Friday, January 25, 2008

"...last three minutes of torment..."

Ok. I just had to smile when I heard Andre said it. We were both on the ring getting ready for yet another round with the pads. I found the remark funny because, for one, the words penetrated the force field I was in at that precise moment. It's a rare chance that something can actually get through to me when I'm in that zone. Secondly, it was kind of nice to hear someone actually say it.

Andre, like me, just resumed training. But unlike me, he hasn't been gone six months. Six months of sedentary lifestyle can really take its toll. And I've been feeling the effects of inactivity since day one of my "comeback".

It's close to two weeks now since I started training again. I'm still feeling all these aches and pains. And I'm totally convinced that i'm in worse shape than i previously imagined. I know it'll take more time for me to feel remotely closer to the shadow of my former fit self.

The only thing that keeps me going is the certainty that this lousy feeling will pass. I'm visualizing me doing all these crazy stuff sans the agony of barely surviving each round. In the meantime, I'll just have to endure every minute of torment because I know, at the end of each training day, I'll keep coming back.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Proudly running

" Me and Running

Don't always see eye to eye

Some days it hurts more than others. But it doesn't mean

I can't do it. I deal with it and I keep running because



I immediately fell in love with this wallpaper the moment I saw it. It echoes everything I feel about running, but I couldn't have said it better.

I think that there's a kind of magic in running. The minute I hit the road, I know that it's going to be a different run than the last one I did and that always make the prospect of running more exciting. I know that when I'm out there it's going to be me with the world. Everything unfolds in majestic silence and I'm being part of it.

Most times, I catch myself carrying on about this whole running business as if I'm a good runner. But nothing can be much farther from the truth. I don't even consider myself an average runner. In fact, I suck at this whole running thing. Running is my pain. And I love it.

There's an inexplicable freedom and joy in every stride and in every heartbeat that goes with all my pain. It's always a contest, between my mind and my heart. It's feeling the hurt and conquering all doubts and weakness. It's me against that part of me that wishes me to stop.

I have never won a running race. That's still labeled under someday. For now, I'm happy with my collection of victories. I know that in all those times I've gone outside and ran beyond hurting, I've won against that part of myself that always tells me I can't do it.

Running image is from here.

As the world turns

We do what we can to make time for the really important things. As the world turns, as the thousand big and little things hog our time, we just have to find the resolve to squeeze in what we need to look back and remember the things that made our separate journeys worthwile.

A brief lunch with former ISM co-workers reminded me of the joys and learnings I have had in that pit stop. Like in most of the pit stops I have been to, I managed to leave with fond memories and blessings of friendships.

Today, as the world turned, Lizeth, Tita Myrna, Chrizele, and I enjoyed lunch at Conti's at Serendra. The world kept on turning while we stop for a while to catch up. Our journeys have brought us to different paths, but we remain to be fellow travelers who have met and learned from each other in that pit stop we call ISM.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Love in off-season

Love in off-season . A time when all that crazy mix-up feelings seem to have gone in hibernation. In its absence, the heart beats on as if knowing that the void is just temporary. Or perhaps, it has recognized certainties and has happily grasped at gossamer chances which left it with a lifetime's worth of happy memories.

It is a time of rest, of not wanting, of just letting things be. It is a time to prepare for what may or may not come. But when the time stretches on, the thought of love somewhat fades. And just as shadows begin to cover a fading memory there comes that something that causes all those dormant feelings to resurface.

Love in off-season is not love's end. If nothing else, it is a time to appreciate finding that something that rekindles that belief in love. And when that find turns out to be a Pablo Neruda love sonnet, it's bound to leave an impression.

Love Sonnet XVII
by Pablo Neruda

I don't love you as if you were the salt-rose, topaz
or arrow of carnations that propagate fire:
I love you as certain dark things are loved,
secretly, between the shadow and the soul.
I love you as the plant that doesn't bloom and carries
hidden within itself the light of those flowers,
and thanks to your love, darkly in my body
lives the dense fragrance that rises from the earth.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where,
I love you simply, without problems or pride:
I love you in this way because I don't know any other way of loving

but this, in which there is no I or you,
so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand,
so intimate that when I fall asleep it is your eyes that close.

(Thanks to Justine for sharing this sonnet to me.)

...and here's another one, by E.E. Cummings

Somewhere I Have Never Travelled

somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond
any experience, your eyes have their silence:
in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me,
or which i cannot touch because they are too near

your slightest look easily will unclose me
though i have closed myself as fingers,
you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens
(touching skilfully, mysteriously) her first rose

or if your wish be to close me, i and
my life will shut very beautifully, suddenly,
as when the heart of this flower imagines
the snow carefully everywhere descending;

nothing which we are to perceive in this world equals
the power of your intense fragility: whose texture
compels me with the colour of its countries,
rendering death and forever with each breathing

(i do not know what it is about you that closes
and opens; only something in me understands
the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)
nobody, not even the rain, has such small hands

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Tales and tears of a writer wannabe

A year ago, I promised myself to write more. I wrote it down on my planner along with the list of other resolutions (almost all of which were fulfilled by the way). By writing more, I was actually thinking of those journal-type writing. I wanted to write about simple everyday things that capture my attention. It was a wish magnified by what I perceived as a need to end the protracted drought of literary pursuits.

