Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Haiku 3: And There They Go

The game commences

Burying reason deeply

Empty heads remain

Picture Source:

Picture Source: frank-wouters and Animal Photos!<


No matter what I do, I just can't get the hang of playing online war games. Honestly, I think it is the most idiotic way to waste time. It is hard to say if this has anything to do with being female, or if this is just a simple personality preference that spells "TYPICALLY ME".

For one, my brother likes it. As much as I hate to think that he has taken a liking for such...(Sigh)I have neither the right to oppose nor give him my unsolicited opinion, let alone advice. After all, this is a free world. Every one of us is entitled to his preferences.

Okay, so they want to play games and have fun. I get that clearly. But why oh, why can't they just do it without being boisterous then? Why can't they stick it into their puny brains that this is a public internet cafe and not their private pads? What's with all the hollering, shrieking, bad-mouthing,loud picking, and cursing at the top of their voices?!?! Their voices are so damn loud, that I can even hear them through the gothic screaming of Amy Lee, as I listen to her in full volume via my headphones. Can't they see that there are other people here who are trying to do their thing on the net in peace?

Oh, well. Oh, well...This cafe is crawling with a bunch of rowdy assholes.

(One of my works in colored inks. felt pens, gel pens, and liquid eraser. It is entitled "I".)

Haiku 2: Merits Wasted

Such profound greatness

Words dance to their own rhythm

Yet emptiness reigns

Monday, September 21, 2009

Haiku 1: Rebirth

When the wind whispered

Thoughts lifted, drifted, rested

Passion has returned.

(Detail of "Jesus Within"--colored inks, gel pens,liquid eraser, and gouache on kraft paper)

My Resurrection

No knight in shining armor would come to rescue me
Save me from this nightmare, a life of misery.
Too much hope I've given, too many sacrifices
But for what? For shadows and heartless hollow voices?

Alone in this God-forsaken existence I stand
Bleeding and hurting, left to die in this deserted land
When all I ever wanted was a little affection
Some nurturing and caring, a bit of attention

For want of fatherly love, I traded my own soul
Thinking that in finding it, I would become whole
But what I mistook for love turned to be madness
In lies I sank, perished, and died alone and loveless

Never again! Never again! Never ever again!
I lament my heart's passing, but I'm far from deadened.
With what strength I have left, my soul I shall liberate
To claim back what is mine: my passion, my life, my fate.

(Detail from my watercolor painting "The_________________.")

From This Day Onwards

Starting today, I am going to focus on honing my writing skills. I know I have a way with words, but I am never satisfied with what I can do. Is it so wrong to strive to be better and better and better, until I become the best that I could possibly be? Charge it to my innate personality. Being a natural type A, I cannot be contented with mediocrity. Even when it comes to my art, I keep on striving to be better every single time. I do not want to think that I am competing against others. I am well aware that I am my own worst enemy, and that if there is somebody whom I should outdo it would have to be me and nobody else. 

To be honest, there is that voice at the back of my head that beats me up relentlessly for being such a coward. I've let go of so many opportunities in the past due to misconceptions, misguided judgments, and my own inability to determine what I really want out of my life and myself that I can't help but feel remorseful. Well, a week before I turn 34, I vow to turn my life around and make some serious changes in me.I would become what I want to be and get what I want, even if it is the last thing I do. I've had it with vacillating and fooling around. The string of miseries that has marked the past ten years of my existence comes to a close right this very minute.No more would I suffer from all the heartaches and pent up emotions which caught up with me as the years passed. I am breaking out of my shell. I would no longer put up with this living nightmare of regret and intense longing that has haunted me almost every minute of the day for the past decade.

It all ends here. 

Every day starting from now, I would be writing either one anecdote or just an ordinary rambling or musing (like this one) on my blog. Along with it, I would write one Haiku and poem, each one to be accompanied by a small drawing which I would also work on every day during my break time at work. Am I being too hard on myself? No. I'm just doing what needs to be done. There is no other way for me to force myself to open and unleash that shrieking and all consuming desire that has been nagging me for ages. I have eluded my fate and denied myself the satisfaction of using my own talents to advance myself forward long enough. It is about time that I fulfill my destiny and set myself free. 
(I created the painting above a couple of years ago. A mixed media obra; I used acrylic, oil, and a variety of beads(wooden, glass, and plastic), and a fabric sunflower to execute it. It is actually a self-portrait, hence its title "Maris".)

