Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008 in Pictures

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Vacation Mode

Saturday, December 27, 2008

For the past few days, I have been wanting to write a sensible post. But my bed beckons me. It's like I can sleep all day long and still long for more. And when I'm awake, I can't seem to take my eyes away from the pages of the book I'm reading. And when I'm in front of my laptop, all I do is chat with my boyfriend. And when I'm not doing all those things, I'm glued to the television getting fashion tips from Gossip Girl with my kid sister.

I guess my mind is also on vacation mode right now.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

"Celebrating a Christless Christmas"

Thursday, December 25, 2008

My thoughts exactly:


"For much of my life, I felt guilt about our happily godless Christmases. I worried that we were leeching off of someone else's holiday. When Bill O'Reilly railed about "Christmas under siege," I felt complicit. If I was content to listen to Christmas-themed pop songs instead of hymns, to open presents with gusto instead of heading to church, or to dig right into the meal instead of saying grace, was I diluting the holiness of others' celebration? Was I insulting Jesus? Cheapening the experience for Christians?"

"Some evidence suggests that Christmas itself was merely a reappropriation of the pagan festival of Saturnalia. If that is in fact the case, my godless Christmas is more an insult to ancient Romans than to Christians. Since there aren't too many of them left, I won't let it worry me."

"The best thing we nonbelievers can do, in fact, is be honest about not celebrating the religious side of Christmas."

Quoted from No Reason for the Season: the Joy of Celebrating a Godless Christmas by Tori Bosch, posted 23 December 2008 at Slate Magazine.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

One Such Place

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Not so long ago, I asked you to “take me to the places on the earth that teach you how to dance, the places where you can risk letting the world break your heart….the places where the earth beneath my feet and the stars overhead make my heart whole again and again.”


And you did. This deserted beach is one such place.

And it wasn't just the place. It was the moment and, above all, the company.

I can never thank you enough.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Hand-holding and Relationships Going Awry

Monday, December 22, 2008

Everywhere I see couples walking hand in hand – while crossing the street, shopping at the mall, walking leisurely in the park, or walking hurriedly along a crowded sidewalk. There is something really sweet about a couple holding hands in public. In some ways, it’s even more intimate than kissing.


What makes hand-holding more special than other public displays of affection? It’s a non-verbal way of announcing to the world that the person whose hand you’re holding is your significant other. While holding his or her hand, you are actually saying, hands off, he or she is already mine. It’s also a way for couples to publicly pledge their commitment to each other. Holding your partner’s hand is giving him or her comfort and warmth.

Hand-holding is togetherness; a display of mutual affection; something that couples take pleasure in. Most of all, it’s about a couple connecting with each other and going through life hand in hand. It’s the physical and emotional link. Once the connection is cut, the relationship inevitably goes awry.

Everywhere I see couples holding hands. But sadly, there are more couples around me who have ceased holding each other’s hand. That connection that was once there is now all gone, like it never even existed. Starting out young and still not knowing what they wanted in life, they have unknowingly grown apart. It’s like waking up one day to realize that the person they’re with is a total stranger to them. What appeared to be singular relationships, tried and tested through the years, have crumbled.

Is it anybody’s fault? When a relationship starts to unravel, can it ever be stopped? When the all-enveloping rapturous passion for each other has all withered up, is it reason enough to give up? If there is no love left, what’s the point of holding on? If you hold out your hand and he or she not only refuses to take it but slaps it away, not once but again and again, will you still keep on trying?

Hand in hand - it's the only way to go through life as a couple.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

One Leaf On His Tree

Saturday, December 20, 2008

I am currently reading Toni Morrison's A Mercy (Knopf,
2008). The following passage I am quoting from the book I find really moving:

He had already ruined Florens, since she refused to see that she hankered after a man that had not troubled to tell her goodbye. When Lina tried to enlighten her, saying, "You are one leaf on his tree," Florens shook her head, closed her eyes and replied, "No. I am his tree." A sea change that Lina could only hope was not final. (p. 61)

I was Florens not so long ago. But not anymore.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Movie Date

Friday, December 19, 2008



It's been a while since I last went to the theater to watch a movie. I usually watch films in the comfort of my cave. So last Friday came as a shock to me. The movie tickets now cost twice as much; there's already a seat plan where you can choose your seat; the seats can be reclined for more comfort and arm rests are now movable! I was so amazed that I couldn't hide my ignorance from my date!




