Monday, March 31, 2014

Truths and Nontruths

This must be the busiest audit season I've ever been in. Perhaps it stems from the fact that I handle a bigger responsibility now: managing a handful of clients and trying to manage a team. The latter part, staff and time allocation and management is a challenge I face everyday. It's been a little seven months since the promotion and I still feel uneasy being called, 'Ms. Jade'. The promotion came in as a big, scary surprise. I assessed that my technical expertise still has lots of rooms for learning and improvement. Hearing my name being called onstage was a heady mix of shock, flattery, fulfillment and trepidation. In my head I was like, 'How did my performance pass  three levels of evaluation? This can't be right.' Having only one year in audit experience, I felt it was too fast for a promotion.

But here I am,  getting home as late as uhm, the morning after? I keep saying, 'gikapoy nako. di nako ani nga toxic life' to my best friend Kara. I love the fact that she's currently in UK because she's game for random calls at 2am or 3am! Thank you Skype and Viber. You save us a lot of bucks for international calls! And at 2am, talks could go from downright random or nonsensical to deeply sentimental and philosophical. 

Just recently, a friend and I took a sentimental trip down memory lane at 4am (what did I say about stuff you talk about at the crack of dawn?), I reread stuff I wrote. I'm posting them for posterity's sake and for future reference? Will I make it a regular thing? I dunno, I've become so fickle blogging. But perhaps. I have to get back to writing and reading regularly. I feel like I've become rusty and slightly illiterate. 

If this becomes a regular thing, what would compose the truths and nontruths will mostly be excerpts of a story I made up, actual convos rewritten because it made an impact to me then, notes I wrote for myself to unload and dozens of unsent letters for people I've hurt and hurt me in return, people I loved and continue to love, people who I've lost touch with but influenced me greatly,  people who are my loose ends and for people I haven't met yet. Any quotes from books, poems or people which spoke to me are included as well. much of our happiness is built on something so fragile, so impossible to guarantee. But that's what makes it special, doesn't it?

When has knowing something stopped you from feeling? When has knowing better stopped you from wanting? When has logic stopped you from longing for something we deem impossible? It's so tricky. Abba? Lead the way. Help my mind come to terms with my feelings. 

To Kara, Leia and Mitzi. I have more to thank JK Rowling than any other HP fan. She brought me to you. To the girls who choose to love me and understand me in all I do, say and what I don't say. I swear to this day, my loyalty is with you always. 

Not all hope is good. Sometimes it's evil because a tiny flame of hope is more painful than the harsh finality of cold indifference. 

You tell me I'm tough. You tell me you wish you're more like me, brave. But crying, admitting you hurt and showing you care are also forms of bravery, C. I wish I have your heart. I hide behind my pride and ego, building walls. You are far braver. One of the bravest girls I know. You offer your heart to a boy without reservations and when he closes his door on you, you simply cry, lick your wounds and move on. There is bravery in risking it, C. 

Dearest J. I am cold to you because I don't know how to say it. You are wonderful. The problem is, my clocks have stopped ticking since 2006. What you heard is true.  They were the words I wanted you to say but I found myself running for the nearest exit. All the while I thought of him, frustrated at how after three years he's still the one I don't speak of. The one beyond wanting, beyond lust, beyond logic. He is my defeat. The first ever. I'm sorry, J. 

July 2008. We sat there at Zoey's Cafe, an acoustic version of A Little Bit was playing. We made theories, challenged the truths and normalcy we were told. I enjoyed watching you talk of Him in passion. You always look so handsome to me whenever you do. You were blinding. I had to avert my gaze to catch my breath.

You know I have always been successful wearing a mask of indifference. I armor myself with light-hearted jokes. I am often seen jovial, laughing and cheery. To those I allowed to see me naked from all this, know I have depth, a sensitive heart. I keep tabs. I take notes. I hurt more than I show. You disappoint me. You know this. You know I have a tough exterior but a soft heart. How could you have asked, 'Am I making it easy for you to walk in and out of my life?'  Has it been? Did it ever occur to you how much you mean to me?

how do i imagine meeting you?
in a cozy bookstore, lost in shelves
in a coffee shop, with a world of your own
in an airport, bored out of your wits
aboard a train, silently watching the world speed by
no matter how, no matter where we meet
i will know you

I love how your name rolls out of my tongue. I say yours in a breathy, half-whisper. My thoughts often talk about you lately. Your name. Why should I reduce your name to a cheesy term of endearment. There is no other name more beautiful than the one you were called to in your first morning light. 

