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)

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Old Man and the Sea


Sept 26 at Sabang Beach in Palawan. Writing in front of angry, torrid waves. The sky is clearer than the earlier gray cast but no less has the sea tempered. It is as restless as before. There is no sunset where I am so this must be the south, the South China Sea. I miss Julius just by the sight of the waters. It is as turbulent and uneasy as he. But I still miss him. He who loves the waters so much he would alight from a boat in the middle of the sea to go down its soft green bottom. He could never be calm. Just like the waves, he would beat down on anyone's patience, anyone's footing. So I am here by the sea. The endless, unbecoming sea. And I touch, and smell, and breathe the Old Man of memory.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Tatiana, Bugoy and the Mask of Colegio

Just a week ago, I got word from my Mom that the star dreamer, Bugoy, created such a stir in Colegio (now Unibersidad de Santa Isabel) upon his visit that Ira, my niece in Grade 3 went home hoarse from cheering. It was said that Colegio will give all-out support to Bugoy in his bid for Grand Star Dreamer of ABS-CBN that even a streamer is strewn outside the school to remind people of it. Rewind though as only 2 weeks ago, I got word, also from my Mom, that Tatiana, the classmate of Ira just brought home a bronze medal from a Math Olympiad in China. I wonder if she received the same adulation and applause given to Bugoy. What I remember is that the trip was taken by just Tatiana and her Mom, expenses all shouldered by the family and with a meager PhP3500 pocket money from the administration of Colegio. The school did not even send a delegate to accompany mother and daughter. Colegio runs agog over a singing sensation and nonchalant over a prodigious young talent?

What is my point? My point is that there is too much hypocrisy hiding behind the fa├žade of tradition and discipline. I admire Bugoy for his unyielding spirit but the experience of Tatiana just smacks of hypocrisy and the capacity of the narrow-minded to sublimate excellence to pomp. Is it because Bugoy comes cheap through a text vote? And Tatiana would incur the expense of more than a round-trip ticket? What kind of Colegio now stands along Elias Angeles?

(Note: I was supposed to write a piece on my 'memoirs' of Colegio. A letter from USI's Promotions and Publicity invited me (and a lot others) to contribute 'fond and colorful memories' of the school. Started out with 2 paragraphs on the Paranymphus and my teachers but none really 'took off'. Except for this. So much for 'fond and colorful memories'.)

Friday, September 5, 2008

Bako-Bakong Daan

Hindi lang road less travelled
O kaya'y crossroads
Bawat isa sa atin ang tahak
Ay bako bakong daan
Kabiguan, being second best
Not even, baka pa talunan
Nagtatiyaga sa kung anung meron
Kung anu na lang
Umuuwi sa di dapat
Gumigising na walang mukha ang katabi
Hindi na makapagtanong
Sumusunod ng walang laban
Di na kilala ang nasa salamin
Pangalan limot na
Nawala na ang pangarap
Nalunod pa sa kabuktutan
Sa katapusan ng buhay
Makukuha pa kayang
Mangiti at magpasalamat?
O magkikibit balikat sa harap
Ng alaalang dumudungaw
Ng pusong ulilang nananaghoy
Ng katawang tumiklop na
Sa banta ng panahon

Note: I'm dedicating this to my Mom - the ever sad and ever pessimistic Mom - I got my boring side from her. But then she is just being Mom, and I still love her. Really really love her.