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)

Monday, October 31, 2011

Transcripts to Go!

a short fuse. red days coming up. and a thurday to finish. God, guide me through fieldwork 2 transcripts!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Printing the Paper

the visit to uni was an insurance. that whatever happens with the soft files, the paper file is still there. indeed, the hard copy is still the best copy. better to re-type than re-think.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Finishing my Paper

it was unexpectedly long at 48 pages, excluding a 4-page reference list and a 5-page glossary. it also contained 10 tables and 2 figures.

at the closing stage of editing, my nerves were on end. i have had nasty experiences with Word and they normally happen when i'm saving voluminous files, especially the ones with tables and figures. so with this paper, i had to delete the 2 figures first then reinserted them during the last pasada before updating the table of contents.

hay, nakaraos din. the powerpoint would be easy. just 10 slides max. it would not be a breeze on november 3. but this, these 48 pages is a good start.  i'm proud of it because it was able to consolidate 75% of drafts written in the past six months. it could even stand now as a chapter, a real chapter.

so it's really true, we may not appreciate it in the writing process, even at the output stage, but every piece written has value, one cut-and-paste way or another, at one time or another. they will all just fit. beautifully.  i look forward to the rest of this phd.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Four to Ten

four minutes to ten, and i realized i haven't been here. thought of posting my latest favorite, tomato and shrimp pasta but the thought got drowned by the paper finished for next week's presentation. so this would have to do. so i could back to bed, with legs raised and saying my goodnights to the Hubby i miss tonight.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Four Friends and their Descent

four of my friends here in australia who did their phds, ahead of me by about 2-3 years posted successes with their thesis lately. three of them - janty (indonesian), jay (nepalese) and teng phee (malaysian chinese) had their thesis examined and eventually accepted. janty with minor corrections and teng phee without the need for any (impressive!).  jay did not say anything about the revisions on his thesis except that it has been accepted by the Research Committee of Murdoch. bic2x, my filipina friend, just handed in hers last friday and what a relief  it is, after 6 long months of waiting for the go-signal from her principal supervisor (she had 4 supervisors in all).  as bic2x said, they are now on the descent from the mountain. and while i still am on the ascent, just seeing them with skin, souls and sanity intact, weathered but still standing, fills me with a lot of inspiration. in my mind, i can see them with their hats, walking sticks, and weary but beaming smiles.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

My Delicate Flower

he is so sensitive, the change in weather rattled his health once more, or so he said. it must be the after-office choir practice. or the meeting for his bacolod trip.  or the food he eats at smc cafe. or perhaps he's using perfume again. perhaps because of the isolation from moi.  oh Lord please take care of him for me. i can only watch from afar, the not so clear sneezing form of my  husband.  the most delicate flower of my garden.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Shadowman's Girl

for the past two days since arriving
Lightworker has been nursing colds
and an impending asthma attack

but she has not remissed her duties
of daily exercises, cooking, laundry,
blogging, reading, skyping to her loves
even to her batchmates
for whom she committed to draft
the request letter for sponsorship

what a lady!
she is Shadowman's girl
his Lightworker

Monday, October 24, 2011

Fighting Asthma

the cold temperature inside the shop at IGA-Winthrop must have done me in, including the low resistance from the lack of sleep and a nasty run of colds.  by the time roxanne and i got home past lunch, i was already coughing. with intervals of 30min at first, until it became more frequent. it was only in the evening that a dose of cough syrup was taken, from an old supply of bisolvon inside the medicine cabinet. good, not yet expired.  the asthma i observed also last night, but was drowned out by the cough syrup.  around 4pm today, i heard a slight wheezing. and until now, there's a pause in my breathing that only asthmatics know is asthma. still i refuse to use the inhaler. saka na, when i can't hold it anymore, can't take in air as manageably as i can now. it breathing already interferes with toothbrushing.  to use the inhaler means taking two doses, one in the morning and another at night, for 7 straight days. the risk of losing my voice then is high, which does not bode well for the november 3 presentation of research findings. so now, the wheezing will be endured and the natural fight against asthma would continue.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Friday's Indulgence

friday night
the couple agreed not to have dinner
but navigating through c5 and seeing lydia's lechon signage
changed everything
sometimes it is good to yield, in moderation though


lightworker's back to perth, early morning sunday
tired, sneezy, sick
if only shadowman can feel what you feel
he will endure, suffer if he may
be well my lightworker

