random thoughts, musings and workings of a totally warped mind. tintin is a colorblind writer who paints,dreams of flying a kite along EDSA, teaches middle & high school writing & literature, and is the future mother of Kulay and Una Rosa Maria.

Tuesday, September 30, 2003

dear santa, i have been waiting for my Asi...i've been a good girl.

i know i have to do my job, and i believe im doing it, but i want to do so many other things too...somebody just let me whine,please...

back to the Colgate tube

sometimes we see things that aren't supposed to be there, but are just there and we do nothing about it.

what do i do with the toothpaste?

brush my teeth. literally and figuratively.

what a very hygienic, Eric Baine-ic epiphany...

no, no. i am not pissed off with him. somehow, i do not have enough energy to mind otherwise significant matters that could affect our relationship. i have known him for quite a while and well, i accept how and what he is. this is such a vague way of writing about it, i know. my mind is just going on circles anyway. maybe if i could just finally buy that splendid pair of boots...

hmm. i hate it when i try to make myself feel better by shopping. it makes my feelings shallow. however sometimes the best way to cure depression or any other get-me-out-of-the-pits feeling is to shop like crazy. perhaps i feel (or rather,im afraid i WOULD feel) shallow now because my reason for doing so IS indeed superficial...

accuse me of blabbering.

what is this toothpaste doing on my desk?

there's a Colgate tube right beside the keyboard, so that as i am pounding on the keys now, the toothpaste gets into my peripheral vision. im in a rut now, actually. it's been a long day in the office--we had our monthly meeting the whole morning, had this Gender and Development talk after lunch which extended for the rest of the afternoon--now the toothpaste is still here.

it's pay day today and frankly, it doesn't feel it. this morning, i planned to make a list of things to be thankful for, but oh well, yeah, yeah, i know, i know. sigh. thank you God for everything...


i still could let out the biggest sigh in the world right now...

last week, my cousins and i celebrated Borgy and Ina's birthdays. we played billiards at Bargo and had coffee at Portico to welcome Borgy's birthday. we had fun and though im tamad to write about it, here's a few snippets of the night's conversations:

barry: lahat ba ng bar may billiards?
tere: nope
barry: eh ano ang meron sa lahat ng bar?
tere: bar.

borgy: yung iba may ledge for you to dance (then winks at me)
barry: masarap ba yun?

me: o, ako na ang magbabayad ng table (referring to the billiard table)
barry: shocked,looks down on our table may bayad `tong table???!!!???

barry:while walking along nakpil, peeking through bars' open doors ay oo nga lahat may bar!


oh little boy... : )

Monday, September 29, 2003

on pain
for Pierre

we take turns taking in pain
because it comes to us
suddenly, the hand catches it
and without anywhere
to place it on,
not a secret pocket
to stash it in,
you close your palm
around it, pain;
that when its thorns
bleeds your skin,
and pain, pain is spelled
on your face---you writhe

i open my hand
and take my turn.

12:48 am
28 september 2003

Thursday, September 25, 2003

sit back and relax

this certainly beats the european film fest being screened in mega mall, im sure.

pass the salt please. my popcorn is a bit tasteless...

bravo magnifico

dear kris,

no, i am not a fan of yours. but i admit to seeing pido dida, and cringed when you kissed rene requiestas. i admit to watching the vizconde massacre and witnessing your pleas on screen while your character was being raped and butchered to pieces. i admit to watching game ka na ba and commenting on your wardrobe to my housemates. i admit to enjoying your interviews with people on your shows. i admit to knowing you on TV.

so again, you came out drying your laundry--pardon the euphemism. no, i wont berate you for that. i'll leave that to noynoy, tita cory, the GMA 7 people and the many, many pinoys who hate you.

so what the heck am i writing here about?

that you, kris, are perhaps one perfect example of how commodified this sad republic is...

oh, and wait, some girls went rah-rah-rah when you expressed how much you wanted to crush it.

and you know what? no matter how people claim you are one disgusting whore of a woman, believe them not.

they still beat primetime to get home and watch you, dont they?


viva gabriela

and i was right. one prominent feminist group has already come out and spoken about the joey and kris issue. they support kris. they would stick it out with her. they would rally for the man's castration, er, conviction.

but do they really care?

isn't this a very good publicity to earn the public's support? to garner points for possible funding? do they really care---like they dont think Kris is a slut who deserves her own shit???

ah, philippines, my philippines...

sarcasm. disgust. everyone has a mouthful to say. everyone has suddenly become extraordinarily opinionated than when asked what-do-you-think-of-the-charter-change. funny how filipinos love making a spectacle of themselves. funny how we live up to what the world calls us. we love fiestas. and we celebrate it to mock ourselves.

so she has bruises, doesn't know how a 9mm looks like, throws a Lampe Berger lamp on the bed

i am entertained. ang saya-saya.

of course the two TV networks have it made for them: more soap to sell, as kulas says. more money. rating are skyrocketing. both stations banner: who is telling the truth?

now, come on. as if people care. as if these sanctimonious media people care. as if the police care. as if these freaking lawyers care. as if as if...

i bet globe and smart are just waiting for the red light to come up with a poll: kanino ka kakampi? Text 236666 and type in Kris or Joey and win a front seat ticket to the first court hearing...

and the word was made flesh

now, the CBCP must be hollering from beloved intramusos blasphemy is a sin! what is the filipino nation talking about for the past two days?

joey and kris. kris and joey.

last night was really great as kris made a tell-all on TV, the interview done by another K in the industry--korina sanchez. people have been discussing The Couple nonstop: over lunch, by the bus stop, in a public restroom queue, at the dining table, and jeehzuz w. christ, im sure, even the souls in purgatory are joining in the festivities.