I keep thinking of Noah. Like him I write to you but I don't send them. You're my Allie. 
Because I keep wondering still. As long as I root for Noah and Allie. 
As long as I don't call Allie a fool for leaving her fiance to run off with Noah,
It means, I'm not over you yet. It means, I will break a good boy's heart. Again. For you. 
Because my clock is still stuck in 2006. So every year, I watch the movie. 
To check my heart's current state of address. 
To see if my world still stops for a one-syllable name. 
How long has it been? Four freaking years. F Shit!  

When you cease to be nameless and your face blurry no more, you will read this and know that secretly, hidden behind all the cynic shit I keep spewing with friends (and even with you maybe), I have yearned for you long before we met.

Stranger, by the time we meet you will find other stars glittering in my skies. They came before you, each one a good and bad memory. Each one a part of me, an essential part of who I am now, this girl you came to admire. I may talk fondly of what’s passed but don’t let it be a cause of worry. You are my Sun, stranger. You outshine them all. Please believe that. 

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Thank You, August Rush

I've been in bed the whole day, getting up only when my flatmates say it's lunch or dinner. 

I don't feel like taking a bath. I watched the sun's rays creep up to the dirty pile of laundry. I might have fried my brain with the amount of movies and series I have watched today; taking a break only to either read or write feverishly. My phone's been beeping with messages. I responded to some thoughtfully and ignored other mechanical well-wishes that sounded empty and merely obligatory. In the middle of watching movies, my mind wanders off somewhere then I write until I get the images off or when I feel a little relieved of the growing lump in my throat. 

In between, I grab a book. There are always books on my bed. Most girls have teddy bears, I have books. So I grab Shadow and was greeted with these words, ' long as we are remembered, we remain alive. Remember me, even if it's only in a corner and secretly. Don't let me go.

But I really need to take a bath already then watch again until my eyes and mind grow tired, so I needn't think again or be gripped with a heady trepidation of an impending loss, a cold reality that we may face: losing loved ones any day.

'Any day now.. any day.' It keeps replaying in my head.

I still believe in miracles, Father. We will get through this. And thank you for movies that move hearts and souls. It's still as beautiful as the first time I've watched it. 

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Of Random Notes To No One

It's that time of the week again, throwback Thursday. People usually spam my social feeds with anything old.  I get amused each time. Thursday has become a wonderful prelude to the last work day of the week for me. Well, on off peak audit season that is. 

I have the habit of doodling and scribbling my thoughts on paper. With more advanced technology, I type on my phone and my laptop. It's not the therapeutic benefits I was after (I didn't know of it at first), I wanted me to remember. I wanted to look back how everything was and hopefully see myself in the future reading, finally in the know of why it had to happen, why we have to let go of people we are not meant to have and how everything was indeed for the best. So when I had my long vacation last month, my agenda was to scour for them and transfer them digitally. I started with notebooks I had in college, my old phone (outbox was overflowing with cheesy stuff), my old documents saved in the laptop I handed down to my baby bro and from scraps of paper tucked in books, notebooks and the treasure box lying under my bed. Sifting through the contents of my treasure box was amusing too. I have kept most of the letters and notes friends, family and uhm, boys that have fascinated (or not) me once upon a time since elementary. I forgot I printed email threads, archived Yahoo and Friendster conversations (and testimonials remember them?). God, outside looking in I looked indifferent but I was really one sentimental girl. 

I guess, every Thursday.. I would post some of the stuff I managed to transfer digitally; unsent letters and stories I wrote for someone, for my future self and for Stranger (who used to be Mr. Darcy in other writings but since it is impossible to find this awesome dude in this modern age I changed his name). 

So I'm starting off with this below since I'm listening to Coldplay's Clocks. This was undated but I'm guessing this was around 2006. College freshman year. 

"...i walked back alone. to wait for Papa to come pick me up. i sat on the bench and did more waiting. i counted each person exiting the gates. 50. the clock read half past 9. tick. tock. tick. tock. it's a reminder that the world's moving. but as long as i haven't shaken the instinct of calling you in the quiet, i am not part of that world. not yet."  

