Friday, November 18, 2005

Remembering the novel Memoirs of a Geisha

"...Now I know that our world is no more permanent than a wave rising on the ocean. Whatever our struggles and triumphs, however we may suffer them, all too soon they bleed into a wash, just like watery ink on paper." - Memoirs of a Geisha, Arthur Golden

i have kept a copy of the paperback for more than a year now, but it was only two weekends ago that i decided to sift through its pages. it was one of those cold saturday evenings of trying to stay awake and my mind, full of entrapments set by my own imagination. in an attempt to avoid that sullen state, i realized that i have shelved the book for so long and thought that i might as well indulge in prosaic musing, thinking that it may teem with slow paced narration of ancient Japanese way of life...boorish, unexciting, plainly hermeneutic.

it started with a preface, an interview with the heroine, Sayuri. at the prime of her life, Sayuri agreed to tell her story to an unknowing writer to reveal the lifestyle of one of the most misunderstood beings to have lived...the geisha. to those who do not have an idea of what a real geisha is, first thing that comes to mind is that she's a prostitute...albeit the elegance and sheer perfection, the overall perception is rather reproachful and deprecating. in an attempt to change this notion, Sayuri tells her story.

Sayuri, the little girl with exotic blue gray eyes, was named Chiyo. she lived with her sister and parents in a poor fishing village and led a most poignant life. to a nine-year old, the banal lifestyle of a fisherman's daughter seemed everything in the world for her, not until when her mother got critically ill. upon the doctor's instruction, she was tasked to run an errand that had caused her to face a future in the company of the most provocative characters and events that changed her life altogether.

even before her mother passed, Sayuri and her 15-yr old sister Satsu were sent to the city of Gion, sold to become a geisha and a prostitute respectively. Sayuri's destiny was slowly carved out for her as she struggled emotionally each day, longing to be together once more with her family. the day of reckoning, however, came as she received a letter and a package that brought the news of her parents' death and the destiny which her sister chose to follow. this made the little Chiyo envisage a future that she had to decide upon despite her youth...the choice was between life and death...between bete noir and elan...iki shini ...ofcourse, she chose life...the life of a renowned geisha.

this enthralling story brings its readers a powerful narrative, a visual representation of a spellbinding journey to becoming au fait.

a geisha is specially trained in "ancient dance, singing, playing instruments such as the Shamisen, flower arrangement, wearing kimo no, tea ceremony, calligraphy, conversation, alcohol serving manners and more. "

now the art of seduction is also something else...sensuous, yet simple... ingratiating, yet pleasantly restrained. who ever thought that the flesh under a woman's forearm can be alluringly seductive, so that a slight show of the forearm while pouring tea can disarm the most stolid onlooker? or a moment's glance at man's eyes can cause him to stumble?

certainly, a geisha may look like any other, but Sayuri was different...even as a young child, her unusual blue gray eyes caught the attention of many, and earned the envy of those who shared in the same trade. the Chairman was one such man whose attention she caught as a child, Sayuri's love whom she secretly followed throughout her life.

i finished the book in two days, not wasting a single waking moment after that i started conning over its pages. there were times that i found myself crying as i felt the sorrow of a young helpless child being taken away to a place she never knew of...the pain of losing one's parents at a tender age...the fear of having to survive a most cruel environment where beauty and grace are ironically nurtured to perfection in order to prevail. i guess i'm simply daunted by the fact that in time, i may have to leave my precious one, my daughter, behind in order to pursue a life that will eventually make things better for us both...

i was curiously enchanted by the narration of a man (Arthur Golden) behind a woman's voice. i didn't even realize that it was a man who made the story, even til the end =) the emotions that i felt were very womanly...soft, yet fiery and undaunted...fearsome, yet audacious and resilient.

the story, though a fairy tale, was skillfully told so that a surprising twist unfolds in the end. i was deeply engrossed by the details, but somehow, at the back of my mind, i too was secretly hoping for Sayuri's real feelings to be found out by the Chairman so that they find everlasting happiness...but that would be an easy and predictable ending, wouldn't it? even if it ended that way, it is noteworthy to say that he was nonchalant almost all throughout the story! Golden was successful in shifting the mind of the reader, making the predictable, unpredictable!

i can't wait for the movie to be shown here in manila. the magic of Spielberg, Marshall and Golden combined is something worth looking forward to...

Saturday, November 05, 2005

samu't sari...

hindi ko alam kung bakit hindi ako maka 72 calls...masyado ba ako'ng mabait?

nakakainis ang QA results, lalo na kung ge-grade-an ka sa bagay na di mo alam, o mali ang impormasyon na nasagap mo...asar

nakaka walang gana ang mga taong walang modo...

sana lang, may libreng juice o kaya iced tea sa pantry...medyo nakakakabog ng dibdib ang 3 baso ng kape sa isang gabi...

sana lang, may internet access din sa station ko...mas nakakawala ng stress siguro pag may iba kang nakikita

buti na lang, mabait ang UM ko...

hindi ko alam kung bakit kapangalan ng tatay ng anak ko ang boss ng boss ko...parang di magandang senyales.

regular na daw kami...bakit parang di ko maramdaman? o talagang wala naman talagang dapat maramdaman?

umalis na si dave, yung seatmate ko...nakakainis siya noon pag nangingiliti...ngayong wala na siya, hinahanap ko yung kakulitan niya...haaaay

may uupo na raw na kapalit si dave...sana lang, sing bait din niya.

si jen, lagi na lang malungkot...kelan ka ba sasaya?

si mike "rocky", nakakatuwang krp, ang galing magbigay ng advice...nag TL ka na lang sana...

hinihintay ko na yung online issue ng newsletter namin...para may bagong pagkaka abalahan

hinihintay ko na rin ang thanksgiving...sarap ng bakasyon!!! makapag shopping na sa tutuban hehehehe

magka-carolling daw kami sa
john sion ang vocalist...good idea...di na kailangang mag pitpit ng lata.

bakit green ang text ko? "i love Zobel" eh =) kahit kumukuha raw ng di grumadweyt sa high school ang LaSalle...kayo rin naman ah!

nami miss ko ang pagtuturo...ang klasrum...ang mga bata...

magawa ko na sana ulit sa susunod na amerika.

