Monday, March 31, 2014

March 29, 2014


Relevance, is no longer of the essence should this blog ever be discovered. Ang alam ko, I enjoyed your company. I felt a kindred soul next to me when our hands intertwined, and words, which seldom make a dent, were deeply appreciated after emerging from my personal battles.

It was heartfelt.  

Minsan lang ako tamaan ng ganito. May you be the fruit of this long and frustrating wait.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

The Phoney War

Previously: Lip Service

"Mahal na mahal kita at miss na miss sobra." The kid shot back.

"Hugs. Mahal kita."

For almost an hour, we were exchanging sweet nothings. The words were laced with cheesiness, yet it was clear to me that there was no heart into it. God knows why I let myself become an accessory to his words. Perhaps, I was afraid he would take it against me if I ignore his feelings. But, if I were playing raunchy scenes in my head, and imagine him saying those words while maiming his man hole with my tool, I'd see to it that every inch of my cock goes in, just to let him know that words mean nothing when I intend to leave a memory.

This is how I wish to be remembered.

The exchanges had to stop, because I had to get the keys of my workplace from a colleague. The kid already knew before that I had to leave the house. What I didn't realize is that the three words he repeatedly said was meant to provoke, to make him feel owned, and in a way, expecting the recipient to reply in ways that would give him a hard on. How could I have not known, given that most of my sexual gratifications with strangers come from wanking while exchanging sexy words on an instant messaging app? That, the kid had to make it clear when he said to me that he was going to take a shower?

"Okidoki. Kung andiyan ako, paliguan kita." I replied.

"Talaga, sayang naman. Dala ko nga cp ko dito sa CR kasi tinitigasan ako kanina pa. Imagine ko na lang kasama ka."


Alam na.

I wasted no time, and immediately, took a ride back home. I was merely suppressing my lust given that I cannot do edging before seeing my agent. But by the time I set foot in my room, the kid no longer replies to my SMS messages. I tried sending a couple more after several hours but by then, words never returned. The sweetness he expressed that weekend hardly showed in our succeeding correspondence. There was no affection in his texts, except, maybe, when he was reminding me of the day he would be returning to the city. He was still looking forward to spending the night over at my place.

I was excited.

But like all plans set ahead, the best ones tend to get screwed up. So much for not sleeping around to make way for his coming. He wouldn't push through with his return on the day he asked me to make time.

"Baka hindi ako matuloy sa 19." I didn't bother asking his reasons. It was safe to assume he found a more generous host.

So, the chapter with the kid ends, without us ever having to see each other. We still keep in touch, from time to time, mostly him asking what I was doing, and then telling me that he misses me. I would still reply in a manner most pleasing to his eyes, but that's all our conversation is. Some people only need to hear kind words to feel okay. And given the sudden changes in the wind's direction, there is no surprise if, one of these days, I no longer reply.

March begins with a lip service and ends with a phoney war. It was a personal resolution I gladly accepted given my defiance to hollowed obsessions. But life's twists and turns seem intent to not let me off the hook yet. That maybe, all the patience and hurt from searching have now been acknowledged. With providence on my side, and a planet in sight, I have faith that one day, the best will come, like a mobile suit Gundam, soaring towards my direction.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Bangsamoro: The Mendiola Musings

But, we must patiently address apprehensions at home. Some people see this agreement as a prelude to the Philippine republic’s dismemberment. As patriotic as this sentiment may be, it is not rooted in reality. The sovereignty of the republic has never been completely established or accepted in many parts of Muslim Mindanao.

The Peace Agreement With The MILF

No more war. No more children scampering for safety. No more evacuees. No more lost school days or school months. No more injustice. No more misgovernance. No more poverty. No more fear and no more want.

Tama na. We are all tired of it.

Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process

Assemble they did, in the palace grounds: once armed rebels, datus and their royal kin, elected public officials garbed in their Barong Tagalog, the diplomatic corps and civil society leaders. They were to witness a historic event, the inking of the agreement ending decades of religious strife. With the Prime Minister of Malaysia as the mediator, there is a shot to a lasting peace. Bangsamoro will now appear on maps; a chunk of its wealth now goes to institutions governing it, and cultural identities of its people, now preserved.

