Side hustle

Today, I got several calls from a few side hustles I applied for since the beginning of the month. I’m generally hopeful and excited, buuut a bit worried should I actually get the job. I mean, I haven’t really thought about it, nor planned how I’m going to squeeze it in my daily schedule considering how demanding my main job can be. I just.. applied. Initially, I only did that for the experience of you know, brushing up my skills on interviews in case I’ll be looking for other job opportunities in the future – I usually get rusty with interviews if I don’t get to practice. I guess one idea led to another, and now here I am, praying with gleaming eyes to have positive results on a potential employment #2.

I hope you could pray for me, and that the side hustle would perfectly fit in my schedule. In case I don’t get it though, then I guess that’s charged to having my interview skills polished. Win win? Though I prefer the former kind.

New Laptop!

So I finally decided to get myself a new laptop.

I’ve thought about it for months – struggled whether or not it’s timely to get one while we’re in a pandemic and a possible economic recession. To be honest, that long period was just a nonstop weighing of whether I needed a laptop or not. For a long time I still wasn’t sure. But one thing was consistent – a new laptop was in my mind.

I wanted to free my head of this overdue predicament, and so I thought of settling it once and for all. I contacted a sales guy that I found on their website and expressed interest in getting a new laptop. The purchase was easy – everything was conducted online. I initially thought of just reserving the laptop and then head to the actual store to swipe my card. Buuut, my anxiety took over on all potential and unnecessary contact, and so I just decided to just pay online via bank transfer. The sales guy was very patient with how frequently I changed my minds and the multitude of questions I had.

I thought about having the laptop delivered via motorcycle TNVS, but I realized the item was way too expensive to risk, so I drove to the mall. The main guy who configured my laptop was kind enough to bring it at the entrance so I wouldn’t have to go inside the mall.

So yeah, quite happy with my purchase, though a bit disheartened by the deduction from my bank account. But that’s just how I am with whatever thing I purchase that’s costly. I just hope I can shrug it off and keep the positive energy. NEW LAPTOP! Yay.

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Lockdown Anniversary

How are you guys holding up through this time? It’s literally just crazy from the country where I live, we’re about to have our 1st anniversary for being locked down in our homes. Yes, A YEAR! I’m sure most of you guys have already set the dates on when you will be getting your vaccines at your nearest health clinics. Sadly with us, we are still stuck with debating whether or not we should do mass testing or just let the people wear face shields as additional protection. Ah and the vaccines– some stupid guy from the government “dropped the ball” in getting the vaccines early, so now, we’re basically back on step 1 of the long procurement process. That’s without saying that in April, our government was so hyped about claiming that mass testing wasn’t necessary, and the only way to solve this pandemic problem was to get the vaccines early. The irony right?

Soooo, we are currently in a pandemic limbo, thanks to our leaders who can’t lead shxt.

Happy new year!

Wishing you all a great new year!

I’ve recently lost my fondness of essay-long entries that people write every new year’s eve. I used to do the same every year, considering that it’s the day before my birthday. But a couple of years ago, I felt like I’ve already evolved to something- a grumpy old uncle who dislikes the trend. Maybe it’s a passing of the torch kind of thing to the new generation. Gosh I’m old.

I just had to share that but anyway –

Today felt like any other day, with a bit of hope to start/restart new habits. I woke up early, and the neighborhood was quiet. No cars, no people – probably still sleeping from the midnight shindig. It wasn’t extraordinary – though I knew I had some new year traditions to uphold – not to go out, not to buy anything, and practically spend the day with family – so I did. I also got my haircut (with my dad’s help), and I got to skiprope after not doing so for 2 days? Quite a productive day, really.

I’m not entirely sure how the rest of the year will progress? I put up a new mantra for 2021 – to go for things that will make me happy. I mean, have things been that easy? If it were, my goodness, I would’ve already chosen all the best things every single time. But anyway, I really just wanted to put that up to maybe, for cases when I’d be stretched out and maybe burnt out, that reminder; that spark of light will help me let go of things and get me through.

