Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Breaking the Habit

Dear Audrey,

These past few days I've been trying to kick out a very bad habit. Hindi lang sya isang habit anak, but a complex system of habits brought about by a certain mindset. You see, I have always had a problem with meeting work deadlines. Mahirap magsulat ng script, kumakain talaga sya ng oras, and I have always wanted to submit work that is presentable enough, pero sa trabahong ito, and the field I am in, DEADLINES really MATTER. Because we are all part of a team, at pag na-late sa delivery ang isang trabahador, magkakaroon ng domino effect sa buong team.

I wish you would not grow up inheriting my chronic tardiness. Na-realize ko, ang susi doon ay disiplina. Disiplina, thinking ahead, and focus. And change the mindset ("Oh shit, I don't think I can make that deadline, mabagal talaga ako").

So what I try to do is set a calendar for myself. Kung 1 week from now ang deadline, I set minigoals. Kung makakasubmit ako ng trabaho by Day 7, dapat by Day 3, nakatapos na ako ng certain amount of work (I specify- sequence treatment ba? Day 3 of 7 script days? etc). There should be a goal set for every single day, para pag behind ako sa schedule, alam ko kung paano hahabol o mag-compensate.  PLAN AHEAD, SET MINI-GOALS AND MEET THEM.

I have read somewhere, too, that the best time to work is upon waking up in the morning. It's when your mind is at its freshest, at its clearest, wala pang masyadong clutter. So I try na gayahin yung style nung iba-- pag work day, upon waking up, don't reach for my phone to check my social media or surf the net. Punta agad sa laptop and work. (Okay, I make coffee first. Can't live without it when I'm working!).  DO BRAINWORK DURING THE FIRST 3 HOURS UPON WAKE-UP TIME.

Ang isip ng tao, parang makina o computer lang din. The more info is in there, mas mabagal ang speed habang ginagawa ang dapat gawin. So habang nagwowork, I try not to social media, I try not to text or call, I try not to think of anything else. Para bawas clutter. There should only be one "tab" open in my mind at the moment--- the WORK-TO-BE-DONE tab. (How am I doing with this? May konting improvement naman! Still working on it!).  FOCUS, DECLUTTER YOUR BRAIN.

So dahil mabagal talaga ang processing ng utak ko (don't worry if naman mo sa akin ito, anak--- mabagal doesn't mean bobo at all), kailangan ko ng extra effort to focus and be DISCIPLINED. all these things, to be able to do them, require discipline. Kasi ang natural instinct natin ay gawin kung ano yung masarap, kung ano yung kumportable at nakasanayan at magpapasaya sa atin. I want to challenge myself to do the OPPOSITE. If instinct ko is to check my social media, I should ACT AGAINST IT AND DO THE OPPOSITE.  It's an exercise on discipline.

So why am I writing about this for you? Because I know you'll grow up and eventually have a career of your own (sa ngayon sabi mo, gusto mong maging engineer), and I know career success will probably be a source of happiness for you. I want you to be successful, if it will make you happy and fulfilled. And I hope you learn from my learnings as a career person, I hope you learn from my mistakes.

I realize na ang mga habits natin, nagsisimula mula pa pagkabata. Because they say that people who learned discipline, focus, and perseverance early in life tend to be more successful with their pursuits during adulthood. When it comes to work (and this may be applicable to other things), makakatulong sa iyo ang mga values na iyon. Magkakaroon ka ng working habits na healthy, at effective, and will help you put out your best work.

Nabasa ko itong article na ito and I was really inspired by it. I managed to submit on time these past two weeks dahil sa inspirasyong dala nito! I want to be UNSTOPPABLE!

P.S. When it comes to work, though, it's great if you deliver and you're able to achieve great results. Pero not at the expense of your own character. It's great to achieve your goals, pero kung in the process naman, you've been unkind, selfish, and inconsiderate, and insensitive of others, hindi maganda. Can you bask in your success knowing that on your way up, you have hurt others along the way? I hope not. STRIVE FOR EXCELLENCE, KINDNESS, SENSITIVITY AND CONSIDERATION OF OTHERS ARE MORE IMPORTANT.

