In a mad world, only the mad are sane

I got on the 5 train from Wall street and the car reeked of an Applebee’s or some other godforsaken restaurant chain. I glanced to my right and I see a young man with curly blond hair, eating street meat out of a styrofoam container from one hand while balancing an electric guitar on the other.

He flings his head a certain way, every so often, almost in a pattern. He looks at the other passengers with indifferent eyes. He does not notice the small piece of lettuce hanging on his chin.

Everyone in that car is looking at him strangely. Suspiciously.

The young man got off at Borough Hall. The train moved on.

Great. I am now amongst the deranged lot.


I wish women over 35 years old all over the world would get their shit together and realize it’s time to stop making duck faces. I mean, seriously. That dimple you thought you had going for you is this close to looking like a wrinkle, at best.

Dear Friends,

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

And let me say it one more time – thank you. It’s been a bumpy road the past week and a half in the professional world. But you know what they say – what doesn’t kill you, only makes you stronger.

I am a woman of cliches, after all.

Once again, salamat.


The train is gone and I’m left here standing

I’ve been quite a recluse to everyone except for my husband lately. I can’t even talk to my mother and sister who I regularly have Facetime calls with. Things are literally at a stand still for me recently, and I’ve just been, I don’t know.. cowering.

My mother must have noticed my silence. My birthday has come and gone a couple days ago and she did not hear a peep from me. I know everyone (or at least those few who knew what’s going on) has been trying to reach out, telling me things will be okay. I know it will. And I know this will pave the way for better things. But I am just so out of it.

I open my Facebook account and my mother left me a message. I’m here in the train and stupid tears wouldn’t stop. 35 years and as always, my mother’s timing never fail me.

Baby Doll

They say when stress hits, our bodies naturally turn to coping mechanisms
We eat more (or less)
We sleep less (or more)
We lose weight, we gain weight
We get uptight, we fold in

We become zombies
We walk around with a dazed look
I’m here, you see me
But like those baby dolls that automatically open their eyes when upright
And close it when laying down
It all feels mechanical
And hollow

Because something pushed the panic button in my back

They say when we’re not in control, we try to escape from the things that holds us
The things that drown us
The things that keep us up in the middle of night
Our hearts racing faster than a marathon runner
Sweating bullets despite the harsh cold of winter
Running away from nothing and something and ourselves at the same time

I could stand to lose the weight I gained over the holidays
But I can’t stand this madness in my head
Where is the reset button?

We cried the stars

Here’s something to nourish your soul, from one of my favourite performance poets (I know, it can’t get any more fucking pretentious-sounding even if I tried), Anis Mojgani, performing Here Am I. Watch and let your soul come up for air.

We all wanted that high school sweetheart
We wanted to be young in the fifties with meatloafs and sock hops
and lawns so perfect they looked like Clark Gable was kissing them

We wanted to be thirteen and alive and meet a girl that was thirteen and alive
and walk with her past the grandstands
to sit and hold hands with to sit and kiss with to sit and sit with
but that never happened

We wanted to be poor but not too poor
connecting this country like Kerouac and thumbs
winking at small town waitresses
pulling them into back seats and trailer park homes
where the two of you would find passion expanding
between the locking of your bones
and morning would come to find you out on the road
with your pockets empty but for your hands
but your hands they’d be overflowing with your soul
but that’s not what happened

We once climbed into beds like the day was a hard mountain
and the sheets were a valley where dinosaurs still lived
and how we would explore them with a flashlight
catching them between pages and pictures
of triceratops and brontosauruses
but even he was opened up with the smoke of the houses
on the corners we once climbed through
the streets and footballs with which we once threw
the school desks upon which we once drew
the windows that sat open through which we once flew
before the outside world
of parking spaces and dead friends came flooding on in
and we forgot what we wanted
and became what we become:
waitresses and bartenders
city employees and temp positions
grown children and dead adults
we are junkies and one kiss poems
and we cry the stars

We write our scars onto dumpsters and electric boxes
because the only thing we can hear is our hearts
and the only ones listening are the streets
to the blood that breathes through the letters we leave
we try to rise up out of these burning buildings
but instead get buried somewhere beneath
because I know my life my life is a high school kid’s notebook
that kid that goes back and forth between school and home
stacking the letters and the pictures
into sentences that save him
stacked too close for anyone outside of his own imagination to read
because it’s through the ink that his heart beats
that his heart breathes

And we all just wanted to just write these notes:
check if you like me check if you don’t
check if you’ll date me check if you won’t
because we all wanted the love songs to be true
and we all loved dinosaurs once
and we all wanted the stars
to hold our hands to lick the teeth to fuck us
but they end up fucking us

