"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, December 24, 2007

a 'dear diary' entry

"...and when i looked Your light was everywhere!"

pooh. it's my december and nothing much is happening. let's see...

when december came in, i -- as written previously -- bought good reads, hied off to metro manila, enjoyed an afternoon with yoni my travel buddy, had my hair cut a bit, had a hair spa, met with tiff, enjoyed a yellow cab pizza, had a foot spa and a chair massage, invaded a music booth and, with another p6peeps member, made videoke masters out of ourselves. i went back to my place in laguna rather late but the trip was all in all okay and i really had a nice weekend. i saw a fireworks show, too!

12.02.2007: videoke addicts in denial, hehe

i soon had a trip to batangas. i saw gwen garci there but no, thank you, i didn't go there for her – i’m blessed, i had better sights to enjoy! i loved the night air, traveled back to laguna late at night, really felt grateful for my carpool buddies, and slept well.

after a productive workweek, another weekend came and i made a trip to metro manila. i got together with my p6peeps friends in trinoma... ah wait, what was i saying? nothing much's happening? of course, by now, you do realize it's a lie. hahaha! when i say it's MY december, it's NOT an empty claim!

owkey, now, back to my story.

i made a trip to metro manila and got together with the rest of the p6peeps in trinoma. after approximately 75 thousand years, i was finally able to visit trinoma for the first time. whew! one year ago, it was still a facility under construction. sm north used to be my place -- not for any other special reason -- but only because it's the nearest and most accessible shopping/cinema area from my then UP diliman. uh, where was i?

8th of december 2007

triangle north of manila – trinoma

i enjoyed dinner with the p6peeps in lamesa grill. actually, we took a lot of time deciding where to eat. we went around, went up, went down, then went up and around again before we were able to come up with a decision. typical p6peeps decision-making scheme, i should say! haha.

by the time we got our table in lamesa, we were already very hungry. we must have been really starved because even before the waiters could finish serving all that we've ordered, we were already gobbling up -- and all the food was gone in no time. even my memory failed as i could not recall -- except for the fact that there was an assortment of seafoods served on platters -- the names of the orders we made. after dinner, we still felt our stomachs could take in more -- plus the night was still so young, anyway -- so we swung by the krispy kreme establishment in trinoma and ordered donuts and caffeinated beverages. yum, yum.

magic on the bus
from trinoma, my friends and i rode on a bus to get to our next stop. i was already very sleepy by the time i took my seat and i really wasn't in the mood to do much thinking anymore. with eyes already half-closed, i simply fished twenty-peso bills from my pocket and stretched out my hand just enough so my friends can easily take them bills when it's time for fare. BUT whoa! just soon after the bills left my hand, there were twenties on my palm again. i didn't have to count... i knew by weight approximation that my money already 'grew'.

it seemed my friends pooled their twenties and, when one of them, decided to pay for all of us, dumped the collection of orange bills on my still outstretched hand. i, in turn, unceremoniously dumped all the bills in my pocket and stole a nap... no issue there; because by virtue of p6peeps' magic, the bills became legally mine. :-P

9th of december 2007

market! market!
i spent the earlier part of the day with the p6peeps guys -- randz, anwar, and edson. we went around and around market! market!, had a lunch of steamed crabs, grilled squid, ampalaya, and liempo 'til we all felt bloated and kept laughing our heads off at randz, our hotseat victim of the day.

we later invaded a music zone booth and gave in to the videoke addicts in us. tiff and jerk came to join us. thanks to randz' curiosity and his restless fingers -- think of 'what does this button do?' here -- we were able to avail of free songs in between the songs that we paid for. eureka! it's better and cheaper than video-singko!!!

"naay libre na song basta..."

12.09.2007: the music booth invasion

after singing our hearts out -- we used up 3 timezone cards, go figure! -- we went for dinner but only after i finally bought myself a konoha headband from comic alley. yoohoo!!! it’s an early birthday gift for myself. i'd been wanting to own one ever since i saw a photo of my friend's son wearing a konoha headband. AND then, one fine day, i finally got one! die-hard naruto fans will surely understand this. hehe.

i received christmas goodies wrapped in christmassy wrappers from my officemates over the next few days. i lost track of how many lunch outs we had. then, another weekend came...

15th of december 2007

trip to subic
if you could only read the SMS exchanges between yoni and i on the 14th of december, you wouldn't really believe we'd get anywhere. we were, as usual, walay klaro.

i was wanting to go. she was wanting to go. i didn't want to decide on the time. she couldn't decide on the time. she had things on her mind. i had things on my mind. she was tired. i was tired, too. we agreed not to push through with the trip and i said i was gonna make other plans with other people. i tried.. BUT... but... but...

it was already very late in the evening when i sent yoni another message and said i wanted to push through with the trip. she wanted to push through with the trip, too! so...

here’s the 'one-point lesson' from my travel buddy and i: all's well for people who agree on one thing even in the absence of 'detailed plans' -- "kung dayon ka, dayon ko." what’re we travel buddies for if not for that, right?

detailed plans??? what're they?
our gameplan was simple: go to subic and buy some chocolates from duty-free. anything more (or less) than that's something which can be left to fate... or whatever.

getting to subic just by impromptu asking
from laguna, i made my trip to cubao to meet up with yoni. in cubao, yoni and i went to a bus terminal and asked people in uniform how we could get to subic. we were told to ride a bus bound for olongapo city. we did that. we bought our tickets and got on a bus... this was around noon. 3 hours, a long trip spent on some napping, talking, and munching, and several countryside scenes after, we found ourselves in olongapo. at first, we weren't sure about our stop... but all the people started getting off the bus, anyway, so we got off, too. hehe. we were doing real adventure!

"welcome to the city of olongapo!"
yoni and i welcomed ourselves to olongapo. we didn't want any people to take advantage of our being strangers to the place so we pretended nothing was amiss even though deep within us some degree of worry was brewing. wasn't it cool?! we were already in olongapo and we knew subic was just somewhere... and yet we had no idea how to get there. by the way, we had no map with us, too. yup, yup, we had no map!

we stuck to what was safe and found temporary 'refuge' from a nearby mcdo. wahahahaha!!! after our late afternoon snack -- a sundae never fails to do its wonders -- we were finally able to pull together some courage and went up to the nearest security guard and popped the 'question of the hour' -- pa'no po pumunta sa duty-free?

so there... we rode on a jeepney and went to the GATE. we made the mistake of getting off at the other gate though. hehe. we had to walk a bit more before we found whatever it was we were supposed to find – even though when we got there, we still had no idea what it was – we just knew that was already it! more hehehe.

gameplan check -- destination: subic. yup, we got to subic! so check. buy chocolates: yup, we bought chocolates! that's another check. then, what about the bonus adventures??? you mean, like walking around and enjoying the wind, karting, and scouring the weekend market and bargain shopping? heheheeh. we did those, too!!!

giving in to NFS: need for speed
ehhehehe... we went KARTING!!! yup, yup, we gave in to our need for speed! weeeeeeeeeee... karting's always been one of the things which i find fascinating. so when i saw the go-kart circuit in subic bay freeport zone, i really felt the urge to be on a kart and speed-drive around and around!

pictures? except for the built-in cameras of our phones, we didn't have a camera with us... but we do have photo souvenirs of our karting stint in subic; we just haven't uploaded them yet. in the meantime, here's a photo of my other ever-loyal travel buddies...

"kung dayon ka, dayon pud ko"

anyway, yoni and i did not get lost in subic and we're able to accomplish what we went there for, after all. we were able to buy our chocolates -- supposedly yoni's chocolates only but, hey, when i saw them chocolates i wanted to buy them, too. yup, yup, those chocolatey goodies and more.

we realized we didn't have much time to explore the entire place since we had to make our way back to manila by 7pm. while we were walking around, we took a mental note of the places we won't be able to see just so we could check them out the next time we'll be back there. yup, we've got plans of going back there! as to when... we don't know how soon… or late for that matter. what we know for sure is this: basta kung dayon ka, dayon ko.

it was already 10pm when we reached cubao. i was supposed to make the trip all the way back to laguna but it was already late so i decided to sleep over at my aunt's house in makati. the next day, i woke up early and brought myself to laguna just in time for my tagaytay trip with the p6peeps.

just to make one thing clear, the whole point of our subic trip was not really about the chocolates. it was about getting to subic without any clear idea how to get there and without contingency plans whatsoever.

it has always been on my to do list to just get on the bus and hie off to wherever it takes me. i'd like to think i’ve taken at least one step closer to that.

there and back again
i'd like to say 'there and back again'. in just a span of 24 hours, i went through both the north and south luzon expressways twice and still went further.

whew! call it a marathon trip. from laguna to cubao to subic to cubao to makati to laguna to tagaytay. it was tiring a bit -- i won't deny that -- but it was what i wanted for a birthday celebration. it's my way of simply declaring, hey world, i'm 25! weeehooooo!

the 15th-16th of december weekend was the weekend before my birthday and, because my birthday fell on a workday, i sought ways to celebrate it ahead! BUT then again, if you take a look at MY december, it's safe to say it's really a month-long birthday celebration... hahaha.

