✨Goal: Road to 548K on Wattpad✨

I’m about to reach 11K (edited: namalik-mata ako na 19K hahaha yawa nakakahiya) on Twitter and 325K on Wattpad. Cheers to me.

Though as much as I like math, these numbers make me anxious. “What can I do to make it go up?” I ask myself. As an author trying to make a living out of writing (but right now it’s nearly impossible), I understand that these numbers sometimes become a deciding factor for some people.

“Ang daming reads! Maganda siguro ang kuwento!” That’s how it works. Kahit no’ng nasa Creative Corner naman ako, gano’n na ang kalakaran. That’s human nature, and that’s okay. Even if sabihin ng iba na “corny naman ang kuwento, e,” still, the author gained reputation and more readership.

This is where “flexing” works and achievements come in. Kumbaga sa artists, they have portfolios and other hashtags so they can get clients who are willing to buy their art.

Unfortunately, weakness ko ‘yon. I guess it’s because of how I grew up. Humility was introduced as “don’t be proud of your achievements, let people applaud you,” that it came to a point wherein I needed to wait for people to affirm me before I can be proud of myself. Up to now, I find it difficult to feel accomplished. This upbringing caused me to worry about what others think if I try to market myself. Yayabang ba ako sa paningin nila? Mga ganyan.

When someone applauds my work, I think before trying to share it because, again, I’m worried about people being annoyed about it. But I realized that if someone in my circle does, then they subtly don’t support what I do, which is sadder. Besides, hindi naman din ako gano’n, so maybe I’m overthinking.

“Published author ka pala! Bakit di mo sinabi?”

Maybe I was also traumatized when people inside my circle seemed to downgrade what I like to do.

“Saan ka nagsusulat?”

“Sa Wattpad.”

“Ah . . .”

Then I find myself defending why I chose this platform, and then I feel guilty about sounding too defensive kasi, sa totoo lang, ano bang masama?

Sobrang hirap i-unlearn.

This is why I prefer Peach. I feel heard and supported as her, but I feel otherwise as Jessamine. (But really, don’t call me by my real name. Di ako sanay.)

So my point is, if anyone is reading this, I’m trying my best to unlearn this attitude, trying my best not to let people in my circle downgrade what I do. I now try to share my works with a few trusted friends to start with, and I was able to reply to “Wattpad? Puro jeje naman doon, telenobela formula (something like this)” with a “Maybe you haven’t tried browsing. Di mo pa siguro nababasa mga gawa ko, ‘no?”

Shiet the amount of anxiety I felt right after hahaha, but somehow, a part of me was proud of myself. So yeah. I’ll start with this: Road to 548K!

 

The Ups and Downs of Visiting Art Sector Gallery and Chimney Café 360º

Note: This post has been in my drafts for a long time now (since February, imagine), and I was planning to publish this once the pandemic is over. However, realizing that the PH government prioritizes silencing their critics over flattening the curve, I have decided to post this today before I forget that I have this in my drafts.

Update: Art Sector Gallery and Chimney Cafe are open for visitors, but they do not entertain walk-ins. You have to book a visit and preorder your food. Since jeepneys are not allowed to operate yet, you can only go there if you have your own car.

Aside from mountains and nature reserves, Rizal is also known for its art galleries. Popular ones are in Antipolo and Angono, but there is also one in Binangonan called Art Sector Gallery, which I went to visit last February 2020.

How to Go to Art Sector Gallery and Chimney Café 360º

From Sta. Lucia East Grand Mall or Junction, Cainta, ride a Binangonan Highway jeepney and tell the driver to drop you off at Scrapyard Cafe and Restaurant. From there, tricycles lined up beside 7-Eleven can bring you to Art Sector Gallery (drivers asks for Php 200–300), but you can also hire a motorcycle taxi service like Angkas (I was lucky to get one), which only costs Php 70. Beware, however, as the GPS won’t point at the exact location. Better follow the guard’s instructions, or look for an eye-catching white building.

We left at around 6:30 p.m, fearing that we wouldn’t find a ride home. True enough, there were only habal-habal services (Php 75), which dropped us off at a tricycle terminal. It was a scary experience because the path downhill was steep, and there were three of us riding the motorcycle (including the driver).

The ride from the terminal to Angono Highway costs Php 10.

What to Expect in Art Sector Gallery

Even before entering the gallery, you will be greeted by a breathtaking view of Laguna Lake. I suggest you come at 3:00 p.m. if you want to take solo pictures at this spot.

Since we went on a Friday, we paid Php 125 to enter. There were only a few paintings, some even familiar; I think I’ve seen similar themes in Pinto Art Museum. My favorite is entitled Jae by Arnica Acantilado, which is hung on one of the walls of the second floor. (I wonder if it’s the name of the dog.)

The white-painted gallery accentuated with black borders strongly reminded me of Pinto Art. What made it different, however, was it had a venue to view the stunning sunset. Pak na pak ang golden hour.

What to Eat at Chimney Café 360º

I wasn’t able to take note of how much each dish was, but I remember paying Php 700 for all of these. The thin-crust pizza was okay, a 7/10. The mango shake (or was it a frappe?) and the pasta need improvements, however.

