Saccharine Irony

This site is a compilation of fluid thoughts, a collection of poetry, random glimpses of humor and tragedy, spontaneous notions of an extremely sensitive mind.

So… August 14, 2009

Filed under: confessions,Sarcasm — Aimee @ 2:04 pm
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… I went to the dentist today and almost lost consciousness. The pain had felt like someone was pulling your jaw bone out. It’s a good thing thought it did not persist for more than 5 seconds. Still, I am quite embarrassed to admit today that I almost bawled my eyes out on the dental chair. But as a 27 year old adult pain is no excuse for crying (OH WOW, did I just write that?). My next appointment is still 2 weeks away, but already I am dreading it, as if the next jaw-pulling horror is gonna happen in the next hour or so. 😦

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Trapped. Squeezed. Swallowed. December 10, 2008

Filed under: Career Chronicles,Sarcasm — Aimee @ 9:58 am
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The workplace, no doubt, is an interesting place for people watching. People are trapped more than eight hours everyday inside freezing, dull-colored buildings: facing computers, flipping papers, mollifying clients, chewing at ball pen caps, sipping instant coffee, and spending the rest of the time wishing they were somewhere else.

You see them in stiff blazers and glossy neckties, scurrying around, trying to look as if they are actually busy with something. The fact that they are pretending to be busy somehow gives them the assurance that they are doing something worthwhile with their routine lives.

And maybe they really do have hectic days, no argument with that, but at the end of each day, they would begin to wonder if the careers they had chosen had put them where they have always wanted to be, if perchance the endless tapping on keyboards or the ingestion of brainless policies define who they are.

Then you see the arthritic supervisors, those fifty-something superiors who stay rooted to their posts merely because of that beautiful thing called “security of tenure”, which most government-funded agencies take to heart quite liberally, and so that they are able to retain their plush swivel chairs, those soft back cushions, the huge tables that hold nothing but family picture frames, plastic flowers, and useless what-nots.

The females paint their faces in an effort to obscure wrinkle lines, perm and color their hair in a vain effort to regain its fading luster, and embellish themselves with heavy glittering accessories – gold, shiny jades and rubies, oversized pearls in hundreds of colors- perhaps to remind everyone that these jewels are their trophies, trophies for toiling inside freezing, dull-colored buildings in a span of long decades. The males have protruding bellies, brassy voices, sly gazes, and huge groping hands; and if you’re careless, they could read way too much between your quick glances and contrived laughter.

These middle-aged folks have earned their respective positions no doubt, but some of them no longer make any contribution to the organization at all. Most hours they just absentmindedly sift through papers, verify checks and tinker with their high-end cell phones, wondering whether the husband is not with some mistress, or the if the wife is not flirting with the boss. And the worst of their kind never grow up at all. At their age, they still gossip like thoughtless adolescents, feign friendships even as they kiss each other’s cheeks, and nurture their little prejudices like confused toddlers. The workplace compels them to fake smiles and get crafty with small talk, to fashion handy compliments and throw them to the air whenever the need arises.

These bosses give out orders like automatons, get panic attacks at the slightest blunders, seek perfection where there is none, and all the while not fully understand the gamut of their jobs. The madames come to the office because they need to, because they have huge credit card debts to pay off, new car accessories to purchase and not necessarily because their perfume-laden presences are still needed.

The workplace is their, home, a stretch of land subdivided into their own little countries where they rule as royalties. And beneath them, their minions toil over their mindless employments – tap away at computers, flip over papers, mollify clients, chew at ball pen caps, sip instant coffee and wish they were somewhere else.

Well, the simple-minded ones are happy where they are, content with everyday work because there are mouths to feed, and because unfortunately, they know nothing better. They have spouses to come home to, and children to tell stories to, so what is the point of yearning for a better profession? Their thoughts are flying in all directions as they work at their tables, wishing they were home because if truth be told, there is nothing like home in a pretentious, dull-colored building.

Millions of hearts are trapped in places they cannot love, but only be immune to. They have grown gnarly and old, and they cannot fuel their souls to dream of something else. They just sit and watch, at the budding ones in stiff blazers and glossy neckties, lip gloss and stilettos, wanting to tell them to go and follow their heart songs. Wanting to tell them that yes, the workplace is interesting.

But the wide open skies are breathtaking.

