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.

Friday, November 28, 2003

glorious friday morning
i dont know what it is about this morning that found me smiling; a light, calm, even happy feeling inside. i am Amelie, basking in an unnamed state of bliss both beautiful and pure. i don't even catch myself suspicious of some conspiracy the cosmos is setting up for me. this is good. there are so many things to do and i like it.

thank you, universe.thank you, God.

i love you, terenggoy

dear tere,

it's almost your birthday. last night when i got home, the lights were already off and you were deeply ensconced in your pillows and sheets. as usual, i tiptoed my way about the room because you hate it when your sleep gets disturbed even by the tiniest of my movement. i guess you heard the ruffling of the plastic bag i brought inside and you woke up, feigning annoyance but i knew,really, that you wanted to know what was inside that bag. i told you
this and you didn't try to hide it, we laughed. oh i know you very well, tere.

you are my baby. i dont exactly remember how it was when you were still in Mama's womb. i was a baby myself then. i didn't care about you; i even hated you because you kept making Mama's trips to the hospital more frequent than when she was carrying TJ. i hated you because i thought Papa wanted to leave us because he didn't like you coming. and i hated you
because Papa did leave us and the money was never enough after he left and after you came.

oh but Tj loved you. he kept asking if he could play with you when you get home. he kept squealing everytime your little fingers would curl around his. he beamed when Mama told him he would from then on be kuya. everyone thought you were very pretty. they kept taking your pictures. Tatay even bought you a dress for your first birthday party and Nanay always slept with you tucked beside her. you had the softest curly hair and the cutest dimple, you know. and how you could dance! you were very pretty, i have to admit.

i took care of you and Tj. Mama said i am your ate but you didn't really like me then. we would always fight over the silliest of things; you always wanted to have my dolls, my roller skates,even my lunch box. soon enough, Tj, you and i would be screaming at each other but at nights, we would still end up with our i love you's and kisses. but it was you who always got to sleep beside Mama because you were the baby.

do you remember that we used to call you baho? you didn't like taking a bath, combing your hair or brushing your teeth. all you wanted was to play. and you did just that by yourself, talking to yourself, being all the characters in whatever scenario was in your little mind then.

i don't know how it happened,how i've become the Most Important Person in your life as you now claim. i hated you, see. but now, everything that i work for is for you, because of you.

people marvel at our closeness. they say it's a wonder how sisters can be really good friends. oh, you are my best friend, tere. nobody knows my heart and my mind like you do.

i know that you sometimes feel "alone" because a number of persons dear to you have gone: some to a place better than this world, some to seek happiness, and some just simply left. but i will stay. remember what i told you once? you yourself will go and live your life but i shall stay.

i'll be the proudest ate in the CHS Auditorium when you graduate in March. i'll be prouder than any mother or father there is. God gave you to me and i'm so thankful for that.

happy birthday.



Thursday, November 27, 2003

yesterday morning was great in a laidback, Christmasy way. after breakfast, kulas and i headed for Morato for an early caffeine fix. there was a sample planner on display at the Starbucks counter. it was the kind i've been looking for: thick, a lot of space for notes, spiral bound and the paper smelled great (or perhaps it was just the coffee's aroma.teehee)!

"miss, magkano `to?" (miss, how much is this?)

the "miss" said it wasn't for sale and she handed me a coupon instead.

"have all the items stamped before December 31 and you can get this planner and a lot more goodies", she said smiling.

i looked at the coupon and well, i have to order 60 varieties of coffee before Dec.31 to have that damn planner!

then kulas blurted out a bright idea. "honey, let's just use any of your little cousins or my pamangkins. let's make a kid go around Starbucks and approach everyone. people will get awa to her kasi she'll go around saying 'please let me get the stamp for your coffee because my dad (or mom or my pet platypus or whatever) wants this for a gift..'

oh, well. i might just do that.

i want that notebook plannerrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.


after our lunch of braised beef and spring rolls, i had a haircut at the hip Britannico salon while kulas went for a car wash. met with nandy and kent for badminton and had authentic Chinese dumplings at Wan Chai.

another kulasspeak: "honey, ako lang ang 'foreigner' dito ah" referring to every chink in the place; me, Nandy and Kent included.


coffee and a round of beer at Cafe Breton after. i'm amazed at how kulas' friends and i relate with each other. ang galing-galing, i dont feel any so-called generation gap at all.


im sorry, i think i've already used up today's limit for dashes as borders. i have a headache the size of Asia, i've got the sniffles, and i have to beat the Makati traffic at 2pm for a meeting later. my throat feels like i've swallowed too many calamansi seeds without the juice.

i want to laugh. as in really laugh, the kind that makes your sides hurt and your eyes well up with tears. so if laughter really is the best medicine, im in dire need of it right now.

somebody work your magic on me please.

