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)

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Having Enough

sometimes when one is wanting, it is easy to say --- when i have enough, i'll get this and that...perhaps i'll get an extra one, just for safekeeping...--- every time i pass by the Fossil counter at SM Aura, there is this flesh-colored leather watch that catches my eye. it is riddled with bright stones. a perfect combination of off-white and metal.  but when the time when i had enough, more than enough to buy it, i relented. i don't really need a watch from Fossil. or another watch to that extent. the Seiko silver metal one is still ok. so is the Solvil-Titus vintage from OLX.

actually, this holiday season, i never got to buy anything fancy for me.  it's always something that i need. like this North Face jacket that i need to go to work, to stay safe while climbing mountains next year in Ifugao, for example. if there's anything else, just a pair of shoes on knock-down sale from Celine.

there's really none that i need. i have more than enough. and i felt happy reaching this stage of contentment. of letting go, and being discriminating of wants. a test passed as now i have enough. just like the attitude with men. i nearly fell and let myself be taken away by expectations this year. but no. i realised that i am more discriminating. that i don't settle just to enjoy. that i'm not really a happy-go-lucky person when it comes to love. that i am not impulsive. and i don't fall just because the man in front of me is delectable, says the right words, and gives the ooommmph that women desire.

i have more than enough. and staying simple amid it is the perfect state of contentment.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

The Right Prayer

for a Christmas wish, i do not wish for someone.

let's go beyond that.

instead, i wish for a braver heart
a heart readier to forgive, to listen, and ask forgiveness
a stronger heart that can bear the fear, and ugliness
a heart that may shirk occasionally, but will not be overcome
there are faces i see but for this heart is a different one
he is out there, wondering where that someone, that me, might be
he is out there, like me, lost in traffic and the maze of uncertainty
but he is there, as i am here
and someday, he will be there as i am
and we will find, within our hearts to ask
are you ready, braver, stronger now?

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Bach Again

it has always been Bach.

when i could not imagine how to work on the thesis, here in naga, with the noise pollution - the niece doing computer work, the daughter playing games and youtube on her tab, the youngest nephew watching cartoons on tv - the answer has been Bach. Bach and his violin concertos. these are my walls. as now, i take a respite from work on two paragraphs. it has always been Bach. if there should be a person i owe this thesis to other than my two ever-patient supervisors, it will be Bach. he deserves the essential white page, almost of all of it, in Acknowledgments. it is always Bach.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

For 2015

An Herb Garden
Hiking, or
Cycling, or 

But 2015 it is
2015 it is.

Friday, December 19, 2014

The Thesis While on Vacation

on vacation, you know you love your thesis when...

...the alarm clock is again set at 4am monday to friday keep squeezing in thesis time during the day even for just 30 minutes keep notes, written or electronic, on how to improve structure strategize how to save your Endnote Library in that computer talk to the daughter, watch TV and will work till Christmas and New Year's Eve with the thesis write this blog so you won't forget commitment

You can do it Vitti!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

So Many Stories

the driver, gray-bearded, the wife beside on the front row
what is on Yaman's mind when her father's name is spoken
why fitting in has to be a voluntary organic act
that getting enough of Naga can never be
what is it about men that takes away every living breath
playing the violin is 2015's goal
and that enduring and overcoming loneliness is pure strength
so many stories on a blog
so many stories to be written

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Three Weeks!

the list is endless. 

appointments with the OB, ear doctor
massages every week
swimming every other day
gym every other day
taking the daughter to school
fetching her
planning next year's work
the thesis
going out with gie
shopping, grocery

all the whatever that one can do. 
ah, the kiwi boss's best-ever season's gift...

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Beyond Chuwariwap

many things i do that i cannot sustain. like make-up. wearing red lipstick. trying to wear feminine colors. being feminine. i wear my face plain. i hate too much red as red as salesladies or receptionists wear on their lips. i am mannish, happy with jeans and shirts. i like white but also blue. i steer away from black but i like those with v-necks, open and even sultry necklines. but i still like shoes. although i should steer away from red, my unlucky color, wearing it on my feet is like stepping on it, overwhelming the bad luck. so despite the changes, the desire to 'up' with society's standards, i return to the basics. and there i get to know me. i get to stop the chuwariwap, and focus on the essentials.

Thursday, November 27, 2014


Vitti, you have to work better than this. you have to keep schedule. sleep early, to wake up early at 4am. avoid sleeping late, so your PhD hours won't suffer. you are getting there. but you will only get there when you stick to structure. structure that says, work for 2 hours every morning from monday to friday. if you need to travel early, recover PhD work on a saturday or a sunday. you just need to maintain this pace. use Time as a resource, wisely.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

So, Stay

how to make sense of someone whose truth hurts?
someone who refuses to go away
who has no plans of leaving
who keeps on pushing, trying, needing
whose presence just stays
prying, patient, persistent
perhaps someday the need will disappear
someday he will return to memory
but now, he's just here, still here
i'm tired of reasons
as you wish, stay.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Making Sense of the Shadow

i am about to blog about my thesis, until under Stats, i saw and clicked this blog from 2010.  apparently, someone read it this week.

he must have really loved me. i felt it, reading this blog. a blog about food, and our first date. he must have really loved me.

but did i? as much? every time, memory harks about his man that i have long buried, this cliche always comes about, 'it is for the best'. the time with him was a test. and in that test, i realized it is difficult and unfair to commit to someone whom one cannot give the best to. when one's best is no longer that best. i just don't have it anymore. that was one painful, but true realization. and as i've told him, right on our first encounter over skype, you deserve more. you deserve better. and he got it now. there's no need to interfere.

so why did we ever came to be? bakit pa nagkita kung naghiwalay din lang? for me, it was the test of fate. Fate. to each other, we are both remnants of the past, of a young promising relationship in our teens. we met again, in our 40s, to really end the questioning - can we ever be? and if we did, will we be happy? what happened to us in 2012 is the answer to this nagging question. we can never be, we can be happy elsewhere, we can be happier with different people. so no more nagging questions, no more looking back, with regret.

and in this blog, the blogs about him stays. as a testament that we existed. we loved, we failed, and that's it. just like how real honest relationships go. there's nothing wrong with that. just as i can go over our blogs - feel missing, feel sad, feel ecstatic, laugh, wax romantic, and sigh.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Questions

in less than 2 hours, begging the call of the internet to search for laptop options, labored how chapter 4 will be structured, and restructured. the chapter is written but it needs to be more cohesive (talking like Jane). so one starts with defining, in fine print, what questions should the chapter answer. the questions have to be articulated well, with opening of adjustments as one goes with the editing. it takes a lot of labor, and discipline to get back on track again, after a week-long hiatus. but this is how the road goes Vitti. like your work, you face uphill walks every now and then. sometimes, the climb is even longer, harsher. but you have to keep on going. you just have to. so deal with the first question tomorrow, then the next, and the next, until you find a cohesive chapter.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Back to Magat

strange how perspectives change in less than a year
no more nagging loss
no more asking why i'm here
a lot has been done and more will come
i am able to hold worry at bay
and survived the scare of burnout
my thoughts are on new things to do next year
beyond tennis, Norway, tithing, and Bo Sanchez
and how to better institutionalize, carry the team forward
while hearing the 'humming' of the dam
this giant creature of earth, steel and riverflow
if i am able to sleep on the bosom of this colossus
then i can tame it like any other fear or new beginning

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Seen, Now

crazy. to be made aware that my mom loves fresh lumpia. that the sister is more OC so she loses her temper more often. that brother's frustration is missing mom's cooking since getting married. and that daughter is the lovelier version of her auntie rina. things that have long been there but now only seen.

Friday, November 14, 2014

The Body Talks (again)

after getting home past 12am, fasting 10 hours, and going without coffee by 4pm, the body just had it. headaches and vomiting sealed it. no coming home tonight. you will just rest here Vitti. you are too tired. stretching yourself too thinly. 

the consolation is in knowing, you're healthy. at normal weight. and the workshop preparations are underway. 

you'll be fine Vitti. you have just have to take a good rest. 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Starting Chapter 4

this is how i worked today. no whole paragraphs, but questions to restructure the chapter.

i talk to myself this way. addressing myself by name. writing whatever instruction or question comes to mind. it takes a lot of will to wake up at four. when everyone else is still dreaming.

but here i am.

this is discipline. one just have to have structure. to find that constant space in time to devote to the thesis, whether it be an hour, less than that, even 30 minutes will do. and with i did today, it was worth it. as i've said long before, every effort on the thesis is an effort of chipping through that wall and breaking through.

and explore ways to brainstorm, just what i did. thesis work is not just writing. putting structure and direction is a must to beautiful writing.

Monday, November 10, 2014


i still wake up at four
struggling with spaces and arguments
i go on meeting those i'd rather not
armed with words and reasoning that hurt
i do things never done before
for the sake that teams die for
and so complaining and worry are temporary
it is only character, hardened character that remains

Friday, November 7, 2014

Sakong Gusto

...itong may pakilabot sako
may planong maghaloy
maprotekta sako...