Monday, October 31, 2005

"Death's shadow only fades little by little as time passes...

There will never be more than a thin glass barrier between your present and the wreckage of your past..." - Wei Hui, Shanghai Baby

this year, death is nothing more like a surreal and relentless nightmare that knocked on the door of three significant people in my life...i never felt so much loss, most specially after having severed my 9-yr relationship with my daughter's father. when someone passes, those who are left behind dwell on thoughts like "i could have done this...i should have told him/her that...". these are the very things that keep us attached to those who went on to exist in the after life. admittedly, i've had my regrets...

Ray, Rammel and Pepot...i would have told you these, but i'm sorry i wasn't able to.

Ray, when i saw you helpless and in coma, had there not been anyone else in that room, i would have embraced you tight, tight enough to let you feel the warmth emanating from me... and would have whispered to your ear endless chants of hope, love, forgiveness. i know you heard my voice while i was talking. gut feel told me that you made a facial muscle twitch to signal that you heard me, that you acknowledge my presence. my irog, i'm sorry i didn't have the strength to hold you...but i thank you dear for letting me "see" you just before you went, for letting me "feel" this unique connection that we this day, i'm haunted by your smile, your reassuring voice, your gentle touch. but i'll have to move on eventually...i can hear you now saying, "i know..."

Rammel, i have a lot to feel sorry about. jonah wanted to tell you how your father loved you dearly...jonah met him in Chicago in 1996. he told him that while he was still here in the Philippines, he'd drop by your school and looked at you from a distance, wanting to hold you near and tell you how much he loved you. but he was in hiding, and you knew that. perhaps you two met already, wherever you are now. forgive us for not letting you know for the simple reason that we don't want to hurt your mom...not anymore...she's been through a lot and one more blow would just be way too much. Meng, it felt good that i was able to bring you that cold drink when you wouldn't take in anything because it was too painful in the felt good when you held my hand, held it like you never did before, a touch that made me realize that you're trying to communicate what you couldn't say as it was too painful to talk (you wanted to tell me how thankful you were, right? for bringing you that drink, for running errands for your mom, for taking care of you even if it meant not sleeping at all during the day...that was the most i could do and i wish i was able to do more)...i understood what you meant, and i won't ever forget that moment.

Pepot, you never knew how thankful i am that you knew my pain, my prayers...and you prayed with me...when i told you that i had to leave my daughter's father, you didn't point a finger at judgments, no hasty stood by me, you believed in me, you made me feel that no matter what i was going through, you were there, praying for me...i'm sorry i didn't know you were in pain...i'm sorry i didn't get the chance to give back to you everything that you've done for me...i didn't even know that you were in great physical pain while i whined about the hardships i went through just recently; you didn't even tell me that you were alone...had i been there, would you have lived longer?

having written all these, i go on with my life, mending relationships with those who are left behind...creating ways that would make others feel that i value them...exerting much effort to let my loved ones know how much i care for them...

i won't shed another tear of regret. the past will always be a part of me, its wreckage an integral dimension of my being...that won't change...with my loved ones' passing, life begins with those who are still living.

Friday, October 28, 2005

how well i understand men...

i don't know if this is something that i should feel glad about...i think men, basically, are intimidated if women knew TOO MUCH about how they think and how'd they react to certain stimuli...what do you think???

You Have Your PhD in Men

You understand men almost better than anyone.
You accept that guys are very different, and you read signals well.
Work what you know about men, and your relationships will be blissful.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

my blogging style and the kind of seducer that i am...whew

got this idea from one of my visitors.

Your Blogging Type Is Thoughtful and Considerate

You're a well liked, though underrated, blogger.
You have a heart of gold, and are likely to blog for a cause.
You're a peaceful blogger - no drama for you!
A good listener and friend, you tend to leave thoughtful comments for others.

and here's an add on...hehehehe

Your Seduction Style: Fantasy Lover

You know that ideal love that each of us dreams of from childhood? That's you!
Not because you posess all of the ideal characteristics, but because you are a savvy shape shifter.
You have the uncanny ability to detect someone's particular fantasy... and make it you.

You inspire each person to be an idealist and passionate, and you make each moment memorable
Even a simple coffee date with you can be the most romantic moment of someone's life
By giving your date exactly what he or she desires, you quickly become the ideal lover.

Your abilities to make dreams come true is so strong, that you are often the love of many people's lives.
Your ex's (and even people you have simply met or been friends with) long to be yours.
No doubt you are the one others have dreamed of... your biggest challenge is finding *your* dream lover.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

you're beautiful

here's a beautiful song that i would have given you had it been popular some time ago. it describes exactly how i felt...

