(we're everything greater than books might mean) - ee cummings

The Kids from Yesterday
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You know you're getting older when on your birthday you: - decide to work so you can use your birthday leave some other time - go home early since you have to gross a hemipelvectomy specimen the next day - don't stay up late to see if someone will greet you at 12 midnight on the dot. - relish the thought of sleeping early - would rather stay at home and read "A Clash of Kings" ****** As Tori sang, it's been a "pretty good year". Aside from winning the Php 300 million lottery, I really can't ask for much more. I know I'll never want for anything as long as I out things in perspective. No drama from me tonight. I am content. And sleepy. It's time to call it a night. After all, tomorrow is another year. ****** " 'coz we only live forever in the lights we make When you were young we used to say That we only hear the music when Our hearts begin to break. Now we are the kids from yesterday.

We all talk just like lions, but we sacrifice like lambs...
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Anyone who has ever been close to me knows how much I believe in being human, in being humane.
So many people I've encountered are so focused on making money, in being the best in their field that they forget the joys of having a beautiful soul. They let their love for words, for music, for beauty wither and die in order to seem more grown up.

Everyone is so afraid of appearing weak that people go to great lengths to hide their flaws. Everyone is so caught up in the game that we have a lot of lost, hurting souls that stumble around pretending to be invincible.

But what's so wrong with being weak? Doesn't it just mean that God/ Life/ the Universe is only reminding you that you're alive? It's what you do with your pain that determines how much soul you have in you and how much happiness that's still in store.

Brene Brown said it so much better. She actually put everything I've tried to convey in my lifetime into 20 minutes of one of the best talks I've heard so far:

(The Power of Vulnerability, TEDxHouston, December 2010)

Eyes closed, eyes open. Great, another day, here we go...

Onward and Upward
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I was supposed to write something else. I was supposed to write how it's the end of the decade and how things have changed, but I decided it sounded too preachy. No one should take life advice from me; I make too many mistakes and it took me too long to even come close to approximating the life I want.

If there is anything I have learned in the past ten years, it's that we should seize your chance at happiness whenever we can.
Life is too short to spend it wallowing in sadness and all the mistakes of the past.
Not to say that our hurt is not important (we do find the most valuable lessons when life brings us to our knees, after all), but it doesn't, shouldn't last forever.
We can choose sadness, and grief, and glorify our most miserable days

We can choose to be happy, choose to be thankful for all the small blessings and little victories that we forget are luxuries in other parts of the world.
There is no harm in looking back if we remember that we are always meant to move forward. After rock bottom, it's the only way I know how to go.

I believe that happiness is a choice.
Same with love.
And I believe in myself enough that I know I will choose love, laughter and happiness every time.
Marty McConnell wrote (and I agree):
I will bend toward joy until the bending's its own pleasure.

Onward and upward, friends. See you at the top :)


“Under One Small Star”

Wislawa Szymborska
My apologies to chance for calling it necessity
My apologies to necessity if I'm mistaken, after all.
Please, don't be angry, happiness, that I take you as my due.
May my dead be patient with the way my memories fade.
My apologies to time for all the world I overlook each second.
My apologies to past loves for thinking that the latest is the first.
Forgive me, distant wars, for bringing flowers home.
Forgive me, open wounds, for pricking my finger.
I apologise for my record of minuets to those who cry from the depths.
I apologise to those who wait in railway stations for being asleep today at
            five a.m.
Pardon me, hounded hope, for laughing from time to time.
Pardon me, deserts, that I don't rush to you bearing a spoonful of water.
And you, falcon, unchanging year after year, always in the same cage,
you gaze always fixed on the same point in space,
forgive me, even if it turns out you were stuffed.
My apologies to the felled tree for the table's four legs.
My apologies to great questions for small answers.
Truth, please don't pay me much attention.
Dignity please be magnanimous.
Bear with me, O mystery of existence, as I pluck the occasional thread from
            your train.
Soul, don't take offense that I've only got you now and then.
My apologies to everyone that I can't be everywhere at once.
My apologies to everyone that I can't be each woman and each man.
I know that I won't be justified as long as I live,
since I myself stand in my own way.
Don't bear me ill will, speech, that I borrow weighty words,
then labor heavily so that they may seem light.


"nobody but you"
Charles Bukowski

nobody can save you but
you will be put again and again
into nearly impossible
they will attempt again and again
through subterfuge, guise and
to make you submit, quit and/or die quietly

nobody can save you but
and it will be easy enough to fail
so very easily
but don't, don't, don't.
just watch them.
listen to them.
do you want to be like that?
a faceless, mindless, heartless
do you want to experience
death before death?

nobody can save you but
and you're worth saving.
it's a war not easily won
but if anything is worth winning then
this is it.

think about it.
think about saving your self.

