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(Still a work in progress…)

When it seemed like everything I knew about myself fell apart, I spend the beginning of 2022 desperate to make myself legible.

There was a long period where I was deeply confused, unable to separate myself from production, my relationships to my engagements (but still, what are we but our relations with one another?), what I offered. This alienating trail of thought is why I worked several jobs through all of college, sleeping 2–4 hours a day and attending meetings from 10–7AM, then maybe to class. I paid attention to what I was supposed to do, but when I was told to rest I inclined to shape something with myself. Any idle time I reclaimed to produce something, regardless of any seeming purpose.

I learned to trust that for anything I believe in doing, the meaning will come. I most valued my own agency and intuition, and in turn what was necessary for me to keep on being was what I continuously carved out. And so I, in this need to know myself, kept fragmenting & reconstructing whatever parts of myself were interesting, or abandoned, or latent—all in service to this lifelong, endless journey of knowing who I am. When you do, make, and be, you learn that this question for meaning becomes a quest of becoming; in asking these questions I construct who I am, what concerns me, what parts of myself I want to unravel. Placing oneself in these environments that allow for the self to come, to emerge; the act of placemaking is making, making is placemaking. More than the construction of artifacts, I found myself constructing beliefs, faiths, conditions, and environments to become myself.

Knowing myself this year was then just an act of stepping back from all this placemaking and dwelling to name (or leave with no name) what I had become.

In 2022 I was so in love and in 2023 I hope to continue being a more attentive and expressive lover. Of the world and people and experiences and artifacts and systems we create… Of how precious being is, to be conscious of myself, to know continuously that I choose who I am and am new every morning, to continue making myself into being—for myself. To be seen is a bonus.

I want to explore this world with people; I want to build things that go out of my control, shared in the hands of others. I want to know what I truly desire and what truly moves me. I want to pay deep attention to my longings that are already present and just waiting, and to graciously welcome all that will come.

I just updated with some photos I was ashamed of sharing for some reason. It’s still (and always will be) a semi-curated directory of low-quality pictures that I intentionally upload at a delayed pace, but I’ve been thinking about how strangely affected I am by shame when signaling things that have happened to me: that I graduated from Yale, which in itself is a miracle considering that I came from a no name school and that this was all an unexpected life turn—even if I’m rife with resentment for my experience there and how uneven it was; that I had done things that I wanted to ask to be witnessed. I’m okay with this vicarious, unapologetic sharing of the self, but of course feel more worn than I’d like to be when it feels like the heart is in a vacuum. I’m thinking about apathy as a signaling of status, that which I loathe, and the problem of obscuring effort, the completely divorcing of ourselves from pride and celebration, and in turn—talking about ourselves lesser and lesser until we become small in our own eyes. I’m sure there’s a way to keep that separation and I’m sure there’s some backhanded saying about how constantly blasting your own self means you’re compensating for something—but I’ve lived a life where I continuously had to carry myself and even name what this was, and perhaps this is a silly routine that I can’t let go of.

I moved to San Francisco and my friends in New Haven helped me pack up my life when I didn’t have the time. This time last year I cried when I realized I had friends that were willing to help me move a couch. I started work at a place that I’m truly happy and challenged to be designing at—one that isn’t intellectually compromising but actually infinitely generative, one that has made me more details-oriented and ruthless with my routine & precision, and one that has been incredibly receptive to my broad ideas. I’m happy to be at Figma, to have articulated my love for tools and the interfaces that support them when I thought the field would be at a drought of places with products I could, with 100% conviction, say I believe in. I still think this is a dream and remember that I was applying to hundreds of internships in my first few years of college and tried about every route into technology with little faith in myself; even at my lowest I reviewed hundreds of resumes for Developh and, with my friends, hand-typed overly-detailed 1000+ word annotated career advice in addition to doing hour-long calls with students who wouldn’t even email us how they are. I think vaguely about my life’s work, which is very much a representation of myself, my desire, and the world I seek—and the nature of work on the internet, so hypervisible yet also so isolating. I thought about the ways I represented myself, how I talked about myself especially, and the ways these morphed

Things I want to do

To be more attentive, to know who I am and what philosophies I’m abiding by. To let go of the hatred of myself that runs deep and forbids me from loving. To be more expressive with love. To attend better. To answer my emails


  • create with people
    • i want to make projects, websites, art, zines, events, gatherings, parties with my friends new and old
  • do at least two art exhibitions, if i do anything solo would be amazing
    • physical or online
  • make at least 3 larger projects (in scope, scale); either maintenance or rebuilding
  • make art practice a bit more sustainable so i dont have to keep skipping meals
    • i will do it regardless of reception
  • dj at least 3 events (amb/exp electronic)
  • host ambient dinner at my place in sf
  • be witnessed
  • great project launches at figma, help w early-career recruiting and some toher stuff i cant share
  • do at least 5 talks, design/worlding/websites
  • organize a class, make teaching portal
  • release ambient ep
  • play another ambient show
  • start a radio show at local sf/internet radio station
  • organize a residency for filipino media artists/technologists at developh, help bring these into fruition
  • im gmoing to start a project where everyone on the team is an intern including myself, there is no otjher prompt
  • throw a gathering around a website
    • probably not mine
  • make an OST for a website
  • proper release of OST on maybe
  • when we love
  • make and release when we love OST
  • research, write, and prepare a long-form class (5-6 weeks?)
  • write 2 new original workshops/classes/resources, maybe host them
  • start fund for philippine cassette archive, working on digitizations
    • expand to CDs

