Influences (or Why I Write the Way I Do)

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

Tuesday, 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.