Wednesday, December 5, 2012

perfect gift

My mother recently celebrated her birthday. I have no gift for her, which is particularly sad because it's that kind of landmark birthdays, like when one turned 1, 7, 18, etc.

When I was a kid, I make her cards (which were most of the time very unartful) or buy her a blouse (which did not fit) or give her a bracelet (which well, she did not like). In the recent years, my gift almost always means birthday treat, which she appreciates I think. I just suck in giving her gifts.

This is not an emo post, if that's what you're thinking. I think I just had enough of giving her mediocre things. And she's a frank person, so I would always know if I failed. Oftentimes, I do, but one time, she really loved the poinsettia plants I got her when I was in high school. Don't get me wrong that I think she's unappreciative (she says her thanks naman). She just expects what she deserves, I guess. And well, in reality, people do that.

So, I have no gift. I'm thinking of compensating when I am really able, prepared, and creative enough to give her a well-thought out gift. She loves cooking so perhaps vintage kitchen cabinets? Or trip abroad? Or a condo? Or just cash, because she loves shopping.

Sometimes I feel bad that I couldn't provide them a more comfortable life since I decided to take law school.  I felt kind of selfish. At times though, I think I should be understood. But that's almost over now.

Hopefully, in her next birthday, I could give her something she really wants to have. She deserves that. Especially that her every birthday now really counts, since that cancer entered our lives. And the truth is, I am very, very thankful for the birthday she just had -- it's God's gift to me.

Happy birthday, Mommy! I will do better.

Monday, November 26, 2012


It is with humor that I told my friends, "I received my first legal fee!"

Since last semester, I, along with two others, have been helping out a janitor who has been dismissed immediately from work because of a congenital heart disease. After working for 10 years in the company, he was told that he would not receive anything from the company. Imagine the shock and desperation; you are left out of work, and you can't find any other because nobody would accept a janitor with a hole in his heart. You are also left without any means to start over; no cash to start a business or even to support a family. We're helping him to get his separation pay and other unpaid compensations -- all due him.

Although this was just a case assigned to us by the legal aid bureau (which I joined this year), in reality, this is not a job. This is what I wanted to do, and this is what I ought to be. I fear that after law school, I could not do this anymore, or at least not for a time, for obvious lack of resources and for the need to prioritize the family that depends on me. Still, I will maintain this vision. Sooner or later, there will be a way.

After we filed the position paper, Kuya Boy handed me a plastic bag. Inside were pieces of suman prepared by his wife!  It was not a bundle of cash or a yoga mat for sale, but it was fulfilling, overwhelming, and so painfully touching.

"Ma'am, gawa ng asawa ko 'yan. Masarap yan!" Indeed, they are. And they are my strong reminders that whatever is going on in your life, it pays to sometimes live for others.

And it is more with pride that I told my friends, "I received my first legal fee!"

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

foolish. pride.

People are sometimes foolish or full of pride. Or at times, both.

In recent years, I had come (or was made) to see that pride has different masks. The selflessness was only a mask of pride. The hesitation to ask for help, pride. The strength, pride. And the less subtle one, the refusal to talk, pride. But is it foolish?

Pride wears different insignias  For motherland. For race. For religion. For oneself. Not one larger and nobler than the other.

I am not prepared to say in vehicle lettering that pride is altogether wrong. But I am declaring now that it is one hell of a trait. It's as stubborn as a bull and as strong as a raging hippo. Hell, it could be much stronger than faith. or hate. or love. How many parents have forsaken their children because of pride? How many endings turn out sad because of pride? Countless. Yes, at times, it can be more powerful even than the legendary love.

Then again, pride is an element of success. Countless people strive hard because of it, and often, they succeed. It's a strong motivating factor that can move mountains. Or social status.

Pride. It builds. It destroys. And it's heavy. It's unstoppable. It's incurable. And it's hard to carry.

It can be wise. It can be foolish. And it sure damn hurts to break it.

Monday, October 1, 2012

why i love sotto

They say there should always be attribution. If we do that, all those singing Magkaisa, Balatkayo and songs of VST & Co.,, when they don't say they are the composer, we can charge them with plagiarism if we follow what critics say. - Sen. Vicente Sotto III,,-backs-blogging-bill
Sotto's defense so far:


And of course we all know they REALLY COPIED the blog without any attribution and even denied that they did that. When they can't deny anymore that they copied the blog, he says:

1.    His staff tried to click the link but it failed to download.
2.    They cannot access the original so they think "copying" the blog which quoted the book they were trying to access is ok.
3.    Plagiarism is not a crime here in the Philippines, so, there's nothing really wrong with what he did.

Kill me now, please. Wait -- I think it's a crime to kill me even if I beg for it. If it's not a law here in the Philippines, maybe it's OK to kill me. I'll sign a waiver.

Or wake me up when 2013 election is over... and I hope by that time, we'll have a new set better public servants.

