"a caterpillar doesn't just grow into a butterfly. a caterpillar must undergo metamorphosis, and a cocoon is where a caterpillar risks it all: enters total chaos, undergoes total rebuilding, and is born to a new way of living. only in taking the risk of entering that inert cocoon can the caterpillar go from dormancy to potency, from ugliness to beauty."

Monday, January 31, 2005

an open letter to haniko plus some plugs

It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see.
-- Henry David Thoreau

you better start walking on that virtual overpass connecting cagayan de oro to philcoa.

we -- volcano, caterpillar and geeemail, collectively known as the thinner trio, are looking forward to seeing you, our beloved thinning master. (yeah baby, 'though you maybe the suffering mad cow, we love your company and miss having you with us. huhuhu. we all need to hear that contagious crazy laugh of yours.) get here fast, so the four of us can compare our wrists once again... and woe to the one with the fattest-looking wrists for she shall end up paying for the yellow cab or tokyo tokyo tab! wahihihi. of course, that would be subject to debate.

by the way, the three of us had our hair cut yesterday. no, we didn't get those bangs like you did. we just merely had our hair trimmed. but then, maybe it would have been so fun had we experimented with the bangs, mwahahaha... but no... and oh, we weren't able to take "before" and "after" pictures. it would have been so cool. blame me! i didn't bring my cam. had i done so, we could have shown you proof that we spent the afternoon so happy together even without you, hahaha... and we'd imagine you doing that dory-like whale talk you're so capable of doing due to envy. now, that's a very amusing thought. mwehehehe.

not only that! you really better start walking on that virtual cagayan de oro-philcoa overpass or you will miss your hubby, takeshi. this wednesday, the film institute will be showing tempting heart a.k.a xin dong starring takeshi. yes miss, your takeshi baby, the takeshi kaneshiro you claimed for yourself. too bad, the gal in the pic is not you! krewl ba? mwahahaha!

p.s. the volcano and the geeemail said you're scrapping the name haniko and are now taking on the name hanimé. whoa. hanimé sounds gay while haniko is funky. but who am i to complain? you can always give in to your other personalities. ayo ayo tomodachi!


things to look forward to in february aside from your valentine's day:

february 5, 2005, saturday:
our dorm's open house

all my friends are welcome to invade my turf. just inform me if you're coming so you won't go hungry and so you can enter through the right door. glub. glub. glub.

february 14-19, 2005, monday to saturday:

second semester is not complete without the fair!

some of the on-stage performers this year will be 17:28, cambio, urban dub, sandwich, sugarfree, imago, cheese, kamikaze, moonstar88, session road, brownman revival, coffee break island, hale, stonefree, kitchie nadal, 6 cycle mind, p.o.t., rivermaya, spongecola... see posters for more, hahaha! kitakits sa sunken garden.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

lessons in life

"In the eyes of a child there is joy, there is laughter
there is hope, there is trust, a chance to shape the future.
For the lessons of life there is no better teacher
than the look in the eyes of a child."

-- Air Supply's The Eyes of a Child

i have to keep going, if not for myself, then at least for someone else...

shortly after i graduated from college, a kid cousin told me something which up to this day reminds me that, no matter how i deny it, i have a responsibility.

she sat beside me, leaned against my arm, then decided against it. instead, she looked up and initiated a conversation.

kid cousin: 'teng ateng...
me: hmmm?
kid cousin: gusto nako pagdako nako, parehas ko sa imo.

awwws. i was tempted to tell her that she was just pulling my leg, but i saw the sincerity in her eyes when she blurted out that last line and i ended up speechless. there i was, secretly contemplating about finally becoming a bum and along she came to tell me that she wanted to be like me -- along came a kid who saw me as an example, a kid who's not aware of my flaws, a kid who didn't know what i was really thinking of at that time, a kid He sent to remind me of a way to live my purpose.

i cannot let her down. i cannot let the world down. i have to do more, be more and make myself better.


some of the things i jotted down
...in 2003:

detach yourself
from people, events, & situations that will bring you down.

detach yourself from materialism.

enjoy and share life; celebrate small victories.

when making decisions, seek His will
otherwise you are not living your purpose.

...and in 2004:

listen to your passions and learn from your mistakes.

be conscious of your growth as well as other people's.

do not fret too much;
you are gifted with the power to make things better.

you are human, do not forget that.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

hello, goodbye

YM pop-up: blah* would like to add you as a Yahoo! Messenger contact. Do you want this person to add you?

Allow & add to my Messenger list. Allow. Deny.


Allow & add to my Messenger list.


but who's blah?

good question!

me (11:06:20 PM): who's this?
blah (11:06:32 PM): dfx
me(11:06:39 PM): huh?
blah (11:06:51 PM): heh!
me (11:07:15 PM): again... who's this?
blah (11:07:50 PM): come on this is a netizen who found u interesting is that enough?
me (11:07:58 PM): nope
blah (11:08:05 PM): then?
me (11:08:12 PM): bye?
blah(11:08:28 PM): bye

i know some people find it rude when they're being asked who they are, and i can't blame them. even so, giving an acceptable answer to the "who's this?" question is something i deem important. they who can't get past that have no business getting into a sensible conversation (virtual or otherwise) with me.

