Friday, October 20, 2017

1:58 p.m.
I had a glorious lunch at Wholesome Table with Cecile earlier. It was a splurge—for a salaried worker’s ordinary lunch, at least—as we spent a little over P1,200 for both our meals. I had sourdough bread with spinach dip, garlic spaghetti, and arabica; she had tomato soup and chicken salad. They made for quite a lovely spread at one of the most beautifully designed restaurants in the area. “No guilt,” she said. I told her she deserved it of all people I know.

2:05 p.m.
I just finished Call Me by My Name. I had been in love with the novel even before I began reading it and now, I cannot wait to see how the film will translate the book. As a fan of Luca Guadagnino’s I Am Love and A Bigger Splash, I’ve created mental images based on these two films and reading the book, I’ve already cast Armie Hammer in the role of Oliver. At this point, I doubt anything in the film will disappoint me.

Today, I wore a billowy blue shirt—and I think I might have splurged at lunch—in honor of the book. And I might drink wine at dinner in honor of Italy.

11 p.m.
I did end up having wine at dinner: after getting my haircut in Legazpi, I searched for a nice restaurant in the area and I ended up in a Peruvian-Japanese restaurant. It was a very stylish and dimly lit place, which was perfect for this solo diner; I did not feel alone at all and even then, it felt more chic than melancholy. I sat by the bar, two seats apart two gay guys. I overheard them saying complimentary things about me until one said, “Baka mamaya marunong mag-Tagalog.” So I ordered in Tagalog, lol.

The food was good, but the proportions—for the prices—were really small. But again, it was a day for splurges, so I hardly winced as I paired the dishes with a red. After I finished another satisfying meal, the waiter chatted me up. First, he asked me about the food and I gladly gave my feedback: I praised the tiradito and lomo, but complained that the side dish was a struggle (a runny egg yolk fenced by fries; the plate was flat so when I pierced through the yolk, it threatened to spill over the plate and so I had to constantly reel it in. I thought about asking for a spoon but it would be incongruous to the dish and the setup.) Then, he started getting really personal: he asked about my work, where I live, and later, what I thought really ruined the elegance of the place, my marital status by prefacing it with, “Are you stable, sir?” (After asking him a couple of times to clarify, I realized he meant, “settled.”) I lobbed back his questions and he didn’t hesitate to overshare: he told me he’s from Cavite and that he had to put his schooling on hold. Although I didn’t feel rushed as I was ready to go home anyway, I felt the need to extricate myself from the situation and asked for the bill.

I went to the grocery and bought a bottle of wine to drink at home in peace.


Thursday, October 19, 2017

8:50 a.m.
Yesterday’s workout:

(8 rounds)
Handstand hold

Five rounds
(20min cap)
Run 200m
10 hand-release (dead stop) push up
5 pike push ups

Notes: One of the rare occasions wherein it was a relatively easy workout. Given my hypertension, I actually immediately felt dizzy on my first scaled handstand walk (vs hold) so I didn’t push myself further. I did manage to hold on for all four rounds; I previously would collapse before the 20 seconds is up. I’ve never been able to do or practice double-unders and to be honest, it’s no longer a goal. For the second set of workouts, I felt good in all my runs–I’m not sure if it has anything to do with me disciplining myself to breathe in through my nose and exhale through my mouth (I’m almost always the person heaving and gasping for breath during runs and after every workout), but this time, I didn’t look as pathetic. I’ve been doing dead-stop pushups for many years now, so it was easy-peasy. First time to do the pike push-ups and I like the burn it gave my shoulders; I just might do it at home, too.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

8:57 a.m.
I am in the middle of reading Call Me By Your Name. Yesterday, I finally reached the now-infamous peach scene, which by now, has been widely reported by the crew of the film version as entirely plausible to reenact at the comfort of your own home. The last time I remember a food has figured this much in a… coupling in a film is in American Pie, but Call Me turned out to be more… saporous. Anyway, I was cringing and it was awesome, haha.

Lovely, lovely book. Here’s an excerpt:

As I waited, I took both our bikes and walked them toward the war memorial dedicated to the youth of the town who’d perished in the Battle of the Piave during the First World War. Every small town in Italy has a similar memorial. Two small buses had just stopped nearby and were unloading passengers—older women arriving from the adjoining villages to shop in town. Around the small piazza, the old folk, men mostly, sat on small, rickety, straw-backed chairs or on park benches wearing drab, old, dun-colored suits. I wondered how many people here still remembered the young men they’d lost on the Piave River. You’d have to be at least eighty years old today to have known them. And at least one hundred, if not more, to have been older than they were then. At one hundred, surely you learn to overcome loss and grief—or do they hound you till the bitter end? At one hundred, siblings forget, sons forget, loved ones forget, no one remembers anything, even the most devastated forget to remember. Mothers and fathers have long since died. Does anyone remember?

