I have been reading quotes frequently through my commonplace notebooks because I need a reminder. I might get lost along the way and I need guidance and wisdom to find myself again.
I’ve experienced a rough patch during the last weeks of 2020 and I don’t think I would be here, standing strong, if it weren’t for the wisdom from the people I wrote in my commonplace book.
“…be ready to meet your responsibilities like a hero. Because whatever tomorrow brings, major or minor, it will be what you’ve been training for. Responding to what life throws at us—that’s what this philosophy is about.” —From Daily Stoics email, “Life Will Go On. What’s Your Plan?”
Having this conclusion makes me trust myself more that whatever tomorrow might bring, I would be able to overcome it because I’ve been training for it. I have to do the work.
This is also why I work really hard on my personal growth. At the end of the day, its not my circumstances, what I am facing, or what I am working on that matters, its how I respond.
I cannot control my loved ones. I cannot control what and how many academic works will be given to me. I cannot control how my professor will perceive my works. I cannot control how the audience will interpret my writings.
But what I can control is me— how I respond to them and how I do my work. I am training everyday learning how to respond, reading the words of other people so I know how I can act in my own life, applying what I’ve studied every day, and practicing it again in another day.
“Let’s face it … people and events are going to continue to both hurt and disappoint you. Among the people will be those you most love, as well as those you least know. Seldom is it their intent to purposely hurt you, but rather, a variety of situations mostly beyond your control will cause them to act, speak, or think in ways which can have an adverse effect upon you, your present feelings and emotions, and the way your life upholds. It has been this way through six thousand years of recorded history, and your hurt or grief is not the first time a human has been deeply hurt by the inappropriate actions of another.
The only way to avoid being touched by life––the good as well as the bad––is to withdraw from society, and even then you will disappoint yourself, and your imagining about what is going on out there will haunt you and hurt you. Knowing this, there is but one solution that will support you when people and events hurt you, and that is to learn to work harder on your personal growth than anything else. Since you cannot control the weather, or the traffic, or the one you love, or your neighbors, or your boss, then you must learn to control you … the one whose response to the difficulties of life really counts.” – Jim Rohn
In an interview with Gretchen Rubin, Karl Pillemer, Ph.D., professor of Human Development at Cornell University, stated, “I was born the type that worries, but I have realized that many of the things I worried about never came to pass, and the problems that showed up weren’t the ones I had worried about. In my studies of the wisdom of older people, this is one thing they really taught me. Indeed, one of the most common regrets people have at the end of life is time wasted worrying.”
Whenever I was interviewing for an article for my college publication, I tend to ask the question, “What will you advice to your younger self?” and somehow, one way or another, their answers are related to worrying.
“You can do anything that you want to do. So stop worrying.” “I’m was a mess. I spent a lot of time worrying in the past and if I can say something to my younger self, it would be, believe in yourself. Just do it.”
Even author and organizational psychologist Adam Grant wrote in an article, “When people reflect on their biggest regrets, they wish they could redo the inactions, not the actions. “In the long run, people of every age and in every walk of life seem to regret not having done things much more than they regret things they did,” psychologists Tom Gilovich and Vicky Medvec summarize, “which is why the most popular regrets include not going to college, not grasping profitable business opportunities, and not spending enough time with family and friends.”
Ultimately, what we regret is not failure, but the failure to act. ”
Failure to act is related to worrying too because before we act on something, we think about it for some time and even spend time ruminating. Sometimes, worrying gets the best of us and all of a sudden, time has passed and we haven’t act on it yet because we worry a lot.
In my case, last year, before doing an academic work, I tend to worry about it instead of just starting. Then suddenly, 30 minutes had passed and I haven’t started yet, but if I had just started instead of worrying what bad things might happen, I would probably be halfway done by now.
That is why whenever I found myself worrying before doing something, I remind myself of this quote from author James Clear, “Stop worrying about how long it will take and get started. Time will pass either way.“
Though, right now, whenever I will be doing something that I know that will take a long time for me to complete, I’ll take a deep breath and say, “This too shall pass.”
This reminder helps me to not dwell so much on certain things, to not worry so much on what will happen, and that its not the end of the world. I can overcome whatever obstacles I face because it will pass. Just like whenever I encountered obstacles last year that I thought were too hard for me, I thought I would not get through it but no, I did it. I overcame all of that and made it here in 2021.
