Friday, February 28, 2014



Kakaibang lukso ng damdamin sa unang pagkikita pa lamang. Iyong tipong magtutugma ang utak at puso mo at sasabihin sa akin na 'magiging parte ito ng buhay ko'. Iyon ang pagkakaparehas nilang lahat. Iyon marahil ang inaantay ko sa ngayon.

Morning After Goodbyes

"Strange how I'm one of those who shun Valentine's Day." I was telling someone on Viber. He was one of those I used to play with when the pangs of lust stunned me. 

"And here I am, capable of making someone's Heart's Day a little warmer."

"Now this made my heart melt." He finally shot back.

"The irony." I said back.

At 2 in the morning on Valentines' Day, I was supposed to get laid. The place was already being offered, only that, I refused to leave the house for the flimsiest of excuses.

"Anlameg sa labas."

"Anlayo ng Ortigas Extension sa Santa Mesa."

"Nakapagjakol na ako, baka hindi na ako labasan."

Reasons may abound, but the loneliness felt by the guy I spoke with surfaces between the sweet nothings. The fault was mine to begin with. Cuddling disarms the most hardened of spirits. And when I told him on the message app that I'd let his head rest on my arms until he falls asleep, I knew, our ties have been elevated.

But let me zero in on the word, "hardened."

The day before the Heart's Day, my timeline was replete with musings. People who would like to be dated on Valentines' Day; people who admit they never had a Valentines' Day; and people who have given up on Valentines. I was shaking my head at the absurdity and desperation. It felt like there's a mad rush to find a pair to experience the romanticized version of the day of hearts.

On my part, I resolved never to join the bandwagon. I thought it would be better to celebrate it with my mom and nephew, which I did. My brother-in-law had his birthday and I was required to make it at home for the salubong. And I always knew, that should I want to, if I really need to, I could invite someone out, have sex and pretend that it's love, without ever breathing a word about it.

But I didn't.

Siguro kasi, nandun pa rin ang takot. Takot na akong masaktan, manggamit, makasakit ng kapwa. Siguro nga, stuck up pa rin ako sa mga nakaraan, at walang sinuman ang may tiyaga para kilalanin at timplahin ang damdamin ko. Siguro, kagaya ni Onlychild, naniniwala ako sa bugso ng damdamin. Yung sa unang pagkikita, alam mo na kung kaya mong mahalin at pakisamahan ang isang tao, at sa pagkahaba-habang panahon, natanggap ko rin na hindi sa sex nagsisimula ang lahat.

Minsan, sa tamang kuwentuhan at tambayan lang.

The February 14 playmate was just one of the several close encounters I had for the Love month. Invitations, I deliberately declined, hoping I could turn those ties into friendship. It is something I wish to accomplish, now that I have nothing else to prove.

For it's been a year since I woke up in a stranger's bed, five months, since I had given up on dating, and two, since the last time I let someone's mouth wrap around my stick. When I look at the cycle winding down, and seek deep within what romance means to me today, all I know is that the longer I stay single and detached, and the more intense my aversion to all forms of lust, 

The less I become receptive in letting a person in, and find me.

Ampalaya Ginisa Flavored Mix

A few hours before daybreak on the last day of the love month, a gay guy thought of pouring his heart out on Twitter. It caught the attention of the audience and soon enough, another guy felt a relation to the post. The gentlemen seem to share the same sentiments about being unlikable and unloved. Two emotional conditions I have never felt in a long time. So I paid close attention to their conversation; and find out if there is something to learn from their musings. 

"According to a very reliable source, hindi ako likable at hindi ako loveable. K, fine. #foreveralone."

"Me too." The other guy segued. 

"Hindi kaya!"

"Oo nga, kaya nga ako iniwan diba?"

A keen observer, known for his compassion made attempts to lift the sagging spirits of the two men. He succeeded only in bringing out the pain and bitterness the guy who recently broke up felt within.

"Huwag ganyan, makakahanap din tayo ok?"

"Di naman ako naghahanap and I don't think papasok ako sa isang relationship ulit."

"Di naman kasi hinahanap yun, kusang dadating kapag panahon. Kapag handa na ang puso." 

"Ayoko na. Wala ng darating. Sarado na ang puso ko." He dropped his words with much anguish and spite, I can't help but feel sympathy for the guy.

