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)

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Bye, H

i stopped following the Professional Heckler today. after making rounds of the dailies for news on Ondoy, i got this new update from his blog entitled 'Help!'. oh, timely. perhaps he's flashing his own way of soliciting assistance for the typhoon victims. and what do i get? a blog soliciting for support (again) for his site using what?! kasi daw, there's this reader's choice awards and he's in the running. i get this from you during this time?! ang babaw ko daw, said one reader. ok, mababaw. but i can't seem to understand why at this time, na nagkukumahog ang mga tao how to rebuild their lives, this guy is self-servingly promoting himself (again)?! hindi pa ba enough that he's already nominated (again) for the 2009 phil blog awards? and he has what? a million followers already! is this not enough? such bad taste, and bad timing. so i drew the line. mababaw na kung mababaw. but it matters to me. so, bye, H.


amidst the devastation and loss of human life, what is very revealing of promise in the human condition after Ondoy were the heroes in those trying times. so i pay tribute to those brave souls who sacrificed life and time to help save our kababayans. ang dami nila, i don't know where to start. from all walks of life. titulado at di titulado. people of the philippine navy, the philippine army, the PNRC, those organizing relief drives, my friend elsa delos reyes, strangers who helped out strangers. saludo ako sainyo lahat. nabigyan nyo ng napakalaking pag-asa ang ating mga kababayan.

Thanks to for the gorgeous pic.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Stop Signs

writing with a swollen lip and struggling with an apple. 10 days of sleeping past 12 have taken their toll and last night, woke up with gums aching and the lower lip swelling like angelina jolie's. a pimple just under the lip caused the swelling. so still in a daze, by mid afternoon after meeting with the supes, raised my legs 45 degrees, slept, and alternatingly read van gulik's chinese maze murders, slept, then woke up again at 630pm. then on, i finished the book. the accomplishment for the day which is not thesis-related. 2 more days like this and i'll be fine. if i can help it.

Thanks to for the pic.

Monday, September 28, 2009


about a week after returning from iloilo, around june 27, 2008, i met with cora and ruby at sm megamall. with a bruised left arm, i had to wear long sleeves but this still did not stop them from getting intrigued. so with back turned from people inside the usually packed mann hann restaurant, i showed them the bruise. between the two, it was cora who cringed and said, 'if i were you, i would have died.', to which ruby gave a ready affirmative, 'yes cora, you will'.

now in the wake of typhoon ondoy, just learned from ruby through SMS that cora was among one of those affected in cainta. of their 2-storey house, the ground floor was submerged. cora and her sister, beth, have been stranded there on the second floor since saturday. ruby wasn't so sure how cora is now. their communication cut off since sunday when cora's cel's battery gave up. it's been two days and i hope cora and beth has been 'saved' and no longer that isolated. i hope she's in an evacuation center somewhere, reunited with trisha her niece who, on the way home from school, was able to take refuge in a classmate's home. she's quite finicky and sensitive, cora, but i hope she'll do well than mope. i hope she'd prove ruby wrong by staying alive.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

After the Storm

my friends are everywhere in manila, pampanga, bulacan, cavite, and laguna and i could only wish them well at this time. the manila floods of saturday, sept 26 2009, were likened to a deluge, or the great flood of noah's time. strikingly, the date translates to 92629, take out the 2's and you have 969 or 666, a destructive evil number. or add 92629 and you'll get 28 or 10, which signifies a duality - the end of a cycle and a beginning of one. as i've texted ning a while ago, good that it's election time because local officials would only be too willing to help to get the urban vote. on a less cynical way, i will say that that is life. you are dealt blows for no reason, so do you have an excuse to give up? no. because it takes no special reason for you to be strong. you just have to be. so from someone who grew amidst typhoons in bicol and survived the great flooding of iloilo, i would say to my friends in case you are one of the less fortunate, cry first as in wail, then later wipe your tears with your sleeve, with the back of your hand, try sneezing it out and go face the wreck, the mud, the occasional snakes and leeches hiding in the corner, and clean up. God's strength is within you.

