Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Sa wakas.

I'm sooo proud of you.
Congratulations for being able to reach on of the many stars we wish to take.
You deserve it.

Great Job, TM Mitchi <3

Friday, September 16, 2011

Guitars, Tiaras and Polka-Dots Luggages

At 12am, almost every single man in the office who are close to me approached me in the Conference Room, a long-stemmed rose in their hand, to greet me a Happy Birthday. And since it was my birthday, I got extra hugs and kisses too. Dishant, Tito Kier, Dennis, Kenneth, Meldita, Ethan, Inggo, Syndyk and most of the office boys who are closer to me went to share their "Happy Birthdays" which I think was super sweet and the first time that ever happened to me. When we're done with the listening session in the conference room, I went back to my station and my agents started singing "happy birthday" and one by one, people from other lines of business stood up and sang along too. I could feel my ears turn red, but what the heck, it's my birthday anyway. haha. 

When I thought it was all over, Mitchi approached my a little later telling me, "huy, lika na sa pantry. May nagpapabigay pala seo neto", then she handed me a slip of paper with a guitar pick attached to it. It was from Papa. 

So then we went to the pantry to see what's going on and this is what I saw. 

tarp courtesy of Jejerome

I was on the verge of crying but there were other people in the pantry who were busy taking their lunches and breaks and pretended they are not being bothered by the scene. haha.

wishful thinking

feigning a cry. hahaha. i just couldn't

happy birthday to me!

mga nakiki-birthday

I got the two things I'm dying to have that night. Mitchi, the perpetrator of this surprise did a very good job. It was ovewhelming. I always thought that birthdays are the most important event of the year. It is actually my favorite occassion apart from Christmas. I get to own the day. People are extra nice to you on your birthday apart from you can get away with almost anything on your birthday. Only, you usually have to treat them on your birthday but you'll be eating and laughing with them anyway. This year is by far the happiest treat I got. It was just so filled with love from people around me specially to that one person.

Later on, I got the surprise of my life when I realized how they managed to come up with this scheme. Mitchi and James, who knows about really good guitars went as far as Sta. Mesa to buy from the long strip of guitar sellers in R Magsaysay. Papa funded part of the guitar cost. heehee. Then for the luggage, Mitchi bought it from the Gift Gate store in Megamall and asked Mommy Ella to drop by and pick it up on the eve of my birthday. Jejerome, did the tarp. The day before, Mitchi was bugging him to get the tarp from the printer and deliver it at home, which I told her, "kaya mo talagang utusan si Jem no". Jem works in Ayala and the printer's shop is out of his way going home. Realizing that, good thing I did bother opening and checking out what was the tarp for. My agents got me the pretty cake while Lito and Sherwin went to Dangwa for the long stemmed roses. Recalling everything now, I couldn't help but feel giggly about it. Maybe just that, because i don't exactly know how to put the feelings into words. 

I wanted to write this thing down, because I know, on tougher days, I would look back to this post and remember that day when all of these people went out of their ways to celebrate with me and make me feel outrageously special. Thanks everyone. And to Mitchi who did all the logistics, I hope I can tell you how thankful I am. For all of these and for having you around. 


26 and lovin' it.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

A few weeks back, I bought my pink Converse to compensate since I decided not to buy the Vans Hello Kitty Ed. I thought it was too pricey and I'm really not to the Vans type of shoes.

But of course, somewhere deep in my heart, I know I want it. So days before my big day--and after my team won a total of P16,000 worth of Sodexho GCs for a spiff sa office, heto na sya :)

yung pink sa ken, kay mitchi nman yung black. ung mas gusto ko hmp.

I wanted to get the black slip-ons with a big Kitty face but the mall no longer has the size 8.
So I settled to the pink attention-grabbing design, which happens to be the only pair that fits me even with their boutique stores in Glorietta and Greenbelt :) I guess that what they refer to a destiny. (anekk)

8 Kitty Stickers na pinitas ni Ateng saleslady sa ibang Vans :)
happiness <3

And then He's Three...

Happy Birthday to my most favorite little person in in the world.

