Wednesday, December 19, 2012

First and Forever

Ngayon ang isa sa mga araw na hindi ko malilmutan sa tanan ng buhay ko. Sa ganitong araw, tatlong taon na ang nakalipas ay umiiyak ako sa loob ng isang classroom sa U.P. Baguio. Ibinabalita ko sa nanay ko na magkakaanak na 'ko. Hindi ito isang pa-macho-sensitive na post subalit isang paggunita sa isang pangyayaring bumago sa paginting ko sa mga bagay-bagay. Kasama ko ang mga Brods ko sa Frat noong umiiyak ako at todo tulo ang luha at sipon ko. It was not pretty, it was down right ugly.

Araw na naman ng annual Pasiklaban sa U.P. Baguio ngayon. Isa itong tradisyon kung saan nagtitipon ang mga mag-aaral, mga guro at propesor, mga janitors, guards, admin officers, maintenance at ang buong komunidad ng Unibersidad. Para kasi itong malaking Christmas Party kung saan imbitado ang lahat, maging ang mga hindi nag-aral sa U.P. Masaya rin ang mga alumni dahil nagugunita nila ang mga unang araw nila sa Unibersidad, lalo na ang kanilang unang Pasiklaban at ang panahon kung saan wala pang main gates at maayos na mga grounds kung saan pwedeng tumambay.

Masaya raw ang Pasiklaban noong mga unang taon nito. Walang bawal sa kampus, alak, sigarilyo, weeds at kung anu-ano pa. Liberal at wala pang restrictions. Ang kwento ng ibang nakatatanda ay nagbabaklas pa raw sila ng mga lumang bangko para gawing panggatong sa kani-kanilang bonfire. Kontra lamig nga naman dahil sa halos 10 degree na lamig na inaabot nila noon. Balot na balot sila at masayang nag-iinuman habang nakapalibot sa apoy. Maraming "firsts" raw sa mga selebrasyon noon. First and forever.

Noong pumasok naman ako ng U.P., una kong naranasan ang Pasiklaban noong pumasok ako ng Frat. Bagong pasok ako noon at nag-inom kami sa may pond area na kinalaunan ay nalaman kong nirerestore rin ng Frat na pinasukan ko. Masaya, una kong naranasan makapanood ng fireworks display up close and personal. Kasama rin ako sa road trip papuntang Bulacan para bumili ng mga paputok, may mga libre pang kwitis at iba pa dahil sa inabot ng mahigit 20,000 ang binili namin. Masaya, walang tulog at konting kain lang pero masaya. Simple lang kasi, kaunti lang kami noon. Pinapangarap kong makapagsindi rin ng kahon-kahong fireworks, gamit ang sariling lighter at nakasuot ng colors ng Frat. First and forever.

Balik ako sa umpisa ng kwento ko. Pasiklaban noon, umiiyak ako at muntik kong mapunasan ng uhog ko ang mga kahon-kahon ng fireworks na binili namin para sa gabing iyon. Pangatlong Pasiklaban ko na iyon, medyo matagal na rin ako sa Frat at bago sa prospect ng pagkakaroon ng anak. Todo ang iyakan. Tapik sa balikat at himas sa likod ang ginawa ng mga Brods ko at ang mga salita ng paalala. Bago pala kami umamin sa pamilya ng nobya ko ay Brod ko ang naghatid sa akin sa meeting place. Sya rin ang nagtabi ng tatlong hikaw ko dahil baka nga mawala pag nalasog ang katawan ko sa bugbog. Hindi ako nabugbog pero nawala ang mga hikaw. Tinatawanan nalang namin ang panahong yun dahil nasa lalamunan ko na ang betlog ko sa takot. First and forever.

Pangatlong selebrasyon ko na pero hindi pa rin ako nagsasawa noon. Ngayon, sana makahabol ako. Isinusulat ko to habang nasa trabaho at naghihintay ng "go signal" para makaalis na at mabisita ang anak ko. Manonood kami ng mga performances sa Pasiklaban, tatakbo sya uli sa grounds at magpapakilig sa mga chicks sa school. Kukurutin na naman ang pisngi nyang mala-mansanas sa pula at magsusungit sya. Mana sa ama. Ako naman ay mangungumusta sa mga dati kong naging propser at guro. Magtatawanan kami at magpapalitan ng kwento. Papansinin nila sigurado ang gupit ko at ang mga bilbil ko sa tyan at leeg. Medyo maooffend ako pero matutuwa dahil napansin nila ang pagtaba ko. First and forever.

Ang isa sa mga pinakaaabangan ko tuwing taon ang panahong ito dahil kahit magastos ang pagpapa-fireworks, masaya pa rin. Mukhang magkakaroon na ng huling yugto ang fireworks display tradition namin dahil sa iba't-ibang dahilan, lalo na ang environmental concerns at ang pag-funnel ng funds into "more socially significant events." Bullshit ang tawag ko doon. Simula kasi ng maging mag-aaral ako sa Unibersidad ay namulat na ko sa fireworks display. Hindi kumpleto ang Pasiklaban kung wala nito, tulad na rin ng pag nawala ang bonfire sa likod ni Oble at maging ang mga performances ng mga guro mula sa iba't-ibang departamento at kolehiyo. Kulang ang Pasiklaban kung hindi lumiliwanag ang madilim na langit kahit na mayroong mga lanterns at mga Christmas lights sa palibot ng kampus. Kulang ang Pasiklaban kung hindi mangangawit ang leeg mo sa kakatitig sa mga nagpuputukang bituin at dyamante sa langit. Kulang ang Pasiklaban kung walang mga "woooow" at "Ang ganda, Daddy/Mommy!" ng mga batang dinadala ng mga magulang sa grounds ng U.P. Baguio. Kulang ang Pasiklaban kung hindi mo maaamoy ang sariwang pulbura pagkatapos nito. First and Forever ito para sa maraming tao. At makikita mo ito mula sa ibang lugar ng maliit at nagsisiksikang siyudad ng Baguio.

Oo nga, maraming pwedeng gawing proyekto sa 20,000 mahigit na mga paputok. Pero ang saya ng alaala ng mga taong nakakapanood nito ay higit sa isang malaking "socially significant" na proyekto na kahit ang mga pulitiko ng bayan ay madalang nagagawa. Para sa mga aattend pa lang ng Pasiklaban, welcome and let's get hammered. Sa mga bumabalik-balik sa U.P. Baguio sa ganitong panahon bawat taon, ipagpatuloy nyo yan. At sa mga makakapunta mamaya sa grounds, takits na lang. Please alukin nyo ko ng alak kung meron. Manipis lang ang jacket na dala ko. Sana'y marami pa tayong First and forever moments sa U.P. Baguio.

