14 January 2010

Angel in Prayer

Photograph from Wayne Whang

i love
the look
on your

the peace,
the serenity
you exude.

it's like
the face
of an

i wish
i could
you ~

but i
that you

11 January 2010

Confessions of a Madcap Foodie

Artwork: Because of Toast - Joe Sorren, 2008

(Cross-posted from my food blog!)

Since starting the year calls for living with a clean conscience, I'm taking a cue from Lorraine over at Not Quite Nigella and posting up a few confessions from this brutally die-hard foodie:

  • I will try anything once - and sometimes, if I didn't like it the first time, I give it a second chance. My list of second-chancers includes ampalaya [bitter melon], Buffalo wings, orange marmalade, English-style fruitcake, poultry giblets, and bagoong isda [native fish paste];
  • I'm a sucker for all manner of Filipinized Spanish dishes; I admit that I'm a caldereta junkie who will kill for that beef stew enriched with pureed tomatoes and liver spread. However...
  • I steadfastly refuse to eat the local take on menudo. I can't explain why, seeing how I will willingly wolf down afritada (chicken stewed in tomato sauce), mechado (beef pot roast larded with a wick of pork fat), morcon (stuffed beef roll), and pochero (pork and chicken cooked with cabbage and potatoes in tomato sauce). I just don't like the stuff.
  • Bread is a non-negotiable for me - but it's actually a recent non-negotiable. In the days before I knew how to bake bread, I could actually live without it. In fact, I was the sort of kid who detested bringing sandwiches to school for recess. Croissants were a treat and baguettes were something you could break your teeth on. However, I learned how to appreciate the staff of life when I felt that deep frisson of pride at taking my very first batch of cinnamon buns from the oven.
  • If it's Oriental, I'll eat it. It started out with tempura over at Kimpura in Makati. Then it grew to include Chinese noodle soup with wontons, pata hamon, and ngohiong (pork-stuffed bean curd rolls; known as kikiam to some). Then came the sushi and the okonomiyaki I'm seriously addicted to. Which brings us to...
  • If you tell me we're going to either Binondo (Manila's Chinatown) or Greenhills (where there are a LOT of fab Chinese restaurants because of the sizable Chinese community), I'll be ready in a second flat. I plead guilty to the fact that I will make a beeline for this Chinese grocery just a short walk from Binondo Church and buy stuffed mochi (well, daifuku, actually) in a whole spectrum of flavors, sungsong peanuts in the shell, and a wealth of spices and pork / fish floss. Then I'll head for Shin Ton Yong to get several lap cheong, meat rolls, smoked pork, and machang. Lunch will be at Wai Ying on Benavidez and will consist of a heaping bowl of tausi spareribs and chicken feet on rice and a glass of cold Hong Kong-style milk tea. Now, if we're going to Greenhills, that will call for any of the cold, milky drinks at Diao Eng Chay plus one of their fab chicken mushroom pies. Then there's a bowl of combination noodles and a bottle of soy milk over at Le Ching...
  • I'm a Little Tokyo habitue. I recommend the o-nigiri bento over at the Yamazaki Grocery, any of the o-bento at Choto Stop, the takoyaki sold at Hana, the Sapporo-style ramen at Shinjuku, and the burgers at Sango: The Burger Master. And I also suggest that you stockpile on DARS and LOOK chocolates, all sorts of Pocky, instant noodles, and Japanese snacks at Yamazaki.
  • I love men who look good whilst browsing through restaurant menus. Click here; enough said. :D Oh, and I love them all the more if they love pizza, pasta, Nestle Crunch bars, and have to qualms about trying anything new. [Giggles; hi, Wayne...]
  • I'd love to marry someone who would be a joy to cook for; it'd be non-stop fun, I think. :) Even more so if his mother loves to eat! That would be a LOT of fun. Which means...
  • I would opt for either Paris, Singapore, or Rome for my honeymoon. Food-trips in these culinary capitals are my idea of a romantic getaway!
  • Strangely enough, I don't eat when I'm depressed.
  • My friends accuse me of fattening them up. Hey, it's not my fault my recipes include copious amounts of chocolate, butter, cheese, cream, eggs, or bacon!
  • If there's nothing good to eat in the fridge and I'm too lazy to cook for myself, I put slices of cheese on rice and melt them in the microwave.

Quite a list, isn't it? :D

10 January 2010

Beyond Sustenance

Artwork: Because of Toast - Joe Sorren, 2008

i believe
in the color,
the flavor,
the savor
of things -

the ripe
golden, firm,
fragrant, honeyed
made tangible.
its musky
cooing a
siren song,
an almost
in its
juice dripping
like sweat
from a
the flesh

the verdant
the audible
of a
salad -
the tenderness,
the savor,
the blood-tang
of rare beef
an almost
in a

the dieter,
the picky,
the prejudiced -

for they
know not
what they

08 January 2010

Publish or Perish: Musings at the Start of the Year

I guess the slogan on the notebook is pretty self-explanatory.

This entry is rather late, seeing how it's already the tenth of January, but I guess it's better late than never when it comes to writing out how I feel at the moment. In light of the fact that the tail end of 2009 left me in an emotional tailspin - well, more like an emotional whirlwind - the coming of 2010 poses numerous questions that I've been trying to answer. In varying degrees of success, alas.

I was very put out with both myself and the people at work when a psychiatrist told me to take six months off work.

Six months - six bloody months. Just because I lost my temper. Just because I felt as if I was useless because my boss outsourced most of the writing jobs I was supposed to do. Just because I felt that I wasn't getting the help I needed for my work. Just because I was different from everyone else.

I'll be very honest here: I felt like garbage. I was told to see a shrink, to take medicines that will probably do my body more harm than good. I felt that I'd been classed with serial killers and convulsive madmen who have to be tied to their beds so as not to cause harm to them and those around them.

When I was told that I would only be paid for one month out of the six I was supposed to be on leave, I was stunned. When I was told that I had to involve my family in the course of treatment, I didn't know what to think. Their words were "You need your family. They have to support you throughout the six months of treatment."

It was a slap in the face for me.

It was total bullshit.

What the hell am I supposed to be for the next six months? A damned parasite?! I've told them time and again that my parents are retired; they need the money more than I do. Then they want me to lean on my parents, sponge off them as if I was some useless vegetable - as if I was physically incapacitated?!

I am starting to believe that those who sing the praises of shrinks, antidepressants, and mood stabilizers need to get their heads checked.

I won't deny that I get depressed. Nor will I deny that I get really pissed whenever I feel things aren't going my way. But I will also admit that I have never caused physical harm to anyone; in fact, the only person who ever got hurt physically was me.

I'll admit that I've had suicidal thoughts over the years. However, I have never actually attempted to do anything to actually get myself snuffed in the process.

I've managed to pull myself together with the grace of God and the love and support of those around me.

It's about time I put the past behind me once and for all and look towards the future with my head held high; with hope in my heart rather than dark despair, to face it with clear eyes rather than those clouded by potentially poisonous medicines prescribed by someone who gets paid a hefty P 500.00 - 800.00 per session just to listen to people.

There are other, more viable ways of getting over depression; there are worlds beyond my current workplace.

It's time to publish rather than perish because I was too much of a coward - or I was cowed to badly by those who think they know what's best for me - to do what I really want to do in life.

And, if anyone gets in my way, there will definitely be hell to pay.

02 January 2010

Yearning: An Acrostic

Artwork: The Truth About Comets - Dorothea Tanning, 1945

was it
a coincidence:
you showing up,
not expected,
everything in an uproar -

heart gone
now, everything is