Thursday, November 6, 2014

The Thesis Hits the Fan

at my lowest last week, was able to articulate in such a direct manner for Jane to appreciate, the difficulty of living up to her standards of the thesis.  what with the lack of productive time, of the work workload, and frustration eating up even on the precious thesis time of 4-6am. like this blog, being written at 538am to release frustration.

i am no longer in perth. i no longer have the luxury of a picture window. i no longer have the luxury of pounding at my desk, reading, looking at the ceiling, thinking in white, walking over to her room to discuss, having cappuccino at will. i just don't have that much time.

so we agreed.

the other supe will read to vet. for them to find a simpler, doable way of moving this thesis forward.

i have to get some kind of consolidation. some piece of help to manage these facets of my life, that while not connected --- housing and hydropower --- somehow define a life carved at my 40s.  i have to stay afloat.

i am not nice. i am not built that way.

but my being not nice yields results, as how serious i can be in wanting these results. just like yesterday, at Pancake House in NAIA 3. you don't mess with my order, our order. it cannot be that another table, even their follow-up order, would come earlier than our table. it should not work that day. like with my CommRel Unit in GDP. they would have not gotten the respect and attention due them if i was 'nice'.

so with this thesis. this thesis will be finished next year as i need results from my supervisors. and i will get these results because i am not 'nice'.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Why an Impossible Deadline is Impossible

A dam takes more than five years to build on raw hard ground
We are tasked to build trust from thin and damp air in two
The structures will traverse slope, incline and gulleys
We shall negotiate propaganda, mockery and fear
Technical will count costs, time, and person-hours
We measure not by hands but by committed yet fragile trust
Their progress manifests in crushed and built steady stone
We don't stop. Trust takes lifestimes to sustain.
There is no line that marks death, the end
We need ropes, a continuous and endless lifeline
We need to breathe. We have to connect. To stay steady

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

The Wasteland of Memory

they were together for, almost, 5 years. he was not the marrying kind, but stayed, kept house, had the precious key, built his wardrobe with hers. then the unforeseen. the separation. tears shared and shed. she couldn't just go back, to the condo they called 'home'. for almost five years. she couldn't bear the memories. only without a choice would she stay - after working late, returning from the field to Manila in ungodly hours, when the energy left after turning that lock inside, was to lie down and sleep. she couldn't bear two shirts he'd left - deliberately? - still there hanging by their wardrobe.

how can our brains and hearts work this way? memories are intangible, they do not have weight, cannot be touched, cannot be even held solidly, but they are enough to burden, painful enough to lacerate, and devious enough to kill with false hopes, and illusions.

for how long will the two of them keep this facade? this facade of 'moving on', keeping a straight face, laughing with the crowd but crying buckets inside, waiting for that call, the right words, the right timing, the right environment, the release, the surrender, to communicate, reconnect, give chance another chance, and live to love without the conditions, and assumptions. and before they know it, the line has been breached. there is no returning to that field of innocence. memory has permanently sullied the field, indelible in its destruction of faith and anticipation, the recklessness that comes in love without seeing.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Pacing and Yet...

pace pace pace.

i still feel sick, inside.

perhaps next year, i should stop getting flu vaccine.

so the flu will come out, like today.

the flu is trapped

i'm trapped

in a tired, sick body.

longing for bed, air, a strong embrace.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Save Yourself

what you're going through will be the norm.

it is your response to it that has to change.

manage your time better
learn to delegate more
build your people
take time 'off'
get massage often
pace your travels
speak up clearly 
nurture your own time
learn to love the wait
as you will be found

what you believe, will be.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Cry for Help

it was the neglect. the feeling of not being trusted. work trivialized, and even demeaned.

the trusted one on top also had their moments. also clammed up. decided not to get involved. perhaps undergoing a similar catharsis, the disbelief, the loss of purpose. the feeling of losing one's purpose within the team, the lost purpose of leading, being a part of it.

and to be strong gets one to an even lonelier road. when in even articulating cries for help, one meets deadening silence. so it's not true after all. there is no one out there who really cares. really wonders how you are, just for your sake. no one. and best friends cannot be depended at this point. they think it's just work. they think you've been through similar travails, and you'll get through. assumptions, analogies, and silences. you do not get any attention, no consolation of a text, a phone call, nothing.

no wonder suicides come at a surprise to close friends, love ones. they do not get the cue. they all rely on physical markers. there is no attempt to understand the longing behind the sentences. they want more proof beyond the literal cries for help - as in help me, i need you, can you please be my friend now?

the back hurts, the neck hurts, the heart hurts.

who will listen? who will call? who will care?

Monday, October 27, 2014


tired. right arm in pain, ngalay. back in pain, need massage. need to run, but still with mens.

the only consolation yesterday was the swim here at FW. although pool water felt sticky, dirty at the edges. still, the water felt light, comforting. what did Sir Mar, veteran swimmer and diving instructor, say about swimming? "Just glide with the water. Don't fight it.'

today and in less than 2 hours, no choice but to work. a lot to think about. the targets, the reports, the future, the plans, and these deeper dreams.

go on Lightworker, you Woman of Pentacles. trust, repair and build for the better.

it's just an impossible road. but You are getting There

Saturday, October 25, 2014


Shall i forego having a Bestfriend-Lover?

What you should let go of Vitti is the expectation, that you will fnd him, discover that he's the one you've been missing all your life, and the one who'll stay --- in one go. Trust thar similar to your female bestfriends, you will get to know what you are to each other in the worst and most awkward of circumstances. Both of you will quarrel, debate, trade barbs, endure heavy silences, but in each instance, with a growing respect for each other. There is no one go in anything serious  Keep calm. He is manifesting inspite of himself.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Adik sa Alimit

Kapagalan na dai mababayadan
Sakripisyo na bakong oras ang bilang
Mga kulog buot na tadum sa hawak
Para saimo Alimit
Mabuo, magdanay ka lamang

Wednesday, October 22, 2014


Ay sulit
Sa pagal, tiyaga, pag~intindi
Dai man nakua ang gusto
Nagrarum man pagrukyaw
Sa tao, sitwasyon

Monday, October 20, 2014

By the Window

I don't like window seats. They keep me hemmed in, feeling cornered whether beside is a man or woman. But tonight, I just like to sit by the window and look at the vast unknowable dark beyond. As I think about the Daughter crying over goodbyes back home, and The Man who won't take goodbyes this easy.

I Can't Be this Afraid, but I Am

this blog has always been my refuge.  when i couldn't funnel my frustrations, this post helped me cry, once more. this blog is my escape. with this post, it helped me dream, believe, even for a vision not complete. this blog is a witness of transitions as in this post, i welcome another belief, a final reality.

for now, i hang in the balance of how The Man responds, what he refuses not to do, what he will settle for.  we may start all over again, and rewrite the premise. or we get to pause...and ignore the ending this way.

he is very strong, very real, and very frightful to acknowledge one's feelings for.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Calm before the Kill

in playing tennis, there is a moment before hitting the ball that everything stops. breathing halts, the eye concentrates, and even footwork comes to a standstill. before hitting the ball. the coup de grace. the stillness before the kill. and one gets to a certain calm, a fullness in intent. this is what Coach Rollie emphasizes as the perfect stance, the perfect state before hitting a tennis ball. and i wonder, in what ways does tennis mirror life in such proportion? the calm before the crushing blow, before the final embrace, before the last goodbye.

Thursday, October 16, 2014


The rule is this - for any complaint, there should be a suggested solution. Complain as cool as possible and calibrate depending on need and the situation. Anger has a reason. We can shout as much, scream. If you can hold your breath longer, do so. But do not hesitate to show your fangs.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014


The sound of rain
Men's voices
An intersection
Bald men

Monday, October 13, 2014


Someone who's real, and strong, and here.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

My Place

one good thing about having a place of my own is this --- the freedom to not care about clutter. tennis outfit strewn over the bed, papers and books, the mobile and computer just lying in wait on the red sofa. the garbage bag just by the door will be thrown later and the floor, what would a few food bits, fallen hair and a dust load from last week do to make this place ugly?  this is still home for me. home where i can just be me.

Friday, October 10, 2014

I Don't Want to Die (Part 2)

i was about to read Joan Nelson's article on the 'political salience' of the poor, until i discovered that, by working on the thesis on two computers, inconsistencies are about to happen and yes, that article is not in my humble but ever reliable Acer laptop.

so begrudgingly, i had to work on chapter 4. ugh, i just wanted to read, i thought.

so to start a lazy unworked engine which is this mind, i opened the word file with the aim of just editing, rearranging the chapter headings --- just what a truly lazy mind could conjure at 430 in the morning, on a friday.

but as i was leafing through the page, and reading snippets of what i wrote, 2 years ago, the writing came to make sense. forgive the narcissism, but the writing, the analysis was alright. worthy of publication, worthy of being laid out into the open. worthy of release from this baul, this chest of writings filed in a folder.

the writing gave me another reason to exclaim, within, 'i don't want to die!' i don't want to die out on this thesis.

and so a mundane, totally routine task of just opening a chapter, starting for the heck of it, revealed the shiny grain of wisdom that a thesis, if you believe in it, and the writing you invested in it, is worth doing and sacrificing for, as one 'dies' everyday in lost opportunities of sleep, of working on other deadlines, or just letting be in bed.

this thesis is part of my life. part of the reason why i wake up, and breathe, and still find joy amid the everyday struggles of being a long-distance mom and selling dams for a living. i don't want to die. i just don't want to die and not finish this thesis.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Survival Mode

just signed off Chapter 3. and just like any other chapter edited and sent off with a significant gap in time to the supe, i am faced with trepidation that she will again find more errors in it than the previous draft, and her latest reading.

i wonder how i'm going to tell the supe? about the 'good enough' thesis idea? she won't be here till january next year and i prefer talking to her about it face-to-face. will skype do? will she listen?

i am battling for the survival of this thesis as work has become unstoppable and, a bit, unforgiving. i aim to finish next year. I will be Dr. Valenzuela next year.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

My Back

even floor
where my back could rest
rest at ease
and long

Tuesday, October 7, 2014


Is a lonely word
As sorry is.

