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, December 31, 2012

Vamos 2012

2012 goodbye. it's a mixed year. but no regrets. still luck reigns. the heart is free. i'm still wide awake. thank you.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Under the Weather

how to be well before the new year? robitussin, hot water and puff.  the adjustment continues...

Saturday, December 29, 2012

BiRtHdAyS

today, the birthdays of giane, gab and gerry boy were celebrated. the cubs and pride of their Mommy and Daddy. it is a rare feat, to bear kids close within the months of december and january. the sister shares the same birthday with her daughter.  not to be outdone is my daughter. although our birthdays are seven months apart, hers falls on the wedding anniversary of her lola and lolo. unraveling and unfolding.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Shaved

partly the season. partly the heartbreak. partly the weight loss. partly the desire TO JUST BE. got what i wish for before the 2012 ends: A SHAVED HEAD!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Them

at balance with science, logic and reason is the mystical where santiguar, maligno, aswang, and St. Benedict figure. to be considered professional and learned is not an excuse not to be attuned with the real world of spirits, of those that hover, claim space and potentially harm. they are here along with the concrete and the visible. the world is at balance, and so they exist.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Les Miserables: 13 Years After

in the receipt tucked in its pages, i've bought the book in 1999 at A$17.95, which is still a good deal. thick, with brown pages smelling classic in a flash. the book has been sung in operas. it has been translated in many movies, the latest of which is an operetta starred by Hugh Jackman, who is indeed Jean Valjean/ Monsieur Madeleine personified. but still, probably because of eyes that discern better now and a heart that understands better the murmurings of loneliness and solace, i'm glad to be reading the book only now.  13 years after that visit to Dymocks in Fremantle. at the start of Part 2: Cosette, i'm near to things associating her with my only one, Yaman. development is indeed a hypocrisy as long as we don't squint bleeding the poor.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Ang Pasko ay Pista ng mga Bata

ang pasko nga naman ay para sa bata. makita lang ang ningning ng kanilang mga mata sa paghalughog, pagbukas ng regalo, ng stockings na laman ng kendi't tsokolate, sa pagkanta ng carols, at tuwa sa pakikipagsalamuha sa kapwa bata sa kainan. sapat na ito para gunitain ang isang maayos, mapayapa, masarap at masayang pasko. may kasabihan man na tayo'y di na isip-bata, marahil mas mainam na balikan ang alaala ng pagkabata. pagpugayin ang diwa ng pasko sa ngiti, tuwa at galak ng mga bata sa ating paligid.

Monday, December 24, 2012

This Time

the first time. blogging with Yaman sitting on my left lap, insisting that i blog about her farting --- how gross! or the story of pale green pants 'with nobody inside them' - scary! in the background is someone singing nonoy zuniga's 'doon lang' and by the window, the glint of christmas lights, and carolers just told off by my mom (hmmmm...). we wait for midnight, my daughter and i who can't stop thinking about her gifts. she's getting heavy now, leaning against my left hand as i type. perhaps i should stop now. and she should sleep already, time enough to wake by midnight and finally, yes, finally, open the much-awaited, long-for'd gifts.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Simple Lang

plwase, save me from going out tomorrow. still not in my element, grappling with cough and an impending asthma attack. tiomorrow i might just read les miserables. a simple christmas treat for one choosing to just think, live and be simple, whatever the circumstances.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

My HoBbY

DRAWING I ALWAY S DO THAT  BECAUSE I LOVE IT IT.  LOOKS VERYGOOD ITS VERY SOMETHING






THE END

Friday, December 21, 2012

Easy Lang

it must be the crowds. the rush. the in and out of aircon environments and the searing heat outside. must be the staying up late, checking yaman's temp and concerned she keeps on moving - a sign she's not sleeping well. 4 days before christmas, the blogger is sick, but happy nonetheless.  i've been away from writing for 1.5 days now. time to take it easy muna.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

MyFav. Singers and Songs

Taylor Swift ,One Direction ,Nicki Minaj ,Live While Were Young,One Thing ,Last X-mas ,Sparks Fly ,What Makes You Beautiful,Love Story                                                                 the end

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

yughghghfgfgvbgvfgcfvbhgvgjyhugdfcxddddssasfggggdhhgfhhgggvbvvgfbvvhghfgvvvhbhvm,nbjkbjgnmn lkjlh,.hjhl,jk,hl.j,kj,b ./mmbjkhjjtjjhgjjjjhujujjjjjjjjjjjhhhfgjhfhbfggfhghjduhfhfjghuuyhfgujhjdghuythhyguhbfgyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyfgjngubgnbj nugjb vjmgbrnghvcnjvn b bnfnghfjngjnffngjnfgfj

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

THE UNPLESANT STORY

DEAR BLOG       MY FAV.  HOBBY IS UTOTING I LOVE THE SMELL OF ITS  UNPLESANT  THE WAY I LIKE IT. SO EVERY DAY I UTOT TO SMELL IT OUT IF IT DOES  NOT  HAVE SMELL  I WILL JUST  WAIT UNTIL IT HAS SMELL








THE END


































































Sunday, December 16, 2012

the funniest rap

girl boy bakla tumboy butiki baboy unggoy

Saturday, December 15, 2012

The Push Agenda

been pushing myself to write, even for 30 minutes in hectic days defined by bringing the daughter to and fro school in preparation for their concert today. haven't filled a page but the thoughts written down are serious, earnest. pwede na. the supes have not given their comments on the first section - giving me time to breathe. even on a sunday i vow to work because of the irregularity of days. the phd is just one of the 'others' this time. it is now and every day that what has been learned about writing be put into practice.

Friday, December 14, 2012

funny story

ONCE UPON A TIME    yung classmate ko na lalaki sabi daw   MAGANDA AKO tapos sabi niya sa snowjar niya   MAGANDA ITO                                                                                                                 the end

Thursday, December 13, 2012

All Pink

it's all pink. Yaman in pink pajamas and pink overall. notebooks, box, address book, pencils and erasers all mostly pink. there in the living room, the seat covers of which are also pink. it's my first day here in naga. i don't feel good for being away from the phd for three days, counting since monday. i am tired, sleepy for lack of sleep, and bloated for lack of 'moving'. but the reason i'm here compensates for all. it's all in the pink in the world that matters for now.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Home for Christmas

1 more flight
2 more days
8 hours bus ride
i'm home

Sunday, December 9, 2012

In 8 Months

Salamat Lord for getting me this far.

In 8 months - 

...6 chapters
...1 heartbreak
...1 publication
...1 trip to jakarta
....1 conference
...1 haircut
...too much doubt
...too much crying
...too much anger
...tons of mental energy to handle all these

Thy Will Be Done. 


Saturday, December 8, 2012

I Will Return

there is that secret fear that an accident, a revelation, a missed appointment, a misunderstanding of travel details will hinder the phd.  that one probable way to not finish is to not even come back, at a time when the finish line is yet in sight --- one or two more mountains, a lot more walking and seeing and thinking - but the prize is there...i can almost feel it.

in kardinya this afternoon, it is such a relief downing that cold aloe vera drink from simon's shop; thinking that i have done what i set out to do since april. i'm doing the last major chapter.  i've emailed the chapter section - just a section, but finished any way and already for review by the supes. end-of-year book returns have been made and the lady at the library counter understood and shared the relief of resting away, even for a short while, from university.  the desk has been cleared but the stacks of articles, books, transcripts, computations, reports, and written drafts are there --- waiting to be opened --- till next year my friends.

i will return. it won't hurt to get it off my chest - this fear - and - this optimism. to leave perth with a sense of light for a tedious but productive nine months. i leave in good spirits, anticipating the return to windelya, to south street, the desk at rm 2.04A, to the keys, and the unraveling stories of people, institutions, and cities. i have yet to make my final walk, south street.  i'll see you around.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Dictum

in writing, it's better to set your sights low but realistically.  a good day is not about writing 1000 words or more in a day. a good day is any day one can have time for writing. exert effort to write everyday, despite having PMS, a foul mood because of traffic, dreary weather alternating between sun and rain, or that oppressive shadow called laziness lurking around. find the discipline to write every day, even for a minimum of 30 minutes. make writing a habit and let the structure and content of your material take shape and flow.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Mixing it Up

while talking to charan this morning about his writing travails, realized that writing rules are not fixed and that in times where just needs to deal with the data and its intricacies, one just needs to let go.

charan was struggling and calling his writing 'stupid': just persevere charan. just keep on writing. and throw whatever you have to jane. pass on the problem to her.

he felt that his writing was getting nowhere: no one really has a concrete direction while writing. one gets the structure and the connection of ideas while drumming down the words. in short, one creates as one writes. thus, one should not stop writing. one should persevere to write crap in order to polish it once in black and white.

