Last-Minute Solemn Thoughts and Revelations Before Setting Off

*I am not religious, even though there’s an intermittent need in me to somehow believe in a most august force. I’ve often pondered, however, on the dictum that God is Love. For everything that is beautiful in our world is tended by it; nothing seems to matter when there’s no love in our hearts. Our true sufferings are purely outcomes of lack of love and not loving each other enough.

*I don’t even know what to make of the lessons I’ve learned so far. No clearness still as to what my life has amounted to. Even so, I look forward to coming back here soon because I still have stories to tell, thoughts and feelings that must search for their precision through words — before an inescapable juncture starts fogging away everything including the memories.

My hope is also for this blog to be a main testament of my love for animals and the dearest people to me.

*I end up being alone most of the time because I’ve preferred living by my own rules; doing my own thing; standing by my own convictions. Besides, my rich inner life keeps me going. Being on my own isn’t as sad as what the majority would want me to believe. I’ve felt a lot lonelier belonging in a group and as part of a couple.

*Letting go of youth is an advice we should all abide by although it’s been a struggle for me because I just don’t feel old. My 15-year-old self from some 30 years ago is still very much around, yet the woman that reflects back whenever I face the mirror is getting to be a stranger. In my recurring dreams at night, I’d also be running in a field with the beloved pet dogs I had had, hugging and loving them dearly. Then I’d open my eyes in the morning and be brought back to the stinging reality they aren’t with me anymore…and that an immense part of my youth has already been spent.

*My life has been largely devoured by unnecessary pride, the farce of others, and inconsequential stuff. How I’ve paid the most penal price for the passions of this earth. It feels like forever trudging through a valley of regrets.

*Since I’ve lost my father, whenever he dawns on my mind, tears just flow – like rain from the sky that falls unbidden. Tears which flow from a well of pain inside me that harrow deeper with each passing time. It’s the secret of my soul my physical world need not perceive any more. But every song has its end. I’m carrying this pain with me, until my life yields to an absolute silence.

With a love stronger than time and death, my heart could only speak of two people my mind would be embracing in my last breaths – my father and my son. The dearest ones I’ve ever had.

We All Need A Break

I don’t smoke, I don’t drink; I’ve got no vices. Nope, this isn’t a blurb about me that ought to be submitted to an online dating site. It is simply a bulletin of the boring existence I’ve been leading for almost years now. You may ponder: What then is igniting my ardour for life aside from fancying myself as some babe who has developed an ability to carry a sentence through to completion? (If you vehemently object, please be kind enough to keep your opinion to yourself – thank you very much 🙂 ) 


I do have another encompassing yearning as a human being. Nope again, it’s not what you think; not the kind that would call for a hot-looking dude and a sturdy bed. I already had enough of that not so long ago. (I’m kidding, of course)


I am actually referring to the desire of being able to travel to places I’d like to see. My parents never experienced riding an airplane – out of fear: Fear that somehow rubbed off on me, which can’t be good in pursuing a more adventurous life. My sister, nevertheless, has become a jetsetter. Don’t wonder how – she married into a rich family. In my case, years of scrimping and squirreling away had been the only way for me to be able to afford the two-week vacation tour I’ll be embarking on this June. I live quite simply; I’m not into buying stuff anymore. Travelling remains as the one unrealized aspiration on my list. Btw, my sister is coming with me. Considering our opposing lifestyles, you can already foretell the fate of my pocketbook when it’s over and done.

I had really wanted my son to join me, but he thinks it’s such a waste of money. Besides, he’s just been newly hired by a good semiconductor firm. Still, how I wish he’d be the one to enjoy this journey with me.

Am I excited? By all means. Am I worried? You bet. What’s gonna happen? I’ve no idea 🙂

Another snag is my difficulty sleeping in a place that isn’t my abode. Motion sickness is something I easily suffer from as well. My previous flying experiences, both local and international, didn’t all go perfectly smooth. Take note: A 15-hour flight plus several bus rides and a few boat trips are ahead for me during those couple of weeks – Oh, I’m in real trouble.


If I fatally overdose on anti-dizzy tablets or if my plane gets gobbled up by a UFO, this is going to serve as my last entry. What are the things I would want to express? This is also supposed to be a cheerful post no tears must be shed for the moment.


When I come back here, there’s one thing you can be sure of, dear readers: I’ll be your newly certified blogger pauper. Yes, I’m gonna be so poor you might be forced to adopt me.

Have mercy…don’t abandon me.         😀 😀


Reflections Upon What Brought Me To The World Of The Classics

No matter what my place of discontent, this is how I envision myself in a few years’ time: An okay-looking gal carrying ample experiences and some writing dexterity that will enable her to write competently about life, love, her self-willed sentiments, and diverse meditations on Jane Doe’s quotidian existence.

