Showing posts from 2005

Travel advisory

Horoscope for week of December 29, 2005 from Rob Brezsny:
In his book The Disappearance of the Universe, Gary Renard quotes the counsel of his teacher: "A jet airliner is always going off course, but through constant correction it arrives at its destination. So will you arrive at yours." Remember that advice throughout 2006... My analysis of the astrological omens suggests that you will be frequently straying from the path of your highest destiny, and yet that's exactly what needs to happen in order for you to reach your highest destiny. Forced to keep making regular adjustments, you will tone and strengthen your willpower, which is essential to you achieving the goals that really matter. But how to distinguish the highest destiny and therefore notice if one has strayed?

Edna St Vincent Millay

The railroad track is miles away,
And the day is loud with voices speaking,
Yet there isn't a train goes by all day
But I hear its whistle shrieking.

All night there…

Dressed in light

I just received my 13th month pay yesterday. I love money, because it is so concrete, so useful and manageable. I know exactly what to do with it.

I bought the gifts for people whom I feel like giving something to. (I like the bows, nightglitters and untying. I like opening, ripping, finding. And despite dedication and signature, a trace of anonymity. That piece of self ungiven—because unresolved—in the present, beyond touch and thought.)

Since late Obtober, when I come home from work, I pass by the line of trees dressed in light along Ayala Avenue. And every time, I keep hearing Yourcenar's words about stars whose brilliance dazzle but keep you cold. Like knowledge, like gold.

And so my wish for everyone is the same wish I've constantly been wishing for people I care about. That we may be blessed with light that both clarifies and warms.

I Try To Say--But Words Get In The Way*

It is not that surprises are sudden. It is that the more important it is, the more belated it comes.

Yesterday, I had one of the most overwhelming days of my life. It was too striking, you cannot expect me to be exact.

I started it a 6:30 in the morning. I promised my brother breakfast at Figaro and then I'd watch his recital. Being too early, I almost dismissed my promise. I still wanted to sleep. "Gumising ka na, ihahatid ko kayo... Gustong-gusto kang makasama ng kaptid mo, tapos" the aposiopesis voiced by my mother was enough to wake me up.

I'd been promising my brother breakfast at this place and that, but kept on cancelling, because I was too lazy to wake up. I knew he gets frustrated every time and I also knew that that frustration thaws at the end of the day. But the point was I promised, and I had him hope in excitement every time.

Yes, yes, I cherish breakfasts. I guess the reason why I value it so much is because I rarely have it.


Russel Sherman: …

December Discontent


Shuttle service from BF McDo to Landmark. The song "Born in the USA" playing.

The driver turns the stereo off. Silence tells me a bad song has been played. A horrible tune's entered me without my permission.

HarsherA Mandarin fell in love with a courtesan. She told him, "if you spend a hundred nights waiting for me, sitting on a stool, in the garden by my window, I will be yours." And the Mandarin placed a stool outside her window. Waited, sat for 99 days, whereupon he got up, picked up the stool, and left.In the ideal, when I'm faced with the chance of rape of my beloved, I'd turn away. (Respect a requisite of love.)

But as in the real, I could never have my beloved, I'd take the rape, if the chance, presented. (Fortune knocking and never returning.)

Having some and having none.

An Other Self (Nothing Further)

It's one of those moments when you thought, "Why have I gone this way?"

I was supposed to ride a bus from EDSA after watching "Prime" (a movie which ending I truly appreciated) in Rockwell. Instead I rode a bus to Ayala and decided to take the shuttle from Landmark to Sucat. But that was not yet the deadly instead. Instead, I went to Greenbelt, despite my distaste for its crowd--both size and--

And there they were. At Starbucks, where else? Three of my former high schoolmates. They shouted my name. I heard the excitement in their voices.

What was I worried about? I was even frustrated. Why?

Because I didn't want to chat with them. Fake enthusiasm. You all know how a hoax smile hurt the jaw. Imagine the horror when it was a Saturday and you were expected to hang out till the early morn.

Why don't I want to chat with them? Because I don't like them. I don't hate them, I just don't like them.

We were not close buddies in high school and…

Time Is Always For The Wishing

We'd been planning to go to U.P. since we learned how make gimik together, but only consummated the desire yesterday.

It took Louie and Althea's birthday and sheer spontaneity (or as Althea mentioned, not planning) for it to happen.

We also celebrated Cherie's return from her Harry Potter gig from the U.S. We missed her for three weeks and thank god, Cherie came home safely, prettier and pinker than ever.

I felt so spent yesterday. Spent much money, time, energy, laughter, words and silence in exchange for genuine enjoyment.

By the way, the picture on the left was birthday girl, Althea's, idea. She wanted a Beatles on Abbey Road pose. Only we're walking towards the other direction and it was nighttime (so the sun won't come till about 8 hours later) and we're not on Abbey Road and we're definitely not the Beatles. It's my favorite picture, though, so far. I always thought that Beauty is a math movement.

"The Academic Aim Is To See What The Subject Means, Not To Accept Or Reject It" *

You will eventually have to accept or reject the subject. But this is not about that. This is about this bunch of people who make my academic life stir in the many figures of play.

I don't want the year to end yet.
I can go to school forever.
But no.

* Northrop Frye

Another Anne, another Canadian, not just any other poet

Phantom Limbs
Anne Michaels

'The face of the city changes more quickly, alas! than the mortal heart.'
—Charles Baudelaire
So much of the city
is our bodies. Places in us
old light still slants through to.
Places that no longer exist but are full of feeling,
like phantom limbs.
Even the city carries ruins in its heart.
Longs to be touched in places
only it remembers.

