Pointless Loves

“But there are the small pointless loves, too, which the poets and the playwrights never really talk about. You don’t have to save the word 'love' for the special occasions.” – Backwards in High Heels, Tania Kindersley & Sara Vine

Here are my ten pointless loves. I must admit, it wasn’t easy coming up with ten. Halfway on the list, I had to pace back and forth to think of the next. Surprisingly, it took a lot of thought and big part of it is because it’s hard to find the thing worthy of that word ‘love’. I had to distinguish between ‘like’ and ‘prefer’. For example: I like to bake. I don’t think I know it well enough to say ‘I love baking’. I did enjoy baking chocolate cookies, but that’s all I know. Who knows if I’ll still like baking muffins or cakes… I think before you say “I love…” it has to be known very well and time tested. Another example is: I prefer to go shopping alone. I do not love it. If I’m sad, shopping alone would not make me instantaneously happy. Shopping per se would. But it does not have to be done alone.

So here they are in no particular order:

1. I love talking walks. In fact when I need to think, I walk, pace around the room back and forth. I used to work for someone who has a treadmill instead of a chair behind his desk. This, I think, is pretty stupid. It may be a good cardio and it helps you think but what if you want to just sit down and type or read or think or sign papers? Plus it’s really annoying to those working around you. I say treadmill in the office is only good only if have it inside your own office, and it’s on your spare desk. Anyway, some of my favorite locations are: Stephen Avenue, the Plus 15, the Makati Business District on Sundays and of course anywhere with Joel.

2. I love silly AND witty sitcoms. It has to be both. My favorites: Friends, How I Met Your Mother and The Nanny. Now the last one poses a bit of an issue because while I love watching The Nanny over and over, Joel is allergic to Fran Drescher’s voice.

3. I love taking pictures. I remember on the sixth grade, I was allowed to bring a camera for the first time. When we got them developed and my mom was so mad because I wasn’t in any one of them.

4. I love libraries. There’s this soothing feeling about being around so many books. Whenever I’m waiting for someone, I’d prefer to meet and wait for them in bookstores. Because I wouldn’t mind spending time and waiting there. I can spend hours browsing through the shelves. Now in libraries, not only are there a lot of books but you don’t actually have to buy any it (obviously, they are not normally on sale). And now they have DVD’s, CD’s and I heard that you can actually play guitar hero in the downtown Calgary Public Library. (The last one I haven’t verified, so don’t take my word for it.

5. I love bags. In college, when I get a bad test result, I buy a bag. I think I hit my lowest point when I walked in a Liz Claiborne closing shop sale. I was actually going to the ALDO shop next door because I needed new shoes. (Yes. ‘Needed.’ When you’re a size 4, shoe shopping is a task) I never got to go to ALDO that day. But I walked out of Liz Claiborne with 5 bags. (What can I say? Everything is 70% off!)

6. I love Starbucks - the concept, the over-priced coffee, the ambiance, the merchandise…

7. I love my IPhone. I know there’s a lot of smartphones out there that have way better features, and querty typing on a small touchpad screen is a bitch but I’m really happy with the fact that I can check my email, get on YahooMessenger, go on Facebook, surf the web, listen to music, read ebooks, play games, do my banking, check transit schedule, get directions and a million other things with interesting yet sometimes useless array of applications. The thing is, I’m not a really techie person. So I don’t need and even understand many of the technical features that other smartphones have. I don’t need better. I just need something pretty, easy to use and enjoyable. Although... I am tempted to get a Blackberry just because...

8. I love malls. Money or no money to spend. I love everything about it - walking around aimlessly, window shopping, actually shopping, eating at food courts… I just love being in it. I spent 2 months working in one and I just loved it! My notable favorites are SM Southmall and the Glorietta-Landmark-Greenbelt chain in Makati. Southmall because I grew up there and basically you can find everything and anything that you will need there. There are merchandises both expensive and cheap. And of course there’s the grocery, the department store, the food court, the skating rink and the theme park. Also they have the hardware, the appliance center, the car shop, barber shop, parlor, spa, dermatology clinic, eye clinic, medical testing clinic, banks, computer school, driving school… you name it. They have it.

9. I love to pack. For trips, for moving or even just the groceries. But I hate unpacking in all it’s forms and for any of it's reasons.

10. I love writing. Obviously.

Sonya’s Garden – Tagaytay City

More accurately, it’s in the “vicinity of Tagaytay City” as per its website. I guess ‘Alfonso, Cavite’ doesn’t have that same tourism appeal as ‘Tagaytay City.’