There’s no hunger within me to turn in a best-selling novel someday or become a prolifically accomplished writer in the future; my imagination isn’t that fecund, my creativity too run-of-the-mill. An Arcadian repository of my narratives, thoughts, and sensations is everything I intend to leave behind.

Lumbering through WordPress for a little more than three years now, I’ve had interesting encounters with a small number of bloggers here because, you know, I just don’t follow blogs, I really read them. I sometimes happily convert myself into a devoted fan of the blogwriters that got me hooked, yet things don’t go heavenly smooth all the time. Let me cite an example:

The past year I’ve got a sudden hankering for perusing The Classics. Why? Now there’s a story I’m obliged to tell my readers – in which one or two lessons can be gleaned from – before it gets lost in the mists of time.

Several months ago in my blog universe, there was this blogger who quixotically alluded to unicorns that could save mountains, and to the beautiful flowers that secretly bloom in darkness. Moreover, he could easily whip up admiration with his amorous verses and incisive discourse about life’s crossroads in the abstract. He’s, for the most part, a dreamer. He made certain, however, his real identity would remain a well-guarded secret, unless you seek him out privately. Which meant that other than this Mister Romantic Poet’s splendid writings, there was nothing else you could find attractive about him: One more kind of co-blogger best kept at arms’ length.

Enter this Canadian lady who introduced herself to me during my most difficult times early last year: A new divorcee who had been feeling out of sorts by reason of her new status. She seemed to be extending her blogger hand to me in goodwill – which engendered my fondness for her because she was being nice and understanding. She always looked pretty good in her gravatar photos. And oh, she has a distinctive narrative style to boot and writes like a true pro. Amazing woman, I believe.

Most of my blogger pals have been male. During that time each of them seemed to have checked her out by clicking her comment link on my blog, as substantiated by My Stats page. Did I mind? A bit – to be perfectly honest with you. Call it a woman thing on my part.

Mister Romantic Poet started Liking her entries. Much to my astonishment, he even went back to her maiden post where an interlocution manifesting of lucid flirtation took place. Ah ok, it’s a free world in here – no ground for me to feel slighted; although to reiterate once more, it’s a (Filipino) woman thing. Bear in mind the fact Mister Romantic Poet wasn’t even my crush then. Did my favourite (another) blogger pal – the one I liked the most – check her out and officially visit her site, too? Yes, he did…to my heartbreak (Silly silly me from time to time 🙂 ); which brought about the abrupt end of my association with her. Something that, in retrospect, I kind of regret…because men are never a good reason enough for the extinction of any female connection.

Back to Mister Romantic Poet who had profusely praised my lady commenter in the course of their inceptive conversation: Honestly, my consternation upon reading the exchange between them couldn’t bring me to regard him in the same manner afterwards. As if an infection had penetrated deep into whatever sterling estimation I had consigned to his persona before. Despite that, it paved the way for his revealing question to her which would subsequently refuse to fall from my memory: “Did you happen to read a lot of classics in your past that made you write this good?”

Aha, Bingo.

I’ve already forgotten my lady pal’s answer. But that particular query has stayed prominent on my mind for ages. Yeah yeah, it’s too late for me to catch up on the classics for the refinement of my writing skill. It won’t change the fact my literature in my younger years had been limited to Mills&Boons, idiotic women’s magazines and sundry articles on Hollywood gossip. Still, whenever I go to a bookstore these days, I can’t prevent myself from dropping by the Classics Section to browse. The books occasionally go on sale. My growing collection has aggregated to ten now and I have finished reading most of them. It’s worth engrossing oneself in a world where the likes of Thomas Hardy, Victor Hugo, George Eliot, Hermann Hesse and the Bronte sisters are in preponderance. How I wish I had started much earlier.

Perhaps I ought to thank Mr. Romantic Poet for all this. Unfortunately, he has long closed down his lovely blog.

One of my ideal libraries. Charming…


One Proud Mom, Although…

It’s of utmost pleasure on my part to reveal here my son placed 2nd overall in the recent Board Exam for Electronics and Communications Engineers. People around have congratulated me. They said I must have done something right as his only parent. That made me smile.

His success in the national exam was actually the outcome of several months of his commitment to diligent studying. In addition, he has always felt passionate about his field. His father was into the technical profession, too, by the way. Like father, like son.

Before starting his college studies I had expressed my wish that he took up Music instead. My son is also a talented pianist and guitarist. I made sure he had the proper lessons with those two musical instruments in his childhood and teenage years. Isn’t it that Science and Maths are the tools for living, but Music and the rest of the Arts are the reasons for living? He was adamant, though, in his selection in preparing himself to become a full-fledged engineer someday. I backed down.

