Thanksgiving Weekend was a very much-needed weekend of rest, food, and loved ones. I celebrated Thanksgiving with my family during the afternoon and early evening, followed by Norman’s family’s festivities at night. Our families are very different, but I appreciate the contrast. My gatherings are small (12-15 people) and consist mostly of everyone sitting around and talking/telling stories. Norman’s family is huge (around 20 cousins alone) and they have had fun competitions for the past 10 years. Most of my weekend was spent in bed, which was both awesome and lethargic. We did, however, celebrate at Norman’s cousin’s engagement party at Golden Road Brewery.
I’m thankful for a lot of things this year — having a job, working at a place as beautiful as Santa Monica (which sometimes makes traffic a little more bearable), health, family, friends, and the opportunity to stay connected/involved in my community through Lakas Mentorship Program.
Today is our 2 year anniversary and I am somewhat in disbelief. I can’t believe it has already been 2 years since Norman and I became “official”. Though we’ve had our misunderstandings as of late, the good outweighs the bad by tenfold and I can’t picture myself with anyone else.
I know I don’t need to describe the devastation Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) has done to The Philippines. There are media reports all over the television, Internet, and newspapers from around the globe.
I wasn’t born in The Philippines and have only visited twice, once when I was so young that I can’t even remember. Still, I feel some form of a connection to the country where my family is from. Fortunately, all my family members are alive and accounted for (my family is not from the affected areas). My uncle’s wife was born and raised in Tacloban, where Haiyan hit the hardest. It took days for her to locate her family, but her parents, siblings, nieces, and nephews were some of the fortunate people to evacuate to Manila via C-130 aircraft.
I can’t stop reading and watching the news. At work, I become easily distracted while I’m at my desk. Most of the time, I feel very emotional. Sometimes I feel angry. I think about the lives lost, having to rebuild that portion of the county, climate change and its impact on developing nations, the sexual violence that will be a piece of the aftermath, amongst other things.
More recently, I’ve also felt a growing sense of pride and inspiration from the Filipino, Filipino-American, and international community, but especially from the many grassroots efforts to raise funds and relief items for victims of the typhoon. Individual donors, student organizations, churches, nonprofits, etc. There are good people out in the world.
Yes, continue to pray for The Philippines and donate what you can. When the news outlets decide there is a better story to cover, don’t forget The Philippines. And remember— true charity results in social justice.
Hi! I’m not sure how this works, but I suppose I just answer these questions? Was I supposed to make my own? Oh well, lol.
I was tagged by Jenn (grilledcheese).
1. Where did you grow up? I grew up in Chino Hills, California. Chino Hills is a suburb located ~40 miles east of Downtown LA.
2. Favorite part about the holidays? Least favorite? I love holiday smells, wearing scarves and other cozy clothes, my friends’ annual Christmas party, and the way my mom turns our kitchen into a mini-bakery. Least favorite— I guess rude people at the mall, store, etc.
3. Tell a story about a time when you were really embarrassed. At a choir field trip to the beach during my junior year of high school, my friends were boogie boarding as I was standing in waist-deep water. A big wave came, so I tried to run back to shore. Unfortunately, I was not fast enough and my friend on a boogie board tried to push me out of the way, but instead pulled down my bikini bottom.
4. What’s one inanimate object that holds sentimental value for you? Diamond earrings I inherited from my aunt. Her husband gave them to her on their first anniversary (I think), but he gave them to me when she passed when I was a freshman in high school. I’ve never worn them, but I plan to wear them for the first time on my wedding day.
5. Fill in the blank: “Most days I can’t go without _______” Make up (my everyday work make up is bb cream, eyebrow powder/gel, blush, and mascara. sometimes eyeliner). Coffee or some form of caffeine. My iPhone.
6. What natural weather phenomenon scares you the most? Earthquakes, definitely.
7. What’s one bad habit you have that you wish you could kick? Unhealthy food. Ugh, I just can’t kick my love for carbs, cheese, and sweets.
