Thursday, April 30, 2009

Blogthings 2

You Should Date An Australian!

You're a down to earth, outdoorsy kind of girl

And you need a guy who can keep up with your adventures

A rugged Australian guy is just your style

Better start learning how to surf!

Looks like I've managed to come to the right place! :)

I'm sorry... I've been suffering from a case of writers' block. I blame it on overdosing on physical activity and recuperating from a really bad cold. Oh, and maybe an excess of Facebook.

Speaking of Facebook, if you're a friend of mine over there, you'll know just how addicted I am to the quizzes. That is, if you haven't deleted me from your news feed just yet. I know it's ridiculous - some of those quiz-makers can't ever spell right! Still, I find the quizzes hard to resist. And so do a good number of other people, otherwise there wouldn't be such an application.

In the spirit of my quiz addiction, I am breaking my blogging drought with an onslaught of quiz results from Blogthings. How close to the truth are they? You decide. ;)

As for the dating an Australian... got to find him first. Maybe I SHOULD take up surfing...!

You Are Rocky Road Ice Cream

Unpredictable and wild, you know how to have fun.

You're also a trendsetter who takes risks with new things.

You know about the latest and greatest - and may have invented it!

You are most compatible with vanilla ice cream.

You Are a Burrito

You're not a picky person. You're able to go with the flow and really enjoy life.

You have a taste for the exotic, and you're quite adventurous. You're willing to try almost anything.

You're very low maintenance. You don't mind getting a bit messy if it means having fun.

You aren't superficial or easily impressed. Someone has to be the real deal if they're going to impress you.

Your Heart Doesn̢۪t Need Love Now

You are attracted to those who are unbridled, untrammeled, and free.

In love, you feel the most alive when your partner is patient and never willing to give up on you.

You'd like to your lover to think you are loyal and faithful... that you'll never change.

You would be forced to break up with someone who was emotional, moody, and difficult to please.

Your ideal relationship is lasting. You want a relationship that looks to the future... one you can grow with.

Your risk of cheating is zero. You care about society and morality. You would never break a commitment.

You think of marriage as something precious. You'll treasure marriage and treat it as sacred.

In this moment, you think of love as something you don't need. You just feel like flirting around and playing right now.

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Saturday, April 11, 2009

Dreams in the Dusk

Dreams in the dusk,
Only dreams closing the day
And with the day’s close going back
To the gray things, the dark things,
The far, deep things of dreamland

Dreams, only dreams in the dusk,
Only the old remembered pictures
Of lost days when the day’s loss
Wrote in tears the heart’s loss.

Tears and loss and broken dreams
May find your heart at dusk.

* * * *

Sometimes a sunset is a beautiful counterpoint to true solitude. Sometimes, it is somewhere where one's heart can feel loneliest.

To me, it's often a little of both.

(Woman on Sorrento Beach at dusk, taken using my Nikon D40.)

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Thursday, April 09, 2009

Somewhere to Go on a Day Off

It's true, almost all malls here close at 5pm except on late night trading days and aren't even open on Sundays. If you don't like the scene at your local pub, you have to drive a good bit to get to where the real night life is (a bummer because it puts a crimp on your drinking). The central business district is literally a ghost town by 6 pm. I've been here almost a year, and some of my friends still can't fathom how I can survive in a place totally devoid of the buzz and bustle that is Manila without going out of my mind with boredom.

But what do I need all of the above for, when I can get to my own patch of paradise in less than an hour whenever I feel like it?

Due to the vastness of the WA coastline relative to the number of people living in it, you can pretty much drive anywhere along the coast, pick your patch of sand, and stake your claim on it for the day. It's almost as good as having your own private beach. And because Perth often gets picture-perfect, clear-blue-sky weather for most of the year, blowing a day off on the beach is just too hard to resist.

No wonder living here has totally fed my addiction.

This particular piece of paradise is on Safety Bay in the city of Rockingham, about a 60 minute drive from the Perth CBD but just a little under 40 minutes via freeway from where I live - and obviously one of my most frequent stops.

Creamy sand, clean blue-green waters, and a gently sloping shoreline with no dangerous undertow and no surf - yes, reminiscent of Boracay. It's perfect for forsworn water babies who aren't very strong swimmers like me. And because it's a fair distance from the Rockingham cafe strip, even on perfect summer day, I hardly have to share the beach with anyone.

Less than a ten minute drive up the road takes you to Shoalwater Marine Park, where scuba divers and snorklers can have a field day among shipwrecks and cavernous reefs surrounding the islands. I've never done it myself - but give me time, I'll get around to brushing up on my swimming skills and getting down there eventually.

