Humor me, please.

I am practically on the verge of dozing off but my feelings just wont let me. This December month is just so eventful I can't even remember it's December. Today's been a long one. Too long, in fact, that I don't want to sleep on it. I'd rather greet tomorrow by sitting here on the computer telling you about how this day has been.

We had our re-defense for our thesis today. It was our third time facing the panelists but this time was different, because we were doing the actual defense already. Unlike the other ones where we were just asked one question and boom, we're sent out of the room due to circumstances I could only smile about, this time we defended our paper, and with one question we were again sent out of the room due to circumstances that I could now LAUGH about.

Life's humor. I have plenty of reasons to go mad over what's happened today, but I choose to laugh. And I'm not sure I'm getting by by doing so but the day is about to close and I'm still sane, so yeah, I think I'm actually good with it. Laughing.

Chinese on All Souls' Day


Judging by my name, one can tell that I am of Chinese descent but it took me fifteen years to realize that looks-wise, I am one. Well, quarter of it actually. I spent my last high school summer working in our bakery as a sales lady when some of our customers would ask me if I were Chinese. I would say yes, then turn to our employees, and ask them if I really did have those chinita eyes. They too, said yes. Then I was convinced I am evidently Chinese-blooded.

Although we had the blood of the chinky-eyed race, we were not so traditional about it. I didn't study in Chinese schools and couldn't even speak the language well. We do few common traditions though like the giving of red packets with money inside as gifts for new years, birthdays and weddings; having misua on birthdays to signify long life, feng shui for luck, and chopsticks--I'm not even good at using them despite having plenty of them from my late grandparents. These traditions are getting very common that even people without Chinese descent practice them. However, there is this day that we come to once a year that I feel so Chinese about: All Souls Day.

Filipino-Chinese people have a very interesting way of commemorating the dead. Our family and relatives visit our late grandparents in the old Chinese cemetery where they were laid to rest. Aside from candles designed with gold dragons and inscriptions, we bring incense, which are thin sticks, usually red in color, burned and placed in an urn. We also bring joss paper (Chinese dead money) which are burned as offerings to ensure that spirits of the deceased have lots of good things in the afterlife; and of course, food such as hopia, tikoy, pansit, and fruits, which are laid on the tomb as a sign that the souls share in the feast. And it is a common practice of putting the pictures of our late relatives on the altar or tomb as a way of remembering their faces.

sill



I sit by the window
in solitude on a cold afternoon
writing my thoughts
that go out only to you.

How long shall I wait
for the stillness to break
that of the words
that my ears demand?

Searching in the wind
that carries your voice
in vain I have hoped
but hear I cannot.




My 20th and His


photo by ainukiw

I woke up to the sweetest voice in the planet: my DAD singing me a happy birthday song of his very own slow sweet tune. I looked at him and smiled, reached out my hand and he held it then I closed my eyes and listened to him, hoping not to fall asleep. It was 6am in the morning. He wished me good health and God's blessings. Unfortunately, I sleep on top of a double deck bed so I had to reach out to hug him and he had to stand on the lower bed to reach me.

Perfect morning start for the last day of my 20th year.
I went back to sleep and woke up for good 2 hours later. As birthday tradition on mornings, we had misua (very thin noodles) for breakfast with loads of boiled eggs. I didn't expect my dad to be around by then but due to unknown cause that gave him GI problems, he was forced to stay home and miss watching live huge boxing match at some good restaurant.

While I was surfing the internet like any other lazy weekend afternoon, my dad, sitting on his chair in the sala watching TV, told me to come over. Come over I did. He asked me to sit on his lap so sit I did, although feeling a bit awkward but I'm pretty used to it. He does this annually. :)

"20 na intawn akong anak, akong eldest. Kumusta man ka day Chris?" (My eldest daughter has turned 20. How's life been?)

Hearing those words and seeing the smile on his face, I know I have the best dad in the world. I hugged him tight and kissed him on the cheek, told him everything's good and whispered I love him.

To my dad who is celebrating his fatherhood anniversary, happy 20th to you too. :)

Number 125

I spent 7 long hours inside a mall all for the renewal of a small plastic card that's called my driver's license. And due to incomprehensible circumstances, I didn't even get to hold the ID in my precious hands after--let me say it again--7 long hours.

My dad told me it's only gonna cost me an hour or two but when I got there in the early hour of 11 o'clock noon right after my class and saw the swarm of people in this frustratingly undersized government office, my precious small eyes told me otherwise.

Booooo to Mandaue LTO for its renovation hence the hoarding of these human bodies in this very little space.

There were four steps in the drug and medical tests and it was so funny that only step 1 had a microphone for the obvious reason that it was THE step and only step for payments.

"Tan, Christina. Have you taken any medication in the past 24 hours? 400 pesos please."


It's all about the Benjamins, baby.