Through the yellow hooves
of the ginkgo, parchment light;
in that apartment where I first
touched your shoulders under your sweater,
that October afternoon you left keys
in the fridge, milk on the table.
The yard--our moonlight motel--
where we slept summer's hottest nights,
on grass so cold it felt wet.
Behind us, freight trains crossed the city,
a steel banner, a noisy wall.
Now the hollow diad!
floats behind glass
in office towers also haunted
by our voices.

Few buildings, few lives
are built so well
even their ruins are beautiful.
But we loved the abandoned distillery:
stone floors cracking under empty vat…

A Lousiness

Rode a bus from Buendia to Ayala. A sound of something hard and heavy that fell. A couple grunts of dismay. Then silence. All was clear again--meaning back to normal. Then some talks.

A woman in shades, seated at the other side: "May nakuha ba sa inyo?"

A man, in shades, green polo shirt and jeans, standing up, groping through his pocket: "Nakuha yung 10,000 ko." He took from his left pocket a crumpled 1,000 peso bill, looked at it.

I looked at it.

The woman in shades: "Sundan niyo, naglalakad pa 'yan."

He went out.

The man sitting beside me felt his pocket.


From Heidi via SMS:If today is the last day of the earth, what would you be doing?

I'm not asking for a reply, but for you to ponder if truly you're living the way you want to [be] right now, at this given moment.Sleeping. Last-lining everything in dream. My nows have been mostly pipe dream, and that's how I like it most of the time.

What mythological conditioning I've undergone.

A Certain Strength, Some Certainty

PISCES: "Belief is the end of intelligence," says philosopher Robert Anton Wilson. The moment you become attached to an opinion or theory, no matter how good or true or beautiful it might seem, you're no longer fully open to the mysteries that life brings you. Your perceptiveness wanes and your understanding shrinks. This is always important to keep in mind, of course, but especially so this week. A wave of raw truth is headed your way, and yet you will miss it completely unless you take a vacation from your beliefs about the way the world works.--Rob BrezsnyThey say as you grow older, your stands become firmer. I am afraid of that time.

Some say we always change our minds, but not the fact that we are right.

If there is something I'd like to be proven wrong about, that is the death of the ideal. While I see, and by stream of logic figure, that something is incessantly building then gets destroyed, I wait still for that one wholeness that sustains and not merely surv…

A Report On Today's Weather

1. How do you tell someone you want to eat alone, be alone sometimes, if not most of the time?
2. That question, that anyaya, is really a courtesy invitation anyway.
3. What if they really like your company? It's not that you don't enjoy or appreciate theirs, you simply prefer being solitary.

4. September may well be my month. I may well be like a pomegranate blistering at its core. Hahaha.

5. You're pulled in so many ways, truly. Or that different parts of your body go toward their own desired directions.
6. How you never wanted to be common. Never the okay.
7. But all along fitting your self into those easy identifications--graduated from this university, works here, goes home to this city, does not smoke, drinks sometimes--to be easily identified, of course.

8. Suddenly all food at Mini Stop taste great.

The Happy Cynic: "Happy Happy Joy Joy"

When many people talk about their childhoods, they emphasize the alienating, traumatic experiences they had. It has become fashionable to avoid reporting memories of the good times in one's past. This seems dishonest--a testament to the popularity of cynicism rather than a reflection of objective truth.

I don't mean to downplay the way your early encounters with pain demoralized your spirit. But as you reconnoiter the promise of pronoia, it's crucial for you to extol the gifts you were given in your early years: all the helpful encounters, kind teachings, and simple acts of grace that helped you bloom. Remember them now, please.

--Rob Brezsny, "PRONOIA Is the Antidote for Paranoia: How the Whole World Is Conspiring to Shower You with Blessings"Hmmm, I've done that before.

I'll do it again now as advised:
1. Ate's late night stories (about her.)
2. Bon Jovi concert (I talked a little about it here.)
3. Cheering competitions.
4. Sabayang pagbigkas.
5. Bik…

Ghost Hunter, Human Fighter

This Dance of DistanceLooking for the ghost in your closet makes it go away.Although it's more on facing your fear, it's not that simple right now--these fears and phantoms.

That lesson on why we should remain distant from each other: when too close, we break each other's myths of each other.


A Lead Role In A Cage
Pink Floyd

So, so you think you can tell
Heaven from Hell,
Blue skies from pain.
Can you tell a green field
From a cold steel rail?
A smile from a veil?
Do you think you can tell?

And did they get you to trade
Your heroes for ghosts?
Hot ashes for trees?
Hot air for a cool breeze?
Cold comfort for change?
And did you exchange
A walk on part in the war
For a lead role in a cage?

How I wish, how I wish you were here.
We're just two lost souls
Swimming in a fish bowl,
Year after year,
Running over the same old ground.
What have we found? The same old fears,
Wish you were here.That lesson in categorization: "we stereotype people so as to make them manag…

Oh how we manage

This day marks the second anniversary of this little online journal.

What I've figured? That despite my efforts in going against it, this—just like any other blog—is no more than a mere chronicling of angsts and quirks.

Focus In Digression

I finally visited my friend's cafe along Xavierville, Katipunan yesterday. It was one of those rare times when I had gone too far commuting. Quezon City's altogether another planet for me.

First the joyride

It was my first time to ride the LRT2 and shallow as it may sound, I was thrilled. The Katipunan station was like a subway. What a train and train ride. I could only hope the LRT from Baclaran to Monumento would be as neat and big and helpful. LRT2's one of those functional places that helps you help your self. It treats you as the intelligent human being that you are.

