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)

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Reams of Dreams

lightworker's dead tired
having printed something like four reams today
of Phd journals and articles for references
it is no joke specially when it is only a fraction of the first part
reading and integrating are the main challenges
in her words 'the whole exercise is overwhelming and daunting'
but now is the time to say enough is not enough...

Friday, April 29, 2011

No Cane

i need an assistant, as the modern sherlock quips. to prepare my bibliographies, an excel summary of all readings, stakeholder analysis, the rest of lerma and lerma-austria transcripts, organizational transcripts that take over an hour, daily internet searches, the remaining matrices for pook mangga, tuphoa and upville, the summary tabulations, the macro-processing. but then if i have to revise, remind, repeat, complain and regret, i'd rather be my own assistant. but ugh, what a hard mountain to climb without a cane.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Feeling Other

perhaps because even as a little girl, you could mind your own business. draw, paint, walk about the house, look over your collection of boxes, and bags of knick-knacks, uncaring of the woman on the screen. perhaps it's taking for granted for its sake or the just the slow humdrumming of a life of separation. no one wants to be taken for granted. to feel this insignificant. to be significant only when there is an 'incentive', a gift, a book, easter eggs, easter rabbit is just not right.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A Nicole and Vitti Conversation

N:  is it really true? an asian boyfriend is more caring than a german boyfriend, than the rest?

V: oh, that remains a hypothesis to be tested.

V: we should see each other after 10 years and compare notes

N: make a longitudinal study ha ha

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Lady Luck

sometimes lady luck smiles and says, 'ok vitti, your turn this time'. and i gladly take it. simple or grand. thank you.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Reading Again

it's one thing sacrificed during the phd. one thing foregone, took up for a short while, and then forgotten. for a long long time. Reading. reading a book. reading a pleasure of a book. reading without haste. reading on a chair to avoid sleep. reading because i just want to. it is not a sin but doing so in a way imposes a certain guilt. as if my papers, transcripts, are crying out for time, my attention.  so while it takes a great deal of effort to concentrate on the phd, it takes a great amount of will to just allow oneself the luxury of giving in to wants. so yes, i read today. for two days i read The Surgeon of Crowthorne. and it was such a blast. a breakthrough to once more do, what i so love doing.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

it's a humid rainy sunday here in perth. nevertheless, i wore red on the occasion with a white pashmina around my waist and jeans, now loose (again), held intact by a belt.  st. patrick's was unusually packed; with the middle pews filled with people in their best attires - men in ties, and women in white, fully made up. you'll see they don't often go to church because of the hesitation. deciding whether to sit or kneel after the prayer over the hosts or to sit or kneel after the exchange of peace.  it's as if, the blessing of the Holy Water during Easter was the main reason they're there. on the way to fremantle markets, the main roads have been blocked, in preparation for the street festival which i have not prepared for. hungry after having only an apple before mass, i had to hurry to the station to catch the bus.  i avoid the crowds, as now i'm relatively afraid to stroll alone in freo but with two bags of grocery, i could still pass as an ordinary foreigner, finished with her business in the markets. this is Easter here in Perth, my first in two years. deep inside as a Catholic, it is not an ordinary day in a day marked by the faith in resurrection, in new life within an old, and in futures surmountable.  away from family, Yaman and the Hubby, i 'celebrate' it on occasion to eat meat. so tonight, i'm having lamb sausages, my first in 40 years. Happy Easter and may this day unfold as ordinarily and peacefully as it did with mine, on this side of the world.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Passing and Waiting

i sit by the roadside
waiting for the cyclist
passing my time
arranging stones in faces
smiling, frowning faces
the road cannot be more than solitary
in the company of stones

Friday, April 22, 2011


we love each other so much to have our own flesh and blood
we love each other so much we'll risk togetherness
outside what what's formal and accepted,
all others are but conditions, we will adapt when they come
because the essential, elemental exists, remains. WE. US.
that's more important than the future.
from WE, US, the future will follow
i love you
you are irreplaceable
you are the present and the future enough for me

Thursday, April 21, 2011

See a Doctor

since getting here in perth last mar 31, i've been asked many times: how did you slim down? what exercises did you take? what food did you eat? are you eating? for someone who took the hcg route, it's hard to explain the path i took. first, it's no ordinary feat to explain hcg. hcg is not even an ordinary topic that any mind, ordinary or extraordinary, could take in one go. people would nod their heads and say, yes, but their faces could not hide the incomprehension. the questioning look in their eyes. so how did i do it? and what's the most basic that i did? i went to see a doctor. a doctor who's a naturopath and traced the root of my problem in obesity, in years-long yoyo dieting, on fats that won't just melt. so it's really not the hcg. the exercise. or the food. it's the doctor. this is not only the safest but also the sanest answer regarding my 'transformation'. go see a doctor. it might save your life before you know it.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

