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)

Monday, February 20, 2017

A Cake of Wishes

I have much to be thankful for today. Got my birthday wish. A long drive from Manila to San Jose, NE. Then from Bagabag NV to Santiago. Then, the icing. The daughter passed the entrance exam at AC. Blessings come in threes. So perhaps tomorrow, the third wish will come true.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

The Chapel at Assumption

This is a very beautiful chapel at Assumption College. Beautiful in its simplicity. Only one stained glass icon adores it; nothing less than Mama Mary on her Assumption into heaven. So happy and privileged to be here. I did not make a wish. I just let myself be enveloped by holiness and grace.

Friday, February 17, 2017

A Friday

Today, the daughter homed in at AC. The story won a Fitbit. Our block prexy met an untimely death in Batangas. Had my first case of cramps in the car, just before driving. Life really is what it is. Where one starts, another ends. We are victorious and distraught within hours. Life is just like this.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017


a high school friend of mine died today. of breast cancer - after a double mastectomy and treatment for six months. i have a feeling her treatment was a rip-off. doctors egging for treatment while rubbing their hands happy for the fees. she died just after the cancer invaded also her bones and kidneys. on her pictures in FB, i see that not only life was extinguished from her. her face was devoid already of hope.

we were about to meet sometime in november. but i sensed that she will cancel. we used to be housemates and our parting was not well. still, i was hoping to see her, but she canceled last minute with her blood chem results as attachments. told her. it's not necessary. if she's not feeling well, then alright to cancel. but i guessed she was just not ready to meet me with her condition. just had her head shaved. she would come not her confident upright self.

i've always said that when it's my time, i will choose no treatment. but then who knows? who knows what reasons you're celebrating life when cancer strikes? who knows the reasons that will make you choose to be well, despite the costs, and despite the doctors grinning sheepishly in the background. perhaps the way to go above all is Pride. to hold on to that ounce of self-belief that one can make it, and that surviving is an active decision, rather than just a passive outcome.

i choose to remember her happy and vibrant. so long my friend.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

A Creed for the Single

For hearts that are breaking, still broken, and having a hard time healing, take what is. Face the pain. Embrace the loneliness. Surrender. Be patient. Focus on what you love, and is there. Stay good. There is a miracle in Time. Time will make you better. 

Monday, February 13, 2017

A Place Called Mayoyao

it's distance can fool a newcomer. it looks so near. but to get to the town proper, the vehicle must pass cakey and clayey roads when wet. in 2015 and 2016, i was still privileged to see its towering hills and narrow cliff roads.  but today, these were no more. the mountains on my left have been shaved considerably to give way to wider roads. and soon, the elusiveness and disguise of Mayoyao will be no more.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Hitting the Sack

Tonight, will be hitting the sack before 10pm. The first for over a week of not being able to sleep because of the itchiness. The rashes and bites are seemingly subsiding. And the regimen of using mild soap, leaving it for 2 minutes, is working, lightening the redness.  Away from home and learning to make any where as home.  Travelers cannot be too choosy.

In the Company of Sherlock

Yesterday was a full day. Not of work, but of errands and cooking and cleaning. Yoga was the highlight. I began  the day with what makes me happy to get me through. Cleaning ladies come every quarter and the reason I like cleaning is I get to see the condo - what needs repair, purchase, inspection by the owner.

So yesterday, Sherlock kept me company. Just like Sundays in Perth before. I cook with LOTR, Whitechapel and once, with Kimi Dora. Sherlock is your typical one-man-saves-the-world plot, which I actually frown on. That's why the main character has to be played by Benedict Cumberbatch. It has to be someone easy on the eyes. But story-wise, Sherlock has it - ingenuity, the class of the British with plot-making that is not at all about revenge (what Filipino serye is mainly about), and the cinematography - not just of sights but of ordinary things like sidewalks, intersections, doors, and even, a plate of sausages.

When the day ended at 11pm, so did The Last Vow (Season 3 Episode 3). Goodnight Sherlock. You're a good man now.

Friday, February 10, 2017

At Costa

Corto. So irresistible. So I succumbed after dropping by the bank. I was about to do gratitude journal writing; alas, left the pencil case on the office desk. So I took this pic instead. Of the year I was born and a prophetic message that, yeah, I will be in London in this lifetime. The Corto was simple, perfect. I just enjoyed the moment. Having Corto. Sitting on a white-painted wooden chair at Costa. To be perfectly happy, simply happy.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Mite War

If sunlight can kill mites, then a hot iron too. So way past the usual bedtime, I was vigorously ironing the naked bed. Later, changed the sheets to white. Tomorrow, will get the tea tree oil for DYI mite repellent. I might just sleep on the couch tomorrow. What a way to spend the remaining days being 46. I will not forget this.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

My Feb-Ibig Story

The story still resonates. Gie says, it makes her cry. Touches a raw nerve, or vein perhaps. For Kris, it awakens a lot of emotions. As I read it, in my mind, to the last sentence, I lose my voice. Almost to a whisper saying, 'We were real.' Twelve years hence, the feelings are gone, but the frankness is still able to cry out. Hands down, it is an entry to one story-telling contest. What makes my heart beat? Failure  and resignation. But I have learned to live with it. Wake up and sleep with it. Breathe and chew every morsel of truth as I see it. Right now, it's beside me; and it will ride with me to work tomorrow. Failure makes my heart beat. Failure helped me heal.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Doc Cath, the Derma

It's my first derma date in 46 years. But I'm privileged to meet the Doc Cath who makes the blue green and golden brown soaps, which friends and relatives, both here and abroad, hail and use since 2014. My immune system has become sensitive and especially vulnerable to mites which normally live in beds and linens. I, the traveler, am getting the worse of frequent trips up north. I am not as resilient as I used to be. Inside, yes, very. But on the outside, my skin is breaking out of rashes and hopefully, within a month, these will all go away. Still, I'm happy to have met the simple and alluring Doc Cath today.