The pic is a funeral procession. Like death, we mourn every failure. And as always, what follows death is life. Thanks to

Saturday, September 26, 2009

In Memory of a Storm

as i write, cousin dimple and her whole family have evacuated on the 2nd floor of their house, after a whole day's rain in manila has caused the old pasig river to overflow, overwhelming the streets of BLISS mandaluyong with floodwaters. in the news, 95% of pateros now is submerged and i heard that one starlet is spending night on top of a roof in marikina. i remember my experience way back in iloilo, in june 21 2008. to make sense of it, i blogged about the experience, advised people, among others, to flood-proof their homes or prepare for flooding sans the memory of it, and buy a heavy duty manel's leather bag. the last is not mandatory compared to the others. like any life changing event, everyone in manila will remember what they were doing, where they were, who they were with when Ondoy stopped over and poured his wrath one ordinary saturday in this metropolitan city. i hope that remembering will not soon lead to forgetting how much vulnerable filipinos are now to seemingly harmless natural events like rain (this storm runs only 85kph). may remembering progress more than planning, or worse, from a congressional or senate inquiry on the state of the 'environment', which is nothing more really than the state of our indifference.

Thanks to Mark of

Friday, September 25, 2009

Once Upon a Chat with Yaman

since our separation last july, yaman and i had to content ourselves with chatting almost everyday, like 4 or 5 days a week as long as yumi is around to configure the computer since she happens to be the only computer literate person in the house eversince jungee and family striked it on their own. while adults would contend with just chatting, sending pics, and typing secret messages in the doodle board, it's quite a challenge maintaining the interest of a child just looking at the screen.

yaman and i have gone to just exchanging stories for the day, to literally playing hide-and-seek (she will really hide in nooks all over the house then stealthily crouch and surprise the of course 'surprised' me hiding by just moving the laptop an inch on the right he he) to story-telling (as in me holding a barbie book with open-close flaps propped over a thick dictionary for good angling). tomorrow, have to buy new books in fremantle to keep the story-telling going as we're finished with shrek, and toby's bark.

we would play 'bulaga', and 'sleep under the covers', with me bidding her goodnight and slipping under the covers here in my flat. the webcam is angled so she can see me lying in bed and waving goodnight. or i would watch her as she brushes her teeth (the last ritual before sleeping) or just now, drawing 'nemo' and the 'diver' (an erstwhile figure to yaman after watching nemo a thousand times) in the white board attached by my left wall. i've watched her dance 'paparazzi' by lady gaga (with her tita) and this oct 17, i'll be around, a cyber guest, as she celebrates her 4th birthday. i'm so proud! my abalantung's going 4 now!

of course, it's not enough. we have to make do with wet kisses blurring the cam and embraces with cold spaces. i can only watch as she shows me a scar on her knee because she fell or a welt just below her chin caused by an accidental push in school. i cannot console her while she cries and while she's not in her element (may 's' or sumpong - tantrum), i could only stare blankly and pray she'll come to it. sometimes, i just had to let her be as her attention wanders especially when darna's on, and stairway to heaven. sometimes, i had to settle with flying kisses as she assumes her place in front of the tv. yaman's taller than the dining table now and on occasions, she would proudly show herself setting the table, with plates neatly arrayed in a circle then the matching spoons and forks.

simple yet great things for a mom. simply because love is there. so we make do, with whatever is available, with whatever is possible. because love is truly there.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Bomb

i have a pathetic side. my endurance to pain extends to my endurance to bullying. sige lang, ok lang. i can let that pass. it's not ok really but since i can still hold it, pinababayaan ko lang. my conscious effort to contain anger, especially my temper, which my family all to well knows, accounts for it. ayokong magalit, kasi pag nagalit nako, umiwas ka.

right now, i haven't been working in my 'office' because i don't like roommate, anymore. especially when she blamed the network router i had installed for her inability to print a somewhat very important presentation piece two weeks ago. so, i just looked at her, shrugged and went on to get my books. di nako tumagal sa room, that was a week ago, kasi nawalan na ako ng gana. my mood was wrecked. i just went back to the flat and gone to writing a 30+ intro for my proposal, a very well organized one at that. ayoko ng gulo so umiwas na lang ako. elaine, who's my good friend here in uni just couldn't take it and insisted, 'lumaban ka! pag ako...'.

i know myself too well so to her too, i shrugged. perhaps the people who know my anger, the depth of it will understand. i too understand that it would take more for that anger to explode although i'm not sure whether it could be endured. i don't know even know how my roommate will fare, would she survive, should the dam burst.

