Monday, December 26, 2005

Fully Empowered

That's Pablo Neruda's book (translated by Alastair Reid) which is the nth gift for myself. And this is where I'm taking my cue for what I'm going to do in 2006: re-start, begin again, but not without remembering lessons learned. Like mantra, the poem, "Past" shall be my guide.

Pablo Neruda

We have to discard the past
and, as one builds
floor by floor, window by window,
and the building rises,
so do we keep shedding --
first, broken tiles,
then proud doors,
until, from the past,
dust falls
as if it would crash
against the floor,
smoke rises
as if it were on fire,
and each new day
like an empty
There is nothing, there was always nothing.
It all has to be filled
with a new, expanding
then, down
falls yesterday
as in a well
falls yesterday's water,
into the cistern
of all that is now without a voice, without fire.
It is difficult
to get bones used
to disappearing,
to teach eyes
to close,
we do it
Everything was alive,
alive, alive,alive
like a scarlet fish,
but time
passed with cloth and darkness
and kept wiping away
the flash of the fish.
Water water water,
the past goes on falling
although it keeps a grip
on thorns
and on roots.
It went, it went, and now
memories mean nothing.
Now the heavy eyelid
shut out the light of the eye
and what was once alive
is now no longer living;
what we were, we are not.
And with words, although the letters
still have transparency and sound,
they change, and the mouth changes;
the same mouth is now another mouth;
they change, lips, skin, circulation;
another soul took on our skeleton;
what once was in us now is not.
It left, but if they call, we reply
"I am here," and we realize we are not,
that what was once, was and is lost,
lost in the past, and now does not come back.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Tuwing Pasko, malamig, para mas maramdaman ang init ng yakap ng mga mahal/minamahal. Mas mahaba rin ang gabi, para mas masarap ang inuman at kwentuhan. Uso si Santa at mga anghel, para matandaan na walang limitasyon ang imahinasyon para sa ating kahilingan. Panahon ito ng pasasalamat sa mga pinagdaanan at natutunan kahawak ang kamay ng kaibigan, sinta, ina, ama, anak, kapatid, kabiyak.

Maligayang Pasko sa Inyong Lahat!


A friend, Claire, surprised me with a text all the way from Australia. ;P Wishes me that I can find the person who will take of me, finally.

No Claire, it's not intrusion. That's the best thing one can ask for anyone: the warmth of being loved.

I wish you, and all of my friends, that we all will be safe and warm in the arms of our loved ones.

Merry Christmas! :)

My Stars Say

Mercury Square Mars with an orb between 1 and 3 degrees Since you tend to be rather irritable and sharp-tongued at times you require a partner with a sense of humor who is not too thin-skinned. You are bright, curious and restless and enjoy the company of those who are equally high-spirited and enterprising.

Sun Conjunct Pluto with an orb between 3 and 5 degrees Power struggles plague your relationships. Either you become the dominant partner out of a fear of being controlled or you become very passive, controlling indirectly through guilt or manipulation. Your father may have been emotionally abusive to you.

Mercury Quintile Jupiter with an orb between 1 and 3 degrees You have a quality people trust and you are often sought after as a confidante or an advisor. You have high moral and ethical standards and it is imperative that anyone you're close to is a person of the highest integrity. You prefer well-educated people.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Like I Don't Know (Hahahaha)

You're an ENTP

Ok. Ready? You like to chase the novel and complex. You have faith in your ability to overcome any challenges you face...highly independent...value adaptability and encourage and value change...

You need freedom for resist hierarchy and push against all odds to further your projects with your entrepreneurial can argue and find the flaws in any position...

How'm I doing so far? You rarely accept things just as they like to test new meanings and relationships..when you don't get what you want, you use your cleverness and ingenuity to bring people around to your point of view...when you choose a career, you tend to set flexible goals that allow you to incorporate new information and accommodate to new circumstances...
"Keep your options open" is your middle name... you like to explore the "road not taken." Your flexibility can look like indecision to others who don't have a clue about take advantage of realize potential of many things because of your ability to see connections and relationships between SEEMINGLY unrelated cannot be ordered around, but rather handle things best when they are *suggestions* posting more on the Storm Palace BBS you love excitement...

Competence is key to you.. you don't take advice or respect someone you don't see as want work to be're a relentless learner. Knowledge is important to use your enthusiasm to get others involved in your learn through give-and-take discussions and by questioning and challenging like challenging your teachers and colleagues...limitations are mere challenges to take initiative, and once the ball is rolling, you like to turn it over to someone else...

