Monday, November 22

My Missing Posse

In the course of changing templates to again satisfy my never-sated self, I lost the precious gang of bloggers I've linked up in my spot. The silly, idiotic me can't bring myself to retrieve them. The age of senility and bungling is come. Will you please please be a darling and help me? Here's them that I can remember:
sassy lawyer
belledejour
joe.my.god
sulatpinay
tito rolly
compulsive eater
The others I simply can't recall. I'd be indebted to anyone who can help me with their links. Merci.

Friday, November 19

Being Enough

“When will it ever be enough?”…This is my friend Lou whining this morning about her life. Lou who I envy so much for having gone to many places in Europe and the USA, whilst working and living in Singapore. How could someone like her complain of being unhappy and not feeling satisfied when she lives in smog-free country, in her own pad, and sends me emails thru her “notebook”—as compared to me who suffer the little indignities of having to commute to work everyday, smog billowing and giving me a foul odor in spite of having scrubbed myself bloody before then, me who do my blogs on this hideous desktop which has obviously seen better days? Life can be a bitch, ain’t it? But always, to each his own bitch.

I guess I cannot blame my friend. She’s just human like me after all. And no matter how I try to view her life through rose-tinted glasses, she certainly has her low moments. Like when she says that Christmas is always like any other day—except that her callers will be a little nicer to her and will be back to their nasty selves when the occasion is over. I believe her. I’ve had my share of monstrous callers back in Easycall. Call center work is such a thankless job, and I believe you’ve got to have a halo around your head, or otherwise a catatonic condition, to not feel the mortification of being shouted at and abused by cantankerous callers, day-in and day-out. I guess that’s why Filipinos are the most likely candidates for call center outsourcing; we just tolerate and forgive every single time. For someone like me whose ego got a little fragile over the years, I think I’ll have to reconsider working again for a similar firm.

Anyway, going back to Lou….she was and is a great friend and I suppose my only true clique. We used to share a locker, a journal, heck we used to share dreams of working abroad…and look at her now, she’s saving up for her retirement, while I’m just starting life as a mother, slogging like my husband to provide for Gabby’s milk and diapers. I should be the one protesting about all these domestic scrapes, but I’m not…I know it’ll never be enough, but I’m happy where I am. Truly. We’re worlds apart…and yet she makes me think that luck and happiness is all a mirage that our minds can conjure up at the most unlikely places. It's like Harry Potter creating a great Patronus with his happiest memories. Then all is wonderful with the world again...
I hope she’ll be happy someday.

Friday, November 12

Hell Hath No Fury


…. Like a woman scorned, not in love, but in doing what she thinks is right. The past few days I have been in such a disposition, that the contemptible ones who thought I could be waylaid by questioning my professionalism at work and spiting me for exposing their inveterate practices-- have thought otherwise and steered clear of my way. The husband and wife team of mandrills now know better than to monkey around. And just in case they don’t know this one other thing, I WILL BE my scorned self until hell freezes over.

Friday, October 22

Sweet Times

As luck would have it, my brother who has bunked in with us for more than a month, has finally landed a job.
It wasn't an easy task for someone who has worked abroad for many years and has enjoyed the fruits of his labors and green bucks, but ultimately felt like he was a been-there-done-that the moment he went home to his country. Pride and humiliation get mixed up in a nasty way inside you I can only surmise-- pride in feeling you got a sure leverage over others after your "imported" experience and exposure, and humiliation in realizing that you're no better than the new grad standing in line next to you, waiting to be interviewed.
You're just a dot in a swarm of nameless faces and frayed nerves shuttling here to there everyday, holes boring deeper into your pocket, sending you further to financial and emotional chasm. And, don't you just hate short-sighted relations who treat you like a superstar when you're out there, and sneer at you when you finally come home for good as though you're wearing that big letter L conspicuously on your forehead? I wish they would understand that making one's living in a faraway place isn't exactly fun.
Anyway, my brother doesn't really feel like that. It's all ME thinking aloud. Gee, don't you think I just yak endlessly, even for other people? But I do, I do.
Beyond all the difficulties that he all went through with admirable resilience, I am glad that God has made His plans clear for my brother. His job offer couldn't have come at a more appropriate time. Over a couple slices of Magoo's last night, we silently agreed... He is good, He is great.
I hope He listens to me naman....

Thursday, October 21

Harry Potter Five

Finally put down Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. My little beading business was on the back burner for more than a week so I could finish the book. Phoenix was a comparatively long read compared to the first four books in Rowling’s 7 part series. But this one is definitely a cut above the rest coz finally Harry Potter is revealed as the nemesis of the evil Voldemort. In the prophecies of the eternally misunderstood Professor Trelawney, it could have well been Neville Longbottom in Harry’s place. Why, there were born on the same year, on the same date, at the same time. But of course Neville is everything that embodies an anti-hero being pudgy and all although he bravely fought the nasty death-eaters in the Ministry of Magic to save Harry. It is comforting to know that he becomes one of Harry’s best friends. It is also here that Harry tasted his first kiss and experienced the perplexing world of girls, er, women. And well, Ron Weasley becomes a hero in Quidditch.

I enjoy this kind of literature nowadays, shallow though they may seem. It’s because I intend to pass on these wonderful stories to Gabby in the many future late nights that we will be looking forward to, me tucking him gently into bed. Collecting the books is a different matter altogether. Harry Potter series--in spite of the commercialism and controversies of subliminal allusions to black magic--still abounds with lessons of heroism, modesty, friendship, love, and respect for nature. As I said, I am not pedantic, although I may clout and differentiate. But for the most part, I take children’s books as they are. For the young at heart. For me and Gabby.

Monday, October 11

Of Love

Watching the movie again the other night, I had wanted to re-relish the book a good friend gave me....There's a line uttered by Dr. Iannis while lecturing his beautiful daughter Pelagia about love. It is simple, but true.

"When you fall in love, it is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake,and then it subsides. And when it subsides, you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have become so entwined together that it is nconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness; it is not excitement, it's not the desire to mate every second of the day, not lying awake at night imagining him kissing every part of your body. No.. don't blush. I'm telling you some truths. That is just being in love, which any of us can convince ourselves we are. Love, itself, is what is left over, when being in love has burned away. Doesn't sound very exciting does it? ...but it is."


Being married for merely three years has made me realize that life is not all roses. It can often get unforgivably bumpy and rough that you just have to get a grip and find yourself time and again. The glamour of love is painfully lost in you. But come to think of it, you manage to rise above it all somehow. The struggle of giving, falling, being selfless, affirming, and understanding are manifestations of the lengths you are willing to go through to make life bearable and ultimately worth-living with the person you wake up next to each day----and therein lies the beauty.

Thursday, October 7

Black, Bitter and Bold

Coffee truly fascinates me.
A beautiful picture
I got from Starbucks.

Tuesday, September 28

Tomorrow is Another Day

My brother recently visited a mutual friend whose wife just gave birth. I passed on my best to them, but with the kudos came the feeling of deep compassion for these first-time parents. They have probably marveled every minute of their nine months pregnancy, anticipating how their little baby would come out. Who will she/he take after--—mom or dad? Dad after all was a handsome chap in his days, and still is.

The precious little angel finally came out, but was carrying a rare genetic condition. He has Down Syndrome.

Down Syndrome is caused by excess gene from the 21st chromosome, aside from the ones the child has inherited from his parents. This condition may mean that the child may have some degree of mental retardation and other developmental stagnation. Certain physical traits are common to them too—folds over the eyes, flat nose, flabby body, and a soft tissue jutting out of their nape that extends to the shoulder.

My heart goes out to the little angel, not so much because of his looks, but how he would fare, if indeed his impediment would deprive him of the many warranties in life—learning, recognizing, and interacting. I have not in the past personally known a Down person, but I think they can be very vulnerable to illnesses, thus cutting their life expectancy to almost half. Can they be cured, or schooled, I don’t know…but if I were a parent to one, I would definitely do everything to make him a well child.

I have lost my first baby when he was four months in my womb, not a happy thought really. I went down, deep into the recesses of my guilt, asking myself where I had gone wrong. Did I neglect him and myself? Was I abusive and indiscreet with what I ate? How on earth did I lose this child that I have tried so resolutely to protect and nurture inside me? I badly wanted to be a mother to this boy.

As Miriam once said, what can be more important than a child?
My answer is...if anything, a little life that once came from you is the mirror of what you and your progenitors have been, and is the self-same life that will carry on the person you are now---your character, your achievements, your memories, your dreams, your love. You can only want to shield it from any tragic waste. It is that important.

I suppose Glenn Doman’s theory of teaching a brain-injured child to read comes to the fore again. It may not be as easy as it sounds, because I am not this child's mother or father. But I can share with what they feel—their anxiety, their fears and apprehensions, maybe even their attempt to rebuff the painful truth and question God of his motive in giving them this child.

