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GAGA GAZETTEER

  • ADVENTURES WITH A (DYING) DOG

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    This one made me weepy this morning. Girl finds out her bestfriend and roommate -- a 160-lb English Mastiff has terminal bone cancer and only has a few months to live. So armed with a bucket list of adventures she would like to share with her dog, they go off on canoe rides, road trips, visits to both busy spots and quiet spaces and, finally, spend a last day together by the ocean in Maine, where she finally finds peace and acceptance. This is real love, people.
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    I still keep a journal despite having a blog. No matter how spill-all-my-guts-out open I may seem, there are many things I do and think that I'll just never tell. I've always thought it kept me sane to be able to express myself without fear of being censored or criticized. Whenever I pick up an old journal, even one from my 13-year-old self I realize that as much as I've changed so much is still the same. I just know how to dodge bullets faster and better. From: HUFFPOST Healthy Living, 01/20/15
  • WRITING YOUR WAY TO HAPPINESS

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    Which is why I've decided to keep this blog around, at least for a little while longer. I've always picked up a pen (or sat in front of a keyboard) any time I needed to make sense of my world; writing allows me to get into my head and get all my thoughts out without having to worry about how ridiculous I sound (that's where the editing comes in). From: The New York Times, 01/19/15
  • HOW TO BECOME A WRITER
    This was lovely. The post is by a novelist who was asked how to encourage a young writer. It sounds eerily like the story of my life -- now all I need is to keep reading and keep writing (and, okay, start submitting). From: M Molly Backes' blog, 07/12/11
  • THE "PERFECT" FEMALE BODY

    Greatist_body

    Every day at work I see all kinds of female bodies: athletic, boyish, curvy, voluptuous, natural, enhanced, preteen, post-baby, postmenopausal -- thousands of different bodies I've seen up close and personal in my lifetime. This infographic shows that the description of the ideal female body changes every decade or so, going back hundreds of years. I hope that soon we define the "perfect" body as one that is simply healthy and functioning; that what matters is that we're comfortable in our own skin. From: Greatist, 01/15/15

GOODREADS

  • READING NOW

    Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet
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February 25, 2005

Comments

sistah #1

"inveigle"??? no wonder no one understands what you're saying (except probably for my friend chris who's probably memorized the entire merriam-webster dictionary by now).

maybe us santos kids (except maybe for tina) think in english because we spoke nothing but english/taglish at home when we were growing up. i remember the times when my high school pilipino teacher would ask me something in tagalog and i would respond in english (outside of the classroom, of course). it would drive her nuts!

sistah #1

... and now i feel like i can't communicate in english either; i just re-read what i wrote and noticed that i used "probably" twice in one sentence and "maybe" twice in another! argh.

Jojie

I take back my previous comment re your non-English upbringing. It was presumptious of me to think that we all spoke our native dialects or Tagalog during our formative years in the Philippines.

What irks me is that having an accent is delightful only if you're British or from some other European country. An Asian accent is more of a liability.

Gigi

Hi Jojie,
Unfortunately there are too many narrow-minded people out there who judge the ability or intellect of others by how they speak. It's a thorny issue indeed, especially in our community. Mine is only a personal account of my experience, and does hint of the negativity I encountered. Still, I'm fully aware I can't control how others choose to think and act; I can only shape how I deal with outside forces and make things work for me. If others think my Filipino accent is a liability -- even if I speak clearly enough to be understood -- then that's their problem. In my opinion, myopic thinking is a much more serious liability than having any kind of accent.

Gigi

Sistah#1,
I suppose you have a really good reason for not speaking Tagalog very well (if at all) -- you spent only a quarter of your entire life in the Philippines. But Suzy and Tina are completely fluent, and ironically I've gotten so much better since I've been here (all my friends back home say so!). So I guess if we want to say nasty things about you, we don't need to talk behind your back. We can say it right in front of your face as long as we say it (fast) in Tagalog. :)
PS: "Inveigle" is to trick someone into doing something. I suppose I could have written "deceive," but I liked the alliterative effect of the words (impress/intimidate/inveigle) strung together. O, di ba?

sistah #1

ha! i'd like to hear my sisters have an entire conversation among themselves in nothing but tagalog (i.e., no english nor spanish words). bet they can't...

but it's true that you guys have an unfair advantage. you've all lived in manila for at least 30 years each, while i was there for only a fraction of that; after all, i'm only 29 :)

mell

hahaha, quite amazing!

My brother and I have a term for what you have just described. We call it camelionizing, I know, I know its not a real word. This ability to look and sound like who you are with...

I have since done this in the minimum, it hurts my head too much when theres too many different kinds of people! hahahah

But for me its either english or tagalog, nothing in between. Unless the circumstance presents itself, diba? See what you made me do! jk :D

sarah

speaking in an american accent is also a liability for me here, too. i do it unconsciously, and then i get jolted back to reality whenever i hear them reply in english! then i use tagalog. =D

i find myself code-switching from time to time, to suit the people i'm with. i just came down from baguio this weekend and man, were the people i were with so conyo. hehe.

Gigi

Sistah#1 - Your memory is so off (must be old age). I lived in Manila for a little more than half of the 30 years you say I did. Don't you remember me being here all this time???

Mell - I guess we (immigrants) all do this -- change the way we talk, I mean. I used to work with this gal from London who had this really proper English accent. There soon came a time when even Brits would ask her if she was Australian (!). At that point she said she knew she had been in the States "too long."

Sarah - All my Fil-Am girlfriends who studied for a year or two in the Philippines used to complain to me that once they opened their mouths and spoke, people automatically assumed they were "easy" or "wild." Interestingly enough, the guys didn't have that problem. I'm guessing because of all the Fil-Ams who have gone home and become celebrities (MTV VJs, etc.), attitudes have changed somewhat. Or have they?

sarah

maybe it's with the ease with which english rolls off their tongues, coupled with the complete inundation of american movies into local culture. =P

i don't know, but for me, whenever people hear others speak in straight english, it strikes them as sort of innocent-sounding, especially for girls.

for guys, you're right, they don't seem to have a problem with that. but attitudes seem to be the same, i think.

sistah #1

no matter how long you've lived here, you've always had at least one foot back in the philippines. you visit manila at least once a year (or at least it seems like it). you frequent filipino websites, newspapers, and tv shows and can rattle off names of filipino celebrities as well as the latest gossip. so as far as i'm concerned, you've never really left home.

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