You like to organize logically and strategically....your work space might not LOOK organized, but underneath it all is a system that works for you. You like to have an need a job that allows you to be innovative. you like to take risks and open calendar for the weekend is really're often "in on the latest things..." like travel, 'cause it allows you to open up new vistas and horizons (corny, huh?).

Falling in love happens when there's a good "fit" with another often know after the first meeting whether there's any "real potential"... you may not like to commit until that right person comes along...therefore you probably won't settle down don't like to lose at ANYthing you're a born enterpriser...

Things to be on guard for: you have a great fear of looking dumb or incomp- may tend to think you have the perfect solutions for problems, and may become competitive when others challenge you... you might start to think that you're the only one who's in on the truth of things, so you might not like to listen to the input of may have the tendency to overextend yourself as you jump in on lots of ideas without considering how long it takes to work 'em through... commit to too many projects? are a rebel.. you find it difficult to accept standard operating procedures.. and hate HAVING to follow exact rules or policies...learn to work within the system.

ENTP: "Each New Thought Propels"

from this website.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Last Christmas

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Let us count the days past by way of memories collected:

Last Christmas ... R. first met the object of her desire.

This Christmas, she's trying to forget him.

Last Christmas ... I was reeling from a break-up.

This Christmas, though with a few shards from the past, I'm, at least, getting there.

Last Christmas, T.P. invited me to her house to celebrate Christmas there (I was, unfortunately, on duty last year).

This Christmas, we have at least three more friends to celebrate the yuletide season with.

Last Christmas, I don't know if I know N. already.

This Christmas, well, he's been missing in action. (Hehehehe) Hopefully in the arms of his beloved.

Last Christmas, K., well, hasn't won the P1-M challenge yet.

This Christmas, she has, a beautiful home with whom she will share all the new memories of love and giving, everything else that money can't buy, with J. and J.

Between last Christmas and this year's, it's in the gap where we carefully tread to forge new friendships, renew and push on to better ourselves.

There's something magical about Christmases, that's why I use them as landmarks of personal progress. The point after all, of life, is to celebrate, the memories shared with those that crossed our lives.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005


The wind gently blows eastward, where you are tonight.

In my peripheral view, I look for you, thinking you are sitting far from where I am. Hopefully, the glass walls in front of me will at least reveal your silhouette. But you are not there.

I look behind me and find you. Three steps are all that separate us.

The wind gently blows eastward. I take a puff. I let the smoke escape, gently, from my lips to yours.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

There Are Days

There are days such as this one when all you want to do is hibernate, or escape. The former, is more preferable but not possible considering my job. Escape, well, yeah, maybe in the form of a trip to the movie house or a haircut or shopping. Or all three of them.

I wanna tell you a story. I'm sure you've experienced it one time or another. But I'm certain you've met their kind:

A fly is sitting atop a carabao. And suddenly he thinks he's bigger. The fly kept on yacking and yacking and yacking 'til a bird pooped on the carabao's back. Finally, a reminder of where he has been.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Everyday, Figuratively

The Executioner

Nguyen executioner revealed by Alan Shadrake, 28 Oct 2005 (Photo & Report from

The hangman who will execute Australian drug trafficker Van Tuong Nguyen in Singapore has been revealed as a semi-retired 73-year-old grandfather.

In a matter of weeks, Darshan Singh will place a rope around the 25-year-old's neck and say the
words he has spoken to more than 850 condemned prisoners during his 46 years as Singapore's chief executioner.

"I am going to send you to a better place than this. God bless you."

Nguyen's hopes of escaping the gallows receded further yesterday when the Singaporean Government confirmed that it would not make an exception for the Australian.

Mr Singh has officially retired from the prison service but is called upon to carry out executions, for which he receives a fee of $S400 ($312).

Until now, his indentity has been a closely guarded secret in Singapore.

Officials rarely comment on capital punishment, which is carried out without publicity behind the walls of Changi prison.

But The Australian can reveal today that the 73-year-old grandfather, who lives in a modest, government-owned apartment near the border with Malaysia, has been asked to execute Nguyen unless the Singapore Government gives an unprecedented last-minute reprieve.

Mr Singh told The Australian yesterday that under the Official Secrets Act he was forbidden from speaking about his work.

A colleague and close friend, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told The Australian that Mr Singh wanted to give up his hangman's responsibilities and live quietly in retirement but the authorities were having trouble finding anyone to replace him.

"He tried to train two would-be hangmen to replace him, a Malaysian and a Chinese, both in the prison service," the colleague said.

