Saturday, December 31

To you, the person I'm destined to kiss every New Year's Eve (except this year's or the next few)

Because I have been reading a lot of year-end posts, of letters to no one, of notes to self, and just because I just spent another holiday season with no romantic affiliations with anyone, I decided to write you a letter.

Don't get me wrong, you; I am in no hurry to "start a life with someone" because truth be told, my life has already been rolling -- rolling hard and endlessly at that (and can I just say that my plate is so full, literally and figuratively). I am young and a lot of people, my mom and my boss included, have reiterated that fact over and over.

But I am sure, you, that when you finally come into my life (or when I finally come into your life), when the balls of fate have finally decided that it is time, everything would be perfect and everything would be in it's place. My youth, or your youth, or whatever else wouldn't matter because nothing would ever be wasted and everything would count. And if ever you do get to read this, I am sure, dear you, that you would see this as hopeful and romantic and not just being idealistic because I am young.

And if ever you get to read my other posts, you, I am sure that you would always and forever reassure me that my writing is just fine, heck, it's awesome despite the grammatical errors and unlikely length and construction of sentences, because you would understand that more than appreciation, what I need is the constant push that I can write despite the lack of experience and training.
You probably see now that I have the tendency to be needy. You have also probably noticed that I've got a lot of issues. Yes, my beloved I do; from commitment issues, to abandonment, to anxieties - name it, I might have it. I am an exaggerated mess and my feelings are never constant. But these are not the things that make me.

So here's to hoping that I don't scare you away. I am sure that you are someone who wouldn't mind that I am this and that because you, too, are a lot of things. Here's to hoping that we will always and forever seek each other, because anything less for us both is just unacceptable.

Here's to hoping that we spend hours after work burning calories and flabs with new sports and adventures to try, that we share egg muffins or bagels and drink all sorts of teas for breakfasts, that we watch romcoms and snuggle in theaters or kickass action films to keep our adrenalines running, that we regularly study together, and I mean really study, or just read books in coffee shops and eat all the sweets we can find, that we encourage each other to finish our bucketlists (assuming that you already have one, if none, I can make you one), that we travel together and volunteer around the world, and a whole lot more because all that I am really hoping for is that we complement each other so that we may be able to be the best version of ourselves with and because of each other.

Truth be told, I still have this hope that you are already somebody that I have already met (and is just not here right now because the story says so, though the ending remains that you'd be with me, and I'd be with you). If not, well then why don't you just kill me now. Kidding aside, if you, my dear you, isn't the one that I am hoping to be with, that's just alright because I know that the universe knows better and we have already been promised for each other.

I may be tired of being alone and I honestly cannot wait for you to get here (or for me to be there) but for that which has been promised for us that is true and divine, I will. Screw gendering and ideologies, as much as I want to be politically correct all the time.

Yes I sound cheesy and highly unlikely to be myself, but for what it's worth, I meant every word of this post. Like really. Or at least that version of myself which is drunk with Lays and sweets.

PS. I don't need you to be perfect; I just need you to exist.

Wednesday, December 28

To you, my beloved 2012 self

2011 has been crazy full of ups and downs. I cried a lot this year because of laughing so hard and feeling so much. Forgive me for the cliche but only one thing remained constant all year and that is change. Change is actually the highlight of my 2011.

This year, I went from being a college, sorority girl to a bum daughter to a premature MA student and finally to a full time Communications Officer. Despite the fact that I am already earning, I lost my independence, or at least the independence that living alone gave me. I gained a different sense of independence though when I had to bring myself alone to the hospital because my right knee gave up on me.

Admittedly, I lost touch with a lot of things, with people even, but all is well, now or maybe eventually, because I will be leaving this year with stronger relationships with those people who truly matter, with those who actually need me, want me in their lives, and those that I cannot live without, especially my mudrakels.

I grew up -- I started to want different things and actually achieved different things. I learned and relearned a lot about myself, about what I can do, about what I cannot. I allowed myself to know pain, to feel weak, and to fully accept my vulnerability because I finally opened myself up to a person (the "unfortunate" events and decisions that followed aside) and to people who really bothered. Now, I am coming out of this year knowing that I can still get what I want, when I want (e.g. lose weight).