Six years later, here we are. I am beaming with pride. I’m happy with the results, too, of course. My son seems to have made the correct choice.

from left: me, my son, my sis, my nephew

But I am here not just to tell you how proud I am of my son. It isn’t my style sugarcoating my reality. A spirit in pain is also hiding behind my smiles in our photos. For he and I are currently undergoing a difficult period in our lives. I am hoping it’s gonna be an evanescent phase for both of us.

There’s a downside to having a child who’s endowed with way academic strength than his or her progenitor. Suddenly, nothing I say seems to matter anymore. Suddenly,
there’s nothing left for me to do but take a backseat. It’s as if any contribution or
suggestion from my side is necessary no more. Oh yes – I must keep on reminding myself – he already turned 22 this April.

Yet I ruminate on the following parental guidelines that have echoed in my mind for so Image (2)long: Do your best for your child. Show him unconditional love. Make sure that he knows how much he matters to you, etc. I did my damnedest to follow them all. Now I realized all those loads of advice…are actually crap. Nothing in life is guaranteed. No relationship maxim, even between mother and child, from any sphere on this planet is a sure thing.

You might think I must have done something not right that brought about this predicament. Alright, I do own up to not being the perfect parent and to having committed some mistakes along the way. But God knows how hard I tried. How hard I really tried. And only God knows how much I love my only child; The love which made me swear to all the angels in heaven two decades ago I’d be a much better parent to my son in raising him than my own parents combined in rearing me. I subsequently thought I was succeeding through all the years that my son was growing up. He appeared to be turning out finer and finer each passing day – which made me cling to the credence that the bond cementing us together would be stronger than steel.


Nowadays, however, I keep on questioning my prior performance as a mother and asking myself what went wrong.

Or perhaps, I deserve this because I hadn’t exactly been an ideal daughter to my parents either. On the whole – and I say this in supreme truthfulness – my son is a thousand times better individual and human being compared to me.

Still, how poignant it is to discern I have failed in everything. Motherhood, I had promised myself, would be my redemption. The one thing, I thought, I might do well in life. How could I have been so mistaken.


After the oathtaking ceremony, my family members and I went to a restaurant for a quiet celebration. During dinner, while my son was occupied shooting the breeze with his cousins, my mother and siblings took time to ponder and talk about our situation.

“It’s hard having an only child, I guess.” I conveyed with somberness to them.

My sister responded, “No. You just had it hard being the only parent.”

Inside a coffee shop during the celebration with my mother, my brother, my sister, my nephews, and my son.

Music Babe Stuck in the 70s&80s (2014 version)

Once in a while, I rehash some of my selected blog pieces here for diversion, wanting to know, as a bonus, whether there has been an improvement in my, ahem, writing prowess. Music continues to be the major force that has been jazzing up my run-of-the-mill existence for decades. The post about my kind of music to boot remains to be my most favorite of them all [original post – 2012 version] and updating it recently has been a gratifying undertaking for me.

Genuine talent in music, in my opinion, is the best gift the gods of heavens could bestow upon someone. Competence in painting, acting, writing, and all the other arts can be cultivated and refined, through diligence and determination; but being a natural in the field of music? It’s either you have it or you don’t. Beautiful melody blending with the right words; what can beat that?

My taste in music is obviously mainstream. The songs I came to like were the products of an epoch that saw me glued to the radio in the 80s and 90s. Eclectic genres I have enjoyed: ballad, mellow, rock, disco, soul,…except for country and jazz (Haven’t developed a total liking for jazz yet, though I’d love to). I believe the sonic of pop music was in its heights in the 70s and 80s. A few songs from the 60s have been unforgettable, too, such as those from The Beatles ”Ticket To Ride“, “In My Life” and Burt Bacharach ”Do You Know The Way To San Jose“, “I Say A Little Prayer“. But the emergence of synthesizers, harmonizers at the beginning of the 1970s was the turnaround that dramatically heralded the new sound of music and paved the way for the optimization of our listening pleasure.

80s music

You can say I was pretty hipped on contemporary music. In the 80s, British bands lorded over my list of preferred musical artists and performers: Spandau Ballet “Only When You Leave“, Duran Duran “Wild Boys“, Tears for Fears “Everybody Wants To Rule The World“, Wham “Everything She Wants“, B52s “Private Idaho“, etc., followed by American groups: Blondie “Rapture“, Kool & The Gang,”Too Hot“, Eagles “One of these Nightsetc.

“Watch out here I come!” (clap clap clap) Remember that spoken line commencing Dead Or Alive’s best-known hit You Spin Me Round? Its lead singer was also a spin-off from Boy George’s flamboyant community, in case you don’t know.

You spin me right round baby right round like a record baby right round round round.

Stay with me and don’t feel dizzy, ok? 🙂

Then there’s the mid-part of Head Over Heels by Tears for Fears I remember chanting with a couple of friends while hanging out in my early 20s:

Something happens that I’m head over heels. I never found out, till I’m head over heels. Oh don’t take my heart, don’t break my heart, don’t…don’t throw it away.