The hunger from a long journey filled by one of those necessary versesAsking the Kitchen

for work is like bartering with any
lover: cut and be cut; warm
to be warm. Whisper, toil; tables will
breathe, fill, sharpening the palate,
your style.

--Cindra Halm
Then the lunch

There were so many things going on in my head while I was having lunch with my friends.

1. There are so many nice clothes, accessories, …

Back in those times, it was all about philosophers having coffee at Starbucks discussing how many angels could fit in a needle's eye


When Starbucks opened along Taft Avenue near La Salle, I never imagined myself going there, but not because I didn't like the place. I think I was a sophomore when it opened (shit, the time should be clear in my memory as it wasn't so long ago). First, I knew I didn't have enough money to have a snack there—well that's the first and only reason.

I eventually learned to go there—eventually habitually—when I started hanging out with new friends from Malate.

My allowance then was P100 a day (or P150?—stupid memory!) Because I was the one doing it, I wasn't surprised with myself. My parents, on the other hand, were baffled. I'd be out all night and when they thought I had already gone to Tagaytay or Baguio, they'd find out I was just there at Starbucks—there for about half a day. And they'd ask, How do you manage to hang out at Starbucks, where do you get the money? I didn't know exactly.

My staple Starbucks snack consisted of maple oat scone and co…

If I Were A Planet

This question hasn't been asked to me or by me before. Now that I'm thinking of it, I have not a clue as to an answer.

But by some mysterious forces of the universe, in its usual machinations and elusiveness, an answer. I am Saturn.

According to Wikipedia, "Saturn is a popular setting for science fiction novels and films, although the planet tends to be used as a pretty backdrop rather than as an important part of the plot."

For a few more facts:In Roman mythology, Saturn is the god of agriculture....Saturn is the least dense of the planets; its specific gravity (0.7) is less than that of water.

Saturn rotates very fast on its axis, but not at a uniform rate.

What makes Saturn one of the most beautiful objects in the solar system is its ring system....The origin of the rings is obscure. It is thought that the rings may have been formed from larger moons that were shattered by impacts of comets and meteoroids. The ring composition is not known for certain, but the rings …

Nothing in particular

If I could marry this weather. I can't stress it enough; too bad I don't know how to write it.

Amazingly, though, it's not the cold that has made me want to snuggle in bed, but the temperature that has pushed me to work. I've accomplished so many things today and I'm not talking about a mere sense of having done something, but a heightening of your sense of self.
Therefore this night tonight....can never be a subject of this specific conversation.
—Pattiann Rogers, 'In General'And then the time to snuggle in bed.

I Know Now How It Feels When The Dead Lives

The tragedy of this world is that no one is happy, whether stuck in a time of pain or of joy. The tragedy of this world is that everyone is alone. For a life in the past cannot be shared with the present. Each person who gets stuck in time gets stuck alone.*By accident--call it adverse serendipity--I read my name in one of the journals of an old friend. The anecdote involving me was appended as a footnote on a more recent entry.

That friendship had been one of those that bursted with so much color and delight, that then gave in to fading. That you couldn't figure why and you tried reviving the liveliness only to end up with disappointment. And you know now nothing about it will be the same. You know now there's no more chance of making it any better.

Reading my name, I shivered, imagining the distance not just of time, but of emotions and the way we see each other. I was there, under heap of new friends, circumstances, extremely radiant joys and darker tragedies. That a…


Rolando Tinio

Akala ko, para nang piyanong
Nasusian ang iyong kalooban
At naihagis ang susi kung saan,
Hindi na matitipa ng sino at alinman
Ang mga tekladong tuklap, naninilaw.

Dahil dumating ka isang gabi:
Naupo sa may pintuan,
Tahimik na naninimbang
Sa mga bagong pangyayaring
Nagaganap sa iyong harapan.

Sa manaka-nakang sindi ng mata mo,
Parang puno sa lihim ang dibdib mong
Ayaw siyempreng ipaglantaran
Sa mga nakilala noon lamang.

Hanggang ngayon (linggo na ang nakaraan),
Nakabalabal ka pa ng sariling panginorin,
Lumulutang sa sarili mong ulap,
Parang kakahuyang pinid ang sanga at dahon
Nang huwag mapasok ng liwanag
Buhat sa kung-anong daigdig o pintuan
Na hindi mo kilala at ayaw pang subukan.Para sa akin ang líriká na ito.

Hildegarde Flanner


The glide of moon along my fenders flowing
Is like a motion milking upon light,
So rapt and pallid does it lap and draw
From silver sources crescent with the night.
The earth is pouring off her liquid miles
Whose waterless water is the way I feel
Coursing on the desert, every sense
Collected and yet fluid at the wheel,
While cylinder and floating cylinder
So perfectly receive the plunge of power
That night, and rumors of capricious night,
Time’s own, the frictionless anointed hour
Wait on the motor mystical that drives,
Lean to the fury lovely and repose
That are the piston’s plunder and the sum
Of tranquil labor that an engine knows.



At least and still at lingering last we can
Console ourselves because this earth is ours,
Though we could never hurl the hurricane,
Nor weld a hill, nor soft unlock the showers,
Nor rivet the diamond under the abyss,
Nor add the desert up, nor crumble the frost
Over the flower’s face. Remembering this
The warm security of pride is lost,
For we are dull misma…

The Third Who Lay In Our Embrace

Woman to Man
Judith Wright

The eyeless labourer in the night,
the selfless, shapeless seed I hold,
builds for its resurrection day --
silent and swift and deep from sight
foresees the unimagined light.