On a more serious note: Sotto's staff really need to wake up. I mean, I wouldn't be surprised if they mentioned some gibberish like "pro tools hd musicians friend" and pretend as if they researched it and it's actually their own idea. Tsk tsk tsk…

eks, your next-door neighbor and friendly guest blogger :-)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

my timeline

For years now, my friends and acquaintances are getting married or going there. And for the last two weddings, I had been the person who got, more like forced to get, the bride's bouquet. Of course, I was not happy about it -- not because I don't want to get married, but because I hate being the center of attention (with people "wishing" I'd be next!).

I might as well be the epitome of the ever-famous "always the bridesmaid, never the bride" line. I'd be lying if I say it never occurred to me that while my friends are busy buying artsy craft supplies in fancy malls, I am busy borrowing boring bulky books from an old library. But really, it has not gotten to me yet, especially that I have no one to plan a wedding with.

I think my life has been designed to have an abnormal timeline. I took on responsibility for my two sick parents and our lives earlier than most people, specifically, than most of my friends. While they've been enjoying trips here and there, I have been, well, not. And now, when I entered school again, I mingled with people much younger than I am. Although law school is far more serious than college, still, I hang around with kids. I guess that's life's way of making up for my "lost" time as a youth. It's not as enjoyable as I would have wanted it to, but life with the people around me is not as serious as that of the people my age -- mostly it's about law, law, law, boyfriends/girlfriends, friends, party, and law.

I will not say that I would not want my life any other way, but I guess I just have to do things in my own timeline.

Thursday, September 13, 2012


Final day of my 5-day break...

Why did I have a break? Skipped a few classes...

Why again? It's my Lola's 82nd birthday...

I wouldn't miss it for anything...

Bought her a huge card, a cake, and a chocolate...

Told her I don't mind that she has favorites (obviously, it's not me)...

What matters is she loves us all, anyway...

And that she is OUR favorite...

Happy birthday, Popo! We love you!

Now off to Manila, with my worn-out jeans and custom t shirts cheap as it gets and unexcited as I can be.

Thursday, September 6, 2012


Where do I start?

I have been gone for a long time, a month and 2 days to be exact. I don't know if anyone missed me here, but I sure miss my friends and their blogs. Aside from not writing, I haven't been reading as well. Writing has become, or had become, some sort of a task to me, a task that makes me burdened and unhappy. Here's the thing: I wanted to write overemotional stuff, with matching cynical moods and somber thoughts, but I did not want to put that in writing and actually read it; it will only make it more real to me.

I have no excuse for not reading, but I know you guys will not hate me for that. kayni, wits, docgelo, angeli, sheng, jeanny, kg -- you are my (oldest) friends here (well, I know kg personally) and I hope you know that I have always enjoyed reading your posts and "watching" your lives. I hope all is well with you.

If I had seen a psychiatrist, he'd perhaps say I have suffered from a depressive episode. There was not one single thing that made me so sad, and so long at that, but it just happened. Perhaps I just reached my saturation point and got tired of "understanding" and "hoping" (such complex concepts!). I sort of struggled to surpass this episode, and of course, I was very careful for people close to me not to notice.

So what did I do? First, I try not to mind and go on with my life. Second, I have watched lots of TV series, and I have finished them all. StarWars Clone Wars, Legend of Aang, Legend of Korra, Suits, and Political Animal. I have finished every episode of every (or latest) season of these shows --- all within a month. The only setback was I've had disappointing recitations for the last weeks (which made my feelings worse, but then I just watched again), but it's okay. Ganun talaga. Extra challenge. Of course, there were still the unusual disappointments in "real" life, but I was too busy being not depressed; I did not give a damn to them.

So where am I now? I am desaturating. I guess I'm trying to bounce back, though I am not really there yet. Whether I could make it, only time can tell. But I guess so.

That's why I did not see a psychiatrist. Because we Filipinos are strong in that sense. We just bounce back.

Friday, August 10, 2012

here comes the sun: part 1

Little darling, it's been a long cold lonely winter
Little darling, it feels like years since it's been here

it feels like it's been a year since the sun smiled on us. for days we did nothing but stay at home (and we are actually lucky we can stay in our homes -- unlike others who had to flee and look for evacuation centers). if i hadn't quit smoking yet, i'm sure two packs of djarum black won't be enough for me during those days.

it was raining all day, all night. floods here and everywhere

what I always keep in mind is… this, too, shall pass.

guest post: eks

here comes the sun: part 2

Little darling, the smiles returning to the faces
Little darling, it seems like years since it's been here

yesterday was a lot different. the sun showed its might, and for the first time in so many days, it stayed up in the heavens shining proudly. i couldn't be happier. (i can, actually -- hehehe -- but that's enough for now. a lot of people were so happy even a thousand MF classical guitars won’t be enough to overpower the sound of their joy.

as I've said, this, too, shall pass.

