This is me: in an alternate reality, captured by an artist

I have recently come across a video that fully captures the essence of my paradise, the blog I have written in different forms since 2005.  Its surprising to think about it, almost a decade of thoughts scattered in cyberspace, not really physical in form but still alive, all  the same. You my dear readers, are seeing my thoughts and not merely shadows of memories. They are alive as if they happened just minutes ago and some of these ideas are questions I still ask myself up to this day. These are ideas that I have transmitted through my fingers to a device that forms another language, unknown to most of us but they are converted to binary symbols that you see as letters. Those letters are the specs of black dots in your screen and you understand my thoughts (even unspoken by myself), although most of you do not know me.

I am in world of my own creation, quite separate from the physicality of my own life, but probably mirrors its existence with a certain narrow lens. I am in a universe of emotions and thoughts which may be real or imaginary, yet in this world that I create, they are as real to me, like the breath that I take every second of my existence. I ask myself sometimes, why not discuss things that would gather people to look in my blog? Why not aim to get a bombardment of hits? Why should I? In a world evolving so that blogs are forms of money, I refuse to believe that my thoughts are made of gold, my thoughts are fuelled by likes or ratings. My thoughts, I believe, are simply an expression of my quiet paradise. So dear readers, I hope it brings you comfort that I am just like the man in the video, walking through the magnificent sceneries of my mind and looking at the face of the earth with longing and a certain sense of exploration to uncover the mysteries of life.


The journey begins in 30 days

The months of anticipation has now been reduced to days. As of today, the calendar on the right hand side of my blog started counting down my final days in Singapore before flying to Germany. I have been reading a couple of blogs lately regarding Erasmus. My master’s degree isn’t really part of an Erasmus program but I wasn’t able to get a better comparison of what I am feeling to any other genre of blog. Doing a masters degree outside of your home country in my mind is like surrendering yourself to herd of wildebeest. You just have to let it happen, you just have to do it and you just let the herd take you to where it will mindlessly go. There is nothing more that I can do to prepare myself for the experience. All my tickets are booked, my visa sorted out, my dorm finally confirmed and the only thing that I need to resolve is my luggage. Come on, what can you significantly put in 23 kg of luggage space?

The feeling that I have now, “A bag of emotions” as Jose aptly described it, is so complex I can’t seem to get my head around it. I am trying to compare this feeling with my initial move to Singapore half a decade ago but yet, it seems too alien, too different to even compare it with this journey. Leaving Manila before was a sort of an evolutionary progression, there was no question about it was just a matter of intellectual, experiential and financial pursuit. Going to Germany is something like that too I guess (without the financial pursuit, more like financial sabotage) but my feelings are so much more vast and complex. So many things to ponder on, so many questions asked, so many memories to remember.

In a way, I feel that this move will make me a global citizen. I no longer will have the excuse that I am unaware individual with only a limited amount of experience and life choices. The joy and the burden of leaving the comforts of my old life, as a student in Manila, as a landscape architect in Singapore means that my choices, my path in life is now departing from the usual route, my path is now diverging to a less mainstream way of thinking. My perception of reality will be deeply personal and my commonality with my friends and contemporaries will be less and less. This is a good thing, in a way. I will emerge in two years with a different understanding of the world, learning cultures and heritage, of people and places but at the same time  I maybe alone in this path to knowledge? What a strange feeling this really is. I am intellectualizing something that has not yet happened and which I am unsure of myself.

30 days and counting down, where does the journey lead to?

A pause in the journey


I read a story of a lonely traveler that I want to ponder and reflect on:

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

A Reminder Video, Reminder Moment

Jose’s mother passed away a few days ago with a brain hemorrhage that occurred while she was having lunch with a friend. She was rushed to the hospital while in a coma and was  declared brain dead a few hours after the incident occurred. She was in the ICU for a certain time and Jose went to the UK to remove the ventilator from her.

I can’t seem to get away from it, although very different from my father’s own circumstances, the image of the ICU, the ventilators, the news of brain death and the final moments of life reminded me of that moment with my father when his heart fluctuated its beat and then I saw him pass away. It is strange how memories are engrained in our minds, certain triggers, certain emotions, certain events cascade to remind us of deep emotions. Today I remember very vividly the final moments of my father’s life like it was just a few minutes ago. I see in slow motion of what has occurred, how my mom held my father’s hand, how my sister knew that it was really time, how the doctors suddenly stepped back, kept quiet and let us have our moment of grief.I remember their own tears, my own sorrow, my mother’s grief.

I know dear readers, it seems like another sad blog but I guess it is my way of remembering, a way of understanding my own sorrow, my nonchalant way of dealing with my own emotions. Tomorrow, I may remember nothing again.

In memory of my father

It is strange to imagine how people deal with the passing of a loved one. I never imagined that I would react in this manner, trying to block it off most of the time thinking that life is the same and I am the same person but memories creep up on me, making me realize that this is reality – My father has passed away. Mel, a colleague of mine who has lost her mother a few years ago said to me this – “You won’t be able to predict how you would react to death because there is no pattern, there is no book to guide you. It’s just you and your feelings.” Continue reading