So we went there for our honeymoon. On the way there, we almost got lost.
It wasn’t actually hard to go there. From the main road, you turn right at Buck Estate and that road will lead you straight to Sonya’s Garden. Incidentally, there are also a big Sonya’s Garden sign on the main road so you’d know when to turn right. You won’t get lost.
But we almost did. You see, we had no idea where Alfonso, Cavite was. So when we went past Tagaytay, and past Nasugbu, I was worried. Maybe we missed the turn. Maybe we didn’t see the sign. Maybe it was hidden. It was Sonya’s Secret Garden…
So we made a panic right turn. Fortunately, after a few minutes, Joel figured it wasn’t the right, right turn. So we headed back to the main road and waited for the big sign to show up. And it finally did. It was definitely NOT in Tagaytay.

We finally got there and as we were waiting for the person in reception, we noticed that a wedding reception will be held that afternoon. When the receptionist arrived, I guess she noticed the white dress and the barong so she asked us “Are you the newlyweds?”
I had to think before I could answer. We were in fact newlyweds, but I don’t think we were THE newlyweds she was waiting for. And I don’t remember booking the room and telling them that it was for our honeymoon. So I said “no” and wished that it will not be construed as fraud.

So we were led inside. It was amazing.

It felt so natural, as if God merely sprinkled flower seeds and left it to grow. It didn’t feel like a professional landscape architect had a hand on it at all. There was no structure. It was a beautiful and cozy kind of mess. Makes you feel like home, actually.

When we went to our room, I kind of thought that we should have told them we were on our honeymoon because it wasn’t a room, it was a house. While technically it might have been a room, it had 3 king size beds, 2 couches and 2 bathrooms. We weren’t used to all that space. We actually thought of inviting the whole gang to join us.

It was really lovely though – not your typical commercial and impersonal hotel room. On the contrary, it had personality. As if someone actually lives there, like it was someone’s home: some rich Filipino’s ancestral home away from the city. It can even be my home. I could easily imagine my grandma coming out of one of the rooms telling us it's time for dinner. It was that cozy.

And the food was amazing - all grown in their garden. And the china... my dad will go insane as none of them matched. But each piece was exquisite.

While it was a bit expensive, it was truly worth it. One day, I’ll bring my Canadian friends there.

Salsa Don't

I love to dance.
I did ballet when I was nine, pep squad when I was twelve and thirteen, dance group till I was sixteen and clubbing with lots of alcohol until now.
My ballet teacher even told me that I have the ballerina feet. I just don’t have the heart… and the guts to wear a tutu past puberty.

I’m not great. I don’t even think I’m good. It’s just something that I can and love to do. So when my new friends invited me to a Latin Night to dance Salsa, I was more than willing to go – despite the fact I’ve never ever danced Salsa in my life.

Lesson number one: there are basic steps to learn. Unlike clubbing, you can’t just have a bottle or two and feel real good. It needs classes, lots of practice and less alcohol. Needless to say, at my first night to salsa, I felt like an idiot.

So I went to a Salsa class. My friends said I can probably get in to the advance class since I was a fast learner. They taught me a couple of steps to get me through the screening and I actually got in. And here is how the class works: they make you form a circle and partner up; they show everyone the routine; then make you try it; and then again with the next guy. It was supposed to make you be adaptable to different partners which make you learn better, if not faster.

I had varied experience. Some were really nice and gave me tips. Some were less experienced or as clueless as I was so any progress was sheer luck. Some were really old and some even smelled funny. But one person really left an impression. He told me: “You should already know this because you’re in the ADVANCED class”.

So I tried the beginner’s class and that didn’t go very well either.

Lesson number two: it takes two to tango. Apparently, it takes two to Salsa as well. No matter how many times they show you the steps that you can do ‘on your own.’ Because unless you’re with a partner, that’s all the Salsa that you can do. And it’s not a lot of fun.

Lesson number three: the guy leads.

So there I was, at beginner’s class, my partner can barely follow the beat and I’m supposed to let him lead. It’s like the blind leading the deaf. It was painful.

I strongly believe that I am the master of my destiny. I let go of things I can’t control. That's why I feel so frustrated and powerless because my enjoyment is made to depend on the skill of someone else.

That is when I raised the red flag. Salsa is not for me.
I am an independent woman and I don’t need a guy.
I will try belly dancing instead.

Heritage Park, Calgary

To Celebrate Canada Day, we decided to explore Heritage Park - Canada's Largest Living History Museum.

It was lovely. I've always enjoyed museums so I really enjoyed this one. There are lots of exhibits to see and many activities to do.

We rode the SS Moyie...
And the Canada Pacific Steam Train...
Unfortunately we were only there for 3 hours and it wasn't enough. While we went around the park during the train-ride, we weren't able to go inside all the historic buildings, weren't able to go on all the rides, weren't able to shop in the novelty stores... although I think my husband will appreciate that last part.

For sure, we will go back. And you will see more pictures.
And I will shop... for hubby's presents... and a little for me too, of course.