Here comes the sun
Here comes the sun, and I say
It's all right

guest post: eks

Saturday, August 4, 2012

the show

I'm just a little girl lost in the moment
I'm so scared but I don't show it
I can't figure it out, it's bringing me down
I know I've got to let it go and just enjoy the show

The sun is hot in the sky just like a giant spotlight
The people follow the signs and synchronize in time
It's a joke nobody knows, they've got a ticket to the show

This is me trying to be strong, singing with Lenka, enjoying "the show". To date, this is the longest time I have let myself be succumbed to despair. Each of us does that...once in a while. But what do you do when you get thrown into the sea? You swim.

I need to remind myself that, wen we are at our lowest point, we let our lowest instincts to rule. Only when we overcome this do we find what is aptly called inner strength. In these times, we should have that.

Who knows? I just might find myself inside a beautiful story, and this might just be the beginning. I could grow old contended and happy, needing nothing else but a comfortable bed and raised toilet seats for elderly.

In any case, I will just try to enjoy this show and see how it turns out.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012


Sail with me tonight
We really got to get away
The stars are for us tonight
The moonlight lights up your face,
Put on some Bob Marley on the player
You know he be playing our song

*Urbandub song

Monday, July 30, 2012

hard to find

Betrayal is probably the most hurtful thing one could do. It surpasses indifference, even hatred. It is the voluntary act of abuse of confidence and planned actions that make it perverse. It is so vile, even hardened generals detest it.

I wonder why I feel neither hatred nor contempt nor hate. I feel nothing. At all.


On another note, although not totally unconnected, I thank the people who endure me, and with me. Not too close to suffocate, not too far to be distant. I know I never talk about this period of drowning, but I also know you feel it, and I am sorry if you have been burdened, though you might be willing.


Friends are hard to find.

Monday, July 16, 2012


Warning: Whining.

As much as I don't want to emit negative vibes from this blog, there is certain comfort in pouring out thoughts in an unresponsive computer, with an apathetic feeling toward this pathetic attitude of mine. There is comfort in knowing that I am not unduly burdening anyone with my whining and my sulking, except trashing the internet with my trash.

I feel my energy sucked out of me. Maintaining optimism is tiresome, especially when I cannot figure how is it that I could not have it easy. Enough with the talk that "at least you'll be a stronger person". I do not want that anymore. I hate that. I just want to have some luck. Rest. For me and my family. Peace of mind. Comfort.

I am tired of forcing the perspective that my life is better than others. Could I just now take the normal view, that how is it that my life sucks than those of others? That there is much I do not have, and much that I have lost? Time. How can I bring back time?

Shouting in silence is confining. When I walk in the street or in corridors, I could not even put a fake smile. I could not even hide that "I am not okay!" This is what I get for fooling myself.

I am sorry. I am just tired. And disappointed. Time and again.

Sunday, July 15, 2012


There seems to be a lingering feeling of sadness inside me for days now. I couldn't shake it off. I've been trying to "drop" this feeling by watching TV or doing anything so I would stop thinking, feeling, I am sad. I thought that maybe, if I write it here, if I tell this blog that "hey, I am sad..." I might finally release this sadness inside.

5... 4... 3... 2...

Friday, July 13, 2012

black and white (almost)

I shared this picture as well in my own blog. But I just can't let go of the beauty of the picture I can see in here. It looks so laid back (probably because of the conservative color), and yet, so modern (in the sense that the picture shows an industrialized scene. Either way, I feel like NatGeo will soon contact me and commission me to make some photoshoots for them. Or perhaps some commercial giants will reproduce this pic for their picture frames for dad's day or something. Hehehe.

Libre mangarap. :-)


Have you seen DOST's Project NOAH (Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards) already? It's a website giving all sorts of weather and other related information. One of the "cool features" of the site is that it tries to provide the probability of rain at any given time and any given place. I guess with a star tsp100, you can print all weather probabilities in the Philippines in just one click. Isn't that helpful?

Well, when my brother found out about this, he tried to check the site one time. It said there is about 40-50% chance of rains in his area. He said he won't overcompensate, so, he'll bring about 50% of his umbrella to work. :-D


In case you are wondering, this corny guest-post is from Eks. :-)

what's next -- soul for computers?

This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill – the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill – you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes.
Google teaching computers to mimic human brain
Agence France-Presse

SAN FRANCISCO—Google on Tuesday said it was dabbling with getting  computers to simulate the learning process of the human brain as one of the unusual projects for researchers in its X Lab.

Computers programmed with algorithms intended to mimic neural  connections “learned” to recognize cats after being shown a sampling of  YouTube videos, Google fellow Jeff Dean and visiting faculty Andrew Ng  said in a blog post.

“Our hypothesis was that it would learn to recognize common objects in those videos,” the researchers said.

“Indeed, to our amusement, one of our artificial neurons learned to respond strongly to pictures of… cats,” they continued.

“Remember that this network had never been told what a cat was, nor was it given even a single image labeled as a cat.”

The computer, essentially, discovered for itself what a cat looked like, according to Dean and Ng.

