Monday, March 26, 2012


Photo taken by me at Occupy LA
My high school friend, Ed, a.k.a. Rock Da Mullet posted an entry that asked 21 thought provoking questions. It made me pause in the middle of editing photos and organizing the whirlwind mess of clothes I created earlier. I love my quirky friends who stimulate my brain cells. After half an hour of mulling over these questions I decided to answer them with this blog entry. 

What makes someone a hero?

A hero is a person who performs acts of kindness with a healthy dose of selflessness minus the desire for accolades and recognition. 

What would you do differently if you knew nobody would judge you?

Tat myself up like Kat Von D and ride a Harley! 

What did you want to be when you grew up? 

Hands down, no question about it, a PHOTOJOURNALIST! My Filipino parents shot it down and coerced me into the medical field. I became a pharmacy technician out of default since I became a mom at 19-years-old. 

What is your favorite place on Earth?

Any place I can find solitude and meet with God. 

If you had to move 3,000 miles away, what one thing would you miss the most? 

No question about it--my family. 

When you're her age what one thing would matter to you the most? (see image on Rock Da Mullet's blog post.) 

That I lived a life worthy of leaving a legacy for my grandchildren. I want my grandkids to look at my photos, read my blog entries,  view the work of my hands and know that I didn't let adversity defeat me and laughed in its face instead. 

Which is worse, failing or never trying? 

Never trying equates to cowardice, failure is the catalyst for success. (My words.)

What have you done that you are not proud of? 

Not spending enough time with my kids when they were growing up. I was a stressed out, workaholic, and self-absorbed single mom that ignored my kids' cries for attention.  

When did you first realize that life is too short? 

When I was five-years-old and my beloved Uncle Loy died. He was the only male figure in my life who showed me the paternal kind of love I longed for. One day he was teaching me to dance to "Let The Sunshine In" and the next day he was gone. I've experienced death and the loss of loved ones too many times since then to know that life is fleeting. 

If the average human life span was 40 years how would you live your life differently? 

I wouldn't have allowed my parents to force me into the medical field. I would have pursued my photojournalist career despite being a young mom. Also, I wouldn't have stayed in an abusive marriage for ten years. 

What is the one thing you would most like to change about the world? 

Those who know me well would answer this question for me. I would completely eradicate human slavery, especially of the sexual kind that targets young women and children. Children would NEVER EVER be abused or sexually enslaved! (I'm getting heated with anger just writing this.)

Would you steal to feed a hungry child? 

Depending on the situation, absolutely. 

What's the most difficult decision you've ever had to make? 

Putting my dreams on hold while I raised my 3 kids. 

What is your biggest phobia? 

Claustrophobia. I fear being boxed in, contained, restrained, and confined either physically, mentally, or emotionally. I need space--lots of it! 

What do you imagine yourself doing ten years from now? 

Ten years from now I will be 54 years old. I better be traveling to third world countries, taking endless photographs, and continuing my work as an abolitionist. 

What are you most excited about in your life,  right now,  today? 

I am most excited about: 
1. Being in my 40s and absolutely loving it (I firmly believe my 40s are the best years of my life. To find out why read here.).
2. Having a solid and loving relationship with my 3 grown kids after all the turmoil we've experienced. 
3. Finally being in a loving, honest, and healthy relationship with a man I've known for 30 years. 

When was the last time you lied? What did you lie about? 

Three weeks ago, for my birthday, I gave myself a weekend of solitude by booking a hotel room and not telling my family. I lied about where I would be and wasn't very convincing. I'm not a very good liar so I don't do it. My face is too revealing and transparent. You can read about my birthday retreat here

When you help someone do you ever think what's in it for me? 

Never. But sometimes I think I should. I get taken advantage of often. 

What's the one thing you'd like others to remember about you at the end of your life? 

That I lived my life in abundance and loved well. Despite being deeply scarred by abuse, I still mustered up the courage to love. 

What's something you would do every day if you could? 

Street photography. 

Where do you find peace? 

In the word.