On a lighter note, I made a caption of this photo taken in Butuan. This was during Typhoon Ondoy. Ironically, when Metro Manila was submerged in flood we were having the time of our lives. 

"I must have been really happy. I didn't mind having my picture taken smiling and laughing in the most unflattering way. I felt free. It was one of the rare times when I was allowed to travel unchaperoned. Dear God, after college, am I really going to earn my independence? No hatid sundo? No Yaya. No friends from the police escorting me back home when Papa is out of town for conferences? Is this how it feels like to be free?"

I read somewhere that there is a difference between being nostalgic for a particular person and a shared memory. I'm still trying to work on that. I have theories but I still cannot express in a way where my thoughts get through. 

But anyway, I digress. Happy Throwback Thursday! 

Friday, March 15, 2013

If Eyes Could Speak

I found this compelling video thru a lifestyle blog I regularly follow. 

Let me give you a short background why. Our subjects in point are Marina Abramovic and Ulay. They are performance artists  who started an intense love affair back in 70s. I read their collaboration ignited the beginning of influential collaborative works for a decade. Don't worry, I will not bore you with art history. Suffice it to say, they are legendary. And their love story is equally epic. One for the books. 

Why? Well, when they felt their relationship has already run its course they made this spiritual journey to end their relationship. Both of them walked the Great Wall of China for three months from two opposite ends to meet in the middle and end things. I imagine one last hug, one last kiss, one last handshake perhaps and said their farewells. That was in 1988.  

Now fastforward to 2010, Abramovic performed the 'The Artist is Present' where she sits and communes in silence with the visitors across the table. She was immobile as you can see. But here's the surprise, Ulay suddenly came and sat in front of her.  

Did you see how her eyes widened with joyous surprise? How she smile tenderly? How he shifted nervously in response and let out a sigh? How he shook his head, his eyes spoke of things only she understood? Then they both reached out and held hands. It wasn't their last handshake after all, was it? 

Sidenote: He's wearing a pair of high cut Chucks! Cool! He looks old but in my opinion only a few men can ever, ever, pull off wearing a suit with Chucks! There's a rarity of them I tell you. 

I saw this in one of the comments below the post I've read. I have to repost it here. I believe in those words. You never stop loving someone. 

"..we never stop silently loving those we once loved out loud"
-The Dance, Oriah Mountain Dreamer

They become a part of you, a part of your entirety as a person.You see I love the theory that love is the root and the end of all. I find it logical as love is the manifestation of our Creator. Creator = Love, hence, if we stem from that theory then love is unending, limitless.  Which brings us to my case in point, you don't stop loving a person. Even if it all ends per se. Believe me, you still do. I'm not saying you are potentially doomed to be in love with them forever, I'm saying you still carry that affection for them in some other form of love. The point is, it's there. It's limitless as is our Creator but we are humans. Our idea of love becomes distorted with pain we stubbornly hold on to, selfishness as dictated and influenced by society and colored with fear of losing and the uncertainty of ever feeling the same intensity of affection as you did the previous ones. 

"Live and Love". Two simple words I learned from my deceased grandfather. You see after some point I realized, pardon the cliche, life is indeed short. I try to live in the moment and bask in the small pockets of happiness I see in small things everyday. If you stop for a moment in retrospect, don't you think the time of fulfillment is in the NOW? If it is not now, it becomes a memory as fast as the blink of an eye. It is okay to look back and have yourself swept away with nostalgia from time to time but you must ensure it does not limit your happiness to what has been or what could be. You will never be happy. 

Time is now. This is your treasure. So grab hold of it. Make the most of it. Live less in regret. We lack the urgency of the moment to do what should be done, to feel what we should and not reign it in out of fear of sorts and to say what you have been dying to say. Life hurls you with opportunities for each one of them. And once lost is lost forever. Second chances yes. But they are scarce. And a second chance is entirely different than the one you've lost, isn't it? 

Thursday, March 7, 2013


'Oh my god, I love this song..'

I use that line a lot. I then turn the volume up and half-force anyone to listen with me. Do you know it's a capital offense to say, 'It sounded okay' to a person passionate about a song? Well, feels like it but we just don't say, do we? 

