Monday, November 26, 2007

"Are you okay?"

Three words that scared the hell out of me. It was the way you said it... as if you were genuinely scared I wasn't okay. I didn't know you cared. For a split second, I didn't know what to say. So I ended up answering you in jest. Sorry. It was scary.

You cared.

Like some crazy cartoon character, I am fumbling for some hold at the mouth of a deep chiasm that I am slowly sliding into.

Don't let me find a hold.

Insanity Report

OMG. I. Am. Bored. To. Death.

And the stupid rashes haven't even cleared up yet. How many more days like this?

No, don't tell me.

I'll lose it.

I will.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Preacher in Blue Jeans

When you think of the word preacher, an image of a grizzly old man donning a rucksack comes to mind. It rarely presents an energetic middle-aged man with a face smooth as a baby's bottom and wearing blue jeans. Goodness, I mean, that's so... normal.

That's why I think Bo Sanchez is so effective in what he does : communicating God's word in an accessible, normal way. He doesn't scare you into submitting to the Faith. He explains it all to you and gives you the choice to claim your core gift and your blessings from the Lord. And he says it in that straight forward witty way that kind of amazes you in its simplicity.

Sometimes, I think I want to be like him. I remember my Daddy when I watch Kerygma on TV. He's got the same vigor and that same light in his eyes when he speaks of what good God has done in our lives.

I wonder now why I have always disliked joining religious groups. I mean, shouldn't I be automatically drawn to them growing up with both parents actively involved in such an organization? They enjoyed it, they took strength from it. I saw the good it has done for them and the others who were with them. Why don't I feel an inkling towards feeling that same joy they felt?

I have reason to think it might be the exhaustive presence of Others that keeps me away. Agape and all that is cool --- but I tend to get exhausted if made to connect with too many people. Everyone in the Catholic Group are just so --- touchy-feely. And they like it. They love it. they bask in others' comforting hugs and their cheek-to-cheek kisses. They affirm their sisterhood and brotherhood through it. It's all so good. I don't understand why I can't just stomach it and endure it. I have always preferred worshipping in solitude. It feels more intimate and closer to Him. I have never felt his Power as strongly as when I pray alone. When I join in prayer with others, the energies gets so diffused and I get confused... No, it's not the same.

So, I guess there goes my career as inspirational preacher. And it feels so sayang because a solid part inside me knows I can also effectively communicate God's word. I can work an audience, make them feel sorrow and pain and joy and deliverance by speaking simple, powerful words. It's my core gift -- choosing the powerful words and communicating it well... If I choose to. I just can't deal with the other things you have to deal with to get there.

But it can't stop me from admiring those who can though. That is why, Bo Sanchez, to me, is a fantastic person. What he does takes so much energy -- sharing takes so much from one person and yet he can give it continually. I believe he chooses everyday to do it. Which is more than what I can say I do.

Friday, November 23, 2007


Want to hear something absolutely funny?

I somehow, at age 25, contracted german measles from thin air and am quarantined at home for the next 7 days.

Have you ever heard such an amusing thing? Me, stay inside a house for 7 days straight? What? I'll go terrifically insane, I assure you.

I'll be cackling in crazy juice by this time Monday. You. Pray for my soul.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Vanity Googling

Just for kicks, i tried to google myself and came up with "katukayos" from as far as Chile and La España. Until finally, I cam across this byline for an article which I wrote eons ago. Huh. I wrote it, and my boss massacred it.

Anyhoo, want to learn more about the Bauan Reef System (yawn... yeah, sure). Then read on. :)

link to:

Today's To-Do List

Today's an Olivia-Get-To-It Day:

1. Wake up at 5 a.m. (I woke up at 9 a.m.)
2. Get to the office early (I'm still at home, obviously blogging)
3. Write that article on that Entrepreneurial Development cooperative (I'd rather be blogging)
4. Buy anti-histamines (if they sell Fix-your-Brains, I might've bought medicines earlier)
5. Make a to-do list for your 5 trainings jammed within 3 weeks (I'm dying here)
6. See to the Social Security documents (I'd rather go to the dentist)
7. Go to the Gym (Right after I finish this Honey Cake)
8. Really Olivia, you have to move now (Maybe that apple juice is really a lethargic agent and I just need to lie down for just 3 minutes...)
9. The World is Waiting for YOU (it's fucking NOT. It goes on fine without me.)
10. FIX YOUR LIFE! (up yours.)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

That Blog Thing

The thing with keeping a blog is the pressure to write something amusing or touching or relevant for your entries. Sure, there'd be people there who'd say, nope that's just you, coz we keep absolute trash in our blogs.