Sana makaabot ako sa fireworks display. Hindi man ako magsisindi ngayong taon dahil alumnus na ako ay masaya pa ring panoorin ang mga mukha ng mga taong nakatutok sa bawat pagsabog ng liwanag sa gabi. Shet, poetic. Di nga, excited ako, first time ko to bilang isa sa mga maraming nagtapos sa Unibersidad. First and forever ulit.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

estranged strangers


I'm Not A Finished Person
by Gaby Dunn


I think I knew who I was better when I was 14 years old than at any other period in my life. The thought kind of depresses me. At 14, I had all these intense beliefs and ideas about myself and other people. I knew I was “a hippie.” I knew my aesthetic of choice included vintage leather bags and fringe and tie-dye. I kept my hair long and wild like Janis Joplin. I listened almost exclusively to classic rock. But I knew I believed in art and in freedom and in helping others. I wrote and I painted and I read poetry and literature. I believed strongly in human rights. I also wanted to shave my head and join the Peace Corps, and I never doubted for a minute that that’s what I’d do.

Even in college, I feel like I was more sure about who I am than I am now. I was a journalist and I believed in that institution wholeheartedly. I thought for sure that I would only ever report the news, and even held some superiority and disdain for pop culture writers. The last big piece I wrote was an interview with “Call Me Maybe” singer Carly Rae Jepsen. Granted it was for the New York Times Magazine (#humblebrag) but it’s certainly not where I thought my career was headed. Nineteen-year-old Gaby would have some choice opinions for current Gaby. And current Gaby would find them cute, but ultimately worthless. Because I’ve adapted and I’ve changed.

As I’ve grown up, things have become less black and white — colored by experience and hearing about other people’s stances and worlds outside my own. I guess this should be obvious but at 24, which is very young still, I am constantly surprised at how my ideas and opinions can shape-shift. As recently as seven months ago, I might have told you something I believed and I might have really, really believed it at the time. I might have been rigid about it. I might have thought that was the only way for me.

And then you meet someone. Or you get diagnosed with something life-changing. Or someone has a baby. Or you have a baby. Or maybe nothing specific happens. Maybe you just read something or spend some time thinking about a topic and you change.

I feel like I change all the time. I don’t think I’m even the same person I was yesterday or last week or last year. In some ways, it makes me uncomfortable. It makes me feel like I’m not a solid person, like I don’t have morals or that I’m not intelligent. At the time, I honestly believe the views I’m holding but in two weeks, I could completely change my mind.

Certainly, I’m not made of Play-do: There are beliefs I’ve long held and can’t anticipate ever backing down on. I have always been and will always be a feminist. I’ll always pause the radio if Eric Clapton is playing. I’ll always think George Harrison is the best Beatle. I will always be a writer, in some capacity. (When I was home for Thanksgiving I found a journal of mine from when I was 13 and one of the entries just said: “Someday I hope I am a writer in New York City.” It made me cry.) So these particular aspects of me are non-negotiable. But I love debating or having deep discussions that challenge why someone feels the way they feel. And often, I am open to changing my mind. Does that make me the weaker party? Does it mean I don’t have values or direction? Does it make me too mold-able or, god forbid, too young?

I’ve been thinking maybe it just makes me an “unfinished person.” I don’t claim to know everything or to think other people can’t teach me valuable lessons. Like Chuck Palahniuk wrote: “Nothing of me is original. I am the combined effort of everybody I’ve ever known.” (And yes, I’m aware that quoting Palahnuik in a 20-something, college-educated penned exploration of identity is highly suspect and unoriginal but go with me.) Maybe I know who I am, as a foundation, and then life will keep happening, building in the assets: a light fixture here, a couch here, a mural there.

I don’t think that’s anything to be ashamed of. A lot of us are “unfinished.” Maybe it’s better to think of yourself that way so you don’t get too set in your ways, strict in your beliefs or high-and-mighty about knowing it all. Maybe no one is ever “finished” and if you think you are, you’re about to be wholly and wonderfully and terribly surprised because that’s the way life works.


...

It makes sense but what's disturbing about this is that it MAKES sense. It is frightening to think about the notion of not knowing yourself fully now as you think you have had back in the day. It's always a fear that creeps up whenever you get your mind to it. Not knowing yourself, the people around you as well. The names and faces that matter may have changed, too. It's some deep shit right there. And I am reading Thought Catalog again.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

On being thoughtful.

Being expressive in words can be very advantageous. You can tell people what you mean, what you think and what you really want to say. That’s if, those words are spoken. Writing a letter is very different from speaking up and telling it to the person’s face. Of that, I am sure. I have words but not a voice to back it up. 

I’m somehow good at words but only in the written format. And it is not a good thing. Well, only for papers and press releases that I’m working on. But my words escape me when it comes to personal interaction. Those fleeting moments that could have been better with just a few words or a whole paragraph to explain feelings, emotions, sides and point of view.

How many times have we not told the people that matter to us the many things that are going inside our heads? What for? Fear of rejection, insecurity, anxiety, lack of confidence. And then, after that, there’s a gnawing feeling for a time. It lingers and grows on you. For fear of things to change after an exchange of words or confessions, we sometimes risk everything to lay by and be forgotten just so we can avoid uncomfortable moments. Spiral of silence. We communicate to shed our guilt. When we don’t, we are too cozy in our comfort zones.

When was the last time you told your special someone how beautiful she is? How you like her hair falling on her face effortlessly to make you feel like her face was a natural work of art. When was the last time you hugged your mum just for the sake of holding her and imprinting the feeling in your busy head? When was the last time you had a drink or a smoke with your old man to share with him the nuances of growing up as a man? When did you last have a chat with your sister to ask her about everything you can since you are “too busy” at work? Have you ever stroked your man’s brow to whisk away his sweat from all the plumbing work he’s doing at home and told him “Thanks, hun.”

Yea, that got a little out of hand. Speak more. Talk more. Relate more. Silence is a sickness in a point in our lives when we should be dealing with people that will last in our calendars and planners. Looking at people on the public transpo or on the streets talking to people in their lives is sorta disturbing. Yea, it really is. Only because you never use your phone to contact people you care about anymore. You just use it to play Angry Birds when you’re bored and refresh Tweets when you’re being “social.”

We have broken lines that can be reconnected with just words. It’s cool and all, being men and women with few words just as long as those words matter. You don’t have a postpaid plan for nothing. We are on mobile connections all the time. We do Facetime and upload photos on Instagram but we never truly connect. Dig? You can write that shit all you want and dream of a scenario where everything is as good as you can imagine. It’s a shame you can’t share it in a time when all that you need to do to share is press or click a button.

Broken lines, son.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

yea, right

Reflecting on my writing life and process. This is some narcissistic shit, or maybe just an introspection.

