Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Protocols Of First Contact

pexer: hi bro. just wanna make friends. is it okay?

Instincts tell that I should refrain from entertaining such kind of proposals. Not because I don't intend to make friends, but because the approach is inappropriate. The intention seems dubious since the first thing I would ask is how did he know me? 

What piqued his interest?

If I were to make friends, say for example in Pinoyexchange, I'd engage the person on the thread first; try to earn his trust and goodwill by learning about his interests. I'd get to know how he thinks without appearing a stalker, so that when I extend the hand of friendship, there are reasons to sustain the bond. Even when our ties thrive online.  

This was how I engaged people in the past, and for the effort, I think I was sincere enough to be trusted. After all, I've always been a tough nut to crack. Seldom do I let people into my life, and when I do, never do I let go.

But in the case of the person above. I had to suppress my instincts and not let impression judge his worth. Consider it a random act of kindness. His intentions might be genuine.

me: sure. (insert smiley face here)

Soon after sending my reply, I did some background check on the same online forum. Just to prove my instincts wrong. So it won't tell me "I told you Mugs" after I've measured his worth. The stalking I did, if you want to call it, was meant to prepare myself should he decide to reply and uphold our "treaty" of friendship. But it appears I am mistaken. Some people are too broken, (their value of themselves - online - has become too low) that its better to leave them in peace.

"masarap naman ang uncut gaya ko. haha"

"anyone up for some lingam massage? part time ko. affordable and erotic. just pm me."

"pm niyo ako. looking for anything possible."

"cnu puwede maging tropa... yung makakasama lumabas... yung matino ha?" 

I truly wish I am wrong with my deductions, but it's impossible to contend with my darker past. I was looking for redeeming qualities - even a little speck so that I maybe able to afford him my full trust. But in a world where everything seems so fleeting, I somehow figured his dubious intentions.

But I chose to believe in my partner's words; that people have interesting lives to tell when you treat them in a nice way.

And so I waited, until the reply came a few minutes ago.

pexer: may cp # kb?? and fb if its okay?

me: no.

It would have been easier if he was direct to the point; that he needs to romp up his contacts to keep the moolah flowing. And maybe with the right approach, he could have touch-based with some of my friends who are fond of masseurs. But of all the things a person would ask, what despises me most is for someone to offer his friendship only to ask your Facebook and mobile number in return.

Putanginang kababawan yan.

I could not help but lament at how some of us had devolved. Like they see us  as a piece of furniture that could be summed up with a phone number and a Facebook profile. Blame our technology for it, and so is our growing laziness. Even during my rebellious days, I did afford strangers a semblance of humanity.

A tiny effort to know them better.

I hope I was wrong in putting up this blog entry. In fact, I'm hearing voices telling me that shouldn't have wasted my time with this guy. I've nailed my point anyway. But if there is no one to question our values; no one to speak in behalf of those who are struggling to preserve what little self-respect they have left,

How do we find acceptance when all we do is to make a mess out of ourselves?  

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Director's Cut

There are two boxes of Shakey's Pizza on the swivel chair, and a bottle of Coke Litro inside the fridge. The free food came from the boss who is celebrating his birthday today. Meanwhile, an agent requested to work at home. Same excuse - no adult to look after his siblings. He didn't have to tell it again. The boss doesn't mind and so he remains off the hook. Another one is absent. His none-presence leaves me with only three agents to look after. 

And I call myself a team leader.

Last week, an agent who stuck with the company after many others were retrenched, left. He will be working in a call center, he told me. Word flies however that he's saving up for his wedding. Many believe it's his reason for the career shift. Call Center. Agent position level one. I can't help but feel disappointed.

To think he stayed with us for more than six years.

Calls diverted to the company are dwindling and so is the revenue. If preliminary reports are to be believed. The first month of the year is a disaster. It will go down in history as the month we had our lowest volume yet. I've always warned that this situation is bound to happen. The products are obsolete and so are the business practices. I did my best to voice out my worries. I even sent leads to find new clients.

But I guess someone needs to be pushed against the wall first, before action is really taken. 

In a few days, a new cycle begins. I don't know how the business goes but the boss remains an optimist. He told us a few days ago about this new client he's speaking with. If the proposal gets the green light, we might even increase the seats - to even half of what we used to before our numbers were cut. Another account is expected to fold and the volume of calls - I predict - will remain a stalemate.

