What the black-haired stork brought in today

Serving Android17 realness

Serving Android No. 17 realness

My friend Ikle is back in the Philippines for a very short stay to get some things done (well, quite literally). He has to go back to China this Saturday, but he had to drop by our apartment in Makati to have lunch with me as we won’t be seeing each other until Christmas. The other day, he told me that he was in a salon to finally get his hair back to its original color. I can’t remember when was the last time his hair was black, but when I graduated in 2007, his hair had always been non-black It was a very nice transformation as the hair looked healthier than before. However, we must immediately recognize that the color and style was a dead ringer of a 90s Japanese anime villain. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you, Android No. 17:

I initially thought of Rihanna’s hairstyle circa 2007 (i.e. Umbrella era), but we nevertheless had a good laugh over the creamy garlic pasta with chicken that I prepared (Mon was out when Ikle arrived). Our chat got cut short, though, because he had a 1:00 PM doctor’s appointment somewhere in Makati. We then took a photo using his phone, as a souvenir until we see each other again about a month from now. However, I laughed so hard being unable to recognize myself with the filter he had used. A lot of Chinese people were apparently a bit heavy-handed with these apps that made them, well, look like a walking Photoshop’s Blur function. Observe the difference:

Before - Ikle and I. (We already have our miniature Christmas tree behind)

Before.  I think this one has a light filter to begin with. My skin does not look remotely pore-free like that. (On a different note, notice that we already have our miniature Christmas tree behind? ^_^)

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Brie’s DIY Lady Rainicorn costume!

When we were informed almost a month ago that this year’s Trick or Treat would have “Adeventure Time” as its theme, I was at a lost because I had zero knowledge of the cartoon. LOL Thanks to Google and I began to understand its universe. It was really a silly show with lots of innuendos, but thanks to Lady Rainicorn, I had been cracking up since I’ve learned she speaks ONLY Korean! It was one of the most bizaare things I’ve heard and the nonchalant way that the dog, Jake, responds to her cracked me up even more.

Princess Bubblegum and Lady Rainicorn


In the Candy Kingdom

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A morning with Cheche

Waking up at 6:00 AM was very worth it! On my second day of work, we were informed that we will be having a meeting/consultation with Ms. Cheche Lazaro on Tuesday the following week. Honestly, it was a task to conceal my excitement upon hearing the news because I am a BIG fan of Ms. Lazaro. She is a member of the Board of Trustees of our NGO, and she is also the Public Relations Officer and Chairman of the Communications Committee — which was not a surprise at all.

Growing up in the Philippines, television plays a big part of our lives; but it was also quite difficult to find programs that bring quality content. And this is where Ms. Cheche came in, along with other esteemed journalists — to pioneer investigative journalism in the country through Probe and expose several issues in the society, which are often misrepresented or even overlooked by mainstream media. I was also an avid fan of the Probe-produced kids show 5 and Up. My Saturday afternoon was not complete, unless I watch those English-speaking kids on ABC 5 (now TV 5). I was just amazed of their eloquence because, it took me years as a kid to build confidence in my spoken English.

Anyway, my colleagues and I met up at exactly 8:00 AM in our headquarters in Pasay, then left past 8:30 AM to visit Ms. Lazaro’s house in Forbes Park. First, her house was amazing and I still could not believe I would be meeting her in person. We got in and somebody from one of the rooms came out barefooted in her house clothes. It was her. She gave a cheery welcome and ushered us straight away into the dining hall (room is an understatement). Before jumping the gun on the agenda of that meeting, Robyn and I were introduced to her, as we were obviously the newbies in the NGO. Again, I had to shake myself out of this surreal experience — I was seated right across Cheche Lazaro! LOL I seldom fawn over famous people, and I don’t even consider her a ‘celebrity’ celebrity. She is a mover and a shaker and hopefully shaking her hands might have rubbed off some of those magical dusts that she have, and hopefully landed on me. =D

She's one of my childhood heroesTEAM STRIPES! My colleagues with Ms. Cheche Lazaro

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Chapter 28! Joyeux anniversaire à moi!

And today marks Chapter 28! Older and hopefully wiser! When I was younger (i.e. teenager), I was never really that big with birthdays. It was just another day to get old and add another number to my age. But funnily, when I had a marathon of Charmed episodes again in my early twenties, that episode where John Cho had a guest appearance made me realize how important birthdays should  be treated. It should be considered special, regardless how it would be celebrated because it marks LIFE, simple as that. And that forever changed the way I view birthdays.

Me on my first birthday, 27 years ago

I got really sweet presents as well! The first one was from Faye, who celebrates her birthday a day after me. She got me a Paris-themed weekly scheduler and its smell instantly reminded me of the  books I used to borrow from the library when I was still in grade school (took me a while to put my finger on it!). I also got to blow a candle on a mini-chocolate cake from Mon. =D I know for a fact that he has already foregone the idea of giving me a full-sized one because I don’t really like carrying boxes around with me, especially commuting home. And in a not-so-surprising-move, I even put this small cake inside my bag. Luckily it wasn’t smashed when I got home.

The sweetest ever!

Then entering our house, I was surprised to see my sister and nephew still awake. My sister gave me this beyond-cute cake, with my age and name on it, while JB handed me two personalized cards from him and Brie. He does that every year and I was ready to bet anything that there will be something astronomy-related in his drawing:

Look at this drawing by my nephew, the two of us bonding over observing the night sky

I had my glasses on, the telescope has the brand written over it, and even that circular tray to hold the different eyepieces was included. It was really thoughtful of him and that is the exact reason why I can’t always say no to this boy. He definitely has his ways, even at an early age. LOL

Last Wednesday, I went to that interview I was talking about in the previous post. I was told it would last from 1:00 PM to 6:00 PM, which was a peculiar duration for such an activity. But when I had been informed later on that six people would be interviewing me, I stopped wondering (anyway, the last interview got finished almost at 7:00 PM, for a total of 6 hours). I arrived five minutes before 1:00 PM to their office in Pasay, because I got lost for a couple of minutes. I have realistic expectations coming in to their premises, compensation-wise or the workplace itself. I am looking for at least a volunteer position in a humanitarian organization after all.

My interview immediately started and I barely had enough time to compose myself for the first one. Each of the interview, from the person I would be potentially replacing, to the kind French staff (who conducted the interview in French with a moment’s warning), to the distinguished lady who has once worked as USec for DSWD, to the executive assistant, to the deputy executive director and finally the founder of the organization, all of them gave me good insight of what to expect. I jokingly compared the whole experience as the Pokemon League. Jokes aside, it was a very humbling and exciting experience to learn what the responsibility entails, to know the effect of the work will be to people who are affected by conflict and disasters, and to be given the opportunity to work in their organization. It came to the point where I got emotional (i.e. I cried, yes! Imagine? I CRIED) because I was so overcome with a lot of thoughts and emotions, as well as concerns and what-ifs.

Bottom line: I knew that I want to work in this sector in a long-term basis. It is something I have consistently ignored but finally confronting that “existential crisis” I was having has liberated me. Again, there are concerns, both financially and also the questioning of my capability (what if I won’t be able to deliver what was expected of me) but I’ll have faith that there must be something that I have to contribute to what they do. I came in with, again, a volunteer position in mind, but I was offered to work on something that has more responsibilities to work on — even more than the non-volunteer post that I have initially indicated. I am still humbled and it furthermore ignited that desire to move on to new challenges. I think at this point, a lot of people I know will be really baffled over the  idea of “Bry, the social worker”, or “Bry from the NGO”, because I don’t really give off that vibe that I’m interested in the field. But I know deep in my heart, that amidst the hedonism and materialistic ways, I am capable of doing something with the skills I have acquired throughout the years.

Of course, it will be a phase full of uncertainty. Moving on from the doldrums of my everyday life and embarking on new and productive challenges, it will be difficult. I know that I personally won’t be able to totally let go of my love for, at least, dressing nicely or something similar to that, but I will definitely make sure that it will be in good taste and inoffensive (I don’t really need to specify why, I think). I still have  until Monday to make a final decision and if money were not an issue, I would have said yes last Wednesday. But I’m a realistic person, aware of my responsibilities not only to myself but to my family. I am “80% yes” four hours ago, but after talking to one of my managers, trying to figure out the best for everybody’s interest, I am now “90% yes”. To hear that a consensus can be agreed upon, with me working even in a part-time capacity just to reconcile my conflicting interests, will definitely be the surest way to get that “100%”.

Anyway, this soliloquy has gotten quite long, but I’m comforted by the idea that potentially in two months time, I could be truly doing something that I love, using what I learned from graduate school on something productive and no longer turning a blind eye over the realities of what’s out there. Again, the lines “There’s only so much you can learn in one place / The more that you wait, the more time that you waste”, made more sense to me. If I were to postpone joining an NGO tomorrow, next week, next month or next year, the more the disparity in compensation would be pronounced, unless I try to do something about it as soon as possible It won’t be easy, but I’m indeed ready to jump given a workable opportunity for all parties.