8. What’s your morning and/or nightly routine like? Morning: Snooze my alarm clock that goes off at 6:45. Lay in bed until 7:20 or 7:30. Hygiene, make up, grab something quick to eat. Leave house between 7:50 and 8:00. Night: Make-up remover wipes, wash face, moisturizer (I used to use pricey moisturizer, but I switched to Aveeno eczema moisturizing cream last winter because my face was sooooo dry—haven’t switched back since). Lay in bed, browsing social media, Netflix, and/or YouTube. Try to sleep between 11:30 and 12.
9. Describe your personal style. Tough question. Norman thinks I dress like a teacher most of the time, specifically like Zooey Deschanel’s character in “New Girl”…and after a quick Google images scan, I think he’s right *shrug*.
10. Name one characteristic that is absolutely NECESSARY for your romantic partner to have. My romantic partner needs to have a big…and I mean HUGE….heart. Seriously, though. I can’t be with someone who isn’t caring, charitable, and/or can’t empathize with others.
11. Favorite Chinese food dish. This is kind of boring, but I’ll have to go with juicy pork dumplings (XLB- xiao long bao). I also like deep fried squid with spicy salt/salt + pepper.
I tag: tatoes, childishjambino, whenmysexyisright, m0nette, asiaexploitation
Remember: even when the Philippines begins to fade from the headlines, there is still work to be done.
All our love to our family and friends in the Philippines. Keep the Filipino people in your thoughts & prayers.
My first month of being 26 has been great so far. 26 seems like such non-monumental age, but I intend on making the most of it. So far:
26’s looking pretty damn good so far! Now I have a little less than 11 months to make it even better.
Goals so far: Get back on a healthier lifestyle routine (FOR REAL THIS TIME), Save more money for what I call my “get-your-sh*t-together fund”, Travel somewhere on a plane for pleasure, read more books (or listen to audiobooks while in the car).
I’ve been a Victoria’s Secret customer since I was a teenager (I know, kinda questionable if you ask me, lol) and I have never experienced such horrible customer service until I shopped at a location by my work today. I work at an office just one block away, so I have frequented this particular location a couple times before today. I’m a sucker for cute panties and bras, even though I know damn right that VS is expensive and overpriced. Why does something with so little fabric cost so much anyway?
I was the ONLY person in line to purchase merchandise, aside from a woman who was already being rang up. Only one register was open, which is not a big deal, seeing that it’s a weekday at 1PM. The cashier told me I could go to another register and that she would “send someone else to help me”…so I went. And stood there. For a while. Meanwhile, two white women (who were not even standing in line with me) were rung up before me. I could feel my face getting hot. Look, as a POC, it is hard to not feel “othered” when you’re clearly treated differently from other customers who have less melanin in their skin. This may not be what was really going on in the cashier’s head, but either way, that is such poor customer service and I am so turned off by this place.
I’ll save myself the grief and go somewhere else for (overpriced) undergarments.
It’s been a while since I’ve felt “othered”. Since becoming more aware about racial inequalities and social justice, I can now look at some of my experiences, recent past and distant past, and analyze them on a more critical level. It’s both a blessing and a curse. On one hand, I am more knowledgeable and I can use my knowledge to influence others and promote change. On the other hand, I sometimes feel like I might be paranoid and oversensitive.
I was having a discussion with some friends from the mentorship program I am involved with a few weeks ago. A young woman was able to recall the first time she felt “othered”— when she brought homemade Filipino food in her lunchbox and other kids giggled because it looked and smelled different.
I’ve been called “oriental” by a higher-up at a place where I interned during undergrad. The woman confused me with another intern because we were both “oriental” and “looked similar”, even though she was light-skinned, Chinese, and sported a bob haircut. I’ve been asked how my English could be so fluent and without an accent from my home country at an airport, even though I was born and raised in the United States. There’s probably more instances that I haven’t noticed or blocked from my brain.
“I wish I could say that racism and prejudice were only distant memories. We must dissent from the indifference. We must dissent from the apathy. We must dissent from the fear, the hatred and the mistrust…We must dissent because America can do better, because America has no choice but to do better.” - Thurgood Marshall
Gosh, all of this from a quick trip to Victoria’s Secret.
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