So it's 3 PM and I have a meeting at 5 pm. You'll be arriving from school any moment now, kaya maabutan mo pa ako. If I am to get to the office by 5 PM, I really should be getting ready by now. #planahead

I love you my Audrey! See you very soon!

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Hello, 17-year-old Audreybear!

Yesterday, I read blog entries from 7 years ago to my 7 year old daughter. Entries about her, nung nasa tiyan ko pa sya, nung ipanganak ko siya, the first months of my life with her, etc. At nagulat ako, she was listening intently, even silent-reading along with me.

That reminded me of another purpose of this blog. Rarely na akong nagbablog ngayon because I've found other ways to share the things that matter to me (social media platforms - pictures do say a thousand words, literally), pero iba pa rin pala talaga yung Diary-style. Lalo na para sa anak ko. I've mentioned here before that I would want to chronicle her childhood here, but then nakakalimutan ko (puro ka Hugh, Mommy! kinalimutan mo na anak mo! :-D). maybe because family has become a happy comfy fixture in my life, and my daughter is one of those.  (pero yun nga, madalas akong magpost about her sa social media, eh nakakapagod kayang magsulat dito!)

So here I am again. Hello, Audrina! 10 years from now, I wish mabasa mo ito (on your own). Walang masyadong secrets si Mama (except for deep, dark one- na sana by the time mabasa mo ito, natanggal ko na yung yucky habit! para hindi mo gayahin!), puro ramblings lang, pero from now on I will really try my best to share what's up with you, how you're doing, etcetera.

Gosh, kakapagod magsulat! Galing ako sa revision ng script these past 5 days kaya pagod pa ako. huhuhu. Yan ang buhay ko anak, kapag nagkukulong ako sa kwarto. Sulat, sulat sulat, racing against a deadline, battling with myself.

Anyway, you're 7. You're very shy around strangers. Ayaw mo ng center of attention ka. On your 7th birthday, mangiyak ngiyak ka while everyone was singing "Happy Birthday" to you at nasa harapan ka nilang lahat. I wish you weren't this shy, pero I don't try to change you. I try to be conscious about accepting who you are. People differ from each other in personalities, some are natural introverts, some are extroverts, and you are one of those shy, introverted, sensitive ones. And that's perfectly fine. I love you just the same.

You're 7, and you love watching Pat and Gen on youtube. Pat and Gen have a youtube channel showing how they play Minecraft. I tried to regulate your Ipad activity to 2 hours every day, but lately we have agreed that you can only play the I Pad on weekdays and holidays. Kahapon on your first day without your usual Ipad habit, nagmamaktol ka, pero eventually, tumigil ka rin, kasi wa epek sa akin. Hehe. Alam mo naman na para din yun sa yo, like what I always tell you. Too much of anything is bad, and too much activity with gadgets can screw up with your IQ, even with your health.  Kids below 10 years old daw should have regulated gadget habits, kaya ayan.  May rule na tayong ganito. And knowing you, my obedient child, who has never had a problem with following rules, alam ko masasanay ka rin.

Obedience comes naturally to you. When you were much smaller, one of my rules is hindi ka pwedeng kumain ng hotdog, cured meat, di pwedeng uminom ng softdrinks. When I would be away, I've been told that your Lola A would offer your these things, but then you would refuse. Kasi sabi ni Mama, bawal. (I don't take this against your Lola A, I only have immense gratitude for her) But I was so proud of you. Such an obedient child, you were. And I STILL hope you are. (yun nga lang IPAD ang nagbubuyo sa yo towards breaking the 2-hour a day rule when I'm away!)