But just outside the gates of Malacanang, a multitude of voices speak of divergence. Some, do not understand what the agreement is all about. Others, cling to canned ideas fed by those who cannot fathom the agreement itself. But no matter how dissonant tongues were, they all hope for peace. In a world often torn apart by war, seldom do we hear of people coming together. 

For this, they believe.

"Alam mo kung ano nangyayari diyan?" I was pointing at the Malacanang, the palace across the street.

"Hindi ko po alam."


"Bangsamoro ata." She finally replied.

"O Bangsamura? Basta yung pirmahan."

"Ah yung tiga Mindanao." I feigned ignorance.


"Alam mo kung ano manyayari kapag nagkapirmahan na?"

Clinging to her one-year old child, she simply answered,

"Hindi po."

"Ano pong meron ate?"

"Eto yung sa Bangsamoro." She replied.

"Magkakapirmahan na."

"Ano po mangyayari kapag nagkapirmahan na?" I asked.

"Matatapos na yung gera sa Mindanao. Yung mga MILF."

Satisfied with her answer, I walked away.

"Magkakaroon kami kalayaan mga Muslim." I asked the same question about the Bangsamoro to a pre-teen.

"Magkakapirmahan na dun si Noynoy."

"Paano kapag nagkapirmahan na?" I asked. His answer, astounded me.

"Magiging bawal na ang mga bakla at tomboy."

"Pag nakapatay ka, papatayin ka rin." An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.

I asked further.

"Tingin mo, pag nagkapirmahan na, magkakaroon na ng kapayapaan sa Mindanao." Another kid butted in.

"Opo, hindi na sila magbabarilan."

After the short conversation, they went on to catch small fry under the Mendiola Bridge.

Appalled at the answer I got from the kids, I pried on, observing the day-long program on the iconic bridge; I indulged in the immersion, to witness history closer to the grounds where it happens. Then I came across a middle-aged woman, had small talks with her, and asked, as a final question to all the people I have met so far, what she thinks will happen once the Bangsamoro enjoys self-rule.

"Payapa na. Isa lang naman ang mga Muslim at Kristiyano." I smiled.

She stayed at the assembly, chanting and cheering long after the peace agreement at the Malacanang was signed.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The Payback

Previously on Full Metal Dreams

The moment I laid eyes on, I feel like all I need to know about almost everything there is to know about humanity can be found there.

June 15, 2005

In my job as an Internet Researcher some ten years back, precious hours were wasted pretending I was doing work. It was the middle of November. There were deadlines to beat, and quotas to meet. But instead of doing more items for production, I was browsing Wikipedia and reading articles not relevant to my research. I would defend my low output by saying to my superior that I was searching for leads. It was an excuse, she readily bought, given that I was the only one who knew how to use the search engines. But, when no one is looking; when everyone in the room disappears behind the pile of paper works needed to finish before the end of the day, my own pool of knowledge swelled with every page loaded onto my desktop's screen.

My work station becomes a place of learning.

Old days they were, when Web 2.0 was new. When Facebook has yet to make a hit, and smartphones used to be a bling. Wikipedia already was in the web, albeit, competing with Groliers and Britannica. Compendiums of knowledge from a past age, relics whose days were numbered.

They challenged the wiki to show authority. To produce well-written works showing no bias. Claiming that collaboration results in poor fact checking, these encyclopedias brushed off Wikipedia as nothing but an overview of knowledge. When citations were needed, the hard bounds still had authority.

But times are changing.

I remember, Five years before the rise of the Internet, I used to rent desktop computers, not to browse the web. But to borrow discs of Groliers and spend the next hour reading articles of information, and watching video clips that sometimes come with the entries. Multimedia, as we know today, the medium was a step ahead from the still pictures that endeared us to the tomes of encyclopedias at the library. I have always been a scavenger of knowledge, and no matter what form I come across, I would pass judgement based from experience.

Thus, Wikipedia appealed to me.

Now years have passed. The encyclopedias are no more. And information is free when you search it on Google. Everyone consults the wiki, and in turn, even the masses learn. At a time when the web is replete with facts, truth can be distorted. When authority of the source is in question, sometimes it is best to let the Wikipedia serve as the arbiter.

