For the record, I failed my actual driving exam 3 times. So if you guys fail at something the first time, go lang nang go! Makukuha nyo rin yun!
I started driving back in Manila when I was about 15 or 16. I was taught how to drive a vehicle using an old school stick-shift Torana (no powerwheel & all!), and an owner (those custom-made jeeps ubiquitous in the suburbs & pronvinces). I got my license without having read any Driver’s Manual/Handbook (do we even have any?). I do not remember having done the actual test like what is done here. I vaguely remember being asked to move a vehicle a few feet forward, copying a cheat sheet for my written test. So yes, that was the reason why I was a very loose driver back home. (LTO, you guys need to overhaul your system, mehn!)
I had a few brushes with the MMDA, including beating the red light where I pulled off a Judy Ann tear jerker to an enforcer to no avail. My license was still confiscated coz mali naman talaga ako haha! And some that I have went away with: “Bakit hindi nyo hinuli yung nauna sakin, mali din sya ha. Dahil ba mas mukha akong may pera?” | “Boss, Gawad Kalinga po kami, May pupuntahan po kaming House build” (Sorry, but this has worked, and most of us have used this haha! Some even have asked to volunteer or a shirt!) | “Wala namang ganyang sign dati. Hindi ba pwede warningan nyo na lang muna ang mga motorista imbes na nanghuhuli kayo agad? Saka bakit ba apat-apat kayo dyan sa harap ko??” | “Bossing, first time ko dito. Taga-Antipolo pa ako.” | and the ever prevalent among all excuses, “Tito ko si [place politician’s name here,from Batangas.” (Well, I didn’t have the guts to use that last one. The closest I did was calling my Brother & asking him to talk to the enforcer.)
And my lack of knowledge has also gotten me in a few vehicular accidents. Like the time that I jostled with a huge truck while turning right from Greenmeadows to Ortigas Ave. on my way to work. I did not know that trucks (& buses) have more blind spots than small vehicles (I told the manong pa naman, ang laki-laki ng salamin mo hindi mo ako nakita!). And I should have known that big vehicles make huge turns, so mali na makipag-gitgitan sa kanila. But because I didn’t know anything, I had told the truck driver (having assumed that I was right, and he was the cause of the accident), “Ok I won’t ask you for money so let’s not exchange contacts anymore coz I’m already late .And the funnier thing was, there was an MMDA enforcer trying to issue us tickets for “obstruction of traffic.” I had told him off, “Kasalanan ba namin may aksidente?” Oh mehn, how juvenile! :))
There was a time too (this time I knew I was right, even the police said so), a long long time ago, going home from Shangri-la, as I was about to turn right from St. Francis St. to Shaw Blvd., there was this SUV on my left that was also trying to turn to the same direction. Commonsense calls that he should give way to me as I have already blocked his space. Eh si Kups , dumiretso pa rin. Ayun, we had caused a traffic along Shaw. Police officers of Mandaluyong had brought us to the station. I was with no one, so it was me vs them that was comprised of a family of about 5 and a driver. But that was fine coz I knew they were wrong. I was asking them to pay for the damage on my car. I was waiting for them with my mataray-look which I couldn’t hold for any much longer coz I wanted to cry already for being outnumbered, even though the police has got my back (Hahaha!). Then this freakin’ driver handed a mobile phone to the police & said, “Kausapin daw kayo.” I was like WHAT THE HECK, when I heard the police saying to someone on the phone, “Ah ganun po ba? Opo…Sige po… Oo nga po.” (Turned out he was talking to a Congressman) …And so being naive that I was, I didn’t know what had happened next anymore. All I remembered was just signing something on a “blotter.” Then going home with a damaged car and a damaged hope on humanity. Looking back, all I can do is SMH (shake my head). Ang pinoy nga naman, kung makakalusot, lulusot. I am guilty of this too. BUT with major mishaps or strains, or sa mga kalokohan o mga katiwalian, if it is really CLEAR that we did something wrong, we should all man up! Driving is only partof this grand scheme of things. Pano pa ang kabuuan. Tsk tsk tsk. (Yes, I’m banging my own head too. But at least, I will get my deserved lashings here if I really do something bad. There’s no more room for red tape/power play. Which is good.)
Anyway, so I guess I was meant to fail my exam. When I came here, I had the mentality of “I got this!” since I got 11 years of continued driving in the worst traffic of Manila under my belt. I did go to a driving school here in LA but only for 2 hours, and I wasn’t also practicing that much coz people were busy (you need to have a CA licensed driver with you at all times). Those were not enough to break my bad driving habits… And so what happened, my every driving test was like my driving school. Doon na ako natututo hahah! I learned that I should not slow down when changing lanes; that I should wait inside the left-turn lanes when turning left (tinutok ko kasi sa kalye, you know, how we do in Manila); and a lot more minor ones that accounted to failures.
