Birthdays and the happiness and loneliness attached to it

In a different part of the wold, my birthday has already started. Here in the Netherlands, it’s roughly four hours away. Tick tock, tick tock. Facebook will soon be flooded with greetings from online friends. We all know the drill, those closest to us give us messages in our phones and emails, some of them give messages in facebook personally, some declare it on your wall and others, just like other people’s greetings. At this moment I have received 1 text message, 4 personal facebook messages, 11 posts in my wall and 1 liked another person’s greeting. There are those valuable few who take the time to say, “Let’s go out and celebrate your wonderful day. Just you and me and let’s find somewhere nice.” You don’t get much of those these days. It now usually ends with facebook and real life meaningful talks are now a thing of the past. This blog even reinforces that I also am trapped in this, that me writing this means that I accept that I have a virtual self.

Far from the usual social connections, I am here living in my fifth country of residence away from all that I know and cherish but I am following exactly the course of action I wanted to take. This is the dream – taking a break from work, gaining new knowledge, doing a masters degree, traveling Europe and in the process learning the cultures of the world. Why is it that at this moment when everything seems to be perfect, I realize that the only place I want to be today is either in the waterbed of our house in Singapore or right beside my mom in Manila. I just want to be there, as if I never left, as if this reality is a mere dream and all the wonders of what I am experiencing is just a momentary flash of the subconscious that I will fail to remember tomorrow.

Birthdays for me are like wormholes of emotions. I just feel everything. I’m happy and sad at the same time. I’m apathetic but all so sensitive. The day feels like a never-ending story and facebook provides false hopes of warm smiles and kind faces wishing you good things.

A few weeks ago I was carpooling in France from Angers to Paris. I was in the passenger seat with this wonderful French lady that had an American accent and we were talking away as if we were the best of friends at the same time, wonderful acquaintances. We know for a fact that we won’t be seeing each other again at any point in our lives but we shared personal stories quite casually. She was divorced, had two kids living in different parts of France and one of them is going to Luxembourg with her grandson the month after. At one point in our discussion, she told me that she was attending a wedding of the daughter of a close friend. She then told me something unexpected – that she needed to go on a diet because she thinks she looks horrible in her clothes and that she wants to loose 5kg before the wedding. She also said that she was happy to go only if there were other people who are not couples. She gets too uncomfortable with all the couples who go back to their rooms, mind their own business and don’t really mingle. She had to ask her friend if there were other friends who were also going but not so boring like the other couples. I believe she was fishing if another friend, a single old gentleman was coming. And he was so she would too. After hearing this I suddenly asked her, “It never goes away does it, this social awkwardness we feel when have no other person is interesting enough (or interested with us) to speak to?” She said something like, “Some people are just so boring, I can’t bear being in the same table with them.” I thought this sounded like a discussion  of two teenage girls talking about the senior prom.

With these memory in mind, it dawned on me that even though life becomes richer, we add more years to our age, we get white hair (just like what I had for the first time last week) and lines are formed in our faces, our fundamental issues are the same as always. I’ve contemplated about my birthday since I was in my teens and I am again back to square one. My thoughts are probably different from a few years back, the issues become more complex but the same dilemma occurs – why is it that birthdays are such wormholes of emotions. I am basically going through a seemingly annual menstrual cycle wherein I am full of uncalled for mood swings that just doesn’t go away. Maybe it is good (this is optimism coming in). It is good because I know that this is not just an ordinary day, that my mind is telling that me that this is a Eureka Moment. I am growing up again and all these thinking keeps me sane and alive for the rest of the year. What is life without introspection? What is life without the passing of time? What is life without these impossible-to-deal-with emotions?

If I get to the point in my life when I will forget my birthday was coming, to forget that the day has a meaning and that this day I will see the usual signs of joy, if I forget that, will that be living? These honest moments of confused emotions is the indicator that I have a mind that wants to understand this. I have the heart that feels this. I have the fingers that type this and I have the eyes that sees everything that will happen in this day. I am alive and every birthday I celebrate this by flushing my thoughts and emotions out in the open. I am allowing myself to be vulnerable, accepting I am not a stone because I feel. This, I believe is the miracle of my birthday posts. I say this because I believe it has meaning. I don’t know if it will mean anything to someone else but me blogging reaches to out to everyone, “Hey I am here and today, allow me to contemplate my life and my existence, because I am alive.”

Here is the link of my previous birthday post: Opening the Gates on Oneself

Here is the link with my thoughts on Facebook: Breaking Free from the Digital World

Check out this video too and the effects of social media to society 


The Filipino/Singapore Spirit

The best airport - Changi

This gallery contains 28 photos.

Today is the start of my 2-year sabbatical. I call it a sabbatical even though a friend of mine said to me while we were in a pub that the term is only appropriate if I have a confirmed position … Continue reading

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Getting a glimpse of WHS students

whs students

I just saw a video of students from the program that I am taking in Germany. From the introduction, last year’s batch had 40 students from 29 countries – Azerbaijan, Serbia, Taiwan, Columbia, USA, Germany, India, China, France, etc. I also found the Facebook page of the students taking the course. Isn’t it so strange that almost all information that you need is found in the internet? Quite creepy if you really think about it but its great if you’re really determined to find some data.  The photo above is a photo taken by the 2005 batch.  I am getting more excited with the future not just with the course but the experiences and people I will meet along the way. Hopefully, the next two years will be fantastic.

The video of the WHS class last year is in this link. I will be one of them soon!

Mood: ‘I think I am becoming a stalker.’

Time Left: 7 weeks

A Proper Facebook Shout-Out

With my visa requirements more settled and ready for submission next week, I am now getting a bit more comfortable with the idea – I am going to Germany. I just haven’t booked my ticket yet and my visa will hopefully be approved before the end of August.  Keep calm and carry on.


Here is my facebook shout-out a couple of minutes ago:

“I have been told by Jose that I should do a proper shout out for this so here it goes: After five years, I am having a break from Singapore life to go to Germany for my masters degree. 

A new chapter opens with much hope and excitement but also with a bit of nervousness. A lot of German lessons required for the next few months. Ich spreche kein Deutsch!”

This is a moment to celebrate. I’ll worry about the other details later.

Mood: Festive

Time: One and a half months before my trip home, 2 months before flying to Germany.

Breaking free from the digital world

A few weeks ago, a friend of mine told me that Friendster will disappear by the end of May. Searching the internet, ABS-CBN news wrote down that Friendster is closing down. I quickly found another venue to save my blogs before it got erased from internet history. Thanks to WordPress, my blogs were saved before the due date. Come May 31st- NOTHING HAPPENED. Apparently, just like Harold Camping’s Rapture prediction, Friendster is still there and all my testimonials, my blogs and my photos are still preserved in the website.

These days, I don’t know what to believe anymore when it comes to news in theinternet. We receive emails of help from people we know, apparently spam mail from hackers. We see Photoshoped movie stars doing strange acts  or showing something engorged and exaggerated. We receive stories of poor people from far flung areas in need of financial support wanting us to contribute to their welfare and we also receive promises of easy cash over internet jobs that I’m sure will have a certain catch.

We are bombarded by information that leaves us confused. What is reality? We have false notions of our status in the world with how much friends we have in Facebook. I must admit, I have 500 friends in the website but I can only count the true friends that I have. Others are meer observers of my life, or vice versa. We are living in a world where we feel connected to each other but without any particular strength to the things that bind us. Continue reading