Tuesday, March 31, 2009

my tarot

grabbed from mksurf8. i had to retake the test again since my first result was that i was an EMPRESS RAW! :)

this one felt more acceptable. hehehehe....

You are The Magician

Skill, wisdom, adaptation. Craft, cunning, depending on dignity.

Eleoquent and charismatic both verbally and in writing,
you are clever, witty, inventive and persuasive.

The Magician is the male power of creation, creation by willpower and desire. In that ancient sense, it is the ability to make things so just by speaking them aloud. Reflecting this is the fact that the Magician is represented by Mercury. He represents the gift of tongues, a smooth talker, a salesman. Also clever with the slight of hand and a medicine man - either a real doctor or someone trying to sell you snake oil.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

Monday, March 30, 2009

fire against fire

a storm is brewing again, i can feel it. emotional eating, my skin allergies acting up, my temper flaring and now, road rage. just a few hours ago while diving home, a tricycle almost clipped me as i passed a busy intersection. he obviously tried to cut into traffic and thought that he was fast and agile enough to give everyone the slip. unfortunate for him, he had me of all people to contend with. he evaded collision and kept to the inner lane by the island but not after screaming a crisp "putang ina mo!" at me. having my radio off the drive home saved his life, i have to say, since the quiet had kept me relatively calm the entire trip. i certainly would not have wanted to know what would have happened if i gave in to my building agitation caused by listening to trance, my music of choice sometimes especially on a busy day. this neanderthal's crass outburts however still required me to return the gesture, explecitives though are not my thing. instead, i decided to put down my window. the the humid air immediately rushed in as i was still driving. i put my arm out and from my rear view mirror, made sure his eyes were at me, my car and my extended arm. i then i gave him the finger. i waved it at his stupid, moronic, despicable face and kept it up long enough hoping that his good-for-nothing brain grasps, even if just an iota, of how stupid he really is. apparently, my finger gestured to more than just one person as cars kind of slowed down around me, either finding my little show amusing or they were staying clear of me as i looked visibly irked. i kept my finger up a while longer until i put my hand back in and held the wheel again so i could make my turn.

that would have probably been the highlight of my day. it felt good actually.

Sunday, March 29, 2009


i was holding onto the gear shift tightly, my left foot already atop the clutch pedal, ready to engage the 5th and final gear. my breathing grew slow and steady and despite the roaring of my engine, my hearing was muffled and all i could perceive was an eerie quiet. my eyes momentarily glanced at the rear view mirrors. i panned my surrounds, all was clear. i stepped on the gas some more, the vibrations of my vehicle grew stronger as the engine clamored for its impending release. the loose coins i keep in the car was sounding a timber that grew sharper, an ominous crescendo coaxing me to make the final move. hand pulsed, it pushed. foot tapped, it pressed, and in that one swift, synchronous motion, i shoved the gear shift into the last notch and immediately heard the engine scream in ecstasy. with full, unimpeded throttle, my vehicle accelerated forward, almost like a raging bull, speeding down the vastness of katipunan in the dead of night. i felt my entire body tighten, my muscles tensed. i had already relinquished my hold of the stick shift and my hand now found itself holding tightly the seat beside me. my left hand was controlling the wheel, turning it slightly every now and them to keep me aligned. my eyes lay focused on the seeming endless emptiness before me. how i desperately needed to fill in that space i thought. slot after slot, the faster i fill it, the better, the more exhilarating i surely will feel. my speedometer struggled at 100, i was reving at 30,000 already. i was pushing my engine to its boundaries, but i really didn't care for i had not yet reached mine. indeed, i have not yet reached my tipping point.

Friday, March 27, 2009

emo binging

- march 26, 2009. 10:00pm

an entire loaf of ham and cheese bread, a can of chocolate crinkles, a slice of home-made blueberry cheesecake, a cup of coffee, peanuts, a can of coke and japanese wafers from matzusakaya; all consumed as my snack before i bid farewell to a long day's work, just because my mouth craved for something to taste. it didn't really matter that i just finished having my dinner not more than 10 mins before.

i have often wondered about these binging habits of mine. it has been a while since i had these episodes, even more, the fact that i actually craved for something to eat. lately, my palate has been rather indiscriminate as i too have found that food no longer offers me the same delight as it used to. sad actually since i really do love to eat. i guess with me, as i get older and try new things, the old things i enjoyed before make room for the new. food had had its place in my heart but now, something else had taken it's place... just not quite sure what it is yet.

these binging habits of mine, i used to think, came about due to my depriving my body of the nutrients it needed. i had been training for the past few months and besides running, i still go to the gym. i barely eat anything since food lasts pretty long with me due to my slow metabolism. i eat normal meals still though, don't get me wrong, just that i eat very small portions of it. i can eat a minuscule amount of food and can survive with just one meal to last me the entire day. i may have thought i was taking in enough fuel but i was apparently wrong. i recall learning from HOUSE that our bodies often crave for things it knows it lacks. that being said, then mine was telling me it DESPERATELY needed CARBO... and LOTS of it.

much to the surprise of a lot of people but i have already eliminated rice as a staple to all my meals. i have done so for the past few years now and have never looked for it ever again. my carbo nowadays mainly comes from veggies as well as fruits and of course... my chocolate :) besides that, i rarely touch rice, pasta or bread. i must admit, my approach may seem to be a bit harsh but it did work for me. i didn't feel my performance dipped as how ppl would think when you eliminate carbs from your diet. on the contrary, i feel it more if i have carbs in my meal, worse during after lunch time. with binging however, i often go for the starches and the sweets, most probably for its effects on the hormones in the brain. sorry if things start sounding geeky, but, sweets help stimulate the release of happy hormones, hormones that are harder to quit than sweets. this would probably be the reason why during emo moments such as now, it is the fridge that i turn to for solace and the orgasmic treats that lay within. with each enlightening, serotonin releasing bite of these carbo laden morsels, i get my high. a smile crawls up my face and for a brief moment in time, sadness is dispelled leaving me in a state of gustatory ecstacy. quite unfortunate that such moments don't last me so long since one problem i always encounter with sweets is, like in all things happy, when you finally reach your climax... there is no where else to go but down......

