Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Big night, every night

"Ser, ni-request ka nito. Type ka raw!"

Tinapik ng manager ang balikat ko matapos ibulong sakin yung mga linyang yun. Halos di na nga bulong kasi napakaingay sa loob. Halos di ko rin marinig ang kaluluwa ko. Tumango na lang ako at nag thumbs up sa manager.

"Hi, I'm Maxx."

"Hi, Maxx. Ako si ---."

Petite na babae si Maxx. Layered ang mahabang buhok nya. Itim ang kulay sa pagkakaalala ko. Hindi ko rin gaanong makita dahil malabo na ang mata ko at hindi bababa sa tatlong kulay ang nagsasabay na nagsasayawan sa loob. May strobe light pa nga e.

Maganda rin si Maxx. Halatang bata pa sya. Around 19-22. Pwede rin namang mali ang hula ko at mas matanda sya sakin. Maganda ang hubog ng katawan nya. Mukhang nakakakain naman sya nang tatlong beses sa isang araw.

Nag-alok ng handshake si Maxx. Kinuha ko naman bilang pabigay galang. Hindi nya binitawan ang kamay ko. Firm naman ang handshake nya, halatang madalas nyang ginagawa.

"Bakit Maxx ang pangalan mo? Curious kasi ako. Di ba panlalake yun?"

Hawak nya pa rin ang kamay ko.

Nakakabingi pa rin ang ingay sa loob. Lugi ako at medyo bingi ako.

"Ah. Maxx. Candy kasi ang dati kong pangalan dito. Pinalitan lang ng Maxx."

Unti-unting humina ang hawak nya sa kamay ko.

Maxx - Candy. Aaaaa. Maxx na kendi. Okay. Witty.

"Aaaaaaaaaah. Okay. Ayos a."

Medyo paos na ko ng parteng yun. Mag uumaga na.

"Hindi ba masakit yung ginagawa mo?"

"Yung alin?"

"Sa ano. Dun. Sa split."

"Ha? Split?"

"Doon sa pagsplit mo nang patalikod?"

Nag-demo ako gamit ang daliri ko para makita nya kung sakaling di nya ko marinig.

"Ah. Hindi no. Ba't naman ako masasaktan dun?"

"Wala lang. Mukhang masakit e!"

Parang wala lang sa kanya yung pagsplit. Medyo nakasimangot pa nga nung tinanong ko kasi parang ang weird ng unang tanong ko sa kanya.

"Hindi. Hindi masakit. Kung masakit yun edi sana di ko ginawa."

"Ah okay. Basta bukhang masakit. Kung ako siguro yun wasak na p----- ko."

Di sya sumagot. Maingay pa rin sa loob. Nagbuhos ako ng beer at nagsindi ng isa pang yosi. Mag-uumaga na talaga.

Thursday, September 18, 2014


Just last night, I caught myself saying "A lot can really happen in a year." This entry will be a summary of the things that I've learned in the past year. I'll try to keep it short in pursuit of brevity (my college professors and instructors always challenged us to write concise pieces. I hope I can do them justice.)

1. Never underestimate the ability of people close to you betray you.

This one sits on top of the mountain. Maybe I'm just spiteful but maybe I am not. There are just things that happen and then there are those things that are purposely done. The past year kept driving that nail down my head.

2. Overthinking gets you nowhere.

Too much time thinking will probably leave you way behind. Don't lag. Sometimes, thinking things through is not the best thing to do especially if it's decision time. Pull the trigger or don't.

3. Trust is earned. Don't hand them to people for free.

This is true even for those people who are closest to you. You just never know what will happen. Everything these days should be earned.

4. Everyone can be replaced.

Sure, when people die, they die. Nothing you can do about that. But for those people that can leave you with a snap of a finger, don't even come running after them. If it took them that quick to desert you then they're not worth your time, effort, adoration and love. Flick 'em away as you would a used cigarette butt.

5. Invest in yourself.

Read. Run. Lift. Learn. Go out. Mingle. Everything you do on your free time should add to who you are. Lazing around on weekends is a pleasurable thing but do you really want that to be the highlight of your week? Experience and skill are not heavy. Bring them everywhere you go. The pursuit of happiness never ends.

6. Treat your work as your hobby and pursue greater passions.

Do what you love. Love what you do. For most people, this isn't true. Treat your day job as your hobby and your greatest passion your job. You work to have nicer things in life, to experience everything to the fullest. Too much of one thing can be bad, too.