16th of december 2007

p6peeps' day-out in tagaytay
since i first went to tagaytay in 2002, i have yet to miss a year. 2002 -- i was there. 2003 -- i was there, too. same goes for 2004, 2005, 2006 (i was there twice!!), and now, 2007. tagaytay's definitely one of my fave places and, what luck, i'm currently living just very, very near it! hehe.

12.16.2007: 5 p6peeps at the picnic grove

12.16.2007: fun by the pine tree | spot the difference!

tagaytay. check. great friends. check. cool wind. check. great natural smell. check. nice greenery. check. bargain shopping. check. mushroomburger trip. check. meaningful adventures with drizzles and fogs. check. happy times. check.

12.16.2007: life is good...

more, more, more
more christmas goodies in christmassy wraps came. my birthday came and, of course, the birthday greetings came, too -- THANKS, THANKS FOR ALL THE GREETINGS AND THE GIFTS!!! -- hehe. i shared birthday chocolates and ice cream. i bought myself another birthday gift – a design-it-yourself starbucks tumbler, yehey! our company's christmas party came and we had a fun trip to ayala-alabang village where we celebrated and even had videoke and dance craze bonding. we got entertained by a superb choral group, too! on the last workday before christmas, we had christmas lunch and milestone celebration at poquito mas.

21st-22nd of december 2007
friday night & saturday

tiff and jerk's 2nd wedding anniversary & p6peeps' christmas party
whew!!! so what if the christmas rush traffic was very, very horrible? i had so much fun! videoke fever 'til the early morning hours... and seemingly non-stop dance revo craze right after!!! wooohooo!! my throat didn't hurt from all that singing but fatigue sure set in because of all those dance revo steps i had to do. for crying out loud, my legs still hurt as i write!

23rd of december 2007

home, here i am!!!
"christmas won't be christmas without any presents," says jo march in little women. i say, "christmas won't really be christmas if not spent at home."

so, here i am, grateful that i have a real home to call all these years... and really happy and proud to be home with my family.

i'm home and gunning for adventures... hometown peeps, what's the gameplan? ehehe.


Saturday, December 08, 2007

it's my december!

"Your life is an occasion, rise to it!"

loving all that white which my fingertips flirt with

i got my share of batangas' cold december breeze last night. the wind was blowing so nicely, i felt compelled to at least try embracing it as i walked. the wind responded by brushing and ruffling my hair some more. it certainly felt good to be spreading my arms and allowing my self to soak in the wind. although it was rather late when i found my way back to my place in laguna, i was glad i decided to give batangas my time. now i know for sure that it makes a lot of sense for me to look forward to spending more time there.

my days here in laguna unfold like a walk in the park... or maybe i should just say that they unfold WITH a walk in the park. when i set out everyday, i find my way out of the village by walking on a footpath lined with young trees and perfumed with the natural aroma of nice green grass. even on rainy days, the path is good to walk on and i get to start my days with a "la la la life is good" air.

on the 30th of november, the message on my phone that brought me to wakefulness was "happy birthday soon and always. you'll always be one of the good, best people i met and is friendship, kinship for me."

wow! surprise surprise!!! i could always trust one of my friends to pull such a pleasant surprise! an early birthday message? the simplicity of it blew me away!

it really doesn't matter wherever my friends are, i can sense their sincerity even from afar. it feels good to know that there are really people who put value on the kinship and trust that i have for them. i cannot say the same for people i know who take my trust for granted and mindlessly break it; certainly not my loss, i dare say.

my december unfolded rather nicely and in just a matter of days, i'll be turning a new leaf. i'd like to think i'm building up things...

last week, i welcomed december with a purchase of good reads, a good time with friends, a haircut, a foot spa, a spur-of-the-moment videoke session (oh yeah, for the first time in my singing history, i got a 100!!! the song? i will survive! wehehehe!!!), productive workweek, a video mash of nice photos of me and some of my long-time friends, sharing a full can of stik-o with my new friends, and an early christmas night in batangas.

this week and the coming weeks, the possibilities are endless.

PLUS: i'll be going home, too!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

life's not always a picnic BUT...

"Contentment is not the fulfillment of what you want,
it is the realization of how much you already have."

...where there are friends, there's fun and so much more!

10.28.2007 p6peeps' get-together in taguig

10.28.2007 p6peeps' balut attack

11.24.2007 p6peeps' makati night

11.24.2007 early christmas spirit

11.25.2007 out on a sunday

11.25.2007 trip mo ba 'to?

by the way, here's launching my singing and dancing career, hehe. just follow the link.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

thoughts from an old notebook and an update

"All who have meditated on the art of governing mankind have been convinced that the fate of the empires
depends on the youth."

-- Aristotle

october 2007. cam-whoring with friends

when i left iligan for the nth time, i brought with me one of my old notebooks. i browsed through the pages and saw the smorgasbord of items i've written down so far. these items are basically quotes or thoughts i've jotted down while paying attention to other people...

to be a hero, you don't have to die or be assassinated. you just have to give your best.

it does not matter how small or big the thing you do is; what matters is that you do it even if it goes unnoticed.

wherever you are, whatever you do, you are a missionary.

"ang buhay na hindi inalay sa dakilang layunin ay tulad ng isang puno na walang lilim." -- emilio jacinto

let that beautiful span speak to you. sit there quietly and let God speak to you.

can you speak in a language that the man on the street can understand?

you are born to live. if you don't live, shame on you!

leadership by example... how we live , the life choices that we make make us who we are.

it is not what i say, it is what i do (that counts). it is the life choices that i make that make me credible.

on a mentor... todo-bigay manalita. he makes things sink in. tumatayo ang balahibo ko everytime i hear him speak -- too few people can get to me like that. he really inspires and moves people. he knows the language of the man on the street.

personal reflection guide: how did my parents educate me?

the person who does not know how to reflect is living an unmeaningful life.

dare to dream. dare to pay the price of your dream or abandon your dream.

the most eloquent speech you can make -- your life!

"sa laking kaguluhan sa paghahanap-buhay, nawala ang dahilan kung bakit nabubuhay."

"there is no word more tragic than the word 'empty' when it's time to go."

i can make my life very beautiful.

learn to hug your kids.

minsan, makulit ang tadhana. ang isang bagay, 'pag para sa 'yo talaga, kahit anong iwas mo, kukulitin ka ng tadhana para tanggapin mo lang ang kung ano ang para sa 'yo talaga.

i fear but i have faith and my faith is greater than my fear.

END of thoughts from an old notebook

quick sharing: i get to realize more and more that God really knows how to bless those who put their trust in Him. it took awhile and a lot of uncertainty and confusion before my prayers got answered but with the way things are happening in my life right now, i can say that every one of them's worth the wait. i asked for patience, He gave me so much more.

i once asked a trusted friend to help me pray and, instead of promising anything, my friend gave me this simple yet very meaningful advice: "just trust in the goodness of God's heart whatever happens."

after going here and there, i'm currently living an adventure in sta. rosa, laguna. i haven't finished processing all the necessary papers yet, but here i am -- bubbling and excited that i'm part of a new company's start-up team. i'm using a brand-new macbook which i get to take home with me everyday. (opening the oh-so-sealed apple box felt like opening a very-much-wanted early christmas present). i'm working for (and with – they’re down to earth) great bosses. i'm back to being a useful slave and i have found new friends and allies in my co-workers.

i don't know yet if this is really the path that will lead me to my dreams BUT here's really, really hoping and looking forward to a downpour of (more) blessings.

wobbly steps first, surefootedness will come after. stay safe, wish, believe, and do well! wish to hear from you.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

oh october

"The most important trip you may take in life
is meeting people halfway."