"You're beautiful, it's true.
There must be an angel with a smile on your face...
But it's time to face the truth,
I will never be with you..."

music video code by
james blunt - youre beautiful

that face, that infectious smile...that reckless, ambivalent mind

you told me we'd be together, but that will never be...

as heaven is now the place for you.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

ice cream

hi EA!

this one's for you.

Free music video codes by

When love is likened to ice cream and chocolate, gratification is instant and intense. And while the experience is fleeting, it brings an emotion that makes you want to taste it over and over again...terribly exhilirating, yet temporary =)

EA, you should know the feeling.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

kwentuhang babae

Kaninang umaga...
(text conversation follows)

Jen: "In LIFE, GOD doesn't us the people WE want. Instead, He gives us the people WE TEACH us, to HURT us, to LOVE us, and to make us exactly the WAY WE SHOULD BE!"

Joyce: True! So if we get hurt, we take things with a grain of salt and move on; if we are loved, cherish the person and every moment of it.

Jen: Wehe. gawa mo?

Joyce: Eto, nakahiga, sakit ng ulo ko dahil nagugutom yata ako at mainit pagka gising ko.

Jen: Nakakainip ano? Hay.

Joyce: Oo, lalo na pag walang pera hehehehe...

Jen: Korek. Ang hirap ng pera ngayon, lalo pa ko, ala akong katulong...

Joyce: Pareho tayo. Di bale, pag nakapag asawa ka na, magkakaron ka na ng katulong. Ang tanong e, kelan? Sayang, wala nang eligible sa mga kakilala ko.

Jen: Ahehe. Korek. Sarado na nga ata matres ko e...wahaha

Joyce: Loka. k**s lang ang nagsasara, hindi yan. Kumukunat lang yan...

Jen: Wahaha...whatever. Nakwento ba sa yo ni John? Nakita ko si R***y nung saturday.

Joyce: Di. Sa Festival?

Jen: Yep. Pero di nya ko nakita.

Joyce: Ok. It's good you're over him. Ako naman, me kakwentuhan ako kahapon ng madaling araw. Nakita niya blog ko. Kaso eh, mukhang kaiba ang gusto.

Jen: Ahaha. Prone ka sa mga obssessed ano?

Joyce: Ano fi! Marami yata kasing girls ngayon na ganun lang ang hanap, at marami rin ang matitino kung umasta pero ganun din ang hanap...Punta tayo SM!

Jen: O sige, kita tayo SM.

Joyce: Sige, bihis na ko.

Dear Jen,
God is kind to all those who me =) and if you can't wait, continue praying so you don't fall prey to those whose intentions are not as good.

Love you girl!


Friday, September 09, 2005

"i am january..."

as i was browsing through the forwarded messages i have in my e-mail the other night, i came across a subject line that says "eow!!!"

usually, i wouldn't pay attention to forwarded messages and, more often than not, would erase them instantly...but this particular subject line caught my discriminating attention. could it be another case of an unknowing insect trapped helplessly in a bowl of sisig meal sold at the loft? or another one of those freaky alterations made on pictures by some curious hi-tech artist using the wonders of adobe?

i opened the message slowly (as i got an icy piercing look from my UM when i opened an e-mail that sounded off like a crazy japanese cartoon when i clicked on it...grrr), and the message read "kung gusto nyo ng pampagising, eto ang tignan nyo..." there were six picture attachments. i opened the first one, and true enough, it awakened the living daylights out of me when a picture of a NAKED 70ish old woman (who looked like a Filipina) popped into view! i thought it was another one of Ka Paulding's creations (doing tricks on pictures), but no man, those do not have alterations on them! imagine that body that looked like skin on a sharpei that needed stretching and ironing! most of her poses were forgiveable as i tried to be open minded about it, but i nearly fell off my chair with this one particular shot that showed her hand on her crotch! i don't have an idea why the hand had to be there, but i have not seen anything that grossed me out the way that that horrendous pose did! one male officemate asked me if i would pose that way out of desperation and given a sizeable amount of tf...i quickly replied, "no way! not even if it will change this country's course of history!" that said, i quickly closed that message and got back to work, trying to erase the horrific image in my head.

so i got home the following morning and, as usual, sat in front of the tv before going to slumber land. i scanned through almost all of the channels until i finally came across the Hallmark Channel. there was an advertisement on the movie Calendar Girls. the preview caught my's an interesting synopsis of that movie:

"Chris and Annie are the best of friends – very different, but very close. Living in a small village in the Yorkshire Dales, their peaceful lives are shattered when Annie’s husband dies of leukaemia. An active member of the local Women’s Institute, Chris enlists the support of her fellow members in a fund-raising initiative for the local hospital. Her seemingly traditional idea is to produce a calendar, with a different woman photographed for each month. Each one will be engaged in a classic WI task, such as jam making, flower pressing and knitting. Sounds traditional enough, but her idea has a radical twist - the women will be in the nude. Before they know it, the women are hitting the headlines at home and abroad. Whisked off to Hollywood on a whirlwind publicity tour, they take their turn on the talk shows and in magazine photo-shoots. Amidst the hype and glamour, the friendship between Chris and Annie is put to the test."
very creative, isn't it? it's a true to life story and unfortunately, i didn't have the chance to see the movie (as it was shown at night). so i searched the internet for it's webpage and came across the synposis, the photo gallery, video streaming, etc. the movie presented an entirely different facet of how a nude photo of an elderly woman should be looked at and are some of the pictures on the calendar:

"CALENDAR GIRLS is inspired by the British story of the Yorkshire
women who set out to raise money for the Leukaemia Research Fund by posing nude for an alternative Women's Institute calendar. Their courage and chutzpah turned a local story into an international media phenomenon and inspired millions of women worldwide. The calendar girls raised well over half a million pounds and even out sold the Britney Spears Calendar in the United States."

guys, you'd probably agree with me, that these women (and the pictures!) are beautiful, inside and out! i used to dread the idea of gravity taking its toll on me, but after seeing these pictures, (no John, i'm not posing nude for anyone), i somehow felt from fearing the inevitable...having a wrinkled, furrowed and sagging body. let's face it, we are candid about facing the three inevitables, but are we ready to accept and let those pass without a nudge and exerting some effort to, at least, deter their eventuality? but then again, look at these women! they did not have to go through painful surgery for these photo shoots...yet, look at the results! this is ART (will you agree with me, Tito Rolly?). the calendar gives us a fresh outlook about aging, getting wrinkled and gray...

now although i couldn't forget those nude pictures of that old lady (talk about visual retention...and yes, I AM VISUAL), i pretty much appreciate the Calendar, if and when i reach that age and someone approaches me to pose for something very artistic like this in order to mitigate someone else's suffering or poverty...well...maybe, just maybe...i would consider and say "i am january..."

Friday, August 19, 2005

isang gabi sa beta way

isang sabado...

jon: punta tayo sa UP, mag star gazing tayo!
joyce: hmmm...sige, pero parang wala namang stars eh!
jon: di magpahangin na lang tayo...dun na tayo mag kape.
joyce: (skeptic) mmm...sige...(ano kayang balak ng mokong na to?)

papasok sa UP Diliman...

jon sa UP guard, pagpasok ng UP: boss, studyante po ako dito...
joyce: (eh ano naman ang business mo sa ganitong oras ng gabi?)

jon, matapos magpaikot ikot sa buong UP: dito na lang muna tayo tumigil (sa parking lot sa beta way, bandang alas-10 ng gabi)
joyce: ang dilim dilim naman dito! (palinga linga sa paligid, tinitignan kung ano'ng gagawin nung isang kelot at bebot na naka scooter at naka tambay din sa pagka dilim dilim na parking lot)

maya maya lang, may dumating na pulis ng UP, nagpa-patrol. binuksan ni jon ang bintana.

pulis: mga studyante ba kayo dito? (tunog concerned...)
jon: opo.
pulis, tinaggal sa pagkakatutok ang flashlight na dala: mag iingat kayo dito. di nyo ba alam na may pinatay dito nung kamakailan lang? member yata ng frat.
jon: ah, ganun po ba?
pulis: oo, kaya mag ingat kayo.
jon at joyce: sige po, thank you!

di pa rin natinag si jon. ni-recline pa yung upuan niya, at gusto pa yatang matulog (star gazing pala ha???).

joyce, habang nakatitig sa mga corridors ng engineering building sa tabi ng beta way: jon, tignan mo yon o?!?
jon: ha?!? kanina, yung naka motor, tapos yung sikyo...sino na naman yan? dami namang istor...
joyce: dun o! tumingin ka doon sa corridors!
jon: ha??? ano'ng meron?
joyce: ang daming nag uunahan pumasok sa classrooms!
jon: ha?!? asan???
joyce: mmm...tara na...
jon: ha??? wag na muna, mamaya na...kakarating lang natin dito eh...
joyce: basta!!! halika na! sinabihan na tayo nung pulis na delikado nga dito eh!
jon: bakit??? may nakita kang tao???
joyce: basta!!! alis na tayo!

sa tropical hut...

jon: ano ba yung sinasabi mong nag uunahan pumasok sa classroom?
joyce: multo.

kawawang jon, di naka porma...hehehe...

salamat sa mga multo ng beta way.

para kay kenji,
na inspire ako doon sa isa mong entry, kaya ginawa ito ng malikot kong pag-iisip. salamat!

Friday, July 01, 2005

just like bitter-sweet chocolate...

“I don’t know how it is possible to love two people at the same time...” said the deep, reassuring voice...twelve years ago, I was totally skeptic as I pictured love to be singular, pure and devoted. He told me that I had a special place in his heart, when all the while, at the back of my mind, I didn’t think that I was even worthy of occupying a certain void in a man’s heart. Lust maybe? Could be...but love?

At 23, I wasn’t exactly pretty, but I had quite a following...plain looking, yet robust in appeal...didn’t know much about the world, so the world came to me... I hugged it back...the silent, unassuming aura was a challenge to behold, like a rock smothered and smoothened at the edges by each passing wave...weathered, yet essentially strong.

I never dared ask him, but I thought a choice among the qualities I mentioned could be the reason why he and I stayed on for a couple of years...our love was nothing fancy, nothing formal...a special relationship that celebrated unsaid words like “I need you, stay for even just a while...”, or “I love you, I set you free..." and “I desire you, I understand your needs...” Unconventional, uncommitted...yet there was longing to hold on to each other, and be special friends for the rest of our lives.

At 29, the compelling presence of that 6-ft tall, dark and handsome frame was quite a handful...I used to stare in awe at that steady gait, seamless composure...picture perfect smile =) he was young and intelligent, that at times, it became imperative for people to talk behind him. Why? Because he was a prime mover, a hard-assed young executive who made things happen...

However, beyond the unique mixture of elegance and grunge, there lay a precocious, sensitive and romantic man... my jap-eyed lover who could have been my bridegroom...

