Pwera Usog

Sampung tulog at isa pa… heto na talaga. Totoo na. Pupunta na kong Batanes.


Dream destination.

Naalala ko nang magbook sa PAL Express. Halos isang linggo akong nagpatumpik-tumpik. Araw-araw, pinupuntahan ko yung  at tsinecheck kung magkano ang flights papuntang Basco mula Maynila. Malay lang. Baka biglang magkasale kahit hindi nila inaannounce. Asa pa.

Napansin ko noon, ang budget economy rates ng PAL ay nagbabagu-bago at naglalaro sa pagitan ng P3k+ hanggang P5k+. Kaya, nang bumaba ito ng P3K, binook ko na.

Agad kong kinontak yung isang kaibigan kong atat ding mag-Batanes. Kaso nang gabing yon, hindi daw siya makakunek sa internet. Pabigat talaga minsan ang mga telco. Kung kailan kailangang kailangan. At nangyari nga ang masakit na katotohanan…

Kinabukasan, nasa P5k+ na ulit ang MLA-BSO route, at hindi na muling bumaba ng P3k.

At nanghinayang na ng tuluyan si kaibigan na magpabook.

At nanatili akong nakabook mag-isa. Mula Pebrero hanggang ngayon.

Ganito ako katagal naghintay.

Muntik na akong samahan ng isa pa.

Pero nagatubili din. Naging busy sa pangangampanya.

Ah, sampung tulog na lang at isa pa. Bawal mausog.

Batanes, aking dream destination.

Hindi ka na magiging dream.

Something New, Not Me, and Being Me

It all started with MLM. The lure of driving a brand new car in about a few months into the business was such a sweet goal. But I guess the reason why recruiters want a fast and immediate sign up is because they want their recruit to think of nothing else but the brand new car. In fact, when the invitation came and I heard all these too-good-to-be-true testimonies, my head began filling with illusions of what I could have. However, I felt a tug that something about me has changed. From thereon, my waking moments started with plans of recruiting (as that’s where the money is). Potential recruits buzz incessantly in my head. I think of my relatives and how much they have. I think of my friends and imagine a conversation of what to say so they can cough up the needed investment. I think of everyone as a wannabe investor, a money machine, and step closer to my brand new car.

Until I had that one disturbing sleepless night. Something was not right. I need second, third, even fourth opinions. I need “yays” and “nays”. I started to weigh things — my relationships, my works, my morals. I poked around the company, dug a little deeper, and asked direct selling groups and associations. Somehow, I started thinking of everything else BUT the brand new car.

And the consensus, no, MLM is not for me. Bye bye car. I can’t afford you now, but I still have Waway (our not-so-reliable but okay-to-be-with 16-year old car).

Burdened with burgeoning expenses, unpaid credit card bills, and irregular flow of income, I was close to regretting about not pursuing networking. I was desperate for something, anything that did not rely on internet (as working on the internet means me not sleeping nights ‘coz that’s the only time that my connection is tolerable, yet to the detriment of my health), that could widen my financial horizons.

Thanks to my big sis and young bro for the intensive online brainstorming (aka swapping emails and messages), I totally discarded the networking venture, and with their help and encouragement, I settled on my long-lost leisurely hobby on printing shirts and creating dresses. But my “artistic inclinations” were so long ago. Way way back in my grade school Home Economics and high school Practical Arts endeavors. Good for me though, I have a family who sees me through my grunts, failures, and indecisiveness.


The “Before” Sketch

Enrolling in a 4-hour/week two-month workshop on fashion construction at a fashion school in Makati got me perked up, reinvigorated. And so is big sis who, I believe believed in me more than I believed in myself, is much too willing to invest and also become my first model-client.

