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)

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