Saturday, October 22, 2011


not yet sick but on the way there. the nose has been runny since getting here around noon, in carpet-paved T3 of singapore's changi airport. i left my health and heart in naga city and manila. i love you Yaman. i love you Shadowman. i'll be home soon.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Enough with Yaman

enough is hard to define when referring to how the week spent with Yaman was. i count enough how she keeps on jumping when i arrived, indicating just how happy and excited she was on seeing me after 6 long months. i count enough that we spent her 6th birthday with her Daddy here in Naga. i count enough how we tickle each other before waking up.  i count enough taking her to school every day from monday to thursday around 8am, then fetching her by the gate come release time of 3pm. i count enough the clutch of her small strong hands as we walk the streets of the village, the route to sm and back. i count enough that we now have a favorite spot at shakey's naga which she readily goes to when entering. i count enough that today, we got to play tetris in E63 called globalboxx, that we got to play tickle before brushing her teeth, that we got to talk of how the Korean movie 'Mama' made me cry on the flight home, and she clutched me so tight with the idea of her mom drenched with tears and chose to just embrace and cuddle me, despite her tita yumi offering her arms for an embrace.  i count the many more enoughs in the future with my abalantung.  there is no saying enough after all.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Blog Is

while lightworker attends to some school batch-related concerns
shadowman writes to say she can't make it today

but the world of blogs has a life of its own
it moves...

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Spaghetti for Yaman

it was a simple request from Yaman. that she would like to have spaghetti for lunch tomorrow, her school normally requiring them to bring packed lunch every wednesday. spaghetti for lunch? pwede daw, she said. then, mommy diba marunong kang magluto ng spaghetti?. so there, out of the blue, and good that i went to centro in the afternoon, not that i won't even if it's not on schedule to, i would really go out of my way to cook a simple spaghetti for my little girl. so now she's fast asleep and tomorrow she'll have her spaghetti for lunch. courtesy of the mommy.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Late Blog

too tired too blog and too broke to care
as the back touches the bed
can do no more
but sigh then snore
the sight of the sleeping Yaman
beside me like an angel
and i shall lay deep in slumber
the blog a thought
but worth writing a day after

Friday, October 14, 2011


by the time this is posted, i've traveled 3222 miles to get to manila. i have gone past the long immigration lines at naia 1, especially at the rush hour period of 1pm-5pm.  i have perhaps been mulling whether to eat crispy pata, or panga ng tanigue at gerry's grill. perhaps the Hubby is with me already or am waiting for him at raya. perhaps i've done a little stretching. perhaps i've taken a bath na.  let all this happen Lord in your grand time. Please, get me home.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Of Bags and Home

this time, the luggage contains only one pair of pants, mine; while the rest are for everyone.  nice to see how a 15-kg case could hold what has been hoarded for the past five months, from shop sales, and visits to the swap mart during early sunday.  one pair of extra shirt and underwear are in the carry-on bag. i'm going home. even if for a week. i'm going home.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


indeed, why does God bestow us with sunsets if not to say, that no matter how the day has been, a magnificent splendor that only He can design, awaits us.  i know that Shadowman and I are part of his grand design in our individual lives. it matters why we met this time, and why we met at all. 

just three nights ago, i had one of the worst dreams ever. a female seer prophesied that the future of our relationship would be maindatahun. the dream ended abruptly, that it was not enough to throw important questions like, 'in what way?' and 'how can we avoid it?'. 

i am sharing this dream here as a way to dispel the possibility of misfortune. just as if if one dreams about death, one should talk about it to avoid it. 

i am not ignoring that Shadowman and I be meant for prosperity, other than posterity. for who would not want a blissful and stable relationship? but that, i would desire fairness too. fairness, in the sense, that if God brought us back together, and for a purpose, then perhaps it is justified to ask that we be able to live and give witness to this purpose by living our togetherness to its fullness.  not that i desire a perfect seamless relationship because testing does happen.  but i desire that we may be spared from tragedy above all that would not only affect us, but also the lives connected with us. 

until now, i could still not reconcile, am still searching for a lasting and quiet peace, why two broken lives made whole again by togetherness could be fated as tragically. 

may this dream remain just a dream, soon to be buried in the recesses of memory, and deep sleep.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Save the Best for Last

it's as trite as sunrise and sunset
but one needs to experience it to believe it
indeed God saves the best for last
and more often it is the most uncommon

when two people pledge to love for life
they do not only promise heaven and earth
but everything in between and beyond

to my lightworker
i do not promise  heaven for its sake
i promise heaven and earth and everything
in between and beyond for your sake

fear not for we will journey through life together
dreams, nightmares, sad realities will come
but for as long as we are together
there is no storm we cannot weather

this is our time.

