Thursday, May 31, 2007


I just realized how pathetic the past couple of days have gone.

Tuesday’s victim was a close friend. So really she can’t complain. It’s part of the job description. To sit through the whining. To match bottle for bottle. I think she finished a pack that afternoon. Can’t blame her. This asshole was…well…acting like an sad asshole. Sad in the derogatory sense. Then to be accused of floating by an ate who wasn’t even around to see it all. And I think it was a Fulbright scholar who told on me. Wasak! And I thought it would be easier to get away in the big bad city.

Yesterday’s victim was a subordinate of mind. I’m her boss for crying out loud! Okay, that’s unfair. She’s become a friend. Still, I let this person hear all the crap I needed to voice out. And this is after a pretty serious editorial board meeting where a lot was done. But after, bottles and pitchers were involved. How professional of me. So out of whack I fell asleep on a public bus. Basag!

Today, I take out a visiting tita and cousin for some innocent malling. But of course I couldn’t let a Shakey’s merienda go without a mug. Fuck it! No glorification of anything here. Just utter disgust in the person writing is.

The problem? I think I know. It’s trying to do something I don’t want to do. Trying to forget something that can’t be forgotten. And perhaps more importantly, trying to let go of something that I don’t want to let go of.

I’ve been holding on. It’s out there now. No use denying it.

And to think the intent of these passages was to be as vague as possible. Success to an extent. Still, many will get it, perhaps scoff after reading. Sorry to them. NO. Fuck it! Bahala kayo. Bahala na talaga.


Ey you (it's been awhile since I said that).
Glad you're safely home.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Maikling Mensahe

For the record, for those who have been checking up on me (never did I suspect the vast readership of this blog): I'm okay. Or I'll be okay. Thank you. I've reached out to those I trust most, so no I'm not brooding on my own as what's expected of me. This is not a knock on everyone else. At least I hope it isn't. It's just the way I am. Nevertheless, thank you all. Truly.

I write this now with the rain pouring hard outside. Dogs are semi-drowning in our basement den. Should be probably moving their cages for no one else seems to care. I heard there's no electricity in Quezon City. Stay strong, people! Stay strong! Just be thankful this isn't Milenyo II. (Knock on wood.)

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Home, Elsewhere

I’m home, in the comfort of my bedroom, for the first time in three weeks. The air-conditioning purrs on; Marv Albert’s talking about Steve Kerr on TV; McClure, Dylan, and Ginsberg keep me company in black and white, taped to the wall.

I’m here, but my mind’s elsewhere, in a quaint university town, where tempura persons summon you from across the street, where two dishes and rice sets you back P40, where a muse has seemingly captivated a new scribe, leaving this one to wonder why he had allowed himself to leave, to let (her) go.

The muse will soon return, the quaint little town will be revisited someday, but I doubt I’ll ever be the same person, and in the whirlwind of confusion, I’ve begun to wonder if I’ll ever be the person I thought I’d be.

And I’m guessing even her return will do little to help.

There’s just something about that town, and what it represents in this life story. A subtle denial. A letting go. A bitter it-wasn’t-meant-to-be.

But still I say thank you, for it’s the only reasonable thing to say, really. I apologize for the burdens, to those who’ve been victimized by private lamentations, and to those who’ve been left in the dark the whole time.

And I bid all of you a temporary farewell and the sincerest of hopes for your well-being. Until the next journey, together or otherwise. Hope to see you all soon, once we’ve all had a chance to make sense of it all, if at all possible.

Saturday, May 05, 2007


I leave for Dumaguete tomorrow, on a Cebu Pacific flight, for a three-week writer’s baptism. It will be my first time on a plane in five years, and the first time a funeral won’t be the reason for travel in almost a decade.

Three weeks will be the longest time I’ve ever been away from home. Even during our Jakarta days, vacations to Manila would last two weeks at most.

It will be the first time I’ll be away from my parents, save for the overnights and weekends out of town with friends in the past. Been spending a lot of time with Dad over the past couple of days. I think it’s partly subconscious father-son cheesiness on both our parts.

There was a time (back when my age was still in the single-digits) when I would pack weeks in advance of a trip. Now, a big traveling bag stares at me and the task of filling it seems a bit too daunting.

My plan had always been to only bring one extra large duffel bag with a week’s worth of stuff that would just go through P25/kilo laundry every weekend. People are trying to convince me to bring a suitcase, at least the small one with rollers. One of those in bright red is now blocking my door.

“Light clothes,” says Ian Casocot in a text message. That was kind of obvious. Whites and grays, I’m thinking. Anything darker would be suicidal.

I hadn’t planned on it, but Mom said I should bring a pair of shoes. So I guess the Chucks are going with me, but the flip-flops aren’t giving up their starting positions.

Tita Bijim returned my video camera. Was considering taking it along, but I don’t want to risk losing or breaking it. The Cybershot will definitely be with me, though the dinky 25-picture capacity will need some back up.

The iPod—months removed from additional songs because of downloading laziness—will make the trip. And so will A Million Little Pieces. At 50 pages a day, I’m set to finish the book by Day 2. I’m hoping for a lot of reading material in Dumaguete—the workshop manuscript figures prominently in this projection. Perhaps a last minute trip to Book Sale is in order today.

It’s the smallest things that irritate me most about packing. Toothbrush. Toothpaste. Soap. Shampoo. Deodorant. Nail-clippers (can you bring that on a plane?). I really don’t want to think about it, but I’d probably regret not doing so.

I’m excited. Packing’s a bitch, but I’m really stoked (why did I use a skater word?) for the next three weeks.

Projection: What’s going to be worse than packing to leave is packing to get back, with all the pasalubong people are expecting. I’ll deal with that shit when the time comes.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007


I saw an MMDA officer on motorcycle pull over a horse drawn carriage the other day at the corner of C5 and East Service Road. It couldn’t have been for speeding, and the I don’t think you need a license to drive one of those things. Maybe the carriage wasn’t registered; I didn’t see a license plate. It can’t be for pissing on the road; humans do that all the time. Maybe it was for excessive drooling, but how much worse is that than human piss. Hell, the guy and his horse should’ve been given an award; they’ve helped the environment more than all of us in motor vehicles coughing out toxic fumes. At least horse shit’s organic.


Roasted to the point of burnt was the aroma and I’m left to wonder if that P150 cup of coffee Pope’s drinking is nothing but water seeped through java beans the color of coal. Hey, but it’s Starbucks; it must be good, right?

You can get a cup of coffee for much cheaper at some Nescafe vendo somewhere. But your order comes out too hot to drink, filled to the very top of a cup too thin to withstand the heat, making it almost impossible to pull out of that metal thing that holds tight inside that sliding door that traps your hand. P12 doesn’t give you much.

God bless the overpriced, providing cliché mood music, couches, and air-conditioning working way too hard. God bless designer caffeine, and the cups that hold them, complete with a sleeve made from “recycled” material to withstand the liquid, which isn’t so hot in the first place. God bless them for the spout that helps avoid the spillage from a cup never filled to the top. And God bless them for taking up even my fare to ride home and thus forcing me to sit through “I know right,” “Oh my God,” “Are you serious?” from the neighboring table of overly-perky, caffeine/gossip-juiced yuppies.

Piping hot, overflowing cheapness, kill me now!


Dad needs something crunchy. He asks for potato chips. Mom offers Pringles. He insists on Lays or Ruffles—potato chips! he asserts. So eat the Pringles. E potato chips ang gusto ko! Pringles are potato chips! Pause. Chippy na lang daw.