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)

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

So Long

2013 would be the year of near-misses, almosts, what-if's and whaddaya know.  the year that i shocked and also got my own bucket of surprises - from an unfinished PhD to working in the hydropower industry, of all sectors.  the year when i stopped to recollect, reassess and ingrain alone-ness. when fear became a constant companion and an unexpected friend. one does not have to fear fear. facing fear everyday almost drove me to tears (which a bucketful have yet to be shed) until the moping, the worrying stopped. i am just fine. extraordinarily strong, and fine.

as i follow more the chinese new year, there is still another month to go before 2013, the year of the Black Water Snake actually closes. it is still too early to recap what requires another month to unfold. so i will just say, insofar as the Gregorian calendar goes, so long 2013. i will never forget you. and i'll choose not to. there are no new year's resolutions. just the unending resolve to keep on forgiving and praying for forgiveness, to believe in the positive and the possible, to run away from drama and ingratitude, to relearn stability and permanence on what matters, to embrace life and love unconditionally.

Image from

Sunday, December 29, 2013

2014: Looking Forward


Travel abroad

Ultimate strong lasting one

Fieldwork in the mountains

Personal stamp in the profession

Red lipstick collection

Femininity inside out

The Forbeswood unit owned

Yaman and Family Time

Gratis. Amen.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Super Dry

I will leave you dry
A pledge that will be fulfilled
However this road turns and ends
I will leave you dry
Be ready for it

Friday, December 27, 2013


i have been very good at this
no one fathoms how deep it is
no one witnessing the dissecting analysis
to become both the victim and expert
knowing how to lie with a smile
and mask restlessness with serenity

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

The Darkness Will Not Overcome

how did i say it gie?

just go through it. stand alone and face the darkness alone. allow it to creep into yout thoughts and conscience. let it embrace you, keep you restless, sleepless, but mindful. mindful of loneliness that like bad weather, had to be experienced, passed on through.  

just take it all in. like the wind, holler and say, 'bring it on!'. say it out loud. say it even in your sleep. it's a very testing time indeed. but one just had to endure. and to endure is to wait, without doing anything.  one need not do anything. not even lift a finger.  

and that some day, that day will come. the day when the past that matters no longer matters, not that much anymore. the day when one will not even wince, or even shed a tear. the past will be overcome, just like the darkness of today.

Pic from

Monday, December 23, 2013

Naga's Horrendous Traffic

December 23. From emall in elias angeles, it took yaman and myself 45min to get home to concepcion via diversion road. Normally, it's just a breeze of 10min. The trucks aggravated the situation with the national road accommodating only two way traffic. No thanks too to the eight choke points hurdled by vehicles starting from the old centro: the intersection beside the main entrance to the public market, the second before going up the bridge, the third at the top of it, the fourth at the corner of tabuco's obrero st, the fifth at st. peter memorial chapels, the sixth at the entrance of triangulo, the seventh at the intersection along puregold, and the eighth the road leading to almeda highway.  Trucks and choke points did the lady who has adapted to city life by just walking to and from work. Ugh, i'm definitely not leaving the house tomorrow!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Dra. Jocson: On Angel's Wings

in today's homily on following our inner conscience than common sense, memory brings me back to that pensive day in february 2005, just less than a week after my 35th birthday.  it was one of my weakest moments where the One Up There showed His strength, the power of His way through my ob-gyne, Dra. Jocson.  Dra. Jocson took my mind away from what was missing --- that is, the attention of the father of the little one inside my womb.  instead, she emphasised, strongly and with the conviction of a strong-willed woman, the blessing brought by the little one's pulsating presence.  so from a position of weakness, in that white chair, came the acceptance and the realisation, a split-second decision that spelled the difference between a life of regret, and a life of astounding wonder every day.  thanks Dra. Jocson. wherever you are right now, you deserve all the good and lucky breaks, all the love of family and the God you believe in, and path paved in green and gold.  thank you, thank you for being my Angel that fateful february day. owns the pic.

Saturday, December 21, 2013


the date flashed on the bus's mini-monitor: 21-12-2013. 

so yeah, it would be two months before turning 43. 

what will happen in the next two months? 

what would i blog on my birthday?

how will two months unfold then? 

what change would be significant. 

come now 43. i'm ready for you. owns the pic.