Stop your preaching right there/ 'cause I really don't care/ and I'll do it again
I really don't know what to feel. On one hand I should be happy; in service exams are over and I don't have to study every night. Plus, my leave is coming up and I'll be seeing friends soon. I have time for proper Christmas shopping.


All I feel is this tristesse and unshakeable boredom. I'm irritable and listless. I felt like coming to work was such a chore today. Right now I'm sitting at our office table and I feel like getting my bag, walking out of here and spending the rest of the day somewhere else. The phrase "anywhere but here" has such an appeal to me at this moment.

I don't know how long this will last, if it's just for today or if it's the Christmas blues starting early.
I feel like getting into a cab just to get into an argument with the cab driver.

If I take a 2 hour lunch today to shake it off, do you think anyone would notice I'm gone?

Bend towards joy (how about you call that sacred)
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This is why I still love film:


This is why I still love poetry:

Three of Cups

by Marty McConnell

At some point it becomes true that all stories
are love stories. all making, love making.
I didn't make this rule. but it binds me
all the same. I wish there were a law
against condescending against love. against
the economy of fear that says your joy
means less joy for me as if love
were pie, or money, or fossil fuel
dug or pumped from the earth, gone
when it's gone. it's just not true. the heart
with its gift for magnificent expansion
is not coal. not fruit set to spoil or the dollar
cringing in its wallet. when you say darling,
the world lights up at its edges. when mouths
find mouths and minds follow or minds find
minds and mouths, hands, hips, toes, follow –
how about you call that sacred. how about you raise
your veined right hand and swear on the blood
that branches there, yes. I take this crush
to be my lawful infatuation. I will bend toward joy
until the bending's its own pleasure. I will memorize
photographs and street maps, I will acquiesce
to the maudlin urgency of pop songs and dance,
and dance – there's a perfection only the impossible kiss
possesses. there are notes you can only hear naked
in the dark of a room to which you will never
return. anything that moves the world toward light
is a blessing. why not take it with both hands,
lift it to your lips like a broth of stars. this
is the substance that holds our little atoms together
into bodies. this sweet paste of longing
is all that binds us to the earth.
and all we know of the gods.

Love Poem 2002
by Mary Fons

this poem is for the pillow clutchers/for those looking into the imaginary eyes of the person who fills their mind with sugarplum smiles/for those who have a cannon of dreams ready and waiting to blossom/for the men and the women who want to be understood in that way that only someone who kisses you can understand you/this poem is for you.

this poem is not for the desperate/the pathetic/the lame/the loser/not for the one who hasn’t gotten laid in awhile/not for the one who says they’re “choosing not to date” for awhile/there is no such thing/this poem is for the people who cannot bring themselves to admit that they would give their right leg for any length of time with the person on their mind.

forgive me/I am not a brave woman/I do not know what lurks in the hearts of humans and I don’t really want to know/if what’s there mirrors memories I show in my face on bad days it holds kisses that are long gone/people who have disappeared/and passions that have faded into the ether of the past/nothing lasts/that is the one lesson this coward can say she is able to teach.

this poem is for all those who wish to say “I’m sorry”/I’m sorry I couldn’t love you/you deserve love/I’m sorry I couldn’t give something to you/you deserve to be given to/I’m sorry that for every person that loves somebody/another person just doesn’t want to/and sometimes we’re the lucky ones/right/we get to feel sweet truth in the night/the bodies we reach out to are miraculously there/but I know the despair that comes when they are not/I know the long nights and the doubt and the fear and that crawling back to a womb that just isn’t there/I know intensity’s address and the letdown that rents there/I’m sorry for it/it takes years off your life and it cannot be avoided.

and some times these little words are crutches for the crush that we feel/so this poem is a pathetic vehicle for me to tell you/each one of you/that I love you/in so many ways/in the same ways that stay up nights and days/dreaming up the perfect way to be there for someone/meals you would cook for them/poems you would write for them and the things you plan to say when they say no/well I love you/and you will never know how in the slight of a magician’s hand we could’ve been lovers and grandly in love/could’ve changed the whole game/written words on the horizon/changed the compromise/but you will know something else instead/bitter as bitter ever gets/more bitter than a rotten peach pit/more bitter than a child’s most terrifying nightmare at night/you will know that I don’t reflect what I see in your eyes/will will share some banal recognition/some cordial understanding but have I mentioned that I love you for not lying/so many people lying all the time/I hate them/so I love you/and you will still go home alone/and that is very hard to do.

for all the humans with love for those who aren’t their lovers/I love you.

and so the poem ends because we know that it will/but before it slips away like everything else/I will attempt the only words I can think of that are a fraction as good as a kiss: when you reach out at night and find not someone/but the cold grey light of day that wakes you up like a slap/like a curse/like an insult/I love you/when you stay at home thinking of those who are long gone or those who are getting kisses from someone that is not you/I love you/for those who want what they probably need and whose bodies are starving not for food/for me and for you and for all the people who never knew or understood what you would do for them/I love you/I love you/I love you.


