Saturday, December 16, 2006
Monday, December 11, 2006
Not to mention that it's against my belief system.
But what the hey. Just for kicks. And what do you know, this time the card(s)may just be right.
Like Madeleine L'engle wrote, life is like a sonnet. you're given a very strict form, but how your poem reads is entirely up to you.
You are The Star
Hope, expectation, Bright promises.
The Star is one of the great cards of faith, dreams realised
The Star is a card that looks to the future. It does not predict any immediate or powerful change, but it does predict hope and healing. This card suggests clarity of vision, spiritual insight. And, most importantly, that unexpected help will be coming, with water to quench your thirst, with a guiding light to the future. They might say you're a dreamer, but you're not the only one.
What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.
Sunday, December 10, 2006
plus, i have security issues. obviously, i can't talk about what i'm working on, but i'm having a hard time drawing the line, because work is also personal (says a friend who claims to be married to hers) and i believe that the personal is political.
so there you have it. a consciously edited attempt at a stream of consciousness.
i'll try, i repeat, try to update this once a week, but um, no photos for now.
as i write this, it's raining slightly and it's cold -- finally, a proper December chill.
there's something about the rain that always makes me feel like writing.
i wish it would snow.
Friday, October 20, 2006
A few years ago, when we were still sometimes mistaken for SM salesladies because of our uniforms, we sat on top of granite tables during lazy afternoons, gazed into the distance, and dreamed.
She's living hers.
Am i living mine?
Not exactly. But i'm working towards it.
and i'm happy where i am now.
Sunday, October 01, 2006
Mga Pangkaraniwang Lungkot
Marahil ito na ang aking huling liham.
Pagkatapos mo itong mabasa,
mangyari lamang na ito’y lamukusi’t bilutin
at saka ilublob sa lalim ng ilog
nang ito’y matunaw, magsatubig at umagos.
Bukod sa pangalan, lagda at lunan,
kalakip ng sulat na ito ang lahat ng aking mga pangkaraniwang lungkot:
lukot-lukot na ulap, isang itim na balahibo ng uwak,
isang pinggang may pingas sa labi, larawan ng matandang simbahan,
tatlong tinuping bulaklak, at isang pares ng natuyong pakpak ng paru-paro.
Ito na lamang ang naiwan,
at ang lahat ng ito’y ipinauubaya ko na sa iyo.
Ganito marahil isinulat ng mga pantas ang kasaysayan.
Nagsisimula muna sa mahal kong patlang, bubuntong-hininga,
at susundan ng maligayang pagbati, pangungumusta
at pag-uusisa sa kasalukuyang kalagayan,
bago maghalungkat ng nawaglit na kasulatang nadaganan
sa ilalim ng punda ng kama, o di kaya’y tantiyahin
sa panginurin ang mga posibilidad ng mga nagbabagang balita.
At kahit hindi hinihingi ng mambabasa, babalik silang lahat sa kanilang silid
upang magsulat, sa kani-kanilang sarili bilang sentro
de grabedad ng lahat, katulad na lamang nito: Ako?
Maayos naman ako. Kahit na sa kalaliman ng gabi, gabi-
gabi, ay dinadalaw ako ng matinding sikat ng liwanag at isang mabangis
na anghel sa tatlong pangalan: Labis-Labis na Alindog, Labis-Labis na Pusok,
Labis-Labis na Libog.
Nililimas niya ang lahat ng kanyang mahawakan, mula sa aking antok,
pawis, panis na laway, tsinelas at saplot, maging ang aking alaala
at bungang-tulog ay sapilitan niyang kinukumpiska’t isinasalin sa wikang
tanging mga kuliglig lamang at gagamba ang nakapapangusap.
Hindi lamang iyon. Humihingi ako sa iyo ng paumanhin, konting panahon
at pasensiya. Ipagdamot mo ang ilan ko pang balita.
Nais kong banggitin na ang aking mga kasama’y naglaho nang lahat,
nilamon ng hamog at usok. Na binubura ng takot, gutom at tutok ng baril
ang buong lungsod. Na naulol ang historyador sa pagbibilang ng mga lumulutang
na katawan. Na nagnanaknak na langib ang siyudad sa katanghaliang-tapat.
Na umaalingasaw ang lamang-loob ng sementeryo kapag bilog ang buwan.
Na kailangan kong maligo bago matulog upang maalis ang libag, langis
at lumot ng maghapo’t magdamag sa aking balat.
Higit sa lahat, nais kong sabihin na ako’y hindi makatulog sa labis na pag-aalala.
Ngunit hindi ko matandaan ang sanhi ng aking mga pagkabalisa.
Kaya naiiwan akong mulagat at nilalagnat sa madaling-araw
hawak-hawak itong sulat at ang hungkag kong pagkapuyat.
