Achieving Happiness

December 13, 2007


Filed under: Uncategorized — Ina Alleco @ 8:19 am

Everyday I say to myself, “I will get off the couch and write something;” but every day I stay glued to the couch, the clicker in my hand and I fastforward through movies I’ve already seen. I think about how absolutely strange it is to be not in charge of my own body, to instead have it in charge instead of me, and I alternately drag or float through one day to the next hoping to feel more like myself soon enough.

Again, am not complaining. Am just documenting. None of the pregnancy literature I’ve read said anything about feeling like I’ve been taken over by aliens and that my body would have a separate mind of its own.

I wake up mornings dreading for the nausea to hit: it’s always waiting for me once I regain consciousness after a night of highly vivid but also highly unusual dreams (I dream about being back in high school where no one really took me seriously). I get up slowly (not deliberately slowly, just inherently slowly like a turtle – my body seems to know better than to let me jump up after shucking off the bedclothes), and I go carefully down the stairs, one foot, one step at a time all the while holding the railing. I have an almost morbid fear of falling; while I don’t worry much for my own bones (I know they heal, and somehow, I’ve always had this twisted wish to have my wrist or elbow in a cast and sling so I could get friends to autograph it for me), but I do freak at the idea that I might hurt Egg inside me.

Every pregnancy is different, I’ve been told; the same way that every woman is different. Why?  Because every woman deals with her own pregnancy differently. Right now I am learning so much about myself, things I didn’t know before. Kim says am not being such a bitch or a witch – but when I have the  lows (I get suddenly and very quickly sad), he gets a little irritated despite his concern.

Hell, I get irritated myself.

Anyways, I don’t know what’s going on with the rest of the world; and strangely, I don’t seem to care much. Okay, so I still care, but somehow everything that has to do with politics and the economy and the countless atrocities the government perpetrates against the Filipino people day in, day out are muted in my head; muffled and stifled. I think my body and brain are insulating me from being too aggravated or upset. For instance, after lunch I quickly drifted off to sleep after hearing stupid and idiotic comments of so-called radio journalists about the transport strike today, and when I woke up all I thought about was eating – the anger and frustration over the moronic point of view the commentators adopted buried under insistent but difficult to satisfy hunger pangs.

Eating. Hmm. Another interesting concept. Everyday I am faced with the challenge of finding food that will stay down/won’t taste like paper/make me fill sicker than usual. So far I’ve determined that crisp-fried bacon and fruit salad agree with me. In the last month, I’ve been reduced to eating one meal with rice  a day, but many little snacks in between.

Anyways, I’ve always been feeling a lot guilty about this slowing down process. I’m not used to being a vegetable; am not used to not being in the thick of things and writing and analyzing and attending meetings and everything else that comes with the job I’ve had so far. I feel bad about all the activities I’ve missed; the issues I’ve failed to keep up with; the rallies I’ve been unable to attend. But then I take comfort in the the realization that this is also work, too — being an incubator for a new life that will hopefully one day also contribute to cause his/her parents have embraced. Then I don’t feel too bad and I return to my books or the DVDs with less guilt.

Am I bored? Gad, yes. But there is nothing I can do about it. I get tired and dizzy quickly, and I need to lie down as soon as the exhaustion hits. I haven’t thrown up badly since last Monday (hurrah!), and am less tired than usual, so am keeping my fingers crossed that I will feel stronger in the coming days because jeez, I haven’t bought a single Christmas present for my inaanaks!!!

–Am rereading Michael Ondaatje’s “Anil’s Ghost” and every other page I need to put it down because I come across passages that hurt (sometimes in a painful way because the themes are political;, sometimes in a good way because it is threaded by awe and amazement at how language can be both so beautiful and powerful).

Anil’s Ghost is about the extrajudicial and political killings in Sri Lanka, and the lives of a forensic scientist and an archeologist who have been tapped by an unspecified human rights organization in Geneva to investigate them. Between the deaths and excavating bodies, there are the disappearances, and the novel is a narration of the process of loss, uncertainty, grief and the futility of seeking justice when lies are manufactured as quickly and easily as people are executed by government forces. Anil and Sarath gather evidence to prove that the killings and abductions are the handiwork of the government, but soon they, too become threatened with the same fate suffered by the the people they try to give names and faces to.

This is a sample of the the passages that are painful yet beautiful in their truthfulness and grace:  In a fearful nation, public sorrow was stamped down by the climate of uncertainty. If a father protested a son’s death, it was feared another family member would be killed. If people you knew disappeared, there was a chance they might stay alive if you did not cause trouble. This was the scarring psychosis in the country. Death, loss was ‘unfinished’, so you could not walk through it. There had been years of night visitations, kidnappings or murders in broad daylight. The only chance was that the creatures who did them would consume themselves.”

Sana bumagsak na si Gloria bago pa ako manganak. I wouldn’t mind missing the big rallies just so she’s ousted from office.


  1. […] comments about the transport strike were so insane, it drove my friend Ina nuts! She found the views of these radio folk […]

    Pingback by Blog roundup on PISTON’s jeepney drivers’ strike | — December 14, 2007 @ 3:08 am

  2. Isang malaking kampanya nga yang Sri Lanka. But there’s no way putting a good reading, much like a good fight, down.

    Hahanapin ko yang librong yan.

    Comment by Kiks — December 24, 2007 @ 7:00 am

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