*ym id has been changed

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

looking, going, then gone

"You know that place between sleep and awake,
the place where you can still remember dreaming?..."

-- Tinkerbell in the movie, Hook

after quite a long time, i dreamt of him again.

just like the last time, i didn't see his face, i doubt if i ever will... but i knew it was him. he was standing a good distance away from me, and, weird it may be that i could tell, he was looking at me.

i couldn't see his face but i could feel his eyes on me, and i just felt the need for me to look away.

i did look away, but only for awhile. when i looked again, he was still there, standing a good distance away from me, but he's no longer looking at me... he had turned such that he had his back facing me.

...and then, he started walking away, slowly and without a sound.

i was tempted to call out his name when he started to go, but i held back knowing that even if i did, he wouldn't turn around for me. so i just looked as he trodded away to where i don't know. i looked until i got so familiar with his back, until the distance ate him up, until he faded and became one with the horizon.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

family portrait

"The family is link to our past,
bridge to our future."

-- Alex Haley

kuya, 24 - a neat freak with good taste: he maintains the neatest bedroom in our house. all his things, most especially his cd's, are in order.

he is the one brother i looked up to as a child: i wanted to do the things he did. i wanted to play with his robots over my dolls. i wanted to go to school with him even if it was not yet my time. i escaped from the house too many times to play outside just like the way he did. i climbed over what-used-to-be our bamboo fence when i saw him how to do it without getting myself injured. i grew up playing with the boys, knew how to make my own slingshot (a.k.a tirador), ran like mad, boiled innocent frogs, flew my self-made kites, designed my own wooden gun, carved my own wooden boat, set up traps and the like simply because i tried to do whatever he did.

once, when i saw him running for home right after we got off a jeepney, i also ran after him. as a result, i almost got bumped by a speeding car coming from the other side. tsk. tsk. tsk. (i could still remember how i felt so shaken upon hearing the screeching of the tires, with the car stopping only an inch or two away from me. tsk. tsk. tsk indeed.)

i also remember how we used to challenge each other not to cry nor squirm every time we had our immunization shots: "no crying at the sight of needles, cry babies = losers."

sure, we grew up together... until he learned life too fast and i felt left behind. now, we may not be as close as we used to be, but the bond between us is still there. he's my brother and i'm the first of his younger sisters.

nikki, 12 - the youngest in the family and everyone's favorite family member. hehehe. in return, she looks up to everyone in the house and tries to do everything that her elders did or are doing. hehehe (times two). i don't need to say that she is pretty because it shows. she has the best eyelashes i have ever seen!!!

she has her moods - just like everyone in the family does - but she's a picture of sweetness. there's more to her than that though. she's a restless being like me, and a former tv addict, too! i recall that, when sex and the city was just starting, she would stay up late to watch the show. as a result, one of us had to stay up late, too, to keep watch. hahaha. in the mornings, she used to watch a marathon of ATBP, hiraya manawari, bayani, 5 and up, chikiting patrol, and all those educational kiddie morning shows on local tv. there were also times when she opted for HBO and discovery channel. now that we have no cable tv at home, i no longer know what she watches on tv. i only know that she's currently into anime.

she used to be a tiny baby... how she has grown!!!

vl, 17 - the other middle child, the other one being me. hehehe. being both middle children, we have a lot in common, but we always clash! she and nikki often treat me like i'm younger than them, but they only win over me when the two of them gang up, and not otherwise. she's the lady in the house: the one with poise, the one with the most refined social manners, and the one who can be trusted to take care of the "headquarters" with or without the visitors. when my parents go out, and only the three of us girls are left to keep watch in the house, my mama would often leave with this: "L (short for vl), look after the house ...and you two (vl and nikki), look after ateng (that's me!). make her eat; she might die." hahaha. i know. that makes me odd.

papa and mama, both 49 - my number one real-life heroes!!!

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

i am not alone

part 1

i spent some time walking around the campus this morning.

no, it was not a walk for pleasure. i had things to do and i opted to walk from one place to the next in the process of getting them done.

so there i was, walking alone, thinking of the things that needed to be done while crossing paths with people who, to me, are nobody but strangers.

four of them really amused me though. why?

...because they were talking to their solitary selves while walking!

seeing them reminded me of one important thing:

indeed, i am not alone.
i am normal.

talking (and smiling or laughing even) to myself, is normal. i just have to watch out though because i might overdo things and end up making people think that i've gone wacko. hahaha!

it is still important to not get too carried away by the conversations going on in my head.

part 2

today, i received a friendster message from a friend whom i haven't been in touch with for quite a long time...

just this week, i chanced upon his friendster account and saw the primary photo he chose: that of a newborn. i knew right away that the baby was his, and got totally excited. oh my...

how time flies!!!

back in 1989, he was the fifth grader who was so great at painting and i was the first grader who was in awe of his artistic talent. well, not just of his artistic talent, but of the artistic talents of the other elder-than-me art students of my art mentor as well. around that time, i was just starting and they were already having their shining moments... they were the poster-making champs and art competition winners and i was the newcomer-slash-observer who had yet to make a mark. they soon went to high school or college, and after that, i rarely saw anyone of them. as a result, i ended up being too shy to come up to them and say "hi" whenever i get to see them.

