Salcedo Art Market 2012

Nostalgia for my Metro Manila.
Event held February of this year at the Salcedo Park in Makati.

Find a friend
I think this is from artist Dang Sering's group
Colorful mosaic art, that girl with umbrella, that hibiscus
Like Chinatown in the rain,
I'll take this home if I had the means to.
Sketching the Wolfgang concert at the Met, Urban Sketchers

Prints, HK Disney Museum

A more girlish looking Cinderella

Rougher rendition of Ariel and Ursula


Get a yes and work for it.

In real life, you decide you want something and you work yourself into the ground trying to get it. You ask for what you want, you get told no, and you ask some more.
Meg Keene 


Dear E.p.,

Because I remembered not to long ago, I was on that path, too. I just want to tell you:

There's no way to get around it but to face it. That is, deal with it by submerging yourself waist-deep in its murky waters, where I do pray you will find the grace to move amidst the discomfort, to get up while crying when you fall further in ditches unseen, to push through even when your bruises and scratches seem to pile one on top of another.

It will get ugly, miserable, painful.

It will never be fair.

It will not make sense.

And it will feel like the pain  won't end and whatever hope you see is but a tiny glimmer far, far away in the horizon.

I know, I know it may seem fiction at this point, but the good news is, the ugliness, the misery, the pain-- they do end. That little ray of hope peeping out? It is real, as real as the hopelessness you feel today. And you just don't know but by facing the murky water, by wallowing in the ugliness, by moving, you're inching your way there slowly.

What I've learned from this network of sisterhood I found myself connected to when I was swimming in that uncomfortable ocean: that it is possible to handle things with grace. That amidst the discomfort and the impulse to just give in to the easy, it is possible to cling on to that tiny shred of dignity and emerge with your self intact; that it's no piece of cake, but it's always worth it when you choose yourself over the boy. He's just passing through, Ep, but meanwhile, you will always have you.

I love you, Ep, and if I can keep you from all this discomfort, I will, but it's your journey -- and no journey is ever wasted, whether it's the first class kind or the most heartbreaking hitch of your life.

You will get through this, I promise. Just remember that along with letting things get ugly are conscious decisions you have to make for yourself, in the name of self-love. That, too, is real, you know.



These are the days of spring when the sky is filled
with the odor of lilac, when darkness becomes desire,
and there is nothing that does not wish to be born;
days when the fate of the present is a breezy fullness,
when the world's great gift for fiction gilds even
the dirt we walk on, and we feel we could live forever
while knowing of course that we can't. Such is our plight.
The master of weather and everything else, if he wants,
can bring forth a dark of a different kind, one hidden
by darkness so deep it cannot be seen. No one escapes.

Not even the man who believed he was chosen to do so,
for when the dark came down he cried out, "Father, Father,
why have you forsaken me?" To which no answer came. 
(4), "Poem after the Last Seven Words," Mark Strand

To view the complete poem, click here.


Never completely lost

Doing what you love can help with this. Doing what you love allows you to remember so well, to feel so closely how you have loved, that you can forget the space between yourself and the words you draw with. Forget the distance between you and everything, everyone, else. Love becomes transmutable. Freud knew this. Writing can be an effective replacement mechanism—and in its solitude, there is antidote for the deepest loneliness.
Lucy McKeon, "Meeting Joan Didion," the Paris Review

...how this essay made me miss writing, earnest writing, about the world and about life. I remember last year (and early this year) and how in the darkest of ruts, this blog was like an anchor.



Because Manang Pagong asked, here's my mantra for the month:

Steven Bonner, via jellylondon
Or, more like "(Work and) Achieve,"

Steven Bonner, via jellylondon
"Marathon lang yan," is what I need to remind the self. And so we must keep the pace for the long distance run going.


On the Philippine Cybercrime Law

Let's take a break from the usual light posts to say: this blog opposes the passage of the Cybercrime Law. This blog believes the law is a gag order on blog and social media users in and from the Philippines who, beginning Oct. 3, may be held liable for anything posted, retweeted, and even "liked."

This blog believes that the libel clause in the Cybercrime Law, in effect, is an E-Martial Law.

Photo from 1M Filipino Netizens Against the Cybercrime Law

Welcome to the Philippines, where we fight and crawl and beg for the passage of the Reproductive Health Bill (no resolution yet) and where a macho senator commits plagiarism without shame and pulls the rug from under the netizenry by inserting libel provisions on a law concerning internet use, making libel equal to child pornography and cybersex. 

Signs that say you're probably adapting

1. You begin to find shortcuts, navigating building after building to get to where you're supposed to faster, no longer under the scorching heat of the sun which tortured you when you first arrived. You being to walk under covered roofs and navigate the terrain indoors.

2. You've built your own instincts -- no longer insisting on crossing the road on pedestrian lanes out of caution. Because you have started building a relationship with that street, making it with each passing day your street, you no longer look to the traffic light to say "it's safe."

3. Your taste buds have started to acculturate, you begin to crave for chilis and spices which have previously intimidated and you begin to understand, and even welcome, their concept of "breakfast food."

4. You start to tolerate certain smells. This is trickier: you can shut your eyes and down stuff with water, but how do you deal with culturally-offensive smells? When your insides no longer secretly gag and protest, perhaps you have most likely achieved a certain level of adaption?