Wednesday, December 24, 2014

year-end reminder


Sunday, November 16, 2014

hubby's new hobby



Bicycle bicycle bicycle

I want to ride my bicycle bicycle bicycle

I want to ride my bicycle

I want to ride my bike

I want to ride my bicycle

I want to ride it where I like

[queen]

Friday, October 24, 2014

i think that i shall never see


I think that I shall never see


A poem lovely as a tree.


A tree whose hungry mouth is prest


Against the earth's sweet flowing breast;



 A tree that looks at God all day,


And lifts her leafy arms to pray;




A tree that may in Summer wear


A nest of robins in her hair;



Upon whose bosom snow has lain;

Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,

But only God can make a tree.


       --- Joyce Kilmer

Friday, September 26, 2014

soul-cleaning II


“When faced with senseless drama, 
spiteful accusations and unfounded opinions, 
stand up for yourself. 
Christ always met his accusers and listened. 
Do all that you can to understand their motives, 
then focus on how you can heal them. 
There are some people that can carry wounds for so long 
and all they need is for you to listen without judgment, 
in order to heal the situation. 
They remain silent not because they don’t care. 
Their pain gives themselves away. 
They simply don’t trust you will hear them and validate how they feel. 
You might not agree with them, but peace isn’t about being right. 
It is about the willingness to hear the pain of another, 
then agreeing not to contribute to it anymore. 
However, realize that there are some people 
that simply want to be a victim. They will deny their actions, 
jabs and insults and magnify your actions to the extremes. 
They will blame you. 
Love these people also 
because something happened to them in their life. 
They will profess they are simple, easy going people 
that avoids drama. However, that is not true. 
They rise with conflict. 
They are passive aggressive types 
that pull people into their petty disputes for support 
because it feeds the attention they lack. 
They are supercharged by drama, 
or they wouldn’t seek it out and participate in it. 
Love them also because somewhere in their life 
they were made to feel unimportant. 
This destructive pattern for healing their wounds 
is short lived and will often repeat itself, 
until real therapy can occur.” 




― Shannon L. Alder

Friday, August 8, 2014

soul-cleaning

at times, this gets to be so tiring...
the loving, the living, the learning, the tolerating or understanding...
the daily route of a seemingly one way street
and blindly hoping there's a road, or even just a path
that leads some moving summer breeze back to me...
then the dishes called for cleaning.
i, for the first time for over several months,
replied with some urgency, to remove all debris,
to seek answers to confusion, to get some relief...
but the soap turned out to be of no match, at a disadvantage
for the cold cold stains. i should have made suds and
allow the stains to leave the dishes on its own.
cleaning, on some occasion requires time
and willingness of the party to be cleaned.
now, it all came back:
the reason for letting things be,
for not moving even if you're itching to run,
for staying silent when all you wanted to do is to scream.
perhaps, the same reason of a quick mind in a quick sand.
then all at once, you make yourself believe
that every feeling of weariness is your own making ...
that you are always free to change your path, your future,
perhaps even your past. then in that very moment,
your inner voice will whisper: let it be.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

choose. choices. choice.

There were many times that my father was ‘absentee’ because of his work, 
and then he was ‘deceased’ and it somehow didn’t matter to me anymore. 
I knew that as the eldest, I have to be my mother’s assistant, 
even a partner in taking care of my siblings and 
make sure our house is a home- 
be it an extension of someone’s garage, a shanty by the ‘riles’ or 
a room of a house of a relative. There were happy times, yes. 
And we are truly a family, my mother and I made sure of that. 
Despite the hardships, we excelled in school. 
We were popular because we didn’t allow others to look down on us 
and we proved that we didn’t have to be rich to be so. 

As a family, we were a strange band of characters-- in the 80’s, 
my mother and the three of us, in the 90’s ‘minus’ my sister 
who died of leukaemia and another sister 
who  was away from us for 10 years 
but then it’s also ‘plus’ a new sister and two brothers 
from my mother’s second marriage. We went through life 
sharing a lot- ideas, 
school supplies, socks, toothpaste (even bath towels at times), 
coveting one another's desserts, borrowing money, 
reading each other’s diaries, 
inflicting pain and kissing to heal it in the same instant, 
loving, laughing, defending, 
and trying to figure out the common thread that bound us all together… 
and that common thread is my mother or the love for her. 

Family (of origin) shaped my life in one way or another- who I am now 
(and I have my own family), how I act, and how I keep my values, 
and especially how I formed my identity. I have to form my own identity 
besides the pre-wired identity that my family built because I realized that 
I cannot depend on that 
(there were times I do not know what I want to be, 
but I am quite sure of what I don’t want to be so I take it from there). 

