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)

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Suffer Little Carla

the thief
lies in white
guilt gone awry
no conscience
illness breaking
like leprosy
such a waste
of youth and beauty

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Your Bicol Trip

tips on traveling to bicol by bus at night:
1. When alone, bring as many bags as you can carry, on your own. it's a long way and the risk of transbordo is high. The bus may stop halfway and you'll be required to transfer.
2. Don't eat too much by carrying pizza or heavy. That's too heavy. You'll run the risk of throwing up.
3. Bring jacket and blanket. Which means don't wear shorts. If in slippers, bring socks. It's that cold.
4. Reserve early. You can't just show up at the terminal and expect a ready ride.
5. The bus CR is for jingles only. Note that. GOODLUCK!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Savage Spoons

eat your veggies
I didn't
The iq still 140
Drink your milk
I didn't
Bones doing yoga
Don't slouch
Confidence no less
You are not what you eat
Drink or posture
Build instead mind heart and bearing
Better servings and helpings

Thursday, May 28, 2009


A shade of pink when i'm alone
Blue when i need courage to settle
Orange to see beyond wrath
Red to speak my truth
Green to hope a bit more
Yellow to not forget what i have
And Purple to hold what lies ahead
Colors are singular but in the end
They make up you in hues and combinations
For beauty and life to spring out
Like roses among the rubble
A shade of pink when i'm alone
Blue when i need courage to settle
Orange to see beyond wrath
Red to speak my truth
Green to hope a bit more
Yellow to not forget what i have
And Purple to hold what lies ahead
Colors are singular but in the end
They make up you in hues and combinations
For beauty and life to spring out
Like roses among the rubble

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Off There

i'm off to the terminal within 30 minutes. yaman is watching kung fu panda (again), yumi and jungee are with the news while mom and ira are busy in the kitchen. in one hour, i'll be alone with my thoughts, weighing my options. i've packed much more than i should. i'm off to the landlady, her hospitality i'm hands down. in the next few days, guijo as i knew it will be blogged. tomorrow, i'll enter the red and not the blue one. i hoped to reunite with the house that was once mine. now, i just have to contend looking at it as i go on to new horizons, starting with the new bed i'll lie on, at the landlady's.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A Reluctant Tourist

a new tenant is coming over my place in guijo so i no longer have a place to stay in manila. i've been surfing the net for budget hotels in cubao and with my definition of 'budget', most are way way above. and i thought i could have one less than 1000 pesos per night he he. ay ewan, i'll find a place any how.

Monday, May 25, 2009

A Confession

witnessing a heated argument between mother and daughter is tension-filled. not only because it breaks the rules of family but because it is uneasy to discover and uncover sentiments long withheld within the bounds of expected good behavior. we all have rights to hate anyone, even our mothers. because despite how tender and nurturing motherhood should be, some of us live with imperfect mothers and they do not and cannot love us back as tender and nurturing as we expect them to be. some of us live with mothers that see motherhood as toil and duty and can no longer endure further hardships at old age. Some of us live with mothers jealous of our careers, who see their defeats as persons in our success of having lived freely and exercising choice. I am among the some and every day I endure falling short of my mother's love and approval. My mom has never embraced me or ran her fingers through my hair. Just like with my Dad, perhaps she will only realize her love for me should I die ahead of her. It would not make sense to kill myself just to prove a point. Dead or not, this is my reality. While I am obliged to love my mother, I don't really like her. I do not want to be like her.

Sunday, May 24, 2009


to cook blindfold
tasting the dish with your nose
to eat blindfold
satiated by happy slurps
to drink blindfold
holding the sip from glasses tinkling
to burp blindfold
with sleepy eyes and heavy stomachs

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Yaman's First Blog

Okay. Yaman insisted on typing this time. why not? i'm having a writer's block from getting too much sleep he he. so sige, this would be yaman's first. let's see her progress from here.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Where have the handsome Bicolanos gone?

he's not at avenue, beanbag or villa caceres. Not that guy in maong or the one with long hair. That lead guitarist looks hot, but without teeth. While those gyrating on the dance floor seems to lie in between. Where's the beauty to please this aging woman? Where do i find him among the looks of the lost?