Sunday, October 5, 2014


sana haloy taka pang mabistado
sana mawara ka lang pag nag-uuli, may inaasikaso
sana mayong malisya kitang magturog na magkaibahan
sana magurugmahan sabay an satong pamilya
sana makamati kita kan pagdamay sa saro-saro
sana ang kapungawan, kauyaman malalampasan
sana ang pag-ulay may padudumanan
sana simple lang, tanos satong iribahan
sana bakong arog kaini
nag-aasa na sana, sa sana...

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Pizza, Brownies, Drills

pizza and brownies and drills with yaman. these describe most of the day as the Mom in me went to work giving drills to Yaman in science, filipino and a third of the target drills in math.  on this occasion, i got the chance to explain to Yaman the workings of the digestive system by pointing out what bosquillos she's eating will go through once it enters her mouth.  got a refresher as well, how different the small and large intestines were to each other, other than their size. then came the brownies, which Yumi prepared with a little helping from me. she learned what 'pre-heating' means in a la germania oven without timer, and how one improvises with the heat and the cooking time when one gets a tough chocolate dough than the expected syrupy one.  thenafter the pizza, which all nephews seem to be asking of me every time i'm here on a saturday or sunday. the overcooked burnt one is yaman's favorite, so the other normally perfect dough comes second.  i had other things in mind for this saturday. but glad these have been set aside for the most important, memorable ones. pizza, brownies and drills. i can never be happier being a mom, an aunt that gives time and gives great food, as much as i can.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Techie Frustre

technology is supposed to simplify, minimize waste, clarify. but the way Oracle works in this office, it's the other way around. technology complicates, creates paper waste and confuses numbers with procedures. we do not live in an age of whatever. we live in increasing unhappiness by what we thought will innovate.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Love in Apostrophes

He calls me Ice Queen
Because I don't 'love' him like 'that'
I no longer 'love' like 'that'
To love without the apostrophes
To love pure, boundless, and deep
I've lost that sense
Two relationships ago
When I staked it all and failed
The Man does not ask, but he questions
How I could stand the silences
Ignore the lapses, the absences
And he knows, he knows
Only a cynic could 'love' this way
To love with apostrophes
And he knows, he knows
The long hard work ahead
To thaw the pride
And indifference of the Ice Queen
To overturn, and return
Love to its true form

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Vitti's 8 Things

heat, drink hot water
share the number with ericson
put on black socks
greet cora a happy birthday
put on sock on left foot
google pattinson's new girl
greet the Man a happy morning
start the thesis

...8 things to do before breakfast
better than Alice's

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Hanap Ka

Nag uuran
Nag iinom
Pero ang gusto

Monday, September 29, 2014

A Repeat

i am just too nice
at hindsight, being tough
is temporary, a defense
but still, how i wish
i could be tough all the way
and not be used this way
too nice, too nice
this guilt, this guilt
not wise, not wise

Sunday, September 28, 2014

The Vitae

is there something i don't know
something that will be done
me, blind-sided
but i'm doing this
this piece of document
revised, updated
hopefully true to form
i am tired of moving
but doing this
for doing's sake
is there something i should know?

Saturday, September 27, 2014


It is ready.
It's prepared.
We'll take care
Of anyone.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Good Enough

the supervisor wants a change in the framing of chapter 2, the lit review chapter.

while i've always maintained the wisdom of supervisors as a guiding light, at this stage of the thesis, with the ever increasing workload and its demands on the field, there are reservations.

i'm coming to think whether it is just enough, to just submit, a 'good enough' thesis. just as, there is no perfect government, no perfect relationship, no perfect document.  can i just submit a 'good enough' thesis, pass it to the muster of the external supervisors, and see where we go from there.

i will give this thought, some thought, before sending out an email to the principal supe.

i want to run past the finish line, past this mountain.

will 'good enough' work?

and yes, i will endeavor to blog, every day, again.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Preparations...Thesis It!

no sweater, no chapter 3. four days in baguio and not prepared to thesis.

perhaps it's being out of rhythm, after going home, finally, after 8 weeks. still out of sync because of norway. still homing in, with the relieving but scary thought, that the Man is here to stay. he may have his moments, his hiccups, but he's not budging.


it does not only take discipline to finish a thesis, a chapter. this time, chapter 3.

it takes advanced preparation. a chapter 3 in the bag, should be the priority.

just like this sweater, that should have been perfect for sleeping, for exercise. amid this cold weather.

ahhh...but why fret vitti? you have another jacket.

and in this laptop, there is one other thing you can do for the thesis, other than chapter 3.




Saturday, September 20, 2014

Why This Should Happen

We don't have to ' be with' each other all the time
We have to respect each other's silences
When Gibran says, 'Let the heavens dance between you.'
It means taking private space with the Universe
That's why, I don't fret, rarely nag, hardly question
So it's no big deal to retain sweet time, for me
In togetherness, there is no stealing you as well
You will understand, now by the hard way
But you will get it, appreciate THIS is how US works, in time

Saturday, September 13, 2014


ubos na fries
iphone pa low bat na
wala ka pa
nabilang na
naka step-in, crocs
at flip-flops
wala pa rin
babaeng naka belo
nakadamit ng di pantay ang laylayan
C5 pa rin
pilipinang kasama'y hapon
anak na naka puting boots
anak na maitim at afro
gas paubos sa haba ng trapik
gaano kalayo
ang las pinas sa airport
pumila na sa burger king
wala pa rin ang luntiang sasakyan
ang paghihintay
ng naghihintay
walang sawang hintay
sa darating na't
aabot pa

Friday, September 12, 2014

Into Me

we did our thing. dazed, heady and relieved. then we talked a bit. both our eyes closed. and in a way, i wished he was really with me, beside me, breathing the same air, flesh to flesh, my fair against his dark skin. and when we said goodbye, for the night, i almost quivered with a cry. a sadness hard to acknowledge and accept. he's getting into me already. he's becoming a part of me.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

My Man

Why don't you call him 'boyfriend' or 'partner'?, Hannie asked.

My Man. It's how I refer to him in this close knit band of friends here in Norway.

My man whose presence lingers but never imposes.
Respects my time but knows when it's time to pry and insist.
Keeps his pride intact, always.
Values my significance and in him, I find my kindness.

My Man. I have a Man.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

I See

with my work
i don't get to blog every day
i see the daughter only twice a month
the thesis gets only 12 hours at most a week
i get bashed in social media from people I least expect to
receive development requests hard to fulfill
my orders and explanations get misinterpreted
but i rarely gripe like this
only when it gets to the bone
things happen for a reason
for one
i get to see what development work is
i get to see who the real development worker is
and the share of disappointments and hurt do trickle
but will come and go
and i go on, proceed
missing this blog
missing the daughter
missing the thesis
in the end, efforts will prevail like blinding light
and people will get to see
you will all see

Monday, August 25, 2014

Two People Commit

And So...

Friday, August 22, 2014

Your Place

Once you
Know your place
It is a lonely
Lonesome place
You will
Learn to look away
Be deaf at will
And wait
Without wanting
Time to just
Be time
Your space to
Just be yours

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The Unfolding

the social experiment continues.

i don't know what to feel. not that i ignore it. there's actually no distinct feeling. it is hard to describe what one cannot pinpoint.

what is confirmed is that feelings have never been black and white. that in its hues, one can choose to just get lost, and let go.

i need him, and i like him. an open persona shouting, 'this is what you get. but what i have is real.'

he admits to be at the twilight of his life. making up for lost time. speeding up unless his smoking, the habits that could not be reversed, slows him down. he admits, the wife and his family has been his first thought, after getting this recent job breakthrough. he admits, that he loves me, does not want to let me go but understands the one-way street he is getting into.

and i admit, i laugh at his foibles and misfits. i admit, dismissing the declarations of love because the heart has grown more cynical than believing.  and i admit, this heart is being opened to another experience with sadness again.  because the future is quite easy to foretell. that what we are getting into right now, runs the risk of being just another episode. but if the fates be kind, still, an outcast relationship that only he and i can comprehend.  a relationship that is always quite but not, almost real but hidden, almost complete but always wanting. perhaps, we should not want anymore, not think, and just let things be. just as he suggested, 'let's just be spontaneous.'

how does the line go, 'the wrong station may lead you to the right station...'   as my relationships with men have come and gone, from the oppressive to the promising, for me, the concept of the ideal type, the ideal relationship, the ideal man is just an illusion. it is not mine to deserve. as men do not come in neat little packages, so does love and the relationships springing from it, are not necessarily predictable or desirable at first glance.

so i wake up every day to the faith that the present just has to be lived. and that every ounce of kindness, attention, that tug in my heart whenever he reaches out, shares how his day and nights have been, asks, takes and gives advice, flirts, an unfolding of a love that could not be judged out of a man and his past. it is a love encouraged and acknowledged as coming out of a man, no longer missing this chance of a future with someone to trust. in time, i may learn to love, despite the possibilities of loss and resignation. in time, perhaps our love will be strong, unusually strong because it is not tied to false hopes. in time, perhaps, he, will leave the deeper, fuller, and indelible imprint. the bestfriend-lover who will tide me through this lifetime.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Love in Airports, Again

A woman here at Bangkok Airport just refuses to let her man go. Even by sight. However you call it, love between two people, of different race or life status maybe, is an unbreakable bond. It is just so good to be in love.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

The Power of Four

the power of Four
4am waking up time for the thesis
for reading, for just thinking
working wonders
discipline opens the way through

