Monday, August 31, 2009

The Malpractice

Dear Diary.

It's been already three days. The pain is becoming more and more unbearable. I can't move my hips nor even raise my legs without groaning. I can't get out of bed. My butt feels horrible: My skin, feverish. I asked my husband to check where the pain comes from. He said my left cheek is swollen. I saw the worry on his face; sweat dribbling from his forehead. No matter how he tried to assure me that everything will be fine, words simply betray him.

Especially when he mumbled that my butt appears like its about to burst open.

I thought of writing this letter out of the need to spill something I may never be able to tell again. Hubby is on the phone right now trying to reach out the doctors who operated me. It's been his tenth attempt since yesterday, but the receptionist merely told him that the doctors he's looking for are no longer connected with the group. Had I known it would come to this, I shouldn't have trusted her word. You see, I spoke to the boss herself during the consultation. She said the procedure is 100% safe and the Hydrogel that they will apply for my butt enhancement is used in other countries. Believing her every word, I signed up for the operation. This is what I desired. After all, I got some money.

You see, I am a simple businessperson with simple dreams of being loved. My Japanese ex-boyfriend, whom I used to call Papa-san dumped me after 10 years of being together. The guy after him showed sweetness and affection when he used to court me. However, after five months of constant dating, I learned that he's already married and I was his number four.

I was so devastated after the string of failed relationships, which had a dent on my well-being. My fears were compounded by the fact that I am not getting younger. I felt so insecure. In my search for answers, I thought I was left for other girls who are more physically attractive. I thought, maybe, I should enhance myself on the outside so they would finally learn to love me.

Four years ago, I saw this sexy starlet endorsing the Medical Group on television. I was unfit to think clearly then after confronting the guy who made me his number four. I could not recall how I came to the decision, but what I do remember was the endorser's words falling like manna from heaven. Watching the starlet swerve her full butt in front of the camera, it dawned to me that I wanted it for myself. The next day, I went to the group's main clinic for consultation.


Many of you would say that my misfortune serves me right. That I shouldn't have gone to the ends of the world to alter what God had given me. You have a point there that I should consider, but please remember,

I am just human.

I am blinded too by my own desires.

The operation went smoothly. But to my surprise, it wasn't the doctor I spoke to who performed the procedure. It was someone else - someone I never met before. The trouble started as soon as the wounds were just about to heal. It felt like the Hydrogel they injected wasn't applied evenly. I returned to the clinic several months later. The doctor (who operated me) recommended a repeat procedure - for half the price. I resentfully accepted his proposal hoping they could correct the error this time.

But things only got worse. My butt got bigger and it's shape more disfigured than before.

Fearing that more complaints would only give a negative impression, I tried to live a normal life and pretend that everything was okay. The truth is, I felt less confident. Instead, I tried to mask what was botched below by returning to the same clinic to add more enhancements to cover up for my imperfections.

I wish to speak more but the chills are again setting in. This has been on going since last night but I had to keep it hidden for the sake of my children. I don't want them to see me like this. Had I waited patiently for love to find me, these enhancements would not be necessary - they wouldn't have been performed on my body.


Why do I have to find what I'm searching just when these troubles are about to alter my life?

I guess realizations came too late.

Hubby's now here. He tells me that we have to see a Plastic Surgeon right now.

* A faux entry inspired by Josie Norcio and her crusade against the medical malpractices of the Belo Medical Group. The words above must have been her thoughts on the very day she was about to be rushed to St Luke's for immediate medical attention.

* The Hydrogel used on Norcio's Butt Augmentation is banned in other countries - even in China where it is manufactured.

* The case is still pending. The Belo Medical Group would not release Norcio's medical records for dubious reasons.

* Remember Vicky Belo's very words "If you want to look like Boy Abunda, go to Dr. Calayan. If you want to look like Dingdong Dantes or Piolo Pascual go to Belo." Go figure why I'm throwing my blog against that bitch.

* This is my contribution to Josie Norcio's struggle.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Hood Kid

For all the years I have engaged in hook-ups, only two things mattered - the distance of the place from my vicinity, and the manliness appeal of the guy I would pair with. There was no room for planning, nor the thought of prolonging the agony of waiting. In all the years I made a jump from one bed to another, I had hoped one thing would never happen. That is to stumble over someone whose home and location would not be too convenient and easy for us to repeat the deed over and over.


It was past 4 in the morning. The streets were drenched and empty. Light flickered above a lone post perched on the street corner a few steps away from home. I just came from a wake - the late president's wake which I queued on for hours. Walking towards the end of the line, I noticed that some eyes were staring at me. A Parlorista even tried to fish for my number, which I politely declined by saying that my "girlfriend" doesn't deal well with unknown numbers suddenly appearing on my phone.

Armed with confidence gained from others, even a slight provocation will send me pursuing my desirable target. That morning, while walking towards the crossing that would lead me to the other side of the main street - and into the waiting mattress of my bed, I caught glimpse of a guy leaning his body against a pillar of concrete. He seemed to be waiting for someone but when glances were exchanged, I knew he was in for a trip.

I ignored his challenge and instead, went inside a nearby fast-food joint to grab something to eat. I was dead tired from all the walking and entertaining someone just for the sheer fun of it would leave me totally exhausted when I wake up later that day.

Emerging from the restaurant thirty minutes later, I looked around to see if he was still there. No dark-skinned, toned guy wearing white tops and jerseys appeared in my field of vision. Someone must have tripped on him before I was able to make a move. Relieved that I was able to evade temptation, I walked towards my loft's direction to get some rest

- Only to spot him sitting on a bench outside a bakeshop; his dagger-like gaze stabbing back at me.

Getting hook-ups in public was never my cup of tea. I may possess the mastery in the art of flirting within the confines of a gay club, but I don't remember a guy introducing himself and leaving his number when I find myself inside the mall. However, it does not mean that my instincts have betrayed me. I knew what the lean guy was up to. His long, seductive whistles were an obvious give away. What was required is for me to respond and answer the call of his nature.

"Kanina ka pa?" He inquired. Upon closer inspection, I found him far, far younger than me.

"Hindi, kakauwi ko lang, galing ako sa lamay."


I showed the yellow armband still coiled around my biceps. He must have taken note of how big my arm was because I caught him smiling when I flexed it in front of him.

Needless to say, the small chat ended in a lustful encounter. The kid was so aggressive, he unbuttoned my pants, lowered my briefs and gave me a good head in the driveway. His impressive opening salvos compelled me not to leave both of us hanging. I whisked him inside my room and there he ravaged my pumped-up body. He did enjoy the act, especially when I told him to ride my disco stick. Orgasm was achieved with his plumpy lips deeply consummating mine.


Lust overpowered me that morning. It hindered my capacity to think and act appropriate to those of my age. After the fun was over, I realized the trouble I might face. The kid lives across the driveway, his door leads to mine and at anytime he decides to expose our shit, his phone will reveal the evidence of our affair.

Formal ties were established a day later. I was hoping that he would see the act as a one-shot deal. Unfortunately, the kid developed a sort of kinship. His text messages began to include inquiries about my romantic status and fillers expressing some deep longings. I knew where it was heading and listening to my own conscience, I brushed his advances by telling him that I was already taken.

The conversations continued, and when we both found ourselves lying in bed while texting each other, my junior gets stiffer for no reason at all. Then I realized, for all the years I slept with strangers, I was secretly hoping to meet someone who lives in my neighborhood. It doesn't matter if we end up being together, because what was essential is for that person to answer to my need.

With the kid, it wasn't the case. His sudden presence made me learn how insignificant empty orgasms were and how connections profoundly puts value to the word pleasure.

It's like masturbating for five minutes only to forget everything when sobriety is restored.

Despite these epiphanies, we did it again a week after our first encounter. I made him suck my pole in my own living room under the cloak of darkness. There were a couple of early mornings - days later - when I waited for him to text back after sending a last minute "invitation." The only reply I got was to say hello to a bleak sunrise with a woozy head and a throbbing boner to keep me at work. As for him, my only guess is that he returned to his nocturnal expeditions when my prick is not available.


The kid kept on bugging me early in the morning asking if I was still up. There were times, I merely ignored his messages - especially when utol was around. The near misses would have went forth, if I've not decided to draw the line early this week.

Bzzzzzzttt... Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzttt... Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzttt... My mobile phone wailed demanding that I pay attention to its incoming message.

It was from the kid.

"Uy may nagmamahal sa kanya." The person I was talking on the landline at the same time heard my cell phone's buzzer. His side comment disrupted my train of thought.

"Wala yun. Mom ko. Pinapatulog na ako..."

"O sige tulog ka na, you need some rest pa." The phone, which I picked up earlier was firmly secured in my hand. At any moment, I could send a reply telling the kid to cross the driveway, go to my room and strip naked in front of me.

After all, utol was away. He can moan all he want as I thrust my cock inside his man-pussy.

Realizing what's at stake and upholding the time-honored fuck-buddy* rule, I delayed dropping my caller. Instead, I told him something to make up for the spin I said earlier and maybe, put an end to all this madness once and for all.

"Before we go to sleep, I just want you to know."


"Ummmm... from now on, I only answer to you."


Over our SMS exchanges the following day, I learned that the kid wanted to crash into my place with someone he met from his ronda patrol. He was proposing a nasty threesome. My disco stick suddenly became stiff at the idea and somehow, I was a little resentful that I ignored his invitation.

Yet, kinky his suggestions may be, but my heart desired something else.

Eight years after I first engaged in homosexual activities, those who I considered fuck buddies end up doing the deed twice. Another round would mean a full commitment. Had I replied to the text message a morning earlier, the kid would have pulled the last strings holding my values in place.

Ending this entry, I remember telling a friend a forewarning of the things to be, should I find myself satisfied with having a regular playmate for the rest of my life.

"Kapag nagkaroon ako ng fuck buddy, fuck ko na lang yung idea ng relationship. No hassles, no expectations. Sex na lang ng sex."

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


"Ikaw talaga Joms, hindi ka pa rin nakaka-get over sa ex mo?"

