Thursday, March 1, 2012

Love on the 29th Day

1 March 2012

In My bed, 
Waiting for Dinner
City of Smiles
Pearl of the Orient Seas

There will always be someone that will leave a mark in your heart, someone that you will always remember,forever.

I was about to make a blog post last night. I tried to promise myself that I will do my best to keep my blog updated. Due to school constraints, I need to prioritize my academics first since this will be the last week of my lectures. Although most of the time I am too lazy to do the necessary tasks, still I need to do it or else I will be stuck for another semester or summer classes. Despite the boredom that studying and doing projects are contributing, I still find it beneficial.

29th. It will always be the most memorable day in my calendar. I celebrate every 29th of the month because it is the date when I reached Singapore and started my life there. Every 29th, I usually treat myself and dine somewhere else, especially to those places in Orchard. The one that I usually remember would be LJS, Long John Silver’s. It is my favorite and I am dying now at this very moment to taste their Combo meals, especially their chicken. 29th is quite my favorite, I usually roam around Orchard Road and have some window shopping. I definitely miss the views and window displays in Paragon, Tangs, Ngee Ann City and ION. I really love those moments when I am still there and up to now, my heart belongs to that country.

I guess the most special 29th day in my calendar was August last year. As much as I want to detail everything but I need to keep some. Others might consider me as pathetic but I just can’t help but to reminisce everything. It was I guess the happiest day in my life, and the saddest moment after few days. It’s like Alpha and Omega combined in one night. I was not working on that date, and I was a bit sick. Oh yeah, I was really sick then. The night before the 29th, I was exchanging SMS with a guy, someone I just happened to know in an online SNS. Being too choosy, I was not certain if I will say yes to him since I don’t really like the image I saw in his profile. But when he started sending messages, it seems that he immediately caught my attention with his wit and jargons, it seems that he’s not just a mere guy out there. Then I said Yes, I’ll be meeting you tomorrow, sms me where and what time J. Too bad, my top-up for Starhub got expired and I was not able to sms him the next day. Good thing he’s online on that site and I agreed to meet him at Newton MRT, 3:30, Singapore Time. But sorry, I’m a Filipino so I was late.

As I was riding the train at Novena, I have doubts of meeting that guy. And a million what-ifs were playing on my mind. Heartbeats were not that normal, I was really scared. Although this was not the first time that I’ll be dating still I was unease. I guess in every guy that I want to date; I usually set quite high or above average standards. Well I guess it’s just a reality for me. I may not have that picturesque or celebrity-like face and contour but I guess it is safe to say that I’m pretty above average. I don’t want to boast but I guess a lot of guys have tried to ask me out. One stop away from Novena is Newton so he sent me SMS asking if I’m going to meet him. He said that he’s wearing green, sitting near the escalator. As the train reaches the next train station, I first tried to check who’s sitting near the vicinity. I saw two people, an Indian and a Chinese. I am still perplexed who among them will be my date. As I approached the area, this guy was staring at me, stands and introduced himself. He was nice, a geek-like because he was wearing specs and I was captured with his Armani scent. He’s not that hot but he’s cute, literally.

Seems like I don’t know his plans so I asked him where were heading to. He told me then that we will watch Cars. I remembered last night that he asked me whether I prefer horror or animated, and I said horror since I am not a fan of animated movies. We went straight to Cathay at Ang Mo Kio Hub, he told me then that he already booked our tickets. Impressive. While watching the entire film, we never even have the chance to do some naughty stuffs. I mean I don’t want to be a hypocrite but I want him to do some caressing gestures but it never happened. The film was entertaining; he kept on glancing at me every time. After that, we headed to Ang Mo Kio Market, in some stalls and tried to have some casual conversations while walking. He asked me if how old does he look like then I said with no hesitations, 27 and later found out that he’s only few months older than me. I can’t help but laugh but he really looks like mature, simply because he was wearing eyeglasses and the manner he talks. We don’t really have that interesting discussion so he asked me to finally join him for dinner.

