Saturday, November 30, 2013

These tired, old bones need a rest. Drink, take me home.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Clinical D Post no. 1

" "I'm just dying a little bit on the inside each day. Though, I don't really mind taking someone with me to that grave." He said as he wiped a bulbous bead of sweat from his brow. He was frail but strong. I looked on as he let out a small whimper - he looked like an old dog who's nursing and licking his wounds in a corner. I wanted to help him kick that guy's teeth in. I wanted to watch the flecks of teeth fly in a grisly spray of red and white. He's not really sure how he'd do it but he sure knew he wanted to release that usurping feeling of passive rage. "

Saturday, September 28, 2013

135 Filipino Building

Well.

Maraming dapat sabihin pero saan ba ako magsisimula. Siguro dun nalang sa parteng gumugulong na uli ang buhay ko sa maraming paraan. May bagong trabaho na pakiramdam ko ay magsisimulang magbigay sakin ng direksyon na kailangan ko ngayon. Nakakatuwa lang dahil saktong sa linggo ng kaarawan ko e nagkaroon ako ng trabaho. Sakto. Birthday gift. Katunayan nga eh niregaluhan ako ng mga kaopisina ko ng cake at pinagsaluhan namin yun. Mababait sila at kwela. My kind of people.

Nagbirthday ako sa steps ng building kung saan nakabase ang opisina namin. Kakatapos lang kasi ng shift at nag overtime rin kami dahil sa mga ginagawang trabaho. Can't complain. It feels better this way. Maraming dapat ipagpasalamat, isa na dun ang mga kasama ko sa opisina.

Happy 23d!
Writing job ang nakuha ko. Para sa'kin eh nakakatuwa rin yun dahil mapili ako sa mga posisyong inapply-an ko. Sabi nga ng nanay ko, ma-pride raw ako. Sagot ko na lang, ganun talaga e. Mas gusto kong magamit ang mga pinag-aralan ko sa isang trabahong bubuhay sa'kin at sa pamilya ko. Isang uri yun ng pride na sa tingin ko e mabuti para sa'kin. Pride. Nakakatuwang pakinggan.

Dito ko masasabing lalago ang kakayahan ko bilang manunulat. Hindi man pulitikal o kahit may bahid ng social pro-activism ang gampanin ko bilang manunulat eh masasabi ko namang masaya ako sa ginagawa ko. Mas mabuti na yun kesa sa isang trabahaong ginagawa mo lang para sa kakarampot na sweldo at masabing "may trabaho ako."

Isa pang dapat kong banggitin sa sulatin kong ito ang pagkakaroon ng pangalawang pagkakataon para maging mas mabuting kapareha sa aking sinisinta. Wanep, "sinisinta." Pero pwera biro, salamat para doon. Alam kong sablay ako sa maraming bagay at mahalaga sa akin ang mga nangyaring yun. Mahal kita, alam mo yan. Siguro lang ay mas maganda kung sinasabi ko ang mga ito sa harap mo. Ganito lang ako, pero pramis, mula rito magiging ayos na ang lahat.

Saka na lang uli. Salamat pa rin. Nasabi ko na ba yun?

Thursday, September 19, 2013

A writer’s letter to his son

Son, I hope you read this someday. You may feel that it is all too tacky for your grey old man to write this for you but that’s the point – I don’t want to seem the bent old fart that you see hovering around you whenever you have a girl around for dinner, I want you to hear or read what I have to say when I’m still sound and sober.

There will be lots of hardships for you. As a father I wouldn’t want any of that to happen to you, my precious child. I love you and I hope you have all the best in the world. No, I wish you may have the best the world has to offer. The possibilities are only as limited as the barriers you would put up in your mind. But as a man, I’d want you to face challenges that would test you and build you a stronger hold in life.

I’ve done a lot of things that made me think once or twice about. Having you is not one of those things. Your mother and I believe that you are the best thing that has ever happened in our life, no homo. Your little hands that are now beginning to take shape into large but beautiful coolie paws are what will help you build your own castle.

You are a prince by right, so act like it. Soon, you’d be king. A king is noble and right in his words, deeds and promises. Treat women the best that they deserve as you would your mom, your queen. The only time you should touch a woman’s face is when you wipe away her tears or kiss her to assure her of your love. If she should cry, it should be when you are kneeling before her when you ask for her hand in marriage. 

Be a comforting presence to your soon-to-be queen and never lose time to listen to her qualms and her inner storms. The heart of a girl is meek; you’d have to take a step closer to hear it speak. Make her feel her prettiest everyday when you are together and make her remember that love when she is far away. But for now, love your mother to the full – it’s one of the best kinds that love can be.

You should always act the part you want to play. Never be a poser who basks in the lime light of mundane and fleeting things. You must earn everything that you would want to be proud of. Be a man in every right of the word. I know you’ll do because you’re my son. You are everything that I have always aspired to be. You are my role model. I look up to you now even if you’re just three feet tall. That’s how much of a big man you already are in my heart.

If you may feel like I’m talking a lot or expecting too much of you, don’t. These are but words that I’d like you to read and understand. Never feel obligated to be dictated if you know it’s not what you want to do. Speak out but keep in mind the feelings of others. Say what you have to as long as you know that you are on the right side of the fence. I am your father, I will listen.

Join a fraternity if you’d like, just march back home when your mother is calling for your ass or both of us would be grilled to golden brown perfection. Don’t come home beaten because I will make it my personal pledge to make the lives of those who did that to you a living hell.

You can be gay, too for all I care. You are my son and I would love your partner when the time comes. What’s important is not the beard on your chin (but that would like be totally awesome!) or the muscles in your arms nor your personal winning score in fist fights but the man that you are underneath all of it. 

Cuss, drink, smoke and get tattoos, it’s all part of your rite of passage but stay true to what you stand for and make good with the youth you have. I’ll believe in you because you’re my little boy, nothing can change that and I’ll always love you for it.

Forgive me if it’s taking too long to finish this thing. I’m getting old right at this very moment. Plus, I’m a writer. It’s what I do. My memory is starting to become a big blur. But before that completely happens, I want to ask you a favor – when I pass on, be sure to put to heart and mind all of the things in this letter. Be the guiding image to your children and the younger men after you. It can only get better from there on. Remember your old man as the way you would always want to remember him, as your father.

I love you, son. Your mother and I love you very much.

P.S.
I forgive you for shoo-ing me when I try to hug you and pepper you with kisses. I guess that’s just what fathers do to their little boys. I’ll always give you a pass. And I promise not to show your naked baby pictures to every girl I see you with, I’m cool like that. Also, please take care of the bikes, boots and books that I leave to you. Use them at your disposal to learn the workings of the world in pages, see the open road on two wheels and what it has to offer you, conquer your mountains and leave nothing but your footsteps and a sigh of contentment. I’m sorry I can’t leave you the special reserve of whiskey, it’s one of those things I told you earlier of which you had to earn. Cheers to you, my man. 