Britannica would roll over its grave.

For ten years, my favorite online portal sought donations for its operations. To make it free and untouched by advertisements. And for ten years, I let others pay for the leisure I enjoyed for free. Such a freeloader that I was.

Now that I have the means and some cash; to celebrate the nerd within; and to make amends for the lost production because I was foraging for knowledge enriching only me,

It's time for payback.

With a click of a mouse button confirming my transaction on Paypal, the second time I parted a gift to keep the rest of humanity informed, I made a donation to Wikipedia and felt good.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Progressive Love

Previously on That Nishiboy

"This time, I’m loving myself. This time, I’m going put my body on the line solely for the pleasure of it, and not because I’m looking for someone who’ll have me or because I want to take revenge on someone who hurt me. This time, I won’t care if someone calls me depraved or whatever label they decide to stick on me, because I know that I’m doing exactly what I want. Yes, this time I know exactly what I want. This time, I’m not letting anyone near my heart.

Love is unnecessary. Love is something I’m incapable of. I will write about love no more."

I Will Write About Love No More
January 7, 2014

Dear Nishiboy,

Love is something you are capable of and I will write about love with you as the subject. Behind the sleazy, chem-friendly reputation others have grown to regard you, some of us believe that the image is there to mask the fissures you still keep within. The wounds left by your first ex has yet to heal. For this reason, those who have known you from the time you have set foot outside the university, still has to see you settled down with one guy. A partner, who will love you for who you are, your past, and your flaws.


And we know you as the passionate one. You get attached to a guy within days of first contact, and disengage, without looking back when romance don't work. When others negotiate unions in secret, you tell the world how madly infatuated you are. You never give a shit to whispers. It is a pattern we have seen over and over, and when you gave up on that four-letter word whose essence has been lost to our age, I just shook my head in disbelief, knowing you will eat your words soon.

I was right.

Less than three months had passed, you sent fillers on Twitter hinting of a sea change. I even reminded you of your blog entry, of your sacred vow, written not so long ago. We scribblers of stories live in ironies. We tend to be poked at by fate and write our predicament. Annoyed by my taunt, or your resignation to the truth, my question was ignored. You went on with life and brushed off my remark.

Still, I watched you from a distance.

Not only because I am a friend, but because you're a character worth observing. A stellar creature to be awed no matter what others say behind your back. The same narrative amused me (you dated several times, your press release read). I am yet to hear the details when we get to meet.

Nonetheless, budding romance always is, a subject of conversation. Snippets of your account will reach me faster than the sound of your voice.

And we would wager on your ability to keep the romance thriving.

Eyes will be watching.

So make no mistake. Reluctance may clutter my head, but I am hoping that this is the person you are searching. It is your sheer will that holds the tide - of being a step ahead of the consequences of your lifestyle - and the way I see it, luck may run out soon. People like you do not deserve to be ruined.

And so I am placing my bets on your happiness.

News spread, and like a tempest breaking the stillness of a contemplative weekend, I heard that you have told the world - your sphere - that you're in a relationship once again. The swiftness still took us by surprise. With sincerity, we felt relieved.

May it be lasting. May his arrival bring peace and joy to your life. For if this union ends the way it begins. If this narrative tells once more of your hollow cycle, the next time you speak of love (or the refusal of it), your words will find no meaning.

Make it work. Because accept it or not, there are those who will journey with you, in this interesting chapter of your life.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Always And Forever, Donna Lewis

Every time Donna Lewis, the musician, comes to mind, I remember our driver's confession many years ago while getting absorbed with her music.

"Ang payapa nung kanta." He told me.

He was listening to her hit single, "I Love You Always Forever," repeatedly. I was already a fan of Lewis, and to my relief, it seems that my favorite artist connects with people who barely understood her song's lyrics.

With serene melodies that seem to conjure images of desolate places, comfort lies in her soft, breathy vocals. I knew this for a fact, as I have bought her first two albums with my own allowance: Now In A Minute and Blue Planet. I still have them for keepsakes, hoping one day to play once more the entire album to my ears' delight.

