Thursday, June 21, 2007

Mars, 'Noli,' and 'Marimar'

In between fits to finish an article, I browse various Web sites, usually my favored ones, in search of something interesting, or something that will brighten my day and will prompt me to finish what I'm doing. And recently, following are what I found, and my two cents' worth on each find:

From Reuters: This image is a composite mosaic of four polar views of Mars, taken at midnight, 6 a.m., noon, and 6 p.m. local Martian time taken by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft and released October 16, 2006....

From BBC News:
Volunteers sought for Mars test

First reaction: OMG!!! This is kind of cool - and a great find now I'm considering a career outside of writing.

So, read, read, read:
"The European Space Agency (Esa) is seeking volunteers for a simulated human trip to Mars, in which six crew spend 17 months in an isolation tank.

They will live and work in a series of interlocked modules at a research institute in Moscow.

Once the hatches are closed, the crew's only contact with the outside world is a radio link to "Earth" with a realistic delay of many minutes.

It sounds like Big Brother, but there are no plans to televise the test...."

Hmm.... So far, OK:
"...In all, 12 European volunteers will be needed. They must be aged 25-50, be in good health, have "high motivation" and stand up to 185cm tall. Smokers, or those with other addictions, to alcohol or illicit drugs, for example, will be rejected.

Esa is also looking for a working knowledge of both English and Russian...."

Bummer. Why this chance is only for Europeans, or among those who have the resources to explore the universe (hello, Descovrir, they're financing it)? What happened to equal opportunity? And as I remember how my sweetie put it once, to paraphrase, the US (and other advanced countries as well) are spending too much money for space explorations. Why not pool the resources to save our planet instead? Might be too late, but we can try - more. Ditto, sweetie.

From PDI: "Ang Pagtitipon" by Leandro Cruz

'Noli' in oil on canvas

Artist Leonardo Cruz gives Jose Rizal a different gift on the hero's 146th birth anniversary - painting 28 key scenes of the novel Noli Me Tangere in rich colors, giving the literary opus a new perspective, and which recently is translated by Penguin Books, proving more that the novel is truly one of world's classics.

Cruz's works are on exhibit at Fort Santiago, Manila. This effort will hope to entice more Filipinos, particularly the young, to read, and understand a classic such as Noli, and that the visual rendition, as Cruz paints the scenes in a comic-like manner, will make the novel graphically appealing, thus, creating the curious, and reigniting the imaginations of those who read the work, to look back on it.

More on Cruz's Noli rendition and about the novel here. (Interestingly, the author of this article shares the same birthday with our national hero. Don't ask me though how old this author is, hehehe).

On local TV:

Thalia as Marimar
Localizing "Marimar"

It's official. Marimar will no longer be seen on Philippine TV as dubbed in Filipino. The telenovela captured us because of its dramatic, juicy, lilting, lines (as dubbed in our own language). Remember, it dislodged the tabloidized TV news programs from their seats in the prime time, as the telenovela offered a concise, fast-paced storyline (in contrast with the Filipino soaps then that neared a decade to end) - a different take on the favored plot of poor-girl-becomes-victorious-and-avenges-for-her-sorry-past-

GMA 7 won the rights to remake Marimar. I'm a bit nostalgic about this - I was a late bloomer about the Thalia/Marimar rave. I didn't know then what the fuss was about when my high school friends (whom I miss) talked of Marimar, Sergio, Choy, Fulgoso (the talking dog), until I saw it and got hook eventually, even cutting our patintero/volleyball games and going home by 5pm to catch the telenovela.

It was first weird to see a Mexican "talking" in our lingua franca. But we got the hang of it, eventually empathizing with the protagonist's plight, even little girls wishing to be like the multimedia, beauteous artist Thalia. The phenomenon has become a subject in media classes as well (another blog post might be needed to discuss about everything that is with the phenomenon), as it altered the Filipino's prime time viewing. Soon, media outfits caught on the business the foreign telenovela is raking in - it is said cheaper to import canned soaps than produce them - and they scrambled (well, ABS-CBN that is) to get the other Thalia-starred soaps.