9:09 a.m.
Yesterday’s workout:

First minute: Two Turkish get ups
Second minute: 10 goblet squats

Five rounds
(8min cap)
10 kettlebell deadlifts
8 Russian KB swings
6 American KB swings
12 ring rows
*KB at 24kg

Notes: First time to do the Turkish get ups, which was a bit complex to learn at first but I imagine would be “fun” to do later on. Coach advised us to go really light so I only used a 15lbs dumbbell. I should have used a 20lbs or 25lbs, because I didn’t feel the burn and I only breezed through the movements. For the second round, Coach advised us to use a kettlebell that would enable us to do both the deadlift and swings in unbroken reps, so I scaled down to a 16kg KB. I finished in 7:40min.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

9:31 p.m.
I’ve probably had the toughest two weeks of my year: my days were stretched and I had very little rest. Up until Saturday, I was up all day and I couldn’t take even one minute off. I went to Pam’s birthday party without any gift because I simply couldn’t squeeze in the time; I couldn’t even get a haircut. But I’m glad that everything has worked out. At work, my boss’s boss described my report as “excellent” and would send it to the CEO, COO, and CIO as I wrote it. I know it’s only the beginning of what would be a roller-coaster 2018, but hopefully, it would be for the best.

Pa was in his best health in a month, with “best” being a relative term. Surprised that he managed to go up and down one flight of stairs without heaving. It was a joy to see him with us as Ma showed off her room renovation project—he has been missing good family moments as we were frequently in the hospital the past four weeks.

My body must have felt all that stress go away—for many weeks now, I’d be jolted awake at 6 a.m., panicking at the thought of the list of things I needed to do (I haven’t even had a proper birthday celebration—I took three days off work but all those days, hours were spent running errands); but this morning, I woke up close to 12nn with 11 hours of sleep. Bliss is what I call it. I spent all Sunday in bed, finally finishing the first two seasons of Narcos. I thought about going out and getting that haircut, but I didn’t want to waste time not being in a state of relaxation.

9:52 a.m.
In Narcos, at least you know the government was running after the number one drug lord and narcoterrorist of his time—in many episodes, I believed that the extrajudicial killings were justified. However, that is not the case in the Philippines: President Duterte’s drug war has been very soft on drug lords and very heavy handed on poor, small-time users (not even suppliers). Drug addicts, the wrongfully accused, and innocent bystanders alike are all killed every day. P6.4 billion worth of shabu was smuggled inside the country, with his own son being implicated, and Duterte has yet to lift a finger and hold those responsible accountable. I don’t hear of any vision on how this government plans to do eradicate cartels (if they even exist here); plans are so small-minded that all it has offered is to set up drop boxes so citizens can report on each other (and yes, people have already been arrested this way).

If only Duterte had shown brute force in dealing with corruption and crimes in the country, then he may have had won me over. Instead, he cowers in fear of China, which has been emboldened to claim more Philippine islands for itself thanks to his presidency, and has magnificently displayed his sense of gratitude to the Marcoses, who contributed to his campaign coffers, by allowing the deceased patriarch to lie at the Heroes’ Cemetery after being denied the honor by previous administrations. Recent independent-body investigations now show he may be as corrupt as the others have come, and instead of welcoming said investigations to clear his name, he has lashed back and threatened retribution. He is often described as a strongman and in the strictest sense of a brooding authoritarian figure, maybe he is, but he has shown no balls where iron will and leadership have been required: standing up to foreign invasion, eradicating corruption in high places, and sacking bumbling and errant government officials. Instead, his immorality, which goes far beyond words—and his words are gutter language in all senses of the word—has advanced and abetted impunity, divisiveness, and injustices, most especially to the poor. Duterte is not only unhinged, but spectacularly lame.

Friday, October 13, 2017

11:15 a.m.
Abs are gone, lol.