Its MTV proved quixotic for me because it showed Roland Orzabal, leader of TFF, in romantic pursuit of a… (surprise!) librarian who sported wide spectacles while at work inside a library. FYI, to become a librarian was one of my secret dreams in my early teens.

The era had also seen me tripping the light fantastic to several dance beats; everybody in my family loved dancing. One track I loved in particular was The Look of Love by ABC which I initially thought had been belted out by a black artist. Yet ABC was actually a British band who performed in their MTVs and concerts wearing (to my delight) snazzy colorful tuxedos.

When the world is full of strange arrangements

And gravity won’t pull you through

You know you’re missing out on something

Well that something depends on you.

When your girl has left you out on the pavement (Goodbye)

Then your dreams fall apart at the seams

Your reason for living’s your reason for leaving

Don’t ask me, what it means.

dancing lady

Years much earlier in my childhood; my brother, sister and I had become the designated purveyors of entertainment during family gatherings and parties thrown by our relatives. I was, however, an extremely bashful kid. Take as an example: Whenever our Jackson 5 dance number reached the middle portion, my brother would take the lead and start executing The Robot – to be subsequently followed by my elder sis and (supposedly) me. But I…I would freeze for two frightful seconds, as the nearest empty chair would begin activating its magnetic pull on my butt. In the blink of an eye, the audience would find me already sitting down. They’d coax me into rejoining the performance by saying, “C’mon, you can do those moves, too.” But I’d smile and just shake my head from side to side. Didn’t they know not even Darth Vader’s Darkest Force could have lifted me off my seat and made me do The Robot?

Anyway, we always have a good laugh these days whenever the three of us reminisce on our Burn Baby Burn Disco Inferno phase.

Many songs from the 1970s & 80s are still being played here they’ve become hailed as pop classics. I haven’t grown tired yet listening to REO Speedwagon’s Keep on Loving You.

And I meant every word I said

When I said that I love you

I meant that I’ll love you forever…

And there’s this personal anthem of mine: Here I Go Again by Whitesnake. (The MTV featured the lead singer’s sizzling model girlfriend at the time – who also appeared in the band’s steamy video Is This Love.)

Well I don’t know where I’m going

But I sure know where I’ve been

Hanging on the promises in the songs of yesterday

And I’ve made up my mind

I am wasting no more time

And yeah, I guess I should not be ashamed to admit I like many a songs from The CarpentersBreadMadonna, and Tom Jones. 🙂

Rupert Holmes was a big name in my country for ages because his melodies and lyrics appealed to our taste, e.g. Terminal. His favourite theme had been infidelity; a subject that’s hardly my cup of tea – although I get tickled pink by his hit Him.

I don’t want to own her

But I can’t let her have it both ways

Three is one too many of us

She lives with me or stays with him…

What’s she gonna do about him

Time for me to make the girl see

It’s me or it’s him

I’ll leave you with the opening verse to one of my all-time favourite songs: A slow love ballad from my most favourite male vocalist – Paul Davis. I won’t reveal its title by reason of its sentimental value to me in my younger years, but the song reportedly crawled and lingered in the Billboard charts for an incredible 40 weeks. Cool.

Hello Girl, it’s been a while

Guess you’ll be glad to know

That I’ve learned how to laugh and smile…


More fave songs:

She’s so mean but I don’t care

I love her eyes and her wild wild hair

Dance to the beat that we love best

Heading for the nineties

Living in the wild wild west

“There are too many windows in this old hotel, and rooms filled with reckless pride

And the walls have grown sturdy and the halls have worn well

But there is nobody living inside…”


P.S. As promised, this post is dearly dedicated to PTFT, the youngest blog buddy I’ve ever had. He’s been through so much these past few months and I didn’t even know. I had conjectured a guy in his 20s had been simply living his life to the max. Pardon me for my mistaken assumption, my friend. Do hold on.

Photo represents how I looked when I was glued to my radio and cassette player in my pre-teens :-)
Photo represents how I looked when I was glued to my radio and cassette player in my pre-teens 🙂


All Feelings and Nothing Else

In person I’m not a major talker. I never was and I guess I never will be. I’ve no problem being viewed as taciturn anymore. In my younger years, some relatives and acquaintances had even ridiculed me for my innate reticence. Painfully shy since childhood, I concede to being one of those people who have come to live inside their heads with ease.

As the main avenue I can now turn to for consummate expression, the world of blogging has become a saving grace for me; in hopes it’ll constantly be the crucial place where I can strip my soul and be completely ingenuous in narrating the yarns of my existence.

But I don’t want to feel like I need to apologize for things that get uncovered in these pages. Or that I’ve got to prove anything about myself. We live in a world where each one of us is defined either by the material things we possess or by the relationship we should preserve with our fellow beings. I confess to not giving much of a darn to either. And that could mean I will continually have to pay the price for my unconventional perspectives and uncensored prose.

