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A Future Without Me

MOMents By June 2, 2017 Tags: , , , No Comments

My daughter is getting more and more independent. Yesterday she spent all day taking care of me while I lay in bed all day writhing in pain from migraine. She made breakfast for herself, went to her grandparents’ house for lunch, and prepared the dining table for the dinner that was prepared for us. She prepared her travel bags. Today, I watched her take the elevator, her backpack behind her, on her way to spend the weekend with her grandparents in Bardonecchia for three days and two nights without me. On Monday, I will bring her to the train station where she will board a train to Genoa with her schoolmates, spending two days there, and one night “sleeping with the sharks” at the Genoa Aquarium.

“I am sorry I will not be here to take care of you, make you feel better, and make you laugh… but at least you will not have to think about me and take care of me. There will be less stress for you and you can relax,” my daughter said to me as she squeezed a tube of toothpaste in the bathroom the night before.



Lifestyle By April 16, 2016 Tags: , , , No Comments

The past three years have been a whirlwind of airports around the world, visiting friends, relatives, and close family members all scattered in different parts of the world. I have given myself the title of “serial entrepreneur” after having had or started 8 businesses in the past 5 years: a rock and artists bar, an educational tours company, three online retail stores, a local travel agency,a boutique, a milk tea shop, a beach resort, and a beach bar. I am not stopping. I am a writer at heart. I love art. Art inspires my writing, as does music and performances. I used to think that in order for me to be an artist I had to be full of angst and desperation. After many travels and much contemplation, I realised that I am an artist powered by joy. I make art when I am happy.

And I am happy. Despite many wanderings, and many attempts at putting roots somewhere and anywhere, I have finally accepted that “home is not sticks and stones”. I have found home where I have found love. And there is love everywhere. And love is with me.


Photography Journey: Early 2013

Musings, Photography By March 13, 2013 Tags: , , , No Comments

I said, “Welcome back to me, Photoshop. Long time no everything,” because it is only now, in the past three months, that I have opened this application to work on my photos. So long that I have, I believe, forgotten how to use it.

If you notice, I have a new watermark, and I am trying to do justice to it by putting it on photos that I am proud of myself and amusing myself with its placement every time.

If there are some differences in the ways I process my photos now, I have the following to thank for:

1. Mark Terence Sy – for the mentorship and the workshop last December where I learned a few camera tricks and tips, as well as how to use Adobe Bridge in some ways, among other things, of course.

2. My workshop classmates who basically taught me the existence of some, as well as how to use, awesome Adobe Photoshop plug-ins. I have not mastered them as I have not been sitting long enough in front of my laptop in the past months to effectively learn anything.

3. Some cheap filters that I acquired in November 2012 that I have also not mastered enough but yes, I will get there, that because they are cheap and I do not know anything, have also taught me how to use my camera in such a way that I shoot with the knowledge that I will crop the vignetted edges.

4. Some people and experiences to draw inspiration from. Not to mention infographics brought to me daily by my fantabulous Facebook feed.


Wandering Thoughts

Musings By March 11, 2013 Tags: No Comments

It is my first day back in Manila, after spending almost 11 days in the Visayas area – mainly in the islands of Cebu and Bohol. I have a lot of catching up to do: four months worth of photos and quite a number of blogs. My blog has been eerily quiet for the past three months. The days fly by, as do my thoughts, and my life. I try my best to keep up and basically live my life as quiet and productive as possible.

I have a lot to write about, a lot of people to see, a lot of places to go to, and it seems the days aren’t enough. Or even me, there is not enough of me. But again, I try my best to keep up.

Sometimes I do not know what exactly is happening, but I try to do things, always with my fingers crossed and hope and pray that what I am doing is right, or at least leads to something useful and worthy of the time I spend on it.

In my wanderings in the past months, I have managed to lose friends, and make friends, at the same time. Some of these friendships, I have surprisingly, managed to keep and nurture, regardless of time and distances. This gives me something to be proud of, despite many failings and shortcomings.

There have been a lot of changes in my life or the way I live it, but I am more inclined to wish that there are some changes too in the way I think and approach things, which I consider more important, for what is the purpose of changing things, when my heart and mind do not?

I once read a blog on the harvard business review website and thought about writing about it, a few months ago, when my life has not taken a significant turn just yet, but it got buried in the complexities.

It made me think about the many people that have been in, out, and around my life, and can only marvel at how much I owe them what I am. I am what I am right now because of these people, who have shaped me, and I cannot be grateful enough. I can only hope that they are as happy to have me in their lives as I am to have them in mine. All that I am, think, and do, have been shaped by the many people and things that I fit into my life, no matter how fleeting or enduring, and deep or shallow.

In the coming days, I hope to be able to post the photos from the following events since December, in my website, or my Flickr, or even in my Facebook. I have not really posted anything much. A friend messaged me last week to inform me of his observation, “How are you? You have been quiet on Facebook of late.”


Love, love, love – Of Monsters and Men

Musings, Personal By February 3, 2013 Tags: , , , No Comments

When this site started out, it was really a very personal blog – a space for all my ruminations, intellectual masturbations, thoughts on family, motherhood, activities and photos with and of friends, short stories, and emotional creative output. It was basically a more permanent version of my Multiply site and a repository of my very personal blogs from Friendster written all the way back from 2005.

This was not meant to be a blog that was supposed to make an internet personality out of me, or make money for me, or a landing page for information the general public might find useful. I was into travel and sharing information for other travelers like me, so I put out a site specifically for that, Maintaining two sites became too tedious though, that in the end, I merged both. And with the expansion of my interests, friends, and activities, this site became a catch-all for everything related to my own personal lifestyle; and subsequently, put me in that category. That being said, I have tried to avoid posting personal blogs. I have not written one, in my effort to avoid putting myself as the person that is me in the limelight, but instead, putting myself as a purveyor of useful information.

