Biyernes, Enero 30

Love Letter

Sylvia Plath

Not easy to state the change you made.
If I'm alive now, then I was dead,
Though, like a stone, unbothered by it,
Staying put according to habit.
You didn't just toe me an inch, no--
Nor leave me to set my small bald eye
Skyward again, without hope, of course,
Of apprehending blueness, or stars.

That wasn't it. I slept, say: a snake
Masked among black rocks as a black rock
In the white hiatus of winter--
Like my neighbors, taking no pleasure
In the million perfectly-chiseled
Cheeks alighting each moment to melt
My cheek of basalt. They turned to tears,
Angels weeping over dull natures,
But didn't convince me. Those tears froze.
Each dead head had a visor of ice.

And I slept on like a bent finger.
The first thing I saw was sheer air
And the locked drops rising in a dew
Limpid as spirits. Many stones lay
Dense and expressionless round about.
I didn't know what to make of it.
I shone, mica-scaled, and unfolded
To pour myself out like a fluid
Among bird feet and the stems of plants.
I wasn't fooled. I knew you at once.

Tree and stone glittered, without shadows.
My finger-length grew lucent as glass.
I started to bud like a March twig:
An arm and a leg, an arm, a leg.
From stone to cloud, so I ascended.
Now I resemble a sort of god
Floating through the air in my soul-shift
Pure as a pane of ice. It's a gift.

Biyernes, Enero 23

The Choices We Make

“Too many walls have been built in between us
Too many dreams have been shattered around us
If I seem to give up they'll still never win
Deep in my heart I know the strength is within”
-Too Many Walls, Cathy Dennis

Sometimes I wonder why I even bothered to be idealistic. I spent most of my college life marching around Metro Manila whilst shouting for the downfall of the government. I spent the better part of my so-called youth learning about poverty (other’s and my own) and the lack of empathy my fellow students had.

So many hours have been spent fuming at spineless student body presidents, ranting relentlessly and even falling apart from sheer exhaustion. All these have made my college experience in Ateneo two things: academically suicidal and borderline non-existent.

Again I ask myself; “Why did I even bother?”

I’m thinking about these things as I’m sitting here on my cushy chair in an air conditioned office in Ortigas. The irony of ironies never fails to present itself when I report for work each day. Why did I go against the corporate flow all my college life only to sell out and become a corporate whore thereafter?

The answer is frustratingly simple: I did this because I could.

After almost half a decade of being active in cause-oriented groups I have met astounding people who have lived out their life’s calling. These were not twenty somethings assuring you of their lifetime commitment. These were people who were jailed and tortured during Martial law, people who gave the prime of their lives to serving the people. These people, despite all their hardships are the lucky ones. They have purpose, their lives are meaningful.

A good friend once told me: “You’re lucky to have something to die for. The rest of us are just ambling along aimlessly.”

A few years after those fateful words were spoken, I found myself at a job interview. Apparently, I had enough qualifications to become a copywriter for a lingerie retail company. At the time, I was still very much active in the movement and I was a bit hesitant to try anything else. But I was also a firm believer in stretching my wings, trying out things I had never considered before. Needless to say, I accepted the offer.

And here I am now. Staring at underwire bras, soft cup bras, push up bras, Wonderbras, girdles, thongs, boy shorts and whatnot for eight hours a day while trying to amuse myself with more cerebral activities. Though I am far from being a jaded employee, I am still bothered that I am even employed at a corporation; albeit a small one.

After countless recounts of my college activist days, certain thoughts have come into play. I realize that all I needed was a change of scenery to be able to tell myself that I cannot turn my back on activism. I guess you could say that a step back is all you need to realize that you have indeed found your life’s calling. And that your calling doesn’t involve staring at breasts for hours on end.

Every time I am reminded of the sordid situation this country is in, I am appalled by the lack of response from my fellow yuppies. I cannot believe that people can just go about their business and not notice that our country is submerged in a political, moral and economic cesspool. Coming to terms with the growing apathy among young professionals is disheartening.

It is so disturbing to hear those Americanized twangs in Starbucks, talking about their iPods while the rest of our nation is in turmoil. I wish people would learn to be more proactive. Moreover, I wish yuppies would see that no matter how much you make; no matter how accented your speech is and no matter where you go: you will always be Filipino.

We should stop heaping thick unnatural accents on our heritage in an effort to hide it. We should stop playing the apathetic dunces who make money. We should stop because in truth, caring about the society we live in is what sets us apart from the other members of the animal kingdom.