- march 27, 2009

.... what happened? ah, yes.

sugar shock. my body isn't used to handling high amounts of glucose anymore. i guess if i eat too much before bedtime, i simply just conk out. crap... now i have crinkle crumbs all over me. paksyet!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

my thursday

i stayed longer at the office today, engaging in some good old fashion chit chat with my doña of an aunt. quite a colorful character she is, my aunt, almost as colorful as famed socialite kitty go as far as spunk and sense of humor goes, but just toned down a bit. i have always liked talking to her since she never seemed to run out of things to say. more so, being the successful business woman that she is, i always manage to learn something new about how to be an entrepreneur.

today, after a long and tiring day at work, my aunt took a break (this was 7pm already), walked over to my table and sat herself down looking utterly exhausted. sensing a good opportunity to distract her, i casually opened up a topic for her to think about. that benign poke of mine led us to talk about almost everything under the sun, from business to world economics to office gossip to family matters. owing probably to the fact that i was not the type to let good conversation pass by, she had always been fond of talking to me. truly, even if she is buried in paperwork and have phones ringing off the hook, she would still make time to talk to me, even just briefly to tell me something totally unrelated like what LV bag she's planning to get or how to serve fresh salmon. though i may not help as much at the office yet due to my relative inexperience, i am glad that i somehow is of some assistance, even if not directly.

i excused myself to use the toilet while we were in the middle of discussing how to start a new business. as i got back, she was already back at her desk, buried in documents again. 730pm... time to go home, i told myself. i bid her goodbye, as well as my uncle who was at that time in the warehouse preparing for shipments to go out that night as well as the next morning. this is their routine 6 days a week, morning till night.... i see the fatigue in their eyes sometimes, but still they work feverishly. though my aunt is more than willing to slacken and relax a bit, my uncle having an ingrained sense of staying dutiful to his clients, can't seem to release his hold of offering his best to his loyal patrons. thus as i drive off and leave them, and get home and maybe as i ready myself for bed... i am sure they are still awake working.

driving home tonight felt unusual. i was originally intending to go to timog and maybe try and get a massage, something i have not done in this country before. i have to admit, i felt rather nervous to do so since the thought of having a total stranger kneading my naked flesh felt utterly sinful, even if i knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that no hanky panky business would occur. massage parlors have had this tarnished reputation and it does concern me what people might think if i am seen going in and coming out from one. though my concerns weighed much in my head, neither of them became the reason why i finally decided to head towards manila instead of getting my muscles tenderized... i couldn't bear spending money anymore. though it was uncomfortable to be stiff and sore, i realized, it's harder to be broke.

* * * * *

the streets of QC were dark and empty at around 8pm, on route to tondo. very obvious the reason why. there were only a handful of brave establishments that were open then, generously allowing their light to flood into the darkened streets and provide breaks of life to the seemingly deadened path going home. it could have been the lonely road that prompted my melancholy, the empty streets reminding me of my present existence. in the silence of my travel, my phone quiet, my drive steady, i found myself pondering about my solitude again, asking if this is really all that i have left, all that i have to live for? i don't really understand what happened that made me suddenly feel what i felt, but despite the unsavory turn of my day, it was a peaceful drive nonetheless. i thought of people and wondered how they were doing. i tried to examine my heart and see how it was coping. i revisited memories and many items in my past, back when my life was simple, and wished if it were only possible to have maintained that kind of living. i also wished i could just stop, park my car at the road, get off, and walk these dark empty streets, thinking that by just stepping into these desolate urban corridors, that i have made it less lonely. indeed, the presence of one is more than enough.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

the condura results

narnian was kind enough to text me that the condura run race results are out. i quickly excused myself from my desk and asked my aunt if i could borrow her computer to check. she and my uncle ran the 10K as well and were also equally curious what was their official time.

50:58mins. almost 51. not bad. i tried looking for rovilson fernandez's time but i think he didn't register his name, so i would think he is either one of those above my name whose slots are left blank. though i could not find my "inspiration"... i almost fell out of my chair when i say who trailed behind me.... no. 65.... screw rovilson fernandez.... i was having FERNANDO ZOBEL DE AYALA EAT MY FAIRY DUST!!!!! harharhar!!!


Monday, March 23, 2009

counted in

it has been a week now since i started my new job as my family's auditor. my aunt who is currently handling this post is readying herself and her family for migration to the land of homo-milk (homogenous milk... or as how kuya so wittily termed it, milk from a really confused cow!) and maple syrup and has been training me the past couple of days to become her replacement. though i can honestly say that i would have never in a million years think that i would EVER take on a job that entailed math, and lots of it, i have learned from past experiences to never say never too soon.

why i actually agreed to take on this job to become the designated accountant is still an enigma. i was never good in math, contrary to the chinese stereotype that we all should practically be walking calculators. i recall, in all my years in school, math like almost every other normal kid was my waterloo. bury me in literature and science and i would gladly take on the challenge but the moment you throw me an algebraic equation or a proving problem then watch me choke, gag, and eventually twitch myself to death! i was THAT bad... i was so bad... my parents, in their misguided thoughts of giving me an edge, sent me to take ADVANCED MATH classes at the SAKYA ACADEMY, this buddhist school near where we used to live notorious for their math subjects. they coudln't have done anything worse, neither could have they been any more wrong... they might as well have wrapped me in a bacon blanket and thrown me to the lions.

anyway, case in point, im BAD in math, and yet, here i am, pressing calculator buttons like a mad man, day in and day out, hoping to GOD almighty that i don't punch in the wrong figures since doing so could spell the difference between finding a lost cent to searching a missing million!!! the responsibilty of balancing the books weighs heavily on my shoulders daily and i really hope i have what it takes to last. well, just long enough that my folks don't disown me that is!

sometimes i really wonder what the hell do i get myself into...

Sunday, March 22, 2009

condura run '09

this is my first ever 10K run and unlike my first 5K before, i didn't feel as anxious this time. i slept like a baby the night before and woke up fully refreshed at 3am.... the race was at 6.... and it only takes me about 30mins to drive to the fort. what can i say, i don't like to rush. but really, i did manage to get some sleep. i guess it helped that i now have a job with a fixed schedule, working as my family's auditor. when i say fixed, however, it means working non-stop from 9am to 7pm, mondays to saturdays. i most often come home dead tired at night. more so on days when i would come from my training runs around UP. thus, it's no surprise that i have no energy left in my system to even give a rat's ass over some fun-run for whale sharks!

i arrived at the fort at about 4:50am. narnian and i had planned of meeting up just so we could serve as each other's company before the race. he was running the 5K. i actually have some friends who were running the 3K and relatives on the 10K as well, but never got to find then until after the race. compared to the other races i have joined, this probably had the most people participating. the estimated registrants were about 7000 but i doubt all actually came. being a highly publicized event, there were a few celebrities around and in my attempts of stargazing, i was fortunate to able to spot a couple. i however wasn't so blown away by their star power, owing possibly to the fact that i was starting to feel nervous already. i hadn't been really training as hard as i wanted to for this race and i sincerely had doubts that i can actually finish the course. worse, in the days leading to the event, i gained a few pounds as well. extra pounds i sincerely do not need my joints to bear. but no point now of worrying... the race was about to begin.

the 10K runners would trail behind the 21K by about 30mins. i saw the pool of people who were running the 21K and wished i could be so fit to endure such a physical feat. from their looks, all of them were just itching to run... and their course was definitely something to look forward to. they would run up the skyway.