And as for the rest of the windows, clerks had to use their only resource to call us: their voice box. And with that, our attentive ears.

I spent most of my time sitting on the bench reading my year-old unread novel bought from a bargain sale last year, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, daydreaming about this man I've so long been wondering about, chatting with fellow frustrated clients, and of course, sleeping. Well, thanks to LTO for putting up an office in SM. But still........... 7 hours? And I hadn't even got my drug test results yet.

I hate lags. I hate slow service. I hate ugly smelling crowds. And I hate having to go back there to finish business.

Shuteye

There he was right in front of me. The man of my dreams. He reached out his hand for mine and woopak!

I woke up to the alarmSSSS of my cellphones and table clock. It's a dark morning, obviously too early for my body clock but what the heck, I'm an hour late for my usual duty waking-up time! It was 5am and the sky twilight. It was a lovely sight but not worthy of my take-your-time to behold it. So I ran literally from bathroom to kitchen to the cab then to the second floor of the, fortunately, not so far hospital where i was assigned. Thought in mind: had I not prayed last night to wake up early today?

Actually, I did.

DUTY now
Morning prayer with my group and Princess: Johanna praying for us to make few mistakes for our duty that day.

Correction by Princess: Pray for no mistake at all.

BE SPECIFIC. That was what Princess pushed into our brains.

"Don't just pray for few mistakes. Pray for none at all. Don't just pray for a boyfriend. Pray for a good-looking and kind boyfriend. And He will give you that."

Alyssa: Can we name someone? *smiles* TOOOOUUUUCHEE

Princess was right. The night before, I was praying that I wake up early. He did answer my prayers. My body clock wakes me up at 8:30 am so 5am, the time I woke up that morning, was so very early.

Lesson learned. This account happened 2 months ago and since then, I've been waking up on my desired time, except for yesterday in a jeepney when I woke up and realized I had already passed by our house at some hundred meters.

Pray. Always. And shut yer eyes now. Tight. (--,)

Spontaneous

I'm one spontaneous girl, when it comes to going out, that is. There are those days when I just go out unplanned, ask people to come over right then and there, drop by at someone's place just informing her a few minutes earlier. Yeah, spontaneous. It irritates some people, I know, but what the heck, they say yes to it anyway.

*cheeeeeeeeeeeeers*

The other day I was in school doing our thesis proposal while being online on YM (thanks to CDU's free wifi!) when a goooooood friend chatted. I asked asked him if we could hang out, coz I wanted to go out so much but all of my friends were either too busy or too tired to go out. Unfortunately, his work's til a few hours from then so it was a subtle "i can't." But then he told me he could have a break for a while. So there, I finished my business in school and drove off to the coffeeshop. Man, it's been ages since we've last seen each other. I missed him! We had a couple of hours together, enough to catch up on each other, plus coffee and dinner, then he went back to work and I drove somewhere else.

I didn't want to go home yet. I thought of texting my other friends but it was pretty late already. 9pm. And I was in my uniform.

I remembered I lost my planner few days ago and thought of dropping by that place where I think I left it -- my hideout. I wanted to have another cup of coffee but my stomach was feeling stupid so I saved myself from an unlikely situation. I didn't find my planner though. But who cares? I had my regular companion(1) there! Too bad I forgot my props.

(1) regular companion

Our New Jack

I love the only male creature our house holds.

When i got inside the room, I found a new crib as huge as a queen-size bed obviously built by my dad. He was finishing off by putting the puzzle mats on the floor. First thought, what took him 19 years to build a crib as huge as this when he's raised 6 children in his own house? Well, he just loves building. A lot. *emphasizes that with THE look in my eyes* He's a chemical engineer. He doesn't just love chemicals.

Then he lifted the bed with a JACK that seemed new to his collection (it was the first time I saw it) among countless engineering stuff he has, some of which are older than I am. I asked him if it was new then he looked at me and I saw the curve on his lips.

He told me it was new. "It's electrical and even has some lighting effects. (COOL). I bought it at SM last weekend for 4,000 pesos. On sale," he said, proudly, mind you. I reckon its the 4th (or more) jack that entered his collection. And he uses one of them like once a month or less. If he finds another jack with an even better feature, he'd probably buy it if he finds it--which I hope not.

no way my next of kin

It's no easy situation living in a family with new members, especially when these people I'm talking about are not even blood related to you.

Yeah yeah, acceptance, so they say. But some things are just too unfortunately sick you can't accept them but complain and nag about it. Like that makes this situation better eh? Sure it does. It means I'm standing for what I believe SHOULD BE, so a heated conversation that happened a while ago and my venting this late afternoon.

I live with a woman who happens to be my formal (and legal, i believe) commander. These days she's become very frustrating for all of us. I hate it. And forgive me for feeling that way for her, especially her. She just has these roots that we think have grown too deep underground it's hard to pull them out. Thick black disgusting roots we wish were never planted in this world. It's crap. And the world doesn't need more of them.

