Friday, October 21, 2005

Flicker Before We Go

Book in Hand: Gift From the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh

When is it, that moment, when you realize you have inherited the earth?
Where is it, that place, which bridges your childhood to that great yawning expanse of forever-old?

The house had been restive the past few days. At first, it felt like the same old thing -- My Father wasn't feeling well. My Mother -- as usual -- isn't feeling well either. I have always believed that Money cannot buy happiness, but it can sure lengthen one's peace of mind. My parents haven't had the luxury of peace of mind for a couple of years now. They've been worrying too long about how to pay the bills and where to get extra resources to get by. Luxury is a thing of the past and sacrifice had been a key word in their vocabulary for years. All they have in them is just the faith and the fight now, to keep moving and striving -- to never give up while the going is tough. All we have, on the other hand, is them. I can't lose them.

I've taken to accompanying Daddy home now. Since we don't take the car anymore with today's current exorbitant gas prices, we take the bus, jeep, van or whichever public vehicle that could get us from point A to point B. I find it taxing. The other night, I realized it was even dangerous, at least for my dad. When we got off the bus, I saw him begin to dawdle -- weaving left and right, unsteadily on his feet. He called out to me and groped the air for my hand then said he was blacking out. The last time I saw that happening was with my grandmother (may she rest in peace now) who I thought was ancient. But there was my Dad, just weaving in and out....

And Mummy is in the hospital today because of a compunction of illnesses which I could not even begin to describe. She's been coughing all day and her voice has gone so weak. Her voice just a while ago sounded as if it were fading, soft and low...

It reminds me of candles, flickering, flickering until they go.

And I am powerless to stop it. I am to inherit the earth sooner or later (hopefully, it'll be later), me, who wants nothing to do with it.

There's nothing inside me now but this ---

I am frightened.

I am angry.

It brings me to hate the spark inside me, burning steady, when all I want it to do is to prolong the flame inside the two people I love best in the world. I've always wanted, demanded from God for my light to go out first. But the responsibility of living two lives -- mine and my sister's -- weighs heavily on me. I'm supposed to be strong. I've pretended for so long that I was. I believed it. But what if my suspicion is right: That I lie?

Breaking.

What a lovely dream. To be completely broken and insane ---- relieved of all the responsibilities of this precociously cruel yet adamantly charming world. To never know and to never hurt. To never having to be sensible or rational.

You see, I also fight the fight. The darkness seduces the warrior.
I dance the everlasting dance between shadow and light.
But what price courage to be a victor?

Monday, October 17, 2005

Whimsical

Book in Hand: Birthday of the World pa rin...
Song in Mind: The Selecta Ice Cream tune


I'm finding myself in a very weird mood nowadays. It's not sad or happy, but more of whimsical. As if everything was just placed here on earth to amuse. I guess that's not so bad, huh? At least I'm not depressed. Bad thing is, I find it hard to take anything seriously when I'm feeling like this.

I'm late for work? K lang.

Mag-under time kaya ako? Sige lang.

Gawin ko daw yung MCIP Operating Cost PR? Alryt. May magagawa ba ako?

Chocolate pa kahit bundat na ako? Sure, why not.

I am finding it so hard to care about anything. My feet isn't on earth and bahala kayong lahat dyan sa lupa.

Belat.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Un-Morbid

Book in Hand: Birthday of the World by Ursula Le Guin
Song in Mind: The Day You Said Goodnight by HALE


I promise not to be so morbid today, unlike my last post. It turned out, nobody understood my dream at all. I've asked around and all they can say is --- you're sick, dude.

Sure, like I didn't know that.

Anyway, I just came from Gateway on a solo sojourn. Went to National Bookstore Main and scoured the Previously Owned Books Level. It took me an hour to look around and all I found is a Book of Spells I knew costs around 800 bucks and which I got for 200 bucks only. Hehe, if anyone asks why I bought it, I'll just say research. Maybe someday I will have the guts to say undefensively ----

BECAUSE I FIND IT DAMN INTERESTING, THAT'S WHY!

I can't be breaking a Catholic Dogma because all I'm looking for is an informed decision about who I am in the Catholic sense. I've been a good Catholic girl for most of my life, but there are just some things which feels natural and right to me that was never explained in my Christian Living classes inside my little convent school. I'm not forsaking my God, or Jesus or Mother Mary.... they are part of the system of belief I have based my whole morality and humanity on. But maybe there's something more to the way I can find the miracle that they so dearly loved --- LIFE. Maybe there's something more I can find out about life.