It was around quarter to 7, we are waiting for a cab to fetch us. He does not have his driver license and still applying for it. We rode on a Silvercab heading to Holland Village. I am not familiar of the place, I never happened to drop by since the yellow line of trains are still under construction but as of this time, it’s open. The cab captain dropped us in a quite crowded area. We were like in a middle of a frenzy pool of people. The place looks like very Mediterranean, I can feel that I am in Spain though I have never been there and only know about Spain on different media.  He told me that we will be eating in a Spanish resto, and he asked me if do I have any food of preference. Of course, I uttered that I’m fine (he will be the one paying for it then). I saw a lot of Caucasians and I was intimidated, thank God because I am always mistaken as a Singaporean or Chinese. Well to be honest, Filipinos will really feel humiliated because of how the foreigners or even the locals would stereotype us. But still, at the end of the day, every single geographic area in this world has a Filipino, or a worker, except I guess for Antartic and North Pole. We entered La Nonna and I was surprised that the waiter asked, “Reservation for Mr. ______? Please come on in.” Wow, the table is reserved via Visa. Perfect!!!


Smarky D

Monday, February 20, 2012

An Eye-Opener

12:34 AMCity of SmilesPhilippines
I saw this post online and I want to share it to all of you.

My mom only had one eye. I hated her, she was such an embarrassment. My mom ran a small shop at a flea market.She collected little weeds and such to sell, anything for the money we needed she was such an embarrassment.There was this one day during elementary school. I remember that it was field day, and my mom came. I was so embarrassed. How could she do this to me? I threw her a hateful look and ran out. The next day at school..."Your mom only has one eye?!" and they taunted me.

I wished that my mom would just disappear from this world so I said to my mom, "Mom, why don't you have the other eye?! You're only going to make me a laughingstock. Why don't you just die?" My mom did not respond. I guess I felt a little bad, but at the same time, it felt good to think that I had said what I'd wanted to say all this time.
Maybe it was because my mom hadn't punished me, but I didn't think that I had hurt her feelings very badly.

That night...I woke up, and went to the kitchen to get a glass of water. My mom was crying there, so quietly, as if she was afraid that she might wake me. I took a look at her, and then turned away. Because of the thing I had said to her earlier, there was something pinching at me in the corner of my heart. Even so, I hated my mother who was crying out of her one eye. So I told myself that I would grow up and become successful, because I hated my one-eyed mom and our desperate poverty.

Then I studied really hard. I left my mother and came to Seoul and studied, and got accepted in the Seoul University with all the confidence I had. Then, I got married. I bought a house of my own. Then I had kids, too. Now I'm living happily as a successful man. I like it here because it's a place that doesn't remind me of my mom.

This happiness was getting bigger and bigger, when someone unexpected came to see me "What?! Who's this?!"... It was my mother...Still with her one eye. It felt as if the whole sky was falling apart on me. My little girl ran away, scared of my mom's eye. And I asked her, "Who are you? I don't know you!!!" as if I tried to make that real. I screamed at her "How dare you come to my house and scare my daughter! Get out here now!" And to this, my mother quietly answered, "oh, I'm so sorry. I may have gotten the wrong address," and she disappeared. Thank good ness... she doesn't recognize me. I was quite relieved. I told myself that I wasn't going to care, or think about this for the rest of my life.

Then a wave of relief came upon me... one day, a letter regarding a school reunion came to my house. I lied to my wife saying that I was going on a business trip. After the reunion, I went down to the old shack, that I used to call a house...just out of curiosity there, I found my mother fallen on the cold ground. But I did not shed a single tear. She had a piece of paper in her hand.... it was a letter to me.
My Son,
I think my life has been long enough now. And... I won't visit Seoul anymore... but would it be too much to ask if I wanted you to come visit me once in a while? I miss you so much. And I was so glad when I heard you were coming for the reunion. But I decided not to go to the school.... For you... I'm sorry that I only have one eye, and I was an embarrassment for you.

You see, when you were very little, you got into an accident, and lost your eye. As a mother, I couldn't stand watching you having to grow up with only one eye... so I gave you mine... I was so proud of my son that was seeing a whole new world for me, in my place, with that eye. I was never upset at you for anything you did. The couple times that you were angry with me. I thought to myself, 'it's because he loves me.' I miss the times when you were still young around me.

I miss you so much. I love you. You mean the world to me. 

My world shattered! Then I cried for the person who lived for me. My Mother.

I hope this will serve as an eye-opener to us.Please love our moms :)

Smarky D


Check this video of Se7en during the World Runway Fashion Show in Singapore. For all the fans and KPOP lovers!

감사합니다 Kamsahamnida!!!!

Smarky D.

Monday, February 13, 2012

For Me, Valentine's is...

