Showing posts from 2003

Fire Play

I treated myself with Catch-22, Pesto, Four Seasons and Fire in the Sky.

Straight from a mediocre day at work, I hung at the Town Center to wait for the fireworks display at 7:00 pm. I came there at 5:30 and went to PowerBooks to engage myself in book-hunting; and the gold I found was Joseph Heller's Catch-22. I'd been wanting to read this book for four years already and it was just a while ago that I took possession of it. Scouting the bountiful bookstore took much time, but it seemed to have flown so fast as I clearly immersed myself in the wanderland of words.

After the book-hunt, I went to Seattle's Best to taste their new fruit juice concoction. The Four Seasons wasn't disappointing. I finished my snack then checked my watch: 6:30 pm. Time slowed down.

I stood from my chair and readied myself to leave. Passing by the town plaza hallway, I saw the pack of people at the center of the square. I was wondering if there was a concert ahead, or other performances.…

A greeting, a wish

Something we were withholding made us weak
Until we found out that it was ourselves

—Robert Frost May the gift we give be the beauty that is ourselves, the way Jesus did.

Gestures of grace

What you have is not yours; what you give is yours.

—From the cartoon, Committed Thought doesn't count for me. Good intention is a quarter of a good thing. The well-thought-out and well-prepared gift is what truly matters.

Gift-preparation is one of my favorite activities. I consider it a project. I even love it during my college days when my budget is at its littlest. I get to be creative. More than that, I get to test my ingenuity and intuition about the person whom I intend to give something.

What urges me to give is the idea of letting someone know that they are remembered and loved. Not only that, since gifts are symbols, it is also important for me that the they not only feel remembered and loved, but seen. It's like silently saying, From what I understand of you, you might need and like this.

It's nice to open this month with the gift of attention. Attend not only to your friends or yourself, but to your environment as well. Do the curtains need washing? T…

Toy, Lolo

There are just some people you get along with even without words. Relationships without words. How about that?

Lolo Toy was my grandfather from my mother's side. He died when I was about 12. When I was in grade school, he used to bring me to the academy. He drove the pedicab. I felt proud and cool being seen with my grandfather looking hip and healthy pedalling his way through the streets. I can't recall why I felt high-and-mighty, but perhaps it's because I was the only kid who had been doing that. I was the only one being brought to and fetched from school in such fashion.

That is the most resonant image I have of him (the only one roughly three). Just that, an image, and a faint one at that. I remember no talks, no profound conversation, not even a funny exchange. But I do recall him smiling and smirking, and sometimes a feeble sound of a grouch. I do remember his false teeth. Yet I will always go back to that five-minute ride where I would sit back and rela…

Part of the Crime

Dada. That's the name of my family's first beloved bunny. Rabbits are wonderful pets. They're not threatening. They're fun to cuddle, they smell good, they're not noisy, their waste is very easy to clean as well as they're very easy to feed, and of course, they're very cute.

One late Saturday morning, I was awakened by a squeak. Instinct propelled me to look out the window and what I saw was so far then the most horrid sight I had ever seen. A cat quite bigger than Dada was biting him in the neck. Dada was standing on two feet, his front legs were hanging paralyzed in the air as I became paralyzed myself watching the scene in silence. That was a long moment of shock and devastation. When I came to my senses, I said to myself he was dead. I tried burying myself back to bed, as if hoping it was just a dream, or my senses were just fooling me, since I wasn't completely awake.

That was one of those week-end mornings where the whole family had errand…


I was in my third year in highschool when I joined a band contest. I was so confident and convinced that I was good. Extremely good that my band and I would emerge as the best. In the middle of my performance, one of the supervising teachers came to me and whispered, wala ka sa tono. The rest is memory.

I didn't cry that night after that incident. We lost, of course. In my naive and selfish mind, I figured and accepted that I blew if off. I didn't touch the piano since then, but I loved it so much. I had to make amends with it. I felt sorry for the instrument for misusing it.

That moment is one of those moments I just hope to forget. Weird is this memory with how it chooses what to reserve and what to discard; when to revive an incident or a thought and when to keep it unnoticed.

For now that memory serves like a nagging mother that tells me I'm neither on top nor ahead of anything. It's a din reminder for me to always keep in tune.