Sunday, September 20, 2009

New Ink Creations

Using ink in painting is not very easy. For one, making mistakes is a definite no-no. At best, if it cannot be avoided, one is better off making the errors during the sketching part or the first coloring stage because it would be so much easier to start over again and just throw the botched one in the trash bin if necessary.

Here are some of my latest creations using colored inks, gel pens, and liquid eraser. I would make a poem for each one in the days to come.

Franchesca Sleeps

The Spark

Eagle in the Snow

See Me as I Am

Reality Waits

Lazy Sunday Rambling

Another lazy Sunday has gone...Although I usually am contented with painting and reading and writing and painting again, there are times when my mind screams for something else. Today, I just wanted to get away from home for a while and do something else. Something a bit different. Something like shopping and seeing a throng of unfamiliar faces as I move amongst a milling crowd of shoppers in a popular downtown mall. But even though I had the luxury of time to do just that, my financial reserve states otherwise.

 Heck, I don't even have a financial reserve to begin with.

And so because of these sickening limitations, I was left with no other choice but to spend the rest of the time cooking spicy chicken and afterwards, doing what I've always been doing for as long as I can remember: paint. Now that my brother has returned home after finally placing a period to his once-seemingly-endless romantic drama, he has temporarily taken residence here in my crib(my mini-studio). Since Mama and I have sequestered his room and transformed mine into a storage room, he has nowhere else to stay. Anyway, how are we supposed to know that he would finally decide to leave her and return home? He just arrived one late evening and startled everyone. As I type this entry here, my brother lies asleep right behind me, snoring loudly like an old, rusty engine. 

Sunday, September 13, 2009


An angel lies in the corner. 
His wings lifeless, his expression somber; 
With eyes that see nothing, 
They stare coldly at the sun. 
Had he lived, he could have grown... 
But now it is done. 
Had he wanted to dream? 
Had he wanted to fly? 
Of what use is to question 
If his fate is to die? 
Grieve not. 
It is the world's desire. 
His fate had betrayed him; 
It consumed him like fire. 
An angel lying in the corner 
Is all there is. 
Young as he is 
He had to leave, 
And give death his precious kiss.

("Corpse in a Dark Room" is one of my early works using pen and ink. Can you believe this is already 13 years old? I did this while I was doing research for homework in the university library in 1996. This painting cam to mind after I had written the poem "Angel" at the back of my sketch pad cover also in the same year.)

Sleep, Sleep, and More Sleep

I had speculated that the reason behind my recurring headaches during the weekends could have something to do with my botched circadian rhythm. Because I am so fortunate to have been forced to work the graveyard shift, I have to retrain myself to reverse my waking hours.
Funny, before I started working full time, which was after college, I was a night person. My creative peak is usually sometime around midnight until the wee hours of the morning. Since most of my classes during my junior and senior years began at noon, I had no trouble with this at all. But when I started working in the corporate world, I had no choice but to readjust my lifestyle which included my sleeping time.
Needless to say, it was nowhere near easy. I had to go on for days with little sleep while doing my best to meet deadlines without risking quality. After a month, I finally got the hang of working in the morning, thus forcing myself to reprogram my creative peak. I went on like that for several years even after I've decided to strike out on my own. But when I decided to return to the corporate world a couple of years back, the current trend of 24-hour shifts landed me a writing job where I had been assigned to the graveyard shift.
Even if I had requested that I be transferred to the morning shift five months ago, I doubt it that it would be granted since none of the morning shift writers seems to be so enthusiastic about trading shifts with me. Oh, well...I can live with that. But what gets me is the abrupt shift of waking hours during weekends where I usually go on without sleep during Saturdays. If I persist with the same sleep pattern as my weekdays, I can't enjoy spending time with family and friends on weekends. However, the downside is the nightmarish headaches that bolt me awake mid-sleep.
Wow...Just look at how many times I mentioned sleep or sleeping in this blog entry! And to make a boring long story short, I've decided not to cut back on sleep during Saturdays and retain the same pattern as the one I have for weekdays. Is it working? I think it is, but it is too early to say. After all I've only started this week.

(Meet my giant bedmate, Blinkita. I took this photo of her and my unmade up bed after I got up on yet another one of them lazy Sundays.)