Friday, December 20, 2013

LUNA's Hug-Me Cappuccino

Hi, can I have a cappuccino for takeout?
The cashier hesitates and demurs, 'Uhm...please let me ask the barista...'
The Barista, tall hunky and Chinese-y, flashes a dazzling smile with his perfect set of teeth and explains, 'Mam, we can't serve your cappuccino on takeout'.  Gets a gray bowl and says, 'We serve our cappuccino here to preserve the froth.'
What??? I'm going to drink cappuccino from a bowl??? Where the hell did you get that concept???
The Barista, cool and still smiling, says, 'Our owner has been throughout the world looking for ways to serve the perfect coffee and she says, we cannot compromise on the froth of a cappuccino.  We call this Mam, our 'hug-me cappuccino'.
I wouldn't mind hugging him instead of the bowl. But given his cool disposition and as I'm already there on the counter, I relented. 
'So you're the only cafe here in Manila and in the Philippines serving cappuccino this way?'
The Barista nods and smiles again.
I'm taken. 

So here goes my first foray with Luna's specialty "Hug-Me Cappuccino"...

Looking at the cups, I also said, "With all your fancy cups, you serve cappuccino in a bowl?"

Love on the wall is how I interpret this. 

What a blast for a soft opening!

A Hug-Me Cappuccino, unadorned - not at all pretentious.

This is how I take my cappuccino. Spoon out the froth first and drink the coffee later.  The pastry was not impressive but it's not what I'm after.

Hug me. sip me, and down me.  I love it!  I'm coming back for more - this time with Yaman!

Luna Coffee Shop is at the back ground floor of the NAC Tower, 32nd St., BGC.

Luna, in my opinion, has the best blurb for a coffeeshop:  Life is short. Stay awake for it!

Tara na sa Luna!

Thursday, December 19, 2013


this is a Christmas gift from Ani, our lovely attorney-in-residence.

it's a handcrafted piece and blessing 'GROW'.

indeed, more fruitful years are coming.  we will grow as a Team at work. Yaman, myself and our growing family will unite and share in prosperity, adventure, and happiness.

GROW is for today and our tomorrows.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013


Before evening prayers...



Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Just a Kiss

Hey, at my age, i'd kiss that man in pink, even if just on the cheek. so go ahead and kiss him! it wouldn't hurt. and he wouldn't mind:)

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Living Here

the unit owner chose to paint the walls white, without any frames, to make the room look bigger. and it does. what is lacking here is a bookcase there on the left corner just beside the TV and throw pillows for that red big comfy sofa. it's an airy unit, made cool because of its secluded position from the sun.  sunlight still streams through the windows around noon, just like yesterday. it's lovely. a modest unit that fits the laid-back me. 

Saturday, December 14, 2013


before i got to like the cappuccino at Coffee Bean &Tea Leaf, Figaro's had been my first choice. so yesterday, after this feeling of victory from the team's stint at Isabela, fancied to have one decaf one here, and my favorite pastry, Little Oscar.  took some random pics, this one here capturing the brown homey interiors of the coffeeshop and the ravished cup and portions from the famished me.  another taste of my life on a Friday, away from my home, and my heart tugging for Yaman.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Lost Time

one gentle reminder: there is never a bad time to go home to naga. i should have planned this earlier. was already in cubao last sunday after meeting one good friend. i should have bought a ticket. then now, the bus should have been on its way. and i'm not here. regretting again time not spent with the daughter. regretting again weekends without her.  just as the plane touched down, how i wished, we have a home here. then i should be racing not to the office, but to home where her smell, her toys and drawings, and the sound of her voice rules. i should, i should, i should but i did not. ah, regret! owns the pic.

Thursday, December 12, 2013


88%.  A number which, by tomorrow, could start bells ringing and finally usher in Christmas.  as initial wonderment led to disbelief, disappointment, tension, and frenzy, the stabilizing point has been reached. though the space and position in the pack is still being defined, gradually, there seems to be a resting point, an acceptance that whatever the outcomes in the next 3 more months, 88% will still be 88% - higher than anticipated. owns the pic.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Breaking New Ground

yes i know.  it's strange to be talking about another 'man' again in this blog.  especially in light of the two other 'man' whose presence have been embedded for a long time, the last one particularly, in this blog.  a lot of unexpected happened since 2012 - didn't like these at all but what is happening right now, i just let be.  it is the Universe unfolding, with its all-seeing eye and mighty hand.

i too dreamt of stability and permanence.  but even dreams and blogs cannot divine the future.  yet in this blog, there is always space for discovery and renewal, for that speck of inspiration to thrive and lead into something good, to breathe anew the possibilities of a trustworthy relationship, to be beholden to a real strong one, this time.

there is infinite space for you here. i am breaking ground now. owns the pic.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Red Lipstick!

