Wednesday, July 30, 2014

It's Been a Year!

How serendipitous it is that I decided to look at this blog of mine today - after not doing so in a long time - and see that my last post was last year!  I take that as a sign that now is the perfect time to resurrect this blog!  I've missed it so much!

It's been a while... In that year of absence, I finished doing a research project, applied for my PhD studies, got engaged, got accepted in a school (and also got rejected in some), quit teaching in Ateneo, and got married (and moved out of our house for the very first time)!  That was a very eventful year, to say the least.  And now, I'm about to finish teaching in DLSU.  I'm also preparing for my relocation to the US.  This last part has gotten me both nervous and excited.  God be with me!

From now on, I guess I'll be talking more about grad school (again!  haha!), married life, LDR's, and most probably missing Pinoy foods!

Talk soon!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013


Since 2006, I have made sure to write on my blog (LJ first, then Multiply, then here) at least once a month.  Maybe two or three if I'm feeling extra chatty.  But I think this era will be coming to an end.  I just have too much on my plate right now. :(

Aside from my three "regular" jobs, I'm also working on another research project.  Then there's the matter of my PhD application and attending to my personal future plans.  Whether it's actual work for those two or just thinking about them is enough to consume my time and energy.

And then of course, as you would've probably anticipated, there's the Manila traffic I'm constantly furious about.  If it's not the traffic, then it's a thick-faced girl who doesn't line up in riding the train.  THAT SM SALESLADY WHO DID NOT EVEN BUDGE AFTER BEING TOLD THAT SHE'S SKIPPING THE LINE.  Let me just say this - makapal ang iyong face. I feel sorry for you and your unborn children!  I sincerely wished she wouldn't have appetite for dinner last night and that she'll realize that her cutting the line was the cause of it.

I have become so negative and critical.  One highly probably reason for this is my tight schedule.  Because I'm always in a hurry, I easily get annoyed with traffic, PUV's taking way too long to wait for passengers (who do not come!), uncivilized people (yes, I'm talking to you, SM saleslady girl), students who slowly walk in rows (I normally walk fast, so even if you weren't walking really slowly, that's still slow for me. Sorry.), people who show up without appointments, and MANY other things.  Writing all these down, I actually feel sorry for myself!  Where is the ultra positive me??

I'll be back!  I'll be back when I'm more collected and cheerful. I'll come back another day.  Maybe that's gonna happen when I go back to crafting again.  I miss crafting!!!!! You know what, since today is a school holiday, I might just whip out my crafting tools and craft to my heart's content!

Wait, scratch that, maybe just craft for an hour or so!  PhD student-wannabe needs to study!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

An Open Letter to DPWH

Dahil hindi ko na kinakaya...

This was emailed to DPWH today, at 6:30am. Automated response says to expect reply in 5-10 days. I shall wait!


To Whom It May Concern:

Good day. I am a professor at Ateneo de Manila and I teach college students aged 17-20. They have all sorts of questions for me, and as their teacher, it is my job to give them sensible answers. Or help them find these answers.

An interesting question that has pervaded our recent discussions is how there's always reconstruction going on in our roads. Let me simplify everything, exclude emotions and angst, and just humbly ask these questions to you of which I expect answers for. We'd rather hear it from you, OUR DPWH.

1. Why do we keep on digging and reblocking our roads (for me, I always get caught in traffic in Munoz Edsa, and today there's another ongoing construction)? I don't really know anything about engineering- but these roads/lanes look perfectly ok- I drive breezily on them. Please enlighten me as to why you have to do it.

2. If we've been reconstructing seemingly fine roads, WHY NOT reconstruct the ones which are in a much worse condition (I mean, really bad)? Take EDSA in front of Trinoma (uneven roads for crying out loud, too uneven an infant could notice it) for example, or Cubao. Don't they need much IMMEDIATE repair?

3. I know you've been reblocking all year round, but how come in Manila (Abad Santos, Rizal Ave), most road works are happening now- further aggravating the traffic situation, what with the start of classes and the rainy season. I really have to ask, WHY?

