So I haven’t posted here in almost six months. Hello, blogÂ is still alive, just a lot neglected. But since it’s already December – andÂ almost Christmas – I figured it’s time for a post.
Not a long post, because I am usually reserving that for the days leading to the New Year. For today, I don’t have much to say, except that I’m sure we all need the joy and peace and love that we can this Christmas because 2016 has been throwing a lot of punches and curve balls at everyone, especially in the last months. It’s easy to forget all the good things that happened when all we see are the bad, and we forget to be thankful for what we have. During one of the dawn masses I attended, one of the priests said,Â WeÂ complain when we don’t get what we pray for, but we forget to thank God for the tragedies He has spared us from. So powerful.
So in this last few days of 2016, I’m resolving to be more grateful for what this year has been – both good and bad – in preparation for 2017. :)
But first,Â Christmas. Check out this video from Lifeteen, to remind us of the person Christmas is about — “…the one person, one life that changed the world.”
And this is the last part of my 2015Â mixtape. Will 15 songs even fit a single tape?
To be honest, I had a hard time coming up with 15 songs, and I highly suspect it’s because of two things: there’s not a lot of feels in this year (orÂ hugot, if I must use that word), and I don’t venture out too much from my playlists. I can’t really remedy the first one (do I need that?), but I can work on the second one. Like maybe next year, explore more playlists on Spotify (did I ever say how much I love Spotify?Â IÂ loooveÂ Spotify!), and get more recommendations. So friends, if you’re reading this, throw me songs, artists, playlists for 2016 and I’ll listen to them!
Here we go, the last 5 songs for 2015. (Spotify playlist at the end of this post!)
11. Not Over You by Gavin De Graw
If you ask me how I’m doing I would say I’m doing just fine I would lie and say that you’re not on my mind But I go out and I sit down at a table set for two And finally I’m forced to face the truth, No matter what I say I’m not over you, not over you
No, no, no leftover relate feelings for this song! I was randomly jumping around artists on Spotify and found this. This screamedÂ Faith!!! on first listen, and I just had to put it on her playlist.
12.Â Perfect by One Direction
And if you’re looking for someone to write your breakup songs about Baby, I’m perfect Baby, we’re perfect
So 2015 is the year I really became a Directioner, haha. Two songs in this list! But this song is pretty fun to listen to, and this pretty much spawned a lot of plot bunnies for our little romance writing group. Also, look at how good these boys look (even if Zayn is already out of the picture)! I think Niall is my favorite boy now. :P
13. Masterpiece by Andy Grammer
One, you get one heartbeat so, take it seriously This is your masterpiece, donâ€™t forget to dream And taste the colors in the air you breathe Itâ€™s your masterpiece, go ahead and feel it all Donâ€™t stop till it is beautiful
I discovered Andy Grammer this year and his songs are some of my favorite cheer-up songs. And finally his album,Â Magazines or Novels,Â is already on Spotify. This is my favorite in the album, and it reminds me to really to make my life a masterpiece. (And it also helps me in my writing!)
14. Mary, Did You Know? by Pentatonix
Mary, did you know that your Baby Boy will give sight to a blind man? Mary, did you know that your Baby Boy will calm the storm with His hand? Did you know that your Baby Boy has walked where angels trod? When you kiss your little Baby you kissed the face of God?
I’ve heard of Pentatonix before, but I didn’t pay attention to them because I thought they weren’t the kind of group I would listen to. Then I came across this version ofÂ Mary, Did You Know?Â and I am blown away. Gosh, what a beautiful version. Plus points because I’ve always loved Christmas songs that were about the people surrounding Jesus, because it kind of helps me try to comprehend the beauty of His birth. :) (Listen to MercyMe’sÂ Joseph’s LullabyÂ and Jars of Clay’sÂ Bethlehem Town!)
15. Hanggang Wala Nang Bukas by Ebe Dancel
Ang makita kang malaya, at umibig ng payapa Mabuhay sa mundong itong ligtas sa takot at gulo At makita kang malaya ang nag-iisang panata Yayakapin, mamahalin kita Hanggang wala nang bukas
I have so much love for this song because I have so much love for the Heneral Luna film.Â The last time I felt so moved about a movie was atÂ The Passion of the Christ, and but then I was more remorseful than angry.Â Heneral Luna made me so angry even at the second watch, but even so, I look forward to watching it again (hi, DVD!), and to watching the rest of the movies that they will be making based on our heroes. I think this is one of the most important movies that came out this year, and it’s really something one has to watch to understand and think and beÂ moved by it. And this song by Ebe Dancel is just perfect for this movie.
