Thursday, September 29, 2005

Hubby Be Mine

To understand, one usually would have to experience. At the moment, I could understand completely how one of my friends feels when he told me that his computer is his wife. Upon the reception of my new laptop (which I share with the eldest of my two brothers), it seems that I cannot separate myself from it. Everyday it would be the first and last thing in my mind; I worry how I would be if it had not came into my life (I had experienced months of going to internet cafes and computer laboratories in school just to type assignments and it was a drag, not only was it such a pain in the neck, it was just as difficult on my wallet). I am currently involved – I am, I guess, married to my computer. It is my husband, and as of now I cannot steer myself away from it. I run towards the said technology as fast as I could when I get home, and patiently it seems to have waited for me all day to come home to it, like an obedient dog waiting for its master.

I wonder though when I would be bored with it. In one of our philosophy classes our professor mentioned how men are similar to computers – once you decided to commit to one, a better model would always come along. The same would have to go for cellphones! Anyway, the model of my laptop is not of top quality therefore there won’t be a lot of expectations for it to meet; as long as it would just serve its purpose perhaps that would be sufficient to yield my content.

I have just transferred most of my files into it, which I guess could be the equivalent of my memories. In addition, due to the long absence of a personal computer, I am now reminded of the games which I used to play during earlier times. Among these games are Quest for Glory adventures, Where in *Time (the World, Word, Math, etc) is Carmen Sandiego, Living Books (I just read Dr. Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham in this medium, I can’t help but feel entertained – I love Living Books!), Sims (Just the basic version for now) and many other neglected games which have accumulated neglect over the passage of time.

Although I may not be updated with the current games, I am content with the current games in my computer. I am, though, nagging my friend to install Vampire Masquerade into my laptop since I have been interested in playing the said game since he introduced it to me earlier this year. Another game which I am begging him to lend me is The Seven Capital Sins game which caught my interest since he explained the whole concept of the game to me on the phone. A game which I am also interested although don’t have the guts to actually install in my computer is the pc version of KamaSutris- a Tetris game where the player would have to pair a male and a female together to dissolve them. I learned of this game from one of my friends’ cellular phone games, and mind you, though it may seem easy, it is difficult. It would require a lot of imagination (how many positions could you come up with), not to mention tolerance from the sexual content of the whole game.

The Ukay-ukay has proven itself to be a haven for clothing that came from both heaven and hell. Just last Saturday, my mother accompanied me to buy some clothes there and within thirty minutes I already have five garments hanging on my arm. I have to admit that there a clothes which are so absurd that I cannot imagine any decent human being to be seen in one of those clothes. Although most of the clothes may seem heinous to my taste, I still managed to seek out some really cool outfits. Among these I bought a maong jacket with flower embroideries on the back for only fifty bucks, a G2000 black shirt (I love the texture of the cloth) for a hundred bucks, a Japanese inspired sleeveless shirt for the same price. As the spree progressed, I decided that some of my finds may not be worth buying, resolving to go to Espana sometime within the month to buy some more.

I am not really a fashionista, in fact, at times I would even label myself as a fashion victim. On second thought, there is no such thing as a fashion victim, fashion is supposed to be an expression of the self, if everybody would have to follow a certain rule as to how one is supposed to dress up, isn’t that the same as limiting one’s very own ability to express? If one always conforms, then where is the room to experiment?

My role as “victim” perhaps is illustrated only by the fact that most of the clothes in my closet, aside from the ones I bought for myself are clothes meant to be for an older age (else they be clothes for pregnant women, nevertheless, most are not of my fashion taste) . My mother, being quite conscious of my rather vulgar bumpers, have been buying me clothes which give enough space for my chest area, unfortunately, the stomach area would be so loose that I am often taken as pregnant or worse, to have given birth.

Thankfully, the present fashion trend have a similar concept, therefore I decided to take advantage of the situation. My friend and I are going to dress up in our bohemian “pregnant” shirts this Friday. My friend, too, has an eye catching front, and we wonder how many people would actually have the balls to come up to us and ask up when our babies would come out. I could have a baby, now that I have a husband. On second thought, the only babies I could think of ever producing are but shit and stories.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Shocked Culture

There are times when people can't wait to grow up, praying incessantly for the day they can finally escape the strict clutches of their parents' hold of them, to avoid the rigid system that school imposes and to break free from the rules, which is the reason of order. The Philippines is like a child in this way, people can't handle the fact that in order to improve oneself, one should be able to accept one's role in society, obediently following the rules that keep people in their places. This is the mentality which my family has managed to rub in my head - the reason for the poor economic performance of our dear country cannot be blamed entirely upon the officials (who we often label to be such corrupt sons of bitches) but also on the pathetic manner we, Filipinos abide as well as enforce the leeway of our constitution. I could understand fully their sentiments, since the Philippines is indeed branded internationally as one of the most dangerous places to visit.

Driving through the traffic infested streets of Manila alone is an adventure by itself. Nobody could predict when there would be another road kill. Jeepneys suddenly halting in the middle of the road, public utility vehicles overtaking "slow" cars (which are often the ones who are following the ideal speed of driving). Why am I saying all of this? Wala lang naisip ko lang maidugtong sa first sentence ko.


Yesterday, I have finally finished reading Liza Dalby's Tale of Murasaki from cover to cover. It was an incredible story, in my opinion, although the first half of the book proved to be quite dragging. I could easily compare it to Memoirs of A Geisha except that the latter seems to have garnered more recognition as well as the privilege of being made into a movie (my friend mentioned this when she saw what I was reading).

The synopsis of my current read revolves around the life of Fuji, later to be known as Lady Murasaki Shikibu, the first novelist of the first novel, The Tale of Genji. The whole story would describe her interesting lifestyle as one of the Japanese women who is well versed in Chinese literature. Due to that talent, honorable Japanese men found her distasteful, which goes in accordance to her wishes for she is determined not to marry at all. Her father later on, found her a wealthy suitor who eventually becomes her husband. By then, she was among the old maids of her time. By that marriage, she bears him a daughter named Katako, who would succeed Murasaki in court life, servicing Empress Dowager Shoshi.