I made plans for the future-future and the future-now. I began to see the life that is ahead of me. Lady luck and good fate were on my side this year though as even the littlest things that I have always wanted came to me in the most unexpected places and moments. So now, I tell you 2012 self, despite the long bucketlist, despite the life plan, despite the foreseen future, I remain standing in this shaky ground that is uncertainty, all so different from when I started 2011.

I started 2011 knowing how my year will go by. I made a lot of detours but I still ended up exactly where I pictured myself and more (e.g. lost the development internship in Taiwan, gained a different lovely experience). Now however, I have no visual image of how my 2012 will fall into its place.

I am not sure if you, my 2012 self, will still be working with your current organization by the end of the year, or maybe you would just randomly, instantly feel like finally doing some volunteering halfway around the world. I am not sure if you would continue with your MA, despite the empowerment that it gives you constantly, because you want to achieve a lot but you already have a lot in your plate. I feel like this 2012, you will be going on a hiatus and live a hippie life, but knowing you, and the plans that you have already made (e.g. putting up a small business before the year ends), I am not sure.

But I am sure, 2012 self, that by this time in your year, you will be incredibly and obviously happier because you will finally allow yourself to go by freedom and passion. You now have a complete grasp over the things that you feel you need and the things that you feel you want. I have already posted a lot of do's and dont's  in our bedroom wall so I do not need to remind you anymore of anything.

I am not sure if I should tell you to know what you really want and just follow your heart because nobody can ever really do that. You have invested so much on thinking about a lot of things, it's time 2012 self to just be. Just be.

Your chocolate-filled, hormonal, and pressured 2011 self

Wednesday, December 14

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire?

Somebody's feeling Grinch-y this season. And as much as I would like to blame this to this country's failures (roll credits: the government, the "destabilization" of the Supreme Court, the people dying from tobacco-induced diseases, the cases of VAW in the country, and a whole lot more), well I won't because I really don't. I just want to take last Saturday back because it freakin' moved me back to where I was a few months ago. F.

The cold season is making me fat and sad. I eat when I'm sad so I turn fat which also makes me sad. But 'tis the season to be jolly so I must find this thing that they say is the true meaning of Christmas deep down in my heart.

And because my feelings pass as easy and as fast as the wind blows, I am suddenly all so excited for 2012. Now tell me who's random.

I guess a little laugh trip over some friends' photo album documenting their chat roulette escapades on facebook can actually give a person a different perspective, a different sense of life. That sounded shallow. But it's true; they actually kind of made my lazy day.

Suddenly, I don't feel any pressure to know what will happen next. Suddenly, I don't feel the need to plan what tomorrow should bring. Suddenly, I don't feel it's important to already be with somebody. I have this whole life ahead of me and I know everything will fall into their rightful places. I just know it.

It's too early to make a goodbye 2011 post but I just really need to say it now - 2012 is going to be awesome and I cannot wait for whatever is in store. Guess this one shifted this blog's gear back to happyland.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. - Jeremiah 29:11

Monday, December 12

Katy Perry understands me best

A lot has already written about their the one that got away. You know, those could-have-beens and what-ifs with those people that they willingly allowed to leave their lives because of something so temporal and probably stupid.

A few years ago, I was also writing about someone whom I thought was my the one that got away. Boy was I so wrong to think such. My the one that got away left literally and figuratively just recently.

I know, I promised that this is going to be a happy blog and no more random rants and rambles but I need to be human. Please let me be. Now, cue Katy Perry.

You know how people will always say to people who feel broken, "focus on yourself", "see other people", "be busy"? That's bullshit for me; because after everything, at the end of the day, you end up hoping that you could share all those things with somebody special who would appreciate it all as much as you do. What's worse, you actually end up dreaming that someday or somehow you could share it with that exact same person who caused your breaking.