This is no child with a child's face;
this has no name to name it by:
yet you and I have known it well.
This is our hunter and our chase,
the third who lay in our embrace.

This is the strength that your arm knows,
the arc of flesh that is my breast,
the precise crystals of our eyes.
This is the blood's wild tree that grows
the intricate and folded rose.

This is the maker and the made;
this is the question and reply;
the blind head butting at the dark,
the blaze of light upon the blade.
Oh hold me, for I am afraid.Dearest Marie, this is for you. I hope you read it well. I wish you well.

A Silence Precise

In times of change, learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.--Eric HofferWhen I say, kumusta?, I do not mean it as a greeting, acknowledging your presence, informing you of mine.

When I say, kumusta?, I stop and wait for an answer. I have decided to make a fragment of your life my concern. I will not ask if I do not care, even if I know you.

Thus trust is never about another. Trust is always a trust in your self, that no matter how the world will respond to your behavior, you know in your gut that you are prepared to regard it.

Accidentals, Essentials

In the last Monday of June 2005, a pretentious machowoman on television said, I am sorry, it was a lapse in judgment, in such a dead voice.

It is okay to pretend to have read the newspapers when you were still in high school, but the truth is it is just rightful not to have a care about the world at all when you're just 16.

And then you start to care. And then you know that all of it--the wardrobe, the setting--it's all a ploy, the apology--it's directed, still a pretend, an artifice.


That is when it is finally confirmed: there was never such a thing as natural beauty, but an effect of the natural, which is beautiful. That hard-work and diligence are not formulas for achieving your desires.

But it's only half of what you know.

Robert H. March: "It is possible to understand nature in terms of approximation to an ideal state even if that state cannot possibly exist in nature."

You yourself can only understand nature in terms of approximati…

The Fullunabridgedverbatim Transcript Of My Conversation With Neil Gaiman

ME: Thank you very much.
NEIL GAIMAN: You're very welcome. Good job, girl. Good job.

Tekkie Me

I am not one to believe the best things are for free. But I'd take what's free any time.

It was in my senior year in high school when cellular phones became so fashionably necessary, and in the blink of an eye, the cell phone had been as ordinary as a pen and a hanky. Everyone had them. I didn't have one then. Until my sophomore year in college. I had my first authentic gimik. I hung out with new-found friends at the Remedios Circle in Malate till 4 AM. Going home, I expected a full hour or two of reprimand from my parents, but I received the silent treatment instead. The next night, I became the new owner of a Nokia 3210.

I'm not crazy about cell phones. Nokia features such as games are wasted on me. My average text messages sent per day is roughly 1. I have never—ever!—consumed my P300 load in two months. I hardly make calls. If I need to call someone, I look for the nearest pay phone. For 5 years, my Nokia 3210 has stayed with me—till its backlight'…

This Is How A Heart Breaks

Oh well, what a sad night for me and the rest of the Pistons fans.

A (poor, poor) consolation for me is that I kind of like the Spurs (one team that I honestly admire from the West--my favorite's the Timberwolves, though).

Michelle Tafoya asks Manu Ginobili how he feels winning a gold medal from the Athens Olympics and winning this NBA championship in the same year. Manu says there is so much unbelievable joy that he needs another body to contain it all.

Kainggit. And even though there's so much love going on between Gregg Popovich and Larry Brown, I'm still sort of bitter. A back to back would've really been swell and it would've erased all the questions against Detroit. Next year, next year.

I love you, Ben!

(Phil J. will be back with the Lakers next season. It must be an interesting/exciting season. I wonder what new song/s would be added to my LSS list courtesy of the NBA.)

1 Week Off(line)

Will be gone for a while. I have to hunt and kill someone.

When I return, I'll tell you about Ruel de Vera's "Faulty Electric Wiring."

The Other Side Of Surrender1

What sustains. I was cleaning my room a couple of weeks ago.

It is impossible to clean an entire room. It must be impossible to clean an entire life. First the furniture. Then the drawers. Then sorting. It takes half a day to sort, but it is especially difficult for those, like me, who finds it hard to throw away things.

I was looking at 3 long rows of encoded, photocopied and printed out materials from prose, poetry, criticism to pinoyexchange threads. What I used to laugh at before weren't funny any more. A turn of phrase that astonished me once had grown stale.

But those which aged with me:
the moon not less in its halfness2

you seemed a sort of mirage, until I drank you3
Cringe-worthy as it may sound, I'm drowning in a sea of me. With all this continual cleaning, I later on incurred negative intoxication (my personal poetic term for cough and cold.) So much dust from the past!

My friend, Morx, told me that if ever his book collection caught fire, he would want eve…

Better Articulation Of Things Learned Earlier

Jamie James (22):We shall never know exactly to what extent the historical Pythagoras corresponds to the Master of humanist tradition, any more than we shall ever know who actually wrote the Iliad and the Odyssey, or whether all those spiritual utterances in the Gospels were really said by the historical Jesus of Nazareth. Yet the doubts themselves are anachronistic: the point is that through the vast span of history in which Pythagorean humanism (and the study of Homer, and Christianity) were vibrant intellectual forces, there was never a shadow of doubt as to the authenticity and veracity of the tradition. You can put quotation marks around "Pythagoras" if that will make you feel more up-to-date, but it will not alter the meaning; the people who pursued Pythagoreanism over the course of thousands of years did believe, implicitly, in the historicity of the Master. The real Jesus may have been a charlatan, but the Jesus worshipped by millions of people changed the course…

Self-Ward And Other Marginal Notes

Reflection on self is your contribution to society. This is one of some of the marginal notes found in my notebook along with, because all poetry is a riddle, all poetry is generous.

