film diaries

I love you
in a sincere way,
that makes me love you
despite the scars
and flaws.

— May 01, 2013

Amidst the darkness of the world,
there is a flicker of light,
right there in your heart.
Do not let it die,
but make it ablaze like fire.

— August 18, 2013

What if the day you only have is today?
Would you do things differently?
Maybe you’ll climb a little higher,
walk a little bit slower.
Love more, and breathe.
Breathe deeper.
Take every second in.

— September 15, 2013

Underexposed photos from my second film roll, and some spilled thoughts that I found in my writing notebook. I dare not call it poetry, what I have written is still a far cry from it. These words have been hidden for so long, to the point of expired emotions that came with it before; time to bring it out to the light.


film diaries

“Nothing Places” in which one could be assured of complete privacy, we agreed that we never would look at the marked-off zones, that they would be non-existent territories in the apartment in which one could temporarily cease to exist…it seemed necessary, because there are times when one needs to disappear…and sometimes one simply wants to disappear.” Jonathan Safran Foer, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

When my words fail me, I borrow from others and hope that they won’t mind. Today I owe my words from Jonathan Safran Foer (all the words above are his). I’m currently reading Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, and there’s a narrative which tells the story of a man who lost his words, slowly, one by one, until he can’t speak no more. I’ve been wanting to write, but right now I am like that man. I wonder if it’s because life is passing by too fast again that my hands can’t catch up in writing down the words, or maybe I’m not yet ready to let the paper bleed. So for now, I leave you with film photographs arranged into a digital collage.


film diaries, in my life

One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
— Proverbs 18:24

“There’s a special place in my heart for the ones who were with me at my lowest and still loved me when I wasn’t very loveable.”
— Yasmin Mogahed

Constant. Just like the gravity that hold us down. We’ve always heard about people who come and go. Of people who have treated our hearts like doors to a room that they can just leave and come back to whenever they wish.  But there are also those who have stayed no matter what the circumstances are, no matter how messy the situation may be. Those who have shared their light and declared: we are here for you.

Photos from our earliest hike ever at Mt. Hapunang Banoi. Taken with Canon AE-1 and an expired Neopan Acros 100.


artsy fartsy, tiny stories

The second prompt for Summer of Sketching arrives on my mailbox, which brings with it an all too familiar question that we have asked ourselves, probably a thousand times already: Why? 

I have learned to love this one word question even before I answered it. My default response has arrived years ago, but it is good to be reminded every now and then. Humans as we are, we easily forget. As Eric said in his e-mail: it’s easy to get caught up with WHAT you’re doing or HOW you’re doing it. We lose sight of the most important part: WHY are you doing it in the first place?

Last Saturday, I attended an art appreciation talk for free (thankful as always for the Brew Your Best Year community for providing these opportunities). I love going to these kinds of events since they make me experience being in an art class – in flesh and blood. And since it was co-organized by The Coffee Bean, it also came with coffee (not gonna deny that I sometimes live for events with free coffee, I mean come on, they make events a hundred percent better. Coffee lovers would easily understand this).

But enough about the coffee, the event was centered on the works of Pablo Picasso and understanding Cubism. I concluded on that day that abstracted cubism paintings won’t be on my favorite list; Mr. Pita told us that they are characterized by not having any space left on the canvas. Every detail is connected into a one whole picture. The main feature of these paintings is something that my eyes doesn’t favor. They make me dizzy – distracted somehow.

Another interesting fact that I found out that day is that Picasso was a copier of works. It may not be an exact copy, sometimes a reversed image or a different pose but you can find the similarity if you look closer. I find it funny that one of the most famous painters started just like us, with no sense of originality or style.  We make a big fuss out of being original at times, that’s why I have always loved that Palahniuk quote: Everything is so far away, a copy of a copy of a copy. The character was talking about his insomnia episodes, but maybe we can say the same to art as well. Even the people we called masters are no exception.

The organizers were rounding up questions and one participant asked, “What was Picasso’s motive in creating these artworks? What legacy did he want to leave behind?” I was half listening, busy stirring my coffee, so these words are just a rephrased answer from Mr. Pita “His greatest motive was just to express himself, it was his outlet from the anxiety or depressive things happening in his life. He wasn’t actually aiming into what legacy he was leaving behind.”

That afternoon was quite comforting, knowing that art can still for art’s sake. There are times when our whys are geared into creating an impact for the world or the community. But there are times when your why is about letting yourself breath through colors, shapes, or figures. To simply create, without too much expectations attached to it.

Tiny Stories is inspired by the book curated by Joseph Gordon-Levitt (bearing the same title) that says: The universe is not made of atoms; it’s made of tiny stories. This is my attempt to compile mine, something to push me to write even if there’s not a lot of words for me to grasp.


travel journals

Singapore, for the second time around was different. It was more personal, more intimate. We came back to our favorite places, but also explored new ones. The train routes never fail to be traveler-friendly, we have started to memorize it like the back of our hands. The bus routes proved to be another matter; we got lost on the far end of the Tiong Bahru suburban area. Our supposed to be 10-minute-away destination extended to an hour. Mother and I ended up laughing about it, we pat ourselves in the back and say, now we know. There are moments when we learn the way through getting lost.

I found myself looking out the train window, as we pass by houses and sight I can’t help but think…can this be home? Can I call you home? I often caught myself dreaming of walking through its streets every day. It’s the first time that I admitted to myself that I am willing to uproot myself from the island I’m from, to pack my bags and head off to a different kind of concrete jungle.

Funny how I ended up buying a magazine from Bras Basah Complex, bearing words that ask the question: What would life be like if you’d never left your hometown?

I wonder if I’ll end up answering that question or if the days would bring the exact opposite. Such questions don’t have immediate answers, but I must say that Singapore met me again during the time when I desired to leave most. It was a promise of a fresh beginning. We’re 2,355 kilometers away, yet it felt like it’s where I belong.

Nowadays, I find myself being homesick for a place I have yet to call home.