Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Road That Stretches Forever

Last day of December.

Never in a decade did the Favorite Aunt drop by our house to pick us for the get together. My sister and her family will welcome the New Year with the in-laws. While the driver was unavailable as he was spending the day with his estranged father. Meanwhile, tradition follows that we spend the first day of the year as a tribe, and so as for the old ways to remain, the host took the task to bring me and my mother to her abode.

The sun was still up when we arrived at her place. A breath of fresh air, if I may add, since we often race against time before the fireworks block our path. The last time we saw daybreak, I was still a boy, eager to get my hands on my cousin's video game console, to try to beat the big boss and see the ending of Super Mario Brothers, Sonic the Hedgehog and Civilization I. 

Now older, and yet, still very much a kid at heart, I bought with me my laptop. I have recently installed the newest expansion of Civilization V. The strategy game is taking much of my attention lately, but I don't mind. I was thinking of spending hours playing it. To pass the time as my mother and her sisters catch up with their lives.

And I have other plans in mind.

Seeing my mother settled down, and the Favorite Aunt setting the food for the Media Noche later, I drew from my backpack a small paper bag. It is a gift to my god-child I have not seen last Christmas. The idea is to make a pass at that scenic spot next to the lake. My place of destination is in Taguig, and it's been three years since I discovered that empty stretch of highway on foot.

To see the bend leading to Road C6, and the overlooking, unobstructed view of the Laguna de Bay remains a breathtaking experience.

So this is how the year ends - the way it began. Solitary. Contemplative. Looking at the distance with blissful eyes and a weary heart. There is no denial I am terrified of the uncertainty. It permeates the skin, leaving me curling at the thought of fate and forked paths in the coming year.

The post-revelry chill gets a little more intense as the years go by.

And yet, in my lonesome, I find ways to get by; to see life like its my first breath, to stay curious like a cat, when I positioned my camera phone in front of her. Without much thought, I still perform random acts of kindness (like helping a mother pull her child's wheelchair up the overpass), or feel that empty space after a special friend gives a passionate hug. There is beauty in the world in spite of how horrid many of us believe it is. I still have faith in humanity, despite the hateful vibe reverberating every day.

Climbing a pile of rocks a few steps from my destination, I turned Ndoto around towards the sunward direction. The Hagonoy Pumping Station is just a cartwheel away and before the sun sets, the last sunset of the year of our Maker, 2013, I took a panoramic picture not only of the highway I covered, but of the sun and the lake on which I rest my joys and hopes that chilly afternoon.  

Happy New Year, Everyone.

Because Tomorrow Is Just A Memory

"These plants belong to me. Take me with them if you must!!"

"Are good things supposed to end?" 

I mused before dropping my stuff on the sidewalk. It's late in the afternoon and there's an everything-must-go sale nearby. An entire ecosystem will be shut down all in the name of progress. House plants of all shapes and sizes; delectable flowers in full bloom and bursting with colors are sold at drop down prices. I came to say goodbye to the place, and partake at discounts never would the shop owners give had the closing event didn't take place.

A few minutes before embarking on a home-bound trip, a cat sleeping under the shade was stirred out of curiosity. I was about to take pictures of the little fellow when she approached me and rubbed her head against the back of my hand. Not satisfied with the minimal attention I've given, she grazed her entire body around my leg, prompting me to stroke her fur to show appreciation. She then laid next to the plastic bags of garden implements I bought. An onlooker chuckled at the comic relief.

"Mukhang gusto sumama sa iyo ah." I gave a faint smile.

"Pusa niyo po ito?" The old man nodded.

For some reasons, I saw everything differently.

In the face of uncertainty and sea change, is it normal for creatures to cling to vestiges of familiarity? Knowing home will be gone soon, did the feline try to tell us she belongs to that garden, and that, she is aware it is being dismantled?

