Thursday, March 25, 2010


One hundred. Isang daan. Cento. Un centinaio di. Honderd. Cien.

Finally, I made it to my hundredth post. It isn't much of a feat, considering there are others out there whom I admire that churn out post after wonderful post and thus have reached their hundredth in a mere fraction of the time, but I'm not talking about them now. Today (as in most days) I am talking about me.

I started blogging as a writing exercise. Dealing (eating, breathing, dreaming) with numbers all the time can be hazardous to one's mental well-being, and fearing that whatever headway I have achieved with my prowess in this second language might be lost due to disuse, blogging seemed like the great idea. I'm happy that I followed through with that thought. For a time, the posts became rants as pressures, mostly from work, arose. Having separated my blog from my social network sites, my rants have thankfully been out of reach to those objects of rants who may happen to be at a nearby office desk.

A hundred posts hence, and I'm still not over ranting. It's therapeutic. And fun. But I at least have gone beyond just ranting and complaining, and and have considered blogging about topics that are surely within my alley: myself. The joys of having a personal blog is that you get the reassurance that all your thoughts, no matter how stupid or mundane, will never go unpublished again. You have got to love the internet for that!

One hundred posts complete! So what's next, ShatterShards? What's coming soon?

Like all great writers before me, I'd like to plagiarize a bit. What better way to put pressure on yourself than to write up a bucket list of the hundred things to do before the end of the world, which may or may not happen on December 2012. Although some experts now believe that the end will happen sooner, like May 2010.

Either way, here are the things to look forward to (in no particular order):

Local Travel
1 ) Cagayan de Oro
2 ) Palawan
3 ) Batanes
4 ) Corregidor
5 ) Bohol
6 ) Siargao
7 ) Taal
8 ) Cagayan Valley
9 ) Sagada
10) Camiguin

International Travel
1 ) Japan
2 ) Venice
3 ) Rome
4 ) Greece
5 ) New Orleans
6 ) Ireland
7 ) New Zealand
8 ) Paris
9 ) Germany
10) Spain

New Learnings and Experiences
1 ) Spanish language
2 ) Capoiera
3 ) Sign Language
4 ) Bungee jump
5 ) Learn to drive (again)
6 ) French language
7 ) Basic photography
8 ) Learn how to swim
9 ) Study Arnis
10) Japanese caligraphy

1 ) DSLR Camera
2 ) High end laptop
3 ) Hiking shoes
4 ) Tent and camping gear
5 ) Wi-fi capable phone
6 ) Mp3 player
7 ) Professional-grade kitchen
8 ) 48-inch Plasma or LED TV
9 ) 3-bedroom Condo unit
10) Lake-side weekend home

Personal Care and Improvement
1 ) Get new glasses
2 ) Achieve a 6-pack abs
3 ) Obtain actual biceps
4 ) Run a marathon
5 ) Learn to play the Shogi
6 ) Improve at chess
7 ) Get a Master's Degree
8 ) Receive a Palanca award
9 ) Fix my scoliosis
10) Cure my insomnia

1 ) Read Noli and Fili in the original Spanish
2 ) Read (and understand) Tolstoy
3 ) Read (and enjoy) Ibong Adarna
4 ) Read a Bronte book
5 ) Obtain a signed hardcover copy of Neil Gaiman's American Gods
6 ) Buy the complete Sandman series
7 ) Read A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking
8 ) Have my copy of Insomnia signed by Stephen King
9 ) Finish my backlog of books (16 books total)
10) Finish wrapping in plastic my book backlog (20+ books)

1 ) Watch all Cinemalaya entries
2 ) Attend the Cannes Film Festival
3 ) Gatecrash my way into the Oscars awards night
4 ) Watch Ploning with mom
5 ) See a film starring Fernando Poe Sr.
6 ) Watch the Cassablanca
7 ) Watch Schindler's List without squirming
8 ) Watch a Kurosawa film
9 ) Watch The Rising Sun
10) See Diabolique in the original French

1 ) Million-peso savings account
2 ) Significant blue-chip stock portfolio
3 ) Time deposit and trust funds enough for me to live off the interest
4 ) Own a restaurant franchise
5 ) Donate a significant amount to charity
6 ) Travel the world on a full budget
7 ) Contribute in paying off the family's debts
8 ) Afford a 90-day ocean cruise
9 ) Finance a country-wide educational outreach program
10) Win the lottery

1 ) Learn to play the guitar
2 ) Write a radio-worthy song
3 ) Attend the Grammy Awards night
4 ) Own my own recording studio
5 ) Join a choir
6 ) Get back my old baritone voice
7 ) Learn to read a music score
8 ) Learn to play the violin
9 ) Attend an international chorale competition
10) Watch a full orchestra

Arts and Culture
1 ) Visit the National Museum
2 ) Visit the Louvre
3 ) Watch a play in Broadway
4 ) Discover a lost Van Gogh
5 ) Own a Hidalgo painting
6 ) Watch (and understand) a French opera
7 ) Watch a Greek tragedy
8 ) Watch the Phantom of the Opera
9 ) Attend an open gallery
10) Watch a London production of La Traviata

I hope to make a significant dent in this list within the next couple of years. Good luck to me.

CREDITS:  Coming soon photo  End of the World photo

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Silence

"Hello Darkness my old friend, I've come to talk with you again..."

It has been a while since I last had the urge to write, not through a lack of things to talk about, but more... shall we say... through lack of a catalyst. Writing for me is a tricky art and a very fickle mistress that no matter how many thoughts flood my brain at any given moment, if I fail to find that one magic word to start my sentences, then they all come crashing to a halt. Sometimes that one tiny word is the proverbial snowflake on my thoughts that causes the avalanche of paragraphs to cascade through my eager fingers.

It also doesn't help that I am normally afflicted with attention deficit disorder whenever the desire to write gnaws at me. Even now, while I am writing, ideas for an excel template I have long planned to make makes its way to me, as well as the urge to review my previous posts, and to revisit blogs that I have long lost contact with. I think sometimes I need three more of myself just to get through all the things that I want to accomplish. Maybe cloning would work. Or maybe a Naruto-style shadow clone technique would do the trick. Or maybe I'm reading too much manga lately for my own good.

We also lost internet connection for a couple of weeks, and those weeks were trying times. That was the time I realized how dependent I had become of the internet. It was frustrating to be stuck at home, with no means of connection and with my mind reeling of things to do, and things that I ought to do but am not willing to perform just yet. I realized that I had become addicted to the internet as my favorite form of procrastination in the same vein that I was addicted to television some years back. It affords me an excuse to not do something that I should have done in a long time because I am still busy doing "something" even though what I am actually doing is basically... well... nothing.

When the internet was reconnected, though, I had already created a new habit of doing nothing that I wasn't tempted enough to log back into my online connections. It was liberating in a way, but rather quite lonely, to be frank. It's a good thing that I am quite comfortable with my loneliness and the quietude that it brings. It also has a certain power -- the fact that I am capable of logging back in, but chose not to -- a power that, upon reflection, is akin to that feeling of empowerment anorexics feel when they choose to starve themselves: it feels good for a while, but is ultimately detrimental in the long run.

"No man is an island." I know that, and have exulted that mantra to some people in the past in hoping that they would reconnect. It would be quite foolish and hypocritical of me if, after I proclaim that gospel, I myself would come to shun it, and try to establish my own isle of isolation.

Anyway, I am back online, and back to my verbose self once more. And hopefully it would stay this way for quite a spell; it's very unhealthy for thoughts to rot inside one's head.

"...And the vision that was planted in my brain still remains, within the sound of silence."


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