Friday, December 31, 2010

Goodbye 2010

"All The Woulda-Coulda-Shouldas
Layin' In The Sun,
Talkin' 'Bout The Things
They Woulda-Coulda-Shoulda Done...
But All Those Woulda-Coulda-Shouldas
All Ran Away And Hid
From One Little Did"

I have no questions. I have no what-if's. Nothing was left undone. I did what I needed to do and said what I needed to say. I did not always get what I expected but knowing that I have exhausted all means helped me sleep better at night. And so thank you 2010, I had a blast.

Bring it on 2011! I am anxious to meet you.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

A Promise To Myself

Because I have only been recently nice to myself, I decided to create ten promises and the goal is to fulfill these promises before the end of 2015; ideally two promises every year. Okay, in short, it's my five-year goal. So sue me for being dramatic.

And here they are,

1. I promise to discover France and experience the quaint cafes, the scenic countryside and swoon as some random French guy hits on me by just letting his language roll out of his tongue and into my ears, uttering nonsense I would assume.

2. I promise to constantly take on a break and get away from the buzz of corporate life. No schedule to follow, no classes, and just let curiosity take over me in a place known for its different kind of freedom - Russia.

3. I promise to visit the outbacks of Australia and witness the sunset's calming hues and see for myself if the gold coast's seas were truly aquamarine as how the Aussies claimed.

4. I promise to set foot in Mexico and ride it's hardly luxurious, old tram which will not allow me a wink but every peek will give me a new sight to marvel in. And of course, let us not disregard the oh-so-explosive nightlife in Cancun.

5. I promise to ready myself to face the hustle and bustle that comes with the Indian Railways after a most enlightening visit to the historic Taj Mahal. Sweat and all, I will squeeze myself amidst the murmur of people inside the packed train.

6. I promise to bring home a piece of China by learning Mandarin and to continuously make an attempt to converse with locals, even if the extent of the challenge becomes similar to using another sort of World English.

7. I promise to find solace of the snow-covered mountain tops of the Swiss Alps after the quiet trails cradled the train that will have brought me from Geneva to Berne and all the way to Zurich.

8. I promise to get lost in the so-called survival path of Vietnam; a survival path that is not made up of just one single route but rather a complex maze running from the north to the south, all through out Vietnam and its neighboring countries.

9. I promise to find peace in Tibet and practice the art of being still.

10. I promise to fall madly in love again in Tuscany, Italy and welcome romance with open arms with the knowledge that it can both be a blessing and a curse.

I hope to fulfill these promises before my due date. Am I being too ambitious? Maybe but then, maybe not.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Navi and I

I decided to take a break from packing. Yes. Again, I am packing. Off to jump aboard another plane to be whisked away into a myriad of possibilities, to a place where I will be a thousand miles (or more) away from home and where I can conveniently be acknowledged as a local.

I know that everything will start off as a challenge. Like fitting everything you will need in your luggage without exceeding 20 kilos. Airlines used to be more generous years ago. Like tucking in the luggage and riding the rhythm as the plane lunges forward and takes off. And like that constant fear of eardrums being popped due to cabin pressure. Thankfully, if I will be lucky, the window will become my friend. It will remind me of my purpose - of why I am off to a new adventure after four wasted years. If the window will fail me at some point during the flight, oh well, there's the portable telie right in front of me which will probably allow me to choose from 3-5 'not-so-bad' shows. Sleeping will not be an option.

I anticipate that, that old nostalgic unfamiliarity will greet me like an old friend whom I have somehow forgotten.

Aaarggghhh...I have to go back to packing now. I have to get this done ASAP.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Some Recent Discoveries

Today, I discovered that Davao is smoke-free and only the outsiders (eherem those who do not reside in Davao, who did not grow up in Davao, who were not born in Davao, and all other creatures who have a semblance of what were mentioned) do not like the city's 'non-smoking' notion. I also discovered that the curfew for minors is strictly regulated. God knows how much discipline kids these days need. And the best part, I discovered that (unlike several years ago) there are now a thousand things to do to keep you busy. I will tell you more about them on my next entry. I am too tired and the sandman is calling me.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Phone Call at 4AM

For the first time, you were late. But you called anyway. My head was spinning, my breath stenched of Patron, and I can barely remember what I as saying. Did I make sense? I remember a topic about rings, about Baguio, about jobs, and most especially, about possible love.

Give me China, give me a few more weeks or months (I appeal to your generosity), give me this time to find myself again and in return, I will give you the answer you asked for. I will be ready by then. I promise.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Lazy Daisy

Move your ass, bi@tch. Now!

Ever since I arrived from a much-delayed flight yesterday, I have not done anything but sleep and pet my home-sick dog. The locks are still attached to my bags, my clothes are still unpacked and I have a long list of things to accomplish before the 20th strikes. What the heck am I waiting for?

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Beach, Boat and Ballerina

Dear Papang

...

I sit here, carelessly letting my fingers dance on the keyboard and I wonder how I will face you. I fear to see the disappointment which I have waged war with for 29 years. I like to imagine that I can confidently walk through the door with my head held high. Maybe I can but we both know it will all be pretense. We both know I lost. I was not strong enough to stand up for what I built in this newly-labeled hellhole and have, similar to the hundred other previous instances, ran away like the coward that I am. I wish I can say that although he left me for another woman, I do not really give a rat's ass about it. I wish I can say that I can still continue climbing the corporate ladder. I wish I can say that I will not be selling the house that I have grown to love after all. I wish I can say all these. The truth is, I cannot. I cannot because, despite my claim to being the most undaunted in the family, I fell into pieces when he left me. I cannot because it hurts too much to stay in the same place where I will possibly witness his new-found happiness. I cannot because I may be too illogical to be trusted with my own judgement.

