February 27, 2016

Some 90 Things I Did Before Turning 30

So the biggest question is, how did an Asian baby turn into a sort of western looking woman without plastic surgery? The answer is a great combination of intense make-up, hair color, filter and good ol adulthood.

This post was inspired by the Female Network's article "Things You Need To Do for Yourself Before Turining 30." In 2 years, I'll be 30 and I'm currently in a state where I'm mellowing down and settling just a tad bit. It's good to reminisce some of the things that went on, as I slowly close the greatest decade of my life. Here are some 90 things I did that I can safely share:

  1. Ran to the nearest train station when I was chased by an angry mob in Thailand after trying to help a foreign couple from getting scammed
  2. Maintained a calm facade when I was mistaken for a terrorist in Sydney airport. Experienced being searched and interrogated in a tiny room with no contact to the outside world. On the bright side, my story was featured on national TV in the now defunct, Mel and Joey
  3. Conquered my frog phobia by eating frog at a classy French restau in Paris
  4. Taught English, Marketing and Advertising to inmates inside the New Bilibid Prison 
  5. Ditched a friend who treated me badly for years
  6. Finally went to an Evangelion Store in Japan
  7. Watched an actual K-pop concert -EXO and held hands with my favorite idols
  8. Allowed myself to be swept away by some Christian Grey characters 
  9. Became a certified make-up artist
  10. Rode a vintage Jaguar in the middle of Phnom Penh
  11. Learned Nihonggo/Japanese language and was actually able to use it in Japan
  12. Rode an elephant in Bali (which I'll never do again)
  13. Dined in this secret/hidden bar in Japan where they served the freshest sushi, and ultimately paid one of the most expensive food bills we've ever had and will ever have in our entire existence
  14. Traversed a farm in New Zealand in the middle of the night only to be spooked by the huge cows popping up when I pointed my flashlight at them
  15. Rode a gondola in Venice while watching the sunset