Thanks to for the subtle pic

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Writing Just Is

gosh, i do not know what to write. or rather confused since recently, i would want to blog on what's happening with my research and another blog is doing that. i could not write a poem, not at all inspired. the word 'sunscreen lotions and tans' hover but i do not know where to relate it to. i look at my books and they are in a tangled pile. still would do a little unearthing. so shall i just blog later? after talking to yaman then perhaps inspiration will come?oh, i know what to write! it's this. this type of writing - so imperfect, so directionless but is still writing. do not be hard on yourself. sometimes, it just won't click. there's no point to writing sometimes that just the effort alone matters. do you think that is what really matters in writing? i think it is. both the inspiration and lack thereof. to still write despite the sound of rushing cars along south street or of trolleys along the corridor beside me. is it writing under the shadows of dusk or despite an aching elbow from five nights of harried late yet inspired writing. that it's not even the paper, the ink, or the screen or the laptop brand behind the writing. the writing i think matters because words take form and burst forth life despite the one lone, struggling, unsure, neurotic, naked, bleeding writer behind it.

Thanks to Timur! (

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A Feminist Tennis

i have been following the so-called decline in women's tennis for some time now. backgrounders could be found here and here. the first speaks of wilting women's 'power' in the face of a macho male's game. or rather, that in aiming to 'up' the ante of women's tennis, women players are deciding to play more like men --- baseline power base and sans the class, grace and finesse that, say, martina hingis brought to the game. at this decade, there are no parallel iconic (and I think 'white') dominant women players on the tour. either women are perceived as cry babies (zvonereva), porno-like shriekers (sharapova), imploders (dementieva), one-time wonders (ivanovic) and yes, bullies (serena).

i do not totally disagree, at least in pinning it all on the world of women's tennis. i think it has to do with the whole system of sports nowadays (and women's tennis is a a too-fitting context to ignore) and how it has evolved from team-based and ritualistic to individualistic and style-driven. where money rules over teamwork (that guy, michael jordan as a one-man 'marketing' team). where women and men indeed have a price on their head, and pay the price if they don't play as high (remember beckham in galaxy?). where personality and sportsmanship have gone into a marriage (and not that headed soon for divorce) that, for one, saw one former tennis player named anna kournikova reap more popularity and more money while not wielding a racket. and the points system. in tennis, women could only have ranking (and so qualify automatique) at grandslam championships if they play 20+ games on the tour (this excludes the 4 grandslams). and of course, the business of sports where one player does not only have a coach, but has a trainer, a dietician, a hitting partner, an agent, a publicist, a media manager, a spokesperson (different from the last two) forming the entourage and the harangue of voices swarming over a player's head than just the sound of the ball.

so what would a feminist tennis be like? would women...

...choose to just play 5 of 20+ WTA tournaments
...elect to polish their nails first before practice (jankovic used to be this cool) after winning the 1st round of any tournament
...invite Rob Pattinson to sit on her box and wave him a kiss now and then
...demand lower pay instead (i believe that women should be paid lower since they play shorter matches, period)
...have a women cheering squad in pink courts
...have the right to swear in court allowed to change gears in court, during breaks, to get out of those yucky sweaty outfits
...have the right to say no to any outfit that is low-cut, spandex-tight, flimsy and butt showing
...have the right to play to one's style regardless if it's a power game, a decibel game, a crying game
...lose and still wave to the crowd and sign autographs (like nadal does) over cappuccino, spaghetti, and strawberry ice cream not just with mom but fellow sisters that one just beat and from which one just had a beating the previous game
...get a restraining order from cameras and paparazzi, play violin, ride with horses, garden and love a man or a woman
...have a life?

i remember seeing monica seles then, with a bob, a striped tee, and riding a motorbike to one tournament. then she was stabbed, in court. the game, the sport, is not just ready for women who break the mold. someday though.

