Thursday, September 29, 2005


“I’ve waited for so long, to sing to you this song…” Noreen crooned in the sweetest, most heartfelt key of D, as in “Devotion,” before all her family and friends, to her new husband Mike. “Your eyes are the windows to heaven, your smile could heal a million souls,” she continued in perfect melody as she looked upon the face of her future.

Yes, this was wedding #6 of 7 for me this year and, despite what many may think, no it hasn’t gotten old and its effects certainly haven’t waned one bit…at least not with me. When you witness something deeply inviting to the heart, and it’s happening to someone as deserving of its euphoric sentimentality as Noreen, you don’t think twice about feeling a certain glow inside yourself. It was a warming feeling that took hold quickly, and magnified with every moment that came to pass that one Saturday in autumn…

Moments like the first time we saw her standing outside the church doors, with her parents holding her by each arm as she waited in serene anticipation to walk the aisle that would lead her to a new life with Mike; moments like their vows, which had Fr. Pat asking Mike to speak louder and Noreen proclaiming her promise in the clearest, most enthusiastic of voices (no microphone necessary); moments where every mention of “husband & wife” lit Noreen’s face with a smile even brighter than the one she usually wears; moments like Noreen dancing with her dad and Mike dancing with his mom, like a rite of passage allowing their parents to bid farewell to these children, only to say welcome to the adults who they hope they’ve raised right; moments like a bride turned wife singing to her groom turn husband, and the gaze they shared with one another so saturated with love, it overflowed into the senses of those who watched around them.

It really was like looking through a window into heaven, with all its pureness of heart permeate in the air and an angelic voice resounding praise and thanksgiving for this new gift of love.
Congratulations Noreen and Mike!

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Tagged by Jay
(Dude I know I'm so slow! I'm barely doing this now. Jay Tagged me like 2 weeks ago!)

10 years ago:
I was 17 years old, just started senior year at Immaculate Heart High School (woo hoo Pandas!). Let's see it's the end of September so we would've been in school for a month already. I was probably suffering from senioritis, not stressing too too much because I thought I knew where I wanted to go to school (CalTech), what I was going to major in (Chemical or Aerospace Engineering) and who I'd have a job with 10 years from that time (NASA FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!).

5 years ago:
I was 22 years old, just graduated from UCI with a BA in International Studies, a minor in Global Peace and Conflict Studies, and I was interning for the DC Chamber of Commerce in Washington, DC. I was there for 3 whole months, lived with 5 UCLA students at this WOW apartment in Arlington, VA which overlooked the Washington Monument on one side and the Capitol Building in the other. It was my Felicity moment to test what I was made of.

1 year ago:
I was 26 years old, spent the whole summer traveling to Hawaii, Charlotte, NC and San Francisco. I was taking a Payroll Accounting class because I thought I wanted to be an accountant, then realized at the end of the semester that I wanted to be a writer.

I went to hell - pardon me, WORK, had dinner at Goldilocks with my family, came home to read about how long I have to go and how much I have to do before I can consider myself a writer, watched LOST and wanted to pull my hair, watched SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE and wished I had finished taking jazz classes when I was little.

5 snacks I enjoy:
- french fries from ANYWHERE
2 - chocolate ANYTHING
3 - slush with mini boba
4 - bananas and cheerios with milk
5 - sour cream 'onion-flavored chips

5 songs I know all the words to:
1 - Scenario (Tribe Called Quest & L.O.N.S.)
2 - Bye, Bye, Bye (*NSYNC)
3 - Breakaway (Kelly Clarkson)
4 - On My Own (Les Miserables)
5 - Shakin' (Rooney)

Things I would do with 100 million dollars:
- Clear my family's debt and my debt
2 - Buy my family here a house in Burbank and buy a house for my relatives in the Philippines
3 - Buy dad a mercedes - maybe 2
4 - Take my family and friends on an all-expenses paid vacation
5 - Donate to small charities who don't get a lot of publicity

Places I would run away to:
- My memories
2 - Hawaii
3 - Washington, D.C.
4 - U.K.
5 - Barnes & Noble / Borders

Things I would never wear:
1 - A tube-top
2 - Shorts with heels
3 - Paris Hilton ruffle micro mini skirts
4 - Bikini (eeks! how scary would that be for the person looking at me!)
5 - A mohawk

5 bad habits:
1 - Thinking I can satisfy everyone all the time
2 - Talking too much, not listening enough
3 - Procrastinating
4 - Sleeping late
5 - Half-assing obligations

5 favorite toys:
1 - Digicam
2 - CD Burner
3 - Journal
4 - Satellite DVR (kinda like TiVo)
5 - My sister's gameboy advance