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Menage with a Monster: A Review of a Sex Scandal

Advisory: In this blog, explicit sexual words are used so reader discretion should be exercised. I did not censor the language because I hate faking and it does not do justice to what I truly mean. My responsibility and my apologies to any offense caused.

i've seen the videos. of KH, HK, and MR. i put my research skills to the test and within 1 hour, voila! there it was in full downloading form. the one with the actress runs for 24 min and the model, 27 min. so much has been said in the news, the latest with the actress imploring for mercy from 'pambababoy nyo!', referring to the public and those purveying the videos in the open market. to which i retort, binaboy nya muna sarili nya before anyone else ever did.

i see it from various points of view. let's start with the doctor. one is, he has premeditation. the videos start obviously with him setting up the angles and as the only male on sight, directly responsible and culpable. second, his style with the women are the same --- he starts by eating pussy before fucking. he makes sure though that in the 'hot' moments, he and the girl are at center - for shoot's sake. third, he has a small member which is not something to be entirely proud of. what he exudes though is desire, whether it's carnal (as obvious with the actress) or devotional (with the model) --- i'll explain this later. which fourth, just shows how much a monster he is. because he cannot distinguish between lust and respect. purely personal enjoyment. hayop talaga. fifth, he's not really good in bed. in both - in eating and ramming. probably because it's so tiny, it's not enough to stimulate one to the great O. sixth, he's just standard stuff. very ordinary in bed. kiss, eat and fuck. he doesn't even give good foreplay. he doesn't make use of his hands or his mouth to explore other parts of a woman's body that are erogenous, other than those here and there. what narcissism! he sees himself as God's gift with this kind of perfomance?! in one scene with the actress, he just stops eating her. period. then moves on to ram her. no fluidity, no finesse.

now the actress. one thing, she's not noisy in bed. or perhaps, the doctor didn't do much work on her to elicit deep moans, shrieks and screams. she just moans, doesn't even talk. second, given her frontal assets, the doctor had this boob fetish on her. for about 5 min, the doctor did nothing but mash her while running his hands down her pussy, massaging. one thing that he did not do with the model who was flat chested. third, she didn't get an orgasm (did not even fake it) - just showing that the doctor doesn't have 'it'. from the mashing, massaging, pussy eating, to missionary fucking and dog style. none. when the doctor was done with her, she just wraps her hands over the doctor's legs from the back (they finished doggy style). when he was done with her, it's the end. no effort made to please her. none at all. they just lie together, side by side. note this, as this is significant.

the model. first, i think they're in love, so one has the right to ask the doctor --- how could you? before they did it, he told her 'i love you' and i felt he meant it. which makes 3/4 of the video so painful, for me, to watch. with the actress, it was all desire. no expectations. but with the model, and this makes second, love was in the air. in between the positions, they would embrace and kiss each other. the foreplay was mostly kissing. there was tenderness. so again, how could he? third though, she's a good faker. in less than 2 minutes, she screamed while the doctor was eating her while she was on top of him. what i know is that once you get an O from eating, you can't take another one because the skin becomes sensitive from down there. but she took on another one, which i think is not possible and so is tantamount to faking. fourth, she's not as animalistic as the internet public claims she is by the blow job she gave him. no, that's what you really do in pleasing your partner. fifth, despite his rotten performance, genuinely, the model showed that she liked him, no matter what. the one with the actress was mechanical. but the model would cradle the doctor's head, smile, kiss as if holding a 4 year old.

what is so unfortunate is that both fell for a monster. whether it was for the act from carnal desire, with the actress; or the act borne out of love, with the model. the videos, interestingly, sans the taking, are instructional on how a man makes love with the whore or the woman he loves. with the actress, at center was performance, the kissing incidental. while with the model, at center was tender lovemaking, the kisses wet and hard and deep. as the doctor finished with the actress, they lay side by side, like strangers. but with the model, they lay their hugging, the doctor on top of her as if admiring her beauty (only his buttocks are visible here) and drowning with her in the relief of the moment, both satisfied. he physically and she mentally but perhaps both, emotionally. nakakapanghinayang.

