Golden as we'll ever be

The next day we woke up a little before noon and were surprised to be greeted by glorious sunshine. Sure, pavements still had puddles on them, glass windows were covered by rain droplets, and people carried their umbrellas the way they do handbags—but the morning drizzle had stopped thus sparing us from having a groggy time. I was more than thankful for that. If the lovely weather was any indication of how great the rest of our day would pan out, then I was looking forward to it. Already a step ahead, I had finished packing before I went to bed the night before and got ready as fast as I could the morning of.


Cheerful company, chilly after-hours

That night in San Francisco is mostly a blur now.

Making my way to the Irish pub at the corner of the street, I skipped from one sidewalk to another, trying my best to dodge puddles on the floor and cars passing by. I immediately found our table and gave everyone hugs, besos, and handshakes accordingly. It was nice to see familiar faces again; the last I've seen most of them was the day we threw our "fake" diplomas in the air during graduation last year. After a round or two of drinks and answering questions ranging from the how are yous to what are you doing heres to where are you headed tos, we left the bar, crammed ourselves inside the car, and drove across town in search for a place to eat.


Always my Mama's girl

It's quite unfortunate that I've been stuck in this writing rut for a while now. Bouts of negativity have been piling in front of me these past months and it's frustrating to not be able to rely on words to make it all better. Where writing fails, however, music and my mom (most especially) saves the day, as always.

As much as I hate to admit it, even at the "adult" age of twenty-one, when my life gets sidetracked, I am easily comforted by Mama's voice on the phone, calling me from over six hundred kilometers away. Just her calm tone of telling me that "It will be okay" assures me that it already has. That, with our usual round of videoke sessions whenever I'm at home and insane episodes of crying out to tunes like Since You've Been Gone in the middle of the night while my twin sister giggles in the background.

On a serious note: Mom, thank you for putting up with all my drama; there had been lots in the past year alone. Thank you for being you, for taking care of us five in the way you think is best for us. I may question your parenting style most of the time, but I have always appreciated that you stuck by us in spite of everything.


Returning to this hearty, coastal city

I have the faintest memory of San Francisco. From our family vacation to California a little over a decade ago, I could vaguely recall staying in the City by the Bay for more than twenty-four hours and what a bummer that had been for the future Charmed and Princess Diaries fanatic in me. Sure I remember passing by gorgeous Victorian houses lined up on one side of the road and the glorious Golden Gate Bridge on another. I owned and overused an Alcatraz shirt, drove through and had a picture taken with "the crookedest road," that section on Lombard Street, and got lost exploring Pier 39 with my siblings.

But aside from these ten-year-old tidbits, I don't have anything else to be able to keep this chilly Californian city etched in my memory for long. Goes without saying that for quite some time now I have been wanting to go back and reintroduce myself to this city I was once lucky enough to step foot on yet unfortunate to be slowly forgetting. And thankfully, on the cusp of Christmas month, return and create new, fond memories is exactly what I did.

At first it was really just about meeting and spending time with relatives and friends in the northern California area. But finding out that San Fo was America's Best City in 2012 really sparked my curiosity, making me want to teleport there right away. Understanding, however, that I don't have the superpowers of my much-adorned Charmed witches—Prue Halliwell's astral projection and Paige Matthews' orbing—and that these things take time and planning, I had to wait it out and weigh my options. Good thing that during my SoCal visit in September, my Tita Lalee invited me to hang out with her in San Jose for a weekend, even offering to tour me around forty-five-minutes-away San Francisco.