Only time can placate them from their doubtful and fragile state of mind, and strengthen them to move on from there. And I believe that with infinite love, untiring dedication and persistence for the precious one, tomorrow may just be another day.

Monday, September 27

From Hell to Eternity

Have you noticed how certain people get into you; hit a raw nerve even if they are not aware of it? Or maybe they are, but they choose to be on the dense side and slight you anyway? Because I could never believe that everyday I go to work with these kinds of creatures that most definitely come from hell. And I am eternally sorry that I am in this kind of rut that pulls me deeper and deeper into emotional insolvency.

Oftentimes, when I recount my miseries to my husband, he would off-handedly tell me to quit my job and look for brighter, if not greener, pastures. I know what he means by that, although sometimes it appears to me that he doesn’t care one bit about what I’m going through. I should know, he has his own corporate hell to grapple and listening to mine is too much to deal with, although he admits that he, like me, finds it easier to gripe than to leave his job for his own peace. We are not at a stage of our lives to take things with nonchalance and impulsiveness, we have a kid now and everything focuses on rearing him and providing for him materially.

The same goes with these people I am ranting about. They have kids, and sisters and brothers and friends. So, to co-habituate with one another, we need to give up certain prejudices and self-importance, right? Wrong These people only put their pretty asses on your shoulder, and you, the whiner, have to do as they say.

Believe it or not, I have made the most stupid mistake of befriending him once, and now he sees me as a boil in his ass that he’s trying so hard to get rid of. Or at least that’s how it seems to me. He has this annoying habit of bossing me around, which aggravates my situation all the more because I hate being pushed to do things. It’s not that I am almighty and all. How do you deal with people who abuse office rules, make lunch a whole afternoon siesta, and yet have the gall to demand things from you, and impose themselves on you as if you are subordinate to them? I have not the audacity to confront people of what annoys me about them, but can they be too opaque as that? Whatever happened to consideration and sensitivity?

Once or twice in my life, I have experienced a situation that totally put me off, and however inconsequential it seemed, made me lose my faith in the person who put me into that. People who cheat on you, in spite of your well meaning, and who make you feel you owe them for something. I am not inclined to talk what happened, but let’s just say that I was used and abused. My abuser saw the opportunity to drop me off a cliff of embarrassment and self-loathing as to why, why, why I was incredibly na├»ve and stupid to have trusted them in the first place. And that’s where my hell came from.

My only regret is that I have not learned to just leave them shit and move on….

Odyssey

I have just put down the Dan Brown bestseller The Da Vinci Code which I took pain to finish, having just borrowed it from an officemate who expected me to return it ASAP. I admit, even on my beading foray to Quiapo last weekend, I had the impetuosity to take the book with me and cram through the last few pages while waiting for my bus stop. Everyone I know, this blogger friend included, said it was superlative read. Sure, it was. Or maybe, I have missed the whole point.

Undeniably a fun read, replete with all the ingredients of a bestselling thriller, I devoured everything I saw . It was so easy to give way into one’s indiscretion and accept what the book said as gospel truth. Hell what do I know of the gospels, to pun that (since The Bible has just been put in a very damaging light here). I have been nowhere near criticizing the papal nuncio in the Vatican, although I absolutely feel the Catholic domain needs a lot of washing down to do to remedy the bad jinx they've recently ran into.
Would you believe that one local broadsheet even ran a quarter-page commentary by a Catholic bishop, about the veracity of the author’s claims on the clandestine brotherhood and Jesus’ bloodline and the Vatican's real identity? Is everything real or theoretical in the first place? This book was eliciting both raves and rants, and I bet a lot of paranoia and defensiveness, from the four corners of the literary or literate world.
Who could not have wanted to read it?

Momentarily though I had to go back over my previous conclusions about the book, weed out those that I didn't find plausible. And, trusting my isms, this is what, an ordinary reader like me, have discerned:

It’s all just FICTION which, however too good, the writer simply fiddled with in his mind. And whatever historical congruence it may have to the past, I am loathe to leave it to the experts. It was nothing more than an odyssey for me that fell right smack to a category that I would call “highly entertaining”. I am Catholic, and given that I have issues myself, this one doesn’t make me rethink about my spiritual viewpoint, or the limits of it.

It’s great that I have seen the other side of the travesty, although that piece about the smiling Mona Lisa most certainly got me off. However storybound that part may appear, I think that my heart can rest well and not ever wonder why SHe’s forever smiling that beguiling half-mocking smile. What a secret she keeps...
Even Sappho would have acquiesced.

Friday, September 17

To Envisage Belledejour

A picture of the unflappable Belle in my mind...reminds me of the beautiful Malena.

Thursday, September 16

French Leave

It's a sad day for bloggers who have made belledejour's journal a staple in their daily literary breakfast. For me particularly, she's become a ritual, that an almost-dependence has been created between my coffee and her diary, she being on top of my "daily fix" of favorite blogs. A lot of things were going on there for a while. But just today, I got there and read her goodbye-abrupt, albeit announced.
I feel I'm losing much. Like having just put a good Louise Brooks biography down.

Belle's blogspot is a non-descript layout which she never bothered to change in spite of Blogger's recent offering of eyecandy templates. But the moment you walk past her, you will be intrigued by the words "Diary of a London Call Girl". Who would have thought anyway that women who give pleasure for money like her can keep an online diary, much less write a very good one? She, or He, might indeed be a writer who poses as, she calls it, "the whore without portfolio". But I choose to see her with a simplistic eye--not the pedants she detests--and believe she really is someone who holds the world's oldest profession.

Belle speaks (or is it spoke already?) in a cryptic yet very confident tone about her sexual encounters with "clients" and, pardonnez, "fuck buddies", but hints every so often of her personal life and her true relationships. Yes, the lady is real and does get bitten by the lovebug.

What makes her even more intriguing is that she doesn't leave an online comment feature on her blog, but links her email address with--
"Write me. Who knows, I might even answer..."
Written I have once out of naivete, but what do I know, I am simply one of those who did not make any impression in her terribly inundated mailbox. Why, there must be a thousand letters from fans and men who are dying to know her real identity and would be offering to pay pounds and euros just to have a glimpse of her, if not exactly enjoy the pleasure of her services.....So what is a married obscure woman like me doing in her mailbox, gushing like an awestruck fan, raving about how I fancy her? Or her blog at least.

I admit I got titillated with the prospect of her meeting up with someone who has been for ages haunting her blogspot and email. Belle always seems to me like a beautiful lady ready to pleasure a stranger, and yet has the quotient to discourse politics and highbrow subjects at any given day.

There is nothing substandard to read in Belle's blog, although at times her encounters may be too salacious for a mother like me to indulge....i'm not just cut out for the really spicy stuff, see?
There has been a book and television deal, and from the looks of it she's going fulltime with her newfound enterprise, thus the sudden unexpected goodbye. But I will grudgingly let this good one go, while hoping that one day she'd come back and write for herself and the exclusive us again.

Thursday, September 9

Sex and the City

I must admit husband and I are big fans of Sex and the City. We stay up and cuddle together on late Saturday nights to watch SATC on HBO, I because of the clothes, and he because of the steamy scenes, usually between Samantha and her lover/s. But now that the last episode of the last season was aired, it feels rather sad that we find ourselves not having anything to look forward to in the coming nocturnal sessions of tv marathon on weekends. There's Alias for sure, but it's beginning to get more incomprehensible than it ever already is. And again, Jennifer Garner mania is starting to wear off on me. Anyway, I digress. It's understandable that SATC has decided to retire at the peak of their success. I for one wouldn't want to remember Samantha, Charlotte, Miranda and Carrie in their decrepit state still battling to find Mr. Right and the real meaning of sex. They are alright in the icons that they already have become these past 6 years, and the ending, which husband and I openly wondered was really the last, snapped in true fashion of the SATC atmosphere. Fast and explicit.

Sex and the City, despite its shallowness and materialism, teems with urbane complexity and humor that shallow people like me indulge into. It's like watching a fashion show all the time and yet appreciating the fact that the four main characters have flaws like real people. Like me.

Carrie Bradshaw, who prefers to see her paycheck up her closet by splurging on clothes and Manolo Blahniks has a physique that is not even close to gorgeous. And yet, when she struts her stuff around, it's just totally hers. And so with the other girls. I think thus they all make equally unforgettable characters that will linger in the consciousness of thirty-year old single women who find themselves thrown in similar situations and dreaming of their eventual pas de deux.

My husband would never understand how my eyes get bigger and the asides I make when I see a beautiful dress Charlotte wears, or the interesting bag or bangle on Samantha's arms. Yes, I am a sucker for fashion too, but I have no qualms about acquiring my Pedro Garcias from ukay-ukay. They say a fashionista will fend her stand just to be on top of everyone else's mediocrity until it hurts. But I'm no fashionista. I am just someone who appreciates good clothes. A lot.