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And that’s it for my songs for 2015. :) Here’s the playlist on Spotify – currently missing Ben Rector’sÂ Favorite Song because it’s not on Spotify, but you can play the video, anyway! :D Till then, more songs in 2016! (Seriously, recommendations, please? :D)
It took me a while to realize that November has gone by and I wasn’t able to post anything that month.Â Darn it. I was hoping to at least blog once a month this year, when I realized that I won’t be able to post as much as I used to. Not just because of life, which always gets in the way, but also because I feel like there isn’t much to write about. Here, anyway. I write a lot of emails and stuff for work, and I still struggle with my fiction writing, but writing here has been a bit slow compared to the previous years. In a way, it’s good because that means a lot of my angst (aka #hugot)Â has passed, but I also really miss writing and ruminating about life, here.
But look, it’s December. I was a little bit in denial about it last week when it finally rolled around, but I couldn’t deny that the lights were brighter and the air is cooler (my poor lungs) and my weekends are slowly being filled with parties from different groups of people. Whoa, Christmas, you’re almost here. And whoa, 2016, you’re also almost here.
Last Friday, I was at the last CFC gathering for the year and Kuya Bubi showed a video about slowing down for Christmas. How Christmas is always a stressful time for everyone because of the holiday rush, but really, Christmas – or Advent,Â rather – is a time when we shouldÂ slow down.Â Slow down so we’d have a chance to observe and participate in life. Slow down to have time with the people we love. Slow down, because Advent isn’t about rushing, and Christmas isn’t about making sure everyone has presents.Â Slow down.
My Advent last year was crazy because of work, but I remember excitedly going home so I could spend some time with my nephew, who was just two months back then. I remember finally letting my thoughts stop when I get home, as I go to their room and sit by this little boy, and listen as my breath slows down as I watch him sleep. Slow down, because grace isn’t a burden, and God comes as a babyÂ because grace is weightless.
I like that thought:Â grace is weightless.Â :)
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Right Here, Right Now.
Janus Silang at ang Tiyanak ng Tabon by Edgar Calabia Samar. Friends have been raving about this, and I finally got copies at the last book fair because the books were on sale and the author was having a signing. The first time I tried reading this, I had a hard time with the Filipino, but now it’s not so hard. (Kind of funny how it’s a bit hard to read in my native language, huh.) I am enjoying this so far, and there was this one part that kind of creeped me out last night that I was almost hesitant to venture out of the bedroom to get something from the other room. Heh.
This blog post. Other than this, I have two short stories in progress and that novel. I writeÂ when I can, which isn’t much yet because I want to get all the work stuff out of the way until my vacation. 11 calendar days left!
That it’s not so easy to do portion control over food again after months of…well, of not doing it. I signed up for Pickle Food Co this week, and it’s just the first day of the meal plan and part of me is already trying to distract myself from hunger. Haha! And there was this little birthday celebration at work today so I kind of cheated already. Oops. But to be fair, the food they provide is pretty filling — the containers are heavy and full of food. I’m planning to do this for 2 weeks for now because Christmas to try it out, then go back to it again by January. :)
This essential oil of sorts that I bought from Rockwell last weekend. I forgot the name of the store, but it’s near Fully Booked. :D It’s calledÂ Breathe, which is supposed to be good for respiratory problems, like asthma. It smells very clean, and it has this little menthol kick. I think it’s helping, and I really hope it’s working because I don’t want to take too much Salbutamol for this slight wheezing I had early today.
That vacation would come soon? Haha. To finish all the work stuff that I need to finish before vacation rolls around, really. And that my lungs would behave for the rest of the holiday season.
And old YFC shirt and jammies, because this lola is so ready to go to bed.
That I have time again, especially after the whirlwind that is October and November! I’ll probably just write about these things in my year-end recap, but October and November were mostly for school, and Filipino ReaderCon. Now I have time again, and there are still so many exciting things that are yet to happen, like this:
For my internet to stop acting up. It’s been weird the past weeks, and it’s starting to get annoying.
A decent author profile photo. The profile photos I use were from years ago, and this is the second time that I have to provide a high-resolution photo and I have nothing. Need to take this branding thing seriously now.
Calm, which is saying a lot after all the stress of the past months. There’s still stuff I have to do and people to talk to and meet-ups I have to schedule. Perhaps making the decision to slow down is already the first step to, well, slow down?