"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."

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

goodbye, november!

"Hang your favorite dream on a star,
wish upon a Christmas night."

-- A Wish on Christmas Night, Jose Mari Chan

Lilypie Baby Ticker

la la la la la la...

here comes my favorite month of the year! welcome, my december! oh yes, more than being Christmas month, it's my month! oh yes, it's my month!

come they told me, pa rum pum pum pum

the little drummer boy's pa-rum-pum-pum-pums will probably bounce all over my head all throughout december -- a fitting soundtrack to match my excitement for this year's last month.

this december...

* i have every plan of celebrating my birthday at home... so i hope, the universe will not conspire against me. even the airline companies SHOULD NOT get in the way.

* i'll MAKE personalized greeting cards for my happy friends and send each card their way wherever they may be in the galaxy. if you're my friend and you're not happy, sorry, i won't make you a card.

* i want to treat my BEAUTIFUL gal friends from high school to a jose cuervo especial tequila night. i'm serious, so better get ready!

* we'll try painting in starmall. i don't know the details yet, but i'm excited because it'll be fun time with friends.

* i'll be attending the wedding of jerk and tiff, two of my very close friends, whose lovelife i've been watching over since the time they were 'just friends'. it'll be my first time to witness a marriage of friends who are about my age. i'm looking forward to the occasion because not only will i be seeing my friends get married (after their more than half a decade of courtship and friendship), i'll also be one of those who'll put the cord around them as part of the ceremony. they asked me to 'bind them as one' and despite my initial reluctance (because i know i'll be required to wear a nice long dress, hahaha), i agreed. i then told our friends jokingly that i'll surely use the cord to strangle both of them if they decide to break apart! mwahahaha. i'm excited to see them exchange marriage vows and i wish them all the happily-ever-afters and definitely NO breaking-aparts.

* i'll be HOME for christmas! can anything be more happier than that? i'm a december baby and i don't believe in having a merry little christmas. no sir, no ma'am, merry little christmases are not for people like me. i say, catch the true christmas spirit! you don't have to spend a lot of money, you only have to spend quality time with your loved ones, feel the warmth, catch and spread the happiness dust...

happy, it's so nice to be happy, sha la la la
everybody should be happy, sha la la la

december babies, it's our time to take over the world! weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee...

p.s. sana lang talaga walang kj at walang panira ng good mood.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

his question

Childhood is measured out by sounds and smells and sights, before the dark hour of reason grows.
--John Betjeman

last july, my cousin, who's now based in singapore, brought his young family to the philippines for a vacation. during their stay in metro manila, they occupied a room on the 9th floor of the peninsula manila in makati. at that time, my tita and cousins from the states were also staying in the hotel, just 2 doors away. owing to close family ties and all, my elder brother, my cousin from dumaguete and i stayed with them and spent leisure hours in the hotel. at one point, while we were waiting for the lift, my cousin's then 4-year old son drew away the curtains in the waiting area and looked through the glass. because we were on the 9th floor, he got a good view of the ayala avenue-makati avenue intersection and the ayala cityscape.

him: why does your country look so old?
me: will you say that again?

when he asked the question, i wasn't looking at what he was seeing so i didn't know where his question came from. i was taken aback when i saw that he was looking at the buildings surrounding ayala avenue. goodness, they're relatively new!

him: it looks so old. your country looks so old. why does it look so old?

the inquisitive innocent

he rendered me momentarily speechless. fortunately, my 15-year old cousin from the states who has seen much of the countryside butted in. the conversation went like this...