"Don't say that. Iinom na lang natin yan. Kailangan mo ng kausap. Ako, hopeless romantic for life."

"Ako din. Love is only for those lucky enough to have found it. At last. Forever. But forever is just a concept, so is love."

"First off, nothing is forever. Not life, neither is love. Once you've accepted that, you can love without promises."

"I used to believe in love. Not anymore."

The written exchange ends there. Nothing follows. The empath may have given up on the jaded, or the pair felt it best to take the conversation away from the prying eyes of the audience. As for the guy who said he is unlikable, he chose not to reply and participate in the dialogue. I would rather not speculate on his reasons, but he did engage others in a breezy banter.

Biases aside (the guy who initiated the conversation is someone I used to follow on that micro blog, and the one who was ditched by his partner is known for his abrasive personality), the reason as to why the two seem to share a common fate is caused by their own doing. I may not know much about how they engage others, but judging by how they deal with impressions, it is easy to glean the image they show in public.

The empath, who claims to be hopeless romantic is right. There is no such thing as forever, and given the temporal state of things, would it count to give your best before your time is up?

From the way I let someone in, and in ways I transit out of people's lives, I keep in mind that moments will always be judged by the kindness I have shown. Let's take love out of equation, not even the possibilities of romance. All I know is that as long as you keep the faith, and see beyond the cracks and molten fissures of life, being unlikable will never be a question of state.

Light, no matter how faint attracts attention when loomed by darkness. And kindness, no matter how little overturns impressions of the nastiest kind.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Sensational Reporting


"Nung nalaman po sa paaralan nila na pinsang buo ni Jekjek yung may ketong na napabalita sa Bandila, mismong mga guro niya ay ayaw itong lapitan.

Baka daw sila mahawa nung bacteria na kumakain ng balat ng tao."

- An excerpt of an interview conducted after the "fall-out," two days after the Department of Health declared the flesh-eating bacteria a hoax.


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

His Story Revised

He was already ruling with an iron fist on the day I was born. A despot despised, not just by the Left, but also those blessed with the gift of discernment. I was told, my father had to languish in a cell inside a military camp for months. My mother, who walks in crutches meanwhile, used herself as a human shield during the uprisings of the First Quarter Storm.

I knew of a life back then. When freedom of expression had to promote only the voice of the government; when dissenters disappear, never to be seen again; when cronies and their business interests come first before the needs of many. Sundry stories, I have heard; excerpts of a time now nearly forgotten. I kept in heart the narratives, because of literature, and the people who had lived through that terrible age.

I was barely a child, when the dictator was toppled; when ordinary men and women assembled in Edsa; when a housewife-turned-leader restored Democracy and the freedoms we enjoy today. And while ties to such past, will never be part of my memory, I pay my respects to the occasion, to express my gratitude to those who willingly gave up their lives for tomorrow's sunshine.

To forget, dishonors them, and erases the stains of the blood they have spilled.

And that is why it hurts to learn that so many, among the younger generation never really understood the idea behind the revolution, and the restoration of Democracy, of the days when the Philippine Constabulary roamed the streets. They would say on Twitter, "Ferdinand Marcos is the best President," without even making little considerations to the despair the country has to bear. This attempt at revision; this planting of the wrong seeds in the minds of people born after Edsa First terrifies me. It scares the hell out of my imagination because of the possible future my beloved nephews might have to live through.


For to call a despot a hero, to bestow him honors and wipe out all his atrocities from the annals of history is to allow the forces of suppression, of deceit, of human rights abuses to rule our lives once more. 

Tuesday, February 25, 2014


Previously: Colony Ship Landed

This is the first time I'll be posting in my blog. Phew, it was a very long time since I did this journal thing. Maybe its time to move on... everybody's doing it so why can't I?

Ten years have passed since the time I set foot on this sphere. In the days of our weaning, this portal was seen merely as a novelty; an offshoot of the Live Journal, whose parchment had never read my letters.

The blog was a soul trip condensed in prose and poetry. Encrypted in a language spoken in zeros and ones. There between the digits rest narratives that are trivial and life-changing. They are stacked, like tomes, left to dust in the march of ages as new books are being penned. As fresh stories come to life, the old ones seem to speak to the present. They carry with them words full of dreams and despair, longing for atonement and fulfillment as some tales find their end.

