Tuesday, November 29, 2016
1. Waking up and the first thing that you feel is the sense of having something inside you ripped out. It's not exactly your heart that was missing, because you can feel it beating really fast like it is scared of something. You haven't exactly registered yet into your consciousness that he is gone, but your limbs, the tips of your fingertips, are tingly with weakness. Something has changed. Something was misplaced.
2. Because you are so used to reach out to your phone, because normally there is a text in your inbox that will make you smile, you look at your notifications and there is none. And that is when it sinks in. That is when you remember what happened the night before, the goodbye, the hurtful words, and the finality in his decision.
3. You are torn between waking up and going back to sleep. There is so much to be done today. And yet you are afraid to face the day, the first day of navigating through life without him, the first day of going through the motions without his presence. You know what it's like to be alone. But when you met him and fell into the comforts of having someone, you somehow lost the confidence in facing the harshness of life without someone who provides you with security.
4. In your morning prayer, you wanted to pray that everything goes back to what it used to be. But you didn't pray for it. Because hoping means opening up a little more to disappointment. You are wrestling with enough disappointments already. So you stay a little longer on the prayer mat, with your forehead pressed on the floor, you cry the hardest you have cried in a long time. And you tell your Lord, "I know you know what is in my heart. And this heart of mine cries out to you"
5. You come down to the kitchen and make yourself a cup of coffee. You are a big girl, you tell yourself. It's going to be alright, you convince yourself. And your mother wakes up too. You try to act normal. A part of you wants to hug her, tell her someone hurt you, like you used to run to her when you were a little girl. But your mother bore so much pain already. So you spare her. You know she will hurt too when she find out you broke your heart again. She liked that boy, though she won't admit it openly. You caught her smile when she saw those roses by your bedside.
6. You go through your routine of having breakfast with your family. You smile and engage with conversation with them. Under the mask that you put on your face, you are crumbling with them. You push back the tears so hard that you taste it at the back of your mouth. So you wash away the saltiness with the bitterness in your morning coffee.
7. As you put on your makeup, somehow your BB cream won't cling to your face like it used to. So you pile it on, masking the pain away. No amount of eye makeup can hide the swollen eyelids and under eye from all the crying from last night. You swipe on your lipstick to hide your pale lips. And when you are done painting on a face, you look at yourself. Despite the perfect arch of you brows and the glow from your highlighter, you don't feel beautiful anymore.
(To my best friend Hannah, to my Danny, cousin Ham, and to every girl who has her heart broken.)
Monday, May 16, 2016
The basement was dank and humid. It smelled like a laundry hamper. A single incandescent hangs at the center of the small space, blinking and buzzing inaudibly. I sat at the corner, my face powder now completely erased by sweat, feeling self-conscious with my outfit. I felt stupid for wearing a leather jacket, although initially I thought I'd look cool.
I sat beside a Fender Excelsior amp, I reverberate with every scream of my lover's guitar.
I sat beside a Fender Excelsior amp, I reverberate with every scream of my lover's guitar.
No, I take that back. He was not my lover, but I was his lover.
I sat in silence as I watch my best friend play the room, throwing the funniest jokes that made the boys gravitate towards her. I itched beneath my lacy underthings while bodacious bosom shifted the gravity. Why can't I be her, making boys lose their minds over her unbridled sexuality?
I watched his gaze shift from his strumming fingers to her eyes. His smirk suggested the cunning of a predator. She crossed and recrossed her legs, basking in the heat of his stare.
He sang her a love song. And I left that dank basement without a sound, feeling embarrassed and dirty.
At sixteen I knew what love is not.
Saturday, April 23, 2016
Food. Fooood. Fooooooood. Why though hast forsaken me? Drama queening aside, I have a love-hate relationship with food. I love eating but it doesn't love me back. I am a voracious eater, perennially hungry but looks like someone who starves herself like an anorexic. Weighing no more than 90 pounds, I am a constant subject to interrogations on whether I eat no more than half a nibble a day. Let me make the record straight. I do not starve myself to be skinny. In fact, I am trying my hardest to gain weight because I am aware that I am underweight. I want to have what my guy friend s call "bumper". It is difficult to feel like a woman when you are as flat as a pancake, if you know what I mean.
