A Tribute To Many

the final moments

I heard the sad news  that Inang, my grandmother has passed away early this morning. Just like my grandfather, she wanted to go back to our ancestral home in Nueva Ecija and the night the she arrived, as if recognizing that she is already at home and everything is where it should be, she moved to the eternal plane of existence.  Inang has lived a long wonderful life, full of prayer and hopes, full of positivity and dreams. I best remember her for her soft voice and every time we visited her with my dad, she will be smiling and happy. She would whisper to our ears, “Magdasal lang tayo, lahat ay magtagumpay.” (Let us all pray that everyone will have success) She had always been a positive person and I have never heard any bad sentiments from her. She and my grandfather prayed a lot and it is because of them that I learned that the Angelus is a prayer done at a specific time in a day. They were always tuned in the AM radio, listen to some radio broadcasting series in the afternoon and by 6pm, we knew it was time to pray.


Over the weekend, while I was walking in our neighborhood in Tiong Bahru, I saw Cecil, an old woman who fed the cats in the area. She became our friend a couple of months ago because Jose saw her daily efforts of doing this act of kindness to these stray cats. We helped her out with her chores we also helped her pay for cat castration so that they will not overpopulate. (Its the more humane thing to do here in Singapore). She told me that she and her husband has already moved out of Tiong Bahru to live nearer their son in Potong Pasir, a place quite far from where we stay now. She told me that she is still devoted to come to the neighborhood to do what she does. I smiled and said we should have dinner one of these days, she can come by the house once she is free. This gesture from me is an honest one, I see in her the kindness and determination similar to my grandmother and that is a rarity that I find here in Singapore.


I have also started to meet up with my closest friends, to have some time with them before I go for my journey to Germany. I know for a fact that most of them will not be able to see me when I go there and there is a possibility that they too will make their own life choices while I am gone.  They might  move to another country, or move back to Manila or move to another office. The future holds so many possibilities and I would just like to capture now – you are important to me and we should celebrate our friendship before I leave.

I guess my trend of thought in this blog is this: These seemingly unconnected events remind me of the idea of leaving and living, saying goodbye and remembering. Life moves and we move with it and we just have to establish some points and say thank you to those who have made impact to our lives.We are like a human pyramid, our lives are so interconnected that when we really think about it, our success is not just ours. It is the culmination of dreams of many, acts of some and our own personal choices. Underneath our feet are the support and strength of those who love us and those who are constantly trying to help us in our goals. In this journey that I am taking, I have with me the prayers of my Inang, the steady pace of my Tatang, the hard work  and determination of my father, the pursuit of knowledge that my mother has imbibed and the love of my whole family. I have my ate’s zest for life, my ditse’s intelligence, my kuya’s practical advice and Jose’s patience, his happiness and ultimate support.

I bring with me the dreams of my landscape architect colleagues, the aspirations of those who dare to dream and the joy of those who I may not know now but are there for me when the right time comes. I have the spirit of the divine guiding me, the souls of my departed loved ones carrying me to places and I stand here not just by myself but with the hearts of many. It is with hope that I want to share my Inang’s kind words – “Magdasal lang tayo, lahat ay magtagumpay.”

Human Pyramid


Of Love, Friendship and Getting Older

Today I met one of my old time friend, Greg from Manila in a mall in Orchard road. I haven’t seen him in a while not because we didn’t have the time but I have a feeling that we had a falling out of some sort. When he was ‘fresh off the boat’ from Manila, I was being the super helpful friend to give him the best tips to know the best places, meet the best people, etc. but he wanted to do things his own way. Well, in the end I was not able to help him a lot but thankfully, he found his own way of understanding Singapore. He has been here since early of this year but since that time, we’ve only met twice. This is the second time. While I was talking to Greg, I found it quite intriguing that most of the time we could not look directly at each other because of some unexplained discomfort. Its like talking to someone you had a bad history with and just wanted to get things over and done with. I found it a very unusual conversation like I was constantly in the urge of thinking what I should talk about – typically not the case with good friends.