15-year old cousin: the philippines is actually the best place that i've ever been to. this is your country, too, you know. we may be growing up elsewhere but this is our country, too.
him: nooooo. its looks so old.
15-year old cousin: if we really think about it, countries are old.
me: (addressing my innocent-looking but bold nephew) so, you don't want to call this country yours too solely because it looks so old?
him: yes!
me: but you like us... you like the people here, don't you?
him: yes!
me: sweetie, you're still indeed a little kid. you're looking at just one cityscape and that's not the entire country, but you like the people. that's good.
him: hey, i'm four and eleven-twelfths! i'll be five soon.
me: i know... but being five will still make you a little boy. grrrr???
him: grrrr...
15-year old cousin: grrrr... you two look cute when you do that.
together: grrrr...
me: grrrr... jud. mahurot akong english sa inyoha mga bataa mo.
them: huh?

grrrr... that question, that 'old country' question. i still carry it with me. whenever i find myself in a high-rise building and i look through the glass windows and see a cityscape, his question echoes.

iba talaga 'pag bata ang nagtanong.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

ice cream, anyone? everyone!

In my life, priceless batteries are included.

i like the way the wind's been blowing on my face. i love the way it's been touching my hair. i'm feeling good these days and i'm feeling grateful for a lot of things...

i have a supportive family. even if they don't really understand what i'm doing and even if what i really want to do with my life is not clear to them, they're with me and they continue to encourage my dreams.

there are those who root for me. even in times when i doubt myself and my abilities, there'd always be people who would willingly give me a push and who would remind me how far i can go.

there are individuals who pray and strive for my happiness.

i am surrounded with people who make me want to become a better person.

i never had to really go through something so tragic. i have no reason to be bitter.

i am loved... even by those whom i alienate.

i have friends who live with my quirks and who never give up on me even in times when i'm being impossible.

i'll never be alone.

latâ kaayo noh? he...he...he... i'm really, really feeling good these days. i feel like i want to buy everyone ice cream... but hey, i can't pay for everyone -- so blag lang sâ! ;-)

Monday, November 21, 2005

free spirits

The human spirit is stronger than anything that can happen to it.
--C.C. Scott

the other weekend was a walk-around-the-city/wall-climbing weekend spent with my friends from college.

p6peeps smiles
p6peeps in manila: clownin' around
we used to be five, now we're six.

wall-climbing: the caterpillar way
whoohoo, i conquered my acrophobia again!

last weekend was lasingan/celebration weekend spent with four of my gal friends from high school. we had full bottles of bailey's irish cream, smirnoff red vodka, blueberry vodka cruiser, and san miguel super dry right in the living room of our friends' condo unit somewhere in malate... but nobody got drunk. pagka-walay challenge. maybe next time, kung inom lang ang among tuyo, mag-tanduay, anejo rhum, red horse og ginebra san miguel na lang mi! hehehe. click here for the related story. (warning: the link may take ages to open, but it's worth the wait. click refresh or reload if you don't see the entry for november 21.)

empty bottles and our trusty gadgets

portraits of a certified diligent student, hahaha!

i've finally seen her. she got most of her looks from my kuya -- from the hair, to the china eyes, to the lips -- and it's not just me talking, even her mother and her maternal grandparents say so.


mabait at maporma kung tulog

mataray at sobrang likot kapag gising

as of yesterday, she's only four days old, but oh my...when i laid my eyes on her, it was made clear to me that my bratty days are already numbered. yes, i'm going to be dethroned! she got the looks, the charm, and the attitude kaya wala talaga akong laban, hahaha.

Thursday, November 17, 2005


of the many babies born today, one of them is truly special to me.

she came to this world at 4:06 a.m. philippine time. she is my brother's first born, my parents' first grandchild, and my sisters' first niece. she's my niece, too!!! because of her, i'm now officially a tita. weeeeeeeeeee.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

caterpillar narcissism 101

i learned something cute from one of my labmates the other day. it goes like this...

Everybody hates me.
Nobody loves me.
I guess I have to eat some worms.
Worms? I hate worms!
They drive me crazy.
Crazy? I used to be crazy!
They locked me in my room until I died.
Die? I don't wanna die!
Worms're gonna eat me.
Worms? I hate worms...