Sometimes I become victim of my own codes. I can't understand my (literal, writing) self when I know I'm up to something beneficial to me. And with all this reviewing, or what I love to call revaluation, I remember acquaintances, officemates, relatives and I having been engaged in small talk, or what I call courtesy talk:THEM: You study what in college?

I: Literature.

THEM: Exactly what do you learn?

I: How to read well.

THEM: But you must already know that from high school.

I: I mean, critically.

THEM: Critical thinking, literary criticism? That seems interesting, but not very useful. So that's it, reading? Then?

I: Then I guess that's it, I go on from there.Are we really expecting nowadays for schools to teach something useful?


She's pretty nga. Gionna Stacy Cabrera.


Undergraduate, Not Student

Marianne Moore:THE STUDENT

"In America," began
the lecturer, "everyone must have a
degree. The French do not think that
all can have it, they don't say everyone
     must go to college." We
incline to feel
     that although it may be unnecessary

to know fifteen languages,
one degree is not too much. With us, a
school--like the singing tree of which
the leaves were mouths singing in concert--
     is both a tree of knowledge
and of liberty--
     seen in the unanimity of college

mottoes, Lux et veritas,
Christo et ecclesiae, Sapient
. It may be that we
have not knowledge, just opinions, that we
     are undergraduates,
not students; we know
     we have been told with smiles, by expatriates

of whom we had asked "When will
your experiment be finished?" "Science
is never finished." Secluded
from domestic strife, Jack Bookworm led a
     college life, says Goldsmith;
and here also as
     in France or Oxford, study is beset with
dangers,--with bookworms, mild…

Honesty: From Fact To Feeling

"It's the good girls who keep diaries; the bad girls never have time."

- Tallulah BankheadThough my family would write Roman Catholic in our documents, we didn't practice going to church every Sunday. My parents didn't teach us to pray and fear God.

In grade 4, I transferred from a public school to a private Catholic school. My new school held mandatory confession every first Friday of the month (usually after the first Friday mass.) Our teachers instructed us to write down our sins so that we won't forget them and so as to make the process fast.

I was sort of excited with confessing, as it would be my first time. I simply saw it then as another new concept to learn.

But as I got used to doing it, listing sins became just another task. There were times when I could only think of lying and being lazy to do homework as my only wrongdoings for the month. I would then invent sins as I thought it couldn't be possible for a human being to commit only 2 offens…

Speaking Of Idols, Here's Mine

Piano Forte News: Many amateurs get terribly nervous about playing in public. What would you suggest to them to overcome their fear?

Gloria Cheng: One needs to keep things in perspective: a recital is not a life or death situation! Try to keep in mind that the audience is there because they like you and they've come out to share in a wonderful musical experience; so the nice thing to do is to just give them a good time. The other thing to keep in mind is that you are not important, the music is what is important. When I can forget myself and inhabit the piece and just become one with it, then my own problems, hang-ups and ego disappear, which is as it should be.I think the musician is important, but what Cheng is saying is that the goal's not to show off.

My treasure, adversely speaking

After the lapse
Of a year or two,
The books your neighbor
Borrowed from you
Are his, according to his lights,
by the principle of squatter's rights.

—Anonymous I have tons of books which I borrowed and haven't returned yet. Most of them from friends I don't see any longer and some from those I no longer wish to see.

I will return them, if the owners ask for them. Returning these books would be a nice way of seeing old friends. But if they let me keep their books, then these shall serve as good remembrances, gifts.

Magnificent Obsession: Wearing My Heart On My Sleeve

I ask my brother why novelty songs get easily stuck in your head even if you don't want them to.

I, being a commuter, think that the PUV drivers who seem to be in mutual agreement to tune their radios to the same station that plays novelty songs have something to do with this.

But my brother simply answers that the reason why these songs replay in your head after listening to them for a couple of times--or even just once is because they use only 3 chords at a maximum. And most of them major chords. Well that's his theory (feel free to rebut it any time.)

With that statement, though, I figure that if all it takes to write a song are 3 major chords, then maybe I could write a song as well. (In this part of writing I hope I am not offending every decent songwriter there is.)

He says what's commonly used are C, D, G and A. So in my song, maybe I could use F, B and E (I say to him with much naïveté.) I still am not familiar with chord progression, but I have time to learn and …


by Robert Francis

He cuts each log in lengths exact
As truly as truth cuts a fact.

When he sawed an honest pile
Of wood, he stops and chops awhile.

Each section is twice split in two
As truly as a fact is true.

Then having split all to be split,
He sets to work at stacking it.

No comb constructed by a bee
Is more a work of symmetry

Than is this woodstack whose strict grace
Is having each piece in its place.¤

When the class gets too noisy, my Math teacher in grade school begins speaking softly, quietly, then we pay attention.

I Take The Weather Personally, Teddy

"Do you feel as useful as the letter g in the word laughter?"
- from a local radio station

"The lighthouse has made me a better person."
- Mang Ruben, Lighthouse keeper at Burgos, Ilocos NortePAGASA says this is not the hottest climate the Philippines has experienced. But this is the hottest I have experienced.