Year after year, every time the planet completes its waltz around the sun, we observe this occasion not to gloat our accomplishment, but to pay our respect to that enduring spirit whose desire to pursue the written word never yields.  

It has outlasted our contemporaries, soared beyond the Masters in Creative Writing project, and went to craft works without ever getting the attention of the gods and goddesses of this sphere. Maybe, this lack of recognition; this self-denial that my prose have come a long way from the first spark of blogging is the reason for this longevity.

That I am writing to myself, and the future, hoping that in the ripeness of time, I will be found.

Yet, we know that the trends are swiftly changing, that the long form is nearing obsolescence. There even are days when we contemplate the passing of this blog, that without the self-flagellation; that refusal to chase the light and for once, make the Instagram and Twitter audience learn of this place, I would have disappeared like the rest of the bloggers.

The discipline we have forced into ourselves is what keeps us breathing. And that quest to refine the aesthetics of storytelling is what inspires us in writing.

Thus, we adhere that as long as the divided medium never resonate a single voice. When we ourselves continue the engineered suppression of our existence, keeping this journal may still be a worthwhile calling.

So is the microblog.

And the stories-within-pictures.

In observance of the tenth year of whatever artistry this blog has become, grant me the privilege to speak of that trinity. 

Because tomorrow and in the years to come, the three medium will struggle to find their ground; their audience never learning the existence of the others.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Loser | Survivor

"SOP Txtbk" The message reads, from an unregistered, but familiar number. I scan the message with dismay.

But instead of sending a biting reply, I brush it off, hoping the caller would get tired of not getting any feedback, and just go away.

"SOP for 3sum via conference... Pwd k txtbk..." Another SMS from the same number a few days later.

The person who owns the digits is a remnant of past incursions. Boredom was to blame, and Hornet was my distraction. In ways, I had to entertain him as he would certainty pull me from doing the real thing. I had hots for the photo he sent and he was fine to talk with.

And still, I remember the guy - a bear, it seems. scruffy-looking and who speaks with a baritone voice. We had few sensible exchanges despite the agreement of being his phone sex buddy. We talked about my gym and for me, fitness merits for a decent conversation.

When in play, he is the kind of creature who gets turned on by cussing. His perversion includes fantasies of snorting his cousin's underwear and threesomes with a stranger. What I would never forget about him though, is his habit of dropping the call moments after he got off. The sudden hang-up forces me to replay the conversation in my head so I can catch up and cum. I have no right to protest at such callousness though, for he was the one calling. But if it were a live engagement, I would end up feeling used. Parausan. And so I ditched the idea of playing with him, especially when he started calling - without notice - during work hours.

I started dropping his call.

The guy, whose name I never learned is a subject of much contemplation lately. He is sex-crazed, no doubt. A neurotic in need of counselling. "Does he have a life?" I mused. Why can't he get it that I'm no longer interested?

That I asked him to delete my number?

Come to think of it, he once said "I love you." to my consternation. Two days of piecemeal talk, and there he was, professing his hollow attachment. I didn't reciprocate, of course. In fact, he got an explanation as to how I define love.

Apparently, he didn't get my memo.

These over dependence on phone sex, and the blatant expression of unfounded feelings; the apparent disgust over the act, when he drop calls as he reaches an orgasm; and his delusions of grandeur when he once quipped of possessing a "seven incher," which he would use to tear my hole, and to which I demanded, "send a photo," but didn't send any, points to a mindcircus in the head of a deranged individual. To me, he will just be a loser. A passing fancy I can spin around should I find myself in the mood to use someone for my own ends. And yet deep down, as a human, damaged, and struggling to find his corner in this pretentious world of ours,

Words that can pierce, no longer hurts him. Neither does talking heals the brokenness within. These I kept clear to myself.

And so the next time he calls, or looks for SOP, which I would send a reply with much gusto, all he can expect from me is a timely hang up, just when he's about to erupt.

Friday, February 21, 2014

A McDonald's Date

My mom once told me of a disturbing story, about a cousin who would eat with his live-in partner and two kids in full view of his mother. The mother would just look at them, try her best to crease a smile, and hope, even as a kind gesture, for his son to invite her to eat with them. She would never receive any. The mother, my aunt; my dad's sister, would then sob in a corner, sometimes, even walk out the door while wiping her tears at the treatment she gets from my cousin.

