mercredi 29 avril 2015

Last minute attempt to be happy

Yes, this will be another post on the latest death penalty saga. Let’s now talk about the late Andrew Chan. I’m not gonna lecture you about the pro/cons of death penalty nor the crimes that led him to the shooting range. I wanted to talk about one (of the many things) that broke me: how love prevails even in the darkest hours.

Andrew was arrested in 2005 for drug smuggling, and so on, you must’ve heard the story by now. In 2012, he met Feby, an Indonesian pastor, when she was visiting the jail where Andrew was located. Their friendship grew and they began a relationship in early 2014. After his clemency appeal was denied by President Jokowi, Andrew proposed to Feby. They got married one day before the execution date. And as you know, Andrew is very much dead now. Read the touching story here

I know what you think: so what? She had it coming. That’s what I thought, like why the hell you got involved in that relationship in the first time? Why did you get married one day before he was gonna get killed? For heaven’s sake, this is not A Walk To Remember.

Then it hit me. You cant choose who you fall in love with. “Good and nice people are hard to find, that’s why when you find them, you stick with them,” my dear friend once told me during our late night talk.

And then, people are crazy. “We’d like to think that people are rational, but they are not,” the big boss, Maria Ressa, said. People do stupid shit they might regret later on, and no one is perfect. Everyone comes with a huge baggage behind them (I know I do), so I guess, if you’re lucky enough to find someone willing to share that baggage, then you do whatever it takes to hold on to that, right? 

People are irrational, especially when it comes to feelings, and nobody can claim what is right or wrong to do. Read my stupid thoughts from 2013 on the same thing here

Well, rest in peace now, Andrew. And Feby, stay strong.

mardi 28 avril 2015

Mary Jane, hopes, and bitterness

Image taken from
The world is not all glitters and rainbows, they said. I used to refuse that notion. I used to believe that good things happen to good people, so as long as you do good, good things will always come your way. I used to be this bubbly girl who only lives on the bright side.

But then, life happens. I started to fall in love with journalism and got deeply involved in it. Little did I know that working in the media can really make you bitter.

I have to deal with bad news on daily basis —all those killings, injustice, stupid people given way too much power, to heart breaking stories that can ruin you for good. Tom Fletcher was right. Bad news are bad for your brain. 
It changes you. It changes the very core of you: your way of seeing the world, your way of perceiving life.

I’ve come to terms that shit happens all the time, and sometimes the best you can do is to be accepting and patient, because life doesn’t play a fair game and not everything has to happen with a reason. Sometimes, it’s useless to have hope in this messed up world (or country) we live in.

My cynicism grew bolder as we covered death penalty stories. Don’t get me wrong, I support death penalty. I believe some people are so terrible they deserve to die, that the world will be better off without them. But I strongly believe that a fair trial should held high and I believe in second chances. Pre-meditated murderers and that drug-lord Fredy Budiman deserve the gunshot to the chest, but not those guys who foolishly smuggled drugs when they were only 21 and 24 (my age!) and had spent the last 10 years trying to make amends. And definitely not Mary Jane Veloso. More on her here

So we (the Rappler team) covered death penalty stories. I met Mary Jane’s legal team, heard the stories, did a story on how executions are carried out, made list of the convicts’ last wishes, and i tell you, it was terrifying. It was horrible.

I know journalists aren’t supposed to be emotionally attached to what they’re working on, but how can we not?  I had nightmares of having guns pointed to my head (screw you Undang-Undang No. 2/ PNPS/1964!!) or being brought to the shooting range. I couldn’t help but imagining how it must’ve been for the family who counts hours before midnight strikes, knowing that their loved one will go, or how helpless it felt to know that this is a messed up country with a messed up legal system and you are powerless.

But a miracle happen last night. The government finally made some sense and spared Mary Jane’s life to give ways for proper investigation to be conducted. #MaryJaneLives.

We rejoiced, tears were shed.

Those long days of covering her and her family’s stories, the continuous push for intervention, and even the last-minute online petition finally paid off. I didnt believe that anything good could come out from those efforts. “The journalist in me had always doubted it, to be honest,” said Carmela Fonbuena, one of the Rappler Manila team. So did I.