'i'm dealing with the chapter without any reference to theory': there are times like that. details had to be fleshed out before being referred to and evaluated with theory. sometimes one just needs to deal with the data first to determine what theory relates to it.

this phd is shit: that's normal. one goes through these dark moments. but still, persevere and write at the same time. now i understand what 'ass power' (dr. jing karaos' word) is like. fix your ass on that chair and keep writing.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Two Friends and their PhDs

i'm so disappointed with two of my good friends today. two people who have a hard time facing the reality of their phd and choose to ignore it. if one has trouble verifying information from a secondary source, they might as well go to the primary source right? the horse so to speak. but these two people wasted the whole day, wasted the whole daytime verifying the information from me. i'm tired of you both. you're both matured and professional enough to face the consequences of your phd. what were you doing anyway in the years you've been here.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Preoccupied

there is no easy road to going home. always, there is something that must be done beforehand. in a way, it helps. it helps one forget the nervousness, because leaving is in the air. to be preoccupied with a chapter, a book to be photocopied, a seminar to attend to, a coffee appointment with nicole is enough to suspend one's excitement in finalizing the checklist, packing, storing one's tickets and currencies. i can't really wait for sunday but there is a tuesday till saturday to contend with.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Sana sa Pagpuli

one week na lang mauli na ako
sana dai man bagyuhon ang naga
sana matapos man ikatulong sinusurat na section
sana dai man magkahilang
sana dai man mabayaan kan eroplano
sana mayong malingawan
sana, ta ako mauli na naman

Friday, November 30, 2012

Writing Time

after blogging, i will write on a chapter. for a minimum of 30 minutes to 1 hour, it pays to write on the available time that one has.  it is a release to learn how a few minutes to 2 hours of writing time could make to a phd. i wouldn't be working on my last chapter if not for this writing discipline. i thank my stars for egging me to attend on that Thinkwell seminar last june 2012, and the support from Jane, the ARC, and my loving family for getting me here.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Alone Here

away in a big minimalist room, one can almost sense the loneliness, in this place of black, white and brown wood and furniture. the room is so spacious it is my ideal of a cozy roomy flat without walls. i remember back when i was 6 or 7, in our rented apartment in bulacan the second floor was so spacious i remember gliding round and round my parent's bedroom while my dad plays his favorite tunes and is there on the bed, reading.  the bed is comfy, the pillows soft and fluffy, it's easy to sleep. but again, i feel my alone-ness, my loneliness. in places like these, i am aware of how truly alone i am.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Janty and Jakarta

janty is the only reason i WANT to go to jakarta today. i'm looking forward to the wonderful conversations my friend. and as it has been, you will always see my heart.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

What is a Hanging Sentence?

a hanging sentence looks like this -


one thing i like about computers is that it embraces imperfection. not unlike the typewriter where one has to be precise all the time in what one writes, to copy from a written draft, for instance. where errors are costly in terms of time because one has to stop, get hold of a liquid or blot white eraser, to rectify errors. but the computer saves you that hassle. like this hanging sentence. i haven't formed the full idea yet, but it's there, waiting to be returned to, when the idea has been threshed, tossed, filtered in succeeding pages.  that hanging sentence reminds me to prepare for a one-line summary of the argument which now is still being developed.  it's quite taxing, especially after mad writing, to recap, heave deeply, and gather any strength left to finish the hanging sentence.  but it makes a difference. makes a difference to one's thinking and one's writing discipline.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Ideas and Genesis

in writing, one does not need a clear idea. one just needs an idea, even how crazy it might seem to the outside world, to be able to start the keys drumming. hold on to that idea as if it's your anchor. but be open to challenge it by being its angel-protectorate and devil advocate. test how strong it would hold given a positive supporting case. then test on ways the arguments fail with the negative case. but don't just give up on it by surrendering the idea as either wrong or right. it could be neither. instead, look at its dynamics - under what conditions does it work, under what conditions is it constrained. study the dynamics - at what points do they interact, what causes them to oppose and converge. from there, the essence of the idea would emerge. far from the minute crazy speck it started out from the first place. capture it, hold on to it, defend it, and slowly let it go. you have to move on another one.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Bye Bye Bye...Long Hair

i've endured it since april. but now, after eight months, had to accept that long hair is not just for me. despite how sexy it made me feel wind-blown over my face. despite how it serves a protective mane in front of the screen when i need to think 'deep'. despite the warmth it gives on cold windy walks along south street. long hair is not just for me. through the years, my hair has gone thinner and limper that keeping it long makes it wavy, it has to be blow-dried every morning to gather some body and be combed throughout the day to settle it. this just wouldn't do for me who least cares about vanity. so while i might endure for awhile, i'm bidding it bye sooner now. goodbye long hair. we tried didn't we? but we're not just meant for each other any longer.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

This Saturday

worked till my back ached today. just before lunch. no longer woking in uni on saturdays but had to, for today, to make up for the jakarta trip this coming wednesday. by 330pm, i was just hanging on. just trying to write up a section of a section to make it coherent. as i was all alone in the arc, felt free groaning and drawing deep sighs which echoed across the hall. one just had to go through the process. and the process involves moving on although the mind, one's back, and every cell in one's body wants to stop and go home. it's very difficult. one could almost feel nauseous looking at the letters on a white screen. but just as the process is a moving noun, one that denotes continuous flowing action, so does one had to succumb. one had to continue, move along with the flow, even if at times, one just gets carried through the routine, the endless wrestling with ideas and words. this process will lead to somewhere. and that somewhere would be worth it. worth it worth it somehow.

Friday, November 23, 2012

I Don't Want to Die

it was a spur of the moment post in FB, brought about by the inspiration of writing this section, which from my gut would get published and inform all the world about the tenure travails of urban poor settlements in naga city.  i don't want to die before finishing this chapter. i don't want to die before finishing this thesis. i don't want to die until it gets published into a book.

then in less than 10 seconds after posting the line, i got a worried call from nicole. she thought i was sick or something. the worried voice at the end of the line was met with an incredulous laugh. of course not, i'm fine. i'm even inspired in writing.

then after about an hour, dean came. knocked on my door and asked to be seated to just talk to me. dean with the big rucksack which looks quite heavy he walks with a stoop. i always like talking to dean because of his calm voice and the way he looks at you straight without blinking. then after a few minutes, i realized why he came. he saw my fb post and wanted to know how i am. he wanted to call but realized he doesn't have my number. he was so concerned to see me that he just decided to drop by the arc.

i am so blessed to have such friends, nicole and dean. one very close and the other not so, but still, they went out of their way to ask how i am because of an fb post. for that, i am just so grateful.

after dean left, had to go back to fb and explain. and indeed, several messages of concern came - from daisy salvadora, charan, jemea, hazel. i felt so sorry distressing them. even personal messages came from maylien saberon, auntie yev, dimple, joey, and ms.lynn. i had to be more careful next time what i post in fb. they do not deserve distress from this post.

so there, i don't want to die...it's a positive thing. i don't want to die just yet. and i thank all these people for also not wanting me to, until my time has come. phd

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Go with the Flow

i've written here before about following structure. about how the key arguments provide the basis for structuring a chapter, or a section. found a way through the dilemma blogged about the day before yesterday. followed my gut and started a new. opened and saved a new document and cast the old one for safekeeping - this will come handy in the future.

in this new doc, there are words in caps and highlighted in yellow: JUST GO WITH THE FLOW VITTI. while i have the key arguments, i am experimenting on developing each section. there is no fixed structure. based on key points, i just drum away. making sure that the writing still adheres with the arguments. in essence, i'm just letting the writing shape and structure the discussion. in compromising structure with flexibility, i've also highlighted points that need revising earlier.  i know i'm right, my gut tells me. will just need to hold on, relaxed and faithful.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

What to Do?

the first of three parts in this chapter is almost finished. but i feel there's something wrong. that there's a better way to go. as if a sign, the Endnote is playing tricks on this one. a case of 'faulty codes' according to the Endnote HelpDesk which is egging me to revise and start anew on a new Word document. how to go about this? how to go about this? will think this through the walk through south street. will think this through before starting the 2-hour writing marathon in the morning.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Impake

gusto ko na mag impake.

pero kaipuhan pag mag analyze ning 4 tables, write a section, and fly to jakarta.

gusto ko na mag impake.

gusto ko na mag uli.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Yaman is Home

yes, more than once i thought of cancelling.  i felt that december away from my thesis would be crucial.

but the heart has its place in the grand scheme of things. while the mind may have ruled decisions since april, there is no way the heart is giving in this time.

although on one side it would be difficult. although going home would prove a real test. i know there is no assuaging the pains of this tired old heart without the warm embraces, the breath, the touch, the sight in the flesh of my Yaman Abalantung. she's all worth it. she's the worth in all this.

i understand fully why he had to give us up for his son. because nothing beats the love of his son. just as nothing would beat the love of and from my daughter. i understand perfectly. that's why i'm going home, despite what has happened.

i can't wait for the next three weeks.

i can't wait to step on the soil of naga and head for Yaman.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Roxanne's Chicken Feet Dimsum

just noting it down. this is roxanne's recipe for chicken feet dimsum.

