When Ophelia met a Monet

Come and meet me, darling
I want to be your lie.
I see your waters dancing
With every pencil line.
Every speck of paint, a peck:
A kiss of dew and time.
Those shores so soft, so cool,
So calm, so green, upon the eye.

Where every blossom could be picked
If I could reach the stream.
Where I could swim inside your eyes,
A green and painted dream.
I’d swing upon the branches.
Your waters I would drink,
With lotuses and crocuses,
And heady hyacinths.

I reached til green have touched my toes
And lapped my dress of white.
The slime had slid up on my knees
And up across my thighs.
The waters pulled and tugged my dress
I felt it grip around my neck.
I tasted green turn cold and black.
From which I came, I can’t go back.

Was I a fool to see the warmth
The dazzling dance of light?
But, Hamlet, dear, you pushed me not.
I walked into goodnight.


Pond Scum

And in the pink of you
I saw myself in green.
And from the white of warm
I tore myself in green.

And in the mirror’s depth,
my tiny tiny self.
Wouldn’t it feel great to look upon
The rows, the rows,
the Rose?
But in the mirror’s depth
I saw only myself in green.

And on the pond of still
I saw myself in green.
When will I ever learn?
I slicked myself in green.

And on the water’s skin
my sickly slimy self.
Wouldn’t it feel great to skate upon
the skin, the skin,
the scene?
But in the water’s depths
I’ve drowned myself in green.

Ang mga Munting Pangarap ni Bobi

Si Bobi ang Tatay ko.

Natatawa ko sa kanya. Nilibre ko siya ng almusal kahapon. Pambawi kasi di ko siya sinipot nung Fathers’ Day.

Bobi: Tinatanong ka nga pala sakin ni Jun.

Ako: Jun?

Bobi:  Si Jun Cruz Reyes. Mag workshop ka daw sa kanya.

Ako: Ahhh.

(sorry for the name-drop)

Natatawa ko sa kanya. Hanggang ngayon umaasa pa rin na makakapagsulat ako ng seryoso. Palanca daw. Sayang daw. Di naman ako karapatdapat sa pagsusulat.

Ibang-iba talaga sila ng Nanay ko. Ibang-iba ang pangarap para sakin.

Tumango na lang ako kay Bobi. Paano mo sasabihin sa sarili mong ama na nilamon na ko ng corporate world at ng pag-pangarap sa ibang bansa? Paano ko sasabihin “Tay, salamat. Pero matagal na’kong patay.” ?

Di ko masabi dahil mahal ako ni Bobi.

Happy Fathers’ Day.

The Fable of Piney

Piney is a three-inch pineapple fruit wtih a four-inch crown. He was planted on a littleplanter on my 21st birthday by my Grampa. To this day, I don’t know what my Lolo meant by giving my a miniature pineapple except that I liked cute tiny things.

Piney wasn’t much of a looker. He had uneven yellowish moss green skin. At least his crown was a stunner: thick deep green spines that were glossy.

I took care of Piney: watering him every other day, making sure he gets some sunlight every other day, talking to him on occassion. I migled him with my family of tiny cacti. The prickly little fellow felt right at home.

And then he started to die. Piney withered before my very eyes. His yellowish moss green rounded body came slumping off the tiny planter. At least his crown was still a stunner.

And I figured, Piney really wasn’t meant to live long. Tiny as he is, he no longer had breathing space in that tiny planter of his. And so I left him to his fate among the cacti,  tiny planter and all  and forgot about him.

One day, I was trimming my nails on our paseo(the prettified alleyway leading to our house) right beside the giant dama de noche bush. I inspected the cacti table. Piney was no longer there. All that was left was his tiny, cracked planter. I figured Mom must have cleaned up the remains. And so I forgot about him.

After some heavy rains a few months later, I came out inspecting the damage to our plants in the paseo. And I found some stunning thick deep green spines that were glossy hiding under some mayana leaves. Piney was prettier than ever! He had new green shoots, making his crown even lovelier.

I asked my folks how that happened. And my brother cockily said “You didn’t know how to take care of it. So i transplanted it, dummy. It’s mine now.”

Moral of the story: Some gifts are better taken care of by wiser people. Or else they wither and die.

I, Artist…not!

