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wild electric
12 August 2025 @ 11:29 pm

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wild electric
10 December 2013 @ 04:08 pm

Sources: 1 / 2

I was out of town last weekend. I was scheduled to start December's pack of birth control on Sunday. We forgot to buy for the weekend and just never got around to looking for a pharmacy while we were in Baguio. I've been wanting to quit for a long time.

I used to joke around and call myself a "yipster" -- a hybrid of yuppie and hipster, back when I was wondering which subculture I fit into these days. How do you include "hippie" into the mix? "Yippiester!"

The hippie part of myself wanted to get of the pill badly. I had zero physical side effects (a doctor prescribed my brand) and I enjoyed the predictable menstrual cycle and the stress-free bed romps, but I never felt like I was fully myself. I've only been on the pill twice in my whole life, only for long-term relationships and only for the purpose of making sure I never get pregnant. I was off it when Joel and I started dating then I went back on it when we got married (only then because we decided to be celibate in the months leading to the wedding -- 10 months, if anyone's counting, I've told the story, right?) and I can't help but wonder if having all those hormones contributed to this rut I've been in.

I've found myself incapable of feeling euphoria. It's a lot similar to when I was on anti-depressants, but here I still went through bouts of feeling low and sad. My libido has been in a really dismal state but I think my work schedule has a lot to do with that as well. The first time I was on the pill is not a very good gauge of my mental and emotional makeup, but I do wonder if the extra surge of hormones aggravated whatever I was on. There are many good scientific reasons to get off the pill, but I'm more interested in feeling spiritually whole again. I want to be intuitive with my body and my emotions again. I'm trying to be mindful over my diet, my sleeping patterns, and my lack of exercise. I'm not doing the best job but I'm realizing that I'll have an easier time navigating through those goals if I didn't have the hormonal fogginess. I can't speak for everyone and the fact that no one can is the reason why women and birth control will always be a touchy subject.

Can I also talk about condoms? I HATE THEM. It's also the other reason why I embraced birth control pills whole-heartedly. I feel like a teenager again trying to research on what other options I have available to me.

Oh yeah, this also means that we're getting serious about Darwin #3. I have these fantastic dreams about kids. I think I've always wanted to be a mom and if my Pinterest is any indication, I've been prepping in my head with teepees, forts, picture book collections, story times, etc. Joel has the same dreams, too and I think we've been stalling on them because don't know where to begin. I don't even know where we'll live, how we should save up, or how we're going to go about childcare. I don't even know what my business is going to look like and at this junction, it's still a struggling, wobbly colt -- our whole financial situation is, haha. I guess it's a lot like marriage, too. We don't know how it's going to pan out, but we're communicating the willingness.

It sits well with me, making another risk like this again. I'd like to think that we're not being foolhardy, but I do wonder if planting the seed for another milestone would rocket our existing goals. Both of us have always been the pressure cooker types.

Right now, our lives look pretty much the same. I still have a ton of deadlines, I'm still struggling to resuscitate my social life, and I'm still chasing for that something that can be my creative outlet. Joel's being very hard on himself career-wise, but he's climbing the teaching ranks really quick that it has me so optimistic about him for 2014.

But these real talks about the baby that will come, this is different. We don't know you yet, but we already love you so much.
wild electric
20 November 2013 @ 10:35 am

I've been forgetting who I am. I stayed up late the other night reading my old journal entries and these are the entries that I gladly let people see. I've been tempted many times this year to retreat and write about all my hurts and pains that I completely forgot what it's like to cup your emotions and to sand it down until all that's left are the truth and joy.

If I didn't have my old entries, I would have allowed myself to forget everything that happened to me in the last three years. I love to brag about how sharp my memory is but it's incredible how all my insights about my life, people, and spirituality fade away all too easy when I don't tend to them. 2011 was my huge transition year and it was really easy to get motivated to document all the changes that were happening to me. I felt like I was running all over the place trying to tie balloons down before they all floated away.

2012 was the year I was settling into the changes and everything felt so new. Now that 2013 is ending, I have the hardest time putting a finger to what this year is all about. When I don't reflect, I'm lost. I'm lost.

I've developed an embarrassment for the word "busy." It's the word I use when I turn down opportunities to hang out with friends. I use it to justify staying home all the time and not going on vacation. I've also learned to hate the word "money." That word evolved into my favorite excuse to avoid participating in life. Maybe I should say devolve, because it also became what I was chasing on a daily basis when I'd be in front of my desk working.