 

Freelancing Newbie December 14, 2007

Filed under: Career Chronicles,Sarcasm — Aimee @ 3:46 pm

So I came home from the office Christmas party earlier than usual. I had been meaning to go have a night-out spree with my friends but the article deadline kept me in anxious spirits. So I declined, went home with my goodies, and sat in front the computer wondering if I had done the right thing. Of course I wanted to have a bit of fun, and for the longest time had planned on getting drunk. You know, the embarrassed-the-morning-after kind of drunk. The laughing-and-crying-at-the-same-time kind of drunk. But then again, I have a deadline and since time immemorial, I have always been a freak about deadlines. At least those that other people set. So now I am just left wondering if being a killjoy is the right thing to be.

This freelancing stuff is quite alien territory but hopefully I’d get the hang of this sooner than I expect. At least someone else is pushing me to write, which is a welcome rarity because all this time, I have been pushing myself to write with very little success. I usually get too complacent, because no one is breathing down my neck, and because when I set deadlines, it’s not really a deadline. Ha ha.

And the fact that I am learning something in the process is a good thing. My personality is inquisitive by nature, I want to learn and understand so many things at the same time! So these writing assignments are keeping my brains from getting rusticated, plus it improves my typing and writing skills, too.

No, I don’t expect to get rich with this venture, at least not so soon. The pay is still so-so, considering this is my first project. But I am doing something I’m happy to, and something that gives me fulfillment. The rest is just icing on the cake, so to speak.

Well, the party was a no-brainer. Playing BINGO is not my idea of fun, and the people there just looked so worn out, it seemed as if they were trying too hard to be happy. What’s to be happy in working for stupid demigods anyway, and doing brainless work all day? For the first time, I really pitied them. Really. But at least they are being paid well, that’s the only nice thing about their careers. Without it, perhaps they’d be slitting their wrists open by now.

Too bad I didn’t win anything. Ella won a nice bed foam and a humongous two-burner gas stove. Mae won the microwave oven I’ve been secretly wishing for myself. But when your friends are happy, you can only be happy for them too. There is simply no other way.

So, I have to get back to my writing. The deadline is tomorrow before midnight and I’m trying to beat it by submitting it tonight, before midnight. Wish me lots of luck and pixie dust.

 

Quarter of a Century October 30, 2007

Filed under: Events,Sarcasm — Aimee @ 3:52 pm
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180px-birthday_candles.jpg 11:15 a.m.

So today is my birthday. An hour from now, I’ll hear the noontime mass at the cathedral with Mom and Chad, and maybe go to the salon for a haircut after lunch. My boss just has sent me an SMS this morning saying that I might be one of the office people soon to be assigned at Pasay City, Metro Manila, if I am willing. If not, I’ll probably end up jobless by the end of this year, which means I have to start packing my stuff very soon, and sending out resumes, and to relive again the entire job hunting rounds.

I have to admit that for a few minutes, I was overrun with emotions and actually started to cry. I mean, working so hard for something and then getting told that I won’t actually reap the rewards in the end is not a very easy situation to handle. If I would begin to recall those days when I had wanted so bad to leave but never got around to it, I’d be doing drama for an entire day on my birthday. But very quickly enough, while I was in the middle of my bath, I snapped out of it and began to realize that things could not be so freaking awful. I just turned twenty-five, quarter of a century old, today, and I have always told myself that when I reach this age, I have to make the decision on sticking to my current career or finding something else that really makes me deliriously happy. So now that the day is here, I should be celebrating because I’m still around to actually take control of matters finally, for the first time in my play-it-safe life.

Now, the choices face me upfront. I could go back home and apply for a banking job or maybe even a teaching stint at the university. And when I have a steady, decent, paycheck enroll myself in grad school, take up creative writing and/or masters in business, or enroll in a cooking school and finish culinary arts. Creative writing and cooking are two of my most cherished occupations and if I would get to do both every single day in the near future, then that would be my good karma.

Or hilariously, I could choose to get married and pro-create a dozen children. Not that I find a housewife kind of life generally appealing, but planting roses in my garden and cooking dinner for a big family sounds tempting enough. However, I can’t stand wailing, snot-nosed children, and a house in pathetic disarray, and a husband who comes home late reeking of alcohol. And besides, no one has gotten down on one knee and made a proposal to me just yet; it’s merely that I usually get too run away with my thoughts when I’m trying to be happy.