Saturday, September 12, 2009

As I Listen to Evanessence

What is it about the music of Evanessence that I love so much?

Actually, I listen to a variety of music, ranging from classical to gothic/metal. But among the many different kinds of musicians I have grown to love, none of them stirs me as much as Evanessence does. Maybe it's because the emotions and intensity of the songs fit me perfectly. Or probably it is the haunting atmosphere surrounding the angst and melancholy cloaked in the poetic lyrics that has drawn me to it. And then again, it could be all these qualities put together that made Evanessence's music a staple in my life(I've been listening to them almost every day for almost half a year now).
Right now, as I listen to Evanessence's "Bring Me to Life" for the third time, I am trying desperately to come up with something substantial to write about. I have a good feeling I would only hit a dead end and still come up with nothing particularly amusing, let alone relevant. Having been up the entire evening, working myself to death as usual, I am surprised that I am not drained. If my assessment is correct, I still have more than enough energy to last me until way past lunch time. Until then, I am confident that I could still fit in loading pics of Poobah(my cute teddy bear who represents me), and a few of my latest finished works.
Up to now, I'm still a dunce when it comes to technology. When Papa bought me and my brother a computer  complete with all the needed art software artists use these days, my reaction, although grateful still, was nothing more than the typical amusement I express lethargically over a slice of raisin bread which I used to snack on every other day. My brother, however, was ecstatic. So when my brother suggested that the computer along with the scanner and printer be placed in his room instead of the small studio we share, I did not do so much as utter the slightest protest. In fact, it hardly mattered to me where they put it. Simply put, I was not the least bit interested in it.
As my brother immersed himself for nights on end learning to manipulate Photoshop and other related art software, I clung to the traditional way of expression I knew by heart:painting and writing by hand. Several times, he tried to teach me. I forced myself to pay attention, but halfway through his droning lectures, my mind  began to drift into the depths of my subconscious that it wasn't long before my eyelids dropped and I was already happily trotting en route to dreamland. Needless to mention, my brother was pissed at me. So pissed was he, that after a few attempts to educate me about technology, he finally gave up and left me to my own devices.
Like me, my brother is an artist too. As children, we had sunk into the habit of drawing together, only breaking the silence every once in a while to socialize with each other by bickering and squabbling over the least important of things. After graduating from college, we went our separate ways and pursued a career in the arts.
As expected, my brother has become very adept with using technological art tools whereas I have become a better writer and artist in terms of style and creativity. But with the continuous dependence of modern society on computers, I feel left out and stupid. It's like I am watching the city rise all around me as I remain locked in my room, unmoving and not developing in time with the conspicuous change that is transforming everything I see.

What I would give to go back in time and change the past!

But it is not yet too late, is it? Although the memory of how I enthusiastically participated in my brother's lectures more than a decade ago stays fresh in his mind, he has agreed to teach me again. And this time, I promised to him and myself that I would be very attentive. It is about time that I get into the flow of things. I am not getting any younger.
I am no longer afraid that my ability for painting manually would be stifled should I learn technology. Art is forever a part of me. There is no way I would devolve if I persist in exploring and executing the images in my head, albeit through modern means.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Last Raindrop

The last drop of rain has finally fallen.
A faint whisper so clear amidst polluted skies.
Floating to a tune, bittersweet yet solemn.
Man closed his eyes and witnessed not her demise.

Softly, she lay in the arms of the noon breeze.
Cradled like a baby, sweet and innocent.
Her mother wailed along with the burning trees;
Cries were made to the heavens, strong and fervent.

Although they were heard by creatures great and small,
Man was deaf and continued his ways supine.
He mused at his brilliance, a god above all.
Faultless in his ways too perfect and sublime.

The day comes when he is thrown from his pedestal.
Along with this world he had claimed to be his.
The last drop of rain purer than a crystal
Is the mountains' farewell, nature's final kiss.

In silence, I waved goodbye and watch her fall.
The river bared her bosom and received her.
Engulfed in black filth--her innocence and all.
Gone to this world; gone with man. Together.

