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Karlo and I had to share a car this morning.
Both of us woke up late (a bit past 8 a.m.), given that we had to be at our respective offices before 9 a.m.

Had you been present at our house, you would have witnessed the following scene:

Karlo [walks out of his room, holding a change of underwear, obviously about to take a shower]
Maria: [also clutching a change of clothes] I have to take a bath na (loose translation: I got dibs on the upstairs bathroom)
Karlo: I'll shower downstairs

Both of us were willing to skip out on breakfast. My dad informed me that Karlo was planning to pass by a McDonald's drive-thru on the way out. I responded by announcing that I would pass for coffee (in TechnoHub).

Despite our grand plans, both of us (of course) took a bit too long to get ready and so, at around 8:40 that morning:

Karlo: I won't pass na for Mcdo.
Maria: I won't narin pass for coffee

We then proceeded to raid the fridge, frantically throwing together ingredients for sandwiches and grabbing bite-size pieces of chocolate (Karlo went for 3 Musketeers, I opted for Hershey's Kisses). He also grabbed what, at first glance, looked to me like a can of beer. I decided it was iced coffee.

Maria: [eagerly] Is that coffee?
Karlo: It's oolong tea.
Maria [internal shudder; is not a big tea fan]

We both run out the front door.

Twinity in the morning, at 25 years old.


Twinity in the morning, at 1 year old:

Twinity in the morning, at 3 years old:

Twinity at 9 years old:

Twinity at 12 years old:

Twinity at 14 years old:

Twinity at 24 years old:

Twinity at 25 years old:

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The past two weeks, or more, building strength again slowly - they've scared me.
I avoid talking about this, although it is my story to tell. I am not as delicate as you will think I am, and I need to believe that I am stronger than I feel. I shouldn't look for reasons anymore. I don't want to. But, more than anything, I don't want to look for an end.

As things stand now, it seems I will never tell you about this, you won't tell me I'm stronger than I think I am, won't be called on to meet the demands of this situation.



I have always had a thing for farms. Or maybe fields would be a more appropriate term. Wide open spaces - they represent freedom. Driving past, I used to imagine running through, arms spread wide. How long would it take me to reach that point in the horizon? I want to own a field, somewhere I can go to anytime I feel like lying down in wild grass. But I want my field to be dotted with trees, here and there. I like climbing trees. I like climbing. In Chuyo, what remains of my family's ancestral land (and they are on the verge of taking this away from us), my cousins and I used to run through hills of grass and climb the rocks left from times when even the Cordillera was underwater.

Today is Cordillera Day.

When my twin and I were younger, we would go and sing during the annual celebration.

Aanak ti Kordilyera (Children of the Cordillera)
Aanak iti daga (Children of the land)


Ina apay a nagadu (Mother, why are there so many)
ti makina ditoy ayan tayo? (machines, here where we are?)
anya kadi ti aramiden da? (what are they going to do?)

My brother's song about land rights, not mining.


Ti Kabanbantayan (The mountains)
Kayo, bakir, karayan (Trees, forests, rivers)
Amin a kinabaknang (All the riches of the land)
Tawid Kaigorotan (Heritage of Kaigorotan)

My song, Remember Your Children.

I remember the day my aunty Judy first called me into her room and asked me to sing that song. She had a guitar with her, and she kept adjusting the pitch - higher and higher, as far as my vocal chords could be stretched:

Remember your children
Remember our future
Remember your children
Remember mother nature

You look at the forests
You look at the trees
Is it money, is it business?
Is it profit that you see?

You say you need the power
And you draw up all your plans
You look at the rivers
And you think of building dams

You look at the mountains
Full of riches, so you're told
Do you think of the children
Or is it only the gold?


I remember my childhood, at home in the mountains, in the Cordillera :-)


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