She's a blessing, mind you. But then again, let me say it one more time, she's becoming very irksome lately. She won't listen, she always believes she's right, and that she can do without us. Friggin pride and overflowing-delight for one's self. Drop em in a shithole right where they look perfectly accordant.

That Friggin Day I Went Twice To the Top

So my good friend and I were walking this steep road that was supposedly going to lead us to the highest peak so far in our lives. He was blabbing about his knees shaking and I was bragging of my endurance that seemed to be as high as the altitude we were at, challenging his manliness which seemed to be my laughing stock for that moment. Brushing my pocket, i noticed my car keys weren't on its usual place: my pant's belt holder. You know, that thin strap of fabric where you insert your belt. Sure, name it whatever you wanna call it. So much about the anatomy of the jeans.

In my years of driving, I had never lost my car keys nor left them somewhere else. What more leave them hanging in the ignition switch which was exactly what happened that day among all the days in that place among all the places: Friday, the only rest day I had in my 8-day duty; in the high mountains of Tops, Busay. We were locked from the outside, without a spare key in my pocket, and our house miles away from that foggy place I long waited to visit.

5:44 PM.
The dark clouds scaring me off.
Heavens have mercy on us.

star as

the sun shining at an earlier morning.

5 am and i was still in the easy struggle of getting myself to sleep. (--,) but i couldn't so here i am, ranting about it. summer's still up, the skies vouched for it. daybreak came so much earlier than the previous weeks.

so one thought is bothering me these days: if you knew that a friend of yours had something going on with someone, officially or not, and that someone starts to hit on you, would you take part? i don't know what its called if you do but whatever it is, i'll call it bullshit. fellow feeling, you're needed more than you know.

(i need to write something worthwile... give me time)

>.<

sometimes just out of the blue, depression strikes you for no apparent reason. it's crazy. and it's eating me right now. and no, i'm not being an emo. just when your day started good, went on just fine, and to find yourself at the end of day down and gloomy for some unknown cause you just wish would come up so you'd find something to get it over with.

ah. i think i found it. i think.

i.need.inspiration.

too much for a 7-year-old

It was a morning not of the usual for when she went out of the room, the air just seemed uncomfortable. She went to the sala and found something more unusual: a box. Rectangular, hard, and white. She looked inside and found her mother. What's a 7-year-old to know? It was a casket.

She wondered why her mom was lying inside that white box. She looked at her face and thought she was sleeping, looked at her body and realized she wasn't. What's a 7-year-old to know? The body wasn't breathing. The life that loved her so much wasn't there anymore.

The loss of life. She ran to her room. What's a 7-year-old to do? She cried. Her sisters weren't there to comfort her.

But her daddy was. What's a father to do? He hugged her.


"What's wrong?"

*sobbing*

"Your mommy?"

*sobbing*

"Don't worry. I will never leave you. Everything's gonna be alright."


What's a 7-year-old to do? Believe.

What's a father to do? Be there for his children. In every step of the way.

He did that. Enduringly.





After she told her anecdote to her sisters which they only heard after 9 years, there was a long silence. What were daddy's girls to do? They could take the deafening silence. But not the emotions that struck them that night. However, the darkness was there to cover for them and their tears.

Stupid Mask

As i crossed the streets this morning, I saw this lady in a simple jeans-and-shirt get up with a not so simple make up. Her cheeks were too tinted like that of the pink uniform I was wearing and her skin was as white as snow white's, like she was punched right on her both cheeks and a pool of blood rushed through them.

So I was standing right next to her, waiting for a jeepney. Constantly looking on the road searching for my route choice, an American passed by from the lady's side. He passed in front of her and stopped to look at both of us clearly. I thought he was gonna ask some directions but then he looked at curiously the lady beside me and said with a mad face and tone like he was someone of authority,

"What the hell happened to your face?"

I didn't look at the scene like most people usually do when they see a foreigner pass by. But thanks to my peripheral vision, I could see at least an "overview." The woman took a few steps away from the man then the man continued,

"Such a pretty face covered with a stupid mask."

Then he went on walking. Could he be anymore unfeeling? Did he even know that I could hear his voice from where I was standing or that what he actually said was too cruel for a stranger to take just standing there minding her own thing?

Other side of the coin, her make up was just really too... much. Others' opinions should be sought before going on public view. That's how my sisters come in handy too, especially my second sister whose eyes and tongue are too honest. Who would want to be humiliated when you put on something on you to look good? Or so you thought.

So much for face paints.

toodles!

Happy Birthday

I may not have been there during your last hours, but you were in my mind and heart. I was too excited to see you when I was about to perform on stage, then your daughter called me and everything changed.