Yes, you will feel occupied. You can run through days, even weeks or months, without even thinking about the could-have-beens, or even the person - but it all ends. One day, you would just realize that you've taken so much of what you really want, of what you really feel inside for granted that when they explode on your face, you end up starting again from wherever it ended. Or worse, even a couple of steps back further.

And what about that see other people shit? Stop the one that got away, cue thinking of you.

You see other people, you end up crying right after because you would realize that the person that you really want to be with cannot be with you anymore, or worse, doesn't want to be with you anymore, that they've stopped trying. You may want to try to make it work with another person but at the end of it all you would realize that them all would just be settling because you've already found what you wanted, what was perfect for you, what was happiness, but everything was so blissful that it was taken away so easily.

And now they're telling me that I should not settle. What do I do with my life? I have so much in my plate but I still end up wishing for that cookie in that unreachable jar.

I just wish I could go back to being that person who was content with just herself. I didn't have a job then and I was 10 lbs. heavier but I didn't feel shit whenever I was stuck in EDSA traffic because I had no memory of holding someone's hand while waiting for the cars to move yet. I was alright with bringing my own jacket whenever it's cold but now I just feel lonely because he once lent me his when I was feeling sick. I didn't mind not receiving any texts before I sleep and when I wake up and now I just feel unimportant to anyone because he used to call me every night even if we really have nothing to talk about. It may sound shallow and pathetic and all these may just be one-sided now but it hurts. I'm hurting again and it sucks.

"O, e anong magagawa mo? Meron ba? Tanggapin mo na lang na ganyan talaga. Marami ka pang pagdadaanan na mas mabigat, marami pang darating na hindi na aalis. Alam mo naman kasing aalis na from the start, tinuloy mo pa." - Mudrakels

I don't know why I just wrote all of this. I got no point, I got no conclusion. I'm actually feeling the urge to just delete everything, because it's easier. It's crazy how attached I got (or at least how attached I am feeling right now). I don't remember a lot anymore. Often times I have to check out his profile to remember his face and look through our pictures to actually believe that things happened. But, I'm just sad and truth be told I'm hoping that he gets to read this just so he would know that I still think about him so much and I'm still waiting.

I should check my period calendar. It's just probably that time of the month.

Friday, December 9

Friday, Friday, gotta get down on Friday

I told you I have follow through issues.

So last Sunday I started with the GM diet. I was successful for three days and I still believe that I could have gone through with the whole of it but during the fourth day, there were no bananas in the house and my milk already tasted weird so I gave up on the cleansing diet. Now I'm back to eating bad foods and not counting calories. Oh well.

But just so it's clear, I'm trying to lose weight for myself, seriously. My ultimate goal is to be able to wear a bikini and not feel like covering myself up after 2 seconds. All this mumbo jumbo on trying to lose weight started when my right knee acted up again last August even after I've finished the physical therapy sessions and the other whatnots. My therapist suggested that I lose weight and live healthy. It worked actually, mostly the live healthy part probably, but still losing weight was part of it.

Also, before this year started, I actually gave myself a lose 20 lbs. deadline - and I am crazy about deadlines. I seriously beat myself up whenever I don't or can't comply with given deadlines (yes, this includes imaginary deadlines). But lately, with the aid of my WD background, I've been thinking about this 20 lbs deadline and I've somehow convinced myself that losing 10 lbs is already good enough for this year. Is this final? No, I don't know. One thing's for sure though; I don't need to lose 20 lbs before the year ends, I just want to. Nobody will kill me if I don't, right?

Right now I'm just focused on maintaining my weight and not gaining anything especially that the holiday season has already started here in this country. I'm actually still tired from the brods' party last night but all is well and I'm a happy kid.

And just so this post has pictures, lookie at my cool nails! I commissioned I Do Nails for some soothing spa session and here are my happy finger nails afterwards. I'm sure I'll be having them back again next time.
First time to get my nails stamped. Cool way to do nail art, eh?
Yes I have really small hands and a weird ring finger, get over it.
But since I am my clumsy me, I chipped the one on my left index finger just right after the technician left. Sad.
Lalalala. Now I must go back to reality aka work. All this cuddle weather and Friday shiznits are making me lazy like a panda. Yes, the title is Rebecca Black's Friday. Don't judge me, it's stuck in my head.