I most admire Dalby's exceptional creativity in piecing together the biography of the acclaimed novelist. She had mentioned earlier in her text that the manuscript we were to read was her own interpretation of how Murasaki perhaps lived her life. Basing it from Murasaki's notes and diary, Dalby strung together these fragments of memories together, incorporating some of her own knowledge in Japanese culture as well as imagination in completing the said novel. In addition to the fantastic story, I cannot help but admire her meticulous noting of details which gave me a deeper appreciation of Japanese ceremonies. The rich culture of the Japanese seems to have been effectively captured by her words. Unfortunately, I do not have sufficient knowledge to back up whether her interpretations of the said Japanese affairs prove to be accurate.

I wonder if people in Japan really used to converse using waka (I'm not even sure if this is the word for the style of poetry they used before the haiku). Reading Murasaki's works makes me question how the heck does the world manage to create all these profound and observant people. I wonder if I am among them. By using nature in her poetry, she manages to give it the tongue to express her feelings and thoughts without the vulgarity of frankness. Fashioning one's ideas into poems seems (to me) to magnify the thoughts one desires to express, but in a desirable manner that insults seem to become slightly euphemistic.

One practice that bothered me throughout the story though was the rush of parents to marry off their daughters as well as the callousness of society regarding philandering. When Murasaki reached her 20's, she was already branded as an old maid. Princess Shoshi in fact was married off when she was around thirteen. Her husband, Emperor Ichijo was already 20 at the time and has already two children with his first wife, Empress Teichi. He was married to Teichi when he was 10 and she, 13. When Shoshi's father Michinaga reached his fortieth year, it was such an incredible event for many. It occurred to me though, in the course of my reading that life then seems to be extremely ephemeral. A man can die suddenly without warning, perhaps with a few indications of disease. Many characters in the novel would eventually expire, most would die so suddenly that the readers would have little time to mourn for their loss, just like the other characters in the story who were given the license to live, the audience would have to let it be and move on. (I hated the part when Nobutako, Murasaki's husband died, just when I was beginning to grow fond of him, after hating him so much before because I had preferred the Chinese boy to be paired with the protagonist)

*By the way I love the fact that Japanese don't find malice in sex. In the story that is, women gave in when they know they have no other options, but in the long run it is acceptable in the eyes of their peers. They are not so judgmental whether one is still a virgin. Unlike in the Philippines, people are so afraid of naked bodies that to touch one perhaps would suffice to equal a sin unless the toucher and the touchee are martially bound. Why are we so afraid of our bodies? Why are we disgusted by the perfection that is but our own?

While reading the book, I was suddenly struck that my surroundings are so saturated with Japanese thingamajigs. The laptop which I have recently received came from my grandparents' partner, Japanese. My digital camera also came from Japan, and thus I have no idea how to operate it since the instructions are all written in Japanese. My visits in Ukay-Ukays have yielded me two Japanese inspired shirts which I am very fortunate to have bought at such an affordable price in addition to its fabulous quality. Perhaps Japan would really dominate the world, although I am still putting my bets on China.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Ice Queen

My sister is currently recovering from her fever. Unfortunately, I am still in the process of recovering from the trauma that has struck me the day we were asked to move out of our parents' room to sleep in the middle "children's" room. It is not that the room is not elegantly furnished as the masters' bedroom, on the contrary, it suits exactly what I want - a small room packed with everything I could possibly need. The only problem was the aircon (A small room with an I-don't know-how-many-horsepower-but-I-know-its-a-really-strong-airconditioner, feels like being sent to the freezer).

Last night I once again suffered sleeplessness due to two specific reasons (a) I'm not used to sleeping on my newly-assigned bed and (b) the room was freaking cold. My brothers slept together on a queen size bed, beside the aircon wall. My bed on the other hand lies parallel to the air-cooler. I entered the room when everybody else were sleeping so I could not nag any of my siblings to change places with me. I placed a blanket around my bed (which is a double decker with no cushion on the upper deck) so the wind from the cooler would somehow be blocked. I also placed a blanket on the bed to keep it warm and two more blankets above me to keep me warm. The effort was not enough though, my teeth were still chattering and my feet were beginning to numb and my knees were feeling weak. I was wearing my usual pantulog, t-shirt and shorts, so I decided to add more covers. I placed on a long sleeve daster above my shirt, a knitted pedal (which my aunt gave me while she was disposing of her obsolete fashion wardrobe) over my shorts, socks and some feet binders (which my grandmother bought for me to wear at night to help remedy my sprained ankles).

I decided against turning the aircon to a lower temperature, observing my brothers were both sleeping soundly, kicking their blankets off. And so I went to bed looking like some big bulky bag lady with two blankets above her. Although the teeth-chattering no longer continued, it took me almost thirty minutes before my body temperature managed to adjust to make me comfortable enough to sleep.


Last Friday, my friend accompanied me to watch the Eiga Sai (Japanese horror movie) marathon being shown in the UP Film Institute. Although I wanted to watch Kairo, the schedule of movies for the day were Hausu (House) and Pulse. Not meaning to sound culture-shocked, I was indeed shocked at the superficiality of the whole movie. I mean, the trailers were a lot more entertaining than the movie itself. With all respect to the fact that the trailers are more recent compared to the movie which seems to be taken out from a 1960 archive. It was more comedic compared to being scary. I even commented that the whole movie was not the sort of horror I was expecting - but it is as a matter of fact horrifying to watch.

(I mean, having characters named Scholar (for the intelligent freak of nature), Fantasy (for the pretty main actress with really bad teeth - she's pretty just don't make her smile), Mac (the generic fat girl who'd do anything to eat and who eventually ends up getting eaten by the monster first), Melody (the weird pianist girl who would get eaten by the piano after she plays the haunted lovers' piece) plus a typical predictable plot of a ghost waiting for her prince charming to rise from the dead and come fetch her, but eats little wandering girls for the time being to remain existent)

I guess I am being judgemental, but perhaps it is because I have been exposed to the Hollywood style of film-making that I place too much expectations of other films and end up almost always let down because of sometimes the poor quality of shots or the simplying horrible story the director agreed to work with. One such example of inconsistent shots could be seen in the Filipino movie, Lady of Manaoag, it could have been a good film, my mom cried. I didn't. All I did throughout the movie was think how my professor would react hysterically if I'd ever submit a work like that. Going back, Hausu was perhaps filled with funny moments like the superstar stepmom who has a perpetual electric fan following her around to highlight her "model" quality (always looks like a Karaoke clip everytime she walks in) or the constant breast exposures which I would easily dismiss as unnecessary.