so how could he? with the actress, i can understand. she's a prize fuck. just imagine, the sexiest filipina (according to FHM) at the mercy of your mouth and your dick. but with the model, i wonder how love could be overcome by lust, this way. how could the doctor bear to shame the woman she loves this way? i feel that he really loves her. but how come, no exception was made. everyone was fair game. even the woman he loves. i once read that pure evil comes from setting no boundaries, no distinctions. just like, when one has the gall to kill innocent beasts like cats and dogs then how much humans? which reminds me that there is still one feature i forgot about the doctor. seventh, he has done this before. he's a serial voyeur. it did not start with the model or end with the actress. i would bet, this started way back in his teens and borne out of an insecurity over his small member, and narcissism from being cursed with good looks and a full butt. just now, i heard from abs-cbn that he has about 40 videos in store with different women. so i'm right.

the most fearful here, with the technology around, is that the sexual has become public. much different from pornography which is sanctioned by society. this is much about the invasion of privacy, not just of two people but of the individual. which brings to mind that the sexual is a pure individualistic act. so an invasion of it is a personal injustice, a personal crime. so one will never make love the same way again. one has to tap on walls and scour the bedroom like a crime scene before doing it. i was wondering, while watching, should i make love next time in an open field? sa talahib? gosh, what foreplay is this? and as i've stressed here before, i would never look at my lover the same way again, should i decide to do it, again. i mean, if love can be transgressed just as the doctor did with the model, how better could i fare? so at this age of technology, love is no longer enough?

hay, one thing for sure. making love is not that uncomplicated any more. so be careful, strive to make love happy and make love safe, under the covers.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Save Me A Dream

This is for You. We may have gone past waiting. Attached ourselves to a love now and in the past. Content to just bridging the distance with brief conversations, nonchalant looks although our hearts yearn to embrace! Save me a dream, for now. Even if this is not possible. But for only because it matters. It matters amid our sad, distant, and separate realities.

If dreams are a shadow
Of love, fame and fortune
That adorn the night
Some fade away quickly
And lose all their meaning
In the morning light
Yes some dreams are lifeless
They're light entertainment
Meaning nothing more
But there are dreams holding promise
And pure inspiration worth waiting for

Save me a dream
As perfect as the night is long
Save me a dream
As secure as your arms
A shelter where we both belong
And our love can bring the stars
Even closer than they seem
Save me a place in your heart
And save me a dream

Some call you crazy
Convinced that you're lazy
If you dream by day
When we re dreaming, we're listening
If somebody's whispering
Who knows what they'll say
Some find a purpose
A sense of direction
In a wandering mind
If ideas are prizes like children of angels
Who knows what we'll find

Save me a dream
As perfect as the night is long
Save me a dream
As secure as your arms
A shelter where we both belong
And our love can bring the stars
Even closer than they seem
Save me a place in your heart
And save me a dream

Save me a place in your heart
And save me a dream

Save me a place in your heart
And save me a dream

(Lyrics courtesy of

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Welcome to SM-City Naga

naga city it is no longer. rather, it's sm city-naga. new signposts bore this new reference to naga throughout the stretch of quirino highway. true enough, the landscape greeting native and visitor is dominated by a blue and white building named SM. having an SM bears a different level of modernity as if i found myself blurting to friends, 'oy! may SM na kami'. as if, we've joined an exclusive club of cities with the rare license of hosting his dominance, henry sy.

the 3rd day here, i spent in SM. i was curious to see the flock, and i was not disappointed. the crowd came in throngs and as its wont, sm department store was flocked, so are the restaurants (like jollibee and biggs --- btw, gerry's grill is coming), the moviehouses but interestingly, few in some lesser known imports like primadonna, folded and hung, and celine. the structure is box-like in two levels, akin to the one in lipa city. strangely, the salesladies and salesmen talk in tagalog although they can very well understand bikol and talk the same, if you insist on the dialect. hmmm, so we import the brand, and the language as well?

there is so much more to mark naga city than SM that i feel like writing our congressman to please tear down the new signposts attaching any reference to this building when referring to my hometown. the building does not define the place as much as clothes do not make a woman or a man. you're one part of our modernity, here in naga city where every day, the streets get narrower, the traffic a little heavier and open spaces become fewer all because of the idea of development which is monolithic, busier, cemented and gray much like this new structure on the horizon.