Sunday, December 4


Obviously, I have follow through issues.

I have abandoned this blog for almost a month just because. I have been meaning to write but it's just so easier to dodge these voices inside my head. I probably have abandonment issues and I blame my herstory for it.

Moving forward -- my honeymoon life phase is over. After two months of utmost happiness and contentment, I am done with feeling happy and giddy all day, everyday. It doesn't mean I've suddenly turned ingrata though; I am still very much thankful and forever grateful for all the blessings that have been poured down on me lately and all suddenly by this great universe. It's just that I know now (and have accepted the fact) that it can't be Christmas everyday and that's alright because there are always those little things that we can all be happy about every now and then.

So why the urge to write today?

Because I just can't stop, at least not anymore. I am such an avoider and I have this perfect notion of life that when something effs up, I go the other way. No, that cannot and would not happen anymore. Plus I have all these feelings, and if there's one true thing about me and writing, it's that I produce quality outputs when I'm feeling everything.

So from crazy happy blog to dramafest again? No, I will not allow that.
So why am I still rambling and talking to myself? I don't know. Maybe I just want to put up some transition post or something.

But on other things, I just started with the General Motors diet today to cleanse out my system from all those bad carbs and fats that have accumulated in my body for the past couple of weeks. I badly need to jumpstart my healthy living again and this is the way to do it. So dear friends, if anyone of you is reading this, please do not tempt me.

Also, I just scheduled an appointment with I Do Nails today so let's all look forward to that. I shall post pictures, yay.

Lastly, I must write about how my being a "feminist" does not go against my preference to only date guys with cars and my emo feelings on being alone in this holiday season aka cuddle climate.

Did I just really schedule the things that I should write about? Blogging is not your job, Erika. You're supposed to enjoy this stuff.

Thursday, November 10

Forever young

Before anything else, I just really need to share this: guess whose first PR for work got picked up by Manila Times today?

I'm a very happy and superbly thankful kid.


Today I had my first class for the semester which was on women and work with no less than the Prof. Judy Taguiwalo. So imagine my surprise when the class discussion suddenly became a conversation about my family.
Ma'am Judy: Saan ang probinsya mo, Erika?
Erika: Sa Zambales po, Subic.
Monica: Magkababayan tayo. Cabangan naman side ng father ko.
Erika: Yung side po ng mom ko, Deveraturda, originally from Iba.
Monica: Kaano-ano mo si Dennis Deveraturda?
Erika: Tito ko po. Second eldest nila mommy.
Monica: Mother ko yung nagsulat ng article tungkol sa kanya!
Ma'am Judy: Dennis Deveraturda? Kasabayan ko yun! May mga pictures pa nya ko.*
I have spent a lot of time writing about my crazy antics, random adventures, and passing thoughts. It's about time I write something that is actually worth somebody's time.

I never met Tito Dennis. Everything that I know about him I only got from the stories of the clan. All that I am sure of is that he was one of the reasons why it was not an easy decision for me to choose UP over the others.

Luckily, Google knows him better. He was one of those who "lost their lives in the night when they were in the cusp of youth and did not get to see the breaking of dawn."** He was a champion of and for the farmers. He was studying Economics and was just 19 when he was killed in Botolan, Zambales. Google, however, does not have any real picture of my uncle.
DENNIS ROLANDO R. DEVERATURDA (1952 - 1972) of Subic, Zambales
For courageously joining, and later, generating and leading discussions with fellow college students at the University of the Philippines concerning the country's worsening political situation; For showing a wise regard for the role of ordinary people in the growing struggle, by bringing these academic discussions to his hometown Zambales, enlightening his provincemates through debates at plazas, hiking long kilometers and living with farmers and fishers in their village homes to elicit their views and participation in the struggle to resist abuses and defend civil rights; For giving and sacrificing his young and very short life, having his future snuffed out in his prime through assassination by constabulary soldiers. (from Bantayog ng mga Bayani)
It is overwhelming and heartwarming to see his name alongside Lorena Barros, Renato Constantino, and many, many very notable others.

