In defense of the Alex Tizon article 

*I tweeted this discreetly after a blow up on social media from various parts of the world about the controversial long read. I noted there: article, because I intend to defend the article, not the things that happened in Alex Tizon’s piece for The Atlantic about his family’s secret

People demand truth but they blow up when it’s not to their liking, failing to recognize that the work was not a lie, in fact, a brave truth. It’s naive and idealistic to demand stories to paint black and white portraits of explicitly good and bad characters and behavior. Real life is a web of intersecting good and bad, where people, customs, mindsets, and the ways of the world, are allowed to change and grow. Scrutinizing and nitpicking issues from the place of privilege where one “knows better” is self righteousness guised as righteousness. People wanna intellectual-speak instead of opening up their hearts to a writer who poured his into this. Their bond, in spite of all that was wrong in their circumstance is more genuine than how subordinates anywhere in the world get treated. Note that you can hurt and walk all over people without having to break any laws or violate any basic rights. This was a lovingly written memoir of a family that captures the ff. very crucial phenomena in the human experience:

(1) There are remnants of servitude that haunt us as revamped forms of it still exist today.

(2) There is love in dark and difficult places.

We are all Alex Tizon when we are silent, but we can also be Alex Tizon when we choose to be kinder and softer.

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23 things

*So I turned a year older and a lot’s happened within my birthday month surprisingly. None of which would be the older and wiser thing, but here’s some of things I sort of learned the hard way thanks to my stubbornness

family for life
At the end of any day, week with friends, phase of socializing, working for the money, or exploring the world, through good times and bad, family is a foundation for life. Family consists of the people you grow up and old with so you shouldn’t take any time you get with them for granted 💖

who cares tho
I’ve tried to be less over-think-y in much of what I do, instead of having to always tiptoe around my actions. As long as it makes me happy in the moment and I’m not hurting anybody, I think spontaneity bordering on impulse haha is where I thrive

do it yourself
If you want something done the way you want it to be done, best to do it yourself. I learned this throughout high school and college group works but this extends on to a lot of other things in life. You can’t just constantly rely on people or always trust people to do the right thing. You gotta oversee things so you either learn the way things work or improve or personalize them. I hear DIY everythings on the side are habits of highly environmental and healthy people on YouTube but I’m not that sort of person yet haha but same philosophy. You have control and access of what goes into the things you consume. But this is beginning to be a habit for me when it comes to most of my meals at home. I don’t pay huge prices for the overpriced food I used to order in restaurants but try to recreate them at home 🥑 This is probably going to extend into the home chores I used to depend on people for 🏡

no lurking
This is a habit some of my girlfriends and I had/have, gah. Lurking over people’s profiles is an Olympic waste of time because it doesn’t do good. It only feeds jealousy and insecurity. Instead of getting to focus on yourself or things you enjoy, you divert your attention to people that aren’t part of your life and that’s yuck

we’re all strangers
Boy do I love talking to strangers, at least the extroverted part of me. I like getting to know individuals especially from faraway parts of the world because I like learning about life in other places. And sometimes I pick up new things, but often I also pick up old things. Things that we all share as people, and this has kept my faith in humanity going. People are people, in spite of whatever cultural or societal differences we may have or how humans have been awfully depicted and terribly represented in media because of crappy governments. Herd mentality really gets the better of people, but otherwise, I’ve met some cool strangers that I’ll always remember although never get to develop deeper friendships and relationships with

health is wealth
I’m getting old and I’ll be graduating with a long string of bad habits from college that I’m more than happy to fight. After watching people in my family get older too, I’d like my family and the people nearest to me to be healthy and happy together

intellectual stimulation
I ought to only open tabs of articles, videos, that are for the most part intellectually stimulating. Apart from fashion or beauty blogs and channels, I find I feel more productive when I learn and absorb knowledge and none of those mind-numbingly shallow listicles. Though memes, gifs, and parody clips don’t hurt every now and then 💡