Sunday, September 1, 2013

A writer’s letter to his future wife

I’m a writer. This will be a disclaimer. It will be apology letter rather than a romantic quip to pull at your heart strings but I promise it can shed light to the darker corners of my mind and heart. Cheesy as it may, please forgive me. I’m terrible at words when it comes to you. Good thing is you’re not a figment of my imagination. It’s a pity that some of my colleagues have fallen to that sort of thing. Though Ruby Sparks is probably one of the most romantic and truthfully accurate works there is out there. I can’t make you up with words. You’ve appeared before me and all I have are my words to make you realize that I am flawed but am ready to love you and irritate you with the same words that helped me reel you in.
I am sorry if I am forgetful at times. This will be the base of this whole thing.

 I have a way with words that have helped me make a small career and a couple of jobs that will keep us satisfied. As you always say, we need not much, just enough is good enough for us. What use would too much money serve? I say a lot of cars, a bigger house and a more comfortable life. You smirked. I realize that I had enough to make me happy and content. It is you that made me realize with less words. It is you who made me understand with such simplicity the thing I tried to explain my whole life with paragraph after paragraph. You are the parsimonious side of my letters. It’s a good thing you said that. 

As a writer, I can only earn as much. Though I can write you simple notes to remind you how much of a good person you are to me and how much I forget to thank you in return. I am forgetful though I remember with more words than I can imagine how distinct and vivid is the memory of your face and that look you make when I do things that make you swoon as accidental as they may be.

I am sorry if I can not put into audible sound the feelings I have for you nor show it to you in actions. It is something that I must do as part of this relationship but given the chance, I will peek out of my shell. Extend my wrinkly appendages and demonstrate a futile hug to invite you in. My shell will be cramped and you will need a longer time to get used to it but I really hope you will. You will get mad at me for my annoying habits and quirks. You may even get used to them but one day get so frickin mad that you’d want to smack me in the face. I understand that, I really do. I will not be the easiest person to be around with but I will try to be the best shellmate for you. Please accept the poorly arranged flowers, they’re on sale at the local flower shop.

Forgive me for not being able to come up with the greatest love story ever told when asked to write about our love. I can’t seem to do it. Love stories have endings and they end with a dot. It’s hard for me, at times, to work on things that I am queasy to do. It’s just that we are living that story and I couldn’t, for the life of me, find a good enough ending for you, for us. I want it to be several thousand pages long with ellipses instead of punctuation marks. You are the greater writer in this love story. That smile of yours inspires me to write a whole act in itself but I still wouldn’t want to finish it. I would want to get to the part where I’d see them mutter the simplest words that would fill me every day that we are together. Whether they be “go get the laundry” or “I want soup for dinner.” 

Olive oil. 
Across the table glances and snickers when I get flush because one of our friends had an embarrassing story that involved me having the greatest crush on you. You wrote those pages, so keep them coming. You don’t know it yet but you make novelists look like amateurs. I’m afraid I can’t keep up with the way you put words into my fingertips.

Forgive me if I take too long to propose. As a writer, I also find it difficult to end one chapter in my work just so a better chapter would open. I have many quirks that you will find annoying, this is one of them. I get anxious thinking that I couldn’t find a good enough beginning for the next act as well as the last words to finish this one I’ve been working so long on. Do you remember the time we imagined the family we’d soon have? You have great pov’s and plot ideas. How creative can you get? That’s why I’m writing you this letter. It’s also like a letter of intent. I hate corporate type letters but I’ve enjoyed this one so far. You may enjoy this too, or not. I’ll know when I see crumpled paper lying around. But I hope you would like it. It will feel like getting a book deal, only better. It’ll be something we’d have to fill in, enjoy the creative process and extend the deadline since we are our own publishers. 

No stingy editors, just you and me and our thousands of pages to fill and subchapters to extend and the characters and protagonists and framing devices along the way. I’ll teach you how to use the ellipses. You’ll teach me how to put words into better places. Did I ever say I’m sorry for being a writer, yet?


I see London, I see Sam's Town

Holds my hand and lets my hair down. Rolls that world right off my shoulder
I see London, I see Sam's Town now.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

It’s been a few months since I’d last held work in my hands. I recently left my job to look for better opportunities. So far, my applications have been unanswered. A risky move, really. Knowing that I have a son to support, a family to help and a promise to keep. I can’t say that I’ve been that much of slacker, I can’t say I have been the opposite either.
My hiatus in almost everything has brought about realizations and pained truths. In my relationships, self-appreciation, pride and on areas too many to mention. It hasn’t been too hard nor has it been too easy. It is a pedal malfunction. Way too many things unattended and undervalued.

I had suffered a few setbacks in my relationships. I’ve fallen out with people I should have taken care of. I’d lost the respect of people I have looked up to and have been forever indebted to. The factors in maintaining good relationships have risen up and my scores are on an all time low. So much for my investment in people. I have reduced myself to a mere companionator – not in the sense of a movie quip that meant “pimp.”

A funny thing really, I find myself good company – maybe too good of a company even for myself. I scare people and the book of Neil Strauss isn’t exactly helping me acquire the necessary social skills I need to work in the real world. Too much theory, I’m too afraid to put it to work. I’m starting to ask myself how I had managed to hold on to these people, and how, for that matter, did they manage to be in good ties with me for so long? I think I am now getting the response.

This is nothing but a diary entry that has been long overdue. It feels normal. A soliloquy but not in the poetic sense – more on the depraved and desperate sense. All I have are my caps to block people’s looks and my glasses that have been scratched way more than they need to be. My playlist consists of good melodies and my head with the fantasies I fail to keep even in my dreams. What fucking luck – I don’t even believe in that shit. 

Fucking. 

Useless.


I can’t say I’ve invested my time and resources in the wrong people, it’s just that they could be made on a more reasonable time. I’ve had lapses in judgement, I don’t deny these things. The only worse thing I can do is deny myself of the justice that I’ve paraded in the faces of people all these years. You don’t get that fucking low. Clearly, I have anger issues. My good friend had said it to me once, jokingly. I felt flush. Depressed and angry. What a fucking nice mix. There’s no way you can drink around that.

Friday, August 23, 2013

domesticated

A friend and I got together over a bottle of drink and a shared meal of chicken patties and sweet bread. I think it was day-old, though still good and filling. I couldn’t complain. We have gone back and forth on many points of discussion and agreement that night: past experiences, people we last talked to, friends who are too good and those who can’t make the cut and the definition of the term “in-between-jobs.” It was a fun night.

I believe that they are enjoying their life as a married couple. It is a life they shared with their son. I was blessed enough to be there to celebrate their union and their son’s coming into the religious world. As a past-professional who used words for a living, I can’t quite figure out how to put my thought process on this thing. I am just proud and happy to see them enjoying their current status.

The night started with a glass of chocolate vodka. He said it reeked of drink and apologized for the apparent ratio. It was nothing to worry about. I didn’t come for the drink... those of you who have followed this ‘acrid’ blog would know that I just lied. It was a good mix, I ought to make something like that one of these days. We shared the dim night with a few more swigs of the stuff and went on with our like-minded take on the topic of intermediate school and the people and doctrine that filled it. We could swear that we would have ended up way different than what we are now had we gone to the same campus in college. We shook our heads to the possible outcomes.

He’s a freethinker – though not the kind that shunned deities or religious beliefs. He just took things into stride and made use of aspects that would best set him a good view on things. We should’ve known each other more in the last seven years. It would be a huge relief to have a fellow spirit. He’s a shot away at being in a better disposition than me. I’m a walking spent shell.

