Sunday, September 23, 2007

Finding that engagement ring

Your Dream Engagement Ring Has a Pear Diamond!


You're personal style is a mix of classic and contemporary, reseved and outgoing.
A pear diamond matches your charming personality - and is perfect to show off.
You've also got an elegant side, which is complemented a tear dropped shaped pear.
It's the perfect mix of Liz Taylor and Jessica Simposon - both wearers of this ring!



With nothing much to do on a rainy Saturday afternoon, I went to SM Fairview (which is less than 30 minutes from our place) to print stuff I'll be writing about, had my burger fix from Tropical Hut, and had donut and coffee after while reading the stuff I had printed.

After the burger though, I don't know what went with me but I found myself stepping in a jewelry shop and asked about their engagement rings.

Yes, Robin, I asked about engagement rings.

Two nights back, Robin told me again that he hopes to give me a diamond ring for our engagement (we've been talking about this even before he proposed, and asked me one time to look for the ring that I like). But I said to him that I don't really see any need for that, even arguing why it has to be diamond (and even I blamed De Beers for that stereotyping that it should be diamond ring to be given on an engagement).

I even added why is it only women who have to wear something that will signify they're about to be married while men have none? Partly my aversion to jewelry is the fact that I'm not big on any of them, and that I don't, or should I say, didn't, imagine myself will be wearing - on a daily basis at that - something that's precious. Anyway.

Patient as he is to me, Robin says that it has been tradition that a diamond ring is given to the fiancee, and why men don't have something like that is because men are not really into jewelry than women are. He just said that if I don't want diamond, I should let him know what's my preference and that we'll work on finding the "perfect" ring for me once he's here (he'll be here by tomorrow night, and will get to stay until October 4 or 5, as we initially discussed).

Going back to the trip to the jewelry shop, so I asked about the rings - I pointed to a heart-shaped, South African diamond (if I remember right, it was a karat's worth), mounted on a Philippine white gold loop (forgot how many karats though). Obviously, it is pricey, even if the saleslady told me it's 50% off already.

I asked for another ring for its price, but I got a bit distracted with the other salesladies who are glued over a couple. The man, who by looks I think is American, has bought something for "his" Filipina (the salesladies were hushing over her skimpy skirt and a tattooed lower back that's all peeping to us. You know what I mean but sorry to stereotype).

The saleslady attending to me had gone distracted already over them so I said thank you and left the shop. And I'm feeling guilty to look down on that Filipina and think of her as a hooker out to milk money from that foreigner or more rightly, I'm feeling about that for myself, since I'm fiancee to a non-Filipino, despite knowing my worth at that.

But Robin, who has been understanding since, said to me once [when we're discussing what others think of Filipinos getting married to foreigners] that he doesn't think I have to worry what other people think, since my demeanor shows who and what I really am, and he will not have me any other way. Good thing I remembered his words yesterday, and I felt better after.

Then I found myself in another jewelry shop. No foreigner-Filipina couple this time, but I got pissed off with salespersons of Gold Mine because I found them rude and non-accommodating, as they maybe sensed I'm not buying anything (what with my purple top, faded black jeans, and flat sandals outfit - a common ensemble for most mall goers who are not really shopping for anything). But still, I was inquiring and that if I found anything interesting from their shop, Robin and I might consider to get my engagement ring from them, so I feel my getting pissed off with them is justified.

For one, when I asked where among the vast assortment of rings are their engagement rings, I was not attended to immediately, and had to repeat my inquiry, and I guy chewing gum pointed to me a box said, "`yan ho." Is that how they should be dealing with customers, chewing gum at that?

Still confused, since there were rows of rings in that display box, I asked again where exactly, and a lady butted in and curtly replied, "`yung mga may diamond (I'm no good appraising jewelry, not knowing one precious stone from another, so I had to ask). I asked, what type of diamond and are they mounted on white gold or what. The chewing gum guy replied they are Russian diamond.

Then I asked how many karats, the lady again curtly replied "Russian diamond nga." Now the bitchy me couldn't hold back, so I fired, with such firmness but annoyed tone at that, "Narinig ko ho, Russian diamond ang mga `yan, ang tinatanong ko ilang karat?"

The chewing gum guy seemed to be jolted with my bitchiness so he pulled out the ring I first pointed at, and computed its price. Hearing the price, and not being fairly treated at that as an inquiring customer, definitely, we'll not get my engagement ring from them.

As I stepped out of that shop, I thought, maybe I would be well-attended to if I'm that Filipina who was with her foreigner boyfriend (like how the salesladies from the first shop I went into, they attended to the couple while talking about them at the same time).

Ah huh, I'm belittling myself again, and that Filipina I saw. Yes, there's no good at feeling little about yourself, and in a way, being discriminated by your fellow kababayans, while you're still in your own country at that. This nagging thought was just shrugged off when I got my Bavarian filled donut and coffee after I strolled the department store.

As for finding that engagement ring, I guess I'll forget about that for the meantime, or search for that when I'm with my fiance, Robin. Let's see.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

On to the next chapter

Plotting my calendar
Go get my master's degree. On October 9, I will be taking the dreaded comprehensive (it's now called candidacy) exams required for my master's degree (glad I'm able to seat in Media Theory and Media, Gender, and Sexuality classes to refresh myself with all those theories and issues - thanks, Ma'am Betsy).

Wish all of us exam takers good luck - on my end, I hope to pass this since I'm targeting to have my thesis proposal defense (and pass it) by second semester this academic year, and finish (and pass of course) my thesis not later than second semester next academic year, and have, also within that semester, my M.A. in Media Studies major in Journalism and get to wear a sablay (UP's graduation sash).