GMA is into remaking these days - even Shaider they're remaking too - but don't we just wish (especially savvy, media consumers), to see more quality, Filipino-made programs, than adapting programs as our own? Business-wise, it's not OK, but on my end, I want to have "good" memories of the programs (even not ours, and dubbed in our language, yet retained their production) that became part of my not-so-distant growing up years.

There goes my chopsuey post.

Monday, June 11, 2007

I'm getting tired...

Of writing. And to let it out, I blogged about it, though cryptic, for the past days, so I hid this blog and only allowed viewing to select friends (ironic - I'm tired of writing yet I turned to blogging [which is online writing] to somewhat relieve me from this tiredness).

As I told the boss last Wednesday (in between stifled sobs at that), I'm getting tired of writing as a starting journalist. I'm getting tired of writing as a media student. I'm GETTING TIRED of the process that is writing.

Getting, freaking tired of the process
I'm getting less kilig with whatever compliment or commendation I get for "a job well done."

I'm submitting stories just to meet the deadliest deadlines.

I'm writing, not so much to publish something that is worth-reading, but just to follow the page plan.

I'm accepting writing assignments, not so much to be versatile in a wide array of topics, but just to earn extra.

And I'm starting to see the awards and nominations I got not too much as accomplishments in this starting stage of my "career."

I'm getting tired of writing as a job.

I'm getting tired of writing as a media student - I even asked for an "INCOMPLETE" as grade for a subject in second semester last school year, since I didn't know, or didn't have enough will to finish my final paper (and now that I'm hoping to take my candidacy exams this first semester - which I already filed).

Thought what's happening is one of the usual phases I need to go through to relax - slack a little, then work to the max.

Pero, hindi - umiiyak na ako sa harap ng laptop `pag halos dalawang oras na, blangko pa rin ang MS Word - makakatulugan ko siya, pero ganoon uli paggising, iiyak ako uli, hanggang hahanapin na ng boss ko ang mga artikulo at lampas-lampas na ako sa deadline...been like this for the whole summer.

I even tried to write long-hand, just to keep me started, but the several attempts were futile.

The cycle took a toll on me, health-wise - with this "anxiety," last summer, I again had profuse bleeding cases (having my period twice every month, which started last April), bouts with slight fever, recurring back and joint pains, frequent migraine attacks, and the latest, allergic conjunctivitis.

Last Thursday, I had dysmenorrhea, and begged off to report to work. My period is ahead now, and I don't know if I'll have again later this month - or if I'll be sickly again in the coming days.

I even turned to jogging (though I'm getting thinner already, many already said that to me) - thinking I maybe sluggish lately and need some exercise.

I pushed through with the NAMFREL volunteer stint last elections - para patunayan sa sarili ko na may silbi ako at hindi walang kuwenta gaya ng unti-unti kong nararamdaman tungkol sa pagsusulat.

Nixing the escape plan
Worst that I thought of was to escape - yes, escape. When I agreed to interview a friend's relatives who live in Polilio Island, Quezon province, last Easter Sunday, I really thought that was my chance to go away. I packed clothes good for two to three days' use (I thought of just buying there). Had my ATMs, some cash, my phone, and my iPod. The island is a perfect hideaway, I thought - intermittent signal, Internet always down - ergo, no contact with me.

But I nixed the plan, since I realized later that day that I also have relatives there in the island, and that my late father hails from that province, and that I told them here at home I'm going there for a story. Besides, I was with a friend, who I pestered to come home with me that same day. So that land and sea travel of about 12 hours (to and from) was my kind of "escape." I came back from that trip tired, and with a job to do - to write the profile of my friend's relatives.

To quit or not to
"You're not the old Lynda," the boss told me via e-mail when I finally asked to speak with him. Hindi ko lang maamin sa sarili ko na mapapagod din pala ako sa pag-abot ng pangarap ko, kaya hindi ako nagkukuwento noon sa kanya, especially we're building up the magazine....

