And I Wander

The birds chirp at this side of the world. :)



Three years ago, I had tweeted this, referring to the Philippine Allstars OG’s supposed reunion concert. But God had a different plan. After a year, December 12, 2012 had become my “spiritual” birthdate. It had become the day that I accepted Jesus as my Lord & Saviour… that “something big” had happened in my own life.

* * * * * * *

It’s so overwhelming, sometimes funny, when we would try to take control of our lives, and then, for some unknown reasons, things WILL NOT go according to plan no matter how we stubbornly, even dedicatedly, stick to it. Things will bend, people will step in, events will rumble, and before we know it, the day that we were zoning in just does not show up. Not even call in sick. Just. Not. Show. Up.

But thing is, sometimes, there would be a plan. A blueprint will be made, will be signed by a number of people, notarized, stamped, or framed and hanged on a wall. But then, eventually, even with its unmistakable presence on the wall, people will lose focus as they get caught up with life.

I don’t really remember what had happened to the planned concert, which sounded really promising and exciting for a time. But I guess it was just not meant to happen AT THAT TIME. Still, my tweet called out the universe to hand me that “big” event. Grabe. The universe delivered! It gave me a “big” personal journey… I was thrown into a very difficult battle where I had both got broken & built, a journey where I got both lost & found. If it was not because of #timehop, I would not have even remembered it. I appreciate it all now. More than that, I now have a deeper understanding of everything that has happened. I see how God loves me so much… even during the times my spirit was so crushed and I felt so defeated.

Grabe ka Lord. Sobrang amazing ka!

So yeah, something big really did happen. And it was BIGGER than that planned concert.

* * * * * * *

As a result of that 12-12-12 event in my life, I am now able to fight my personal battles differently. Because we as humans, if I’m being honest to myself, are not wont to forgive and forget easily. I even daresay the wounds of the past can never really be healed… not even “in time.” May peklat ang bawat sugat. There will always be a scar. In time, the scar will ostensibly be invisible. But there would be times that it would seem to scream “Hi! Remember this wound? Remember the one who caused this???” And then it would make us feel the need to scratch. There will be times it would get really tempting… that we just want to scratch it so bad until it bleeds and creates another wound… over the wound. That is so easy… So easy. So human. So me, the old me.

But then, by His grace, I had felt that there is never a need to scratch. The enemy can make the wound scream all day & night long… but God is more powerful. He not only makes me fight strong, but also… He makes me accept my already closed, dry wounds as beautiful battle scars… ones that would and should remind me of my own victory over this seemingly permanent and undefeated enemy. Yes, that’s it. My VICTORY.


December 30, 2014 Posted by | Bible, Jesus, learn & unlearn, Philippine Allstars | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment


Learn how to put on everyday natural makeup… and have a blast! Here’s 2 year old Achilla to teach us, voiced by her now-5-year-old self. :))

November 24, 2014 Posted by | Achilla's Corner, tutorial | , , , , , | Leave a comment

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.los angeles.california.usa.

“the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles” – Jack Kerouac

Ain’t God awesome for giving us this life to live… to madness? Yes even to the point of insanity. Coz this life is overflowing with everything and nothing at the same time… the desire to taste everything and leave nothing untouched.

I’ve said many times that if I am to leave this world, I would be happy to go… Coz I have felt like I have lived different lives, worth different lifetimes. I’ve almost tasted enough. But as I grow older, I always discover that there is so much mooore! So many cultures to immerse in, so many culinary experiences to dig, a lot more cities to step on, so many friends to make & stories to tell among them, so many moments to close your eyes in as you breathe out “Thank you Lord.”

Last night, one of my gay friends expressed a liking at how generally just chill & quiet I am but is actually high-strung and full of energy when right strings are pulled. Haha! I guess that is how I am. I go outside and feast on life with my eyes by default, but when that perfect moment presents itself to get wild and mad about life, I go all out.  That’s what I love about living, there is always a place & space for everything… to complain when there’s not enough sauce on your pasta or if your coffee was not served smolderingly hot; or just let pass when you were ripped off a very cheap fabric from a store that you paid with your credit coz you don’t have the time to go back; to walk the car-emptied but mass-filled EDSA to fight for a cause; to grovel at the feet of a boyfriend and beg him to not leave you coz you know you are gonna wallow in pain and misery for weeks if he does; to cut your hair shorter & shorter until there’s no more to cut so you decide to just get shave it and be bald; to go crazy at a party and dance until dusk with everyone in the room, or with just your own self; to do an all-nighter with a friend while parked at the UP Sunken Garden and decide to watch the sun rise and do cartwheels before you head home to your bed; to make a fool of yourself in the biggest dance battle you could ever join in, but eventually learn from the best people you could ever learn from; to borrow money, be in debt and join a dance competition just to make noise, but earn a bonus as you’ve put the Philippines on the hip hop map; to brave the storm or wade through the flood just to make peace with someone; to make love as if there’s no tomorrow, or as if tonight will never exist again; to prank call all your boyfriends’ flirty friends to make a statement a.k.a. he’s mine; to fall in love with a person and hide it from everyone else because it seemed wrong, then years later shout it out to the world; to fight with someone because that person was out to destroy things or persons that matter to you; to end a friendship because words exchanged are killing you; to drive aimlessly until you hit the beach or the mountains; to converse with a stranger and be able to transport yourself in a different time & place, in his shoes, in his world; to run around the city capturing the scenes, the scents and the magnificence of each corner, each altitude, each intersection, each light post, canal, mailbox, etc.; to get beaten up physically & mentally by a mentor, get mad and scared and eventually realize that this exercise of humility was to show you who you really are and who you are not; to be treated as trash by the people who pays you to entertain them; to be treated as saints by people whom you will want to dance for at no cost; to give birth to the most precious being you could ever lay your eyes on; to thank the Lord and give praise to Him in front of thousands of people who look up to you.

Ahhhhh… so many things to be thankful for, and more things to look forward to.

Burn, baby, burn, and keep it burning until the last emblem of this fire takes you to another lifetime.

December 20, 2011 Posted by | learn & unlearn, life, love sh*t | , , | 1 Comment


EARTHLINGS is a powerful and informative documentary about society’s treatment of animals, narrated by Joaquin Phoenix with soundtrack by Moby. This multi-award winning film by Nation Earth is a must-see for anyone who cares about animals or wishes to make the world a better place.

Heart felt sooo heavy after watching this a couple of nights ago (Yes, my eyes were open the whole time!).

I can’t ever forget that part about the deathmarch of cattles in India! Too much torturing! I will never ever use/wear genuine leather.  😦 Though come to think of it, I think I never did.

I am primarily a meat-eater. Though I do admit that the pleasure I had of eating meat has declined after watching this. But more than being about what we consume, this movie has shown me how dependent we are upon animals for a lot of things (even little ones) in our lives. Really, we can get some of these things from different sources. But since this is cheaper, we resort to killing animals… But making them torture & suffer through their slow death for our own entertainment/profit?! Ugh, God bless these people’s souls. They should realize what they’re doing before it’s too late… if they have human hearts at all.

Hear their cries! SHARE THIS VIDEO! It’s about time that we all be aware of the inhumane methods of killing animals for profit. It’s about time that we change our lifestyle & make compassionate choices in the way we live, eat & entertain ourselves.

April 2, 2011 Posted by | environment, interests, rants | | 1 Comment



I’ve stumbled upon this post about keeping tab of books read (The problem with writing …) & it made me remember how I have kept track of books I’ve read (& had backlogged) back in the days when all I ever did was dance & read/write (none of those managing a group, doing a lot of shows, training for battles, raising a kid & a boyfriend–hehe!–yet). I would devour words & letters & immortalize them in my Stradmore notebooks. I had 4 of them & brought only the first 2 here in the US. Rummaging through them is like walking down memory lane. It’s different from reading a journal/diary coz it’s like a scrapbook of all things that had mattered to me back then… when I had all the luxury of time to bring together all those notes & mementos that aided in my soul searching. And back when online blogging/scrapbooking wasn’t around yet.

My 1st & 2nd Stradmore notebooks. These are more valuable to me than my laptop.

Collage. Yes I had a huge crush on Joshua Jackson (Dawson’s Creek’s Pacey) & Rachael Leigh Cook. 😉

Doodles from old notebooks.

Newspaper cut-outs about the environment. (See how old those are!) LOVE MOTHER EARTH. 🙂

Tori Amos’ Introduction for one of Gaiman’s books.

A picture of the drawings on my wall. (“Everybody tells tales. It’s just the dead talk more quietly than other people.”–Death)

I forgot where I first saw this. I’ve been researching for whoever said these words, but for naught. (If anyone could tell me who quoted this, it’d be awesome!)

“There are some people who meet that somebody that they can never stop loving, no matter how hard they try. I wouldn’t expect you to understand that, or even believe it, but we should all be lucky to end up with that somebody who has a little of that insanity. Somebody who never lets go. Somebody who cherishes you forever.” –Ally McBeal

Some reads from an old friend Celine E. 🙂

Some of my favorited quotes.

Kahlil Gibran

Left-hand writing & drawing. (I am a righty)

I’ve always loved writing in different directions.

A collection of Conrado de Quiros’ column from the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

For the record: I was a latebloomer in both dance & writing. Here was a letter I sent, when I was 24, to “Ask Aunt Webby” about learning how to write which was published on Pacific’s site. Hahaha! And so from there, I bought books & magazines about fiction & scriptwriting… and was able to write a few. :p

Even then, I have hated technology.

Why? According to my younger self:
–coz of things that are in the brink of extinction, [being]vintage, antique, relic, fossils.
–you will never appreciate an antique ebook (I have foreseen ebooks 12 years ago!). so what if your ebook has been in your hard drive since 1998?
–will your cellphone have a higher value in 5 years?
–can you sell your PS2 for P24,000 next year?
–can you say “She has aged gracefully” to a surgically beautiful woman?

History of Literature, a lecture from my friend Che

Random fact: I had a huge high school crush on Gio Alvarez & I have kept his autograph… from 16 years ago! 🙂

My college friend, Marla, introduced me to the greatest poet of all time, Pablo Neruda. She gave me this English copy of Puedo Escribir & I have saved it both in my notebook & in my memory.


The other great MJ in our lives: Michael Jordan 🙂

Anne Rice’s “Memnoch” is the first book I’ve read where I’ve jotted down in my notebook all my favorite passages.

Notes from Paolo Coelho’s “The Alchemist”

Notes from classic literatures like “Catcher in the Rye” by JD Salinger

Notes on Alan Lightman’s “Einstein’s Dreams”

…of course, Calvin & Hobbes!

List of some of the books I’ve read.

A poem written by my soul bro, Choie Martinez.

I collected short stories about Unicorns, & this is one of my favorites.

One of my writing exercises! And “Power of 2” guitar chords above. 🙂

A newspaper article about Neil Gaiman coming to the Philippines! (Yes I was subscribed to Inquirer before. I would read every issue from cover to cover.)

I write everywhere. I had a lot of these little notes tucked inside.

I love learning different languages & dialects!

Notes from one of the books that kind of defined me back then.

I love this article from Isagani Cruz, “Why Write Poetry?” This is one of the reasons why I wanted to write all the way to old age.

I’ve also done some research on dance! How studious! Haha!

There are still sooo much in those notebooks like quotes from movies I’ve watched, song lyrics, stories or ideas for novel I dreamed of writing, birthdays, even names of every student I have ever taught! Oh my, was I a writing addict… It’s so sad that Facebook, iphones or well, any other technological advancements have almost taken that away from me… or from the youth for that matter. They say that, hey this is the kind of generation that they were born to. They just gotta put up with that. But I believe it’s still up to the parents. They can balance it out–they could allow the kids to have access to what’s right there in front of them, and then expose them, too, to things like handwriting, pastel coloring, climbing trees, making bubbles from soap & gumamela, reading newspapers, books, (list goes on, depending on your background). 😛

Anyway, I am so excited about making more Stradmore memories now that I have more time to write (pen-&-paper-write) here in the ‘Merica. And when Tala grows older, I will inspire her to do the same (which is not very far from happening as I see her more inclined to hold a pen/paint brush than an iphone now)

And as for keeping track of books read… I can finally get back to it. Though, it is so unfortunate that I have left a huge backlog of books back in Manila coz I couldn’t bring them with me. Oh well, I can always read them when & if I decide to settle down there.

March 31, 2011 Posted by | Blogroll, interests, writing | , , | 6 Comments




Sometimes, you don’t always get what you want. You just want to bury your head in the pillow, hide under the blanket as if it’s one big arm pulling you in for comfort. Sometimes all you want to do is scream, & throw things, like china, & get some kind of temporary thrill from watching them get smashed. But you still want to hide it, like under a loud music so that people won’t hear your cries. Sometimes things get out of hand. One time you are Ms Congeniality, & then Ms Cruella the next coz things get out of control & you just can’t do anything about it. People can just accept you being at your worst, or they can despise you. But then, that just tells you, like right in your face, that they are not your friends anymore. Or not at all from the start. Sometimes though, it’s ok to show the world that you are human. That you get hurt, too. Sometimes, it’s ok to miss the bus, be cheated at, stutter at an important public speech, forget someone’s name, sing out of tune, or with wrong lyrics, get lost, get drunk & say something stupid, accidentally walk in the men’s room, fall from your bed while you sleep, fail at a subject, get cut from an audition, be out-of-place at a party, be hated by an in-law, get your heart broken twice, or thrice, get laughed at, get sneered at, get frowned upon, in your face, or behind your back… It is really ok. Coz sometimes, real stories are stirred from all these realities that leave bruises & callouses in your spirit. And out of those are marks of victories at having overcome them. Albeit. All. Odds.

March 28, 2011 Posted by | learn & unlearn, people, ruminations | | 1 Comment


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