While reviewing, I'm also completing my papers for the Media, Gender, and Sexuality class I took up last school year (need my grade here to be able to take the candidacy exams).

Bring back the writer in me. Deadline for our November-December issue is on September 30 - hope I submit really on time now. I performed ill the past months, and definitely disappointed myself, as I didn't meet the expectations I set.

I'm still picking up myself, but I'm aiming for the better me now since I don't want to spend my birthday by November still beating myself to death for not meeting my deadlines.

Also, I hope to complete the papers I lack for that registered financial planning course I took from January to March this year. What a waste if I will not be able to find out if I can be that knowledgeable in personal finance. Will do this after the candidacy exams.

I still sometimes think though if I'm really for writing, but considering the opportunities I'm still getting in this field, I feel I'm set for this, it's just a matter of repackaging myself as a journalist that I need to pay attention to now.

Celebrate in Singapore - or Thailand. Either last week of October, first or second week of November (in time for my 27th birthday). This will be my firth birthday out of the country, and my first out of the country trip at that (just read though that about 60 people died when an air craft crashed at Phuket, Thailand)....

But before I can book my tickets, I have to get my passport first. Yes, in all these years (and I've been in media at that), I don't have a passport yet - too lazy to queue and get all those necessary papers. I learned from a travel agency I asked last night regarding their passport assistance service, that application and renewal are on hold on since we're converting to e-passport. Hope this will not take forever. After October 9, I will fully attend to this myself.

Spend Christmas in Australia. That's also in the pipeline - what will be an experience for me at that!

Why all these plans, especially these scheduled trips? Because I'm filling a new calendar in my life - that is, to spend more, quality time with Robin, my husband-to-be.

Becoming Mrs. Robin O.C. Lockwood
I will be wife - to a smart, lovable, handsome, gentleman, caring, admirable Australian ship captain at that.

Last Friday, a former officemate, April, woke me up too early just to get the latest scoop about my love life (as she got a peak from this blog). And she even mentioned it in her post. Here, bully, I will be Mrs. Lockwood.

After thorough discussion, Robin popped up that question last night. "You want to be a part of my life?" He asked. And I said, "yes." I said "yes" to the man I learned to love, learning to love more, and hope to spend the rest of my life with.

And just checked earlier, Robin even blogged about it. And to borrow (and to tweak a bit) Robin's line from his blog, "girls (and gays) eat your hearts out, he's mine!"

Before that Singapore or Thailand and Australia trips materialize, we have to seek my mother's blessings first (on my end, this is crucial - and I'm nervous). I hope, like Robin hopes, that she will agree about this.

I also asked Robin that we will be engaged at least a year, so we can decently prepare for our wedding date (dates actually, probably one in Australia for his family and friends, and here for mine).

So, the next time Robin and I go out, the search for the engagement ring will be on, so he says (ask him how it took him lots to convince me to eventually wear one, hahaha).

I'm excited. I'm nervous. But overall, I'm happy and blessed with this new chapter in my life. Robin and I are more looking forward now to be the best we can be in our respective fields, and more importantly, doing that as we start weaving our lives together.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Losing Ace

He was young.

He was a dedicated journalist, devoted to his craft that is sports writing.

His mother's grief was striking. His sisters' sobbing - one tightly clutched in her left arm the college graduation picture of his late brother - was an unbearable sight. Although composed, his father was also mourning his son's death.

He also left his best friends from those days where they were one of those all boys' group. They proved they were different though, that theirs a friendship that will last through time - they were dear buddies to him, as they showed up to yesterday where they stayed for their best friend, and sent him to his final rest.

He left more than a year-old son, who has no idea he lost his father, and a loving wife, whose grieving went from silent tears to impish cries that casted a gloomy cloud over yesterday's sunny, Sunday afternoon.

Christian Ace Pasco, tabloid sports writer, former sports editor of UST-The Varsitarian, and fellow AB Journalism classmate, died of asthma complications. He was 26.

The news of his demise was circulated in a flash. Text messages and a phone call from fellow UST-The Varsitarian alumni flooded Tuesday night. When stories the next days followed about Ace's wake, it was confirmed - that the small man, whose eyes crinkles to slits as he sniggers infectiously, was gone.

Those who know Ace - from UST AB Journalism, UST-The Varsitarian, from his tabloid work, fellow sportswriters - visited him at his wake. Stories - mostly fond memories about Ace - were poured over with crying and wailing.

I believe nothing ill was said against him. All have good words for him. Some, like I, were in denial about his death. When I got the news, memories of him flashed - the last time I got in touch with him was when I asked him for contact details of a sports celebrity we wished to interview. He was quick to reply to say he had none, and sent his regards as well. Over the holidays, he was one of those who sent greetings. That was the last.

Then, in a middle of a call from our college professor Tuesday night, I remembered how Ace thanked me for inviting him to join my graduation dinner at my cousin's house in Antipolo - he probably did not expect that I would be inviting him since we were not that best-of-buddies. Other images of him also flashed before me - those one-of-too-many press work nights we had at UST-The Varsitarian. We heard him catching his breath. Although tired from publication work plus the other tasks we had to fill for our classes, he would still close his pages, slept for a while, and most of the time, would leave for home to get ready for a morning class later. His dedication he definitely brought to his professional life, where he spent about two years pounding the sports' beat.

Some, like I, thought Ace was too young to die. But for those he loved most, they know he lived a full life - he was a good son, a loyal friend, a professional, a loving father and husband - he was all those in such short 26 years of his life. And he may no longer be here, but all the things he left will forever be cherished.

Truly, he's an Ace we're all glad to know.