All these, I told the boss - finally. I was not telling him anything even though he was asking me before if I have any personal problem - akala ko kasi, maaayos ko kaagad ang sarili ko, eh, hindi, kaya ito. Hindi ko rin kasi ugali ang mang-abala ng ibang tao, lalo pa "mabigat" ang problema ko. Magsasalita lang ako `pag suko na ako, tulad ngayon....

Now, I'm thinking, and hoping, to take a break - to analyze things, if writing, for me, is still worth pursuing as a dream....

Kung napapagod na rin ako rito, at kung matatali ako sa 9 to 6 office hours - yes, required na ako pumasok ng opisina bilang "parusa" - kailangan ko yatang mag-isip-isip. (Sa totoo lang, noon pa gusto ng big boss na pumasok ako araw-araw. Pero, telecommuting ang napag-usapan namin ng boss (direct boss) ko kaya ako pumayag kahit ganoon ang suweldo, na siya kong sinabi sa big boss noong Miyerkules din - umaga kami nag-usap - si boss, hapon ng araw ding `yun ako nagkumpisal na sa kanya. `Di ko sinabi kay big boss ang totoong dahilan, tama lang kay direct boss, at sigurado akong sinabi na ni direct boss kay big boss ang tungkol sa kumpisal ko).

Tama rin yata ang Mommy ko, na kung ganito rin lang mapapako ako sa opisina, at napapagod na akong magsulat, maghanap na raw ako ng ibang trabahong labas sa pagsusulat at mas mababayaran ako ng tama (dahil tumutulong din ako kahit paano rito sa bahay).

Pero anong trabahong puwede sa akin? With my qualifications which are all about about writing?

Ngayon, ang alam ko, nagsusulat pa rin ako, at nag-blog muna ako saglit.

But I'm really getting tired. But less emotional now since I finally told the boss, mommy, my middle brother, my little brother (who's close to me, well, quite, haha), some friends, and my sweetie.

All I have to do now is think. Have a break maybe....

Ngayon, magkakape muna ako.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

2 sides of Lynda

Lynda got to know the two sides of her yesterday from two different e-mails.

"Congratulations on the articles you wrote...." - part of an e-mail from her prof (actually, it was more of a "letter to the editor" thingie, since the prof pointed a minor, grammatical error to her).

Lynda reread again the e-mail, and just wrote to the prof how ironic that congratulations is to her now, since...

"You're not the old Lynda...." - this is from one person who believes in whatever talent Lynda have, and whom she respects as a mentor (Lynda hopes that person still believes, that's why it's still in the present tense)

Who's the old Lynda, by the way?

Will she ever come back?

"You're not the old Lynda...." - this person perfectly articulated what Lynda is going through now.

Binigyan niya ng pangalan ang anumang nararamdaman, o ang estadong wala at gusto niyang, wala nang maramdaman....
Pagbibigay pangalang nakapagpapaluha kay Lynda ngayon....

Who's the old Lynda, by the way?

Hindi ko alam kung babalik pa siya - o kung gusto pa niya ang dating siya....

Nagbabago ang mga bagay-bagay, pero siya, nagbabago para saan?

She's destructing, yet, she wants to preserve her self.

But until when?

Sana, tama ang gagawin niya - kung may gagawin siya....

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Stuck in patterns

Amy Lowell, Boston-born, an imagist, and a posthumous Pulitzer Prize winner, is one poet I learned back in our English, third year high school class.

Her poem, Patterns, is easy to understand, and a thought-provoking work for me. And I'm reminded again of her poem now....Of course, the patterns are changing, but to be stuck in patterns you either set for yourself or set by others to you, sucks big time (at least how I feel now....)

And the last line from that poem is what I'm asking lately: Christ! What are patterns for?

