09 December 2007

Do I believe in God?

Sometimes. Sometimes I fall in love and find it as real as the umbrella I'm holding against the rain. Sometimes all that for me is perfected chimera.

01 November 2007

Somewhere in the other

Charlotte Mew

I remember the rooms that have had their part
In the steady slowing down of the heart.
The room in Paris, the room at Geneva,
The little damp room with the seaweed smell,
And that ceaseless maddening sound of the tide—
Rooms where for good or ill—things died.
But there is the room where we two lie dead,
Though every morning we seem to wake and might just as well seem to sleep again
As we shall somewhere in the other quieter, dustier bed
Out there in the sun—in the rain.

06 October 2007


What I look forward to on Fridays is sleeping with total disregard for what time I should wake up. I would sleep till 2 in the Saturday afternoon. Not this Saturday—

—Had to catch the 2 pm screening of El Sueno de una noche de San Juan at Greenbelt. It was worth it. I would recommend it to friends, but the movie has no other screening schedule.

I had no intentions watching another film, but the Saturday's all mine and the 7 pm show seemed interesting.

I had Stong Ice and sisig for a very late lunch. I was hungry. But there wasn't enough space in my stomach for dessert. While my tummy's digesting many things, I went book shopping. I was quite amazed by how many poetry titles they had in the shelves—especially that of Carson's, Gl├╝ck's and Bidart's. Somehow I felt like I knew each person who bought and would buy them.

Whenever I'm in Greenbelt, I make it a point to have coffee at Segafredo. It's from there that I learned of the Turkish belief, coffee should be as "black as hell, as strong as death and as sweet as love".  But to my surprise and dismay, Segafredo had closed.

When I like to be alone, I like to be alone. So imagine the collapse of my inner peace when I had been spotted by a perky high school mate in the restroom some 20 minutes before going into the movie theater—Had I only used the CR downstairs, Had I not come way too early

The 7 pm show was interesting, so imagine everyone's frustration when it started to play like a 3rd-rate pirated DVD after 30 minutes. The sound was busted, the picture kept freezing.
First time ko maexperience 'to, sa G3 pa.
Those responsible took a different reel and played the movie from the start.
Ay, pare, napanood ko na 'to, ganito mangyayari diyan—

Menu, select scene—
30 minutes and 5 more passed by and passed by fine. Then the sound went choppy, the picture stopped completely.
Tara na, pare.

Alis na tayo?

It's pointless.
I wanted to stay and wait, and hope. But it was pointless.
At least may pang blog ako.
The theater was small and I'm quite a nice person. I said good-bye to the perky high school mate. I wish to see Ciudad en Celo sometime very soon.

08 September 2007

Blistering at the head of September

I had a bad August. Which is my way of completely ignoring the delectable things I had, because they'd somehow fallen to the ease of habit.

The life thus went: late night meals at Sinangag Express with my brother, online chats with K, watching entire seasons of Heroes, The Office and Arrested Development, shopping, saving, keeping secrets and sharing them.

I began dancing again and did it almost every day, almost like I'm doing another routine at the gym.

The things listed above were things I was imagining years ago: a laid-back lifestyle that can be open to spontaneity—intimate friendships, big ambitions, complex puzzles, modest pleasures, intimate puzzles, complex friendships, modest ambitions.

I want to acknowledge this blog's existence for the past four years. This serves me: pleasure, puzzle and friend.

"We can never find ten people in one person." Makes sense as we can never be our many selves to only one person.

This is at least one place where I can squeeze as many mes as I can, like my public closet.

04 August 2007

You give me the pleasure of having an audience, Part 4

I love you. I told you many variations of that statement to convince you of its reality. Each variant was to impress you. Because I wanted to get you.

And then my fear of words. I love you, I said, hence I had to love you, and did.

03 August 2007

You give me the pleasure of having an audience, Part 3

My need to talk about you; my pedestrian desire to say what I cannot tell you.

02 August 2007

You give me the pleasure of having an audience, Part 2

Am I ready to tell your story? Am I ready to tell my story that revolves around you?

I try to understand you. I try to understand this moment and the moments revolving around it and I end up telling a story.

