The first post for the month shall be dedicated to my SO, whom I lovingly call Adverbs.

The nick came from a conversation about a “novel” called Adverbs from the guy who wrote the Series of Unfortunate Events books. I was immediately drawn to the title; what English teacher wouldn’t be? I initially thought it was a book of essays on writing and grammar, but I was in for a then-pleasant surprise when I discovered it was actually a novel. 

Well, that pleasant surprise soon turned to disdain when I realized that it was actually a series of short stories. I was confused at the sudden shift in character perspective from the first to the second character; I thought that the two stories were related. I was sorely mistaken. The first story bored me; the second was meh, and the third? Let’s just say that the third’s not always the charm.
I ranted about this so much to my SO when we were just friends that he joked about calling me Adverbs on a daily basis. I told him I’d call him the same thing. It stuck. Aside from the usual terms of endearments, we use adverbs because it is our own crazy name for each other with an equally crazy love story behind the name (but that’s for a separate blog post).


2015 in review

My favorite teacher, Rica Bolipata-Santos, posted this writing assignment on her FB account:


Ma’am Rica said that it wasn’t really important to follow the number but that we should “Write [our] year, in honor and in supplication.”

So I choose to write my year in months, with these highlights and disappointments and game changers and things I focused on and forgot remembered in the order they happened.

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Para kanino tumitibok ang puso mo?

Translation: For whom does your heart beat?


Art by JJ Agcaoili

Art by JJ Agcaoili

Who was I kidding? Other people may have believed me, but the armor wasn’t there to protect my heart. It was there to keep people out. Who wants to let in the evil of the world? Who wants to let in scumbags and scoundrels? I had no time for those. My vision for myself was clear. IS clear. SAVE THE WORLD, ONE SHITTY BRAIN AT A TIME.

Oh, I know you want to protect me. But I can’t breathe in here, cried my heart.

Shut up.

You ruin everything, you know. You make me cry when I should have a brave face on. When I should have a stern and scary face on. You make me weep.

Weeping makes me tired. If I’m tired, I can’t work.

But the tears cleanse you. They get rid of the bad stuff.






They don’t take me seriously. Not my bosses. Not my students. Not my friends. Why? I cry easily. When I’m mad, I cry. When I’m sad, I cry. When I’m happy, I cry.


But look, you’re hurting now the more you keep me here.


I love you.



Who am I kidding?

Slowly, I unlock my heart, remove the armor, zip it wide open.

I love you.

I love you.


Written as a response to a writing prompt posted by the artist mentioned above.

the original writing prompt

the original writing prompt

I don’t think the title and the piece have any obvious connections. I’m not quite sure I know, either, but it was the first thing that popped into my head when I read the prompt and saw the art. What came next was… a surprise to me. I haven’t written creatively in YEARS, and I’m not sure this qualifies as a poem or a short story, but it’s mine, and I’m iffy about this but… That’s all I can say.

Also, JJ said I can only use this in class if I post my own response to the prompt haha. 🙂 Thanks for the challenge, JJ. 🙂

Brain vs. Heart (again)

Listening to more senior colleagues last Friday night talk about life, love, and work over a refreshing ginger-lime fizzy drink got me thinking about MY own life, love, and work.

And I still got zilch in the love department.

When I was younger I thought I’d be an old maid like my dad’s older sister. I like her. She doesn’t fall under the cool aunt stereotype, but she was cool in my books (ahem) because she ALWAYS gave me books (there you go) as presents. She’d give me an occasional piece of clothing, but she knew me well enough to know that I loved my Nancy Drew and Sweet Valley. I thought that if I’d end up an old maid then I’d be cool like her.

My dad recently asked me if I were the only one left in my circle of friends still single. (Fortunately) I wasn’t; there were two of us, and I told him so. He merely grunted in reply.

My mom on the other hand used to be relentless in asking for a granddaughter until I stopped showing her all my friends’ babies.

My colleagues keep teasing me about guys who supposedly have a crush on me, but they never say who. Makes me doubt if these guys DO exist because I haven’t heard from ANY of them.


My brain says it’s okay, but my heart says I need a man (screw you, oppressive society expectations). My colleagues have backed up my heart and wiggle their eyebrows at me, saying I should go after so and so or some other so and so.

And I’m like…

Give me a book na lang.

