Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Breaking My Blog Silence

I have been dreadfully blog-quiet during the last, what two weeks I guess, because I’ve been busy. I’m gonna be filling you in now.

1. I went on a 10-day vacation leave. Initially I was thinking of going off somewhere where I could get a nice tan. Having my left eyebrow pierced was also in my plans. Unfortunately, a more pressing concern hit me so I never went outside Metro Manila. I never had the time as well to have my virgin brow pricked.

2. The more pressing concern was regarding the 20 gb iPod photo which I put out for bidding in several Websites almost a month and a half ago. I was starting to get frustrated by how slow the process was and I really wanted to sell the gadget as soon as possible so I thought of using most of my time to hawk it online. One funny and annoying thing I discovered during the course of doing my online transaction was what I call the Divisoria Syndrome. Normally, bidding starts at the price which the seller dictates. For example, I put up my iPod for sale at 13000 Php. I then expect that the price the bidders will offer will be higher than my sale price. The logic there is that the bidders are competing for the product that you are selling. Naturally, you’d sell to the highest bidder. That’s how the whole idea of bidding. But I was shocked when 90 percent of the bids that I got are way below my asking price. I was thinking, are these people crazy? I thought about it and realized that most of us are afflicted with the Divisoria Sydrome or the tawad-lugi mentality. I’d like to think it is not a reflection of plain ignorance of bidding procedures but of how dire the financial situation in our country is. I say it’s funny because it is so Filipino to haggle almost everything to death. Tatawaran lahat ng pwedeng tawaran. But it could get really annoying if you’re doing legit business and dealing with serious sellers. It’s a good thing I waited. I got the bid that I wanted so I sold my iPod immediately.

3. I bought myself a 5 Gen 30 gb black iPod video. Now it’s keeping me more busy figuring out how to convert my VCDs and DVDs to iPod viewable files. The task is pounding my brain to pieces but I’m loving every minute of it. I didn’t know I could reach this level of geekiness with gadgets but here I am, a certified iPod geek.

4. I haven’t had my head shaved for almost a month now. And that means a considerable amount of hair on my head which freaks out most of my friends. It’s been years since I had a full head of hair. And though for genetic reasons that would be a miraculous feat to accomplish again now, I am determined to let my hair grow until I can’t bear looking at myself in the mirror anymore.

There. I hope to do this more often from here on. That is if I get my hands off my new iPod.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Flora and Fauna

This is what a sleepy guy does when he's in a "bored" meeting. I call this artwork Flora and Fauna. I don't know if you noticed but that curved line right at the center, that one written across the head of the tree and the butterflies and the floating flower? See that? That was an addition by my rafiki. He says it's his version of a mountain. It puts the flora and fauna in context. Nice.

Monday, November 07, 2005

This'll Pass

I’ve always maintained, as I tell all my friends and the guys who show interest in me, that I am not inclined to get into a relationship as of the moment. I said I’ve been in and out of it several times with little time in between for myself. I guess now I’m taking that sweet time, concentrating on myself and the things that I want to do by myself—things which I think I cannot do, at least to a certain level, when I am attached (Gallivanting with guys is not one of them believe me. I can do that EVEN if I am in a relationship if I choose to.) Now here’s the thing. I heard Mass yesterday after a long time. It was pretty special to me because I meant it to be some sort of a thanksgiving to Him for helping me go through the very emotionally tiring two weeks that just passed. I was sorry for myself because my attention was distracted by two guys who I dare assume are a couple. They were pretty tall guys: one was ok and the other one looked really cute. They didn’t have to hold hands or kiss in front of me for me to guess what they are. The way the cute guy leaned toward the other guy, and how they smiled at each other, or the way they whisper something on the other’s ear—I had no doubt they were an item. And I felt envious, especially since I was there alone. I couldn’t concentrate on the Mass anymore so instead of committing the bigger mistake of ogling at them during a supposedly solemn Catholic ceremony, I just upped and went away.

I don’t know what hit me then. I am never the envious type, especially when it comes to relationships. Not now when I’ve had seven, and that’s not even counting the flings which were all just sex anyway. (And besides, I think I’ve hurt a lot of guys and been hurt by them as well in the past because of our being reckless with love.) I guess the affection and the care from a boyfriend is what I, envy is not the word now, it’s miss. I miss being loved, being cared for by somebody I love and care about too. I miss going out with a boyfriend, spending time just walking in the mall, or watching a movie, or having petty quarrels. I miss having someone I can throw sweet smiles at, or exchange sugar-coated glances with, or whisper ant-attracting words to, or text “I love you baby” to. Nah I’m not going to just get my hands on the next guy who comes along just because I feel mushy about relationships now. Those seven I’ve had, taking my time is one of the very important lessons they’ve taught me. But it’s nice feeling desperate about love once in a while. This’ll pass.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Confessions on a Dance Floor

I pre-purchased yesterday Madonna's latest CD. I don't consider myself a hardcore Madonna fan but I always look forward to whatever new she comes up with. I've heard rave reviews about the CD and I've seen the video of Hung Up and I'd say this one's definitely going to be in the ranks of the Ray of Light album. These are scans of the card I got when I pre-purchased the album. I get a Madonna premium item when I claim the CD and a free entrance to the album's launch party at Government on 11 November 2005. Not bad for the price of a regular CD.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

I Move Away

This is what happens when you close in on me.
I m o v e a w a y .
I m o v e a w a y f r o m t h e l i g h t .
I m o v e a w a y f r o m t h e w a r m t h .
I m o v e a w a y f r o m w h a t ’ s c l e a r .
I m o v e a w a y f r o m w h a t ’ s s u r e .
I m o v e a w a y f r o m h e a v e n .
I m o v e a w a y f r o m b l o o m .
I m o v e a w a y f r o m w h a t ’ s s w e e t .
I m o v e a w a y f r o m w h a t ’ s c o o l .
I m o v e a w a y f r o m y o u .
Don’t take it personal.
I m o v e a w a y f r o m l o v e .
I m o v e a w a y .

