Monday, November 30, 2009

Now We Are Free | How Far We've Come

Timeline of events

November 14, 2009 - Last sighted at BED, Malate.

November 09, 2009 - Combined Galentean and Altarian forces defeated the last Scorpion.

October 04, 2009 - The last thorjack Cycle

August 17, 2009 - Deleted the Manjam account. Liberation from online hook-up websites begin.

First Week of May - Epitome membership card burned to cinders by Papa Tagay. No attempt to return ever took place as of this writing.

Last Week of April - Last visit to a bathouse after two years of absence.

October 01, 2008 - Independence Proclamation

December, 2007 - Last sighted at Extreme Massage Clinic.


I'm waking up at the start of the end of the world,
but its feeling just like every other morning before,
now i wonder what my life is going to mean if it's gone,
the cars are moving like a half a mile an hour and I
started staring at the passengers who're waving goodbye
can you tell me what was ever really special about me all this time

How Far We've Come
Matchbox 20

Cafe Bola (Last Part)

Mother was invited to this two-day "Christian Conference" not only to hear the speakers talk about "achieving one's big dream," or worship the Almighty with song and dance performance. My aunt brought my mother to the event for the healing service that would take place after the Archbishop of Manila himself concludes the Holy Mass.

It was already past 1 in the afternoon when the program resumed at the big dome. Splashed over three giant screens were interviews of people whose maladies were healed by the charismatic leader. One of those interviewed (who had cervical cancer) said that the doctors gave her several months to live. But after going through the charismatic leader's healing service, the much dreaded lumps on her cervix had miraculously disappeared.

Past forward to two hours later, the charismatic leader was invoking the name of Jesus Christ as he commanded an old and frail woman to walk. She sat on her wheelchair, and perhaps by sheer will alone (and not because of the holy spirit, as the healer proclaims) the frail woman was able to walk and even push her empty wheelchair away from the ministers. My mom was there too and she was accompanied by my aunt. I chose to remain in our seat and guard the burgers brought earlier by our host. I figured that it would be best if the old ladies' health be restored, than let me stand there and spoil the occasion with my skepticism.

As the events unfolded on the giant screen, those who had weak eyesight were able to see. Those who rolled their wheelchairs going to the stage, or walk with canes as their feet were able to stand by themselves and limp away from the healer. At the back of my head, if my Polio-stricken mom (who was bypassed when the cameras panned at the healer's miraculous feats) suddenly trudge back to our seat at the far end of the stage, then by the grace of god, I'll quit my job, leave the country, walk across the planet and live like a hermit.

I hope you won't get the impression that I scoff at the chicanery happening in front of me. On the contrary, I prayed hard that I'd be able to open my mind and believe that true healing could take place inside the ring. While the charismatic leader urged people to give up their hatred and let the holy spirit enter everyone's heart, tears gently trickled down my face. Pressing its rough surface against the souvenir booklet, all I could say was "thank you." at that moment.

Mom never walked back to our seat, as expected, but one can truly feel how renewed she was after the experience. If there was something I truly felt while raising my hands, shouting Hallelujah, and passing on the "healing energy" to the faithful on the upper levels of the big dome, it was the feeling of loving someone

more than yourself.


We were singing praise songs after one of the speakers shared a near death experience that changed his life. His story went this way: He was driving near the Navotas Fish Port when a 14-wheeler truck appeared out of nowhere and crashed into his vehicle. His car was pinned underneath the chassis and was dragged several meters away from the intersection where he was about to make a turn. The car was a total wreck while he escaped unscathed. Arriving home, he went to his wife, hugged her tight, and in between sobs he begins to shake uncontrollably after realizing how close he was to death.

Mom wanted to go the the bathroom and my sister's assistance was needed so someone could watch while she addresses her needs on the toilet. Since we asked utol to stay beside my aunt, (who sat alone on another chair two rows away) we only got the chance to talk a few times during the conference.

Our sibling relationship has turned bitter and resentful these past few months. While she enjoyed the privilege of being a freeloader, (and getting away with it) I had to find ways to earn more and relieve my dependence on savings. It was an ugly feeling I had to conceal in the name of harmony.

I don't want the issue to explode and add more stress to my mom's already troubled life.

But there were times the abuse of one's graces became difficult to overlook. And these were the times it's hard not to think of very ill thoughts about my sister.

Remembering how each moment counts and how expressing one's love could be missed by a single second, I hugged my sister tight while standing next to me as we sang praises during the worship.

It was my peace offering.

Recalling when was the last time I wrapped my arms around my sister's shoulders, truth is, I could not even remember.


The two-day "Christian Conference" took much of my vacation. The well-deserved sleep, which I was looking forward a week ago was taken away when I had to wake up in the morning to prepare for the talks. My energy was sapped as I pushed and lifted my mother's wheelchair across the coliseum's uneven lobby. The "me" time, which translates to a total moment of solitude had to be squeezed between the gym working, keeping tabs over my failing health, showing up at a friend's despedida party and reading the client's emails on the computer. I was never thrilled to participate in worship, or listen to pep talks from people I barely know, but saying yes to the invitation was driven by bigger reasons no one among those I accompanied would ever learn.

Returning at Cafe Bola, the orders were finally served and everyone started to eat. My aunt's driver and his two young daughters were even invited to our table instead of them eating at a fast food nearby. Across the street stood the remains of Fiesta Carnival. Presently occupied by Shopwise and a plethora of bars, restaurants and specialty shops, the dilapidated upper beams still rekindled old memories now that we have returned - as a family - at the Araneta Center.

I accepted the invitation to renew the bonds, often overlooked now that I tend to live my life apart from those who were at the table. Two years, ten years, twenty years. They are the same kin I used to walk with, when I never had the strength to walk with other people. They are of the same blood and now that I have taken this month-long reformation to reclaim my core, completeness is unattainable without searching inwards and finding the heart of my being.


It only takes sixteen days to turn an age older, and in another year many things could happen. Those of us - the children who accompanied our parents - might have lost much of the spirit, the memory, of the days we would blissfully run towards the nearest candy-colored carousel inside the Fiesta Carnival, or sip a bubble-gum flavored soda while watching Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck skate around the ring at the Holiday On Ice, or stuff our tummies with Chicken Barbecue and Java Rice on a table not different from those at Cafe Bola, with our parents - the same aunts - sitting beside us and keeping us safe like we are their collective offspring.

Time is running out and if the only way to keep the bonds was to listen to the pep talk and worship the same God with the rest of the kin, then the big dreams promised by the "Christian Conference" has been fulfilled.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Cafe Bola (First Part)

The menus were being passed across the table.

It was followed by a moment's silence as everyone scanned the food offered on the laminated paper. Among those who were at the gathering was my mother, seating on her wheelchair at the kabisera. The wheelchair was a gift from me six Christmases ago. My aunt sat next to her. She was the one who brought the tickets and invited us to join her "Christian Conference." Across the table sat another aunt who brought her two children at the "ministry." My cousins were busy discussing what pasta to eat while family gossips and thoughts about the conference were shared among the elders. Between soft chuckles recalling family histories and loud announcements of orders to the waitress, I sat quietly with my eyes fixed at the black and white portraits hanging on the white-washed wall.

Perched halfway between the ground and the ceiling were a collection of old photos telling a story of how the construction of the Araneta Coliseum took shape.


The last speaker left the stage after delivering a 45-minute talk about taking action to achieve one's dreams. I forgot what he shared but the events that followed stunned everyone at the big dome. The lights went off then it was followed by a female voice complaining why it turned suddenly dark.

"Ay bakit pinatayan ako ng ilaw?" The familiar voice boomed from the man-sized speakers.

"Helloooo!! May tao ba dito?" One could almost feel the excitement as the audience slowly recognizes the celebrity behind the voice.

The spotlight beamed across the ring. Its aim directed at a Kapamilya celebrity I just saw on a TV commercial the night before.

"Kala niyo hindi ako nagpupunta sa ganito no?" It was Ai-ai Delas Alas. The Araneta Coliseum thundered in cheers and applause.

Who would have thought a celebrity known for her slapstick humor and candid films would be very active in such religious events. Like everyone who was caught unprepared by her surprise appearance, it was easier to believe that someone was impersonating the actress rather than her breaking her routine to show up at the ministry. Yet the truth was there standing before us. Ai-ai was on stage doing an impromptu stand up performance while the main preacher, who did an inspirational talk earlier that day, showered her with good testimonials over a live video feed from Cebu.

"Grabe na stre-stress talaga ako rito" The actress nodded her head left to right. "Kung hindi lang wholesome tong pinuntahan ko eh kanina pa ako..." Her complains were followed by a loud snicker from the audience. I'm sure those who were attending the same conference in Cebu were pleased to know that Ai-ai belongs to their community.

