Eternally 38

Dear God, Allah, Jesu Christi, and whatever name we call you,

You know I never lie about my age. It is as inevitable as death. I turn 38 today. Despite all my philosophies about you and my complaints about life, I want you to know that I am still eternally grateful for everything that I have.

I thank you most of all for family, they are such asses. But it takes one to know one? Imperfect and difficult they may be - I love 'em to bits and I'm such a lucky ass that they also put up with my imperfections and my being difficult.

I thank you for my bedeviled friends. They are my reason to believe in you. Hehehe. And I thank you also for my angelic friends. Sometimes they are just too good for me but I don't mind that one bit. Keep them coming ;)

I love it that you gave me a job that doesn't feel like a job. And I love that you found me opportunities to answer my problems and at the same time find self-expression on how I see the world.

I thank you Lord for a free mind and a free heart.

But I am most grateful for, and you know how I hate being corny, I thank you for being there. For laughing at my blunders, for challenging me in my cowardice, for holding my hand in my fear, for your empathy in my pain. For just being my Lord and Saviour. There can be no other God like you.

I'd give you a hug but you are just too big for me :)

So thanks Bud. I am eternally grateful.




There are days when all I could think about is escaping reality, responsibility and reason. I sometimes wonder if my idealism has somehow trapped me into my own prison cell - one I cannot get out of. I remember my mom who wanted out of a bad marriage but just couldn't leave the house she worked hard for or the adorable smart-ass kids she gave birth, too. But then again, who could? - hehe.

I wonder if I could just go and start all over again. As I age, leaving the house to live alone and independently just gets more and more difficult. But I think of the accomplishment - a feat this would be for a prisoner in her own-self-built walls.

No matter how permanent this feels, I assure myself that I can always change my mind if my put my heart into it.

By the way, our household helper just won a million pesos in a raffle this weekend. Yes, the one who cooks for us for a meager salary is actually richer than me now. The funny thing is I'm still figuring out where to get her her 13th month pay. Loyal that she is, she has chosen to stick with us for the time being although I did tell her to look for a good replacement should she wish to leave us (the ad would say: WANTED. Household help. Perks: those who live with us could become the next millionaire!).

All she asked that she be allowed a long vacation to visit her grandmother which I obliged her. I mean, how could you refuse a millionaire who wants to stick with you even if she could actually afford to employ you as her household help - not that I would be good at it anyway. I murdered chorizo in trying to cook breakfast last Sunday because she had to go tell her family that she's rich. Sigh. I am happy for her. She needs a house. And deserves a whole lot of things for what she's been through in her life. There's no one here on earth who deserves this than our very own Doña D.


Twilight movie

The book ruined it for me. Maybe I expected too much. And I had such high hopes for Kirsten Stewart as Bella and Robert Pattinson as Edward Cullen. Make-up was horrendous. The script lacking - majorly lacking. And everything ... well, just blah. Huge disappointment. I should've just stuck with the book.

The only actor I really liked is Charlie Swan. And I did love the scenic spots, the forest and the cinematography can sometimes be ... well, really pretty.

I wonder if people who have not read the book liked it? If I haven't read the book, would I have liked it? Probably not. I'm thinking of reading Twilight again and redoing the whole movie in my head. :) I will attempt to forget that I didn't like it.

I hope they don't destroy the Time Traveller's Wife for me, too.


They have what I want ...

What does ...
1. Bruce Banner (The Incredible Hulk)
2. Henry DeTamble (The Time Traveller's Wife)
3. David Rice (The Jumper) and
4. Edward Cullen (Twilight)
... have in common?

Well, they have what I want; The super power to avoid ... TRAFFIC. ;)

There are just too many cars in this city. And since taxi cabs are now incredibly expensive, I hate, abhor, loathe ... to have to face traffic. Think rush hour. Ugghhh.

The one at the most disadvantage would be Bruce Banner me. It would require me to do some heavy lifting to get to where I want to be. But then again "heavy" would not be heavy if I was the Incredible Hulk. But I think it would bother me quite a bit if I have to be green just to get to all those cars. Not counting the havoc I would create just by passing by.

The Henry DeTamble me would be capable of doing the one thing the other three can't and that is travel through time. Again, it is unfortunate that I would have no control on which time I go and when. And there's the nudity factor, too. I don't think that would be too comfortable. It would be a health hazard. Not only for me, but for the people I would surprise by just appearing at of nowhere.

Now the David Rice me would have been ideal. I think it would be cool to take anything moving and just take it with me no matter how big it was. Hmmmm ( I can think of some LOL). But I hate the possibility that I would ruin my mother's floor tiles should I be in a hurry to get home. Although I would like to skip immigration. Egypt, France, London. That would be nice.

And the Edward Cullen me? Well, I don't mind being a little bit more paler than I am now. And I would love that I would lose my ability to blush because that is total drawback when you're trying to hide something. And if I was a vampire, I would be hiding a lot. I do mind being thirsty for human blood though.

Should I have one super power in the world,
and I might change my mind tomorrow,
I want what they have.
The super power to be rid of traffic.

Hi Lea. I know you'll be reading this :)


Calmay, Janiuay

My priest-brother has been assigned to Calmay, Janiuay, Iloilo. We went there to see his new church yesterday. Funny thing is I didn't take that much pics of the church. Instead I took pics of people, the scenery, parts of the building etc.

I wouldn't mind staying there for a bit. Just to escape the hustle and bustle of city life. Love the green. Love the fresh air. Love the natural air-conditioner. And the quiet. Shhhhhhh!!!!

But I think I can only last for two days. I cannot survive without my dsl. And I certainly can't survive without my computer.


Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer

My book arrived Monday morning. Someone placed it on my desk. I jumped when I spotted the LBC plastic that covered it. Thanks to our bunso for going with my whim to buy the book between his busy schedule and sending it over the seas just to complete my happiness. Wehehehe.

I assured my brother that he doesn't need to read it. It's a chick flick book, not for men despite the vampires and werewolves in the story. The plot though complicated does not really have the depth and twist I would want in the books I read. But I do love it. Because I'm a chick that gets attracted to witty exchanges between male and female as well as an inborn obsession to romantic love stories. So there. Despite going "bleeeech" on diabetes-inducing phrases, I have to admit it. I'm a chick. This book proves it.

There is a certain relief to seeing an end to a certain obsession.

Unfortunately, it was a slow relief. I was SWAMPED with work. This week, every time I get home, I get to work immediately after dinner until midnight. Sometimes I go over but I try to make it a point to stop at midnight to give myself time to stop worrying over deadlines and expectations (mostly mine). Because I don't go off to sleep when I get to bed, I read my new book. Unitl one in the morning. To make sure I don't look like a zombie the next day.

At the office, I finish all my immediate tasks in the first hour and work on the mundane stuff later. After I get that all done. I read my new book. I read it as I walk slowly to the bathroom or to when delivering a document to another office. I read it on the ride to and from the office. I read it as I drink my coffee or when I'm waiting for my sister. I read it when I walk to the atm and read it in the elevator. I read it when I can. I have discovered that I have hidden powers to avoid people , walls, steps and other distractions when I walk while reading the book.

So I finally finished it today. All 754 pages of it. And I have satisfied my hunger.

Finally! Now I can go on with my life.


Eclipse again

Ok, I take it back. I don't entirely hate it. But I still don't like it as much as the first book. I can't stand mushy. I tell my friends that Edward is too perfect. Too perfect to be normal. And they remind me that he is not normal. He's a vampire for God's sake.

I still don't have my last book but will have it soon. ROY! Hint Hint! Sigh. Can't wait.