Since I can't articulate fully what I'm feeling now, here's Lowell's poem:

I walk down the garden paths,
And all the daffodils
Are blowing, and the bright blue squills.
I walk down the patterned garden-paths
In my stiff, brocaded gown.
With my powdered hair and jewelled fan,
I too am a rare
Pattern. As I wander down
The garden paths.

My dress is richly figured,
And the train
Makes a pink and silver stain
On the gravel, and the thrift
Of the borders.
Just a plate of current fashion,
Tripping by in high-heeled, ribboned shoes.
Not a softness anywhere about me,
Only whalebone and brocade.
And I sink on a seat in the shade
Of a lime tree. For my passion
Wars against the stiff brocade.
The daffodils and squills
Flutter in the breeze
As they please.
And I weep;
For the lime-tree is in blossom
And one small flower has dropped upon my bosom.

And the plashing of waterdrops
In the marble fountain
Comes down the garden-paths.
The dripping never stops.
Underneath my stiffened gown
Is the softness of a woman bathing in a marble basin,
A basin in the midst of hedges grown
So thick, she cannot see her lover hiding,
But she guesses he is near,
And the sliding of the water
Seems the stroking of a dear
Hand upon her.
What is Summer in a fine brocaded gown!
I should like to see it lying in a heap upon the ground.
All the pink and silver crumpled up on the ground.
I would be the pink and silver as I ran along the paths,
And he would stumble after,
Bewildered by my laughter.
I should see the sun flashing from his sword-hilt and the buckles
on his shoes.
I would choose
To lead him in a maze along the patterned paths,
A bright and laughing maze for my heavy-booted lover,
Till he caught me in the shade,
And the buttons of his waistcoat bruised my body as he clasped me,
Aching, melting, unafraid.
With the shadows of the leaves and the sundrops,
And the plopping of the waterdrops,
All about us in the open afternoon --
I am very like to swoon
With the weight of this brocade,
For the sun sifts through the shade.

Underneath the fallen blossom
In my bosom,
Is a letter I have hid.
It was brought to me this morning by a rider from the Duke.
"Madam, we regret to inform you that Lord Hartwell
Died in action Thursday se'nnight."
As I read it in the white, morning sunlight,
The letters squirmed like snakes.
"Any answer, Madam," said my footman.
"No," I told him.
"See that the messenger takes some refreshment.
No, no answer."
And I walked into the garden,
Up and down the patterned paths,
In my stiff, correct brocade.
The blue and yellow flowers stood up proudly in the sun,
Each one.
I stood upright too,
Held rigid to the pattern
By the stiffness of my gown.
Up and down I walked,
Up and down.

In a month he would have been my husband.
In a month, here, underneath this lime,
We would have broke the pattern;
He for me, and I for him,
He as Colonel, I as Lady,
On this shady seat.
He had a whim
That sunlight carried blessing.
And I answered, "It shall be as you have said."
Now he is dead.

In Summer and in Winter I shall walk
Up and down
The patterned garden-paths
In my stiff, brocaded gown.
The squills and daffodils
Will give place to pillared roses, and to asters, and to snow.
I shall go
Up and down,
In my gown.
Gorgeously arrayed,
Boned and stayed.
And the softness of my body will be guarded from embrace
By each button, hook, and lace.
For the man who should loose me is dead,
Fighting with the Duke in Flanders,
In a pattern called a war.
Christ! What are patterns for?

*Image from
(The above Web site states about the image: Vita Defuncta is a response to the poem Patterns by Amy Lowell. The poem contrasts the loss of a loved one in war with nature. In the book, language and symbolic representations are intertwined, reflecting the loss, and masculine and feminine aspects of the poem. By the end of the book, the male symbol is a pool of blood. Once opened, one views the perfectly manicured pattern of a white flower-like form, which encases the text. Enclosed in a slip case, a black casket for the book within. The images and text were letterpress printed at LaNana Creek Press by Charles Jones and Terry Goggans. The paper is Arches and Japan Yatsuo, the font Bauer Bodoni. Designed and bound by the artist in an edition of twenty-fi ve. 28 x 33 x 2.5 centimeters. Created 2005.)