Monday, February 6, 2017

The Power to Create

It is a test of faith on the Universe. To allow abundance to come by making room for it. Willing it to happen and stay because of a purpose. I was about to fall into the precipice; until I was nudged back not only towards hope but full embracing of what the Universe is offering. Thanks again to Marvin and Evelyn for keeping me aligned.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Love for Mom

I used to quarrel with my Mom a lot. Then, she was not happy with my choices. Afraid I would not be taken seriously. Then in the last few years, I could feel her unhappiness, with us. Regretting her lost years. Regretting love not shown to her lost husband. She regrets people and things in that unsalvageable kind of way. Past is already past, as in one minute ago past.

So on her birthday, I wish for her acceptance and the quiet and peaceful resignation that life past is past; but life now is good, and it should be cherished. Her children are happy with their choices. She has seven healthy normal and strapping grandchildren. She has gone to four Asian countries since 67 and this April, she'll be on her way to Seoul. I wish her deep love, love deep within her heart, to the good that is, and is staying.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

The Challenge of Leadership

Maricel is the highlight of today. Maricel is my life coach. a split-second, last-option taken last year to salvage my relationship with the Leader. and today, got an email from her. on 'Model of Excellence'. Excellence is not about 'I'. it is about People, and in a way, it means taming one's judgment and giving limitless chances to understand, be patient, mold behavior. i was not raised with this kind of thinking. my awareness had been limited. i get too self-absorbed, and now, Maricel is saying that Leadership is not about the person at the helm. but the People committed to that person at the helm. can I build, inspire and move people this way?

Friday, February 3, 2017

Three Hours

My hunch was right. Setting the meeting at 4pm will be a mistake. One-hour talks with the Leader will not suffice. You are either in his office for 1 minute or 180 minutes. Ours took 3 hours today. His way of training me how performance assessments are rigorously done, with mine as an example. It's a relaxed 2017 now. Gone with the baggage of 2015. I have to submit to this honing, this shaping. To be great, and good. To believe in the possible.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Cutesy My Love

it was spontaneous. i was just meant to clean her, wipe her body clean. the weather was not inducing. but in a way, after clearing the dust off her from the last four days, took her out in the open. had her tires checked and gassed up.  the tank refueled, in full. we passed by McKinley and in a glimpse, saw the crane which was building Florence, my second condo investment. driving is always exhilarating. it has this de-stressing quality about it. to just submit to the feel of the wheel, the smoothness of the ride, and smell of her interiors, clean and still new.  the odometer read 2662km. i am going on another ride, one long ride on my birthday.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Update on the PhD

I have not been writing since October last year. i stopped to rewrite my Lit Review which was quite awful and did not reveal the maturity by which i was approaching the thesis. A kind of maturity understanding more my data rather than wanting it to fit the theory I have in my mind. In a way, I was letting go of what theory was guiding me how to think.  

Jane apologized for pushing me into political analysis which I was not yet ready for from 2009 to 2013. Now I am raking it in and still stumble but the acceptance also of politics as a survivalist and sustaining strategy for political reformers is emerging.  

My literature review was written on a rush. I wanted to finish badly in February 2013. Now I understand why time was not on my side then.  It has still a lot to teach about humility and succumbing to my data.  

Now I am reading again. I am writing sentences on paper, on small notes, on stationery, whenever a rush of grand thoughts envelop my thinking.  my colleagues are finishing up. Nicole now has a PhD and her thesis in our library at Murdoch. I will get there in time. I have just taken a longer route to writing the reality of my PhD.  I am thankful to be the author of this reality. 

Because it is February 1

since today is the first day of February, thought I'd do a little blogging, on top of gratitude journal writing and keeping a food diary.

what have i been doing for the first month of 2017?

A lot of long driving, from Naga to Santa Elena and from Manila to Silang, Cavite

Keeping our targets on calendar until the Leader took some out for us to have a life, even for just a little bit.

Made a firm decision to go back to arnis training. At least one training session every month.

Decided to share my descanso on our Feb-Ibig fest here with the A-team.

Continuing on yoga, my love, especially planking, which I really really love doing.

Keeping my weight in check at 122lbs and really keeping the commitment to cut white carbs out of my life.

Preparing for Yaman's exam at AC, her passport application, and her transfer here to Manila this April.

Firming up my resolve to do well with real estate investments.

Continuing readings on the thesis and resolving to write by the first week of February.

Thank You Universe for keeping me inspired, aligned, driven, and in love with life.