5 fictional characters I would date:
- Dr. John Carter from ER - A guy whose family wealth is worth more than he'll ever make as an ER doctor, yet he still works AND he went to the Congo to join Doctors Without Borders
2 - Chandler from Friends - Funny, sarcastic AND has that oh-golly sweetness about him
3 - Legolas - The guy can hit any target every single time man! WHO CAN DO THAT?!
4 - Preston Meyer from CAN'T HARDLY WAIT - Cuz I can identify with this guy: aspiring writer, waits until the 11th hour to tell someone how he feels about them cuz he constantly second-guesses himself - that's ME, but a guy!
5 - Prince Eric from The Little Mermaid or Aladdin - They kinda look alike to me, except one's buffer and lighter-skinned

5 people to tag
- Mari
2 - Ja
3 - Bev
4 - Rachele
5 - Fernand

Monday, September 26, 2005


Oh please, did I honestly think I'd be done? by 11:00? Ha ha ha...THE PROCRASTINATION ENSUES!!!

I'm giving myself 1 hour and 15 minutes to finish this paper!

Friday, September 23, 2005


Just for fun, I’m set up to have my horoscope emailed everyday. No, I don’t live and die by what the zodiac says, but, though interpretive at best, it’s funny sometimes when the reading is actually relevant to life and I suddenly find myself asking, “hmmm, how did they know!” So here’s my reading for today:

Horoscope for: Friday, September 23, 2005
Anna,You might feel like you are losing touch with reality, but this is not what is happening. Actually, you are gaining a wider vision as your dreams stay in your awareness throughout the day. As long as you can keep a handle on what is fantasy and what is real, the illusions will infuse your day with symbolic meaning and rich creativity.

I HAVE been feeling kind of out of it lately. I think it’s mostly because I’m trying to figure out how to organize my life, re-prioritizing here and there, attempting to achieve some type of order somehow and I’m still short on attaining it. I can envision everything I need to get done and how I want it to be done – I just have to GET IT DONE! I see it SO very clearly in my head, but I guess I’m just finding it hard to turn these visions and fantasies into reality because either I’m too lazy, or I don’t want to get it wrong.


Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Sunday, September 18, 2005


What IS broomball, really? The first time I'd ever heard of it was at UCI. A popular post-Kaba meeting afterevent, I managed to "play" a friendly game with Long Beach PAC one winter quarter evening, if you count running around the ice aimlessly "playing." For the most part, I just hung out on the sidelines and cheered the chaos on. I couldn't tell who was on whose team because there were so many bodies on the ice!

Last night, however, I was no mere spectator. None of us were, except Joe who played referee in his Footlocker uniform, complete with black cap, whistle and horn! I didn't think I would get much playing time, to be honest. The small amount of athleticism that ever existed in me, via volleyball and cheerleading, feel like ages ago, and the thought of running around on the ice (ice skating and snowboarding are NOT my best skills), had me just a bit concerned. I knew it would be fun though, even if I didn't get to play. But I SO did! All in, that game was! With an hour on the ice, 30-min halves, we all discovered, upon the whistle's first sound that broomball is HARD! Running around on thin ice, trying to get a ball into a goal? No wonder hockey scores are so low!

The trash-talkin' began even before we stepped into the rink in our team colors, Team White vs. Team Blue game of the century!...ok, of the week. The game got SO ugly SO quickly. It's hilarious just how fast competitive natures surface when bragging rights and pride are on the line! But everyone had fun, no matter how often we slipped, fell on every part of our bodies in every which way and struggled to keep the ball in our respective team's possesion by fighting, with sticks in hand, like the goal held the secret of immortality!

On this day after, I know everyone's sore, bruised and banged up, a side effect of that brutal force of nature called "getting older," but no one can deny how fun it was!

Team Blue prevailed in the end 2-1, with defense leading the way and a touch of skill and footwork aiding the offense. Re-match? Maybe in a few years...when the mid-30's kick in. It'll be interesting to see who'll still have broomball skills then.

That game was for you, Riann! Hope you had an excellent birthday!


Friday, September 16, 2005


Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird

That kept so many warm.

I've heard it in the chilliest land
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.

- Emily Dickinson

Tuesday, September 13, 2005


When my sister and my cousins are bored, they take silly pictures. I've teased mercilessly them about this. "You guys are such dorks, I swear!" This past Sunday afternoon, however, I just couldn't resist. The pictures speak for themselves.

My Tita Cecile, who's the director for the Saint Vincent de Paul Society, had a home visit that day and asked if we had any school supplies we could donate to a family who had a little 5-year old daughter starting school this year. I looked into our closet and found this brand new Hello Kitty backpack that my sister got a long time ago for her birthday. If you've met Tin, even at 8 years old, you'll know that Sanrio was never her steeze. So that bag sat in one of our storage bins for years because we didn't want to give it away, thinking that possibly one day, we could use it randomly for a trip to the park or the beach. Apparently we were holding on to it for a better reason - to help a little girl start her education and to HELP OUR LOSER SELVES GET DUMB ONE SUNDAY AFTERNOON!