Spent the holidays in Passi to visit my father's parents and we also stayed a few hours in Forest Lake with my mom. Still have asthma. Viking has pneumonia. We are both sick with breathing problems. Sigh. Life could only get easier if only we had cleaner air.

No internet at home. The modem died in the middle of a download. shee-it. Now what? I'm typing this in an internet cafe - not very comfortable since I'm used to my privacy and my David. But had to check mail for clients. Can't wait to have my home network back again.



I'm not through with it yet, but it's official. I hate Eclipse.
Much too sweet. Bleccch!


New Moon by Stephenie Meyer

Finished Book two by reading after getting in bed and finishing just before I had to get up for work. So I haven't had any sleep. And I'm starting to look like a vampire in my office table. And feeling every inch of my sleepiness like I've just been to Italy and back. Sigh. That Bella is one lucky girl. :)

I've been neglecting work. I figured if I could just finish all pending jobs by this weekend and get my hands on the third book within the week, then the last book would be a fitting read for November 1 - the day we celebrate our dead ;)


Twilight by Stephanie Meyer

Just finished Twilight by Stephanie Meyer. BIG GRIN. Except for specific parts which to me were excruciatingly corny, I really, surprisingly love it. Again it's back to Korean telenovelas although I seem to have outgrown those. Well maybe except for that Korean actor ... what was his name? Beong Jung or something like that.

Anyway, can't wait for the next book. I already called my brother in manila to try to get me the three other books in paperback. Because I could not stop reading from night to morning, I started to have double vision. Too much black letters on white background maybe? I hope to God this doesn't last.Maybe with a few more winks, I will be back to normal.

Why excruciatingly corny? I can't help it! I hate repeated expressions of undying love although I know from experience that they are not really THAT EXCRUCIATING when you actually hear it from someone you actually want to hear it from :) But to see that on TV or hear it or read it? I am more ... critical. Maybe some writers just say it better than others? I know, I'm quite nasty about it. Evil laugh.

I'm not complaining about Stephanie Meyer though. I like her writing. After Harry Potter, I like the idea of having a new series to follow. And knowing that this happens in high school? Imagine that you were a teenager in the 80's reading Sweet Dreams in paper back. Close? Na-ah!

Must Read


Richard and Nixon

Saw this on you tube and remembered my two favorite characters :)

Incidentally, Ron Livingston (Nixon in this Band of Brothers video) will be playing Gomez in the movie Time Travellers Wife to be launched on December. Can't help but wish that he was playing Henry. He would make a good Henry. But then again, he probably would make a good Gomez too.

I know. I'm a fan - hehe.


The Time Travelers Wife

My sister introduced me to audio books. The first being the Time Travelers Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. I'm half-way through. And I can't sleep. Dang it! I hate it when I fall in love with a book. And can't help but love Claire and Henry too.

I have always been fascinated with time travel. This fascination resulted to obessions with Hi-Lander, Back to the Future, the first Terminator movie, Heroes, Somewhere In Time, Harry Potter even. And something about Bruce Willis and monkeys? What was that movie again? I like looking for anomalies in time. It boggles the mind.

Anyway, I love this book. I love how it is written, the simplicity of language, the candidness of conversations, the longing - my God - it's unbearable. And I'm just halfway through.

Halfway through and I already have a feeling how Henry will die :(

Halfway through. My God - it's unbearable. LOL.

I love it.


Wishlist 2007

I just thought I needed to update my wishlist. At five in the morning (Grin).

Anyway, I realized I didn't get to make my wishlist last year. For some reason. So I'm making last year's list. And I'll make this year's list in December :) And I need to add some more items in since I got some of them this year. Just to make it an even 10 :) Can't help it. It's the OC in me.

So here they are:
1. I want everything in this website for starters - hahaha. Puzzles galore. I can't pick just one so I'm linking the whole page. :P


2. Peace on earth, goodwill to men. (This comes second now because of climate change. And because of reality check and stubborn hope.)

3. The ever elusive Canon camera and lenses (I have wanted it for a long time but never got it. It's a luxury I cannot afford but it will remain on this damn list until I get really tired of it.

3. A room like this - or a new house while I'm at it:

4. A computer table exactly like this:

5. A Laptop - no particular brand. Just one that works so I can read ebooks in bed :)

6. learn programming

7. cable TV - we had ours removed just before the flood and never got it connected again. I miss Jay Leno and Oprah :(

8. time to read - I haven't had time for this favoriet pastime anymore

9. This car in dark blue:

10. Atticus Finch :)

I've become very specific in my wishlist, as you can see. I don't always get or buy the exact thing I want but being more specific helps me remember why I want them in the first place.


Ilonggo Graphic Designers

Calling all freelancing graphic designers in the Province and City of Iloilo willing to work for a foreign company for outsourcing. Job includes photo retouching, illustration, CGI and design. Please send resume and samples of work to ilongga70@gmail.com or call 0917-2430417.


Proust Q&A

The objective is to have a glimpse of ourselves.

What is your idea of perfect happiness? sustained free-will coupled with a wide variety of choices

What is your greatest fear? Regret

Which living person do you most admire? hmmm ... Simon Cowell - just because he's not afraid to say what he really thinks.

What is the trait you most deplore in others? greed

What is your greatest extravagance? coffee and taxi cab rides

What is your favorite journey? The one I'm having now

On what occasion do you lie? To protect people, and on occasions, to protect myself :)

Which living person do you most despise? I could name one now but you don't name them people in your blogs, mate!

Which words or phrases do you most overuse? Sorry and ... why?

What is your greatest regret? Not finishing school

Where and when were you the happiest? :) wherever and whenever I find myself in the early part of falling in-love. then i wake up to reality - bwahahaha

What is your current state of mind? I've always been neurotic. It helps me to know that.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? I wish I was taller. or maybe smalller boobs. or maybe be more of a people-person. or have a set mind. Okay, maybe the last one.

What do you consider your greatest achievement? having the courage to follow a dream

If you were to die and comeback as a person or a thing, what would it be? I'm not sure I want to come back. Kinda like this life already. Mababaw nga eh.

What is your most treasured possession? David (my computer) and his geek friends. Because I earned them hook, line and sinker.

What do regard as the lowest depth of misery? Having no direction, no purpose, or worse, no emotion

Where would like to live? Passatani, Italy - the scenes from the movie 'Only You' was breath-taking

What is your favorite occupation? Food Taster

What is your most marked characteristic? Practical

What is the quality you like most in a man? Sense of humor

What is the quality you like most in a woman? a strong sense of self

Who are your favorite writers? Marami. Harper Lee, JK Rowling, JR Tolkien, JD Salinger, Isabelle Allende among others

Who is your favorite hero of fiction? Atticus Finch, of course

Who are your heroes in real life? My siblings

What is that you most dislike? Broken promises

How would you like to die? Quickly

What is your motto? Follow your dream and the world will conspire with you to get it :)

screenshot and brief description of their current desktop —

Drew this for a client and liked it so much, it stayed there.


Went shopping today!

Went to Sm City today to spend the harvest of my hard earned labor.

Bought yourself a blouse, did you?
No! Got a decent UPS for my computer.

And ... jewelry?
No! Got myself new speakers so I can work late nights and stay awake.

A new bag at least?
No! Got myself a 120Gb External Hard drive I can carry around!

