Collaborashun 101

Let’s Volt In

It became apparent to me yesterday why I was in such a weird place during Holy Week. I initially chalked it up to burn out and apathy, hell, even boredom but it turns out, it wasn’t about that at all. I will try and write about that in a bit. It’s just still so close to my face I don’t have the distance to aptly articulate what the heck is really going on inside of me.

All I know is, it’s going on. Like the redundant swirling of laundry in the washer dryer, emotions and familiar demons are swish-swashing amok and for awhile, undetected. I think I was hypnotized by all of it going round and round and round and round and round, I forgot there was an off button I could press to finally take out the laundry.

Anyway, I tried to tell Joey Tandem about what became clear to me so I could perhaps get it out there and just call it; this allowing me to choose to act and feel differently and quickly about the many things that have been bothering me these past few months. That helped a lot and I know, writing about it will give it a voice and save the day. For now though, I’d rather talk about happy things. Things that keep our hearts beating and minds soaring, even if we have grand pianos for feet. Things that remind us, it is still worth it to wake up in the morning, to reconnect with our breath, and to trust the seasons because they are there for a reason. Things that help us create and collaborate; seal friendships and align visions; Things that remind us of our humanity, who we can trust with our creations, who we can trust (full stop); and how pushing others to fly with their talent and write, paint, draw, shoot, sing, et. al, while not being able to get off the couch because of a severe case of ennui, will be the very thing that will blast your grand piano feet to pieces and help you get up and catch some sun.

A few posts ago, I celebrated a proud moment. Ishha14 and I, along with collaborated and came up with this: : The Weight of an Empty Fist. Text by Anastasia Crespo. Photo by Paula Guinto. I was really so happy to have Ishha14’s poetry out there beyond the classroom, a poetry fest and our school Literary Magazine. Not to diminish getting published that way, not at all. But there’s nothing like being acknowledged and recognized and affirmed by another great artist/poet to know that literature is meant to be read by many, shared and celebrated. That it’s worth it for Ishha14, now that’s an awesome moment to witness for any teacher. I was of course humbled by the fact that I could be part of it in whatever way and really, that was the other worth it thing I did over the Holy Week break which I forgot to mention. The simple act of asking a good friend if we could contribute to her awesome site made all the difference. When she said, “Yes, show me the stuff and see from there.” I was ecstatic. For that alone, it will forever make sense to me why I opened up a new Facebook Account after being on an FB fast for two years.

And I know I’ve said it before, I will say it again, poetry saves lives. Now, match that with photography, good friends (Joey Tandem and @dopamine_junkie), risk takers (Ishha14, Joey Tandem and @dopamine_junkie), a communal and intense love for words and images and creating and sharing, and we move from one glorious post and proud moment ,to these:

Bluesy Mood: Joey Tandem’s words : Modulus. Text by Paul Lapid. Photo by Mark Montalban.

Lock all the windows : Wary of Windows. Photo by Paula Guinto

The end is near, even for paper cranes

I am very honored to have a life surrounded by creative and talented outliers who have artistic integrity, big hearts and extraordinary minds. And having the opportunity to collaborate with some of them, an awesome 21st century treat. Joey Tandem and I are looking forward to future pieces that might make the cut — his words, my images; my verses, his rendering; my rendering…you get the picture. We also asked a few of our other students to get their stuff (and well, parents’ consent) ready so that we can send in their stellar pieces as well. I am especially excited for more of @dopamine_junkie’s words and her sharing the many stories my photos have somehow whispered to her. This is not just how art is created, this is also how friendships are formed and strengthened to last lifetimes. Thank you for this , G.

Anyway, here’s to weird seasons that wipe us out; pushing us down and allowing us to swirl and almost drown underwater where, for moment, we can’t know where the surface is and the deep blue ends; only to make us follow the bubbles upwards, making our drenched heads emerge, back to where the sun shines and the oxygen comes easy for creatures like me.

Today, I woke up feeling and thinking differently, and just like that, the reset button of happy things allowed everything to fall into place and the swirling to stop.

grateful slice: creativity and collaboration

p.s. for more cool stuff from Click on this.


  1. joeytandem

    Hehehehe. Official Life Epal here. I also took a picture of that word when we went on the field trip.

    I was wondering what happened when you said it’s a race to post nothing came up Here when I went to bed at 2 am. This explains why I won the race. But yes, it’s great to have these opportunities to collaborate, to share, and to push ourselves to get better at writing, or taking photos, or using computer software.

    Ping ping ping!

  2. Ms. P

    My goodness. I was so hungry to collaborate pala, I didn’t realize this until our stuff came up on the site. But I remember thinking this when i took that photo. That that was what was missing for awhile. And the creator of literatula thinks we saved her’s quite the opposite if you ask me.

    As for the race, I tried to write until 1am but I was drained by the other thing I had to compose and send right away, I ran out of steam. But am quite happy with how this turned out, methinks and do say so meself.


  3. LitraTula

    Thanks to both of you and Ishha for reminding me why I put up the site. P, your images are stunning and today I woke up writing to another one of them (Supplies!!!). Please send more goodies my way. Thanks again!

    • Ms. P

      You’re velcome and yes, vill upload some more. I just saw Overwired. My goodness. Paul was thinking…why don’t you publish a book — coffee table or postcard sized prints…I think it’s a great idea. 🙂

  4. joeytandem

    I was also a bit drained from what I wrote Morris Parker. But I really wanted to write something. That was why I was able to fight off sleep until 2.

    Well, maybe she’s right about us saving her site, but you’re also right about her saving us in some other ways. Once again, collaboration. Great, isn’t it?

    • Ms. P

      have two more posts queued up. One is entitled Diesel dahil ang bagal nang pick up ko. And the other Pinky Promise dahil alam mo kung bakit. LOLz.

      How was your email to Morris Parker? You got my read aloud for my novella to Rebecca Babaji. She wrote back again too. Thanks for listening to the read aloud. haha.

  5. joeytandem

    Thank you so very much too for giving us these opportunities! Plus, yeah. I really think LitraTula will look really good as a big book of photography and poetry or as a post card set. I suggest we stick to LitraTula though, because Phoetry or Photoetry just doesn’t sound right.

    @Ms. P.
    I pretty much wrote daily plans for Vectors. I was just a little a little worried about how straightforward I was because he told me in his reply that he was the one who wrote them. But he said no worries and when I read it again, I thought it was okay. Also, I think he was still following Christopher Juan’s sequence of topics.

    Tell me about Rebecca Babaji’s reply tomorrow. Love the name, by the way!

  6. Clint Hamada

    Hey PG. Just wanted to let you know that I’m passing along some of your LitraTula works on to some of our MS English students as examples of how poetry and images can (and should!) be joined. Thanks for sharing and just generally being amazing!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s