Sorry I forgot to bring a candle for you so you ended up blowing on the cake, pretending there's a lighted candle. :)

Happy Birthday, Donatels!

I <3 you Dodo-bey, Donatels, Dodo, Telo, Do, Kyle Chester :)

On a Manhattan State of Mind

You don't have to be an American to actually relate to what they've been through and what they are feeling right now-- all you have to be is to become human.

Remembering those whose innocent lives perished in the 9/11 attack.
10, 20 or 100 or gazillion years may pass.
We will never forget.

Passionate People

We all met again after 10 months!

Pero parang hindi naman namin namiss ang each other thanks to Twitter and FB. It's just that, iba pa rin yung mismong mga tao yung kaharap at kausap mo. 

So here we are in our kind of comfortable poses (you'll understand later on) after dinner in Jack's Loft in Eastwood. 

When Jim and Jorenz left, Aicca, Myles, Sanndra and I stayed since we didn't have immediate things to attend to. We had coffee and blueberry cheesecake at Dome and continued to talk about random things.
For the first time, I shared my fears and apprehensions to them about continuing my second degree, Film.

But it always feel good to know that despite these, you have people who are willing to help you achieve your dream. 

So you're wondering how we all ended up knowing each other? I should probably go back 10 months backwards. 

Jim Paredes, yes The Jim Paredes started it all in November when he posted in his Tumblr and Twitter account that he was looking for individuals who have extreme passion on what they are doing. Initially, he requested for a media practitioner, a lawyer, a politician, a nun and a priest. But on the night of November 26, 8 people turned out in his Loyola Heights home--a lawyer, a pre-school teacher, an astronomer, a traveller, a graphic designer, an architect, a nurse and me--call center supervisor. We were supposed to email him about what our passions are and to tell something about ourselves. He will choose 8 passionate people who will share an after-dinner conversation with him. 

I arrived exactly 8:30 pm in his house. I still cannot explain that child in me when I first saw him. It was a lifelong dream to meet one of the people I look up to. And to actually have a chance to talk to him and know him quite deeper than the Jim we all know, was simply magical. 

He ushered me to his dining table and offered coffee. He told us that his daughter has cooked sardine pizza which he will serve a little later when all the others have arrived. 

The night started out with some semi-formal introduction and went on to the many stories we've shared. The topics ranged from what our usual day look like to Living Divinities to vinyl collections and butandings of Sorsogon and Redford White and Muhammad Ali. Never did a single moment that night that the conversation was centered to Jim, which I kind of expected since he's the most experienced one and with his brilliance on the arts, it's but expected that we hear more stories from him. But it didn't happened. He was just there to share his home and his stories just like each and everyone of us. 

Jorenz is a lawyer who in has a wide collection of vinyls and who's passion is music. Since JIm and Jorenz were of almost the same generation, they mentioned quite a number of music geniuses which we all loved, though some, we were only able to read in books or internet. Later on, I realized how well read he was and I would usually tease him now a the walking Google for his wide knowledge on virtually anything under the sun-- from local politics to Hollywood news, Martial Law to the current planking issues. Name it, he sure has something to say about it. 

Jumax is a mother of three who unbelievably flies home to Cebu every weekend to be with her three beautiful girls. I can pretty well predict that she's not having the time of her life here in Manila because of the traffic and the weather, so as of this writing, I was glad to hear that she already found a job in Cebu and looks like she'll be staying there for good.

Steffi is a pre-school teacher, or aspiring one who also works for Gawad Kalinga. She was very soft spoken but when she started talking, she also started to make deeper sense. She, I assume, was also the youngest among us.

Sanndra, a traveller shared with us her adventures from her bus trips to airplane rides from all over the country and how she finds her inner peace among the chaos of travelling in backpack or in style. She recently travelled to Europe (which I envy the most) and continues to hop the Pihilippine Islands whenever she can. Before we parted ways that night, she asked me where I exactly worked and told her that I worked for PeopleSupport. She mentioned that her father used to work for us and turned out that he was also from the same account as mine. Small world indeed. 

Aicca graduated Nursing but didn't really want to pursue working in shifts at the hospital so started out a Music site-- which by the way is her true passion. She now works in a call center as a Human Resource person. 