I was contented that he was just there, someone whose wisdom inspired me to do better and reach far beyond my limits...someone whose love cannot be solely mine, yet that reality didn't stop me from loving him more...his love was like, inanely put, chocolate...chocolate that’s coating my tongue slowly...distinctly sweet at the tip, and as it runs through the sides, bitter yet, was a lovely, carefree feeling...but I knew that it was fleeting, I had to douse myself with cold reality before someone else does it...

I had a perfect excuse, in fact, it was most convenient (that excuse made such an impact in my life, that until now, I find it hard to get up and undo the serious damage it has done, not only to myself, but also to most people I love...I deem not to mention it here as I’d digress sharply). Reckoning day came and I had to tell him...

We were inside his car and just like the heavy downpour outside, my heart welled-up in tears as I told him that I had to go...I thought I was the only one who’d my surprise, the gorgeous man beside me wallowed in tears! I didn’t think I was worthy, but then again, I took it that he really loved me too...someone actually loved me!

It’s been 10 years or so...I heard how he’s doing well in both his work and his family...I’m sincerely happy that I did what I had to do then...I couldn’t bear the thought that I could have caused him some inconvenience if I continued to cultivate what we had going on years ago. I may not be totally happy with what I have now, but then, happiness comes to those who can totally accept the things one couldn’t change...and make the most out of ugly situations...

I learned from that love of mine that life can’t be all too sweet, right? Just like chocolate, the best ones, for me, are those with a tinge of bitterness...short of...perfect!

To my soulmate:

Honestly, I didn’t know you loved me too...

I had very fond memories of you...

Thank you so much.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

buhay call center

i'm sorry, i haven't been blogging for more than a month now. well, aside from being busy preparing docs for my US employment (wow, you won't imagine what sort of stuff i need to prepare for life's pretty colorful, so things can't be too easy for me, right?), i ventured into getting employed at a nearby call center...well, one will never know what the verdict of the consul will be during the interview! gotta have a back up, just in case...di ba?

so, since april 25, i've been working on a grave yard shift...from 8 pm til 4:30 in the morning, manila time. actually, i'm still in the training stage...trying to learn about life and health insurance...(mind you guys, it's not easy as you think it is. learning about how insurance works is heavy on memory work and very much like going back to school and taking quizzes every now and then. that's right...we also have quizzes!). ofcourse, we have to learn about our product first before we start entertaining phone calls...but this is just the tip of the iceberg...

what's really difficult is how to shift your entire biological clock the other way around, and turn your nights into days, and vice versa...i was really surprised when everyone in the building greeted me "good morning!" at 9:00 in the evening! akala ko, nagpapatawa lang! but when i heard the expats saying the same thing at the elevator, i said to myself, "my God...i'm in twilight zone..."

eto ang challenging...e di ba, summer ngayon? (and man, this is the worst summer of my entire life!) have you experienced sleeping during the day, only to wake up sweating profusely and feeling so icky because of the extreme humidity??? ang hirap matulog ulit, di ba? what more if you really don't have a choice coz you have work at night??? wow, i really had to scrimp on my budget and bought myself a new airconditioner!!! dahil kung hindi...mamamatay ako!!! not only because of the excruciating heat, but also because of sleeplessness!

i have never been so health conscious before than now....i've been buying boxes of Stresstabs just to make sure i don't get sick...and just as when i thought that i would lose weight, i'm so darn wrong guys...i eat more often than usual, drink an average of 5 cups of Milo a night (coffee gives me a bad feeling in the stomach...besides, bumabaha ng kape at milo sa call centers hehehe)...and now, i weigh 10 pounds more than i used to!!! GRRRREAT! (talk about losing weight when you don't get enough sleep!)

now since i've been officially employed for a month now, i've adjusted already with this new gets pretty tough to stay awake on monday evenings though (one has a natural propensity to sleep at night), but i'm getting the hang of it.

and what about the phone calls? i haven't handled a phone call yet, but as they say, i've already "barged" in with an expert...since all of our clients are from mainland USA, then ofcourse, our calls are also 98% from american callers. at this point, what i feel would be difficult in taking the calls (aside from forgetting the proliferation of concepts about the products) is trying to understand different american accents while trying to explain things to an irate caller. there was one call where the only thing i understood was the policy number she gave...and that's it :-( i'm hats off to these guys at the call center coz they can understand practically every kind fo american accent they can hear...and what's even more admirable is the way our Filipino CC specialists converse with these clients...they, too, have the accent!!! many of these callers are amazed when they learn that the assistance they're getting comes from manila! imagine hearing a brown asian speak the way they do! HAH!!! bilib sila, di ba?

haaaaay naku....i have a few more weeks ahead of me before the interview with the US consul...if i get denied for whatever reason, i think, i'd like to stick it out with the call center and give it a shot. people there are nice, a bunch of young and intelligent breed.

as to the question if one can make a career out of this kind of job, i'd say, to the patient and hardworking, yes.

i'm actually feeling sad if let's say i do pass my interview...i've found new friends, really nice ones. but of course, first things this point, there's nothing better than a job abroad, right?



this is my personal favorite :-)


Friday, April 01, 2005

Bisitahin nyo kami sa Blogkadahan

tayo'ng mga noy-pi ay likas na pala kaibigan (ang diin ay nasa huling bigkas). nagsisimula sa konsepto ng bayanihan, pakikisama at pagtanaw ng utang na loob, ang pagbuo ng isang grupo o "barkada" ay nagkakaroon ng kahulugan dahil sa pagkakaiba, o pagkapare-pareho ng mga karakter ng mga taong bumubuo nito.

