Influences (or Why I Write the Way I Do)

Natalie Goldberg (free-flowing writing)
Clarissa Pinkola Estes (wild woman writing)
Jane Hutchison (direct-to-the-point writing)
Ernest Hemingway (simple words writing)

Monday, March 31, 2008

Coming to Terms

when the new year stepped in, i was amazed in realizing that for the nth time, or roughly for the past 21 years, i have been writing down 'get slim' as my #1 resolution. funny, i got stuck in this mill, getting nowhere but sad as i let pass chocolate-laden desserts, crispy chicken skin, luscious layers of fat in pork liempo or just the heartiness one gets from a sumptous meal. so after examining my legs, my round torso, and the logs which are my arms, i decided to let go. let go of too much violence on the psyche. let go of the frustrations of not eating, scrimping, dieting and all those depravations from the life of food. i decided to write on this just this afternoon after tasting to the last morsel, richmonde hotel's chocolate cake topped by chocolate icing decked by chocolate chips. i declared to my boss 'how sinful but how delicious!...' there i stopped and sensed my natural love for food and my decision last jan 1 to end my war against it. i know that my exercise - the weekly gym and yoga - is getting me nowhere to slimming because i still eat, i mean eat normal to the normal that i know. gym and yoga is giving me benefits in other areas like stamina, flexibility and a long lay-off from asthma. who would believe that with my frame, i could stretch out my legs to my head while lying on the floor? or that i walk fast and fit for 2 hours? and i get asthma only when i don't exercise? but amidst this, i eat like a queen during breakfast and lunch, and until 5pm, i munch on finger foods. i've stricken out 'diet' from my memory only because years of doing so have slowed down my metabolism; a physical anomaly that i am dealing still up to now and hope to repair with normal eating and regular exercising. so i have come to terms with myself. to accepting that the miracle of jackie lou blanco is one that fitted her lifestyle and her eating and exercising choices. this is my choice and i am comfortable with it. and i look forward to the next buffet lunch and the HEAT in edsa-shangrila. salmon sashimi, japanese salad, lengua, roast beef, peking duck, pistachio ice cream, asparagus shoots, and sugpo ---here i come!

Monday, March 17, 2008


the moon and the sun. poppy leaves. gold flowers. the chalice and the blade. my strengths. there are no more specifics to these. random. catherine is sexy. grissom is hot. thinking sheep. there is no end to promise and change. woman is season. life death life. death life death. i am in autumn, in spring Yaman will come. omega beta alpha. rearing of the soul. seeing. blessed light. i come home for dinner. the happiness of solitude. the glory of surrender. all things must be. no questions. the life of me. what my daughter inherits is the fearlessness to make decisions and to think fairly. to talk and live one's principles. not just be confined to talk and in reality be hollow. who's to say i did not try. we howl at impertinence. we become alive. clarity of thought. becoming me. i am not that girl anymore.

16 APRIL 2005 (6 months before giving birth to Yaman)

Friday, March 14, 2008

i read

it was not a hard decision. when shinette garbanzos invited me to be trained on tarot reading - for free; in exchange for giving back just two hours of reading each week, it was evident, even prescient that i should be doing this. i read the tarot, interpret its meaning --- for free. i do not accept payment, even the 'commissions' due me from DA SEEKERS COVE where i read. reading is reward enough. it allows me to give back to the universe something which is priceless, allows me to be a light in whatever way to one who for that moment is searching affirmation, looking for hope to hold on to, even for just a little tinge of happiness, a little relief to make one's heart smile. do i have rules in reading? sure:

1. i get to set the scene, the mood. just silence and none of the interruptions from phone calls or text messages. in naga, i do sessions at home starting 10pm when yaman and my two nephews are already asleep. in manila at THE COVE and inside my office in SDS after 6pm, and only with permission from my boss as i could extend until 9pm, with the lights and air conditioning on! so i cannot imagine reading at the banchetto -- i will invent reasons not to.

2. i only read to the willing. i do not nudge or force or even say 'try-try' lang. the reader should want it, allow the universe to come into the fold and unite with her.

3. please do not touch my cards until i tell you to. i had a querent (the one being read), who because she did not approve of the interpretation, literally gathered three cards in spread, and pointed at those remaining for me to interpret. ugh, i could feel the 'contamination' instantly. the next thursday, i was on board THE COVE 6pm-9pm and had no clients. even the tarot cards were still revolting over the insult.

4. when all else fails, the cards prevail. there is always tension between a reader and a querent; the former for the latter to open up and the latter, for the former, to always give a positive reading, one in her/his favor. so when a querent is mum on the matter and diabolic cards are on the spread, what should one do? one should always trust the cards. surrender to the truth waiting to be told.

tarot reading has not changed my life, like some earth-shaking event. i still go to work everyday and write and design projects and badger consultants with the quality of their output. i just find time every thursday, when at 5pm i close my office door to light incense and meditate before i head off to THE COVE. i just had to endure the quizzical stares and raised eyebrows of friends who perhaps cannot reconcile the overly frank and sharp-tongued vitti with a serene reader concentrating on tarot spread over silk. i look forward to the time when yaman and i are sitting cross-legged on the floor, examining each piece and sharing thoughts on a spread. i would like my daughter to know me as someone who balanced life, poured her heart out to the material as well as the intuitive power of the universe. the tarot is defining me.

finding sadness

stumbled upon it
way back when the storm just cleared
having none to fight about
or just not fighting at all
when all the answers have fallen
notebooks in place, files in perfect nooks
there is nothing
and it's frightening...
how come when one expects elation
a release from the toils of the day
not moving despite the impulse to move
not wanting to break from the peace
of belonging
and sadness smiles
holds out her hand to embrace
one who is not prepared