After The Hours

What separates us is not distance, but time. Yes there is a time for everything: Meeting and parting; hurting and healing. A time for forgetting and remembering. A time for discovering and rediscovering. (No time but now.)

I watched "The Hours" on DVD this afternoon. Before it came out on theaters and when it finally ran in theaters, a lot of my friends were talking and raving about it. I didn't get to watch it then. And so a while ago, I was excited in viewing it. I even expected it to be a 3-hour film. Somehow I was waiting for the rising action and then the climax and then a resolution. As it progressed, I was thinking and hoping that it would not end yet so I would have much more to enjoy. But then, it ended. Just that, it was done. As I pushed the off button of the DVD player, I murmured, hype.

I went to my bedroom and napped myself through twilight. Slowly, images of the film emerged and played in my mind--how Virginia Woolf, the woman who reads her …

Where Friends Have Been

I received a phone call from my high school batchmate inviting me to a reunion party. I do not intend to go. Number one, the people who organized the event are the people whom I was not very comfortable being with during high school. Number two, I have nothing yet to brag about. Reunions are all about looking back, and I am not ready to go there yet. In fact I am going as far as I can from memories of my pre-teen years. But that's not the point.

Phone calls are not part of my daily habits. I am never really the one who likes calling people just to chat. I'd rather invite them out, or in my place so we could have a real sense of communion together. I'd like to see people and friends upfront. So when I receive phone calls, it's usually a big deal for me and there will always be somewhat an excitement as to finding out who it is and what it is for.

Some of the most surprising phone calls I have had are from old high school friends inviting me to a party--their deb…

Sexing the Jersey

It was a Saturday morning. I was walking with my friend, Teta, in the campus. We just came from lunch and we're heading to our Saturday class. We passed by the school's basketball court and in it, some guys were playing.

If it was a question between did they make the jersey look good, or the other way around, it would be the other way around.

I watched them strut their stuff and saw no face. I just saw two teams moving.

The jersey is its own aesthetic and glory. It is its own self. It is its own sex.

I told Teta, Ang ganda nila tingnan, ang ganda nung jersey, bagay sa kahit sinong lalaki. From that moment up to now, I have fallen in love with the jersey: the uniform one earns and others contend with.

And so there goes my fantasy. How I'd love to be with a man who is a part of, and serves for, an institute and a cause. It is the turn-on, really. Someone who would let himself dissolve in order to blend with others to be able to operate in unison. Someone with …


On May 2004, I will vote for a presidential candidate. I will choose my leaders. I will choose the people who will serve me.

But how will I make the choice? From where will I base it? What do I know about economics? Perhaps a research on the candidate's curriculum vitae will guide me, but will that be enough basis?

What will I do with this right? Turn it into a wrong decision?

Voting is a privilege many in the Philippines take for granted. But will it really make a difference? In my estimation, it will. And so, come (what) May, I will choose.

Philippine Daily vs. Anvil

"PETSA lang talaga ang totoo sa dyaryo." I regret that I won't be able to name the person who said these words.

When I realized the relationship between fact and fiction, I thought I had the world in my hands (or in my head.) Everyday and everything is really a matter of perspective, especially truth. We are all narrators in this planet.

And so if I were to choose between the newspaper and literature, then I would go for literature. The newspaper offers bad fiction and incidental happenings, so why not read good, well-thought-out fiction instead?

Alternative Reality

Dreams are gifts, really, especially if I remember them afterwards. They are god's fairy tales for me. They are moviehouses, museums and labyrinths I am brought to for free.

I never try to interpret any of my dreams, but most of the time, they give me a good scare. I often dream of being late in a very important event, like flag ceremonies. I also dream of being humiliated, like being naked, most of the time.

Usually, my dreams present to me an alternative. If one reality have not happened, it is often the job of my dream to show the could have been.

I love dreaming; being in a story I am not supposed to be in.

Sometimes I dream so beautifully that I wake up with pain in the head thinking: back to reality. I will try to sleep again and realize, there are no maps leading back to my dreams. It is there and gone when it wants to. Frustrating.

Perhaps dreams are supposed to be trash bins; the place where your memories, desires and forgotten realms blend together in a manner the…

The Only Way of Loving

The only way of loving is loving utterly. The fashionable concept is to give so much for a relationship and leave something for yourself. Too much emphasis has been given on giving that its complement is overshadowed: acceptance.

