Monday, October 26, 2009


Does the heart think to understand the mind? Does the mind feel to empathize with the heart? Or will they go against each other 'till only one overrules?

When the mind gives up, the heart still goes on.
It's over. After all the was said and done, the mind finally curtailed all positive reasons for the heart. But the heart knows no reason, it may know but ignores. The mind sets when enough is enough and adherence is a rule. But does it matter for a heart that perceives things immeasurably? One against the other. Don't they know they just share the same misery?

When the heart chooses to drift away, the mind goes against the tide.
Directions are there but the sense of having it was lost. In the sail of life, there are times that mind and heart can never be the same as wind and wave -two elements dancing harmoniously till it make a complete thud against the shore. Who's handling the compass? If one does, how accurate is it? Will you let the mind determine the right course? Or will you let the heart go to the course that seems right?

When the mind owns reality, the heart lives with a dream.
How close is reverie to reality? The mind shrouds the heart with reality but the heart resists to embrace it. Dreams are like bonfire that keeps you warm to survive the cold night. But reality is creeping underneath your bed , quivering the surface, creating tremor of doubts until your eyes are wide open. Truth, why do we escape from it like fugitives despite the adage that it will set you free?

When the heart has so much to remember, the mind starts to forget.
Just when you thought that only the mind could remember, the heart holds on good memories. It was as if the blood that pumps through the heart as it throbs. Good memories heaped into the tall shelves but the mind grabbed a ladder and began to pull everything out. Have you tried to run away, lurk behind or even hope you could evaporate just to forget? Is hurting thyself more bearable and a form of preparation for a much painful truth? You hurt yourself, but what if by doing so, you might just hurting someone else?

How do you fool a foolish heart? How do you outsmart a shrewd mind? How could emotion let you feel yet dumb most of your senses? When logic hampered the way to happiness then how would that make sense? An outstretched soul between two forces dragging each other. Anything more frustrating than that? Is life too complicated to simplify? Or is it too simplified that we just make it complicated?

Once, a deranged soul asked...

In the battle of heart and mind, who shall prevail?

Friday, October 02, 2009

When Nature Strikes

September 26-27, in the wake of Typhoon Ondoy (Typhoon Ketsana -international name).

Cuddling her 3-year old son, the mother put down her belongings and sat beside me. Her husband left them to save their daughter from possible danger. On their way to Marikina City, they left their residential place to save the family from flood only to find out they were heading to a more flooded area.
Slouched in the corner was a college student who had been sitting silently for hours . I initiated a conversation. She left her school to purchase materials for a class presentation and when she's about to go back, the University was surrounded by flood. All her personal belongings including her money were left at school. Unfortunately there's no way for her to go back.

Sitting between them was me. I left the office at 4:00 PM to make my way home. Jeepneys and buses stopped their operations. In lieu of the usual path, I took a different route. But whichever route I may take, I'm trapped. Main roads were already submerged into flood. Vehicles were not moving and there's no way to leave the place but for me to fly. It was lucidly impossible to go home. I was handling my niece's mobile since mine was recently stolen but due to poor reception, I couldn't make a call to let my family know where I was.
We were three of many people stranded at Katipunan LRT station. I didn't make it to Santolan Station, the last station. There was an announcement that it was already flooded. Passed 9:00 PM, my stomach began to grumble. Most of the stores were closed and I was fortunate to have the last order of tuna sandwich. I had my dinner. It was 11:00PM, we were still slumped on the floor. I tried to keep my self awake by reading a book that I always carry in my bag. Then I played with the 3-year old kid, we talked though the only word he kept saying the whole time was "daddy". The hand of the clock reached 1:00 AM, my eyelids turned heavy and the kid slept with comfort wrapped by his mother's arms. I took off my jacket and used it as a blanket. Never in my life that I imagined myself sleeping at a train station in sitting position. From time to time I had to wake up, other than the uncomfortable situation, I was hoping things will get better. It was 5:00AM , vehicles began to move but a walking turtle is much faster. The college student began to cry, she doesn't know where to go. She was able to call her father and after learning that her family was fine, the line got cut off. Her father told her to go somewhere else, their place, Tumana Marikina City was already engulfed by flood. She had no money for fare, not a single penny. I don't have much cash that time. With 100 pesos in my wallet, I handed her the 50 and asked her if that would be enough. She was reluctant, wiping her tears. "Come on, take it", I said with a smile for her not to feel shy. I took her hand and tucked the money in. We exchanged names and said goodbye.
As I struggled to make my way home, Typhoon Ondoy continued to devastate the Metro Manila.

