Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Sweaty and Fascinated

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

I must have looked ridiculous last night, doing exercises with my puny 3-kg dumbbells while watching other women lift weights that are more than double their own weight, but I was having too much fun from the absurdity of what I'm doing to care about appearing silly or think about anything else. It was already past midnight when the women's 58kg division weightlifting competition ended. Through it all, I was glued to the TV, sweaty and fascinated. 

Monday, July 30, 2012

Had had enough of lying

Monday, July 30, 2012

Humans themselves are the source of good and evil, I thought. We must think for ourselves; We are responsible for our own morality.  I arrived at the conclusion that I couldn't be honest with others unless I was honest with myself. I wanted to comply with the goals of religion, which are to be a better and more generous person, without suppressing my will and forcing it to obey inhuman rules. I would no longer lie, to myself or others.  I had had enough of lying. I was no longer afraid of the Hereafter.

~ Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Infidel, 2008

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Fluency

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

If I could, I would have stayed at home and watched the Justice Secretary being interviewed live on TV for the position of Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, but I have my own interview to conduct so I had to hurry back to the office.  To say that she answered the questions of the Judicial and Bar Council panel very well would be an understatement. I marvel at her articulateness, her fluency, qualities I—as well as my applicants--regrettably lack.  Propelled by my love of words and language, I can’t help but admire people like the Justice Secretary who can verbalize their thoughts as coherent as she did. 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

I was trying to write then

Thursday, July 19, 2012

I was trying to write then and I found the greatest difficulty, aside from knowing truly what you really felt, rather than what you were supposed to feel, and had been taught to feel, was to put down what really happened in action; what the actual things were which produced the emotion that you experienced.

~ Ernest Hemingway, Death in the Afternoon, 1932  

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

A Good Night's Sleep

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

There is something in that pillow-laden, slightly sagging, dimly lit top bunk in my mother’s house that never fails to give me a good night’s sleep. Whenever I spend the night, I immediately fall into a deep, uninterrupted slumber and wake up with the suspicion that my siblings must have again hidden the stairs that I use to climb down the bed, as they—full of playful mischief--often do. With disguised merriment, I anticipate those pranks they pull on me, just as much as I could count on that huge mug of taho (tofu yogurt) that my mother buys for me from the neighborhood vendor every time I’m there.  Whenever I sit in that sun-filled kitchen with the delicious smell of morning cooking wafting through the air, chatting with my mother and waiting for my siblings to wake up, I feel invigorated, as though I could take on the world. 

It must be the cool, fresh air blowing from the corn fields that lulls me to sleep; or the comforting tightness of the narrow bed weighed down by various stuffed animals and half a dozen pillows; or sheer tiredness from trying to stay awake and refusing to let a wonderful day to end; or it must be the soothing clasp of family that always makes for a good night’s sleep.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Kaunti na Lang

Monday, July 16, 2012


May mga pagkakataong nasasabi ko na lang sa kanya, “kunin mo na ako dito,” gamit ang tinig na tila nagsusumamo o nagpapasaklolo. Ito man ay dala ng kahinaan o ng matinding kalungkutan, ang tanging nais ko ay makasama siya kahit panandalian lamang. Nakakainip ang maghintay, ngunit nakakatuwa ring isipin na malapit na, kaunti na lang.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

the reins of life slipped from his hands

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


He felt utterly, utterly overcome - as if he didn't care what became of him any further. He didn't care whether he were hit by a bomb, or whether he himself threw the next bomb, and hit somebody. He just didn't care anymore about anything in life or death. It was as if the reins of life slipped from his hands, and he would let everything run where it would, so long as it did run.

~ Aaron's Rod, D.H. Lawrence, 1922

Monday, July 9, 2012

West to Midwest

Monday, July 9, 2012

Searching for a house, our house, has proven to be truly heartbreaking. For the second time, we’ve lost that property we thought was already ours. Who would have known that by missing to tick a box you would lose a house? It sounds trivial and arbitrary, but it’s exactly what happened. The listing agent failed to put an X mark on one of the boxes in the document. It lead to the bid being cancelled and dashed hopes on our part. We tried to submit another offer, but they’ve awarded it to the next in line. 

Pinning our hopes on the overly volatile housing market of Las Vegas, we realized, is a terrible idea. And so we decided to expand our search towards the Midwest. I would have wanted to live in an area where it’s warm, where there’s a sizeable Filipino community, where the mountains are just a short drive away. But I can trade all of those for a place where I can jog along the lake, grow a flower and vegetable garden in my backyard, walk to the library whenever I want and be with the man I love. 

And so the hunt continues. May luck be on our side this time.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Pick-me-up

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The last time he called me at work was to tell me that he just jumped on a plane bound for Manila and is waiting for me to get home. It was such a delightful surprise that I could hardly contain my glee. I rushed home, and we spent the holidays together.  This morning when he called I can’t help but ask if—or wish that—he’s back in the Philippines. Sadly, he is not, but the call itself made my day. For solitary souls like me, a simple phone call works like a pick-me-up. 

Monday, July 2, 2012

Coated With Slime

Monday, July 2, 2012

How do you deal with people who are in the habit of making pronouncements that are at once grandiose and vacuous? They often say things that are meant to make you feel good but lack the sincerity to pull it off. When every utterance is tinted with posturing and affectation, can you still get through to what they really want to say? When you look at them and see their smiles coated with slime, how do you suppress the disgust from showing on your face? Or should you?
 
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