Apart from the clothes though, the funny-ness that every girl can be subjected to in her elusive search for a perfect partner in life, and Carrie's instrospections on their daily struggle to achieve this, is what I will sorely miss. My husband's sentiments are a totally different story.

Photos in my Blog

Decided to put some life in my blog today, thanks to one of my favourite bloggers Ruth whose humorous and insightful posts I don't only enjoy imbibing daily, but makes me appreciate the use of our mother tongue better. Now my blog has some rather old but personal snapshots by Flickr, and a referrer's tool (not that I really need one since nobody ever walks past my spot anyway). Just the same they are there for a little trimming to make everything just a wee bit better than the usual. Zilch.

Monday, September 6

The Little Guy

Amidst my beading preoccupation nowadays, I've had a few moments to look over my shoulder and see how Gabby is. You know that worrisome feeling that your child doesn't seem to grow an inch taller or bigger? Maybe it's because he's right under your very nose all the time that his physique doesn't spell the littlest bit of difference than from the last time you noticed. But try to be busy about other things, and you'll realize how fast your little stork grows in a matter of days.

Proof of that is the number of times I've bought him clothes in a matter of 20 months.

Last weekend, I had to get my little guy a few sets of houseclothes because he can't manage to snuggle into his old ones anymore. His kiddie closet has seen stuff come and go, and now that he's definitely past the layette and over-alls stage, we've had to rethink about getting him new clothes, or recycling. He has plenty of those long-sleeved shirts that I made him wear when he was teeny child during the cold season, but now that it's sweltering hot, it would be useless to stash them away inside the closet and buy new clothes that he would wear for what, three-four months. See, I have this partiality for big clothes. I will not have Gabby wear clothes that are way too big for him that he would look like Dopey, or too small for him that he would like Pooh. I just want it right and snugly.

So anyway, about the old shirts, that recycling idea never really left me. I took a pair of shears, cut the sleeves short, and voila! New old houseclothes for Gabby. However, I saved the special and nice ones for when I'm going to carry another stork again. I type that with fingers crossed. You never know, if God remembers my address ( to borrow Mr. Goldenblatt's phrase in SATC) and send us a beautiful daughter that I will definitely name ISABELA BEATRIZ MORENO.

Hmmm....daydreaming again....

Back to Gabby, I read today from BabyCenter.com that he may be in the phase of being called the TT- Terrible Two's. I should agree that most of the things he does nowadays are within normal and expected behaviour from an 20-month old. His tantrums, which used to be few and far in between, are now becoming a daily scene in my household. Without warning, he would throw himself to the floor and bawl his soul out, with one eye keeping watch whether he's getting anyone's attention. If not, then he's all systems go for another bout of whimpering. I just let him be until he's rasp and exhausted. Which normally begins after three minutes.

Sometimes, it gets into my nerves---but more often I experience a sense of calm and feeling of love and understanding for one person. Did I say person? Yes, I think my little son has a mind of his own now, although his inability to express himself in proper words may impede him from getting his message across clearly. But he charms me impossibly that I would forget these little failings between us. It more than makes up for everything.

What mother wouldn't soften up when she hears her child sing, videoke style, with relish. And I have a big suspicion that he's learning to read words by following through the highlights in the song's lyrics. He gets excited when it's time for George Benson's song he knows just by looking at the title, and that he doesn't forget there are beautiful fishes in that video. I think Glenn Doman's theory is actually right! We haven't been regularly doing the bedtime stories, but I see that words, letters and pictures fascinate him, and makes him a bit obsessive about his books that they are now frayed and tattered.

It's only a matter of time that Gabby and Mom and Dad will be sitting and talking, and maybe even singing, around the same table. That I'm sure of.

Friday, September 3

Thursday, September 2

The Closure

Do you ever find yourself musing about the past and what-could-have-beens at times? Especially if you're a married, middle-aged woman who seem to be in a cul-de-sac, longing for some warmth in your relationship, in the midst of everyday things that ground you to what is truly real? Because I am. My marriage is a-okay if you care to ask, but I have often felt that in spite the hustle and bustle of my household--you know, caring for the kid and the husband---deep down is an abyss of vacuous feelings, where I am entirely on my own, and no amount of nostalgia can ever justify. I have often felt the inclination to get in touch with old friends, or past loves long dismissed to oblivion. Hang on, don't get me wrong, I do not contemplate on making any intimate connection at all. No bridges of madison county for me. Just maybe, a closure. Sadly, this is not an easy task. Especially with a person who left too much damage in my life.

Today, I found this letter from among the trash that I have intended to get rid of. Written some three tearjerking years ago. I wonder how we would have fared, had I sent this to him. It is truly a hateful missive for a someone I gave too much for, but now has become only a speck of shadow in my periphery. A goodbye I have never said and have never truly meant....

FOR G

I don't know what happened between us, but I just would like to say, before you finally disappear (again), that I am thankful for the times we've shared together. God gave me another chance to be with you, and in those few times, I realized that you are someone I can never really own. Despite our lofty claims about fitting so cunningly into each other, I sense the ambivalence and isolation. You were there but away, and a lot has ruminated in our hearts and mind. I must admit that I find it difficult to simply take things as they come. You have no idea how badly I need to be your friend. And that's probably the root of all these unfounded pains. You just touch too many aspect of myself that I find it hard to believe why things couldn't be better between us than they are now. why you come into my life without warning and leave just when I am ready to bask in the thought of you being close by. In so many unspoken words, you make me think about my worth in this world---and it scares me that I am nothing.

How unfair can your existence in my life get. And sadly, it's not something that you've thought of deliberately. It's no fault of your own, because no matter how we relinquish the truth, we both exist in a cusp of fiction--everything happens in surreal dimensions, and you are merely a mirage I have been doggedly trying to convince myself of as reality. Strange that when we were together I could never really relish you as something human like me--feeling ennui, suffering love, tasting death. I only thought of how perfect it was to be with someone whose actuation, whose intentions, whose being I could never really comprehend nor take for granted. You were pretty much holding my heart in your cold, unfeeling hands. But how should have I known? How naive indeed can love make the most erudite and jaded person. In knowing you, only the consequent pain seemed undeniable. That's what strikes me now as reality. That wasn't so then...

I'll probably never be content knowing that you walked up the beaten track and did not even know you have trampled on a hapless flower. All these times that I had been listening to your angst about poverty and disenfranchisement, I was only wishing I could let you see how beautiful the world is, if only you would put a little of that empathy you fervently hold for these so-called destitute ones, for the person who sits beside you and relishes the importance of your thoughts and your philosophies. How can you possibly be so unappreciative of what is being given you and hold so much gripe in your head as though it would explode if you don't medicate it with yearnings of something inhuman like miracles and magic? I wish I could tell you we are the magic because we are special. But then again, your freedom to walk the beaten track and trample upon the useless flower and think that being with someone is mundane and of no significance to the salvation of the world--is something I have no clout over. I simply am at a loss.

If you told me you were gay, I would have understood....
Just two words though....fuck you!

Monday, August 30

Weekend Shopping

I finally hit DV. Yesterday was the second time I went there, to scrounge around for my bead materials. I'm a little disappointed because there are only about 2 shops that sell my needs in a hundred that I've been to. But getting my beading stuff is a good excuse for also shopping around for just about everything I want, at a neglible price. The last time I thought Tutuban Mall had the best price, but now I think they're overly inflated when they are just a stone's throw away from where the Real Bargain is. And by real bargain, I mean in the heart of Divisoria. I was every inch ready for my DV foray, I didn't wear any jewelry nor watch, and I was in my most comfortable with only a belt purse which was very handy as it was fastened right in front of me, and had my best caution. In spite of that, I lost my nafnaf shades. Lesson learned.

DV pretty much reminds me of Mong Kok in HK, although it was winter when I was there and I had no sweating and the oppressive smells to worry about. In the streets of Divisoria, people were huffing and pushing in stalls that almost leave no space along the aisles. The lady I first approached for rubber bracelet asked " Wholesale?". That's when I realized this place is for those who mean serious business. I was a bit overwhelmed by the things I saw. There were just heaps and heaps of bags, shoes, toys, clothes, accessories, housewares, and knick-knacks. But once I learned what the "wholesale" price was, my spending urge was itching like crazy again.

Anyways, I was as frugal as best I could. I got my jelly bag for P250 which sells at P750 in the malls near my home. Pretty, pretty shirts that cost 50 bucks which I wore at work today and accessorized with a fresh choker of pearls. I feel like a million dollars, but who would have thought all these cost duh? I have no qualms about brands anyway, except that when I see them at the flea market, I would not think twice about grabbing them. Oh and by the way, I got my beading stuff and I can't be happier.