Erika, an astronomer says she started out as a geologist since that was the closest degree she could finish to end up being an astronomer. She' doing quite well in her field. She's got numerous citations for her expertise in astronomy. 

Myles, father of three and a graphic designer told me to rush to make mistakes. Myles employs a kind of out-of-the-box parenting. He shares that when they're 3 child was born, they (his wife) both asked their children to name the 3rd baby, because they're done with naming the first two. So they passed on the responsibilities to the Ates. The two, Milan and Audrey named their baby sis, Paprika-- which I think was cool, like their parents. :)

Facebook and Twitter have become our means to communicate that during the second time we've convene, it seems that we never really been away for months. We missed Erika, Jumax and Steffi during that night though. 

I hope I got everything right. But really, the bottom of all of these, I shared a night with people that are committed to their passion and somehow that powerful force engulfed me to be the same. I love them and how they inspire me to go after my dreams. 


Several people asked what I wrote to Jim. So here it is:

Hello Sir Jim, 

Im Karen Raagas. 25 years old who works as a call center supervisor in Ayala. I work during nighttime for almost 5 years now. I graduated Literature from UP VIsayas some 4 years ago. Last year, I applied for the UP Film Institute to pursue Film as my 2nd degree--halfway through my 2nd year in the intitute, I decided to file for LOA when my left foot got seriously sprained. When it became a little ok, I tried to go back to travelling. I intend to go back to film school next year-- for now, I'm trying to enjoy going to different places while my schedule still allow me to. I get longer sleep time these days. When in filmschool, I only get to sleep about 3 hours in a day. But I hold no regrets of being sleep-deprived because although my work in a call center "kills" me, it is also the very reason why I can "revive" my passion for the arts--for film specifically, it is in fact a very expensive course and my family doesn't have that much to spend, so I send myself to school and support my family at the same time. I simply can't lose it.

I joined UPFI last year when my surrogate father died, the late Dr. Ed Alegre of UP. I promised him on several instances that I shall join the film institute. But it never happened until finally after he died, I felt I really had to keep my promise. While at the institute, I realized that I had to do it because I want it, and not for anyone else. When I come back next academic year, I shall have that mindset, hoping it would make a big difference on how I see things. I will go back to film school because I want to, because 50 or 70 years from now, when I look back to what I did in my stay here on earth, I shall regret nothing because I did everything I could while I still can. And so I will not use the word "frustrated, if only, had I"...

Honestly, I have not been fully aware of what's happening in the country. I only get snippets of daily news from my agents, (i have around 18 people under my team) of what's going on lately. I have no time to watch the evening news and is too tired to read the dailies in the morning when I get home after shift. But it doesn't make me less of a responsible Filipino citizen. I pay taxes on time (which pains me because we pay really high taxes in the industry and the money goes to somewhere we don't know and where it is not necessarily have to go to), fall in line in public offices, I vote, I recycle and just like everyone, wish to have a peaceful society where we fear nothing in the streets when we hail for cabs on our way to work at night. 

I wish to travel to Italy where people knows how to work hard and actually hate it so they make sure they have fun and really good food after a day's work. :)
I have no plans of going abroad to work unlike what my mother wants me to. Being a UP scholar, I feel that I owe the people who paid for their taxes to send me to school a lot. So i'll stay. And I think, this country still need me. here.

By the way, I speak Waray and Cebuano fluently. And understands majority of the languages in the Visayas. But I born an raised here in Makati. :)

Thanks Sir Jim.  

And the rest as they say is history. :)

WeeWillDoodle Wall

We were doing our usual mall-rat thing in Megamall and found these installed at the mall's Atrium. 
Really awesome.
Someday, my room will look something like this which will be done by Ina (see that other beautiful girl in the pic below), only a less congested mural. 

You rock, WeeWillDoodle!

Bebegerl wanted her picture taken near that cute angel doodle

This is Ina. She will make a mural in my future room just like this.

I look 3x fairer in this picture. Thanks to the ambient light coming from the transparent ceiling at the Atrium :)

Thursday, September 1, 2011