20 SEXY SONGS

 When someone borrows any music player like my PC, laptop, tablet, phone or MP3 player, they comment that there are hunk loads of sexy songs, pants off songs – don’t mistake me for a nympho because I am just a big fan of old school jazz, saxophones, broken chords on the piano and the great jazz masters and these sexy songs not only get me in the mood but wake me up and gets me going, puts me to sleep too – reflects my soul. And gosh, how I’d love to listen to Barry White’s deep baritone esp. at night with a glass of wine and dim lighting. I made up this list of my top sexy songs just to feed off the demands of C and I who find it funny that all I listen to are “sex songs”. LOL. And I have to separate my most recent discovery, Angela Bofill’s Under the Mon and Over the Sky, I really feel that there is so much of “sexy” with the fact that it is sang by the great Ms. Bofill, the lyrics, the rhythm, the sounds of nature placed in song, and the song being underrated – you can tell it’s on repeat and I’m in a bubble when I listen to it, like I literally won’t mind you when I’m feeling it (my dad even asked me for the title and artist when it was blaring from my speakers at home – all I’m sayin’ iis that YOU SHOULD LISTEN TO IT!). Enjoy!

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1. Love Won’t Let Me Wait – Major Harris / John Legend

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2. Me and Mrs. Jones – Billy Paul

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3. Anytime, Anyplace – Janet Jackson

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4. Turn off the Lights – Teddy Pendergrass

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5. Bump and Grind – R. Kelly

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6. Twisted – Keith Sweat

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7. Slow Jams – Babyface feat. Tamia

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8. ‘S Wonderful – Joao Gilberto

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9. Something About Us – Daft Punk

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10. Our First Time – Bruno Mars

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11. Romeo and Juliet – Sylk E Fyne

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12. Feel Like Makin’ Love – Roberta Flack

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13. Unpredictable – Jamie Foxx

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14. I Want to Sex You Up – Color Me Badd

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15. After the Party – Koffee Brown

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16. It Never Entered My Mind – Miles Davis

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17. Can’t Get Enough of your Love Babe – Barry White

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(Holy sh** that frakking body. Sorry, I can’t help reacting… LOL)

18. All Night Long – Mary J. Blige (or the remix with LL Cool J)

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19. Suit and Tie – Justin Timberlake feat. Jay – Z

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20. Why You Wanna – T.I.

P.S. My apologies, Mr. Man and I were driving to ourr respective offices this morning, he says I have to add All the things (your man won’t do) by Joe and argued further that you cannot make a sexy song top 20 list without Joe, Barry White and Luther Vandross. I concede. LOL