don’t chase people
I’ve been long accustomed to the coming and going of people in and out of my world, and while I’ve never made grand gestures to seek them out even as far as to sending messages lol, the pain of people leaving usually stays with me a good while and I used to let it affect me a lot. While it sounds bitter, I think you shouldn’t really save brain space and emotional energy on fellow humans that don’t give a rat’s ass about whether or not you got sick, you stayed up thinking of them, or you want them in your life. For as long as they don’t go out of their way for you, you shouldn’t even dedicate your precious time and heart to loving them from a distance when you could be creating other memories where you are now with what’s with you now

don’t slack
Do all things with focus, love, and passion. Divert your full attention to the task at hand, then it pays because I’ve  learned that things get done faster, checked off the list more, and giving quality usually means you get good quality in exchange

attraction is not the same as possession or appropriation
Just because you’re drawn to something, it doesn’t mean it’s for you, and it certainly doesn’t mean it’s good for you in the long run. This works for things and people alike. For that happy crush friend you had a couple of good memories with, for those clothes that look nice but you don’t really need or love, for the experiences you watch others have that seem great but aren’t really for you. There’s good in everything, even great, but you don’t have to claim everything that seems beautiful to you. I am learning to admire and appreciate them, without attempting to own them or keep them. This is part of my years-long exercise in letting go 🍂

the worst kinds of people don’t know they’re terrible people
We all don’t like a bitch but nobody likes bitches that act like saints. The worst types of people I’ve encountered are self-righteous, self-serving to a certain extent, and overall plastic people that love to play victim or have savior complexes. These are the most toxic types of people to have around because they assume to be doing everybody else a favor, instill their value out of insecurity, and make issues out of nothing. They’re also unhappy for you and themselves

don’t go with the flow
This goes for trends or whatever’s in or whatever everyone else seems to be doing. Keeping up with the Joneses is one sure fire way to lose your money and more importantly, your sense of identity

be self centered
Most people are inherently self centered and if done in a balanced healthy way, it’s actually a good thing. Do it FOR yourself because each person is responsible for his or her happiness and those who put the blame on life constantly or other people, need to grow out of that. It’s nothing personal, everything personal personal

natural is better
Inserting all save the earth rationales here. When I was younger I promised myself that I’d grow up to maybe get better at puttin g on makeup because I never really picked it up, but I realized that I’m more comfortable in literally my own skin. I also learned that processed foods are terrible so I’ve gotta avoid those to develop healthier eating habits

choose relevance
I’ve had the insane millennial type habit of scrolling through my feeds mindlessly on various apps just to stay updated with god knows what kind of news I’m picking up regarding other people’s lives. Fortunately, I’ve also gained another habit of watching the news more often so I’m becoming more aware of other things going on outside of social media

unplug
Being connected to the wifi doesn’t mean you’re making meaningful connections half the time. Like I said, I have the millennial habit of just refreshing timelines and scrolling for hours switching apps in an attempt to stay connected but I’m not really making much meaningful connections. I’d look at people’s stories, just tapping and swiping out of habit, and I didn’t really like what I was seeing either. I realized I ought to have better relationships with the things and people in my surroundings and not stay glued to my phone

make room
I’m a little bit of a hoarder under the bad assumption that if there’s space, you ought to fill it up. I’m also a little bit of a sentimental hoarder so I seem to just store everything with any memory attached to it. But after coming across a ton of videos about minimalism, I’ve learned that it’s going to be one heck of a challenge I’m willing to undertake, to delete and throw out the things that aren’t necessary or value adding to my happiness and overall wellbeing

labels are just labels
Stereotypes have a negative connotation to them because they’re used to generalize, like much of names, labels, and words, they’re just there for convenience. Don’t let the brands you ascribe yourself to or the labels people tag you with limit you to becoming whoever you want to be and doing all sorts of things, especially if it goes against what you’ve been typically tagged with or associated to. As I’ve learned in class, language both helps us and limits us

don’t confuse sentimentality with happiness
What had once made you happy is not the same as something that still makes you happy. While I’ve always been one to move along pretty quickly in my life from one thing to another, it’s a good reminder to keep. This bodes well with a minimalist mindset

you can’t have it all, but you can try it all then let life surprise you
There’s really no harm in trying things out. I learned that you can’t let your own fears, discomfort, or worst of all, laziness, keep you from getting actual things done. It pays to work hard because you’ll never be too disappointed in yourself and it can only get good to great from there