We must accept the other utterly. We cannot just simply mince a person and just love what we like. A human being is not a chicken--we cannot take our choice cuts.

Giving is attention, is care. But too much giving without really knowing what the other needs is arrogance and distrust. Acceptance is a form of generosity. When you accept the other, you give him the affirmation that he is complete in himself. Complete in beauty and capabilities.

Relationship then is a matter of enforcing each other. You and the other are vessels of energy, not incomplete, but always evolving, the way every moment, our skin is new.

The woman in me is the woman who sings "You've got the best of me, now come back and take the rest of me."

If he is going to change, l…


There is a certain comfort found in cyberspace. It has something to do with the anonymity and privacy that serves the dweller.

It is so much easier to disclose facts, or on the other hand, fictionalize matters when your face is not seen and your identity, concealed.

The human eye--the human glance, squint, hard look and looking away, serve a thousand words. One kind of look can say it all, that you may just want to run and hide, turn your back. A look can make you small, even invisible if the beholder wishes to. The cyberspace does not have this sensual trigger.

And so the cyberspace is really a melancholy place. I've been trading emails, engaging actively in stimulating fora, and while it keeps me in touch with other human beings and souls, I still feel a cut in my heart, for there is nothing more pleasurable than being with a person upfront--the sense and sensuality of company. Not just hearing voice and breath, but feeling the weight of a gasp. Nothing beats holding hands…

Number 2

In that place where you want to start anew, someone will always be better than you.


You are a word. I build a whole sentence, paragraph and a world so as to use you.

You are sound that I can taste and throw from the tip of my tongue.

I keep you safe in my memory and make you grow in my imagination.

I create and recreate you faster than I do myself. Or is it I I recreate when when I build and rebuild you? Is it you who had me all along?

"Life Begins at 40"

I am not yet 40, I am half that age, but I completely agree with the aforementioned statement.

At 20, you are immortal. You live by the "excesses," as most would say. Who can stop you from partying till morning, from collecting lovers and by procrastinating and not thinking ahead? This is the luxury of the young: time.

Perhaps at 40, you will always look back and see if you have accomplished as you wished. Perhaps at 40 you will begin to have deadlines and know you'll really be "dead" had you not met them.

Well, I will definitely look back at this when I am 40.

Hopefully I will reach more than 40 and hopefully, I'd be able to read this again at that time and be able to give out a sweet, healthy smile.


A Fish Born in a Tank

I was 16 or 17 when I attended my friend, F's bithday party. I forgot if it was her debut. Nevertheless, this is not about her. This is about something memorable I found in her house, aside from her father's fabulous lasagna, the thick Tom Clancy book, and seeing F drink one glass of San Miguel Beer, plus her hip foreign boyfriend (knowing F is the shy, lame type of girl, that's why we're friends, because we were both lame--at that time--though of course we had our potentials, I was just surprised and quite irritated that she realized hers first).

In her house was a big fish tank. The fish tank was not beautiful; not the kind that I would dream for my own, not even the kind that was decent enough. In the fish tank was one thing: a big fish. A fish as big as my face, which is a normal size for a face. I looked at it with another friend, R, and what I was able to formulate in my head and finally utter was not what kind of a fish it was, but how sad it was for this …

Internal Cosmos

August 27, 2003. At night. Everyone is hyped to look up at the sky, grab their telescopes and see Mars, for this is a chance of a lifetime.

I know this, even weeks before. I go to my window and take a look at the sky. It is apparent: one clear white dot, which is bigger than any star I have ever seen. And then? What? Nothing. How can I be amazed by this? Will this bring me money, fulfill my ambitions, make my skin smoother?

The greatest pleasure is surprise. The magnificent unexpected taps every electricity in you.

At this night, after billions of nights, everyone knows that Mars is visible yet remains unreachable. There are things that are just there. Real and true, but beyond grasp. The light of Mars and that of the stars are not the light that warms. They simply amaze, but tease and hurt as well.

I have to wonder, have I had a steady job, a good relationship with my family, a lover, would I be delighted at the thought of watching Mars all night till my eyes turn red…