Thursday, December 18, 2008

Early Christmas Goodies

Thursday, December 18, 2008

It's not yet Christmas (or Festivus for some of us) but I've already received several gifts - gifts that I truly appreciate for they are exactly what I need,and they appeal to the different aspects of my personality as well. Books by my favorite authors (the giver knows what a bookwork I am) a pink grapefruit body cream and a vanity mirror (they know how kikay I am, too), a travel mug (so useful for my coffee addiction), a cellphone with a matching girly pink pouch (to replace the ancient one I'm using), magic matte (for blotting my oily face), a pair of custom made key chains and a chupa chups lollipop.


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Do high-heeled shoes empower or constrain women?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

According to Germaine Greer:

"...despite the known facts about the stress on the knee caused by wearing high heels, women have no intention of giving them up. Those now unfashionable psychoanalysts who explained women’s psychology as a perpetual struggle between narcissism and masochism might have had a point."

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Minutiae of Faults, Quirks and Tiresome Qualities

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

I am guilty of always being overly critical of a friend’s boyfriend/life partner/husband during the initial meeting. I can’t help but give him a thorough examination – from the roots of his hair to the tips of his fingernails to the color of his socks. Does he have a weird accent? Does he suffer from a penury of conversation such that his vocabulary consists simply of yes, no and okay? Does he use too much hair product? Can he discern the subtleties and layers of an argument? Does he talk and act like an overgrown three-year old? These are the sorts of questions that run through my mind during the first encounter. It’s wrong, I know, but I don’t really intend to judge. I just want to understand what makes the person tick.

The idea that it is now my turn to introduce my boyfriend to my friends, who are as fastidious as I am, gives me a feeling of apprehension. Letting my boyfriend be put under a spotlight and undergo such harsh scrutiny—though I’m certain he’d win my friends over, anyway—is painful enough; for him to be reduced to a gossipy anecdote is what’s worse.

My friends can be really vicious in spotting my significant other’s minutiae of faults and quirks. What they may fail to see is that these tiresome qualities are what endear him more to me. It’s just the surface that is visible to them. Peeled off all the defensive integuments is the true core of the person I fell in love with - something that others won't be able to discern.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Accomplishments

Monday, December 15, 2008

Today was our year-end company meeting where we presented our accomplishments for 2008. As I was making my department’s presentation, I realized how much I was able to do – much more than what was originally planned in January. It’s either I really had a productive year or I just underestimated what I could accomplish for twelve months. Either way, I’m happy with how things worked out.

Being productive at work while still having time to devote to people and things that matter to me – that’s what makes 2008 a truly rewarding year.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

bluebook

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

We were ambling along the shaded walk when I saw this odd shirt being sold at one of the booths set up for the reunion. It’s designed to resemble one of the most dreaded things in college life – The Bluebook. I couldn’t help but laugh. I liked it so much that D bought it for me.


It reminded me of those days when, after a really hard exam, we wait with bated breath for our graded bluebooks to be handed back to us. As bluebooks are one by one returned, exclamations of YES! or SHIT! could be heard around the room. Some would give anything for at least a 3.0, while others would virtually die if they get a grade less than 1.0.

Kayni, Dina, Artemis, Natalie, Fren, Martha doesn’t this shirt remind you of the good old days?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

What We Have In Common

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

What do the Pilak Girls have in common? It’s definitely not our taste in men for it ranges from the archaic to the postmodern, from the serious, intellectual types to the cutesy, boy-next-door ones. Our taste in everything else – books, clothes, movies, music – vary too. It’s also not our chosen professions for we’ve all pursued different fields. So what is it then?

