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)

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Hubby Perth Na!

seeing you disappear among the columns of window counters
brings forth the same old feeling of  being 'orphaned'
though the separation is temporary, i cannot negate that
it is as real as i touched and felt you so close a minute ago

in whatever way i dispel the loneliness by drowning myself to work,
attending meetings, partaking lunch with colleagues, submitting a report
whose due is still a week from now, still it wont go.

But hearing my phone beeped at 8:58pm with a message
"hubby perth na. will call later. love you" somehow alters the mood
as if the feeling is changed, as if the remote has become so familiar
yes, indeed, life must go on with you here or there

it is not the feeling of good or bad
it  is the love and commitment that define us

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Drug Mules and Safety

if there are some practical lessons to be learned from the death of sally ordinario, ramon credo and elizabeth batain, the three allegedly drug mules convicted and executed in china today, these are: 1. lock your luggage always while traveling overseas; and, 2. don't assume someone else's luggage, either through check-in or hand carry. the latter is often a practice to 'share' baggage limits. when one is under-baggaed, less than 15kg, and is shares the extra kilos to someone who is over-baggaged. this advice liza has long passed on to me, who knows fully well the risks that one faces when carrying someone else's baggage. the chinese must observe their own laws and carry out their own brand of justice.  we just have to take the issue personally. to be safe, one must watch out for one's self because when it comes to drug trafficking laws, anything under your possession is your responsibility.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Real Man

my hubby drove the 337km trip. didn't make a fuss about my bad mood yesterday. engaged in conversations without reference of the misunderstanding yesterday. he stayed with me even in a visit to a friend. didn't whine or complain even though it was a tough day already. it's hard to believe, a pinch on the shoulder needed to remind the blessing fully grasped in reality. the real man beside, in love with me.

Monday, March 28, 2011

No Perfection

there is no such thing as perfect timing. just this afternoon, yaman graduated from prep and we're supposed to be a happy family. when she went to bed, we were at odds with each other. we didn't pray together and tomorrow, i might be off while she's asleep. there's no perfection at all. there might not even be karma. things happen because they just.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

My HcG Body

Taken last Feb 28 at 126lbs
Full view of a slimmer look in more than 20 years

Saturday, March 26, 2011


what makes life complete? Yaman, myself and the Hubby. the trinity is complete.

Friday, March 25, 2011

A Man and His Tea

such sad fate, to be old, frail , without company for tea. i wonder where your children are or at what age the wife left you. to be so feeble one cannot slice a carrot cake. to have enough gray hair but without memory. you are as poor as the aimless beggar, walking where the road leads, holding out to what is given, even if understand. in sad fates, the rich and the poor are equals.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Pogi

the hubby wishes to be called this way. indeed he is. although he finds himself bald, and with an obvious stomach. i see him as he is when he was 13, a brown-haired atenean with mestizo features. i see him as i knew him, the serious dignified one, who suffered in silence while just letting me be. i see him as no one else has not, playful, passionate, very demonstrative, almost pilyo. there are many ways to his pogi-ness and i'm honored to witness it all. 

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Last of a Wednesday

the day was supposed to be full. follow-ups at the city hall, to the bank and bichara theater. but with incessant sneezing, heavy headache and the desire to sleep, had to put off the last wednesday of fieldwork.  couldn't lift a finger to work on a matrix (but to blog, yes). as a woman of signs, am i being told to stop and just recap? that there are more important things. like feeding yaman her favorite gambasetti, her dinner of shrimp cocido and just instructing her on the 'ib' and 'id' in her new phonics workbook. there are no space for wondering, questioning, and even, regret. this not the last wednesday of fieldwork. this is the last of a march wednesday with my Yaman.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Chickenpox and Counting

sneezing at marcella's earlier, i felt the early strains of fever. blocked nose and watery eyes. greeted raya by a slew of sneezes on the way to the bedroom to get a lampin. later on, checking the neck, torso and limbs for that rash that could me further reason to in in in the philippines. deep down, i wish i could get chicken pox, to find a valid reason to stay on and avoid australia. because i'm counting the days again to six months of heartbreak.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Eggplants and a Quake

was frying eggplants around 637pm. wondered suddenly, feeling dizzy? i am? my surroundings were moving sidewards and as i stabilized, in about 10 seconds, realized this is not dizziness but an earthquake in progress. no dimming lights, no screams outside, although i heard a guard's shrill whistle.  not the Big One but as Dr. Solidum of PHIVOLCS warned, one should be preparing for it.  the immediate plan here in Raya is to switch to gas from electric stove to buy one extra receptacle of purified water and to stock on canned goods as possible. but after that nothing more.  called the Hubby around 640pm, excited and alarmed, on to learn that he doesn't know it, didn't feel it. from varying positions, we will be caught by disasters, sooner or later. from varying points of preparedness, and knowingness. we just have to rely on each other then.

At 637pm, a 5.7 magnitude hit Lubang Fault in Occidental Mindoro, triggering a 3.0 magnitude tremor in Metro Manila. 