01 August 2007

You give me the pleasure of having an audience, Part 1

July eighteen, the week is brilliant and imperfect.

It started as K stopped writing me—no, she didn't stop, only she wasn't responding promptly.

This time I'm not waiting—as well as for Friday, among other things, to come.

Each day has been long, but not without a good rest. Right to say each day is complete.

I've reached that point where one completely loses trust in the universe. Every day I wake with the affirmation that I am liable. The world buys from me joys and sufferings.

Now how to deal with this knowledge? That once words get out of its human cage, it will die or live with other persons. Your words might find their own fullness after you. I can never get mad when my words are used innocently and maliciously and against me; all I can be is responsible.

July twenty-nine and K replied with an apology for lateness. As if we need measure punctuality in these meetings, as if replying is her obligation.

04 July 2007

It's not our time yet to save the world

G: Iyak ako nang iyak kagabi. Nagsisink-in kasi na parang walang patutunguhan yung buhay ko.

Me: Bata pa tayo, G. Wala pa talaga dapat patunguhan buhay natin.

25 June 2007

Quote of the day

Your name sounds like a snack.

24 June 2007

Spinach (or 2 promotions)

The discovery of a new dish confers more happiness on humanity, than the discovery of a new star.

—Brillat-Savarin, The Physiology Of Taste
Just came from Fete de la Musique in Malate. I only went there because my brother was playing; but like any trip (long or short) I make, the universe and I seem to elicit sweetness from it.

First, I discovered the band, Eternal Now, which reminded of Dream Theater. I can't find any link about them, but I promise their music is laudable.

And the highlight of the day: I fell in love with spinach. Well, maybe because it's Cafe Adriatico's spinach. I actually wouldn't notice there were green leafies in the calamari dish had Audrey, the vegetarian friend of my brother, not munched on it.

It was raining and drizzling the whole day, but bringing my umbrella didn't cross my mind, since we left home with the car. My brother still had some place else to go with his friends, so I decided to part with him and head straight home. It's a nice night to watch the rest of my burned DVDs. I took one of the two big umbrellas in the car. It felt good to hold a strong umbrella against the rain.

22 June 2007

Third person

Dinner with Dennis for the second time. Coming out of the ladies' room, I had the urge to admire him with the distance. He glanced at the girl across our table. Dennis and I—now both unaware of time—had our sight fixed on breathing objects. I would not have been jealous had the girl looked back at him with intention. She remained stolid; her attention absolute to her book.

17 June 2007

God's unsents, 2

Starlights die across human sight as secrets die between your breath and mine.

Born from a rumor of senses, my truth will never get past your skin.

I am not a writer. I hurt reading a world that cannot read itself.

The word is, in the end, mortal.

08 June 2007

Dedication fantasies

A person has reached my heart as I start writing dedications to him in my imagination and it's not Christmas and it's no one's birthday.

07 June 2007

Accident's accuracy

The morning's tough. Waking up at 5:30 AM from a 3-hour sleep, waiting in line for 2 hours at the SSS, going back home to prepare to go to work, then commuting to work is exhausting as expected. A brief pause will make the 8-hour office routine manageable.

A mango tea shake is pause enough.

I drop by the nearest coffee house an hour before the call-in time. I look around for the best chair, until my name is called. A group of officemates are having their weekly bible study.

I join in the study: to learn for the first time how fans of faith and humility are the same backbiting personas; to look in the eye a belief I cannot fit myself in. "He worked in my life. He really did." I nod and nod in acknowledgement, not in agreement.

Yet I meet them in that place of believing there is a reason why we are gathered here. I am given that reason when the story of Jesus to be executed with two criminals is told.

To Jesus, one of the criminals asks, "Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us." The other says, "Remember me when you come into your kingdom."

I never ask anyone to remember me. I work to be remembered.

A voice, declaring I won't be forgotten, starts to chime.

05 June 2007

God's unsents, 1

You pray for one person's safety with the very reason why another person's praying for yours.

Rest in knowing you are forever alone bearing troubles no one will ever understand or know.

Secrets outlast starlights.

