Daaaaad~ Happy Fathers’ Day :)

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I don’t think we ever celebrated Fathers’ Day properly when you were still here, Dad. You were one un-fussy person. Lol. Even your birthdays weren’t celebrated grandly. I wish we had an all-out grand party for you when you turned 65 last year. But I guess that wasn’t your style…

Back in Sydney, I was actually planning on going on a trip with you and the family to Jeju when you turned 65. I kept on computing how much I’d need to get you there. Since we’re like, probably descended from Chinese giants or something, the tiny seats in budget airlines (and even economy class in normal airlines) are out of the question, at least for you and big bro. Also, since you already had a hard time walking, I had to factor in renting a private car and tour guide (since I don’t drive and bro doesn’t have an international license) so we could get around.

Sigh. That’s one of my regrets. Not having earned enough to treat you and mom to things like that. I know you and Mom appreciate traveling more than just… things, so that was what I really wanted to give you. But I didn’t have enough, so I thought I’d give it a couple more years…

Ah, really. They say that things that can be done today shouldn’t be put off until tomorrow. Now I realize how true that is.

I’m so sorry, Dad. That has been a thought I had in my head and my heart for years. I know you expected great things from me, but to this day, I’m still just going with the flow, doing what needs to be done and/or what I’m told to do. I’m closing in on the 3rd decade mark, yet still I’m not really sure what I want to do. For someone who got good grades, I totally fail at life.

I’m sorry for not being a beautiful daughter for you either. That I’m worthless like this, you at least could’ve bragged about a daughter who had guys lining up for her, or at least has someone special in her life that you deem worthy of taking care of her. But alas, here I am, basically a not-purple Barney-sized female that always gets mistaken for a “sir”.

I know you worried about that aspect of my life, Dad, that’s why you were consistent in asking Mom to take me and get a facial or laser hair removal or something. I’m so sorry for also failing as a girl. One would think that being born as one, it’d make things easy, but… yeah. I’m not that lucky.

We never really talked about stuff like that, but I always had an image in my head of you walking me down the aisle. I know, I know, I’ve said countless times that after 27 solid years of being forever alone, I’ve given up on love and getting married, but still… I had that tiny little dream of you walking me down the aisle and you playing with my children (and talking to them in Chinese so they’ll learn ’cause goodness knows I can’t!). Well, I guess that dream’s out the window now. I’m just really sorry that I never got to ask you what kind of guy you preferred. All I’m sure about is that I want one who’d make as good a father as you.

I’m sorry, Dad, for being a total failure. I really want to be a daughter you could be proud of, and trust me, I’m still trying. I’ll figure it out. It’s just too bad that you won’t get to see it… But maybe I can tell you all about it when we see each other again.

Happy Fathers’ Day, Papa. Have a good rest!^^

영원히 사랑할거예요 아빠! <3

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For the Future

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As I scoured through my amazing collection of schooldays photos for my friend (she requested a Throwback Thursday bonanza from me), it slowly sunk in that those photos were already a decade old, some even older. I still can’t believe that much time has passed, and yet inside, I don’t feel much different from the girl in the pictures (although I can definitely say that I’m less “emo” now, lol).

For a couple of years now, I’ve been bothered by the fact that I’m nowhere near able to support myself. I’m just an employee (albeit not that regular) and I get a fixed income every month, and that income is less than the normal entry-level salary that college/university graduates get when they enter big companies. And it’s almost been 5 years since I graduated university.

Not that I’m complaining. I’m actually okay with how much I earn. I think it’s a fair amount based on my performance. Haha. What I really want now is to have multiple streams of income.

I’ve always been a good money saver. Okay, except last year, when I hemorrhaged money for SMEnt and the South Korean tourism industry (oh the pitfalls of being a fangirl!). I was about 50% short of my goal savings and didn’t even know it until I stared my passbook down the other day. I had to take out my calculator and painstakingly remember all the major spending I did and slowly tried to reconcile them with the amount that I apparently spent.