Yet the decision to face up to the consequences is a done deal.

My son is the driving force behind the set up of this blog. Perhaps in his future he’d want to know what his mother was all about, warts and all. He may want to read the things I wrote here someday (or not). If ever that time comes, my hope is that this site will still be around – even after I’m long gone.

You may ask: Why don’t I journalize in the privacy of my notebook instead? Exposing my writing, in contrast to keeping a confidential diary, prompts an effort on my part to check on my syntax and punctuation – a peripheral activity I find pleasurable in the process. It’s not a total win-win all the time, though. The impulse to convey my admiration or add my two cents in recognition of some co-blogger’s outstanding post makes me forget the invariable upshot of drawing attention to my own site – which shamelessly houses the contents of my mind and heart. Never was my intention to invite anyone to become a follower. Being misunderstood plus the misconception of my warmth are among the inevitable ramifications, too. These days it makes me wonder if it would have been wiser had I stayed an undisclosed fan or reader to them all.

My writing boldness is propped up by the fact I am thousands of miles away from all of you. I basically feel safe. A morsel of discomfort pinches me, however, whenever I see the country Philippines on my Stats. Except for one very young female co-blogger, I anticipate of no other reader from this side of my hemisphere.

Conversations with people around me in my physical world are mundane and unfulfilling. Colleagues and family members would seek my attention and companionship just so they could babble to their hearts’ content. They knew I would be listening. Not a tangible spirit in my actual realm has been aware that deep inside, there exists a long-standing discontent for not having enough people close by who are on the same wavelength with me.

In moments when I get tired of my own reflections, the need to dip myself in other people’s words come to me. Trapped by my circumstances, the blogging world arrives to the rescue. It’s a comfort allowing my own thoughts and concerns be buried under the voices and contemplation of others from time to time. Which brings me to mention more than a couple of fellow bloggers I’m fortunate to have known for their enviable psyche and superb skills of expression:

One of them has just written a beautiful piece about his parents who are on the brink of slipping away (his folks are probably the most beautiful elderly couple I’ve seen online). I wish I had the right words to say to him. But all I can reckon with certainty is – compared to me – he’ll be much stronger in dealing with it all when the zero hour comes, and that he’ll be able to carry on in a finer demeanor than I do.

And there’s this other long-time blog buddy whose father has just been confined in the hospital. Thankfully, it was nothing serious. Me and this bro pal of mine: we’ve always been like children in our online conversations; although I haven’t been an awesome friend or elder sis to him lately and most probably had sounded like a jaded twerp during our recent chats. Yet he surprisingly put up with me and has been quite patient. You haven’t lost me, dear brother. That’s all I can assure for now.

There’s also this phenomenal woman from a lovely island in Canada – who currently works in a rehab center – I’ve been itching to send a fan message and at the same time extend my apology to; for the reason I had misjudged her posts, at first impression, on the subject of men and love. In truth, she has been a true source of inspiration to me for her splendid works which are – on the whole – funny, intelligent, enlightening, touching. I still have to figure out how to get through to her without feeling like a bonehead.

My writings have been deemed melodramatic, cynical, and emotional; by individuals who, I realized in the end, hold nary an interest to get to know who I essentially am. The embarrassment I had felt then from their conjectures led to my attempts to alter the manner of my articulation here, until it seems I’ve begun writing like a man. But I’m a woman… which means that, yes, sometimes I am all feelings and nothing else.

This words I penned for my gravatar profile many moons ago:

Allow me this freedom; that I may find closure to my quest for endless new beginnings.”  It had been true then… It still holds true to this very day.

In Love and Forever We Trust

I notice most of my posts have the word forever or its synonyms in them. Probably an ideal concept and favorite theme of mine even though nothing in this world truly lasts that long. No argument to that. But what do we make of the greatest love of all – the love between parent and child?

My son’s recent trip to Cebu had him gushing, “It’s been the best time of my life.”  It was then that I realized my boy is fully grown up.

In the recent months that I’ve been watching him, oft from a distance, fractions of our history slice through my mind and warm memories seize me. Twenty one years of sheer togetherness. Now my baby is getting set to spread his wings. He’s excited about his future that seems rich of promise. A year of preparation and hard studying to become a licensed Engineer is about to culminate in a grueling two-day (national board) examination this March. Aside from that, he has already expressed his enthusiasm for independence – to be on his own – as soon as he finds a job. It’s about time; I know. No filial cord should tether him from stretching his courage and gumption.

Lying in wait, both our destinies have paused for a moment of breath.

At my sister’s house last Christmas day. From left: my son, my mom, my nephew, me, and my niece.

I’ve no doubt my son loves me in his own peculiar way; in much the same way he has perfectly known how I’ve always loved him to pieces. But there’s a world outside waiting for him to explore.

