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.

Monday, July 26, 2004

Tina's Project Seahorse
My good friend Tins has started her own Project Seahorse campaign. Why seahorses?

Our work takes us to places, to the sea basically and one of the most fascinating marine creatures is the Seahorse.
Seahorse reproduction is unusual to say the least.  And yes, it's true--the males really become pregnant! The female seahorse produces eggs and then passes them to the male, who holds them in a pouch on his belly. Courtship can last for 12 hours, with the pair performing elaborate dances and displays. With their tails entwined, the female aligns a long tube (ovipositor) with her mate's pouch. Strings of sticky eggs move through the tube and into the male's pouch. The eggs, now called embryos, will develop for ten days to six weeks, depending upon the species and water conditions. Finally, over the course of many hours, the male pumps his tail until the baby seahorses emerge.(www.aquarium.org)
Seahorses are not yet officially endangered but they are on the IUCN's Red List, meaning their populations are in trouble.
Amazing isn't it, how these species resemble the single woman's hopes of finding Her Man, a Significant Other who would willingly-- not only because physiologically-created to do so--share a part of himself for them to become one.
Tina's metaphor for The One is the seahorse:
(1) To devise means by which one’s self will never give up on finding one’s seahorse;
(2) To put in mind that oneself is good and deserve no less better than one truly desire for; (3) To never stop in growing as an individual, loving and allowing one’s self to be loved.

(1) Create a life outside of the workplace;
(2) Renew constantly ties with friends and welcome and even make opportunities for new relationships;
(3) Choose wisely the relationships that would be given extra attention, time and consideration, asking if there’s a future with it worth pursuing;
(4) Be thankful for all the special though temporary relationships that come and hold it with fondness but not to cling to it. (projectseahorse.blogspot.com)

So, how is her campaign doing? Well, like any other projects and campaigns that aim to generate the market's attention, it needs massive PR work. In our work parlance, it needs IEC (information,education,communication). :)
The One perfect Seahorse awaits.
Mine is on the lookout for the perfect ring. Where is yours? Where could he be?

happy us at Dakak

Friday, July 23, 2004

Top 10 World's Greatest Inventions for Tintin
(in random order)
1. St. Ive's Hair Repair Hot Oil in tubes - perfect for when you don't have time to go to the salon for that Saturday night date. It's really good especially if you use it once a week. I swear I'm going to hoard boxes of this soon. Watson's usually have it but only Crossings carry them these days.
2. Modess Ultra Slims with wings - "I'm glad I switched." --or was that line from another brand?
3. Gatsby oil control film - Oiliness is next to ugliness. Even Kulas and his friends use it.
4. Choc-Nut - better than sex
5. Dolfenal 250 - for nasty menstrual cramps. "Madali pang tandaan:dolphy,dolfinal!"
6. Starbucks' Cafe Mocha and Caramel Macchiato - caffeine and sugar delight
7. L'oreal Blush Delice line - with a tinge of shimmer and reasonably priced
8. Lancome Juicy Tubes - this alone can dress you up on dress-down days. Men love the taste too! Hehe.
9. Mongol Pencil - don't you just love pencils? And the smell...
10. Liquid Sosa - this one is tops on my grocery list. Made the bathroom drain clog-free in seconds.
It's time for me to hit the malls and unleash my shopping monsters once again. I absolutely have nothing to wear anymore. I've gained weight since I quit smoking, from an XS to an M! Imagine that. My belly rivals gummy bears for squishiness points. Grabe.
Kulas and I are watching "Imelda" in Greenhills tonight. I'm losing myself in the tiangge for a pre-movie fix.
Work hard. Play hard. Not a bad idea.