This is why I still love music and music videos:

Closer to the Edge

Na Na Na (which, not coincidentally, reminds me of graphic novels, which I still love)

So much so that next year, for my birthday, I will endeavor to be here:
Summersonic in Tokyo or Osaka
Singfest in Singapore.

I am bummed that I could have gone to Singfest for a free weekend and seen Smashing Pumpkins live. Yes, yes, I know, it's not the Pumpkins I grew up with without James Iha and D'arcy W., but still... a chance to hear 1979 or Tonight, Tonight live? I would've sold a few prized  possessions for the chance.
Dear frigging HTML fail in my post, I do not have the patience to deal with you right now.
I will fix you next time.
Right now I'd rather spend my duty eating dinner and wishing it's already 6AM of the next day.

Far between and fleeting
My perfect days are few and far between, but when they come around, it's like everything moves in slow motion and I can see everything in my mind's eye.

There I was, on a banca to Apo island after a 30 minute open air ride through Dauin's countryside, on my second day in Dumaguete. With sun on my face, wind in my hair and salt spray on my lips, I couldn't help but let out a small, satisfied smile. This, I thought. This is bliss.

I was taking this trip alone, no one but the friendly German guy and amiable Australian girl I shared the banca with to talk to when I wanted to break the silence. As we sped through the blue-green sea, I wondered why more people don't take these kinds of trips. What is it about traveling alone that scares people? Aside from safety issues, of course, what's stopping them from going on the road and satisfying all your curiosity about a place?

After paying the entrance fee, I set out to the Marine Reserve and almost immediately dove right in. I can't even begin to tell you how good it feels to have the cold salty water close over me. I didn't care that it was almost noon and I haven't reapplied my sunblock yet. I was lost in my own underwater world where all that existed was the air in my lungs and the seascape in front of my eyes.

Tired from my lengthy swim, I moved on to my next favorite pastime: lounging around with a book. I found this little quiet rock overhang complete with freshwater dripping off the crevices. I stayed there and lazed around until the banca came to take us to the next dive spot away from the beach. I couldn't go far because of the strong current, so I stayed near the boat and just watched the activity around me.

I had a pleasant ache in my muscles as we headed back to the city near sundown. I had forgotten to eat lunch in my quest for trivial pursuits. My smile hadn't left my face since I started out the morning. These are the moments that recharge and sustain me, made more precious because they are far between and fleeting.



The Approach

The Reserve

More where this came from.

The Lounge.

Tools of the trade.

The Rock(s)

Down under.



Would I go back to Dumaguete? Most probably. I haven't had the chance to go to all the places I wanted to go to. Apart from Palawan, there's no other place I've deemed feasible enough to settle in. There are good universities, it's quiet yet slightly urban at the same time, and it's in close proximity to beaches. It doesn't call to me like Palawan's siren song does, but it appeals to me in this quiet whisper that promises me calm.

Fever dreams
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It might just be the pain meds talking.
Or it could just solely be the pain lancing through my skull and not letting me sleep at 3 in the morning,
but I just wanted to say:


I cannot fathom how some people I know can live without a song in their head or a lyric in their heart.
These are the people who are indifferent to the music in their lives.
I ardently hope I never become one of those people at any point in my life.

Some things I found beautiful (will add when I have time):

"Signals cross and love gets lost and time passed makes it plain"
Sometimes, I think about all that I've been through, and I feel that I am seeing my life with different eyes. It's not that I feel regret for the choices that I made, but I feel I wasn't aware of or ready enough for some choices that I could have made. I sometimes wonder how my life would turn out if I didn't close certain doors or burn some bridges.

My musings have led me to realize that there's always three versions of a story: yours, mine, and everyone else's. But which one is the truth? The answer, I've learned, is that all of it is true. My truth is part of yours, but I play a starring role in my version. In your version, I am just a bit player, a footnote in your script.

In my story, you left me/broke my heart/cheated on me/didn't choose my side.

In your story, I walked away/turned into someone else/chose him over you.

I have played the blame game and realized far too late that it's not always
entirely someone else's fault. But I am too deep into my story; I am way too much into my character that I cannot see anything else. Maybe that's what it means to grow up: to see something from a different perspective and understand that there are some things that cannot help but splinter and break. Their time in my life is finite, and in the time it will take for me to let go, it will hurt more than I imagined.

So here I am, on the other side of my pain, peering into my sadness like I'm looking at tumor cells under a microscope: it's bad, misshapen, ugly, but it won't hurt me anymore. I can touch it, prod at it, run my fingers over the scars, but it won't take over my life. I think of all my erstwhile friends and loves fondly sometimes, smile at the memory of jumping off cliffs and learning how to smoke up.

Am I happier without them in my life? I don't know. And to what should I even compare it to? I have no alternate universes, no time machines, and no second chances. I have only this life to live and I'm doing the best I can. I hope you're doing the same.



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