And, let me guess, a few more geek things?
No! Got myself new sandals! And they're on sale!
I am not a total nerd, you know.
Not yet anyway :P


Ten things to be thankful for while in Boracay

1, License to drink from the boss

2. White sandy UNCROWDED long beaches

3. friends of the same wavelength

4. men who can cook, sing/recite videoke and solve hardware and software problems :)

5. Php100 ice cream crepes

6. Pristine blue waters

7. free R&B music with ambiance

8. Free and great accomodations (Thanks to Nirvana and Tawhay Boracay Condos)

9. One huge family halohalo shared by eight

10. Celebrating simple celebrations with an omelet :)


res·pite [réspit]
(plural res·pites)
1. brief interval of rest: a brief period of rest and recovery between periods of exertion or after something disagreeable

Microsoft® Encarta® 2006. © 1993-2005 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

Finally, some breathing space. After arriving from Boracay two weeks ago, work has been not stop - both at home and at work. It's like eating a full meal and being asked to run the 800 meter dash. That's what it feels like. I'm soooooo tired today, I think I'm going to sleep until noon tomorrow. TGIF.

Yeah, I forgot to tell you. I went to Boracay with co-workers for a four day official travel. There were 15 of us. It was after a very demanding, stressful training with very little sleep. The timing was good because after what we went through, we needed rest - essential, critical even, REST.

But you see, when in Boracay, you really forget all your cares and problems. It's the magic of the unseen line between sky and water. Boracay is really lovely this time of year - (as long as there are no storms!). Off season. Not too much tourists. Not too warm nights. Inexpensive housing. No advertising events on the beach front. No lumot or jellyfish. Just a whole lot of space of white and blue. Ahhhhh, bliss! This is what God had in mind when He created heaven. I'm so sure of it. Our timing was perfect. Plus I was in the company of my few favorite people. If I had to be stranded on an island like the people in LOST, I would have picked out a huge percent of this company. For one sole reason, this people can help me survive. They are that good :)

I really loved it there and was so sorry to leave. Ah, pics to come.



My new battle cry for the moment.

In one of my comfort trips to my friends house, after the usual feed-the-down-trodden ritual (a great cheese sandwich roll cooked right there for me, ice cream and Oreos), we sat down for several hours to mourn, laugh and burn out all the usual libak-the-fafalicious of the world.

I had a special treat that day. My friend sent me home with a San Francisco t-shirt and a whole pile of Korean Telenovelas with good english sub-titles.

I hate watching telenovelas on tv. I can't stand not knowing what happens next. After Criminal Minds decided to blow up one of the agent's black cars without us knowing which agent got killed was uurrrrgggghhhhhh ... just eeeeeevil! Good thing we forgot the suspense by watching Danny Crane! Sigh. Not having cable tv is not so bad as long as you get a steady stream of tv series on dvds - hehehe.

Anyway, back to Korean telenovelas. Finished watching Lovers in Paris (Aja!)

and My Girl.

Can't help but love both. Takes you back to Pride and Prejudice - Korean style. Because I couldn't stop watching it, I went around work floating. I didn't get much sleep just watching both series. It was almost torture not being able to watch it. It was that addicting. My sisters and I all went to bed hesitantly at 2am. We had to peel ourselves off the sofa so we could work the next morning or force ourselves to turn off the dvd player. I wouldn't recommend them on busy days. But sigh, I love them.




me: Hey, I just got a log distance call from the US, another possible website employer asked when I'll be free. As in he called my phone to make sure I respond to his email. Naks. Kudog my heart. Be careful what you wish for all over again?

friend: Hahahaha.. Ay sinabi.. Be careful what you wish for gid eh.. I'm very happy for you missy.. As in!

me: I'm very afraid for me hahaha. As in I'm terrified I just might succeed or someone might discover what a fake I am.

friend: Talaga ito. Why do you say that? It's not like you're pretending to be somebody you're not

me: Not being a college graduate does that to you. Ruins your self-confidence when placed on a race with nitwits bearing diplomas.

friend: Duh! My brother also do not have a college diploma but he is now a service engineer in New York. He knows all of the insides of their machines that's why he was now tasked to do the company's operations manual. Output ang important not degrees.

me: Sigh. I know. Thanks friend. Just needed to get that one out before I panic. Will keep that in mind.

friend: Talaga ito. Dami mo na nga clients and super satisfied lahat. Talaga ito. Bansai lang bala!

me: Bansai!

Did I tell you how great my friends are?


Be careful what you ask for?

I sometimes fall into a bad habit of feeling sorry for myself. I try to snap out of it when I can. I know that it doesn't lead to any good and it contradicts my philosophy about the laws of attraction.

First, I was physically sick and had to be absent again from work - asthma, coughing, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, fever. I had to take medicines with side effects of the same. Second to that, I have never received so much job orders all in one week. Eight all at once. I had to turn down some of them. Third, there is added stress of the state of the house after the flood. It is literally falling apart. Having no bedroom door is no joke at all. And fifth, we had an alumni homecoming taking place that weekend. So it was no surprise that after that week, I got pretty stressed out and could not hold anything down. The two good things that came out of it, was I was forced to get tests and lost some weight without much effort.

I'm back at work now and feeling much better. My first foreign job ended the week I was sick - quite short and I'm ashamed of not being able to do it right. But my body couldn't take it anymore. I'm currently finishing 3/4 of my second foreign job. And this one I'm quite proud of. Have two pending website jobs awaiting data (which reminds me, I have to redo my contracts), another one coming in and two more print jobs. To say I'm busy is an understatement. But I've learned to force myself to relax. I don't do any work if I feel bad about something. I am never productive or inspired when I'm stressed. And I did say that my own business is supposed to be enjoyable because I have passion for it. I promised myself I will stop when it stops being fun. And my last two weeks was no fun at all. But I am meeting deadlines and schedules of present jobs which is a good sign.

I've been trying not to turn down jobs. With the state of the house, I really need a large amount to fix it. But if it would end to me getting sick again, I will gladly turn it down. I'm going to put health first because being sick is definitely not enjoyable.

I started out feeling good about the jobs I'm getting. But I got so stressed, I wonder if this is God mocking me. Be careful what you wish for?

At the very least, I now have proof that the law of attraction works. Hahaha. And yes, I will be more careful what I ask for next time :)



My cousin loaned me a copy of BBC's Pride and Prejudice on DVD starring Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth ... the TV movie which was mentioned in the book Bridget Jone's Diary. Watched in with my sisters and a friend of ours who got hooked into it. He ended up staying until 10pm just to see the end of the movie. The problem was it was an old copy and some parts were not as clear as it should be. We missed the part where Colin Firth is suppose to jump into the water exposing a bit of ass - Sayang. Every time the video konks out, my sister would say, "Insufferable!" It was. But we didn't stop watching until we reached the end.

I've read the book once and loved it. I also loved every movie which mentions it in part or base a whole plot from it. To name a few: You've Got Mail (Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan), Bridget Jones Diary (Colin Firth), Pride and Prejudice (Keira Knightly) among others. And I've just read in Wikipedia that the Japanese manga Hana Yori Dango by Yoko Kamio, was loosely based on Pride and Prejudice. Hana Yori Dango was also the basis for Meteor Garden.

Hay, I just love, love, love, love ... Jane Austen and her books.

Next to Atticus Finch, Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy would come as a close second. :)


Love Machine

In an effort to escape the desolate state of the flood-victimized house, my friend and I decided to disappear into the cinema. The criteria for a good escape movie: (1) it must not make you think, (2) it must have lots of hunky men, (3) it must be fun and minimum drama. And the last one, (4) it must have a kick-ass soundtrack. So we went to watch Mama Mia. :)

The thing is, I hate cheesy movies. No, I extremely detest them. But the mission was escape and surely, Mama Mia will transport me to another time. And that is just what it did. We found ourselves singing with the Abba movie. As In. WE ARE THAT OLD? We grew up with these songs. I remember singing to "Hasta Maniana" and "Fernando" even if I didn't know what I was talking about. And hey, I'm sure everyone cannot deny that they had danced to "Dancing Queen" and "Money, Money, Money" at least once in their lives.