the starting shot went off for the 21K and the runners scrambled ahead to break free from the tight pack. the 10K then assembled in the starting line where they left. we were a good number of runners as well, a few hundred if i eyeballed correctly. by now, i should be stretching and getting myself warmed up but i was too distracted by having rovilson fernandez behind me to do so. though he was definitely quite a looker, i wasn't really lusting over the guy, just that he was now my motivation. rovilson.... you just became the lone person to keep me from giving up. just like how paolo bediones was on my first race :) do your job well. hehehehe.

the shot for us to begin running finally went off. the sun was already up, which worried me a bit since this meant we would be finishing under its scorching rays. the first part of the run required me breaking free from slower runners. though i don't mind starting slow and eventually pick up my pace, i get claustrophobic easily and would rather be in a pack where it's not too crowded... which unfortunately is WAYYY up front. i find myself zigzagging the first few minutes before finally settling at a comfortable position among more steady runners. by that time, we were already heading towards the kalayaan flyover. i recall driving along this route earlier today while getting myself to the venue and could not help myself to swear under my breath. this route is A KILLER!!! the climb was not steep but long... really long. it was the part of the race that i knew would tax me the most and as i climbed up the ramp... my fears were realized.

my calves were burning as it was all i relied on just to get me to more level plane. thankfully, my shin did not hurt during the race for if it did, then i am a goner for sure. by the time we reached buendia, the path became smoother and the ground, softer. it offered me a bit of rest from that trip along the flyover, very much needed i have to say. we u-turned at the reposo intersection and started heading back the same route we came. reaching reposo was the 5k mark and i didn't stop to rest, which meant i stuck to my pace. 5K onwards however was till unknown territory for me and i didn't know how much more i could endure before i burn out. the answer, at about kilometer 6. that was where i had to stop and walk a bit, just to catch my breath and feel blood rush into my legs.

i have to admit, i felt a tinge of defeat the moment i stopped to walk. i would have wanted to have lasted a bit longer but i was starting to feel faint and did not want to pass out. despite the feeling however, i knew couldn't give in now. i counted to 5 and began running again. i knew if i stopped too long, i would waste too much energy to gain inertia to run up to my speed again. there was still a very long way to go and i had achieved this much already to let it all go to waste. my shoulders were getting fatigued and my legs were in initial spasm. i shook off the strain fro my arms and tried to relax my stride. though my legs were not hurting, they were however loosing steam and could not propel me as much as i want them to anymore. the second trip up the flyover did them in and that was where i stopped the second time to walk again. i was alone then, just trailing behind the first wave of runners and in front of the oncoming onslaught from the second wave. i knew i had to avoid the second wave at all costs since loosing myself in that swarm would that i would not be able to gather the momentum i need anymore to finish. fighting fatigue, i began to pick up my pace again. as i descended towards the fort... rovilson, who was all this time behind me, passed me. @#$%@!& .... i said. there goes my motivation.... having me eat his amazing race dust! change of strategy... i decided to put my pride at stake, and for the next few minutes, it worked since i saw myself overtaking rovilson for a couple of meters. unfortunately, my body just was too tired and soon enough, i had to take my third stop. by now, my calves were as firm as stone and the balls of my foot are burning from friction with my shoes. i knew my toes were blistering inside my socks already as i could feel sharp points of pain on them. i sincerely wanted to give up. i saw how far i still had to go, about 3KM more and almost found myself scream out of exasperation. funny though, just when i was about to shout "PU**N* IN*.. ang layo pa!", this runner who just came off the flyover beat me to it by shouting "thank you, LORD!". of course, cursing now would just be soooo inappropriate. defeated in my race and my moment to express my loss, stolen by an over zealous runner.... i began running again.

that last leg of the run was probably the longest ever. i felt so tired and just out of it. i had probably used every bit of endorphin store i had in my body and my sole motivation for finishing fast and strong had already passed me. resolving myself now to the fact that i am alone in this, i decided to just gun for the finish. i took a deep breath and exhaled with a huff and began to increase my pace. after a few minutes, i was passing other runners and was squeezing my body already of every single drop of energy it still had left. the finish line finally appeared and i bolted towards it like crazed bull seeing red. my time... about 50:20mins, about a minute faster than my runs on the treadmill.

i wanted to die! i swear. i was drenched in sweat and my shirt and my shorts clung to me tight as water trickled down into my socks. i guess people were wondering where i swam since i probably looked like some chinese refugee who crossed the border! i got my freebies (lousy water and lousier energy drink.. i missed gatorade) and my certificate and headed straight to my car to change and freshen up.

as i walked, i wondered why the hell do people run and go through all this pain? really? what for? here i was, dripping wet, exhausted, sore, bruised (i sure) and for what? a print-out certificate and a bottle of water? as i contemplated on these life-changing questions while undressing, a 21K racer walked passed me. he gave me a brief glance which prompted me to stare at him as well. he was kinda cute actually, he looked even more appealing since he was dripping wet as well and quite lean as evidenced by how his attire also clung to him, revealing his silhouette . but what really caught my eye was what he was wearing... a medal. they gave medals to all who FINISHED the 21K. it did not matter if you walked at some parts or felt sucky because u could beat ur time.... what mattered was that you finished... and that you did not give up.

realizing this made me smile, at myself, not him ah! and made me decide.... 21K.... BRING IT ON!!!

but for now... rest muna ako! HAAAAYYYYSSSH!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

running the other way

taking the advice of my dear fellow runners, i decided to hit the UP oval again last night with a plan... run the opposite direction (the sarcastic bitch, ling ling, clapping while rolling her eyes in the background... shaddap woman!).

society had us programmed, by some reason to always deviate towards the right. truth be told, you see this factoid taken into great consideration in the layouts of most establishments, most obvious inside supermarkets wherein they put slow moving items, indeed, at the right, just so it would be the first things you see and thereby, first things you consider. such is the weird psychology we all have that when faced to run around a circular path, we do so do it counter clockwise. i have noticed this while on the my grandstand route, as well as in UP. though i am pretty sure the ground will not open to swallow me up due to my sacrilegious desire to go about things the other way, it still took me a good while to convince myself to stop at my tracks, deny my urges, turn around a full 180 and run against traffic. here are some of my observations while doing this unpopular feat:

1. firstly, the obvious. there are a lot of runners gearing towards you. some see you and actually give way. some are so oblivious due to fatigue i guess that you could have been a running blue whale and they would still smash into you.

2. the path is not easier when trekked the other way. true it felt more comfortable this time around since pressure got relieved from my right ankle (the path slops centrally toward the sunken garden, hence my right ankle carried most of my weight when running counterclockwise) but eventually, the left one starts to feel abused :) i find it is most comfortable to just run near the middle of the road rather than near the gutter.... word of advice, dear narnian.

3. while it is more comfortable running in the middle of the road, chances of you smashing into on coming jeepneys and cars are however, higher. this considering that a great number of jeepney drivers are legally blind and also legally stupid, and should thereby be exterminated for the good of mankind. also, since you run close to vehicles, the occasional chances you get "perfumed" in car exhaust are also at a high.

