Since everyone is talking about the looming doomsday anyway, if I could, I would fill my last days with endless conversations — meaningful, gibberish, small talk, profound, I welcome them all. Yes, it departs from my usual repertoire of play-run-play-til-I-die, but the art of conversation holds within it a healing power.

Isn’t it great that as a species, we have long carried the tradition of storytelling without actually giving it any thought? That in bouts, we can actually agree to disagree? That we never tire of recounting old memories, laughing at them as if they happened yesterday?


On providence

God provides — this, despite all jadedness, I still believe.

There is a prerequisite though — you must not only be willing to work for it, but in order for blessings to reach you, you must pave the road by which it comes with your own two hands.

I’ve been in situations wherein I toiled my ass off, yet the fruits of my labor have yet to manifest themselves. Similarly, I’ve been in situations wherein the toil has been worth it — sometimes the rewards were even more than expected. There is added satisfaction in reaping rewards that are deserved.

But I’ve rarely seen situations wherein blessings were provided without having to do anything. I admit, it’s possible that these things have actually happened. But to depend on chance, to actually believe that you are privileged to be endowed with miracles, is to me, nothing but folly.


Speaking of documenting…

Warning: Uber-vain post ahead.

I've always wanted highlights...

Only in this crazy-wonderful-Net-frantic world do some websites come into your life and leave a dent. Yes, some will just intentionally waste your time, but well, there are a few sites that I’m thankful I stumbled upon. I remember running across this page which featured an ingenious family’s take on annual family portraits (check it out at http://zonezero.com/magazine/essays/diegotime/time.html) — each year they take id photos of themselves and now they have 30 years’ worth of photos/hairstyles to reminisce. This got me thinking, ‘why don’t I do the same and have a photo shoot every year on my birthday?’. What did I tell you — uber-vain, right?

I bought the first discounted photo-shoot package I saw on one of my beloved voucher sites, but I never got around to taking the shoot during my last birthday. The new year rolled around, and I didn’t get to book either. Finally, on this characteristically lazy weekend, I decided to haul my butt off the couch and finally get that shoot done.

What I didn’t expect was how fun it would be. It brought me back to the grade-school/high-school days when digital cams were yet unheard of, and trips to Galleria meant movie+lunch+neoprint+studiopic shoot. I remember cringing at my smile whenever we got the prints from the studio, but today at DeCharacter Image’s studio (it’s located on Purvis St. near Raffles Hotel), Dana (the stylist — sashyaaaal…) and Kyaw (the photographer. I repeat — sashyaaaal…) put me in so much ease that I only remembered how awkward a shoot should be after the shoot. So kudos, Dana & Kyaw! 🙂

If you’ve read up to here and you’re not puking yet, you may want to check out the other pics from the shoot — https://picasaweb.google.com/ishgagno/201102Me# .

(If my sisters are reading this — since Ondoy washed most of our childhood pics away and we literally are oceans apart now, what do you say to making our own yearly timeline? It’ll be fun to show it to our kids 30 years from now. 🙂 Let’s have it every Christmas, what do you guys think?)


Leaving Traces

John Lennon said that life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans. I say that this adage can be tailored a bit to suit our generation — life now is what happens when you were too busy documenting it.

A few people realize it, but we live in a time wherein people do have a fixation of documenting even the tiniest bits of our lives. More likely than not, once or twice you’ve found yourself overwhelmed by the volume of pictures and videos that you have yet to upload. Maybe once or twice, you’ve given into posting how excited you were that day, how yummy the snack you had was, or perhaps even (eep!) how bored you currently are (I have yet to figure out this phenomenon). Perhaps it’s due to the deluge of mediums and tools we have today to do so.  Could you imagine if they had WordPress, Flickr, Facebook or Twitter back then? Maybe we would have found Balagtas’ blog to be more interesting than Rizal’s. Maybe the revolt wouldn’t have taken place because Bonifacio and Aguinaldo were too busy having a tweet-war. Shakespeare could have one less masterpiece, because he was too busy maintaining his blog to actually publish another poem. Maybe — just maybe — we could ‘follow’ Jesus and find out what He would actually do. Think about it — how many unsung heroes would we have known if only they could have just left their traces just as we could today?

Maybe that’s just it — at a day and age when almost everything but peace is ubiquitous, perhaps we just have a fear of being obscure. Maybe it’s our silent shout that we want to be recognized and appreciated for who we are, instead of having others describe you through eulogies when it’s too late. Or maybe we just had nothing else better to do at that moment.

And here I am, mocking my own generation while blogging. Kidding aside, I hope that at the end of my days, I can look back and honestly say for each entry here, ‘I’m glad I blogged that.’


What’s in a name?

One thing to surely turn an ordinary day for me into a grand one is to find a Neil Gaiman book for grabs in the library. Already devouring the first of three gems the moment I got home, I ran across this interesting conjecture in one of his short stories — names have power.

For those who’ve read Gaiman, his stories brim with folklore, the supernatural, unearthly beings and the like, but Gaiman may have stumbled across a grain of real ‘magic’ that’s just right under our noses.

Is it true — do names have power? Supposing your friend was called Pete instead of Pedring all the time, would you have treated him a little differently? Supposing that Ke$ha grew up using her second name (Rose), would she still be singing the same kind of songs? If Eugene Domingo had a different name, would she have been still half as funny? Supposing a baby was named Kate rather than Luzviminda, would she have had a different life? If your classmate was called Kayla or Chloe instead, would you have paid more attention? Admit it — if you didn’t call your kid sister Batchoy so much, is it even just slightly possible that things would have been different?

I guess I’ve never really noticed it before, but working in a multi-cultural workplace has made me realized that we Filipinos really have a thing about our names. I mean, others would actually stick to what they’re born with (ex. Robert, Hazel, John, Marcin, Gaurav, Vuong, etc.), but more often than not, Filipinos would insist on ‘branding’ themselves with unique monikers (ex. Eka, Bikbok, Teng, Ayen, Bhebot, and of course, yours truly, Ish. =P)

Thinking about it, what if I stuck to Trish or Pat instead of Ish? (well, first thing, I would have to use a different blog name in lieu of gibberIsh). Would I have gone to soirees instead of concert mosh-pits? Would I have taken on heels & strappy sandals earlier in place of my mo-jo’s and hiking shoes? I think if I delve deeper, this might call for another blog post of its own — the Ish’es of the alternate universes(!).



After a brief fling with themed blogs (some of which I’m thankful that no one knows they even exist), I’m back to the original chaos of the me!-me!-me! blog. Knowing how fickle the almighty ‘Net is, hopefully I’ve found the final home for the memoirs I’m looking forward to laughing at when I’m old and gray. It was fun to timewarp through some of my first posts. I realized that nothing really changed much from 2006 to today; I’m still pretty much the same neurotic, chatty me. Only chubbier.

In honor of new beginnings, it may be fit to kickoff this new blogspace with my 2011 resolutions post. Let’s pretend I actually have a good rate of fulfilling my new year’s resolutions (I checked — this is a total fallacy.) Hopefully, when Jan 2012 rolls around and I see this post again, I would have ticked off at least one with a clean conscience. =P

1. Drink milk everyday (and no, Ish, coffee with milk doesn’t count).

2. Blog at least once a week.

3. Run at least twice a month.

4. Learn something new OR do something completely out of character each month. (interesting…)

5. Cook up 2 decent (read: edible & serveable) dishes monthly.

6.  Come up with at least one video every month (12 productions by the end of the year! *fingers crossed*)

7. Read at least 52 books by the end of the year.


Yey, January, for high hopes, wishful thinking and miracles that nobody ever thought would come true! 🙂


ondoy, unggoy ka.

it’s the ultimate OFW cliche, but it’s so apt i have to say it anyway — ang hirap talagang malayo sa pamilya mo.

i’m at my nth video clip of the havoc that Ondoy wreaked in Manila. flashfloods happening in places where it never happened for the last 20 years. cars and vans floating like Matchbox toys. people stuck in rooftops, waiting for rescue. and all i can do is watch and wait until i hear from my family.

i think everyone is still at a state of shock, that no one has really fully taken in how much devastation has happened. to think that this happens all the time to the provinces, those without twitters and facebook accounts to ask for choppers to come to the rescue. it will take much time for this to sink in.

for the mean time, i’ll go back to waiting word from my home. godspeed, everyone.


3, 2, 1…


If I would be allowed to do only three things and be miserable the rest of the time, then those three will be the following — dance, drink beer, and play sports. Not necessarily in that order.

Having two out of three this week wasn’t bad at all. It was a rare occassion that I was able to whisk myself out of the office before 7 to attend the HipHop 1 class at OSchool’s new location at Lavender. I guess they’re still working on the airconditioning — it was turned off before our class was ended, so the mirror got all misty and we literally had to wipe the mirror every now and then just to see ourselves.

An even rarer occassion was that I got to hang out with my teammates for drinks after work. Huwaw. That’s how every job was meant to be — good or bad, there should always be beer at the end. :p  My former team lead just flew in from London; he’s brilliant at work, but he was also the type who always rallies the troop and drags us away from our PCs for some good-old WLB (thank God!). I do admit, it’s hard sometimes being the only Filipino in the group, but at other times, the way I look at it, I have the most to gain. I mean, I’m learning A WHOLE LOT about perspectives I’ve never dealt with before. It’s amazing how much they know not just about their culture, but about the world as well. This Pinay must have looked a lot goofy, smiling and trying to decipher common Hindi expressions. Something tells me the learning will never end. =P



When tributes to two of your greatest heroes can be found in one place, you just know you HAVE to be there (and no, this does not involve Michael Jackson). Dragging myself off to the other end of the island, this kaladkarin went solo to see the Da Vinci exhibit and Van Gogh IMax movie over at the Science Centre (nerdox much?). Honestly, the Da Vinci exhibit was a bit underwhelming; I was expecting more than things that I could have just Googled. As for the Van Gogh movie, it was worth it. I now remember why I braved the heat and the commute to see this 40-minute/8-bucks flick — in 4 words, beauty found in chaos. Sweet.



The one. That elusive one. You begin to wage a war on the world, knowing that there will never be that perfect match, but then this one comes along, who brings your hopes up. Maybe, just maybe, there’s a chance. There will be trade-offs, definitely. Something endearing will always be compensated by something annoying, and vice-versa. And then, at a wink,  it’ll be lost again. You’ll both be in the market.

Just when I was getting to love how near I was to the office and to the MRT, next month we have to move again. I guess I knew all along that I was destined to be a nomad. But I guess this is all for the best — it’ll be just like scouting the island, before I’m ready to settle down and commit to one place. Hay. Pati ba naman pagdating sa bahay, non-committal pa rin ako! I knew it. :p


And the firsts just keep on coming…

Found a clip of my first hiphop class at SG. Whoever told me that there wasn’t much of a hiphop community in SG — you and I need to talk. OSchool seems to be a fun place to learn & hang out, but boy, do they teach fast. The whole routine was taught in just under one hour — I think double the steps and half the time when compared to the classes I’m used to. I think I’ll stick to the beginner classes first. =P Don’t even bother to look for me in the vid — I’m the one messing up all the steps. =P


The 3-Year Mark

Yesterday, I would have celebrated my third year at HP. As it was a Friday and chance chose to smile upon me that day, I would fortunately remember it as my first clubbing night-out at my new post. Haha.

We were happy to show off Clarke Quay to Dino, my college blockmate, during the last night of his business trip here in SG. Our merry band was composed of the usual HP alumni (Ben, Mike, Donald and me) and Dino and Aimee, another college orgmate. Initially, I thought we would just be out for dinner, coffee and good chatter, but after one turn led to another, we found ourselves at China One, a bar/club/billiards-hall recommended by Aimee. As Aimee’s birthday had just past, she generously sponsored a bottle of tequila AND a bottle of vodka, with beers++.  The gapes on our faces must have been amusing. After several shots, we danced like there was no tomorrow and had a go at the billiards table. Niko, the eternal party animal, joined us a few moments later. After some more shots and chatter, we finally called it a night, but not without taking away some anecdotes from that night that we know will still be hilarious months from now (diba Dino? 🙂 ). Thanks Dino for letting our bunch of drunk delinquents crash your hotel room at 4 am. Thanks also, HP, for giving Dino that room. 🙂

But of course, most of all, thank you, Lord, for always looking out for me. I’m blessed to have a group of fun & amazing friends, a sister, relatives, and friends of friends of friends, right here with me who will never let me forget how thankful I should be. Hats off to you.

Happy birthday, Aimee!
Happy birthday, Aimee!