20 May 2007


For roughly 2 months, I broke off my read-and-write-in-the-late-morning-till-after-lunch-hour-while-having-brunch routine and started it again this week.

The incredible feeling, I guess, owes to the admission that there will constantly be fact-of-life requirements I have to deal with simultaneously as I dream walking. Someday I'll have to switch jobs again, get a driver's license, renew a passport, photocopy a birth certificate, order transcript, carry my stool and urine around for a medical examination—unexciting messy things.

Whether it's OC-ness or laziness, I'm proud to have been learning to deal with it. —Get a different mindset.

For the past days, I've been reading Murakami's Norwegian Wood. The only other acquaintance I have with the guy is through the 100% perfect girl. There are so many widely-read and -loved writers I have yet to read and I've also resigned my self from playing catch-up—and feeling like I have to catch up; since a lifetime's not enough to read all the great works ever written, let alone discover them.

It's another fact I've surrendered to: Claiming everything at once is out of my ability and luck—even every needed thing at times, and at the right time!

At seventeen, I hear of Eco, Ondaatje, Munro, and pressed my self to read and understand and appreciate their every work. I'd be successful in doing two things at the same time, or three things in parts of the time, but not all in all times.

Reading Norwegian Wood now appears to me as a grown-up decision, knowing what I know outside the pages.

01 May 2007

May be

Making sure my huge net is strong and secure before performing my trapeze act:

1) Find steady source of income; waste away in disco-dreaming;
2) Keep sense of selfhood intact; love the unfit;
3) Memorize grammar; massacre meaning;
4) Forge friendships; keep to self.

I cannot settle in being the person I am. There is something to chase beyond what's manifest.

That which truly discomforts me: training my self to fly and none waiting for me on ground.

07 April 2007

Mild devastation

That Will to Divest
Kay Ryan

Action creates
a taste for itself.
Meaning: once
you've swept
the shelves
of spoons
and plates
you kept
for guests,
it gets harder
not to also
simplify the larder,
not to dismiss
rooms, not to
divest yourself
of all the chairs
but one, not
to test what
singleness can bear,
once you've begun.
Made some more cleaning today. It hurt my head and body. Reaching the top of the cabinet, inhaling dust, and sorting—especially sorting—make me weak.

I filled three big plastic bags with trash: student handbooks, bookmarks, scrapbooks. I put one bookmark in the plastic bag and thought, why not throw the other two bookmarks? I forgot my reasons.

I kept all those things before, thinking it'd be nice to look at them in the future and that I might need them. It wasn't nice to look at the free Jollibee pocket calendar and I cannot use it now. No nostalgia's even slightly evoked by it.

Am done with the closet. There's still the study table to organize, and another small cabinet of files and... stuff. I need to fix everything for me to sleep well in my room, because having my own place is still far ahead in the future.

At one point I wanted to burn everything and start life from scratch.

06 April 2007

My playing is my praying*

Afternoon, I was watching my friend, Heizel, on ABC 5's reality show, "Ang Pagbabalik". But I'm not going to talk about Heizel (my friends and I will talk about her and the show when we meet, hehe).

The show was basically a retreat recorded for public consumption this lent. Watching, I was imagining my self there with a different group of people. I always enjoyed having retreats in high school. We go to a clean, open place; trees abound, birds chirruping; songs were sung, good breakfast was shared. And I must admit I had satisfiction crying with people.

I only felt reluctant to get involved in sharing life stories, for the plain reason that I had no stories to share. I felt experience-poor.

Not that I have tons of experience now. But when I was younger, I only had fantasies. Now I have fantasies and failures. When I speak of what I dream of, there already is an anxiety in knowing I may or may not make it; and that making it is not the end of sadness.

Retreat master, Father Bert, discussed the different types of prayer. I was glad he mentioned that by being aware, we are praying—some think attention is the highest form of prayer. And I believe that is why art exists, because we pay careful attention. I trust art is not made, but discovered.

I cleaned my closet. I'd gone through many closet-cleanings and I kept a lot of clothes, thinking I would use them in the future. Now I got rid of them.

*From a pianist

04 April 2007

You don't know me

Whenever I hear someone say that—in defense, I think, Well of course I don't!