4. you apparently get a lot of stares from people you pass. you never really notice this when you run the same direction, that is unless you have eyes at the back of your head. but when running opposite everyone else... you definitely get a whole lot of eye contact. some brief, some the uber prolonged stalking variety. almost makes u wanna give them the finger, but also hoping you can run faster than them when you do....

5. thanks to lukayo... i now know that the oval is a good 2.2 km around and not the underestimated 1km. explains why i almost died at my third revolution and my pride felt crippled as i could was almost sure i was doomed come race day.

6. since i now run the other way and can see the faces of the people i run with... i think i'd like to run counter clockwise again... or just run at CCP again.... :) sorry... i have my moments of being shallow. hehehehe

7. since i still deviate towards the right, which is where the gutter is on the road when running clockwise... i have this constant fear of tipping over and fall into the sunken garden. it doesn't help me knowing that there are still trees and a sidewalk in between me and falling into the pit. i'm just irrational that ways...

8. there is this korean lady that jogs there nightly.... you notice here since, well, she's korean and that she runs funny... like she has a fruit held in between her legs or something.

9. i was running with a seasoned marathon runner. he kinda just popped out of nowhere and began trailing behind me. he stayed there for a good long while before he zoomed past me and had me eat his jogger dust. not wanting to get beaten so easily, i tried to increase my pace and regain my position, which i kept for a long while as well until my ankles said no more. sensing his victory, he dashed in front and left me in defeat. i then got into my car and drove past him :) so what if i play dirty... hahahahaha!

10. cars who drive with their headlights on hi-beam should be more conscientious of who or what they are beaming their lights on. trust me, since asphalt has a degree of reflectance, running towards a car on hi-beam is the worst thing you could face as a runner... well, maybe not the worst. running into the car head on and colliding with the dumb-ass would certainly trump being blinded by glare anytime.

so there... the race is this sunday already and i still haven't felt i have built up my stamina for it yet. hopefully in the next few days, i can get my groove in order and feel at least a bit confident that i'll survive come race day :)

good luck ot moi!!! :)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

running at UP

i was contemplating whether or not i should go. it had been a long and busy day and considering i started my day early (5 freaking AM to be exact), i was having qualms whether or not i was actually pushing my limits... then again, marathons are ALL about pushing one's limits... so i still went, to UP DILIMAN.

it was my first time to run the UP oval. i decided to give it a try since i now work in QC and finish my day late. it's not really a long drive away and i desperately needed to train. though i miss my old route, running by the bay at early morning along roxas blvd., one has to learn to be flexible.

the UP oval was slippery when i ran since it had been raining the entire day. despite this though, there were still a lot of joggers running, proof that dedication superceeds everything! hehehe. dedication however did not prepare me for the unfamiliar terrain i had to contend with. slippery, dark, uneven and hilly, my ankles started complaining earlier than expected. a friend told me that 1 revolution around the oval was about a kilometer, that said, then i barely made 1 kilometer before i had to stop to rest my legs, much to my frustration. i tried running a few rounds more, hoping i could at least make 5K, but even if the spirit was willing, the flesh was, well, the flesh didn't really give a shit anymore! it wanted to stop and pulled the air-brakes on me prematurely. i only did a total of about 3km last night. my cadence was irregular, my foot was slapping rather loudly, which bothers me a lot since midfoot running is supposed to be silent, and i was constantly being nagged by my primadonna of an ankle.

i could have been fatigued already from the long day's work, of just re-adjusting to the new route, either way, i am hoping later would be a better run. i am sure the path will be dryer and that my legs would at least be less prissy now since they already had a foretaste of what is to come. besides... though my legs may be stubborn... my brain is more HARD headed.

wish me luck!

Monday, March 16, 2009

the other tree

slowly, slowly, slowly,
thy words soaked into my hard skull.
my orifices lay agape, channels to flow,
my brain throbbed in its excitement.
letters and ideas slid down my passages;
naked, and raw, refined, and processed;
hitting their mark, finding their place,
they stroked, they soothe, they lulled, they moved,
until i have became fully subject to their slavery.

i lay on thy bed, in complete surrender.
a recipient of thy utterance, an enchanted listener.
my defenses held back, my conscience disengaged;
my mouth was muffled, my strength exhausted;
my soul captivated, my spirit stupefied.
for i had turned my gaze and found another,
to a beauty, my glazed eyes had thought better.
she offered me eternity in her ivory arms,
and rapturous bliss in her glorious bosom.

Athena, her majesty, had descended on top,
in her chiseled brass amour, blinding in the sun.
i lay myself down, transfixed at her splendor,
distracted from her tool, sharpened, on hand.
for i had fallen for her lure, caught bare to her trap.
she entices you with her sweet incense,
and seduces you with her words of love.
she disarms you with her feigned tenderness,
until you are defenseless and now right for the kill.

and i died, i died, under her forceful blow.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

tagged... again!

tagged by dear architect reena, here are my answers to her life changing questions!!! :)

1. Where is your cellphone? on my lola's art deco inspired, solid narra writing desk.

2. Your hair? i still have lots of it on my head, thankfully. though the rest of my body is bare... i look like a chinese POWDER (i doubt anyone recalls this movie). i look like a sea urchin now since jogging against the wind this morning did wonders to my do. hence i am taming it by wearing a black beanie. mother says i look like a seaman. hahahaha!

3. Your father. his name is paul, after the apostle. he's at our family charcuterie right now and has been there since 4am this morning. yes people... we open shop VERY early.

4. Your favorite thing. you have no idea how i had to KILL the julie andrews in me from bursting into song! hmmm, right now, i guess it's this thierry muller perfume i wear. it smells like coffee and i never leave home without taking a BATH in it... much to my mother's protestations.

5. Your dream last night. my blog is STRICTLY PG. ahahahahaha!

6. Your favorite drink. coke zero since it's warm, and coffee... italian roast and artificially sweetened with SPLENDA! :)

7. Your dream goal. build my dream house. i already have the plans drafted in my head.

8. The room you are in. my lola's old bedroom.

9. Your fear. failure.

10. Where do you want to be in 6 years. in my dream house, maybe running a successful and fun business and probably, inshallah, teaching in design school and returning the favor and inspire others as well.

11. Muffins. cupcakes.... sonja's are the spawn of the DEVIL i tell you... the DEVIL!!!!

12. One of your wish list items. to be able to afford a reasonable SUV. a toyota FORTUNER, perhaps.

13. Where you grew up. in tondo, then we moved.... but still in tondo. then we moved back... still in tondo. square dance anyone?

14. The last thing you did. publish a post.

15. What are you wearing. boxers. yun lang :) maiinit eh!

16. Your TV. an LG flatscreen that rarely get's turned on. i just realized i haven't watched TV in a while.

17. Your pet. buddy, our second-hand hybrid shi-tzu. hyper as a hamster and horny as a rabbit! super lambing tho and would kill for a belly rub.