I was never the UP student that he was. I wasted a big chunk of opportunities for learning and serving the people for trivial matters that I do not even remember now, at all. Nevertheless, wherever you are, Tito Dennis, please know that your death will not be for nothing. I, too, envision a society wherein the poor does not get poorer when the rich get richer; a country where women do not need to assert their own specific rights anymore because they we are also humans in the first place; a population who does not deprive their children of their youth through various exploitations; a nation who does not take the cost of destroyed natural resources for granted for a supposed misconception of development.

I may never be as brave as you were and my priorities can sometimes be crooked but I swear I'll never stop aiming to contribute, however little, to the realization of that vision that you had for this nation. But I can only try as much so feel free to give me a slight bump on the head whenever I go the wrong way.

"Gwapo yung si Dennis, matalino. He will be forever young."

* Conversation not verbatim. They had a lot of awesome things to say about Tito Dennis but my memory can only retain this much.
** Doyo, M.C.P. 2006. Munoz-Palma leads 10 Bantayog heroes. Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved from

Monday, November 7

You know what it is

It's always funny when you put on some lyrics on your Facebook status then your family replies with loads of supportive messages, not knowing that it was just a song.

I was supposed to do some editing and blur names but I don't know how and I got lazy.
So what is up, awesome world?

I had a nice weekend. My friend since forever, Camille, is here with me for the long weekend just because. She just flew back from Davao and was supposed to attend to some stuff here in Manila then go back to Los Banos, but we ended up bumming around and talking like we haven't talked before. We went shopping last Saturday and yesterday I got her to attend the mass with me then she cooked dinner. We're feeling like the grown-ups we've always wanted to be but really (somehow) we're still those crazy kids that we were in high school.

Picture/s from
It was also the first BarOps weekend this weekend! Redundant, much? Hotel rooms, cute guys, lotsa food, bonding with sisters - the life? Noooot. Reality: run around like crazy kids, get no sleep, run some more for tips and/or food, run after cabs, stay awake with too much coffee, fast food galore.. but honestly, I love, love, love, love BarOps weekends. I wasn't on shift this weekend but I went anyways because I don't want to miss a thing.
With my pretty batchmates. Ours is the most bibbo set, though 'coz we're always complete, bye Rae, haha. Apes was in the area also but she had girlfriend duties, haha. (Photo from Nak on facebook)
So yes, I had a pretty good weekend. I was supposed to go to Star City with my cousins also but then it rained and I got broke and lazy but whatever, there's always  next time.

Back to reality..

Thursday, November 3

I know everything that shines ain't always gonna be gold

Today I received another reason to be happy. And they money can't buy you happiness?

I actually wrote a blog post offline the other day to celebrate the greatness of October but I'm iffy to post it now because I have happier things to write about. Oh don't get me wrong, no, October was beyond awesome - no exaggeration. Let's not go into the details anymore but you know what they say, when it rains, it really pours. Hard. (I think other than the words awesome and happiness, you'd realize that quotes and cliches are the most numerous in this blog.) And I'm pretty sure the November and December are going to be even greater.

So I went to Subic last super long weekend. As expected, I pigged out and bummed around. We watched Praybeyt Benjamin (oh the things I'll do to see a naked Derek Ramsey), played poker (I'd like to think that I actually won - I ended up having all the chips but my stepdad played it at first so the seat was already winning when I took over - but I still ended up not getting any money because they used the pot to buy loads of ice cream), went fishing, ate a lot, and a lot more but I'm too lazy to think. It was crazy hot in Subic and it felt like summer. I had an awesome time with my family so despite all the allergies the heat gave me, I remain a happy kid.

And because all my old blogs lacked pictures, I'm going to load this one with lots. (I'd love to post Subic pictures but my big little sister has not posted them on facebook yet so I'll edit this and just post them some other time.)

