Montello is Our Adventure

I know my friend, Shiela, is an amazing writer. I just never thought how insanely awesome her mind is in making stories.

About two years ago she started, with all the courage that she had, to put down on paper (or a writing platform aka Wattpad, at that) the very stories her mind had woven. I was already proud of her for doing so because very few people have the guts to follow their instinct, to pursue their dream, to just go ahead and bleed their purpose. Very few people will choose something crazy, will choose all the inconvenience over comfort, will choose all the hard work together with whatever they have going on in their lives at the moment. And I know, the other three of our friends (we’re five in our group) believed in her so so much. So there goes the story of Montello High: School of Gangsters.

I’m not going to nag on you to read that story over Wattpad here. Because if you haven’t experienced how a story can make you feel different sorts of feelings and bring you to places you’ve never been and open your eyes to things you might not yet seeing, then, you have a bigger problem. Haha! Kidding. But please, you know ninety-five percent of what I just said is true. I’ll never force you to read the story because I never forced myself to read it. And you know, people don’t need forcing to do something good for them, sometimes. There are other cases for that.

I never read it before because Shels (this is what we call her ((and for her fans, I don’t really know the origin of her pseudonym ‘Siel Alsreim’ but I think the ‘Siel’ part is short for Shels haha whatever))) haven’t finished writing it yet. Yes, I’m that kind of friend who doesn’t wanna read a friend’s story until it’s finished because I’m not very brave in the department of Hang in There for a While, I’ll Give You Your Updates Soon unlike most of her readers. And I love these readers who continued the support for over a year until the completion of the book. Grabe guys, iba kayo. #PUSO It shows that people appreciate art and people can connect their souls to a genuine art if it’s something really very wonderful and sincere. And Shels achieved what every writers should: only connect. It makes us prouder for her even more. Just to clarify though, we (us friends) are already proud of each other and believe in each other just because of who we are, individually. It’s just that how everything turned out for this adventure Shels had was super overwhelming beyond what we imagined. It’s amazing, God is superkaduper awesome!!!

I just read Montello yesterday and I can’t put it down despite my household chores and other things I needed to do. I read it til almost sunrise of today lol. And I was just mindblown. It IS a beautiful work of art. Just. Wow. I witnessed every single shift of events and I was awed. Who can think such story? It was very lovely. It is indeed full of adventure, teenage angst, young love, violence (please be guided when reading it, there are a lot of cussing and violence ((we don’t tolerate that outside the book just so you know lol))), hot-guys-who-read books-and-are-so-full-of-substance (this we tolerate), friendship, death, loss, letting go, acceptance, love and self-love.

When I was younger, I secretly wish to be a gangster too and be all that invincible; reading Montello is like reliving that dream. Haha. I know. Lol. Also, I’ve always wanted that “young love” but that never happened to me (boooo); I meant, the young love that I felt back then was not something that was reciprocated to me. If you are like me, it’s okay. When you love someone, you don’t lose, whether that love was reciprocated or not. Please remember that. (That’s why I adore MHSG’s Jin Cast. It takes one brave soul to love one-sided love. #oopsspoilerthere) Please also remember, High School and College is not the end of the world, if you haven’t given a love story then, something better is coming your way someday. Hold on tight, it’ll be a wonderful ride. Hold. On. Tight.

I will never leave my two cents on Montello without giving credit to our other friend, Mari, who became Shels’ confidant and editor in the whole process of MHSG. Whatever they say, she will be the first editor who ever touched this treasure and no one will ever be compared to the dedication that she put at stake in there. No one will ever dare question! MHSG was a tag team of Shels, editor, readers, fans and all those amazing people who kept being amazing to the story and to our friends.

Thank You Lord, for showing us how limited our minds are because You certainly can do Your works and we will stand in full amazement and praise! Thank You that Montello High: School of Gangsters will be published as a book! (!!!) Yup, you heard it right. It will be published by Summit Media (one of our dream companies to work to, before). This book – Shels’ story – will be available for you to read in hard copies just so you learn the Art of Waiting. If not, I gave you the link earlier and you can start reading if you want to. But it’ll defs worth owning, so start saving up! Lol.