The computations were spread across an “artificial neural network” of 16,000 processors and a billion connections in Google data centers.

The small-scale “newborn brain” was shown YouTube images for a week to see what it would learn.

“It ‘discovered’ what a cat looked like by itself from only unlabeled YouTube stills,” the researchers said.

“That’s what we mean by self-taught learning.”

Google researchers are building a larger model and are working on ways to apply the artificial neural network approach to improve technology for speech recognition and natural language modeling,
according to Dean and Ng.

“Someday this could make the tools you use every day work better, faster, and smarter,” they said.

Dean and Ng conceded that there is a long road ahead, since an adult human brain has around 100 trillion connections.

Google X Lab headed by company co-founder Sergey Brin is known for  its work on innovations such as a self-driving car and “Terminator” film  style glasses that provide Internet information about what is being  seen.

From Inquirer


Google made it big once again! This invention is not as if it's just another Manitowoc ice maker of sorts -- this is a thinking software. Have you decided which pill to take when the time comes? Hehehe.

This is Eks, writing a guest-post for Mordsith. Thanks, Mordsith!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Haggardo Versoza

That should be my name now.

I guess most of us have our hands full of so many different things. Children. Work. And for me, mostly books and cases (and work). I still could not believe I have made it to fourth year. I guess ora et labora has its miracles. I certainly hope it will still work this, hopefully, last year of law school.

I won't complain anymore of lack of time. I wanted to take on these things (by the way, I also joined our school's legal aid bureau and we'll be handling actual cases), so I guess I just have to make do. Gadgets could really help in my day-to-day activities, especially a tablet with flash, but I don't have that so I'll manage with my pen and old notebook. I guess that is the message to you, friends: WE WILL MANAGE!

And from time to time, find something to laugh about,. Like the title of this post. Gotta log off now coz it's time to meet Stress Drilon. =)

Friday, June 15, 2012

everyone dies

It was superb. Nothing more I could expect from him.

I just watched the last episode of the last season of House. I deferred watching it for months, knowing that this season would be the last. I guess I really have problems with goodbyes. But sooner or later, I know I have to face it, you know, "the end." What would be more fitting than to watch it with the person I have started watching it with. Thanks, eks.

I know it's just television, but this is how I am -- I get attached a little too much.

The ending left me in awe. The series has had its ups and downs, the first was definitely great, one or two seasons were so-so, but the last season (especially the last 5 episodes) was a minefield of emotions! And all throughout, House (the doctor) was never a disappointment. An interesting character, a great actor.  Gregory House was a genius doctor, a prankster, a selfish ass who would steal workers compensation insurance when he feels like it, logical to a fault, brutally frank, a pain in the ass, sarcastic, egotistic, and lost.  I have watched the series not only for its storyline, but mostly for House's clever retorts and humorous insults. His points of view were unique but quite true, most notable of which is that "everybody lies." He may be so many "bad" things, but he was never boring.

Looking back, the whole House was a person's journey to life -- or to what is life. And in the end, you just have to accept, everyone dies*.

*The very last episode's title.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

The Duchess of Waves

Thank goodness I haven't spend the whole summer at home. Just most of it.

I drank with friends until about 2.30 a.m. At about 2 a.m., we were talking of going to Baler at 10 a.m. I woke up at 7 a.m. to finish all my jobs due so I'd be ready to leave by 10 a.m. Actually, despite the beers, I couldn't sleep well. I was so excited to try surfing. I was so anxious to go.

By 9 a.m., none of my friends were texting me to confirm our trip. It seemed like just a conversation of drunks! By 12 noon and no messages from anyone, I have accepted that the summer will be over without Baler.

So I was so thrilled when by 1 p.m. I received a text that we will be going to Baler! In no time, I had already prepared all my stuff!

When we arrived at Sabang Beach, it was almost dark. We got out of the car and immediately paid for surfing lessons. About 10 minutes, we were already in the water, each with an instructor and a surfboard. When I was able to stand in the board, I knew why so many people love to surf. It's a unique experience playing with the waves - that you can actually play with it!

I appreciate more the surfers I see on movies and those in pictures of Hawaii. It must be more fantastic to watch them in 3D and with a home theater system. Better yet, I wish I could see real surfers in action in giant waves in real life. They seem like dancing with the waves. The surfer pros' stance are really graceful and the balance, wonderful.

I have always been in love with the water. But surfing, it's a newfound love. Half-jokingly, I told my grandmother I will no longer study law. I said, I'd have a better life surfing than lawyering. ;p

My friends and I fell in love with surfing, It was only our first time to try to surf, and we all wanted to learn more. We even fancied ourselves to be surfer royalties, hence the name. =)


My family has always teased me as pambato. You'd think I am like the superstar of the family in academics or in sports or in beauty contests. Well, I'm not. I am just their best bet in eat-all-you-can restaurants. haha.

