Hello WordPress!

You’ve changed, so did I… But sometimes, some things remain beautiful, be old and forgotten. I’m going back again, to painting and writing and bleed for the lack of words and ideas.

Call this a gestation. A Monday Morning wake-up call after a somber hiatus. Manic. The need for urgency.

A new blog is coming up.

Cheers

Katharsis.

Breakfast anyone?

(espaquetti a la Dulcinea – a eureka Monday morning of tuna fillet, pimientos, tofu, green peas, tomatoes, caramelized onions and olive oil love)

This site or more specifically it’s user is currently undergoing a moratorium of some sort.

As to the how and why’s, that I cannot tell.

As to the decision of whether to continue, to abandon, or just let things be, that I leave to the Universe.

Still, the journey goes on and the quest for gastronomic adventure never ceases.

Enjoy life!

We lived happily forever so the story goes, but somehow we missed out the pot of gold, but we'll try our best that we can to carry on - The Styx/South Park

 

I am 26 going 27;  These are the best times of my life. I have work enough to fulfill more than my basic needs, I can almost eat any kind of food I like, mostly those that are savory and delicious, my knees are strong enough to take me wherever I feel like going to, my ears can perfectly hear both the sweetest and meanest of words, my eyesight though not 20/20 perfect is healthy enough for me to see all the beauty and imperfection there are — I am so blessed I am in great health!

Sometimes, the thought of aging strikes me once in a while. The craziest idea I occasionally thought about is to commit suicide when I get old. Not for the fear of wrinkles or fine lines or the sagging skin, but just the mere thought of it – dementia, loneliness, incapability. The idea is so crazy I know I wouldn’t do it.

Alright, so what point am I getting at? It’s fun to be young, It is sad when you think about having to grow old even with the company of family, but it is much much sadder when you have to go through it alone or with other elderly like yourself. [Maybe I am not just so optimistic at this moment in time.]

Today is Sunday, I went with my friends to Golden Acres, a Home for the Aged in Quezon City, just a few walks away from SM North. It was my first time to go there, it’s not really something to be excited about but I was looking forward to it. When we arrived there, we proceeded to their multi-purpose hall, the place where they hold their Sunday masses, parties or programs. I think there were 40 to 50 lolos and lolas as I would like to call them, seated on the monobloc chairs, gray haired, wrinkled skin, and whose most eyes were deteriorating due to cataract. Good vibes I told myself, I have to bring out a positive aura and so I greeted with my widest smile and asked them how they do. Some were too weak to respond, some couldn’t barely see, but mostly were grateful. Lolo Allan said ” Maraming Salamat at pasensya na kailangan nyo kaming tulungan imbis na ako yung makatulong, Lola Francesca shaked my hand with her sincerest smile, commented that my hands were so warm (which I always had) and massaged my back and arms saying that she was a “manghihilot” and asked me if “may Bingo ba dito?”; Lolo Domingo on the other hand, says Maraming Salamat followed with God bless You.By the way, my friends – the Sisters of Our Lady of Sacred Heart (OLSH) and the Associates of OLSH, prepared a short entertainment program, song and dances, and brought some food such as porridge, boiled egg and juice, some biscuits and coffee. The feeding was the busiest at the same time the most touching part when we have to assist them ,feed them wipe their hands or their faces and I can feel that they longed for that kind of care, they longed for that undivided attention that they seldom have and they longed for someone who can listen to each of them even if what some of them say is senseless or incomprehensible.

Lola Francesca gave me a free back massage

Lolo Allan


I wanted to take more pictures, I wanted to greet every lolo and lola around and I wanted to tour everything inside Golden Acres like their facilities or the rooms but I wasn’t able to do so. Instead, I found myself seated beside Lola Juana, who told me she is not feeling good because of her poor eyesight and she’s getting headaches because of it and afer that I spent the entire afternoon with her listening to her life story, of how she started working when she was at Grade 4 in a factory but self-studied, learned reading through the Bible and her trusted dictionary, how she ran away from an arranged marriage but then obeyed at it after 7 years. She told me she loved her husband nevertheless. “Pinagsilbihan ko siya, araw-araw nilulutuan ko sya ng mainit na almusal at kumakain kami sa kabukiran, sa trinatrabahuan nya.” Sad to say, her husband died after their four years of marriage, they never had a child because she had ectopic pregnancy that happened twice. Lola Juana also told me how a diligent worker she was, she worked as a jutebag maker in a factory in Highway 54, a cashier in Sangley Point in Cavite and a restaurant operator in Pampanga. The owner of the restaurant, Mrs. De Jesus had offered her a home until she was old but when the time that Mrs. De Jesus stayed in the States and could no longer come back to the Philippines, she was forced to leave, and that is how she came to stay in Golden Acres. At 79, Lola Juana still had a great memory. She speaks English well, and perhaps I could spend a day just talking with her. She was just like my Lola, but not just that fortunate.

Lola Juana and Her Stories

In the end, we had to say goodbye, she held my hand and thanked me. “Pasensya na napagkwentuhan kita.. Salamat minahal nyo kami kasi dinalaw nyo kami..” Two of the many things she told me, “hindi lahat natutunan mo sa libro lang, kailangan mo rin makinig sa mga kwento o makisama sa ibang tao…”; “Pag mabait ka sa kapwa mo, babalik at babalik din sa iyo yung kabaitang yun…”

I wish I could spend more time with her and with the others in Golden Acres. Lola Juana asked me to mail her a copy of our picture; I said I will try to come back…

It was bittersweet. I am happy and fulfilled because I was able to make others feel a little better but I also don’t like the fact that some precious people have to face the few remaining days of their lives in a not so comfortable home, almost devoid of love and care that they deserve. On the brighter side, it is immensely amazing that these people are still hopeful; they try to hold on to anything that’s left, they still find the reason to live, be it for a fellow old-aged, be it the hope of finding their families again or be it for their pet companion.

Tonight, I won’t forget my bedtime prayers. It’ll be for them.

"What matters, therefore, is not the meaning of life in general, but rather the specific meaning of a person's life at a given moment." - Viktor Frankl

words and images by kat //

This chronicle that you’ll be reading below was written by my old-time college classmate, Josh and was retrieved from my Friendster account – back then when we used to write  testimonials (oftentimes, obliged to) for our friends.  I haven’t heard anything from him now and haven’t seen him ever since we graduated. But this one’s really memorable:

[1]

Its not the way she boosts my ego; the
good laughs we had together over trifles;
the sentiments we shared and kept at
bay; the projects that we rushed for a
double deadline; group reports that we’ve
slaved upon and knockout class
presentations that we triumphantly
pulled off and aced; the passion we
harbor for the arts; nor the stories we
brewed over coffee, that made Kat and I
the team to be. If not for Imz, whom I
also adore, we probably ended up as
thesis partners. Hey, there’s the word!
Partners! But as I said, our friendships
anchor is not among the aforementioned
instances. Linked together, they were
merely the chains that held the immense
weight of our bond.


[2]

And as for the metaphorical anchor?
Simple. We almost died together, all for
the sake of another class requirement.
For the clueless reader and for the
purpose of documentation as well,
consider this string of memory: 1st
semester + rainy season + Field
Research + profiling a remote upland
community + more or less half of our
grade at stake + it certainly ain’t a one
day affair + a total traveling distance
described by a 40-minute drive, 20-
minute walk, 7-meter wide river (and still
widening!), and a final 40-minute hike,
with intermittent stopovers to catch
ones breath + data gathering once we
got there + doing some of the household
chores for our host families + sleeping
over for the night + another day of data
gathering (were talking about 7 busy
weekends here) + picture taking galore

On Our Way: Literally Lost in Wilderness

"pangukot kadyos"

[3]

+ a bunch of bruises, sprains, wounds,
cuts, and kadyos seeds for mementos +
Kat accidentally showing off her baby
blue bra + being reluctant soundboards
to our 2 host families that were ironically
immersed in a politically fueled family
feud + finally saying goodbye and
promising them that we’ll return, though
we never did return + it rained so we had
to wait for a while + skirting back the old
route + the rivers current seemed
angrier than before (if you’re smart, the
equation’s quite easy: river + upland +
rain = rampaging waters!!!)

our weekly adventure

with the townfolks

[4]

+ a 20-minute small talk spent on
forming an action plan and saying
parting words in case we ain’t that lucky
+ doing a picket line formation + taking
one arduous baby step at a time, with
the current so strong that our mojos
were slipping of our feet + a lot of
cussing around when the water was
already at our belly buttons + finally and,
rather, hysterically reaching the other
bank + Kat absently remarking that it
was probably the best time of her life,
how fun it was, and that shell never do it
again (huh?!) + as a post traumatic
reaction, countless days of reveling at
our good lot!

*sigh*

Kat and I had one sentiment, though.
Both of us only got 1.5s, and that was
literally almost dying for it!

I don’t know why, but like Alanis Morissette’s song, I feel at peace listening to Imogen Heap’s and her previous band, Frou Frou.. here are some of my top favorites:

It has been a while.

 Words don’t come out that easy for me nowadays.

I will try to keep up.

Serenity Song

 

*photo by Katharsis; taken at Capones Island, Zambales, Philippines