Sunday, August 13, 2006


THE WORLD cannot allow the bloodshed in the Middle East to continue. Thousands of innocent civilians have been killed and wounded, almost 1 million made homeless, and a catastrophic larger conflict is possible. We call on US President Bush, UK Prime Minister Blair and the UN Security Council to support UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan's call for an immediate ceasefire and an international force to stabilize the situation.

A true rebel does not only negate something; he affirms something else.

Denounce war. Demand peace.

Click here to learn more about the Ceasefire Campaign and to sign a petition for peace.



A PIECE I wrote entitled “He’d Rather Be Relevant” was adjudged third prize in the Essay category of the 56th Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature.

I received the notice a few days ago, along with an invitation to the Awards Night on Friday, September 1 at the Dusit Hotel Nikko in Makati.

I feel a numbed happiness. It’s still kind of hard to believe. I’m a Palanca Award winning writer. Damn. That's pretty cool.



BELATED happy 20th birthday to my good friend Japs Medina!

Would also like to commend Japs and the rest of the Sanggunian of the Ateneo on their Reg2Vote: Voter’s Registration in a Nutshell campaign.

I’ve never been one to commend student councils—batch parties and free ID laces during registration never appeared as relevant work to me. But this new campaign—however small—is something worth mentioning.

Again, congratulations to Japs and the Sanggu for taking a stake in something beyond the comfortable confines of our beautiful Loyola Heights campus.


A time of silence


HE HAD BEEN UP ALL NIGHT. Sleeping became a chore long ago. He had particularly gone to bed extra early this time. 7:30 to be exact, an hour or so earlier than normal. But come around 11PM, he was wide awake.

He spent the next few hours just lying in bed, in the dark of the basement den-turned-makeshift bedroom. He stared at the silver container of pomade that sat on the table at the foot of his bed. It was really the only clear thing that could be seen. The silver reflected the light from the lamppost outside, which peered through the full-length windows that aligned the walls behind his bed.

Bored of the gleam of the silver tin can, circa 1AM, he decided that he might as well get dressed already. He turned on the fluorescent lights to reveal the two tattered duffel bags that he had packed days before. One was filled with his clothes, the other with his shoes, some canned goods from the States, and a Sto. Niño from Quiapo. On the desk that sat to the left of the bed, his attire for the day was already sprawled out. There was an ash-colored polo given to him by his eldest niece. The jacket was given to him by the husband of another niece (not that a jacket was needed in the heat of March). The loafers were pre-owned by his nephew with whom he had been staying with over the past year. And finally, his slacks, chocolate in color, decades worn-in, were his own—a tailor made investment from back in the seventies.

Straight from bed, he washed his face, brushed his teeth, applied the aforementioned pomade, and then proceeded to style his hair in the standard slick-back look he’s had way before the salt and pepper that now crowned him. A bath was unnecessary; he had taken one before getting to bed the night before. Knowing the earliness in which he was leaving, he took no chances.

After getting dressed and packing the last bits of stuff he needed to pack—the clothes he slept in, the pomade, the toothbrush and the like—he checked the clock: 1:34. He still had a good three hours to go. So he waited. He made himself comfortable in the living room couch, which was only alighted by the stars and another lamppost that peered in from outside. He sat there on the couch, not bothering to move a single muscle. He just sat there, and stared. He stared, waited, stared, and waited some more. He checked the clock again: 1:39.

Check out my Fiction Press site for the rest of this story.


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