That word gives me the prickles. Aren’t they the ones with faded clothes, scruffy hair, black-rimmed eyes (due to lack of sleep or….gasp! eyeliner), yet look effortlessly cool? Aren’t they the ones who have pot sessions and whirlwind romances? Aren’t they the ones who didn’t do so well at school, don’t so so well at work, yet go through life with their genius and charisma? Aren’t they the brooding types? Aren’t they the ones who live in (self-imposed, self-made or self-imagined) poverty? Aren’t they the ones who pursue and are consumed by their passion (for whatever fancy they may take)?

I am none of those things.  I have no eye for design or fashion (although my brothers, artists both, will say that they’re anti-fashion, but whatever). I am so straight-laced that people laugh at my dorkiness. I did well in school and I do well at work. I’m not exactly likeable; I only have handful of friends. I cannot be passionate about anything. I am a capitalist-minded, conservative conformist who loves money.

I can’t draw. I can’t paint. I can’t dance. I like reading but I am not well-read. I’ve heard of, but have not read, Nicholas Sparks, Neil Gaiman, JK Rowling, etc. I love music but I don’t know the history of blues, jazz or rock music. I sing, but I’m a terrible performer. I like looking at paintings but I don’t know what they mean.

 And then my boyfriend calls me a Toreador (a fancy-pants Moronic-Byronic wimpy Anne Rice type)… i.e an artist. I was taken aback. The nerve !

He explained that, to him, that an artist is simply someone who needs to express herself so bad that if they don’t they’ll explode. I’m not exactly the exploding type.

Is it because I blogged about Angono? Is it because I blog (with a severe case of oligo-blogia)? There’s nothing artsy about blogging. The crassest people can be found on the blogosphere.

I was a writer in high school. But everyone knows you can’t stay in high school.

My friends and teachers from high school tell me they’re surprised that i took the corporate track. They expected me to be a bohemian, an artist, an activist. Just because I wrote news in the schoolpaper.

The truth is, I knew I would have never been successful in that path. And they knew it.

I can’t write anything of my own. I had to have someone tell me “Please do an article on the newly elected student council. Leave it on my desk by Friday.”

None of “Omigosh your love requiem was so hardcore it made me cry blood! and I’ve never liked poetry before!” I wasn’t “Such an insightful editorial I wanna march into the Senate with you now!” I was just OK. Good, but not great.

I was old reliable. And I still am.

Maarte lang ako. Hindi ako artist.

Sorry, Nemiranda

My mom once sneaked me and my brothers into the Nemiranda House.

We posed as a family looking for some art classes. We couldn’t afford it so we just snooped around.

There were plenty of paintings but I think he does sculptures with much much more emotion. 

I got lost and ended up in one of the bedrooms. With all that art around, it was easy to forget that the place is actually a house. I don’t know whose room I got into. Nemiranda has all of his kids living and creating art in that one big house.

The family’s art was all around. I saw an unfinished Bob Marley portrait on a sky blue background. I bet it was from one of the kids.

Here’s one piece that was especially endearing to me.



I’m writhing in misery because I missed this.


Angono is home to National Artists like Maestro Lucio San Pedro (for Music) and Carlos “Botong” Francisco (for Visual Arts). I place it on top of Malate and Baguio as one of my favorite bohemian spots in the Philippines. I love love love Angono, Rizal.

I love it so much I had a crush-crush* on one of its sons and a crush-crush-crush** on one of its daughters. The guy was an artist and the girl was a musician. A few years back, the girl invited me to their town fiesta and I was blown away.


The Higantes Festival has roots in the Spanish Colonial Era. The farmers thought it would be cool to caricature their hacindero masters with huge paper mache effigies.

Viva San Clemente! Patron Saint of Angono


I also loved the food! Fish and shellfish is great, straight out of the Laguna Bay. Then there’s fried itik, which is a local Rizal delicacy.

The restaurant/gallery/giftshop Balaw-balaw is a favorite of tourists and exotic cuisine lovers. I happen to like the laid-back atmosphere of Scrapyard Cafe.

And of course, there’s the art:

It all started in a cave somewhere in Angono.


So it went from this….


To this:


Here are some more cool links

Video from Inquirer.net  http://www.inquirer.net/vdo/player.php?vid=1936

Artworks http://www.neo-angono.com/festival/antos-gallery.html

More Artworks http://www.geocities.com/ateliersph

Cafes, Restos and Bars http://www.neo-angono.com/festival/hacienda-gallery.html

 And from a fellow blogger: http://www.ivanhenares.com/2008/03/art-gallery-overload-in-angono-rizal.html


*crush-crush = crush due to looks and talent

*crush-crush-crush = crush due to looks, talent and attitude

so a crush is just looks

Thank you B.C. !

Thank you Ivan About Town