so what happened to the jose pidal case? the absence of madame president? the DENR bidding anomaly? i'd wager that even if Jupiter collides with earth tonight, Pinoys wouldnt even budge from sitting in front of their TVs or from listening to AM stations...

this is sad according to some respected journalists. some things in question: 1) the social concerns of Filipinos are downgraded to showbiz LQ 2) following the first premise, Filipinos are tired of the never-ending scams of the government, the poverty and the always-empty wallet 3) philippine journalism is tantamount to the price of galunggong in the market 4) US$ = PhP 55+

so what do i really think about it, you ask?

i am entertained. now i couldblog about how i used to tell people that kris is ok with me: i dont care if people find her too open for comfort, dont care if she "ruins" her family name, dont care if she's maarte. i like her consistency. i like it that she parades herself as all of the above and doesnt give a shit about it. people talk about her, dont they? dont you? thing is, people hate her for her guts. Guts. this, my dear Watson, is what Kristine Bernadette Cojuangco Aquino has.

Wednesday, September 24, 2003


?? Which Of The Greek Gods Are You ??
brought to you by Quizilla

Monday, September 22, 2003

me: gusto kong maging isang mahusay na guro...
vlad: hmmm...ok,sige. mag-apply ka muna dpat sa 1 unibersidad.


she walks out, he walks in.

tina arrived and gave me my olive body mist. yum.

some cosmic adherence of minds (that, may i add, rarely happens to kulas and me): kulas was wearing a light yellow shirt and i was in a tank top of the same color. nice. : )

went to della strada to hear mass after, had dinner at the Old Spaghetti House in katips. the herbed mustard chicken i had was a disappointment. i think kulas enjoyed his spare ribs.

lessons learned: eat what the restaurant's name says,ok. eat burgers when it says it's a burger joint, pasta when it says so, and junk when you're a sucker. darn.

i never made it to Discovery. after having lunch with Tere, i headed to starbucks katipunan to wait for tina. it was a nice, traffic jam-free ride. i arrived early so i dropped by national bookstore first. i did my usual rounds of the bookstore, but the security guard kept following me, probably thinking i was a shoplifting Atenean. (one big fight! tadah!)

i got a handful of those fancy rubber erasers. i made sure to get really small stuff so they'd fit my hand---i wanted him to think i WAS really going to shoplift. when he still followed me stealthily to the New Age section, i put the erasers on the book rack, literally barked at him, smiled and sauntered out of the freaking bookstore.

then it was time for a frappuccino.


monday tra-la-la

it's back to work. before i launch into my usual rant about the papers on my desk, i want to post something about my weekend first.

friday night was delicious. need i say more? *wink wink*

i woke up late on saturday morning. i was supposed to go to Discovery Suites and observe the teacher's training SAS conducted that day. well, i woke up late and just texted Marge I couldnt make it that day. told her i'll try sunday.

spent the whole day in bed, the RC in one hand, and anything edible in the other. i had brunch with barry and bryan--mongo and longganiza. eeew. nothing else to eat eh. when tere woke up, she asked one of the girls to buy her food from jollibee.

i slept the whole afternoon. by nine p.m., kulas arrived and we had coffee at intramuros.

we debated over the richness of his experiences and interaction with his barkada. i was insisting that age has nothing to do with the quality of interactions one will make with other people. the experiences may vary though. that, i agree with him.

we drove to roxas boulevard after, and walked along the promenade. daming tao so we went home na lang...

back at my place, napasubo si kulas to drink with my uncles! ehehe...

i think he made it with my tito cezar. they bought have a really admirable devotion to the church so they managed to strike a chord there.

Friday, September 19, 2003

yesterday, i got to see contact prints of tere's grad pic. man, is my sister stunning! more than her beauty, i'm happy with the thought that she will be finishing college soon (crossing my fingers!)---my pocket is happy too! very happy indeed... : )

yes, it's friday. i'd like to have a really cool, relaxing evening with Kulas. and no honey, no davids tonight...

kulas. we two click very well we could even pinch hit it one of those stand-up comedy bars. when i'm not sulking or mulling over something, i would be badgering kulas with my kakulitan and he obliges---nah, surrenders to me. hehehe. wawa naman si kulas, always the object of my pang-aalaska.

on another topic, i'd like to go back to working on my research for Our House--the art center for kids i am putting up. Our House is the marble in my pocket now. it keeps me on my toes.

tina and i had a meeting with marge and gigi of Sa Aklat Sisikat Foundation in Makati. i get excited everytime we meet these people. i like their jobs and i think that's the kind of thing i'd like to do. i know however that working on the Project's Information Education Communication thrusts is close to what marge does----except that i have to deal with bureaucracy and politics and the usual baloney of government procedures. BUT if we could just work on our REAL plans for the Project, work wouldn't be really work. it would also, always be fun.

nina and sam

while i was having my after-lunch smoke by the office stairwell, i thought of two of my dearest friends.

one being the opposite of the other, nina and sam have a lot going on for them--one is their commitment to each other. i have known them for four years already; met them first when i got back in manila from a two-year scholarship grant in Silliman. i got in touch with them because of my masters thesis--something about the development of a philippine literary theory of lesbian criticism. my department chair in S.U. was keen on making me work on that primarily because i am into women's studies.

when i first met them, i marvelled at the way they radiate the differences in their personalities. nina is the more outspoken, opinionated one. she writes while sam critiques her. sam, on the other hand, is quiet but when she speaks, she's got a lot to say, i tell you. sam babies nina and i like it when i witness them that way. i become even prouder that they're my friends.

i was there when they got married about two years ago. i was the wedding camera person so while everyone was dressed rather nicely, i was in my usual tank top-cargo pants-sneakers getup.

when the guests saw sam coming down the spiral staircase of the ballroom, silence fell. and in that silence, awe and joy were felt. sam was lovely in her purple (or violet?) wedding dress...

when they exchanged their vows, sam's voice quivered while nina tried to appear cool.

i miss them and that is why i am probably writing about them now.

