Clearer days

You are not here anymore.

I know this to be true. I can feel your presence missing. It feels like the fog has cleared. You know how it is when the fog is thick, but it has been there for so long and you just learn to live with it. You’re so used to seeing blurred horizons and all sorts of gray.

Then just one morning, the fog has lifted. The air is cleaner, there is sun, and the horizon is visible. I can see beyond where we once were now. And I know it is because you are not here anymore.


Return of the Mack

And so I abandoned this journal for a year, because, um, life happened. I’ll try to recall and reconstruct the past year and write it all here because they say it can be therapeutic. Personally I just want to record what I may forget eventually. Therapy would be a welcome bonus if I get it from here.

So my entries from here on will not be on a clear timeline. I’ll go backwards and forward and maybe share what is going on at present. Sorry for the confusion. I won’t even try and identify which is past and which is present. It will be comfortable if the chronology only made sense to me, for now. You’re welcome to stay and read on. I appreciate the company. 🙂

Drive by

Sometimes, even when I’m busy doing something while riding the car (like mornings when I fix my face or evenings when I fiddle with my phone) I know I have an eye out the window. Looking out into the street, searching for that familiar gait, that stride I know so well. Hoping to see your face among the throngs of busy people milling about. I sometimes wish to see you again. Only sometimes.

The Book Thief – Review


I found out about The Book Thief by Markus Zusak from my cousin Peachy. The main reason why I added this in my “to read” list was because of what she said after finishing the book. If memory serves me correct, she said she finished it in a train station and she could not help but cry. She also said it was a beautiful story about Nazi Germany, and the Germans who actually helped and hid Jews.

I agree with her on all accounts. It is beautifully written. The storytelling is unlike my mystery/suspense books that I’ve been leaning towards lately, where the plot grabs you by the collar and leads you in a mad rush of details — frantic, heart-stopping, puzzles demanding to be solved. The Book Thief’s story is narrated by no less than Death. It is like one of those meaningful, intimate walks you share with a loved one. Steady pace and details introduced at just the right time. There are no secrets either, no surprises pulled. As soon as a character is introduced, you are immediately, but not unkindly, informed about his or her fate. You will know if he makes it or not. But you do not resent the mid-story revelations. In contrast, it makes you more interested to keep on reading, because now that you know what happens, you need to know how the story went there.

The characters in this book are very human and as real as they come. You will fall in love with them. The lost mother, the dead brother, Papa and his accordion, Mama who blurts out the words saukerl and saumensch like lamentations of love, the rich neighbors, the frail man who lived in the basement, the boy with hair the color of lemons, and our little girl, Liesel. I loved them all like they were real and I can picture each one clearly in my mind. I remember details about them as if I knew them personally.

This book made me think about Germany, in their time, when I lie in bed at night trying to sleep. It made me dream about basements, paint, music, hunger. It made me remember how it was to fall in love for the first time, to recognize true friendship, to hold on to promises like only a child will do.

I’m glad that unlike my cousin who finished this in a train station, I reached the ending, the hard, sad parts in the privacy of my room at night. My crying was a stream of quiet, hot tears. Painful in the chest, yes, but a good crying session. I know exactly the part of the book that drew my heart out and rubbed it raw. I know where to find it, I remember the scenes in my head. I want to re-read that part because it is really beautiful. But I cannot bring myself to do that, not yet. I’m still grieving.

Find this book and read it. Forget the probability that you may be reduced to a sniffling teary-eyed ball afterwards. Maybe that was just me. But don’t miss how beautiful this book is.

Cheat happens

What constitutes cheating?

My friends and I have tried to answer that question for years. I think we were in our teens, all bright-eyed about first loves and delusional about thinking our first love will be our last. Maybe for some, but that didn’t ring true for most, if not all of us.

We’ve posed questions: What if my love cheats on me? What if I am tempted to cheat? What would make me cheat? (For the record, none of us believed we were capable of cheating. We were teenage girls who were dazed by romance. Why would we ever want someone else?)

Mostly, as a way to reach a level discussion, we always challenged each other: Define cheating. Is it as straightforward as sleeping with someone else, having an affair? Or do people cheat already with the slightest touch of a hand? A meaningful look? Sleepless nights thinking about someone else other than who you are in a relationship with?

When does it start so we can nip it in the bud early on? If I exchange a flirtatious smile with a guy I know, is that cheating? I would probably say it’s harmless, I love my man and that it was just what it was, a smile. But then again, God forbid my man exchanges a flirtatious smile with some other woman (who smiles flirtatiously back), there will be consequences.

It was good to talk about it. Quizzing each other, romanticizing imaginary situations, asking “What would you do if–” questions. How silly. Until some of us were able to live through the pain brought about by cheating, we never truly understood. No amount of preparation can ever get one ready for having your heart destroyed by a promise broken. The promise of loving only you, never wanting someone else, never leaving. All of the above, coupled with the unanswerable question, “Why?” Why would you choose to be with someone else, hold someone else, love someone else, instead of the one you swore to love no matter what? Just, why?

Sometimes you get answers. Truthful, hurtful, like a knife stabbing your chest. Sometimes you get more lies. Other times there is just silence. No explanations, no reasons. Just that you were cheated on. That is the worst excuse. And even after all is sad and done, can you honestly figure out what to do when you get cheated on? Or when you give in to cheating?

Love is still blind, people are hopeful. We can always declare that if we are cheated on we will get up and leave, we will never become doormats. But words are just words. Martyrs are a dime a dozen and a lot would forgive, and forgive, and forgive. Love comes at a high price.

But how can you look at someone, continue living with someone without ever remembering that at one point, that someone who swore to love only you, consciously chose to disrespect that promise? Go on, answer it. There are no right or wrong answers but whatever you contend with, you live with.

Sharp Objects

Sharp Objects

To be completely honest, Gone Girl was a delight to read. I loved it, couldn’t put it down, but still hated how it ended. I felt like it was cut short, that it needed another chapter, a few more pages.

But, Gillian Flynn, it was a great book and it would work great as a movie, and I forgive you. So I just finished my first book for the year — another one of Gillian Flynn’s: Sharp Objects. I liked it just as much as Gone Girl, maybe even more. Without spoiling it for you, the story is about Camille, a journalist from Chicago who is also recovering from a short stay from a Psych hospital. Her first assignment leads her to go back to her small, sleepy hometown to cover the mysterious murder of two little girls. Her investigation leads her to, as expected, the killer and a whole new discovery about her childhood.

It’s dark, thrilling, and after some time I found myself sympathizing with Camille. Oh, and the ending is so much better than how Flynn ended Gone Girl. 🙂 Read it!


Hello, I’m back from hibernation. As a quick recap, here is what I have been up to that kept me so busy from blogging:

  1. Christmas and New Year’s
  2. Buried my nose in books, but I’ve only finished my first one for the new year (review on that on my next post); two books half read but I promised myself I’d finish another before mid-February
  3. Lots of gown fittings
  4. A wedding in the midst of bustling Manila in December
  5. A kiddie party in one of the busiest malls in the metro a couple of nights before Christmas
  6. A wedding about a week ago up in the mountains where it is foggy and super cold
  7. Catching up with friends (I like to complicate my schedule for the Holidays)
  8. Nursing cough and colds for weeks on end
  9. New job (yay!) – I’ll write more about my new girl adventures in future posts

So as a sampler of my days on the job, here’s what we did for lunch:

Today, my team mates and I decided to leave the comforts of our airconditioned fortress and enjoy the natural breeze outside. We trekked across the street to a quite popular Chinese restaurant.

These are what we ordered:

  1. 2 pots of Nanking Beef hotpot
  2. 2 plates of Lechon Macau (roasted pork)
  3. 1 pan of Crispy Noodles
  4. 2 large plates of Salted Fish & Chicken Rice

It might seem quite a lot especially since there was only four of us. Please note that I am the only girl in our party of four.

As we were settling the bill, I asked: “May pang tiffany na ba?

Boss: Anong tiffany?

Me: Tip.

Team mate: Loko ka bat ka nagsasalita ng tiffany kita mong tatlong barako kasama mo?

Me: E kasi diba nakakahiya naman marinig nila pinaguusapan natin tip natin sa kanila?

Boss: Oo nga no. Tiffany. Hehehe. Tiffany.

Sorry, I can’t translate the conversation into English. It would lose its essence if I do. Basically what it says is we used the word “tiffany” in lieu of “tip” to avoid embarassment when talking about it in front of our waiter.

Sometimes I forget, that I mostly hang out with straight guys now haha. Guys guys.

That’s about it, will update more soon. 🙂


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