Meanwhile, I would shake my head in disgust and tell the storyteller, "Tita Heart brought this to herself."

Such ambivalence, I would never show when I went to my dad's hometown early this month. It was his death anniversary, and I brought flowers to put on his grave. It's been a year since the last time I've been there, and much as I would like to skip the courtesy visit to my cousin's house, I showed up at his doorstep bearing a large bag of Bear Brand milk and sachets of Energen for his children.

My aunt was there too, and it was she who accompanied me to the cemetery.

Prayers have been offered and it was time to return to my cousin's place and leave. But instead of doing a hasty retreat to Manila, I asked my aunt to show me where she used to buy the Sapin-Sapin, a rice cake specialty of a nearby town. Colleagues had asked me to bring back a small bilao, I explained. My aunt gladly volunteered to take me there.

In what had become a nostalgic stroll, we walked a few blocks from her house to get to the ferry station. As a kid, we used to cross the Navotas River in a boat to get to Malabon. The river had become shallower and murkier now, but the familiar sight of ships raised on dry docks remain a presence I sorely missed.

The boat drifted with ease across the waterway. We reached the opposite bank and continued our journey.

The original, two-story house where Malabon's famous Sapin-Sapin was first concocted remains standing. Guarded by a uniformed security officer, his post was rather unusual as it sits across a neighborhood, in a narrow passage serving as a shortcut between two streets. What I was looking for was the stall at the market. Tita Heart said, it had already closed a long time ago. So we lazed around instead. Talked to neighbors who saw how the cottage industry had grown, and when I felt it was time to leave, I confessed to my aunt that I really had no plans of bringing home a Sapin-Sapin.

On our way back to the main street, I dropped the big surprise and asked her to stay for snacks.

"Tara Tita Heart, McDonalds tayo." Her eyes couldn't hide her disbelief.

I would learn from her that she has never set foot at McDonalds. Even when she used to afford it. Ang sinabi ko pa sa kanya, she could order whatever she wants. My treat. We would even buy something to bring home for the kids. In her dignified and dainty chomp of Double Cheeseburger; in her small bites of French Fries, you would know a person is indulging a moment. After all, Tita Heart doesn't even remember the last time she had fast food.

And in the end, I wasn't able to keep my word, I spew so bitterly, I apologized to my aunt for deliberately bringing nothing for my cousin and his wife. Not only did I buy food for my aunt's grandchildren, the couple had cheeseburgers to gobble. The change of heart came when my aunt didn't finish her fries. I caught her discreetly putting the leftovers inside her pocket.

"Hindi mo rin matiis ano?" Tita Heart smiled and said nothing. I handed her the food bag and told her not to worry.

It was a race returning to my cousin's place as the thrill of seeing two children screaming and jumping at the sight of a pasalubong kept my aunt's walking pace faster. When we stopped in front of her house - to see that my aunt got home safe, she said her goodbyes with words, I will keep in heart every time I return to my dad's hometown.

"Salamat sa date ha? Sana maulit ulit." 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

A Pervert's Log

Decided to skip the daily juicing in preparation for an arranged trouble today - which was cancelled at the last minute. 

And when I decided to fap the bird - rather than let it probe a stranger's warm and moist orifice - I was surprised at how stiff it remained. Blood appeared to have blocked every cavity, swelled every capillary there is in that pole and when it was time to drain the pipe; to make way for an explosion - a leak I held back for two days - the seed spreading, and spermy genocide was pure bliss.

Habit changing is forthcoming, and maybe, this less attention to my little friend may grease the sex machine I once was.

Sunday, February 16, 2014


A Post-Valentines Blog Entry

"Bago na ang partner ni E?" Alarmed at what I saw on Facebook, I quickly dispatched an SMS to Kane.

"Same pa rin." He replied an hour later.


"Thank you. That was a relief."

"What made you ask pala?" My friend returned the favor by asking what piqued my interest into our friend's love life.

"Nawala na si Aito Vhin sa FB." 

"Tapos 'Married' pa rin ang status ni E with another guy." This part was rephrased for clarity. The other guy I was referring in the conversation was someone who's name and face appear different from his current beau.