(This is my most popular poem to date. I posted this in one site and got a lot of good comments for it. When I penned this, my intention was to enter this in a writing competition which I did. However, I was not fortunate enough to have won anything for it. Nevertheless, I know that this is one of my best poems still. I have poured my sentiments here, concerning the continuous destruction of our natural environment. It is hard for me not to be passionate when I write. The same holds true when I paint or illustrate. And I do not really see why I should inhibit myself at all. For me, writing and painting are the only means whereby I can relish and indulge my absolute freedom sans other people's observations or opinions. It is enough that I accomodate and put up  with others in this damned material world we all share)
(A close up of "Patrice", one of my latest works using colored pens, ink, and liquid eraser)

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Lonely as Can Be

Do the heavens cry in silence tonight?
There's nothing but darkness. No star in sight.
The wind feels frigid against my cheeks;
I hear its sorrow; in my ears it speaks.

The wind is not alone in its lament
When loneliness grips each waking moment.
There's no room for sadness in a world so still
Pretend it is not so; hold on until...

Until the void sinks deep into my soul,
And with the loneliness I become whole.
No longer seeking, no longer wanting
Of love's delusion, its painful haunting.

In the end darkness merges with the light,
And solitude feels so perfectly right.
The night was young and lonely as can be;
Then a little girl cried out...I was she.

(This is one of my best and most intense poems which I wrote two years ago during my lunchbreak at the office. Buried in tons of manuscripts to revise and edit, I took a breather to nurse my exhausted spirit. And what came out spoke far more intensely and honestly than what my mind would have cared to say..)