Well, that's my point exactly. It's just me, I don't want to write trash, but somehow, most of my entries are just like that. Like today.

I wanted to write something funny about a recent incident I had wherein my pants were literally falling down as I crossed the street (jinxed eye and hook be damned). But... I lost the fire of writing it because today, I don't think anybody would care.

And there's also the fact that blogs demand such absolute honesty from me, and sometimes its hard to believe I really need to.

And sometimes, I just don't make sense thus effectively, I should be banned from the net so I don't impose my insensibilities on your sensibilities. Like today.

Sunday, November 18, 2007


Danielle Steele novels are, like, so high school-ish.

I think the last Steele story I read was Fine Things which wasn't as good as The Ring. But I'll give you this: at least the storylines and plots doesn't lump into one gargantuan mess inside my head. Unlike stories by Johanna Lindsey & Judith McNaught where they seem perfectly happy to follow the same formula over and over and over again.

The only I reason I bought this book was because the premise just happened to be one of my long-running fantasies about meeting Prince William. In HRH, a princess goes to Africa to help out in an international aid organization and works with an enigmatic plain-blooded doctor. Violence happens in the camps and the princess learns about love and life as she goes through everything. Reverse the situation and that's pretty much what my life fantasy is all about.

I don't know if it's any good yet. I just bought the book on a whim in Fully Booked Cubao (not proud of the price --- P485... yuck, expensive for a flim-flam novel) and am yet to break th cellophane wrapping.

Oh well. Wish me luck. :P

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Bury Your Daughter

A parent ought not to bury a daughter.

Jing's sister died last night due to undetected brain tumor which led to a comatose and finally, the end of her life. She was only 21 years old.

Please offer a silent prayer for Wallaine Ortañez.

God bless her soul.

Intergenerational and Chronic Poverty

My girl best friend once described me as someone who knew poverty wouldn't end in her lifetime but works for it anyway. Some days I feel that's too generous of her. Some days, I just look at it as a mantra. How can you live sated in a world where poverty is chronic and intergenerational anyway?

Chronic Poverty simply means people who are born poor, live poor and die poor. Intergenerational means it has been a situation that has affected parents to offspring in a seemingly vicious pattern. If we look at mere statistics, Filipinos are a little better off than our neighboring countries in terms of numbers of the absolute poor. But once we take into consideration the proportions of the poor vs. the rich, we will see that it is extremely skewed in favor of the rich.

Based on the study I'm reading (from the University of Manchester on Life-course, intergenerational and chronic poverty and the SEAsian Youth), the Philippines is better off than Vietnam, but the situation is still dire. More youth are stopping their education to work and get underpaid. More often than not, the youth who are poor today are children of parents who grew up poor years ago. It is very rare for adults who grew up poor to rise above the poverty line. In fact, only an average of 2% population was able to move out of poverty in the last 5 years.

Imagine that, to be poor all your life and to know for certain that your children will most probably stay poor because of the lack of opportunities in education and improved health and well-being services.

It's disheartening. Sometimes, I don't know why we eve bother. But... I still believe this:

If a group of people, no matter how small, work together for a common goal, great things an be achieved.

My students once disarmed me by asking: "Honestly Miss, do you think Poverty will ever stop?"

I don't know if I gave them the right answer, but I did give them an honest one.

Eradicating poverty is probably a hopeless cause. But I'd rather fight for it and improve the chances of achieving the dream rather than not work for it at all. I think, it's worth taking the risk. The benefits of a non-poor world is too valuable not to strive for.

And yes, this I really believe.

Sunday, November 11, 2007


Visited our adoration chapel after mass today. Upon entering, it smelt like a hospital room and I gasped at the memory it brought crashing back. It smells like Mummy's room in the hospital. I realized that's the closest I could get to her now. Smells, pictures, places where memory holds her in place. Where I could always run back to when I desperately need her or miss her.

I like the chapel. It felt like a sanctuary. My heart stops hurting when I'm inside. I can cry my guts out and it's okay. I always feel comforted afterwards. I think I need to seek out more quiet places. It gives me space to think. Maybe if I stick to the chapel, I wouldn't feel so godforsakenly lost like I do now.