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Liza: Love My Bff

liza and i have been bestfriends since elementary. it's like that. a test of being bestfriends is  nothing changes between you even if waistlines expand, gray dominates the crown, and we carry along our babies while babbling the latest gossips or heavy realities in life. in conversation, the embraces, in voice, and in cues that signal yeah, we know that from yesterday; yes, this is part of who you are; true, i confirm what you have been through.  saw her and jj this morning and it won't be enough to fill in the years apart, but i feel may 'baon', to see us through to the next 5 years or 10. in this age of facebook, nothing beats seeing each other still face to face. the real in front of you and breathing, happy, laughing again. 

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Naga's War on Informality

Naga City's war on informality celebrates beauty and aesthetics in behalf of the crass and the unsightly. this is being celebrated by a photo contest of the 'new' public market. here are my entries:

The Men in Blue are confiscating a basketful of vegetables from an itinerant vendor.

The dirty, squalid and visually unappealing location for watch/ battery repairers.

The apportioned location of each watch repair carton as designated by the Public Market Office.

Of the 20" battery/ watch repairers relocated here, only one remains operational after a week.

Squalor for the informal...

 But decent worker...

Where the smallest of nooks is a home...

Friday, March 18, 2011

Yaman's Last Day in Kindy

yaman's counting non-stop 1-100. on her third try, she's reached 300. if at 5 1/2, she knows how to read 'privilege', spell 'together' and divide 77 by 7, how would she discern at age 21? what would all this intelligence mean without hard work, patience, eagerness to learn and initiative? her learning age group teacher bade her goodbye today, the last day of school at the montessori, with a message on her Language notepad, 'believe in yourself, follow the rules, and you'll never be mistaken'. following the rules may be the norm as we should not forget that there must be a boundary breached for self-confidence to come full form. i value yaman's intelligence but i pray it would not end with just getting by, just living within the rules . i tell her, find something to do, to be that will help you meet your needs, make you happy, and make you sleep soundly like a baby. perhaps, in a way, making her own rules.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

What Truth?

i'm wondering how much of truth can be told? whether truth is indeed truth. whether there is really no truth but perspective. and that as nietzsche has long pointed out, perspective is truth. there can be no truth but one's perspective of it. i look at the program i'm studying now and the deep shit i'm in. i am not wrong in saying that with Kaantabay, Mayor Robredo is really an emperor without clothes.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Yaman's Hall

before she formally opens her own art gallery in the future, here i'm posting the latest of Yaman's creations, in Ninang Gie's Samsung cel, which she thinks is the coolest ever cellphone here on earth.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Majestic Mayon

she's a wily woman
selfish with her beauty
so the moment she bares it
snap! snap! snap! capture it!

Mount Mayon taken in company of the most breathtaking sight in the world...ricefields!

Monday, March 14, 2011

What's the Point?

the inspiration for this blog comes from my mom. she was chatting with a fellow grandma about keeping her bones strong through this exercise machine that costs P70,000. upon learning though about the nuke facility explosion and this ludicrous text going around of the possibility of fallouts in the philippines, she asked my mom, what's the point in being healthy if we're going to die from this incident anyway? indeed. perhaps the survivors at the miyagi prefecture were thinking the same way? why did i take my yacht if there's going to be a tsunami anyway? why did i get married today? why did i go out to buy chocolate? what's the point in studying and getting a degree? why did i go out and buy colors for my daughter? if one is going to die anyway? if death would be this sudden, wasteful? what's the point in living? exactly. there is no point at all. the question is not the point. because indeed if we know death, accident and tragedy, then we would be stopped in our tracks. the very point of continuing stops. suddenly to me what materialized is what has been hammered long before as the value of the present. the now. the moment hanging in the air. the voice of Shadowman ringing in my ears. yaman drinking her iced tea, beside me drawing a multi-colored fence of green, blue and red. if i would be engrossed in the coming minute, hour or day of an incoming quake, tsunami, or just a day unfolding normally, i would fail to see the beauty of the present and my opportunity to capture it with a generous gesture, a kind word, unwavering attention, a humble answer. on this instance, tomorrow is inconsequential. the future is not the point. 

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Yaman is Crying Already

last night, yaman just cried her heart out. just suddenly, just after finishing her prayer. there are no need for words from her. it's me with the explanation, not enough for her young ears. that mommy's not leaving forever. that mommy would always, always return. but on she cried and cried. and i know this time, i'm going to cry too.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Price of Formality: Clean Public Market Restrooms

went to market today, expecting that yeah, i'll hold it in again since there's no clean public toilet in the naga city public market. but after doing rounds at the meat section, i couldn't believe what i was staring at. a public toilet maintained to spic and span cleanliness. it was the janitress's voice that drew me then the rows of bakya by the door before entering. hmmm, worth a try.  and i was not disappointed. for a fee of PhP2.00 (1/20th of 1 aussie dollar), i got to pee inside a clean public rest room, with enough water and washing soap. if not for the price of formality i would be grateful. as in the back of mind, with the formality occurring around naga, what would happen to those outside of it?

