Tuesday, April 29, 2014


Be thankful for the activists. The rights you're enjoying today but unconsciously ignoring and taking for granted, they fought for it. They are not mere nuisance who block up the road come May 1.

Democracy. Education. Suffrage. Minimum wage. Health care. Social welfare. Reproductive health.  Free press. Price hikes. Human rights. Cybercrime. Freedom of information. Women's rights. Corruption. Better distribution of taxpayers' money. Faster internet speed. Accountability of our rotten politicians...

These activists lay their lives on the line so the rest of us can enjoy ours: earning money, surfing the internet, watching TV, driving the roads.

Now think of living your life under dictatorship, where only the richest are sent to schools, you can't vote, your pay is halved. No Philhealth discounts, condoms are illegal, mothers dying one by one due to pregnancy or giving birth, prices skyrocketing, people are killed, women abused and raped unabashedly. What those activists might have achieved in the time they've been on the streets might not be a perfect society, but I'd rather have them screaming in the streets, braving the sun and rain striving for something better.

Now let me ask you a question, what have YOU done that isn't self-serving? One that serves a whole nation? Better to be an activist that be apathetic.

#Activists #Heroes #Apathy

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Losing Again

I'm a control freak. I like to plan.
"As he made his morning coffee, Tengo found himself silently wishing that this peaceful time could go on forever. If he said it aloud, some keen-eared demon somewhere might overhear him. And so he kept his wish for continued tranquility to himself. But things never go the way you want them to, and this was no exception. The world seemed to have a better sense of how you wanted things not to go."*
Things NEVER go the way you want them to go. The universe have always had a perverse sense of humor. I've said this since I was in college. Even how carefully and studiously you plan, something happens that just shakes your world and wakes you up, as if to say, you cannot have it so easy. You can't have a perfect life. It does not matter if you work your ass off to accomplish a plan, to reach a goal, to attain a dream. Something's bound to mess up.

I had an ectopic pregnancy which had to be removed after rupturing last week. If I don't have it removed, I might die. I also had a miscarriage 5 years ago. One of the friends who I informed of this told me that there's nothing I can't face anymore, no burden will be too heavy.

Maybe I've gone through all this and maybe I should wear my battle scars proudly, but things just make me wonder. Why can't I have it my way? Some faithful, religious, bordering-fanatic people might say that I should just put everything in some higher power's hand, that we are mere people and we cannot control anything, that what we need will be handed and what we don't will be taken from us inevitably. I have not subscribed to such doctrine. I have offended so many with my beliefs I am aware, but I just can't get myself to believe any of it.
“If a certain belief—call it ‘Belief A’—makes the life of that man or this woman appear to be something of deep meaning, then for them Belief A is the truth. If Belief B makes their lives appear to be powerless and puny, then Belief B turns out to be a falsehood. The distinction is quite clear. If someone insists that Belief B is the truth, people will probably hate him, ignore him, or, in some cases, attack him. It means nothing to them that Belief B might be logical or provable. Most people barely manage to preserve their sanity by denying and rejecting images of themselves as powerless and puny.” *
I'd rather be powerless and puny in certain periods of my life, in certain aspects. Let me lose my mind a bit. But I don't wanna give up and just let some invisible force work its way into my life. I've seen lots whose lives did not get any better after surrendering their lives into some higher power. I saw then falter and finally fall, get buried, forgotten. I won't take that. I'd rather take control. What I believe in is human's power to think, to analyze, to understand, to adapt, to learn.

One of the best messages I received was from a schoolmate back in grade school, we were not even friends then, she was a year younger, all I remember is we always end up at the top of the class and we attend the recognition rites together. As we grew older I saw how our principles coincide, and that's how I felt that we built a friendship deeper than I usually have, despite the distance, despite the differences.
"I don't pray, I don't think I have the words that can provide comfort, you don't deserve any advice from me because I have not known the pain of loss and the hardship of losing control over different aspects of your life at  the same time. But please don't deny yourself of coping as a human being, write, even curse or scream, cry all day, if you have to. Don't deny yourself of the humanity in feeling helpless, of hurting, of questioning, of being vulnerable to the things we cannot explain. You will be in my thoughts and I will hold good intentions for your recovery, from both emotional and physical pain. Breathe, live one breath at a time."
What she wrote is not the cliched "be strong". She understood that more than being strong, I need to cope, to feel vulnerable, to feel the pain, to release the anger, to question everything I believed and did not believe in -- to feel human. After this, then I can go through the waves, then I can get back on track, put fresh grease and get the gears running.

Yes, I might be in limbo, in denial. I don't want to talk to anyone about what happened. That one composition I wrote would be enough to get my message through, to inform people of the gist. This is is me in my weakest, I haven't quite taken control yet. I'm still lost. What has happened to me got me thinking, of my capacity to bear a child, my fertility. What might not be my sole purpose but my husband's expectations of me -- sure he's been supportive, taking all the emotional baggage, carrying the psychological toll and accepting all the financial blows that this brought -- all that's happened might bring him to the edge. He loves me, I know. He brought me to the doctor, the hospital, bought my meds, skipped work, made ends meet, fed me, held my hand, my arm -- in my weakest, my helplessness. He waited, I just hope he does not get tired. He's always been a patient man; cool, reserved, logical. Characteristics that I like so much -- characteristics that I need to regain. But I need to break out first, to eject the toxins. I haven't quite done that yet.

I'll write, I'll read, I'll introspect, I'll create until I climb out of this hill of unwavering emotions. I'll translate all the vulnerability, all the nakedness into something else, until I'm back to my fighting form. I will learn and I will take the world with a bigger worldview. I might get a little more somber after this, but not surrendering, not losing control but taking control

*Excerpt from Haruki Murakami's novel 1Q84.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Kill Bill Vol. 2

Last Tuesday night, Mike and I found out that we're pregnant after a pregnancy test administered in St. Lukes. I called the office to check if we have maternity coverage under our HMO. If married, yes, they said. It was unexpected, but an accident that we would've accepted whole-heartedly. 5 minutes in the news, an ultrasound was done and they found out that it was an ectopic pregnancy and that it must be removed. Then they advised that maternity coverage of the HMO does not involve ectopic/abnormal pregnancies. It wasn't ruptured then and a laparoscpy was suggested ASAP, which as per St. Lukes will cost roughly 100-200k. We don't have that amount of money right now so we asked if its ok to get discharged and go to my actual OB. That 4 hours of tests costed 13k already. I sleeped that Tuesday night with the heaviest heart in between learning that we're pregnant, losing it yet again, questions about my womanhood and capacity to bear a child and the expenses that I have no idea how to shoulder. It was one of those death-rollercoaster types.

I woke up very early Wednesday morning and called my OB. She said she can meet me noon. I went to her clinic by myself as Mike had to go to his office first to apply for a salary loan to cover for the impending expenses. Upon check with Dr. Alcantara (my OB), she said that the supposed embryo has already ruptured and I need to undergo laparotomy, an open surgery to have the ruptured embryo removed and the bleeding siphoned ASAP, my right fallopian tube will be removed too. otherwise it's the risk of death. Recovery time is similar to Caesarian section, 2 months. I asked the probable cost and said it would be around 80k and we'd need 50k give or take prior admitting. She said we'll do it in the Paranaque Doctors Hospital where they have a blood bank, as there is a possibility I'd bleed profusely due to the procedure and would need transfusion. I met up with Mike who said his salary loan can only be approved and released the next week, since it is Lent. I advised my office about the dilemma. We're very grateful that Ms. Lesley and Tina advised that they can lend us part of the money needed. They sent kuyaChristoper to bring us 50k at the hospital.

Wednesday night, I was admitted to the OR. I was anasthetized, and in a few minutes I was out. Around 10 pm, the surgery was done. I spent about 3 hours in the recovery room before I was sent to the ward. My brothers were there, along with Mike, waiting for me, then I slept. Thursday was spent between crying, hurting, complaining, and just drinking water. I cannot eat solids yet. I'm back to being an infant, so helpless; minus the innocence.

It's Friday today and I'm still in the hospital. I still hurt. The area where the incision was done pains me like hell. Adding to the injury is the emotional toll, the financial worries. I apologize to everyone who are asking me how I was and I don't answer. I don't know how to answer, I start to cry when I do and I don't have the patience anymore to tell it separately. Tears fall from my eyes as I type this. I'm questioning everything I believed in and did not believe in. If this was some divine intervention of sorts or just reality that I must face. I've had a pretty good life. I had the education I need, a job that pays for the needs and then some, my family as weird as it is has always been functional. More than anything, I still stand by my ground on Reproductive Health. I could really use the clauses in the law right now. Maybe this will turn me more into a women's activist. Maybe this is a faith catalyst. Or maybe not.

I'm just thankful for the people who helped, who showed support, who gave the time to console and condole. I often thought that when people pray for you, you are helpless, I am often offended with that. But I am helpless right now. I feel so bad I'm running in my head ways to end things. But sure, pray for me if your faith and instinct tells you to do so; maybe it will help me, maybe it will help you. As Kurt Cobain put it, "thank you from the bottomless pit of my nauseous stomach". I'm 27 now, am I worthy of the 27 club?
I know this is a sad-borderline-morbid story and I shouldn't be thinking and writing what I am right now. I've always released my feelings best through writing and I thought this would be a great exercise for my sanity. Writing and re-reading my own thoughts give me an out-of-body experience of reading my own story and reflecting on it after I'm done. I am documenting this so I can stay sane

I'm tagging the people I want this shared with. Not everyone in my list are entitled to such knowledge and news. Feel free to share this with people who know me without malice, and would care about the story. Do not retell my tale differently...

PS. No more pregnancy jokes and when will you have a baby questions from now on. I fucking swear I'll punch in the face who will attempt to.

Wednesday, April 09, 2014


So I finally decided to chop off my hair and go pixie yesterday. And this was how I felt about it.

I thought that pixie won't look good on me too for a long time. Not to sound too melodramatic, it took me a few months to make myself ready and lots of overanalyzing. I though that my face is too round, that I need to lose weight and get those jaws going on first and that I'd look like a boy and society might not find me pretty/attractive anymore.

Maybe Buddhism, yoga, research on all the varieties of pixie available and lots of inspirational and women empowerment quotes and the RH law made me make up my mind. I never felt more beautiful and strong. Yes, that haircut is an ode to womanhod.

RH Law

I've never felt so passionate over something for so long. The feminist in me is crying and shouting in wild joy. Again, it's not about shoving principles down people's throats. It's always about choice.

Part of my conscious ultimatums prior to child bearing was the RH Law. My faith in humanity is partially restored; the branches of the government despite the plethora of errors in so many facets has done one right. That's still a good thing.

And to commemorate this win, I've decided this afternoon that the #RoadToPixie must go on. They say feminists cut their hair short as a political statement. Then let this be it...

Now, let's fight for more freedom. Let's all choose to be in the correct side of history (specially when left is right).

#SafeSex #RHLaw #NoGloveNoLove #ProChoice #ProGoodLife #ReproductiveHealth #NotReproductiveDeath #SeparationOfChurchAndState #TaxTheChurchIfTheyInterfereWithState