Friday, July 30, 2010

Lest We Forget






Kung tutuusin ay sabit lang naman ako sa unang pagtatagpo ng mga Engkanto. Hindi ko pa close si Papa P at si Papa Tagay naman ay walang pakielam sumipot man ako o hindi. Tanging si Fox lang talaga ang nag-insist na ako ay sumama kasi kahit siya ang pinuno ng thread, hindi rin siya sanay makipagkita sa malaking grupo.

Galante ang nagtawag ng meet-up. Palibhasa ay OFW kaya kung maglabas ng pera ay parang wala ng wakas. Wantusawa ang mga bucket ng San Mig Light na dumarating sa amin. Ang pulutan, miski hindi ko man gaano natikman dahil sa hiya ay talagang umaapaw sa table. Hindi ako mahilig sa Comedy Bar, lalo pa't sa Clownz idinaos ang grand eye ball. Pero special ang gabing iyon. Guest performer si Allan K at mukhang anniversary yata ng branch kaya star-studded ang line-up ng mga comedians.

Nagpakita ako hindi lang dahil gusto ko makita ang mga tao sa thread. Actually na-cucurious ako kung mas pilyo ba si Papa P kesa kay Papa Tagay na alam kong manyak na. Seriously, yun ang mga panahong naghahanap ako ng panakip butas sa nalulusaw kong relasyon. Sa halip na manggatong ng malilibog sa G4M, naghanap ako ng mga tropang masasandalan.

At hindi ganoon kadali ang naging paglalakbay ng mga lamang lupa.

Laging usap-usapan na may isa pang member na imbitado sa GEB. Pangalan niya ay Alvin Fairview na minsang naka-eyeball ko na bago ko pa kinita ang Pinuno. Sabi ni Papa P na na-inlove daw ito kay Papa Tagay at kaya lang nagpakita ay para mag-walk out nang dumating ang aming maharot na kaibigan. Hindi ko alam ang buong kuwento. Sabi ko nga, medyo out of place ako nang unang magpakita sa mga engkanto. Bukod kasi sa kakisigan ng mga binata, pakiramdam ko rin na ako ang nahuhuli sa merkado.




"Alam mo kasing taba kita noon bago ako mag-diet." Hindi ko na matandaan ang eksakto niyang sinabi, pero nakabond ko ang host kahit paano.

"Talaga? Tingin mo papayat pa ako?" Siyempre, kakasimula ko pa lang magbuhat noon. Malay ko bang ilang taon lang at hahabol rin ako.

"Oo naman no! Tara inom ka pa." In fairness, hirap maka-alala ng nakaraan ha! Basta alam ko nag-enjoy ako noong gabing yun. Sobrang enjoy, na-blog ko pa siya para ikuwento sa isa ko pang ka-tropa na nasa abroad.

Tatlong taon ang lumipas.

Noong ika-unang taon ay wala talagang mga engkanto. Sa halip ay may Orbiter at Caretaker, at yung natitirang mga pilyo ang higit na nagkadikit-dikit dahil sila rin ang mga magbabarkada sa thread. Pero marunong talaga ang tadhana. Hindi ko alam kung sadya ang mga pangyayari, pero hindi rin nawala ang pagkakaugnay-ugnay naming lima.

Kung hindi iniwan si Papa P ng dati niyang ka-partner, hindi niya magiging kadikit si Papa Tagay na siyang umalalay sa kanya hanggang maka-recover. Kung hindi magkainuman si Papa Tagay at si Fox na magkapitbahay rin sa Novaliches, wala akong contact sa dalawang pilyo ng barkada.

At kung hindi mag bestprend si Papa P at ang host ng unang inuman na madalas tumawag sa akin ng "sis" sa blog at "adikk" naman sa blog ng iba, ang lima ay hindi mabubuong muli. No wonder, importanteng araw ang anniversary para sa grupo.

Sa dinami daming kadramahan sa buhay naming lahat, heto't magkakasama pa rin kami't patuloy na nagiging dikit sa isa't isa.

The post is not about how we started, or how a divided group became united. Kanina, habang nagsesenti sa training ay naisip ko lang. Magcecelebrate kami ng wala ang isa sa mga original five. Pero kung hindi dahil sa orig na yun, na naglakas loob makipagkita sa aming lahat kahit sobrang pa-discreet si Papa P at may nag-walk out naman kay Papa Tagay na never na namin nakita muli, walang inumang magaganap bukas.

Paano ba yan Papa Marhk, ikaw na lang ang hindi ko nablo-blog sa apat. Wala ka man sa Music21 pero ikaw ang tagay ko sa inuman.




Thursday, July 29, 2010

Cityscape






The aspiration began to take shape during the time of the falling bridges. A river crossing in Kalentong suddenly collapsed when a 7-ton truck tried to cross over. Several people drowned because of the accident. Fearing a worse tragedy may happen after huge cracks were discovered under the pillars of another important bridge, Nagtahan - a river crossing connecting Santa Mesa and Pandacan - was closed to traffic.

I was in high school then and was studying at a nearby state university. We had a main building that was six stories high. On the top floor, one gets to have an unobstructed view of Makati City. Its skyline leaves first time spectators spellbound and dreamy. But for most students, such majestic sight meant nothing extraordinary. At most, it reminded them how unreachable the sky is.

Recalling the first time I fell in love with urban landscapes has escaped me now. The first pulse may have started way back when I was a 7-year old kid and my mom would bring me to my grandmother's office in Quezon City. I remember the Quezon Monument pointing towards the heavens, and also the TV transmitters in the distance whose steel bones dwarfed everything around them. The wide open spaces, the distance between gargantuan edifices and the seeming serenity of the metropolis fed my imagination.

Many years later, I would continuously search for the tallest building in the city so that one day, I may climb it and have a reunion with my cityscape.


-


But who would believe the good intentions of a 14-year old kid?

The Nagtahan Bridge had been closed to traffic and I snuck out of the house just to see the view up there on top of the bridge. My goal was never really the river crossing but the adjacent flyover spanning the two major arteries of Manila. The muscle around my chest throbbed with excitement as I ascended the four-lane road towards the summit. Will I get caught? Will the view up there worth the punishing walk? Will I see my vision or would it be the end of a delusion I kept for years? So many doubts ran inside my head that fifteen years later, I could still hear that tiny voice searching for assurance.

Finally I reached the summit after an eternity of walking. The panoramic view of a changing metropolis on a windy overcast late afternoon was breathtaking. The slopes of Sierra Madre peek behind the clouds. The Makati Skyline, ever snooty towards its lowly surroundings may have found a rival in Ortigas. The vast expanse of Sampaloc invites a homey atmosphere that is difficult to resist for the new settlers and the chaotic sprawl of downtown Manila hides a beast within its belly. It has been there since the beginning of time, defying the new order as the spotlight turns from one part of the city to another.

I didn't bring a camera that day and much to my regret, the Nagtahan Bridge would never be renovated again. The beauty of such cityscape burns deep in my memory that I chased every chance to see it once again. From the rooftop of a nearby high-rise apartment near my house to the Orion Deck of Paragon Plaza: From the overlooking spot in Kelly Heights to a vacant condo unit I was planning to rent in Espana Tower eight years ago. The metropolis remains the same save for several condominiums and office towers rising from the ground, and urban renewal projects that appear spectacular on blueprint and cutting edge after construction has been finished.

With each new perspective brings a refreshing insight


a hope that someday, I may not forget to bring a DLSR with me, or find myself again at the Orion Deck at Paragon Plaza on a dusky afternoon, or better yet, bring someone who secretly adores cityscapes much as I do to watch the sun lifts the veil of clouds only to hide past the horizon.



that makes me love the city even more.




Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Something To Be Thankful Pt. 1






It's been two years since I had a pair of rubber shoes. I bought it at Shoemart (with my mom's permission) after the department store slashed its price for the mall's year-end sale. The shoes didn't last long though. It had soles as thin as a cardboard and when I used it for long walks over rough and uneven terrain, the rubber gets shredded.

I seldom buy my own shoes because I couldn't afford one. My credit cards are used to purchase other things such as my gym membership and family dinners at fancy restaurants. Instead, I depend on the kindness of relatives abroad for their balikbayan boxes. That's how I acquired a fleet of leather shoes over the years.

Last weekend, an uncle arrived from the US for his regular visit to the country. Despite heavy rains, we showed up for lunch hosted by the favorite aunt. Pasalubongs were expected but since the downpour kept the goodie boxes from being unloaded from the truck, it took days before the pasalubong actually reached us.

I found two pairs of rubber shoes in the living room last night. One was of course for me and the other still waited to be claimed by its mysterious owner. Both pairs were size 12 and they were branded. If I'm not mistaken, they were Sketchers.

