I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness-- Jeremiah 3:3

Friday, July 30, 2010


Tana Dong,
Ibilin na
Nang karomata
Didto sa may Freedom Park.

Bayloan ko na lang
Nang dugay na nimong ginuyod
Ug pinutos nga trak
Gikan sa Toy Kingdom
Sa SM.

Ipatimbang ta
Ang tanan nimong
Pito na ka tuig.

Sad ang mikunsad
Nimong kalibutan
Sa aso
Nga imong gipabulhot
Sa sayo sa kadlawon
Didto sa mga nangamig nga
Sa Ermita.

Tigumon ko
Kining mga upos
Nga imo unyang isalibay.
Ilubong ko
Sa lapok sa
Aron ugma
Wa na kay balik-

Sunday, July 18, 2010


GOD is not a man that He should lie nor a Son of man that He should change His mind. Does He speak and then not act? Does He promise and then not fulfill? - Num. 23 :19

Promises. I used to believe them. Each one of them. I tried building my nest of hopes around them. But as I grow a little older, I squirmed every time one starts to sweet-talk to me with promises. Actually, words are cheap to me unless I see "tangibilities." I became distrustful and cynical to people who are too good to be true, men for instance who are too princely. I'd rather kiss a real frog.

But of all the things that I put my whole 50-kilogram heavy self in without reservation, it is the Omnipotence's promise in Numbers to his people of old that quiets my usual anxious heart. It may have been written for more than two centuries ago, but the certainty of such a promise has never failed to bring every single child of his in a rested state of trust and waiting.

I, for instance, has more than once, made decisions that must have changed the track that I follow. But in all cases, he always manages to send me bits and pieces from his word that keeps me intact even in times of utter loss and helplessness. Some major changes in my life had caused some tremendous adjustments in terms of lifestyle and family outlook. As of late, I have learned to see things at its most basic and I count practically each drop of rain that I could muster and take it to its full use. With that, I have learned to appreciate the small things. I have managed to dream the almost impossible--to live the most simple, austere, and the plainest lifestyle there is. I count this as a tough challenge considering the one that I got used to was way too frivolous. Let's just say, what Shakespeare said, "Frailty, thy name is woman" spells the weakness I have with "woman's stuff" that I continue to wage war against.

And right now, it's the most earth-shaking resolve I have to live with. Not only because we only get half of what we used to get as income in the house (that is only secondary) but I'd say, for a Christian woman to separate herself from the material world of deceit and lies, going back to the basic and getting the hang of it is an urgent must. After all, hasn't he promised, "... and all these things shall be added unto you"?

Saturday, July 17, 2010


I am a bicycle
Your rusty windows.
Stubborn vines
Now creep
And twine around
My unmoving wheels
Wheels that hold on
To your steadfast
Walls of bricks--
That refuse to
Despite the weight
Of my ruthless

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


Tell me again,
What is it that we have?
We have
38 moons of laughs
And bumps,
Some tropical suns,
November monsoon winds
And a hint of coal-roasted
Tinabal or fried anchovies
Topped with crunchy
Visayan lines from your
Marshmallowed poetry.

Monday, July 12, 2010


If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up
! (Ecclesiastes 4:10)

I could be the dumbest one. It would take me eternity to process that a bomb has just been dropped right to my face. And there in that small coffee shop I broke down when I learned that the weeping lady in front of me is leaving the country in less than 12 hours to New Zealand.

It would have been a different story had it not been someone else. But Nimfa is the most unlikely but the dearest of friends that I found in my Cebu Normal University days--days when friends were few. There are only a handful of them. I call ourselves the inseparable threesome--Ben, Nimfa, and me. Ben and family left last year to migrate to Canada. And as expected Nimfa is off the shore now to fend for the family and do what she does best as a professional, teaching IELTS.