I have been pondering on the thought of how did I ever develop this sorta knack for writing. I didn't enjoy it when I was a kid. For all I know, I could have been an architect or a designer due to my earlier influences. I know for a fact that as a kid, I'd been keen on spelling and real bad at math so maybe, just maybe, those are the forces that got my compass to point to the direction of the scribe.

Whatever little left from the things that I still remember from college is that if you're already a 'good writer,' don't take up anything close to writing as a major. Still, that rings a bell whenever I remember it but I can't fully close my mind to the idea. I'm sort of 50-50 on that argument. Yes, I believe that you can't learn style from school, and if you do, you may have a 'template style' that goes along with the diploma that you receive after school.

It's kinda like saying that your degree is useless. Somehow, I feel that too. But not all too much. I learned that there are different ways of writing and different ways to express and cater to the subject matter. That, I think is something you can't learn just by being a 'good writer'or something. I'm not saying that those who didn't have prior and formal writing classes are dupes when it comes to writing. Matter of fact, the more popular and brilliant writers of the world come not from the academe of letters. They are but mere individuals stirred by the desire to express and [unknowingly, sic] impress the world with whatever idea or character or scenario they have or had. Yea, I'm thrown on both sides of the argument. Can't wrap my head over that shit.

Another thing that I've been giving much thought to, lately, is the fact that I really hate doing rewrites or editing of my work. It makes me feel like a cheat. That doesn't mean that I don't check my writing for typos but the whole prospect of re-reading my work and then editing it for better content, context, form and structure is somewhat sketchy to me. I feel like when I write, it should be final and down to the point. Let the regret come later if angry readers swarm in on my comments box. I highly doubt that. That's a bit of history and secret laziness right there. I don't edit my work. I'd like to edit other people's work, in good faith, don't you worry.

Self-editing feels like shortchanging yourself and your readers. Of course, there are times that things are so fucked up in your head that the need to expose them to the world is dampened by the fear of being loathed, trolled and flamed across varying media. Don't go there, they will eat you alive if you are a sick bigoted fuck.

Maybe, that's another reason why I like the name "Guderian"that much. He was a straightforward man. Straight as an arrow.

Edge for life, sonn.

P.S. I forgot something, some people I personally know hate the fact that I sort of do so much filtering of my thoughts that when they come out as words, they're squeaky clean as fuck. Well, thank you. My words are soapy as ever. I'd blow bubbles to your ears so when they burst, you'll hear what I really mean.

Thank you, more please.

Flashes.

Tried a new joint at the local mall earlier. It's a Filipino restaurant that's celebrating the most (probably) Filipino food of all: adobo. The food was good. No, better. It was fulfilling. What made it fulfilling is not just the flavor alone, although it reminds me of home since we are fond of eating adobo with just the right amount of glistening oil and liver. The crew was very hospitable.

I'm sure that it's part of their job to be so but it's a feeling that very few people can fake. The generous servings of steamed rice, it's all-you-can eat btw, and the smiles make a good combo. I know, I'm a rude bastard at times but I always make it a fact to say 'thanks' whenever someone is serving me something to eat. 

Kahit sa carinderia, sa turo-turo, sa pwesto ng mga fishball o betamax. Lagi kang magpapasalamat. Kahit banas ka na sa haba ng pila sa MRT at parang wala nang marunong magsabi ng isang salitang dapat ipinupukpok sa sub-conscious at lalo na sa conscious self natin. 

What better way to repay their kindness (by not spitting at your food) than a resounding "salamat" to top it off.

That's the least they deserve for doing their jobs and doing it well. It's fun to see people do the same to crew members even if the service is crappy or needs a little tweak for improvement. Did I mention that they have amazing fried garlic toppings on their adobo?

That moment reminded me of a movie I watched. It was a suggestion from a very special friend. Happy tummy. Somewhat happy soul.

Monday, December 10, 2012

an intro instead of a story.

photo from fashionologie.com

"It shocks me when young kids still say, 'I want to do a magazine,' he says.


"Really? Do you want to do a magazine because you want to be an editor- what you think life is, that romance- or do you want to communicate? Because if you want to communicate, why the fuck would you want to communicate, why the fuck would you put all those obstacles in your path and have to print pages, as opposed to going right on the Internet and actually communicating?"


Damn. Scott Schuman.

An excerpt from GQ's June 2012 issue interview with the man behind The Sartorialist.

Success over night or success in a slow but steady notion.

Still, success is success.

Personally, it is a debate whether the print actually moves more obstacles in front of would-be bloggers when it comes to publishing praise-worthy work. Print is a mainstay, I keep telling myself that but it really has to do with doing real hard work to make it big.

We look at magazines to create images in our minds. We have the internet to translate it instantly with the help of terabytes worth of information and inspiration.

Damn, man. That really made me think.

pity, pacquiao and pablo

Pacquiao does not owe anything to people saying squat about his KO yesterday. 

He was faced with a top-tier fighter like himself. 

He got hit by 'Il Dinamita' square in the face.

Most people would probably wake up a week later if they were hit as hard like that.

Congrats, Congressman Pacquiao. You showed how much of a classy fighter and figure that you truly are.

But just so you know, you can lay low with the Lordy-Lordy thing. Your mom is not a bit happy with it.

Anyhow, let's not forget the many different people who tuned in to the fight. They are really hoping and betting on Pacman for the win. Not to mention, many of these people are also recovering from the devastation that Typhoon Pablo recently brought to people in the south.  An estimated 600+ are never to see Manny's next fight on pay-per-view or national tv. Even more are missing and probably have not seen the fight from where they are. Mind you, they might still be alive under the colossal weight of fresh earth and angry rocks swept by the floods from Compostela Valley and CDO. Others might be drifting in the ocean as they sailed to win money from angrier seas and tides.

It is funny how our people can see the silver lining even just for a little while when it comes to tragedy. If I were at Comp Valley when the typhoon hit, I'd probably be dead by now.

We are a tragedy prone people. We lose lives over floods and slides and rain and shit. Hurricane Sandy was a tragedy all the same but Pablo or Bopha did something worse. I think we have a problem with that, the world has seen more images and news about Sandy than Bopha. Even typhoons have supremacy issues. As long as it is the center of "human civilization" (just like in those alien and catastrophe movies) and more English-named cities and buildings, they'd have more coverage. Let's just hope and pray that something like Bopha does not happen to 'Merica.

Sana lumaban pa ang mga kababayan nating nasalanta. Bangon tayo, tulad ni Manny. Mas mahirap lang kalaban ang mga illegal loggers at si Inang Kalikasan.

smoky weekend

It's a Monday. Another Monday in an endless and vicious cycle of weeks and months and years. Hopefully, I'd get to take my money home for last month's worth of work.

