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Posts from the ‘Writing Prompts’ Category

Why journal?

“The final twist of secrecy; lives hidden from themselves. Memories lost. “I just don’t remember anymore, ” they say blankly to their children or grandchildren. Lives leaving not a trace, just shadows…” – Alexandra Johnson ( From Leaving a trace: On keeping a journal, the art of transforming A Life into Stories.)


Photos: Intramuros morning

My friend Arla was entertaining her friends from France while they were in town for a few days. She asked me to join them for breakfast in Intramuros, before they would leave on a flight later that same day.

Intramuros was one of my favorite touristy spots to shoot in, when in Manila, and I was free for the morning so I went. Nico and Mickael were friends of hers from when she did her clerkship rotation in France, while she was in medical school. They had been touring spots around the country for a couple of weeks and were just winding down.

They were great, a couple of good-natured guys were very nice and fun to talk to. They gamely tried Binignit, Champorado, as well as Halo-halo, when we were in Ilustrado for breakfast.

Being in Intramuros, the walled city, is always a good excuse for me to take photos and walk around. So much so, that Arla was amused enough to laughingly comment that I was almost more touristy than her friends. 🙂

Oh well, it simply could not be helped.

There are always plenty of colors and textures that pique my interest every time in this place.

I called this one, “Frenchman in Manila”, actually, this was Nico having a quiet moment looking on at the architecture and me noticing that the bougainvillea-laden floors made for a good contrast point.

Mickael had a small Canon point and shoot, which gave me the idea to shift to smaller cameras with a better sensor than my iphone. Also, I like taking photos of people taking photos. 🙂

Flowy skirts. March 2017.

Going up the rise. March 2017.

The Magic Paintbrush Lady

The Silver Lining

For the longest time, I had feared having my days die out slowly… softly into oblivion.

That wasn’t the way I had wanted to go,  of course.

Anything; with a bang, with drama, was a better ending that dying, forgotten.

Keeping a blog was one of those things I considered doing long-term so I could assuage myself of the fear of possibly dying without ever sharing anything of use to the world. Now, the world will not suffer from the lack of my sharing anything, but it is essential to my heart and well-being that I do something about this.

Many times I have little blasts of interest and frissons of passion which bring me here to type again, and share my life. It has been a struggle lately. My day job has been taking up a lot of my time, so that when I get home at night, I am overwhelmed and would much rather just work out a little and go to bed.

Perhaps it is different, nowadays. I have the desire to write, of course, and I am not at a lack for stories. However, the part where one sits down to actually write is actually the hard part. I am so easily distracted, because there are more things happening than I can accommodate salience…

Today, I received some hallelujah signs… My friend Mandy posted a link to a John Steinbeck gem of an article, and @dragonflylogic101’s comeback piece. 🙂 Both of them contributed to the gentle “push” to get on and write my life out again.

Thank you, Ladies!


“…where the silver lining starts to show…”

I had a good day at work today…

I can’t go into detail about my work, but it would suffice it to say, that at the end of the day, I am so glad I put in the work for these people that I’m helping. Today was a good day for them to check on them, because I was reminded once again that although I only get to help people one at a time, the hard work we both put in made a huge difference in their lives and in that of their families.

It is times like these that I feel extremely grateful that I get to do what I do for people.

Time, effort and dedication brought this into fruition, and I am always grateful.


And thus ends today’s bid not to drift off unnoticed into oblivion… You will be seeing me more frequently here, starting today. 🙂


On Writing (and paper and pens)

It is a combination of all the elements of writing; passion, paper and pen...that gets the juices flowing. :-)

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Cupid wants his arrow back

When I listen to a  song with this cadence, there is a tendency for me to just sit still and stare off into space.

“Lost Stars” is such,and  it  happens to be one of my favorite tracks on the movie, Begin Again. I watched this movie, with a former significant other a year (or two) ago, and I wanted to watch it because of the low-key setting, the simple story line, and the music. Mostly for the music…it was what drew me to watch it in another city.

It starred Keira Knightley, Adam Levine (already a big pop star) and Mark Ruffalo (fresh from his Hulk stint). It was a love story, yes, about how people change and how you eventually have to be true to yourself in the end.

It was a very creative endeavor, and they made music that was unconventional. They made use of great songwriting, acoustic elements, and recorded around New York City. It was my kind of music-making and artistic expression.

In the movie, Keira’s character wrote this song,  Lost Stars as a gift to her boyfriend. She sang it quietly, as a ballad. It was vulnerable and very honest. He took it, but he made it into something that “the audiences loved” and reveled in the way they lost themselves when he used his falsetto.

It was actually the turning point, and the end of what she had always thought. He had promised her that he would perform it as it was meant to be performed in that tender, gentle tone. However, at the end, he forgot himself…and changed it for other people. After that, she was able to finally say goodbye.