A fragment of "Owning the Maze":

My sister took the window seat. She always did. I strained to see the view outside. There were buildings, the highway, billboards. We were still in Manila. As the view changed into trees, mountains, streams, and the sky became wider, I knew we were near to something to what now I would call, digression.

In childhood, that digression was clearly a place: Baguio and its horses, Vigan and its pink sand. Until I grew and figured that all I had been wanting, all I was waiting for at that long trip, straining, looking at the window, was a moment of amazement.

A bit older, I thought that the place had little to do with tha…


What I have learned today:

1. Although story is staple, there are memories and desires that musn't be expressed at once (some times at all.) I had been in a dazzling place with a lovely person. I had a camera with me, but never thought of taking any picture. Because

2. An impulse to take a photograph is a surrender to forgetting. Furthermore, it's an insult to the subject, not seeing it with your naked eyes.

3. It is one of the most magnificent feelings walking away from an admired person without anxiety to meet again, knowing you will be remembered well.

4. But today is not a perfect day. The worst inappropriate song that could be stuck in your head has just stuck in my head. Here are some of the lyrics:I took the hand of a preacher man
and we made love in the sun
. . . .
I've been undressed by kings
and I've seen some things
that a woman ain't supposed to see...
Still don't know it? Here's a dead give away:I've spent my life exploring
the subtle wh…

It wasn't the observation of a smart aleck
but that of a truth-lover or a statistics-lover*

Home alone, for some reasons.

First stop, kitchen. There must be bread, there must be bread. There is. It's my lucky day, for there's a dozen of eggs, and there's ham, still sealed. I said lucky, therefore there's Ovaltine, and milk, instant coffee.

The eggs must be fried, a bit toasted. Its edges must be crisp. The ham will be fried as well. On the bread will be mayonnaise. Bread ham egg bread into the oven. Four minutes. The time it takes to heat the water and prepare my drink. Five teaspoons of Ovaltine, half a teaspoon of milk and a quarter teaspoon of instant coffee. Every time I concoct this, the taste is different.


Two DVD's for me to watch: "The Notebook" (adaptation of Nicholas Sparks's novel) and "Closer" (adaptation of Patrick Marber's play.)

The Notebook. Who's that girl? She's sickly sweet, but charming. Well, she has a very pretty face that becomes prettier the longer you look. Great smile. I like …


For the third time, my family's personal computer has been reformatted. What does that mean? I've lost yet again a gajillion mp3 files. I haven't learned. I should've saved them in a CD. But as how I would usually console myself, I have listened to these, ok those, songs for how many times until I tire of them. I shouldn't be this sad.

How about my other files? They're fine. My Word documents (CV, theses, papers, creative writing) are saved in my Gmail account. (On a side note, I don't know about you other Gmail users, but that "2000 megabytes (and counting) of storage" is starting to get scary. It's like they're up for world domination. Oh well, that's tomorrow's problem.) My jpeg files and other pictures are stored in Flickr and PhotoBucket.

I always brag about how I can live without a cell phone. But my gulay, I have become slave to the internet instead of the other way around.

By the way, Merriam-Webster Asks: What…

I'm Ready, Depression

This is not to say I'm depressed, or will soon be. It is just that.

If only this world is cartoon. One-dimensional, but of course, the discord. Adventure and fun's a given. You face trouble, but then just like that, there's the solution. You get swallowed by a sea monster and suddenly you get out by the door at its tail. Your entire community's been manipulated by a selfish plankton, so you become a rockstar wielding a powerful laser guitar and save the day. (Yes, I've recently seen The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie. This is not to say I'm a fan.)

A friend of mine just graduated from college. She was very excited about what's next. I didn't tell her this: Are you sure you have enjoyed every moment of your life as a student?

There we stood: the twenty-something idealist who was eager to ride the real world, join the Palanca, hunt for scholarships and the other idealist who did not believe in such reality and grants with conviction.

Whenever someone yo…

Still, Spontaneity

I never fantasize about having my own family. Don't like getting married. Don't like children. But of course I've thought about these things.

See, you have this space, or I have this space I've grown so accustomed to for how many years. I cannot imagine having this space shared, compromised--for all eternity, that is. In the simplest sense, I don't want to bother about somebody else who might not like a curtain I intend to put on the window.

But I like sharing, I like relationships. I like them so much I want a lot of them. It is just that I love solitude. And I want to spare myself the worry. I worry too much about myself already. If I have a child, I will go crazy thinking how s/he fits in her/his environment, that s/he might get into an accident, and the list goes on.

Batangas will always be my favorite place. Lolo and Lola Lipa will always be my favorite couple. Theirs is the energy I desire.

Every time we have a reunion, I appreciate what a family is (…

For _____

by Alice Fulton

Friend--the face I wallow toward
through a scrimmage of shut faces.
Arms like towropes to haul me home, aide-
memoire, my lost childhood docks, a bottled ark
in harbor. Friend--I can't forget
how even the word contains an end.
We circle each other in a scared bolero,
imagining stratagems: postures and imposters.
Cold convictions keep us solo. I ahem
and hedge my affections. Who'll blow the first kiss,
land it like the lifeforces we feel
tickling at each wrist? It should be easy
easy to take your hand, whisper down this distance
labeled hers or his: what I like about you isI am reminded of this poem after watching "Kung Ako Na Lang Sana," starring Sharon Cuneta and Aga Muhlach.

