The Friday Currently

Snippets of my life, delivered (usually) on a Friday.

The Friday Currently 013: Slow Down

There’s a LONG (as in, tl;dr) ramble at the end of this, so I’ll make it quick.  It’s Friday, and I am C U R R E N T L Y . . .

R E A D I N G  Anna Karenina as part of my 2015 Book Challenge.  Everyone else read it in uni, but my ModLit professor had us read Crime and Punishment instead so consider this my “Book I should have read in school.”

So far, Anna annoys me, but the book’s not bad so I keep going.

W R I T I N G  songs! I sent in my Elements Music Camp submission yesterday.  Fingers crossed that I make it to the live audition rounds at least!

L I S T E N I N G 
to the Inside Out official movie soundtrack…but more on that later.

W A T C H I N G nothing much? Been too busy with the whole 2015 Book Challenge thing.

F E E L I N G  slightly worried. Traffic’s bad and I have to head home and pack for my Pampanga trip…plus get up early enough to make it to Makati by 8am.  What is #TeamNoSleep?

S M E L L I N G  canned air.  Still at the office due to traffic.  Mum’s probably not even close.

W E A R I N G  Muji chambray shirt, Banana Republic pleated cotton summer skirt, Call It Spring nude pumps (that i had to buy on lunch break because my actual shoes gave out), and a Uniqlo belt–basically casual Friday.

L O V I N G  The Berry Company juices!

W A N T I N G this weekend to officially start. Payday Friday + rain = terror highways.  Oh Metro Manila.

W I S H I N G I was in bed, reading, with any device where I can get messages FAR FAR AWAY FROM ME because sometimes I need to be alone.

T H I N K I N G  about feelings.

DISCLAIMER: This is not a spoiler-free ramble.  If you haven’t caught Pixar’s latest offering, or read a summary of it on some Wiki somewhere, do not proceed further.  Watch the movie, then come back and read this.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you.


If you can’t already tell from the GIF, I watched Inside Out last Sunday with Maman. The film was amazing, both in terms of compelling, complex story (in fact, I’m still wrapping my head around it) and (of course) Kleenex rating.


“Who’s your friend who likes to play…” 

What I liked most about Inside Out was how it treated the subject of “always being happy.”  As someone who, for a long time, struggled with the idea that “Nobody likes you when you cry,” I needed that message, especially since, for the past few weeks, I’ve been on the verge of what I can only call crazy.

Like a lot of other people, I’ve internalized the idea that Sadness–with all its outward signs of crying, breaking down, and feeling blue–is irrational, and immature.  When it comes to maturity, I’m admittedly worse than most, so I’ve tried to project as many outward signs of being a “grown-up” as possible, to compensate. 

Unfortunately, wanting to curl into a ball and clap my hands over my ears is not one of these signs, which has led me to spending most of the past month waging war against myself: fighting back the urge to break down and cry while at the same time trying to understand why I wanted to do so.

It all came to a head when I ended up walking out of Hideaway (of course not when I was due to host) and breaking down because of some nasty Facebook comments on how the event was being organized.  I’d managed to bottle things in at first, but when one commenter suggested I should be shot (and people were liking the comment)…I lost it.

mature person would be able to take stuff like this in stride, but in that moment I felt anything but mature–alone, terrified, lonely, lost, doomed to failure, yes, but not grown-up or professional or any of those big words I’ve treated like armor.  I was not the Ball of Sunshine, Miss Perpetual Energy, the Energizer Bunny, The Trooper, Make-it-Happen Frankie.

In short, I was none of the things people seemed to expect and/or demand I should be…and in that moment I could no longer explain why.

I figured it out, though, when I watched Riley play out onscreen the “shut down” I’d experienced.  Her brain (run by frantic emotions scattered across a twisted mindscape) was in chaos, and it managing everything had become all too much.  Suddenly, Sadness’ quote at the beginning of the movie made sense to me: “Crying helps me slow down.”

(Maybe not so much the ‘obsess over life’s problems’ part, though?)

Like Riley’s big move, in the past month or so my life’s been more than a little shaken up.  The pressure to grow up, step up, and accomplish all that I felt was expected of me (as employee, as band frontwoman, as artist, as organizer of Hideaway), had finally caught up, but I was so afraid of losing momentum or being an emotional wreck/immature kid that I’d stuck to keeping it in until it all went away.

Once again, I’d refused to be brave enough to open my mouth sooner and speak up about the fact that I was in over my head, so my body did it for me.

I understand that emotional control is a big part of growing up, but what I like about Inside Out’s version of it is that it’s less about holding emotions back (or, in Joy’s case, confining them to chalk circles at the back of the control center) and more about allowing them to coexist, blend together, merge and converge.  I’m trying to grasp that all my feelings are valid, even the more primal, “negative” ones.  After all, as “Inside Out” helpfully pointed out, a healthy amount of Fear helps ensure safety, a touch of Anger can fuel passion and drive, small doses of Disgust factor into discernment, and being at peace with Sadness breeds empathy.

