My Favourite Disney Songs

These four songs are my MOST favourite Disney songs. They are totally underrated and overshadowed by Elsa and Belle. These four have some common themes: breaking out from a place that holds you back, finding your place in the world/universe, and knowing who you are.

I’ve been awarded a position as a research fellow at my university. I’ve been invited to present my paper at a conference. I’m currently under the tutelage of brilliant professors. I could make a living here and live out the rest of my life, but there’s something missing.

My mother told me, “There’s nothing here (the Philippines) for us. We have no family. We have to find something else.” I agree with her. I am interconnected to so many people and things here, but there is so little that makes me truly happy. The only thing that makes my stay here worthwhile are my friends.

These songs keep me hopeful that I can one day leave and find that happiness that I can’t find here. You keep me strong, Disney.

Favourite part:
And I want a moment to be real,
Wanna touch things I don’t feel,
Wanna hold on and feel I belong.
And how can they say I never change?
They’re the ones that stay the same.
I’m the one now,
‘Cause I’m still here.

Favourite part:
I will find my way
I can go the distance
I’ll be there someday
If I can be strong
I know every mile
Will be worth my while
I would go most anywhere
To feel like I belong

Favourite part:
And out there
Living in the sun
Give me one day out there
All I ask is one
To hold forever

Favourite part:
I could go running
And racing
And dancing
And chasing
And leaping
And bounding
Hair flying
Heart pounding
And splashing
And reeling
And finally feeling
Now’s when my life begins!

Unfair Expectations from a Non-Filipino Cultured Person (updated)

Where do I begin? Each time a person asks me, “Tell me a little bit about yourself.” I’m always quick to reply with, “I was born in the Philippines, but I grew up in England.” And I say it with a smile. I smile because of my memories of Cobham, Surrey were probably one of the best years I’ve had growing up. I smile because I have to mask the pain I experienced growing up in the Philippines.

I’ve probably written so many England-Philippine comparisons on this blog. I won’t put you (or myself) through that. Let’s just start with memories of the past, no comparisons. I’ll leave that up to you.

Cobham, Surrey was something out of a fairytale. It had a village not far from the town centre with a stream and a watermill in between them. The stream was clear and cold and sometimes had fish and ducks. The school nearby was an international school. Children from different parts of the world learned under one roof. The differences in culture were normal. The differences in skin colour were negligible. We all knew we were different, but we didn’t care.

Cubao, Metro Manila was something out of a nightmare. The houses were clustered together like shoeboxes. The city centre was far, and to get there you needed to brace yourself with the pollution. There were no streams, only sewers, and canals infested with bacteria germinating from lumps of human faeces and sometimes rat carcass. The school was not an international school. The children were from one single culture, and I had to learn with them. They were all the same: same skin, same eyes, same religion, same mind. They all knew I was different, and that mattered much to them.

That’s just a gist of my past. However, I do want to say that university changed my perception of the Filipino people. I used to detest and loathe them. I hated the culture, every bit of it. University changed that. I respect the Filipino people, and I understand that there are assholes everywhere in the world and not just in the Philippines. If my 9yro-self knew that, he would have turned into a happier person.


There’s a friend a classmate of mine who is the anthesis of me. She’s half-blood (half Japanese), she was offered to live in Japan, and she loves the Philippines. Culturally and in belief, she is more Filipino than I am. What I don’t understand is why she thinks negatively of me when I’m sceptical about this country (sceptical, not negative, different thing). She thinks I’m pessimistic, but that’s what idealists say. She’s an idealist, not an optimist because she too is a sceptic, but just in a different way.

I’ve told her, in length, my memories. Yet she still doesn’t understand why I can’t find that affective connection to the Philippines. She told me to just accept the Philippines because I am a Filipino. This is the unfair expectation.

Here’s analogy part 1: my parents created me. They created my mind, body, beliefs etc. I am nothing without them. My parents are also Christian. And with my friend’s classmate’s logic, I should be Christian and discard my belief in Buddhism because I from my parents.

Part 2: The Philippines created me. It created my mind, body, beliefs etc. I am nothing without the Philippines. Does this mean that I should love the Philippines with all my bleeding heart? No, of course not. That’s an unfair expectation. It’s unfair to be expected to love something because it is, literally, in my blood, raised me, or created me.

Hokkaido part 2

(Click here for part 1)

The early morning light brushed against the snow-capped roofs of the small village that hid at the bottom of the mountains. The sound of the temple bell stilled the air as if a spell had stopped time. The windows were frosted like a spider’s etching against the clear sky. Little huts breathed through their chimneys. The smell of wood and food slowly danced across the crisp wind, which blew lightly between the wooden walls. Like clockwork, old men opened their doors with pipes pressed between their lips. They greeted each other with light bows. The children scampered off to school at the other side of the village. The children believed that they could escape the spirit that commanded the cold if they ran fast enough. And almost certainly, one of them would trip and fall on the fresh snow, reminding them that they could never escape.

*** Continue reading “Hokkaido part 2”


I watched a BuzzFeed video about four people TRYING to do long division, and wow are they dumb. Well, three of them were anyway. One them even said that she didn’t have to do division since middle school? Which is strange since there is division in algebra.

Anyway, then a thought popped in, “Why don’t they practice multiplication like I do? Holy shit.” A fucking realisation happened.

Ever since I first learned multiplication, I’ve been subconsciously practising it. Just to give you an idea I would sometimes multiply numbers while listening to classical music (how stereotypically Asian) or while cooking.

When I do something that’s second nature I do multiplication to keep myself awake or aware that I’m doing something.

It’s so weird finding something out about myself after doing it for 17 years.