I have time to kill, and there’s no better use of it than to introduce myself to you. I believe I owe you guys this much as I’m trying to speak from my heart but you barely know anything about me.
1. I used to live in Saudi Arabia for almost 10 years. My family decided to move there back in ’05 to spend more time together. I finished my high school there but funnily enough, I never learned to speak or write Arabic. The fact that I was there for so long always seems a shocker for most people I’ve met since the country has a reputation for being ultra-conservative. I won’t deny it, but being young then, it didn’t really mattered that much to me. There wasn’t any alcohol or nightlife, but I did not have interest for those before either. The only entertainment back then were shopping malls or parks, if not community parties. What I miss most about the country, like everyone I know, is the food and ridiculously big sale seasons. Yes, slather me in that real-deal shawarma, please.
2. I have an older sister, and her name is Aubrey Marie. She’s working in UAE as well, as a chef. I always see her as my twin who’s just born 6 years earlier — we look so much alike, and we have almost the same mannerisms (just different types in men, *wink!). We lived apart when I transferred to KSA, and we always regard that as our funniest/blur years as we only ever talked when it’s necessary. Now, however, we seem like best friends as we only have each other in this lonely sandpit. I look up to her because she’s very independent, generous, passionate and vigorous about life. (Watch out for my very exciting series about her and food journey!)
3. I’m a big fan of cats. I used to always say that if I were to get reincarnated as an animal, I would be a cat as they resemble my personality quite well. Aside from that, I’ve been a cat lady ever since. Our household seems to never not have a cat. If one unexpectedly dies, for sure there would be another adopted cat just the same week. I personally taken care of three cats in my life — one in Saudi Arabia (a white Chantilly-Tifanny cat named Potchi) and two back in Philippines (a black/white and a Tabby cat named Chipper and Ocelot). They were already a year and a half old when I had to give them up before I moved to Dubai.
4. My dad picked my course. It was my dad who filled out my application form for DLSU and he’s the one who chose Marketing Management for me when I couldn’t think of any other course. In retrospect, it was a pretty good choice. I enjoyed my three and a half years in my college years in DLSU and I’m starting to believe it might actually be my calling.
5. I used to be such an active kid. It’s not uncommon to be so participative in different activities here and there as a kid but if I compare it now to my current engagements, it is nothing. I was part of the CAT-1 program, school chorale, campus paper and theater guild. I even joined the debate team and represented my school in an English essay-writing contest. In my college years too, I mellowed down but I still tried to participate in something every now and then. Whatever happened to that girl, I don’t know.
6. I got stitches on my lower chin. I was young and was inside one of those plastic laundry baskets when my sister was pushing me back and fourth, playing with me. Our floor at the time was a bit uneven, and there was a bump that caused the basket to jump as well and the combination of force and sharp plastic handles cut my skin on my chin a wee bit open. It’s unnoticeable for the most part, unless I lift my chin up or I point the camera at a very unflattering angle.
7. I was once a house maid for a play. My character name for that play was Peregrina — a flirty, funny and quirky maid who talks a lot and likes to put her nose in the family’s business. For a minor role, I had quite a lot of lines delivered in that play. The directors and the audience really loved my character and I was praised a couple of times and it made me feel good about myself. I still keep the poster scribbled with comments from my directors as a memorabilia.
8. I don’t know how to swim nor ride a bike. I just honestly believe I suck at anything that requires balance plus I never had the courage to break through that fear. My dad tried to teach me how to swim when we were kids but he wasn’t really a great teacher, LOL (my sister and I have an inside joke involving the phrase “ikawag-kawag mo lang kamay mo,”). Later in college, when I finally realized there’s an olympic-size pool that’s free for me to use, my good friend Kurt taught me to somehow use my arms and legs, and most especially float successfully.
9. I am BIG on food. Most probably influenced by my mom and my older sis, but I’ve always been into good food and trying out new stuff when I can (mostly when my wallet permits me, LOL). I would love to be able to try all sorts of food around the world at some point in my life but right now I satisfy myself with whatever is around me, developing my cooking skills more, closely watching or assisting my big sis when she’s cooking, and watching/reading about anything food. I sometimes post my thoughts on food and restaurants on Zomato when I’m bored.
10. I sometimes believe I’m a multipotentialite. Or maybe that’s just my excuse for being really great at planning but short on execution, HAHA. When I was younger, I was into different kinds of stuff like learning instruments, writing, dancing, singing, acting, what have you. If I was interested on something, I exhaust all my energy to learn more about it until the time that it feels saturated and I just leave it because I believe I have learned as much as I can about the whole subject. Now of course that leaves me with half-done potentials but no mastery of anything, but I’m slowly trying to come up with a project that can somewhat marry all of them together into something more productive more productive.
11. I wore braces for two years. It was partly because it seemed like the hip thing in high school but also because I have horrible front teeth gap. I only kept it for a while then switched to retainers for few months. I then lost my retainers then the gap came back quite rapidly. It used to be one of my many insecurities about my body, aside from my belly or my nose or my thick brows — but after a while I almost never even thought about it and just embraced whatever set of teeth I have on.
12. My college friends and I had a small-time business for 3 months. We were all in our third year of college, a little bored and with quite a lot of time in our hands to waste that we decided to enter a competition that will win us a spot to be food concessionaire operators inside school campus with discounted rent and utilities for three months. Our concept was Japanese sushi married with Filipino breakfast favorites and we called it Almusalle (a pun for the words Almusal or breakfast, and La Salle our school name). It was a pretty cool three months working with my girls and our bond grew really strong and we’re thinking of maybe collaborating again on another food concept somewhere down the line.
13. I was pretty close to my grandma. My grandma from mom’s side was one of my favorite persons in the world. I will always treasure memories I’ve had of her and how her last words to me were about how she forgot these panties that she bought for me when we visited her two years before she died. I will never forget how she would sneakily cook chicharon as a treat to us grandchildren and how she would always stash her cigarette box, lighter and cash on her boob pocket. She was such a funny and loving grandmother.
14. I work as a short-term rental host. I’ve been handling this project in my company for almost two months now and it’s been a one-of-a-kind experience as you’re working around the clock even after actual office hours. Right now, I have at least 12 apartments in IMPZ and JLT that I’m hosting/co-hosting on Airbnb, Booking and other websites. I would love to talk more about some #TruthBombs and maybe tips on managing and being a host next time. Also, a shameless plug: if you’re looking for an apartment to stay in when you visit Dubai, hit your girl up and let’s chat.
15. At one point, I badly wanted to learn how to pole dance. And not because I want to look or feel sexy, although that’s kinda part of the package LOL but I’d say pole dancing is such an exquisite art. The combination of total body strength, flexibility and gracefulness of the enthusiasts and practitioners is just so alluring to look at. I’ve never tried it as, obvious at it may seem, I don’t think I have the physical strength to do it but I’ve heard and read that size doesn’t matter for this sport so I don’t know, maybe someday, some time…I will have the guts to step into a studio and try it out for myself, *wiggle my eyebrows at you*
There you go, 15 random facts about me. I never thought I would have fun sharing those little bits of my life with you, but then again I’m the type to talk about myself a lot, HAHA. I’ll do another set of random facts next time but for now, here you go.