Shakespeare and I

Been reading Shakespeare recently to prepare for class, and I realized that it wasn’t Shakespeare himself I hated but his characters.

Especially the ones in his tragedies.

Take Romeo and Juliet. Just absolute stupidity running through their heads which got them and people they care for dead. This is why I’m having so much trouble planning for class: I hate the text.

And then you realize how brilliant Shakespeare is because you still feel passionately about his work hundreds of years later.

Birthday Gratitude List

//updated with pics

Barring some minor setbacks, this turned out to be one of the best birthdays I’ve ever had. 🙂

Last year was tough because it was the time Yolanda hit us, and it was just really a horrible time. We weren’t badly hit where we are, and while I was grateful we were safe, I just felt sad for all the people who were affected by this calamity.

Today was a different story, though.

My body clock woke me up at the ungodly hour of 330am, and I replied to some messages. I don’t know why. It just happened. Then I woke up again before my alarm rang at 6am. I was annoyed that I slept so lightly, and it felt like I’d get a rough day, but then I surmised that it probably had to do with excitement for what lay ahead.

I left home later than I had planned to, but it was was a blessing in disguise because I didn’t have to wait a long time for any PUV for my commute to the city. I got to our village main street just as the shuttle pulled up. There was a tricycle waiting to take me (and others) to the bus station. The bus filled up quickly and left on time. I get off at my stop and cabs were lined up ready to take passengers. I got to do my planned morning errands AND see former colleagues and catch up with them.

Screen Shot 2014-11-08 at 10.46.56 PM

Left: my note to Ross, former Gr.5 partner and all around awesome person. Top right: invaded Jules at his desk. Bottom right: reunited with Ross! 😀

My morning was perfect!

By noon, we were all hungry. The traffic en route to Wingman in Makati was devastatingly heavy, so we got there one hour after we had agreed to meet. Nevertheless, food was served more quickly than I had remembered it before. The food was just as amazing as I had remembered it. BEST. WINGS. IN. TOWN!

We had so much fun catching up! There just wasn’t enough time to tell EVERYTHING, but just being in their company was enough. More than enough, actually.

Top: Some of the world's best people. Bottom: Nope, the watch wasn't a gift (sadly). I just tried it on. :D

Top: Some of the world’s best people. (photo courtesy of Cla, second from right)
Bottom: Nope, the watch wasn’t a gift (sadly). I just tried it on. 😀 IT’S HUUUUGE!

After the lunch, we split up. Jules went with me to watch a movie, but we found out that we had just missed the last showing. It didn’t matter. It was a minor hiccup. A blip. A blok. And I got to have ice cream, which was a definite plus. 🙂

Going home usually required waiting an hour in line to get a ride home at the shuttle station. I get to the station and there was already a van waiting. NOT ONLY THAT, I GOT MY FAVORITE SEAT!

But the greatness didn’t end there!

I check my messages and well. Let’s just say I feel absolutely loved. It feels like the whole universe conspired to make this day as close to perfect as possible.

Hello, year 31. 🙂 I’m ready for you. I’ve got all the love in the world. 🙂


There’s a patten here.

When I start my day out cranky, I find that by the end of the day, I’m extremely grateful and happy.

Fortunately, the converse is not true. When I start my day out well, the crappy parts come in the middle, and then I still end the day with a smile (a tired one, but still–a smile).

The first one was true for me today. I had very little sleep, I had to wake up early because I had a major errand to run, and then I wake up to people talking to and nagging me before my brain had fully booted up. Add to that the fact that said major errand ended up a bust. (My consolation? McDonald’s Twister Fries)

To make up for lost sleep, I took a nap before heading on over to a children’s birthday party I had been invited to. I woke up late, but I made it to the party in time for the eating part (best part, in my opinion :D). I got to see friends and colleagues again even though I had seen them just the day before. I guess what changed is that this was the first day of our week-long vacation, so it was refreshing to see them outside work.

After the party, four of us headed to a village bar and grill to just basically hang out. What started out as rants and raves about work turned into a discussion on love and ideals. The intimate conversation was a far cry from the hugely populated dinners we’ve been having lately. It felt nice to reconnect with these people I hadn’t hung out with because of the demands of work.

What I’m really grateful for, though, is that I was finally able to say what I’ve wanted to say for some time now and just breathe.

So. Friends. Thank you.