Even more riotously, I can choose to hibernate at home, jobless and bored, and be a burden to the rest of my family. I am very useful in walking the dog, washing the dishes, and cooking a decent dinner. Maybe I can just accept laundry services from the neighbors and be a labandera. Or look after a snot-nosed toddler and be a yaya. I can just imagine the look of horror on my mother’s face when she’d realize that the most rapacious reader in the house, the English-language loving student, the one her amigas thought to be clever and bright and most likely to succeed, has condescended to be thoroughly domesticated and apathetic, as if she no longer has any choice left.

I just wonder, when will I ever wake up from this nightmare? Because so long as I don’t wake from it, I’m just in one corner, hysterically laughing, knowing that anytime soon someone is going to ring a really loud bell to my ears and tell me, “ Wake up! The demigods have drowned in their own shit!”

Meanwhile, I greet myself a happy, happy birthday.

 

Bride of Chucky October 1, 2007

Filed under: Politics,Sarcasm — Aimee @ 7:44 am

There is something about our president that is so uncanny. Sure, she looks innocent and pleasant enough, what with her diminutive height all dolled up in Paul Cabral suits and gowns, designer heels, and an ear-to-ear smile for an accessory. She speaks good English, delivers immaculate speeches, and looks unfazed with all the scandals and natural catastrophes that have shaken our little archipelago to its core, appears confident enough in the presence of powerful world leaders, and doesn’t look her prime age at sixty. But there is something about her that has always kept me intrigued, one might say, and eventually I have grown to distrust her civility, her outward confidence, and her schoolgirl smiles. That day when President Estrada finally stepped out of the Malacanang Palace, the nationalist in me rejoiced silently, optimistic that finally this country will soon rise from its long-forgotten ashes. I celebrated even more, sensing that the then vice-president seemed to be the exact antithesis of the ousted president: well-schooled and articulate, an economist by education, unaffiliated with the showbiz world, and a female.

Staring at the television that day, tirelessly watching coverage after coverage of the EDSA Dos Revolution, and the proclamation of the new leader, I did notice however, that there was something about the new head-of-state that bothered me. She was smiling crazily, as if she were on booze, grinning with unabashed triumph and celebration, as Senator Teofisto Guingona raised her hand, facing the countless Filipino masses that trooped to EDSA in an admirable showing of faith, unity, and nationalism. It appeared to me that she was too happy to be president, someone atat na atat to be in control of power. Yes, there was cause for celebration that day, but then again at that point the battle would have been far from over; the impeachment case would soon follow, stocks would be adversely affected by all the political turmoil, and as always, our economy would need a 360 degree overhaul. She nonetheless, could barely conceal her foolish excitement, her apparent giddiness for making history, in the face of such an unfortunate event that would hound this country for years to come. My eyes stayed glued to the television but I remember feeling uneasy, perturbed at the way she waved and waved, and owned the stage as if she had won the national elections, or the one-billion jackpot lottery.

So, six fateful years later, I was proven right. This doll-faced president has been implicated in numerous controversies, all of which she has treated with a shameless indifference. During her reign, our country has been branded as the second most dangerous place for journalists, next to Iraq, by reason of countless killings of activist-journalists. She confessed to communicating with an election official during the 2004 elections, and with a “cute-puppy” face, repeated apologies to the Filipino people over live television. Her infamous husband too, has dragged her name in his own web of transgressions, such as the Jose Pidal controversy, and more recently, the NBN ZTE Deal, which our doll-faced president has approved in slapdash fashion as if it was her and not the people’s money that was at stake. Whether or not all these accusations will prove them responsible in the end still remains to be seen. After all, didn’t we just look the other way when the Hello Garci hubbub erupted, accepting her sorry as if she merely stole a piece of bubblegum?

No, I do not hate our Madame President. She is indeed intelligent, a devout Catholic, and has her own brand of charisma. Sometimes, I find myself admiring her resiliency, the way she remains stoic and expressionless in the wake of intrigues, and her strong confidence in the country’s economy. But I do not claim to love her either. I just could not bring myself to do so, because that would be a feeble pretense on my part.