In time, you will have your rebel-daughter back. For now, let me weep for lost things. Allow me to feed on my anger and momentarily wallow in self-pity; not because I am required to but because I am entitled to it just like everyone else is. Cradle me and let me lean on your beer-filled belly, God knows how much comfort I need. Just let me mourn for that fading belief called 'forever.' Let's talk about happy topics like China, Scotland and putting up my own business someday. Let me hear you say "I have your back" and how you will always be there for me. I will tire of this drama one day but while that day is not yet here, I beg you to understand because I need this.

See you soon.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Nag Nag Nag

What happened to you? You were never like this. I could hardly remember you doing something as shitty as what you just did or as lousy as what you have been doing for the past two months. Snap out of it. You know it's not worth it.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Why Batanes?

After a series of 'unfortunate'...wait...let me rephrase that, as the word 'unfortunate'is an understatement. After a series of grievous events which included a cheating ex-boyfriend who had the nerve to end a 4-year relationship, an unlikely administrative hearing at work and a freaking thief who callously removed my back door to steal my much needed electronic devices (Please take note that all catapulted last September of this year), I decided to stop pestering God with "Why's" and forced my sorry ass to move forward. And by forward, I meant re-organizing my life. Four years ago, I decided to plant my roots in Cebu City because I have stupidly believed that it was time to put a salve on that gnawing wanderlust. Four years ago, I stopped what I loved doing which were dancing and traveling so that I can settle for an 8-hour job that helped me pay for the mortgage of the house I bought. I told myself then that dancing, despite my satisfaction after performing on stage, was just not lucrative enough to pay for pragmatic needs. I also told myself then that the temporary 'highs' of discovering new places cannot compensate the 'lows' thereafter once you were confronted with the fearful fact that your finances will not survive until the next week; much less, pay for an improbable emergency which can happen anytime. So, after realizing that I have drowned in so much drama for four years, I finally updated my itinerary and decided to go through the whole process of being whole again after coming undone.

With this in mind, what better way to accomplish such a feat by going to a place where you have always dreamed of going but just never had the courage to do so. Since I have always wanted to go to Batanes, why not throw caution to the wind and try my luck in the Seair contest. According to the fan page in facebook, South East Asian Airlines (SEAIR) will be choosing seven lucky bloggers to join a bloggers' tour of the Batanes winter from January 28 to 30, 2011. This includes round-trip tickets from Manila to Basco and accommodation in Basco. If you want to know the details, you can check their fan page link at their facebook fan page.

You must be wondering, what will one crazed, broken-hearted ballerina do in Batanes? I can think of several interesting things to do.

First, since the Ivatans have developed their own culture, this can be a helpful respite. These days, I desperately need a different environment that can aid in contributing a productive kind of distraction. This will help me deviate my attention from the crap that I have gone through in the last previous months.

Second, the landscape of Batanes is quite distinct from other Philippine provinces. It features steep cliffs, rolling hills, deep canyons and boulder-lined shores, quite conducive to what I intend to do which are to scream profanity and vent my loathing to the ocean where it can be drowned by the roaring waves.

Third is the most noticeable of all features of Batanes which is the architecture of the houses - stone walled and thick thatched roofs to withstand the battering of typhoons. I like to think of myself likened to such houses and that what I am going through is just another nasty phase that anyone can surpass in time.

Fourth, I heard the food is inexpensive as inexpensive as can be. Since I have always enjoyed eating and have never been afraid to experiment, I would not think twice if there will be a need to binge or shall I say, pig out. I think I deserve it.

Lastly, I was about to write something about "freezing to death' but I was corrected by my bestfriend as this notion (according to her) is grammatically incorrect. So, I am rewording it as advised. My main point is, as what is commonly known, freezing temperature often helps in re-organizing priorities and creating fresh ideas for survival's sake and I am thinking that since Batanes' climate will dip as low as 7 degrees centigrade on January, then I'm quite sure that this will help me achieve what was noted.

So what do you say, Seair? Do I deserve a trip to Batanes?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Wake Up, Salome

Time to ask for John's head.









Thursday, September 16, 2010

Muli

sasayaw muli. lilimutin ang minsang pagkalugmok. babangon sa panibagong himig. sisimulan ang pag-indak, ang paglaro ng mga paa sa sahig, ang pagikot ng katawan sa tunog ng orkestra. upang hingin ulit ang ulo ni juan.



































Note: You made a mistake domesticating me.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Water, Woman

In 2006, I wrote a poem that talked about my fear of getting into another relationship.

Any moment now
I'll be flinging myself to the very air you breathe.
Waterfall rushing.
Slicing through sheer granite.
Free.
Crippling boulders with continues gush,
of roaring thunder and harsh cuts.
Then after a while,
I fear,
I will enter that calm boring gorge,
That paves the boats for commerce and wedding vows.
Serviceable.
Forgeting I was a wild river once,
Decorated with wild lilies and daisies
And soon,
From that fat gorge
I will rove with placid abandon,
Towards the sea,
The sewage as my friend.
Such a sad state
Such a sad, sad state.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Final Goodbye

How do you pick up the pieces after all was said and done? How do you teach yourself to pick up those pointe shoes after leaving them neglected for so long? How do you teach yourself to dance like a madwoman again after desperately staying sane for 4 years? How do you dream again after a nightmare was introduced?

I have forgotten how.

I watched him pack his belongings while he was not looking. I watched him pile every inch of his memory in less than fifteen minutes. I listened to him whisper his heartless farewell to my dog. I held my breath for the last time, held back the tears but they escaped anyway. I stared blankly at the wall; anxiously waiting for him to finish, to change his mind, to suggest another chance at love.

But none came. He left me with nothing but a cold embrace, a kiss in the forehead and the harsh truth that he has stopped loving me. He left and the shadows came thereafter.

And I prayed again today, after a long time of silence. I prayed to God and begged Him to stay by my side until my wounds have healed. I dare not ask anything else.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

4 Years Ago

I remembered praying 4 years ago. I prayed that God will give him to me, prayed that whatever I will have with him will be blessed. And when God answered my prayer, I was happy. I finally found contentment, at least for a while. It wasn't too long when painful discoveries were uncovered. Those discoveries were so small, I can barely see them. They were so small that their sizes made me question their existence. They were so small that I never considered paying attention to their significance. Now, all those small, insignificant discoveries have created a monster.

