Wednesday, August 27, 2014


Previously on: Outpost

It has been more than half a century since we began searching the heavens for intelligence, and we continue still. The truth is, they will never be found. Not because they don't want to, but because of our beastly nature.

I have always said that they - the visitors - are watching. The conspiracy theorist in me asserts that they have been here since our beginnings. But given our penchant for domination, of alienating the different among us, maybe, they found wisdom in leaving us in peace.

We are not ready for the universe.

"We could find alien life." Seth Shostak of the SETI Institute was quoted in a recent interview. "But politicians don't have the will."

So long as we - as a species - continue to destroy the planet, and as long as we cast extraterrestrials as invaders and manipulators of humanity in movies, the cosmos will remain silent, indifferent, and uncaring

- perhaps until the end of our time.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

A Lost Cause

Previously on: Postcripts To A Fiesta

Throngs of people from different walks of life would answer the call, and transform the Luneta Park into a sea of humanity. There, an assembly of social advocates converges, turning their muted rage into a storm of mass demonstrations. The political class did tremble, and within a year, several personalities would suffer the indignities of the national witch hunt.

Their fortunes permanently altered because of the gross acts they were said to be part of.

I was there last year and saw with my own eyes the fiesta that was the Million People March. It was a majestic cause, and I had no doubt my voice was being heard. The snowball effect of that peaceful uprising would spawn a swarm of revelations exposing the rottenness that is the Pork Barrel scandal. To this day, charges are being filed against the perpetrators. 

Never in the history of the nation did we put on trial so many of the untouchables of the land.

We didn't stop there.

Somewhere along the way, even the reformers would be accused of corruption. Opponents say, they too had engineered a way to get into the national coffers. There's the Development Acceleration Program and the Grassroots Participatory Budgeting. There too was a clamor to unseat the President after the Supreme Court deems some of the executive's budget intervention in violation of the constitution. Division among the social advocates would turn friends into adversaries, and those, who have always been critical of the government would launch a hail of attacks that would muddle the original cause. 

And they would converge again at the Luneta a year later. This time, with a twisted narrative and resolutions beyond reasons.

No longer a believer of the cause, I refrained from lending my voice - and presence. The organizers - mainly the loud left, no longer stick to the real issue, which is the end of the PDAF. This time, they proclaim the administration's downfall. It was an assembly of the bitter critics - those whose desire is the replacement of reformers.

The images shared on social media speak of truth and the turn out at the grandstand was but a shadow of its former appeal. No longer having the clear vision to push forth the advocacy, the leaders of the first convergence had lost their credibility. Scoffed at and being reduced as radicals, the peaceful assembly last Heroes Day was a lost cause.

The public wish to have no part of it. 

Not anymore. 

Monday, August 25, 2014


For months now, I have already thought the future of L'Heure Bleue. What point there is to blogging when I can always dilute my thoughts into 140 characters, and post it on a microblog. These days, when I can no longer afford the time for reflection and that habit of repetitive reading of a recent post to perform some thought refinement, the instant gratification offered by Twitter has become a workable replacement.

The need for aesthetics is gone, the wordsmith in me is dead.

But ten years is a long time to simply abandon this project and leave this space. I have been consistently writing - with or without an audience to read my life for ages. To break that time-honored bond, and simply walk away without breathing a word about my disappearance, is a slap to the blogger I once was. Should my absence become more evident, I can say with certainty that the future can never be written in these pages.

So even when I have to do other things, like blurb writing, laying in bed to sleep, or even simulating a life on Sims 3, I chose to reconnect with this portal and try once more to enjoy having that leisurely stroll inside my head. 

For when inaction becomes my direction once more, never will I go back to blogging. 

This journal keeping will end with silence as my witness.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Nowhere There


It is 3 in the morning and I was about to go home. I wasn't feeling well today, and so is my mom, whose red, veiny eyes show symptoms of sore eyes. She was told not to go to work after spending the whole night watching over a nephew who was ill. She insisted, despite our protestations. 

The result was her catching the virus.

I wanted to go home so I can look after her. Rest doesn't come since there are still blurbs for raketship to write. A last minute call held me from leaving the workplace. I was told, by the maid, that my recovering nephew and her mother occupy my room. 