deep fry chicken feet first.
then cook in water seasoned with soy sauce, oyster sauce, black bean sauce, rice wine, sugar, and garlic. boil for 10 minutes first then simmer until chicken is soft.
coat the chicken in corn starch dissolved in a little water.
drizzle with chopped chives or spring onion.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Tugging with Data

nakua ko naman. pero bakong madali. ang magpili, sa kadakulan ning data, kung ano ang ibabali sa thesis, asin ang dai. maski ang advice kan supe, 'to just focus on those you need to write about' - is not that straightforward. one must justify, be convinced of what needs to be included and culled. the reference, true, is the research questions and the arguments. but deep within, a tug-of-war reigns because of the massive data at one's disposal. this is the bane of too much work in the field. one gets overwhelmed. there is only enough trails to follow so one would not get lost on the way up and down this mountain.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Pace kan PhD

papano kaya ang maray na strategy? in this chapter, the long and short has benefits, and both will be done anyway. but against time, and the impending return home, one has to check moving with the urgency of submitting something substantial before leaving against moving just steadfastly to the pace the arguments are willing one to have. minsan, sa pagsurat, ang susuraton, dai ang nagsusurat ang nagtataong direksyon kung ano ang matatapos sa panahon na igwa. sa aga, sa paglakaw sa south street, huhurup hurupan kung ano and pwede asin dapat.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Letting Go

one can be whole in many other fulfilling ways. one can choose to just let go amid the dashed hopes, confusion and drama. there is no use wallowing in crisis. happiness becomes an active choice. to learn to focus on what one has. and the many aspirations yet to be fulfilled in a life where one has passed the threshold of middle age. time has become so precious to waste on the past. one has to let go. let go of the past.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Death by Chocolate

it must be the ultra sweetness and the dryness of mouth, suddenly inundated by a drink of hot water. had to walk back home at a slow pace. and now, though i've eaten chickpea salad, sans the tuna, and even had a 2 servings of whole wheat crackers, i still feel like vomiting. this has to settle for a while. i had to settle for a while. my stomach has gone, past breaking point.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Right Pinkie and Left Foot

cut the right pinkie while multi-tasking in the kitchen - cooking, washing veggies, then washing the dishes. an accidental hold on the knife, the knife that is always sharpened prior to cutting anything, and lo! blood was gushing i expected edward cullen to materialize in front of me. strange, the pain on my left foot, observed since 4pm, suddenly left me. as my attention was riveted to the wound, the blood, and roxanne's instruction to raise the right hand higher than my heart and to just wait for the blood to stanche by firmly pressing on it. now, that the wound's ok, a band aid has been wound over it, the left foot is again at pain. ah pain. old age old age old age.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Faith

stop counting
keep hoping
stop fearing
just believe
tomorrow unfolds
beyond expectations
today happens
seize it!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

FB Message to a Bestfriend


iyo, di bale na. masakit talaga baga kaya ang mayong katabang. nag try akong mag apud last wednesday saimo. kaso, sala garo ang connection ta pirming may error. dai ko na kaya nauubos load ko ta dai na baga akong katext pirmi. nageexpire na sana, sayang man. arog kaini, sa monday, ma expire na naman.
being ok has to be qualified. i admit it was very difficult starting july. pirmi kaya akong anggot maski lalo na pag aga. nanggigigil ako sa anggot to the point na kinakagat ko ning ngabil ko. then sa banggi, nahibi ako. i just went into the void gie. talagang minati ko si kaanggutan ko. there was even a point that when i cut him off from fb and my blog and he even dared to ask 'why?', namuda ko sya. there was even a time garo habo ko na magsimba ta maski pag nagmimisa, minumuda ko sya in my heart and in my mind. nabasa mo naman garo ini sa blog ko. anyway, nagsawa na lang baga ako. nagsawa na lang ako sa pagka uyam. nagsawa na ako kahihibi. being away from naga and manila is a big help man garo. and siguro dara naman kang experience and personality ko. dai ko kaya ugali baga na magmukmok forever or wallow indefinitely in self-pity. dai ko talaga ni ugali. maski pa binabayaraan ako kan mga lalaki ko sa buhay, maray na lang, dai ako binayaan kan pagkatao ko.
so iyo ni. inaaccept ko na sana ang sakuyang eternal na pagkasawi. maray nang tanggapon ang totoo maski makulog. iyo na garo talaga ni ang buhay ko. ginibo ko man ang gabos, even gave love an nth chance pero mayo talaga, sawi talaga ako sa pag ibig. isinasa-Dios ko na sana. tutal, mayo man malain na magsolo na lang. nakakaya ko man. saka igwa nakong aki, igwa na akong Yaman literally and figuratively. kontento na ako. kaya man siguro natawan ning maray na breaks sa work asin sa pag adal para dai ko man masyadong mamatian ang kawalan.
halaba na ang buhok ko pero garo dai ko na mahahalat ang pag uli, mapabulog nako. naggagatol ang liog ko sa buhok ko. mapa jakarta pati ko for a conference. mainit duman kaya mauuyam sana ko with long hair. o sya, daing paraka busy. may work ka pa online? masakit talagang maging solo parent pero it has its perks and it has its own rewards. maaaraman mo man yan.
into the last chapter na palan ako kan thesis. but as the structure turned out, igwang 2 parts kaya malamang 2 chapters na naman ini. im giving enough time for revisions ta my thoughts are everywhere in the seven chapters written so far. hayyyyy masakitun magkalog ning utak! but i like it! kan nasa void ako, maguluhon ang surat ko. jane, my major supe, would even beat her forehead just to express how hard it is to understand my writing. have to remind me all the time to simplify my writing. kaya ngunyan, ang style ko pagsurat garo itong sa blog, diretso. mayong patumpik tumpik.
o sige na, halabaun na ni. see you december. habo ko na kuta mag uli ta para dirediretso na surat but i realize, i need my daughter more than she needs me. kaipuhan ko ning emotional replenishment from her. ok, babay na talaga. ciao!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Realization

how could i ever expect that data gathered for a span of 3 fieldworks totalling 11 months could only be written in a month and in only 10000 words. the struggle continues. the mountain is larger, steeper, wilder than i thought. the peak is almost too near to see but still hardly reachable. better to trod the cruel path than walk around in circles.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Personalan

ang nanay ko nahuhumaling sa personalan. gabi-gabi naririnig ko ang boses ni jeanne garcia - mataray, diretso, kikay pero seryoso. ang problema ng mga tao ngayon sa tv na hinahanapan ng solusyon. hindi naman ito solusyon kundi isang pagpapakita lamang ng kung ano ang pwedeng mangyari, pag maraming nanunood, at maraming manghuhusga sa kung anong saloobin mo, anong sinasabi mo, anong iniiyak mo. huwag sana nating isipin na ganito kadali ang pagharap sa problema, ang pagharap sa mga taong nagdulot sa iyo nito at ng kaakibay na dalamhati't hinanakit. tv lamang ito. ang tunay na buhay ay nasa labas nito.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Post PhD

there's not enough time to do what one desires. even thinking and writing has its limits in two hours. somehow, when the route going down the mountain is at bay, then i could focus on things to prepare the future with. one or two possible research proposals, funded here, in the philippines, or elsewhere. to get down on publications and start in networking with housing and politics scholars, my so-called contemporaries. right now, the crossroads are imminent. to track another mountain after this, depends on what i will encounter on the road down, the road home, and the final dismount. i wish to stay but the circumstances are not in my full control.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Right

no one comes clean after a heartbreak. one's truth can never be the sole truth. it is just an explanation of one side and has its bias. i admit to pride and my right for self-preservation. but i will explain only where it merits.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Natural Lang

just have to go natural i guess. been using alternately two organic moisturisers for about a month now. Natio and Yes to Carrots (yeah it's made of 97% carrots). still, rashes are appearing on my right cheek so i have to stop pronto. aging is a natural process anyway. sunflower oil and other organic oils would have to do for the space then.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Another Mountain

now i worry about the household sample, which does not lend itself to statistical analysis. qualitative analysis therefore might have to take the upper hand and analysis of organizational data would have to be undertaken.  ugh, the bane of writing at the tail end of the thesis is the emergence of data problems that could have been addressed in the second and third phase fieldwork. ugh, what another big high tortuous mountain to climb.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Sleep and Coffee

had cappuccino past 4pm last monday with nicole. while i was just so happy to meet up with my ex-roommate, the coffee would later be a regret. didn't sleep well the evening of monday until tuesday morning. my mind was busy mulling over a paper abstract until the cars came running down south street once again. it's 4am again and have not slept in full for a full hour. while i still went to uni tuesday, my mind stopped working around 4pm and i had to trod down south street, with a lot of effort to get home. after a quick dinner of chickpea tuna salad (which was in fairness just delicious!), called it a night as early as 7pm. roxanne  was so concerned about this change she waited as i came from the loo. 'i'm not feeling well for lack of sleep you see? the coffee.' and she understood. so still, no coffee for me in the afternoon; otherwise, i will lack precious sleep. after evening prayers today, i'm hitting the sack.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Nicole

i miss my roommate nicole.  i miss how she values silence and quiet. how considerate she is in opening and closing the door softly so she won't disturb my work. how she avoids looking at my computer when passing by as a way of protecting my space. how she asks permission when  making a call to not rattle my concentration. how excited she would get when talking about german burgers, chocolates, of a type of rootcrop in germany where sugar can be made, of delicious cakes made only in her country and which only germans can spell, of their churches and the steeples and the religious architecture inside. of her granny which she calls on everyday and her dad who taught her the value of money and hard work. i miss our walks for coffee together. our talking over once in a while over lunch to sample one another's food. of secret gossip and dreams and the stories of our lives which only the two of us could identify with. i miss her so much to be so happy with her today and aamani, her 5-week old daughter. i can truly say i have a german friend. i can truly say, i have a real friend in nicole.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

About Fully Paid Households

the stats suggest that a fully paid household in Kaantabay is more likely an original awardee, a widow or widower,  is dependent on children for financial support, and deriving mainly income from informal sector jobs. it does not matter whether onsite or offsite, it is more likely for those working in the informal sector to be fully paid in their amortizations.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Making Sense of Stats

trying to figure out the quali stats and tests done by the sister. for lack of time, i'll blog about this tomorrow. for now, i'll settle with sense-making still.