Thursday, August 26

The Scream


"I was walking along the road with two friends. The sun was setting. I felt a breath of melancholy - Suddenly the sky turned blood-red. I stopped, and leaned against the railing, deathly tired - looking out across the flaming clouds that hung like blood and a sword over the blue-black fjord and town. My friends walked on - I stood there, trembling with fear. And I sensed a great, infinite scream pass through nature."

by Edvard Munch
(written in his journal in 1892. His painting above, one of the four he made, was recently stolen from the Munch gallery in Oslo, Norway)

Monday, August 23

Friends

Today I thought about many things, especially about people who have at one time or another been part of my life. There are people who figure prominently even if they are not really aware of the impact they make or the impression they leave on you when they're gone. Not to the netherworld I mean, but, just moved on to something else. When I was in highschool, I had a friend named Diana. I could very well say that her name suited her to a T because she was very pretty, intelligent, had a great personality, even if she tended to be painfully shy at times. We became very close friends because we both were interested in the same things--poetry and books. What struck me most about Diana is that she wasn't at all conscious of how beautiful she was, outside and inside. I thought I wanted to be like her, but she was always so unassuming and didn't think much of herself. We lost touch after graduation, but even now that I am an adult and am miles away from her, I will always feel blessed at having known humility and meekness in its physical form.

In college, I got to know Jo. Like Diana, Jo came from a well-to-do family. But she too was self-effacing. Jo and I were like peas in a pod, we were just inseparable and were always doing the same things together. I always felt a tad envious about JoAnn, although not in a bad way. I think she had everything, nice family, nice home, comfortable life---while I was a half-orphan living under the mercy of my relatives who put me through college a little grudgingly by making me do tons of household work than I could manage. Nevertheless, when I was in school, I forgot all about it. I was just happy to be with Jo.

When I left college, we exchanged letters, but soon we would drift away and lose in touch until more than ten years later. One day, I got a call from Jo asking if she could fly over to Manila to see me. Of course I was more than happy to see her. I was a little embarrassed to see her though because I didn't have a house of my own and was doing an 8-hour job, and had really little, if at all, to be proud about. But Jo was simply happy to see me. She stayed at my place for a couple of days, then took the route back to her homeplace via Bacolod. Or so I thought. Little did I know that she was staying in some seedy motel the whole time I thought she has gone back home. I was stormed with calls at my office from her family who demanded to know where she was. It was only then that I learned Jo has gone to me on the pretense of seeing me, but she had wanted a place to stay whilst she was hiding from a husband who was suffering from a chemical imbalance and had wanted to hurt her. She left her daughter with her mom, but didn't let them know where she was going. I felt so sorry for her. I could have helped her with what little I had. But that was the last I heard of her.

There are other people who've walked past my door and changed the shape of my life. At times they've hurt me or made me happy, but always, the notch that lingers is how they've made me the person that I am now.

Friday, August 20

Existence

Nevertheless it is strange
That spare mornings are unkempt
Among shameless mornings.
I anticipate likeaverystupidchild
To care for small things beyond
This pervert hour of
the
day
I shout capsules balls wanton minds
Asps wolves flower shaping
Dying
And dearly, my oaf figure moves out
Cross and inaudiable.
Therefore
It is to kiss my own craven kiss
I, am not wanting this
This constricting bed
This waiting swelling
half-colored
dawn.

sharon ignes c.88

Thursday, August 5

Thingamabobs

Being an ordinary office worker who has a boss based abroad and no one looking over her shoulders all the time, I get my share of mind-numbing days when my routine is to finish all my tasks in the morning, and kill time in the afternoon. To achieve this, I do an assortment of things—which means read emails, visit news portals, read the papers, ym my husband about household matters, surf the net, blog or read blogs, check on my son at home, listen to my yahoo launch, wait for my chameleon clock to chime 530pm, and then pack up to leave. I should be happier with this arrangement, since my last job was so “toxic” I hardly had time to brush my hair, but everyday of this, and a large dose of “petiks” can really slacken my life. I simply had to find a way to do something more worthwhile.

I’ve read over the net about a job where you work offsite, and just surf companies and various stuff, in order to get paid. I wanted to ask, but never got around to doing it. I make needlepoint as a hobby, but it is simply too tedious and distracting to bring to work because of the intricate parts that will take too much of your attention.

It was only serendipity that would get me to my new hobby, which is beading. I know that this is nothing novel about this; everybody seems to have at one time of another strung her own bracelets or chokers. But I never had in the past done so. I was very interested in what my aunt was doing, she was making a lot of money from her beading business, but she was remiss to teach me. Not that I didn’t ask. On several occasions I had hinted about wanting to learn the craft, and even offering to retail her beads so I would eventually learn how to do it. But all fell on rather deaf ears.

So, I thought if I wanted to learn, there’s always google to begin with. So google I did. But it was different to look at the picture and read instructions, than to learn it hands-on. Having discarded the prospect with my aunt as nil, and the internet not being much of help, I wafted through every tiangge in the nearby malls, and asked about beadings. The girls manning the little stores were either too preoccupied about selling their bracelets, or were too dumb to understand what I wanted. In other words, no bead materials, just ugly and hideous creations that cost a fortune for the easily duped. I didn’t want to buy their bracelets. I wanted to make my own.

I was on my way out of the mall when I was waylaid by another Muslim (they all seem to be) stall owner and offered her bracelets. I said I wanted materials, not the finished product, and she said she had some to offer. We talked a bit more, and I learned that she lived in the same apartment where we last rented. I had often been circumspect about talking to shrouded Muslim women because I had quite dismissed them as belligerent insular people who are suspicious of everyone standing next to them. But Ami was different. She was friendly, sweet even, and very helpful.

That’s how my little affair with beads began. She offered to teach me how to string, in exchange for my purchases and my loyalty to her store. Heck, she even gave me discounts. Well, I didn’t know if indeed it came in cheap since I haven’t really hit Divisoria and looked at the wholesale prices. More importantly though, I learned to make my first bracelets and chokers---and mind, it was THAT easy.

Consequently, I have become an entrepreneur of the smallest scale by selling my charm thingamabobs. What started out as a cheap subterfuge for many a boring days at work and off-work has thrived to be a business, and is now fetching quite well. I have somehow proved husband wrong when I said HE was going to help me sell the beads and he gave me that no- fucking-way glare from across the room . The condescencion I understood, but I nevertheless felt undaunted about hitting it off with the girls in his office. Never knew that panache in me.

Indeed, the beads sold like hotcakes and were gone by mid-morning. Orders are pending, and last I was told they are looking for more. I couldn't be any happier. I have at least something new to talk about now- if and when- I get to walk through my insipid blog spot again.

Thursday, July 22

someday,love will perhaps be

someday, love will perhaps be
a courageous windflower
that will unbosom on my galoshes
and make me look to where it is
with my unassuming eyes.
but i
because of my rare coldness
will have but to cavort
past it
like it was
a
weight
less
cobblestone.

shane.ignes

Wednesday, July 21

An Attempt at Recollections of Childhood



I grew up in a close-knit neighborhood in Bacolod. It was a custom to call our place “compound” because we lived in an enclosure of about seven houses owned by the families my maternal grandma and her siblings. We belonged to the third generation of a big clan. My mother alone had 14 other siblings, and my first cousins were running close to 60, until the youngest was born in the late 90’s. My mother’s cousins were plentiful as well. We practically grew up next door with our first and second cousins, hence the impression of being close-knit.

But the truth is, each of the siblings had tacit rivalries and secretly considered their neighbor inferior to themselves. In our family, my grandma took pride in the fact that hers are the only grandchildren who regularly go to mass, clean up before bed, say the rosary everyday, and who have our respective chores in the house. She blindly believed that we grandchildren were of pure Catholic morals and should not often be in the company of our brash cousins. For us however, the years growing up under our grandparents’ despotic noses were the loneliest and most oppressive. We sometimes wished we belonged to the other families, who seemed happier.

Ours is the archetype of the extended family. We were about five families crammed inside my grandma’s 4-bedroom house, although we later had a house of our own. My parents had a tiny humble house erected at the back end of the compound when the second baby was born. My father and mother both went to work in the city and left us to the care of my grandparents in the daytime, only to fetch us at nighttime.

It was like that for a long time. Until my mother passed away, and we had to move in to my grandparent’s house. Without our father. He went home alone to our little house to avoid the spitefulness of my grandparents. And because we counted on our old folks' mercy, my brothers and I had to endure the cruelty of some of my aunts and the other nasty goings-on in that house. We were like the little orphans in lemony snickett's book. Until my father decided to take us someplace else. It was many years however that my brothers and I would finally reunite.

I wanted to write about happy days and warm memories of my childhood, but all too often losing someone in your life as important as your Mother shifts the way you look at things and how they took place. This first endeavor is terribly futile in that it paints a picture of me as being the saddest act in the world. I just had to stop.