Monday, May 18, 2009

The Real One

when i blogged yesterday, was already half asleep. since i started packing last monday, i haven't slept in full. so last night was the only privilege before heading off unpacking this morning. it is as much tiring as packing. but i admit the slack. have yet to post pictures here of guijo as it was when a family of four lived there, bannered by a precocious little girl named yaman. i'll do just that tomorrow. as now, i'm taking the privilege of finally blogging on the computer and just checking on my email backlog. now this is real, not just some blog.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Some Blog

could i fare better? Can handholding make a difference? Here i see weird notes amid the challenge to comply.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Before the Farewell

yumi and i are sleeping on a banig. The truck has gone and in one bare house, we're left with the echoes of our voices. Over the dark, we're talking of mom, jungee, the house with a thousand belongings, and yaman. Masiram palan just lying here rubbing my feet over dried woven twigs and leaves. My back in touch with old wood. And i'm blogging with just this backlight to guide my hands. And out of nowhere, the yell of 'baluuuut!'. Funny, only a balut vendor has the license to break the silence of night. Looking out, yellow light streams over bare jalousies. And yumi's chatter continues. While i thank God that it's all finished, i'm lying here tired but relieved, and tomorrow, i'll be with precious yaman. But not without crying. I leave this house filled with memories and tears.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Seeing by Ear

i was watching iron man while packing. I noticed that i could hear more or understand more the dialogue just listening, not looking at the screen. The one where obadiah was straining to know what tony's doing. Perhaps that's why in facebook's interview, i'd rather be deaf than blind. Seeing is a bit distracting. Voices matter, and tones, inflections, even...pauses. Someday, one blind person will win Wimbledon. Boldly i say.

Thursday, May 14, 2009


dama ko yun
but as cliches go
this is for the best
di tayo handa sa ganyan
kahit exciting pa man
ba't natin guguluhin ang mundo
sa kalaun-launan
kayong dalawa pa rin
at hindi tayo

hamo na
ang panahon ay di na atin
minsan ok lang sa akin
magpadala sa pusok
bulag na sumubok
bingi't pipi sa payo
sana wag mo nang daanin ito
salamat na lang
napasaya mo ako
sa pag-amin ng masakit
ngunit totoo

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Blogging, bathing et al.

the first stage of packing has passed. From 8am to 11pm today. I should go to bed but i'm still deciding whether to take a bath against old wives' advice or should i wash dusty hands and feet. But before anything else, i blogged first. Ha! The most important thing. The milestone of the day.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Belated Comics Buff

i have not been doing anything substantial lately, just counting days before leaving the grand workplace. so, i've gone to watching marvel comics videos - starting with, of course, wolverine and now iron man (first movie seen with yaman). lately, i've gone to exploring the x-men and iron man on line, by just clicking on the names of the characters and attaching 'wiki' next to me. here i discovered the depth of not only wolverine but also mystique (my favorite), black widow, gambit, rogue, tony starkes, pepper potts, magneto, xavier and so much more. i'm so impressed by the linking of their fates which brings to mind the order in randomness and chaos. the stories are just like mythology which goes beyond allegory by going into the extreme complexities of human beings.

just take mystique, for instance. i only see her in the x-men movie series as a naughty brilliant chameleon. but in comics, she is heroine-villain-heroine alternating also as brilliant-insane-brilliant in her quest for roots, identity and yearning, would you believe? for motherhood. but i read about this only in wiki and i long for much more. i long to discover her in the world of comics - i want to see her face, her eyes. i want to see her cry. i don't know how to start but i have to start somewhere. whether if it's in powerbooks in gateway or metaza in megamall. i'm going back to modern mythologies. i'm going back to comics.

