Month: March 2008

Jungle Fever


I live in a tropical jungle.

During warm nights, when the moon is waxing, the grunts and croaks of tree frogs and pond toads fill the air; the froggy serenade vibrating in the purple darkness. I used to mind the noise, but lately, i tend to worry if the frogs are not performing any nocturnal concerts.

Each morning, I wake to the song of birds, the cackles of chicken, an army of chicks, and a proud rooster. And when I open a window, I see the blaze of a young Sun, slowly birthing itself up, up in the sky. Faith and I would sit by the window, saying good morning to the whole creation — the plants, trees, the passing gecko, and the ants that march pass us on the window sill.

There are snakes that bask out on rocks that line the path to my cottage. There was this time when I tried to scare a small one away; it was stretched right across my path. I tried stomping my foot and even went as far as getting the cat (who is a very good snake and mice catcher), who was lazily dozing by the stove, and placing it near where the snake was, hoping my cat would chase away the reptile. Reptile and mammal both ignored each other. The cat just sat there, grooming itself while the snake continued lying there, oblivious to anything around it.

Dogs howl in the middle of the night for various reasons.

Bamboo groves abound in my surroundings. I now know what is the real sound of the bamboo. It is when the wind whistles through these giant grasses, making the pliant trunks sway and bump against each other, and music is produced. There is no human-made instrument equivalent of the music produced by the wind and the bamboos in concert.

Centipedes, millipedes, scorpions all have a place in the cracks and crevices of the rocks and tree trunks around the property.


Moths and butterflies of all color seem to congregate on the flowers nurtured by Tata. A pink moth (pictured above) was photogenic and accommodating enough to allow me to take a picture of her when she landed on the living room floor.

There are bugs the size of my fist, and when we we were still building the cottages, I was really scared of the jumbo-sized grasshoppers that try to land on the candles that we used for illuminating the place.

The frond roof of my cottage is home to arachnids and rodents, who have tiny worlds of their own.

Bees and wasps build their nests right over head; one just have to be careful not to wear strong-smelling cologne or perfume, but during these insects’ migration, we just tend to avoid getting in their way.

The moon looks nearer from 1000plus feet above sea level, and the stars are brighter as well.

dscn4635.jpg dscn4643.jpg dscn3845.jpg

Because of the fertile soil, flowering plants grow in profusion and bloom with amazing displays of colors.


Sometimes, when the conditions are right for it, the clouds come down from the sky. Silvery fog casts a blanket over everything that is familiar in the surroundings, muting sounds and softening sharp edges. Sometimes, when the fog is really thick, you can’t see anything before, beside, or behind you. If you sprinkle it with a little fearful imagination, then you have the makings for Silent Hill, hehehe.

I live happily here — close to nature, close to creation, close to the wonders of the Creator’s work.


Mother’s Day

It’s my mother’s graduation today. She receives her Master’s degree in Ministry from the Union Theological Seminary. She graduates with the distinction of being the recipient of the “Best Thesis Award” for her paper “Rites for Life,” which is a collection of rituals based on the stages of human development as put forth by Erik Erikson. These rituals are not the usual ones published in a church missal, and these rituals can be used by anyone in the faith community for events in their lives, whether celebrations, mournings, commemorations, or anything that attempt to lift the events of a person’s life out of the mundane and into something sacred and divine. I think the rituals my mother presented also include blessing same-sex marriages.

My mother got married at the age of twenty-three, was a mother of two by age twenty-five, and was a widow and single parent by age twenty-six.

She is a minister, an ordained Reverend of a Protestant denomination in the Philippines. When her husband (my father) died, she did her best to raise my brother and me, provided for our needs, and strove to send us to the best schools in the places where she got assigned to minister. And those places! From big cities to isolated mountain areas rife with the conflict of the mountain people and the government/military.

She also worked overseas, being a regional coordinator for the Asian region for a German-based missions organization. We, her two children, decided to stay behind in the Philippines.

She was in Indonesia when my brother died after being shot right in front of his school by a drug-crazed classmate. My mother resigned from her overseas work after that.

We bought land in the province where my brother is buried. After that, I kept the lighthouse… I met Ta, and Faith came into our lives, so I decided to stay in the land we bought and, with Tata, tried to develop it into something of a retreat, a place for healing.

My mother went to Manila and continued her Masters studies, which she halted when she went to work overseas, while at the same time being the Acting Director of a Mission House that caters to children of families from urban-poor areas. The Mission house is based in New Manila.

Let me take this opportunity to express my gratitude for all the things my mother did to raise me well. I love you, Ma. There is no other daughter more blessed than I am with a mother such as you.


This is quite upsetting. I am allowing myself to be affected by a person’s snub. I still have it in me to try and please people, and if I feel that they aren’t, I still go to pieces.


My emotions are being dragged by a deranged zeppelin and no one’s at the wheel!

I’m banging my head against the wall (ouch!)

