Monday, April 30

And so it is.....

Love in deed does that the sweetest and the most painful thing to us. I had the disadvantage of seeing both last Saturday . I know it may be wrong to think it, but that was how it is to me. And so I write about it now.

I was giving a hand with the music to be played at the reception of my sister-in-law’s wedding. I made a cd-full of love songs, couple songs, but of course the indomitable me would always squeeze in something that is nice for me, although it might not be so for anyone else. And we were sitting there in one of the tables, waiting for the bride and groom to enter the room, this Damien rice song played in the background. I realized my lack of forethought while I was listening to the words. That it was not a wedding song for the couple, but for a supposedly spurned lover. I could not help but turn and glumly look at the person next to us who has been quiet the whole time…....

When sometimes love hasn’t come full circle,we go through the hurtful stage of losing things or people in our lives. Even when they exist right in front of us, we know that we would never have them. We have the choice to turn away, and look at the other side of our life, the brighter one perhaps---but sometimes we stay and confront the sad fact, brazen with our effort to be calm and collected, while deep inside we weep for what had not been.

He is our friend, a dear friend who has been with us in many milestones. I know that he was once in love with her, I do not know for sure if he still is. I think he does, a little. But he acted like a real gentleman and went with us to her wedding.

She was ecstatic as she walked down the aisle. A silhouette of a beautiful bride, tall and magnificent in her ivory gown, a steel of nerves trying to keep her wits about and her pace steady, in spite of the many nights and days she has exhausted herself preparing for her special day, almost single-handedly. I know that she had wanted this. Very much so. Her face was radiant, full of love, too overcome with joy as her true love awaits her in the altar. You could not trace a hint of sleeplessness and an ache to be done with it all.

He too is a picture of a happy young man, eyes brimming with dreams and trying to hold back tears of joy, a little embarrassed to show his emotions. But you can tell how his heart leaps in bounds. He is a good person, and there is nothing you can say that will fault him. He deserves his beautiful bride, and her life , and her sacred vows.

Things go in a whirl, it felt like a dream, the next thing I was conscious of was the couple kissing and people clapping in unison. It was over, and a new life has begun. But I lingered on the thought of the other person. How he sees the whole happy event in his sad, blameless eyes. How he could not deny his hurt and jade himself against feeling that he should have been the man holding the beautiful girl’s hand and slipping on the marriage ring. How he could be the one dreaming up a life of love, laughter, companionship and more love, from that day forward.….

But they are all good people, and I know that they know their places in the sun. He wished them well, I wished them well. But most of all, like a fairy godmother who makes it her business to grant a godchild’s desire, I wish HIM well. That he will find happiness and his one true love, and one day stop the secret rain pouring inside his heart….

Tuesday, April 17

tripping the light fantastic

please allow me the occasional navel-gazing, a much needed respite from all that drivel about Nothing. i have recently been photographing things and people, and am enjoying it sweetly, like a child would a new toy. i've thought of posting a few things here once in a while, images that i would probably have already put up in my photostream, but would like to post the same just because i so frigging like it. so no contest there. this one above, i made this with flickr toys, warholism, culled supposedly from the famous andy warhol who revolutioned pop art. he was a painter, film-maker, commercial illustrator, geesh he was even showbizz. and i am an insignificant blog pimp.

