Guard Your Heart

Posted in It's Just Emotions, Samu't Saring Angst with tags on September 3, 2008 by niennavarda

“Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.”

– Proverbs 4:23

I do not know if I’m just predisposed to disobey everything the Bible says, but this sure is one directive I miserably fail to follow. I have been attending Love, Courtship and Marriage seminars since I was 12 but I think I’ve become such a big disappointment to all my Sunday school teachers finding myself 15 years later. I really suck at this.

To give myself some credit and so as just to say that all my teachers’ hard work had not been entirely in vain, I’ve pretty much gone through high school and the early years of college with minimal damage. Unfortunately, I don’t think that would count, though. Guarding your heart means actually being aware of having one and ever since I have discovered that mine was beating and red and filled with gooey stuff, I’ve been throwing it away like a slab of red meat to a pack of ravenous wolves. What’s worse is I never learn.

If it’s any consolation, I’m just glad that this not one of those precepts I’d be condemned to eternal damnation for breaking. Whew! I might still have hope πŸ˜›

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I Might Have Really Changed…

Posted in It's Just Emotions, Mga Karunungan, Piece of My Mind on September 2, 2008 by niennavarda

2 years ago, you wouldn’t have believed that I was a grumpy, arrogant, cruel, cold-hearted bitch ready to chop off anyone’s head who will get in my way. Feelings are insignificant. I was all for results and it didn’t matter who I step on as long as I was proven right in the end. Needless to say, “pleasant” was the last qualifier you would describe me.

I was also pretty much of a loner. I hated crowds. I hated talking. I would never be the one to open up a conversation. If I did, my sharp tongue was just bound to offend and jab where it really hurts. I rarely smile. I do not make eye contact (unless to intimidate). I was not a joiner. I did not make friends easily and I suppose I was really hated.

Amazing what 2 years of experiences can do to your life. Perhaps it was enlightenment or maturity or I might just for some reason have become particularly happy (or for all you know just become plain manipulative) that I have become a totally different person thanks to a little push and some amount of effort. (While some people may disagree, my loving family for example, that I have not changed at all, let us, for this entry’s purpose define “change” and “totally different person” as the surfacing of my superego or that I have tamed the dark side of my split personality). Honestly, I still get shocked when the people I’ve just recently met (and my gad, can you believe it, made friends with!) describe me as friendly, cheerful, extroverted and full of life. What has happened to the miasma surrounding me? Where has it gone?

While I am not particularly sure how and when the change actually happened I still remember the reasons why I tried to do so:

1. Loneliness – Being alone does not equate to being lonely. Lonely is being in a crowd, especially being in one where everyone is someone you know and everyone’s having fun and there are fireworks and a band and everyone’s dancing and you still feel isolated.

2. I can’t always be right – Nobody liked me. With the kind of personality I had, I ought to be right else I’mΒ  not worth anything.

3. No one can be that stupid that you cannot learn anything from him – I used to be so arrogant (well I still am actually but down two notches) until I was humbled by the fact that one of the greatest influences of my life and one who truly, truly loves me no matter what isn’t exactly Mensa material. The accumulation of knowledge, not the accumulation of facts is more important.

4. Sharing your life with others can be fulfilling – While humans are the most complex entities in the known universe (complex includes being the meanest, vilest and most evil), sharing your life with them can also be fulfilling. You would be amazed at the gems you would discover underneath the layers of dirt and grime that you perceive.

While I know that the dark and brooding side of me is still somewhere floating inside me, let me be for this moment just revel in the delight that good relationships bring. I can truly say that despite of the tons of crap my life has (and many more to be dumped at me yet), this is the happiest I’ve been in a really long time. I’m actually looking forward to life.

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Disclaimer: Because my life hangs in a delicate balance, I might just as soon eat everything I’ve said. I hope the happiness lasts but I sure know good things don’t last forever. Because I also swing at extremes, I hope that opening my life or whatever causes my happiness now would not be the cause of the end of me. I always have a tendency to go overboard. What’s important is, I am happy NOW. Finally.

Natsu Yasumi (August 17): Birthday Bash for August Celebrants

Posted in Happenings, Inuman, Jologs in Japan with tags , , , on August 31, 2008 by niennavarda

We celebrated Jem (Aug 17), Lau (Aug 25) and M’s (Aug 31) birthday by indulging into gluttony at the Carne Station at Ginza. For only 1000 yen (lunch time) we got to stuff our bellies with tabehodai (eat-all-you-can) yakiniku red meat for an hour πŸ˜€ Highly recommended for meat lovers. Too bad it only lasted an hour.

Because lunch finished early and we were up for more partying, the gang went to the Big Echo Karaoke at Ginza to burn some calories we accumulated from the tabehodai. We had so much fun that I think we spent around 5-6 hours singing and dancing and shouting. Hahaha. I had bit too much Smirnoff Ice that some episodes were a bit hazy. Hehehe.