2020 Wrap-up

So here we are, on the edge of 2020, ready to jump in for 2021. I don’t really know what to say after what went down this year – definitely crazier than all the other years I’ve had in this lifetime.. yet. But here’s a couple of things worth noting for me for the year that’s (almost) been.

Of course there’s the pandemic. Boy, where do I start? In January, we were all hopeful for a great year – it’s 2020 – a beginning of a new decade. To some, they thought it’s going to be a good start for new habits, new life, new things. Obviously, all had an unfortunate turn – people lost jobs, lost family members, and lost good mental health, etc. Truly a sad year for most of us, and I am just glad that for the most part, I have a decent job, we have food on the table, and most of all, I’m still with my family this year. Small sparkles that somehow made the year quite bearable.

Social media- I felt that things have been a lot harder with social media around. I felt that I was being subtly forced to present a happy life to my followers. There was a point this year when I was scavenging for something to share – a happy event, then I got frustrated because I spent an hour thinking about what to post, when in fact, there’s nothing to post. I know it shouldn’t be that way, but as the saying goes – and it’s totally cliché – it’s a lot easier said than done. It’s like there’s no safe space where you can just take a break and recover from all without the unnecessary pressures from everyone (yeah, I know, it could just be in my head, but is there really a way to get rid of those thoughts easily?). I thought about quitting social media altogether – well I did, but I didn’t even last half a day and downloaded it back. lol. I know I have a weak spirit. I guess that’s one thing I have to work on.

Career – I haven’t had thoughts about my career until late 2020. When the pandemic started, I was glad that I could get to work from home during this period- something I’ve been longing for since I moved back to BPO. However, as the pandemic situation got worse, and the work from home arrangement went longer, things have gotten shaky- a few colleagues lost their jobs, a few of my accounts backed out, I got scared that I might lose my job, too. At that time, I thought maybe I should look for a sideline job, and I did. I taught English online. It didn’t last long – I was in a weird career vacuum. Towards mid of this year, we’ve lost a few benefits which made me question a few things about my career – the level of work I’m doing, and how much I’m getting paid for it. Late 2020 was partially dedicated to reflecting on where I should be, and what I deserve. I deserve more. It’s an ongoing thing, but I hope for better career opportunities in 2021.

I guess that’s pretty much how my 2020 went. Glided through the year just to survive and to keep a good mental health. It’s sad, but bearable. It’s not okay, but that’s just how it is. I just want to post this just so the other people who have struggled the same wouldn’t feel alone and isolated. During this crazy time, feeling alone is the worst enemy.

Feel free to share your experience if you also had a challenging 2020.

Stop the killings and other things

A terrible news broke this week that a mother and son were murdered in cold blood by a police officer because of an issue with neighborhood noise. Based on what I’ve read online, the victim’s party was making noise using “boga” – a firecracker alternative. In the Philippines, especially in the provinces, people begin using firecrackers in December for entertainment, for celebration, or for culture that people have gotten used to. The police, who apparently was off duty at that time, rushed to the victim’s property, and it’s all downhill from there. You may check the video online, but trigger warning.

A few things about what happened.

The culture of impunity – it’s been quite controversial how the Philippine police force is being branded as killers and terrorists, opposite of what they have sworn to do – to serve and protect. This tragedy triggered people to take their frustration and anger on social media by trending #StopTheKillingsPH and #PulisAngTerorista for the last 2-3 days. It was like the long awaited mistake to prove the point of how dirty and mismanaged the institution is; the straw that broke the camel’s back. From there, it branched out to practically different things – touched multiple issues of red tagging, extra judicial killings, terrorism, etc. But then, as all arguments would have, some opposed that one should not generalize the behavior of a single policeman with the whole force. On multiple news articles posted by real news agencies, people have been posting “Blame the person, not the profession,” which kinda makes sense, but totally misses the point of the whole thing.