The drink went on and we couldn’t clink glasses, we used just one glass to fill our already warmed up guts with more drink. Nostalgia sets in. We used to drink this clear blue stuff more back in the day. Feeling old gets old. It’s a good thing we can’t go back, that’d be too easy and stupid.


Hipster couple. That’s what I called them. Talented writers, too. Now, they're a domesticated hipster couple with a charming son. They quipped that no one ever really tells them from whom their son took after. “They always say it’s a mix.”

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Something's wrong with my thought process. It's something that I always say to people when I talk to them as I almost chase them off with the nonsense that comes out from my mouth. And it has been finding its way to my writing as well.

Having fun is something of previous stranger to me. For the longest time, I avoided going out with friends though I find myself getting sucked in anyways. I had a weird thinking that when things are getting good, it can only get worse from then on. It was a constant gnawing feeling. It is an itch, dangerous to scratch. Whenever I down a bottle or enjoy a cup of coffee outside, I just get this feeling at the back of my head and the bottom of my gut. It's like something bad is going to happen.

I had held on to this thinking for a very long time until I forgot how it felt like to be down. The regular questions as to why shitty things happen were a ruse to the more serious problem. I was just having too much fun. Everything was just a blur. Even the problems seemed like a math problem, no worries since I can deal with them mentally. The thing is, I suck at math. Suxxxxx.

Apparently, the feeling is shared by my mom. She told me that she was exactly like that when she was in college. The big difference between us is that she was put together more than I ever was and am now. She's on a different league and apparently, everybody else but me.

I'm sorry. This is just verbal abuse. It's a waste of code and memory. Here's the only place that I can't hurt or maim someone else in my release process. I'm a mean drunk at times.

clocking in

Great writers, who are known to be the pillars of this adored but left out profession are all gone. Though there are some who are still standing, I think the prospect of being immortalized in the cult following of the literary world is one to die for. Look at David Foster Wallace, for example. His untimely and self-imposed time out from this life only made Jonathan Franzen look bad. Not that Franzen sucks at making worlds out of paper and ink (he’s one of my favourite) but DFW’s demise only made readers want to know more. It’s like there’s a vacuum of necessity that pulls reader to the dead authors. The lost are celebrated in more grandeur and regard than those who are yet to write their best works.

Ian Flowers, a respected tattoo artist in the U.K. said that he still hasn’t found his best work yet. Maybe, he never will. Another good point. Maybe it’s not death that truly gives way to the best works in the eyes of the author or artist. Though, what makes something a genuine success or a hit? Maybe there are more than a few classification or unit of measure. You just have to churn out more pages if you still haven’t found it yet. It’s always a good practice to outdo yourself every time. A scarcity of pats on the back is something that every creator must live with. It is in the presence of mundane and undeserved praise that makes mediocre work and ballooning egos.

This fascination with people who left a great deal of an impression in literature maybe comes from a series of unresolved conflicts. The lost always make a great topic. You can almost always fit it in everything you say, think or create. I’m afraid I am part of the “lost generation” as coined by John J. Hypocrite. I am part of an era that loses delight in hard work – though I think, I have a problem with it. I’ve forgotten how it is to work for something I wanted. It has taken too long to be reminded of the more important things. Work felt like it stemmed from need and not from the desire of a better day. As I am writing this now, there is a gap in what I want to put in and what I need to say. Help. I am lost.

I am just rambling. 

J.J. Hypocrite is long gone, too. His last peek was into the barrel of his own gun. It is far from over. I haven’t completed my hard work yet. It is not yet time to collect my social security nor cash in my retirement pay. Doomed generation, that was Hypocrite’s exact words. I got too stuck on the less precise word “lost.” I’ve just punched in.

Friday, June 21, 2013

This is my stop, kid. You've a long way to go.

"Sometimes, you have to trade in your pride into something more wearable. Something like comfort and stability. It won't mean you lost fight in whatever you believe in, it just means you grew wiser and was handed a bigger pair of balls. You sweat for the right things, no matter how much you pride yourself in something that can't bring food to the table or a smile in your workplace. A man's gotta do what a man's gotta do. Learning to step down from your own pedestal will be one of the least noticed lessons in life."

The old man gave him a pat on the back before he alighted the bus.

"Everything will get better. Remember, you're still young. You have a long list of fuck-ups to do."

...

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

mutti

There is something that irks me.

 “We are a line of men raised by women. Suckled in softness and indecisiveness. They wear the pants in the relationship. Most of us don’t even know how to use a necktie. I think it’s better if we use it as a noose, around the neck and pushed off a ledge fashioned from our deficiencies. We are scared shitless in the face of confrontation. The more reason that our necks deserve the hangman’s touch. The gallows wait.”

...

Sunday, June 16, 2013

“I’m in the dark, and it obviously suits me to stay in the dark.” – Frederick Seidel

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Sneak peek

"My dad crushes the last of the temporary cage he bought with the last bills from his pawned watch – it was a gift from a daughter outside of his second wedlock. He put the crystalline serving on a roughly used sliver of tin foil, deliberate amount to taste. The eyeballs roll back into the back of his head like a billiard ball in a counter-revolution. It hits with a wick thud as it sinks into the corner pocket. Well-sighted and carefully positioned. He wakes up only to discover he slept like homeless person on the concrete. The bed was just a few steps away. His greatest success is that his children never saw him do that. This is just a dramatization. He lives a highlight reel written for him by his frustrations and disgust. It was the perfect script. He could have been a far better writer than I – he’d have had a ton of material to work on. I write this in good faith that my imagination may chip his reality even with just a slight tink. I hate myself for judging his apparent “weak character.” 

 ...


Thursday, May 2, 2013

orayts

Isang mabuting bagay ang nangyari sa akin noong nakaraang araw.

Balak ko sanang dumaan sa Diliman para makipagkita sa isang batchmate ko noon sa UP. Brod ko rin siya sa Frat kaya naging masaya ang kwentuhan namin habang kumakain ng pan de coco na binili namin mula sa isang naglalako sa loob ng campus. Naka-bike yung tindero. Nagkwentuhan kami tungkol sa mga panahong lumipas. Good times, good times. Tawanan lang at nag-usap na rin tungkol sa patutunguhan ng mga buhay namin. Uninspired at medyo bigo. Nasa slump kasi kami pareho. We need to get over that hill.

Hindi pa iyon ang mabuting nangyari sa nakaraang araw. May nag-tweet sa'kin na dating kaklase sa kolehiyo. Sabi niya, na-publish raw ako sa Young Blood. May mas bubuti pa pala sa buhay na walang sakit at simple ang problema. 

Bata pa lamang kasi ako ay gusto ko nang ma-publish sa Young Blood. Nakakatuwang isipin na nangyari na at sa panahon pang hirap akong maghanap ng magandang bagay na dapat ipagdiwang. 

Nanay ko rin kasi ang nagsabing magiging proud siya sakin pag na-publish ang gawa ko dun. Ayan, pinabasa ko sa kanya at tinanong kung na-gets nya ba. Sabi lang e "Okay naman. Hopeful. Ano ba ibig mo'ng sabihin dito?" Alangya, nanay ko nga talaga 'to. Kahit di na nya gets e "good job, anak!" pa rin ang sagot. Naglambing ako sa nanay ko noong inabot ko yung dyaryo, alam ko na maliit na bagay lang 'to pero it's the little victories in life that make us remember the grand narrative of a 'beautiful life.' Isang simpleng pangarap na hindi inakalang matutupad. Niyakap ko ang nanay ko mula sa likod habang nakaupo siya sa kama at sabay halik sa balikat, buti nalang hindi niya pinansin yung bilbil kong dumikit sa tagiliran niya.

Isang mabuting bagay ang nangyari.

Itinuloy na rin namin ang kasiyahan namin sa bahay. Inimbitahan ko ang dalawang Brods ko na parehong galing sa UP Baguio para makita naman nila ang little piece of heaven namin. Nagkatuwaan na ring magdagdag ng drinks at magkwentuhan nang mas mahaba. Ipinagdiwang din namin ang Mayo Uno sa pamamagitan ng pag-ubos sa tatlong litrong beer na nagpapawis sa lamig. Halos matuyuan na kasi kami ng katawan sa sobrang init ng panahon.
si batchmate at si bunso

Nag-enjoy daw sila sa bahay. Masasarap raw ang pagkain. Panalong panalo raw yung sopas na niluto ng tatay ko. Hangover cure. Crunchy din daw yung daing na dilis na niluto ko pang pulutan. Masarap talaga yun.

Buti nalang may mga mabuting bagay pang nangyayari.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Happy sunflowers!

The sunflowers along UP Diliman drive are now starting to wilt. Their once awaited bloom gave many graduates and parents the awe that comes with their sunset orange and golden pigments. They are but one of the many symbols of cliche closing of books and opening of new ones.

Graduation, the word feels like a voice of a stranger on the phone. Though only having graduated one year ago, I believe that I have outgrown the word or maybe I have never even got used to it. I didn't know how to graduate. Just last week I found myself rambling to a good friend that my degree was useless and that may have even found a job even if I hadn't graduated from UP. I wanted to slap myself across the face, in a third person perspective kind of way. A hard and unforgiving slap was in due.

My Facebook news feed has been riddled by graduation posts lately. While most are very inspiring and touching, others are just too much. I'm not trying to rain on their parades, they've earned it. Only, the volume of grad-related posts are just too much for me. I guess, it has to do with my earlier feelings. Again, I wanted to slap myself, also, I wanted to slap others, too.

This may have come from the fact that I think my college life was uneventful. I think, up to now, that I could have done more. 'No regrets' was just a thing I only got to tell myself in the recent past. But I have many things to tell the young graduates, some of my Fraternity Brothers also finished school last 26th of April. I'm not preaching, I really don't like that word.

1. One of the first things that I've learned since I graduated from college is that you don't get things handed to you, not even your jeepney fare. I must admit, I thought college was difficult. Now, that remains to be just a thought I had years ago. You have to work for everything.

2. You can't cram your way into making a good future. I thought back then that I could do the petty procrastination shit that I was so used to. I have never been wrong. Even if I wanted to hustle so much to make get things to self-actualize for me, there was no way it could be done. Hard work pays, big time.

3. Save money. Be a miser. Seriously, sticks and stones may break my bones but having zero pesos in your bank account is not a good thing. Especially if you've just started getting a grip on things. I bet you couldn't even live on the contents of your pocket if you lost your newly earned job right now.

4. In connection to number three, we take the 'live now' thing too seriously. I do, but don't take my word for it. 'Live now' too much and you'll wake up one day with nothing to eat tomorrow. All you've got are the bottles of booze and the nagging feeling of being uninspired and being burnt out. Don't spend everything you have on one go and money is not everything that is spent.

5. Wear your clothes to the ground. I've heard someone talk about dressing up to match your qualifications, it is true for some time but not in the everyday way of things. Nice clothes are a reward and if you already have a working wardrobe, be contented with it. You can have the nicest things in the world and still have an zero in your credentials. Remember to 'self-actualize' as vicioustwist called it. Wear your socks until they have no garters, wear your jeans until they fray at the seams and the rivets pop, these are just material things.

I've so much to add to this but I don't want to sound preachy, I'm already narcissistic, why add another folly?

Thursday, April 25, 2013

just polish the blood and the bruise

"She misses the lips that were the warm reminder of home. She cannot forget, she could only try to. It was just a near distant memory that is a clutch in the heart and a knot in her throat. He could not do anything about it now, she thought. They both thought wrong."

...

There are lots of things that I am itching to write about but can't get enough push to actually scratch for it. Again. It is a recurring thing with me. I'm looking for getting much of my Reality Bites series since people I know are a'buzzing. They make such great character references.

Breathe in the music, it's all you got for now. Jake Smith, Matt Lynott and Tommy Andrews are the men behind the name. They make such great music that I feel is unappreciated and don't get much attention that they should have. They have that integrity that make the songs so personal for each listener. Even the faintest melody of their songs pluck at the emotions and stir them up for ya good, like old mountain liquor.

Go for a listen.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Reality Bites 1 : Beef steak

I've been planning on working on a different tag of work to be put up on this blog. As my frequent readers know, I ramble about the most narcissistic shit on this space. It seems to me that I've been putting up more posts that start with "I" and feature me and my fucking rants as the starrrs. It gets fucking old.

One thing that I'm looking at is writing about people that I know. This idea came up since the people I know that are worth writing about have no background in writing or they think they suck at it, obviously, they haven't even tried writing or reading the shit I post here. That's why I think it's appropriate for me to tell their stories. Use their experiences as a glass of reality that we can peer through with thought and maybe, some introspection.

People have beautiful lives. Though they ruin it with contempt, free will and greed of varying degrees. I've been thinking of which person to feature in this series. It's difficult work since there are a lot of people who have stories that are worthy of storytelling. Then, last night happened. My uncle died.

Fuck yeah, ACL. Fuck yeah, vicioustwist.

Advice to Young Men from an Old Man
May 21st, 2008 | Categories: Random | by Michael Williams

Generally I don’t look to Craigslist for advice, but I remember reading this post a while back and some of these things have been with me ever since. I am by no means advocating everything that is said below, and have never taken a political or any other sort of position on this website. So read this with a grain of salt and take from it what does or does not appeal to you.

++ Date:2007-02-15, 9:08AM PST — Advice to Young Men from an Old Man ++

1. Don’t pick on the weak. It’s immoral. Don’t antagonize the strong without cause, its stupid.

2. Don’t hate women. It’s a waste of time

3. Invest in yourself. Material things come to those that have self actualized.

4. Get in a fistfight, even if you are going to lose.

5. As a former Marine, take it from me. Don’t join the military, unless you want to risk getting your balls blown off to secure other people’s economic or political interests.

6. If something has a direct benefit to an individual or a class of people, and a theoretical, abstract, or amorphous benefit to everybody else, realize that the proponent’s intentions are to benefit the former, not the latter, no matter what bullshit they try to feed you.

7. Don’t be a Republican. They are self-dealing crooks with no sense of honor or patriotism to their fellow citizens. If you must be a Republican, don’t be a “conservative”. They are whining, bitching, complaining, simple-minded self-righteous idiots who think they’re perpetual victims. Listen to talk radio for a while, you’ll see what I mean.