Thursday, September 18, 2003

how was your day, tintin?

My inner child is sixteen years old today

My inner child is sixteen years old!

Life's not fair! It's never been fair, but while
adults might just accept that, I know
something's gotta change. And it's gonna
change, just as soon as I become an adult and
get some power of my own.

How Old is Your Inner Child?
brought to you by Quizilla

my inner child is 16! i was hoping i was somewhat younger. 8 perhaps; 11 even. i was tatay's brightest apo--i remember him telling guests and relatives. when i was eight, i thought of becoming a journalist---my earliest sign of being inclined to Writing. also, when i was eight, i got to read my mom's diary for the first time...

but no, i am 16 according to that test. why should i always be way ahead of my time or of what i ought to be?

adults have never really answered most of my questions. i got to figure them out by myself.

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

you are red. you are impure, but noble. you are precious and true to yourself and others. when you love, you love entirely, and will do anything to make your love happy. you are sure of your identity, therefore, you cannot change others or be changed. you are a true prince, you may be forgotten, but without you, none of us could go on.

what inner color are you?

here's something i got from meg:

[ n a m e ] : Maria Christina Isabel Arcilla Ongpin
[ birthday ] : November 16, 1978
[ loc ] : Quezon city
[ height ] : 5' 1"
[ siblings ] : tj and tere
[ pets ] : maxie. But she doesn’t recognize me anymore. Hoping for an Asi--a black lab
[ best feature ]: shoulders.
[ artistic? ] : hmmm.
[ boyfriend/girlfriend now ] : kulasisi
[ crush ] : edu.sheesh.
[ color of your room ] : yellow
[ hobbies ] : reading.reading.reading.
[ what were u doing 15 mins ago ]: revising an event schedule for work
[ what are u wearing now ] :a “hungry” look.literally and figuratively. Also, a red halter top
[ u smoke ] : yep.
[ u drink ] : uh-huh.
[ u shy or outgoing ] : I don’t normally talk when there are people I just met.but I’
[ feature you notice first ] : eyes, lips
[ looks/personality ] : huh?
[ tan or fair ] : a little of both
[ age difference limit ] : it's the brains, the mind.the connection, dahlin.
[ smart/dumb ] : smart on the rocks.
[ funny/serious ]: pareho.
[m o r e a b o u t m e]
[ chocolate milk, or hot chocolate ] : chocolate milk and hot chocolate.love `em both.
[ mcdonalds or burger king ] : mcdo kid ako!
[ coke or pepsi ] : rootbeer
[ would you wanna marry your best friend, or the perfect lover ]: I have both now.
[ tea/coffee/cappuccino ] : im a caffeine addict on a relapse
[ cats or dogs ] : I’ve been wanting a Black Labrador nga eh!
[ milk, dark, or white chocolate? ] : milk
[ sunny or rainy ] : hmmm. I love both. But right now, I’d like some rain…
[ vanilla or chocolate ] : chocolate when I’m hyper. Vanilla when I’m pensive
[ biking or blading ] : blades and skates!
[ cereal or toast ] : cereals.
[ do ya like rock, punk, rap, r & b, alternative, techno, pop..etc ] : alternative
[ bunk or water bed ] : basta it’s my own
[r e l a t i o n s]
[ Best friend(s) ] : tere, kulas, tj, mama,neng-neng,ayvi,elhyn, jojo,tins,nina
[ Friends that you look like ] : yikes. hehe
[ Who you go to for advice the most ] : neng,ayvi,nina,jojo,tins
[ should talk to more ] : tj and my mom.ayvi and neng. Borgy and ina.
[ skinniest ] : tins
[ loudest ] : joan
[ craziest ] : jojo
[ funniest ] : joan
[ nicest ] : neng
[ shortest ] : ria
[ tallest ] : eliza!!!
[ changed your life the most ] : Pierre Nicholas Flores Montes
[f a v e s]
[ color ] : yellow, black (is a color?)
[ movie ] : dancer in the dark—so far
[ subject ] : kids
[ ocean or pool ] : ocean
[ laugh or cry ] : laugh
[ silver or gold ] : silver
[ diamonds or pearls ] : if I could have both...
[ sunset or sunrise ] : sunset.
[ showers or baths ] : showers.
[ food ] : meatball spaghetti!!!!
[ snack ]: cheesemelt sandwich.burgers
[ board game ] : scrabble.
[ all-time song ] : I love you always and forever---hehe.song for my family (not sure if that’s the title)
[ current song ] : angel
[ rap song ] : for real?
[ holiday ] : christmas
[ movie star ] : pass
[ magazine ] : time
[ tv show ] : ally, sex and the city, the wonder years
[ Disney character ] : boo, lilo and stitch, and the bunch of monsters in monsters inc.
[ animal ] : dog
[ drink ] : san mig pale pilsen
[ cologne ]: samba ice
[ brand of sneaker ] : nike
[ activity ] : tambay
[ fruit ] : mangoes!
[ juice ] : calamansi
[d o y o u ...?]
[ do you like school ] : oh yes!
[ do you like to talk on the phone ] : back in high school, yes.
[ do you have your own phone line ] : yep.
[ do you like to dance ] : i'd like to learn, seriously.
[l a s t t i m e y o u ...]
[ last time u showered ]: this morning
[ went runnin ] : last Sunday around the church’s vicinity! Hahahahahhaa!
[ worked out ] : in or out of bed?
[ danced like a frickin idiot ] : with the girls at my place
[ went to a movie ] : Johnny depp of the Caribbean
[ talked on the phone ] : every minute. There, the phone’s ringing again
[ wished u were sumbody else ] : nah. But I want to be good to people—all the time
[r a n d o m]
[ where would you love to travel to? ] : new york, London, paris, batanes.
[ whats ur middle name? ] : arcilla
[ is ur hair color natural? ]: yesh
[ do u have a cell phone? ] : yesh
[ whats ur online screen name ] : colorblind, amihan
[ what do u want to do with your life? ] : work on all the projects I come up with, earn from them, and be a barista while directing an art school for kids, write, write and get published as often as I used to. Win a Palanca, have six kids.
[ last time u went bowling ] : never.
[ are u any good at bowling ] : freaking not.
[ last time u went to the doctor ] : two months ago.
[ do u have a credit card ] : yep. And it’s maxed out.
[ do u consider urself a "nice" person ] : I can be a real bitch.
[ last book ]: still reading “shampoo planet”
[ are u stressed out? ] : whattttt???? Meee? Stressed out???yaaaaaaaaaaahhh!!!!--- nah, im not.
[ do u believe in angels? ] : yes. They’re all around us.
[ what are u driving now? ] : myself crazy.
[ u help pay for it? ] : it’s something I do naturally.
[ do u think ur spoiled? ] : no. but I deserve to be.
[ do u like mustard? ] : yep
[ have u seen the exorcist? ] : yeah, when I was six, I think. My mom didn’t have any discretion as to what her kids should watch J love you, ma.
[ how bout dumb & dumber? ] : I see it all the time. Aboard the black Toyota corolla with plate TPW 772 J
[ ever been skydiving? ] : im acrophobic, goodness gracious!
[ number of piercings ] : two
your bedtime : twelve, one-ish, two-ish… actually depends on what I am expecting to transpire the next day. Also depends on caffeine level
your greatest fear : dying full of regrets and remorse inside me
your missed memory : having meals with tatay and nanay and the rest of the family
.. you prefer
single or group dates : group. That way, we have other people to talk about or make fun of when the date itself turns out to be lousy.hehehe.so pinch me.
chicken nuggets or chicken fingers : fingers
dogs or cats : dog nga eh