  16. Studied abroad, aced exams and received a partial scholarship because of high grades...and not accept said scholarship 
  17. Stood in line for 7 hours for the Game Of Thrones Exhibit in Sydney
  18. Occupied an old French mansion by the Mekong River in Laos and got sick the whole time
  19. Danced, sang and ran with glee at Mardi Gras 
  20. Spent wonderful moments with my grandmothers. I love, love listening to their childhood and romantic stories!
  21. Joined a cheering competition and embarrassed myself
  22. Participated in elocution contests and actually won a trophy almost taller than me
  23. Hiked mountains in my Air Max because I was stupid and I didn't know you shouldn't do that
  24. Helped a student who passed out in front of the toilet stall I was in
  25. Watched a breath-taking sunrise on a field in the province with my friends, after getting trashed the night before, even though I wasn't even drunk, so yeah, I remembered EVERYTHING
  26. Sang my lungs out with drunk frat boys and sorority girls, with their guitars and drums until morning. Again, I was the only one SOBER because I don't drink. And mind you, they were like little brothers and sisters to me, so it's not the crazy shiz they portray in movies. 
  27. Celebrated my "debut" or my 18th birthday with my inmate students inside the prisons
  28. Road-trips around Europe, Southeast Asia, Australia, New Zealand and the Philippines
  29. Braved former torture buildings and open graves in Cambodia, and died a little for humanity
  30. Watched the sunrise and sunset in Angkor Wat whilst listening to different stories of the people we met, particularly the genocide victims of Cambodia
  31. Visited museums, exhibitions and experienced the works of the greatest artists in the world from the classics: Van Gogh, Monet, Rembrandt, Da Vinci, Goya, Mucha to contemporaries: Warhol, Pollock, Yayoi Kusama, Yoko Ono, Tabaimo Mekurumeku and some more new names I appreciated but forgot
  32. Immersed with a family I barely knew in Borbon, Cebu and rejuvenated my tired soul
  33. Chatted with my seatmate on the plane, a cool guy who just had his whole back tattooed with wings, during our 10 hour flight to Australia. We did not stop talking, we did not sleep at all
  34. Flew to Singapore to see Harry Potter, The Exhibition, and was able to see Andy Warhol's original works from his exhibit
  35. Accidentally saw Star Wars, The Exhibition with my family which brought great delight 
  36. Ate warm chilli at the summit of Mt. Pilatus in Switzerland 
  37. Wore a full geisha ensemble, complete with hair and make-up in Gion, Kyoto
  38. Walked fully naked in front of women in a traditional Japanese Onsen and spasmed over seeing the life-size Gundam of Odaiba
  39. Had a "fight" with a monkey who stole my Ray-Ban's in Bali. Ok, so I think I panicked more rather than fight.
  40. Was the only person with Tara McPherson in the bathroom and forgot to introduce myself
  41. Survived a major typhoon out in the open fields of UPLB after being stranded with almost no food, water and electricity
  42. Touched Juliet's boob in Verona, Italy
  43. Ate Belgian chocolate in Belgium. Orayt!
  44. Dated a Lithuanian guy who looked like an Aryan prince
  45. Was devoured by massive waves at Bondi beach, and walked in horror with my swimsuit half gone
  46. Collected costumes, wigs and cosplayed in different cosplay events
  47. Stayed in a tiny room in HongKong during winter and loved every minute of it
  48. Threw freshly bought and expensive shoes in the garbage to make a statement... a stupid one
  49. Cruised the Rhine river in Germany and marvelled at the medieval-GOT-esque castles along the way
  50. Acted as a drug addict, a nurse, a trophy girlfriend etc. in short, indie films
  51. Consoled a crying doctor I didn't know in a bathroom. I've never seen a crying doctor in the hospital. It was heartbreaking
  52. Was threatened by a lawyer who wanted to do illegal things with his estranged wife's money, only to hang up when I reminded him that his phone call was recorded 
  53. Abused my hair. Colored my hair brown, platinum blonde, gray, pink, red, strawberry blonde. Cut it super short for a year and was mistaken for a lesbian, then got these long and expensive hair extensions in Thailand made from the treated, virgin hair of a young Vietnamese kid. Actually wrote an academic paper about it and the hair trade in Southeast Asian countries.
  54. Fought for a promotion
  55. Met some interesting characters, from kind, wizened old people on the streets, good and corrupt politicians, philanthropists, unsung heroes in obscure communities, heirs/heiresses of different nationalities, a single South African dad with a very interesting story, Colombian/Brazilian models, brave soldiers, people with terrible secrets, an orphan who became a seminarian-shot someone in self defense and was imprisoned, to a UST ROTC officer who killed a student, and most recently, a Filo smart-ass who had a legit boyband that covered Kpop dances and was actually sent to Korea to meet different Kpop artists and dancers. He now works as a Social Media person for some notorious political figures whom I will not vote for the life of me. 
  56. Was featured in Nat's (communitychannel) "PornoMusic/CommentTime" Natalie Tran is a Vietnamese-Australian youtuber I've been following for years, so this is kind of a big deal
  57. Was featured in Kapuso Mo Jessica Soho for my love of vintage fashion
  58. Escaped from two roommates who happened to be a drug addict/pusher, and a mistress of a bank executive. I was new in the area and needed a room in a nice condo, asap. I joined those two strangers not knowing how crazy they were. I should've realized they were bad news when they told me that 3 girls left before me. Only stayed with them for 2 months
  59. Explored London, and rode the London Eye 
  60. Did the make-up/photoshoot of a budding model who would become a Ford Supermodel of the World finalist
  61. Dove to see sunken Japanese ships in different wreck sites in Palawan
  62. Watched live pigs getting slaughtered. The whole brutal process.
  63. Fell in love with a guy and have not told him until now
  64. Witnessed a massive car crash/pile up that we missed by a few seconds
  65. Planned a wedding that got cancelled
  66. Enjoyed working for corporate companies and being a corporate slave
  67. Took care of 6 shih tzus at once and almost went mad
  68. Listened to Armi and UDD in a tiny cafe where I was able to experience their music in all its glory
  69. Savored Urbandub's concerts with 4 different, special people. Different people, different love affairs, same songs, same sad endings.
  70. Celebrated my birthday in a posh hotel in Sydney overlooking the Opera House and harbour, and devoured an expensive degustation menu, only to vommit everything back at home. I cannot handle too much food.
  71. Drank Singapore Sling from the Raffles in Singapore, at their vintage bar where the drink actually originated...only to vommit it (again) back in the hotel room. I cannot handle alcohol.
  72. Marathoned my fave TV shows, finishing several seasons in a few days and watching ALL of the youtube videos of my favorite Kpop band for weeks
  73. Fought for my best friend, fought for my friends, fought for my family
  74. Punched some rude men
  75. Shook hands and painfully smiled at the man who almost had my father killed
  76. Cried like there was no tomorrow over the deaths of my loved ones
  77. Ended my 8-year relationship in the most distressing and shocking manner
  78. Participated in art exhibitions
  79. Climbed mango, star apple and guava trees, and ate their fruits whilst sitting on their branches
  80. Nursed a dying, old neighbor of my grandmother when I was younger. She was a kind, frail, old woman who would give us free candies from her store. I stayed with her for one whole afternoon on her deathbed.
  81. Invested my money, stayed put in a job, laid low for a year and "adulted"
  82. Saved a bird from a typhoon and nursed it back to health inside our house
  83. Survived 2 near-death experiences
  84. Spent my childhood afternoons catching grasshoppers, playing football and badminton on a grassy field under the scorching sun
  85. Created my own websites using old-school HTML like a boss
  86. Took charge when a friend was hit by a jeepney right in front of me, during my college years. He was my sister's friend and I was the eldest in the group. Rushed him to the hospital, filed for a police report, suddenly adulted at 19
  87. Played with this kind inmate who was assassinated after a few weeks. I was around 6 or 7 at that time
  88. Won over bullies
  89. Supported our helper's kids
  90. Loved passionately with all my being. Naks. 

There are some things I couldn't write down here, the heavy ones, the life-altering ones, some secrets and stories that aren't just mine. Hopefully, I could share them in the next 10 years. These experiences may not be as grand as others, but I'm sure they're quite rich, varied and interesting for a suburban girl from a third-world country. Right now, I'm surprisingly enjoying being a corporate slave and slowing down. My life has become a bit routinary and I spend most of my weekends at home, resting, watching TV shows, reading, walking my dogs, you know, the quiet life. And to be honest, I'm perfectly happy about it. I'm not mellowing down entirely, I just need some time to look back, reflect and appreciate everything.

PS. But ultimately, that picture above is the best motivation a woman could have.
Questions? Talk to me here: Millie's Ask.FM

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Listening to: Dreaming of You by Cigarettes After Sex
Loving: Tell Me What Is Love by D.O.
Watching: The Walking Dead

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