Friday, October 26, 2012

A Fine Place

find me one place
one stump for weary feet to rest
a bed of feathers for weary bones
some mist of clouds for a weary mind
an escape to no escape
to wake up and fine gone
this fine one place

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Yaman...Hay...

here i am, skyping with the daughter who's so into youtube and this group, one direction, to ever hear me. pano pa kaya pag teenager ka na anak? for the past 1 hour, i'm looking at this video and could only understand 'crazy, crazy' while she sings along with the video. hay, the price of being far from my daughter...

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Little Prayer

hay, mapagalun mag surat. ang pirming pangadyi kan sarong arog ako is sana, every day would be much better than the one before it.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Little Steps Pa Rin

i might have just written less than 25 words today. most of the morning have been spent revisiting the tables, constructing new ones, and struggling with the insecurity of having to revisit each line in the Excel sheets again to reacquaint with the 108 households interviewed from march 2010 down to march 2012. it's having to contend with entering the last 7 households from sabang whose data have not yet been entered in the mother tables but included in the preliminary quanti and quali tables for stat analysis.

then in the afternoon, rummaged through the literature again. to identify and isolate the relevant ones dealing with tenure security, urban land reform - theory and empirical data alike.  i have yet to read in detail the 'observations on households' and 'households analysis pointers' to guide the analysis. these do not include having to accept the reality that not all data could be analyzed to fulfill the objectives of brevity and clarity that the supe so longs of my writing.

so there, little steps pa rin. little steps na kailangan, nonetheless.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Little Steps Muna

the alarm still rang at 5am but i went on to sleep till 6am. between dreams and the consciousness of deciding whether to just sleep over, or go to uni. the latter prevailed so by around 8am, drawn to the usual route down south street. the lowness was there. the feeling of relief, of surviving Development Effectiveness, a week earlier had passed, to be replaced by this gnawing fear of the last major chapter. how to go about it. so in between photocopying this and that, as a way of conditioning one's self  to a gray, rainy and 'lazy monday' (as roxanne called it), browsed through the journal articles about tenure security, urbanization, and informality. some i've read, others new, but all will be re-read if necessary.  went back to the tables, the qualitative and quantitative data on excel, last seen in april. one long sigh. so much to recapture again. and then, took out my 'observations' (dated october 2010), the 'households analysis pointers' since july 2012, a write-up on slums submitted september 2011 and started a new file entitled 'tenure security_draft_22oct2012'. the deadline is on in 4-6 weeks after meeting the supe. ok, these things for a monday are a start. better than just staying at home. just hold on vitti. plod on. you've gone through difficulty before.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Work, Nevertheless

too tired. after cooking. washing the dishes. washing clothes. and this first day of the mens.

perhaps i should not work tomorrow. but i need to see the supe. to mull how to start, strategize and structure the last major chapter - tenure security. to take advantage of not exercising and setting out early on south street.

so i should just sleep early today. work, work, work, and rest only when you have to.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

The Supe and this 'Somewhere'

it could be one balancing act. if one has worked in the real world for long, and feels this entitlement of being an ' expert', it could be difficult. for a linear thinker and tutored on technicist approaches to evaluation, i had a difficult time immersing on politics. if i had entered the phd knowing what i know now, and taking the available time to learn more rather than from scratch, i cannot imagine what higher-level thinking would i be engaging into. but this is useless thinking. because i am already here, and thanks to my supes, especially Jane, i know i've reached a place - this 'somewhere'.

in meetings, sometimes, it could seem strange that a supe could recommend to do this and that, and not agree with what i plan to do. but in more times than one, the supe has been correct all along. if i had not taken jane's suggestion that i deal first with Development Effectiveness, as a way of clarifying my thinking through the tortuous political economy analysis of Kaantabay's self-administration, and also to help the framing of the last major chapter - tenure security - then i would not be in this glorious 'somewhere'.

it's still a long way to go. but this 'somewhere' is glorious because finally! the supe not only agreed but was ecstatic of how i was able to understand Development Effectiveness and inject into it 'politics' as one way to evaluate development reforms. it's glorious because finally, i understand the politics of what i am doing and could definitely defend it even when under torture or sleeping. finally i got it. the thesis is on solid ground.

so the central theme to doing a phd remains sound.  your supes are not there for nothing. it pays to follow them, to heed their advice, despite one's resistance. at the end of the day, they may be your harshest critic but they too would vest the only well-deserved approval.

Friday, October 19, 2012

The Answers

the answers to the questions came as i shut out the 'white noise' and unnecessary details. sometimes in writing, there is the urge to impress. to write as much detail and references as possible to show off how much one has read and know about something. so to be concise requires discipline as well. and voila, in taking out all the unnecessary, the obvious though not plain staring at me all along has finally been understood, has finally emerged from the writing.  what a relief. although saturday is now an imposed work-from-home day, it's now a day to look forward to. thank you Lord!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Questions for Tomorrow

where are the connections? how would politics lead up to development effectiveness and the study of outcomes? under what conditions? to what would my study conform? would it be another way of looking at evaluation? would it qualify as an evaluation of politics?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Yaman is 7

today is yaman's 7th birthday. i can't believe how time flies. this time, 7 years ago, i was probably still inside mother seton's recovery room, with a bedside lamp directed over me to keep me warm. that's technology for you, ala mother seton way. in about an hour, i would be transferred to my room by two orderlies joking about how 'sexy' i am because i'm just too big at 180lbs, after giving birth. i never worried how life would turn out. i never worried that i have no money left in the bank except for savings for giving birth. after that, i don't know what to expect.

although Yaman came at the most unexpected, and even unwanted time, never did i regret any day after october 17, 2005. every single day of my life after, i found my purpose of being, my purpose of proceeding, my purpose for just going forward, wherever. then slowly, things began to shape, the dreams begin to have flesh again, the dawn was immediately followed by promising days and fulfilling nights, with her beside me.

i may have never imagined having a daughter before, never envisioned myself to be a mom. but every time i see her, i look at the wealth before me which is my daughter, i know that dreams don't have to be dreamt to become real. the life of dreams come from the unexpected, the unwanted, but deserved, in true measure, nonetheless. i love you my Yaman. i'm coming home to you.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Starting Again

sometimes the best way to start a chapter is to answer the question: what the hell would i say in this chapter? and how would i say it?

Monday, October 15, 2012

A Slow Start

the mind was so tired. until this morning, admitted to the supe how i still prefer not to think. the writing has still much to improve on. jane can only shake her head. i have the right arguments, great points. but have to find a way to tell the story of the Kaantabay in clear, direct terms. so ok short sentences would do. and it has to be clear in my head as well. ok, i will start tomorrow. but it would indeed be slow.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

A New Chapter

haayyy...tomorrow is indeed another day. Development Effectiveness here i come. sana dai masalimuot ang pagtatagpo ta.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

No Man Forgiven

i am functioning well without him. used to not expecting any communication. deleted whatsapp and viber from the tab. deleted him from my phonebook, online contacts, and even blocked him from fb and from this blog. gone are the days when i would occasionally stop and check the mobile, and the tab for possible waylaying texts from him. i have gone about my world, in a world that somehow did not stop, did not perish now that he's gone.

then came along this dream from two nights ago. in the dream, i am so angry with him, i almost wanted to bash his head in. and i woke up with a heavy sore feeling in my heart. i woke up very angry, again.

so even if in my conscious world, i am well and happy and afford a hearty laugh with roxanne, the bbc series i watch on tv, and enjoy the precious walks down south street, the dream reminded me that as unresolved issues remain, the anger will remain.

and i will not wrest with it. that's what happens i think with the loss of hope, the death of what i thought was a new and final beginning. the 'different kind of love [i] thought [i've] found' was no different from the rest, even harsher, more cruel, the weakest.  i no longer believe in love as romance. i no longer believe in roses, in embraces, of warm nights.  i no longer believe in faith, trust, acceptance, commitment, undying love. i no longer believe in tomorrows. if someday, i would ever be in a relationship with  a man, again; it would just be so only for utility, for practicality - to only get something out of, and no longer to give or even to be. this time, i will use the man for my own ends. not for love. definitely. not for any kind of love.

the dream reminded me of that. i am truly angry. and i will forgive no man for this.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Finished. A Chow Mien.

the political economy chapter is finished, emailed to the supe.

prayed before dinner. dinner of combination chow mien, with crispy noodles and chicken feet dimsum. a dinner deserved after a harrowing stage of writing which i will never forget. the exhaustion, the endurance with detail. and the will to proceed after 'wilting' meetings with the supe.