There was only twice in my life that I gained weight. First was when I was studying in Northern Illinois University as an exchange student. In a month, I gained 13 pounds. That is no surprise since my daily diet consists of breakfast, lunch and dinner at McDonald's and at least three bars of Hershey's milk chocolate with almonds after dinner. I replaced water with soda. My favorite is 20-ounce bottle of Mountain Dew which I can finish in three breaths.
But when I got back to the Philippines, I cannot maintain that lifestyle anymore for many reasons like we don't have McDo in Marawi, Hershey's is sold at around 30 pesos (i used to buy it for less than a dollar at the vending machine on the second floor of Holmes Student Center Hotel in NIU), and I realized that I can't fit well anymore in my extra-small clothes. I realized I am not used to the muffin top and the love handles. I realized that the shape of my face is so round like that of Judy Ann Santos when she was her fattest. I shrunk back to my normal self in no time.
And then I missed being huggable. I obsessed over gaining pounds for the sake of looking healthy and well-fed. But I am an emotional eater. When my pseudo bipolar self swings into the depressive mode, everything loses its taste. My throat dries out and gulping down is a chore. I am tired of dieting, eat-all-you-can way. Say I am too skinny. Say I am anorexic. I don't care anymore.
Thursday, April 21, 2016
When starting a blog, one of the concerns is how do we make the hobby become sustainable? Some of us pay for domains and hosting. Add the hours spent on writing content; if there is no way for the blog to earn a little, it will become counter-intuitive.
Good thing there are companies that offer to pay bloggers for displaying their ads. The most popular is Google's Adsense.
After going around forums and reading reviews, Adsense seems to be the best one out there. However, it takes some time for a blog to be approved. Many don't get approved at all.
My blog is barely two months with 30 posts when I applied, fortunately, it passed the screening and now I am displaying Adsense on this blog.
My fellow bloggers may be interested to know what I did to get approved. Here's how:
1. Prior to applying for Adsense for my blog, I already have one that is hosted by Youtube. I could have applied for a separate Adsense account for my blog but I could not as my blog and my Youtube are both hosted by Google. I can, however, upgrade the hosted account to a regular Adsense account by submitting the link of my blog and have it reviewed for approval.
2. Knowing that Google has certain standards in approving websites fit for Adsense, I did not submit my link prematurely. I did first the following:
- Write quality content over a span of two months.
- Have a top-level domain (ayeeshadicali.com instead of storiesfromsouth.blogspot.com).
- Choose a clean and easy to navigate template.
- Removed the other ads that I used to host (Bidevertiser, Media.net)
3. When I felt that my blog has enough content and has followed all the requisites for Adsense, I submitted my URL. I got a reply of approval 2 days later.
Adsense won't earn enough as I don't have that much volume of traffic yeat, but at least I know that my blog has some sort of monetary payback right now. I'm not totally wasting my time blogging. If you have questions, feel free to ask.
To many artists, musicians, celebs, hipsters, Instagrammers, and music lovers, April marks the beginning of the season of music festivals. Coachella, this generation's Woodstock, is bringing the biggest stars this year: Elie Goulding, Of Monsters and Men, Foals, Years& Years, Joey BadAss, ASAP Rocky, Softest Hard, Guns N' Roses, Ice Cube, CHVRCHES. Moon Taxi, Zedd, Calvin Harris, Sia, The 1975, Flume and so many more.
Browsing through Maxine Magalona's Instagram account documenting her Coachella experience makes me jealous.
I can only imagine a crowd of millenials high with whatever that's making them high, big artists, flower crowns, sick instruments, sexy guitars like Amer Elites, hipster sunnies, parties everywhere, outrageous fashion choices, light shows, art installations, and everything that screams music fest.
This one is on my bucket list. I hope I am not too old when I get to go myself.
Tuesday, April 19, 2016
I am happy to announce that after two months of painstakingly building this blog, I now have a top-level domain of my own. Previously, the url of this blog is storiesfromthesouth.blogspot.com, it's quite a mouthful. Now, I am blogging at www.ayeeshadicali.com. Yey! It is a dream come true.