Sunday, September 11, 2005


It would be easy for me to write about how sad I feel for those victimized on September 11, 2001 and for those who've experienced a similarly tragic loss because of Hurrican Katrina; because I wasn't affected directly by it and I can sit here in my comfortable room, with my parents and sister healthy and alive. It would be easy for me to chastise our leaders, foreign AND domestic, for either not doing enough or doing too much too irrationally; because I don't know what it feels like to have the well-being and future of a nation in my hands. I can preach about charity and sacrifice; the most I've done is hand over the little money I have so someone else can do the charity and sacrifice.
What has been easy for me to feel since 9/11 and Katrina is guilt; guilt that I probably don't deserve half of the things and people I'm blessed with when there are others who have so much less than I. I've been complaining about money woes lately, and yesterday was no different. A glance at my bank balances in the morning was enough to send me into virtigo. I literally wanted to cry and hurl in the middle of my cubicle. "Why God?" I asked. "Why didn't I just stay with the chemical engineering thing? I could've making so much more than I do right now. I'd have hardly any debt, etc, etc, etc." But when I went downstairs to put the mail in the box, I ran into a homeless man. Then when I turned on the tv when I got home, I saw image upon image of people at relief centers trying to find a family member, in addition to flashes of firemen hosing down the Pentagon and the remains of the Twin Towers." I get it, God. I get it."

Sometimes I don't realize the amount of help needed in this world. I guess for the most part I don't think I can do much. For dilemmas such as this, I say the following prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi:

O Lord, make me an instrument of Thy Peace!
Where there is hatred, let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon.
Where there is discord, harmony.
Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light.
Where there is sorrow, joy.

Oh Divine Master, grant that I may not
so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.

Friday, September 09, 2005


I'm referring to, of course, my dad. Omnipotent caretaker of all things related to my car, the grille, the laundry (and the occasional lack of finances), my dad is the only guy who's given me all the unconditional love I would ever need as a child, a teenager, and at the present time with no husband or son, as an adult too. Dad's 58 years old today and I've been fortunate to have known him for almost half of his lifetime.

My sister and I are just as much mommy's little angels as we are daddy's little girls. But as daddy's little girls, we've grown to realize our role as "daddy's little boys" too, in our own unique ways I suppose. I've always had this tiny insecurity that he wishes he had at least one son to hang out and do guy things with, instead of the two daughters he sometimes gets stuck having to drive to the salon to get haircuts. I worry sometimes, but only until I witness moments with dad that tell me he wouldn't have it any other way.

Moments, like his days off, which, in the past, he has spent on the bleachers at my sister's basketball games, yelling, "SHOOT IT TIN! SHOOT DA BALL!" Moments like playing volleyball with me in the garage at 10:00 at night before a big game. Or when he serenades, quite contently I might add, newly laundered whites that he has to fold and put away with his best Harry Connick, Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, Beach Boys or, yes, Miss Saigon improvisations. Moments like an evening of basketball and pizza with his two daughters. My dad has this thing about standing behind the couch instead of sitting down during a game (especially when the Lakers are playing) so he can walk away when it gets too much for him. Moments like the time we were assembling the computer desk and I asked him to hold the cabinet door so I could screw in the hinges and, distracted by DANCE WITH THE STARS, he let the door go prematurely and it fell on my face. He felt so guilty that he immediately ran downstairs to get me an icepack and upon his entrance into my room, realized he should've gotten me a band-aid because I was bleeding not bruising! I think I laughed more at the circumstances than I welled up from my bleeding eyelid.

My dad isn't perfect, and neither is our relationship with him. We have our differences, but we have even more similarities between us and that is the stronghold of our dynamic as father and daughters. My dad's love for God, his family and friends is unwarranted by misfortune or misgiving. That's what I've learned from him the most.

They say women are often attracted to men who possess the qualities they admire in their dads. If this theory is true, then my future husband has a lot to live up to.


Thursday, September 08, 2005


After class on Tuesday night, Fernand and I planned to drive to campus again later in the week so we can buy our books. Tonight we went. The textbook is $62.50 and the course reader is $14.50. Both books totalled a little over $83.00...FOR ME. Fernand spent about $15.70 because he absolutely refused to buy the expensive textbook. HILARIOUS! So what did we do after leaving GCC? We drove to Kinko's and Fernand photocopied the first 2 chapters that we were assigned to read before Tuesday = 63 freakin' pages! Oh man, homie, we're barely 1 class into this course and already you've made my semester as amusing as it can be!

