Monday, July 28, 2008

another dream seqence ... of a serial killer

missy and i were in a supermarket. you could see stacks and stocks of goods that spanned floor to ceiling like a warehouse supermarket. we stood in front of a door and she was telling me of a movie her family and she had watched. we were walking around the market and i put my hand around her arm and we walked, the way we sometimes do. she told me of this movie where a serial killer commits murders and how i would have liked the puzzling nature of it. i said "why didn't you ask me then?" she suddenly squeezes her arm with my hand in it walking quickly almost to the point of running. i'm puzzled, why? so someone wouldn't see. i didn't know who. we reached round the bend and found ourselves in the toilet. i was about to enter the cubicle and she was just on her way out of the door when the serial killer - the same one we were just talking about, the one in the movie - appeared on the reflection on the mirror. (her face was familiar and i didin't know why i recognized her but i seemed to have dreamed of her too and could see that it was her - the serial killer.) i thought i had just imagined it. the killer, a woman, was standing in her towering glory, with her crooked high nose her teased black hair in front of the bathroom window. i only realized that it was true when missy didn't leave. i was thankful she was going to stay. then a little baby girl came in playing around the space between missy and her. the killer was shooing out the girl. and she managed. i went in to the cubicle but not taking my eye off the killer and missy who was now in the cubicle next to me keeping me company. i tried to go and relieve myself. i had managed to let some out and i had closed my eyes to try to concentrate then suddenly when i looked up i saw the killer taking the curtain that separated the cubicles, wrapping it around her waist and standing tall and hovering in front of missy's stall. missy was seated on the toilet with the lid down. my heart was beating so fast. the killer turned around grabbed what seemed like vials of chemicals from the ledge near the mirror, sneered in a menacing way, her lips curled at the side letting her grin reveal her evil desires, her eyes full of intent, spread her arms as if to smash the vials. horror gripped us, i screamed NOOOOOOO! then i woke up.


i woke up with heavy breathing and a pain in my chest. it all seemed so real because in my dream, i had dreamed of the killer sitting on the bus. i was on a bus with a friend or may even be alone, sitting in the back next to a temporarily handicapped man whose leg was in a crutch and propped himself up with crutches. he went down a certain street in front of a house where a lady was standing inside her gates looking at the bus. this lady waited anxiously for the bus and watched the man get off the bus and seated herself next to me coming into the bus door as any passenger would and then the next dream sequence above started.

Friday, July 25, 2008

wanting wants ...

it seems that when you have little you want little things. when you have a lot, you want bigger things. when you have little, you manage with what you have. when you have a lot, it still seems lacking. what's wrong?

Thursday, July 24, 2008

bad habits

we watched bo sanchez talk on "how to end your bad habits NOW" last night during our super household meeting. (super household refers to the meeting of unit leaders and household leaders with the coordinators.) it talked about how people had addictions to compensate for something that's lacking in their lives. it's not the first time i heard it but what struck me is that they were overcompensating for the lack of love. their "love tanks" were empty or didn't have enough in them. and it doesn't take much to fill someone's love tank if you give them some time, some sincere encouragement and just your presence or even listening to them.

i used to be addicted to over-achieving because i got the affirmation i needed by other people. but i felt that i was never good enough for my family or for my mom. my mom would always look for the missing 1 per cent when i got the 99 per cent. but through the years, we worked our issues out and i stopped trying to get affirmation from her because she already apologized for making me feel inadequate and that i realized that she was after all human. she wasn't perfect or all-knowing as i idolized her to be. she was just mom who loved me and during her own trying times couldn't give me the love that i needed.

it took some years to work on all the times when she shunned us to hide her own pain. we suffered as her children but we were very blessed to be surrounded by other people who filled our love tanks. we had wonderful friends, titos and titas and even teachers who affirmed us and believed in us. my mom always had the best intention and she would always encourage us when she knew we could do it. actually, she was very confident in all our abilities that she didn't want to help us too much. she said that as she was growing up her parents never helped and that they were expected to fend for themselves. i guess that it's the way parenthood works. it's just a cycle. you learn from your parents.

so now, even if there are still remnants of that attention-hungry self, i turn to God who is the only one who can truly affirm us. everyone needs attention and love. it's up to us to rise to the challenge to fill someone's love tank so that they don't turn to addictions to run away from the pains they want to hide.

bo said: addiction is an escape from the painful feelings ...

