A Joyous New Year To All

I'm off to Bacolod this afternoon to attend yet another wedding. I have started to look forward to the day when the parties will stop and I can get on with my life; Sleep as much as I want; Watch movies in our new DVD player my youngest brother gave us (Yes! He now works and pays for himself! Thank God!); Finish reading "The Lord of the Flies". But a few more days of partying wouldn't hurt although I really miss my shut-eye. And I think I'm getting sick from the change of temperature.

Today will be my last day at work this year. I planned to clean my desk before I leave for Bacolod but since I'm blogging, looks like that's not going to happen. Hehehe.

Viking is busy with sister and handling work problems. We just sort of peek into each other, leaving tracks of where and how we are doing without actually meeting. Lol. Stealth mode. Hold on, babe. Angels are on their way to get you through.

Got a Christmas card from Writer friend. He wrote: To my best friend, Duddy. LOL. I'm not sure I like being demoted to best friend but I was happy about the Duddy part. We haven't talked in quite a while. Glad he still has a sense of humor.

I had wanted to make a picture Christmas card that moves but I havent had time yet. Hope I can make one before the New Year arrives.

I'm off to get an early lunch, my office desk a mess for the coming 2006. Hope I can blog again before the year changes.

To all my blog buddies, readers, friends and relatives who have somehow discovered my blog, MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR!



Parties in review

Trying to take a breather from all the partying going on. I'm a bit surprised that people still find it in themselves to party despite of complaints of having too little cash this Chrsitmas. I have about 60 people on my Christmas list. I haven't bought one gift. With all the partying, I don't really have enough time to go shopping. And I really hate shopping when I know how little I can afford. So postponing Chrsitmas shopping till the last minute. I just had my braces adjusted with new wires yesterday so I'm in no mood for jolly Christmas. It's ... reeeeeeaaaaaallllly painful right now. Sigh. Anyway, here are some parties I've been to these last few days:

The Slaying of Sponge Bob

My nephew turned ten and we organized a Sponge Bob Square Pants pool party for his 18 friends. Prepared games for the kids but couldn't get them out of the pool to play even just one game. So I ended up tossing wrapped pineapple candies on the pool for them to dive for. They were a noisy bunch but I think they had a good time. We gave away bubbles and lollipops that when pinched, flashlights the inside of your mouth. LOL. Anyway, this pic of the before and after of the cake. Poor Sponge Bob. He lost his pants ... and legs too.

House lights

This pic gives new meaning to house lights. My cousins celebrated four occasions in one go: The birthdays of husband and wife, a successful career move of daughter, and the engagement of a couple. All that in one family. So I guess that explains the lights. :) They had an acoustic band playing on the side and the cool air made everything romantic. Somebody made them banner-like caricatures. Really funny but wasn't able to get a picture because a niece was playing with my camera. Maybe next time. We were missing a close relative. She didn't attend because of a huge spat between her husband and her borther. Felt really sad about it because she was always the life of the party. Holidays are no place for bad feelings.
Opening Salvo

To mark the opening of the coming Dinagyang Festival, warriors paraded around town to the beat of drums and synchronized dancing. The Dinagyang Festival will be on the third weekend of January. Today, they just sort of felt the streets. It was raining but still they danced in unison. Looking forward to Dinagyang for all photos I'm going to take. And so nice to feel drumbeats this close ... even if they are actually from drums and not from beating hearts. :P

Remember the Miagao Church entry I posted a few months ago? About the guy who proposed to a friend of mine, publicly, in church, after mass? This is their wedding. And this is a shot of one of the flower girls. They celebrated it in the same church of course. When they kissed, we all released butterflies. :D Very lovely. Anyway, we spent the night out of town and danced the night away. I took both cameras with me. Missed the sunrise though. I just couldn't wake up earlty anymore.
Community Christmas Party

Last year we had kids for the community Christmas party. This year we decided to adopt 33 people who we think really deserves a Christmas Party. Here they are dancing to the tune of Pinoy big brother.
Inset photo show Manang Maxima, 52 years old, earns a living by making nipa sheets people use to make nipa houses. It's the only way she could feed her family. She enjoyed the party though and rewarded everyone with a toothless smile. Sent everyone home with bags of groceries and rice. This party has been the best one so far.


No title

Haven't been very productive lately. I go to the office and then refuse to work. There is much to do but procrastination seems to be on top of everyone's list nowadays. So when I do some work, I also mix in a lot of staring into space. Kind of a conscious effort to keep the balance. The good news is I've cleaned my In Tray. Of course, new documents will somehow make its way to it just when I'm beginning to feel comfortable with spacing out. But that's fine as long as I don't have a panic attack; I've met my deadlines - Grin!

I've also been spending too much time drinking too much coffee with the superfriends as we make plans on what to do for the Justice League Christmas Party. We have a very limited budget this year, most of it will come from our own pockets. Good thing superheroes always lean towards generosity and sharing whenever a party becomes part of the agenda. Plan of action will be lechon (roast pig). That will be expensive since there are only six of us and we need to feed 30 people. But you can't really expect trainees to contribute since they are forced to laugh at our jokes. Of course, with our tiny budget, the pig just might turn out to be a piglet. But roasted it will be. Mmmmmmmm.

Finished reading three books by women authors. It has chopped my to-read-book tower down to 3 stories. Will have to make it a point to look for second hand bookstores again to replenish my vertically challenged tower. For now, I'm resting my eyes. Allow me to list my favorite lines on what I've read so far:

Intelligence always had a pornographic influence on me.
- Maya Angelou, The Heart Of A Woman.

This I can totally relate with. Hahaha. Ever wonder why Woody Allen look alikes can bag themselves a babe? Hehehe. It's all in the brains. I tell you, not everything attractive is between the legs. It's also between the ears too. But I know women who will disagree with me. lol.

She thought: I don't have to do this. Though she understood in the same moment that it was knowing that she would positively do this that had allowed her the luxury of indecision.
- Anita Shreve, The Pilot's Wife

The luxury of indecision. I've been going through some stuff right now. Trying to see my limits and exploring how daring I can be. So far, I've been unafraid. Anxious maybe ... Me liking this side of me. Me liking what I'm discovering. I have a choice. It's good to have options, don't you think?

Sometimes you're loved because of your weakness ... What you can't do is sometimes more compelling than what you can do. For a second, I felt hope for myself. But loving for weakness, seemed like a weakness itself.

Their premise is that men are natural predators, and the more difficult the hunt, the more they prize their prey. In othe words, the last thing you want to do is tap the hunter on the shoulder and ask him to shoot you.

- Melissa Banks, A Girl's Guide To Hunting And Fishing

This one is good for women. Funny and entertaining and yes, you don't need to follow the rules. About the difficulty of the hunt determines the value of the prize - um, I don't know. Although I do want to keep the filipina values of pakipot (hard-to-get) and being dalaga (a lady) and all ... I'm at the age when I can also get my bow and arrow and learn to shoot. Hehehe. And I am good with the gun. I've practiced target shooting with my brother - Lol. So after age 25, I do believe Filipinas can hunt too. To remain classy, learn the art of subtle flirting.

I'm beginning to think that men do think with their dicks. Although most men I know will tend to disagree. But there has to be some truth in that. This conclusion is based on experience and observation - hehehe.


My 2005 Christmas Wishlist

(Sings) If I can't have you, I don't want nobody baby. If I can't have you oh.

That's why we have wishes, if we can't have them, at least people know we wanted them and help us wish it for us. So here's my Christmas Wishlist. No, I don't expect Santa to give them to me. I expect to save up for them and buy them maybe in the next few years. Lol.

1. Peace on Earth, Good will to Men It's a habit I can't shake off. I blame it on one of Robert Redford's spy movies; Snickers I think was the title but I'm not sure. Anyway, I think it's a must have in all Christmas list.

2. a Canon Digital Rebel : (Sigh) with extra lenses and filters

3. a Zuiko Telephoto Lens 135mm for my Olympus camera.

4. Logitech Quickcam Pro 4000 so people don't have to squint at me and think I'm somekind of dark Lord.

5. Nokia 6233 Cellphone : hmmmmm, wala lang. I just want one.

6. a 4 port usb : to accomodate all the geek stuff I've been acquiring of late

7. Calvin Klein eyeglasses : to make me look more fashionable and less geeky

8. an ipod shuffle : to keep me company when I go jogging which I plan to do sometime next year. lol.

9. a car, (used or brand new) any car. But If I have to single one out, my choice will always be a Volkwagen Beetle

10. a long vacation, anywhere; preferable somewhere with lots of photo opportunities.



For some reason, I really miss her. Maybe because it's December. Maybe because we haven't talked lately. Maybe because the world turns dark more quickly and the cold air bites somehow more sharply. Maybe it's the christmas lights that makes everything so romantic. Maybe it's the busyness of the season.

I miss her - the person she was - when she was with you.

I miss me ... with you.

But look, it's still me. Not much has changed ... except you are just missing. Hopefully missing me too.


Photofriday: Experimental

I was tweaking with the filters of Photoshop for a reunion invitation, and remembered this trick when Photo Friday made Experimental this week's challenge. I guess if you don't have the right filters for your camera, you could make a reasonable adjustment with Photoshop. Although it lacks the clarity of the real camera, it will have to do.

