Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Power of Ignorance

Tuesday, May 31, 2011


It is a common sentence that knowledge is power; but who hath duly considered or set forth the power of ignorance? Knowledge slowly builds up what ignorance in an hour pulls down. Knowledge, through patient and frugal centuries, enlarges discovery and makes record of it; Ignorance, wanting its day's dinner, lights a fire with the record, and gives a flavor to its one roast with the burned souls of many generations.

~ George Eliot, Daniel Deronda, 1876

Monday, May 30, 2011

I won't even attempt

Monday, May 30, 2011

It’s not easy to put thoughts into words when all I can think about are the days to come. I won’t even attempt to describe how excited I am to be able to finally reach the place of my dreams and kneel before it in awe.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A Planned yet Unstructured Vacation

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

When it comes to travel preparations what gives me joy brings stress to my boyfriend. We both succumb to the lure of the open road yet differ in the way we approach it. While I spend months reading guide books and combing the net for information and all possible options, he goes about with a nonchalant air, disinclined to know anything about the destination before he gets there for fear that even the simplest quotidian fact will ruin the surprise of the place. What I take pleasure in—searching for and booking organized tours, the best hotels and inns, the cheapest air fares, the correct bus routes – is stressful to him. He just loathes structured vacations.

He is not to blame though. While there is logic in planning a trip to its most infinitesimal detail, nothing compares to the utmost delight in discovering a place full of wonder that you've neither sought and planned for nor read about - a place where you gaze and stare, astonished by the beauty of the world around you that no photograph or guidebook can describe. And we hope to stumble upon such kind of place.

There’s a few more weeks left, but we’re now all set for our three-week planned yet unstructured trip to Peru.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

You lose her in pieces over a long time

Saturday, May 21, 2011

When someone you love dies, and you’re not expecting it, you don’t lose her all at once; you lose her in pieces over a long time—the way the mail stops coming, and her scent fades from the pillows and even from the clothes in her closet and drawers. Gradually, you accumulate the parts of her that are gone. Just when the day comes—when there’s a particular missing part that overwhelms you with the feeling that she’s gone, forever—there comes another day, and another specifically missing part.

~ John Irving, A Prayer for Owen Meany, 1989

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Sunbathing

Thursday, May 19, 2011

As the afternoon sun floods through my office’s windows I have only to close my eyes to feel that I am in a bikini sunbathing in Bali. The lifeless cluster of buildings framed by the windows become undulating waves, and the mugful of caffeine on my desk that sustains me throughout the day turn into a tall glass of cold alpukat juice. And when I open my eyes to the reality of Manila’s stifling heat, I don’t have to ask myself why I obstinately refuse to put up window blinds in favor of having a view of the city. The answer is right before my eyes.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Under a Setting Sun

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Sitting under a setting sun enveloped in the salty night air, the gentle hum of the small seaside town, the sparkle of purling water and the warmth of family, I felt joy seep through me. My worries ebbed as the heat of the day receded into the night.


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Accomplishment

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

What do you feel is your greatest accomplishment since high school?

That’s one of the questions in the information sheet that the organizers of our high school reunion asked us to fill out.  I left it blank because there is nothing worth bragging about, jokingly or otherwise, nothing that others would deem as an accomplishment. Would people understand that being able to take pleasure in an unstructured and unfettered life free from the tethers of success is what I consider my greatest accomplishment? It doesn't sound like an accomplishment at all, does it? It sounds more like an empty justification for a solitary, barren life.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

We are a small, tremulous flame which threatens any moment to go out

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


..and within every human truth there is always an element of anxiety or conflict, we are, and I am not referring simply to the fragility of life, we are a small, tremulous flame which threatens at any moment to go out, and we are afraid, above all, we are afraid...

~ Jose Saramago, Seeing, 2006

Friday, May 6, 2011

Thriving on Stress

Friday, May 6, 2011

There are people who take so much pride in having had to work from 8 in the morning till 11 in the evening that all others (me included) appear like unproductive, lazy fools. Kept on a leash by the wonders of technology, they are eternally tied to their work and get astonished when they realize that others are not. They thrive on stress so much that it has become their refuge. And they probably are compensated accordingly, too.

My work allows me the freedom to do the things that I want whenever I want them. I can go on monthlong I-cannot-be-reached vacations without giving a single thought to anything work related. But now I wonder - am I missing anything by choosing a virtually strain-free career path or by refusing to thrive on stress?

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

China Chronicles Four: Minutiae of Macau's Beauty

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

My friends and I spent the first week of the year in Macau. The place then was inundated with visitors that its beauty is almost concealed by tourist crowds. Despite its touristy feel, Macau's charm shone through its:  

scrumptious Cantonese dishes,

 mouthwatering egg tarts,

intricately designed architecture 

cobblestoned streets,

touches of old amid everything new,

jerkies being sold in the streets,

and lion dancers preparing for their performance.

 
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