Thursday, December 29, 2005

Dom doom, dom doom, dom doom...

Book in Hand: The Mark of Ran

The sound that serves as harbinger to the new year sounds like King Kong walking the jungle to me.

"It's here! "

Gaddamit, kadit!

Stop acting like you're 12 and start acting the way people expect a decent soon-to-be-24 old nanny to be.

Hah! Make me. Nyah, nyah, nyah! :)


Wish I could live all my days in forced leave forever. WOuldn't it be great to not think you're working too damn hard for the bucks? Wouldn't it be great to be doing something you are absolutely in love with that it doesn't feel like too much work? I've been noticing that I only enter this peacable zone when people are asking me to do creative stuff -- thinking of games and plays and report covers and NOT h0w to construct school buildings, deliver school desks, play the diplomat, make amicable co-existence with the bosses....

I'm really thinking hard... so hard I can hear the gears in my head turning. I want to make a change in my life that will make me freer to be me. Not to confine myself in a costume every single day, performing acts I'm swiftly losing the meaning of.

Damn it, I just wanted to help people. Helping shouldn't be this complicated. This doesn't give you that butterfly wings feeling inside your tummy for doing what you felt is right. At the end of each project, I find myself dusting my hands off and saying, "Glad that particular hell is over." Then with a sigh, it's off to the next.

There's got to be something better, surely? Peacable as my personality is, I find it hard to swallow that this is the way things could only be. I have tried to change myself to adapt to the job.

I wish I was more upstart and aggressive. I wish was more careful and logical. I can probably act that way --- for a while. People say it's just a matter of training yourself to become the "successfuly young professional." Thing is, I choke when I try to be sassy, I cast my eyes down when I should be issuing a challenge instead, I freaking fold up when accosted by anger even if it is not righteous anger at all. I'm a sissy.

Can I just be here, floating in this bubble for the rest of my life?

the book quiz

You're A Prayer for Owen Meany!

by John Irving

Despite humble and perhaps literally small beginnings, you inspire
faith in almost everyone you know. You are an agent of higher powers, and you manifest
this fact in mysterious ways. A sense of destiny pervades your every waking
moment, and you prepare with great detail for destiny fulfilled. When you speak, IT

Take the Book Quiz
at the
Blue Pyramid.


Sunday, December 25, 2005

Christmas Around the World

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A Bosnian child lights a candle after Christmas Mass

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Hongkong Harbor shimmers with more lights during Christmas

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French shop front

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When in Singapore

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Ukrainian carolers

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Reykjavic Cathedral in Iceland

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Lobster Trap Tree in Maine, USA

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Venetian shop window

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Christmas Cake Parade in Belgrade

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Orthodox nuns in the capital of Iraq, Baghdad

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The 9-11 Memorial Tiles in Greenwich & 7th Ave., New York

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Palace Square in Moscow

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Playing the shepherd in a US elementary school play

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Decked up streets of Leicester

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Every Christmas, Pinoy homes are transformed into Fiesta Wonderland

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Reason for the Season


Friday, December 23, 2005

Geeks Guide December 2005

Outside, a particular jovial neigbor has decided to gift everyone in the village with his spectacular rendition of "Winter Wonderland" belted out in their karaoke with the volume on full blast. Even as he sings, "Sleigh bells ring, are you listening...", I'm not sure he's got the foggiest idea what a sleigh is as to understand what sleigh bells are.

Anyway, I'm whining about this not because I've Scrooged myself up. It's just that it made it much harder to hear the movie we were watching at home. For Christmas, I have billeted my family with three nice movies. What else is there to do, right? There's nothing happier than munching on popcorn while snuggled in a thick woolen bathrobe as your family watch movies together.

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Mirror Mask

Oh yes. It's that Neil Gaiman Book. Watching the movie is like walking into a dream. I'm not talking about nice pansies and fluffy bunnies. I'm talking about mixed up, upside down stuff at the verge of the really scary. I have to give credit to the director Dave McKean withstanding the creative genius that is Gaiman. Good Lord, I would have cried myself to insanity if I were tasked to movie-fy this script. It's no small and menial task. Honestly, I found it too overproduced. It was also very tedious to endure. And in the end, it still leaves you with that complete feeling of having nothing. The movie, I endured mainly because I want to pay tribute to Gaiman, a personal hero. And maybe to that account, a part of me bertrays my senses when I say, the movie should have stayed a book.

