Ring Ring

(Day 12 – Something you don’t leave the house without)

For some absurd and unknown reason, phone calls scare me. I get all shaky when I dial important numbers up and I do a double take whenever the intro of Train’s “If it’s love” blares from my cellphone’s speaker. I don’t know if there’s such a thing as phonephobia or maybe phonecallphobia. If there were, I probably have a small spell of it. It is strange then that my hot pink Nokia X3-02 is the very thing that I do not and cannot leave the house without.

To give credit to my dear X3, I do use it to send and receive SMS messages. Though most of the time it’s just Hotlink sending me those cheesy “I miss you” and “I love you” free MMSes (Hotlink is my phone’s mobile provider), I do get those important, emergency, and informative texts from real, live people too. And I use my phone to surf the Internet. I also use it to tell the time (though I still wear a wristwatch) and to take photos when my camera is at home ‘feeling blue’. (Sing with me: So I’m saving all my love for youuuuuu… Okay, corny. I have that song stuck in my head still.)

So as you can see, my phone is very, very useful. But lately I’ve realized that it would be more useful if I use it to, you know, really call people up. Most of the phone calls I make are those emergency ones that prompt people to answer you quickly. Like, when I call, it’s usually because I have to ask, “Hey where are you???” and “I’m lost, what do I do???” Okay, Mari, it was nice hearing from you.

And so lately I’ve been trying to make some more meaningful calls. And I get the best reactions. Haha. Just goes to show how rarely my phone is used in this way.

*Ring-ring, Ring-ring, Ring-Ring*

Friend 1: Hello?
Mari: Helloooooo~
Friend 1: Hello, totoo ba to? (Is this real?)
Mari: Hahaha! Hindi. Hindi ‘to totoo! (No, no this is not real!)

*Ring-ring, Ring-ring, Ring-Ring*

Mari: Hello?
Friend 2: Hello?
Mari: Uh, hello? Pwede pong makausap si <insert Friend 2’s name here>? (May I speak to Friend 2?)
Friend 2: Hello, sino to? (Who is this?)
Mari: Si Mari po to… (It’s Mari…)
Friend 2: Mari? Ate Mari!? Oh my God!!!! Ate Mari!

*Ring-ring, Ring-ring, Ring-Ring , Ring-Ring, Ring-Ring, Ring-Ring, Ring-Ring*

Mari: Hello, may I please speak to Miss <insert Friend 3’s name here>?
Friend 3: (Bored and slightly snobbish) Yes, speaking.
Mari: Friend 3!!!! Hahahaha!
Friend 3: Sino to???? (Who is this?)
Mari: Hulaan mo!!! (Guess who!!!!)
Friend 3: Mari? Mari!!!!! Uy kumusta ka na? (Oh, how are you???)

I had to smile at the surprised tones in all their voices.

Granted, it shocked those people because those were long distance calls. Well, it’s true that they’re not as cheap as direct ones that you make when you have the same mobile provider. But hey. A few minutes of those hi’s and hello’s cost less than a pack of Oreos.

I might try doing this calling thing more often.

Or… you could try calling me. ;)

Then – certainly – it would be more valid to say that my hot pink phone is the thing that I would definitely not leave the house without.

Don't ask me why my phone is hot pink.

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Lola and Mr. Lucado

(Day 11 – A quote you love)

My grandmother asks me the same question whenever I go home to my province: May boyfriend ka na ba? Translation: Do you have a boyfriend yet?

Mari: "Oh no, not this question again..."

I know she means well. She keeps a tab on all her kids and all her grandkids. At 84, she still knows who goes to what school, who works at what company, who garnered which achievement, who got together with which person. It’s not an easy feat since there are so many of us. But she does it because she loves us so. She’s so proud of all her kids and grandkids that she can’t help it.

I wonder what goes through her mind when I tell her, “No, Lola, wala pa po.” (No Grandma, there’s none yet). I used to throw in an exasperated face with this reply, but lately, I just chuck in a good-natured laugh.

See? Good-natured laugh.

She’ll probably ask me again when I go home this year. I’m thinking of adding this quote to whatever my response would be: “Lola, according to Max Lucado – well, I think it’s Max Lucado – ‘A woman’s heart should be so hidden in God that a man has to seek Him just to find her.’”

But then I can imagine how the rest of the conversation will turn out.

if (responseWithQuote == “wala pa po”){

$Lola = “Baka namang sobrang tago na ang puso mo, di niya na nakita.”; //maybe your heart’s so hidden, that he wasn’t able to find it

$Mari = “Edi lumapit pa siya kay Lord. Hehe.”; //then let him get closer to God still

}

else {

$Lola = “Tama ka, anak. Ang galing naman. Ibig sabihin, malapit talaga siya sa Diyos.”; //You’re right, child. Amazing. It means he’s really close to God.

$Mari = “He is. And the whole hiding and seeking thing is worth it.”;

$Mari.smiles();

$Lola.ordersFireworks();

}

Yes, I just had to add in some geeky coding to this blog post.

Haha. Cheers to Lola and to Mr. Lucado!

Under Bright Lights

(Day 10 – Something you’re afraid of)

There’s something about bright lights and awkward audience stares that would make any girl wearing a tight dress and unbearably high stilettos blank out at even the simplest of questions. Sometimes, we watch beauty pageants and end up being flabbergasted when breathtaking contestants give silly answers to questions demanding more intelligent responses. But really. I think there’s a law somewhere showing the inverse correlation of stiletto height plus meters walked on the runway to the ability of a person to generate deep statements and profound quotations.

I may have been a victim of this law during my third year of high school, when I found myself in that tight dress and those high heels, under those bright lights and those unrelenting audience stares. Why I even entered a beauty pageant is crazy in itself. It’s partially answered here. So there. I entered a beauty pageant and almost blanked out during the question and answer portion. Note the word almost. The word totally will come in some weeks later, during the Miss Cordillera contest. I totally blanked out there.

Okay, back to this pageant.

The question was easy enough. “What was your greatest childhood fear?”

My answer? “When I was a kid, I was afraid of things that went bump in the night. Like witches, kapres, tikbalangs – all those scary creatures.” So deep. So profound.

I relive that moment every now and again. When I do, I often come up with a series of responses that I wish I had given then. Ones that are more meaningful and less… shallow. Like being afraid of growing up. Like being afraid of the uncertainty of the future. Like being afraid of humanity and of every darkness that has entered the world since the Fall. I was afraid of those things back then. Sometimes they scare me still.

But looking back, I think it was one of those top of your head answers you’re likely to give any stranger. I mean, you’re not likely to confide your deepest darkest childhood fears to someone you don’t know on a normal occasion, right? So I guess that was an okay enough answer to give to the judges then.

I won in the end. I found it hard to believe. I still do sometimes. I know it was more than the Q&A portion.

But I guess the next time someone asks me about my childhood fears (or any fear for that matter), I know I’m likely to give one of the deeper answers.

Because I won’t be under bright lights and there won’t be an awkward audience. And I wouldn’t be wearing that tight dress and those unbelievably high stilettos then.

Can you believe it?

(Okay, the heels I wore that night weren’t that high.)

Back to Art

Took the time to “draw seriously” again. I have been going back to “writing seriously” and “reading seriously” so… It’s time to get back to art. :)

I drew the four Pevensies from The Chronicles of Narnia. And Aslan too. I like Narnia. Scratch that. I love Narnia. Reading the books is a long overdue thing for a reader like me, but – better late than never, right? Still on to The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. I want to read the whole thing out loud. With an English accent. And all the sound effects. Haha.

Anyway.

What to draw next?