Wednesday, November 23, 2011

2011 Wishlist Part 1: (Or A Lez Guide to Boring Fashion)

It's been three years (I think) since I last made one of these, but today I figured I needed something to look forward to--hence, a very materialistic wishlist.

This isn't necessarily a Christmas wishlist, and certainly not a list of things I expect/hope other people would give me. (Unless you, dear reader, happen to be a very generous soul--then by all means, make me happy!) Nope, this is more of a list of the things I want to save up for, mostly to remind myself that I need money--thus I need a job; thus I need to graduate already; thus I seriously need to stop slacking off. I took yet another unmotivated schoolwork-day off for this, so I hope it works.
This post's OST: Nickelback - Rockstar

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


Where did they go, those sunrises two years ago, when everything was easy to write and my emotions weren't so complex and unreachable at the same time? Here I go again at a frightening crossroad, with so much uncertainty and pressure, and nearly not enough sleep (often because of the workload; at times of my own volition).

It's yet another rollercoaster year of fun, excitement, fear, self-doubt, sadness, and utter, inexplicable happiness and contentment. In other words, it's life, or a particularly heightened phase of it. But among the many emotions, in this moment--and in many others, when I happen to catch myself--I am wistful.

Contradictory as it is, I've found myself most wistful at the happiest, calmest times. I yearn for things as they happen to me, because every time I can't help but remind myself: in a minute, or an hour, or the blink of an eye--this moment, this experience, and this unexpected swell of emotions will pass and I will never be able to have it again.

Around seven years ago, I was fascinated with cherry blossoms, blooming and falling in a matter of days. Until now this fearful fascination with change and ephemerality has stayed with me. Everything ends; everything passes.

So, often I shy away from any form of trying to capture the moment. Unwritten posts, pictures not taken, words left unsaid. Best left that way, for fear of not being able to do it justice. Instead I opt to keep them in my head, much like series episodes to be replayed when I feel the need.

Other times though, I think I ought to tell those stories--even just to myself--because the time will surely come when I will forget. Perhaps I'll start. While words and pictures may not suffice, they'll help, at least.

Perhaps, things aren't so easily lost after all.

Damien Rice - Cannonball

Monday, June 13, 2011


I'm tired of a life lived through your stories. I'm weary of the details of a good time or an annoying day where I'm always a spectator and never a character; the only reason they matter is because you matter.

You know I love you, but telling me all about a life spent with others shouldn't be all there is to spending your life with me.

Saturday, June 11, 2011


Somewhere between a summer of new passions and old frustrations; between the thrill of an internship and the lazy first days which will mark my final year in college; between rainy days and John Mayer songs; between rare moments of clarity and my usual pseudo-profound stream of thought—somewhere, the stories I would have told got lost.

I was parked for three hours at a dentist's waiting room while my sister got her braces readjusted. During the wait I reread (for the nth time) Luis Katigbak's insightful first book, Happy Endings (which you guys should totally read). Afterwards, I wondered where my stories went.

And for the first time, I wondered if I would ever find them.

Yes, we (who claim to be) writers can be such bitches about writer's block and our never-ending insecurities about not being good enough, or about not having anything to write about, or not being able to do justice to what would have been the perfect subject. Or maybe that's just me.

That's the difficulty of treating literature like a romantic relationship, I guess. There's too much of an emotional involvement. Sometimes I think I can just call it off, and work on my other (unfortunately nonexistent) talents. But no matter how crappy my work gets, I can't not write.

At the other end of the spectrum, I think about writing for a living. I almost tried—I got accepted for a writing internship at an awesome company, but I didn't confirm my slot. Mostly that was because I was waiting for my dream company (which did not turn out well), and partly it was because I was afraid. To be fair, the company knew what they had coming. I was asked to bring some writing samples (and one or two, I picked out from this blog). I guess they kind of liked it, or found it free of glaring errors at the very least. But I chickened out, because—as with everything else in my life—I'm afraid of not living up to some self-imposed, insecurity-born standard.

(I did end up in an equally awesome company where I had a productive and fulfilling internship experience, but that's a completely different blog post.)

So I guess in reality, this is partly about me and writing, and partly about me and the fears that I have yet to conquer. Well I'd better conquer them fast because I have no room to be afraid. There's quite some responsibility resting on my shoulders this year: an org to dedicate my time to, and a long list of people—with me at the top—who are expecting me to finish that gosh-darned thesis, no matter what it fcking takes, man. Then we'll graduate happily ever after—or at least I'll be happy for no longer than a month. I'm giving myself that much time to take a break, and then I'll find a job.