Cute pic courtesy of

Monday, September 21, 2009

Sunday Moments

sunday on a monday? baloney. eversince i got the rush on writing last friday, i have never stopped writing, not a day since. including today. so en route to the Humanities building for one research seminar, i thought i no longer have days for Sundays, but moments. moments to watch Gladiator, listen to noir desir's 'i'm lost' in youtube, read one chapter off van gulik's, cook sardines, walk to the shop and buy milk, or just stare at the clouds. i never get to lie down until 2am or 3am or for the record, 5am. i am still high on writing and i intend to harness it to my advantage. i so love writing this way!

Thanks as always to

Sunday, September 20, 2009


The writer is in her element, do not disturb.

(Lovely pic from

Saturday, September 19, 2009


I've found a nice big room in an Asian household. My housemates are Singaporean Chinese. The other I still don't know since we're all in search still for the 4th housemate. The room does not have a balcony but it's huge enough to do sun salutations in the morning and the bonus side is, I have my own bathroom. A large desk and a nice quiet environment for writing. I plan to just rearrange the bedroom furniture to have a solid wide view of sky, pine trees and puffy cloud formations. Thank You Lord:)

Thanks to Serg for the lovely pic (

Friday, September 18, 2009

A Cowboy Cafeteria Chic

what is my style? rugged, unpolished, a diamond in the rough. i picture myself more as a cowboy, wearing those vertical box-typed shirts, in red, black and white, in denims and killer dark leather boots. i eat whatever, and anything, never a bit left, or left uneaten just to conform to diet tips. i like soupy dishes, or kahit sabaw ok na, basta may kanin. turo-turo is good enough since it's still homegrown. still cooked by a cook with hair in a bun, dirty apron but clean hands. i go where the horse leads me, in unbeaten paths and fresh roads, riding on the sunset or beginning at the strike of dawn. the sun and moon are my friends and the rains, a welcome companion. that is me. pure and of the earth. no qualms, breathing and still.

Great pic from

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Daang Kapos

naisip mo na ba?
kung maaring bumalik
at di na magpatuloy pa
na ang daan ay di lamang
di tuwid at bako-bako
kundi lumiliit
at nawawala
maikli at di na
madaanan pa
ang paghanap
ng bagong daan
isa lamang sa
mga paraan
tulad ng tumigil
iwanan ang daan
sikilin ang
ituwid muna ang isip
sa ano at saysay
ng hanap

Photo courtesy of

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

'Right Under Their Noses': A Possible Political Economy of Development Aid and Corruption in Philippine Consulting

my readings in political economy have brought me to an understanding that international capital has been historically a great arena of debate in development thought. from the belief of fostering unilinear development and transference of prosperity from the developed to developing countries (modernisation theory) to being the evil arresting indigenous development of developing countries while fattening its greedy and rapacious ruling class (dependent theory). (wow, i'm amazed with the passive language i'm using --- how i embarrass hemingway this way!)

this centrality of international capital has led me to thinking about corruption in Philippine consulting which i have talked here for a bit, not without the personal issues, but still. my thesis is, and this would be an interesting piece of research sometime in the future, in consulting, 'donor funds' or development aid could be substituted for 'international capital' and here we can see, how unknowingly and much in opposition with the intents of development agencies, development aid (aka donor funds aka international capital) is fueling corruption at a massive but dismissed scale. just right under their noses?! the battle for development aid is participated not only by the state but also of civil society groups like NGOs and POs, where accountability has also been a shady issue. it is not just the developed against the developing. but more than that, it is the insidious self-defeating corruption of development aid inside the developing. there is internal cutthroat competition akin to prostitution and violence. a 'war' on aid won by a few and lost by the many for all the wrong reasons.

Many thanks to for the wonderful pic.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


one by one
the circles disperse
wave the white flag
time for the big circle
to retreat
break down
to the land
of sheep

Deep thanks for this beautiful pic to

Monday, September 14, 2009

Hail Rafa!