A gun was cocked at my face for a long time and he was holding it. He, who danced his fingers on my body without care. He, who whispered uncouth words to put me in my place. He, who stashed me in a secret place somewhere so he can be with me whenever he felt like it. He, who never championed any of my wars. He, whose mind reeked of endless nights with a whore who did not know another woman's pain. He cocked the gun, pulled the trigger last night and ended what I prayed to God will last.

It is time to run again. Brace yourself, Den.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Fan - Part 1

HOUSE: If there was a real Dr. House somewhere, I'll drop my boyfriend like a hot tamale and pick on his brain instead. Genius! Pure Genius!

SOUTHPARK: Can you keep a secret? Rez has no idea that I love this show. In fact, he thinks that I abhor this show and I just let him think that because I find his attempts in convincing me to give the show a chance (when in truth I DO love the show)...funny.

Let's just say that the show is a reflection of the thoughts that are running through my head. I'll just leave it to those four boys to say all the most obscene, vulgar, repulsive, and offensive things that I do not have the courage to discuss publicly.

SPARTACUS - BLOOD AND SAND: Oh come on, isn't it already obvious? Just like what Arvy said, to hell with the historical disparity, I'm in it for those damned gladiators who have truly been blessed by the gods! Wink.

GLEE: It's Show Choir, people! How can you not like it? Plus, I needed something to help me remove the bad taste that the high school musical left in my mouth.

Yawn. The sandman's here. More to come...

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Friday, May 21, 2010

Thinking Out Loud

Sometimes I wish that I can look at things the same way as my sister looks at them. Remove the complications. Keep it simple. Not to sweat the small stuff. Laugh (even though your heart was really aching) and smile. Play handicap and hope to get away with it.

But then wishes don't come true, do they?

So wake up and smell the shit that your neighbor's dog dumped on your front yard because you can't really do anything about it.

Wait...let me rephrase that. You CAN do something about it, Den --- get a shotgun and kill the damned dog or better yet, kill your neighbor. That should fix it. Now, there is no reason for you to wish for something as lame as what you just mentioned in the beginning of this entry.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Z for Zombie

When the book "World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War" was suggested, I thought of saying "Nah...I'll pass" (since I hated zombies!) but decided otherwise after Arvy gave me snippets of the book.

Good decision.

It was an interesting read indeed. The writer, Max Brooks, did an excellent job on intrinsically describing every detail that it was almost likened to an actual movie experience! The best thing was --- it was not only about blood, guts and rotting corpses (because the plot actually made sense). It was a socio-political satire which was horrific not just entirely because of the zombies, but also because of the narrated responses of the community to the supposed 'Great Panic.' The responses were just too plausible; knowing that it was close to reality made me put the book down once in a while because I felt like kicking someone.

However, I felt the book lacked more narratives about animals and their positive contributions. I can only remember two stories, one --- about the dogs as partners in luring the zombies (heroic but sad) and two --- about the whales as food for stranded survivors and zombies at sea (practical but sick).

Anyway, you guys should read it.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Naughty Cupcakes

Caution: Adult content!!! These cupcakes not only look good but taste good too. Everything is edible!









Remember, I WARNED YOU!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Let's Call Her Dirty Pistacio

A long, over-due reaction.

Yes. I called you a whore, a harlot, a cunt who can't keep your legs closed. I called you a home wrecker, a bitch in heat, a slut pretending to be someone else. I don't care about your reasons, about your need of justifying that longing inside you, about your claim to 'lack of control' over things that were never meant to be controlled in the first place like love. How could you mistake selfishness for love??? You call making love to another woman's husband, love? Silly woman, your principles are ridiculous (which you probably take great pride in) as they fit perfectly well with your loose morale. You watched that son of a bitch abandon his pregnant wife with delight. You stood there with a smirk on your face, rejoicing on the thought that you won, without an inch of consideration for the children's well being while the wife fell into pieces. You were a happy spectator to a woman's agony that stretched from where you were standing all the way to where her two other cherubs were patiently waiting. You uncaring little fuc*er, I pray that some madwoman will escape from a mental hospital, choose you as her victim and strangle you.

Monday, March 22, 2010

While Conducting A Class On Wordiness

They say that if you slipped and scraped your knee over a silly banana, you're supposed to:

1. wallow in self-pity for 20 seconds (anything more than that is already pathetic)
2. brush the experience off and stand up
3. walk away with a smile and redeem yourself

Okay. So I did not strictly comply with Step 1 as I wallowed on self-pity far longer than expected. Step 2: check! Step 3, I am half way there and am anxious to start repairing my bruised ego.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Luv Txt ni Jesus Manuel Santiago

Gusto kong magkunwari na sa isang punto sinulat toh ng boypren kong wala na yatang ginawa kundi maglaro ng Warcraft, mag-exercise at mag-swimming!!! Kunwari daw sinulat niya toh nung nasa Dubai pa ako at nadiskubre ko ang papel na pinagsulatan niya sa nilamutak na pitakang itinabi ni Ate Pelay doon sa mesa na ginawang tambakan ng mga luma't nakalimutang 'anik-anik' ng mga alaga niya. Kunwari daw sa sobrang sabik eh di na nakatiis si Rez na magsulat ng nakakalaglag panty na tula.

Kunwari lang. Kunwari lang kasi ang letse kong boypren eh di kailanman nag-isip na gumawa ng mga ganitong klaseng kadramahan sa buhay. Hahay.

Lipuna'y malupit pagkat pinaglayo
Ang nag- iibigan nating mga puso.
Tipid sa pasahe'y, tipid sa pagsuyo,
Sa hirap ng buhay, bihirang magtagpo.

Lagi tayong sabik sa isa't isa.
Mabuti na lamang at may cellphone, sinta,
Ilang pindot lamang sa hanay ng letra,
Sa halagang piso'y nakokontak kita.

