flying towards the unknown

Posted by poeticnook on 12/31/2015 10:29:00 AM
2015 started out hopeful as I still had a hangover from the volunteer activity in Ecuador and the side trip to Peru. The people I met there reminded me that I was working with the world's most brilliant minds, making me feel like a kid walking among giants. It was both an enriching and humbling experience. They inspired me to achieve greater heights in my career, and I was duly recognized.

The rest of the year unfolded as it should, I immersed myself in family, work, friends, travel and hobbies while I grew roots and faded into mediocrity. It was predictable and safe, it was frighteningly comfortable, I was almost on the verge of contentment, and I would have stayed there if I could, but then life happened.

Life's like that, it doesn't prepare you for a denouement, it takes you up then slams you down, forcefully to the ground, without warning, and you are left clueless on what just happened, as you try to pick up your broken pieces and decide what you'll do next.

Coelho said "don't be someone that searches, finds, and then runs away". When I decided to leave my comfort zone for good, it felt like I was running away.  I was not really looking for anything in particular but something found me, something that needed to be distilled by time to make it pure. So I chose distance to make me wiser, but I think Murakami may have been right, "distance might not solve anything, no matter how far you run".

So here I am, thirty three days later and seven thousand miles away, I jumped off the cliff and I'm about to hit the ravine, but I'm still struggling to grow my wings.

I've got nothing on me save for an inked pen, a notebook and three minutes of your time, so here's the one zillion simoleon question of a lifetime: will you come fly with me?



Posted by poeticnook on 12/17/2015 02:34:00 PM
Dear Papa,

Happy birthday to you! Today you will be 61, I wonder where you are, are you celebrating with friends or family or just on your own looking out to the sea?

Once upon a time you were my superhero, my Santa Claus, my protector, the tallest and strongest and most handsome guy in the world, the man I look up to, the one who will read me bed time stories at night, sing Simon and Garfunkel to make me fall asleep, and sing "Mockingbird hill" to wake me up each morning. Once upon a time you taught me how to play chess and ping pong and bowling and billiards and poker until I learned to count Hershey's kisses like chips that I can use to call, raise or go all in.

I remember we used to go on midnight drives to the gas station convenience store to buy chocolates or to Minute Burger to have a midnight snack. Life was so simple then, the house in Bulacan was like a distant dream that I used to visit every summer so Kuya and I can play Monopoly and hide and seek with our cousins.

Everything is so different now. I last saw you three years ago when we had dinner at Shakey's, you told me about your life and where you're headed then you asked me what my plans were. We talked like old friends and suddenly I missed the father who knew the answers to all the questions, the cure to all the pain, and the solutions to all the problems. There were so many things I wanted to ask you then but it looks like as we grow older we'll just have to figure things out on our own.

Pa, I think I got my anger issues and running away genes from you. I try to keep it at bay and everyday is a chance for me to be better, but sometimes I just want to leave everything behind and go as far away as I can to a place where no one knows me. I think that's where you are right now, did you ever find happiness there? Is it everything you had hoped it would be?

You once told me that when you grow old, you just want to go to the mountains and live a simple life among indigenous people then teach them crafts, I wanted to ask you "but what about me? what about us?", but then you taught me not to be the clingy, needy, possessive type. Instead you showed me how to be strong, independent and unattached, like you.

Someday, maybe I will see you tuning a guitar and singing "Bookends" or sitting at an old cafe playing chess with a random stranger and talking about the history of the world.

Till then, I hope you are with people who love you and I hope they are taking good care of you, or since you don't like that domesticated crap, I hope you are strong and healthy and still fighting with life.

Your daughter,



when worlds collide

Posted by poeticnook on 11/16/2015 04:22:00 AM
Sometimes when you love someone, you want to give them the moon. Even though they probably wanted something totally different, like perhaps a flower, or a butterfly or maybe the sun.

Love blinds you, it makes you think that what's good for you is good for the other person too, you fail to notice or refuse to accept that you actually value different things.

I've made this mistake a couple of times before. I've imposed my will on others because I thought that was what's good for them. I was too caught up in my own reveries that I ignored what was in front of me, the telltale signs I didn't see.

This is as vague as it gets, but this one's for you. I'm sorry if I always beg for your time, if I always ask you to hang out with me, if I keep you away from what you're supposed to be doing, if I don't understand what's important to you. I guess i just want to take enough of your memories with me to keep me company for all the days I will be spending without you, I know I'm being selfish.

I wish I knew how to deal with you better, but life didn't give me a manual when you came into my world. I just guessed my way through it and sometimes it worked, but most of the times it didn't.

I wish I could take away your pain, I wish I didn't cause you any in the first place, but I was totally unprepared for you. If I could turn back time, I would do things differently, but time only moves forward, so I have to live with the consequences of my actions or inaction and I just have to make up for it.

I wish you didn't have to build your walls, I wish we could talk like old friends who didn't have any baggages, but as it is is, we have to figure this out and go through this together. I know you may want to go on your own way and leave me stranded, but I want you to remember this, even if this is the only thing you will remember from me:

I care for you deeply, although my words don't always say it, and my actions don't often reflect it, but I. Do. Care. For you. Deeply. I could lay down my life for you, you don't even have to ask it.

So please be good while I'm gone, stay focused and keep chasing your dreams. Don't let the world distract you from what's real. Don't stumble, but if you do, please rise up and wash the mud from your feet. Keep fighting the good fight. Don't give up. I'm always cheering for you, no matter how far away from you I become.

I will always be proud of you.

And you probably already know this, but somehow writing it down makes it more real, I love you.



lost and found

Posted by poeticnook on 11/07/2015 01:13:00 AM
This weekend is about finding things. But before I could find them, I had to lose them first.

Last night after I did my last minute hotel bookings, I couldn't find my credit card. I remember placing it on the couch but then somehow between that and dinner, it disappeared. I have never really lost any material thing of value, but lately I've been misplacing items, forgetting stuff, losing track of time. So now I have a pile of tasks I need to do and none of them are getting done. I guess all these baggages weighing on me have taken a toll on my mind.

So back to the card, I searched high and low and finally stuck my hand in the sides of the couch then lo and behold - my brother's missing brass retrakt from 8 months ago was there. It was all grimy and icky but still functional. So I took some lemon juice and baking soda (courtesy of wiki how and brilliant Mike) and proceeded to clean it. It didn't come out shiny and there were still a few battle scars left but that would have to do for now. After all I was looking for a lost MasterCard not a brass ballpoint haha

After a few more negotiations with the couch, I finally found the missing card, it slipped into one of those hidden corners. Life is full of surprises, sometimes while we are in search of something we've lost, we come across something totally different that someone else has been looking for. I'm glad I was able to help my brother find his pen although I think he has already accepted it as gone. He doesn't even want it anymore :)

Today I wanted to go up to the mountains before sunset so I can see the sky turn to pink. But because of my current state of mind, I somehow misplaced the car keys. I distinctly recall putting it inside my bag so I was at a loss when it wasn't there. If it was a phone I could have called it, but the problem with keys is they don't ring :) After going up and down the house and burning 1000 calories, I found it on mom's couch in her room. Now how did the keys walk there? Probably when I was changing clothes, or there's an elf in the house, or I'm losing my mind haha any which way I'm glad I found it, although not where I expected it to be.

Maybe that's how I should walk through life, open to finding things in the most unexpected places. And open to finding something totally different from what I was initially looking for.

I guess the lesson here is this, nothing is ever lost, nothing that can't be found. If it can't be found, then it's not lost, it's purposely hiding from you haha

Or just keep digging through couches, you don't know what you'll discover. :)



memory is such a fleeting thing or the search for an invisible pig

Posted by poeticnook on 10/25/2015 08:36:00 PM
Today mom went to get her biometrics done at the local Comelec pop up booth so I am in charge of accompanying Lola at home. Everything was going well until she remembered that she lost her pig, somebody stole it, so we should get up and look for it. I told her that maybe they turned the pig into Lechon, this being the famous city of roasted pigs but she insisted that we go out and find it. And so we did.

Memory is such a fleeting thing, I wonder if someday I will reach 101 and look for lost pigs. How sad and confusing it must be to wake up to a future where the 101 year old me has lost a beloved pig and nobody is there to help me find it. I wonder if I will have grandchildren who will care for me and go on a quest with me or if I will be shipped to a facility with indifferent caregivers who don't understand what it's like to lose something they can't see.

Today Lola and I are off to an adventure to find an invisible pig, and this will be one of best adventures I will always remember.



in passing

Posted by poeticnook on 8/12/2014 08:33:00 PM
We don't talk about death in the family. Death is like a piece of dirt that we prefer to hide under the carpet rather than sweep away into its proper place.

I've wondered about this a lot of times. Why do we pretend it didn't happen? Why do we keep quiet and go about our daily tasks thinking that if we ignore or deny its existence then death will just go away, and it won't be real anymore?

Four days ago a neighbor threw away two one-day-old kittens outside our gate. One of them died on the spot, the other one fought for life, crying relentlessly, demanding to be heard, felt, loved.

I named him Miro, it would have been a miracle if he survived given his condition, but we tried anyway. We bought him pet's milk and a nurser bottle and did our best to care for a little life that was carelessly thrown away by irresponsible people.

Sadly, miracles don't grow on trees these days, not that it ever did, but I was hoping this once it would appear from out of nowhere to fight death, and let life win.

Life won. Miro passed away yesterday morning. He fought for life for a few days before death took him away ever so swiftly, silently, without mercy.

Today Miro's little life was heard, felt, loved. And forever remembered.


dusk falls on oble

Posted by poeticnook on 3/19/2014 08:21:00 PM
Many sunsets ago, I used to sit here waiting for the moon to come out while the naked stone man with his arms outstretched looked up to the sky as if in surrender. Perhaps he too was waiting for shooting stars, or for some sort of wisdom to rain like manna from heaven so that all important questions will finally be answered. 

If any such torrent ever happened back then, I was probably absent, because up to now I still have questions, but unlike before, when I was still blinded by the idealism of youth, I no longer care if these will ever be answered.  Maybe this only means I'm finally growing up, or I'm finally letting go.

I was big on meanings then, and I was so fixated on closure that I chased ghosts because I needed logic before I can accept things and let them be. Lately I've realized that it's interesting to lead life not knowing what's going to happen next, or why events happened in the past. It's better just being in the moment, and taking it all in, like a masterpiece that just wants to be appreciated and not a subject that needs to be dissected in order to be understood.

Tonight I remember the 17 year old me whose tears fell on the concrete pavements of this university. I have probably not fully recovered from that first heartbreak and I think Theodore said it best, : "Sometimes I think I have felt everything I'm ever gonna feel. And from here on out, I'm not gonna feel anything new. Just lesser versions of what I've already felt."

Maybe things were bigger then because I thought my mind was too small to understand everything. But the secret was never in understanding, rather in accepting, with arms outstretched, gazing at the heavens. I guess that stone guy knew this all along.

And if ever there's one thing I learned from that girl who used to wait for sunsets, it's this: "this too, shall pass".


in transit

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