There's no place for me at home.

It was a solution I brought up with my sister before leaving the house this evening. Told her our mother needs to rest, and so I'd be offering my quarters for her and Baby Diego while Lenin sleeps beside his father. It was a sketchy plan, which my mom already thumbed down. 

I never thought my sibling would actually embrace the idea.

With my mom now resting, and the nephews separated, so as to avoid the contagion, there's a sense of relief knowing isolation has been achieved. And yet at the same time, knowing i'd have to give up my sanctum every time outbreaks like this happen, I might have to acknowledge that sooner or later, I would have to move out and look for a place of my own.

That, or i'd regard my workstation as my new home from now on.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Hell On Earth

When I get to read the news these days, particularly reports trickling in from the Middle East and Africa, I cannot help but wonder, could the very idea of hell exist not in the afterlife but here on Earth? 


"It reportedly shows Sharrouf's seven-year-old, Sydney-raised son dressed like any other young boy in blue checked trousers, a blue shirt and baseball cap, struggling to hold up the severed head of a slain Syrian soldier by his hair.

It was captioned with the words 'That's my boy'."

Shocking photo: Child of ISIS fighter holds decapitated head


In the aftermath of that war, Hasan Zeyada, a psychologist with the GCMHP, told the Guardian: "The majority of children suffer many psychological and social consequences. Insecurity and feelings of helplessness and powerlessness are overwhelming. We observed children becoming more anxious – sleep disturbances, nightmares, night terror, regressive behaviour such as clinging to parents, bed wetting, becoming more restless and hyperactive, refusal to sleep alone, all the time wanting to be with their parents, overwhelmed by fears and worries. 

Some start to be more aggressive."

Gaza's children: 'Israel is creating a new generation of enemies'


"Nema Red, a resident of Clara Town, said the two men who lay dead in the street for days had shown symptoms of Ebola such as bleeding and vomiting.

'They started seeking help from the community to take them to the hospital, but community members ran for their lives ... they both gave up and dropped dead on the ground in the streets.'

Ebola outbreak: Bodies 'dumped in the street’ as Liberia faces panic over virus


"They are systematically beheading children, and mothers and fathers. The world hasn't seen an evil like this for a generation. There's actually a park in Mosul that they've actually beheaded children and put their heads on a stick," Arabo told CNN's Jonathan Mann last week.

"And they have them in the park. This is crimes against humanity. The whole world should come together. This is much broader than a community or faith. This is crimes against humanity and they are doing the most horrendous, the most heartbreaking things you can think of," he explained.

ISIS 'Systematically Beheading Children' in Iraq; They Are 'Killing Every Christian They See,' Says Chaldean Leader

There is much suffering. So many innocent lives forcefully taken away all in the name of fear - and distorted faith. What is most terrifying, are not the pictures, and not the ghastly stories that fill the landing pages of our online newspapers. Distilling the essence of all these violence, one can't help but think that maybe, humanity is wired this way - that we are meant to be destructive and destitute creatures.  

Looking at the pictures and knowing too well the carnage will go on, there is no way but to embrace the truth, that given the so many problems facing the world today, the rest no longer care whatever happens on the other side of the globe.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Walled In

For when the time comes I find a companion. Someone, whose world I would make orbit, there is certainty that this solitude would cease to exist and I would find myself tidally locked into someone's life.

January 18, 2014

Early this month, Papa Tagay asked me for a drink. It was a four-letter invitation sent on SMS, but the subtext tells a lot about how difficult it is to invite me out these days. I could not blame his hesitation. Ever since my Gundam Pilot came, stepping back from the weekend get-together has become more evident as weeks passed. I don't even spread the word to common friends anymore when Papa T calls for a binge. I could not give my word of showing up, especially when the partner declines to join. Why should I tell others to be there, when I'm not entirely thrilled to leave the house and catch up with everyone?

It has become a full-scale social retreat. No longer would I go out - except if it's a date with my boyfriend. I still owe Shaun a merienda, but after postponing our meet-up several times, (with his gift already accumulating dust) he just ceased inviting. The same thing happens to the rest of my circles. If I cannot come to the Casa like I used to when I was still single, how can others draw me out from my seclusion?

