First official #dyowntis photo :D

Dyowntis is an endearing play of words, constructed by a very good friend. Dyown (tagalized spelling of my name, Joan) + buntis (Filipino for pregnant). So it basically means, Joan is pregnant. -___-

preggyphotoLast month, people would simply assume I drink too much. Some of my colleagues were even “complaining” how I don’t look pregnant. I did lose some weight during my first trimester. I was lucky not to experience morning sickness, but I did lose my appetite. I bounced back after increasing my calcium intake so I’m slowly progressing and gaining weight in the process.

I’m almost done with my second trimester. And the biggest challenge so far is constipation and hemorrhoids. The non-glamorous side of pregnancy. My doctor insists that I refrain from using chemical remedies to somehow alleviate the pain and stress. And I’m glad she’s not that kind of OB, those take-these-meds kind. She simply advises that I do steam seat and increase intake of fibrous food such as papaya, oats, pineapple, etc. It seems to be working though my bowel movements often go to the extreme. Crossing my finger it stays this way until the last weeks. #wishfulthinking

So now that I’m off to my third trimester, my bump is now spherical and proud. I am no longer the beer belly lady. I am now a full pledge hot-momma-to-be (or at least I like to imagine). I still forget at times that I have this huge ball in front of me, bumping to tables and people. But hey, now I have my preggy excuse card. Lol.

Happy 26 weeks and 6 days Bakotoy ko, nanay loves you! ❤

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On my pregnancy: “I’ve been having it easy. Well, constipation and hemorrhoids is never easy!”

I have a different plan for my life 5 months ago (if you can call traveling to wherever my feet takes me as a plan). I got the biggest surprise when I got two lines in 3 pregnancy test kits (yes, just to make sure), which was then confirmed via ultrasound that I was, in deed, 4 weeks pregnant (the medical term is gestational age).

I’m in my 26 weeks now. And to be honest, despite constant back aches, frequent bathroom breaks and extreme bowel movements (from constipation to diarrhea), I’ve been having it easy. Well, constipation and hemorrhoids is never easy! But what I mean is that, pregnancy being a life altering experience to most women, it seems that these changes are actually good, if not the best things that had happened to me.

I have tons of fears. I do. Am I really financially ready? Am I emotionally ready? Will I travel less now? Will my performance at work be affected? Will I be a boring friend? Can I make it as a single mom? Will I be a good mother? Can I give my baby girl (yes, my imagined life came true, yay!) a bright future? I have those questions running around my mind 24/7. Every week that passes and the nearer I get to my due date, the more uncertainties there are. But I still feel that I have it easy.

Or maybe because I conditioned myself that despite all of these fears and constant challenges I face everyday, I’d rather give my baby all my energy. All my positive energy. And I do remember answering a colleague’s question on how am I, him pertaining to my pregnancy, that I am actually good. I told him, I still don’t know what to do beyond giving birth though. But I guess I’ll know soon enough.

babygirlBakotoy (her Igorot name) when she was 7 weeks old ❤

Information that Matters

It’s about sharing information that matters.

In an era where most people are connected, in one way or another, in various social networking sites like Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram and Facebook, one must wonder what kind of information are actually getting shared. We are glued in 24/7 in these sites, constantly browsing for things that will spike up our interests. Liking, reblogging, retweeting and commenting on things we find relevant. Relentlessly trying to make sense of stories sometimes far far away.

It might sound like a futile exercise. Sitting in front of a computer. Holding a tablet. Browsing your smartphone. But it actually gives you power in what kind of message you put out in the world. It is ordinary, but nevertheless, powerful.

What I’m trying to say, which I’m having a hard time explaining (disclaimer: I haven’t blogged for such a long time), think before you share anything with your friends, family or acquaintances. Make sure that it is an information that matters. Read or watch it first before you share it. Understand the message you want to share with them that you can have meaningful discussions afterwards. I am a victim of sharing and liking links that I haven’t actually really “click”. What I realized is that I am missing a lot of good insights and points. That I am becoming a prophet with false messages. Be responsible to the messages you put out in the world. Use it properly and wisely.

But of course, some spoofs and gags are good too at times 😀

Repost: I Want To Know You

By: Ryan O’Connell (Though Catalog)

I want to know you. You seem like someone worth knowing. Every day I feel like I’m surrounded by people with hard edges and sour faces but I get the sense that you’re different. Too often people seem to think that they have the answers to everything. Their faces are trapped in permascowls and they can’t be bothered with anything besides their own narcissism. You aren’t like that. You still ask questions. You’re still looking for the answers.

People with kind hearts make me feel dirty. Like I need to give my personality a bath or something. Rub it clean of my neuroses and judgments. But that’s a good thing. When someone inspires you to take a long hard look at yourself and question all of your bad habits, they’re someone worth keeping around. It’s all about finding that person who’s able to hold up a mirror to your life and cause you to reevaluate the noise. It’s all about wanting to be a better man.

