Friday, July 22, 2005


Biyaheng Mindanao will move on to be the cross-eyed bear.

Because it just doesn’t feel like me anymore.

Biyaheng Mindanao was created to chronicle my adventures all over the island. That was a time when I was excited to be in a new place, to do new things, to see new sights.

Then I started to become someone else along the way. I've changed (see two entries down). I’m not as excited because I’ve seen more than my fair share. There is still a lot to explore and I will. My sandals and backpack won’t be rotting from disuse anytime soon.

So it is time to move on to something different. What the DIFFERENT is, I do not know. Maybe my entries in the cross-eyed bear will help me discover.

There is still a certain feeling of calm when I look at the silvery rivers that snake around the crevices of the emerald mountains. I am still at the mercy of the cruel full moon and the devious laughter of the stars. The multi-hued clouds can still take the form of dragons and castles and care bears. But my heart tells me… move on, move along… something else awaits. (or simply put, i don't like this template anymore and i wouldn't know how to fix everything to suit how i like it being an html idiot so it would be much easier to transfer blogs and pretend it is an existentialist progression)

(and on cue, my media player blurts out Noel Cabangon’s “Kanlungan”)

Pana-panahon ang pagkakataon
Maibabalik ba ang kahapon…

Noel, you never fail me

happy birthday, rosing.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

The Lord of Dreams learned that he must change or die and makes his decision.

This was how Neil Gaiman was forced to summarize the 75-story arc, 9-year run of “Sandman.” (but he did like how his summary turned out, he said)

Wow. That’s quite a summary. Or maybe it’s more of a thesis statement. Anyway, I don’t know how related that statement will be to the words that will flow from my fingertips to the keyboard, but it felt entirely appropriate for what I have been feeling and thinking the past few months.

Eleven days from now, I will be turning 27.

And the idea of turning 27… strangely… thrills me.

Last year, before my birthday, I predicted my 26th year would be a mediocre year. I was totally mistaken. I’ve been to three major trips: white water rafting and jet skiing in cagayan de oro, a cebu-iloilo-boracay-carabao island-island hopping spree, and a return to calapan corner visit.

The Calapan visit proved to be a catalyst to the many welcome changes that followed thereafter. Once I closed that issue hounding me for the past four years and opened myself to whatever God decided to bring my way, I became at peace and consequently, happier. Which I can probably say emanated good aura from me thus attracting good karma.

A week after that, I had a four-hour long engaging conversation with a good guy with (some) bad habits who loved Gaiman’s work and knew about the Reavers X-Men story-arc (that time, I have yet to meet anyone who was familiar with it). A month and a half after that, with the help of office cupids and our own effortless hard work, we got together.

With that, some would think, “you’ve got a partner… life should be perfect!” Well, if falling in love solved every problem in the world, then half of it would already be gone by now. But it doesn’t. And many of the world’s little problems were caused by misunderstood loving feelings (which is a different topic all together).

It IS great having someone to share your day with, even if it is just mostly through PLDT’s 10-peso-per-call promo. Loving someone and being loved back does not keep difficult situations from coming your way though. Love works as a good buffer, but they will STILL come. I’m just glad Jan has been a pretty sturdy shoulder to lean on.

For the past few months, I have written about my depression. The tough part is finding out why I was depressed. I was just. But there has to be something, right?

Gimmicks felt escapist, and most of the time they were. I didn’t have as much fun as I used to but I needed the outlet to forget. Work was terrible (and still is). I began to hate going on monitoring visits. Neither did I get the same satisfaction I did seeing the Lumad kids learning in class.

Something was going on, and I wanted to find out. Months came and went. And all throughout, I felt purposeless and unnecessary… and old. At 26.

The five weeks in Manila did nothing to help what I was going through. Pressure from work became more intense, being surrounded by workaholics. The only thing I looked forward to was after-work hanging out with Jan. And some of those days, I’d burst into tears out of the blue, scaring the wits out of the poor boy.