14 February 2012
Single Awareness Day, Tuesday, Valentine's Day
City of Smiles, Philippines

I wonder why people keep talking about Valentine’s Day. I was walking last week in the corridor, heading for my marketing exam and overheard a lot of students; most are girls who keep on talking about February 14. It seems that this day is so significant for a lot of people (excluding me). I kept on wondering why they try to discuss about it more than focusing their exams, to think that it’s midterms. Some keep on talking about their plans, how they will celebrate it. Valentine’s seems to be a cliché but how did it all started?

I was reading currently the book of Camilla Morton, A Year in High Heels. I kept on promising myself to finish reading the entire book but still because of too much tasks to be done when I had my internship in Singapore, I wasn’t able to do so. I bought that book in Popular, a bookstore wherein you can find cheap and books on sale. According to Camilla, Valentine’s originated from St. Valentine who was martyred in AD 269. Roman emperor Claudius was actively recruiting men to join the army but none of them wanted to go to war and prefer staying at home with their wives and family.  Claudius banned wedding in his logic that since there will be no marriage, men will join and fight for him. But there was opposition, including Valentine, the priest who was secretly marrying couples. When Claudius found out, he condemned Valentine to be beaten to death. There was a legend that he left a note with signed, “From Your Valentine.” Pope Gelasius in AD 496 honoured Valentine and set February 14 for romance where the tradition of giving chocolates and flowers, where declarations been flying faster than Cupid’s arrow.

Today, celebrating Valentine’s Day is more distinct. There are presence of fireworks and concerts, parties and a lot more. Indeed it is much more commercialized. Well, it depends as well as to how people would celebrate it. It seems that there is really great attention given to February 14, major news headlines are on price increase of roses, flowers and all relevant stuffs. Valentine’s as well is good for economy, since businesses are flourishing, from restaurants, movie houses, malls and all.

Valentine’s is not only for lovers. And I mean it. Although romance, as they say will only be felt if you have a partner, that doesn’t necessarily imply that those who attained “single blessedness” status are deprived from adhering it too. It’s not only an event for lovers, but also for those who want to be loved and those who want to love. Well, I know it’s quite difficult to see a couple, holding hands, sweet and very affectionate with each other. I tried to feel that way too before. When the guy who happens to be your type/crush, brings a bouquet of flowers and chocolates, you would always wish that he will hand it to you, or if not, you will find someone who could do those gestures much better than he did. Okay, daydreaming is always for free and once in our lives, we have tried to daydream or imagine our prince charming or our princess just to make ourselves that fairytales do come true. Those who are happy with their relationships, fine, let us be happy for them. And for those who are single (I don’t know if I should include myself) must try to divert our thoughts into something fun, rather than try to bound ourselves with despair and frustrations.

Definitely, at first, we will feel the despair because we are single, we don’t have any date or we are lonely. Oh yeah, we always try to think of those, deprecating and conditioning our minds. At the end of the day, Valentine’s is over and there you go, still bitter and unhappy just to found out that there are a lot of reasons to be grateful. I belong to those single, I have been single (flirting and flings are not included) for almost two decades and yes, I was one of those who were lonely and empty, an emo and senti. Until such time last year that I have dated someone in Singapore last Valentines Day. Of course, I was happy by then, dinner and all but at the end, we were not able to have a great fairytale ending. Thank God for Singapore since I am allowed to date, freely. I hope you know what I mean. I don’t want to talk more about it but I have had a great time last February 14, 2011. Although I was working that day, my dream that one of my mannequins will become human.

So now, a few hours before twelve midnight, you’re holding your phone, expecting someone to send an sms asking you out for a dinner, blah blah blah. You keep reading books, watching romantic movies and eating a lot. Funny but it’s real. So how a single individual does should celebrate a valentine’s day? Well actually, there is no standard rule as to how but because I can relate to your feelings, I can suggest some options.

1. Reflect- First thing to do is Reflect. You don’t need a mirror, but it will help as well if you like. Try to ask yourself, why are you single until this very moment? Then try to realize that there are only to possible answers: it is because of YOUR personal choice or you are not the personal choice of the person you choose. Let’s face it, sometimes we are hindered by a lot of factors, our family, studies, peer pressure and ourselves. And because it was your personal choice to be single, grasp the fact that you will not have those fairytale stuffs, seriously. If that was your choice, stand by it, you may have a better reason why you opt to be single. Second, you are not the personal choice. I don’t want to be harsh but admit it, at times the person that we want the most will never be our lover. We have varied feelings and if the person doesn’t want you, it is indeed time for you to find someone. Don’t wait and just try to think that love will search for you, in some instances it may but not at all. If you wait for someone without making any effort, it’s like applying for a job without your resume. Try to weigh options, is it better to be single or are you open for a commitment.

