Archive | August 2010

Writing Grief

I recently lost three years worth of writing when the site I managed a couple of years back just disappeared into thin air. I lost it many months ago, except that because I was afraid to face the truth, I never really asked. I had been thinking of backing up all the articles I did for that arts and culture site–one important thing that I kept sweeping under the rug. And finally, when I was ready to face it, it was too late.

I’m still grieving over it. I was in an interview a couple of weeks back, and the guy interviewing me asked about the site. “It’s all gone,” I said nonchalantly, as though losing something you’ve put your heart into–like a relationship–for three years is something one can easily let go of.

But if you ask me, I feel the pain. I carry it with me. I feel a stab each time I remember it.

I don’t own the site, but I love it as I would my own child. It was what saved me during the years I was depressed when the boyfriend left. It was what kept me me alive while transitioning from denial to acceptance during the years I was depressed. The site made me feel as though he was still around, although the old him who loved me had left.

Even with all the tempers flaring (old lovers’ quarrels notwithstanding) we made it. Coordinating with one another when we were in four different locations was a major headache, but we made it work. And having a growing community made us feel that yes, we were really doing something good. I hadn’t felt prouder about being Pinoy than I had during those years.

Work wise, I had hoped the ex would see me in a different light, and maybe an old letter he wrote on his birthday attests to it. “I know now we can’t live without someone like you.” My heart had leaped with joy. While he said that about my writing, it made me feel I had won one over him. (The lover was arrogant, see, and could never admit he needed anyone or anything.)

You know how it’s like: When you give birth to someone, you love the child because of his father. As the days go by, you learn to love the child as you get to know her, quirks, temper and all.

So with the loss of the site, I feel as though a part of me has died, as though a child that I had cared for so long, bathed and fed, stayed up late nights to watch over, has died. And there is no way I can go back and change things.

Goodbye, Pinoycentric. I will always remember you. We shall meet again, one day soon.

Pinoycentric was featured in Manila Bulletin in March 2008. Read it here.

To read a few archived articles from Pinoycentric, go to this site.


“Sneak peek” vs. “sneak peak”

“Sneak peek” or “sneak peak”?

I’ve been using the term regularly in the last six months, and I admit, because “peak” and “peek” sound the same, one can easily get them mixed up.

Even your regular public relations person, who should have made an extra effort to spell-check, didn’t get it right when he sent me an invite today saying, “Witness the power of the Mouth as five fun personalities give you a sneak peak on what their mouths can do!”

Before we all get piqued by this misuse, let’s get it straight, shall we?

If we’re referring to a preview of something that hasn’t gone public yet, the correct term is “sneak peek,” where the word “peek” means “a quick glance.” (Thanks,  So when we’re telling someone to “Take a peek of the Ralph Lauren spring collection,” we’re actually offering a “sneak peek” of a line that hasn’t been launched officially.

The word “peak,” on the other hand, refers to the tip of the mountain or the highest level of anything, such as “The peak of my writing career will be when I get the Nobel Prize for Literature,” which is the peak of delusion, really, similar to my ambition of climbing “the peak of Mt. Everest” (probably never going to happen, with my injured foot).

If you’re having trouble setting them apart, just remember that “peek” is spelled almost like its closest cousin, “peep.”  By giving someone a “sneak peek,” you’re indulging the peeping Tom in him. (We know you want to.)

The Ralph Lauren Gang

Ralph Lauren Gang

Because of my work as an e-mail marketer, I’m subscribed to all these online mailing lists. So I get tons of newsletters and promotional materials every day for products I’ve never bought–cast-iron pans, Calphalon cookware, wine, flowers, you name it! I’m the nonresponder that retailers and online marketers like me are always worried about–that demographic that opens their newsletters but never buys a thing.  If they only knew that I really had no intention of buying–I’m this silent observer watching their new tricks.

Most of the time I’m wowed, like with this Ralph Lauren advertisement that I got from Martha Stewart (I get pitches for flowers, wine, and all other things from MS). It was too lovely to keep to myself!

This one’s a bit long to sit through, especially if you had a long story or article to write, but imagine if it was your story that Ralph Lauren used to promote their children’s wear line, wouldn’t that be fun? I wish, I really wish.

Meanwhile, take out your earphones and click this link to watch this story narrated by Harry Connick, Jr., featuring–what else–Ralph Lauren children’s wear. You will love it (I loved Willow’s outfit!).

Sent to mental

I always get a little sentimental when things signal that it’s time to move. Whether it is moving to a new city, a new home, or a new workplace, I always get sentimental. I may not show it, but I do, I do.

If you ask me, I love this life now. I love what I do, even though it stresses me so much and I dream about it even during weekends. I love how life has been in the last three years. And I love how I’m even starting to like someone (never mind if he has no idea that I like him).

So this new “idea” that’s urging me to move is throwing me off balance. I will miss what I do. I will miss the guy (don’t ask anymore, please; it’s embarrassing). I will miss going to Starbucks at 2 a.m. And I will miss some of the fine people I’ve come across–people like G, whom I can run to any time I need help; G, who never loses her composure in the face of all the customer complaints (really now, grace personified); G, who makes small talk about babies and parenting; and E, who’s a lovely distraction. For years I steeled myself from forming friendships because I didn’t want to get too attached, but now I am, and I hate it.

I don’t know where this will go. I’m just playing things by ear for now. So while I do so and wait for the shoe to drop, here I am listening to Christmas songs because, well, who knows (only God does), I probably will be spending Christmas with a different bunch of people.

P.S. This could be PMS, but just don’t mind me.

Books on Sale

There are things I can’t resist when I’m in a bookstore: cheap gel pens, Moleskine reporters, and books on sale. Gel pens and Moleskines I can easily resist. A quick glance at the price tag of the latter, and I can scoot off quickly without looking back.

But books on sale are a different matter altogether. I weaken over the sight of them. Even if I’m wearing some of the most painful heels ever, I can patiently stand around a pile of books on sale and look at the titles one by one. And especially if they cost under 100 pesos, you can bet I’ll bring one of them home. These books seem to me like orphans, and if it costs only 100 bucks to bring them home, very well, I’d be happy to adopt one or two.

Which is why all these bargain books are piling up on my bedside table, waiting to be read–adopted babies all. It makes me feel guilty sometimes, looking at them, like abandoned babies crying for milk. I make a promise to pick one up one of these days and read it so I can tell myself my hundred bucks didn’t go to waste. I don’t keep it all the time, but I like the idea that I have a house filled with books, and one day, when making money isn’t a priority anymore, I can sit down in my rocking chair and be whisked off to places I’ve never been. It’s something I look forward to. So for now, maybe adopting all these bargain books isn’t so bad because I’m accumulating material for my reading list when I’m sixty.