Yesterday, I and two of my friends, Remy Siongco and Freda Escano, went to Ilmi Korean Restaurant. The resto is along friendship highway and is alongside other Korean restaurants. The place was introduced to us by Alain Laxamana, one of our students-turned friend. IMG_20150614_164858

I and Freda have often been eating in that place since it was introduced to us; it is Remy’s first time there though. Some of you might not be a fan of Korean dish and you might be asking why in the world we love their dishes which mainly composed ;of leaves and seeds. Well… I don’t know too. Maybe I watch too much Korean movies; maybe my friends eat in Korean resto; maybe my taste buds just want them badly once in a while. IMG_20150614_181924

Whatever my ulterior reasons are, I just love Korean food–of course not to the point that I would ditch Filipino food.

Yesterday was one of the days I crave for leaves and seeds. We had unlimited beef yesterday, unlimited coffee and unlimited iced tea. In preparation for that, I haven’t had any solid food in the morning. In the afternoon, I was unquestionably hungry I wanted to eat everything.

So, because I enjoyed my food yesterday and went home absolutely filled up. I want to share some of the pictures I took. IMG_20150614_164553 IMG_20150614_181755IMG_20150614_182025      IMG_20150614_165446IMG_20150614_165543

New Blog

Posted: February 24, 2014 in Uncategorized

Goodbye aimroma.wordpress.com

 

I’m moving out of this and will make a new blog– better, lovelier, etc–er. 

Why Yellow and White can’t be Together

Posted: January 18, 2014 in Emotions
Tags: ,

(inspired by a friend’s story)

White is a nice man and Yellow likes him. Though White is the opposite of purity and perfection and innocence, he gives wholeness to Yellow. He adds to Yellow‘s optimism and cheerfulness. And as far as Yellow is concerned, they both feel happy seeing each other. They feel happy meeting each other’s eyes from afar.

From afar. Yes, from afar.

That’s all they can do: look at each other from afar.

Image

 

 

White cannot embrace Yellow just like the petals surround the nectar.

Image

 

 

And Yellow cannot be closed to White in the same way the soles are attached to the shoes.

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They will have to remain in a world where the moon cannot embrace the sun.

Just like the moon and the sun up there, one of them should be left hidden when the other one is around.

 

Saying goodbye is not easy. Neither is letting the feelings die. But it is easier than pursuing something not right. It is easier than going against the flow of the current.

White and Yellow can’t simply be together. There’s too much at stake. There’s too much to be considered.

 

 

And Yellow is scared. And she cannot go on with this because she is scared. 

 

 

 

So she has to cut everything out before she be cut. She has to stay away before her unintelligent emotions takes her away from reality.She has to disappear like bubbles–just like the LITTLE MERMAID– before her last piece of her sanity disappears.

Yes. It is not the easiest thing to do, but it is the most right thing to do.

They cannot and should not be together. So long as their shoulders own different colors, they must not be together. #

Last year, if I remember it right, I wrote an entry here with a title, “20 and a turnabout.” Well, the main content of that blog is to tell myself that I have to change my former ways and be a better person. During that time, I was really determined to change and to seek a life away from my former one. However, looking back, I am certain that I have not really turned from my old self.

So now, October 22, 2012, I will make another profession with myself. A profession stating that I would be a better person. To be more specific, below are the list of things that I would do or change (about) myself.

1. A PRAYERFUL ATTITUDE. I’ll make it a point that I am able to talk to my God for an hour. This can sometimes be difficult since there is a lot of human nature in me but I’ll do my best to be able to do it.

2. MORNING AND EVENING BIBLE STUDY: Like praying, this is where I really have a hard time on. It’s not because I haven’t had time, it’s just because it has not been not in my priority. So starting today, I’ll make sure it’ll be in my priority list,

3. EXERCISE AND LOSE WEIGHT. I just had a jog this morning around the cemetery. Actually, it was sort of brisk walking since I couldn’t carry my body and jog. Everyday, I’ll make it a point to either jog or go to the gym. I need to be healthy and be in shape. My goal is to lose 8 kilos in 5 months. hmmm..

