Saturday, March 19, 2011


          When I say diet, I mean eat-all-you-can diet.

          Food. Fooood. Fooooooood. I have a love-hate relationship with food. I love eating but it doesn't love me back. I am a voracious eater, perennially hungry but looks like someone who starves herself like an anorexic. Weighing no more than 90 pounds, I am a constant subject to interrogations on whether I eat no more than half a nibble a day. Let me make the record straight. I do not starve myself to be skinny. In fact, I am trying my hardest to gain weight because I am aware that I am underweight. I want to have what my guy friend s call "bumper". It is difficult to feel like a woman when you are as flat as a pancake, if you know what I mean.

          There was only twice in my life that I gained weight. First was when I was studying in Northern Illinois University as an exchange student. In a month, I gained 13 pounds. That is no surprise since my daily diet consists of breakfast, lunch and dinner at McDonald's and at least three bars of Hershey's milk chocolate with almonds after dinner. I replaced water with soda. My favorite is 20-ounce bottle of Mountain Dew which I can finish in three breaths.

          But when I got back to the Philippines, I cannot maintain that lifestyle anymore for many reasons like we don't have McDo in Marawi, Hershey's is sold at around 30 pesos (i used to buy it for less than a dollar at the vending machine on the second floor of Holmes Student Center Hotel in NIU), and I realized that I can't fit well anymore in my extra-small clothes. I realized I am not used to the muffin top and the love handles. I realized that the shape of my face is so round like that of Judy Ann Santos when she was her fattest. I shrunk back to my normal self in no time.

          And then I missed being huggable. I obsessed over gaining pounds for the sake of looking healthy and well-fed. But I am an emotional eater. When my pseudo bipolar self swings into the depressive mode, everything loses its taste. My throat dries out and gulping down is a chore. I am tired of dieting, eat-all-you-can way. Say I am too skinny. Say I am anorexic. I don't care anymore.

Thursday, March 17, 2011


          I ran late to my Chem Lab exam this morning. Not your usual 5-10 minutes late but a full hour! Which means I had no more than 30 minutes to finish the exam. Why on hell would someone be that late for a very important exam? It's just that I woke up 9 am which is the exact hour when the exam starts. When I realized that I was gonna be late, I gulped down a mug of coffee, threw on whatever I can get my had on in the closet and ran out the door. Mind you, it takes 30 minutes to travel from home to the university campus.

          I love the reaction I got from the proctor. Jaw-dropped. Jaw-locked. She just stared at me, all the surprise and disbelief registering in her very transparent face. I'm dead, I thought. Adrenaline rushed in and before I knew it, I was done. In 25 minutes.

          Perfect morning. Until I ran into people who stared at me head-to-toe because I was, well, weird in my magenta sweater, boyfriend jeans, 4-inch leather platforms, and brown aviators. You see, in this small town, unless you wear skinny or 90's flared pants paired with either Crocs, espadrilles, canvas shoes, or patent leather flats, then you are abnormal. Exactly what I am according to their fashion standards. I guess they never really have seen anyone wearing boyish jeans with uber girlish heels. These people have a lot of fashion sensibilities. *insert sarcastic laugh here*   

         Bye for now. Exam week enslaves me.

Monday, March 14, 2011


          I am fascinated by how words can tell so much without revealing too much. Like how a letter can tell a lifetime worth of pain. Like how a diary can tell a story so much more than a day's worth. you'll know what I mean after reading below.

Monday, February 14, 2011
7:02 AM

            Dear diary,

            Another day started and ended like a typical day for me. I went to school today, went straight home, and locked myself inside my room. The house is full of joy today, everyone seemed to have fun from a family trip. They went shopping and everyone bought something. I can even hear them saying they'll bought this and that soon. But here I am cocooned in my own world. Safe. From them.
            I thought I got used to this kind of life, always being ignored. You know very well that I am a middle child. A typical middle child syndrome sufferer. As a toddler, I was under the care of my grandmother. I had to be given to her because my parents cannot take care of me because they had another child to take care of. Perhaps that is the reason why I never really had a memory of my mother cuddling me and saying sweet things to me. Unlike my older siblings, they had a chance to have a mother. I even remember those days when I lived with my grandma in a house separate from my family. It was a small shabby house. I used to sleep beside grandma. No wonder she is the only one here who shows that much concern to me and takes care of me to the point where I get mad for invasion of my privacy. But I am thankful. I didn't have a mother but a substitute one.
            But then again, looking back to all these wasted years, two decades of existence without really knowing my parents in a trusting and intimate relationship, there is much regret. I live with them now but I still find it difficult to look at them in the eye. They hurt me too much. They hurt me so more than too much. They me never admit this but I know that I am never their favorite.
            Mom, Dad, remember when I was in elementary, how you would scold me for not being the first honor in class? Every grading I fear you, because my worth was measured by my grades. Remember how you would compare me to my classmates, how good they are? No wonder I never learned to play with other kids because I was the one who stays in her room studying books too advanced for her age to compensate.  My other siblings enjoyed childhood without the pressure you put on me. You never measured their worth based on their grades. You singled me out. When my brother became an honor student for the first time, I remember how you spoiled him. You gave him three-thousand pesos worth of leather shoes. He was on the bottom list of the honor roll while I was on top yet I was ignored. I tried hard. I tried so hard. My academic and extra-curricular achievements went beyond the usual. Still, I was ignored. Grade six. My graduation. I remember crying during our practice because you told me we are not celebrating my graduation because I was merely second honor. Never mind that I had other awards. Never mind that I was top one in all the entrance tests I took.
            I knew. You may love me but not as much as you love your other children. I have forgotten all these painful memories but the events these past few weeks woke the dead from their sleep. You told me not to go to my dream school because it is too expensive yet you are buying expensive things for my siblings. That would be fine if you bought me one too. But no. This laptop I use now, I have to shoulder more than half of its cost because you won't buy me one. My first cam cellphone, I bought it with the money I got from winning an essay writing contest. My closet is filled with clothes too old that you can use them as rags. But I pretend I love wearing them because they are "vintage" when in fact I just have no choice but wear them because I have nothing else. Why is it that when it comes too me, you cannot give me more that what I deserve? At the end of the day, I am always measured according to my achievements and not how much you love me. There is always a condition for you to love me.
            You hurt me too much. You hurt me so much more than too much.
            Days go by and we drift farther and farther apart. My dream of being treated like your baby seems impossible now. I am grown woman, free yet trapped in these memories. These years of never really learning to talk with you made me totally unable to. So I keep all these bottled up. If you open my heart you'll see how scarred it is. My façade is one that speaks of confidence and strength while my foundations are so messed up. Because you hurt me. You hurt me so much more than too much.
            After I put the last punctuation on this journal entry, I'll be hugging myself to sleep tonight, nursing all my wounds within.
            Middle Child

Thursday, March 10, 2011


My brain cells are too dizzy with overdose of caffeine today. The only title I can come up with is sugarless because I started the day with a cup of hot water plus a heaping teaspoon of Nescafe. No more, no less. My taste buds are not accustomed to the bitterness that they would have died if I did not slather peanut butter so generously on my bread. I’ve always enjoyed my cup with creamer and brown sugar for that caramel taste.

 But then again, I did like my sugarless coffee. It is the balance between the strong bitterness of the coffee and the heavenly sweetness of peanut butter. I remember this show in TLC where Kelly Osborne was served traditional tea and cake during her trip to Japan. She did not like it at all. The tea is bitter and grassy and the cake is sweet. Later on, the geisha explained to her the Japanes philosophy behind it. Surprisingly, like Kelly, I did not get the whole concept. What I just heard ia that in food, there should be a balance. I was telling and reminding myself that as I tried to gulp my first few sips of the drink.

There are a lot of things that I associate with coffee. Let me enumerate a few.

1.    Papang. My father. The biggest influence on my coffee-indulging habit is not Mary-Kate Olsen always caught by paparazzis holding a Starbucks tumbler while donning tommorrow’s next trend nor the Pinoy’s absession with going to Starbucks or Seattle’s Best to take a photos of themselves pretending to be damn rich and SESYAL and then post the photos in Friendster and Facebook for the world to see that they TOO drink Starbucks. My caffeine addiction started when I began taking sips of coffee my father makes. He makes the best kape. Like everytime he makes one, everyone of us usually take turns in sipping that Papang ends up making another cup.

2.   That guy from Asian café. Sorry, I am bad with names. I cannot forget that episode when he travelled to the middle east to sample their coffee. He said that the coffee in the traditional cafes there is so fantastic that he thinks that people in Starbucks are so stupid for paying a lot for a mediocre drink and wi-fi.

3.   Sex. I know. Kinky. Don’t get me wrong. *giggles* It’s just that in high school, our English Elective teacher made us list down the first word that comes to mind when we hear the words cat, dog, and coffee. After that, she revealed to us that the words we listed is actually our subconscious opinion reagarding our best friend(dog), enemy(cat), and sex(coffee). For coffee, some wrote hot, delicious, addicting, relaxing, and stimulating. What did I write? It’s a secret I’ll never tell.


Ayeesha J

Thursday, March 3, 2011


Seven minutes before midnight. Lights out. A bloggerina fetches words from the recesses of her mind, choreographing each iota of idea into something comprehendable and meaningful. Is this writer's block? But why she still writes?

Weeks of woes have tormented me into believing that my senses are now as numb as my cold as ice steel headboard. However, in a chorus of emotions, I still hear that familiar voice, low and sad and hoarse, singing weakly but still audible. As the night stretches into midnight, that voice sounds louder as the others are muted. The voice of Pain. Very familiar, like an old acquaintance, whose presence never fails to open the crate of memories hidden under the bed of faux peace. Leave me alone!

I do not know where to begin. In the hopes that a flicker of understanding will be borne out of a few minutes of free-writing, I let my fingers catch up with the gushing of words and sensations that are too familiar yet strange.

Suddenly, I hear the words of that 80's song, It Must Have Been Love by Roxette. I heard it earlier this night when I was organizing my media library and it just stuck at the back of mind. A sugarless hardened bubble gum that is left either by a prankster or a mindless idiot (how redundant) that adhered to my school uniform. It must have been love but it's over now. Pathetic. I feel like a moron letting all these sentimentality crawl up my toes and coil around me, lingering around my neck making it slightly difficult to breathe. I should really shut up now. I really should for I may spill the whole gallon of milk when I intend to throw just a glass. No, I wouldn't wanna be licking the spillage.

I know what else keeps me up this late. I dread the future and all the uncertainties that it holds. I don't even know if my entrance to a reputable med school is a sure deal. A month ago, I was foolishly imagining a red carpet waiting for me and a swarm of paps, of course. A few steps from the finish line, I am back to zero. Back to the quarter life crisis that I seem to never really get out of. Talking about crises, it is becoming obvious how human beings always have to have something to blame. Thus, geniuses called psychiatrists invented these terminologies: identity crisis, quarter life crisis, middle life crisis, and... uhm, help me fill in more. For the nth time, I wrestle with the simple question of what I really want to do with my life. Once upon a time, not too long ago, I did want to become an MD. But. Again. BUT. There is a problem. Luckily, I have another crisis to blame: economic crisis. I can't stomach the guilt of still being a mouth to feed for the next five years. I could have. If and only if I was born with a silver spoon in mouth. The big question still pokes me. Granted that I'll be enrolled this June, am I really sure that I can endure it? I know a side of me too well. The part of me who would simply walk out of class because the teacher or the subject bores the demon out of me. The part of me who knows I have to do a certain task but refuses to just because I don't feel like doing it. The part of me who is insomniac on regular days but is so drowsy on the night before a big exam. The part of me who was never really a good student. NEVER.

I carry too much guilt these days that I might as well turn over myself to the authorities and sentence myself to whatever punishment that can wash away the this filth that jams the gears of my cerebrum. I am guilty of always stirring away from the path laid down for me by the society I serve. They wanted me to be this and that. Curse Robert Frost for giving a supposedly good girl like me the idea of choosing the road less taken. Often, I find myself defying conventions of the conventional society I was raised in. For a Maranao girl, career choice is pretty limited. Either you get a conventional job or be married off to a stranger. I do not see any thing majorly wrong with the usual, it's just that at the end of the day, I don't find any satisfaction at all. I can just follow orders and be just another goody-two-shoes BUT I am afraid that I will lose grasp of myself and whatever that is that defines who I am. It is perhaps easier to walk on the tamed, manicured lawn BUT my eyes always wanders towards the woods. I want to see more of the world outside this small town. I want to live a life that is different from the pattern of a regular Maranao woman.

"In everything you do, you have to leave a mark", said the maker of the pencil to the pencil according to Sir Yul. I took that line to heart that the idea of me fading into unwritten history is like having never lived at all. That's it. That word--LIVE. I want to live. Wake up each day doing what I love and steering the wheel myself. I can't be just a passenger but an reckless F1 driver. Never mind that I crash, the thrill is worth it anyway.

I am angry. Angry with certain people who manipulated me into being wherever I am now which is like a s*** hole. You. Remember when I told you that my greatest dream is to write? And to be the best electrical engineer and put an end to the frequent brownouts in our small town. To be a kick-ass lawyer. You laughed at me, didn't you. I was young then, voiceless. You tore my self-worth apart, made me feel that I can be of use only if I become a doctor. You made me feel that my dreams are not important, and sillier than the three stooges. I surrendered. Now I am falling apart.

I remeber that scene of the movie that my best friend Rashid made. (He said it was inspired by me. Thank you Daani.)

Aisha: Malapit na talaga ang board exam, kelangan kong pumasa, Imran. Yun ang gusto ni Abi(Dad). Yun ang gusto nila lahat para sa akin. Ibibigay ko yun sa kanila pero ang mas mahalaga, kelangan kong pumasa para matulungan ko ang kapatid ko sa pangarap nia, dahil hindi na matutupad ang akin.... Imran, ginusto kaya ng Lake Lanao na maging lake siya, na ang pangunahing silbi ay magbigay ng tubig, pagkain, transportasyon at enerhiya? Hindi kaya niya ginusto ang maging bukid na lang? O tao kaya?

Imran: Ewan. Sana naman ginusto nia. Sana tanggap niya kung ano siya.

Aisha: Anong ibig mong sabihin?

Imran: Tingnan mo nga naman ang lawa ngayon. Polluted. Unti-unti nang nasisira. Ang saklap naman kung ang lahat ng ito ay nangyayayri sa kanya pero hind pala niya ginusto ang maging lawa, maging anyong tubig. Di na nga natupad ang kagustuhan niya, nasisira pa siya.

Aisha: Ikaw Imran, tanggap mo ba kung ano ka? Tanggap mo ba ang kapalarang inihanda sayo ng magulang mo, ng pamilya mo?

Imran: Takot ako Aisha. Sana naging lawa na lang ako. Walang isip, walang damdamin, walang kinatatakutan, walang pinagtataguan.Sana naging bulag na lang ako. Sana tinanggal na lang ang talino ko. Di ko naman kelangang maging cum laude. Sana pinanganak na lang ako sa isang mahirap at di kilalang pamilya. Ok lang sana sa akin un, wag lang akong makadama ng ganito, kumilos nang ganito, mag-isip nang gainto, wag lang akong maging ako. Ipagpapalit ko ang lahat ng meron ako ngayon, wag lang akong maging ako.

The finish line is so near. But truth be told, I don't even want to finish the race. But I have to. Whatever that is waiting at the end of this, I really don't know if I am going to like it. The ghosts of my old dreams that I buried are haunting me now. My bed is never tranquil these days. A thousand what-ifs plague me like a swarm of dirty rats straight out of the Middle Ages.

Do you know the feeling of having to overdose yourself in caffeine just to be able to drag your butt out of the house because you really have nothing to look forward to in a day, that your itinerary consists of things that you must but not really want to do?

[[ AWARDS :D ]]

Shukran Kai for these. :D And the rules o receiving the award are:

    I have to thank those who awarded me.
    I have to write 7 and few things about me.
    I have to award it to others to keep the cycle going.
    I have to inform those I awarded. :)

7 things about me...

Un. I want to learn French but French won't let me learn it.

Deux. I am always overly caffeinated that a day without a cup will send me into a fake depression aka withdrawal syndrome.

Trois. Judith Mcnaught is my fairytale.

Quatre. I can finish reading a Sheldon, Rice, or Rowling in a night but it took me about a week to finish Sherlock Holmes.

Cinq. I look up to Ate Samerah Gutoc (the only Maranao journalist I know), Adnan Marohomsalic (fellow Maranao who was number one in the 2001 or 2002, am not sure, electrical engineering board exam), and Adel Tamano (lawyer, opposition spokesperson, Harvard graduate, was a candidate for senate).

Six. I find it difficult to turn down a dare.

Sept. I am on a diet. Eat-all-you-can diet.

I award these to...





Hijabi Hippie Hypo

Ween Azura.


Aiz Kim