Besides graduating from the same secondary school and being each other’s you-go-girl-cheering-team for many years now, the one thing that we have in common is our capacity to endure painful relationships and, against all hope and logic, our self-sacrificing devotion to make such relationships work. Our minds an insane fusion of self-deception and lucidity, we have this certain tendency to try so hard to make things work and push ourselves to the limit though we know that it’s time to let go. Though wearied in spirits, we give our all; we give too much; we continue to endure. All of us—at one point or another--in a seemingly endless pit of black despair, have been afflicted with this mindset: despite everything that has happened, against all glaring reason, I still want him in my life.

Girl, you need to get your mind right. How many times did I hear those words uttered to me by my friends while I was busy wallowing in melodrama? It took years for such words to sink in and take effect. Though it pains me to do so, it is now my turn – my obligation as a friend – to say those very words.

Eighteen Days


It’s been announced. It’s now official. Our Christmas break starts from the eighteenth of this month till the fourth of the next – for a total of eighteen days. Eighteen days of sleeping late, bumming around the house, DVD marathons, pigging out, doing nothing and being unproductive, reading till the wee hours of the morning, and hanging out with my family. Yipee yay! I can’t wait!

Monday, December 8, 2008

UP Baguio Reunion

Monday, December 8, 2008


It’s quite amusing to attend a school reunion with your boyfriend who is several batches ahead of yo u, have been living in another country for many years now and still knows more people there than you do. That’s exactly what happened to me when D and I attended the UP Baguio Alumni Homecoming last Friday. Half of his batch was there and there were only two of us from Batch ’95!


With batchmate, Jerico




The new Secretary's Office (Office of the University Registrar) all glammed up for the reunion.


The new College of Social Sciences building and the old 20s (with the familiar announcements on the wall).



And some places never change. My all-time favorite spot in campus - the Library.




Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Getting Rid of Social Clutter

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Last week I started freeing my life from clutter – not physical but social clutter. First I deleted people I don’t really give a damn about from my Friendster account. Why would I want to be updated on people who are practically strangers to me? It just doesn’t make sense. Then I removed 75 percent of my phone contacts. I realized that there are only a few people that I am—and really want to be--in constant communication with and those who I am not have to go. It’s like making life simpler by getting rid of the nonessentials and plainly retaining the vital ones.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

First Stop

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

D and I spent a fun, fun weekend together. Our first stop was UP Diliman where we strolled along the Academic Oval and all around the campus (with him showing me his college and old hangouts), paid homage to Oble and watched an irreverent, laugh-your-butts-off funny comedy/musical show by UP Samaskom - the Live Aids Silver UP Centennial Edition.

Quezon Hall


The UP Theater


The Carillon Tower

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Life has been treating me awfully well lately. I am so thankful.

Happy thanksgiving, everyone!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Delusion of Grandeur

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

How can I tell a friend who is so excited about her new teaching post that she will now be teaching students who will scoff at her behind her back for receiving a salary much lower than what they are getting as monthly allowance and who are so blessed by the powers that be that they hold such ‘delusions of grandeur’?

“It’s the soldier -- not the reporter -- who has given us the freedom of the press. It’s the soldier -- not the poet -- who has given us the freedom of speech. It’s the soldier -- not the politician -- who ensures that we live freely and peacefully. It’s the soldier who salutes the flag, who serves beneath the flag, and whose coffin is eventually draped by the flag.” (from a signboard posted on a wall at Fort Bonifacio)

Isn’t it ironic? With the unbridled greed and inveterate folly of some high ranking officers, the unrestrained despicable abuse of trust in the military nowadays, and the the countless individuals whose freedom to speak--let alone live--has been forever taken from them by the very same people who are supposed to ensure that they live freely and peacefully, it’s not only ironic. It’s maddening! And insulting to those who truly—not just out of training—salute the Philippine flag.

But I dare not burst my friend’s bubble. There are—or there must--still be plenty of men of character left in the profession of arms. Not at all of her students will delude themselves that they’re powerful gods and must be treated as such.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Application for a Night Out

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

This is so funny!