MONDAYS

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MONDAYS
By Maan “Maggie” Villar
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The day the working class dreads the most is not the day the world ends, it is not the day where a dictator holds office in our democracy-loving country or the day when stock prices hit an all-time low. It is Monday. That day when you step inside the train and sleep deprived corporate animals are dozing off or checking their e-mails, where the person beside you in the bus is reading the headlines or stock prices or probably in his REM stages, when you get pushed and shoved by wage earners who need to clock-in 8:00 sharp and when you see pretty girls and handsome boys flinging their laptop carriers as they run around the street to get to their small cubicles on time and drag the day with documents, numbers, staplers and monitors they would love to swing with a baseball bat. When lunch time hits, it’s when you see the same people queuing up for a line in Family Mart, 7-Eleven or Mini Stop for a quick lunch, these convenience stores are like heaven to us, where we stop for a quick lunch, buy last minute groceries and toiletries and solve minute problems like a wardrobe malfunction that could make you raise hell and ruin the rest of the day. Monday when you see zombie-like personages who came from a long day at work walking slowly towards the train stations, terminals and bus stops as if in a dream or in a coma, dull eyed and even duller skinned with their unkempt hair, wrinkled polo shirts and sweaty necks.
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Contrary to what the non-working persons or those who need not work believe, we do not wake up bright eyed and bushy tailed, we are awakened by the noise from two alarm clocks which we put on snooze mode just for five minutes more of valuable rest unlike the lucky ones who are awoke by the sunrise pouring in their windows and have the choice to either get up or sleep in until lunch time. For breakfast, we have cereals, an energy bar, a sandwich, coffee or maybe no breakfast at all – whatever takes less than five minutes to prepare. We wake up afraid of the cold water and worries of whether we get a bus on time or our shoes soiled by rain puddles outside, our shoes worth two days of work or a month’s bonus from our paycheck. They call us professionals, but we feel like robots. Our workspaces are designed for maximum efficiency, there is a science to how those tables and chairs are clumped together and ergonomically structured so that we could get the job done in milliseconds, it is similar to working in a sweatshop, and we just have air-conditioning, rolling chairs and higher wages.
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We count the days by how many more days and hours more there are to the weekend. The weekends and holidays are the highlight of our lives, then we could let loose and regain our energy, our youth and our lives. Because the rest of the week is a drab, we would get constant invites from non-work friends to drink, watch a movie, shop and get some R&R but we resist the temptation and are the first ones to rain check all because we have to wake up early and sober for the next day. The energy starts low on a Monday and rises up as the weekends approach, you never start the week with high energy, it is not like high school or college days, it starts from point zero and goes up as the weekend approches, a direct relationship if you put it in an economic or mathematical analysis of a graph.
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The corporate animal dates a fellow corporate rat, dating means a matching of lifestyles. It is irksome to date a bum or an heir to an empire as you would be lured into consuming all your leave credits, being absent or arriving tardy and getting a good scolding from your boss instead of fruits and cereals for breakfast. You date an architect from right across the street to your office or a research officer from two floors down, or someone within the same vicinity to save you from the hassles of travel time just so you could spend a few good two to three hours after a stressful day at the office. You see someone who would understand your valuable and limited time and who would not ask you for an hour more of your company because he or she knows that you need that hour for rest. See, even dating for the corporate world is all about efficiency and time management, this is true for those with families too. A family man working for a big conglomerate would rush out from the office, buy a plastic toy and a happy meal for his children and get the first train out. A mother would take home some bond paper and colored pens from the office for her child’s art assignment or maybe some tissue paper for the house and take a jeep, a bus and a tricycle or maybe just walk and take a bus and walk again whatever saves more money. It somewhat defines your life being in the corporate world, don’t you think?
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But it does pay off, you can fund for good coffee from the best in the industry Starbucks, Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, Bo’s Coffee and Tully’s, you can spend the weekends in water holes or fancy bars and drink until you black out, you can have a weekend getaway at the resorts and beaches down south or the cold mountain breeze up north, watch movies and go to a fancy restaurant for dinner, pay for a top line gym membership, pay for advanced classes because you want to get on top of the ladder, fund for your hobbies, play golf or tennis, send your kids to a good school, feed your wife and children three square meals in a day, buy the trendiest bags, clothes, shoes and accessories, invest in the stock market, have air conditioning in your house and weekly trips to the spas and salons in town. Whatever suits your fancies, it is your blood, sweat and tears for that money anyway, and yes IT IS HARD EARNED.
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But let’s be realistic, most of your money would go to your rent, utility payments, auto loan, tuition and other bills and you have to hear your stomach grumble for the next two weeks until the next payday as it is ciphoned by all these. And yes, Monday would come along and you realize that it is not all glitz and glamour after all, you have to work and Monday is your constant friend to slap you in the face and send you to reality with the papers piled in your desk and your boss walking around the isles with that look of pure evil plastered on that highly compensated face and Prada shoes. You would cower and lower your head pretending to work again when your mind is really somewhere else far beyond the suffocating cubicle you are subjected to, thinking that you have to slave two more years for a higher salary grade and picture the rest of your life, is it going to be like this all throughout? Is that trip to Paris, that sports car or that big house with a big lawn in a suburban subdivision all just a pipedream? Well, think again corporate animal, fellow victim of the rat race, the answer is right in front of you, right in front of us. We are just afraid of change, adjustment and losing that constant promise of a constant pay every fifteen days. All it takes is will and that same bravado and ambition that got you in in the first place.

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FINDING LOVE AROUND THE CITY

FINDING LOVE AROUND THE CITY
By: Maan “Maggie” Villar

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Do not be misled by the title, this is not another entry about “Casanovic exploits”. I, the forlorn lover, lament the world donning a kaleidoscope or rose colored glasses as popular literature would have it, as it goes about its usual pace around me. The isolation and lonesome of losing love and going through every day on your own makes you realize that there is truth to what the wise say that losing the one you love is not the end of the world, instead we can find love all around us. I concede. It is the truth.

It was a traumatized and embittered state of mind that led me to think that I ceased to live when the subject of my affections left me, that life is bound to end when I stepped out of his door. But being right here, right now, it is more like I stepped out of his door and stepped into life, learning from it and gazing at its beauty and fresh opportunity at every waking moment. It is filling. I am made wiser and sculpted into the best version there is of myself.

I am in one of my moods where I isolate myself from my Aristotlean personage, my being a social being, I shut off all means of communication and try to see the world not as one who is a resident to it but a spectator, a by-stander, someone watching from the surface and here I am on the by-line writing about what I see and what I feel. Probably reading Nietzsche and his theories on eternal return and other existential philosophers works had me need this time for myself to recalibrate my perceptions and philosophize, be left to the train of my thoughts and somehow bring the tip of the iceberg to paper. Philosophize…

Many questions in this world remain unanswered. Similar to a Grecian goddess frolicking in the fields filling the earth with its magnificence and ethereal nature, its wonder a mystery which we cannot muster an explanation.

