Friday, March 31, 2006

going home...

So, we've finally come to the conclusion that we can afford to go home this year :) An expensive trip, considering we are now bound to high season rates, but still worth it. According to my mom, there's going to be a super-grand family reunion in July. Carascal first and then Bohol. So, if any of you family members are going to be there, the three of us will be present.

Good to be going home, good to be revisiting these places. Good to regain connections with family, to discover who is related to who and who is who. That will be grand.

Last time we visited Surigao, the change was so violent, it was like going back to a strange country. My memories of dense foliage, and the background of black rocks, sand and sea -- all replaced by a wilderness of dust, and tricycles -- the smell of oil overruled the scent of foliage. And then, there was the devastation, the burnt out shell of my grandfather's hospital.

So much sadness to see my grandparents'home boarded up into sections because my two uncles could not live in peace together. Somehow, my mind kept super-imposing memories of the wide wooden floor, sunshine pouring in through the jalozie windows and a garden where our fantasies ran wild.

Carascal was a relief. It was still the same, still the same sleepy town. I could live and live forever in Carascal, if not for me questioning where to send my son to school when the time comes.

So yeah, this is me taking a deep breath too, because I have decided to finally surrender to my aunt's repeated requests and send in an entry to the Carlos Palanca competition.

Well, says my aunt, it's about time. Even if you don't win, you must try and keep on trying. So, this year, it's a short story and next year I'll have to finish my novel. Ha, ha. Well, well, that will be a feat.

Tomorrow, I'm heading off to my first live workshop since I came to the Netherlands. Taking my Boy in the Bush to this four hour long session with Neil Cocker. My husband asked me if I knew who Neil Cocker was...and for the life of me, I didn't. So, I had to google him to find out who this workshop leader is. Well, it seems he's got letters behind his name and is about to release his first novel, so that should be an interesting session. Let's see whether a lettered person can teach me something I can't learn on the OWW shop ;)

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Eileen blogs about Ernesto Priego's debut poetry collection.

An excerpt from Ernesto's poem, First City:

find refuge
in a pub

one can
write on postcards

--->> This makes me think of how Mark Young writes of hay(na)ku as being "postcards from wherever their author has touched earth."

Eileen doesn't have a squawkbox, so I thought I'd say it here: Thanks for posting this beautiful poem and for giving us the chance to read more of Ernesto's work.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

this notebook

So, I am asking myself what is the purpose of this notebook?

Each time, I return to this notebook, to a picture, to a portrait, to an image. I keep writing these poems/extracts/flash pieces/stories/whatever you may call them. Maybe someday, something here will return like a piece from a past I forgot to remember.

Skritch--skratch--pen on the page---

I remember how when I was a little girl
the beauty of the page
always tempted me

skritch--skratch--my pen on the page---
then the first lines
cross, double-cross

scribble-scrabble--out skratch again

Maybe that's why this bloggy world is perfect for me. My obsession with the pristine page, leads me to write words I am compelled to erase, rewrite, erase, rewrite again.

Still I always love better the taste of another man's cooking Someone else's writing is always yummier than my own :)


Somewhere Tonight as The Train

Okay, I'm linking to the above poem because it is so beautiful. Probably has to do too with me somehow absorbing my son's love for trains .

Found this poem while clicking on links again. Click-click-click.... ha, ha :)

Thank you, Rhino. Thank you, Mike Chasar. Thank you for providing such wonderful feasts for this hungry mind.

There I go again...chomp--chomp...yum--yum...



Sorry! *blush, blush*



My article on Bayanihan has been published over at

Here's the link to the article about Bayanihan .

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Timesaving: for me to find blogs I love to read is to add them to the blogroll at the right side of this page :)
Being added to a blogroll always gives a thrill. Thrilling to find this blog on Womb :) Thanks Michelle Detorie for adding my blog to your blogroll. What an honor to be called a poet, when I have always only aspired to the form and loved the word and the work for what it is.

Even more procrastination to add to my procrastinated days . Surfing more blogs and click-click-clicking on all those lovely links.

I find Blackbird an absorbing read. That from clicking on links leading to Michelle's poetry.

Some people gripe about literary being boring. Maybe I've read so much literary stuff, but I haven't been bored by anything written well. I always find myself fascinated by how minds and minds work, the creative mind especially -- that fascinates me.

I think this is a fascination readers/bookworms all share.

Here's this lovely hay(na)ku from The First Hay(na)ku Anthology

I love this one
written by Ivy Alvarez

are good
to eat, as

are more
tender and juicy

any other
human. Any cannibal

salt knows this.


I know what Ivy means when she writes this. Everytime I read this I go...yum, yum .


I stumbled on a link leading to portraits. One of them, Retrato de la Abuela, awakened memories of my grandmother. Not that they look alike, but it reminded me too of how my grandmother used to lapse into Spanish every now and then. My own Abuela.

I am working on this impulsive poem I wrote on My Varo Notebook which is probably the truest and the closest I have gotten to my grandmother since she passed away. Now wondering what my father will say when he reads this rough version. Last time I attempted to write about my grandmother, he laughed . Could be because I was much younger and didn't really remember my grandma as well as I now remember her? I haven't written anything tagalog in a long time either, but that portrait drew it out of me.

So, I ask, this connection between emotion and language where does it come from? I didn't learn to speak Tagalog until I was in highschool. In the mountains, we only spoke English or Ilocano or Ifugao. So, how come at certain moments, nothing seems to do except a certain language?

How come I tend to grieve for loved ones passed away, mostly a year, a week, or a century too late? Why is time never enough to know the people we love the most?

Monday, March 27, 2006

couldn't resist playing...

Know Way
No way knowing

Out right
Departed from middle

Sunday, March 26, 2006

updating links

Been busy updating some links and putting in links to interviews that have recently been published online.

Planning a visit to the embassy. I have two copies of Pinoy Poetics and I want to give the ambassador one of them :) Also testing the waters to see whether there's any interest in establishing a literary community over here. It would be great if we could generate enough interest and community support to justify participation in events like the ALF .

I have signed up for the ALF and am going with a couple of friends who also love literature. I'll be querying for a chance to including Asian literature in upcoming festivals. That's on my agenda and then of course there's me liking the idea of meeting Mervyn Peake's son and hearing him speak about the Gormenghast Trilogy .

Gamma Days

Mark Young is back. Yay! Very happy to see you blogging again, Mark. :)

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Joel's Mooie Woorden

Joel's Mooie Woorden Blog keeps me busy. So, today we were practicing some hay(na)ku. He was quite excited about his blog, especially after I told him Eileen Tabios had visited his blog and had blogged about it.

Who's she Mama? He asked.

So, I told him that Eileen is a poet and she's written a lot of books and she visited his blog because he wrote something using the hay(na)ku form. Add to this the number of emails he's got since his blog launch, he's getting into the spirit of himself being a writer.

I've now been relegated to the ranks of "old writers".

As in: You're an old writer, Mom, and I am a young writer.

Should I start looking for those grey hairs in the mirror???

One thing I'm discovering is that it's very difficult to translate poetry from Dutch into English. How do I get the translation to fit into the form when the translation seems to require more words than they did in Dutch??? *me looking very puzzled*

So, I suppose I'll let that lie for tonight and revisit the blog again tomorrow and figure out a translation.

My favorite is Joel's second hay(na)ku which came out quite spontaneously.

Here Joel states his intention to hold true to his promise. A promise he made not to hit anyone or to burp out loud . Well, since the statement has been made in public, I suppose he'll have that entry to remind him of it if ever he should forget.

Surprisingly, after that blog entry session, he came up with an english song, the words keep coming back, and he really did that tiw-tiw fill-in for a guitar maybe or a drum??? I really don't know but it sounded cool listening to him sing it out.

The first hay(na)ku sequence has to do with our visit to the Train Museum ( his favorite place ). Which accounts for the appearances of words like Train, museum, airplanes and the metro. I'll be posting some pics later on, as we rode in this beautifully painted Winter Olympics train on our trip to Utrecht.

Switching over to Summer Time. The clock moves one hour ahead, meaning we have to go to bed right now.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

reading Galatea Resurrects

Reading Galatea Resurrects fills me with a longing to go to the bookstore/or in this case perhaps Amazon would be the better solution. Reading these reviews, I find myself in a process of learning -- I am enriched as I absorb these reviews and make notes to myself about these books I would love to read for myself.

I'm off for a visit to Amazon.

Oh...hmmmm... maybe it's time for me to start a list of books I already have in my little library.

Monday, March 20, 2006

From a lover of poetry and poets...

are birds
of rare plumage

are their
songs. their wings

the air
just by passing

They bring dreams
descending from

from seeing
or from depths

these eyes cannot
begin to

beyond self
sing -- sigh -- dance.

this explain
the lover's love

everything poetic -
for everything poetry?

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Pelican Dreaming

Mark Young has posted a goodbye post on his blog over at Pelican Dreaming Why do I feel so weepy thinking about this?

Reading Pelican Dreaming has always been a joy and I've found myself smiling so many times. I'll miss those daily shots of poetry, images and wonderful words. I hang onto the hope of Mark putting up another blog ;)


How poetry unites all who love the written word

poetry breaks walls
joins together

living -
touches beyond
this flickering screen.

bridges crossing
distances, space, time

Dream on, Pelican
help us


Just an attempt to pay tribute to Mark's Pelican Dreaming and what it's meant to me.
Trying my hand at flash writing. I sent off two pieces -- Primal Chess which is a bit short of 100 words and one I'm really proud of City of the Birds with only 26 words, to Flashshot Magazine ( an email mag ) and they just got accepted, although they still don't know when it will come out as it's still going to G.W. Thomas for scheduling.

Working on The Traveller's Husband, which looks like it's going to turn into another Wordeaters kind of tale ( still waiting for a verdict on that one. Why is waiting the hardest thing to do? ) . I got some really great comments from the editors of Flash Me Magazine on Traveller, and a note saying they'd like to see it again if I do a rewrite. But they were so right about what's missing in that tale, so I just have to make time to rewrite it. Just like all those other stories in my hard drive that I still have to get around to rewriting.

I've signed up for a live workshop at the English Bookshop -- hoping this will get me off my butt and make me make time to do rewriting.

Why I feel so pleased about these stories? Well three of them were inspired by Remedios Varo :) Oh...wait, I'm still waiting for a verdict on Mistress Vogel...another Remedios Varo inspired flash.

Friday, March 17, 2006

can kill
can maim spirits

can pierce
beyond outer shell

the same
words can recreate

relocate, revalidate
reincarnate, return ourselves.


mooie woorden -- beautiful words

So, son has been bugging me to get him his own blog where he can publish his own work and get read. So, finally I did get him his own blog, although this means me sitting in front of the computer while he dictates his stories, poems and whatnot.

Since everything is in Dutch, I'm trying to translate them into English too...which is not very easy. According to his teachers his grasp of language is way beyond a six year old level. He's not very good at coloring and his handwriting still needs lots of practice, but his be honest, he startles me sometimes. What I like about him too is how he has this way of mixing words up, breaking rules to create his own idea of words and what they mean.

Funny as this may sound, I do discuss poetry and stories with this child, and I like it that he gets me. I like it that he gets me when I talk about genetically manipulated humans and robotically enhanced beings. I like it that he hugs his dreams so tight and won't let them go in the morning. This so reminds me of how I used to dream when I was a child...

My Mom kept a record of stuff I wrote when I was a kid. Joel at six tells way better stories than I did when I was his age.

So, if he wants to write, what better age to start than now. All the more time to excercise and perfect his craft.

His blog is called Mooie Woorden-Beautiful Words . I'm still working on the links so he doesn't have anything much up on the link department just yet.

I am quite curious how long he'll keep at this project.


More beautiful words coming from Bino Realuyo . He writes about revisiting ground zero. A resonant post filled with haunting images. Someday, when I save up enough, I am going to visit this place too.

Reading Bino's post, I recognize how 9/11 became a catalyst, bringing to the surface hidden biases, and how acts of terror reverberate not only within the country where it occurs, but echoes on to affect and influence communities a world away.

Bino's post touches me.

Thursday, March 16, 2006


Very weird. But yesterday the announcement said this blog was under maintenance. Today, the screen tells me I am not authorized to view my own blog.

Galatea Resurrects ( a poetry review )

What's this about me not being authorized to look at my own blog page? Well, the past two days have been filled with babysitting. Two of my friends are substitute teachers and when they teach, they sometimes need a place to park their babies.

Winter is almost over, spring is in the air, the crocuses are coming up and Galatea Resurrects ( a poetry review ) has been launched quite successfully.

Congratulations to the hardworking Chatelaine who never wearies in her endeavours to promote and spread poetry love.

Here's a list of review contents. I am proud to be part of this first inaugural issue....also groaning because my list of books I would like to buy is growing by the minute. My husband swears we'll have to buy another bookcase to fit in all the new books coming into the house and he foresees having to rebuild the attic, not to create extra space for himself ( as he'd originally planned ), but to make space for a future wherein he envisions more books coming into the house. Oh well, I say to him, perhaps this is why our son's strongest point is language. It seems almost inevitable that he too will be writing someday.

But before I go babbling visit the reviews you have to go to: Galatea Resurrects ( a poetry review )


From Eileen Tabios

Ernesto Priego reviews HOLIDAY IN TIKRIT by Keith Tuma and jUStin!katKO

Barry Schwabsky reviews GODLIKE by Richard Hell

Thomas Fink reviews BIRD & FOREST by Brent Cunningham

Heather Nagami reviews UNNECESSARY ROUGHNESS by Shin Yu Pai

Mary Jo Malo reviews IMPROVISATIONS by Vernon Frazer

Leny M. Strobel reviews ALCHEMIES OF DISTANCE by Carolina Sinavaina-Gabbard

Yvonne Hortillo reviews THE FIRST HAY(NA)KU ANTHOLOGY, Eds. Jean Vengua & Mark Young

Fionna Doney Simmonds reviews A SOLITARY PINE TREE IN SUSSEX by Tim Beech

Jennifer Bartlett reviews LIKE THE WIND LOVES A WINDOW by Andrea Baker


Sueyeun Julliette Lee reviews RED JUICE by Hoa Nguyen

Jesse Glass reviews 4 videos by Ralph Lichtensteiger: “Homing Crows” Ishikawa Jozan; “Sudden Shower” Ishikawa Jozan; “Dancing Ears” Ned Rorem; and “Trace of the Formless” Plotinus.

Tom Beckett reviews 3 books by Linh Dinh: FAKE HOUSE, AMERICAN TATTS and BORDERLESS BODIES

Bill Marsh reviews BABELLEBAB by Heriberto Yepez

Corinne Robins reviews MORAINE by Joanna Fuhrman

Yvonne Hortillo reviews KATIPUNERA AND OTHER POEMS by Elsa Martinez Coscolluela

Laurel Johnson reviews THE OBEDIENT DOOR by Sean Finney

Barry Dordick reviews AFTER TAXES by Thomas Fink

Eileen Tabios reviews TRANSITORY by Jane Augustine

Rochita Loenen Ruiz reviews TRILL AND MORDENT by Luisa A. Igloria

Cati Porter reviews WINTERGREEN by Charles Bennett

Michael A. Wells reviews ATLAS by Katrina Vandenberg

William Allegrezza reviews SKINNY EIGHTH AVENUE by Stephen Paul Miller

Ann E. Michael reviews SNAKESKIN STILETTOS by Moyra Donaldson

Ann E. Michael reviews OPEN FIRE by Aaren Yeatts

Guillermo Juan Parra presents Martha Kornblith

kari edwards presents Rob Halpern

Eileen Tabios presents Carl Gottesman

Rusty Morrison reviews THE AREA OF SOUND CALLED THE SUBTONE by Noah Eli Gordon

Steffie Drewes reviews THE BABIES by Sabrina Orah Mark

Laura Stamps reviews MEMPHIS JACK by Harvey Goldner

Steve Potter reviews TREMBLE & SHINE by Todd Colby

Steve Potter reviews CONCRETE MOVIES by Nico Vassilakis

Allen Gaborro reviews 60 lv bo(e)mbs by Paolo Javier

Anna Eyre reviews VERSO by Pattie McCarthy

Yvonne Hortillo reviews MUSEUM OF ABSENCES by Luis H. Francia

Allen Gaborro reviews A BOOK OF HER OWN: Words and Images to Honor the Babaylan by Leny Mendoza Strobel

Laurel Johnson reviews KIOT: SELECTED EARLY POEMS 1963-1977 by Charles Potts

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

My heart tells me it is time to return
To where the clocks stand still
And the universe
Is waiting
For me
To begin.


Sunday, March 12, 2006

Bill Snodgrass's Speculations Column

Bill Snodgrass editor-in-chief of The Sword Review writes the following in today's Speculations column.

Bill writes:

Rational socially-minded people need to raise their voices against hate groups. When people with light-tinted flesh are silent against the rails of white supremacy advocates, injustice is allowed to continue. What's more, it is not hard for others with more melanin to assign to the silent the opinions of the vocal. No good comes from the silence whatsoever.

and further on:

History has proven that words are a mighty tool for the implementation of change. Both written and spoken, words have great power.

To this, I can only say...Amen.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Thoughts after International Women's Day celebration

Today’s words: Integration, Inburgering ( becoming a citizen ), Assimilation, Allochtoon ( foreigner ), Participation

I find myself returning once again to the subject of Integration as opposed to Assimilation. How, in this society we live in the word, “Allochtoon” has taken on so many negative aspects and how we as integrated members of this society cannot help but be motivated into action…namely by not allowing ourselves to be shut out but by taking the freedom granted to us to speak about our concerns.

Oh how we hate the negative connotations of that word "allochtoon". Especially in the manner in which the media has used it so that it becomes like a door slammed in the face of those it addresses.

This afternoon’s workshop and the ensuing discussions gave me so much food for thought. On the train ride home, I could not help thinking about how it is so easy to mistake assimilation as being integration.

I found myself thinking of Leny Strobel’s essays -- in particular her essay which refers to that essential “loob”.

How easy it is to lose this sense of “loob” when you are in a society that equates integration with assimilation. An interesting afternoon as we had a Dutchman in our group who provided us with input from the other side of the fence -- how Dutch society looks at the question of integration.

Indeed, in an ideal world, integration comes from both sides. Where the newcomer learns to integrate and adjust to the society it enters, but at the same time the society must provide an open door, a welcome acceptance of the newcomer and the baggage the newcomer brings with him.

Of course, I agree that in order to be well-adjusted to your new life, learning the language is essential, what I don’t agree with is how some will actually turn their backs on the culture they’ve lived with all their lives to embrace this Dutch culture…

I believe in a perfect balance wherein I embrace both of these cultures, while remaining myself. I still am and continue to be a Filipina, connected to my brothers and sisters by the ties of blood and history. Our roots go far deeper than language.

This is something I am seeing as I have a guest staying with me who is more like an adopted little sister as we share the same root of growing up in the mountains of Banaue, Ifugao. Our memories of the place has created a kinship that is like that of a blood relative. So, I say – she is to me, as a little sister.

I’d like to explore Leny’s thoughts on loob some more, but it’s a bit late over here and tomorrow is Sunday J
And...before I forget...

Got this mail in my box last night:

I am writing this as a preliminary invitation for you to grant one time print rights in the English language to Double-Edged Publishing, Inc. so that your story (in the list that follows) might appear in a forthcoming anthology: Distant Passages—The Best from Double-Edged Publishing, 2005.

So what’s going in this anthology? The invitees from The Sword Review and Dragons, Knights, & Angels include (not to necessarily appear in this order):


Last Hurrah -- L. S. King
Old Soul -- Mike Wever
Beautiful Dreamer -- Edward McKeown
Moonstone -- by Joseph Thomas Mahoney
All That Glitters -- Pam L. Wallace
The Choosing -- by Selena Thomason
Dark Angel - Benigno -- by Rochita Loenen-Ruiz
Treecutter -- by Scott M. Sandridge
Captain Jack Bowie and the Steel Wolf Renegades -- by Sean T. M. Stiennon
No Greater Love--by Wesley Lambert
The Anointed -- by Rosemary McMillen
City of Deliverance -- by Robert Barlow
Presence -- Domyelle Rhyse
Racing the Gap -- Byron Leavitt
A Picture's Worth -- Wade Ogletree


And on the Seventh Day ... by Marsheila Rockwell
Traveller's Tale -- Marcie Lynn Tentchoff
Rosemary -- Jamie Voss
Welcoming Armageddon With Open Arms -- Mikal Trimm
The Ship -- Terry Weide

This is what was in an email I got from Bill Snodgrass, Editor of The Sword Review.

Yay! Benigno is going to be in a book . I'm still on cloud nine :)
Visiting Ron Silliman's blog this morning -- I had to shake my head at how some people reveal their biases and prejudices.

No, no, no... to my mind one cannot call oneself a critic unless one has read the work being criticqued. But some people will reveal their ignorance and the true nature of their bias --

The power of
Barbara Jane's Poeta en San Francisco lies then its giving rise to discussion and in its exposing the root of bias which exists in society today.

In terms of literature, perhaps this is symbolic of the Filipino writer coming into his/her own within the context of a world where before he/she has been invisible.

Let me say here that I am against racism, sexism and the forms in which these two can rear their ugly heads even in tolerant societies like the one I live in.

This makes food for thought and discussion...Today I'm off to Utrecht to celebrate International Women's Day with my Filipina sisters :)

Friday, March 10, 2006

Ron Silliman's review of Barbara Jane's Poeta en San Francisco... quite a revelation. The Chatelaine blogs about the ensuing discussion, and it was quite interesting to read those choice ilocano expressions .

Leny's post regarding the discussion places a finger on the sore spot and the reason for the racist comments after the review. Now, I am waiting for the rest of that blog entry as Leny ended it by saying to Barb..."more later".

Yesterday, this subject of how racist people feel threatened when a person of race is in the spotlight was a topic of conversation too between myself and a good friend. How, in this place that was once considered the most tolerant country in the Western World, tolerance has given way to hostility, racism and prejudice.

Reading Poeta en San Francisco, I can't help but applaud the courage of the poet. Barbara Jane Reyes, mabuhay ka!

Thursday, March 09, 2006

story up on Dragons, Knights and Angels

Children of the Falling Stars is now up on Dragons, Knights and Angels magazine. The premise behind this story comes from something people back home used to say about someone who was considered intelligent or gifted...about how when God decided to spread gifts or intelligence, the person referred to stood under the skies and accepted all these things with open arms.

Starting from that point, Children of the Falling Stars came into being.

Much harder to finish is this story I am working on which came out as a result of building B543. Reading Scientific American has resulted in me writing another story in the same star system as B543...what is it about stars anyway?

On a downside...well...I just got another rejection from Ideomancer. Although this time with more positive comments :) I'm beginning to wonder what engages the imagination of their poetry editor as I've been straining beyond myself to write something that will engage her imagination. To this poem, she writes that it has a good, clean feel to it but she felt it was a bit too long for the plot of the poem. Hmmmm... I never knew poems had plots before.

So, maybe reaching for Ideomancer was reaching a bit too high for the stage where I'm at...but as I always say, one can dream .

Monday, March 06, 2006

Mirta Ana Schulz, winner of the 2005 Sword Review fiction fantasy contest, writes a stirring eulogy for Octavia Butler on her TSR blog.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Interviews up...

An Interview with Donita K. Paul is now up on The Sword Review.

Also on archive a couple of interviews I forgot to post about:

Wade Ogletree, founder of the Better Fiction site -- interesting as this man is both a pastor and a speculative writer.


An interview with D. A. Adams, author of Brotherhood of Dwarves. I found the D.A. Adams interview really insightful as it deals with a subject the fantasy world is rather ambivalent about.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

De Buitenlandse Bruid -- part I

So, they aired this program on Talpa ( a dutch tv station ) where they focus on Dutchmen seeking brides from other countries.

I almost wept when they showed that video of the men who went to the PH. To see my fellow Filipinas pushed to make a choice they would not have made if economics had allowed it is heartbreaking.

More heartbreaking is the sharp comparison of how Dutchmen seeking brides from European countries treated their prospective brides as oppposed to the way the Dutchmen seeking brides in the PH treated their prospective mates.

The agency that brought the Dutchmen and the Philippine women together has been pronounced illegal once before, but somehow manages still to continue this business of selling our women. I say selling, and when you read on down, you'll understand why.

Take this sharp contrast: A videoclip of the Dutchman in the Philippines hanging onto two women. In the end, he settles his attention on the younger one, a girl who looks young enough to be his daughter. They proceed to a nightclub, escorted by an Asian Contact intermediary who tells off the other woman and makes her go away so the Dutchman can focus his attention on the younger one. In the club, the man looking for a bride proceeds to caress and kiss and cuddle the one he's made up his mind about. It was heartbreaking to look at this video, the look in the young girl's eyes had me crying out in outrage and pity.

Next videoclip: a young Dutchman looking for a partner in Kiev. The girl is a model, an educated woman who studies Economics at the University. They do not even hold hands, but talk to each other formally.

In fact, the girl is the one questioning the man about his background and his reasons for seeking a bride from another country. When she is interviewed later on, she says it's too early to make a decision. After all, she has just met the guy...and take note, the guy is a young man, good-looking, a traveller and educated.

Another videoclip: a Dutchman in another European country meeting his penpal for the first time, she is a Nurse. They keep the width of the sofa between them, getting to know each other formally.

The man is a Doctor and the woman is a Nurse.

Do you see the big difference that I see?

I find myself asking this question, why does our government condone things like these?

Judge for yourself what kind of "penpal" business the guy running this agency has:

In the interview, the owner of the agency introducing the Dutchmen to the girls in the Philippines refers to them as: speelgoed ( toys ). His exact words when he noticed the difficulty his client had in choosing a partner was: too many toys in the toy store.

Are you feeling as sick as I felt when I heard this?

In short, this fellow is a disguised pimp -- except instead of dealing in prostitutes, he deals in our girls. How come the government lets this operation just slip through their fingers?

I wonder whether these Dutchmen would behave the same way if they were in the Netherlands corresponding with girls from respectable families. I think not. The root cause still comes from knowing the poverty these girls come from...and I think this particular operation stinks because to my mind, a legitimate penpal agency has to take into consideration what the girl wants and not just what the man wants.

The subject of selling is also paired by the fact that the men are the ones paying the fees to meet the girl they want. When that cash transaction comes into play, everything turns all shades of gray.

On the Mutya Power blog Eileen talks about how the government and politicians have an implicated role in situations like these.

It's very hard to convince a people of their worth when they're so tired of dreaming of the sun. The economic and political vista of our nation has suffered too long under the shadow of corruption and the self-serving mentality of those in power. When it seems there's no way out, the only choice some people are left with is "kapit sa patalim".

I'm off to have a good cry ...
Thanks to Miss F for sending me more links and inspiring images.

I've been experimenting with flash and micro-flash. Enjoying Miss Fredda Ruth's images. Something's brewing there...just have to get it into the pan.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Pinoy Poetics...poets and their struggles...language...grammar...all that stuff...

I appreciate Pinoy Poetics for what it brings to me. I am reminded of how works of art are born out of struggle, and how when we embrace struggle, we can reach beyond ourselves.

I love Pinoys for reaching for the stars. I love them for sharing their gift with the world without fear...for never minding ridicule...but pushing on and on because there is this dream that chases all of us and binds us in our desire to rise above the circumstances that seek to tear us down.

My younger brother has a friend who dreams of one day winning the Carlos Palanca Poetry competition. I said to him, read a, read, read...and write, write, write. And then, I told him to go get himself a copy of Pinoy Poetics .

I am learning that part of honing my craft as a writer comes from writing and writing and writing and reading and reading and reading and writing and writing and writing some more.

Oh...that's just the easy part actually.

Subbing is another matter.

*I think this post confirms it. I have kicked off the anesthetic haze. Yay!*

Who is Remedios Varo?

Type in the name and you'll come up with an entire, images to satisfy the mind and the imagination. I'm taking a leaflet out of Mark Young's poetic book, allowing myself to obey the winds that blow The Chatelaine to peruse and be inspired by art and life.

I mention these two in the same breath because of how their work has returned to me my love for poetry. If that isn't inspirational enough...I am writing poetry again and reflecting on how I once used to mourn my lack of words.

Anyway, I found Remedios Varo via
Byzarium. Remedios Varo's Creation of the Birds is the inspiration for Byzarium's latest flash fiction writing contest. Maybe it's that time of month again, but there's no denying, Remedios Varo's work speaks to me. So... I am opening a notebook blog where I'll play around with stuff inspired by this fantastic surrealist painter.