I may not have taken into consideration that his partner might have aged; his girth expanded a little.

"Haha talaga? Updated ka ah!" 

I can still recall the couple's first encounter - according to the author who wrote a journal about their strange, but fateful beginning.

Found in the last chapters of his blog, E wrote of this guy he knew on Facebook. Their correspondence started with small talks that lead to outright flirting. Eventually, they both agreed to settle the score in bed. 

It was meant to be a random lay. I recall in that entry that it was a sunny afternoon when he invited the guy over. There were no talks, just hardcore kissing and fucking. When it's done, the guy was supposed to leave, and never to be seen again. 

But something extraordinary happened. E returned to the futon after wiping the cum and sweat off his skin, and started lip-locking with his guest again. He confided that seldom does he make rounds with a sex partner. With this guy, however, the act was spontaneous. E cuddled and made out some more until he fell asleep on top of his mate. It was already dark when they both woke up, but instead of sending the guy away, he invited him over for dinner. 

The first time he ever did since he started bringing hook-ups home.

His, was a typical online hook-up story between strangers. Something, that happens to everyone these days. Yet, if there is one thing that separates E's story from the common narrative, it is because of a condition everyone's terrified to have.

E is a person living with HIV. One of the few bloggers to ever reveal his status online.

While there is much to say about his journey, and how he opened my eyes to the virus, consistency dictates that I stick to the subject and tell his love story to those who will get to read this blog. All I know is that after choosing his partner - the one he was supposed to dump after the lay - the person behind the Chronicles of E cease to exist. He has become a very quiet individual driven to accomplish so much in life.

What has become of E after he retired from blogging could only be gleaned from sources other than him.

An example would be Kane's updates a few years back. He said E has struck gold and is busy running an online retail business. Our common friend also told me that he could now afford a condo unit with his new-found wealth. I also saw on FB that he is much more in touch with loved ones. When he used to blog, his entries barely mentioned ties with family.

Now, he would even share pictures of him and his mother, with heartfelt words on her birthday.

These and many others, he has accomplished in a short span of time. I will refrain from making speculations, but the constant presence of another good-looking guy in pictures, the same companion he's seen in photos taken in different timelines of his life hint to a change of perspective.


I may no longer be privy to the life of E, but his story gathers much inspiration and respect that his very successful union sets the standard on how I see couples whose partner lives with the virus.

And in a time when many others are added to the statistics, and non-PLHIV pairs I have known, suddenly drop out of unions for reasons including "fall outs" and "third parties," may E's illumination, and those of others I have known - including the two bears on Twitter serve as reminder of the positivity there is to love. 

It's no wonder, when asked recently as to what true love means to me, I resoundingly answered; "it is sticking to your partner even when you learn he carries with him an immunodeficiency syndrome." 

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Voices of the Self-Serving, Voices of the Selfless

"If we say yes to something we believe is wrong now, what guarantee is there that the wrong will not be further exacerbated down the line?” he said. He later added, “At what point do you say, ‘Enough is enough’? Well, the world has to say it — remember that the Sudetenland was given in an attempt to appease Hitler to prevent World War II."

President Benigno Simeon Aquino

"Aquino’s statement unnecessarily demonizes the leaders of China in an effort to gather international support for the Philippines’ claims to islands in the South China Sea. It is a gross disservice to the Philippines’ solid historial, territorial and legal bases for its claims to the said islands."

Press Statement


The verbal spat goes on between the governments of Manila and Beijing over claims of the islets in the West Philippine Sea. Its pitch, more abrasive and undiplomatic as one leader feels the noose tightens around his neck.

And in a strange turn of events, the elected President of this island-nation compared the faceless oligarchs of the CCP to Hitler, when he demanded a territory belonging to Czechoslovakia turned over to him.

Sudetenland, as the region was known had a sizable German population. It was the Industrial heartland of a country threatened to be overwhelmed by a neighboring military power.

Fearing a forced annexation may lead to another strife, the war-weary nations of Western Europe resolved to a compromise. In exchange for peace, Sudetenland will be ceded to the Nazis as a form of appeasement. The Czechs felt betrayed, of course.

Undettered, Hitler and his cohorts desired more. Lebensraum, Breathing space for the Aryans of the great Teutonic tribes. Barely a year after gaining a territory from Prague, the Germans invaded Poland. This was the prologue of the Second World War.

There's a reason for Pnoy to ring the alarm bells.

As hushed voices already suggest, the Bajo de Masinloc off the coast of Zambales no longer belongs to the Philippines. There are talks of invasion of Pag-Asa Island, the second largest outcrop in that part of the sea. And the more we keep our voices down; our Yellow-skinned brothers to the north will be emboldened to pursue their aspirations. Divide and conquer they already apply, and their Communist lackeys in the country now speak on their behalf.

Somebody has already kowtowed to the Mandarins.

Whenever I get to read the news, and these talks of Beijing bullying its neighbors into submission comes up, I can't help but be amazed at what the President is doing. For a leader, whose ancestors sailed from the same kingdom, whose masters now plan to chip away portions of his homeland, his refusal to give in to pressure, to endure humiliation in the face of a much stronger adversary, to speak out when other voices are silenced by threats of retribution is a feat no other leader of this republic has ever done. 

Never in recent memory has the Kilusang Mayo Uno, or their minions ever accused Beijing of imperialism. Their advocacy, while speaking for workers' welfare, never breathed a word about the fisher folks being harrased in waters that used to be their source of livelihood. With this in mind, one can't help but make a comparison: two voices - noises in the humdrum of domestic worries. 

In moments of contemplation, an observer asks:

With Beijing getting offended, and the result may be the expulsion of Filipino workers in their realms, whose self-interest serve the nation better?

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Caudex Digitalis

Previously: Travel Writing

The idea took shape one night. I was too lazy to sit in front of the laptop, to tap the keys, and write a blog much like I am penning right now.

Instead, there was a desire to craft a story while I laid flat on my stomach in bed. In this body posture, words seem to flow easier, and the mind is less cluttered when I am mere winks away from sleep.

The method would have been easier to accomplish with Samsung's Memo app. But with the replacement of the old phone with Xperia, I found Sony's Notes disappointing. Not only is there a limit to the number of characters you can write in a page, entire drafts disappear when one fails to save his work.

The app simply isn't created for writing journals much like this.

So off I checked Google Play for a fitting replacement. I tried a few apps, including Evernote and found them too difficult to use.

All that has changed when I chanced upon the Notebooks app. From that moment, after it was installed on Ndoto, half of the works I publish online found their drafts in this software's binary code.

Notebooks Pro

Simply put, the app lets wordsmiths like me create entire works using a single page. It means, there are no limits to words, sentences and paragraphs in a page, and image attachments are optional, if a writer plans to import the draft to another medium. One can also close the app, and even switch off the phone, and still find the draft saved to the most recent revision. I could just imagine a novel, written in parts before bedtime, using nothing but this application. Chapters upon chapters read aloud by the author and edited, before being converted to a .pdf file.

The basic app is free. But with advertisement comes the unnecessary distraction. Knowing I can write anywhere and anytime using Notebooks, the investment of 2 dollars in local currency for the full version has already paid dividends.

Drafts Page

Writing for me, in essence, remains a lifetime pursuit. A tireless discipline that goes on even in the absence of an audience.  And in a time when these writing practices experience a collective withering; when Blogging as an artform no longer find patrons among the pedestrians, this handy digital parchment, I could tap when creative muses yearn to craft - away from the laptop - spells the difference between the total and complete surrender of the journal,

And the continued embrace of the written word elevated in long form.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Ongpin Flyby

Outside the Chinese enclave of Binondo, life goes, as it has always been: Wage earners rushing to get home, patients waiting to be admitted at the Manila Doctors Hospital, juveniles roaming the streets of Manila. Some of them, heading towards the direction of Ongpin, where the Lunar New Year opens with a live taping of the comedy gag show, Banana Nite.

The latter, I only knew from colleagues when I returned to work the next day. I was at the hospital on Spring Festival's eve. My nephew's been sick and had to be admitted. While his quarters were being prepped, I sneaked out of Maddocs to enjoy the sights and sounds of Chinatown.

I was expecting dragons dancing to the beat of the drums, firecrackers crackling at the middle of the street, and Chinese families pointing at the heavens as fireworks burst into colors and illuminate the sky.

But instead, I was greeted by brown-skinned foreigners like me. They flock the corners, where tikoys and lucky charms were sold in front of pad-locked shops. In the distance, crackles of sulfur and saltpeter broke the chatter of sightseers. Since I arrived at past midnight, the visual and sound delights of Binondo gradually dissolved into silence.

Pilgrims were dissipating quickly.

Still, I was able to experience the Spring Festival as it is observed at the Jade Emperor's court. I was able to catch up and join friends who were at Chinatown as well. There was a Buddhist-Christian shrine a few blocks from the San Lazaro Church. Pilgrims can light sticks of incense and candles before offering prayers.

"For good health and prosperity." I whispered.

Before heading back to the hospital, a lone bakeshop selling pastries was still open. To share the experience, I bought hopia and sweet bread to my loved ones' delight.

It was a brief flyby across Ongpin. One, that is almost uneventful compared to the other strolls and visits I have done in the past. And as I wrap up the milestone - the first observance of the Chinese New Year in Binondo - an intense yet somehow fleeting longing for a companion; a significant someone I could share these moments cut the slow and gentle procession of thoughts in my head.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Distant Lights

Previously: The Great Neutralizer

Perfect strangers when we meet 
Strangers on the street
Lovers while we sleep

Smashing Pumpkins

Still, I can feel the tenderness of your skin; its warmth and smoothness as I wrap my arms around your chest. Once more, I asked you to lay next to me; allow me to show affection, that intimacy I indulge only with you.

It was New Year's eve when you last slept over. Never will I forget, for you have shown what the two of us could have been. On that night, I made love to you. Love, for there were no words to describe that longing; that joy of the soul when the two of us locked ourselves in my room. I tried to convey it through my kisses, through my hands that refused to part with yours; through my veneration of every inch of your body, that boundless sensuality I seldom show to those who get to see me in the flesh. I tried to overwhelm you with my brute strength, to impose my will over your lean frame. But at the back of my head, I was the one conquered. Had you said the three magic words, I am ready to respond in kind.

Certain I'd be yours that night and for all time.

But the tryst didn't end that way. 

After watching the films Napoleon Dynamite and Goodbye Lenin; and after the discovery of our common fascination with Dream Pop, we greeted the morning like complete strangers. That it was, but a mercy fuck.

A playtime between friends.

A remnant of a dead romance.

As it had been in the past, you refused to make contact. Seldom would you "like" my Instagram photos, when it often had reference to you. I would visit your Facebook page, and sigh in frustration with how similar our minds speak. And then I'd lament our divergence; how I'd miss the time when you're the one whose attachment was deeper.

Felt within.

I could speak of the reasons for my hesitation. Sound ones, given the histories scarring my head. If I were to judge our direction then, there were tell-tale signs of our doom. Perhaps, I wasn't ready to take risks. After all, confidants warned of your qualities I didn't see.

So the stalemate of being friends with benefits defined our future ties.

And sadly, we always knew, we could be more than that.

The fourth day of the second month came, and the apparent thaw quickly changed my perceptions. After a month of sporadic text exchanges (me initiating the conversation), you suddenly clicked the favorite button on several of my pictures on Twitter. The quick succession of my phone's chime begs for attention. The subliminal thoughts were too clear to ignore. I was intent on making love to you once more, even when you see it as nothing but a lay.

And so I sent an SMS.

"Hi Weatherman, may church ka mamaya?" Insert the smiley emoticon after the question mark.

"Wala. Pero may meeting kami later para sa event ng church e. Bakit?"

"Namimiss kita. Gusto sana kita makasama mamaya." It took more than ten minutes for you to reply. 

"Di na ako umuuwi madalas sa may atin. Sorry, di ko nasabi agad. Sa Sucat na ako." It felt like a glass jar inside my chest had just imploded to bits and pieces.

"Na figure ko nga sa Facebook mo. Sige, next time na lang. Ingat ka lagi." The smiley emoticon is still at the end of the sentence. But deep inside, the face I'd like to send is welling up with tears.

You ceased replying when I asked who you stay with. I can safely assume it's with friends, but I also cannot discount the presence of a lover. 

Or maybe both.

I was meaning to end our chapter before our last conversation. But given your proximity to home no longer have bearing; and the uninterrupted dreaming has to give way to a somber awakening, maybe it's time to move on and finally, embrace you as a memory.

"Paano mo na-figure? Hehehe."

"Yung hill between PNR Station saka Sucat Interchange sa picture mo e isa sa mga astig na lugar na nalakad ko. Babalik ako dun para kumuha ng shots."

"Ahh I see. Yeahhhh! Para akong di nasa Metro Manila nung andun ako."

What I didn't say is that I fell in love with the distant lights illuminating the Skyway on that cold December evening. Lights, I will associate with your name, now that I've resigned to the thought that you and I, are bound to drift apart.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014


Dear Sepsep,

Consider this response, a promise kept. It's been a while since I was tagged in memes like these. 

Thank you.

Here are the rules:

1. Link the blog that nominated you for the award. (Done)
2. Answer the 11 questions given to you. (Done)
3. Create 11 questions for the people you nominate to answer. (Too lazy to write questions) 
4. Choose 11 bloggers to nominate who have less than 200 followers. (Too few readers to tag.)
5. Let the people you have nominated know that you have done so. (I won't be choosing 11 bloggers)
6. You can't nominate the person who nominated you. (No, this blog's a black hole.)

The Answers:

1. Which is worse, an unrequited love or unrequited lust?

Unrequited love siyempre. Kasi nag-invest ka ng emotions at pinairal mo ang puso mo, tapos one-way lang pala. As for unrequited lust, ayus lang. Edi huwag ituloy ang sex. Ibalik sa palaisdaan ang partner kapag hindi na-tripan at pagkatapos ay humanap ng iba sa Grindr.  

2. Nahuli mo na bang nagse-sex ang mga magulang mo? How?

Hindi ko nahuli. Pero may vague memories ako na nakikipag-make out yung dad ko sa bath tub - with my yaya.

And yes, I have a half-brother

3. After mo tumae sa isang inidorong may flush, pinapanood mo ba yung ebak mo habang fina-flush mo siya? Bakit?

Oo. Force of habit na yan. Natatakot kasi ako na baka hindi ma-swak yung ebak, magpalutang lutang at masilayan ng susunod na gagamit ng toilet. 


4. Magbigay ng limang gulay na wala sa kantang Bahay Kubo. Explain why and then simplify your answers.

Carrots, Cauliflower, String Beans, Patatas, at Broccoli. 

Kung iyong mapapansin, lahat ng gulay na binigay ko ay tubong Baguio. At kung sinuman ang nagsulat ng kantang Bahay Kubo ay never nakatuntong sa lugar na iyon. 

5. What's the worst thing you did for love?

Bought him a laptop when I had none, just to pay the price of my planned and certain exit from his life. 

6. What's the most unusual thing you did for lust?

I rimmed and fucked even when I'm supposed to be a Bottom. Pero sa isang tao ko lang ginawa iyon, at talagang may nararamdaman ako sa kanyang intimacy kaya ginawa ko yun. Other than that, I have this habit of taking selfies of my dick. But I never post it online. 

Trust me, I've done wilder things when I was a kid.

7. Nautot ka na ba habang nakikipagsex? Ano ang reaction ng partner mo?

Nope. I can't remember.

8. Nahuli ka na ba na nagjajakol? Bakit ka nagpahuli?

Not sure if I was caught, pero one time, habang nagbabate ako sa DVD ng Bel-Ami, napasilip yata yung utol ko. Nakasiwang na lang yung pintuan ng room ko nung tumayo ako para kumuha ng cum rag.

9. What is the worst thing you ever said or did to your ex or your current partner to intentionally hurt him?

I'm not sure if it would count, pero save for the most recent ex, I slept with other guys just to get back at the second and first. Hindi ko rin kasi kinakaya ang pakiramdam na ginagamit ka na lang for their ends Gusto ko rin makaramdam ng halaga sa iba, kahit panandalian lang. 

10. Nakatikim ka na ba ng kupal?

Nope, pero gusto ko makatikim ng uncut. 

11. Lastly, kanino ka naniniwala dun sa pukinginang issue tungkol kay Vhong Navarro?

I stopped following the issue the third day after it became public. Nakakasawa na din, at wala rin naman akong mapapala sa mga celebrities na yan. Besides, I have no sympathy for Vhong Navarro. Masaya pa nga siguro kapag masyadong na-trauma yung itlog niya, hindi na siya titigasan forever.