This is Iznart Street of Iloilo City taken from the top floor of a building. As usual, I forgot to wear my glasses. Here's the before picture:


Spell it

My nine-year-old nephew came to visit early morning last Saturday. He had four teenage siblings with him, so they, as usual, entered the house with a bang and woke up the entire household. My sister emerged from her room with sleep in her eyes and wearing her sleeping clothes: pajamas and a spaghetti-strap blouse. My nephew took one look at her and said, "Tita, you look like you're going to have S-E-X."

My sister's reaction should confirm the truth but I'm gonna leave that alone and let her blog about it - hahaha. :P. Anyway, glad to know the boy can spell.


Photo Friday: Yellow


I have 2 whole boxes of DMC bobbins for my cross-stitch hobby. Picked out all the yellows and lined them all up. I also took one with a box full of blues mixed with one yellow bobbin but that didn't turn out well.

Taken under a flourescent light with no flash. F3.8 ISO Speed 100


Updating the unupdated

I haven't been writing anything lately. I have nothing to report. Well, maybe a few but I guess I just don't feel like talking about them just now. The world just seems to be standing still. Nothing special. Lintik na pag-ibig.

I enrolled myself in a Photography class for just 400 pesos. The bad news is the class was cancelled because there were too few students, not enough to pay an instructor to coach students to shoot. I already paid for it so I was told that they will open it again during the summer and hopefully have enough students and I will already be enrolled. Otherwise, I can have my money back or enroll in another class. So maybe this is the best place to campaign. If you're somewhere in Iloilo, willing to give up 3 hours of your Saturdays practicing your aim at people or things, own or can borrow a Single Lens Reflex Camera and willing to part with 400 pesos, join us in this Photography class. At least if we lose our day-job, we could always build ourselves a studio and starve to death with our art. What do you think? Any takers?

Anyway, since the photo class didn't work out, I tried enrolling in (insert canned laughter here) BASIC cooking. Was so relieved to know they were full. Hahaha. So much for trying to live on the edge.

Oh, did I mention I also took up ballroom dancing? Grin. They have this "class" at work where you learn cha-cha, reggae, swing etc. The downside to paying only 30 pesos per hour is you have to share the gay dance instructor. Of course, if you can afford one, it's 250 an hour and he will only dance with you (Yup, we are in the wrong profession folks!. Don't go abroad. Learn ballroom). Had fun actually. I was told I can dance. Now they are asking me to bring a male partner because the male partner is the vital part of ballroom dancing. Sigh. I can't even find a boyfriend, how much more a male Fred Astaire? Anyway, one of the superfriends would show his dancing skills at the office by twirling me around. I haven't convinced him yet but maybe if I can drag him to that dance class, I won't need a gay dance instructor.

Ah, yes, I forgot to tell you, the office has just been transformed into the Justice League. We are the .... Super Friends. My officemateys have started to fancy cartoon characters and are claiming titles and superpowers they have long ago imagined they own. The boss is now Spiderman with a matching username on the network. We have a Green Lantern and a Batman. There are some who still can't decide. Personally I'd like to name one of them Dexter but I don't think he would be pleased. Anyway, I am now dubbed Catwoman. Opposing the cat lady that I really am. Well, to hide the superhero identity, one has to have a dumpy boring counter persona. Now if can only bend backwards and touch the floor ...


Photo Friday: Imperfection

This would have been a perfect picnic in the perfect park on a perfect day; Had it not been a celebration for the dead inside the cemetery on All Saint's day (Nov. 1, 2005). We were suppose to come on All Soul's Day (Nov. 2, 2005) but it has been declared a working holiday.

This is a shot taken at Forest Lake in Iloilo City. Someone have put up a bar near us in case the men decided to cool themselves with beer. There was also pizza, palabok and an assortment of shakes and junk food. My family rested under 2 huge umbrellas and spent the day lazing around my mother's tombstone. Once in a while friends would drop by to say hello on their way to visit their dead.There is nothing weird about this at all. At least not in Iloilo.


self less vs. god less

2 Peter 1:3-11
Make every effort to add to your faith, goodness,
and to goodness, knowledge,
and to knowledge, self-control,
and to self-control, perseverance,
and to perseverance, godliness,
and to godliness, brotherly kindness,
and to brotherly kindness, love.
They will keep you from being ineffective, and unproductive in your knowldege or our Lord Jesus Christ.

Have you ever woke up one morning and discovered you’ve become somebody you were and you are not happy to be back? I haven’t been to mass for the last four months. This state of godlessness is all too familiar to me because I didn’t go to mass regularly before the age 18. My mother had a hard time dragging me to church on Sundays when I was younger. I would rather play with my toys or read. What can I say? I am my father’s child.

I discovered God at 17. Just before that, I was in a state of godlessness. The state where you think you can do good on your own and have this distorted impression that you have control of everything you do. After 5 years of discovering God, I went back to my state of godlessness, a meaningless life that was not only boring, unrewarding but selfish. If I had a drinking problem or a drug problem back then, it might have made that situation more difficult to deal with but my battles were always centered inside my head.

Never argue with God. You always lose. Or worse, He gives you the silent treatment and let’s you figure it out for yourself. By then, you would have made a thousand mistakes. But at least, you learn.

After reaching rock bottom at 23, I found God again. He balances everything. Gives courage to fight the wrong, stand for the right and guides you to the straight choices.

Meeting the Muslim had also helped a lot. It solidified my belief in my own religion. I miss those discussions. I promised to read the Quran but couldn’t really get into it. There is such a big difference in how we view God. But it did help me appreciate his religion and my being Catholic more. Islam is such a great religion. But like the Catholics, or other religions as well, the wrong people tend to use it for self-interest. Sometimes I doubt if religion can ever be pure. But that's just me. Maybe I should learn Buddhism next. But God, though, should never be limited to just one religion. He's greater than that.

I once had this debate with the Viking about belief. He doesn’t believe in heaven. I asked him, “What do you have to lose?” If he dies and find no heaven, then he just wasted a few Sundays of church to talk to some pretty nice people. But if he dies and discovers there is a heaven, wouldn’t that be worth all the time he wasted going to church instead of rolling around in his bed? Well, at least he admitted he was an atheist with doubts. I love an honest man better than I love a religious one. Doesn't the song go: Banal na aso, Santong kabayo. Natatawa ako, hihihihi. (holy dog, horse saint, they make me laugh. hihihihi.)

I never can seem to make a consistent journey with the Lord. I see too much disparity in the world, and being the selfish bitch that I am, I tend to ask, “Why bother?” I know what I want and I want it. Period. My values pretty much arrange themselves in the order I want them. And so my life pretty much arranged themselves according to my values till I find myself in this state. This state of godlessness.

Anyway, I’m back in this state or heading towards it. I know I have to do something to get myself out of it but not going to mass has made me self-destructive and very judgmental. I’ve lost focus of my vision and mission. I need something to hit me on the head before I go right back to this meaningless life.

Endorphins. I need endorphins. And I need to make my peace with God, no matter what disagreements we may have about the things that happen in my life. If God was here with me, he’d be sighing like my mother. And I wouldn’t mind if he’d gives me a slap on the head and tell me to “Get over it!” I wish I had friends who can be that forceful when arguing with me.

I know I love my God. My problem is, I love myself too much, too; and forget everything else out there.

Loving God is the 1st commandment. Self and others fall second. The moment I reconcile that, I will find my peace … temporary peace maybe … but peace it is.

Go make your judgments. God gave us free will. I have difficulty dealing with my own. And everybody tries to do good in the best way they can, according to the life they live.

Note to self: Get your damn ass to church lassie!


Some kind of date

I’d rather be alone for the right reasons than be with someone for the wrong ones. – (Amanda Jones, Some Kind Of Wonderful)

I went out on my first date in ten years. It was awkward. It was not on the top of my list as a very memorable date. But it was okay. It bothers me that all I can really say about it was "it was okay". I don’t really know what I was expecting. I knew I’m a long way off to start hearing African drumbeats again. I couldn’t say that it made me warm inside but it made me face a lot of realities that I was afraid to face. No, strike that. I was not afraid to face it, but maybe I just chose to ignore it.

The guy was nice, silent. definitely not shy. But it was very clear that he went out with me because he was a very lonely guy … he knows what he wants … desperate for it in fact … that he pretends it’s real. He keeps telling me he loves but somehow I’m not convinced. I know a guy in love when I see one. He was not that guy. But I felt empathy for him. I could see hear the desperation for intimacy in his voice, the need to actually belong to some one, to love and be loved … I think his eyes mirrored mine. But what he can't see is you can not force love. You can’t hear African drumbeats or strums of guitars just because he held your hand or let you talk and let you analyze him without judgment that maybe you’re some crazy lunatic with imagined notions in your head. It takes a lot of magic for that to happen and that magic didn’t happen. You just can’t force it. He claims it is love. I told him he’s wrong. I told him that maybe they call it mid-life crisis. He thinks I’m funny.

I worry that I’ve reached the point where I have no more love to give. That maybe it can explain this vast emptiness of needing but not being capable of filling it; or anyone’s else’s emptiness for that matter. They say you can’t give what you don’t have.

I wonder if you ever run out of African drumbeats and guitar strums. Maybe I’m just going deaf. Maybe I should just stop asking questions.

I’d like to congratulate myself for being brave enough to go out again. And I also would like to remind myself not to settle for what’s there but look for the real thing even the quest turns me into a cat lady. Right reasons. Right person. No more. No less.


My dream wedding

I had a very weird dream last night. My parents had decided to marry me off to some stranger I didn’t know. What was strange was that I was already 35 years old. My upcoming groom was a brother of a priest-friend; a Filipino guy I have never seen or talked to before. Well, not in real life anyway. It seemed that my fate has been sealed and I was supposed to just go along with the idea.