Because at a time when musicasettes were the medium to really get intimate with the artist, the acquisition of her albums guaranteed that she will be remembered long after her fame disappears.

I do remember her, fondly, like she never walked away from memory.

Aside from her hit single, the songs Without Love, I Could Be The One, and Fool's Paradise used to be my favorites. I even played Agenais on loop while building my cities on Sim City 2000. And for all the confusion with musical genres, Donna Lewis' songs may be classified as pop, but the singles I have on my library form the backbone of my Light Alternative collection.

Timeless, her songs are for many, but the artist of my generation did fade from the mainstream music scene. The album after Blue Planet hardly received radio airplay, and even on YouTube, a lot of Lewis' singles were never uploaded. It is why when an online acquaintance shared an EDM, whose vocals were supplied by the Welsh artist herself, it is, as if, she returned with all the memories I have of her.

"She will be loved, always and forever," the Antifornicator replied when I made reference to the artist on my Twitter timeline. I posted on my social media account how happy I was to learn that she is still very much in the industry. And like with her other songs, Donna Lewis' You and I goes on playback on YouTube since my discovery last week.  

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The Doppleganger

Coming from a movie hang out with an old friend, I decided to log in on Twitter to check my timeline. One of the conversations, which included my name, caught my attention. First reaction was disbelief, and then, as I begin to grapple other people's reaction, a sleigh of embarrassment restrained me from sending a reply.

The comparison of course, didn't convince me. Keahu Kahuanui is hot. My flabs have no match for his killer abs and pectorals. I could even while the days away gazing at his dreamy eyes and sexy dimples, or even distort reality by channeling his vibe on Teen Wolf and make it my own. In a sense, I was flattered, but lack of self esteem leaves me brushing off claims of similar features.

But then.

Crushed by my lack of direction; the struggles of taking selfies and not be horrified with the photos; the losing battle to slow down the advance of aging; the romantic void I shoved myself into; and the reluctance to get intimate - even with strangers - have already collected their toll. In secret, doubts have already misplaced my priorities, I no longer know what I truly want from life.

So this trivial association with a TV series character was a welcome and needed respite.

For even when downplaying the claims would become my public statement, it still feels good to be identified with someone you would actually like. Positive reinforcement might be a human need, but for someone who hardly speaks of his outer flaws, it shows, that beneath the stoic appearance lies the thirst for validation.

At the very least, no longer would I have to restore my self-worth in ways, that would lead me into lots of troubles.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Dandelion Fluff

Previously: The Martha Stewart In Me

The aerial garden has been confined to my side of the window for the longest time. Herbs have spread out. Some turned crisp and crackling, and have been replaced by new saplings; the vines have even occupied hanging pots belonging to other plants. I have given up on fertilizers; put species, whose leaves absorb more sunshine in ledges facing the sky; and gave up replanting those that die, naturally, after several blooms. With all the lessons, carefully acquired, never did I make a move to export my pastime in the other sunward corners of the house. The balcony next to the master's bedroom has thrice the space to indulge my passion. But with lukewarm support received from the matriarch, and with severed stems repeatedly dying a few days after replanting them, I gave up on the idea.

Only to resurrect it late last month, after my mother's visit to the doctor.

Like a mantra chanted, I tell myself repeatedly that "life begets life." It is for this reason I started gardening a year and a half ago. And as I let the days roll by engaging in my new hobby, I realize that no longer do I sink into the pits of melancholia. There are herbs thriving outside the window, and for all the comfort it brings, there is a part of me rejuvenated at the sight.

Back to my mom's hospital visit, doctor's prognosis needs her to take more pills and tablets; Maintenance medicines to check the cholesterol and sugar in her blood. Her lack of body movement, at home, add to my worries, and if this is not enough, she gets flu very often. And while the antibiotics let her recover after a week, its side-effects poison the body. 

This downward spiral has to slow down. 

The exodus began with two infant formula milk cans, some Basil and Mint stem cuttings, and soil mix made from dried rice husks. There is the attempt to grow the herbs at the balcony once again, only this time, turning back is no longer an option.

For summer is approaching, and my mom will have to spend the days confined to her bed, in her room full of dust-coated tomes. The humid air makes the heat unbearable, and as dust floats in the air, so is the futility of not holding a job.