Thinking of...

Sleeping and eerily hoping, not to wake up. or I wake up as a new personality...

Bumping my head and suffer amnesia...

Numbing myself under the heavy rains, feary lightning, and fierce thunder...

Wanting to vanish all the things that remind me of who I wanted to become...

Wanting to disappear all the reasons why I'm here where am I now...

= = = = =
I'm just adding the thoughts above to my tons of sins - maybe confessing to a priest, or seating with a psychiatrist SOON will help lighten things...

But hope I sift through all these blurry thoughts...ALONE - I have to resolve this shit I'm going through...and ASAP

= = = = =
It didn't rain today. And my tear glands rested now. Wonder if they'll be hyperactive by Monday? Hope not...I have to be civil and polite - no, numb - I have to be numb on that day, and for more days ahead - unless I speak up...which I don't know how and when...

In times like this, maybe I should get Rick Warren's *The Purpose Driven Life

But I have Paolo Coelho's **Warrior of the Light A Manual - But I still have to open it though...Maybe, I need to open it NOW...

I'm 26 and NOW, I feel so, so, jaded...

But life is beautiful, so many say, and I (still) like to believe that - I have my family, my friends, my sweetie who are here for me - but I'm not letting them in - at least for now....

= = = = =
P.S. Just noticed - Both Warren and Coelho are bearded, charismatic, intelligent men - who inspired millions of lives through their words - though I still have to read Warren's bestseller, the interview I read about him is really, full of hope, and Coelho's did some wonders to me - I got six of his works, the Warrior included (bearded, charismatic, intelligent - three reasons why I fall for my sweetie, haha, now I'm smiling silly.)

** From

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Rainy days are here

I welcomed June 1 with my hyperactive tear glands.

Around lunch time I left the house and it was raining bad here. But I was perky - I'm going out after a week of staying home because of allergic conjunctivitis.

But hours later, that perkiness was gone. I was walking to the train station all gloomy. Arms crossed to my chest. Walking slowly with a heavy bag of magazines weighing down my right shoulder and my other bag all messed up inside, on to my left. My heels are killing me. I'm teary-eyed.

I had my own MTV inside MRT. Standing, holding to a post, leaning my head on it, my tears are just fast that they caught the attention of a boy toddler who whispered loud enough to his sister, "`yung ale umiiyak."

On my way to the university, the tears kept on coming. My hankies' all soggy. I can't really cry since there are passengers who some I caught through my peripheral were glancing at me. My stifled sobs were even noticed by the guy to my right - even with his iPod/MP3 player on at that!

Walking to the college, the tears were also running - faster this time. I had to wipe and wipe them before I went to the faculty room to meet my prof - good thing he wasn't there so I just left my stuff to the ever reliable department personnel.

When I went down to the ladies' room, I cried at once, and halted it right away. Again, I'm in a public place - kolehiyalas come in and out of that room. And I'll be meeting a friend, who earlier asked if i would be at the university. I was not sure to meet him but after the tear glands got activated, I knew I somewhat had to let this gloominess out.

"Isipin mo na lang, pagkatapos ng ulan, sisikat ang araw." That's what my friend said after I told him what happened. I heard that line somewhere, and he said it in his own, advising, corny, soothing way that I laughed in between crying. This time, I had an audience for my crying. And occasional audiences too - the secretary from the department whom my friend greeted, another man from the same department who recognized my friend, the stray black, and orange-stripped cats aimless on the college ground. Buti pa ang mga pusa, palakad-lakad lang, maghahanap ng pagkain, didilaan ang sarili, ayos na sila, naisip ko kanina....

Rainy season is in. Officially, according to the weather bureau, as quoted in a late night news the other night. That's why I'm all rainy now too.

Sinasabayan ko ang ulan, ang malakas na buhos niya kanina, at sasabayan ko pa sa mga darating na araw, o mga buwan....

Sure my tear glands will still be active in the coming days.