Right now, I’m looking forward to just letting the situation to be what it is and spend less time worrying on controlling the outcome because whatever it is, it will pass. I hope and pray that I will have the courage to run to the roar.
So, I came across this amazing video on Facebook that has been viewed by hundreds of thousands of people.
I have been struggling and feeling very low lately and a lot of people around me are too (based on their posts on their social media sites). So, everyday, I constantly ask myself ‘What is one reason that I am happy today?’ or most of the time, ‘What can make me feel joy right now?’
My answers vary a lot, ‘The mere fact that I am able to wake up again to live.’, ‘Oh look! The sun is shining on me again to remind me that what I’ve done yesterday is not the end of the world.’, ‘The Christmas lights in front of me looks so amazing.’, ‘I’m eating this delicious food cooked by mom’, etc.
Being this intent to look for joy helps make life bearable for me. These times are incredibly a struggle to most and if you are one, I hope you look for joy in your life too.
That is what a friend told me prior to me giving a short speech. He knows what an overthinker and anxious person I was and a few minutes before I was about to give a short speech he said that to me and I haven’t forgotten it ever since. (this was February 2020)
Overtime, I still am an anxious person. I still do overthink. I did not magically became fearless overnight. But I have definitely improved.
Anyhow, I tend to magnify how much a random person thinks about me. Its what psychologists call The Spotlight Effect. According to Psychology Today, it “refers to the tendency to think that more people notice something about you than they do.”
For example, when someone asks a question during class, whatever it was, I tend to not remember it at all the next day (not because I don’t remember but because it never just cross my mind). However, when I ask a question in class, I tend to overthink what I had done that until the next day, I’m still thinking about it. But, when I ask a classmate of what he/she thought of my question, I would then realize that they do not even think of what I’ve done at all because they are busy on their own worries.
Whenever I’m about to post something publicly, I’ll always remember this advice: They do not care about me. Rather than it being a source of sadness, it actually is more of a relief. Because then, as long as I do not do anything that inflicts harm on anyone, they would leave me be and I’ll just keep continuing doing my work that makes me happy.
Writer Louis Chew wrote on an article entitled The Spotlight Effect: Why No One Else Remembers What You Did, “But more importantly, there’s no need to be obsessed with what others think of us. The reality is that everyone has greater concerns — themselves. So speak your mind. Take some risks. Be the man in the arena.“
Jacob Martin documented every sunrise for the month of October and check out the video below. It’s only a minute and five seconds!
These past few weeks, I have a new-found relationship and gratitude for sunrises. I am struggling a lot and when it’s night before I go to bed, having this reminder that the sun will rise again, gives me comfort and fills my heart with hope.
Okay, I may have several shortcomings for the day but tomorrow is a new day to do my work and to give my best.
Every morning, waking up in my room bathe with the light from the sun makes me smile.
‘Okay. This is a new day. Fresh start. I can try again.‘
Currently, I’m writing this before I go to bed feeling joyful that whatever my experience today is, tomorrow, the sun will still rise and constantly reminding me that life is a journey. Whatever happened today, it is not the end of the world and I should not revolve my whole world thinking about it. Life is more bigger than that.
Hayop Ka! (‘you son of a bitch!’ in English) is a Filipino romcom animation film produced by Rocketsheep Studio and Spring Films, distributed by Netflix.
The film runs for a bit after an hour but I spent around two hours watching this because I kept stopping it and taking screenshots. I want to understand certain things about the design of the environment and also, the animal puns (which I’ll get into below).
Watching this got me so excited because of the insane amount of details!! And here we go:
Nimfa’s Clothes (Protagonist)
Nimfa is the main character of this animation film and I noticed that her clothes, or should I say, work uniform is what she wore in most scenes of the film and they used the color red to have her stand out in almost all of the scenes. There were a few scenes wherein she wore a bright violet dress. Nevertheless, still allowing the character to stand out.
The clothes of other characters pale in comparison with Nimfa’s clothes except Jerry’s (the one who she ended up with). I think having neither of the two men wore red throughout the film is a clue that neither of them will be with her in the end. According to someone from Rocketsheep Studio, the end signifies “a new start in her life and her relationship with Jerry did not start as a lust or pursuit of material wealth”
The overall environment of the film is influenced by Manila, the capital of the Philippines. It’s like having a bit of a field trip in Manila (the slums as well as the place where the rich are).