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Philippine High School for the Arts: The Arts Haven in Mystic Mount Makiling

Reynaldo Wong shares the reasons why he found a second home at the Philippine High School for the Arts campus in the fringes of Mount Makiling in Los Baños, Laguna. “Yung mga taun-taong mga produksyon, mga showcase, mga sayaw-sayaw, they never fail to disappoint me. Para akong na-rerecharge. Kapiling mo yung mga bata na in a way ay parang mga anak mo na rin. Parang ang saya-saya ko.”

In 1991, Wong answered an anonymous ad for Science and Computer teachers which called on applicants to show up at the Folk Arts Theater. He received a letter after a month congratulating him for getting the job and instructing him to pack up for an in-service training. “Mag-impake ka ng damit for one week kasi mayroong in-service training for new faculty.” He thought all along that the training would be held in a resort or a hotel. He never knew where the school was until they were on the bus going to Mount Makiling. “Susmaryosep! Ano ba itong napuntahan ko,” was all he could say to himself. That was his first time to leave home for an extended period of time. Since then, he has only left PHSA to visit his family and do official business for the school. He has been working there for15 years. He is now PHSA’s Assistant Director I.

His was the face of a satisfied man. And I could tell why from the moment I stepped out of the PHSA shuttle that fetches employees to and from the UPLB main campus.

Located in the middle of the greens in one of the Philippines’ most mysterious and often mystical Mount Makiling, the campus of the Philippine High School for the Arts is a take-off from the usual hustle-and-bustle school campuses in Metro Manila. Before I took the trip, I studied the vicinity map and sort of got the impression that walking from UPLB to the National Arts Center compound in Mount Makiling where PHSA is located would be manageable. Regardless of the drizzle that morning, walking my way up the campus proved to be a bad idea. As one of my co-passengers in the PHSA employee shuttle described to me, going there was more like a mountain hike than a promenade in the park. Although the route was scenic, the road was well-paved, and the air was crisp-clean, the upward incline would be such a struggle for people not used to trekking. The campus is quite a distance from the UPLB main campus where most of the transportation is. The effort of getting there is well worth it though. When you’re there, you might have to think hard of coming back.


The Philippine High School for the Arts is a public, secular, and non-profit government agency attached to the Department of Education (DepEd). It was established in 11 June 1977 as a special school for the arts through the efforts of then First Lady Imelda Marcos. In 1990, it was converted to a regular government agency under the DepEd. Its programs are implemented in consultation with the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP).

The school aims to be a “center for excellence and leadership in arts, research, training, education, and support programs.” It provides an arts-based special secondary curriculum in view of developing the capabilities of artistically-inclined youth and consequently to preserve and promote Philippine arts and culture.


According to Cleofe Cabauatan, Administrative Assistant and has been with PHSA for 25 years, the campus can accommodate up to a maximum of 150 students, from first year to fourth year. As of school year 2005-2006, their total student population is 119. PHSA is boarding-school type; 30 cottages serve as residence for students, instructors, and administrative and support staff.

There are also cottages that are used as classrooms, laboratories, the library, computer room, audio-visual room, and practice rooms. The school also has its own theatre where most of the students’ performances are held.

Admissions and Scholarship

Any Filipino student with an outstanding ability in any of the arts, is eligible for graduation from elementary, not older than 13 years, proficient in both English and Filipino, has no communicable disease, and is willing to live in the campus is welcome to apply for scholarship.

Tuition at PHSA is totally free. “Wala silang bayad. Apat na taon. Free board and lodging, walang tuition, libre ang paghahatid at pagsundo sa Maynila. Tapos kung meron pa silang out of town performances or out of the country, libre din yun. May allowance silang 500,” says Cabauatan. She says the school spends P 200 000 a year for each student.

The school launches a nationwide search for incoming freshmen students every year which they call the Annual Nationwide Search for Young Scholars (ANSYAS) program. It is virtually a talent search which they conduct in different audition centers all over the Philippines. They start announcing the ANSYAS around April or May through the DepEd division superintendents and city schools, CCP art councils, and NGOs. When the application forms come in, the screenings start. “Auditions muna. Lahat ng makapapasa sa auditions, pinakukuha ng written exam. Pinasusulat namin ng essay at (pinakukuha ng) dalawang aptitude test. Isang nonverbal at isang academic aptitude,” Cabauatan reveals.

To the choice of audition centers, she says, “Nag-iiba-iba kami ng lugar taun-taon. As much as possible gusto naming mapuntahan ang pinakamaraming lugar sa Pilipinas kasi naniniwala kami na di pa rin gasinong kilala sa Pilipinas ang eskwelahan.”

Cabauatan says that in the early years of PHSA, they receive between 200 to 300 applicants, from which they choose only 25 to award the scholarship. Recently though, they have shifted gears and decided to accept 50 freshmen because of the high attrition rate of those who qualify for scholarship. “As much as possible, gusto naming malakihan ang aming population. Last year, ang kinuha namin 50. Pero dun sa 50 na iyon, ang nag-enroll lang 38. Kasi may mga apprehension yung mga magulang ng mga taga-malalayo na papuntahin dito yung mga bata. Meron nga kaming nakuha sa Palawan. First time naming pumunta sa Palawan. Apat ang nakapasa dun. Nag-alanganin yung magulang. Di sila tumuloy. Hinayang na hinayang talaga kami.”

Even relative to Metro Manila, the school is not exactly proximate. This explains the apprehension of parents of would-be scholars. Cabauatan says that in the audition centers, they talk to parents and give them assurances just in case their child passes the ANSYAS. “Binibigyan namin ng assurance talaga ang mga magulang na kahit malayo, aalagaan namin ang mga anak nila. Sa orientation, habang nag-eexam, may mga magulang na nakikipag-usap, may mga tumatawag sa telepono rito, (sinasabing) ang layo naman ho ng eskwelahan nyo eh. Ang sagot naman namin, meron ho kami ditong duktor, meron ho kaming nurse, meron ho kaming house parent, aalagaan ho ng husto ang anak nyo dito.”