"O pumili ka na ng sapatos mo." Mom was there to make sure I wouldn't claim the two shoes for myself.

I chose the purple pair.

"Kasyang kasya sa akin, heto na lang kunin ko ma!" I said while dangling the shoes in front of her.

Mom didn't ask anything after. I went back to my room to finish the blog entry I previously posted.


-


I felt a strange ease around my feet after deciding to wear the new pair of shoes the following day. It's been a while since I had rubber shoes for walking and though nobody noticed my new pair at work, I was grateful for having a new pair to use alongside my extra heavy boots. Lunchtime came and while waiting for someone to text back, I received a text message from my mom confirming my suspicions about the other pair we left behind.

"Kay Mugen rin yung isang sapatos. Padala yun ni Melvin sa kanya." It was a forwarded SMS from the favorite aunt. An older cousin - the son of the uncle who arrived from the states - was generous enough to send another pair for me.

"Ang lakas mo talaga sa kanila. Pasalamat ka kay Uncle Rick saka kay Kuya Melvin mo ha!" It was an instruction that needs no reminder. I already sent a wall-to-wall message on Facebook to Melvin shortly after the confirmation came.

Now that I have two pairs of rubber shoes, another two pairs of leather shoes, and a pair of boots given to me by a very generous colleague who was also responsible for stuffing my wardrobe with his hand-me-down pants, my goal now is to replace the extra-large long-sleeves with medium-sized ones.

Then I will become a fashionista.

Thankful for the shoes I recieved, my long sleeves will go to some plus-sized colleagues tomorrow.





Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Allegiance





The goal is simple. Build a civilization that will stand the test of time. Your tribe is your heart and your cities, your children. You nurture them like a mother does to her child, and defend them with your soldiers should invaders decide to posses your precious lands.

It was fifteen years ago when I first learned of a computer game that hones one's logic skills. The name is Civilization and to journey back into the fringes of stone age only to twist the plot of humanity's common story is the selling point of the game.

So there I was in front of the computer screen, with my first city and my first soldier exploring the terrain. I could have gone and raise an army that would invade an AI's defenseless city but I chose not to. Instead, I decided to build a settler that would improve the land around my capital.

Such choice would be my guiding principle as I played the game over and over, and with each new reincarnation, the doctrine never fails. While others prefer invading lands belonging to another people, I build roads and irrigation tiles for my tribe to grow. Instead of legions and chariots, I construct libraries and temples for my cities to bloom. I go to war in the name of peace, and when strife happens, expect the cause being an AI doing a sneak attack on one of my unsuspecting cities.

You may find my pacifist tendencies a little too Utopian for a reality driven simulation. But let us not forget, Civilizations grow because of technology and to acquire a new science - especially from a rival - is worth a thousand spears. I may not be the conqueror type, but expect my technologies to be the envy of my enemies. While foes employ catapults to knock down walls, I use cannons to blast fortifications back to dust. And while propeller planes are used to bombard my cities, expect a nuclear missile or two to be used to destroy an enemy capital.

In the end, world domination was never my calling. I could leave the other tribes killing one another. While in the cradle of my civilization, components to be used for the first starship to leave the planet for its first journey to Alpha Centauri are being assembled in orbit.

It was mere a computer game for many: A crafty device for self distraction when nothing else could be done to kill time. But in a span of years and countless hours of playtime, lessons learned from nurturing a tribe shaped an entire personality. I may define space as domain more than anyone else, but when I close my eyes and lift a page in history to reveal an event in time, that is where the game proved most useful.

From Sumeria of the Fertile Crescent to last month's World Cup in South Africa, I know where to find the human connection.









But I wonder still, if Civilization is a multiplayer game and I found your city just beyond the next hill several tiles away from my capital, would I make peace? Would I trade my Alphabet for your Masonry and exchange diplomats the moment I discover Writing? Would I let you live in peace, or put my chariots outside your domain in preparation for a sneak attack?

I have a hidden desire for allegiances and I would rather keep your cities as a buffer should rival tribes appear past our realms. But knowing how much we have in common - in how we grew up and develop our civilizations - and maybe even in our very way of life, perhaps I would have done more to ensure the growth of your nation.

In our world, it is hard to find someone like you.

Belated maybe our first contact, but who knows, if we have met a long long time ago in a virtual world that shaped our lives, I might have placed my chariots at the edge of your border to guard against the hordes galloping from the north and make sentry, as you attend to the affairs of your tribe.





Sunday, July 25, 2010

Rain Darwin






Inuman ng mga engkanto sa Antipolo. First time nag-host si kuripot na PGR at nagsipuntahan naman ang barkada. Palibhasa ay galing ako sa despedida ng isang kaibigan kaya past twelve na ako naka-akyat ng bundok. Hindi pa naman daw ako huli, sabi sa akin.

Kaya ko pa humabol sa tagayan.

Pagdating doon ay may tama na ang mga tao. Red Horse ba naman kasi ang inupakan. Tapos puro makolesterol pa ang pulutan kaya malupit ang sipa ng kabayo. Tuloy ang kuwentuhan habang pilit ko sumasabay sa kanila. Dahil maliit lang ang grupo kaya hindi uso ang nagkakanya-kanya.

Nakalimutan ko na kung ano ang topic of the table. Basta ang alam ko, si Papa P ang tanggero. Siya rin lang ang madaldal sa grupo. Kung ano man ang kanyang mga sinasabi ay limot na namin ngayon. Basta alam ko lang, ilang beses akong nagwalk-out sa table para makaiwas sa kanyang walang katapusang satsat.

Anyway, natapos ang inuman mga ala dos na ng madaling araw. Suko ang lahat kay Papa P. Noon lang namin siya nakitang sobrang lasing. Pagbaba ng bundok ay magkakatabi ang mga kutong lupa. Ang mga lamang lupa naman ay nasa kabilang hilera ng jeep. Doon namin narealize na lahat pala ng bagong recruit ay mga bata. Kaya pala happy ang mga twink lovers. Lol.

Naghiwalay ang mga engkanto sa Cubao para magkanya-kanya ng lakad. Ang mga Eastboys, sa pangunguna ni Fox ay umuwi ng Fairview. Kami naman ni Papa P na tubong Maynila ay nagkasundong magsabay. Lampas dalawang taon na rin kaming magkasama sa grupo pero di ko makakaila na intimidated pa rin ako sa kanya.



Flashback:

Ikinuwento sa akin ni Tagay na may bago siyang tambayan sa G4M. "Puro discreet dun pre!" pagmamalaki niya sa akin habang sabay kaming nagpapasipa sa Pulang Kabayo sa isang sing-along bar malapit sa TIP.

"Talaga?" Na curious ako sa kanyang discovery.

"Uu, puntahan mo. Walang Mukha Thread ang pangalan."

So ako naman na isang lagalag ay dumayo sa kanyang tambayan. Wala ngang face-pic ang mga tao. At kung hindi hubad na katawan ay dick pic ang madalas ginagamit na Avatar ng mga tao. Simple lang ang batas sa thread. Manyakin mo na ang lahat huwag ka lang maglalagay ng face-pic sa profile.

Isa sa pinakamaangas sa thread ay si Str8Manly. Sa tikas ng kanyang pangangatawan at pagiging confident sa sarili, pakiramdam ko na mahirap tropahin tong taong to. Lahat ng dayong below-22 ay pinapatos. Halayan kung sa halayan. Aliw naman ang mga twink. Lol. Siya rin lang ang may lakas ng loob na mag-announce na magshoshow sa cam at imbitado lahat na manood.

That was three years ago.

Never akong nagstream sa Internet para silipin ang kanyang performance.




"Joms saan ba puwede sumuka dito?" Bungad niya sa akin pagkatapos namin humiwalay sa ibang mga engkanto.

"Diyan sa damuhan, puwedeng puwede diyan." Sabay turo sa isang manicured plot kung saan nakasulat na yun daw ang bungad ng Araneta Center.

"Huwag mo akong iwan ha?"

"Oo naman! Sabay kaya tayo pauwi. "

Naglakad kami ni Papa P patungo sa nasabing damuhan at doon siya nagsuper-saiyan. Sanay na ako sa eksenang may nagsusuka kaya naman habang nilalabas ng kanyang lalamunan ang lahat ng laman ng kanyang tiyan, todo hagod ako ng kanyang likod na para bang kami ay mukhang ewan sa daan.

Hanggang sa loob ng taxi ay bantay ako sa katropa. Lingid sa kanyang kaalaman, namulot ako ng plastic bag para may pangsalo sakaling magsuka siya sa biyahe.






At doon nagsimula ang pagiging dikit namin ni Papa P. Nangyari lahat iyon ilang linggo matapos ang kanyang break-up sa aming isa pang ka-tropa. Naging malaking hamon man ang kanilang paghihiwalay pero masyado ng malalim ang samahan upang ito ay maka-apekto sa barkada.