Is time finite?

Do things recur in an unending sequence in parallel universes?

Is death indeed the end of life?

The answers sometimes need no disheveling, it could be found at the surface. When you look at the people around you, from the lowly guards whose face we forget in just a few seconds, the Starbucks barista who would buy his child a cheap plastic toy from Baclaran prior to going home and would deprive of himself of lunch for that toy, the traffic enforcer baking in the sun and worrying about what clothes he would wear tomorrow because his shoes are worn and he has only enough money for a ride home and not enough to buy himself laundry detergent, to the tire d and wrinkled man emerging from the mart who has worked as a clerk for 25 years and is buying the night’s meal for two generations of his family since his son would rather enjoy Eat Bulaga rather than get a decent job, even to the bus driver whose back is aching because of his untreated scoliosis as he would rather send his funds for his mother’s hospital bills and his kids tuition fee.

These people do not even have the time to contemplate such trivialities because of the kind of life they are subjected to.  We do not even take the time to notice them or be kind to them. These are real stories and there are even far worse. And we even have the grit to complain?

I have found myself giving my heart to these people when I volunteered for a human rights organization. The many cases that were left dormant, the many rights trampled upon and the many stories that have not even seen the light of day.  Even if I could emanate that love through even just a warm smile, giving my bus seat to the lady who looks tired from the day’s work, opening the door for the tired old man, and many simple acts that could make their days a little better.

Many would gawk at my sentiments or find that it is commonplace in our democratic setting but they are real, they are not just something you donate money to, these are the very issues that need a voice and need not only our compassion but also our heart. I am well aware of what they are going through, of what they are feeling because at some point in my life I sold polvoron and banana candy to my school mates to make ends meet and felt the drive and the need to succeed, be great in this life because I saw my mother in tears as she bore the burden of making me finish my schooling, I saw how she is tired from her weekly bus rides from Baguio to Manila and back to render her shift as she eats sardines while her fellow nurses ate the delicious choices from their cafeteria all because she wanted to enroll me to ballet classes, violin classes and other activities just so I could be a cut above the rest, making sure we never go hungry at home, that there is rice on the table served on time and that I am dressed in the latest garb so that no one would pick on me. I saw her do all these while her hands harden from the calluses of making jewelry and chocolates for extra money, her hair whiten because she has to make sure she pays our bills on time and her great beauty fade with wrinkled skin and white hair as a sign of how she fared to make my life comfortable and an explicated sign of her wisdom and efforts. Even if we are in a much better position that before, we have been witnesses of that life, we have seen hardship – firsthand. And these are all that makes me smart and strong and my mother a martyr who sacrificed her comfort for mine.

Look around you…

Hear these people…

Their stories…
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I would dedicate my graduate degree paper to these people, it would be a landmark piece, I am sure of it, my entry to the academic debate where I am somehow putting a voice to issues, and living that mantra that I have known as a child when they gave me the meaning of my name on a framed printout of it, that my name means fighting the good fight – always.

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ONE RAINY DAY IN THE METRO

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ONE RAINY DAY IN THE METRO
By: Maan “Maggie” Villar

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You know how what you are reading relates so much to your realities, like where you are with your life at present? It’s weird. I’m reading Milan Kundera’s The Unbearable Lightness of Being, a softbound copy my dad bought me and at the same time A Picture of Dorian Gray by the great Oscar Wilde, a digital edition I downloaded to my trusty tablet. Perfect combination, a killer combination – this is the reason why I reflect on life too much these days.

Last night, before going to get a few hours of snooze time, I stopped at Kundera’s lines: “A person who longs to leave the place where he lives is an unhappy person”. It sent me chills to my spine and felt the thrust of the words. I moved here to the city with my big suitcases because I was unhappy, I was on a dead end in my comfort zone, I was going nowhere, I was stuck in the four walls of my room watching reruns of movie after movie and eating ice cream, stuck with my friends who had their own lives to live anyway and stuck in hiding away from the fright of my biggest dreams. I was numbed by the pain and the fear that I had to really pull myself up from the lowest of my low and gather up all the courage and strength that I could to pack my things, get a job, ride that bus and settle in. Whatever happened in my old zip code gave me the will to start over and a drive to finally to shoot for the stars. Little by little, I made new friends; I got used to the crazy schedule, built up a good credit and savings in the bank and finally felt happy seeing where my life is heading.

Moving out meant my first steps to adulthood, see… I have had a very sheltered life, if that’s what you call it. I am an only child. We had maids in our house and I never had to worry about money, food on the table, laundry and someone opening the door when I get to the door almost passed out from alcohol. I had all the necessities and luxuries I wanted with just one word or command (probably why I’m an A-type personality). Our family also experienced hardship when our business failed which is why I dream, and I dream big and really go for it, I am not used to not getting what I want, you see. This is a big adjustment for me.