Monday, May 11, 2009

The Physical Man

what draws you to a man, physically? i've always been partial to tall dark-skinned men in glasses. one reason perhaps why i fell for yaman's dad so easily. not necessarily handsome though it helps. my fourth boyfriend was your classic adonis, but sadly, as your classic beauty goes, fell into only that category. i took to writing about it seeing hugh jackman look so delicious as wolverine, even if he smells like he hasn't bathed for a week, drenched in sweat. stereotypes of 'men' do really exist to make us salivate. and for a while we wallow and believe that they're for real. lying down is the best way to imagine, relaxed and unbothered with deadlines. so hugh comes to me, scoops me up, and in his arms we walk towards the light. me and him sharing sunsets and sunrises.


oh shocks, what happened?

the dvd, the replacement, got stuck! still sucks.

end of story.

the reality is that, 'it' never works out well, at all. quasi-dvds i mean.

hugh's muscles are real. as far as we know.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Blogging is NOT Sex (Why I Blog)

equating blogging to sex is just a catchword. a line to catch attention but it is meaningless. i disagree entirely with the quote of Kevin Anderson courtesy of Filipina Mom Blogger. first of all, sex can be faked. sex can be done without consent, vocal or otherwise. sex can also be one-way with only one party enjoying it and much worse, neither.

the bottomline is, blogging and sex cannot be equated. blogging is much more. it takes much more courage that it cannot be faked. it releases much more painful truths that one cannot lie or risk to impress. and enjoying it is not the prize, not even for the blogger or the reader. there is no prize to blogging other than to claim one space your own.

blogging is an exercise in perspectives and seeking out your own claim and voice to that perspective, how hollow or deep it may be; rotten or glorious; self-serving or noble; bullying or sympathetic; trash or downright quotable. the challenge is to become round by releasing your personality to the blog. you are what you write. it evolves from much more than passion because in time, blogging becomes part of who you are. and it takes more responsibility not for your readers but for yourself. how much could you dare share? how much could you care to? you are blind to the outside world but visible to yourself. you endure and you become.

Mother's Day Alone

happy mother's day to me
all alone watching tv
baby yaman is in naga
toys surround me in the sala

happy mother's day to me
twice in a row starting 2008
baby yaman lives far-away
in hot wires i love you's sent

happy mother's day to me
same conditions for the next three
mulling motherhood alone
in the company of memories

Saturday, May 9, 2009

The Beating of Poverty in Slum Dog Millionaire

i thought i would enjoy 'slumdog millionaire'. it says here in the vcd pack, it's a feel-good movie. perhaps i shouldn't judge it this early since i got to watch half - the point where jamal had already won 2.5M rupees (the quasi-vcd stopped working from here). in his memories, latika (the love of his life) saved from prostitution, and getting into a fistfight with salim, his brother.

half-way through it, i realized that SM is not your usual fairytale. the movie is not only about extreme wealth and poverty at both ends of the spectrum. the representation of wealth and opportunity at adult age in a gameshow painfully depicted against the agony of total loss in childhood in the streets of mumbai. i couldn't help it. i cried just seeing them sleep in an abandoned warehouse all drenched. the exploitation of child beggars including the deliberate blinding of those with beautiful voices as blind children singers fetch more alms.

SM is the asian version of forrest gump, depicting a progression, a systematic patchwork of memories and present day realities. but the humor is dry and the director is subtle in showing that there is nothing amusing (against the innocent faces of children), hopeful (against constant abuse of trusted elders) and nostalgic (against the brutal loss of their mother and ethnic identity as muslims) about poverty. poverty is stigma, a constant uphill battle against the loss of self-esteem that endures. it endures because solutions are hard to see against the masks of patronage and the hidden motives behind aid. unless there is a reversal, poverty is hopeless as removing the muck, the filth and the stench surrounding the poor. did the 'critics' really get it when they voted SM as best picture in this year's oscars? it's slapping the 'developed' world in the face.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Everyday Defeats

i'm not sure whether i'm raising yaman well. it hurts a lot when she turns to me with dagger eyes and shouts 'ayoko sayo!' everytime she has her tantrums and i approach her. last night, we were joking with one another mimicking men's voices when she said, 'ikaw, masungit ka. lagi mo akong pinapalo'. to which i retorted, 'pinapalo kita kasi sumosobra ka na'. but i'm sorry and i tell her, everytime i do.