This Ring

wrote once here before that the next time i'll wear a ring, it would be symbolic.  so what would it mean, what omen does it portend should i lose one as symbolic as my engagement ring? it took me hours going round my room, the corridors and the toilet, and back. i just couldn't find it. sure enough wearing it at work. Endnote and library work forgotten in moments immersed in anxiety, loss, and a deep sense of foreboding.  i can't lose it now. i can't lose it this way. i just can't lose it! forgetting the time and the schedules ahead, i decided to go home. if it's not here, it may be there.  and on the road close to st. ives, made up my mind that i will go back to the arc. and go to the last place which could bring hope. the toilet bin filled with paper towels used in washing hands after toilet use. it must be there. if not in my room, it's there.  only two places frequented, my desk and the ladies' restroom. if not in the vicinity of the former, then only the latter would do.  i had to return to work before the cleaners empty the bins and the ring, lost to me, forever. 

the ring, while symbolic, remains to be just a thing. despite the assurances from ShadowMan that while symbolic, it does not measure to the commitment and love between us, still it is some thing so it more than just a thing. out here, away from him, despite the images of him transmitted through skype, the calls, the emails, i need a thing to clasp, to rub between my fingers, to behold under sunlight, to remind that i am embodied to a great love.  and so for the moment, the more than 2 hours, it was lost and searched and pined for and found, i agonized on the loss of this essence, this connection, this embodiment.  now, here back on my finger, held inside by the emerald ring, i know that to lose it again means losing my finger as well, and perhaps the death of me. 

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Bugger this Line!

i could wake up early to school. walk the mile from the shops. later in the evening, cook dinner and food for tomorrow. but when the internet is down, again and again, day after day, it could get to me.

Monday, April 18, 2011


i want to get married this year. it's not the gown. the church ceremony. the roster of songs a live choir will sing. not the motif or the columns of white tulips. it's not even the garden wedding. it's that man waiting for me at the altar. or if not an altar, standing by the judge and a jesuit priest as witness. i want to get married to this man. carry his name. bear his child without a guilty conscience. announce to the world that i am blessed with a new name. i want a real marriage. real real real.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Wild Imaginings

when i can't sleep
i just think of how you make me
and my body surrenders
my imagine soars
and the distance between us
is bridged by a breath...

Saturday, April 16, 2011


quite alarming to know that lightworker's sleep has suffered again
i could imagine being awake for 6 hours doing nothing but move here and there
in desperate hope to catch the elusive knock down
coffee should be out of the system

shadowman is worried
come home to me na lang

Friday, April 15, 2011

Tech Breakdown

it's getting into the hubby's nerves already. and taking a toll too in the mother-daughter long distance relationship? when skype is the only way, what could one do if the way is faulty? is this an unlucky happenstance? or just a technical glitch?  no way to blog like this, too.  

Thursday, April 14, 2011


it happens. the daughter glued on tv. electing the tv than me. and i electing to just watch sherlock in lieu of a conversation.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Hating the Blog

sometimes when time is of the essence, this blog is already a nuisance...

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Blame It On The Coffee

hardly slept last night. just 2 hours after midnight. after mentally praying the Holy Rosary, Sorrowful. mind so awake despite a weak body, reached the Carrying of the Cross would you believe? up until today when i tried sleeping after lunch. the mind was awake for half an hour. the hubby's buzz, the intro on metaphysics. the camomile has yet to take effect. the coffee perhaps the culprit for this adrenaline rush. just the coffee. i really hope it's the coffee.

Monday, April 11, 2011


to blog
take meds
drink apple cider
detours to sleep
oh sleep
get me before 10

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Regimen so Far

i swore not to eat rice upon turning 40 last february. but that doesn't mean i'm not taking any carbs. or that i'm just relying on fruits and veggies to supply the needed daily carbo intake. upon getting here in perth last april 1, been introducing carbs to the regular diet, good carbs this time.  every day i source good carbs from wholemeal buns, wheat bars and recently, organic rice-based pasta. it's convenient here with the many sources available in shops and online.  in naga, the options are very much limited although i've seen advertised whole wheat products and organic breads in graceland for example.  the weight has gone down to a regular 118-119lbs, and except for the coming 6 days with the monthly period, i spare 30-40 min a day for sun salutations, simple weight-lifting and floor exercises for the belly.  the every day walk to uni is 15min on the way up and another 15 on the way down.  it's hard to be fit when one sees the amount of time and effort deliberate to keep the weight at least steady. but the thought becomes easy when the figure looking at you in the mirror smiles back with a contented healthy glow.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

A Start

if not for a self-imposed bedtime of 10pm, i could go on writing.  been on this desk since 11am and the matrix, the fifth of 5 columns, has yet to be completed.  of course, in the past 10 hours, went out twice to eat: lunch at 2pm and an early dinner snack of oat/ honey and wheat biscuits outside the veranda at 5pm; collected dry clothes and arranged them neatly in piles for storage; and soaked 'flags' for tomorrow's washing. on the side, i was texting the hubby in Ilocos and skyping with the little abalantung who i heard but didn't get to see because of poor connectivity here. i have 58 minutes to spare and the hubby will call soon.  ok, ok. brain cells need rest and the delicate hands too. now with little wrinkles and veins showing. 

