BATU, Indonesia. Photo by Jes Aznar

Saturday, October 21, 2006


I’m embarking on a new and different adventure.

It could probably be as exciting as my most memorable adventures – meeting the Badjaos of Basilan, mountain trekking in Kazahkstan, backpacking in Prague and drinking gin with the Ivatans of Batanes – but I know it will be so much different.

When I entered the room, all the strength I had left my 100 pound body. Suddenly, I was nothing but a fragile soul treading unfamiliar territory.

I was led to a darker room with nothing but a bed and some machines.

“Take off your pants and lie down,” the doctor told me.

This is it, I told myself.

She promised me it’s going to be ok as long as I’m strong enough. The process took less than ten minutes.

It didn’t feel good. It hurt many times.

“Do you want to see why it’s worth the pain? I’ll show you,” she said.

I had just taken an ultrasound test.

It’s REAL. There’s a LIFE growing inside me. The heart is beating 184 beats per minute. It’s a miracle.

I’m going to be a MOTHER. What right do I have? I don’t know. All I know is I’ve been chosen. I’ve been picked by natural selection, by some strange twist of fate, by some magic, by some irony.

I, with a singularly single lifestyle and absolutely undomesticated soul, have been chosen to become a mother.

Motherhood, as my doctor said, is a privilege.

“Good cardiovascular activity,” the doctor said after finishing the ultrasound process.

I’m having a BABY.

Someone once wrote that to have a child is to begin the greatest of all adventures – you try to become the best person you can be to raise a new life and to present to the world a responsible and honest individual who will carry on the struggle for a better tomorrow.

Words will never be enough to explain this journey.

I’ve always believed that there are persons cut out to be mothers. I never considered myself one of them. I am an impatient, temperamental, extremely moody, selfish and individualistic soul. But I will try to be a mom.

I will try my best to nurture an individual who will never stop to struggle for what is good for him or her and for society. Maybe that that is what it meant to be a mother. Maybe that is what it meant to be a woman.

But I know that motherhood won’t be a walk in the park. It’s no playground. It’s going to be very difficult. I will make mistakes, big ones. But what is important is to learn from those mistakes.

My journey will take a while. I’m scheduled to give birth in April. I look forward to meeting my child. I will sit on the wings of angels and hopefully, I’ll make it.

(written on August 26, 2006, the day I took an ultrasound test).

Thursday, October 12, 2006

The Zahir

"All that will disappear. What remains will be the love that moves the bearer, the stars, people, flower, insects, the love that obliges us all to walk across the ice, despite the danger, that fills us with joy and with fear, and gives meaning to everything."

Saturday, October 7, 2006

Blood Brothers

I just finished reading an excerpt of Blood Brothers, an unflinching and engaging account of Time senior correspondent Michael Weisskopf's experience covering the war in Iraq in 2003. He lost his right hand as he instinctively grabbed a grenade that landed on the back of a US Army Humvee and tried to throw it away.

It is a story of courage I will never forget. I came across sentences like these:

"I rose halfway, leaned to the right, and cupped the object.
I might as well have plucked volcanic lava from a crater. I could feel the flesh of my palm liquefying. Pain bolted up my arm like an electric current.
In one fluid motion, I raised my right arm and started to throw
the mass over the side of the vehicle, a short backhand toss.
Then everything went black.

The loss of my writing hand launched an assault of my self-image.
If I couldn't be a reporter, then who was I?...."

The Departed, Dan and Hazel

Mother was raving about the latest Scorcese film, The Departed, so I asked a friend to watch the movie with me.

He, however, begged off because he needed to be at work today. Something happened, he said. Broadcast journalist Dan Campilan of GMA-7 had been killed in a car accident. I didn't immediately remember who he was although I knew the name. Still, it was painful to hear the news.

Wasn't it just recently when all three members of a television news crew died of a vehicular accident?

It's sad. It's very painful to hear of such news. I don't know Dan personally but I've bumped into him many times in various press events. He was young and he seemed energetic.

But I knew Hazel and Maeng, two of the ABC-5 crew members who died last August in a car accident on the way back to Manila from a coverage in Bicol. Hazel struck me as a hardworking, sincere and passionate, veteran journalist.

She was unlike many who had egos bigger than themselves, they who taught they were as big as the giant media outfits they worked for. She offered me a ride once, after a coverage in the heart of Sta. Mesa, Manila.

Maeng and I also exchanged jokes whenever we bumped into each other during press events. I would always remind him to include me in the cut-away shot.

It's sad to hear of colleagues depart to another place, another time, another world, another universe. It's sad because I know how much they would have loved to continue their own exciting rides on this roller-coaster called Philippine journalism. More importantly, I know just how much they would have wanted to continue spending more time with their loved ones.

But as my Slovak friend likes to say, such is life. Every moment is borrowed time.