"But when it came to pulling the lever for the real thing, they both froze and could not do it.

"The Chinese guy, a prison officer, became so distraught he walked out immediately and resigned from the prison service altogether."

Nguyen will meet Mr Singh a few days before he is executed and will be asked if he would like to donate his organs.

On the day before his execution, Mr Singh will lead him to a set of scales close to his death-row cell to weigh him.

Mr Singh will use the Official Table of Drops, published by the British Home Office in 1913, to calculate the correct length of rope for the hanging.

On the day of Nguyen's execution, Mr Singh will be picked up by a government vehicle and driven to the prison, arriving at 2am local time (0400 AEST) to prepare the gallows.

Shortly before 6am, he will handcuff Nguyen's hands behind his back and lead him on his final short walk to the gallows, just a few metres from the cell.

Mr Singh joined the British colonial prison service in the mid-1950s after arriving from Malaysia. When the long-established British hangman Mr Seymour retired, Singh, then 27, volunteered for the job. He was attracted by the bonus payment for executions.

Mr Singh is credited with being the only executioner in the world to single-handedly hang 18 men in one day -- three at a time.

They had been convicted of murdering four prison officers during a riot on the penal island of Pulau Senang in 1963.

He also hanged seven condemned men within 90 minutes a few years later. They had been convicted in what became known as the "gold bars murders", in which a merchant and two employees were killed during a robbery.

One of the most controversial executions in his career was the 1991 hanging of a young Filipina maid, Flor Contemplacion, who was convicted of the murder of a co-worker, Delia Maga, and her four-year-old son, on what many believed was shaky evidence.

He carries out the executions wearing simple casual clothes, often just a T-shirt, shorts, sports shoes and knee-length socks.

To mark his 500th hanging four years ago, four of his former colleagues turned up at his home to celebrate the event with a couple of bottles of Chivas Regal.

Mr Singh boasts that he has never botched an execution.

"Mr Seymour taught him just how long the drop should be according to weight and height and exactly where the knot should be placed at the back of the neck," his colleague said.

"Death has always come instantaneously and painlessly. In that split second, at precisely 6am, it's all over."

Mr Singh was an accomplished cricketer in his youth and was often opening bat.

"He is a keen soccer fan," his colleague said. "His favourite team is Manchester United. He watches all the English Premier League matches he can."

When his colleague asked him why he had stayed so long in such a gruesome job, he replied: "It's all I know. It has become my bread and butter."

"He also used to cane convicted criminals after training in this field," the colleague said.

"The pay then was 50cents per stroke. He could wield a cane as well as he could wield a cricket bat."

Mr Singh lives happily with his second wife and is close to their three adult adopted children.
His first wife left him years earlier because she could not accept what he did. He had kept it a secret from her for years.

Mr Singh reportedly spends time getting to know the condemned prisoners, especially those who do not receive visitors or religious support.

"He is a very kindly man and although it's his job to end their lives he does feel for them," his friend said. "Mr Singh tries to comfort them if they are completely alone in the world at such a horrible time."

The Parable of The Anthill

Beneath, in the sublayers of Earth, a kingdom thrives.

An old man tells this story to a young boy. He says: "To find where the Queen Ant lives, follow the trail of the smaller ants. On their arms, they carry, sustenance for the Kingdom and their Queen."

"But why do they have to work for her?" asks the young boy. "Doesn't she have the same number of feet and arms to work equally amongst them?"

"Certain things are created in a certain way. It's just the way it is. The Queen Ant is the one who breeds. In a sense, she's vital to the Kingdom. Without her, then there would be no other ants. The present ones will die and witle. And soon enough, the Kingdom will perish," the old man explains.

"But without the worker ants, the Queen will not have her nourishment? They could just store the food they gather elsewhere. Doesn't the Queen owe her life to her workers?" the boy asks again.

"They can do that. But that's disobedience. And the Queen has no tolerance for such behavior," explains the old man.

"But why do they have to follow?" the boy looks into the old man's eyes. "Don't they have any other choice?"

"Again, young boy, things are created in a certain way. They don't have to be acceptable," the old man says.

The young boy, looks at the trail of worker ants at his feet, then follows then traces them. A couple of steps ahead, an anthill is found. He kneels and picks up a worker ant.

"You will never have to work for her again," he tells the ant and puts him on the trunk of a mango tree.

"Up there, there are ripe mangoes for your picking. You can have them all to yourself," the boy says.

The boy runs into the ricefield beaming. The late afternoon breeze against his face. He picks up a kite and flies it.