Influences (or Why I Write the Way I Do)

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

Saturday, November 30, 2013

I Am Thankful

i am thankful every day.

for good health despite emerging rustiness on the head, one's legs, and even this middle ear. 

in my prayer every day, i thank the blessing which is Yaman - ang nagpapalalim, nagpalawak at nagpakulay ng buhay ko. ang Yaman ng buhay ko.

i thank my Mom whose sacrifices knows no bounds and tanggap ng tanggap na lang. 

i thank my siblings, Jungee and Yumi, for being role models in parenthood and marriage. how much do i admire and look up to them. 

i thank all my relatives from Mom and Dad's side. walang ibang magtutulungan kundi tayo-tayo in the end.

i thank my circle of best and close friends. ang aking mga pahingahan, shock absorbers, and endurers in between the highs and lows of life. 

i thank my team because they inspire me every day to not give up in finding and fulfilling the purpose for which the company hired me for.

and though my situation now is far less than ideal, still i have much to thank for because the light is never ending. what i'm going through right now is just a process of my evolution into a better mom, daughter, sister, friend, workmate, and in the future, one person's life partner. 

so much so much thanks for everything to the One Up There!

I am Mortal

once this and that project starts, i will write down my will and even have it countersigned by a lawyer-friend here.  taking on these risks, it has dawned on me that i should be prepared for any eventuality. that even though it is morbid to inform the family about this, still, i should know better. so in simple sentences, i will declare, "I, Annabelle Vitti Valenzuela, formalize the disposition of my assets and property in this manner...blah blah blah blah blah...".  I'm beginning to feel mortal, every single day.

Friday, November 29, 2013

This Will Suffice

what's the sense of forgetting?
every letter throbs of memory
every line transporting thought back to time
to time stretching out in a sea of forever


one of my writer-friends just separated from her man of two years. a man that she would endlessly blog about. the blogs speak of deliverance, release, belonging to family, stability and a semblance of sanity, for someone admittedly with a psychological disorder. long i have sensed that this relationship will not work out. it's in the way she treats love as an emotional crutch that gave the warning signs. sometimes, the oddness i sense towards things, people, stories, and events have a way of coming true.  and while i know the inevitable, still, even if i act to counter what is sensed, even if i chose to ignore, what manifests has been foreseen.  how can i say this to her, that for about 2 years ago, i blogged that her relationship would be getting nowhere.

A Life Truth (from Writing)

time and time again, writing would impress on me certain truths that work in life, as in writing.

this morning, i could not go past one whole paragraph. kept reading and re-reading, tweaking the periods, moving it from page to another.

the main block was this: whether i should break it into sentences and make these sentences, anchor statements to developing new paragraphs. more work, more fear.

then eureka! once i started doing it, i found the flow.

often, i am like this. i get fixated to a certain thought, a certain sense of 'being' and 'believing' that dictates the way i see a person, the way i treat the day, and how i evaluate my past and present life. with this, my tendency is to self-penalise.

then i realised, what i have is just a thought.

and that the way out of a rut is to re-think, to break and see anew, to welcome experimentation, to do and brush fear like a fly, and trust in the 'flow' when one gets into it.

time and time again, i get impressed with this truth.

Vitti, you have to believe more.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Of Dreams and Libido

a face should manifest in my mind. but since phd life and a draining separation, the interest in sex have almost dipped to zero. if i do get carried away, there are no faces, not even one, can be mustered. as if the dread to belong has seeped deep down and could not be undone.  the focus is on sensations, on highs that peak but don't last long. sleep follows after, rich and deep, but there are no faces, no way to tell the men in my dreams.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013


off to isabela.

with two luggage bags, and two computers.

work and phd in 9 days.

getting back to the field once more.

facing the rural poor, not the urban poor.

mustering how to go about a laidback town.

better pack your nike shoes, vitti.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The 30-Minute PhD

it takes effort to revise every working day. especially if pressed for time.

but still, if  one is to enforce discipline, even for just 30 minutes, from the actual target of two hours, one gets to one point to another, literally and figuratively.

point to point - from the period ending a lazy sentence, connecting to another that sounds a bit lousy (revisions are indeed never-ending).

point to point - from one thought to another. the testing of ideas meant to secure loose connections and create a 'tight' argument.

so here, one labors everyday to love. to love still of research, of investigation, and the trapping of elusive truths.

even for just 30 minutes.

Monday, November 25, 2013

This Monday

16 minutes to 9 and what do i expect to do today?

finalise a powerpoint presentation.

get on with what is called PEST analysis.

take on admin stuff.

get a long-term view of what more needs to be done.

pause occasionally and affirm, 'I am a fair person.'

off to another Monday!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

The Reason's the Daughter

i could not make up my mind last friday.  at 6am, determined to stay in manila. need to clean the condo, drop by the edsa cubao bus station and meet cora.  but over breakfast at 830am, diksi mentioned the deciding line - 'make the most of the time you have with your daughter'.  so by lunchtime, i was off at the condo, packing this and that, ticking mental notes one by one (still forgot the black socks though).  and as if serendipity had a hand, the taxi driver who took me to cubao was the jolly reliable type and we ended up exchanging numbers in case i would need more of his services in the future. for someone who heads to naga every so often,  that's one more reliable driver in the list who can be trusted with a ride to cubao every gridlock friday.