This admission of exclusivity, is something I would not understand had I not become taken. I used to feel slighted when some of the guys we used to drink suddenly disappeared when they found a pair. In many ways, I did try to understand - that new couples make as much time for each other. This is how bonds are formed. Only when my turn came did I appreciate their disappearance, and given my solitary leanings, I could last weeks without ever seeing another human being - as long as my boyfriend is around.

I try correct my ways, and make time for people who matter. I did show up at the Tagayan that weekend even without the partner. And for a night, I was able to channel the remnants of my old self. That uninhibited me who loves to talk about the lives I have been through - and the lessons learned along the way.

If I could come up with reasons for this elusiveness; for this uneasiness when friends call for a hang out and the partner isn't available; and for this aloofness, when strangers try to be cozy on private messages, memory serves as a wellspring of caution.

Because the last time I felt this tremendous liberty of entertaining strangers, or showing up at parties hosted by friends, without the partner to introduce, was at the time of the Second.

And by all blog accounts, the dearth pulled us apart.

It is these reminders, written and yet rarely spoken, that I find that resolve to build my walls up, and spook myself at the slightest chance of solitary wanderings. For after going through a relationship, and forging a union once again, with another person, I have yet to come into terms that the absence that lead me astray from the Second, could gravitate me closer to the Fourth.

To this day, I have never learned to trust myself - and my thoughts - when I take a peek and see what lies beyond the wall.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Thirty One Days of Kindness V2.0

There are so many things that I should be thankful for but with the fast life I seem to live, I do not know what road to turn. Torn between my destructive leanings and the fondest memory of those blissful days when harmony used to be within reach, I came up with a decision which would even out the freebies I still receive.

Consider it a payback.

August 3, 2009

The first hours of the month came, and I was terribly famished. I skipped dinner the night before, and it was already 2 in the morning. It was raining outside and the short bursts of wind impeded me from leaving the workplace. I could not bring myself to brave the two blocks of unlit roads for a grub at Ministop when other, pricier choices can ease my hunger.  

So I accessed my desktop's Chrome and keyed the letters that will take me to McDonald's home page. They offer 24-hour delivery service without the minimum purchase restriction imposed by rivals. The 45 pesos charge though was enough to hold back my tummy's grumbling. I even posted a Tweet venting how torn I felt.

What eventually changed my mind was the onset of dizziness. I still have hours to go and tons of work to accomplish before my shift ends. I no longer mind having to spend a fortune for a Spicy Chicken meal and an extra order of Apple pie - if the food items - and energy let me continue my task without the midsection furor. 

I hit the "pay now" button confirming my order, and minutes later, the fast food representative called my number.

"So that's 180 pesos sir JM," clearing my throat, I acknowledged my food spending. My purchase could feed another two mouths had I chosen to treat colleagues at the eatery behind our office.

"How much change do we have to bring?" I told the representative that I'd be paying 200 for my order. The sale was closed immediately after.

I knew from life experiences that there are two kinds of materially opulent people: The ones who show off, and the ones at pains to hide their plentiful disposition. I am not known for my generosity, nor my fondness for displaying what little wealth I possess. At times, I would even prefer skipping meals over sharing my food with those around me so as not to reveal hints of privilege. So strong was my resolve to show niceties, to spare myself the guilt of following my craving while a colleague toils without nothing to eat, that I was still indecisive even when the phone call - from the delivery guy waiting at the reception - tells that my food has arrived.

"Heto po ang order niyo, at heto po ang sukli." I told him to keep the change. He accepted it with hesitation.

"Ingat pagbalik." I looked at him as he walked out of the building. My last memory was of him smiling, before he disappeared behind the guard post.

There was certainty with my actions there - that long-overdue change in behavior to show gratitude for all the blessings I have received lately. I may commit some lapses (like when I bad-mouthed a boy who's known for toying people's emotions), but my heart is sincere with its intentions.

This was the first of the many random acts of kindness I would perform for August.

"Mac," I left the apple pie on his table. It was for him even when he politely declined my breakfast treat when I decided to have my late dinner delivered by McDonald's.

"Breakfast mo later." My subordinate was pleasantly surprised with the snack in front of him.

Profoundly pleased with my feats, I slumped into my chair, to eat my happy meal in peace.