Your life is full of spectacular quiet.


Taal Lake, 2016


Full of faraways and farewells, because for you it’s true. People change. If they don’t, the circumstances they face make them change. You know this now because you are old enough to know that it’s the truth.

It’s weird how easy it feels now. People move away, come back. They come back different, thinner, older, with different interests. The girl who used to hate motion now loves yoga. The boy you knew in college tells you, quietly, he really really likes boys and maybe he always did. You’ve changed, but you don’t admit it. You move quietly. You don’t feel that young urge to make people like you.  But you don’t laugh as much as you did.

You try to make it better by thinking, oh, I’m not the only one in the world saying goodbye, or hello again. Or asking how someone is over miles and miles.

“Hold still, I’m taking a screenshot.”

“Okay. Do you know the sun sets at 9 pm over here? It’s crazy!”


Skype with Cousin J – 2016


You spent a part of your life submerged, thinking maybe this is it for you. There’s nothing else, because you can’t imagine anything else.  You’ve ended too. It feels like you cast paper into the water and when you made a grab for it, it disintegrated. You can’t put anything back together. You feel like you barely remember it.  But it’s not true.

It just shifted. Nothing really ends.


Daisy in the garden

Life moves.




This year

As always, I begin every year with the pledge to write more about things that matter to me, even if I feel that they don’t matter to others

Planner and black ink
This is what happens when you give writers planners — they just think of them as extra notebooks

I will take more photographs that are not selfies, or dogs 

My labrador Mai
But I find dogs to be the best of subjects

This year I plan to conquer mountains — in a literal sense, although the prospect sometimes terrifies me. I imagine only the cold, and not the stark black rock above the treeline or the pleasant burn in your muscles that comes from walking for hours.

I guess this is why people love the concept of the newness of the year — it’s the possibility of wiping the slate down and looking forward to being someone new. I don’t want to become new though. Just more.



Random Manila


Last night I found myself in the middle of an argument about Jamie Lannister. We were standing in the middle of the street, in an abandoned expo area. I kept watching the way the light spilled out. We’re very passionate about our passions, oh the fandoms.

Inside, they were playing another card game that wasn’t Magic the Gathering, but was made by the guy who made Magic. I can’t seem to find it on Google! Any clues?

I also randomly encountered two old friends and made a new one. It was a good night, even if I ended up waking at 10 with a massive hangover and a vague sense that I should curse the gods of drink. As if I had nothing to do with the tequila and beer I had last night. 


Earlier in the day, we visited a friend who kindly let us into his home to look at old maps of the Philippines made in the 1930s. I wish I took more pictures, but I felt kind of ashamed, photographing someone else’s home.

He pointed one out. “This is the estuary, I don’t know if it’s there anymore.”

wpid-2013-08-01-15.07.15.jpg wpid-2013-08-01-15.07.28.jpg

He also said, almost wistfully. “I have another map. It’s very old. 1910. It’s the forest cover of the Philippines.”

I drank cold clear water and felt very sad when he said that. Mostly because our forests have been decimated. We don’t do a good job of taking care of the environment at all.

I also learned that the reason star sapphires are named so is because of the peculiar, beautiful way they refract light. Manila is just so random.


Tonight, I’ll be attending a screening of a Cinemalaya entry with my best friend.  This year’s entries are lovely, but Transit stands out. A few of my film buff friends have been pretty vocal about how good the movie is!

I’ve posted the trailer below for you:

I’ll also plug Zig Dulay’s movie, which I also plan to watch:

To balance the indie, I also watched Bakit Hindi Ka Crush Ng Crush Mo, a romantic comedy that I found myself enjoying immensely. The fact that my best friend was part of the creative team behind it has nothing to do with it.


Enjoy your weekend!



Slow Saturdays

A sunny, but cold day



The mysterious insect
The mysterious insect
My weird chili hybrids (labuyo-jalapeno)
My weird chili hybrids (labuyo-jalapeno). My marigold insect barrier kind of works.

Manong Alex (he's 67) casually harvests the black bamboo
Manong Alex (he’s 67, retired, but still goes to work) casually harvests the black bamboo
He just took it away.
There he goes.