I hope to have a second take one of these days….


Tuesday, July 20

Change

This is the nth time I’ve changed my blog template. For want of something new perhaps. But because I am a total ignoramus in html, I have no choice but to make do with pre-designed templates. Good thing Blogger has a lot better to offer now. One hit and I get a new look on my blog, only to change it after a few weeks or months.
Which brings me to consider... It is inherent in my personality to be always moving and changing things around the house, in my workspace or, in this case, around my blog. Change is nothing I cringe about, especially if it is to satiate my labourious idleness and whet my visual appetite. I always like nice things around my space, never mind if they're not the real mc coy. If I had my way in fact, my house would be like a display window where I have a new color and design theme for every season. Not for posterity though. My husband doesn't give a damn anyway.
Sadly I carry this mind-set even in what I wear. I have a become a clotheshorse since I started earning enough to buy what I want. And then the flea came into existence. When I learned to indefatigably rummage my way through piles and piles of gorgeous clothes that could be had for a trifling, my mind was buried in the mound as well. Who could resist buying an original armani for less than a hundred pesos, or a pedro garcia pumps for 50 bucks, all in mint condition, as compared to run-of-the-mill tops which sells at no less than 700 pesos in malls, and which you would later realize are total rip-offs? I have mastered the art of sifting through racks of clothes and spotting a signature from a mile away. I never miss.
It's no surprise how I have amassed overwhelming amount of clothes. It has become in fact a dilemma as to how to fit them all at once in the closet I share with my husband. We have an enormous closet which houses most of my clothes, and a teeny bit of his. I have clothes in boxes and paper bags. It is almost embarassing to think that I have so much and always complain about not having anything to wear. I am an office girl, and it is a necessity for me to wear the "corporate look" everyday. Or so I contend.
As a result, I give some of these clothes away. It is almost always a cursory decision, but what the heck, I would think. I can always buy a new one anyway. When I was a kid my wardrobe consisted mostly of hand-me-downs from older cousins. Contrary to feeling a little sorry, I thought there was always something quaint and charming about old clothes. They're like heirloom pieces that you succeed into, but you take extra care in wearing them so you can pass them on to the one next in line. The clothes age, but the importance you give it, the gesture of generosity, are values that form inside you, if only inadvertently.
I am sometimes convinced that my inclination to bring change into my life, be it in the home, my personal circumstances, or as mundane a matter as to my choice of templates, are for reasons leaning on the little act of benevolence towards myself---to taste what life can give me, to ascertain my boundaries and what's beyond, and to learn to do away with excesses, for the benefit of others.
i don't know.
i am not making sense
this pleasure is propagating around.
on my regions
no songs. no thoughts. no windows.
i cannot even embrace
the shadow of the rain.

Friday, July 9

Trees

in one of our manila-bound visits to my inlaws, we passed by the south superhighway and i saw these signs etched on a metal plate every 1km apart. i thought whoever came up with that inspired idea about caring for mother nature, translated very aptly in kilmer's poetry, should be given the highest praise. i dream of a world where in all imaginable places we read the great works of men rejoicing the beauty of earth and humanity.


Trees
Joyce Kilmer

I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth's sweet flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.

Tuesday, July 6

The Washingtonienne




She could be your erstwhile college friend, except that she's not. She is Jessica Cutler, a 26 yr old ex-assistant staffer at Capitol Hill in DC who was fired off her $25,000 a year job sorting mails and answering phone calls, after her blogs, cleverly named The Washingtonienne, about her sexcapades with Washington honchos made big news in the US media. Looks to me like she has a bit of Pinoy (I sure hope not!) or Chinese in her, but the catch is that she got paid fat moolah by some of her supposed bedmates for her sexual services, which according to her, thankfully takes care of her bills. Her blog was pulled out from the net, but my husband has eagerly directed me to a mirror archive file of her blogs, which caused her, well, infamy. Hardly really. News is that she doesn't give one hoot about her dismissal and was in fact offered a six-figure book deal for all she has to say about her shameless meanderings, which for me, falls way below par as far as the writing style of belle is concerned. One site even hints of her being the american belledejour. But I beg to disagree. Belle is a classic, and Jessica is, as the online forums refer to her, just a slutty skank. I have no moral issues about what she did though. I just think Belle deserves more fanfare than Jessica is currently reveling into.

Nuff said.

Friday, June 25

Scene Le Officine

Ok, now that's really bad french. But, needless to say, at work there are different characters that make up a nasty bungle of neuroses you have to struggle with everyday...but then again, it might be you alone who is neurotic....pun it

The clown, that him. He always has a fresh set of jokes to crack at work, on lunch breaks, or virtually everywhere we go as a group, and yes he never fails to make us laugh and guffaw. How he packs a punch. But talk to him about books and politics, and he's gone into thin air faster than he could throw a bad wind to cap his gag. No wonder everyone indulges him, even if he squeezes a teeny bit of idiocy in his work sometimes. I envy him for his laidback attitude in life, a stark comparison to my uptight self.
The geek? Probably none....

I'll attribute 95% of my company's workforce (a hefty number 6!) who deliberately ignore the bundy clock's droning of fur elise to signal lunch break, because they are busy at yahoo chatrooms, and then get up to have lunch at a mall 5 mins drive from work, only to come back at past 3pm because they had to play billiards or buy a blank cd for a broken cd-w. that's everyday. the 5% is me and me. and yet the 95% had the gall to complain about leniency.
Spice girls, we're not. The only two girls are her and me, and eventhough things are not spicy between us, she isn't almost a kindred that i can share girly stuff with. I find myself quite withdrawn especially when i sense it's her "we" want to talk about that i know the true nature of her intention. isn't it ironic and emotionally debilitating to be thrown into a place where you don't exactly like the person next to you and yet you're compelled to, for the sake of world peace? i'm sure she finds me a quintessential bore, but would she be mad if i thought she were a fake?
Celebrities? Yes, we have our share of the celebrity, the know-all if you allow me. they are the ones who think have the best opinions, who try so hard to be cool in what they do or say. oddly enough, i can always feel the rickety interior, trembling in its ineptness and insecurity, and i always fear the moment they might disintegrate and i get buried in the rubbles.

The world record holder....and sheesh, he's always the cause of my exasperation, a virtual pain in the ass who tortures me by asking questions 1000 times before he gets my answer.

The leather guy? Oh, now this one is a classic, and thank you, we have one around. he'll be here forever and ever, doing his stuff, giving the lowdown to everyone he meets, eking out his bread and butter out of what he can squeeze from the company. by hook or by crook. fortunately, i've learned to work my way with him. scruples and all. i'm not alone in saying that i'm sure.

WEIRDOS, that's probably me. Me, me, me, and my corporate gripes.

Thursday, June 17

The Masseuse




Have you ever tried one of these things? A chair massager? I just did today, on my lunch break. It's located a discreetly in one of those little corners next to the tykes gym at the exit of Rustan's in Alabang Town Center, which is a breezy 5-minute walk in the sunshine from my office.For a measly P19.99, you get to snugly sit there for three minutes and have your head to lower back rudimentary massage, just like the one done by a professional masseuse. And how! For three minutes, I was enjoying a back rub that seemed like forever, and relishing being rubbed the right way with the right pressure. I could not complain one bit, it's almost like human hands. To tell you honestly, I've been bothered by a case of scoliosis for years running, but never really tried going to a therapist. Well, I actually did, a couple of times, but I wasn't quite satisfied with the service. Well, dear me, I'd make a killing for this chair if it's gonna cost me my lunch money,everyday. That's the cheapskate in me. Well, so what??

I'm definitely going back.

Wednesday, June 16

Seven Habits




These last few nights I’ve been reading my husband’s book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey. It’s almost a tattered copy now, frayed in the edges, thanks to my once careless handling. It’s basically one of those coaching books that I hope don’t make me run into tiresome platitudes, but just straight to the point, useful insights. I’m just on my second "habit" anyway so it's early to tell. Oliver is an aficionado of this kind of literature, and obviously I’m not. I’m more of a jd salinger kind of thinker who finds bliss in the neuroses of oneself and of the world. But, before I stray off into any further mental torment, it’s best to exercise prudence when working on the book’s objectives, singular of which is to know one’s Character. The key to being an effective person, it suggests, is to work the issues from the inside out (meaning the character), to have better control of the outside-in (personality) circumstances of your life. More or less. But I’m quite doing this thing on my terms. First because I have never bothered to sum up my character before. Sure I have the 100 Things about me Meme going on, but it’s only as cheesy as it can get. So who am I? I’ll probably attempt to look at it in two parts:

Strengths:
1.Empathy (which could otherwise be a weakness unless used with forethought)
2.Resourcefulness
3.Resilience
4.Insightfulness
5.Imagination (??? - the walter mitty syndrome)

Weaknesses:
1.Lack of ambition, focus or direction
2.Procrastination
3.Temper, or lack thereof
4.Shyness
5.Fear of confronting reality

Right about now, I realize that it’s healthy to be just in between, and not to drive oneself to impossible lengths to be a Perfect Person. I mean heck if you ask me, what matters most to me is personal happiness, never about money or artificial success. But rarely do I care to add that being happy entails having a full stomach, a roof to shelter one’s head, clothes, good education, respect of one’s peers, or owning things that satiates one’s physiological needs. Neither am I inclined to be a bum, get wasted, and live on other people’s compassion. But are those all to it? How about surreal things like song and poetry that we cannot rationalize and yet can restore the dankness of our spirits? Is our existence any better if we have everything of the former and nothing of the latter? How about the tibetan monks who lived in seclusion, fed in poetry and prayers and yet were undoubtedly elevated to kingdom come by doing away with all their worldly cares? What is the more important hunger?

