Friday, December 30, 2011


Its 12h24am. I feel a need to quickly jot down these thoughts. Some things must be recorded. Being far away makes it easy to forget why I went away in the first place. Tonight I took the remote from my mom's easy grip as she lay asleep on the couch. It is for her that I went away. It is for her that I must make sure I do the best I can to succeed, to make her proud, to be able care for her in her old age. Some battles seem easier to win - big, wild, abstract fights in one's head. But seeing my mom older, less competent, more fragile can sometimes cause me the deepest of panics. She lays there tonight, her inert form at peace with her circumstance. It must be so very lonely. I must hurry. Her rescue is my salvation, her happiness a test of my mettle. Courage Sparky, Courage.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Fear of Writing

I developed something which one might well call fear of writing. Wait. Let me google if there's a word for it...Ha. Graphophobia. How elegant-sounding.

Let me be informal here. Let me just let the words flow out from my fingers. If I make grammatical mistakes, I apologise to my future self if I happen to read it some time in the future. I think it is a case of having too many other voices in my head. This is why dissertating does to you. It means letting all these other scholars get into your head and having them speak to each other. It is the immense reading requirement I have been subjected to this past year and half. Letting others in, figuring out what they say, letting them speak to one another. Hardly any space for me and my voice. Is it any wonder I haven't been able to write?

Second is I have lost confidence that I have anything real to say, any real original thought to contribute. Another thing about dissertating is this - swimming into the sea of what all other people have written in the past, and figuring out where you fit, where you can fill a void. So you think you've stumbled on to something super original and that you have these hallucinations of being the first to figure something out. Well, you do the lit review and you see that others have written in, on and around your topic. Your 'original' thought could not have been completely original...these other people were reading the same stuff you were reading. Its not impossible others will be similarly inclined to write about what you want to write about.

So yes, I am suffering from graphophobia. I must get out of this funk. I think the first thing to do is to start listening to my own voice again. When I let the others come in, I probably shouldn't let them do all the talking. I have to join in.

Monday, September 26, 2011


So, you see.
There are things that take time
To simmer and boil
The adrenaline rush
Of ripping the heart out has come
And gone
And here it lays,
Retrospect clarifies they say
The view from afterwards is crystal
What was it that happened?
How was it?
Who was I?
It was, you know,
A rending apart
Of mine and yours.
And here I mourn the bits
I'll never take back from you.

Monday, August 01, 2011

Dark, Bright

I could see nothing but his perfectly shaped lips as they make motions to form words. By the light of the overbright table lamp we bought from Ikea, he looks up the ceiling as we talk, exhausted. Here we are again, struggling to piece us two together. I will remember him best as he sits dejected on the new couch, in my new apartment, in the new university accommodation. As he struggles to explain something from his heart rather than his head, I look out the windows listening to his voice. I care for this man. In a way I have never quite known before. Even though its maddeningly difficult. And I do not know how he is so sure of me when I am always doubtful of him. I do not know what will happen in the coming days, months, years. But at that moment, limned by the lights of the shiny new monuments to this university's will to greatness, I discovered what it means to be humbled by something so precious, so real, it hurts.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Blogger droid

Blogging from smartphones? Test.
Published with Blogger-droid v1.7.4

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Versus verses

Some things write better in verse
If only because
The economy of words
And what little is written
Somehow better express
Here, you see
In the absences
One can say
What cannot be articulated.
The disjointed staccato
Of the keyboard's clicks
Marries the scattered ego
And dreams with it.
In verse, the unconscious
Weaves and ducks
To avoid the mercilessness
Of the worldly
Here, you see
The id plays and dances
And cries and wails.

Saturday, July 02, 2011


Some wounds never heal, the ones underneath our skin. They linger and fester years after they were first inflicted. Eight years ago this month my father died in a car accident. But really the idea of my father died years before that. I carry with me still the pain of his betrayal. I was nineteen. Today it manifests in ways I could never have imagined back then. They continue to haunt me, to dog me, to colour my relationships. Perhaps it was because he died before any resolution between us was made. I didn't have a chance to make peace with my him or to forgive.

