At the top of the world

Knock, knock...is anybody there? Just checking in to get rid of the dust bunnies and cobwebs collected on my little space in the Internet. I'm sorry I haven't been around lately; I know nothing can beat last year's adventure and blogging spree. Suffice to say, I moved on and have kept my mind and my hands busy typing away...for business matters this time.

Of course I can't deny that I miss every second of my physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual journey that is 2012. No doubt, the letting go process ironically involved sleepless nights spent going through photos and videos and reading every journal entry for the nth time. However, grow up I must...but that doesn't mean I can't have my fair share of throwbacks and flashbacks be it Thursday or Friday or any other day of the week!

On the morning of December 10th, I bid Los Angeles and the relatives goodbye and hopped on my Manila-bound plane. Little did I know that that twenty-hour (more or less) flight home had with it pleasant surprises enough to be swooned over and make me fall in love with life all the more. Basically, here are the three reasons why the ride has been memorable:

First and foremost, the in-flight entertainment alone won me over. I remember my Uncle Chris once telling me that most international airlines have access to interesting movies several months before its DVD release, and I wanted to make the most of this opportunity. It didn't take long for me to settle down on my seat and brace myself for my long flight. I let Taylor Swift's Red1 set the mood and thought I made the perfect choice: her new album made me appreciate Taylor in a whole new level, it showed how much she has grown since she entered the industry. Begin Again is an easy favorite.

Then the much-awaited movie marathon officially started. Cheerful Weather for the Wedding's2 synopsis, movie poster, and trailer intrigued me that I decided to put it on top of the list. And as expected, it did not disappoint. Period films such as this make me wish I was born in a different era altogether (and it's not just about the clothes, trust me). This comedic melodrama obviously had some love element to it and I obviously had to bawl my eyes out because of that.

Celeste and Jesse Forever3 is a different story, one that tackles love and relationships in a very real and heartfelt way. This Sundance entry is the ultimate tearjerker and it made me look back and examine past relationships of mine and of the people around me. I wish I, along with the rest of my family and friends, matured enough since then, just like the characters. We all definitely need to grow as love does.

I've read a lot of rave reviews about this other period film Moonrise Kingdom4, mainly from Kelle, that I got so excited to finally be able to see it. Aside from the fabulous cinematography and especially the setting and the costumes that once again made me envy those who were born before me, I got disappointed; the movie barely made sense to me...

Same is true with Daydream Nation5. If you know me well, you'd know my apprehensions with watching something that involved the themes of drugs and sex. I just don't like it. Overall, however, I was able to make it through this suspense thriller without falling asleep or covering my eyes and ears for more than half of the movie's duration. Kat Dennings, her deep monologues, and that cutie of a boy toy made up for its darkness.

And the cherry on top of my marathon was Step Up Revolution6, and boy was it the sweetest thing! Being the frustrated dancer/performer that I am, I wish I had half the skills, confidence, and gracefulness of the cast. If not, a hot dancer for a boyfriend would do... But seriously, they took the Step Up series to new heights and I don't think anything would be able to beat that.

The second reason why I absolutely loved my flight was the meaningful conversations shared with strangers from halfway across the world. I have always loved the idea of meeting remarkable people while in transit and even dreamed of running into "the one" in my many travels. Call me a true romantic but I know for a fact these things still happen and was out to prove such theory.

I had just finished my lunch meal and head to the lavatory when I noticed that a line was already building up towards it. While I was patiently waiting for my turn, I was surprised when the lady next to me, in probably her early sixties, stroke up a conversation, asking me where I was headed. I told her that my half-year vacation after college graduation had come to a close and I was returning home where I'm looking forward to joining the workforce at. She offered a congratulations, which I thanked her for.

Susan, on the other hand, was on her way to India where she and her best friend will be taking a cruise around that side of Asia as this was an essential item on her bucket list. What struck me was what she said next; she revealed to having cancer and that she only had a few months to live. She promised to make the most of the time she had left on earth and I admire her for that. While some people are busy worrying their life away, here she was, busy living hers. A countdown shouldn't hinder us from facing life's challenges head on. On the contrary, it should push us to move further and faster and aspire to grasp the meaning of it all as soon as we could.

I sat next to Filipino-Australian Morgan on my connecting flight from Hong Kong to Manila. It's hard not to notice her; her looks reminded me of Kina Grannis, with her frizzly, curly locks and rather dark complexion. Like me, she was all by her lonesome and I thought why not take this as a good chance to meet a new friend. It was my turn to ask where she was headed and she told me that for the first time in the longest time she'll be spending Christmas with her mother's side of the family in Laguna. I later found out that she was on the same flight with her Filipina mom, but that they had to be seated apart because those were the only seats available.

She went on and on about easily understanding the true meaning of the season whenever she's in the Philippines: the warm greetings, smiles, and embraces of family and friends fills her heart with so much joy and love, she wishes she was home every day of the year. High school and the life she has in Australia, however, is keeping her from doing so. Not that she was complaining; she admits to loving Melbourne and the people she met there.

We talked all throughout the entire three-hour flight about anything and everything we could think about. As she's waiting for university admission results, she asked for some college advice from the recently-graduated me. I, on the other hand, wanted to know more about her recent ski trip with her best friends. We browsed through the photos on each other's cameras and told snippets of the stories behind them. She borrowed my personal television since hers wasn't functional and after a while, she introduced me to her mom who was actually sitting just right behind her.

I honestly never thought I would find an instant best friend at this day and age, let alone in a plane. When we landed and finished finding our bags among the sea of thousands, we exchanged our goodbyes and accompanied them with a tight hug. We wished each other luck for the Christmas break and for the coming year. Unfortunately, no last names were shared and no contact details either.

But I guess that's the beauty of it all—not knowing when we'll see each other again yet feeling assured that the second meeting and the succeeding ones will be more interesting and exciting than the last. There's no way but up. Meanwhile, sending my sincerest regards all the way to you, Morgan. Hope you're having the time of your life at college, whichever university you chose to study business in.

Touchdown Manila!

And lastly, of course, the alone time was the perfect avenue to contemplate and discern about my life. As I dive headfirst into the Great Unknown that is my future, I found comfort in the sweeping views of the sun embracing the clouds, seas, and mountaintops. Truly a work of art this world we live in, so much beauty on it and in life in general. I have always enjoyed flying, in this sense. I get to see things differently all the way from the top.

I was filled with so much emotion on that flight, I may or may not have let out all the water from my body in the form of tears. The films channeled most of these feelings, yes, and so did the moving stories of the strangers I met. But I've had this heaviness in my chest for so long, I was so glad to finally put all the baggage down. I could not thank God enough for the opportunity of a lifetime; I know not a lot of people have the privilege to be taken to their dream country and making the most out of it.

As the plane landed I heaved a sigh of relief. There I was, staring at my life straight in the eye. It took a while for this to happen and thousands of miles were involved in the process. But finally, this time, I am good to go. Welcome to Chapter 2, everybody! Let's all turn the page together...


  1. love your post nang! :) as always.
    Turned the page with you. hehehehe.
    God bless!

  2. This is beautiful, Kat! I only stayed for a month in the US and had the hardest time moving on and going back to normal life. What more if you stayed for six months! Cannot imagine that. But you're right, there will be new chapters ahead waiting to be explored. Wish you all the best! Love you!


  3. I'm just catching up on all of your posts :) Awww, this puts a smile on my face. Makes me remember that time in my life when everything was about to change. :) Great things are coming up for you, dear. And yes, let's turn the page together!