I know you’ll surprise me. I know you’ll take a right turn when I’m convinced you’ll take a left. All of this may seem arbitrary (why does it even matter if you take a right instead of a left?) but it provides me with a giant sense of relief. Do you know what it feels like to go through life rarely being surprised? The person who you think is going to hurt you ends up leaving you alone at three in the morning. The person who will never understand your jokes or passions turns out to be a stranger forever. You sleep with them, go out to dinners, and even run away to a bed and breakfast on a long weekend, all in hopes that they’ll start to make sense to you one day. But they never do. They just get more and more foreign each day. Experiences don’t always breed intimacy. Sometimes they just make the distance more apparent.

I want to know how your weekend was (I never want to know these types of things but you’re the exception to all my rules) and I want to know how you got that scar on your knee (biking accident when you were twelve? Tell me more! This story is more riveting than The Hunger Games!) and I want to know about your mom and dad (Are they assholes? No matter! We’ll start our own family!) I want to protect you. I want to preserve your innocence and drink it up for myself. You learn from me and I’ll learn from you. Deal?

You’ll open me up like an orange, leaving a mess of pulp and sticky peels everywhere. Certain parts of my personality will be extracted and I’ll find myself feeling stuff I never knew was possible. It’s strange to think how many things we’re capable of without really knowing it until we have a proper catalyst — something or someone to bring it to the surface. Dig, dig, dig. No, you might need to dig a little deeper. I have a lot of crap sticking on top of the good stuff.

In order for all of this to work though, you have to let me know you. You have to let me cut you open and trust that I won’t accidentally hit a nerve. You have to accept me for my shortcomings and understand that you’re a better person than I am. I’m a little rotten. Please don’t let that deter you though. Because when I look at you, I see someone who makes sense. I see an anomaly — someone who’s untouched by all of the modern inventions and hang ups. I see someone I want to know.

Humdurumdurum

I’m feeling humdurumdurum for almost a week now. Everyone is going home. And I too will leave in just a couple of days. No farewell tears since last Wednesday. Blame the weather, the cough, whatever, but I’m trying trying really not to shed any. I’ve been sending people off, waking up at 5:00am for last hugs, last laughter, last smile. I really hope I can still see all of them in the near future. It has been a boring ride, to be really honest about it. But what I would cherish are those rare moments that I’m the happiest. And I really mean truly and genuinely happy (shiawasen). And for good reasons, I am really happy that one year in Japan was spent with them.

Omedatou Gozaimashita ESD Girls!

one of those moments

I’m going back home in less than a month. I am not sure though what exactly I should be feeling about it. Anxious? Excited? I just know that my time in Japan is up and I should be making the best out of it. But why am I stuck inside my room? I have my September all planned out. But looking at my calendar, it seems empty. Been inside the house for four days, can’t wait to get out. Haissssh.

I should be excited right? I’m going to Solomon Islands next month. Will spend some quality time with my long distance boyfriend. Why do I feel crappy? Damn you randomness! I am a bit excited, I worked hard to get all visas necessary to go there. I exerted so much effort in making our relationship work. He did the same. We tried to make contact as much as possible. We will make it work right? Patience Joan, 2012 is the year. Focus on your timeline, and try to achieve those milestones. Haisssh.

Anyhow. This is how my last week of August looked like.

 

Last week of August well spent in Aomori Prefecture. Thank you for free field trips 🙂 Saw a lot of amazing things, did lots of traditional crafts, met a lot of interesting people. And I almost forgot, ate tons of apples, melons, honeydew and watermelons! Yay!

 

Puig De Fontnegra [Album Review]

Puig de Fontnegra blends African cultural heritage with upbeat funky new blends of Latin music resulting to melancholic but oftentimes intoxicating concoctions of world sounds. In their debut album with the single “Different is to be alone”, the group’s various ethnic backgrounds shine to the challenge of cultural globalization. Members originating from Latin America, South Africa and Asia, the musical blend is often confusing that attracts listeners further to the diaspora of cultures.

Okay, okay. It’s hard to describe a non-existent band. Particularly, harder to describe its music without tracks. I was bored today, and decided to follow this simple instruction posted in my friend’s Facebook page.

1. Go to Wikipedia. Hit “Random Article” or click http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Random The first random Wikipedia article you get is the name of your band.

2. Go to “Random quotations” or click http://www.quotationspage.com/random.php3 The last four or five words of the very last quote of the page is the title of your first album.

3. Go to flickr and click on “explore the last seven days” or click http://www.flickr.com/explore/interesting/7days
Third picture, no matter what it is, will be your album cover.

4. Use Photoshop or similar to put it all together.

Puig de Fontnegra is a cool name to name a band if I’m from Latin America or I have been there even once my life. But the name sounds so, how to say, world music genre. Although I like world music, I’d rather have a non-existent reggae band. The quotation I got, on one hand, is pretty sad that contextualizes the present Americans, thus, “to be different is to be alone”. It is quoted from Suzanne Gordon in her article/book entitled, Lonely in America.  The photo credit goes to Scott MacBride, for being the third photo in “explore the last seven days”. His Flickr photostream can be found here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/scottmacbride/. I have no ownership to any of the photos, title or album name.

I know you guys are as bored as I am. Why don’t you try it out? 🙂