And so the story goes. Kami ang naging uwian buddies tuwing may inuman sa Quezon City. Sa kanya ko laging dinadala ang PC ko tuwing kailangan nito ng reformat. Siya rin ang nanlibre sa akin nung first time ko makapunta sa Wensha. Ang kanyang mga patawa, pang-aasar at pambuburaot lalo na sa mga kutong lupa ang siyang lagi naming inaabangan tuwing may pagkikita.

Higit sa lahat, ang pagturing niya sa tropa bilang kanyang nag-iisang kapamilya ang siyang dahilan kung bakit sa dinami-daming nag-walk out sa bahay ni Ate Bianca, muling magkikita ang mga engkanto na higit na solid kesa noong una namin itong binuo.

Walang iwanan Pilyo.

Happy Birthday.





Graceful Exit






K,

Well I know of this sober spider boy who left a party at five in the morning not only with a heavily perfumed shirt, but with a soul as well.

He is finally atoned.










The words are hushed let's not get busted
Just lay entwined here, undiscovered
Safe in here from all the stupid questions
"Hey did you get some?" . . . Man, that is so dumb
Stay quiet, stay near, stay close they can't hear

Hands Down
Dashboard Confessional




Friday, July 23, 2010

Retaliation






A mistext received from someone who was supposed to send an SMS to an anonymous person after this entry was posted



Yun ang dahilan kung bakit ako nakapagpost.. si mugen yan eh.. hindi ko tlag siya maabot. ewan ko ba bakit ang mga kaibigan niya, mga demonyo.



If you are in my position, how will you react?









Thursday, July 22, 2010

Just Another Day At Work






Mami Athena appears to be in good spirits lately. Either she was touched again by her gay muses or her boundless ideas had overspilled from her head and found its way of expression through her choice of clothing. Just the other day, I was floored when I saw her wearing a jet black dress and a vintage Ballerina skirt with pony patterns on the fabric. Being her anointed one, I asked what was the occassion after complementing her fabulous get-up.

"Ayaw akong paalisin ng mga anak ko sa bahay ng hindi nagdadamit ng maayos eh." Well, it was good reason enough. Her daughters are all good dressers.

You see, Mami Athena and I share the same preference for rugged clothes. We pay little attention with what we wear so long as it's comfortable and proper for the occassion. Earth-tone fabrics such as grey and black are our favorite. Not only are we able to blend in the background, we are virtually unnoticed. She said the last time she was forced to wear unconventional clothes (such as the one she is wearing that day) happened during her stint in the "industry." She used to hold varied creative positions in Advertising before fate brought her at our fledgling BPO company five years ago.

"Hay nako, the other day, we were at the mall and lahat ng tao tingin ng tingin sa akin." I wasn't surprised. She carries herself too well, the sangkabaklaan at work literally worships her.

"Anong ginawa mo?" I asked while discreetly reading the news on Inquirer online.

"Deadma forever lang. Baka siguro first time nilang makakita na lola na naka-boots." Yeah right. Aside from being a closet fashionista, she dabbles in computers too. If there's a real lola tekkie, like the lady shown in that Bayantel advertisement, Mami Athena should be the one.

The whole day went by with us laughing until we could not breathe anymore. She was telling some funny stories about her former boss - a director - who used to call everyone pookiepie. Not even the first lady Ejercito, who appeared unfazed after being called a cunt, wasn't spared from his name-calling. She said this director throws ashtrays and cold cash, whenever he is under the spell of his muses.

Our shift finally ended but before leaving the room, she promised to wear the same clothes that made her an eye candy at the mall. The following morning, I was late for work but the boss still required me to attend the weekly managers' meeting to explain my report. As always, Mami Athena conducts the session while everybody listened. This time however, everyone had something to say about her dress.



The boys described her as a rocker chick,

The other lady in the group was speechless. She was probably thinking how to outdress her next meeting.

The boss vowed to match hers with some old-school get-up next time,

While I was totally starstruck. I didn't know power-dressing is now in.



Still in good spirits, she was gracious enough to pose in front of the camera to show her flawless legs and her killer boots.

She said this is for you Daniel.





We will have our little bonding soon.





Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Before Orosa | The College Jock Series






Blogger's Note: Looking for something to post, I rummaged my old word document files for insight. These files, which I kept from a time I was your average university dude are kept safe in my storage disk. They tell of a time of juvenile discoveries.

Preceding the age of online exploration and the final liberation at La Dida, (a Lesbian bar which O-Bar now occupies) the first entry talks about my straight night-out experience in Malate. The article, which was submitted for a group project was written in a rather traditional style of feature writing. It was left completely unedited for reasons you will eventually learn as you follow the other series.

It is my wish that you will find a connection with my younger voice, much like you have found one in my old one.







A One Night Stand at the Ground


It is already around 11:30 PM when we got there. Around the vicinity, there is silence but within the cramped streets of Juan Nakpil and Adriatico, the place is just beginning to flare up as more and more young people arrive in their sporty cars and from (sporty) taxis.

There are three ways to wind up your Saturday nights. The first is to go into a bar (with dancing nude girls or not) and get drunk then go home. The second is to go to disco houses, get wild, get ravy and go home in the morning and the third is go home and sleep. We chose the second.

It seems years have passed since the last time I went there, while my best buddy is having his first time. It seems like everything is still familiar – familiar people, familiar atmosphere; even the clothing is familiar. But as the night passes, we have realized we’re getting old.

We went to Common Ground the hang-out place I considered as my home. It is located at the heart of young Malate, fronting the Verve Room and at the top of Insomnia. Beside it and which is the entrance to the place is Gotham, the bar where the yuppies hang out to enjoy live bands.

Common Ground is truly a place to get wild. Absolutely, there are no live bands performing there. The room is very small (around 100 people is their capacity) yet sometimes, the place is packed with 200 people all raving to the tune of an Ibiza dance. The dance floor is unnoticeable as you could only see it during the day.

There are many ledges in the room – elevated platforms where some wild people dance, usually a columm or something that is higher than the ground. Sometimes, even the sofa and the tables become ledges too. Ledges are very important in a disco house because when the people become entranced with the dance, they will try to express themselves unconsciously and sometimes they tend to accidentally hit people with their hands. Sometimes, smaller rooms have an advantage because people usually dance when many other people dance. To fill the dance floor in no time, the room should be small, however, if the place is filled with too many people, especially when it is really hell out there someone would bog down because of exhaustion.

There are many other disco houses around the vicinity; the most notable of them is Art’s Venue, Suburbia, The Verve Room, Politixx and the infamous Insomnia. However, if you want some wild dancing within the budget, a good advice is to get inside Common Ground.

The entrance fee is only P150 with consumable drinks unlike with other disco houses where the entrance fees ranges from P200 – P400 with consumable drinks. When you enter Common Ground, the first thing you will see is Gotham Bar, where there is usually a live band performing. The place is great for light, jazz music but very awful when it comes to wild dancing: There are no flashing lights, there is no dance floor, there are no ledges and the worst thing is that the place is too big to invite everyone to dance.

Then there is a door that leads to the Common Ground itself. When there is a street party, trust me, you will never see the room because there are too many people. There is also a bar inside and right in front of it is the DJ’s booth. I tried to ask some questions from the DJ but I realized that it would be quite impractical because the party has begun and the sound is too loud to have a good chat.

Like all other bars, you would meet different kinds of people here; from gays to guys and to girls to T-birds, all of them trapped in this temporal sanctuary from the real world. One thing is obvious though, we have noticed that most of them are younger than us! It seems that most of the people here are only high school students who just want to have fun. It seems like this place is their playground before going to more, wilder disco houses.

The sounds are great. They usually play the favorites: Horny, Better Off Alone, Get get Down and many others. They never played that bubble – gum “Techno shit!” but I never noticed them playing pure trance music. By the way, trance music is a kind of dance music where the beat is almost continuous unlike in Ibiza and House music - the beat is pumping the stereo. However, they played some groove tunes and RnB sounds last night, which I (and some of them) really hated so much.

And like all other disco houses, this place has its own secret. It is not confirmed if people here uses “party drugs or ecstasy” to induce hyperactivity, but in some instances, there are some prostitutes (male and female) lingering in the place. If you want to have a free entrance, try to get in before 9:00 and just order an Ice Tea and you will be marked as a guest. I told you earlier that the entrance fee is P150 but trust me bro, you can order all the drinks they have there including Mule (which cost around P150 outside) and the legendary Sub Zero (that cost around P200 outside). Never satisfy yourself with Budweiser or SMB, go for the best.