Iyon laman naman at nawa’y nasa mabuti kang kalagayan.
Nawa’y naramdaman mo ang nakapapasong halik
na nagtikom sa sobreng ito, bago mamaalam,
Bago ang nagmamahal o lubos na gumagalang,
Bago matapos ang lahat sa iisang pangalan.
Friday, September 08, 2006
Now I have an excuse not to update this blog, as I'm now blogging practically everyday at the pcij institutional blog.
It also means, as a friend pointed out, that I'm going to have to be much more careful about what I write here, where anyone could read it (this is, after all, a public blog).
However sad it may seem that many of my thoughts will now be relegated solely to the realm of late-night scribblings and conversations, still, after GMA, my new job is a cause for celebration.
se7en (or self-indulgence)
Seven things I want to do before I die:
1. Cover a war in a foreign country (or anything in a foreign country for that matter)
2. write a literary journalism novel, among many other novels
3. find someone who's willing to get married, have kids with me, and take care of them while i'm covering wars in foreign countries ;p
4. finish a dual degree masters abroad
5. learn to write, shoot and edit a documentary (shempre dapat agit itrez).
6. travel until i'm sick of it.
7. change the world, hehehe. or at least, make a dent towards changing the prevailing system
Seven things I cannot do:
2. commit to a guy I like who likes me back (but i'm working on it :))
3. play the guitar. (hanggang intro chords lang ng it might be you na tinuro pa sa akin nung highschool)
4. play basketball
5. drive after 11 pm (curfews suck!)
6. magsuot ng pukengkeng skirt, bare-legged
7. change the world
Seven things that attract me to both a boy and a girl:
1. beautiful eyes
2. an offbeat sense of humor
3. katulad ni kat, kailangan may cultural capital. at mahilig makipagdebate tungkol sa kung anu-ano
4. at gender sensitive.
5. may natatanging talento sa pagguhit o pagtugtog, preferably both. ;)
6. my usual mantra: silence. stillness. sometimes.
7. may paninidigan. at handa ito ipaglaban.
Seven things that I say most often:
5. guess what?
Seven books I love to read:
(authors na lang, puwede?--ako rin! kat, marami tayong parehong paborito, hehehe)
Seven movies I could watch over and over again:
2. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
3. The Three Musketeers (twelve times and counting)
4. Chungking Express
7. Ghost in the Shell
Seven people I'm tagging to do this survey:
dahil tinag na ni kat ang mga taga-kule, the usual suspects:
hehehe. so the game continues...
Saturday, August 05, 2006
When i can't find words to express what i feel, or rather, when others' are more beautiful, more meaningful, than anything i could come up with, i resort to quotations, pastiche.
My apologies (and utmost thanks) to these women (and men!) for expressing their thoughts with exquisite clarity.
What follow is a year (approximately) in quotes:
Tonight, in the infinitesimal light of the stars,
The trees and flowers have been strewing their cool odors.
I walk among them, but none of them are noticing.
Sometimes I think that when I am sleeping
I must most perfectly resemble them--
Thoughts gone dim.
It is more natural to me, lying down.
Then the sky and I are in open conversation
Virgin ka pa ba? –Kuya x, a cameraman
…the clouds were billowing, as if flexing for a muscular storm –Harrington
She caught his eye first by the stillness of her waiting…he didn’t know if she was beautiful. He only knew that her beauty hit him like an explosion. -Voight
Must you seize my world by storm? –Alexander
Tolstoy: Happy marriages are all the same, but unhappy ones are each different.
Jeff: Maybe that’s why being unhappy is more interesting.
Our fragmented soundbite media tears us away from the creative attention we need to focus on ourselves and on the world –Winterson
..when people flatter you constantly, it is tempting to think you deserve it. – Reichl
He’s a dinosaur. – my sister, on Gallo
You can tell dinosaur bones from rocks by licking them. –Newsweek
Power revels in first making itself manifest –Soyinka
It is the invisible that sustains the visible – de Quiros
Spirituality is not piety but rather, what gives you life and meaning to your life. –Alejo (I never thought I’d be quoting a catholic priest!)
Rizal’s dilemma consisted of the painful but necessary task of having to choose between violent commitment to the Revolution and the slow road to agitation for reforms within the social order. It is necessarily the dilemma of a liberal… - Teodoro
life as reflected in works of art and literature and art ought to be on a higher plane, more intense, more concentrated, more typical, nearer the ideal, and therefore more universal than actual everyday life - Mao Tse Tung
Hindi ba pinapatay yung mga nasa PCIJ? -Papa
No matter how advanced technology becomes, there will always be a need for human intervention –Versola (paraphrased from memory)
Nakita kita tumanda sa Kule at masaya ako sa narating mo.