7. Take everything with a grain of salt.

Someone offended you? Don't lash out with fists flying and maybe a knife drawn. Stay cool and collected. Remember, who gets angry first loses. Maybe they do have a point, reassess. Being a real alpha means having the calm of a sailor thrown into a raging sea but needs to get home safely to his family. Let out your storm when need be. Stay out of fights. If it's not worth it, turn around and walk away. Nothing's wrong with that.

8. Everything worth doing is worth overdoing.

Excel in everything that you do. If you're going to try then do it all the way. Half-assing things are for dilettantes. Capitalize on strengths and work on your weaknesses. When all else fails and the shit has hit the fan, things can only look up after that.

9. Don't ever forget the important things.

Remind yourself everyday why you're still here. Who's got your back? Stay your course. Family is the reason why you're here and it's probably the reason why you'll never want to stop going further.

10. Out of luck, out of strength, out of options but never out of the fight.

Don't ever stop. Keep hitting until your arms give out. Keep kicking until you're out of the water. You can rest when you're dead.

What a fucking ride. Soldier on.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

"Breaking up doesn't always come after fights. Those are theatrical endings that are usually followed by 'baby, i love you so much. i'm sorry.' Most of the time, they come in little breaks in our lives like forgetting to call and never finding time to tell stories how your day was or sending a simple text message that says 'hi, what are you up to?' It's even in the time that you're together but one (or God forbid, both) of you are all smiling while texting away. It's even in the silence over a cup of coffee since you have nothing to say, not even a fun story that both of you can relate to. Or maybe the fact that you don't find it in you anymore to look for her smile or to be the cause of it. It goes both ways. The little things pile up until they snowball on their way down. Next thing you know, you don't even feel what it's like to be together anymore. You're just familiar strangers." 


Thursday, September 4, 2014

Outside in

So last night was another eye opener. A good friend hit me up for a couple of drinks. As always, I couldn't make it in time due to the different work hours at our office jobs. He just flew in from work, all the way from Mindanao. He's a social worker, you see. He's one of those few figures in my life that I look up to.

Anyway, he got back and said he had something from my mother whom he had met numerous times. My mother always tells me how she finds him interesting and how light hearted he is. I get it, he really is like that. My mother also adds that she feels like he's my brother. I also get that, he is like my brother, maybe even more. He said he just bought two authentic handwoven wraparound cloths used by Muslim women. It was a beautiful handwoven piece. I joked about how I wouldn't give it to my mom and just keep it for myself. He let out a snicker and a laugh and mentioned that he also bought one for his mother. I was thankful, I appreciate that kind of a gesture.

As we ordered beer, we got to our usual exchange of "Hey, what's up? How are you holding up? What's new? Really? Wow. Has it been that long?" questions. It was a routine but a heartfelt one. I kind of had the feeling that he was deeply concerned about something. I let some time pass before really digging into what's eating at him. A bottle of Pale Pilsen sounds about just right.

He was concerned that he was having a "midlife crisis" even at a young age. We are around 24-25 years of age during the time of this publication. I told him maybe he was just burnt out at work and that he reserves most of his time for work and not really leaves much for himself. He replied "Yeah, maybe. But I don't really know.. it just feels wrong. I feel like I haven't done enough in my life and work."

He said that he was concerned about where his career is headed and that what good does it do. He also added that he wished he had a craft. Said that he wished he had something like a hobby to keep him busy and entertained the way I shoot with film and write about stuff and so on. I was surprised. You see, I always looked at him as someone who knew what he was doing, what he wanted and what he plans to do. He is that kind of person who is passionate about his work and has a clear cut path in his mind.

I can see that he was lost and struggling with words to describe what he was feeling. He had always been like that. Guarded and refined, I always thought it was an admirable thing about him. It was one of the few things that make him who he is. It's a brand.

I just said that maybe all he needed was time to see himself in the eyes of other people. It's just that sometimes, we get too busy dealing with life and forget to see how much of what we do really mean to other people. It's not being vain, it's just reassessing your progress, your work, your passions and reservations. You can't quantify what you do just by looking at other people's work (he taught me that, he fervently believes in it) and at the same time, you can't really assess how important your efforts are until you've seen them from the perspective of a person who has benefited from it.

Believe me, he is a social worker out to do good. Maybe he just doesn't see it that way. I can't really compress everything I've learned about life in last night's booze session. Maybe it's not yet time to fully make sense about everything. I think I need another bottle of beer.