Jun 26, 2013


Dear Svelte,

How has it been? Yes, It has been awhile since I last wrote you. This month of June ushers in the monsoon months. The weather has been unpredictable. The whole city becomes drenched and people sometimes panic. The traffic is a mess after a seemingly little fall of rain. The routine of some is interrupted.

As for me, probably an under the weather disturbance of some sort. I tend to be impatient lately. Probably of just about anything. I believe I cannot make a substantial progress of my paperwork. A good friend told me about doing other stuff as diversion so as not to be worried even these are your priorities.

Sometimes, it is about an issue of Control. We tend to be 'cranky' because simply, we cannot control most things that happen in some of the most important aspects in our lives. We like to be organized and we set our targets. We want to be predictable and we realize our lives are dependent on others. Say, I cannot control the backlog of my professors. But I can ask her religiously when is going to be our next meeting. I cannot control the manners of other people. But I can choose to be with people whom I like to share my laughs and good moments. I cannot control who will be among us to present in the next conference. But I can submit a provocative abstract before deadline. God only knows if he wants me to jumpstart my food writing career, but I can submit this August to learn some signs. And Thank goodness, this is the month's last week. Can't wait for July.

This rainy season. Just keep the faith and let go and I can always my part in the meantime.

Jun 12, 2013

A mentor

This one is for a mentor. I met him during my early formative years as a development worker. He believed in me. It mattered a lot to me then. I needed not just a boss but I needed a figure whom I could rely on. Someone who would listen to me. Someone who would help me grow. We became close for some time. And our closeness even extended beyond office hours. He considered me as a 'golden bud' and in due time, he hoped I would turn out to be a beautiful flower. He wrote heartwarming words of encouragement in his own book that I keep. I simply looked up to him and It became personal. I got to know his long term aspirations and deepest secrets. He told me about his raw life's insecurities in the form of just about anything under the sun. He used to tell me if we had the chance and I became his eager listener.

Even when he was already leaving the office, his last day, I could not help but cry in front of the computer during that day. It was not like the last day that I would see him (I would see him more often as it turned out). But I worried what would happen to me. I felt orphaned. It was a case of  teacher leaving his student. I remember during his last working days in the office, he said to me, 'the teacher disappears when the student is ready.' The memory when he was saying that to me has remained clear. And I, always reacting a funny disposition. I was at my age when he left the office. He worked for some time also. And I happened to follow him also but in a different office.

I simply miss him. And probably because he now works in luxury cruise, I will have the hardest time to see him at an onset and to think we were just an hour distant away. Admittedly, it has been years already. He even bade goodbye through Facebook. Time lapsed.

He was never the usual mentor. He is a bitch. He is practical. He is a persistent dreamer and action man. He is world destroyer. haha. And I have learned in the process. There were some qualities that I hope I could emulate like his discipline and diction and there were some I hope to never have like his pessimism and temperament and the seemingly consistent love of money. Sometimes he feels he is entitled to a lot of things. He always asserts and I somehow link it to his gayness, which i feel somehow, he is wired to do it anyway. We gays need to assert always. We live in this peculiar society anyway and discrimination takes many forms.

I simply miss him. And I know he misses the good old days. And he usually tells me to Not Stop. Never Stop. Learn how to dance (talk about office politics). Achieve More But never lose your center. It is your principle that will keep me you in the center, It is the center that will keep you grounded. No matter how you can be far or near from the center, you are safely anchored. And you will bloom. As I am to embark another chapter, I cannot even have this clear picture. I hope not to lose faith. I need these words now. Thank God I keep them.  

Jun 3, 2013

Hold on (A Repost)

I remember when I was writing my undergrad thesis, It was a career. I exerted a lot of effort for it. And since it was about community journalism and development communications, I went as far as University of the Philippines Los Banos to do some library work where some of the early studies began. Also, I went to great strides in interviewing community newspaper publishers in Naga City. Kulang na lang naka feather boas ako habang ginagawa ko yun. I enjoyed it thoroughly. I felt I was contributing something. And for the bonus part, I got a perfect score for my thesis grade. 
And then I found Gelia Castillo in the course of my readings. I learned that Gelia Castillo was the grand dame of Philippine sociology. I suddenly felt connected to her. I did not know why. I began to search her biography and her credentials. All I could think was I wanted to be like her. How first impression sometimes last. I began to contemplate that my greatest dream is to become a social scientist, a sociologist!  to be like her! Walang awat! And I asked Divine to help me become one. 
I still hold on that dream. I may be in a divergent track (because she is engaged in development work anyway) but whenever I lose steam or doubt in my career, sometimes, subconsciously she just appears to my mind, like now. I begin to feel a sense of awe. Not foolish, not disillusionment, but the sense of wander. We all need that Wanderlust. 