-- Henry Boye

a look at my octobers definitely says october is a month of trips and travels for me.

october 2004
manila - tagaytay - manila
manila - cagayan de oro - iligan - tangub

october 2005
manila - iloilo - guimaras - iloilo - bacolod - around negros - dumaguete - dapitan - ozamis - iligan - tangub

october 2006
manila - corregidor - manila
manila - cagayan de oro - iligan - davao - samal - davao - iligan - ozamis - tangub

october 2007
the previous years' tradition of having multiple destinations during the month of october -- my kind of oktoberfest, i must say -- shall live on. from here to where? it's a hush!

"It is not down in any map; true places never are."
-- Herman Melville

actually, this is my way of declaring a hiatus. as i have a lot of serious matters to deal with, i'll probably be gone a long time so ta ta. if you need to hear from me, you'll know how to reach me.

off i go. see you when i see you!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

rainbows in the sky

"I've heard it too many times to ignore it
There's something that I'm supposed to be
Someday we'll find it
The rainbow connection
The lovers, the dreamers, and me."

-- Rainbow Connection

last thursday, i went on a little adventure on my own in cagayan de oro city. to find my way back to iligan, i got on a bus and i got myself a window seat. the sun was about to set when the bus pulled out of the terminal and for a while i got my share of the sun's kiss as bright yellow-orange rays pierced through the glass window.

as the bus plied the route leading back to my home city, the blue sky started to bleed with reddish and orange hues. i couldn't help but look and look out of the window. it was going to be more than an hour ride and, instead of sleeping the time off, i decided to spend it observing the scenes unfolding outside. so there i was, looking out, fascinated by the struggle between cool and warm colors as the sky assumed its multi-colored sunset glory. where the sky remained blue, there were hints of clouds and a rainbow... and another rainbow!

wow, rainbows in the sky during sunset! what a sight! it's been quite a while since i last observed a rainbow adorning the sky... and suddenly seeing not just one but two of them? i took in the sight with child-like excitement!

what i especially liked about what i saw was the fact that the rainbows were not of the usual semi-circular type -- they appeared like multi-colored beams from high-intensity artificial light sources, projected straight up from the low-lying clouds and received by the high-altitude clouds. definitely, a sight to behold! i feel sorry for the other passengers who were either sleeping or too busy paying attention to the tv-onboard. they missed the wonderful sky show!

i went all dreamy looking at the rainbows and the beautifully bleeding sky. it was easy to convince myself that someone watching over me put them there especially for me to see.

i eventually lost sight of the rainbows as the blue sky continued to bleed, trying to win in vain its battle against darkness... but a wonderful, dreamy feeling stayed with me. i half-imagined that the care bears were somewhere in the clouds, secretly waving, winking, and smiling.

i got a priceless bus ride for PhP130.

Monday, October 08, 2007


"I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead;
I lift my lids and all is born again."

-- from mad girl's love song by sylvia plath

when i was five, i spent a year in kindergarten and earned a treasure trove of memories which, up to this day -- almost 20 years after -- i can still vividly recall.

i first arrived at the schoolhouse as a kinder 1 (k1) pupil but, on that same day, i went home as a kinder 2 (k2) kid. the one who brought me to school was told that, based on the teaching team's observation, i was already articulate enough to mingle with the k2 students and that i'd be better off there. based on my own observation, however, the real reason was this: the k1 teacher already had too many kids to look after. anyway, it was my luck.

(if i was made to stick it out in k1 that year, i would have belonged to another batch. it's difficult to imagine not being batchmates with the people who turned out to be my batchmates, if you get what i mean -- no ids99 for me, no p62003 for me either. say drama but, seriously, i can't bear the thought. ;P)

our schoolhouse was, to my then little girl's eyes, something straight out of children's books and children's movies. it was wooden and had that country cottage feel. there was an old acacia tree in front of it and, not far from it, was a green field lined with trees. the single-storey wooden structure we called classroom was in stark contrast to the three-story concrete building hiding it from clear view. (the schoolhouse was located at the back of the engineering building in that same university campus where i was to go for high school and college some years later. if loyalty awards were to be handed out, i'd be a recipient!)

i remember some of my classmates and the things that made them stand out in my memory bank.

there was a boy called amai who was always the first one to finish the individual activities. his female counterpart was a girl named christina. that girl had a lot of barbie dolls (back in the day, more than two was a lot considering the times then). there was a boy the rest of us couldn't talk to because he was very unfriendly -- for that reason, i forgot his name. if one of us ever approached him, all he said was a hostile sentence and it always ended with "baboy ka!" i think the only one he allowed to talk to him was our teacher.

there was lyzah, always looking for her mother. there was fern, never late and a natural leader inside the schoolroom. there was cyril, energetic like a wriggler and too soft for a boy. there was ranran. there was eldani. to them were often assigned the special roles of our class presentations. (little did i know then that, years after, eldani would become one of my drinking/gimik buddies in manila. hehe.) there was phil, nonchalant. there was janlou, shy, silent and well-behaved. i was closest to angel, tingting, and roxanne. angel was my buddy-buddy during class-hours, it was tingting who often squealed on me, and roxanne was my after-class buddy.

our teacher was miss josephine damgo. i heard she got married but i'll always remember her as miss josephine damgo -- very lady-like and thoughtful. very kind though she was, i received punishment from her -- once -- when fern complained that she was left out of the game i initiated. all of us in our playgroup were called forth and, after being reminded of good manners and right conduct, miss damgo lightly slapped our palms with a foot-long orions plastic ruler... just for the sake of additional disciplinary measure, i bet. (lol, orions! i didn't do any bullying but i got in hot water... all because i started blue bird, blue bird on my window -- i forgot the mechanics of this game.)

maybe i got punished twice...

back then, i was already observant and had no problem speaking out whatever's on my mind. when we were preparing our graduation presentation, i noticed that two of my classmates got multiple role assignments and the rest did not. i wondered about this openly and, by so doing, inadvertently called attention to myself. some casting changes were done and i ended up having an additional role -- that of a talking bird. in fairness, it wasn't what i wanted... had i only known. as a talking bird, i had to deliver a memorized speech about the environment all on my own. as if all things bright and beautiful wasn't already long enough to memorize! (complete with actions and voice & facial expressions, our entire class recited that beautiful poem from start to finish).

it was in kindergarten that i first got acquainted with poster colors. we used a lot of them during our art activities. we were allowed to let go of our brushes and we got to play with the colors using our palms and fingers. we had two cooking activities for our nutrition month celebration. for one, we had pancake day. we also had fruits and vegetable day -- the fruit salad was good but the hodge-podge of vegetables was yucky. (i avoided eating vegetables for quite sometime after this.) i was a silent angel in the manger during our christmas presentation. i remember being the only one who turned in irregular n-gons when the class was told to cut circles of different sizes. (it wasn't because i didn't catch the instructions well. it was all because i was the only one who did not get adult help in cutting the circles from cardboard -- think cardboard vs. paper scissors here.) we had nap times which always ended with tic tac tic tac says the clock it's time for the class to wake up and all but one would scramble off the mats -- roxanne always went on sleeping.

my dreams were very simple then: (1) i wanted to be an astronaut. (2) i wanted to be able to climb the tall trees in front of the engineering building.

p.s. except for ranran, tingting, and eldani, i don't know what became of my kindergarten classmates and where they are now. i wonder how they're doing and if they ever got close to their dreams.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

unhappy but not sad

"May the wind under your wings bear you
where the sun shines and the moon walks."

-- Gandalf in The Hobbit

i made him wait. would you believe? i made him wait for years. why, oh, why? i shouldn't have. kicking myself for it would do me no good now. i made tolkien wait. booh.

i remember stopping and putting down the book. only a few pages into the hobbit and i thought the language was beyond me. how then could i get to the lord of the rings if i couldn't even see myself through the prequel? nipped in the bud, my affair with tolkien -- that's what happened. see? had no need for a nosebleed. so goodbye. goodbye bag-end. goodbye shire. goodbye bilbo. goodbye going there and back again. goodbye story.

fast-forward to some years later and lo! i saw my close-to-being-forgotten and still unread tolkien books. hello bag-end. hello shire. hello bilbo. hello gandalf. hello dwarves. take me with you... there and back again.

well, they did! tolkien saw to it!

a mind-blowing adventure, it was! i soon said hello to frodo, sam, merry and pippin, and joined them in the grandest cause-worthy adventure in the realm of middle-earth. i wanted to stay there.

what more can i say? j.r.r. tolkien wrote the story the way it should be written and did not rush to get to the ending. j.r.r. tolkien, a thorough storymaker and an ever-patient storyteller. i, a late-bloomer of a reader... and, fortunately for me, the story did not grow too old to be told. methinks it's the kind that maintains its appeal and has the willingness to wait for generations to come.

needless to say, i was wrong about the language being beyond me. i was wrong about the potential nosebleed...