4. WORK HARD. Sometimes, I really feel lazy about RareJob. Last night, I cancelled two of my slots again because I felt  “tired.” I shouldn’t have done that. That tells me how a bad worker I am. I have to stay focus and find inspiration from my parents and the Work. Everyday, I will surely work 5 hours for RareJob. It;s time to seize that opportunity that God has given me.

Other reasons why I have to work hard is because of my BIG GOAL, which is to visit Davao. We are planning to go to Gensan first, then Davao, then Cagayan de Oro. I also want to travel overseas so I really have to work hard.

With all these in mind, I will strive hard to be better this time. And this time, I’ll make sure that this turnabout will not be put in vain. #

Aside  —  Posted: October 22, 2012 in Uncategorized

WHY WRITE?

Posted: March 21, 2012 in Uncategorized


Sometimes, I just feel so incompetent. No matter how I tell myself that I am good, no matter how I try to remind myself that I am a graduate of UP, I still sometimes feel that I have to do more.

In my current workplace, which is a Korean Academy, I was assigned to handle writing classes. In my opinion, what makes writing difficult is that there is no definite way of teaching it. As what my teacher in the university said, (non-verbatim), “I can teach grammar rules but never the style in writing, for each of us has a different style.” It is impossible to teach the student his or her style of writing. A person’s own style can be acquired from the books he read. For instance, if he reads books of Robert Fulghum, he can have a conversational and humorous style of writing. On the other hand, if he loves reading classical novels such that of Shakespeare or Victor Hugo, he may have a literary-like writing style. My point here is that, nobody can impose his writing style to another person. Grammar rules, patterns and organization of words can be checked and corrected but never the style of writing. In my classes, I am the teacher. My duty as a teacher is to correct their writing pieces. As the ‘head’ of the class, I cannot avoid to fix their writing pieces in a style that I want. For instance, I always like to write in active sentences; thus, I cannot avoid changing their sentences into active. Another example is that, I often write in a conversational and emotional manner; thus, every time my students submit to me their journals, I tend to change it when I feel it lacks a conversational and emotional tone. When I encounter scenarios like these, two choices play inside my head. Should I let them express themselves using their own styles or should I impose my style and let them learn from it? Which should I do? It will be a lot easier for me if I choose the former since I just have to correct the grammatical errors and the structure, but I won’t feel satisfied with it. Yet, if I choose the latter, I may feel satisfied about their writing pieces but they may feel confused. One more thing, if I also choose the latter one, I might rob them off of their own styles—their freedom of choosing their own styles.

Aside from the problem on ‘styles,’ a lot of students are not into writing. According to my friend who has been teaching Koreans for more than five years, only five of a thousand students would prefer writing. Most of the students, if you would ask them, would prefer speaking over writing. Some of them even dislike writing without even trying it first. How could you teach someone who immediately closed his mind towards it? How could you lead his steps if he is not even willing to follow? At first, I treated writing seriously—focusing my mind into it, working as hard as possible to make it beneficial for them. But then, no matter how hard you try, if the student is not willing to help himself, then your actions are all in vain. The students are still clients, no matter how at ease you are with each other.  As much as possible, they should get what they want or what they deserve to get. I am a sensitive person—other people know that. I can feel if the student doesn’t want to study writing and just indulged into conversation. Oftentimes, I follow them; just having conversation about anything under the sun. But at the back of my mind and in the deepest corners of my heart, I feel guilty. I feel guilty that they were not able to receive what they paid for. Every time I encounter that situation, I repeatedly ask myself: Should I insist on doing what I know we should do or should I follow what they want since they are the clients?