Although they did do the right first step by getting the right actress to play the lead. Stephanie Leonidas was perfect as her character. Just the right age to portray a young woman at the cusp (hehe, this word freaks me out everytime for some reason) of womanhood trying to thresh out her feelings for her mother and for herself. As she works her way to understanding her innermost emotions and beliefs, she traverses the world where everything you can imagine exists. And it really is that, a world she has created in her head. This explains... well, nothing, really... save that the world we were regaled with is every width and breadth of Stephanie's self.

I wonder how my world would look like if we enter my dreams? I have a vague sense that my dreamscape has a lot of running away from things in it. And singing out of pure terror. And dark objects and creatures surfacing out of the subconsciousness. Then light appearing, terror ceasing. It always seems to be that way anyway.

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Here's the debate I've been hankering on for years. Let's say, one day you fall in love with this amazing person. You become a couple, you marry (for some, maybe not), you foresee many bright futures ahead of you. But after the initial passion has run out, what is it within a woman's employ to make the man stay? I once had this conversation with a friend, and for him.. the world's a clear cut thing. You choose and you stay with it. I see him doing that, and I hope his own words doesn't turn sour on him. But I see other things from other people, other desires which are forever transitory.

I believe a lot of people saw this film thinking it was mainstream because Julia Roberts is in it. I would've wanted to see their faces the moment they realize it was something different after all. I guess the only reason for my interest in the movies is that it chronicles my fear of what lies in the future. This film tried to be as honest as a movie could get. But it ended up confused, and frankly, it wasn't clear wherethey wanted it to end in the first place. I hope that I will never inhabit the world they live in. But that's just really hoping.

And oh, I've confirmed it. Natalie Portman really couldn't act not even to save her mother's penny loafers.

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Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

My sister, who's getting to be geeks guider herself, commented at the onset of the movie, "This isn't a movie for kids, noh? The pacing's too slow."

Well, it did seem that way to me too. And talking animals, I'm sorry to say, aren't my kind of entertainment. Somehow, it goes beyond my capacity to imagine. Unfortunate for me, true. But my family seemed to have really enjoyed the movie. I did as well, after a while. Family movies tend to disappoint since at some point it will try to egg in a moral or a lesson and it'll be trying too hard. But this one didn't. It was, as I expected, a bloody good take on the books which in turn was a fantastic take on the Bible.

I could only say that I was just as wide-eyed as everyone else in the room when the White Witch was about to slay Aslan as a willing sacrifice. It was like watching the Passion of Christ, without the gore. Once it gets to the theater, watch it! It is ever so worthy of your time and patience.

Also, girl teeners will get a load of the kid who plays Peter. While the rest of the adult world, will surely take a shine to the girl who plays Lucy.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Ma'am May I Go Out? Yes, You May!

Book in Hand: I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith

What would it mean if I say that for me, the year 2005 just started picking up?

In our office, we have a mandatory leave over the holidays. It usually lasts two weeks. But just like everything else in this crappy year (and because of the numerous instant holidays Gloria has dictated) we cut our forced leave this year a bit shorter. It officially starts today and ends January 1. But since some people feel it's their right to take month-long vacations, I don't feel the least guilty by applying to extend my leave until January 3. Two crappy days, my goodness, using my hard-earned day-off credits. Thing is, I'm scared to absent myself more than two days because by then, the work waiting for me in the office is tantamount to a tidal wave which could possibly sweep me away from my last hinges of sanity and over the edge of my last vestiges of decency. But that's two weeks away still, so I won't even think about it now. What I am hard-pressed to wonder about at this moment is if I did qualify for a bonus this year. It does not seem forthcoming. (O, give love on Christmas Day! Ang boooo-nus, ibigay nyo na... Nasan na ang bonus ko, nasan na ang bonus koooo?))

Oh, there is no other year I'd like to leave as soon as I want to leave 2005!

Hardships, over now, please!
Poverty (the world and mine), over now, please!

Looking back, I have ever been struggling since the start of the year. Struggling with my job (do I hate it? do i love it?), struggling with money, struggling to understand how things have changed, struggling to understand how I have changed, struggling to write again, struggling to revise my dreams as I built it when I was younger (it kills something in you to revise a dream, it does), struggling to want to stay alive (isn't it half mortifying and half tantalizing to know that you could "accidentally" slip off a ledge or drink the wrong medicine and hereth ends all misery? I kid you not --- well, maybe just half-kidding), struggling not to kill anyone (well, I'm really kidding now). Sorry for the last two, I've gone a bit cookier since the last time the world checked and I might have lost a couple of chocolate bits.