just googled 'red lipstick' and it's quite amazing that tips abound on how to wear the mother of all lipstick colors - red.  indeed?! so what's the fuss about red lipstick?

in 2014, i want to fuss over myself. just as i fuss over work - which if God allows, would take me galloping over the far north non-stop beginning january.  i want to fuss over myself as i get into running as a sport and a lifestyle.  i want to fuss over myself as i discover the power of womanhood and the mystique of staying single. i want to fuss over myself as i experiment with long hair worn over long sojourns here in isabela and i get to know this tanned medium-built and ultra-intriguing man.  i want to fuss over myself as i keep rediscovering life and beauty and love and passion and thrill and grace in my 40's and onwards.  Life is just so beautiful! owns the pic.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Our Pain

the Facebook post read, 'Pain is temporary, Regret is forever.'

in choosing the painful path, not only is endured the weight of loss. we have to face resignation day by day. we have to take the past as another frame that could now be hung on the walls of the soul that is our sanctuary. a past that existed, and is believed in, but which should not consume us as the windows and doors of the future are laid bare, open for discovery.

to forgive the past is not to obliterate it. to forgive the past takes forgiving one's self first and giving in to the pain of all that cannot be restored. it is to accept loss, not erase vestiges of it.  it is to acknowledge one's defeat and not pretend that there has been no cause fought for, no battlefield unsullied, and no wounds bleeding.

embrace the pain. it's the only way the past can be let go.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Gray Skies

it's this hollow feeling. something amiss. something not just right. but helpless against.  one could only watch the whatever unfold.  and pray that in time, the name, a word, and, still, one's presence could make a difference.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

The Neighborhood on a Friday Night

a leisurely walk on a Friday, i-Phone on hand. it feels good to be here. cool. the traffic blending in with the night. i search among the faces and find no one. no route is the same, even at night. it feels so good to be here. Solitude owning the night, and the walk back home.

The work place at a glance. Alive with lights.

I miss Yaman. She should be here.

A frenzy of lights. People either ending or yet to start their day. 

Here's my joint. Home's becoming home.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Wala Today

Tomorrow it's the neighborhood, internet allowing that is.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

No Misery At All

this is so heaven...

my feet resting on a futon and me blogging, having snickers, and waiting to skype for Yaman...

i'm not miserable after all. 

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

A Night of Pandesal

on the road back to the dam at 728pm, we turned round, headed towards santiago city to get what??? PANDESAL from Noypi Bakery.  yes, pandesal is served here in santiago city at 8pm. it sells like hotcakes, the customer before me ordered two packs of 25.  Noypi's is the best pandesal in town. it might be pricey at PhP2 each (USD0.10/pc) but it's rich (dusok), soft and sweet.  right there in the car, the four of us were laughing amid munches of hot pandesal.

 along the road back to the dam, we turned back for the second time, this time to the TOTAL gas station which here in the north boasts the best comfort rooms and cafes ever.  so over conversation and gossip, had pandesal over hot drinks, with mine dunked in a steaming cup of cafe americano.  i'm not sure what time i'm going to sleep tonight.  not sure if i'm going to sleep at all. but in one of life's simple pleasures, i will remember this. that one night here in isabela, i was just like any ordinary folk, blended in, and wishing to be part of the crowd, with their most popular, tastiest pandesal in hand. 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013


prayed hard today. that there'll be no fiasco, no security problem, no public harassment, no media coverage. and perhaps because most of us prayed, the team weathered one crucial test in the barangay. this is just the start vitti, should the road extend beyond february next year.  one more reason to stay close to community, one more reason why Isabela beckons.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Wish and Affirmation

i wish...

my mom taught me Ilocano way back as a child
that with the daughter, we can call Isabela 'home'
that my purpose here unravel soon and in earnest
that the PhD will wind up and get published next year
that vertigo will just be a forgotten prescription
that strength will come from a welcome inspiration
that the slump, monotone, and penalizing will pass

this year will come to a close
and you will be fine
you will always be fine
you just have to go through this dark highway
make sure to stand back after falling
and don't be afraid to fail forward
just don't be afraid to fail

Sunday, December 1, 2013

About You

someday i will write about you.  just like this one for him. gut-out and real. going through the blogs is raking the past, over and over. familiarizing one's self with feelings and thoughts buried deep down. but, still could not find the words. someday it will come. now, the words are not flowing right. lost between negotiating heartbreak and release. in time, i will still write about you.

Hot Mugs

two mugs for coffee and water. a magat mug for hot water and a flower mug for hot drinks. a thermos too for hot water. just taking everything hot today, on a cold cold day here in Isabela.