I have not written any personal blogs in a long time, but this is the day I will. Because I just need to.

I am at a crossroads of my life. Today is the day I move out of the house that in paper, fifty percent of which I own. Today is the day I officially begin a new chapter of my life.


A Work of HeART

Musings By July 7, 2012 Tags: , No Comments

The first days were spent getting to know my kids. They may be taller and bigger than me now but they’d always be ‘my kids’ in my eyes.

In my classes, I made my students give me at least three things they thought I should know about them, just little things they wanted me to know about them – things they liked or not like to to do, liked or did not like to eat, and habits and attitudes. I’ve known them since they were young, we’ve not seen each other in seven years and I wanted to know how in those past years they have changed. I asked them if seven years ago felt like a long time, and was glad they feel the same way I do – it seemed to me only yesterday. They still look the same, just bigger and taller, yet the same. And to them, I still look the same too.

I asked them about their most memorable experiences from years past, and their expectations of this year, as well as how they see themselves a year or so from now. I always believed that the purpose of having an education is to be able to use it, and because of that, I always made it my purpose to give them a learning experience that they can use.

It felt really good just getting to know each other, all over again.

And then, I asked, “If there’s one thing you need to know about me, what is it? Think of a question that I need to answer.”



Musings By July 1, 2012 Tags: No Comments

Devastated would be an understatement for what I felt the past week. A horrible, numbing feeling that I waded through as best as I could by immersing myself in activities that involved things that I loved like music, art and coffee, not necessarily in that order, in an effort to be inspired enough to wake up when the morning comes.

I went to gigs, as music is thoroughly therapeutic, as much as laundry. I took as many photos as I could, delighting in captured smiles of new as well as the familiar faces. I overworked on long overdue projects just to take my  mind off the aching. After more than a year, I stepped once again at a theater, an old love, armed with a camera to hide my face with. And after the performance, walked to the harbor, breathing that mundane well-loved smell of the sea, tainted as it was, and I took it all in.

There I sat, in chair and table still wet from a recently concluded rain shower that I missed, with a cup of coffee, staring at a lonely sunset at the edge of the sea. A perfectly forlorn afternoon for my thoughts and ill emotions. I thereafter wandered amongst the stalls, looking for a unique toy to bring home to my child. Finding nothing, I wandered into the thoroughfare, steps in the direction of the east. Hidden songs from a play list thought long-deleted from the days when I still owned a Nokia for a phone wafted into my ears.

And there, just as I was crossing the wide highway, I read a text message from a much-loved old friend, and I was overwhelmed with such joy that tears sprung from the empty pools that were my eyes and streamed down my pallid cheeks. I was asked a question, and it was yet, the sweetest three yeses I’ve ever given, other than my daughter, anyone. I may be a nomad, but my heart still knows a home. And today, home beckons.


Why I’m Always Out, My Own Thought Catalog

Musings By June 9, 2012 Tags: , , , , No Comments

After being at a rock bar nearly every night for almost a year and being exposed to different kinds of music and different kinds of people, should it come as a surprise if, being back in Manila and just staying at home, I always long for it?

I had loved being around people and being out at night, that is the only possible reason why I stayed that long.

These days, I find myself always longing to come out late at night and look for where the music and the people are. It’s just me looking for me.

My nights last year always started out with a cup of coffee, either at my favorite Starbucks branch in Magsaysay Avenue or a cup my staff made for me, that I quietly enjoyed either by the large windows of Wharf Galley overlooking Magsaysay Avenue or the tables at Kebob downstairs. Starbucks is only my third favorite coffee shop, after Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf and Bo’s Coffee, but in Naga, I had loved hanging out there because of the big trees outside. I had loved the open air tables, where pieces of flowers and dried leaves blew with the breeze.


You Had Me at Exciting

Musings By May 29, 2012 Tags: , , No Comments

There were a number of articles that amused me the past days, triggered by this article someone from my network shared:

“10 Reasons Why You Should Date Someone in the Arts”

Frankly fed up with the onslaught of articles on “Date a Man who Reads“, “Date A Girl Who Travels,” “Date a Boy who Travels,” and more recently, “Don’t Date a Boy who Travels,” this article is a refreshing break. Though now that I have re-read the article, “Date a Girl who Reads“… or Writes, for that matter, I have, never been this agreeable, nodding my head, more times than I can count. In between little smiles of course. Why we are obsessed with justifying WHAT we date is beyond me, but that’s just me, whose so-called tastes have always been baffling to many, to say the least.

1. They will always have a friend who’s in a show, or having a reading, or playing a gig, or showing in an art gallery.

You will go on dates such as these, not because we have friends who are in a show, or  reading, or a gig, or having an exhibit, but because, we simply cannot think of anything else to do or a better place to go than that, off the top of our heads. Or that’s where we we’re going anyway, before you expressed interest in joining us.

Below that is a link to a supposedly related article on 5 Date Ideas for Night Owls. I have never been a morning person and if it we’re up to me, no date should start before five in the afternoon, but there is a shortage of people who are up for dates after midnight, at least in my 30 years of experience. Unless they want sex. And in that point, is that a real “date”?

Which brings me to:

3. People who work in the arts often have relatively free/strange schedules.

Yup, that’s us, the blokes with the strange schedules. Actually, we’re even raising our eyebrows at the word, “strange.” To us, nothing is ever considered strange.

Which, promptly, brings us to: