Sunday, July 24, 2005

SKY and more skies

The sky makes me sigh
Lifts my spirits way up high
Sometimes it makes me cry
I just don't know why

Oh sky! you see me here down below
You know me to be sweet and mellow
Please take a moment to hear my plea
Be gentle to the ocean and the sea

I want to be like the clouds
immaculate white and cottonlike
So I can soar many miles away
Then will I be happy and gay

MAGIC anyone?

I used to believe in magic. That is now a thing of the past. I'm past my fantasy days, my fantasy years when I was so fascinated by anyone who can do magic. Vividly I can recall those times when at a young age (I was four then) a priest would come by, paid us a visit, and entertain me particularly with his version of "magic", which was actually a trick.

My Hometown

I remember my hometown...laid back, scorching hot, humid, the palm trees, the swaying bougainvilleas, 'puto','suman', 'tsokolate', 'pinipig', 'halo-halo', 'balut', 'buko', 'pansit', and a lot more.
I remember the white sand beaches where I used to stroll, frolick in the waves, fly kites.
I remember the chatter, the whispers, the murmurs, the storytelling of those people who lived there once upon a time- they had such a glib tongue to recount, in the minutest details, their experiences, their lives, their brush with 'aswangs' and 'manananggals'. Oh! they were stories that left an imprint, a mark that even to this very day, I can still remember.


Midday encounter
Fixtures, arched ceilings, benches
whispers and murmurs

Low hanging sleek lamps
gleaming right into the pews
no words spoken, mute

Winding steep and high
where mortals tread without fear
lost in oblivion


If I had the freedom of a butterfly, I would fly, fly away, fly with the wind where it will take me. I cannot change the direction of the wind but surely I can adjust my sails...adjust my composure because sometimes I can be so fidgety on unimportant matters; learn how to prioritize things; be more gentle but firm with my students; lead them to be independent writers; veer away from my comfort zone; most of all, be myself.

Monday, July 11, 2005


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Funny but it seems

Walking up the hill towards the College of Education of Howard University, I couldn't help but bring back memories as I trudged the catwalk with my rolling bag. I let out a hearty laugh as I remembered Romeo, my husband who was and is every inch aware of how I drove past highways and city streets. At one point, he cautioned me to be wary about the cars and trucks and limousines that speeded up in a frantic mood to get past the red stop sign. Romeo was not used to be a passenger beside the driver. He was always my driver since we've been together...courtship days till we tied the knot and called it FOREVER...TILL DEATH DO US PART. On that particular day, I couldn't help but notice his uneasiness and apprehension whenever I'd make a turn, speed up to go past slow moving vehicles, or park in between two cars with just enough space for me. He would raise both hands and stomp both feet as if doing so would help me in any way just in case things would go awry. I really find him very funny and awkward in that situation. Each time I think about it, I just find myself letting go and laughing deliriously. Had someone been there beside me as I walked, he would think twice about me. Am I deranged, crazy, or simply happy?

Free Writing

likes to dance to the beat of 'Angelina'
so naive, her lithe body swaying so gracefully with every movement
She has talents, mind you
she will sweep you away with her amazing voice
A survivor, even as a fetus in mommy's belly
Sensitive to the needs of others
Always around to bring joy, bubbling with stories, inquisitive...
Ah, my Cattalina! an exact replica of Papa and Mama

Quotes and responses

From The Essentials of Writing, Chapter 2 ' Tap the Energy for Writing'
"...we listen well, when we refer to our students as writers, when we expect them to love writing and to pour heart and soul into it."
My response: Any student can write. They will need our support and encouragement. Last night, I was struck by my nine year old daughter when she surprised me with a booklet she had carefully woven into a journal. In it she had written a couple of poems and had noted down her experiences of the day. Even if her grammar didn't sound right, it was still a piece of writing. I was deeply touched, all I could say was "Wow, sweetie...that is so nice! Keep on writing!" to which she replied with a smile.

My journey

11 June 2003. IAH (Intercontinental Airport of Houston)
The crowd increases and diminishes as a voice indistinctly announces the flight information of the different airlines. I sit complacently in a lounge of people...half-observant, half-alert, seemingly absorbed in a milieu they call 'departure area.' I refuse to be entertained by the nearby idiot boxes strategically located at every nook of this spacious edifice, opting instead to dig for my rosary beads and commencing the day with that very dependent feeling - a desire to build an intimate relationship with someone I owe so much of my life. The clock has just struck eight. With everyone still deeply engrossed doing about their own business, I carefully scan the immediate surroundings for any updates on the flight to Phoenix. Phoenix! I imagine that one place with endless vegetation of cacti, sprouting abundantly in a vast expanse of desert...dry, hot, yet there is something in it that entices the traveler to seek more, explore that countryside made popular by the song "By the Time I get to Phoenix..."
A sophisticated old lady, reminiscent of my maternal grandma, flashes a smile at me and I acknowledge the greeting. We exchange pleasantries, actually more on excavating information about our boarding tickets. I never saw her again after that.
The flight attendants on board seemed very adept at doing their job, intermittently asking each passenger the kind of beverage he wants to be served. Although they are not the kind that I imagined them to be, young and vibrant, friendly and warm, bubbly and classy, their mere presence on the aircraft was enough assurance that we were going to be all right.
Flights like these transport me into another world. My mind begins to wander...from the memories of my first flight at the age of twelve, running like a roll of film, winding, rewinding, and then forwarding to the now and present. There is so much to preoccupy my senses. As it is, when one thirsts for knowledge, there is no stopping to quench that thirst. The irony of it is that I would allow some moments in my life to laze around; just stopping to appreciate the beauty of a tiny flower, the greatness of a majestic mountain, the synchronized flight of a flock of birds, or just observing the lifestyles of the inhabitants of small and big cities. They all mirror life's intricacies: richness, strangeness, dullness, shrewdness and every 'ness' that you could possibly think of.
For all intents and purposes, I got derailed in the 'land of the cacti.' "Weather," quipped the airline agent at the front desk. Trusting my inquisitiveness, I paced the busy hallway in search for something peculiar, for an idiosyncrasy. Not finding one, I settled for something to eat. Yes! I felt hunger gnawing at my belly! I could eat a horse! Nothing could stop me from satisfying my lust for food at that moment. I gulped the last bite of my veggie sandwich in between an animated conversation with a Mexican woman seated across the table. I had a good bout with my Spanish accent, the kind of language I learned for academic as well as communicative purposes in sunny Spain.
The plane screeched to a halt. From the window, the letters read San Francisco International. Amazing to think that time indeed flies fast, faster even than the speed of an airplane.