Crazy as it is, it was Neil Gaiman’s visit that took away most of the gnawing feeling of emptiness I’ve been feeling. Waiting for him for sixteen hours for a one-minute encounter was ridiculous. Skipping work for three hours to listen to him speak was equally silly.

Yet those three days trying to drink up as much of Neil Gaiman’s wisdom as I can gave me a sense of purpose again, the purpose I lost months back.

And it’s almost two weeks since that one-minute encounter and I still feel a bit giddy about the whole thing. What’s more, I finally found out what went wrong.

I don’t know what I want to do.

Now that I know that, I feel much better. As the GI Joe credo went, “Knowing is half the battle.”

Right now, eleven days before my birthday, I still don’t know what to do. But there are things I know now, at least.

I AM CHANGING. Into what, I do not know. But my gut feel tells me I will find out soon enough.

The strange feeling of despair, in retrospect, could actually be an emotional molting. Getting out of a cocoon and possibly turning into a butterfly (or a moth). It could have been my whole state of being’s reaction to change, to the dying and destruction of an old self. Changes in desires. Changes in dreams. Changes in directions. And more of my gut feel tells me that my desires, my dreams, my direction will be MORE DEFINITE this time. (Nope, I have no idea what it will be so no running wild of the imagination please.)

Just for dramatic effect, this realization comes to me around the time of my birthday. Har. Trust my flair for drama. I guess, that is where the thrill of turning 27 comes from.

Hopefully, once I have deciphered what I want, where I will go and what I will be, that peace and the God I seek would rest on my heart for a longer period.

The Lord of Dreams learned that he must change or die and makes his decision.

Did Morpheus choose to die instead of change, thus replaced by Daniel? Or because he changed, he died, thus replaced by Daniel? I’d have to re-read the whole Sandman series to know for sure.

As for myself, though Death of the Endless would seem like good company, she and I would agree that accepting (and deciding to) change would be the better option for now.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

And so I have finished Harry Potter 6.

Since a good many people may have not read it yet, this is the only thing I can say.

"How can JK Rowling have had the heart to do it?!!!"

I ended the book with tears. But then that shouldn't be a basis of judgment on how heavy (figuratively) the book is because I also cried for Oliver Wood when he won the Quidditch match. Neither should crying be a measure of how good the book was. But it IS good. Except... argh... *bawl*

JK Rowling likes to leave open-ended scenes that let you run along with numerous conspiracy theories or possibly false hopes for the last book of the series. I'm not sure if I like it or not, neither do I know if that would be an appropriate measure of how carefully plotted a book is. But she does it all the time.

For instance, the Half-Blood Prince kept me thinking it was someone from Harry Potter's past because of constant references by Slughorn. But there was this one time I got it right but swatted it aside immediately because... well, I'm just hopeful there is something happy for Harry.

Argh. I can't believe I am so hooked into Harry Potter. Along with the rest of the world. There are hundred better reads out there, except somehow, I've been charmed into looking forward to the seventh installment despite bordering on irritation, depression and sadness presently.

Still, I solemnly swear I will not line up fifteen hours to get my books signed by her.

Yun lang. Kelangan lang i-release.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Found the Manila Bulletin interview of Neil. Yey, finally.

And congratulations to toni for being featured in Manila Bulletin. Astig!

Monday, July 18, 2005

Random Mondays

1. The egroups for the Neil Gaiman visit is still active and remains giddy from the signing. Much as it fills up my inbox, I can't for the life of me, unsubscribe because the people in it are very interesting and would like to "get to know" other Gaiman fans more. I've been looking for the company and finally it's here.

2. Somebody, I do not know if it would be illegal to say, was able to get an e-copy of HP6. Hopefully she sends it to me by today. Don't worry JK Rowling, I will be buying a book except it has to be paperback.

Honestly, though, my heart skips a beat everytime I see it in National Bookstore.

3. two weeks till my birthday. 27 na ako? how strange. much as i do not like to bother with my birthdays, i end up thinking about it anyway. except i do not know what to think of it. it's been a roller-coaster year, with so much emotional squeezing for the past months. thankfully, i'm still getting by... am past the depression and anger and have settled into deadma. hopefully acceptance and change will come till my day.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Somebody was kind enough to transcribe the Writer's Forum with Neil in his blog.