...and so it goes. you have to say the words in a childlike manner. i'm telling yah, it sounds cute! it's fit for individuals who have the tendency to have their 'own worlds' -- individuals like me. wait 'til you hear me. mag-advertise ba.


i like taking my own pictures. i feel i look good in pictures if i take them myself. i can also afford to make faces without feeling so conscious. that is why, i adore those cameras with self-timers. i also love my phone's built-in camera because it has a mirror feature which allows me to check if i look fine or not before i activate the shutter with a click. self-timers and mirror features are A-ok with me... and so are the 'review photos' capability of digital cameras. if the on-screen version ain't good, choose delete! heheha.


it's been six months since i last had my hair cut. it has grown so long, i don't seem to know what to do with it anymore. if i have it cut, i might end up not liking it anymore. if i don't have it cut, it'll grow longer and i will not like it anymore. unsa bah... ayokong problemahin.


when i write for my blog, i don't exactly write for other people. it's more like i'm writing for myself because i want to read myself and be able to see what kind of person i am in somebody else's reckoning, as well as keep track of the very thoughts and things that i'm up to. i guess, it's safe to say that there may be no other greater reason for my blogging than 'narcissistic tendencies'. now, who likes to contest?

Thursday, November 10, 2005

in need of omega 3

heart of mine, how will you keep from dying?
stop reminiscing.

-- heart of mine

my heart broke so perfectly into a million and one pieces -- had the wind fiercely blown the tiny pieces away, they would have scattered like bloodied rose petals on the ground and become puzzle pieces that would never again fit...

...but my heart broke so perfectly -- every piece still so into place -- that it is now more than just a broken heart; it is also a kaleidoscope of memories that're really not memories, of stories that went untold, of moments left unshared, of unborn beginnings, of questions unanswered, of hopes and dreams that never fade away with every stubborn tear that falls, of sorrows that scurry away with every laughter that rings, of stars wished upon night after night, of love that grows and grows and refuses to die, of time that goes on and on.

dear Doctor,
i like kaleidoscopes but my heart needs to heal. please make the master of my favorite mind games understand that i don't want to regard him as 'one friend less', even if that's what he wants to be. go and check on him, too. give him all the best -- even those that are meant for me -- will you?

Sunday, November 06, 2005


congratulate me fellow netizens! i survived ten (10) days of internet hiatus without withdrawal syndrome. internet junkie that i am, i regard that as a feat. clap! clap! clap!

you might be wondering what i've been up to. well, nothing much really except that...

1. i left metro manila and headed for iloilo
october 24. monday. my labmates and i left manila and got on board the ship, st. joseph the worker, which was bound for iloilo. we traveled for 24 hours and here are some of the things we got to show for the time we spent on the boat...

light rays manila skyline
dancing porters clouds and islands
clockwise from top left: light rays straight from the sky, the manila skyline, clouds and islands, dancing porters

sundeck sundeck too
videoke cabinmates
clockwise from top left: sundeck exposure, another sundeck exposure, inside one of the business-class cabins, our shameless invasion of the videoke area

2. i attended a scientific congress
our main purpose for leaving metro manila and going to iloilo was to attend a scientific congress in central philippine university, jaro, iloilo city in order to share our outputs to the scientific community. at the back of our minds, however, the real purpose was to have fun and go to other places, hehehe. it was my first time to be in iloilo.

main hall labmates
gumamela butterfly
clockwise from top left: the main hall of the congress, labmates, a butterfly in iloilo city's butterfly garden, a yellow and orange gumamela

3. i set foot on guimaras for the first time
the congress ran for 3 days -- from october 26 to october 28. on october 29, saturday, instead of heading straight for iligan, i hied off to guimaras for an island-hopping adventure with 3 of my mindanaon friends.

boat group picture
baras caves
tiil sa mga laagan pawikan
clockwise from top left: the boat that took us from iloilo to jordan-guimaras, group picture - raymen beach resort, cave openings in one of the islands that we passed by during our island-hopping adventure, holding a 15-kg breathing pawikan in turtle island-guimaras, best feet forward, group picture - baras beach resort