Salamat sa cellphone, salamat sa texting,
Kahit magkalayo tayo'y magkapiling.
Ay, kung alam mo lang, para akong lasing
Pagkat ang ring tone ko ay ang theme song natin.

At dito sa screen, sa munting bintana,
Ang nakalarawa'y ikaw, aking mutya!
Laging nakadungaw ang maamong mukha,
Ay, ang ngiti mo, giliw, kadluan ng tuwa.

Kaya maya't maya'y aking tinitiyak
Na may signal ako at 'di maglolobat
Pagkat kung sakaling hindi ako makontak,
Pabayang sarili'y 'di mapapatawad!

Cellphone ko'y second- hand at lumang modelo,
Kantyaw ni Jess Abrera ay "panggadgad ng yelo,"
Pero hindi bale, sa pag-ibig ko sa iyo
Ay laging sariwa, at laging brand new.

Kaya kahit anong tukso ang marinig,
Taas ang nook ko at tuwid ang tindig.
Ang mas mahalaga'y ang ating pag-ibig
At kahit sandali'y tayo'y magkaniig.

Ay! Tiniis ko ang hindi tumawag
Para ang aking load, 'di maubos agad.
Patext-text lang ako, e kasi nga, swithart,
Masakit sa bulsa ang presyo ng cell card.

At ang mas masakit, may gustong humadlang
Sa ating long distance na pagmamahalan!
Aba, ang text message, gusto raw buwisan
Nitong ating bwisit na pamahalaan!

Aba'y walang puso! Kung meron man marmol!
Sa nagpanukalang mga asong ulol,
Pangako mahal ko, tiyak na bubukol
Panggadgad ng yelong aking ipupukol!

Nagtitipid ako pagkat nagmamahal
Kaya manalig ka't maniwala, Mahal.
Dahil ang maiipon kahit butal- butal,
Malaking tulong din sa araw ng kasal.

(O ano?!!Wala akong pakialam kung binabasa mo toh' ngayon at lalong-lalo na wala akong pakialam kung nababasa toh' ng mga kaibigan ko!Blog ko toh' kaya wag kang umasa na tatanggalin ko tong entry na toh'.)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Gladys

You are unstoppable. At 29, you feel like 16 again when dreams are as fresh and reachable as they were. It is one accomplishment at a time. And you jot it in the air as a reminder so you can always smell the scent of success hovering above you. You are making it happen. You are beautiful.

Suzette

You are reaping the fruits of your hardwork now. You deserve it. Every sweat, every lost hour of sleep have finally paid off. You reached the peak with sheer determination. Whoever said you cannot win? Doesn't matter. You are where you're supposed to be. You are beautiful.

Karina

Finally cupid gunned down the right man. You are a woman again, ripe for the picking and ready to give more after years of feeling barren. You retrace the past without an inch of frustration because the sweet scent of love fills your lungs. You are the rock-star princess you had hoped to be. In love. You are beautiful.

Patricia

Suddenly it's all one, big adventure. Things you have been putting off for later need to done now! You are determined to have fun and exhaust life to its limit. Nothing, no one can stop you. No other way but forward. Undaunted. You are beautiful.

Julie

You wonder what the big fuss was all about. All those were just tiny specks on a much bigger, more important picture. You laugh anyway because you appease them still. That is just who you are and you sleep like a baby at night because of your kind heart. You are loved. You are beautiful.

Jenny

Life is like a cup of hot, mint tea. Peaceful, soothing. You think to yourself whilst raising one brow at those silly girls --- been there, done that. You can smile at yourself now. Accomplished. Contented. You don't need anything else. You are beautiful.

Ceara

Suddenly everything is clear. Every decision you ever made was the right one. It's been one long series of genius moves by you. How wise you are. How visionary! This complex universe suddenly makes sense. Remember how you felt when you were ten? You are that clear again. You are beautiful.

RJ

Everything that's bothering you just...slipped your mind. Whoops! Forgot to care! The critical you has left the building. Bygones are officially bygones. You feel accomplished and strong and nearly able to fly. Life is swell. You feel like calling your parents, just to say hi. Your life is a happy sitcom. You are beautiful.

Rhodora

You have been given the visa to see the world. You are ecstatic! It takes one call and you'll be on the next plane ride to New York, Antigua or Paris, we daresay. You are Amelia minus the tragic disappearance. World-class traveler you can make anything happen with just a snap of a finger. Blessed. You are beautiful.

Cynthia

You are not tepid. You are steadfast --- a knight in featherweight, form-fitting armor. Compromises will never again be made by you. Never again! Distractions and substitutes lose their cheap shine. Your inner resources are an embarrassment of riches. Lucky girl! Lion heart! You are beautiful.

April

Who unbridled your enthusiasm? Everything is great! Good will surges through you. You just lifted the timetable needle off the problem record and put on something different. Something danceable!!!It's hard to keep yourself from leaping in the air. Like some character in an old movie. Yeah, that kind of happy. You are beautiful.

Richelle

Seriously. You could jump over that car. You're jet-propelled. You have a firecracker heart. You are a champion. You don't need anything. Food? Sleep? Never! Coursing through you is a raging river after a thaw. We have a winner! You're electromagnetic. You are beautiful.

Daniel

So this is how superheroes feel. Bam! Everything feels jump-overable. Cartoon gleams shine off you. You feel like you're carried on the shoulders of an adoring crowd. Children follow, wearing t-shirts with iron-on pictures of you emblazoned on them. You have that sporty nickname you've always wanted. You're mighty, mighty. You are beautiful.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Open Letter

As it is...