I think one of the most powerful things we can do for each other is to attend. How immense the simple gesture of declaring importance, love, and presence is for one to another. It makes sense; the most precious thing in our life is time, and an earnest declaration of attendance—of I will be here, of I will wait, of an acted this is important for me, perhaps even a this life is what it is with your presence. So much of my life has been about generally subverting, discarding what was deemed critical to ‘attend to’ at that point. I left religion and attended to myself and my own picture of faith when the Philippine model of Catholicism didn’t work for me, I left frustrated at my education and carved my own that led me to a traditionally successful university, where I spent four years so naively wandering and working to survive and find my own self. I’m still so sad… at how these paths I took have deprived me of simple histories and shared experiences to relate to other people, coupled with a history that may not have been rough but certainly one I couldn’t take.

When I make, I act do make myself legible and understand myself in process—I trust that the meaning will always follow. That everything I love and do will come back to me.

Lately I’m having trouble deeming what I believe to be important, or that there is meaning in self-expression. Maybe I’ve exhausted my interest and urge to know myself. Maybe I would like to know this world with other people.

Protected: Dispatches from the last week of December, 2022

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The necessity of invention

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This blog post is being written in public. This block will be deleted when I decide it is ‘done’.

When I think about the common denominator between the people I admire most and would like to spend most time with in this world — it is how easy they bring things forth. The world I’d like to live in is one where the people I love continuously have the promise and perhaps the means to shape new spaces where I’d like to live, as I have promised them words myself. I’ve been thinking for two decades and it all must be very simple: I can choose to make a world for myself where navigating every alternative path is likely to be more arduous and lonely but enriching all the same — but I long to share in this life; it is so much more beautiful with the agency & abundance that is merely latent. What a gift it is to experience something and know that contentment is a decision & I can make anything more of this.

Lately I take walks with friends where we reveal that we want to live in each other’s worlds — getting to know one another, what makes us tick, to the stage where we openly share what we once internally thought to be absurd and impossible. Processes of exchange, infallibly the best means to immediately nurture something that outlives both of us. The extension of my world to theirs, to their means of living & understanding then shaping the way I would like to live in all of mine. Dare I say that life feels holiest when we all don’t just play god — we realize we all are one.

  • Fictions. I have long lived with friends where we have always been, continuously, shaping the world we want to live in after seeing that the one we were posited in was not right for us; I have always been fascinated by ideas and visions of fantasy. Often our imaginaries were shaped by fiction; it took years to figure out how we could extract something from these stories and feelings that we hoped to feel one day. Specifically, design is fantasy — fantasy is a realm of adjacency, and adjacencies are the most human way of understanding one another. We wrote stories and played games that seemed to set us on deeper dystopias that despite, afforded an optimism and way out. It’s easy to get yourself immersed in an outside world if you don’t believe that it can be brought back to your own: this sense of practicality, this sense of the world borrowing what I love most from the unreal — was what a good fraction of my teenhood grappled with. I was immensely in love with a vision that someone else set, and then grew up when I realized that I could make it my own.
  • Faith in novelty. I, lately, seek ‘newness’ and what is subjectively novel to myself to understand the densities of different worlds and the ways to walk blindly in new directions. My relationship with faith has still been soured by religion as one of constraints & ostracization rather than the generous optimism & belief in manifesting emergence — I’m still teaching myself about the ideal way to practice it and that the most potent, meaningful form of spirituality and what all the prayers must truly have been about was drawing inwards and finding interconnectedness and a promise of something greater. How am I to believe in purpose if I have no faith in how ambiguous of a journey it might be? Meaning making prerequisites faith. In myself, in the values that lead me to deeply interrogate, in the world ahead.

  • Moral alignment. Being a ‘creator’ is important because it speaks so critically to one’s inner values: their philosophy to what is needed to what was been missing, to selfish cravings of what would be delightful to live alongside in addition to what sustains and nurtures, to what they value in their internal worlds and how they carry values from external ones, to their own gauge of their capacities to shape something. I struggle most when interfacing with other people if I don’t understand what they’re living for or the principles they abide; everyone lives for something even if they can’t name it. Otherwise we wouldn’t be here. It’s easy to disappear but far easier to live.

  • The act of creation is not a weapon; the object of survival must assume the shape of a container, in us shaping the vessels for other people to stay in.