When I failed the first time, grabe, it was like my whole world froze & melted at the same time before my very eyes. I got kinda depressed. Coz it’s also one thing here in LA; you have to be able to drive to go places. It is hard to commute around here. And I was thinking, how would I be able to start my life right away without being able to drive?? So I gave myself a day to mope around thinking there’s always a 2nd try… and 3rd.. On my 4th try, I was like so used to it that I didn’t expect anything anymore. I just prayed that I be given a test officer who will give me a fair chance. (Coz honestly, 2 of my failures were a bit sketchy. I did not make any major errors. They just said I was inconsistent with that looking-over-the-shoulder thing.)
Anyway, when the testing officer told me, “You passed, but you had few minor… *@^@%!&#*#… and that *#&@^@$… and @&#^#…” I couldn’t hear the rest of what she was saying. I was stuck on her first 2 words. After about 2 minutes of her talking, I asked, “I passed?” Hahaha! Coz I really couldn’t believe it! It was just like what my ate Arlyn said, the feeling was akin to winning a lottery!
And so now, here in LA, I’m mobile.
I’ve been driving around for more than a month and I say SOBRA SARAP mag-drive especially if you and the people around you follow the rules. Well, that is why there are rules. Coz if every one of us follow our own (just like what’s more often happening in Manila), then there’d be chaos… gitgitan, singitan, hindi marunong magbigayan (a true reflection of its people). Ah just thinking about it makes my head hurt. I wonder how I could’ve survived driving there.
The person who criticizes others all the time is, in reality, unhappy with oneself.
He or she concentrates on what’s wrong with everything instead of what’s right with it….
This person concentrates on the specks of dust that may be found on any masterpiece and, as a result, goes through life… missing the beauty and the wonders of life.
To FB or not to FB… This has plagued me for days. Haha!
I have wanted to delete myself from the face of the internet, but not totally. Only in Facebook. Coz I’ve been a heavy Facebook user. I have posted a lot of photos and videos, posted links and opinions, commented on my friends’ posts, chatted with friends once in a while, and have even created a hacienda in Farmville & have become a billionaire from winning Mafia Wars. Recently, like earlier of this year, a lot of my time was spent on it connecting with friends from across the globe, But still, in a way, it had been a therapy for me. But it has stopped doing that now. For some reason, I wanted to build a new life and I thought that for me to do that, I have to be away from everything that was part of who I was… But nah. Duh. We cannot escape our past. We are where we are now because of our past. So I guess I am keeping my account active.
One of the reasons, too, why I had thought of deactivating my account was because I had wanted to feel how it is to be FB-less… Like my friends Via & Gerry. Via is an outright FB-hater, haha! She loves her privacy way too much that’s why she was able to stay away from it for this long. Gerry, on the other hand, is content with connecting through emails & phone calls (she doesn’t even have text messaging!). And there’s my friend who used to be a heavy FB user who just disappeared from my newsfeeds. I have tried communicating with her for days and inquired if she was ok. Then she finally answered that she was gonna close her account for some personal reason. I’ve felt sad, but I wasn’t surprised. She’s eccentric like that… Anyway, I knew that without FB, could read more books, too, than more of my newsfeeds, I could write, paint, travel, teach Sophie how to read/write… I could live more. Without FB, people live more. Although I know some people who do live more with FB. Coz they are constantly trying to find new exciting things to do that they could post on their Walls. To each its own, I guess.
The thought of going FB-less consumed me for days. I have even asked my partner to change my password so that I could just start by walking through my days without it until I can eventually get used to it, and finally delete it. But he didn’t want to! He said, “Disiplina lang yan.” Grrr haha! But yeah, he is right. So for days, I have tried not logging in and just be satisfied with blogging (Tumblr), and really thought about this whole deleting-myself-from-FB thing.
And this was my decision: I AM KEEPING IT.
1. Given that I could just bbm/email/text most of my friends, some of them live in the Facebook world that they don’t open their emails anymore. And I don’t want to lose touch with them.
2. I do not want to be disconnected from my deaf friends/kids. Facebook is now one of their major tools in communication.
3. Sophie has a lot of fans. (Daig na nga ako e!) Most of my friends would always ask about her nowadays. Gah! Yeah, forget about me… But yes, most of my posts are about her. (I know I am guilty of being one of those moms who display their kid a lot. I can’t help it. I am a big fan of my daughter, too! Haha!) Eventually, my FB will become hers.
4. Ok I have my own followers too who want updates on my life, & family.
5.1) I do not get wasted 2) I am not the type who pimps out 3) only I can see my tagged photos/videos, mwahahaaha! I believe that I can be a publicly private person (or privately public), and with the FB privacy settings, I can do that.
7. Facebook is a real easy means of compartmentalizing memories. I am so OC about that, so if you are my FB friend, you can see how my photos are arranged in just as few albums as possible.
8. I follow community pages of a favorite library, pages of bookstores, travel sites, underground communities & events. They update more on their Facebook pages than in most of their websites.