i am not a serial spanker. yaman gets me to my extremes, at the end of my rope. her bath takes 30 minutes of her crying and refusing to remove her wet panties. one time, she threw food from the table. i could not tolerate it and cannot help but spank her backside or her hand. but i'm not even sure this is the right thing.

i'm not sure if there is anything right at all with child rearing nowadays. i do not recall ever talking back to my parents at such a young age or even raise my fist in defiance. i have never done that. and even before yaman started doing that to me, i have never hurt her.

i don't want to justify. i know and accept that at her age, she considers me at hitler with the sharp tongue and the short fuse. minsan, even if i'm not angry. there is i think a change in the tone of my voice that sets yaman off and triggers her to think that i am. tantrums na ang susunod. nowadays, after the two times i spanked her, i would just clam up and approach her when she's ok.

i really don't know what to do. am i raising yaman or am i raising me? there is this one verse in the bible which runs, 'our children are not our children. we are just vessels for them to pass through in this world'. sometimes, through the hurting moments, i would like to believe in that verse in a different way. that i am just her to mother her as much as i can, guide her as long as i can, but eventually she will turn out to be who she really is, despite the mothering and the care. do i deserve my daughter's love? have i been a 'renegade' so much that she sees me just as a wraith who comes by and goes?

so maswerte nga talaga ang bata who can and is with her mother 24/7. perhaps it really makes a difference. and makes my job even more difficult. i stink as a single mom and i can't even get yaman to like me, really like me. even when i'm angry. even when i cry inside because whatever act i take, takes my baby away from me. makes me wonder, am i being like my dad in this way? am i repeating a vicious cycle where the emotional lacerations are hurtful as if it's physical?

today, yaman threw another tantrum. i just asked what she's doing throwing water on the rug. i was just asking. i didn't even raise my voice. so for 30 minutes, the tantrum stayed and she refused to take her afternoon bath. her exchange with the yaya is running endlessly and so i approach her, wanting to cradle her in my arms. she shouts, 'ayoko sayo!'. here we go again. and i don't know what to do.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Feasting before Missing

in the yahoo group of my highschool batch, those of us who are US-based are planning a Las Vegas reunion this may. the exchange has recently gone to the concept of food, particularly rendering how our friends from far away, after being gone so long from the motherland, miss the most native of dishes, especially Bikolano specialties. everyone misses bikol express while tina especially, begs for ginataang langka (which i just had last week and literally sneered at - bad vitti!). reminds me how we take for granted the things near and within reach; and that counts food most of all.

when i was in perth in 1999, i got gaga finding ligo sardines and clover (by leslie's) once in one asian shop that i snatched it up without mentally calculating. if i will recall in 1999, ligo cost about A$4 while clover a$2.50. by the exchange rate then, ligo would be about P100+/can and clover, P68/piece! ok lang. i went back to my boarding house dining on the sardines and snacking on clover in just one sitting. when i got home in 2000, my first request was (just like you, tina) ginataang langka but with alimasag (crab). oh gosh, i ate these with bare hands, occasionally licking my fingers draped with sticky rice (siram!). does this mean i should have a gastronomic feast before leaving this july? well, if it means waiting for another 12 months to taste any of them, let me prepare the list right now.

Mommy, pakiluto man daw ning (in no special order):

1. cocido especially tambakol
2. chicken liver and gizzard adobo
3. bopis
4. igado
5. bangus relleno
6. paksiw na pata
7. dinilan sa iba
8. daing na new look
9. ginataang langka with alimasag
10. adobong pusit
11. bihon with sardinas
12. chicken sitti (kay yumi ini)
13. string beans adobo
14. ginataang kalabasa with shrimp
15. chicharong bulaklak
16. bangus steak
17. dilis patties
18. fried bibi
19. bangus sinigang with banana heart (naks!)
20. pork dinilan adobo

and as i'm in naga, i won't miss maki, toasted siopao, kinalas, lomi (graceland) and pinangat. so, 20 dishes in 50 days. hmmm, those not in the list, i have more time to fill, during lunch that is (need to watch our for calories and cholesterol po).

