Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Today I realized that I have become a sterotype, that I have become that woman I never wanted to be. So together with C, I outlined a plan full of small, doable steps that should help me become the person of worth I really want to be.

I should:
Be firm. Be my own cheerleader. Be hopeful that today's hurts are merely cutting a path to something better tomorrow.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

fiery sunset and fireflies

After the fabulous party on Saturday, the beach with me and the kids, plus Caden, Ces, Dennis and Boy, was a nice rest. I had no menu, just basic ingredients for easy food. I packed my clothes in 30 minutes, and it was still more than I needed. The kids needed no toys since Caden was around. Mia kindly lent me her Xtrail so we had lots of space. The roads were clear enough for fast driving, and when we arrived, Wilma was waiting for us with sticky-hot biko and freshly caught samaral to grill.

We woke up on Tuesday the 19th to a bright sunny day with cool winds. Anton, Lorenzo, Max and I climbed Mt. Matuod late afternoon (the little troopers did it in 30 minutes!) and at the top, we were treated to a truly spectacular red and orange sunset. I told the kids, 'This sunset is from your Dad'. We sat, talked and watched the sun until it sank below the horizon, then headed down. Turns out, we weren't descending fast enough and got caught in darkness among the trees on the lower slopes. People with flashlights had to be sent up to guide us down, but the wonder of it all was that by being caught in the darkness, the children and I were treated to another spectacular sight -- fireflies by the thousands surrounding the trees, and lingering in the air around us.

Again I said 'This is from your Dad'. Because in my entire life, I have never seen more than a stray firefly in Matuod, much less a startlingly breathtaking profusion like this one. It was almost as beautiful as Balesin Island's 'infested' trees. We waited in the darkness, chasing fireflies, and when the flashlights found us, we chose to trek the last few minutes home in darkness, with the only light coming from the rising moon and the fireflies around us.

That night, as our small group toasted the eve of my real birthday with vodka leftover from the party, I blew out the lone candle on my surprise neopolitan-flavor Goldilocks cake that Lando bought all the way from Nasugbu and I thanked Cyril for his gifts of light -- an expansive fiery sunset, a multitude of fireflies and my twinkling birthday candle.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Father Jem

Today, I watched my close friend, debating partner, first driving instructor, former crush, junior prom date, dasma neighbor, high school confidante and fellow Wood Tiger Jerome P. Geuvara become a priest.

It was a moving occasion for many of us who attended because we all know where he came from, and how challenging his journey has been. When he decided to become a priest about 12 years ago, I was just about to begin a new chapter in my life -- as a mom and wife, living abroad. Our paths forked dramatically at that point, but Jem and I had been friends for eight years and lots happened in those eight years to permanently cement our friendship.

From our first Ateneo soiree at his house in freshmen year to the day of my wedding to Cyril, Jem always looked out for me. He warned me about the evils of "boys" when I barely knew any guys outside of our tight-knit Makati barkada. He even warned me about Cyril (they were cycling buddies) when he first heard we were dating in college... "M, that guy is no good, careful. Don't give him too much of yourself." We often talked about unusual stuff (for high school kids!), and many times the topic drifted to religion, philosphy and the more profound.

Same way I should've known then that D was gay (after he taught me the dance moves of Vogue, lol), I should've seen Jem's vocation coming. Just the way he argued, persuaded, discussed and debated the many aspects of life and its meaning, of God and our place in this world... God was calling him even then, in the midst of teenage angst.

I am so proud of you, my friend, and envious of the true love you have found.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Thank Yahweh for Adam Sandler

"Let's Disco!"

There aren't words to describe how ridiculous You Don't Mess With The Zohan is.... so I won't even try. But I laughed. And laughed. And laughed even more. That's all that matters.

Just for that, I want to mail Adam Sandler the money I should've paid Greenbelt for watching his movie legitimately instead of buying a fake DVD so I could control (at home, with a remote) how much of the movie my kids actually saw. This is the type of movie you should watch a second time around with a drink in one hand and a happy brownie in the other.

I still can't get over Scrappy Coco (scrapi koh ko).

Monday, August 11, 2008

The Pursuit of Happiness: Part I

As I was enduring a particularly horrible week, these words reminded me that I'm no different from anyone else, that my 'suffering' is not unique. I take some comfort in the thought that I am not the only one whose pursuit of happiness is rocky, confusing and painful... "As Aristotle discovered long ago, everyone loves, seeks, pursues and desires everything that they love, seek, pursue and desire for one and the same reason: because they hope it will make them happy. Happiness is the end everyone does in fact seek all the time. "This is evident in any example. No one takes bitter medicine, or undergoes a painful operation, unless they think it will heal them, and they will be happier healed than sick. "No one works hard to make profit, or a boat, or achieve victory, unless they think it will make them happy. Even working for others' happiness is what makes the altruist happy. Even the suicidal person is motivated by the desire to escape unhappiness. Happy people do not commit suicide. "Not only do we seek all that we seek for the sake of happiness; we also never seek happiness for the sake of another end. We play ball because is makes us happy, but we do not seek happiness in order to play ball. People often say, "What good is money, It can't buy you happiness." But no one says, "What good is happiness? It can't buy you money." "So, our greatest good is happiness. However, that does not settle much, for a second question arises: what constitutes happiness?."-- Peter Kreeft, Finding Black and White in a World of Grays.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


It alway hits me like a ton of bricks and I'm suddenly I'm off-balance. "He is gone", I realize, "And I am alone."

I wish someone would invent a warning device because everytime it happens, it's always a breath-stopping shock to the heart. I am never prepared for that big THUDUP, and the following milliseconds in which my mind relives the last two painful years.

Fight or flight? Anger or escape? Acceptance seems so far on the horizon.

