Saturday, December 20, 2008


Ahhh... The smell of the holidays is soothing my senses... I'm now excited to spend my Christmas break at my hometown. Hmmmm.. The thought of home cooked meals like Buwad and Utan Bisaya is really making me itch to go home. Right now! The taste of beer is another enticing prospect that I'm looking forward for my vacation. But the most wonderful thing of all is, I don't get to work any more! No more waking up early (9:00 am is way too early for me), no more scratching my head (without the itch), no more researching and writing non-quality articles just because the quota is now 3,500 words in one day! Not to mention those pesky LTV's! My, my... this year's Christmas break will certainly be a breath of fresh air. Whew!

Monday, December 15, 2008

All Saints/Souls Day 2008

October has come and gone and I haven’t really posted a real post. The scratchy feeling of writing something is nagging me again tonight. I kept meaning to really write about the past national holidays (All Saints and Souls day) but it is now mid- month that is why I call this entry some sort of cramming.

Well, let’s start with my homeward journey to Cebu’s northernmost town, Bogo City. Naturally, during these special holidays, the North Terminal is ready to explode with passengers, all in a hurry to get to their respective destinations. A distinctive Filipino tradition is that whenever there's a special holiday being celebrated, it is instinctive and natural to go home to their own provinces. For me, the required travel also means a slight vacation on the side especially since Bogo is haven to wonderful, scenic beaches. In fact, the northward journey which starts from the town of Consolacion is jotted with beach lots and properties all along the coastline. Some towns such as Danao, Carmen and Catmon can really boast of sandy, white beaches located just along the national road. It is because of these roadside attractions that I am able to enjoy the trip despite of the heat and smoke of fuming buses and other vehicles. When we reach Lugo, vendors along the road offer us with Budbod Kabog, a local delicacy made of corn extracts which is really mouth-watering once you get the hang of it. At last, we reach Brgy. Lapaz, passed along the Shrine of Mary Immaculate, and the Municipal Hall of Bogo greets us just located at the left side the road. This is the first landmark which signals that you are approaching the Bogo proper.

Thankfully, the three hour ride to my good, old home town was over and I finally hit home. However, all my folks were already at the cemetery paying respects to our dear departed ones. My brother even texted me to follow them if I can still manage it. But the heat and dust from travel never fails to make me dizzy that is why I choose to go home first. Anyway, my plan is to visit the cemetery and light candles on November 2nd to avoid the bulk of people generally expected to make their visits on the 1st.

I had a good sleep after which a good home made meal (thanks to my Ma's ever homey cooking skills :=)). When night came, I spent some time with friends hanging out in Bogo's Pantalan, it's the ever popular tambayan of Bogohanons. I chose not to make out most of the night since my younger brother is with me. We made our way home at around 12:00 midnight. I was up early the next day. I have to pack my things again for the trip back to Cebu City. But first, I went to my Aunt's burial place, lighted candles and said a prayer, hoping that She's in a safe place with the angels above together with all of my departed folks.

Once again, I sat in a Ceres bus for the ride back to where my work, responsibilities and life are. I'll be missing my family, friends and of course, good old Bogo. But for sure, I'll be back for the next big celebration- Christmas! Definitely, another trip worth looking forward into.

XS: Time, time, time! I realize now that if only I could give up my drinking sessions, I would have access to ample time for writing.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

For Ngap2

Usher Separated

Oh no, no, no, no

If love was a bird
Then we wouldn't have wings
If love was a sky
We'd be blue
If love was a choir
You and I could never sing
Cause love isn't for me and you

If love was an Oscar
You and I could never win
Cause we can never act out our parts
If love is the Bible
Then we are lost in sin
Because its not in our hearts

So why don't you go your way
And I'll go mine
Live your life, and I'll live mine
Baby you'll do well, and I'll be fine
Cause we're better off, separated

If love was a fire
Then we have lost the spark
Love never felt so cold
If love was a light
Then we're lost in the dark
Left with no one to hold

If love was a sport
We're not on the same team
You and I are destined to lose
If love was an ocean
Then we are just a stream
Cause love isn't for me and you

So why don't you go your way
And I'll go mine
Live your life, and I'll live mine
Baby you'll do well, and I'll be fine
Cause we're better off, separated

Girl I know we had some good times
It's sad but now we gotta say goodbye
Girl you know I love you, I can't deny
I can't say we didn't try to make it work for you and I
I know it hurts so much but it's best for us
Somewhere along this windy road we lost the trust
So I'll walk away so you don't have to see me cry
It's killing me so, why don't you go

So why don't you go your way
And I'll go mine
Live your life, and I'll live mine
Baby you'll do well, and I'll be fine
Cause we're better off, separated

Monday, September 22, 2008

Let Go of Fear

Too much fear keeps individuals from truly living their lives. How?