I'm not sure if this is my version of a coming-out-story because I still am not wiccan, nor buddhist or Zen. But i feel relief in finally admitting that I am Asking Questions and I'm trying to find the Answers. My parents keep saying they did right by me and I seek confidence in that. I hold on to that so I would remember to think things through and only make the choice which i firmly and truly believe is right. They brought me up without killing my imagination, wonderment and they never ever tried to dissuade me from believeing in the magical and the mystical. Maybe they knew early on I would always be the weird kid -- with what the manifestations they've encountered early into my arrival on the planet.

Whatever it is I'll find at the end of my search, I'm sure God is stil central to it. Maybe there's an Olivia-shaped niche somewhere in the future and I'll find myself in it. Hopefully, before this lifetime is over.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Dream of Cats and Dogs

Book in Hand: Still the Romanov Prophecy (very little time to read with work and all)
Song in Mind: That's the Story of (lala), that's the glory of love (hmmm, hmmm...) :)


Had the weirdest,most vivid dream and most morbid dream last night.

I dreamt my family and I were living in a place surrounded by water. There were some strange man-made ponds / irrigation canals around us and its the only place with water in miles. It was a pretty happy dream at first. I was playing with some kids, we were talking and functioning but I started noticing that a cat got killed (I assumed by our dogs) and lies dead on the carport area. Then, a multitude of cats startedshowing up dead, drowned in the canal / irrigation. Most of them were pretty small and still cute, and that's why it bothered me a lot. I think there were at least five dead in that dream. I also remember this pure white, Chesire-looking cat who was also already submerged but still alive, looking up at us. I remember pausing to consider the logical reason for it. I concluded that its probably because the cats were thirsty and came to us because they wanted to drink some water but ended up falling into the water and drowning.

There were also some dogs, I remember a chihuahua was dead as well. But the thing is, I was holding a tiny dog in my hand and trying to keep it warm under my shirt. I didn't want it to meet the same fate as the cats. But when I took my hand out to check on it, I realized I must've pulled or manhandled it enough that he ended up mangled. Bloodless as it was, his head was still cut off, his spine was showing, and his legs got pulled off. I started crying in frustration and grief. I told Ella not to be angry with me because I killed the dog. Then, my attention focused on the TV where a man was talking about burying his dog and that he loved it so much that while burying it, he felt he was slowly dying himself. I remember nodding in agreement.

We found more dead cats. But because I was so heartbroken about my dead dog, I kept coming back to check on it. I remember that the head was separated from the body, but somehow in a blink of an eye, It was connected to the torso which was also quite whole again. The only thing missing were the dog's appendages. He was breathing. And then he woke up and started wriggling about without his legs. I took some tree braches and attached it to were his legs should've been and that's how the dog was able to stand up. I noticed his eyes weren't right (one was wobbling) but all in all, he looked kind of happy. I felt a flood of relief and I was happy even if he had no legs. I remember thinking, well he looks kind of strange but that's not surprising because he was dead after all and now he's back. I could teach him to live without his legs. At least he's alive. And then the dog and I started playing.

Then I woke up.

I absolutely have no idea what it means. It felt riddled with meaning to me, it's just that I don't get it yet. If you have any opinions, feel free to leave a comment. :)

Monday, October 03, 2005

There and Back Again

Book in Hand: The Romanov Prophecy by Steve Barry
Song in Mind: As I Lay Me Down to Sleep

SO TOTALLY TIRED.

Anyway. My real story is that I just got back from a very long business trip which turned out to be 90% leisure for me. Not that it wasn't serious work, it was just that I enjoyed it too much even if it was flat dead exhausting. Armed with a camera, took some pics and some of them turned out okay. Most of the best pics though came from other people's camera because, shemps, kasama ako pag sila ang kumukuha! :)

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Me fiddling with the camera. Eman taking the shot.

FIRST AIRPLANE RIDE

I was pretty sure that I wasn't the type to get dizzy in a plane. But at least I'm really very sure about it now. :) It was loads of fun! Like riding a super cool bus that takes you up and above and through the clouds. I swear, it's like a whole new world up there. All puffy shapes and blurry colors... nothing of the harshness we oft see down here. Wished I could stay up there longer.

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Yes, we were the rowdy kind to have actually stopped to take a picture before boarding the plane.

METRO CEBU

Nothing special. I'm sorry to all Cebuanos out there, but Cebu failed to charm my socks off. Given that I only saw the city, which for all appearances is just like METRO MANILA, nothing out there grabbed, squeezed and captured my heart. We went to a myriad of cooperatives, hoping we could pattern one of our programs after one of them. Tiring to the bones. The hotel we stayed in was just barely decent so there was no real rest there either. The one thing buoying our spirits up were the company we kept.