So let your smile twist
like my heart dancing precariously on the edge of my finger tips
staining them that same high school kid
licking his thoughts using his sharpie tip
I wuz here motherfuckers
and ain’t none of yall can write that in the spot that I just wrote it in
I am here motherfucker
and we all here motherfucker
and we all motherfuckers motherfucker
because every breath I give brings me a second closer
to the day that my mother may die
and every breath I take takes me a second further
from the moment she caught my father’s eye
because every word I carry is another stone to put into place
in the foundation I’m building to ease the days
and help erase something I never saw:
what all of us wanted and what none of us got
what we all had and have and what we all forgot
that we all became something
and it may not be what we once thought it’d be when we were kids
but something is still something
and like some cats say
something’s better then nothing
feet are smarter than an engine
dreams are stronger than thighs
and questions are the only answers we need
to know that we’re still as alive as the time when I held the mind of a child
asking why is 2 +3 equal to 5?
Where do people go when they die?
What made the beauty of the moon? the beauty of the sea?
Did that beauty make you did that beauty make me?
Will it make me something?
Will I be something
Am I something?
And the answer comes:

I already am
I always was
and you still have time to be

Always starting over, but somehow, I always know where to begin

I thought I wouldn’t let the year end without at least making an effort to do a year-ender post, for posterity’s sake. There are so many thoughts swimming in my mind, most of it formed during the quietest time of my day – when I’m putting the boys to sleep. One perched on my chest in all his 20-something pound glory; the other with his head resting on my shoulder. It’s not the best or most comfortable position but it’s when my mind is at its absolute peace.

When I do sit down in front of the computer to type, my mind goes blank and all those coherent thoughts are thrown out the window. Sometimes I shut my eyes and think hard so words would flow, most of the time and as you can see from here, I just let the thoughts wander and then have it come back when it wants me to write about them.


I will be turning 35 in a few weeks and I actually find it quite unnerving that I am closer to the age of 40 than the vivacity of the 20s. Yes, age ain’t nothing but a number, yadda yadda yadda. I can’t tell for sure if I have anything to show for my age. And often times recently, the shadow of self-doubt looms and gives way to ruminations. But, you live and learn and I hope there’s wisdom gained between then and now.

It is amazing how as each year draws to a close, I am reminded of how time just flew me by. My boys have changed a lot since the beginning of the year, I find myself trying to recall every event or snippet of memory made and often times I fail at recollection. I smell their tiny feet every chance I get, rub it warm when they are sleeping. God knows how long they would let me do this. It worries me sometimes that I forget something, but there are always newer memories to build.


In the first quarter of 2010, J made a laundry list of our to-do’s for the year on post-it notes which were stuck on one side of the wall of our bedroom. When an item was done or completed it was stripped off. I think we did good that year and got rid of all the stickies.

There are several to-do’s in our list for the new year, some of them easy to achieve, some are high and mighty, some lie on a personal level (mine to be specific) that only really requires wings and a prayer. I’m hopeful for new beginnings, especially ones that will improve you. I’d like to think that certain do-overs have no expiration date.

And with that I’d like to end this with a New Year Wish journal entry from Neil Gaiman, no less:


I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.

Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something.

So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.

Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it. Make your mistakes, next year and forever.

She fights for her life as she puts on her coat

When I was about 11 or so, I always had this recurring dream about vampires attacking our little subdivision and eventually zeroing in on our house. Mind you, this was pre- sparkling vampire and buff werewolves. These suckers (hah!) found their way into our house and when they were finally in for the kill, I got trapped in our kitchen corner and instead of succumbing to immortality from their bite, I stab myself on the stomach. I had this same dream over and over during that time.

A few weeks ago, I woke up breathing heavily, having had that same dream. I didn’t really know what to make of it in the past so it was never a big deal. But I’ve always wondered why my subconscious always have that scenario on repeat and so this time, for the heck of it, I looked up the meaning of vampires in dreams.

I’m never one to believe that dreams have such significance in your waking life, but the description I found, for whatever it’s worth, kind of made sense.

Personal Focus: Vampires are creatures of death that survive by drinking the blood of the living. Blood represents passion and life force. A vampire in your dreams represents some aspect of your personality or way of being that has the potential to drain you of your vibrancy and energy. Source

I was at a crossroads and majorly stressed out work-wise that I get panic attacks; or sometimes wake up in the middle of the night thinking about stuff I may have forgotten to do or whatever. I was feeling so miserable and ‘stuck’ and I felt I needed a change of pace/environment to get out of the rut. In other words – and I realize only later on that – I needed a shift in perspective.

Admittedly, I don’t feel I am at my best right now and I know why – Priorities.
Crossroads alright – because you give way for things or people that are the most important in your life right now ever. *cue Janina San Miguel*

Oh I know in my heart of hearts, that I am destined for other great things (professionally, creatively)! Aren’t we all? But we constantly have to remind ourselves, yes all the things that we want, but not all at the same time. How foolish to think otherwise. And it’s just a matter of all these things happening serendipitously when it’s time.