Anyhow, there are a few things that are worth writing about today. Well, all of them happened during the weekend. I was lazing around during last Saturday. It was sticky and humid. Another sleepy weekend. I got a call from a friend, he was asking me what I was up to. I sheepishly answered 'Not much. Just trying to get some more sleep." He told me to come over, I did, and so did other friends. We were gathered to hear news. He told me on the phone that he'd rather tell the story personally.

I was first on the scene, he was grilling some homemade burgers. They were delicious. As other friends arrived (most of us came from the same high school but we never really got to hang out in the same group of friends.) He popped the news. He was already a dad. It didn't come out as a surprise to most of us, the surprise was he was a father for almost three months. The kid was beautiful. Congratulatory remarks came after and so did the story behind it. He himself told us that it felt like it came from a comedy script. I'll write more about that later on.

We enjoyed drinks and snacks and helluva lotta laughter. We remembered different tales from the not so distant past. But it felt like it was a decade ago. Come to think of it, we're half past due on those stories. We got acquainted with each other's current dilemmas and idiosyncrasies about being on the post-college phase.


Sharing a paunch with the new dad and son. 
They have identical perfect domes for an old man cut.
Fatherhood has different faces. For my dear friend, and for me, as I put it all up in my idea board of a mind: his story was that of irony and quirkiness. His daddy face is somewhat of a guy reading a magazine or a book or an online article on a hot afternoon. He is a fellow writer, and a god damn good one at that. Straight fucking A of a writer and he's now a dad. His story will be unfolding and it feels script worthy. I know it is. I feel it is. We just have to think of ways to write it.

I don't know how he'll react to this. I know he'll be reading this post and I didn't get the chance to fully congratulate him. Good job. You'll be a great father and friend to your son. He'll grow up to be a weird but brilliant hipster just like his old man and sweet mom.

Another noteworthy thing is a friend having the same feelings about work and making it big and happy in the fucking world. "Tara. Game ako dyan. Tapos magreresign ako, magbibisyo at magsusulat. Maganda pa t-shirt ko" like minded shit from a brilliant mind. I just put my friends in such high regard and they deserve every bit of it.

We kinda hooked it up on making my project work. It'll be more than a collaboration, more of a partnership. With his help, I know we can make something good with our god-given talents and ill skillz. I love that dude, no homo.

Quit our jobs. Do our shit. Write the hell out of every emotion, injustice, unfortunate event and other shit. Do more shit. Feed our vices and do more shit. And as icing to the cake, we get to have cool threads. How fucking good is that? And we'd get tatted up like we own our bodies. Sorry moms.

Head strong, boiiieee.


Sunday, December 9, 2012

frigid

"The temptation was over bearing. The proximity was fearful and delectable at the same time. She was inches away but I was too scared to do anything. It was a frozen yet passing moment. It was delightfully memorable.

She was just there but I was far away in a place I've created for myself. I had no ticket home though I felt that I was never away. Never away as long as she was close.

I've had passed to make sure no mistakes were made. No regrets in the next morning. My mouth was a minty hot mess. Maybe it's how I'd want her to remember my lips. Disgusting but somehow... Different, in a good way. I want to steal her sleep but I can't. That's why I'm writing this now to make me realize how much of a chance I let slip by.

It passed through the gaps of my fingers. I couldn't even smell her, even with just inches of gaping and proud space that's separating us. It was a long fall, long enough to reminisce the firsts of many things. I had let my perfect goodbye slip into just a memory of a failed sortie. She was too much for me. That I know, that I'll never forget. Foolish boy. Goddam foolish boy. Pansy-ass sissy.

There is no songbird tonight."


...

Friday, December 7, 2012

how to fucking make it out of work


I've been watching this show religiously. It's a 2-season series that's made up of 8 episodes per season. Bad news is that it got canceled on HBO and 'may' have the chance of resurfacing on another channel.

This is something of a wake-up call for me since the show revolves about 20-somethings in their constant sprawl to hustle and make a name for themselves at the gritty NYC. It's a good story but short lived.

"Hustle" is such a strong word for me. It represents a scuffle, street smarts, struggle and balancing victory and defeat. The events portrayed on the show represents each and adds a spritz of comedy and relatability (not to mention generous amounts of nudity and innuendo.)

Staying up late just to watch the complete two seasons made me want to take a move on with my plans for a silk screen printing business. Yes, if I weren't writing, I'd be making clothes. Sucky and tacky, I know. The prospect of making good clothes that people can actually appreciate is something I've thought about waaaay more than I do for work.

Once I get enough funds to start my own craft, I'd quit this day job and make my own way. The confidence and doubt of the characters are fighting to win over each other. It's another relatable thing for most 20-somethings. I'm feeeling like I'm writing a review for Thought Catalog but that's how it is. We never figure out what we want to do in our 20s. Some of us may have good day jobs but the fact of the matter is, most of us don't want it, we just kinda need it to stay afloat in a quagmire of bureaucratic ladders.

Many of us can say that we are anchored by something in some way, most of the time, that's true. MOST of the time. But we still feel like floating. And this post is already starting to rise up to the surface instead of sinking to my deeper thoughts.

Anyhow, I'd get a start up on my business as soon as I have the money. In the meantime, I think I'll make a concept for my project. 

Fuck! I love this show. Dirty, ambitious, flashy and fucking rad. Higher being, please send us season three. You can do it anytime you wish, we'll be waiting.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Good morning, Doctor.

Photo from The Selvedge Yard


Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming– “Wow! What a Ride!”
— Hunter S. Thompson

Wise words from a man who didn't wait for life to take him away. Badly bruised and beaten, half-drunk and half-stoned on a full head-on collision course. Life is supposed to wear people down. Otherwise, we should have been made immortal and forever young in our physical shells.

Threadbare and worn to the ground, I'm feeling like an old man with no trophy or medal or some sort of accomplishment to put up in the air. I know you don't believe in luck, Doctor. I don't, either. Let's get beautifully mangled.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Half-hearted Monday

photo from The Selvedge Yard

“I make a point of staying right at the edge of poverty. I don’t have a pair of pants without a hole in them, and the only pair of boots I have are on my feet. I don’t mess around with unnecessary stuff, so I don’t need much money. I believe it’s meant to be that way. There’s a ‘struggle’ you have to go through, and if you make a lot of money it doesn’t make the ‘struggle’ go away. It just makes it more complicated. If you keep poor, the struggle is simple." 

- Kenny Howard aka Von Dutch


The quote came from The Selvedge Yard.

I believe that this should be a constant reminder, to everyone. Making money is not bad, unless it becomes what you live your life for.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

jeepney epiphany

An epiphany struck me while on my way to work. I've noticed recently that I really suck at my job. I do. I really do. I goddam swear I do. And so, I thought why couldn't I work now as I did back then, not too long a time ago. The sleepless nights were something to be proud of. Lately, I have been sleeping late, waking up late, doing shitty late things that are not good for work and personal living.

I'm just thinking about my 'old timer' post about how much of an honor it is to grow old in this quickly decaying world and society. That those old coots may have done something good once or twice in their lives that they still live to witness a big sphincter that the world is turning into. I feel like I'm wasting my youth. My words escape me. I can't fully define and interpret the emotion and thoughts going into this phase.

I'm looking at the things I've done in the past months on the job. And I can't find one thing to be proud or even be glad about. To me, it's all rubbish. And it's not a good feeling to have. I'd have to rethink the way things go on around here. And so, I hope I don't waste my opportunity to be young and idealistic as hell. I'm scared of thinking how I'll turn up when I reach my middle years and how I could've [possibly, sic] turned things around when I had the chance and the years in me.

Ahh fuck it. I need to re-evaluate and re-organize. I need to know what I want and when I want it. I need to understand more things and and turn imagination into a livable idea and write a concept around it. I need to translate all of this into a workable solution.

I go with the flow but the problem with me is that I don't swim against the current even if I get swept into the foamy breach of a waterfall.

Note:
Janelle Monae is just gorgeous. I'd study the lines of her face all day if I had the artistic upbringing to do so. She looks so crisp. She has that certain air of coolness and sophistication in her.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

virtue and vice

A meme from an infamous Facebook page.
Growing up in the Filipino way of life has never come out short of learning from the older folks. The family is just an atomic source of energy when it comes to virtue and sometimes, addiction that when we try to dissect it and just tinker inside, we get blown to pieces by the realizations. It is highly probable that the way we interact outside this atomic structure stays true up until we find another interesting atom to split.

The older generations used to celebrate the virtues of being a good citizen. Sure, some ideas and ideals are now truncated variations but the core of it stays the same. Don't say bad words. Be kind and courteous when talking with the elders. Do unto others what you want others to do unto you and a whole family of spermatozoa and ovum genetics hardwired to the belief of heaven. These things pay our boarding passes when we reach the pearly gates of our perceived after lives. We receive the billing and we hope that we have garnered enough 'goodwill points' to make it to the other side. Or else, we get flung to the farthest, deepest circles of our own imagined hells. Forgive me for the most-likely erroneous scientific reference, I am no disciple of the sciences.

sun spilled shirt

Yes, it is that time of the year again. And no, I'm not talking about halloween. Tapos na 'yun.

It's nearing December and skinny love is being pulled to string thin. Will it unravel at the seams? I think not. 

"Come on skinny love, just last the year."

Waking up earlier today was difficult. The warmth of my bed and my cheap fleece-like blanket proved to be very difficult entities to argue with. My Ma woke me up to tell me that food is already served (Thanks, Ma!) She said it was freshly steamed rice and chicken longganisa, those film coated meatstuff that's being sold in breakfast meals at Jollibee. I answered "Mrhrmrr. Thanks, po." Then she flicked the lights on and it felt like a flashbang. The burst of light fried my eyeballs from underneath the eyelids. She told me to get up and try on a shirt she bought me. Lookie, advanced Merry Christmas!

I tried it on, half-awake and half-excited and still half-wrapped in my cheap fleece blanket. It fit perfectly. "Thanks, po." It was a bright orange shirt, almost neon. It was a nice gift. Talk about a good morning.

Somehow, when I got up today, I still thought that there's a way to make a double back. But it seems the beaten gets weary enough to just call it quits. I wore the polo my Ma gave me today. I feel like a walking traffic cone but it felt good wearing it. Perhaps the sunset may look dim but as you come nearer, it's tightly knit rays keep peeking through the clouds. You never get away from the sunset, okay, you can if you die but otherwise, you just can't.

This is not goodbye. It is a bright 'hello' and I hope you feel the same way. Damn you, Word. I nearly lost the file I saved. Don't ever do that again. 

My Ma is just so good at starting my day.

"Pour a little salt, we were never here."

the asterisk

A young Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
This is terrible. Just terrible. I forgot to greet Mr. Vonnegut for his birthday. 

He was born on the 11th of this month some 90 years ago. I wished I could've exchanged profanities with him. It would be fun to look at the world through the eyes of a man with views as weird and ideals as strong. 

I will try to collect all your books, sir. I just hope I don't lose myself in the process.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Auburn hair in the mirror city

Walking around one of probably the busiest cities in the country can make your mind fly. It can perch on the fact that the mirrored walls actually feed the hunger of the different types of vanities in the center business district. How we all like to see our reflections on the shiny facades of the buildings, how we like to see people see us in our thousand peso attires holding our yuppie puppie drinks with customized names. We eat many an assorted menu of vanities everyday. It is a voyeur-voyeur juxtaposition and we consume it the way we think we're supposed to.

Another moment fleets and lets it fly to the fact that these handsome and gorgeous fellows we meet as we walk past each other, these strangers that we look at indirectly through our aviators, keyholes and clubmasters are all rushing off to someplace else. Maybe they rush to the noodle joint atop the fast food stop to end up in a corner trying to scroll down their feeds and walls. We never know how grandiose their hiding really is. We feel it but we just can't quantify.

Then the bird flies to the thought of seeing a woman in her pencil skirt, flowing straight auburn hair down to her shoulders. You'll bet she's gorgeous and sweet and intelligent and kind. She walks down the polished street with her foxy gait. She holds a purse on her left hand and a cup of coffee on the right. I remember someone I love. I remember her though I never saw her that way. And the thought flies away as I fail in making a face out of her lithe and nubile figure. Her silhouette maybe was enough.

And it perches itself on the premise of strangers in the underpass. The men and women in different rhythms and cadences. You can tell that they come from different time zones. The poorer members of the caste walk faster into a run. They have sweat on their brows and they wear semi-smart clothes. You never feel the aura of the higher-ups. For all you know, they may be scholars and distinguished persons only rushing to catch their reflections on the mirrored city. The higher-ups walk slower, in their crisp uniforms and designer things. They bask in the glow of the underpass lights. They still have their Ray-Bans on.

Just a bunch of nondescript scriptures in the mirrored city. And the thought flies into the afternoon heat. It withers as it watches its reflection on the mirrored walls. Its feathers wither side by side the prisms of watching eyes. I look at its reflection on a mirror bouncing off light in another bouncing off another from one further down the perpetual cycle of the vanities.

Her gander is so memorable. It made my heart flutter into a futile spark. She won't amount, I bet she's not even real. Though I bet she's fucking pretty.

Amateurs

A very peculiar thing happened today. I told our chief-of-staff that I'd be late for work since I had to do something in Makati. She said 'Ok.' The thing is, after doing the errand, I got into a bus with my mom back to QC. The bus was humid and had air as heavy as smog. You can feel the war moisture stick to your skin and alveoli. The bus was 'air-conditioned' and asked for the air-con fee. It sucked at that. 