Youth enables one to do so many things. Being young means having enough energy and gall to try and change the status quo. A young professional actually has more reason for rage when taxpayer’s money is pocketed by individuals. You actually pay income tax now. By virtue of shelling out money for the government every month, one should naturally be concerned where it goes.

Which all boils down to my daily question; why did I even bother to become a yuppie if I despise corporations and paying tax so much?

I entered the corporate world because I could. I am employed in an American corporation despite all my political convictions because I can be employed and also, because I am afraid. I am afraid to pass up a chance. I’m afraid that if all I do is march down streets, shout political slogans and discuss ideologies I will never ever learn anything else.

The dissipation of my lifetime learning curve is something that I cannot stomach. But now that I can say: I tried working in a cushy corporate job and it sucks, I can go back to my former life.

Now no one can say I never tried anything else but activism. No one can say that I never experienced a hard day’s labor or that I never paid taxes. I’ve been overworked for measly pay.

One needs options in order to choose. And now that I’ve tried both corporate whore and militant activist, I can determine where I am called to be.

And you know what?

I’ve decided to turn in my resignation and return to the streets.

Martes, Enero 13

Breaking Point

I don't think a lot of people have seen me stark raving mad. That's because I don't like being stark, raving mad. I often think that being angry zaps me of energy and wastes my time. However there are times when being stark raving mad is the only way to make things right.

Today is such a day.

I hate it when people think that they can abuse my kindness and generosity. I simply hate it when people I work with get this impression that I always let things slide. It's not that I'm a pushover. I just find most confrontations (or persons for that matter); a waste of my bloody time. Some spats, albeit some people are not worth my attention. Thus I have this veneer of acceptance, of blind charity.

I would have let this pass. It's been some months since I last had news of your dreary, pathetic and bug-like existence. But alas, you come back. And you come back in the slimiest form possible. You come back as a memory, a memory of someone spreading slanderous stories about me amongst my closest friends. Serves you just right that they told me straight off what you were saying about me.

My dear barnacle faced girl, did you think my friends; whom I have known for years would automatically believe you? We don't even know who you really are. In fact, if it weren't for the constraints of work, I wouldn't be caught dead within a 10 mile radius of you.


It's because I despise people like you. People who feel that by virtue of certain circumstances, they are entitled to some things. The world owes you nothing, remember that. I don't care if you have issues, I don't care if you're insecure and I don't care that you look like a mongoose. Those things are your problems. Don't drag the rest of us into your quagmire of a life. We don't owe it to you. We don't need to help you out.

After virtually making my house your personal credit/debit-free grocery store and coffee shop, after making my boyfriend your loading station and after making my close friend a virtual cash cow, you have the gall to come up with this shite. You have the gall to go around, spreading rumors. You have the gall to call me names. Most especially, you have the gall to act as if you have the moral upper hand.

Let me keep this simple: ANG KAPAL NG MUKHA MO.

Here are my wishes for you:
1. May you never get your vagina fixed (I refuse to help you out with your Vagoo issues)
2. May you never get proper fashion sense
3. May your stupid ass of a boyfriend cheat on you over and over again while you cling on to him in all your martyred glory.
4. May you never be able have a decent life.

Why do I wish you ill?
I wish you ill and I'm being merciful my dear barnacle faced girl. I am being merciful because if I did not value you as a person I WOULD HAVE WISHED YOU DEAD.

Be forewarned: never ever set foot in my house again, bitch.

Lunes, Enero 5

Of Making Lists and Being Listless

I usually find myself listless at the beginning of each year. Sometimes I think that this is due to the fact that I have a "year in review" habit. At the start and end of every year, I become a news junkie. I tend to relive each news worthy moment of the year that was. Be it current events, fashion, showbiz or even obscure events; I like looking back at the year that was. All of which bring me to the question:

"So, what's next?"

That, my friends is when the listlessness starts. I start to wonder. I start to imagine. At this point of the year, I cannot be functional at all. My mind wanders. I usually get up to speed by the 11th of January. Till then, I'm in lalaland.

My state of mind is so not working for me now. I have things to finish up at the office, and other things to finish up on the side. In fact, I have so much work that I shouldn't be wasting my time blogging.

But alas, HERE I AM.

Anyways, one of the best strategies I have against my wandering thoughts is making lists. It makes me feel efficient. Making lists makes me feel that the things I want to do are actually feasible. And I like ticking off things on my list when I am done with them.

The downside: I also tend to make lists of things to buy. Though this shopping list habit is not entirely a bad thing, it does tend to side track me a lot. I like shopping for things I want. But I don't want to go for broke.

With this in mind, I came up with another strategy. I will make a shopping list but put it where I don't see it all the time. This way, when I have extra money; I do know where I put my shopping list and I'm not blindly shopping. Also, when I should be saving up, I'm not yearning for things I can't have at the moment.