Director Wong himself is a witness to the great lengths PHSA had to go to convince and assure the parents of successful scholars. “...ako yung kumukuha sa kanila (sholars) sa mga probinsya, dinadala (sila) dito kasi ako yung chairman ng screening for the past ten years. Ako yung nagbibigay ng orientation, ako yung nagkukumbinsi sa mga nanay (para payagan ang kanilang mga anak).”


The PHSA curriculum is a combination of general secondary education level program and a special program geared toward arts education.

“Sinusunod pa rin naman namin ang Revised Basic Education Curriculum (RBEC). Public school kami. Kaya buong umaga, mula alas-7 hanggang 12:40, andyan na yung basic education nila. Kapag 2 to 6, ayan na yung arts nila,” says Cabauatan about the components of their special secondary curriculum. She elaborates more, saying “Pero dun sa kanilang basic education, na-iincorporate pa rin kung ano yung natutunan nila sa arts. Yung natutunan nila sa Science and Math, nagagamit naman nila sa paggawa ng arts production. Halimbawa, yung isang visual artist, ang tema niya sa kanyang exhibit ay tungkol sa light. Ang consultant niya sa paggawa ng kanyang thesis ay yung kanyang Physics teacher. Nag-cocombine (ang arts at Science). Di lang basta artistic expression, scientific pa yung kanyang exhibit. Naiintindihan niya kasi yung prinsipyo ng kanyang exhibit in terms of Science.”

She cites more examples, “Halimbawa naman (sa) dance, na-cocombine niya (ito) sa History. Kagaya last year. Ang thesis performance ng mga folk dancers (ay) Ibong Adarna. Nagawan nila ng dance production yung Ibong Adarna. Napag-aralan nila yung literary piece. Naisalin nila sa sayaw. Ganun din yung ginagawa ng ballet dancers namin. Sa History rin nila binabase yung kanilang ballet performance.”

PHSA students major in five different arts: creative writing, dance, music, visual arts, and theater arts. One of the first things that a PHSA freshman does is to determine what arts he or she wants to major in. “Pagpasok pa lang nila rito, (tinatanong na namin kung) ano ang kanilang (gustong) major. Kaya hiwa-hiwalay rin yung audition. Kung saan ka pinakamagaling dun ka mag-audition.”

Cabauatan explains, “Lahat ng pare-parehong majors, sila yung magkakaklase. Pinaghahalo lang sila pag-elective na. Tuwing Thursday, binibigyan namin ng pagkakataon ang lahat ng mga estudyante na ma-experience din nila yung ibang arts. Halimbawa ballet dancer, pwede rin siyang mag-enrol ng music. Halimbawa, (pwede siyang mag-enrol sa) Philippine ethnic music. Kasi yung tugtog sa Philippine ethnic music, pwede niyang gamitin sa kanyang sayaw. Meron namang theater arts (major), nag-vivisual arts siya (as elective). Magagamit niya yun for production design sa kanyang palabas. Pitong electives yung kanyang pwedeng lipat-lipatan. Every semester, puwede siyang pumasok sa isang elective.”

A typical class day starts early for PHSA students. “Siyempre gigising ng maaga. Mga 4:30. Siyempre apat sila sa kwarto kaya hali-halili yan sa paliligo,” Cabauatan says. She also adds that they make it a point to assign students with the same majors in the same room. “Ngayon nakikita naming mas epektibo na ang magkakasama sa kwarto ay magkakapareho ng arts para nakakapag-usap sila tungkol sa arts nila.”

The whole morning is dedicated to all the basic education subjects. “Pagdating ng alas-siyete umpisa na ng klase hanggang 12:40. May break sila ng mga 20 minutes para magmeryenda. Ang time allotment per subject ay 40 minutes.” The only difference of the basic education program in PHSA is the presence of a special art education course which the students take every Tuesdays. Cabauatan says that the course is designed to give the students a theoretical background of the arts. And as a consequence of the school’s thrust toward arts, they do not teach the subject Makabayan which is one of the main innovations in the RBEC. “Kasi ang kinukuha sa Makabayan ay kabuuan na ng kinukuha nila dito sa PHSA. Meron naman silang Social Studies, meron naman silang arts, meron silang Art Studies. Yun din naman ang content ng Makabayan.”

In the afternoons, from 2 to 6, the class breaks up into their different arts majors.

The school has in-house basic education teachers and arts instructors. Aside from them, PHSA has a set of high-profile art consultants to enhance their instruction. “Binibisita rin kami ng mga artists para magbigay ng lectures. Nonoy Froilan, Virgilio Almario, Melissa Atienza. (We have) Around 25 art consultants to enhance (our program). Music ang pinakamarami kasi individualized (instruction) yan eh.”

The 10 Year Development Plan

One of the major concerns of PHSA nowadays is its 10-year development plan, anchored on the theme “Muling Pagtanaw, Bagong Pananaw.”

“First and foremost, the 10-year development plan zeroes in on curriculum reform. We would like our curriculum to be research-based. And all our teaching and learning processes documented, published, and disseminated particularly to other art schools,” explains Director Wong. He explains that by research-based, he means the program aims to equip their students with research skills which they would use in their fourth year in school when they are sent back to the communities where they came from. “We would like them to see for themselves culture, and customs, and traditions, and heritages right where they came from. Because we have students from Pagadian, Bukidnon, Laoag, and we would like to equip them through curriculum reforms with research skills and their outputs research-based therefore. And we would like them to engage in actual community research and search and mingling with people documenting ways of living with a view of enriching all the more their artistic excellence.”

Another major facet of their planned curriculum reform is what Wong calls “curriculum differentiation.” “When we say curriculum differentiation, we tailor the curriculum to fit the inclination of a particular student or a group of students with similar abilities or talents.” He says that curriculum differentiation will need a lot of work. “We will have to do a lot of teacher training, module signing and construction, and workshops in order to tailor-fit the things that are supposed to be learned as prescribed by the DepEd for high school students. We are going to decongest (the curriculum) and focus (it) to the real destination and that is to bring the students on their final year here or at least half of their final year to where they came from. Eh saan ba ito? Sa mga probinsya where we got them. Sa Calbayog, from Pagadian, from everywhere. Go back (to your provinces) and come back (here in school) and let us synthesize whatever you have gathered through the research process.” Here, he says, is where the utility of a research-based curriculum lies. “Because only through disciplined research and documentation will we be able to see and pass on to and share with other schools what the Philippine High School for the Arts has been accomplishing and what the actual state of cultural awareness the Filipinos have.”