Much as I would like to see the glass half-full, I don't want to throw a party yet - not until we see results, or at least, a sign that this workplace is really back on its feet. If there's any reason for staying, (shame on me. I already attempted to leave twice, only to take back my word after a heart-to-heart talk with the boss) I'm planning to make this place a springboard for other profitable ventures 

Like Bentusi
Like my dream of returning to the academe - to teach.

Without losing my regency in the office.

Lest I forget, the agent who is absent tonight will be sending his resignation letter soon. No word yet if he had found a new job, or his life had become too much of a train wreck, an inward restoration is required.

And for those who have remained throughout this roller-coaster ride, to manage not to sink despite nearly tipping over a full year ago is a good indication that maybe, just maybe, the straight path to recovery remains somewhere around the bend.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Remember Us

Rock Paintings, Tadart Acacus, Libya

Once upon a time, the Sahara was green and animals such as giraffes, elephants and wildebeests grazed in the savanna. Men lived in caves, others in thatched huts made of wood and reed. They fashioned tools with flint and bones and spent the day hunting animals for food. 

At night, perhaps after their meals were eaten and they get tired of sitting by the camp fire, these people would gather around a strange rock. Those seen in the mountains of Tadart Acacus. Using oil they found on the ground. They would paint pictures telling their everyday life. To preserve a memory; to leave instructions for their children and grandchildren to follow.

Along the geologic timeline, rains stopped falling. Lakes dried up and rivers disappeared. Animals died and so were the early humans. Their drawings lived on. Their descendants who survived continue the tradition of painting their everyday life, until they too had left the desert for lands more receptive to life.

Today, what is left are these hand-drawn paintings of animals, of men hunting for food, of a tribe gathering around a camp fire to dance, for all of us, who have lived throughout the ages to remember.

I was putting words into the picture for the raketship when the image suddenly spoke to me. And I felt a tinge of sadness knowing the people behind these drawings had put so much effort to let their story outlive them.

Read more about the Tadart Acacus Rock Paintings here

Sublimity Of Happiness #002

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Tragic Kingdom

The little prince arrives at work at past 2 in the afternoon.

His first order of business is to barge into the Circulation and Dealers' Affairs Department. He looks for the manager to get the figures. 

The little prince needs to know how the business fared the previous day: 

35% returns. 
135,355 copies. 
P365,000 revenue. 

Not bad for a Monday run. 

To think the editor-in-chief gave the green light to use the same startlet on the front page a couple of times before.

He would then swing by the newsroom. More or less, word has already spread of his arrival. In a workplace where his presence is not really needed, (he was absorbed by the company a few months ago) the little prince's authority must still be reinforced. 

He would find the newsroom empty. The small room, always packed before dusk still affords the uneasy silence. The proofreaders are just about to arrive and so are the layout artists. 

The editors, who are already there to avail the free lunch are scouring the AM radio stations for news. With the company's reporters spread too thin, a breaking news or two would fill the empty pages.

Meanwhile, the in-house writers are putting the finishing touches to their sundry stories. Most are erotic in nature. Some are geared toward showbiz readers, while other articles lifted from stateside tabloids report bizarre facts (not to be taken seriously, if you have a college degree) yet, they still appeal to the masses.

"Space aliens: brains behind i-phones."

"Study shows menthol cigarettes are good for smokers."   

It would not come as a surprise if these stories get published the next day.

The editor-in-chief arrives with the publisher. She is the undisputed queen, while her consort - the publisher - is the little prince's father. 

Though there is no animosity between the queen and the little prince. Awkwardness pervades when they stay in the same room together. 

After all, the little prince reminds her of the queen mother.

Intrigues aside, business goes on as the newsroom gears up to beat the deadline. The fax machines beep and spews news sent by reporters from their beats. The proofreaders review the copies, before they are delivered to the layout artists.

Between office gossips and small talks about the colorful life of the queen - who sits in her throne in the newsroom, the managing editor returns with the banner handpicked by the publisher: 

"Prosecutors butata sa impeachment court. Magreresign na!" 

At past 6, the paper is put to bed and the production staff leaves for the printing office. The little prince takes a breather by taking a detour to a nearby Internet cafe, or at DLSU's University Mall to scout the hottest club sounds sold there for P50 a disc. 

In the evening, he would show up at the printing office to supervise. (more like hang out as the behemoth machines print the first copies of tomorrow's paper) But instead of staying where the machines are, one would find him snugged in the private quarters, making phone calls to his friends.