now i'm full. not necessarily happy because it's a long way to go. but yes, i am happy. i am happy the chapter is closed and i could proceed to another. this time, i hope to write wiser.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Solution

sometimes what one considers as complex, the solution is so simple to stare back at you wide-eyed. the worry has passed. time seemed manageable now. i hope that the Grace from above would be sufficient to finish what has since been started in 2009. thank you Lord.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Tired

i am up to the last part of the argument for a chapter that has reached 23000 words. not a good sign for brevity. i am counting the periods, the commas, before i can close this. looking forward to writing 'in summary...' and move on to the next chapter. close to two months in all. napipiga talaga ako ng phd na ito.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Just Write On

it's hard to write knowing that what you are writing will be rewritten substantially in due time. thoughts are screaming and waiting to be written. but these should be tempered. and while the writing is not smooth, it now pays to just stop for a while, and organize before moving on. the task of writing on is not as simple but still, should be done.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Recast

had to recast the political economy analysis of kaantabay under self-administration. the supe wasn't too pleased with the structure. and i agree. so with heavy hands i plod on, to finish the 3rd and last batch of arguments although these would latter be rewritten. better to subject these thoughts in black and white nonetheless. and for me to fight the rising tide of disappointment. buntong hininga na lang. i will get there in time.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

From a Lonely Point

for the past 24 hours, i have been on a somewhat online 'debate' with supporters of the JESSE ROBREDO LIVES fb page. yesterday, in this page i shared my view that Leni Robredo is just being used for political purposes by the Liberal Party in Camarines Sur, which I contend is hobbled by the sudden death of its leader, Jesse Robredo. the only recourse therefore is to use the Robredo name to full political advantage, particularly exploiting the sympathy accorded to his widow. these arguments are initially developed in the latest Descansos post.

of course, in 153 comments on that page, i was the only one with the openly dissenting opinion about mrs robredo's candidacy. the supporters were suddenly one in harping the cliche-ic statements of the wife embodying good governance ideals, her representation of clean politics, and one even went to the point of saying that 'leni robredo is jesse robredo'.

it is really amazing to see how the passion for one's ideals could be unleashed by a contrary opinion.  and so is it equally hard to restrain myself from being as overly emotional. to be able to argue on the basis of political facts, of 'political reality as it unfolds', as expressed in my third and last comment (hopefully) to close the argument and my position. it is a lonely position, an awkward position nonetheless in the midst of people screaming down their throats that i am just so wrong. well, i am just warming up. this is what it takes to also stand for beliefs, despite how inappropriate, unpopular and vulgar it may appear to some. it is a lonely position to write from, and i shall continue doing it for the sake of freedom that needs wings to fly above the crowd, despite how ruthless they could become.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

At 815pm

hm? what is in steamed trout that gives me a tummy ache? this heavy feeling such that sleeping early becomes a concern. ah, the serving must be it. cut the dish in two and apportion the halves in two separate meals. ok, now comes the washing.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Stability is My Sanity

stability is my sanity. despite the confusion outside of this phd life, it bears to wake up with the purpose that there are words to be written for the day. that the mind should be focused to be able to derive dynamics and meaning coherently. it is a consolation that as the day ends, and the steps are counted from uni to south street and finally to windelya, the war with words have also come to a close with a small, albeit real victory. there is much to thank this phd for than just the realization of dreams. this phd willed me to live amid the temptation of dying.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Soprano

Yaman is Soprano 1. just giddy with delight:) can't wait to be home this december.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Yaman the Singer

even mommy was caught by surprise. Yaman has just been accepted to the village montessori children's choir. from the letter, it appears she auditioned without telling her lola about it. her audition piece was Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. i'm just so happy about it. i never had the chance to be active in extra-curricular activities in school when i was young. so i'm just to happy to support her through it. love you Yaman. i'm proud of you just for passing the audition.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Till the Last Period

halfway to explaining why kaantabay is a political project, found, again, obvious kinks here and there. but a warning flashed through my mind. no, i don't want to overhaul again, like i did two weeks past. no, i'm not going to change major arguments again. i am firm with what i've written so far. if it sounds off tangent, then it would be up for the supes to judge? after all, that's what their jobs as supes supposed to be right? find the kinks and point out their ironing, but only later. at a much later time. i want to go over the hill this time. to just go on go on until the last period that marks the end of this huge huge chapter.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Nightmare

the dream presented an obvious choice. wealth more than i imagined. wealth entitling an audience with the old and new rich. a man beyond my desire to have. but there is no love. the clothes, bags and furniture not of my taste. the wardrobe does not even fit my frame i began to think skinny. and the man was pouncing with whoever. i could have all these but i had to die. i even the repeated the question, i had to die to get all these? and then a hearse came in advance for my dead body and there was loaded a real corpse --- my sister's --- and i woke up crying. at 433am, i texted my sister to end the curse and the dream. no, there is no choice. that is not the wealth i need. the wealth i crave for. it's not even wealth. just stability. i'm taking the long hard road instead.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Somehow (Shirley Bassey)


You are what you are
It was, what it was
The world didn't end
The world never does

I wake up alive
From habit I guess
Yes, I can survive
One love more or less
And sometime,
somewhere, somehow

I laugh all my laughter
I've cried my tears now
I want my years now
My years

I've nowhere to go
That I have to be
There's no one I know
Who's waiting for me

There's so much inside
I still have to give
So much to be tried
A lifetime to live
And sometime,
somewhere, somehow

I'll have my tomorrow
Today won't stop me
No way to stop me
Not now

The world still holds me
I want what's due now
If not with you now
Then someone, sometime, somehow

Lyrics and Video courtesy of Youtube

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Not Now

the questions remain. and the answers will not come now, here, away from you. there is a time to face all these, with you in the flesh. i will wait for that. the time is just not now. not now.

Friday, September 28, 2012

All Will Be Well

life will turn out well. i'll finish this phd. publish a book. get a job. have the dream home with yaman in 5 years and we will travel at least once a year abroad. my daughter is already tired with SM and one day told me over skype, 'sana mommy, punta naman tayo ng italy, US, london' which almost floored me. so yes life will turn out well. worries are just worries. and they will get to sleep soon. for good.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Settling Nonetheless

sometimes, the best way to go about writing a serious sentence is the most obvious. write like you're saying it and see the words flow. already close to two hours struggling with the sentence on decentralization, decided to just highlight, cut and pasted it at the bottom for future use. then in a flash i typed without really looking at the screen. i was more attuned to the voice in my mind saying what i need to write. that sentence would take me through the last 2 hours of writing in the afternoon until 530pm. yes, it is a struggle this section, the last section, of the last chapter, of four chapters written since may 16. at the end of the day, wrote only 229 words. i have to settle with that. my sentences are moving downward. and my thoughts are flowing, painstakingly, but flowing nonetheless. i'll settle with this.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Fly Away Forever

it's like letting go of a wild bird that you decided to feed, tame and train - to come back every time you're letting it go so it can spread its wings once in a while after being locked up in a cage.

now, i'm letting go of the wild bird forever.  not because it cannot be fed, tamed or trained. it's not the fault of wildness. it's the fault of a thinking that presupposes domestication for capture. the thinking is itself captive to illusions that there is triumph in returning. that one can repeat the endless cycles of trial and error.

now begins the process of un-thinking and hopefully, leading on to a life where expectations have no place, where solitude could also mean happy existence.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Health and My Brother

there is no day that i don't regret living a non-rice life. my journey with fruits, veggies and proteins continues to this day and how i thank the internet for being a treasure trove of recipes for one to discover different food combinations. now that my brother has just been diagnosed with high blood, i have none to impart but this lifestyle which has sustained me since 13 january 2011. i have kept the weight down and i'm happy. i hope my brother would be as successful in his own therapy.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Weep and Write

i wept through a draft email which i will not send. but which captured my emotions today. emptiness, sadness, longing, and the frustration of being without control, of finally wresting with the sense of loss. these are the 'bad' days. and there must be ways to absorb them, to be able to still function, and retain focus of what must be accomplished for the day. so here i am at 10:13am, inscribing another technique for dealing with loss. write 'em and weep. weep and write through.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Normal

to wish for normal is to wish for what? to wish for a day not thinking of you and us and how we used to be? is normal just the ordinariness of functioning? or is it drawing inspiration from the former wellspring that is? life will never be normal as usual. normal is not getting back to. it is arriving at a new acceptance of an existence that will no longer change. and i know i have arrived once i stop asking, what ever is normal?

Saturday, September 22, 2012

My Research Dreams Before Bed

i live. i eat. i write. i die. now i wish to have a house all for my daughter and my family. i hope my phd becomes a book. i'm looking forward to my first academic publication. i long to research for the rest of my life. with plenty of research funds to spare. hopefully without getting tied with them. and to be able to do lucrative consulting at the side.

some days, i would wish i was just born to a dirty rich family so i would not wonder how to get by the next month given the current meager income. so i could do whatever research i want without fear of influence from any funder. but i wonder whether i should have the same superfluous dreams on research if i have been born rich. i probably would just be a lazy layabout today.

so there must be a reason why one is born poor. not having enough is a motivation. because it makes you hungry for more. hungry for any release out of a position of want. but one must stop somewhere with this greed. a ceiling must be respected beyond which principles could not be compromised. so that the world is there to take but let not the world get the better of you my vitti.