For all those who loved, lost, loved again; those who value friendship; those who cherish their family; those who made mistakes, been so desperate, but learned to hope and get back on their feet… Montello is our adventure. And yes, I’ll keep it.

So We Borrowed Something From Frank O’hara

Over the weekends, I caught a movie on ETC called Wild Child. It was an old movie where Emma Roberts (Poppy Moore) starred in as a rebellious Malibu princess shipped to study in an English boarding school by her father.

Big fan of Emma Roberts, represent! :)

As a sucker for chic flicks, it is imperative of me to get my cellphone and send a message about it to some of my friends called Tomblrs (Mari, Mayu, Jek and Shiela). You know how you have this favorite group of people you always bombard with any of your mundane activities in your life via group message? Yes, they are those people. Haha!

At home, we don’t have a Cable-TV. The street where we are located doesn’t really have a nice reception to show you a number of channels; ergo, even we are Kapamilyas by heart, we are at the court of the Kapusos. In that particular night, though, it was a good thing that ETC was up even if the signal was not too crystal.

In the movie, there was this scene where Emma had a date with the headmistress’ son – which was kind of sweet, by the way – and it dawned on me how familiar the face of the actor was. I just can’t recognize it since our TV was kind of grainy so I had to confirm if he was the actor who I think he is with Tomblrs. And when I found out that I was right, I was even more ecstatic! The lead man was none other than Alex Pettyfer (Freddie Kingsley in the movie)!!! Yup, my I Am Number Four / Beastly beloved was a young English gentleman at Wild Child! And that’s where me and my friend, Shiela, went ballistic! Haha! When girls like something, they fight for it til death. In our case, we fight through poems. Lol. It’s like who loves Alex better – Nins or Shels? #medyochildish #notworthblogging #butstill

When I thought she had forgotten about it, Shiela went for her first mini poem for Alex last Monday. It goes,

Having a Coke with you
Is even more better than me having the grandest vacation in Boracay or Puerto Galera…
Because the sun and the beach looked tame when I stare in the depths of your eyes.
Because my most beautifully-written fairy tale is coming true when I’m with you.

Sheila improvised and patterned her poem from the famous scene at the other Alex Pettyfer movie – Beastly – where he read a Frank O’hara masterpiece: Having a Coke with You#kilig

My favorite line from the poem <3

Shiela’s not the kind who surrenders an admiration, especially for Alex, she even said:

I love him like the Summer’s blue sky. I love him like the Autumn’s maple leaves. I guess I would need dozens pair of seasons to describe how I love him.

Her famous Wattpad Story was also inspired by Alex. Now, I cannot top that. That’s big time art! HAHA. I’m really proud of her and my other friend Mari (her editor) since the story reached two million awesomesauce reads already! Woohoo! However, it wasn’t a call to give up my admiration for Alex too, you know. So I also responded with a poem yesterday. We’re still borrowing Sir O’hara’s framework on this one…

Having a Coke with you
Is even more wonderful than watching Manila sunset at the bay at 5:45 in the afternoon
Partly because your smile speaks tons of stories I will never get tired of hearing; I bet, til dawn
Party because your smell makes me dizzy just like Manila pollution — and you know, dizzy is good
Partly because of my love for poetry and that your very presence makes me want to string in words which I could make as poems
I wouldn’t mind traffic because there’s not a time wasted
Being with you makes me hope, being with you makes me believe that sunsets doesn’t always mean endings
That sometimes, all we really have to do is just marvel at the beauty of an orange horizon
And it is my privilege to gaze beauty in its rawness that is you

I intended for it to be four stanzas only but I got carried away a little bit. Haha!

So, what’s the lesson here? Nothing actually. Haha! It’s just that it’s nice to pour out your emotions into words, most times – it’s the way you make poetry. You do it with your heart. Whatever fuels your inspiration, hold on to it, remember what it feels like. One day, don’t be afraid to make an art out of it. Cheers!