I knew the rainy days are coming - I brewed the storm myself. But I didn't show any sign, or sent out wrong signs, that weather officials don't know now how to calculate me. I'm a quiet storm, and now I'm raining hard to myself, causing flood around me....And I don't know when will I end and cast myself to the Pacific, or will show any clear signs so the storm can be calculated quite clearly....

Now, I feel like a storm within a storm (if there's such a thing - PAGASA, please?)

Pero, sana, sumikat din agad ang araw sa akin....

Kung hindi man agad, sana tumila saglit ang ulan, at hayaan akong, kahit sandali, na damahin ang maginhawa niyang lamig.
Enough to make a chilly, cozy, quiet afternoon, perfect for unwinding - or for thorough thinking....

Sorry, cryptic here.... And I'm quite happy I'm able to articulate this - with my state considered....

And now playing, Rainy Days and Mondays

*Image from

Friday, June 01, 2007

Redesigning Descovrir

I’m back online – been out for more than a week (?) due to allergic conjunctivitis (thought I’ll have measles, sheesh, because that allergy was coupled with recurring slight fever and terrible joint pains).

Got slowly back online since I have to check office e-mail, and other e-mails pertaining to work, plus I must accomplish my assignments – work and school.

Back to the blog, I hid it for a while, and now I got the time to do all these fancy stuff – which is cool, by the way, I mean the process, of revamping this. As for the redesign:

Softening the look. I opted for purples and pinks of varying shades to somewhat soften the stern, kind of masculine, white background and black font color used to be dominant in this blog.

I’m now using purples and pinks for link, blog title, blog description, post title, border, sidebar title, and visited link. But retained black for text and sidebar text color – to somewhat give a feel that I’m actually writing using black ink – for classiness.

Linking more friends, must sites, and certified idols. Yeah, the blog roll is quite many now (to your right, please). Apart from blog friends, I now added my daily dose – AP, CNNMoney, Columbia Journalism Review, PCIJ, Poynter Institute, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Time – sites I often visit to feed me news (which I’m neglecting for quite a time).

My blog friends are also many now – the staples back from college, university publication, UP naming mahal, and friends gained online and from a magazine cover and editorial shoot with the country’s hottie tourism chief (wink, wink to Mina) – sorry, girl wasn’t able to reply when you texted from our airport – was wasted then.

I also added into another group, the sites of my boss (Sir H logged off his site though), my UP profs (Sir Danny, Ma’am Rach - I didn't get Sir Luis as prof, since he no longer teaches in the graduate deparment - but he's one reason why I decided to study in UP and take up Journalism), and idols – an outstanding lawyer, a well-read columnist, a TV news personality (so far, the only one who can make me awake way late to watch his and his team’s well-produced documentaries).

I also linked my affiliations – current to previous works, and where I’m studying and I studied, and where I had my OJT.

Purpose of linking all these? One log in and I’ll be welcomed to all these sites for my online reading.

Adding fancy stuff. Yeah, I have this page element my blogthing now (up there, before the post). Something that caught my fancy and thought fun to post, for you also before you read the latest post of a 26 year-old cute sweetie here (ehem, ehem, and ehem). If you didn’t like my post, at least, you can try my blogthing, hehe. New blogthing for every new post, that’s the goal.

I also linked my images here, where I can store the cutest of me (he-he-he). I’m running out of hard disk space so I’m storing them here.

I also elaborated more about myself – after all, I initially wanted (and still want) this blog to be a discovery and rediscovery of my being a starting journalist, student, blah, blah (it’s all there, up there please, in the blog title, and to your right, about me too).

Honoring copyright. Yes. From now, since this will no longer be a text-heavy blog, I’ll be using images, borrowing from various sources, specifically from Google images (which are free and for re-use). Citing where I got an image is just proper to acknowledge the people or the site which put it – a rightful practice I got from Atty. Te (blog link here, right, down, there).

Revamping me. My way to start redesigning myself – some things about me need to change – and hopefully I change for my good….

Welcome to Descovrir - redesigned.