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Earth and Stone

life remains
one is not invincible
one gets off balance
but the priorities stay
make better sense
what the mind
and heart conjures
will just come
i have laid it all down
the last cards
what manifests will be
the togetherness
the forgiveness
the kindness

that house in Batanes
will stand in wood, and stone
and earth
Earth in eternity

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

The Imperfect One

my CSR budget has been turned down
it's been an exhausting nine-to-three workshop
the cough is running two weeks old
and giving off spit, from inside
tomorrow, i will debate
waking up at 6, or reading up
the politics article, as if
i don't know anything about politics
but a man is here
he does not love me like
i want to be loved
he loves me like
the way he knows how
loving him back, i think
does not matter
he's real
and it's enough to feel needed
and to also free that need away
the heart is happy
not because love is perfect
but because love, in simple terms
is still love, enough to fill

Sunday, August 3, 2014


Mommy-ing is the best i can be. what i look forward to every weekend home in Naga --- especially if circumstances allow for an extra day or two --- staying till monday or tuesday here.  i would just fuss over Yaman, her breakfast, taking her to school, working home while waiting, then off again at 4pm to fetch her and bring her anywhere she likes, which in naga is nothing but --- the Malls (SM, Angena-Puregold, E-Mall).

still...i love what i do when it's just for her. that's why, looking back, in the past 4 years, the best best time was still from october 2010-february 2011. with my ongoing PhD grant, i was able to balance fieldwork, study, a love life, and a full-life with Yaman.  it fit in so perfectly that now, in hindsight, i will still look forward to a repeat, on a permanent basis if possible, of a life like this: doing a research grant, a life with a lover-bestfriend, and spending days of joy with Yaman. i can sacrifice a full-time pressure-filled work for this. that's why living life like an expat's wife wouldn't be so bad after all as long as Yaman's there and my mind's still at work, on the side.

just last week when we were at the dentist, Migs was on the line and said something to him like, 'oh, I'm a Mommy today, tending over her [Yaman].' the dentist overheard and asked, 'when you're not Mommy for her, what are you?'. " A 'Ma'am'", I replied. and we all broke out laughing. but it was not one hearty moment for me. I long to be Mommy not only on weekends, I long to Mommy her on more days than this.

Friday, August 1, 2014


in a split second, the question, 'of all the hard work, why did i get to this?'.

in how i handle my faith, i've always believed on 'God's plan'.  that in five, 10 or perhaps a year, i will get to understand the wisdom of this thesis -  the pace of it, the twists in dealing with Jane's supervision, and the turns in having to negotiate work, family, and health commitments along with it.

it's already exasperating. i long to sleep on until six every day now. i long to have a Dr. before my full name or that three letter word 'PhD' that means leaving my daughter for four years since 2009-2013 is worth it. i long to publish a book on the social history of slums in Naga and its politics. i long to be released from the agony of revising. i long to be free from a Hangman position where intelligence and character is tortuously tested.

but in longing, i must do my thing.  i must settle down and drive with rage to finish. rage is what keeps me going. the rage to get this thesis over the hill, and the little mountains ahead. rage, rage, rage. you have to get on with it, Vitti.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Two Lonely People

perhaps we're just two lonely people. so like a social experiment, i am trying to trust a man who reputedly could not be trusted. whose past has been too checkered to merit reconsideration.  i am doing so because i believe that honesty resides in unveiling what one is, regardless of the risk of non-acceptance. a man could gain my trust this way, compared to those who lie with the veneer of goodness.  and i need him too. i need him as i reconcile with a past that had no closure. i need to understand a journey that has been heart-breaking, a journey which began with the boy who first broke my heart at 19.  and now twenty odd years hence, this boy is offering friendship, also longing for the need to be trusted, the need to experience kindness. and indeed we are two lonely people. at the point of making sense of loss, lost and trying to recover on every turn, on every turn where ex-lovers meet and provide hope, hope for forgiveness and recompense.

Sunday, July 27, 2014


Again, experiencing brownouts again
No full sleep, awake while fanning the little girl to sleep
Awake, as the heat triggers sneezing and never-ending colds
The productive day is short, the unproductive night is wearying
Back to dull days and dark nights, here at home
Good that it's home. The penance is bearable.

Saturday, July 26, 2014


dai ako patuuda
sa mga text
na pag dai nag-aabot
nakakasuya, man palan
dai ako patuuda
sa mga apud
na pag mayo
nakakapungaw, man giraray
aram ko man kung isay, ano ka
klaro man kung ano, sisay kita
sa kada saro
pero dai maiwasan
makamati, maghanap
arog kaini ang inaagihan
kan mga arog tang napaso na
asin nagpapakarahay
na may pungaw, may takot
siring na sana garong arog kaini
hanggang igdi na sana kita
so pakiulay lang
dai na ako pagpatuuda

Friday, July 25, 2014


You just have to go through this
The joy, the guilt, the agony of expecting.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Bayad sa Pagal

because of what i am tasked to do, sometimes i get to live like what? a queen, on fieldwork. meals i pay by signing. a driver serves my beck and call. i don't get to worry about losing money.  with the position, i get to occupy suites; of course, in provinces' equivalent of 5-star hotels. i am made to feel entitled to a little pleasure, a little respite. although what i have really, in mind, is guilt. i do more because i believe. i do more because it's within my moral reason. so if i get to 'enjoy' a little, it's because the climb is getting steeper by the minute. and these meals, these hotels, these perks will pale in comparison, will be nothing but air to what will manifest, what will be delivered in 5, 7 years time.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014


my mom and sister are tough women.

but hearing the worry in her voice, i know this Glenda is not just any storm.

reading fear that almost made her retch, i know the howl and whips from this storm are one-of-a-kind.

8 storm-free years are over in Naga as it braced for this.

we can only pray. INA, PRAY FOR US.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Saka Na

Pagal na. Kasuugma pa.

Habo ko na muna.

Sa aga na o kung nuarin pa.

Gabos na yan masusurat, magigibo, maaasikaso.

Bako lang ngunyan.

Habo ko na, muna.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

The Prey's Turn

the past seems to be catching up on me, again.

in facebook (again), a man from the past surfaced last sunday, and started a trail of conversation with me from 630pm to about 830pm.  he asked for my cellphone number and by the time my night ended at 9pm, some man is (again) texting me 'good night'. he attempted to call twice. two unanswered calls after 9pm.

in the morning, the man texted again 'good morning' and provided a breakdown of things he'd do for the day. i doused his anticipation as i retorted, 'wow! a tracking report!'. i'm not interested at all how his day will unfold.  as you would guess, that man didn't let up. later in the day, he texted to know what time i'm leaving the office and whether i'll be free for drinks or dinner after.  replied only upon getting home, texting that i'm on skype with the daughter.  again, the man ratted off 'good night' before 9pm.

the next day was no different.  in the afternoon, i was given a status report of how his construction bids turned out, how his day was at SEC, and again asked what i'm going to do in the evening.  i gave no reply. before 9pm, he texted that 'are you done skyping with yaman? can it be MY time now?'.  i can't reply to this text.  by 9pm, he bidded bye and wished me luck on this trip to isabela.

being a single working mom, away from family, one could be vulnerable to men like this one.  men who consider you prey like you are still this starstruck 18-year old who cannot distinguish between a real gentleman and a dork.  men who consider you prey because you physically live alone. men who equate your alone-ness to loneliness, sexlessness and therefore, wantonness.  men who consider you prey simply because their view of women did not progress beyond their experience of failed marriages and stagnant careers.

and though i pity, i have to kill.  like issues that have no bearing on development or is insignificant, one must kill. so shall i kill. i kill with silence. i kill by signifying no time. i kill by leaving no room for 'porma'. i kill for self-preservation. because the days of reconnecting with past lovers, married past lovers, over facebook are over. because the days of being prey are over. because now, i am not just stronger or wiser. i am unafraid, and i choose to live free.

Saturday, July 5, 2014


about to blog, then drifted to the 'Comments' page. '117' comments - what does this mean? let's click.

then there i saw, comments from the past.

i got wistful. recalling the past. the comments were serious, from the heart. from us both.

but as my favorite line goes, this is how it is. things just had to happen.

our motives matter. mine needs clearing.

so the comments will stay. i'm not taking out anything from this blog away. the good, the bad, the triumphant, the remorseful, the relishing, the ugly. it just is.

Thursday, July 3, 2014


A man by the name of Mike is in my life right now. He is my boss, of the same cut as EVR but more emotional, sympathetic and passionate on his vision for the company. It is rare for a boss to tell you, 'I am your guardian angel. I will protect you.' He indeed may be St. Michael, the Archangel, in the flesh. While his words brought comfort, it also invested fear. But a healthy kind of fear. A fear that keeps you in check. A fear that will keep you from compromising performance. A fear that will fire your eagerness to learn and pursue the heights of your potential. God is very good for showering me with exceptional, inspirational and tough-minded men. What I seek for, He gave.

Monday, June 30, 2014

51 and Counting

while the list of 50 sounds daunting, did make it, even at 51 and more.

looking at my bucket of blessings, they all redound to this: my family and home in naga, the people behind my career growth (both pro and con), the kindness of strangers who later turned out as great friends, my moving up in the physical plane (health and residence) and the inspirational leaders in writing, keeping peace and abreast with soul, and personal fulfillment. 

i welcome forth more blessings as there is much much much more to give, do and share. 

i am already reaching completion and entering a plane where my physical needs matter less and less, and i go, do, and engage to what fills my heart with quiet joy. 

i am savoring every moment of my life. the count of blessings is endless...

Thanks for for the pics.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Sorry (again)

Sorry. sorry for the sentence. sorry for not making it on time. sorry for not hearing you quite well. sorry for slipping, sorry for doing not as expected.