I use to tell myself that I love my work first, and the relief derived from my compensation comes second. It's hilarious that it kinda switched around because I quit my day job in February to pursue my own design practice and to break away from the conventions of making a living. My last day of work was January 31 and I organized an barbecue to celebrate my independence and my 27th birthday. I was building up everything in my life to that moment. Before marriage blindsided me (in an awesome, magical way), my biggest dream was to be self-employed. That barbecue has been my favorite birthday party ever.

I took it as a good omen for everything that was to come. I set off on my own because I wanted to have control freedom over my time. I was tired of the daily commute. I wanted to push my talents and be able to choose my projects. I wanted to prepare myself for a life at home where I can be present for the children to come in our lives.

Before I quit, I didn't even have things bad. Everything was as good as it got in Whitewall. I didn't have to wake up early (call time was 10:30), there rarely was overtime, and the company was careful with the projects they accepted. I had two officemates who are like brothers to me. I idolize my former boss and even made her a godmother at my wedding because her family/design balance still remains to be the life I want to emulate. I learned most of everything I know in running a design business through her. She also does the family thing incredibly well and it was not unusual to see her kids in the office and her rounding them up for school or a doctor's checkup. She takes time off for a month abroad every year but we never felt abandoned and in fact it was in those times that we learned how to step things up by doing our presentations on our own.

There came a point though that I learned all that I possibly could already. I also knew that no other company would come close to the work environment that I came to love in Whitewall. The decision to quit was easy but it meant giving up 1/3 of our income. This income was steady and reliable and it was terrifying to let it go. It was so scary but I know I did the right thing and I have no doubt that I'm much closer to where I want to be. I chose to be brave because Joel was our constant. He may have tied himself to an exhausting job but because of it, we were able to live comfortably.

When I quit, things stayed relatively the same and we were able to pay all our bills still. What we lost though was the freedom to eat out, party hard, and treat ourselves whenever we wanted --oh, and SAVINGS. Wow, savings, what's that? It was all good because we learned to be content with little treats every now and then, instead of the big ones. Our friends understood that and it was during this time that we created "Makati Business Club" where we'd invite them over to our apartment to have drinks once a week after long work days.

Then came September when Joel finally quit his day job and had my blessing to take on a part time job in a less stressful environment. He's now an English teacher/trainer/assessor for a wonderful international franchise. When it came to his turn to chase his freedom, I was ready to stand by him. It took him two months to bring in his first paycheck, where the first month wasn't compensated because it was a training month. His paycheck was 50% less than what he used to pull in. It won't be like that forever but the route to steady part-timing is an uphill climb. It's really a miracle that our design business took care of the slack during those months.

Unfortunately for us, miracles also run out, and that's when we feel all the anxieties of not having a steady stream of income. We have more fights and we're more stressed out than usual because we hardly know when money is going to come and we have a bunch of expenses that stay fixed (rent, utilities, car amortization, insurance/investment plans, etc.). Here's one freelance booboo I totally forgot about and bit me straight in the butt when it came: DOMAIN/TYPEKIT RENEWAL! It's a yearly payment thing so it's too easy to forget when that time of the year is if you're not careful. Oh! And I'm not paying taxes yet! I will though starting in 2014, and I'm bracing myself.

Man... we quit our jobs precisely because we didn't want money and busyness to be the center of our lives. We had a huge fight last Friday and I realized we've been wanting to vent about all our frustrations but keeping things together was our primary concern. We talked about our values and decided to stop working last weekend (yes, it had reached a point that we were working weekends) and do relief work to take us out of our bubble and to be of service to people who need it the most. We spent Saturday circling the Makati/Pasay/Taguig area looking for relief centers to volunteer with (it was a weekend and the rest of Metro Manila had the same idea as we did) but all the centers were overflowing with help. We found ourselves in the Bayani Road area and stopped by the road to eat isaw and barbecue. We also drove around Libingan ng mga Bayani to look for my grandfather but ended up visiting all the National Artists and freedom fighters. It just seemed like a good idea to wander off.

Come Sunday, we made an appearance at church (we haven't gone in a long time) and attempted to do Oplan Hatid at Villamor for a second time (the first time was on Saturday). We succeeded in bringing a teenage girl home to her family later that night. Anyone who's done Oplan Hatid knows that securing a passenger and the journey home is a long, tiring, process that will need all your patience and love.