tulad ng aming Blogkadahan. ito ay isang grupo ng mga manunulat ng "blog" o electronic journal, na nagkatipon tipon upang bigyan ng bagong kapahulugan ang konsepto ng pagiging magkakaibigan, pagiging malikhain, pagiging Pinoy.

kung titignan ninyo ang aming webpage, ito'y napagkatuwaang tawaging "The Rebels without Because" Filipino..."mga rebeldeng walang dahilan..." medyo matalinhaga (o malabo ba? hehehe), pero kung ikaw ay isa ring pinoy na manunulat, maiintindihan mo ang ibig sabihin (o ibig na iparating) ng katawagang ito. mapapansin din sa gawing itaas ng webpage ang iba't-ibang klase ng pansapin sa paa (me step-in, bakya, rubber shoes, sosyal na flip-flops), nagdadagdag kulay at nagpapakilala sa mga karakter ng mga contributors nito. hindi nyo na itatanong, ang pinaka bata sa amin ay edad 22... ang pinaka matanda naman ay...u-hurm! (ubo...ubo...ubo...)

kami ay binubuo ng mga pinoy na mula pa sa iba't ibang panig ng mundo (Manila, Singapore, USA, Canada, Belgium, Germany, New Zealand, Japan at England). iba't iba rin ang aming mga karera sa buhay, kung kaya't ito'ng site na ito ay masasabing "melting pot", bagama't pare-pareho ang dugong nanalaytay sa aming mga ugat (minsan nga lang, nagkakaiba sa bughaw at berde...bukod sa pula, siyempre!).

ngayon, kung gusto niyong matawa...o di kaya naman, eh maiyak...(pero kadalasan, matatawa ka sa paglalaro ng mga salita), bisitahin nyo kami sa

kita kits tayo! =)

*button courtesy of Ms. Sassy

PS. gusto nyo bang makita si Darna? punta kayo dito =)

Saturday, March 26, 2005

A Eulogy to Raymund A. Briones

"The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away;
May the name of the Lord be praised."

Job uttered these words after he received news of the loss of all his earthly possessions, including the lives of his children. Immensely enthused by this passage, Ray aimed to maintain a happy mortal life that he acknowledged as a gift from God. In all of his days, at least when he's become aware of the greatness of God, he had the positive disposition of a amount of tribulation weighed him down. Of course, he was only human. When he was hurt, he also cried out in pain. Nonetheless, just like Job, he remained steadfast in the belief that God, in all His glory, is over and above all things known to it anguish or grandeur, the Lord Almighty never forsaked him.

I am compelled to say this, before anything else, because let it be known to all those who will read this, that Ray was a very good man. He may not be perfect and had his weaknesses too, but at the end of the day, as he loved God so much, he bowed down before Him in prayer for enlightenment and forgiveness.

I had the privilege to know some things about the man, those which he voluntarily shared with me, in varied aspects of his life. Other people, who are more significant than I am, may have things to say that extend far beyond those which he made known to me. I'd like to write about those things that affected me most as one of those whose lives he touched in more ways than one.

As our school administrator, Sir Ray was the epitome of a genuine Lasallian leader. Streamlining a number of things here and there within the school's system, his excellent management skills, coupled with dedicated adherence to Lasallian ideals, made him the most loved administrator (as far as I know and am concerned) in the history of De La Salle Zobel.

But why was he loved really?

Sir Ray was a compassionate leader. During his time, a number of mishaps marked that school-year the most trying in the history of DLSZ's existence as an institution. Just to give you an idea, it was the year that one of my students died in an accident (see my blog A Reason to Change). After that fateful day, everyone expected the worst to happen. Aside from the general feeling of grief over my student's demise, the entire school community felt anxious to know how the new EVP will resolve the situation. Will he decide with a cold heart and announce a most harrowing decision?

I wouldn't have written this if he did =)

We have proven ourselves wrong. According to a very reliable source, Mr. Briones decided to do "what is most Christian". He kept this in mind in all of the things that happened that year, including that accident. I did not get the chance to know straight from him how he decided on certain things, but one thing's for sure...everyone got their second shot at proving their worth as true proponents of the Lasallian charism. He once told me that "there is innate goodness in every person...everyone deserves a second chance." What character! What immense kindness!

As a family man, Sir Ray loved his children, his parents, and his siblings dearly. I learned about this during my first encounter with him. It was during our faculty retreat that he visited as our school head. There was an activity where we were asked to sit and form a big circle. The chair beside me was empty, and so he sat there to join us. We were told to count in two's, so that he and I became partners. The facilitator gave a word with which we were tasked to form a sentence, a statement that should introduce one's self to his/her partner. The word given to us was the word HAPPY. He said, "I am happy whenever I'm with my family." Having known him after some time, I learned what he really meant by that, when at first I thought of it as a bit trivial. I had the privilege to learn more about his family life and I am grateful that he trusted me with it. I know how much he treasured and cared for his parents, how he looked forward to weekends to spend time with his children, and how proud he was for such great siblings. If he can be faulted for something, it was in making a choice to remain a gentleman to the very end.

