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Every Holiday Belongs to Everyone

Every nation and place on earth has their own annual homecoming holiday for us to celebrate. Or to come home to. Be it Eid, Christmas, Thanksgiving, any kind of New Year, we make excuses to celebrate these holidays with our loved ones.

More often than not, it involves coming home, or simply being with family members, either the nuclear or larger ones.

Every year, these holiday seasons become moments to look forward to for those wanting to celebrate, and to anticipate for everyone. We allocate our leave days for those specific dates. We save up so that we can share and spend greatly in preparation for and during the holidays. We book tickets in advance.

We prepare everything in advance.

And yet, there are those who spend the holidays differently.

There are those medical staff, policemen, 24-hour convenience store attendants, delivery clerks, cab drivers, waiters and waitresses, who still work around the clock serving families and people who celebrate the holidays.

There are those whose religions differ, and there are those not opting to have any religions.

There are those who have no house to come home to.

There are those whose freedom is taken away.

There are those enjoying the brief quiet moment of big cities temporarily vacated by its migrant residents.

There are those with broken hearts that leave no place for forgiveness yet.

There are those in solitary solitude.

And for these people, the holiday is also theirs to celebrate.

Each holiday is meant for everyone, regardless any differences. Each one of us takes the holiday’s spirit, and carries it accordingly, as much as we can only take and accept.

For those who bask in the festive atmosphere, this is your holiday.
For those who choose to whisper the celebration in the quietness of the heart, this is your holiday.

And in this holiday season, we may just need to acknowledge the differences to understand each other.

Because only when we realize that we cannot live without each other, we can start to forgive and forget sincerely.

Happy holiday.

 
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Posted by on 06/25/2017 in Blog, English, Personal

 

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Our Investment, Our Statement, Our Everything

Our Investment, Our Statement, Our Everything

Let’s talk about investment, shall we?

Ah, yes. I can see you groaning, your yawn and disinterested look you are trying so hard to conceal right now.

What puts you off? The word ‘investment’ itself? Count me in. I did not even fake interest when I heard the word for the first time being shoved on to me. Really. I just left the word immediately, and never wanted to return. Until now.

Now when I feel at least half of my life has passed. Come to think of it. We have lived in the world more than half of our possible lifetime in the world, right? Or maybe not half yet. But we are definitely inching closer to that half-point mark.

And at times like these, I could not help wondering, what have I invested?

If you ask if I questioned ourselves about financial-related investment, the answer is both “yes” and “no”.

“Yes”, because what and how much we save is always more important than what and how much we earn in life.

“No”, because investment also applies to how we live our life.

Do we invest our time in doing the work that makes us happy?
Do we invest our expenses in what we need, rather than what we want?
Do we invest our brain to knowledge, instead of aimless pleasure?
Do we invest our tastebud to culinary, and not snacking?
Do we invest our love to the right people?
Do we invest our life to the right causes?

Do we invest our time well?

Well, who knows?

I cannot answer that for you. And that sucks. It does. You don’t feel pleasant whenever you are forced to look back at the past, only to realize so much, or too much has gone to waste, leaving you at whatever state you are in right now.

I have gained. I have lost. I have earned. I have lost. I have loved. I have lost. I have lived. And will do so until the luxury is taken away from me.

It does not hurt to spare so you can make investment. I cannot say it in a more subdued or subtle manner. Put aside extra time, money, effort, attention, what have you, to invest. See how your investments grow over time.

Or maybe by the time they grow, you won’t be able to see. That’s okay. Others will see, leaving memory of your presence intact. See, investment is preserving yourself. To be immortal. To be lived and remembered forever.

Be afraid not of making bad investments. For you can always do over.

And that’s my birthday note this year to you, dear.

Let’s put some imagination in our investment, shall we?

 
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Posted by on 04/11/2017 in Blog, English, Personal

 

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Brief Chance

Brief Chance

“I am sorry.”

I put my head down.

“For everything.”

I only nod quietly.

“I truly do.”

I smile.

“Uh … Am.”

“What?”

“I truly am. You said “I truly do”, while it’s supposed to be “I truly am”, because earlier you had said “I am so…rry”, which were you exact words, so …”

A chuckle follows. “You’re still a grammar police after all these years.”

A polite small laughter ensues. “Old habit dies hard.”

“I can see that.”

“What can you see? The way I dress? Well, this is kind of emergency and may not be to your liking …”

“No, no. I don’t mean that. Please.”

“… but I am only kidding.”

“Ha! Yeah. You got me there.”

“Well. Yeah. I got you. There.”

How can a second of awkward silence feels like a century of a lifetime?

“I didn’t expect to see you here.”

“I was on my way …”

“Oh, that direction?”

“Yeah. You headed to the other side?”

“Yes. They’re waiting for me by now.”

“Oh, if you must go then, I …”

“I think I must.”

And to think how many times I play possible scenarios of how we will meet again, in a different time, in a different place, in different clothes, in different shoes, in different hair, and in different manners. Where’s the angry glance? Where’s the cynical smirk? Where are the tears waiting to fall?

“Yeap. That announcement is my cue.”

“So. Goodbye for now?”

“Yes. Bye.”

We wave. We turn our back. We walk.

I hold my breath. I let it out. I put both hands on my jacket.

Should I turn around? Should I run again? Should I chase just to say everything I’ve wanted to say but I couldn’t?

I keep on walking. I keep on thinking. I reach my phone.

I stop walking. I look ahead.

“Thank you. For everything.”

I smile.

 
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Posted by on 01/17/2017 in Blog, English, Personal

 

How Do You Deal With Death?

The answer to the question in the title is probably the same as the opposite: how do you deal with living?
You don’t deal with it.
You just do. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on 03/27/2016 in Blog, English, Personal, Uncategorized

 

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Top 10 TV Shows of 2015

Welcome to, not just golden age, but the platinum age of scripted American TV programs. Gone are the days of accusation that watching too much TV is not good for our well being. The concern instead is that there are too many good TV shows that one is impossible to watch the all. Thus, you may find some other critically-acclaimed shows are not listed here, because 1) this is a personal list, and 2) I have no time yet to watch those shows yet.
Mind you, there are other shows that do not make the cut in the top 10 list below, yet I still watch them because you cannot just watch 10 TV shows in a year. There are simply too many good TV programs out there. But thank you, TV! You show us that good story and good storytelling are found in TV these days.

Alright, the list, in alphabetical order, starts with:

1. THE AFFAIR

The Affair

The Affair

I started watching the entire first season earlier this year, and boy, was I hooked from the start. The series takes a hardly original approach of telling an illicit extra marital affair from both he-said and she-said perspectives, but what unravels in further episodes take us by surprise. Noah Solloway may be the most complex, despicable and well-written family man character in television right now, yet we can not just say otherwise to Alison Lockhart with her doe eyed soulful persona. It is possible to have a series that leaves you devastated week after week.

2. THE AMERICANS

The Americans

The Americans

Not many series get better each season, but The Americans does get better, if not more thrilling. Each season brings the tension closer and more gripping, and season 3 of The Americans may be its best yet. Paige finally learns the true profession of her parents. This brings many opportunities of future developments, as the storyline progresses to the peak of Cold War in mid 1980s. The terror is getting more subdued, and feels real. It’s a crime that the series is still overlooked by the Emmys so far.

3. BLACK-ISH

Black-ish

Black-ish

I put it simply: it is possible for a TV show to laugh at itself (and its presumably core audience), be genuinely funny, and be heartwarming in almost every week. What an achievement, indeed.

4. CATASTROPHE

Catastrophe

Catastrophe

The set-up wins: an American guy impregnates a British girl during their one night stand. What follows is nothing but hilarity that ranges from chaos to madness. I cannot get enough of the short season, as it packs more rom-com moments than any other series attempting the same.

5. EMPIRE

Empire

Empire

Anywhere you turn, you can never escape the Lyons, especially the cracking wits of Cookie Lyon, played with feisty persona by the great Taraji P. Henson. The show grows its audience week after week until it becomes a cultural phenomenon. It has been described as Dynasty for R&B and hip-hop millenials, which worries me the most for being excessive in style in future seasons. But as long as Cookie’s in the house, the matriarch shall balance the entire kingdom. Bring the kidnaps, murders, and music then.

6. DAREDEVIL

Daredevil

Daredevil

Perhaps the series has the most serious treatment among other superhero series right now. In fact, I am torn between choosing this over other noteworthy entries, i.e. Agent Carter and The Flash. Yet, for what it is worth, Daredevil gives us, pun intended, justice. The series equals straight-forward action scenes with multi layered characters and muted, often heavy dramatic moments that bring the entire serious feel almost like a work of art. For real. The last four episodes of the season will put you on the edge of your couch.

7. MAD MEN

Mad Men

Mad Men

We say goodbye to Don Draper and co., with the last scene that easily goes down as one of the finest in TV history. But if you watch carefully, it is the women of Mad Men that soar in this last season. Joan Harris, Peggy Olsen, Betty Francis, and even Sally Draper, each one of them are given prominence in their roles that we can only daydream how great it will be if there’s a spin-off among them. As the show stops before the feminism era, we imagine that their imaginary prominence will play pivotal role should there be a continuation. Alas, the show ends on a high note, and as a fan, I cannot be more satisfied than that.

8. UNBREAKABLE KIMMY SCHMIDT

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

I dare you not singing, or at least humming, its theme song after binge-ing the series even for just after 3 episodes. The theme song is indeed addictive, and so is Titus Andromeda’s Pinot Noir. Don’t Google or Youtube that. Oh, you just did? Well then. Good luck!

9. UNREAL

Unreal

Unreal

The most surprising new drama of last year airs in Lifetime channel, associated with its female-centric tearjerker shows. UnReal is still female-centric, but tearjerker it ain’t. It offers a fictionalized behind-the-scene look of a reality program a la The Bachelor, where dramatic moments are unfold as staged by the deceptive, manipulative, ruthless characters played with excellence by both Shiri Appleby and Constance Zimmer. You can feel the female bromance between the two against their love-hate bantering and wits. You root for them each week as they keep showing their flaws, and still hold their heads high among the seas of men as their objects of frustration. Perhaps it is the most daring program of last season, and no one notices yet.

10. VEEP

Veep

Veep

I have no idea how they do it. How can a show get more hilarious every season? Just when I thought the season 3 is the funniest yet, the presidential campaign in season 4 pushes the funny envelope further, with a welcome addition from Hugh Laurie and his surprisingly acute comic timing. Julia Louis-Dreyfus could not be funnier than in this season. As we anxiously await the result of the presidential election in the series, here’s a cheers for Armando Ianucci as the creator of the series. Thank you for the wonderful 4 seasons you have helmed. Even without your presence as the show-runner in subsequent seasons, we always have the entire wacky, incapable team of Susan Meyer to humor us. The Emmy for Best Comedy Series is justified.

 
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Posted by on 12/22/2015 in Blog, English

 

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Something’s Missing

I miss falling in love.

I miss smiling as I am gazing.
I miss making playlist of songs, since every song is about our fantastical fantasy relationship.
I miss daydreaming, imagining and eventually thinking ahead of every possible scenario.

I miss falling in love.

I miss the joy out of living.
I miss the happiness it brings.
I miss the thrill it seeks.
I miss the anticipation out of unthinkable possibilities.

I miss falling in love.

I miss the beat of my heart that drums when you pass.
I miss the sigh of relief when you miss my glance.
I miss the whisper of my own wish when you stand in distance.
I miss the pray quietly uttered when you may or may not be there.
I miss the wetness of my eyes from too much smiling when you step in to my mind.

I miss falling in love.

I miss seeing your flaws as flawless.
I miss seeing your imperfection as perfection.
I miss seeing your scars as beauties.
I miss feeling your quietness loud.
I miss feeling your silence deafening.
I miss feeling your mere presence larger than life.

I miss falling in love.

Because I miss living life.

love-bubble_blog140116

 
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Posted by on 09/06/2015 in Blog, English, Personal

 

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We Don’t Disguise This Blessing

Blessed are those who wake up under the safe roof of one’s own, next to the loved one, and others who wait within reach.

Blessed are those who wake up alone with smile on the face as breakfast’s guaranteed and running soon ensues.

Blessed are those who wake up grumbling about the night before and the day ahead, for it is a sign of living.

Blessed are those who wake up with their stomach churning about to do the number-two, for it is a sign of living.

Blessed are those who wake up daydreaming, because when mind wanders, infinite possibilities will happen.

Blessed are those who wake up with drools, because normalcy is never overrated.

Blessed are those who wake up moaning, because living starts with loving.

Blessed are those who wake up with a silent prayer, for one is always connected to the universe in many inexplicable manners.

Blessed are those who choose to wake up.

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Posted by on 08/24/2015 in Blog, English

 

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