Influences (or Why I Write the Way I Do)

Natalie Goldberg (free-flowing writing)
Clarissa Pinkola Estes (wild woman writing)
Jane Hutchison (direct-to-the-point writing)
Ernest Hemingway (simple words writing)

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Corona Politics

my friend, maricelle, wrote in her facebook why despite the 'guilty' verdict on renato corona, she felt personally 'sad'. the corona impeachment case, for me, was not a victory of justice. nor a shining moment in our political history. not even a turning point on the current administration's hypocritical battle against corruption. instead the case exposed the following: (1) a bumbling legal system producing half-wit lawyer-politicians; (2) an ill-prepared administration out to sow personal vendetta using its very own political institutions; (3) gross inequality in our socioeconomic system where the rich earn favors and obscenely amass riches beyond one's means; and (4) the sorry state of our political consciousness where amid the courtroom drama and daily doses of spin, we struggle separating the obscure from the valid, the admissible from mere fabrications.  the impeachment case exposed how low we have become as a people, and no amount of revolution or election have propelled as higher from where we have been 300 years ago.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Writing Remains

in this sorry state that i am, the refuge worth fighting for is here. on this keyboard. in this space no more than 2 feet where the life of words keeps me going and the strength of ideas pushes will, mainly will forward.  

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

ARC is a Dud

ARC is a dud as well.

it has metamorphosed into a hypocritical sanctimonious institution under a smelly unkempt and boisterous cow.

it sanctifies 'prestigious' forms of membership and does away with non-prestigious equally important forms.

i am no longer proud being of the ARC.

just staying on until the end with my room closed and my earplugs in place to block out all the unwanted noise borne out of pride and arrogant boasting.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Dark Dud

Dark Shadows is a dud.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

What Matters

little grey cells. if they can't see me through, then the red beating heart will take me to the way back home.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

How Can I? can i refuse the daughter who finds time to talk at 9pm? really talk. about her day. her art drawings. her castle of carton and cardboards. her daddy with running nose. the disneyland drawing kit from daddy. so how can i refuse? how can i turn skype off as she shows her gift for me, in green wrapping because i love green, and a cupcake sticker because i bake cupcakes. how can i refuse? and how can i not sleep with content every night even if i get to sleep past 10pm already?

Friday, May 25, 2012

Power in the Page

writing illuminates and i could never be more right. i would not have reached the heights where fresh ideas tread without the unity of heart and mind as they exist in my hands.  it is like power crystallizing black in the white page. i've never felt more powerful than seeing them manifest before my eyes.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Transitions and Endings

how does one manage transitions in the writing?
the shift from one idea to another
the writer and reader one in understanding
how would the arguments and facts fit?
the blending of validity with reality
the capturing of the possible from evidence
how does one finish to a satisfying end?
the last period to come with a relief
the last page closed with a breath of the future

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Not Now

there is a time for sidelines but it is now. the time's not worth it, to be away from work where deadlines had come and gone.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Gaga Politics

what's more evil than lady gaga in boisterous off-hand get-up? politicians in pristine white barongs trading lies and trickery for a living. the 'religious' in white claiming sanctity masquerading racism. why don't we ban black eyed peas altogether as their songs too are vulgar, with sexually-loaded lines? why are we so mean with the obvious and so tame with our own dirty linen?

Monday, May 21, 2012

This Place

this is such a lonely place to be. to be alone where love is supposed to be.

Sunday, May 20, 2012


i just took the day, like the day owned me. didn't wake to an alarm, didn't exercise (not yet after 7 days) and had bread for breakfast and corn chips for lunch and supper, without the guilt. had to indulge for a while. even if this while is just for a day. tomorrow, reality sets in again - the alarm, the exercise, the regimented day, the disciplined appetite. i am on leash again.

Saturday, May 19, 2012


after 3000 words, the weight of many steps and the pressure of deadlines, i succumb to rest on a saturday. oh my bed, devour me, swallow me whole...

Friday, May 18, 2012

My Left Foot

every step was a struggle. the walk of 15min, took 30min. four 99 buses passed me by and i regretted not taking that ride - to coles, to corn chips, or to just home. to rest this foot, this hurting left foot.

Thursday, May 17, 2012


even the blogging has been forgotten given the travails of the day. if this blog is a witness to my life, it would attest how crazy finishing a phd has made me.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Writing in Peace

i'm not a loudmouth at the arc. i talk when spoken to and really open up to only my close friends, and they're not more than two. but when in the afternoon, we get a strongly-worded email from the director, there is no reason to clam up. collecting myself and breathing deep, prepared my reply in less than 30 minutes. i am not angry at all (although nicole, after reading the forwarded email, said i sounded angry). people are different in terms of the rights important to them and not, their perceptions of their worth, and what is due them as decent human beings. the points i have raised, it has come across. time to move on now to writing in the peace of my conscience.