Monday, November 24, 2008

Eyelashes Permed

Monday, November 24, 2008

It was so amusing to see the beauty center teeming with men when I went there last Saturday afternoon. Like me, maybe they’re there to have their eyelashes permed, too! I wanted to laugh out loud. Apparently, those men (straight ones, at that!) were there to have a facial – to have their zits pierced to nonexistence, the white, black and multicolored heads professionally popped out and their faces lasered, vacuumed and massaged with all sorts of masks and creams to remove dead skin and let younger skin emerge. I even heard two fortyish guys discussing microdermabrasion like their lives depended on it.

And I thought only us girls are vain! Whatever happened to men just washing their faces with soap and water? Nowadays, we’re not only the ones who have kikay kits. An increasing number of men do, too. I guess having kikay kits is also one area where there must be gender equality. If us girls can be kikay, why can’t men be kikay, too? There really is nothing wrong with men wanting to have their lashes permed, is there? :)

Friday, November 21, 2008

So Many Books, Too Little Time

Friday, November 21, 2008

In 2006 The New York Times conducted a survey to identify the The Best Work of American Fiction of the Last 25 Years. The results, as selected by prominent writers, critics, editors and literary sages, are:

  1. Beloved, Toni Morrison (1987)
  2. Underworld, Don DeLillo (1997)
  3. Blood Meridian, Cormac McCarthy (1985)
  4. Rabbit Angstrom: The Four Novels, John Updike (1995)
  5. American Pastoral, Philip Roth (1997)
  6. A Confederacy of Dunces, John Kennedy Toole (1980)
  7. Housekeeping, Marilyn Robinson (1980)
  8. Winter’s Tale, Mark Helprin (1983)
  9. White Noise, Don DeLillo (1985)
  10. The Counterlife, Philip Roth (1986)
  11. Libra, Don DeLillo (1988)
  12. Where I’m Calling From, Raymond Carver (1988)
  13. The Things They Carried, Tim O’Brien (1990)
  14. Mating, Norman Rush (1991)
  15. Jesus’ Son, Denis Johnson (1992)
  16. Operation Shylock, Philip Roth (1993)
  17. Independence Day, Richard Ford (1995)
  18. Sabbath’s Theater, Philip Roth (1995)
  19. Border Trilogy, Cormac McCarthy (1999)
  20. The Human Stain, Philip Roth (2000)
  21. The Known World, Edward Jones (2003)
  22. The Plot Against America, Philip Roth (2004)

However, the respondents worry that such inquiry, “by feeding the deplorable modern mania for ranking, list-making and fabricated competition, would not only distract from the serious business of literature but, worse, subject it to damaging trivialization. To consecrate one work as the best - or even to establish a short list of near-bests - would be to risk the implication that no one need bother with the rest, and thus betray the cause of reading. The determination of literary merit, it was suggested, should properly be a matter of reasoned judgment and persuasive argument, not mass opinionizing. Criticism should not cede its prickly, qualitative prerogatives to the quantifying urges of sociology or market research.”

No worry, really, because I aim to read all 22 books in the list (of which, to my chagrin, I’ve read only 12 and ¼!) as well as all the winners of the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Award, the PEN/Faulkner Award and all the other outstanding pieces of literature that haven’t won a single award – even if takes an entire lifetime and even if it kills me.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Problem With Exes

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The problem with exes is that they keep on hounding you. Imagine getting a call from an ex in the middle of the night, ruining your sleep and eventually ruining your entire day for not getting enough rest. The words "stay ouf of my life" do not seem to register in his mind and you have to shut off your cell phone just to shut him up.

Why does he think he still enjoys the privilege to dial your number? He has lost the right to show that he still cares and, for that matter, to even ask how you are. And because of him who left you heartbroken, now you need to change your phone number! Who does he think he is? Why still give him that power over you? Why would you go through the trouble of moving to a new place—when in fact you like where you’re staying right now—just to avoid him? He is now just an ex, a caducous leaf who has irrevocably fallen out of your life, and there’s no reason why you would still let him influence where you want to live or what number you want to use.

The one thing that exes need to understand is this: what’s been finally disgorged can’t be taken in again.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Running

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I used to run regularly—chiefly to lose weight, but like Francis below, also for the sheer pleasure of it.