(It also pointed out that an overdose of Joy can result in acting like a controlling, narrow-minded, high-strung ninny…but I won’t get into that.)

So that’s it for this week’s edition of The Friday Currently.  If you read to the end, I salute you.  Hopefully next week, I would have eased back into homeostasis…and shorter blogs.  Until then, though, I remain,


The Sunday Currently was created by Siddathornton. I’ve added/subtracted categories for the sake of the narrative, and also because I’m copying the format of

I Will Never Be a Model (or, why there is no “Friday Currently” this week).

Band life: ten percent gigging, forty percent studio, and fifty percent not knowing what to do in photoshoots.

– Jian Manjares

Today was Stories Told‘s first ever full-production photoshoot, in light of the single release and other things that I’m not completely comfortable discussing yet (until things have crystallized, anyway).  Having experienced “photoshoots” as part of my life as an MScM student (usually in conjunction with Marketing pitches), I thought it was going to be a ton of fun.  And it was.

But nothing prepared me for how exhausting it would be.


My expression, 75% of the shoot.

We started shooting at 9:30am, because Jian had to pick up Dan beforehand, and ended up wrapping past-3pm.  With two locations, three costume changes, the erratic weather, and a dizzying amount of poses (I’ve never been good at posing, TBH–my face is too unpredictable.), that meant six hours of madness.  I can only imagine how tired our (amazing!) photographer, Jemimah Hope, was by the end of it.


BTS collage (c) Jemimah Hope and Judith Manjares.  Note my really strange expression in the middle photo (NOT MY INTENTION!)–I’ve never been good at holding a smile. Yes, that is a shovel in one of the shots.  And yes, I climb onto Aned’s back a lot.


Me with my “closet.”  Shirt by Elysian Manila.


Aned and Jedd having a “therapy session.”  Location: Ateneo High School


Jian does not know how to pose.  Location: Casa Manjares


Jedd plays dead while repping UA&P Merch Comm swag.

Even though I got home with sore legs (like I’d run a marathon), messy hair, and a suitcase full of sweaty clothes, being able to shoot with the band was more fun than I’d expected.  There was less pressure to be “attractive” (thank you, Photoshop!) and more opportunity to just act like the crazy people we are.  So while I don’t think I’ll be pursuing a career in modelling any time soon (like I’d pass, really–at 5’3.5” I’m a little too…little.), six hours with the band on a Saturday…wasn’t so bad.

…And now for the sneak peeks!  All photos (c) Jemimah Hope.  You can check out her work (Book her! She’s amazing!) here.


This pose was entirely Jedd’s idea and I was terrified the whole time.

The highschool band that went the distance” shooting in a highschool that technically doesn’t accept girls yet.


I have no idea what is going on here, but it looks funny.

Stay tuned for “leaks” of the official photos (probably coming from me, because I’m vain like that and I really really really like my solo shots), as well as the official release on the Stories Told Facebook page!  Also, you can check out our single on Spotify: just hit the web-player in my blog sidebar.

That’s all for now!  I’ll see you when my body stops aching.  #SoOutOfShape


The Friday, Currently 012: Every Ending is a New Beginning

I’ve used this title once before, at the close of my own internship career with Virus, Inc.  Back then, I was beginning my transition to full-fledged employee, having campaigned wildly to be placed in the Strategy team as the junior of a woman I referred to as HRH Rashmi Daswani.

Today was Rashmi’s last day in Virus, and the beginning of a new chapter for all of us who have come to know and love her deeply throughout her stay.  I won’t pretend to say I loved her the most, but I will say this: Rashmi was the big sister I never really had, and the work-parent I didn’t know I needed.  She pushed me to open up when I would have internalized my struggle through what was arguably one of the most difficult times in my life so far.  She’s been there through my worst, and called me out so I could become, if not yet my best, than at least someone on the journey to getting there.

So much of the advice I’ve dispensed in this blog over the past two years has, to some extent, been me echoing advice I’ve picked up from my Virus “senior,” and the team she’s taught me to trust.  From here on out, though, I will have to learn to pick up my own pieces, no longer relying on a second opinion.  Rashmi’s last lesson, it seems, is that I must needs learn to trust myself.

(I realize that this must sound like my friend’s dead or something.  She’s not.  She’s alive and is planning to travel the world and write things and work on music and other cool stuff.)

So I am learning.  Or going to learn.  Or some odd third-space in between where I am grasping at straws even as I learn to let go.  Today, something “ended,” and now from that ending we all–Rashmi and I and the team she’s built from the ground up–must begin anew, charting our own adventures.

So tonight, as I digest this end of an era, I would like to say that I am C U R R E N T L Y . . . grateful.  And I will always be.  Thank you for being a part of my life, Rashmi.  And thank you for promising to be a part of all of our lives even after your story with Virus has ended.  It’s been quite an adventure…now go make a new one.

And, as for me…I shall begin.