Feel this:
Have you ever experienced that unfathomable, gripping fear wrenching your gut without any possible escape wherever you look? How ever you want to be in another place, there simply is no escape. Not another exit route to go. Nowhere to hide.
Then you start to stop trying in finding ways to get out. And despair consumes you.

Picture this:
There's this philosopher, Soren Kierkegaard who fell in love with a woman. But fearing they would end up in vain, he intentionally broke up their engagement. Still, he continued philosophizing about love but unable to really experience and feel it.
The scenario is somewhat pathetic, right?

To love truly is to let go of one's fear. This is aptly put by Gerald G. Jampolsky's book, “Love is Letting Go of Fear.”
When you love without reservations and drawbacks, that is the real time of being in love.

Let me discuss the commonly over abused phrase, “I love you.”
If you really, really dissect it, the letter “I” passes “Love” to the word, “You”. Thus, if “I” is not yet capable or does not contain love, then what can it give to “You”? Surely, before love can pass from I to You, there should be love from the “I” first.

This means, before somebody can really love another, he/she should have sufficient love within him/herself.
Hence, before saying I love you the next time, be certain that you already have enough love for yourself to be able to truly love another being.
And this, requires letting go of your own fears, your own insecurities, your own doubts. If one is finally able to achieve this, then that is the time you can truly love another person.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Exercise Heals Pain of Abandonment

I am posting this in the hope of giving hope to those that have been abandoned. When you suddenly become a pathetic jerk despite of everything you did. Whew... Good luck to us all!

There you are dumped like the proverbial hot potato.
Take Julie. She was devastated. The man she went out for three years dumped her and with it, their engagement was called off.

She believed that they had a great relationship. Suddenly, and out of the blue, he tells her that he wants to take a break. He is unsure of what he wants in a relationship, and he is calling off the wedding.

Julie is devastated and suffering from the worst kind of rejection. The kind of dismissal when there is no siren warning like a tornado ripping through your living room at dawn. She had no idea that her man was going to abandon her.

In order to work through this pain, Julie can either push it away by denying its existence or face it directly.

If she avoids dealing with this pain, she have difficulty ever resolving it, and she also may suffer from physical or emotional problems. So she has to face the situation and deal with it.
Psychotherapist Bob Livingstone says that among other things you can do to heal from the pain is to get some exercise. Simple exercise can ease the pain. Here are seven ways to do it:
1. First of all, realize that feeling traumatized after getting dumped in this manner is normal. However, you need a way to process your feelings and work through them.
2. Write down an emotional pain question such as “How could he do this to me?” or “How do I feel about him now?” The purpose of writing down this question is to prepare you to focus on it once you begin your exercise.
3. Any aerobic exercise for 15 minutes or more will increase your endorphin levels and bring about a feeling of calmness. Walking, running, skating and swimming are some forms of exercise that you can participate in.
4. Focus on your emotional pain question while you are exercising. While you are working out, the brain chemistry changes, and it gives you a sense of self-confidence and inner peace.
5. Listen to music that provokes an emotional response while you are working out and focusing on your emotional pain question.
6. Choose music that you know will bring up intense memories of your former lover or other songs that trigger earlier memories.
7. Sometimes, these earlier memories can help us gather up the strength to deal with heartbreak.
8. After your workout, write down your thoughts and feelings in journal form.
9. You will notice that writing down your experience will further advance your feelings of sadness, anger and betrayal.

Eventually, you will learn to accept this devastating loss and move on with your life. You will no longer feel like a victim, and your heart will be open for positive energy that may come your way.

-AT's Note: Extracted from SunStar Cebu's Lifestyle section.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

WHEN LOVE DIES(Melanie T. Lim-SunStar Cebu)

SOMETIMES, love dies. And there is no easy explanation for it.