I was surprised that he has become a home buddy and he doesn’t go out that much, as I once knew him. He has become more tame in his spending while I have become more of a spender than I previously was. He was letting things flow while I was harnessing the elements as I move along the path of life, and with so many other things that I noticed, it seemed to me that Greg and I had now come to a point of bi-polar differences. I found it very surprising, in a way that made me think what ever happened to the friend I knew.

* * * * * *

As I was wondering, another incident flashed through my mind while I was on my way home. I remember when I was in the University, I was eager for life. With this eagerness came the desire for love well. If you knew me back then, I must think you would know that I had my fair share of those kind. I remember that I loved one person intensely at that time. Just one that really made my heart beat faster and slower at the same time. And boy, was I intense. Seemingly, as I look back at that time, I knew what love really meant and how I should live my life. There was this constant excitement, a constant anticipation of every morning at that time when I was in love. Simple hugs meant eternal happiness and the first kiss will forever be etched in my mind.

A perfect move of grace

At present, I know now how smiles can have charming effects and honest but well thought of wording can give anyone a blush. I know now of the power of imagery, the power of movement and the effects of intensity to people. Love is slowly becoming more of a practiced waltz, where movements of the other, I will answer with a perfect grip of the hips and a steady hand to guide the next move. I am getting to know this dance well. But knowing this dance I suddenly ask myself what ever happened to sheer excitement? What ever happened to the unpredictability of the unknown step and that graceful fall to the floor when we trip at our own misstep?

* * * * * *

As we mature, we realize that there are things in life that will supercede what we believed in when we were younger. Friends will never be the same people because we follow different paths and our minds will work in a different way in the infinitesimal different permutations of choice and experiences. Love will not always be what we imagined it to be and a lot of people live half empty or half full lives depending on the observer. Only a few will become perfectly happy in their lives. Some people just settle to a life of almost happiness and give up childhood dreams to live in the real world.

We do get older. Wiser, I don’t know but more adept and practiced to life, indeed we do. We can never go back to the past where life is seen with new eyes and friendship is a pact written in stone. Ideal love will soon be as it is – an abstract concept that can never really be achieved but we make the best out of what we have.

The apple of awakening shame

This is a sad blog. To realize that idealism becomes blurry when you get older is a scary thought. It will not just be about love and friendship but in so many aspects of our lives, we will realize things that will crumble our ideas of perfection and we suddeny open our eyes and see that life is like that. Its real. I guess I should end this one not with hope, because it defeats the purpose of the blog but with a certain amount of embarassment like the one that adam and eve got when they ate the apple in the garden of eve. I am ashamed that no optimism is in me tonight and even though most of the time I am high spirited in the end, I have a certain gloom that life will have lots of moments that I will have to accept imperfection and settle to just saying, “Thats how it is.”

Do I really have to settle for that?

transferred from Friendster Blog written  03 Nov 2008

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I am a boulder

Dear  KL,

When I opened my eyes this morning, it is the first time in a long while that I didn’t think of you. It is a liberating moment where my mind is not enslaved by your presence and that I am reborn to a new mindset. It seems that I completely lost all myself to you giving in to this intensity of a raw heart. Maybe its because of my young age, maybe because of personal beliefs of idealism or maybe because it is the fundamental of my life – to search for meaning, to live with passion and to feel the whole spectrum of emotions which you found too much for you to handle. I cannot blame you nor myself for it because we really come from different backgrounds. The thing is, I was more willing to go beyond this hurdle than you. Your mind wasn’t willing to jump.

I am a boulder

What I know about myself is this, I am that guy who may be too rigid at work, but when it comes to matters of the heart, I soar to the sky and falter and crash face first in the ground. It is my belief that life offers us great moments; not always good ones but those that intensify our value formation and makes us define this rock of character until we reach a state of smooth marble. I know for a fact that I am a newly weathered rock thrown in a gushing waterfall. I am still very sharp and full of rough corners. I cannot force myself to become a smoother stone because only the waters of life can do that to me. If you ever did or will again love me, you must accept this fact and you place yourself beside me, you a smoother stone willing to get scratched and we face the same force of water. We face it head on.