Being hopeful, then hopeless, then hopeful again, only to be disappointed later is tiring. That’s why I opted not to put any hopes. But these guys and last night’s events proved me wrong.

Hope always exists even in the darkest times. Hope is the only thing we can hold on to when everything goes haywire. And as Ted Mosby once said in How I Met Your Mother: “When you believe in people, people come through.”

So, thank you Mary Jane, Rappler, and the supporters for reminding me to stay positive, to still have hopes on humanity, and that sometimes, believing is all you need to make things better.

Life is not fair, but God is good.

Thank you. 

jeudi 18 décembre 2014

It's not you, it's not me either.

Hi, you. You doing good? You seem to have good times, at least that what I've seen on my timeline. But well, I wouldn't be surprised if those frozen smiles weren't 100 percent true. I've learned it the hard way that social media only shows what you want to show and magnifies those things.

Hi again, you. Is it weird to ask you how life's been treating you lately? I mean, we do talk from time to time, but it's been a while since our last heart to heart talk. No, scrap that. It's been way too long.

I miss those time when we were inseparable and just text messages away. I miss the talk, the laugh,the tantrum, the trash talk. I miss us.

It's easy to blame you. Trust me, I can come up with hundreds items why we are not who we used to be. I can blame your job (which I have no idea how you really feel about it since you only talk to me about the bad times), your excuses of not having money every time i want a rendezvous (yeah right), your ongoing problems about i don't know what, and honestly, I've come to terms to accept the fact that maybe I'm just not worth any of your effort.

Hush, now. I'm also to blame. I shouldn't have given up too fast on our relationship. I should've been less sensitive about rejections. I shouldn't have stopped reaching out to you even when I found a new haven. I was just tired and way too worn out to start over. I don't have any energy more now, I hope you understand.
We didn't see it coming, did we? All of those plans remained plans and none of us even bothered to start over. All of the sweet late night talks will rest in our memories as I guess there will be no next time. I know I'm too exhausted to even throw the idea.

I know, my fault. Yours too.

Someone told me his reason when he stopped trying to save something/one: it was just not worth the pain. I honestly believe I've got my fair share of unsuccessful efforts, and as painful as it may sound, I don't think that I'm (well, we're) worth the pain anymore. 

No, it's not you. It's not me either. It's just one of the natural selection scenes -survival of the fittest. Maybe in the end, we just don't fit each other perfectly anymore, or we find others who fit us easier and better.

I'm no longer the cheese on your mac. I've moved on to toasts and bacon and become croque monsieur while you no longer settle for simple cheese sauce, you want carbonara now. We've found other things and we liked it better.

So one day if someone asks what happened, I'll tell them that it wasnt your fault, not mine either. Let's just agree to blame life. It just kinda happened.

mercredi 3 septembre 2014

Catatan dari satu pagi di timur Jawa

Ada beberapa hal yang lebih baik hanya dilihat dan diresapi,
Seperti bulan purnama,
Langit penuh bintang,
Dan matahari pagi yang datang setelahnya.

Karena ada beberapa hal yang tidak bisa diperindah fisiknya
Dengan baluran perubahan warna dan cahaya di telepon genggammu.

Mungkin seperti itulah adanya aku, kamu, rasa, dan masa di antara asa kita.

mercredi 4 juin 2014

I Miss You.

I miss writing.
And yes, I know it doesnt make sense, knowing that I'm currently working in a news portal which, of course, makes writing an inevitable part of my daily life.
But yeah, I do miss writing.

I miss scribbling over random notes. I miss noticing all the simple yet striking things then turning them into enticing series of words. Maybe I just miss having time to contemplate over mundane things we usually take for granted.

I miss having existential debate on my head over a cup of coffee. I miss talking to people about big things and big dreams, not about real things like jobs or thesis. I miss thinking about the underlying meaning of elementary occurences.

Writing is fun. The excitement of having a sudden idea popping in this small head of mine meeting the agony of finding the perfect thesaurus worthy wordings makes it fun. Re-reading those silly sentences is fun.

