Thursday, May 17, 2007


How to do a cover for an anthology of fiction for young adults? Outright I had already decided to depict a boy and a girl. The problem, though, was how. Will they be interacting? Will they be oblivious of each other? The scrapbook idea is something I've long been wanting to do, and I finally found a use for it as a cover for a UP Press book. I like how it gives a feeling of something voyeuristic about it; like you chanced upon somebody's open journal. I'm also very pleased with how the ring binding turned out, how it coincides with the spine to make it look unique when on the shelf. But it would have been nicer though if the book were thicker so it would not be covered up by all the info on the spine. Oh well.

Anton, sleeping.

Fast becoming my favorite subject is Anton. I am constantly amazed at how beautiful he is, especially when he is sleeping (but of course, you will understand my bias.) Did these two sketches right after I put him to sleep on two separate occasions. The one on the right is the older one, done when he was only 6 months and 1 week old. The one on the left (with the watercolor of my artwork for the Bagets cover striking through was done a month later.)

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Nesting instinct

after months of neglect, this blog might soon start getting busy again, thanks to my upcoming and much-anticipated preoccupation--Anton.

the subtitle of the blog would now henceforth be known as: From Singleton to Smug Married to Harassed Mom. A journal of thoughts and insights on the married life...and motherhood.

till then, au revoir. i have to take care of the literal housecleaning in our apartment before i become blog-crazy again. and the scrapbooks! i have to finish my wedding scrapbooks before i get started on anton's. aaaarggh. so much to do--and so little time! before i know it the sem's gonna be over, my baby will already be walking and talking, and i haven't done stricken anything yet off my list!

Friday, May 26, 2006 first solo show!

You are cordially invited
to the opening of

M A Y M. T O B I A S
A b s t r a c t R e a s o n i n g

June 10 to 30, 2006
The Corredor
UP College of Fine Arts

Opening Reception at 3 PM on June 10, 2006

Monday, December 26, 2005

post christmas reflections

thank god christmas is over. i can't believe i spent the whole of last week doing practically nothing except shopping and wrapping gifts, and attending christmas parties. now i still have a lot of work on my hands, all of which need to be done before classes start again.

the good thing about it is that my family loved the gifts i gave them, despite my very limited and modest budget. i tried to make up for the inexpensiveness of the gifts with the thought that went to each and every item. (that's why i practically spent three whole days in greenhills, mega and shangri-la malls). the most difficult to find and most expensive items i bought for my sister, the bank vp who practically has everything, and my mom (whom i'd given practically everything from make-up to baking equipment).

to be cont'd.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

unusually preoccupied.

i realized i have not blogged here in a really long time. have been blogging instead in friendster, because it's more accessible--i can send messages, check messages and friend requests as i blog. neat. although it has recently added this really stupid feature called "who's viewed me", which nobody uses anyway.

A's gone to davao, for a coverage. he'll be there for three days, then two days in pampanga. so i will be by my lonesome :(

shortly, i will be packing and driving to antipolo to pay my parents a visit and, consequently, save money on food and utilities (hehehe) for the next five days A will be gone. my mom sounded overjoyed on the phone when i told her. i can hardly wait to sleep in my old room. too bad G, my sister and former roomie, is in the states right now for a month-long vacation.

lalala. am nearly done with my paintings. just read about in in my friendster blog. if you are not in my friendster, then you're probably not meant to read it because you are no friendster of mine, lala.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Kissing Purity Test

Your Kissing Purity Score: 49% Pure

You're not one to kiss and tell...

But word is, you kiss pretty well.

Friday, August 26, 2005

My Favorite On-Screen Kisses of All Time

1. Julian Sands and Helena Bonham-Carter, in "A Room with a View"
Bonham-Carter (Lucy Honeychurch) is standing in the middle of a field of flowers (a field of violets, as described by E.M. Forster, in his novel). Sands (George Emerson) walks toward her from behind. The camera dollies in and swings around them as he takes her in his arms to give her a long passionate kiss.

2. Julian Sands and Helena Bonham-Carter, in "A Room with a View"
I love Julian Sands :P After playing tennis, Daniel Day-Lewis (playing an uncharacteristically dweeby boyfriend Cecil Vyse) and Bonham-Carter make their way back to the house. They bump into Sands; Day-Lewis' clueless character goes ahead of Bonham-Carter whose path Sands mischievously blocks. Again, without even so much as a word, he grabs her by the arms and steals a kiss. Yum-mee! He just positively looked devilish after that kiss.

3. Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst in "Spiderman"
Because it's upside-down and it's very wet.

4. Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan in "When Harry Met Sally"
That kiss Crystal (Harry Burns) gives Ryan (Sally Albright) after giving this speech:

I love that you get cold when it's 71 degrees out. I love that it takes you an hour and a half to order a sandwich. I love that you get a little crinkle above your nose when you're looking at me like I'm nuts. I love that after I spend the day with you, I can still smell your perfume on my clothes. And I love that you are the last person I want to talk to before I go to sleep at night. And it's not because I'm lonely, and it's not because it's New Year's Eve. I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.

Now, how can you not like a kiss delivered after a speech like that?

5. Jeff Bridges and Barbra Streisand, in "The Mirror Has Two Faces"
To a swelling musical background of "Nessun Dorma" performed by Pavarotti, Bridges (Gregory Larkin) and Streisand (Rose Morgan) embrace, kiss and make up, and kiss and sway non-stop in the middle of a street in Manhattan. When they start kissing it is still dawn, and as they finish just before the credits stop rolling, it is already light. It is magical--and funny, because the kissing makes the two characters so horny and the scene fades out on them as they frantically flail their arms to flag down a cab to take them home.

6. Colin Firth and Renee Zellweger, in "Bridget Jones's Diary"
The kiss at the end where Zellweger's (Bridget Jones) clad only in a tank, animal print panties, a cardigan and trainers. Firth (Mark Darcy) pulls her in and encloses her in his coat and they continue kissing as snow flakes gently fall about them.

7. Hugh Jackman and Ashley Judd, in "Someone Like You"
Just because they're both beautiful. And because their kiss happens late in the movie, after all that sexual tension builds up.

8. Matthew McConaughey and Kate Hudson in "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days"
Because I like happy, giddy kisses.

9. Robin Padilla and Regine Velasquez, in"Kailangan Ko'y Ikaw"
Bb. Joyce Bernal made Robin Padilla so papa-ble in this movie. Yummy nung kiss nila dun sa ulan, sabay tugtog ng "Buhos na ulan, at ang mundo ko'y lunuring tuluyan..." sa background. Hehe, one of my many guilty pleasures. I have the cd of the OST and the original movie on vcd :p

10. Tobey McGuire and Kirsten Dunst in "Spiderman"
Kissing somebody in the rain while hanging upside-down must be terribly interesting, don't you think? The rush of blood to the head, and the feeling of drowning in the kiss!

Monday, August 01, 2005

I am SO in love. And I could not find a container big enough to contain it, where it will not overflow.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005


I met Nestor Vicente Madali Gonzalez, or NVM, in 1995, at the UP Baguio Writers' Workshop. I was still working as an art director for an ad agency then, spending a week's worth of vacation leaves in a writers' workshop.

NVM apparently loved to talk, and he talked to us workshoppers about everything. One time he noticed a book I was reading (a book about fiction-writing). He said he also had a copy of the book, too, and that he read a chapter every night before he went to sleep. He advised I do the same, too, and with a wink, he told me to keep the book our little secret. I've not divulged the title and the author to any other soul, to this day (well, except perhaps A--but he's my husband, whom I made to swear he'll keep it a secret).

Everything he said, I wanted to take down in my notebook--such gems of advice from a wonderful, generous, writer. He learned that I was going to Bali the week after the workshop. My office was sending me for a leadership workshop. He told me to look up an Indonesian friend (I forget the name now), handed me his business card and a P500 note, and asked me to buy a Ganesh sandalwood figurine for him.

I did not buy him a Ganesh figurine, however. Surprisingly, there weren't any nice Ganesh figurines in Bali--all of them looked very ugly and evil, and none were like the pictures of the benevolent Hindu elephant-god I'd seen (he's supposed to bring joy and happiness to the home). So I got an elegant Shiva instead, and hoped he wouldn't mind.

This--plus his change for his P500--was what brought me to his house in the UP Campus a couple of weeks later, where I got a lecture on metaphors, Vladimir Nabokov, Henry James, gestalt and creating a "synergistic wholeness" to stories, and an introduction to his former teacher's book, The Story: A Critical Anthology by Mark Schorer (which he even let me take home to read and study--and photocopy, hehe). All, incredibly, in one sitting.

Thankfully, he didn't mind the Shiva instead of the Ganesh he asked for (or he was too polite to tell me he did mind).

And he loved Chekhov. I was so fortunate to have had all the meetings I had with him in his bungalow in UP, all the mini-lectures on literature and writing. I even got critiques for 2 of my stories, which eventually got published in the Philippine Graphic Weekly (one of which came out only two weeks after i sent it). It was actually a short course on comparative literature, and he even gave me a reading list (which mostly consisted of stories from the Schorer anthology--because I told him I was interested most of all in the short story genre), and a list of books. And the top book on that list was Chekhov's Lady with the Lapdog and Other Stories. Most important of all, he gave me this advice, “If you want to write, take Comparative Lit, not Creative Writing.”

Of his own story collections I was somehow able to persuade him to name his favorite, and it was, at that time, A Bread of Salt. He said his favorite short story was "A Warm Hand".

He passed away on November 27, 1999, and I was too busy with my life at that time I wasn't even able to attend his tribute at the CCP.

Looking back now, it all seems so surreal. But to show for it, I still keep NVM’s blue calling card, and that close-up picture I took of him in a cab ride we shared in Baguio.

Leaving Home

The very first time I tried to leave home was when I was only about four years old. My dad had scolded me for something I did. (I think I fought with my sister.) I was very upset because my dad was angry with me and not my sister. I was in tears and feeling very melodramatic about it. I thought perhaps he didn't love me anymore, and he loved my sister more. So I thought of leaving home.

And i remember it clearly: I remember getting a cloth diaper (disposable diapers were yet to be invented)--the sort that was made of a cloth they called bird's eye--and laid it out on top of my bed. Out of my closet I got one undershirt and two panties (the lacy, frilly kind) and laid them out on top of the diaper.

I gathered two opposite corners and tied them together, and after that, I tied the remaining corners together. I was looking for a stick, but didn't find any, and so I slung my little bundle over my shoulder like a bag.

My dad was waiting for me at the foot of the stairs. I sighed (just like I saw them do it in the movies) and sat at the top of the stairs. My dad went up and sat beside me.

"So, " he said, "you've really made up your mind, huh?"

I nodded.

"You're going to leave Daddy, Mommy, Gigi and the baby?"

I give another big sigh, and nodded.

"But I don't want you to go. Everybody'll miss you."

I didn't say anything. I wanted him to be real sorry for being angry with me, and I wanted him to beg me to stay.

"So, are these the only things you'll bring?" he asked, referring to my tiny bundle. "You're not bringing much clothes, are you?"

"Nope," I shook my head sadly. I wanted him to say he loved me and that he will not be angry with me--ever. And that he'd be happy if I didn't go anymore.

"Well," he said. It was his turn to sigh. "It seems that you've already made up your mind. Mommy will be heartbroken. And Gigi won't have anybody to play with anymore. And I will surely miss my little darling."

I nodded. And waited.

"Well, "he said, finally breaking the silence, and standing up. "Let Daddy get you a cab, at least."

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

The world under my daddy's desk

when i was a little girl, i wanted to be lots of things when i grew up. and when i grew up, i COULD do lots of things. and now i realize that my dad--or at least his desk--had a lot to do with it.

i remember being in the second grade and being interested in archaeology. i would sneak into my parents' bedroom and open the box of books under my father's desk. they were boxes we weren't allowed to touch, because in them were very expensive books my dad set an amount aside from his monthly salary and paid a lay-away plan for. there was this 5-book series that i particularly liked--the modern book of knowledge. there was a volume on astronomy, the wildlife, the oceans, biology, and archaeology. come to think of it, i also was interested in astronomy around that time, and of all the kids in my first grade class, i could draw the best solar system, because of my first-rate reference book.

it seemed that my dad was keeping the books away till my siblings and i were older, and he was saving up to buy a bookcase with glass doors where he could lock them in. but at one point he must have decided it was pointless to keep the books in boxes when my sister and i had almost worn out the boxes in our secret reading sessions under his desk, and so one day he took the books out of the boxes and let us read them, even if he believed we were still too young for them. and so i grew up never being intimidated by huge amounts of text to a page, because at a very young age i was already enjoying reading encyclopediae.

our dad never bought us dr. seuss books and bought very few picture books, and so for my amusement, i read about the stories about the eruption of mt. vesuvius at pompeii, the story of the boy king tutankhamen and ancient egypt, the histories of the lost civilizations of alexandria, mesopotamia, maya, and the lives of real indiana jones characters like howard carter. pretty soon i was reading beyond ancient and lost civilizations, and was reading the biographies of kings and their mistresses, the various saints and martyrs, and the colorful lives of artists through time like Hieronymous Bosch, Michaelangelo, Da Vinci, Cezanne, and Van Gogh.

it's the rain. i remember those childhood days. and the vivid smells-- of the rain, of the pages of the books, of the carton boxes mingling with the faint musty wood of my dad's desk.