  • I have to make sure I don’t leave my keys, access cards and IDs at home because that would really ruin my day, it would make my head somewhere you could fry eggs in.
  • I have to worry about bills, I have to make sure that I budget wisely and constantly go to the bank to make sure my finances are built up
  • I have to think about my laundry and if my toiletries if all bottles and supplies are still okay because it would take a good amount time and money to visit the department store for all that and I don’t ever want to run out of the bare essentials – panties and bras.
  • I have to make sure I always have enough money for a taxi ride just in case I would not be sober enough for the buses or trains or probably because I am not fresh enough to ride them the next morning.
  • I have to eat my meals on time and on a budget, 7-eleven and Family Mart would be your best friends because they are everywhere and they are budget friendly, they have the necessary grub and necessities – microwaveable meals, cold water, cigarettes, shampoos, hair pins, ball point pens, magazines and energy bars.
  • I have to worry about saving up for membership at the gym, enrollment for June, law school expenses, and many other future expenses that you have to think about today just so you’re prepared. (This is my control freak self speaking.)
  • I have to have extra shoes in my bag since I have to chase after buses and be pushed around in the trains during rush hour.
  • I have to have a pillow, blankets, toiletries and an extra dress in my office so that I would not hesitate to sleep in for an overtime or for a tight schedule or even just to enjoy the AC.

Many other details, lo and behold, my being an adult.

Moving out also meant getting used to spending a lot of time alone, which is not a problem for me since being an unica hija meant that I was left alone to play with the company only of a few toys and my imagination. I just can’t call on a friend random times of the day or when the schedule fits because they too are busy being adults, it’s either they’re on a date, still in the office or back at home with their families. The corporate animals they are. Alone time meant eating most of my meals alone, commuting alone, sniffing the pages of old books at the bookstore alone, and the ultimate peak of alone time, watching a movie alone and hitting a bar by yourself.

Today is one of those days.

Everyone flurried out of Manila off to their hometowns for Mother’s Day and Election Day. When you are a single and independent woman, you really get to appreciate the meaning of these occasions. It puts a smile on my face while I gaze out the glass of Krispy Kreme to see mother’s scurrying around the mall with a big bouquet of blooms on their hands while chasing after little tots on Mother’s Day or while driving around with my friend while accompanying him to vote as he declares that he would not vote for Mrs. Binay all because he “doesn’t want another Caramel Macchiato” holding office and he said this after we got coffee from a Starbucks drive-thru which made it extra funny.

I’m still in yesterday’s clothes today, a hangover form a night of drinking and a huge workload on me that I was getting burned out from it all. I just close my laptop, turn off my tablet and my phone which is dead on the batteries anyway, my books and notebook, dumped it all in my big bag and felt the need to walk it off and take a few drags on my cigarette. The rain suddenly poured as I was trying to light my cigarette with a defective lighter, perfect timing. With me being not a huge fan of umbrellas, I traipsed around the Makati streets, raining and all, in my short floral skirt, a big red bag filled with electronics and books (a big bag full of stress) and my favorite hand bag. I felt so tired already. I came from work the day prior to today, took the train to get to UP, drank Jim Beam and coke in a friend’s flat, slept a few hours in the office, did my research work slash journal reading and planned the days ahead on my journal – I have been up and running for hours on end and my make-up is smudgy, my hair all over the place and I don’t have perfume on me. I had to get out of the rain.

I ended up in a noodle shop in the bustling pockets of Makati – a noodle shop. It reminds me of Mr. Man who at his time is caught up in his office getting big contracts signed – he is a big fan of noodles and got me to the habit recently. I wish he was here with me but my phone is dead and I can’t just barge in his office wet and smudgy from the rain. I just sat in the noodle shop alone, I might look like a sad vision to the people around, they might think I’m some poor girl with no umbrella who just found out her boyfriend was cheating on her with her officemate. That is so sad, but I’m just a workaholic cum busy person, with a head buzzing from a hangover, wanting refuge from the rain and finding the inspiration to write about the whole shenanigan. I want to write! But, the noodle shop has no outlets for their patrons, my trusty tablet is at 2%, my laptop is dead, my phone dead and I am left with my battered down notebook and blunt pencil in order for me to get the words down.

The house tea is served and I begin to write. I realized, this is the first time I’m writing in Manila on a rainy day. The atmosphere is nostalgic, the interiors minimalist and the conversations around me are hushed and in Mandarin or Fukien which I don’t understand, I feel like I am in Binondo or Hong Kong and to make my alien self more alien to these people, I’m the only one with big eyes and I’m acting like some elementary kid from years ago scribbling down on a tattered notebook with a blunt pencil.