Sorry. if there is an overly abused word in our vocabulary, it's Sorry, transgressions have lost the threat to penalize and penalty has lost the weight to punish.

Sorry. next time, mean it. 

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Game Face

I can never be nice, but I should. In work, difficult people are in every corner. I almost kicked one's table yesterday. But as the real Boss said, 'You should learn to wear a game face Vitti!' A game face that will outbalance and keep your enemies guessing. A face that betrays your true feelings. A face that will help you carry the weight of the world. Ok, ok, ok. Time to be game.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Shaping Up

After 8 gruelling months, lugging over 5 provinces and traveling an accumulated minimum of 600,000km, the structure, the form, the logic is shaping up. I am aware that I can do this and I will deliver wherever I go and whatever work would entail on the side.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014


amidst Jane's constant drumming that i have to write logically, had to take extra care in making logical connections between sentences, paragraphs, chunks of sections. so in spurts of writing while traveling - had to push off waking time from 4am to 5am today from pure exhaustion - one 'effective' writing day does not mean full writing at all. like today, i just wrote a segue, a link between the political economy approach and how it is applied on two investigations: actual policy outcomes, and impact on the poor's tenure security. to get this link, this connection, this logic is enough of a success for the day.  i deserve to swim now.

Saturday, June 21, 2014


In a dream, I saw his face. A gentle face with happy eyes and a fullness of character... A fullness, completeness, that I could not yet give justice to in words. Busog, buo, hitik. That's how the dream made me feel such that I was smiling upon waking up. That dream came while I was struggling with heartbreak in 2012. I could not understand the dream that but it left me so happy that even Yanti was ecstatic about it,about me meeting The One, finally. For more than a year, I've forgotten. Until yesterday. The dream was right before my eyes, yesterday.

He with the gentle face. Smiling eyes. Salt and pepper hair. An unnatural tan showing how transformed he has been by the outdoors. It's a face that you can trust. More than security, there's comfort. And more than strength, there's character without pretensions. No drum rolls needed. It's him. Just him. A complete person in his own right.

I am not jumping the gun. I am not assuming. Just putting into words how a normal day, an activity that I dreaded and initially canceled, could bring a pleasant heaven- sent surprise. And the dream brings me back to me, now. How age has caught up, and work has become unrelenting. And I think of perfection. Again the physical. Until I realize I've surrendered to the Universe. That that happy, full man in my dreams will come to me, will manifest, once he sees deep within me, deep within a heart that knows what and who it wants now.

And this time, i prefer time and the old tested road of friendship. To know more, be with more, build with more. As i bid him goodbye before sunrise today, he held my hand, touched my shoulder and patted my back. We hope to see each other, soon. I hope, seriously. I will for my dream to manifest. May it be you. I will wait. I will wait for only you.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Reading Glasses

wearing reading glasses for the first time.

well, been wearing glasses since college, up to 2008 when in one office day in SDS, just stopped.  took the pair down as a sign of rebellion.

but at 43, with poor eyesight, can rebel no more.

it's still a bit awkward. can't understood yet why reading glasses are this dodgy. but reality bites, and part of that bite, is straining still while reading.

i can't understand the logic. pero hata na, gamitin mo na Vitti at tumatanda ka na nga.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014


The daughter has migraine. At the young age of 8. Taking after her grandma and auntie, my side. Aggravated by hours of internet surfing and her genes of poor eyesight, her father's side. Will read more about child nutrition, engage her more in sports (swimming) and crafts to cut her internet habit. How i wish she lives with me so we can talk more, walk more, travel more. And it wouldn't get this tough. Enduring your child's experience with an illness that could stay on in a lifetime. I love you my Abalantung. Mommy will do her best to take, erase the pain away.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The Holy Paragraph

it was just a segue paragraph. one that will link two sections.  still, amid texting to pacify and assure a teammate, the paragraph of two sentences was finished from 430 to 6am.  pleased because it was a paragraph of conviction. today, being slow but sure works. always, despite enjoying a deep sleep and debating whether to rise or snore on, the decision to get out of bed always has its rewards, even mini-rewards, which in essence, are still rewards. i wake up, write on, and a good day, arrive at this. okay na vitti, move on to exercising na.

Monday, June 9, 2014

The Most Important Thing

waiting for Nadal's 9th French Open victory in the news, thesis-writing had to come in spurts. so despite waking up at 430am and conditioning to work until 6am, only managed to write 8 short sentences and these not even thought-of structured sentences, but jottings as is talking to myself - 'what i want to say is...'. saw an image of myself - working in hotel tables, dressing tables of hotel rooms, even decorating tables will do, away from home. and i know i'll manage.  i'll manage going through all these ebbs of thesis writing. in the mind the thesis is still central. of all the things i committed to write for A, just as Nadal described the French Open among all other grand slams, the thesis is still 'the most important thing'.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Happy with Money

a day when the future became very clear. affirmed that i prioritized protection and now moving on to investments.  credit has been curbed and will be repaid in three months.  what i commit to the One Up There is engraved in stone. to begin is now. this is indeed an uplifting day.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Scrabble, ha!

5 straight games against the computer on Advanced model. 5 straight wins. You haven't lost your touch Vitti even if playing with your old vocabulary.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Team on the Brink

One is depressed, two are having an affair, three are absent or undertimr
One is sick, two played on by ghosts, three bothered by babies, of pet dogs, their own.

Such is my team on the brink. The least I can do is look on.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

The Power to Build

The Alimit River
And the Power to Build-
Resource Potential
Long-term Partnerships
Economic and Social Opportunity

I Commit to Build.
I Lead the Process
I am a Builder-Leader.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Nate is Walking

we'll remember, that the day his father left for Abu Dhabi on 31st May, Nate was already learning to walk, albeit still holding on to the sofa, the rails of his cradle, and the computer chair. when his dad gets home in another 12 months, Nate will be running, articulating 'Papa' more clearly. i know the pain of leaving a child, and witnessing her grow through skype and anything technological. one just has to make do with the time available. that time available to witness a child sleeping, talking, walking, playing, crying. Nate is walking - that's a very happy memory.

Monday, June 2, 2014


just glide
hands on inverted heart
kick like a frog
breathe up
breathe down

Breaststroke at last.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Heart of Alimit

Middle of the year and back to Ifugao. I need a place here soon - in Isabela, Ifugao or Baguio. Close to a new heart beating, the heart of Alimit.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Happily Blessed

what in 2014?

if i will travel time and be in 2004, i would be surprised to know that within 10 years:

...i will have a daughter who likes pink, craft and lipstick

...baking is my favorite, the most relaxing, of all past-times

...i will master the classic crackling pork roast

...on my way to a PhD, writing a classic on housing politics

...i will move from attic to rented room to apartment to condo, in a surprisingly homey neighborhood within an urban jungle

...weight will stabilize at 123lbs (from a high of 180lbs at pregnancy!) a year, i'm into yoga, tennis and swimming

...will work in hydropower - in a job that i love

...will find my pack in Aboitiz, and discover the value of leadership

...wearing long hair is no longer my personality

...the practice of feng shui is now a personal, live-and-let-live disposition

...that good old friends have come and stayed, no matter where they may be physically

...that family is a treasure of memories created in a pink bungalow surrounded by a garden of orchids, a pack of askals led by a 10-year old veteran, and the endless chirping of birds atop an aratiles tree

Friday, May 30, 2014

Not Men, But Relationships

it's not the men, it's the relationship.  i remember Alvin, my good friend from ADB.  about a year as friends, he admitted that it crossed his mind to pursue or court me. till he changed his mind, realizing that i was easier, though more mental, to talk to. in other words, in me he found a friend, a sister - that's my role in his life.  and in one way, i too admitted to him.  That i appreciated him more as a friend. and if he did court me, we could have regretted it because we will not end up as friends, like this close kind of friend.  so when i look back at my past relationships, it does cross my mind that, perhaps, i should have not entered into that kind of relationship with this or that. that perhaps, if i chose the friendship route, and was more careful and focused on the value of friendship, there would be no loss.  and i may be right. because the past three relationships all happened very fast, all happened with eyes closed to trust, like jumping off a cliff with no prayer but to just soar and soar, not fall. except for Yaman's dad, the others would have just been my friends. i lost potentially good friends and that is regrettable.

Sunday, May 25, 2014


Ha! Once a swimmer, always a swimmer. With gear and goggles, freestyled with ease at the condo's mid-sized pool. If not without Yaman, i wouldn't have and wouldn't care. Thanks Abalantung for getting me to swim again. Back home, she's going to start lessons too. And here, i'm going to do laps at least once a week. Ha! It just feels good to swim again.

Friday, May 23, 2014

The Fear of Floating

i learned how to swim at 28. i swam like crazy. 25 laps of freestyle at Naga's Civic Center the whole of march, one summertime ago. i swam like crazy. another 25 laps of breast stroke. i swam like crazy. my red lipstick looking like violet on tanned burned skin.  but today, with my daughter, i could not even float. without the goggles, the swimming cap. i just couldn't find the courage to breathe deep, kick, and float.  so how will i overcome? it's like tennis. more court, more practice, less mistakes. more water, more recall, less fear.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Red Again

Red again in less than three weeks. Get stressed and it stops. Get stressed and it runs early. Whatever. I welcome the early and regular to wash out all the dirt inside. So yeah, glad it's red again.

Sunday, May 18, 2014


Right and talk
Left and talk
Rubbing in and sideways
Let's just pray the drive goes smooth
For the little girl to sleep through

Saturday, May 17, 2014

I Own My Dreams

I know my limits
But these are not my barriers
There are roads I will not take
But the difficult that present themselves
There's no shirking from
I do not get to choose all my battles
But I know what war takes, and costs
These are mine
These are all mine
All mine now

Friday, May 16, 2014

800km to Abalantung

These feet will find home tomorrow. Lugging north then south of Manila. To go home to the little girl who fills my cup with hope, strength, laughter, purpose, and endless inspiration.

