today is my mom's birthday.

I've had a really rough day (my computer crashed, among other things) and was starting to get emotional when I called my mom to greet her a happy birthday. But my mom knows me too well and started telling me random stories to cheer me up that by the time I hang up the phone, I was feeling much, much better.

She told me how "Price Harry" was supposedly seen in our tiny coastal town doing humanitarian work (that is, if you count painting classrooms of an elementary school humanitarian work) and how the Philippine media all of a sudden flocked into my hometown to see "the prince". It was such a preposterous story but my mom knows I'm such a fangirl sometimes and thought I'd get a kick out of it.

Anyways, it turned out that Harry's lookalike, who also happened to speak with an impeccable British accent, was part of a team of foreign volunteers visiting our island. You can read the story here. People even had pictures taken with him, its too funny!

So yeah, my mom is cool like that. And she's also one of the most kindhearted and nature-loving people I know too. The picture above was taken in her rooftop garden 2 years ago. Isn't she beautiful?


Saturday morning --
I turn my cheek to a patch
of sun on my pillow.

"we met by the moon on a silvery lake"

Books, music, and travel (or dreaming about it) are some of the things that make me feel better when I'm feeling down. This band is one of my favorites and they are coming to San Francisco in June so the thought of seeing them live makes my heart flutter. Warning: this video will inspire extreme wanderlust -- seriously, can I have superpowers for a day so I can teleport myself to Barcelona or Paris?

when the lights go down in the city

Dolores Park; Pictures taken from my phone this evening

The weather has been scorching this past couple of days - 80s to high 90s and along with the heat, I also had a series of not-so-fortunate events that almost left me standing on the edge. Thank God for friends and short trips along the Pacific coast, or I would have lost it. And thank God for this beautiful city. I may be treading in dark waters but when I look around and see beauty everywhere, I always remind myself that at least I have this city, whom I love so, so deeply.

we love photo booths!

We really do. But what you don't see in these pictures is that we were also avoiding the crazy bar scene outside...yeah, we're getting old. Plus, both of these ladies are also happily married so our girls' night out was really all about eating desserts and reminiscing our college days when we'd stay up all night chatting about things like "what we'd want to be when we grow up" - ha.

P.S. Sorry for the influx of personal pics, I'm just really excited to share with you guys scenes from my friends' visit. I'll be back to regular poeming tommorrow.


(Overheard at Ms. J's Kindergarten Class)

There's no faucets allowed in there, he said, pointing to a drawing of a pyramid.

Look, I think mine says welcome, she said, showing off drawings that she copied from a book.  They're ancient letters, she added.

Only special people become mummies, he said .  Do you think pyramids are haunted?

* * *
I love eavesdropping on kids' conversations.  Its one of the best things about working with children. They might be talking in ancient Egyptian/hieroglyphics' speak, but sometimes the way they see the world makes so much more sense to me than how us adults see it.

* * *
So then I asked the little guy why he thinks there are no faucets allowed inside the pyramids. His answer: because mummies don't need to drink water anymore.


why i love highway 1

Because it gives me opportunities to bring out the would-be ballerina in me and dance in middle of nowhere with only the ocean and the endless blue sky as witnesses to my dorkiness.

(Okay, that's not entirely true because my cousin was also there. And yes, he managed to keep a straight face at my attempts of doing an arabesque, bless his heart.)

Photo taken along Highway 1; Santa Cruz, CA 4.11.09

it was the loveliest of days

Here are more pictures from my friends Mai and Rhanee's visit . I've known these girls for more than a decade and eventhough we don't live close to each other anymore, we always pick up where we left off and have a great time when we're together. And lucky for us, Mai is also a photographer, so we had an impromptu photo shoot in Tiburon.

All photos taken by Mai Demeterio

island life

(first draft)

Every afternoon while the children are in school
memorizing names of past presidents
and sweating over long divisions,
the women turn to their transistor radios
for a daily drama of loves lost and found
same time, same frequency, same theme song
traveling through open windows.

Their husbands, some are out fishing in the sea,
some sit under palm trees drinking tuba from a wooden cup
Others play cards at the town plaza, while some stay
near the highway to watch chicken buses passing by.

In this afternoon hour, everything moves slow.
Fishnets and clothes swing back and forth
on a line, taking their time in the sun.

* * *
tuba is a palm tree wine in my dialect (Bisayan).

what i've been up to these past couple of days

Two of my closest friends from home, Mai and Rhanee, are here for a visit and we've been out and about since Saturday - picnics at the parks, sitting at coffeeshops, dreaming of winning the lottery so we can all live in this city - just having a grand ol' time. The best part is, Mai also brought her daughter (and my goddaughter) Drew, whom I haven't seen in a long time. Drew loves cartwheeling and feeding ducks, such a sweet kid.

Coming up: more pictures (and POEMS! yes, I've been writing them). Bye for now and wishing you sunshine wherever you are.

happy national poetry month!

"Oh, the hell with poems. We should just do like you and dance! Then the poems will come... Seriously, this is what I've been talking to my students about. You all are gifted, but to do that you have to have drive..THEN, you have to let it all go, like Basho, and live in such a way that the poem will just well up in you. I think of you when I say that. You know how to live. Love, Franz"

This morning I woke up to this Facebook status message by the poet Franz Wright and I couldn't help but smile. The hell with poems indeed.

April couldn't have arrived at such a hectic time for me. I barely slept last night, finishing up two reports and dealing with my temperamental laptop, which I think has a bug but always comes clear when I run the anti-virus scan...its baffling, but I'm not a computer expert so what do I know.

And then the day went crazier. I had to run back and forth between two schools, attend a parent meeting that lasted for 2 hours, run to the bank, run downtown to drop off my rent check, just run run run. I was so tired that I fell asleep as soon as I got home. Woke up and ordered take-out Indian food. Extra spicy. Yum.

Still, I'm doing NaPoWriMo. I will write a poem everyday of this month. I may or may not post them all here but I will do it. And will keep you guys updated on my poetics, the good and the bad.

In January's words, "Let the bad poetry begin!"