"Bakit mo naman nasabi."

"Pinakita mo kaya sa akin yung picture niya. Hawig niya yang crush mo."

I was forced to take a second look at my crush again. Unbelievable as it may seem, but Rain Darwin was right. I was ogling over a guy whose facial features distantly resembles those of my ex-lover's.

He first caught my attention the first time I stepped inside my friend's gym. The crush was doing dumbbell flys in front of the mirror. I tried to ignore his presence knowing that he is just a kid. I never had an eye for kids from the very start. But the more I look at his boyish face, his big rounded eyes and his buzz cut hair, something in me was turning soft. I am crushing on someone not because of mere sexual attraction but something that I cannot fully explain.

We never got to talk that day but I caught him looking at me while teaching new members about the proper way to execute a pull-down exercise. Surely, what caught his interest was the excercise and not the person teaching it. Yet, the fitness instructing I did was enough to lay the ground that would establish our ties the next time we saw each other there.

I returned a week later to play the role of Centurion's personal gym instructor. Rain Darwin was there as well, but he was busy looking after some new members trying out their strength in lifting barbells. Looking around, I found him doing crunches on the abs machine. Sweat rolled down his smooth reddish cheeks as he pulled down the weight of several iron plates toward his belly.

The crush smiled and acknowledged my presence. "Kararating mo lang?" were his first words when I passed in front of him. Told him, I would work out with a friend this time and encouraged him to do more crunches. He nodded his head then went back to completing his sets.

The small conversations we had paid off handsomely, for I learned some interesting details about him. He is a student from a university not far from my place. He works out almost every day to gain the needed mass to bulk up his lean body. We could have engaged ourselves in continuous exchanges of ideas - on fitness - but since my goal was to work out and teach the leader the program I knew, I left him to complete his routine.

Before our session was over, Rain Darwin, Centurion and I revealed each other's crushes in the gym. My two companions, with their natural affinity for twinks pointed out their crushes - lean, squeaky boys in their 17's and 18's. Their crushes are cute, in fairness, save for the leaders' whose boytoy wasn't present when I should up. While Centurion was doing his sit-ups, I pointed to Rain Darwin who my crush was.

We wound up our conversation stealing glances at my crush while wondering what does my attraction meant...

Looking back, Darwin's side comments holed itself deep inside my head like a microchip running my thought process. I cannot deny the truths of his words, especially after concluding the Drowned World episode in Malate last week. (which will be my closing entry for the month of August) The memory of the ex could be as ancient as prehistory, but instincts could not erase the five years I shared an evolution with him.

Subtle as it appears, but me thinks that I am still drawn to that old, undying pulse which still beams his images into my consciousness.

A few weeks ago, I caught glimpse of this new boxer on television which sports newscasters predict to be the next Manny Pacquiao. Loyal Pacman fans will disagree at such claims but when my eyes laid claim to him, I felt this soft spot - this warm reception Pacquiao never got from me.

Life has strange ways of dealing with the past and I am spooked that I see history unveiling every time I stare at the face of Nonito Donaire.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Drowned World (Second Part)

I went to the ex dance partner to acknowledge his presence, and to extend my courtesy to someone who responded to my calling when I was the one seeking other people's approval. It came as a surprise to him that I still remember the pairing we did last week. He tried to re-ignite the flame of bonds by stealing a kiss and planting it on my neck but I wasn't interested. Someone had already caught my attention earlier. Looking around to seek an acquaintance, I caught glimpse of an old friend talking to a guy near the ledge. We haven't seen each other for a ages and getting reacquainted was a better idea than letting someone seduce me whom I don't feel anymore.

"Huy na-tiyempuhan rin kita rito!" I nudged his shoulder which made him turn around to face the one who interrupted his conversation.

"Oi! Kaw pala! Ikaw lang mag-isa?"

"Yup ako lang. Hindi mo yata kasama si Coralde?" Coralde is our common friend.

We had a pleasant conversation despite the visible annoyance of the prospect whom I snatched my friend's attention from, but I knew something has changed. Surrounding my friend were guys I haven't met before - perhaps - his new pack after he stopped showing up from our get-togethers in the group we both belong. His lukewarm reception was a far cry from the time we used to hang-out, watch movies and attend Grand Eye Balls together. He was still in college then, while I, was barely exploring the sexuality I just learned. Had I not seen him as a kid, he could have been a lover. I could have proposed to him. However, in those days, he merely preferred to remain a fence-sitter - a guy who enjoyed hanging out with gay and bisexual men, but was afraid to consider himself as one. I respected his choice and waited for him to finally see the light. He did a few years later but the closeness we had faded away the more guys he got acquainted with.

"Alam mo ba yung guy na nasa tapat natin, tinataguan ko." I was pointing my chin towards the ex-dancer partner from last week.

"Bakit?" One look and you would feel that he was merely forced to accommodate my presence.

"Ummm... sabihin natin na naging kapartner ko siya rito before. Yoko, gusto ko bago naman." He smiled and then turned his head around towards the guy he was talking to earlier.

A few minutes later, dead air surrounded him and his prospect. My friend returned to his groupie and engaged them in a small talk. His prospect remained seated on the bar stool, waiting for him to return.

"Labas muna kami." He told me a little later.

"Sige, andito lang ako. Kitakits na lang mamaya."

And I was left alone trying to follow the beat of the house track spinned by the DJ. The guy who my friend was having conversations earlier finally left his spot - perhaps - to seek a new prospect while the ex-dance partner I evaded earlier has already paired with another clubber.



Sunday, August 23, 2009

Drowned World (First Part)

Mermaid Dreams
O-Bar, Malate

"Yung mga nangangarap maging sirena diyan, ngayon na ang pagkakataon." Ito ang bulong ko sa isang kaibigan na kasayawan ko sa loob ng O-Bar. Noong umagang iyon ay bumuhos ang napakalakas na ulan sa buong kamaynilaan na siyang naging dahilan kung bakit lumubog sa tubig baha ang buong Malate.

Ngiti lamang ang sinukli nito sa akin.

Pasado alas singko na ng umaga subalit puno pa rin ng clubbers ang loob ng bar. Kung noong mga nakaraang linggo ay nasa higaan na ako't naghahandang matulog ng ganitong oras, ngayon ay kabilang ako sa mahigit limampung mga dalaga't binatilyo na nag-iintay kumati ang tubig. May mga ilan na naglakas-loob tumulay sa mga monoblock chairs upang makasakay ng pedicab na nag-aabang sa dulo nito. Subalit para sa karamihan na malayo pa ang inuuwian, pinili nilang maging duyan ang dancefloor at uyayi naman ang house music na bumabayo mula sa speakers sa halip na makipagsapalaran sa mga nakaambang panganib sa daan.


Hatinggabi na nang dumating ako sa Malate. Galing ako sa isang dinner kasama ang mga bago at lumang kaibigan mula sa Pinoyexchange. Naging masaya ang aming pagtatagpo kahit na lima lang kaming nagpakita. Para sa akin ay sapat na ang masilayan ang dalawang mag-irog na si Bronxdude at Whitewatcher na matagal ko nang hindi nakakasama sa iisang lakaran.

Marami ang napagkuwentuhan noong gabing iyon. Ang lahat ay may dala-dalang istorya tungkol sa kanilang mga karanasan at naoobserbahan sa online forum. Si Flame_and_Moth na tahimik at madalas ay nakikinig lang sa usapan ay nakakapansin pala ng aking mga hirit sa ibang Pexers. Tinanong ko siya kung masyado ba akong nanghaharass sa thread gaya ng naging tingin ng ilan sa akin. Ang sabi niya ay hindi. Praning daw ako minsan. Bilang assurance, siniguro ko sa kanya na pawang trip-trip lang ang mga nababasa niyang posts mula sa akin. Kung mayroon man akong binabara roon ay iyon ay ang mga taong masyadong makikitid ang utak at hindi makita ang punto ng iba.

Si Juan Hustler naman na tila ilag noong una ay may mga pinagkakaabalahan na hindi nalalayo sa aking mga hilig. Palabasa daw ito ng Wikipedia. Frustration niya ang magsulat at Pastaym niya ang Geography na kung saan ay nahanap ko na sa mapa ang iba't ibang lugar sa mundo. Ang panghuling dumating na si Averi at ako ay may dugtong-dugtong na nakalipas kung saan iisa ang aming pinasukang paaralan, mga kaibigan na nakasama at mga mundong pinagsaluhan sa cyberspace. Pagkaraan ng isang dekada na missed opportunities upang magkakilala, ngayon lang kami pinagtagpo ng tadhana.

Bago kami nagkahiwa-hiwalay ay naging topic ng usapan ang mga Ghost Stories. Si Averi na nakatira sa GA Tower sa Mandaluyong ay ibinahagi kung paano sila minulto ng mga bata sa unit na kanilang tinutuluyan. Kuwento niya sa amin, ayon sa mga nakatira malapit sa lugar, habang tinatayo ang naturang condominium ay may nahulog na pampasaherong jeep dito. Nagkalasog lasog daw ang katawan ng mga sakay - na karamihan ay mga bata - sapagkat tumilapon ang jeep sa hukay kung saan nakaabang ang mga matutulis na steel rod na nagsisilbing pundasyon ng gusali.

"Kuwento ng security guard, may mga madaling araw na parang may kumakanta ng worship songs sa basement. (ang mga pasahero daw ng jeep na nahulog sa hukay ay galing sa isang Christian Worship) Minsan naman ay may mga nakakasalubong silang mga bata na naghahabulan sa corridor at bigla na lang maglalahong parang bula bago nila ito masita." Sa mga detalyeng ikinuwento sa akin, nagtayuan ang lahat ng balahibo ko sa katawan.

