Monthly Archives: April 2012

a peek at what could have been


Monitoring and Assessing Reforms in Rural Poverty Reduction.  Advocacy for the Human Development Report.  Issues in Measuring and Modelling Poverty.  Functional Literacy and Mass Media Survey.

As I read the labels on the file folders on the shelf in front of me, I cannot help but let out mini oohs and aahs every time I encounter a term I recognize from my Business Economics and Public Administration days in UP Diliman.  It’s been seven years since I last encountered these terms and coming across them now feels like running into a bunch of old friends.

I look around the office and I can’t help but think: in an alternate universe, this could’ve been my life.  Had I chosen to pursue a line of work in my field, I would probably be employed in an office very similar to this, doing research on topics very similar to the ones written on the labels.

Instead, I am a writer.  Oh, life is indeed full of unexpected twists and turns!

Although this peek at what could have been inevitably makes me think of missed opportunities to make a difference, I do not regret taking a different path.

I take another look at this alternate reality and confirm what I have always thought.  That I am happy with what is.


*scribbled on a notepad at 5:18 PM on 042912


fates intertwined



When I heard about Auraeus Solito’s Busong and all the accolades it received, my curiosity was instantly piqued.  I knew I couldn’t pass up on such a critically acclaimed movie.  So even before I set foot inside the cinema, I was already fairly certain that I was about to see a really good movie.  What caught me by surprise, though, was the extent to which it moved me.  I did not expect to be constantly on the edge of my seat and to be so emotionally invested in the characters.

My hands were clasped over my heart practically the entire time I was watching the movie and even when I was on my way home, I couldn’t help but continue to do so.  I was afraid my heart would explode from the sheer intensity of the emotions Busong stirred up in me. It’s a hauntingly beautiful movie which generally revolves around Punay, a girl who has never set foot on earth because of sores on her feet (and the rest of her body).  Her brother, Angkarang, carries her on a hammock as he searches for a cure to her condition.  Along the way, he comes across different people who help him. Take note, however, that Busong is anything but a conventional narrative and I struggle to come up with just the right words to describe it.  I cannot seem to do so at the moment but allow me to share an excerpt from Philbert Ortiz Dy’s review at

It allows past, present and future to interact in the same scenes, establishing a strange, mystical setting that feels both foreign and familiar. It eschews a traditional narrative in favor of delivering a sense of immersion… The lack of narrative will certainly turn some people off, but there’s plenty of emotion embedded in these scenes. The film conveys a sense of wonder and loss, of alienation and belonging. Though the film can feel obtuse, its core is never in doubt. The love for Palawan shines through, and the tragedies of the island lend the film a pronounced intensity. The film approaches the documentary form even as it weaves its mystical tale, detailing the very real ills that have caused such great pain to the island and its inhabitants. Dazzling cinematography builds a stunning picture of the island, and elegantly reveals just how much we stand to lose. Through the haze of symbol and allusion, the film makes plea for the fate of the island, and it does so with eloquence and grace.

*Busong is currently showing at Shang Cineplex Cinema 4.  Screening will run until the 24th.



I had it all mapped out.

Go to work –> Write scripts –> Office lunch treat –> Get a massage –> Buy a bottle or two of Vodka Mudshake or T-Ice –> Go home –> Drink Vodka Mudshake or T-Ice –> Go to sleep

But just when I thought I was going to spend my birthday alone (for the first time ever), my college roomie/soulsistah pulled through.  She cancelled her date so we could celebrate my birthday together.

<Yey for awesome college roomies!>

I told her I would meet her at Banapple‘s Connecticut branch at six o’clock but with all the birthday excitement going on, I had a tough time getting in the writing zone.  It took me a while to finish the day’s scripts so I was a bit late.  Soulsistah, meanwhile, almost got lost en route to Banapple.  Good thing Banapple has such a distinct logo that the cab driver had no trouble spotting it.

<Disaster averted! Whew!>

Soulsistah was already there when I arrived so after exchanging pleasantries, we went right down to business.  I was still pretty full so I decided to order a salad (no, I’m not on a diet).  I was torn between the Asian Sunshine Salad and the Super Caesar Salad but I eventually settled on the latter.  It was pretty good.  I especially enjoyed the pecan praline bits.  Soulsistah, on the other hand, had Breaded Fillet of Cream Dory with Honey Thyme Mustard Sauce.  I forgot to ask her for a critique because we were too busy exchanging stories (mostly about my little one’s antics and Soulsistah’s recent Sydney trip).  For dessert, we had Banana Starry-berry Custard Cheesecake.  We were worried at first that it might be too sweet.  But to our delight, it was, as Goldilocks would put it, just right. 🙂


Super Caesar Salad


Breaded Fillet of Cream Dory with Honey Thyme Mustard Sauce


Banana Starry-berry Custard Cheesecake

It was a very simple celebration but I had a fabulous time nonetheless.  Thank you, dear Soulsistah!