4. i went around the island of negros
right after our trip to guimaras, we went back to iloilo city. we left iloilo immediately and took a ride on an ocean jet that took us to bacolod city. we stayed in bacolod for a night and on early sunday, we boarded a bus bound for dumaguete. the busride we got, however, took the long route -- it followed the coastal road instead of going through the road that cuts across the island. as a result, we passed by so many cities we otherwise wouldn't have passed by that day. by the time we reached dumaguete city, my back was aching from the 7+ hours of bus travel. despite that, i don't have any significant complaints. it was my first time to be in negros and i was having fun. in fact, when one of my bags fell off the bus and onto the side of the road somewhere between san carlos city and bais city, my friends and i laughed and laughed while the driver and the other passengers got irritated because of the delay. actually, it was the driver's fault for being such a daredevil -- he was driving so fast, we almost collided with another bus. during the motions of swerving, my bag, which we tied to one of the bus poles, got untied. it fell down the ladder near the bus pole and went off the bus through the open door. it was a quite heavy bag and it was funny to see it falling off the bus the way it did.

stop-over negros
from left to right: san carlos city stop-over, negros landscape - cogon grass among the sugarcanes

5. i found myself back on mindanao soil
i must have walked on dumaguete soil for only 15 minutes or less. after we got off the bus that almost took us around the entire coastline of negros (not to mention that it almost took us straight to heaven, hehehe), we got on board an ocean jet bound for dapitan. in less than two hours, we found ourselves walking out of the water craft and on to the port area of dapitan. after 10 months of being away, i was back on mindanao soil. yehoo!!!

scenic shot - dapitan

we left dapitan on a van that took us to ozamiz city. in ozamiz, we hailed a motorcab, which brought us to the port area and arrived there just in time for a barge's departure -- we were the last passengers to go on board.

i didn't mind that we didn't stay long enough in dapitan and in ozamiz. i've been to those places before and already saw most of their areas. i like dapitan but i was excited to be home...

6. i got home
october 30. sunday. at almost 7pm. after months and months of anticipating the day that i'd be home again, it finally came true and i was back in iligan! yessssssssss...

7. i went to tangub city
october 31. monday. right after lunch. i'd only been home for less than 24 hours and my parents already whisked me and my sisters off to tangub city, my father's hometown, to see our relatives there. i love traveling and so i was game for it, despite my aching back...

lechon lechon
boys extended family picture
clockwise from top left: lechon head, the lechon has been attacked!, extended family picture - that's only half of our number, cute boys - my cousins

8. i attended a videoke session
my family stayed in tangub city until november 2. just 3 hours after we arrived in iligan, we left our house again to see my youngest cousin, b-boy, whom i haven't seen nor held before as he was born just last june.

vk and b-boy a.k.a. the crazy predator and the helpless prey. souvenir of our first meeting.

on november 3, i had dinner with my friends, miggs and micmic (m&m!). later that night, the rose called me up to force me to attend the videoke session she organized within short notice for her friends from high school, which included moi (of course!). because we're good friends, i had no choice but to join the get-together at her house, which i haven't been to since 7 years ago (when i arrived at her place, i thought i was waiting at the wrong gate, hehehe). i did not regret seeing my high school classmates again. we enjoyed being there and we stayed 'til the wee hours -- singing, talking (shouting?), eating, drinking san mig light, and yes, gossiping. hehehe.

9. i went to bacolod, lanao del norte
i broke my internet hiatus after i got back from the videoke session. i did not return to blogging though; i merely checked my piled-up emails and uploaded some pictures to my bloated friendster account. i slept for a few hours and when i woke up, my parents whisked me off to bacolod, lanao del norte -- this time, to attend my lolo's birthday celebration and to see relatives from my mother's side. there, i had another go at punching the keys of a videoke machine and eating delicious lechon, papa-it, paklay, kaldereta, dinuguan, kinason, sinugbang isda, and bulad.

cousins lolo and lola
from left to right: cousins -- the incomplete set, my lola and lolo with one of their great grandkids

10. ack! i ran out of things to say
okay, this will do: november 5. saturday. i bought a ticket for the plane ride that will take me back to manila (gasp!) mid-this week. i have yet to see my best friend (whom i haven't seen for almost two years now) and i have yet to visit my old school. i'm not worried, i still have time.

i told you, i've been up to nothing much. ;-)
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