Me at 34

Although I hate to admit it, let alone acknowledge it, 23 days from now I am to turn 34 years old. Wasn't it only yesterday that I entered college and was running around the campus looking for my first class for the day? Well, time does fly fast. I wouldn't be surprised to find myself waking up the next day to realize that another decade has passed...And with that, I would have to expect seeing the tell-tale signs of aging(wrinkles, crow's feet in the corners of my eyes, and more gray hair here and there) more concretely by then.
Not that I am afraid to grow old, it's just that I don't want to see the years creeping up on me and still see no sign of improvement in my life. For as long as I can remember, I've been working very hard and trying very hard. Through the years, I've had my fair share of good times and bad times just like everybody else. I've laughed and cried over many varied instances that have marked my progress and growth as an artist, in both the literary and visual fields.
From the way I see it, my love story with words and images has defined my entire existence. Ever since the day both my consciousness and subconsciousness were activated, I reacted to the world around me by drawing people that looked like cookies with eyes and a smiling mouth, along with a pair of arms and legs sticking out like toothpicks on their properly designated places. If I am not mistaken, I was only two years old then. My mother, however, corrected me, saying that I was only one year and eight months old when I first started to draw.
Nevertheless, that fateful day when I first held my mother's red orange dressmaker's chalk(which I called Dixon until I was 10 because of the embossed brand name on one of its side) and started drawing these cookie people all over the lower portion of our living room wall that my love story with art began. 
Writing came later when I was eight years old. I wrote my first full-length story entitled "The Dragon's Den in the Butterfly Kingdom" at the age of nine. Uncannily, it covered nine pages(back-to-back )of the back part of my Science notebook, which was labelled notebook number 9. Also, I finished writing the whole piece in nine days. So when I put the numbers together, I have 9999. I do not want to give any interpretation to them, but the fascinating way in which these numbers just fell into place is what made them so interesting and memorable to me.
The urge to write came while my then Science teacher was conducting another one of her usual boring lectures. Because I had gotten into the habit of reading my school books from cover to cover during the entire second month of our summer vacation, I was already familiarized with everything she discussed. And  much to my surprise and annoyance, she discussed the facts exactly as they had been presented in the book. No creative presentation or any interesting additional information, which I expected. 
Usually, the back part  of all my notebooks would be filled with many drawings of females with long flowing, curly locks. Though I was inclined to draw again and weave stories in my head as I have always done, one of the voices that  once dwelled in my mind suggested that I pen the story instead of just imagining it as I draw. Needless to mention, I willingly obliged, commencing my new love affair with words- another viable medium I used to tell the many stories that revealed themselves on their own accord and compensated for  my inadequacy to deal with my intense emotions or the lack of them.
I grew up thinking that every body could also do the things that I do. However, my peers saw me in a different light: as a weird brainiac, hence I have been bullied until my high school years. Although I excelled in school, my childhood was a bittersweet mix of carefree, habitual almost endless fantasizing; quarterly art and academic competitions; cherished memories with childhood friends; relentless bullying; and that all too common mind-shattering loneliness. 
Nobody ever suggested that I was special or extraordinary in any way. To me, I was either the strange class nerd or the typical nice girl-next-door. My parents treated my academic achievements like they did the usual oatmeal and milk we had for breakfast. As for my relatives, I have always thought that  they never saw me as anything more than the average good natured schoolgirl. In fact, I have an uncle who must have seen me as a  dunce who could never be more than a housewife or household help maybe. Too bad, I  am never easily  swayed by others' opinions. 
I have always kept a big chunk of myself hidden from others' view. Behind that smiling, innocent face lies a defiant little female whose imagination no one could fathom.. I knew all too well that I have no right to judge anyone. But I was also aware that no one has the right to judge me either, especially if they do not have so much as the slightest idea as to who or even what I truly am.
For sixteen lonely years, I have thrived and grown up in the constant company of certain voices that only existed and spoke in my head. Right from the very start, I knew  they were not  real. .They were my constant companions who knew me far better than anybody else. Although  they had no corporeal existence, I treated them with the same sincerity and respect as I did others. I just left them be and enjoyed their company for  many years. But after I deliberately poked a newly sharpened pencil to my temple after one of them told me to do so when I was eight, I was alarmed: they were getting stronger and uncontrollable. Young as I  was, the realization that it was not right for them to have such a power over me really turned things around, and got me thinking about them seriously. I  tried to shut them up, yet I failed miserably.
There were three voices. And more often than not, they contradicted each other.  The first one pushed me to find answers, so I can vanquish all of them. The second kept prompting me to release all the pent up anger, frustration, sadness, and disappointment. The third one remained silent most of the time and would only speak to tell stories the moment the first two began contradicting each other. When the second voice became more insitent and aggressive, I spilled my secret in an effort to find an answer, a solution. I asked my parents ,  teachers, and many guidance counselors. None of them gave me a straight answer. All of them were united in their response that I was imagining things. 
But I wasn't. 
If they had not vanished when I nearly drowned to death when I was sixteen, I dare not imagine how I would be like today. Losing them finally in a way I least expected was both  a relief and a most  absurdly  sorrowful  experience.
Now as I approach my 34th year, I still do not see myself as the full-grown woman that I am. The voices have long gone and left me to contend with reality by myself. I am proud to say that even in their absence, I thrived well enough and managed without their help. But in spite of my conspicuous maturity, I  just can't get myself to feel anything like the adult I should be. 
In my mind's eye, I remain the six year old little girl lost in her fantasies, forever enamored by the world unravelling inside her head as she drowns in one fantastic tale after another. I am neither married nor attached romantically to anyone. How could I be? Up until now, I have not yet even revealed half of  myself to the world at large. Thus, I am doing my best to share, explore, and unleash all my God-given abilities before I reach the end of the road. This is something I owe to God and myself.
I've been secretly battling these dark depressive thoughts for as long as I can remember. Even if I think I really need to see a shrink, I am adamant that I can keep my intense sensitivity bottled and under control by simply using my own will power.
These days, every time I dream, I am bolted awake by a mind-splitting headache. Remembering dreams no matter vivid and complex is nothing new to me. As a girl, I could  control them easily. But as I matured, my  control over them waned. Almost twice or thrice each week, I wake up all of a sudden with these freaky dreams still playing out in my already conscious mind as yet another pounding headache wracks through me like lightning electrocuting every nerve in my head. Luckily, the pain only lasted for a couple of hours after waking.
I do not want to think this is serious. I pray not.
One day my eccentricities and freaking headaches would eventually outdo my will power and strength. But before that day comes, I would see to it that I do what needs to be done: set myself free and reveal my view of the world using my God-given abilities. No one can truly tell what kind of soul lives in this temporal cellulite-ridden body if not through my works. Crazy as it may sound, I am defined by them.

(I know for a fact that I did this painting in watercolor in 2000. But since I have given it a mile-long title, I have forgotten it save for the first word "The". I took this pic a couple of weeks ago as it hung in our living room framed in glass, hence my reflection on the side. At first I thought I had to take another one since I did not really capture its entirety. But then again, I saw how this particular pic suited my personal introduction here. I will just post a clearer pic of the whole painting sometime next week, and maybe decide on a new shorter title for it.)