The noodles were perfectly firm, the beef melts in your mouth and the vegetables are fresh and crunchy. The house tea is warm and tastes like earth, pair it with the gray skies and the falling rain, this is the fuel for me to write and write and write even more. I even want to sketch the scene, it is so quaint and quiet and warm, I want to rush home after filling myself with the ambience so I can put out my blue sketch book and put my hands and my imagination to work. Had Mr. Man been here, we would be enjoying the hot bowl of noodles and talking about our gossip, foreign policy, economy or whatever comes up by now. Or I would be staring into his immaculate handsome face the whole afternoon.

I just had the perfect rainy afternoon by myself today — writing all these, reading a book, sipping hot soup, eating firm noodles and the melt-in-your-mouth goodness of the beef and sipping earthy tea. I just wanted to say Mr. Kundera that I am not an unhappy person anymore, even if I left the place where I once lived.

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ON WAIVING MY RIGHT TO SUFFRAGE

ON MY WAIVING MY RIGHT TO SUFFRAGE
By: Maan “Maggie” Villar

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“I am too political” or “I am a barrel full of legalese” as my friends, colleagues, professors, and followers would attest, comment or even detest. I am, really. I like talking about societal, cultural, legal and philosophical issues, debating about it and writing about it just like Ricky Lo likes talking about our local celebrities. I dish out my views on politics, governance, economy and the country like aged Chablis running through your throat after a good plate of medium rare steak or Jack Daniel’s and Coke when you’re lounging on a Saturday night. Politics is opium to the masses as one distinguished personage puts it – you make a living out of it, love it, loathe it but you cannot deny it – it is a constant. We have to congratulate our ancestors for instituting a means of control, for creating civilization and organizing the once crazy food chain of which we are on top of because our grey matter has better features than all the rest of the species.

There is a plethora of issues politicians and their constituents deal with on a daily basis that it is a circus. Many complex systems, technicalities, trivialities and the whole science of it that you have to wrap up into a good ball when you write or speak about it just to make sure that  Juan de la Cruz, the average reasonable person, would understand and digest. It’s like The Girl in the Green Scarf when she talks about finance. And in case you are a dude or living inside a cave, I was referring to Confessions of a Shopaholic, the popular series of chic fiction that was made a hit on the silver screen.

I have not really mustered the guts to thrash or commend and even comment on the 2013 elections. I am not really a well researched or well informed voter right now – I would be an irresponsible voter. I got into this whole habit and mess of dating political scions that I cannot let my bias get in the way of my objectivity and credibility in my writing, my political views and more importantly my principles. It’s my personal election liquor ban or gun ban, there should not be undue influence on the ovals I am shading, and the clarity of my rational mind should be foremost if and when I cast any vote in this lifetime. So this is me waiving my right to suffrage, not taking part of the elections this year. My fingers and toes are crossed for my fellowmen, for you, that you take that overused adage VOTE STRAIGHT AND VOTE WISELY to heart this time and in the future elections to come.

In ending this piece, I would like to share something I heard (or overheard) on the 21st floor break area of my workplace. My colleague was expressing his views on his candidates and said that he thinks that his vote would not matter anyway because the masa would screw up the chance that a good leader would get in. He made it worse by saying that taxpayers should be the only ones eligible to participate in the elections. Well, in answer to that my esteemed colleague (I hope you sense the sarcasm), it is not the choice of the masa if they are uneducated, undereducated or unemployed unlike yourself and the right to vote is a basic right bestowed to us by the sovereignty that we fought so hard for, that your great grandfather or grandmother died for, bled for and shed tears for just so you could enjoy your right to sue me if I throw a big cup of hot latte on your cute face and Armani glasses. If you want to save the Philippines, be a responsible voter and stop blaming everyone else just because their opinion of who would make a good leader does not match yours. If this entry somehow reaches you, I really wanted to kick your ass if only I didn’t want to lose my work for such a little arrogant and insensitive freak.

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The Bob

THE BOB

By: Maan “Maggie” Villar

Why did I chop off 80% of my hair?

I went in a posh salon in the Makati area on December 30 and got rid of my long locks as a statement, as a signal of a new start – an outward expression of my inner going-ons. The stylist asked me several times, “are you sure about this?”, and even told me that having a haircut would not absolve me of those things I want to forget but it is far from that, the reason why I got it cut. I didn’t get a hair cut to move on for a break-up or to become more masculine or worse become a tomboy, not that I have anything against it. I just happen to be a proud AND HAPPY heterosexual with shorter hair. I just wanted to be me, again…

There are studies that suggest that it is less attractive for men when they see women in shorter hairstyles, or that women lose their overall sex appeal when they let go of their long hair. I would beg to disagree, I feel the exact opposite. But, in all honesty, just like anyone undergoing a drastic transformation, I had my down moments too, I even got to a point where I had to wear extensions for a month all because I had a hard time matching my clothes to my shorter hairstyle. I got rid of the extensions, not only because it is summer season, but because I was a pheonix rising up from the ashes, a butterfly emerging from its cocoon.