But that's all future talk. I'll tell you all about those bridges when I get there. Because I sure as hell will keep writing. After all, if literature is a romantic relationship with words, then maybe if I stop trying so hard, the stories themselves will find me.

[That cute little girl in the photo is Yana, my two year-old cousin.]

Monday, May 30, 2011


I was looking through my old multiply blog, and look what I found:
The moon is a fascinating object.
The romantic, the mysterious, the unreachable.
But why does everybody adore it so much,
when it's just a 'chipped rock living on borrowed light'?(Gonzales, Sunset Hair)
Why do poets and fools gaze in wonder at the light of dead stars
and still make their wishes,
when they know well enough that there's nothing to grant it?
Maybe that's why we love the unreachable--we set our hopes impossibly high,
so that when they don't come true we can always say "I knew it was impossible." 
No harm done.
But inside we know, for that tiniest moment in between the skepticism...
we closed our eyes and wished
the way a kid does--
right before he blows out
his birthday candle.
Sentimental shit from my 18 year-old self. I have to admit, though--that it's still accurate for me. Three years, and maybe things haven't changed so much. (Maybe they should.)

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Intermission: Make-Over

So after a year or two (or more, I don't really remember), my beloved blog has got a new layout! I was very hesitant to let go of the old one, because of all the meticulous work I've done to tweak it, but I feel like it's time to try something new. Plus, it might make me want to blog more. Ha ha.

Oh my, I'm too bored. Someone give me an internship please, I have 200 hours to complete before classes start in June (sigh).

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Limit Does Not Exist

We've traveled nearly everywhere, it seems--failing at hunting down PUVs and taking cabs instead. We've walked so many steps in the baking heat--I, in shoes too stylish for comfort (failing at vanity, as I often do)--always in danger of slipping on a foot bridge step. I've come so far to find myself parked on a mall bench for three hours, rereading a book which makes my head spin. I've come to be with you, yet I find myself alone (again, naturally--or so the song goes).

I've come so far, waited so long, and felt so alone--to look into your eyes as we talk; to have my hand held on a bus ride, and my face stroked affectionately as we walked along mall stores. All this to feel a happiness so small, yet so full. One that I haven't felt in months, and certainly not from anyone else.

Sometimes I'm afraid to discover just how much I can do for you.
Love is such a boundless thing.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


Sometimes you just have to step back, and step away from the details that are eating you up, to look at the big picture. That's when you see things clearly, and you get to think as the closest to being rational you could ever get (still not close enough though).

The thing is, often the big picture--and the decisions that need to made after seeing it--can be pretty painful to realize.

Still, it's your life, and it's your call. You choose your own happiness, and likewise choose the personal misery pit you will wallow in.

The only comfort is knowing that there's no rush to this decision.

And that you can always choose to curl up in the comfort of things you've gotten so used to, instead of facing the proverbially harsh winds of change.

(Often, being brazen is not being brave. Sometimes it takes a lot more courage to be what others see as a coward--if it means that at least one person is spared the damage.)

No one will ever need to know that you almost changed your mind.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Questionable Intentions

I never meant to write today, but there’s always something about you that compels me—to write, and do various other things I’d never thought I even wanted to.

I never meant to read, but there’s something about a sappy movie at five in the morning that compelled me to.

I never meant to know, but I now that I do, well I guess I don’t mean to know how I feel about it.

Because really, I never meant to feel anything about it. (It’s the movie, I suppose. I unfortunately am a hopeless romantic.)

And if there’s one intention that I at least got to keep, it’s that
I never meant to tell, and I never did.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A Valentine Post-mortem