Here’s the rough breakdown of my expenditures:

  • 30% for a business venture that didn’t quite work out (but hopefully we’d be able to revive… some time later)
  • 30% for travel + fangirling (they kind of went hand-in-hand recently)
  • 15% for food and drinks and movies (because I love to eat and watch movies, which also requires eating, not to mention late-night hunger – thank you 24-hour deliveries!)
  • 15% for other random things like groceries, clothes, shoes, school books, “socializing”, whatnots…
  • 10% for plays and musicals (I don’t know why people think this is a waste of money. Hey, you watch movies. This is just the live version! Like watching a concert instead of just listening to the CD.) and some other form of entertainment

Some might wonder, “How about rent? Phone, electric, water, and other bills?” Well, first off, we’re fortunate enough to own the house we live in. :) As for the others, as of now, I don’t have to worry about them yet, but I’m fairly sure that I will have to in the next couple of years, hence this post and the semi-panic that goes with the realization.

I won’t be able to support myself at all when that time comes if I don’t find a way to increase my income. There’s pretty much no getting out of where I’m working now, and if there was, a different job could only mean a higher pay, but still a single source of income. I want passive income, something that just comes in while I do my actual job.

That’s why for the last year or so, I’ve been wanting to invest. On what? I don’t know. I know nothing about stocks. I recently learned about bonds in school but I’m not sure how to go about investing in those (I hope they tell us in one of the lectures). But before everything else, I lack the funds for investing.

Luckily, my parents and I saw this news clip about the 52-week Money Saving Challenge adapted into Philippine version by The Kuripot Pinay. Check out her blog for the whole mechanics. Basically, it’s saving a certain amount per week, each week increasing the amount by adding the 1st week’s amount. For example, if you want to save in increments of Php20, you’ll have to save 20 the first week, then 40 the next, then 60, and so on until you reach the 52nd week. Since my friends and I were all in dire need of money-saving, we accepted the challenge.

This time, I want to be strict with myself, so I set the bar a little higher than the example on the blog. I did the chart for my own values, and the latter part of the year’s amounts would really have me not going out or buying anything for two whole months, just so I can fulfill the saving goal. So, friends, your gift from me this Christmas will be free hugs. :)

I know, I know, saving isn’t the answer to financial freedom, but it’s the first step. I’ve researched the best bank and account type to keep the challenge’s money in while I figure out what kind of investments are available and how they work. Hopefully, by the start of 2015, I’d have legit investments that’d earn me money even while I sleep. :D

Now, how do I have the same determination for healthy eating and regular exercise…

 

8 Years With SuJu

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8 Years with Super Junior1 year and 7 months ago, I got sucked into this world where a bunch of dorks reigned. I was very bored and homesick at that time, and that world, and those dorks, kept me company. They inspired me, made me laugh, and made my every day just a little bit happier.

Their 7th debut anniversary was the first I celebrated with them. That was a mere 7 months from when I got sucked into their sapphire blue hole, and so I commemorated the day with a post on what each member has taught me. I still remember how I got teary-eyed while writing that post, so thankful to a group of strangers I’ve never met. Oh, how I wanted to meet them.

A year later, here I am in a completely different place, under different circumstances. Do I love them differently now?

Yes.

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Holdak: Korean Fried Chicken in the Philippines

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Holdak Korean Fried Chicken in ManilaI’ve loved fried chicken ever since I was young – it was my favorite dish and still is. My brother and I even have our top 5 fried chicken (which includes our aunt’s version – how does she make it so juicy on the inside and crispy on the outside and savory even without sauce?!). It’s a dish I’ll never get tired of.

Of course, when I went to South Korea, authentic Korean fried chicken was one of the things I wanted to try. I wasn’t expecting much, but I ended up wanting to eat it every day!

When I came home, it started to haunt me. Authentic Korean Fried Chicken, just like the one I had in Seoul. The ones existing here in Manila at that time didn’t cut it… until my friend, who just came home from Beijing, told us about delicious Korean fried chicken she had back there.

