Wednesday, January 11, 2017

On La La Land and Following Your Dreams

While I may have been obsessed with going to the movies in the past, you will very rarely find me in the cinemas nowadays unless it's for work. I had been waiting for La La Land to come out since I watched the first trailer, though, and I actually got to see it in the cinemas last night.

Yes. After a spontaneous decision to watch it ASAP (coz I knew that if I put it off, it would never happen), I put on a pretty dress, met up with my handsome date, and hit the cinemas to make my musical-loving heart happy. But I had no idea what I was in for.

blue dress from Zalora / beige lace-up bootie heels from Girls Haven / Death Star pouch from Singapore

Now, I was pretty sure I would like film, judging by how many times I had watched the trailers; but I didn't think I would like it THIS much. I found myself crying because of how much I could relate to it and how much it spoke to me. I even cried because of the sheer beauty of it at times: when a song would play, when a scene was shot unbelievably well, when certain emotions came into play... ERGH. So. Beautifully. Made.

And that last song and scene. My goodness. It was probably the most heart-wrenching scene I had seen since the first scene in 'Up'. My heart broke, plain and simple; and for a second, I didn't want the moviehouse lights to come on because I was a blubbering mess. It was absolutely brilliant!!!

La La Land touches on the topic of following one's dreams and shows us that there are two people in this world: those who follow their dreams, no matter how hard it is; and those who eventually give up on their dreams in order to live a more stable life.

I am the former. How many times have you heard a friend ask if they should follow their head or their heart when it comes to work? Well, I am one of those people who always tries to convince other people to follow their heart, no matter what - mostly because that's what I did and because I have proven that it is possible to make your dreams come true (I'll save my story on how I pursued writing for another time); but also because I believe that you'll always wonder what life could have been like otherwise. And nobody deserves to live in a world of what ifs.

This is why I ask my friends and boyfriend on a regular basis whether they are happy with their jobs or not. Because if they ever reach a point where they aren't, I want to be there to remind them that they can make their dreams come true if they'll just take the plunge and see where pursuing those dreams will take them.

Life's too short to be working a shitty job just for the money. Yes, it might be a struggle to get started on pursuing you dreams at first, but as so many successful people will attest: it will be totally worth it in the end.

And if you don't believe me, go watch La La Land and see how their decisions worked out for them. It'll make you rethink your own life and wonder a LOT about how much more different your life could've been if you had chosen a different path. It will also break your heart, though (so bring tissue!). And you might end up searching for "tap dance classes in Manila" afterwards.

But it's worth every penny - I promise you that. Let me know what you think of the movie. Would love to talk about it with you. :)

Thursday, January 5, 2017

On Hipon and Trolls

So someone called me 'hipon' last night after I posted this video:

And call me crazy, but I actually grinned. Having worked hard to lose weight last year, it is an absolute MIRACLE for me to read someone call me 'hipon'. (For those who don't speak Filipino, 'hipon' is used as an insult for people who have a sexy body, but an ugly face.) But rather than focus on him insulting my ugly face, I'd rather focus on... ME? SEXY? TANGINA. FINALLY.

Coz of that, here's another 'hipon' shot for you, mister:

I understand that that guy was just a troll, but I couldn't help but imagine how other women would feel if some stranger would call them names like that. Heck, I remember myself last year when I was walking down the street after a workout and a random stranger on the road said, "Ate, ang taba niyo po." ("Girl, you're so fat.")

And that comment came outta nowhere! I remember trying to call Julian and him not picking up and then me just crying all the way home and crying some more on my bed and refusing to talk to any of my friends. I was fat! And some stranger thought I was so fat, they actually felt the need to voice it out.

By then, I had lost almost 30 pounds and yet, some stranger still felt the need to call me fat. And WHY? They didn't even know me. Did it make them feel better to insult me? What do people get out of saying shit like that?

Cha Ocampo did it right. After HUNDREDS of people ganged up on her on the Internet, she said: "Stay positive." Or, as Lloyd Dobler asked: "How hard is it just to decide to be in a good mood, and then be in a good mood?"


I used to roll my eyes at that scene, but lately, I have come to find that it really isn't that hard. Clearly, assholes won't be going anyway anytime soon. The least we can do is stay unaffected and look at the bright side of things.

As Cha said: there is ALWAYS an upside to everything; you just need to choose to see it. I think that that is a very important thing to remember - not just this year, but all throughout your life. 

I lost a baby two years ago, for example. And while that was gut-wrenching, heart-shattering and downright deadly painful, it showed me how much of a strong support system I have in my family and friends. It also helped me focus more on work, my daughter and my life. It basically helped me put everything I go through into perspective and it has made me the strongest version of me I have ever been.

In a nutshell, don't let nega people blow out your light. Keep a smile on your face. And always, always wear makeup and look pretty when you work out to please the trolls. Haha. Kidding! Block, block, block away nalang! The world will be a brighter place that way. :D

Love from a proud hipon

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

On Friends and Godparents

Last year, a lot of my friendships fell apart - some due to busy-ness ("I have to work"), others due to new flames ("my boyfriend won't let me go") and others due to sheer laziness ("urgh, it's so faaaaar"). Sound familiar?

Well, this 2017, I decided to stop being 'that person' and actually spend more time with my friends (the ones that I think are worth it, anyway).

As such, I am proud to say that I started the year having brunch with Emerald, Syrena's godmother and my oldest friend in Bangkok.


Em had come fresh from Chrome (fun fact: she introduced me to the joys of pole dancing) and we just spent some time sipping on coffee and catching up on life, work, morals and the future (surprisingly, not so much on love - I should really bring that up next time).

Cute Iced Catppuccino and Spicy Chicken Panini at Carpe Diem

The best part about it for me, though, was that I wasn't thinking about the slew of things that I would have to do after brunch. I just took it for what it was and lived in the moment.

Okay, that sounds lame and OA for something as mundane as brunch, but I'm the type of person whose mind doesn't really rest. I'm always thinking about work and my plans for the rest of the day and all of the other things I need to do - so it was surprising that I just let myself be. That's probably something that I should do more often. I really enjoyed that.


I also enjoyed the fact that Syrena got to spend some time with Em. This is a big deal to me because, while I know that I chose Syrena's godparents well, she never actually gets to see any of them. She doesn't really get greeted on holidays or her birthday, either (except by my Kuya, of course).

Since I never see my godparents, either, that isn't really surprising; but I always hoped she would be surrounded by the kind of godparental love I never had.

And maybe that's why it's such a big deal to me that I'm finally becoming someone's godmother this year - so I can be the kind of godparents I always envisioned godparents to be. :p (No pressure on the godparents out there; this is probably just a weird Anj thing. Haha.)

Generally speaking, 2017 looks like it will be a good year. I just need to keep my priorities in check.

What are your New Year's resolutions for 2017 and how are you making them happen? :)