Monday, September 29, 2014

On Work and Babies

I've lost the drive to write everyday. It's not that I don't want to, it's just that sometimes words are elusive. I've been busy for the past few days and sometimes work (not actual work, I'm still unemployed) has a crazy way of absorbing all your mental energy that at the end of the day, there's really nothing left but fragments and words that hardly make a decent sentence. I'm hoping that this fog clears by Wednesday though, otherwise I'd be dead by then.

* * * * * * * *

Anyway, we were very excited yesterday because it was the baby's first time in the sea. My cousin observed that the baby hated the shallow beach because the waves scare her so they took her somewhere deeper. She looked so cute on her photos wading on the water and walking on the sand that I instantly concluded that babies also have a way with work. They eliminate stress faster than I can finish this sentence.

Friday, September 26, 2014

A Game of Yes or No

1. Do you document your entire life on social media including every single meal you had, every single thing you do, and every single emotion you feel? Are you sure that you're merely expressing yourself and not begging for attention? 
2. Do you equate popularity and social relevance with the number of likes you get and the number of followers or friends you have? 
3. Do you 'Google before you post'? Do you view both sides of the coin before commenting on any social issue? 
4. Do you consider landing a spot on Philippine (or worldwide) trends as an actual achievement?  
5. Do you call people who criticize you 'haters'? 
6. Are you a pretentious slob who follows trends to look and feel cool?

Now is the perfect time to reassess your social media standing. Evaluate whether you share too much information. Weigh your pursuits. Are they socially relevant? Are your opinions informed? Question yourself if you've already considered getting likes as an alternative to real life interactions. Understand the reality that life is happening outside the four corners of your screen and that the universe is practically begging you to cooperate.

Never miss a chance of self-improvement. Whether on social media or real life, remember that it is not merely 'being ourselves' that matter; it is 'being better versions of ourselves' that count.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Never Giving Up

Yesterday was a hodgepodge  of emotions and phases: disappointment, because my interview didn't turn out well; frustration and self-doubt, because it's been six months and I still don't have a job; longing, because I'm missing someone and I can't do anything about it; concern, because I have bad posture and I'm straining my neck; bloated, because I overeat when I'm depressed; depressed, because I overate; and confused, because I don't know what to do. Fate has continually turned down all my plans and once again, the idealism that school has imbibed me with, is chipping away. Life is indeed harder outside the four walls of the classroom. 

I am happy though that despite all this darkness, a faint glimmer of hope still flickers in the distance. Maybe it's the possibility of going back to school. Or the little encouragements that my family is giving me. One thing I'm sure though is that as long as my faith burns fervently for that one sweet tomorrow, I will never stop believing that things will get better in the long run. I just have to persist and be patient. That golden opportunity is just around the corner.

Monday, September 22, 2014


Facebook has plenty of ways to platform narcissism but I must say, this does take vanity to a whole new level. Here's a list of twenty random facts about me.
1. I like words that begin with the letter C (e.g. cake, chocolate, cookie, carrot, cucumber, cashew, croissants, etc.)
2. My favorite color is salmon.
3. I use red ink whenever I write on my journals. I feel like I'd jinx an entire year if I use another color.
4. I have unibrows. Though they're not that obvious.
5. My dream travel destination is Berlin. But I've always wanted to travel to the Mediterranean too.
6. I don't normally get excited with new movies because I like old films better (but that doesn't mean that I don't like new movies okay?). 'My Fair Lady (1964)' and 'Moonrise Kingdom(2012)' are my favorites.
7. My favorite book is Haruki Murakami's 1Q84.
8. I like algebra.
9. I can't live without coffee.
10. I can't draw horses.
11. I'm only 5'4 and 1/2" and that's sad.
12. I could eat lumpia and chopsuey all day.
13. My favorite book in the Bible is James. And my favorite verse is Psalm 118:14.
14. I love Lanvin and Prada. Alber is a poet. Muccia is a goddess.
15. Of all the chess games we played, I've only beaten my thirteen-year-old cousin twice.
16. Frustrated writer.
17. I was born at dawn (5:00AM).
18. I'm such a fraidy cat. You know I like you if I'd agree to watch scary movies with you.
19. I'm bashful. I don't normally talk to people I don't know unless they talk to me first.
20. I will never be part of a rock band because I have zero music skills. 

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Good Morning

Laziness thrives so well when the weather's like this - cold, wet and velvety. The deep slumbers of night haven't left your eyes yet, but intuition and itinerary dictate you to get up from the heavenly bed sheets. Sluggishly, you float to the kitchen and make your first sip of creative fuel. And you sit here, in front of a white canvas, waiting for words to spill from your hands. Creativity is elusive when you're in this mood.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Atalanta 365

Waking up on Atalanta 365 is not a good experience. For one, you wake up seeing stars. Literally. The ship has this giant glass roof that covers the entire upper residential deck, and if it was your first time waking up here, you'd get seriously disoriented. I know I did the first time.