I am never one to claim I know a person. Or say, Ah, si ano, hindi niya gagawin 'yon, kilala ko 'yon, e... I am always ready to be surprised by people both in a good and bad way.

03 April 2007

Word. A silence charged with sweetness*

The moon has been terribly violent these nights. It wakes me up at 3 in the morning. Pulling down the curtain doesn't do any good, because my curtain's too thin—you know how hot it is in the Philippines.

In other news, I am completely immersed in Seamus Heaney's book, Death of a Naturalist.
The Play Way
Seamus Heaney

Sunlight pillars through glass, probes each desk
For milk-tops, drinking straws and old dry crusts.
The music strides to challenge it,
Mixing memory and desire with chalk dust.

My lesson notes read: Teacher will play
Beethoven's Concerto Number Five
And class will express themselves freely
In writing. One said 'Can we jive?'

When I produced the record, but now
The big sound has silenced them. Higher
And firmer, each authoritative note
Pumps the classroom up tight as a tyre,

Working its private spell behind eyes
That stare wide. They have forgotten me
For once. The pens are busy, the tongues mime
Their blundering embrace of the free

Word. A silence charged with sweetness
Breaks short on lost faces where I see
New looks. Then notes stretch taut as snares. They trip
To fall into themselves unknowingly.
* From Seamus Heaney's book, Death of a Naturalist

02 April 2007

Fourteen/twenty-four: Still, fool

Just saw The Virgin Suicides (thanks, Jen, for the gift DVD).

At the beginning, I envied Lux for being the elusive object of Trip's desire. Trip, who was every girl's fantasy. After the Lisbon sisters' suicides, he, already an adult, was interviewed and said his love for Lux was the real thing.

When I was in high school, my goals consisted of writing a graphic novel, find the nearest available puppy love and construe it as the real thing. Just finding things to call mine. I never had both.

By the next half of the film, it was suggested that Trip had been mentally unstable. I felt a strange relief, because their love failed, or that there wasn't any solid love at all.

After the many small accumulations in life, there is this and that that I proudly and securely call mine. But I'm still confused with reality. It's very hard for me to convince other people that I love them as well as it is hard for me to be convinced I am loved.

Finally Trip said that he was happy he experienced it, because other people just don't. It being the thing he and Lux supposedly shared.

The relief had been taken away from me. What if it indeed was the real thing? He left Lux alone in the field, in the cold. —Left her the burden of their irresponsibility. He promised Lux's parents he'd take her home. But what if for the briefest moment there was really love? That they've had it and I just won't?

01 April 2007

April fool's smile

There, I've done it. I mean, here, I've done it.

Due to my OC-ness, I'd been itching to alter, make more functional this blog's template. And for the longest time, I badly desired to have the codes cleaned. Now I can breathe. Now my chest is light.

As you can see, people change, but not really. I moved to a different house, but virtually retained all the furniture. I would've gone for a totally different look, but with lack of technical skills (or money to hire a webpage designer) and time, I'd have to settle with this skin. All that I need is here: labels, hierarchical display of archives, recent comments feed, selective expandable posts, and you.

This weblog is important to me, if it's not obvious yet. And so dear Blogger, I hope you continue to improve your services. I shall remain loyal to you.


Anyway, with this online journal's overhaul, I've just completed another item on my birthday to-do list and it really feels good! (I can't believe I'm using an exclamation point in a tone such as this! Now there're three exclamation points! [including that one], so you should understand that it indeed feels good).

RaSelAnd speaking of my birthday, I thank Mich for the personalized birthday cake. I usually get furious when my name's misspelled or mispronounced, but that time, I just smiled and thought, ang jologs.

Now let me get dirty. The truth is this is just a test post. I want to see if I got the codes right. I believe I did, since there should be no other way.

A special mention to Alts, because I envied some of the features in her personal blog; that if it wasn't for her, I wouldn't know there were such features and it was also in that blog where I got the links to the hacks.

As for Diwata Nakpil, don't ever think that I killed her, or will. She's very much alive and active, and she's currently writing under the pseudonym, Razel.