Doesn’t love allow for trust in the unknown – no matter how heavy the price it exacts on our peace of mind? I’d be lying if I said I have no worry as to how well my son would blend into that broad, distant horizon where he plans to go. I may be looking forward to retreat into quiet happiness and bits of adventure in the near future myself – but I have begun envisioning, too, how much I’ll be missing him when he has already flown away from my nest.

Sometimes, being a parent doesn’t fully justify the fire of love and concern that burns in your heart for your child.

But what do I really know about life and love and loss anyway? What with the past year that has seen me dismantling and overhauling the personal ideologies I’ve kept for so long.

Clowning around with my sister, brother-in-law, my mom, my nephews, my niece, and my son.

Our doors invariably remain open to everything uncertain – good or bad or worse. The world will keep on orbiting in its inscrutability regardless; clutching each of us in its course.

Eventually, we’ll all bend down to the conceit of time, the inexorability of change, and the ruthless wiles of the Ultimate Equalizer.

Yet I have also learned that love expands to an unexplored breadth – as soon as everything’s lost to eternity.


A beautiful poem titled “You Shall Be Free” by a Filipino poet, from one of my son’s college literature textbook, has appealed to me. It goes:

I will not hold you by restraining hands

For you shall be free like waters on the strands

I will not speak of days to remember

Of lanes we trod through April sun and shower.

No, not a word to hint of that or this,

Lest speaking so, your going I impede.

I will resign myself to all that is –

Like unto sands when cooling waves recede.

O while the strength of seeing love undone

Still stands by me, I pray you, Love, be gone.


–   Trinidad Tarrosa–Subido

I Love Riding the Jeepney

Hands down, I’d choose the jeepney over a bus (the smell inside an airconditioned bus can give me a dizzy spell), a taxi (oh so costly), and the MRT train (you’d rarely find a seat inside as it’s always crowded). The jeepney can go far distances and deliver you to your destination without hurting your pocket. Minimum fare of P8.00 is reasonable for a maximum of four-kilometre ride. The farther the destination, the more you have to pay, of course, but it’ll simply be a matter of a few more pesos.

In my earliest 20s, I’d take the bus to go to work, position myself by the window and gaze down at plush cars cruising along the highway. The dream of belonging to the class of private motorists had kept throbbing all those times – until I experienced having my own car in my mid-20s and found out it wasn’t that big a deal for me. Even though driving (high-speed driving at that) remains an activity I delight in, not having a car doesn’t plough a deep hole into my existence. Continuous residence in locations where everything is accessible factors in my decision to forego car ownership, I guess.


The jeepney driver is indubitably the king of the road here. He isn’t, however, a sweetheart to the foreigners staying in our country. Who could forget the former Miss Australia who – after marrying a Filipino and subsequently migrating to the Philippines – had sworn via the media, “Jeepney drivers just drive me crazy.”

That reminds me of an unforgettable incident, or rather spat on the road between a jeepney driver and an expatriate which occurred several years ago while I was on my way to an appointment. When the jeepney I was riding on started swerving erratically, little did I know some kind of road tussle was already taking place. Our driver jeepney4must not have been aware who he was going head to head with behind the dark-shaded windows of a private red car. A few minutes of outdoing each other on a busy street went on before the red vehicle did manage to cut ahead and stop in front of us, blocking our way.  A fuming expat (an American, I conjecture) got out and, with a gesticulation – both his hands clasping his head – equivalent to “You so stressed me out by what you’ve done,” began arguing with our driver in the most restrained manner he could summon. The jeepney driver listened; at the same time rebutted with a few brief statements of his own in an effort not to lose face during the argument. But both his broken English and confidence couldn’t save him. So before he completely ran out of our second language, he decided to sincerely extend an apology – in full “carabao English” (without letting go of his tiny bit of “attitude” however). The scene was beginning to turn quite comical. The foreigner just stared at his opponent, shook his head, went back to his car and drove away.

“Whew! I just spent all the English I’ve been saving my whole life,” our jeepney driver blurted out.


The wisest thing to remember when you are inside a moving jeepney is to grasp on to dear life as the driver jeepney2may hit the brakes all of a sudden. It’s like this: It’s lunchtime and he’s feeling famished, or his urge to pee has been getting stronger and stronger. But he still has to reach his boundary where he could empty his vehicle of all passengers. As a result, he imagines himself a greyhound chasing an ultimate prey. Heaven help whoever or whatever’s on his way. Well, I am practically used to it. The jeepney rider that I am a big chunk of my life, I’m perfectly wary that when the man behind the wheel steps on the  “screeeech” pedal,” we passengers would, in a matter of seconds, find ourselves all in the front of the jeepney – sitting side by side with the driver himself.

Alright, that may be a bit of an exaggeration, but you sure get what I’m trying to illustrate.