I thoroughly enjoyed myself - hehehe. And yes, Pierce Brosnan and Colin Firth are effing love machines even in glittering bell-bottoms.

To see how much we enjoyed ourselves, my friend and I downloaded the song "Honey, Honey". Read the lyrics. To think that we sang these when we were six? I would prefer the soundtrack to the old Abba version though. The ah-hah sound is so much different in the new version. Giggle. Smirk.

Honey Honey
Honey honey, how you thrill me, ah-hah, honey honey
Honey honey, nearly kill me, ah-hah, honey honey
I'd heard about you before
I wanted to know some more
And now I know what they mean, you're a love machine
Oh, you make me dizzy

Honey honey, let me feel it, ah-hah, honey honey
Honey honey, don't conceal it, ah-hah, honey honey
The way that you kiss goodnight (The way that you kiss me goodnight)
The way that you hold me tight (The way that you're holding me tight)
I feel like I wanna sing when you do your thing

I don't wanna hurt you, baby, I don't wanna see you cry
So stay on the ground, girl, you better not get too high
But I'm gonna stick to you, boy, you'll never get rid of me
There's no other place in this world where I rather would be

Honey honey, touch me, baby, ah-hah, honey honey
Honey honey, hold me, baby, ah-hah, honey honey
You look like a movie star (You look like a movie star)
But I know just who you are (I know just who you are)
And, honey, to say the least, you're a dog-gone beast

So stay on the ground, girl, you better not get too high
There's no other place in this world where I rather would be

Honey honey, how you thrill me, ah-hah, honey honey
Honey honey, nearly kill me, ah-hah, honey honey
I heard about you before
I wanted to know some more
And now I know what they mean, you're a love machine


Flash Flood Drama Final Episode

June 22 - Sunday

6am. Braced ourselves for the catastrophe that is our home. Mud covered every inch of the lot and the insides of the house as well. Furniture and appliances scattered everywhere, some ransacked and covered with mud. Some walls and doors have been destroyed and will need to be replaced. All beds wet. Hardly recognized my room. Winced when I saw all my books and notes ruined. All my clothes covered in mud. Yet felt so grateful to have survived it. Immediately started shoveling mud out of the house after cups of coffee and a can of sardines.

8am. Called everyone we know affected by the flood. Everyone ok. Just happy with that thought.

8pm. Had our first bath in two days at the neighbor's house. Cousins sent money, dry clothes and food. We bought drinking water. We had to borrow each other's dry underwear. Tired and desolate. Still had difficulty sleeping.

June 23 - Monday

Brother-priest arrived and helped out. He bought us supplies and groceries. Cleaned backyard and maid's room first. Cousins kept bringing us cooked food. They are such angels. Hired someone to clean water well and fill-up water tanks. Semi-cleaned toilets first, kitchen and living room second. Bedrooms will have to wait. Was so happy to see white floor again.

June 24 - Tuesday

Cleaned my room and ny older sister's room. Discovered all my manual cameras soaked and muddy. Threw away all my journals, loveletters and other mementos. No time to grieve for them just yet. Younger sister started to get blisters on her feet from being exposed to wet mud. We started wearing garbage bag boots on our feet and gloves on hands. Also started drinking meds for leptospyrosis. Water pump broken. Moved back home. My sisters and nephew all shared a bedroom.

June 25 - Wednesday
Cleaned last bedroom but it will not be liveable until walls and floors are fixed. Bought washing machine because old washing machine unusable.

It took us a week to get all the mud out. Another week to take care of laundry, and clean up the stuff we had salvaged. Maybe another month to grieve for the lost photo albums, teddy bears, documents and things we couldn't let go of but have to. And probably another year to get rid of the trauma and fight the panic every time it starts to rain. House still in shambles but it has gained back it's homey glory. Will need to replace a lot of cabinets, doors, walls and furniture. Will need to treat it for termites and molds to prevent sickness. We will need a lot. We will try not think of the expenses for now and just play it by ear.

On the bright side, we have less mess to deal with, more space in all the rooms, more stories and jokes to tell our folks. We are grateful for all the people who helped us through. Our cousins and Titas who made sure we wouldn't lose too much weight. Our maternal relatives who sent monetary help. Classmates, officemates, online-friends, priest-friends, relatives - all overwhelmingly generous with encouragement, prayers and support. Even the Bishop popped up for a visit to check on us. We are oh so so soooo grateful. As I keep saying, we are truly blest and we are the luckiest people in the world to have so many people look after us. Hikbi hikbi hikbi. :)

To all of you God-sent folks, thank you!


Flash Flood Drama Episode 2

4:00 pm. We reached the corner store but could go no further. Water was now up to my shoulders. If we continue, I was afraid we would drown. Someone called my name on top of the second-floor of an apartment building. “Diri na lang kamo”, (Stay here!). We struggled to open the gate of the apartment building while holding on to the gate to fight the current, then went inside. It was an apartment with 4 units – 2 units each floor. On the second floor, we joined other wet families who had left their homes also – neighbors we’ve seen around but never talked to. It was strange to see all of them there, wet and scared as we were. Relieved to be out of the water, my sisters and I managed to squeeze a joke here and there but we couldn’t believe what was happening. We discovered that in her panic, my sister had three high-heeled shoes in her bag, none of them were a pair and one was silver. We laughed at it but she was smart to have lots of dry clothes in the garbage bag. It floated when we were boldly treading the waters.

4:10pm. Shivering in our wet clothes, we tried to crouch to keep away from the rain in the second floor hallway. People continued pouring into the second floor. Like us, they couldn’t brave the walk, the rising water and the strong current and found safety in the apartment. We worried about Tatay, Doray and Bob. A bottle of unopened Coca-cola floated pass below and everyone pointed. Ironic that there was plenty of water but not a drop to drink. How good that Coke would have tasted.

4:30pm. A thin woman shivered beside us. My sister gave her some of the clothes from the plastic garbage bag she carried. Someone was praying the rosary aloud. We joined in. A guy asked if he could leave his bag with us. I was about to refuse, afraid it will get lost. He said he was going to walk to the next block to check on his family. He had a new-born there and was on his way home when the flood started. We took the bag and gave him our names so he could find us. It was getting dark and cold, my sisters and I decided to get into some dry clothes from the garbage bag. One apartment unit was open, a studio-type with kitchen and bathroom. The bathroom was clogged and there was water on the floor. It was a good thing that there was no electricity to see whatever is floating in there. But we braved it to change into some dry clothes.

5:00pm. There was a truck stuck in the road in front of the apartment. We based the depth of the water by the red stripe on the side of the truck. It was slowly disappearing into the water. Paolo decided to go back to the house and try to convince his grandfather to join us. There was no electricity and we wonder if they were able to save candles and matches from the flood. It would be terrible to stay in the flooded house without light. I told him to try to salvage some food and drinking water too.

5:30pm. Paolo still not back and there was no way to get news on what is happening at home. People stopped navigating the floodwaters and stayed where they are. It was growing dark and water still rising. We busied ourselves with trying to contact our friends and family. My brother can’t leave the house. They were on their second floor, too, and water inside their house was thigh-deep. His cars were floating and bumping on each other inside the garage. Told those who were safe that we needed rescue. Asked our friends in the neighborhood if they were able to leave the house safely. I had a new sim card and couldn’t call anyone. My phonebook was still empty. Decided to turn my phone off to save battery.

6:00pm. Paolo and Doray arrived in the dark. Doray struggled with the current. Water was up to Paolo’s chest which meant it would have been up to my ears. Bob was with Tatay. He still refused to leave his dogs. He said that they found a way to elevate him and the dogs. They say they had left the house with drinking water and food but had to let it go on the way because of the strong current.