4. How come some road works remain idle (you don't see anyone working on them or removing the orange cones even if they've been dry for a while. Yes, they're dry- it's been a week)? This case doesn't help us. It pains us, motorists, and it makes us mad.

As I hope you could tell, I am a concerned citizen of this country, and I could bet that I am one of the most disciplined citizens this country has today. With that, let me claim my right to know about the answers to the questions above. I highly expect the answers from you as you proclaim that you're a department we can reach.

I thank you in advance.

Aileen Garcia

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Lack of Update

And I arrogantly thought I'll be able to document everything from this trip! WALA!! Haha!

Even the photos I took aren't a lot! I'm so lazy!

And now I am going home! I love spending time with my family here in the States, living their efficient life, eating their fried food, and enjoying the calm and peace- away from the noise of campaign jingles in Manila!

But home is home, and home is where I want to be.

I'll see you soon, Philippines! Namimiss ko na ang sinigang!

Mahal pa rin pala talaga kita. :)

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Hot to Cold

Been out of the country for just 8 hours and already, I'm missing the heat.


What an escape this trip is! After "suffering" from the scorching heat the last couple of weeks, in about 15 hours, I'll experience the chilly spring weather!

Can't wait to wear my jackets! Yun yon e! :p

Friday, April 05, 2013

Battling Self-Pity

I am fortunate enough to afford to travel a little.  And most of the time, like today, I overlook this blessing.

Contrary to what one may commonly think, traveling doesn't make me feel rich; it makes me feel poor and small.  Staying in a first world country has made me feel so much of my third world citizenship (but not with third world behavior, that I could tell you).  And I am getting ready to feel poor again as I go to the States in a few weeks.  (Whut, two dollars for a single french macaron?!?)

Please don't judge me.  I know it is BAD to feel this way, looking at the negative side instead of emphasizing this blessing and capacity to go abroad.  That is why I want to battle it, too.

So why travel if it makes me feel that way?  Because even with that, travel is FUN and humbling.  Seeing new places, exposing yourself to another culture, reconnecting with old friends and meeting new ones, and learning and learning and learning - those are priceless.  You can't put a price tag on those.  And so I wouldn't mind feeling poor for a while in exchange for these things.

Before I knew of my disapproved travel grant requests, I initially planned on not going should I not get any.  But then, opportunities do not knock as often, and so I decided to go and use my savings. It was a long and stressful decision, but I am happy that family and friends have been supportive (well, my dad needed a little more prodding).

Then, when I have finally bought my ticket - until now, actually - I keep on thinking about how to make up for the money I'll "lose".  I have been extra attentive to possible job stints and more particular with my spending.  I also thought of buying crafting stuff and bags there and sell them here (though I could be the candidate for the worst saleswoman ever).  I even asked my US-based cousin to look for a temp sitting job which could help me pay for my expenses.  Or help me with a little crafting shopping. :p

My cousin said she knows someone who owns a homecare, and though it's far from ideal, I would gladly take care of old men and women to earn some bucks.  But my dad and aunts didn't agree of that plan - saying I won't be able to manage the work, and that I'll look pitiful in the scene.

Wishing life were easier, I am left thinking why I had to think of all these considerations before traveling.  While some would go to trips, care of their able parents, and get excited about shopping, I am dreading spending more than five dollars for a fastfood meal.  And boy, how many meals will I need to eat there.  (On a good note, while there, I think I'll finally be losing those extra pounds I've been trying to get rid off!)

I don't have any expensive indulges.  And I don't splurge on stuff.  Even if my siblings would contest that my crafting tools are expensive, I make sure that I look for the cheapest deals, and the decision process of whether to buy or not is long and disturbing.  I am such a low maintenance person, and I say this with pride.  I don't envy girls who wear designer clothes or sport expensive bags.  I am not embarrased to lug around my dinosaur BB model, while most of my students whip out the latest iPhone.  I am fortunate enough to drive a nice family-owned car, but I really wouldn't mind what it is I drive.  I am actually getting used to commuting again.  Hey, I am finally getting good at squeezing my body in those notoriously jampacked trains.

You know who I envy?  People who get to travel.  People who get to travel with ease.  Will that time ever come for me?