Photo courtesy of ABC News Australia

Photo courtesy of ABC News Australia

Photo courtesy of ABC News Australia

Photo courtesy of ABC News Australia (Reuters: Erik de Castr)

Photo courtesy of ABC News Australia (Reuters: Erik de Castr)

Photo courtesy of ABC News Australia

From Santolan Station, I had to walk few kilometers to reach Sta. Lucia East Mall . It was still dark, the road turned to a field of mud. Private vehicles were abandoned, no streetlights and there, on my way was a flood. I could see the other end of the road and it seemed feasible to pass through. The water was below my knee, I began to stride. Trucks also began to move and from the motion of its wheels waves began to form, it was coming to my direction. I had to find something to clutch on, if not, my exhausted feet will helplessly let me plunge and I'll swim like a frog. Thanks for that sturdy tree.

I reached the other end where crowds were swollen. People spent the night inside the mall. I had to stay under a waiting shed. I leaned on, covered my face with my jacket, closed my eyes and unknowingly slumbered. When I woke up, I was still with the same volume of crowd. I had to ride in a cargo truck where I and a friend bumped with each other. We have almost the same story. My friend recognized her neighbor who was a truck driver, we transferred to a 14-wheeler truck. A field reporter was roaming around, I ducked in to make sure I won't be interviewed or captured by the rolling camera. I have no plans to let my self seen on TV miserably like that and yes, I'm a camera shy.

My usual 1 1/2 to 2 hours of travelling time was off -the-record. It took me 22 hours to get home. After all I'd been through, I couldn't complain much but to thank God I was safe.

For all the victims of Typhoon Ondoy, it took my heart out. I pray that resilience will take over and everyone can start again. Life goes on.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

I Won't

photo by Ebenezer Dominguez

Don't expect me to lose hope. Why would I? That's ALL I have...

Monday, June 29, 2009

When The Thrill Becomes A Threat

"The innocuous sea began to surge bigger waves and the falling drizzle blurred what's in sight. We tried to remain calm but the ocean seemed not. Worst, no one on our boat has the aptitude to swim, except, of course, for the boatman. My life vest will keep me floating but I'm not certain if after hours I would still be floating alive. Going against the tide, at any moment a huge wave will devour our frail boat. If we lose balance, the boat will make a complete overturn and all of us will adrift the vast ocean..."

Saturday morning.

Everyone went to work all packed up and good to go after the day of shift. It was our team building but I'm not sure if that's how you call it if half of the members wasn't there. Nine headcounts, one had to go. Midway as we're having dinner at the province of Bulacan, one received an emergency call- his father was rushed to a hospital. With our sympathy, he went back home but his ice bag went with us. After several thoroughfares and stop overs from 6:00PM to 11:PM, we reached our destination- the province of Zambales.

We met our contact person and assisted us to our place nearby the shore. My exhausted feeling dwindled when I got what I never had from the city- fresh air. Only through our illuminating flashlights and star-filled sky we were able to see our way. It was dark and I could only hear the soothing gush of waves from the void. The night turned deep and we took rest.

After a good night sleep, we had our breakfast and sails were ready. Three boats shoved off to cross another island.

Gigantic mountains surrounded by the sea. I'm always drawn to nature, how it could survive on its own and the symbiosis among living organisms. I don't really want to speak biology, I just can't help it. Things like these always leave me spellbound.

Thirty minutes had passed, we're close to Anawangin Island and welcomed by the mist fading through the morning.
I did island hopping before and I'm used to reach lands where there's no one but us. So far this one was the most crowded island I'd ever been. Local and foreign tourists everywhere. We strode through the place.

Had our lunch ashore and got ready for the second island. There's more to go, well...that's what we thought. Once more we shoved off but in the middle of the sail, little raindrops started to fall. The innocuous sea began to surge bigger waves and the falling drizzle blurred what's in sight. We tried to remain calm but the ocean seemed not. Worst, no one on our boat has the aptitude to swim, except, of course, for the boatman. My life vest will keep me floating but I'm not certain if after hours I would still be floating alive. Going against the tide, at any moment a huge wave will devour our frail boat. If we lose balance, the boat will make a complete overturn and all of us will adrift the vast ocean.