Collage Of The Day


Via Larawan:


From a phone conversation with my high school friend, Marie:MARIE: Sa August ako due--second week.
ME: Alam mo na kung girl o boy?
MARIE: Hindi pa. Huli kasing nagfoform ang genitals.
ME: Talaga? Hindi ko alam yun, ah.
MARIE: Miss na kita, sobra. Kita tayo bukas, sa Festival.
ME: Oo naman, malapit lang naman ako dun.
MARIE: Ay, hindi, 'wag na lang. Makikita kita, ang sexy mo,
maiinsecure lang ako.
ME: Haha.. . . .MARIE: Buti na lang inisip kong ituloy 'to.
ME IN MY HEAD: I knew it. It's unwanted.
MARIE: Pero sabi nila kapag nakita mo na raw yung anak mo, it's all worth it.
ME IN MY HEAD: Naniwala ka naman.
MARIE: Besides, after college, labas ako nang labas--I've had my fun. Tsaka papalakihin lang naman namin 'to ni M, tapos puwede na kami bumalik sa dati.
ME IN MY HEAD: As if ganun kadali yun.. . . .MARIE: Matino na si M ngayon, hindi gaya nung magsyota pa lang kami, laging nan…

The Act

Sohee was the first Korean I formally tutored. She was 9 years old. She had this rule: on Mondays, I had to call her Sandy; on Tuesdays, Candy; Wednesdays, Winny; Thursdays, Annie; then she'd be back to being Sandy (her English name) on Fridays. That's how cute she was.

Imagine the horror I felt when I was assigned to tutor her for 3 hours every day, from 8 to 11 am. I had to teach her 2 books. She was naughty, playful, proud, smart. After a week, we learned to fall in love with each other. But this is about the first time we met, and something else.

We drew and played games for an hour and a half, as she didn't like to study. When I started feeling too irresponsible for not doing my job, I thought of being strict and forced her to read with me. After a few minutes, she acted as if she was choking. I just looked at her, thinking, What do I do with this kid... Since she got no response from me, she stopped her act, sat on her chair, then read with me.

It came to …

What Is There, The "For"

I don't go to school to learn, I go to school to be amazed. It follows: when I open a book, I anticipate the same feeling. When I talk to classmates, I search for that as well.

And I am getting (at) what I want. The incredible cannot happen regularly, thus every day I am faced with such regularness. I take all this mediocrity that highlights that one amazing idea, person, moment.

Prose's Power

From Natasha Bedingfield (my current favorite):These words are my own

Threw some chords together, the combination D-E-F
It's who I am, it's what I do, and I was gonna lay it down for you
I tried to focus my attention, but I feel so A-D-D
I need some help, some inspiration, but it's not coming easily

Trying to find the magic
Trying to write a classic
Don't you know, don't you know, don't you know?
Waste-bin, full of paper
Clever rhymes- see you later

These words are my own, from my heart flow
I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you
There's no other way to better say
I love you, I love you

Read some Byron, Shelley and Keats
Recited it over a hip-hop beat
I'm having trouble saying what I mean
With dead poets and a drum machine

You know I had some studio time booked
But I couldn't find the killer hook
Now you're gonna raise the bar right up
Nothing I write is ever good enough

I'm getting off my stage
The curtains pull away
No hyperboles to hide behind
My naked s…

I've Always Believed In This, Horoscope

From Free Will Astrology:
The hero of Haruki Murakami's surrealistic novel, Kafka on the Shore, can cause schools of fish to fall like rain from the sky. I suspect that you might be able to do that yourself, Pisces. At least temporarily, you have uncanny abilities; I'm tempted to say that you actually possess magical powers. Be careful how you use your wizardry, please. Use it exclusively to perform good works. There's no need to turn your adversaries into jack-in-the-boxes if you can simply make them less adversarial. You shouldn't waste your talent on materializing $20 bills on the sidewalk when you can just as easily manifest an improvement in your working conditions. I actually possess magical powers. I don't know about adversaries. I don't hate. I envy, I lust, am selfish, materialistic and wish minor misfortune to others, but I never hate. Perhaps that's a problem, sometimes. I must hate, sometimes. But adversaries don't necessarily mean peo…

Forever 21

There is a store I usually pass by, Forever 21, as I go home from work. It's located at Festival Mall, Alabang. I always say I'm a very ordinary girl. I like clothes, shoes, I wish for better hair days, et cetera. The store has clothes that I really like--from fabric to design.

The point of this writing is: what's so special about 21? I'm sure the store would like to promote the idea that youth is a state of mind, an attitude. But why 21?

Every time I pass by that store, I feel good, because I am 21. I think, so this is the coveted female age... mamatay kayo sa inggit! Now that I'm a few days away from 22, I don't want to go near that place. I believe that that store is not meant for 21-year-old girls. First, do they have enough money to buy one of their cute skirts? Maybe yes, and maybe they'd buy on a whim.

Since that store's making a big deal about being 21, and some girls make a big deal out of being 18, I guess I should start finding rea…

When Awe Is Overrated

The book on my bedside table is Robert H. March's "Physics for Poets." I borrowed it from the library when I wrote an essay about my former Physics teacher. It was a Brother who recommended to me this book. I was browsing through this big astronomy book and he seemed pleased that someone was interested in the sciences. He then told me about March's book and how good and comprehensive it was.

Indeed it is. What is good about the book is that while it is an introductory text to Physics, the author, Robert H. March, approaches the subject in a way that he tells a story. The story of Physics.

Here are some of the things that I find enlightening that I wish to share with you, dear reader/s:
An idea must be more than right--it must also be pretty...

. . . .