Sa halip na dumiretso sa bahay at magpahinga, pinili ko ang bumalik at magpakasasa sa aliw at paglimot na dala ng pagpapakawala sa Malate. Nilunod ko ang sarili ng mga imaheng kalaswaan at kalandian sa pag-asang matatanggal sa diwa ang mga kababalaghan na ikinuwento ng aking mga kasama. Tila nakikiayon naman ang tadhana dahil sa kauna-unahang pagkakataon ay nagsama-sama sa loob ng club ang mga binatang nakalaplapan ko sa loob ng ilang linggong pamamalagi sa O-Bar.

Had they all ended in a one night stand, I would earn the mark of a certified slut.


The love game began a little over five minutes after I arrived. A guy wearing white tops traded glances with me. His body built shows the cuts and muscles he must have earned from tirelessly working out in the gym As he swayed his hips seductively in front of the wall mirror, I knew he was getting a little flirty. Knowing that his attention was directed at me, I positioned myself just behind him so our bodies would brush one another and confirm the mixed signals whether if he was into me as I was into him.

My assumptions were correct. He was into me.

The night was still young and the drunken bastard chose to exit the bar to go party elsewhere. I had hoped that he would stick it out with me until we get to know each other more intimately. But it seems every partings have a reason and for his, the passing gave way to the arrival of someone - a stranger who became my dance partner last week;

He was the drunk guy I gave away to another pair-less clubber for I was about to go home and I became bored with him.

And there he was, across the dance floor, staring and smiling at me.



Saturday, August 22, 2009

A Dial-Up Story

There is no doubt na sa panahon ngayon ay napakahalaga ng mayroong internet connection. Bukod sa gamit nitong pang-edukasyon at sa pakikipag-usap sa ibang tao, lahat na siguro ng information na naisip ng sangkatauhan ay matatagpuan sa internet. Sa katulad kong ang linya ng trabaho ay nasa online, napaka-unacceptable ang mawala sa web ng kahit isang araw lang. Kaya siguro ganun na lang ang panic ko sa tuwing nauubusan ng load na magbibigay access sa akin sa internet.

Maaga pa lang ay ipinamulat na sa akin ang teknolohiyang ito. Nasa third year high school ako noong unang bigyan ng Personal Computer ng aking tatay. Compaq Presario iyon na galing pa sa bansang Hapon. Palibhasa’y ang pinagkakaabalahan ko lang sa computer noon ay ang paglalaro ng Civilization at Sim City, (at paminsan-minsang pagsusulat ng report at essay para sa school salamat sa MS Office 95) laking gulat ko nang minsang magpadala ng technician ang aking dad upang kabitan ng internet ang computer ko.

“Internet? Ano yun?” Tanong ko sa aking ama.

“Basta makaka-connect ka sa buong mundo gamit yun.” Hindi na ako nagtanong pa.

Internet then was a novelty to computers, tipong parang yung cam ngayon na ang talagang gamit lang lang naman ay para mag-show sa ibang tao. Since libre naman ang installation, napapayag na ako ng aking ama sa kundisyon na hindi mauubusan ng drive space yung 80 MB hard drive ko. Tandang tanda ko pa, Virtual Asia ang pangalan ng internet provider. Hindi ko alam kung itong kumpanyang ito ay existing pa ngayon. The moment na kumonnect kami sa internet at narinig ang pamilyar na dit-dit-dit sounds ng pag-didial ng computer sa telepono, alam kong panghabangbuhay na ang pandinig na iyon sa aking tenga.

Lipas na sa aking gunita ang mga website na aking pinasukan except for this one website na tungkol sa “Face On Mars” sa Cydonia, isang region sa planetang iyon. Mabagal pa ang uploading ng images ng mga panahong iyon, ngunit sariwa pa rin sa aking alaala kung paano tumayo ang balahibo sa aking braso habang pinagmamasdan ang animo’y mukha ng isang nilalang na inukit sa bundok na nakuhaan ng satellite habang umoorbit sa ibabaw ng nasabing planeta.

Hindi rin nagtagal ang aking internet service. Matapos mag-expire ang aking free subscription ay hindi ko na ito ni-renew pa. Paniwala ko kasi noon ay binabayaran in dollars ang bawat pag-access sa mga website na iyong binibisita.

I went through college with a different mindset. Kasabay kasi ng aking pagtalikod sa imahe ng pagiging geek noong high-school ay naging mas aktibo ako sa pakikitungo sa mga tao sa aking paligid. Kung nagkaroon man ng silbi ang internet sa aking buhay nang mga panahong iyon, ito’y para lamang magdownload ng lyrics ng aking mga paboritong kanta.

Patapos na ako ng kolehiyo nang madiskubre ko ang mga online forums. Dito ay nagsimula akong makitungo sa mga estranghero na kahit kailan ay hindi ko makakaharap. Dito ko rin nadiskubre ang mga lalaking kagaya ko na anumang pilit gawing straight ang pagtingin sa mundo ay may tinatagong pagdududa na kahit kailan ay hindi nila maaring sabihin kaninuman.

Sa internet ko unang nalaman na ako pala ay isang bisexual.

Past forward several years later.

Umikot ang aking mundo sa Pinoyexchange. Dito ko nakilala ang unang mga ka-tropa na gagabay sa akin upang matanggap ng husto ang sarili. Sa MIRc ako unang nakipagkasundong makipag-niig sa kapwa lalaki at ang una kong trabaho labas sa kumpanya ng aking ama ay isang Internet Researcher na ang opisina ay sa Pasay.

Sa trabahong iyon ko nadiskubre ang Wikipedia.

Dumaan ang isang dekada at higit na naging sopistikado ang pag-access ng mga tao sa internet. Bumilis ang pagbubukas ng mga website dahil sa broadband. Hinangad ko man ang magkaroon ng teknolohiyang ito, subalit dahil sa kawalan ng pera, (at dahil nakagisnan ko na ang nakaka-adik na tunog ng pagdidial ng computer sa telepono gamit ang dial-up) naging dependent ako sa mga convenience stores para sa aking lingguhang pagbili ng internet card.

Hanggang ngayon.

Mula Renegade at Jade Internet hanggang Surf Maxx at Blast tila napag-iwanan na ng panahon ang mga loyalista ng dial-up. Ilang beses na rin akong nagbalak lumipat sa broadband subalit dahil sa pahirap ng application, kinakatamaran ko na lang ang pagproproseso ng papeles lalo pa at kuntento naman ako sa Blast. Hangad ko man ang manatili sa usad-pagong na connection ng dial-up, ngunit dahil sa mga pagbabagong darating sa aking trabaho (at dahil gusto ko na rin makanood ng mga video clips sa YouTube at Xtube) ang pagtalikod sa aking nakasanayang dial-up connection ay nalalapit na.

Lalo pa ngayong sawang-sawa na ako sa bulok na paraan upang maka-access online.

Sa mga gumagamit pa rin ng pre-paid dial up, ang Blast Internet na lang yata ang pinaka swabe pagdating sa pag-access sa kanilang server. Bukod kasi sa madaling maka-connect, mabilis rin ang pagda-download dito. Kung ang Surfmaxx ay sadyang magdi-disconnect kapag over-capacity ang kanilang servers, at ang ISP Bonanza naman ay pahirapan ang pag-access sa internet, its hopeless to complain.

The last straw happened just this night. Ka-chat ko ang aking mga kaibigan gamit ang Meebo nang mag-expire ang Blast na binili ko noong isang linggo. Dahil agawan ang pagbili nito sa 7-Eleven, madalas ay inaabot ng buwan bago ako makatiyempo ng bagong stock.

Kanina ay nalaman kong nagsara na pala ang 7-Eleven malapit sa amin samantalang ang available lang na internet card sa katapat nitong Ministop ay ISP Bonanza lang. Kung hahayaan kong lumipas ang magdamag na walang internet connection ay katumbas ng pagpapatiwakal gamit ang telephone cord, minabuti kong pagtiyagaan ang ISP Bonanza sa pag-asang nag-improve na ang serbisyo nito.

Sa totoo naman kasi, sinusuka na ang ISP na ito. Hindi ko nga alam kung bakit binebenta pa rin ang pre-paid nila hanggang ngayon.

Ang pukinangina, naka-isang daang attempt na ako sa pag-coconnect at natapos ko na ang entry na ito gamit ang Microsoft Word 2007 ngunit hindi pa rin ako makapag-online.

Puwes, bukas na bukas din, makikipagkasundo na ako sa mga broadband providers na kabitan ako ng internet sa lalong madaling panahon.


It took me two days to get back online. The useless ISP Bonanza would not connect despite the countless attempts I tried to dial their number. If not for the Blast Prepaid Card I bought this afternoon, no amount of patience would grant me access to the 20 hours of internet time assured by the ISP provider which failed me completely.

I wasted 100 pesos for nothing.

Three broadband service providers. Three excuses telling me that my area is not yet within their service. And with only PLDT MyDSL left as my option, its either I retreat from my ambitions, or ask my aunt, whose name appears in the telephone bill to give the green light for me and my techie spirit to evolve.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Signos: The Great Body Clock Fuck-Up


I woke up at twelve in the afternoon to prepare for work. Sleeping at past 4 earlier that morning, getting out of bed to eat lunch was my first order of business. This was my routine after I was transferred from the nine-to-five work schedule to the two-to-ten shift. This was done to get as much sleep as possible, since, my personal life only begins after the shift is over.


Coming from a heavy workout the night before, to close my eyes and return to dreamland was the last thing I had in mind. Keeping myself relaxed (even when everyone is asleep) required a heavy dose of cartoons I could watch on television. My favorites are Bill and Mandy, The Angry Beavers, Samurai Jack, Cow and Chicken or just anything from Animax. Blog writing is also done mostly at night.

Last Tuesday, I was invited to attend a high-level management meeting at work. It was my day-off and I just came from assisting my mother in administering her midterms to one of her classes. I will tell the details of the boardroom drama in the coming days.

What was agreed was I should be ready to show up at work anytime the management needs me and as a parting instruction, I should come to the office at 8 am the following day.

Tuesday would be the last time I'd enjoy the pleasures of living a nocturnal life.