The actress spoke snippets of details about her family. Yet it was clear in her little pep talk how fulfilled she is with her life. She even joked about looking for a boyfriend among the audience to the giggle of everyone.

"Maganda naman ako, mayaman pa. Yun nga lang, may tatlo akong anak na dapat matanggap ng magiging boyfriend ko." Ai-ai then spoke to the people in front. "Mas mabuti siguro kung si brother na lang ang manligaw sa akin. Mapapatino niya sigurado ako"

Her punchline drew another round of guffaws from the crowd.

Before performing a religious song (where her shaky voice gave way to brief sobs) and a Christmas medley she performed with an off-tuned melody, Ai-ai asked a single favor from the audience. At this point, it was hard to draw the line between her ice-breaking jokes and her heart-warming longings.

"Hinihiling ko po sana na ipag-pray niyo ang aking career at pati na ang aking pamilya." This time, the comedian spoke in a serious tone. "Alam niyo naman na libre lang ito kaya kahit yun na lang po ang TF ko..."

A feeling of admiration gushed in my head. I was short of shouting "awwwwwwww," and what stopped me from my tracks was my sense of propriety and the solemness of the moment. As she spoke about her need for prayers, I recalled her box-office movies, her string of big-time endorsements and then by realizing how she was able to put faith at the core of her everyday living,

my heart melted when I was finally struck by her achievements.



Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Bestiality Extraordinaire

because real justice require no words.
only action.

The Soul Jacker has added his voice in condemning the barbaric massacre of civilians in Maguindanao.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

How Do You Spell Gluttony

Like this amigo!

Two cups of rice
One bowl of steaming Menudo with raisins
One fried egg, sunny side up
Two pieces of Rebisco Soda Crackers dipped in Lily's Peanut Butter
One bag of Ridges Potato Chips (Cheddar Flavor)
One bottle of Lipton Iced Tea you snatched from your mommy while eating her dinner in front of the TV.

You have gobbled everything in just one seating.

And then you ask why your weight jumped from 163 to 166 pounds in just two days eh? Wait till you mount the weighting scale tomorrow. The increase will throw you into a state of panic and force you to follow a more extreme form of diet practice you will abandon eventually.

Shape up and learn. You do not have the right to pig out even when claiming having apple and cinnamon flavored oatmeal as your sustenance for the rest of the day.

Note: It was all but a false alarm. Checking myself on the weighting scale earlier, my weight dropped two pounds from my last count. It must have been the pressure to come up with an essay for Dalisay's class on Friday.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Once There Was An Expedition | Mirrorball

We curse the day we learned to harvest words
for it is the same words
which make us think less of our letters.

Now that our works are bound to
be dismembered in the literati grounds of Diliman,
We wonder if we could keep up this fight
or shall we call a shameful retreat
like we did the last time we
found ourselves encircled by our own enemy?


"That is good investment. Get your MA by hook or by crook because you will not regret it." Dr. Magsasaka said in his text message.

"So please don't fail me."

It took me half a day just to figure how to compose the first few sentences of my first assignment. It's a 500-word essay introducing ourselves to class. The workshop began last week. As in nosebleed yung essays ng mga classmates ko! Even my best entries would look inferior to their works.

During that same workshop, I was contemplating of withdrawing the subject again. That's how scared I am to join Butch Dalisay's Class. I will learn a lot from him, that's for sure, and compared to other professors, he does not have a name for being mean to his students.

So I began writing my first essay and it took around two hours to finish it. I wanted to be as truthful as possible while putting a dose of humor so those who will get to read a revision of my life would find it dysfunctional in a good way.

I'm done with my essay and its now under the care of Red the Mod. It sapped what remains of my energy and this venting out aims to release the pressure such exercise in creativity has accumulated. The moment I submit it for academic revision, there's a possibility of slowing down my blogging activities. Blame it on the workshop. Better yet, blame it for the trauma. I'd depress myself to death thinking the grammar police are out to get me.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Blame It On The Weather

I must agree, those kids are getting hotter!

Hot # 1

Si Sam Gilbys. Sawi sya sa pag-ibig, isang lingo pa lang syang iniwan ng kanyang partner na si “toooot” (bawal mag drop ng name baka ma-nuno sa punso) ay tila yata hindi ininda ang pag-aabandona sa kanya. Tanong ng mga lamanlupa….. SAWI BA SYA? Eh bakit hot sya! Blooming si Sam ngayon, lumiit ang tyan, gumanda ang katawan, at kuminis ang mukha. Ang inaasahang Sam Gilbys na bubulaga samin sa tagayan ay dugyot, malalim ang mata at may maitim sa tagiliran na mistulang si Edward Cullen. Pero bakit? Bakit gwapo at hot siya ngayon?

Magaling lang talaga sigurong magdala ng problema itong si Sam Gilbys. Duguan ang kanyang puso ngunit puno ng sigla kanyang pisikal na katawan. Hmmmm. That makes him HOT ! (clue: he has the most gorgeous face among kutonglupa!)


Hot # 2

Si Gerald Anderwear. Isa syang kutonglupa na under species ng lamanlupa. (wala akong panahong iexplain ang difference ng lamanlupa sa kutong lupa, kaya nga nosebleed noh). Pero itong si Gerald super hot kagabi. Simple lang ang kanyang porma. Tahimik ngunit malalim. Hmmmmm… Dyosa ha? Gwardyahan mo yang si Gerald, baka may mangarir dyan at mahagupit mo na naman.

Pero in Fairview, itong si Gerald, gwapo naman talaga. Ngunit sa pansamantala nyang pagliban sa tagayan, ang bumuluga samin ay gwapong Gerald Anderwear ! Gumanda ang kanyang katawan, kuminis ang mukha at HOT tingnan, oo hot sya hehehe. Magbibigay na ako ng clue kasi hindi matatahimik ang Mahrk at Bloiggster. Siguradong mag-ooverseas call sila , gagastos ng dolyares sa telepono, mang-aabala sa mga trabaho namin, mangungulit para lang malaman kung sino ang HOT na to.

Clue: He’s wearing eyeglasses. Ayan Mahrk at Bloiggster ha? Pag hindi nyo pa nakuha yan, naku! Pagdududahan namin na ang inyong UP Diploma ay made in Recto!

I guess all that we're saying is we missed your company

And we're glad to have you back.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Hours We Are Most Alive

I wake up from my nap only to find myself still far away from home. The FX, which carried me from Megamall snake its way across V. Mapa. Stepping on the gas must be the driver's secret addiction, for no matter how busy the street is, he races ahead of other cars to beat the red light waiting along Ramon Magsaysay Boulevard.

Looking outside the window, I see grey clouds marching. There must have been a brief shower while I wandered in dreamland, only to find the place empty. Between the heaving clouds are tiny rifts revealing a pastel orange sky. The sun must be doing her final encore, I thought, and the wind, sympathizing with the light worshipers chases the Cumulus and Nimbus away so the sun dance could be seen on the ground before leaving for sunless lands.

The soft hum of the car's engine lulls me back to sleep. The earphones plugged on my ears still play Sarah Mclachlan, Paula Cole and Goo Goo Dolls songs from a generation I belong. A slight accidental nudge, a sudden stepping of the break, the person seated next to me slamming the door as she departs away from the vehicle; a sudden squall making its way inside the crammed space where my body is wedged and finally, I am roused back to life to find myself almost home.

Stepping outside the car, I feel the cold breeze touching my skin. The damp ground, whose scent wafting under my nose induces thoughts of rustling leaves and tiny droplets falling gently to the ground. There is a tree not far from my spot. Its moist evergreen leaves reflect the last of the sun's rays before it too finally fades beyond the horizon. Catching a glimpse of the sky, I find a palette of blue and orange enmeshed to create shades only seen on day breaks.

The wind blows once again as I reach the street corner. The entrance to my house is just but a stone throw away. While kids dash as they try to tag one another; and couples stroll with their hands locked in union; as mothers clutch their infants close to their breasts and men, coming into terms with old age resign to staring at youthful boys walking pass them.

I realize

That in the hours we are most alive, we forget how time quickly passes a day from our lives.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Matter Of Sacrifice

Upon arrival this morning from work, I sent a text message to an employee from our Sikyu Agency:

Gud am tita beatrice*. Pakitanong naman kay madame viola* kung kelan ko pede pasok tseke ni mama. Kakahiya man pero pambibili rin nya kc gamot un. Salamat ng marami!

Acknowledging our status being part owners of the company, she gave assurances that the message will be relayed to the comptroller. True to her word, I received a text message a few hours after going to sleep.

Sir Galen pwede u na daw po dpcit un check nio.

Like anyone who is desperate to boost his funds, I got out of the bed despite a woozy head and went straight to the bank. I didn't tell anyone about the green light, especially to my mother who has already lost faith that she'll ever get her share in our family business.


There was no queue in the bank, but it took almost an eternity for the teller to get my cheque and process it for verification. Signatures were matched according to their data and so was the background check of company the cheque represents. Much as I would like to put my hopes up, that finally, the funds we need will be secured, reminding myself time and again not to be too optimistic may save me from a future heartache.

I crossed my fingers, and prayed for a miracle.

But the almighty succintly said, it is best to wait:

"Sir inform ko lang kayo na three days clearing po itong cheque."

"Huh paano magiging 3 days clearing yan eh galing sa bank niyo yung cheque."

Everything became silent, only the tapping of the keyboard could be heard from our corner.

"Kasi po sir, insufficient fund po yung [insert name of sikyu agency] eh. Kung gusto niyo, deposit niyo na lang po yan at tingnan natin after three days kung magkakaroon na siya ng funds."

"Ano mangyayari kung within three days eh wala pa rin siyang funds?"

"Bagbobounce po yung tseke. Magkakaroon ng problema yung [insert name of sikyu agency]

"Ganun ba?"


Principles dictate that we should look after the greater good of many before satisfying the needs of the few. That is why whenever my mom pour out her frustration about the status of our family business, I always tell her that we should be thankful that it remains in operation no matter how cash strapped it is.

It is always a choice to give up my own ascent to power and return to look after our interest in my late father's enterprise. But doing so may only complicate the recession we already feel at home.

Situation demands sacrifice. The price should the risk fail may further jeopardize everything my mother and the comptroller had worked for. The matter requires understanding and being used to these kind of shortcomings, I took a deep breath before giving my verdict.

"Sige bawiin ko na lang yung tseke."

"Okay sir, tanong niyo na lang sa [insert the name of sikyu agency here] kung kelan sila magkakaroon ng sufficient funds para madeposit niyo na."

"Ganun na nga lang. Thank you ha!"

Pretending my goals were fulfilled, I left the bank as quietly as I arrived.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Project: Combatron

Isa na akong ganap na grade school pupil noong unang makabasa ng Funny Komiks. Tinitinda ito sa isang news stand malapit sa aming lugar. Noong una ay hindi ko ito pinapansin. Palibhasa kasi ay sobrang adik ako kay Ultraman at masyado niyang binigyang kulay ang aking otistik na buhay.

Lahat ay biglang nagbago nang minsang makatiyempo ng back-issue ng Funny Komiks. Nabili ko yun sa isang matandang babae (if my failing memory serves me right) na nagbebenta ng mga lumang Hiwaga, Aliwan at kung anu-anu pang komiks na sikat noong panahong iyon. Kalimutan mo na si Eklok at pati ang Planet Op Di Epys, pero sa unang basa ko sa isa sa mga comic strips sa issue na aking nahawakan, men! Nainlab kaagad ako sa istorya.

Ang tinutukoy kong comic strip ay si Combatron. Tiyak na marami pa ang nakakaalala sa superhero na ito. Doon sa mga kids na hindi makarelate, medyo nosebleed ang magbigay description sa aming pop culture icon. Paano kasi ay si Combatron ang local version ni Rockman na isang video game sa family computer. Samantalang ang istorya naman ng aking super hero ay sinunod sa mga kaganapan sa anime na Voltes V.

Tuwing Biyernes ay nakaugalian ko na ang gumising ng mas maaga para makipagunahan sa mga bata sa pagbili ng Funny Komiks. Naroong magsto-stop over kami ng aking tiga-hatid sa Banawe dahil madalas ay sarado pa ang tindahan ng komiks sa Espana. Pagdating sa school, minsan ay tinatago ko ang comics sa loob ng aking sando. Hindi bale na ang pagpawisan, ang mahalaga ay mabasa ko ang karugtong na issue ng Combatron.

Sa loob ng ilang taon ay sinundan ko ang mga kaganapan sa mundo ng aking super hero. Naroong namatay si Askal sa kamay ni Diaconda at pumalit si Dobbernaut. Nagkaroon ng civil war sa Omicron at sinamantala ito ng ating bida upang tagpuin si Axel at Metallica. Namatay si Alchitran at muling nabuhay sa katawang bakal ni Deathmetal. Natalo si Pinunong Abodawn sa isang laban na siya nitong kinamatay. Pinasabog ni Komikus ang Omicron. At sa huli ay nabunyag ang nilalang na siyang naglikha kay Deathmetal.

Sinundan ko ang istorya ni Combatron na parang isang groupie. Hanggang Baguio, kung saan minsan kaming nagbakasyon ay hindi ako nagpaawat makahanap lang ng newstand kung saan may nagtitinda ng Funny Komiks. Dala ng pagiging ma-senti, tinabi ko ang lahat ng komiks na nabili sa halip na ipamigay sa iba. Taon pa ang lumipas, naging dragging na ang istorya. Pati si Berlin Manalaysay na siyang may akda ng strip ay nawalan na rin ng gana. Hindi ko namamalayan, nagbabago na ang panahon. Kaya pala dumadalang ang aking pagbili ay dahil sa katotohanang,

Ako ay tumatanda na.

Hindi ko nalaman kung ano ang naging katapusan ng Combatron. Maging ang kababata kong minsan ay nakisabay sa mga trip ko ay biglang nagbago nang ito ay makabuntis ng kanyang syota. Fast forward into the future. Nauso ang internet at sa aking pagbabalik-tanaw sa nakaraan, naisipan kong i-google kung merong ibang tao na higit na mas naging adik kesa akin.

For a time, mukhang nag-iisa lang ako sa cyberspace. Malabo ko na yatang mabasa ang lahat ng issue ng kaisa-isang comic strip na aking sinundan hanggang pagtanda.

Subalit isang madaling araw noong nakaraang buwan. Habang ako ay abala sa pagmomonitor ng mga ahente, isang ad ang aking natanggap mula sa isang fan page sa Facebook na kasalukuyang sinisilip ko noon.

Iyon ay isang imbitasyon para sa isang blog kung saan lahat ng issues ng Combatron ay maari mong mabasa.


Mabilis ang aking pagpapakilala. Pinahayag ko ang aking hangaring punan ang mga issues na wala ang mga may akda.

Isang linggo matapos madiskubre ang

Project Combatron Blog

Nagkasundo ang mga may-ari ng blog na isali ako sa kanilang munting alyansa.

Pahirapan man ang pagsca-scan ng mga litrato. Ngayong gabi ang simula ng aking pagbabahagi.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

RR (Last Part)

Dear Brother

I will never know the true depth of your sufferings right now. All I have is a heart breaking picture in my head. I imagine you dazed and confused while tubes bringing nutrients bore through your nose. By now you have given up your attempts to pull them out. Its no use. You've enjoyed your normal life like a man, and you think, in your hospital bed you have to endure the pain like a man.

We do not know each other personally. I doubt if our lives ever crossed path. But last Saturday afternoon, I tried to reach out hoping that my little act of kindness would get through your blurry mind. To come into close contact was never an easy task. I had to wrestle my fears, defy the loneliness of the journey and figure out why I had to show some compassion when I don't know you at all.

It must have been the inner me wanting to get through to you.


I started my journey at past lunchtime. Here, at the heart of Manila, I could have taken a bus that would bring me straight to your ward in Muntinlupa. But no. Something in me insisted that I should go around the city to find that essential plant I was planning to bring.

Earlier that morning, I sought a friend's advice as to what organic gift to buy. Oregano sounded cheap. Besides, we had a small plastic pot of that herb in the driveway and, stealing it from my next door neighbor would save time and effort to present something when I show up. I immediately crossed out the idea. Karma strikes you know and it might backfire for the both of us. Offering you Basil was my second choice. However, I had to take two rides from home just to reach my favorite garden shop in Mother Ignacia.

"What the heck," I mumbled. "This is my chosen trip. I have no right to complain" I thought to myself.

So off I went to Quezon City just to buy a Basil herb in Green Hearts. If you would notice, I never wanted to bring you flower-bearing plants from the very start. You see, in times I wanted to give up on life and become stoned like some lost souls I know, sniffing leaves of fragrant herbs restore my well being. Call me nuts or whatever, but as far as I remember, only good thoughts linger whenever a freshly cut peppermint wafts under my nostrils.

Choosing a sub specie of a Basil plant already proved tricky. What more after I asked the caretaker what variety thrives inside a shaded room. In the end, I resigned to choosing a Mint instead. Not only does it possesses a sweeter and stronger scent, people like us would easily identify the plant with that gay club in Malate which was our foray in this kind of life.


I wonder what kind do you have.


Two hours inside a freezing bus made me think a lot of things. It didn't help that it cost almost a hundred pesos for a single ticket from Quezon Avenue to the outskirts of Filinvest. Should I've known that my sleep would be cut short, (by the bus' turtle-paced speed along the highway) I would have taken the MRT instead. "But what about the plant," you would probably say. Yes you're right. It would be a hassle to bring the organic gift inside a tightly packed mass transport.

So I waited, almost eternally, for the bus to enter the expressway. Meanwhile, I was trying to fend off some fears in my head, which as you would know, is something that should remain unspoken until the time is ripe for revelation. Dear brother, I too was a rebel and I have committed some atrocities all in the name of pleasure. Only the prude ones go to heaven and contrary to how I conduct my business nowadays. Being prude has never crossed my mind.

Only caution.

I may never know where fate lies and should it tread parallel to yours and your brothers, this is my only solace for an unforeseen life. Until then, I never wish to know and I have no plans of finding out the truth. I just hope that this major effort for souls misunderstood and avoided by so many assure me that no.

I will never be left behind.


The bus arrived at past 4 in the afternoon. The sun cast its soft rays over a clear blue sky. It maybe a dizzying walk from the bus station to the multi-cab terminal across the wide boulevard, but I'm learning so many things from the trip. Alabang will never be my world, but its wide open spaces, its orderly streets and verdant landscapes would always be a source of inspiration for me.

I was on the last leg of my journey after getting to the terminal. Finally the field trip is over. Whoever came up with the idea of offering something which reminds you of living must be a very old soul. We are used to giving something that is cut, arranged, and is bound to wilt. What inspiration for life will it give to the sick when the present is in fact, dying?

Anyway, I never knew such tiny multi cabs charge exorbitant fees. Had I known your hospital's distance and direction, I would walk from the terminal to your place on top of the hill. It didn't help that the cab driver asked so many awkward questions, which I only answered by shoving your Mint plant close to his sweaty face.

It should be enough for him to back off. I don't want my presence to be trivial.

Arriving in OPD, I immediately asked for the head nurse. The security guard said it was her day off and nobody would entertain my presence. But it was too late to turn around. I have come a long way to give up just when I was about to reach you, so I insisted.

My plea worked and I was on my way to your wing. I remembered to pay some respects and set some limits. And being a total stranger, what I sought in truth wasn't you but the people who cared for you.

So I went to the nurses station and asked for the contact person, which your friend left on his blog. Again, the nurses present said that the contact wasn't available so I asked for you name. Surprisingly they know you so I begged them to take the plant and give it to you.

They accepted your herb and asked me if I still wanted to pay you a visit. One of the nurses explained that because of your sensitive situation, I needed your mother's permission.

I said no. Told them it's enough for me to know that your Mint gets through to you.

The nurses must have been relieved of my decision.

Walking along the corridor, I noticed some patients staring at me. Do they have the same condition as you? Only they can whisper in secret. Leaving the building, I had a grand view of the skyscrapers in front of me. A few blocks away from your temporary home lies civilization, while you, in your bed wonder how long before the struggle ends.

But remember.

We live to find the meaning of life.

I pray for you immediate recovery. May the Mint (which I hope sits at the middle of your bedside table right now) serves as a reminder that your life is worth fighting. Please never forget that you've always been loved and is still being loved by the very people who touched your life.

This is the closest I could get dear brother. Until our next crossing.



Second Hand Gadget Showcase

Just helping a very good friend sell some high tech stuff online. I vouch that all items for sale are well maintained and are in very good condition.

Sayang nga eh. Wala siya nung hinahanap ko.

Jamo Home Theater System

Includes HDMI DVD Player with IPod Jock

Selling Price: P10K


PDA, 3G, WIFI, Touch Screen

Selling Price: P8K

BlackBerry 8310 (Red Color)

Selling Price: 10K

XBox 360

Selling Price: 10K

Ipod Touch 32gb, wifi

Selling Price: 12K

Apple Macbook

Specs: white with synthetic body and keypad covers | mac os x leopard 10.5.8 | 2.2 ghz, intel core 2 duo | 1gb 667 mhz dd2 sdram |

Selling Price: 40K

Please send your orders and inquiries to:

June Showers

Sunday, November 15, 2009

RR (First Part)

Words have no meaning until action is finally taken.

I was reading E's blog the other day. He wrote about a poz friend who is fighting for dear life at this very moment. His name is RR and E was able to paint a clear picture of his condition. A person living with HIV must not only resist opportunistic diseases that destroy the body from within. The defensive role is performed by Anti Retro-Viral Drugs. However, a poz person do not live on drugs alone. He must find a reason to go on and live a normal life. What kills is depression. It sniffs out life from a being leaving the person more open to signing a surrender notice.

That is why E wrote a blog asking for support.

He wanted RR to realize his life is still worth living.


Dragging myself out of bed on a Saturday morning was torture. All I ever desired was to sleep all day and ignore the problems of the world. I wanted to escape to my simulated life in Tropico and be El Presidente for eight hours. I was looking forward to watch all my favorite shows on Cable Television, especially now that Discovery Channel is back on our channel line-up. I wanted to forget that I only have two days' rest before the gods call me to perform miracles again. I am burning out and for a change

I wanted to disappear and break my cycle.

But to vanish out of thin air without setting a journey defeats the purpose of becoming Houdini. For one, where would I go? I've been snooty these past few weeks when it comes to the cravings of the flesh and doing a turnaround just to say, "I fucked" will undo all my chastitic accomplishments.

Meeting up with friends and having lunch at a mall (or watching a movie) would be a thoughtful way of spending a Saturday afternoon. But since a lot of them have their own activities, (plus the fact that I heavily rely on invitations when meeting up with buddies) I decided to go solo and plan my own field trip.


I'm used to going out alone to seek my own adventure. I find it easier to jump from one place to another without anyone to slow my pace. Should in any case I invite someone to go out with me, it means I am confident that the person would enjoy my lust for wandering. I walk great distances, even under a scorching sun. Armed with a camera to preserve my voyages with pictures, I wouldn't mind where my feet would take me. Every footstep is a journey.

However, things were different yesterday.

With no digicam to capture images of places I am planning to see, I was having second thoughts of setting sail on my own. And with muscle pains, sleeplessness and jadedness catching up with age, there's no use enjoying childish wonders when thoughts are dominated by how heavy and glum your body felt. Finally, with no extra money to spare, it means I have to spend within the means of my budget. If it requires to give up comfort for something I would do for the first time - then I should let go of such cozy state.


Things were becoming clearer as the minutes of spontaneous planning passed. I may have no lofty reasons for doing such deed - except to fulfill a promise - and do something worthwhile while pretending to be Houdini.

The destination was set, the directions already planted in my head. Jumping from one spot to another, I know where my journey ends.

RITM, Muntinlupa.
Objective: RR receives a plant from the Souljacker.


Friday, November 13, 2009


Isang kuwentuhan sa pagitan ng dalawang encanto ilang linggo na ang nakaraan

The Fox says:

was asking some info about him
i asked him kung may mga tropa din siyang discreet na kagaya niya
sabi naman niya meron daw..
5 sila..

The Half-Baked Kid says:

uh huh

The Fox says:

puro mga married guys
then.. i asked him kung how frequent na nagkakasama sila..
di daw madalas..
pero pag nagkikita daw sila.. in 2 or 3 lang..

The Half-Baked Kid says:

uh huh

The Fox says:

tapos asked him kung how they know each other..
wala lang daw basta pag nagkikita kita daw sila..
usually sex muna then inom later
mga ganun

bigla akong napaisip

The Fox says:

then.. i continued asking him some info
real name niya.. michael
mike kasi tawag ko sa kanya
then.. about his family..
and so on and so fort...
then all of a sudden.. bigla niyang sinabi..

"masyado kang matanong"

The Half-Baked Kid says:


The Fox says:

akin lang.. that's how i want to get to know the person..
kinikilala kong mabuti siyempre
medyo napahiya ako..

Hanggang ngayon, iniisip ko pa rin kung ano ang pakiramdam na magkaroon ng kaisa-isang grupo na PLU na ang turingan niyo sa isa't isa ay pawang mga parausan lang.

Siguro ang magiging tingin mo rin sa lahat ng kagaya mo ay pawang ka-trip lang.

It must be a very sad life.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

A Little Spot Of Paradise

Because all we need is to believe the impossible and the universe will compassionately share its wonders.


Sitting undisturbed for a hundred suns, Ram Bahadur Bomjom meditates under an ancient tree. Lodged between its massive roots, this 15-year old boy defied human limits by not eating or drinking for sixty days. One Western journalist witnessed how Bomjom sat motionless despite the bitter cold weather one night. Supporters even claim that he was able to withstood venomous snake bites twice without dying.

Waves upon waves of devotees pay him a visit every day. Tucked deep inside Nepal's remaining untouched forest, civilization laid claim to the grounds he only borrowed. The pious see him as the reincarnated Buddha - the soul who found enlightenment after years of solitary confinement, while detractors claim that he is merely a hoax. His brothers and supporters profited handsomely from his superhuman feats.

The Discovery Channel ran a documentary about him last week. I was able to watch a portion of the program and saw, with my own eyes, how Western media tried to disprove his claims. In the end, it appeared science was unable to answer the mystery behind his endurance. The credible accounts supporting his validity was too difficult to simply ignore.

The ignorance of the materialistic world only reasserted itself, as it tried to make sense of what the boy was trying to prove.


Across the television screen, in a darkened room next to my third pillow, I lay comfortable in my bed. Trying to figure how Bomjon was able to last that long without crumbling, only three epiphanies ran inside my head.

the boy meditating,
the ancient tree behind him
and his undying faith in the cosmos.

Minutes before I slid into a deep trance known as sleep, I was able to unlock my own Nirvana.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Sic Transit Gloria Mundi

Hope that when time comes, friends who joined the new company celebrate their promotions and salary increases, I would find myself celebrating with them. Just like what the HR of the new company promised when she was handing down the job offer, I'd find myself promoted...

Here in the company I decided to stay.

With all the responsibilities, compensations and benefits I turned down, all in the name of faith.

Retention, September 22, 2008
FullMetal Dreams


A client call was set yesterday. As the new liaison for special accounts, our South American counterparts required my attendance. The job position, a rank unheard of in the company just a few months ago was created to accommodate my promotion. I had to be put somewhere when the assistant team leader returned from her infantile duties.

Or else I would get demoted.

The training was nerve breaking. I had to sacrifice long working hours just to keep up with my trainer. I had to shove myself to the officers because some thought, secretly, my presence was unnecessary. They could do the job themselves. Proving my right to exist was a struggle. At the back of my head, I am being paid for something everyone could do. I am redundant. So when errors were committed as my training progresses, the disappointment took a heavy toll on my already questionable sentience.

It was a snail-paced turnaround. I had to stick with the graveyard shift for sometime against my body clock's wishes. Hearts are easily won from those who already saw you as an officer before. Their team leaders were more accommodating - especially the assistant - who was once your buddy in the morning shift. I would look after his back when his superior enjoys his off, or write him emails he would send to the clients for correspondence. Save for some tiny blunders, which the trainer highlighted to me, I ended the nocturnal campaign winning the acceptance of many.

My obsession to prove my worth had put me dangerously close to stepping into the authority of others. It was an observation relayed to the trainer, who already warned me that I was a loose cannon firing at the wrong direction. I returned to being her protege a week after going solo in the night shift. It was under her umbrella that I wore my own jacket. And from her fortress I launched my own way of doing things, (with her approval of course) which sealed my fate and put me in the same league with the other officers.

The training paid off and my job position remains needed for now. Aside from being a bridge between the center and the client, my previous ranks allowed me to rotate from one job to the other - something, some officers might find difficult to match due to their limited experience or for staying too long in a position that is too high:

Once an agent, can always return to being an agent.

An Officer-in-Charge wears his sleeve when Team Leaders are not around. Thank heavens for putting me in the right spot when my ATL took a leave of absence. I am able to apply the same principles I did on her floor now that I can rotate from one shift to another.

My familiarity with the product allows me to produce "materials" in aid of the agents. The maximum exposure in the instructive nature of the trainer let me copy her methods (and improve on it) when agents needed immediate coaching for the account.

In the absence of self doubt, I could do much more. It is a passion I cannot deny, and the more I learn, the eager I am to show my wings. But from the lessons painfully learned from the trainer; and for keeping my humility in the presence of agents;

I will always be reminded that all glory is passing.

"Good job, Galen"
- The Boss, on our way to the elevator.

And that I should enjoy every sunshiny moment while keeping my feet on the ground.

One year ago, a huge mistake almost cost us a new account. I took the blame for it and for several weeks, I was depressed with my job. It didn't help that my ATL wasn't sympathizing with my struggles. I was trying to be fine with my new-found independence, I was getting sick almost every week because of Throatie, and the client - the same client I am serving now - could never forgive my stupidity.

Resignation was my last resort.

And new job offer was waiting for my signature.

I sought Mami Athena's permission. I thought she would convince me to reconsider. But no, she understood that I am always free. That I deserve a chance to rise up and lead others. Her recognition was my downfall. The day she set me free is the day I decided to stay.

Time passes without me knowing. The company that was about to accept me closed down. Three months after I moved to another shift, (so I would never see the same pregnant ATL who unconsciously, pushed me to resign) I was requested to return and be trained to become her temporary replacement. Three months of being an "effective" floor leader, two months of boot camp training with Mami Athena and here I am, finally fulfilling a promise that was written before.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Teleportation | Dream Journal Twenty Three

Imagine waking up in an unfamiliar white room. Across the folding bed where you slept, video footage of teachers and students parading in a school ground splashed on the TV screen. They were having a foundation day of some sort, but you cannot be sure if your impressions are correct. You cannot think clearly. It remains confusing how you woke up in an unfamiliar place when you still remember the last thing you did before falling asleep.

The next scene rolled. You were in the school ground you earlier saw on television. Everyone was wet, for the skies heaved with rainclouds. There were women wearing clothes reaching their heels. They were taking shelter in one of the sheds scattered all over the place. Some girls in green and brown skirts were running in front of you. You didn't pay attention to their presence because you were trying to figure out what was happening. Walking alone, you approached a group of teens - high school students who were merely watching the event from a distance. You asked the tallest where you are and the reasons for holding a parade.

The details are blurry now, only the word Cagayan still remain in your head.


To wake up in Cagayan after remembering sleeping in your bed in Manila was a mystery you could not explain. You wanted to go home but you don't have any money for a bus ticket. You wanted to call friends but feeling your jersey shorts, you don't have a phone in your pocket. Walking away from the school ground, a strange refreshing sight overwhelms you. Endless fields were everywhere. In the distance, you remember seeing a mountain. The skies were blue and the heavy downpour which drenched the paraders earlier were no more. It was a rustic picture you are looking forward to seeing soon.

Suddenly, someone familiar tapped your shoulders. It was Ewik.

You explained what happened; that the last time you remember, you went to your bed and was looking forward to a long sleep. Suddenly, you woke up in a very strange place, and you never knew anyone except him. Your friend merely smiled before dropping the bomb which would confuse you even more.

That you were in Cagayan all along.

Ewik walked past ahead, the cadence of his feet you could not catch. He turned in a corner and then you heard a splash of water. Next to the bungalow where you stayed, there was a pond and your wandering friend, who was swimming, invited you to join him. He promised to show you the beaches later, but instead of diving and letting the water take away your confusions, you merely stood next to the pond, confused, worried, dizzy.

And then everything became blurry.

The next thing you knew, you're back in your bed and it was already past 10 in morning on your wall clock.

Monday, November 9, 2009


Nananakit pa ang aking kasu-kasuan nang lumabas sa gym kanina. Araw ng buhat ngayon at inaasahan na ang isang matinding work-out. Sa loob ng isang oras ay natapos ko ang program. Palibhasa'y mainit-init pa ang katawan kaya't naisipan kong magshower muna. Pagkalabas ng shower room ay tiningnan ko ang oras sa cellphone. Alas singko pa lang. Maari pa akong magliwaliw. Hindi ko kinakaila na naisipan kong bumalik sa dating tambayan. Wala naman kasing nangyari noong nakitulog si Orion sa kuwarto.

Iniwan niya unresolved ang mga diskarte ko sa buwan ng kabilugan.

Ngunit at the last minute, nagbago ang ihip ng hangin. Sa Disyembre pa pala nakaschedule ang susunod na Thor-Jack. Pinangako ko pala noon na paninindigan ang quota upang hindi dumami ang nakakaaway sa kama. Justify Full
Naglakad ako sa kahabaan ng Shaw. Tinatamad mag-jeep kaya't nag-abang ako ng FX na magdadala sa akin pauwi. Lahat sila ay puno. Badtrip. Naglakad pa ako ulit. Tiyempong may FX na kaunti ang sakay na parating. Pinara ko ito't sumakay sa gitnang upuan nito. Dalawa ang makakatabi ko. Isang matabang babae, at isang binata na halos kasing edad ko lang. Noong una ay walang pakielamanan. Tamang biyahe lang. Ang kaso mo, sumulyap si binata, napatingin sa aking kakisigan.

Huli ko siya sa akto kaya't lumabas ang aking pagkapilyo.


Tinuturing kong uncharted territory ang landian sa public places. Kelan lang ba ako natuto nito? Wala pang dalawang taon simula nang magpaganda ako ng katawan. Nangyari ang first experience ko sa loob ng isang bus. Galing ako sa isang job interview sa Makati at tiyempong nakatabi ang isang morenong lalaki. Noong una ay para lang kami natutulog, ngunit naramdaman kong gumalaw ang kanyang kamay at dumaplis ito sa aking braso. Ayos lang sana kasi hindi naman ako nagbabalak gumawa ng first move. Pero nang biglang kinuha niya ang aking kamay at pinatong sa ilalim ng kanyang bag, direct hit ang kanyang putotoy. Mataba ito at mukhang galit sa aking panlalapastangan. Kuntento na ako sa ginagawa namin. Wala akong balak kunin ang kanyang number o kaya naman ay sumama sa kanyang tinutuluyan. Kaya't nang huminto ang bus sa kanto ng Pedro Gil at Taft. Dali-dali akong tumayo at bumaba na tila walang nangyari. Naiwan tuloy si binatang manyak na bitin at nag-iisa.


Mabilis ang mga pangyayari sa loob ng FX. Inantay ko lang na makadalawang sulyap si binata at kaagad kong dinantay ang kaliwang braso sa kanyang makinis na balat. Palaban ang lalaki. Bumawi ito nang banggain ng kanyang binti ang aking binti. Pagkatapos ng banggaan ay naglapat ang aming mga braso. Lingid sa kaalaman ng aming katabi na kami ay naglalandian. Pasimple kung ako ay makipagkiskisan ng katawan. Noong una ay parang wala lang. Pero sa muling sulyap ko sa kanyang maamong mukha, at nang hindi niya bawiin ang mata sa akin, alam kong may kinakati sa aking tabi.

Ang hindi ko lang malaman ay kung paano niya ako natunugan.


Kalahating taon ang nakalipas matapos ang insidente sa bus, muli akong nagkaroon ng close encounter sa loob ng pampublikong sasakyan. Maulan ng araw na iyon. Malamig ang paligid. Nakasakay ako sa harap ng FX biyaheng Megamall nang may isang barakong binata ang umupo sa aking tabi. Noong una ay walang pansinan. Pareho kaming nakatingin sa malayo habang iniintay makarating sa aming pupuntahan. Palibhasa'y basa ang damit at nilalamig, naisipan kong gitgitin si binata. Patay mali akong dumantay sa kanyang maitim na braso makaramdam lamang ng init nito. Napansin ito ni binata at pasimpleng ngumiti sa akin. Ang dantayan ay nauwi sa kiskisan. Hindi ko kinaya ang tensyon, nanginig ang aking buong katawan. Napatigil si Binata at napatanong.

"Okay ka lang tol."

"Basa ako kaya nilalamig, pasensya na kung nanginginig ako." Sagot kong may bahid ng hiya sa aking mukha.

Nakarating kami ng Megamall na alam na ang trip ng bawat isa. Subalit dahil masama ang pakiramdam at nakaschedule makipagtagpo sa kaibigan, bigla kong tinalikuran si binata pagkalabas namin ng sasakyan. Nang lumingon ako sa kanyang kinatatayuan. Nakatingin ito sa akin, marahil ay nahihiwagaan kung bakit bigla akong nawala.


Inunat ko ang aking mga binti at sinandal ang ulo sa kinauupuan. Ganoon din ang ginawa ng aking katabi, habang patuloy ang kiskisan ng aming mga braso. Pansin ko ang pagdiin ng bag sa kanyang sentro. Halatang matigas ang nasa ilalim noon. Malapit na sa JRU ang aming sinasakyan habang ako naman ay tinatablan na ng libog. Panay kasi ang kanyang himas sa aking binti. Kaunting udyok pa't hindi na ako nakapagpigil. Inangat ko ang mabigat na bag na nakandong sa aking harapan at hinayaan na dahan-dahang gumapang ang kanyang kamay patungo sa nais nitong paglingkuran. Sa aking sentro, kung saan nag-iintay ang isang Cobra sa kanyang mga hagod, umaasa akong matutuwa siya sa aking alaga.

Mabagal ang kamay ng binata, halatang ito'y nagdududa sa kanyang ginagawa. Nainip ako sa kanyang galaw. Masyadong itong nagdadalawang isip. Kaya hinawakan ko ang kanyang kamay sabay hila nito papunta sa aking umbok. Malugod ang kanyang pagkakapisil. Mahigpit, nakakapangungol, nangsasalsal.

Bigla ko tuloy naalala ang lalaki sa bus dalawang taon na ang nakakaraan. Minsan na akong naglingkod sa amo ng iba.

Panahon naman na sila ang maglingkod sa aking pinuno.


Marami na akong naririnig na ganitong mga kuwento. Mga lalaking kapareho ko na sing-tigas ng bakal kung makipagsapalaran sa ngalan ng karnal na pangangailangan. Sa Quiapo, malapit sa Hidalgo, isang nilalang ang harapang nag-imbita sa akin sa kanyang lugar ilang buwan na ang nakaraan. I-fuck ko daw siya, lalo't mukhang ako'y may ipaglalaban.

Pasado alas diyes ng gabi noon. Pauwi na ako ng bahay nang maisipang dumayo sa bilihan ng mga piniratang dibidi. Natagpuan ko siyang nakatayo sa katabing stall. Patingin tingin kung kani-kanino, waring sumusulyap kung sino ang kakagat sa kanyang pagpapapansin. Nagkataong nagkalapit kami ng kinatatayuan. Pareho ang naging tema - sa dikitan ng braso nagsimula ang labanan - natapos ito sa diretsahang imbitahan.

Ginawa niya ang lahat para ako ay mapapayag. Naroong pumasok daw kami ng Jollibee upang mapakita ang pag-aaring kanyang pinagmamalaki. Naroong pisilin niya ang umbok sa aking pantalon at sabihing ilang kanto lang ang apartment kung saan naroon ang kanyang kuwarto.

Muntikan na niya akong mapapayag. Sino nga naman ang aatras sa palay na sinasaboy sa iyo. Subalit sa isang iglap, umiral ang aking pagkagago.

"Dude hanap ka na lang ng iba. I'm saving myself for someone else."

Malamig ang kanyang pagtanggap sa aking desisyon.


Mabagal ang takbo ng FX. Tila ito ay nakikikuntsaba sa paguulayaw ng mga kamay ng dalawang nilalang. Naidlip akong kadaupang palad ang aking kalaro. Nang muli akong magising, binalik ko ang kamay niya sa aking umbok. Hinayaan ko itong ako ay pisilin, paglaruan at pagsawaan.

Haliparot lang naman akong tunay,

na madalas ay nagmamalinis lang.

Ni hindi sumagi sa aking isip ang mahuli o kaya naman ay pagbintangang gumagawa ng eskandalo. Wala na sa akin ang makaramdam o kaya naman ay isipin ang mga mangyayari matuloy man ang napipinto naming pagtutuos. Tanging ang mga tanong na "effem" kaya o "top" kaya siya ang tanging naglalaro sa aking isipan. Magkamali man ako ng assessment, tangina, handa akong magpaubaya makaraos lang sa libog na nararamdaman.


Bumaba ang aming katabi sa kanto ng V. Mapa at Ramon Magsaysay. Lumayo ang binata at pumuwesto sa kabilang dulo ng aming upuan. Nilihis nito ang kanyang damit, at buong tapang na pinakita ang kanyang alaga. Katakam-takam ito. Ang sarap pagtripan. Oo nga naman. sa nais kong ako ang kanyang pagsilbihan, nawala sa isip ko na siya rin ay may matinding pangangailangan.

Ngunit sa kabila noon ay umiral ang aking pagkatuso. Sa halip na hawakan ang kanyang nakabuyangyang ay ngumiti ako't tumingin sa kabilang direksyon.

Bahala siyang magsalsal ng sarili niya.

Isang flyover bago ang aking pagyao, nilabas ko ang telepono at pasimpleng inabot ito sa aking kabaro. First time, kumuha ako ng number ng iba. Improving na ako. Mabilis ang pindot ng kanyang daliri. Marahil ay alam niya ang napipinto kong pagbaba. "Ma, para." maangas kong pagkasabi sa driver. Tinabi nito ang sasakyan malapit sa istasyon ng tren sa may amin.

Bumaba ako ng hindi tumitingin sa aking katabi. Hindi ko namalayan, sumunod pala ito sa akin. Nagkausap, nagkaalaman ng bawat motibo. Nalaman ko na sa kabilang kanto lang pala siya nakatira, nanunuluyan sa pamilya at interesado akong maikama.

"Wala akong place tol eh. Pasensya na..."

"...O sige hanggang dito na lang. Text text parekoy."

"Punta kamo ikaw saan? Maglalakad na sana ako papalayo nang marinig ang kanyang pahabol.

"Sa Chowking. Mag-C-CR lang."

Nangiti ako sa kanyang sagot. Basa ko ang kanyang pahiwatig salamat na rin sa mga kuwento ng iba na nakaabot sa akin. Sa totoo ay minsan na akong nagkamaling gumawa ng milagro sa lugar na iyon. Sa isang malaking ospital kung saan namamasukan ang aking nakatrip, doon namin pinagsaluhan ang rurok ng kaligayahan.

Bunga nito ay malawak na ang aking pang-unawa upang hindi magkamali ng isasagot.

"Sige tol, ingat na lang." Huling paalam ko sa kanya.

Naglakad ako papalayo. Hindi na ako lumingon sa kanyang kinatatayuan o kaya naman ay magkaroon ng oras pagsisihan ang aking pang-iiwan. Hawak ang telepono, hinanap ko ang kanyang pangalan sa listahan ng aking mga contact. Nagmuni-muni at muling umalala...

Kelan ba nagkaroon ng magandang simula ang hawakan ng mga burat?

Nakarating ako ng bahay.

Burado na ang number ng kalaro ko.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Something Like Remembrance

Please always remember,
the world is a big place.

And you have always been an explorer.

Your liberator,Altair


It is not about physical attraction to begin with, but with the unspoken connection of the hands, when they held each other under the table. Attachment begins with the understanding of the spirit, when you find yourselves arm locked in a single bed, naked, and sharing one blanket. His arrival at the Encantos' booze party demanded a change of plans. Instead of going solo when friends call it a night, I was in the company of someone, who for some reasons still hold sway over me. We went bar hopping in Timog. Listened to some live bands perform their final set, and drank more bottles of San Mig Light until I felt woozy and on the verge of falling asleep.

He offered to take me home. An invitation I didn't decline. After all, the guy was the last to sleep over and familiarity made him a comfortable sight in my room.

I do not know where this extended introduction would lead to. The heart doesn't wish to speak its words yet. With lingering hang-ups I need to resolve, the question lies whether I could truly stick up with him and give up a slice of freedom or will I remain on the prowl, still.

But after jacking off my horny demons last week
and ditching out the potential one-time affairs out of my lands;
After telling everyone I'm bored with new prospects
while secretly scouting for new affairs.

I cannot deny that his appearance last night was a moonshine moment.

For all the claims of jadedness surrounding this blog, I am still thankful for sleeping in the arms of someone - I secretly wish - will save me from these most turbulent of nights.

No promises this time.
My only word is to stay.


Ngayon ikaw ay nagbalik
At tulad ko rin ang iyong pananabik
Makita ang dating kanlungan
Tahanan ng ating tula at pangarap
Ngayon ay naglaho na
Saan hahanapin pa?

Noel Cabangon

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Kabilugan Ng Buwan, Buwan Ng Kalibugan

Kabilugan ng buwan, buwan ng kalibugan. Natapos ang linggo na higit sa dalawang beses isang araw kung siya ay magjakol. Nakipag-meet up isang hatinggabi upang kilatisin ang lalaking kalaro niya dapat sa kama. "Okay na," ang sabi nito sa sarili. "Malamya lang pero may dating. Puwede nang pangkamot sa kati." Problema ay walang lugar at wala siyang balak maguwi sa kanyang kwarto. Nagpatulog lang kasi siya doon ng lalaki noong huling buwan. Umuwi ng madaling araw matapos ang maikling kuwentuhan. Walang silang napagkasunduan, ngunit siya ay nakaramdam ng biglang panlalamig sa kausap. "Kung ayaw di wag," pangiting sagot nito nang hindi na mag-reply ang kalandian sa text. "Mabuti nga yun, nababawasan ang mga nangungulit sa telepono."

Ngunit hindi doon nagtatapos ang kanyang mga pahirap. Buwan ang nakakaraan, may kalaro siya sa telepono na naging kaibigan. Taglibog ang kaibigan at naghanap bigla ng laban. Usapan ay kinabukasan ngunit atras ang kanyang bagong kasagutan. "Pass na lang," ang desisyon nito kanina lang.

"Hindi ako papatol sa kaibigan at lalo na sa may asawa."

Kabilugan ng buwan, buwan ng kalibugan. Marami ang nadadala ng magandang katawan. Marami ang nakikiliti ng maharot na isipan. Habang nakainstall ang kanyang MIRc ay hindi matatapos ang ganitong hamunan. Naroon si 7-incher na kahawig ng kanyang ex. Dati itong naghahanap ng trabaho na inayusan niya ng resume nang sila ay unang mag-chat noong Mayo. Tila gustong bumawi ni 7-incher nang magsabi ito ng motel habang sila ay magka-chat kanina. Nagpalitan sila ng number. Nagbitawan ng kapangakuan ng totoong pagkikita.

At nagkasundo sa kalandian.

Ngunit matapos noon ay nawalan rin siya ng gana sa binatang may pitong pulgada.

"Sex lang to, kayang ipagpaliban pa."

Kabilugan ng buwan, buwan ng kalibugan. Kelan matatapos ang labanan, tanging siya lang ang makakapagpasya. Taglibog ngunit lumalayo sa tukso. Palaban ngunit naduduwag makipagdigmaan. Maharot, mapili at higit sa lahat ay madaling magsawa. Ito marahil ang dahilan kung bakit wala pa rin siyang kabiyak.

Hindi ako magtataka na pagkatapos ng tatlong linggo,

Magbubukas ang Disyembre na siya ay isa nang ganap na bato.


A new one bites the dust.
And we know what happens when somebody crosses the line.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Cold As Ice

When the time comes you only see men as playthings; and learn to treat them like rugs. When your heart knows no pain, and tears would never roll down your face. When everything bores you, and no one could reach you.

I hope this entry will make you remember.

Once you were human.


I waited for him the whole night
only to fall asleep just as he was about
to arrive in my place.

Thirty minutes I slept and when I woke up,
my phone was vibrating.
It was a text message, from him, telling me
he went home
after waiting for someone to open the door.

He said, he knocked many times,
pressed the doorbell and called my name.
No one heard him outside.
He said he waited for someone to answer
But I think he just stayed downstairs for a short time.
Mother and sister were still awake when he had arrived.

But you know what,
after trying to run after him in the street;
after calling his number only to get
a voice message that his phone was unattended;
and after crying while talking to him and explaining what
happened when he got home.

I just realized how dependent I have become.

When I woke up this morning
after catching an hour's sleep,
my first thoughts were of longing.
I could be lying next to him
if I wasn't too careless to fall asleep

I could have had a better voyage in my dreams
while embracing him instead of the stiff pillow
I wrap my arms around .

Narealize ko tuloy...

It would have been better to be late at work
knowing I have overslept in his arms.


arriving earlier than usual
knowing, I never slept at all
and crying until daybreak
for missing an opportunity
to be with him last night.

Shields Down, Fullmetal Dreams
December 29, 2006

Thursday, November 5, 2009

A Porn Story

Do you still remember the first time you saw the light? That flashing light that makes the happy stick between your legs throb with excitement? Me. I do. I still recall the first time my hands laid claim to the glossies my parents kept when I was just a kid.

Here's my story.

I have an uncle on my mother's side who now lives abroad. His taste for "fine dining" was so exceptional, he got married thrice in 25 years. Those "amusing" marriages produced 9 broods - including an adopted child. Comparing his with 8 children spread across four families here in Manila, it's no wonder my uncle was hailed as the keeper of the family genes.

Going back to how I found the light, I used to hear my dad complain when uncle visits the country. "Yang Tito mo, iikutin na naman namin lahat ng club gabi-gabi para makakita ng babae." I was already in college then, and had my own collection of straight porn VCDs. During those days, I could not understand the reason behind my father's rants. He was well connected. He would not spend a single peso in their week-long escapades and the fact that he's the kingpin of smut newspapers save him a lot of stress scouting nightclubs my uncle sought to explore. Of course, his sisters - my aunts - had no idea what was going on. Maybe they tolerated it. After all, he alone carries my lolo's name.

When I was a little boy - the exact age when parents tell their children how kissing results to having babies - that's when I saw the light. It manifested itself in three glossies. I cannot recall what the front cover looked like, but it had scenes of lovemaking in every imaginable position. It's for my dad, my uncle said. Chronologies are blurry now, but that was the time I was still an only child and the pressures to make another one burdened my loving parents.

And so to make the glossies most accessible, they hid it behind stacks of papers in a shelf next to our bed. What they didn't know is that I learned their hiding place the very day they received the package.

Dad was busy with his leftist activities, (at a tender age of 25) while mom sold her soul to the universities to earn a living and support the family. I was left in the care of yayas most of the time, and since these yayas stayed in their room to listen to radio soap operas, I had the entire afternoon to satisfy my curiousity and peek as the wonders of creation unfolded right before my innocent eyes.

The pictures were in black and white. There was a man and a woman. Both naked. The man stood while the woman knelt and forced the entire length of the man's "birdie" inside her mouth. Another page, another picture. Photos still in monochrome. The woman laid on her back. The man on top of her. I cannot recall where the birdie was hidden, but I was fascinated how the woman's expression screamed of delight.

I wasn't aware for my thoughts were glued on the picture. But overhead, heads were peeking. The yayas witnessing how the light was corrupting my gullible senses. They were barely adults but their malicious minds ordered them that I should be disrupted.

"Anong tinitingnan mo diyan" One of the yayas shouted.

They forced the door open and claimed the light for themselves. They saw its contents and in between blushes, giggles and possible inner wetness, something strange played inside their heads. Their eyes revealed it. I was there on the side of the bed, forced to admit my immorality. All I knew were the couples playing in the pictures. Nothing more, nothing less. For them it was something forbidden.

Something only adults should know.

My parents arrived that night and learned what happened. I wasn't scolded nor violently reprimanded for they knew it was their carelessness that lead to my corruption. They never explained why those ladies kissed the guys on their lips, or why the birdies were stiff when the girls played with them. What I remember now are the words "bad" and "never again."

A few years later, I found more stashes of porn magazines stacked on a very high ledge in my dad's little corridor next to the bathroom. I browsed them, learned some fascinating words I now use to stir someones imagination and make his weenie grow big, and understood well the pleasures of the skin.

I knew how procreation works long before sex education was introduced in Grade Six.

Many years have passed. I was able to possess all my dad's graphic eroticas without his knowledge. (and still keeps now) I even watched the Adult VHS' he brought home from work when he's not around (I would just press replay after satisfying my urges back to the exact time frame where the action began to keep my tracks hidden) but true to my mother's word, they learned their lesson well.

I never found the glossies again.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Room For Squares

A queen-sized bed made from brass frame
A thick comforter wrapping your naked body
Soft pillows under your head
Earth toned walls radiating soft hues in the morning
Floor to ceiling glass windows overlooking a tranquil cityscape
A Sony Bravia perched against the wall
Bose surround sound speakers sentried in every corners

An Apple laptop resting on the nightstand.

Everybody's free to dream.
Dream big.

Who knows, all of these will be yours.

Yours in spirit,

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Once There Was An Expedition - The Battle Of Diliman

After E. Cruz

Arts and Letters Building. The Royal Pontifical University. Circa 1999.

"Don't forget to pass your assignment..."

Soon after giving her instructions, the English professor left the classroom. I slipped out without getting much attention from friends eager to go out and take a break. I was planning to speak with the professor before she reaches her next class. My goal was to seek her affirmation before making a decision that will shape my last two years in the university.

We were halfway before the end of the second semester. Everyone was talking about the majors they will take up the following school year. One of my best friends wanted to focus in Economics, while the other, the one I am closer to, was thinking of joining the new batch of Behavioral Science students. I too wanted to be in that major. A year of adjustments from high school to college opened my eyes to the inner struggles of a person conforming to a new environment. Profiling people was my passion in life.

Students from my professor's other classes slowed down her movement. Some would stop by and greet her "good afternoon maam!," which she would simply ignore. Perhaps she knew they were up to no good. Since most of them were bound to fail, they try to suck up hoping for a sure salvation.

Others would inquire about their missed assignments, which in turn would make her ballistic. You see, this professor has an attitude. Aside from being downright bitchy, she's among the laziest in the faculty. She was our teacher in one of the English subjects during our first year. Not only did she show up only for five meetings during the whole semester, she also gave low grades to everyone in her subject.

Nobody dared complain.

Despite being famous for her nastiness, no one could accuse her of incompetence. Her lectures were well delivered and as an excellent communicator, her lessons get through her students. Though some may catch her openly smoking across the building, (with the "bad" professors of our time) her tough love forced everyone to write diligently out of fear they might fail her subject.

During our darkest and most confusing times, the only way to breathe for a while and attain peace of mind is to observe on our surroundings and learn to enjoy the small things that were always there but we rarely noticed. Call me weird but watching the sunrise in the morning is one way of freeing myself from reality. For other people, it is just usual because they see it every morning. But for me who always wakes up late in the morning, it seems like out of this world and it gives me inspiration to at least, attain peace of mind. Like stargazing, running under the rain, listening to the mating calls of the insects or just enjoying the simplest of the things that we rarely noticed, we developed a sense of tranquility to attain peace of mind.

- To Free Your Mind Is To Free Your Body And To Free Your Body Is To Free Yourself,
Types of Paragraph. (Definition)

I don't know how she knew me in class. But since she was the only one who saw my works, her being my English Teacher was the best arbiter of my writing ability.

Pressure was building up not only at home, but inside of me as well. Mother wanted me to take up Journalism so I could take over my father's publishing business someday. The problem was, I had this impression that only those who were part of the school paper (aside from the geeks and the literati people of the college) enroll in my mother's preferred major. I saw myself as someone too japorms for a somber Journ student stereotype.

Besides, my Reading teacher in Grade Five and my English high school teacher in Fourth Year have already passed their judgment. They doubted whether the pieces I submitted in class were my writings. They found mine too "advanced" for an average student. It wasn't as bothersome back then, but I never realized how it grew thorns and spikes and became a confidence issue I had to deal in college. So there. the years I was put down played back inside my head until it became the reason I couldn't decide whether to give up my dreams of becoming a Psychologist, and give way to my family's wish to write my future as a modern scribe. Only one person held my salvation, and many years later, I still recall the very moment she changed my life.

The English Professor was about to enter her next class when I finally broke my silence.


"Ano yun, Mr. Galen?"

"Ummmm, you think I can make it in Journalism?"

"And why not???"

"Puro mga writers ang makakasama ko dun eh. Hindi ko alam kung worthy na ba yung mga essays na pinapasa ko sa inyo para makipagsabayan sa kanila."

She never told me in flowery sentences her support of my decision, yet with four little words, she was able to allay the doubts I had with my craft. Shortly before shutting the door to begin her lecture, she smiled and gave her final answer.

"Kaya mo yan. Go."

For the first time, words of encouragement came out of her mouth. For all the years she spoke ill of people, her kindness was revealed to me. I don't know the number of students who braved her brutality to receive her wisdom. But for me back then, it was a good decision I sought hers,

thinking she would be the first one to discourage my used-to-be ambition.

The semester ended. She gave me the highest grade she bestows in her subject.



A decade later, I found myself putting my name in the registration form and enrolling the final three units in my masters.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Moving To A New House | Dream Journal Twenty Two

To see a house in your dream, represents your own soul and self. Specific rooms in the house indicate a specific aspect of your psyche. In general, the attic represents your intellect, the basement represents the unconscious, etc. If the house is empty, then it indicates feelings of insecurity. If the house is shifting, then it suggests that you are going through some personal changes and changing your belief system.

To see a new house in your dream, indicates that you are entering into a new phase or new area in your life


I woke up this morning believing it was a very bad dream.


Dusk settles when mom and I have finally decided. We will move to a new home in a suburb unfamiliar to me. It was an upscale neighborhood. The rows of houses were painted white and were made of concrete. I remember how the wooden beams above the first floor supported the entire structure. The timber used for construction must have been made of hard wood.

"Ba't nandun sa dulo yung bagong bahay natin?" I asked as we walked towards our new home.

"Yan ang pinili mo diba?" Mom replied

The sloping ground where the house stood lies just at the edge of the subdivision. It was near the forest of Pine trees close to a hill. The house was empty. I recall it having no wall facing the street. The living room, kitchen and dining room were exposed to the elements. I even had to tell mom I'd be spending a fortune just for that part of the house to have a wall. Ascending the stairs, I learned that it had two rooms on the second floor. I remember giving the smaller one to my sister, while the master's bedroom, to my surprise was occupied by three men. They were about to sleep when I barged inside their quarters. The one most embarrassed closely resembled my English professor in college. They assured me they will leave the moment we move in.

Climbing the stairs alone, I finally reached the third floor. It had a single room which lead to the balcony. I had thoughts of converting the open space into my personal quarters since the entire floor, which I suspect to be the attic can be accessed by anyone in the house.

End of dream

Sunday, November 1, 2009


And so we declare, that from this day forward we shall never go back to Malate. Except when we are invited in BED, or when we do have extra money to wallow on its sacred grounds. We shall, for the month of November, open our doors to seducing the opposite sex in dance clubs we avoid with much aversion. Yes, we will declare ourselves prepared for tripping. We shall go clubbing and have fun with the ladies, hoping that their reception shall provide us company we now enjoy when we find ourselves lost in the dance floor of O-Bar.

We just lost our phone. Blame it for getting fucking drunk.

And for unfortunately meeting a friend's date, who ignored our friendly inquires the last time we found ourselves in PinoyG4M (Tanginamo, huwag na huwag kitang makikita sa inuman ng mga Encanto!)


Multiple choice.

A. Mang-rape ng bading na may extra cellphone
B. Bumalik na temalats at mang-nenok ng telepono ng iba
C. Magbalik-loob sa Globe at magpa-line ulit sa kanila
D. Gamitin ang Credit Card para maka-kuha ng bagong Nokia

But seriously, I am in no condition to set funds for a new phone.