7:00pm. We moved deeper into the open balcony of the apartment to get away from the cold. We had changed into drier clothes but still we shivered. I had two sets of shirts on but was saving my last dry laundry pair of shorts. I was still wearing the pajamas I had the night before. If we had to pee, we peed on the stairs where no one passes. In that crowded apartment, there was no place for privacy. It was dark too. The only light was a candle inside the apartment unit and an occasional flood light from a rescue team trying to make their way into the neighborhood. We prayed the rosary.

8:00pm. Someone said water was subsiding slowly. It was too dark to be sure. We worried about Tatay and his damn dogs. We argued about trying to walk towards the hospital or staying where we were. I just know I didn’t want to get back into the water until I can see where I’m going. I know we were going to survive this and I was willing to shiver until morning.

9:00pm. Bob arrived to check on us. He said they found a way to elevate Tatay. They had positioned the feet of the bed on top of sturdy dining chairs, and then placed a plastic chair on the bed for Tatay to sit on while his dogs sit around him. He had a candle to see in the dark. He also said that our next-door neighbor had offered shelter and we had room there if we want to move. It never occurred to us to seek shelter there when we left the house. We didn’t know the place was occupied with tenants until now. Bob said that the tenants had broken into the second floor even before the owners gave the go because the water was rising so fast. We had permission to stay there too. We argued what to do. The priority was to get Tatay out of the house if we can and the house next door would probably convince him. It was the nearest and the safest.

10:00pm. Waded back into the murky waters again. It was lower now but still waist deep. With just a flash light, we moved slowly in the dark and headed towards home. A rescue boat passed us and asked if there were any people deeper into the lower parts of the neighborhood. We said we don’t know. We reached the neighbors house and went in. They offered us a bedroom, mattresses and a sofa to sleep in, and glee, pillows! We changed into whatever dry clothes we got left while Paolo and Bob went back to the house to convince Tatay to move. The old man refused to budge. We all shared one glass of water. It started to rain again.

June 22 – Sunday

12 am. Paolo and Bob went back a second time to get Tatay. This time he went with them. It was raining and water might rise again. We have to lock up the house to keep our furniture from floating out of the gate. We had instant noodles from a cup and some water. We counted ourselves very lucky to be in beds, dry and with food and water. Paolo then silently started to cry. He had been complaining of back pain from all the heavy lifting and worried about his friends living in the deeper parts of the neighborhood. I guess everything started to sink in and he was overwhelmed. Like a man, he tried to hide his tears in the dark and buried his frustration on a pillow. Tatay then told us how he fell into a man-hole on his way back home during the flood. He couldn’t see the road, was avoiding debris, and fell full-figured into an open manhole. A tri-sikad driver saw him fell and grabbed his hand to pull him back out. We were shocked to learn about the news and relieved that he made it out. He had bruises to prove it.

It was a long night. I tried not thinking about people in worse places than us but I didn’t get any sleep just the same. Rescue boats passed but the neighborhood was quiet. Even the dogs stopped barking.

4am. Water subsided faster than it rose. We still couldn’t see the road but we saw people passing below. Tatay, Bob and Paolo went down to check on the dogs. They were gone for a long time. When they got back, Tatay was no longer with them. Paolo said that Tatay took one look at the damage done to his home and his voiced cracked. “Diri lang ko a. (I’ll stay here)”, he said. He stayed there alone until morning. I cried after that.

I consider myself lucky, but I can't shake off the feeling of huge loss, not only for me and my family, but everyone who suffered through that night.

to be continued ...


Flash flood drama Episode I

I will post story on installments. Don't want you to get bored. Parang telenovela on blog. Only less dramatic. Time was added to add to drama. They might not be accurate. It might have been faster or slower. I don't know. But this is how fast I think it happened.

So what did happen?

June 21 – Saturday

6am. Typical stormy day, woke up to no electricity, load rumblings of thunder, and strong winds. I worried about the wind blowing out our aged roof on our one-story house but so far only one piece of it had fallen off.

8am. Breakfast. Rain stopped. Winds lessened. We joked about building a new house and which floor would our rooms be. There are seven of us living in the house. Now, with seven, you would think we would be sooo lucky. NOT! Little did we know that water was already filling up Barotac Nuevo, Alimodian and two hours later that morning, Pavia and Jaro.

2:30pm. Tatay leaves the house to walk to Iloilo Supermart for his daily dose of lotto tickets and today’s paper. Streets were wet from rain but flood free. I dozed off on the sofa hoping for electricity to get some work done. Website project notes scatter on the table beside me.

3pm. Still in my pajamas, I woke up to dogs barking. Thought there might be someone at the gate. Opened the door and saw the driveway flooded with murky brown water. Dogs are barking to keep themselves afloat. Called Doray and we tried to calm the dogs and place them in the cages. They started biting each other in panic. We let them out again.

3:10pm. Water started to ease into the doorway. Told Doray to close the door and called on Paolo to calm the dogs. Pao woke up and took charge of the dogs and said to keep door closed. Water started easing in from Pao’s bedroom. Doray reported that Tatay’s room is also filling with water. Woke up my sisters for help, as water started to fill the living room floor, from the back, from the front door and from the side.

3:15pm. The most obvious thing to do was to place computers on higher level. Trying to stay calm, we started pulling out computer cords from sockets and placing CPUs on top of tables. Rescued the laptop from the floor just in time. Water kept rising. Opened the folding bed in the living room and started dumping things on top of it. Water was now ankle deep. Looked into bedroom and started taking books, notes, laundry and bags off the floor and dumping them on my bed. Water continued to rise.

3:20pm. Water was knee deep. Decided table was no longer safe so started moving computers to top of the tallest cabinet in the living room. Tatay arrived and water gushed in when he opened the door. He saved the dogs from drowning by placing them on top of folding bed which was now under water. Grabbed my client files and back-up cds on the computer table and realized that I just lost everything I was working on in the sofa. Had Paolo tossed them on top of cpus, scanners and printers on topmost cabinet tier. Grabbed the modem from the water but could no longer save the submerged router. Paolo and Doray pulled out the TV and placed it on higher cabinet tier disregarding DVD player and DVDs. They then lifted the very heavy sack of rice and refrigerator on top of chairs on their own. Everybody was trying to save what they can. Water was now thigh-deep.

3:25pm. Was still packing what we can on top of cabinets. I looked into my bedroom and saw my bed floating. Grabbed my point-and-shoot cam, cellphones and mp3 player from the bed and placed them on a bag. Managed to grab the CD player and place it on top of wardrobe before water covered the table. My sidetable turned sideways, hit and turned the bed sideways and some of its contents crashed into the water. Another table filled with bags, sketch pads, books crashed and I looked at them helplessly. I couldn’t find my wallet. Water was now waist-deep.

3:30pm. I shouted to everybody that we needed to get out of the house. My sister said to grab what we can. I looked into the cabinets and all my clothes were now wet. Grabbed the dry laundry I had tossed on top of the bed and stuffed them into the bag. They were the only dry clothes I have left. I took one last look at my room and left. Paolo was throwing his cellphone, cords and small electronic gadgets on an empty 5-gallon water jug. It will just float, he said. We all started to move outside.

3:40pm. Tatay refused to leave the house. Nothing could convince him otherwise. Doray and Bob decided to stay with him. Just before we left the house, my cousin called my sister’s mobile phone and said we should get to the hospital. They had moved the kids there and will have a room ready for us if we can just get there. Butch, our neighbor, assured us that he will look after Tatay and get him to higher ground if things started to get dangerous.