As a person, Ray was one of the most amiable that I've ever met. Coupled with that ready smile, his positive aura and handsome bedimpled face was an outright assurance that life's difficult moments are fleeting. Seeing him in campus wearing that smile worked wonders on an otherwise stressful day. He was a wonderful person and unfortunately, not everyone knew about it. During that brief encounter that I had with his mom at his wake, she mentioned that she and her family were surprised at the turn out of people who came to pay their last respects for him. He had a multitude of friends that his family never imagined him to have. They never knew his "other side", not until that day at his funeral. Men found in him a great fellow who leveled with them, no matter who they are. (Ray once told me that as a young brother, he loved the feeling of being able to mingle with the older and more knowledgeable ones, so that he learned from the way they taught and dealt with the less experienced ones. It was a lesson of humility that he was shown, and that which he remembered in dealing with others.) On the other hand, women found him very charming, witty and fascinating. Children and students found a good friend and confidante in him. To me, he was enigmatic, precocious, but strikingly senstive and warm.

As a friend, Ray taught me that life is worth living. I've had an ample share of difficult times, and all he had to say were words of encouragement, appreciation and support. I didn't think I was worthy of such support, as I myself often doubted my decisions (my ex-husband often made me feel that I was wrong, never astute and capable of making sound decisions). But Ray showed me otherwise. He shunned at those who wronged me, not only because we're friends, but also because he always had the right explanation to the way people should think. At times, we'd make up secret names for people we both know and end up laughing as if we didn't care if the world ended that day. Whenever I was down, he'd speak with fire and vindicate my position, stating fallacies in latin...and i'll find myself trying to understand in vain what he meant to say... when all he'd say in the end is, "this, too, shall pass..."

Mitch Albom said that "there are no random acts. We are all connected. You can no longer separate one life from another than you can separate a breeze from the wind..." I will not end this tribute without saying that he dearly loved DLSZ, and how he connected to each and everyone of us. We were blessed to have experienced his wonder for one school-year and, indeed, it left special memories amongst all of us. Below is an excerpt of his speech during the turnover ceremony held July of last year. It is proof of the love that he had for the school, and was so sorry to have professed only on that day.

"’s truly nice to be back again even for just a short time.
I guess, as far as De La Salle Zobel is concerned, one year was really more than
enough for me to fall in love not only with the place, but also with the people—with you.

And when I look back in hindsight, the school year that was, and as I view in my
mind each event that happened in a sort of slow-motion—I can only smile and say with
utmost honesty and sincerity: It was a great year—it was the best that I have had in years— and definitely, no regrets..."

"My Lord:
I am thankful that I don't have everything I desire.

If I did, what would there be to look forward to?

I am thankful when I don't know something,
for it gives me the opportunity to learn.

I am thankful for the difficult times.
During those times I truly grow.

I am thankful for my limitations,
because they give me opportunities for improvement.

I am thankful for each new challenge,
because it will build my strength and character.
I am thankful for my mistakes. They will teach me very valuable lessons.

I am thankful when I’m tired and weary,
because it means I've made a difference.

Lord, it is easy to be thankful for the good things,
But I also know that a life of rich fulfillment comes to those
who are also thankful for the setbacks, for the trials, and for the tribulations..."

In Mitch Albom's The Five People you Meet In Heaven, he said, "...fairness does not govern life and death. If it did, no good person would ever die young. Death doesn't just take someone, it misses someone else. And in the small distance between being taken and being missed, lives are changed..."

Ray's passing away is certain to bring a lot of changes in people whose lives he's touched. In my case, unknowingly he taught me Job's and St. La Salle's charism. He lived these beliefs, that God knows He had a good and hard working steward in Sir Ray. Bro. Ceci Hojilla, FSC, witnessed him as "God's gift to us!" I've seen God's miracle at work, and it was he. For *"it is when we're torn apart that we become REAL. It is when we become real, that we are truly LOVED. " Sir Ray basked in this wisdom...and truly, he was loved!

It was a beautiful experience to have known you, Sir. It's time you went home.

*from the Velveteen Rabbit

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

The great american dream...or is it?

last february 9, i received word that i got selected for a teaching job in virginia beach city. my initial reaction was..." what happens next?" yeah, i felt...okay. contented that i finally got an answer after waiting for more than 3 months in a row. the news also, somehow, gave me a reassurance that i'm still doing well in this profession. only five teachers, out of more than a thousand applicants, were selected from three major cities within the country.

and so what now?

i wasn't ecstatic because of a couple of reasons:
1) since i'm going there on my own, i'll have to leave my daughter behind...with her dad. it poses a great risk on my part to be "en absencia" while my 9-yr old needs a mother to be with her. i must admit...i am threatened by the idea that she just might forget about me...forget about her love for me...

2) i am penniless...and what's worse? i have to depend on my daughter's dad for financial assistance...


the weekend passed and, as usual, i spent it with my daughter...i broke the news to her and she was so glad that i made it...all the more that i wanted to spend the whole time just hugging her and kissing her, exchanging stories about her friends and my (mis)adventures with men who make "porma" (oh yeah! can't carry that alias for nothing!). but time flies so fast and in no time, the weekend retreat with my one and only loved one is over...

monday came and i received news that the school who will be hiring me will pay the agent's fees that would amount to a hefty $4,500! whoa! i was astounded! not too many teachers get the same privilege! in that euphoric state, i literally dropped down on the floor like a rag doll, trying to feel the thump as i landed on my butt...was i dreaming? i couldn't believe what i just heard! and when i was finally sure that i wasn't simply imagining things, i let out a soft scream (heheheh...yes, you know what i mean ^-^). then it dawned on God is so good, He knows exactly what's in my heart.

