Monthly Archives: May 2013

Notes from the Gates of Hell

So a few days ago I managed to get my head out of the hole that my work put me into long enough to wonder what the heck was wrong with people reportedly being upset by Dan Brown’s latest novel.

the book

The Book

Apparently, my beloved home city of Manila was not only portrayed in all its grimy glory but also referred to as “the Gates of Hell’ by one of the characters in said novel. Suddenly the net was abuzz with people’s outrage at this. My Facebook and Twitter feeds erupted in patriotic defense of Manila. I was taken aback by this sudden show of affection and caring for my city, when just a few days ago, the very same people were laughing at us for electing a convicted plunderer and a political traitor as its mayor and vice-mayor, respectively.

Keepers of the Gate

Keepers of the Gate

Mob mentality has crossed over to the internet.

I didn’t know whether to laugh, scratch my head, or join the fray. In this case, laughter proved to be the best choice. This is the same laughter I expressed when dealing with the religious idiots who desperately argues that our country is not over-populated hence there is no need for the Reproductive Health Law. However, that is another story.

I mean, over-reacting people, you are forgetting that “Inferno” is a work of fiction. It’s not journalism, or an op-ed piece, or even a travel essay. It’s bad enough that you’re over-reacting to a work of fiction. But you’re getting upset with a critically-panned novel from an author whose writing skills are debatable.

The most pathetic reaction? This letter from our government–a grim indication that this government is either out-of-touch with reality or its officials like MMDA Chair Tolentino got too much time on their hands!

The badly-written reaction letter

The badly-written reaction letter

I only read a hundred or so pages of The Da Vinci Code years ago and I didn’t like the way it was written so I never read Dan Brown again. I watched the film, though, and derived all my pleasure looking at Tom Hanks’ strange hair. So there, I’m not a fan. And I’m not raising my fists because my beloved city is indeed polluted, jammed with traffic, and populated with unsavory characters. Like every other city anywhere in the world.


Regarding Mothers

Yesterday, I was looking through the photos in my hard drive–trying to find a photo to use in my mother’s day post in Facebook. I was looking for a really old photo of my mother and I because I haven’t been photogenic for the last 3 years or so. As I browsed folder after folder of photos, I realized that aside from my biological mother, I’ve had many other ‘mothers’ in my life.

And they also deserve to be recognized on such a day as today (which, as I learned, is not the historical date mother’s day is celebrated in the Philippines. But that is another story that you can find HERE).

First on this list is one who’ll probably be the first to protest such greeting, only because she revels in her single-ness. My aunt, Emy. Our relationship has evolved through the years but the one thing that she has been consistent with is her unwavering support for me, especially at my lowest point.

(L-R): my aunt, me, my late papa, mama

(L-R): my aunt, me, my late papa, mama

The second is my late grandmother Vicki. She had been the number one fan of my writing. She encouraged me at a young age to use my imagination and creativity–throwing her full support behind my writing and artistic talents, or skills. When my first book comes out, it will be dedicated to her.

at Lemery, Batangas, summer of '84

at Lemery, Batangas, summer of ’84

Third is one person I’ve known for more than 10 years, and I fondly call her Inang Ruthy. She’s been my mentor, collaborator, friend, and conscience. I look up to her intellect, integrity, and love of others. Knowing her has made me strive to become the best version of myself.

at a training in Tagaytay, August 2004

at a training in Tagaytay, August 2004

I have met many others who I regard as ‘motherly’, especially when I lived in Cambodia. When I met the mother of my good friend Derick, I was immediately drawn to her because her demeanor reminded me of my late grandmother.

with Mama Zoe in Koh Kong, 2007

with Mama Zoe in Koh Kong, 2007

During my last months in Phnom Penh, the company of these women kept my fragile mental well-being intact. I haven’t really thanked both of them properly, especially Tita Lou, but I’m hoping I get the chance to do so someday.

(L-R) me, tita lou, ms badette

(L-R) me, tita lou, ms badette

And last but not the least, my real and only biological mother. I remember this quote from Oscar Wilde that goes, “Children begin by loving their parents; as they grow older they judge them; sometimes they forgive them.” Certainly, my mother and I have gone through many things together, especially in the last three years. We are working out things between us–probably forgive the past, so we can move towards our future.

with my bio-mom

with my bio-mom

Happy Mother’s Day!

Too busy to blog?

It didn’t take me a long time to realize that it has been almost four weeks since my last post. I have no other excuse than my new job. This is the job I took instead of taking the last course in my post-graduate course in Public Health. Didn’t take me long also to decide to work instead of go to summer school.

The post is perfect for me. The organization fits in my career plan. This is a great addition to my CV. And did I say that the pay is great as well?

nice job! I'll take it!

nice job! I’ll take it!

So there. For the past week I’d been absorbed in the daily affairs of my job. My weekends have been reduced to alternating periods of resting, catching sleep, relaxing, sleeping–oh wait, I already said that.

My blogging has been reduced to posting articles on the Facebook pages of my blogs.

Until now. I will make no promises to try harder to blog regularly next time.

I’ll just do it. If and when I can.