In the meantime, I get my eye candy even on land as the scenic drive itself packs a wallop. The following shots (including the one above) were taken off the lookout on Cape Peron, which is also part of the Shoalwater Marine Park and a popular snorkeling spot. Even then, there aren't too many people - and it's so easy to get lost in the feeling that there's no one here but you and nature.

Back home, to get to somewhere similar to this, you'd have to travel at least as far out as Batangas - which means two to three hours of aggravation on the South Expressway.

And to think that this is just one of the stretches of coastline I frequent when I find myself staring a beautiful day in the face with no definite plans. I know, I know, I'm biased, being such a self-proclaimed beach freak living in a place where I can choose a beach to suit my mood. And once I've found my spot, it's mine, all mine!

Yes, I'm spoiled. Is it any wonder why I am absolutely in love?
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Wednesday, April 08, 2009


Therefore, dear friend, embrace your solitude and love it.

Endure the pain it causes and try to sing out with it. For those near to you are distant, you say.

That shows it is beginning to dawn around you; there is an expanse opening about you. And when your nearness becomes distant, then you have already expanded far: to being among the stars.

Your horizon has widened greatly.

Rejoice in your growth.

No one can join you in that.

- Rainer Maria Rilke

* * * *

Taken in Middleton Beach in Albany, WA, early on an overcast morning, using my Nikon D40 Click here to read the rest of this post.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Living in my Now

with my race buddy, Adam

I did it! Number 824 finished her 10 kilometer run in one hour, nine minutes and change, and hardly winded at the finish line. Who'd have thought I'd be doing something like this just one year later? Certainly not me.

I know, I know, 10 kilometers is hardly a marathon - and, to hard-core running enthusiasts, not really much to crow about. But if someone had asked me this same time last year to put on a pair of track shoes and gear up for a 5 kilometer WALK, I'd have told them that they were out of their mind.

I've always been a big fan of metaphors for describing my life. And, to date, there's no better metaphor for my now than having finished a 10 kilometer course, running all the way. Something I'd never even dreamed of doing - and have now done.

My list is hardly be the stuff adventure movies are made of, given what a sheltered, limited life I've confined myself to so far. It's been a huge effort to lock away my inner mouse - that afraid, high-strung part of myself that's always telling me I should be serious and get back into the rat race because I'm running out of time - and to embrace my impulsive, fun-loving, i-can-do-anything inner goddess just looking out for the next new adventure.

The transition from being a mouse to goddess (ha!) takes a bit of easing into when one has been living the life of a mouse (and by choice) for far too long. My mouse and my goddess often have roaring fights, let me tell you, and I still find myself stuck and dithering smack in the middle. But I'm making the effort to choose the braver option more and more.

Like driving at speeds greater that 100 kilometers per hour. Flying off to the other side of the continent on impulse. Wearing a bikini top (but with board shorts, hey! I wouldn't want anyone to lose their lunch) at the beach. Exploring my new city completely solo - and loving the whole experience. Being utterly comfortable being on my own. Opening myself up to the option of uprooting myself once again and starting over in another city.

I've heard it said somewhere that the most important journeys lead us further into ourselves - and they usually happen exactly where we are at the moment. I had to travel 5,179 kilometers from home to take that journey - and while I haven't found all of myself yet, I'm slowly but surely getting there. And adding more to my list of never-would-have-dones along the way.

Yes, I can say that my middle of nowhere, as I live in my now, is a truly great place to be.

* * * *

A contribution to Ligaya's The TBR MD's: Their Lives and Letters.

As a post-script, to make this post fit in to what she's looking for - and for the curious to find out exactly where I was just a year before, I've linked some key blog entries chronologically leading up to this one - just so you guys have an idea what a long journey I've been on since a year ago, if you have the time to read. :)

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Friday, April 03, 2009

100 Truths About Me

I know I shouldn't indulge my emotional exhibitionism more than I already am, but these tags are just so hard to resist sometimes!

Marj, knowing my Achilles' Heel and guilty pleasure, has sent me a king-sized one to romp around on.

001. Name → Mariclaire (no, it's NOT Marie Claire, it's not Mary Claire - I have yet to see someone with a spelling like mine. It's good in theory to have a uniquely spelled name, but you won't believe the troubles I run into when I'm applying for official stuff. News Bulletin, folks, I've been in school for more than half my life... I know how to spell my own name!)

002. Nickname(s)→ Claire, Clairebear, Cleng (don't start!)

004. Zodiac sign → I am a textbook Taurus

005. Male or female → Guess. :P

006. Elementary, 007. Middle School, 008. High School → Poveda Learning Centre

009. College School - University of the Philippines Diliman for pre-med... then UP Manila for medical school and residency (12 years in the UP system, my gyud!)

