Saturday, September 25, 2004

Special Day, Special People

I haven’t written in quite a while but I thought I should. Today is a special occasion. My friend is arriving from the Philippines and my mom is arriving from Jordan. But I would also like to acknowledge a very welcomed call from a dear friend. I talked for almost an hour on the phone last night with another wanderer friend. It felt good to talk and to be happy.

I had been racked with worries as of late but they all seem to fade away now. God gives me daily sources of strengths that aid my weak heart to get through the day’s hardships. And I would just like to thank Him for it.

I’d also like to thank all my friends who are such blessings in my life - Ria, in particular. Some things are never shared with a friend but we always know. It is in the unspoken words that we scream the loudest. And I scream to you now – THANK YOU!

You have been there through my saddest and happiest moments and they were times that we weren’t near each other. You made such an effort and through the miles, I felt your care and love. Again, I say thank you.

To JAM, my wonderful bestfriend, who has always been so understanding. It was your wisdom and love that got me through the toughest times. It was the thought of you and your caring heart that served as a beacon in my darkest hours. We haven’t been together for so long either but even if oceans would divide us, we are still tied at the heart! Thank you to you.

I have many friends who have graced my life with their presence. Ivy and her uncanny honesty; Aster and her bewildered countenance (always served as diversion and a great comfort); Maan with her cool expressions; I know I’ll forget somebody so I’ll make my excuses now. You all mean so much to me! To Lemon (my kumadre) who not only walked the UP streets with me, but walked life with me (she also walked in on me in Maan’s room). To Flor, another wonderful soul that gave me a shoulder to cry on.

Hannah and Hazel and our intellectual talks (ITs)…Jack and his peach roses…Ton and Deej (intellectual sparring partners); Luige’s wits! Cheng at arms’ length, with big heart in tow! Sarah for showing me how a bestfriend should be, Yessie for paving the way.


Ate Chi, Ate Mini and Nathalie…for being great women…and sharing their lives with me.

Marivic for always having an open ear. Kuya Joseph and our turon staring contests. It was always a source of a smile. Peejay, the beautiful! You are!

For all the people who’ve made a difference in my life – your names are etched into my heart…and no space in a cyber log can ever replace that.

All my LOVE to you!

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Chillon's warmth

18 September 2004
Chateau de Chillon
Montreux, Switzerland

Sunlit day at Chillon’s castle
Fun and games come to proffer
Labyrinths explored
Of old 15th century world

Journey in time
I see in capsule
In walls preserved
An ancient tale

Happiness in walks
Amidst draw bridges
Company swell in leisure
Laughter enjoyed at cobblestone’s fall

Light-hearted day
In Switzerland’s glamour
Teased by the French Alps’ splendor

The lake shining
In mighty reflection
Of sun’s warmth
And earthly pleasure

No time, no worry
No train to run after
A day spent
In utter wonder

No place to go
No one to meet
No pressure
On sunlit day

In Chillon’s majesty
I came to ponder
How beautiful
Is nature’s bounty

A sight so picturesque
I hold in thought
One day I spent
In Chillon’s warmth

from the other side Posted by Hello

slivers of light Posted by Hello

labyrinths Posted by Hello

from the tower Posted by Hello

french alps Posted by Hello

chateau de chillon Posted by Hello

this way! Posted by Hello

For Joanne

It is her smile that makes the day bright
It is her warmth that makes the cold bearable
It is her big heart that makes the world lovable

She is the grace that makes tomorrow
An escape from sorrow
She is the happiness of the world encapsulated

Joanne is a kindred soul
Alive from love within her depths
Spirited and kind

A daughter
A sister
A friend

nikki, ivy, moi, joanne Posted by Hello

Saturday, September 18, 2004

jowan again Posted by Hello

kindred souls: me and joanne Posted by Hello

Friday, September 17, 2004

"The Road NOT Taken"

By Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.


This was a poem I recited in my senior year in high school. I chose it as an oratorical piece because it was so relevant in my life. I had always been someone who ran against the grain and in all conscious non-conformity, I always stood alone. I was a stickler for rules when obviously everyone wasn’t and I was lax when doctrines came a-knockin’.

There is a price to pay for being different but I always found someone who understood what it meant to be different.

I had matured beyond my years through the many trials and travels in my life. I had not been appreciated by my peers till I went to the university. I was always the “odd one out.” But I never regretted the decision of taking the “road not taken” because in choosing that path, I had become the person that I am.

It was the pain of loneliness, the pain of being different, and the pain of self-sacrifice that drove me past the un-trodden path. But as I travel on that “road less traveled” I find one or two taking up their burdens for what seems to be a reward awaiting the end of such a grueling journey.

I guess I am also searching for that reward of being different, of being less mediocre than the pack, and of knowing that being me is a good thing. But I am not banking on that. I wanted to be different because it’s what I thought would make me happy. And I am happy now.

Monday, September 13, 2004

Happiness for “now”

13 September 2004
8:00 p.m.

I jotted down my old text messages today. It felt like more than just taking note of what I’ve received; it seemed more like literal archiving.

When we start to put away old things in boxes and tie them up with little ribbons and put them in a closet or an attic, are we closing that chapter of our lives?

I have always been fond of collecting little things including little notes sent to me on paper or through text. I found it sentimental. But I’ve never really re-read my diaries or scrap books from cover to cover.

Is it a subconscious act to start sorting and organizing “old” things because they don’t belong in the present any more?

Do we actually live for the present? Do we ever really enjoy the moment? Or do we batter our brains thinking, “Where will this lead to? Where am I going? Is this going to last? Will this make me happier in the future?”