I wanted to have a top-level domain because...
1. Because .com appears more professional than a .blogspot.com. It comes accross as being serious in blogging as the blogger invested in buying a domain. I am deeply grateful to Kai Darul of Lilpink-A Hijabi's Blog. for gifting me the domain. I don't have a credit card and she bought the domain name for me as a token of being online friends since forever.
Domain names are bought from domain registries like GoDaddy.com, 1and1.com, and Namecheap.com. Mine was bought from Namecheap.com for a little over 10 dollars, good for 1 year. If your blog is hosted by Blogger, setting up a custom domain is a breeze. I can't be bothered by paid hosting in addition to buying domain name that is why I opted for Blogger instead of Wordpress.org. Most tech-savvy would argue of the merits of using Wordpress but I'd rather stick to Blogger because it isn't as fussy.
2. Because having my own name as a domain name boosts my ego. You know, in the name of vanity. Kidding aside, one of the reasons I blog is that I want to market myself as a writer/journalist. Having a blog lets me have a space in the world wide web where I can showcase my body of work. Thus, because this blog represents my brand, I am naming it after me.
I am writing this as a reminder that on
April 17, 2016
I finally had my name as a top-level domain.
Here's to more years of expanding horizons and chiseling our own space online!
Saturday, April 16, 2016
Vote and Help Global Innovation through Science and Technology Semi-Finalists from the Philippines make it to the Finals!
U.S. Embassy Manila is pleased to announce that two of the semi-finalists selected in the 2016 U.S. Department of State’s Global Innovation through Science and Technology (GIST) Tech-I pitch competition are from the Philippines.
The GIST Tech-I pitch competition is an annual competition for science and technology entrepreneurs from emerging economies worldwide.
Mary Christine Ong-Reyes and Corina Lisa Cruzare among the 102 semi-finalists selected from 51 countries. Out of the semi-finalists up to 30 finalists will receive a trip to the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Silicon Valley to showcase their ventures and to receive intensive one-on-one mentorship and training.
Help Mary Christine and Corina make it to the finals by voting for them!
Mary Christine's idea, ParentUp, is a mobile app that helps parents with newborns obtain information and emotional support for their health and well-being from pregnancy to postpartum.Meanwhile, Corina's startup, Joomajam, is an easy-to-use educational activity pack that combines bilingual music, videos and games to spark multi-domain education and nurture lifelong learners. You may view Mary Christine and Corina’s pitch videos here.
Voting began on April 1 and will continue until May 1. Please see this link for further instructions on how to vote.
For more information on the U.S. Department of State’s Global Innovation through Science and Technology (GIST) Tech-I pitch competition, click here.
Saturday, April 2, 2016
Thursday, March 31, 2016
One of the signs that tells me that I am no longer, you know.. young, is that whenever I listen to the radio, I don't know the song playing half of the time. Gone are the days when a song plays and the world stops for a few minutes because damn, that's song is my jam!
This morning I tried to think about the bands I used to love. Above photo is New Found Glory. I love their covers of love songs turned to punk. Their track My Friends Over You is one of my clique's songs, other than Red Hot Chili Pepper's Zephyr Song and Parokya's Saan Man Patungo.
Blink 182 made the funniest music videos of our time. Small Things is now a classic. Just saying the world classic makes me feel old. However, my most favorite Blink 182 Song is Adam's Song. It's sad. It gives me the feels.
What band is in the above photo? I doubt that you know. Bowling for Soup! Weird band name eh? They are less popular in the Philippines, I guess. They're my secret band that I didn't talk about much, because I thought they're too cute to sahare. Haha!
I will always remember Finch for their Letters to You. It reeks of desperation of young love, and the intensity of the feeling of missing someone. The guitars in the intro is so unique to the band. And the screams and growls make it the perfect I-miss-you song.
And last but not the least, Linkin Park was the awesomest of them all. The mix of rock and rap, and the turntable effects was so new at that time, and the good looks of the young band members was a lethal combo. They dominated the airwaves hit after hit.