QEs,

'goodbyes', in general, is not my cup of tea...in fact, i have made it a habit not to get too involved with the act of doing so...besides goodbyes as what we commonly know do not mean forever...it is simply a phase...i prefer to keep things as they are and just disappear when the opportune time comes...like a child leaving crumbs of the cookies i have stolen (the culprit nowhere to be found)...in fact, i would like you to think of me this way as i also like to think that i have left some of my 'ehem' creative (chaotic) mess on the trail...i don't want to go through the process of crying buckets of tears, getting red-eyed whilst lips quivered for the sheer reason of prolonging a temporary agony...i go to great lengths to avoid these types of scenarios...this is not because more air has gone up my bloated head but because (AGAIN) not my thing...also, i am quite sure, our paths will cross now and then (since we will still be working with the same company and on the same building if i might add)...if you are still not convinced, just ask my other friends who i still keep in touch with---their answers will correspond with what i am claiming in this email...

not making a big deal out of it also does not mean that i do not care nor will i not miss you...of course, i will miss you...i have mentioned probably a hundred times in the past that the only reason i am keeping my job (TME) is because of the people i work with...okay, i admit, the pay came in quite handy too but my point is, the more important reason is YOU guys---you made every day at work tolerable and if i may be allowed to borrow Insik's words "you gave me the courage to go on when i could not anymore" (tama ba ni? murag OA ra man kaayo)...i'll phrase my own statement instead...let me put it this way, when i was dragging my feet, you dragged yours beside me which was a comfort knowing that i am not alone and that i have coworkers/friends who helped carry the load with me...this is not about the 'misery loves company' bullshit...this is about surrounding yourself with friends who genuinely care (you do care, right? i like to think AGAIN that you care...if there is someone in the team who doesn't, then shut up or else i will slash your throat bitch!)...oooopppsss, there i go again, i am supposed to control my other self...i will miss talking in Bisaya...as you may have observed, this email is 98% English...i will miss the green, perverted jokes about penises, vaginae, sex, sex, sex, etc...i will miss having the convenience of coming in and out of the office at any preferred time of the day....i will miss ganging up on an unsuspecting target of our tongue-lashing and gossip...i will miss calling the freakin' IT department to report a tool problem...i will miss making your ears bleed with my 'jeepney' chronicles...i will miss complaining (with pride because this means we still have a purpose after all) about being forced to do 14 evaluations alongside other tasks appointed by our beloved bosses...i will miss fighting for our rights to justice and fairness in labor (minus the nagging, eyebrow raising, bullying)...i will miss lunches (be it early or late) together...i will miss disputes from TLs who do not read the comments or who do not bother reading the updates...i will miss the laughter, the endless laughter which was eternally branded as boisterous noise as prompted by a complaint from HR...i think i have mentioned one too many reasons why i will miss you guys...my point is, i will miss everything/everyone in the QE room...

sure, life in the QE room is not always sugar, spice and everything nice, to point out, it can get suffocating or irritating too...but the important notion to remember is, that although we may hate each other (at one point), we love each other just as much...what is friendship if it's all about love, niceties and sweets...all these are good, but they can also be boring too... a little tint of loathing now and then can add flavor to friendship...like sex---who ever said that a whip during love making is not as exciting as riding the horse or not as exciting as Dyna's helicopter technique???a little curve on a straight line, a black on your white, a lopsided grin on a perfect face, a hole on your nifty socks---every friendship cannot be perfect, something has to go wrong somewhere in order to make it right...

anyway, after everything that was said and done, thank you...thank you for the awesome 2 years together...see you when i see you.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Of Surprises

Today is as what John Lennon wrote in a song for his son --- "...life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans..."

Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Beginning

Those infuriating words. Those infuriating words have been parading in front of me for years, blurring my vision, scuttling here and there with tiny little feet that screamed to be acknowledged. And they succeed every time. They drummed my ears with silence when I begged them to appear but waged war when I sought for peace, caught me unaware more often than I can possibly hope for and earned me a whole set of detractors who curse and spit at my back for allowing unkempt thoughts to roll out of my tongue carelessly. It was inevitable. I can see those words just as much as I can taste them, like the taste of repulsive heaving after seeing a rotting corpse in a laboratory. Now is the most opportune time to tie them down with the same noose that claimed her life, with the hope that maybe this time, they will be tamed for my sanity’s sake.

This is her love story.

I met her when I was 8 years old at the compound where our family lived. I was then running away from my cousins who were tormenting my puppy named Chowder who was mercilessly being hammered with sticks. Children can be cruel when they want to be. Their sense of curiosity can be a powerful weapon that can make or break someone. And like older people, they too have the privilege to use age as an excuse for their cruelty. I can still remember, how Chowder felt like in my hands. I dared not hug her, in fear of getting blood on my shirt. I simply held her with my outstretched hands while looking back at where my cousins were, who have fortunately turned their attention to my grandmother’s chicken after I snatched their initial target. She was still yelping when I unknowingly swung her body side to side and probably broke a rib while I ran as fast as my short legs can master. For lack of a better place to go, I ended up at the front gate. That was how she found me. Bloodied hands and crying alongside my beloved Chowder.

“Chona?”

I looked up then and saw her face. I could not remember if I saw her before but I was surprised that the stranger knew my name. I also did not recognize her voice but what I could remember on that day was her eyes. Her eyes were highlighted by the letter bars on our gate and they were sad. She smiled then and told me to stop crying, assured me that Chowder will live through the day while patting my head to console me.

(to be continued...)

Sunday, February 21, 2010

She's Back

Have you heard? The bitch is back...banging on his gate like a lunatic. Spitting all kinds of threats. That suits him I guess. It was largely his fault. He could have just avoided her in the first place.

But he did not so that is something he is living with now. Why do you judge him woman when you have secrets up in your sleeves as well? We do not have the privilege to lay judgment. Let us just hope that the wife will not wake despite the racket outside their house.

Oh, I am sure she is awake every time that nutcase comes howling. She just pretends to sleep and prays that the authorities will drag the stupid woman away, secured in a straight jacket, into an asylum.

Does he answer the calls?

He did in the past, to ward her off but that proved to be useless as the woman is even peskier than a fly. He tried all sorts of excuses too, even the silliest ones. You should have been there. It got hysterical at one point.

What now?

He plays deaf, like his wife. He pretends to sleep and prays that the authorities will drag the stupid woman away, secured in a straight jacket, into an asylum.