We danced the whole night till our bodies could not endure anymore. We have satisfied ourselves even though great storms looms ahead before the semestral break. Someday, when all things are done, in the most festive of the nights, we would return to that place to reclaim the moon and the ecstasy of a one-night dance.




source

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Just My Imagination






Once, it was his favorite pastime. A creative product of someone who used to spend his time alone while everyone else were running around and strolling at his school's quadrangle. Looking over the horizon, on the fourth floor of his grade-school building, he would stare at tall buildings and picture a huge dinosaur-like creature plodding towards the office blocks. Sirens blare in the distance, while machines of war hover just above his head.

It was a perfect scene of carnage. Dust and debris fly everywhere as the dinosaur-like creature begins its attack. A long, deep growl from its belly was enough to send the most disciplined troops in a state of panic. People get crushed under its massive feet. The authorities, unable to stop the monster's advance use its resources to evacuate a terrified populace. Meanwhile, the boy, now pinned under the heaviness his imagination suddenly sees a bright object in the sky. A silvery human-like being with a crest on his head running down his nose glides towards the beast to save the helpless from despair. Tall as the buildings that are being trampled down, he would push back the beast until it loses balance and falls to the ground. The earth shakes, dust accumulates over the boy's shoulders who is now frozen in his spot. A kick in the face, a sway of one's spiky tail, a hand chop at one's scaly neck, another long growl. A ball of fire shoots from the mouth of the beast missing the hero by a hair strand. It hits another building which explodes upon impact. Using his slant eyes shaped like those of a manti's, he shoots down the monster with his laser beam. Another growl, and then it falls down to the ground, never to move again.

When the sky clears and dust finally settles, the friendly giant is no more. In his place is the eerie silence, a long sigh in the air marking the end of a battle whose very victory was achieved at a heavy price. The boy, now free to go back to reality stares once again at the kids playing at the quadrangle. Meanwhile, the office blocks over the horizon remains standing - peacefully in the late afternoon sun - like all was just a daydream.

Like all was just a product of his imagination inspired by a late afternoon TV show he religiously followed on weekends.


















Images from Ultraseven X

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Jāti







In many eastern religions, the faithful believe that souls walk from one body to another. We know it as reincarnation. The thought itself didn't stop there. Buddhist and Hindu Theologians teach that a group of souls journey from one lifetime to the next until everyone learns their purpose. Their concept of heaven only gain prominence after the soul finally matures.

Such idea brings comfort when being confronted with the thought of passing. There is this subconscious desire to live forever that we do everything in our power to prolong our lives - whether for pleasure, accomplishment or to find a sense of purpose. I have long rejected the idea of heaven. Life is learning and much as I wish to convert others into my faith, general belief claims otherwise.

I want to spend another lifetime with my loved ones.

And so with this belief, I tried to shield myself from the icy pang of reality. Out of the blue, mom told me that she wanted butterflies and sunflowers on her funeral. I try not to reason why she suddenly made such request when there is no urgency to do so.

And then she started crying.

These portents may linger in my head long after my workout tonight, but should her request be granted sooner despite the collective protest of her Jāti, then my lifetime should be about to end.

The last time I recall, I only asked for a life a little longer than hers.





Before The Dream Fades






"I never look straight in the eye when I don't find a connection."





Fading of the day
as night takes over
and I can almost feel
you here

Your memory remains
I breath it closer
I swear that I still feel you near

Dash Berlin feat Emma Hewitt
Waiting




Saturday, July 17, 2010

Call Boy






I was about to hand over my bag to a waiting waiter when a guy sitting at a table outside O-Bar called my attention. Turning my head around, it was hard not to ignore the stranger. With a boyish face, lean built and a smile that would attract even the flesh peddlers of Orosa, I thought I hit the jackpot.

Getting back my bag, I decided to sit beside the guy to know him better.

"So what brings you here?" I asked. From the way he carried himself, he seemed to be a dayo of that place.

"Lonely I guess. And you?"

"I'm about to go clubbing when you called me."

"Where do you work?" My interrogation went on. I was digging the more essential details to have a clear picture of the person I am dealing with.

"At the moment, I'm looking for a job. But I used to work in a gay bar..." The mere mention of the word gay bar made me cringe.

Before I could throw in more questions, he suggested a more conducive place to talk.

"Tara lipat tayo sa Silya para makapagusap ng mas maayos." I hesitantly agreed to his suggestion.

Our first spot was a dark corner inside the videoke bar. I immediately knew what he was trying to convey. His mere mention of his previous job raised my guard, but I tried not to speculate his reason for calling me. Maybe he just wanted to talk. Perhaps, he needs a break from his business. After all, the flesh traders are suppose to know their market - rich effeminate guys who are drunk, wasted and awfully lonely. Include the chubby, well-dressed ones who grace Malate to show-off their new ensemble. I was walking alone, staggering towards the dance club after coming from another drinking spree. Instincts suggest that he might have thought I'd be an easy target. I could have been if history had not preceded our encounter. But he should have mastered the trade first, a manly guy wouldn't easily give in to a prostitute's bait.

"I hope I won't disappoint you, but the truth is, I'm looking for someone." His answer was point blank. Even I didn't expect his brutal frankness.

"Sorry dude but I don't pay..." His cheery mood suddenly turned sour. Who would have thought a good-looking guy like him would be declined. "Besides, why should I when I can get it for free?"

He explained his situation. He had a child to raise and its difficult to find a job.

"Marami pa kasing requirements gaya ng NBI at Police Clearance eh." I wanted to empathize with him, but compassion has no place in a dog-eat-dog world such as Malate. Everyone is just but a fair game.

"Alam mo dude ganito yan..." Before I could continue, he asked if I could spare him a San Mig Light. With no choice but to comply, I ordered beer for the two of us. "Naghahanap rin ako kagaya mo, ang kaibahan lang natin eh hindi ako nagbabayad at nagpapabayad sa nakaka-trip ko."

The conversation went around his reason for calling me and my arguments as to why I can't pick him. He said I got good built which he found enticing. He also said he does "both ways" and wondered if I'm packing a "big one" under my pants. I evaded his questions to deflect his attempts in seducing me.

"Kahit 300 na lang, gipit na gipit lang ako." The discount would have changed my mind if he could offer a private place.

"Marami akong alam na hotel sa paligid. P200 lang short time."

"Hindi ako pumapasok sa motel eh..." His suggestion conjured memories I don't want to remember. Not anymore.

I asked for the bill long before he was able to finish his bottle. No matter how we deny it, but we knew we're just wasting our time.

"Ikaw talaga ang gusto ko eh." He tried to resuscitate the transaction to hold off the looming silence.

"It won't work dude," I said to myself. "Use your charm on someone else."

"Alam mo pare, may hitsura ka naman eh. Marami diyan, mas malaki pa ibabayad sa iyo. Hindi mo na kailangan mag-offer ng discount gaya ng binibigay mo sa akin." I assured. "Besides, bata pa ako. Saka na ako hahanap ng katulad mo pag hindi ko na kaya maka-score ng libre."

Again, another moment of silence. I suddenly remembered that big fat lousy-looking kid who would go to BED to dance and watch the Gogo Boys show their pumped-up chests on the ledge.

"Okay lang kahit iwanan mo na ako... Gagawin kong pang-display tong bote ng beer." This time we moved to another table. A spot where he could see everyone passing along the gay street of Nakpil.

"Sigurado ka tol?" I asked.

"Oo."

"Sige, basta sabihin mo na lang sa waiter na nakita ako ng bf ko kaya iniwan kita. Yoko naman isipin nila na inatrasan kita." Hope my straight words were not that cruel.

I left him at the table. Searching for his new prospect.





-

Long before the gym days, I used to pay men for affection. Masseurs abound and they would do extra for a price. P1,000, 500 - there were many conditions set before the performance. Some would demand that there would be no kissing. Others are for jack-off only. Sometimes you have to pay more to do more. Others would just lie down and let you do everything to them. In the end, you know its just a mechanical activity. There were virtually no human contact - a thing I would die for especially with the unrequited love I was receiving. I did it a couple of times behind the ex-boyfriend's back until I realized there was no end to it.

It was no power trip or revenge. It was pity.

I turned down the extra service the last time I sought a masseur. It was the masseur's call and I wouldn't drop hints until he offered the sex for free. The gamble paid off and I got more from the pre-bargain. The next time I showed my naked pictures on the chatroom, it was the others' turn to ask whether I am for hire or not.

-

So I went inside the club a little shaken after the encounter. The callboy's presence not only brought back memories, it also raises doubts as to whether intimacy is something I could still get for free. Save for the unlamented memento from Planet Romeo, I was virtually sexless these past few months.