Of course, I have considered the Japanese' obsession to the female bosom. I read it in one of the books in our university's library while waiting for my reseach-mate to show up. I forgot the title and the author but it discusses mainly of prostitution as well as the mentality of Japanese men. I got hooked on the book for an hour or two, voraciously reading two or three chapters. It interests me how the researcher managed to justify the mens' adultery, making a connection between the prostitute and mothers. I never saw the book again, although I intend to borrow it as soon as I complete reading the Tale of Murasaki written by Liza Dalby, who according to the credits is the first and only Westerner to become a geisha. Thinking about it, the book mentioned earlier is also by a Westerner geisha, maybe its the same person.. Bookmark - I have to check it out.

Returning to the movie, the director seemed to have this interest in showing off as much special effects as he could think of, not to mention editing techniques. It was a showy film with a repetitive piano piece, which in the end caught up with my sanity. The grand finale of the movie getting into my head, perhaps is when Fairy's robe was pulled by Fantasy, showing off her breasts. My friend, who is a guy by the way, made such a reaction which stuck to me for the whole 15 minutes remainder of the movie. "Brown nipples! Yech!"

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Ms. A to Z

In celebration of my completion of F.H. Batacan’s Smaller and Smaller Circles, I am suddenly inspired to write another entry in my online diary. The said book, which I just bought last Friday in the World Trade Center, garnered commendable awards as the Palanca Grand Prize in 1999, National Book Award in 2002 and the Madrigal-Gonzalez Award in 2003. Extracting mainly from the book’s brief description of its author, Batacan is an alumnae of the University of the Philippines, specializing in Broadcast Communication, and boasting a master’s degree in Art Studies. “She has worked as a policy researcher, broadcast journalist, web designer and musician and is currently a journalist based in Singapore.”. (That perhaps explains a lot of the meticulous details she had incorporated in the story. Reading her credentials reminds me of my Introduction to Research professor, who also is an alumnae of the University of the Philippines – and I admit that of all my Communication Arts professors, she and my Video Production/ Introduction to Film/ Fotocam professor (an alumnus of De La Salle University and graduated in the course which I am currently taking up), are the only mentors who I truly admire and respect, and seek inspiration from – though I doubt their awareness of that fact.)

The book was recommended to me by my block-mates, who have praised it incessantly because of its scrupulous detective fiction quality, but more importantly, of its Pinoy nature. I dare reckon that they may have encountered the book in their Literature 1 class, wherein one is mandated to make a critique of a Filipino book of the teacher’s choice as a condition for a passing grade. I also would like to believe that their professor perhaps have brainwashed them of the book’s acclaimed quality, that their own personal opinions of it have been “over-write”-d.

The story of the book is concluded within a total of 155 pages, which I have read in the span of four to five hours, “save” the time spent to pause, cook and eat lunch, as well as to change the CDs in the player and to jot down words which I have never heard nor encountered until I indulged myself into reading the said publication.

In summary, the narrative was focused primarily on two Jesuit priests, who were tasked to investigate a series of murders that threatens the children of the dumpsite, Payatas. There were quite a number of defining factors that lie exclusively to the perpetrator’s victims, among which is the frail and small body size of the pre-teen boys. In examination of the boys’ carcasses, it was noted that their hearts were taken out, their penises neatly castrated and their faces peeled (in my opinion, sliced..) off their puny little skulls. By means of patient analyses as well as forensic know-how, the two men become hot on the trail of a baleful criminal with a seemingly benign mask for the public; the nature of the murderer would be further elaborated in the course of the story, rather blatantly, by his parents (a drag, really). Quite expectedly, the whole reason as to why the killer had become such is due to psychological blows of trauma during childhood years, which he later needed to find retribution to. His series of murders thus becomes meaningful as well as effective in his need for vengeance; unfortunately his actions were directed into illusive representations of the “ones who have wronged him” in the persons of the innocent children he exanimate. In the end, as expected perhaps, the killer was found; there was a face to face interaction between him and the older Jesuit priest, later ending with the latter’s near-death experience due to the uncontrollable stabbing of the former until by some divine intervention, somebody regained awareness that this was not happening in television – decided to shoot the killer. Conclusion - killer dead, priests alive, and a reporter pleased in knowing that the “ratings would shoot up the roof”.

I was sorely annoyed as well as disappointed at the manner as to how the twists and turns of events managed to pull themselves together. They failed to spare me from earlier detection of the story’s conclusion. In fact, halfway done, I already had a vague premonition as to who the killer was as well as his nature. In addition to such a poor layout, the story fell short in presenting me the much-anticipated element of surprise, which ironically is the surprise especially when I was focused into what sort of mind-boggling, out-of-the-ordinary stunt the story would hold. It was, in my opinion, a typical story, with many unnecessary characters (who were described either to be gigantic (the stereotype for our beloved protagonists, who are good looking mestizos) or small (the typical Filipino population), as well as certain details, which serve no better purpose than to “magnet useless information.”

One of such characters is Tato, the so-called autopsy assistant, who was mentioned only twice throughout the course of the novel, without any significant “assistance” to any autopsy at all. Another is Joanna’s (the reporter) married lover, who only slapped her bum when she had to get out of bed and run after the freshest murder news on the block. There was no further mention of his contribution in either her work or her personality, other than her liberated outlook to go into an illicit love affair. The thought though of a committed man going after, not to mention “sleeping” with a “big” woman, who has a grip of a “construction worker” and a tendency to be a “genuine pest” would seem rather unusual, on second thought, love is blind and deaf and perhaps numb all at the same time. I worry though, what happened to their relationship after her big break?

I am impressed though with her (the writer’s) generous use of “Shift F7” words, which I took the liberty of copying down on three sheets of a NBS pad. By the time I reached page 37, I was astounded at the prospect of encountering more than twenty interesting words, some of which I daresay were part of my high school spelling lists until they were abandoned to rust in the attic of my brain largely due to disuse. Another admirable aspect of the story, as I’ve mentioned earlier is her inclination for details. Her visual descriptions of people and locations have been an effective tool in recreating the whole scenario in the privacy of my mind. In fact, one of the characters, my favorite, to be honest, is the comical Leo, who by the way, reminds me of our current driver, for no apparent reason whatsoever.