With regard to streamlining, Wong reveals major curriculum changes. “We plan to integrate those that are related, like Art Studies and Social Studies, like Health and Biology.” As to the required CAT training for graduating high school students: “Biro mo kelangan nilang mag CAT. My god dalawampu’t lima yung fourth year namin. Yung isa dun commander, yung dalawa dun MP. Aanim ang mga magmamartsa. So we are negotiating a community outreach and social immersion program to take the place of the military training for high school.”

Wong cannot help but feel sentimental when talking about the 10-year plan. “Bago mamatay ang direktor namin, he was able to imbibe that [the theme] to the community. Three years before he died (he laid the groundwork already). And so, ang iniwan niya sa amin ay yung 10-year development plan na talagang yung 10 years na yun ang battle cry nun is ‘Muling Pagtanaw, Bagong Pananaw.’ ” He says that 2005 is “human and materials resource gathering” for the 10-year plan. “We want to find out our strengths in terms of resources. Kaya ba natin? Do we have human and material back up to do that? So we have to answer that. We have to make an inventory of our resources and that’s what we’re trying to do this year. Of course coupled with defending that in Congress, on the floor di ba para mapondohan ka.”


Aside from the programs in their special secondary curriculum, PHSA lines up several academic support programs and extracurricular activities.

PHSA has a curriculum support program to help students cope with their academics. “Kasi naniniwala kami na merong ibang mga bata na napaka-talented pero nagkukulang siya dun sa basic education. Meron kaming tinatawag na academic support program para tulungan ang mga batang ito na mabigyan sila ng tutorial ng mga lessons on basic education. Para maka-cope. Mayroong mga batang nangangailangan talaga. Accepted namin yun. Malakas sila sa arts pero medyo namumroblema sa basic education,” says Cabauatan. According to her, PHSA believes that “Lahat ng mga bata ay may karapatang na mag-develop, kailangan lang ng tamang pag-aasikaso.”

Artistic productions inside and outside the campus are part of PHSA’s regular activities. “Culminating activity ng lahat ng mga arts na natutunan nila sa loob ng apat na taon. Sa Pebrero yun. Yung tinatatawag naming Ibarrang Arts Festival. Pagkatapos meron kaming mga invitations na mag-perform sa ibang lugar. In fact ngayong Enero, dalawa yung naka-schedule na puntahan ng mga musicians. Isa sa Tacloban, isa sa Laoag. Invitational yan. Binibigyan sila ng performance honorarium. Yung pera na iyun ginagamit nila para makapunta naman sila sa ibang lugar. Ini-roroll-over yung pera.”

Part of PHSA’s agenda as well is to reach out to other schools and to develop an audience for the arts. “Meron kaming tinatawag na ‘Lingap Paaralan, Handog Sining.’ Pumupunta kami sa eskwelahan para magturo. Ang natapos namin yung Los Baños National High School. Siyempre sila yung pinakamalapit. Tapos this year mag-aadopt naman kami ng elementary school. Ang purpose naman namin, para mai-prepare na yung mga bata na makapag-apply for scholarship dito sa Los Baños. Para elementary pa lang, teachers na namin ang magtuturo sa kanila,” says Cabauatan.

Like any other high school, PHSA also mounts interschool competitions, outreach programs, sports fests, and educational trips. PHSA students also get the privilege of interacting with visiting artists, cultural leaders, and government officials.

Contact details

I was there three or four hours and I felt attached to the place. I couldn’t help but feel a little regretful not knowing about the existence of Philippine High School for the Arts back in the day when I was about to enter secondary school. If I did, I would’ve taken my chance and applied for scholarship. Studying Science and Math and being able to harness my artistic inclinations in the middle of nature, far from the honking of horns, the smoke, with only the tweeting of birds and the sweet smell of mountain air, is so enviable.

To get in touch with PHSA, you can visit their Website at, call them at telefax (049) 536.5971 or (049) 536.2862, or send them mail at and this address: Philippine High School for the Arts, National Arts Center, Mount Makiling, College 4031, Los Baños, Laguna.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005


naligo ako kanina
di ko alam napakalamig pala ng tubig
nanginig ako pagkabuhos ko
napatalon grabe
nasanay rin balat ko
sa haplos ng tubig
na maginaw pa sa yelo

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Pulis na Matulis

Dear Kuya,

Di mo paniniwalaan ang kwento kong ito. Muntik na akong makulong kagabi! Nakakahiyang aminin ang dahilan. Nahuli akong nag-cruise kagabi sa Starmall. Teka Kuya baka di ka pamilyar sa terminong cruise. Alam ko namang si Tom Cruise lang ang kilala mong Cruise. Yun ay bukod pa kay Sheryl Cruz, Sunshine Cruz, Donna Cruz, at isama mo pa si Tirso Cruz. Ang cruise Kuya ay terminolohiyang nangangahulugan ng paglibot at paghahanap ng makakaniig na panandalian o quickie.

Ganito ang nangyari Kuya. Pauwi na ako galing sa restawran kagabi. Sinadya kong di sumabay sa mga kasamahan ko dahil umaga pa lang eh libog na libog na ako. Pasensya na Kuya sa lengwahe ko. Libog lang kasi ang pinaka-epektibong salita na naaapuhap ko ngayon na sumasaklaw sa naramdaman ko kahapon. Ewan ko ba Kuya. Ilang araw nang mainit ang dugo ko. Siguro kung naging straight ako, ang dami ko ng babaeng naanakan. Dumaan ako sa Starmall na kilalang tambayan ng mga lalaking tulad ko ang pangangailangan. Dumiretso ako sa palikuran sa ikatlong palapag. Pagpasok ko pa lang ay may natipuhan na ako. Matangkad siya ng kaunti sa akin. Kulay tsokolate ang kanyang balat, maigsi ang buhok, makinis ang mukha, at mukha namang matino. Yun ang akala ko.