These are the thoughts that come into my head. These are the thoughts that make me feel incompetent. As a writing student and a teacher, I just hope that these students will somehow appreciate the importance of writing. Isn’t it is through writing that we could know how to speak well? When we were young, we used to just imitate the way our parents speak—not being mindful whether the words we used are correct or not. Eventually, at school, the teacher teaches us the correct spelling and how it should be read. I’m sure that it is through writing that we were able to correct ourselves more thoroughly. It is through writing that we could speak better.  I guess what I am really trying to say is, if you want to speak well, you should know how to write. For it is in writing that you can check your grammar, organize your thoughts and express the words that your mouth cannot utter. #

In my former university, Starbucks was really frequented by a lot of people from different walks of life. Everytime I passed through that big transparent walls, I couldn’t help to remember Nick Garcia’s writing about Starbucks. I first read it online then in Bob Ong’s book, Bakit Baliktad Magbasa ng Libro ang mga Pilipino?”So here its is:

Haven’t you noticed how Starbucks has taken the place of Megamall, Enchanted Kingdom, and Jollibee? Today, Starbucks spells gimmick. Suddenly, everyone is mad about coffee, and is willing to spend a whoping hundred bucks for “one tall mocha frappe please!” Everyone claims it’s different. It’s something else, it’s to die for. Instead of catching a nice flick at the cinema, the Filipinos’ new idea of fun is to voluntarily park their buns at the café and gulp all the caffeine they can.

No one knows exactly why Starbucks has become the hot spot, when what they serve is just foamed Blend 45 for crying out loud. Oh, try pointing this out to Starbucks fanatics (i.e., the likes of teeny-boopers and kikay girls), and you can expect getting attacked on how little you know about coffee. Get ready with answers like “Duh! Starbucks isn’t just coffee! They’re ground beans and processed chocolate and skimmed milk! What do you know about that?”

They have a point there, though, because even in the United States, when you talk coffee, Starbucks comes first. Their ingredients are never questionable, and if I’m not mistaken, Starbucks is an established-since-year brand. In short, Starbucks is the coffee authority. But it ends there. Starbucks is coffee, period. Certainly not a gimmick place of some sort, not convincing enough as an alternative for the mall. This, I repeat, is the case in the United States.

But Starbucks invades Manila, and here it becomes an obsession. As you may have already seen, the interiors of Starbucks cafes are all designed to create a distinct ambience. Notice from the Italian-tiled flooring, to the cowboy-motif wall covering, to the fancy lamps, tables, and chairs crafted like those only seen in home magazines. Of course, who would miss the complicated bar counter, behind which all the grinders and blenders are displayed as if to remind you they really do process your cappuccino.

I mean who can resist frequenting a posh place like this? Instead of worrying about other important things, the typical teenager puts on her best dress, and with her kikay friends goes straight to Starbucks where she orders “one tall caramel frappe please!” This takes time to prepare, which is fine. She feels rewarded by the fact that the ethical barista would shout her name across the room by the time her frappe is ready. After she claims it, she heads for the self-service corner where she takes excessive packets of extra sugar, extra cream, an inch thick of Starbucks tissue paper for souvenir. Then she sits by the window, hoping someone she knows would pass by and see her drinking expensive coffee. She takes remarkably small sips in order to prolong her stay, like a real smart-ass.

During the entire process, there is the obligatory flaunting of Nokia cellphones, the occasional eruptions of “yeah” and “sure” here and there. You get the impression everyone in the room is from the conyo sector. Pathetic as it is, the Starbucks atmosphere is so contagious that it simply brings out the social climber in one.

You have to admit that the Philippine franchiser of Starbucks-whoever he is-deserves credit. He’s certainly not stupid. He sees through us Filipinos, and definitely knows how to flatter us. Mr. Starbucks is aware of the average Pinoy desire to be associated and considered among the elite because well, in reality, the average Pinoy is far from being that. The average Pinoy home is less attractive than a place like Starbucks. The average Pinoy meal is without garnishes. The average Pinoy environment is less comforting and convenient than the service of Starbucks.