Kaladkaran peeps at the Big Echo, Ginza

Kaladkaran peeps at the Big Echo, Ginza

After the Karaoke, Tid, Jem, Orson, Justin and I checked out an Indian restaurant at Ginza. It was a bit pricey but had the best lamb curry I’ve ever had πŸ™‚ I so miss Prince of Jaipur back home.

After the meal at some Indian resto in Ginza

After the meal at some Indian resto in Ginza

More pictures of the day’s happenings from Ramil and Orson πŸ™‚

The week flew by so fast but it was a week well spent. So far one of the best weeks I’ve ever had. Looking forward to actually living life some more πŸ˜€ As for the rest of the week, who said you can’t live life to the fullest at weekdays? πŸ™‚

Natsu Yasumi (August 16): BRFC sa Japan!

Posted in Happenings, Jologs in Japan, Travel with tags , , on August 31, 2008 by niennavarda

Ang mga ka-kosa ko sa CELda, ang mga Batang RF Cage ay nasa Japan! Ano pa ang gagawin namin kundi maglakwatsa? Namiss ko na rin ang mga ito na kasama ko sa hirap at ginhawa sa thesis at pag-overnight sa lab πŸ˜› Sino ang kumuha ng EPROM ko?

Batang RF Cage sa Japan

Batang RF Cage sa Japan!

Dahil geek kami, first stop, Akihabara, kung saan kumain kami ng steak sa Pepper Lunch at nagtingin ng kung anu-anu-ano πŸ˜€

BRFC sa Yodobashi, Akihabara

BRFC sa Yodobashi, Akihabara

Picture-picture on our way to the Imperial Palace to visit the Queen… errr, Emperor. Hahaha. Ang jologs namin pero ang saya!!!

BRFC sa isang underground exhibit hallway

BRFC at the Gyoko-dori Underground Gallery

Imperial Palace!!! Sa labas lang. Apparently twice a year lang binubuksan ang Imperial Palace, tuwing Birthday ng Emperor at New Year.

BRFC sa Imperial Palace!

BRFC sa Imperial Palace!

At makukumpleto ba naman ang Tokyo tour nang di pumupunta sa Tokyo Tower?

BRFC sa Tokyo Tower (Well medyo sumisilip lang yung tower, hehehe)

BRFC sa Tokyo Tower (Well medyo sumisilip lang yung tower, hehehe)

Ito rin ang araw ng pagbalik ni Elai sa Tottori at hinatid namin siya ni Tinats sa Shinagawa. Awww… mamimiss ka namin, Elai! Balik ka, ha, o ako naman ang pupunta sa Tottori. πŸ˜€

More pictures mula kay Tinats at Ed πŸ™‚

Natsu Yasumi (August 15): Yokohama!

Posted in Happenings, Jologs in Japan with tags , on August 31, 2008 by niennavarda

Ito na siguro ang isa sa mga pinakamainit na araw ng buhay ko… Uhrrrm, as in literally mainit.Β  Ang naging trip pa naming gawin nina Tinats, Elai, Justin at Tid ay maglakad sa ilalim ng araw nang tanghaling tapat at tumalon-talon para sa mga jump shots. Wahahaha.

First Stop: Osanbashi Pier

D

Jumping me at the Osanbashi Pier with Minato Mirai's view as my background

Perspective shots πŸ˜€

With my toys at the Osanbashi Pier

With my toys at the Osanbashi Pier

Yamashita Koen: Just passing by πŸ˜›

P

Passing by the Yamashita Koen, grabe ang init talaga πŸ˜›

Next Stop: China Town!

Honestly, I was kind of underwhelmed because of all the hype I have heard about the place. But Justin told me that there were no festivals at the moment and that China Town looked better at night so the usual shebang wasn’t there. I want to see the place in all its glory. Now I have an excuse to go back (at sana di na sa summer next time) and eat more dimsum!

Justin, Tid, Me and Elai eating ice cream at China Town. Thanks for taking the picture, Tinats!

Justin, Tid, Me and Elai eating ice cream at China Town. Thanks for taking the picture, Tinats!

We also passed by this Indian store at China Town and checked out a lot of queer stuff. Like, whoa! A Hindu shop at China Town!

Justin, Tid and Me checking out some musical instruments at the Indian Shop

Justin, Tid and Me checking out some musical instruments at the Indian Shop. And yes, there's Tinat's victory sign in the middle πŸ˜›

Last Stop: Minato Mirai!

By this time, the sun has already practically drained me of my life force. Waaaaah, ang init talaga but after resting for a bit, more jump shots! Walang kapaguran ito!

Elai and I at the foot of the Landmark Tower, Japan's tallest building

Elai and I at the foot of the Landmark Tower, Japan's tallest building

The Landmark Tower, Japan’s tallest building was a definite must stop. Took more pictures while we waited for the skies to get dark. Minato Mirai’s view was said to be awesome at night.

Elai, Me, Justin and Tid at the foot of the Landmark Tower, Minato Mirai

Elai, Me, Justin and Tid at the foot of the Landmark Tower, Minato Mirai

Finally, gabi na, now we’re finally able to see the lights. Hehehehe. Too bad we weren’t able to go to the Landmark Tower’s top floor (more reasonsΒ  to come back, hehehe) but we still enjoyed Cosmoworld πŸ˜€

Elai, Me, Tinats, Tid. Cosmoworld!