I keep harking on about not wanting to be lonely but maybe SOLITUDE is the best thing for me right now. I need to gather myself, before God unfurls me to my future. Whatever it holds for me, it must be important if not to people, then to Him. To Them.

Whew. I'm looking forward to it, seeing them again at the end of time, on the other side of Armageddon. What a family reunion it would be. :p It'll be colossal.


So much has happened before Dorothy dropped in.

Aye to that. I had been circling this book since 2003, but I kept deciding not to buy it because it looks ---- well --- boring. But my God. Proves how much of an idiot I can be.

I haven't exactly finished it yet, and I'm itching to finish this post and go back to it even if it's 10:30 p.m. already. Sure, it doesn't roll easily on the brain cells, but I can't belive how much it has engaged me. I think I have a new heroine in Elphaba. And it's scary because I think I have much of Glinda in me. Geez.

Dunno know what I'm talking about?

Go read the book then and be enlightened. Believe me, it's...yep, I'm gonna say it...

It's Wicked.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Night Cab Ride

After an exhausting week (two 2-day trainings, mad-scram preparations and whole day classes in La Salle), I went to the gym and sweated all the stress out. After which all my muscles groaned in pain and on a whim, I took a cab home.

Night is beautiful. Everything seems indeterminate in moonlight. Almost everything gets that surreal quality that stands out starkly in sunlight. Even moldy old buildings become graceful with just a little lighting. And oh, the lights. They're like fireflies.

Something stole over me as my silent cab driver maneouvered our way through insane traffic. I just kept my eyes pinned at the passing scenery and it came. It was ---- solace. I think. Or maybe it was --- hmmm...this is hard --- happiness? Can it be happiness? Is it possible to be happy and content even if it's only been barely a year since they've gone?

But I suppose, it is possible. Knowing myself, I don't need ALL aspects of my life to be peachy to get this feeling. Sometimes, it comes even if I'm terribly upset about something. There's this... RIGHT-ness. It's an alignment which fits. If I had a movie camera, it's like I'm panning the scenery and then suddenly focusing on a minute detail which suddenly expands into a whole picture. I wish i can explain it better.

But I'm sure you've felt it. I think it's one of those things that keeps us human. Maybe you should try a late night cab ride too. :p Not too late though or you might just end up as holdupper meat. :p

Sigh. Tonight should last forever.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Tsk, tsk...

Amazing. I dreamt of Bast and Seb last night. Yep. Both of them.

It started out with Bast appearing in my dreams like he had a right to be there. What I like about dreams is that everything is simplified and amplified. Even emotions. So in my dream, I had license to feel surprised, then excited to see him again. I saw that something stable inside of him again. Like moth to a flame, I was drawn in once more. I remembered that my Dad wanted to meet him, because I was head over heels infatuated with him when I came back from the mountains. But now, I suppose, he'll never meet my dad. In my dream, Bast and I were just talking. And he was looking at me as if he knew something was different and it somehow made me interesting.

Then Seb came. I opened a door and there he was. Standing inside the room, as if waiting for me all along. First thought: Uh-oh, I'm confused. He'll see Bast and he'll get jealous and he'll think I do not care for him as much. I decided (the word is decided but I think it was really more of an instinct and I just decided to follow it) to run to him and hug him. And when I hugged him, it was the most comfortable thing in the world. And it felt like coming home.

So now. I'm confused about being confused. Am I really still confused? Is Bast enough to clear my head about Seb? Or is my dream trying to tell me that my heart has made a choice and I'm pretty much screwed?

When God invented love and romancee, He should've done what any slf-respecting inventor did: Make a freakin' manual.

But then, it woldn't be half as exciting, I suppose. I'm still deciding if excitement is worth the insanity though. I really cannot decide.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Girl, Finally

Book in Hand: Summer Knight by Jim Butcher
Song in Mind: "They're tiny, they're toon-y, they're all a little loony..."

12 years ago, I would have never believed it.

12 years ago, my idea of personalized style included a baseball cap, rugged jeans and a plain, loose dark shirt. My wardrobe was full of black and dark blue stuff. You can never make me wear anything pink. But I think I backslided when I started loving the color violet. In college, not only my clothes were violet ---bags, ballpens, rulers --- geez, you name it, were all in the shades of this royal color as well.