Things got disappointing when the cashier wanted to charge us with another service fee because we wanted to order more. Often when you order another dish, they’ll just add it to your current bill, right? So you’ll be charged with service fee once. But it wasn’t that way at Chimney Cafe; according to the cashier, “Ibang resibo na kasi.” I asked why they wouldn’t just include my supposed additional order to my first receipt, but he said, “Di po talaga puwede.” Hindi ko sigurado kung dahil ayaw niya ng erasures, o talagang gano’n ang patakaran nila.

In the end, I just decided not to order again. Can anyone clarify if this is okay? This ruined the experience for me, but I would still recommend going there for an astonishing sunset view.

Favorite Picture


Art Sector Gallery and Chimney Café 360º
3:30–10:00 p.m.; 4:00–9:00 p.m. (cafe)
Lot 18 Block 178 Eastridge Executive Village, Tayuman, Binangonan, Rizal
https://www.facebook.com/artsectorph/

FUCK THIS GOVERNMENT.

We had enough of your bullshit. This government is a fucking, fucking fuck! Mga gago. Mga traydor sa bayan. Inuuna niyo ‘yan kaysa mass testing? Kaysa sa kapakanan ng Pilipino?

Ayaw ninyo ng bikes? Inabuso ninyo ang panahong ‘to para i-phase out ang mga jeepney. Mga traydor!

I don’t have access to social media right now (after deleting them yesterday) because I need to focus on my work (para mabuhay dahil pinabayaan ninyo naman kami). But my friends know me better. “Girl, 173 daw yes to anti-terrorism bill.”

I want to go to the streets. Because fuck. This is not right.

I am crying. In rage. And my anger wants to blame all those who voted for this prick. We have warned you about his human rights violations, but you ignored it. And I remember you well. 

The other side just wants me to move on. That they, too, want accountability.

Pero fuck. Ang hirap.

I am so mad. Nasaan ang priority nila? Nasa sarili nila. Wala sa bayan.

Mga traydor.

Blacks, Whites, and Rainbows

Because it’s the first day of June.

Ngayon lang yata ako magiging elaborate about my gender. But here goes nothing. :)

I’m bisexual. Actually, marami namang may alam n’on, but it really took me several years before I could even tell that 548 Heartbeats was inspired by my first relationship (a girl) and unrequited love (a guy). Imagine my fear of being judged, especially when the people close to me condemn the LGBTQ+ community.

I grew up in an all-girl Catholic school, which eventually inspired me to write “CR Break.” Siguro dahil nag-flashback lang sa ‘kin ang elementary days ko. This was when writing letters was a thing, and I wrote to this girl. I kept telling her she was beautiful inside and out, but her friends didn’t believe me (maybe because I didn’t dress like them? Like I dress girly) but believe me when I say that I really did like her. Kaso it failed? Natakot kasi kami pareho when our CLE teacher kind of warned us. Haha. I can’t remember the exact details, but that’s it.

Also, my parents were trad Catholics, and loving the same sex was a “sin.”

I wished many, many times to be a guy instead when I was a kid. If I were a guy, maybe things had gone differently (but then nasa all-girls school nga pala kami so baka hindi rin haha). So maybe this is also why I write guy POVs well, as they say? I don’t know. (Aside from the fact that I read movements well.) But I’ll leave it to critics. Some say kasi that we shouldn’t write what we haven’t felt (still up to debate, but in my case, as long as it’s represented well and thoroughly researched).

Now when I transferred to a co-ed high school, I thought, Okay, maybe this is where I’ll know I like boys. And yes, I did. But the first person I had a crush on was a girl (she’s my friend na hahaha). I also had a fling with another girl (we’re not really close anymore because of what I did) and my first legit relationship was with a girl (she’s in the states, we’re friends). And we had to hide every time.

I remember one of my teachers even telling me, “Are you sure about this? Matalino ka naman.” I honestly took offense on that, but she’s one of the teachers I admire. Anyway, iba-iba naman kasi ang paniniwala, and I understand that. But before, I wanted my ex-girlfriend to be my first and last. I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her. Iniisip ko na it’s okay to live in a small house as long as it’s with her. But our relationship failed (different schools, she lost feelings), so yeah, I just had to accept it. Okay naman kami. :)

So it’s not just having “girl crushes.” I am really attracted to both girls and guys.

Recently, bigla akong napapa-revisit sa mga nangyari sa ‘kin noon. Maybe because my best friend is remembering a past relationship as well, at napapaisip ako how things might have turned out if I didn’t transfer schools. Also, may nagtanong kasi sa ‘kin how come I could write from a lesbian’s perspective (nahihiya magtanong sa #PopFicAskAuthor kaya nagtanong sa Instagram haha). And I’m repeating my answer here: I’m more of a Kabi and a Cara (who was liked by a Kayi and a Ryoko, respectively). I’m looking forward to writing another WLW fantasy story, probably by 2021, but it needs thorough research because it’s something I haven’t explored yet.

The past months have been extremely exhausting, but we’ll make the best out of pride month. Prolly no pride march (best decision given this pandemic) but we will still fight for our rights online, won’t we? :)

Still, #LoveWins.