Some of us see it coming. Some of us don’t. But most of us try not to see it at all. Because it is easier to pretend that all is well rather than admit that your dreams have been shattered and you are left only with the broken pieces of your heart.
It hurts to imagine the person we love with someone else. It hurts to no longer be the object of his affections. It hurts to no longer be the centre of his universe. It hurts to no longer be wanted. It hurts to be discarded, replaced and dumped unceremoniously like an old rag that has outlived its usefulness.
It hurts to no longer be loved.
But it happens everyday to the best among us- to the beautiful, the kind, the talented, the smart, the successful, the multi-awarded. It happens to the perfect wife, sister, friend and mother. It happens to the civic leader, the CEO, the cover girl.
Whether or not it’s something we did or didn’t do, sometimes, love just dies. And over thinking (as my sister would say) would serve no purpose.
To be loved is a blessing. But to no longer be loved is not necessarily a tragedy.
We’ve been raised since childhood to believe that love must last forever. And perhaps it must. But isn’t it possible to simply savour the moment and become richer by it without wanting to possess it forever? Isn’t it possible to love and let go and love again?
Isn’t it possible to love forever but to love different people over time?
It’s all right to no longer be loved. It’s all right to stop loving. It’s all right to mourn for love’s losses but to condemn yourself to a life of misery because your love did not last forever is foolhardy. If love must die, let it go peacefully into the night.
But don’t keep score. Love is not a contest. It is not a competition to see who emerges the prettiest, the craftiest or toughest. Love is what it is- a GIFT. It cannot be forced on anyone. Neither can it be forced out of anyone. So let it be.
When love dies, hold on to the memories. But let go of the one you love.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A Night for Dancers- July 19, 2008

So there I was, doing last minute personal touches. What, exactly is expected from a judge for dance contests? My good friend Anjo (who served as the host and organizer), albeit sought me out of necessity (the assigned judge went missing) told me that he was able to determine that I was the ideal emergency substitute because of credibility. Good for him. So, can I be really a worthy judge? Oh-oh...

Lucky me, two groups backed-out from the competition so that left me judging thirteen dance groups since fifteen groups were originally supposed to compete. Lights were bright as I sat on the judge's table facing the stage. The program started with an opening number featuring all the dance groups. My, Cebu can really boast of its local talent to go international, even. All of them are still young who clearly has a passion for dancing and the potential to make it big.

Uh-uhm.. I better be good at this. These young people probably spent sleepless nights practising their moves and perfecting choreography. Plus, they might have gone to extremes in extorting and breaking arms just so their parents and relatives donate to sponsor their uniforms. My, my... crankiness is slowly crawling my nerves. I willed myself to focus-- on the steps, the coordination, the choreo and the overall impact of every dance number. By and by, I found my head slowly shaking with the rhythm of their dance music. I'm actually starting to enjoy the show. One dancer somersaulted, and plop!-- Great! I admire the originality of each group. To interpret a song and make it into a creation is simply ingenious. I made a mental note: Kudos to the trainers! You know in your own heart you are the winner even if I have to sit here and tally scores.

SK officials from Brgy. Ramos should be commended, they have managed to make a simple Brgy. activity into a pillar for youth development by showcasing their talent in dancing. The previous and present Ramos SK officials, together with the whole SK Ramos Team took invaluable cooperation in organizing the wonderful activity for that night. Next time guys, I won't be that hesitant to pitch in what I can contribute. To all the dance participants, losing is one thing but to be a dancer takes a winner to stand up there in the spotlight and strut your stuff. The night indeed was for you, dancers. A BIG, DEAFENING applause to all!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Random Haunts

There she is again,
Haunting me with her eyes,
Her face...
Her look...

Where did I come short?
Or, have I given too much?
Is that why you still continue to haunt me?
Will you ever stop sweetly torturing me?

Oh, the nights
The nights come and along comes my misery--
Just stop, stop!
Stop this unfair illusion.

Tell me, tell me how to let go of something I did not even have...
Tell me how to move on despite of all the sacrifices...
Teach me how to forget, teach me to let it go unconditionally
Give me something to step on...

Let me swallow my pride without hate
Help me to let go without bitterness
Let me face the shame of failure with grace
Give me the strength to set you free-- calmly

That is the only way,
This constricting feeling inside my ribcage right now--
Will finally stop,
And even this end, I will embrace.