I am no medalled critic, which praise-worthy publications or flashy credits, but I am reader, an audience and a living testament of the plausibility as well as the acts of humanity, therefore I believe that my criticisms though sharp and candid (considered by most perhaps to be just poppycock and quibble - a poor waste of words) would still manage to hold water as my own personal perception with regards to the writer’s attempt in expressing her perspective of “criminology” as well as life the in the oppressed shanties of Payatas.


I’ve never realized how educational a children’s movie could be until the magic of technology invented the DVD. With the subtitles present on the bottom of the screen, reflecting the written text of the script that the characters verbalize, despite their sometimes incorrect grammar and spelling (due to the fact that we just have the pirated counterparts of the real thing), they proved to be most helpful in my attainment of quite a number of good English words.

The children’s movie, which I am referring to, specifically, is the Disney version of Aladdin. The interaction of the characters with the aid of the script was most delightful especially when one could read and hear them at the same time. It was unusually witty and playful, but even if the conversations at times may pose to be quite intellectual, I cannot deny that children are intelligent enough in managing to extract the gist of the story (or perhaps it can also be blamed to the simple fact that children have already been prepared for the movie by the “spoilers” their parents have told them – I mean Aladdin is a rather popular story even without the existence of its movie version).

The apex of my reading-subtitles spree occurred when I had to peruse through the lyrics that the blabbermouth genie was singing. The songwriters are indeed worthy to be applauded for their creativity in coming up with original ideas to be incorporated in the song productions. The genie’s songs were fast-paced, enthusiasm boosting, and have quite a number of “big” words, which I haven’t encountered until I was perhaps in late elementary or high school.


It's all about the word play. - Jason Mraz

While going through the drawers of my once-messy study table, I stumbled upon a yellow hard covered notebook. Taking time to open and scan its contents, I was reminded to my obsession with words. During my high school years, more specifically in my second year, I took special note of my vocabulary and spelling words. I had once taken the liberty of using more than three fourths of the said vocabulary list in a poem I wrote. In fact, I was, together with my good friend, even nominated in a quiz bee contest in our school, and although I never won, and she never lost, we often took time to remind ourselves of new words, experimenting with the good book, the dictionary. Having an insatiable obsession with good quality notebooks, I had used the notebook mentioned in the first sentence to keep track of the words I learn. I would neatly write them down together with their usage as well as meanings.

Going through it once again opens my interest in new words and thus armed with a dictionary, I decided to continue to update the said notebook with the new words I've been acquiring from mediums such as the ones mentioned above. Also, in order for these words to gain worth, I've decided to reread them often, and use at least one in my daily undertakings, whether it is by blogging, writing letters or just by simply conversing with other people.


Two Sundays ago, while doing our weekly cementary visit, a foreigner together with a tour guide and a lovely Filipina, stopped by our masoleum to ask about its architechture and perhaps our traditions and rituals. According to the English man, their country wasn't accustomed to make routinary visitations to their dead relatives. My parents, who were more fluent with the English language compared to my grandparents, took the initiative to entertain the newcomers, touring them around the structure. I was speaking in Chinese with my grandmother telling them that we could've have charged these people rather than hospitably answering all their questions. My parents, who overheard me obviously made funny remarks of it after the "aliens" left. What caught my attention though was that the Filipina who accompanied the Englsih man was very pretty. I wouldn't call her beautiful, just lovely.

I made repetitive comments of that observation in the car as we drove to a restaurant in Binondo for our family lunch ( a weekly thing, too). My mother being the devout Catholic that she is replied, "She has a good soul, that is why it mirrors in her face.. So pretty with no make-up at all" Good soul, my butt! - was obviously the first thing that came into my head. I was more looking for a reply that said, its her job to be pretty, perhaps she's one of those companion service girls, which the Philippines is so popular with. My parents obviously weren't pleased with my reaction to my mother's statement and began to direct hostile comments to me telling me of my vanity as well as "ugliness". I replied, "It's not my fault you have such lousy genes." They took it as a joke, which is perhaps good considering what a piercing comment that was. Just because I try to wash my face daily before sleeping, applying medications (which, take note, my grandmother bought for me since she is concerned with the awful blemishes on my face) on my (fucking - i mean it, how the heck do they keep multiplying) pimples, doesn't mean I am obsessed with my physical appearance. One way or another, one needs to look presentable to the public; having a bloated face infested with red spotmarks isn't exactly the best way to make a good impression in such a judgemental and materialistic society.


In lieu with physical appearances, I would like to venture into asking why people are bothered whenever they are assumed to be older than they really are? Although I personally had once been quite adamant in my false claim to be of a younger age group, I've realized what a compliment it is to be mistakened to be someone older. Maturity is often associated with age, although the two does not always follow. In time, I've respected the effects of age and find it quite immature to keep blinding others that one is more juvenile than one's true age. It seems that by lying of one's age, one is kind of letting go of responsibilities as well as the deemed maturity that age has to offer. Why keep telling others you're two, three, even a decade younger? In fact, why are many so offended when they are thought to be older than they really are?

One such incident happened between me and my uncle, my father's brother. Having lived with him for over 18 years, I was shocked to find out that he is only 31 years old. I have always thought that he is somewhere between 35 to 38, my father being already 45. My grandmother took his side and defended him, to the point that he blamed my incessant crying as a baby to be the primary reason for his failures in college. I answered, though not in these words, "Why blame me? It's not me who did the fucking." What hit me most was my grandmother's remark, "Ikaw nga, napagkamalan ka na ngang may asawa eh."

Okay, so I do look old for my age or perhaps it is the company I keep that is why my age is often mistakened. During the wedding of one of my cousins, seated with my grandparents and uncle, a family friend decided to be good natured as to congratulate my grandmother for finding such a pretty daughter-in-law. Daughter-in-law? We all turned towards the friend hoping to understand who she's talking about considering my mother didn't attend the said party. It turns out, she was referring to me. She thought I was my uncle's wife! A 13 year age difference doesn't really seem to pose much of a problem, but the thought of me getting it on with my uncle was simply revolting. Thank God I have such a strong stomach to actually not throw up when she began to explain her misconception of the situation.


My aunt, my mother's sister in Canada, is presently pregnant. After six years of waiting, she finally conceived her first baby. We are very happy for her, despite the fact that I won't be able to meet my new cousin. She will be giving birth to a baby girl this December, which makes us all the more excited, my mother keeps repeating that this child is her Christmas gift, God's gift to her for her like Mary is to Saint Anne, after tedious years of failed trials and disappointments.

My uncle's (my mother's brother, also living in Canada) wife has also given birth recently, a good two or three months earlier, to a baby girl. His first with his second wife, although we are aware that he never had any children with his first wife.

After comparing, I've noticed a pattern. Perhaps its their family's curse, but all their first born children are females. Myself included to be a manifestation of this hex perhaps. Another intersting detail which I am yet to see or observe in my generation is the number of siblings my parents have. I mean, my mother and her siblings are six in total, my father and his siblings are five in total, while myself and my siblings are four in total. Perhaps the one I will marry would be three in total thus we would have two children wherein one would marry an only child and have no children at all. Amusing thought which may or may not happen. Fate is in our hands anyway.


In matter of fate therefore comes the question of horoscopes and so called "psychological" or observation tests which often intrigues me. Let me expound this using the deduction method, from large scale to smaller to micro scale. Chinese horoscopes revolves around the year one is born, and with each year one would bear a distinct quality of one of the twelve revolving animals that is said to represent the said year. For example, one born in the year of the monkey is said to be cunning and witty. One born in the year of the dog would be a loyal companion and so forth.

After the yearly consideration, one could focus on the monthly horoscopes which is represented by the ones we encounter in our daily papers. These signs are based on the positions of the stars and are very popular with the masses. Among the signs that make up this horoscope are Capricorn for January people, Cancer for July birthday celebrants and Virgo for September celebrators.

Succeeding the monthly horoscopes comes the psychological observations as to the behaviors of people born on a specific date. For those born on the 10th, they would be generalized to bear characteristics similar to those born on the same number date as they are. And in Chinese belief, the exact moment of birth, the time and date are crucial in determining the fate of a perosn. With this is mind, where does freedom come into play? When characteristics and personalities and fate are all so intertwined and defined as the examples mentioned above?

There is more to being than normalcy. Perhaps it is the acknowledgement of free will that one becomes capable of becoming the master of his fate. Or perhaps more simply, it is the complete and utter dismissal of such fate determining bull*shit that allows us to have full control over what we call "free-will"


Last Sunday, our family went to Pure Gold to do get some much needed energy boosting chocolates and groceries. Darn, the -ber months have finally arrived, and I had to go through a painful three to four hour shopping with Christmas songs playing in the background, interchanging with Tom Jone's Sex Bomb and all sorts of unholy songs.

Among the items I wanted to buy is Close Up's Limited Edition of ChocoLoco. It was a very tasty toothpaste mind you, and reminds me of the days when our family/children's dentist used to clean my teeth and giving me the option of choosing minty chocolate, orange and the usual flouride she uses on her adult patients.

Marketing in the Philippines is undeniably getting better. Beginning with Mcdonald's "Limited Edition" Twister Fries, which caught the country going ga-ga over it. It was followed by Sunsilk's Limited Edition Watermelon Shampoo which made me go crazy buying almost as many shampoo sachets as I could. I loved the way the way the mixture seems to cool my scalp, penetrating it, and leaving my hair fresh and fragrant after I wash it off. Unfortunately, the shampoo lasted only during the summer and early June or July. Now, Close Up released three limited edition products, ChocoLoco, Tangerine and Luscious Lychee. The two latter are not at all going to be part of my favorite toothpastes, but the former definitely gets an A+. Not to mention the rekindling of my obsession with toothbrushing. Before, my mom found my brushing habits to be quite irritating for I keep brushing my teeth as often as I can. Now, she finds me obsessed with it, brushing for over five to ten minutes, more than thrice a day. One day I may actually suffer from gum irritation, but until then, I'll enjoy the ChocoLoco toothpaste before it "runs out".


My girlfriend and I were shocked in finding out that the songs we used to dance and sing to are as old as 10 years. What am I talking about? When we were in grade 5, there was a Spice Girls, BackStreet Boys outbreak, wherein we all began addicted to. As teenyboppers, we were easily captivated by the poppy lyrics and dance rhythms these songs present us. Quit Playing Games with My Heart. Wannabe. Imagine all the songs you've been listening to, seemingly timeless, now are old and obsolete as to the ears and knowledge of the teenyboppers of the present where all they perhaps listen to are Maroon 5, Hale and Kitchie Nadal.

Time Warp - Songs of our time:
Eminem and Dr. Dre - Forget About Dre
Limp Bizkit - Nookie
Shaggy - It Wasn't Me
Diana King- Say A Little Prayer for You
Offspring - Pretty Fly for a White Guy
Solid Harmonie - I'll Be There for You
Boyzone - Love You For A Reason
Code Red - What Good is a Heart
Moffatts - I Miss You Like Crazy
Hanson - Mmmbop
98 degrees - Invisble Man
Nsync - God Must Have Spent A Little More Time On You

Damn, I feel so old!


While fixing my table last Monday, I managed to find all sorts of cool items which I have purchased, received and hidden and have thought to have lost forever. After dispossing six wastebasketfuls of papers (mostly test papers with flunking marks) and obsolete or defunct junks, my table has finally looked neat and orderly. Although most of my siblings and relatives are betting that this state would not last longer than a week or two, I hope that it their scoffing remarks would find no materialization until perhaps the third week of normal classes wherein I would surely be hooked up with all sorts of assignments once again and would no longer find the need for order and cleanliness.

Among the things I found are the letters which my friends and I have exchanged during our high school years (reading them makes me blush at how shallow and immature we were - man! I can't believe it --- "Kat, ilabas mo kung nasasaktan ka." --- Oh-kay, fine watever!), birthday and christmas cards which I now have every intention of recycling and the anime sketch my fourth year crush gave me (the sweetest gift I've ever received perhaps - some of my classmates were willing to pay him for it, but he kept saying no. Later, when I asked for one of his drawings, he sent me three emails with all his works and he asked me to pick one which I like best). Among the many letters, I found a box full of used stationaries with my elementary friend's handwritings on it. You see, every year on each other's birthdays, we would make an envelope-ful of "watever" things such as poems, songs lyrics, letters, quotes, and anything we could possibly think of, and give it to each other. This was among the poems which she copied down for me.. and reading it again, realized how beautiful a poem it is. Enjoy!

