Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Suffer the Little Children

Have you ever thought about how much children have to suffer because this world has decided to be unfit for these angels? But then you can’t help but admire their resilience, their zest for living and standing above all these. I wish we still had the wisdom of children, the freedom that they feel as they run across fields or all over crowded streets. And what of the hope they have in their hearts? How come we cause them so much pain, like fragile butterflies crushed in our palms?

We are what we are now because of the wisdom and hope that we’ve lost as children. And then it goes back, way, way back. What a mean cycle. When will it end?
(image from


On a lighter note, I’ve listed the following myths that we believed (or were made to believe) when we were kids. Some are totally silly but since myths are mirrors of our consciousness, in a sense, there are truths in them, too. Haha. I didn't translate them in English anymore. Mas totoo sya sa Tagalog :)

1. bawal mag-payong sa loob ng bahay; uulan ng butiki
2. pag may sugat ka, lalabas ang tren---o pari--dun sa sugat
3. pag umuulan at umaaraw ng sabay, may kinakasal na tikbalang
4. pag makati ang ilong, may mamamatay na Intsik (ang sama no!)
5. pag nilunok mo ang bubble gum, magdidikit-dikit ang intestines mo
6. pag nilunok mo ang buto ng calamansi, tutubo ang calamansi sa tiyan mo hanggang mapuno ang tiyan mo ng calamansi!
7. pag nag-iyak-iyakan ka, magkakatotoo ang iniiyak mo
8. bawal maligo pag 3pm na on Good Friday, magiging dugo ang tubig!
9. pag dumami nang dumami ang kuto mo, ililipad ka ng mga ito sa puno ng kawayan na may kumukulong langis
10. pag natulog ka nang gutom, tatayo ang kaluluwa mo, magbubukas ng kaldero hanggang sa matabunan sya ng kaldero--OR
11. tatayo ang kaluluwa mo, lalabas ng bahay, tatawid papunta sa tindahan para bumili ng pagkain---at masasagasaan!
12. pag kumukulog, nagagalit si God kasi matigas ang ulo mo--OR
13. nagbo-bowling si San Pedro sa langit kaya kumukulog

What else, what else? P and I were still in bed this morning when I started thinking about these. Ano pa ba? :)

Monday, May 28, 2007

Got this from Naya : )

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Sentimental Sunday

I went home yesterday while P is away at a dive trip to Batangas. I stayed behind and declined an invitation to a weekend with some friends at Bonito Island so I could spend time with my family, especially my brother. And though I'm happy that TJ, Kieyh, Iya and all cousins were all together yesterday, this certain loneliness wouldn't go away. Maybe it's the wind outside, quiet and gentle. Maybe it's the leaves of the caimito tree waving at the sun. Maybe it's the birds (they've already forgiven me, I think). Maybe it's because it's a lovely Sunday morning.

I'm here thinking of everyone dear to me especially my family in Tondo, Mama in Canda, Tere in Singapore, relatives in countries all over. I feel incomplete. It's as if I have a part of me in each of them and them in me. (Then what about those I have lost? Tatay and Nanay, Ninang? I welcome the feeling of missing them though...)

Because we all can't be together at one place, at one time, I have scattered selves, I am not whole.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Random, hohum

Just had my morning coffee but my brain still refuses to cooperate. I've planned to work all day and prepare for my curriculum presentation this Thursday and read the chapter assigned to me for the teacher training--"The Emancipation of the Will in the Human Organism" Steiner talaga o.

Since P has volunteered in the PPCRV, I had planned to go home to Manila alone so I could vote but I lost my left contact lens yesterday making me temporarily blind because obviously, I can't go around wearing one lens only. I've never lost my lenses before--oh well, except for Ninang's funeral when I was crying the whole time. Anyway, I don't want to wear my glasses either because they make my eyes hurt really bad due to the discrepancy in the lenses' grade and that of my eyes'. So, there. Lame, isn't it?

Anyway, I just talked to Mama and we chatted like the two of us were just across each other, having coffee. Now, I'm chatting with Borgy and Barry, while blogging at the same time, and uploading pictures in my Multiply. Anything to stop myself from working! Aaargh...

Tomorrow, I'm back to school again. Imagine, school starts in 3 weeks already! Where has my summer vacation gone???

Oh, when reality kicks in, it kicks in real hard. I'll pretend to work first. But I'm pretty sure, I'll be back blogging again about the inanities of my life in a mere moment...