Francis began to run, and in doing so, reconstituted a condition that was as pleasurable to his being as it was natural: the running of bases after the crack of the bat, the running from accusation, the running from family, from bondage, from destitution of spirit through ritualistic straightenings, the running, finally, in a quest for pure flight as a fulfilling mannerism of the spirit. (William Kennedy, Ironweed, 1979)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Water of Life

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Jacqueline's Tweety Bird Project inspired me to take up once again
the cross stitch project I started two years ago but never got to finish. Only a few stitches more and it's ready for framing. It's called Water of Life.


Monday, November 17, 2008

Endurance

Monday, November 17, 2008

In the drugstore last Friday I heard the guy standing beside me place his order. In a apparently discomfited squeaky voice, he stammered, “E-e-en-en-e-en-endurance ba iyon?” I turned my head to look at him. He was blushing to the roots of his hair! Poor guy. I had to will myself not to laugh out loud. His awkwardness about buying the product—whatever it is—piqued my curiosity. Endurance must be really something interesting, I thought. Maybe it's a condom brand. Or judging from its name, it must be a sexual potency drug like Viagra? Or a sex toy like a penis ring vibrator? Why else would he be so mortified? (Or it can just be a brand of multi-vitamins! Drugstores simply make him nervous.)

Why are people so ashamed of making coitus-related purchases? The guilt factor is always at play, treating the entire thing—contraceptives, sex aides and the act itself—as sinful, ugly and repulsive. We now live in an age of accelerating waves of biotechnological advances that witnessed the mapping of the human genome and yet we still consider the natural origin of human life—the sexual act--as taboo.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Whatever

Friday, November 14, 2008

I ask, “Hey, what do you want for dinner?”
He answers, “Whatever.”

Doesn’t it drive you crazy when you ask a question and you get “whatever” for an answer? It’s just so annoying. It’s very dismissive – like the person you are talking to doesn’t care enough about the question to dignify it with an answer other than "whatever". As a pronoun, it means “anything and everything that” but what it really means is, “I don’t care.”

The Urban Dictionary listed 36 different usages for and definitions of the word “whatever”. Here are some of them:

1. Used in an argument to admit that you are wrong without admitting it so the argument is over.

Man, whatever.

2. Uttered in a derisive and dismissive tone, in response to a confrontation or accusation which has been judged to be unimpressive, obnoxious, or disingenuous. Often used to dismiss someone when it is clear that rational discussion would be a waste of time and energy.

Don't tell me you believe in that "evolution" stuff! The Bible clearly states that the Earth is 6,000 years old!

Whatever, dude. Can you go bother someone else now please?

3. A polite and less vulgar alternative to "F*CK YOU".

Jack: "Wow, what happened to you? You look like hell today!"

Jill: "Whatever"

4. I don't care.

As in:
Boy: I am exhausted today. Looking forward to going home and doing nothing, hopefully you're up for the same?

Girl: Yeah, whatever.

5. Word all too often used to connote a feeling of apathy.

"They bombed a foreign nation without cable TV. Millions died."

"Whatever. They're making another Temptation Island." "Sweet."

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Then and Now

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

After almost ten years, I am going back to my beloved campus to attend the Alumni Homecoming. Looking forward to the event and feeling a bit nostalgic, I rummaged through my things to look for my old college graduation picture. When I found it, I couldn’t help but cringe.

Oh boy.. Did I really look like this before?

Then and Now

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Choices

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Between two evils, I always pick the one I never tried before. - Mae West

Faced with two equally objectionable alternatives, we can’t say that we don’t have a choice, can we? We still do. And even without any options left, we still have a choice. We can always choose not to choose.

We always complain that we don’t have any choice. But when we think about it, sometimes, having a lot of options just makes life complicated. It’s like when we go to a grocery store and we’re faced with too many choices--three aisles of different brands, mixes, flavors, calorie counts-- for a single item that we cannot decide what to choose anymore. Bombarded with all sorts of stuff from every corner, shelf and counter across the room, all intended to entice our senses, we sometimes forget what we went there for. And at times the thing we have in mind and are looking for--seemingly hidden among all those others options that we don’t really need—we just can’t find anymore. There are just too many choices!