Shania Twain or LeAnn Rymes : can I just kick you?
Lipton ice tea or nestea : may difference ba? This is very intelligent huh
one pillow or two : four, sistah.
cappuccino or coffee : you mean, plain brewed?
boxers or briefs : on me or on him? Bikini on me and boxers on him (during bedtime)
..do you
take a shower everyday? : medyo
have a(any) crush(es)? : yesh
do you think you've been in love? : medyo. Lekat. Oo naman!
want to go to college? : stay in it forever if possible
like high school? : i was a geek but a popular one, mind you. so go figure.
want to get married? : sure. someday.
type with your fingers on the right keys? : why, there are left keys? Or wrong keys? Huh?
believe in yourself? : with my reputation, even I wouldn’t believe in me. Hehe.yes, I do.
have any tattoos/where? : nope.
think you're a health freak? : im a freak.hehe
get along with your parents? : yesh
Like thunderstorms? : yeah!
... the future
age you hope to be married : ishkeyri….27
numbers and names of children : 4-6. Marcus Nicholas and Rosa Isabella for the first two
Where do you see yourself at age 40? Managing my own café
Describe your Dream Wedding : of course a groom beside me. Sunset/dusk, with lots of flowers-hundreds of them, a choir, subtle wind, my family, my friends
How do you want to die? : with kulasisi. Peaceful and painless.
What do you want to be when you grow up? : a barista. A teacher
What country would you most like to visit? : European countries and some US cities nga
..opposite sex
best eye color : brown.
best hair color : black or brown
best articles of clothing : khakis, white. Classic and mabango-look
best first date location : coffee place and a not too uptight dinner place
when's the last time you slept with a stuffed animal? : I sleep with Bebear. Used to sleep with Tintin Jr., Plok Sr. and Ernie----ernieeeeeeeeeeeee
how many rings until you answer the phone? : middle of the ring tone; I don’t answer unlisted numbers
what's on your mouse pad? : dust?
how many houses have you lived in? : hmmmmm.6
how many schools have you gone to? : five
what color is your bedroom carpet? : used to be blue
would you shave your head for $5000 dollars? Bring out the shears, man!
if you were stranded on a desert island and you could only take three things with you what would you take? : water purifier, a gamalinda book, sun tan lotion har har!
what was the best time of your life so far? : in about six months—tere’s graduation
..things you wear daily
- jeans
- tank tops, sleeveless shirts
- shirts,long-sleeved ones
- socks
- underwear
- makeup
- bag with a book, pens, yosi,phone
* 6 objects you touch every day
-- my phone
-- my hair
-- yosi
-- paper
-- my toothbrush
-- pen
* 5 things you do everyday
-- smoke
-- kiss tere,kulas
-- chat w/family
-- procrastinate
-- change underwear
* 4 things/people that you couldn't live without
-- my family
-- books
-- memories
-- my faith

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

tales without end

i seem to have a habit of leaving the stories i write unfinished. here's one:

mama forgot to turn off the television last night. I found out when I woke up at exactly 2:45 a.m., as I always do—I set my phone clock at this hour every night—to get a glass of water. I didn’t immediately notice the TV on, the endless hissing and gray lines on the screen didn’t particularly catch my attention, until I opened the refrigerator and the tiny living room was illuminated by yellow light.