18. Your computer. a frankenstein from PC options.

19. Your life. dull and mostly uneventful, with rare bursts of activity.

20. Your mood. ho-hum....

21. Missing someone. hmmm....

22. Your car. a toyota REVO! my vehicle of no commitment.

23. Favorite store. ZARA.... tho i never buy anything in there. i just love feeling the fabric and looking at the colors... and the cute sales people. bwahahahaha!

24. Your summer. manageably warm. scheduling a trip to bicol for butanding watching and maybe even a trip to bali.

25. Your favorite color. aubergine, amethyst, and emerald. im currently training myself to favor citron and citrine as well. turquoise also catches my fancy.

26. When was the last time you laughed. yesterday over a really nasty email sent to me by melloidah! :)

27. When was the last time you cried. about a month ago...

28. Last person who emailed you. my client, bargaining to bring down my PF :)

29. Your favorite food. i'd rather answer how to achieve world peace... this question is JUST TO HARD!!!

30. A place you would rather be right now. in front of a classroom full of eager students.

hmmmm, who to pass this too.... what do you think narnian? you up to play? theo martin as well :)

Thursday, March 12, 2009

other things i hate

an old chat mate of mine texted me one night, out of the blue, saying how f***ing bored he was and that he needed some action. well, i didn't really read much of what he said considering he was the same guy who told me, during one of his more inebriated days, that he would rather screw me than the escort girl who was seducing him at that time, him while entertaining clients in some girlie bar in God knows where. needless to say, this was also the statement that led me to flee back to my tower, away from him, and bolt all the doors... i HAD to protect my sanctity you know. harharharhar! anyways...

i replied to his message suggesting he learns to be more content of how his life is turning out and that at least, his life is not as boring as mine. he works for an exporting firm and he flies out often to the countries his company trades with. i recall the first time i chatted with him, he was getting ready to catch his flight from phnom pehn in cambodia to manila. he asked me how it was to be content and i simply replied.... for starters, smile everyday, even if there feels to be no reason to do so. though i really would have liked to give him more thought-provoking answers, i wasn't sure if during the course of our text correspondence that i was fully giving him the right replies since during that time, i was also helping my father fix and replace our old aircon with a new one. so while i was busy lifting the blasted machine and jamming it into a hole it won't seem to go into (hmmmm...) , i was also risking breaking my neck texting this guy, trying to dig deep and find something encouraging to say. in the end, i am happy that i now i sleep in pure frigid bliss and my friend, well... he thanked me later and ended our conversation, saying, "to hell with life!". i really don't know how to read what he said, whether he said it out of exasperation or humor, either way, i sure hope i won't be reading his name in the obituaries, more so, the headlines any day soon.

so why am i blogging about this rather insignificant snippet of my ho-hum life? well, i guess it just got me to think as to what direction my life is going as well. i will be turning 30 soon and am starting to find myself in a scurry to reassess my life. i certainly am not getting any younger and well, my "market value" i believe is not getting better as the days go by. though i still draw hope that passion in doing what i do should be enough to drive me to succeed in my endeavors, i am starting to feel, passion just may not be everything.

i have often wondered why my folks, despite their talents, did not really pursue their dreams but instead, relegated themselves to the dictates of my grandfather before, which was to handle a shop. i know for a fact that some of them could have been great architects and engineers and bankers, since, even now that they still man the family shop, they still exhibit the keen traits that would have made them great professionals. i thought maybe my lolo was a tyrant and they simply just folded onto his will, or maybe, just maybe, there was a practicality to giving up their dreams.

i asked my aunt one time why do they stay here still, in the philippines that is, when they can pack up and leave and migrate to canada since they are citizen already anyways. she simply said, because despite how ppl think migrating is their answer to a better life, living a better life is still here. this is where the money is, she said. her answer got me to recall what the dad of my friend once said. she asked her dad the same question about why they stayed and not left like many of their relatives... his answer... "why settle to be a small fish in a big pond when i can be a big fish in a small pond?" true enough, her dad had already maneuvered himself in a position of great advantage, and i guess, my aunt feels the same way to. both believe that the best place to enjoy life is still here on native soil. going abroad is just for leisure but the real good stuff is still closer to home.

so now, reality is catching up with me. the practicality of my situation is that if i choose to still pursue my craft, then the local scene may not be the right place for me. but if i choose to stay put and set roots here, then maybe my trade of choice needs reassessing. the idea that passion is everything may have come from being influenced by all of these american stories of success wherein these now-magnates simply invested their life's energy to one goal and hit it big, despite the odds going against them. this is still possible i think, but in THAT context of dreaming big in a big country, full of big spenders who crave for big dreams themselves. in the philippines however, where opportunities are not as abundant and where the market for such success stories is small, targeting oneself to cater to masses sounds like the better way of doing things. niche-economics may work, but may not as well... mass-economics on the other hand will always carry far lesser risks.

which now leads me to the ask the hard question... is it finally time for me to be practical as well, just like my folks? taking into consideration the environment, the opportunities that present to me and all the possible perks i can avail of if i compromise on my dream... is it time for me to succumb and take on the family trade, and go into business?

here is something else i hate... change and being an adult.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


i have been finding myself driving in silence these past few weeks, on the days wherein i do decide to get myself behind the wheel. though it really should not be something i should consider serious (EGAD! he's driving with the radio off! what ever shall we do?!), it still caught my attention since for creatures of habit such as myself, any change to one's routine, however minute it is, should never be considered benign. i listened to myself again, on these quiet moments while i weave in and out of the metropolitan traffic, trying to catch a clue as to what is brewing in this head of mine.

faint voices, blury visions, emotional disconnection with an unexplainable sense of familiarity was all i experienced. vague as it may be, i still did not find the relief i wanted.

to a degree, i have mastered the art of compartmentalizing. i have learned to store my thoughts and emotions into small, manageable packages and hide them away in the far recesses of my consciousness. the greater, more dominant part of me then concludes that these ideas, these feeling of mine are either too insignificant or forgotten. but like all garbage that has not been properly disposed off, the rot liquefied will soon find itself seeping into the soil and thereby poison the lot. my so-called undealt issues perform the same. they ooze out from their confines in my mind and slowly diffuse itself into my overall system, manifesting themselves through my body and through my behavior. i break out in wheals, my skin dries, my appetite depresses, my stomach becomes anxie. my temper flares up, i become distant and cold, and i begin to exhibit an unexplainable lack of discretion. these, are only some to name a few.

the silent drives lasted a few days. soon, these episodes gradually grew into minor panic attacks, ones wherein i need only to shift my mind into something else and that bitter, almost metallic taste of despair is immediately taken away. my attacks now act like sifts. they shake me, thereby slowly revealing the long densly buried, materials in my psyche. as of the moment, i can see familair shapes only, shadows of my past regrets, and i don't have the courage to acknowledge them yet. i fear of them... and i don't think i'm ready to deal with them yet. this considering, i am sure my panic attacks will increase in intensity and frequency as well in the days to come.

i just hate being complicated...