Monday, April 16

on fear

I am still not over my ruminating these days, so bear with me. Not too long ago, a good friend asked, what is your greatest fear? This question has been asked of me a lot before. I swear I must have answered it countless times in our class essays, but I don’t recall whatever it was I wrote, or if indeed I wrote about it at all. I’ve always suffered from chronic absentmindedness, and I think that I could not be trusted with memory. I better get used to writing my thoughts down. There are a few morsels of my past that are committed to my mind without my even trying to, and oddly, I do remember things vividly from when I was but a fledgling two years old. But my mind plays tricks on me, and sometimes I doubt if these things really happened or did my imaginings evolve from some movie I randomly saw.
In the real world, I would forget what it was I said ten minutes ago. I really am quite spaced out when it comes to remembering things, especially that it would sometimes appear like I tell white lies and I end up bungling my thoughts. Eventually, I get to swallow my own bitter pill. And God knows how many times I’ve made a horrendous faux pas by blurting out things in the middle of conversation that I shouldn’t have because I have totally forgotten that I shouldn't. By then it was too late to take the words back and I wish the earth would open up where I was standing, and swallow me to the ground forever. So, obviously that is one of my worst fears. My irredeemable freudian slips.
But there are bigger ones. All of us have our own primal fears, rational or irrational. I had mine, too. From the moment I have recognized dreams, I was maybe six years old, I have had to contend with gargoyles and witches, and snakes and cold-bodied rodents, that plague my sleep. I have been bullied and chased to earth’s end. As a teenager, I lived in constant fear of flunking exams and losing my scholarships, and I crammed throughout my studying years. When I started working in manila, I never missed work even if I literally had to wade through flooded streets, on the monsoon season, because it is unthinkable to be alone, unemployed and penniless. Generally I had fear of people rejecting me and that’s probably why I keep a sort of emotional wall, to fend off from vultures that prey on my vulnerabilities, when in truth it is my own menacing phantom that rile inside me. Now as a mother, I do not fear for myself much, but for the people I love. Don’t we all? Our fear doesn’t just go away, it crosses over to people we now have responsibility over.
However, the thing that I fear most is dying a violent death. There are nights that I watch the news on television and the world’s evils and tribulations leave images so intense and appalling in my mind, that I would dream of them afterwards. A car crash, earthquake, tsunami, drowning in the sea, snake bites, monsters---I swear they have given me the arctic chills and fever, even while I sleep beside my family in a sweltering tropical heat. You are never more alone than in your nightmares and I fear that one morning, people would find me stiff as I have died in my sleep trying to free myself from a vampire’s deadly grip and kiss. Some nightmare…but I’d rather have the gall to wake up to reality and discover to my horror that the world is still the same cruel place. Seriously, abortion, incestuous rape, robbery, mass murder, feuding nations at war, abject poverty, and natural disasters---they swirl around in my subconscious like giant twisters that no matter how I try to see them with a feeling of disdain and self-imposed distance, I can’t help but feel that gnawing feeling that death lurks somewhere behind, ready to stake a claim anytime on any unwitting soul who happens to be close by.
I may talk about death, unfazed, as I have in fact rationalized about it many times in my blog, in a sound which others may find a little morbid, save for a tinge of sadness here and there. But death is sadistic, and all our theological heroics will mean nothing when it happens. It is nothing that we can welcome gladly unless we’ve been suffering so much all our lives that it is better to end it and be done with it at once. Life with suffering is meaningful, and if there is nothing to suffer for, it would bother us a great deal. And that’s why there is the paradox of the suicides. But so is dying violently or without warning, when there is so much yet to live for, and suffer. I may not be in accordance with everyone. Sadly, we create our own danger and dying is bound to happen, like it or not. But the only way I can muddle through this fear is to accept it, and have a quick dab at optimism. So hey, it's not so bad. In the mind, we too can strengthen our resolve, that we can dart through this world for a few fleeting moments and seize the chance to enjoy life as it is.

Thursday, April 12

on beauty

Physical beauty has never been something that I pondered on in my younger years. I know a lot of beautiful men and women from my school or hometown, but I had not been one to deliberate on people’s faces or outward appearance, to praise or criticize them. I know they are attractive in some sense, as everything that is symmetrical probably is, to a viewer’s eye. Nonetheless, I have known people too who have jagged lives and have suffered a few deformities somewhere, and yet they beckon you to take a second and closer look at them and secretly say, my goodness how utterly charming....

As I grew older and met more people, I’ve realized that not all of us think the same way about physical beauty, or more particularly, the pulchritude of a woman’s form. Maybe it’s because I’m the proverbial late bloomer, or just generally careless about my own appearance that I don’t really give a hoot about how the world revolves and fawn over fashion or good looks. Well, not really…I did give a damn about those shoes every now and then. But going back to the form, I have had to struggle a bit to understand why people, men generally, make such a fuss about how women look. Why, in a world where nature has not been fair and benevolent to everyone, only the doe and dark-eyed get more of the stares and the ogling. Why sudden curves and well-defined bumps are synonymous to sex appeal. And if one were born sans these endowments why does it seem that she is fated to live the dismal life. Isn’t beauty ephemeral after all, and everyone will come to a certain plateau when we grow old and wrinkly that it didn’t matter if we were Greta Garbo or an obscure hag?

But I am not a man, and being the opposite sex, I have to say that us women are saddled with the duty of being “beautiful” in the slightly bigoted eyes of men. Hence the make-up, the clothes, the gyms and spas, and all that stupendous endeavor to be one with the metrosexual world. So damn tiring. I am all for beauty. Who wouldn’t want to be called pretty, or cute or beauteous? But what if we’re simply not? I know that it sounds rather myopic to say that, but believe you me; I have seen many instances that people had the temerity to peer through disapproving lenses, and judge others on the grounds of their aesthetics canons. You are considered a lesser mortal if you did not have the proper nose height or hair texture or skin color. Sometimes there is very little tolerance and too much repulsion. I am not saying I am ugly, so don’t mistake my over-enthusiastic commiseration. Oddly, this is the way of the world. You have to swallow it, or die alone with your ugliness and mute indignity. Okay, enough of the doggone hyperbole.