water serves its purpose each time. Water always has to be contained, you once said. But when rain falls, it falls down, not knowing an exact direction, I said, rather tentatively, to myself was more like it. I watched you fiddle with the tiny pieces of paper napkins you have earlier turned into paper boats, a swan, an airplane, a tulip. Droplets of sweat were running down your neck and I could see a pool of them settling in the hollows of your collar bone. I waited for your reply but you dropped the paper swan onto the bowl of miswa you didn’t finish. I took the bottle of Coke and poured what was remaining of it onto your swan.

then you left.

same old, same old

i'm back at work. last sunday, kulas and i had another misadventure: a pseudo-carnapping incident right at the heart of tondo. as a result, my feet got really nasty blisters that i do hope wouldn't turn out as gangrenes. gross. the wounds might take a long time to heal; i might be diabetic, see. my mom is, so i probably am too. my sugar level had been tested before but i was okay then.


do you ever get this feeling when you want to straighten up your life because so much has happened since the year started, and you feel this desire to clean the slate right in the middle of the year, when it's about to end soon?

i have it again. i'm glad though that it's happening at the right time and with the right person in my life. at least, when the next year kicks in, everything would hopefully settle into place.


i spent the whole day in bed yesterday since i couldn't do anything much vertically. tere and i got to talk and i had somehow managed to tell her that life is okay, ours is, and that we have so many things to thank for.


i'm at peace now. i got to check bok's blog. i thank God that she is now moving on. we both deserve to be happy.

Thursday, September 11, 2003

leaping into the void

some of my office-friends are into blogging now. yey! if only i could learn how to change the settings--templates, themes and what-have-you. i have been badgering borgy to teach me scripts. simple html codes lang ang alam ko.

funny, im so into blogging now when in fact, i was so against e-books. oh well. i welcome myself to the void.

or is it not, really?

i didn't have to scroll down my blog to see that practically all my entries are about or for Kulas. that isn't a problem, really, right? hehe. that's basically the thing with blogging anyway: to write down what your heart speaks of, the chaos in your brain even.

kulas accompanied me to the bank earlier and i'm glad my friend has already deposited what she owed me. now i can have my coffee!

call me colonial but i simply love starbucks coffee and for a caffeine dependent like me, it's just what i've ever asked for. hmmm. i sound like a TV ad that sucks.

Wednesday, September 10, 2003

for Kulas

Again, one of our usual stops:
dinner at our favorite Thai restaurant
and coffee after.
You know so well how I like my evenings---full, quiet,
sometimes random, but always ending with a soft kiss.
You prod me to keep telling stories,
keep telling stories, while you drive:
A hint of excitement in the slits of my eyes,
my China eyes, you always say,
And I went on with made-up tales, fictions of memories
that you listen to like I was an oracle,
spewing out your fortune
from my mouth, and a smile, a nod from you.

Again, one of our usual bickerings
in the middle of my stories while you drive:
Take a left there,keep right.
You would just smile, your hand taking mine
While you change gears, and speak: love, of love--and smile

You keep driving,
not watching out for street signs anymore,
and I carry on with my stories:
you in the driver's seat, I beside you---
a simplified plot, most common,
yet a discovery at every avenue's turn:
once my story ends, you tell me: here now, you are home.

10 September 2003
12:18 p.m.

this song was playing in my head when Kulas was in New York
"Mad About You"
by Sting

A stones's throw from Jerusalem
I walked a lonely mile in the moonlight
And though a million stars were shining
My heart was lost on a distant planet
That whirls around the April moon
Whirling in an arc of sadness
I'm lost without you I'm lost without you
Though all the kingdoms turn to sand
And fall into the sea
I'm mad about you I'm mad about you

And from the dark secluded valleys
I heard the ancient songs of sadness
But every step I thought of you
Every footstep only you
And every star a grain of sand
The leavings of a dried up ocean
Tell me, how much longer? How much longer?

They say a city in the desert lies
The vanity of an ancient king
But the city lies in broken pieces
Where the wind howls and the vultures sing
These are the works of man
This is the sun of our ambition
It would make a prison of my life
If you become another's wife
With every prison blown to dust
My enemies walk free
I'm mad about you I'm mad about you

And I have never in my life
Felt more alone than I do now
Although I claim dominations over all I see
It means nothing to me
There are no victories
In all our histories, without love

A stone's throw from Jerusalem
A walked a lonely mile in the moonlight
And though a million stars were shining
My heart was lost on a distant planet
That whirls around the April moon
Whirling in an arc of sadness
I'm lost without you I'm lost without you
And though you hold the keys to ruin
Of everything I see
With every prison blown to dust,
My enemies walk free
Though all the kingdoms turn to sand
And fall into the sea
I'm mad about you I'm mad about you


It’s silly how I try to find excuses
To touch you
Or try to find a reason
To come near you—
Anticipating the slightest feel
Of your skin
On mine;
Imagining your breath
Raising the tiny hairs
At the back of my head,
Sending me into wild reminiscences
Of that night’s rained-on passion.

That morning found myself
Uttering your name
Again and again
As you curled beside me
While I lulled you to sleep.

Before you woke up,
I prayed for a morning of rain
To douse the tongues of fire
That had slowly burnt
All over me, through me,
Settling between my thighs,
The thickness of flame
Tickling my belly—
And finally
On my mouth:

You have left blue butterflies
Fluttering on my breasts.

For Kulas
16 September 2002
5:20 pm

looking back
On Dumaguete’s Shore: Homebound
By Christine A. Ongpin

I will be leaving Dumaguete soon. In a span of one year and a half, I have found a home in this city cradled by the sea. To write about my stay here, my life here, would be like the writing of a poem: a gathering of memories, carefully choosing the right words to move into some higher form of experience; an elevation of the soul. No word could ever be perfect, though. I remember, one evening at the sea wall, when I asked a friend how to describe the sound of the waves. When I asked that question, I knew there really was no answer. I shall forever be left groping for those elusive words, as memories of Dumaguete shall transform themselves into waves, lapping at the shore of my mind.