In any other weekend, we'd choose sleep and bumming over doing anything. This is why we've been missing church and a bunch of other activities normal 20-somethings do on Saturday nights. We've been so greedy with our energy that it was strange for us to realize we never ever felt recharged even if we'd sleep in and rest the whole day.

When we burst out of our fox hole and got ourselves moving and doing things outside of ourselves, we arrived home late on Sunday brimming with energy. We're still broke, we're still working hard, and we're still scavenging for things to eat in our refrigerator -- but we're learning the hard way that energy must be expelled in order to be gained. People who exercise after work or early in the morning are already familiar with this. We stopped working out so we forgot that the worst thing you can do in the face of inertia is to buckle and dissolve into the floor.

Maybe things come in three's and 2013 is the "ok, time's up, face reality!" year. I'm going to try to gain my footing back again. I'm not going to forget anymore.
wild electric
24 May 2012 @ 04:25 pm

I haven't done anything to my hair since the year began. I've been entertaining the idea of getting a side shave, bangs, a bob, but I never get around to actually doing it.  I'm writing about my hair, yes. You can't see it but the tips graze my bosoms and it's reaching the record length I allowed it to grow years ago. A part of me is thinking of pushing it till December -- letting it grow, I mean. I wonder if I can do a Lady Godiva. Maybe I'll color it, but in terms of hacking off pieces, I can't commit to it. I think it's symbolizing how I have just abandoned my hair grooming to the wind.

I get pedicures religiously, massages even. But for some reason, I just stopped caring about everything else. There were months were I let my armpit hair grow (don't worry, it was long sleeves season) because I couldn't be bothered to bring myself to a waxing salon or do it myself. I had the pits waxed when I went to the beach out of courtesy to the three boys I was with. But I wonder how I got to a point where I just stopped caring about hair.

Or even fashion. I have a striped shirt (or a long sleeved button up), belt, leather shoes, and jeans uniform. I think the uniform is here to stay and I'm happily sticking to it. But the hair... oh the hair. It's not a matter of serious importance, but I'll be the first to admit that the state of my hair has a direct correlation to the state of my psyche. I've had awful hair from 1990 to 2008.

I don't know what this means. I'm just rambling.
wild electric
24 May 2012 @ 01:03 pm
I wish I could talk to someone who has a life that is just as crazy as mine. Young, married, juggling two jobs, and trying to break into freelance full-time while managing to raise kids. I see the goal clearly in my head. I want a shared studio space in a nice urban area in Manila. In the shared studio space, I want to be working with UI designers (I want to focus on apps not on websites), illustrators, copywriters -- maybe just one of each will do. We'll take on projects together, hire an accountant, and help each other create our dream office space.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

Joel is suggesting we create a business plan and pitch it to potential investors. I don't know how I feel about having shareholders who aren't actually working for the studio so I'm still picturing (albeit in an unrealistic manner at this point) a bunch of partners coming together with their own money to put this thing up.

The second part of the dream is to own an apartment or a house near the workspace. I want it a home where I can raise my kids in. I'm also envisioning the studio and my house to be in a city where everything can be done within a 5 mile radius. Errands, groceries, schools, etc. Of course with this idea, I'm hoping my would-be partners are on board with the 5 mile radius thing.

Right now, what I earn from my day job is enough to keep me alive in my rented apartment, though it does bug me that it's money down the drain because I wish I could be laying down money for something that I can keep. The freelance income matches my day job earnings and it's doing a fine job paying for our extras and our nest egg. Still, it's not enough for the shared studio dream and funding my kiddos' expenses.

Maybe I want it all to happen too quick? By the looks of things, Joel and I's priority is secure a home that we own. I can allot space in the house (maybe a room?) for my freelance and hopefully be able to employ an assistant and an intern (I believe in paid internships, people). At the same time, once we secure the house, maybe one baby? We want our eldest born before we're 30.

That's another fear, too. I'm spending my 20's trying not to get pregnant and I'm scared that when the time comes that I want the baby, I'll have trouble conceiving. Joel and I are open to the idea of adoption, but I'm still too attached to the the idea of a mini-us.

Eh, I want to know how I can make all of these happen. We're trying to reconfigure our life but I really can't help but look to the past and wonder what it be like if I didn't squander college and the first years after graduation. I feel like I should have flown out of the country and worked in a design firm. I wish I wasn't such an alcoholic/pothead with low self-esteem. I wish I stayed single!!! When I examine those idiot years, I feel like I could have written Lena Dunham's Girls.