Baybayin is the alphabet that our ancestors used and although it is not the alphabet that we commonly use today, I saw that they used a bit of it in the film!
This cell tower seems to be one of the focal points as this is somewhat inspired from the Eiffel Tower (since this is a romance film) and it is in red too, similar to the protagonist’s color of clothes (hinting its importance).
In the film, we see characters that vary in terms of their socioeconomic status.
In the main protagonist’s home, you would see that there is an abundance of items at home and too many colors.
And the home of the rich character displays a coordinated color scheme and wideness.
In other aspects too, we can see how the animators played with sizes and space to distinguish what is something where the rich go/lives. For example, in the screenshots below, there are two perfume kiosks. The first is what you’ll call a luxury brand while the other is not.
In order to give the feel that the first kiosk is a luxury brand, they used size. They enlarged the display to induce the feeling of intimidation and having its own carpet in order to make it “stand out” or better yet, giving a feel that this “kiosk” is different from other kiosks on that floor.
May God Bless Our Trip and others that will give you an idea of Filipino culture
May God Bless Our Trip is something that you see often in public transport everywhere in the Philippines and I am so happy they included this lol. Also, it shows how religious we are as a country (in general).
In malls in the Philippines, sale posters are everywhere and every time. I laughed so hard when I read the poster, “SALE NAMAN LAGI” (WE ARE ALWAYS ON SALE in English)
The heart struck with an arrow tattoo
If you are Filipino, there is one moment in your life when you had seen someone with this tattoo. I’m not sure where did this originated but I have seen this tattoo so many times in old Philippine films.
Posters/Banners with a politician name
One thing frequent in the streets of the Philippines (excluding the streets of rich gated subdivisions) is a poster/banner with a politician’s name. It can be a welcome banner, or a reminder not to do “insert bad deed here”. Sometimes, it’s posters for elections.
Every time I saw animal puns in the background, I paused the film because I want to read and understand them all! And I am amazed by how witty the animators are. I captured a few of them.
I laughed when I saw the “somewhere in Batangas, Philippines” in the address lol. Someone got too tired to create a fake address or maybe he/she just wanted to add something funny.
If it had been released in theaters, I doubt that it would even get that much attention. But instead, this film was released on Netflix and that’s a good thing for the filmmakers and the whole Filipino animation industry.
Since a lot of Filipinos are now subscribed to Netflix, the Filipino animation industry would not really worry so much whether anyone would watch what they produced because of how easy it is to just watch a movie on Netflix.
My thoughts on the plot of the film is another story. In this post, I just want to celebrate the effort that they put in the smallest of details. They gave their best in recreating Manila and they accomplished that very well.
Honestly, I feel that our animation industry is only just starting and our animators have so much more to offer given enough experience and more budget.
Also, I want to share how exciting it is to write a blog post like this for an animation film that is made by my fellow countrymen. I had done a few Things I Noticed As An Architecture Student blog posts for foreign animation films but this is the first time that I did it for a Filipino animation film.
It’s very different when writing “what I noticed” in animation films that are influenced by my culture and one that is foreign because the former allows me to resonate with it in a way that I would seldom (or maybe not ever) feel in foreign animation films.
Writer Robin Sloan writes, “Flow is the feed. It’s the posts and tweets. It’s the stream of daily and sub-daily updates that remind people you exist. Stock is the durable stuff. It’s in the content you produce that’s as interesting in two months (or two years as it is today. It’s what people discover via search. It’s what spreads slowly but surely, building fans over time.”
And this is something that I see in myself the past few months.
For example, last April 2020, my curiousity piqued in human-centered prisons after watching this short video created by Vox and 99 pi.
The video resonated so much to me that I even wrote a blog post related to it: Would You Support Humane Prison Design In Your Own Country? Why or Why Not? (published April 2020). Since then, I indulged in resources relating to human-centered design and prisons. I got a writing internship in June and by August, I messaged our head asking if I could work on an article related to Human-centered Prisons. With her green light, I began working on it. The whole time I was working on it, I was scared, terrified sometimes, because I wasn’t an expert. My curiousity is the only thing in me but I started to look at it as a good thing. I may not be an expert but I know I can contribute something to the conversation. Long story short, I accomplished the article entitled: Rethinking Prisons. A few weeks after, I wrote another similar article, but shorter and more opinionated, for our college newspaper: Why We Should Build Human-Centered Prisons.
