people and emotions can come and go. His love is constant and unconditional. Just because He hasn’t been loud or, to put in Tagalog terms, “nag-paparamdam“, doesn’t mean He isn’t there. God is with us when He is at the center of our hearts, He is with us in times of hurt, when we fall back to our sins and yes, even during the tranquility and daily bustle of life.

So, before I forget, remind me to not be defined by whatever it is that is hindering me from reaching out to You. To welcome God in my busy and mundane life. To seek God in His silence and stillness.

Another relevant link: Believing what we sing on Sundays

Current Stuff I’m Geeking About // 1

I’ve always seen the Currently lists on blogs, but felt they’re not enough or boring, so I decided to start my own. Something less formal and I can relate to. So, here’s some recent interesting things worth a mention:

#GirlBoss has been my go-to book for metro rides and something I try to read in the morning to give me a motivating push or, when I’m too sleepy and can’t be bothered to sleep in the mornings, on the way home from work. I’m not yet done, but I feel it’s a do-something-with-your-life book that could be kick in the butt 20somethings need.

On to spiritual reads, I’m trying to continue Youcat: Youth Prayer Book. It’s really lovely and I’ve tried to subconsciously motivate myself by putting it on my bed as a reminder to read a chapter a day (as they’ve suggested). But oh dear, my body is so stubborn. When I see my bed and covers, khalas, goodbye world.

Next on my reading list is the last from the Maze Runner trilogy: The Death Cure by James Dashner and then hopefully, Rick Riordan’s The Blood of Olympus which I’m hearing good things about. Veronica Roth’s Allegiant is also on my list. I’m actually at the end of it, but I just refuse to finish the last chapter because I accidentally found out the ending. Curse spoilers! So, when I’m emotionally ready for it, maybe I’ll finish it. Maybe.

Internet finds
I came across Start Something: The Power of Side Projects when I was discouraged and overwhelmed by the projects I want to pursue and it’s been helpful. I am so in awe with @swimiss and how her enthusiasm for solving problems led to companies she’s built. Here’s a talk she gave: Continue reading