And so I did the unexpected and pursued the guy of my liking. He was receptive of course for I figured that it takes a little game of seduction to break walls between people. I made out on the dance floor. Public display was my game and everyone saw how I consumed his lips and thrust my pelvis everytime he squeezed my butt.

It was a wild chase born out of spite and it ends up with me sleeping over at the host's place.

My doubts were refuted. Mister Biceps got his wish.

I left the boy's place - deliberately avoiding to get his number - at past 10 in the morning.





Friday, July 16, 2010

Door Knob






It is an open secret na buhay senyorito ako sa bahay. Madalas ay darating ako galing work na nakahanda na ang dinner sa table. Nagpapagising rin ako sa maid tuwing umaga para hindi ma-late sa trabaho. This is life in the homeworld, kaya naman hindi namin maiwasan mag-freak out kapag nagbabanta lumayas either yung maid o kaya naman ay yung lesbian driver.

After Basyang ay biglang nag-jam yung lock ng doorknob ko. It means kapag nasaraduhan ako ng pinto ay hindi ako makakapasok sa loob ng kuwarto. Mangyari kasi ay naiwala ko yung nag-iisang susi nito months ago. Kaya naman nagsumbong ako kay mommy tungkol sa nangyari. Ang butihing ina ko naman ay kaagad-agad kumilos. Pagdating ko sa bahay nitong gabi ay may bagong doorknob na sa sala.

"Bukas hahanap tayo ng karpintero para ma-install na yan sa pintuan mo." Napaisip ako bigla. Teka, yun rin ang sabi niya last time na sinabi kong babagsak na ang kisame sa room ko ah!

Hindi na ako nagdalawang-isip after nun. Sa halip ay nagvolunteer akong magkabit ng doorknob kahit wala akong idea paano ito gawin. Basta natatandaan ko lang si Dencio (Cio) at ang kanyang pastime sa kanilang bahay. Hindi ako mahilig magkumpuni ng mga sirang gamit pero naawa talaga ako sa mom ko. Ayaw ko na siya gumastos para sa pagawa ng isang bagay na kaya ko naman gawin.

That was it. Matapos kong makuha ang go signal para magpalit ng doorknob ng sarili kong pinto ay dali-dali akong nagtungo sa aking kuwarto.






Kung dati rati ay nasa closet ang kabaklaan ko, ngayon naman ay ang pagka-barako ko ang nakatago rito. Ang alam ko lang ay may tool-kit sa room na never ko pa yata nagamit. Kaya naman laking pasalamat ko nang madiskubre na kumpleto pala ito sa mga tools na kailangan kahit Philips Screwdriver at Pliers lang ang alam ko. As to how I would use them to disassemble the old door knob ay malalaman natin sa susunod na picture.





As in wala talaga akong tiyaga magbutingting ng mga sirang gamit kaya naman winakwak ko ang lumang doorknob. Puta, matapos kong ma-disassemble ang mga bahagi nito ay saka ko lang narealize na puwede pala akong ma-aksidente. I mean, saan ka nakakita, yung Pliers ay ginawang can opener samantalang yung screw driver naman ay... nevermind, maswerte lang talaga na hindi dumulas yung kamay ko habang inuuka ko yung isang bahagi ng lever. Kung hindi ay nagkaroon ako ng stab wounds ng wala sa oras.









Matapos ang higit isang oras na walang sawang ukaan, sundutan at wakwakan ng kinakalawang na bakal ay na-disassemble ko rin ang door knob. Malay ko bang may sinusundot lang pala sa ilalim ng lever para mag-disconnect yung latch. Lol. Anyway, masuwerte lang talaga na walang nangyaring aksidente.





Installing the new doorknob is a totally different matter. Akala ko ay madali lang sundan yung step by step instruction sa paper manual. Maling akala pala! Pero laking pagtataka ko nang hindi mag-lock ang pinto. Makailang beses kong dinis-assemble ang bagong doorknob pero wala rin success. Inisip ko na baka may problema sa strike, subalit pag nagkataon ay mapipilitan talaga kami tumawag ng karpintero, which is unacceptable. Malapit na matapos eh. Last resort: Tawagin si Lesbian Driver. Mukhang kailangan ko ng assistant para ma-resolve ang problema.

In the end, baliktad lang pala ang pagkaka-kabit ng latch kaya ayaw mag lock. Maluwag rin yung pagkakalagay ng mga screw kaya wobbly yung bagong doorknob. Isang oras rin mahigit bago ko na-figure out ang problema. Buti na lang at hapon pa ang pasok ko sa work the following day.

So the new doorknob has been installed. Hindi na basta basta makakapasok si utol sa room ko. Assured na rin ang privacy ko lalo na pag kailangan magparaos sa harap ng computer.

O kaya naman ay may bagong "bisita" na "makiki-sleep over."





At sa kung inaakala natin ay natapos itong do-it-yourself project na walang daplis sa balat, think again.

Lahat ng first time ay may katumbas na injury sa katawan.





Thursday, July 15, 2010

Still






I may have toughened up.
But in my dreams,
I still cry for you.


It was rush hour, I recall, for I was waiting for a jeep that would take me home. Under overcast skies and a sun defying the onset of darkness, I kept seeing this young guy passing in front of me. He was way younger, more like someone who just left the academe. If not for some semblance with someone I knew from long ago, I wouldn't pay much attention. He sported a skinhead look, fair skinned, and was shorter than me. A few passes towards my direction and the memory came back.

He was my ex.

Despite many attempts to avoid him, the ex finally saw me. Seven years since our first meet-up and he looked exactly the guy I met at Robinson's Place Manila. He tried approaching, but I immediately jumped towards the estribo of a passing jeep. Kahit sabit gagawin ko makaiwas lang sa kanya.

The jeep moved slowly until it stopped at the middle of a bridge. I didn't know the ex followed until I saw him catching up. With no choice but to face the music, I let him come close. He was a history I've never truly forgotten and there are so many unresolved issues I still keep until now.

Like a scene in a twisted telenovela, I spoke in muted words. In my head, I told him my resentments for what he did. He was merely listening, his face appearing consolable despite my rage. He didn't speak. There was no need to argue why our relationship failed. Five years. With almost no memory of a good date. With countless sacrifices of drawing my resources for his own need. What I remember more were the attempts to cover up for the emptiness. The hatred. The bitterness. There was no reprieve for what happened. Perhaps the reason why it is easy for me to let go nowadays is because I learned much from fighting; For staking my claim over a bond that has already shattered. I slept around just to get back. There were times I felt like paying for his affection after sleeping with me for a night. I don't know if I would ever find my peace. There is no way to heal the past.

It was already getting dark and I had to leave. One last hug was all that's needed for tears to streak again.

After all these fucking years.

Words were never spoken, but in our hearts, there was an understanding that nothing will come back. He will always be a chapter in my life, whose final passages will still end in a good note.

"Maalala ko pa rin kung paano ka naging mabuti sa akin." The exact words has escaped me now, but the sincerity of the promise remains.

No matter how tight my embrace was, disconnection was at hand.

The next thing I remember was lying in bed, still bathed in darkness.





Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Emergency Broadcast








Everyone sleeps as the storm Basyang passes over our heads. Mom lay secured under the sheets, certain that the roof will never get carried away by the punishing winds. Her faith mesmerizes me. I told her a week ago that my part of the ceiling is falling apart. Traces of rain water has been seen in several dilapidated carton boxes on top of the closet. But still she wouldn't budge. She will find a carpenter when her other concerns has been resolved. Utol is in her room as well. Tired from her new job and a heaving baby on her belly, her arms were probably wrapped around her husband's warm body. They were both sound asleep, unmindful of the tempest howling outside the windows. Even if the house gets blown like deck cards, they would still slip into dreamland without any care in the world.

And that leaves me the solitary wakeful at this ungodly hour. Roused from slumber by the beast in the sky - with its evil eye causing trouble across the unready city - returning back to sleep is the least of my worries. First, all living creatures must be accounted for - sentient or otherwise. That includes the dog who seldom stays inside the house out of fear of the terrorizing maid. The cat, who in the middle of the heat affords to mate with a stray tabby even under the relentless rain. I had to get up from the bed just to go outside the house and shoo the cat in who is yowling under the car. Finally there is the maid and the driver. After weeks of uneasy peace, word is that they are beginning to speak again. Their verbal trade-offs may be less flattering, but they are now careful not to antagonize one another.

Pandemonium awaits once they disturb the peace.

Armed with a small flashlight, I searched the empty corridors for meaning. I made useful of my time flooding the four corners of the house with blinding light. Electricity went off at half past midnight so with nothing to distract me and nothing to damp my hidden fear of the little tremors produced by the downbursts shaking the house to its base, I had to rely on a transistor radio borrowed from my mom to drown the silence.