Only the sight of herbs might take her mind off troubles and grant her peace. 

So the occupation went through, with two herbs from my windows, whose chances of growing their own roots remain uncertain. I was telling the house help last week that should at least one of them is able to sprout new leaves, I will spend my idle days nurturing an ecosystem.

Because in my head, I would like to see my mother getting out of bed. Dragging her atrophied legs across the room and into the balcony with the aid of the crutches, her face blank and her thoughts, empty. One fine day. One quiet daybreak. With the gentle breeze brushing the evergreen leaves of the lavenders and rosemaries, a faint smile creases on her face, and as the bushes fill the air with aromatic scents, there and then I would know, the expedition has succeeded. 

Not only have I breathed life into a forgotten corner of the house, the expansion will let a soul find solace in the presence of organic things.   

Sunday, March 9, 2014

The Finn Confessions: Hornet

"Papakels, I have a confession to make." I told Santi at the Casa. It was already past 2 in the morning. Papa Tagay had already left, and Markus was busy checking out his Grindr account. Laid on our table were empty bottles of San Miguel Beer and leftover pulutan.

"Mukhang nang one-way ako ng ka-eyeball." I said softly.

"Hindi ko talaga sinasadya and I feel bad." Santi smiled and patiently listened intently as I went on to tell my story.

A flashback.

Hindi pa natatapos ang isang araw mula ng mag lie-low ako sa Twitter nang maisipan ko i-reactivate ang account ko sa Hornet. Gaya ng Planet Romeo at Grindr, ang Hornet ay isang gay dating site. Doon ang puntahan ng mga lalaking naghahanap ng karelasyon sa kapwa lalaki, ngunit ang totoo, booking ang kanilang sadya. Doon ko din nakilala si kid na tinutukoy ko sa entry na Lip Service.

Wala pang isang oras simula ng pagka set-up ng aking profile ay may nakapukaw na ng aking mga mata. Ang isa ay bata, around 10 years my junior. Ang isa naman ay mas bata sa akin ng 3 years. Si kid ay madali kong na-friendzone. Kasi naman, ang choosy ko rin minsan. Si Kuya naman, na half-Chinese at mas mature ang looks sa akin ay binalak ko sana ayain mag hang-out. 

There's something about him that caught my fancy.

Kaso mo, nang hindi ko binigay ang Facebook account ko, hindi na rin ito nagreply sa akin sa Viber.

I had to move on.

The next day, masaya at makulit pa rin kung makipag-chat sa akin si Friendzoned kid. We share a lot of things in common, kaya hindi naman nakakasuya mag reply sa chat. Ngunit lingid sa kanyang kaalaman, abala ako sa pakikipagpalitan ng messages sa Hornet. Marami ang nagsend ng request para makita ang mga private pictures ko gawa ng aking display profile. Mangilan-ngilan rin ang kusa na lang hindi nakipag-usap. It's part of the game. It takes time nga lang tanggapin na it's all about who's looking better.

There were near misses. Yung mga nagyayaya ng threesomes, at mga nagtatanong kung may place ba ako. Tamad ko lang talaga makipagtagpo, at mag-engage sa activities na papawi sa tawag ng laman. Pero kung ako ang tatanungin, tunay naman ang nadarama kong libog sa mga nakakausap. 

Mahirap nga lang magtiwala. Nakakatakot, ang basta-basta makipag sex sa mga taong di mo tunay na kakilala.

Pagkagat ng dilim ay patuloy pa rin ang pakikipagusap ko sa mga nasa dating app. Animo'y para akong tanga na nag-iintay ng mag memessage sa akin. Andun ang pag asang makahanap ng kaulayaw. Yung top na may angas. Nagtawag ng inuman si Tagay. Nagpasyang sumama si Santi at Markus, pero sa tuwing dinadaanan kami ng anghel, ang mga mata ko'y nakadikit sa phone screen ni Ndoto. 

Hanggang dumating ang aking inaabangan.

Isang kanto lang daw ang layo ng kausap. Mag isa ito't naghahanap ng matutulugan. Basa ko naman ang ibig niyang sabihin, at who knows, maaring puwede ko siya i-sneak in sa kuwarto. 

O puwede rin naman i-motel.

Pagkakuha ng bill, nagpasabi akong mag-intay ng sampung minuto. Mag-aabang daw siya sa isang bangko kung saan malapit ang Casa.

Five minutes matapos ang huling send ng message sa Hornet, lumiban ako sa table para mag-withdraw. Pinuntahan ko ang bangko kung saan niya ako iniintay.

At hindi malayo sa kinalalagyan ng ATM, isang lalaki ang aking na-spot. Balingkinitan ito, moreno at upong prinsesa. Walang duda na ito ang aking katagpo.


Bakit iba yata ang picture ng taong kausap sa Hornet sa taong lalapitan ko?

Sadya bang malabo ang mga mata ko? O tunay akong haharap sa isang poser?

Ang katotohanan, sa kasamaang palad, ay hindi ko na malalaman.

Sapagkat sa halip na lapitan ang lalaki, dumiretso ako sa ATM para magwithdraw. At nang madiskubre na nabawasan ako ng pera nang hindi ko naman nakuha, kaagad akong tumawag sa bangko. Ang lalaking katagpo ay bigla kong nalimot. Pinabayaan.

Na one-way.

Bumalik ako sa aming tagpuan matapos ang pakikipag-usap sa customer service agent. Subalit ang lalaki ay wala na. Ilang beses ko itong ni-message at sinabing hinahanap ko siya ngunit hindi ito kaagad sumagot. 

Pinilit kong magpaliwanag.

"You flaked out!!" ang sabi niya.

"I'm in West Avenue meeting someone else." Reply niya kinalaunan. Seryoso, sa sobrang guilty, gusto ko siyang puntahan saan man siya naroon.

"You enjoy." Ang nasabi ko na lang.

"Ang sama ko," I told Santi after. "Those places really bring out the worse in you."

Santi, Marcus and I parted ways soon after. I forgot Santi's advice because I was already tipsy. However, there was no denial that I was still restless despite the botched meet up.

It so happened that while confessing my sin, to a friend, who had his own episodes in the wilderness exactly a year ago, I gave my word to delete my Hornet account when I wake up in the afternoon.

"Minsan, gusto mo lang talaga makaramdam ng init ng iba." I said while looking at my phone, whose battery power is almost gone. 

"Excuse na lang ang libog." 

True to my word, I walked away from the Hornet's nest 51 hours after creating my account. I didn't get laid. Not even a chance to cuddle someone. And as if the cosmic joke's on me, I would learn a few hours after deleting the app that a chance to sneak someone will come up.

I'll be left alone as my house companions have to go somewhere.

But then, I made up my mind and stick with my decision not to return to the dating sites. It's enough that I lost my balls in that one cruel moment.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Island Nation

Previously: Pride In Solitude

Just before daybreak a fortnight ago, he thought of ending the flow of monologues on Twitter with a cryptic "Good Night." It was subtle, but deliberate. Knowing the gap of silence barely last a day, he seldom makes it known that he had signed off from the microblog application. This occasion however, he thought of proving something; of showing real evidence that he can cut off his ties with the virtual sphere. So he stood his ground, and suppressed his functions. It's a long shot, he knows, but a necessary move to weed out the dependence. There is no doubt he could not do without social media. He's been talking loudly to himself for the longest time, like others never read his mind. 

Hint of his wordlessness took less than a week to take shape. An ebb and flow behavior had turned him from being hermetic to a hyper-social creature. One after the other, he met the boys he had flirted with - or at least, had an intention to get to know on a level that rivals those of his past dates. The results lay in a draw: The first, he accompanied in his weightlifting activity. The second joined him at Time in Manila to go clubbing. The third, he treated at McDonald's. They gobbled French Fries, which he said to be his birthday present to the guy. The last, he met at Today X Future, after the boy said his friends didn't show up and he was drinking alone. The last three, he met in a span of two nights, and for some reasons, the men had turned distant and aloof. 

He didn't bother asking for reasons.

These strings of appearances, of prospecting, bore down when faced with the growing reality that he's been left out. Understandably, the circle he has seen grow, is no more. Individuals thought of spending more time with loved ones than going out and catching up with friends. Old flings and hang-out buddies now have their love interests. It is as if everyone's moving on with their lives and he is left with a microblog account to pour his heart out. It makes him look silly. desperate. a loser.

And for the first time, he felt unaccustomed to the solitude. Deep down, the loneliness has made a clear dent on his armor.

This vulnerability, he ought no one has to know. Not the new followers who multiply everyday; not his associates who are not privy to his blog. The sudden shut down, of placing himself off the grid, was made more difficult by his refusal to seek new ways to make contact. There are the gay dating sites he can always use as substitute. So far, he has managed to lay his hands off.

Troubles, for now, remain the least of his needs.

But for how long?

The self-imposed Twitter isolation will remain. Until he has figured how to live within his bubble once more, or until someone or something forces him out of his cocoon. Until then, let this long form confession read the explanation of his absence.

Because as the hours idle by, he knows, this disconnection will not hold ground.

In no way will his humanity let him go on with the seclusion. The question however is where his digital signature will appear next.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

The Staple


A Difference A Year Makes
Retail Therapy

Pork and beef, in its processed and preserved form, no longer take a chunk of the family budget. The matriarch, in her capacity to delegate duties, has tapped me to make rounds at the Puregold supermarket. The sole responsibility in food stocks replenishment belongs to me. And since it has become my vow to eliminate meat, other than chicken and fish from our menu, the acquisition of commodities reflects my nutritional agenda: cans of tuna and sardines have replaced corned beef, luncheon meat, and sausages. They have merely become token items so as not to raise a howl from those who refuse to be swayed to my diet.

But the grand scheme is deliberate, and even when I used to consume the forbidden delights, I make it a point to include 555 or Ligo sardines in our shopping list. Self-serving maybe some of the reasons, but tactical considerations apply when making my decisions.

Here are the five reasons why I overstock on fish products when I do the shopping at the supermarket:

Buffer Food. Appetites change depending on what dish is served. Sometimes, nobody eats what is on the table. Other days, when meals are cooked so well, the serving becomes inadequate to feed all.

In situations like these, the house staff are the ones to suffer. Laziness to cook another dish had forced some of our maids to skip meals. Sometimes, they would buy their own food at a nearby eatery with their own money, which is unfair. Human rights and labor practices aside, the cans of sardines guarantee that no one goes hungry in the house of Jomania.

Tunasilog. When home-cooked meals don't get along with my taste buds, or when I go hungry and the maid has yet to cook lunch, a generous serving of garlic rice, sunny side up fried egg and a bowl of Century Tuna Hot and Spicy (in some days Afritada) completes my day. The dish is not only easy to prepare, Tunasilog and its varieties don't claw on my pockets. Unlike the fast food meals, which are readily available in the neighborhood, there is comfort knowing I don't spend a penny for my indulgence.

Processed Fish is Healthier than Processed Meat. Any thinking being will have second thoughts striking out the merits of fish over beef or pork in its processed form. Sardines and tuna are low in fats and rich in potassium. They pack the essentials like Vitamin B12, which is good for the brain and Omega 3 fatty acids, which regulates the build up of cholesterol in the heart. 

Of course, there is the issue of mercury content and the presence of chemical substances. We are not even sure how fish stocks are managed to sustain the ecology of our seas. But a Hokkaido brand of Mackerel over Argentina corned beef? A smart and health-conscious shopper knows what to pick. 

Cheaper Acquisition. I went to a sari-sari store next to our house before writing this section. I asked how much is a can of sardines and then inquired about the price of the cheapest corned beef brand. 

What I learned startled me.

An average sardines cost P17 pesos, while the corned beef is double the retail price of canned fish. And that's the least expensive of the brands. Just imagine the feel and texture of the beef. The synthetic aftertaste sure is repulsive.

It goes to show that while our purchasing power enables us to make preference, a family on a tight budget gets more value for their money when picking fish over land-based animal food products. 

Emergency Rations for the Rainy Days. In the aftermath of Yolanda, I was at the repacking stations, lending my strength for the collective relief effort.

And you know what I found?

Cans of sardines make up the ready-to-eat provisions along with instant noodles and bags of rice.

There is a lesson there drawn from experience. One, that is suppose to tie a knot and weave the real purpose of this entry.

The photo above was taken the past month, the last time I was asked to make rounds across Puregold's aisles. I am certain my mom's assistant, who was with me kept wondering why I hoard cans of sardines when they seldom get consumed at home.

Behind the nonchalant passage from the canned fish section to the next corner of the supermarket, is a mind continuously distracted, and reminded of the scenes that might come.

"Better be prepared," I tell myself. "My love ones' lifeline depends on the foresight I make today."

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Lip Service

Previously: The Stuff That Haunts You

The story began with an SMS.

"Kagigising lang," I sent after the introductory hello. "Napanaginipan kita."

"Talaga. Anu napanaginipan mo? Iniisip mo ata ako e. Hehe." He replied a few minutes later. At this point, I was searching for excuses. The dream was made up. It was meant to start a conversation.

"Haha jahe yung panaginip." I sent back. "Uu naman, naiisip kita. Iniyakan mo kaya ako nung niroromansa kita." 

I still scratch my head in amusement every time I remember our failed and unplanned tryst. I caved in after he gave me a boner when he brushed his elbow against my arm. So instead of me walking him to his dorm, he tiptoed with me to my room.

"Classic yun."

The kid forced me to spill the beans, and because I was getting horny at the flashback, I gave in to his order.

"Pinakandong daw kita sakin tapos tinigasan ako." In my head, I was drawing his reaction when he got to take a peek at my jun-jun last time. "Kaw naman napangiti lang." 

I could have been more graphic with the imagery, but to do so would sound too obvious. 

Nevertheless, his response had put a smile on my face.

"Baka nakiliti ako nung tinigasan ka. Hehehe. Gusto ko tuloy ikaw makasama."

Much as I would like to think that I'm less of a flirt than what I write, the truth is, I have my unguarded moments. When I do so, when I'm meaning to seduce someone, I cuddle one's soft spot with the most romantic picture of a couple being sweet to each other. 

It so happened that I knew what his interests are, so I weaved it to my narrative.

"Sana man lang kung yung panaginip ko eh nakayakap ako sayo habang nanunuod ka ng NBA. Mas di diyahe yun." I knew the carefully crafted message will get through. As to what outcome I wish to read, I was never certain. 

"Na miss tuloy kita. Nainip na tuloy ako mag-19." He told me he would return to the city two weeks from now. To attend a reunion of sort. I told him to stay for the night so he can finally sleep beside me. 

"Bsta gustong-gusto na kita yakapin ng mahigpit."

"Aww. Yaan mo, pagbalik mo dito, yayakapin kita ng buong higpit." I replied. "Lalambingin kita sa mga oras na kasama mo ako."

To a pragmatist, the exchange of sweet nothings is a show of pronounced, but hollow affirmation of mutual attraction. He likes me only because I am broad-chested, manly, and have big arms. He had this impression that I was probably mature, protective, and a presence he could seek comfort when he feels vulnerable. Meanwhile, he turns me on because he's a twink, who is masculine, and is very much a reminder of the Weatherman. The fact that I could flirt with the likes of him, when there is certainty that his good looks and manly physique get the attention of everyone, is already a rub to my ego.

To me, ours is but a plaything that is bound to diminish over time. The problem is that I no longer read how kids think of attachments; of how exactly this kid view our exchanges.

"Ikaw ang huling nakadampi sa labi ko at niyakap ko. Ikaw din ang tangi at nag-iisa kong alaala sa Hornet." There was no trickery there. I was sincere with my confession.

There are words, so sacred and ties-changing that they shouldn't be said without actions to back them up. Words that need ground to grow and time to bloom. And while I was guilty in the past of carelessly sending a fitting response when such words are said to me, It is the emotions and moments that linger, when the same, sacred words fail to take root.

The carelessness haunts to this day, but hopefully, I already know how to fake my feelings.

So when the kid, unexpectedly, and irresponsibly sent this reply to me.


I was caught off guard, briefly, only to assuredly tell my self that whatever words the control channel send across the emptiness of hearts, I can take back as swiftly as I had disposed of them.

"I love you too."