I’m still going to read the rest of the book, and maybe change a few things about me, but I’m not going to be any preachier than this already is. As the gritty French would always remark, take me or leave me. It’s between the devil and the deep, blue sea.

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Wednesday, June 2

Paradigm Shift

Donkey of the Shrek fame had always looked up to his master-cum-bestfriend with a certain amount of awe and trepidation. And yet he had the audacity to tell him in his face how fat he stands a chance to be liked by the in-laws he was about to meet, because he was a sullen, cantakerous, dour face of an ogre.

Sometimes we need a friend as honest as Donkey to gently budge us out of our undesirable state of mind and look at the brighter side of life.

Unfortunately for me, there is no donkey for a friend to watch my ass and tell me how it's sticking out...I had to figure all things out for myself.

Just a few days ago, I was ranting about shortsighted co-workers. I even went to the extent of calling them mice. Boy was I really boiling that day! I snapped at my officemate Paul, who by the way, had nothing to do with my crossness that day but was snapped at just the same if only to validate my righteous anger with J and make my point. Poor paul..

And then I upset another officemate Rex by mincing uncalled-for words which weren't meant to sound sharp or harsh but because I was feeling rotten, had sounded like slur anyhow....

Meaning, in one afternoon, it seemed to everyone that I was freaked out, all ready spoiling for a fight. I wasn't. I was just terribly angry at myself for not being able to express my feeling of anger and resentment in the right way to the right person without sacrificing my self-dignity.

The rage comes first, and blindly I fight through the rest of the day moping around but never getting my message across, even when I'm dead sure my subject of contention has noticed the v-e-r-y sour face looking straight into space.

That very moment I wished the quintessential Dr. Phil was around to give me invaluable lessons on anger management. Oh pleeeease, as if..

But once all the steam had gone off and I had cooled down to my senses, I begin to take stock of things that happened.

Paradigm shift. Shift from one value to another, from ideal to the bestest. Evil to goodness. Black to white. Sumthin like that...

I found myself in the early morning of the second day of my self-imposed War against the World, texting Paul and making my apologies. It took only that and I was replied with a forgiving "it's okay, no problem" text. Such a relief, that I have actually forgotten how I managed to be angry with J for vague reasons.

I appreciated the feeling of emancipation from my rut, so I wasted no time saying sorry to Rex too, who met my apologies with some doubt but with acceptance. Mission accomplished. Everything is well that ends well.

Well, not really. I'm slowly trying to forgive J. Although he hasn't an iota of what I went through these past few days...isn't it ironic?

If only people don't give me shit.

Then I won't have to making any rubbish of a blog like this.

And I hope my husband reads this.

Tuesday, June 1

More of Moi

Today’s 20 things about me meme (doesn’t that sound funny) will consist of loves and hates:

41. I hate my eggs over-easy. I prefer to have everything well done.

42. I love the way rains make tiny puddles on potholes on the road.

43. I hate discussing religion. I guess it’s like stepping on one’s sacred grounds without spiritual consent.

44. I love England, and its woods and its coldness, and its people who seem to wear parkas all year long, and make intellectual intercourses with their characteristic drawl, beside the hearth, with their great English tea, which makes me all wish I was born there.

45. I hate noontime game shows.

46. I love period movies.

47. I hate, I hate, I hate Britney Spears! and all her pathetic gyrations and ugly costumes.

48. I love the scintillating scent of peach.

49. I hate boy bands. Are Boyz II Men and Shai boy bands? Becoz they are the exceptions.

50. I love the aroma of freshly ground coffee. It takes me to unspeakable cerebral heights.

51. I hate people who are smug and assume they own the place they walk into. I think that an excessive amount of self-confidence should be better left to the narcissists. The world is overcrowded with bloated egos that are threatening to blow up any time; so more people should get down from their high horses and walk the ground.

52. I love the way my child blows tiny kisses on my face in the morning when we awake.

53. I hate it when he whines and screams and gets frustrated that I don’t understand what he wants.

54. I love Nina Simone and her deep mysterious baritone voice; Astrud Gilberto for her cool bossa nova flair.

55. I love to sing, although I tend to be uneasy doing it in front of two or more people.

56. I hate anything concerning math. My head begins to get in a confused daze when I look at numbers. It must be a voluntary reflex.

57. I love to hear about my mother writing poetry and short stories. I’d like to keep a memory of her that way; it inspires me to be like one.

58. I hate my father’s chain-smoking.

59. I love to travel.

60. I hate fat obnoxious greedy sexist chauvinist pigs.

Monday, May 31

Of Men and (of) Mice



Time off meme.

Apologies to steinbeck, but after the things that happened to me in the past week, I can now only categorize people in two: men and mice.

The kind that I refer to as mice are the ones that have made my week less than appealing to talk about. But I will rant about them anyway. They are the kind people I have tried to help rise from the deep shits of their own making, yet because they are mice and are terribly shortsighted, myopic even, they not only forget those who help them. Worse, they gnaw and sink their razor-like poisoned teeth in you and kill you with their toxins. They appear adorable on the outside but they have innards that a stray can't wont even think of getting near into, lest she wants to die herself. And I abhor them with all that I can muster. Yet I must have to co-exist with them, at work particularly.

Is it me? Or are there are simply too many assholes on earth? Is it human to act up on your defense when you feel you're being slighted and thrown at with crap? It isn't just right. I'd like to pepper these morons with bullets to the very core of their being, so they will not have to bother me with their cheapskate pathetic presence anymore.

And then there are men. They are angels that never found their way back to heaven but they have golden hearts that can make you look at your sinful self in shame. They inspire you to be better and kinder and more considerate. Until you bump into your next mouse again. Sadly, they are beginning to fade to extinction. And there's no saving them.

Even the pied piper cannot do as much. What a crappy day for a crappy blog.

Tuesday, May 25

Meme2

21.I have plenty of books. Some of them are rare prints, which I delightedly dug out from the flea markets. They are mostly classics, but I indulge in a few children’s series like Harry Potter and Lemony Snickett.

22. My next goal is to complete my set of Tales of Narnia (CS Lewis) although I’m still a bit heady with the triumph of his friend’s books LOTR(Tolkien)

23. I tend to be self-effacing at all times. I love to disappear in the woodwork if possible.

24. That’s because I’m not comfortable being candidly looked upon or given a lot of attention.

25. Which means I am painfully shy. So much so that it impedes me from being understood by people.

26. I don’t know when I will ever overcome my shyness.

27. I have a morbid fear of rodents especially snakes. Big time.

28. I love jazz music.

29. My favorite singer as a child was Stevie Wonder. . I thought he was a beautiful person in spite of his blindness.

30. The color I am most comfortable with is pale yellow.

31. I think the French are the coolest persons on earth.

32. But I think the blacks are the grooviest.

33. Sometimes I am not proud of my heritage.

34. I wish every Filipino had a stronger sense of history, hindsight and foresight.

35. But I think we are well loved in every corner of the world, except Australia.

36. I used to like Aussies, but now I think some of them are bigots.

37. But saying that I am being bigoted myself.

38. I don’t care.

39. I thought I would never marry. But I did. At age 30. Just about time.

40. I married a man five years my junior.

Thursday, May 20

The So-called Hundred Things

I have belatedly thought about writing the 100 Things About Me meme. Well, anyway, here goes. This will come in installments. Twenty each day for five days. The first twenty so and so things about ME…..



1.I’m 5’1” small, black hair, black eyes, brown skin

2.I know that I’m not what you may call beautiful today. But I’ve always been told I was a pretty child. I don’t know what happened in between the 10th and 30th years.

3.I loved reciting poems in front of the mirror when I was a little girl.

4.I grew up sleeping in my own house and having meals at my grandmother’s house, day in and day out.

5.I love to watch the wet leaves glimmer at night after a rainfall.