8. Don’t take proffered advice without a critical analysis. 90% of all advice is intended to benefit the proponent, not the recipient. Actually, the number is probably closer to 97%, but I don’t want to come off as cynical.

9. You’ll spend your entire life listening to people tell you how much you owe them. You don’t owe the vast majority of people shit.

10. Don’t undermine your fellow young men. Mentor the young men that come after you. Society recognizes that you have the potential to be the most power force in society. It scares them. Society does not find young men sympathetic. They are afraid of you, both individually and collectively. Law enforcement’s primary purpose is to suppress you.

11. As a young man, you’re on your own. Society divides and conquers. Unlike women who have advocates looking out for them (NOW, Women’s Study Departments, government, non-profit organizations, political advocacy groups) almost no one is looking out for you.

12. Young men provide the genius and muscle by which our society thrives. Look at the Silicone [sic] Valley. By in large, it was not old men or women that created the revolution we live. Realize that society steals your contributions, secures it with our intellectual property laws, and then takes credit and the rewards where none is due.

13. Know that few people have your best interests at heart. Your mother does. Your father probably does (if he stuck around). Your siblings are on your side. Everybody else worries about themselves.

14. Don’t be afraid to tell people to “fuck off” when need be. It is an important skill to acquire. As they say, speak your piece, even if your voice shakes.

15. Acquire empathy, good interpersonal skills, and confidence. Learn to read body language and non-verbal communication. Don’t just concentrate on your vocational or technical skills, or you’ll find your wife fucking somebody else.

16. Keep fit.

17. Don’t speak ill of your wife/girlfriend. Back her up against the world, even if she is wrong. She should know that you have her back. When she needs your help, give it. She should know that you’ll take her part.

18. Don’t cheat on your wife/girlfriend. If you must cheat, don’t humiliate her. Don’t risk having your transgressions come back to her or her friends. Don’t do it where you live. Don’t do it with people in your social circle. Don’t shit in your own back yard.

19. If your girlfriend doesn’t make you feel good about yourself and bring joy to your life, fire her. That’s what girlfriends are for.

20. Don’t bother with “emotional affairs”. They are just a vehicle for women to flirt and have someone make them feel good about themselves. That’s the part of a relationship they want. For you it is a lot of work and investment in time. If they are having an emotional affair with you, they’re probably fucking someone else.

21. Becoming a woman’s friend and confidant is not going to get you into an intimate relationship. If you haven’t gotten the girl within a reasonably short period of time, chances are you won’t ever get her. She’ll end up confiding to you about the sexual adventures she’s having with someone else.

22. Have and nurture friendships with women.

23. Realize that love is a numbers game. Guys fall in love easily. You’re going to see some girl and feel like you’ll die if you don’t get her. If she rejects you, move on to the next one. It’s her loss.

24. Don’t be an internet troll. Got out and live life. There is not a cadre of beautiful women advertising on Craigslist to have NSA sex with you. Beautiful women don’t need to advertise. The websites that advertise with attractive women’s photos and claims of loneliness are baloney. All they want is your money and your personal information so that they can market to you. The posts on Craigslist by young “women” seeking NSA sex, and asking for a picture are just a bunch of gay troll pic collectors. This is especially true if the post uses common gay lexicon like “hole” as in “fuck my hole” or seeks “masculine” men, or uses the word cock (except in the context of “Don’t send a cock shot.”) There are women on Craigslist. They are easily recognizable by their 2-5 paragraph postings. Most are in their 30′s or older.

25. When you become a man in full, know that people will get in your way. People who are attracted to you will somehow manage to step in your path. Gay guys will give you “the look”. Old people will somehow stumble in front of you at the worst time. Don’t get frustrated. Just step aside and go about your business. Know that these are passive aggressive methods to get you to acknowledge their existence.

26. Don’t gay bash. Don’t mentally or physically abuse people because of who they are, or how they present themselves. It’s none of your business to try to intimidate people into conformity.

27. If your gay, admit it to yourself, your parents, your friends and society at large. Be prepared to get harassed. See rule 14. If someone threatens you or assaults you, call the cops. Have them arrested. You have no obligation to self sacrifice because of who you are. As a gay person, you’ll have more social freedom than straight men. Use it to protect yourself. Be prepared to get out of Dodge if your orientation makes your life unbearable. Move to San Francisco, New York, Atlanta, or New Orleans. You’ll find a welcoming community there.

28. Don’t be a poser. Avoid being one of those dudes who puts a surfboard on top of their car, but never surfs, or a dude with a powder coated fixed gear bike and a messenger bag, but was never a messenger. Live the life. Earn your bonafides.

29. Don’t believe the crap about the patriarchy. More women are accepted and attend college. More degrees are awarded to women than men. Women outlive men. More men commit suicide. Men are twice as likely to be victims of violence, including murder. If you consider sexual assaults in prisons, twice as many men are raped as women (society thinks prison rape is funny). The streets are littered with homeless men, sprinkled with a few homeless women. Statically,women are happier than men. The myth that girls are being cheated by our educational system is belied by the fact that schools are bastions of femininity, mostly run by and taught by women. Girls outperform boys in school. It is the boys in school getting fucked over, and prescribed Ritalin for being boys. Real wages for men are falling, while real wages for women are rising. Just because someone says something enough times, doesn’t make it true. You have nothing to feel guilty about.

30. Remember, 97% of all advice is worthless. Take what you can use, and trash the rest.

vicioustwist | sanfrancisco |02-15-07

...

This is from A Continuous Lean, those who are familiar with the site will know the happiness in my heart after reading this post. It's from a man of taste, style, provenance and impeccable nature.

Forgive the grammatical errors, the author of ACL intentionally left the errors in place, much as I have done to retain the essence of the article. I think the post is highly motivational and consists of real talk points for young men as well as other members of our society. 

Though placed in an Americana setting, the salient point in the article ring true. The many fallacies and legends are falling apart, much like the decaying notion of what it takes to be a man.

I thought myself as someone who has grown into something desirable, as per my preferences but as days go on, I realize that I am far from the man I want to be: words, actions and thoughts wise. And that path to discovery that I am still to take excites the hell out of me. It always will. Even if I get to that age when I still try to kick my way out of a headstone.

There are indeed many things that make a man. But don't take my word for it.

Monday, April 15, 2013

i never really read newspapers until now

Bureau Chief's office, c2010
Philippine Daily Inquirer Northern Luzon Bureau

This photo was taken about 3 years ago. I was doing my journalism internship at that time. I barely scraped by if not for the help and guidance of the magely editors at PDI Northern Luzon Bureau. This was the look of our Bureau Chief's (BC) office. I bet it still look like this and I really hope that it still does. His book collection, to say the least solicits awe along with the martial law memorabilia, including a newspaper snippet of his picture being the alleged assassin of Ninoy Aquino (still hadn't asked him about the authenticity of that snip of paper, I dare not ask the wizard.)

I specifically remember reaching out for a copy of Chernobyl Diaries out of the crammed shelves. It was like picking off at a wall of great pieces, it felt transient and lasting at the same time. I also remember a story from the book, the wife was telling the story about his husband who worked at the Chernobyl nuclear plant, he was greatly exposed to radiation. She carefully narrated the way she cut her fingernails down to the nub, slowly hiding the edges of her nails. The beauty was in the details, the housewife turned full time nurse for her husband told the story on how her fingertips bled. It was an effort to keep herself from hurting her husband. She told of how she once flayed the soft skin on her husband's arm. Her nails were too long and sharp.