"Sa inyo ang___; akin ang Tundo!"
One does not easily forget the uniqueness of tondo, a singularity of features that begins to reveal itself with the early morning mass at the Santo Nino Church where parishioners would later be seen joining the eager buyers of kakanin and salabat sold by peddlers at the church patio, and of course, mornings are not complete without the magtataho who occupies his permanent post at the steps of Plaza Hernandez wearing his unmistakable gora, his shouts of taho! taho! are welcomed by children attending the adjacent Catholic school or by early morning parokyanos who await the opening of shops at nearby Divisoria where I have spent countless shopping sprees with my grandmother who, by the way, used to tell me stories to keep me from going out in the afternoon and head towards Plaza Moriones to watch the ati-atihan groups beat their drums, wave their arms in unison and parade around the plaza--a spectacle which children of my age would never want to miss as we marched along with them, danced in tribal fashion and screamed to our hearts' content--to brandish their pride the way residents of Tondo are wont to do: shame is a stranger to them, to us, as we stride along pot-holed streets where tambays who offer gin to passersby is a usual sight; those who dwell in makeshift houses take pride in a community where a sense of belonging is wealth enough--strongly felt especially when somebody, perhaps a tired resident jeepney driver, passes by one of these houses and smells the irresistible aroma of daing na bangus being fried for dinner, he smiles at the thought that he is coming home where meager living is never an absolute cause for despair; he takes pride in his children who would grow witnessing the multi-faceted life of Tondo, however poor such life can be, the stories of its people, including those mouthed by generation after generation of resident tsismosas, will never be placed merely in the far-end recesses of the mind.
That was a one sentence description of Tondo, a writing assignment from a Sociology of Literature class in college. Our prof, now National Artist for Lit F. Sionil Jose, wanted us to write about our hometowns--a one sentence description of it, on a whole sheet of paper. So what makes a sentence? The period. As in this: .
One of Ayen's entries reminded me of my classes with Sir Frankie. We were at first enamored by the thought that a categoricaly popular Filipino writer would be our professor. Of course, all our professors were writers. Sir Frankie was different though: we didn't like his works, much less read them.
But of course, the beer guzzling, hobnobbing, and a December tour of the Ilocos province with him and the whole class in a cramped coaster changed a few things. It didn't matter anymore if we thought Viajero was meant to travel on its own and never come back. Knowing the man was somehow enough.


Monday, July 19, 2004

Woosh woosh
That's 4-year old Tintinspeak for "go, go". I started talking to myself when I was four, a year that's cataclysmic for me and my siblings, but most especially for me because that was when Mama told me "you'll help me be the Papa to TJ and Tere now..."
And so I started reprimanding the little me whenever I'd feel too lazy to get up from bed to prepare my baby sister's milk, or too pissed at having to wash my brother when he shouts "ateee tapos na kooo!" from the john--I'll get pissed because I'm too caught up in reading People's Journal (I read them when I was four--strange,huh. A sign of genius perhaps.Teehee).
But of course no matter how many times I'd have to make milk for my sister or wash up my brother, I'd do them with a fervor, a loving fervor that's partly scared of my mom and sick of my siblings' whining. I love them more than anything in the world. And I'd say, "woosh, woosh", talking to little Tintin:
Go stand on that stool and get Tere's feeding bottle from the sterilizer on the stove. Go get the soap and wash TJ and give him a bath. Go put that tabloid down. Go call your mom's office to remind her to buy vitamins. Go ask Nanay to change Tere's diapers. Go Tintin, just go.
And now these people come into our lives, pretending to be helping us, but nailing us in the end. They don't have the single right.
They don't have the right to imply to my siblings' faces that I mismanaged the money Papa had been sending us. They don't have the right to "give us advices" even. Our father doesn't even have the right to do that.
He left us and it's his obligation to support us. Fuck, his money hardly stayed in the bank for a week. It's always never enough.
I wish my parents never married so then we'd have Mama's maiden name instead. I wish they could all read this. I am ashamed of them. I ashamed of this name we're carrying.
From this day on, I am cutting off all the connections I have with my father and his family. He left when I was four. He will be forever gone.

Thursday, July 15, 2004

I never thought I would ever want to kill myself. I was never the suicidal type. But last night, I cried myself to sleep, wishing I could just end it all.

But here I am again, woke up this morning and I almost forgot how miserable I felt the night before. I'm glad I am not brave enough, never will be, to do what I had wished for.


"Beautician,nakatanggap ng death threat--nagpakamatay" -- Unang Hirit News item 7/15/04

How many crappy situations have I come across with,or gotten myself into, so crappy they're almost like death threats?

No, I don't have the ability to force Death upon myself. I couldn't think of a way that wouldn't be too gory or too dramatic. An acute pancreatitis like Rico Yan's would be too much of a blessing.

The root of all this?

My father. He who has left us when I was four and my siblings teetering in their walkers; when milk was always never enough, and Mama always out late at night.

I was never one to blame things on somebody. I am not an angry person even if I had the right to be so. In fact, I don't like angry people. Last night, though, I realized how angry I am and have been at my father.