But when in Starbucks, the average Pinoy is instantly made to feel he’s in New York, or Las Vegas, or Paris, or anywhere else but in Manila—one probable reason why Filipinos but this flick. We are total suckers of for anything that is western in concept. But Starbucks has gone beyond colonial mentality; it has become pure escapism. It helps us forget about the EDSA traffic jam, the hostages in Mindanao, and the harsh realities of poverty and chaos, anything that offers oblivion and temporary indulgence sells fast. No matter how costly it is.

With their little creativity in repackaging, Starbucks is no longer just coffee. It’s already a religion. That we Filipinos practically worship that green logo with the exotic lady shows where we derive our strength to move on. It is from the promise of Starbucks every pay day.

THE RACE

Posted: October 25, 2011 in Uncategorized

reposted from: http://holyjoe.org/poetry/anon3.htm

The Race
attributed to Dr. D.H. “Dee” Groberg

Whenever I start to hang my head in front of failure’s face,
my downward fall is broken by the memory of a race.
A children’s race, young boys, young men; how I remember well,
excitement sure, but also fear, it wasn’t hard to tell.
They all lined up so full of hope, each thought to win that race
or tie for first, or if not that, at least take second place.
Their parents watched from off the side, each cheering for their son,
and each boy hoped to show his folks that he would be the one.

The whistle blew and off they flew, like chariots of fire,
to win, to be the hero there, was each young boy’s desire.
One boy in particular, whose dad was in the crowd,
was running in the lead and thought “My dad will be so proud.”
But as he speeded down the field and crossed a shallow dip,
the little boy who thought he’d win, lost his step and slipped.
Trying hard to catch himself, his arms flew everyplace,
and midst the laughter of the crowd he fell flat on his face.
As he fell, his hope fell too; he couldn’t win it now.
Humiliated, he just wished to disappear somehow.

But as he fell his dad stood up and showed his anxious face,
which to the boy so clearly said, “Get up and win that race!”
He quickly rose, no damage done, behind a bit that’s all,
and ran with all his mind and might to make up for his fall.
So anxious to restore himself, to catch up and to win,
his mind went faster than his legs. He slipped and fell again.
He wished that he had quit before with only one disgrace.
“I’m hopeless as a runner now, I shouldn’t try to race.”

But through the laughing crowd he searched and found his father’s face
with a steady look that said again, “Get up and win that race!”
So he jumped up to try again, ten yards behind the last.
“If I’m to gain those yards,” he thought, “I’ve got to run real fast!”
Exceeding everything he had, he regained eight, then ten…
but trying hard to catch the lead, he slipped and fell again.
Defeat! He lay there silently. A tear dropped from his eye.
“There’s no sense running anymore! Three strikes I’m out! Why try?
I’ve lost, so what’s the use?” he thought. “I’ll live with my disgrace.”
But then he thought about his dad, who soon he’d have to face.

“Get up,” an echo sounded low, “you haven’t lost at all,
for all you have to do to win is rise each time you fall.
Get up!” the echo urged him on, “Get up and take your place!
You were not meant for failure here! Get up and win that race!”
So, up he rose to run once more, refusing to forfeit,
and he resolved that win or lose, at least he wouldn’t quit.
So far behind the others now, the most he’d ever been,
still he gave it all he had and ran like he could win.
Three times he’d fallen stumbling, three times he rose again.
Too far behind to hope to win, he still ran to the end.

They cheered another boy who crossed the line and won first place,
head high and proud and happy — no falling, no disgrace.
But, when the fallen youngster crossed the line, in last place,
the crowd gave him a greater cheer for finishing the race.
And even though he came in last with head bowed low, unproud,
you would have thought he’d won the race, to listen to the crowd.
And to his dad he sadly said, “I didn’t do so well.”
“To me, you won,” his father said. “You rose each time you fell.”

And now when things seem dark and bleak and difficult to face,
the memory of that little boy helps me in my own race.
For all of life is like that race, with ups and downs and all.
And all you have to do to win is rise each time you fall.
And when depression and despair shout loudly in my face,
another voice within me says, “Get up and win that race!”