29 April 2017

A New Set of Eyes

I want to travel. I mean, who doesn't? If I were to chart where my salary goes to, I would probably say that a good portion of it goes to travel. I would happily burn my cash if it's for travel. Besides I always learn something new, not necessarily a good thing (fine mostly, I discover even more negative aspects), about myself in each new place that I stay in for a couple of days. Well anyway. There are plenty of countries that I'd want to visit. Probably once would be enough. I just have to see them for myself. And then there are those which I would want to repeatedly go to just because they've slowly felt like home. Such has been the case with Hong Kong. 

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Sweater top: Ralph Lauren | Pants: Old Navy | Cardigan and flats: H&M | Bag: Michael Kors | Sunnies: Oakley

In 2016 alone, I went to Hong Kong thrice. In each time, I've went to a different place that I haven't been to previously. This set of photos were taken in February 2016 at Tai O Fishing Village, located in Lantau Island. 

Disclaimer: This is purely a word vomit blog. I can't write a good travel post to save my life so I apologize in advance if this won't be in any way helpful to whoever will chance upon this post, in hopes of reading reviews about Tai O. In my case, that's what I normally do when preparing the itinerary. I read reviews found online first to gauge if the destination would be worth the trip. Especially if it'll take hours just to reach the destination. Another disclaimer: it was my friend who wrote our itinerary at that time so it was really her who researched about Tai O.

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Prior to this trip, I've been going to HK for just a quick breather. Granted that I love going to cold places, I mostly used to go to HK only during the month of December, when the temperature is around 15 - 20C. A quick 3-day trip used to be enough for me to enjoy the cool climate and eat a good roast goose or duck. And go to Disneyland, of course. And to some other tourist-filled place. Yup, I've never set food outside of the usual HK-tour that my conservative parents highly approve of! So in a way, this trip to Tai O has been a good start to discover more of my beloved HK. Of course, we still had goose. As a matter of fact, we didn't have just any goose; we patiently waited until a table clears out so we could have roast goose in the Michelin-starred restaurant Yat Lok. 

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I am at a point where I'm stuck at my comfort zone that's why I feel like I'm not going anywhere. So to divert the direction where I'm headed to, a big change has to step in. Where does one get the courage to act on what she thinks would work despite all evidences at hand that contradict her conviction? How does one keep her one foot in the safe side while the other wants to jump into the Great Perhaps? I used to think I'm good at making calculated risks but now, I'm seriously considering doing something different with nothing but gut feel to rely on.

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04 February 2017

Once Every Generation

On my way home from USA to the Philippines, I did my best to elude sleep so as to correct my body clock thus eventually evading jetlag. I ate the free Hershey's and Kitkat chocolates offered every now and then by the attendants, and used the entertainment provided. In those long hours, I listened to the audiobook of Ashlee Vance's biography about Elon Musk. I've first known of Musk when he guest starred in one of the episodes of my favorite Big Bang Theory. Wolowitz was happy to eat off of the left over while washing the dishes all because it was with Musk that he did his charity deed. Right after, I Googled who Musk is. Then began my obsession about the enigma that is Musk.

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Top: ARKIPELAGO | Shorts: Topshop| Knitted cardigan: Charlotte Ruse | Gold shoes: Steve Madden | Bag: Goyard St Louis 

For Holy Week 2016, I was able to pester my parents into allowing me and my brother Gian (our youngest brother Gio was in USA then) to accompany both our paternal and maternal Grandmoms in the cruise. We flew to Shanghai, China a day earlier than the sailing of Royal Caribbean's Quantum of the Seas then flew out of China a day after our embarkation from the ship. It's been a very enriching one-week trip filled with experiences, relaxation, and food indulgence. I absolutely love going on cruises. It always feels like I'm in a different world where food is never ending and the activities are non-stop. It's the ultimate dream bum life: to just wake up, eat in any of the numerous restaurants (so numerous that you won't even have to repeat a restaurant), select any activity from the day's list of activities, shop in the Galeria, swim in any of the pools whether indoor or outdoor, attend art auctions, wall climb, try the iFly, party in the roofdeck, ask for the free champagne, wine, beer, and other alcoholic beverages that I didn't have the chance to try although I made sure not to repeat any beverage I've already tried, watch theater productions, select books to read from the Library, or just veg out in the cabin while lazily sipping your choice of beverage.

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Back to Musk. He iterated on a point that I've always been asking: how come greatness only happens once in every generation? During the time of our national hero, Jose Rizal, a lot of Filipinos stepped up and claimed the title of a hero. Years later, new batch of heroes emerged. This time, they were the forerunners of various industries. I’ve watched the 4-episode documentary on History Channel entitled The Men Who Built America, which was very timely because I was still in College then and my Professor in Political Science asked the class something that has to do with Ford and Vanderbilt. Having watched the series, I was able to answer. I digress. These men, who supposedly have built America to the Superpower that it is now, also lived in the same time. So then it makes one ponder, does a generation produce greatness because the time demanded for it or simply because a lot of the men of the time are inherently remarkable?