For now I would have to contend myself into thinking and doing all that I can that things will all happen in due time. And, unlike involuntary thoughts, I do have a choice to set that glimmer of hope on fire.

Change, Just as the Season

The days may not be so bright and balmy—yet the quiet and melancholy that linger around them is fraught with glory. Over everything connected with autumn there lingers some golden spell—some unseen influence that penetrates the soul with its mysterious power. ~Northern Advocate

I was reading through past entries and I just realized I posted more frequently at the onset of Fall season in the last few years just as I try to do now (well, fingers crossed). Strange. I think people feel more melancholic because of the cool weather. After all, Hollywood drama rarely ever take place in the scorching summer heat, does it? Rain, blistery wind or deluge must be happening para mas convincing and effective.

And just as the the colors of the leaves turn into a fiery blaze, something stirs within.

Back in Business

We were unscathed by Hurricane Sandy’s wrath, albeit with power and internet/phone service interruption for a few days. It would be foolish and ignorant of me to complain about these minuscule temporary disconnection, because compared to others who have lost their homes or loved ones, we are very fortunate to be out of harm’s way.

We were all holed at home, and by the 3rd day, everyone was having cabin fever. When the storm cleared up and I felt that we all needed a break (from the silence of technology in the house and each other), I made everyone get in the car, sweats and all, so we can “check out the fallen trees around the neighborhood”. Kid 1 was too happy to oblige. What can I say, my son is Pinoy through and through!

I went to work expecting to come across short-fused, grouchy people to wait horribly long for the railroad and subway trains. But most people seem to have a ‘let’s just get through this’ attitude. I ended up going home earlier than usual since our office isn’t fully functional at the time.

Things have somewhat gone back to the way things were for many of us who only have commute problems and power outages to think of. For others, a new ‘sense of normal’ shall soon come to pass, if at all. Isn’t it funny how we always use the phrase ‘back to normal’ after something happens, when perhaps, the normal that we get or end up with is farthest from the normal that we actually want?

Train or Bust

It took me approximately 37 seconds to descend two flights (15 steps each) of stairs from the subway station, walk about 20 feet and then ascend another two flights of stairs at about the same number of steps each; walk another 20 feet to the station turnstile and then a few more yards until I actually get into the train that will ultimately take me home.

I just finished a hair-raising proposal at work but I am hell-bent on taking this train home. After all, I am a woman with a mission: the baby’s sick and J was left to fend for the kid while he himself subsisted on an hour, at most two, of sleep since he worked the graveyard shift. In a word, toxic.

As I grab a seat on the train feeling like my heart’s on fire and my chest about the burst, only one thing’s running on my mind: I have Jillian Michaels to thank for this unwavering energy burst.

Morning bells are ringing

When I was four, my mother had me dressed in my kindergarten uniform on one weekend morning. As it turned out, my uncle was to take a picture of me and of my siblings that day. I remember putting on the red and white uniform then getting on our dining chair backwards so I can prop my hands on the backrest. My mother wore her red tube dress and I remember looking at her while I had my picture taken.

That photo was framed and served as my school ID photo for the next couple of years. I think that was my earliest childhood memory, and it happened 30 years ago.

Before Elijah turned 4 this year, I was a little apprehensive of the preschool stage. I kept thinking about my childhood memory, and I can’t help wonder what his would be. When we went out for a morning walk with his little brother one day last summer and he stopped to look at the worms on the ground, would that be his first memory? When I reprimanded him for watching too much television, would his earliest memory be of his mother telling him off?

I am in charge of taking him to school every morning. We held hands as we leave the parking lot to walk into the school entrance; and each time I meticulously try to arrest that morning’s routine into my memory. I know that one day a few years from now, perhaps sooner than I think, this moment will cease to happen.

Until then, I am hoping that at least one of these mornings would make it to his first few memories.

“If you don’t have the time to read, you don’t have the time to write.” *

I’ve been reading more again lately. Not an excessive lot, but judging by the number of books I’ve read in the last four years, believe you me, I am reading more again! I will also shamefully admit that I joined the 50 Shades bandwagon and for a brief time was fixated on Christian Grey (or at least the idea of his ‘perfection’ anyway) as were most women AND their mothers. Yes ladies, it’s porn. No shame in that. Hey, whatever would get people to pick up a book, right?

With Kid 1 being a little more independent now, and Kid 2 not so demanding of my evenings, I have been spending some nights curled up with a book after the long day is over. Not for long stretches of time, but enough to keep my mind out of the gutter.

After all, your brain can only take so much white noise from wanton Facebook status updates, right?

*Stephen King