I remember five years ago, a girl called and told me that her dying father 
is my father too, and that I have to give my forgiveness 
so that he would die in peace. 
Fast forward, no one knows exactly (yet) if this was true 
but I was (and still am) glad to have another family added on my list. 
Here, I was exposed to stories of how ‘this father’ was and 
how I came to observe 
that we share a lot of commonalities and 
this made me wish I have met them 
(he and his family) before he died. Given that, my choices 
and priorities now however 
are based on what I wanted my own family to be – 
less complicated, intact and 
ever-present for each other. This wouldn’t be difficult (I hope) 
because we’re a family of just three. 

But then I asked myself once again: 
would I be this strong-willed, patient, and passionate and 
beautifully disturbed enough to try to help the least-favoured 
if we haven’t gone 
through all those life’s struggles and complexities? 
That is a question I wouldn’t risk answering by application now.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

10 commandments (for wives only)

oh here it is. with just few hours of my dear friends reading the 10 commandments for husbands, they couldn't wait to see the 'for wives' version. i wondered for a while why. and the thought gave me the cute kind of creeps...

[sakura's thought: husband and wife having a cold war, [meaning-no talking, only the usual piercing looks then] suddenly the wife raises her fingers to a specific number, referring to the commandment, and the husband retracts by raising his fingers to a specific number too, in her face... oh well, if this is the case, they might end up still not talking but giving each other 'cozies'. yes, i love happy endings!]


10 COMMANDMENTS FOR WIVES
(i didn't include the one-line ticklers here 'coz the commandment says it all. girlfriends, you don't need further discussions right?)

1. be proud you're a woman (thou shalt honor thy own womanhood that thy days may be long in the house which thy husbands provide for thee).

2. live on your budget (thou shalt not expect thy husband to give thee as many things as thy father hath given thee after many years of hardwork and economies).

3. keep a sense of humor in your marriage (thou shalt not forget the virtue of good humor, for verily, all that a man hath will he give for a woman's smile).

4. don't nag! (thou shalt not nag!)). - yes dears, it came with an exclamation point

5. pamper your husband (thou shalt please thy husband for verily, every man loveth to be fussedover).

6. keep hubby first! (remember that the frank approval of thy husband is worth more to thee than the sidelong glances of many strangers).

7. keep yourself attractive (thou shalt not forget the grace of cleanliness and neat dress). - oh yeah, 'coz we spent much time in making ourselves so attractive to them so many years ago...

8. keep faith with your husband (thou shalt not permit anyone to assure thee that thou art having a hard time of it). - me violating my non-quoting of any-one-line rule: don't allow yourself the indulgence of dwelling on the faults or failures of your mate...

9. make your house a home (thou shalt keep thy home with all diligence, for out of it cometh the joys of old age).

10. trust in the lord (thou shalt commit thy ways unto the lord thy god, and the children shall rise up and call thee blessed).

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

10 commandments (for husbands only)

yes, i did that on purpose. i intend to just enumerate here the 10 commandments for husbands as given by dr. harold sala (founder &president of guidelines international inc.- an international christian ministry) in his book 'ten commandments for husbands and wives' (omf literature)... it is because i noticed that in most bookstores, guidelines are mostly given to the female group (how to preserve a husband was even printed in a poster form). 

perhaps it's because the female group are also the reading-group hence, authors/printers see better feasibility if such were the target. hmmm...anyways, husbands (and wives- print this for whatever purpose it may serve) ---here they are (with one-liners from each of the brief discussion) :

TEN COMMANDMENTS FOR HUSBANDS

1. keep your priorities straight (thou shalt make the building of thy home thy first business) - your responsibility to your family shouldn't be in conflict with the obligation to your employer.
2. meet your wife's needs (thou shalt remember that thy wife hath need of more than food, clothing and shelter) - the need for companionship, the need for communication, the need for a friend.
3. don't take your wife for granted (thou shalt not take thy wife for granted) -[yes, that was repeated in the book that way. for emphasis, i guess.]
4. make your wife a partner (thou shalt not think thy business is none of thy wife's business) - you're in a partnership called marriage.
5. don't squeeze the purse (thou shalt not deal grudgingly with thy wife) - you shall not ask an accounting of every coin unless you make a similar accounting to her.
6. lead the way in discipline (thou shalt cooperate with thy wife in establishing family discipline) - don't you leave the disciplining to your wife, and don't you dare to fail in backing her up...
7. eat it and love it (thou shalt not complain about thy wife's cooking for it will be as discord in thy household harmony) - [oh well, enough said here...go on cooking girl!].
8. leave your gloom at work (thou shalt enter into thy house with cheerfulness) - remember that your wife thought she married a man, not a bear.
9. hang together (thou shalt not let anyone criticize thy wife to thy face and get away with it - neither thy mother, nor thy father nor thy breathren, nor thy sisters nor any others that are relatives) - [ i could just imagine the wive's reaction here...i say, whew!]
10. lead the way spiritually (remember thy home and keep it holy) - assume the spiritual responsibility for their (the family) souls. no one else can do that for you.

Monday, May 5, 2014

throwback 2010: letters are always heart-warming

here are some of the touching words i got from my friends after the first phase of my "grilling process"---i feel so blessed...

-much love to you afing!!

-Wow. That's a tough day. I'm impressed, though. It seems you handled it very well. If you need help, let me know.

-Oh sweetie...thanks for sharing...You must be under so much stress and it was catching up with you on Sunday! I get like that...usually getting sick after I have been in a very difficult situation or under a lot of stress.I hope it get's a bit better for you now.

-I want badly to just hug and comfort you...I'm here for you......I love you.

-Hooooray for keeping your composure through the grilling process...You have hurdled so many trials in your life that this is just another piece to it. You can do it. You have proven yourself so much. The road ahead may seem to still be hard and just do what you have always done, take one day at a time. Pray, plan and then make action. Whatever happens, you have come so far already. You have achieved so much and sometimes those achievements doesn't manifest in the way that we thought it would be but try looking from a different perspective and then you will realize that in so many ways, you have achieve success in your life.

-Your story and feelings are reminiscent of what I experienced and felt over those years after my proposal presentation. Just like you, I started my ambitious project with high hopes that I would finish it soon. But time and experience taught me a lot of lessons...with the right amount of motivation and inspiration, the process would make you a better person! It would be a humbling experience!

-I wish you could make it. You could make it by March 2011. I am still struggling with my paper also. But I know God is good. He will always help us when we ask Him.

these words, those letters they sent in the past...though most of them just don't realize it, kept me going (through the years). god bless my friends. i love them all.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

three rooms in three years (2010 memories)

since i decided to pursue my postgrad in 2008 in the north part of the country (the national capital region), i have lived in three different rooms... all i wanted was a space, good enough for me to be able to do my reading, my thinking, my laundry and ocassional cooking...and yes, some space for once-in-a-while-sleeping (read: i sleep once-in-a-while, but i stay there all-the-time).

first was chosen by an old flame who went all the way from his place in cavite to manila area to find me a room/bedspace conducive enough for my needs yet affordable enough for my budget (the scholarship fund isn't enough you bet). he found a beautiful 3-floor townhouse accepting lady bedspacers for 2000 php each (US$1=45 php). there may be four or six in a well-ventilated, semi-furnished room with one toilet and bath on each. it's a great deal save for-- you have to pay extra for each electronic or electrical gadget you might use and contribution for the gas if you'd be cooking/using the kitchen. lived there for more than a semester til i have to look for another place coz the residents have become too comfy for comfort.

in situations such as that, you have to practice maximum tolerance, especially you are dealing with about twelve people (most in their 20s-some generation gap huh) in just one roof. some may borrow your personal stuff without permission (or belatedly); some may wonder about you and presume things about you (your schedule and way of doing things such as your-wanting-all-your-books-near-you-in-your-bed) without even caring to ask you upfront (honestly, why should they even care as long as you are not using up their space/time); and some may bring in their friends (though friends of the opposite sex aren't allowed to enter bedrooms) playing cards, laughing , giggling and shouting til the wee hours of the morning. the place was beautiful but that (the noise and nighttime gaming events, including the possible SH-invits sssh sssh) went on until you feel like you have to find a new place.

second was a room in a three-bedroom flat near the university. it's an old old building with about 20 units for rent. all i needed was a bedspace (and that time, two other girls from the previous place decided to transfer with me). we have found a room for 4500 php. it's small and dusty. it's bare and the wall paint (one side on cement, one side on wood) is obviously more than a decade old. the provision for kitchen, toilet and bath is shared with residents of  two other rooms. maybe it's the no-curfew, no landlady-in-the-house situation that made us decide to get the room. maybe it's the fact that it's a ride away from the nearest mall, or a walk-away from the university, the hospital and the church or maybe, just maybe it is all we can afford--that would be 1500 php for each of us. cleaning up, putting life-sized landscape posters, we managed to make the room as homey (best-effort) as it can be. lived there for about a year with only some issues not that difficult to handle or disregard.

now that the roommates have left (one graduated from college, the other decided not to take the board exams after failing, hence deciding to work somewhere and somewhat unrelated to her course), i couldn't afford the rent for the entire room. so i transferred to a smaller (smallest!) room - the third, say about two meters long and one meter wide (?).  i have to haggle with the landlord to have me pay 2500 php instead of his initial offer of 3000 php, so he gave in (500 php is about two weeks supply of eggs and instant pancit canton!)-thank goodness.

was it liveable? oh well,  i have to make it that way. cleaning up (with soap, antibac and later floorwax), purchasing a small electric fan and recycling old CDs and magazines made it look less of a staircase-storeroom. being alone isn't that bad at all, in fact, it is way better. it's like having your own world...up to the time that you need to answer the call of nature. snap! back to earth. inday, put on your bathrobe 'coz the boyfriend or the father of another housemate or the nephews or the aide of the landlord may be just on the common area, you don't wanna be seen in your usual-almost-see-through-pjs, dontcha?! haaayyy

...the wall drawings that you are seeing are my almost-hopeless efforts to make the second room/bath a little homey. armed with just a pint of pink paint (one housemate had her on-job-training at boysen paint, how she got it is another story :) ), i did the deed one very hot dawn...

Saturday, March 29, 2014

withdrawal pangs... a semi-look-back


what is this pain??? he asked himself. these are just pangs of new attitudes trying, wanting, needing to be born...i have heard this line before. or did i read it from somewhere??? ah, yes i remember...it is from a letter from my soul-twin michael divina. i have always believed pain then...now, i don't know. i keep on telling myself that pain is just a part of the drama. and when you feel it, like you feel it, then maybe, just maybe, you are enjoying the drama...just what really is pain? is it a natural sensation or an extraordinary pang? is it something that happens within the bounds of the body and its existing systems or is it more than just skin-deep? more than skin-deep, that it reaches the deepest depth of human emotions... all that is left in me is the knowledge that there really is pain. there really is pain and i can feel it now. the kind of pain that seemed to have nothing as a cure...the kind of pain that goes with living...and growing...to be more...than just an ordinary man.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

so, graduation? (thanks bob ong)


"Mag-aral maigi. Kung titigil ka sa pag-aaral, manghihinayang ka pagtanda mo dahil hindi mo naranasan ang kakaibang ligayang dulot ng mga araw na walang pasok o suspendido ang klase o absent ang teacher. (Haaay, sarap!)."

"Nalaman kong marami palang libreng lecture sa mundo, ikaw ang gagawa ng syllabus. Maraming teacher sa labas ng eskuwelahan, desisyon mo kung kanino ka magpapaturo. Lahat tayo enrolled ngayon sa isang university, maraming subject na mahirap, pero dahil libre, ikaw ang talo kung nag-drop ka. Isa-isa tayong ga-graduate, iba't-ibang paraan. tanging diploma ay ang mga alaala ng kung ano mang tulong o pagmamahal ang iniwan natin sa mundong pinangarap nating baguhin minsan..."

"nalaman kong hindi final exam ang passing rate ng buhay. hindi ito multiple choice, identification, true or false, enumeration or fill-in-the- blanks na sinasagutan kundi essay na isinusulat araw-araw. Huhusgahan ito hindi base sa kung tama o mali ang sagot, kundi base sa kung may kabuluhan ang mga isinulat o wala. Allowed ang erasures."

"Tuparin ang mga pangarap. Obligasyon mo yan sa sarili mo. Kung gusto mo mang kumain ng balde-baldeng lupa para malagay ka sa Guinness Book of World Records at maipagmalaki ng bansa natin, sige lang. Nosi balasi. wag mong pansinin ang sasabihin ng mga taong susubok humarang sa'yo. Kung hindi nagsumikap ang mga scientist noon, hindi pa rin tayo dapat nakatira sa jupiter ngayon. Pero hindi pa rin naman talaga tayo nakatira sa jupiter dahil nga hindi nagsumikap ang mga scientist noon. Kita mo yung moral lesson?"

Friday, March 14, 2014

flashback...peace... afterthoughts...







In an open and highly vulnerable world, we need to address issues of violence, war and peace, human rights and social justice. Today is the best time to somehow step back for a look at what we as individuals and as collective nations need to do to get on the right path.

It has long been accepted a fact that there can be no meaningful peace without justice on a global scale. Those who are somehow doing well in life cannot pretend to be working for peace unless they also are working for a more just and equitable distribution of the world's resources. The anti-war or better yet called peace movement, therefore, must also be a movement focused on the inequalities in a somewhat-predatory corporate capitalist system. In a world where more than half the population is poor, it's clear that the global economy is itself a form of war. One may blurt out that we live in a profoundly unjust world, that armed conflict is inevitable because there always will be resistance to inequality. Powerful states will respond militarily to any threat, real or perceived, to their dominance. Read: No justice, no peace.

People from all walks of life must recognize that there can be no justice over the long term without sustainability, and creating a sustainable world will require not only radical change in systems and structures of power but also a radical change in the way we live. It's time to recognize that if we are serious about the values of equality and justice and peace, we must scale back the level at which we live. Eloquent calls for peace are easy to make. Moving beyond that to a demand for meaningful justice gets us closer to the goal.

Monday, March 3, 2014

love too shall pass

remind yourself this
whenever you decide to love, love fully
you will be glad but you will be sad at times too
you may even be mad and feel bad
about the things such love will bring but hey
love fully still...fully until you still can
for when love says 'stop' you will stop fully too
and you may never love that way again
 love, too, shall pass.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

10 things about gout - my health concern these days

all i got was a reminder from the doctor that my uric acid level is beyond normal...and that i have to be careful/choosy with what i eat. i never thought id have something like that coz i am not a meat-eater, sadly, i wasnt spared. surfing the net, keywords i used (high level of uric acid) always lead me to articles about gout (scared me more). here's the latest i got- from http://arthritis.about.com/od/gout/a/10_gout_facts.htm ...the article says that gout is considered one of the most painful types of arthritis. along with pain, gout can cause swelling, redness, heat and stiffness in joints. there are other types of arthritis which can mimic gout symptoms, making it very important to get an accurate diagnosis so that proper treatment can begin.


HERE ARE 10 THINGS ONE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT GOUT
1 - Gout is accurately diagnosed through the identification of characteristic crystals. (that's how i got my diagnosis - gave me the other side of the word 'crystal') 
2 - Blood uric acid levels can be misleading. (i hope teeheehee)
3 - Though the big toe is the most common joint affected by gout, ankles, heels, insteps, wrists, and knees can also be affected. (i can feel it often in my hands, between my palm and fingers and i know its not just my mind playing tricks on me)
4 - Uric acid results from the breakdown of purines. Purines are part of all human tissue and found in many foods. (thats what i learned lately, hence, i should moderate intake of purine-rich foods such as seafoods and animal internal organs- goodbye sisig!)
5 - There are certain triggers which can cause a gout attack. (alcohol is named one! chocolates, coffee and tea are still a-okay)


6 - For gout to be treated successfully, there are four goals of treatment.
•acute attacks must be stopped
•pain and inflammation must be relieved quickly
•future attacks must be prevented
•tophi, kidney stones, and renal disease must be prevented
7 - Treating an acute gout attack can involve resting the affected joint and taking prescribed medications. (that would be sad if attacks are on your hands and youre an online data-miner- oh so me)
8 - To prevent future attacks, diet and lifestyle changes, along with urate-lowering medications, can be helpful. (i have to loose some weight, obesity or weighing more than the ideal as in my case- leads to high uric acid levels)
9 - Prevalence statistics from the Arthritis Foundation indicate that 2.1 million Americans are affected by gout. (i wonder what are the stats for ph)
10 - Unless gout is properly managed it can affect the patient's life and work productivity. (waaah!)


im still learning and trying to know more about this. KNOWLEDGE IS POWER!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

The Scroll Marked VII

I will laugh at the world. No living creature can laugh except humans.  Trees may bleed when they are wounded, and beasts in the field will cry in pain and hunger, yet only I have the gift of laughter and it is mine to use whenever I choose.  Henceforth I will cultivate the habit of laughter.


I will smile and my digestion will improve; 
I will chuckle and my burdens will be lightened; 
I will laugh and my life will be lengthened 
for this is the great secret of long life 
and now it is mine.


I will laugh at the world. And most of all, I will laugh at myself for humans are most comical when we take ourselves too seriously.  Never will I fall into this trap of the mind.  For though I be nature's greatest miracle am I not still a mere grain tossed about by the winds of time?  Do I truly know whence I came or whither I am bound?  Will my concern for this day not seem foolish ten years hence?  Why should I permit the petty happenings of today to disturb me?  What can take place before this sun sets which will not seem insignificant in the river of centuries?


I will laugh at the world. And how can I laugh when confronted with person or deed which offends me so as to bring forth my tears or my curses?  Four words I will train myself to say until they become a habit so strong that immediately they will appear in my mind whenever good humor threatens to depart from me.  These words, passed down from the ancients, will carry me through every adversity and maintain my life in balance.  These four words are:  This too shall pass.


I will laugh at the world. For all worldly things shall indeed pass. When I am heavy with heartache I shall console myself that this too shall pass; when I am puffed with success I shall warn myself that this too shall pass.  When I am strangled in poverty I shall tell myself that this too shall pass; when I am burdened with wealth I shall tell myself that this too shall pass.  Yea, verily, where is he who built the pyramid?  Is he not buried within its stone?  And will the pyramid, one day, not also be buried under sand?  If all things shall pass why should I be of concern for today?

I will laugh at the world.
                                               I will paint this day with laughter; 
I will frame this night in song.  
Never will I labor to be happy; 
rather I will remain too busy to be sad.  
I will enjoy today's happiness today.  
It is not grain to be stored in a box.  
It is not wine to be saved in a jar.  
It cannot be saved for the morrow.  
It must be sown and reaped on the same day 

and this will I do, henceforth.


I will laugh at the world. And with my laughter all things will be reduced to their proper size.  I will laugh at my failures and they will vanish in clouds of new dreams.  I will laugh at my successes and they will shrink to their true value.  I will laugh at evil and it will die untasted; I will laugh at goodness and it will thrive and abound.  Each day will be triumphant only when my smiles bring forth smiles from others and this I do in selfishness, for those on whom I frown are those who purchase not my goods.
I will laugh at the world.

Henceforth will I shed only tears of sweat, for those of sadness or remorse or frustration are of no value in the marketplace whilst each smile can be exchanged for gold and each kind word, spoken from my heart, can build a castle.



Never will I allow myself to become so important, 
so wise, so dignified, so powerful, 
that I forget how to laugh at myself and my world.  
In this matter I will always remain as a child, 
for only as a child am I given the ability 
to look up to others; and so long as I look up to another 
I will never grow too long for my cot.


I will laugh at the world. And so long as I can laugh never will I be poor.  This then, is one of nature's greatest gifts, and I will waste it no more.  Only with laughter and happiness can I truly become a success.  Only with laughter and happiness can I enjoy the fruits of my labor.  Were it not so, far better would it be to fail, for happiness is the wine that sharpens the taste of the meal.  To enjoy success I must have happiness, and laughter will be the maiden who serves me.


I will be happy.
I will be successful.
I will be the greatest salesman the world has ever known.






from The Greatest Salesman in the World
by Og Mandino

Sunday, February 16, 2014

life...is what we make it II

There were many times that my father was ‘absentee’ because of his work,
and then he was ‘deceased’ and it somehow didn’t matter to me anymore.
I knew that as the eldest, I have to be my mother’s assistant,
even a partner in taking care of my siblings and make sure our house is a home-
be it an extension of someone’s garage, a shanty by the ‘riles’ or
a room of a house of a relative. There were happy times, yes.
And we are truly a family, my mother and I made sure of that.
Despite the hardships, we excelled in school.
We were popular because we didn’t allow others to look down on us
and we proved that we didn’t have to be rich to be so.

As a family, we were a strange band of characters-- in the 80’s,
my mother and the three of us, in the 90’s ‘minus’ my sister
who died of leukaemia and another sister who was away from us for 10 years
but then it’s also ‘plus’ a new sister and two brothers
from my mother’s second marriage. We went through life sharing a lot- ideas,
school supplies, socks, toothpaste (even bath towels at times),
coveting one another's desserts, borrowing money, reading each other’s diaries,
inflicting pain and kissing to heal it in the same instant, loving, laughing, defending,
and trying to figure out the common thread that bound us all together…
and that common thread is my mother or the love for her.

Family (of origin) shaped my life in one way or another- who I am now
(and I have my own family), how I act, and how I keep my values,
and especially how I formed my identity. I have to form my own identity
besides the pre-wired identity that my family built because I realized that
I cannot depend on that (there were times I do not know what I want to be,
but I am quite sure of what I don’t want to be so I take it from there).

I remember five years ago, a girl called and told me that her dying father
is my father too, and that I have to give my forgiveness so that he would die in peace.
Fast forward, no one knows yet if this was true but I had another family added on my list.
Here, I was exposed to stories of how ‘this father’ was and how I came to observe
that we share a lot of commonalities and this made me wish I have met them
(he and his family) before he died. My choices and priorities now
are based on what I wanted my new family to be – less complicated, intact and
ever-present for each other. This wouldn’t be difficult (I hope)
because we’re a family of three.

But then I asked myself once:
would I be this strong-willed, patient, and passionate and
beautifully disturbed enough to try to help the least-favoured if we haven’t gone
through all those life’s struggles and complexities?
That is a question I wouldn’t risk answering by application now.

Friday, February 14, 2014

my 10 favorites in the 48 laws of power

  • Law 1 Never outshine the master.
  • Law 2 Never put too much trust in friends; learn how to use enemies.
  • Law 3 Conceal your intentions.
  • Law 4 Always say less than necessary.
  • Law 5 So much depends on reputation. Guard it with your life.
  • Law 6 Court attention at all costs.
  • Law 7 Get others to do the work for you, but always take the credit.
  • Law 8 Make other people come to you; use bait if necessary.
  • Law 9 Win through your actions, never through argument.
  • Law 10 Infection: avoid the unhappy and unlucky.
  • Law 11 Learn to keep people dependent on you.
  • Law 12 Use selective honesty and generosity to disarm your victim.
  • Law 13 When asking for help, appeal to people's self-interests, never to their mercy or gratitude.
  • Law 14 Pose as a friend, work as a spy.
  • Law 15 Crush your enemy totally.
  • Law 16 Use absence to increase respect and honor.
  • Law 17 Keep others in suspended terror: cultivate an air of unpredictability.
  • Law 18 Do not build fortresses to protect yourself. Isolation is dangerous.
  • Law 19 Know who you're dealing with; do not offend the wrong person.
  • Law 20 Do not commit to anyone.
  • Law 21 Play a sucker to catch a sucker: play dumber than your mark.
  • Law 22 Use the surrender tactic: transform weakness into power.
  • Law 23 Concentrate your forces.
  • Law 24 Play the perfect courtier.
  • Law 25 Re-create yourself.
  • Law 26 Keep your hands clean.
  • Law 27 Play on people's need to believe to create a cultlike following.
  • Law 28 Enter action with boldness.
  • Law 29 Plan all the way to the end.
  • Law 30 Make your accomplishments seem effortless.
  • Law 31 Control the options: get others to play with the cards you deal.
  • Law 32 Play to people's fantasies.
  • Law 33 Discover each man's thumbscrew.
  • Law 34 Be royal in your fashion: act like a king to be treated like one.
  • Law 35 Master the art of timing.
  • Law 36 Disdain things you cannot have: Ignoring them is the best revenge.
  • Law 37 Create compelling spectacles.
  • Law 38 Think as you like but behave like others.
  • Law 39 Stir up waters to catch fish.
  • Law 40 Despise the free lunch.
  • Law 41 Avoid stepping into a great man's shoes.
  • Law 42 Strike the shepherd and the sheep will scatter.
  • Law 43 Work on the hearts and minds of others.
  • Law 44 Disarm and infuriate with the mirror effect.
  • Law 45 Preach the need for change, but never reform too much at once.
  • Law 46 Never appear perfect.
  • Law 47 Do not go past the mark you aimed for; in victory, learn when to stop.
  • Law 48 Assume formlessness.