Just like Pia's , I got my Goldfish book signed.

These Amazing dudes wore these stuff for at least 6 hours. Elibs! Especially the Destiny guy since it was a full-leather attire. Even Neil removed his!

Jan gets a nice pic of Neil that isn't too shaky and not much hands with cams and phones in the way. This was during "The Gathering."


Jan and I agreed to go to Greenhills to listen to Gaiman do another book reading and possibly another Q&A. For the book signing, we’d just see how lucky we can get if there were available stubs when we got there. And somewhere at the back of my mind, my inner voice was saying, “asa ka pa!”

Well, Greenhills was crap. I’m just happy to have seen Ray and met this nice guy, Rod (who was a La Sallite and there was a UAAP game that day and we all know how that turned out but we just talked about UAAP for 30 seconds and just spent most of our waiting time talking about Neil and other writers). The whole time I was standing under the sweltering heat of the sun, I kept wondering why I was doing it at all. All I wanted was to listen to Neil again but unfortunately there were no Fully Booked staff about to ask how the day will go and so those with no stubs were left in the dark (despite the intense sunlight) for two hours only to miss hearing his reading. Grsh.

A Fully Booked staff (finally) showed up while we were in line figuring out what to do with ourselves, bellowing at the top of his voice, “those without stubs will not be entertained.” And Rod, Mayette, Jan and I decided to leave. Only to find out from his blog that he did sign those without stubs. Again, just goes to show how great a guy he is. And I had a feeling he would have signed those without stubs except I had a splitting headache already so it was a good idea, I think.

WRITER’S FORUM – GETTING OVER OBSTACLES (just a little side story and contains nothing much about the forum but what we had to go through to get there so if you are more interested in what Neil has to say, skip this part)

While watching the Ateneo Blue Eagles suffer a humiliating defeat against La Salle at home, Jan and I were discussing about the Writer’s Forum that was going to happen in Music Museum Monday. We weren’t alert enough to try to get tickets the previous week but he decided to try it in the morning since the British Council was just two buildings away from ours.

So when I got to the office, Jan already had two tickets to the forum and our names registered! I asked my boss if she could let me off for two hours to check out the event in Music Museum. Though I had a feeling she was not entirely happy about it, she let me go. Yey, thank you much much, boss!

When we got to Music Museum to register, we weren’t on the list. Which I expected since we just signed in this morning. The lady was about to tell me to wait until everybody came in but I insisted that I had confirmation in my e-mail. Since I had a ticket, the girl just gave me a sticker. Yahoo! But since Jan was behind me, he had to hurdle the same obstacle as I did. But he wasn’t as lucky.

It was a dilemma, I wanted to go but then he possibly may not be able to. And it was because of him that we got the tickets in the first place. But Jan was optimistic that he could get inside. And if worse comes worst, I can just tell him how it went. Bait! Grsh. I was selfish brat and let him be the martyr with this one.

Inside Music Museum while searching for seats, I bumped into Bok. Who turned out to be Jan’s savior. We were both surprised to see each other. So I go yada-yada-yada and she went yada-yada-yada. Then I noticed she had TWO stickers. And I asked, “please, please can I give that sticker to Jan so he can get in.” And she shared it! And so Jan was in. Yey! Yey!

Now all we had to do was wait.


Since somebody did a transciption of the forum already (two posts up), I removed the entry I previously posted. Instead I will just insert a suggestion that the questions be screened before they are asked because some were just to "d-uh?" There were only a few questions that turned out to be interesting. It was only through the masterful eloquence of Neil Gaiman that the answers were something his fans would want to hear. Nonetheless, I'm glad the British Council made it open to anyone who bothered to register.

1) As to my complaints to the organizers, they have received so much from the e-groups already that I decided to just give them suggestions on how to make it better instead. Since it is still Fully Booked that we have to thank for bringing one of the literary gods here in the Philippines.

