Of New Things and Saturday Afternoons

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For someone who's big on routines, finding myself in situations wherein I'm faced with choices that fall outside of my comfort zone will surely entail a little rattle and shake. I'd often just say no and walk away to anything that's new. But then there's this voice that says I'm too young to be too set in my ways. How would I discover what I want in life knowing I have yet to experience a multitude of things, to walk many an unbeaten path, to satisfy the senses with strange and foreign stimuli? Would I have known that I'd find Negitoromaki such an orgasmic gastronomic affair that lasts a minute of forever if I didn't let go and trust the chef's recommendation? I would have walked the ends of the earth with just the knowledge of the … [Read more...]

36th Year: New memories and one wish

Sasha Manuel at 50th Street Cafe, Restaurant & Bar

If the universe shows you a new path to take, put a spring in your step and go. You will have questions. You will have fears. But always remember that your time on the road to a good life will bring new things, new memories; good things, good memories. This year has been a rollercoaster of events, periods of lull and loneliness to moments too special and poignant yet brief. Shifting from a comfortable life into a high gear filled with terrifying changes; all points to one thing -- a reminder that this is what it means to say you're alive. For folks who really know me and how I celebrate my birthdays, this year offered a colossal difference to how I went about my special day. Moving to a new place (a different country) with no … [Read more...]

Mood Notes: Leaving and living; life starts anew

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How do you leave a place you love without a shadow of a doubt? You will agree with me that there is no easy way. Life beckons. Fate takes you on a new journey; unchartered, quick, challenging. You now will fly off the nook and nestle, albeit perhaps temporary, in a new place. You will wake up to a new sunrise; sleep under unfamiliar stars.  You take things in, wary but curious. To smell if the coffee is strong enough to jolt your senses awake. To see if the grass is indeed greener. To listen to trees and solidify where your soul is rooted and where it plans to branch out. To know if this is what it truly feels like to see your dreams coming true. --- How do you tie loose ends? A daunting task, idle thoughts whisper. A … [Read more...]

The Two Dollar Memory

The Two Dollar Memory | The Parody by Sasha Manuel

A two-dollar bill. It's an ordinary object that captured a faint theory: you can find something rare in the most common of fashions; the interest heightened by the circumstance, by the participants. It's simple economics, really. The law of supply and demand. To some, the bill is of no consequence. However, I belong with the people who see it as something significant. The memory dances in my mind, distant and clipped. The moment the bill came into the picture until it found its way to me. It carried with it a moment of brief affection, born of sentimentality and romantic notions. It holds questions and assumptions. It remembers that period of self-discovery and adventure. It speaks its own language of wishes and history. It's … [Read more...]

A Tale of Learning: Mentors

Who's your daddy | Conversations with Siri | The Parody by Sasha Manuel

Lately, I've been thinking back to all my work experiences and the people I've worked with or have been fortunate enough to have encountered through my work. I must admit, it has been quite a colourful work history. I've learned a lot and, yea, I believe I was able to share part of what I know to those people I worked with. However, now, I've become more aware of those individuals who served (or still serve) as my mentors. It is with gratitude that I remember the things they've done to push me to reach potentials, some I didn't even know I'm capable of. I didn't expect that I'd have one. Not because I think I don't need one, it's just the idea that someone would be kind and generous enough to take me under his/her wing seems unlikely to … [Read more...]

Journey Life with No Lines; Chase Dreams, Foster Hope

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"Have the courage to live a life true to yourself, not the life others expect of you. You can start small, but do start honouring at least some of your dreams." I recently started using a new journal. Staring at the blank page -- daunted by the lack of lines and how my mind usually works -- the idea of messing up something which is seemingly perfect; a space so pristine on the surface, I can't help but hesitate. The maelstrom of thoughts, uncommitted purpose, and the choice between a continuation or a fresh start combined, produces a weak step towards a more definitive path. Second guessing myself coupled with fear, I had resorted to over-analysing things. Regardless of what it is and isn't, there's that composite feeling of … [Read more...]

To Those Nights

To Those Nights, WongFu Short Film, Happy | The Parody by Sasha Manuel

"And in that moment, you realized this is exactly what you've been searching for all along yet never knew could exist 'til that moment, it was -- happy." "From the vantage point of retrospect, all seemed necessary to be exactly where he was -- happy. We'll all get there." … [Read more...]

Cocoons and Crossroads

Southern-most point of South Australia - The Parody by Sasha Manuel

Cocoon It's part of nature's course. A caterpillar isn't meant to remain a caterpillar forever. They're meant to go through a magnificent transformation. They turn into something unlike themselves somehow. They become butterflies. When it's time, elements conspire to bring about the change. They hole themselves up in little cocoons and proceed with the metamorphosis. They emerge seemingly altered completely, wholly. You would think they are, in every way, a different living thing. They were born as one thing then reborn entirely different. I had to ask why they couldn't simply sprout wings, shrink their bodies and grow longer legs as they move along? Why did they have to retreat from the world and spend a considerable amount of time … [Read more...]

The Road to Happy

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“Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” ― Marcel Proust I only have a week left in my trip and had little expectation of anything else that would make it more special than it already is. However, my sister had one last trick up her sleeve. Spoiler. The Road to Happy The Road to Happy - Scrapbook made by Shai Coggins esp for me My heart. Big sis had taken time and effort to make me one of her awesome scrapbooks as a farewell gift. MELT. I go cry nao. I've always admired her artistic skills and enjoyed looking at scrapbooks she'd make for her kids. We'd talk about the how's and the why's, sharing bits about my own foray in the arts, i.e. recent … [Read more...]

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, movie poster, Emily Blunt, Ewan McGregor | The Parody by Sasha Manuel

"What's your favourite movie?" He asked me during one of our dinner talks. I had a couple of movies in mind I know that are on my list but I knew I couldn't have given him a smart enough reason to make him want to watch it, too. But, today, I'd be singing a different tune. Salmon Fishing in the Yemen stars Emily Blunt and Ewan McGregor image: thesargontimes.blogspot.com Salmon Fishing in the Yemen. A charming story about a journey of faith to make the impossible possible. For the longest time, I haven't watched a movie that made me say, "I love this movie," unabashed. The story is simple, somewhat predictable, but when the credits started to roll, I found myself hating the fact that it's a sign that it's all over. It's the … [Read more...]