I knew eventually, she'll be gone, unreachable and quite far when proximity can be the only cure to some life's maladies. I became emotionally vulnerable when I began to think that I would be alone facing my own quirks and eccentricities not to mention my stupidities which multiply even as I grow older each day. I thank God for these bundle of gifts in people. They never cease to amaze me when I am as helpless as a dog. Friends have been a great cushion bag when tossed here and there. To me, they are a good picture of Christ. I hold on to life as I cleave to them. But now one of these people that I truly call my friends has to go and wade the cold waters of distance.

Such news sure broke a valid stronghold I have put my frail self secluded in. But I am all right. I made sure I will be. I am a grown-up woman. She would be back of course. And that would be a happy day. But I get a feeling that it would be a little odd not seeing her as up close as before and as often as my wont via the seven-peso jeepney fare.

In all these seeming losses, God must have allowed some lone travels in some cold valleys not for my marrows to get the chill but to get my unmoving feet to a corner I am meant to go alone.

Saturday, July 10, 2010


I want to sit by the pavement as Job did
When sores were plenty and
Nights were many.

I'd rather wear his flesh of scabs
With thorns and scorns
Darting here and there.

If I could wait as his heart did
Then into this quiet I will hum a lullaby and
Unto that valley of scattered remains

I will come home.

Friday, July 9, 2010


I cannot allow my little dainty self-worth be bludgeoned by the bulges that shout at me in the mirror every single day. My pathetic self cannot even flip through my long-time untouched deplorable closet. So three months back, I decided to give my frail little self some good spanking. I went back to watching my slowing metabolism and my eating unnecessary toxins (as if there are necessary ones). I had to lose the flabs or I would die in misery buying another set of plus-size "ukay-ukay," the price of which has by the way dramatically skyrocketed lately. Screw the cunning businessmen.

Along with the burgeoning curves comes the thinning of the usual carefree self-esteem. The euphemisms and annotations from friends and family do not make things better despite the right intentions. Losing the unwanted does not, as always, happen overnight: be it pesky people, discarded relationships, redundant tragedies, uninvited guests, unsolicited quips, or extra flesh. I don't trust the quick remedies. They don't work too well with many people contrary to what they promise in the ads. What works well for me is less food intake per meal and less money when I go out, so buying extra "yums" is out of the question.

Losing the extras after having a baby is an uphill climb really. But patience wins in the end. Eventually, once you're back in "the shape," you would know how thick with lies people are when they tell you, you are much better now than before with your trim bod and all when they are the same people who mouthed, "You still look fab. Never mind the fab. You are even better that way." Call it euphemism or a rewording. I call it an unnecessary lie. Well, people are very physical. You can't change that. You bump into a friend, and he would spill the usual, "You've gain weight" rather than "I'm glad we saw each other." That is that, as flat as you can get from every one.

As for me, I take that as a good signal to check the inches. It's good for my untouched closet, for my aging body, and frail self. Oh, and yeah, the genuine pleasant comments from onlookers can do wonders at times.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

where strange shapes and dreamy lights reside

It's confirmed. The hapless likelihood that age brings upon man has fallen on me. I am half blind. Well, not really half blind. That's just what I feel right now. What I used to observe from "40 something and up" people who couldn't read lines up close without a reading glass is now the predicament of my wretched self. And this tragedy has occurred to me a few days before I turned a year older. While others got it at half past forty, it came to me way too early.

It's one of the saddest development of my reading life. I couldn't imagine bidding adieu to my books in the shelf and what about the ones I have yet to enjoy of course. It's a dull existence, no doubt. And I hate eye glasses. But what can I complain about? I just borrowed these things that I usually call my own. This and many other things. I probably would have to trust this help they call eye glasses. The longer I delay wearing a pair of these spectacles the worse my eyes have become. It's a fuzzy world really. But while the eye glasses are yet to come I'll enjoy the mist around and probably write a line or two about the darker corner where strange shapes and lights reside.