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

my 5K time

the results are out... my official time.... 24:38. what's even better... i finished ahead of that father daughter tandem! but what is best is finding out that pig-tailed squirt's name is THALIA!!!!!

ah... no need for vengeance anymore. justice is served! :)

only up to here

only up to here.

i can take you only so far,
only up to here.
though i hold your hand tightly
and hesitate to let you go
i can take you only so far
only up to here.

only up to here.

i send you off to walk
the remains of the distance, long.
you were unsteady, unsure at first,
but you tread it bravely alone.
you glanced back to look
to where i stood, i took my place:
here, i beamed at you proudly;
here, i shared in your courage;
here, i longed to be with you;
where i could take you only so far,
alas, only up to here.

Monday, March 9, 2009

ang bitag

kaya mo bang pumalag
sa yakap kong mahigpit;
sa sakal ng aking braso na
sa kat'wang mong pipilipit?

dahan-dahan kitang ipipiga
ang buhay mo'y kakatasin.
iyong lakas, sa aking ibibigay,
'yong hininga'y aking uubusin.

ang 'yong huling pagsuko
aking pagsasamantalahin.
katawan mo'y ihihimay.
kaluluwa mo nama'y, sasakmalin.

tanging hangal mo lamang sisidlan
ang aking nasang ititira.
mga naiwang tigang na latak;
mga alaala ng hinamong babala.

kaya dinggin mo 'ko ngayon,
at ika'y mabuting makinig!

ipagbuti mo akong layuan
dahil rito, sumpang sasapit!
ito ang lagim na dadanasin
sa oras na napapalapit,
sa pagkakataong ikaw ay
sa aking paing maaakit.

Sunday, March 8, 2009


she won... thank goodness she won. i was gobsmacked on my seat, in disbelief of what i had just witnessed.

"holy.... CRAP! what the hell was that?" was all i could think about as ralph fiennes' voice faded into the background, just before they started rolling the credits for "the reader". it was a spur of the moment choice, this movie, since my friend and i originally wanted to watch "watchmen". however, this being the first weekend it was out, plus that we got to the cinema late, it was no surprise that all the good seats at the good times were already taken. left with either watching john lloyd and sarah get mushy or this oscar award-nominated piece, the decision obviously wasn't that hard to make. (for me that is. my friend on the other hand looked like he still needed some convincing. "iiwan kita!!" my words eventually did the trick. hehehehe)

i had tried reading the book countless times but never seemed to manage getting through the first few pages. the narration bored me. but after seeing the movie now, i will try to give it another shot.

the movie, minus the really distracting and POOR editing, butchered probably to comply with archaic MTRCB regulations, was needless to say, beautiful. heartwrenchingly beautiful. so much, that i had to distract myself with nonsensical, technical dialogue on how kate winslett deserved her award just to keep myself objective enough from wailing like a 4-year old, pig tailed girl!!! the story, the characters, the actors who portrayed them, the score, the cinematography... i was captivated from beginning to end. it almost felt like i was in astral flight, going forward and backward in time in post-war germany, perusing into the lives of michael and his hannah.

i'm getting goosebumps just thinking about the movie again while writing this post.

there was a moral to this story, i am sure. i tried to process it in my head yet i could not grasp the wisdom in it just yet. i tried wording it out to my friend but i don't think it came out right, a result of physical fatugue and emotinal overload i guess. i recall saying hannah was "very practical", refering to how she contributed to the killing of hundreds during the holocust. "PRACTICAL!!!" i screamed in my head... how soooo... CHINESE!!!! ahahahahaha! my comment obviously did not suit my friend as i felt he gave me a strange look after hearing it and found myself now sharing a very awkward moment.

word vomit aside, there is still much to digest from this spectacular film. so much so that i will go and watch it again.... kuya got sold with my reaction, "ay ang ganda! OH. MY. GOD. kuya..... wala akong masabi.... si kate winslett, WINNER, as IN!!!"

hehehehehe.... i could not help but be convincing.

* * * * *

fast forward to the next day... sunday.

i had a deja vu of a day, well, deja vu in reverse since i had dinner after the movie and not before, like i did on saturday... ANYWAY. so there i was, giddy with kuya since i was watching a movie again, a day after i saw it. i don't know why, the idea just tickled me, like it was the ultimate form of spoiling, to do exactly what you did the day before.

tickets bought, kuya and i say on the seats just on the opposite end of the seats me and my friend sat the previous day. another detailed that amused me. opening credits started, ralph fiennes entered.... that was as far as the magic of the movie went for me. there were near-emo moments here and there but i just never got myself to that point SINCE there was this group of IDIOTS sitting beside kuya.... a fugly guy, his equally fugly girl, and her possy of bitches.... everytime the story would pick up, they would go on a giggling frenzy. i swear... i ITCHED to create a scene and just tell them off.

why do some people have no sense of courtesy and consideration? WHY? i gave some of the girls the evil look and i knew that they saw me eye them. nothing... i doubt my implied irritation didn't even mark a dimple of their calloused hides! i am quick to temper really, quicker now since i have noticed how stupider people seem to have become, but sitting beside kuya, exercising the patience of a saint made me reconsider unleashing the wrath of god onto these individuals. kuya just sat there and enjoyed the movie. he laughed at the sweet moments, and remained silent as the mood became serious. i tried to emulate his calm... tried. but my peace had already been disrupted and i soon found it more entertaining devising unspeakable ways of eradicating pests like these kids off the face of the earth!

giggle, giggle, mumble, mumble.... they just wouldn't stop. i heard someone shush them but it only hindered them for like, 2 seconds. as the movie ended and the credits rolled, kuya got up and started walking down the aisle even before the theater lights went on. i followed suit. in chinese he remarked to me how sad the movie was.... and how irritating those kids were. he hoped that they were UGLY! hmmm, not necessarily the wrath of god, but the comment, plus the smile it gave me was enough for me to forget bazooka-ing their eff'n faces. but now that i think of it, i should have done it still. would have done a lot of people a lot of good i think.

Friday, March 6, 2009

bear in reflection

it was a familiar topic, the matter of my solitude.

i have thought about this many times already and have weighed in the many pros as well as the many cons, and though i find myself constantly surrounded by people pairing up, getting married and having families of their own, i seem to have found myself slowly become more and more comfortable with the fact that sometimes, being single can be ok too.

of course my situation is more complicated than your average bear since, i doubt not everyone can live an oxymoronic existence and still be happy, but then i learn to make peace with myself as i go along. there is an inexhaustible strength from my source and i just have to remind myself constantly never to break ties with it. though i cannot honestly say that my relationship with God is ideal, i try to adhere as much to my faith and to the faint whispering issued by this belief, hoping that one of these days, my obedience will lead me to greater enlightenment.

living is however, difficult still. i am too a physical being with fleshly needs, my nature predisposing me to trip and fall every now and then. it is through these situations, however, that i appreciate the great value of redemption and how even, in the lowest of lows of my despair, i still have a choice to choose whether to remain in darkness or to look up and climb back towards the light. i have also realized that sometimes, valleys are also as important as troughs. change in resistance improves endurance and in this race we call life, the better your endurance, the longer you can run and survive the long haul.