Despite my utter aversion in the worsening traffic, I am once again hailing in Manila, leaving the comforts of my room in Bulacan. During our second session, we were asked to sketch. “Anything that comes into your mind,” says our instructor. I haven’t drawn a thing for ages. But I have to try. My initial sketch looked like the sketch on the left, the “Before” sketch–

As you can see, the neck, shoulders, and arms were disproportionate. Well, everything were out of scale. Since I thought only the dress counts, I skipped the arms (which were getting dis-muscular) and the legs.

Our class became lively. It’s like only 2 out of 10 of us can draw. It was pure comedic relief. Then, we were introduced to nine-heads, the croquis, our “sketchy” salvation.


…then the CROQUIS

Once done with our paper model, we were asked to re-draw our sketch with the croquis underneath. And viola!


The “After” Sketch

I felt quite accomplished. It was a good first try. Big sis has already commissioned this dress but with sleeves. I’m not sure if it’s to give me the much needed push, or if she really liked it. Well, regardless, a client is a client. I’ll measure her up, and I hope I measure up to her expectations.

Look Up

Madalas akong dumungaw sa bintana. Kumbaga sa browser, ganoon ako mag-“refresh” pag nararamdaman kong bumibigat na ang mga mata ko sa harap ng laptop screen. Para din makalanghap ng sariwang hangin. Lalu na ngayong panahon ng tag-init. Iba pa rin ang hangin na nilalaro ang mga dahon kesa sa hinahambalos ng blades ng electric fan.

Kaya kanina, habang nakadungaw ako sa bintana, nakidungaw din si Mocx – ang tatlong taong punung-puno ng kadramahan at kakulitang kaulayaw ko sa maghapon.

“Ang daming mangga no?” He was referring to the mango trees in our yard.

“Oo, ang daming bunga ng punong mangga ng ama,” pagsang-ayon ko.

Hindi man hitik sa bunga pero may mga kumpulan naman. Marami-rami na ring napitas doon na pinahihinog naman sa may silong.

Then we were silent. For about a minute or two.

“Ang ganda ng langit no?”


I was not able to capture the tints and shades of the skies when the sun was setting. Certainly, it was as Mockx said, “Ang ganda ng langit, ‘no?” 

That brought a huge smile and a hearty laugh from me. Hearing those words from a 3-year old, I wondered how in the heavens could he notice the late afternoon sky with fluffy white and grey clouds on blue skies tinged by the yellowish hue from the setting sun as “magandang langit.”

Yet, I can only say, “Oo, maganda nga ang langit.”

It was indeed. And I reminded myself, “Always look up. The heavens is the only thing that we can look up to that will never ever look down on us.”

Thinking of Baler

Five more days. Can’t wait! After a year of making up for that Baler trip which I so sadly had to pass up, finally, I’ll be going. Another place soon-to-be checked on my map of interest.

Somehow, it looks like I can fulfill my resolve to visit 12 new places this year. And hopefully, Batanes will be one of them. Oops, why am I thinking of B’s?

I should Better go to Bed.

The long and short of it…

It’s been a really long while since I wrote short and even shorter stories. Yesterday, I began writing again. I tried hammering out the plot for the third part of Daniel’s Sling. A friend of mine suggested to have it published as an ebook. He said, I have already completed one, and as if jokingly, reminded me of that one completed novel which I lost another long long time ago because of a computer virus and the other novel which got rejected because it was “too good” to become a romance pocketbook. And so, I thrive on being a ghost of a writer.

Yet, somehow, for the longest time, I felt that those two attempts to get my own name on a book cover were signs that I am on a senseless pursuit. I admit. I don’t do well on rejections. It’s not that I can’t get over. It’s just that I have a difficult time getting past them without getting scarred. It’s like recovering from a teenage-ish broken heart.

However, I should know well enough that there is no point to not try harder. If before, I see them as reasons and signs to stop, I guess it’s time to leave no stones unturned. Rekindling the passion that has made me so exuberant and alive before should be on top of my 2014 must-do list.

Which reminds me, I have to sign up for the 19kms extreme white water rafting. I so miss the bounty and beauty of nature.


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