I'm leaving the year quite happily behind me. I'm not looking back. Here we end, goodbye. Good riddance.

And as the dolphins would have said it, "So long and thanks for all the fish."

Sunday, December 18, 2005


Your Birthdate: January 27
You are a spiritual soul - a person who tries to find meaning in everything.You spend a good amount of time meditating, trying to figure out life.Helping others is also important to you. You enjoy social activities with that goal.You are very generous and giving. Yet you expect very little in return.
Your strength: Getting along with anyone and everyone
Your weakness: Needing a good amount of downtime to recharge
Your power color: Cobalt blue
Your power symbol: Dove
Your power month: September
What Does Your Birth Date Mean?

Couple of things I'm not sure about up there:

I don't expect something in return, true. But I'm also tired of being treated like I'd be always around so they don't have to do anything nice for me right now...

My power month is September? I have this intuition I'd die on a September. I always get sick during the month, for the last five years now. It's like clockwork. How can it be my power month?

But I do need a good amount of time to recharge. I know this is the one failing I cannot do in my current job that's why I seem to have so many bad days.


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I have just finished watching this movie and I must say, it's fantastic! It's right up there now, with my favorites. Story is a little boy finds a luggage of money which literally falls from the sky. He tries to do as much good as he can with it, but things started to get complicated and he needed divine help along the way.

It's so good, it'll keep you amused and laughing and happy. Ten years from now, you would remember a line or a scene from it and you would smile. It's that bloody fantastic!


Saturday, December 17, 2005

Stuff Saturdays Are Made Of

Book in Hand: Dancing Girls by Margaret Atwood
Song in Mind: Ipaglalaban Ko by whoever sang it... :)

I wish more Saturdays could be like this.

I don't have to worry about deadlines, or bosses flaring up, or the demands of other people I wouldn't really give a damn about if I wasn't working there at all.

I believe I created some mental space I could start somewhere from once again. For a while, my head's been so crowded with stuff which would be utterly useless if it ever came down to life and death.

I just watched a re-run of that Meg Ryan - Hugh Jackman movie - - Kate & Leopold - - and I guess something about Meg Ryan's character makes me sympathize with her. She hates Sundays because it's the day before Monday, simply put. It puts a downer on things. She dreads going to work --- ah, familiar story, bet a penny on it. My only prayer is that someday, I will find that one thing I was designed by God to do and I will do it well and I will do it happily. People say the ideal job is a myth, but me, I can keep on hoping. I was built that way.

Meanwhile, I do my work here willingly because I firmly believe it is a preparation of sorts for that great mission I was born to acomplish. Whatever it is. No matter how small or ignoble it is. It must mean something to God if he deigned to allow my existence in His Universe.

“Her work, I really think her work is finding what her work is and doing it; Her being human. Her being in the world.” -Ursula K. Le Guin


O joy! I've been on some book-buying spree today and I must've spent a thousand bucks for the whole lot. It makes me feel a bit guilty and a bit selfish since the only way I could afford it is to ask my parents if I can keep the whole of my salary this fortnight. Not that they demand me to give a monthly due or anything. It's just a way of making ends meet around the house. But it looks like we can have a little extra this month and I get to keep all of my money. It's not much, but after years of halving it up, I feel like a millionaire. :)

Here's the list of books I bought today:

1. The Year's Best Fantasy - Second hand copy. I have to say I'm getting more into short stories and this book is chock full of them. Not bad that it's fantasy too.

2. Search of the Moon King's Daughter - Second hand copy. It looked very interesting. It's a piece on Victorian times England, about a girl from a poor family whose brother was sold as a chimney sweeper.

3. Yukon Ho! - Second hand copy. I think this just about completes my Calvin & Hobbes Comic Book Collection. Or nearly there.