The sprawl of options, supposed to be liberating and enabling, becomes claustrophobic. And because of it, we not only fail to make the right or the best decision. We simply do not make any decision at all until each of our options trickle away and we are left with nothing. Not making a decision for fear of making the wrong one can turn out to be the worst mistake of all.

Picking between two evils is oftentimes easy. It is when we’re faced with two equally attractive alternatives when we find it more difficult to decide. Is it because we want all and the best of everything? Or is it because we are afraid of the risks that accompany and the consequences that result from the choice that we ultimately make? Or is it because we plainly do not know what we want?

Not knowing what we want. Isn’t that the story behind the interior epic of our ambivalence?

Why do you make the things I have chosen seem hateful to me,
if you have nothing to give me instead?
- Edith Wharton,
The House of Mirth

Beaches


It's strange but I'm not as fascinated with beaches as some (or most) people probably are. Maybe it's because I grew up surrounded with mountain
s or because I can't swim or because I don't really look that good in a two-piece bikini.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Six Random Things that Make me Happy

Sunday, November 9, 2008
  • Knowing and feeling that I am loved
  • D's arrival (soon!)
  • Opening my dashboard and seeing that somebody has commented on my posts
  • Buco juice
  • Getting an SMS, a call, a misscall, an email, a poke, a buzz, an IM, or a snail mail from my friends
  • Seeing and knowing that my loved ones are happy, too.
I was tagged by Jacqueline and I'm tagging whoever reads this and wants to share what makes him or her happy.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Full Disclosure

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Things just come into your mind on their own and aren't your fault. So I learned this all those years ago--that you don't need to be held responsible for what you think, and that by and large you don't have any business knowing what other people think. Full disclosure never does anybody any favors, and in any event there are few enough people in the world who are sufficiently within themselves to make such disclosure pretty unreliable right from the start. All added to the fact that this constitutes intrusion where you least need to be intruded upon, and where telling can actually do harm to everyone involved.


- Richard Ford, The Sportswriter, 1986

Friday, November 7, 2008

The Perils of Caring Too Much

Friday, November 7, 2008

How do I tell a friend about the perils of caring too much when I, too, was once afflicted with its curse? How do I tell her about the perils of caring too much when I, too, was once riveted and intoxicated by the numbing torment it brings? How do I tell her that caring too much about a person can mean caring too little about herself? How do I tell her that the future, surely uncertain as it is, can be doubly wobbly when built on a mere string of Faustian moments? How do I tell her these things when I know that she is not without a lucid understanding of her wretched state? How do I tell her when we both know that she already knows?

8,521 miles, a year after


What is 8,521 miles when, in spite of it, we love each other more than ever?


Thursday, November 6, 2008

Last Weekend's Food Trip Road Trip

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Chicken mami, siopao an
d pineapple pie in Baguio; sotanghon in Manaoag


Adidas and isaw in San Fabian



Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Taming Demons

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

I am a snob. Or so says my boyfriend. And several people of less significance, too. I remember one time when I was still working in the Academy, I heard a group of civilian employees blathering on how I’m so full of myself that I don’t find the time to mingle with them. They were even mimicking how I walk – with the exaggerated upturned chin, the pursed lips, the raised left eyebrow, the chest-out-shoulders-back posture and the always-in-a-hurry-I’m-too-busy-for-you gait. For them my keeping to myself most of the time is tantamount to snobbery. Knowing that there’s some truth to it, a male friend half jestingly accused me of being a hyperliterate cognitive elitist.

By majority opinion and standards, I guess I really am a snob. And it’s something I grapple with everyday. Though I believe—or I delude myself in believing—that I’m not a snob, I still try my damnedest to kill the snob in me, or falling short, to tame it somehow.