* * * * *

i felt a smile form on my face, a feeling of contentment growing inside as i voiced out my views further, my patient companion with me, reciprocating my attention. i paused, taking a moment to reflect on what was happening. my smile lingered on. my thoughts echoed in my head. i realized i sincerely believed in the things that i said. my heart and my mind and my spirit had finally come to a peaceful agreement.

a lot more were talked about while my empty cup of coffee rested on the table in front of me. it bore witness to two souls exchanging views, connecting, communicating. sharing a healthy discourse involving revelations as well as inspirations.

if that cup were alive and had consciousness, i would sincerely believe it would now be the wisest of its kind.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

bear in waiting

there was something strangely comforting in sitting on that chocolate brown, leather chair, nestled in the confines of its upholstered body while sipping my warm cup of coffee (black and artificially sweetened, of course). i faced the large window of the shop and observed as strangers ascended from the escalator beyond the pane, unknown faces bearing marks of their unknown stories, hoping that one of them would register as something familiar.

people watching has definitely become an enjoyable past time of mine. it is a hobby i had learned to love as there had been days where i find myself waiting for hours on end, for people who have missed their scheduled time of arrival. it is a good test of one's patience, an exercise of endurance to control temper as well as learn to appreciate the simplicity, even the mundanes of life. today was one of those days again. the mall was in its usual state of flux. people moved about heading off to their respective destinations, with their personal agendas in need of urgent fulfillment. people meeting, people shopping, dining, walking, running, holding hands, perusing, indulging, chatting, studying, sitting down, loitering. they exhibit a plethora of moods, expressed in a legion of faces, each one for me to behold, each one for me to ponder on and appreciate.

then you came in. i spotted you from the corner of my eye for it was your walk that gave you away. though you could have been easily lost in a sea of strangers that day, totally inconspicuous, you stood out like a sore thumb for you alone bore purpose in you stride. you walked over to me. i pretended to not have seen you. you said hello. i said hello back. you took your seat on the chair next to mine, an identical twin to my current leather cocoon. i adjusted myself. you made yourself comfortable.

my cup of coffee laid empty on the table in front of me.

"hello syoti. how are things with you?"

my people watching had come to a halt. indeed, something else now had my undivided attention.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

behind closed gym doors

after having the ridiculous idea implanted in my head that my body can actually survive a 10K run, i decided to test my limits at the gym yesterday afternoon. i had been slaving over a couple of schemes for a client presentation the entire day already and after finding myself stuck in a rut, decided that a quick work out might do me some good.

i arrived at my gym 30mins earlier than my usual routine since i had planned running the 10K on the tread before hitting the weights. it takes me about 30 mins to do a 5K so i presumed, considering i don't suddenly DIE in my attempt, that a 30 minute head start would be enough. it was only 6pm then, gym buddy hasn't arrived yet and considering he hasn't texted me asking of my whereabouts, there was also a good possibility he wasn't coming at all. i went in to the locker room and saw a couple of the usuals i work out with. as i mentioned before, my gym is quite small and through the years, i have already befriended a lot of the regulars, even if just as mere acquaintances. at that time, there were only these 2 guys, whom from overhearing their conversations, were discussing techniques on how to bulk up, normal talk in these quarters. it was however that NORMAL only lasted until one of these guys took out a syringe and shoved the needle onto the other guy's shoulder. now, i have been fully aware of people using steroids at my gym for the longest time. it was only logical to assume since guys talk about it so much as well as seeing people blow up like a balloon in only a few months time, especially near competition season (like now). though i would have thought that i was comfortable knowing about people using it, to witness people actually shoot up however, well... was a different thing. i was changing at that time and i could have sworn that i never changed so fast in my life (wonder woman, 'te!). there was a sense of panic there and i really wanted to get out of the locker room as fast as i could. i couldn't really understand my reaction but seeing these guys just made me feel too uncomfortable, and even to a degree, disgusted.

i had been offered steroids before, much more now that i have lost a lot of weight and am lean enough to show cuts. the trainers, even some of the patrons here highly suggest it saying how it would make me look so much better, bulkier, leaner. though my vanity was admittedly intrigued with the possibility of finally achieving the physique that i had always craved for, my higher senses just could not be convinced. it may have taken me this long (7 years) to reach this point of reinventing my appearance, but i know i worked hard for it and earned every single bit of change, how undefined they may still be. i got into working out for health reason since i was quite sickly due to my sedentary lifestyle, and could not imagine why i would risk harming myself just to look "healthy".

(me, not too long ago)

though there is still much debate as to the effects of steroids (surprisingly), i believe there is a reason why shooters have to buy their loads covertly from horse vets and why they have to shoot each other behind closed doors (though, with what happened in my case, they seem to be getting bolder by the day). as i think about what i saw yesterday, i cannot help it but feel saddened by how ignorance and vain foolishness can lead people in doing the most horrible and stupid things.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Botak Paabilisan '09!!

my day started at 4:00am. well, actually no, it started way earlier than that since, like how i was on my last marathon, i barely slept a wink due to nerves. i just got back from a food tour with friends the day prior and considering that i was so tired, it was still not enough to knock me out. not being able to rest for an endurance sport should really be a cause for concern, but quite frankly, i was the least bothered by it. i was actually more worried for my weight! a food tour means exercising gluttony and packing in unwanted pounds, pounds that i seriously cannot afford to pack in! i kinda tried to salvage my situation by going on an instant fast as i got home, which i eventually failed at since i recall gorging on a pack of instant noodles and a couple of bananas at around 1am! too hungry to think straight apparently. so with tummy full, mind racing and conscience disturbed because of my lack in will, i braced myself for my coming run.

i got to the venue at around 5am, much later than what i would consider comforting since i like getting to a place much earlier, say, 2 hours earlier. kuya was a prince to offer to drive me there and since i was still sleepless, who was i refuse a free ride? but then again, kuya hasn't had sleep himself either. o well! needless to say we got to fort bonifacio without any untoward incident.

maybe it was the insomnia taking over me but i was surprisingly unexcited with this race, considering this was a major event for the running year, as compared to the event i joined last november. sponsored by Botak, the race attracted many participants, newbies and professional runners alike, as well as many running teams. there was even this one guy who was in a zorro outfit walking about, proving something a cousin of mine once said that these events attract the weirdest of people.