Thursday, May 15, 2014


No longer blogging as regularly. Sorry the lame excuse. Must be better with handling time then. Ay ay ay! You have to blog still everyday Vitti. Work, travel, Ifugao, Isabela, and tennis are not valid excuses.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014


Coach Rollie calls it muscle memory. That i still whack the ball like a table tennis player thus the mishits, the short balls, the looping high balls. I stomp, flash my arms in frustration but nothing else can be done except Practice Practice Practice. Coach Rollie is strict but fair. He can sense my frustration in every mistake. And he says, you will be alright. You need to play and hit more. To outgrow the muscle memory. It's like this back pain. It needs more tennis to go away. So Practice Practice Practice.

Sunday, May 4, 2014


Emmaus could not be located in history. So as Fr Cordero said, it might just as well be symbolic of our quest for that setting sun, that place of peace. In the end, the wisdom of our choices and decisions all come down to this - how at peace is your heart? How full is your will to move on with joy?

Saturday, May 3, 2014


when Jane gave a two-thumbs-up sign for the Politics of Reform intro (posted May 2), there was sense that a part of this long tricky mountain called Chapter 2 has been surmounted.  now, here, this is the first Saturday, of the saturdays spent here at BGC, that i'm actually working on my Phd, for more than 2 hours since 11 this morning.

'You just have to think.' Funny, this was Jane's advice last Thursday over skype.  I've been thinking for more than 4 years since 2009, wrote 11 chapters already, all because i'm thinking.

but what she meant (I think) is the rigor of thinking.  To think through logically, and not be carried away with motherhood statements, when simple clear but sensible sentences will do.

so here I am, again, struggling with this sentence that will logically tie up a paragraph worked over this morning and another one waiting in the wings before the tennis lesson this 6pm.

so again, Vitti, think think think. Think Well.

Friday, May 2, 2014

The Politics of Reform in Socialised Housing

In the enablement strategy, international donors tended to define in apolitical terms the participation of state and societal actors in socialised housing reform.  Specifically, a city government and its urban poor are assumed to converge around socialised housing out of shared ‘developmental’ interests.  As a form of development, socialised housing is being pursued as a ‘public good’ where actors strive to achieve unquestionably collective goals and benefits (Hyden 2008, 3).  This notion of developmental interests generates certain key assumptions about the role of local governments and the urban poor. First, that city governments and their urban poor are motivated to support socialised housing reform by the goal of urban poverty reduction.  Secondly, the means at their disposal is a ‘good governance’ agenda that assumes the capacity of the city government to undertake ‘market-enabling’ roles, and urban poor organisations to exercise self-management functions.  In doing so, city governments and the urban poor gravitate towards institutionalised partnerships driven by participatory processes, consensus, and the sharing of responsibility and accountability to program objectives.  In similar vein, the poor’s participation assumes that they possess the organisational readiness in undertaking formal relationships with the state and other civil society groups.

What I propose in this thesis is a political economy approach to studying the enablement strategy that rejects this ‘public good’ notion of socialised housing in its portrayal of governance in housing as an apolitical process.  An alternative view focusing on the political nature of the enablement strategy is introduced using a structural political economy approach in studying the evolving relationships between the state and the poor during its implementation and its consequences on the poor’s well-being.  The approach is based on the structural analysis pioneered by Manuel Castells (1983) in his study of urban slums in Latin America.  Castells reworked the concept of ‘marginalisation’, by maintaining that the defining characteristic of the poor is not their socioeconomic deprivation but their systematic exclusion by the state vis-à-vis more dominant and organised interests in society.  Under a structural political economy approach, thus, slums are treated as ‘sites of marginality’ that manifest the continuing disadvantage of the poor within the contestation of interests over land, services, and other resources, in consideration of certain historical and institutional contexts, and underlying relationships of power and influence.   

The thesis identifies with the critical literature on neoliberal donor policies but not its tendency to examine the enablement strategy in terms of the dynamics between the state and the market (see Baken and Van der Linden 1993; Jones and Ward 1994).  This thesis differs by scrutinising the enablement strategy as a reform, where the political economy of state and societal relationships is examined using the ‘politics of reform’ framework derived from the interactive approach developed by Fox (1993) in his study of food programs in rural Mexico.  The framework is applied in a case study of Naga City’s Kaantabay sa Kauswagan, a multi-awarded and internationally-recognised socialised housing program which in the Philippines, stands out as the longest-running and the only LGU-administered.  Although Kaantabay is not donor-sponsored, it fits the mould of the enablement strategy envisioned by international donors.  Direct governance by the LGU, its partnerships with the urban poor, and the participation of urban poor organisations in the management of assisted sites all point to ideal conditions that would account for the hands-down ‘success’ of Kaantabay --- but is it?

Using the politics of reform framework, this thesis confronts this question by examining Kaantabay in terms of the political economy of actual policy implementation and the impact of this politics on tenure security for Naga City’s urban poor.   My study first situates Kaantabay within specific conditions of structural transformation and conflict in Naga City to determine what drives state and societal interests in the reform process.  Particularly, policy implementation is examined with respect to the evolving forms of access and control of urban land in Naga City as its economic and political importance changes over time. The politics of reform framework is then used to analyse the interaction of state and societal actors in socialised housing reform in terms of their institutional settings and the coalitions of interest that operate the reform process.  In here I argue that Kaantabay’s implementation is not only driven by the ‘official development agenda’ but more so, by the agenda of establishing and sustaining power by city officials, the urban poor, and other social actors with crucial influence, such as local elites.  Meanwhile, the impact of politics on the poor’s tenure security is further explored using a structuralist perspective that examines the connections between the poor’s continuing struggles with marginalisation and the social and political relationships critical to protecting their tenure interests.  With this approach, I do not evaluate the tenure security goals of Kaantabay in terms of success rates in formal titling. Instead, I argue that tenure security is highly political in nature, a view that contests the predominant framing by international donors of tenure security as an economic or legal condition.  The critical role of politics in understanding actual policy implementation and impact on the poor reveals a contradiction in the policy framework of the enablement strategy. As I will demonstrate in the rest of the thesis, political interests, not merely developmental, drive the state and the poor in socialised housing reform, in ways that even defy established notions of ‘good governance’ in their partnerships and participation.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

The Pen

I wanted to treat Yaman and Mom to a 'Mum's Package' at the Pen this Mother's Day. Perhaps we could after all, let's see. So today, amid a reality check, I just registered an account to be ready, any time. And we'll be there. We'll get there and enjoy ourselves. Happy enough just by dreaming, for a start.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

To Andy

i realized today that i do not want you, ever, to be my boss. with your attitude and disposition, power cannot be wielded wisely.  i leave the Universe to decide your fate.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Aida's Massage

I almost died. I feel close to dying I mean. Aida's massage on the vein, to keep it back in place, 'isoli', was torture. But it's a relief. To know it's not arthritis or osteoporosis. And that if it ever recurs and Aida's not around, salonpas will do. What a license to play tennis again, more tennis this time.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

The Golden 30

While on travel, sometimes, because of the lack of momentum and the need to offset sleep deficits by sleeping more, i get to write only 30 minutes a day. On bad days, it will just involve editing. But on good days, the words, sentences fall into place. Like this paragraph that i've been working on for 4 weeks now. After reading pol econ articles, internalizing jane's comments, and rereading chapter 2 for the nth time, the flow, it seems, sounded intelligent and logical. All because i forced myself to sit down and work for at least 30 minutes a day. This is enough to inspire and get on with the writing.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Exploitative Poor

the traditional imagery of the poor as marginalised, threatened, at the mercy of capitalist predators is everywhere. but where i work, i have come across poor people who ruthlessly exploit their own 'poorness' to bleed corporations dry of their demands, especially where money is involved. they lie, connive, backstab, fake figures, fake stories, and admit even to their own 'stupidity' and that their relatives to exploit opportunities to make money, out of nowhere.  so much for saying, 'blessed are the poor' where the so-called poor are themselves the root and consequence of their undoing.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

I Tired...but Grateful

It's now a long trip. Getting close to 12 hours travel, counting the passenger stops twice, numerous stops for road works, and the near choke at tiaong which can only be explained by drivers already losing their cool and any decorum of safety. But as I feel tiredness seeping in, I think of passengers, in droves, still waiting for a ride by late afternoon. Then one bus shows passengers sandwiched along its middle. Tired Lord but grateful for this relatively restful ride. Just please get me home safe Lord.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014


Tennis is like Math. It is governed by rules one must strictly observe to progress to the next step, the solution. The Rule is not footwork or even speed. It's the backswing, ergo preparation. Coach Rollie always makes this point - shouting from the other end of the court, demonstrating my frustrating form of holding the racket like a pingpong paddle, or if he can no longer take it, approach me and repeat the same thing - always approach the ball with the backswing ready, whether from the forehand or backhand. I stopped 'thinking' about the move, and just followed the basic rule, prepare your backswing. The rule has never failed me. Sometimes I still miss but everytime I whack, I'm getting it. And Coach Rollie would say, Relax, it's okay, you are improving. I do believe that and I abide by the Rule.

Saturday, April 12, 2014


Since 730am and every 2 hours, been eating, or shall i say, gorging. On to HCG again after three years, to cleanse and lose unwanted gain since being on the road and sleeping late, several times, since january.  There's not much to lose so the therapy's quicker by 2 weeks than the one in 2011.