Going to Silliman’s graduate school was a lame excuse. I could have certainly gone to any of Manila’s universities. Yet I had chosen to come to this strange place all by myself because I wanted to be far from the din of the city, the dizzying lights at night, the restlessness of the people. And then again there was the sea. I already had an idea of how it was like in Dumaguete even before I had set my foot here. There were the innumerable stories of writers who have come and left with the same promise in their hearts: to return to this city again and again. And so in June of last year, I have found myself standing in the Sibulan airport with huge duffel bags and a lost look on my face. As I waited patiently for my sundo, I looked around me and saw students—who I surmised—have spent their vacation in Manila, with their families and friends welcoming them back. Dumaguete had a deep, strange way of welcoming me: I surely did not feel at home; the sights and scent were altogether unfamiliar to me. And the sound, the sound! I could hear everybody speaking in a language I never knew, never thought I would be uttering too.

It was raining hard when I left Manila and I was surprised at the sunny morning that greeted me here. It was as if Dumaguete was behind the change of seasons. True enough, I soon discovered how perfect it is here. The rains would fall only late at night until very early in the morning. It was strange to hear that in some parts of the country, typhoons were on a rampage while here, the people are all clad in their most comfortable clothes; one would be drenched with sweat not with rain. There was a time when it was drizzling and I brought with me my umbrella and my dorm mates laughed at me: “dili man mi mag-umbrella kung ga-taligsik”. We don’t use the umbrella when it’s drizzling. One chance of drizzle that they get, they make sure it would be worth the experience.

It saddens me now that I have to talk about Dumaguete like I am already far from it and all the scenes are just playing on my mind. Nevertheless, I have to admit that this is my way of thanking Dumaguete, my way of paying homage. Barely a month from now, I will be going home—but this is home to me now! I have made my own life here; have directed my once too puny boat into a coast of strangeness. Here, I have met sailors of my kind, and we have all sailed on together. There’s Ayvi who is also a Thomasian; funny that it is only here that we have met when we were in fact, both Literature majors only that she was two years my senior. I know I am going to miss her. We tell people that we are sisters except that her father is Japanese and mine is Chinese. I have already said goodbye to her because I know I will have to soon. My meeting with Ayvi would perhaps speak of the magic of this city. Strangers who come from the same place find each other standing along the same shore and often, they end up sitting on the sand sharing stories about where they have come from and where else they intend to go.

As for now, I do not want to miss even a single moment of running along the boulevard in the morning, with people who are strangers to each other. The sea and the sun peeping somewhere across the island comfort us and send us forth through the entire day. After my morning jog, I would go home and prepare myself for school where I have learned to redefine friendship, giving that word a completely new meaning because we do not share the same language. I may not have been able to have a lot of friends here like I do in Manila but those few faces are the ones whose names I would always carry within me. Friendships are not difficult to build here. I remember telling Kaye that Sillimanians share a beautiful tragedy: they come to Dumaguete from different areas of the country, meet friends, share lives together only to eventually part ways.


Friday is fly day. Going out on a Friday night is probably the highlight of the week, a simple pleasure that we all take part in. Our shotting sessions in El Amigo can never be forgotten. It is a place frequented by students who seem to have one thing in common: the zest for life, the individuality, the soul. It is a favorite bar-restaurant among students of Silliman. Murals of friends with arms entwined around each other’s backs are painted on its walls, depicting the place’s name. Reggae music is a trademark of El Am’s. I had my very first dinner there and I was stunned at the prices of the food and drinks. At that time, a barbeque plate cost only twenty-six pesos. With fifty pesos in your wallet, you would already satisfy your gustatory craving and would still have something left for beer.

Conversations over bottles of beer usually vary. At times, we would simply sit there, after having dinner at, say, Manang Siony’s and kid around, beer bottle in hand. There would also be nights when the mood is serious as if we crave for some cosmic realization to dawn on us. After our drinking session, we would usually go to the Boulevard to eat tempura—the Dumagueteños’ version of the quequiam. A promenade along the Boulevard follows. It’s amazing how people of all ages go out at night on weekends to simply sit on the sea wall; and by the looks on their faces, they are really having fun. The City of Gentle People is what Dumaguete is. One could roam the streets sans the worry of what one usually experiences in bigger cities. The quaintness of the place adds to the bohemian magic of the people’s lifestyle.

Being a university town and a favorite among tourists, it is quite amazing to see so many young people in the streets. Almost everybody knows everybody. It’s not surprising when I’d walk into a café and would find tables occupied by friends; or while waiting for a pedicab, a friend driving a motorbike would invite you for a ride. Some nights would find us heading to the beach, perhaps to drink or just talk. I recall the days when I was still staying in a dormitory inside the campus. There is a strict curfew at nine-thirty in the evening and just minutes before it, students will be seen scurrying off to beat the time. For us who still want to go on with whatever we were doing before the curfew—drinking perhaps— we would put bottles of iced cold beer and food in our backpacks. After the nightly bed-check, one room would “sponsor”, that is, being the “venue” for the night.