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

another sleepless but dreamful night ...

it's been difficult to sleep ever since i got a cold and a mild pollen allergy on top of it. my sinuses are swollen and it's next to impossible to sleep at night without the help of medication. i try to sleep as early as i can so that i don't wake up in the middle of the night unable to breath or with blocked sinuses or a headache. if possible, as soon as i take the meds, i'd go right to sleep but i would need to digest my food first. hehe. i don't want to die of indigestion. :D

but even in my truncated sleep, i am able to dream: still weird dreams!

last night, i dreamed that i was going on a boat or it seemed like a cruise liner. i was on it with some friends but the only intelligible one was jazu. she was there with me. we were meeting some people. i got the impression they were nurses but i'm not really sure.

then we were separated. then i saw three little boys. two black and one pinoy. the other black boy was naked and i was teasing him that his manly parts were small. but they were only small from a far. as he got nearer me, it wasn't as small as i thought it was. he wasn't circumcised and i suggested that he get circumcised because it was a cleaner option. that was after he had managed to retract the foreskin. there was no malice in the dream and i don't even know what it means.

after that scene, i returned on deck and jazu was coming. she had a new hairstyle which suited her and made her look like toni gonzaga. i asked her where she got it, i don't remember her reply. then i woke up.

i don't know whether i dreamed it in the middle of getting up at 2.22 a.m. or at 4 a.m. when i drank my medication. i am just amazed how i can dream so often even when sleep is short.

what gifts do you have that you can use to bear fruit?

that was the reflection question in my daily Bible guide. i thought i could wait until today to write about it but i already wrote something in the guide itself last night. it made me think ... some people say i'm talented, but i'm not really sure what those talents are. one thing i'm sure of is that i can write. so, that's what i put ... writing. it's the most useful gift that i can think of to glorify Him. the others, i think are still germinating and it would take a while before it bears fruit. i'm not really sure which direction to face and if those seeds are getting enough sun light. in any case, i hope that someday i will bear the fruits that God wants me to produce. in the meantime, it's still a growing process for me.

"But some seed fell on rich soil, and produced fruit, a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold.
Whoever has ears ought to hear." (Mt 13:9)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

wandering in my dreams

as far as i could remember, i've always had out-of-the-ordinary dreams. when i was younger, i would dream headless soldiers dressed in nutcracker-ish costumes running after us as we got on the back of a pickup truck or a headless priest on the back of a pickup truck. then there was the moulin rouge murderous musical. and bodily fluids in excess.

yesterday i dreamt i was on an airplane. i was in the middle east with some people i didn't really know. then all of a sudden, our old driver, duraid, in baghdad popped up holding my current hair clip. he looks at me and says, "this is all that's left. i've kept it." ... in my mind i'm thinking, aren't i wearing it. i didn't have that clip in baghdad. and then he says, "i've been trying to email you ..." then, he started asking if i knew of a job for him. i knew that he had gotten married in the midst of the US-Iraq war. then again i was on the airplane.

what could these dreams mean ...

i had dreams about aliens near a car before and many more fantastic stories only the sleeping mind can think of.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

t r a c i n g m y heritage ...

i watched a rondalla from boston, massachusetts today. a rondalla is composed of stringed instruments: banduria, octavina, guitar and bajo de una. it's a remnant of old spanish culture in the philippines yet more than half a century after, it's still alive. and it's thriving not in the blood of natural born filipinos but filipinos that have grown abroad. filipinos that were born in the states.

i first played the banduria when my brother started learning it in grade 3 in the philippines. i don't remember the reason why i couldn't play in the rondalla then but my brother could. so, i learned on it when he wouldn't play it. but that was it. i forgot and then six-seven years later, i would play in a rondalla in abu dhabi. i had come as a "saling pusa" or just a sit-in but i grew to love the instrument. i grew to love the teacher. and that made me stay more than ever.

i loved playing the banduria because it was the instrument that i was really able to master. enough so that i could widow songs on it. but the instrument i bought cracked under bad weather. i wish it had kept.

seeing the rondalla tonight made me think of the past. about how filipinos abroad long to belong and they somehow trace their heritage because they are not completely one thing or the other. they are not just americans but also filipino. as we all are ... we are not just one thing or the other. i honour the kids that laboured and have embraced this filipino musicality as their own and to be so jubilant in doing so. i love seeing second or third generation pinoys identifying themselves as filipinos because they don't forget. they don't forget where they're from. they may be foreign in their mentality or foreign in their speech but in the way they look and the values they hold, it's still very much filipino.

i pray that every filipino will continuously be proud of their origin - however dark, bleak or hard. as the saying goes - ang hindi marunong lumingon si pinanggalingan ay hindi makakarating sa paroroonan. He who does not (know how to) look back at his past (where he came from) will not reach his destination. (

because the filipino is a great person. he is full of potential. he is full of talent. he is resourceful. he is strong, he is many things. he is faithful, he is loyal, he is humble, he is persistent. he is an asset. he is happy. he is light. he is inspiring. he is driven. he is many things. he can be whatever he wants to be. there is no limit.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

"A Wrinkle in Time" by Madeleine L'Engle

It's fantasy turned reality. It's not often that I get sucked in into a fantastic story plot that I feel the story consuming me. I could always detach myself because I knew the story was fiction. What was different with this book is that the familiar concepts of love, family, respect, patience, impatience and many more were all related with such clarity and vagueness that it was uncannily realistic.

