Saturday, June 18, 2011

Writing from Schiphol International Airport, Amsterdam

Saturday, June 18, 2011

I'm here at Schiphol International Airport with seven hours to kill and an hour of free wifi. I almost did not make my connecting flight to Amsterdam because of all the hassle the airport personnel at both NAIA and HKIA gave me. A lone Filipina flying to a foreign country MUST BE scheming to land a job in her place of destination. She can't possibly be a traveler out to have some fun with her guy in that country she's been dreaming of. For them, it just can't be possible.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Continuous Partial Attention

Thursday, June 16, 2011

One of my favorite scenes from the 2010 movie, The Social Network, goes like this:

Gage: Mr. Zuckerberg, do I have your full attention?
Mark Zuckerberg: [stares out the window] No.
Gage: Do you think I deserve it?
Mark Zuckerberg: [looks at Gage] What?
Gage: Do you think I deserve your full attention?
Mark Zuckerberg: I had to swear an oath before we began this deposition, and I don't want to perjure myself, so I have a legal obligation to say no.
Gage: Okay - no. You don't think I deserve your attention.
Mark Zuckerberg: I think if your clients want to sit on my shoulders and call themselves tall, they have the right to give it a try - but there's no requirement that I enjoy sitting here listening to people lie. You have part of my attention - you have the minimum amount. The rest of my attention is back at the offices of Facebook, where my colleagues and I are doing things that no one in this room, including and especially your clients, are intellectually or creatively capable of doing. [pauses]
Mark Zuckerberg: Did I adequately answer your condescending question?


Talking to people unwilling and incapable of giving you their full attention makes you ask yourself if you, indeed, deserve their attention. Perhaps you don’t. Perhaps you do. Either way, get over it. And you shouldn’t be demanding too much from frazzled minds trying to cope with this new world order of multitasking and distraction, should you?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

a shared history

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

For a small circle of friends who only meet two to three times a year, four days is just not enough.  At the end of each day, almost reluctant to part for the night, we gathered in my hotel room.  Over numerous cups of coffee, pastries from the hotel cafĂ© and chips bought from the grocery store across the street, we talked about what’s new and retold stories of old. As talk and laughter resounded in the room, the present blended with the past in a way that only two decades of friendship and a shared history can achieve.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The last confirmation of love when everything else fell away

Thursday, June 9, 2011

This passage from the book I’m reading reminded me of my siblings:


…People talk about the happy quiet that can exist between two lovers, but this too was great: sitting between his sister and his brother, saying nothing, eating... He did not consider if or how or why he loved them.  They were just love: they were the first evidence he ever had of love, and they would be the last confirmation of love when everything else fell away.


~ Zadie Smith, On Beauty, 2005

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Malaysia Chronicles Eight: Island Hopping in Kota Kinabalu

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

I came back from Kota Kinabalu with a runny nose, a pounding headache and stomach muscles sore from all the coughing.  It was all worth it though.  The four days I spent with my friends island hopping in Sabah were just as I expected – fun, crazy and exhausting. We went there with nary an idea about the place because we were certain that we’ll enjoy each other’s company no matter what the place turns out to be.  Woozy in the stifling heat, astonished with the foreignness and familiarity of the city and surrounded with locals who not only looked just like us but spoke to us fluent in Filipino, we fitted right in.

Without any itinerary, we ended up soaking in the waters of Sapi and Manukan Islands, two of the five small islands off the coast of Kota Kinabalu that make up the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park, and Tanjung Aru, the beach near our hotel.
sailboats racing at Tanjung Aru
Manukan Island
Sapi Island
Tanjung Aru

*Photos courtesy of CGG, AMP and NC

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Warmth

Thursday, June 2, 2011

It’s 1:34 in the afternoon; my day’s work is done. The noon sun has yet again worked its way into my room, and I savor its warmth with a steaming mug of coffee and Florence and the Machine’s Dog Days are Over blaring loud in my ears.

“Happiness hit her like a train on a track
Coming towards her, stuck still no turning back.”

I think about the coming weekend that I will spend with my friends, and I feel even warmer inside.
 
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