Friday, April 8, 2011

The Wisdom of 21

i call it the wisdom of 21. to take things slow. to talk things --- schedules, structure, strategy ---with the supe first. to not work after 6pm after starting already before 9am. to refuse saturday forays in the office. as long as i can. because i know i will get to these soon. to chase time on the rush. standing up the supes. work well after sunset.  make saturday, and sunday a regular working day. i am going through the rhythms of time. not wasting. not skulking. not procrastinating. but not overdoing it. this time.  in 21 months, wiser i hope. with my energies for the most important, critical things.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Realistic than Sorry

i have been psyched to go home for phase 3 fieldwork this coming october 2011-january 2012. but to my surprise and dismay, the supe won't let me. frowned at the early sked of october although she approved of it in the application for funding november last year. i understand her reasons. to have more time to write, considering that i demonstrated difficulty in writing during the latest fieldwork (of course jane, i'm pressed for time) and that there's a july 2012 deadline to catch. but on the realistic side, we could not make it on july 2012. the earliest realistic estimate is february 2013. that's all chapters in, with no revisions yet. so with three more months for revisions, there is the possibility of exhausting the extension until july 2013.  i am into realistic assumptions which throws of all plans to be home for yaman's and the hubby's birthday, christmas and new year. to eat words and go budget again should i decide to just go home for a week for yaman's 7th on october 17.  rather than sulk, perhaps it would be more productive to explore other possibilities for going home and maximizing time with loved ones. money is always the chief concern. and i wonder, when i'll become a millionaire here. but just soe things are priceless and worth being bankrupt for.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Why 24?

24 hours is not enough. for the one who devised, organized our lives through hours and minutes, why was a day compressed to just 24 hours? it was not enough to have a decent chat with yaman over skype, not enough to talk to uncle rolly and auntie nina, my second parents here in australia. not enough to catch enough sleep to calm my adrenals. not enough to fit sun salutations and sit-ups to one routine. not enough to trace the whereabouts of a traveling hubby. not enough to blog without hurrying, like now.

Monday, April 4, 2011

A Fright in Freo

at 1030am in freo, took my safety for granted. was walking down the back of city hall, debating whether i should go right to have a cappuccino along the cafe strip or drop by the markets to have japanese noodles. i chose the later while eating a small jonathan apple which was disappointing.  suddenly, a aboriginal man, about my height but stocky came to view. with glasses and wearing black trousers and a polo shirt with similar black and grey designs. he tended to be respectful by starting his sentence with, 'excuse me mam...'. but perhaps it's instinctual to know danger by invisible intent, i walked on without even responding to him. suddenly, in about 5 seconds, the man was cursing me 'fu@# you!'. and while it was a head-on insult, directly hurled at me, had to swallow my pride and my apple as if deaf to it. i did not change my pace, did not turn around although in going farther and farther, i could still hear the man cursing to his teeth. i surmised, he must be crazy, a schizo thinking the world is out to get him. he was shouting invectives now to almost anyone. it's my first brush with head-on danger here in perth, in freo. the danger to women and children are often the barometer to how dark society is becoming, especially in broad daylight, close to lunch.

Sunday, April 3, 2011


tomorrow i'm back to the reality of the phd. for 3 days i rested and perhaps, tomorrow i would have fresh eyes, fresh mind, and fresh heart. in my childish ways, i still approach the phd.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

The Parenting Privilege

there are parents who get to see their children everyday. waking up with their children and lulling them to sleep, reading them bedtime stories, playing with them. sharing breakfasts, lunches and dinners have become common fare and even taken for granted. in this manner, parenting is indeed a privilege, the wholeness, fullness and depth of which is measured by time. 

this morning, while incidentally watching a baseball game in the US, i just realized how we all do not have the luxury of time.  baseball has to played within a certain time, for players to bat and score. it does not take forever. in tennis, there is time imposed to serve. even sets, which could run endless on decider sets, are still checked on the clock and could only run a day (or night play extended the next morning). everyday, we face and battle with time. bus schedules, meeting and appointments, deadlines, grace periods, study durations. our age is time's barometer and it shows in wrinkles, the farther we could walk, the condition of our joints, our graying hair.

in being a parent who is so far away from my daughter, and who i get to see on skype, i've lost ages of time that could be spent on circumstances some attending parents could take for granted. me and the hubby has the same predicament. we don't get to see our own children often and how we wish to make quality time with them when we could.  and when we don't, that is a daily defeat that we have to swallow and hope for a reprieve, a turnaround, the next day. so for you lucky parents out there,  consider yourself lucky and please stop the blaming and comparing.  we already carry crosses for losing our children in various emotional and psychological ways.

Friday, April 1, 2011


as you fix your things in your new room, in a new house
i can only watch in anticipation of how perfect it would
be to have yamani and me help you complete 'home'
but then again i realize it is not the distance that makes it un-home
it is the love that completes it wherever you may be
home is where you are as we are with you