If you can only watch one movie this year, just one movie, I would highly recommend Blindsight. I was lucky enough to catch the advanced screening of this documentary last Friday night and wow, it was just amazing. Watch this trailer and then go find it at a theater near you:

starting fresh

With spring in full swing, I am filled with a renewed enthusiasm for starting anew. And this time, I vowed that I will really get things done. Or try my best anyway. So I bought this new journal, hoping that its beautiful pages will inspire me to slowly inch my way into writing again. Writing poetry, that is.

Coincidentally, I just learned that April is National Poetry Month (thanks to January of Poet Mom). With this comes NaPoWriMo or National Poetry Writing Month where participants are challenged to write a poem each day for the month of April. A poem a day!!!

That sounds daunting but I thought about it for a long time and said what the heck, I'll take the plunge. I may or may not post the poems that I've written here though, but I'm really gonna give it my best shot. So, I'm starting with this small poem as a warm-up, pre-NaPoWriMo.

* * *
The Café Life

Everyone around her is busy
speaking in a foreign tongue -

Stirring her black coffee,
she took it all in, transfixed
as if watching a movie with
subtitles, reading gestures
a smile, a look in the eye –

Overhead, a ceiling fan spins
and spins.

(Photo from Rare Device)

happy easter!

It was so gorgeous outside today and despite everything that I went through this past week, I am truly grateful to be here - in this beautiful city, on this special Sunday. Thank you all for the kind thoughts you sent my way. The blogging world is a wonderful community and I am glad to be a part of it!

P.S. Red says thank you, too! :)


Photo by Alicia Bock Photography via sfgirlbybay

I came home today feeling like I couldn't breathe, as if I needed to do something, go somewhere, or even just open the window to make myself feel that I am alive, that I am indeed here. I tried to blame it on work and the fact that I hadn't eaten much during the day because I was too busy going from one meeting to another. But I think its much deeper than that.

Two days ago, I received a phone call from my brother telling me that our cousin Neil John has died. He was only 15. He died of cancer.

I didn't know what to say. We all knew that it was coming because his cancer was already in the terminal stage, but it still came as a shock. I also felt guilty knowing that I really didn't do anything for him while he was still alive. In fact, I barely knew him. What made him smile? What did he love more than anything else in the world? Its been more than 4 years since I left our country and I only saw him briefly when I came back to visit.

Its during times like this that the physical distance between me and my family really hits me. When I left, all I could think about was my great adventure awaiting me here and eventhough I knew that I was going to miss my family, I also knew that they are always there, waiting for me. Somehow I just assumed that while I'm busy discovering places, meeting new people, taking pictures, filling journals, everyone that I left behind will remain unchanged.

Of course, it doesn't work that way. And so while I went through grad school, moved from one city to another, and begun to believe that I might have found another home here, the rest of my family also had adventures and struggles of their own. Some of them moved to another country, some met the love of their life, got married, had kids. Some battled with their own addiction, while some struggled to be accepted. And yes, it hurts when I realize that they went through all this and I wasn't a part of it.

But such is life. I can only hope that our love for each other is so much stronger than the miles between us all. The same love that gave my parents the strength to let me go, though it must have been terrifying for them to see their daughter living alone in another country when she was only 23. The same love that gave me the courage to take the leap and follow my dreams. The same love that allows us to hope and never, ever, let go.


spring, 17th street

hello there
trees that line
my walk

looks good
on you.

* * *
a contribution for readwritepoem


church choir sings --
I wave a woven cross
made of palm.

* * *
Have a blessed Sunday everyone!

five things

I'm in an overall smiling, humming-to-self mode tonight. This doesn't happen much on a workday, believe me. Especially on a Wednesday night, anticipating the agony of having to wake up at 6 am the following day. Obviously I am not a morning person and the snooze button is my best friend. That said, I thought I should share these 5 things that made me smile lately:

Transitioning to Spring. I'm loving the colors that's popping everywhere. Here in the city, you can definitely feel spring's awakening because cherry blossoms are all over the place these days.

Stanley Kunitz. And
this amazing poem. The last three lines made me gasp.

Mr. A-Z's concert. Everyone knows of my love for
Jason Mraz. In my dream world (you know, the one where I can travel anywhere I want to and somehow get all my writing done AND not have to worry about money), he is singing I'm Yours (I won't hesitate no more...this is our fate, I'm yours) to me and only me. Haha. But seriously, I just can't wait to see my favorite geek in the pink perform live. Is it April yet?

Young Folks. Speaking of music, this song has been playing in my head now. I love the whistling and their retro-inspired animated video. It reminds me of the 70's and of course, San Francisco:

Random finds in the web. I am not a US citizen, hence I can't vote, but I enjoy watching the election campaign from the sidelines. And you've got to admit, this one is pretty original:

taken from (tip: keep hitting the refresh button to read new ones)

* * *
How about you, what made you smile lately? Share. =)

spring forward

alarm clock rings
sun peeks through window -
hit the snooze button.

a "rising" haiku for
Writer's Island


I have this love-hate relationship with Anthropologie. On one hand, I love almost everything in this store and yet I know that I could never afford anything in it. Well, except maybe when items go on super sale, but then I could never find my size on the sales rack either. Le sigh.

Anyways, I just received this month's catalog and oh dear, I wanted to weep. Shot on location in Marrakesh, everything about it screamed "ME, ME, ME". The clothes, the shoes, the bags (!)... all of it is so "me". I've never really splurged on fashion before and this one *almost* made me want to. But then again, I thought about it and decided that saving money to actually go to Marrakesh is even better. Right?

Meanwhile, I made this collage of my favorite pieces from the catalog for that much-needed jolt of inspiration. If any of you have extra cash and you want to make a poor girl like me happy, now you know where to go. Haha.

Have a happy, happy weekend everyone. Hope its sunny where you are!

say hello to red

I am not really a dog person. This is somewhat embrassing especially since most of my friends here in San Francisco has a dog or a cat. I'm okay with them, I just don't see myself having one. And it doesn't help that I am very tactile defensive either. Though I am not as overly sensitive to textures or touch as I used to be, the thought of a dog coming up to me and randomly licking my face still makes me cringe.

That is, until I met Red. My cousin rescued him from a shelter a month ago and he is just the sweetest little dog. He used to be really scared of people and doesn't like anyone touching him (hmmm...this sounds very familiar :P) but with my cousin's care, he's opened up and is now very playful. This week, I took care of him while my cousin was away on a business trip and all I can say is I really surprised myself. I didn't know that I could love a dog this much.

Isn't he adorable? He was watching the Project Runway finale with me.


I went inside a gift shop thinking of buying this framed art for someone. I didn't realize that the someone I had in mind was myself. Only after the artist wrapped the present and asked who am I giving the artwork for did I smile and say "me". Then she wrote my name.

And it felt wonderful. To reward yourself of something that you love and not feel guilty about it. Often I beat myself up for not getting things done, for falling behind my schedule, for not doing this and that when what I should be doing is give myself credit for all the things that I have done and more.

So today, I am giving myself this gift.

How about you, what have you given yourself lately?