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)

Friday, April 25, 2008

Living in Guijo


i live in a tree-lined street named Guijo. it is in project 3, just at the back of the lrt station (purple line) where all the streets are named after big sturdy trees. Almaciga, Aguho, Molave, Tindalo. i didn't know till then that Tindalo was a tree. i've lived in this same 2-storey apartment for nearly 4 years now; its walls and floors and the air surrounding it, breathing in my expectations, liberations, sorrows, and anticipations since i moved in to start anew with a live-in partner in 2004.
here i moved into two jobs from QC to ortigas, conceived and had a baby at 34, worked on several sidelines for doc san pedro and woodfields in the living/bed rooms and kitchen, where i borrowed and uprooted my mom from naga, where i was cared for by a manang, and where i went from maxed-out credit card user to a conscious 37-year old late-bloomer money-wise.
it is a house that has seen too much pain from the cold and open hatred, the altercations, and later, the fistfights of warring twin souls. its rooms are heavy by both the stench of separation, and the sweat and tension of intense love-making. this house has stood by me, when pregnant and alone, i would mope in its corners and just inhabit the darkness with my gloom and frustration.
outside are two kamias trees. mine sits at the eastern side of our blue gate while the other flanks the western side of my landlady's red gate. it is a filipino belief that the kamias tree, sowing forth fresh green fruit sour to the taste, spells sorrow; thus, perhaps, my poor non-existent love life in this house. i attribute it more though to a distorted SW section which rules love and marital harmony. the kamias tree i love so much especially when its fruits, as fat and stubby as my fingers, circle the bark - bountiful, lush and looking like tassels bunched together.
through its highs and lows, it would be a heartache to leave this house. even though i have been amiss lately. the linoleum needs changing, the floor now scarred than ever, the gray cement peeking through ugly strips borne by the traffic of too many feet. because this is a house meant for visitors and dwellers alike. in moving in, i hanged a cross-stitch frame on the north wall that says, 'there is always room for one more'; with no inkling that this house would be melting pot of ilocanos, bicolanos, warays, and tagalogs; and even of balikbayans from the US and new zealand. it is where two families lived together after one of the worst typhoons manila has had in 2004. also the table needs changing; from one that used to fit the usual 3 to one that could accommodate a minimum of 6.
so this house is the home of my tomorrows as it is the testament to a dramatic past and well-deserved todays. if only i could buy this house. if only i could convert the laundry area out front into a porch and extend the back into a yard for washing and hanging clothes, for Yaman to run around. but change physically it cannot. the apartment is just a section of an ancestral house; built over and re-designed to fit the whims of my landlady and her sibs.
one day i would leave to head for my dream house; would cross the blue gate never to return. on that day, i would kiss the walls and floors of this house to just pay homage and say thanks, thanks for a life unexpected but well spent. perhaps the house would miss me too. its ceilings would yearn for my weight; its floors and walls to grieve over the loss of my laughter, my voice, my life-ness.
i lived here too. cherished every sordid and joyous moment in this house along a tree-lined street named Guijo.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

the ummphhh of split seconds


i just could not find the word for it. perhaps in writing about it, i would. indeed, split seconds separate our life courses, one uphill and the other down, knowing in the back of our minds that perhaps, if i do a little of this, mustered up the courage to talk to someone about this, bent over backward a little, adjusted just a line, removed a period or a comma; that infinitesmal speck, that flash of action will send us to deliverance, redemption, a lifetime break or to hell. one split second was when i erased monash in exchange for murdoch; when over at max's, i just blurted out at doc that i'd be willing to work for woodfields. like annabel printing the wrong file when she should have asked and now has lost a valuable reputation in efficiency. ever wonder, how just a flash of light, a flash of clear reasoning could spell the difference! amazing! chaos theory in perfection!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

what else to write about?

1. YAMAN and life
2. the parents
3. what keeps me on edge
4. why stay single
5. bestfriendship
6. what it is being the older sister
7. forensic mind
8. the tragedy of soulmates
9. why ricefields are the #1 sight in the world
10. working in the 23rd floor
11. corruption and a community of practice in consulting
12. my hand bag
13. adventures with polgas and pugad baboy
14. the idol: pepe smith
15. true hands
16. ............................................................................