Rafael Nadal lost yesterday and hard. CNNSI calls it a thrashing, I call it a bludgeoning. But in the face of defeat, how I still admire Rafa for his enduring grace on court. Clearly beaten and embarrassed by the score of 6-2, 6-2, 6-2, Rafa did not thrash back, credited the win to his competitor, and even hesitated to use his injury as the cause. No excuses. Contrast this to just what happened the day before in the women's semi-finals, Serena taking it on on a line judge for a foot fault and going downhill from there. As much as his strength and his tenacity on court, Rafa I hope will endure in the sport of tennis to how he shines as a person.

Rafa's beautiful pic courtesy of

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Character-Less in Court

after monica seles, i love the williams sisters. i always root for the underdog and funny how,they reached and passed the gates to glory and still, until now, they're always underdogs when they come to any match, because of their color. i feel it everytime, even though they're seeded and in serena's case today, ranked no. 1 at the US open. somehow, serena and venus had to always exert themselves as 'deserving' not only of adulation, but more so respect when they come to court. as if they do not own it. quite apart from the stately and regal entrance always of steffi graf. i could not help but sense it. but head on they went, despite the name-calling and harrassment. serena and venus added a new dimension to women's tennis by establishing themselves as power players. and while friends would taunt me saying they use brawn rather than brains, how could that be? how could like 20 combined grand slam titles between the two sisters count as just 'muscled' victories? they're pretty smart and mentally tough especially serena who like monica, has mind made of steel.

today,however, i will not condone what serena did to lose match point in the semis of the US Open and thus, fail to defend her title. i could forgive the griping interviews but not this. in sports, characters will always unravel, as in life. for serena to heckle and curse a line judge is as faulty as the foot fault she committed. i wonder where character has gone amidst the victories? she's pushing it too much. feeling too invincible. i congratulate the line judge for putting her in her proper place. strangely, in a span of two days two black sportspersons i like have unravelled themselves in dirty, ugly ways. but i still love her. i will still root for her next time she plays. i've been around too much corruption and gone through too much hate to accept that human beings are as they are, and everyone deserves forgiving, including me. i just hope serena is as humble a human enough to say sorry.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Walang Hanggan

ang luha
sahurin man ng balde
aapaw pa rin
pagkat ang hinagpis
di lang nasusukat
ng luha
kundi na rin
ng di na mailuha
pang sakit

Free lovely pic from

Friday, September 11, 2009

Nowhere Girl

i am doing a PhD in Politics. raised eyebrows anyone? yeah, i too got suprised. apparently here in murdoch. a PhD is a PhD. specialization is not that emphasized. so when i applied, i could only tick PhD since there were no major fields accompanying it. when i asked jane (the principal supe), she was at a loss in answering since apparently it was not an issue. not a question. you just have to write phd vitti, period. period. so when i got here, the admissions letter said that i will be doing a PhD in...politics? so again, i went to jane to clarify. oh, it's because you belong to my department. later on, the specialization shifted although in a more comfortable zone, for me. it was now PhD in Politics and International Studies. ok, being under 'international studies' makes sense. My MA was on Development Studies and now, the focus of my research is in a development project in the Philippines. from the perspective of australians, i am doing an international study, a subject in Asia. hmmm, ok.

the meeting this morning on my research questions went well and so did on the 20-page brief. but readily, i could sense the gulf, the difference in perspectives between myself, jane (a political economist) and carol (the co-supe, an anthropologist). i realized after that the tools i have, the tools that i am comfortable with are those of a sociologist, a social analyst since this is what i became after the MA. in this field, i got to practice my MA. i was used to studying household units essentially and on a larger scale, programs. but never have i gone to extending analyses to policy and political economy. so i looked at jane and carol and saw from where the limits of my perspectives came from. i come from nowhere compared to them. i am on my second month, nearly (13 Sept is just two days away). and good that i realized this, this early. i had to broaden my thinking. i had to extend it beyond what i know now to be able to capture more meaning on the urban poor situation that i'm studying.

back in the flat, i was supposed to read judge dee but could not concentrate. instead, i racked up the catalogues in the library to read this time on political economy, social policy and collective action. from the micro to the macro. the learning process takes on a new tack. i'm taking a different route this time en route to the mountaintop.