Friday, July 4, 2008

RD Contribution

the story reads:

When my Aunt and Uncle were still newlyweds, after
their honeymoon, they went straight to my Aunt's
Because my Uncle wanted to impress his new in-laws, he
spent much of his time talking to my Aunt's family.
But not long after, he hurriedly called my Aunt.
"Why doesn't anyone believe a thing I say? Even your
mother doesn't believe me!", he asked angrily.
My Aunt, surprised by the question, replied, "Oh,

-Do you get the gist of this? Please post a comment if you do.



Alone I trudge along,
Alone I walk the path,
Until alone I reach the-- what?

For me there is no solace in living,
For even in love,
I still find myself alone,
And hurting...

Thursday, July 3, 2008

A Second Trip to Masbate

My second trip to Cawayan, Masbate started with getting into the “Lansta”. It is a bigger version of a pump boat to accommodate more passengers. It is the usual sea carrier used to transport passengers from one island to another or to the mainland within the Philippines particularly in the Visayas Region and its neighbors. It is more like a ferryboat but faster.

Cawayan is a coastal town and is a third class municipality in the province of Masbate. It has thirty seven barangays. Our destination is the barangay of Divisoria near the poblacion, the main trading center of that part of town. The main livelihood of the people is fishing. It is known for its cheaper dried fish, shells, crabs and squids and of course, the freshness of the seafood straight from the sea is most notable compared to other places of the Region.

My first trip was decided out of a broken heart, broken dreams and a huge disappointment out of life. So I didn’t get to enjoy any aspect of the trip. I went home feeling more depressed and I never envision I’d go there again. But time is such a healer so, with the prodding of my friends, I decided to go back with no real expectations. I just wanted to enjoy the summer and my free time.

First thing you’ll notice when you arrive is the stillness and dryness of the air. I know it is summer but it certainly is drier there than even when in the city. A close friend’s brother is getting married the next morning so everybody was busy preparing everything from pans, cooking ware and kitchen utensils to the decorating and cleaning of the place. I busied myself with slicing the onions, garlic, carrots, potatoes, beans and everything that is needed for the cooking. That way, the cook will have an easier and faster time preparing the party meals.

Early the next morning, I found myself in the church clicking and shooting the wedding ceremonies for I was the one lucky enough to have a video cam. After which, we headed straight back to the house where servers are busy preparing the table. I got a good slice of lechon skin plus all the menus on the buffet. I ate to my stomach’s content. Beer was served. After a while, they ran out of chilled beer so we have to put some home made ice. Nobody wants their beer warm specially me and my friends

After the party, when only the family members are drinking and chatting, we headed for a swim in a secluded beach property. Children are playing and milling about the seashore. Although the sand is not so white than I would prefer to like, I felt relaxed and contented. I always have this pristine feeling whenever I’m in the beach. Some of my friends are drinking Rhum this time. I decided to sleep instead under a small coconut tree. Hard drinks are not much to my taste and intestines. When I woke up, I felt this slight pang of pain inside my stomach. Oh! The result of my eating binge with pork oil and cholesterol. I feel I wanted to vomit. I was getting weak. They decided we go home by walking through the beach front. So I summoned all my remaining strength to reach the seawall fronting our host’s house some fifty meters from where we swam. Every step was a little prick inside my tummy. When we finally arrived, I drank some Jazz cola to appease my pain, somehow. By this time, two of my friends also were having stomach aches. Just the result of eating and drinking too much that the body can’t take. I turned in to sleep.

The next day was for packing my things for our trip back to Cebu City. After saying our thanks to our host’s parents, we drop by her Aunt’s place. Their family and some friends bade us goodbye and the husband accompanied us to the beach where the pump boat is waiting to transport us to the waiting Lantsa. Along the way, he bought us some dried fish for “pasalubong” when we get home. We are so touched by the gesture that we had nothing to say but to accept it. Such people are rare and should be commended for their hospitality and generosity. Little though they have (they fish for a living) but they are eager to share what they can. I was finally able to say my thanks to him when we reached the pump boat .

I don’t say I regret this second visit. The trip back home was pleasant enough. I was able to see islets through my scope and fishing boats milling about. I also took pictures of myself with the sea as background. This second visit was much more healing than I expected from the first. I thank God for letting me drift there once again. Indeed, I enjoyed myself for the time spent there was certainly worth it. ***