Thank you for giving me a piece of life – good and bad moments. Once we were sitting side by side, now the waters may eventually give us a gap. All the same, we are in the same river, and we experience the same waters and I will now let the forces of nature take control of our proximity to one another. Let it be known that there was a tangential moment that we collided and i lost a big chip of my own self.  It was lost with meaning and in the end this missing piece will smoothen and become beautiful.

transferred from Friendster Blog written 25 Apr 2008

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A tribute to the tragedy that was ours

in the aftermath of a great tragedy, i come to think of what has happened to my past year. it has been a ride of a lifetime where i have felt the intensity of every known emotion related to the elated state of love. happiness, sadness, frustration, depression, erotism, etc.

noticeably, when we are in the state of eros, we develop a keener sensitivity to our surroundings and ever good act is magnified to divine kilig moments and every bad act is magnified to personal sabotage but as we move on and we get to look back at the things that we did, it becomes aparent that we were just pathetic fools under the cupid’s spell.

i will never really know what went on in your head – if it was all true or was it just me thinking that it was but maybe it doesn’t really matter anyway, it was our moment and it is ours for the keeping. someday when i have digested the essence of what transpired, i will sigh and say to myself that it was nice while it lasted. love is never lost as th

ey say. it is perennial as the grass.

this blog and two more that i saved in my draft but never did publish is my tribute to your existence. You are part of my life written here in cyberspace and your essence will be left in my heart. our lives will be forever connected by an invisible string, seemingly invisible but forever strong. Our dreams, our aspirations and our moments will never be lost in the pages of the grand master plan and if  you ever come back in the most unexpected way, you will still bring a smile to my face. You have been my meaning. I need to declare that to the world.

Palangga ko, please do take care of yourself. Gimingaw na ku nimo.

transferred from Friendster Blog written last 3 Aug 2006


JC jc.senas@gmail.com:

strong words.. i wish you well, gabby!

and yeah, congrats at graduate ka na! :D

Tonight I Can Write The Saddest Lines

A poem for those who were hurt or are hurting. It was given to me by someone very close to me. i first heard it in audio format and i tell you, this is quite sad. hopefully you who reads my blogs will not experience the pain of being left by someone you love dearly. sometimes, we are faced with so much pain in our lives that not even words can describe our feelings.

Tonight I Can Write The Saddest Lines

by Pablo Neruda

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
Write, for example,’The night is shattered
and the blue stars shiver in the distance.’

The night wind revolves in the sky and sings.

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
I loved her, and sometimes she loved me too.

Through nights like this one I held her in my arms
I kissed her again and again under the endless sky.

She loved me sometimes, and I loved her too.
How could one not have loved her great still eyes.

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
To think that I do not have her. To feel that I have lost her.

To hear the immense night, still more immense without her.
And the verse falls to the soul like dew to the pasture.

What does it matter that my love could not keep her.
The night is shattered and she is not with me.

This is all. In the distance someone is singing. In the distance.
My soul is not satisfied that it has lost her.

My sight searches for her as though to go to her.
My heart looks for her, and she is not with me.

The same night whitening the same trees.
We, of that time, are no longer the same.

I no longer love her, that’s certain, but how I loved her.
My voice tried to find the wind to touch her hearing.

Another’s. She will be another’s. Like my kisses before.
Her voide. Her bright body. Her inifinite eyes.

I no longer love her, that’s certain, but maybe I love her.
Love is so short, forgetting is so long.

Because through nights like this one I held her in my arms
my sould is not satisfied that it has lost her.

Though this be the last pain that she makes me suffer
and these the last verses that I write for her.

transferred from Friendster Blog written last 23 Dec 2005


Leslee leelee_502@yahoo.com:

“I loved her, and sometimes she loved me too.”

“She loved me, sometimes I did love her too.”–> ang bothering ng mga linyang ito. parang hindi nila mahal ang isa’t isa all the time. it seems conditional.