It was a chilling reminder on the effects of that blow up. And how it still affects the citizens of ghost town Chernobyl. It also was a good example of how good writing can take people to places they can only imagine and are too afraid to even plan a visit. Reading some of the stories in that book added to my own wall of simple dreams and aspirations, I wanted to be a writer. But I easily acknowledged that I couldn't keep up with the dailies, I will never be a print journalist. It was true.

Our BC was also a professor at the University. He gave me a fitting grade for my performance: 2.75. I barely scraped by but I loved being in his class. It was a glimpse at the old school experience of working on a press room. The experience felt like it was a photo with  coffee colored sepia effects.

That is all.

Friday, April 12, 2013

midnight drive

I think I'm going to rewatch the full two seasons of How to Make it in America. Just to get a kick in the balls. Soon, New York. Soon.

This always gets to me. I don't know why. I know some people who tell me that it's a whole lot different when you get uprooted from where you came from. I believe them. I think it's true and that you can't just get taken away from all that you are, were and currently represent. It'll be suicide but you just get this lump in your throat and it makes you want to throw yourself into that uncertainty. Just because it is a thriving desire and you know the rewards are greater than the risk.

Fuck. This. Shit.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

rationalize

We sat and lounged all day. It was a dark afternoon, it was raining but the day felt like it was beset with burning coals, raining on the aluminum roof. It was a lazy day but the smoke kept coming. The long streaks of immeasurable physical symbols of after sex rituals. 

She gon' do you so good that other tenants will want to have a smoke after she's done with you. 

Motherfucking lines that are so fucking cheesy that you can't help but to smile tightly. Then release the air trapped in your nose to complete a scoffing effect. Wiseguy motherfuckers.

She lay motionless in the bed. It was a mess. Really. It almost feels like an understatement to me. Her clothes line the floor in a familiar way. More like a trail of islands in a vast surrounding of sea and waves. The sheets were the ones who took the beating, they caught the brunt. They are an old gift from a failed lover and I made sure it became the witness of the many things I swore I'd do to get back at her. It was a canvass for me. I was the brush and the this girl was one of my palettes. It was redemption in the most physical way possible. Violence is too easy, though I can't say for sure that what just happened this morning could not be classified into that area. It was a haze of controlled anger.

The sooner I let go of that feeling, the faster it burnt. White knuckles are a common thing these days. No, it is a necessity. The way that each tendon tightens into a burning white sensation that translates to a euphoric but abrasive state is something I pride myself with. I wear it like a crown, they, on the other hand, are not aware of this laud they give me.

It's nothing personal. Though I feel that it is some kind of vindication for me. This is some narcissistic shit but who else can talk to me about me but me? They are too busy making schedules, keeping up with meetings, memorizing the points on their reports. Let's get busy.

We were okay, not happy, just okay. She hates bearing all the decorations of pre-made love I get her as gifts. She didn't want gifts. She just wanted me. And I wanted her. It is in that simple mechanism of a relationship I should have remained. But fuck me, I wanted to make things detailed with my OCD and self-loathing. There should have been none. I am angry and that makes it worse. Rambling was a way that I did to open up a dialogue that should've happened. I dwell on the "what could haves" and the "what ifs." They are piling up like the dirty laundry. It engulfed the hamper of my self-loathing.

She loved lazy afternoons like this one. I hate myself for remembering it. I'm just wondering, does she think about me as much as I still do about her? I fucking hate her to the point that this resurrected vow for vengeance is channeled through things other than her just to show her I don't care. But it kinda gets old. Drugs and relapses are always in business. Actually, they are a growing partnership. You'll find branches everywhere. Look at the time, I have another appointment by 5. I better wake her up.

sound proof boards, i tell ya

I.
I rarely go to the movies. It's something that is hard enough to do when you've got a hundred fucking things to juggle with such little time in your hands. I wish I had the weird ability to create a clone that could help me with all this shit that I've got to do. But that would make nothing our of everything.

II.
A friend and colleague always told me "Go big or go home." What a fucking loser but I love him for telling me that. He was always just drifting away in his own shit and smoke, a fetid smell that stank and felt like crusty grains of orange speckled rust always came to mind when I think of him. Much like the razor that was used to cut him right open. Poor bastard, too proud to ask for help. I could've helped him that afternoon. Instead he chose to be gutted like raw fish.

III.
Being a moviehouse mainstay is not easy. You never really know who to hit unless you see them in the transient light before they enter the dark corners of the cinema. I can't really make out what they carry or if they did, will those things make a pretty penny. Heck, it's a dying business really. I don't really know what keeps me from coming back to this old dead-end job. Sure beats trying to make deliveries, I'd tell you that.

IV.
Some dudes really just want to get up even after you get at them real hard. Ya'know? It's like they're looking for a worse time than what you've already given them. It's a familiar taste in my mouth, seeping blood into my tongue after an elbow clipped me in the lip, I returned the favor with a hard overhand smack on his right ear. That sure will make his drums buzz. Now, if I could just find that wallet of his. Here it is. Cheap fuck. But not bad for his taste in lighters. I used to have a Zippo that looked like this. I used to.

V.
Business is hard, just like any other business. On a good day, I can make a few runs and not get hit or caught. This scarf is a handy mask. It keeps them guessing. My favorite spot will have to be the comfort room stalls. I can get real sneaky in those. Pop a monkey mask and most just freak out though I still get to use my iron knuckles once in a while. It gets messy when I get myself a bleeder. Chips of bone and teeth are not a pretty sight for your date, it looks troubling and disturbing. Imagine having to put up with that thing in front of you and still trying to make small talk. I couldn't eat a spaghetti bolognese with that, thank you.

VI.
I get to see a lot of creeps in movie houses. The dark room perfect for their choice of creepery. Fucking assholes waiting for justice on their faces. I wish I could get a baseball bat in when I hit a place. It would be awesome to just bust out of a stall and go all ape shit on his face, then his legs from the shin down to the ankle. It will break like a twig snaps as you step on it. It'll get stepped on real hard. Then, I'll get the loot to make it a mugging. Fucking amateur.

VII.
I remember this one time, this asshole kept on trying to score a grab on this girl's breast. She kept saying no and that she wasn't comfortable with the whole idea of groping inside the cinema. He insisted. She still said no and hit his hand with the blade of her hand. He flinched. What a bitch, he must've thought. He went down for a piss. I followed. His date wondered where he'd gone to after that.

VIII.
Sometimes it just gets tiring. I just want to quit while I'm ahead but who would keep at it if I stop now?

IX.
I read too much fiction. I used all of those to wipe my wares after. They soak up good but I still have to use rags to make sure they're clean to the nooks. I hate this part. It makes me feel dirty all of a sudden. If only girls could just stop going into movie houses just to get violated. But where's the fun in being clean? If only dudes would just stop being total dicks and secret rapists. That would be more boring. I'll have plenty of time to kill.

X.
The afternoon my friend got sliced into ribbons was the first time I had a slow day. I was kinda feeling that he'll get done real good but I hadn't imagined it to be that way. He picked the wrong catch that day. I still have that rusty razor.