I liked Curfew but I don't particularly love it. What kept me watching was how it evoked childhood memories at such an ungodly hour. Richard reminded me of my very own uncle. He's not depressed though but like Richard, he babysat for me a lot. I fondly call him Yoyo (male for Yaya). Lola Mommy says, he's more sorted out when we're around which led me to thinking being responsible for another person profoundly changes one's life. They are driven with a purpose, a reason to live. This story tells that. I love how Sophia unknowingly saved his life. Kids do that. They have a certain simplistic view of the world that our life's own complications appear superficial. But I'm more amazed at the wonders they do without uttering a word. A simple gesture that is a hug, a peck on the cheek, or when they run to close the distance to have you carry them can already lift your downtrodden spirits. Try it. Personally, I get so fuzzy whenever I get home and I see my nieces and my nephews run to me excitedly, hug a leg, and endlessly tug my shirt until I carry them. 

And Sophia? She's a little of my 10 year old self. She cannot possibly hold her tongue. She speaks her mind at will. She's inquisitive, a trait we all should have. We should live curious (as NatGeo would say). Knowledge starts with a question. So don't you ever hesitate asking one. There's not a stupid question, only lazy people who refuse to answer. Or, pretend they know but really don't know the answers to it. That's all there is. 

I'm guessing I don't sound coherent. I don't expect to be. I just needed to write about something and Curfew seemed a good material to talk about. It's 4 in the morning and we are still up preparing for a client meeting in a few hours. We are intoxicated with caffeine and greasy food (overabundance of pizzas, burgers and take out food that caters 24 hours). Tax season is always taxing in my line of profession but I'm really really glad my team is fun to be with. Thank God for them. Endless corny jokes, incoherent blurbs about the latest gossip and sometimes when we're really really sleepless..sappy topics of life, love and marriage.  

But before I go, I want to leave this wonderful quote I got from Life of Pi:

Even when God seemed to have abandoned me, He was watching,
Even when He seemed to be indifferent to my suffering, He was watching,
And when I was beyond all hope of saving, He gave me rest. 

I find this fitting for Richard...

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Long Overdue

I’m happy for you and I am equally thrilled that I really am. Before, I thought I’d have endless attempts convincing myself I’m happy but it’s liberating to know it’s not the case.

I have to be thankful for whatever transpired between us. We are all made in parts, of fragments, a giant mosaic of memories and experiences that make one exquisite. Parts of me came into existence because you happened. I never meant letting you go. I chose to drift away to try to let go of a possibility and fulfill a promise, a vow I made to God. There was an imperative need in me to be whole in solitude before I can share myself in love with another. I promised Him my time, the rollercoaster ride of adolescence to adulthood, to know Him, to relish on His words and teachings and hopefully grow into a woman that brings Him joy.  I was preparing myself, maybe for you, or for someone else so I had to let it go and put my faith in His timing. I have prayed for you and rested my fears and uncertainty on Him. If you are really for me, He will make it happen. But you are, as I’ve guessed from the start, meant for someone else, I am happy that I was a part of the process in preparing you for her.

Thank you for not leaving. You could have but you never did. You stubbornly stayed. You tirelessly reminded me I still have your friendship; that when trouble finds me I have you to count on. I thought it preposterous for you to have liked the proud, unyielding version of myself. Inner battles I fought were always of my pride and ego. I had issues. I was never the one to send a message first or say crazy things like I miss you. I should have told you and made you as happy. But I was selfish. I only took from you. We waste our words. We don’t say them when they still have significance, only when the point is moot. I know that now. It was hard to change my ways but as you can see I am more expressive and self-forgiving. You’ve made me braver.

As you have advised, no more mind games. They’re not you. I played it hoping they’d challenge me back the way you did, intent in proving you cannot be just the one. What I did was fruitless and nonsensical. I was but chasing a ghost of you, looking for a remnant or a piece of you in them, instead of being genuinely interested of some guy because he is what he is. Do you know I become immediately disinterested when I hear they don’t like jazz and reggae? It’s ridiculous as I remember it now. How unfair and childish I was. So I don’t play it anymore save for men who deserve the mental beating.

Thank you, most especially, for having so much faith in me. You insist I have a good, compassionate heart in spite of it all. You were always proud of me to the point that it scared me to disappoint. Thank you for deepening my faith in Christ. We can talk for hours wondering about Him. Other guys I knew would hurriedly change the topic; tapping on their spirituality was awkward to them. But you delight in it. His name is on your lips always. You inspire me to become the best version of myself and to spread His faith on His people to anyone I can inspire for Him every chance I get. Thank you. This was the best gift I’ve received from you other than our friendship.

 Please remember that whatever trouble may befall you, I am here as promised. Our friendship had stood the test of time that long stretches of silence can ever sever the bond. The familiarity is hard to kill, like an old hometown you come back to.

I wish you happiness like how you wish for mine. I appreciate the gesture, it was thoughtful. The gap that divided us has magically dissipated. So I guess I will end this with our thing, ‘Til we’re old and gray, to decades and decades more of us, of this, of friendship.’

PS Welcome to my blog finally. And yes, I still love putting postscripts. Some things don’t change, do they? Don’t you dare comment!  And don’t back read!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

For you, Mich.

The sound of your breathy Hello was music to my ears, a welcome pause to my busy, frantic day. When Auntie called and said you wished to talk, I almost fell off my chair. You caught me off guard. There was a long silence in the other line until you said Hello. I barely heard myself say Hi. We stayed on the line like that engulfed in silence, words hung in the air waiting desperately to be uttered and yet there we were foolishly waiting for one to finally break the silence. You did. You said you're getting married. 

Doubt all you can but know this, I am happy for you. I sense hesitation in the way you broke the news. You were gauging my reaction. You were reining it in, your happiness and excitement. For me. For the silly pact we made. Oh Mich, your happiness means a lot more to me than a silly pact! By all means, gush all you want about the wedding and the baby. Let me share in it. I want to. 

You kept it from me for you worry I'd go ballistic. I never liked your man for the sole reason that he broke your heart to pieces and left you once. You asked him to stay and yet he still left. I was mad when I heard this. Not of his leaving but more of your asking him to stay. I told you to keep your pride high and intact to which you replied in angry retort, 'I wish not of a future wondering the what ifs! At least I tried to fight for my happiness. I refuse to let go of anyone who means a lot to me without doing anything. You? You still pine for him after all these years. You pushed him away, never said anything and never tried. You said you're brave and strong? No, get this, you're a spineless coward! There I said it! So yeah, be happy with your precious pride and walls! Allow me to be foolish and leave me be.' 

It wounded me for a long while and those words echo still in my thoughts. And I thank you for it helped me be better, braver, happier and in a mission to never to do it again, be a coward. Okayyy, maybe I still am a bit proud and a bit of a cynic still but now in right proportions and circumstances. 

I'm really glad we had a long talk. Your baby Carlisle is such a blessing, he brought us back together.. You asked me to write for you for you know I express my thoughts more in written words. And so here I am. 

Don't worry too much. You will be a great Mom to Carlisle. Be a cool and loving Mom. Teach him to love God above all. Teach him to sing Him praises and to make Him a part of his every waking day. With Him in his heart, he will grow to be a fine man. Raise him to be fearless, to be cautious, and to be passionate in what he decides on doing. 

As for your impending marriage, I wish you blissful years of happiness. Know now I cannot fulfill the duties of being a maid of honor. Don't ask me to be one okay?  

And Mich? You asked, what if he's not "the one?" Maybe there is not only one "the one" in my opinion. There were a series of "the ones" and you mourned for each one of them. They were your concept of "ones" in all the right places and circumstances. And that's all there is. It's a choice. You're not marrying him because you have Carlisle. You're marrying him because you choose him. And he, you. You worry of the ghosts of his pasts. Don't. Do you think he isn't worrying of yours too? You, like him, mourned  long for the love you've lost, the most fatal of all, the love that sprang from the innocence of youth. Yet, you found love in each other. Not adolescent love but mature love. You may not be each other's firsts, but you are each other's lasts.

Don't marry him to change him. That is mostly the folly of women. Love a man for all and what he is  and that also includes what he was, who he's loved and the person he becomes in the future. Every inch of him belongs to everyone he's ever known and loved. And that makes a person beautiful, his or her collage of memories and experiences. Remember, he will not be who is now without them.

I pray for you and your union. I am happy for you. I am happy to welcome Carlisle Kendrik Abel. Poor kid, he'll have trouble writing his name in class. You gave him a long one! 

I miss you Mich.. See you the soonest. 
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