...but there was one phrase i encountered in the lord of the rings that really got me thinking even after i was done reading. others might have overlooked it and have not given it much thought because it has such simple words: "unhappy but not sad."

unhappy but not sad. now, what does that phrase mean? i sincerely need others' inputs.

Friday, September 21, 2007

run to the water... and find me there

"It's because I like you, I don't want to be with you.
It's a complicated emotion."

-- Marlin, Finding Nemo

this post's alternate title should read: sa maka-relate lang

"if i fall from grace here with you, would you leave me, too?"
-- from Smashing Pumpkins' Galapogos

my friends are going through heart-related troubles these days. i, as a friend, am a pendulum swinging from being cynical and sarcastic about their situations ("and why should he miss you???") to being optimistically sympathetic ("carry on. soon, there will be joy..."). on and on...

ever proud, ever optimistic me -- i try not to be affected by their stories and i refuse to think about my own heart being black and blue. no, not my shamelessly tenacious heart. i've sheltered it so it is safe.

but sh*t just happens, right?

i remain in my safety bubble -- happy, blissful -- imagining myself to be no different from the girl who sits on the shore, walks through the water to run after a school of fish, cups saltwater with her hands, plays with the sand with her toes, flirts with the breeze, giggling, untroubled, unhurt. with that, i get ahead in life. oh, yes, i get ahead.

but words and thoughts and melodies float in the air like dandelion puffs do. they find their way into the safety bubble and stir an otherwise already peaceful heart into restlessness.

"let me out... let me speak..."

no. i'm not ready for the insane flood of senti-babble... i listen but i refuse to write down the words. i take time and become aware how bad it is to want to express something and still be trapped. so i relent. i write things down... write... erase... write... erase... and then i end up quoting that old song by ambrosia which has been lulling me to sleep...

Oh, what's the matter baby?
Is the truth too hard to hear
Well, I think you know I'm not the one who lied
And now it's all behind us
And we both play out our lives
But the years don't change the way I feel inside
[reason says, "pwede malumos?"]

So we play the game out
Though it feels the same now
Are you missin' me?
[reason says, "asa pa ba?"]

Well now, baby just be aware
Of how much I still care
Oh, I need your love

I gave to you my heart and soul
Now I just need to let you know
You're part of me that I just can't let go

Well, tell me somethin' baby
Is there still some thing inside
To remind you of the way it used to be?
And how the years have rolled by
Still there's somethin' I must say
No one ever could have loved you more than me
[reason says, "as the sister would say, 'ka-feeler oi!' "]

So I'm passin' time now
Wishin' you were mine now
Are you missin' me?

Well you know it's not too late
Oh, how long must I wait
Oh, to hear you say

I gave to you my heart and soul
Now I just need to let you know
You're part of me that I just can't let go

And I need your love
Everywhere I go there's a memory
If you can't decide on me
Well you gotta make up your mind
Someday you're gonna find
You just might need me
[reason says, "hehe, kay libre mag-ilusyon"]

Well now, baby just be aware
Of how much I still care
Oh, I need your love

I gave to you my heart and soul
Now I just need to let you know
You're part of me that I just can't let go

in an attempt to thwart this yet another public display of "madness", reason comes by, hauling in pride by the neck -- howling: remember, remember? -- but it is too late. both reason and pride be damned. this time, like it was in other times gone by and like it will be in future times, my temporarily emboldened heart wins. if there's no objection, i'm gonna go and feed it some valium now...

so, i go back to thinking about my friends' troubles. buying them ice cream won't do the trick -- i just know so. could something else be done except to go through it all and beat time?

on a related note, according to khalil gibran, sorrow is joy unmasked. if joy and sorrow are inseparable, then it can also be said that joy is sorrow unmasked.(?) life then is a cycle of unmaskings?

soon, sorrow will be unmasked... and there'll be joy. see? i'm that optimistic and i try to infect my friends with it.

Friday, September 14, 2007

salivation is free!

sing with me. salivation, salivation, salivation is free... uh huh, uh huh, uh huh...

owkey, owkey, lest you think i don't know the lyrics to that popular cranberries song, let me say you're mistaken. blame the little green mangoes for the word play.

little green mangoes! yum, yum!

they represent the entire population of my all-time favorite kind of mango in the whole wide universe and there's no exaggeration there.

the mere sight of them is enough to make me salivate. paring them, slicing them drives me to a different level of high. biting them, eating them is euphoria.

i'm grateful to be around here at this time of the year when green mangoes adorn the trees, beckoning, beckoning.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

soon it will be christmas day

"Meet me tomorrow night. Or any day you want.
I have no right to wonder just how, or when."

-- from Morning Theft

when the 1st of september set in, christmas songs played on piano and sax blared from our neighbor's house the entire morning. as early as now, there's already a big christmas tree all-decorated and displayed on their veranda. clearly, he is not that excited... hahahahaa!

anyhoo, this week, i made a video. no, no, it has nothing to do at all with our christmas-crazy neighbor or of christmas for that matter. it's my own seasons of love video -- 22 snapshots i took during my stays & travels and 29 photo files of me & my friends... here and there.

here it is, a smorgasbord of snapshots and moments with friends and one fave song...

it's time now to sing out, though the story never ends...

video profile: 320x240 pixels
length: 3 minutes and 2 seconds
content: 51 photo files and 1 song (seasons of love from rent)

Sunday, September 02, 2007

the pakshet entry

“How happy is the blameless vestal's lot!
The world forgetting, by the world forgot.
Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind!
Each pray'r accepted, and each wish resign'd.”

-- Alexander Pope

image source: pon and zi gallery

umpisa tayo sa salitang pakshet na ang ibig sabihin ay... pakshet. well, yun na yun. tapos yada yada yada, manira ng mga pakshet (kaya nga pakshet), magpaka-bitter, yada yada yada... until umabot sa pakshet ending.

ito'y isang artik na nabuo dahil sa request ng isang tao diyan.

may kaibigan ako, sam ang pangalan niya. hindi kasi siya makapagblog dahil sa isang major pakshet reason kaya sabi niya ako na lang daw magblog tungkol sa pakshet.

normally, di ko ginagawa 'to. tingnan mo na lang, sa title pa lang, may mura na. tapos bitter-bitteran mode pa ang required para makasulat ng ganito. gusto ko sana more on good vibes nasa blogsite ko. pero di ba, paminsan-minsan dapat lumihis ng daan?

ang mga kwentong masakit sa bangs, bow.

sandamakmak na ang mga pakshet na kwento pero people just can't get enough... mahal mo, di ka mahal. hindi mo mahal, mahal ka. mahal mo, mahal ka pero dahil sa mala-nobelang twists and turns na dadaigin pa yata ang mga nasa soap operas, hindi kayo... or hindi na kayo. pwedeng mahal mo, mahal ka pero pareho kayong di alam na patay na patay pala kayo sa isa't-isa. pwede ring yung mahal mo, ang mahal niya, mahal ka... awww. nakakatuwang nakakabaliw. so pakshet talaga.

leche siya
as in???
bwisit pa
oo nga leche sila shet
ayan... shet din siya
bwahahahahaha pakshet?
wahaahah, di nila alam minumura na natin sila
magkwento ka naman aliwin mo ko
yoko magkwento. mapapamura lang din ako. tapos may-i-bring-back-all-the-pain chuvaness, wag na

naku, pwede talagang makabuo ng mala-thesis na compilation of pakshet stories. mapapalitanya pa tayo sa mura nyan...

ba't kasi pagdating sa mga bagay na may kinalaman ang emosyon, nababading na lahat. self-preservation first ang drama. kaya kahit ikawindang na ng buhay at bumabaha na ng pakshet emotions, kailangang mag-hold back at indahin ang pakshet. sa ganun talaga.

kahit anong isipin mo, di pa rin magbabago tingin mo sa kanya, ganun talaga yun, kaya nga pakshet di ba? kasi in spite and despite all yung drama... umayaw ka na, affected ka pa rin. kilig. selos. asar. emo. achus.

e sa ganon lang talaga e. minsan bratty talaga ang heart nyahahahaha

magkauban ka pa sa sobrang inis, kumanta ka pa ng mga achy-breaky songs, ma-solve man ng mga luha mo ang water crisis, mag-compare-compare ka pa ng mga worst pakshet stories of all time, wala pa rin. pakshet pa rin.

pwede na yatang magnegosyo ng dingding para lahat ng may iniindang pakshet ay doon mag-uuntog ng ulo. ba't di na lang kasi magkaisa at itulak sa pakshet bangin ang mga pakshet sa world? so, therefore, there was... pakshet nga yung kwento.

umpisa sa pakshet, matatapos sa pakshet. maybe not. short lang ang buhay, kelangang gawing makulay. i-conquer ang pakshet. celebrate! celebrate!