Gift 2
J. Neil C. Garcia ( who happens to be gay by the way, "yata" according to my friend)

Lost in the sea's
unforgiving blue,
I seek you.
Before me
the day unscrolls
its naked scripture:
sun, vision's burning field,
islands, faint presences
crumbling in the distance,
water, the fickle immensities
life is made
constant by,
And it strikes me
I love the sea
because it borders
this suffering world
and the next:
the soul, it is said,
travels in a boat
from a winding inland river,
homing clear eyed
toward the ocean-
Which is bottomless
And I know:
here, upon this beach,
wash the crushed remains
of what was once mortal:
bone and kelp,
driftwood and tentacle,
porous redcoral-
life leaves behind
back to brine.
I am home here, then,
whom the world
never loved,
and from its torn edges
I can almost see
it all end:
an unrushing tide,
a radiant sea-swell
sweeping away all appearance,
gentle eddies
whittling the self
til it is no longer
even sand.
I think of you
landlocked and lost
in another element-
your body.
The sea teaches me
love is a wish
not for safety
but for destruction.
I am not ashamed
to admit it:
I love you
the way water loves.
Which is to say
I wish the world
were through with you,
so you could return to me,
ravaged, upon this shore:
a shell
held tight
inside my palm.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Feel My Fury

This perhaps is the fourth, if not the fifth attempt I had this week to complete this entry. For some reason, I always end up doing something else instead of focusing my attention to concluding it. I have learned, reading other people's blogs, that it is more read-worthy when one shares only the minimal and crucial informations of the day; unfortunately I am not one of the usual people, and I dare to devote more time in adding all the superficial embellishments in my entries not only to highlight the interesting facts that I've learned but also in order for me to keep track of certain events which I would easily forget in the course of time.

I wonder how many people actually stop and think, okay today is September 3 and one year later I would remember this day as the day I did a particular event. I've been a victim of such a practice and pathetically, one year later, the days never mean anything more than the rest. It does not bear the same milestone as an anniversary or a birthday would. It is the simplest things that I want to take note of, whether or not my notes here would thus summon nothing but boredom from my readers.

Earlier this week, I was very enthralled by the fact that my name was in the newspapers. It turns out that a hurricane had hit New Orleans, which interestingly was named after me. There was massive destruction and the economies of Lousiana and Mississippi are said to suffer the calamity for a long period of time. Despite the devastation caused by my twin, the hurricane, I cannot feel as much anguish for the victims as much as pride that my name has finally made the papers not only as a small time natural disaster, but, according to my mom, as perhaps the seventh or eighth strongest hurricane to hit the United States.

It is petty and even childish of me to be ecstatic over a headline, but I can't help feeling all the publicity I've been receiving because of the stunt "my" hurricane has done. Yesterday during the Friday-Saturday Sacred Heart vigil that I attented with my mother, a parishioner commented on my name telling me how fearful she is for her pregnant daughter living there right now. Turns out, the hurricane was extremely powerful that it has reached the other states, though not of the same intensity. (I am not sure, eavesdropping isn't exactly a knack of mine)I've also received a text message from a friend telling me, "Ganda ng pangalan ng bagong storm ah.. Katrina.. Malakas talaga impact mo!". This message was further emphasized when he texted me days later just to inform me the intense havoc that the hurricane had succeeded in creating in the US, jokingly reminding me how much people there would hate me should I intend to go there anytime soon.

I haven't spoken with this friend for quite a time, not as deeply or profoundly as we used to before the "big change" which kind of pulled us apart in order to give us room to "cope". I may be speaking vaguely at this point, and perhaps the situation is best to be elusive until most of the pieces fall in their desired places. The time before the "change" was filled with philosophical talks, whether face to face or over the phone, mostly petty teenage matters as crushes, movies and events. I cannot deny that this friend of my mine is perhaps the only one who manged to tap into my thoughts and draw out the universe which I kept hidden inside my little head. He knows me better than any living person that I know, and it grieves me to think that we could no longer rekindle the same relationship as we used to have due to my "big decision". We may bear many different ideas but queerly, our polar concepts would create the "thesis-antithesis" effect which leads to our theory to be further paired with its antithesis. In short our conversations, in my perspective is far from my definition of boring. I enjoy the challenge of great minds, and although at times he may become stubborn especially in matters of the Faith (in which I cannot blame him), he is an intense debater, and a dear dear friend.

As one of organization's gimmiks, we were asked to write a testimonial for our peers. These write ups would then be incorporated into the "yearbook" which they were planning to create for the officers. Unfortunately though, perhaps due to lack of initiative as well as the tardiness and "laziness" of the many involved, it seems like the project will fail to materialize. My friend had already completed his write-ups for the officers and perhaps out of impatience for its manifestation in the said yearbook, had burned me a copy of his work. I truly enjoy his criticisms as well as praise not only for myself, but also for all the rest whom he kindly wrote a testimonial to.

He always calls me "the walking contradiction" and I love that. I just savor the many things he has to say about me, not only because they fulfill primary how I want to see myself, but also since these are things which I didn't even take any effort to articulate to him, and yet he observed. Although I prefer his description of me in my friendster account, I also enjoyed reading the write up which I will post as the succeeding paragraph. (I have asked for his permission to publish his work, and he consented with the stipulation that I acknowledge him for his work, and thus after a three-paragraph long introduction, may I present the work of a cherished friend of mine, Mr. Ben Fuentes..)

