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)

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.