2) I did fly in Manila largely for the Neil Gaiman signing despite being there for 5 weeks. If my boss booted me back here in Davao, let's say June 30. I'd have cracked my piggy bank open (a real one, with 5-peso coins) to purchase a ticket for the Neil Gaiman event. (To where I will digress, Tatit asked me once what event I would be willing to line up for given that I have never bothered to line up for tickets to an Ateneo-La Salle game. I answered, uh... U2? Sting? Though I was entirely uncertain because I wasn't really a fan girl of foreign acts, not even F4 (harhar). But now I know. I lined up for Neil for 15 hours. I'd do it all over again. And yes, I will spend for a plane ticket and maybe buy books for passes just to get another chance to spend a minute with him).

So Neil just got me out of my depression for a while. Yey!

And tobie, yup, getting together with Jan will be another story to tell. Maybe I will post it one of these days. :)

Tuesday, July 12, 2005


And two of those who have already posted were Pia and Bunny who were with me during "The Gathering" last Saturday. There was JSK who was not Bunny (read her post) and of course, Jan who was finally able to show me his friends (who were Gaiman geeks like us) from UP Fine Arts.

Anyway... my story.

We were in line for the stubs by eleven, which I knew was a bad idea. Original intention was to have been there by ten but I so wanted a lazy morning for once so took a little more time than usual. Got to the Tent by 1030 but met up with the Gaiman gang first at Fully Booked. We stayed about 30 minutes looking for a kikay gift for JSK's girly cuz to which I recommended "The Nanny Diaries" because I like the book and because I wanted to get going already.

So... so were too laxed that I got stub 604. And because I was evil girlfriend and did not wait for Jan, he got 618. But because he was Jan he was nice about it, didn't even think a thing of it.

The rest of the day before 3PM was "nuninuninunu... what are we going to do" because three of us have seen Fantastic Four already. Ended up in KFC then Gloria Jean's afterwards. Excitement building up more and more, my big feet getting ready to jump up and down in sheer joy and obsession for the coming hours.

Finally 215, we trudged to the tent making stops for the restroom and batteries for our camera (oh but of course we need proof that we have indeed been with Gaiman). The lines were messy with conflicting stories from Fully Booked staff saying they were not going to let in people without stubs but then not checking for it when you enter the place anyway. Which pissed me and Pia (I think) for those people who left thinking what they were saying were true.

My first impression of the tent was "The Matrix Revolutions" inside Zion getting ready for the battle with the machines. Most people were expectantly dressed in black (myself included, but my reason being I wanted to be non-descript), somewhat gothic music were playing and the intense heat enveloped everyone. While we squidged our way as near as the stage as possible, I was just amazed at how tall Gaiman fans were. All I could see were necks, heads and shoulders. And I'm not even that short. Or maybe it was all about power play, Mr. Croup and Mr. Vandemar-types taking over the Gaiman world. Whatever. I got stiff neck trying to look up, look down, look anywhere.

Most people ignored the band, who on another day would have proven to be an interesting treat, especially since JSK things the vocalist was pretty (must be said the way he says it). Thankfully, while waiting Gabe of Da Pulis with another guy was host, which made the wait more bearable.

Then a loud "wooohooooo!" from the crowd just suddenly erupted. Neil was there. Except I couldn't see. I went woohoooo-ing along just so its fun. And there he was right on stage, in the flesh... so Brit and so human. Except most of the people there think him a god in our pantheon of idols.

Armed with much with and more sincerity, he talked to crowd apologizing for being late, commending the wonderful artworks submitted, and how amazed he was at the sheer number of people. But then it all boiled down to how the "terrifying enthusiasm" and "mad noises" Filipinos make to be surreal especially coming from Singapore. At this point, I'm still not sure if he likes this but I think he appreciates the love.

So there were Q&, pre-chosen from the e-groups and some clips of Mirrormask before the signing. The Q&A just showed how smart, nay, how much of a genius Neil Gaiman is. One question about sacrifices he made and another about his women characters. I can't remember his answers fully but there are bits that I so loved that remained stuck in my head.