Well, what sucked even more was that 4 hoods got on the bus. Regular hiphop guys. One with a hoodie on even if the temp outside was a smelting room similarity. The other was wearing a hoodie with a beanie and cheap wayfarers. Tall, that one. Probably wore fake Adidas shoes, too. Motherfucker. All the details I remember are those of the three fuckers. The last one I noticed was a guy wearing a ball cap on reverse. He looked fucking dumb. They all had baggy pants and cheap looking sneakers.

The stupid-looking guy with the stupid fucking cap paid for his fare. 11 pesos in exchange for pieces of tickets. The tall motherfucker with beanie and shades on stepped on my dress shoe. Shouting ensued inside the bus. Familiar flicks of butterfly knives clicked and clacked inside my ears. Motherfuckers are pointing it at two women at the back, two seats behind where my Ma and I sat. The fuckers were asking for the bracelet and yelling "Putangina nyo, 'wag kayong makialam dito!" Panic followed.

After a moment, everything was over. They got the bracelet of the woman they apparently followed from a mall not far back. Motherfuckers and their knives. Putangina ng mga taong ganun. Puta talaga pasalamat sila wala pa kong lisensyadong baril kundi dalawa siguradong patay sa kanila.

If it were a fairer fight, two of those guys would probably be beaten to death inside the bus. Too much leash are given to those motherfuckers. I really wanted them dead. I wish I had a gun to shoot them with. In the face. In between the eyes or on the cheek and through the back of the head. Though I probably have to take the day off, my dark gray polo barong may have splatters of those mofos blood on it.

I swear to god I wanted them dead.

Late day, today

1 year na, Tita. Look after us, wherever you may be.

Friday, November 23, 2012

itsalright

It's easy to write about the things that normally go in your day. The commute, the work, the MRT ride, the book you enjoyed while on queue at the barber shop. Easy peasy. But had something different happen to you, it'd be quite a challenge to write it all. Yea, so maybe it can be a little easier than what I just said but for me, I am struggling in my efforts to tell a story.

I got drunk last night, again. I swear to God, I'm going to find the time to write a blog about the different kinds of booze I've tried and the judgment I pass onto them. I think that may cure my ailment when it comes to alcohol: I'd be more of a connoisseur rather than a kanto boy drunkard (this is not meant to be offensive, seriously, there's been a phase in my life that my friends and I would prefer to drink on the streets.)

The story behind that is I was trying to distance myself from a dude here at the field office. He was from another department so I rarely see him and vice versa. But when he does see me, he comes up and make jokes about flirting. Yea, he's gay, I said. No big deal. I have encounters with gay people, they are a good bunch, happy and vocal about things. But, the thing is, he always ran his arm over my shoulder. Akbay, hagod, haplos. Rinse and repeat. 

"Uhh, okay, dude. Please get your hands off me. That's enough horsing around." Talk about awkward moment in the office. The other peeps laughed at it, I did, too, politely. But it gave me the creeps. Okay, I really am not homophobic or anything but something tells me it isn't a joke anymore. And to save myself from further awkward and quite frankly, uncomfortable moments like that happening any moment, I decided to go with some co-workers to get plastered. And we did. And I'm glad I did.

Gay people, I'm sorry if any of you reading this may find it offensive. I've written this entry to the best of my ability to keep it sensitive and fair. Other straight people do that shit A LOT. I've nothing against you. I'm just glad I made a decision to let that thing go.

Aaaand, back to boozing. Yea, I got plastered really good. I woke up in the morning feeling like a dried sponge out of sea. Felt porous as if all the moisture was sucked out of me. Aaaand I managed to sleep until 5am with just my boxers on and the damn cold woke me up. And this gnawing, pulsating pain around the back of my neck, I wonder how I got it?

As for the drinks we had last night, a liter and another small bottle of brandy did the first few kicks. Then we washed it off with light beer, two buckets of it, poorly chilled might I add. The crispy tofu and betamax was great.

And I am just whiling away. Waiting for my clock to tell me "It's time to go home."  

Thursday, November 22, 2012

afternoon delight

Well, hello.

Early lunch today. Thought it'd be better if I got my thing going earlier to get on to working my ass and actually finishing my work ahead of time.

The queue at the fast food I ate at was just terrible. Kids are running all around the place and stepping on my feet. It shouldn't have been that irritating but I was wearing slippers so they kinda stubbed my already stubbed toes into the ground. And they were the type of kids that were annoying when inside the mall. They smelled like young sweat and looked like they had mucus falls for noses. I'm sorry, I swear I'm not that mean of a guy.

My stomach was rumbling, it was craving for a big meal. I ended up ordering a 215-peso meal that consisted of a heavy almost all-meat sandwich, a piece of chicken and two servings of rice (I had to make my stomach happy, it was fed up of digesting carinderia food, side note: I love carinderia food; but it gets old when you eat the same stuff for 3 straight days.) Whew that was a long note inside parentheses. Well, hello. The rice was steaming hot. It torched my tongue but it felt good when it went down my digestive pits.

I'm going to get #Instagood with you here and post the sandwich that I am saving for later. Tada! Hipsters rejoice!


One way trip to Fat Fairways/Cholesterol City. Oyea!
Well, just got news from our budget officer. They are approving my allowance for this week but they slashed a good 500 pesos for the "time" I apparently spent outside the work environment. I's cool with tha shit. Couldn't argue with people who feel like they own your life with the monieszzs they pay 'ya.

I'm looking forward to the weekend. I need to see some familiar faces, hear familiar voices and get some good news. I'll be seeing my kid on the next weekend so that's definitely going on my calendar.

This post makes no sense whatsoever. It doesn't even point to a relevant topic nowadays. I'd like to talk about Marvic Leonen's appointment to the Supreme Court or the passing of the Sin Tax Bill on its third reading at the Senate but the sense of injecting politics into this private space seems inappropriate. If I wanted to do that, I'd be making a new blog about it.

I am just bored as hell. I swear to God, I'm mean when I'm bored. And I don't even make sense.

P.S. Thanks to Holden Caulfield. You just got swaggerjacked. Peace, homies!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Trifecta of Dreams

As I said in an earlier post, I've unearthed some old articles. I dug this story I did for a class requirement. It' s supposed to be a personality profile. It will be a long post so you may want to exercise your eye balls and sockets. 

I thought hard about editing things out but I don't think it can do good for assessing my writing in the past years. Still, it was a fun piece to write. Forgive the fuzzy use of sentences, words and phrases. It's part of my creative non-fiction writing. Please feel free to bash. I am kind of anxious about really posting it for more than my instructor to read but I remember what one of my former instructors told us in class: "Get used to people reading your work. How else can you be a writer?" Touche.