To the woman who loved me so much, too much
...the woman whose face I resemble most
...the woman I miss so much
...the woman who turned 53 today,

Happy Birthday.

It's been 9 years. Our "what if's" still go on. It's hard to stop dreaming when there's so much to remember.


Her birthday is on the 2nd of April.

the man i quite miss

He would come over at least once a week, dropping a call before he did. He'd stay for an hour or more, listening to me. No, he's not my lover. He brought me gifts on my special day, whether it was something I asked from him or not. Sometimes he would drop by our store to make a call, and I'd be glad to see him for a short while. He would talk with my dad, conversations I weren't so interested in yet. I was too young then.

He was the first grown up man I've met, the man my father introduced me without my consent, but then I later learned to love; the man I showed off my discovery of the notes I learned to play. He was the man who taught me the beautiful pieces I played during parties when people would gather around me and praise me for what my fingers beheld, the man who celebrated with us during my limelight moments, the man who saw me grow up to my early puberty years.

He was the man who drove us home that very silent rainy night when my mom passed away. Then he stopped coming. My dad needed all the silence and solitude in the world. Let alone a visitor for music sessions. And eventually I stopped playing the piano. He came over hardly ever, only to make a call when he happened to pass by our place.

The last time I saw him was on the newspaper. And the last time I heard of him was long ago in the jeepney, when I was sitting beside the driver and saw his ID bearing the same family name of the man I quite miss tonight. I heard some news, good and bad, but enough to make me happy to be in touch with him through some driver I just met.

Just Give it a Reason

The demise of a loved one, flunking an exam, a love gone sour, whatever failure, what does that leave us?

For months we ponder on what went wrong, exhausting our energy on emotions of grief and despair, spending sleepless nights despite the comfort of the bed and the cold evening, longing for a rewind even though we know it's all wishful thinking. Then, like it was all worth it, we finally arrive to a comforting thought that will seemingly set us free: it happened for a reason.

a reason that justifies the sorrow we went through...
a reason that dwarfs the excruciating pain we ached...
a reason behind all the damage it has done...

it's not just any reason. It's the reason that will free us from the darkness we put ourselves into. It's not just anything that comes up into our minds. It's something we make up, reason with, deliberate, argue, and finally persuade ourselves into thinking it is what everything is for. And eventually, we learn to accept.

Everything happens for a reason, or is it that we give a reason to everything that happens?

It's amazing how our minds can bring up a purpose for an agony we thought was unbearable.

Amazing how we find comfort in an explanation people would call an excuse.

Amazing how we are able to say that in the long run, everything was worth it all for a reason we believe that's the truth.

i'm back

so it's been a long while since i last laid my time here. I've been trying to write something but just couldn't squeeze enough of my brains out. Where have they all gone?

I've been hooked up on the internet so much for the past few weeks. I could stay up as late as 2 AM with early classes the next day. Yeah, I'd choose the internet over a peaceful slumber that would've been the remedy to my everyday-sleeping-sessions-during-class. (speaking of which, i got so many pictures of me sleeping. talk about being a celebrity. lol)

So talkwithstragners blogspot, I know its just you and me here. Unlike my other pages, I'm sure you're the least visited, if not the no-visitors, so I'm gonna post this non-sense blog here and not anywhere else. Just for the record, I'm back after months of being away. I mean, yeah, I've been posting some stuff on multiply and friendster but they're short and shallow and whatever.

yellow isn't so hard to read

the driver was wearing her new lipstick.

for the first time in three years, the red car got tangled on the green gates, pulling half of the bumper away swinging like a limping branch of a tree. had it not stopped for gasoline, it would have traveled 10 kilometers in that condition and the driver would have suffered a great deal of embarrassment especially that the car's windows aren't tinted and anyone inside could be seen even at your peripheral vision.

and so the quote, what goes down must come up.

it got lucky at dusk. at a stoplight in the highway, it was right beside a shiny new mini cooper which had been following the red car for quite a route already. it was not tinted as well. two handsome (very) young men were in it, honking, calling the college girls inside the almost-doomed-car earlier. the girls started to laugh and was in "panic" looking for a paper and pen to write their contact number. and wallah, a cellphone number written on a half bond paper with a highlighter the color of yellow. who in the world could read something written in yellow?

during dinner that night at a friends birthday party, everybody was eating peacefully until someone said, (translated from cebuano) "hey, someone texted me, 'im the one from the mini cooper.'" the girls looked at each other with eyes and mouths wide open with surprise. everybody else stopped to look at the fuss then continued with their meal.

yellow isnt so hard to read then.

the driver got scolded by her parent at the end of the day for the recklessness. T_T



those guys are still 14 years of age. isn't that not of legal age for driving yet?

*ask from the experienced rather than the learned. take it from me, cars with transparent windows are fun and exciting!
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