But strangely enough, if I didn't go through all that, I wouldn't be with Joel right now -- and he's the one thing I don't regret on choosing whenever I backslide down the hill of my past. Also, we're not even talking about the personal projects I still want to do -- like write a book of essays, maybe a novel, maybe a screenplay, or learn an instrument. That's another can of worms.

I know I'm 26, but sometimes I don't know if that should come after an "only" or an "already."
wild electric
14 May 2012 @ 03:05 pm

Taken by Simon, right outside 10A Alabama St.

I'm afraid to look at the articles and essays I wrote. I've arrived at a point in my life where I don't write anything at all anymore. Yesterday we skipped church and just headed out for a long lunch that spanned an appetizer, salad, main course, dessert, and some cocktails. We swung by Kamuning to check on Simon's suit, then zipped back to Fairview and I slumped into the most seamless, dreamless cat nap on the couch.

I woke up for dinner with the guys and we ended up Skyping with the Darwin faction in the US. We were all curled up in bed talking to an iPad. Then I took another cat nap then had a massage at 11:30 pm -- head, scalp, legs, feet.

I still feel exhausted and running on my last remaining legs. I'm burning out. I'm tired. I'm sick.

But a Sunday like yesterday's can fuel me with enough nice memories to keep soldiering on. Astrology says that I'll have a breakthrough with my career this month. It says that my money woes will end in June. What it fails to tell me is if I'll have my free time back again.
wild electric
02 April 2012 @ 02:28 pm

Photos by Edric Chen

We had our fun during this first month. Up until last week, we ate all our meals on the floor, our stove was and still hasn't been used, and our refrigerator houses only a jar or Nutella, leftover chocolate truffle cake, and a gallon of mineral water.

We've been paying rent with our savings and once we decided that it has to stop, it has been sobering breaking down our budget for our living expenses. Everything we earn from our day jobs gets consumed by LIVING. We haven't even made provisions for emergency expenses, credit card bills, doctor appointments, etc. I don't know how we're going to do this.

There's rent, water bills, electricity bills, laundry, internet, cellphone bills, gas expenses, food, grooming, commute money, etc. What we're making is enough. If we decide to go on vacation, have fancy dinners, and do little treats like massages, etc. -- we'd have to take that out of our savings. Too many etc.'s

Everything feels more finite now, especially our time. Joel and I work two jobs. My free time is spent doing freelance. My long term goals are a house, a new car, a shared space design studio, and children. If I want a vacation, those things have to be planned and planned well.

How do people put up their own businesses from scratch? How do people leave the security of their day jobs? How do you go about buying a house? How about the renovation? Then how about kids? I want kids!

I think I sound paranoid but these are just worries. Everyday is still a happy day and I don't want to be anywhere else when I wake up beside Joel in our apartment. I'm in a very exciting season of my life and I'm eager to put in the work. It's just that I'm dying to know if I'll ever get there. I also want to know how long it will take.

It's just so funny because in college, I was feeling this exact way about wanting to buy a Macbook Pro, moving out, or traveling somewhere really far away.

We are so broke yet so wealthy in many other ways. Alice and I were hanging out for dinner last Friday and we were beside a couple who did not speak to each other the whole time they were there. The guy was playing Angry Birds on his iPad and his girlfriend was leaning on him just watching. I don't know how people live that way.

Thing is, I'm still open to what the future holds for us. Maybe we don't have a house because we'll be living in a different country? Maybe full-time freelance isn't happening yet because there still might be a dream office I'll be working for? Maybe the kids aren't happening yet because there are still so many things Joel and I have to enjoy together, just the two of us.

Our lease is only for a year. I think I should just focus on this particular year -- savor it, enjoy it, and wait for everything after to surprise us.
wild electric
30 January 2012 @ 03:55 pm

1 / 2 / 3

I love the Bohemian aesthetic. I think it's the only thing that breaks me from my uniform of jeans and button-down shirts -- or that little something that has me chasing bright pops of color in all the black and white I do. I think it hints at something deeper than the pretty, shiny baubles and I think I'm just attracted to the free spiritedness of the movement. I value freedom a lot. It's freedom that brings you back to the middle and allows you to take charge of your destinies and to examine possibilities. I love communing with the universe, listening to inner divinity, and believing we all came from stardust. It's that part of me that just cannot let go of magic.

It's pretty. Hippie girls are some of the most beautiful, surfer girls have the best bodies and the best tans, and any girl who has a bit of a Bohemian skip to her step tends to have the dreamiest eyes and the calmest heart. It goes back to that idea of freedom. "You are free" is one of the most powerful things you can ever tell yourself.