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With the vast history of mankind, I guess we could all agree that Greatness  or Innovation springs forth because it’s been necessary for the change to happen. The world demanded that its inhabitants cope up. Then again, what propels the world to move forward? Isn’t it mankind who dictates that change should happen? Isn’t mankind supposed to ensure that progress is consistently present?

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This has been among the foundations on which Musk’s brilliance stands. There’s a part in the Audio Book where the author mentioned another scientist who’s been asking why there hasn’t been a big change in the field of Technology in recent years. After Gates and Jobs, what has happened between mid-2000 to now? How come no one’s stepping up with ideas that can move us closer to the flying cars that the past generations have envisioned 2010s to be like? What has happened to the esteemed Silicon Valley whose residents have been well-lauded for their contributions? Enter Musk. I’m in awe of people like him. People who start questioning their sanity because they think differently from everyone else. No, really. How come everyone I’ve met so far is either trying to fit in or desperately trying to be seemingly different when they’re just another echo? (I’m in the 2nd group, unfortunately but oh well) How come I haven’t met anyone who can actually change a thing or two about the norm?

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Musk is different because he sees problems where the rest of us would think is fully functioning as is. He finds solutions in problems that we don’t even know exist. That’s the trick, I guess, in weeding out Innovators from simple-minded people like you and me: seeing beneath what exists. Perhaps in a couple of years, another hero would rise up. She will be taunted as crazy, and she would perhaps think she actually is for quite some time, yet hopefully, she’ll be the next Innovator to take the next big leap.

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25 January 2017

"It doesn't happen all at once. You become. It takes a long time."

"...That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand.”

I had a pre-birthday celebration last 5 January 2017 in Olive Garden in Virginia which was sponsored by my very generous Tito (who had no choice as I made a declaration that I’ll treat everybody only to a salad party). I love steak and it’s thanks to him that I got to enjoy a plate of medium-rare steak with  lobster ravioli on top of the salad hehehe
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Coat: Atmosphere | Fleece turtleneck: Uniqlo | Pants and necklace: Zara | Wallet used as bag: Kenneth Cole Reaction | Pumps: Christian Louboutin Victorina Flame

I’ve turned another year older, and I’ve now entered the onset of mid-twenties so I guess somehow, without meaning to, things have changed. I’m still selfish, but only around 77% compared the staggering 100% of High Schooler me. I’m still impulsive but I already know the difference between what I’ll need for only 3 months as opposed to what can benefit me in a longer period. I still hold grudges but I’m mostly indifferent now. I still shop but no longer uncontrollably. These days, I set limit and actually follow through. I still get stressed in work but no longer too stressed that I let it stay in my mind for days. I’m still generally immature but at least now I know that there’s no point in trying to find logic in a mistake I’ve done. Then again, there’s still the part of me, a big chunk, that greatly embraces happiness brought by material objects (like say, the pumps I’m wearing in this set) hehehehe

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Perhaps it's the Ego that predominantly does the talking these days that's why anything that I do work-wise, I can't rest without having my superior acknowledge that I've done something good. It's instant validation that I'm seeking for - a concept that's been the topic of discussion between my good friend and I. Charge it to us being young ambitious girls who are on the cusp of becoming adults, that the only sign of success we accept is constant validation from our respective bosses. They say we should find validation from within ourselves but at the stage where I'm currently at, to hell with those overbearing individualistic supposedly present voices from within. I need to hear that I'm good at what I'm doing from the person who knows the standard of good in the industry, and that's not me. Hahahaha. I only have a few more years to be understandably insecure, lost, shallow, and unfailingly pessimistic so until I can somehow say I'm stable, please by hook or by crook, let me be.

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There's this side of me that says I should stop worrying about the future, that I should just do what I'm already doing for an indefinite period, that there's no hurry since I have the rest of my life to figure out what it is that I would want to do. Then again, there's an even bigger part that says I've to hustle because no one else would bear my cross for me. If I let someone else stir the wheel for me, I might end up blaming that someone if I don't reach the destination that I foresee for myself.

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I think it was sometime in the last quarter of 2016 when I chanced upon this short story about the Velveteen Rabbit. Lately, I've passed on my novels in favor of short stories that hold symbolism and metaphors that can rival those of what a novel tried to tell in its thousands of pages. Asimov's The Last Question is still on top of the most thought-provoking short story I've read but Margery Williams' The Velveteen Rabbit is a close runner up. (Yeah yeah, I know. Technically it's not a short story but anything that can be finished in around 20 or less minutes is considered a short story to me). It's about a toy rabbit that wants to become real. The story somehow reminded me of Toy Story and The Little Prince. Oh well. Too much existential dilemma does no one any good. So until the next post.

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Here's to a fun 2017!
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