At past 10, the first batch of newspapers land in Port Area to be feasted upon by the waiting dealers. The image of Tracy Torres' pink nipples command everyone's attention. The business goes full throttle at past midnight as the dealers from Baguio to Bicol haul their orders. By 4 am, the people at the satellite office tabulate the papers returned so they may be included in the report, which the little prince will see when he comes to work the next day.

Such is the life the little prince had, in those days when he used to claim his father's throne. A year will pass, the empire collapses under its heavy weight. The queen will abandon the consort after so much in-fighting, to put up a rival paper. The publisher will then assign the prince as his hand, only to abandon him too, when it became apparent that their kingdom would soon come to an end.

Another year goes by, and the prince is already 24 years old. A sudden stroke of luck and the king passed away. He will sit in a crumbling throne his father left; live to run the paper he once thought was his playground; Endure a summer wondering if the business would live to see the first drops of rain. Before June, the paper he had set his eyes on when he was still in the academe will not be able to pay for its operations.

It has to be given up.

In his time, he saw an end of a dynasty, with all his loyal subjects scattered - never to be seen again.

Five years later.

"My meeting with Mr. Ant is set today." The queen mother said.

"Sige, ingat ka." The prince-in-exile walks out of the door without looking back. He's off to work to sit as a regent for another king.

"Wish me luck."

Mr. Ant took over the paper when its former queen, the editor-in-chief who stood beside the publisher, was captured. Pursued by authorities for her past sins, she is now locked in a dungeon and is bound to stay there for life.

With the old dominion now in shatters, the new lord reaches out to the queen mother to seek her blessing, grant her bounty that was denied to her, and hopefully, put an end to a cycle that has been going on for nearly a decade.

The presence of the prince-in-exile - the last remnant of the tragic kingdom has been expected since last year. It is he who hesitates to put back a torn-out chapter of his book, hoping the past remains undisturbed.

But he cannot turn his back on history forever, lest leave a wound festering throughout time. 

And so on the fourth meeting between the queen mother and Mr. Ant, epiphany dawned on him.

"Sir, I need to rush to the hospital."

"Bakit, anong nangyari?"

"Yung sister ko po, manganganak na..."

"Ganun ba? Sino tao mo...?"

It would have been easy to speak the truth, but a last-minute decision to follow the queen mother is beyond the grasp of the company - even the present king. And so the exiled prince who is now the regent stood up from his chair, picked up his bag and hurriedly left his workplace.

To come face to face with a broken past.

To express his gratitude to Mr. Ant, who is now putting back the kingdom together. So that in his own reign, the publishing empire the little prince once saw, may finally be returned to its rightful place - even without his presence.

Sunday, January 22, 2012


At past 3 in the morning:

"Kanina ka pa dumating?" She asked.

"Kakarating-rating ko lang po..."

"May kasama kang umuwi?"

"Ako lang mag-isa..."

"Umuwi ka lang mag-isa?"

"Sinabay ako sa taxi..."

"Hindi mo kasama si JC?"

I was tempted to say that JC was with me the whole time. But to do so might put me in a quandary where a categorical answer would spawn more questions. Her five-word inquiry, despite its naivety, packs a clear undertone. It's essence, no matter unspoken points to a certain recognition.

"Hindi po mama..."

The conversation ended there, as the matriarch needed to pee. She immediately got out of bed and lumbered towards the bathroom. Meanwhile, I was left sitting on the edge of the mattress, watching baby Lenin sleep, with a big smiley drawn on my face.


Friday, January 20, 2012

The Treehugger

In the pit of the city, I found sentience.

Every day, I wake up and open my eyes to the sight of a window shrouded with curtains.

A pallid landscape awaits outside.

There is not much to see.

Corrugated roofs and wooden walls of houses block the view. Sunlight hurts the eyes, as I am more accustomed to the ethereal beauty of darkness.

Dust floats in the air, carried over by the toxic wind from the nearby highway. The wail of a PNR train can be heard in the distance; the rumble of the LRT coaches usher in a new day, and when a dense neighbor decides to play crappy songs on full volume, pandemonium awaits.

Gone is the peace within my small quarters.

On paved ground, potted plants try to break the monotony of concrete. Neglected of attention, (the people look after their laundry first before their neighbors) they have turned hardy through the years. At the entrance of the driveway, there is a high wall separating the piles of rubble across.

On its summit, a small tree decides to grow long roots, sturdy branches and big leaves.