There is something uncanny about her, which I find so disconcerting. Each time, she reminds me of a chubby-faced porcelain doll who conceals her evil powers behind her toothy smile.

For our poor country’s sake, I hope I’m wrong.

 

Not For Sale September 21, 2007

Filed under: Sarcasm,Women — Aimee @ 9:55 am
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(This is my article that the Philippine Daily Inquirer published in their Young Blood column on June 19, 2003. I hope I don’t sound too feminist here because really, I am not in that extreme. I’m just exasperated with women who view themselves as mere extensions of the men in their lives, nothing more)

 

 

It occurred to me only recently that a good number of people honestly believe all women in this age are out to “sell” themselves to men. But I think these people make little sense.

For starters, there is the popular idea that women dress well and strive to look good for the sake of men. It is believed unthinkingly that the only reason a woman would prefer to look at least half-decent is simply to put herself on “sale” in the “market” of men. I have even heard one guy declare that women dress up because it serves one purpose: flirting. It is like saying that in choosing which dress to put on, a woman’s uppermost concern is how the male specie would react to it, regardless of whether she personally likes it or not. It is the same as saying that without the “approval” of the opposite sex, a woman is a total failure. It is as if women go through their daily routines with a sign on their backs reading: “Heck, buy me and take me home. I am for sale.”

Why is it that even some women say they are here to “sell” themselves? Perhaps it is because they are convinced everyone is in a chase, and the game ends once a man finally takes notice, starts a courtship, and in due course gets to “buy” her. Then once the game is done, women can stop taking care of themselves and be content being baduy and losyang.

Does having a relationship with a man mean that the woman can opt to be pabaya since she is no longer in the “market”? Any broad-minded would disagree. For why can’t a woman do something for herself and herself alone?

I know women do not live to “sell” themselves or whatever “goods” they might have. Rather, they are here to prove themselves, to explore their strengths and thereby improve gracefully over time.

A woman should do something not because some other entity impels her to do it but because her heart is set on doing it. For instance, a ballerina performs on stage not to elicit appreciation and applause from the men but to show everyone in the audience, both female and male, that she is more than flesh and bone but above all else, an artist. A female athlete strives to win not to impress the opposite sex but because as a woman, she gets a deep sense of fulfillment from her efforts. In the same way, a woman who dresses well, walks with poise and speaks with quality should do so not because she wants to sell herself to the eager customers but because she wants to prove that in a male-dominated society she can be their equal or even better.

Of course, there is a big gap between how a woman should be and how some of them actually are. Some of us actually give women a bad name by deliberately behaving indecently. There are those who quite literally put themselves on sale, believing that doing so is their solitary function in life. I have seen some women go to the extent of trading their respectability for the pleasure of having male company. There are females who choose to wear black thongs with flimsy white pants, while traipsing the walkways of universities or even hearing Sunday Mass, strutting their stuff before a wide eyed world. Isn’t this a vulgar invitation to the males?

Call me old-fashioned, but I think I have better things to do than to bare a lot of skin. Well, these women can always offer excuses but whether the male audience is buying them remains a big question. Any ordinary male perception would simply conclude that the female is showcasing herself in a way that invites some unseemly reactions.

But this type of women, who go beyond the bounds of propriety, are a tiny minority. So it is unfair to regard women as objects of trade. They are more than cost-effective merchandise. Men cannot buy them and consequently own them. Anything that is for sale eventually leads to ownership by the buyer. If this were the case with women, then they are no better than the next Playboy issue or some fancy sports car that any man would love to own and brag about.

There are times when women are better off listening to themselves than listening to everything that men have to say. An overprotective boyfriend is not worth keeping if he destroys his girlfriend’s individuality. A possessive husband is worth leaving when he wants to turn his wife into a miserable marionette. In such cases, women are better off living out their own dreams. In fact, they would be better off trying to please themselves first. It may be a cliché, but it is true that a woman should not need a man to complete her; rather a woman needs a man to complement her.

Still, there is some truth to the supposition that women try to look good to attract men. It would be hypocrisy for women to say that they don’t welcome male attention. The way a woman carries herself reflects her personality. In our society and age, a personable appearance is a necessity. But women should do something not just because they want to draw the attention of men. A woman should do something because she wants it for herself, because it’s her way of gaining authentic self-esteem and completion.

A woman should know her strengths, and selling herself is not one of them.