I’m banging my head against the wall (ouch!)

I’m banging my head against the wall (ouch!)


Work Mode

I still have thirty minutes before I get to go home. It’s the first day of the workweek after a long vacation and my mind is still on laid-back mode, too lazy to be wrestling with the usual workaday grind… Still, I can’t believe that I exceeded my daily quota(!) I don’t know if it’s a good or bad thing — quality wise. I’m crossing my fingers for the rest of the month.



I meant to give you flowers

Flowers from my garden bloomed.

I meant for us to take a walk

In a park, in a stadium,

In a promenade, I didn’t care where, actually

As long as, yeah, it’s you who’s there with me

But it seems

Flowers are blase

And walks are cliche

I see you over there

And could tell

You could not for any less care.

Blackest mood

Little child, sleep tight in amniotic lullabye

Fear not the rumbles and jumbles

They are not part of what you are

They are not part of who you’ll be

Keep to yourself

Safe, sheltered in the dark

Dare to dream big dreams, little child…




Did I ever tell you about my fears? Did you ever know that there are countless nights that I lie very still and yet my heart thumps so fast for fear of what tomorrow may bring, what life might throw at me when I am not thinking fast or when I am caught unawares? There are also nights when I want to cry my soul out… free it from the fetters of the hurting, of the pains of my every day.

Yep, I am one big scaredy cat.

There used to be a time when I had faith as big as the Asian continent, but after so much losses, so much disillusionment, so much casualty on my camp, so much of what I believed in faded into the shadows of unremembered and half-forgotten parts of me… Blended into the cobwebby and dim walls, perhaps never to see the light of day again.

I have become a poser, you see. I still mouth out how wonderful life is, how nice it is to be alive to experience life. And yet, part of me walks away from it all. Walks away from unpaid lip service.

For years, I have wandered like a canoe forgotten by an absent-minded owner… and now, I find myself in turbulent currents. No paddles, no tethers, with such high risk of getting carried off and smashed in some nearby waterfalls. Harharhar.

Harharhar to me.

I’m completely lost and with no firm grounding at that. I have, all these years, sought and still have not found. So, harharhar to me.

I’m back making bigger messes out of my life. I’ve chosen the old pains of an old job, and now, despite being cautioned and taught by my mother to face the consequences of my decisions, I find that I am regretting this one — BIG TIME!

Maybe I really don’t know the path to happiness. I guess I really didn’t have any concrete example from where to gauge my experiences so I flounder — again, and again, and again…



The Goddess of Discord 


Mayhap it is your day,

Lady who delight

In bloodshed and strife.

Mayhap ’tis your time

Your moment to shine,

Immortally disagreeable.

Shaking rafters in peaceable households

Couples now tear walls

And scratch, hiss, yell, curse

Where there were once

Only whispers of soft words.

Sisters now stab each other

Front, back, center.

Hug and kiss they used to. 

Sieze your day,

Throw an apple in the way,

Eris, queen of others’ misery.

Hear the moans of mere mortals

Groaning in the agony of discord

Gnashing teeth

In anger, sadness, rue.

Wafts strewn by your

Discordant presence.

Sieze your day

Currently reading The Orphan’s Tales: In the Night Garden

With the busy and demanding schedule at work, it really pains me to put down Catherynne M. Valente’s The Orphan’s Tales: In the Night Garden each time my conscience nudges me to log in at the Sarcophagus.

Now, The Orphan’s Tales: In the Night Garden is being compared to the classic Arabian Nights, but I cannot decide just yet if this is true, owing to the sporadic moments I get to read the pages. The characters are interesting, and there are stories woven into stories, narrations by different humans and other creatures. I’m truly taken by the girl, the orphan, from whom the title was spawned. She had eyes black with words and people avoid her for the simple reason that they think her a demon. Only one child, a boy prince, was brave enough to approach her and make tell her tale.

orphan's tale: in the night garden book cover

I guess overtime is out for the next few days. I really, really want to finish this book.


ayoko ng plastic

kasi ang plastic

nakakasira ng environment

kasi ang plastic

ay choking hazard

kasi ang plastic

porous material and cannot hold any essence

kasi ang plastic

leaches out chemicals harmful to one’s health

kasi ang plastic

ay, alam mo na, artificial


ayoko ng plastic

kasi pagkatapos gamiting sisidlan

itinatapon lang

ayoko ng plastic

kasi hindi pangmatagalan

ayoko ng plastic



sa plastic


Andalucia Dawn 

smell burnt bread

it tickles sleepy nose

when the window lamps

are low

and blinds are still blind

in the dark


for first cock’s crow

for first morning light

bats still reign

when mortals lightly tread

on empty roads

filled with night’s restless dreams

city hung over

from previous eve’s palaver

fitfully stirring

in muted moans

of slumber

smell burnt bread

that tickle sleeping noses

bakers never sleep

flour they knead

in grey dawn sights

until Andalucia wakes

to golden liquid light