and i was really meant to be home.  the daughter got sick last night, with a fever of 38C, the early stage of cough and colds, and hallucinations around 11pm and 1am, after failing to get proper sleep.  she was throwing tantrums, crying 'ayoko na' (i've had enough), 'ayoko ng christmas' (i hate christmas), 'ayoko dito' (i don't like it here) and 'mommy nag slow motion ka', all which confirmed hallucinations caused by high fever.  but one that touched me was when after her first tantrums at 11am, she asked, 'mommy galit ka ba sa akin?' (are you angry at me mom?), to which i replied 'hindi ah, bakit naman?' (why would i?).

so there. split-second decisions make the difference between being there for those needing you most. there is the solitude of condo living where i can get more sleep, watch TV, and cook whatever.but i don't mind trading sleep and me-time for the daughter whose very presence fills me to overflowing.  i am thankful to be here.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Gratis, Forgiveness for Yolanda

on my way home to naga this morning by bus. looking out of the window, i saw how permanent they all are --- the earth in its stillness, a lone star (venus?) shining its light, the clouds in bold brushstrokes (boding for rain?).  only humans and other living things are temporal and still we dare say, we own the earth, the sky and the wind.  it's the other way around.  we are owned by all that surrounds us. we are the ones who float and brush through each other's presence. Gratis for the earth, the sky and all the elements in their ferocity and splendor. we are beholdened to you all. please forgive us.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Revlon No Smudge?

Revlon lipstick no smudge daw. But the evidence says otherwise. And still thanks to my good friend Mitch for making my day yesterday.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Ex is Married

Over the weekend, i learned from no other than mommy that the ex got married. I find it amusing as i dreamt about the marriage, even saw the wife, when still in australia. Just as i dreamt vividly our tree burnt down to ash. So it did not come as a surprise at all. Felt a bit sad remembering 'Fated' but cliche-ic as it sounds, love does not necessarily work out, even with the best of intentions. I hope though that the ex married for the right reasons; that is, because of love foremost, not need. I cannot 'read' from the reactions of news-bringers whether the marriage was received well or not. But then, just as everyone else was ecstatic when we got back together, we separated still right? It does not matter how love starts.  What matters is how it is sustained to the very end. Love should be there, I hope. It's a fitting enough birthday gift.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Starbucks Conversations

Mommy: Ano anak, mag asawa na lang ako ng mayaman para maalagaan kita full time?

Daughter gives her trademark smirk.

Mommy: So ano, tayong dalawa na lang. Kakayanin natin ha?

Daughter smiles approvingly, content with her cookies & cream milkshake.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Believing Forward

Here beside the daughter, in bed. I'm homesick already, to be away most of December and finally face one litmus test at work. Lord, I may not understand now why you led me here. Why I'm in this job, why Yaman and I can't be together, why it's such a long way to come full circle. The questions and struggles I surrender them all.  Leave and inject in me every day extraordinary strength and faith . Help me keep on believing.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Doctor Waiting

The doctor is here now. The decision was right to eat first. Fourth in line means more than an hour of waiting.

Whirling & After

One heavy sneeze.

One long vertigo, from 6am to 5pm.

Makes you rethink - single parenthood, single-income employment, and shared burdens.

Life is only going to get better from here.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

The Nth Time

Dear Santa,

How do I deal with a daughter that keeps on changing her mind? 3 months ago, it was MSH. Then, lalaloopsy. 3 weeks ago, it was LPS. Now, it's Kawaii Crush. Hmmm, she feels entitled to ask and get  because it's Christmas. In less than 30 days, the list has to be finalised right? So what cut off date shall we set?  We have to let the kid decide for the last time.

Hapless Mommy

Friday, November 15, 2013

Taxi Waiting

At 32nd st, waiting for the ever reliable driver. Only late once, and with good reason. Here just under a lamp post, punching letters to make sentences, the hand a turtle compared to the mind's speed. I wait amid the sight of young couples, their fresh and eager love. I am cynical but less. Thankful more often with just this strength, extraordinary it is. I wait, tap-write and count the blessings of a happy single heart.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Team Ko

I look to my team for inspiration. Basta nakikita ko sigasig ni Morning, calm ni Alve, bungisngis ni Ms Vency, tiyaga ni Warlito at bait ni Ericson, ok na. Walang puti na hahambing pa sa team ko.

Sunday, November 10, 2013


Go away to refresh, find another way of seeing. Just go away

Tuesday, November 5, 2013


The enemy is an asset. In urging you to think differently, to resort to tactics, to be more conscious of weakness and lack and how these can be reversed. It's an endless game of chess.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Reading, Now

I should read more often.

Finish les mis.

Recall what the chinese nail murders are.

Read carol's book from cover to cover.

Just plain read.

Find time, now.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Completing Her

It was unexpected, odd in a setting.

Spilling light truths about two 'daddies' over halo-halo, basic chicken meal and LPS at max's.

It's a start of a long but hopefully non-tortuous conversation of the relationships around her. I hope she gets to see and value the love that is there in spite of the imperfections.

Love is what makes us complete.

Friday, November 1, 2013


i keep content.

four days off work.

four days of  having the daughter close - flesh, giggles, and kulit altogether.

four days of home - its smell, the noise of dogs, the mosquitoes, ok lang.

i keep content.

happy where i am.