The immaculately clean corridor greets you...
Enough water and soap for washing...

And cheap...P2.00 for peeing and P5.00 for relieving...As Filipino as it gets --- so many instructions just to use the toilet. Because we choose to ignore?
The fees collected are dropped a appropriate...Don't throw away our money!
The bakya means business!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Prayer for the Big One

except for an alarmist text coming from someone poorly informed, i have been receiving a lot of text messages since 7:10pm today calling for prayer brigades to help spare the Philippines from quakes and tsunamis so devastating we may never recover. i placed my cell aside because i go for a different prayer. i could not prevail over Mother Nature and the One Up There that decides the course of natural events. instead, i'd rather pray that i live after and persist to be strong after. strong in the sense, physically, of course but more importantly, emotionally and psychologically. to be able to survive trauma, immobility and helplessness that often strikes disaster survivors. because i believe, it is more devastating to lose hope, the night or day after the Big One.i'd rather pray for the emotions, thoughts and will to be as composed and stable as ever. these i have control over.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Can't Stand Standing Yaman

last night, with fatigue and menstruation cutting my patience in half, i left Yaman fending for herself at the sala, after refusing to brush her teeth and throwing a mini-tantrum by just watching tv instead, superheroes to boot at CN channel (that's how i knew she's throwing one --- how can a girl who likes Hello Kitty and Barbie endure Superman?). anyway, i still got out of bed after a mere 5 minutes. can't help wondering how she is, her toothbrushing, and how helpless my baby could be. found her in elvie's room, brushing now, but looking at me with dagger eyes.  while i was tidying up her things at the sala, Yaman silently got into the bedroom and when i entered was changing to a shirt because as mom said, she felt cold. and there i was, not minding her still. a bit secure now that she's inside.  covered up and mimicking sleep, i could here her trying to slip into her lola's bed until she changed her mind (mom's bed was too small for both of them) and slowly moved beside me. pretending to cough occasionally, tugging my blanket a bit, perhaps taking a peek, wanting attention. but i was steadfast, hoping for sleep to come eventually while undecided if i should throw my defenses down now or what.  until i heard her pray her usual prayer, a small voice imploring Angel of God to take care of her, looking upwards, hands held in prayer. okay, okay, stop this chicken shit vitti. tapping her on the side and massaging her back as usual, the mom in me prevailed. after kissing and hugging my baby to sleep, i know that no matter how tired, spent or beaten by the day, i could not endure enduring my daughter.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Can't Wait To

why do i have to blog when at 9pm, i'd rather sleep? with ears, feet and eyes tired, with fieldwork ending in two weeks, can't wait to sleep....

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


ever tried eating food trapped between your teeth while flossing? 
ever tried rolling booger into balls and flip them over carelessly?
ever tried not bathing, not washing, not brushing to know how bad you could smell for a day?

ever tried farting as much and as loud amid the company of trees?
what is your brand of ewwness?

Monday, March 7, 2011


we're supposed to sleep early. but yaman begged that we play bili-bilihan. so after brushing her teeth, off she made paper money worth 5100, 900, 500, 9100, 3100 and 50 in pink pad paper with yellow McDo logo. today, Yaman bought from my store natong, cookies, juice and tinapay worth 500. for her 10100 paper money, gave back 9100. the deal is she can buy 500 worth of goods from me without paying for them.  now, the store is closed because it's near bedtime. so close, close, close. her arms mimicking the closing of rolling windows. what a good 15 minutes to spend with my dearest Yaman.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Our Kitchen Project

my next 'project' on my return in october is to build cooking tools/ utensils in our family home in raya. the griddle used for cooking today's pancakes just reminded me that there are specific tools for specific stuff. like a griller for chicken breast fillets, a non-stick wok for fish frying or just a simple egg slicer for eggs on salad. we keep on building ha, hubby?

Saturday, March 5, 2011

HcG and Me

diagnosed with classic subclinical hypothyroidism, any divergence from the hcg diet causes me to gain at least 0.5lb a day. i've been 126 since march 1, until now when my weight plateaud 2x since coming home last march 2 and yesterday, after an all-afternoon-till-9m get together with my bestfriend gie and the super-Ohs (tere, chiqui and ginny). didn't get enough veggies and water perhaps so my weight, from 125.5 shoot up to a sticky 126. 126 or whatever, i'm still happy, relatively speaking. here are the pics of me before and after hcg treatment.

My Heaviest at 151lbs around Jan 2011
A confident 126.4lb by 28 Feb 2011. My first time to wear a dress, with legs exposed, after nth years.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Para sa Batch

to be positive one has to accept the negative. of a highschool batch drawn to grandstanding and visionless leadership. one has to endure these things to move forward. time to sustain the effort. time to just take it in, tomatoes and the hard stuff, if something good has to come out in the end.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

In His Words

I'm the one who wants to think that nobody can equal me when I love you. Love you so much.

03 March 2011

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

My Dreams Matter

i owe my dreams something
believing them

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

East of Our Heart

it looks the same but not. the feel the same but not. the comfort the same but not. still i will miss the east.