Monday, May 14, 2012


2 transcripts done and 1 day more to live to the week's deadline.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Sunday OK

a perfect sunday. cooked lunch while watching inspector lynley series. the hubby just arrived from hong kong while the daughter's learning karate and 'beat' her ate ira thrice in pseudo-matches.

Saturday, May 12, 2012


at morning prayers, asked Above to help me stick to the structure and routine.  then before leaving, the period came, after just 24 days. then carol, by the 2&5 fruit shop advised, 'vitti, take a rest.' and so, the day wore on. while the mind rested, the hands worked. on laundry, cooking, cutting the chicken, and gardening. so there, structure and routine on saturday, while the mind's at rest.

Friday, May 11, 2012

We Three

when will three lives become one? in one home, one bed, one dining table. it doesn't have to be perfect. just as long as we are together. when will 'finally' ever come?

Thursday, May 10, 2012

For the Chapter

i do not know. rhythm is just too hard to get. the only way is forward. and the very act of moving forward is a hard slow pace. at this point, i'm at a woody part of the mountain. every climb takes a step of hacking over outgrowth. the way forward led by shallow lights at the distance. i am mainly moving by instinct. on what just needs to be done, for the chapter. to be able to finish one. but in what final form? that too is in the making.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The PhD Pace

shorter goals
228 words
2 long footnotes
reading in between
and checking tables
enough to keep moving
slow but right direction
momentum will follow

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Daughter Dreams in Pink

out there
the daughter dreams
of a room painted in pink
a double bed shared with baby sister
(a baby brother would also do)
of her paintings adorning the walls
a life assured of a place
of her parents' warm embrace
and everlasting presence

Monday, May 7, 2012

Back to Sunday

there's no use dragging myself to work if the body is crying to surrender. so today, after finishing the chapter of a book once owned, and thought to have understood, the computer rested. the researcher did her sun salutations and a 24-minute stretching exercise.  balance, flexibility, balance, flexibility. the sunday's back on monday.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Need for Now

all i need
now is
a massage
an early sleep
a long slumber
a fresh day
a radiant sun

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Time and New Eyes

i am reading, again, books, read, like, more than 10 years ago. journal articles that bear the mark of doodles in pen and pencil, of neon pink and green stabilo lines, with question marks, exclamation points and stars on the side. and i say, what a waste of time! if i had known what i should know now, to be able to write in the now, without ever having to go through all these readings, i would be packing my bags in 2 months time.  but would i,.. really?

just as natalie said that writing is organic, then it is true that learning is organic.  time is the ingredient for nurturing intellectual maturity. there is no instant fix as even eureka! moments come from the intersection of theory, real-world evidence, one's fieldwork data (the most valuable) and one's own judgment. and all these four coalesce under the staged orchestration of time.

intellectual maturity provides a new way of 'seeing' the world, and consequently, the appreciation of one's data and one's own search for meaning in and through it.  so while indeed must one rush in the face of real and approaching deadlines, one also must strike a balance and welcome the need for repeated, gradual and even laborious unearthing, raking of old material in order for old thoughts to blend with the 'new', to firmly establish one's own unique sentence, paragraph, page, chapter.

in time there is process and the time to, finally, pack one's bags for home.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Word Hunger

if writing could be as simple
as eating
words there
for the plucking
ripe and ready
words fresh
in a bowl to eat
crisp to one's own liking
word juicy
the stomach full, happy
but too far from food
words are
a dish i cannot create
cooking deterred
hunger unfulfilled

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Going through Foreplay

the hard part is surrendering to this resistance. questioning why writing cannot just be seamless, without the 'fuss' of reading through the literature and comparing your ideas against those already established in the field. but it has to be done for writing to not just be ranting but lucid informed and critical thinking. for what is written is a reflection of what is being thought about.  so one must break down the barriers and go through with the endless foreplay in writing, which is reading. great love-making comes from great foreplay right? so it is too with writing.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Bad Back

tiredness runs through my back. a numbing pain in this chair in the evenings. because in arriving home, i rarely lie down to just slump and let the bed absorb the day's toil. i rarely do sit down to rest except when it's time to skype. having dinner is no rest time as even eating is a task these days. so tomorrow let's see whether back exercises will clear all these away, and whether i need to 'rest' although in what manner i do not know.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


i'm just too tired after work, it's almost obscene to open the pc to open microsoft word. i would just have to settle for this. to not overdo work and find respite and joy seeing my beautiful daughter and gallant hubby over skype. i can do no more except read the e-book version of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, a gem in using Samsung Tab. or play Scramble, a much abridged android version of Word Factory. brain cells still at work but on what grounds should rest really mean? this is rest as is.