Photo credit to Qi Zhou (Singapore) of

Thursday, September 10, 2009

A Well-Deserved (Re)treat

gusto kong umiyak sa tuwa. one mini-milestone down. mini lang naman but still a milestone. i've congested my findings in a 20-page brief and submitted finally to my supervisors (one lead and the other co-). this while watching cool runnings and usual suspects occasionally over youtube and crying over yesterday's blog. sarap ng feeling. findings from 13 interviews. a good start. i'll camp awhile before climbing again up this mountain.

Beautiful pic from

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Paano Ba ang Mangarap?

i gave myself a little break today so sans the alarm clock, i was still in bed around 830 this morning. so as one basking in the warmth of the bed and pushing away the (self-imposed) demands of the day, i just let my thoughts wander till i found myself humming....'lalalalalalalalala means i love you'. hmmm, i use to sing this to this boyfriend until i wondered, did i really have, like, special songs for all my past boyfriends? so i straightened up and went back to the past. ok, for this one it's 'and i, a-i, a-i, will always love you...' (malungkot to pero kwidaw). to jujun, it was 'lost in love' by air supply. ricky? parang wala. oi meron 'like a bridge over troubled waters...i will lay me down' (as in ang gusto yung live version and version ni elvis presley - the king talaga!). this guy, wala. so naturallement, i got to the Old Man and the songs we used to sing (together as in jumo-join sya talaga!) in the wee hours of night. there is one particular tagalog song that i sing to him. it's 'paano ba ang mangarap?', my favorite lines of which are:

di ko na alam
muli pang mag-isa
mula ng makapiling ka
pagka't ako'y umasa
na lagi kang kasama
laban sa mundo
ay tayo lang dalawa

so i sing this to him, yes to let him know that for me, he's the penulminate. wala nang hihigit pa. in bed this morning, i just realized, i was wrong. just now. how deeply true the lyrics were for me. but on a different note. 'wala nang hihigit pa' is not him, but me.

i think i gave the best of all that i am to this Old Man, na parang wala nang natira, wala nang pwedeng arukin pa, para sa iba. i am alone, i am not lonely. i live in solitude. but if i will go down again to the depths, i could really say that while i have survived the pain, found my strength, and rared ever to exert myself, that Old Man took something from me that still has not replenished, even now. i gave the best of myself to someone who painful to admit it, did not deserve it at all. minsan, nakakahiyang aminin na sya ang tatay ng anak ko.

so siguro yun, yung binigay mo lahat-lahat, ginto at diyamante, sinaid mo yung kaban, tapos mauuwi lang sa wala. wala kang choice. in one dark corner, uupo ka't aminin kahit gaano kasakit. ginamit lang ako. in all those years, boarder lang pala sya sa pamamahay na to. pinagmukha akong p..a, wag lang akuin ang kanya. i feel like a little girl, fussing over this gift wrapped in red, running cloaked in black, so i can get to the celebration on time. getting there, pero late, in the shadows, then nang magpapakita na ako, hayun, maririnig ko sasabihin ng celebrant di ako kilala, ikinakahiya, pagtatawanan. masakit. i gasp in silence. holding myself back. clutching my mouth to stifle the noise, that cry of anguish muffled. and to cry so all alone in that dark corner. malaman mong all along, nag-iisa ka lang pala. sana man lang minahal ko yung nararapat, di sana hindi nakakasayang. mas hopeful ka. ah so. hope. it is hope that i lost.

the truth is, kahit gaano pa ako katigas, kalakas. a part of me has been destroyed when i loved the Old Man. a descanso. a part of me died and is still being mourned for. perhaps that is why i just don't care anymore. stopped caring how i look, what i say, how i carry myself, and what i do in the secret hours. it doesn't matter. because even though i have a heart and from there, i could call forth deep love for yaman, my mom, my family and the many within my circle, still, that heart is chipped, pierced, broken beyond repair. i cannot give the same kind of love, the love that is trademark vitti to another man, ever again. occasionally, in that heart, hope comes but sieves away. hope does not stay. so 'paano ba ang mangarap?' is not my song for him, but for me. paano pa ba mangarap ngayon?