water is a universal salve
I used to not be able to drink over a regular sized bottle of water a day apart from whatever I drank to help swallow my meals. But after drinking more water became a daily habit for me, I’d easily be able to finish the suggested amount per day. Unless it was an especially hectic day and I didn’t have water at hand, then I’d feel the negative effects like body aches, headaches, joint stiffness wow I’m like an old person haha on the night of or the day after 💧

don’t stop dreaming
I can believe it’s incredibly easy to let go of all the things you’ve wanted to do in lieu of all the things you have to do and other realities that are pending and knocking on the door. But if you don’t get to feel rewarded by hobbies or passions, then that’s the route to becoming a really sad robot

seek beauty
Seek the nice things, whatever makes you feel glad to be in the universe and grateful to have life cause what else, really?

nmst

Transit Terminal Vol. 4

*Just finished the term and got back from a weekend trip to Singapore, and here’s what life’s been like before, during, and until the next time I travel

tt4

A Singapore Airlines A380 is parked on the tarmac at the terminal of Changi International Airport. Photo: AFP

Got myself in and out of weird trouble that I was really shaken up about 😨
Improving my drinking 1.5 liters of water each day, though I should drink more 💧
Fluctuating on the flabby weighing scale
Inconsistently practicing beginners yoga from the discomfort of two mats in my room
Discovering how it’s really so hard to trust anyone nowadays
Disliking chatting for fear of being judged or misunderstood lolz
Mourning the passing of my grandfather Angkong in so many ways including love and joy
On a break from school because I chose an internship > senior practicum for now
👊 Starting my 9-5 life as an intern in a kick butt media marketing group! 💻
Having myself silent nights and a whole lot of me-time
Learning the secrets of oriental (Korean) skincare
Loving Igor from Young Frakenstein whom I think is one of the weirdest characters to grace film, now one of my favorites!
Jumping from one vlog to another
Spending lots and lots of time with family + grandma, and loving it 💞
🚗 Practice driving outsideeeee in the city finally (still can’t park)
Developing a more “moda” style and aesthetic?
Stalking vintage Parisian/Korean Instagrammers 📍 with raw, moody lit feeds 📷
Obsessing over manual brew coffee, coffee in general ☕
Bugged about my CGPA 😞
Still postponing the article I’m unsatisfied about gah
Just got back from some weird hormonal, sickness thing
Enjoying the start of bazaar season and meeting lovely folks in it
Restalked my fragrance, still waiting for my other staple
Craving Llao Llao’s Oreo Yogurt smoothie
Getting all spooked at night and losing sleep
Waiting to find the discipline to clean my room
Praying to find the self control not to purchase another 2017 planner lol
Planning some changes, fearing changes, going through changes

Featured airport: Changi Airport in Singapore

The Sunday Currently Vol. 5

sunday5

R E A D I N G through scattered responses from interviews I conducted for an article I’m way behind on. Lately I’ve been scanning through so many how-to type sites to guide me with sending emails haha. Thank you, Google. Going to be reading a lot of chapters from the epistemology book for finals this Thursday, bless me and my extremely short attention span especially for digital materials gah PDF books

W R I T I N G that article I’m way behind on. It’s about digital collage art. It’s proving a challenge in more ways then one. Never been this late on submitting an article wah. Also going to be writing an email right before bed to further inquire and confirm something something hmm haha

L I S T E N I N G to Your Side by Vaisle which I find is on a strange level of smooth & sexy. Me and You and Love In The Dark by Gateway Drugs which I highly recommend if you’re into synths

T H I N K I N G about beginning a coffee (plus other drinks) blog? Or just a segment here in this one for that topic? I follow a ton of people on Instagram that take photos of coffee, not just the latte art types though. But I don’t intend on decorating my feed with coffee. I do spend a good amount of time these days raving about coffee, boo. I’m really curious

S M E L L I N G change? Dramatic but my usual everyday fragrance has been out of stock. It’s not a luxury brand if you must know. It’s been out for a while that I worried they might never come out with it again. But the salesperson said I can expect it by November? That isn’t the only change for my nose though. The shampoo I’ve been using since birth (not kidding), well Johnson’s discontinued it after decades. I’m really bummed out. It’s an outrage for my hair and for my nose. No more tears? Yes tears. My hair isn’t so fun to sniff anymore..