Perhaps my choice of music back then was one of the reasons I cannot relate to my peers. While they were collecting posters of Meteor Garden, I kept a stack of photos of rock stars with their mysterious looks, sexy guitars like this relic telecaster, and that aura of primal appeal.
However, whenever I listen to their songs these days, I don't feel the way I used to before. Now I want to listen to more mellow tones. Yes, I concede, I know, I know, I am getting old.
Monday, March 14, 2016
I'm answering these three already. I don't want to make these Anons to wait for too long.
1. Are you still single or married? -Anonoymous
I am not married anymore. So I am back to being single.
2. I have read from a post of a Muslim friend that engaging in war to spread Islam is fine. Is it true? -Anonymous
No, I do not think that warring with non-Muslims to spread Islam is okay. What is rightful, as far as I know is to assert that the land be governed in an Islamic way. For example, the cause of the Bangsamoro people. Other than the grievances, the injustices of the government towards the Muslims in Mindanao, it is right that the people fight for their right to live in an Islamic way. Part of that life is be ruled by Shariah Law. As Muslims, we should always choose the peaceful path. If we need to fight, war should be the least among all possible options. The battlefield is not the only place to win the war.
3. What is your opinion on arranged marriage? -Anonymous
I abhor arranged marriages. May I stress the abhor word more? Hate hate hate it for one simple reason: it is your life, you make your own decisions. Unless you have the balls to choose who you want to lie in bed with (sorry for the blunt words) for the rest of your life, then you are not ready to marry. Grow a pair first. The essence of marriage contract in Islam is consent, as they say, every fiber of your being, all seven layers, must agree to marry the other person. Now if the marriage is merely arranged, what are the chances that you will consent to it with all your heart and soul?
If you feel like asking me, kahit anong topic pa yan, go to the ask me anything tab on top of the page, or just comment here.
Sunday, March 13, 2016
Perhaps it is a standard for bloggers to have a Youtube Channel. I just had to jump into the bandwagon. The truth is, my channel is where I dump video footage of stories I covered. So most of them aren't really worth your time. However, I still mean to upload better videos in the future, more personal ones
I have nothing better to do today so I made a welcome video for my Youtube channel. I'm a bit self-conscious about the way I speak. But I just had to try and see where this goes.
Please be kind to the noob Youtuber.
And yes, I have to get a new lens.
Saturday, March 12, 2016
(I have received messages from friends, asking for advice. They say just a few months from the heartbreak, I have bounced back looking very happy, really happy not pretend happy. So I thought I might as well write down what I usually tell them as a response.)
1. Know when the battle is over.
At a certain point, a relationship has broken down enough that it is beyond repair. Although you are blinded by love, strive to see past you and him and see the relationship under a more objective light. What are the signs that it is beyond hope? Ask yourself these questions: Do we still trust each other? Did he choose someone or something (career, hobby, vices, etc.) over me? Do my friends and family support us, or at least like him? Am I willing to settle for this setup for the rest of my life? If you answered no to any of the questions above, chances are you two are heading to the ruins. Recognize the symptoms. Know that it is time to stop fighting for the relationship. It is time to ease your grip and let it go.
A lot of people will advice that the best way is to keep busy and keep your mind off the pain. But trust me on this: please take time to mourn. Feel the pain. Unless you go through this step, you will end up with sorrowful feelings towards the person even after several years. Cry it out. Listen to heartbreak songs. Stay in bed for days. It may take a while, but after all the pent-up emotions have been released, it is time to start the healing process.
3. Rediscover yourself.
Having a significant other can mean being heavily influenced by another human being. Some women actually lose their personality over the course of a relationship as they have deeply integrated their habits and interests with their partners. After losing him, you will feel that a big chunk of you has been amputated from your own flesh. It is normal. This is the time to rediscover yourself. Remember who you were before him. Did you always wanted to paint? Were you always dreaming of spending a weekend alone overseas? What else do you want to achieve right now and in the next 3 years?