You're 7, and you're Top 4 in your 2nd Grade class. 92.84 ang general average mo. Of course I'm proud of you, marami-rami din kayo sa klase, but I was raised to be competitive by your Lola F, at kung hahayaan kong mangibabaw ang side ko na yun, I'd encourage you to aim for that top spot.  Because I know you can. Dahil partida pa yang 92.84 na yan, na hindi ka nago-all out sa pag-aaral, at madalas wala ako para matutukan ka, at naga-IPad ka pa on weekdays kaya nagmamadali ka lagi with school work.  My mother would tell me when I was in Grade 2 to aim for Top 1, to beat the "competition", to be the best because I was smart and special. Ayokong gawin yun sa iyo. Ayokong magaya ka sa akin :-D  There's nothing wrong with healthy competitiveness, but I want you to have the right core values.  I genuinely believe that you are so much more intelligent than your academic performance, but there are more important things than intelligence. Like pagiging masipag. Pagiging matiyaga. Yung hindi basta basta sumusuko. And of course, pagiging mabait at makatao.

So I don't compare you to other kids, I don't condition you to think of your performance in terms of that of others. Later in life, maybe after 10 years old, I'd encourage you to be competitive-- not with others, but with yourself. I want you to grow up strong in spirit. Matatag, hindi basta basta mabebreak ng mga problema at challenges sa buhay. Maituro ko lang sa iyo yun, mapalaki ka lang namin na ganon, I think you will be set for life.

Nahihiya ka nang binebaby ka sa harap ng mga kaklase mo. Ang dami mong kinakahiya at this point in your life! I don't know where the shyness and shame are coming from. There's always the fear in me that we might not be raising you right, or we are unconsciously damaging you.

May the Lord help us raise you to be healthy, emotionally stable, emotionally tough, kindhearted and happy.

You're 7, and when I bring up the topic of you having a baby brother or sister, you don't like it. I'm halfhearted about it too, because of the expenses that another baby would cost to our family. Pero anak, para din sana iyon sa yo. Kids with siblings are more socially well-adjusted.  Kids with siblings tend to be less selfish and self-centered. I was an only child for 15 years, and it's natural for only children to think only of themselves, dahil lahat ng atensyon nasa kanila at ang mga tao sa paligid nila lagi silang pinagbibigyan. I don't want you to grow up like me. I have said that twice within the same entry. Haha. Mama is not a terrible person, my parents are good parents with good intentions. But I want you to be so much better than me. I want you to learn from my mistakes and the unwitting mistakes of those who raised me.

Puro "I want", "I want" ito anak. I hope I'm not being too imposing on you. There's just a clear list of things in my mind on how I'd want to raise you.  I guess every well-meaning parent has that. So 10 years from now, sana, nagawa namin ng Papa mo ang responsibilidad namin sa iyo nang tama. Sana, 10 years from now, you'll be fine. Well-adjusted, with the right core values, with the right mindset about work and life and relationships, God-fearing, and most of all, HAPPY.

I want you to be happy, anak.  Happy, nang walang ibang inaagrabyado. The best kind of happiness is when you are happy making others happy. Pero you're not obligated to make everybody happy, are make others happy at the expense of your own. Yung sakto lang.

Ang haba. na nito. I know you always look forward to sleeping beside me at bedtime, something that is not possible when I'm working and have a deadline to meet. But tonight we will be together! We will watch your favorite DVDs, we will talk, we will cuddle, we will be Mama and Babygirl all evening til you fall asleep.

Ayan, next time na ulit, anak. Malamang in your teens dadaan tayo sa stage na hindi tayo magkakaintindihan, na you will be all secretive from me, and I might not be able to understand you most of the time, but I know it will just be a phase. At 17-- or 18, or 19-- you might say "I hate my Mama" in your worst moments, but just remember that I love you. Everything I do, I have your best interests at heart, with the purest of intentions. Because you're my child, and I'm your mother, and all mothers will want their children to be safe (we know kapag bad influence ang barkada or boylet!), healthy (kasama dito ang emotional health-- again, we can smell assholic boys when we meet them!), and happy.


