1. Confessions of a Pre-Fat Girl

    One time, my mom and I got into the subject of how much weight I’ve gained ever since I graduated from high school. She then proceeded to say something along the lines of "Oh diba anak na-realize mo ang payat mo dati nung high school? (Didn’t you realize how thin you were back in high school?)”  In a surge of honesty, I answered, “I don’t know Ma, I’ve actually never felt thin.”

    It was true. All my life, I’ve always considered myself as “pre-fat”: Fat when people noticed, thin when you’re able to hide it. I suppose it came with growing up with a body quite bigger than the other kids (I was definitely bigger than my older sister, see: upper left photo). Being fat always had a bad ring to it, as if it was something to be ashamed of because my metabolism didn’t seemed at sync with the thinner people around me.

    Even during my high school days (when I did drastically lose weight due to my braces), I would tell people that it’s either the braces or the way my clothes have been cleverly cut to make me look thinner. Plus, living in a dorm situated atop a mountain meant numerous walking space (we didn’t have much of a choice, it was a 1-2 km walk from the dorms to the school area everyday). It felt nice to be able to fit in all those cute clothes with ease or snap photos without that unnecessary bulge showing here and there. It felt good. But at the same time, I still felt huge.

    I felt that I needed to talk about this because it amazed me how I unconsciously felt the need to justify and seek out the ideal “thin”. It wasn’t that I don’t think being healthy was bad, it was just that it seemed like I wanted it for the wrong reasons.

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    It was only recently that I was able to verbalize what exactly was bothering me. It started with a final requirement for our Introduction to Art Theory class: we were supposed to interview a local artist and see if we can apply any of the theories we learned in class to his/her artworks. By some miracle, I got to interview Daniel dela Cruz.

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    I call it a miracle because, aside from the crazy circumstances that led to him being my chosen artist (trust me, it’s a looong story), I distinctly remember seeing his first exhibit back when I was in 1st year high school in 2007. And at the time, I felt myself uncomprehending of why I saw his art beautiful. You know, “It’s beautiful, but why do I think it so?” 

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    Sir Daniel’s a household name for art enthusiasts for his signature style of robust women either magically situated in gravity-defying feats or infused with everyday objects.

    I decided to apply Mortimer Adler’s theory on the nature of beauty to Sir Daniel’s works. For Adler, there are two kinds of beauty: enjoyable and admirable. Enjoyable beauty is experienced immediately because your senses find it pleasing upon being perceived. Meanwhile, admirable beauty takes a  while because it’s accompanied by mediated thought and acquired knowledge.

    Upon seeing Sir Daniel’s works, it seemed that his works did indeed manifest both. In our interview, he mentions that although using the woman as a subject was entirely personal because he simply found her beautiful, he thinks that his age and experience had contributed to helping him infuse substantial messages into his art. This, along with his mastery of the craft. I’d have to agree to this, since his works seemed to be mystically rendered timeless by the intrinsic quality they all possess.

    (Oh God, these photos were taken a month ago and looking over them again, I just noticed the child inside her belly now. Woah. Just woah.)  Okay, where was I? Oh right, beauty! Haha.

    Reading over my assessment, I then wondered why I immediately experienced enjoyable beauty upon seeing Sir Daniel’s works seven years ago. It had pleased me to see women whose hips and thighs were definitely larger than the slender ones often gracing the catwalks and magazines. Why is it then that when I look at my own body, what meets me instead is a sense of frustration?

    I understand that there have been many debates about beauty. (It’s in the eyes of the beholder! It’s subjective! And so forth, and so forth~) But I didn’t really write this to seek or formulate a standard. I write this in an attempt to understand how is it that I found beauty in a replica instead of the original inspiration?

    Before, I wanted to be thin because I felt it would enhance my beauty when others perceived it. This can be true, because taking care of your body is definitely a form of self-respect (who wouldn’t want to be healthy and fit? I really admire people who are able to build so much discipline in their lifestyles TTwTT) But then again, girls of different shapes and sizes couldn’t possibly possess a singular form of beauty in the guise of being stick thin. 

    I carried around the pre-fat mentality with me because I’ve always understood fatness as something that made me ugly.

    True enough, an audience is needed in perceiving both of Adler’s kinds of beauty. And it might have taken a while, but I realized that maybe it was important that I was my own audience before anyone else was.

    (Sidenote: Whew, that was exhausting. It’s my first time attempting this kind of post, and I really don’t know if I actually made sense or not. Hahaha. Drop me a comment on my ask to tell me what you guys think. :) Honesty and love, Mimille)

     

  2. "So why doubt the power of a good writer? For once he says “I’ll write about you”, you can either take it as a threat or an achievement."
     