I.         Every morning, different people wake up and imagine what the day has in store for them. In all the routines and the little things that make them an everyday ritual. Today, Reynato will wake up in his bed and fix his uniform before he takes a bath. It’s 5am and he needs to get to his office fast: in his case, it’s a busy intersection in one of the country’s most congested traffic destinations. He suits up, gets his reflective traffic gloves on and grabs his morning coffee. He walks to work, it being only 15 minutes away or less if he’s thinking on briskly jogging to work. He arrives at the disabled crossing line and marches into his position. All day he’ll signal cars to go whichever direction they need to. Every precise moment he waves his hand to a direction may well mean a perfect arrival time for an important meeting. Otherwise it will result in numerous rants and curses as appointments will need to be re-scheduled. He has a buddy to switch with in between breaks: time outs are usually for lunch or the afternoon coffee.

Wee King

"Afternoons are always lonelier for one little boy. He missed his parents so much but they had to work to days' end. They were not a wealthy family but they live comfortably. He used to cry when his parents leave the house. He clutches his parents' clothes and cry 'Mama, Papa.' How he loved his parents, he just did not know how much he did at the time. He was a kid. A child, a rightful heir to everything that the universe has to offer. He still did not know that at the time.

Then he grew up smart. Maybe, too smart. He grew mean because of all the new things he learned. He learned quick and thought high of himself. His parents were too late to see what has happened. He loved them, still. And they, him.

The universe conspired to bring him a little boy. A little boy strong enough to have made him cry the hardest and loudest. That little boy reminded him of what he didn't know. That little jailer reminded him how much he didn't know of things and how much he wanted to learn more. The once sobbing, snotty boy was now a captive. He could not resist the charms of the little one. His wee image of what he once was.

He remembered the universe conspiring, well, he thought that one time. He was not the rightful heir to everything that the universe has to offer. Someone snatched it from him before he even knew. But that someone is now the reason he offers the universe to one man, a tiny little man who has forever chained and changed his mean heart. He was happy. He was holding his universe in his own arms."

Lit time! Oyea! Little kid stories... right in the heartszs.

Late breakfast

Prairie Oysters. Photo from seriouseats.com
I should be working now. But I'm just sitting here, blogging my way through waiting. They are asking for my allowance back. Apparently I have to return the money they gave me since I wasn't able to fill in 7 days in my work place. I really wanted to ask them if they are paying me for each day spent and if the work week I signed up for actually has seven working days. 

I wonder what'll happen if I ask them for the time I could've spent with my family. I mean, they DID steal a few off days from me. I'm not whining. I'm just asking what is due.

I am sitting here. Waiting. I am typing with my laptop. I think it's frying my balls. My gonads. My mojo. My babymakers. I wonder, how much will they pay for them? Once I get cancer of hairy testicles.

I'm just wondering. About my balls, is all.

Stand still

An ode to a December night in college.
U.P. Baguio c2009
There is always something that lingers on as we pass on to different phases in our lives. We rarely get to see these splatters of past in our new lab gowns, crisp white shirts, safety boots, silk handkerchiefs and so on. We dust them off, give them the flip or two to make them unknowingly go away since we never knew they were still there. But, they are still there.

For example, remember the way that in college, you know your batch mates’ good and bad habits? Remember that one classmate who never shows up for class on time, parties all the way to the finals, just barely dragging and hanging on to the last absence to kick him out of the class and then miraculously passes the finals? Well, he’s a rare breed but not exactly one to be emulated. Here’s another one, remember that girl who always wanted to get the highest scores in everything? In quizzes, projects, recitation, oral exams, performances and everything in between? Do you remember how she pouted and puffed her eyes when she got the 3rd highest score in one of your midterms during your graduating year? Yep, I bet you do. You still get irritated by that every once in a while.

Well, the fact is, we never got out of college, or high school, or our organizations, fraternities, sororities. We don’t know it yet but we’re still stuck in the same class, only, there’s money and for some, there’s still no money involved.

You always get buzzed thru Facebook that this friend is living the life travelling the world at the expense of his company, and this other college classmate now champions the ideals of peace and prosperity in the more troubled parts of the country. You never get really far from them not only because of the social media but the way you still interact with them. Yes, they don’t text you but that does not hold them back from still making you feel like you’re that dragging dude from college who only goes to class at the end of the year.

Sometimes, it still is a matter of bragging rights. Back in college, it was like “Oi, uno ako sa finals!” Now, it’s more like “How much money you’re making? Are you having fun in your job? Because I do. And, oh, almost forgot, I still got higher scores in the Civil Service Exam than you.” But sometimes there are funnier stories to remember. Like the memory of a classmate having a twang and slang in her speaking voice when it comes to speech classes and you are oh so happy when she mispronounced one word. You’re still in college; still making fun of the uptight do gooders and people who try so hard to impress the higher ups and then rub it hard on your face. And don’t mind if they have SWAGGGG. You better than dem bitcheezz.

But there are the exceptions. You still admire former classmates who made it on their own. Who kept quiet during your years in college and got out just fine or even better. Remember that brilliant classmate of yours who got pregnant during your sophomore year? She raised that daughter of hers in her own blood and sweat, moonshining and all. And that other guy who you thought can make it to the big-time periodicals? Well, he’s a correspondent now. They’re just quiet folks, enjoying the things that they have and take things as they go.

We never really get out of college. We still meet and surprisingly, greet these people on a not-so-regular basis than we’d want to. Still, no matter how much they fling their high-and-mighty lifestyles and cool perks up in your face, you never seem to envy them that much. Heck, not even one tiny bit of you wishes to be in their shoes. And that’s one sure sign that you’re still in college. You just quietly enjoy the things you have, taking things as they go, keeping stuff that you can use and leaving the shit on the floor where they’re intended to be. And besides, who’d want to have a phony twang and slang? Would you rather say “Taygaylohg” than straight up “Tagalog?”

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Sphincter Tolerance

Asshole drawing by Kurt Vonnegut

*Bleep* Attention. Attention!

Today is Sphincter Tolerance day. It is celebrated to remind ourselves to ward off assholes everywhere. Law states that their species be preserved. If hunting is allowed, they'd be a dying breed within days. Whether at work, school, commute or on personal holidays, remember to have extra patience with them. 