Sa salamin ng palikuran, napansin kong ninakawa niya ako ng sulyap. Itinuring ko itong palatandaan na siya ay interesado rin sa akin. Sa kasamaang palad, may daluyong ng mga taong nagsipasukan sa palikuran kaya’t di natuloy ang aming maitim na balak. Sinundan ko siya paglabas niya.

Ang mga mata niya’y nangungusap sa akin. Sinundan ko siya. Lubha akong nasiyahan ng pumasok siya sa palikuran sa ikalawang palapag. Sabi ko sa sarili ko, di ako nagkamali sa basa sa kanya. Pareho kami ng hanap. Sa masamang palad, dahil sa oras marahil ng labasan, napakaraming tao ang labas-masok sa palikuran. Sa mga pagkakataong naiiwan kaming dalawa sa loob, sige ang haplusan ng aming mga paningin. Kung may mga kamay nga lamang ang mga mata, marahil nahawakan na namin ang isa’t isa kanina pa. Kung may mga labi nga lang siguro sila, marahil kanina pa magkakuyumos ang mga ito. Subalit mukhang isang pwersa ang kanina pa nagbabadya ng masamang pangitain.

Lumabas siya muli at tumungo sa isa pang palikuran sa kabilang panig ng ikatlong palapag. “Naku swerte at walang tao,” nasabi ko pa sa sarili ko. Masosolo kako namin ang isa’t isa sa wakas. Sa harap ng malaking salamin, nagkunwa akong naghuhugas ng kamay at nagpupunas ng mukha gamit ang aking puting panyo. Sampung minutong titigan, pagkagat-kagat sa mga labing namumula na, at pagpupunas ng panyong halos bumura na sa aking mukha ang lumipas.

Marahil dahil sa init ng aking pakiramdam, sinunggaban ko ang bahagi ng kanyang katawang kanina ko pa pinagnanasaan. Wala akong madama. Kakaiba sapagkat inaasahan kong sa haba ng paglalandian, dapat ay may epekto na ito sa kanya ng tulad ng epekto nito sa aking nabubuhay na bahagi.

“Gago ka ah. Bakit mo hinahawakan titi ko? Security ako dito,” sabay labas sa ID niya sa bulsa. “Halika sa security office.” Ang mga sumunod na sandali na yata ang pinaka-nakakahiyang pangyayaring aking naranasan. Mas malala pa Kuya dun sa pagbibitin sa akin dati ni Tatang sa punong mangga sa bakuran nang nalaman nyang bakla ako. Mas nakakahiya pa kesa nung hubaran ako ng karsunsilyo ng mga gago kong kaklase nung Grade 6 ako dahil sa bakla ako.

Hawak nya ako sa kwelyo ng aking t-shirt, parang kuting na sapilitang hiniwalay ng maharot na bata mula sa kanyang pusang nanay. Nagpumalag pa ako nung una pero naisip kong mas makabubuting sumama na lang ako ng matiwasay para wag na akong maeskandalo pa ng lubusang.

Sa security office, inilahad ng lalaki ang kwento nya ng nangyari. Pinalabas niyang walang nangyaring landian sa salamin, na bigla ko na lamang sinunggaban ang kanyang maselang bahagi na walang pagbubuyo mula sa kanya. Pinigilan ko ang aking sarili. Tinawagan ko ang kaibigang kong abogado para tulungan akong ayusin ang gulong pinasok ko.

Sa presinto, kalmado lamang akong inintay ang kaibigan kong abogado. Sinabi ko Kuya sa pulis na di muna ako magbibigay ng kung anumang pahayag habang di dumarating ang kaibigan ko.

Salamat sa diyos Kuya at mahusay ang kaibigan kong abogado. Sa presinto na niya ako naabutan. Nakahinga lang ako ng malalim nang dumating siya. Laking pasalamat ko sa kanya. Sa totoo lang, siya ang pinakahuling taong iisipin kong lalapitan ko. Ex ko kasi siya Kuya eh. Ibang kwento naman yun Kuya. Isusulat ko sa iyo sa susunod.

Nag-usap ang kaibigan kong abogado at ang namputsang complainant ng sarilinan. Inilahad na lamang sa akin ng kaibigan ko ang napagkasunduan nila. Nanghingi raw ng tatlong libo ang mokong Kuya para di na ituloy sa kung saan pa ang kaso. Buti na lang at natawaran ng kaibigan ko ng isang libo ang danyos. Di pa masyadong nabutas ang bulsa ko. Syempre may kaunti ring abot sa pulis na tila kalakaran na ata sa mga ganitong sitwasyon.

Napakahaba ng gabi ko kagabi Kuya. Isa sa di ko makalilimutan at pinakamakabuluhang gabi sa buhay ko. Umulan ng malakas Kuya pagbaba ko ng bus pauwi. Sa loob-loob ko, sana’y mahugasan ng ulan ang katarantaduhang pinagbayaran ko ng ilang oras ngayong gabi. Pero sa kabilang banda, nararapat ko atang isuot na parang chapa ng katapangan ang karanasang ito. Naging matapang din naman ako. Nabuksan din ang isip ko sa mga bagay na dati ko pang alam ngunit madalas ay di binibigyan ng pansin. Tulad ng halaga ng puspusang pag-iingat sa sarili, ng pagrespeto sa pampublikong lugar, ng pagbibigay halaga sa mga kaibigang tunay na maaasahan. Paalalaa sa akin ng kaibigan kong abogado na, magpasalamat daw ako sa Kanya bago ako matulog kagabi upang pasalamatan Siya sa lahat ng nangyari. Ginawa ko yun Kuya. Bukod dun, nangako rin ako sa aking sarili na ibabaon ko sa puso ko ang lahat ng mga leksyong natutunan ko. Ayokong sayangin ang gabing muntik ng tumapos sa mga masasayang araw ng pagiging malayang bakla ko.

Susulat ulit ako sa iyo Kuya. Inaantok na ako.