(1) ayan sam, pinagbigyan kita. malakas ka pala sa akin? nyahahaha. gudlak na lang sa yo pag yung pakshet mo napadpad dito at ma-gets niyang napasulat mo ako ng pakshet dahil sa kanya, wahahaha.

(2) sa mga na-pakshet dahil sa akin: oist, malay ko ba. wag nyo ko pagbintangan. peace tayo, okies?

Monday, August 27, 2007

hello there, snake

24th of august 2007 | friday

it might as well be just my luck.

after my late morning bath, i ate breakfast, slept until past noon, woke up, changed my houseclothes with a black shirt and pair of denim pants, combed my messy hair, brushed my teeth, put on my contact lenses, went downstairs, pushed my feet into my trusty pair of tribu sandals, told my half-asleep mother that i was going out, got the house keys and shoved them into my bag, opened the wooden door, looked through the screen, saw something, opened the screen door, and, in split-second, i pulled it back. i slammed shut the wooden door, quickly locked it, and clutched my heart before i squeaked, "mamang, nakakita kog halas. naaaaaaaaaa! nahadlok kaayo ko." (ma, i saw a snake. naaaaaaaaaa! i got really scared.)

what could have been a very laidback la di daaaa la di da daaa daaaa i'm-on-my-way moment turned into an OMG moment. when i opened the screen door, i came face to face with an adult snake making its way to our doorstep. i really saw it on our doorstep!

because of the brief ruckus i made, my mother got on her feet and suggested that i open the wooden door again to check the whereabouts of the snake. with my heart still beating triple time, i opened the door -- the snake was no longer there.

my next-door neighbor (who also happens to be my cousin) called out if i indeed saw a snake and went over the fence separating our lots to take a look. my brave mother went out with handfuls of crushed garlic in her hands and threw them on our doorstep and inside the holes of the concrete blocks near it. i told her not to bother going anywhere near those just yet because the snake might have taken refuge there and might attack her. but as i've already mentioned, my ma is brave. she even poked the holes with a stick and disturbed the area the way she does during her daily gardening activities.

i got a huge, huge scare from seeing that venomous snake (it had the skin pattern of a cobra). my heart established a new 'normal' hearbeat rate -- faster -- and i went close to running a fever.

BUT i think it was a 'two-way' traumatic incident. i reckon the snake also had to contend with the trauma of having to deal with the frightening sight of me and my panic-inducing reaction. in that sense, we're quits.

for all the efforts, the meter-long snake could not be found. we have no idea where it went. we could not agree whether it's long been around to stay or if it's a temporary refugee looking for a cold place -- what with the relentless heat in the fields at the backside of the compound.

in the meantime, all seems to be well. the naughty cats in the neighborhood still come around to 'play' in our kamalig. so i say, all is well. global warming be damned. PLEASE, please, don't make me see another snake that way again -- with my own two eyes and with nothing between us. it's too much for one heart. really.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

hi from canada

"May the wings of the butterfly kiss the sun
And find your shoulder to light on,
To bring you luck, happiness and riches
Today, tomorrow and beyond."

--Irish Blessing

on august 9, 2007 i wrote: waaaah my baby boy left for canada this morning. no more wake up calls of ate katrweeen for me from him in the mornings. no more impish shouting matches with him in the evenings, too.

go well, little guy!

now, i can only hug the small pillow he left behind. a pair of his shoes (with his small socks inside) and a pair of his slippers adorn the bookshelves in the girls' room. there's a copy of his passport picture stuck under the glass on the table in the room where i sleep. last weekend, i saw him smiling and waving at me through the webcam. through pc-to-pc call, he said, "hi ate valinkatrweeen! how are you?" the fact that he can make out my name completely makes me so damn proud of him! he's only two.

wasn't it only a little more than a week ago when he told me "flowers for you!" and insisted that i sing along to his toddler-ish guitar-playing?

on the bright side, no one's gonna wrestle the marshmallows, stik-o's, and lollipops out of my hands anymore. i can enjoy eating them in peace.

still, i wish he's back here. he's my favorite jolly brat, you know, and the marshmallows don't look as sweet anymore.

p.s. video clips of his toddler antics are here.

Monday, August 13, 2007

not-so-known stuff

"Everyone is born right-handed... only the greatest overcome it."
-- Lefthanders' Slogan by a brilliant unknown author

image source: imdb.com's gallery for love actually

southpaws unite! today, 13th day of august, is international lefthander's day!!!

what? southpaws?! lefties?! who?

some of the better-known great ones are...
albert einstein (greatest physicist of all-time, theory of relativity, hello!), benjamin franklin, linus pauling (nobel prize awardee for both chemistry... and, yeah, peace advocacy, beat that!), alan turing, bill gates (who among us here hasn't heard of him?), edwin "buzz" aldrin (second man on the moon, neil armstrong's first ever lunar photography human model -- in spacesuit, of course), ayrton senna (my fave dead formula one racer!), mahatma gandhi ("be the change you want to see in the world"), prince william, friedrich nietzsche (philosopher, "what doesn't kill you will make you stronger"), aristotle, alexander the great (general and conqueror), kurt cobain (nirvana), billy corgan (smashing pumpkins), noel gallagher (oasis), sir paul mccartney and ringo starr (the beatles), seal, sting, and phil collins (singers all), wolfgang amadeus mozart and ludwig van beethoven (musical genuises), manny pacquiao (p4p boxer), matt groening and his creation bart simpson, hans christian andersen, lewis caroll and h.g. wells (writers, writers), oprah winfrey (talk show host), hugh jackman, jim carrey, and robert de niro (actors, actors), michaelangelo and leonardo da vinci (great artists), and jack the ripper (serial killer, he, he, he!).

now, here's the question: (--,) ehem! are you one of us?

(1) i didn't know until today that there's really such a day as lefthander's day.
(2) i earlier confused linus pauling with linus torvalds. my apologies.

Sunday, August 05, 2007


"Indifference and neglect often do much more damage
than outright dislike."

-- Prof. Dumbledore in Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix

do you think this is a water hose?

august 4, 2007 | saturday
some snake shed off about 1.5 meters of skin and left it behind in a corner of our yard.

current whereabouts of the said snake: unknown! we reckon it just passed by our territory; the skin's orientation seem to suggest that the snake eventually went out of our gate. needless to say, of this, we couldn't be sure.

we didn't see the snake. we only saw what it left behind -- the skin it shed off.

ho-hum. i should say kiber... but... but... ah wah, i don't like snakes.

note: click here for more photos.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

the new book in the house

"Take the ultimate mental challenge! Baffling logic problems and cryptograms… 3D mazes, optical illusions and conundrums… visual and verbal teasers... tantalizing word games
and maths puzzles - enjoy them all..."