A few weeks ago, Ayvi, Karen, Eric, Mark, Rex and me went for a drive to the Escaño Beach—Dumaguete’s version of the CCP breakwaters. We bought, what else, beer and food and packs of cigarettes and parked beside the seawall. Mark had his car doors open and jazz music played softly from the radio station somewhere in Cebu. The moon was up that night, illuminating the silky surface of the sea. I could still hear Ayvi crying in awe as she pointed out to where the gentle light of the moon fell: they are here, the silver dolphins! Indeed, the waves looked like silver dolphins playing, bobbing up and down, in time with the waves. The tides were not yet up and Karen and I decided to wade. The water was cool and we shrieked in delight every time the waves came to the shore. We were like two little girls playing, unmindful of the gradual rising of the tide. Karen kept giggling, reminding me not to stray too far; the corals and rocks might hurt my feet, she said. Wanting to feel nothing but the softness of the sand in my toes, I waded farther into the deeper part of the sea. Had they not called me back, I would have swam, clothes and all. Yet inasmuch as I love the sea, my fear of it is overwhelming. In my head, it was the sea’s undertow that made me go back to the shore.

Sundays in this gentle city are far more different in Manila. All the shops downtown are closed, most of the food establishments included. The Dumagueteños’ notion of a family day is that they go to church in the morning probably, then have lunch together at home or at some restaurant that would be open for the day. The Silliman campus would be deserted too except for some students who would opt to go to the library or take walks in the acacia-lined campus. Ayvi and I have our own Sunday ritual. No matter how busy and occupied we had been throughout the entire week, our Sundays would be for the two of us. We begin our day with me picking her up at the Davao cottage, the faculty dormitory she is staying in, and would then walk to wherever we have chosen to have lunch. Afterwards, we would see if one of us has to go to Lee Plaza, Dumaguete’s bigger department store, to buy some provisions we need. If not, we would go for a walk along the Boulevard, sit down and talk over nilagang mais or dirty ice cream; at late, the conversation would be followed by silence, a comforting silence, and we would stare at the sea, and off to the island of Siquijor.

At nights, we would often hear our names being called by our little friends who sell boiled peanuts, green mangoes and balut in the streets of Dumaguete. The smile on their faces tell us that work is not really work to them but a game made more exciting when we stop and talk to them. It’s both funny and amusing how we try to speak each other’s language. Ayvi and I being Tagalog, we talk to them in Cebuano; but since they know we are not from Negros, they speak to us in Tagalog. And so, there we are, trying to merge two completely different worlds, shared with stories and laughter. One moment I would never forget is the night when Ayvi and I were at the Boulevard, passing time before we’d have dinner. I had just finished shooting for a documentary I was working on and I still had my camera with me. That was the first time little Franco came to us, a boy of seven, a plastic basket of peanuts, mangoes and chicharon in hand, a scarf tied around his head. I remember how he had caught my attention. A man was teaching him what to shout as he sells his goods, but he kept forgetting it. Little Franco would always yell, “manî, chicharon, manî!” But his older friend would correct him, “dili, ingon ana! Manî, chicharon, mangga! Naa man ka’y gibaligya’g mangga, ayaw kalimti!” Apparently, Franco kept forgetting that he was also selling his mangoes. Ayvi and I were amused but went on walking. Not long after, Franco approached us and asked if we wanted to buy from him. Instinctively, I turned on my camera and started talking to him. He seemed to have liked it, as he went on and on talking about himself, asking us questions, playing tricks and making faces as I take a footage of him. Soon, Franco’s friends joined us, cavorting for a chance to be on video. And then the most beautiful thing happened. Franco and his friends jumped down the sea wall, as the tides were very low, and made a bonfire along the shore. They shouted at Ayvi and me, dancing around the fire, laughing, pushing each other away so as not to be blocked away from my camera’s view. It was perfect. And before they let us go for the night, they made us promise to come back.

It’s time for me to go back to Manila. Days from now, I will start packing my things, returning them into the boxes they had come from when I first arrived here. As always when I travel, the most important of my belongings are kept in my backpack. Now I shall not only have the essentials—my wallet, my favorite book, photos, letters, the plane ticket—kept there; I shall have my backpack full of memories too. These memories shall be my compass—directing me always, always, to where home is… tintin!

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i am this woman...
Earth girl
You are a true nature girl!

Which Ultimate Beautiful Woman are You?
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..and more.Temptress
You are a temptress

Which Ultimate Beautiful Woman are You?
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Tuesday, September 09, 2003

while browsing through my files,i discovered i wrote this several months ago. wow...


I try to drown out the drone of office chatter with Roberta Flack bellowing where is the love through my headphones, kick off my shoes and look at my table or whatever’s left of it: stacks of folders and papers, my good old computer, reports to be edited, a yellow Piglet mug, little stuffed animals on top of the computer monitor, more folders on the verge of collapse, diskettes and a bouquet of yellow aster. I can smell coffee brewing and outside the glass window, the blue sky is splashed with hues of orange. I reach out to draw the blinds but decided against it. Let yourself see how it looks like outside, I tell myself.

I do not have the desire to go home, go some place else, or just simply move. I look at the cubicle across mine and inside me I wish to see him sitting there, with that fervent look on his face as he stares at the computer. I often catch myself peeking at the window that overlooks the parking area but his car isn’t there still.

He’s not coming back.

I have lost him when I never really had him.

this would make such a sincere and lovely wedding vow for me and well....

Now you will feel no rain, for each of you will be shelter to the other
Now you will feel no cold, for each of you will be warmth to the other.”
“Now there is no loneliness, for each of you will be companion to the other.”
Now you are two bodies but there is only one life before you.”

-age-old Apache Native American wedding blessing.

Edith L. Tiempo

When we love a wanderer,
We wait for footsteps
That may, or may not, come:
First the hours-the days-
Then-years. Then, never.
Yet always we do know
Whereof we wait:
The creaking gate
The scraping on the steps
And at the door the level gaze;
For these we wait to know
The roving one is home.