“Do we have Holdak here?” she asked. I googled.

WE DID! *cue angels singing*

NOTE: If you want the short version, pls. skip to the end. If you want a fun ride, then, you’re welcome to read the whole thing!^^

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Dear Kyu

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So many wishes crossed my mind as I stared at the tiny flame of my cake’s candle. One of them was, well, you singing “happy birthday” (in whichever language you’re comfortable with – I just want to hear your voice ♥) just for me, in person, right next to me. How heavenly would that be?

Remember last February, on that cold, cold Sunday morning? I was with you on your birthday. Well, me and about three hundred other girls and crew and the rest of SJM, but it felt really special that I was in the same place as you on your special day. Feb. 3, 2013 will forever be memorable to me because of that. And also ’cause I experienced my first ever snowfall on that day. :)

I’d also like to wish that you’re with me on mine. But we all know that even if I blow out a million candles, that won’t ever come true. (Well, unless I magically wake up inside Tokyo Dome later!) Also… because growing up has made me want to spend my wishes on more important things. I love you (as a normal fan and not in a creepy obssessed way, mind you), but I know that wishing to have you is just a wish wasted, and I’m one year closer to making my last birthday wish. So I need to spend them wisely.

This year, I wish for wisdom. I wish that I knew what the right thing to do was. I wish I knew how to make the right decisions. Goodness knows (and all my friends, btw) how many stupid decisions I’ve made this year. I never imagined myself to be this dumb. I figured that I’ve accumulated enough diplomas – I should be okay, right?

But I’m not. I have NO idea what I’m doing. Sometimes I think I do. Sometimes I think I’m going somewhere, building something that’s not utter garbage. But then life shows me that everything I do is just a big fat depressing joke. And I don’t know where I should be once again. I want to do a lot of things, but now I’m afraid that I’d just be wasting my time, putting so much effort into something that’ll completely fail later on.

Honestly, I wish I was more like you. Not just because I’m your fan, but because I admire your decision-making and your resolve to do what you love.

We came from similar backgrounds – comfortable and safe. People who were brought up in this kind of environment normally sticks to it. But you chose the hard path because that’s what you love doing. You could’ve been a successful lawyer by now, everybody knows you’re intelligent enough. But you chose to sing, to go through all that crap and still go through constant scrutiny, because singing is where your heart is. And now you’re also a successful variety show MC – someone who only sat quietly in the background and observed everyone else has become a leading TV show host. Look how far you’ve come!

I wish I were as good at adapting as you. You and I both were good in studying, but I wish I knew how to navigate through life like you. You knew what you wanted and you went for it. I wish I knew what I want. I wish I had something as specific as singing that I love. (I love to eat though – can I have the job of that guy from Man vs. Food?)

Opportunities arose and you grabbed them and you adjusted yourself to fit right in. You’re all alone in those variety shows without your hyungs and Henry to back you up but you made it. I wish I knew how to handle myself like that. I’m just so so scared to venture on my own. What if I fail? I haven’t done anything that has succeeded, who’s to know if I’ll ever succeed? What if I was born a failure? Maybe I am, because apparently a soothsayer told my dad that his second child was a boy and I turned out to be a girl. Ooops, sorry, wrong gender.

I just… admire your maturity. Your smartness. Your grumpiness, well, I have a little bit of that (most people just don’t know lol), but I just wish I knew how to live through life like you appear to. Maybe you’re also clueless. Maybe you’re also making it up as you go along. Maybe you’re confused, too. But you make it look easy.

When I feel down, I just keep telling myself that you had to endure months – even years – to get to where you are right now. You had to sleep without a bed for half a year. You got bullied (at least a little bit) by your bandmates. But you endured. You got through that. And you made it. :)

I wish I had your guts. Share with me those iron guts! :))

Maybe one day I’ll figure it out. Maybe one day things will align and I’ll finally be able to do something right. Maybe then, when I’m finally worth something, maybe I can finally meet you. ♥