Monday, July 5, 2010


How do you think would a mother of a 19-month-old feel upon hearing the loud thud of her tiny tot? Hah, all the shakes of Mt. Pinatubo erupting came to me that day when Shekinah descended from her hammock down to the bamboo bench and on to that downtrodden cement floor head first. I was more afraid of a possible damage in the neck and bone that could either send her crippled all her life or render her dreams useless when she grows up and sees herself strangely far from normal.

I was at the store tending to the customers when that happened. My brother-in-law who was near didn't know how it went. But I was doubly petrified and I remembered my helplessness when I prayed for her to come out from my womb safely. I made a solemn vow to Him up there that I would take care of this gift. At her age, she is helplessly exposed to all kinds of freak accidents. I'm back to praying that old prayer of safety and protection from the great father up there. I do not hold her tomorrows but I'm hoping a mother's resolute prayer would pay in the end.

Right now she only has a light scar in her upper lip and a few marks here and there in the head. I couldn't help but imagine the worst. The paranoia I have works like a parasitic worm that continues to consume me in the inside. But no matter what, I know my God is the greatest father who controls even the wind and weather.

Thursday, July 1, 2010


I just heard the usual litany, "It's so unfair!" the nth time today. For a reason or two, I might as well readily agree. I have had the same round of spewing a hundred times already. And maybe we could say the world is unfair. While others seem to savor the easy way in and out of mess, we see ourselves entangled in the web of so many proceedings and goings-on to see the day through. While others brave through the traffic rules by their so called wang-wangs, we wade through it all in the middle of the heat to get to offices or appointments. And how about facing a giant of a task as formidable as Goliath himself with your inexperienced bare little hands? Ah, the hassle of it all. And we mouth the usual, "It's all so unfair!"

But in the grander scheme of things, maybe things are not quite unfair really. Maybe someone up there who in his infinite and all-knowing self does see that everything goes well for him to rightly deserve the tag, "the God of order."

We can begin to ask, "Do we see the whole scenario to decide what one should or shouldn't get?" Maybe not entirely.

If I were Job for instance, I would cry out "foul." After living and maintaining a life above reproach (there is no record in the Scriptures of Job's wrongs concerning his character, hence, the description), of all breathing creatures,why should it be he losing practically everything except the loud-mouthed wife? At that moment, boils, sores, and all, Job must have asked the most valid question heaven's ears must have heard, "Why me? What did I do to deserve this?" Hah, a classic cliched question this is. But of course, the poor guy (quite wretched, I must say, at this point in his life, what with losing family and possessions in a jiffy) was not privy to God and Satan's "friendly" negotiations. Well, in the end, after many itchy sore days, God returned everything in good order, even "doubly" better. You know the story. I just don't know how the wife and her mouth turned out though.

You can take Joseph the dreamer who, in the beginning,we might quip, "he must have dreamed too much to earn the ire of his siblings." My sister does not mince words when she sees irregularities in offices and dealings with people. What with a teacher who hammers on her students the code of ethics and the essence of freedom--quite the dedicated Civics teacher that she is. But Joseph took it all. And yes, like Job, he had no idea what was going on. He went from a deep bloody pit, to the prison cell, and on to the King's favored right-hand seat. That too and the rest of the story, I presume had been read and told a thousand times.

So is life unfair? For now yes, it would seem that way. Yet in our finite wisdom, we can never outclass God's wisdom. One broadcaster aptly said, "We do not have all the information." We don't know the attachments and the "finer prints" of things that we must have missed or misread. Thus, we can't truly say life is unfair. There may just be people who used illegal and unfair tricks to get what they had to get and "can" what they wanted to "can." Worst of all, they seemed to have gone unscathed and unpunished. But nothing is really unfair. Job and Joseph had dosages of those stuff. Chances are, at crucial points in our not so perfect life, loathsome rotten mess will gravitate to us. We will be tempted to spew the same litany. But we can think of the Job-or-Joseph episode and hope the predicament will soon pass.