Wednesday, September 07, 2005


Mariah Carey sings, "One summer night, we ran away for a while. Laughing, we hurried beneath the sky to an obscure place to hide that no one could find. And we drifted to another state of mind." Watching John Williams conduct the LA Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl, under a blanket of summer evening sky lightly sprinkled with stars, was not quite the romantic tryst that Mimi sings of, but a potluck picnic on the grounds, followed by a live soundtrack was time well spent and will be one of many moments alluded to when old age and nostalgia begin to take their toll on good friends recalling their youth.

What can better emboss memory onto our lives than music? The very first few notes of a familiar tune can turn the mind on to a myriad of images such as those we saw in our heads on Saturday night: the trumpet sounds of the STAR TREK theme signaled the arrival of the enterprise; an uppity western tune was reminiscent of classics like THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN; an ethereal humming of the harp, sounded off the curiosity and mystery incarnated from CLOSE ENCOUNTERS of the THIRD KIND; the climactic chorus of voices led the redemptive foreground of AMISTAD; adventure leapt beyond our chests at the images of INDIANA JONES cracking his whip on the quest to find the Holy Grail; and of course the theme of all John Williams themes - STAR WARS, the tune which cued a glowing scatter of green, blue and red light sabers to appear in the shadows of the audience. Despite feeling robbed because of HARRY POTTER's absence in the program, much to Cile and Christine's dismay, the well-respected composer left and then walked back on stage for a number of encore performances.

For your gift to the world of film, Mr. Williams - BRAVO!

Tuesday, September 06, 2005


I have a million and one things to blog about, but I don't have much time to spare at the moment, trying to consume Latin roots in my mission to more effectively comprehend the written words which surround me...and at the same time aid me in the verbal section of the GRE. But I have a quick story.

So, today was my first class of Journalism 107: Magazine Writing and guess what...I HAVE A BUDDY! Fernand's taking the class with me this semester. Can we say RUCKUS? Barely walking to campus from the parking lot, we anticipated the classmates we'd have a smack-about on. And then, having been superficially acquainted with the class, we really got into it as we walked back to the car. Terrible! I'm so happy though! I haven't had a homie in my class since Iya and I took that accounting class a couple of years ago. That was fun! I think we even bought our school supplies together - freakin' geeks!

Okay, back to the GRE's. I'm tackling the quantitative section this month, which will be quite the experience since I literally blocked out any and everything remotely related to the trauma that was chemical engineering. ***shudders*** WHO WANTS TO HELP ME?!!!!

Happy week, kids!

Thursday, September 01, 2005


They say when you've reached your lowest point in life (or feel that you have), the only way to go is UP. What and where is "up," really? A metaphor for optimism I suppose; perhaps a hint of greater things to come after dreams are crushed and hopes are lost along this confusion we call our 20's? (Cue violin music please)

Yes, I feel like I'm fighting a losing battle sometimes...or most of the time. And it'd be so easy to blame the death toll of available credit and cash in-flows on naivete and ignorance. But I'm angry because I know that I put myself in this seemingly bottomless pit of debt and deficit. Apparently I'm a great a contender when it comes to a quick hand at flashing a credit card and saving face, than I am a well-trained economist who knows when enough is enough.

I balanced my checkbook last night, seeking to find an error in my calculations so that maybe I'd actually have more than I fear I truly do; hoping that "hand to mouth" would never ever apply to me (and our 60-day Microsoft Office trial is done and I can't get into any of my files and it costs $149.00 to get it GEEEEEEEEEEZ!). I'm aware of my situation, and, though I know coins and bills may never rain down from the heavens, I believe there's a reason - as I always do. And I always remind myself of how fortunate I am compared to so many in this world who are worse off. I wanna kick myself in rear every time I catch my pity parade rolling in. Cry me a river, Anna...

Anyhow, there's a song by Aqualung that I can't seem to stop listening to. Though the context seems to speak of falling in love, there's a general optimism that screams from beneath the notes that I hope I can talk about someday, perhaps after the dark clouds disappear. Can you imagine experiencing something "BRIGHTER THAN SUNSHINE?" What a wonderful image to aspire to!

I never understood before
I never knew what love was for
My heart was broke, my head was sore
What a feeling

Tied up in ancient history
I didnt believe in destiny
I look up you're standing next to me
What a feeling

What a feeling in my soul
Love burns brighter than sunshine
Brighter than sunshine
Let the rain fall, I don't care
I'm yours and suddenly you're mine
Suddenly you're mine
And it's brighter than sunshine

I never saw it happening
I'd given up and given in
I just couldn't take the hurt again
What a feeling

I didn't have the strength to fight
Suddenly you seemed so right
Me and you
What a feeling

It's brighter than the sun
It's brighter than the sun
It's brighter than the sun, sun, shine.

Love will remain a mystery
But give me your hand and you will see
Your heart is keeping time with me

I got a feeling in my soul ...