And indeed, I could eat for hours. In Yakimix, my family's and my friend's favorite buffet restaurant, I have already mastered the art of eating a lot. I think I have discovered what to eat first and what to eat last. I knew which food I should not eat, so that I would not feel full already.

Even in fiestas, I can be at my "best", only it's a little more embarassing to consume all the food in the table, especially when I look familiar to people. haha. From afternoon until the globe string lights are on at night, I could keep my mouth busy and full. =)

One time, when I with my parents and eks ate at the same resto, eks and I ate for three hours (right, eks?). The table beside ours has had three batches of customers already, and we were still pigging out!

I actually do not know how much maki, Korean beef, and ice cream I can take. At least i know it's A LOT. It's supposed to be embarassing for a lady to be called pambato at this kind of game. But I am proud of it. I think it's really a talent. =)

life changing

I haven't seen my high school barkada for a few years now (and I haven't seen my college friends for a long time, too) until this week. So, if there would be any change in their personalities, I would notice.

As I have expected, and wanted, nothing much has changed. It was like we were still in high school once again, just with more pounds and rounded bellies. Well, I guess the topic our conversations changed a little, but we were still talking about music, comics, and books, and I kept on asking about gadgets (being tech-dumb!) and motion sound amplifiers for sale. It made me wonder if it's true what they say that people change.

I guess not. At least not at the surface. Or maybe, at least not in its core. I guess people would develop a keener understanding of life, and love, as they grow old, but the funny ones remain funny, the witty ones remain witty, and the gloomy ones remain gloomy. I guess it takes more than growing old to change attitudes and more than a few common problems to switch "modes". It has to be something life-changing or a life (continously) changing.

Now, I ask myself, have I changed?

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


Eduard and brother Eric playing with soda crowns, flatting them with stones

It was Eduard's birthday the other day. We had a simple celebration in our house. Mom cooked her classic spaghetti for the 12-year-old celebrant, and there were some fried chickens, too. Only the immediate family members were present, but it was nevertheless a lovely day.

Once again, I am happy that my cousin (who is more like a son to me) is growing up to be a simple boy, who never asked for anything his family couldn't afford. He never asked, not even wished, for a PSP, Wii, or a Nike shoes or anything a boy his age would naturally want to have. Even custom design t-shirts will make him happy. Actually, I don't have a gift yet, and he understands I'm broke these days, and I never heard a tantrum from him. (On my last birthday, he broke his piggy bank to buy me a gift.)

I like looking at the photo above. It's a good memory frozen in time. I hope they could stay children forever. Or at least, I hope they remain pure in heart.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

on being bored

You ought not to be bored and you cannot be.
You have music, which you appreciate, books, study;
your whole life lies before you,
and now or never is the time to prepare for it
and save yourself future regrets
A year hence it will be too late.

- from Family Happiness by Leo Tolstoy

The Beatles saved the world from boredom, says George Harrison. Indeed. Well, one could spend time planning for the future (a most productive way); one will never run out of things to be ready for. At times though, one could spend a day procrastinating or just sleeping.

The point is one should find something to do. Boredom could just kill you.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

why does she have a dragon tattoo?

I know I have watched a good film when I can't stop thinking about it long after I've watched it. In this case, I have watched The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo yesterday afternoon. Several times I've opened this laptop to write something about it, and several times I did not start. It felt like my thoughts here, as written, would not capture how much I appreciated the film.

I started watching DVDs of Oscars-nominated films, among others, since vacation started. I haven't watched all of them yet, but I doubt I'd enjoy another more than I did with The Girl. I will try to give structure to this post of why I love the film because now I feel like writing details all at once.

I watched the film without any idea of what kind of a film it is, save for the short synopsis at the back cover of the DVD. It was a blessing; I expected nothing of the film, so the film gave me more, much more, than I expected.

The film left my mind working from the beginning until the end. It's the kind of story where you can't figure out what will happen next, although what happens next is not per se shocking. Still, the story maintained the mystery until the end. Definitely, this film is not for relaxing; it's for stimulating.

Actually, it feels like watching a book. (I have not read the book.) It has intricacies that one finds in a book, as well as metaphorical details. Watching the film seems like flipping pages of a book, and the characters are coming into life. I particularly noticed the language of Henrik Vanger. It's very poetic.

What I found really interesting about the film is its dysfunctional world, like the dysfunctional Kick-Ass world. I was drawn to its dysfunctional characters. It has (1) a dedicated male journalist convicted of libel who lives an adulterous life; (2) a girl with facial piercings and multiple tattoos who is a ward of the state for being incompetent but is a genius and a computer hacker; a guardian who rapes his ward; and a whole family whose every member is damaged one way or another.

With characters who really have characters, I guess a good story naturally follows. It starts with a retired CEO Henrik Vanger hiring the libel-convicted journalist Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig) to investigate the murder of his niece Harriet, which took place 40 years ago. Talk about obsession. The murder took place in an island which the family owns and where only family members live. To Henrik's mind, Harriet was slain by the hands of a Vanger.