Happiness has become as trivialized as the archived notes. We keep it to remind us that we were once happy. But can we be happy for “now”?

I know a person who attends memorable events but doesn’t bring a camera. I always found it puzzling. In his old age, how will he remember the happier times?

Maybe, the happiness is etched in his heart and it will never leave his side. Maybe he brings a little bit of that happiness that makes a memorable event a memorable one and not simply a memory.

I guess I have to move up that ladder where I should be happy for the moment; happy for being; happy for knowing that happiness does exist and sometimes we don’t need to keep it hidden in an old box because it never left our hearts.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

After Birthday Wishes…

9 September 2004
3:36 a.m.

It’s nice to feel loved even when you’re miles away from your loved ones…

I just celebrated my birthday in the simplest gathering I have ever had in the last few years. I invited my closest friends in Geneva and had a sit-down dinner for eight people. I was a bit hesitant for the gathering because I had always met with these people on a one-to-one basis. The age differences were not gigantic but it was considerable. But I had worried for nothing. The night was perfect complete with meaningful gifts and overseas calls. A friend from Fujaira, UAE had called to say “happy birthday” and had offered to help pass out my CV to company. That is a good birthday gift.

The day has been one big birthday gift. I got up to go to mass with my mother at 7 a.m. It was the first French mass I ever attended in Geneva. At Notre Dame, we offered candles for our intentions. I offered three: for myself, my family, the world. My mom miraculously took a flight on my birthday instead of the day before so she could spend time with me. She is bound for the Middle East.

In a whirlwind of morning tasks, I finished at the office to rush off to lunch with my mother and to take her to the airport. Missing out on a posh restaurant to have dejeuner, my brothers, my mother, the driver and I sat in a cozy airport restaurant to bid our goodbyes and to share a meal as a family. Time was not on our side so we had a small and quick lunch. Shortly after, while still sitting at the restaurant, I received a call from Manila. About 10 friends had gathered to bid farewell to another friend bound for Japan. They called me up and greeted me one by one. I was very happy and I felt so loved.

I received many text messages greeting me. I wrote them down for the older I get, the more sentimental I become. I received an invitation for a one gigabyte email account from another friend in the Philippines. For a person like me, who’s not only sentimental but writes a lot, that was a great gift.

Before ending work, I received good news of a vacancy from a UN agency. I was advised to send an application by a contact. I hope that it will push through and that maybe, it will be God’s gift for my birthday.

A girl could not ask for more on her birthday…so many blessings.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Ode to me…

8 September 2004

I wasn’t keen on writing about myself but since I’m turning 24 in a little bit I thought I’d re-assess my life…But I won’t put you through that. Let me just recount my coming into the world.

It was Dec. 26, 1979; the town fiesta in Bicol, and the wedded couple, Amante and Grace decided to have some afternoon delight. Nine months later on 8 Sept. 1980, I became the second (of five) child and only daughter to this couple. Recounting from my mother’s stories…I was the healthiest – eight pounds of pure baby.

I wasn’t a difficult pregnancy (thank God) but I had a different entrance to this world. I decided to come out face first instead of the “normal” head first. Was that ominous of my intriguing nature? But two hours of “hilot” got me right out of my mother’s womb. And I came out on a pretense. My mom had been faking labor pains while sweeping the grounds in our apartment in Bicol (southern Philippine region) after watching a flick starring her favorite movie actress, Susan Roces.

“I’m gonna give birth,” she said, sweeping away. My dad, skeptical, didn’t pay attention. Then, it hit! Labor pains. Water broke. Called midwife. And at our apartment in Bicol, I came at 2 a.m. to be named P.A. (you thought I’d divulge my name? think again). I had the same birthday as the midwife.

Then began my journey as a wanderer and traveler of sorts… I only stayed two years in Bicol till we transferred to Quezon City. I only had seven years there before I’d board my first airplane. And I’d traveled many more…

my flute with its case Posted by Hello


07 September 2004
4:55 p.m.

When you’re traveling alone in life, you look for companions that don’t leave your side. They don’t have to be human or people. They can be things and pets. Some choose dogs and cats, others musical instruments and pens and papers like my trusty notepad.

I have always preferred people to be my companions but in the absence of one or two, I resort to my writing. But if I’m really emotional, I take one of my musical instruments and play it. I am not very good at any one instrument but the satisfaction I get and the comfort I feel is like that of a friend who aids you in times of need.

Today, I played my ethnic flute. It is an instrument from the Philippine highlands whose sounds are as soothing as a lullaby. With every blow and with every adjustment to cover the three holes on its body, a different emotion is released. And if, as if, you are communing with the thoughts in the untouchable air.

The serene sound that echoes matches the stirring of my heart. With every slight beat, getting faster and faster, the soul of the flute matches with sincere empathy.

Some people find companionship in their CDman’s and stereos. I prefer the sounds of instruments that communicate my thoughts to ears beyond mine.

I have many instruments; I play one for each particular feeling – a violin for happy and saddest moments, a drum for joyous occasions, a bandurria for patriotic songs, a flute for soulful reflections.

I play my flute with eyes closed, my emotions dance atop the notes whispered gently to the air forming a carpet of feelings. They stay in communion until I stop blowing into my medium.

In the darkness, I see myself floating and flying sifting through the notes and like a canter pouring water, I empty myself in the consolation of sympathetic silence.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

three beautiful musical holes Posted by Hello

my lip valley flute Posted by Hello

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

adieu Posted by Hello

farewell Posted by Hello

subtle goodbye Posted by Hello

approaching sunset at Pont D'Arve Posted by Hello