Apathy and indifference have been my best friends. Not anymore.


The heart is resilient. And I love life too much to be this gloomy, suicidal kid. Hindi bagay sa akin.

Sunday, July 11, 2004


I arrived from Dakak Friday morning and have already bustled around town til Saturday night. It's going to be a long, incoherent entry as there are really a thousand things on my mind now.

I promised to write about the Palawan trip. I guess I should have written about it even when I was feeling too tired or too lazy. Because right now, it has just lost its appeal to be written. Perhaps I still am too tired.

Before the Dipolog/Dakak trip, Ninang wasn't doing well. Her system reacted to the change in her chemo drugs resulting in a drastic BP drop, delirium fits, and a heart that started to fail. I texted friends for Type B blood. Most of them responded with the willingness to donate; all of them with prayers. My best friend Nina texted that she was offering all her sacrifices for Ninang and our family. She was in the ICU for five days. In between, Nina and her partner Sam who is also my best friend, were texting me details about our Dumaguete trip in August. Both of us Sillimanians, Nina and I need to go back "home" soon. We will be bringing Sammie with us.

I digress again.

Ninang's home now. Cancer is a fierce enemy. But Ninang's even fiercer.

Paradise Found

The forty minute or so drive from Dipolog airport to Dakak in Dapitan City was alternately punctuated with verdant scenes out of idyllic postcards in the South. Zamboanga is beautiful and so peaceful that it belies everything that is said about this region.

Unlike Palawan, which everybody raves about, Dapitan is a charmer. It instantly welcomed me with its winding hilly trails, spontaneous waterfalls and a southern sun that didn't refuse to let up. The townspeople in motorcycles or "habal-habal" (3-5 persons riding a bike)reminded me of Dumaguete.

Dakak was beautiful.

I don't know if the rumors about its white sand were true, it's still beautiful that it was more like a vacation for me than work. I was having second thoughts about going because of Ninang's condition but I'm glad I went.

Dakak is a cove that strectches vast between two mountains. It's like a giant's open mouth, the beach its smooth jaws. The water is so peaceful, no waves lapping on the shore even in the changing of tides.

Kulas and I had a lovely time swimming. We were in the water from 3pm to about 6 in the evening. We were just there, alternately floating on our backs, the clear blue sky seemingly lifting up all the heaviness in our hearts.

I don't want to wax mushy but...

I'll try to write more, and better about it later.

Oh and I have a boy there. The owner's son was there. I didn't get his name even when I had so many chances to do so. I just called him Boy all the time. Had it been a couple of years back, I would have flirted and asked him for a drink. But it wasn't just because my fiance was there with me. It was just enough that I had a Boy who would occasionally lock eyes with mine on afternoons when I felt too hot in my olive green bikini and would approach and exchange pleasantries with my fiance instead...


Kulas and I went to the Arms show at the Megatrade last night. Though I'm one for a gunless society, pistols are just so sexy. Kulas was equally so when he was firing his rounds at the Fun Shoot. We got a prize silver bullet keychain for a bull's eye.

It was a generally relaxed Saturday night. We were both tired from our trip that we just needed to loosen up. Had Sabrette hotdogs with sauerkraut and Dijon,plus mango-banana shakes from the adjacent Fruitana (it wasn't good,though as they used puree rather than fruit chunks). Oh and I got Murakami's "Wind-up Bird Chronicles" at Powerbooks whose new floor layout disoriented me.

Dead tired when I got home. I cleaned three rooms in the house earlier that I just didn't have enough energy to wait til Kulas got home. I dozed off and woke up to a quite Sunday morning.

I'm tired already and it's only 11 a.m.

Blog therapy. Days like this I wish I still smoked.

Monday, July 05, 2004

Off again

Back here in Manila but leaving for Dakak tomorrow. Work work work. The Palawan trip will have to be another entry--nothing spectacular though. My days went in a blur since I arrived last Friday. Ninang is in the ICU. She's in a really bad shape due to complications of her cancer and the effects of chemo. Her blood presseure has dropped to 50 and her sugar is extremely high that she needs insulin. Our family needs prayers.

Sleep was disturbed last night. I drifted in and out of--not dreams nor nightmares--but something like a stream of thoughts that didn't let go and wouldn't want to let go.

I'll try to write another post later at home. Have to rush to the hospital now. I wish with all my heart that Ninang gets better soon.

I miss her...