010. Hair color → Dark brown

011. Long or short → super long now. I can't wait to get home and get a styled cut!

012. Loud or Quiet → Loud. Sometimes my friends wish I have a volume-control knob. It comes from being a part of a loud and argumentative family.

013. Jumpers or Jeans → Jeans! (Will anyone really answer otherwise?)

014. Phone or Camera → depends where I am, what I'm doing, and what my mood is. :)

015. Health freak → I try! But I can't shake the poor eating habits...

016. Drink or Smoke? → smoke, never. drink, when the occasion arises, I drink a fair bit.

017. Do you have a crush on someone? → Are we talking celebrity crush or real-life crush? I *heart* Dean Winchester (Jensen Ackles) from Supernatural. As for a real life crush, my life is totally devoid of regularly seen eye candy at this time...

023. First piercing → The only ones, actually. Both earlobes, as soon as I was born. And I have no plans of getting any more, thank you very much.

024. First best friend → Angel, our next door neighbor. We've lost touch, though. :(

025. First award → good question. I cannot for the life of me remember! :)

026. First crush → I started fairly late, celebrity crushes or otherwise! I remember finding Charlie Sheen really cute a long, looooong time ago - when I was 11, I think.

027. First pet → we've always had dogs at home. Lady, our German Shepherd, was probably the earliest one I could remember.

028. First big vacation → Melbourne, Australia, 1982.

030. First big birthday → My 18th birthday (come out party), complete with the princess gown and the cotillion de honor. If only I didn't let myself be steamrolled into picking lilac as theme - I wanted blue! But it turned out nice anyway. The most fun I've had in a party without any alcohol! ;P

049. Eating → leftover vegetarian pizza for breakfast(i know, i know - why did i bother, right?)

050. Drinking → a can of Coke Zero - my caffeine shot for the morning

052. I'm about to → take a shower and prepare for work (bummer!)

053. Listening to → the sound of that strong wind howling outside

054. Plans for today → Work, do a light work out at the gym on the elliptical machine and lift some weights, have an early night because I'm working Saturday, too.

055. Waiting for → my housemate to get out of the shower so I can use it.

058. Want kids? → I think so. Though raising one seems like a terrifying idea.

059. Want to get married? → I think so. Not quite yet, though. Not just because I haven't found the right person (which is a pretty valid reason!), but because I've just learned to really enjoy being single. I'm just going with the flow in regards to this issue these days...

060. Careers in mind → Already a doctor and internist... but as to where I want to practice? still all the way up in the air.


068. Lips or eyes → Eyes. I like the deep dark eyes of my Asian origins, but if I go Caucasian, I am very partial to blue.

070. Shorter or taller - Taller than me. That won't be so hard!

072. Romantic or spontaneous → A bit of both, I think. But if i had to pick one, spontaneous. I don't think pathologic planners would appreciate my flights of randomness...

073. Nice stomach or nice arms → It doesn't really matter much, really. :P

074. Sensitive or loud → A sense of humor that I get!

075. Hook-up or relationship → I don't think I am capable of a casual hook-up. I tend to get attached!

076. Trouble maker or hesitant → a bit of a trouble maker, but not a too-serious one. I sometimes need a bit of a push to try to new things outside my comfort zone!

080. Lost glasses/contacts → Don't wear either.

081. Ran away from home → Never. No enough of a rebel, I'm afraid!

082. Held a gun/knife for self defense → Our nanny once gave my sister and I a knife each when we wouldn't stop fighting and told us to kill each other. It was a pretty effective way of getting us both to stop.

083. Killed somebody → When you're starting out as a doctor, there's always a part of you that blames yourself for everything that goes wrong.

084. Broke someone's heart → Probably not.

085. Been arrested → Never. I have managed to wheedle my way out of traffic violations here and there, though.

087. Cried when someone died → Always.

089. Yourself → On occasion. Most of the time, I always think the worst.

090. Miracles → Yes. Some things feel too much like "gift" to be coincidence.

091. Love at first sight → No, I think it's just a Hollywood ploy. How can you love someone you don't know? How can you know someone you've just met?

092. Heaven → Yes

093. Santa Claus → until I was 7 and I caught my parents out.

094. Tooth Fairy → Never. I missed out on that particular money making scheme!

095. Kiss on the first date - I don't know... probably not. Conservative! ;P Then again...

097. Is there one person you want to be with right now → I can give you a whole list... not hard to do when you live so far from home.

098. Are you seriously happy with where you are in life → At the moment, yes! But I'm beginning to feel a familiar restlessness coming on...

099. Do you believe in God → Yes

What happened to number 100? Oh, I'm supposed to tag people. Anyone who wants to grab the tag can grab it... come on, you know you want to!

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