Monday, October 10, 2005

A View from the Top

This a view of a portion of the Manila skyline from the Manila Diamond Hotel Skylounge at the 27th floor. I took this last Friday while taking a lunch break from a salescon I was attending. I got more pictures in my flickr. Click on the link on the right side of this page.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Putangina! Karma!

Leche! I'm in this stupid cafe at Kalentong writing my blog entry after weeks of drought and then when I'm all inspired and halfway through my blog the computer dies on me! Putangina! hahahahahahah Lesson learned: when you're using somebody else's computer, save whatever you're doing every minute or else run the risk of collecting back your thoughts and redoing everything.


I was writing about karma and how i don't believe it before this damn computer died on me. i guess computers are very much like men. When you're all engrossed in them, they walk away. Computers are easier to deal with. You can just restart them if they die on you. Men, you can't just push a button to keep them.


I don't believe in karma. It is such a sneaky way to make people to do good. Good that is borne out of fear of karma is so phony. But sometimes things happen that make me rethink how i feel about it.

I was going around the mall looking for a place to lunch when i noticed this guy following me around. He's around my height, wearing a light purple oversized polo, fair-skinned, clean-cut, with a pudgy stomach. The little slut in me decided to flirt with the poor guy who I ended up pushing over in the end (how i told the story before this stupid computer died on me was lot more interesting. Can't get the groove back. sorry. hahahaha) So ok nothing happened because I was such an ass.

Now after i took my lunch, I was so stuffed i had to take a walk. On my way down the escalator, there's this looker of a guy who was staring at me. He had the greatest chinito eyes. I'm not one to fall for oriental looks but the way he ogled at me sent half of Metro Manila's electricity down my spine. In other words, little miss slutty me had to follow him. Now the tables were turned, i was the one who was played at. It turned out he was behaving like i did with the poor purple polo guy I played with a few hours ago. That's why before I sleep tonight, I'd expect myself to have some serious talk with little miss slutty. i think we have a lesson or two to learn about karma.

Alicia Keys

Weren't you the one that said, that you don't want me anymore.
And how you need your space, and give the keys back to your door.
And how I cried and tried and tried to make you stay with me.
But still you said that love was gone, and that I had to leave.
Now you, talkin bout a family
Now you, sayin I complete your dream
Now you, sayin I'm your everything
You confusin me
What you say to me
Don't play with me
Don't play with me.
Cause what goes around, comes around.
What goes up, must come down.
Now who's cryin, desirin to come back to me
What goes around, comes around.
What goes up, must come down.
Now who's cryin, desirin to come back
I remember when
I was sittin home alone
Waitin for you
Til 3 o'clock in the morn
And when you came home, you'd always have some sorry excuse.
And explainin to me, like I'm just some kinda fool
I sacrifice the things I want to and do things for you
But when it's time to do for me, you never come through
Now you, wanna be a bond of me (eyyy)
Now you, have so much to say to me (heyy)
Now you, wanna make time for me
What you do to me.
You confusin me
Don't play with me
Don't play with me.
Cause what goes around, comes around.
What goes up, must come down.
Now who's cryin, desirin to come back to me
What goes around, comes around.
What goes up, must come down.
Now who's cryin, desirin to come back
I remember when
I was sittin home alone
Waitin for you
Til 3 o'clock in the morn
Night after night
Knowin sumthing goin on
Wasn't home befo me
You was,you was gone
Lord knows it wasn't easy, but believe me.
Never thought you'd be the one that would deceived me.
And never do wha u was supposed to do
No need to hose me fool, cause I'm ova you
Cause what goes around, comes around.
What goes up, must come down.
Now who's cryin, desirin to come back to me
What goes around, comes around.
What goes up, must come down.
Gotta stop tryin, to come back to me
What goes around, comes around.
What goes up, must come down.
It's called Karma baby.
And it goes around.
What goes around, comes around,
What goes up, must comes down,
Now who's cryin, desirin to come back to me

Friday, September 23, 2005

Another Used to Be

When I have a lot of things going on in my mind, I am usually hard up on explaining what I think and feel. I am stupid when it comes to that. I am scared. So I let songs do the explaining for me.

Another Used to Be

sung by Joe

I brought you here
So that I could express the things I've been thinking bout
Give me your ear cuz I don't normally do this
So bear with me through this
There are so many things
That I wanna say
But let me start by simply saying
I thank you...

Darling just because
I used to love someone that I didn't like
We used to wanna break up every other night
I used to think relationships were a lot of stress
I used to think that pain was a part of happiness
Now all that's changed since you've come my way
But I don't want us to become
Another used to be

I hope what I'm saying
Don't discourage you in any kind of way
Cuz I do believe
That you have the potential to be everything I need
I hope that you can really understand
That I would hate to be with someone new

And tell her what I'm telling you
I used to love someone that I didn't like
We used to wanna break up every other night
I used to think relationships were a lot of stress
I used to think that pain was a part of happiness
Now all that's changed since you've come my way
But I don't want us to become
Another used to be

Cuz it would only be
Another waste of time
Another moment to erase hour
on my mind
Another memory part of history
I can't forget cuz it keeps on haunting me
Now that you're here it's evidently clear
I don't have to worry
I don't ever have to have this worry again (again)

I used to love someone that I didn't like
We used to wanna break up every other night
I used to think relationships were a lot of stress
I used to think that pain was a part of happiness
Now all that's changed since you've come my way
But I don't want us to become
To become another used to be

I used to be the one
I used to love someone that I didn't like
We used to wanna break up every other night
I used to think relationships were a lot of stress
I used to think that pain was a part of happiness
Now all that's changed since you've come my way
But I don't want us to become
To become another used to be

I used to be the one
I used to love someone that I didn't like
We used to wanna break up every other night
I used to think relationships were a lot of stress
I used to think that pain was a part of happiness
Now all that's changed since you've come my way
But I don't want us to become
Another used to be

Bukas na Lang

Bukas na Lang Kita Mamahalin
as performed by Lani Misalucha

Kay hirap palang umibig sa di tamang panahon
Kung bakit ngayon ko lang natagpuan ang isang katulad mo

Sana noon pa kita nakilala
Sana noon pa lang na ang puso ay malaya pang magmahal

Bukas na lang kita mamahalin
Sabay sa paglaya ng ating mga puso
Bukas na lang kita mamahalin