3:50 pm. My sisters and Paolo left the house, wading into the water. Water outside was chest deep. Kept the bag dry by holding it overhead. We navigated the murky water as best as we could, fighting against the current. Tanod guys have tied a rope to a pole somewhere and it was what we used to drag ourselves forward. I was scared but so was everyone. I was 4 feet 9 inches tall. My sisters and Paolo were taller than me. My sister started to swim. She was carrying two heavy leather bags and a plastic bag of clothes. Told her to let go one of the bags but she refused. Paolo took one of the bags and started walking without the rope to help him. Had to push my sister to move forward in the current, angered because she wouldn't let go of her bag. What once was a few seconds stride to the corner turned into a very long walk.

Scared shitless.

to be continued ...


Things We Lost in the Flood

Back at work after a week's recovery from the flood. Been cleaning and scrubbing all week. My back hurts, my hands and feet cramped. Can't even bend my fingers. But I'm in good spirits. My family and friends are all safe. We had salvaged what we can, cried and let go of the things we can't. We survived and we are luckier than most. Thanks be to God.

I will try to post possible charities you can donate to if you want to help those who need help. Internet accesss is not readily available for me at this point but we'll see. Will also post a more detailed scenario soon. Until then, satisfy yourself with pics. I'm sure there are plenty more online.


The Garage

My Dad's Fortresss

My Room

Cleaning Team Outfit



Law of Attraction

Like most of women's thoughts, it originated from one episode of Oprah. They were discussing the book called "The Secret" by Rhonda Byrnes. And my sister insisted that she needed that book. And someone gave it to her on her birthday. Was she the wiser after reading it? Na-ah!

I've been preaching The Secret since I started my small business. But it was not Rhonda Byrne's words but those of Paulo Coelho of the Alchemist. If you've been reading this blog, you must have spotted it more than once since I tend to repeat myself a lot. Anyway, I really believe in it. What you think, you attract. You work towards your passion and the world will conspire to give it to you. It does happen.

Okay, you might say that it does not apply to all aspects of life. As my friend has aptly put it: "Girl, what have you been thinking all these years that has made you remain single?" - Gulp! My response: "Girl, I may have remained single but I have not ran out of love." wehehehe. What you think, you attract. Truth is I've been thinking of all the right things - so specific in fact - that it was impossible to attract it. I was thinking "Atticus Finch" - and he is as dead as the character in the book. So much for wanting the right guy.

Anyway, something really nice happened to my friend this month. She's in her forties, single and without even looking for it, she bumped into her perfect guy :) So how can the law of attraction apply to her? My theory is that she started to think of loving herself first. And when she did, she attracted the guy who loved her for who she is. Does that make sense? Hehehe. Maybe not.

But this I tell all of my friends. Love will come at any age. It doesn't matter when or how. When it feels right, it is. We just need to think it. Period.

Personally, I'm not giving up on my Atticus Finch. I hope the God or Goddess of the universe will understand that I meant the man the book represents and not a real guy. But hell, love will come. I think. I believe. Therefore, I attract.

Am I the wiser? Na-ah!



If one can flip and see red by just reading an email, I just had that moment.


If someone accuses you to be racist, and color hadn't even crossed your mind, who is the real racist? If someone accuses you of considering America as a 'white country' when that phrase have never even traversed your vocabulary, who's idea was it?

Those who think, do. That's all I'm saying.



After American Idol Season 7, we experienced that familiar withdrawal symptom of not being able to see it anymore. So we shudder with need and crave for more. And we only get relief by reading bits and pieces of news on You Tube and fan sites.

That addiction passed with a substitute drug: 3 seasons DVD of Lost. And we watched it every free hour and sometimes until early morning. We wondered if Kate, Jack and red-neck Sawyer will ever get home. And just when they did, well ... we got the all too familiar withdrawal symptoms again.

Past addictions included: CSI, Criminal Minds, Life, ER, Grey's Anatomy, House, Ally McBeal, Boston Legal, Shark, West Wing, Sex In The City, Entourage, Desperate Housewives, Brothers and Sisters, Heroes, Harry Potter books, Lord of the Rings book series.

Shudder. Crave.

Wonder what the next fix will be?

I wonder if there is any addiction in the world where you will never ever experience withdrawal symptoms? Hmmmmmm ...

Need Air

Since Friday, I've been reading the HTML Dog, The Best Practice Guide to XHTML and CSS by Patrick Griffiths. It is a 336 page book about things I already know but need to know more about. So I was determined to finish it. When the power went out, I moved outside because it was too warm to stick it out inside without a fan. My Dad had put up the old hammock and despite of the smell of dogs (I'm allergic to dog hair and asthmatic) I love reading out there. And I finished the book. When they had the power back on, I suddenly hated the inside of the house. Out there is where I'm supposed to be. Under the large green trees, the warm but moving wind and the smell of dogs.

I grabbed another book. Javascript this time. And went out of the house to read some more. But somehow, it just wasn't enough anymore. I wanted to walk. Just walk anywhere. Under the trees. I just need to feel air around me. So I did. Walked to my friend's house and we talked about everything and nothing under the sky and I walked home again when it started to get dark.

Today, I just needed to get some air. I've just been too shut-and-locked-up for the past few days. And I just needed to breath again. Out there.

Even with the smell of dogs.



Got me an email and would just like to share it:

CAPRICORN - The Go-Getter (Dec 22 - Jan 19) Patient and wise. Practical and rigid. Ambitious. Tends to be Good-looking. Humorous and funny. Can be a bit shy and reserved. Often pessimistic. Capricorns tend to act before they think and can be Unfriendly at times. Hold grudges. Like competition. Get what they Want.

AQUARIUS - The Sweetheart (Jan 20 - Feb 18) Optimistic and honest. Sweet personality. Very independent. Inventive and intelligent. Friendly and loyal. Can seem unemotional. Can be a bit rebellious. Very stubborn, but original and unique. Attractive on the inside and out. Eccentric personality.

PISCES - The Dreamer (Feb 19 - Mar 20) Generous, kind, and thoughtful. Very creative and imaginative. May become secretive and vague. Sensitive. Don't like details. Dreamy and unrealistic. Sympathetic and loving. Kind. Unselfish. Good kisser. Beautiful.

ARIES - The Daredevil (Mar 21 - April 19) Energetic. Adventurous and spontaneous. Confident and enthusiastic. Fun. Loves a challenge. EXTREMELY impatient. Sometimes selfish. Short fuse. (Easily angered.) Lively, passionate, and sharp wit. Outgoing. Lose interest quickly - easily bored. Egotistical. Courageous and assertive. Tends to be physical and athletic.

TAURUS - The Enduring One (April 20 - May 20) Charming but aggressive. Can come off as boring, but they are not. Hard workers. Warm-hearted. Strong, has endurance. Solid beings that are stable and secure in their ways. Not looking for shortcuts. Take pride in their beauty. Patient and reliable. Make great friends and give good advice. Loving and kind. Loves hard - passionate. Express themselves emotionally. Prone to ferocious temper-tantrums. Determined. Indulge themselves often. Very generous.

GEMINI - The Chatterbox (May 21 - June 20) Smart and witty. Outgoing, very chatty. Lively, energetic. Adaptable But needs to express themselves. Argumentative and outspoken. Like change. Versatile. Busy, sometimes nervous and tense. Gossips. May seem superficial or inconsistent. Beautiful physically and mentally.

CANCER - The Protector (June 21 - July 22) Moody, emotional. May be shy. Very loving and caring. Pretty/handsome. Excellent partners for life. Protective. Inventive and imaginative. Cautious. Touchy-feely kind of person. Needs love from others. Easily hurt, but sympathetic.

LEO - The Boss (July 23 - Aug 22) Very organized. Need order in their lives - like being in control. Like boundaries. Tend to take over everything. Bossy. Like to help Others. Social and outgoing. Extroverted. Generous, warm-hearted. Sensitive. Creative energy. Full of themselves. Loving. Doing the right thing is important to Leos. Attractive.

