Remembering the lines "I simply remember my favourite things/and then I don’t feel so bad" from the Sound of Music, I list down a partial list of my favourite activities, which do help me lift my spirits when I feel sad and lonely and stressed out. Finding reasons to be happy everyday is a blessing; and I’m amazed and thankful because God never lets the day end without giving me a reason to be happy.
Why did I write them today? To serve as a reminder of what I am thankful for despite the difficult circumstances that I know will come my way.
Spending Sunday evenings with my siblings and my cousins.
I always look forward to the Sunday dinner and coffee. This has become a standard weekend activity for us (which started when I was a college freshman). We miss the old days when Cinnzeo and Powerbooks branches in Alabang Town Centre were open up til 2am; when we exchanges stories while sitting on couches at the Starbucks branch at Madrigal; and when there was a whole bunch of us together with our parents and Lola. When we do get together now, we just have dinner at the Food Court, grab a cup of choco milk at Coffee Bean and/or watch the last full show at the cinema… sans the parents and Biboy (have since migrated to the US) and the married cousins. So, I’d like to show my gratitude to Ate Maddie and Anna (two of the three Sunday night owls) for making Sunday a day to look forward to.
Driving through the PCARRD road on weekday mornings on my way to work.
Believe it or not, going through the winding roads leading to the Jamboree site in the Makiling Forest Reserve is the most relaxing part of my drive to work. Seeing all the trees and vegetation makes me feel calm and ready to face the stressful day ahead. Even the smoke occasionally coming from the waste segregation area (which I used to call the ‘cloud factory’) enhances the idea that I’m driving in heaven.
Eating ice cream at Robinson’s Sta Rosa.
When I used to work in Sta Rosa, I tried to always leave before 9pm so that I could reach the Fiorgelato ice cream stand on the second floor before it closed for the night. The chocolate and the cheese flavours never failed to soothe my bruised ego after a tough day on duty. The coffee shop on the third floor of Robinson’s also provided a secluded spot where I could take a breather and relax while waiting for the traffic along Balibago to ease up. Thanks to Kuya Mel M. for going with me to Robinson’s to get that ice cream cone at 8:30pm.
Walking from the UP Gate to the Los Banos junction.
This habit started in high school when my friends and I would walk from the old UP Rural campus to the junction where we would take the jeep to Calamba. The excuse? We were trying to build some stamina in preparation for the gruelling cheering practices in October… which usually left us black and blue (and we could hardly walk). Besides, we were trying to save 50 centavos by walking the almost one-kilometer length Lopez Avenue. Today, I still walk whenever time permits and the weather is good. The fresh night air always makes me feel good, and jostling through human traffic (re: the kids from the Los Banos National High School)keeps my mind alert. Plus, walking usually gets me to my destination faster than driving during the rush hour. Thanks to Mafel, Sandy, and Ross C. for walking with me all the time.
Listening to the Earth, Wind, and Fire Essentials CD.
I discovered that the musical stylings of this vocal group kept me calm, yet on my toes when I was still learning to drive. A cassette tape copy of this album was given to me as a gift, and I popped it by chance in my dad’s car’s radio one Sunday afternoon while he was teaching me how to go through intersections. Since then, no matter how far I drove with my dad, I just let it play… it was continuously playing as I drove from Calamba, Laguna to Cuenca, Batangas, to Tagaytay City, Cavite. I also listened to it as I drove from Calamba to Sta Cruz to Caliraya Lake, and back again to Calamba. And just tonight, I bought a CD copy of this album, and popped it into the console of my car. The lyrics of each song brought me back to my driving bloopers in 1998. Kuya Junjun gave me that tape on my birthday.
I realised I have a knack for buying shoes (and buying clothes to match the shoes) when I was working in Sta Rosa. Buying shoes became an outlet for some pent up emotions. Back then, I found myself buying shoes once a week. So now, I have quite a collection representing colours of the visible light spectrum: maroon loafers, pink boots, brown safety shoes, red sneakers, black mary janes, baby blue walking shoes, tan bowling shoes, white running shoes. And that does not include the sandals and the slippers (the ones with the characters on them). Note: many of the pairs were bought when I got back to Los Banos… and many came from my mom (who is another shoe shopaholic).
Having a relaxing dinner with friends.
I find the time I spend with my friends very peaceful and fun, especially since I see them very rarely nowadays. Long ago, it was easy: someone would just send an SMS to classmates and we’d meet up at McDo or at Chowking. There was no LB Square back then. But now, with so many things going on in each other’s lives, dinner-outs are really scheduled during FebFairs. Sometimes, there’s not even time for a quick chat. And since many of them are now dating or have significant others, having dinner as a group has become a real challenge! So, when a free time suddenly appears, we grab it and exchange stories while eating. I would like to say thanks to some of them… the schoolmates I most frequently ate with the last few weeks: Lea M., Noan, and Tim.
Co-hosting a radio program.
Ah, this is my opportunity to wrap up the hectic week. In fact, this is one of the reasons I remain excited on the last day of the work week. Being on board requires concentration and presence of mind. Plus, this is my chance to be as talkative as I can get (whenever I have to be on air alone) and to learn something new (like to control the console). This program is a public service project of the Rotary Club of West Bay, and I’m glad to be a part of it. Thanks to Tito Johnny G. for allowing me to co-host it with him.
Anyway, that’s my list as it stands at the moment. I’m sure it will grow over time. It’s going to be amazing to see this list someday in the future.