Kay hirap pa lang umibig sa di tamang panahon
Kung bakit ngayon ko lang natagpuan ang isang katulad mo

Sana noon pa kita nakilala
Sana noon pa lang na ang puso ay malaya pang magmahal

Bukas na lang kita mamahalin
Sabay sa paglaya ng ating mga puso
Bukas na lang kita
Bukas na lang kita
Bukas na lang kita

Note: Mum. This is what’s playing in my iPod since this morning. Haaay


Nagising ako ng nakabubulabog
na katok sa hatinggabi.
Mga katok na binilang ko isa-isa,
Pinakinggan ang lakas at hina ng tunog
Gawa ng bawat dampi
Dabog ng kamao sa pinto.
minutong tuluy-tuloy na katok
Dabog sa pintong kahoy.
Bumaling ako paharap sa pinto.
minutong pinag-isipan
Kung bubuksan ko ito.
Sinong gago ba naman ang mang-iistorbo sa tulog ko?
Kung sa umaga nga,
Ni asong ligaw walang magnasa
Maglabas-masok sa aking tahanan,
Sa gabi pa kaya kung kelan ang aso sa labas ay nakawala,
At ang tarangka ay makailang beses na nakakandado.
Sinong kumag pa ba ang makakakatok sa pinto ko?
Isang katok pa, sabi ko, bubuksan ko na pinto ko.
Isa, tumayo na ako.
Dalawa, hawak ko na kandado ng pinto.
Tatlo, bukas na pinto ko.
Mga bakas ng sapatos sa lupa nadatnan ko.
Bakas ng mga paa ng taong tila pabalik-balik,
Wala na ang katok.
Wala na rin siya.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

I Can't Make You Love Me

Wala lang. I love songs that sound good. I love them better if they have killer lyrics. This song’s a combination of both. I haven’t heard the Bonnie Rait original but the George Michael rendition’s a killer. I wanted to attach the song file with this entry but I couldn’t figure out how. Until I do that, you’ll have to imagine the song playing in your head while you read the lyrics.

I Can’t Make You Love Me
Written by Mike Reid and Allen Shamblin
as performed by George Michael

Turn down the lights
Turn down the bed
Turn down these voices
Inside my head

Lay down with me
Tell me no lies
Just hold me close,
Don’t patronize

Don’t patronize me

Cause I can’t make you love me
If you don’t
You can’t make your heart feel
Something it won’t
Here in the dark
In these final hours
I will lay down my heart
And I’ll feel the power
But you won’t
No, you won’t
Cause I can’t make you love me
If you don’t

I’ll close my eyes
Then I won’t see
The love you don’t feel
When you’re holding me

Morning will come
And I’ll do what’s right
Just give me till then
To give up this fight
And I will give up this fight
Cause I can’t make you love me
If you don’t
You can’t make your heart feel
Something it won’t
Here in the dark
In these final hours
I will lay down my heart
And I'll feel the power
But you won’t
No, you won’t
Cause I can’t make you love me
If you don’t

Friday, September 16, 2005

I'm a man who turns into a purple lady superhero!

You're Jeka Wynzorr, Sensor!

Which Legionnaire are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Los Angeles Pampanga in Translation (Lost in Translation)

Luna: Mudra nakakawarla! Na-Julie Vega si Mars Ferdie na naglu-Lucy Torres ng mamahaling shumit sa Glory Hole! Eto pah! Na-Lucrecia Kasilag daw ang mga gwardiya sibil sa kahahabol sa lolah Ferdie! Knows mo ba kung SanSan cosmetics na-Julie Vega ang lolah mo? Sa Sharon Kubetah ng mga girlash! Grabe!

Ay naku! Yang lolah mo naman eh. Sobrang Kate Gomez ng mga fingerlings! Kung kelan nagpaalam lahat ng hairlalu niya sa Anita Linda nya, tsaka naman nagkalat sa Smokey Mountain! Kita mo, Luz Valdes and beauty niya ngayon.

Luna: Hoy lolah! Tama na nga ang chika natin. Baka ma-Carmi Martin pa tayo nyan!

Shurlalu! Tuloy ang paghada!

Translation (Filipino)

Luna: Grabe! Nahuli raw si Kumareng Ferdie na nag-shoshoplift ng mamahaling damit sa Glorietta! Ito pa. Nahirapan daw ang mga gwardiya sa paghuli sa kanya! Alam mo ba kung saan siya nahuli? Sa CR ng mga babae. Grabe!

Mena: Ay naku. Yang kaibigan mo na ‘yan. Sobrang kati talaga ng kamay. Kung kelan nakalbo, tsaka naman gumagawa ng iskandalo. Kita mo, sya tuloy ang talo ngayon.

Hoy! Wag na nga natin siyang pag-usapan. Baka makarma pa tayo nyan!

Oo nga! Mamasyal na nga lang tayo ulit!

Translation (English)

Luna: Oh my god! Our friend Ferdie got caught shoplifting expensive clothes at Glorietta! And boy! He gave the guards a hard time catching him! You know where they caught him? At the ladies room. Shit!

Mena: Oh well. That friend of yours is such a klepto! And he starts doing all these crazy stuff now that he’s old. He’s such a loser.

Luna: Let’s just not gossip about him. I don’t want any of these badmouthing to get back to us.

Mena: Yeah. Come on, let’s go around.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Dear Kuya

Dear Kuya,

Naisipan kong sumulat sa iyo dahil nasanay ako na kung mayroon akong nararamdaman na sobrang kasiyahan o kalungkutan, kaagad kong inilalahad sa iyo lahat. Naroon ako sa kalagayang ganun ngayon Kuya. May kung anung pulumpon ng damdaming nag-uumapaw sa aking dibdib. Ngunit sa di ko maipaliwanag na dahilan, di ko matantya kung ito ba’y dala ng saya o lungkot.

