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.