Mikael started investigating each member of the wealthy Vanger family, under the guise of writing a memoir for the retired Henrik Vanger. The whole town, a small one, though knows that he is investigating the disappearance of Harriet. In my view, the town is creepy in itself. Everybody knows everybody, and a stranger is so easy to spot. So the investigation went on. Eventually, he sought the help of Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara), a very good researcher/investigator, having a talent in hacking and a probing mind.

The central characters of the story, Mikael and Lisbeth, were an unlikely "dynamic duo". Together, they tried to solve the mystery of Harriet. Interestingly, they are led by Leviticus bible verses, written by Harriet in a notebook, which are hardly inspirational; in fact, the verses describe ways of violently "punishing" wrongdoers, female wrongdoers. Imagine an ancient cruel punishment in modern-day life. It must have felt right to the punisher, feeling backed up by ancient wisdom. The deeper the investigation goes, the more twisted the family becomes. There are different layers of mud.

Another story line in The Girl is a look in Lisbeth's life. She has been a ward of the state since 12, and a problem ward at that. She's living alone, independently, and never really connected with anyone, except maybe for her old guardian (prior to the rapist) who unfortunately suffered brain damage. She's a brilliant investigator, noticing minute details, even in photos; she'll probably notice a change in fabric even in leather furniture repair. She's unsociable, independent, and violent, if provoked. Her dragon tattoo probably breathes the fire, and the fury, she feels inside. She feels no remorse in torturing a person if he deserves it. She's definitely damaged. And all that she is at this point is perhaps a cry for help.

Through the course of the investigation, Lisbeth found a friend in Mikael. How she expressed her appreciation to this new concept of "connection" to a person is very unorthodox. Their friendship is unorthodox.

As the story unfolds, more and more, I feel empathy toward Lisbeth, but never for Mikael. Mikael's battle is for restoring his reputation as a journalist, although there seemed to be no attempt to fix his personal life. On the contrary, there seemed to be a glimpse of hope to Lisbeth's reclusive life when she finally made one friend.

The next question is whether the story has a happy ending.

Friday, April 13, 2012

summer sun

No one will contest, it's very HOT this summer! But I dare not complain, I've been looking forward to this season. This is a time to rest and to have fun. The scorching heat of the sun is just a minor setback, although it would be great if it'll be a little less hot. What the heck. At least we're more likely to lose weight due to more sweating rather than due to diet pills (which could be harmful, you know,

I received texts from friends now and then complaining of the heat, and usually, it is associated with hell. haha. I couldn't disagree. But I guess, it's a sign we should go to the beach, or even to a swimming pool, or to somewhere "cool".

Or we should just go the mall. Or to movie houses. Or to restaurants. Or to Starbucks.

The summer sun is telling me to, "hey, start enjoying the summer!"

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

moving on

Sometimes the movies got it right or they just get into you.

People my age, at some points in their lives, inevitably feel left alone, or left out. The idea just gets into your head that all the people around you have moved on, everyone, except you. People keep on marrying each other or just fathering children. Invitations to weddings and christenings and first birthdays become regular, and you are always the invited. Everyone's smiling faces are on Facebook. And you are just stuck waiting for "true" love.

People my age, at some points in their lives, inevitably feel a failure. Everyone has a stable career, got promoted once or twice or three times, sent here and there, and just keeps getting up the career ladder. Everyone just keeps on buying brand new cars, staying in condos, and looking ahead. In the future, these people would be worrying about spa covers, sagging skin, and where to go next, while you are just starting a new life. Everyone's resumes are on LinkedIn. And you are just stuck chasing your "dream".

But you should feel these bad vibes only at some point in your lives, not go on living life feeling bitter, and lost, and desperate. You are not stuck in a pointless life; you are pursuing something more. Someday, probably, you will also see yourselves moving on, finally moving forward.

Sunday, April 1, 2012


I know I am not a fool, although I feel exactly like one. In some ways, I knew something not good will happen to me this day. It's just so dramatic, and pathetic, that today is April fools' day.

I lost two phones today, an iPhone 4s and an old Nokia phone which I've been using for years. These two phones both have values, one economic and one sentimental. And I never thought I'd lose them both at the same time.

I don't know if this happens to all people who've been victims of theft, but I am now thinking of all the things that if I had done, I wouldn't have lost my phones. For example, I shouldn't have gone to mass today, since it's been several weeks already since my last time. I mean why did I have the urge to go to church today? Second, I should have taken a taxi because I was feeling lazy to commute (I am positive it's the guy beside me in the jeepney), but jeepneys were much accessible and practical at that time and area. Third, I should have left my phones at home, as I always do when I go to church with family. There are just so many things that could have happened that could lead me out of that "wrong place, wrong time" situation, unless I was meant to be there.

