• Essays,  Notes on Adulting,  Writer's Cafe

    Growing Up Good

    On my recent trip back to my hometown I found my diary from when I was seventeen years old, in it I wrote “My boyfriend is a chauvinist. I need to get a new one.” I burst out laughing when I read that, truly my higher self knew what she was talking about. I wished I had ended it shortly after, as I constantly question why I still dated that person for the next seven years. But now I’m also thanking and honouring myself for getting out of it. I have come a long way from that relationship and have learned many lessons in the process. International Women’s Day reminded…

  • Essays,  Letters,  Writer's Cafe

    Pebble in My Shoe

    It’s fall where you are. Where I am there is only either the scorching heat or the lashing rains. I may be exaggerating a little. Fall, even though I am far away from the scent of pumpkin spice and the sight of  fallen leaves- fall, still reminds me of you. It’s not something I consciously think about. Maybe it’s an internal clock- a clock that doesn’t exactly know the specific time of day, but one that knows seasons and sentiments. It’s an inconvenient feeling- that feeling of nostalgia for happier times. A pebble in my shoe, specially now that I’m busy living a different life.

  • The Daily,  Writer's Cafe

    The Daily: Watch Out World, I’ll be a Sell Out Soon!

    I wish people would stop calling me a sell out just because I’ve chosen to go the corporate route in film. For most parts I own it, but of course we all know they say it as a derogatory remark. It’s a path I chose and I didn’t choose it just because of the “money” – which most people assume. I enjoy it, I enjoy looking for a middleground between entertainment and substance in content. I want to push for stories in mainstream that have meat in it and not just fallacies piled on fallacies – all the while making it entertaining still. Despite what haters say, it’s possible. South…

  • Essays,  Letters,  Writer's Cafe

    A Darker Shade

    I don’t think we will ever witness the first snowfall of the year together or that I’ll run back to you the way  I did when I first left. Somehow, I think I knew this when I decided to pursue other things more than you. I knew time would change me somehow. Without you, I could learn to see my own value without having to measure myself against the standards you had set for yourself. I knew they were superficial, that sooner or later you would realize this. But I couldn’t wait around for that to happen.  It wasn’t to say that I was unhappy with you – on the…

  • Notes on Adulting,  The Daily,  Writer's Cafe

    The Artist and Her Shit Sandwich

    Elizabeth Gilbert talked about the concept of “shit sandwiches”, which are the not so awesome things you have to do to get to your goals. This is where the phrase “you gotta eat your shit sandwich” stems from, a phrase my sisters and I usually tell each other when we’re feeling demotivated. Brian Tracy calls this “eating your frogs.” These days I feel like I’ve been trying to eat a frog sandwich. You see, I took up a scriptwriting elective this semester because during my break away from film school I realized I wanted to be first and foremost a storyteller. Akira Kurosawa said in one of his interviews that…

  • Essays,  Nostalgia Pieces,  Writer's Cafe

    Third World Worries

    I remember the many nights spent walking in the heat and dust, sitting through 2-hour bus rides stuck in traffic, walking through the flooded streets of Chinatown. I remember you bringing me hot noodle soup and jelly rolls when I got sick, and buying me ice cream every day of the summer we spent together. I remember how we tried to keep from falling apart as we waded through all the inconveniences of a third world country – The floods, the traffic, the heat, the congestion, angry coworkers . You came home every night dissatisfied, phone constantly ringing. You always assured me that everything was okay as long as I…

  • The Daily,  Writer's Cafe

    The Daily: Hometown Blues

    When I was in first year college, a computer science major told me that my name spelled backward in Greek meant disaster, well sort of. That’s how I remember it. He said the word “disaresta” but now looking back he must have mentioned something about it being an attack on a console game. Disaresta was one of the most devastating skill a player had available. I can feel that now. It’s my last night in my hometown and I managed to break the shower knob resulting in an avalanche of water spraying all over me. I figured I had managed to do what I meant to do in my hometown. Which…

  • Essays,  Writer's Cafe

    I am Brown and Both

    I understand that it was made in jest- that I could not be considered Mindanaoan or even Filipino because I left the Philippines. The thing is I still want to answer those statements, because I got a lot of flak even before I left. Why would you leave? Don’t you love the Philippines? You’re forsaking the country. You’re a traitor. Hmm, I wonder- the heroes we have hailed before us also left the motherland. I wouldn’t equate myself to being a hero but you get the drift. My being Canadian is an added layer to my identity- it does not eliminate my birth, my childhood, my life experiences in this country…

  • Travel Diary

    Kyeopta Korea!

    I have been refusing to blog more about Seoul because I keep getting withdrawal symptoms every time I go through my “Kyeopta Korea” album. Here’s a picture diary of some stuff I haven’t uploaded yet: Commuting. My sister and I used the subway a lot. They have so many lines, I lost count but it was pretty easy to navigate. One time it was too late and we were stuck in Itaewon after having dinner at a ramen store so we hailed a cab and my sister talked to the cab driver in straight Korean! I was so proud of her. But then we realized that the directions were practically written…

  • Travel Diary

    Streets of Seoul

    I always end up travelling to places that aren’t on my checklist but I ultimately have no regrets. So I spent 9 days in Seoul, South Korea to accompany my little sister for her month-long stay in the country. She decided to stay in Hongdae area which is where Hong-ik University is located. It’s a very vibrant neighbourhood filled with young people, university students, coffeeshops, restaurants, and a shopping area. Let me take you on a short trip to our neighbourhood:  Hongdae Located just near Hong-ik Station’s exit 3- this place has two coffeeshops. Cafe Bonjur and Comma Cafe. Cafe Bonjur has really good cheesecake!  Upstairs- Comma Cafe is a little…