Saturday, February 26, 2005


Finally...I have put together all the relevant stuff I've written or thought about during the past year. There are still some holes in my narrative, such as my first impressions of the families living here in KSA, how things went in my Creative Writing classes, preparations for the show... or that span in July and August 2004 when I had to get my head down and learned what I needed to learn for my job.

There is also the matter of confidences shared that I could not possibly let the public know, or updates on family members - for example, after I left home, my sister laid out her stakes and went to Dubai. Of course there were times I had no time to think of other things except work. Certainly if I had time to post I'm not busy at all.

There is still some comfort level I have to attain writing this way and getting the hang of all the other enhancements will take some time, especially posting pictures - not so much of me since I am not at all photogenic, but of other people and events that have made this first year in KSA memorable.

I am not out of the woods yet - still three weeks to go! I got my ticket today and it's confirmed - I will be spending seven extra hours on my layover in Dubai before I board my flight to Manila. Major bummer! If only I could go to Dubai visa-free without flying Emirates, especially on the busy days of the week.

*Sigh* They said you can't have everything, but I certainly tried to on this trip. Still thankful anyway.


High-flying, free
Waiting to break out into song
Buoyed by the flush of delight
Like's a lover's long-awaited first kiss

Gliding, swirling
Dewdrops on the freshest flowers
Expectant of self-fulfilling prophecy
A supplicant hoping against all hope

Hanging on a thread
Such is life of one like me
Nourished by hopes
It will all get better
Not wanting to wake up

Otherwise –

World-weary, obscure
No pretending in the face of despair
No formulae or words

No mantras –
Humbled, silenced
Treading the world step by step
Mystery is all in the mind

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Working Backward...

I've actually had this blog all of one day but I'm organizing my way backward ... digesting all the thoughts I've written down electronically or in my journals.

It's a nice new experience. If I had more time to learn this gig (my training in HTML coding is dated about five years) I'll put in all the bells and whistles. Anyway, for now this format would suffice.

How time flies. Eighteen years ago I was with a bunch of other people who enjoyed the mere sight of four million people crammed into such a tiny space called EDSA. I find Antoine de Saint-Exupery's statements in "A Little Prince" so true. It's strange that humans want so much space when you can cram the whole six plus billion of us into a small amount of space than we occupy all over the Earth. It gives me perspective on how fleeting things can be and that people are much more important than ideas.

But it's like working backward on this blog... one can't perfect the events of the past, one can only move forward. Looking back, though, teaches me that it's all so possible to regain the insight of the times. Still, human beings can be so stubborn. History does not repeat itself, really, it's just that humans learn so slowly.

Will there be another EDSA in store for the Philippines? I do hope so, not because we Filipinos need to throw out our leadership for one more time, only to allow other crooks and the crackpots to seize power, but only because the potential exists for us to want, to need, to act for that change.

Still, one can only work backward for so long. I have said this so many times during those retreats - for every moment that passes, the past becomes bigger and the future becomes smaller. There is no value to looking past or looking forward if one doesn't start doing something NOW.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005


3:19 p.m. Arab Standard Time.

So reads the dial on my computer clock. Three weeks and counting before I go on vacation in the Philippines . . . I’m facing a creativity drain which is threatening all the rest of my normal professional functions.

Is work boring? No. Is life boring? No. I just have this overwhelming feeling that all this – doesn’t matter anymore! Funny, but that it should happen to me these past few days when this was the kind of feeling I had avoided during my entire sojourn in Saudi Arabia.

Let’s see what I can do to get out of this funk. Instead of being aimless in front of my computer, I’ll see if blogging will get me moving. Stay tuned.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Random Thoughts - Valentine's Day

Well, I'd like to say something must be good on Valentine's Day.

Hate to sound particularly KJ, but isn't the point of a loving relationship is keeping the love-light burning on the 364 other days of the year? So what's all the fuss with Valentine's Day?

Paraphrase of Robert Jordan: "Women love to fall in love, but only with the one they really want. Men don't want to think of love, but fall in love with the first woman that ties a string to their hearts." Don't want to blame the women for the hubbub over V-Day, but hey, blame everyone else first, right? (O.k., I'm just kidding, girls. Don't delete me from your lists yet.) OTOH, men have their own salacious reasons for the day, and mostly illicit too, hehe.

Got interrupted midway on this post...proud to say that our group here in KSA did well on our first presentation - a voice recital from eight of our students. Some dancing, some acting, some hosting thrown in, mostly by pre-teeners and teenagers. I was not altogether pleased with the PROCESS of it getting done, but on the whole, it turned out to be a lot better than what I expected.

Hey, it would be great to celebrate Valentine's and have it mean something more than just the CHOREOGRAPHY of love. Maybe, for me, it's because there's no one to share it with, these days. (short pause...)Or maybe not. If that were true, there'd be no reason to love life the other 364 days of the year. And I like life a whole lot more these days even though on some days it can be tough even to smile.

Still, needs must that we observe the rites of love (the romancing and the dancing) for often these are actions that are too often neglected, or in some cases, commercialized and trivialized to an absurd degree. For every rite that makes one day different from other days, and one hour from other hours, there is just another business that goes with it.

I'd like to see more homemade cards that even though they don't come out like Hallmark's, make a bolder statement because of the effort that went into them. I'd like to read bad poetry because it says more of the courage of the person writing and saying them than just hitting the right note with a ready-made CD. I'd like to know more of the patient waiting at the corner just to see a glimpse of the treasured one, and oh, the delight of it!Those are the things that make V-Day really work. It doesn't mean to throw out all that other stuff, but that without the real magic behind them, they're just... BUSINESS.

Trouble is, if everyone just picked up love at every other time, there wouldn't be any fun for business at all during Valentine's Day, and that may be ruinous, wouldn't you say? But such spontaneous gestures for any other day, on the other hand, make for more worthwhile living, methinks.

Have good thoughts of loving, everyone.