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

flyday and i'm gonna love it

thank you, GMA, for declaring tomorrow a no-work holiday.

SMS of the day

me: honey,what's our plan? im tired and hungry and bored and horny
kulas: we'll sleep eat dance and make love.

uh-huh. i need some good luh-hah-vin.

hanging up

i'm going through a weird phase of detachment these days. i'm supposed to meet up with my college barkada and some classmates tonight in Timog but i've decided not to go. jep has been trying to reach me since last week but i never took his calls nor replied to his emails. im sure they'd get to read this so no, i won't come up with some lame excuse about not joining them tonight.

this detachment from friends started on my birthday. there was somehow a display of insensitivity on the part of my high school girlfriends, that i tried to shrug off only to realize that it is now making an effect on me. but i digress.

i have only one question: what is really our purpose for getting together after all these years?

jep's email announced that tonight was supposed to be the celebration of our birthdays--mine,malou's,eric's, pam's and a couple of our classmates. the thing is, we are reduced to the usual "inuman" and friendly chatter whenever we are together. do we really care about our respective lives at all? it is not enough to ask "o, san ka ngayon?", or "sino'ng boy/girlfriend mo?" we used to be more than that.

my friends are very important to me,see. however i think it's time for me to think about where these friendships are leading,and how, in the first place, did we all call each other friends.


you might think that i clearly have issues, but come on, it's better this way than sitting there, guzzling bottle after bottle of beer,and wondering where that "something that all brought us together" went.

it wasn't the Philo classes, the tambays at Tinoko, the dinners at Almer's, the nights at Pam or Eric's rooms--- there was more and i just can't find it now.


i just hate to admit it in the plainest and mushiest words.

Thursday, November 20, 2003

wednesday woes

pierre and i are as different as fingerprints. morning and night. north and south. lifetimes and lifestyles. sometimes these differences hurt us but almost always, he unknowingly blames it on me and it hurts me all the more because i try.

there are moments when i can not seem to get through him. to him, my actions, words and feelings are all contradictions and he is never convinced that i love and appreciate him.

i love him for everything that he is and i have long stopped asking why.

i wish this man who vows to love me would spare me some of the faith he has in God. too much to ask? faith needs no expalantion and neither does love.


a Sillimanian mind

ok, enough of my cheesiness.

this morning, tere asked me if i could give her some of my notebooks so she wouldn't have to buy anymore. my notebooks? my notebooks i have labeled the box containing my precious notebooks "please prioritize in case of fire"--is she kidding? oh but of course, i did give her two. that's too much already.

while looking for notebooks i would have the heart to part with, i stumbled upon an old test paper of one of my best students in Silliman. Lee Vincent was a freshman engineering student at that time. he didn't talk much in class (it was an Expository Writing). he went to my classes in grungy shirts, torn jeans and Chuck Taylors and would just stare ahead as if i weren't making any sense. for a while there i really thought i wasn't making any semblance of sense with the way i taught. most of his classmates would turn in late papers which were eventually returned to them bleeding: the grammatical errors and incoherence made me doubt my worth as a teacher.

however, Lee was different. i would always sort his paper from the lot and read it last, and always, his paper would be on the top of the pile after i finished checking them. he was brilliant.

i kept his Final Exam paper and i am posting excerpts from it---with the hope that Lee wouldn't sue me. i am just so proud of this kid, and i used to tell him that through my comments on his papers and through my emails after i left Dumaguete.

Lee, i hope you're still writing. you're one bright thing, you know that.


on descriptive/narrative devices

a man started to speak

A gaunt man with the shadows of his past began to feel the rage burn from within his stomach, rising upwards, till it gripped his voice like a microphone, weilding like a fistful of steel at a past never forgotten.

the crowd began to move

All stepped forward, like a southern fist rising through the jungle mist, taking the first step which they know will be the first move to taking back what is theirs from the rubble of rich empires...


and another one

"...then it hit me. i felt like i was there, in that Mexican pasture, being herded off to that place they call "free"...do you know what that felt like? that felt like a Jew being trussed up like a ham on a trainload of his own blood and kin, herded on by Nazi pigs. sweat and vomit are thrown in that congested pig pen, prayers suffocated by the stench of dying, flesh and urine. some die. and they're the lucky ones...."


students like Lee, students who think, who have things to say, passion and angst even, are the ones who make me want to teach all my life.

in teaching, what matters is that you make your students think and pose questions and challenge the world because a mind as impressionable as theirs make it even richer. it makes language and experiences beautiful and terrifying at the same time.

Wednesday, November 19, 2003


veronica has been having weird dreams lately. last night, she dreamt of chasing a girl in shorts and a tiny white tee around the house. she couldn't see the girl's face but veronica knew who she was as in the case of all dreams: faceless people have names. you'd hear somebody calling your name and you turn to where the voice is coming from, you'd see no one but you would know what to say; you would dream of making love, of raking your nails upon somebody's arched back, you wouldn't see his face, but you would know it when you cry in ecstasy.

she tried to tell him about her dreams but he was in such a hurry to drop her off to the supermarket. mom is allergic to olives, remember. his words faded away as veronica closed the car door behind her.perhaps i should try to stop thinking about my dreams, they're just dreams, she told herself while pushing the cart of groceries,its wheels creaking, reminding her of some door that wouldn't close no matter how she tried to shut it-- or was it just in some dream?

veronica joined in the queue to the cashier. a mother trying to make her baby stop crying stared down at her cart. when it was veronica's turn to pay, she unloaded her stuff on the counter: there was nothing but olives, hundreds of them in clear plastic wrappers.


happy 75th birthday, mickey!

Mickey Mouse Celebrates 75th Birthday
VOA News
18 Nov 2003, 21:50 UTC

Mickey Mouse turns 75-years-old Tuesday, and is still a beloved international celebrity, though he speaks in a squeaky voice, has basketball-sized ears and started life as a rat.
Mickey Mouse began his film life on November 18, 1928, appearing in Steamboat Willie, the first animated cartoon to synchronize music and sound effects.

Originally dubbed Mortimer Mouse by creator Walt Disney, the plucky rodent became an overnight sensation, starring in more than 100 films.

His popularity soared in the 1950s with the televised Mickey Mouse Club and the opening of Disneyland, in Anaheim, California.

Walt Disney called Mickey Mouse "the little mouse that started it all," crediting him with helping to launch Disney's multibillion dollar entertainment complex.

Mickey Mouse's long-time companion, Minnie Mouse, could not be reached for comment.


mickey, mickey, mickey

i have a sizeable collection of mickey mouse stuff: shirts, watches,pens and pencils, slippers, pillow cases... what can i say, i love the rodent. and we're both Scorpio.

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

i'm too lazy to write about my birthday. but im so glad i did celebrate it with people who matter most to me. to Kulas, my family, Kulas' parents, my friends -- thank you so much. i am still reeling with the thought that i am actually 25 years old. Awesome.

to all of you who wished me a happy birthday, thank you: it was.

Sunday, November 16, 2003

happy birthday to me!

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

this language

we say we love and when asked why
or how, we try not to swallow
our own tongues and choke on words
disguised as reasons.
we hope not to break promises
clasped between fingers entwined,
between the space of a kiss
separated by our breaths.

we say we love and we feel it, chemical.
but this yearning to define
consumes us more than bodies
taking in each other, like wildfire
spreading too soon onto dry grass,
leaving only parched earth
and that burnt smell.

we know not the language of what
we claim we feel
but this we profess:
we love, giving all things beautiful;
we love like we live
and that is enough.

Thursday, November 06, 2003

para sa Tropang Etneb, na hinahanap-hanap ko; muli't muli sa Daytona

Pagbaba ng banderang
hudyat ng simula ng karera
sabay-sabay nating pinaharurot
ang mga sasakyan
ng ating mga panaginip
taglay ang taimtim na pag-usal
ng isang dalanging
nawa’y makamit ang pagkapanalo
bilisan ang pagmamaneho
upang marating ang dulo
Sa pagmamadali
at pagpupumilit na mauna
hindi natin alintana
kung nakababangga
walang sinisino
walang sinasanto
Sa pagnanais na tuluyang humagibis
nakalimutan nating tapakan ang preno
nawaglit sa isipan na ang daan
ay hindi lamang diretso
may mga sandaling kailangan nating
sa likod
kung sino sa atin ang nahuhuli
ang naiiwan
baka sakaling may nasiraan
baka kailangang magdahan-dahan
baka kailangang maghintayan

Story # 1

Fritzie works for Chocolates Limited where she creates and designs chocolate bar wrappers, and she's actually added on five pounds from sampling different chocolate bars by their competitors—not that she really craves for them, it's just that she sometimes runs out of ideas for a new candy wrapper and so she regularly checks out the vending machine at the ground floor for new chocolate bars; but she has spent all her pennies on those bars and nothing seems to be new anymore and so it’s time to go to 7-11 down the corner of Buendia, where, as always, the counter-girl amazes her: Andie her nameplate says, and Andie would always be busy attending to bitchy and snotty yuppies wanting to have the infamous Slurpee and Knorr Cup Noodles for a taste of urban fast-lunch-break: Fritzie never chooses to indulge on these monosodium-glutamate-enhanced gustatory delights for fear of growing an extra arm or intestine—or so her Tita Lyn says—Fritzie goes through the rows in the small store, one by one, passing by the toiletries section where she enjoys the waft of assorted soaps and shampoos and deodorants, the canned goods section where she tries to catch an expired can of corned beef or meatloaf or sardines, which she would buy, open at home, and then return to the store, claiming that the item she got from that store is already expired, and then she would sue the store, the manager, and probably the canned food manufacturer—but never Andie, it’s just her job—and then she wouldn’t have to work for Chocolates Limited because she’d go for an amicable settlement and be rich, she’d put up her own art gallery where her “real” works of art will be, but then it’s absurd because perhaps the manager would just accuse her of stupidity for not checking out the expiry date and then she’d be humiliated in front of Andie, and Andie would just snicker behind the cash register and she would never notice that Fritzie has been wearing the same baseball cap as Andie’s—but Andie has never even looked Fritzie in the eye but she doesn’t lose hope, even if it takes her twenty-thousand chocolate bars and she will have to work for Chocolates Limited all her life, so long as she has a reason to go back to that 7-11 store along Buendia, again and again—even if she loses all her teeth from cavities, maybe, just maybe, Andie would one day ask Fritzie what she does with all those candy bars and how come, how come Fritzie is wearing the same baseball cap backwards too…

Story #2

Fritzie puts on her headphones and she sits up as Young Angry New Yorkers blares because we need to live so we curse at the sun while she toys with her yellow pencil with Ted and Rabi on it, it’s the type that has spare leads which you insert at the bottom so that you wouldn’t have to use a sharpener—it’s the Bensia type, except that it’s not a Bensia—and she remembers her kindergarten days when she’d beg her Tita Lyn to buy her a Bensia because every kid in K1- Mabini has a Bensia and Fritzie did not; a message flashes on her computer screen, and she looks behind her to check if nobody was looking before she opens the message box: it was from this African girl she met at the chat room—her name was Woliya and she wants Fritzie to install a web cam so they could see each other while chatting, but of course Fritzie cannot do that, at least not until she quits working for Chocolates Limited, and then she remembers she has to turn in a new logo design for this chocolate bar with caramel and nuts and peaches called Peachie’s Pack, Fritzie doesn’t know, really, why on earth Peachie’s Pack is called Peachie’s Pack, and she doesn’t think kids would love them—it’s the kind you’d say as lasang tanga—and for one thing, 7-11 Buendia doesn’t sell that stuff, maybe Andie the counter-girl gets to sample what chocolate bars they’d sell, and maybe Andie wouldn’t like Peachie’s Pack, and so, even if Fritzie came up with a new design for Peachie’s Pack wrap, 7-11 Buendia still wouldn’t sell it, and Fritzie wouldn’t have a reason to go buy that candy and tell Andie casually that Peachie’s Pack has a cool wrapper, and maybe, Andie would then see things Fritzie’s way…

Story #3

Fritzie prayed for soft, steady rain today so she could wear her new black trench coat and pink Chuck Taylors she bought from E-Bay as a treat for herself. Chocolates Limited won the account for Peachie’s Pack because of Fritzie’s design and so Cesar decided to give her a bonus for a job well done, which for Fritzie, was really nothing, it was just that: she was doing her job, and between the MRT rides to and from her office and the occasional cappuccino at Starbucks, Fritzie wouldn’t know what else to do, what to do better than contemplating on shampoo, light bulbs, condoms, greeting cards…

im back at the office after a day of taking care of my sister. i can't believe the pile of paper work that has mysteriously mushroomed on my desk: advocacy campaigns to review, technical papers to edit and approve, articles to write, blah blah blah. good thing is im one of those geeks who get excited at the sight of "towers" of paper work to do. i like getting barraged with work--my work.

so world, excuse me if i would be quiet for a while :)

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

i woke up this morning singing roll over the ocean, roll over the sea, roll over the ocean and the deep blue sea... in my head. it was only when i was brushing my teeth when i realized that i was actually singing it aloud. weird and funny, really. i remember learning it in preschool, hand gestures and all. of course i liked the song, specially before those St. Paul nuns kicked me out. good thing they did, though: i had more fun with the priests in my Catholic high school. teehee.

it's a lovely day. sunshine, no traffic, a bye-bye kiss from mama and tere, a "hi & bye" wag of Hugo's tail, a hurried bite of siopao. nice, nice, nice. no complications. smooth. simple.

that's how life ought to be. kahit mahirap.

yep, i am happy. : )