The boatman seated at rearmost asked me, "Are we still going to proceed to the next island?!". There's more about his question, I felt his fear- a fear contagious enough to pass on me. And I thought "this man had fully sensed the seriousness of the matter". I was next to him and I turned to my colleague next to me. As if playing the game of pass-the-message, I asked the same question- "Are we still going to proceed to the next island?!". We're just few inches from each other but kept shouting as we compete to the deafening sound of the boat engine. My friend responded by telling me not to panic. How could I possibly panic? I have no way to run, nor I have a way to jump. All I have is the edge of the boat to clutch on, the beat of my blood-pumping heart, a moment to decide and a prayer in silence.

I was thinking of the worst and the next possible way for survival. It struck us, a wave approached and went higher than the tip of the boat as if ready to swallow us, we lopsided. Three boats were still in motion with distance in betweens. Looking at each other, no one seemed to make any move. The way of survival is just at hand and that is- to decide. I let my left hand gripped at the edge of the boat, heaved my right hand and swayed my arm suggestive for retreat. I hollered " Let's go back!". Then the other two ladies with me second the motion. My team leader decided with a little less urgency. He pointed his finger to their boatman as if telling me the decision lies to the one who manages the engine. Yes, they supposed to manage the engine but not as to whether we drown or not. After few minutes, my team leader waved his arm as a signal to trail off. One by one, each boat deflected. It was a great sigh for visible land. When we stepped on the ground, all fears burst out and each has their own version of stories. If only I had a chance to take a shot of that moment. But in a matter of life and death, one won't have time to yank a camera and take a snap.

It wasn't a strong rain but unlike the ground that stood still, the ocean danced with the raging wind. We decided to spend the next few hours at a falls. Unfortunately, we kept the cameras from getting wet so we never had a chance to capture the moment.

It's almost over, we headed back to our place. Four of us said that the rest can go ahead and they will just follow. I let the other three go their way and found my self alone. Slowly, I strode through the shore, took off my footwear and let my feet feel the grits of sand with gush of waves. Those passed hours had been unpredictable and unforgettable. Sometimes, we can choose how will things end only by how we choose to survive.

It doesn't feel great not being able to make it to the second island but nothing can be greater than making it to a second life.

I will still be able to see my love ones.
Thank God.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

A Mother is God's Idea

A Mother is GOD's great instrument for without her a child's first cry won't be heard. I always look with amazement to see a pregnant woman. A life inside a life, isn't that amazing? But being a mother ain't just about 9-month conceiving and painful delivery. It's a round-the-clock job, a fervent commitment, something that requires a whole heart and a keen mind. I am very blessed to have one. A mother is God's idea and he's indeed a genius.

To my mother, I may not be the sweetest daughter in the world but I am loving you at the best way I could. Thank you so much.

Happy Amazing Mother's Day!

Friday, April 10, 2009

The Dungeon Behind Paradise

My friend and I were striding on the way to their house. Suddenly a woman emerged from the rear, passed through us, running like a thief in search of a place to hide. She reached the gate and grabbed it with fear but before she could let herself in, a sturdy man dragged her out and with his other hand gave a slap on her face. With the sound of its wallop, I felt the pain. But the fumed man found no satisfaction, he beaten her until she fell on the ground. The woman had little strength to fend off and so she took every furious blow of fist from her so called...husband.

They say in any serious matter, keep placid. Right, I didn't even get the chance to move. And while everyone motioned briskly to defuse the man so as to save the woman, I was there, agape and stood still. I didn't panic, I was shocked.

No lights and cameras, no director that will holler "Cut!" to end the gruesome scene. It's not a movie with great casting. Something that I thought could only be seen on TV. It was real and at that very moment, before my bare's happening.

The woman was my batchmate during grade school and her husband is my friend's cousin. With how they went through their relationship, the couple is a perfect emblem of a sadistic husband and a battered wife. On that night before my eyelids turned heavy, questions filled my mind.

It was 9 years ago but the resonance came to me when recently my colleague was gone for two days and went back to work with bruises throughout her body. Contusions were gained from her husband who has been physically abusing her. She found him guilty of having an affair with another woman and doesn't help her with the financial responsibilities as a family. Their marriage has been dismal and beautiful. He's dismal, she's beautiful. In spite of everything, she has hope that things will fall into place and her husband's ill demeanor will soon change. I am between pity and admiration with what's going with her and how she sees it.

Once more, my mind filled with questions. How could a man physically hurt his woman? What's running through his mind while doing it and hearing his wife screaming for help? Is there really a point where a woman deserves to be beaten? Does the knight shining armor had a change of heart by pointing his sword to his forgotten princess? Do these men took their words seriously when they vowed " 'Till death do us part " where death means it will be through their own unscrupulous hands? Can you blame the woman if she choose to stay with hope in spite of violence? Why did they tell me that being alone is miserable where in fact having a partner can be more miserable than that?