"I didn't go down in the basement and killed a cat to get where I am" (or something like that)
"When I was 19 or 20, I told myself I wanted to be a writer. So I became a writer. I didn't want to be 80 and on my deathbed thinking I should have been a writer."
"Before my time in comics, women characters were mostly thighs, melons and guns. So I wonder haven't these people met women in their lives before. They may have mothers..."
"I believe, women are more sensible." (and a whoop from the ladies here, me included). I honestly believe they are. And I don't write them as men or women.. I write them as persons."
"And so to be fair, in the Endless, there were 3 1/2 men and 3 1/2 women" (and another whoop here).
"There was this character, Dream, who was not actually the most sensible person around." (and yes, thinking about it, he wasn't)

And there were tons more of witty things that just flew from his mouth, all said with Brit wit. Which kept bringing the house down each time. Makalaglag-panty ang katalinuhan niya. Sigh!

The signing commenced, shortly inrterrupted by additional clips of "Mirrormask." While giving an introduction, somewhere he said, "This will be out around September of which I'm pretty sure will be out in the sidewalks of Manila by first week of October." Uh-oh! Our reputation precedes us. Hahaha! But don't worry, Neil, we will be buying original!

The crowd thinned out a bit, people who were further down the numbers probably still having dinner. We camped out waiting for Mayette. At number 600, we could have watched F4 twce and still have enough time to line up.

Anyway, by the time it was 250, he was asking if it was possible to just have 2 books signed to accomodate more people. By the time it was 10PM, the owner guy was going around asking people beyond 500 to have their stubs signed by him so they will just be priority for the next day in Greenhills. We did get our stubs signed but decided to stay on in the hopes that others do not have the same patience that we did.

Patience was a virtue that night. Or Neil was really just a good guy, a nice guy. By 1130, the owner guy seemed to be asking him to stop signing by midnight and the people would be willing to go back the next day. But the way Neil looked, he was telling him that no, you released up to 700 and they waited and they deserved to have their books signed. And I hope somewhere there he was able to send the message across that "it's your fault I will be doing this... you should have had better foresight." But I bet he didn't because he was a good guy.

After that conversation, people after 500 were called. So our hopes went up. He will sign till 700! Thank God some people went home or he would have broken his wrist. There were around 100 more left.

I could feel the hand of God touch me when numbers 600-650 was called. The choir of angels were singing a glorious Halleluhah! I was getting nervous, like getting ready for the prom or coming up to you crush. My stomach was churning like crazy. By the time there were just three people before me, I was afraid I wouldn't be able to find my voice.

When it was my time, he took my books and said"Thank you for waiting."
And I took all my courage and said, "No, thank you for accomodating us because I flew in for in for this."
Neil: "Oh my! Just for this?"
Me: "A big part of it was this, so could I get a hug for that?"
Neil: "Of course.
And he gives me a hug and I didn't know where to put my head, I almost bumped his off. Well, it wasn't that hard, but I was afraid I would and and the world will kill me if I did.
Me: "And my boyfriend and I got together because of your books so thank you."
Neil: "See, if they start burning all my books, I'd go tell them by books have a social function!"
Me: "Indeed they do."

And it was Jan's turn. And I snuck in his photo.

And it was done. And I was like... I got to hug Neil. Wow. Man. Wow.

And for 15 hours of waiting, that less than one minute encounter was more than enough to compensate. It always makes me feel good to support people who are really down-to-earth and humble.

Makes me even think if I should just buy a hard-bound Anansi Boys (because I'm sure I'm buying the Mirrormask DVD) but definitely not from Fully Booked because I ahve some gripes about them (which does not discount the fact that I am thankful to them for bringing Neil over).

This is just the first part. Coming soon: Crappy Greenhills and Thank You Lucky Stars for Getting Me and Jan in the Writer's Form and What Fully Booked should have and have not done.

Whew. That was a full hour just writing this down... without editing. So bahala kayo if it sounds terrible, it's my story.