There are jeepney drivers who are kind, helpful, cheerful, and humorous – in spite of the fact most of them barely finished secondary education. Similar to other Asians, we Filipinos, admittedly, can be mulish when it comes to ingesting and heeding discipline on the road.

Yes, I used to own and drive a car. But years of, ahem, soul-searching and spending a fortune on repairs and maintenance led to my dawning of a lifestyle that doesn’t really necessitate going places in my own private vehicle; Especially considering the inconvenience of heavy traffic, difficult parking, incessant increase in fuel cost, and having to pay annual registration fees.

One more thing I love about riding jeepneys: you never get lonely. Solitary car driving could make you feel practically that – isolated. Inside my favourite public vehicle, you are not alone as you’re face to face with your co-passengers. Most of them don’t mind that the happenings or drama in their lives being spilled out, during a conversation with their companions, are for everyone to hear. You also won’t be reprimanded for gawking at what they’re wearing or lugging: their bags, their sassy cellphones, and sundry other accessories; I confess to having a penchant looking at commuters’ shoes and females’ prettily pedicured toenails while en route. My most favourite, though, is watching cute pets being hand-carried by their owners – tiny dogs and cats and, yes, even roosters.

All types of people here ride the jeepney; except for the mega-rich who, every now and then, come up with the absurd notion of scrapping the nation’s principal public transporter. They decry it for its primitive exterior; for being smoke-emitters and, therefore, air polluters; for being road bullies; and because jeepneys, they contend, are merely road clutters.

“Keep on dreaming,” rebukes 80% of the population who rely on the number one means of transportation in the Philippines, “Jeepneys are here to stay.”

I believe so; which makes it a sure thing my fondness for riding jeepneys will continue forevermore.

June Babe Musings (Certainties To Hold)

You can only measure me by the amount of love and devotion I have given you. If they have not been enough for you to regard me back, then the door is waiting for either one of us to step out. For I am that much willing to risk your extinction from my heart and my mind.

You were right in supposing I had wanted you to be true to me. I have long been finished with dishonesty, unfaithfulness, and insincerity. They had already filled up my cup of bitter tea from times past.

I could hold hands only with the truth of who you are. I don’t need a presentation of your unsullied version. You and I are both aware it does not exist; no matter how my esteem for you repeatedly blur the faults you might have had. As for me, I could have been just like you. Because I’ve yet to expose my dark heart which I may do so in increments.

I award my compassion easily. It has been one of my undeniable truths. On the other hand, I have not always been prepared to get hurt. Which is never good for someone like me whose affections tend to eclipse my necessary common sense. Who tends to keep in her heart what she must let go. But what woman wants to lose her sensibilities in the end?

picture frame
“Nothing I accept about myself can be used against me to diminish me. I am who I am, doing what I came to do, acting upon you like a drug or a chisel to remind you of your me-ness, as I discover you in myself.” —Audre Lorde

There’s nothing wrong with asking for a little more from life. I want beauty. I want greatness. I want peace. All side by side with the freedom that I’ve preserved to enjoy. I may or may not deserve the petitions I send out to my universe. Regardless, I am bound to claim my privileges.

Let the rain of your beautiful words and wisdom pour into my soul. Through them, we will be united in our shared losses, hopes and dreams. How can I feel empty in the company of these faithful friends, when they have nursed me and propped my disposition through all these years?

I cannot deny my need for inspiration that will catch my visions. My need for an infinity of spirits. That will break in through my life stages. That will go about seeking my lost stories…to help remind me of the girl I used to be.


We seem to be living in a world where everything we’ve leaned on has almost always disintegrated into dust. Granting that the evolution of my convictions is far from complete, I cannot belong to the kind who submits to standpoints most came to believe so easily. In the same vein, you may not be acquainted of this willingness in me to abandon the tenets I’ve nurtured that could no longer save me. How I frown upon disagreements, conflicts and confrontations. Yet I cannot apologize for what my mind has come to know.

If people ever felt the suspension of ease in and out of my candour, atonement on my part would remain to be not an option. I couldn’t have held my ground fostering the absence of frankness in my heart. My whole life has never been about making amends for who I truly am. I’ve even thought of myself as being special. Somehow. Maybe I’m wrong. But maybe I’m right.

Never have I dared disquieting the stillness of somebody’s universe – yet I committed the error of thinking people operate at a similar plane I do. Since I have adopted this medium to cobble my contemplations and true tales with reasonable comfort, it would be too late to back out now.

Not all strengths shine in visibility. My essence may humbly walk the quiet backstreets…while intermittent courage fairly keeps on supporting me in my moments of adversity; at this point in time when nothing else stands as a complete shelter from the ferocity of those rougher winds.

I wish to love only those whom I choose. Save my love and appreciation exclusively for people who are able to return them. I’m gradually learning to cut my losses. I am getting there. Heaven help me.