29 March 2007


Do not mistake me for an angel. I am a human animal that cannot love you unconditionally. But accept the blessing: It is not in my nature to be child-like and sweet, to be selfless and this vulnerable. I will, till death, love you excessively.

20 March 2007

Cumulative weather

Or A life of almosts.

Afternoon, I dropped by the university to pick up my transcript of records. I hated doing that. I hated getting report cards, course cards, anything that has grade—my grade in it. Not in fear of failure in the zero-point-zero sense, but in failure of making the cut in terms of excellence.

I started out college with the awesome feeling of taking the right course: of enjoying seven o'clock classes, forever enthusiastic, because I couldn't get enough of learning and being my self.

And then terms ended. Terms ended with regret of not making it to the dean's list. School years ended. They ended with the frustration of having only three-point-something averages.

College had to end with disappointment in graduating almost with distinction. Had I only pushed a bit harder, my undergraduate self said.

In the afternoon, my graduate self looked at the transcript. With the simple intention of dropping by the school to pick up a two-page document, I wound up sitting for half an hour looking at numbers, recounting each imperfect episode I lived through: an enjoyably prestigious career, if only the boss wasn't such a baby; the loveliest lover, if only there was love going on; the chic blouse missing a button.

Yes, no point spending much time, intellect and energy on things like these; only you realize that after doing it, after making amends with your mind:

(There's no place for bitterness in my life but my coffee...) 3.450 is not a story but a stat. The glories of a term, its deathly dullness, or sheer uselessness are not translated in those figures.

(If I only needed to be employed, my transcript of records is in fact good-looking.)

—Or How we fool each other.

11 February 2007

Do Not Disturb: Lady Fantasizing

Sinangag. Longganisa. Tocino. Tapa. Nilagang baka. Kaldereta. Mais. Crab and corn soup. Cup noodles. Kit Kat. Tourist. Tofi Luk. Hello Panda. Curly Tops. Bangus. Danggit. Mahi-mahi. Aratiles. Tuna melt. Chalk. Fishball. Kamikaze. Cappuccino. Latte. Bacardi. Pale Pilsen. Egg. Banana. Kare-kare. Vcut. Kesong puti. Mushroom. Blazing burger. Afritada. Sky Flakes. Cowhead. Mrs. Fields. Macadamia. Chilli flakes. Wheat bread. Ludy's. Doughnut. Mashed potato. Mais con yelo. Pesto. Shrimp. Panini. Arroz caldo. Bagoong. Pula ng itlog na pula. Lechon. Luglog. Canton. Palabok. Embutido. Sago't gulaman. Ham. Crepe. Lasagna. Monggo. Paella. Paksiw. Pinakbet. Turon. Teriyaki. Mang Tomas. Cheesecake. Lumpia. Morcon. Ovaltine. Chocolait. Clubhouse sandwich. French fries. Naan. Pancake. Kamatis. Garlic. Green peas. Ube. Empanada.

Not tinola. Not sunny-side up. Not decaf. No sugar. Not Light. Not Bloody Mary. Keep the bones, if we're talking chicken. Not flat tops. Not caramel. Not powder. Not keso de bola. Not chocolate cake. Not ice cream. Not fruit salad. Not pineapple. None of the berries and cherries. Not halo-halo. Not bihon. Not siomai. Not hard-core Japanese. Not banana ketchup. Not maling. Not angel hair. Not dense company. Not chopsticks. Never marshmallow.

01 February 2007

Valentine, without the sugar

To live whether or not s/he requites the love is not my tougher task in loving, but being awake all night and disrupted all day, hurt for their wound.

31 January 2007

Oh Seven

Sir R: ...Hope all is well on your end--love, career, thesis, poetry...

Me: ...funny you mention that. If I had to grade my performance in those aspects, I'd have a poor, and therefore improvable average of 1.5.

Sir R: Given the state of the world and the nature of human existence, 1.5 is not bad at all. I'd give myself a 1.5 as well!
And then the mention of the word, desire.

2006, Best of, Part 2

Some Light Waiting In Rain
Double Sunset Brittany Bay

2006, Best Of, Part 1

Skyway Shared World
Mr. D Coffee Manila Morn
Happy Or Lonely Fireplay

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