The circadian rhythm which my body strictly follows defied all attempts at tampering its routine. Instead of sleeping early that night, I indulged myself reading articles about Stephen Colbert until 2:30 in the morning. The struggle to find a new order showed its ugly face a few hours later, when I had to force myself to get up and go to the gym at 7 in the morning. The change in the workout routine was also part of the flexibility required for my new resposibilities.

Arriving in the office at nine, I found myself with nothing to do except read emails sent by the clients. Work was laid back since there were only few messages arriving at the center. The stubborn ones - among my colleagues - defied orders by playing online games during the whole shift. Since there was nothing really to do, the Team Leader loosened her restrictions.

Mami Athena, my new immediate officer gave an overview about the new assignment. She tested my loyalty, confidence and even my resolve to go the extra mile for this new project.

The briefing was over before twelve.


Sleeplessness keeps me from organizing my thoughts into cohesive sentences to finish this entry. Scatterbrained to even put into words what happened after the shift was over, the only thing I remember was struggling to get some sleep after arriving home from work. If not for the dinner, (I had Adobo, fried egg and potatoes on my plate) which was served at past 7, sleep would be uninterrupted until I wake up at - who knows when.

But it wasn't the case

Instead, the only sleep I got was a four-hour light slumber. The body clock remained defiant to change its old pattern. I woke up at past midnight and there is no certainty that I will still get my sleep back before the training begins at 6 in the morning. If my head will never let off its explosive thoughts, I would most likely end up feeling woozy as the trainer discusses - in details - the scope of the new project.

Good evening to the sun
Might I be the only one
Who sleeps through melodies of morning
while they wake

Barbie's Cradle

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Signos: Remembering Rica Paralejo

Rica Paralejo | Fullmetal Dreams
September 06, 2005



Pumasok ako sa work at since ka shift ko ang isang bisor na mainit ang dugo sa akin ever since naging regular ako sa trabaho, naharass na naman ako ng wala sa oras.

Ang issue naman ngayon, ang paggamit ng Limewire. Sabi niya, i-disconnect daw namin ang lahat ng Limewire dahil bumabagal ang bandwith ng mga computers. Ok lang naman dahil nga against sa company policy yun, pero ang kapansin pansin doon, alam niyang ako ang nagpapatugtog ng music sa office gamit ang Limewire at kahapon daw, kung kailan wala ako sa office, hindi naman niya pinansin yung mga nakaduty na gumagamit ng Limewire.

Napansin rin niya ako at one instance kasi binabasa ko ang e-mail galing sa mga Diyos namin sa Australia. Hirit ba naman sakin magtrabaho daw muna ako dahil maraming pending message. Hirit ko naman nagtratrabaho ako at binabasa ko ang mga bagong policies ng client bago ako bumirada sa ginagawa ko.

Ang gago ba naman, hindi talaga umalis hangga't hindi ko sinasarado ang window kung saan nandoon ang e-mail na binabasa ko.



Linggo linggo na lang laging ganito ang eksena. Every duty kung saan magkapareho kami ng shift, hindi malayong may mapansin sa akin.

Dati rati, quever lang ako kahit na alam kong may weird na pakitungo siya sa akin, pero ngayong marami na ang nakakapansin na ako ang lagi niyang pinupuntirya, sobrang haggardness deluxe ako kapag duty ko ng Monday at Tuesday dahil kasabay ko siya at di malayong mapag-initan na naman ang nananahimik na ako.

Hindi ko naman alam kung ano ang nagawa ko sa kanya. Basta, ever since pumasok ako dun, parang ang gaan gaan sa kanyang barahin ako o kaya mag-init ang dugo niya sa akin.

Nakakabadtrip rin minsan, lalo na noong feeling ko mag-isa pa lang ako. Kaya nga napa-apply ako sa West (Contact Center) dahil lang sa sama ng loob ko sa kanya.


Pero every week simula noong unti-unti kong nakakabonding ang mga katrabaho ko, marami akong na-uuncover tungkol sa past transgressions niya.

Nandoong nalaman ko na marami na siyang pinag-initan bago sa akin at talagang nasa personality niya ang mag-power trip.

Nalaman ko rin na hindi pala ako nag-iisa at meron nang mga tao sa office ang minsang pumalag sa power tripping niya.

Pero feeling ko, mukhang isa ako sa mga nakalinya sa mga susunod na papalag sa kanya.


Nakakaawa lang kasi ramdam mo talaga na lahat ng tao ilag sa kanya.

Lalo pa ngayong may solid front ang lahat ng pang-umaga.

Noong isang linggo, halos tatlong araw siya hindi makausap ng matino kasi merong isang colleague namin ang nagpalit ng pangalan niya sa whiteboard at ginawang pangalan ng babae.

Tuwing uwian naman, pansin na pansin mong maaga siyang umaalis ng office dahil alam mong may iniiwasan siya o ayaw makasabay sa daan.

At tuwing may napapag-initan bukod sa akin na suki na niya, lahat ng tao biglang napupunta sa kanya ang focus. Minsan pinagtatawanan siya sa mga ginagawa niya. Minsan hinahanapan siya ng dahilan sa ganung pag-uugali niya.

Nasa kanya nga ang tiwala ng mga boss... pero ng mga subordinates niya, parang medyo kaduda-duda yun.

Lalo pa ngayon.


For once, naging leader rin ako.

At alam kong kapag may subordinates ka, dapat ikaw ang maging dahilan nila para mainspire sila sa pamumuno mo at hindi mawalan ng loob.

Alam ko para maging effective leader ka, dapat tinitingala ka ng mga tao at walang nakikitang puna sa iyong paraan ng pamumuno.

Sa case niya, ang lousy niyang supervisor. Ako mismo, nawalan na ng amor sa kanya... ang iba pa kaya?

Kaya tuloy instead na maging efficient ang trabaho namin tuwing araw ng duty niya. Ramdam mo ang friction at tense atmosphere sa office.

Ramdam mo na hindi ka kumportable magtrabaho... at kung pwede lang matapos na lang ang oras ipagdadasal mo wag mo lang siya makasabay ng trabaho.

Ganun ang feeling ko madalas kapag kasama ko siya.


Buti na nga lang hindi pa kami openly nagkakabangga.

Buti na lang at hindi pa ganoon kalakas ang loob kong mag-fight back sa kanya kung hindi medyo matinding gulo ito... na siguro ay magreresult sa aking immediate termination.

Sa unang pagkakataon, pumasok ako sa trabahong hindi kumportable sa immediate supervisor ko.

Himala na nga lang at hindi ko pa sineseryosong mag-pull out sa kumpanya

Sa totoo naman, madali lang ako pakisamahan eh. Hindi naman talaga ako problema sa taong nagcocommand at nagbibigay sa akin ng orders.

Hanggang ngayon, palaisipan pa rin sa akin kung bakit parang ako ata ang napapaginitan noong taong yun. Hindi ko naman siya na-offend ever since ah.

At the end of the day kahit pagtawanan mo ang buong nangyari, sa huli nakakadisturb pa rin na alam mong merong taong mainit ang dugo sa iyo.

Nakakadisturb na ikaw mismo, handang pumalag kapag alam mong gagamitan ka ng power tripping niya at ang hatred niyo sa isa't isa eh nagiging "mutual" na.

Kung hindi lang dahil sa mga kasama ko sa trabaho... lalong lalo na kay Mami Athena at sa buong morning shift.

Kung hindi lang sa loyalty at pakisama ko sa boss ko.

Ang tagal ko nang nag-resign.

Nakakita ka nga ng pamilya na medyo nagiging malalim ang ties mo, sa pamilya namang iyon, merong black sheep na palaging sa iyo nakatutok ang mga mata.

Nga namang buhay ito.


So that I will always remember that once upon a time,
I bore the brunt of a supervisor who bullied his subordinates on the floor.

Now that another ascension is at hand,
I will keep in mind the spot where the seeds of power were planted
and how, after so many years of pruning
the once tiny sapling is now bearing fruits.

Lucky are those who will be under me.

A Tale Of Two Airplanes

"Biazon expressed concern over reports he got from Air Force officials that they had only one C-130 transport plane operating right now and that the four other C-130 planes were out of commission.

“When you order to annihilate the enemy, are you pouring in resources? Otherwise, your enemy will just end up laughing at you,” Biazon said, referring to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s directive to the military to stamp out the Abu Sayyaf."

No Artillery, No Armor, No Air Support
Philippine Daily Inquirer

“I’m formally announcing that the President has ordered the cancellation of the purchase of a presidential jet,” Press Secretary Cerge Remonde said at his weekly media forum aired on the government-run Radyo ng Bayan.

Remonde said the President “doesn’t want people to say that she was putting her needs ahead, although come to think of it, it’s her successor who would benefit from it.”

Malacañang abandoned the planned purchase only two days after it announced that the Office of the President had set aside P1.2 billion for a “factory-new,” twin-engine, pressurized aircraft for Ms Arroyo’s travels

Arroyo Cancels Jet Order
Philippine Daily Inquirer


Hindi nakakapagtaka kung bakit bumebenta ang mga balitang panira sa gobyerno ngayon. Ang mga tao ay pagod at sawa na sa pagkukunwaring hinahabi mapagtakpan lang ang katiwaliang nangyayari sa pamahalaan. Ang pangulo, na nagbibingi-bingihan sa sidhi ng sambayanan ay ngayo'y umaani ng kabatikos kung saan-saan. Nagsisimula na umikot ang gulong ng karma na kanyang babayaran matapos bumaba sa puwesto sa susunod na taon.

Ang salaysay ng dalawang eroplano ay nagsimula sa masukal na kagubatan ng Basilan. Doon ay dalawampu't tatlong sundalo ng gobyerno ang walang awang pinaslang matapos lumusob ang militar sa kampo ng mga bandido. Ayon sa balita, ni isang pagputok mula sa Howitzer ng pamahalaan ay hindi dumagundong sa lugar. Wala ring ang mga Armored Personnel Carrier na sana'y magtatakbo ng mga sugatan palayo sa barilan. Hinala ng ilan na maaring nagkaroon ng sabwatan sa pagitan ng militar at mga pinuno ng bandido. Di lingid sa kaalaman ng marami na ang militar rin ang nagbebenta ng armas sa kanilang mga kalaban upang pagkakitaan.