Thursday, July 27, 2017

Freedom Day

Just want to document this day.  I'm done with my latest kalbaryo.


Salamat sa mga kaibigan, mga taong nakakaintindi sa pinagdadaanan ng isang abang trabahador na katulad ko. Marami po talagang salamat.

I want to celebrate this day. And the rest of my life. Between money and a stressful existence, I'd go for something in between. But ultimately, gusto ko ng mapera at stress-free na buhay.

Pero kung magpapaka-stress ako sa isang bagay, it has to be something I am passionate about. Hindi yung kailangan mong gawin, kahit mabigat ang loob mo. Stress over something you love doing, I would welcome with open arms. Dahil sulit lahat ng pagod mo. Handa kang harapin kahit ano, dahil mahal mo yung ginagawa mo.

Marami akong takeaways from this recent experience. Crafts-wise--  sobrang importante talaga ng character. The stories we make in the very long format, character is the most important. yun ang paghuhugutan ng lahat-- conflict, plot. It's a bible of sorts.

Character, and the characters' relationships to each other.

Conflict. hindi pwedeng happy lang ang mga buhay nila. hindi pwedeng walang bubog. Characters with bubog are the most interesting dramatic characters. Mahaba ang pwedeng takbuhin nyan.

When crafting plot, the more emotional the motivation of the character, the better. Usually, it's related to their bubog, or the people they love or hate, or their main objective at the moment.  That's why you have to know the character at his/her core. Doon mo lang mahuhugot ang mga susunod na gagawin nya.

Cause and effect. Everything that happens should be the effect of a character's decision. Events that happen out of nowhere makes a plotty story---and plotty ain't substantial.

so why are we telling this story? because there's this character or characters who will go through something that will change their lives forever. And we are there to witness their journey--- EMOTIONAL journey. We've been taught in college that characters don't have to have a change of heart all the time, yes. But in the place I am in now, because it's the long form, and this is mainstream tv, the protagonist ALWAYS has to have an emotional journey, from point a to point elsewhere. that's the reason why we are telling this story--- because of that emotional journey, which, hopefully, audiences will be able to relate to, or at least sympathize with, because it's a piece of this vast tapestry called human experience.

Twists. i used to love this during my very early days as a fiction writer. I always want my story with twists. I wanted to never, ever be predictable. in the long form, yes, twists make a story compelling. So I am going back to that mode. Ayaw na nila ng nahuhulaan nila. Alam na kasi nilang lahat yan. Bigyan mo sila ng shocker. O ng something that they didn't expect. It's not easy, pero if the opportunity presents itself, go. take it. GET. OUT. OF THAT FRICKIN' SAFE BOX.

Okay, so hindi naman lahat ito sa most recent experience ko lang natutunan. Some of these I'd known for years, in my journey as scribe for the boob tube. Pero marami dito, nareinforce ang value sa akin during my last project. Which makes the whole experience worth everything, somehow. May takeaway ako, kahit papano.

Last, but not least---

Kindness. It goes a long, long long way.

So.. thank you Lord. so much. dahil dito, napadasal po ako ulit sa inyo.
Maraming salamat po sa freedom. Now there's a new project coming. I'm raring to give it my best, and use the new things I've learned to make our material better.
I'm happy to be back with my true team.

Sunday, July 09, 2017

hugh. hugh. more hugh.

define geek: someone with an unnatural passion for something, someone, or whatever, so much so that that's all they ever talk about, and bores people to tears

so i'm a geek, about many things. i'm a hugh jackman geek, so shoot me.  hindi ko alam kung bakit.  siguro may pinagdadaanan. but seeing him, talking about him, brings me relief from life.  there's escapist joy in there, nearly every single time. just the sight of him, smiling and youthful, those kind happy eyes lighting up---  makes me happy.

pathetic, my husband says. (btw, if my hughgeekiness is a crime, husband is my most frequent victim. he has to listen to me go hugh this, and hugh that, because i'm his wife. heheh. and how's our marriage? we're fine--- as long as i quit comparing ours to hugh's unbelievably fairy tale like marriage to his wife.

malapit ko nang gawing santo si hugh. seriously!

bakit ang perfect mo? tao ka pa ba? lahat na ng talent nasa yo. ang guwapo mo. ang hot mo.