VIRGO - The Perfectionist (Aug 23 - Sept 22) Dominant In relationships. Conservative. Always wants the last word. Argumentative. Worries. Very smart. Dislikes noise and chaos. Eager. Hardworking. Loyal. Beautiful. Easy to talk to. Hard to please. Harsh. Practical and very fussy. Often shy. Pessimistic.

LIBRA - The Harmonizer (Sept 23 - Oct 22) Nice to everyone they meet. Can't make up their mind. Have own unique appeal. Creative, energetic, and very social. Hates to be alone. Peaceful, generous. Very loving and beautiful. Flirtatious. Give in too easily. Procrastinators. Very gullible.

SCORPIO - The Intense One (Oct 23 - Nov 21) Very energetic. Intelligent. Can be jealous and / or possessive. Hardworking. Great kisser. Can become obsessive or secretive. Holds grudges. Attractive. Determined. Loves being in long Relationships. Talkative. Romantic. Can be self-centered at times. Passionate and Emotional.

SAGITTARIUS - The Happy-Go-Lucky One (Nov 22 - Dec 21) Good-natured optimist. Doesn't want to grow up (Peter Pan Syndrome). Indulges self. Boastful. Likes luxuries and gambling. Social and outgoing. Doesn't like responsibi lities. Often fantasizes. Impatient. Fun to be around. Having lots of friends. Flirtatious. Doesn't like rules. Sometimes hypocritical. Dislikes being confined - tight spaces or even tight clothes. Doesn't like being doubted. Beautiful inside and out.


My Post Secret secret

I told my friends
I was meeting a client
to skip dance class
I was really heading home
to watch David Cook
on Larry King Live!



My honey won!

I got the news the first hour the final show aired. I have spies watching way before it showed on my own TV. So I am just sooooo happy he won. I want to buy his first album - me who never buy albums! And I want to buy his next album. And the next. And the next! Simon Cowell said that David Cook is the type of artist he would like to hear for his own personal entertainment. I so agree with him. I love listening to him being interviewed. He uses words like chagrin and albeit in ordinary conversations. Hehehe. I get easily impressed with men who has a way with words.

Now that the show has ended, I get hungry for news of how his career is doing. It's almost becoming a really bad infatuation bordering on obsession. Can't help it. I sooo love his voice. And it doesn't help any that he has a degree in Graphic Design, is a word geek and has a birthday two days before mine. Hay!

I need this addiction to wear off soon. I need new inspiration. So I'm looking forward to the Sex in the City movie - hehehe.


Weather weather lang

I've been feeling a bit under the weather for the past week. Literally. I haven't done anything productive. Managed to grab a few minutes of study here and there but nothing seems to stick. It's the unexpectedly early rainy season. It is supposed to be sunshine and extremely hot during May but all we are getting are storm signals, flood reports, heavy winds and rain in the early morning. I like it because it's cool. But the cooler it gets, the more less likely I'm inclined to work.

My current project is moving at a snail's pace. We are waiting for something so my client has given me license to procrastinate. I can even work on other projects but I haven't closed the deal with those yet. I thought I will be very busy this month. But well, who doesn't like time off, right?

Me. Hahaha.

The time off doesn't really bother me. I welcome it once in awhile. But projects hanging unfinished do. I'm the person who reads a book, finds out that the plot sucks, but needs to know how it ends anyway. I get overly frustrated when a book doesn't have a last page after I've read the whole thing. I have managed to squelch this overly OC symtoms but a bit of it manages to sneak in most unexpected moments. Like hanging projects. Whistle. whistle.

I'm playing Zuma. I can't touch my project and still waiting for the next one. As cool as this part of the planet maybe - really nice and cozy - I'm bored.

Sabi na kuya Kim, ang buhay aypa weather-weather lang.


Personal Legend

My friend has been telling me all about Oprah. She can't stop watching her and the wisdom - mostly for women - that she gets from the show. I'm an Oprah watcher too. I don't watch it every night but I do enjoy it when I can. Today, I got home and my sisters were watching Oprah with guests like Martha Beck etc. They were talking about thinking positive, the laws of attraction and something about a love list :) They say what you give off is what you attract.

And I remembered this tiny book that has words that I keep repeating to myself over and over again. Paulo Coelho's "The Alchemist" says:
"When you pursue your personal legend the universe will conspire with you to make it happen."
"My heart is afraid that it will have to suffer," the boy confides to the alchemist one night as they look up at a moonless night.
"Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself," the alchemist replies. "And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams, because every second of the search is a second's encounter with God and with eternity."

I just came home from a talk with a friend. She was asking me if I could be part of a panel to talk to kids - about 500 of them all about my days in the youth ministry. I said no for personal reasons. The reasons were superficial but might prove to be something the kids need not hear - at least, not until they've grown in their spirituality. I told her I am pursuing a journey, that I am at home with myself, and that I appreciate what I have and what's been happening to me. And she affirmed, I am in the right place :)

I am in pursuit of happiness. :) My own personal legend. And it is what I choose it to be. And I do believe that the universe is conspiring to make things happen to me. And God is happy with that.

My last post, I was talking about needing new clients for the second half of the year. A day after, I got an email from a client asking for a meeting. How's that for conspiracy?!


I need new website clients for the second half of the year. I'm thinking of pimping myself with flyers and brochures when I go to Boracay this week. Made a pic of some of the websites I created for the past year. Kinda like seeing them all grouped together like that. I think it's a passable flyer. So pimping in Boracay. I don't know if I can pull it off. Would need to grow thicker skin. Hmmmmmmm.

Maybe I should offer incentives to people who could refer me to future clients? Would 5% of contract be enough? ANYBODY OUT THERE NEED A WEB DESIGNER? PLEASE EMAIL ME! I don't like having nothing to do!


I want to marry David Cook!

Nevermind that he is a decade younger than I am. Hahaha. That voice will never put me to sleep. I tell you, it was that Mariah Carey song. He has been my choice from the very beginning. But I love his version of the Mariah Carey song. Very Cris Daughtry.

My top five is on the top six :)

1. David Cook
2. David Archuleta
3. Carly Smithson
4. Brooke White
5. Jason Castro

I know. I heard the bad news. Too bad.

The TV is broken. It's the end of the world boohoohoo.


A break, a break

Finally! Been working non-stop on a website for the past days after avoiding my computer for more than a week. So it's been work, work, work and I haven't had time to do anything else. But I finished a large percentage of my work this weekend so I can relax for the next few days. I love, love, love the break.

So finally, I can upload pics from my Singapoh trip. I like, like, like!

The hi-lights of my trip:

Papa Merlion
The Merlion in Sentosa. One can view the whole Singapore inside it's mouth. So that's how big it is. Mini waterfalls surround it's base.

The Lift and Luge
We rode the luge on the way down, a box car (attached at the back of the lift). It runs at high speed manuevered by levers as it goes on curved bends on a very steep hill. Very exhilarating and the best part of Sentosa if you ask me. On the way up, we rode the lift. I had the lift all to myself with only a spacious brace separating me from a fatal fall. I prayed all the way up :)

Cable Car
Rode the cable car on the way to Sentosa. My first. I love, love, love safety in heights!

Chocolate Fondue at the Hotel Intercon at night. Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and small tiny orange fruit dipped in melted Tobleron. Ayayay heaven!



Guess what? I'm in Singapore. For a few days. And it's like living in a whole new world. Clean. Automated. Everything just seem to have its place. It's almost like ... a science fiction movie. Hehehe. Maybe it's just me being buki in a whole new world. I like it here. It's green. It's organized. Everybody ... well, almost everybody, follow the rules. It will go well with my obsessive compulsive syndrome. I love it. Yet I hate it. I like my world to have a certain madness in it. Otherwise it would be pretty boring.