Sa kabilang dako, napaulat na animnapu't isang opisyal ng pamahalaan ang naghapunan sa isang mamahaling restaurant sa New York. Kabilang sa mga panauhin ang Pangulo, mga mambabatas mula sa mataas at mababang kapulungan at pati ang ilang mga ass licker at aso ng palasyo. Hindi bababa sa isang milyon ang nagastos ng entourage na siyang kinamuhian ng sambayanan. Kahiya-hiya na sa kabila ng milyon-milyong Pilipinong nagugutom araw-araw dahil sa kakulangan sa pera, ang mga lider pa ng bayan ang nagsusunog na pera masaksihan lamang na kumakain sa isang restaurant na di nababagay sa isang "third world leader" gaya nila.

Kung pag-aaralang mabuti ang dalawang magkaugnay na mga pangyayari, tila nanganganak ang balita upang higit na isambulat ang kabulukang sanhi ng pagkaagnas ng sistema ng pamahalaan. Anumang panakip-butas ang itapal ng mga tagapagtanggol ng palasyo, tiwala ako na lalo lamang sisingaw ang bahong katulad ng sa utot na pilit pinakatago-tago sa loob ng pantalon

Makakatawag pansin rin ito sa isang maliit na kalawakang ginagalawan nating lahat.

It all began with the passing of a beloved leader.

And then there was the infamous dinner.

Which was followed by an investigative journalism report

alleging the first family gaining huge profits from a land sale in Bulacan

Then the ambush happened in Basilan.

Which killed 23 of our finest soldiers.

Accounts from ground troops claim that there was no air support

during the assault, and that we have only a single C130 cargo plane

to service our soldiers in the battlefront

Meanwhile, a spokesperson from Malacanang announced

that it was scrapping a jet order worth 1.2 Billion Pesos

to be used and abused by the

head of the government,

The most beloved President, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.


Monday, August 17, 2009


A sudden emo-moment with a friend revealed some obvious truths about my state of romantic affairs lately.

"Believe me, sometimes I am tired of singlehood pero knowing my own cycle and my own past, I would never give up my freedom that easily. Good for you."

The reply was a comment about his status with this guy he met in blogsphere. Despite the bumps and turbulence that came along, they are still dating and getting to know each other deeper. I compared my situation with his - and with other friends whose love lives appear more steady than mine. It seems that somewhere along the way, I just lost the spirit. And now that I could always find another, here I am calling all the demons I could conjure just to play the love game with the past in mind.

A friend who left his boyfriend just a few months ago is dating someone new. I may see his efforts merely as an experiment, but no one - including me - has the right to question what his heart speaks. Another friend who was dating someone recently suddenly realized their incompatibilities. Now he is bolting out and on his way to another path where freedom is assured. Others may not understand what he is going through but looking back at how I deceived some people's hearts early this year, the reason for his disappearance remains justified. Another friend, who I am bumping lately in the dance clubs of Malate (with his partner along) has rediscovered his soulmate. After a month of sowing confusion in the worlds we share, there he was (casting my gaze at them from a distance) in the arms of his lover again. Finally, there is the leader, who, after so many, many years of waiting is now on the verge of finding his one. I cannot say how his story ends but I am confident that the one he is looking for is just around the corner.

In my head, I am on a crusade to get as many guys in my circle acquainted with each other. Most do not work but I remain hopeful that my goodwill (and connections) will lead them to the person they seek. I know one would be tempted to ask why make such an effort when I ignore the very thing that I should be doing right now. Friends say that I should be the one taking risk instead of passing it on to others who can certainly do it on their own.

The answer, unfortunately, remains as elusive as it has always been since I started playing the matchmaker ten months ago.

Torn between what I secretly desire and what my head has been pushing me to abandon, I created another account in a gay dating (hook-up) site a few days ago. My intention is to look around, check if there are interesting people out there and challenge myself to never fall into temptation of sleeping in one bed with another person. History reveals that the person I sleep with often suffer from amnesia after the screwing is over.

The invites just keep on coming.

Unable to make use of such inconvenience, (getting laid remains in the bottom of my list) I decided to inch towards deleting my entire account when I received a direct message from someone a few hours ago.

"im [an] avid (silent) reader of your blog bro...continue writing... :)"

His kind words had lifted the veil caused by the catastrophic meet-up last Friday. The healing allowed me to pull my act together just enough to recover the bullish outlook I was enjoying just a few weeks ago. Though it may take some time to ignite the fire doused from me, my presence in the dating website has never been this clear thanks to that silent reader for pulling me up just when I was about to come crashing down.

The place is packed with so many good-looking men,
so good-looking, it will take some real balls
just to make contact with them.

Now I know what I want
and it is best to remain
beyond their worlds.

Leaving everything behind, I left a shout-out message
encapsulating my desires to avoid hurting others
and evading others from hurting me.

"A lone satellite bound to sail the endlessness of space."

A few hours later, the account was no more.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Butterfly Effect

The club night pushed through without a hitch.

And unlike the other weekends where my schedule is already fixed, last night's Friday gimmick changed the course of things.

I leave the office already set where to go. By the time my shift is over, the Encantos have already sent a text message telling the place of our weekly drinking spree. Coming late from work, I would catch some of them already tipsy when I arrive at the bar. Stories would be passed over, like the Pulutan doing its rounds on the table. New faces would show up (only to disappear a few months later) and there is this unspoken bond to continue the tradition no matter how things would change.

At past 1:30, the Encantos are already showing signs of damage. Rarely do we pass out from an inuman but by the time the waiter shows up to ask for our last order, Centurion (or sometimes Rain Darwin) would be asking the bill. As the night wore on, my drinking buddies are already deep in slumber, while I, passes on like a crepuscular animal until the first rays of sunlight hit Malate.


Last night was different.

Taking advantage of the Encantos' lack of invitation, I decided to meet someone from PinoyG4M instead. I chose to meet this guy believing he was different from the others seeking my audience. I thought he could carry a conversation and could last a night engaging me in different subjects. I even dropped the 911 rule assured that our encounter would not end in bed.

The meet-up was a disappointment.

He showed up across O-Bar 15 minutes after I arrived in Malate. Since I decided to drop the looks game, (where I would compare my looks against those I meet) it didn't matter if he was a little plumpy, a little effeminate, and far far shorter than I expected. Had he been a little chubbier, he could easily pass out as an excellent Bernardo Bernardo clone.

I was looking forward to a night of drinking and stories (even if the scene would be a remake of the Serendra Boy encounter last month) All along, I thought we would sit on a chair, order some ice-cold beer and break those silly awkward moments which happen when meeting a stranger. The bitch had other plans. He wanted us to walk around Malate instead. I knew his interest was waning from the way he excused himself for another meeting. Bernardo Bernardo told me fifteen minutes after he arrived that he had to rush to this despedida of a colleague who would be assigned in Visayas. I was not born yesterday to know it was a ruse for he never spoke about it while on his way to our meeting place. Looking back, I should have exercised a little meanness last night. Centurion was still up and was recieving the details of my meet up. I could have inserted a clause in one of our conversations about sending an SOS in case I find the guy I would be meeting inferior to my taste.

But no, it was the other way around.

Either Bernardo Bernardo was expecting a twink, or his taste goes way beyond what his mediocre looks could afford.

We parted ways without learning each other's name. I don't know who between me and Bernard Bernardo wasted more time just to see the other, but on my part, his presence was a mere prelude for the things to happen that night.

His exit was my entry to the party scene which was just starting the moment he left.


The heart of the dance club is like a trading floor where market values pummel or surge depending on the shareholders' pretensions and inhibitions. The phoney meet-up left us searching for ways to boost our confidence. Had we known that it was a mutual repulsion, we should have let known how disinterested we were. The club scene was another story. If in the past weeks we maintained some discretion in engaging our prey, last night, we played the mischievous kid on the dance floor: we flirted with a guy who already found a dance partner (shit ang sarap manulot!); a moreno dad in his early thirties made suggestions for a sleep-over in my place (but we declined out of respect for whatever dignity we left); the crush (which I pointed out to WanderingCommuter and MkSurf8 the time they were there) held our hand again only to put it inside his pants (which we liked, really, but we were also appalled by his uber-slutty approach) and lastly, we made out - in full view of other clubbers - with this lean, semikal constru-looking guy who brought his sister inside a gay club. In the end we had to give him away (literally) to another pair-less guy because the partner was dead drunk and it was time to go home and we know.

I know.

Another clubbing adventure awaits next week.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Boulevard Of Broken Dreams

For us to remember and never forget:
So we will cease putting our hopes in this another meet-up
with a stranger who is about to cross our path.



"Uy, bakit ka nagmiss-call?"

"Asan ka po?"

"Heto papasok napo sa trabaho. Bakit mo tinatanong?"

"Wala lang... Happy Monthsary po. I miss you so much."

"Miss. na.. rin.. kita..."

"Kinalimutan mo na ang monthsary natin."

"Iniintay lang kitang unang bumati. Alam kong monthsary natin ngayon."

"Tulog po ako sa inyo mamaya. Ok lang po ba?"

"Ah eh, gagabihin po ako sa work mamaya eh. Pasensya na."

"Miss na po kita makayakap eh. Ayaw mo na ako patuluyin sa inyo."

"Hindi naman... kakastay mo lang sa amin nung minsan ah."

"Tampo na ako sa iyo. Ayaw mo na ako papuntahin sa inyo."

"Ang kulit mo naman, sabi sayo gagabihin ako eh."

"O sige na nga. Kahit nagtatampo ako. Ingat po ikaw."

"Babay, I love you."

"I... love.. you. po."


Text message: Pasensya na, magkaaway kami ng kapatid ko ngayon eh. Ayaw kong may sabihin siya pag tumuloy ka sa amin.



"Bakit ka po ulit nag-miss call?"

