"Merry Christmas po."

Isang simpleng pangungusap, binitawan ng isang batang babaeng may mabilog na mata at malambing na tinig habang itinataas sa amin ang isang munting kahon ng kanyang mga napaglimusan. Matagal ko na sanang gustong isulat ito, ngunit hindi ko alam kung paano mailalagay sa titik at kataga ang kakaibang pakiramdam namin ng mahal kong kaibigan nang aming narinig ang kanyang sinambit. Habang pababa ng hagdanan sa North Avenue Station ng MRT, dahan-dahang nagtama ang mata ko at ng aking kasama, sabay usap kung gaano naantig ng batang babae ang aming mga puso. Nung una ay sinabihan ko syang magpatuloy na kami sa aming patutunguhan, na kahit na nakakaawa ay nakalagpas na kami. Isang tanong mula sa kaibigan ko ang tumatak sa aking isip: "Bakit hindi natin balikan?"

Hindi nga naglaon ay muli kaming umakyat at tumuloy sa tindahan ng hotdog. Doon ay bumili kami ng isang hotdog na may tinapay at ilang inumin. Pagkatapos ay inabot namin ang mga ito sa batang babae. Hindi ko na maalala kung may sinabi ba sya sa amin o wala, ngunit hindi ko makakalimutan ang tingin ng kanyang mga mata sa amin.

Sa muli naming pagbaba, biglang tumulo ang luha ng aking kasama. Isang tanong muli galing sa kanya ang tumatak sa aking isip: "Bakit kasi kailangan nyang mamalimos?" Wala akong naisagot.
This is my first travel blog. Hope I would do justice to this very beautiful place.

A day after our official field work was finished, my officemate (Mami Sielle) and I prepared ourselves for a short trip around Bohol. Our itinerary:
1. The Blood Compact
2. Baclayon Church
3. Man-made Forest
4. Chocolate Hills
5. Simply Butterflies
6. Loboc Tarsier
7. Loboc River Cruise
8. Biggest Python

We rented a car (w/driver) for P1,800 to tour us around the place. Our first stop was the site of Datu Sikatuna's and Miguel Lopez de Legazpi's Sandugo (Blood Compact).

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Quick Fact: The Sandugo is performed by making a small cut in the arm or breast of each party. Two or three drops of blood from their arms are mixed in a cup with water or wine. The drink is then divided equally between two cups and drank by each party.

Destination information:
Classification: Historical Site
Cost: none
Activities: Picture-taking

After a short picture-taking session, we continued our journey to our next stop-over: Baclayon Church.

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The church is one of the best-preserved Jesuit church in the region. It is also one of the oldest church in the Philippines, having been built in 1727. It is made of coral stones with egg whites as cement.

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Baclayon Church also has a museum with impressive amount of liturgical materials. However, the museum was still closed when we arrived there (7 am).

Destination information:
Classification: Old Churches
Cost: P25 for the museum
Activities: Sight-seeing, Picture-taking
"All is fair in love and war."

My life, so far, has experienced so many personal battles involving different persons, situations, and resolutions. In every one of these battles, I've lost so much. And yet, I'm still here, fighting a good fight, living each day with every strength that I have.

When I had my first relationship, I must admit, the feeling was indescribable. Suddenly, I've discovered completely different interpretations and emotions whenever I hear love songs playing softly on the radio. It's like finding a secret code within a book which describes how to live your life in ecstasy, in bliss. Young as we were, we tried to live life to the fullest, most of the time playing on the dangerous side of life. We had so many ups and downs, mostly the latter, but the thought of having someone special close to my heart kept me going on. However, not all battles, no matter how long and how hard you've fought it, will end in victory. And when my defeat arrived, the feeling of utter helplessness consumed me, slowly eating myself, until nothing is left but emptiness.

And then, she came. Also coming from a bad relationship, we eventually found each other. We helped each other, got close, and eventually started our own relationship. This, however, was a short battle. The abruptness of everything, and the gaping distance between us, eventually gave way to a crack that would eventually widen and destroy whatever we had back then. This battle, as short as it may have been, made me realize that it is not enough to go to war with only courage and emotions. A certain degree of logic, resourcefulness, and reality-check should always be employed. Fortunately, it ended before any major damage has been done.