In a headline from Inquirer (December 06, 2008), one of the leading newspapers in the Philippines, PNP Women and Children Protection Center had given report that indicated case statistics for violence against women. From 4,881 in 2006, cases incremented to 5,729 in 2007, it had risen 17 percent. Cases of 1,892 fell under the category of physical injuries and wife battering. Thanks for the facts and figures but these ain't satisfying most of my questions.

Marriage is like opening a crystal clear gate of paradise where there are beautiful promises ahead. But for some, the paradise seems to reach its end 'coz with few more steps, they're on the way to dungeon. A dungeon where one will struggle to find the way out.

While I'm typing every word in this post all I know is that...Love may have winter season when some things turn bitter cold but respect, despite the weather changes, must be kept fairly warm.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A Cut of Diamond

It's funny how arduous it is for me to fill up the field "About Me". I don't know, I just can't describe myself or maybe I'm not sure if I'm picking the right word. Only in my resumés I was able to forge myself for description where I have to indicate that Iriz is a dedicated person while pondering "Am I?".

'Till my best bud asked me to post "25 Random Things About Me". I even bargained if I could make it 2+5 random things instead, I only need 7 then. But anyways, let's not break the chain. Here's my homework and at end of it, we have bigger space to share your own cut.

"25 Random Things About Me"

01. A bit off- I'm not a vain person. I don't try hard when it comes to how I look. Less make up. I'm not perfectly pristine as if always ready for a photo shoot. I'm not a mess though, just someone imperfect but knows how to take care of herself.

02. Intro Amnesia- I'm not good with names. So after an introduction from a common friend and we bump into each other, I would start guessing whether your name is Stephanie or Stephen. After hours of convivial conversation as if we were long lost friends, forgive me if I'll say "Sorry...what's your name again?" (Well of course that does not apply here, we weren't introduced but yeah we bumped into each other *smile*)03. Not Right- I'm a left handed.

04. Folded & Hung-If there are ladies anxious and taking time to prepare about what to wear the next day, I'm not one of them. Only 2 things bother me, a job interview and a big event, other than that, as long as everything's folded and hung, tomorrow's what-to-wear will be fine. Pull out that jeans, pull out that shirt, mix and match and then I'm good to go. I don't prepare, I do it on the spot.

05. Piercing- I got 3 piercings on my body, 2 for the pair of my ears and another on my navel. No plans to add more.
06. It's a Must- When I was a kid I used to believe that there's a monster underneath my bed and a blanket was my shield of protection. Now, I realized how stupid I am to have that kind of imagination but I had outgrown that blanket, I can't sleep without it. Even in sultry temperature, I still need one to at least cover my feet. Without a blanket it feels like I'm sleeping naked.

07. Irresistible- I could resist a handsome guy but not a body massage. LOL. Anyways, who can say no for relaxation?08. Collections-
Silverworks accessories, beach pebbles/stones, books, magazines, price tag, mistakes.

09. Shoe Wrecker- My mother told me "I really suggest you buy shoes made of steel". Most of my shoes don't last, not even the ones made in Marikina (A city in the Philippines where you can find the best shoemakers). I've been observing my feet if there are some sort of sharp teeth or alike but I found none. Or maybe because even though I have other pairs of shoes to wear, I always wear the most comfortable one. I use it everyday 'till it fed up on me.

10. Turn it Off- I can't sleep with lights on. I'm not sure if there's a scientific explanation for that but for now all I know is I can't. I just can't.
11. Chocolate Drunkie- I have tasted all, if not, almost all chocolate drinks in the market. When I'm not in a good mood, a sip of chocolate drink can sedate me. Maybe it's true that chocolates provide happy hormones in your body.

12. Adventurous- I'm just thinking life can't be entirely stagnant.

13. Turn it On- During rest days when I have so much time for general cleaning, I can't do better without the music on. With dust and dirt I let the music play and when I'm carried away I use the broom as a microphone. Crazy, I know.14. Hard-to-Gain -I don't have a diet, I eat anything I want as long as it's not alive and well cooked. I have a close friend, we eat almost the same amount of food and I would sometimes initiate for an invitation to eat out and she would burst "You're hungry again?!". I feel guilty 'coz while her body keeps ballooning, I remained slender. By weight, she's frustrated to lose and I'm frustrated to gain. I have a fast metabolism so might as well take advantage of it.