Mahirap talaga malagas ang balat na kinalakihan natin. (Maniwala ka, pinanggalingan ko yan. :)) Alam mo na ngayon ang dapat gawin, hanapin na lang ang paraan para mailabas ito.
-a friend, written on the very last page of my copy of the Kule folio
and on the front page (from yet another friend)
Sabi ni leonard cohen, "puking clears the soul." and ours is a world ng walang-hanggang pagsusuka. :) tuloy (squared) ha?
She lifted her shoulders and squared them, to take up again the burden of...life.
Thursday, August 03, 2006
Somehow, other newspapers don't count.
Waiting in my bookshelf is a cheap copy of PSR, and a canon of the best Philippine short stories in English.
I tried to read Umbrella Country, but I couldn't stomach it. The country Realuyo describes exists only in his memories, while characters like Boy Spit come to life only as an awkward translation.
Huntington writes that after former colonies gained their independence, elites prized fluency in English, French or another Western language in order to distinguish them from the common people of their society.
"As a result, elites of non-Western societies are often better able to communicate with Westerners and with each other that with people of their own society (a situation like that in the West in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries when aristocrats form different countries could easily communicate in French with each other but could not speak the vernacular of their own country)."
Reminds me of a lot of people. Far too may, in fact.
Ten years after we came back form the States, I still think, dream and write. In English.
I love the language, love the words, phrases and sentences that flow from my fingertips. I love it -- even as I revile what continues to set me apart.
*with apologies to Sofia Coppola
Friday, June 16, 2006
I learned this while flat on my back on a hospital bed, during the long Independence Day weekend that we were supposed to spend in Tagaytay.
Another puzzling symptom, two days after rashes covered me head to toe.
Soon the rashes agreed to concentrate on my joints, three days after a hacking cough appeared.
Four days after the thermometer registered 40 degrees celsius when it was stuck inside my mouth.
One week later, they still don't know what's wrong with me.
The tests show that my level of infection is still twice as high as normal; meaning somewhere inside my body, a virus, or bacteria, or some virulent disease is still running wild.
Because of this, I was confined to the house as soon as I got out of the hospital.
Mama's become paranoid about my health, hence the following stern directives:
Avoid crowded places. No late nights out. No strenuous activities. No work until July.
Ironic that I got sick just when I stopped working. When I finally had the opportunity to relax, my body decided to crash.
My sister, fresh from the first year of her PhD course in Maryland, suspects that I might have an auto immune disease because of my symptoms .
It's scary to think that my own body has turned against me.
I read somewhere that shingles, a debilitating auto-immune disease, can only be acquired by someone who had chickenpox as a child.
It seems that whenever we get sick, our immune system stores a bit of the disease in order to protect the body from future attacks.
Only sometimes, it breaks down. And then all hell breaks loose.
Tuesday, May 16, 2006
Where there had been a tenement of shanties stretching as far as the railroad tracks, there was only a wasteland of rubble; remnants of demolished houses, an occasional bright patch of paint along a wall.
Months ago, hundreds of families living here were sent packing to make way for Vice President (and Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council Chairman) Noli de Castro’s ambitious multimillion peso railway rehabilitation.
The annals of the city’s history are filled with chapters like this: the struggle between the right to food, decent work, and shelter and urban planning, growth and development.
Migration continues, from the province, to the cities, to outside the country, because people dream of a better life and more opportunities
What a shock it must be for them, arriving in Manila with a few pesos in their pockets, staring in dismay because the dismal grey city before them is not the golden land of opportunity they though it was.
There are men who climb to the tops of bridges because the MMDA confiscated their only means of livelihood for the fourth time.
Others gamble, steal, murder, or sell others to make money.
Kuya, who’s covered dozens of demolitions, wonders why the police cart out big screen TV’s, DVD players, videoke machines from inside squatter shanties when he can’t afford to buy any of these appliances because of his measly salary.
Coming home from a tinapay festival in Batangas, we were laden with bread. Each time we stopped, he would roll down the window, beckon a grimy child, and hand a piece of bread to him.
“Doesn’t it make you feel good?” he said.
“Yes,” I told him. “But how will we feed them tomorrow? Or the day after that?”
He shrugs his shoulders.
“At least we did something. I have my own problems.”
What I have learned, after months of talking to killers, rapists and holduppers, is that many of our problems are inextricably linked.
Deeper social problems often underlie existential dilemmas.
It would be interesting, one year after the E-VAT was implemented, to see if the crime rate had risen because more people had fallen below the poverty threshold.
There are no easy solutions.