With these past experiences, I became more careful in the battles that I will fight. Or maybe I was a little too careful. Giving up even before starting the fight and taking too much time preparing that the battle was already over when I've completed my preparations. I'm not complaining, however, as these experiences gave way to the current situation I am right now.

The difference between my past battles and my current one is that this time, I'm not just fighting FOR someone, rather, I'm fighting FOR and WITH someone. Soul mates, as we call each other, for we have defied and we are defying every odds imaginable that come in our way. Being with her is like having my very own time machine - the world seems to stop and I can feel nothing else but sweet serenity. Thinking of her doesn't simply make me contented with my life. Rather, she inspires me to do things that I should do, but I don't because of fear, indifference, or plain laziness. She makes me think about my past, my present, and most especially, my future. She is someone whom I can talk with for endless hours in one day but still have more than enough things to say the next day. She is the one I can comfortably sit with silently without doing anything in particular, for even though our lips do not move, we are speaking with each other in our hearts. That is why even if this is the most difficult battle that I've been so far, I am more than willing to stand strong and face the bullets.

For this is where I want to be right now. For this is what I want to do right now. For this is the path I need to take to reach that future that I've been wanting for so long. For she is my ultimate dream, she is my utmost inspiration, and most of all, she is my final fantasy.


"Ang nagsindi nitong ilaw,
walang iba kundi Ikaw.
Salamat sa liwanag Mo,
muling magkakakulay ang Pasko.

Dahil Ikaw Bro, ang star ng Pasko!"

Galing! Very powerful lyrics. Tuwing Christmas, madalas pinag-uusapan ang Christmas Tree, exchange gift, mahabang bakasyon, at si Santa Claus. Yung tunay na bida ng Pasko, madalas nakakalimutan na. Naaalala ko nung elementary pa ko, may isang article sa school paper namin tungkol sa kantang "Santa Claus is coming to town". Simpleng tanong pero tumatak sa isip ko: bakit nga ba ang lyrics ng kantang yun e "You better watch out, you better not cry, you better not pout I'm telling you why... Santa Claus is coming to town", e samantalang birth ni Jesus ang ipinagdiriwang natin? Anyway, sana ngayong Pasko huwag naman natin syang kalimutan.
Blogged with the Flock Browser
I am testing Flock's blogging tool.
Blogged with the Flock Browser
To distract myself from the boring day-to-day activities of my life, I've decided to start blogging about Excel and Sharepoint. Sana hindi umiral ang katamaran ko... =)

Update: separated my personal site from my soon-to-be-launched professional site: cybermamon.com!
If you're not the one then why does my soul feel glad today?
If you're not the one then why does my hand fit yours this way?
If you are not mine then why does your heart return my call?
If you are not mine would I have the strength to stand at all?

I never know what the future brings
But I know you're here with me now
We'll make it through
And I hope you are the one I share my life with

I don't wanna run away but I can't take it, I don't understand
If I'm not made for you then why does my heart tell me that I am?
Is there any way that I can stay in your arms?

If I don't need you then why am I crying on my bed?
If I don't need you then why does your name resound in my head?
If you're not for me then why does this distance maim my life?
If you're not for me then why do I dream of you as my wife?

I don't know why you're so far away
But I know that this **much** is true
We'll make it through
And I hope you are the one I share my life with
And I wish that you could be the one I die with
And I'm praying you're the one I build my home with
I hope I love you all my life

I don't wanna run away but I can't take it, I don't understand
If I'm not made for you then why does my heart tell me that I am
Is there any way that I can stay in your arms?

'Cause I miss you, body and soul so strong that it takes my breath away
And I breathe you into my heart and pray for the strength to stand today
'Cause I love you, whether it's wrong or right
And though I can't be with you tonight
You know my heart is by your side

I don’t wanna run away but I can’t take it, I don’t understand
If I’m not made for you then why does my heart tell me that I am
Is there any way that I can stay in your arms?
I don't want to be a dream. I am not a dream. I am flesh and blood, a being with emotions, feelings, dreams, and ambitions. I am not a fantasy. I do not belong to a fairy tale world where everything is happy and perfect. I am not a mere character from a movie or music. I am more than the tracks and the voice. I am who I am. I am real, living in a real world, living a real life. I am not perfect, I am not the best. But I am pretty sure, I am myself.