Ever since leaving dystopian Earth on 2074, humanity as we know it shrugged daylight aside like it was a thing of the past. Considering the caliber of invention and innovation humanity has by this time though, I cannot help but wonder why scientists and society in general decided to pack flora and fauna and literature and the arts first before considering taking daylight on this journey towards New Earth. I am enraged to be extremely honest. I mean, I know we can't drag the Sun along but couldn't we at least invent a sun-like device that filters daylight into this ship? Those are definitely better than all these white luminescent lamps. And my skin needs actual Vitamin D for crying out loud.

Two, because waking up entails another 'day' of mediocrity. If you're a kid who likes virtual games and stuff, then another 'day' would mean another day of endless hours playing Mintendo or Super Flavio or whatever. Or if shopping's your thing, you can always go to the upper and lower deck malls and sip $500 Moonbucks frappe while you're ogling boys and their pets or whatever. But if you're a person like me who's read every single digital book in your virtual library, then another 'day' entails another day of waiting for your favorite authors to publish their newest literary concoctions. Waiting can be such a booze right?

And third, because this cosmic journey is a test of patience and perseverance. Humanity has been sailing space for three years, four months and twelve days now, and New Earth is still over eight years to reach. I wonder if I'd be dead by then. I mean, I could commit suicide out of sheer mediocrity and desperation you know. But still. I wonder if I could live for the next eight years waking up seeing stars.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Proofread Before You Post

I came across a contemplation-inducing tweet one time when someone I follow on Twitter posted something about missing his 'succulent hair'. Now I am not claiming supremacy in the grammar and correct usage arena, but if my memory serves me right, succulent, as an adjective, means tender and juicy and tasty, and should never, under normal circumstances, be used to describe hair.

I posted an indirect tweet about it but the guy got angry and accused me of being a grammar Nazi and all. He even said that it was his 'personal interpretation'. I was enraged. If English was indeed subject to 'personal interpretation' then it wouldn't be long enough before people start describing mountains as cute.

We should really begin to think of grammar and correct usage as a way of packaging personal identities. We live in a generation with unlimited means of broadcasting individual activities. The quantity of social media feed we get exposed to everyday makes it even more important that we become clear and concise with the information (or musings) we share.

Be an effective communicator. We wouldn't want people to think that our hair is some avant garde pasta dish, right?

Monday, September 15, 2014

Dear Maria*

It is unfortunate that you live in a generation where documenting the food you eat and the movies you watch are more relevant than the things you learn in school; where there is a collective hate for the mathematics and the sciences; where reality shows thrive like wide fire; and where copying and pasting seem to be the norm. It is unfortunate, that's why I'm challenging you to not drift with this current.

I challenge you to document the books you read. Not to show off, but to keep track of how long you've gone in the road to literary enlightenment. Read not to know a story, but to enjoy how a story is told. Learn to savor words and examine characters that are as rich and fabled and complex as yourself.

Choose the films that you watch. Do not be blinded by special effects and computer graphics. Watch films with great stories to tell. Indulge in arts and culture. Get lost in literature. Keep a journal and write poetry. Stimulate your brain. Feed your brain.

Do not hate algebra Maria, as many have in the grueling road of education. Norwegian Wood (I hope you read this by now) teaches us that sometimes the real point of subjects is not concrete application, but rather, training in systematic thinking. Algebra is the bible of problem solving. Don't ever forget that.

Maria, nourish your faith. Because faith plays a great role in the paths that you will later choose in life. It dictates the kind of values that you will treasure, and the kind of vices that you should never entertain. Therefore, pray. Live upright. Honor God. Faith will teach you how.

You're a smart girl Maria. I know well that you can do great things in the future.

Love, Kuya (September 2014)
*Maria is my cousin. She'll celebrate her eleventh month on the 19th.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Berlin in 2023

Berlin Cathedral (Berliner Dom)*

I realize that I should now start preparing for my grand Berlin vacation when I turn 30. The German capital, after all, is an expensive city and considering my current status, it is important that I first make myself financially stable to ensure that my "Berlin in 2023" experience will push through.

1. Prepare passport and visa.

2. Learn to speak German. Because duh.

3. Know the country's climate. If the visit happens to be in winter, prepare for the cold weather. Buy coats, boots, gloves, and a hot boytoy (if boyfriend is unavailable) to keep you warm.

4. Prepare itinerary. Know the best dining, shopping and lounging spots. Never miss a museum experience!

5. Learn self-defense. You'll never know if you might need to compete for a nice Jil Sander bag.

6. Buy a camera. Something with large memory space. Because you can't brag about things without proof.

7. Money. Have lots of money. Be sure that you can afford to stay in Berlin after nine grueling years of hardwork. You don't wanna spend your entire life savings on a three-day vacation. But if you've already won the lottery by then, by all means spend.