(okay, recently medyo nagkacatch up na ang years sa yo... which makes me really sad. as in LITERALLY sad, because i realize i'm infatuated with the physical you of, like, 5 years ago. may resistance ako sa reality, hugh. because that's your purpose in my life-- escape. aspiration. goals. fantasy. dreams)

and as if that isn't enough good stuff to put in one person... ang BAIT mo pa daw. nice guy, is what everyone calls you. and in this age where you'd find dirt on people on the net (if you know where to look), it's harder to hide things--- good and bad- about people. so i'm really inclined to believe na totoo ang chismis na mabait kang tao.

mabait na nga. wise pa. i read interviews of him and swear to G, MAY NAPULULOT ako. insights, man. how to deal with your ego ("once you start thinking- oh i'm good, i did this-- then that's where the problem begins.. because whatever you have didn't come from you.. you can't take full credit for something that was just given to you"-- okay, not the exact words, but something like that), how to become a good person (service to others, anger being an act of selfishness, treating everyone equally, especially those who are marginalized, being plain kind)-- basta, ewan ko kung biased lang ako. PERO JUSKOLORD may laman ang utak ni kuya.  intelligence is impressive, but the wisdom, the spirituality that is reflected in the things i see and hear of him... that's admirable.

mabait na. wise pa. matalino pa. talented pa. guwapo pa. hot pa. okay, ano pa??  huhuhu. hugh.  why you like that.

sya lang yata yung artista na mas naeenjoy ko pa yung real-life persona kesa sa onscreen personas nya. the hugh i see, in interviews and appearances, seems so... happy. happy, and sincere, and with this.. zest for everything. he seems like the opposite of me.  he's always smiling. always in a good mood. he's almost always accommodating to fans (nakakapagod yun bes, kahit di ko buhay yung ganun, naiimagine ko pa lang, pagod na ko).

he's just so wholesome as pie and flan and roast beef he's the kind of guy you wouldn't bring home to mom.. cause mom might fall in love with him.

at kung sa ibang kaso, IRL and elsewhere, wholesome squeaky clean types kinda bore me... not HUGH. huhu. i don't know why. kinulam mo ba ako? bakit love na love kita?? kelangan ko na bang magpapsychiatrist, bes? mas gusto ko pang panoorin ka kesa harapin ang deadlines (malamang).

now i realize why hugh is not boring even if he's just so... nice. cause he has sex appeal! he doesn't look harmless, which kinda balances out everything? i don't know. or maybe because i've gotten old, and i don't find intense tortured broken souls attractive anymore.

i want someone who will bring me home and make me his. who will share his life with me, sweep me off my feet, start a family with me. fall truly..madly.. deeply in love with me. and stay loyal to me for the rest of his life.

wait. i already found that someone. TSKTSK. ang tao talaga. kung anong meron sila, binabalewala. kung anong wala, hinahanap.