...It has become a cliche to call a scientific research a great adventure. Well it may be; but the student approaching his first hard science course with this maxim in mind is in for a rude shock. Rarely does mu…

The Burden Of Requirement

In Creative Non-Fiction class, we've been asked to write 30 journal entries. Why is it that after having that requirement, all things that are happening to me suddenly seem trivial and uninteresting?

The truth is, all things that are happening to me are trivial and uninteresting. The difference is, I make a big deal out of them. I am a master of sensationalizing my life.

Now that a journal is required, the word and act of contemplation becomes icky.

You see, last Saturday, I went home as I usually do, I rode an FX. In that particular night in that particular FX, there was this huge cockroach. I sat at the middle part of the vehicle, beside the right window. The cockroach was walking at the back of the front seat. It was very near me. It was the first time I've seen such ugly and big cockroach that it made the cockroaches in our house cute. Here is an illustration:

I was terrified and disgusted to death. But since God is good, that particular cockroach, unlike the cockroa…

Some Words

An afterword from R.H.M.'s well-loved Physics book:
To be human is to wonder. Children wonder for a while, before we teach them to be smug about the obvious and to stop asking silly questions. It is easier to pay someone to retain a little of the child and do our wondering for us. We then take comfort in the assumption that anyone devoted to such esoteric pursuits must be insensitive, perhaps even inhuman. With our artists, we perform the equal disservice of regarding them as too sensitive.

Occasionally we are given a glimpse of the finished product. the baby is displayed beind glass, well-scrubbed, and one need not know about the delivery room (it is soundproofed). Thus we are spared the agony of wonder, which is not unlike love and makes as little (or as much) sense as love. But wonder is just too human to fully repress, and it does turn up elsewhere. Some of us turn to fads for the occult, which, interpreted by our twentieth-century minds, becomes a "pop-art" s…

The Story So Far

I want to write something better than this
(I strive to be in a better state of mind):

Am about to finish my first year of graduate studies and time has never run faster than this. I'm still sort of--floating. Not that wind association. Meaning directionless. The wind has direction, I don't.

I completely appreciate Carla's job hunting accounts. She's able to articulate some things (feelings) that'll take me years more to talk about, simply because I got so frustrated. Therefore her mere act of telling such stories is something I envy. One thing we have in common is that we both finished with a BA degree in Literature. Now, no matter what the professors in the Lit Dept. say about how wonderful Literature is (yes it is truly wonderful and I believe that with conviction), they will never convince me that it is something you take up as a major if you envision yourself working in a corporate environment.

Ah, the corporate world...

It's true (this is the part whe…

This Center
(primarily titled 'Lessons On Life And The Like, After Mr. Delfin Angeles')

1. Notes on Distance and Displacement
"I took the one less traveled by." - Robert Frostdistance - length of a travelled path; without direction
displacement - how far an object is from its starting point; a quantity with definite direction

scalar quantity - has magnitude only
vector quantity - has both magnitude and direction

2. Law of Interaction

- There is no single force;
- forces act in pairs;
- 2 forces are equal in magnitude, but opposite in direction;
- they don't act on the same body.

3. Law of Momentum

In any collision, the sum of all the momenta before collision is equal to the sum of all the momenta after collision.

4. Notes on Universal Gravitation

- Any two masses in the universe attract each other with force.
- The force of gravitation between any two masses is directly proportional to the product of their masses and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between their centers.

5. Notes on Relative Motion

Every thing moves. Even things at re…

Paralyzed By Fact

Robert Lowell

Those blessed structures, plot and rhyme--
why are they no help to me now
I want to make
something imagined, not recalled?
I hear the noise of my own voice:
The painter's vision is not a lens,
it trembles to caress the light.
But sometimes everything I write
with dim eyes and threadbare art
seems a snapshot
lurid, rapid, garish, grouped,
heightened from life,
yet paralyzed by fact.
All's misalliance.
Yet why not say what happened?
Pray for the grace of accuracy
Vermeer gave to the sun's illumination
stealing like the tide across a map
to his girl solid with yearning.
We are poor passing facts,
warned by that to give
each figure in the photograph
his living name.Those blessed structures, plot and rhyme--

The Mistake, Or What Is Painful

Is when you look ahead too much and too soon. Or somehow it is all a matter of timing. Time and tardiness. Either you're early or late, and always, always you'll find no one to blame (maybe your self, if you're humble or in great need of closure.) It is not simply a matter of waiting, but presuming. No, not wishful thinking, but presuming--something more real and practical.

You meet someone so easy to get along with. Not just easy to get along with, but someone you immediately trust and admire as any long-time friend. You meet, become friends, and feel no need, no urgency of asking each other's telephone number, mobile number, e-mail address. Weird, but right. Because it becomes easier to part. What is new with what I'm about to say?: It is better (but only sometimes--some times) to be disconnected, solitary. Away.

But suddenly?

(For Sandy and Alyssa; for Chie, Cecile and Kathy. But mostly for Alyssa.)

The Real Wonderland (Or Paradise, If You Want)

I understand something.
The person next to me cannot understand what I understand.

I feel happy about an event.
The person next to me ignores that event.

You are beautiful.
The person next to me thinks otherwise.

Before, when I'm asked the questions: "What supernatural power would you like to have?" and "If you could do any thing for a moment, what would you do?", I would answer, "be invisible." Now, I would like to get into the consciousness, (unconsciousness), psychology etc. of another person. Both of the person whose mind I admire and the one whom I perceive as a simpleton.

How and what does Mother Teresa actually thinks? Bin Laden? Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo? The security guard at the bank?

Maybe it would be like knowing the poet's intention behind the poem.

I want to enter and experience a person's thoughtscape / mindscape.