Some said it's better that I did not notice that my bag was being slashed. For sure, I will fight back. Why should I not? I've taken good care of that 4s. I never laid it anywhere without a hanky or something soft to avoid scratches. Besides, stealing is just plain wrong. So they said that if I had fought for that phone, the slash would be in my body, not in my bag. Still, I could have bought an slr camera from that, or pay my house rent, or just keep my phone. That phone had been very useful in law school and in my other interests (music, books).

I am thinking of two things right now. First, maybe he badly needs the money to survive. Second, maybe I'd see him someday on news report, DEAD. I wish it's the latter.

Friday, March 30, 2012


Everything has a purpose, even machines.
Clocks tell the time, and trains take you places.
They do what they're meant to do.
Like Monsieur Cabisse
Maybe that's why broken machines make me so sad.
They can't do what they're meant to do.
Maybe it's the same with people.
If you lose your purpose, it's like you're broken.

--- Hugo Cabret, from the film Hugo

Saturday, March 17, 2012

(near) the end of third year

This is what I will be like after Saturday.

I am looking forward to the end of the semester. But of course, prior to that, I should pass through the "finals" stage first, and hope to be successful at that. At this point, I should already be used to taking long and difficult exams, but up to now, I still feel serious anxiety anticipating the exams, instead of just preparing for it. It's probably because, compared with other students, I have more to lose in failing, being a working student and all, not to mention that I should have entered and finished law school several years already.

I guess it's in my nature to scare myself to compel myself. I guess different things work for different people. I hope this one would still work. For now, I just want to sit in our outdoor glider and internalize the exams.

Please wish me luck on my finals. =)

Thursday, March 8, 2012


Aaron was the boy whom my mom met, and came to love, during her month-long radiation at Medical City. He had brain cancer, stage 4, but he was still a 10-year-old boy who played with toy guns.

His radiation treatment was funded by PCSO. He was a PGH patient, but it was Medical City which has radiation facilities. Although his daily radiation session was paid by the government, the travel expenses and the medicines were not. He and his ate traveled every day from Bulacan to Manila, although there were days when they missed radiation sessions for they did not have money to pay the bus.

It's a good thing that, among his "classmates" at radiation, there were kind souls. Growing fond of the boy, and having sympathy at his "poor" life, some contributed money while some gave him clothes. He was especially happy about the baseball cap and the new shirt he got one time; he wore those a lot. At this juncture, I would like to thank my friends who contributed money to help Aaron's treatment. His family was most grateful to all your help. His mother said, "salamat sa inyo, kahit hindi niyo kami kadugo."

After radiation, it was a miracle that the tumors in his brain dissipated. I believed it was a miracle, as even at the start, the doctors were not so hopeful he would get well. So he bid goodbye to Medical City and continued his checkups at PGH.

Sometimes, Aaron would call my mom, tell her not to worry about him, and that she should herself get well. He even invited me to a procession in Bulacan as he was a part of it. I said I could not come but that I am happy he's strong now.

Then, there came news from his family that his health was plummeting. Doctors said he should undergo chemo, but in the end, his family decided not to for various reasons. I wanted to help and decided that once I earn from my food business, I'd share some with him, if only to help him ease his chronic headache. Unfortunately, though, until now, I have very poor sales, mostly because of wrong location.

Now, his ate just called, crying. Aaron left already.

Nothing is as fleeting as the life of a child taken away. This is just plain sad.

Monday, March 5, 2012

THE application

Last week, I applied to the legal aid bureau of our law school. The said organization goes to barangays and offers legal advice to the people therein. I thought it might be a good way of starting to contribute to society with my legal knowledge. After all, that's what I've always wanted or what I've envisioned myself doing.

I was hesitant at first, knowing that there are only limited slots available to students. Many of the top third-year students applied, so I know there's a slim chance I'd get accepted. There's a much more serious consideration though for my hesitation. I'll tell you in a while.

The interview didn't really go well. There are three parts, the last part being question and answer on random law subjects. There were objective questions and hypos. I was asked twice on criminal law, once on obligations and contracts, once on corporation law, and once on legal ethics. Unfortunately, the first three questions require memory from first year, and in that, I think I didn't do well. But it's okay, at least I tried!

There remains one requirement which I am yet to do. And this is what I fear most. I have to submit a VIDEO of myself showcasing a TALENT! There lies the problem. I have NO talent. I know because I've TRIED both singing and dancing, and the conclusion: talent just isn't for me.

Prior to my teen years, I used to play the piano. But that was more than a decade ago, and I can hardly read chords now. I'm wondering if I could still learn to play a guitar (because that's what I've always wanted to learn), and win trophy cups for playing, before the end of March (submission date).

I found a website full of beautiful guitars (and other instruments). So now, I am daydreaming that I can still achieve my "rock star dream." Look at this orange Gretsch electric guitar:

or this black Gibson one:

I admit I don't know much about guitar (except that I know that Gretsch and Fender are popular guitar brands, being the names of my guitarist friend's children). Still, they're enjoyable to look at. And it's always a good feeling reminiscing, or reliving, childhood fantasies. All I have to do now is bring them to life... if not in front of a crowd, at least in my video application. =)

Saturday, February 25, 2012

fallacy of the golden past

I went to UP Fair this year, after being absent for several years. There were obvious differences between the fair when I was in college and the fair now. For starters, the camera and the big screens were high-tech already. Before, the camera was manned by a person sitting on top of a makeshift tower. Now, the camera is similar to those used in concert venues. Asensado na ang UP!