LRO Team, the best. :)


FERRY RIDE CEBU TO TAGBILARAN CITY, BOHOL

Wwe rode on the view deck area by sheer luck. It was the best thing about Cebu -- leaving it behind. And of course, coasting the open sea. On board, the team disregarded any form of decorum or politeness and sang our lungs out with Paparudz acting as head guitar man and Sir Robby as the "promotor".

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PapaRudz, the guitar man, and the LRO choir.

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Peekaboo Tertz and her faithful sidekick, Moon-Faced Olly.


BOHOL

Happiness at first sight!

You can feel the air, there were trees! Oh joy!

After two sticky hours on the ferry, we were amazed to see the coaster the Bohol ARM Program team rented for us. No more jampacked vans, no more alternating butts -- here, ladies and gentlemen -- is a real traveling vehicle.

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Cooling off with one of those bottomless bukos... swear, wala siyang kinalamang pagkaubos!

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The men in our unit pretending they're the Pinoy Fantastic Five (from l-r: the Amazing Sleeveless Robby, LastikEman, The Tank, Long-Haired Gelly and the Dark Side of the Sun-Ian.

We rode all the way to Carmen, and the only thing I can say is that --- Bohol is infinitely lovelier than Cebu. On the way, we passed the Blood Compact Marker, the oldest stone Church in the Philippines and ---- hooray! --- the Chocolate Hills. We even had our lunch there. And I, the blob that I am, pushed my way up the two hundred steps to the viewing point just to get these pictures!


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Everyone showed off their snobbish side when asked to pose ala-model. And I'm the only dolt looking at the camera.

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Back to our usual selves --- CHEESE!

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That ain't no bat --- it's a real, true-to-goodness tarsier I fondly named Tumay.


And can I say that even shopping is way better in Bohol! Things were less pricier and more unique. Fell in love with that place talaga. After a long day, we ate at Jo's Chicken Inato and then proceeded to our hotel for the night at Panglao Beach!! :) Coolness!

PANGLAO BEACH

Once, Norman commented that I wasn't a beach-person. I agreed. Because I don't like crowded beaches, and dirty sand and itchy crotches because of the dirty sea water. But I had never been in Panglao either, so I don't even regret taking back my words. If every beach was like that (they say Samal Island and Boracay is even better), then I would gladly be a beach bum for all of my life.


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Seashore dotted with seashells... beachcomber's delight!

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Pretty Spot On the Sand Under the Sun

Woke up very early the next day to read Harry Potter 6 by the shore. Then I proceeded to comb the beach for shells and pretty stones (got loads!). Then I had a quick dip in the ocean. I thought that was it, and I would've gone home happy. But Ian insisted that we go snorkeling as well. I was a bit hesitant because it seemed and awful lot of bother and time was kinda short already. We had to check out by 1:00 and be at the airport by 4 pm. We went ahead anyway.

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Outside our cottage, we girls took a final picture --- minsan lang 'to!

Last week, I told you about the big waves I met in Camarines Sur. The waves we surfed through going to Balicasag Island were larger still. For a second or two, I was definitely scared. But when we reached the snorkeling area, I realized it was well worth it : it was my first time to snorkel and to actually see the bottom of the ocean. Such pretty corals and colorful fish! Tama si Gilda -- ang galing talaga ni GOD!

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On the way to Balicasag Island --- note that my life vest just won't fit.

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Out to sea and pretty as you please (from l-r: Barely There Ian, Post-sneeze Eman, Rapunzel-Medusa Hybrid Livia, Aye-aye Captain Sir Robby, Tiny Tim Jing, and Wet Wet Wet Tertz)

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OO NA! Mahangin Talaga sa Dagat!

Going back, I didn't mind the huge waves anymore. Unfortunately, we didn't have an underwater cam. But I believe I could've died happy anyway. Ang ganda talaga!


HOME AGAIN

When it was finally time to go home, I cannot help but feel remorseful. SHOOT! I want to stay here forever! But since I have no handy fairy godmother at my behest, I had to get back on the plane and go back to Manila.

There was something there though, when I saw the city lights of Manila as we were landing. I felt a tug at my heart which I was surprised to learn was joy as well. After all the traveling, the excitement and adventure --- nothing feels better than being home.

The swelling, smog-encased, filthy city that is Manila still proves to be where my heart belongs. I think because I don't know how to love any other place I've never grown up in.

After all's been said and done ---- I'm home.

And I'm glad.

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Burnt and Beaming