Beauty is something that we gloat on everyday, on things that surround us, our children, our peers, our family, our crushes, people we meet on the streets, actors we see on tv, models we read of on glossy prints…But I wish, that we would as much consider the qualities that lie beyond the alabaster skin and the dark big eyes and the pouting lips or the reed thin body. That in all our exultations about the perfect human form, there are men and women who exist-- deadbeat workers and laborers, peasants, priests, doctors, mothers who live unglamorous and washed-out lives for people other than themselves. That inside everyone of them lies a heart that beats for love, kindness, compassion, and respect. That nothing is more beautiful than having a self that candidly tolerates, and often generously reaches out to others across her white picket fences and her spotless, well-manicured life, to share that which nature has so liberally afforded her to enjoy.

Wednesday, April 4


"Little Me" is an allusion to the Spanish name Pocoyo. It is, as coffee is to me, my children’s daily pick-me-up on Disney playhouse. Pocoyo is a little curious boy who likes to wear blue, though it seems he never wears anything else. He has some close friends-- Pato the duck, Elly the pink elephant, Loula the puppy, and Sleepy Bird. Together they go on adventures in their seemingly infinite world, and sometimes they get to interact with a few characters like a whale or some lovable aliens, in space or surprisingly, in another land that you wouldn’t know exists. Each Pocoyo segment runs for only a few minutes. But the simplicity of its graphics, the wonderfully colored characters in a stark white background, coupled with a very gentle but engaging British narration of Stephen Fry , and the cute half-muted voices of the characters-- bring a generally pleasurable viewing atmosphere for children, and even for adults like me. I know that, because Gabby and Sam would drop whatever they are doing and are no sooner glued to the screen when that little funny-sounding marching song begins. More than anything, this award-winning series teaches pre-school kids, and reawakens in parents like me the sense of wonder, childlike curiosity, precious friendships, and an earnest regard for others without the typical grown-up qualms. I like..

Monday, April 2

my irrelevant 2

About that unexpected event that had me going off tangent and talking in vague sketches that it was only me in the long run who could have followed what I was really yakking about… well, I’ve just thought about it recently and maybe I ought to talk about it more and be less self-deluded in order to clear up the peripheral grays. I know that I shouldn’t be blathering about my past relationships here in my blog, seeing that it might hurt some people I love, but well, the heck when I am not about to drool on the what had or what could have beens. It’s just one of those moments of eureka, a kind of realization that makes you bang your head on the wall and exclaim in pain “ I should have known better!”.

One boring as hell day, the kind of day that I sit in front of my pc doing every conceivable thing I could to fill in my day job, or to translate it more aptly, kill eight mind-numbing hours until it’s time to head off home , an old friend buzzed me out of the blue and struck a pretty casual conversation. It was a totally unexpected buzz as I have almost forgotten about this person, and it was impossible, to say the least, that he would likewise remember me or my address after what, ten years? Well, if I have to be more precise about who this person is, he is a guy from my past, a guy who had awakened so much emotion in me, and who made a French leave out of my door without so much as saying hey i'm off,so get a life. Because what life I got after that episode with him was of compunction and endless wound-licking. Alone.

Sometimes, I can’t decide whether the internet is a godsend or a bane on humanity. I sure have a lot to be thankful for where I have arrived using it, but this kind of thing leaves me incredulously gaping and a little incensed about the injustice of getting dug up from one’s lurking hole where you have comfortably settled forever just watching the world go by with nary a sound. Anyway, our conversation didn’t start in an earth-exhuming way, but the nineteen to the dozen sort that two people would, as they got nothing much in common to prattle about. How are the kids and the spouse, what do you do now, same place you live, etc etc??....Get my drift?

The topic went slightly askew when we talked about that fateful night that we parted ways. A thought bubble seemed to hover above my head and then a kind of dream sequence in sepia appeared. My memory of that night was slightly different from what he had remembered. But something about what he said opened me up to a lot of realities. It was 1994 and I was the impressionable young person who would worship everyone and everything that would stir her, no matter how insignificantly. It was a time that my faculties were too receptive of what was going on around me, and I would bask in everything without much judgment of whether it was doing me good or bad. Love was a habit binge. Emotions were flowing, expectations soared. Life was coming up roses. But in an instant, it was not so. The world was vindictive, and cold, and full of pain. I had never thought ill of him. But unfortunately, his name was etched in all of it…..

And I snapped back in reality. In my oversaturated colored world of purples and bright oranges. He must have been buzzing a dozen times as I have stopped responding to his messages. Because off he went, in his no-goodbyes fashion. I do not expect to hear from him any soon, or maybe ten years onwards. It doesn’t matter. Now that I’ve had time to chew it over, I realized that all the crying over spilt milk was not for naught. Crying was a prescription I needed to end my soap-opera catastrophe, and wake up to the real world with a stronger sense of self, and a really high and mighty moment to say “what the fuck was all that??”

So irrelevant...
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