The transistor radio, small but powerful is made from China. To operate the device may appear complicated, but it receives signals up from the mainland itself. Switching from station to station, Chinese was spoken by every commentators. As to what they say maybe reduced to propaganda but no mention of the storm - not even the dreadful voices announcing the end of the world were ever heard. Sliding the tuner a little further, the word of the Lord begins to dominate the airwaves. Promises of salvation awaits the listeners, but with the urgency of the moment and the need to know what is happening beyond my cocoon, I slid the tuner once again until the familiar monotone voices of the late-night announcers became distinguishable from the static.

"Kasamang Dan, kadadaan lang namin dito sa Guadalupe at yung mga tolda ng mga tindera ng prutas ay nagkalat sa daan!" A citizen journalist reported. "Sa kahabaan naman ng Calumpang ay may isang lalaking nakuryente nang hawakan nito ang live wire ng Meralco na nakakalat sa daan!" Meanwhile, there were no journalist on the field reporting on another station. Instead, the radio announcer lazily reads text messages of listeners whining about the brownout in their area. Between the casual reporting and description of scenes as the storm pummels the city, no word from the government was ever heard on the radio. Not even from DEP-ED or CHED, whose very pronouncements spell joy or sorrow on the face of students everywhere. There were no news briefings from NDCC about their heroic attempts to rescue hundreds of families living on stilt houses and flimsy structures near the waterways. Perhaps the President is stuck at Times Street complaining about the brownout as well. News of him coordinating government agencies to address the varied concerns of a nation-in-crisis was beyond my imagination.

The authorities were simply caught flatfooted to prepare for the onslaught of Lola Basyang.

It's already past 3 am. Time to turn off the radio and end this draft for my next blog entry. The tempest will not end soon. The heavy downpour will continue pounding the roof, but with the lashing winds already dying out, I am assured the ceiling will stay intact when I wake up in a few hours. The storm will continue to pirouette its way across the rolling hills of Cavite, towards the western sea as predicted by the ever-unpredictable PAG-ASA. But like the swift clouds heralding the coming storm long before its wind gusts sheared its way around trees, houses and other human structures,

In the end, everything is just in transit.

Life will return to normal.





Tuesday, July 13, 2010

For Future Reference Only






"Allah created the armies, and he also created the hawks. Allah taught me the language of the birds. Everything has been written by the same hand," the boy said, remembering the camel driver's words.

The stranger withdrew the sword from the boy's forehead, and the boy felt immensely relieved. But he still couldn't flee.

"Be careful with your prognostications," said the stranger. "When something is written, there is no way to change it."

"All I saw was an army," said the boy. "I didn't see the outcome of the battle."


The Alchemist,
Paolo Coehlo




Natatandaan ko, gabi yun. Nasa mall kami at katatapos lang manood ng movie. Pababa kami ng escalator. The entire mall is encased in glass so kita mo yung labas. Puro bulubundukin ang paligid. Malalaman mo yun kasi nagkikislapan ang mga ilaw ng mga bahay sa tabi ng bundok.

He was with his friends. Hindi ko sila kilala. Nakalimutan ko na kung paano nagsimula ang kuwentuhan pero siya ang naunang nagsalita. Forgot the topic we talked about, pero alam mo yun, the first time he spoke a word, I knew there was a spark. The attraction was present and perhaps he felt it too. Now you might wonder what he looked like. Weird, I never expected it myself. Remembered him wearing a plain white shirt and jeans. Rugged kung rugged ang get-up. Makapal ang buhok, halatang hindi nagsusuklay. Katamtaman lang ang katawan, matangkad (5'10 siguro) moreno, average looks pero di ko na matandaan hitsura ng mukha. What endeared me to him was his quiet confidence. Hindi presko, pero alam mong maangas. Articulate in a sense, dominant nonetheless.

Lalaking lalaki kumilos.


Monday, July 12, 2010

Spiritual Machine






Tripitaka: Monkey, how far is it to the Western Heaven, the abode of Buddha?

Wu Kong: You can walk from the time of your youth till the time you grow old, and after that, till you become young again; and even after going through such a cycle a thousand times, you may still find it difficult to reach the place where you want to go. But when you perceive by the resoluteness of your will, the Buddha-nature in all things, and when every one of your thoughts goes back to that fountain in your memory, that will be the only time you arrive at Spirit Mountain.


The Journey to the West,
A prologue in the novel, The Years of Rice and Salt











I was doing Military Press at the gym when I had an epiphany.

"We are judged according to how we have loved the universe and not how much we spent our lives dwelling on our earthly accomplishments."


I felt relieved. Suddenly, I found my anchorage.

Who would have thought those 95lbs iron plates were couriers of enlightenment.







Saturday, July 10, 2010

Pretentious, Me






Let's play a game. You go to a club and pretend you're straight. Since you have this impressive height and fine built (like they said you're hunk, but you're still insisting that you're not!) to get the ladies' attention, why not flirt around. You know your moves. You've been hitting on girls ever since the guys of your liking started hitting on others. I know it would be a totally different concept; a new world perspective; a tale of epic proportions. You never did this intentionally, like... once. But since the world has changed and nobody seems to notice you nowadays. (I mean, the guys you trip would probably think you're straight anyway) Go on, have some fun. Even when BED got burned down, nobody will stop you from clubbing.

So party on Mugen.

Party on!





Friday, July 9, 2010

Full Scale Retreat






Linggo na ang lumipas nang huling kong naka chat sa YM ang manyak kong kaibigan na si Bentot. Sabi niya ay nagbagong buhay na daw siya at hindi na nagtri-trip sa CR ng mga mall. Maniniwala na sana ako nang biglang siningit niya sa kuwento ang kanyang huling adventure sa Shang-ri La Mall.

"Galaw mo yun pre, ka-opismeyt ko pala siya," Hindi ako impressed. Mismong junior officer ng kumpanya eh naikama ko na.

"Tapos may tinuro siya sa aking CR na hindi masyado dinadayo sa building." Bigla kong naalala ang mga adventures ni Master Soltero.

"So nag jack-off kayo dun?"

"Jack-off, BJ, Bottom nga siya eh. Sabi ko, bottom ko siya minsan." Nampucha! Narinig ko na naman ang magic word. Hindi ko na matandaan kung kelan ang huli kong battle royale kaya naman medyo sinilaban ako sa kanyang kuwento.

"Ungas! Sabi ko naman sayo na medyo mainit ako ngayon, nanggatong ka pa."

"Kasi maghanap ka na. Rami naman diyan sa tabi tabi eh."

Kunsabagay, may point siya. Ako lang naman talaga ang choosy. Hindi naman ako namimili ng gwapo o maganda ang katawan. Pero lately kasi, medyo na-enchant ako sa prospect ng may minamahal. (naks!) Tuloy, ang hinahanap kong maikama ay yung tipong sumeseryoso sa mga patapon na katulad ko.

"Ang sama mo talaga. Pag ako bumigay ng tuluyan ikaw ang sisihin ko." Nagkaroon kami ng moment of silence. May pinagawa sa aking trabaho.

Pagbalik ko ay nakaisip ako ng magandang ideya para makaganti. Sabi ko kay Bentot na hindi ko siya kukuwentuhan ng sexcapades kapag tuluyan akong bumigay.

"Suwerte ng makaka-tiyempo ng unguarded moment ko pare! Tangina, titirik mata niya pag nagtrabaho ako." Na-curious ang aking kausap.

Natapos ang aming chat na siya naman ang sinisilaban. Ewan ko lang kung hindi matapos ang isang linggo ay may ka-trip na naman ang binatilyo.

-

Nanggaling ako sa Cartimar para sa Dog at Cat food ng mga kahayupan sa bahay. Upang hindi masaraduhan ng mga tindahan dun ay ipinagpaliban ko muna ang work-out pagkatapos ng trabaho. Mabilis naman akong nakarating at nakatulog rin ako sa bus. Pero dahil fully restored na ang energy ko, umiral na naman ang kalibugan ko.

"At sa inyo pong kaliwa ay ang Club Bath samantalang sa kanan naman ang Queeriosity, alin po sa dalawa ang inyong pipiliin?" Yun ang bulong ng aking alaga habang naglalakad patungong FB Harrison.

Sa madaling sabi ay ginawa kong compass si batutuy patungo sa bathhouse na malapit sa aking kinatatayuan. Sabagay ay hindi pa ako nakakarating dun sa isa at mukhang maganda naman ang review ni Vince ng Discreet Manila.

Nagtuloy-tuloy ako sa reception area na para bang parokyano na ng lugar. Pero bago muna iyon ay humingi ako ng sign. Alam mo na, gagawa ka na rin lang ng kalokohan, at least may basbas ka ni fairy godmother.

"So 250 ang babayaran ko ngayon?"

"Kasama dun yung membership fee right?"

