A Travellerspoint blog

the case of the stranded siren of the dark seas


August 6 - i was eating dinner with the family, with the intent of going to work. minutes later, one of my cousins arrived and told us that espana is already flooded. it had been raining the weekend before, but we did not think it would be that hard. i decided not to go to work, and just try again at midnight. alas, when i tried to go around 2am, the water has reached our door. monites later, my aunt had to turn the power switch off because we had sockets that might be reached by flood water.

August 7 - still rained heavily. i was confident the flood will subside soon. but it kept raining hard, to think it was only monsoon rain, not an actual typhoon. i wasn't able to go to work again, and this time we all ate in the dining room with our feet submerged in water. i still had a few percentage of battery on my iPhone, Samsung and laptop so i just sang my self to sleep; also texting friends once in a while and checking twitter, path and facebook for news about other areas.

August 8 - still. rained. heavily. but the water subsided a bit so i was able to charge my laptop and iPhone. as soon as i tweeted that the water is off our house, it rained bulldogs and hyenas. soon, the water entered our house again and we had to turn off the power switch. i was devastated. again, i was absent from work. i slept a bit in the afternoon, wishing that when i woke up the water's gone. this was the second night that did not poop because even our bathroom was full of water. we all ate in the second floor common area, slumped on the floor with small candles as our light. i was already feeling queasy. it was already 7pm and it wasn't even windy so it was warm. our house was the only one that did not turn the switch on because of the low sockets. all night i could hear what the neighbors were watching or listening to. i did not play music. i just laid down and texted Derrick. by 11pm, i was delirious. it was hot. i needed to poop. i wasn't able to do anything. despite the few minutes of happiness when i pretended i was being chased by Jake Cuenca in our living room while running on flood water, i was almost inconsolable. Derrick kept on telling me to pray. i did, for a few times. when i couldn't take it any longer, i cried. and still, i prayed. i guess i cried because i realized how selfish i was. our family is used to the flood. i thought about the others who were not able to hold on to their things, or stay at their homes. by 1am, my battery was drained. i took my medicine and minutes later i was feeling sleepy. 2am, still raining hard, but my eyes were heavy. i dozed off.

August 9 - i woke up early, around 7am and the flood was gone. my aunt was smiling. food was served on the table. no flood water. thank God.

to celebrate Marcus' first month since his birth (7/7) and the disappearance of flood water, we went to SM to buy food. and i was really happy to get out of the house. and yeah, that night, i went back to work with a smile on my face with my renewed liberation from the murky waters of Sampaloc West.

Posted by jc_pagdanganan 01:24 Archived in Philippines Tagged the_case_of Comments (0)

Poem vomit: bridal thoughts

For my good friend, the soon to be ex-Brian Joanne Malabuyoc


As i walk down the aisle with my heartbeat racing, I smile in your direction with everyone else fading

All our years together have come to this moment, with God as our witness, His blessings, we are sent

From our countless "I love you's," today we'll say our "I do's;" You're my world, you're my life, 'til forever I'll be your wife.

jaycee pagdanganan

Posted by jc_pagdanganan 09:33 Archived in Philippines Tagged poem_vomit Comments (0)

The case of the urban beach


I have lived in the Espana area almost all my life. Whenever people ask me where i live and i give them my answer, more often than not they would say, "Isn't that area always flooded?/Bahain dun di ba?" 

Yes, our street has been perenially ravaged by the murky waters from rain, sewers and rat urine. It was fun when i was still young because it meant that there were no classes. I remember watching the Houston vs Rockets finals in the 90's while my cousins and i are in the sala, with our feet getting crinkly due to soaking in the water for hours! 

Our furniture and appliances are very much adaptable to this yearly problem. We never buy sofas that are not transformable. It's always the two-piece kind. One piece wooden support, one piece actual foam. As soon as the water reaches our door, the foams are separated from their beloved wooden support, and strategically placed on top of the wood to hold other smaller pieces at home (e.g. A smaller table, magazines and directories). Other stuff like our cabinet and fridge have been elevated by wood too, and they have remained like that for years so we don't have to raise them up all the time. 

Sometimes i dream of a really high-tech kitchen, or a superb looking living room, but the floods hinder that. 

Last night, for the first time, i really wanted to go to work because of action items that i needed to get done. I sincerely tried to go out but my aunt won't let me. It was an epic fail of an attempt. Now, it's raining again and the water might rise more. 

Maybe it's a good thing that i disn't go. I don't want to be one of those people that folks would laugh at when i fall into a manhole. Now you see me, now you don't. Flooding also cramps anyone's style. Pants are raised, jackets are worn snugly, good thing i don't wear skirts. I won't know how to handle that. 

It's also not good to get stranded anywhere. If all stranded people looked like Jake Cuenca i would be fine. But no. 

It makes me wonder when this problem will be fixed. I know that Manila is a bit below sea level at some points, but sewage has got to be the main issue here. I've heard of reports that in some parts of Manila, esteros are cleaned up, but deliberately clogged by residents so when the streets are flooded, they can have their instant boating business. It also doesn't help that our drainage system is not designed to put out garbage. Look at all the open holes where garbage can easily slip through. People are not being responsible too. It's like Manila i one big trash bin, where trash is free for all. The local government needs to act really quick because no one would like to invest in an area that is very problematic. 

I have had years of a love-hate relationship with the dark seas of Espana. And it may be one relationship that i'll have to last a lifetime.

Posted by jc_pagdanganan 11:24 Archived in Philippines Comments (0)

the cray-cray adventures: the soulful Sunday


days ago, i agreed to go to church with Derrick. i've been hearing about the Victory fellowship for quite some time now, with active members posting about it on facebook. when i was finally asked by someone i knew, i gave in.

we were supposed to meet before 9am, but Derrick slept late because of a video he had to edit. i was chatting with Bryan through Line so i asked him if he could join us. i had wanted the mahjongeras to meet Derrick. lately, they have been my closer friends and of course it would be better if we all got along right? besides, i knew it would be okay for Derrick. i met Bryan a few minutes after 9am and we went straight to Regis Center, where service was held.

when Derrick arrived, we went to the fifth floor. i was amazed ny the space. they had TV screens, AVPs, and a stage. it was like any normal conference, only it was a church event. we sat at the back, and we were greeted by a guy who turned out to be one of the pastors. the attendance was a good mix of old and young folks. seeing young people coming in, i thought my stay would be interesting.

service started with prayer/worship songs. what kept me interested was the fact that they really sounded current, and the arrangement of the songs was not like the usual songs i hear from other churches. looking at the lyrics projected on the screen, i imagined how selfish i had been with my own writing. it's all about me, but here, they had people working on songs that are about God. on the second song, i had found myself singing the words and tapping my fingers. before i knew it, we had been standing and singing for 30 minutes.

there were a few people who spoke first, until a pastor came on board and spoke about the "that thing you do" series. i wouldn't write about the content, for it's something that i can't share effectively yet. all i can say is that i felt good listening to the pastor. it was like one long homily that was part fact and part entertainment. towards the end, we were all asked to close our eyes and raise our hands if we needed healing, but i didn't. not that i'm in denial, but i would in the right time. maybe on my second time? Derrick raised his hand so when we were dismissed, a group leader of sorts chatted with him for a bit. yeah, maybe next time for me.

after church, we went to one of my favorite restos that i don't go to frequently, peanut butter company. i remember going to PB Co with Mr Big, but i yearned for the spaghetti more. Bryan ordered what i got, the classic spaghetti and some mojo potatoes. Derrick had some fish fillet. what's interesting with PB Co is they fused my favorite bread spread with other recipes. my classic spaghetti smelled like kare kare, but it tasted awesome. it was like having bolognese, and then dumping spoonfuls of peanut butter. it didn't taste weird, surprisingly. the mojos had some peanut butter on them, with matching dips that of course, had peanut butter too.

Our next stop was Mom and Tina's. It is just beside PB Co, and i feel that space could've been bigger because the interior felt really cramped albeit the homey feel inside. There were around 10-12 tables inside the small space so everyone can hear conversations from the other tables. I got the butter cupcake and sugarless choco fudge. The butter cake is just really a small cake with a perfect combo of butter bread with marshmallowy frosting. The choco fudge, which i'm eating right now, is divine. The first bite feels different, maybe it's the texture of the frosting. But with one bite, the not-too-sweet smithereens spread inside my mouth. I'm coming back for more.

After that, Derrick went home to sleep, while Bryan and i went to Trinoma to buy a shirt for Burn from team manila that says "ambassador of positivity." and since the theater was full, we transferred to Gateway to watch Brave.

Hmm. Brave is a different take on the usual Disney princess. Here, we have a brash girl who's very unladylike but still stubborn in her youth. I wouldn't write a spoiler, but this movie almost made me shed ters because i remembered my mom. I love her and i really miss her. The movie also talked about breaking tradition. This cemented my decision to change.

After the movie, we went home. I spent some time downstairs, and without any help, i held our new baby in my arms. It felt great holding ghe baby, seeing innocence at a time when i was feeling lost.

Before he slept, i think i offended Derrick with too much teasing. Sorry daddy, i know you'll read this. Love you!

Posted by jc_pagdanganan 23:46 Archived in Philippines Tagged cray_cray_adventures Comments (0)

the case of the future experiments


this morning, i attended a church service that i have heard from others for a while now. while we were in the middle of the service, i started to think about how i have been for the past few months.

at the start of this year, i made a pact with the trio adventurers that i will start living a risque life, with all my choices, decisions and dalliances. i have made a lot of bad decisions since then. i'm not saying being risky is bad, it was just i never thought well about things so much.

to drown out the consequences of my actions and decisions, i turned to alcohol. at one point i regarded vodka as my best friend. i stopped and started smoking a number of times. i ran after guys who were taken. the only decision that i stuck to was my decision to be celibate until i found my next partner.

i was risky, but i wasn't happy. suddenly, Julia Roberts didn't matter anymore. i didn't have to be ruthless to go after my happiness. it was like, in a snap, i wanted to be Cameron. i wanted to run, and know that Dermot was running after me. i wanted to get high without the aid of alcohol. so i made a decision.

i might still consider these next action items as risky, because they go against what i would call my "self." but i'm willing to take the risk.

~devote time to church. the first thing that i wanted to fix was my soul. i think that i have been so into mainstream stuff that i forgot about what mattered most. so every Sunday, i will attend church service. if there's anything that i need to learn right now, it's to start thinking right from my core. and i need values. i need this change in focus because i feel this is what has been missing in my life.

~get away. i am planning of filing for a week's worth of leave from work. i may do it in September. right now i don't have plans, but i want to get out of the city alone and experience a different environment. i want to see trees, and sand, and waves and not think about anything or anyone but myself. maybe a retreat would do? or if i could find a place where it's quiet, that's better.

~go offline. my life has been consumed by social networking. it is addictive. and i want to stay away from it. i will go offline during my vacation.

~detox. i have been saying i'll quit smoking and drinking. lately, smoking and drinking seem to the reason for my existence. i want to see what will happen when i lead a clean life. will i still have the same set of friends? will i feel healthier? can i make it really far?

today was the start of something new for me. and i promise to write about every step of my journey. i love myself, and i have to feel that love before i go searching for it from somebody else. let's see what happens next.

Posted by jc_pagdanganan 22:06 Archived in Philippines Tagged cray_cray_adventures personal_projects Comments (0)

the rollercoaster week


monday - i finally went to the dentist. i had my teeth cleaned for the first time, and the dentist put pasta on two of my molars. next friday, i'll have an xray so we can determine what we can remove first. and oh, the doctor told me to get braces. argh.

after that, i went to the tattoo shop inside shoppesville to have my third tat done. it's a sunflower just above my left elbow. i guess that distracted me a bit as the pain seared through my skin. i want more. i guess i'll have the moon as my next design.

tuesday - was sick, didn't go to work.

wednesday - i went to minutehealth for my APE. it's true, service is fast. so is the consultation with the doctor. i complained about my fever and colds but she totally dismissed it and asked me other questions. one note for minutehealth? there was a cute nurse there. he's a bit on the short side, but has a nice set of eyes: chinky, just the way i like it. :) i guess that's why my bp was elevated. lol.

because of my non-consultation in minutehealth, i went with my cousin to sm san lazaro with two of my nieces. the doctor found infection in my blood, and my bp was still elevated. so now, i'm on medication (anti-biotics) and some sort of food diet. but right after my niece and i got checked, we went to greenwich and ordered food. my niece wouldn't eat any of the food we had so i went to kfc with her and bought her chicken, and bites for my cousin and other niece. while waiting for further results, we also went around and ended up shopping. my cousin bought new shorts for my younger niece coz she peed on her pants, my older niece bought shirts for her dad and i bought new earrings and a shirt. yey! when we came back, the doctor said i needed further tests and fasting for the next day.

thursday - i had to go to the clinic early in the morning for my bloodwork and xray. too bad the ultrasound was not working so i have to come back on the weekend. SM looked different in the morning. less people, more fun for me. i was able to go around and ended up buying bridget jones' diary from booksale. so this weekend will be about books. i have to finish all the books on my list. this was a tiring day as i was not able to sleep, even during my shift.

friday - i met derrick for dinner. i brought him to napoli (yum!). naturally, i ordered chicken cutlet spaghetti and i'm glad he liked it. he also ordered white pizza on the side, which i immediately covered with parmesan cheese. i don't know how else i could stress how much i love napoli. i've had so many memories at this resto, i can consider it a friend. i remember eating at napoli way back when chicken cutlet was still 190 php.

halfway through my shift, my other friends Dino and JM dropped by to get the cupcakes i promised Dino a while ago. it was fun catching up, for i haven't seen JM since my birthday. Dino and JM have been dating for a few weeks now.

... (forgot what else i had in mind)

Posted by jc_pagdanganan 21:57 Archived in Philippines Comments (0)

the cray-cray adventures: the Sunday slam


okay. i had a very boring Saturday. all night i was just at home, sulking. none of my friends were free. the mahjongeras had work, the trio were busy (especially Madam Shugaytay LOL), the absolut folks were not drinking. so i just stayed in my room, listening to what might have been the one millionth time my playlist was on repeat. i dozed off without even realizing it.

when i woke up, i was iMessaging my friend Derrick. i met Derrick in Path. he's been one of my closer friends lately. how would i describe Derrick? crazy. he talks a lot and comes up with bizarre ideas that actually makes sense if i come to think of it. he's very jolly, and maybe that's why we clicked. he's a good singer, he's a foodie and very crazy. wait, haven't i said that yet? anyway, that Sunday morning, we were talking about food so much that we decided to meet after he went to church.

we met at CBTL in front of ADMU. we talked briefly about what he heard from church. i think i also agreed to come with him next next Sunday to check out the church service. it sounded interesting, yes, so i'm trying it out. after the short talk, we finally went to Boulevard Diner.

Boulevard Diner occupies a very small space along Xavierville Ave. it is a very small diner. we were the first customers that day. i first went there with Madam Shugaytay and Bratty Krissy, and i forgot what we ate. Derrick got a Larry Lanai and cheese tots. i got Volcanic Victor and some wings. the cheese tots were divine. they're small, fried to a crispy crunch with oozing cheese from the inside when you bite into it. the Volcanic Victor had three onion rings on top drizzled with hickory sauce that tasted like any regular bbq sauce. the burgers are so big that i don't eat them by hand, i use a fork and a knife. kinda reminded me of Bite Club. the wings, oh, the wings! one thing i don't like about it is that the skin is not crispy. but it was hot! what i got was with sauce called Love. it was in the middle of their hotness rating, but knowing me, i was sweating like crazy. it was another pleasant dining experience at Boulevard Diner. i guess having a chatty Ate serving the food was an added plus. and oh, i told Derrick a secret. 'nuff said.

after that, Derrick and i went to national bookstore to look for stuff that he needed when his travel plans push through. i wanted to buy new books, but i remembered that i had three books that i haven't finished reading yet. so i bought pens instead. we were supposed to go home after that, but Derrick had a problem: the guy he's dating, Gil, was waiting for him at his home. hmmm. in any other circumstance, i will be major kilig by the thought, but Derrick was not. but that's his story to tell, not mine. so we ended up going to SM North.

we checked out the movies that were being shown, alas, nothing from Cinemalaya. our choices were: The Healing, Dark Knight Rises and Magic Mike. i went for Batman. before the movie, we stayed at Gong Cha. hmmm. i tried their wintermelon tea and it tasted different from the ones i tried at infinitea, serenitea and moonleaf. maybe it's that milk thing on top? my annoyance over my drink was trumped by the number of people in costume i saw in the same area. i'd rather not talk about that.

we got back to the cinemas in the Block around 20 minutes before the movie started. when we got in, i was sincerely praying that we didn't sit beside talkative moviegoers. my prayers were answered. so Dark Knight Rises is a very okay movie. i'm starting to realize that i am becoming an Anne Hathaway fan, so i'll start looking for her other movies. this movie also looked like an Inception reunion. Tom Hardy, that French girl, that guy from 10 Things, Christopher Nolan. i didn't sleep this time. Derrick did. i walked away from the cinema having a new appreciation for Batman. less fanfare, better story.

we then headed to 4 Fingers. this is said to be better than Bon Chon, and they were right. Derrick and i ordered the two-drumstick meal in soy garlic. instead of a plate, they served the food on a metallic bento box that looked like a lunch box from the 90's. so cool! the main diff with Bon Chon and 4 Fingers is that the soy flavor is not just on the skin. you can eat just the meat and still think it's delish! i'm definitely going back!

this isn't the first time that Derrick and i met, but this is the best hang out story so far. looking forward to more cray-cray adventures!

Posted by jc_pagdanganan 20:12 Archived in Philippines Tagged cray_cray_adventures Comments (0)

random babbles: the current playlist


i'm just sharing the songs that are on repeat in my phone. each song is definitely for someone, or about a moment that happened recently. enjoy.

Dance Again - J.Lo (i'm not a good dancer, but i love dancing. yes, i wanna dance again. but not solo. so love is definitely next.)

Is it You? - Cassie (i'm looking for a lover, not a friend. huh. but i always end up finding friends.)

If you Asked me to - Angeline Quinto (two things: i watched Unofficially Yours and really liked it; and i heard a band sing this in ChicBoy last week. not a fan of Angeline, but the song. and what it means to me. oh well, though in my recent post i wrote about letting go, this could be my song if i regressed.)

Friends - Mike Francis (a cover by my friend Derrick. he sang it really well so i downloaded it. this song is for someone i really like. but that person's in the friend zone. so, no.)

A Thousand Years - Christina Perri (my emo song. this is perfect when i write. i will only feel its true meaning when i find that special someone.)

Give your Heart a Break - Demi Lovato (a song for someone i like who's taken. i really wanted to give your heart a break.)

Invisible Man - 98 Degrees (let's not go there.)

Oo/Tadhana - Up Dharma Down (c'mon. who doesn't like these songs? who would not feel sad and emotional and broken after hearing these songs? i did.)

Stick Around - Azure (this song is really special. i haven't heard this for a long time until someone told me to listen to it. i love this song. perfect for my sitch. and yeah, imma stick around.)

A Little Bit - MYMP (i remember Mr. Big singing this one time at a videoke.)

Tattooed on my Mind - D'Sound (a friend requested for this when we were in ChicBoy and i remembered why i loved this song years ago. your face is tattooed on my mind, yeah. that's for sure.)

Do i Need a Reason - D'Sound (this is for someone. let's leave it at that.)

Breathe your Name - Sixpence None the Richer (this song was playing in my walkman when Paulo Vinluan passed by my way while i was waiting for my best friend to finish her STS exam. i'm kinda feeling the same way when i met someone who will not be named.)

what's the playlist's title? "Para Kanino?"

Posted by jc_pagdanganan 06:39 Archived in Philippines Tagged playlist_update random_babbles Comments (0)



Almost a year ago i posted about Mr. Big leaving for the US, where his fiance is. (Check this post) It was bittersweet. Even after a few months, i was still sad. I didn't just blog about him once, but for a few times.

I have told the mahjongeras about Mr. Big in one of our ganaps. Just this summer, instead of getting really drunk, I ended up very emotional in our overnight stay in a condo unit that we rented. It must have been the booze, or that my friends brought their dates, that made me a tad bit emo. It took me weeks after that to finally post in Path that i was over him. Despite being dateless for the past few months, I managed to bury my feelings six feet under.

I guess that wasn't deep enough.

Next week, Mr. Big is visiting Pinas. This is the true test of how high my emotional intelligence is. It's not helping that i'm listening to songs that hit me right smack in the heart.

Oh, my heart. It has never been in the right place. After I gave it to someone two years ago, and took it back, it has never wanted to be shared again. If I see Mr. Big and I don't feel enamored anymore, that's great. And that's what I am hoping for. This should have been over and done with years ago. So I am putting it into writing.

"Mr. Big's heart is not with you. It is entwined with someone else. If he wanted you, he could've run after you. Disregard the compact you made about getting together when you both don't have anyone at a certain age. That complicates things and makes you hope more. If along the way, he comes back and opportunity strikes, go for gold. Be smart. Be kind to yourself. Be open to others. Your happiness might just be waiting somewhere. This is not Mr. Big's fault, but yours. Just be content that he is still in your life, as a very good friend. That is not settling. That is accepting what life has to offer you. So let it go."

Posted by jc_pagdanganan 06:11 Archived in Philippines Comments (0)




You, drowning in this ocean of ale
touch me with little inhibition
You, your stare, your glance
leave me powerless, motionless

Me, indulging in a sonic fairy tale
of melodies owned by others
Me, swimming in clouds of smoke
in a moment of lucid madness

You, drowning in this ocean of ale
will soon forget these intimations
Me, indulging in a sonic fairy tale
dreaming whilst awake, prideless


Posted by jc_pagdanganan 21:50 Archived in Philippines Tagged poem_vomit Comments (0)

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