What started out as notes and just following my curiousity became an opportunity for me to share what I learned.
“But the thing about keeping notebooks is that you have revisit them in order to make the most out of them. You have to flip back through old ideas to see what you’ve been thinking,” writes Austin Kleon in hus book Show Your Work! “Once you make sharing part of your daily routine, you’ll notice themes and trends emerging in what you share. You’ll find patterns in your flow.”
This is also the reason why I keep commonplace notebooks and read it religiously. I’m always on a lookout for any patterns. All of my blogposts are from patterns too. If you had read most of them, you’ll notice that ideas are overlapping with each other. I built into it every now and then.
I never imagined that my curiousity could grow into something. Whenever I remember how my journey went, I became much much more confident in acting on my ideas even though the future looked so uncertain.
It’s not how smart you are in the field or how skilled you are. What matters is what you contribute. Author James Clear wrote tips on how to get started as a writer and the last tip states, “Write about what fascinates you. You don’t need to be an expert. Curiousity leads to expertise.”
Small things when accumulated turns into something massive. Do not worry about not having a big idea, just continue working first on where your curiousity leads you.
Author Paul Graham advices:
“The way to get a big idea to appear in your head is not to hunt for bìg ideas, but to put in a lot of time on work that interests you, and in the process keep your mind open enough that a big idea can take roast… Put in time how and on what? Just pick a project that seems interesting: to master some chunk of material, or to make something, or to answer some question. Choose a project that will take less than a month, and make it something you have the means to finish. Do something hard enough to stretch you, but only just, especially at first. If you’re deciding between two projects, choose whichever seems most fun. If one blows up in your face, start another. Repeat till, like an internal combustion engine, the process becomes self-sustaining, and each project generates the next one. (This could take years!)”
Content creator Ali Abdaal shared his favorite quote from Kurt Vonnegut,
“And I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, ‘If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.”
And I think this is one of the things that I continously think about these past few days.
When I’m sipping my hot choco during the morning, or when I’m drawing, or reading a really good book, or writing, or just lying on my bed after a long day, I think about this: If this isn’t nice, then I don’t know what is.
It allows me to be more grateful in the present and whenever I just think about that sentence, my face will immediately light up and I’ll smile. It helps me to remember that I am a human, I have feelings and emotions, and I enjoy what I do and I am living my best life.
Everday is not a holiday or vacation. In fact, most of the everyday life are mundane moments and being able to appreciate the smallest things and not taking for granted anything is the life itself.
I am one of those people who grew up during the early days of Wattpad and during those times, most of the main male characters in Wattpad are extremely possessive, *bad boy aura*, rich, a CEO or someone from a wealthy family, etc.
But now my taste in romance books has changed. Note that I really like them a lot when I was young and I’m not at all regretting that I read those kinds of books in the past because if my younger self had refused to just read then I would not even be reading right now.
Going back, what I look for in romance books right now are healthy relationships. No fidelity, no extreme possessiveness, no men telling women what to do, no changing each other but instead loving and respecting their partner’s decisions.
I extremely believe that you cannot change someone but the only thing that you can do is love them.
I am grateful that such books do exist today and I hope that this will continue. The following books below have main characters that have gone through challenges in life and they found someone who does not try to change them but rather accepts them for who they are. Character developments are amazing in this books. The love in this books are compassionate and the one that makes you love yourself too. Also, I love that these books feature strong heroines (yay!).
A sentence I read on author and artist Austin Kleon’s IG stories. (I’m not sure if the quote is his as I was too busy pondering on the sentence itself).
And here is digital creator and my fav youtuber, Dinara, on her IG stories:
There are so many deadlines (and its not yet even midterms) to do and it takes constant conscious decisions to always choose joy and think that I am more than just productivity and academics.
Now that I am much more laidback in academics (like I do not so much burn myself to death to accomplish assignments), I felt better, more satisfied, and I felt much more in control with my time and overall, with my life.
And I realize that when I do not put too much importance to academics, the better they turn out (same as with Dinara’s conclusion). That is why I always remind myself that this too shall pass because then I will not be worked up so much when faced with grueling homeworks and plates.
I will not be put into some happy, magical place once I finished my homework, there will always be more work and hence, I should control how I would like my life to be like.
I hope you don’t stress out yourself so much on whatever it is you are working on right now. Steal some time for yourself and don’t let anything dominate you.