Tag Archives: love

I won the lotto

Time to blog again! I have a not-so-good news to share. (As if I have a lot of followers…haha…wishful thinking). Some two weeks ago, I got the news from Pilipinas Bulletin’s (PB) publisher that he’s ‘transferring’ the management of the transrail newspaper to another group. I will no longer give the details but, yes, I lost my 1-month old column, “Good News Express” as of August 29. How ironical! It’s supposed to be “good news”, right? :)

I love Philippine coffee!

Anyway, life goes on. I sure hope that I will be able to continue this column in another newspaper or even magazine. I think this country needs more good news! I may no longer have the PB column anymore but hey, I still have this blog! So here are some bits of good news (at least in my little circle) for today –

1. Hubby, a friend, and I went to this cozy café called Cocina Juan, in 100 Maginahawa Street, Teachers Village. The tacos we ordered were so yummy! They also serve hot tea in tall pitchers, not just in tiny teapots! Our friend ordered Chamomile tea and he shared it with us. It was also good-tasting. Check out the place! Latin American-inspired cuisine but the food still tastes very Pinoy! After all, Latin American culture is very close to home. By the way, wi-fi in Cocina is free (but if I were you, leave the laptop at home and just enjoy the night away chatting with dear friends).

2. Hubby and I realized that it’s been 8 months since we last had a TV (back in Cambodia) and it felt good and refreshing that we actually did not miss having one! Back when I was still in Manila last 2007 (before my sojourn in Cambodia), I actually had two TV sets which I rarely used. It was easy to sell them at cheap prices when I organized a “garage sale” before my trip. Now that I am back in Manila, it feels strange not to have one when friends will text me to “Please watch this show ha…” but on one hand, it is such a relief to have more bonding time with hubby rather than being glued on TV while eating dinner (something we did in Cambodia but it felt different then because we were away and it was nice to watch TFC and be able to have bits of news and telenovelas from home).

3. Two things made me sad today but after the sadness bout, I immersed myself in work and realized that it’s really therapeutic to just be quiet and work! And then, hubby hugged me real tight! Ahhh, it’s true. Problems will always come and go but the steady and unselfish love of our partners and friends will always be that permanent “home” where we can cry our whole hearts out and feel safe again.

4. I am back to my no-rice-dinner diet! Yipee! I am a true-blue rice lover and this is a tough one but hey, I don’t really feel so deprived now because my green salads really taste so yummy…of course, courtesy of my “personal chef.” (Email me for those interested to get the ‘secret’ to make your green salad less boring.)

5. After days of non-stop raining, the night skies have shown big bright stars again!

6. A dear friend gave me pasalubong from Baguio (about three days ago) and guess what it is? Cordillera’s coffee, Hazelnut blend! One of my favorite coffee beans in the whole world.

7. I accidentally tripped on the cord of my old table lamp and hurt my toes. The poor lamp disintegrated into pieces! I felt sad because it was one of the few pieces that I left behind when I traveled in 2007. I kept it in Mom’s place in Cabanatuan and then took it back about a month ago. But lucky lucky me…the lamp is still working properly after I put everything back in again and hubby tried to turn it on!

8. I won the lotto! (Now, this is wishful thinking.)

Smile, rant, rave, cry, be crazy.  Life is beautiful for the most parts!


This is not a paid blog.


Extraordinary moments

The flowers smile at the sun.

Here in Baguio, I am reminded once again that in ordinary things lie great mysteries and sheer beauty. Here, I have learned to look at flowers again, explore their details, like the way they smile at the sun.

I have learned to enjoy a cat (a very naughty and aggressive cat at that!) even if I have always been a true-blue dog-lover. Meet Baguio’s Garfield: he is the adopted cat of the house (the first one where we stayed two weeks in late March & early April) who meows, wails, shouts, and kicks like a little girl who just lost her favorite baby doll whenever she is hungry (which is like 8 times a day!). I also suspect that “she” is gay because she enjoys curling up her body with the legs of MY fiancé! I swear she never did that with me!