4. Embrace the possibilities. Work. Achieve.
After spending weeks sitting around brooding, it is time to get that ass off the bed and get out the door. Slowly build positive habits that can up your game. Take care of yourself. Magpaganda ka teh! Put on your gym clothes and sweat all your frustrations off. Reconnect with your friends. In trying times, friends are your best support group. Bond with your family. Love from friends and family works wonders. Work harder. Or find a job you have always dreamed of. Every little achievement will mend your broken self-esteem. So load up on achieving you goals, one step at a time. Learn to do things for you own happiness.
5. Above all, leave everything to Allah SWT.
Nothing is more comforting than the knowledge that everything has already been ordained for you. Be happy in whatever circumstance your in because your Lord knows what is best for you, including this heartbreak. Like a pencil, you need to undergo sharpening to reveal your truest potential. Trust Him. Cry it all out to Him. He will put back all the pieces together even if you are shattered to a thousand pieces. He is the Most Gracious, Most Merciful. Alhamdulillah!
Just let it go. The end of a relationship is not the end of you. There are more wonderful things that will happen in your life, In Shaa Allah. You will be alright.
Thursday, February 25, 2016
1. So, Ayee, do you pray? Five times a day?
I do pray, not necessarily 5 times a day. Some days, I can complete my daily prayers, some days my score can dip to zero. I don't want to make an excuse. Yes my work is tough but that's not it. Faith is like the tides. Some days my faith is strong, I can will myself to pray despite everything. Some days, my Imaan weakens, I get lazy. That's not a good thing. May Allah swt, the Merciful, forgive us.
2. What do you think of on and off hijabis?
I was an on and off hijabi before I committed full time. I can speak for myself that covering up is not easy especially if you are just starting. It's a lifestyle change. The fact that a girl already makes an effort to put it on is commendable. When they take it off, let's not judge na lang. We don't know what struggles they go through. In shaa Allah, those with the right intention will be able to transition from on and off to full-time.
3. Define modesty.
Wag na yaaaan. 😜
4. What's your advice to younger ones than you in academics and in life in general?
Just two things babe: 1. sundin ang payo ng mga magulang. I learned it the hard way. Some things in life, only those old enough to have wisdom will understand. Their advice are from their own experience. 2. Know your passion. Enroll in the course that you truly love. You won't be as happy if you study something na napilitan ka lang.
5. Do you seek for a total independent Bansamoro state?
No, I don't. I was born a Filipino and that is something that is already a part of me. I love my country, Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. But I do wish for a more autonomous region where Sharia can be implemented well if not completely.
6. What are your I wish I had and I wish I were?
I wish I had more time with my Papang so I can fully show him my gratefulness for raising us with integrity. He is but a simple man, but he is the greatest man I know.
I wish I were prettier. Charot! Pero di nga. LOL
7. Professional or Ulama leader?
Someone who is both an ulama and a professional. Right now I am thinking of the likes of Dr. Hamid Barra. An may be morally upright and knows all the rulings of Shariah but he may not have the technical and scientific knowledge to be able to adapt to the modern times. A professional my not have the moral compass of a true Muslim, he may just lead the people astray. Dapat balance.
Maia thank you for dropping by. I had fun answering. Shukran. 💛, Ayee
Monday, February 22, 2016
|I have more graphic photos of the crime scene, but since this is a personal blog, I chose not to publicize them.|
Initial investigation revealed, according to a police report, that when rescue team composed of PNP team lead by PSUPT. Erwin Bayani Meneses, CIU personnel, RID PRO 10, 103rd Special Action Coy, 1st Special Action Battalion, Anti-Kidnapping Group and Special Action Force, tailed the suspects on board a white Toyota FX, the suspects suddenly stopped at Baranggay Matampay and fired upon the two Innova vans boarded by the PNP team.
Police Superintendent Roel Lami-ing of Marawi Police reported that the PNP team retaliated and resulted to the death of one of the suspects identified as Jun Nasher Barao and wounding of three of his company.
According to PSupt. Lami-ing, minutes after the incident, Marawi City Police Station led by him, PPSC, Lanao del Sur PPO led by PSupt. Nasser Balindong, B Coy 65th Infantry Battalion let by 1Lt. Jefel Larita immediately responded to the crime scene.