Facebook and The Dinner Club

Yes, I am on Facebook... and I haven't left since I opened my account three days ago.

I was told that the initial excitement and obssesion will fade after a week, so Im hoping that I won't be tied to my computer over the coming weekend. There are some people who I can't believe I'm now in contact with... wow.

To offset this another-reason-to-sit-my-ass-in-front-of-the-computer-all-night, I have agreed to join a Dinner Club. The core is a group of gym rats who all know eachoher from working out at Makati Shangri-La (I didn't dare ask abouot the gay-man-in-the-showers ambush stories I've heard about that place... yet!) and our first dinner was at La Vigne beside Santi's on Yakal st.

The food I had was actually pretty bad, and I wouldn't go back there to eat. My "French Onion Soup" was watery and bland, and topped with makunat bread melted with.... drumroll.... QUICKMELT. Que horror. And the Mango Jubilee was nowhere near as good as what I make at home (where are the flames??). I won't even get into how small the serving was. I looked at everyone else's food and wasn't tempted to have a taste. The wine? I didn't pay attention. My bad.

To save the night, the company was actually quite good. But I realized soon enough that instead of being entertained, I was the one entertaining -- with stories I never realized I had so many of! I have never considered myself well-traveled, but I guess I have done a bit more than what's typical. I have Cyril to thank for that.

The bright light ahead is that this group of yuppies (early 40's?) seems to have itchy feet. I was invited to join their trip up North later this month, but I think I'd like to get to know the group a little more before I commit to several days with them. If they all pass my personality tests and minimum humor requirements, maybe I will let them in on a few of my own travel secrets :)

Monday, August 4, 2008

Joy and Sorrow

Sent to me by a friend who hasn't known me long, but knows me well. He gets 10 points for thinking of me when he read this, and 10 more points for taking the time to encode it and email it.

On Joy and Sorrow

Then a woman said, "Speak to us of Joy and Sorrow."

And he answered:

"Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.
And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears. And how else can it be?

The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.
Is not the cup that hold your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter's oven?
And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives?

When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.

When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.

Some of you say, "Joy is greater than sorrow," and others say, "Nay, sorrow is the greater."

But I say unto you, they are inseparable.

Together they come, and when one sits alone with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed.
Verily you are suspended like scales between your sorrow and your joy.
Only when you are empty are you at standstill and balanced.

When the treasure-keeper lifts you to weigh his gold and his silver, needs must your joy or your sorrow rise or fall."

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Rick Astley!!!

Yes, I was there. LOLOL. Heartfelt thanks to Ces for dragging my sorry ass to this concert and making me laugh SO HARD.... at myself for knowing all the lyrics pala, at the side-splitting Rick and Dick finale, and at all the other people in the venue who completely forgot who they were and reduced themselves to a screaming mass of fanatics. What a trip :D

Rick and Dick:

How It All Came To Be:

I have my own short videos of the concert, will find a way to post them soonest. Unless of course, Ces was true to her word and posted it on You Tube. Let me check under "myra astley", haha

Friday, August 1, 2008

It's Alright To Be Angry

I'm angry about a lot of stuff, but I'm too tired to do anything about it. Maybe I'm not angry enough? The feeling of defeat is a stronger emotion these days.

Interesting read:
The Anger Advantage: The Surprising Benefits of Anger and How It Can Change a Woman's Life
by Deborah Cox, Karin H. Bruckner, Sally Stabb

What is the advantage of expressing your anger? Conventional wisdom dictates that angry reactions are natural but not especially healthy. But in fact, expressing anger has many health and lifestyle benefits for women, as psychologists Deborah Cox and Sally Stabb, along with psychotherapist Karin Bruckner discovered over their seven years of research. Learning how to recognize your anger and reap all of the benfits it can bring make The Anger Advantage an essential guide for women everywhere who face challenges at work, at home, as a friend, wife and mother.

From a counseling website:
"Anger has value. Have you ever noticed that, when you're angry, you can accomplish a lot? You can become like a tornado, cleaning the entire house from top to bottom without feeling much exertion. You can tap into an 'I'll show them!' attitude, completing a goal or project with relative ease.

"Anger is energy, nothing more and nothing less. That anger likes to convince you that it needs a target - someone to blame for its existence. That's not true. When you own your angry energy, you withdraw accusation and blame toward another. Thus anger becomes a dynamic force for good in your life.

"How do you own your anger? Start by accepting it instead of resisting it. Don't judge it. Allow yourself to feel it and be with it. Embrace the discomfort of its energy. From this perspective of acceptance, your anger burns hot and fast, transforming into a creative power within you. It sparks change and new ideas; it opens up a path for forward movement in your life. It puts you in touch with your passion.

"From the place of acceptance, you let go of fear. You then have no agenda attached to the anger, and it can no longer destroy and consume you. Like the sun, the transformative power of anger emits energy that revitalizes you, changes you, and connects you to your life purpose, your true power. Let it be!"

And even more comments online:
"Anger, a complex emotion fueled by complex causes, need not be devastating. Like a volatile chemical, it can be used safely and effectively to our own advantage. First, however, we must admit to having angry feelings and understand what sparks them.

"Many of us have been taught that unless we have something nice to say, we shouldn't say anything at all. We have been intimidated into believing that displays of anger are unprofessional. That is true for uncontrolled displays.

" The advantages of anger is that it serves as a warning light that something is wrong. We may then proceed negatively or positively. Taking the negative route through revenge or intimidation is self-destructive.

" Blaming others for your anger is easy but counterproductive. Doing so denies you the power to control your own emotions and the opportunity to use them to your advantage. Acknowledge your anger and take responsibility for it! Consider appropriate options and committing yourself to courses of action that will lead to positive results."