-- www.readersdigest.co.uk

a collection of puzzles and mental challenges in loose-leaf pages

we asked for it. we got it.
yey, my father is really the man!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

notebook of poems

i couldn't seem to finish the handprint i was trying to paint. my motivation to do so went on vacation, i think.

i'd like to blame those two eeny weeny whitish worms i saw crawling on my ultra-sweet slice of mango for that bit. who knows, maybe i accidentally ingested one of their equally eeny weeny siblings? (yuckkkk. i feel somewhat sick at the mere thought.) i should have been suspicious when i realized that mango tasted way soooo sweet. those worms, although they seemed harmless, must have scared my motivation away.

hence, this. with motivation to finish 'the handprint' out of the window, i decided to work on something else -- something not completely different, but different enough. i did away with the chinese brush and the watercolor tubes and the sketch pad. instead, i gripped some colored pencils and pulled from the shelf my notebook of poems. now, this.

from time to time, i encounter beautiful words and enchanting lines; and i have this habit of compiling them. i write them down in a notebook, the notebook which i call my notebook of poems.

using the colored pencils, i added something to the notebook -- i decorated the pages with my doodles. see?

someday, i'll finish that handprint. for now, i'm happy to have doodled on the pages of my notebook.

note: click on the images to see the hi-res versions. you may also click here to view other pages of the notebook.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

the things that come to mind

"If today's World Stealing Day,
what would you steal from me?"

-- forwarded text message

big. or small. great. u.n.d.e.n.i.a.b.l.y.

rain. i love the rain that we're getting in the afternoons... they make sleeping in oh soooo good.

lollipops. be they as pricey as chupa chups or as affordable as boom boom, i'm glad i can taste them yummy.

colorful socks. others go crazy with shoes. i go crazy with socks.

happy and comfy home life. i have a papa. i have a mama. i have siblings. us. warm. under one roof. so beautifully priceless. undoubtedly THE best among my wonderfully cherished treasures.

old glossy magazines. from pages of which i cut interesting and artsy printed stuff.

dvd marathons. either the dvd player gives up... or i do.

mata sa abat. one of my cousin b-boy's amusing toddler antics. watching videos of him doing it never fails to make me giggle -- more than watching R2-D2 go smoking and a-blinking (or yoda a-fighting or captain jack sparrow a-mumbling) does.

good reads. i love them. always.

text messages. just keep them coming...

papemelroti scrapbook. my p6peeps friends' 2003 birthday gift to me which, after almost 3 years of being merely stored, i've finally put to good use... for -- what else, but -- scrapbooking!

blogging and netsurfing. to keep them off this list would be hypocrisy.

needlework. gotta give in to the tree-hugger in me. i gotta finish stitching my tree.

harry potter. new movie and last book. woohoo, july double whammy.

those who make me feel so missed. yey, i do matter! :P sometimes, i don't mind being nagged. or pestered.

cloud 9. while others would not settle for anything less than toblerone or cadbury, i'm gleeful with my cloudy bars. in fact, i'm okay with just one.

sketch pad. when words fail me... i draw and play with lines and colors. when creativity spills, why waste it?

ice cream. all-time favorite. for good days and bad days and all days in between.

makulay ang buhay. sa sinabawang gulay. this is probably the most effective lss-inducing output since "people stay...". the think-tanks of this jingle and commercial do deserve to be praised.

photos. visual images of priceless moments frozen in time. portkeys to when intangibles become tangibles.

Sunday, July 08, 2007


her: why are you still watching over me?
him: maybe for the same reason you've been watching me.

so mushy but still... *awwwwwwww*

thoughts. thoughts. why does it take so much for people to openly admit how they really feel? instead of being straightforward, why choose to be subtle and merely say something as 'safe' as "maybe for the same reason you've been watching me" when there's "i do care"?

it's not as if you'll die if you clearly let the other person know. what's so threatening about owning up to your emotions? it won't make you a lesser person.

this little guy is so lucky -- he gets away with his show of unbridled passion and never fails to make me giggle. woot!

p.s. i got those her-him lines from smallville. even superman ain't super when it comes to these things.

Sunday, July 01, 2007


"Come forth into the light of things,
Let nature be your teacher."

-- William Wordsworth

2007 -- yes, this year -- is the year when 1982 babies like me turn 25. while i am still a lot of months away from officially embracing my own "25-ness," i can't help but, at this early, share some thoughts that have to do with the quarter year mark. admit it, turning 25 is a time for contemplation.

when i was young, i thought i'd never get to live past the age of 18. i also thought then that those in their 20's were so mature and responsible already. it was difficult to see myself growing into something like them.

the truth is, even at this stage of my life, i think i'll never grow into something like them. i feel like i'm an outsider to my own age group.

while i'm aware that i'm expected to carry out certain responsibilities and behave accordingly, i don't see myself doing things like the rest of the throng does.

i'm wary of following the most convenient, prestigious, "safe", expected, or already laid out path. i have no wish to be led straight to boredom.

i don't want to live a life mostly spent on work and routine, i don't want to be a slave of the world, i don't want to be tied to seemingly important but are in fact inconsequential things and, in the process, put to waste my blessings and forget what it's like to live free-spiritedly.

while i'm willing to let go of my childish tendencies, i cannot see myself giving up my child-like qualities. i want to run around, pursue thrills, feel the wind blowing on my hair, keep being inspired, be forever curious about the things around me, enjoy skipping and hopping, among other things.

i want my life to really count, too, which is why i'm trying to zero-in on the ONE thing i'm meant to do. i maybe enjoying a state of placidness right now -- no biggie responsibilities, no biggie duties, no biggie worries, no energy-zappers -- but i'm also using up this time to think clearly about THE options. it is an apt time to be thinking about such things.

out of the unique paths i can make, i know there's ONE thing out there that i'd like to do and that it's the ONE thing i'm meant to do. BUT i still have to figure out what it is.

no doubt, i have questions -- too many of them -- but i'm not about to stress myself just so i could get the answers right here, right now. i believe rilke put it well when he wrote, "Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer."

yes. there's no rush. nowhere is it said to waste life by being complacent either. the important thing is to LIVE and, by so doing, find THE answer.

turning 25 is a time for contemplation. it is also a time for celebration.

p.s. two of my closest friends (cinema buddy and travel buddy) are turning 25 this month and i feel like i'm turning 25 with them -- mainly because, like me, they're too young to be 25. ;-)

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

B minus

"A man travels the world in search of what he needs
and returns home to find it."

--George Moore

my lakbayan grade is B-!

B- is not a bad grade but it's not good enough. hello, i was born to deserve A's. i really do have to travel more. i have to reach palawan, albay and sorsogon, sulu, and, of course -- would i ever forget -- batanes!!!

i need to cover all those remaining white spots in my philippine map. among other things, i have to see the hundred islands, enjoy pagudpud, visit kalinga, set foot in the islands of mindoro, romblon, and masbate, enjoy roadtrips in leyte and samar, get friendly with the tarsiers in bohol, feel the surf in siargao, climb mt. banahaw and mt. apo, have an adventure in maguindanao, maybe play hide and seek in basilan...

well, i'm only 24 years old now. by the time i'm 26, i'm gonna be an A traveler! how's that for a self-prophecy? not bad, i say. i dare say. after all, i do believe in fairies... (hahaha, those who know trivial stuff from movies will surely get what this means!)


june 23-24, 2007: weekend in sta. cruz, tangub city

Monday, June 11, 2007

abaniko's meme: blog association

my blogger friend, abaniko, came up with an "original, ever creative meme" -- a "brand new fresh never ever seen tag anywhere in the world before," according to his blogger friend, simple american.

the "noteworthy, prize-deserving meme" is simple and it goes like this:

Choose five blogs and associate each with an object/thing.
Briefly explain the association.

abaniko, in his turn to do his all original meme, included my blog among his chosen five. he associated this blog to a map because of my fondness for discovering places. he further said, "Shouldn't she be paid by the Department of Tourism for all her Philippine travel posts?" i agree! maybe the department of tourism should sponsor my trips!!!

since i want this meme to live on, it is my turn to do it and perpetuate it to the rest of bloglandia...

my dear readers, here are my chosen five:

:: the ocean of my being -- book
babypink, the one who owns this blog, is not only a self-confessed bibliophile, she also writes very well -- visiting her blog is similar to a nice encounter with a good book. one can easily sense her passion for the things she loves doing with her word-weaving.

:: ang anino ni abaniko (the shadow of abaniko) -- camera
i have two reasons. first, abaniko is a proud owner of a digital rebel xt and is sooo into photography. second (and this, i believe, is the more important reason), abaniko's blog is a wonderful window to his life and his experiences -- it's like having a camera capturing his moments. he talks candidly about scrabble, photography, badminton, math, jokes, sudoku, aircon issues, davao, pipework gone awry, memes, and other what-have-you's. in one of his noteworthy posts, he shared this awesome picture of a red ant which his close friend took -- WOW.

:: happy faith -- tux, the linux penguin
happy faith is the blog and podcast of fr. stephen, msc -- the only priest i know who blogs. he is also one of the biggest advocates of linux and open source, hence the association with tux. among the bisaya bloggers, he is the linux authority. he has convinced a lot of people of the advantages of open source technology. aside from linux and open source, fr. stephen also shares in his blog and podcast his views on life, faith, filipino migrants, the worldwide web, photography, and movies. his site is worth visiting... take a look at his sunset pics and drool.

:: gizmodo, the gadget guide -- magazine
gizmodo is the site for tech-savvy people. it is a web magazine (hence the association!) where the latest buzz and news bits about gadgets, gizmos, consumer electronics, and related stuff find their way in the form of reader-friendly blog articles.

:: bisaya bloggers -- globe
...because bisaya bloggers are everywhere in the world!!!

there. if you're a fellow blogger, feel free to do this meme (like i just did). pass it on and make abaniko happy.

a sunday at the beach

"Life is too short, or too long, for me to allow myself
the luxury of living it so badly."

-- Paulo Coelho in Eleven Minutes

linamon, lanao del norte
10th of june 2007 | sunday

06.10.07 ...because "life is a beach"

new thing learned while beach bumming: amusing lyrics of an old visayan song... "sa ibabaw sa akong lubong, ayaw kalimot pagtanom... sa sibuyas, tangkong, ug talong."

wow, tropical bliss! summer ain't over yet.

for our sunday bonding, the entire family hied off to a place just 12 kms away from our iligan's city proper. aside from happy doses of family warmth, sun, sea, sand, cool breeze, and photo moments, i also had fun listening to the bidyo-singko fanatics who were singing nearby our cottage. drunken singers that they were, their singing was off-key and off-timing. their diction tickled me, too.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

making my day

"You are my sweetest downfall.
I loved you first. I loved you first."

that quote is the only part of the song, samson, by regina spektor which i can relate to.

kay can relate jud? pero according sa kasabihan, "ang unang magmahal talo." nooooooooo, dili ko loser. sa gusto lang jud nako ako una.


boinks... boinks "trip"... with the cousins

tropang astig, tropang bangag
we're so damn confident, we don't mind playing crazy for the camera


these are what i call good morning greetings...

this morning i woke up to the sound of my phone beeping. when i checked my inbox, i laughed and laughed at the über-dramatic tone yet funny implications of the new messages...

"If I were the rain, could I connect with someone's heart
as the rain connects the eternally separated earth and sky?"
-- madramang vandal sa upuan

bwahahahah... ferte! grabeng gamit sa poetic license! let's find that chair. i want to take a picture of it!

"I had to let go of what I thought I owned.
It hurts, yes. A lot, actually.

But getting through each day made me realize
that the world will just keep on turning... and so should I."

na mao! toinks kaayo. di kaha ma-flipperz ka sa kalipong should you keep on turning pud? wala lang, feeling semi-concerned lang. if kalipong lang pud ang gi-apas, ten shots of tequila will do the trick. mweheheh ;-P

buing jud ning mga tig-text sa ako oi. buntag sayo pa gani, laff trip na dayon. hwekhwekhwek. keep those funny text messages coming peepz!

Monday, June 04, 2007

how much do you make an hour?

"What happens to the wide-eyed observer when the window between reality and unreality breaks and the glass begins to fly?"
--Author Unknown

a very short story from the mail bin...

A man came home from work late, tired and irritated, to find his 5-year-old son waiting for him at the door.

Son: Daddy, may I ask a question?
Daddy: Yeah sure, what is it?
Son: Dad, how much do you make an hour?
Daddy: That’s none of your business. Why do you ask such a thing?
Son: I just want to know. Please tell me, how much do make an hour?
Daddy: I make P1000 an hour.

“Oh”, the little boy replied, with his head down. Looking up, he said, “Dad, may I please borrow P500?”. The father was furious, “If the only reason you asked that is so you can borrow some money to buy a silly toy or other nonsense, then march yourself to your room and go to bed. Think why you are so selfish. I work hard everyday for such this childish behavior.”

The little boy quietly went to his room and shut the door. The man sat down and started to get even angrier about the little boy’s questions. How dare he ask such questions only to get some money? After an hour or so, the man calmed down, and started to think: “Maybe there was something he really needed to buy with that P500 and he really doesn’t ask for money very often.” The man went to the door of the little boy’s room and opened the door.

“Are you asleep, son?” He asked. “No Daddy, I’m awake,” replied the boy. “I’ve been thinking, maybe I was too hard on you earlier,” said the man. “It’s been a long day and I took out my aggravation on you. Here’s the P500 you asked for.”

The little boy sat up straight, smiling. “Oh thank you Dad!” He yelled. Then, reaching under the pillow, he pulled some crippled up notes. The man, seeing the boy already had money, started to get angry again. The little boy slowly counted out his money, then looked up at his father. “Why do you want money if you already had some!” the father grumbled. “Because I didn’t have enough, but now I do,” the little boy replied. “Daddy I have P1000 now. Can I buy an hour of your time? Please come home tomorrow. I would like to have dinner with you.”


all together now: *awwwww...*

even a too-close-to-being-a-loser of a man deserves to have someone who's still willing to buy an hour of his time.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

destination: tinago falls

"It's possible to believe in something
and still fail to live up to it."

-- Dr. Wilson of House, MD

manman, one of my ids99 buddies in manila, wanted to take his canon eos 400D (digital rebel xti) "out for a walk". since he wasn't able to count on the company of his usual gimmick pals here in iligan, he decided to "pester" me one monday morning (may 28, 2007) with a series of one-liner text messages: "val, naka-adto na ba ka sa tinago recently?" followed by "tinago ta ninyo karon."

05.29.07 tinago falls tinago refers to tinago falls, one of MY iligan city's majestic falls and, as such, a tourist destination. from where i live here in iligan city, tinago is quite far and getting an invitation to hie off to where it is in such short notice is not my idea of a morning/wake-up greeting.

i was interested to visit tinago but i wasn't keen on going that day. i made use of my negotiating skills (read: bratinella powers) and convinced manman that the trip be moved to tuesday -- a day after. so last tuesday, may 29, 2007, three of us ids99 peeps went -- manman, naomi, and i.

getting there
we met at the city proper. jollibee abalos, hello! then, we boarded a jeepney bound for brgy. buruun -- a 12-peso ride away. in brgy. buruun, we took a habal-habal (motorcycle) ride which cost us PhP20 each. the habal-habal took us up the mountain -- all the way up to tinago nature park. we could have hiked the entire distance from the foot of the mountain to where the nature park is. had we done so, however, we would have used up much of our chakra (haha, blame naruto!) -- energy, i mean -- and it would have taken us longer to get to our destination.

we wanted to get there fast and with less effort. thus, the fun motorcycle ride up the winding road...

tinago falls
one of the things iligan can really boast of is the abundance of water. on one side, it is bounded by mountains where cold springs and cascades of freshwater come from, and on the other side, it is bounded by seawater. the city has 23 waterfalls -- tinago falls is one of the better known ones among them.

waterfalls i have to admit that it sounds kinda ironic that, in my 24 years of existence, i -- an iliganon, by heart and by breeding (haha!) -- have only been to 5 (or 4?) of these 23 waterfalls. i need not be ashamed of this "tragic" truth though. i know of a greater tragedy and it is this: an iliganon afraid of going into the water, not knowing how to swim!!! hahaha. fortunately for me, i don't have this kind of problem -- thanks to the drowning episodes i went through when i was sillier and younger -- they surely made a braver kid out of me.

owkey, back to my tinago talk.

peek through tinago is so named because of its location and accessibility. it is hidden (thus, the name tinago) deep in a ravine and in order to see the cascading waters, one has to go a long, long way down first. with "long, long way down," this means that visitors have to be physically fit to make the energy-zapping trip to and back from the falls alive.

actually, the walk down to the falls isn't as difficult as it used to be. when my mama went there for a tree-planting project many years before, there were no defined steps and they had to cling to roots and branches of the trees growing in the area. there is a winding staircase leading to the falls now, which makes the trip easier and, yes, less dangerous. however, those with respiratory or cardiovascular problems are not advised to go. to see the hidden waterfalls, one has to take all 300 steps down the steep ravine -- not for the faint of heart and spirit. BUT the wonderful sight of tinago's cascading waters and blue lagoon is a lure worth pursuing and "toiling" for.