According to one RPSB ARMM personnel who also responded to the incident, all injured in the incident were rushed in the nearby hospital. He also said the police recovered ransom money, getaway car, one caliber 45 pistol, one caliber 38 revolver, and one hand grenade from the crime scene.
The victims were rescued unharmed
Friday, February 12, 2016
LP Presidential candidate Mar Roxas tries to win the votes of Iligan City residents who dumped him in favor or VP Binay during the 2010 elections
In his first stop during his visit around Iligan and Misamis Oriental today (February 3), Mar Roxas met with local leaders and residents in Iligan City.
He attended a multi-sectoral assembly at the Congressional District Field office in Pala-o, Iligan City where he served as the guest of honor and keynote speaker.
Members of different sectors--transport group, religious leaders, and indigenous people came to see Roxas and show their support.
Local leaders including Cong. Vicente Belmonte Jr. of the lone district of Iligan, former Iligan mayor Lawrence Cruz, Vice Mayor Rudy Marzo and ARMM Gov. Mujiv Hataman came to the assembly.
Iligan City is important to Mar Roxas because he was number one here when he ran for senator, said Iligan vice-mayor and mayoralty candidate Rudy Marzo following the visit of Liberal Party presidential bet Mar Roxas yesterday (February 3) to meet residents and LP local candidates in Iligan City.
When asked about Mar's candidacy as vice-president in 2010, Marzo said that Mar did not win in Iligan because vice-presidency is not his rightful place. The campaign concentrated on the LP presidential candidate and the people forgot him, he added.
Marzo also said that Duterte is the biggest threat to Mar in Iligan.
However, Marzo added that Iligan is a bailiwick of Liberal Party because most of the prominent politicians are under LP.
Iligan City plus the twenty-two municipalities of the province of Lanao del Norte hold half a million votes.
MARAWI CITY, February 4, 2016--During his visit in Mindanao State University, Marawi City, His Excellency US Ambassador to the Philippines Philip Goldberg expressed the support of the United States to the peace process in Mindanao.
In his speech during the Opening Ceremony of the ACCESS Program, a US Embassy-sponsored microscholarship in Lanao del Sur, Goldberg said that the support of the US in the peace process is not just in words but through the deeds in carrying out projects trying to help the population and develop the youth in the region.
Goldberg said as a rection to the MILF statement that the failure of the passage of BBL can cause radicalization of the Moro that "The people in this region, the people of the Philippines want peace in Mindanao. And so, while we don't take a position as a foreign embassy on domestic legislation like the BBL, we certainly have done things to try to underpin the peace process to try to help people in this region and we hope that everybody rededicates themselves to the peace process and find way forward. And that's for Filipinos to work out and we will support that process."
The President of Mindanao State University System, Dr. Macapado Muslim, expressed gratitude to the United States. He said that if MSU became the second strongest state university in the country, that is because of the good beginning of the university in the 60s which was anchored largely on the support of the United States government.
Moreover, Muslim reiterated that America is a dependable ally of the Bangsamoro people and as a payback, he told Goldberg, to expect their continuing support of the US government initiatives in Mindanao.
Thursday, February 11, 2016
According to the manifesto coming from the organizers of the rally, they are calling on the leadership of both the Senate and the House of Representatives to firmly resolve, once and for all, the Bangsamoro peace issue. They say that the time is now and not later because the national stability is at stake and they fear the radicalization of the Bangsamoro youth.
In an interview with Lanao del Sur Former Congressman Benasing Macarambon, he confirms the emergence of radical groups in Mindanao particularly ISIS.
Macarambon also said that although he tells his constituents that President Aquino is sincere, the problem is that the Bangsamoro people do not believe PNoy anymore. The protesters even chanted a song about how PNoy did not honor his words and therefore a traitor.
Drieza Lininding, secretary general of Bangsamoro Movement for Peace and Development, said that for him, the non-passage of the BBL is not the fault of the legislators alone but of the President as well.
Now that the BBL is derailed, the protesters are asking where all the time and effort in deliberating the BBL went. They are questioning the sincerity of the government in the peace process. And they are now calling not just for the passage of BBL but for independence instead.