I would like to think and say "yes".  But with another future plan in mind, I don't think I could replenish my piggy bank soon.  If anything, it would just get leaner.

Here it is (let me say it out here so I'll have some sort of accountability and stand by that decision):  I will try apply in a number of US universities for my PhD. There, I've said it!  Gosh, I didn't know it entails some serious financial investment.  Tests alone would cost me a month's salary, plus the application fee for each university. And it's not as if I have the best credentials to feel safe in applying to just one school.  The target is five, at the bare minimum.  I wish I could say with confidence that it's gonna be worth it in the end, all the expenses and effort, but I don't even know if I will get in.  I've been constantly told that competition for slots is keen.

It's a big risk.  It's a financial gamble.  And then of course, there's the huge possibility of rejection, which I hope, should it unfortunately happen, would not take a blow at my self-esteem.  All I'm sure of now is that I have to do this, or else I'll regret not taking this chance.  So whether I make it or not, I just have to remind myself that I WANTED THIS.

And so with this new endeavor, I say goodbye to that buy-and-sell plan (no more capital for me), that little shopping spree as a VERY early birthday and Christmas present to myself (time to empty that Amazon cart!), and the plan to not hold back when it comes to my meals (Hello, Sky Flakes and instant noodles! {this I could actually say with delight, haha!} ).  Well, if there's a good side to it, at least I know I'm not gonna get any fatter!

While some people do not know where to get their next meal, here I am unrightfully pitiful of myself.  I know. I wish I could feel rich again, without actually having lots of money.

Did you know I was like that once?

Please pray with me as I ask for grace.  I am missing that.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Updates :)

I am the laziest blogger in the world!  

I miss the times when I'd look forward to blogging, pour my heart out, and write with meaning.  Now, more often than not, I blog to keep up with my self-imposed rule of blogging at least once a month.  I am the worst.

But here are some note-worthy happenings in my life (note-worthy for me, hehe!):

  • I have just finished a year of teaching in college!  And I have survived!  I am falling in love with Psychology more and more as I teach it.

  • I will be attending the SRCD conference this April in Seattle.  My MA thesis was accepted for poster presentation - I feel so legit!  Haha!  
My gosh, I almost don't want to be so emotional about this, but I don't think I can hold it in any longer - Who would've thought I'd be able to do this?  Not I, certainly. Who knew I'd be rubbing elbows with the big names in developmental psychology?  I'll tell you, the nerd and fan girl in me will go on turbo mode come April!

Also, that dream to travel for work is still there, and I guess this is the closest I could get to it (Although, I didn't get travel grants from Ateneo, La Salle, and SRCD! *endless tears*)

Who would've thought I'll be going to the States again within two years time?  Not I, certainly.  I remember feeling so dramatic while I was there, telling everyone I may never be able to come back again in the future - what with my visa expiring, and lack of money.  But God has His ways, of making me believe, of making my dreams come true.  How can I ask for more?

  • Today, March 27, marks the first anniversary of our first date.  Who would've thought I'll be in a romantic relationship after almost 8 months of dating, I who have been perennially single?  Not I, certainly.  I have actually (sort of) prepared myself for a life spent in singlehood, and I actually didn't have a lot of troubles about that thought.  But again, this dear God of mine, swoop in, with just the most perfect timing in the world, and led me to someone who'd care about me like no one ever would.

  • And last March 24, we celebrated our 4th month of being together.  We actually almost didn't, because of a stupid fight.  Haha!  But all's well that ends well.  And all's well that ends with barbecue dinner by the bay.  Haha!

4 hearts for 4 months!
I cut this using my Cameo.  It's made out of paper and vinyl.
Will put our names on the bottom left corner.
Thank you, SM, for this cheap frame! :D

I'm planning to blog more often when I'm in the States- documenting my life in the first world country (but not with a first world lifestyle, hehe!).  Although it's just a 4-day conference, I'll be staying for a month. I'll make the most out of it! :)

In other, more mellow news, for tomorrow (Maundy Thursday), you may want try this convenient online retreat constructed by our dear Jesuit priests:

Pins of Light

See you there!