Paano bang mangarap ang isang bigo
Kung ang ligaya'y lalo pang lumalayo
Kailangan bang matulog nang sakdal-himbing
Tumatakas sa mundo at huwag nang magising

Paano bang mangarap ang isang sawi
Kung ang luha'y kapiling bawat sandali
Sana'y naituro mo ang dapat kong gawin
Bago tuluyang lumayo sa akin

Di ko na alam muli pang mag-isa
Mula nang makapiling ka
Dahil ako'y umaasa na lagi kang kasama
Laban sa mundo ay tayo lang dalawa

Paano bang mangarap na magbabalik
At muling gigisingin pa ng iyong halik
Kahit man lang sa huling saglit ng buhay ko
Ang pangarap ba'y magkatotoo?

Di ko alam na muli pang mag-isa
Mula nang makapiling ka
Dahil ako'y umaasa na lagi kang kasama
Laban sa mundo ay tayo lang dalawa

Paano ba ang mangarap kung bigo
At may sugat ang iyong puso
Di ba't kailangan may kaagapay
Pagmamahal mo ay ang tangi kong buhay

The beautiful lyrics courtesy of and the lovely pic from

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Sarap ng Chicken Ko

igisa ang manok sa bawang, sibuyas at luya
iwan ng ilang minuto
para lumabas ang sarap ng manok
budburan ng asin
sige lang pakuluin pa
para di mainip
ihanda ang patatas at carrots
lagyan ng tubig
hintay lang lalambot din ang manok
pag ok na
itapon ang konting sabaw
sapat lang ang iiwan
lagyan ng liver spread
ilagay ang patatas
pag malamabot na
ilagay ang carrots
dalawang kutsara ng tomato paste
konti pang asin
at paminta
ihain kasama ang
mainit na kanin
simsimin ang sarap
masayang tanghalian!

The foto courtesy of

Monday, September 7, 2009

Faith and Friendships

i've just finished the last of the harry potter series - deathly hallows. the series are loose in the theme of good vs. evil that it could be open to a lot of interpretations. without giving it away for those who have not read the book, the series is the culmination of harry's battle with lord voldemort but at the same time, in a philosophical sense, his search for who he is, in life and death.

poignantly, rowling tells us that it is in surrendering, rather than in fighting, that one finds direction, finds illumination, the light. but the process can be harrowing. literally, as harry did, one must go down to the depths, to muck, to bare soil and dig in with your hands --- real manual labor. suffering has to test you physically. labor done as a form of sacrifice, and of homage. homage as we are never alone in our struggles. there are people who directly are there for us, the solid walls and floors and ropes that hold us up, keep our eyes, minds and hearts focused. but there are also those seemingly against us, working against our better judgment but whose actions and fates in the end, are meant to serve the same purpose of saving us.

in life and death, there are friendships real but they are never as we imagine, or as we hope to be. reading it, i could see its message first in what i am doing. how as i feel, i'm still on the foot of the mountain, and it's such a hard climb and even the way down could be tortuous. but i must go on. i must breathe in the shadows and the nights and the dark ground. i read the book at the time when i'm contemplating on the meaning of friendships, whether i have ever been a good friend, whether i merit friendship, and what may have i done for friendships gone astray. it is hard to question one's self. because as we, as i, do not have the answers to our questions. the answers unravel in themselves, and in their time. i treasure the book for giving me solace. it did not show the answers to my but it gave me faith, that in time, these answers will come and everything will be alright.

Beautiful pic from

Sunday, September 6, 2009

These I Long To Do

...make and tend a tomato garden
...find my activism
...find my bestfriend's father's long lost grave
...find lourdes bolocon
...publish one children's story

on a sunday, i wonder what am i doing here? alone with my trees and the white screen staring back at me while in the board my hands drum and float and drum and float. i press on with what i should do and wrest with the devil asking me --- why are you here? i am here because i want to. not that i have to or that i was pressed to. i want this and i am making it. so i came to thinking, what are my deepest longings, other than those involving anyone else like my lovely daughter or my sad sad mom. what do i really want for me? is this phd one of them? and without hesitation, i say yes. it is one of my longings, for me, for my self. in a way, cristina knows me so that she will understand. the focus of my labors, the suns of my soul. count on them. before i die, these i will do.

