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)

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

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Discipline and Something New

i was wondering whether to get up at 4am, as the alarm sounded.

nothing substantial to do with chapter 2. been so busy at work no time left, even to go to mall, and have the whole chapter printed. i need a printout. i don't have a printout. might as well not work --- and just sleep.  it's too cold --- it's soooooo nice to sleep...

then the red light in my mind blinked. no vitti. if you commit 2 hours everyday, you do 2 hours. even if it means reading an article, reviewing Jane's comments beside your own, working on your biblio, working on sections that don't need major revisions etc. etc. so i got out of bed, got the usual serving of hot water and sat on the same spot in this dark brown dining table with the sunflower deco vase looking at me.

i did well. read development effectiveness again for the nth time - and now i doubt whether to use it in my thesis as a framework. on the side, jotting down mental notes on how to approach the livelihood project at work.  and the in fresh white page, opened the 5th revision and saved a 6th revision, with the intro page highlighted all in dim blue which means 'no touch', yet.  it's a start.

so there's a big difference. if i slept on, i wouldn't have done all the above stuff. i wouldn't have set a direction, and another way of approaching the chapter. a bonus is i got to think about work and as a technique, any mental note i took down so i won't forget these usually random thoughts that spell 'Eureka!'

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Blog Pride

Enough of this internalizing.

Enough of bothering about ghosts. Ghosts who need to own up their lies and face its consequences.

Lies are not mine to endure.

There is none to hide about an imperfect life that as much as possible, the faults and quagmire entirely my responsibility and calvary. A life where mistakes and wrong choices I chose to treat positively as adding color and richness to an otherwise bland existence. It is a life where in being free, I chose and keep friends as I desire because time has become too precious. A life where family has meant wholeness and eternity, a choice without regrets.

There's so much to take pride in this life.

Ghosts just have to fend for themselves.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Dior for My Eyes...

this saturday is when i got my first Christian Dior eyeliner, while Elsa got her first Dior lipstick.  it's wonderful being at this age, when one has the freedom and finances to experiment with beauty.  so the saleslady was coaching, slide it down there, extend the brow to hold the line etc. so yes, here they are, eyes more expressive, beautiful.  what a way to start wearing Dior:)

Friday, January 24, 2014

My Isabela Heart

Back to my heart in Isabela
Back to earnest goodness
Happy chance encounters
To find peace in honesty
Finding light in acceptance
Earnest strong love

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Chapter 2

as returned by Jane last week, Chapter 2 had 84 comments, an instruction sheet on how to revise the flow of arguments and the usual array of red, yellow, blue and violet highlights as Jane directs the flow of thought within the text.

Chapter 2, the lit review, is the reason this PhD is still hanging.  classically, it's the first serious chapter you write in doing a PhD. did the first original version in 2009. by the time this was reviewed in february 2013, the thesis focus and arguments of the results chapters have changed so much that the 2009 version was rendered useless.  in a way, there is a sense of revising full scale an original lit review after results chapters are completed. because only then could a writer get the full vast overview of the 'story' concerned, and only then could one get to see the many twists and turns to get to that 'story'. in rewriting the lit review, the focus is on writing about these 'twists' and 'turns' into one coherent whole.  

i would now be working on the 6th version of the lit review since february 2013.  the fifth version was made in four months from sept-dec 2013, part-time as now working full-time.  only working on it 2 hours a day during workweeks which is equivalent to about 4 days a month or 16 days for the four months period.  

so goodluck to me.  Jane's comments still need addressing and i have faith in her. because Jane has never been wrong, and Jane has always led me to the right direction, despite my stubbornness sometimes.  the chapter will be finished before Holy Week, an earnest and loving commitment to the PhD. 

Monday, January 20, 2014

Talking to Me Again

efficiency. one need to be so efficient in a way to ward off the guilt during weekends - of not working, of not being able to keep up with the mental deadlines. of being in control of the macro structures and the micro details of work. and there's the thesis. and the harrowing chapter 2. that needs to be absorbed, on and on and on.  you have to swallow the comments in, vitti. it's for your own good.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

The Urban 'South Street' Final Stretch

The second stretch along 30th street...

The 'cafe strip' - a beer joint that serves German beer followed by the common unimpressive overrated Starbucks. 

The pedestrians only have 13 seconds to negotiate this lane.

The target tower. 
We're lucky. The target building fronts a park to its south. No ugly development here so far. Trees, trees, trees, and light.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

The Urban 'South Street' Part 1

it's because of the long commute, or the draining commute to be precise, from BGC to ortigas - via the dreadful MRT.  but in time, it was also a subconscious choice.  i longed to experience the walk to work, and back home, just as i did, four years in perth. i longed for the feel of legs laboring down slopes, walking past trees and basking in the bright blue skies, sometimes grayish, in murdoch. so here is what i have here - in an urban jungle, i found my South Street.  it's not one street but a host that i cross each morning, not the same of course every day, but it's the same direction. going to work, to the orange and brown tower, where i am in the continuous process of finding myself, my purpose.  one person walked with me along South Street. if that person chooses to remember, then that person could more or less understand what i feel about this walk. this walk to real work, and real home.

First, a move towards the east, the Light. Similar to South Street, Perth.

A concrete road, but there are trees. 

Up to the mound. Blue skies not as blue as Perth but it's the same sky.

The mound.  Where it's a privilege to see it this bare, this early.

I kinda like this photo. The curves of modern architecture blending with the straight lines created by the trees. 
 take in the beauty of the setting before the ugliness.
My least favorite point.  Heavy traffic and the assault of yellow steel on the senses.
Part 1 ends, as slow internet causes delays on the upload.  Part 2 tomorrow, folks!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Respite and Inspiration

tomorrow, should i meet the deadline, will write about the 'South Street' of BGC.

for now, have to stay glued in this chair for a few more minutes. to organize and write the points and gist of the full writing tomorrow.

i love what i do, and blessed to be doing it here.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Serious Love, Work

there's none left to invest
but guts
 faith in my team
a lot of intuition
hard work which is a must
deep unending patience
 the will to understand motive
visible or latent
the will to stamp, brand
this insistence
that socio-political work
is not an aside, trifling

serious work is much like
serious love.

Monday, January 13, 2014

God's Help

a day when meetings consume all the hours.  looking at the targets and how i fared today, have to have more time to reassess and think, as much as to strategise, write and produce. talked with the head of commrel, and she too is exhausted. how to deal with exhaustion, how to deal with targets. God Help the Team this 2014!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

To Ate S

'Te - you and everyone will understand in time. Understand that our worlds need no longer overlap. That when it does, it still evokes hurt and unruly emotions that should no longer burden us. You have all been very kind, respectful of the space. But this space needs to be made pure - for love's sake.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

New Skin

eversince frankie warned me against wearing the fire colors of red, orange, pink and purple, my wardrobe has been quite drab - the whites beside blues, blacks and browns. the only joyful color is yellow which is quite hard to find in boutiques, especially in sizes that fit this pear shape of a body. but still. i try to experiment with mustards, and now greens of all shades. even trying on sleevelesss blouses with matching coats. for summer, will scout for light and sheer coats. and i will insist on wearing pink - the light and rose colored ones to reduce the 'fire' energy. i'm definitely experimenting with new skin.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

No Letting Up

Letting go is an everyday affair. To breathe in and breathe out. And look at each person anew. An effort to blot out the unbeautiful and silence the cry to strike. Sometimes it's hard to the point of craziness. But there are no walls once fear is overcome. So keep on walking, sighing, breathing. The end of this road will come and you are brave enough to take on another.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Life in FB

One clinging on to life support
One a ruptured tear duct
One in company with a japanese girl
One thinking of sex one christmas day
Life surrounds, ebbs, twists and skyrockets
We submit, stall, mingle, and flirt
The life of life such is

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Green and Sunlight

there's something about sunlight when it touches the color of green that moves me.  Even in our simple sala in naga city, the way sunlight casts the right shadows and hues of light across the room is uplifting. perhaps that's the reason why i love ricefields, among all other natural sights in the world.  ricefields particularly show the perfect blend of light and green.  thus, while in feng shui, the rightful colors for me are yellow and brown to reinforce the 'earth' element, i would still insist that green is my favorite color. i will still get to wear green more, and be partial towards it. and of course there's the light, sunlight. whether it be sunrise, sunset or the perfect sun setting captured when embracing the color of green.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Yaman's Too

it's like guijo all over again.

as i entered the condo this morning, smelled a whiff of yaman's smell in the air.  and looking at the blinds, the red and blue sofa, i recall the little girl bidding them goodbye, one by one, as we left in the afternoon of december 30th for naga. like me, Yaman exclaimed, 'bye windows, bye sofa, bye TV, bye yellow curtain, bye floor...see you again' in her nasal pitched voice that makes me cry out, 'Lord, let her just be a kid, my kid, for the rest of our lives.' she doesn't want to leave. even last night, she was pretending to be leaving also for manila, with mommy.

in another home, away from home in naga, i miss my Yaman, again and again and again. she lives in Forbeswood too. the blue, red, yellow and white condo is hers as it is her mom's. here she played on her LPS dolls and houses, hands and knees on the floor. we bathed together, she alternating between the hot shower and the cool faucet water. on the large queen sized bed, Yaman slept until 9 to 10am in the morning and in the evening, she would lie on her right as i put medication on her ear for 15 minutes, all along reading a book by her side. here we ate lunches and dinners together with Mom, whose newly-cooked rice on the first day never became stale, even on the 5th day.

now i dread going home, and being alone, again, in the blue, red, yellow and white condo. i miss the presence of my daughter. she should just be here.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Hope and New Year's Day

A scenery in Isabela to cap my desire, more of it, in 2014.
on the first day of 2014, went to mass in blue blouse with pink red polka dots.  prepared the now classic roast pork for new year's day lunch. now watching over the daughter, niece and nephew as The Hobbit is being played on TV. mom is now cooking eggplants to serve one of my favorites - Tortang Talong.

with a rested mind that refused work and computers from the 20th to the 25th, and the 28th to the present, will arrive tomorrow afresh. a lot of to-do's at work, not to mention the to let-go's, to-surrender's and to hope-for's.

so i got to enjoy New Year's Day this way. another sunset, and another sunrise. it's never ending. hope is unending. hope never fails.