Eight years later, I am still angry and the feeling of betrayal is a wound that never gets a chance to heal. One little flick and there it bleeds again. I never did reconcile my superhero image of him with the reality of his being human. That process I was able to negotiate carefully with my mother as I grew older. In adulthood I came to know her and forgave her for being human. My two images of her, the one that has significantly influenced me in shaping who I am, that ideal of her, remains carefully preserved along with the 'real' her. These two have found harmony in my head, the sacred and the profane. And my father? He never got a chance for redemption. For us, his children, he had no explanations. He sinned just because he could. And so in my head men sin just because they can.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Sleep, Rest

Been back on the red dot for almost a week now, and I have found it difficult to revert back to 'work' mode. I am house-sitting the Super's house and it is lovely to have all this space to myself - free to cook, roam, smoke and enjoy the quiet. As usual there is the never-ending construction work on campus, but tomorrow I shall try and see if I can work in the office.

I can't wait for the semester to begin, this little bit of downtime is driving me nuts. I still owe the Super a ten-page summary of where I'm at with my proposal...but I can't quite muster the will-power to get the brain juices flowing again. The past school year has been pretty hardcore and all my faculties have been pushed to the limit. Z says I shouldn't be too hard on myself and to take advantage of the time for R&R. I dunno. I'm a bit of a puritan when it comes to these things. If I'm not having a difficult time with anything, with work, then I feel I am not really doing anything worthwhile.

Going home to Manila next month. It would be good to see old friends and family.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Friday Eve

For the first time in a while, it is quiet in my head. For the first time in a while, I have the quiet to write. So here it is. In a few days I shall celebrate another birthday. Broke. As always. And a few days after that I fly off to the city that gave give birth to Critical Theory. Not a bad way to celebrate a birthday broke.

It's been a year almost, since I landed my ass on this island. My first impressions stand. But there are things to like, even admire. Class here is not that big of an issue. Not in the way it does in the Philippines. Race is what divides people though. And religion.

There is a numbness-inducing continuity in things. Time here flows, in the way that yesterday flows seemelessly into today. Nothing disturbs the tick of the clock and everyone does as the should just so. Singapore has tamed time in the way the Philippines has not.

This business of higher higher higher education is difficult. I have learned to read a thousand pages per week on average. After a point it becomes addicting. You keep reading and you can't stop. The writing part is more difficult though. I thought it ridiculous when one of the professors said her aim was to write five hundred a day. I thought naively at the time, what a low output. But 500 words a day is a miracle on days when the muses don't come knocking.

I have fallen in love and we are broken up for the nth time. This loving business gets really ugly the older one gets. But I am enjoying my space tonight, free of thoughts other than these. I am downloading Hanna. It promises to be good.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Singapore's Best Muffin

Little flecks of chocolate decorate
Bits and pieces melt on the tongue
Dry it is, the muffin
As dry as the tearing eye
Wash it down with milk tea
Warm liquid flows land heavy
Mixing muddy in the gut


Hello abandoned blog. It's good to see you again.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Egypt's Postmodern Revolution

This short interview of Egyptian Blogger Alaa Abd El-Fatah clearly shows how important the internet has become in mobilising for political change.

"What we need now is a transition government anyway, not one that is going to last forever. Whoever comes after that is going to rule in mortal fear of the people. They are going to remember these scenes forever. So I don't think anyone is worried about who will rule. If we don't like them we will change them, if not through elections then through another revolt." - Alaa Abd El-Fatah

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Heavy - How you like me now?

Always exciting to discover new music. If this sounds familiar, its because you heard it on the film 'The Fighter.' These guys are British!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Foucault on freedom

Interesting take by A.M. Rizvi:

Capitalism thrives on creating desires and multiplying them. Without the constant production and multiplication of new desires the capitalist system would dry up. It is important for the continuous production and reproduction of the system that each and every element of the system must keep ‘desiring’ more and more. The movements that turn into movements of safeguarding people’s rights and base their struggles on the charters of demands really enhance the functioning of the capitalist system (unless the demand is unconditional dissolution and overthrow of capitalism itself - the impossible demand). This is because they work on the false premises that capitalism suppresses desires. Foucault’s turn, in his later work, to the aesthetics of existence that would be based on voluntary asceticism and disciplining desires, was in part a response to this realisation (Foucault, 1988a).

Looking forward to swimming in Foucault this semester.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Eternal Recurrence

Randy David's column today is notable enough for a repost. A crucial point:

Far from defending inherited values, Nietzsche saw in modernity the chance to formulate new ones. The release from the old, he said, must not mean that everything is now permissible. On the contrary, it means learning how to live a self-chosen but relentlessly disciplined life. This will not come naturally. One needs to fashion it for oneself through a hit-and-miss process that requires the utmost boldness and sense of adventure. This process is not theoretical or cerebral, or doctrinal. It is eminently practical. Ideas are only starting points; it is the act of living itself that is crucial and ultimately instructive.