And what of the neighbors?

Oh they suffer as well but it's not so bad for them. At least they have something to talk about in the morning, makes their lives less boring.

That's ridiculous.

Yes, it is ridiculous. As ridiculous as the affair that was supposed to fly to Paris but never quite got there.

Did he ever love her?

Who, the wife?

No, the other woman.

Ah. No. It was just a momentary dose of insanity.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

It's Called Whatever

Question to ponder: Is your sh*t hole having problems right now? If you have nothing important to say then please shut up or you'll make a bigger fool of your already foolish self. A friendly advice from a concerned friend.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Supposed Good and Bad Speaker of English

I. Introduction:

Speaking good English is one of those relative notions that are largely dependent on each individual’s perception of what is ‘good’ and what is ‘bad’. Our referential tools support this by publishing various definitions of the word ‘good’ or ‘bad’. For example, the Encarta World Dictionary, mentions that the word ‘good’ can mean the best, genuine or suitable whichever is applicable to the scenario to which the word is applied in. If I was asked last semester to give my opinion on the matter, I would have, without as much as batting an eyelash, immediately define what composed a good speaker and a bad speaker. However, with a little enlightenment, I have learned to avoid labeling the different types of English as good or bad since the more important concept to take note of is whether that type of English is appropriate or useful to the person. Let us take the growing reputation and acceptance of World Englishes as an example. If we were going to strictly comply with the rules of grammar or enunciation then several World Englishes will be categorized as ‘bad’ Englishes and one perfect example will be Singapore English. Singapore English or Singlish obviously does not follow the conservative rule since its standards are social constucts that were created by the society of Singapore (with a bigger bearing for those who hold important positions in the educational or socio-economic structures of the community) based on their accessibility and utilization of the language. So to put it in layman’s terms, if Singaporeans opted to say “Why you so like that lah?” or “I don’t understand your question, what?” over the “Why are you acting like this?” or “I don’t understand what your question was?” then they are not reprimanded as these are acceptable ways of communicating using the English language. In fact, other nearby Asian countries are mimicking this type of English since it is now recognized as another type of English that is aggressively making its mark in the global economy.

When we think of English, we are generally referring to language and language is well known as a medium to communicate using words with the prime objective of being understood. Anything that achieves its objective is always considered good so if we go back to the example, Singlish, cited in the previous paragraph where the speakers were still understood despite the awkward sentence construction then it should follow that Singlish is ‘good’ English, right? The answer – it does not always necessarily follow because the objective is not the only factor to take into account. In order to appropriately describe good English or identify good English speakers, it is necessary to consider the variables that affect how the language was used or applied. These variables can range from the individual’s upbringing all the way to his social status.

To put this to a test, a series of interviews were conducted alongside the survey sheets that were distributed. Instead of interviewing 2 respondents only (as instructed by the Professor), I have taken the liberty to interview 17 respondents and requested all of them to fill out the survey sheets for comparison and reference purposes. Please see the next page for the data gathered. (Note: I chose to show 2 results only)


II. Findings and Observations:

The survey sheet shows the answers given by 2 out of 17 respondents interviewed. They were asked to provide answers to questions which were generally assumed to have influenced how they speak English now. The data inquired about their educational background, hobbies, movie or t.v. show preferences, their exposure to the English language, manners of using English in their everyday activities and experiences that resulted to their continuous usage or non-usage of the said language.

Subject 1 was tagged as the Bad Speaker. The respondent works as a Facilities and Maintenance Personnel at a BPO Industry in Cebu. He earned his education (from Elementary to College) at public institutions and only has 9 units of English courses. His hobbies include eating, watching movies, playing basketball and volleyball and he often preferred to watch shows in the local channels such as the local news (often narrated in Cebuano or Tagalog) and Wowowi. He can speak Tagalog, Ilonggo, Bisaya but mixes his English with the said dialects. His exposure to English was limited to his classes in school and he opts not to talk at work (practices EOP or English Only Policy) for fear of being laughed at if he made a grammatical or pronunciation error. It was observed that he merely uses English when required.

Subject 2 was tagged as the Good Speaker. The respondent works as a Team Leader at a Call Center Industry in Cebu. He graduated elementary in a public school but earned his high school and college diploma in private institutions as well as earned 24 units of English courses. Like Subject 1, his hobbies were almost similar but he prefers to watch English shows like Glee, Lost and House. He can also speak Tagalog, Ilonggo, Bisaya but unlike Subject 1, can speak and write straight English comfortably. His exposure to English has a wider coverage than Subject 1 since he uses it more, not just at work but also at his home.

III. Conclusion and Recommendations:

As mentioned in the introduction, there are several variables to consider and it is important to discuss the variables one by one in order to understand why such variables contributed to the current level of English speaking skills of the respondent.

Variable 1: Educational Background
Whether we admit it or not, there is some truth to the notion that children get better education in private institutions than in public schools. This particular notion is founded on numerous factors such as erroneous textbooks, lack of proper equipment or facilities that would have been conducive to learning, low expectations for students’ performance and un-enforced standards for teachers. Let me cite the results of the 2007 NAT or National Achievement Test among public school children which showed an alarming downward trend and in the year before that, more elementary school children failed to make the passing mark of 75%, averaging a score of only 57% (Cathy Ruiz, Cebu Daily News). Further adding that in 2005, elementary students got a failing average of 59% in English. This poor performance, according to the writer, has been linked to poor English comprehension of students and lack of mastery of English among public school teachers. In a self-assessment test conducted by the Department of Education in 2004, only one out of every five public school teachers is proficient in the English language. More than half of the teachers have little or no training in English, according to a senior Dep Ed official.
This observation was not mentioned to encourage parents to enroll their children in private schools but merely to point our current concerns that have affected the type of education our public school children are getting and to hope that these concerns will be addressed accordingly as soon as possible.