They say that women with shorter hair are usually career women, moms and celebrities – the alpha female, the independent woman and the woman who has got her game going – Athena (my favorite Greek goddess). Women donnning this style are perceived to be smarter, more independent and goal oriented, and they are also more creative and artistic as proven by studies. They are more confident and have leadership acumen. They are in control but at the same time reveal their vulnerable side as they are also exposing their necks (In the olden days, revealing your neck is exposing an attack point to your opponent, making you more vulnerable). It is a sure sign of strength and takes a lot of gut and commitment, a very important decision point as it is definitely hard to let go of tresses that took you years to grow and maintain. Short hair on younger women would make them look older or more mature and I am aiming exactly for that effect, I want to be perceived not as the little girl anymore but a woman making her mark in this world, someone endowed with wisdom and ready to march to her own tune. And maybe because I do not have the time and the capacity to commit myself or settle down anytime soon as my life goals come foremost, this is also a form of “man repellent”, I’m aiming for a sexy androgynous look, not to be misconstrued as a hairstyle that would complement doing drugs with Andy Warhol or sexual orientation issues (I am heterosexual still and we need to rid of that mischance we put to women cutting their hair that they are about to become tomboys or what not) but something that screams “INDEPENDENT WOMAN”, “POWER WOMAN”, “SUCCESSFUL WOMAN” AND “I DON’T NEED A MAN!”.

I love my short do and what it stands for, and how it reflects my personality.

Here are a couple of pictures of beautiful, successful women that I look up to and who coincidentally carry a good crown of short hair atop their shoulders.

Exhibit 1: Lesley Lawson aka “Twiggy” [English model, actress and singer, was dubbed as “The Face of 1966”

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Exhibit 2: Alicia Keys [Singer, songwriter, music producer, actress, a very talented pianist and violinist, Grammy award winner]

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Exhibit 3: Victoria Caroline Beckham [Married to football hottie David Beckham hence Posh and Becks, English fashion designer, businesswoman, model, singer, was part of the pop group Spice Girls]

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Exhibit 4: Emma Watson [Became popular when she starred as Hermione in J.K. Rowling’s screen adaptation of Harry Potter series, became even more popular when she was the heroine of The Perks of Being a Wallflower, English actress and model]

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Exhibit 5: Natalie Portman [Actress and model, one of the smartest actresses of all time, FYI she graduated as a Psychology major from Harvard while working as an actress and has one of the highest IQs – impressive!]

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BUCKET LIST

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01. Graduate from my masters, both Master of Science in Business Administration and Master of Science in Public Management.

02. Make a landmark study / thesis / dissertation and be a known and widely cited voice in my chosen field.

03. Enter a reputable law school.

04. Graduate from Juris Doctor degree with honors.

05. Be super woman and finish law school while working for a good company with a good salary.

06. Be on top of my class and extra-curriculars like debate or orchestra.

07. Take advance music classes in piano and violin.

08. Finish reading my books on art history, art theory, portrait drawing and painting.

09. Finish reading my books in music theory and music history.

10. Play the pieces I love, master at least 100 piano / violin pieces in my lifetime.

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11. Make at least 100 paintings.

12. Paint in Paris.

13. Make at least 100 drawings.

14. Become a published writer in a periodical.

15. Buy my mom her dream house.

16. Become the owner of an 18th century Stradivarius violin.

17. Have a Steinway baby grand in my living room.

18. Have a Mark Chagall painting in the master’s bedroom of my house.

19. Be a part of humanitarian organizations and philanthropic activities.

20. Practice law privately.

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21. Be employed in an intranational organization like United Nations or Asian Development Bank.

22. Teach music to young kids.

23. Find love again.

24. Fall head over heels in love with someone who deserves it.

25. Get a to-die-for wedding proposal and a Harry Winston diamond ring.

26. Get married in a country where divorce is legal or in the Philippines if divorce is already legalized.

27. Have two kids – a boy and a girl if the heavens would permit.

28. Listen to jazz on the radio and drink wine after every stressful day with the one I love and maybe some poetry before we sleep. ♥

29. Learn how to cook meals like Giada de Laurentis or Barefoot Contessa.

30. Learn how to speak in French and Latin.

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31. Get on a Meditarranean cruise.

32. Do yoga and jog before the sun rises every morning.

33. Have a healthy lifestyle and encourage my family to have the same.

34. Age gracefully – remain sexy and beautiful even up to old age.

35. Make my blog a hit.

36. Eat the cake made of gold in South Africa.

37. Learn how to cake and create masterpieces out of flour and sugar.

38. Build a cozy, country style home with a lot of books and musical instruments.

39. Visit 100 museums around the world.

40. Have a Labrador and a black Yorkshire Terrier for a pet.

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41. Be a voice in fighting for human rights, animal rights, environmental preservation and other things that I believe in.

