Thursday, March 31, 2011

when the door is slammed in their faces

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Some men are just so incredibly persistent that their determination comes off as desperation. Disgustingly deluded, they believe that all the attention they lavish on a girl will be reciprocated despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. It amazes me how these men can mistake no for maybe or never for not now. Unable to distinguish a coy response from a definite answer, they only realize how foolish they are when the door is slammed in their faces.

Monday, March 28, 2011

More Like Olive than Popeye

Monday, March 28, 2011

While flexing my invisible biceps and mimicking the tough look of bodybuilders, I asked one of my colleagues, “Do I look like Popeye now?” She replied with a laugh, “No, you look more like Olive than Popeye.” Silly me. After months of doing dumbbell exercises, I still do not have the sculpted arms that I want. My regular diet consists mostly of coffee and vegetables, but maybe I need to eat more spinach.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Travel that Slows Us Down

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Last night as I was trying to regale my boyfriend with the wonders of walking the 780-km Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route across France and Spain he said he’d rather take the Eurail because it will enable him to see more places in lesser time. But isn’t it that the most rewarding travels are those that remove us from our technology-dependent, time-crunched, productivity-obsessed lives? That’s why I prefer travel that slows me down, places that allow me to collect my thoughts and alter the way I see life. With that in mind, I’ve made a list of the top places that I want not just to see but to experience. Here they are:
  1. Angkor, Cambodia
  2. Annapurna Circuit, Nepal
  3. Bali, Indonesia
  4. Camino de Santiago, France and Spain
  5. Hierapolis-Pamukkale, Turkey
  6. Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, Peru
  7. Kyoto, Japan
  8. Mt. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
  9. Taishan, China
  10. Takstang, Bhutan

I felt the sweep of the centuries roll over me as I gazed at the ruins of Angkor in 2009, and for several months now I have been mentally and physically preparing myself to climb the highest reaches of the Andes to the ruins of Machu Picchu. So that leaves eight more travel experiences to dream of.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

so that you can have all the time you want for reading

Tuesday, March 22, 2011



He would say only slightly facetiously that the main effort of arranging your life should be to progressively reduce the amount of time required to decently maintain yourself so that you can have all the time you want for reading.”

~ Norman Rush, Mating, 1991

Monday, March 21, 2011

Climbing Mt. Batulao

Monday, March 21, 2011

The mountain’s jagged peaks looked imposing from afar, but when I first set foot on the trail it felt so utterly splendid that my apprehension all but vanished. Having my younger siblings with me made it even more fun for, having spent our youth up North, we were imbued with an incurable love of mountains.

Mt. Batulao, Nasugbu, Batangas
The cool wind that made the cogon grass bend sinuously to the ground bathed us in freshness. We ran along the narrow trails, reveling in the quiet of the place and making each moment our moment. The clouds muted the verdant slopes and shielded us from the sun’s harsh glare throughout the entire trek. Several hours of hiking lead us to the summit from where we saw a landscape beautiful and vast beyond imagination.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Inconsequential

Friday, March 18, 2011

Having been dragged into a hellish videoke session with clients, I sought refuge in a softly lit corner and a discarded Newsweek magazine and tried to drown out, through sheer concentration, another awful rendition of Barry Manilow’s Somewhere down the Road. “ ...our roads are gonna cross again. It doesn’t really matter when...” The belting continued, and I kept on reading:

“The malevolent earthquake and tsunami in Japan have jolted our minds back to the 2004 catastrophe in the Indian Ocean, as well as to last year’s tsunamis in Chile and Sumatra. Gruesome comparisons are inevitable, as is the fatalism that follows such “acts of God.” What can man do in the face of nature’s wrath? Not everything of course—and a natural disaster is always a most sobering reminder of our own limitations.

As I reached the end of that passage it dawned on me how inconsequential we all are in the greater scheme of things. There is nothing we can do to prepare for or manage the dynamic processes at work in the earth's landforms and surfaces. The formation, lateral movement, interaction and destruction of lithospheric plates will continue unabated—with or without human intervention. The entire human species, the most complex, dominant and ecologically successful of all species, could become extinct, but physical and biological processes on earth--which started billions of years ago--will persist. Our species is unique as other species are, but, in the end, all of us are mere transients on earth.


...mankind inhabits this earth subject to geological consent, which can be withdrawn at any time.
 (Simon Winchester, Newsweek, 21 March 2011)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

flames for a year, ashes for thirty

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Love. Of course, love. Flames for a year, ashes for thirty.

“Those were the best days in the life of Tancredi and Angelica, lives later to be so variegated, so erring, against the inevitable background of sorrow. But that they did not know then; and they were pursuing a future which they deemed more concrete than it turned out to be, made of nothing but smoke and wind. When they were old and uselessly wise their thoughts would go back to those days with insistent regret; they had been days when desire was always present because it was always overcome, when many beds had been offered and refused, when the sensual urge, because restrained, had for one second been sublimated in renunciation, that is into real love.

~ Guiseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, The Leopard, 1960

Monday, March 14, 2011

Swagger

Monday, March 14, 2011

There is something infinitely sexy in a man who goes through life with the right amount of swagger. He can hold his own in even the most trying situation without being reduced to a whimpering fool or a sputtering mess yet is still self-assured enough to admit to screwing up or chickening out. Far from being an insentient buffoon incurious of everything outside his circumscribed world, he cares about abstract concepts like privation, freedom and truth. Devoid of delusions and unhindered by tradition, he has a plural way of looking at the world. He is impressive but doesn’t always try to impress, and he does what he does with swagger and conviction.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Summertime has begun

Friday, March 11, 2011

Summertime has begun in the Philippines, and several of my colleagues have gone to the beach for a few days of fun, sun and sand. I can’t wait to go on vacation myself, but there’s a need to exercise a bit of patience, I know, for those days devoted to travel won’t start until June. The plane tickets have been purchased, the hotels booked and the three-week itinerary planned and organized. The only thing left to do is wait.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

a quarter-of-an-inch of something

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

"She’s kept her love for him as alive as the summer they first met. In order to do this, she’s turned life away. Sometimes she subsists for days on water and air. Being the only known complex life-form to do this, she should have a species named after her. Once Uncle Julian told me how the sculptor and painter Alberto Giacometti said that sometimes just to paint a head you have to give up the whole figure. To paint a leaf, you have to sacrifice the whole landscape. It might seem like you’re limiting yourself at first, but after a while you realize that having a quarter-of-an-inch of something you have a better chance of holding on to a certain feeling of the universe than if you pretended to be doing the whole sky.”
~ Nicole Krauss, A History of Love, 2005

Monday, March 7, 2011

Jogging in the Rain

Monday, March 7, 2011

After two teaspoons of cough syrup followed by two tall cups of latte, I am finally awake. Jogging in the rain, as I did last Saturday morning, had been a mistake for the soreness in my throat has worsened into a pain-inducing dry cough. As I ran around the oval, the gentle drizzle on my face and the sight of a handful of fellow joggers who braved the rain as I did felt too glorious for me to stop. I was then too pumped to realize that that euphoric feeling came with a price – a price that I am now paying.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Purgation

Thursday, March 3, 2011

When you’re tired of listening to your own thoughts and even the person you call your significant other can’t stand hearing you obsess, carp and fume, you turn to writing for the emotional purgation it brings. Stringing words together gives you an enormous sense of relief. It pulls you back from the onslaught of life and lends you enough lucidity to order your thoughts and make peace with yourself.
 
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