It’s like our lives are spent grappling with and trying to tame—in varying degrees and in different ways—the demons inside of us. They come in all sorts of colors, flavors, texture, shapes and sizes. Some days they appear bare naked; other days, in full battle gear; once in a while even in disguise. With inexorable vigilance and meticulously designed tactical maneuver, we win the fight. We are able to whack those devils into submission. But throughout the course of the battle, we sometimes lose. And when we lose, those supposedly tamed frolicking devils are also let loose.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

A Day at the Cemetery

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Like almost everyone else, we went to the Baguio cemetery last Saturday. Since it was my first time to go to a cemetery, I was a bit astonished. So it’s like this, I kept on thinking. It wasn’t spooky, bleak or depressing as I expected it to be. It’s almost like going to Burnham Park where a family or a group of friends can spread a blanket on the ground, pitch a tent, bring a picnic, and just enjoy the day, the scenery and each other’s company. The only difference is that at the cemetery, one’s not just having fun but also paying respects to the dead.




It was such a fun day. There were vendors all around selling e-load, candles, fish balls, sweet corn, peanuts and all of the other street food you can imagine. We even got to splurge on dirty ice cream!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Entrenched and In Flux

Monday, November 3, 2008

I met with a few of my classmates in high school last Friday night. As we were gossiping about the latest batch headlines and laughing over the same old jokes and the familiar anecdotes, I cannot help but marvel at how simultaneously entrenched and in flux we all are. We haven’t changed. But we also did.

Mariflor came with her husband, Basil came without his ever famous mustache, and Jennifer and I came with our curls. There’s Avegail, a classmate from grade school to college, who leads a life of heroic endurance. How she struggles--and gracefully survives--as a single mother to her three kids humbles me. There’s Anne Marie who amazed me with how warm she really is. The air of distance that used to keep her closeted from the rest of us is gone. Vona, the batch’s beauty title holder, is as beautiful as ever. I wonder how she does it.

Here are our pictures (left picture, from left to right: Avegail, Mariflor, Jennifer, Anne Marie, Basil Oscar, me, and Vona).


















And with Aileen two days after:










Curls


 
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, October 30, 2008

at the end of our ropes

Thursday, October 30, 2008

He does not really belong in a divorced men's club any more than I do, but he is willing to try it on for size, not because he thinks he'll eventually like it, or that this is the thing he's always missed, but because it's in some ways the last thing in the world he can imagine doing, and probably feels he should do it for that reason alone. We should all know what's at the end of our ropes and how it feels to be there.


- Richard Ford, The Sportswriter, 1986

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Seven Random Facts About Me

Wednesday, October 29, 2008
  • I’ve never owned a credit card.
  • Two of my classmates in elementary, JB and MV, engaged in a serious fistfight over me. It happened in front of our school, at the City Hall grounds, with virtually the whole class watching and cheering them on.
  • I sang first soprano in the church choir for more than 15 years but I’ve now left the fold for good.
  • My birth certificate says that I’m officially named “Baby Girl”.
  • I went to law school while still taking up my master’s. Too much sleep deprivation made me ditch the former.
  • I used to weigh 60 kilograms (which is a lot for a five-foot gal).
  • Research is the only occupation I’ve known and had since graduating from college.

I was tagged by Artemis and now I’m tagging Jacqueline, Hazel Martha, Mariel, Moira, Natalie, Nica and Nina.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

When Significant Others Lose Their Significance

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

It’s funny how the people we were once willing to do battle and travel great distances for, we just couldn’t care less about anymore. We see or hear from them, and they're just nothing to us. How is it possible that traces of their significance have all been sanitized? Was it the passage of time that purged them of their relevance in our lives? Or was it our predetermined resiliency that managed to do it?

Sometimes I try to grope for and unearth the plethora of emotions that were hidden, shut down, locked and sealed up in the deepest recesses of my heart but there’s nothing there. There’s nothing left. Not even the slightest hint of poignancy or the tiniest vestige of regret for how things would, could or should have been. Where have all the intense feelings gone? Are supposedly deep-seated emotions merely as ephemeral as bubble blowing? Are the bonds with which we construct our lives that fragile?

Perhaps significant others need to lose their significance to let a more lasting significance in.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

marines at the mall

Sunday, October 26, 2008

My sister, brother and I spent a fun day at the mall last Saturday. The place was surrounded with marines in full battle gear. We found out that it's their anniversary. Their presence reminded me of my hapless encounter with men in uniform.



 
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