By some twist of fate, I ended up doing a lot of technical writing. At the outset, I knew I was getting into something I am totally clueless about. But I considered it as an opportunity to do what I want. After all, I didn’t exactly specify what it was that I wanted to write. I just said I wanted to write more. And the job entailed a lot of writing, albeit only technical stuff.

It’s quite ironic that for someone who loves techie stuff, I’m probably the least technical person I know. But since I am what I am, I persevered and stuck to doing something that was quickly eroding my confidence.

And today, I realized that I’m far from being the kind of writer that this job is honing me to become. While the events that led to this ramblings really broke my heart, I remain steadfast in my wish to continue writing. I’ve just released myself from self-inflicted burdens that were killing my desire to write.

Is it escapism to leave something that’s not making me happy? Probably. People do tend to look at things based on personal beliefs and convictions. I’m equally guilty of hastily making judgments. But experience has taught me that most things don’t fit in boxes that are kept as symbols and sources of comfort and stability. I wouldn’t have done the things I’ve done had I stayed in those places and moments that were slowly killing my spirit. And I wouldn’t have learned the things I’ve learned.

Monday, January 7, 2008

"I am because you are"


Watching TV is time well-spent when you come across stuff like these:

While bad things that happen seem to highlight the bleakness in this world, there remains to be strongholds of hope. It's just a matter of knowing where to look. Children at play is a sight to behold. But seeing children playing while being part of something vital to a community brings hope to a new level.

Ubuntu is just one of the many concepts that define the actions of people who wish to bring change. There's an abundance of philosophies and ideologies but who's to say which one would work best?

In the end, it may well be the hearts of people that will serve as beacons of hope. In those hearts, ideas might just find the perfect cocoons that can truly transform them into actions and outcomes that can give more hope.

(something that answers this)

Sunday, January 6, 2008


Last November 2007, a friend who's from Baguio was sent to Davao for training. One of the things he said about his impressions of Davao was "parang Baguio rin, maraming puno". I was struck by that because honestly, at that time, I couldn't imagine what he meant. I tried to sift through my mental images of Davao (which wasn't easy seeing that I come home mostly during Christmas holidays only and my last visit ended immediately after New Year of 2007). I compared it with more recent images of Baguio and, sadly, failed to grasp the connection (and one of my colleagues at work who's from Davao also shared my bewilderment).

So I put that comment on top of my "things-to-look-into-as-soon-as-I-get-home" list. That was precisely the reason why during the plane's touchdown at Davao's airport, I was gazing outside the plane's window and giving the scenery my undivided attention. True enough, I saw many trees a safe distance from the runway. The whole airport itself is nestled in a picturesque area. It seemed to me that it attempts to blend to its surroundings. It gives an impression of peace and quiet.

And while taking that very short ride home, I also noticed that there are indeed many trees along roadsides. Trees, houses, establishments, churches, and buildings mix well together. It's as if they've all managed to find their place in the world without infringing on each other's right to exist.

By the time I got home, I was fully convinced that my friend's right. Marami rin ngang puno sa Davao. And more importantly, the air feels (and if possible, smell) cleaner. Everything looks clearer to me, untainted by smog.

I think that distance has disabled some of my capacity to fully appreciate my hometown. This trip serves as a reminder of everything that I love about it. Laid back, peaceful, huge, prosperous, simple, developed...paradoxical. It's where my roots are. And there, they'll stay deeply entrenched.


self-created traditions and other quirks...the Davao way
  • fully-engaged moviegoers (first, a little history: every december my sisters, cousins and i watch a movie. it's mostly us older cousins treating the younger ones. in this case, it's me and my other sister doing most of the "treating". and since we do this after Christmas, we have an array of metro manila film fest entries to choose from.) going back to the topic...: this year, we chose to watch shake, rattle, and roll {enter number here}. just like in the past, almost everyone in the theater were really engaged. it's like a huge family watching tv at home. they laugh, scream, clap, etc. they react to their hearts' content and deadma na if others would find that jologs or what. basta masaya, go lang! seems to be the motto. fun!

  • relaxing. life is so laid-back. jeepneys wait for you (you don't go around running after them). everyone walking in a relaxed pace, i seldom see people rushing like crazy. even cashiers in groceries take their time. so if you're always in a hurry (like me!), you'll be stressed while everyone remains calm.

  • durian everything. from candies, to hopias, to cakes, to ice creams, to shakes, to coffees, and more. little wonder it's the country's durian capital.