Please resist the urge to shoot them in the face with a double barrel shotgun or drive a stake into their annoyingly beating hearts. Their brash attitude, stupidity and maybe, your extreme luck will kill them. One day, they may get struck by vengeful lightning, let's keep our fingers crossed

That is all. *Bleep*

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Cold feet on Thursdays

"What makes me a *bleep*?
The sticky feeling of guilt.
Is it even guilt?
Isn't it disgusting to be touched all over,
groped and licked into submission.
Utter shame.
All by the wealth of old.
Men in their business suits.
Fancy shirts and ties.
CEO demeanors, my ass.
Unbuttoned collars with smears of human grease.
Old human oil.
Folded cuffs with stick stains.
Lips? Money thrown in all directions.
Payment for the revelry of bare flesh,
seething hearts and desensitized acceptance.
Maybe, we are not *bleep* at all.
You'd easily think that earning good money
would do good to men with good families,
living good lives. They must have had
lots of paper cuts. My body worked hard
for this paper. You throw it at me
in good cheer. Payday.
                 "
I've unearthed several old writings. Some are on paper, some are on my old file folders saved on my old computer. Funny, how it still sits well right now. I'll think about posting other humiliating works. Or maybe it's best not to. Happy weekend!

Babes

Dahil usapang bata na lang din naman, ipapaskil
ko na rin ang picture ng anak kong nasobrahan sa
kagwapuhan. Pasensya na po at proud lang talaga ako.
(Gab before his 1st year)
Ang saya tignan ng mga reaksyon ng mga bata. Mangingiti ka sa pag-iisip kung ano ang itsura mo noong ikaw ang nasa ganoong edad. Anim na buwan? Isang taon? E pano pag 3 years old na? Ano kaya ang mga kalokohan mo noon?

Pauwi ako mula trabaho nang may makasakay akong magnanay sa jeep. Mestiza yung nanay at mukhang may dugong banyaga. Maging ang batang lalaking karga nya ay ganun din. Yun nga lang, may kakaiba sa bata. Parang Caucasian ang ama nito. Tisoy, halata pating gwapo. Hindi ko maidescribe pero ganun. Manipis ang buhok nya at pabilog ang hugis ng mukha. Mahabang mga pilik mata ang pumipitik pitik habang nakasakay sya sa jeep.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Felt tip works

 There are few things that have welcomed me into manhood. There's fatherhood, of course. Driving lessons: two-wheels that I learned the hard way (with scars to prove it) and four-wheels (with a learner's permit for proof.) Job applications, pay slips, legitimate addictions, bouts with alcohol, erratic behavior and so on. Drawing remained a hidden childhood memory but it has resurfaced lately.

As a kid, I used to sort of pride myself in my creations, seeing that the other kids in my class were below my talent line, so to speak. But then, as I grew older, I realized that my drawings are cute, not good. I saw other people's works and said 'Fuck it. I better leave this art stuff to those who are really good at it' and so I transferred to writing. I really have former schoolmates who are very talented, some are already quite skilled in the art department.

I've been very much in love with prospect of getting tattoos for a sort of storytelling. I picture it as my own way of being identified with many things that happened in my life that obviously had a huge impact on my perspective, attitude, outlook and the way I steer my life as of now. Then I had the idea of making my own tattoo designs so that they will be more personal: banking on beliefs, landmarks represented by meaningful illustrations that I've sort of think is applicable. 
Swallow as inspired by Sailor Jerry flash
The swallow is symbol of loyalty for me. It was supposed to be my first tatt but the need for the headstone memorial tatt trumped it. It will be the next to be done on my right shoulder down until my upper right chest. 

The 26th

My personal marker. Serves as a reminder. Sorry, Ma.
"Everything was beautiful, and nothing hurt."
~ Slaughterhouse Five, Kurt Vonnegut
It is nearly the 26th of the month. It'll be the first death anniversary of Tita Mila's passing. It feels passe to say 'How fast. It's been a year already?' She wouldn't want that. She would want to see us enjoying at McDonald's with all the fast food amenities and saturated fat. She was nice like that.

I remember reading a story on the Philippine Daily Inquirer. It was from a column and I've forgotten all too well, the details of the story, the author, the name of the column and when I had read it. The gist was actually a question: "Why do we celebrate deaths and failures?" It was a baffling question for me at that point in my life, having lost no one.. YET. Well, no one important.

I remember the point of the article and it goes something like this: we celebrate deaths and failures so we remember a somewhat silver lining, we remember the Fall of Bataan to remind ourselves of the good that it has brought to us as a people, we remember the deaths of loved ones to remind us how happy we have been to have had them touch our lives, we remember tragedies to remind us that everything we touch in this life is but transient in material space but immortal in a dimension that we all share and pass on to the next seeds of our generations. Well, something like that. 

For many, this time of year, they count the days until Christmas. I do, too. I just wish that wherever Tita spends her time now, they have Christmas there, too. So she may recieve my greetings and gifts. I hope that Vonnegut was right that when we pass, we never really die but only pass on to a different dimension. A dimension where the physical senses are not enough to make us believe that we exist, we just know that we do.

Merry Christmas, Tita. And happy anniversary on your arrival at your own personal and non- physical dimension. 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Sunday was good, not great, just plain good

The sun set over another sleepy Sunday. The intersection was a good place to meet you.
I think I have many things to write about during the last weekend. The problem is I don't really remember much of what I wanted to write about or how I'd write them. Boo-fucking-hoo for not using the memo pad on my phone.

To get off, I've recently applied for a Tax Identification Number at the regional office near our place. It took me almost an hour to get to the office, nearly two hours in queue for the payments and another hour for transactions. The heat was unbelievable. It was like putting your head near the barbecue grill. Only the embers were not present. I found out that I have to file monthly, quarterly and yearly. Plus, I need to pay an additional percentage of my salary. The cheese just got sliced further. I think I'll be left with gossamer thin snips of pay.

Just finished painting the final coating for my Pa's bike. I decided to go for a flat black finish. Got the bars and handle post painted too. That was before I finished my driving practice. It was a success, I didn't hit anyone or anything on the way. My Pa gave out a sigh of relief.

Also got a sketch of my graduation picture from my uncle from the province. It was a charcoal sketch. It was  framed in cheap wood, you can still see the nails used to fasten the illustration board inside. It was nothing special at first glance. It looked cheap and badly done, really. But the thing is, it was done inside prison. My uncle is being detained until his arraignment. That was something to do even in my current status. I don't do special shit for relatives. Never have. That made the sketch special, heck, even I looked special on the portrait.

Lastly, I had success in cooking my first sinigang na ulo ng salmon (pink salmon, to be specific.) I cooked it in miso. It was good, not great, just plain good. My Ma also made turon but it looked like lumpia. It was good, not great as it is, just plain good. But due to the fact that my Ma made them for me, it was delicious. I ended up looking for it after dinner.

It was a simply fulfilling day, weekend. I didn't know why, exactly. It just felt good, not great, just plain good. I ended up missing my wee one, also dreamt of him all grown up by I managed to forgot what he looked like. And that made me glad. It would have been cheating if I got to remember.