i took this as a sign that my God really wants me to take this opportunity, to see and welcome the fact that i've been "down" for so long now, that He's giving me this chance to start anew. "...when you're down, there's no other way to go but up..." says my friend. i thought that the distance between me and my daughter will be temporary as i promised to come back for her. i thought that i have to sacrifice a bit for a greater cause (my ex was diagnosed to have cancer of the parotid gland in 1999 and is currently on remission. being the other parent, it's my responsibility to prepare for my daughter's future if in case her dad suffers a recurrence.). life would certainly be not easy when you're alone, but realities and entanglements of it should serve as inspiration to go on and do better!

is this the fulfillment of the great american dream? i'd say yes, but a greater part of me says no. when a filipino teacher leaves her country, it is not because she's lost her sense of nationality and service to her fellow her, *teaching minds, touching hearts and transforming lives remains her overriding feed her family and ensure a brighter future for them, however, is equally's in our nature...i hope no one argues with that.


my plans are clearer now...


i'm not worried anymore that my daughter will forget about me...
she took nourishment from me and breathed the same air i breathed
when she was inside me...
no one can change that...


i will miss my students...specially those who left special imprints in my life.


*a Lasallian teacher's creed

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

(my) 10 sexiest men

i visited ja's blog the other week, and i really went kilig over one of her entries on her list of 10 sexiest men.

well ja, here's my own version...i enjoyed doing this =)

#10 sting...his real name, gordon matthew sumner...he's a teacher and the best bassist who can lead sing...i'm practically obssessed by him.

#9 nicholas cage...i wish i'd wake up one morning with those eyes lovingly gazing at me...haaaay

#8 will smith... gorgeous, relentlessly funny!

#7 our former evp, mr. raymund briones...charming smile, impeccable wit, enigmatic

#6 gilbert remulla's undeniably pleasing, on and off the screen...simply dashing!

#5 with or without the long blonde hair, orlando bloom's fascinating!

#4 van leaƱo's my student last of our school's and debonair

#3 ah...witty, charming...that's my tito!...swerte ni korina =)

#2 cute smile, nice voice...perfect behind =)

#1 need i say more?

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Tonight I can Write - a reflection on Pablo Neruda's work

by: Pablo Neruda

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
Write, for example, 'The night is starry and the stars are blue and shiver in the distance.'

The night wind revolves in the sky and sings.

there are nights really, that even when the sky is clear and the stars are out, a certain feeling of sadness envelopes's the feeling of emptiness and being alone when a moonlit sky like that should be viewed upon by lovers intertwined in a sweet embrace.

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.

I loved her, and sometimes she loved me too.

yes, inasmuch as i can still feel the hurt and misery he gave me, i loved him...and sometimes, i felt that he loved me, too...he's a workahalic and dearly loved his profession...he's responsible (ah, no question about that!) and there was always food on the table. but that's all he did...his work, his parents and his other one were all that mattered to him...he forgot that he had a wife, too.

Through nights like this one I held her in my arms.

I kissed her again and again under the endless sky.
She loved me, sometimes I loved her too.

How could one not have loved her great still eyes.

our marriage lasted for a good nine years...but only because i chose to stay. the last 5 years i slept alone, hugged only the softness of the pillows beside me...unfortunately, the pillows never hugged back...and only the cold concrete wall stared back as i cried through those nights.

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.

To think that I do not have her. To feel that I have lost her.

To hear the immense night, still more immense without her.

And the verse falls to the soul like dew to the pasture.
What does it matter that my love could not keep her.

The night is starry and she is not with me.
This is all. In the distance someone is singing.

In the distance.My soul is not satisfied that it has lost her.

it's been a while since i left his house. the first few days, i felt triumphant, that finally i succeeded in leaving him...that finally, i had the strength to say "no more"...however, the years that i spent with him, no matter how excruciating, somehow left a loving imprint carved deep within me. yes, he's hurt me so...but he'll stay with me for until when, i don't know.

My sight tries to find her as though to bring her closer.

My heart looks for her, and she is not with me.
The same night whitening the same trees.

We, of that time, are no longer the same.
I no longer love her, that's certain, but how I loved her.

My voice tried to find the wind to touch her hearing.

i can still hear the priest's voice telling us during our canonical interview that when a man and a woman are joined in marriage, they're no longer two different people...they become one in the union made by God, though their individualities still kept intact. he probably sacrificed part of his individuality, inasmuch as i also did. although i felt that i sacrificed more of mine than he, the dictates of love was there...i didn't ask for more than he could show. and no matter how undemonstrative he was, i clutched unto hope that he probably loved me, too.

Another's. She will be another's.

As she was before my kisses. Her voice, her bright body.

Her infinite eyes.

another's...i can't speak of what has happened, but nevertheless, i have let it happen. i didn't fight for what was mine...for i also felt that we're no longer meant for each other.

I no longer love her, that's certain, but maybe I love her.

Love is so short, forgetting is so long.
Because through nights like this one I held her in my arms my soul is not satisfied that it has lost her.

Though this be the last pain that she makes me suffer

and these the last verses that I write for her.

memories are what we make of these relationships...we gain love, we lose love...we get hurt, we feel pain, we fight back...we exult in victory, be resilient in defeat...all these...all these we can suffer and survive...they'll all pass, but memories will stay behind.

To the man i loved, thank you for these memories. i shall hold on to them even when...i become another's.