Variable 2: Habit Forming Preferences
If our goal is to speak English well then it will be best if we surround ourselves with everything in English. Read papers and magazines written in English and browse Internet sites that utilize the English language. In fact, reading is an excellent way of improving our English speaking skills. Even watching English movies or television shows can come quite handy since we will be exposed to how they say the words and how the said words were used. Hence, it is like reading all over again.

Going to an English speaking country is an ideal option, but if going abroad is truly not practical then reading and speaking with friends will help just as much to practice your English. Introducing yourself in an environment that requires us to speak the language 95% of the time is a cheaper version of going abroad, however, I think that it is still very good to visit some English speaking country and test our knowledge of the language since we will feel the everyday usage of language in its natural environment. There, our level of English will improve even faster. Subconsciously, we will sense everything and our instinctive knowledge will emerge.

Variable 3: Exposure to English
Everyone can probably own up to saying that we know how to speak English. This is true as almost everyone can speak the language. The question is not on our capacity to speak English but our capacity to speak it well. Like all other known skills, practice is essential in speaking the language well. Like what I mentioned in last semester’s term paper, it takes a lot of effort, time and will to master it in all possible ways. I will directly quote what I have mentioned in the term paper for clarification.

“Learning or speaking the language is not a talent that only a few privileged individuals are gifted with. In fact, it is a skill that is taught and one requires constant practice and determination; thus, something that can be improved through time. Anyone can achieve the native speaker’s accent if they would only try harder. I will cite an acquaintance as an example to make my point more convincing. Michelle, who I met overseas, used to work as a waitress at a restaurant in Bahrain. Her ultimate goal was to be a Flight Attendant so she always asked to be tutored on her English usage and accent. I was able to observe and monitor her improvement. Her English then was what we commonly refer to as ‘Philippine English’ (or what foreigners referred to as Carabao English) but with practice and sheer dedication, her English improved. On her third attempt of application at Gulf Air, she finally got the job. When I went to Dubai last year, I set up a meeting with her and guess what, her English was even better. If not for her Filipino features, she will probably be mistaken as an American. In addition to that, when I arrived at Costa Cafe, she was talking to a fellow Flight Attendant and they were talking in French! I can’t claim that I know the French language that well to say that her French was also excellent but judging from how fast and how confident she was in using the language to a Native French Speaker, I will assume that she has mastered that language too.

And the best thing about growing old is you are not caged within one environment only. As you grow older, you move from one environment to another and your network of connections expand. You don’t just rely on your family for information and knowledge anymore, you also have the schools that you attend to, friends and teachers to learn from and subsequently co-workers as well as acquaintances to compare, learn and re-learn facts and data with. The area for improvement is without bounds and we have the option to save and discard whatever knowledge we prefer. Likened to my friend Michelle, we too can move out of our old shell so we can transfer to a better one which will provide us a bigger room to grow. It just boils down to one word - choice. Do you choose Intelligibility or do you choose Perfection?”

That is why it is important not to stop at some level of acquiring knowledge and avoid getting stuck in a rut. When one has graduated from the foundations of English, he/she must continue learning the language. There are so many possibilities.

The concern now is: Why still insist on aiming for 'perfection' when the growing trend on World Englishes is now globally acknowledged? The answer is quite simple, sadly, our economy is unlike the other countries that are breaking out in the market. Or in simpler terms, the Philippines is not Singapore and while we are still at a phase where we partner with other English speaking countries, we do not have the supremacy to contend that our type of English be recognized. For the time being, we have to comply and follow the standards of our supposed partners since they have the stronger economy. This is not to wallow in self-pity but simply, to accept the rules of economic engagement and globalization. Our economy is not yet stable or aggressive enough and this is why we still follow the standards of American or British language as well as their definition of ‘good’ or ‘bad’ English. This is why Subject 1 was categorized as a Bad English Speaker and Subject 2 as the Good English Speaker. This is why we cannot simply be contented with getting the message across but also ensure that we get the message across as eloquently as possible.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Random Things

I like to wear socks when I go to sleep (for fear that rats might gnaw my toes while I'm dozing off in dreamland).

I have plans (of all sorts) and they are labeled A-Z.

I am fickle, fickle, fickle and it's not because I can't help it, I just don't want to.

The bathroom is my sanctuary. I can spend hours and hours inside doing nothing but sitting on the toilet or playing with running water.

I am scared that I might not get pregnant (although I do not want to put that fear to the test right now).

I worry about everything because I am a control freak.

I always buy floss for my teeth but rarely used it because flossing takes too much time and effort.

I am addicted to social networking.

I think I have adopted some of Daffy Duck's traits after watching too much of Bugs and Daffy shows when I was little.

I love saving money in the bank because it gives me that 'safe' feeling.

I rock when I teach.

For me, everything has a place so there is no reason for me to leave things hanging around.

I dreamed of becoming a maid when I was 6 years old (because I always saw our maid not doing anything).

I had my first crush when I was in Grade 2 and to get his attention I always punched his face (made him cry every time).

I have a long list of people who I want to apologize to (I [promise to do something about that this year).

I like to eat ripe mangoes dipped in soy sauce, vinegar and sugar. Yummy!

I like to hold my boyfriend's hands and demand for kisses or pecks on my cheeks now and then. PDA is my middle name.

I hate hair on my bathroom floor.

I am Pro-Jinky P. and Pro-Jennifer A. So I guess that plainly notes how much I hate homewreckers.

I can pop a big Mac in my mouth like a pill.

I love daisies, daisies, daisies. When I get married, I want daisies everywhere.

I am anxious to start the renovations for my house but, sadly, I still have not saved enough money for the type of renovations I have in mind.

I love laughing and giggling. This year, I have decided not to take myself too seriously.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Look by Sara Teasdale

Strephon kissed me in the spring,
Robin in the fall,
But Colin only looked at me
And never kissed at all.

Strephon's kiss was lost in jest,
Robin's lost in play,
But the kiss in Colin's eyes
Hauunts me night and day.