4. Waifs & Strays - Spanking new. A Charles de Lint anthology with a beautiful cover and a way out there you gotta be kidding me that's too low for a de Lint book price. I think I may have ripped off Fully Booked for this one by not telling them they made a mistake in pricing the stuff.

and the best thing that has happened to one whole year of my book-hunting life:

5. I Capture the Castle - Second hand copy. JK Rowling was raving about it. Sarah Ban Breatnach, my favorite inspirational writer, also made mention of it in her book "Romancing the Ordinary." Two amazing women writers call it one of their staple reads when they were younger. So I just had to find it. I must've scoured all the Booksales I know. And then today, there it was, lying almost too casually on the top of the side table display at National Bookstore-Cubao (previously owned books section). I hyperventilated for a moment and something must've short-circuited somewhere in my head as well. My hands shook while I grabbed the copy as if there were seven other people after it. It totally can't be true. I still can't believe it. Cassandra Mortmain, I'm about to find out all about you now. :)

I do get the book I want, sooner or later. Sometimes it's much, much later but i have learned to honor the wisdom that it'll turn up when the time comes in some bookstore or second hand shop somewhere. I wish I could have just as much patience in other areas of my life. Anyway, for other bookworms out here who may be reading this blog and who are living in Manila, let me share with you some of the best places to find that one book you can't help but want:

For the latest and newest books :

1. Powerbooks Live! in Greenbelt 3 and in SM Megamall - you an be sure that there's always something new every week. Of course, that's great, only if you have the money to buy a brand new book every week.

2. Fully Booked in the Powerplant Mall and Gateway Mall - assortments and arrays of books on every conceivable topic in the universe could be found in these stores. But before purchasing anything, make sure you are familiar with the going price of the books you want, since there are instances when I discovered they could price stuff up to 20% higher than what the books wold cost in NBS.

3. National Bookstore in Shangri-la Plaza, SM Megamall and of course, their Main Branch in Cubao

For hard-to-find / previously owned / low-priced books:

1. National Bookstore (Cubao Main) -- a whole floor of previously owned books could be found at the top floor. The downside is that, they are shelved in absolutely no order save for general categorizations (i.e. fiction, cooking, classics), so it might take you one whole day to scour every nook and cranny. But the effort is usually worth it.

2. Booksale - they are everywhere. If you could, just visit as many as you can. Booksale is a hit and miss thing. it's either you're lucky or not. The secret is constant vigilance. :) The one in SM North used to be my haven when I was still a UP student. But now I frequent the SM Fairview& Robinson's Novaliches branch. The nice thing about dropping by once or twice a week is that you get to know the pattern of their new deliveries, and you get to be friendly with the sales people. They wouldn't mind reserving a book for you or placing a call to other branches to check if they have the book you want.

3. Antique Stores in the Marikina Shoe Expo, Cubao - Mariel showed me this place and I go there when I'm in the mood for old edition books. They have loads of books on romances, mysteries, even horror genres. But I am more appreciative of their vintage books: PG Wodehouse, Arthur Miller, Alfred Hitchcock & William Faulkner to name just a few. They also carry quite a good selection of fantasy books. Today for example, I saw a Le Guin book but I had to forego purchasing it since I'd be going way out of the budget. The plus side of going there is you also get to sift through the antiques. Other stores are also selling vintage pop items. Ultra electro magnetic Cool.

4. Goodwill bookstores - there's one in Megamall and another one in Glorietta. For some reason, Goodwill carries cheaper editions of popular books. Sometimes, the price difference could be as much as 5% less of what it actually costs in the other bookstores.

When you just want to borrow something:

1. UP Library - I am proud to say that most of my book cravings in college was satiated by the UP Library, especially the classics. I'm especially oddly proud of borrowing every available Rabindranath Tagore & Pablo Neruda books of poetry and (UP student as I am), photocopied it (prohibited as it is now) so I can have a private collection myself. I also did the same with Coelho's The Alchemist. We must have thousands of books there. I am actually thinking of activating my alumni pass so I can still visit it once in a while. And it's like, totally free.

2. Join a Book club - It doesn't have to be an official organization with badges and merits of honor or something. Could be just a set of friends with same interests in the books you read. I'm lucky to have found my orgmates in college. Some of the best books and authors I have read were recommended by them. Of course you would have to invest on books you believe you could share with them. But if you're going to buy stuff you like anyway and they would too, spread the goodness by swapping and lending it to each other for a month or so. Plus factor is, it's nice talking about the books you've all read and fighting over details and stuff like that. :)

Oh my god. Did I just go on for more than ten paragraphs about books? Well, I started on it, and since it's one of the things I passionately live for, I can't help but go on and on. I'm just so happy today, it feels like I've just eaten cotton candy while lying down on a grassy patch on a hill looking up at the cumulus clouds framed by an infinitely blue sky. :D

Monday, December 12, 2005


piece by piece
the darkened cloth falls
from a broken body

the stars shine without

reddened sleeve on blackened arm
crumpled hat from bushied hair

piece by piece
the darkened cloth falls
from a damaged soul

the sky embraces the air

as does clothed
Olympia rises from a wearying struggle
tearing the sheets

piece by piece
the darkened cloth falls
from a will unsurrendered

as dawn does clothed
the abused limbs rest

piece by piece
the darkened cloth falls
from a freed prisoner

in dreaming
she rises adorned by the moon
adored by all

piece by piece
the darkened cloth

Olympia soars.