He sure knows how to throw a tantrum ;D

I have enjoyed simple card games like Black Jack where I always won against JR. Whenever I shuffle the cards, I would always make some voodoo-like whispers and gestures to the cards as well as some hand and arm movements so as to bring me luck and true enough, I always won most of the games. JR thinks I am really a witch. The more amusing thing is, he also started doing some hand and arm gestures which even looked funnier and crazier coming from him! The laughters we shared are so heartfelt that sometimes, it seems that tears of joy would be rolling down my face any moment. Ahhh…being together with someone who makes you laugh at yourself and at life is really one of the greatest gifts of the universe.

We promised to grow old together. :)

Armed with my digital SLR, I have learned to look more into the details of things. I was able to take a nice shot of the lowly “pang-sipit ng sinampay” (clothes clips) and again, felt grateful that I have two eyes that allow me to look not just at the big picture but appreciate the details that are often taken for granted. Aren’t we all guilty of this sometimes? Faced with problems and challenges, we forget the “small things” around us that truly matter.

There is beauty in the smallest details.

And there was the full moon! I have always been a moon-watcher. I try to keep track of the phases of the moon. In Baguio last April, we were there when the moon was at its fullest. And it was also a double-blessing because the moon was directly facing the room assigned to us. We gazed at her and took pictures…and was probably even “moonstruck” on the second night of moon-watching because suddenly, after an hour or so of watching, JR and I just simply collapsed in bed, feeling like our energies were totally sapped by the moon and yet, wonderfully, strangely, the following morning, we felt like we had a very long, deep and completely restful sleep.

Moonstruck in Baguio.

It is May now and we are back in Baguio. I am sure that there will be more nice surprises and yes, challenges along the way. I continue to sit still, be in total awe of the moment, contented that the river flows and I am alive.


This is not a paid blog.

Mixed Nuts

Mixed nuts indeed

It’s been a while since I last wrote a blog here so it feels great to be back! The past months have been very busy, challenging, and for the most parts, happy. As they say, there’s always the yin and yang of life so we get to savor the best parts more because we have been through the pits.

I have to thank my favorite snacks these days for the happy feelings the past months. You might say I have gone nuts, too, to correlate my happiness with this pack of goodies. Let me then expound further…

You see, when I am eating this snack, I will meticulously pick out only two of the nuts. Well, actually, only one of them is technically a nut. The other one is like a small bit of biscuits (square-shaped and orange in color). So I just pick out these two “nuts” I like, and I separate the rest of the nuts on one side…or directly put them on the palm of…who else, JR.

Yes, JR takes care of the “rejected” ones. Not that they don’t taste good, nah. It’s just that my two nuts are the best-tasting in that bunch of nuts. So, gladly, JR takes care of the discarded ones. We usually munch over these nuts after dinner, over TFC telenovelas (yes, Virginia, now I am a telenovela fanatic, I can always tell you what is going on in the lives of Catherine in Iisa pa Lamang or Garie in Kahit Isang Saglit). And yes, I consider those moments a big treat! What more can I ask for? I have a good soul beside me, I have the best-tasting junk food in the whole world, and I can watch Filipino telenovelas without having the slightest guilt or “yucckk” feeling because back in Manila, I found telenovelas really kabaduyan. But now that I am overseas and miss everything Filipino, I am definitely changing my mind. Telenovelas rule the world! :D

But wait…there’s more to this Mixed Nuts thing. Much much more. You see, it is during those nights that I realize (again and again) how lucky I must be to have this kind soul beside me now. You see, I am reminded again and again that he must love me so much to allow me to have the best parts of the Mixed Nuts pack, just contentedly waiting for me “sort out” the bunch…and throughout all these, still managing a smile on his face…and well, ok, that hungry look in his eyes (like a puppy waiting for his favorite bone)…;D But seriously, can you imagine having to eat only the ones that, you know, do not taste as good as the others? For example, your friend opens a bag of goodies and he only gives you the Lollipops while he gets away with the Kitkats and M&Ms? Unfair, huh? But you see, there’s that special thing there. You let your friend get away with the best parts because you want to see him happy. Nothing can be as good as that. Well, some others might say, “maybe you have ulterior motives,” but for the less cynical among us, well, this is still something to be thankful and happy about that. And fortunately for me, I am not yet cynical about life.

So, yes, this guy beside me right now does not know it yet. But I have the Mixed Nuts to thank for…not just for the warm, funny, and exciting telenovela moments but more importantly, for the mixed nutty feeling of happiness, contentment, bliss, and peace that I experience just being reminded that there’s this one person in the world who would gladly give me the best parts and still smile about it. :)

[Re-post of a blog dated October 18, 2008 (from my previous site).]