It’s possible to feel like I have run out of fresh beginnings. Pretty much the same feeling when I had fallen from grace many a times. It would be then that I start second-guessing the remaining good things worth seeking for.

Let us hope my emotional disconnect is a temporary one, as I continue to search for a better tomorrow that will sit well with my heartaches.


(*Take Heed: You can’t make the mistake of thinking I’m referring to anyone here. This is purely about exercising my writing muscles and my hankering to utilize an imaginary muse. 🙂 *)

My Version of Brother Sun, Sister Moon

I want so much to believe my sense of humour has been elevated a notch or two by my long-time association with the official comedian of our family; my brother – who is a couple of years younger than me. However, there’s a bigger probability I am deluding myself. You see, he’s got this I’ll-make-you-laugh-until-you-pee-in-your-underwear brand of wit. It’s a talent I could kill for. Glib and gregarious, my brother can easily become the darling of any party. People enjoy having him around. A natural comic that he is, he can deliver a barrage of punch lines, sometimes with an accompanying pantomime that can turn a mundane matter into something hysterical. All I have to do is giggle endlessly. Or laugh out real hard until my jaw literally hurts, or I start getting tears in my eyes.

Most men are humorous, quite true. That is the principal reason I like hanging around with them. They almost always make me laugh and I get happier in the aftermath. Not to mention, they are lighter to deal with; in contrast to the heaviness I feel due to pettiness I sometimes encounter in my dealings with women. I have met several men who could be way out zany. Still, the number one funny guy on my list turns out to be this dear brother of mine – who’s got the engaging ability to come up swiftly with hilarious similes and crazy analogies about anything or anyone.

He’d insist, every so often, that our sister’s Chinese-looking young son is secretly the last Emperor of China. He’d lovingly remind us to be careful everywhere, and be even more and more extra careful; or else, we might fall into the swimming pfool (yeah it rhymes. Still, it’s plain silly, right? :-)). He will animatedly narrate to anyone who’s willing to listen, how he witnessed our mother jumped down a mere two steps from the top of an 18-flight stairs right after she convinced herself she’d seen a ghost in her bedroom. He tends to exaggerate, I’m sure, but that’s how he invariably becomes wackier.

This could be my brother's soul mate
This could be my brother’s soul mate

There was this phase, during our juvenile era, when he got crazy over pigeons and doves. Yes, you got that right – pigeons plus doves. I honestly couldn’t tell which is which. They are lovely, delightful birds all the same. Unlike girls, most adolescent boys don’t go gaga over the opposite gender yet at that age. They get busy with other more – I suppose – worthwhile (?) concerns. Even if we’re talking about, you know, pigeons. Or doves. All breeds of them – of sundry colours – I could have already laid eyes on in my teen-age years – thanks to my dear brother who collected and nurtured them aggregately in average-sized bird houses he built on the roof of our house. If Tarzan had his famous shout while up on a tree, my brother had his crazy loud clap, while up on the roof, to attract the attention of his flying pets. I also remember how he and his pals would bike their way twice a week to the nearest province and, upon destination, release the pigeons or doves they were carrying – mainly for the thrill of betting which one would find their way back home first. Incredible. In the early evening, he’d take some time to count them all and make sure his “babies” were safe and sound. My brother, needless to say, smelled of (pungent) dove 24/7 in all those years.

sis-broI simply want to home in on the positive, wonderful recollections I still preserve regarding my brother as I look back on my life these days. Things have been different. In the decades that went by, squabbles and complexities got in the way; partisanship divided us all family members. We don’t see each other often anymore the way we used to. Yet I still cherish my memories of the little brother I once had…from a long time ago when we were still little children. The little brother who looked up to me as his big sister. The one who constantly played and ran with me, and followed me everywhere I went. My baby brother, with whom I shared a P2.00 tall glass of delicious pineapple juice from our favorite community store to drink – after every afternoon that we finished biking around the neighborhood. My partner in crime (according to my parents) to boot, in picking up and taking home baby kittens that had been mercilessly thrown or left on the streets. The same little brother who’d come to me, during our grade school days, crying like a baby after his classmates had bullied him – which would incite me to hunt for and bully his culpable classmates in return (They shouldn’t have messed with my brother, ok? :-)).

Never the bookish, soulful type, my brother shares little in common with me. He and I are actually worlds apart in character. I’d like to believe my brother’s personality gleams with incandescence like the sun…while mine glows softly like the moon. Yet we’ve always had fun whenever we get together. Because when we do; he kids around, cracks jokes and executes his innate device for comedy – to show off perhaps or to benefit everyone in need of a laugh. I, together with the other members of our family, chuckle hard and get highly entertained. Every time. That has basically been the pleasurable equation of our blood alliance as of late – which suits both of us just fine. Just endearingly fine.