I have rode the MRT (subway / hiway that connects most destinations.) I have seen Jurong Bird Park and walked a long length of Orhard Road. I've seen Indian temples, Buddhist temples and Jewish temples. I ate noodles and everything here seem to have egg in it. I went to Museums and the National Library. Impressive architecture. Careful planning. How I envy it and wish it could be the same where I come from.

But I say this, with pride: my people are much more friendly. :)

It was not a simple matter for me to get here. A lot of people helped. AS IN! I'm thinking of all the pasalubongs I have to uy just to give back something to these people. So I feel pressured. As my niece would say "Pretty Much! Sheeeeesh!"

I will be posting pics here soon. And though I still have a lot to see, I can't wait to get home.


Gabby and gab-i

Hehehe. I insist I'm not a fan. I will deny it to my death. But I saw him on TV this Sunday, and I tell you, in his 40s, he is still oh-so-good looking. Too good looking in fact that infatuation will just dwindle in a few seconds. But yes, people, I was so happy to see Gabby Concepcion on TV again - hahahaha! I know. I'm embarrassing myself.

We observed the earth hour by putting off all the light last saturday night (gab-i). Unfortunately, the electric fans, TV and computer were still on. Does this mean that we can never survive in the wild? Or god-forbid, in a isolated farm? Hmmmm.


Don't think you can keep me down here!

Bumped into an old classmate yesterday at the mall. We started talking and she happened to mention that she works for the Open University. I told her of my interest to finish college when she dropped the bomb. She said they're offering a new course - the one I've always wanted but one they didn't offer when I started college because the concept didn't exist then. She said that if I can pass the requirements, she will help me to process my papers.

I was excited.
I was terrified.
I want it.
But I can't afford it.
But a diploma at last.
But it also means school work on top of two jobs.
It means studying on your own for three years.
It means I will have a chance to get a better job or get promoted when I graduate.

Hay! It's the coward in me cloaked in practicality and reasoning.

Conversations with the Viking:

me: should I or shouldn't I? I'm too old to go back to school.
Viking: you'll never be too old for that
me: so u think i should enroll? i will have to keep my two jobs to afford it. So It's gonna take a lot of work. and might continue for three years
Viking: of cause you should
me: im terrified but I really want it
Viking: as long as it wont kill you
me: what if it does? then all the work will go to waste
Viking: true
Viking: but two jobs and then lots of work on top of it. Can you manage?
me: At least I tried right? Finishing school is part of my top ten wish list. I thought that if I can't get the other nine, I tried to get at least one
Viking: well right
me: and die trying LOL
me: the irony
Viking: the text on your tombstone: DON'T THINK YOU CAN KEEP ME DOWN HERE!
me: LOL. I like that one :)

Encouragement comes in the strangest words sometimes.


fathers ... and sons

I received an email from my brother with a picture of his son's medal. This is how it went (edited specifics):


Markey received again yesterday his medal for second honors at W. The fifth straight second honors medal that he got since Grade 1. This is the first one I scanned and sent by email because the other 4 must be somewhere in the attic. The prize for second honors is a serving of spaghetti and a sundae at Jollibee. A treat I am sure that he will always appreciate because that is all he asked as his reward for a year of good effort.

Congratulations Mark and we are very proud of you.


P.S. By the way, Miko was admitted to the UP College of Medicine and the results were also released just while we were attending the recognition ceremonies of Markey at W. As of now we are not sure if he is the only one from BS Public Health of UPV that got admitted but there were only 2 of them who were screened for interview. We decided to keep these little triumphs to ourselves but I sent this message to you just in case my boys will wonder later on if I really appreciated how well they turned out to be. Tell them how proud I am of them. All of them actually.

This happened a day after my own dad and my brother had a spat about a car. All was forgiven though.

But why is it so hard for fathers to tell their sons directly, "I am proud of you"? Me thinks that words sometimes diminish the emotion that go with it. But wouldn't it be nice to hear it straight from the source? Or maybe, fathers will always just be fathers, men of few words and big hearts.

Incidentally, we had a meeting just last night in my father's side of the family. My aunt (who will be celebrating her birthday tomorrow) related to us events we didn't know as kids. Hardships that they went through as parents just to get us through school. I guess my cousins and I realized, now that we ourselves are parents (and single aunts), how lucky we were to have this family.

In fear of sounding clichéd and corny, I say this anyway: I am proud of my nephews and I am proud of what a father my brother turned out to be. I am proud of my own parents and particularly, this huge family, who went through deaths, sickness, anger, huge disappointments ... but managed to stay true to each other despite of.


Freakingly Tired

I am. I was listening to West Wing last night while working until one in the morning. I suspect I finished a whole season just listening. I was listening because my eyes were on the computer the whole time. Looked up only when Mark Harmon, Allison Janey's new found bodyguard boyfriend was shot. Tsk tsk tsk.

The hazards of working alone. Carpal tunnel syndrome. Lack of sleep. Listening to movies instead of watching it. I am freakingly tired. You have to have passion in this line of work. Otherwise, you end up with mediocre jobs just to finish a project. And me, I don't want my name on it if it's just mediocre. Beige is my least favorite color - wehehehe. Nope, I don't like mediocre.

And I had to get up the next morning for real work. A bad cold is hovering around my throat. It's been hovering around for the last four days. Which is why I'm complaining a lot. I'm freakingly tired. I've been drinking water which makes me pee every 5 minutes but hell, I am freakingly passionate about my work and I will not do mediocre!

Maybe it's just me fighting ADHD? and succumbing to my OC?

The Viking wants me in Denmark. Makes me wish I were.


it could happen to you.

Wala lang.

I have an opinion. About this country's political nitwits. But I'm not going to waste this post on them. Snarl all you like, you nitwits! You still don't have my vote!



The Blazing Amazing Race

I'm exponentially busy right now. But just need to say this: Grrrrrrrrrrr!!!!! to Rovilson for bungling that last challenge. I wish I could kick him in the butt for not knowing his flags. But I am proud of how they played the race. I love how they showed how fun-loving and funny Filipinos are in their take in life. Despite of coming in third, Mabuhay to Rovilson and Marc.


Ay sa kakapuy!!!!

Finished a 3-day training after a two-day bilad-sa-araw at the Kasadyahan and Dinagyang Festival. Had very little sleep and I have my regular work piling up. It should be a good thing that I didn't take any odd jobs this month or else I would've killed myself. But then again, I feel most happy when I'm right in the midst of everything - tired or energetic. It's the best place to be.

Found this list at Yahoo: Three Signs of a Miserable Job. The opposite of which is three signs why I like what I do:

1. I am not anonymous. I teach people and I like that they learn from me, sometimes with resentment - hehehe - because what I teach is quite new and difficult for them. But I like it when people I teach are willing to learn.

2. I am not irrelevant. I truly believe that what we do at work makes a difference in people's lives. Make it a little easier for them to work in the long-run. That to me is important even when I design websites.

3. I can measure my contribution to a project. Albeit small as it maybe to others, I feel I am valued by my colleagues, my peers, my supervisor and my student-assistants. And I don't say that to be arrogant. I like that they can listen to me and that I can listen to them.

The fact that I feel somewhat successful in my line of work, I also feel somewhat a failure in my lovelife - hahaha. For the moment, I don't really care. But I wonder of it's effects much later, when I grow old alone.

Maybe I should get married. But would that get in the way of my love for my work? Hmmmmm. We choose our happiness. We dig our graves.

Bad luck. Good luck. Who knows?


Dinagyang 2008

You would know how great the Ilonggo spirit is when they perform


Cooking Hot


With Feelings