Someday, it will be cut down, or the high wall would crumble under its weight.

In the heart of the city often under a blanket of brown smoke and engine noises; where shrubs are forced to grow in dry plant boxes; where branches of trees are cut down to make way for telephone wires; and where trash reeks its putrid smell in street corners - and is feasted upon by stray creatures at past midnight, it is easy to see how my world turned me into a treehugger.

I cannot stand the steady corrosion of it all.

In the hidden realms of my daydreams, I long to hear the symphony of rustling leaves; I wish for burning leaves to waft under my nose, and the cool wind to brush my skin. I'd like to be shaded from the sun, not by a tenement housing but of canopies of evergreen. I'd like to see life - beyond this broken humanity, far from monolith buildings selling material excesses of the world, and away from gentle open spaces turned into hard pavements.

If only the ones with money realize what they are bound to lose - in the long run.


Surely it would dawn on them that there is more to life than some silly "environment friendly" buildings.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Homo Politicus

The student council election was just days away, and two Grade Six pupils were wrapping up their campaign to become the next council president. 

One was a classmate. She was the president of our section. While the other, also a class president, was from a rival section, a room next to ours. Both had track record of being class presidents since Grade Two. There's no doubt, teachers saw their leadership qualities.

And so they made them run.

I remember during our Homeroom class, our adviser made a personal plea. 

"Tomorrow will be your student council elections." She said. "And as a show of support, I urge you to vote for LJ." LJ was our class president. 

Most said "opo" while others merely nodded their heads.

The next day, a special time period was set aside for the pupils to cast their vote. The teachers were there to guide the "electorate" but since my adviser had already showed her bias, I'm certain her guidance had vested interest. As I look back at our class president, I did my best to recall how she was to me:

She was a aloof - a little difficult to approach. I once caught her smirking while a group of boys bullied me in class. She made me feel that I don't exist and I'm not worthy of her time.

And these indifference weighted heavily while casting my vote.

Meanwhile, the other candidate was a class president when I was in Grade Three. Though I can't remember her legacy, (was she the one who broke my wooden ruler when she used it to hit the blackboard to order everyone to keep quiet?) but at least she remembered that I used to be her classmate. She even smiled at me, at times, when we saw each other at the corridor. And even though she had no idea yet that she's being groomed for the council leadership, I felt her sincerity.

Two decades later, I'd still remember her name.

Cristina Buendia.

And so without anyone looking, I checked the box next to her name, folded the piece of paper and then dropped it inside the ballot box. Heaven knows I voted out of conscience.

When everyone had cast their votes, the ballots were taken out to be counted by none other than our teacher. Of the 40 pupils who belonged to our section, two kids ignored the teacher's plea and voted for Miss Buendia.

It was a big slap in our teacher's face - who was there tallying the votes. But she managed to give a nervous smile. You know, the charade you put up when you feel a tinge of embarrassment but tries to hide it.

Fingers began pointing almost immediately and the usual suspects were the pain-in-the-ass classmates of ours. They denied the accusation of course, fearing for their grades I guess. But the damage has been done and the rival candidate won by a huge margin. She too turned aloof after becoming the council president.

LJ's failure to win the presidency wouldn't be her lost in the long run. Half a year later, she would sashay on the stage to receive a medal for being the batch's valedictorian.

As for me, nobody found out I was one of the two who voted for the rival candidate. I guess the other classmate also had gripes with the president. Maybe he's one of the outcast too, like me. But the seeds of my defiance would grow roots and branches and would bear fruits when I started playing politics later in life.

I would become a student political party member, a class president during my junior and senior year, and even the secretary general of the same political party I served throughout college. To top it off, I would always keep abreast of current events, even spewing my opinions especially on matters of governance. Simply because my major required us to think - critically and with an open mind.

And it shows on my Twitter account from time to time.

The snippet of memory came across while reading the Philippine Daily Inquirer one weekend afternoon. Lying flat on my stomach, I turned a page of the newspaper, and set my eyes on Randy David's column. Finishing the sociologist's last paragraph - his arguments as to why the impeachment trial is actually good for our Democracy - I remembered that elections in Grade Six, my decision to think for myself, and realized that it was the first of the many stirrings that would shape me to become.

A political man in my time.

Sunday, January 15, 2012


I remember the first time I shook hands with Risa Hontiveros. It was at the wake of a fallen comrade. I was awed, swept off my feet, and my head was telling me to sign up as a volunteer for her next candidacy. Within my stoic frame is a fan giggling. Had my basic needs been assured, I would love to work for her, for free. Lol.

It would have been the same jittery reaction should I get to meet luminaries such as Randy David, Jim Paredes and Gang Badoy. I was wired to be a groupie - of the idealists and world changers. After all, politics, history and social sciences are some of my passions.

The lack of interest in local entertainment shows have shielded me from getting to know the celebrities as well. Unlike the rest of my family. My mom, who is a sociologist, would spend the rest of the evening watching the soap operas on the Kapamilya network. Lately, my sister, who is a psychology teacher seems to be following the trend.

My partner keeps tabs of the lives of celebrities as well. Without him to feed me the latest showbiz happenings, I'd remain ignorant as to why people are talking about a certain celebrity and why his or her name trends on Twitter.

I would have remained a hermit all my life without my source.

This mindset has spared me from going crazy whenever a hot celebrity goes to the gym. With Eclipse swinging its doors day and night, an actor who badly needs to maintain his six packs and lean body could just drop by after a long day's shoot.

In the final months of last year, several stars were spotted working out at the gym. Jake Cuenca was one of them, and so was Dennis Trillo. I was told that Papa Jack works out in Mabini, but who cares. All of us are there to lift iron plates and not talk of showbiz. Save for several tweets (and some not-so-secret glances) directed at these hunks, I'd go straight to my workout routine without making these celebrities feel stellar.

The workout, a few nights ago would have been the same as last time. I'd arrive at Eclipse close to midnight; engage in a small chat with Blakedaddy about the latest upheavals at the gym; get my progress folder; tenderize my muscles using the foam roller; do a kettlebell exercise before saying hello to the power cage and olympic bars waiting at the free-weights area.

However, I've noticed that I'm sharing the same schedule with a prominent actor from the Kapuso channel. Let's call him Daddy T, so as not to make it sound too obvious. He has a trainer, and unlike most of us, he has his own routine that is designed to maintain his lean built.

Daddy T, like most celebrities is aloof to other members. Maybe it's his nature. Perhaps, it is his way of avoiding attention. But it doesn't rub off on me, so there are times I'd tell myself, "he's not that popular" or "there are members out there who are more good-looking than him."

Talk about sourgraping.

To be honest, if he's not a celebrity, his looks would put him - merely in the "above average" scale of cute boys there.

But a star is a star and even though he loves playing heavy metal songs to put him in the groove, nobody dares to touch his iPod music player and replace it someone else's gadget. Even the coaches won't lower down the music player's volume or risk Daddy T's ire.

Thus, these past few nights, I had to make do with Rammstein and Pearl Jam instead of samples from the Ministry of Sound.

Like I said, it would have been a typical work out night - except that I decided to do cardio on the treadmill. To prolong my stamina, (and keep myself upbeat) I asked one of the coaches if the Ipod plugged to the gym speakers had some club sounds we could play.

"Ah wala. Hindi naman sa akin to eh," the gym instructor revealed.

"Kanino ba yan?" I asked, while trying not to appear surprised.

"Kay Daddy T. Naiwan niya kanina." He chuckled. "I-plug na lang natin yung player mo."

"Ay ganun ba." The gym instructor unplugged Daddy T's 120 GB Apple gadget and replaced it with my music player.

The gym instructor was about to keep the iPod for himself when I came up with a silly idea.

"Wait lang coach." I ran to the table where my bag was. Rummaging its contents, I got hold of my camera.

"Minsan lang ito. Kelangan ng souvenir!"

Ipod: Grasshopper


And with a press of a button, I realized that behind the indifference lies the truth. The luminaries I spoke about earlier can sit in their Ivory towers for all I care. When I could hold with my hand a showbiz actor's personal item and brag about it to world, the facade of snobbery collapses like a deck of cards accidentally nudged by the star.

Resulting in a moment of genuine and undeniable feeling of being starstruck.  

Friday, January 13, 2012

Sublimity Of Happiness #001

I saw five stars
in the sky.

and smiled.

The "Millennium Falcon" building, 
lower level rooftop, San Juan

Threat To Humanity

And Pope Benedict XVI said:

'This is not a simple social convention, but rather the fundamental cell of every society.
'Consequently, policies which undermine the family threaten human dignity and the future of humanity itself. The family unit is fundamental for the educational process and for the development both of individuals and states.
'Hence there is a need for policies which promote the family and aid social cohesion and dialogue.'

I cannot help but ask, is it possible for faith in the Almighty endure, without the need to anchor it on religion. Jesus Christ, in all His greatness decrees only one commandment - love one another as I have loved you. 

In a time of greater perils, (such as wars, climate change, poverty and overpopulation) I cannot understand why Joseph Ratzinger would say that gay marriage is a bigger threat to humanity. 

To family. 

When will these priests learn that gays - because of their solitary, almost drifting existence - actually provide more for the family by means of extra sources of revenue, emotional support - especially to the unloved, and by giving up their privilege to create another human life, lessens the burden of a dying planet.

I know, because this is what my existence means to the world.  

Sadly, bigots in robes remain. 

My respect for the church leaders is rapidly dissolving. 

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Changing My Bed Sheet

Seven days have passed and it's time to change my bed sheet again:

Step One: 

I shared a bed with my mom and dad when I was seven years old. My mom would use square sheets to cover the mattress - whose metal springs protrude and prick my skin. Not only was it horrid to lie on, (because the bed cover had a low thread count and was itchy to touch) every time it gets creased, we had to get out of bed to straighten it again.  

Step Two:

That's because my mom and I used to straighten the sheets just before going to sleep. Forget that our room was cluttered with books. As long as the bed is neat - and clean, I can expect an express trip to dreamland. It so happened that my dad had decided to sleep in the same bed again after my sister was born, and apparently, enjoyed crumpling the bed cloth with his feet instead of covering them with a blanket.

Step Three:

Many years later, the habit prevailed and I would obsess about the smallest details that make up my slumber rituals: 

A neat and spotlessly clean bed is the essence of my personal hygiene. Going into my bed with my work or gimik clothes is out of the question. Bedding include a soft thin blanket, four pillows which I use for my feet (a hard pillow that is three decades old), head (2 average-sized soft pillows) and a fluffy replacement when JC is not around (the cuddly Mr. Pillow) I sleep with my head opposite the headboard. (a force of habit from the time I slept on a mattress laid on the floor) and I am most at ease when the wind from the electric fan blows on my feet.

Step Four:

The weekly habit would have gone unnoticed if I didn't overhear my two barbarian agents brag about how filthy their bed sheets were.

"Basta lalaki, walang palitan ng kubre kama." Said one, a short, portly guy seated two work stations away from me.

"Honga, kung hindi masikmura ni misis, edi siya ang magpalit." Affirmed another.

"Naalala ko pre, pag angat ko nung unan, iba yung kulay ng parteng hinihigaan sa tinatabunan." Both of them laughed. 

I didn't say a word. Not even the tiniest wince at how they neglect their places of slumber. But if one wants to see a soft spot somewhere within my brutish exterior. One look at the corner where I lie and sleep, and it's a give-away...

linen spray: new addition to my bedtime rituals

Sunday, January 8, 2012

On The Day Of My Spawning

It was one of those sleepless nights. 

Me, face to face with the computer. Computer taking ages to load a page. Nobody complains. Twitter is yet to be coded, and when the slow web access pisses you off, you can easily ditch a service provider for another. 

After all, there was a menagerie of Internet pre-paid cards to choose from.

In those days, social media, as a construct is yet to be conceived. People get hooked to the web to read - and perhaps take a peek at a porn image or two. There was one online forum though. I do not know how I came across its portal. But its power to allow hundreds of minds to speak, and share ideas would soon rub off on me. Within hours after my first stumble, I was browsing the threads and reading the posts of people who found themselves willingly parting their thoughts.  

One of those threads would actually change my life. 

I have always known the hollow strangeness: of why I seem to be drawn to boys more than girls; of why I feel terribly uncomfortable standing next to naked muscular guy of my age; of why, I'd put the palm of my hand over a flame, to let it get burned and return me to my proper state of mind.

All along there was denial, and I did my best to cover up the truth.

Hoping it would go away. 

Once or twice, I did recognize this sleeping giant by means of confession. When the burden became increasingly heavy, I went to a priest for answers. Nothing came out of the revelation. 

What I recall about what he said was the word "repent." 

Everything else was simply blown away by the wind.

Next, I admitted my swinger side to a gay phone pal. I don't remember how he got my number, but we eventually got along pretty well. He was of the flamboyant kind, the one you would avoid in those days, if you fear being regarded as one. But because I'm used to hanging out with people like him, his nature didn't deter me to reach out,

and learn.

I told him one night, that I somehow liked boys; that I try not to think about the attraction too much. He told me, I must stop or suffer the consequence. "Ang hirap ng ganitong buhay," he said.

I would have understood his words of caution, if our warm ties didn't suddenly cool. It all ended when I showed up at the fast food chain where he worked. He did acknowledge my presence by waving his hand and saying "hi." Nothing more. That night, he didn't call.

Never again will I hear his falsetto voice.

Apparently, our friendship was anchored on looks alone.

Those two episodes of near-recognition got buried under piles of memories of me going out with girls, and at times, professing my love for them - even if only in the presence of friends. 

But there's no denial that fate is catching up. That I am getting exposed in ways I would eventually embrace one day as life.

From the graphic novel "One Night in Purgatory," that I unearthed from the stacks of magazines at the Manila Times, (spent a quarter of the summer toiling in that place - for my on-the-job training) to the secret detours at the porn lane under the Carriedo LRT Station, there was an attempt to cross to the other side.

This growing consciousness was somehow suppressed by my close friendship with boys who bullied effeminate men for fun, and by the machismo culture pervading in my dad's smut tabloid business. I was also in a relationship at that time and I thought her presence would finally pull me out of my homosexual leanings.

But I was wrong. So very wrong.

There is one final turning point before the discovery of the bisexuals' thread on Pinoyexchange that changed the course of history. But that dark past deserves another entry.

So on the morning of January 7, 2002. After reading the stories of so many others who were still in the closet - their longing to find someone to relate, to express their hidden self, to assert their attraction towards same sex, without compromising an inch of their masculinity, their words somehow resonated with my own voice.

nanginginig ang mga daliri,
sinusunog ang balat, nilalagnat
diwang tuliro ngunit pilit kumakapa 
puwersahan man ang pagtanggap  
ngunit wala ng atrasan
nangangatal man ngunit kailangang aminin.

ngayon na joms.

I tapped on the keyboard the very words that would become my freedom piece.

"Damn it's hard to accept this but I really think (and have to admit despite how painful and how unacceptable it is) that I am bi.
I've been so lucky to stumble upon this thread because it's really very hard to have this personality - duo ba.
Definitely I'm not into that thing and I hope I will not** I've read your comments and I think it's one of the signs. It's so sad up here but you guys made the difference. At least, I've dared to become open right now.
I know that we're still considered one of those fags, but I hope that they'll understand that we're much more different. Hope that someday, we'll find our place and will not fall into that pit.
I hope you could support me guys... until then, I need to get really really quiet.

Thanks very much for being here."

You know the feeling of being set free; the elation that you found acceptance, and yet at the same time terrified that someone might spot your tracks and spread the word before you are able to reign in your revolution. So fearful I was that my friends were also on PEx that I changed my handle within a matter of days. The forum posters would get to know me as Endymionn.

And I would knock on so many closets and liberate their confused inhabitants.

Ten years in the making and here I am looking back at that moment of spawning. Now more confident albeit with victory scars to tell my journey. 

And realizing that a decade later, I would learn that those bold steps I made would actually embolden so many others to abandon their hiding places and form brotherhoods within the secret layers of cyberspace. Like Garppp, I am one of the firstborns, 

and this is my beginning.

** Man to man relationship. Gay sex. Less than a year after recognition. I will have a first serving of both.

Like I always do when I celebrate milestones. Went to Quattro Bar in Timog. Ordered a Macho Mug of San Mig Light and did a toast to my tenth year in fairyland - alone, and proud of who I have become.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Spaceship Adidas

Boys and gays, I'd like to present my new bag. It was a Christmas present from JC.

A scrooge like me will never spend on something like this. I'd rather let my old mobile personal carrier get torn to shreds first before it gets replaced. 

Now if you're wondering about its contents, on a regular work-out day, these are the stuff I keep inside my bag.

1. Jersey Shorts

2. Muscle Shirt

3. Small Towel

4. Driver's gloves

5. Rubber gloves 

6. Wooden Rosary

7. Prayer book

8. New Testament Bible

9. Eyeglasses

10. Samsung Champ (Aquario)

11. Ipod Touch (Furion)

12. Kenneth Cole Reaction Wallet (Favorite Aunt's gift last Christmas)

13. LF&C Leather Coin Purse (Made in Bacolod City)

14. Polar Bear menthol inhaler

15. Oatmeal in a plastic container (for the weight-lose effort)

16. Umbrella 

17. Polo black (Greatkid's present when he went to the country for some R&R last year)

18. Tote bag

Not included in the family picture:

19. Canon Powershot A495

20. Small plastic file case

Obviously, the plastic file case is for paper works, and the digicam, while seldom used for social occasions, hopes to find its place for my journalistic pursuits (we will never know when an event will happen)

With my tote bag, I will never have to use plastic pouches again for shopping. Besides, it's a souvenir from last year's International Book Fair at the Mall of Asia.

The rosary and the prayer book have been around since I started using the beads again for prayers. The New Testament Bible was a recent replacement. When on a pilgrimage at the monasterio some years back, I used to read passages between the mysteries. The old Book was handed over to a colleague when she was seriously ill.

She recovered after a month.

So these are the contents of my backpack. When a situation calls for it, even a 16-inch laptop, a blanket and two days worth of clothing and toiletries can fit inside its spacious belly. I'm not sure if the bag is weather proof, but the logo speaks of expectations.

Now that I have kept a promise to Miss Chuni, you may want to join the meme and show off the contents of your bag. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Killing Marquis De Sade

It was perversion of epic proportions.

A young couple possessed with boundless lust had decided to videotape themselves in their moment of heat. For posterity perhaps, or even maybe to fulfill their juvenile fantasies of playing the role of adult entertainment celebrities. 

The setting is in the bathroom. The pretty lady faces sideways in front of the mirror as her lover, her knight in shining armor mounted from behind.

The lady was obviously embarrassed as her man thrusts his raging cock inside her tight wet pussy. In a state of ecstasy etched on his face, it is obvious that he is savoring his sweet, sweet conquest.

I only saw snippets of the clip, in a social media portal whose design and purpose is to reach out and tell a story. It could have been your ordinary scandal. Of two careless public figures in their most erotic minutes.

But when you know the tragedy behind their story, of how the knight was brutally gunned down, and allegedly masterminded by his own siblings. 

And how the lady survived the horror to tell her lover's twisted family's tale, you begin to ask, why is their porn video being feasted upon by the masses? 

In all honesty, the Marquis de Sade in me commands - like a mistress in her Lycra suit - to save the link, and play it again and again in the dark cold corner of my room. Hell knows I'm bent on jerking off until I get tired of stroking my manhood, while looking at the knight's expression, and embracing it as my own.

Yet, upon securing the Vimeo link, after being seen - in part - together with my colleagues. I felt a moment of hesitation. Something is wrong with the picture. A repelling scandal like those should not be spreading, like virus in the Internet.

I may never know how it feels like for the girl to learn that her secret - their dirty little secret is out for the world to see. It doesn't matter how many men - and even women pleasured themselves while watching the clip. They don't see a dead man anyway. And I don't care how sick the person who uploaded it - apparently the mother of the knight - and what end does it serve.

But for once, I have refrained myself from watching the entire video and  now forcefully erasing it from my thoughts. I do not know if these words mean anything, but something tells me, there is limit to one's voyeuristic tendencies.

May this act of self-censure be a saving grace for sensibilities gone mad.

Meanwhile, there are the xvideos and xtube clips I could indulge my senses over and over.

Donatien Alphonse François, Marquis de Sade (2 June 1740 – 2 December 1814) (French pronunciation: [maʁki də sad] Audio) was a French aristocrat, revolutionary politician, philosopher, and writer famous for his libertine sexuality and lifestyle. His works include novels, short stories, plays, dialogues, and political tracts; in his lifetime some were published under his own name, while others appeared anonymously and Sade denied being their author. He is best known for his erotic works, which combined philosophical discourse with pornography, depicting sexual fantasies with an emphasis on violence, criminality, and blasphemy against the Catholic Church. He was a proponent of extreme freedom, unrestrained by morality, religion, or law.

Monday, January 2, 2012


The idea for my first blog entry of the year was to write my twelve resolutions. But the plan was brushed aside when JC took this photo with his Panasonic Lumix G2 Camera. 

My partner then uploaded it on Twitter. 

The close-up of a weed with overcast skies in the background had left me spellbound. The subject conjures mixed feelings of tranquility and isolation. There is something about the vespertine image that I cannot put into words, but the subliminal message it attempts to convey somehow distills into a song.

When I look at the picture, Yoav's cover of the Pixies' "Where is my Mind" loops in my head.