We boast of a green thumb
And coax the stems to bloom:
Hibiscus, santan, the wholesome
Cabbage rose; and make ambitious room
For gardenias, irises, and orchids,
(Taking time to scour the aphids)
And maybe, soon or late
The flowers show;
But always we do know
Whereof we wait:
The nectar and the odors,
And the windblown blazing colors.

So it's the space between
The wishing and the end
That is the true unknown;
The massive world's timekeeping
And our own agile flow
Never to blend.

And thus we care,
And thus we live
Not for the end
(Since that is not unknown),
It is the wait, creative
Life and love in full;
Unfinished, uncertain, unknown,
Yet mocking the known end
That comes sooner,
Later, or not at all.

NYAHAHAHAHA!Z is for Zillah who drank too much gin.
You will die drunk in some cold alley. Let up on
all of the alcohol for a while.

What will be your Edward Gorey death?
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i got hooked on an HBO movie last night called "valentine's". the movie was stupid but it still managed to make me stick with it for two hours. it was a thriller and somehow it had my disbelief suspended! a Maupassantian trick that passed! hahaha. funny, how one could embellish rubbish with profundity, as if that particular movie was meant for the educated.

i won't give the synopsis anymore. basta, it was funny in that stupid, contrived, suspense thriller way.

i texted Kulas last night hoping i could make him catch up on the movie but he was already asleep. my Kulas is a sleep addict, see, he needs to sleep early and has to take naps after lunch. unlike me, i could live without some shut-eye for days if, and only if, i don't have to go to work everyday!

it's actually strange how i find myself waking up early in the morning, smiling---on weekends. i actually look forward to waking up when there's no work so i could work on the real stuff.

but what the heck, i have to keep biting the dust until tere graduates from school.

which is actually six months from now. happiness... : )

another edition of Tomas will be launched this afternoon. i have a poem published there. i will try to get copies later.

i am still broke but im ok. : )

Monday, September 08, 2003


..you can actually start looking forward to friday. i have been dreaming about fridays since i started working full-time, or should i say, since i leaped into the 8-5 human-eating, brain-squashing machine called employment.

i am flatter than flat broke. i haven't been writing, haven't been having coffee at starbucks everytime i feel the need to poison myself further with caffeine, haven't bought a decent book, and oh well, i havent been doing things i used to do because it's all about money.demmmmit.

i spent the weekend with kulas. it was actually our first "legal" weekend since we got back together. i'll write a whole account solely about my dear kulas. he's still at the gym now and i wish he'd come back already so we could scram.

i miss him.demmmmmit. again.

Friday, September 05, 2003

Legardored is your Vampire name.
You are one hell of an insane Vampire. Anyone who
messes with you is out of their minds.

not necessarily true...

The ULTIMATE personality test
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A is for…Ate: this is what I am—to my akong TJ, to my shobe Terenggoy, and to my pinsans whom I dearly love.

Akong: A is for Akong. Akong is what we call my brother TJ. That’s a Chinese pet name for little boys. He is one of the pinakamakulit little boys I have ever known. When we were kids, I and my play mates always tried to avoid letting TJ know what we were up to because surely, he would just turn everything into a disaster! He’s maligalig. Couldn’t keep himself from toppling down things, our Nanay’s figurines, heck, he couldn’t even behave and try not hurt himself. He would always tease my friends and would always insist on being the policeman or the daddy when in fact, we were playing school-school! When we grew up, he remained makulit and pestered our bunso, Tere. Yet Akong is one of the most wonderful men the world fortunately has.

Antukin: I have been known to have the ability to sleep whenever, wherever. I once fell asleep while sitting on the foot of a staircase in a friend’s house. I fell asleep for probably two seconds while biting on a lanzones (which I was eating to keep me awake during a training seminar); fell asleep while taking pictures in an interview job…

B is for…

Brilliant: my mind is brilliant—or so I’d like to belive. Hehe.

Betchay: my mom’s close friends call her Betchay. Her full name though is Elizabeth Leonila. All my friends think Betchay is the coolest mom a girl could have. Of course, we’ve had fights but Mama is one-of-a-kind. She is perhaps the strongest woman I know. When Papa left us, she wept, mourned for a love lost, grieved for her children who lost a father, then pulled herself together and went on living…

To this day, Mama is now happy with a man who loves her, Big Kuya.

C is for…

Crush: I had my first one when I was eleven. His name was Arjayson and I didn’t even know that was “it”. I always looked forward to spending summer vacation at my grandparents’ farm in Bulacan because Arjayson lived in one of the my family’s apartments. He would climb aratiles trees and would always tease me I couldn’t climb a tree because I was a girl. He was my crush, my first crush though.

And isn’t it nice to have crushes from time to time? : )

Chips Ahoy!: My favorite is Chips Ahoy! Chewy and Stripes. I don’t see these in the supermarkets nowadays but I remember the first time I laid my eyes on a big blue Chips Ahoy pack: I was all gluttonous and didn’t want to share the cookies with anyone. I kept them in my backpack, forgot about it and the Mickey Mice in the house ate `em up—including my bag (bored holes).

Chinoy: A lot of people ask me “are you Chinese”? whenever they hear my surname. Yes and no. Yes because my Lolo Julio came from Macao and my Lola Mommy is from Shanghai, only that her mother was a Cebuana. My maternal grandparents has 50% Chinese lineage too. And no, I’m not Chinese because 1) I don’t use chopsticks 2) I have a fear of seeing Chinese Opera live 3) I cant count 1-10 in Mandarin or Fukkien 4) because I am simply not.

It’s a lovely sunny day. Typhoon Onyok has passed and I just can’t wait for the coming of the amihan. In fact, there are a number of things I can’t seem to wait for: my birthday, Christmas, 5 p.m. today… it’s going to be a nice waiting I know. I am learning to be patient. : )