Sunday, April 30, 2006
i've gotten tagged.
wla namang nasty chain letter consequence pero alang-alang sau iris, here goes:
Four jobs you have had in your life:
1. pinchitter reporter
Four movies you would watch over and over:
3. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
4.Ghost in the Shell
Four places you have lived in:
1. Cambridge, Massachussets
3. Albany, California
4. Santa Mesa Heights
Four TV shows you love to watch:
2. Laguna Beach (my extremely guilty pleasure)
3. GMA, National Geographic and Discovery documentaries
4. Stand up comedians on comedy central presents
Four places you have been on vacation:
4. Ilocos Norte
Four websites I visit daily:er, nothing daily but in most frequent order:
3. this one
Four of my favorite foods:
4. dark chocolate (ran out of s foods, hehe)
Four places I would rather be right now:
1. at the beach
3. new york
4. in a rally
Seven friends who I have tagged that I think will respond
Blood congeals beneath them, slowly spreading, as if someone had merely spilled a can of red paint beneath a facedown body.
It takes a few hours before the smell begins to emanate; the stink seeps into every last pore, as if to announce, ladies and gentlemen, this body now has no core.
Day by day, the death pictures pile up.
The latest that I have seen -- the siblings gunned down in Mindoro Oriental.
They found her still tied to a post, head bowed in agony, the front of her white t-shirt red with blood. Him, only a few meters away, facedown on a bamboo floor amidst the disarray of strewn clothes, toppled cans, a ransacked house.
"The most effective way to wage war is to kidnap the relatives of your enemies," said a general to me today after lunch.
Everyone has a weakness. Single people have mothers, boyfriends, significant others. No one is invulnerable.
I remember, we spent three hours in an opinion class arguing about the ethics of showing grisly pictures. Soon, my professor said, the public would be so accustomed to them that they would become inured to the depravity, the indignity, the wrongness of a violent death.
Why is it that I still cringe at 8' o clock am sunday morning, when a man's voice cheerily announces over the radio that a newborn baby's head was severed severed! by an inept physician as s/he came out of his/her mother's womb?
No gender, name, age, life.
Just a severed head.
*with apologies to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Thursday, April 06, 2006
One year after I graduated,
Kate, Cy and Julie are at the Inquirer
Almi's in Malacañang
Lmae's set to enter Ateneo in May
Caloy's due to graduate and due to submit a series of poems
Kat will become the new Assoc Ed
Yani cannot be reached.
A year after graduation and we have scattered like seed. A few more years and we'll be separated by countries, continents, maybe even planets.
and God forbid, death.
Death seems very close these days, what with the news of Erika, struck down in Bicol.
I remember her in highschool, a chubby brown-haired girl striding down the corridor.
The day Vencer stood on a white monobloc chair and beat the air with his fist, surrounded by a gaggle of eager, upturned faces; her brother arrived with a friend to help highschool students flee the confines of a repressive school to attend a rally.
That year, I wrote that activism meant each of us doing what s/he could. (I meant it in the most pluralist sense possible). Something that I'm now heartily ashamed of.
Jose "Jam" Tatco, the SK Federation NCR president, still thinks this way.
I could barely control my revulsion as I interviewed him, stomach straining his blue Lacoste shirt, his head sinking straight into his collar, seemingly without the aid of a neck.
He had the temerity to tell me that each Filipino should just do what he could, instead of protesting all the time.
I wanted to stick my mike down his throat. Except that he'd probably eat it.
"So young and so corrupt." said Arsenio Lacson of Ernesto Maceda, more than forty years ago.
Now they say that most people above the age of 15 are corrupt, and the only way to cleanse the system is to hope that the next generation has more sense.
Before I interviewed Jam, I was sent to a waiting shed next to Quezon City Hall to cover a signature campaign.
There I met Carl of KMP, as usual.
We see each other at least twice a month, during rallies, signature campaigns, press conferences, and parangals. As media, and interviewee.
They estimate that the youth (those below 35) make up about 65 percent of registered voters.
We are in the thick of things; in the city, in the countryside. On both sides. Against each other.
For better or worse, the fate of the country lies in our hands.
Wednesday, February 15, 2006
Thursday, February 02, 2006
The heart has its reasons whereof reason knows nothing - Pascal
The official report is this: they captured him driving inside a red Toyota along MacArthur Highway.
In reality - he was with his lover, whom neighbors describe as small, sweet and muscled.
Limbs entwined, sheets entangled.
They must have been surprised when soldiers burst through the door that night.
No wonder he surrendered 'without a fight'.
Nothing wrong, he was annulled, she was single.
Only this: inside the courtroom, they were on opposite sides.
If you had known that one look across a crowded courtroom would seal your fate, would you still have helped him escape?
Harbored him, defying the law, your supervisors, the code you had sowrn by?
Conduct unbecoming of an officer and a gentle(wo)man. Conspiracy. Death by firing squad.
A litany of words drowned beneath the beating of your heart.