  3. Of Superheroes and Princesses at House of Treasures <3

    I haven’t been feeling very super the past week because of final requirements for school that seemed to stretch on to infinity (hashtag exagg haha) . But that definitely wasn’t an excuse to pass up the chance to meet real life superheroes in House of Treasures! :)

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    I’ve posted about our Princess themed party a few months back, and I’ve mentioned how the boys in the cancer ward wanted to be princes, pirates, or zombies (excessive eyeliner = zombie). Luckily, Marianne, a fairy godmother all the way from Oregon, knew just the thing that every little boy really wanted to be…

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    TADAAAA! :) Superheroes! Even our friends from De La Salle University wanted to squeeze into the costumes themselves. Fortunately, they could only fit in the errr… more “stretchable” ones. XD

    HAHAHAHAHAHA. And of course, we couldn’t possibly forget dressing up our princesses as well. Tita Glady, a fairy godmother who decided to celebrate her birthday with us, helped us transform the kiddies using bits of glitz and glamour! I cannot get over how beautiful she made them look. :)

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    Chynnas Cupcake House was also kind enough to give us yummy cupcakes for the children. They had wonderful inspirational messages on them which I’m sure the kids (and their parents) appreciated a lot. :) Thank you so much po.

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    Ma’am Tina’s freshmen class from De La Salle University and the photo booth service they invited certainly brought out the heroes and princesses inside our tiny friends. You really should’ve seen them guys, such great energy from that happy bunch right there. d^^b

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    Summer has (FINALLY WOOHOO) begun and we’ll hopefully have more superhero weekdays and fun activities in House of Treasures! To more consistent posts and beyond~~~ ^______^

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  4. Happy Milly Summer Reading Liiiist <3 

    Squeezing this post in the midst of everything that still needs to be done as motivation of the light/books at the end of the tunnel. TTwTT

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    These are some of the titles I’ve gathered over the 2nd semester. Some were gifts while others were bought at really good prices in FB book markets. I’ve already guiltily gobbled up Smith’s The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight and Rowell’s Eleanor and Park during times I wasn’t supposed to, but I swear those things kept me sane during college rush. #reasons hahaha

    Books to (hopefully) acquire:

    (1) This is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz

    (2) The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

    (3) Why Nations Fail by James A. Robinson and Daron Acemoğlu

    **I’m also thinking of reading some really nice readings some friends recommended over the summer (i know, make the geek stahp pls).

    ALSO, just some shameless pluggin’, I’ll be giving a talk with Ms. Jenny Bermudez on Female Protagonists in Classic and Modern Literature. It’s going to be in Tanglaw Study Center in QC from 1:30-2:30. Aside from having an awesome time talking about literature with fellow bookworms, this may also be an opportunity to stock up your own list of “To Read” this summer! :D Hope to see you guys there! 

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  5. Hitting the Jackpot: The Lucky 7 Booklaunch

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    Last Saturday, seven books were welcomed into the world of Philippine Literature: Paola Mauricio's The Lines of your Hands, Bea Goyena’s Flower Children, Paula Candelaria’s Castrated and Other Stories, Reya Laplana’s Sa Lilim at Iba Pang Mga Dula, Sami Narvaez’s Sa Saliw ng Musika at Iba Pang Mga Dula, Lui Villar’s Mama: Isang Dulang May Ganap na Haba at Usapang (Basket) Balls, and Trisha Ilarde’s Ang Bitag ng Rekwaya sa Quezon.

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    After feeling quite spent the past few months on school work (and life in all its salty bitter glory), it was refreshing to see other people’s art stories bloom. These talented girls (and now young authors, woot woot! ^____^) were once my first years back in the Philippine High School for the Arts (PHSA).

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    One of the awesome things about studying in an art school are the collaborations that transpire in the process of art making. The book launch was riddled with performances from fellow Ibarangs* that provided us glimpses of what we’ll find within the seven books.

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    Creative writing (CW) majors are a relatively rare breed up in the mountain** since our usual graduates would simply tally from one to four. So Lucky 7 was a title all too appropriate for the launch. <3 (Altho I’m kinda sad I wasn’t able to snap a photo with all 7 of them because I had to go already. ><U) I also missed the other CW alumni so much that I wanted to kidnap them and take them home with meeee #clingy (lol, hello Lyka and Nicko. Mwah :**)

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    Such throwback. Hahahaha. Three years and many pounds ago, I remembered how completing my book felt like such a big relief. Not that it was burden, but rather, I felt like there was so much I needed to be heaved out of me. I had so many stories, but very few words. A few months in on freshman year, I found myself writing this:

    "In college, the writer in me died…and decided to haunt me instead."

    Perhaps that was the reality of it, it never ends. (HAHAHAHA oh no) But kidding aside, maybe that’s a good thing. Because writing (good writing) should never be stagnant. And it doesn’t even mean you have to graduate from an art school and stuff, just as long as you’re brave enough to wield your pen.

    Congratulations my dear lucky seven for your bravery. It’ll still be a long road from here, but I believe that your books will be the beginning of truly setting your art in motion. Mabuhay ang Ibarang. xx

    * Students or alumni from PHSA

    **errr, PHSA’s located up in Mt. Makiling. Yup, we dorm.