Katrina is at first seen as boisterous, loud and even superficial, but this is only a mask that she wears. Katrina is a whole Masquerade by herself – she’ll be noisy and carefree one minute and then quiet and deep the next as well as any combination of these traits (and more) in the moments that follow. There is so much more to Kat than what people see in the immediate surface. True to her favorite Broadway drama, she never takes her figurative mask(s) off and until now, her true nature lies hidden in the deep recesses of her mind where only she knows the whole extent of it. When indeed she shows us a glimpse of her true self, its profoundness is so overwhelming that many would see her reflections and ideas as unnatural and strange. This is the crux of Katrina’s existence – her uniqueness from the rest of the world, her refusal to follow the norms set by society, her ever dynamic nature that makes her unpredictable and exciting. Kat is an artist; she is a lover of books, poetry and music. Most of all she prides herself on her voice – which is indeed a masterpiece in itself. There is no one in the organization that has shown him/herself to be a better singer than Katrina. She is indeed in a league of her own in Englicom. In contrast to this talent, Kat shows an uncanny interest in death and all it pertains to – that includes the afterlife, pain, undeath, the list just goes on and on. In further contrast to this, Katrina is a devout Catholic and would zealously defend her faith given the right provocation. Truly a woman of many faces – all of which are equally interesting and endearing, Katrina will always be remembered as one of a kind – different, yes, but definitely in a nice way.


I love going to the grocery.

Last Saturday, my mom was appalled by the manner I've behaved in the grocery, which perhaps in my opinion is not that shocking at all. I admit that one of the favorite things I like to do when I am in the grocery is to collect as many "free" recipe booklets as possible, pasting or copying them into my recipe notebook when I get home. It doesn't matter whether or not I wouldn't be able to create the tasty dishes at home due to the "kitchen wars" that is usually happening there, what matters is that I have an instruction manual of how to's just in case I would be required to use my much needed expertise in the kitchen.

I envy many people who were trained in their youth how to handle the kitchen stress. Evidently, I am not as lucky. The whole cooking affair is facilitated by a yaya, who'd scream bloody murder if I would do as much as unravel the contents of the refrigerator. Perhaps she is not as edgy as I described, but any mess that I may create in the kitchen would suffice to send her up the wall and up to my aunt's office to complain of my disorganized and disorderly conduct in "her" kitchen. And thus growing up, I have minimal time to spend in the magical room of the kitchen. The most which I managed to accomplish under the small intervals where no one was around the kitchen were the Milo-Nido experiment, which turned out to be the same thing every other kid was doing at the time and sandwiches with all sorts of fillings. I also learned to fry an egg by six, hotdogs, spams and other breakfast meals came a little later, but none later than my graduation from elementary.

By the time I stepped into high school, I still have an unclear manual as to how to cook spaghetti, or marinade a chicken. Most of what I know now about cooking are extracted from the generous sharings of television cook show hosts. Later on though, as the "chef" of the house changed, I was given more freedom to try new things, in fact I was then allowed to separate "my chicken parts" from the whole batch so that I can flavor them based on how I would like them. I have experimented with a variety of bottled herbs, not as good as the fresh ones, but it would have to do. I begun to acknoweldge my fixation with garlic, cooking it less and less; eating garlic rice with quasi-cooked garlic. I like my garlic raw as I tell most of my peers. Now, with more practice, my siblings and parents have taken confidence in my cooking, craving for it at times. Although I admit that my concoctions may not be of top grade quality, I take pride that they are edible enough as not to cause any disruptions in the natural flow of one's digestive system.

Returning to my story after the "slight" detour, I found a recipe booklet securely attached to a pasta packet with two long sticky tapes. I had taken a recipe booklet from the pizza sauce pack a few grocery visits before and thus the new recipe booklet posed to be a new challenge for me. I began to unwind the sticky tapes, until I managed to free the booklet. I opened my backpack and stuffed the stolen good in. You see, I never really shoplifted, I just took a supposedly "free" booklet. My mother who saw what I did didn't comment until we arrived home. My dad, who overheard the whole thing (I didn't get the eavesdropping knack of my dad, nor did I get my mom's) began to make fun of me, which didn't bother me at all. He kept saying, "see you in hell." and I was like.. "whatever" This went on, until my mom saw the recipes the booklet contained then she said, "Kat, since it's your break, why not cook these pastas, these look really yummy, how about one for every night." Oh well, there goes the sermon. I'm not gonna burn in hell, I'm gonna burn in the kitchen!


I failed my Video Production this term. After three months of sleepless nights and cramming, not to mention the spending sprees that have gone into the whole course of the course, I managed to get a 0.0 in my course card. The only failing grade I attained for the term. The highest grade for the term though is 2.5, which is extremely disappointing, although not gravely when the effort I've exerted into the other subjects are taken into consideration.

I have already prepared myself for the reception of the failing grade though, not only because of my premonition that my camera handling, a prerequisite to a passing grade, will not be approved, but also due to an unforeseen event which destroyed the hopes of two other classmates of mine. Our professor had posted in the yahoogroups that the screening of our final project, our video autobiography, would promptly begin at 9 o clock am last Thursday. Tardiness would not be tolerated, and thus the works of late comers would not at all be entertained nor graded. Aside from that proviso, we were also expected to identify the specific timeslot we wish to present our work, thus creating the order in which the projects will be presented. The profesor would be posting a paper on the department bulletin prior to the showing date for the students, us, to allot the time portion we would like for our showing.

Monday and Tuesday passed without the paper being posted. By Wednesday, I was gravely troubled with my preproductions that I wasn't able to go to the university to check the bulletin nor my camera handling exercise. My actress had been absent for the past three meetings we were supposed to shoot, the deadline being the next day, I was undeniably stressed out from the problems that are arising. When I arrived on Thursday, I haven't completed my preproductions, and thus proceeded to an internet cafe to complete the ones which I lacked. By 9 am, I ran to the classroom where the showing was to be, only to be shocked that it had already begun. Asking around, I learned that it had begun at 8:30, in accordance to the schedule the teacher posted the day before. I was abjectly disheartened, not to mention disappointed by the fact that all the efforts I exerted were futile, which made me cry in front of my peers. Embarassing though, I have to admit that after so much work, the intial knowledge that one has failed is utterly unbearable.

The professor would not hear the reason that we were not informed of the change in schedule, despite our insistence of his negligence to post it on the yahoogroups, which he had been doing for virtually the whole term. He explained that if by posting a memo on the department bulletin does not constitute as an announcement, "I don't know what does." not to mention, with the cellular phone irrefutably handy and available to majority of the student population of my university, the least that our peers could do was to inform us.

Oh well.. I mentioned the whole situation to my mother who said not to bother to push our case since we've actually overlooked the fact that the bulletin posting is still an announcement. We've been too attached with technology that we have failed to acknowledge that fact and therefore, even if we make a complaint, the professor could easily escape with such an alibi.