Ever since I learned to eat thoughtfully by 2011, realised can't stand gorging! I hate it! Almost close to puking, finishing one slice of chocolate fudge cake here at CBTL, after lunching on crispy chow mien there are Henry's. The only time i liked it was finishing the last pack of cheesy Clover, my all-time favorite, at home. It's part of the therapy - to gorge for the first 2 days before starting with the low-cal diet.

There's so much guilt and suffering in an exercise of deprivation and discipline.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Houses

In being on the road almost every week and the same routes to Ifugao, Nueva Vizcaya, Isabela and Baguio, i get to be familiar with the houses along streets and major highways. Houses tell a lot of stories by the state of upkeep and desolation. One house in Vizcaya has seen the best of times, ran aground by weeds and outgrowth, barely seen from a now rusty shriveled gate, itself surrounded by weeds. Then along Sta Fe, there's this grand 2 storey abode in peach, stretching about 400sqm with a patio, grand balcony and back garden. All these can be seen as the house hugs the entire bend up along Sta. Fe. In Bagabag, there's a house with a violet rooftop. In Lamut, one house has the names and profession of its inhabitants in a black and white banner that resembles an RIP tarpaulin for dead people. Houses beside ricemills are often large palace-like structures while concreted structures beside ordinary farms tend to signify wealth from honest efforts. Then, always, the pangs of sadness are felt in houses worn out abandoned. I think of the families that used to live there, how they were happy once, living in a new house. And I wonder of the human reasons why they have to leave this house, leave it this way. The many stories one can conjure on the road. Stories about houses, living and dead.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Settling In

It was a transition period. The lease is for 12 months but still too early to plan. Could not even buy a bookcase or a kitchen cabinet for the encumbrance of moving heavy bulky stuff. But now I'm settled. In a way sure of long term responsibility. In a way that moving means walking to work each day at least for the next 12 months. In a way that working means tracing one's steps to only one building, right up there. I planned it differently, and yet i'm here. Without a doubt, this place, this work, this life chose me.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Tennis, Finally!

After more than 20 years of watching from the sidelines, in the fifth learning session with Coach Rollie, already a tennis player in form and play. Thank you for the Universe. I keep my dreams real.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014


i am in this part of chapter 2 where i'm addressing Jane's instructions to move bunches of paragraphs around, and in the process reorganizing my thinking.  it's painful. having to go through the same write-ups, trying to fish out what is essential, crucial in them --- so that it can be written better, more concisely.  painful.  to surrender to your errors and rectify in the battlefield of highlights, slashes, and comments. but this is just a stage, just a phase. i have to go through every inch of pain - just like the twists and turns of love life, the first few months at work, the grappling against food cravings under HCG therapy, and frustrating effort of whacking a tennis ball full swing. painful but it has to be undergone, passed.  pain before the glory of understanding and believing.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

About that Status

the facebook status was, is a hoax.

celle started it all. i couldn't say no.

it's just a game. a sort of chain 'whatever' in facebook.

but looking how my relatives and close friends reacted, i'll just let it be.

won't deliver the final blow, the letdown.

facebook statuses don't make up our life.

Saturday, March 29, 2014


Full swing
Like opening your arms out wide
Your force forward
Then swing from your hip
A full swing
Whack whack whack
My first tennis lesson

Friday, March 28, 2014

All About Love

So dear heart
Take your time
Make up your mind
You will love again
You must and need to

So dear heart, dear heart
Paint a pretty smile each day
Fill your heart with glow
Take your time
Make up your mind
Love. It's all about love.

*From Earth, Wind and Fire

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Longing and Hanging

I feel her longing. The incessant questioning --- why only two days? Can i stay until Monday? Why can't you be here every week? Why can't we leave together for Manila on April 6.? No easy answers for these questions. No final period to the sentences. Only assurances of a kinder future with shorter goodbyes and absences. But even these are not enough. So we make do with questions answered by hanging words,

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Simple Goals, Real Beginnings

it has something to do with being 40 and realizing that, to practically achieve something, one need not look farther than the tennis court in one's own backyard or dream bigger than re-learning a language one has been familiar with in childhood.

so in a week's time, i'm flashing a racket (Babolat) for my first ever professional learning session in tennis.

within the year, two more goals. sign up with the local swimming instructor to re-learn freestyle and breastroke, and take on backstroke. then take Spanish lessons at Instituto Cervantes. all these, in the next nine months.

to go farther, one starts with the available tools, opportunities within one's reach where manageable, not mighty, efforts are the key.

and so it goes with work, with relationships, with health, with creative projects, and all other things in between.

Dream, but start Real.

Pic courtesy of

Friday, March 21, 2014

Love Letter

It's a professional one but it might as well be a love letter. A love letter to our leader. Not the Kiwi but the Filipino we fondly call EVR. A name that might as well stand for Ever Vigorous Romeo who combines leadership with cool, can go down and talk to anyone in the office, wears his own hard hat at the plant, plays his own strums, but does not hesitate to pull a punch or two in a CEO briefing, a formal meeting, or a jesty moment in conversation. He is a Rabbit, the same age as my daughter's father, but a cut above the rest because of discipline shown in his physique, that mild voice, the bearing that can only be EVR's.  Rare is it to find a Leader one can grow old with, a Leader that identifies with your own principles, a Leader that commits to breathe life to one's sacred dreams. I have found that Leader and I will go the distance with him.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The List

List in numbers
Key words
Red and violet ink
Write legibly
Sit back first
Go through each
Tick off the finished
Never mind
The list
It shall lengthen
The output
Is what counts

Monday, March 17, 2014

Kusog Buot

Nahangos na sana.
Ini puon pa lang
Gabos ini kaya

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Happy Anniversary Chapter 2

about the same time last year, started working on Chapter 2 of the thesis. working did not mean simple revisiting and revising. it was a major overhaul that involved one deep crying session with Yanti at the coffee shop downstairs of the ECL building.   i cried because there is no way getting around and over chapter 2, with 10 more other chapters to work with.  i cried because i won't be able to submit the whole thesis before july. i cried because talking about one's frustrations is not enough. it just had to be let go.

i'm still stuck with chapter 2. now working on the 6th version since.

i could choose to be frustrated.  but the reality of one's position in life had to be dealt with.   the reality of single mom-hood, of work away from my baby and that involves constant travel, of time split into various compartments, where the PhD has become one teeny weeny bit of a 'to-do' list.  one bit that can only be allotted early morning commitments starting at 4am, every single work day.

working on the PhD now is like hammering on a wall with a penknife. bit by bit, a hole is made, a tiny whole that makes a mark, spreads out, first thinly and goes deep in time.

so i marshall on. still with the original ACER notebook that now, in four years, has gathered practical and yes, sentimental value.  i just can't part with a very dependable and almost miraculously glitch-free PC since 2009.  i marshall on because working on the PhD, even for 30 minutes a day, is better than looking at a closed PC, the edited printed and unruffled Chapter 2 on the table, with a whine. i marshall on, with two travel bags, one made heavy by PhD material to keep the writing momentum going, wherever i go.

it's very tough. very testing. but i'm not going anywhere Chapter 2! Happy Anniversary to us!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Waiting as Virtue

sit and wait
think, sit and wait
brood, think, sit and wait
hope, brood, think, sit and wait
pray, hope, brood, think, sit and wait
sleep, pray, hope, brood, think, sit, and wait
wake, accept, prepare, work,plan,  move, and wait
accept, prepare, work, plan, move, and wait
prepare, work, plan, move, and wait
work, plan, move and wait
plan, move, and wait
move and wait

Sunday, March 9, 2014


Of old women, enduring and mastering time
The faraway look - what does it mean? 
In the twilight of my years - what look shall i muster? 
What burden of memory shall I carry?
And which shall be divested
Like lines that appear and remain
Hands gerting frail, now veined
I'll be one old woman too
A testament to life and time

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

I am not OK

In my baul of blog drafts, I chanced upon this, dated 03 August 2012.  This is it.  The blog to capture the loss of yet another love, in its raw unedited form. 

it is incomplete to associate the death of a relationship to the death only of dreams and expectations. dreams and expectations are yet to be, are unreal and intangible, and so cannot capture the whole essence of relationships - the reality of it. that is existed, lived, throbbed in words, time, places and people. what we lost is not only dreams and expectations but also real words, real time, real places, and real people.

words that were not only promises but also assurances of a long and shared future of more than 50 years, our 'forever'. words forming names of love, endearment. words articulated in earnest. words enshrined in a poem, a song with an original melody. words said while awake and lucid. words said out loud, conscious of their meaning, their worth, their honour.  words that can only come from you.

time captured in texts, calls, skype, pictures. where the day is opened by a sweet greeting and the evening ended by deep conversation. time where every tomorrow is a source of hope for any imperfection encountered - a missed text, a missed call, a misunderstanding over skype, anything just missed.

places that were not only slept in but made love into, ate in, laughed in, lived in by a little child and her drawings. where the togetherness of three people have been witnessed, and deemed continuing ahead, ahead in all the coming years.

people whom we've learned to love and care for, called 'mama', 'ate', 'auntie', an extended family where there is open, unconditional acceptance to strangers just because they are loved.  people that have accepted you and me, from near and far away, who believed and were overjoyed that finally, there is us in the end.

we have lost all these.

i am not ok.
i am not ok as i wake up sad and sleep back weary.
i am not ok as i rationalize what happened, how and why, ending without any clear justification.
i am not ok as i overhaul and re-think a new future.
i am not ok as i am forced to summon strength beyond what exists inside.

it is not 'business as usual'. business-as-usual that you can text good morning, that you're having lunch somewhere, that you're having merienda with this and that, and then good night. as if any music you send will ease this pain.

you have yet to come to terms with this loss while wrapped up in the shadows of your now dark world.  you have yet to get out, look around, breathe in, fathom, and absorb what has been and perhaps, will never again be.

so just stop, please stop. stop. STOP!

there is only one answer to your texts, your questions. i am not ok.