Nalaman kong bakla si Dodong Kuya. Natatandaan mo ba siya? Siya yung waiter sa pinapasukan kong restawran dito sa Maynila. Oo Kuya. Siya yung sinasabi kong muntik ko ng mahalin ngunit nagpigil ako dahil sa akala ko noo’y imposibleng magkaroon ng bunga. Alam mo namang sa mula’t sapul pa’y di na ako pumapatol sa mga lalaking alam kong di maaaring maakit sa akin. Ipinakilala nya sa akin kanina si Leandro. Akala ko’y matalik niya itong kaibigan o pinsan nung una. Madalas kasing dinadaanan siya nito sa restawran tuwing uwian. Pinilit nila akong sumama sa kanilang maghapunan. Sumama naman ako sa pagnanais na makasama si Dodong. Sa kainan, magkatabing naupo si Dodong at si Leandro sa aking tapat sa hapag. Maginaw ang panahon gawa ng walang tigil na pagbuhos ng ulan. Ginaw na tila di nararamdaman ni Dodong at Leandro sapagkat lubos na magkadikit ang kanilang mga katawan. At maski natatabingan ng hapag, pansin kong magkakapit ang kanilang mga kamay.

Apat na taon na raw sila, ang biglang sabi ni Dodong na tila sagot sa katanungang di lumabas sa aking bibig. Hinalikan sya sa pisngi ni Leandro, sabay kwento ng kanilang love story. Dumating ang pansit, siopao, at coke na aking inorder. Kumain akong di ko man lang nalasahan ang pagkain ko habang nakikinig sa kanilang kwento. Pagkatapos naming kumain, isinakay ko sila ng jeep pa-Quiapo at ako nama’y nagpasyang maglakad pauwi. Kailangan kong balikan muli lahat ng aking nakita at narinig mula sa lalaking muntik ko ng minahal at sa kanyang syota.

Di ko mailagay kung sa malas o swerte ang lahat ng mga rebelasyong bumungad sa akin. Ngayong alam kong may posibilidad na pumatol si Dodong sa akin, sabay ko namang nalaman na may nagmamay-ari ng puso nya. Sana Kuya kung pwede lang daanin sa bato-bato-pick ang damdamin, marahil alam ko na ngayon kung ano ang nararamdaman ko. Ang sigurado lang, sa dalawang taong pagkakakilala ko kay Dodong at sa parehas na haba ng panahong pagtitiis kong itago ang aking nararamdaman, di na mahirap na ipagpatuloy ko ang akin nang nasimulan. Tutal, madami namang lalaking nagkakainteres sa akin eh. Mana ata ako sa iyo Kuya.

Mas ayus sana kung magkasama tayo. Mas magaang dalhin ang suliranin kung nasa tabi kita. Hayaan mo, konting ipon na lang at makakauwi na rin ako dyan sa atin. Ikamusta mo na lang ako kay Ate Doris at sa mga bata. Mahal ko kayong lahat.


PS. May nanliligaw sa aking piloto. Kostumer naming masugid sa restawran. Inaaya ako lumabas sa Linggo. Ikukwento ko sa iyo sa susunod kong liham.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Hosting 101

Hosting’s my way of indulging the spotlight-loving side of me. I find it hard to believe myself considering I was as shy as a mouse back in the day. I don’t know what I ate but I am exactly the opposite now. Not that I’ve lost all inhibitions. I still get jittery when I’m in front of an audience but once I’m there and the program starts, I just hug the limelight, all of it. Now what does it take to be a competent host? I say everyone has the potential to be a good emcee. You don’t have to be the most good-looking or the most talkative or the most influential to be able to take your turn on the mic. Now to help you make that first step toward hosting stardom, here are some improvised hosting tips.

Do your research.
This is very basic. Know the kind of party you will be hosting. Is it a birthday party? An orgy perhaps? A wedding reception? Is it going to be a formal coat-and-tie event or a come-as-you-are junket? Your research is going to be crucial to the other tips.

Plan your “script”. The script is in quotation marks because I don’t recommend that you make a full-blown script (with all your spiels, blocking, and per-minute details), at least for small to medium scale events which are usually the main fare of start-up hosts. From experience, a full-blown script usually ends up not being used especially if there’s no clear program as in the case of most wedding reception parties or Christmas or birthday parties here in the Philippines. So unless you’ll be hosting a full-production program, I suggest you save yourself the trouble of doing a full-length script. Instead, I suggest that you prepare an outline of the program, or at least a list of the things that you want to do. The outline will help you steer the program to how you want it to proceed. It will also be helpful if you research bits of information or trivia or what-have-yous that may be related to the event, the occasion, or the reason for the event. For instance, you can research about the origins of Philippine wedding traditions which you can share during the program. These pieces of information will not only save you just in case you get dead air, they will also make your program informative. Make sure to consult with your client about how he wants the program to proceed. Consider his input when preparing your “script”. In the end, he will be the judge whether you did good or not.

Spruce yourself up. But not like how you spruce up your Christmas tree. First, your research will tell you what kind of clothes to wear. Wear what is appropriate to the event. Second, whether you like it or not, everyone’s attention will be on you during 90 percent of the program (in the remaining 10 percent, your audience’s attention will be on your back while somebody else is on stage) so needless to say, try to look your best. Third, wear your clothes and not the other way around. Nuff said.

Do not panic. The most seasoned hosts still get nervous before they step on the stage. It goes away after a few minutes (and maybe after a few sweat drops on your forehead. God forbid your nervousness not make you wet in other places.). It does help that you breathe in and out before you go center stage. And think that you came to the event prepared (and see to it that you do). See your jitters walk out on you in a few.

Expect the unexpected. Everything that might go wrong will go wrong. A CD doesn’t want to play after you’ve introduced the performer, or your speaker finishes 30 minutes before his time and the next hasn’t arrived yet, or a drunk guest is starting to cause trouble in the middle of your spiel—in these cases, keep in mind the old adage “The show must go on.” And it’s your responsibility to keep the show going. You can abate a few minutes of delay by jerking your funny bone to make your audience laugh with some antics, or for more formal events like weddings, you can dish out the trivia you’ve gathered from your research or if you are anticipating a longer delay, you can ask guests to give their personal messages to the newly wed or the birthday celebrant.

Your audience is your best friend. