No Goodbyes (and an Announcement)

It’s been a while. To fill you in on what’s been going on – it has been a month since our #LoveTeamForever day. And so here’s a little poem from “Chocolate Ink” for you all. 🍫



You dip your head and whisper
I reach out, breathe out
“Take care…”

Fast forward to a few
months from now, we
won’t have to
utter restrained

We’ll fall into
bed and fall

in each other’s arms

© Mari Anjeli

Book Launch! #ChocolateInk

book launch

Yes, that’s right! Say hello to Book 2 – Chocolate Ink!

I haven’t been posting these past few months because, aside from work and preparation for other monumental events, I have been working on this project. And so here it is! My second baby is out!

All the love and a whole lot of credit go out to:

  • Chito Rosario and Christina Crisanto for their lovely illustrations
  • Edward Louie Nonay for designing the book cover
  • Kate Ashlyn Dayag for her calligraphy skills
  • Adrian Crisanto for organizing the event, for the poster, for his support, and for his amazing idea box
  • Kristine Cimafranca for letting us use her cafe for the launch
  • Books On Demand Philippines, Inc. for printing my books out, once again

Find the event page for the launch here. More details about Dialogue Cafe here. <3

Oh, Hello

Perhaps you are wondering if this blog is still alive. It is. It has fallen asleep these past few months. But stick around and maybe you’ll see it coming back to life.

It will soon be eight months since my homecoming. Just eight months, but I already feel like I have been here since forever. Still, like cross talk, what was in Malaysia crisscrosses into what is in Metro Manila now.

We go through the tunnel near Ayala in EDSA and I feel like the Petronas Twin Towers will emerge anytime. I walk through Greenbelt 5 and I think I’m just lost in a new wing of IOI City Mall.

I have an ex-colleague from Malaysia working here. I’ve also been connected to a Filipina who has been attending Malaysia’s Midnight LG but has now come back home. I’ve started wearing my black office work dresses again.

I’m teaching now. I do distance education. In other words, I have a long distance relationship with my students and we do most of our interactions in cyberspace.

Adrian and I have, thankfully, graduated from that. As of blog writing time, I’m sitting with a view of the sun setting over HV Dela Costa Street, waiting for him to pick me up for our dinner date. I think back to our 1am once-a-week Skype dates. I don’t ever want to go back to that.

I’ve gained weight again. I think it’s because I eat so much when I’m with Adrian, when I’m with my friends, when I’m with my colleagues, when I’m with my family. It’s fine. I’ll go jogging tomorrow, or, like Elizabeth Gilbert said, I’ll just “buy bigger pants.”

I’ve been writing poetry sporadically. You’ll see some of them in this space here. But life here is more rushed, busier, I think. The week has flown by, I haven’t even realized it will already be Friday tomorrow.

I’ll do my best to keep this blog updated. Besides, it feels good to be back here writing again.


That old school webcam selfie.

In Transit

Aaaaand – it’s out! My first self-published e-book is out! It’s more like a project/experiment, but nonetheless, it is one step closer to the dream. The introduction reads:

I’ve always wanted to write a book. Unfortunately, all I had were scribbles of plots and ideas for anthologies. I did have a draft for a collection of short stories, but I didn’t think it was there yet.

Enter “21 Days of Poetry”, a project I took on so that I could reacquaint myself with words while releasing some pent up melancholia. Most of the poems from this collection came from there. And then I realized I had other poems which never saw the light of day. Not only that, I had a few flash fiction pushed behind some back drawers, too.

Thus this project. Would I already be able to call it a book? I know it is more like a mini-e-book. Whatever this is, I believe it is one step closer to the dream.

Most of the prose and poetry were written with transition in mind. In less than two months, I would be saying “goodbye” to my foster country, Malaysia, and saying “hello again” to my home country, the Philippines. Why? Mostly for love. I am a hopeless romantic, yes. That’s why a lot of these poems revolve around the themes of love and long distance relationships.

Enjoy the poems here. Avoid the temptation to rush through the way we often do with life.

Are you ready? The next train arrives five minutes from now.

You can download “In Transit” here: In Transit.



16. Subject: Write about your feet.
17. First Line: The fire was getting closer
18. Dialogue: “You embarrassed me this evening.”
19. Scenario: If you had no money to feed your children, how would you go about getting food?
20. Title: Driving Through A Rainbow

So… Feet. I guess I’ll be writing about feet this Friday!


I’m so hungry. I haven’t eaten in three hours. Ugh. There are so many things to do! Maybe I’ll just grab a cracker. That should keep me going for the next few hours until I get myself a decent lunch.

I’m so hungry. I haven’t eaten in… I don’t know. Three days? Six? I have lost all sense of time. I’m no longer sure when the rain ended and when it began. What would it take to grab hold of a piece of cracker? One bite and maybe I can last a few days more.

What is up with this phone??? Ugh. It’s so darn slow. And what’s with the new updates? You call that an update? A two year old can come up with a far better design.

What is up with this phone??? I thought I was able to save it from the waters. But now it just keeps on blinking on and off. But it won’t do me any good, really, once the battery runs out. And oh, there’s no signal, so… How do I update my mother? How do I let her know that I am still alive? How do I send a message saying that my two year old is safe as well? I’ve got to let her know, somehow. She must be worried sick.

This is a disaster. I can’t believe the bed frame collapsed on me. Am I really that heavy? Tsk. Such bad timing, too. I am so tired. I can’t fix this tonight. This is so annoying. I guess I’ll just have to sleep on the floor then. Or the sofa.

This is a disaster. There’s nothing left of our house. Nothing. It’s all a heap of battered rubble. We will sleep on the floor tonight. But which floor? This one will do, I guess. This one next to what looked like it might have been our old sofa.

Life is so unfair. Why do these things keep on happening to me? Ugh. Life. Is. So. Unfair.

Life is good. I can’t believe I can still say that, what with all the things that have happened here. But we’re alive. We will continue to survive. Help is on the way. Life is good. God is good. He’ll take care of us here.

* * *

Dear Readers,

A strong typhoon (Yolanda, internationally known as Haiyan) has recently devastated the central part of my country. The aftermath is heartbreaking. The words I’ve typed out are pathetic and do little to capture what must be going on inside the hearts of the all the people affected. Now, if you’d like to help out, please do see how you can do so through these links right here:

Let’s set aside our first world problems for now and remember those who are in greater need.

God bless you all! We can all make a difference. :)

Iversity: The Future of Storytelling

I’ve signed up for an online course in Iversity.

The Future of Storytelling.” Awesome, right?

iversity - the future of storytelling

The course will run from October 25 to December 20. I’m looking forward to those weeks of learning. The organizers are still exploring certification matters but really – I’m mostly in for the fun, not for the grades and credits. I want to improve my storytelling skills and I believe this is a great avenue for me to be trained in this.

From what I gather, creative tasks are given out at the end of every chapter. Thus, I have created a Tumblr page for all my Iversity outputs: Tada! I Write Stories (and Codes)! They’re still working out some kinks in the answering process – for now you can’t really keep track of the Creative Task Answers you’ve submitted unless it’s been voted up, up, up. So, since they allow students to link externally, I believe this is the best way to go.

If you wish to follow me on my Iversity journey, you can head over to that page from time to time. You can also grab the rss here: I Write Stories (and Codes) Rss.

For those who are interested in enrolling in this course, I think you can still catch up. We’re only one chapter in and it’s been great so far.

Well, what are we all waiting for? Let’s join the MOOC movement, yo!


Dear Readers,

I’ve been working on a project for over a year now. I’ve been pushing myself to write a book. Or something close to a book. The project went into a coma for quite some time. However, I decided to breathe life back into the “book” and now lo and behold — “It is finished”.

Almost finished. I asked some literary inclined friends to have a look at it and give constructive feedback. I still need to proofread the whole thing too. And write an author’s note, acknowledgment, or —

HOMAYGASH, totoo na ba ito??? (Is this f’real???)

Really, I’ve been doing this project mostly because I wanted to prove something to myself — that I can come up with more than literary blog pieces. But now, I’m thinking about venturing to self-publishing. But are my stories good enough?

I get terrified thinking about it. But at the same time I’m all giddy and then —

And then I get terrified again.

I need help. I’ve got a lot of questions. Should I stick to eBook formats or should I try making physical copies, too? Will my faith and wallet allow me to do so?

This all feels surreal right now. I could back out any moment. Seriously.

But I seriously, seriously, seriously want to push through with this.

And write more once I’m through.