You see, the call’s purpose is not to destroy the National Police. This does not, in any way, aim to dismantle the very institution that is meant to protect and serve the people. But when they fail at their jobs, when their leadership sweeps their mistakes under the rug, when they try to cover things up for the “lack of evidence,” then one has to pressure the force to straighten themselves up. No one argues that there are good cops – there truly are. But humor this – when these good cops allow the bad cops to stay in the force, without doing any action to kick them off, or punish them, then they’re just as good as accessories to brewing cop crimes.

Lack of humility – it’s frustrating how the leadership and the spokespeople of the force do not highlight the acknowledgement of the problem, nor the action being taken to fix it. Instead, their energy is focused on staying on their high horses, claiming that the tragedy was a misrepresentation of the force’s “hero” behavior. Everyone, even the DILG claims that there is no impunity. You see, impunity is something that doesn’t manifest until they have committed so, but you will definitely see it through their words, and how their opinions are formed. I’ve seen couple of those careless policemen who have posted their opinion on what happened, blaming the victim for “provoking” the suspect – and it was their fault for getting gunned down.

That in itself is the culture – the similar frame of mind – that impunity delivers, and people fail and/or refuse to see and understand that.

At the end of the day, we all want the same thing – to have the police uphold their sworn duty to protect and serve the people of this country, and we deserve it.

I would also like to commend the few good policemen who, even if they have been collateral damage to the public outrage, remain strong and driven to put their lives on the line just to keep the people safe. With all my heart, thank you for your service.

Marriage and hook ups

As a bored gay man trying to stay mentally stable in this pandemic, I’ve found temporary entertainment looking around on social media, and of course, dating/hookup apps – specifically Grindr. I’d like to clarify that it’s not for purposes of hooking up (that would be irresponsible), but maybe just to kill time and practice my social skills that I know are getting rusty. Anyway, nothing new there, except a few profiles of married men (with some of them having kids), looking to hook up with other men. Now, I don’t have any qualms with homosexual sexual encounters, but it’s quite intriguing (bordering confusing) how they’re out on the gay apps literally cheating on their wives.

I actually considered that maybe they are on a very non-standard relationship. It’s a new world – there are couples who are on an open relationship, throuple relationship, or whatever. But coming from a very conservative country, I am almost 100% sure that their wives don’t know they’re on the app, let alone that they know their husband’s “side-preferences.”

I hate cheating. But what I hate more than cheating, is the cheater.

Imagine, these men may have thought that they’re not actually hurting their wives since they’re kept in a perfect bubble; these men may have thought that it doesn’t really count since they’re just out to fxxk another warm body – no feelings involved. But at the end of the day, all these maybes are basically excuses to try and justify an unjustifiable behavior.

Walk

Things have finally settled.

Deafening silence filled the world once painted in technicolor. Dust suspended in the air, waiting for that disruption. There’s none. There he stood, alone – his lips covered with ash-painted hands, eyes shut.

The darkest has been overcome.

Barefoot, he took his first step. He felt a jolt, a sudden thud in his chest. It wasn’t painful, it was new. He took another one, and it was a little less. Next thing he knew, on a constant motion, his feet racing, alternating, one foot in front of the other.

He was content knowing what he knew in silence. They did not win. When all things blend and fall, their faces will bleed with sharp words unspoken.

 

Dive

Weakened knees and tired arms; wounded. Bloodshot eyes bred by the broken spirit. Forces, evil and otherwise, continued to rally with the desire to destroy the soul and flesh. They’re winning, but they haven’t won.

It was a budding era of fear and desperation engulfed in a canopy of infinite monochrome. It was inescapable.

He tightened his fist. He was holding on to a promise. It gave him peace.

With eyes shut, he dived right in. He knew what was at stake, but he had faith – blind faith – to the unspoken promise..

To what happened next? I guess we’ll just see.