Monday, October 10, 2011

So Far

in five months,  three mini-chapters have been written.  the first, the introduction, containing an explanatory framework for assessing policy outcomes that considers program outcomes as not independent of political relationships and the governing political economy.  the second, on the policy and politics of Kaantabay, explains how the program is a product of a policy environment as well as the exploitation of political opportunity by urban poor groups, elites and state reformers in naga city. the third, on the pre-Kaantabay conditions of 12 study sites provides an ethnographic explanation of the informality and extra-legality of squatter settlements in naga city. only 12 months left to find how these all fit with other data and information yet to be processed, pondered and written.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Blogger Sucks

Blogger sucks. Pictures uploaded in a mesh of colors.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

In the Company Of

alone in the company of birds pecking on dried leaves and fallen lemons. in the company of cars breezing through the freeway, occasionally honking, and one with boisterous teenagers yelling their hearts out. in the company of strange noises between the walls and up there on the ceiling. in the company of the wind gently flapping the open blinds. in the company of a tenacious fly trapped between the wire mesh of the kitchen exhaust. being alone in a cold brick house could really drive one to insanity if not for the quirks of life within and from the outside that brings sanity back to the dining table.

Friday, October 7, 2011

The List

i am doing part-time admin work in the arc, looking up names of previous researchers, speakers and the who's who in politics and international studies that make up the list of invites for the center's upcoming jubilee year.  how do i dare ally with these people with all their credentials, publications, and recognitions? do be a doctor too, to be counted among them, is one feat i have yet to see manifest, even in my daydreams.  my data is so far off from my hands, i am doing non-phd work for the past two days, which further adds to my isolation and desolation.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Yaman Ko

nami-miss ko na ang parong ni yaman. itong halong vinagre aromatico, gatas asin johnson's baby cologne. makugos asin mahadukan ang aki ko sana ngunyan na, sa atyan o sa aga. makakauli man giraray akong naga.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Earth with Michael

i know i have to start with the seminar paper, or the biblio of an urban poverty article, or the readings on realist evaluation, or a re-reading of the mini chapters written since april. but i don't want to. instead, i chose a non-cerebral but monetarily rewarding task of googling names and addresses just to help me home on my seat, familiarize with the scenery and air of the centre, and acclimatize with the eerie silence of not having nicole around.  how i wish to see the Hubby coming down those steps to the arc once more, for us to walk the way home to windelya and just absorb the noise of passing cars drowning our talks together.  jane calls it, 'coming down to earth' because, indeed, in the past two weeks i have been in heaven and beyond. i caught a glimpse of a life with the Hubby, all absorbed in him and through him. and how i wish that life is really permanent. that outside of the arc and this phd, there is a real man i'm coming home to and with, every day, my true and real love by the name of Michael.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Miracle Sana

i wish for a miracle.  to find a way home to my family this december. i don't know how to respond to the bidding of my heart. that longs for my Yaman and Shadowman.

Monday, October 3, 2011


the navy blue slippers empty of his feet
the air about his presence
the bed the mark of his heavy frame
the chair by the dining which he occupies
the mirrors of the face that smiles back

so tonight i shall asleep
with whatever memory i can hold
of my true love who came, and stayed, and loved
his slippers now by the door of this room
his sweater and pillow by the bed
the sheets will stay on for another week
to keep his scent, his musk, alive

this is the only way
i could be comforted
by the reality that he was here
with me, beside me, and in me
loneliness now takes on
the color of blue and shadows...

Sunday, October 2, 2011


he does not complain. whether walking 10km from stirling highway to matilda bay to swan river to the university of western australia. whether washing dishes even late at night, hanging the laundry and folding them neatly once dry. whether facing flight cancellations and the lugging of heavier than expected luggage. by the sofa tonight, as i lay my head on his leg while watching tv, i know this is the man who holds my forever. he is tired from walking. he feels fat from eating. he seems irritated from my asking him not to spy while i'm blogging.  but still he's here by my side, downloading. faithfully by my side all the time. he is all i want all these years. and i have to pinch myself that this is all true, he, with me, his leg, his music, my music, our music. our happiness of just being together enough to quell the tiredness, the fatness, and the irritation two people just go through to forever. he just shouted, 'done wifey!' a little while ago. thanks my Hubby. thanks really so much for being you. 

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Daddy's Songs

a lot of songs and singers remind me of my Dad. stylistics, jose feliciano, dionne warwick, john denver, asin, and just now, rico puno. reminds me of life in the 70s, my still uncomplicated, carefree life. when in the company of these singers and their songs, i would glide by the wooden floor of the master bedroom, my dad reading his favorite book or newspaper. when breakfast, lunch and dinner were my only expectations with these songs being played in the background.  when pressing on the 'play' button of our cassette tape was a massive accomplishment. when the only time i don't see my dad working was when he winds and unwinds the brown glossy string from his cassette tapes to rehash them.  sometimes, hearing tunes in the bus or the mall or just were pop music plays, i would be reminded of a song, as if it's in the music box of my memories, transporting me back to the time of being skinny, with reed-thin legs. the time when being strong is a far off obligation. when the sight of the man of the house and his songs are enough to bring comfort, assurance that tomorrow will be the same as today.