VALENTINE'S DAY 2011--It's Monday, a fact which slides my mood from indifferent to ever so slightly dejected. Couples are walking past us hand in hand, the girls cradling bouquets of roses, and--in some cases--stuffed animals. I scoff at the latter--twenty-something couples who still regularly give each other stuffed animals are just odd. We're walking in the midday heat to the nearby Robinson's, where in a few minutes we will try, and subsequently fail, at trying to interview random students for a documentary on good government. That's as romantic as this day will get for me, apparently.
* * *
I sit through a class which I don't really want to be in, all the time willing my eyes to stay open (and even when I succeed, I think I still fall asleep while staring blankly at my socks). At the end of the class, a classmate gets the university actors' guild to surprise serenade his girlfriend. I troop out of class and end up singing Aegis songs and Zsa Zsa Padilla's Hiram with my friend Grace at the Oblation garden. We both crave for a karaoke night out, which unfortunately doesn't materialize at the moment.
* * *
I'm squeezed in on a jeepney that looks like a tetanus trap, between the sweaty, mean-looking kind of men who would make you pretty apprehensive of being held up. Thankfully, my judgmental sense is mistaken, and they turn out to be harmless. Five minutes in, I bring out my new and cherished copy of Miguel Syjuco's Ilustrado. My sister--a high school senior--bought it for me yesterday. I had accompanied her to Greenbelt to take pictures for her visual arts elective, and we dropped by the nearby Powerbooks. I was browsing the General Fiction aisle, when the stacked copies caught my eye. I'd been wanting to buy it for weeks, but lacked the money to do so. She insisted on buying me one. Today I gave her a pack of giant marshmallows (her favorite). It might seem unfair, but that's how we work--I give her time which I actually shouldn't have the leisure of spending; she gives me money for books which we both doubt she'll ever want to read. Sweetest thing anyone has done for me this week.
* * *
Second ride on the way home. I'm squinting in the corner of a red-lit jeep, still stubbornly reading my book. It takes a while to read this one--I'm not a huge fan of vocabulary words learned past the sixth grade--but I like it a lot. Across me, a woman carefully holds two long-stemmed roses slightly wedged in her shoulder bag. The perpetual traffic jam drags the evening on. 

Ilustrado makes me think of how much I actually love Manila, despite the traffic, the trash, and the trash talking we Pinoys often describe it with. Earlier during the afternoon heat wave, I commented: "If I would ever leave the Philippines, it probably wouldn't be because of the political situation, or the economy--it would be because of the weather." While reading though, I think I still I wouldn't leave. Or if I would have to, I'd miss it terribly.

From time to time, I get completely lost in my book, only to look up and remember where I actually am; it's hard not to be reminded with the rumble of a dozen jeepney and tricycle engines, and the pungent smell of fish wafting from the Pasay City Market. I look down again, my eyes straining to make out the relatively tiny text; my mind straining to be distracted from the thirty minutes that still remain on my ride (should've been just ten minutes, but that's Metro Manila for you). Distraction has always been my cure for disappointment.
* * *
Valentine's Day has always been a curious day for me. I see it as a day of expectations--as Grace said, guys are expected to spend for girls, and girls are expected to appreciate whatever their boyfriends give (and that translates to all relationships). This is the one day--even more than Christmas, or their birthdays--that people all over the world feel entitled to some form of affection.

My relationship with the universe has been pretty similar these few days. I've been a having a good yet very stressful time. I do (school)work I enjoy; I'm getting along okay with my parents; and my love life is good too. But somehow I'm not as contented as I am some days. There's a tinge of disappointment at the back of my throat. I feel entitled to something else--something more; something grand. 

I don't know why, but these days I feel like the universe forgot to give me flowers on Valentine's Day, like an otherwise loving significant other who let me down this one tiny time. But I'm pretty sure we'll patch things up soon. After all, it's been so good to me.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


There's so much on my mind, that I have to either sleep it off, or blog it off. And, like most times, I can't come up with anything coherent, hence this news bulletin.
  • First off, I just got back from a mini-vacation in Baguio. A little more on that later. I seem to have misplaced the short entry I typed in the hotel room.
  • Second--being the vain person I am--I've started a 365 Project for 2011. It's actually gone on for the last month, and I'm proud to have kept it going. I hope it'll last the year. For the mundane details of my life in pictures, visit my 365 Project on Tumblr.

  • Third, I am currently on a job hunt. I'll be doing my internship this summer, and so far none of the companies I've sent resumes to seem to notice me. Well this is frustrating. But I have to keep trying. I'm planning on doing walk-ins tomorrow, but look who's still awake. I hope I still have the energy to purposefully wander around the Makati CBD later today.
  • Fourth, I would like to thank firewomyn for honoring me with the first LABIA (Lesbian and A Blogger International Award)--probably the steamiest-sounding blog award I've been acquainted with. Just another proof of how surprising and fun blogging can get. I really hope this catches on, since it's, well...catchy. Keep it up!
    I miss blogging. All this school and org work is sapping the creativity and coherence out of me, but hopefully I can do some serious writing after the stress tides over.

