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Lemme Catch my Breath!

Neither can I believe it's already mid-April.


The first quarter of the year was a splattering of work, events, responsibilities, (missed) deadlines, canceled leaves and sleepless nights I could barely catch my breath.


Our high school homecoming finally happened in January, and I can safely say drama was the defining quality for the whole experience. The last 72 hours before the event saw a series of unfortunate events (a missed rehearsal, an unfortunate covid incident, a canceled leave, and a wrong hotel booking) that enriched it even further.


As I write this in April, I am having a hard time believing homecoming only happened this year. Already feels like a distant memory.


 

My Saturdays saw us house-hunting because we are really, truly, finally moving out. I enjoyed the pursuit, tbh, reimagining my life in a new space, seeing how other people live and their tastes, realizing what good floor plans are, and learning what shoddy work is.


After three months and a rejected offer, we finally landed with a condo unit, adulted hard, and bought it. Neither can I believe it.


Love the gorgeous view of the Sierra Madre and Laguna de Bay

At work, I spent January reporting and researching for two long reads that saw me nose to screen buried and writing like mad in February and March. I have never in my 20-year career written and researched as hard has I did that Q1.


It even saw me trying a new writing process — starting in the middle, proceeding to the start, creating segues, trying out an ending and then doing it all over again — that was so unfamiliar, it almost felt like writing a news story on your mobile for the first time. Your brain just functions differently and you could feel it. The sensations are strange.


One's been published already but what an uphill climb to get there. Every step saw a road block, every point, an obstacle. But let's not go back there — or actually we need to go back there for a post-mortem, lay out what could've been done differently, iron out the process.


But anyway, it's up. I hope it creates a positive impact to the community who shared their story on water.


The other story will be up next week and I pray we will have learned some lessons and the process will be smoother than the water story.


 

I spoke at another webinar earlier this month! Immediately after, I felt compelled to write another reflection on it (because tbh, I felt I wasn't able to stand up for myself) but life life life.


It was another learning experience to say the least and I'm truly grateful I am given multiple chances to learn.


I have two more panel engagements in May. Here's hoping I'm better then.




Q1 gave lots of opportunities to assert myself, my power, and my authority. They're so hard, and I'm trying to understand why. Maybe because I never had to assert myself as often as I've had to these last few months. But also: Why is my authority being challenged by people who report to me? I don't understand. They need me to approve their freaking leave applications, don't they?


As I write this, I'm in the middle of another test of assertion. This will have have been the third of such case. I'd like to think I'm getting better at recognizing these challenges. My response time however is still slow — but that's because I want to make sure I'm not acting on anger. Universe, it's not that I'm not learning my lesson, ok? I'm just trying to be graceful about it. Surely that must count for something?


 

Here's something amusing: I got featured in a magazine! In high society read Tatler no less for my, ehem, climate journalism no less!


I still don't know how I feel about it. It's flattering, it's funny, I enjoy the attention, I'll admit to that but also, I'm feeling bashful? I can name a number of climate journalists more deserving of the recognition. Imposter syndrome is real.


BUT like my friend Kellyn said, we're borrowing the confidence of a white man so please allow me to take some credit. I have been doing the work after all.


Anyway, I suspect it has something to do with being able to reach new audiences, with being able to bring the climate conversation to another set of readers.


That attention tells me there are a lot of people eager to learn more about the crisis and wanting to know what they can do to help reverse climate change. I hope I am getting to them. I hope I am making some impact.




By the way: I was so, so floored when Kat of OCJN took notice of an editing job I did for an entertainment story. Hats off to Hermes who wrote the initial idea, I only really just connected the dots. Here is the story about Dallas Lui making a comment about Philippine heat.


(Here's another one that Kat reshared, a story about Art Fair anchored on climate)


 

I felt so tattered and depleted by Q1, my only source of life and excitement came from art: Geloy's exhibit, Art Fair, and Alt Fair in February, the Silverlens party in March, that afternoon at Met with Khyne in April, hanging out with Derek and meeting Johnrey.


And then there's Taylor Swift's concert in Singapore which is another form of art altogether. It was a totally unexpected affair, with Aileen no less, but new experiences always refreshes me so that's that.



I'm super grateful I have these short bursts of life and excitement, but I know I'm going to need a proper adventure soon — like a hike or a beach trip or a long, longhaul overseas vacation.


But the big move is happening in June. As soon as we're settled, I swear I'm going to go for it. Jing and I already talked about Bali or Camiguin. I hope to see Europe this year or at the very least, Hong Kong. Ken told me about his exhibit in London in March 2025 so maybe I'll time Europe then?


Besides, it's time for belt-tightening. That condo is not cheap. Anyway, let me leave you with a few pieces I loved at Alt Fair.








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