My parents brought me to his house, a wooden unpainted house with simple furniture and one bedroom, and my parents made the arrangements with his family. It was agreed that I should continue to work, and my husband-to-be is suppose to do nothing because his parents will send money to take care of his needs. Apparently, despite the state of his house, the HTB was very rich. I was to do the housework, cook, clean kitchens everyday when I get home from the office while he lazes around. For some unfathomable reason, I seem to go along with the plan and had NO say in it.

I’ve never seen the guy before but he reminded me of Raymond’s brother in the TV series Everybody loves Raymond. He was tall, medium built, short black hair, droopy eyes, blank stare and seems lost on what he’s doing or going, When he started talking, in long sentences, all I can think was: “Duuuuuh!” (the way Moose would say it in the comic strip Archie). I felt a rising alarm bordering into screaming fit as random notions rushed through my head. “OH MY GOD! We have nothing to talk about! He doesn’t read! He doesn’t think! And he doesn’t talk sense! “And that started my heart thumping like it was going to jump out of my mouth – and I don’t mean that in a romantic way.

On what seemed like the day of the wedding, they made me up in this large white billowing chiffon gown. As we waited for a limo to pick us up, my parents had this bored look in their faces as if it was perfectly normal to marry me off to some stranger I know nothing about and much worse, who seems to know nothing about anything. When we got in the car, we were given a list of errands to do before going to the church like pick up the flowers, souvenirs, candles and so on and so forth. I remember saying, we will be late. And I was told that “No, we won’t be. It’s only four o’clock and the wedding is at eight.”

I sensed a growing panic as the car started moving. Thoughts of being stuck with this guy gripped me like a devil would a sinner. No challenging arguments. No intellectual discussion. No playful flirting. No mundane chit chats. And horrors of horrors, NO LOVE. No ten minutes of wonderful. Just a lifetime of nothing special. And the ideas gathered momentum around my head like a broken turntable.

The last errand was the wedding cake, I had to get out of the car with my billowing waves and walk a few blocks to get the cake, my family right behind me. I fell in step with a refugee girl. Where she came from, I had no idea. She was just there. She said she was walking this long way to get water for her family. There was a solemn resignation and sadness in her voice. I don’t know what she said exactly but soon after that, with rising fear in my throat, I started walking faster, and soon found myself gathering speed. And soon, I was sprinting down Luna Street towards Colegio de San Jose, clutching my billowing waves, screaming on top of my lungs, “I DON’T WANT TO GET MARRIED! I DON’T WANT TO GET MARRIED! I DON’T WANT TO GET MARRIED!”

Then I woke up.

I told Dory about the dream. I think it scared me more than any nightmare I’ve ever had. But it did cheer up my mood the whole day, considering how gloomy I was for the last few days. Mainly because the dream wasn’t real.

You know how dreams speak for our unconscious self? I wonder what my unconscious self is telling me.

Maybe I fear being domesticated? Or tied down? Maybe I fear dumb men? Fear of being sacrificed maybe? I don’t really know. I hope it’s telling me to never settle for second best, to never sell myself short. To always recognize what would make me happy, and to stick to what matters most to me regardless of the consequences it may bring.

Maybe I was never meant to be married. Maybe I was always destined to be a cat lady in jeans. Would that make me happy? No, definitely not. I’d really rather be married. But I’d rather make my own choices when it comes to my dream wedding … particularly the choice to pick my own groom.


Photofriday: Warmth

Christmas Parol

Christmas parols (lantern) sold at night by sidewalk vendors at 700 to 2,200 pesos a pop. This one had blinking lights and is 3x3 feet, made of strong plastic. The ones sold for 2,200 are made of lampirongs (shells) and are as complicated as this one.

They're pretty. But my hands were shaky. And I didn't turn on the flash which would have reflected on plastic.

My entry for warmth.

Parols on November

When the "ber" suddenly appear on calendar dates, like ghost from Christmas past, you start hearing carols. And ber also means brrrrrrr as the temperature drops in the early morning. Not enough for miracle snow, but cold enough to give you a headache when you are used to leaving the windows open. It's colder now. You need blankets in the early morning. And the days shorter.

Went out with the super friends Thursday night to get drunk. I got wasted on wine - hehehe. Pathetic. I really can't hold beer. And I certainly can't stand whisky. So it was the wine bottle for me. It did give me warmth.

Anyway, my boss stopped by this sidewalk vendor selling parols (Filipino Christmas lanterns). He just stopped so I could get pictures. We didn't really plan on buying. We're eeeeeee-vil - hehehe. The one on the next entry cost 700 pesos. In this time and age, a candle would do. But in a cold night, the parol does the job. Warmer ... brighter. Or maybe it's just the wine.



"When God wants to punish you, He answers your prayers." (Meryl Streep in Out of Africa).

There's a certain sense of freedom in deciding to love someone yet be free of commitment. No waiting for phone calls. No checking if it's alright to go out any time of the week with just anybody. No clinging or needing to be there. No promises. No false hopes.

But this freedom is also coupled with a sense of seclusion ... a bind ...that prevents you from expressing the real you. So it is still a prison in itself. Because you do want to be needed, to be called, to be checked once in awhile. And you do want promises and hope.

Just when I was about ready to let go, he tries to hold on. He tells me he won't blame me if I meet other guys and yet when I do, he asks if he should be jealous. That makes me happy because I know he still loves me. That makes me sad because that is all it will ever be.

I've been offered 2 dinner dates this past week. I could not bring myself to say yes. And I'm about to hit my head on a wall for it. I haven't been on a date for the past 10 years. The first 8 was spent with a boyfriend I've lost a love for. The last 2 ... well, if you read this blog, you'd know. My sister keeps pushing me to go out. A part of me wants to. A part of me just can't. I wonder if I've started to fear love or any relationship at all. Writer friend once said that the worst prison is when somebody holds your heart hostage and you can't have it back. Me and the Viking should stop talking about love.

Copied from one of of Lolo's old notebooks. (Makes you wonder if he's been through the same things ... unthinkable from someone you envisioned to be too old to be a romantic.)


If I withhold my voice of anger from you, for your sake,
You, in listening too hard to me will hear more anger than any real voice of mind would have held.

If I curb my raucus ribald pleasure voice for anticipation of your sensibilities,
You will know I have curbed and pleasure will be dimmed and overlaid with grimmy speculation as to why. (What else than pleasure was there that he did not say?)

If I damp my robust affection for you and keep my arms that want to hug you bound at my sides (As would seem more appropriate for those of our station and trade).
Your arms, or perhaps only fingers will twitch too, stifled and pinched off meanly. And perhaps in spite against their mind,
formed shackles will tense to fist.

All that I withhold diminishes me and cheats you.
All that you withhold diminishes you and cheats me.

When we hold back ourselves for each other's sake,
that is no service to either one.
We only collude in the weakening of us both.


No ... candid

I'm a planner and from a quiz I took during a project development training - I'm better when I work alone. That makes me a thinker. So I really hate instant assignments. And I especially hate assignments that I have no idea how to do.

My older sister has started this wedding planner business. I know I should be all supportive and I am all for that as long as I don't have to deal with people. That might make me very anti-social but no, I'm not really. People just terrify me. If I knew them well, I wouldn't have any problems but people I don't know and I have to direct in some way or another ... that really makes me uncomfortable. That's why I work with computers - they don't talk back. So if I lose my patience, I don't have to pretend to smile.

Anyway, my sister is planning a wedding for a friend of ours tomorrow. She was asked to provide someone who will "direct" the picture-taking part of the wedding. They already have a photographer. They just need someone to "direct" the picture-taking. Which I really feel ... strongly about ... as a very stupid idea. Why direct a picture-taking ceremony? Aren't pictures better if they are candid and very natural? Shouldn't it be the photographer's job to do such things?

Now, my sister, seeing my interest in photography - thinks I'm the right person for this job. Maybe I should see this as a learning experience since I do want to learn photography. But grrrrr ... this is ridiculous! And the wedding is tomorrow! And she just told me today. I mean, how hard can it be, right?

As I said, I hate instant assignments. And I especially hate assignments I have no idea doing. I hate bitching. But can I bitch when I want to.


Photofriday: Retro

mom's jewelry

I thought that it would be easy looking for a retro pic since I live in an old house. I was wrong. Trying to beat the deadline, I finally remembered my mother's jewelry that nobody has touched for quite a long time.

Used only for costume parties and special occasions that demands a special weirdness in the wearer - like our family Christmas parties, they come in quite handy. So we keep them locked up. I especially like the pink flowered earings with its matching ring. Haven't had an excuse to wear those yet.

This week for Photofriday Retro.


Now what?

Can't sleep.

Just finished talking to the Viking. He is off to get dinner. I just had coffee so I'm too awake to sleep. I wish I had his Que Sera Sera attitude. But the Capricorn in me feels safer with a back-up plan. But such things just can't be planned. Or must I surrender myself to fate or faith ... whichever comes first? "When the heart speaks, the mind finds it indecent to object" (Milan Kundera - yes, finally finished the book!) Sigh. Must learn to stop objecting and just go with the flow. Soon life will balance itself with the unbearable lightness of being anyway.

So what do I talk about now that I'm awake?