2.Reinvent- You have been wearing spectacles, your style of clothing has been patterned to what your mom desires, your hairstyle’s like your grandfather’s signature look, you are still acting like a brat and immature. Ask yourself, when was the last time you bought your own clothes, when was the last time you have your haircut and when was the last time you’ve talked to yourself in front of the mirror. Yeah, now you will need a mirror and I will help you reinvent yourself .Try to check your closet, what are the dominant colors of your clothing? If you’re into black and white, believe me, your friends have been talking that you don’t change your clothes. Disgusting right? I guess it will be the perfect time to do a 911-thingy. First, let go of your old clothes. If you still have those blouses, shirts during your primary and high school days, please try to think that you’re a college student now. Clothes shrink, especially cotton materials. If you consider that item has sentimental value, keep it but don’t wear it. You’re at the right age now to reinvent yourself, make some changes with your style. You need to balance conservatism versus liberated-way of dressing. If you have great skin, flaunt it, wear something to show it. Try to invest in clothes, trends are always dynamic. If you’re saving, try to buy in thrift shops, “ukay-ukay, UK, whatever”. These flea markets have the best clothes and shoes, trust me. You can even get a new top for P20. The way you dress and style will always make an impression. For hygiene and looks, try to have a facial. I don’t have the porcelain-like façade; I as well rely on science to treat my abnormal acnes. The cheapest range would be from 250 onwards. It’s painful but it’s worth it! At times they say that when a person changes his/her hairstyle, he or she is welcoming change. Come on, you have a long, witch-like hair since you were a kid, you have the one-sided hair-do like your grandpa used to have. It’s indeed proper to make some changes and try having a new look. Once you will try to do it, people will definitely notice and even imitate it, you have just made yourself a trendsetter! Just try to think KC Concepcion, she had her hair cut like Madame Coco Chanel, that signature bob-cut look is the In-thing. Sometimes, you need to reinvent, and risk. Always remember, we don’t have planes today if no one ever think of the concept of flying. Spread your wings and Shine!

3.Release- Yes, the third tip is to release. Release stress, hatred, anguish and negative character. Haven’t you realized that no one dares to court or ask you on a date because you are afraid to be broken-hearted again? Sometimes, guys won’t date you because you’re one of those on the top spot of the most unfriendly persons on earth. And you deserve the award! (kidding). To be able to project a positive outlook, first it must start within you. If a lot of people love you, maybe one special person would love you too. A person with a lot of friends and acquaintances is definitely a person with a big heart. I guess it is fitting to forgive as well all your foes and all the people who hurt you, let go of those hatred and anger. You need to use a lot of muscles to frown and only a few muscles to smile so better Smile and look good. If there are a lot of people keep on hating you, offer and return it with kindness and they will realize that they are wrong. They will eventually learn to love you. Try to release stress too, have some good massage or unwind in a place that is serene and conducive. At times, we need to be away from those noises and negative vibes surrounding us, at times those negativities are contagious so better release yourself from those. We have a lot of reasons to be thankful. Release negativity and Absorb positivity. This is also the time to release yourself from things that consume most of your time, making you unproductive. Come to think you are spending hours to play internet games, getting hooked with social media and found out that you are a great stalker. I don’t say that social media isn’t good but social media at times may be addictive so try to limit and only allot ample time to socialize. Have you ever imagined that you are spending more hours in Facebook than reading your books. If that is the case, you’re giving an impression that you will never be a better housewife or husband since you dedicate most of your time into something unworthy. I am a fan of Facebook myself but allot only time, not the entire day. Would you still Facebook when your husband and children are hungry? Remember, we are getting older. We need to learn the basics and don’t just rely with the help of our helpers, parents and all. We need to learn on our own. That is why we are in school because we are being educated and those theories learned will be applied in reality. Absorb more knowledge and positivism, try to make yourself productive in a sense that you are doing something valuable, not only for yourself but for others.