    *WIKI: The 48 Laws of Power is a 1998 book by Robert Greene.
    The book shares thematic elements with Niccolò Machiavelli's The Prince
    and has been compared to Sun-Tzu's classic treatise The Art of War.


        Tuesday, February 4, 2014

        the end's prime



        there in a night solemn and cold
        where black feathers flew off their nest
        where heavens gems gave a glow
        a figured shivered...quivered as it stood
        while trace of melancholy appeared
        in hazy shadows 'neath the moon
        "why oh why" its spirit moaned
        here the fate of the heart once agog
        stood with all its throe
        the soul hoping to find pathos
        of the everlasting...of the unknown
        the soul in its havoc flew
        then thought the sunrise and sunset
        were coeval...and... death...a prime.

        and the night grew darker
        its solemness fell deep
        the thickest leaf closed in coldness
        slowly the stars seemed to fall asleep
        the sky casted a dim - very dim glow
        tired crows seeking refuge among the branches
        of the trees that swayed with the breeze
        the figure shivered...quivered as it stood
        yet its silhouette remain unfazed
        the agony of its soul's there still
        confused pathos...shattered and torn
        the anguish of its heart stopped
        'tho its thoughts then unfathomed
        suddenly...slowly...a poet's heart...was born.

        Friday, January 31, 2014

        eurosa's flashback

        The smell of Formalin still reminds me of something. I was at ‘that’ place. I have seen ‘the man’ for the last time on that dreaded 24th of March year 2009. On that afternoon, torrents of rain were pouring dreadfully in my black umbrella as I was about to go inside. It was an unexpected rain since it was almost summer time of the year. I felt the heavens must have been feeling what I am feeling. It was my only solace; it wept with me.


        As I walked along the dark hall entrance, I felt numbness in my entire body. I was nearing insanity, once more. I saw from afar piles of coffins across the other end. I moved closely scrutinizing each, some made of wood and some made of metal. There were assorted colors: red, black, white, silver, gold. Some had intricate designs of Christ’s last supper; others had carved angel designs, most were just plain old, classic-looking coffins. I told myself I wanted none of them when I die. I prefer to be cremated.


        Later that afternoon, I had a hard time contemplating, whether or not, to go inside the next room which reads “STRICTLY NO ENTRY”. It was the Embalming Room. I could no longer help it; I had to see him for the very last time before he gets embalmed. The smell of Formalin was somewhat inviting and so; I finally decided to go inside, without any hesitation. Inside that room lay three bodies whose souls have been stripped off by a so-called “Divine Entity”. Their deaths must have been caused by either of two factors, either: an ill-fated accident or a self-destructing vice. Or who knows?


        Two corpses were covered with white blankets and were sadly situated on the floor. Seemed to me that this is nothing but showing a lack of compassion towards the dead. I wondered why they would leave the bodies in the floor when there are enough vacant tables. The other body was placed on top of the operating table. Because of the familiar-looking blanket with dark red floral designs, I began to recognize that this body in the operating table was him. I uncovered the body and the sight broke my heart. I looked at him very closely for a couple of minutes because I wanted to imprint this memory in my head for me to remember that moment for the rest of my life. That moment was so precious since it will be the last time that I will see him in his natural, lifeless state since later on he will undergo a post-mortem examination and have the vital parts of his body removed. I held his hand for the last time, poked his pale arms and cried, “Papa, please don’t forget what I told you, keep in touch okay?” Yes, that man is my father. He was my father.


        As I started to observe the place, the four walls of the room began to feel creepy. It was deafeningly silent and badly lit. I smell mixed chemical solutions but the only smell which overpowered my olfactory system was Formalin. In the tray, I saw scissors, knives, injections and other sharp objects used for embalming. At the corner of the operating table were long, narrow tubes used to remove blood. I was inside that dreaded place, and I realized I shouldn’t be there. I swore to myself that, as long as I am still alive, that would be the first and last time I’m going inside a place like that. It made me reflect about my own death as well and it also made me realize that I should cherish the life that I have.


        The smell of Formalin still reminds me of something. I guess ‘that’ is the place, and there is no other place that can display the inconvenient truth about human beings ephemeral existence, but ‘the morgue’. We are born and then we begin to die. In between, we live. In between, like my father, I’d try live.