Xtremely Xpresso's Big Ben, how I missed thee
My dad and brotha. (It's kinda weird to post something like this in here but they're the reason why I went home to Subic in the first place so yeah whatever.)
Vacation time's over. Time to cram for work and prepare for the coming semester. Yes Eka, you asked for a stressful life.

Saturday, October 29

Last Friday night

@ Shang EDSA
@ Ronza
With Tin, my batchmate-slash-partner-in-crime-last-night, and our Archon Jella na DL sa Ateneo Law. Haha <3
I have not seen my sorority sisters in a while. Actually, I have not "gone out" in a long while. I threw my social life out of the window along with the bad carbs and fattening stuff of life. So last night, I was reminded of how awesome it is to be with the people that I can just be super comfortable with.

And this morning, I was reminded why I don't like drinking anymore. I woke up with a bad headache, kind of a sore throat, and aching body parts. Why do I feel like I'm too old for night outs already when in fact I'm just 20? The lola vibes are attacking again.

But then again, there were loads of awesome (however crazy) conversations last night that I wouldn't have wanted to miss for the world - from wonderful jobs, crushing on old men, dermatologists, our lives last year, being single, lovelife buraks, "hindi talaga binibigay lahat", to starting a family at 35.

And since the Bar Operations are coming next week, I'm sure there will be more of these fun with my sisters.

On other things, I have found another source of happines. Please allow me to gloat:
Hello first sem grades!
Yes, they aren't perfect but I never got grades as good as these when I was an undergrad. I mean at least not as consistent. Whatever, just let me be.

And it's another long weekend, baby! I'm actually heading off to Subic anytime soon. This weekend is going to be fattening but I don't mind because next week, I'm going to start boxing. Let's do this, self.

Lastly, happy Halloween everybody (although it's actually my least favorite occasion; I mean, why do you have to be scared or scare yourself?)! Have an awesome life, friends.

* First three photos from Tin Penia's facebook

Wednesday, October 26

Happiness is a state of mind

Hi. My name is Erika, I'm turning 21 eventually, and I am at the happiest that I have ever been in my entire life.

No, this isn't just one of those brief (and seldom) moments wherein I'm feeling so overjoyed one second then the next thing you know I'm a hot ball of mess. No, I am truly, generally, very happy (and grateful) with where I am in my life right now.

Well for one, my first semester in MAWD just (technically) ended today. I survived! I would very much like to talk about how these first five months of supposedly being a feminist completely overhauled the life that I have already been living for two decades but that's a whole other story deserving of a whole other blog post.

Anyways, during our short dinner-cum-celebration a while ago, my classmates told our professor that I finally have a real, full-time job. They started to ask questions so I eventually talked about it. Then that's when it hit me - I really have a job now. I have a job; I'm finally growing up.

2011 has not even ended yet and already it has brought a lot of changes in my life. Among these things: I graduated from college, enrolled myself to a graduate program specifically studying about women, realized my potential as a development advocate, actually thoroughly planned for my future, strengthened my faith and spiritual relationship, actually committed to a healthy lifestyle through diet and exercise, got a job that I really like, and allowed myself to feel again and be vulnerable.

It has not been an easy ride. I encountered a lot of self-doubt, uncertainty, frustrations, and lost hopes but the bumps along the way are more than worth all that I have right now. I am secure; I am truly happy. I have changed (hopefully for the better) and I would like to think that I am a lot closer to the self that I have been envisioning for a couple of years now.

But the problem with attaining such sense of being complete, of utmost happiness, is the what comes after. It's not necessarily about that pessimistic thinking that something bad might happen because there should be balance in nature. It's more of now that I'm here, what do I do next?

Hence the birth of this blog. If you'd search for my name through Google, at least ten pages of links of my social networking accounts will flood your screen. I can't say that I won't abandon this one just like how I abandoned the many others (commitment issues, another thing that I should write about in the future) but what the heck. Truth be told, I am at the happiest that I have ever been.