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Ndoto Blue (Finale)

Previously on L'Heure Blue

There is no doubt, that I won't join the bandwagon by getting an iPhone. Not this time. A lot of people I know already use it as their handheld device. Also, I am not an Apple fan boy to begin with, and defying conventions is one of my favorite habit.

Ever since my Samsung phone stopped working, doubts already clouded my belief in the brand. There is no way I would get an S4 for I have no faith in its maker. Like iPhone, a lot of people use Galaxy to communicate with the world. My fear is that like a magnet, the phone would catch the eyes of robbers and snatchers when I use it in public.

The Lumia from Nokia seems to be a decent smart phone. Not only is the series renowned for its sleek design, its reputed Carl Zeiss camera lens command respect from Photography experts. However, Nokia is one of the very few devices that use Windows as its operating system. I couldn't live without Android and its apps. Instagram, which is one of the strongest push to upgrade my phone, isn't supported by the Metro. 

Lastly, there is the HTC One. Reviews of the product make it a credible flagship phone. It also appears to be the preferred device of those who don't follow the fad. Had the phone been recommended to me first, I might have acquired an HTC instead. Snobbed by many, and raved by a chosen few, I would rather count myself among the anti-establishment folks. 

There were other choices suggested by friends - such as Blackberry (whose maker operates at a loss) and Nexus (a device nobody uses). But instead, I ended up getting a Sony Xperia SP. With a price tag of over 18 grands - in Philippine peso using my credit card, it is one of my most expensive acquisition to date. 

Given my limited knowledge of smartphones and tablets, let me share my experience with the Xperia instead: It wasn't rosy as I thought it would be. There were frustrating moments when the device wouldn't read my SD memory card. It also doesn't pick WiFi from a comparable distance with Samsung. The Sony phone's signal bar goes zero in places where there is weak network coverage. Once or twice in recent memory, I had to reboot the device to restore the signal to full bar. 

But these are birth pains and I still believe I didn't receive a defective unit from the retailer. For what its worth, the Xperia's video and sound quality makes it a formidable smartphone for a mid-range market. Powered by Bravia engine, streaming HD video clips on YouTube turns into a one-of-a-kind visual and aural experience. The images are crisp and full of clarity, the colors, well-defined, and the audio turns any sound into an operatic masterpiece.

The downside however is that some clips buffer longer when bandwidth connection cannot stream the videos with ease.

It's been almost two months since getting the Xperia, and the handheld device has been a trusted companion ever since. Inspired by visual creation; the need to take photos to be shared in social media, the name I gave to my phone speaks of its aspiration:

In the plains of Serengeti, somewhere within the borders of Tanzania and Kenya are the Bantu peoples who speak Swahili. In their time of contemplation, in deep thought and musings of tomorrow, the wordsmiths among them crafted the word for dream.  

Samsung Galaxy Mini on Sony Experia SP


Saturday, December 28, 2013

Ekstra (Second Part)

Previously on L'Heure Blue

It was almost sundown when I arrived at the set. The film was being shot at a gated community north of Manila. It wasn't difficult to follow instructions posted on Facebook. With the aid of Google Map, I found my destination even without making a phone call to my friend to ask for directions.

However the distance, the long walk to the village entrance didn't dampen my spirit. The gate was three blocks away from where I disembarked from the jeep. But since it was dusk, and the cool breeze from the Sierra Madre tenderly stroked my skin, the stroll already was a pleasant experience.

The evacuation center and the outdoor morgue scenes took place inside the unused clubhouse of Neapolitan Village. When I arrived there to sign up as one of the crowd, the production team had just done filming the part where the actor learned that his parents died in the flood. I was told that the film is about a teenage boy starting his life from scratch. His home was washed away by the torrent of mud and water, and has to stay with his estranged grandfather - his sole surviving relative from then on. Cameras were being dismantled to be moved inside the gymnasium, as grime-covered and blood stained bit players rested nearby.