        Wednesday, January 15, 2014

        47 rounin: 1st movie for 2014... our 1st.

        yes dear, it delivered. any keanu reeves starrer does, i say :) 
        47 rounin is certainly a movie to watch. filled with pretty visuals 
        (sakura FTW), 
        creative ones too! it draws some kind of mystery, 
        even populated by creatures that grew from myths 
        without any attempt to categorize them. 
        it's like dependent on the intellect of the watcher :) 
        the story focuses in on a more personal story, 
        on the story of men who fought in order to set things right, 
        the story of  men killing themselves 
        for disobeying an order for the greater good, 
        and thinks it is a great honor to do so. 
        as much as i do not agree with the action, i respect it. 
        reeves is not the star of this film 
        but it would be really boring if it's portrayed by others :) 
        i do not intend to put so much technical remarks here 
        but i must write that it's serviceable 
        by having the decency to try to tell a story and deliver just that.  
        oh well, i just love it...

        Monday, January 13, 2014

        ball games ...

        Bruises, 
        nosebleeds, 
        occasional blackeyes
        intensify a mother's paranoia 
        but 
        they're no match 
        for the giggles and laughter 
        at halftime break.

        Friday, January 10, 2014

        the little prince...my little prince

        this morning i started the day with "alice in wonderland" in mind...the words from the book never cease to amuse me...until plurkfriend tatcee asked about global citizenship. with that, i suddenly thought of "the little prince". fancy that, just like 'unsing it' when you keep having the 'last song syndrome'...anyways, here are my favorite quotes from the book written by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.

        Grown-ups never understand anything by themselves, and it is tiresome for children to be always and forever explaining things to them.

        Grown-ups love figures. When you tell them that you have made a new friend, they never ask you any questions about essentail matters. They never say to you, “What does his voice sound like? What games does he love best? Does he collect butterflies?” Instead, they demand: “How old is he? How many brothers has he? How much does he weigh? How much money does his father make?” Only from these figures do they think they have learned anything about him.


        If you were to say to the grown-ups: “I saw a beautiful house made of rosy brick, with geraniums in the windows and doves on the roof,” they would not be able to get an idea of that house at all. You have have to say to them: “I saw a house that cost $20,000.” Then they would exclaim: “Oh, what a pretty house that is!”

        “One day,” you said to me, “I saw the sunset forty-four times!” And a little later you added: “You know--one loves the sunset, when one is so sad…” “Were you so sad, then?” I asked, “on the day of the forty-four sunsets?”But the little prince made no reply.


        “Well, I must endure the presence of two or three caterpillars if I wish to become acquainted with the butterflies. It seems that they are very beautiful.”

        “Why are you drinking?” demanded the little prince. “So that I may forget,” replied the tippler. “Forget what?” inquired the little prince, who already felt sorry for him. “Forget that I am ashamed,” the tippler confessed, hanging his head. “Ashamed of what?” insisted the little prince, who wanted to help him. “Ashamed of drinking!”


        “When he lights his street lamp, it is as if he brought one more star to life, or one flower. When he puts out his lamp, he sends the flower, or the star, to sleep. That is a beautiful occupation. And since it is beautiful, it is truly useful.”

        “Men?” she echoed. “I think there are six or seven of them in existence. I saw them, several years ago. But one never knows where to find them. The wind blows them away. They have no roots, and that makes their lives very difficult.”


        “I thought that I was rich, with a flower that was unique in all the world; and all I had was a common rose. A common rose, and three volcanoes that come up to my knees--and one of them perhaps extinct forever… That doesn’t make me a very great prince…” And he lay down in the grass and cried.

        “To me, you are still nothing more than a little boy who is just like a hundred thousand other little boys. And I have no need of you. And you, on your part, have no need of me. To you, I am nothing more than a fox like a hundred thousand other foxes. But if you tame me, then we shall need each other. To me, you will be unique in all the world. To you, I shall be unique in all the world…If you tame me, it will be as if the sun came to shine on my life...You have hair like the color of gold. Think how wonderful that will be when you have tamed me! The grain, which is also golden, will bring me back the thought of you. And I shall love to listen to the wind in the wheat…”


        “You are beautiful, but you are empty,” he went on. “One could not die for you. To be sure, an ordinary passerby would think that my rose looked just like you--the rose that belongs to me.”

        “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”


        “What makes the desert beautiful,” said the little prince, “is that somewhere it hides a well…”

        "All men have the stars," he answered, "but they are not the same things for different people. For some, who are travellers, the stars are guides. For others they are no more than little lights in the sky. For others, who are scholars, they are problems. For my businessman they were wealth. But all the stars are silent. You--you alone--will have the stars as no one else has them--"


        and as for my personal request---this quote does more like it:

        Wait for a time, exactly under the star. Then, if a little man appears who laughs, who has golden hair and who refuses to answer questions, you will know who he is. If this should happen, please comfort me. Send me word that he has come back.


        need i write more? ah yes! watch the movie version. it's beautifully done too!