It sounds ironic but isn't life? It's the consistency of inconsistencies and the unchanging differences that really caught my attention as I read this book. The main characters were outcasts: weird, strange and "moronic" by people's standard. Meg Murry, a lonely girl who deals with the mysterious absence of her father with much anger and treats and seems not to belong whatever she does. Charles Wallace is a little boy who doesn't know how to read yet but is so profound in his thinking he can virtually feel someone's mind and emotions. Calvin, the popular school jock that isn't comfortable in his own skin. He too is pretending to be like everyone else yet he knows he is different. Charles and Meg are from the Murry brood and has twin siblings: Dennys and Sandy, who are average at most. Mrs. Murry is a beautiful scientist who writes her missing husband every day to the amusement of the town and the post mistress who knows of her daily routine. The town believes Mr. Murry ran off with a younger lady when in fact, he "tessered" into time ... hence the title ... A Wrinkle in Time ... it's a way of traveling through time not linearly but in the fifth dimension, almost like folding paper so that one can get on one plane without crossing the "shortest" straight line between distances which is supposedly the widely accepted form of traveling.

That thinking out of the box also captured me. The life on Camazotz is very mucht the life we strive to have in this earth. A sort of status quo were nothing is ever different and we function with certain norms. We don't want to upset anyone so we try not to be "too" different. But for some people, the differences are the best ingredients of fun. For me, I admit that the monotony of life would kill me. I am one of those people who would at least try something once. Although I have my own inhibitions, I also that I could overcome them given the equation that I won't be on earth forever. Morbidity mentioned ... death is such a potent mover.

Sometimes, I feel that I've become very ordinary, in my dealings with people, in my writing, in my life. It's brought by the stability of life. Then I get sick and then there's variety. Then there's the occasional peppering of problems which could be problematic or which could just be blah. I'm thankful though that I don't have much problems right now except for that very vague concept of property and ownership and wealth: MONEY. But that too is temporal and arbitrary.

I would like to deal in terms of love ... although I would probably be one of the least wealthy, I think it would be a sort fair trade. Then again, what is the measure of love and would measuring its worth demean it? Hmmm ... maybe. What if it wasn't traded like a commodity? Maybe if it was given freely and then measured in terms of how it makes a person's life worth living? What if the world was like that? How nice it would be!

I look at you and see the beatings of your heart and feel every tick of that organ pulsating with love ... or the quiver it makes with each pain it feels. One could tell immediately what needs to be done. A dosage of love and kindness please! It would seem out of this world, even for me ... but why can't it be? Why do we hide in our little shells or put on other shells that hides who we really are? What are we afraid of? People's judgements? The world's approval ...

The book taught me that being different is good and that we all have our strengths in them. This is something we all probably know. But it was a gentle reminder that indeed even in the most chaotic of differences and changes, lies the gem of uniqueness.

Monday, July 14, 2008

of french and interviews

today was a challenging day. in the morning, i had my french oral exam and in the afternoon, i had a job interview. on top of that, at the back of my mind, i was thinking about how my mom was doing. she's still in hospital and is recovering from gastro and has been diagnosed with ischemia - a heart condition. i used to think my mom was invincible but as she gets older, she's showing signs of frailty. i know it's normal. she can have whatever disease, as long as i die before her! i know that's asking a bit much but it just shows how important she is in my life. she's our only parent and it's difficult when she get's sick because we become orphans twice over.


on my french exam, i conjugated my verb wrongly and i kept repeating it. i wonder what it was like for the examiner to hear someone say "j'allerai" about three thousand times instead of the proper "j'irai". oh well ... i can't take it back now and i am trying my utmost to practice it. i guess maybe i should just get a french-speaking boyfriend as was recommended the first time i came here. maybe not~! hehe. hopefully, in that 15 minutes of describing a picture with my partner dmitro, we were able to make sense. he had to describe a young lady walking off into the sea. i had to describe a lady with her back turned to us. i just imagined she wanted to have a kid of her own that's why she was looking at her niece.


i had my job interview too. i hope i didn't appear overconfident and that what i said was true because my boss was there too. she kindly reminded that i'm just "one of the favorites" for urgents. i hope that they will see it as confidence and not overconfidence. i had to use some french too because they asked how my french was.


well, that's it for now. it was stomach churning but all in all, not life threatening so i guess i still have it blessed than most. i have nothing to complain about! i'm just glad it's all over. mama might be coming out of hospital tomorrow. i don't have to think about french for a while except to leisurely learn it on the street or whenever i can. as for my job, they said it's all just a formality. i can never be too sure. i just pray that all will be well.