"Opo sir," May mga ate na umaaligid sa paligid. Sino ba kasi ang nagsabing mag-hire sila ng female attendants. Nakakaturn-off tuloy.

"Ah eh, may mini gym ba kayo diyan?" Siyempre, strategic move to! Na-chupa ka na, nakapag-work out ka pa!

"Wala sir eh..." Medyo napahiya yata si ginoo. Palibhasa kasi ay merong mini gym yung mga katapat nilang bathouse.

Wala pang alas-siyete ng gabi kaya inaasahan ko na ako lang ang tao. At the back of my head, sana man lang may makasabay ako para naman masaya kahit paano. Kahit junjun (twink) lang na kilos lalaki na puwedeng sadistahin sa cubicle. Yung tipong magpapa-awa sayo at sasabihan ka ng "huwag po kuya..." habang nira-ram mo sa lalamunan niya si tutuy ko. Shit kapag mangyari yun, kahit next year na ako mag-bath house ulit. Solb solb na.

Ang kaso, mabilis ang sagot ni bru. Mag-MIRC na lang daw ako.

Eksaktong ilalabas ko na ang aking ID nang biglang bumukas ang pinto at pumasok si daddy. Unang tingin ay tila nagmadali ito galing sa trabaho (o eskwela) para maging early bird sa bathhouse. Wala ako sa mood maging boytoy ngayon. In the first place ay baka masindak lang sa angas ko si daddy. (thanks nga pala Pilyo sa pagpapagamit ng baklameter mo sa akin, andali ko tuloy makaamoy ng kapanalig. Lol)

Mabilis ang aking naging pasya.

"Kuya balik na lang ako mamaya." Si daddy naman na nasa tabing booth at katatapos lang magbayad ay binibigyan na ng bracelet na may susi.

"Sige sir, basta magdala lang kayo ng dalawang ID ha?"

Pumara ako ng jeep patungong Vito Cruz na parang balewala sa akin ang mga taong nakatambay sa paligid.




Thursday, July 8, 2010

The End Of Bed






Ladies,

Club Bed is gone. The two-story dance club was gutted by fire at around 8:40 this evening. Severe lost is expected and the cause of the fire is still under investigation. No casualties were reported since the gay club usually opens at around midnight. This sudden turn of events will change the entire gayscape of Malate-Orosa in the weeks to come.
















With reports from

GripenManila
AnterosDominion




The World Cup






I woke up at past 1 in the morning. Unable to go back to sleep, I switched on the TV facing my bed. I surfed the cable channels for anything interesting. NatGeo talks about Airbuses falling down from the sky. Discovery Channel shows animals frolicking in the woods. Not the kind of programs that would rouse me at the dead of the night. Catdog is on Nick, Ben10 on Cartoon Network, and as for Animax, I don't remember what show is on. I just wish they would play reruns of Jigoku Shojo again.

Checking the briefs on CNN, I found out that Spain will face Germany in the semifinals in less than an hour. The world has once again set its eyes on South Africa, the host of FIFA World Cup. I don't know much about Football. I never played the game. The sport is largely unknown in this part of the world, where dribbling a ball and shooting it on a ring remains the national pastime.

The World Cup first caught my attention a few years ago. A cute classmate from Ateneo raved about the tournament. He even bragged about sneaking past his parents just to be in a pub somewhere in Makati at past 2 in the morning to watch the game. He would go home at around daybreak, extremely pleased at how the match between two countries turned out.

I was merely an avid listener then. A few years before meeting the Atenean classmate and my best friend (and boylet-boyletan in disguise) would complain about how his brown skin had turned nognog from playing Soccer in the UST field. I wouldn't budge from my seat and instead, still beat him in Need For Speed. Those were the days, which I suddenly recalled after the early morning news has announced that the game was about to start.

"You can watch the live telecast of the match between Spain and Germany at Balls" The scrawny news anchor said on ANC.

Pressing the remote to Channel 34, I found the commentator explaining the players' formation in the field. Their icons flashed on the screen, while thousands of Vuvuzelas trumpeting on the background added to the adrenalin rush before the match. At last, the players from the competing teams were shown standing near the field entrance. They were waiting for their countries to be announced before the hundreds of thousands of spectators who have gathered inside and outside the Moses Mabhida Stadium.

At that moment, I felt one with humanity - or at least, with the elites and expats who have all gathered to watch the match at some pub or watering hole in the financial district. The rest of the country were about to wake up for the morning grind and there I was, curious about a sport I never paid attention once. The drowning sound of the Vuvuzelas briefly died out and the national anthems of both Spain and Germany were played. Queen Sofia of Spain was briefly caught on camera sitting among the masses. Even heads of state travel across the world just to throw their support to the world's favorite game.

As the referee held the Jabulani in his hand, the two teams prepared to face one another. With arm stretched, the ball tossed in the air, a split second moment of silence, and finally the game has begun.

The camera pans out for TV viewers to see how the ball switched sides. Defenders held their ground to keep the opposite team from reaching the goal line. Strikers provided the distraction and the valiant goalkeeper anxiously waited, and perhaps even invoked the heavens for the opposite team to never reach the goal.

I was on Twitter too throwing my support for Spain. I have learned that it was the first time Espana has advanced to the semifinals since 1950. Ill-equipped to even understand the rudiments of the sport, the only reason for supporting the team is my Spanish Class this semester.

Viva Espana! La Roja scored the first goal!

And soon after the first goal, my desire to see the winner waned as swift as my intention to watch the game. It was past 3 am and I still have to go to work at 8 in the morning. Not even watching the hot German players defend their turf could tempt me to stay, for I was already satisfied practicing my Espanol on Twitter while the men kicked the ball and the Vuvuzelas perpetually sends out the swarming sound of jubilation.





I browsed the news later that day and learned that Spain won the match and thus, enters the finals.





Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Farewell To Dracula






A Repost:
After BampiraAko



Lagi kitang iniintay mag text back sa pag-asang baka isang madaling araw, maisipan mong humiga sa tabi ko at hayaang ang mahigpit kong yakap ang pumawi ng mga takot at pangamba mo sa mundo.



Waiting For Dracula
Midnight Afterburner
July 2, 2010




Blessed are those who were loved
at their last breath.



May you find peace in your passing.
and hopefully, we could finally see each other,
perhaps
in our next lifetime.


1981-2010




Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Jacks (Act Two)






Nakaraan:

Nasulat sa aking blog kung paano ko nadiskubre ang sarili kong katas sa unang pagkakataon. Iyon ay noong matapos ko basahin ang makasalanang Remate at i-substitute ang mga bida sa kuwento sa mga larawan ni Son Goku at Tien Shinhan na nasa kamay ko. Sa kakadiin ng aking alaga sa kama habang pinagmamasdan ang hubad nilang katawan, hindi ko namalayan na ako ay nagpre-cum na pala.

Akala ko ay iyon na ang simula. Nito ko lang naalala, mas maaga ko pa naramdaman ang pagbabagong-anyo na aking magiging hinaharap.



Flashback:

Nasa elementary pa lang ako at mahilig maglaro ng kotse-kotsehan sa laruang kuwarto. Sa loob ng aking lagayan, sa isang sulok kung saan walang malikot na kamay ang mangangahas mangialam ng aking mga gamit, isang news clip ang nakasingit roon. Nakalimutan ko na kung saang diyaryo nagupit ang litrato, ngunit sa panahong ang lahat ng mga bata sa aming lugar ay adik kay Mask Rider Black at Fido Dido, isang larawan ng lalaki ang nakasilid sa aking taguan.

Iyon ay ang hubad na katawan ni Ricardo Cepeda.

Maari kong idahilan na sa murang edad na labing-isa ay mahilig na ako sa muscle worship. Nakakaakit kasi pagmasdan ang katawan ng aking adonis. Bukod sa wala itong taba sa kanyang tiyan, ga-troso rin sa laki ang kanyang mga braso. Maganda ang hugis ng kanyang dibdib, at sa lapad ng kanyang balikat, sinumang lalaking nagbubuhat ang hahanga sa kanya. Kung uso sa mga kanto gym ang larawan ng mga weightlifter noon, meron naman akong morenong chinito sa loob ng aking closet.

-

Meron sa aming lugar na isang bakanteng lote. Nang lumaon ay tinayuan ito ng maliit na kubo ng mga bata sa amin. Doon ang kanilang tambayan - isang all boy's camp kumbaga, at dahil barkada nila ang ilan sa mga kababata ko, minsan ay nakakatambay rin ako sa kanilang kubo lalo na kapag wala ang matatanda.

Usap-usapan ang mga pantasyang pang-binata noon. Hindi ko alam kung dala ito ng kagustuhang mapabilang sa kanilang grupo, subalit lagi akong curious sa tuwing mai-kukuwento ang kanilang sabayang jakulan sa kubong iyon. Kilala ko kung sino ang may pinakamalaking alaga, ang pinaka maraming labasan at pati na rin ang binatilyong "nagdala" raw ng "pokpok" sa lugar na iyon. Palibhasa ay ako ay isang tigapakinig lang, lagi kong inaabangan ang kuwentuhan ng aking mga ka-tropa dahil hindi rin ako makakasama sa ganung trip.

Ilang taon ang lumipas, at ang iba sa magkakatropa sa aming lugar ay nagbinata na. Naiwan kaming apat na mag-kababata. Palibhasa'y palaging mainit, madaling kapitan ng libog at bukas sa pag-eeksperimento, malayo ang maari namin marating. Ayon sa kuwento ng besprend ko, minsan ay nagkita silang tatlo. Hindi ko alam kung nasaan ako ng mga oras na iyon. Walang tao sa bahay ng isa naming kababata kaya napag-usapang tumambay muna roon. Umiral ang kalibugan, nagpakita ng kalaswaan ang isa. Hindi nila namamalayan, kanya-kanyang salsalan na pala sila. Mas naging adventurous ang dalawa sa kanila, kunwari ay porno habang direktor naman ang aking besprend. Iba't ibang pose, lahat ay pawang may pinapasakan. Alam ng lahat na pawang trip lang ang nangyayari. Walang halong malisya lalo na ng sinubukang isubo ng isa ang ari ng kanyang kapartner. Habang kinukuwento iyon ng aking katropa, nakaramdam ako ng kakaibang init ng katawan. Lalo akong nanghinayang nang sinabi niya na sana raw ay nandoon ako para partner-partner kaming apat.

Tuturuan daw niya akong magjakol.

Nangyari ang lahat hindi pa man ako nakakatapos ng Grade Six. Lahat sila ay may mga pamilya na ngayon. Inaanak ko pa nga ang panganay ng aking besprend. Dekada na ang lumipas nang huli kong binalikan ang mga alaalang ito, at kung ito man ay binuhay muli,

iyon ay sa kadahilanang ang mga bagay na ito ang hindi nagpatulog sa akin nang gabing nadiskubre ko ang aking pre-cum, at sa unang pagkakataon ay sinubukan kong paglaruan ang aking sarili.




Monday, July 5, 2010

Realistically Speaking






It is difficult to lose weight even when you work out three times a week. The key is in the food you eat, and based from my meal chart these past several days, my carbo-loading remains unchecked. You see, I haven't gotten past beyond the yoyo strategy, which I had put in place early last summer. The yoyo strategy is a combination of food binging and forced starvation. It was a compromise which allowed me to eat all the food I want without getting fat. However, it destroyed my eating habits. The original entry in place of this one was about a target to reclaim a certain weight by the end of the month. But after eating two Trail Mix Oats and Fruits bars earlier, I have decided to put the goal on hold, and instead, the focus now is to accomplish the more attainable things.


Like drinking more glasses water instead of sugar-based liquids.
and cutting the number of bottles of beer by at least 2 every week.


Strict diet practices will be impossible to put in place. Unlike before, when I was still in the afternoon shift, heavy meals were always served on the table during lunch, while oatmeal (without sugar) used to be my dinner before going to Eclipse. Gym activities will be intensified, especially now that my drive seems to be waning. And even when the lingering thought of being celibate has dampened my resolve to boost my market, it should not keep me from feeling good after looking at the mirror when questions of self-doubt assault my consciousness.




Sunday, July 4, 2010

K






Tonight, the whole Upper Eastside celebrates the dawn of a new era. As friends and frenemies reunite, we all know everyone's got only one thing in sight.

To see whether people really become wiser, as they grow older. Or, is it 30 and life is still a party.



Manila Philippines - Gates were officially opened exactly a minute past twelve midnight. Well placed sources tell that everyone from the Upper Eastside came donning their masks on. The much anticipated ball, which created some not-so-minor ripples in the blog world, was a celebration of life. It was a pageantry of beauty and a reunion of kindred souls. At the heart of it was the birthday boy K.

Coming from another drinking spree with the Encantos, I traveled all the way from Timog Avenue to Harrison Plaza to be with the birthday boy. It was an event I cannot miss - the invitation was given long before the ball itself was publicly announced. Arriving at the suite, I was greeted by masked guests unfamiliar to me. Save for G who was also there, the first few minutes felt like stepping into another world.

K's circle of friends is quite different from mine. I have always thought of them belonging to high society and thus, felt a little insecure in their presence before. But as I have learned through constant re-acquaintances in different parties, (including the moments of wild abandon in Malate) there was actually nothing to worry about. Aside from being the most open-minded bunch, (despite the juicy articles previously written about the Eastsiders) I feel no need to be someone else during the times I was in their company.

As for the birthday boy, our friendship maybe new but our ties have grown leaps and bounds in a matter of months. We were first introduced through E at a birthday party hosted by some of the more prolific bloggers last year. The key that unlocked the fateful conversation was a house remix played on iPod. Reinforced through a series of unplanned meetings at O-Bar, (including that great night-out in Quatro) he rose to prominence to become one of my very few confidants. Being a carefree guy, I knew I could trust K with my darkest perversions without being judged.




The night wore on and as the party reached its orgasmic high, exes and frenemies had no choice but to acknowledge one another. Some kissed and made out, (only to back-stab one another after the spirit of alcohol had left) while others made subtle passes to strangers only to forget the whole deed at the break of dawn. I made friends with several people - chief of them the rising blogger who I stuck with until my head can't take the colored liquor anymore. I also got reacquainted with a female friend from my straight days who was a fag hag of the celebrant.

I met a couple who claimed to be going steady for the last nine years, only to hear the other guy tell everyone after the boyfriend left that he has a girlfriend and that he is straight. This guy was being flirted by another guy right in front of his very out partner. As my head spun in many directions, the details of the night became blurry. It felt more like waking up from an acid dream bound to be forgotten as the sensibilities reclaim the consciousness.

I cannot recall whether I crossed lines or held back my player attitude. Knowing myself, I get bolder under the influence of spirits. What I vaguely remember was provoking a fight between a couple and a third wheel. They didn't make a scene, unfortunately, but for the rest of the night, I tried to spite the third wheel by ignoring him completely.

I also remember being invited home by a guy only to make a pass by telling him I was watching over a blogger friend. He brushed off my refusal by walking out on me. I remember meeting another blogger - a reader who always reaffirms my thoughts. Our surprise meeting was unexpected, thus it left me feeling elated. I remember receiving a kiss on the cheek from someone I secretly adore. If he wasn't closely associated with the host, I would have responded in kind in ways that would make me the talk of the Eastsiders.

I remember engaging someone to a debate on the balcony about the existence of a God. What is strange, aside from delving into the metaphysical realm when everyone else talked about cute boys is that he could not refute my arguments and still claim there is no God. Eventually we settled the issue by going home together with the other blogger.

Finally, I remember

that guy,

in his state of sheer ecstasy, was on the verge of tears while recalling how K touched his life. Details of his story have escaped me now, but his revelation made me realize that all those who came - the friends, fans, exes, frenemies and fag hags - who made it there at half past midnight forms the core of the birthday boy's life. They were there in his formative years as a gay person, and been there for him since embarking on a journey of discovery over a decade ago. Such loyalty; such claim to fame will remain unrivaled in a life where people who had been text mates for a month simply disappear after a disappointing eyeball.

As the birthday boy slept in his room after making everyone feel welcome at his ball, his dedicated companions took over the reigns of hosting. Even though exhausted from too much drinking and too much chatting with friends and strangers, they went on entertaining the guests long after the bulk of revelers have left.

Playing Chicane's No Ordinary Morning as sunlight slowly floods the English garden below, another epiphany had struck me. I was right when I told K, in one of our O-Bar sessions many months back, a gift he can't deny.

"You're the life of the party."

It could have been his good relations with people. It could also be the crafty invitation and mind setting he did before the ball. It might be the free-flowing drinks which made everyone drunk and euphoric at the same time, but in all the years I graced events like this, it was the first time I stayed in a party until daybreak. Considering that all I did was talk, drink and suspend my flirting functions at a time when I could openly flaunt my habit,

Such feat will remain unchallenged for a time to come.





Friday, July 2, 2010

July For Kings






You have your marching orders, sir. After posting this blog entry, log out from your desktop. You are instructed to get out from your chair to take a warm bath. Dress good. You will be prowling tonight. Look proud. Appear like you're game, who knows who you will spotting tonight. The night is still young, and despite the mind refusing, you are to go to Malate, to drink hard and party harder.

July has just begun and you are the king.

Nobody will keep you from being free. You always know where to start.