42. Learn how to meditate.

43. Interview 10 of my life icons and feature them in my blog.

44. See the majestic Irish mountains.

45. Drink like a sorority girl in an English water hole.

46. Shop for Prada in Milan.

47. Get in touch to my spiritual side in an Indian ashram.

48. Witness the whirling dervishes of Turkey.

49. Visit the dwellings of Mozart, Beethoven, Bach, Wagner and the other great composers I idolize.

50. Be under the tutelage of a great artist and learn great techniques I could use to develop my own.

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51. Showcase my own works in a gallery.

52. Be a New Yorker for a good portion of my lifetime.

53. Be opera and theater savvy.

54. Watch the performances of Bolshoi and Kirov ballet.

55. Win a big case in court.

56. Win a lot of good cases and close a lot of good deals in my legal career.

57. Sleep to the serenade of a gondolier in the canals of Venice.

58. Enjoy a parachute ride and drink champagne while at it.

59. Skydive.

60. See the pyramids, mummies and hieroglyphs of Egypt.

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61. Get to know my own country by travelling to all major destinations in it and knowing my culture by heart.

62. Own a yacht.

63. Eat cake made out of gold.

64. Truffle hunting in northern Italy.

65. Wear a wedding dress designed by a sought after designer like Carolina Herrera, Monique Lhullier, or Vera Wang.

66. Own a vast collection of jewelry and share them with my mom.

67. Have a closet full of perfume bottles and share it with mom.

68. Have a closet full of designer bags and shoes and share it with mom.

69. Hop on a US tour with my dad.

70. Make sure that my mom and dad ages gracefully and live their days happily with their grandchildren.

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71. Watch the ball drop in Times Square on New Year’s eve.

72. Write a book about my life and my thoughts.

73. Write a landmark piece about the Philippine Legal System and Corporate Social Responsibility.

74. Learn how to play the harp.

75. Play violin or piano for a big orchestra like the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra or London Philharmonic.

76. Give solo instrumental performances.

77. Be a known voice in propagating and preserving classical music, Filipino cultural music, art and dances.

78. Become a member and leader of the Philippine cultural society and committee.

79. Have a law passed.

80. Send my kids to Ivy League schools and have them graduate with honors and great lives.

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81. Celebrate my golden wedding with a cake made of edible 24-k gold.

82. Sing beautifully on stage with a standing ovation.

83. Give a speech that would make it to history books and books of the best speeches.

84. Age with ethereal beauty and health.

85. Have a trophy room in my house for my family’s trophies and awards.

86. Kiss under the cherry blossoms in Japan.

87. Drink soju and eat somgyupsal like a local in one of South Korea’s provinces.

88. Ride one of NASA’s shuttles that is used to tour people to have a glimpse of outer space.

89. Climb a big mountain.

90. Live in an ashram for a couple of months and learn how to meditate and get in touch with my spirituality.

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91. Have a star named after me.

92. Help improve the lives of at least 100 people, send children to school, help stand up and fight for human rights and poverty.

93. Let all my secrets be known and be absolved of all evil and sin.

94. Change my religion when I find something that I truly believe in and matches my lifestyle and conviction.

95. Become a travelling professor in business, law and the humanities.

96. Buy a house in Corinthian Hills for my mom.

97. Become the owner of MARECO Broadcasting, Villar Music and 105.1 Crossover.

98. Teach music and the arts to students in the school that I am going to build, be a great mentor to an artist or musician who would become great someday.

99. Build my music and arts school.

100. Be known and remembered as one of the most sophisticated, powerful and beautiful women that sashayed the streets of Baguio / Manila / New York / Paris.

Bucket List by Atty. Maan “Maggie” Villar y Parreno, MBA, MSBA, MSPM

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The Many Men

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Finally.

I write about it.

THE MANY MEN.

This is big – an expose, tumultous and veritas (the truth).

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I guess it was breaking my heart into many pieces that led me to this state of non-commital relationships, fly-by men, a bad habit of breaking men’s hearts and a worse one of getting mine broken. If we put it into an abstract context, it is like my heart shattered into these little glass pieces that I cannot give it away as a whole, I give away the pieces.

We could say that I am becoming a Lady Casanova, but unlike the infamous hero, I will curtail all these soon. I just have too much on my plate. I have become a mechanic on the art of seduction and attraction, I know how to play my best assets and use it to my advantage and vanity. Maybe this is my time as a woman. Every female would have that epoch in their lifetime where they would have all eyes on them when they step inside a room or sashay the urban jungle, when they won’t leave a bar without a man getting their number or buying them a drink, and when everyone is kissing their derriere just to get an ounce of their attention – the hiatus of their fertility, popularity and beauty. I am well aware that this is indeed just a phase and that it will all end give two or three more years and I fear that because I am vain and I like it when men give me extra attention or make exceptions and act a little kinder to me. It scares me to age physically, but I love it at the same time because wrinkles and a little fat or cellulite here and there would show my wisdom and advancing knowledge.