W I S H I N G the weather stays cool or gets cooler without having to be a typhoon or destructive monsoon but I’m not complaining about the suspensions

H O P I N G I successfully “paint” my nails for the first time in years. Haha if you know me, I don’t know how to? I’m a slob. Also hope to enjoy the next few weeks whilst managing my time well. I’m not known for that haha! Hoping I pass the term with flying colors and move into the new phase with little to no roadblocks. Hoping I can balance out my impulses and plans, chill and responsibility at least till this week is up

W E A R I N G a spoof shirt that says, KICKASS, one of my most worn shirts to sleep

L O V I N G today. That’s why I wrote this post. Nothing particularly special about this Sunday but I’m beginning to like Sundays with family. I grew up hating Sundays. Today I liked that we ate somewhere new for lunch (hi Erwan Heussaff again haha) and had a few spontaneous minutes in the afternoon. I also got to practice driving around with my dad off to somewhere I haven’t driven to. Greater distances, yay. I picked up some Seattle’s Best for me and my dad and it was drizzling. How great is that? Although I almost hit an old lady he claims, it was fun for me. I’ve also been in a better mood perhaps because of my recent music finds too. I also seem to think I’ve gone through the worst weeks of the term already unless of course I’m underestimating this week and overconfident in my ability to get through it

W A N T I N G to blissfully and carelessly waste away in a coffee shop alone or with company. Believe it or not, I haven’t done this in so so long

N E E D I N G to form better habits like sleeping earlier and drinking more water. Though I’ve been drinking way more water this year than I did my whole life, I say this all the time but it’s just so hard to carry out consistently

F E E L I N G contented with my state of alone-ness? Sometimes busy, sometimes free. Sometimes happy, sometimes lonely

C L I C K I N G through photos of Thai celebrities? This is so random but they keep popping up and some of them are like the prettiest or most good looking people I’ve seen haha! There’s a family I follow. I also follow the Kramers locally

The Sunday Currently is a blog link-up by siddathornton.

Monday done light

Start of the week errands with some shopping in a virtually empty mall at opening hour with Mom. Feels a lot like the Ayala I grew up in. It’s been a hectic, fun week of family, food, and friends, and the next will be another.

A light drizzle, a light breeze, the windows are open in between school work and online hunting for craft beer. A light cup of Bataan brew that I finally got right without tearing the filter paper for the improvised, almost pour over. A lightly thawed slice of Purple Oven’s chocolate campfire cake leftover from my brother’s birthday celebration. Then some heavy reading for class, then some light yoga in my room, and sneaking in cable in the background.

This is how to like a Monday, and perhaps the rest of the busy week.

Toy Stories

Earlier we had our annual (sometimes biannual but sometimes we skip) garage sale. After what feels like three moves and more than two decades of growing up and out, I surveyed the mini bazaar in our lanai hoping not to sneeze from the dust. Nobody wants to buy my pink gingham dress from when I was fourteen. Everyone insists to pay too little for that literal hot dog floater I climbed on in the pool when I was ten. I see my brothers’ old matching toddler clothes and think about how they still look nothing alike but brothers nonetheless. My mom’s now vintage bags and clothes from the 90s have been such a joy to salvage. Is this the throwaway society I read about the evils of capitalism? Another man’s trash is another man’s treasure? We’ll donate the rest. The old you’s belongings will be the older you’s pocket money after a hopefully successful garage sale.

After what feels like three moves, more than two decades of growing up and out, I know there will probably be more moves. We can’t hold on to every single thing other than the hope we start to buy less but more in terms of quality. I guess they’re just treasures we can’t drag along or keep in boxes to line our walls. Earlier we had our annual garage sale and it was a sight to see bits of our childhood and memories on display for usually less than a hundred. Thank you to everyone who helped and everyone who came. Money can’t buy the underlying value of my Hello Kitty cassette player or the toy cars and building blocks from my brothers’ long gone playtime two to three houses ago.