    DON JUAN: …My brain is the organ by which nature strives to understand itself. …
    DEVIL: What is the use of knowing?
    DON JUAN: …To be able to choose the line of greatest advantage instead of yielding in the direction of least resistance. Does a ship sail to its destination no better than a log drifts nowhither? …And there you have our difference: To be in Hell is to drift: to be in Heaven is to steer.
  • Artifacts as repetition. When I write or think, I am drawn to how other people viscerally describe the world we both feel: it is in the way someone else has declared love that I myself learned to love.

    What more could stories be than artifacts of what we had felt? Why do I tell and seek to be understood by some other instead of just speaking it to the wall; why do I trust the internet as a safehold for my emotions that might someday reach someone? In Borges’ The Aleph, so beautifully masturbatory in describing so holy the most mundane to the most glorious of all of natural and human sights in this universe, there is endless amounts of repetition. “I saw the teeming sea; I saw daybreak and nightfall; I saw the multitudes of America; I saw a silvery cobweb in the center of a black pyramid; I saw a splintered labyrinth (it was London); I saw, close up, unending eyes watching themselves in me as in a mirror; I saw all the mirrors on earth and none of them reflected me; I saw in a backyard of Soler Street the same tiles that thirty years before I’d seen in the entrance of a house in Fray Bentos; I saw bunches of grapes, snow, tobacco, lodes of metal, steam; I saw convex equatorial deserts and each one of their grains of sand; I saw a woman in Inverness whom I shall never forget.” Creation I read: “Besides, if the language cannot describe nor comprehend the Aleph, human memory cannot retain it as well.”

  • I can’t fully exclude myself from the commodification of ‘making’, but this is my excuse for why I feel so frustrated and restless when I can’t make. Say, a few weeks ago I hit my head on the wall (on purpose) and it’s been fucking with my head ever since and I still can’t look into screens without terrible migraines (so I used this as an excuse to buy a half-dozen books over the past week) and the most terrible part was that the pain was so unbearable that I could not bring myself to create. Concussed, I laid in bed and thought about all these ideas and stories and promises and thought that I may have fucked up the most valuable organ in this body —— nothing is being asked of me outside of my day job, which was kindly forgiving to the injury — but I grew angry at how I could not make.

    Making has always been my form of living, to tell everyone the new idea and story and vision I have for what I think must be highlighted and elevated in this world or to what I think the world needs, because making has been my form of saying I love you to everyone around me and when I do not have the artifact I wither because I have always been terrible with words. To not make means that — there are so many new worlds I have been breeding and pouring myself into and would like to discuss but there is no artifact or words or synthesis that I can offer yet.
  • A case for the new world. Restlessness in this world is an understatement — many times this world has been too hostile for myself and the people I love, its systems in abandon or in quiet maintenance to continue exploiting and torturing us for the convenience of a few. I don’t blame every single person who can’t see that the new world is possible, but I do bear spite for those who callously benefit from the world that is intentionally trying to steer what I adore away.

    “I love anyone who creates” is also maybe too generous of a statement; I look at the rationale for leaving this one and what they seek in the next. Not every world is compatible; just as the one I desire to leave, there must be billions more that I fear walking in.
  • Making beyond expression must be an act of revelation. Process is more pertinent and precious than outcome for this very reason. It’s in the process of making that the revelation occurs, because the artifact is just a testament to that — it’s why I cannot be satisfied putting something out into the world without slyly wishing someone could peer into it enough to begin tracing through and wanting the answers to the thousands of questions that ran through my mind while getting there.

    Along with commodification, this is why I feel like I’m (rightfully) cruel and judgmental sometimes when design and art and whatnot are so conflated with their commercial/corporate practices — that there is very rarely, a time when I hear a young person or student now say they want to design because they want to design a world and design possibilities as it is always wanting to design packaging or cover for no reason for it to be seen — there is nothing majestic about the process they imply here and there is only interest in the outcome.

    I want everyday revelations. I don’t know any other practice that affords me so much meaning right when I’m dot-connecting or a bit after; I know I’m stubbornly drawn to what I do because these revelations are gratifying, holy, so powerfully sensible when it comes — and that it always comes with the practice as long as I keep an eye open to it.

But where have we strayed to? We are questioning concerning technology, and we have arrived now at aletheia, at revealing. What has the essence of technology to do with revealing? The answer: everything. For every bringing-forth is grounded in revealing. Bringing-forth, indeed, gathers within itself the four modes of occasioning— causality—and rules them throughout. Within its domain belong end and means as well as instrumentality. Instrumentality is considered to be the fundamental characteristic of technology. If we inquire step by step into what technology, represented as means, actually is, then we shall arrive at revealing. The possibility of all productive manufacturing lies in revealing.
Technology is therefore no mere means. Technology is a way of revealing. If we give heed to this, then another whole realm for the essence of technology will open itself up to us. It is the realm of revealing, i.e., of truth.

The Question Concerning Technology