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The Cost of Trust

In numerology, 2008 is equivalent to number 1. it means start or new beginning. in embarking on a new one, it means culling out useless things, useless attachments, useless relationships. just like in cleaning your room. you start in opening all drawers and shelves and taking out useless receipts and letters, knick-knacks, clothes, bags, and shoes. you start over anew.

i thought it was already over for me. this discarding of everything hurtful this 2008. di pa pala. may natira pang isa. i closed it today, i talked with the go-between and the consultant involved. mea culpa the former said and the latter i said to. the go-between had to go with head bowed and shamed, but a bit sarcastic, perhaps to salvage a little pride, saying that he got nothing out of it but a stack of food bills for representation (as if naman, pinakain ako --- hoy! i got nothing out of here too, abonado pako!). as it appears, he made contacts with a lot of people other than me and got, burned. i gave a heartfelt sorry to the consultant since he was not paid in full. the least that i can do to save our professional relationship and to safeguard my integrity. mahirap magsinungaling at magpanggap.

i'm really doubting whether it was really a good career choice to enter consulting. wala dinala sa akin kundi sama ng loob. perhaps this is why a lot of bosses i know who grew old in the industry, really look old, beyond their years. perhaps because they died young inside. that is the cost of trust, especially for waylaid trust. consulting is as dirty as politics because here trust is cheap. readily exchanged for a project, a promotion, a pajero, and a pay spike. nakakalungkot because it is a thankless job even for those entering it with the best of intentions. perhaps the go-between didn't mean for it to happen. and the client is just not in the best circumstance to pay up. but still at the end, everyone loses after trust is forgotten and lost in the exchange.

it's hard to find your heart hardening because of painful experiences. like love. after getting hurt, you will not look at it the same way again. for me, i will never look at someone who represents consulting the same way again. so tapos na, and this happens to be third. first, woodfields. second, sds. and third, rdc world. death comes in threes. the death of idealism, innocence and, ignorance.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Working from Home

i save on time
i save on pesos and
a little centavos
i save on energy
as just having yaman
up close fills me

i developed this talent
of writing while watching tv
of writing without glasses
without glaring lights above
despite the heat
natural air i breathe

coffee, iced tea
and juiced kalamansi
just a few paces away
i can stay up late writing
and wake up without alarm
no pressure now
as the days tick by
a few days away in naga
the sun i'll find

Monday, May 4, 2009

Not Yet

i was in the bday celebration of dolly, my landlady, last night. as usual with birthdays, i had my fare of dinuguan, liempo, and lechon paksiw. then suddenly, i felt a pinch at the left side of my chest. it was my heart. then out of nowhere, my left hand felt numb. feigning nothing was amiss, i stayed on and left a little later after 10 minutes hoping that the pain will go away. but stayed the pain. uhm, this is quite unusual. for someone who's low blood. fat for 10 years and nary high blood cholesterol or blood sugar.

i refuse to see the doctor. i refuse to face my reality. baka may pwede pa akong magawa. it's not the big D as in diet. it's D as in discipline. hay, despite preparing for death, one cannot really be too prepared for it. there is something amiss. like the agony of it. i don't want to die while i'm heartily laughing for one. nor i would not want to lose by limbs one by one, then die. i don't want to die yet because of yaman, that simple. i don't want her to miss me - to miss having me around. i can't be prepared, no one gets prepared for death. i hope to choose how i will go instead. not like this. not because of illness while i still have the best years of my life ahead and yaman's. perhaps i'll choose how best to take care of the life given me, now and the coming tomorrows.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Losing Manny

everytime manny pacquiao fights, i want him to lose. perhaps i'm tired of the cinderella story. i'm tired of the hulla-ballo. at this fight with hatton, the media was relentless. he's becoming a sideshow. a freak out to take the golden goose with a right hook.

but everytime he plays, he does not disappoint. so i rethink being the devil. like that game with diaz. he's really into boxing not out of blood lust. it's just what he does, best. how can i call him a sucker when seeing diaz down and out, he went forward and like any gentleman, extended out his hand to offer compassion. it was compassion. not show at all. a probinsiyano still not losing whatever remains of his values. a warrior with valor still.