I got my lower braces attached last Saturday. The good news is I finally got rid of the mouth splint which has adjusted my jaw to some unseen angle. My dentist wanted me to keep the splint as remembrance since I've been wearing it for 10 months. I asked what for? Then tossed it in the trash. It never occured to me that I just threw away a remembrance of where a lot of my money went. But I didn't miss it enough to dig it out from the trash. :P

There is some face improvement due to the splint because I could see a sort of balance in my smile - which means I was probably having a slightly imbalanced smile for the past ten years of my life. lol. They say people judge beauty unconsciously by the symmetry of the face. If the right side of your face is the exact replica of the left, chances are ... people would consider you beautiful. Ah, the quest for beauty is actually a quest for balance. Aside from a prominent mole on my left eyebrow, I now have a balanced face. Grin. Hehehe. Call me conceited but I did suffer for it! Hahaha.

Except for the braces, I really think I now have a hell of a smile. Can't wait to get them all off, and it would take me ... sigh ... hopefully just another 6 months. Right now, I'm starting to feel the pains of teeth tightening and a wire grazing my inner cheeks and wounding it. I have to line cotton inside my mouth to protect my cheeks from wounding because dental wax can't protect them. But I have this ugly thought that I might swallow the cotton liining when I fall asleep. Eeeek! Again, beauty has it's price. Sometimes, I just can't see the point. Yet here I am right in the middle of the process. I can't really back out now, can I?

I need a good mouth by Sunday because I'm doing the reading for my friend's wedding. So the brace adjustment was not good timing. I need to learn how to talk without lisping by Sunday. I also need an outfit. I hate weddings. If I ever get married, everyone would be in jeans. :)

I'm hearing the damn neighbor's dog again. It's been howling for several nights now. And when it howls, it makes you feel like you're in some horror movie. Spooky really. Gives me goose bumps. So I hurry and turn on the mp3 player to drown out it's misery. It's too early for Halloween. Too early for me anyway. Shit! Now I'm starting to imagine things. Must think happy thoughts.

Had a good day today. See the sky just outside my office window.

Damn that dog. Must go to sleep before I start seeing things.


Photofriday: Conspicuous

Taken last January during the Dinagyang Festival. My first photo assignment with my Olympus SLR OM10.

Don't look too hard. They are all wearing black shorts. :P


Lightness of Being

I started this year thinking I'll be fine alone. That it doesn't really matter if I end up being married or not. Growing old alone doesn't seem that terrible and I relished the thought of freedom and not having too much responsibility. The only setback I recognized was that I really want to experience motherhood. I'd like to experience taking care of a child and seeing it grow. But that I was okay if I don't ever get that privilege. I was okay. I almost made it to the point that I was contented with what I have.

Then the world skipped and laughing with someone began as a leisurely past time. Suddenly marriage seems like a bright idea. That actually being responsible for someone doesn't seem to be too life threatening. And how cozy it would be to come home to someone after work and grow old with a familiar face on your bed every morning.

Then you realize you can no longer be alone. That half of you is already attached to someone else. That going home to an empty house would be more unbearable than a few more hours of work.

Then just when you've began to realize this, you discover that you have to re-learn to like being alone again. And still he doesn't understand why I find it difficult to trust. Go figure.

Babies have become a trend at the office. Everybody seems to be having one. In the last two months alone, I was witness to three fathers struggling with taking care of newborn sons. I feel kind of left-out because I can't take part in discussions about diapers and all the first goo-goo and gaa-gaas. But fine, I can deal with that.

Don't you sometimes feel that everybody is into one big secret and you're the only one who doesn't know about it? Aside from all the baby talk, I'm beginning to think there are no more great men in the world. They are either married or gay. Those who aren't have this big secret. And I don't know about it.

My greatest fear now is finding out that he never really loved me. That I've been actually fooling myself. And he was not really telling me the truth. Hmmmmmm ...

I've started reading a book called "The Unbearable Lightness of Being" by Milan Kundera. He writes on the second chapter: "If every second of our lives recurs an inifinite number of times, we are nailed to eternity as Jesus Christ was nailed to the cross." Terrible thought. I've been reading the book for a month and can't finish it. I think I'm going through this unbearable lightness of being. And it's not so bad. It's not good. But definitely not so bad.

If I sound depressed, I want to make it clear that I'm not. I'm in this unbearable lightness of being. :) And the truth is ... the reason it lasted this long ... is because it is bearable. Or maybe it is unbearable and I don't know it yet. lol.


Photofriday: Five

Hoarding a certain amount of coins they say is illegal. But I keep ending up with a bunch of 5 centavo coins in a drawer because I don't like to carry too many coins and they can't buy anything much anymore.

So when I gather too many, I string them into a necklace and send them to the bank. I should have taken the photo of the 5 centavo necklace too.



A friend of mine, BB lost her cellphone at a local hospital a year ago. A few minutes after she lost her cellphone, several friends from her phone list received a text message like this: "I'm in a meeting right now and in desperate need of callcard load. Can you buy one for me and text the number to me? I will pay you back later."

Being a trusted friend that she is; and this is considered a normal favor among us very close friends; five of her friends sent her a 300 peso load each within minutes. The few friends who didn't were nowhere near a store that time so couldn't get her a callcard. One friend, JJ, grew suspicious just because BB didn't say please - which if you knew BB, would be pretty abnormal. So JJ called BB's cellphone and keeps getting cut-off. JJ texted BB asking her for specific details - nicknames, places they have been ... but she didn't get any answer.

We learned later in the day that BB's cellphone got stolen and the thief had been using it to get callcard loads from her friends. She never made the request because she didn't have her phone with her. Her friends never got their 300 pesos back. So next time we ask for favors like this again, we have all agreed on passwords. LOL.

This happened today: My brother sent me a text message asking me for my name and bank account number because he needed to register it for money transfers. So I sent it to him. Then it occurred to me that it might be someone else using my brother's phone. And this culprit just might want to get my account number. Why did he need my name if he was my brother, right?

So I sent another message asking him for the date of my birthday. He didn't reply. And I was tempted to call the bank and check my account for unauthorized withdrawals. When he didn't reply for a couple more minutes, I called him. My first call was cut-off. Hmmmmm. On my second call, my brother answered, "It's me! Your birthday is (bleep). Your Dad's birthday is (bleep)." And then he laughs.

Correct password. Hehehe. You can't be too careful these days.


Jewish to laf?

Received this email today from Dave. Now I can't stop laughing. I just feel this is worthy a blog.

The following is a telephone exchange between a hotel guest and room-service, at a hotel in Asia, which was recorded and published in the Far East Economic Review:

To get the full effect, this should be read aloud. You will understand what 'tenjewberrymuds' means by the end of the conversation. This has been nominated for the best email of 2005.

Room Service (RS): "Morrin. Roon sirbees."
Guest (G): "Sorry, I thought I dialed room-service."
RS: "Rye..Roon sirbees..morrin! Jewish to oddor sunteen??"
G : "Uh..yes..I'd like some bacon and eggs."
RS: "Ow July den?"
G : "What??"
RS: "Ow July den?...pryed, boyud, poochd?"
G : "Oh, the eggs! How do I like them? Sorry, scrambled please."
RS: "Ow July dee baykem? Crease?"
G : "Crisp will be fine."
RS: "Hokay. An Sahn toes?"
G : "What?"
RS:"An toes. July Sahn toes?"
G : "I don't think so."
RS: "No? Judo wan sahn toes??"
G : "I feel really bad about this, but I don't know what 'judo wan sahn toes' means."
RS: "Toes! toes!...Why jew don juan toes? Ow bow Anglish moppin we bodder?"
G : "English muffin!! I've got it! You were saying Toast.' Fine. Yes, an English muffin will be fine."
RS: "We bodder?"
G : "No...just put the bodder on the side."
RS: "Wad?"
G : "I mean butter...just put it on the side."
RS: "Copy?"
G : "Excuse me?"
RS: "Copy...tea...meel?"
G : "Yes. Coffee, please, and that's all."
RS: "One Minnie. Scramah egg, crease baykem, Anglish moppin we bodder on sigh and copy....rye??"
G : "Whatever you say."
RS: "Tenjewberrymuds."
G : "You're very welcome."

Hehehe. Sometimes one email is all you need. =)



I used to have time to go blogging when I'm at work. Now, the moment I sit down on my desk in the morning, I couldn't stop to think about anything else other than work - straight up to the last hour in the afternoon. Something always comes up - things to finish, things to start. And I have colored post-its that reminds me of what's next. They're sticking on my monitor like colorful banderitas on the eve of a town fiesta. I'm beginning to miss my ignorant days when I just stare at the monitor and didn't care what happens in the office as long as they pay me my salary. But now, I care. I want results. I want productivity. I want work. Okay ... now that's a bit scary. Is this how work-coholics become work-coholics? I have the symptoms. I'm now drinking more than my 1 cup a day. And I have 10-minute lunches after 1pm. And I stay at the office till 6:30pm.

The good news is I've stopped touching my computer back home. I'm getting tired of looking at monitors and started watching TV. Hehehe. Big change, right?

Anyway, things might go to normal next week. I've been taking classes on computer trouble-shooting every Tuesday and Thursday afternoon at this Korean Organization that offers it for free. Since it's free, they make us huddle in this single computer unit where we take it apart, put it back together and turn it on till it starts resembling the computer we have back at the office. It will be ending next week so that gives me more time to ... do nothing. sigh.


Who would have thought blue could turn into pink?