Friday, September 21, 2012

No Love of My Life

i have none. one to call 'the love of my life'. in some way, i wished my recent love story have just really ended a la 'nights in rodanthe'. then, i would have enough love in my heart to keep me going until the end of a life alone. just like my bestfriend angeline whose knowledge, appreciation, and love for vincent stays on and on until she too joins him in the after life. just like jack and rose dawson in the movie, 'titanic' - whose fateful love ended in physical death, not emotional death.

it was a mistake. this entry in Descansos, under 'Timelines' about a 'love of my life' who was 13 and came back to me in 2010. no love of one's life does that. that 'that'. to forget one's name in a relationship willingly. to make you suffer through the silence, the withholding of emotions, one's fake and rotten sense of decency. that is not what a 'love of one's life' does. so i am forfeiting the title. because there is no one. no one.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

My Family

i chose to walk home today. decided to not walk by the bins on the back of Education and Humanities, but instead, took the circle route going down the walkthrough leading to the Worship Centre, Murdoch Day Care and past the small gated reserve of gum trees, south of Murdoch Village.

my brother Jungee emailed me today. and while it was one asking for advice, and for which several were given, it was actually his email that helped me out of a rut. helped me gain perspective of cares and hurts that have been keeping me sleepless until midnight since last saturday, with silent tears flowing down the pillow on most nights.

there is no end to tears. but there are breakthroughs in understanding.  one has to move beyond grief and not let grief be one's prison. i may not have one true love in this life, but i have to love to devote to my family,  fuller love than romance can manifest out of me.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Struggle Past

struggling with the last section of the last part of the political economy analysis which amounted to about 4 chapters since writing on it last may 16.  arguing with myself on political opportunism as a founded or unreliable foundation of an argument. as it is with writing, one technique if not sure is to just leave the argument as is, go on with writing, move on that is until the evidence and analysis later on take shape to either refute or reshape the argument. don't worry vitti. you'll get past this. you'll deliver a complete chapter in time.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Full Time to Yaman

in the future, after finishing this phd, the decision of what job to take and where would depend to how yaman and 1 could finally be together, on a permanent and lasting basis. it's time to be full time in all aspects my abalantung!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Yaman's Assignment at Barely 7

Yaman refused to do her last assignment today. a poster about what to do when there is a natural disaster or fire. mommy pointed out to me just as soon we got online in skype. come to think of it, have i done something similar when i was 7? i remember at 7, i could hardly read, multiply, subtract using carrying method or could even spell 'stem'. my daughter could do this and she's barely 7. and in not doing a poster, the people at naga city, my mom and sister are pointing fingers at each other for whose fault it is that yaman did not do this poster?

perhaps because i'm here in perth and it's just so physically impossible for me to come over and do the cut-outs and the pasting of pictures for her poster. i could not admonish because it was already 7pm. just told her what if that's what she wants, she might be asked to do it anyway by her teacher tomorrow. or she would be asked for a reason why she did  not try one. half-grudgingly, yaman would listen as her time was taken up looking at translations of english phrases; mostly, 'good morning', 'good night', 'i love you' and 'i miss you' in chinese, japanese and spanish.

by 750pm, she stood up from the computer, went about looking for her pen and pad and decided to just draw her poster. mommy being mommy could only complain again - but your assignment is a poster!

for which, i retorted, ma, just let her draw the concept of her assignment. it's as good as a poster anyway, fresh from the mind of a child, fresh from the work of her creative hands, compared to glossy pictures that are merely representational. for the past 10 minutes, she has been drawing. here in front of me. drawings of people crying for help, pails of water, boxes taken out to signify moving and a fire truck since technically only fire men have the adequate capacity to put out fires. now if that's not a full concept of an assignment, then the world is asking just too much of a 6 year old.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Wasteland

what is there to miss
it's all amiss, deliberately
what is there to expect
it's all words, no meaning
what is there to wait for
the time is over, forgettable

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Talking Chinese with Yaman

wo xiang ni. wan an. talking chinese to my daughter who might well be a diplomat someday. she's eager to learn spanish because of dora the explorer. and interested in chinese because of kai lan. who ever thought cartoons are bad for children?

Friday, September 14, 2012

Baking for Men

i can't contain my excitement. can't help thinking about it. just when the computer time read 345pm, i was up on my toes, rushing about, making sure the files have been copied, synced with the online box. i had to go, i had to be prepared, i had to --- bake! it's that kind of excitement when one wants to meet someone, especially a man. but men have no use for me now. they cannot be eaten to suit one's taste. so better engage in baking, than suffer the fickleness of men.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Blow Dry

the secret to beautiful long hair is blow drying.  the hair thas body as it drops by the shoulders relaxed yet with luscious body. it is still spring so i can still long hair. the cold prevents it from hanging limp as it does during summer. but the blow drying definitely adds character, reduces the occurrence of unruly flyaways.  i would just have to stay clear of it during the weekends to not subject the scalp and hair to too much heat.  but for now, the blow dry stays as i wear the mane with pride.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Someone Interesting

roxanne, my taiwanese housemate, is off to a conference by the end of september to tasmania.  because we almost share the same stories with our love lives, i made a wish out loud for her by saying, 'hope you meet someone interesting'. she took it quite literally to mean someone who's also on the same course as her, with similar research interests. had to explain that the wish extends farther than that.

it doesn't have to be, that once one has decided to live a celibate single life, one should stop meeting and getting interested with people, with men especially. there is a mystique in singlehood that grants the privilege of being open to anyone, but reserving that openness to a select few, who deserves more focused attention, who deserves time beyond work days, who warrants conversations beyond drinks of coffee, or even beer. we still need that someone to add a little spark, someone whom we will not wake up for but will make sleeping a little more assuring, someone who we need not make love to but will make sharing one's life fulfilling.  i think that's the word - fulfilling.  someone interesting who will fill one's life rather than empty it by depleting our energies with promises and frustrations. who will fill it with simple everyday assurances of time, conversation, friendship, and yes, sexual tension.

someone interesting, someone fulfilling. it's not a tall wish, roxanne.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Changing with Spring

it's spring so the wardrobe is changing. gone are the neck hugging turtle necks, the scarves and jackets that zip until one's throat. it's time to expose one's arms, neck and a decolletage occasionally.  perhaps it's time to get a trim to rid of flyaways but still retain the feminine allure of having medium-length hair. it's time for spring. it's time for a change.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Needing a Wife

i need a wife. to clean the house, wash my clothes and flags, cook my lunches and dinners, and change the sheets every two weeks. perhaps vacuuming will do as well. toady, i've been forced out of work by this tiredness. male PhDs have it better. go home to a wife, rest, get laid, and resume work the next day. all  because there's a wife. a wife to carry the world on one's behalf.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Back to Normal

two unusual days and nights of sleeping past 12 midnight and enduring the temptations of food would make me a dull and fat girl. just thankful going back to the old but healthy routine of sleeping early and eating in moderation. can't wait to sleep now!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Parking on Top of the Hill

it's stopping the writing at a breakthrough or a major point. one that needs developing the next day, but needs 'resting' for now, on the assumption that the writing beforehand has generated enough stimulation of one's brain cells to have inspired continuous writing and thus, the breakthrough, the major point. under unusual working days that began yesterday, it is enough consolation that one has organized the arguments by taking out superfluous and unfounded ones and just sticking to those simple but evidence-based. may the ride down the hill be manageable tomorrow.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Everyone and No One

in being single again, suddenly all men in one's surroundings become interesting, starker in view. there's the tattooed academic into the study of punk gangs, who seems to exude a lot of sex appeal. there's the gangly expert on governance who becomes catchy because of his quiet dignified confidence. then there's the IT guy, the one with the 'diamond-in-the-rough' persona who looks geeky but clean-shaven, a little elusive whose smile comes sparingly. somehow, the men become less normal than usual. but out of it all, one gets nothing but a nudge on one's sense of comfort, a wry smile is all one can afford because out of all men within the radius of touch and conversation, none can be allowed to get into the core of sanctuary. nothingness is the reality one gets resigned to, easily.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Dinner with Bic-Bic and Roxanne

i like cooking. it helps me express how much i love the people i cook for. the orchestration of ingredients here and there, the preparation, the setting up, the waiting and then finally, it's there. the finished product. good enough to cook. good enough to share. good enough to share a feast with. i love by my cooking and it's a great feeling.

Roast pork for dinner with Bic-Bic and Roxanne. Bic Bic's in Perth for her graduation tomorrow. 

Choco souffle for dessert. Yummy!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Long Hair Ko

something about long hair is sexy. especially when the wind wafts strands over your eyes, you brush them aside and it comes back in a fresh tangle. it's a bit annoying but on a windy day like this, who cares about rigid pressed down hair anyway?

over autumn that started april and winter ending just this august, my hair has grown past my ears and slowly reaching the shoulders. i just comb it from root to tip after bathing, over my eyes, following this thing i read in MOD magazine while still in zamboanga (was about 8-9 years old then) that doing so prevents split ends.  then flipped back like the usual. no blow drying. it dries up on its own.

for the rest of day, it lives on its own with, flying away wildly at the back. since i'm not used to combing after living with short hair for ages, it is normal to have it brushed once in the morning, in settling down at my desk around 830, and after lunch, just after brushing my teeth.

if the hair gets in my way during writing, a clip or a band is the handy solution. once i wore one leftover band from nicole, while still at uni. then walked home with a knot on top of my head to keep the bangs off. roxanne couldn't believe i went home looking like that. it didn't bother me at all. at 41, doing a phd, and feeling ugly at any turn, there's no use getting self-conscious.

i find having long hair quite useful too in doing a phd. when i'm getting craxy over a concept, i just hold my hair in a mush, stare at the screen as if revitalizing my brain cells. one can say, ay inda! run one's fingers down that mane and feel a bit of satisfaction just doing so. in some ways, by keeping my ears warm, it helps me concentrate and if i'm too upset, i shut out from the world by literally wearing it down over my eyes.

so there's really something about long hair. sexy, wild, self-sustaining, uplifting, mystically crazy. don't know for how long, but i'm keeping it.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Lightworks and Descansos

blog is the shortened version for web log, or 'online journal' (from Online Etymology Dictionary). just had the urge to find out what 'blog' actually means after almost 5 years of having one, of starting a new one barely five days ago, and opening another one for Batch 87 (Colegio de Santa Isabel) today.

there is so much release and risk in writing Lightworks. to release the rawest deepest emotions. to hide the same emotions in cryptic sentences or even poems. and to risk for the world to know the most intimate, private person behind the black ink and white page. Lightworks is every-day blogging. the writing into the moment. the capturing of words in white space and holding it there, without judgment.  

in Descansos, i undertake the project of melding both private and public. the private in an experiment of looking at heartbreak as a public issue and raising the instrumental and cathartic nature of it to open discussion.  the public in the sense-making of politics and development, the two worlds where i continue to gain education, learning, and hopefully, maturity and discernment. i hope to focus more on naga city's politics as i explore the realm of micro-politics and make it more tangible. Descansos is not for everyday consumption. it is more serious, opinionated, could be random or organized, could be right and even risks being judged wrong.  

the blogs define my past as i deal with it, the present as i accept it (not without pain) and the future, as i prepare for it. Lightworks and Descansos are the spectrum of my life. a never-ending search for light from the darkness of the pit, from dark days, and from out of the struggles over one's own darkness. 

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Come What May

this song from my teenage years, i finally got what it means.  before, i used to wonder about the confusion in the song. it promises to love, take care, shelter from the rain but then refuses to acknowledge firmly, what one brings in a relationship. come what may. medyo bitin. but walking along south street, last week, and humming the song, it struck me. so this is what it means. to bring oneself in a relationship is to be aware that one is indeed not perfect. human as we are, we bring our faults, prejudice, and weaknesses in the very act of loving. and yes, in a relationship, heartbreak is as given as age-old commitment to one's golden years. we step in relationships with arms wide open, the cracks in our hands, our beaten brows apparent, but nonetheless we move on. so that's why one says, come what may. whatever comes, let it come. we just have to love until we have to. and bid each other goodbye until we no longer can hold through. assurances of forever therefore are just rubbish. we don't the future. we don't really know how we will end up once we fall in love. we fall indeed is the only sure thing.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Fair Game

Mayor Robredo was in my dreams last night. the setting felt as if I was visiting him about something and he was in his usual self - the ordinary clothes, the ease, and the openness by which he made feel welcome. the dream helped bring comfort to my already weary disposition that given his death, my thesis and arguments would not be acceptable to the public. i would be tormented to my grave as the harsh biased critic of the 'people's champion'.

so it's fair game. the dream gave me this sense that if he would have been alive, he would take in every inch, sentence and paragraph of my arguments; would even fight for my right to say it; and would not stand in the way to assail or refute. i would have wanted you to comment on it Sir and find ways to move the program forward.  Thanks Mayor Jesse, even in my dreams, and even though you're already dead, sinimbag mo pa man din ako.

Friday, August 31, 2012

The Weight of Friday

too exhausted but thankful for finishing lumosity games as usual. i'm planning to work tomorrow depending on the mood and the weather. at home, i might work with a bunch of articles to build a matrix on the 'enabling strategy' and how it developed through the years. but i'm just too tired now i might hold it off till next week. perhaps tomorrow i might just rest by not really doing anything phd-related as usual. the weight of friday has come and i am giving in.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Writing Cannot Die

i just had to write this.  just to get it out. well into starting with the second section of the economics of self-administration this afternoon, i suddenly felt this chill. as if i am not sure what i will be writing about. suddenly, i felt tentative, not sure about my position.i struggled with the words, and the room felt colder than ever around 445 in the afternoon.

could this be the beginning of a writer's block? well into the 4th chapter?  i struggled not to think about it. and in yellow highlights, i wrote, you can do it vitti. you just cannot write because you haven't read enough, haven't processed that enough data. go back go back go back to the data.

i have to move up. struggle past the doubts. and write write write. suddenly i felt the helplessness, the sudden dip as if writing has lost its inspiration. but i can't wait on a savior. i have to save myself now. so whatever the mind conjures, i have to block it out. i just have to keep on writing, and reading, and processing.

my writing just cannot die.

Da-D

with her hands and a smile suggesting how she wants to impress how she came about it, Yaman gestures the words 'Daddy' as in 'Da' (hands extending to her left) and 'D' (making the letter D by cupping her hands).  it's good the reception over skype was not too good, she did not notice how my expression fell for about 5 seconds. i had to recoup and make her repeat the gestures as if i didn't get it instantly. just to impart a sense of normality in an already abnormal situation made even worse by the separation of two people who acted as if they were married, who gave the semblance of a family to a little girl who would later have to contend with the truth that the family she thought she had was an merely an experimentation. just part of the string of broken dreams.  my heart sinks upon writing this  because how can i tell her, there is no more 'Daddy'?

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

In Where I Am

where i am grants me the benefit of resignation. of hushing up those nagging thoughts to sleep because of the need to think deep about another.  in moments, i forget my heart, i forget the bleeding inside.

in where i am solace is granted by walks along shades of trees, the path is clear, sometimes it rains, but i get somewhere and at the end of each day, home is where the unfinished lies about and is forgotten. home becomes the home of shadows too because in every corner is a memory, even the wall is imprinted with a memory that just wouldn't let go.

in where i am, i find peace, unstable as it is, but it is there in space where one could just retreat, away from the mob that demands explanation, justification. there would be a time for them. but for now, in where i am, answers could be raked through in passing time, and perhaps, these will come to satisfy, even me.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Time and Understanding

how could i be accused of not giving time and understanding? when is time and understanding enough? and when is it wanting? time and understanding - really? for what? to cushion the final blow of an eventual goodbye? or to be left hanging until one is spent? for how long will the waiting be? for how long would you indeed be fit enough, be man enough, be complete enough to face a life again, with us? see, time and understanding does not work at all anymore. you are demanding it to just keep me, us hostage to your needs. to your unmet needs for affection from a son who has drifted away from you. and for which, you also want us to take the blame. we shall not be party to this. suffer your own stupidity. time and understanding cannot wait.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Self-Preservation

it's called self-preservation. it's holding to that bit of sanity so one can still stare at the mirror and appreciate the woman looking back. keeping that bit to keep you above water, to keep you breathing out of one's own volition still. 

i gave up on the relationship the time he stopped saying my name, a way of not acknowledging me anymore. i became a presence, a thing that just had to be there on one's beck and call. i had to be 'there' even though the reasons were no longer clear. 

it's how old couples go, the ones who just had to because of old age, because the kids have gone anyway, and there's just no other choice. eating at the same table, sitting in just the same sitting room but already looking past each other's gray hairs.  sometimes, i'm thankful we didn't get to this point. but sometimes, i ask, should i have gone further? endured just a little bit more. 

so yes, i gave up on him too. i could not endure not knowing who i am anymore in the relationship, what reason was there to start and end the day with someone who asks the same mechanical questions and expects the same mechanical answers.  i get confused with how the words 'sacrifice' and 'suffering' were being used, to the point that the doubts began to make sense. 

it is a sad sad thing.  in church this morning, i was looking over the pews and witness how i alone i was there in that pew. and it is a hard choice to make. to be alone not because the other half died. but to be alone because there is just no one fit to stay.  and i find my sadness loom, and the anger dwell. all throughout the mass, even in Thy Holy Presence, i was seething in anger and calling him names, and all the curses i could muster.  i thought i should perhaps stop going to church. until it dawned on me that no, this is the time you should go more often. 

one could find no solace in the silence. right now, i am filled with a lot of anger. even upon waking  up in the morning, anger is there. i can stand upright, function, will myself to write because there is one more left to love - my self. i have to stay afloat. i just will not die this way.  