While my system for doing things isn't entirely efficient, it does save me a lot of grief.

Now back to work.

Biyernes, Enero 2

year in review

It's high time I made my 2008 in retrospect entry. I think it's high time because am back at the office and kinda bored. Since the holidays are pretty much over, it's time to make a run down of the major things that happened in 2008. Since things have a way of happening all at the same time, I decided to give one or two highlights for each month of 2008. Let's start.

2008 was a year of changes for me. Some of these changes, I accepted readily. Though most of it happened without me realizing; 2008 brought changes that turned my life upside down.

January 2008
Spent the first days of 2008 in Sagada. This was a great start. My first new year's day away from my family. The best thing about this was I had time to reflect and rethink my life; something that I didn't do much in 2007. I made decisions and a list of short term goals for 2008.

These were:
1. Finish college
2. Move out
3. Get a job in journalism or creative writing
4. Go to part time law school
5. Don't let activism slip away.

Of my 5 goals, I accomplished 4. This is pretty good in my book.

February 2008
I spent the better half of this month problematizing valentine's day. Not because I didn't have a boyfriend but because I had a boyfriend who didn't want to do anything. The continuous shooting down of mt v-day ideas gave some perspective to out relationship. I realized that unless the dynamics of our relationship changed soon, I would be stuck with someone who was very insecure. I also realized his under appreciation of my worth was mainly because of his pea-sized ego which couldn't cope with how "ambitious" I was.

Needless to day, the month of love left me yearning for a better kind of love.

I also landed my first "real" job this month at

March 2008
This month was a mix of rallies, realizing that there are more things to life and lots of mixed up priorities. This picture says it all:

That's me on a bout of ADHD at a rally in Plaza Miranda.

Pivotal entry for March:
hindi ko alam kung dapat ko ba iniisip ito. unang una, maraming trabaho. as in maraming trabaho ngayon. pangalawa, parang masisira naman buhay ko pag ginawa/inisip ko pa ito. pero...may maliit na boses sa puso kong nagsasabing hindi kami ang dapat magkasama.

nahihirapan na ako. lalo na ngayong parang may ibang hinahabol ang puso ko.
April 2008
This month was dedicated to my thesis, or the lack thereof. This month also assured my that my brain was still functional enough to do academic things. The great thing about this month is that I finished my thesis in record time. Another great thing?

Rediscovering that giddy feeling.

May 2008
All hell broke loose. Character a and I finally called it quits. Though I saw it coming, I was very very hurt with what happened.

It was inevitable. Picture taken during less turbulent times.

June 2008
Character c and I were busy dodging bullets this month. We were also holding on to each other.

Pivotal Conversation:

kristel dahlin: well... if you can leave him just like that, he might not be that special to YOU
tish: it's not that. it's just that i'm no martyr.
tish: i want him in my life, but if he gives me shite in exchange for my heart, ima do him in. :D
July 2008
By far, the most trying time of my relationship with character c. Also, the most stressful month of my professional life. July is SONA month. Any political activist knows that this can lead to major headaches. Fortunately, it didn't show on my face.

I also went to Hong Kong this month.
August 2008
Am living in a pressure cooker, with all these other people. I can call this month my short fuse month. I was forced to work with people I absolutely detested. I was even forced to defend them. This month was very exhausting, physically and emotionally. It forced to recognize three truths:
1. Even if I don't like a person, I will never be willing to trash their reputations just for the sake of it.
2. I should learn my lessons well; stop trusting people who have failed you at each turn.
3. Cut ties, cut your losses when you should. A relationship that's more damaging than good can and will destroy you.

September 2008

The start of many many adventures.

October 2008
Landed another job. Met amazing people.

November 2008
Finally moved out.

December 2008
Had the best holiday ever.

2008 was full of challenges. I can say that it was full of emotionally crippling moments. Thankfully, I chose not to focus on falling down. 2008 taught me that there are some things that matter more than appearances. It was a year that left me steadfast in my personal convictions and political beliefs. It was also a year that tested my morals and how far I was willing to go to defend myself.

2008 was a year of travelling: emotionally and physically. I learned to cut ties with people who were doing more harm to me than good. I also reconnected with old friends.

It was also an eye-opening year: I realized that no matter what life throws at me; everything is a matter of perspective. I can't forsee or prevent every bad thing that comes my way. However, I can control how I react to life's catastrophes.

2008: I got pissed. I got raging mad. I got hurt. I fell out of love. I fell in love. I disconnected. I reconnected. I set on a path, I chose another highway.

It was great.