Four easy steps to discipline (path to healing)

Fitness gurus and people with active lifestyle would intimidate you with strenuous exercises for so-called good health that it discourages many to try to be active. Until I listened to this lecture of Dr. Arboleda in Facebook. Aside from eating healthy (eating many vegetables and fruits), here are the four easy steps to discipline when it comes to health, most especially to people like me who got sedentary lifestyle:

1) Drinking eight glasses of water a day.

2) Doing breathing exercises (inhale, exhale) for 10 to 15 minutes every morning. Breathing exercise is an exercise for the heart and the lungs.

3) Getting morning sunlight exposure from 10 to 15 minutes at least twice a week.

4) Sweating exercise for 10 to 15 minutes at least 3x a week.


“All I Know About Love” by Neil Gaiman

I love these love thoughts by Neil Gaiman which he recited in a wedding.


By Neil Gaiman

This is everything I have to tell you about love: nothing.
This is everything I’ve learned about marriage: nothing.

Only that the world out there is complicated,
and there are beasts in the night, and delight and pain,
and the only thing that makes it okay, sometimes,
is to reach out a hand in the darkness and find another hand to squeeze,
and not to be alone.

It’s not the kisses, or never just the kisses: it’s what they mean.
Somebody’s got your back.
Somebody knows your worst self and somehow doesn’t want to rescue you
or send for the army to rescue them.

It’s not two broken halves becoming one.
It’s the light from a distant lighthouse bringing you both safely home
because home is wherever you are both together.

So this is everything I have to tell you about love and marriage: nothing,
like a book without pages or a forest without trees.

Because there are things you cannot know before you experience them.
Because no study can prepare you for the joys or the trials.
Because nobody else’s love, nobody else’s marriage, is like yours,
and it’s a road you can only learn by walking it,
a dance you cannot be taught,
a song that did not exist before you began, together, to sing.

And because in the darkness you will reach out a hand,
not knowing for certain if someone else is even there.
And your hands will meet,
and then neither of you will ever need to be alone again.

And that’s all I know about love.


And you calling me colored? (Written by an African child)

When I born, I black.
When I grow up, I black.
When I go in sun, I black.
When I scared, I black.
When I sick, I black.
And when I die, I still black.

And you white people.
When you born, you pink.
When you grow up, you white.
When you go in sun, you red.
When you cold, you blue.
When you scared, you yellow.
When you sick, you green
And when you die, you grey…

And you calling me colored??

Writing according to Junot Diaz

I realized I haven’t been updating this blog for a quite a long time already. I did make that one post just recently but it was just a picture of me and my dog Bea. To jumpstart my comeback, I thought of posting my favorite quote.

You see, I have notebooks where I’ve been keeping quotable quotes, inspiring quotes that I gathered from what I just read. In one of those notebooks are quotes by Junot Diaz, after reading about him in a featured article by Philippine Daily Inquirer many years ago.

Junot Diaz is a Dominican Republic-born and Pulitzer prize-winning author for “The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao.” I haven’t read that book, or any of his works, but when I read that article where he was featured, and he said something really inspiring, I just had to write it down. Here are some of the thoughts, wisdom on writing he shared from that long ago article which influenced me in a big way, even up to this very day. Most especially no. 2, one of the reasons why I write in cyberspace.

Junot Diaz about Writing

1) “It took me 11 years, but I wrote it in seven. It’s terrible. Part of it is having faith in that you’re going to get somewhere. It’s one thing to finish a book in a year. Finishing a book in a year is like walking across Manila. You can do it. But do you want to do it? On the other hand, writing a book for seven to eleven years is like making your way from the most northern part of the Philippines and to the most southern island, there’s a good chance you’re not going to make it, that you’re going to get lost, that you’re going to get stopped. But you’ve got to have a lot of faith. Walking across Manila for one to two years, you need a lot less faith but you just have to have willpower.”

2) “I think it’s the whole society that has a lot of stake at producing a lot of people who like money versus producing people who like art. And being a writer was my dream, I realized that, okay, if I’m going to suffer, it would be for my dream. Don’t suffer for bullshit. Suffering for another person’s dream only makes you resentful. Do you know how many adults my age who are still suffering for other people’s dreams? People who are not living their dreams– they’re vulnerable. I don’t want to be like that. I’m not a perfect person, I’m flawed, I make mistakes but I have one tiny advantage in that, at least I’m following my dreams. It’s all I got.”

3) “Read. If you want to be a writer, you would be better served by not writing for two years and spending those two years reading.”


Since he crossed my mind and I only knew about him from that long-ago article, I wondered about his whereabouts. Like, how is he now? So I Googled him. Well, he’s still around, very much so, except that they’re kind of an ugly news. Just a few months ago, he was accused of “sexual misconduct.” And in a tell-all article he wrote for The New Yorker dated 16 April 2018, he shared about his childhood trauma that for a long time he never told anyone.

His story did shock me. And sad. I just take comfort with the fact that he’s still around, bravely facing his demons, and still writing.

Happiness is…

Cuddling with Bea during a cold, rainy afternoon. A photo taken yesterday.


Those three words


Sunday craving

It’s always been part of my philosophy in life to not wait for a special occasion to celebrate. You can celebrate even for ordinary reasons!

Marble Chiffon Cake I bought from Goldilocks. The lovely design made me smile. ♥️




Sa pagtulog, kadalasan hindi mo alam na nananaginip ka na pala. Akala mo buhay ang diwa mo, gising.

Naglalakad daw ako sa isang room nang makita ko si Orly na sa malayo pa lang nakatayo at nakangiti sa akin. Alam kong patay na sya pero nang makita ko sya ngumiti din ako at binati sya ng hello.