6.I always thought Sunday was the saddest day of the week. It felt like the end of the world.

7.I talk in my sleep. Always.

8.I was perpetually haunted with nightmares about witches and gargoyles when I was a kid. That’s because I didn’t pray hard said my grandma. But no matter how many dozen holy names I invoke in my nightly prayers, I always end up being chased by the hideous gargoyles and shrieking witches. They never caught me.

9.I love to read poetry.

10.I love to write poetry.

11.I have an angel kisses birthmark on my nape.

12.I want my guardian angel to show herself before me.

13.I wonder what it’s like being made love to. By an incubus.

14.As a young girl, I always grew my hair waistlong in the rainy season, and cut it short like a boy’s bob in the summer. For no practical or particular reason.

15.I always thought there was something wrong with my old folks. Then I discovered my grandfather had a disturbing character in him. He was an artist. I will not tell what I discovered.

16.My grandmother hated me for being my grandfather’s favorite.

17.I hated my grandfather for my grandmother’s resentment.

18.I hated them both. They’re long dead.

19.I am married with one son.

20.My son is the most important person in the world to me now, next to of course,God.




Thursday, May 13

Being Pinoy

Seems to me being a Filipino is not too bad after all. These past weeks I've seen 3 or 4 Pinoys, a couple of them being half-breeds, that have been basking in the limelight of global scope. I mean it's not that we've not had any big names up there before, there's Leah Salonga for one, but a class act from a so-called third rate country like us, is almost always hard to come by. So, it makes for a fresh source of pride and inspiration when we hear of Pinoys making the leaps and bounds every now and then in the international scene. Anyways...

The two half-breeds are finalists in the American Idol contest, Jasmine Trias and Camile Velasco. Both grew up and are based in Hawaii. For the record, I don't normally ogle into these kinds of voyeur stuff about the blesseds and beautifuls, I just happened to walk past it while channel-surfing one a boring day, the day when I was nursing a horrible flu (still am) and had nothing better to do.

It was a marathon run of all AI episodes, from day one of audition, down to the finals where only 8 hopefuls remained. Well, I didn't regret spending the rest of the afternoon glued to AI, watching these two cute-as-a-button girls with impressive singing prowess. And my, what a following they have.

I particularly liked Camile because of her unique demeanor, there was both a perpetual smile and an impassioned writhing across her face when she sings. From my point of view, and in spite of her american twang, she's all filipino to me. Sadly, she was voted out around April. It was her nerves that got the better of her. But Paula Abdul, one the judges who make critiques of their weekly performances, advised her to move up to the West Coast and try the recording industry. I guess with the talent and face like hers, sans the nerves, every door of opportunity will gladly open at her beckon...

Meanwhile Jasmine is now in the remaining four final contenders (two blacks, one white, one amerasian). Which means she's having a field day. Win or lose, I'm very sure she's going to be a great pretty kickass with a honey voice, in Hollywood.

The other one I'm talking about is Manny Pacquiao. I didn't use to think much of this guy, having seen him fight in a local arena. With the corn-coloured highlight on his hair, an ugly tattoo, that pubescent moustache that seemed out of place, and to top it all a sloppy stance in the boxing ring, I dismissed him as one of the hopeful provincianos who'll be a one-hit wonder and will eventually be lost in obscurity someday. But I was much too wrong.

The Manny I saw fight last Sunday in Las Vegas opposite the hardrock Marquez of Mexico--well, he was just unstoppable. I probably still think he didn't have the class of a Marquez, his hands were all over the place compared to the very controlled movements of his opponent, but he took blows in and out with the bravest of heart. He floored Marquez three times in the first round, I thought that was the end of it, but owing to the technical rules which I don't care to know about, the fight dragged on to the last 12th round.

Cramps, blisters and all, it was only later in an interview that we learned of Manny's torture and heroism while trying in every round to knock his opponent down, and not forgetting to ask for divine intervention. The game ended in a draw, a fate I guess worse than death, it being a consolation for both boxers to at least not have lost. In his broken english, he said it was all for country. And it would be a shame not to give him the respect he long overdue deserves.

Last, is a Major General who authored the analysis report on the alleged abuses of Iraqi detainees in a US-kept prison in Al Gharaib. I saw him only in a CNN live feed of the US senate hearing over the issue, where he was asked to testify and answer queries about his investigations. Well, you guessed it, he's Filipino although by citizenship he's whiter than white. I don't mean that in a derogatory way. His name is Antonio Taguba, second highest ranking Fil-Am officer in the Pentagon.

In that hearing, he was to be seen as sitting upright, relaxed but very attentive, answering all questions thrown at him with candor, great insight, intelligence, direct sentences with no loose ends. It was not only once or twice that he was candidly praised by senators, both democrat and republicans, in spite of their partisan bunglings,for his honesty, bravery---it was almost overwhelming to hear it, but he took everything in stride, and smiled with a half-smile as if to say thank you but let's get on with this...It was just so humbling to know he's Pinoy.

Well, we're not such a sorry lot after all...That satiates my week comfortably until I know who the next president will be. Ta.






Tuesday, May 4

From Chubby

The love of human beings was the one value of the world.
I could not believe that it vanished. I could not believe that
suffering and anguish were meaningless. I would have liked
to have journeyed all around the world, and lived for all time,
and heard all the woes and all the loves of every man that lived.
Each tale would be so beautiful...
Each would be so painful....

from my erstwhile friend a j luzon

Monday, May 3

Sprout Eyes, Each to Each

Today is the day I opened my sprout eyes to the world, each eye to each eye saying, wow we got here. That was three decades and three years ago...

Fast-forward to today.

Well, what else is there to look forward to when one celebrates her 33rd birthday? Not much I suppose, apart from my usual reluctance to earn another fine line on my forehead.

I just came back from a sumptous lunch with my officemates from Dencio's. This is our favourite place to go when we're looking for quality Filipino food on a budget purse. The boys had been ribbing me since last week to a lunch blowout on my birthday. And today, there's no escaping it. I have been known in our circle as the miser, and I've always managed to make being married and raising a kid an excuse for my penny-pinching. Somehow they don't always buy it..

So yes, I've turned 33 today. Oliver mentioned something about me being the age of Jesus when He died. I laughed it off as another of his nonsense jokes, but secretly I gave it some thought afterwards. What have I done these past three decades to be the person that I am now? Have I , like the Jesus that we know, been a good child, a thoughtful sister, a supportive wife, and a protective mother? Or am I, in my long-winded soliloquys, ready at last to say I can die for my son? I can only guess. I have at one time or another expressed my apprehension about staying alive long enough to see my son ready to face and endure the rigors of this harsh world, and God knows how terrified I am at the thought of dying an untimely death..

There are times when I get lost in the obscurity of my own very ordinary life. I have no major accomplishments to speak of. My only claim to fame is that I have been a pretty tough person in the face of the many adversities in my so-called life. But come to think of it, others have been in the same boat and worse!

Does my daily acts of courage and tender regard for others then make me an everyday heroine worthy to emulate?

Drat, I don't like to be spending another birthday and making these same godawful guesswork...

Friday, April 23

N(h)eneng

Ever wonder why some pinoys are fond of putting the in-famous H on their nicks, or sadly even on their formal names?

I'd like to ask my yaya one of these days.

Speaking of our young yaya, Nheneng with the H, can be a character sometimes.

One morning, I found a Pentel pen and asked her to put our name on the 5 gallon container of our drinking water so it wont get mixed up with other customers' jugs again. She eagerly reached out for it and started writing. A few seconds passed...

"Ate, oki na ba ito?"

She wrote "MORINO FAMILY" in her prettiest handwriting, complete with a little heart on the I dot.

"Mali Neng, E dapat, hindi I...."

"Ay! sorry, po."

With a confused look, she quickly got the pen and wrote again.

"MORENO FAMELY".

I was in stitches but did not attempt to open my mouth, lest I embarrass her again.

Tama naman siya di ba?


Thursday, April 22

Hog Day



On my way to work today, a tricycle sped by. Slumped behind it was a wilted lifeless body of a huge hog with its innards already taken out, ready for the butcher to butcher at the marketplace.Oh poor pig, I could only sigh. What have you done to deserve such hideous end?

I will never think of eating an inch of you again....







Tuesday, April 13

Angst of the Great Unwashed



It's nearly the end of the income tax season. Like last year, I and my officemates will have to huddle with the sweaty crowd again and endure the whole pathetic process of filing our income tax returns. We submit ourselves to the caprice of the government workers who feel self-important on those days and who seem to find pleasure in sending you back from one beeline and forth to another for no apparent reason, while you had to smile your most tolerant smile to kiss their arses, and at the same time shell out your hard-earned pesos for the piece of scrap which says Community Tax Certificate. We are all weighed down with all these impossible taxes and whatnots, and yet we don't even have the luxury of an airconditioning or a large enough room or even a decent treatment from these municipal gluttons. What a crying shame.