Friday, September 12, 2014

another afternoon

whirlpools of the blackest coffee,
an ode to this desperation 
saccharine thoughts on love affairs
plus a magical arrangement of strings
Sufjan Stevens sings about swans 
because some things never happen 
your tongue sets fire as you sip the cup
you were careless
love bites when you're careless

Thursday, September 11, 2014


  1. Moonrise Kingdom (2012)
  2. Anna Karenina (2012)
  3. 500 Days of Summer (2009)
  4. Juno (2007)
  5. Mona Lisa Smile (2003)
  6. Cinderella Man (2005)
  7. Paperman (2012)
  8. Lorenzo's Oil (1992)
  9. Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961)
  10. My Fair Lady (1964)
  11. Spirited Away (2001)
  12. Sleeping Beauty (1959)
  13. The Atonement (2007)
  14. War Horse (2011)
  15. The Sound of Music (1965)
Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom is currently my favorite film. The cinematography is beyond artistic and besides, who wouldn't like a film that tackles and poetically delivers the innocence and impulsiveness of young love?

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Note to Self

The thing with frustrations is that you must never bottle them up. Because the longer they stay stored, the higher the chances that they will burst out into the open and hit anyone within range. It is crucial therefore, and I mean essential for survival and building harmonious relationships, that you device healthy ways of venting out all these negativity.

Indulge in the arts. Get lost in literature. Make music. Collect stamps. It doesn't matter. Just do something. Do not let your frustrations, stresses and depressions rule your universe.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

On Fashion

*This is not my illustration.*

My aesthetics as a wannabe designer began with red carpet and pageant dressing featuring billowing volumes of pastel chiffon and a generous amount of embellishments. My designs were amateur, drawing inspiration generally from haute couture, fashion week photos and basically copying other designers' vision for the season (usually Valentino, Elie Saab, Dior and Versace). It was a terrible case of not knowing who I am and who my woman is.

Recently though, when the worlds of Dries Van Noten, Alexander Wang, Kenzo, Balenciaga, Lanvin and Givenchy clashed in my temples, I become acquainted with the woman I want to dress. Judging from these great aesthetics, I've come to terms with the reality that everyday women do not always go to red carpet events.It is important therefore that I design clothes that women can be practical with; clothes than girls can move around in; clothes that can transcend from sunrise to sunset, street to chic; and more importantly, clothes that make the woman feel good.

It took a considerable amount of contemplation and training to shift my focus from evening wear to everyday wear though because I can never really give up on sparkles (I mean, let's face it. I'm gay). The solution therefore was a clash of evening and everyday.

So far my designer dreams are in a cupboard bound to be entertained in the future. No fret though. I wouldn't want it to come out when I still don't know how to pattern clothes.

Saturday, September 6, 2014


  1. Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami
  2. 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami
  3. The Wind-up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami
  4. Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami
  5. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon
  6. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
  7. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  8. Stardust by Neil Gaiman
  9. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
  10. Mythology: Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes by Edith Hamilton
Before you judge me, I can explain the Murakami. One, I am a member of his cult and two, is that most of the books in my reading list are his works. (I am crediting the past two years of rummaging the interwebs for pdf versions of his novels. Thank you God for the internet.)

The other titles on the list are favorites that I can never forget. I would have included classics if I had the patience for The Great Gatsby or Anna Karenina or The Brothers Karamazov or a Jane Austin. But anyway, it is what it is.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Illustrations: Lolita

Drawing No. 2: Lolita (299 x 305 mm)
Oil pastel, colored pencils, gel ink pens and crayons on oslo.

Lolita materialized after a frustrated attempt at handling watercolors last night. The longer I stare at it though, the more I realize its imperfections. But that is okay because perfection is boring. I like to believe that there is still so much to be improved with my illustrating skills.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Daydreams and Night Dreams

I find it difficult to write about things that I haven't experienced. Which is probably why the fictions that I have written - including an attempt at writing a fairy tale - remain unfinished, tacky and downright ambitious. I like imagining things. I like spurting out creative juices. But I don't want to lie about things and feelings and emotions that I haven't experienced.

That's why sometimes I prefer to write about dreams - daydreams and night dreams. Because no matter how unreal or surreal they may be, the visions are real and honest to me. The process is very much like sharing stories to other people. Except that these stories are dreams. And they are real experiences. And I get to be honest about how I feel whenever I write about these things.

It is also during these ruminations that I appreciate the genius of authors who can pour themselves (or a facet of themselves, or an imagined persona) into a fictional character. Not that I can't. I can. I just find it difficult . And I don't know if my skills are mature enough to finish an entire write up filled with imaginings.