My sister and I got stranded on the mall across our office because of the strong rain last night. It flooded the mall driveway which resulted to people getting wet and lots of car traffic. We spent three hours walking around until we finally got a ride somewhere else to get a cab. That, after spending money on siomai, iced tea and renting a bunch of VCDs we don't have time to watch. Bad decision really. I should have stayed at the office till the rain slowed to a drizzle. I could've gone blogging or maybe read a little. At least I avoided getting wet in the rain.

This morning was sunny and no sign of rain or flood. On my way to work, I saw a strange sight: a large jeepney driver pointing a finger and swearing right in the face of a traffic police officer who was writing his ticket. The puny officer looked furious but couldn't get a word in. I found it funny. A lot of people stopped to watch. My sympathy is with the puny officer. I think he just embarassed himself to the public. A grown man bullied by another grown man. A word to those who aspire to be traffic officers ... you need to have a thicker face and a much louder voice to succeed in that field. In a place like Iloilo, drivers are much more fearless - hehehe.

My congratulations to my friend who conquered Zambu and came back with her passport and her pride intact. A little shaken but had managed to close her doors to another chapter of her lovelife. Ah, the internet has secrets that will never be safe to the naive and the hopefull. Never trust a guy who refuses to show his face and breaks promises. And just because he's kind and sweet and thoughtful, it doesn't mean he is honest.

Ex-boyfriend called to invite me to dinner. He wanted to see if it's okay with me that he's planning on getting married. HIHIHIHIHI! I said I'm fine with it. That he doesn't need my permission. He said he hopes we could still be friends. I said "we are". It was him who decided to make himself scarce because of a wounded heart. He asked if my dad could be godfather to his wedding? I said yes, sure, but he will have to ask my Dad who I know will say yes. He wonders why I'm okay with it. I wonder why he thinks I should not be. Now, who has closure issues?

The blue to pink thing? It's a private joke. No, I'm not pregnant. And I don't plan to be any time soon. Or come to think of it, any time in the near future. But who would have thought that blue can turn to pink. Hihihihi.



IMGP0037 copy

Suddenly have so much time on my hands. And since I can't sleep ... tweaked with Photoshop. A self-portrait. From an original photo.

Who wants one? Send me your picture. That is if your in no hurry to get it. Sometimes I'm frantic. Sometimes I'm bored. Either way, it takes time to do this and I hate to be hurried. Email me at ilongga70@gmail.com if you want one. Yes, it's free.

An extraordinary freak in nature

Once upon a time there was a witch who was in need to gab, and by some extraordinary freak of nature, landed on a Viking ship with her broomstick. In that ship was a Viking Captain who had the skill of running away from women with marriage contracts. He believes that everything is an illusion and nothing in the world can convince him otherwise. The witch on the other hand was out to prove that true magic exist but can only be recognized by the pure in heart.

Anyway, they strike a friendship, this witch and Viking and managed to find a common ground to talk about despite their differences. He was wise – this elder Viking. She was twisted – this, um, young witch. He was an atheist … with doubts – this stubborn Viking. She was a strong believer of magic – as all witches are. They got along, this witch and Viking. He taught her the trick of running away from marriage certificates by showing her what shoes to wear, where to go, when to run. She showed him the antidote for love potions in case he was fooled to drinking one. He told her about his ship and the tiny island where he lived. She described to him the marvels of her broomstick and how useful it is when dealing with cobwebs and dirt.

They talked day and night and soon, by some extraordinary freak of nature, found themselves surrounded by an unexplainable fog. Having sailed vast seas in his long years, the Viking recognized it immediately as magic because he had seen one of them before, a long time ago, and because he was pure in heart. The witch, having learned from too many quick mistakes and seen too much trickery, failed to recognize it – her heart clouded by the shadow of doubt and false pretenses.

They reacted differently. The Viking saw fear, and got his running shoes ready. The witch saw hope but was quite skeptical about everything. The haze grew thicker until all they could see was each other and nothing else. It was only then that they recognized true magic.

The witch cried, “Quick! Run!” for she understood his fear. The Viking dropped his shoes and stayed because he understood her hope.

As this magic grew thicker, by some extraordinary freak of nature, a storm was brewing right over the horizon. It was stronger than Katrina or Rita. It was so tough and fierce that they called it … Marissa (LOL, private joke!). This proved to make life difficult for the Viking Captain. With the storm was news about resolutions banning witches away from Viking ships because of the former’s ability to enchant ships with charms and curses.

Meanwhile, the witch had her own problems. The storm brought news about raised prices on broomsticks and oil for flying vacuum cleaners. So she concentrated her energy on saving her last broomstick and tried to mend together the straws falling off.

The storm got worse. Not only were witches banned from Viking ships, they were burned at the stake which is kind of harsh, even for Vikings. The broomstick got a bad case of broom lupus and its straw started to fall out.

It was not long before the storm surrounded them, darkened the magic haze that enveloped the weird couple. It rocked the ship and finally threw the witch overboard. The witch turned on her magic and made the broomstick float – without really understanding that it was magic that kept her from drowning in the dark sea. The Viking grabbed the ship’s wheel and tried to turn the ship around, and used up all his magic till he no longer had the strength to steer it. He finally dropped down and looked up at the disappearing figure of the witch in her broomstick.

The Viking finally believed that not everything is illusion. "True magic is real", he says, "but fetches too big a price, even for a Viking". He resolved never to touch magic again, and put on his running shoes and made a mad dash back to his island.

The witch stopped her quest to prove the existence of true magic and went back home to fix her worn-out broomstick. "True magic doesn't exist.", she says. "Everything was just as the he said, an illusion."

An extraordinary freak in writing. Hehe. The best way to handle magic is to write about it.



Ah, when to the heart of man
Was it ever less than a treason
To go with the drift of things,
To yield with a grace to reason,
And bow and accept the end
Of a love or a season
-Robert Frost

I've been talking to a lot of broken hearts this week. One girlfriend is off to Zamboangga to prove a point and to end a relationship. Another girlfriend has started dating a doctor just to scorn a known womanizer. Both know they need to let go. Yet they hesitate.

I'm that too. I don't know what I'm waiting for nor what I'm hoping for. I just know I'm nearing my 5th stage - acceptance. I've been getting so used to the numbness that I can barely feel anything.

It helps that you can drown out any sign of weakness with the help of a CD. My friends and I once decided to make a CD called "Play in case of emergency". It is made up of songs for the broken hearted. Mine starts with Michael Johnson's "Bluer than blue" and denial songs like James Taylor's "If I keep My heart out of sight". Then it progresses to something more maddening like Natalie Imbruglia's "Torn" and Vanessa Carlton's "Breathe". Then it goes to other stages of depression like the Bridget Jone's most popular "All By Myself" and "I'll Never Fall In love again". Then you go numb and start singing with Annie Lennox in "No More I Love You's". If you reach the song "I'll be Okay" by Amanda Marshall, then you're good. If you start belting out "I Will Survive" then you're definitely out of the woods.

Had a short talk with writer-friend. He hadn't had any sleep because he had been working all through the night. So his answers were pretty criptic and floaty. But he did say that only the first 100 years of life is the most difficult. The rest would be easy. For some reason, that made me feel better. LOL. I know I will never reach my next 100 years. That reality is somehow insanely comforting because you know this is going to be as good as it gets. And you will have to make the best of it or you die.

Heard that ex-bf is getting married next year; with the best friend of one of my best friends. I would be lying if I say I'm immune to news like that. But I really can't find a word to describe what I feel. I'm sure I feel a certain happiness for him. I hope he's marrying for the right reasons this time. I worry that he's not. Do I regret breaking up with him? The answer is a definite No. I didn't love him, that is very clear. I guess my regret is more that he gets to marry someone else first. And that I'm still alone.

Define irony. That should be my title.

My ewwwww list

I'm not very fond of memes. But this was a challenge so I'm taking it. From Outburst blog.

I think men are more squemish about the thought of sleeping with the same sex. I had no trouble picking up the women. All these are after all, theoretical. I still don't think I can stand kissing a woman though. I guess that makes me totally straight.

"Your mission if you choose to accept it: You have to sleep with 10 celebrities, 5 male and 5 female, I don't know why, maybe your life depends on it, maybe you just enjoy swinging both ways. Fact is you do. Pick them and tell me who and why."

1. Pierce Brosnan,Because all his roles portray him as a gentleman. And because he's sexy. And because he makes every move look graceful. He's 52 years old by the way. =)

2. Sting - He's one of the few British I know who doesn't have big teeth. He's spiritual, strange, brilliant as an artist - and the voice - Erase everything. I think the voice is reason enough.

3. Richard Gere - I don't know. Maybe because he can play the piano, sing and dance very well - very rare for a guy who's not gay. And he's buddhist. :) I like a guy who believes in something bigger than himself. Maybe it's the white hair. LOL. It was a close fight between him, Sean Connery and Robert Redford. He won because he was the youngest. Hehehe.

4. Edward Burns - 37 yrs. old. One reason. Because he looks safe. The boy next-door-type. Also the serial killer ordinary looking guy type. Hehehe. I think this is what makes him so dangerous.

5. Aga Muhlach - Filipino actor. Hehehe. I was in-love with him when I was 14. He's VERRRRYYYY cute. He's still is. He's about ... 38 years old now I think.

1. Keira Knightly - I don't really like her movies and I don't like her name either but I think she's breathtakingly beautiful.

2. Shu Qi - I saw her in the movie "So Close". Hers is the ultimate pouty lips. She should be a Bond girl.

3. Julianne Moore - I think for some reason, she's disturbing. Makes you want to delve deeper and seek what lies beneath that cool exterior. For some reason, I don't think she's so sure of herself. I don't know. Maybe I like the conflict.

4. Natalie Portman - If I have to be a lesbian, it will have to be because of her.

5. Thandie Newton - She's exotic. Almost wild. Lol. I think she will be good in bed. Ewwwwwww.

I observed that boobs were not a factor in my choice in women. And for the men, although they are all drop dead hunkylicious - they all have to be a gentleman ... and older ... hmmmm.

There are three things 30ish women would consider in a man at first sight. This is based from previous talks with girlfriends. (1) the face - not how good-looking you are, but how clean you are. Even if you don't shave but you look like you smell good - that earns pogi points. (2) how you walk - confidence. if you act like you know what you're doing, she will know what she wants. (3) the butt - i can't explain it. But girls like men with a good ass. Come to think of it, so do gay men.

In the end though, I don't think is has anything to do with looks. It all ends in the heart. But don't take my word for it.

For the women, hmmmm ... I think women generally knows how to appreciate beauty. Except when they're jealous. Or especially when they're jealous.


Heroes and Harry

Remember the days when we read Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys and the Bobbsey Twins? Remember how weird it was that we we're all getting older and Nancy and Ned remained in college? And they were suppose to be the smart over-achiever kind? Just like Barbie, they've all been frozen in time and plastic. Aren't we glad Harry Potter gets to celebrate his birthday every year and actually go through the stages of puberty and awkwardness?

Spent the weekend reading Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Halfway through it, I got it - the ending - hehehe - Promise I won't reveal anything that will result to me getting violent emails or a flip-flop on the head. I'm quite contented on how it ended. It was bound to happen sooner or later. Man must realize that there are things he just can't control. The sooner the person realizes this, the easier his life becomes. Of course, being a difficult person that I am, I am not one of these people who had that epiphany. It's going to take me years to get there.

Like all heroes, Harry must face his greatest adversity. Superman meets kryptonite. Batman meets his demons. The Highlander must accept the curse of immortality or off with his head. Frodo comes face to face with his greed. Luke Skywalker must fight with his father (like every average son gets to do at least once in their lifetime). Wasn't it Spiderman who said, "With great power comes great responsibility?".

Makes me think I should cry like Tina Turner: I need a hero! One who not only regards me as his greatest adversary, but his greatest prize. Hehehe. I'm not only dreaming, I'm probably hallucinating as well. And giving myself too much credit. That's why all heroes are fiction. None of these crap exist. So, I remain a cat lady. It's not so bad. My dying wish would be to find out if I could be worth fighting for. Be worth the greatest adversity. By the looks of things, I will not find this out until I reach my death bed.

Note to self: Must warn Viking of witches with love potions. And FYI, there are no witches in my country. Only tikbalangs Manananggal (hahaha, thanks V! Goes to show, I know nothing about ghosts). They are women who cut their bodies in half, grow wings and fly to take newly born babies from their mothers. Hmmmm. Be afraid. Be very afraid.


10 Supporting Graces

Had a very busy week. Since last weekend I've been working on flowchart banners - several of them. The problem was, not everybody involved knew how to make flowcharts on Powerpoint so I ended up re-doing most of what they have done. Since each office had 3 or more, I ended up losing sleep because if I changed just one word from what they gave me, it's my ass on the line and I probably won't hear the end of it.

So I went to work. Sometimes as much as 13 straight hours. Sometimes I sleep early, wake up at midnight and work till morning until I have to go to the office. My body was racked with cough and asthma but that didn't stop me. I was assisted by my remarkable, ever supportive female co-worker who would (1) reassure me everytime I become my own worst critic. Finished the first group on Wednesday, another group by Thursday then had everything ready by Friday - all ready for Monday's event. Our work will be displayed all over the building. I have more work coming too but at least, the difficult part is over. I lost weight. I do declare that not getting enough sleep is the fastest way to lose weight - but of course, NOT the healthiest.

I also finally got my loan and so I paid every possible bill cluttering the refrigirator door. What relief! No more cutting of phone lines. No more power interruptions. And TV as much as I want. (2) Brother-priest also came to visit to check how we are. So you see, it's usually the little things that counts. I skipped a meeting just to have a chance to chat with my brother. It's always important not to lose sight of what's vital, don't you think?

I thought of rewarding myself for all the stress and worries I had these past few months. So I did what every normal girl would do - I went shopping - and bought myself:

(3) an optical mouse (because I soooooo wanted one),
(4) a flourescent lamp (since I've been living in the darkness of my bedroom for a month with only a desklamp) and
(5) a roll of film.

Hahaha. The Viking insists I buy something for myself. So I did and I bought (6) a nebulizer. I don't think that was what he had in mind. Maybe he was hoping for new clothes, a movie treat, a spa massage. I was suppose to pay him for a loan I didn't ask for, and he wouldn't take the money back. Finally told him I'd give the money to charity. Hehehe. Told him I knew someone in need of a nebulizer. So I got a nebulizer from the Viking. Hahaha. So that makes me an official indigent and him, an atheist philanthrophist. Hehehe.

I never thought myself to be a girly-girl. I would have gone for nice clothes too if I thought I really needed it. Don't get me wrong. I do like to look good. But when it comes to spending money, I become dangerously practical. So practical in fact that it has become a sickness. But I'm not entirely hopeless folks. I've set aside some money for (7) a trip to the beauty parlor. I need to have my hair done because it's grown so long, I'm starting to look like Sisa. But that will have to wait because it's Saturday and I don't want to think about work or anything remotely related to appearances. I don't care how anything looks. I've had enough of that for a week. I care about how everything is. Not the what. But the BE. So I took my bath, had my ice cold Coke and pizza, relaxed. After posting this, I'm going to curl in my bed and read a book.

As I said, I've officially become an indigent. For some reason, people keep giving me things I don't ask for. My lawyer-friend keeps dropping by the office in the guise of a visit; when she actually just needs to talk about matters of the heart. And every time, she keeps bringing me (8) breakfast, like I will be starving if she doesn't. Then writer friend's gift, delayed for several months, arrived out of the blue. It was a (9) heavy book about Photography. I was jumping from sheer joy. I love it when someone believes in me in times when I find my possibilities clouded-over. He has seen my pictures too. He's either blind or thinks I can learn much. Lastly, my Canadian-friend arrived, with my (10) Harry Potter Book 6, hardbound. Glee! She was the one who introduced me to Harry when nobody knew Harry then. We shared a liking for the classics and the love for Anne of Green Gables and Jane Eyre. I think I'll go buy her chicharon to take home to her sons and her giant-husband.

Who needs new D&C high heels, or expensive outfits? I really have everything I need. It would have been perfect if he was here ... but, well, a girl can't have everything.

Support. Sometimes a little of it goes a long way.




Just when you needed it. A funny text message from Cagayan De Oro. Thank God for girlfriends!:

Kis-a ang gugma indi maintindihan
Nakita mo na, nadula pa!
Nagpakahangag ka na, ginbale wala ka pa!
Palanggaon mo todo, Bay-an ka man!
DIPUGA nga gugma!
Naguso pa!

I am therefore I do

I slept all morning Sunday to regain all the energy I lost running around Guimbal in the rain. But I took good pictures there! When I woke up, I had a sore throat and the makings of an asthma attack. Gargled salt water and took asthma meds. Then I started working at 3pm on a Sunday. It started very slow because a throbbing headache had decided to implant itself inside my brain. I skipped dinner, had coffee with bread at 11 pm and worked till 5 in the morning.

Good thing there’s a jeepney strike today. I had an excuse not to go to work. So I slept till 9 am and then started working again. Finished 10 flowchart banners in pdf form ready to be taken to the printers as soon as I get back to the office. I don’t know why I’m pushing myself too hard. I did promise to deliver and I’m going to. Will try to finish another 10 today – 15 if I don’t collapse from exhaustion.
I told my office partner that I’m afraid people would have complaints about my work so I'm trying to make everything flawless. She reminded me that I can’t please everyone and warned me to expect criticisms among ingrates who don’t understand the complexity of the work. This extra work is not bringing in extra income but since it’s going to be displayed all over the building, I want it to be good. Something I can be proud of. I don’t want to disappoint. Me most of all.

Disappointment. I’ve been hearing about that a lot lately. I hate it when people judge me without really knowing what’s going on inside. Sometimes I makes me want to burst and fade into oblivion. But I plod on. I’m too proud and stubborn. And I don't like that I have to censor my blog because people tend to worry about the things I write here. These are my thoughts. This is my blog. This is the reason why I created it. So I can speak without anyone interrupting me. It's selfish but it keeps me grounded.

I sometimes wonder if I’m a difficult person to get along. I know I have moods that could turn anything into fire or ice. Everyone has days like that. But I generally think that people can get along with me.

Looking back at past relationships, I wonder if I had been difficult. Was it the cause for the break-ups? But I’ve realized that all my break-ups ended with the men (as if ang dami no? hehe) – still in love with me. The reasons for the break-ups were due to more insoluble obstacles – a God, a wife, an inability to provide, a racist government. Or maybe they were not really insurmountable. Maybe I was just not enough.

It’s really my fault. I choose men with too much high ideals. Ideals that even they can’t meet. Or maybe it’s just that I’m too complicated. Too contradictory. And they all say I think too much.

I don’t know where me and the Viking stands. It’s becoming difficult he says. I have no energy to argue or defend myself anymore. I’m leaving everything to fate. I’ve lost sight of faith but I know God is there. I just refuse to see Him because I'm living in my own world.

I just need to love. And be loved. Why is that so complicated? At the beginning of this year, I’ve finally convinced myself I’ll be fine alone. The Viking changed that. I pictured babies with blue eyes. I even dreamt my cooking – hahaha - as if that would be possible!. Poof! As fast as they come, as fast as they go. Looks like I have to re-learn everything all over again. “The world is a circle without a beginning and nobody knows where it really ends” (Lost Horizon movie, Diana Lee and Bobby Van).

Last week was a battle of emotions. I was flailing. I don’t believe I have to pretend that I’m strong all the time. I don’t have to pretend that I have everything together. And I don’t like it that I have to censor my blogs because everyone else seems to worry about me. I’m glad that I have tempers and tears and can be mean when I want to. That makes me all the more human. And I can be more honest to myself that way.

I still believe love is the greatest emotion for all eternity. Pain is just a minor setback. I will look back at this and think that it will be all worth it. For now, I plod on.



A friend's sister died recently. Her name was Melinda. Nobody in her family knew she had breast cancer. She was brought to the hospital because she was feverish and was in pain. While there, she finally confessed she had cancer and after a few minutes, died in the emergency room. Her family had to find out about her "unexpected" death from her sister, the only person home that time to bring her to the hospital.

Only then did the family shed some light to mysterious things happening in the house. Why they would suddenly find bloody cotton balls in the trash. Why their mother takes so long to use the bathroom. Why whe would always automatically seem to cover her chest when she bumps into something. It was her decision not to seek treatment for her cancer. Maybe because she knew, they wouldn't be able to afford it. In a way it was a death sentence. One she gave to herself.

Q: Is not seeking treatment for a fatal disease a form of suicide? Is surrendering to one's mortality a death sentence?


All in a week's time

Stress is ...

  • paying seven pesos for a jeepney fare while you listen to the radio news about increasing oil prices

  • waiting for a loan applied and approved 2 months ago with check pending because someone else from your building failed to pay their loans

  • receiving a notice of disconnection from the phone company

  • attending meetings here and there while your In Tray creaks with self-pity

  • attending a training 20 meters away from where you thought it would be

  • listening to a Korean explain something to you while you smile and pretend you understand his English

  • PMS on your busiest week ever

  • losing your cool with the one you love while trying to control hyperacidity and he decides not to talk to you because you're mean

  • taking added work because you know you're damn good at it but not getting extra pay for your labors

  • the maid calling you to tell you that the electric company pulled the plug for not paying your bills and you will not be having TV tonight

  • a favorite nephew celebrating his 15th birthday and you just can't NOT have a gift because he is the favorite

  • seeing vegetable prices increase by as much as 40 pesos per kilo while worrying how to make food last till the end of the week

... all that in a week's time. So I really don't care about Hurricane Katrina right now.

Peace is ...
Finding it in yourself to laugh at the hilarity of all these. It's either that or I've lost all my senses.

Update: I've managed to raise money to pay half of the electric bill and got the electricity reconnected. My sister volunteered to do the marketing for next week. Was told that my loan will be released next week after two months of waiting for it. I'm working tomorrow but I was also asked to be Godmother to a new baby boy. In my depression, I haven't attended Sunday mass for about a month.

Still God provides. And although I'm not overwhelmingly happy, I feel relieved. I have just been through my worst week. I'm still alive. That calls for a celebration. Care to join me for fishballs?


Here we go again

I need to puke. It's the only way to get rid of hyperacidity. That and anti-acids plus a cup of warm water. My mom used to remedy this with freshly squeezed kalamansi juice - about 9 of them. And you have to drink it raw without water or anything to lessen the bitter taste. My teeth couldn't stand them. It's like nails scratching the blackboard. But it worked though.

Been going back and forth the toilet waiting to puke. But looks like it's going to pull me an all-nighter, this one.

I did 50 sit-ups yesterday. Was so proud of myself even if I ended up with painful protests from my abdomen all day. And I was thinking that I could duplicate that feat today. Then this happens. You see, this is why I need a husband. I have absolutely no idea how to take care of myself. On the other hand, does this mean I have absolutely no clue on how to take care of a husband? Sigh. And I can hear them chant: Cat Lady! Cat Lady! I'm still hoping I'd turn into Cat Woman. Prrrrrr.

Gilmore Girls is back. Suki said it's good that Lorelie found Luke. That means that when she dies, someone will find the body and call the police.

Prrrrr. Prrrrr. Prrrrrr.


Photo Friday: Order

For some reason, they remind me of hospital beds.


What is love?

What is love? Have you ever been in love? Do you believe in long engagement? :)

If you were born in the 70's and lived somewhere within the Pearl of the Orient, I'm sure those questions are familiar to you. The 80's autograph book. I think now, they call it the Slam Book. Nevertheless, we painfully answered those questions and read the answers of others. We laugh in amusement or giggled in glee. But to tell you the truth, I don't think we knew what we were all talking about. Until now, we still have no clue. What we do have are just pieces of enlightenment, an aha-moment now and then. Sometimes, we just avoid any explanation and live in denial or surrender, whichever suits us best. But we still continue to live in love's mystery and so remain confused.

I know I've been quoting a lot of things these past few days. But I've been into a dark mood lately that I'm avoiding my own thoughts. I've been writing a lot of things. Those things I will blog soon. Today they remain in my notebook. Because I'm still contemplating on them.

Anyway, I was attending this seminar for a investment thing (me poor, need money). It was held, of all places, in a public library - just about twenty people there. While waiting for the seminar to begin, I mah-vel-lously found this treasure of a book. It was a compilation of short stories written by Filipino writers between 1929-1940. Pre-war stories. Anyway, took the time to read the first one by Paz Marquez Benitez. This one is worthy enough to share. So here. The story was called 'Dead Stars':

"Love. He seemed to have missed it.
Or was it love, that others told about,
a mere fabrication of perfervid imagination,
an exageration of the common place,
a glorification of insipid monotonies such as made up his love life?
Was love a combination of circumstances
or sheer native capacity of the soul?
In those days love was, for him, still the eternal puzzle;
for love, as he knew it, was a stranger to me
as he divined it might be."

Ahhhh ... poetic isn't she?

So to you dear blogger? What IS love?


What do I do with you?

I saw my mom in a dream last night. She came out of the dark, in her pink duster, sliding her slippers on the floor like she always did. She had this amused look on her face; an amused smile that would say, “Hay! What am I going to do with you?” You know - the resigned smile of a mother who can’t do anything with a stubborn child.

She was also carrying a stack of papers. When I first saw her, I said, “Nay!” surprised and somewhat pleased to see her. Then I thought to myself, “but you’re dead” - which kind of spooked me. She handed me the stack of papers but I didn’t look at them because I was still trying to get over the shock of seeing her. I don’t believe in ghosts but I can easily be afraid of them. When my mother died, I prayed that she won't show up anywhere to surprise me because it would scare me. So when I started feeling the fear, I lost her in the dark but still I could feel her fingers against mine. I felt her sit next to me, then pulling me to sit on her lap like she did when I was little. Then she gave me a hug from the back, and sort of jiggled her arms a bit. She does that when she comforts me. My family was never very affectionate in a show-offy kind of way. But this was my mother’s way of telling me that everything will be fine. I could almost hear her sigh, “Ay sus ah!”, resigned to the fact that she can never change her kids but would love them anyway.

I woke up and cried.

If there ever was a way for the dead to communicate with the living, this works fine for me.


Day In Day Out

I'm really getting very bored with my life. I didn't realize this till the Viking told me to stop working and go home. I was not being paid for overtime anyway. But that's just it. I was working to avoid going home. There's nothing waiting for me there.

I could watch TV. But I can't stand TV shows right now. I'm saving all my energy for the new season of Gilmore Girls (Yey! Luke!) I hate watching the news - all I hear is bad news and it's not helping my moods. I can't remember the last time I really laughed. You know, that loud uncontrolable laughter that makes you hold your stomach and bend your knees. I miss that. I need to start reading a new book. There's this old hard-bound Catherine Neville waiting for me on the shelf. But I don't want to start with that because my Harry is arriving this week, from Canada. And I've been warned that I won't like the ending to this one. Hmmm ... the plot thickens. I'm still mourning Sirius Black.

I'm getting really boring too. All I could think about is work. Even when I'm walking to the bank or eating lunch. I'm lost in the world of gradients and swatches and psd. And I really need a break. Only thing is ... I feel that if I stop thinking somehow, reality would hit me in the face and violently throw me to living a life I don't want. Okay, now I'm really needing a therapist.

Here's my horoscope for today:
Quickie: They have to invent a whole new metal to describe your strength of will now. (My strength of will comes from my braces).

Overview:Image hosted by Photobucket.com
Feeling exceptionally disciplined? It's showing -- you've accomplished a lot! And now, it's about time to treat yourself. Buy a little something for yourself -- maybe something on discount. (LOL Wish I could afford discount)

Daily: Just because others are losing their heads doesn't mean that you have to take the same tack. So before you start running around and yelling about how the sky is falling, take a deep breath -- and then take a good, long look at the situation. You might just find that things aren't quite so bad as everyone is making them out to be. Once your cooler head prevails, others might be able to see the same thing as well. You can keep feeling good. (Hmmmm ... how to feel good. Get more coffee?