May iba pang mga detalye sa panaginip ko pero ito lang ang natatandaan ko. Bigla kong naalala: nang binisita ko sya sa NKTI noon, tulog sya. Buti nandun ang misis nya at sa kanya ko inabot ang aking munting tulong. Nag-usap kami sandali ni Lizette, asawa ni Orly. Nandun din si Janice, kapatid ni Orly.

Sabi ni Janice, ilang araw matapos ang pagbisita ko, ako lang daw ang nakita nyang kapitbahay na babae na bumisita sa ospital. Hindi ko masabi na act of bravery sa akin ang pagpunta roon, natatakot sa kung anong madadatnan na itsura nya. Inisip ko na lang yung aim ko: ang mag-abot ng tulong na pinansyal sa abot na aking makakaya. Dahil dito, dito ko nakausap si Janice sa unang pagkakataon. Later on naging FB friend na rin.

Bata pa lang ako kilala ko na sina Janice at Orly, dalawa sa mga anak ng kapitbahay naming si Mang Pol at ng kanyang butihing asawa. Pero dahil hindi na ako naglalalabas ng bahay nang nasa edad syam o sampu na ako, never ko nakasalamuha sila noong bata pa kami. Nakikita, oo.

Ika-20 ng Nobyembre ng 2017 nang binawian na ng buhay si Orly sa edad na 39. Si Alvin ang nagbalita sa akin.  Si Alvin, sya yung kaibigan ni Orly. Magkaklase sila noong high school. Naging kaklase ko naman si Alvin sa elementarya.

Di ko mapigilang umiyak nang matanggap ang balita. Buti nabigyan pa kami ni Orly ng pagkakataon na magkakilanlan. Taong 2016 nang una kong makausap si Orly nang malapitan at masinsinan, kasama sina Elaine at Roman, na nakausap ko na lang din sa pagkikita na iyon. Although si Elaine, na-meet ko na once before that meeting. At ang hindi ko malilimutan sa meeting na iyon: ang gwapo pala ni Orly. Napansin ko na lang kung kailan matanda na kami. Noon kasi, ‘pag nakikita ko sya habang lumalaki kami sa aming simpleng komunidad sa Pook Amorsolo in UP Campus, hindi ako interesado na kilalanin sya at pakiramdam ko hindi kami magkakasundo. But 38 years later since our birth, we got to talk, in the company of Elaine and Roman. Salamat sa Facebook. I realized sweet syang tao kasi may pagka-touchy considering it was our first time to converse. And helpful.

Hanggang ngayon, nakatatak pa rin sa isipan ko yung panaginip na iyon na nagkita kami ni Orly. Ang ganda ng ngiti nya, abot tenga.

Subconscious ko lang ba ang nag-ooperate kaya ko sya napanaginipan? Kasi ako paniniwala ko nasa mas maayos na syang kalagayan, with God. O nagpakita si Orly through my dreams? Ang gandang isipin kung ganun nga.

New Year Cake

Celebrating New Year 2018 with Chocolate Smores from Amici/ Caramia. Just light and sweet.

Look at that! Tastes delicious, too, after eating a hearty meal. Just enjoy.

Nang tinanong ko si Ricky Lee, isang premyadong manunulat

Was in a book launching of Ricky Lee’s new book, “Kung Alam N’yo Lang.” Went there alone, from Montalban to Taguig (Fully Booked, Bonifacio High Street). I just wanted to see him and have him sign my books he wrote. During the open forum, I took the courage of asking Ricky Lee a question: how he would handle it if he was my age and a senior told him na hilaw ka pa to be given more challenging tasks.

Just to give you background, I received a remark from a senior colleague that really bothered me. Labeling us the junior staff as “hilaw” or raw. And in my case, only good with one thing: documentation or writing reports. That bothered me big time. I mean, how can you say that’s the only thing I can do when we the junior staff are not given a chance to do more. Just observing her, she herself also needs some improvement. I know I should just ignore it, still, it bothered me. Of course, I did not mention this to Ricky. I just tweaked my question, making it general.

Here is the answer of Ricky Lee, turning it specific on writing:

“Hindi ako naniniwala na ang isang tao o ang isang writer ay dumarating sa punto na hinog na hinog na sya. O mahusay na mahusay na sya. I think wala syang katapusang journey. Hanggang sa mamatay ka na o tumigil ka na sa pagsusulat, never ka darating sa punto na “sobrang hinog na ako.” Lahat ng trabaho ko work in progress. I think ganun din ako, a work in progress ako as a writer pero never ako darating sa punto na hinog na ako o kumpleto na ako. The reason why I keep writing is because I feel na hindi pa talaga ako hinog. But on the other hand, ako lang magsasabi nun sa sarili ko. ‘Pag sinabi yan ng iba sa akin, hindi naman nya alam eh. Hindi nya alam kung gaano ako kahanda. So keber lang.”

The good news: Weeks after meeting Ricky Lee, I received a resolution that I got my promotion, my second promotion in my more than five years of tenure. God is good and I am grateful to people who believed in me. In my agency, if you are aiming for promotion, you have to apply for it. You have to prove yourself all over again. “With great power comes great responsibility,” unsolicited advice (or was it a warning?) from one of my bosses.

I know. And I am ready.

This is me, with Mr. Ricky Lee. Photo taken last July 2017.

“Dear Jezzamine, always listen to the wisdom of children!” ~Ricky Lee

“Dear Jezzamine, ang buhay at ang pag-ibig ay parehong gumaganda dahil sa mga tanong na walang kasagutan.” ~Ricky Lee

“Dear Jezzamine, to be a good writer, you have to love a good writer.” ~Ricky Lee