he became one of those people i was too reluctant to approach because everytime i wanted to, i ended up getting cold feet. the excuse i gave myself was: "oh, you remember them, but they just might no longer recognize you anymore. so why bother?"

fastforward to 2003, he approached me. it was late at night and i was from naomi's graduation bash. while i was standing alone and waiting for a ride to take me home, somebody casually said,

"di ba, ikaw si (insert my name here)?
(you're ..., right?)"

having been slightly intoxicated and since the area was quite dim despite the street lights, i got startled; i even got more startled when i recognized that it was him. of all days, of all nights to be talking again to an old friend? bakit kung kelan medyo may tama ako? so, i merely replied,

"uh...oo (yup)."

him: kaila pa ba ka nako? (do you still know me?)
me: oo noh. (yup, sure.) ikaw si kuya... (you are kuya...)

and i mentioned his name to convince him that i, indeed, still know him.

him: aw. congrats diay ha. grabe, graduate na jud ka. gamay pa man kaayo ka sa una (oh. congratulations, by the way. wow, you've already graduated. you were so small then.) how time flies.
me: oh, thanks. ikaw gani...og gamay lang man japun ko hangtod karon, hahaha (you, too, were small... and i'm still small). how time flies jud (indeed). ay, sorry, here comes the jeep, i have to go. see you around.
him: welcome. ayo-ayo (take care).

fastforward to 2004, we got friendster connected...

...and today, through friendster, he told me about his dream of putting up an art school for children someday and asked if i am still inclined to visual arts.

i still am, and his own dream reminded me of one vague goal i have in mind ever since i was in college: to put up a non-profit community recreation area with the help of my friends.

how time flies, indeed... and i still keep on dreaming.

but then... i am not alone.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

new year, new pics

in the lab with tin and lorie

Tuesday, January 04, 2005


in many of my dreams, i do nothing but wait. for what? it is not clear to me. all i know is that i do nothing but wait.

i see myself staying near the door, waiting. for what? i do not know. i see myself near the door, squatting, curled hands pressed to my cheeks, waiting.

i see myself waiting and waiting and waiting. nothing's coming, nobody's coming, nothing's happening. still, i wait and wait and wait.

in my dreams, there i am, a younger version of me, staying near the door, waiting, every inch of me a picture of a hopeful kid.

why such recurring dreams? why by the door? why wait? the answers to the questions led me back to my childhood.

i used to think that i was a mama's girl, but mama could not agree. she says i grew up being papa's girl, and believes i will forever be. mama says that early on i was closer to papa than i was to her. i would have not believed her had she not recounted the times when i used to stubbornly spend time by the door waiting for papa to come home...

papa went away.

"dili man to mobalik imong papa (your papa's not coming back)," was what other people in our house told me.

"taka lang man mo! mobalik man si papa, ingon gud s'ya sa ako beh. (you're wrong! papa's coming back, he told me so.)," i'd answer back. even as a kid, i was like that.

"dili lagi. hawa na dinha sa purtahan, gaali ka sa dalan, lamokon gyud ka dinha. dili pa to mouli imong papa. (no, he really won't. move away from the door, you're blocking the way, and the mosquitos will bite you. your papa's not coming home yet.)"

conversations like this went on for days and days. there i was... always opting to play, eat, stand, sit and talk near the door... always hopeful that papa would come home. for days and days, he never did.

"nakalimtan naka sa imong papa. dili na to mobalik. (your papa has forgotten you. he will not come back.)"

"dili man na tinuod. inyo lang man ko gibinuangan. ingon s'ya mobalik s'ya! (that's not true. you're just fooling me. he said he's gonna come back!)

i trusted papa. i believed him when he said he'd be back. i tried to be a good girl while he was away because that's what he asked me to do, and i spent days and days waiting for him by the door.

he finally came home one day and proved me right. i was so happy, i finally left the door. he was away for a month because he had to take his civil engineering licensure exam in manila, a place so far away from his family, his wife, his son, and his daughter who was then his baby.

now that mama made me remember that part of my childhood, i no longer get puzzled by my dreams of waiting near the door. i now understand why it's papa who's always been the one who gives me counsel, the one who dons my medals during graduation, the one who waits up for me whenever i decide to go home late at night, the one whom i immediately sought for comfort when a firecracker blew up while i was curiously handling it, the one who went to the principal's office when parents were called by my high school to settle a class mischief that got blown out of proportion, the one who held a badly-shaken-me after i got dragged by a speeding motorcycle, the one who stayed up late with me when i needed help for my projects and art entries... i now understand why, even after he spanked me so hard with his leather belt and got nasty-looking welts more than 15 years ago, i still look up to him.

mama's right. i'm papa's girl. maybe that's the primary reason why i prefer being called val. (hehehe. i like the fact that papa and i share the same nickname. even if the time comes for me to change my family name, i'm assured that i'd still have his nickname. *winks*)
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