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Drawing Notebooks for Yaman

when before i used to collect books, now it's drawing pens and notebooks.  stored up different kinds of notebooks already - long thin ones, 1/4 size ones that can be stuffed inside the bag, regular notebook-sized to accommodate more space, and the larger A4 ones for greater freedom to draw. while for us, notebooks are journals for writing, Yaman uses these to draw whatever - her idea of castles, a vast wardrobe, butterflies, flowers, teddies, candies and even different kinds of cakes. she is both curious and attentive she can fill half a notebook a day, just by drawing whatever she feels like it.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Diputa Ka!

today, did something that i thought, i would never do to the man i committed to love forever. in clear burning text - i told him diputa ka! (asshole!)  i was not happy after doing it. i felt a little relieved. but i was thankful having had the chance to articulate in two direct words how i really feel.

how i really feel being rejected, me and my daughter, being led to believe, trust, only to realize in the end that we are just replacements to one's broken dreams of a family. how i really feel being abandoned to explain and bear the shame of a foregone engagement. left to conjure explanations that could help save face to someone whose straight face betrays the fear of pity and ridicule.  how i really feel after being made to believe in songs, endearments, and commitments that one would never fail, one would love even beyond death, and just falter at one's self-centeredness. how i really feel contending with old plans again, of having to muster one's old self again, of planning again on solo, of going into that single mode again, and getting resigned that this would be one's fate, that there is no turning back, no getting fooled again.

so yes, you of all of them deserve this. those who came before did not promise at all, so what is there to expect, to live for, to build the future for. but you said, much too much, it sounded true, it sounded unassailable.

diputa ka talaga.  it is just so mean to pretend not to know. it is just so mean to pretend to be blameless when you started it all.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Angry Birds

playing angry birds could be so frustratingly simple yet frustratingly annoyingly. why can't these pigs just die? he he

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

HB 4244: The RH BIll

from memory, this is what HB 4244 promotes:

1. reproductive rights to all from sex education to maternal health care (including monthly half-day leave for pregnant women for check-ups), the full range of family planning services
2. what government, non-government organizations, the private sector, and citizens' groups could do to translate the Bill into programs at national and local level
3. respect for informed consent of receiver
4. assured access to services without prejudice to sexual orientation, marital status, age; and without the need for third-party consent, authorization if receiver is of legal age and is the victim of related assault by own parents or guardians
5. full coverage of health services under government health insurance programs, which implies access mainly for regular government and private sector workers
6. humane design and delivery of services and facilities in consonance with the special needs of people with disabilities
7. employers' responsibility in the provision of reproductive services and facilities
8. upgrading of skills of health workers

what the Bill does not promote:
1. abortion, still considered illegal
2. forced or mandated delivery of services especially to the poor
3. control of family size

where the Bill is unclear:
1. definition of employer, whether government or private, and the extent of allowable to minimum provision, including how cost burdens are to be shared with government through subsidies (bears the risk of the costs of provisions being passed on to consumers)
2. coordination of responsibilities at local government level considering that local health units and DOH are implementing arms but the former is under devolved responsibility by local government units
3. whether expansion of responsibilities by health care units corresponds to increases in salaries and other related benefits

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Mayor Robredo

the son has come home, acceptance at last.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Mayor Robredo

MAYOR JESSE ROBREDO LIVES IN EVERYONE OF US. IN THE STEPS OF NAGA'S ILLUSTRIOUS SON, MANY WOMEN AND MEN HAVE BEEN INSPIRED. AND MANY MORE WILL FOLLOW. THANKS MAYOR JESSE, WHEREVER YOU ARE. WE WILL BE FOREVER GRATEFUL.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Mayor Robredo

if he follows the light, he should negotiate for more time. more time for the salvage operations to finish what has been started since last saturday. from the after life to this life. perhaps it's possible. it has happened before. people rising from the dead. people declared dead, suddenly coming alive as if breathed on by God. then perhaps he could be one. he's done the exceptional, the unexpected. for another one, he is due.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Mayor Robredo

like all NagueƱos, am concerned that Mayor Robredo has not been found after the search and rescue operation following the plane crash has been halted on account of darkness.  the thesis would still be written as it should not in the memory of, or to give justice, or in fairness to.  there is an accounting that must be done and the reality that manifests and prevails in the data would still be written.  the thesis stands by its validity.

Friday, August 17, 2012

The Epic Chapter

there must be a sense of accomplishment after four weeks of interpreting what Kaantabay is as implemented, in the nuances and complexities of its sites, and the social facts associated with its settlers. there has to be a sense of accomplishment even if just finishing half of the epic chapter.  what is being written deserves to be a book today, and may one's efforts not be wasted. so to celebrate a sunny friday with perfect blue skies under chilly weather, the half-epic chapter was handed in just after lunch for the supe to read.  as i've told june, our japanese colleague in the arc, i'm taking my weekend early and have i!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Recast

i have to see it in paper. i have to read it, feel the paper throbbing, hear the words speak in black and white. hear them make meaning and sense. in black and white, the dynamics might float, suspend in the air for me to grasp and smell and jolt my now weary brain cells from 20 days of disciplined writing.  tomorrow, tomorrow, let the recasting begin.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Work Days of the Week (to a PhD)

Monday...hay...monday na naman... (it's monday again...)
Tuesday...shocks, apat na araw na lang natitira...(four days to finish whatever...)
Wednesday...gosh, kalagitnaan na naman ng linggo...(it's the middle of the week!)
Thursday...ano, thursday na?!!! (what, today's already thursday?!)
Friday...ugh, Friday na agad?!!! (it's suddenly Friday?!)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Life-Death-Life

on one side of the globe, my good friend signora elaine just had a baby boy. on another, someone just blogged about banana fritters while another reflects on death, the terminally ill, sudden deaths.  roxanne got a precious go-ahead to attend a seminar conference, a boost to her phd. over youtube, two star-struck lovers commit crimes in the name of love, doomed to separate mournful deaths.  michelle in arc is already five months pregnant. and nicole is giving birth soon. with the rh bill in the philippines, abortion becomes a life option.

everywhere around me, life and new beginnings abound amid an equal ounce of death and goodbyes. that i think is the way of the world.  the way by which hope, surrender, desire, release, and reckoning merge into a cycle where everyone is subject to. life-death-life as it is witnessed and lived.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Agony of Political Economy

have almost written 20,000 words and haven't come close yet to proving the argument. the words have their own direction. they make sense but there is this nagging feeling, this is just going to become another chapter but not the chapter hoped for. so that chapter hoped for would be written in another four weeks, which prolongs the agony of going through political economy analysis for a harrowing 16 weeks. why is a fellowship then being aspired for under the weight of so many words, so many thoughts, so many arguments pushing one to head in only one direction?

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Deduction, Details, and Politics

deduction as an art and science is actually the attention to detail.  true detective work lies in the logical resolution of cases, with the utmost attention to detail and the context under which events occur.  these are as rightfully shown in the practice of deduction in BBC series such as Sherlock, Poirot, Whitechapel, Case Histories, and Garrow's :Law.  compared to these, the CSI series and other US-made detective series are mere promotional activities for state-of-the-art technology in crime detection; and the latest hot bodies and hairstyles in hollywood, which are forgettable.

this attention to detail makes the study of micro-politics not only necessary but vital into capturing the nuances in which political relations develop, are asserted, sustained and even die out over time.  while the macro politics that deals with ideology becomes the mother frame for undertaking any political study, it would remain bare with mere bones without the flesh of details coming from the study of micro-political units such as individuals, households, organizations and local governments.  i know where i belong.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Yes Janty

yes janty it's true.  i would prefer just seeing you and we can take a walk along swan river. it would be a relief having another talk with you by my side with the majestic blue river witnessing the death of dreams to tears. so perhaps i'll just reserve my side to another face-to-face conversation in the future ok? i'm too numb to even care about the details. i'm too tired i'd rather not go back to the stories, the timelines, the transitions, and the vanishing points. it just happens. separation happens.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Burying Shadowman

i can still sing, hum so i'm ok. when praying, i never did ask 'why?'. instead, the question rests on 'why not?' and the answers that come are assuring. the future may be difficult but it would be better.

the return to 'bad days' and 'bad moments' is almost too familiar, the attitude straddles between cynicism and a clinical approach: 'i've been through this before, at even much more difficult circumstances, so what could be done is this this this...' or '...here we go again, the pain is difficult to carry but it's bearable...step one, step two, step three'.  in a way, i thank that there is a phd to finish because indeed the mind gets preoccupied. i am able to find comfort in the thought that there is an even greater societal problem to address than this stupid nagging heartbreak.

until the question pops out: how can one approach heartbreak that methodically? and the answers that come point to my very own tragedy.  i am fated no more.

i am fated no more to belong to anyone. that the attempts to build a relationship would just stop at attempts and never at the desired fruition: marriage, a solid complete family, someone's name to carry, someone to raise a kid with, someone by my side in old age, someone to cry over in black, someone who i can be with in the portals of heaven.  this, these images, are just fleeting images. in my relationships, i have just been offered a glimpse of what is, what could have been, and what could never be. and that's it.

this tragedy did not come in just one act. but in a host of acts it is almost laughable that i don't ever get to learn the lesson.  it is so laughable that a stack of old tragic love songs could define my life, and i still got away with it.  it's so laughable i've survived just in time before getting tattered to pieces. it's so laughable that i've escaped marriage, the prison of prisons, a gilded iron cage. it's so laughable how my best friends could almost now predict beforehand the sequence, gravity of my heartbreaks. it's so laughable but i'm not really laughing.

so yes, i will still say what i've written ages ago about Shadowman.  that i really envy women who have found best friends in their men.  who are assured of a lifetime of stability, quiet strength and ready laughter. my heart will still tug at the sight of old couples walking hand in hand together.  i would still wish there is a man on the other side of the bed as i look past Yaman.  i will always wish that i am not the only one who's strong.  but i will hope no more. i will pray no more. tama na. so be it, this tragedy, but let this be the momentous final act. there is more to life than crying over men, failed relationships, images, glimpses. Shadowman is forever resigned into the shadows.