    Wednesday, January 12, 2011

    The Truth, At Last

    I came out to my mom today. My head's still reeling, so I can't really say much about it. It just found its way into the conversation, I forget how. The coming out part was pretty natural, just like any old conversation over lunch. We also had a 3-hour debate concerning norms, gender equality, religion, personal opinion--really, my head's throbbing. We're always like that, but it's only now that I appreciate where I got my debating skills. 

    For the most part, she was okay with it--except for the God's orginal design angle. As I expected, she had an idea already, and my confirmation was all she needed. Although, I told her about the possibility of me being bi, and she thinks that sexual orientation is a choice, so she's probably holding on the 5% chance that I'll find a guy to marry one day. Knowing my mom, I told her not to expect any husband from me--kids, maybe, but  then she can't wrap her head around the idea of a homosexual couple raising kids, so...

    She doesn't like the idea of promoting gender equality, and she thinks that changing culture is both impossible and superfluous. That's where the debate was centered on. In the end, she just told me to be prepared for the consequences of my choices in life--since, you know, she believes while I can't choose to be straight, I can choose to marry a man if I wanted a family; thus she feels I'm just being adamant on this whole lesbianism thing.

    Still, I don't know, it's nice that she finally, finally knows. There's still my dad, who'll probably have a fit when he finds out. My mom will probably tell him, and it'll take a day of explaining or something. But right now I'm just glad that I've told my mom. She's not ecstatic over it, but she accepts it, at least, and that's great news for me. It feels like a sigh of relief after holding my breath for so long.

    Sunday, January 2, 2011

    The Janus Tributes 3: Resolutions

    Christmas and New Year's were pretty quiet this year, and I wasn't in the usual mood for wishlists, presents and year-ender posts. I did have awesome fun with my friends before the break, but the holidays are a time for family--and honestly, I love my folks but they're really boring. (They read this blog, by the way. Awkward questions, plus I am generally so dead. I hope they forget the url. If you haven't, well hello there parents. Please stop reading.)

    Anyway, the main reason for not having a year-ender was that 2010 lacked the usual craziness and chaos that I usually go through. While I'm very grateful for such a stable and peaceful year, those two adjectives barely make for any interesting stories. The last year was great for meeting and keeping friends, but not much for telling tales. I did gain a lot--knowledge; wisdom; friends; weight; and increased alcoholic tolerance (either that, or better control over my drinking) among other things. But I can't rid myself of the feeling that I could've done more. I could've been more.

    Thus, I've decided to make resolutions this year. It's been a while since I've made any lists, but here we go.

    Dear Rz,

    This 2011, never ever forget to:
    1. MAKE A LOT OF RESOLUTIONS. And by resolutions, I mean short-term goals; concrete things to work for. 
    2. TAKE CHARGE. Of your life; of your relationships; of your work. Don't leave things to chance--or worse--to someone else. You know you can do it, so why don't you?
    3. GO FOR IT. [Ehem, OJT, ehem] I'm tired of your easy come, easy go, laid-back attitude. You have to push yourself this year. It's time to get up and get the things you really want. It will get tiring, and you'll feel perfectly like crap, but if you keep giving a little extra, it will all be worth it. On a related note, 
    4. GET WHAT YOU WANT. If what you're getting isn't what you want, dump it and find something better. C'mon self, give yourself a treat. Don't settle for second best.
    5. KEEP YOUR FRIENDS. You know how bad you are at this. But you have awesome people in your life and you can't afford to lose them, so lose the hermit habit instead. Reach out, let them in, and be good to them, always.
    6. MAKE BAD DECISIONS (sometimes). I don't mean the life-ruining, relationship-wrecking type of bad. I mean the type which makes for funny stories later on. Don't be so uptight. Stable is best left to ICU patients and couples trying to start a family, and you're neither. Now is the best time to live for yourself, before you spend your whole life on responsibilities. "The things we regret most are not what we did but what we didn't do."
    7. LIVE HEALTHIER. Okay, blogging this at one in the morning is a bad start. But please sleep earlier when you can, and learn how to wake up before 8 a.m. again. Lessen the cough-and-colds count this year. Last year was too much.
    8. DO SOMETHING ABOUT THOSE FLABS. It's a bit rich to talk about flabs when you're such a skinny bitch, but they don't look good on you. So hit me with some sit-ups this year. I'm not talking six-pack abs overnight, but if your stomach and love handles get any fluffier, you'll be mistaken for a pregnant woman with your otherwise thin frame.
    Just look at this letter from time to time; keep your word, and you'll do fine. This will be your year. Make it worth recalling when December rolls around.



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