Oh well.

"Kalau ngga dipaksa, ngga akan jalan" is probably true. And quoting my motto on almost everything (yes, including on social life),"it's not about having time, its's about making time", maybe I should just make time.

Laters, baby.

vendredi 23 mai 2014

Malam minggu di warung kopi.

Hei kamu, ayo minum segelas lagi.
Secangkir kopi belum cukup untuk menutup semua perih
Apalagi keingintahuan kita berdua tentang kisah terkini.

Hei kamu, ayo pesan segelas lagi.
Ayo lanjutkan basa-basi dan tawa-tiwi
Sebelum malam undur diri dan pagi datang kembali.

Ambil lagi sepotong kue kering ini,
Dan juga secuil curahan hati.

Ayolah, aku masih ingin lama disini,
Kalau bisa sampai pagi,
Atau salah satu dari kita mati dan tak punya pilihan selain pergi.

Mungkin sebentar lagi kamu harus mencari lagi,
Atau mungkin aku harus kembali menari,
Atau ada yang memaksa kita untuk lari,
Atau ada yang ingin berhenti menanti.

Ah sayang, tak perlu malu untuk tambah lagi,
Toh konter kopi tidak jauh dari sini.
Tak perlu lari, aku masih akan duduk di sini.

Atau kamu sudah bosan dan ingin pergi tanpa harus kembali?

dimanche 27 avril 2014

To the ready, bright, and lucky ones.

I have trust issues. It takes time for me to trust new people. Maybe it's because I'm too judgmental at times, maybe because my judgement cant actually be trusted as i develop feelings towards others too fast —whatever it is, or maybe there's actually no reason for that.

Then I met you.

Yes, we might not have any other choice but to stick together. Yes, the circumstances forced us to be there for each other. And no, I'm not complaining. I couldn't ask for a better way to welcome undeniably one of the best things in my life.

I initially thought that our relationship would be like the ones I saw in chick flicks, where we smile to each others, pretend to adore one another, but deep down we hate each other's gut. I thought a month would never suffice to get to know others, let alone to build a strong relationship. Well, at least I wasn't all wrong with the latter.

It took time. We took a longer time. One month wasn't enough.

We had our drama. We had our badmouthing moments. Oh yes, we even hated each other at times.What can I say? We were different and we came from different worlds. But we kept on dancing, we kept on talking, we kept on walking. And you, you helped me to remember the steps, you reminded me to calm down and catch my breath when things got terrible, you even helped me to put on my fake eyelashes.

The month ended too fast, and yes, it still wasn't enough to get to know each other well. But then again, I didn't realize that we had smeared a foundation to what later would be a beautiful courtship.

Days passed by and almost no week passed by without us meeting. We talked, we laughed, we got mad, we ran behind the governor, we danced for my favorite public official, we tried new places to eat, and I guess we fell for each other.

There were times when I wanted to strangle you with my hairnet but there were times when I couldn't think of anyone else to run to. It was a love/hate relationship, but it was love most of the times.

This might sound sappy, but as our year comes to an end, I gotta say the three words: I love you.

But above all, thank you.

Thank you for being there for me —for the hugs, the make up sessions, the love. You might love me for being the bubbly one at any given time, but you somehow stick with me when tears were flowing from my eyes.

Thank you for making me believe that everything will be great in its own time. Thank you for making me believe that waiting —yes, for a year— wouldn't end in vain when you know what you're aiming for and when you know what to do in the mean time. Thank you for making me believe the cheesy line of 'kalau jodoh ngga kemana' is a legit thing.

Thank you for letting me be myself, even when I couldn't tone down my criticism, even when I turned into a crazy heartbroken girl, and for still loving me with all my perks and edges.

Thank you simply for being in one of the best years in my life. Thank you for the fun hours, thank you for the sleep-deprived nights, thank you for the sunny days we spent together.

For all the sentimental reasons, for all the rational reasons, well, even for no reason at all, I hereby say thank you, and again, I love you.

Happy anniversary, Si Pitung sayang!