Fractured Worlds

I love this photo of me and papa that his nurse took a few days ago. That day was a crazy-busy day. And as I hurriedly kissed papa goodbye, he smiles at me warmly and says, “Let’s go to Saisaki,ok?” And I look calm on the outside but on the inside I am going, “No…

Mama’s Face

A tita messaged me months ago and she said she’d been looking at my Facebook profile photos and this one photo of mine was what struck her the most because, she says, this is where you look like your mama the most. And even though this wasn’t my favorite photo of myself then, it fast…

Make-up Sex

I had make up sex early this morning. You know what it is I’m talking about, right? The kind where you thought you had lost each other forever and how it frightened you both and the world became a dark void—huge and hollow. Then he walks through that door and you’re both so happy, you…

Model Unit

I’ve been seeing this post for some time now on Facebook. What it is is a housing unit in a relocation site that the government has offered to Metro Manila’s informal settlers on top of a one time 18 thousand peso relocation cost. I’ve read with dismay the comments posted. The comments posted and the…

What I Mean When I Say I Am A Runner (Not by Haruki Murakami)

I was a grade schooler when I was initiated into the dark (literally–it was before the break of dawn) world of running. My father, himself a runner, made it mandatory for me and my siblings to shuffle with the other Milo running clinic participants round the Quezon Memorial Circle. The first time I ran, I…

By My Father’s Knee

  I had a most dysfunctional childhood. Really and truly will bet I will win over what you say is your family’s unforgivable levels of dysfunctionality if you had the bad sense to go toe to toe with me over this. I know this because I’ve tussled with a lot of my friends about this–over…

Thy Name is Woman

I remember the night before I got married, I sat down and wrote this long piece (addressed to me) about how weird it felt to have to change my name just because I was getting hitched. It didn’t seem fair to me then. It doesn’t seem fair to me now. But I went along because…

Ultimate

That dude with a wide smile in the middle of this sea of wide smiles is my son. This is my son, who, after a grueling day at school, just has to go outdoors and fling that frisbee for hours–until the dark says “Enough.” And on weekends –Saturdays AND Sundays– he wakes up before the…

Pinoy Love

I was in the US for close to 3 months just recently and since most of it was spent in the city I absolutely adore, New York City, I didn’t really want to go home. Skype took care of keeping in close touch my loved ones. And in New York, I lived with friends so…

The Endlessly Excluded

There is something that causes me deep pain and it is this. I’ve had Nancy work with me, in my household, for something like 18 years now. Really and truly, in my mind, heart and soul, she is no different from me or my closest friends or even Mick Jagger whom I adore. My children…

Death at the Lower East Side

My close to 3-month-vacation was ending and I was in a state of panic. I had fallen headstrong in love with New York and the fact that I had been given a generous amount of time with her–not the usual one week vacation given most mortals–didn’t ease my panic. In fact, it heightened it because…

Girlfriend Goodbye

Ending relationships that no longer served me in any good way has always been a skill of mine. Where others would agonize over emotional vampires, I had already not just packed up my toothbrush but was a good number of miles out the door, singing ‘Hit the road, Jack’. Not that I cartwheeled out the…