Yeah that’s it. All I really have to do now, just to pacify myself, which have really obsessive-compulsively consumed me for months, is to filter my friends Hmmm ok so I will not remove myself from the face of the internet. Coz I cannot. I am forever settled here, just like you, reading this. Haha! This is part & parcel of who we are now, in this era. Unless you live in the outskirts of the cities in Japan, or on top of the mountains of Peru.
Anyway, even though I always say I hate the changing of times, or the internet, or technology, or Facebook, I guess I have to thank those for making our lives easier, the world smaller, and the people closer… And yes, that’s the word. cLOSEr. Close. Closed.
My cousin’s school is at West 10th Street. Our church is on the Upper West Side. Most of the places I’ve gone to in past days are mostly on the west side of Manhattan. A couple of days ago we voyaged to the other side of town and found ourselves on the East side of things. Here are a few interesting things I saw in St. Marks :)
Freedom wall strewn with political complaints. :))
St. Marks. I find this place so alive and colorful.
I have wanted to delete myself from the face of the internet, but not totally. Only in Facebook.
During times of stress, I displace myself and desperately quiet the voice in my head. I get online, surf the net, read blogs, sign in to facebook ‘like’ every button that I see and update wall posts with friends. This is what is really happening in my life at the present moment. This too shall pass… This is okay. This is real life.
One day, I began reflecting on my use of facebook. I begin to listen to the whispers I hear and being willing to act on what I feel, I turn away from the world, decided to write with the use of my pen and paper, took my daily planner then began having a conversation with myself on the notebook. Everything I was worried about just spilled out in a rapid stream of consciousness. What I was doing was not so much recording the events in my life as much as eliminating the mental clutter that was depleting my creative energy and driving me crazy. I was then to let go and get on with my day. I became aware of all the conversations that I continuously carry on with myself. There was rarely a quieting of my mind. I needed balance. Instinctively, I turn to homegrown rituals to restore my equilibrium. I learned that finding a quiet center in which to create and sustain life has become essential as breathing.
21 days. That’s the length of time psychologists tell us we need to perform a new behavior before it becomes habitual. This habit became therapeutic. It clears my head and calms my restless spirit. There’s a relief and release. I guess, we all have a place from where to begin… That’s why, I decided to blog it all out! (Eggcited much??)
For me, it has been wonderful to connect with people… getting updated. Meeting new people is always FUN! The primary reason I went on facebook a few years ago was to be reconnected with people.
Though I realize the primary reason I use facebook is to share the happiness, love and light that God has put on my heart… I still worry. I still get sad, depressed… and feel empty. Do I really need to continue doing this? These are the questions that I asked myself…
Why do you always have the urge to change your status until you feel that you already reached the quota of your news feed for the entire day? Why do you need to satisfy yourself from all the ‘likes’ and comments that you get? Flattery? Comfort? Is facebook a place to seek affirmation?
When the distractions of real life deplete our energy, the first thing that we eliminate is the thing that we need the most: quiet, reflective time. Our time to dream, time to think and time to contemplate what’s working and what’s not, so that we can make changes for the better.
Maybe it’s not the tragedies that kill us, it’s the messes. We may not be able to control what’s happening externally in our lives but we can learn to look to our own inner resources for a sense of comfort that nurtures and sustains. So I’ve been praying about this. It may be time to say so long to something that can be somewhat as addictive as my morning chocolate drink, checking facebook.
For many of us this might become such a radical decision from the way we have been behaving that it seems unbelievable. Yet it is possible. YES! Ang sagot dyan ay DELETE. No, Deactivation na lang. HAHA! Ano nga kaya mangyayare sa mundo kapag nawala bigla ang facebook? End of the world na ba?! WORKOUT!!! Meow.
As I struggle from the day to day, from crisis to crisis, bruised and battered by circumstances, I always have a choice. Learn how to stop dramas and start to trust the flow of life and the goodness of Spirit. Expect the best from any situation and write new chapters in my life with happy endings.
God is really working on that need in my life. Peace and Order, it is! This is simply part of my journey in order for me to gradually cultivate the sense of order being a (slight) O.C. person that I am. He knows that I can’t think clearly when I constantly surrounded by clutter, chaos and confusion especially I’m very easily distracted. I knew before I can change anything in my life, I have to recognize that this is the way it’s meant to be right now. He is teaching me to slow down… learn to pause, to balance demands with pleasures, moments of solitude with a need for companionship, work with play, activity with rest, the inner self with the outer packaging. My affirmation must come from pleasing Him, from Him, not others. As long as I seek it from others, it will be like a bottomless pit in my soul, never being filled… Always empty.
Take a leap of faith. Are YOU also willing to walk away from today, to get a little closer to your life’s purpose? After all, what have you got to lose but misery and lack? I choose serenity. Peace be with you.
Today, I let go of the struggle… It’s as if the steam of struggle has been allowed to escape from life’s pressure cooker. As I allow the healing process of change to begin… I’m ready to move on… FORWARD! Here we go