I guess I have talked a lot. Aside from those, being single doesn’t deprive us to celebrate Valentine’s day. We can show and offer love to those in need, those who were victims of the recent calamities. Try to call local media on how to be a volunteer and how to offer assistance. They need food, clothing and a lot more and I guess that is a greater love that you are sharing to a lot of people who don’t only need material but also emotional benevolence. What im trying to imply is that no matter how small or huge you had given, it will always be a blessing worth thanking for. You can also spend Valentine ’s Day to orphans, to churches, help to spread the good words of God. You may help in advocacies in our environment. We have a lot of options and what we need is just to put some effort in it. We can do a lot of things actually but we need to make sure that we are open and ready, and voluntarily able to do it

 In general, being in a relationship or being single, widowed or whatever status you may have, the bottomline is that we know that love is the selfless giving of oneself to others. To love unconditionally, I guess that is the real essence of Love. Everyday is Valentine ’s Day. Everyday is a day to be cherished, a day to be a Navigator of Love :)

Happy Valentine's Day!

Smarky D

Monday, January 16, 2012

Dream Big: The Singapore Internship in Nostalgia

Experience is the Best Teacher.

Cliché as it may sound but I guess it is true, it is for real. Being the last trainee to arrive in Singapore, I was intimidated and uncertain about everything. At the end of the day, being the last never made me the least, I was able to surmount everything. The next day after my arrival, I instantly started my work and during that time,Knightsbridge is still preparing for its grand opening. First day of work: exhausted, tired but fulfilled. Fulfilled because I was able to do the tasks and learned a lot during the first encounter. Days, weeks and months, things changed. If there is one thing that made me grateful, that was when I was designated by my shop manager to be Topman’s Visual Merchandiser.

At first I was afraid that I may not be able to accomplish my obligations: pick, style and change clothes for fifteen mannequins, do the daily visual merchandising and a lot more tasks. If there is one thing that I could be really proud of, that is, they trust a La Sallian Intern to be a part of their VM Team for their flagship store in Asia. My longevity and flexibility were challenged; I need to wake up by 5 AM because I need to report to by 7AM in the shop and finish my work after 8 PM. But I never complained, because for me, it’s a privilege to be trusted by my bosses, my mentors. My schedules for entire year, majority doing 7 AM shifts and there, I really learned how difficult working in the real world is, how valuable every single dime you earned is. My perspectives were changed when I was in SG. Being a senior student, I need to take care of our junior interns and to comfort them when they feel loneliness. Most probably, my gloomy childhood days helped me to become a more mature individual that’s why I became emotionally strong and really embraced what life has to offer. Language and cultural differences are major factors that we adjusted because we are dealing with different people, different nationalities and working with colleagues that are mostly locals. It’s a sense of fulfillment when you can serve the customer and he or she happily appreciates your service. Singapore, being one of the primary destinations for retail therapy, has uplifted its name in Customer Service categories.

In my entire stay, I really recognize that what you say will always reflect on the company’s image, so there is really a necessity to have product knowledge and the capacity to provide the information that customer needs to know. In my entire internship, I tried to maximize my full potentials. Being in the shop, I was given a lot of opportunities to improve myself, to build my self-esteem and to be able to improve and learn from my flaws. Being in school is a bit more convenient, although students usually complain about how tiring student life is. After a year of experience, I have a lot of realizations that help me hone as a person and I gained a lot of lessons that I will carry on in my future undertakings. It was an experience beyond expectations. As a simple student before, I never imagined that I will make it this far, that I will be able to attain the prime epitome of my life.

Before, I was just day-dreaming of choosing and styling clothes, but my SG experience made it all happen. I was able to work with some Filipino and International Celebrities, styled and choose clothes for them. Doing model-stores in different outlets also during wee hours in the morning, doing VM presentations to the company director and all the managers and company heads. As well as the chance to do presentations for the UK directors, it is very fulfilling to represent my shop and definitely, my university as a La Sallian. If there is one thing that I want to share, that would be the paradigm “Dream BIG”, dream and attain your goals. Believe that you can, and do something to make it possible. From a simple student before, now I was able to be recognized because of my fashion and styles. It is undeniably a great and wonderful experience. In my life, I never think that I will be able to do all of these, to be awarded for my efforts. Thank you to all those who helped us: the administration and teachers, my family, our mentors in Singapore, our colleagues and my clients and customers. They aided a lot in my development and they continue to motivate and bring out the best in me.


To God be the Glory!