Anecdotes on the Other Side of the Ocean

Growing up. Mr. Webster defines it as a verb, an action word, which means to grow toward or arrive at full stature or physical or mental maturity. I, on the other, see this as an event of twist and turns, ups and downs, acceptance and rejection, fear and courage, doubt and faith.

You see, life is but a hard road to travel. It is so hard that it could just caught you off guard and knock you out of your balance. The path will never be easy but I believe that’s where the beauty lies. We go through its courses that sharpens our perspective, understanding, character and attitude. These courses often require us to embrace change, to embrace growth from and within ourselves. But this, however, is my dilemma at twenty years old.

I can’t process, I can’t grasp this whole idea of growing up, although I know it’s gonna be beautiful. It’s not that I can’t, really, it’s more of I just don’t want to yet. I really don’t want it just yet. Not now.

When I graduated college (which was a year and nine days now, to be exact), I didn’t have concrete to-do plans but I still have Plans: find a course-related job in the corporate world, be excellent at it, and earn as much as I can for myself and my family while doing it. That’s the Plan. That’s my Plan. I never thought of seeing myself doing anything else, just that.

Then came one day and my Plan was set aside and was kept in its box. I was surprised to be on this other journey than the ones I’ve set my mind on to. I was suddenly working for a non-profit faith-based organization. At first, I don’t really understand what are these people trying to do and why are they doing it at all. But as I sojourn with them, I realized that my dreams before were quite shallow–all I think about is myself and what I want (nothing’s wrong with that) but you see, life in this earth is more than just me or you. We are here to serve others, to be the light and salt in the darkness. Anywhere we are, we have opportunities to do that, we just need to spot where it is exactly and we aren’t suppose to neglect that opportunity. And so, after almost a year, I’m learning from them, I’m learning what and why the Big Guy wants me there.

Being in that sort of a real world makes you see and discover something else within yourself–fear starts to creep in, nerves were just out of place, doubts scatter everywhere. And this, I know, is a part of this growing up cycle: stepping out of your boundaries. However this scares the crap out of me.

Faith, my faith, is on the other side of the coin. I ain’t a kid (baby Christian as they call it) anymore, therefore, it’s just about the right time to take full responsibility when it comes to my relationship with my Father. I am to bear fruit. I am to be transformed. No more playing around. I think and feel that I am such a disappointment to the Big Guy on this part. I don’t know, I don’t do things the way I should. It’s like I don’t want to go through the transition of being a baby to someone taking responsibility. I don’t want to step out my comfort zone. But when I don’t, I know I won’t grow. Growing up needs you to break your barriers, your safe nets, you need to move forward and make Him proud.

Growing up. It’s still of a big word for me. A big word which means responsibility. Especially with the kind of person that I am – I am most terrified in making a mistake. I’m afraid of failing and disappointing the people around me. And I know that’s where I got it all wrong.

In this life, fears will come knocking at your door (but most of the time, it will just go in without permission). The feeling of inadequacy and self-doubt is just around the corner and it’s gonna be a confusing path to take. And although I can’t really comprehend this growing-up thing until now, I know for a fact that there’s Someone Greater – Someone Greater than all of my fears and doubts combined. Someone Greater who’s gonna guide me through all these chaos. Someone Greater who is called peace and stillness, the joy that’s gonna burst inside of you if you let it. Someone Greater who is never ever gonna leave and will be by your side, holding your hands. Someone Greater who’ll give you ways to fly. Someone Greater who you can call hope, a weapon you can truly depend on to.

Time will come when things are gonna be better and everything will make sense after the drought. Always remember (dear self) that failures and mistakes are all included in the package called Life.

***

But these girls, I am certain of in life. They literally grow on me. HAHA! They make growing up a fun thing to do…like in the case of eating this pizza.

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Look.

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See what I mean? Haha! :P