Thanks to for the lovely pic.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Hands Free

the right writes on paper stitches holds a book cooks prays the rosary
the left holds yaman drinks coffee carries heavy stuff wipes dirt cleans
both type eat bathe massage

no one the better or fares worse
not slack or useless
mate worker artist writer believer

Lovely pic courtesy of

Friday, September 4, 2009

Anak nino?

This is dedicated to Rep. Mikey Arroyo, one of the most successful entrepreneurs of my time who despite stupidity a liability, made politics his business and lying his craft.

anak ng pating
anak ng patis
anak ng tokneneng
anak ka ng nanay mo
anak ka ng tatay mo
anak ka ng kalabaw
anak ka ng anaconda
anak ka ng jueteng
manganganak pa

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Kawawang Noynoy

it's hard to be a victim of circumstances. or thought of as the heir of a mother's compassion or a father's heroism. when all you are, at core, is just their son. neither mom's compassion nor dad's heroism. so just like mom, you seek divine guidance (to cover the lack of a track record --- pati ikaw ba kinakausap na ni Lord?!) and just like dad, well you don't really look like him, much less talk or have the same charisma. so better, wag na lang. wag mo na kaming ipahamak. because while the 'force' may be with you, a month after your mom's death, i'm not sure you have the force to hold the momentum on your own. as in ha, on your own? remember, you won the senate USING your mom's color and your sister's popularity. binati mo lang yata si sister para makasama mo sa kampanya. so wag na lang ha? si mar talaga, kahit kailan, bobo. aatras sa laban ng hindi sigurado. o baka nga talagang nabisto lang. similar to you, running on the wave of a popular family name, only. nakakaawa. kawawang bayan.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Separating Worlds: An Experiment with Time

last week, i worked from the flat and could not distinguish which was work and play. i would momentarily pause and grab hemingway's then begrudgingly, put it aside to face the computer. so i decided, with officemate or not, i'm working in the office the whole week. and wow, what a decision! the setting of a desk and gum trees outside, with mulch on the ground, made me feel comfy that while i'm using a zillion of my brain cells, i am still in a school, the positive vibrations of the academe swirling and egging me on. yesterday tuesday, i worked for about 3 hours, interspersed with meetings with jane and ian (barns, a former professor) and today wednesday, about 5 hours, interspersed with a writing seminar on structure. the walk to school afterwards, i feel was worth it. i worked and i earned it...not reading any article, not writing anything about my research but instead...while away chatting with yaman and grabbing a book to relax. so i guess it pays to have separate worlds of work and home. the former, to release energy because you must and the latter, to just gather enough energy for it by enjoying what you want, with abandon. last monday, my rest day, i really challenged myself to not do anything studentsy but read a pocketbook. i was able to finish robert van gulik's chinese lake murders in a day. so now, as fast as i write in the day, at night and late afternoons, i look forward to reading more the books i want to read (rhyme and the 12th card is underway), chat with yaman until she's fed up, surf at any blog that interests me, check my accounts online, read the professional heckler, cross stitch or just plainly lie in bed with my legs raised as i want to. discipline before pleasure is time deserved.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


the other sunday, i had lactose intolerance. now, palpitations. just ate deep fried chicken, thigh part (with the ass) and wings. 1 each. i had to microwave them first for 3 min, per janty's instructions but yuck! after 3 minutes, the flesh got cooked right but the insides no. blood was oozing from the thigh. uhm, what if i deep fry it? so there after 10 minutes, i was ready to eat. after 15 min, while standing, i could hear my heart beat wildly and i felt so hot. good for the weather but not for my psyche. at 38? palpitations while eating chicken? i must be out of my mind. out of body. what do you call it? an anachronism. not supposed to. i'm 38. just a little over half of my lifespan as a filipino woman (we're supposed to live till 73). but a friend of a friend just died at 34, another at 27. jungee's batchmate just died before i left. he was 37. 27 to 37. 38 a residual. but still within range.