Month: May 2014


Last year’s May 29th found me as a tourist, wandering around New York city with Isa. When we weren’t out, I’d be researching my next best option for classes in Seattle or Boston because my farming arrangement didn’t push through. But it was great. The freedom and lightness were bothered only slightly by the anxiety of not ending up with a class, and the worry of wasting my short time in the USA. Even if I didn’t know exactly what was going to happen, it was a good place. If I knew that I’d have to plant myself in New York then, I would have been so focused on getting everything together that I probably wouldn’t even have left the Philippines, with all the preparations to be done. It feels like the time to talk about the glorious year that was. It’s about time. Maybe I need to remind myself of it because of where I’ve been the past few weeks, and it hasn’t been a good place. I realize, though, that when it comes to things like work …

The Greatest Fear And The Greatest Hope

To be loved but not known is comforting but superficial. To be known and not loved is our greatest fear. But to be fully known and truly loved is, well, a lot like being loved by God. It is what we need more than anything. It liberates us from pretense, humbles us out of our self-righteousness, and fortifies us for any difficulty life can throw at us. Timothy Keller (quoted from his book, The Meaning of Marriage)   Photograph by George Hoyningen-Huene

Happy Bean Loot

My best friend Isa arrived in NYC last Thursday, bearing loot from home (and San Francisco!). You can’t imagine how loved I felt by my friends who remembered me, and have spoken one of my dominant languages of love <3

The Manila Hit List

So, my dear friend is visiting her family in Manila! Flying out tonight! Words can’t express how happy I am for her, and for her family! Which is what compels me to finally post my hit list for the things that I’m going to eat the next time I find myself in Manila. When that’s going to be? I don’t know yet, but hopefully the end of this year. This isn’t in order of preference, but I absolutely love item #1 because it’s the taste of home. Barby’s Manila Hit List Home Cooked – Crabs in Coconut Milk and Sweet Potato Tops (It’s sooooooooo. good. My duty is usually killing and cleaning the crabs, and the last time I learned how to properly squeeze the milk fresh out of the coconut shavings), Tortang Talong, Sauteed Talbos ng Camote with Bagoong Garlic and Tomatoes, Deep Fried Bangus Belly, Chicken Longganisa on Garlic Rice Jollibee – Jolly hotdog, the Half Chicken Half Spaghetti Combo, and Peach Mango Pie All the fresh buko juice that I can drink, with “malauhog” young coconut …

I Go Back to May 1937

It’s been foggy the past two days, today a lot more than yesterday. The foggy weather is perfectly in sync with my thoughts. Here’s a photo I took in the Clinique office near Central Park. This is not going back to May 1937, by the way. I Go Back to May 1937 is a poem by Sharon Olds. It’s sad and compelling, and stuck with me ever since I first read it in one of The Better Story Project workshops. I see them standing at the formal gates of their colleges, I see my father strolling out under the ochre sandstone arch, the    red tiles glinting like bent plates of blood behind his head, I see my mother with a few light books at her hip standing at the pillar made of tiny bricks, the wrought-iron gate still open behind her, its sword-tips aglow in the May air, they are about to graduate, they are about to get married,    they are kids, they are dumb, all they know is they are    innocent, they would never hurt anybody.    I …

Spring is For Lovers

Last weekend, Roo and I trekked all the way to the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens to see the cherry blossoms. From our lovely neighborhood of Queens, it took an hour and a half each way, and a total of about three or four transfers for the going there part. We frolicked in the garden before the afternoon rain. People were lying down on the grass (I would have done the same, if I wasn’t so scared of bugs). There was a surprisingly minimal amount of people (I expected hordes, like in Japan last year). Families, friends (groups of women harassing branches for a nice group shot), couples, and more couples. If food was permitted inside, I’d have a basket with green tea or Yakult, and cookies. So much trees, so much sunlight. Glorious clouds of pink overhead. Mom, these pictures are for you, because you remind me of springtime.