I listened to this while I was riding in a public vehicle. This is always best for me, thinking amidst the chaos, being able to detach just so. In that state of semi-detachment, I am able to discern and think about the things that have happened to me recently. In this state, I am neither angry, nor sad, nor frustrated.

I am merely listening to the story, and making it my own.



Living forever


“Letters to A Young Poet”,  is a collection of ten letters written by Bohemian-Austrian poet Rainer Maria Rilke (1875–1926) to Franz Xaver Kappus(1883–1966), a 19-year-old officer cadet at the Theresian Military Academy in Germany.

It is one of my favorite books. I have read it many times through and it has always been timely. Although it was written in 1929, almost a century ago, the lessons and musings gleaned from its pages remain  relevant…

Relevant, to a young woman who has just finished a very long career as a student…or a young woman who was on the brink of a new and scary life adventure…or a woman who wanted to forge out a career for herself. Most especially so for a young woman who had recently had her heart broken (but not quite), and was searching for a stable hold with which to weather out the emotional storm.

(All of these young women, are myself, at certain stages in my life.)

I did not come by reading Rilke by accident. No, it was more different story than that. At the time, I was with a young man, not much younger than myself, who I believe, loved words…

I loved stories, and I coaxed him shyly to tell me one, and on cue, this was the book that was nearest to him. In a voice that soothed my soul, he read to me the first chapter of the book.

It was a letter that talked about why one must write…a topic that was very dear to my heart…

“You are looking outside, and that is what you should most avoid right now. No one can advise or help you – no one. There is only one thing you should do. Go into yourself. Find out the reason that commands you to write; see whether it has spread its roots into the very depths of your heart; confess to yourself whether you would have to die if you were forbidden to write.

This most of all: ask yourself in the most silent hour of your night: must I write? Dig into yourself for a deep answer. And if this answer rings out in assent, if you meet this solemn question with a strong, simple “I must”, then build your life in accordance with this necessity; your whole life, even into its humblest and most indifferent hour, must become a sign and witness to this impulse.

Then come close to Nature. Then, as if no one had ever tried before, try to say what you see and feel and love and lose. (Rainer Maria Rilke)

He might not have known it then, but my whole being was absorbed in that moment. That one time when he spoke, his words…Rilke’s words, touched me, and touched my heart. It was an unintentional caress, a balm for my soul. And in that moment, I knew that he, the boy,  would live forever…in my writing, my heart. #



Screams in ink

A short piece on my silent thoughts about writing in a journal and how private things need to be kept private.

A diary is like a confessional… the burial ground, the seed bed, the debating arena of all your deepest, darkest fears. No matter how large or small it is, it probably holds the biggest drama of the Colosseum of your life.
Inane or important, the words you write in it are of value to you or to anyone you wish to share it to. Which is why privacy is a necessary, albeit unspoken rule in diary-keeping. Oftentimes, it is the only refuge for a person to write down her troubles, and make sense of her loss. Or even simply, it is the repository of anger so it will come out only as screaming ink on paper, and not fists and yelling.

So, no, Ma’am, you cannot steal your teenager’s diary and yell at her because you’re upset of what she wrote about you. Maybe it would have stayed a healthy way of coping instead of you throwing theatrics and making it all complicated. It was never just about you.
If you see me nodding my head slowly and silently, I am not agreeing with you entirely, but it probably means that I’m writing in my mental diary, the words…that rhyme with truck and university. #Peeves

Edit: it’s 6:30am now, and rereading this made me realize how i need to edit some more, and how i’m fond of using lengthy sentences broken by commas.

#Peeves 😂

Back to Basics, part deux

I was watching “Twelve Years A Slave” earlier this morning…in the middle of the morning heat wave, and in the throes of a migraine (or so it felt like it).
Times are not very nice lately, I’ve been feeling down and heavy, plus the way my cousin was clearing her throat every few minutes was really annoying me. I was pretty sure my eyebrows were meeting in the middle all this morning.

I’m glad there were no patients scheduled in the morning. Although I won’t be taking out my frustrations and annoyance on them, I’m pretty sure I’ll make more effort to “expend Psychic energy” and thus make myself more tired afterwards.

Yes, it comes with the job, and I’ve been wanting to see a supervisor lately (I’ll be going to Manila in a couple of weeks for a court case, and some conferences, so I’ll squeeze some time in to see my old consultants (or just one of them)).
I kind of miss Manila. Not the traffic, or the bad things that have happened, but mostly for the freedom to walk around and see more things happening around me. Also, to see Sebastian, that little babe of my bff who has endeared himself to me, chubbiness and all. He is a milky angel, spreading happiness and “gigil” to the highest degree.
Have to book my ticket.

My dearest Sammy, I have taken a long time to get back to writing here again. It seems that every time I think that I can’t write anymore, because I’m too tired and “heavy at heart”, I wind up coming here and writing. I’ve written in so many places ever since, and frankly, I have been hopping around these pages I’ve started.
I haven’t gotten my momentum back…ever since “Tales…” became an open link to my personal life, (i.e. a stalker’s playground) I haven’t had the same flow and creativity online like I’ve had before.
Perhaps it is just as well. I have been perusing my journal’s pages and email and I’ve found my work to be embarrassingly…unedited and coarse. And flighty.
Truly embarrassing work, I believe. Like for example, in one excited moment, I wrote an email to this person, ok, a guy…and when he replied, I could not even read it again. Have I really become so careless?

With the need for secrecy, I’ve dabbled in Google plus…and written for the family only, but…I didn’t like how it all “looked”, so I’m back here on wordpress. At least, with this one, it won’t be too much of a “reveal” because I am sort of working under a pseudonym. :-p
Sort of.
So here I am again, and I hope this’ll be “The One”.

A Farewell to McCharming

Derek Shepherd, the man who was made of the stuff of dreams…died today.

As one of the most charismatic leading men in the history of television, he deserves a space in my freedom space. He was so well-made, so perfect…and he always said the best things (at the best times) ever. And those lines? They were just what any girl would want to hear.

The modern day Prince Charming that he was, he was always rescuing people and saving lives and what not. And because of this,  I even believe he was many modern women’s idea of a Knight in Shining Armor (that every boy had to live up to). And he had to be a Neurosurgeon to top it off.


Ahh, that archetype, it is much loved by all, and for good reason.

Surgeons have an unmistakably enigmatic allure to them, I think that’s what draws women to them. They deal with life or death matters (especially more so on TV), they get things done, they have skill sets that your regular average Joe can only dream about. People tend to gravitate towards that.


They also have nice hands.

I remember at my training hospital, I had a crush on one surgery resident, who had such hands. He was doing an umbilical cut down and he was working on a baby. I was done with my patient in the emergency room, so I could not help but linger in the emergency room a few feet away. Ah,as those long graceful fingers worked speedily, and I was mesmerized. I had a silly smile on my face while looking on, I believe, and I distinctly remember wanting to write about his hands while I was watching.  When he was done, he and his coresident sat down on the chair in the opposite side of the room, chatting as if it was a regular thing to do on a daily basis. I remembered resisting the urge to put my chin on my hand and stare dreamily at his hands. (Or at him. Haha)

Surgery residents would make great trophy boyfriends, in the same way as Dermatology residents would make great trophy girlfriends. And neither of them can help it. It’s that swagger, that “it” factor, that “je nes sais quoi” that is culturally associated with their specialty choice.

Or maybe it’s that unmistakable self-confidence that seems to sweat out of every pore? They do have that…and they do know it. (And they somehow make you feel safe. Like they could take anyone in a hospital brawl…if it ever happened.)

Not every surgeon is like McDreamy, of course, and there’s the rub. McDreamy is THE dude. (Why did he have to be so perfect? He’d make any girl swoon, because it was inherent in his made-up character.) His character appealed to me, but only as an ideal. There’s no way there’s a man who is THAT perfect. 🙂

Speaking of Mr. Hands, I had another encounter with him a few months after that. He called for a “quick” Psych referral per request of his consultant, at their ward. We don’t do “quick” Psychiatric evaluations in training of course, we treat every patient fully and interview fully and write notes fully. In other words, we do our work really seriously. So…I had the chance to “psychoeducate” him about “hurrying” the process.

. He recognized me when I made my way to the patient’s bed in the ward, and he talked to me personally about the referred patient. I was a little stern, I suppose, but I could not help but steal glances at his hands (and long, graceful fingers) every so often.

(I’m incorrigible that way. :-))

Anyway, up until I was done with training, we were ‘Hey’ friends (i.e. when we see each other in the halls, we’d go, “Hey.” or sometimes, “Hi!” and smile. He’s taller than everyone else, so I didn’t have enough time to look at his hands, after greeting, in the space of a casual passing at the halls.)

And that, ladies and gentlemen is the story of my crush on a surgeon’s hands…

And then there was the dude with the pen…

haha, but that’s another story altogether.

Farewell, Dr. Shepherd. 😦


Edit: This post was written in homage to a series which romanticizes the practice of medicine to a certain extent. You can tell that the effective storytelling skill of the creator and writers of this series because of how it has effected viewers on a major scale, myself included. However, I would like to admit that this entry was true at the time it was written, and does not necessarily reflect my current sentiments towards life today. (April 26, 2017.)