Thursday, November 23, 2006

This is my birthday gift... myself.

Breathtakingly beautiful Steve Madden heels. Hot pink satin. Baby pink leather trim. Naughty ribbon around the sexy heel.

Bought the pair off eBay. I paid more than I usually allow myself for shoes. I winced when I handed over the cash. But you've got to agree that these heels are special.

Vince did. Well, of course...!

But as these had cost me a pretty penny, I'm going to declare these not just my birthday gift, but my Christmas and Valentine's gift to myself as well!

UPDATE: I wore them to my wedding on April 18, 2007. They were the best shoes I ever bought.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

What I think about on a slow Sunday evening...

Photo from

I turned 30 this week, folks. And I gotta say it's not so bad at all. Vince told me that 33 is the crisis age ("Jesus saved the world at 33... What have I done?!") so I have 3 more happy years left, I guess! Although from how my life has turned out, I'd dare say that life is just getting better.

* * * * * * *

When I was 10, I realized I wanted nothing more than to be a writer. Mama and papa weren't so happy with that but while they always made it clear they disapproved of my career choice, they nevertheless encouraged me to pursue it. So 20 years later, it's sweet to see my parents proud and happy that I've fulfilled a dream that may not have been theirs, but they accepted it anyway.

My gratitude to mama and papa is profound and endless.

* * * * * * *

When I was 13, I decided I must be an editor-in-chief of a magazine by 35. Well, I was 29 when it happened. Though I'm not complaining (who would?!?), I confess I'm kinda at a loss right now on what to do next.

I want to be published. I've always wanted to write a book and be published. That will be the day... to see my work in black and white, bound and displayed on a bookstore shelf, and I can open the pages and sniff them, and realize in ecstasy that the words are mine.

* * * * * * *

I'm not very good at fiction, although my Creative Writing professors and fellows at the UP National Writers Workshop may disagree (I hope!). Philippine writing greats Jing Hidalgo, Jimmy Abad and Butch Dalisay seem to have liked my fiction (I was likened to Raymond Carver but when I read him I felt we weren't similar at all!). Other esteemed local writers like Charlson Ong, however, sneered at my attempts.

I don't really mind because fiction isn't my forte; I'm more comfortable with essays. My professors Marra Lanot and Neil Garcia will maybe agree that I write non-fiction well. Even the formidable journalist Jo-Ann Maglipon told me I write well.

I've always been a competent essay writer. I'm very confident about that. What I'm not very confident about is getting a book out there. It's insane really. To hell with modesty but whenever I open a newspaper or a magazine here, all I read is terrible writing. Terrible! Some celebrated columnists in our major newspapers can't even get their prepositions right (Truth to tell, I like reading Tessa's column and Tim's... that's about it). At the very least you expect your newspapers and magazines to hire people who have their grammar down pat. But I know that these days, it's celebrity that matters, not competence.

* * * * * * *

Aside from getting moody about the state of Philippine literature, I also am aghast at the state of local television. I have to watch local TV because I'm in the celebrity business, and it pains me. I am literally wincing. Watching local shows is like putting a gun to your head and blowing your brains out. Man, what a waste of life. The sadder and scarier thing about this all is majority of the 85 million Filipinos lap it up.

* * * * * * *

Now this is what people should be watching...

Battlestar Galactica is the best television show I've watched in ages. Nothing else comes close. Absolutely nothing.

This sci-fi show is the best example of magnificent writing, dynamic special effects, emphatic human drama, and excellent acting.

I hope people will start watching stuff like BSG rather than the inane monstrosities out there.

* * * * * * *

So I go back to my dilemma: What's left to do now that I've achieved my ambition at 30?

I don't know... Life is wonderful as it is. I'm in shock sometimes on how things have turned out so well. I used to think that happiness was for other people. Now I know better.

I like 30. It's a very good age to be.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Shopping for rings

Photo by Rowan Heuvel from

Since Vince and I have been together for 7 and a half years, a wedding is imminent. We've always been content with our current status but this year was exceptionally happy, so happy and blessed, we finally found ourselves talking about marriage.

Vince wants to give me a ring. I don't really care about getting a ring because I want a house instead (haha, pricier). Vince says we'll get a house anyway so that point is moot. And since we've been together for so long (and since Vince knows I'm so finicky about my things), Vince decreed he wants me to go pick my ring instead of him surprising me with something I, well, won't like.

So I found myself shopping for engagement rings. In my quest, I've pressured my friend AJ and my brother Theodore to get their girlfriends engagement rings, too. My bro was supposed to get a cheap ring for Rose (oh the horror!) after all it's the wedding that counts but it's a good thing he listens to some advice because now he got a really great jeweler to make him a fantastic ring! AJ, on the other hand, wants to spend a lot on Leah but since she's a practical soul, she's insisting she doesn't want anything too pricey. So looking for rings (mine and theirs) have been quite an adventure and an education.

Anyway, as I browsed through yet another jeweler's wares, it was then that I found it:

It's an oval blue sapphire ring surrounded by diamonds. It's lovely! It's so Princess Diana (and on local shores, so Lucy Torres). Sapphires are super perfect because they symbolize faithfulness. And I love that deep blue! I prefer yellow gold though. Anyway, I told Vince about it and this is what he said, "For our engagement, you better get a diamond."

Actually, I've always wanted a yellow topaz ring. That's my birthstone and I like the color yellow. But Vince said a big fat NO. He said topazes are semi-precious and therefore unacceptable for forever. After a year of hemming and hawing, he finally agreed I can choose sapphires or rubies. So if it's rubies we're going for, I like this one:
Doesn't that look royal? I found that on the Neiman Marcus website. The stones are actually garnet but you get the idea. Isn't it beautiful? It looks fit for a queen! But Vince said I should think of getting a traditional ring. He says marriage is all about tradition so I better choose a diamond.

Okay, I ain't complaining. After all diamonds are the most precious stones on earth. But I never liked diamonds. They're so... Traditional. Conventional. Expected. And I've never been any of those! And, really now, what's the point of making me pick my ring when I'm going to end up with a diamond after all? Ohhh ... I guess that's the reason I ended up with Vince. I'm used to having my own way, but when Vince puts his foot down, I obey. Yup, Vince is the only man on earth who can make me happily obey him. And I do believe that no matter what I get for our engagement (a ring, a watch, a house, or—best of all—a yummy kiss!), I'm a lucky lucky girl!

How's this, then?
You can't get any less traditional than this beauty. It's simple. And it will look perfect with the wedding rings we want to get—simple gold bands a la the ring in Lord of the Rings. If I'm going the diamond way, I might as well go as simple as possible.

I still want that sapphire ring, though. I can afford it, too. Maybe I'll just buy it for myself... After all, I am turning 30. I better start buying some serious jewelry...