Elai, Me, Tinats, Tid. Cosmoworld!

A very tiring but fun day. If you think the gimmick ends here, you are greatly mistaken. That night was also Laiza’s Sayounara Party and we have the host, Justin, hostage. Hehehe. Inuman naman! And yes, we stayed until the wee hours of morning. Best wishes, Laizee!

More pictures from Tinats, Justin, Elai and Tid. Obviously tamad ako kumuha ng pictures πŸ˜›

Natsu Yasumi (August 14): Tokyowannoryosen – Tokyo Bay Cruise!

Posted in Happenings, Jologs in Japan, Travel with tags , , , on August 29, 2008 by niennavarda
It was a night of nomihodai (drink all you can) and yukatas for the Kaladkaran gang when we joined the Tokyowannoryosen last August 14. It was also the first Kaladkaran Japan event I’ve ever organized.
D (photo by Tinats)

Me in a yukata πŸ˜€

Almost everyone was wearing a yukata and I must say we all looked so cute! Wearing a yukata also earned each of us a 1000 yen discount, hurray! Di lang kami cute, nakamura pa kami. Hehehehe.
The Kaladkaran gang donned in full yukata regalia for the Tokyo Bay Cruise

The Kaladkaran gang donned in full yukata regalia for the Tokyo Bay Cruise

The tour gave a fantastic view of Tokyo at night and we were able to see the Rainbow Bridge up close.

(L-R) Elai, Apple, Me, Ish and Tid with Tokyo's night time view in our background

(L-R) Elai, Apple, Me, Ish and Tid with Tokyo's night time view in our background

The crowd was lively, everyone was having fun and the Yukata Dancers sure did sizzle up our summer night πŸ˜›

Yukata Dancer (Picture from Ed)

Yukata Dancer

Too bad the tour only lasted for 2 hours. Uber bitin talaga. Anyway, after the boat docked, the gang conducted around two hours worth of picture taking toΒ  grab the momentous event of Kaladkarins in yukatas. Hehehehe. This is one night I’m sure I’d never forget πŸ™‚

D

The gang inside the boat πŸ˜€

More pictures from Tinats and Ed and a really cool video from Lau πŸ™‚ Salamat sa pictures at video, guys!

Natsu Yasumi (August 13): Tokyo Disneyland!

Posted in Happenings, Jologs in Japan with tags on August 26, 2008 by niennavarda
Tokyo Disneyland!

Tokyo Disneyland!

Elai, one of our CELmates back in UP Diliman was in Tokyo all the way from the far away land of Tottori for the natsu yasumi. The Disneyland tour kicked off her 4-day Tokyo stay with her rather lunatic co-Batang RF Cagers, me and Tinats. Lau, also one of our CELmates joined us for this day of frolicking.

(L-R) Lau, Elai, Moi at Disneyland!

(L-R) Lau, Elai, Moi at Disneyland!

Our day started by taking our picture with Pooh! When he hugged me I thought that he would not let me go anymore. Hehehe, crush ako ni Pooh! Thus the Aileen-Pooh scandal series of pictures (here and here :P)

With Pooh!

With Pooh!

It was an unbelievably hot and humid day and Disneyland was swarming with people that we were practically sapped of every bit of energy.

Lau and I tempted to jump into the fountain

Lau and I tempted to jump into the fountain

Nevertheless, we all had a great time (maybe except that time when Elai and I had to periodically check if our fast passes at Space Mountain were still going to be honored – Space Mountain suddenly underwent maintenance when it was time for our fast pass schedule – arrrgh, we never got to ride).

Lau and I onboard the Mark Twain

Lau and I onboard the Mark Twain

Without fast passes, the rides and tours involved a tremendous amount of time for queuing (hello Splash Mountain and Haunted Mansion!) . I think it took us about an hour and 45 minutes in line for a mere 10 to 15 minute ride (and it was also freaking hot at that time, too) at Splash Mountain and about an hour of queuing for the Haunted Mansion tour. Well, it was the summer break afterall and we joined the rush of people so shouganai. Anyway, it was all good since the rides were all worth it. The tour inside the Haunted Mansion was my favorite. The effects were just awesome! This is truly something you should not miss when you are at Disneyland.

(L-R) Elai, Moi, Lau - gabi na!

(L-R) Elai, Moi, Lau - gabi na!

It was fun, fun, fun even if it was terribly hot. Hearing Goofy and Donald Duck speak in Japanese was really something else πŸ˜›

Me at Disneyland!

Me at Disneyland!

Another highlight was the Electric Parade which ended our unforgettable day. It was by far the best parade I have ever seen in my life πŸ˜€

Me and Elai on our way home

Me and Elai on our way home

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The pictures used in this post were all taken by Tinats. Salamat, Tinats! More pictures here and here πŸ™‚