i hope he retires soon. i hope he'll take mayweather (jr.?) as the last. then retire. retire. sans the retinue and the blood-sucking politicians, headlined by the greedy husband of la gloria and the flower-puckered manila mayor. if he doesn't stop, doesn't retire, someone like him will come out of the shadows and land him the fatal punch. if he doesn't retire, manny pacquaio will fall to a similar unknown like him.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Writing on Top of Mountains

by the way, i finished my paper last april 30. right on time. i met the 'immovable' deadline. although there are no laurels to sit on this time, i released it nonetheless to get it over with and earn my well-deserved rest this weekend. hah, ang sarap just doing nothing. after this blog, i'm going to read as much as i can on the x-men.

releasing your writing is a different challenge in itself. while we write, we cannot help but be absorbed with our ideas and somewhere here and there, take pride of finding the right words, the right linking of thought to express what we mean to say. somewhere, we are proud of what we have written and we are proud that we are writing. the purpose of critique, i think, is to expose our pride and test how far we are willing to fight for it and at the same time, bend to wisdom.

pray that you get exposed to those who really know how to critique -- then you will discover how it is find people who care for what you write. every mark, every instruction is a building block to help refine your piece, your contribution in that great big body of knowledge.

in perth, i got used to full formal criticism. the teacher don't just mark the first page with a D (distinction) or HD (high distinction) or an S (satisfactory). inside, they explain why. from formatting to grammar to the use of the word 'need', the flow of thought ---everything is critiqued. even the title and sub-section titles had to be justified. if you're someone from the philippines who's not used to it, you'll cry. when critiques to my MA thesis arrived on the mail, my sister and mom opened it and were dismayed by the comments. they were wondering how would i take it. over the phone, i thought gosh, it must really be that bad. but upon reading the comments months after, i had to explain to them that that is how critiquing really is. i got a D for it, so it must be good after all the criticism.

so expect much and expect to be hurt. because that's what happens to pride exposed. even a small prick is painful so what more with the weight of words? if your writing is solid enough; that is, you were systematic and rigorous with your framework, the treatment of your data and your analysis, there is nothing to be afraid of. you can take any form of critique and you can choose to dispel it, let it go or face it head-on. you'll know which battles matter. but if it's the other way around, and 'you're kinda not sure' with how you strategized and progressed, ah, be prepared. be prepared to get eaten, and to learn. there is nothing wiser to learn from than a bad bad experience. so you'll see, in the end, your writing would just be a reflection of your motives and genuineness. it takes a lot of responsibility to be a good good writer.

writing is like that. we expose ourselves to criticism like being exposed to the elements in reaching the top of mountains. while it is romantic to view the moon and bask in the sun, in the end we will be judged to how much our writing has taken root, like a tree finding its place on the top. how much we can grow deep and absorb the rains, angry typhoons, and scorching hot suns. our writing gets weathered, we get weathered but depending on our truths, we will find our place.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Finding Zippo

it was at the height of brian gorrell's fight against manila's hi-society when i chanced upon zippo. He shared his version of the road less taken. I could not publish his letter here out of respect so let me just give you a brief on him. An ex-society boy who had his awakening during the asian financial crisis. A wonder-boy at law found himself wealthless and wifeless.all of a sudden. He reformed somewhere in the south by practicing what he learned of the law by literally helping the poor. Here he learned how obscene the gap is between the haves and the have-nots. What people earn in a month we get to spend for ice cream, or pizza at cpk. Now zippo is happily married to a girl 'ordinary' relative to his birthright. They make sure everyday to eat as a family together. Before they do so, they pray, holding hands. It is not an easy road zippo took. It is not easy to face one's insignificance and ├Âne's humanity in defeat. Makes us ask whether we are heading at the right direction - with our degrees, our jobs, and our positions? With what we have equipped ourselves, are we using them, rightly? Do we really know what contentment means? When will we say, enough? Is being the best that we are, also the best for those we care about? Are we raising our kids well? Are we aware of our own upbringing? When will we have the courage to stay away from privilege? Have we raised the bar so much that we've lost sight of who we are and why we're doing what we're doing in the first place? Do we still know ourselves?