Although I wasn't able to pass the subject, I didn't feel as bad knowing that I would have a second chance at it. I wasn't surprised either. In fact, I am excited to take the whole thing again by third term. Wish me luck then.


Last Tuesday, I went to my girlfriend's house, without any sure ideas as to what we were going to do. After rummaging through her sister's DVD-VCD compilations, we listed a number of movies we intend to watch together when we have the time. Among the movies we considered were Father of the Bride, Eternal Sunshine of A Spotless Mind, and later on we even wanted to watch the Sex and the City series. Unfortunately, time wouldn't permit such a marathon, and thus with my insistence, we simply watched Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt's Se7en.

My aunt had endorsed the movie to me, telling me it was a really good show to watch. What took my attention really to her description of the film was the fact that she said it was morbid and awfully gruesome. With that in mind, I excitedly told my friend my desire to watch the said movie. By the end of it though I could say three things.. (1) FUCK (2) FUCK and (3) FUCK.

The first FUCK - I learned nothing but the word FUCK from Brad Pitt. He never said another effective curse other than FUCK.

The second FUCK - I was definitely disappointed. It had not matched my standards, in fact in contrast to my aunt's description, it was not gory at all. Most of the macabre scenes were "artistucally" portrayed and thus were omitted almost altogether, leaving the whole movie to be just a chain of conversation scenes, which I learned from VIDPROD, to be a drag. They did nothing but talk! Learn to shut up.

The third FUCK - I love John Doe's (the killer) script though. It was puzzling at the same time profound. Should watch the last part, its the only interesting part of the whole movie, although the manner in which he murdered his victims in the basis of the seven capital sins is really capital.


After I left my girlfriend's house, I rode a jeepney to Morayta, since she lives in Binondo, Manila. When I reached my destination, I had the strange urge to go on an Ukay Ukay spree. It was the first time I had the sudden impulse and thus I decided to take the challenge of shopping.

When I was in the jeepney, I was rather surprised to find a thousand peso bill in my wallet, which I later found out to be slipped in there by my grandmother :D

Anyway, returning to the story at hand, it was my first time to go to an Ukay-Ukay, so I wasn't really sure as to what is in store for me. I had no idea what I will see. But contrary to the icky yucky stuff my friends and my mom had been telling me, I found the place to be a remarkably interesting place. Most of the clothes were fashionably OUT, but with some patience I found many shirts that suit my taste. Most of the gothic laced shirts though were too small for my rather "voluptious" figure, and thus had to let go of many select choices.

I walked the whole of Espana, going to the different Ukay Ukay stores that were scattered between Morayta and Welcome Rotonda. I did make a purchase though, despite my frugal tendencies when it comes to fashion. I bought a red Japanese influenced shirt which I simply adored when I first saw it. It only costed me 70 bucks, which is beyond reasonable, its almost a steal. The only thing that concerned me was the fact that it was stretchable, when my mom sees me wearing it, I am sure to hear some vulgar comments about my figure being "exposed". Oh well, u can't win 'em all. What matters though is that I am pleased with the transaction and am hopeful to make another one soon.

My mother's student has just introduced to me an Ukay-Ukay building located in Anonas, Cubao. He mentioned it was airconditioned and with enough tolerance and perseverance we could make a number of choice purchases, which immediately got my ears' attention. He also mentioned that the best day to go Ukay-Ukay is on Wednesdays. I am already making plans this Wednesday, I hope that they push through, considering the gimik schedule I have already laid out for the week.


Yesterday I went to the bookfair in the World Trade Center with my mom and two of her students. It was heaven on Earth, and I cannot deny how crazy I went going through the books of one store to the next. I have never seen so many books in my life that I had every intention to stay the night and just as well die there. With a 500 peso budget, I cannot say how small that amount of money is. I have scanned through over a hundred books yesterday debating whether it would be the right thing to buy.

After three hours of treking the hills of mind-boggling books, I managed to buy only two books: a Rex law book about crimes punishable by law, and another from UP Publishings, Smaller and Smaller Circles. I was sad I couldn't buy the Legally Correct Fairy Tales and the Calvin and Hobbes Comics which I had been eyeing on in FullyBooked. I also saw many fashion books, Evening Gown was a creatively inclined book, which really caught my attention, unfortunately not my wallet. My eyes also caught sight of many to die for crafts and room decorating books, not to mention cookbooks! But the book which I stopped to read was Shel Silverstein's, it was an adult version of his works, and it was sexually inclined at times, although most of which are funny and satyrical. Definitely my favorite writer/illustrator. I also saw Neil Gaiman's works, although other than the one an orgmate lent me, I have never seen nor read his works, and thus couldn't relate as well with other Gaiman enthusiasts.

Funny, I noticed a book saying that it imparts new formulas of gayuma, after returning the book though, a man tapped me and said if I buy the book, in addition to its 10 percent discount, I would also be allowed free tarot readings. And I was like.. um.. no.. I dont think I have love problems at the moment, thank you..

The whole event was, in fact, breathtaking! I saw many beautiful books which are out of my league, and beyond the thrifty budget I was given. I kept thinking, if I get married, I want this in my collection and I think I may need this and this and this.. but on second thought, I am not, and what difference would it make if I am or am not? Perhaps its the stupid idea that by being married, one is given more money, but fact is, duh! NOT! Maybe when I'm working, not supporting any leeches, I would be able to furnish my library and hopefully my own personal room, if not apartment, with things which I want.


Today is September 3, 2005
Trivia: I checked my organizer last year and today is the one year anniversary of me admitting my crush in front of a whole crowd of people not to mention him in our organization's teambuilding.

Okay, this would be my finale entry. Sometimes I feel like this is one of those mistakes which I would like to take back. I know how Ms. Universe answer it is, to say that I am completely content with my life and that I wouldn't be who I am if I didn't make such a mistake. Somehow, eventhough I belive that philosophy, on the other hand, I question how things would turn out had I not made that act. It was the first time I had done such a thing, and I remember some of orgmates suddenly putting two thumbs up at me for my "courage". Heck. Is it worth it?

I don't belive that there is such a thing as a wrong or right decision in life, and therefore perhaps its not right for me to say it was a mistake, but still, I like to think that things would be a lot different had I done something else than blurt out the truth, when I was asked.

I wish I could change the past, but I can't.. You just gotta live with it.