Monday, April 8, 2013

round two

this is how we die
nakaw mula sa kaibigang balikbayan
Heto na naman nga at nagpopost ako ng litrato ng ininom namin noong sabado lang. Kagagaling ko lamang ng Bicol upang bumisita sa mga kamag-anak at ito ang sumalubong sa akin. Hindi naman ako umaangal pero hanggang ngayon ay malabnaw pa rin ang dugo ko dahil sa dami ng alkohol na aming nakonsumo noong araw na iyon.

Masaya ang pagsasalu-salo namin. Bumalik kasi ng bansa ang isa sa aming pinakamalapit na kaibigan, treat nya ang alak at sagot namin ang pag-ubos nito. Plastado kami nang maubos ito. Buti nalang at maraming yelo pangkontra na rin sa sobrang init ng panahon. Wala kaming litrato habang nagkakasiyahan dahil abala sa pakikipagkwentuhan.

Minsan naiisip ko kung totoo bang tinatanggap ko na ang responsibilidad ng isang pagiging young adult. Napapansin ko kasing hindi naman nabawasan ang pakikisama ko sa mga kaibigan ko kahit na nagkaroon na kami ng mga trabaho at kanya kanyang pinagkakaabalahan. 

Tumatanda kami pero parang hindi umuusad sa responsibilidad. Ang ginagawa ko nalang pag ganoon ang naiisip ko ay tinatagayan ko pa ang sarili ko nang mas mataas na shot, boom, tapos ang pagninilay-nilay. Sinasamantala ko lang ang panahon hangga't kaya. Mabuti na yung ganoon para sa'kin. 

Mas mahirap naman maghanap ng ganitong samahan kesa magpapayat at magbawas ng bisyo. Maswerte talaga ako sa buhay ko. Pakshet.

2 weeks

Noong nakalipas na dalawang linggo ay halos hindi na ako pumasok sa opisina. Hindi ako hinahanap ng boss ko at talagang wala na kong nagagawa na pwedeng ilagay sa portfolio. Pakiramdam ko eh wala na akong nagagawang mabuti o di kaya'y nakukuha mula sa kasalukuyang trabaho ko. Nakakainis ako at ang kawalan ng oportunidad upang palawigin ang sarili. Non-productive talaga.

Buti nalang, yung dalawang linggong nakaw sa aking trabaho ay hindi naman napunta sa wala. Nakasama ko ang anak ko at mas nakapagbonding kami nang maayos. Kahit na puro "Ayaw, daddy" ang sigaw nya e nagkakakulitan naman kami. Nakakaaliw talaga ang bata kapag lumalaki na. Hindi ko lubos maisip na magtatatlong taon na siya. Ambilis. Gumugwapo pa si loko kahit unti-unti nang numinipis ang ngipin nya dahil sa formula milk nya. May katamaran din kasi siyang magsepilyo at nakakatulugan ang pagdedede.

Habang papauwi ako galing Baguio matapos ang isang linggong pag-ibig kasama ang aking anak at ang kanyang mommy, naisip ko na malayo na nga ang narating ko simula noong mga panahong sinubok ang tatag ko bilang isang tao at bilang isang lalaki. Mag-aapat na taon na rin pala nuong nagsimula akong tumulong sa negosyo ng pamilya ng mommy ni Gab bilang bantay sa puwesto nila sa palengke. Marami akong natutunan sa lagpas isang taon na pagtulong ko sa kanila. Mas naalala ko iyon noong nakita ko ang mga kargador, nagbubuhat rin kasi ako ng mga kaban ng bigas noon at nagkakamada kahit papaano.

Mabilis lang talaga ang panahon. Ngayon ay nasa isang dead-end job ako, dati naman ay estudyante lang na sumusubok guamawa ng paraan para sa isang parating na baby at pamilya. Napapaisip ako sa mga nangyayari, palagi naman e. Matapos ang post ko na ito ay susubukan kong ilabas lahat ng mga isipin ko noong nakalipas na dalawang linggo. Susubukan kong sumuka ng mga entries. Napapabayaan ko na ang talaarawan kong ito. Paano nalang pag may Alzheimer's na ako? Pano ko malalaman kung gaano ako kadaldal noong kabataan ko.

Alam kong walang patutunguhan ang post na to. Pasensya na at pumupurol na haha

Thursday, March 21, 2013

red ink, hard liquor, food and family

A good buddy of mine recently celebrated his birthday. We've known each other since we were in grade school and have suffered and enjoyed the same tumbles and initiations of early life. Along with two other friends, we watched ourselves as we all marched into manhood.

He had prepared everything for us to be drunk kings and hooligans. Home cooked meals that gave warmth to our bellies and the heart as well. His family had moved to Baliuag and since then, we haven't seen his family as often as we did back in our younger days.

To say that the night we spent over at their place is an understatement. We drank, ate and laughed our asses. His mom and pop welcomed us like we were long lost children, telling us how much they've missed us and recounted the stories of old. His mother even served us a meal that was very special for us since we always had the same good food for our new year cookout: carbonara with white sauce and bacon bits. It was such a nice feeling. They are all good folks, my buddy's family, they are.

Slowly, it dawned to me, after the haze of alcohol that we all enjoyed so much and the brotherhood that we've shared throughout the years we knew each other: we were men now but kids in us never left.

I just hope that it stays the same. Sometimes, there are just things that are not meant to change.

We are currently waiting for the fourth guy to get back home for a vacation in the coming month. We already miss him and our guts are ready for another all nighter. 

Act like gentlemen, drink like motherfuckers.


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

black march

Hindi ko na sasabihing kawawa ang mga naiwan ni Kristel Tejada sa kaniyang paglisan sa pisikal na mundo. Hindi ko na rin sasabihing malaki ang pagkukulang ng Unibersidad sa kanilang pagpapalakad sa dapat ay maayos na sistema ng pagtingin ng kakayahan upang makapagbayad ng matrikula. Tapos na ang usaping iyon para sa akin dahil wala na nga si Kristel. Naupos siya ng mga pagkukulang at kamalian sa kasalukuyang panahon. Naupos siya nang hindi inaasahan at sa maagang panahon.


Coed suicide sparks soul seaching at UP | Inquirer banner
March 19, 2013
Mali talaga ang nangyari sa kaso nni Kristel. Isa itong classic na halimbawa ng kawalan ng hustisya sa bansa na pilit na kinukubli ng mga nasa puwesto at siya rin namang todo romantisado ng ibang mga taong putok bunganga lang sa isyu ngunit walang tunay na pagkakaintindi rito. Hindi sana nawala si Kristel kung nakahanap siya ng pera pangmatrikula, hindi rin sana nasisi ang kasalukuyang pamahalaan ng Unibersidad sa pangyayaring ito pero andito na nga. Nawalan ng isang prospektibong mamamayan at mag-aaral ang bansa dahil sa napakaraming dahilan na hindi naman talaga maaaring ilista bilang buong katotohanan at solidong katibayan.