"Wala lang, nalulungkot lang ako. Miss na po kita makayakap eh."

"Ok lang yun. Nagkikita naman tayo diba?"

"Iba pa rin yung yakap eh. Alam na po ba ni __________ ang tungkol sa atin?"

"Hindi ko alam. Wala rin akong pakielam. Ayaw ko lang may sabihin siya tungkol sa iyo."

"Ayaw na po ba nila ako pumunta sa iyo."

"Hindi naman. Wala naman sila sinasabi sa pagpunta mo dun eh."

"Sobrang miss na po kita. Antagal na kita hindi nakakatabi sa pagtulog."

"Ako rin..."

"Hayaan mo next time na lang. Wrong timing ka naman eh."

"Ganyan na po ba ngayon? Parang gusto ko maiyak, hindi na kita nakikita eh. Parang may nag-iba na sa atin."

"Wala naman ah. Saka wag mo masyado isipin yun. Ang mahalaga, magfocus ka sa pagtapos mo sa school."

"Sigurado ka ha. Wala."

"Wala... Balik na po ako sa work. May pasok ka mamaya diba?"

"Meron po."

"Galingan mo sa school. Ingat ka sa pag-uwi."

"Happy Monthsary po."

"Happy Monthsary rin."

"I love you."

"I love you."



Behind the facade is a heart
torn between an icy awakening and
a sunshiny dream.

The last time we slept together,
I was rudely awakened to the truth
that what connects us nowadays is a crumpled
two hundred peso bill.

If I ever re-emerge from
this rot we used to call a relationship,

One thing will still remain
and it is the pain of your memory.

Fullmetal Dreams | Torn

Matters Of National Security

We were caught unprepared when the doctors announced my dad's passing. Standing just outside the ICU, his sister suddenly burst into tears and began walking away from the huddled group of people. Her son followed to try and contain her wailing mother from making a scene in the corridor. Mom pushed her wheelchair in one corner, her blushed face and wet eyes quietly absorbing the prognosis of her other half's condition.

The last time I saw my dad conscious was when he was being carried out of the ambulance at the driveway of Manila Doctor's Emergency Room. Struck by a massive blood clot on his brain earlier that afternoon, the look on his bloated face covered by an oxygen mask still burns deep inside my head. With his glazed eyes staring at emptiness, his limp wrist dangling from the stretcher, and the battalion of nurses trailing behind his litter, one knew the end is near.

Hours after the message was delivered, those who remain steadfast amidst the sinking feeling of losing a beloved began discussing the preparations for his final journey. The tragedy happened too swift that no cushion would soften its impact. With only twenty thousand pesos on my bank account, the money wasn't enough to even cover the expenses of his stay in the hospital.

How can we entertain the thoughts of giving a decent funeral when we could not afford one?

Through friends and family connections, a friend of my mother offered her husband's Memorial Plan for my father's use. We were assured that the payment would not be discussed throughout the whole ordeal out of sympathy. Their graciousness was immediately accepted. It felt like a thorn was pulled out from our spine.

Father was granted entrance into the gates of heaven a day later. He left a mountain of troubles for us to resolve but peace was with him when he bid adieu. Less than an hour after the pronouncement. The ambulance arrived to whisk his lifeless body away from the government hospital and into the waiting funeral chapel in Araneta Avenue. Trailing behind his cortege were several vehicles including those from my mom's sisters and my dad's friends.


The lesson learned from this tragedy made us aware of the things that are bound to pass. Morbid as it may seem, but what kept the burden from becoming heavier was the pre-made arrangements between the funeral and our grieving family. We owe the one who lent us his husband's memorial plan because without it, the decency my father deserved will not be his even in death.

To look back and linger remains a thought I would not desire, for it still send shivers whenever I remember how precarious our state was. A year after his passing, I decided to commit a fortune so that a Memorial Plan shall always be a part of my family's well-being.

Four years after my father's death, the last of the payments has been arranged this afternoon. Ironic as it may seem but the entire earnings I received from the Sikyu Agency early this month has been used and paid for the remaining balance to ensure that this essential matter keeps my mind at peace.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Of The Gluttonic Kind

Family dinners has always been guided by virtues passed down from the early days of our forefathers. The cardinal rule strictly forbids leftovers on one's plate. Overindulgence is looked down and discouraged. At a very young age, we were taught to restrain ourselves and be considerate to those around us. Gluttony is a serious offense which exact a heavy price from the guilty. Lastly, the servants shall, and will always have a share of everything on the table. Expect the host of the banquet inviting all the yayas and drivers of each family present even if the dish laid out on the table includes Smoked Salmon, Paella or Rum Cake commissioned from a trusted chef.

These values remain the heart and pride of our upbringing. No wonder, it was cool with me when I was not able to get a slice of pizza I bought for the team last week. It is also the same behavior I reveal when people notice how clean my plate is after a meal. For this reason, I cannot understand how could the president of the country and her entourage could stomach dining in a fancy restaurant and footing a P1 million peso bill when more than half of their countrymen could not even get a decent meal for a day.

Have she and her Batasan dogs lost their minds and became so out of touch with their sensibilities that they could not understand why the nation is raising hell over of their tasteless Le Cirque feast?

MANILA, Philippines — The lawyer of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo lambasted the media for questioning the morality of her purportedly lavish dinner at a French restaurant in New York recently.

In a Palace briefing, lawyer Romulo Macalintal blew his top and said the media had no right to raise morality as an issue when they were accepting advertisements from politicians obviously violating the law against premature campaigning.

Philippine Daily Inquirer

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Totoy Batak Chronicles Two: Kanto Gym

Long before I was able to distinguish the difference between a Bench Press and an Inclined Press; and long before I could do Squats with a 250 lbs Olympic Bar on my back, there was already the Kanto Gym - the humble neighborhood fitness place where my life-long passion with iron plates and Olympic bars began.

There used to be one, just across the street from where the narrow alley leading to our house opens to the main road. It was run by my dad's friend who used to be his graphic artist when the two of them worked in the Komiks industry. I cannot recall who among the two friends started the fitness habit, only that one morning, a second hand weight bench machine appeared out of nowhere in the house's sala.

Dad first encouraged me to do some exercises when I was in high school. He taught me the basics of dumbbell curls and pull downs. I remember, there used to be a barbell made of concrete outside the house. Whether someone was able to do some presses with that slab, I could only guess.

In college, I showed up one evening outside this Kanto Gym owned by my dad's friend. I remember his first reaction the first time I lifted a bar. "Aayusin natin yang porma mo. Kilos Bondjing ka pa kasi ngayon." It could have been the beginnings of my love affair with Iron Plates but the drive to buff up died out less than a month after I started working out.

Heto na ang stats ko ngayon:

- 180 lbs.
- high blood
- laging stressed out
- feels something weird in my chest, especially near the heart area
- super massive
- slow mobility
- careless diet
- extremely low self esteem

that why, I need to trim down. I need to enrol in a gym class. I need to moderate my health because it's failing already.

Wish ko lang sipagin ako pumasok bukas
may bago na akong gym na nakita.

Dreams of Becoming A Gym Bunny - Part Two
Fullmetal Dreams | March 15, 2004

It took years before I showed up in the gym again. By then, I was already 180 lbs and my ex complained that I was too fat for him. He even joked that he would leave me if didn't shape up. Fearing that he would take his word seriously, I tried to work out at a Kanto Gym somewhere in Espana. However, a month had passed and I was back to procrastinating again.

I just couldn't bear the pain of my pectoral muscles breaking up for it to get firm.

The search for motivation continued and the frustrations went on every time I would slack off and withdraw myself from the program. What started as a yo-yo cycle finally found its rhythm one dusty afternoon of February.

At a height of Five foot and Nine inches, my weight reached 210 lbs. I was more obese than my father when he was at my age and I had to reverse my uncontrolled expansion before it was too late.

Until then. I would stay quiet. I'm even thinking whether it would be good to be isolated for the mean time so that my developments... would just be for my eyes alone.

And no matter how many times it would take before I may become successful in taming my own frame. I would never stop nor surrender.

For I'm beginning to get tired hiding behind my own shadow.

And I'm getting weary thinking about if I would last a decade with the abuses I'm giving to my deteriorating body.

Lastly, I'm beginning to get tired oogling at some other buff bodies when I can develop mine.

I guess, it's time to claim my own place.

Act Of Liberation
Fullmetal Dreams | February 13, 2006

The liberation began in earnest at a small gym along Recto. Learning from my past mistakes of procrastinating when I notice some improvements, I took small and subtle steps for the habit to kick in and the bodybuilding activity becoming a lifestyle.

I've seen many people desiring to have a toned, buffed body. A lot of them are non-straight men whose template for being attractive are those gym-fit guys they stalk on the internet. Some would deny such truth, but I have been there. I used to go online at Guys4men to look at some photos of headless, muscled men before heading to the gym. They were my inspiration in getting myself fit. Some who I sent a direct message out of admiration were helpful enough to part some tips and encouragement so I could see myself posting the pictures they own


Who would have thought I could do more.

Bored and with nothing else to do, I decided to check out a Kanto Gym this afternoon. The banner outside the door gave hints that the gym had just opened. You see, I have this penchant for comparing other fitness centers to my home gym in Shaw.

Had I been a little mean, (like when I worked-out at Maic's Gym and Fitness First Eastwood some years ago) I would have looked down on this Kanto Gym and consider it a place of no-interest. The kids who were lifting bars and pulling cables were from the university not far from the gym. Fascinated at how they tried (desperately) to finish a set, I went inside so I could pay close attention at how they execute their exercise.

They were greenhorns by all accounts.

Greenhorn like me when I first curled a dumb bell on my hand:

"Kuya tama ba yung form ko?"

"Coach paano nga ulit yung tamang leg position sa Dynamic Row?"

"Sir ano yung program ko for today?"

It was as if my own voice spoke when I overheard a member asking the coach about his program. Suddenly, I remembered the very questions I once asked when it was me who held on to every word the coach said.

There is a saying among true weightlifters that "no matter where the bodybuilder came from, it is not the gym that firms the chest and tones the abs. What shapes a bodybuilder is his spirit." True to what the saying goes, the skinny boys who were working out when I arrived may have the lousiest exercise executions I've seen, but with determination to reach their aim - despite the body pain, the sacrifice of time and the work-out supplements they have to buy and consume to maintain their muscles, sooner or later, they will achieve their goals for going to the gym.

I used to scoff at the thought of returning to such places especially when I remember the rust (from the gym equipment) staining my shirt, or the bench rocking left and right as I do my sit-ups at a highly inclined position, but now it is clear to me that I owe my very foundations to the Kanto Gym. Without its presence and very low membership fees, the science of bodybuilding would never have been my field. I would never strip naked and be confident about it like what I am now doing while writing this entry.

So instead of doing my work-out, I decided to teach some kids a few exercises I did when I used to work out in the neighborhood gym. The coach must have noticed my built so he allowed me to share some knowledge learned from my instructors before.

"Extend mo pa yang arms mo hanggang baba para ma-feel mo yung impact ng dumb bell curl mo."

"This is how you do a pull-down, i-grip mo yung dalawang opposite ends ng bar. Bend over a little and then pull the bar down until it reaches your back. Make sure it gently taps your lateral area. We could decrease the weight if hindi mo kaya"

"If you want your tummy to get smaller, do a fifteen minute brisk walk here (pointing to the Elliptical Trainer) and then another fifteen minute cardio in the stationary bike"

Monday, August 10, 2009

Turnover Rites | Memento

"Thank u sir galen sa pizza :)"
- Facebook comment 1

Sino ang mag-aakala na may naka-appreciate pala sa Jugno's Monster Pizza na pina-deliver ko noong huling araw ng duty bilang OIC ng aking team. Sa kasaysayan ng aking buhay, bilang lang sa iisang kamay ang mga panahong nagdiwang ako ng okasyon. Ang huling pinakaengrande na aking natatandaan ay noong nanlibre ako ng pitong barkada sa Shakey's Espana. First year college pa ako noon at nagpapaimpress sa mga konyo kong kaklase.

Sa halagang P550, hindi naman kabigatan sa bulsa ang pizza. Maari rin naman na lumiban ako sa binitawang salita at kalimutan ang pangako noong i-anunsyo ng boss ang aking bagong assignment sa harap ng aming team. Subalit sa tuwing matatandaan ko kung paano nakisama ang aking mga katrabaho, at kung paano ako nakaramdam ng respeto maging hilaw man at may taning ang authority na ipinagkaloob sa akin,

They deserve this parting gift.

Naubusan man ako ng pizza na aking dala, fair pa rin si Bro sa pag-iiwan ng litrato na kinunan at inupload ng iba na magsisilbing remembrance sa trabahong bisor na tunay kong na-enjoy at sineryoso sa maikling panahon.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Confessions On The Dance Floor

We return to the crowded and pretentious dance floors of Malate only for one thing: To relive a romantic past where lovers were born out of men we slept in bed. The first boyfriend began in such fashion and so was the second one. We hope that out of the hundreds of broken souls searching under the disco lights, one would hear our quiet longings amidst the bass beat of the House sounds.

But reality has been far, far different from daydreams.

Instead, Malate has become a drug that enhances our player leanings. We flirt, we trade glances, we hold other people's hand, we let them hold our crotch, we get rejected, we abandon, we get bored and seek another challenge. We play over and over until we have learned to conclude the game even before it starts.

Week after week, we instruct ourselves never to return. We tell our itching feet that the body is already worn out and tired from such nocturnal pilgrimage. The soul whispers that we shall never find the one we seek among the dance partners, especially now that we only see the shallowness of the game we play.

And yet still we return - maybe out of boredom.

Maybe because Malate still provides us with brief highs and empty thrills as a consolation for choosing to remain free.

Habang bumabayo ang buong O-Bar noong isang gabi sa remix ni Mariah, lumabas ako ng club upang magsigarilyo. Mahangin sa kapaligiran habang ang langit naman nanatiling maaliwalas matapos itong lubayan ng makakapal na ulap na naghatid ulan buong linggo. Kakaiba ang gabing iyon sapagkat napansin ko ang papalubog na buwan sa kabila ng mga naggagandahang lalaki sa aking paligid. Katabi ng buwan ang nag-iisang tala na wari'y hindi lumulubay kahit pa lipasan ng oras ang dalawang estranghero sa langit.

Naglaro sa aking isipan nang mga oras na yun ang isang scenario: Isang astiging lalaki ang lalapit sa akin at makakapansin sa aking pagmumuni-muni sa kalawakan at bubungad ng:

"Bilog pala ang buwan ngayon... Napansin ko na pinapanood mo rin siya.... Ako nga pala si..."

Now the confession:

Before the ninth day of the month was over, we have failed to keep our word to spare ourselves from the temptations of the flesh. The story will reveal itself in another time. We have also disappointed some people close to us but reasons will justify our hasty actions. I just wish that things would be resolved in the coming days. What remains of our promise is the little speck of light that no matter what we do and no matter what actions we take.

We shall bare our humaneness and become less mean and cruel to those who walk our path.

Isang tranny ang kinakantahan ng Happy Birthday nang dumating ako sa Che'Lu kanina. Sa hitsura at katawan pa lang, big mamasang na ang dating niya sa kanyang mga binabaeng kasama. Malapit man sa isa't isa ngunit mundo namin ay ibang iba. Sa kanya ay isa lamang ako sa mga pamintang kanyang kinamumuhian. Mortal na kalaban kami sa mga barakong lalaki. Sa akin naman ay isa lamang siyang parlorista na kadalasan ay nilulubayan. Maraming beses na rin akong nadakma ng mga katulad niya.

Ngunit sa pagkakataong ipinagkaloob sa amin, isang maliit na kabutihan ang kanyang iginawad sa kabila ng aking supladong pagtingin. Palibhasa ay nakaupo katabi ng bar counter, nagpasya siyang kunin ang aking stub upang ipaabot ang aking order. Sa takbo ng kalakaran sa Malate, isa itong hayagang pagpapansin upang makuha ang aking atensyon.

Subalit nakita ko sa kanyang ginawa ang ugaling pagka-makatao. Bilang ganti, binulungan ko ang mamasang ng "Happy Birthday" na nag-iwan ng bakas ng ngiti sa kanyang mukha.

Ilang beses pa kami nagkita malapit sa bar counter at sa bawat pagkakataong iyon, pagtango at pagngiti ang aking isinukli bilang pagkilala sa kabaitang iginawad niya sa akin nang una akong umorder ng mineral water (Nitong mga nakaraang linggo kasi, nagkaroon ako ng ugaling mang-isnab ng nakakatitigan maramdaman ko lang ang kanyang pagiging mas malabot kesa sa akin.) sa waiter.

At bilang pagtatapos sa dalawang magkasunod na gabing pagpapakawala sa Malate, isang bahagi ng aking pagkatao ang pinakita ko sa isang estranghero.

"I have to go. Happy Birthday ulit." Pangiting pagpapaalam ko sa mamasang.

"Babay, Thanks." Nagsimula akong maglakad papalayo. Humabol ito ng isang hirit.

"Kiss ko?"

"Mwah" Sabay dikit ng aking labi sa kanyang pisngi. Sa unang pagkakataon ay kumilala ako ng isang lalaking hinding hindi ko papatusin sakaling tsansing ang binalak nito sa akin.

Nakalabas ako ng pintuan ng Chelu na solb sa night out kahit kawalan man ang magdamagang paghahanap ng barakong makakalandian.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Supreme Sacrifice | Limbo

Matapos mag-check ng attendance; mag-ikot sa floor at matiyak na may tao ang lahat ng accounts ng iyong center;

At matapos tumayong officer-in-charge at mag-allocate ng mga trabaho habang missing-in-action ang iyong mga superior;

At matapos mong ibalik ang responsibilidad sa totoong may hawak nito - pagkaraan ng mahigit tatlumpung minuto na puno ng pakikipagsapalaran masiguro lang ang matiwasay na turn-over ng operations sa floor,

Sa huli ay babalik ka rin sa katotohanang wala ka na sa authority humawak ng tao at ang tanging pa-konswelo na lang na iyong matatanggap ay ang pagsunod ng mga katrabaho bilang dati nilang officer at leader sa oras na wala ang mga supervisor.

Sa pagdating ng mga mas mataas sa iyo, walang imik mo na lang kukunin ang iyong mga gamit sa kanilang workstation, lalakad ng hindi tumitingin sa mga tao, at lilipat sa iyong bagong cubicle kung saan walang makakapansin na nalipasan ka na ng panahon.


Hiniling ko na ibalik ako sa load shift upang bigyang daan ang pagbabalik ng Team Leader sa shift ko ngayon. Dalawang beses na-deny ang aking pagsusumamo. Mag-intay lang daw ako ng bagong orders mula sa boss.

Sa totoo lang, habang tumatagal ako sa ganitong estado, lalo kong nararamdaman na tila na-demote ako trabaho.

At ang masakit dun, hindi ko masikmura makipagsabayan sa mga dating subordinates lalo pa't alam ko na mas mahalaga ang kanilang pangangailangan kumita.


Problema na ng aking mga magulang ang paghahanap ng sapatos noong ako ay binatilyo pa lang. Sa tuwing sasapit ang unang linggo bago magklase sa paaralan, laging pahirapan ang pagsusukat ng leather shoes sa department store na aming pinupuntahan. Kesyo ang dahilan daw ay American size ang sukat ng paa ko at madalas ay size 8.5 lang ang available sa kanilang stock.

Sa tuwing kami man ay makakabili ng sapatos, asahan mo na hindi ito tatagal sa akin sa loob ng isang taon. October pa lang ay pudpod na ang takong nito samantalang ang suwelas naman ay nakabuka na at lumilitaw ang puting medyas na tinatalupan nito.

Diyahe nga sa tuwing ito ay napupuna ng aking mga guro't kaklase.

Hindi ko alam kung sadyang mababa lang ang kalidad ng aming nabibili. Subalit kung ang leather shoes na sinusuot mo sa eskwela ay ang sapatos na ginagamit mong pantakbo sa tuwing naglalaro ka ng football at black wantutri sa daan o kaya naman ay ginagawang submarine sa tuwing naglalakad sa baha, ewan ko lang kung anong sapatos na yari sa balat ang tatagal sa iyong kalupitan.


Taon ang lumipas at gumaan ang aming estado sa buhay. Kumita ang mga negosyo ng aking itay na siyang nagbigay kakayahan sa kanya na itaas ang budget sa sapatos na aking binibili tuwing pasukan. Gaya ng kinaugalian, praktikal ako pagdating sa sariling kagamitan. Isang sapatos lang ang aking binibili at ang pangmatagalan nito sa arawang paggamit ang siyang namamayani sa aking decision making.

Iyon ang dahilan kung bakit mahilig ako sa high-cut boots.

Favorite ko ang Sketchers o kaya naman ay Caterpillar. Bukod kasi sa tibay ng kaha nito, ang high-cut lang ang siyang klase ng sapatos na nailalakad ko sa init ng araw o kaya naman ay sa mga bahang kalsada ng hindi ito natatagtag. Mabigat man ito sa bulsa subalit nakakatipid naman ang aking sponsor sa minsanang pagpapalit ko ng pansapin sa paa.


Kasabay ng aking pagtanda ay ang paglaki ng aking mga paa. Sa sukat na size 12, maituturing na dambuhala ang aking mga sapatos at hindi ito basta-basta nabibili kung saan.

Barko ang bansag ng mga kaklase sa sapatos ko. Kung paano ito sumikat ay hindi ko na matandaan. Ang alam ko lang ay sa tuwing pinagtritripan ako ng aking mga kaibigan, isusuot nila ang aking boots na suot ang kanilang leather shoes sa paa. Halakhakan ang lahat sa tuwing ilalakad nila ito na kahawig ng sapatos ni Ronald Mcdonald, samantalang may ilang mga kaklaseng babae naman ang paulit-ulit na icoconfirm sa akin kung dose talaga ang sukat ng aking paa.

Nitong sa aking pagtanda na lamang nalaman ang dahilan.


So why am I talking about shoes in this entry?

Lingid sa kaalaman ng lahat, nagkaroon ako ng krisis pangsapatos nitong nakaraang buwan. Ito ay sa kadahilanang nasira ang Sketchers Leather Boots na siyang nakasuot sa aking mga paa sa araw-araw na adventures ko sa lansangan. Ito ay nagkaroon ng malalim na hiwa sa talampakan at ang isang suwelas nito ay humihiwalay na sa balat ng sapatos. Inabot rin ng taon bago ito naluma at nang minsang ilusong ko ito sa puddle ng tubig sa daan, laking gulat ko na maramdaman ang pamamasa ng aking medyas sa paa.

Hindi man nag-iisa ang aking Sketchers, subalit ang dalawang natitirang sapatos sa aking battle fleet ay tinuturing kong "escort boats" lamang. Ang derby na padala sa akin ng isang tiyuhin sa America ay hindi maaring laspagin. Bukod kasi sa pagiging manipis ng balat nito, masakit rin sa paa na ilakad ito kung saan-saan. Ang Fila naman ay ang ikalawang sapatos na aking nabili gamit ang sariling pera. Tinagurian nga itong sapatos pantakbo subalit dahil sa pang-araw araw na paggamit ay lubhang numipis ang ilalim nito.

Isang bubog lang at katapat at tiyak na tatagos ang patalim hanggang sa aking paa.

Binalak ko ang gumamit ng emergency funds upang mapunan ang pagkukulang. Sa bandang huli ay umatras rin ako sa kadahilanang hindi sigurado ang pasok ng pera sa aking kabang yaman. Naisipan ko rin lumapit sa mga kaibigan na may ginintuang puso na maaring magpamana sa akin ng sapatos na kanilang napaglumaan. Subalit umiral ang aking pride at pagdududa na magkakasya sa akin ang sapatos ng iba. Sa huli ay binalak ko na lamang na pagtiisan ang natitirang dalawang sapatos hanggang ang isa sa kanila ang tuluyang bumigay at masira gaya ng minamahal kong Sketchers Boots.

Ngunit sadyang maawain ang pagkakataon, isang tiyahin ang mangingibang bansa upang bisitahin ang aming mga kamag-anak sa kabilang dako ng mundo.

Sinamantala ko ito at tiniyak na bago siya lumipad patungong kalawakan ay isang awitin ang aking ihahatid huwag lamang niyang kalimutan ang matindi kong pangangailangan.

"Ninang patanong naman kung may hand-me-downs shoes sila na puwedeng ibigay sa akin." Ito ay patungkol sa aking mga pinsan na higante rin ang paa.

Alam kong hindi makakalimot ang aking paboritong tiyahin.

Lumipas ang isang buwan at bumalik ang kamag-anak na pumakabilang bansa. Dala niya ay mga pasalubong na stateside na taon ang binibilang kung kumatok sa aming pintuan.

Kasama sa kanyang padala ang pinaka-aasam asam kong sapatos.

"Hindi na daw uso dun ang boots eh, kaya yan na lang ang pasalubong namin sa iyo." Text niya sa akin matapos akong magpasalamat sa kanyang padala.

At gaya sa nakasaad sa kanyang text, malayong malayo ang sapatos sa aking inaasahan. Ito ay yari sa balat, kulay niya ang brown at ang sintas ay kulay pula. Tatak nito ay Rockport, isang kilalang brand sa lupaing kanyang pinanggalingan.

Masaya ako sa aking natanggap and for a time, akala ko tapos na ang aking problema.

Subalit isang maulang gabi, habang ako ay naglalakad papauwi ng bahay,


"Putangina!" Pakiramdam ko ang dumaan sa kalsadang nagkalat ang lumot.

Mabuti na lamang at sa unguarded moment kong iyon ay nabawi ko ang aking balanse. Ang Rockport pala ay sadyang pang-japorms lamang.

Sapagkat sa oras na ilakad mo ito sa sementong tubigan,

Ang leather shoes sa iyong paniwala ay maari rin palang maging skating shoes na pananggal poise sa daan.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Ascension Journals: Legacy

July 9, 2009

The Dancing Priestess of Athens says:
u saw my e-mails?

Knox Galen says:
read it.

The Dancing Priestess of Athens says:
u r doing very well as a team administrator

Knox Galen says:
thank you very much

The Dancing Priestess of Athens says:
tama rin ung judgment calls mo re: [insert name of account here]
and u have initiative as well
very, very. very good

Knox Galen says:
grabe haba ng hair ko.
told you i will never let you down.
and i hope i won't until my term of duty ends.

The Dancing Priestess of Athens says:
but... i suppose... u r sad abt the result of ur Diagnostic?

Knox Galen says:
not really.

The Dancing Priestess of Athens says:
lol term of duty ending... hehehe... i got a secret lol

Knox Galen says:
its a blessing in disguise
because the scores i've got easily persuaded everyone not to feel bad about their results

The Dancing Priestess of Athens says:
taka talaga ako dun ke [insert name of colleague here]

Knox Galen says:
secret. heeehee.
ako rin

The Dancing Priestess of Athens says:
nahawa na yata ke [insert name of boyfriend/colleague here]
ininireklamo lagi ng client si [insert name of boyfriend/colleague here] for being rude

Knox Galen says:
ganun ba

The Dancing Priestess of Athens says:
ano ang indi nila nakukuha na question?

Knox Galen says:
i presume the other shifts haven't had the exam yet
wait po
its Tommy's turn

The Dancing Priestess of Athens says:
they did but they didn't send the results
Kaie got it daw perfect
Starla 60 yata

Knox Galen says:
natakot siguro
anyway the guys had fun with the exam
and i assured them

The Dancing Priestess of Athens says:
they liked it?

Knox Galen says:
its just an assessment.
i foresee that you will use it for
hiring purposes

The Dancing Priestess of Athens says:
could u please give feedback abt it
yeah as a matter of fact, we are... pero di pa sa hiring... sa training pa lang ng new hires

Knox Galen says:
i will after we are done
should i let the new hires do it too?

The Dancing Priestess of Athens says:

Knox Galen says:
i will
talagang tutok kay tommy ah

The Dancing Priestess of Athens says:
[insert smiley face here]

Knox Galen says:
narealize ko
the older ones in my shift act like the kids

The Dancing Priestess of Athens says:
esp jose and ur uncle

Knox Galen says:
sobrang daming realizations ko kaya from doing this job.
and even tom
as a consolation they listen and they cooperate.
kay russel (fellow officer in charge) naman sumusunod yung iba.

The Dancing Priestess of Athens says:


If I didn't take a cab to work this afternoon, I will suffer a tardiness on the day I was in-charge of the team. It will be the first since the leadership was handed over two months ago. The trip merely took 15 minutes from my home in Santa Mesa to my office in Shaw Boulevard. Everyone was glued to their television sets (or dragged themselves along the procession line in Manila) for the funeral of the beloved president so the roads leading to my workplace were as desolate as the Grey skies above.

The moment I opened the door, a radiant figure welcomed my arrival.

She was rounded and heavy the last time I saw her.

Now that she had given birth, her sleek figure hugged once again her small clothes.

"Nagulat ka no?" I didn't breathe a word. My droopy eyes were just fixated at her.

It took me a few seconds before I realized that her unexpected presence is the queue to take my final bow. After recognizing her as my superior, I took the headset of a nearby office phone to order the pizza I promised to the team when my ascension was announced.

My time is over. The duties entrusted to me will be handed back to its rightful officer who has just returned.

And as she takes her place as the Assistant Team Leader,

the transition, which will be over in a few days will conclude unceremoniously after my return to the most obscure workstation - the most isolated on the floor where they found me long before my duties as a replacement officer was ever considered by the gods.