05.29.07 tinago nature park: going down the steps

we've only gone halfway down when my acrophobia got the better of me and my knees started shaking uncontrollably. i toyed with the thought of "pwede magpaligid na lang ko?" but, good thing, photo moments were there to distract me from minding my knees and my fear and all that queasy feeling. ehehehe! hooray to my most recently recognized "anti-acrophobia" medicine.

manman insisted that we use his camera only... but i knew that it would take time before he'll upload copies of the photos from his toy (waaaaaaaaaaah, i want a canon eos 400D / digital rebel xti, too!). so i insisted on playing with the point-and-shoot camera i brought along with me.

05.29.07 tinago falls

ain't tinago a marvelous sight? cool, clean and clear water, as freshwater should be. it's fun to swim to the foot of the falls and meet the waterdrops there. wait, what waterdrops? they're more like jets of water beating down on your head and body -- free natural massage with cool ouch factor.

a word to describe the place? paradise!


(1) from tinago, we were supposed to go to mimbalut falls that day, too. however, we started our day late... so no "falls-hopping" (ehehee) for us.

(2) pictures that appear on this post are point-and-shoot outputs.

(3) pictures of us a-frolicking and a-swimming in tinago's 55-foot deep lagoon will have to wait 'til manman makes the pictures from his camera available.

Monday, May 28, 2007

happy birthday, bloggy!

as of today, this baby is three years old! ahahaha... i'm damn so proud.

thank you readers, commenters, lurkers, and once-upon-a-time chance visitors who now keep coming back. thank you, too, virtual huggers!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

big tree

nope, not this tree the bus came to a stop. through the bus window, i saw this big old tree which really fascinated me. it looked like acacia but it also looked like mahogany. i'm not sure which of the two it really was, but it was standing tall, imposing, and attractive. i felt it would be good to climb it. i thought, "the tree's mine if i could reach the first big branch. i could claim it as my own."

i set out to climb the big old tree. this, despite the fact that my tree-climbing experiences had only been limited to climbing guava, cacao, and talisay trees that don't really grow so tall.

as i started my way up, he -- who must have watched me as i got off the bus and followed -- also started to climb the tree. to each other, we're friends yet we've remained strangers and we climbed in silence. he reached the branch -- my chosen branch -- ahead of me and offered his hand to help me up. the next thing i knew, i was already sitting on my branch and enjoying the sights before me to my heart's delight.

he was there beside me... but to me, it was just me, the spectacular scene that being up on the tree gave me, my branch, and my tree. his presence wasn't getting in the way (even though i felt bad that he beat me to my branch. grrrr). when i sighed -- tired from the climb -- he gave my back a very brief rub. at that moment, even though we're strangers, we're friends. up there on my tree, we shared in silence an atmosphere of comforting strangeness and awkward familiarity.

then the time came for me to go down. he must have sensed it. he made his way down the tree ahead of me. i didn't follow.

although i so wanted to find my way back to the ground, my acrophobia kicked in the moment i looked down and became fully aware of how far i've gone up just to reach my branch.

he was back on the ground, perhaps watching, waiting for my next move, although of this i couldn't be too sure. i was more concerned about my safety. there was no way i could find my way down on my own.

i allowed my voice to break the silence. i called out for help and one of my able-bodied uncles came running. (now don't ask me where my uncle came from -- this was a dream and we all know everything is possible in a dream.) by some twisted stroke of genius, i figured it was easier to jump off from the tree and i only needed someone to catch me. so i jumped off from my spot on the tree and was caught safely by someone who was family. after seeing to it that i was alright, my uncle left, went on his way.

soon, it was just me, him, and my tree again. friends yet strangers standing in silence under the canopy of my tree and surrounded by comforting strangeness and awkward familiarity. i felt happy.

i walked away from the tree and back to the bus. he followed and walked beside me.

as we walked back to the bus together, i thought of what the peculiar smile on his face was trying to say through the silence. i don't know if it was "i was willing to catch you, you could have asked me... but hey, i'm glad you're safe" or "i'm glad you asked somebody else." i realized i don't really know him well. to me, he's a stranger but i also know we're friends.

something in the air told me he claimed ownership of the tree before i did. i wasn't able to pursue this thought though...

...because just as we reached the bus, i woke up.


just a few questions from here on...

what does it mean when one dreams of a big old tree? of climbing a big old tree? of claiming it?

and the bus, does it have significance?

is this a dream worthy of an interpretation? or is this just one of those... uhmmm... inconsequential dreams which my subconscious playfully created for me?

oh well. "goodnight, dear void."

truth be told, i don't have the ability to climb a big old tree without the aid of ropes and ladders. even with ropes and ladders, i know i'd still find it difficult and daunting.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

another one of those posts

"No amount of worldly success could ever compensate
for a failure in the family."

the last three (3) entries were posted merely for the sake of posting something. this entry is like those previous entries. please bear with my yakkity-yakkity-yak.

:: society's measures of success: high-paying job, big house, expensive car and gizmos, smooth-running career -- these are the "conventional" measures of success which my friend and i would say "duh" to.

i like what she said in defense of the unconventional measures of success: "these unconventional successes are well worth my 'poverty' as the world would call it and well worth the pain i had to endure just because i fell in love with the stars and everything else essential but not easily seen." i find her statement pretty bold and noble. no wonder, we're friends.

:: here's for reggie! reggie who? fans of prison break would surely recognize him as secret service agent bill kim. i was able to watch seasons 1 and 2 of prison break again (a clear sign of addiction!) and i found bill kim so pro and so annoying that i ended up checking him out. as a result, i found out that the actor who plays the part, reggie lee, is not korean american like bill kim is in the series. reggie lee is a filipino american who can speak tagalog, english, and cantonese.

:: once, when my labmate and i were walking around the campus in diliman, a korean pair stopped us and asked, "do you know the way to the sexy station?" what a question to ask in broad daylight! hala, taymsa og sa dihang naskandalo jud mi sa pangutana -- ding, red light district thoughts. we gave them the benefit of the doubt though. so we had to beg their pardon before we could say something off. it turned out, their question was actually: "do you know the way to the taxi station?" ehehe...

:: my art mentor shared this:

What Money Can't Buy
by Daniel Olsson

Money Can Buy
A job, but not accomplishment.
A house, but not a home.
A pet, but not a friend.
Medicine, but not health.
Decorations, but not happiness.
A ring, but not love.
A book, but not a story.
An education, but not knowledge.
Glasses, but not sight.
Toys, but not fun.
Clothes, but not beauty.
A piano, but not a song.
Paper and pencil, but not words.
A bed, but not sleep.
Food, but not a meal.
A window, but not a view.

:: those who really value the concept of home and family know that flirting with wreckers, in whatever form they come, is a no-no. things that will most likely bring forth the erosion of good relations in the family are not worth it. no matter what one gains, for as long as he/she ends up with a wrecked family (or wrecked family relations) because of his/her actions, he/she ends up losing.

:: we may not always have much but we would always have enough because we have LOVE and FAMILY! and that is why we do great things! with much love, we can do great things.

:: from phd comics: "in academia, never say you have problems. it is a sign of weakness. call them challenges or issues but never problems." uhmmmm... makes sense. renaming problems "issues" or "challenges" will make you feel better and on top of the game. but then again... a problem, by any other name, is a problem.

:: no wonder my labmates wanted me to join them in their naruto craze! but i only got into the wagon just recently, thanks to my sister who borrowed the dvds from our cousin. naruto, the character, is sooooo annoying. i find him so annoying but i always end up rooting for him episode after episode. hahaaaay, the great irony. in this case, "the more you hate, the more you love" applies. my sister and i are planning to watch bleach and one piece next.

:: the most viewed photos in my flickr account:

673 views: yey, they love herbie!*

363 views: indulgence!

:: i managed to accumulate so many pictures in just a short period of time. this is what i realized when i finally got around to organizing my online photo albums in photobucket. i already uploaded close to 2000 photos and i still have to transfer the photo albums i have in friendster and those i hid in multiply and flickr. hala, so now i still have to labor for the fruits of my and my friends' labor (read: "posing and picture-taking").

*about the image: i merely added the texts that say "1960s" and "herbie" to the original herbie photo i found somewhere on the net. the image was used among with images of other 60s vehicles for our dorm's open house early last year.
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