It's too late now.
My greatest fear is to grow old going home in an empty house, with no one to greet me and ask how my day went by. I shudder at the thought of myself at age 40, sleeping alone on my bed with only my pillows and blanket to comfort and accompany me through the night. It terrifies me to think about waking up every single day with no one beside me.

I came close to making this fear irrelevant for a number of times now in my life. And for an equal number of times, I failed.

It's not that I'm not used to being alone. As a matter of fact, I have been alone for quite a long time now. Going home to an empty house is nothing new to me. But that doesn't mean I like this life.

I simply want to have someone to grow old with. Someone who understands me and would accept me for who I am. Someone whom I could talk with for endless hours without noticing how much time has passed. Someone who would be more than my friend, my lover, my companion. I want to grow old with my soulmate.
The more time we spend with the wrong person is less time spent with the right one. The problem is, how can we know who the right person is? Is it simply a matter of what we feel? And once we have found the right one, are we strong enough to stand by that person?
You mean to me words can never define
You gave me something my heart is missing
I may not be yours, and you are not mine,
This bond that we share, no one else can bring.

You are my sun when the weather's stormy.
You are the science beyond all the art.
With that sweet voice and smile you've captured me.
With love and care you have stolen my heart.

As the end draws near, as we part our ways
There's nothing more I can wish in this life
Than to freeze this moment, keep still these days
With you and me as sweet husband and wife.

Infinite Fate
Sonnet XI
Ngayong gabi, sa kalangitang balot ng makapal na ulap,
Saan napupunta ang liwanag ng buwan?
Ngayong gabi, sino ang nakayakap sa yo?
O ika'y mag-isa, umiiyak sa kadiliman?

Ngayong gabi, kung ang buwan ay nakatago pa rin,
Tayo'y maghintay at maghintay hanggang mahawi ang mga ulap.
Ngayong gabi, sa pagtingala mo sa kalangitan,
Nakikita mo na ba ang buwan?
Would you stay, knowing that your presence hurts the person that you love? Or would you leave to keep her away from that pain and hope that she would recover?

It's not really the physical act of leaving that is critical. The more important and more difficult part is parting emotionally. Is it advisable? Is it even doable? The sad part is whichever one chooses, pain is a necessary side-effect. More than the pain to one's self, it is the pain to that person that becomes unthinkable, unbearable.

No matter how hard I try, every effort that I exert seems to fail. Is it because I am not trying hard enough? Or is it because I am not putting my whole heart in it? The real question is: should I? In this obscure world with no simple blacks and whites, it is so easy to be swallowed by the vagueness of these gray areas. The worst thing is, I try to rationalize the irrational, while empathizing the logical. If only this endeavor is as simple as picking a fruit from a tree, I would not be having all these sleepless nights and unfulfilled mornings…

Sa wakas... Nakarating din sa hotel...

Miss, may reservation ako. Ah ok, room 103... San pala yun?

Excited na ko sa kwarto ko! Hmmm... Miss, mali yata yung nabigay nyong kwarto. Mukhang isang buwan nang gamit yung comforter na nasa kama. Ah ganun ba? Style pala yun para magmukhang "luma" yung ambience... Hanep! Ang galeng, pati amoy kuhang-kuha! Buti na lang class tong napasukan kong hotel!

Hmmm... makalabas na nga muna ng kwarto para makahanap ng kakainan.

*bukas ng pinto*

Uy, si manong palabas din ng kwarto nya. Mukhang bagong bihis, inaayos pa yung pantalon habang lumalabas e. Bakit kaya parang pagod sya? Bahala na nga sya, basta ako gutom na...

*labas ng hotel*

Hmmm... San kaya ako makakakain ng mura pero masarap? Aba, mukhang ok dun sa eskenitang yun a... Palagay ko mura lang mga kainan dun...

Teka, bakit ang daming ilaw dito, hindi naman Pasko... At bakit ang daming foreigner, wala namang magandang tanawin dit---aaaaaayuuuuun naman pala e... Meron pala... At mukhang may celebration ha, may mga deflated balloons pa sa kalye... Ay... hindi pala... lobo...