Anyway, apart from Tuesday morning angst, I am quite happy with the turn of events during the weekend. Two days at The Heritage proved to be a great breather for me and my two guys. Gabby must have known we were in some special place because he was acting quite smug and especially thrilled everytime we go out into the lobby. He was popular among the hotel crew. I'm glad he was in his best behaviour during meals except for the last time when he was probably dead-tired after two days of swimming and food-tripping that he almost fell asleep on his high chair in the middle of lunch.

As for Oliver and me, in spite of its being Lenten, we could not pass up the good buffet that at one dinner even, I helped myself to a slice of roast pork...I was terribly guilty afterwards. Otherwise we ate our hearts out until we could take it no longer. I expect another number up the scale. But what the heck, it was free for all you can eat!

There was nothing much to do in the hotel except curl up in the sheets and watch cable movies. Basically, we stayed inside our room all day and headed for the swimming pool when it was getting a tad boring. Not for Gabby though. He was tinkering with all the buttons he could muster on the console, rolling himself silly unto the carpet. He also enjoyed swimming and was not frightened at all of the water, even if Oliver had let him slip off his hands a couple of times.

I observed there were many others who were on a complimentary stay like us. They must be bookers like myself who got this freebie as well. Anyhow, it was one terrific weekend that I'd like Gabby and us to remember.

Sunday night, we watched a Roman Polanski film The Pianist on cable. It is a real-life story of a talented Polish pianist Wladyslaw Szpilman who lived and survived in the Jewish ghetto of Warsaw during the World War II. Once again I am reminded of the cruelty of the German dictator Hitler, although in the story it was a Nazi officer who saved the life of the pianist after hearing him play a rending piece in the ruins of Warsaw where he was hiding. The german however died in the Soviet prisoner camp later when the Russians took over. And Szpilman, despite his best intentions, came too late to have rescued him from the throes of death.

It was particularly touching to watch the german officer crouched among the prisoners of war, stripped off of his past glory, (and yet knowing that he helped our protagonist hide until the Nazis pulled out from Warsaw), ask succor from a Polish Jew who spat and shouted invictives at him, called him and the others murderers. He only had to mention the pianist Szpilman and he was a breath away from freedom, but the jew who cursed him didn't hear his name. By the way, it was Captain Wilm Hosenfeld. Ah, the ironic reversal of fortunes.

It is the kind of movie that sends you into the depths of introspection about humanity, the bad and the good-hearted in the face of atrocity and war. You can never believe that man himself can cause to destroy---in a carnage that annihilates not only scores of lives--the essence of the spirit in men.

And yet it would be wrong to say that Germans were the most ruthless and evil of all.

Tuesday, April 6

Semana Santa Etc.

Five straight days off from work! How good is that? I guess we'll be watching more films starting tonight, aside from the usual helping on cable tv. Tomorrow, or tonight rather, is the start of a long repast, in order to observe the holy days of the Lenten Season. I hope Oliver doesn't forget to rent the much-needed vcds on the way home from work.

Years ago, we would travel to Bacolod for this occasion. It becomes a Lenten cum Family Reunion cum Lolo's birthday affair. It was always a great gathering as we were eager to participate the Pieta in the yearly traditional procession of saints and holies. Grandfather reconstructed the very old wooden statue of Pieta which was handed down from many previous generations of devotees. It was virtually falling to pieces when it came to our family's possession, and for many years it was put away among the junks until he decided to do something about it. He used pulped papier mache for the missing parts, and being the artist that he was, painted it new and lifelike. It was our pride when for the first time we marched Pieta right behind the enormous Christ who was nailed on the cross. The people were awestruck with its solemn beauty. Mary is in a purple gown of gorgeous velvet, and surrounding her and Jesus were pretty mauve and lavender roses of fine satin. I wonder who maintains them now, since I have not gone home for many years. I hope he's doing a good job with it.

In the recent years, the airfare and even the boat fare have shot up to impossible rates that it's simply wise and practical to stay at home and go to church and say some silent atonements for our sins. I'd really to take the two guys to the place where I grew up. Oliver has never been anywhere outside Manila, save perhaps for Baguio and Laguna, which are virtually still in the island of Luzon. But this year, with our very limited means, we have decided to be at home. On Friday, we head to Heritage for an overnight stay. That at least is a welcome change.

I've seen The Passion of the Christ but since almost everybody has written about it and their personal experience when watching it, I'd keep my comments to myself. Nonetheless, we watched Frida last night. It's a story of a mexican painter Frida Kahlo who created most of her masterpieces while bedridden, having suffered from great physical pain all throughout her life as a result of a trolley accident which left a pole pierced from one side of her stomach and out to her pelvis on the other side. She could never have children. I admire her for her passion and rebellion, and like the other great women I've looked up to, she was intelligent and precocious. Most of her paintings were self-portraits that cut straight into human emotions, because they depict the surreal ravages of war, deaths, separations and also the bliss of love, ecstasy and passions that are all inherently and fundamentally human. In other words, she speaks the language of the common man through her works. It was one colorful movie.


Thursday, April 1

My Bambino's First Invite

It is almost the end of the workweek, but I could not think of what to write. I dread the moment when I confront a blank page and purge my mind of ideas and events I came across with in the prior days. Not that I don't enjoy writing, I certainly do, next to reading. But sometimes one goes through episodes of vacuity, when nothing appears to have meaning or purpose. And it is simply hard to start writing about it.

Maybe it's proof that my life is fundamentally lackluster and boring. Where it not for the little guy whose everyday progress is something I look forward to writing about. No matter how commonplace it may sound. Am I going over the hill and experiencing the proverbial midlife crisis? Is thirty-two middle life anyway? And am I doomed to the insufferable monotony of a mother-wife-office worker lot? Maybe I need shrink? Geez...

Gabby has changed almost overnight. How time flies!!!Just yesterday, he was an angel with the most adorable smile and helpless stance, you could have nothing but compassion for him. But to date, he has broken a few precious things at home, has caused me to be late to work, for days running, by throwing his new-fangled tantrums precisely before and when I leave for work. My compassion may be slowly turning into exasperation as everyday he gropes for a new trick. But it's my fault, it must be scary for him to be left alone. It breaks my heart to entrust him to a stranger's hands everyday. But for the moment it has to be that way.

Last Saturday we were invited to a birthday party of Bea, the pretty daughter of Oliver's friend Bon. It was a posh residence inside the Ayala-alabang. We got there a bit early, by Pinoy standards, but it turned the guests were a small number, the others having called off, to the disappointment of the hosts, Bon and Ollie. They were by the way a nice and gracious couple.We huddled together with a respectable crowd. It was a pleasant afternoon altogether although we had to throw a few tentative smiles here and there to save our awkwardness. For the record, I didn't know anybody except the hosts.

On the other hand, my son didn't seem to have a care in the world. He was soaking up the afternoon sun and gallantly playing by his lonesome in the Fisher Price playhouse they put up at the outdoor garden, where the party was taking place. When the magic show began, he was seated snugly in a monobloc kiddie chair, all eyes on the conjurer, serious in his intent not to let any thing pass before his eyes. I smiled earnestly from behind where I was watching them.

That is my son with the intrepid little heart, just a one day shy of his fifteenth month on earth, but bursting with life and wonderment!!How enviable the little children who only think of themselves and their own pleasure and do not yet clout on what is and what is not.

The food was great, Oliver had a kick with the magic and balloon-making and talked endlessly about it afterwards to my chagrin, but we managed to beg off and leave at around 6pm, having planned our grocery shopping on the same night. Bon was kind enough to drive us out of the village to Alabang Town Center. We had a small pleasant talk on the way. He's a nice guy, no airs about him, but certainly exudes the confidence well heeled persons like him aptly manifest from the moment they venture out into the world with the precious silver spoons in their mouths. I'm not trying to sound awestruck by the way.

By the time we got home from all that tiring business of commuting, Gabby's flaccid body was dead-tired and in dreamland already. I'm sure he was relishing every second of that party, at least in his own childish comprehension, as I saw that unmistakeable half-grin on his sleeping face, on our way out to the door again.


Friday, March 26

Song

at last, to meet you
while in my desolation,
where has the truant
little girl gone? i ask
in the silence of
your responsiveness,
where there has never been
a time for it,
a reason to it,
a voice in it.
perhaps there was a dream?
out of our worship
for the stars and
the greater heavens
we have settled into this littleness,
where we can spin
to our delight
and forget that
there has never been
a Life
written
in your name.

welcome, little girl.

A poem I wrote in march 21 1992 for Honey Love de Vera, a girl I never met, but whom I learned died at age 5 after she succumbed to myelogenous leukemia.
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