Lord, love ko po ang mga tao sa buhay ko. Love ko po talaga sila. Especially my husband and my daughter.  They are the two most important people in the world to me. Pero just let me have this alterlife in my head, Lord? just a little excitement and sugar-to-the-blood to spice up this existence. I appreciate everything and I'm grateful.  but I'm grateful for this thing you have given me, this spirit that reminds me na buhay pa naman ako, na kaya ko pang magdream, kaya ko pang ma-excite sa isang bagay o tao.

so yeah.. maybe it's that. i'm just addicted to addiction. gusto kong ma-high. paiba iba lang ang pangalan. o bagay. o hobby. but whatever gives me a high... i seize it. basta't walang masasaktan na iba. o maaabalang iba. o hindi ko masasaktan ang sarili ko.

so.. HUGH. sigh. he can play at least 2 instruments. he can sing. he can act. he can dance- OH SO WELL. i've never seen a man dance like that and can still be masculine.  and be 6 foot 3.

so MAY DEADLINE ako, as in asap, i've been tired from so many drafts paulit ulit at pabalik balik and with too little payoffs (morale-wise, money-wise). so si hugh lang ang bakasyon ko. hugh, and cigarettes. and coke zero.  i love my family. i love my daughter so much. but those little things in the survival kit, i need them for me. they are for my consumption, so that i can deal with life a bit easier. you can't consume the people you love.  love ain't that way.

so HUGH. maybe i don't love hugh. i love the image of hugh. i love what i see of hugh. in that sense, i consume him. pero syempre ibang usapan na pag yung totoong tao na.  kaya ang nasa survival kit ko lang, yung kaya kong ubusin hanggat kailangan ko sila.

SO HUGH. I LOVE YOU. or whatever it is i think is you.

para kong lasing. hahaha.

gusto kong gumawa ng isang blog entry. puro ganito lang--- "I WANT.." "I WISH..". sige, may idadagdag ako. "I'M GRATEFUL FOR..." and "I'M BLESSSED BECAUSE.." because there's the nagging little voice inside me that's scolding me for longing for stuff that i don't have, when there are so many blessings that I do have. oh my, may little voice na akong naririnig ngayon?? that's it.  to the nuthouse, beeyatchy. :-D

BACK TO WORK! that's what hugh would do!

P.S. -- did i mention that HUGH has been said to have amazing SELF-DISCIPLINE? oh my. yun na yata yung point na WORSHIP levels na ako sa kanya (joke lang po Lord. :-D) ngayon nalito na ako kung gusto ko ba si Hugh, o gusto ko bang MAGING si Hugh. Pwede bang both?

BALIW in bold letters.

HUGH would go back to work and finish the damn thing without taking a break so that he'd be finally free. Huhu. St. Hugh, pray for me.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

rare days

i know i should make the most of these rare days when i would be practically task-free. recharge. rebuild myself. rejuvenate. make up for busy days by spending more time with family.

but there's a cookie order, and it's due in 3 days. so.. i tried to juggle that with all the other things-to-do-when-the-things-to-do-are-done.

akala mo nakalimutan ko na si Papa Hugh. haha. he's part of the survival kit, that beautiful epitome of whatever it is that makes women like me believe in forever. just like that beautiful beach at the far end of the Pinas that I'd been dreaming about for quite some time now.

getaway. escape. happy thought.

something beautiful-- tao man, hayop, bagay-- should be well-tended, should be preserved. kaya nakakahinayang is Keanu. he has one of the most beautiful faces I've ever seen. pero hindi nya inalagaan. it wouldn't be vanity, to keep a beautiful face beautiful. maintaining that beauty would be a lot like preserving an art piece. it's not about the owner of that face anymore, dahil ang kahit anong maganda, subject to appreciation ng ibang tao. beauty uplifts, inspires, can even make people happy. so it's not about you anymore, Keanu dude. you did a disservice to all of us who appreciate that beautiful face of yours by letting it go.

kaya itong si Hugh kung pwede lang sanang i-preserve in an airtight bottle ang kagandahan. para hindi mag-age, magdeteriorate o maluma. can i stop time so that you'd be beautiful forever? yes, ganun ako ka-smitten sa perfection that is you. kung si Keanu, mukha. ikaw, holistic, beh.  from head to toe, inside and out. talent, intelligence, character. hinakot mo na lahat, pati puso ko.

Haha. Hi there, husband. okay lang naman sa yo, di ba? di ba? :-)