Mahirap magsabi na "Sana hindi siya namatay kung may hustisya talaga sa loob ng paaralan" at mahirap ding banggitin na "Sana maganda ang pamamalakad sa loob ng Unibersidad at maintindihan ang [tunay] na kalalagayan ng mga estudyante." Sa tingin ko, hindi naman ganoon ang nararapat na istilo sa pagharap sa kasalukuyang mga pangyayari. Hindi na nga maibabalik ang buhay ng Iskolar na nilagutan ng isang bote ng silver cleaner at sa ganuong perspektibo ay dapat hindi na rin husgahan ang labanan. 

Hindi nga naman maibabalik ng diskurso si Kristel ngunit isa itong daan upang maiwasan ang pagkakaroon ng panibagong kasong tulad nito. Maraming mga estudyante sa Unibersidad ang nangangapa sa mga salat na bulsa para makapagbayad ng tuition, at hindi lang sa U.P. ito naging problema at karanasan. Laganap. Sa pamamagitan ng pagbababa ng pulitikal na motibo at personal na interes ay magagawan ng paraan ang pagkukulang na ito sa parehong perspektibo: mag-aaral at Unibersidad.

Naging matalino lang sana ang mga tao sa pagharap sa pagkawala ni Kristel. Kung hindi man maging matalino ay maging mapag-unawa sa pangyayari. Hindi tanga si Kristel dahil kinitil niya ang sariling buhay. Hindi rin naman walang puso ang Unibersidad dahil hindi nakapag-enroll si Kristel. Ang pagbabaling ng sisi sa kung kanino at kung saan saan ay nakakainsulto lang sa pagkawala ni Kristel.

Hindi madaling mag-apply sa STFAP. Alam ko yun dahil nasubukan kong gawin nang isang beses at hindi na ako nakaulit pa dahil naging mas mahirap ang application process nito noong sumunod na taon. Marami na ngang mga mayayamang estudyante ang nakakapasok sa Unibersidad at dapat lang nga na magbayad sila ng mas mataas na matrikula base sa kinikita ng kanilang mga magulang. To each his own. Isang problema kasi ay maraming sagabal sa pagbabayad ng matrikula: 

kawalan ng impormasyon - hindi alam ng mga estudyante na mayroong alternatibo para makapag-enroll
gabutas ng karayom na screening process - mahirap ang application at approval system sa STFAP
otomatikong paglalagay sa mga bagong Iskolar sa default bracket
kawalan ng installment plan sa pagbabayad ng matrikula
kung mayroon mang student loan, maiksi ang oras para mabayaran ito o di kaya'y wala namang guarantor para dito
student loan nga pero kulang ang pondo kaya hindi rin mabigyan ang karamihan sa mga nag-aapply rito

Opinyon ko ang mga nasulat sa taas. Maraming maaaring gawing paraan upang mailigtas ang napakaraming Kristel sa ating bansa. Gupo, talunan, walang laban.. iilan lamang sa mga salitang maaaring gamitin upang sumahin ang kaganapang ito na nagpailing, nagpaiyak, nagpagalit at nagpakilos sa maraming estudyante, guro, magulang, kapatid at kamag-anak.

Sa pagpanaw ni Kristel ay nasama ang pag-asa ng magulang sa maaaring naging maganda at matagumpay na karera nito sa pagtatapos sa Unibersidad. Ngunit isang kolektibo ng aral, ideya at paniniwala naman ang naging kapalit nito. Malaki ang naging bayad para matuto, makinig at maniwala ang mga tao sa paulit-ulit na pangyayaring ito. Nagkaroon ng pangngalan at mukha ang suliraning iyon. Sa tingin ko, ang kasalanan lang sa buong pangyayari ay hindi nabigyan ng patas na laban si Kristel. 

Mailap ang magandang baraha kung may nag-iipit nito. Madali ring magsabi na nadaya ka kahit na walang pruweba. Minsan naman, kailangan mo lang magbalasa kahit hindi ka marunong lalo't kailangan na.

feels like a school essay graded 3.0 for effort

Every era has its own shining moment in history. That is somewhat what the history books of old elementary schools have in their pages. Somewhere, somehow, sometime in the history of the world, the young have something to do that is quite worthy to be put in the history books. 

I have been born during the time of modernization of television, new strategies in show business and the ever so interesting Philippine-endemic practice of block timing. Along with others who grew used to doing siestas in the afternoon and waking up to the familiar smell of instant pancit canton at home and banana cue from the kanto. It is a world where in the summer heat is battled by the cooling effects of halo-halo and ice candy wrapped in cheap but elastic plastic tubes. Those were back in the time when environmentalism was just a grand myth and the effects of a slowly grilling earth were just a seasonal thing.

It is good to relive the wonders and joys of youth, though my generation is not as old as it thinks it is. My generation belongs to the population of young adults trapped in the transition of growing up and leave the things of youth. At the same time being hushed during the discussion of the older generations since we are all but “young” people and we should not interrupt the “grown ups” when they are talking. It is as ambiguous as it gets: we yearn to grow old when we’re young and we yearn to stay young as we get old. Maybe that’s the reason why many cling to the hope of reading the articles written for the twenty-somethings.

My generation is awake and asleep at the same time. Personally, I would have wanted to try and live in the earlier years when television was as bland as the limited colors and resolutions it offered. It is fun to imagine what it felt like in the earlier years seen in old photographs and all. I bet it was fun to live in an age when you can still be considered as something relevant and original. We sleep just to dream of being relevant but many of us wake up to the fact that we are not as close as we dreamt to be.

I personally felt that it was better for the older folks in terms of almost everything: culture, beliefs, advocacy and what not. Though I really think that my generation is lucky enough to see the forthcoming liberation of the genders and sexualities that the old world had always shunned and persecuted. I am just wondering where my generation’s First Quarter Storm has gone? It is good to know that yesterday’s youth (today’s old) worked hard for what we now enjoy. Sometimes it is just surprising to see how “today” continues to turn out.

How come we are stuck in an age where everything is being served up almost instantly though everything loses its flavour and sizzle even before they are even served?

It may have something to do with being an “old soul” though it is hard enough to live with all the amenities available to us at the tips of our fingers. It just feels like the integrity of our reality lies at the mercy of applications on our smart phones, consumer research and transient belief systems.

I am sure many who belong to my generation are doing things to change the way it is right now. It is good to know that there are still people who try. Maybe this is just a natural reaction, hardwired to my generation that is trying to figure out what to do with this gift of young age. It still beats trying to figure out what to order at a high end coffee joint and which picture of that beverage to be put up on Instagram. My generation is better than that.

Monday, March 18, 2013

i need a list on my arms

Today, I am again reminded of how reading takes you to the place you least expect to be and yet feel that it was a needed shove.

I cover paper with words every day,
But the stories never go anywhere
I find worth going.

-Timequake by Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
Chapter 11, page 45

I remember saying this to a loved one recently. I told her that I do write but it sort of still sucks and depresses the shit out of me that I haven't written anything that goes out to where I want it to be. The exchange came over a cup of coffee, recent memories, feels and slight realizations. 

She said that I know that I am good at what I do and that is what separates me from her. I refuse to accept that statement.

She is lovely. I always forget to tell her that. 

Today I am reminded again of how much I refuse to learn the essential things. I need to close my eyes to the superficial as I feel more mundane than I was yesterday. I am also reminded of how the creases on her eye lids have smeared the emerald tint of her liner.

I need to go back into loving things, people and the prospect of tomorrow. I need to be reminded always and it sucks.