I came across some assistants, and was tempted to ask the names of my friends. But when I realized the production staff number in their fifties, I thought it would be best to look around and search for my contacts instead. 

To walk-ins like me, life outside the actual film shooting is more relaxed than what is being shown in the movies. Bit players, when not reading their lines, linger around the set or sleep in corners. Their handlers argue with production assistants, as they haggle their pay by the number of hours they waited for their queue to start. These, I have seen with my own eyes. I even heard some people complaining that they've been at the set since that morning.

And it was already past five in the afternoon.  

"JM!!!" I turned my head to where the voice was coming from. I saw Carlo waving his hand. 

"Buti nakarating ka. Kanina ka pa?"

"Kararating ko lang. Andami palang tao dito." Carlo chuckled. I told him about watching the film Ekstra, and how the sights I've seen so far was very similar to the film.

My friend told me to follow him inside the gymnasium. We saw his partner, Ben, talking to one of the assistant directors on our way in. The duo runs the department responsible for providing the costumes to bit players. Inside the barely-lit hall, squeaking kids ran around the court. Meanwhile, adults seated on the bleachers engage in juicy banter that - my guess - is the fodder for showbiz sections of tabloids and broadsheets the next day. Carlo and I continued walking, talked about our friends who live nearby; talked about the mass grave scene earlier that day, and how in one take - the bit players were able to bring everyone to tears. Their wailing and chest thumping as they searched for loved ones among the dead moved everyone, even my friend who's used to seeing melodramatic, close-up scenes.

"Grabe, wagas talaga ang hagugol ng mga bakla." He said in amazement. "Madali kasi mag-internalize, Ipaalala mo lang ang Ondoy at Yolanda, maiiyak ka talaga."  I could only imagine what I'd do if I was among the dead - or worse - the living, dazed survivors.

We reached a small room on the other side of the gymnasium. Inside, a dedicated staff folded shirts of various shapes and sizes. Beside them are large plastic boxes containing more old and worn-out clothes that the bit players can wear. I dropped my bag and showed them the tattered shirt and old jerseys I'd wear as a flood survivor.

"Puwede na ba?" I showed Carlo my costume.

"Oo, ako nga magsasando saka shorts eh." Ben showed up to introduce me to his staff. He then spoke to his partner about the evacuation center scene that would take place later that evening.

"Dito ka muna ha?" Carlo said to me before he was interrupted by a production assistant. "Kunin ko lang sa bahay yung dog namin para kasama mamaya sa shooting."

The "Evacuation Center" Set

With restlessness setting in, I left the room after the couple disappeared; to see up close the bit players waiting for the filming to begin. The truth is, I needed to smoke. And like in the film Ekstra, I was hoping someone from the crowd actually sell cigarettes.

An hour later, I was still looking for anyone who sells yosi. I didn't find any. Skipping dinner instead, I ended up stepping out to volunteer in a scene as one of the crowd who will run towards the evacuation center under heavy rain.

It's light, camera, action at last.



Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Dama de Noche

Christmas Eve, 2013.

On this very evening a long, long time ago, I remember us staying at home. There was no panicky mother doing gift wrapping in bed, nor activities hinting of our hasty exodus from our old house in Santa Mesa. The urgency to pack our clothes and set aside our Christmas dresses never bothered the adults. We were there with nothing to do but look at the stars and sleep.

For it was the year when my mom stood her ground, and decided not to show up and join the yearly reunion with our kin. What started the stand off is already lost to memory. All I know is that she and the Favorite Aunt had an argument that day. My guess is that someone wants to do things on her own (go solo with her Christmas celebration) and when the Alpha female refused the arrangement, mom went through with her idea despite the threats.

It infuriated the aunt.

And as if, by way of providence, a mediator appeared on our doorstep. It was already late. Maybe an hour before Noche Buena. My mother's youngest sister showed up together with her husband. For we are being whisked off to spend the holy night with the Favorite Aunt. It no longer concerns me how they made amends. As an afterthought, it was our houses' first get-together that I remember. 

The flurry of movements soon followed. I was led to the bathroom to be washed, while my mom readied our provisions. We will be spending the night in another house. For all my attempts to put the plot into this vignette, the truth is, the narrative was reconstructed from vague memory. Nothing can be done to accentuate the story.

What is cherished in the heart is the uneasiness of waiting; of being outside the house, together with the neighbors' children; of mounting someone's cart with a long pole in hand; the overpowering scent of Dama de Noche as it wafted under our noses. The cart where the kids and I stayed was next to the evergreen shrub. Its blooms, often associated with funerals and lamentation for others, will always conjure thoughts of Christmas and reconciliation for me.

We arrived at the Favorite Aunt's place past midnight, and I remember her wordlessly embracing my mom when she welcomed us at her home. Years will pass, way into our teenage years and into the ripeness of adulthood, but the tradition of spending the birth of the Child as one big family has never been broken. 

The Favorite Aunt still hosts the Christmas and New Years' celebration to this day.

LR: The Noche Buena, The Family Christmas Tree full of presents, Santa Claus is back.

Sharing the gift of lovingkindness from my family to yours. Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

A Little More Time


In a hall with large, floor-to-ceiling wooden doors, was my favorite aunt seated on a pew. I approached her, walked in an almost processional fashion so as not to disturb her quiet contemplation. She was grim-faced when she looked at me. Her mood, funereal. For beside her was a white casket with blue-painted carvings of whimsical design. 

Within the box was her, in eternal sleep. Beautiful and still full of life. Cosmetics applied to her face made her look younger. It is as if she was still alive. The reaction was almost instant, breaking down in tears, I said;

"She asked for at least seventy five years." 

I woke up. 

Went to her room and hugged her.

And then she told me about her colleague who has Brain tumor.


Thursday, December 19, 2013

Creative Dissonance

The world is yet to be written. 

And drafts have not been penned.

Reasons remain elusive. But these days, I confess losing strength to craft prose and weave stories. Maybe it's the seasonal lull, or the mad rush of the holidays. It scares me. It makes me remember the day this page no longer breathes: that I finally fade away - like the stellar bloggers before me.

There are simply too many distractions. Noises, befuddling the mind. When the urge of creation puts me in front of the laptop, or face to face with my phone to put into words the contents of the heart, I'd be gone even before brewing the thoughts for the closing sentence. I am running out of ways to tell stories. 

The soulful writer hibernates.

But there are narratives that are yet to be inked. Journals, the readers are expecting to read. I am not done yet with my life as a bit player. Or what makes me so proud of Ndoto, my new smartphone. I haven't told yet the secret; why stall getting a driver's license when I have always been behind the wheel. The accomplishments of the year have yet to be gathered. Put in a sturdy vessel, to remind myself of life's turning points. 

There are so many tales that are in need of ending.

And I don't know where to begin.

A writer once told, the secret to good storytelling is to draw narratives from experience; to suspend time and speak your mind like there's no one reading. But if longevity is the question, and a creative dissonance pins down the writer, how can good stories be told when words no longer flow even when there's no audience? 

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Thirty Two

L-R: Shoturday at the Casa, The traditional birthday salubong, with a cake, Baclaran Church at 6 AM. 

There are many things to be thankful for: deliverance from sickness, prosperity that allows a comfortable lifestyle, harmony in the family, a borrowed time well spent.

The reality behind this post is that it took me an entire day to ponder what entry to pen, to mark the yearly observance. I would like it to be something poignant, ephemeral; a vignette drawn from memory.

In the end, indecisiveness prevailed. I was meaning to journal about that deed last week, when I returned the money to the laborer who withdrew it from the ATM. He accessed the cash machine before me. Left, when the cash didn't get out, and was not aware that his money was dispensed.

I would also like to write about my partiality towards intimate and somber birthday celebrations than loud revelries to welcome my day of birth. I'm not used to the spotlight; to be the highlight of the evening because I have long accepted my turn of age to be eclipsed by Christmas parties. Finally, I also thought of writing how this tradition of marking the occasion with a blog entry began. How it meant to be a quiet reflection and report of accomplishment in my sometimes turbulent and directionless existence.

None of these stories ever went beyond the draft.

Without a story to tell, save for a sincere gratitude on how the first few hours of the thirty second turned out, I welcome the year with hope that it will be more promising than the thirty first. That I will love more, care more, and get more opportunities to put my house - and life - in order. My wish also goes to friends and loved ones, that I maybe able to enrich their lives, become a force of compassion, and well-spring of strength when hope seems fading.

Like in the years before, three rites make my celebration complete. But in the presence of confidants and new-found friends, ex dates and near flings, never in my grandest imagination did I expect them to remember, call the shots, and turn out to welcome my new lease in life. 

Thank you.

In the silence of Mugenspace

All glory to the hand that shapes the world.

Happy Birthday, Joms.    

Friday, December 13, 2013


"Ninong J... Ninong J... may pasalubong ka sa akin?" The little tyke barrages me with the same question every time I go home.

"Asan pasalubong kay Totoy?" The toddler refers to himself. I would just smile, stroke his soft, wavy hair, and go directly to my room to retire. Sometimes, I would make excuses and tell him I'd buy one the next day. Convinced with my ruse, the little boy lay down next to his lola to continue their bedtime book reading.

Afforded a reprieve, my mind returns to solving pressing matters that baffle the mind - until the kid remembers the pasalubong I was supposed to give when he sees me the next morning.

The other day, I went to the supermarket to procure a month's worth of supplies for the house. My sister sent a list of stuff to buy, including Hello Panda biscuits for my older nephew and his younger brother. 

When I returned home, the three year old boy wouldn't let me leave the master's bedroom. He was waiting for his pasalubong. My mom handed him the biscuits, and yet, the look on his face showed he was expecting something else. 

Something I've promised a few days before.

"Ano ba gustong pasalubong ni Totoy?" I hugged him tight before saying goodbye. It was my peace offering after my heavy handed discipline when he threw tantrums that same morning.

"Gusto ko kotse." He said gleefully.

"Yung kulay red."

Truth is, I really have no intention of buying him a die-cast toy car. Not that I don't have the money, but I see that he has lots of toys scattered around the house. Also, learning from experience, one tends to place less value on things that were easily acquired. They become dispensable objects. It's no wonder that many of his toys don't even last a year.  

I even ceased letting him borrow my die cast car collection because they get returned to me missing a wheel or some other small, moveable part.

But a promise is a promise, and three year old boys never forget. Restless and close to losing hope, he reminded me once more of the red car when I left the house yesterday. On the phone, every time I spoke to my mom. In my thoughts, it comes across while doing my shopping at Trinoma. There's no more excuse given the reminders from him. 

It made me recall the time I was upset with my dad. I was expecting for us to watch a movie - even took a bath and wore my best clothes, when he came home and suddenly told me he'll postpone the movie watching for another day.

I was hurt because he didn't keep his word. Only guilt, and some frank words from a nine-year old changed his mind.

And so before leaving the mall to go home, I made a detour at Toys R Us to get the cheapest die cast my money could buy. It's the least I could do, knowing I've allotted a chunk of my savings for his Christmas gift.

"Ninong J, wala ka pasalubong sa akin?" He greeted me when I showed up at the master's bedroom. 

"Ay wala!!" I teased. "Nakalimutan ko bumili."

Frowing and on the verge of tears, he asked once more if I had something for him. 

"Kiss muna..." I ordered. He walked towards me to plant a kiss on my cheek.

"Isa pa." My mind was telling me to get used to this - to be expected of bringing home something as my nephews get older.

Pulling something from the paper bag I was supposed to show my mom, the little toy car my nephew waited for so long emerged, like a precious gem from my hands.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Ekstra (First Part)

L-R: Soldier patrolling the evacuation center, a family of bit players taking a nap while filming of a scene takes place on the other side of the gymnasium, a kid poses in a tub.

Never to be mistaken for the displaced and downtrodden, they arrive in groups from places god knows where. Men, women and children, in simple attire and clothes worn at home. A careful observer would think they were herded on short notice; neighbors, friends and families convinced to be set pieces in films, many of them will never get to see.

They come for one reason and that is to earn. A few no doubt hopes to be seen as B-List celebrities; professional bit players whose faces become the stereotype of everyday characters. They all show up with their handlers. It's easy money, after all. Lucky are those who stand next to the cast - for they get their shot to fame when the camera rolls and they become part of the scene.

"A crowd is a crowd," Vilma Santos quipped to fellow bit players in the movie, Ekstra. The Cinemalaya opus is about the lives of bit players and walk-ins, and how their larger than life stories during production is the subject of the film. I would never forget the silent but powerful ending; of why tears cascaded down Vilma's face as she watched the soap opera on television while people around her talked about the episode.

She was asked a question I could no longer recall, her grief-stricken face encapsulates the narrative.

The credits rolled and I was happy to put the movie behind me. But who would have thought a few months later, a chance to play a bit part would come unexpected.

It was an invitation shared on Facebook. A friend who is part of the production team of an indie film seeks extras. They need walk-ins, who will play the role of flood victims for a scene that takes place in an evacuation center. There will be no pay for us, only experience. And maybe, an opportunity to see a life I've seen once on the big screen.

"Count me in sa evening scene." I replied to the chat thread after getting the details. "Kelangan ko ng idadagdag sa bucket list."

The truth is, I just don't know what to do with my time. and for someone who doesn't belong or have any close contacts in the movie industry, I feel, such experience only comes once in a lifetime.


Tuesday, December 10, 2013


Before I learned to raise my hands in the air, and let my hips drop to the ground; before I started doing pelvic thrusts with strangers and bounce my head to the beat of the sound; and before I learned to identify a progressive trance from a hard house, and get acquainted to the music of Fatboy Slim and Dirty South, I owe my love for Electronic dance music to a diva known to everyone as Cher.

I just remembered her, and her music as it was one of the questions thrown at me on Ask.FM. Those who knew me as someone with vast knowledge and ear for EDM could not believe that my roots lie with Dance Pop.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Ang Munting Perberto

I was twelve years old, and still very much attached to my action figures. I had to keep it a secret though, for everyone was telling me to look for another hobby. When no one was around or when everyone's asleep, I would draw my toys out of their hiding places. I would take the role of a producer, creating sets and directing action scenes for a play whose audience is no one but me.

Often, I would move my action figures with my thumb and index fingers. Improvise wooden dialogues I have come up with my juvenile mind, and create fantasy worlds I can manipulate at whim. There, lords and princesses assemble inside the closet; while minions and guardians wrest control of the room in their flying fortresses and fortified citadels. Both pieces came from discarded carton boxes and plastic packaging materials rummaged from piles of trash at home. 

The plot thickens and soon, I've introduced evil bosses and sprightly goddesses into my play as well. 

The goddesses were my sister's Barbie dolls, I "borrow" when she's out of the house. At times, they become cohorts of the evil bosses as they trash the "good guys" around. However, there were occasions when impulse rules, and curiosities turn the harmless play into something different. 

They say, what you see on television has a way of manifesting on your playtime activities. 

And as I recall, now that I'm able to grasp the things I did in my youth, it appears that my idea of sex bordered on the absurd and perverse. As to how I can still write the account in detail, like the playtime only happened yesterday is a question that still bothers the mind.

"Batman is one of the most powerful of the evil bosses. Undefeated, even by the combined forces of the guardians, his strength comes from draining the life source of his victims - the goddesses that his minions offer as tribute. Bound and unable to move, Batman acts on his prey by fondling the two humps in front of her chest. She moans, louder and louder as Batman squeezes her bosom with his prickly hands. Unable to contain his excitement, he shoves down the goddess' head against his groin, humping, as the poor victim is powerless to resist his roughness. He then strips down the goddess, force her to bend over, and mount her like a beast in a rush to unleash his seeds. The sexual organs stay within the confines of the imagination, but Batman's pole stuns the victim into submission. And as the goddess is being milked dry - a prey being ravaged for someone's consumption, she passes out, twisting and turning in delight."

Friday, December 6, 2013


Straightening out the physical aspects of your life can also bring clarity to the mental ones.


Two nights and twenty four actual hours later, the dust and grime had been wiped off the floors and surfaces of my room. It was a feat I have never done in the past, given the rushed performance to make way for the holiday season errands.

The meticulousness was beyond belief: every hardbound, every CD jewel case, and every wooden and stone ornaments have been carefully attended. The carpet layered with dirt has regained its old luster. Even the cost of procuring the cleaning materials has reached almost a thousand pesos - just for a taste of renewal that comes with these twice-in-a-year observance.

And it's all worth it.

There are three things I have learned, after all my stuff have been returned to their places: My inner kid relishes the thought that all my toys were never given away; that we lost a chunk of our humanity when we ceased sending written letters to loved ones; and that for all the claims of embracing a zen philosophy, my penchant for sentimentality and keeping keepsakes cannot afford an uncluttered space.

Lay hidden in drawers and boxes are life stories that are yet to be told.


Wednesday, December 4, 2013


Dalawang beses sa isang taon kung ako ay maglampaso ng kuwarto.

Sapagkat kahit maliit man at salat sa gamit, inaabot ng magdamag ang aking general cleaning. Ang pagbabalik-tanaw sa nakaraan, sa tuwing inilalabas ko ang mga handwritten letters at mementos ng mga sandali ay oras ang binibilang. Hindi pa kasama rito ang pagpunas ng dumi at alikabok sa pang-ibabaw ng mga furniture, at pagsasaayos ng mga damit at libro sa kanilang kinalalagyan. 

Ang bawat kilos ay maingat na ginaganap. Hindi minamadali. Ito ay dahil ang lahat ng sulok ay pinaglalaanan ng sapat na oras. Ang mga gamit na hindi kailangan ay binabahagi sa iba. Ang mga trinkets naman na magpapaalala ng mga bagong kaibigan ay nagiging kayamanang itinatabi sa mga kahong pinakakaiingatan.   

Sentimentality is my second nature.

Cleaning Materials:

Rags, P5.00 per 3 pieces; P35.00 worth of rags
Parker and Bailey Furniture Cream, P220.00
Wipe Out Dirt and Stain Remover, P54.75
3M Microfiber Wipers, P149.75
Mia Maison Room Mist, P121.00
Cleene Ethyl Alcohol, P25.00
Tide Ultra Double Pack, P10.00
Scotch Brite Sponge, P15.00

Total: P630.50

Dalawang beses isang taon sa tuwing ako ay naglalampaso ng kuwarto.

At dahil nasira ang aking kisame sa panahon ng tag-ulan; sabay inabot ng buwan bago ito naidulog sa karpintero at naipagawa ng aking ina, magtatapos na ang taon ay saka pa lang ako magsisimula ng aking taunang ritwal.  

Kaya't hindi na nakakapagtaka kung ang magdamag ay gagapang hanggang tanghali at ang mga dati-rating mga singit-singit ay kasama ngayon sa lilinisin. Sapagkat kagaya ng self-cleansing at new beginnings - mga konseptong tunay na magbibigay ningning sa aking mga mata - the promise of continuity happens when I see a reflection of sunshine on wooden surfaces.

Only then will the heart be assured of my reawakening.