Sunday, May 13, 2007


Dearest Mama,

It's past five a.m. where you are now. You must be sleeping still but would wake up in an hour or so just like you always do when you were still here in Manila. I know it's cold there. I've checked the Markham website again for the temperature and I hope you're warm enough and comfortable in that unfamiliar weather. Now that you're there, I find myself praying for good weather there at your side of the world. I know how your rayuma acts up when it's too cold.

Two weeks ago, I watched a movie called Inang Yaya, the title role played by Maricel Soriano. I'm sure that you'd like that movie, Ma. It's one of the well-made Filipino films I've watched so far. You were on my mind the whole time I was watching it. I kept wishing that you were there watching it with me because the nanay in the film reminded me so much of you and I wanted to point that out to you: "ganyan ka rin, Ma, o..." It's just like A Pursuit of Happyness--this is the movie I also want you to watch, the one that could've gotten you into trouble with the US Customs because of me. It's almost the same story: a single parent raises his/her kid/s and sacrificing so many things in the process. Both movies end happily, Ma. And that's also another thing I want to tell you: though we're still weaving the story of our lives, somehow I know that this is going to be a "happily ever after" simply because you are our Mama...

When I was a kid, I thought that being a mother was the most terrible thing to be: you were working hard all the time--kayod kabayo as they say. I've seen you move from one job to another in hopes of earning more for me, TJ and Tere. I've seen you work as a schoolteacher, an insurance agent, a jewelry dealer, a Tupperware dealer, tocino and longganisa dealer; you even had a halo-halo stall in front of our house. You did all these, sometimes doing two or more things at the same time! And then there were the three of us to be taken care of everyday; homework to be helped with, projects to be made, field trips to be paid for, tuition fees to settle...Sometimes one of us would get sick and I'd see you worrying silently again because there wasn't enough for our baon let alone for medicines and doctor's fees. But you never gave up, Ma. All those years, you just lived it. Rose above all of it.

And now, you're so far away and it's again because of your love for us. I want to thank you for that. I want to thank you for all you've taught me. Thank you for never judging me, for letting me be free and be myself, for believing in me and helping me fly. Thank you for being you: cool, funny, crazy, wise, strong, loving and forgiving. Thank you for giving us your heart, your soul. We love you, Ma. And we miss you so so much.

Happy Mothers' Day, Ma.

This morning, the birds did not sing. They haven't done so since I wrote that poem about their song.

P said they're sad. Are they on somewhere else's tree now? Or are they just there on our caimito, sitting still, looking down at me through our bedroom window?

I'm so sorry. I was very upset when I wrote that. But it's done, isn't it? Let me make it up to you. Please sing for me again.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Counting Two

Today, we celebrate our second year of being together as husband and wife but more than that, I think of the twenty years more, or forty if God wills it, when you and I will both have gray hair and twenty-something grandchildren chasing each other around De los Reyes. Today, I think of how our paths have already crossed even before we have actually met and why the first time we exchanged words was really just the right time.

You are my best friend, my ultimate kakampi, my lover, my co-conspirator in doing crazy, fun things, my inspiration and my life--and I wish I could say more because you are more than all these words.

Happy Anniversary, honey. I love you.

Friday, May 11, 2007

come, take me away...

(image courtesy of

Thursday, May 10, 2007


why do people think birdsong is lovely
when it's really empty
they just sing because otherwise
what would they do other than
flutter their wings
and perch on treetops
there is no beauty
in their songs
but only the sound of
people thinking there is music
when there is none---that,
that is beautiful.

because, today, words were said and they hurt.

Love means to learn to look at yourself
The way one looks at distant things
For you are only one thing among many.
And whoever sees that way heals his heart,
Without knowing it, from various ills -
A bird and a tree say to him: Friend.
Then he wants to use himself and things
So that they stand in the glow of ripeness.
It doesn't matter whether he knows what he serves:
Who serves best doesn't always understand.

~ Czeslaw Milosz

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

One thing I like about De los Reyes street, despite its residents belting out videoke songs and cats mating shamelessly in other people's backyards, is the sound of children playing outside. Since it's summer vacation, kids in the neighborhood are out in the street early in the morning, taking a break during lunch which could also be a chance for their moms to force them to take a bath and get rid of that amoy-araw smell and libag all over their their skin, after which, they start to take over outside again, as if it were their own private kingdom, their "Terabithia", if you will. They play outside usually right up to midnight. I can still hear them now.

A couple of hours ago, I heard a grumpy man shouting "hoy, para kayong mga kalapating nakadapo diyan!" Apparently, the rugrats have decided to stick themselves onto the grumpy neighbor's gate, like Spiderman crawling a skyscraper's facade. Then some smart-aleck shouted back, "lipad! lipad!", retorting to the grumpy neighbor's allusion to pigeons. It was funny, actually, and cute. As all of them "flew" away, somebody decided that they needed to change the game they were playing. It was "viva, ice water" this time.