This is not a paid blog.

Courtship, Pinoy Style

Romance, Pinoy-style

I decided to write this for a friend, with the hope that this little piece of information will orient her American boyfriend about what Pinoy courtship is really all about. She shares (with a little exasperation perhaps?) that her boyfriend doesn’t understand the term whenever she or her Pinay friends mention it during their conversations. He almost always looked like the term is from Mars and was purely invented to confuse men like him. ;)  I had a brief chat with him over YM last weekend and he also had the same words for me, “I don’t get it.” ;)

Ok, this one is for him.

First, the Pinoys’ style of courtship may still be similar to how men in other cultures try to woo the women of their dreams. After all, the desire for a man to be with a woman (or vice versa) is universal. But I guess in the Philippines, the famous hot “Latin” blood still runs wildly in our veins and, therefore, we still view courtship in a combination of traditional and modern sense (if there is such a combination!).

Gone were the days of fetching water (in pails and buckets) for the family of the woman (thank God we already have modern plumbing systems in most cities of the country) but nevertheless, men are still expected to bring flowers and chocolates, the works! They are still expected to visit her in her house, get to know her whole family–including grandparents if they are still living with her–and even her friends, call and text her often (though not too much that she won’t have the chance to miss him), and be at her side if she needs a companion in going to the movies or the bookshop and YES, I will put this in capital letters for emphasis, HAIR SALON or BEAUTY PARLOR.

I think the last one is the ultimate test because I know for a fact that men hates accompanying their women when they are having their haircut or having their nails manicured. I don’t know their exact reasons but I guess they are horrified with the thought of being bored to death while their women try to transform themselves with perhaps an equally horrific hair-do. I’d give men who accompany me to the hair salon 1,000 pogi points because that means they really are in love with me, enough to suffer those boring moments just to be with me (wink!).

What are my kilig moments if someone is courting me? For one, I like midnight calls if it’s my birthday. I feel kilig when my suitor brings me my favorite food like siomai and pansit. I feel so good when he tells me I am pretty in the most unexpected moments. It’s also nice to receive text messages and calls of support when I am about to do something important like open my exhibit or have a job interview. And then, I feel great when my man remembers the things that I shared with him some months ago. That means, he is very attentive. I also give 1,000 pogi points for suitors who show respect and support to my passions in life like my attempts in photography (I had one suitor before who bought me a beautiful book on photography and I swear that almost gave him my Yes!). :) And then, how can I not feel good when he kisses my hands so tenderly while he’s doing something like reading a book or driving his car? And then, there are the usual things that women go crazy about – being pampered like a baby (i.e. getting free head massage for one!), being told she’s the most beautiful woman in the world, being seated in a dining table where all the food was cooked for her, being hugged and cuddled when she’s feeling lonely…ahhhh, such moments are sure to win the hearts of the women in your lives.

Oh wait, I don’t want to forget this. I also get the high if he buys me a little something when we’re shopping together. It’s not the money, you see. I get the kilig feeling because it tells me that he’s still thinking of me even if he’s also buying the things that he likes for himself. I think that’s also the ultimate test. It tells me that this guy will be a thoughtful boyfriend because he still takes special care in finding things that I’d like and enjoy even if he seems preoccupied with buying his stuffs and gadgets.

For the guys—it is not really difficult to please your women. You don’t have to be Mr. Casanova or have the bank accounts of Bill Gates in order to woo the woman of your dreams. Believe me, most of us will be very happy if you show up in our front doors with just a single bud of rose or our favorite dessert on our birthday. It’s the thought, guys. Of course, admittedly, there are “high-maintenance” women, but I think the general sentiment is that most of us just want to feel special. We want to feel that in your eyes, we are unique. That we are above the rest. That you will do everything to make us feel that we’re the only woman you’d ever need in your entire life (READ: no philanderers and cheaters, please!).