Of course, a big chunk of that knowledge would be my brushes with love, lust, indifference, hatred and evertything else that lies between these abstractions. At this point in my life, I am at indifference, I cannot feel anything and care not if I do or I don’t. And it’s probably because of this indifference or insensitivity that I have met this men, I am not risking anything. I have probably met all types, a good chunk of every demographic subsects there is of men – from losers, to players, good guys, married guys, self-important ones, smart guys, brickheaded ones, pot heads, alcoholics, health buffs, engineers, architects, lawyers, business owners, political scions, rockstars, artists, lowlifes, bums and couch potatoes. Name it, I have dated him in the past (most likely).

While some inexperienced baby hos would be proud to have these men under their belt and proud that their number is increasing, a woman like myself won’t. I have no excuse though but if I conjure up, not a reason, but a probable cause to all these misguided missiles it is probably because I have artistic inclinations that need inspiration – a muse; or maybe because I am, at the end of the day, a romantic.

I am a serial lover, with no specific beau. I went out to the market, the so-called “sea”, and went deeper and deeper into its vastness and depth that I am already in the dark. I need to get back up and just coast. But being here, playing the game, and reaching my peak, I have learned a lot of lessons about men – how they think, how to lure them, how to keep them, how to get rid of them and the most important lesson I gleaned from all this hot mess is that I formed a clear idea of what type of man I would stomach, live with and love.

Indifference.

I compare these men passing to a war between two African tribes in the 14th century. A war that altered nothing in the goings-on in the world but killed thousands of blacks. These men change nothing in me, just passer-bys, strangers but with each rendezvous, I kill a part of myself and I distance myself farther from the right one.  I just can’t write a detailed expose yet, let’s just say this is a teaser for now, all because I’m indifferent.

New Obsession: Avan Jogia

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Avan Jogia – the name alone is sexy. I don’t know how I chanced upon him in the vast world of the Internet but yes fellas, I am sessing (short for obsessing) over him BIG TIME! I mean it is better than finding the Tsarnaev brothers who are behind the Boston Bombings cute right? I would get a lot of hate mail from saying this alone of course since those two brothers caused a lot of chaos and life was at stake with what they did. I was stricken when I saw one of the very talented dancers of Dancing with the Stars lose her leg at the bombing. The horrors of it! Her legs are her bread and butter, for heaven’s sake, SHE’S A DANCER!

So…

Back to Avan…

He’s a Canadian actor although I have never really watched his movies and he’s two years my junior. Middle name is “Tudor”, makes me wonder if he has royal descent. (Hmmm…)

Gosh… I would love to wake up every morning with that face. It’s not something I would easily get tired of. He looks like some semi-terrorist, artsy, rocker type guy… Which I like. A LOT. I would want him to sit for me someday, or just stare at his pictures when I’m bored at work. He makes me want to rush home and get my charcoal pencils and sketch pad so I can memorize his features through a drawing. Man, I’m sessing big time (and drooling…)

I should stop here before I get into the lewd stuff in my imagination. LOL.

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Rainy Days

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I was three when they said that the rain brings luck and from then on, as everyone else complained, hated, and felt sad when there is rain, there I was on my window with the gray skies up above, warm and smiling. I love when it rains.

I feel like butter melting on freshly toasted bread. I like the feeling of hugging myself, feeling the wooly texture of my thick red sweater, smelling the notes of my perfume and the room filling with the aroma of hot cocoa or freshly brewed coffee beans. And then I get to that somnumbelent mood, listen to slow jazz songs, Miles Davis on the trumpets, John Coltraine on the saxophones and read a book by Milan Kundera, Fyodor Dostoevsky or Leo Tolstoy. The jazz droning on, and when my eyes get tired from all the reading, I look at our old pictures and think of the best rainy days I have had in this life – those when I had you near me and we filled the streets or the room with our laughter and conversation. Then I come to think of it, that without you, it is an unbearable drought, and the rains mean that the heavens are crying. Days and days without you, it felt like an undending drought.

And then it pours again.

A soft drizzle. A comforting chill.

Rain.

This time bringing life again. A new and deep breath of life.

The soil is once again made rich and flowers wet and fresh in the morning to come. The smell of the earth when it rains, it smells fertile, alive and luscious. It breathes in new life and enriches the land with life to thrive as it enters the veins of plants and reaches its tips to grow into beautiful flowers and sweet fruits.

The rain brings life, breathing a wind, washing away the dust and ashes, ending the drought.