I have to keep reminding myself that it's a way of being. I collect pictures like the ones above because they make happy, I find them pretty. It just strikes me as odd that I tend to snag them from inspiration posts of style bloggers and this visual embodiment of freedom always pairs up with pictures of shoes, shawls, felt hats, tribal jewelry -- and while I find them pretty, I also find them consumerist. Do you mean to tell me that in order to channel the Bohemian aesthetic, I have to hoard ethnic bags and collect a smorgasbord of ankle boots?

I don't find that free, I actually find it stifling. People may argue that it's all part of personal expression and I can respect that, but once I examine my values, I cannot take myself away from the fact that I hate hoarding, I hate clutter, and I'm very much the type who likes investing in classic pieces that I can wear out till they fray. I like mixing and matching from what I already own. Shopping drains me and I'm fine with updating my wardrobe in little trickles throughout the year and maybe having one major shopping trip a year (two, if I go abroad), and I never buy more than five items. The idea of a chunk of my money going to the upkeep of my clothes literally stresses me out.

I never used to be like this. I wrote in 2010 that I wanted to own less than 100 items and I haven't thought about it much right after that.

When I moved out of my parents' house in 2011, I only took what was important to me. I didn't want to bring what I didn't have to and I wanted to be able to get up and go when I have to. This reduced my wardrobe to jeans, a couple of shirts in the same color spectrum, some belts, and a few shoes. I practically left all my books behind -- thinking that I only want to take them with me when I've found somewhere permanent to live in. I only have with me books that I'm currently reading.

I stopped wearing jewelry and I use the same bag to work everyday. I only "dress up" during the weekends, but I still have the same things on rotation. It sounds like I've completely let myself go but that's really not the case. It's the first time in my life that I feel beautiful and happy in my body (the Bikram yoga helped, too). I love clothes still, but it's really great to develop style internally rather than externally. Because the external things follow when everything is ok internally. The prettiest girl is a happy girl.

Maybe I should reexamine what freedom looks like to me visually? In my head I picture a girl in a non-descript dress spinning with her arms outstretched smiling, with her eyes closed, a whirling dervish. There may or may not be nature in background. This picture seems to sit better with me.
wild electric
20 January 2012 @ 11:25 am

Poster & art direction by yours truly, food photography and styling by PhotoKitchen Food Photography.
wild electric
18 January 2012 @ 12:52 pm

It has already come to a point where I consider all my girl friends my best friends. They really are. Yet Saj is someone I always end up coming back to where I feel like all the forces of the universe make sure our paths always intersect no matter how much we stray from the epicenter of our city and our lives. I think our friendship has a special magic element to it and it's the only friendship (aside from the one I have with my husband) where the dynamics are all out of unconditional love and it's never one-sided.

Even when both of us make these questionable choices with our lives (and believe me, there has been a ton) and even when the instinct is to judge, envy, or resent, for some reason we could always push it aside in order to just love and listen to each other. I wonder if it's because we find so many similarities with our spiritual paths and we often find ourselves traveling on the same frequencies even if our lives look so vastly different (I'm yuppie hipster and she's earth mother wanderlust). Saj has always been one step ahead of me in terms of forgiveness, letting go, releasing semblances of control to higher powers.

But whenever I catch up to her, and that usually tends to be the cycle with us, I tell her about my findings and new philosophies, and it always feels like a joyful reunion.

When we saw each other last night, I made mention of our circles merging and so-and-so meeting so-and-so by way of someone else's retelling, mainly because it became of force of habit with people I haven't seen in a while. She laughed and told me that she's broken away from a circle I brought up, and I laughed, too, because I realized I did the same thing to all the other circles/scenes I used to frequent. Saj is famous for disappearing and I realized that I picked up the practice as well without even noticing it. I think we both do it because we somehow made the decision to go on a never-ending journey to find ourselves and to shed off all the things that hold us back from doing good in the world and being loving to people -- which is the key to happiness, isn't it?

"Sometimes people will go to me talking about how someone wronged them and I hear myself saying, 'There's no point in doing anything about it or even hating, being themselves is their own karma already."

I would have never said that a year ago, and Saj knew this and we can laugh all about it now. We bring up points in our lives that were filled with high highs and low lows which we realized were constant metaphors for what was going on inside of us and in the bigger scope of our days.

My best friends serve their purpose in different, beautiful ways (intellectual pursuits, creative expression, love, laughter, etc.) but Saj heals my spirit.