Sunday, December 11, 2005


Book in Hand: Gifts by Ursula Le Guin
Song in Mind: All I Want by Stephen Bishop

Nope. I don't necessarily have ANYTHING to say. I just got sick of my last entry and I want to update.

So I guess I'll tell you how I've been doing with my Christmas shopping. Woohoo! How exciting, ryt?

Yah, sure's not. But it beats telling you how I watched our neighbor's goat eat up Mummy's newly planted flowers. Yah. I should've booed them away. But if I did, what would I watch then, huh?

Back to shopping. I have engaged myself in very minimal buying activity for the last 2 weeks. This time last year, I was already bursting with excitement --- with most of my Christmas shopping done. This year, I stil get surprised when I hear Christmas songs in the radio.

I guess, I have to disappoint myself a little this year. I can't go into my "Santa-zone" this December. This one's gonna be as simple as it could come.

One good thing is I found a VCD copy of "ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS". It's an old kiddie Christmas movie and I first watched it when I was like nine or ten. I had a huge crush on Ethan Randall then. I wa so dead happy to find a copy last week. I was kind of hoping watching it again would remind me how I loved Christmas when I was a kid. Maybe it can bring some old magic back.

And it did. A little. The one thing that mystifies me is this:

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He was a pretty cute kid, huh? But when I see him in his newer movies, he feels weird. I mean, something feels broken now. I can't explain it in words.

But if he is broken, who isn't anyway?

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Guia de Casa los Burgos

They say one's home is a reflection of one's soul. Hmm.. far out. But I do love our house. And with a borrowed camera, i went around and took pictures of my favorite spots.

Fancy a tour, anyone? Here's one for free. :)

We live in the suburbs of Caloocan City. Coming from SM Fairview, commuting to our house would take some fifteen minutes. Our street is a pretty quiet one. There's just five houses in our block.

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After a long day, this is the place I love to see...

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Our front lawn has a small garden in it. My Dad's really into decorating so he personally landscaped everything. This is the reason why sometimes we feel like we live in a jungle. :)

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Welcome po.

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Upon entering the house you'd walk down a hallway where my Daddy's "study room" is.

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I caught him reading the newspaper. :) He's kinda neat, for a man. See his stuff below:

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Then you'd come into the sala to the left and the dining room to the right.

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That's my cousin Ryan at the table with my Mummy who hates being photographed wearing her house clothes. :) hehe.

We can go out to the back through the back porch door. And see the garden out back.

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My favorite spot outside is the back porch where it's nice to just sit and write, with th butterflies flitting around you.

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We have weird flowers in our house. My Mum's really proud of some of them, although I have no idea what they're called. We're not "roses and tulips" kinda people. We go for the spontaneous kind of flowers that are unassuming but pretty.

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The garden can be seen from the kitchen, which is nice. This pic doesn't show that, but it does show how weird my dad's sense of decoration could get. Fish all the way to the stove.

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Anyway, we can go upstairs now. :)

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Told you my Dad's a decorating freak. He's particularly proud of our stairwell. When you get upstairs, the first thing you'd see is the computer area and my beloved book shelves. The books I put here are the old ones, and those whom I have read and are keeping for collecting's sake. There's about seven hundred books in this small area, so we just handily call it the library.

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My sister's room is immediately to the right. You know it's her room because she's the neat freak.

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And then, we have a connecting wardrobe which we use more often than our actual doors when we want to get into each others room. It's our private Narnia. Sorry, I can't let you step in there. :)

You would know you're in Olivia's country when things get a bit messy.

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Yup, those are mine.