Ang hirap naman maghanap ng kainan dito. AH! May tinext nga pala si Bok sa kin na number. Itext ko daw pag gusto kong kumain. Teka, asan na nga ba yun... hmm... ayun... olive... angeles... Ayus ah, kapangalan pa nya tong lugar...

*Dial*

Your number cannot be completed as dialled. Please check the number, then dial again.

Tsk tsk tsk.. Sayang naman! Kala ko makakakain na ko ng masarap! Mag-Jollibee na nga lang ako...

*Burp*

Sarap ng kain ko... makabalik na sa hotel. Daan ulit sa eskenita.

Hmmm... Pansin ko lang, kapag may hotel, maraming drugstore sa paligid. Bakit kaya? Madalas siguro magkasakit mga nagtatrabaho sa hotel. Kawawa naman sila.

Bukod sa drugstore, marami ring pawnshop sa paligid ng mga hotel. Palagay ko sa hotel kasi nakatira yung mga may-ari at nagtatrabaho sa pawnshop...
Ang tunay na ganda at ningning ng mga bituwin ay masasaksihan lamang sa dilim ng gabi. Sa gitna ng kapatagan, kung ikaw ay nababalot ng karimlan, mayroon kang dalawang pwedeng pagpilian: magpakain sa takot ng kadiliman, o tumingala at gamiting gabay ang liwanag ng mga tala. Ganyan din sa ating buhay: kung ikaw ay nalulugmok sa kabiguan, kalungkutan, at kasawian, hanapin mo ang tala na gagabay sa yo.
Loneliness is the worst feeling in the world. Having no one to back you up, to catch you when you fall. Having no one to understand you, to know what you really think and feel. It's even worse when you are alone, and the whole world is against you. To be rejected, to not belong, to be alienated.

And then, slowly, you begin to hate yourself. You blame yourself for your imperfections, for all the things that people do not like about you. Unwittingly, you start to reject the only person who truly understands you: yourself. You get caught in the vicious cycle of rejection and self-pity until one day, you found yourself deeply buried in your own sorrow. 

It never occurred to you that you were never alone in the first place. I was there, but you chose to look the other way. When you thought that the world was against you, I was there by your side, together with all the people who believe in you, who supports you. You got caught by the darkness of your situation that you failed to see the stars offering their tiny, but helpful, light to guide you in your way.

And I am still here for you. I will always be here for you. Whenever you are ready, just look up, and let me be the light in your darkest hour.
Masakit ang ulo ko ngayon. Kanina naman e masakit yung tyan ko. Bakit hindi pa ako natutulog? Hindi ko rin alam. Wala na naman akong magawa kaya magdadagdag na naman ako ng kalat dito sa Internet. Ang hirap talaga pag wala kang magawa. Kung anu-ano ang pumapasok sa isip mo. Tulad ngayon. Sa sobrang dami ng iniisip ko, hindi ko tuloy alam kung ano ang isusulat. E kung wala na lang kaya? Pwede siguro. Ano? Nagbabasa ka pa rin? Hindi mo pa rin ba nahahalata na sinasayang ko lang ang oras mo? Wala ka rin sigurong magawa ano?
I dreamed I was missing, you were so scared 
But no one would listen, 'cause no one else cared 
After my dreaming, I woke with this fear 
What am I leaving when I'm done here?

So if you're asking me, I want you to know

When my time comes, forget the wrong that I've done 
Help me leave behind some reasons to be missed 
Don't resent me, and when you're feeling empty 
Keep me in your memory, leave out all the rest
Leave out all the rest.

Don't be afraid 
I've taken my beating, I've shared what I made 
I'm strong on the surface, not all the way through 
I've never been perfect, but neither have you

So if you're asking me, I want you to know

When my time comes, forget the wrong that I've done 
Help me leave behind some reasons to be missed 
Don't resent me, and when you're feeling empty 
Keep me in your memory, leave out all the rest 
Leave out all the rest

Forgetting all the hurt inside you've learned to hide so well 
Pretending someone else can come and save me from myself 
I can't be who you are

When my time comes, forget the wrong that I've done 
Help me leave behind some reasons to be missed 
Don't resent me, and when you're feeling empty 
Keep me in your memory, leave out all the rest 
Leave out all the rest

Forgetting all the hurt inside you've learned to hide so well 
Pretending someone else can come and save me from myself 
I can't be who you are

I can't be who you are