15. It Runs Through- My father has a Chinese blood, my mother has a Spanish blood. Now, I'm not sure what do I have, It could either be Chinish or Spanese.

16. It's the Color- I have a pair of eyes that doesn't lie but seems to make me a liar. One asked me "Iriz, how much did you pay for your contact lenses?". Busy riffling through folders, I took a pause and responded with wonder "Me? Uhm...I don't wear one...". and then he said "Oh come on...". Since then I have to convince others that I'm not really wearing one. I don't! and you have to believe me! It's not a pretty pair of eyes though, there are just instances that my eyes turn hazel brown but it's not something noticeable unless in a closer look and more apparent only when struck by light.

17. Id Rather - In some situations, I'd rather have nothing than to have something that I don't really like. You can't forge satisfaction and there's no trick for happiness but to get what you really want. Again, in some situations.

18. Form of Relaxation- I could spend 30 minutes for taking a bath and if it's my rest day when I don't rush, I could spend an hour. Yes, of course, I am certain that a guy like you hates a girl like me. As my brother would shout "You've been in a bathroom for so long! Are you planning to have a vacation or live there for good?! Then I would holler "Neither! Just bring me some pillows and a blanket, an overnight will do!
19. LOL -I am an incurable giggler and I love people who make me laugh. Sometimes I would laugh not because of the joke you crack but I am laughing just because of how you laugh.

20. Never Been- I want to be... a field reporter, an astronaut, a secret agent, an author, a scientist, a photographer, a chef, a pilot, a mother. Sometimes I feel like I'm just a piece of "wanna be".

21. Balanced- I am a person who takes time to mingle and takes time to be alone.

22. Shake Me - My sister once told me in a sulky mood "Know what? Asking a help from you is always been so easy but finding where you are is the hardest one". My sister always need me for an opinion or at least a conversation 'coz I am someone who can be serious and silly at the same time. She needs my time and she demands it. And with her few words, I guess I've known myself somehow. Better shake my busy world rather than just waiting 'till I come out and when I come out I'll make up for those times I was gone. Because of her words that threw me one of the guiltiest feelings, now I couldn't resist when someone insist.
By the way, meet my sister, she turns green when feels upset.

23. Mark - I have a birthmark on my left leg that took me time to realize what it is because of it's light color. I thought it was a dirt or something but when scrubbing with soap and antiseptic alcohol didn't let it go away then I knew that tiny map-like is part of my skin.

24. Conscious - I'm a health conscious person (something I don't realize not until my sister told me I am) believing that it always start from within. I get sick when my body don't sweat, that's why I enrolled in a fitness class. I spend my spare time by going to the gym. Not sure if you'll agree with me but you won't look good unless you feel good.

Oh my... I can't believe it, Im almost done!

25. I do and I dont- I don't smoke. I drink, occasionally.

Now, I realized a list of 25 isn't enough. LOL. But again, I won't break the chain so I'll stick on it.

Okay, when I say "Diamond", you know I'm pertaining to YOU, right? Now it's your turn! Give me that cut, tell me at least one thing or anything about you that you'll be glad to let me and let us know.
We have a bigger space down here. Let's do it randomly. Who'll go first?!

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Another 365 Days

Another year gone by and a new one is welcoming a smile. In retrospect, the past 365 days became a mirror of ups and downs, laughters and tears, friends and enemies, success and failure, peace and war, love and hate. I'll keep the good memories and learn from the bad ones. I don't expect life to be perfect for this year but just like you, I'm looking forward for something better. There are lot of things that I am thankful for, you're on the list. Thanks for staying around!

I have some unfinished businesses and all of them will be carried over. As usual, I have plan B's just in case plan A's won't work and since things didn't work well for me recently, I'm thinking maybe I should have plan C's or maybe up to plan Z's :). I'll try to learn three new things for this year and others that will come my way. I'll satisfy my greatest frustrations, in fact, I just began.

New year's resolution? I guess I always have resolutions though the year haven't start afresh. Continuously learning from my own blunders and others goofs, trying new things and swearing to heaven with stars as my witnesses that I won't do such thing again (stars won't spill it out, just in case). But yeah, new year's resolution, why not? For now , I'll make a mental note of it. ;)

I'm wishing you guys a great year ahead. Good health and happiness. More posts for all of us!

And as long as you stay around, I'll watch over.

Happy New Year!!!