Yesterday’s workout:

1min on / 1min off (20 rounds)
200m run
American kettlebell swings 24kg

Notes: I scaled down to a 20kg KB. I was winded after the first 200m run. There were many rounds I only did 100m runs and my KBs were only either five or 10 reps. Basically, I was extremely lousy.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

8:30 a.m.
Based on my belt, I lost about 1-2 inches off my waist.

11:16 p.m.
I took off my shirt when I got home from the gym and… I. Saw. Abs. I couldn’t stop staring at… them. Yes, they’re no longer a giant blob of mass. They no longer form a collective unit: I could actually clearly see four quadrants, faint perimeters that separate four boundaries. It took me a while to step out of the mirror, fearing they’d disappear after dinner like some form of mirage. So yup, I haven’t looked since.

Today’s workout:

Handstand hold
Double/single unders

Three rounds
(15min cap)
35 air squats
– rest 1min –
35 vertical jumps
– rest 1min –
35 box jumps
– rest 2mins –

Notes: Handstands will take me more than physical strength to do; it’s a mental game. I’ve never done a cartwheel even as a child: I’m too afraid I’ll break my neck. I’m even more scared now, given my age and hypertension. So I did a really poor scaled version.

Coach actually called me out for being so slow in the second set of work out. Ayoko ng nagtatatalon at nag ii-isquat (gosh how do you write that), okay? I only did one round and 70 reps. NO ONE FINISHED. Not even the hot Singaporean import.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

7:52 a.m.
Early at work today. My internal target is to finish the work report today. Please God, don’t let me procrastinate.

Did so poorly during the warmup yesterday which targeted our power snatch mobility. My knees hurt in a bad way. My shoulders ended up sore afterward, in a good way.

Yesterday’s workout:

(five reps of five rounds, every minute)

(12min cap)
50 situps

Four rounds
15 KB deadlifts (32lbs)
15 pushups

50 situps

Notes: I didn’t scale down in any of the weight. I was wiped out by the end of the deadlifts, but mighty proud of myself and my partner Leonard for being the only ones in class who did all five rounds at 155lbs. Many at the gym finished the metcon, but I could only manage to finish 3 rounds—I was too winded from the deadlift I couldn’t take out the 45lbs and 10lbs plates without struggling.

Back to eating just oatmeal for dinner after a debaucherous weekend.

2:11 p.m.
The report is taking shape. I can do this.

2:42 p.m.
I got the fuel but I need the steam…

Monday, October 09, 2017

5:07 p.m.
I did two rounds of meditation, one before sleeping and another upon waking up, just to reclaim my balance and Zen. I think it has helped: I’ve moved forward with my report although the drive and fire are still not there.

I have an extremely painful acne inside my nose—I suppose it’s better than having it on the outside, but it’s very swollen and painful to the touch.

I miss P. We’re back to being Messenger stickers again.

I feel emotionally dead; there’s no joy in me.

I think that’s it: I haven’t been happy since my trip to Bataan with P. I mean I was happy during our recent weekend together, but it was accompanied by the then ongoing stress and later, the impending dread of his absence and the continuing family and work responsibilities I need to shoulder this week.

I am panic tempered by seeming apathy: the last time I experienced this at 19, I threw caution to the wind and ran away. I cried and prayed so hard at Church. And I survived despite my juvenile delinquencies. I know I cannot run away this time—many people cannot, do not run away. I embrace the thought. I calm myself with the knowledge. Something tells me I will not be as lucky and “blessed” as I was before. I need to face the music this time.

Monday, October 2, 2017

8:48 a.m.
I don’t have much sleep today—earlier, at 2:30 a.m., I had to rush down because I could hear Pa whimpering in agony—it turned it he stood up to pee and had cramps; he sounded like he was having a heart attack. So that kept me awake for another hour.

9:29 p.m.
First time to be back in the gym after a week of absence. Fearing I’ve lost momentum, I still managed to pick up where they left off with the strict press last week and finally finish a WOD after a long, long time.

Five reps of five rounds
(every minute)
Strict press, 95lbs

Three rounds
(12min cap)
7 pull ups
7 parallette dips
15 American kettlebell swings at 24kg
400m run

Notes: I only managed to do 75lbs again with the strict press, though I think I can push it to 80lbs next time. I barely finished the WOD with a time of 11:32—and I didn’t even stop for breaks; others finished in 8-9 minutes. It was the running that almost made me quit and many times, I felt like I was going to puke, as in I was already imagining I’d have to wipe the floor off with my shirt, the thought of which allowed me to hold the bile off for as long as possible, lol. Finished the set with no mess. 🙂