Monday, February 8, 2010

At Daybreak

Maybe you can still do it. Maybe your toes can still withstand being bloodied for a few seconds while you cast your spell again. Maybe your body can reclaim its glory and command the music it once owned. Maybe the dance of the seven veils did not stop on the seventh, nor on the eighth but on the eighteenth. Maybe your tongue still holds its power to lash at unknowing foes. Maybe your hand, without its ring, can still draw whiskers of desire on any man's cheek whilst the other aim for the throat.

Maybe you have rested too soon, too long. Maybe, maybe.

...
...
...


It's time to wake up, Salome, and collect the bounty you have denied yourself with after centuries of shame. Your lovers were fools clad in fake gold and you need not to consort with their kind. You are ageless after all. Who are they to brandish their feats at your face when all are nothing compared to what the king rewarded you with. Go on...I am certain there is another John in this time, you can ask for his head.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

All About Change

Someone asked me - "Den, how can we reconcile the facts that you hate government agencies and that (now) you plan to get into one?" Further adding an uncalled for snide that I am a walking contradiction.

My answer is simple. I WANT TO MAKE A CHANGE. How else will I be able to change the system if I am outside of it in the first place? I can't change the rules of the game if I am sitting in the sideline and playing the role of a spectator. I have to be in the game. Play by their rules now then change them later.

When this 'change' happens, I want this certain someone's head in a platter!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Jennifer Wins

The wife wins! The wife always wins!

Why so?

Well, he married her, didn't he? You don't promise to spend forever with someone if she never had value in the first place (well, in my book at least). He just needed to be reminded, that's all.

Reminded that she is as square as square is? That she is a coward and never won any battles? That he knows every inch of her body, hence, nothing left to discover?

Yes, yes and yes. She is square, true, but only because she is fair and her sense of justice is equal to her own. She never won any battles because she was never in one. She maneuvers away from the problem before it even becomes one. It is not her nature to quarrel. And as for her body, it is his familiarity to it that breeds fondness to his heart. It is the same familiar taste of a first kiss, the same familiar hurt of a first broken heart that healed through time, the same familiar pride for the first victory, the same familiar road that he treads on when he wants to be home.

She couldn't be enough, she just couldn't be. What of his lust to discover the world? Of his plans of saving lives? Of his urge to run with the silverbacks in Kenya? Of his dream to re-write history and change the world? What of those?

He can still do those, I am sure. She will not fight him. She will stand behind him like how she has always have, without his knowing. He was just too preoccupied to look at the person who urged him forward.

Then it is the end then?

Oh no, I am sure there will be more stories to tell but for now, this chapter has ended. The wife wins and Angelina falls.

And the other woman? What will become of her now?

She is probably licking her wounds right now but no need to worry. Those wounds are as simple as her brain. She'll live.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Her And Her

I suppose that other woman is a real skirtful of hell. And when I say skirtful of hell, I say it with enough admiration as I can master. Where else can he find someone who can make you feel like a king every minute of the day? Who fetches his slippers every time he comes home to her and ensures that the pair fitted his wandering feet perfectly? Who willingly plans out his itineraries? Who, without blushing, can make his heart stop to dance the seven veils? Where else really?

You are asking me where else? At his home and no where else! Where he will find his wife who waits as patiently as she always have. She may not be as interesting (or complicated if I will have my way with it) as that other woman but she is fascinating just the same. Her noble hands, rough and calloused as they may be, they mended broken things and carried him to bed when he was too drunk to walk. Her jaw can withstand a hundred blows more. She will happily carry those cherubs in her womb if given a chance.

True, true but new things have a certain shine in them though. So unlike old things, tattered and worn out or may have outlived their purpose.

Old things have character and have proven their worth. Sure, they can easily be stacked somewhere dusty and might even be forgotten but eventually we will look for them again one day to use or even recycle. And let us not forget, new things do not always stay new.

Are we still talking about the women in his life? Or are we talking about the clothes we salvaged?

Hahahaha. The women, of course!

Ah yes, the women. I have this to say though about that other woman. She loves him and she will not let go. She is determined to win the battle at all cost.

So is his wife. She loves him and this may be her first time to fight this kind of battle but she will fight. With arms and teeth if need be, I daresay!

How can you be certain? Does she know about the other woman?

Sadly, no.

There is no means of knowing if she will really fight then? With not knowing, she is already losing the battle.

Then maybe someone should tell her?!?

Hush you old hag and keep your nose out of their business. This is how far as we can get in meddling with the messy affair. Let him be a real man once and for all. It's his story to tell, not ours.

I doubt if he will be man enough to do that.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Two Old Hags Gossiping In Colon

It might just be a disaster waiting to happen. An accident bound to wreck principles that have long stood as a foundation to what he fought for. But it is inevitable. He met her at a point where he thought his purpose was for something else, an innocent introduction led to a simple note and now he has a whole journal filled with secrets exchanged with the woman who he thinks might be the one.

But what about her? The other woman, the first one who stood in line for him while the sun's ray almost burned his skin, what of her? Is she that easy to discard? Like a little tent that anyone can dismantle and then store in a cabinet filled with dusts for safekeeping, only to be pulled out again for future use? What a sad state.

Maybe the well is dry now. Maybe he is tired and wants something else. Maybe what was enough is no longer enough. Old sheets need to be changed with fresh, crisp ones. Cigarettes turn stale. Clothes dictate change now and then. Even eyes go blind through time. You can see it in him. He rattles his keys absentmindedly, bites his nails like how masochists wait for blood and that smile---the smile that is meant for another.

I still think he is making a mistake. I hope someone knocks some sense into that thick skull of his. Did he not make a promise? Not just to her but to himself, that he will spend forever with her. She is perfect for him. She is all there is and that can be. How dare he!

But he is a man after all, despite his many claims. And he will not be able to stop that train from coming. It will come at its supposed time, supposed place. He will not stand a chance, fate has other plans for him.

Silly, silly man!

Who are we to argue with love? Maybe that meeting was a test. Maybe, maybe not. Oh well, it's best to leave it at that and wait for the next chapter of the story. For now, we have dried fish to sell to gullible tourists.