I crave for chocolates. But for now, I'll have my 5th cup of coffee for the day. I think I'll even go watch the news. Something just might surprise me. (fingers crossed). I'm getting bored with myself. I better go before I put myself to sleep.


The Queen

Spent Friday night with my guy-pals from the office. As usual, I ended up being the only rose among the thorns again. My girl-pal had to go home to her family and attend a wake.

It was a last minute invitation and it was my semi-boss'es birthday. His wife had just had a C-section, a new baby boy and a close brush with death in the hospital. He needed major cheering up, being so worried with the bills and all so we all went there to see celebrate his birthday. Of course, everyone ended up with beer. And I had the whole Coke liter to finish for the rest of the night. We were joined by his other friends - unfortunately still no women. I was wondering if I should be there at all but being with my office buddies, I didn't feel left out at all. Ironic that I could go out drinking with so many men but not with the guy I love. Erase! Erase! Erase! Let's not go into that. At least for a night, I could stop thinking about ... well, about me.

My semi-boss put up his DVD player in front of us to entertain us. I ended up watching three concerts that night: The Eagles Reunion Concert, Simon and Garfunkel at Central Park, and the Queen's We Will Rock You Concert in Montreal. In between bites of goat's meat (it might be rabied, LOL), pantat, talaba and talking about silly topics, I also enjoyed the three concerts. I have high respect for these bands but I didn't realized how great they really until after seeing those concerts.

I was surprisingly impressed by the lyrics of the Queen's songs. I knew they were good, I could sing some of the chorus and recognize most of them. I know I can't memorize the lyrics. I didn't even get Bohemian Rhapsody with all the Galileo Figaro thingy going on. And was wondering what Bismillah meant. But maybe it was just the situation I'm in but Somebody and Save Me moved me. Lol. Not really the songs I would choose to move me but they did. The trick is not just to read the lyrics. It works more when you listen with the music. Or it helps if you can sing like dear old Freddie.

Freddie Mercury has such a great ass. But I have to concede, he was far more graceful than me. And he looked far better with that scarf.

Queen - Somebody To Love

Can anybody find me somebody to love?
Each morning I get up I die a little
Can barely stand on my feet
Take a look in the mirror and cry
Lord what youre doing to me
I have spent all my years in believing you
But I just cant get no relief, Lord!
Somebody, somebody
Can anybody find me somebody to love?

I work hard every day of my life
I work till I ache my bones
At the end I take home my hard earned pay all on my own -
I get down on my knees
And I start to pray
Till the tears run down from my eyes
Lord - somebody - somebody
Can anybody find me - somebody to love?

(He works hard)
Everyday - I try and I try and I try -
But everybody wants to put me down
They say Im goin crazy
They say I got a lot of water in my brain
Got no common sense
I got nobody left to believe
Yeah - yeah yeah yeah

Oh Lord
Somebody - somebody
Can anybody find me somebody to love?

Got no feel, I got no rhythm
I just keep losing my beat
Im ok, Im alright
Aint gonna face no defeat
I just gotta get out of this prison cell
Someday Im gonna be free, Lord!

Find me somebody to love
Can anybody find me somebody to love?

Queen- Save Me

It started off so well
They said we made a perfect pair
I clothed myself in your glory and your love
How i loved you
How i cried...
The years of care and loyalty
Were nothing but a sham it seems
The years belie we lived a lie
I love you till i die
Save me save me save me
I can't face this life alone
Save me save me save me...
I'm naked and i'm far from home

The slate will soon be clean
I'll erase the memories
To start again with somebody new
Was it all wasted
All that love?...
I hang my head and i advertise
A soul for sale or rent
I have no heart i'm cold inside
I have no real intent
Save me save me save me
I can't face this life alone
Save me save me save me...
I'm naked and i'm far from home

Each night i cry i still believe the lie
I love you till i die
Save me save me save me
Don't let me face my life alone
Save me save me ooh...
I'm naked and i'm far from home


Five Stages

1. Denial
It's not happening. You can get through this. All you have to do is bury yourself with work. Remind yourself to put one foot in front of the other. So you're in a daze. That's ok. You've been through this before. It should get easier. It shouldn't last. You'll wake up and it's all just a bad dream.
A nightmare. But it's not.

2. Anger
You should go cut your hair, right now! In fact, just shave it all off. It will make you feel better. You should erase everything from memory. Be rid of all the baggages. Throw your energy into your madness. Grab something and kick it. Hit the wall. It will be good to see anyhing break. Maybe it will give you relief. Maybe it will make you really tired that you don't have to think about him. Throw anything!
But I don't.

3. Bargaining
Maybe things can still work out. Maybe we can talk about it and make things right. Maybe it's not so bad. Long distance relationship sometimes work. There may be people out there who knows the secret of how it works. I don't mind being a cat lady. I may not be mom material anyway. Maybe if we just talk about it, it will be fine. We will be fine.
But we're not.

4. Depression


Why Good Men Lie (revisited)

I'm cheating. I'm blogging in advance because God knows when I can blog again.

This is a re-print from my previous deleted blog (dated 1.21.2005), for the benefit of a female-lawyer-friend who knows better and should feel better. I don't know if I still have the same conviction I had when I wrote it. But reading it again, makes me want to believe in it. So Ayan! Read and weep.

After one practical joke, a broken heart and an unexpected discovery, I thought of tackling an age-old question that has been at the back of my mind for the past month. Why do good men tell half-truths? Picking the minds of my male friends, with side-comments from their girlfriends or wives, I came up with this blog.

Half-truths are true facts with details omitted for a purpose. Half-truths are half-lies. And that makes them lies just the same. The lies I mean here are not the grave ones that would seriously affect humanity, or one that would take advantage of the down-trodden. But just “basic” lies like: (1) failing to mention to a girl you’ve just met that you’re married; or (2) withholding information about your educational background or your real name because doing so might end serious possibilities; or (3) telling a girlfriend that you ran into THE ex and oh, forgot to mention that you accompanied said ex to lunch; or (4) promising to be there when you know you couldn’t because you just can't be at two places at the same time. That sort of lies.

And so my guy-friends defend themselves. Researcher friend reasons, it was not a lie. The question just never came up, and the information was not vital enough not be shared. And he didn't want to offend or hurt in any way. Writer friend says it’s because women are so emotional and an all-out truth can sometimes be better told in small installments. So the truth shall eventually be revealed, as if filtered until the whole picture is clearly visible. And it’s the best way to avoid an all out war with the wife, he says. A high school buddy supposed he assumed too much; that the facts were clear and that he was not hiding anything. Another officemate reasoned that the information was not significant at that time, and need not be said. Still another said, women are just too sensitive and the truth can have disastrous consequences. Women, he said, demand to be treated equally, yet when given the truth, they break down and cry, leaving the guy helpless. Finally, a long-time friend said, “I couldn’t tell her because it would break her heart.” – ooooooooh plleeeeeezzzz. I happen to have strong women friends/family and all of them would probably be cursing right about now.

Fair enough. Men do make these judgments from past experiences with other women. And most often, these experiences were not at all pleasant. And men, being men, will just choose to evade the issue and take the 5th. And the truth stays hidden, till it becomes inevitable to tell. If I have to judge things in black and white, a half-truth is, was and always will be a lie. They are not good. But I always try to perceive things without the lack of color. Everything is in different shades of gray ... or red, or blue, or yellow. Good men do have reasons for their half-truths and they were not meant to hurt. These good men have after all, in the end, come clear before any real danger came to pass (except for that one broken-heart – hikbi, hikbi). And have redeemed themselves with their good intentions, reasoning and yes, bribery - hahaha. So, good men do lie. Their reasons, although a bit one-dimensional, were made from honest judgments and more importantly, their inability to understand women. We women fall off our rockers for the same reasons.

Just this. Women, at least women like me, don’t like to be treated as if we’re fragile. This is after-all the 21st century and we’ve manage to outgrow skirts and the need to be married at 34 (sorry – couldn’t resist). I do declare that although I am woman, I am not afraid of the truth. I may be emotional but my tears do not make me weak. In fact, I believe, it is that which makes me stronger. There would be puny moments, - and this I say without fear of being seemingly helpless -- I think, if I am mature enough, I would have ways to let my man know that I need to be delicate. “Come hither and protect me!” I would say. It’s just Venus with its clouds hiding its insides. It's just the way I am. God made me that way.

My male friends and I think differently, but it doesn’t excuse them into hiding information just to protect my sensibilities from a raging war, an out-right debate or to shield me from a pain I know not - because in the first place, I didn't know the full truth. I would rather like to hear reason - the why behind the what. And I do like a good argument - albeit I lose in most of them - GRIN. But it’s in the passionate exchange of reasoning that a lot of the person is revealed and that makes the discovery a lot more fun and meaningful. So I’d rather that they not lie, or tell half-truths. I'd rather that they tell the whole story and not omit details that I might find unpleasant. I’d rather have the honesty up-front than to postpone dealing with a half-truth later. This theory, of course, is not applicable to the faint of heart. Truth will sometimes hurt and hurt bad. So when your Jack Nicholson testifies that “you can’t handle the truth!”, because you drop tears or lose your smile, be sure you’re woman to correct him. And be sensible enough to stop or postpone the conversation to another day when you become close to violent. Let’s not make hell just because we can’t bear the facts. But maybe, we could calm our insides and go fight another day - reasonably. If we don’t want to be lied at, let’s avoid acting frail, because we’ve gone great lengths to prove we are not. We are just different from men. And men are just different from us. And don’t we just love our differences?