i did my usual routine, warming up, stretching and most importantly... finding the loo. unlike the first race i joined, this one did not seem to have enough toilets made available. in fact, i think it was due to this that a lot were not able to start the race in time. the morning was exceptionally chilly that day and i guess it made a lot of people fall victim to their accursed pea-sized bladders. upon hearing the organizers give the heads up for the racers to file in the starting line, i decided to take my place. i wanted to get psyched since until that point, i was still craving for my bed... and a big bowl of noodles, hangovers from the binondo trip (kasi!!). people started to flood in, the 10K runners making their way to the front of the pack, us 5K races slowly being eased to the back. i have always wondered how the officials time the runners accurately if we all start at different spots with some being ahead and some, behind. a friend told me our official times all start at the same time since it was a pack race. that said, i HONESTLY didn't want to be cheated of my efforts. i may not run as fast as that super lean, mean running machine with the p*k p*k shorts but heck! my minutes still count. much to the ire of the 10K runners i bumped into, i tried to squeeze my way further near the starting line. satisfied with my position, i waited for the starting gun.

the gun fired at 6:15am and sent a frenzy of eager runners bolting ahead. i started slow. it was part strategy, since i wanted to conserve my energy for the long haul. partly, i also had no choice since the freaking runners in front of me were walking. WALKING!!! like in the mall! i quickly lost my patience and the "pakistani cab driver in desperate need of a pee" in me immediately kicked in! thank goodness i live in tondo and had all that practice weeding in and out of stupid tricycles, jeepneys and pedestrians. it took me a few minutes of maneuvering but i eventually got myself out of that gridlock and soon found myself in the company of serious runners. by this time, we were nearing the u-turn along Essensa. this was a downhill track, much to my delight since i wasted a lot of energy trying to loose those misplaced mall rats and needed to replenish my energy. it was a long slope down, which also meant, a very long slope up upon turning. thankfully so, i have calves of steel and found that i run better uphill. i guess i enjoyed the uphill run so much that i noticed that i was already very near the front of the pack. not wanting to sense victory this soon, i quickly dismissed my unfounded joy and focused back again to the run. there was still a long way ahead and the finish line was still no where in sight.

this route was rather unusual compared to my first race. for one, this had more slopes and longer stretches of level planes. i have found from my practices before that i waste a lot of energy changing speeds due to change in terrain. though gravity can help in the downhill runs and my calves can easily manage the uphill inclines, the real test comes when i find myself on flat ground since then, all that propels you forward is the strength of your will... unless you are also coincidentally aerodynamic! (hehehehe). this route also had weird turns and for me, poorly considered paths since i often found myself running alongside cars! endurance runners only think of one thing, running forward. for you to add traffic control into our task is not only insensitive, but dangerous as well since by now, our judgement is most probably compromised due to fatigue. because also of the weird path and the slopes, it was difficult for you to spot the finish line, thereby not being able to gauge how much farther you had to run and if you were doing good time. if you were i who does not wear a watch to keep track of your speed, then this really does pose a problem. thank goodness for faster runners.... as long as i can run alongside them, i thought, i was ok.

there were no celebrities this time who served as a threat for me to run faster, unfortunately. no cuties running in front of me either to chase. all i had to serve as motivation was this little girl who was running beside her dad. cute i thought. she was indeed fast and despite her age, quite competitive as well since as i slowly inched my way ahead of her, i distinctly heard her calling to her dad that i was coming. "punyemas tong bwisit na to ah! what are you two trying at? sabotage!!!??" needless to say, i was too tired to give a shit, more so give in to the taunts of this pig-tailed squirt. i kept my pace and throughout the remainder of the race, the squirt-dad tandem and i were on constant head to head, that was until we neared the finish line and they zoomed past ahead of me. i swear, if i were not as nice, i would have pulled on her pig-tails and would have loved to see her kiss concrete! (ehem...)

i crossed the finish line with the time at 24:33, almost a full minute faster than my last race, though it's not official yet. not bad i reckoned considering i didn't practice as much this time and was heavier to boot.

i certainly hope i would be more disciplined next time. how else will i survive running a 10k!? :) wohoo!!!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

my backyard

welcome to my backyard. i beg your pardon if it's still quite messy. it is rather hard to keep tidy 4 city blocks by oneself, especially with thousands of people passing through it day in and day out. but no matter, despite the unsightly clutter and the signs of wear here and there due to the incessant traffic, you certainly have to admit, it adds a distinct charm to it all. truth be told, i really cannot see this place it any other way.

my backyard has seen quite a number of reincarnations through the years, "projects" by each wave of tenants that have lived here. you'd certainly expect this much considering that it's almost 500 years old. from an undeveloped marshland flanking the river, given to my forbears by those snooty, paranoid, aristocrat-loving neighbors of ours living in that walled house with the canons, my backyard now boasts one of the most expensive parcels of real estate in the country. hard work, determination, and lots of luck had seen my fathers and their father's fathers turn this place into one very prosperous lot. indeed, as you walk down the main path that courses through my backyard, you cannot help but be overwhelmed by all the knick-knacks accumulated by my family. down the path and through the side alleys that bisect and transect this piece of land, and you surely will be lost, pleasantly of course, in aisles and aisles full of objects of desire ranging from gadgets to charms to clothes to food to jewelry, and practically everything else that comes in between, this place housing still the different trades my family has gotten itself into through the years. speaking of housing, my folks have managed to hoard in a few architectural pieces as well. buildings constructed and decorated in different styles: classical; baroque; neo-classic; art nouveau; art deco; post modern; oriental; they are juxtaposed with each other, making a stroll through them almost feel like going through time with each step. it definitely brings a whole new meaning to " a trip down memory lane", for it is quite a trip, for me that is.

my backyard is only a good 15 minute walk from my room, yet despite its proximity, coming here almost feels like a journey. indeed, passing under the decorated arches and i find myself amidst hundred-year old churches and poised dragons and lanterns and houses with extended eaves; where horse-drawn carriages still course the streets; where signs are written in a language thousand of years old; where the people look different, sound different, act different; where the food not only fills the stomach but also nourishes the soul; where the doctors act like shamans and their medicine look like potions; where modernity constantly finds itself in a head-on collision with a culture resistant to change; and you too would agree, entering into my backyard feels like being transported through time and space. it is probably this very reason why i often come here, why even after so many years, this place still offers me great wonder. it reverberates with an energy unlike any other place i have been. i come here to loose myself, through the alleys and corridors, through the merchandise my family hawks, just like how they have always done. i come here to throw myself to the mercy of my imagination and what the sights and sounds and scents this place elicits, the stories and the memories they conjure up. i come here to connect, to be reminded again of my heritage, my history, my family, my identity.

my backyard is a humble lot. you cannot even consider it spectacular or beautiful in normal definitions. it is old, worn-down, cluttered and congested. but i hope despite this, you can see past these things and view it with changed eyes, my eyes at the least, and probably behold the treasure that it truly, truly is.

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reflections over the food walking tour of binondo and quiapo with the fabcasters last february 28, 2009, comprising of: migs; joel; tony; aj; eugene; joseph; jaybee; john stan; ian and myself. the day saw us have lunch by the estero, traversing ongpin, visiting the binondo, sta. cruz and quiapo churches, walking along escolta, walking along carriedo, visiting excellente ham in quiapo; sampling fried siopao and having late merienda over dumplings and soya milk.