Courtship is a great phase and couples should enjoy this period of “getting to know” one another. However, I think that guys should always remember that after the courtship, they should never ever stop wooing us. They may have gotten our “yes” already or that we’ve said “I love you, too,” they still should continue to act like they are still courting us. Remember, while men have limitless choices, too, we can also dump you guys if you begin acting like you’re God’s gift to the universe and have totally stopped giving us that loving look and that sweet head massage that made us fall for you. If you want us to stay in your lives, you’d better hone your skills in courtship or you’re out the door the next day with only your suitcases and boxer shorts to hug at night. ;)

[Re-post of a blog dated September 9, 2007 (from my previous site).]


This is not a paid blog.



The butterfly grows on my back.

Saturday was fun. Met up, for the first time, with my online buddies who share one of my passions: photography. We went to Fort Santiago but were unfortunately not allowed inside–this is a long story and may cover an entire page of a blog–so we just went to Intramuros and then Baywalk. I remembered how I miss watching the sunset. I was clicking and clicking even if the sun was still quite harsh…I know this is bad for my lens. But who cares? And then a couple of tattoo artists began installing their makeshift booth. Hmmm, this is getting more interesting. I haggled for a 100-peso butterfly design and decided to have it done on my back. I sat while I imagined myself as the painter…people stared at my back (or maybe the evolution of the butterfly or…both) but I didn’t care. The artist was telling me, “stop moving or we won’t finish” so I tried to sit still and endured the feeling of being stared at.

Ahhh…the butterfly was finally growing on my back and when it was over, I stood up, happy that it was over. I love my butterfly. Now it is a part of me. It will fade one day day but I won’t forget the simple joys of becoming a human canvass.


A hug from a stranger

The sun still refuse to set. I waited with my camera, silently, as if waiting for a lover. Then a group of Korean guys approached me and asked me to take their pictures (through a combination of sign language and little English). I happily obliged…but I realized this was tough. Their backs were against the late but still blazing sun and there was no way my (still limited) photography skills can make their faces appear on this shot. I told them it’s hard, the sun is at your back. They just nodded their heads and posed..and so I continued and took their photos. I think they didn’t care at all. They’re just happy being together, enjoying Manila Bay and its famous sunset and maybe having photos that may eventually end up in their deleted files. But oh, I got a sweet gift. This was unexpected. One of them went to me and hugged me! No words, no nothing, just the beauty of a simple hug. Who can beat that? Maybe he can’t speak in English but for me, he just told me one of the biggest thank you’s I’ve ever heard in my entire life.



“This is a microcosm of Philippine society,” I thought aloud inside my friend’s car as we weaved out of Baclaran Church. It’s past midnight. Another friend was talking endlessly about the cute guys we saw around the Church. And sex. Around us were merchants, devouts, cigarette vendors, pirated DVDs stores, chauffer-driven luxury cars, and bibingka stalls. I am part of this but I am not. I found myself but I am lost. I remembered the candles I lighted. The prayers I whispered. Next week, same time, I will come again.



For two days I didn’t go out of my house. I worked and read and wrote and read again. I seemed to have immersed myself in so much solitude and reading that I may have forgotten to eat voraciously (as usual) as I lost two pounds (yehey!). I had fever when I woke up this morning. It was so cold last night. My world was so silent. I received text messages and knew I should go out and be a part of humanity again, to be confused again, to laugh again, to believe again, to celebrate again. My solitary days will soon be over. My friends miss me and I miss them. I am back. I am back.


“Artists don’t sleep…

…they just close their eyes.” I just suddenly blurted this out one night when my friends were leaving my place and said something about me looking like I am already very sleepy. I don’t know why I said that. Sometimes I just say things and realize that they don’t make sense and yet, they make sense. You know what I mean? Sometimes these words just happen. Like moments in our lives that just happen. I promised myself I’ll always try my best to write more. To write about these moments more. To embrace my life more. To take photos more. To understand my life more. To become a better friend. A better lover. A better daughter. A better sister. A better artist. It’s past 2:00 am as I type this. I must be inspired. Or maybe the 2-day seclusion did my soul some good.



Sometimes I don’t understand you. I give myself to you completely but sometimes I don’t like you at all. You are my joys yet you are my pains. You are my growth but you are my destruction. You are my strength but you are my weakness. You are my light but you are my darkness. You are that comforting voice in the middle of the storm but you are the noise in my deepest solitude. I don’t love you but I love you.

[Re-post of a blog dated January 30, 2007 (from my previous site).] 


This is not a paid blog.