I listened to them, looked out the window here in the study and I realized they were playing what to me and kids of the 80s knew as "Monkey, monkey".

"Monkey, monkey, Annabelle!
How many the monkeys, did you see?"

And the rikitikitik
and the blue, black sheep,
is this true?
Yes or No,

I'm not really sure if that's how the words are spelled. What is rikitikitik? Heaven knows what. But it surely was one of my favorite games.

Now, "Monkey, monkey" has evolved into different variations. There was the "Shake, rattle and roll", "Shake, shake, baby", which I think are permutations of the walang kamatayang "langit lupa".

I wish all children in the world would get to experience the joy of playing out in the streets instead of being cooped in their suburban homes, with their Play Stations or their PCs as their playmates. And even when there are children out there in the streets, I wish though that they could play instead of working--selling their wares or begging for alms. I also wish that our streets were safe enough for children to play in. Playing is every child's right.

If only these politicians campaigning for next week's elections could promise this: a world safe and nurturing enough for our children to live in...

Breakfast in bed

(this photo was taken at my in laws'. Nothing to do with the post :))

When I opened my eyes this morning, P was tiptoeing towards the bed carrying a breakfast tray: tuna omelette, toast,orange juice, papaya and melon slices. Thanks, honey...It was lovely.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Fat Tuesday

These days, P and I have been planning our meals carefully so we can avoid too much food wastage. Cooking for two can get more expensive if not planned well. And so, tonight, we did the same. While he was out on an errand, he texted me what we'd have for dinner. Pork steak, steamed talong, okra and talbos ng kamote with bagoong. Weird combination? Well, we love it :) We also had mango shake using the mangoes he put in the freezer, which had actually turned into slush. They could've gone to the garbage, but thanks to the Osterizer, we had our own fruit shake for the night.

When P and I sat down to eat, we were amazed: we've actually whipped up a feast! So much for trying to lose my flab in time for this Friday's beach trip.

P's actually the chef of the house while I do the rest :) Hey, washing the dishes, pots and pans, wiping the countertops and all, are no easy tasks, mind you. But I like it. P's a terrific cook but seriously, I can never trust him when it comes to cleaning up :)

And so, despite everything, despite having to tighten our belts, we are thankful for all the simple pleasures that we are blessed with everyday.


P and I have developed this habit of saying each others' name like "Tintinnnnn!" or "P...!!!" This is when either of us gets into that moment of realizing that we are indeed together. Yes, sometimes we realize this and we just can't believe it. If you know what we had to go through to finally end up with each other, you'd know what I mean. How many people do actually end up with the one he/she truly desires to be with? Poets have waxed, well, poetic, about it. Painters, sculptors, composers have depicted this human predicament in their art and music. And still, that longing, that agony of not finding him/her will always be there. In the same way, when you do find the One, you agonize over the feeling of what--unbelievable joy? Bliss?

Why am I mulling over this now? No, it's not the dinner. It's just that I keep wondering, "what did I do to deserve having this kind of love?"


I have three close friends who are in complicated relationships. One's hooked up with a married guy who says he wants to leave his wife but can't because the wife's weak and suicidal. Another's also with a married guy who claims he's separated but just stays in the wife's place for their son. The third one's also with a married guy whose wife's clueless about the existence of my friend in the guy's life. All three of my friends are in their mid-twenties and are all career-women: one's a chief accountant, another's a doctor and the third's a training officer. All of them are strong women, talented and brilliant in their own fields. But they have one thing in common: their men and their relationships. Now, I myself have been in problematic relationships in the past and to say that I have learned my lessons well would be an understatement. But that's the truth. Still, I don't want to be self-righteous about this whole thing because, yeah, look who's talking, right?

Well, as I have been telling my friends whom I all love dearly, they need to make a decision: either they decide to get out of their relationships and move on, or, stay committed to these men and wait for what happens next. The three of them have expressed, in one way or another, a discontent about their situations. The pain of not being the only one is there. The fear of being found out is there. The uncertainty of not being with the guy for good is there. In some instances, they've even expressed that "they're just going with the flow." And this is what I don't get...

I'm not even talking about morals here because that can be bull, you know? I believe in choices, you know me. My friends have chosen this situation for themselves and if they can live with it and if they believe that this is what they want in life, no problem with it. But I know, there's something there. There's a catch.

Ah, why did I even get into thinking about this in the first place??? This post has gotten pointless. Now, I don't know where I'm going. Sad thing is, I have a feeling my friends don't either...