Until finally, I was forced to wear pink and I realized my cheeks looked more flushed -- in effect, prettier --- when I'm wearing rosy shades. To complete the transformation, a boy I liked told me I look pretty in pink. And I don't think he meant "like a pretty pink balloon" which pretty much summarizes why I wanted to stay away from the color.

I'm not saying I now belong to the Cult of the Sisters of All Things Pink, but I favor the color these days. And when I started liking pink, I started realizing I happen to like white, peach, flesh and warm browns as well as lacy, ruffled things. I even like those delicate designs on shirts which makes me feel softer and feminine.

Huh. My 12-year-old self is puking her guts out. But....

It makes me feel strong to look like a girl now. Back then, I did not want to be labeled "maarte" so I avoided all things girly. I think now, I've matured enough to realize that "girly" does not mean "frivolous." "Flirty" in moderation isn't "malandi" at all. And most of all, "feminine" dos not mean weak or you are in constant need of rescuing as a damsel in distress.

I am capable. I am confident. I know myself.

I am a girl, finally.

Davao Wacky Horror Picture Show

Jack's Ridge : Frontage

An interesting detail on the mural behind me:

The controversial Statue of David at the waterfront:

(why controversial? because it has man's genitalia in full regalia on display, and Dabaweños being Catholics think it's .... uhm... inappropriate) (the Greeks are probably rolling over their graves right now)

Davao Crocodile Park frozen animals (j/k!)

Gabe, Champ (both cousins) and moi

Ella's Cheesy Pic #1 (With Pangil, the man-eater crocodile)

Tito Ron (whom we call Toron) posing on an accidental signage:

Me and Dabaw:

The National Shrine for the Sto. Niño:

Ella and Gabe coming from Paradise Island.

My cousins Nikki and Abigail.

Ella's Cheesy Pic #2

Family Picture

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Searching for a Raison'detre

Read EXTREMELY LOUD AND INCREDIBLY CLOSE by Jonathan Safran Foer. Broke my heart a year ago. Still breaks my heart now. It's about a kid whose father died during the Sept. 11 attack in NY and now he's trying to understand the msytery of the key he found in his dad's closet.

His search takes him everywhere. But all in all, what he was looking for was a new raison d'etre. Touche. All he ever wished was that time can run backwards and then they will both be safe back in their beds, his dad telling him the story about NY's sixth borough the night before he died.

With Daddy it would have been like this:

The taxi would've ran backwards coming from the hospital. We'll carry him back inside the house. He would've stood up and cooked Christmas ham. Then the visitors would have left walking backwards. Then I would've smelled the Spam. Then ......

Then moving the right way forward again, I'll use this time to stand up when I smelled breakfast cooking. This time, I'll wake up, choose to help cook breakfast. I would've fed Daddy something. Anything. His glucose wouldn't have had crashed. He would've eaten something. The visitors would have arrived, told him they can fix the washing machine. They could've fixed the danged machine. They could've left and we could've been watching tv.

3 days later, we could've been celebrating Christmas as a whole family. Then Mummy might not have died of loneliness. I'm sure it will not remove her cancer cells. But...

it would've been a complete Christmas. Even if it was really the last.

I can't imagine Christmas. I can't.

I love Christmas. I could not bring myself to hate it even now. But what is Christmas without family?

I need a new raison d'etre. I want... a way to excise the pain. But maybe what I need is a way to go beyond it. And still live a life.

Dresden Files

Over the long vacation I have been spending my time soaking up the different Jim butcher series called "Dresden Files." There's a similar show in the states based on the book, but as before, I'm a bigger fan of the book.

Harry Dresden is the only wizard listed in the Chicago phone book. Yes, he advertises his services but only helps out with really dire, serious cases. No, he does not make love potions either. And man, the writing is engaging! Sobra. When Harry's battling werewolves, or putting down necromancers, or dealing with the sidhe, or kicking vampires.... it rocks.

You have to reads it to love it. Oh, and yeah, National Bookstore sells a version of it for P 425 - 626 / copy. I love National, but Powerbooks offers another edition that only costs P 385 each. So, sorry po. But I'm practical lang. Grab your copies now. :P

Friday, November 02, 2007

Hindi kinaya ng powers ko ang November 1. Akala ko nga lalagpas ng walang major breakdown. Hindi pala. :c
Book in Hand:
Song in Mind: