22 November 2016

Elusive Deliverance

We fear what we do not know
What we do not understand
What we do not comprehend.


Who knows why darkness
Claims the light?
Who understands why
Friends are taken?
Who comprehends
The cruelty of fate?

All that is certain
Is that darkness feeds.

On fear.
On desolation.
On despair.
On hurt.
On anger.
On pain.

How do we
Cast aside the darkness?

If we fortify the fortress
If we poison the moat
If we let no one else in

Will we salvage
The remaining light?

Or be left
Alone in the tower
Adrift at sea
Lost in the night?

15 July 2016

BRAT: Publishing Idea

Well here I go again, putting the cart before the horse. I've found a website where I can turn my future compilation into an actual book, which I'm sure Papa will appreciate. I'm saving the link here for future reference.


14 July 2016

BRAT: Introduction

So I've come up with yet another lamebrained writing goal, and, as always, I'm crossing fingers hope I could actually achieve this one. To write a series of anecdotes about growing up as an army daughter.

The plan is to work on it for the next few months, hopefully with one to two "chapters" per week, to post them in this blog as soon as I accomplish one(1), and to make a compilation out of them by the time Papa retires in November . Imagine The General's Daughter(2) meets the social media age sans murder and mystery plus(3) family dramedy(4) sans my typical dramatic drivel because this isn't really about me. Just ~kinda~ about me.

I'm calling this (hopeful) series "BRAT" as homage to our growing up as military brats.

Writing begins this weekend because I have a work deadline in a few hours. My head is rapidly being filled with ideas and I'm just hoping I can hang on until the weekend.

In other news, Yaya's second death anniversary is tomorrow. I miss her dearly, but I keep soldiering on(5).

P.S. I had to make a footnotes section, otherwise I would have filled this post with all these side comments contained in parentheses:

  1. #PostForAccountability because the only other alternative would be to tell my mother about this project before I have something to show for it.
  2. Nelson Demille was brilliant in that novel. Hail Demille!
  3. I tried to look for the old English antonym of "sans" but all I got from the internet was that "com" is the Latin opposite of "sine", the root word of sans. Ah, well, you learn something new everyday.
  4. Family drama comedy. It gets juicy sometimes, I swear.
  5. Soldiering on. Military brat. Get it? Please laugh. Thanks.

20 May 2016

Surround Yourself with Goodness and Light

Surround yourself with goodness and light
For beauty is treacherous
And kindness a trap

Surround yourself with goodness and light
Goodness that's guarded
And light dimly bright

Surround yourself with goodness and light
For the real battle
Has yet to begin

Surround yourself with goodness and light
For no single victor
Can conquer the demons

Surround yourself with goodness and light
For there are demons
Lurking within

Surround yourself with goodness and light
Guard yourself against
Emptiness, sorrow, despair

Surround yourself with goodness and light
For in the darkness
Demons play

Surround yourself with goodness and light
For the demons within
Are yearning to win

Surround yourself with goodness and light
Though the goodness be hidden
Though the light be dimly bright

Surround yourself with goodness and light
For life is hard
And the world unjust

Surround yourself with goodness and light
We need a little kindness
To conquer the dusk

29 March 2016

Baker Dream

She woke up frazzled and dazed and dashed to the kitchen. Facing the oven, she froze and slapped her forehead. "I don't bake," she said. "What the hell was that dream about?"

She dreamed that she was a baker, a law school drop out who realized that she could just as easily make the world a better place by feeding hungry mouths and starved souls as by drafting contracts and settling disputes. 

Now that she's awake, she realized that her dream was the was simply based on part of a movie she had seen a week earlier, a movie she felt strongly about because of the female the two supporting female characters -- one, a writer, the other, a law school dropout turned baker. One profession, she dreamed of ultimately having, the other, she greatly feared.

"My life is so catatonic I dream in movie plots. And they're not even original." She sighed and exited the kitchen, desperately trying to erase the memory of another fear slowly brewing at the back of her mind.


Based on a real-life dream and the events that followed.


Draft created in Rough Draft. I'm liking this app so far, I just might get the premium version.

25 February 2016

Difficult Question

It took me more than a decade to finally work up the nerve and ask Papa, “Where were you on this day, 30 years ago?”

I was eleven when the internet showed me articles on the atrocities committed during martial law. Though we had already taken up the EDSA revolution in school, I could not understand why soldiers, sworn to protect and to serve, could be accused of such. By this time, I was already living in Camp Aguinaldo. I grew up calling soldiers Kuyas and Titos. I was particularly fond of that one soldier I called Papa. And it always gave me immense satisfaction to meet a soldier to call Ate. To me, they were heroes, not monsters. Many of them joined the Armed Forces with no other motivation than to offer life and limb in exchange for a monthly paycheck to send to their families back home.

During one drinking session (obviously, by this time I was no longer eleven), Papa said that he believed the military was not ready to implement martial law. They were not aware of the extent and limits to their power, of its requirements, of its consequences, of abuses already being committed — by those who used martial law to justify their actions and by those who did not know any better. No, the institution was not blameless. Ignorance and ill-preparedness is not something that any military man will use as an excuse. But with that information in mind, it made more sense to me.

Thirty years after EDSA and I still come across people who either fear or loathe the military. If there is anything I can add to the list of things that people hate about the Marcoses and their cronies, I will personally add this. I will #‎NeverForget the horrors of Martial Law. I will never forget how lucky I am to live in this day and age, enjoying privileges that many of our countrymen have been denied as basic rights. I will also never forget that if those marines, the few who until that crucial point remained loyal to the dictator, had chosen to follow orders, we would be commemorating a blood bath instead of a peaceful revolution. Perhaps we would not even have any commemoration -- we've seen how effective revisionists can be.

Before I forget, this was Papa’s answer to today’s question: “Nakakulong na kami nun, anak. Remember that the spoils of war go to the victors. Kung hindi nag-succeed ang EDSA, na-firing squad na din siguro kami.”

Note: Art. 65 of Commonwealth Act 408, also known as the Articles of War, provides, “Any person subject to military law who, on any pretext whatsoever, xxx wilfully disobeys any lawful command of his superior officer, shall suffer death or such other punishment as a court-martial may direct.”

05 February 2016

Palanca for Prinz - 2016

4 February 2016

My dearest baby brother,

Today you came home tired and weary from school, as you have started often to do. It's okay. It happens. There will be more days like this in the future. It's okay to be tired, so long as you dust yourself off and pick yourself up again.

You are 15 now. Your life is becoming more fast-paced. You are becoming more aware of the many troubles of the world we live in. Your responsibilities are piling up. Don't stay away from them. EMBRACE THEM. There is a reason for everything you are going through and there is nothing you cannot handle. Always remember, if it ever gets unbearable, we are here - your ates, mama, and papa - and yaya is watching over you as well.

In truth, you have no need for a palanca letter. You have enough self-awareness to know your strengths and your weaknesses. All you need is affirmation that you are going in the right direction - and you are!

You are far from perfect, but there is no harm in aiming for it. More than anything, strive to be happy, and be a light to others. We must not let our own darkness dampen our light. Keep your head in the clouds, keep your feet on the ground, and keep your heart open. Do not hesitate to love others as much as you are loved.

Forever and always,