But the thing I have realized is that I and my contemporaries are sooo behind with regard to the latest songs. We still like the alternative, punk, and rock genres, but the songs we know are limited from the 1990s to early 2000s. We're stuck in our time. haha. When the rock bands were performing on stage, the crowd was loud, singing along with the bands. We, on the other hand, were dumbfounded on the songs. We don't know a single line! It's like our national anthem was changed, only we don't know about it. haha.

During videoke nights with my law school classmates, who are several years younger than me, I'd always sing my favorite videoke pieces (the few that "suit" my voice): torn, kiss me, manila girl, every little thing (police's version), one of us, teenaged dirtbag, and Alanis' songs. I noticed that most of my classmates could not relate. haha. (Actually I don't care. I just want to sing with my monotonous tone!)

Last month, my teenaged cousin asked my mom to buy a certain microphone for him. It's a 5,000-peso so mic, and I haven't got a clue on what it can do. He also has several guitars and peavey 6505, none of which I know the functions of. Iba na talaga ang tumatanda.

My ignorance to newer good songs and rising bands is the fault if NU107.5 (the best rock station this country has known) closing down. OR maybe I am stuck in my generation, feeling that all things beautiful and all sounds great came from my time and the time before it. haha. I never thought I'd fall for the fallacy of the golden past.

Well, at least I realize it now. I just have to listen ( so NU, please come back!) to appreciate. Aba, mahirap ng mapag-iwanan ng panahon. =)

Saturday, February 18, 2012

nonchalance and indifference

I think I have stopped (seriously) writing on this and my other blog because I have stopped wanting to confront (serious) things. I think one comes to a point when you just don't wanna struggle and let things be, or let things pass, or let things resolve themselves. Sometimes you just stop arranging the perpetual mess in your closet or computer cabinet because it never stops to be messy, with fault not yours alone. And believe me, I don't perceive this as negative.

But this nonchalant behavior works only on constant pressures and permanent problems in my life. It doesn't work when something big just blows up---something I wish had NEVER happened at all, and something I have never wanted to confront. It also doesn't work when unexpectedly, when you are keeping your cool and trying to be positive, someone puts you in rage (and of course, only someone so close to you can elicit such strong emotion). And this is what is negative---my tendency to totally shut out a person in my life as if such person does not exist at all, my impenetrable indifference.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


The past three weddings in three months in the family of cousins younger than I am brought me into thinking of how my life would be in a few more years. After a long time, I was stricken with loneliness of not having a partner, a feeling I haven't felt for a long time. I was able to shove it off before I felt desperate. I do not feel that sad anymore, though I realize it would be good if I could plan a bit more on this aspect of my life.

Sure, I want to be a lawyer. For the past years, I've been thinking of where I would practice and in what field, etc. I also want to pursue further law studies abroad for a year or two after graduating here, although I know it's almost unattainable since I could not afford it. Still, from time to time, I dwell into that idea. If I can't, well, maybe I should settle with online bachelor degree programs, if they offer law courses.

One thing though, I realize I've been ignoring my personal life. I am so preoccupied with family and work and school that I realize I have no plans for myself, other than be a lawyer. For the first time, I felt a sense of panic (just a little), thinking that there's a probability that I'd spend my lifetime alone. So I thought of planning what to do next. Then again, these things, one cannot plan. And I only see Ted Mosby (How I Met Your Mother) and Damon Salvatore (Vampire Diaries) as my princes. So probably I could just hope that it will not be too late for me yet. Or that I'd be happy without a prince.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


Days are running fast, and I could hardly believe only a few days are remaining before my cousin's wedding. It's just that I could hardly see him as a grown man about to start a family. Despite him being 28, I still see him as the favorite grandson, the lola's boy. In our house, I could feel the stress and all sorts of emotions heightened as the "day" nears, especially the loneliness that our grandmother is (poorly) trying to hide with her bad moods.

For some reason, I also feel that loneliness, although to a much lesser degree. I guess it's a normal reaction between family members so accustomed to living together and doing everything together. But of course I know that he's not really going away, although our lives will not be the same as they were. I am hoping it would be happier lives ahead of us, especially when a new baby comes. And I wish my grandmother would sooner than later let go of the child she brought up as her son (as my cousin's mom died when he was just 11) and realize that her apo is no longer a baby and that she will always, always be a part of his life. Of course, she is irreplaceable. =)

the wine label eks and I (only eks really hehe) designed

After the wedding, the couple would go to the States for their honeymoon. I wonder if they are looking for someone fit for tour guide jobs, because if they are, well, the whole family is available. :DLink