Sunday, March 2, 2014


she's looking like her father, every day. those big fearless eyes. big from his genes, but the fearlessness mine. she hides her feelings sometimes.  mot sure why. like when she declared not liking 'Frozen' last weekend. but right now, recording 'Let It Go', the movie's soundtrack, on this tab.  how, she avoids long stares every time i leave for manila. how she manages a poker face in each 'i love you' over skype. no wonder. i don't wonder. she is just being herself.  me and the other's genes equals someone being herself.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

The Vow*

Black and white are the extremes
In between are colors, shades of truth
Sone truths are better hidden
The lie becomes real life
And while not that acceptable
It is justifiable by the stability
Precarious though, it provides
So yes, one just had to lie
And pray that kindness
Sows the silence

*Inspired by John and Mary Watson

Friday, February 28, 2014

Tired, Again

tired from the bumpy, rolling, muddy trip
from mayoyao to banaue to lagawe
it's age mostly
now slumped on the red sofa
feet bare, and keeping up with the blog
just tired, tired really
will grab dinner in a while
get garnier for a dye-ing session tomorrow
tired, tired, tired
sleep wrap me whole tonight

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Ikaloob Mo

mahirap mag-isip ng masama sa kapwa
ngunit Panginoon maari bang ako'y ulanin mo ng
pag-iisip na mapanuri sa salita
kaloobang nakakatutuos ng huwad
pagtitimpi sa kabila ng panglilito
kalinawan sa pagsinsin sa totoo

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The Coming Things

on the road early
shaping, opening thoughts
taking another tack
enlightening on the other
in several years time
i will look back
to february 2014
and see
how one tomorrow
from the past
has unfolded

Friday, February 21, 2014

Kwarenta I'Tres

turned 43 on the bus ride to naga today.

whispered a little big wish, as, again, i recall, the baby swaddled and fresh from her mom Rosita's womb was surrounded by her grandfather, Geminiano, with violin music pieces, love letters of old, and math calculations.  how are these seemingly innocuous things guarding and guiding my life right now?  these things always nag in significance every 21st of february, always.

it's up for us to make our lives significant. there is no overarching fate nor can destiny be read by feng shui, the tarot, palm-reading, numerology, or any form of divination.  mysticism provides guidance, a view of another ongoing universe, but a universe that can still be ruled by our choices, decisions.

consciousness is what counts. an awareness that as Paolo Coelho wrote, 'A day in itself is an eternity.' so every day will determine the future. i live the day as it will be the future.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Ready Forward!

not a closing remarks, but a moving forward strategy
not the end of a long week, but the prelude to many more and much more tiring others
not the end of relevance, but instead the start of producing and realizing worth
the past becomes understandable and the choices made - these have been the birthing grounds
ready, ready, ready - i have been waiting for this!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

My Choice, My Happiness

the light talk with Morning and Jen turned to our lovelifes - Morning the married one, and Jen, the newly-blessed with a boyfriend.  and both recommended that i watch 'One More Chance' or as Morning described, 'the best movie...everrrr'.  ok.  and she even quoted the line from the movie, 'nawawala sayo ang isang tao, kasi may mas mabuting taong dadating'. ok.  frankie said the same.  ok.  i'll watch the movie. i believe in the line's wisdom.  but solitude is still my choice. in this choice is my happiness.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Early Night

perhaps in the first two hours, i'll just roll over many times, get up and pee many times, and stare at the wall many times. while listening to tennis balls being hit, water splashing down the pool, and if lucky, carry the smell of barbecue in my dreams.  an early night for an early day at midnight.  hoping the first leg all goes well tomorrow. but first, i pray that the driver gets a full night's sleep and all my teammates are fetched at just the right time. so for now, will close this down, do the necessary rituals and try to sleep, sleep, sleep. many many sheep will jump over the fence tonight.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

I Love Saturday

Saturday Saturday Saturday, you are mine today. Embraced just as whole and free as conversations with Cora. Where i forget the new labors with work, the nagging chapter 2, the missing of Yaman and a split life with so many roles to play. After this, i will lie down, raise these tired legs. Thanking God that there are always, always Saturdays like this.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Thank You Strongman

Thank you for coming here on V-Day
Thsnk you as we take it slow
Thank you because the want is there
Thank you as friendship is not set aside
Thank you, it was not a surprise at all

Thursday, February 13, 2014

V at the Theatre

happy valentine's day! we're watching a play tomorrow!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Latte for a Hug

after starting with the small stuff, now i'm tired. tired of touching the heavy stuff, the stuff requiring not only brain work but a great great deal of patience.

i'm tired. i need a hug.

perhaps i'll just go down and get some green tea latte. not a great substitute (for a hug). but a respite nonetheless.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Jane Just Hates It

Rejected.  Roxanne, the Taiwanese ex-housemate couldn't believe the word I use to describe Jane's reaction to the Chapter 2.  of course, it's a rejection. i am made to repeat substantial sections. though it's a 'negative' word, i got used to it. i'm already used to how Jane subtly reacts when she hates my writing. and of course, it's different now because we're miles, islands and mountains apart --- what more, if i see her face? now, as i resume work on the chapter, after a week of hiatus (not deliberate), getting slowly back the rhythm and the nerve to go through jane's comments and suggestions as again. She's Jane, no-nonsense Jane, and she's never been wrong. she just hates the writing, not me. so i get on with it.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Some Person, and Old Blogs

while looking for an old PhD blog, i stumbled on an old blog, that got me to reading some of our old blogs. blogs inspired by our togetherness while sleeping. blogs about our travels and momentous times. a part of me reads these blogs like some third person. some person that just stumbled on a blog.  some person reading about love as promise, as a shared future, then came the doubts, miscommunication, and the sad sad leaving. and the real-time me says, love is really like this. love can only be lived in the moment. that words do not, and will not capture what true love is. that there is no exact warning sign when love is in danger of falling apart. that there is no telling when goodbyes become final.  the blogs are --- because reality just had to be written. that in the end, to say that this is how i knew you, us, is not at all a lie.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Don't Stop

it's hard. because the path is not steady. upon learning from the sister about her client's travails with the phd, my only advice is: tell her not to stop. not to stop ever. and indeed, i'm talking to myself. articulating what i know deep. it's really hard. the end is nowhere in sight. but i will finish. and i can only do so by believing that --- stopping is not an option.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

In Economics the Answer

Diminishing marginal satisfaction
Tired, no voice, sore throat, sore back
No space for whining though
One has to adjust, reboot, find time
To experiment, get away from routine
To pray more, believe, and trust more
Get your voice back, stretch more often
Meditate, laugh, engage the team, delegate
Expand the room, think further
Remember economics --- the only wsy to reverse
Diminishing marginal whatever
Is to keep moving, growing

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Pagsusuri't Sakit

Hay sarap may nag aalaga pag ganito
Sarap mabuhusan ng pagmamahal
Ulanin ng aruga, pangungulit 'musta na?'
Matulog sa himbing ng yakap, init
Subalit sa katotohanan ng kawalan
Sapat na ang mangarap, masapat
Sa apoy ng pag iisa

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Fab Pips & Food

Laughter, light conversation, and lots of food. It's infectious seeing the team this way after a hard draining day. OK lang. They're all worth it.


on the saddle
aware of the bumpy ride
the destination clear
but the way, oh the way
is not as idyllic, refined
monuments are built to splendor
but none reflected
of the endless physical, mental toil
it's just starting vitti
watch out, take care
of your back

Friday, January 31, 2014


we are in the news for the wrong reasons, but let me tell you this:

1. Forbeswood is a homey complex where, upon leaving for and entering from work, the paths are paved with babies on strollers, with their yayas, lolas or moms; and residents with their foreign-bred pet dogs in tow (the new but hapless status symbol for some social climbers). life permeates unlike in other condos (like Grand Hamptons where my agent first brought me) where funereal building interiors are the norm.

2. occasionally, there are tennis players on court and even newbies, like this wonderful little boy who shuffles his feet before hitting the ball.

3. at the pool, swimming and barbecue often go together especially during weekends. it is not unusual that as you hear the sound of families enjoying the dip, so does the smell of barbecue (pork, shrimp and fish) waft through the air.

4. its admin staff are very courteous and provide round-the-clock service, even during weekends. cleaners and gardeners look at you straight in the eye with their greetings and several times, when i need a light fixed, a leaking faucet inspected, or the bathroom drains declogged, in less than 5 minutes, an able staff is there.

5. thanks partly to the side i occupy, the condo's location shields it from the sound of roaring traffic, and construction noise.  from the new building on the rise on its south, what can be heard is only a bell clanging in the morning, signalling 7am.

6. FW just lies on the back of Burgos Circle, where one can dine, get a cup of good coffee (Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf recommended) or just simply stroll. it's also less than 10 min away from Wildflour Cafe which serves an eclectic menu from the vegetarian to the 'decadent' (according to the boss), and is known for its croissant donuts (cro-nuts).

there's so much to like about Forbeswood, and this is just a few from a newbie who has learned to love it like she has been there forever.

it's a pity that those on the outside can only appreciate it from the news, especially those who can only 'belong' by having pictures with its facade.  the news and the facade is not the condo.

Links courtesy of