The pride of the room are my bookshelves which contains the books I can't bear to be without. I asked Daddy to place bookshelves in my room so I could see them before I fall asleep and everytime I wake up. That's how much I love these

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So there. I didn't think people would be particularly interested to se our bathrooms so I kindly left them out. Very few people could visit our home because everyone just found it so far. Take this as the only way we would ever really get to do that tour. :)

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Next time you visit, bring food okay? ;)

Mad World

Book in Hand: Many Waters by Madeleine L'Engle

I swear, if I receive another Friendster Update about Blogs I will throw something really hard at the computer monitor. Why can't they just live and let live? It's one of the blinks Friendster probably never saw... they're creating a goodly number of people who are actually hating the very sight of their company name in their emails. Mad-vertising.

Half of the people who are on my "friendster network" are people from high school, sometimes elementary pa, na I barely know anyway. I could never turn anyone down, and if they can still recall my name, they probably voted for me in the student council and the least i could do is to accept them as friends ( see how simple my philosophy in life is). My point is, I don't care if someone I met twice ten years ago has updated their blog. I'm just not that kind of person. The networking kinda sort. So please stop sending me "so-and-so has updated their friendster blogs". But who's listening?

Speaking of madness...

I walk the filthy streets of Intramuros to get to work. I don't have the protection of an encapsulated car to separate me from the world. The people I meet are often down on their luck, depressed and/or oppressed. It's part of the job. I never realized how close to the brink of madness the human populace is. But my vantage point provides me a very good view of it now.

The other day, I've had very close encounters with the mad kind, twice. Yesterday, once.

Last Wednesday, I was on my way home when I heard this man shouting at the top of his voice asking someone to kill him. "Kaya ko kayo, patayin nyo na ako, pag oras ko na, oras na!" You get the idea. I think he may be in trouble with some underground gang. He was swinging his arms widely and when he happened to glance at me, I saw the wild look in his eyes. Possible high -- that guy. Hoping to escape something but summoning up false bravado to not completely lose it. He was barely there though.

Not five minutes later, upon boarding the bus a man sat down next to me. He was reeking of that slightly acidic smell of workman's sweat. Immediately, I noticed he was speaking too loudly to the conductor. Then he sang loudly along with the music. Then he started cursing non-stop from Lawton all the way to Kasunduan in Commonwealth Avenue. He often stopped his tirade to talk to himself. Did you see that monologue part Gollum had in Lord of the Rings : Two Towers?

"Babatukan ko siya pag baba ko..."

"E di, batukan mo nga. Pero baka ambagin ka."

"Hindi subukan niya."

"Wag na lang baka hindi ka pa makauwi ng buhay."

"Okay lang yun. Demn! Syeet! Sanafabitch!"

As in. It was like that.

I was dead terrified he'd go even more insane with him sitting right next to me. But the bus was full and I didn't want to stand up just to get away from him. More than that, there's also this unsettling kind of sadness that grounded me right where I was.

This is the world, huh?

Half insane, half hopeless. Despair cannot touch insanity. So more people are choosing to go crazy than completely fall into anguish. It was crazy to sit right next to a crazy man. But I just suddenly didn't care. I told myself I can allow to have that insanity into my life because ----- I was there. The life I live is inescapable for the moment. I have to learn to stand firmer and just take it as it is. Prepare for the consequences.

I could have left it at that. Or rather, God could have let me off at that --- 90% jaded about life. He could've let something awful solidify in the core of my soul which believes hope is gone and insanity, or possibly death, is the only way out. But no -- we have a trickster God who wants us to believe the worst so we could understand and be amazed about what is best.

Yesterday, i met a mad man again. He was possibly around 50 or 60 years old. Oh, yeah, he was old. He's the principal of a school in the outskirts of tanauan, batangas. It's his job to manage a school of 1,700 students every single day of his life. When we talked with him about a possible computer education program partnership his eyes watered as if he was going to start crying. He listened carefully to our pitch, and afterwards he launched into a passionate raving about the school.

A poor school, but we manage through bayanihan. We can sustain the program because we want to. Pag gusto, kakayanin lahat.

Then because gently prodded, he began to tell us a little about his life. How he worked through the ranks, how he married a woman from the area and moved his life to wherever she is for the sake of love, how proud he is of the school he works in. And you can see in his eyes, every word rang true. His eyes were watering because he does feel like crying everytime anyone converses with him about his work, his life. He loves it that much. To the point of madness.

It can be like that as well.

We can love this world, no matter how hard life has become. We can be grateful of our existence because it allows us to be with the people we love and to do the work we love to do. It gives us a chance to feel, to sense, to change things.

It's just another kind of madness, but one I prefer over the anguish-driven kind.

Love is madness which I can live with.