It was effervescence. I was simply a student but very much inspired that I was contemplating as a hardcore researcher after graduation. 

Time passed and I had a chance to meet her during a conference. But I did not get to talk to her. I was this shy boy who just looked at her, mesmerized by her. She talked about the need to publish scientific papers. She was being assisted because she was also old already. She was very humble. I just kept listening to her. I am that type of person who does not want to know my idols personally or to engage them too much because it may destroy some sort of mysticism. Every once in a while, I just go to Youtube or any website and read whatever is there about her. 

I believe the Divine has laid down every path imaginable for me to be like her. I engage in development work and with local communities and I am positioned to be in something of influence and to make a change, small change at a time. I feel guilty because I sometimes waste this opportunity. And whenever I recall these moments, I cannot ask for much. Because everything is settled. What I asked Divine gave me. I am but humbled. There is always a new found purpose. All I need is to grow.

Jun 2, 2013


Last week and by some coincidence, It was noticeably Thai in the palate. Last Sunday, my friend Frankie, while catching up, introduced me to Som's Noodle House, relatively an open secret place to foodie on where to get close to eating authentic Thai cuisine that is also good for the pocket. I managed to research online mostly on directions since Frankie directed me to go straight to the place. 
I learned that it is located at the 'backwell',
likod ng Rockwell, on Alger street. I did not have the hard time looking for it though. The cab driver was competent enough to know the sense of the direction and the place. 

At first sight, Som's Noodle House is your friendly neighborhood Thai canteen. Plain interiors and no frills. It happened that there were also few people on this Sunday. But during the later part, we noticed the place was almost 3/4 filled with late 'lunchers'.

And the food, we ordered Tom Yam, Green Chicken Curry and this 'tonto' fish that Frankie kept mentioning. The Tom Yam was full. Coconut was dominating the chicken curry. Is there a difference between a gata and a curry taste after all?  The fried tonto was average. Yet we devoured with much gusto! I have yet to come to terms with the taste at Som's or even more, the Thai cuisine. For one thing, they are predominantly spicy. I have a fascination for Thai cuisine not because of its taste but how it really stands out in the world cuisine. They can market well and they bring out the brand. But to think about deeply, Filipino food can very well compete against the Thai food. Som's is above average.

Last Friday, Sei broke a good news and I urged  him to see me near our alma mater for a Friday night chat since I will be coming from an official activity nearby. Any good old Thomasian especially in the early 2000s would look for Almers. But we found the place closed at early 7:00 pm (probably because there is still no class. we even suspected it may be closed already since we found no signs). So we looked for other restaurants. I am surprised there is still SR Thai.

During our college, SR was not as famous but it managed to have student following. Still, a humbling canteen feel. A big King Bhumibol poster was at the back of the lolo cashier, noticeably also Thai because of his accent makes you feel you should recognize that you are in a Thai eatery. Another round of Tom Yam. I noticed it is more spicy than Som's but it somehow lacks the richness of it. The soup is not bland but you can see the veggies swimming in a clear broth. Its Seafood Thai Rice comprises of thin slices of squid, a shrimp, and a pork (?) on top of a slightly greasy fried rice. It is still a student meal, if you ask me. So I cannot expect that much. But it is enough to fill in your tummy.

I look forward to eating and exploring more Thai foods. I believe they are even healthy. It is nice to know that Thai restaurants abound these days. It only means Filipinos appreciate the cuisine of our neighbors. And we keep open to exploring new tastes. We Filipinos love to eat anyway.

Jun 1, 2013

A Project

Here I Go Again. I Miss the Writing part. The Writing It Down Part. It was 2005. I started Writing in a blog. Mostly about my personal thoughts. I just needed to let go of the ‘devil’ inside me. It has been a therapeutic and personal exercise then. Still. And there had been so many blogs I created. I lost some because their domain closed and the most unfortunate of all, my entries. But I also saved some. I will make an archive of them here. Tagged 'archive'.

I will write as briefly as possible. I will apologize in advance if sometimes, some pieces are cryptic.I really do not intend to reveal fully what is on my mind. And forgive me, this is not for anyone’s consumption but Mine. But I appreciate Readers and Friends, most especially, if they make a habit to read. I share this space with you. And I will be glad to discuss with them in details and in Person. 
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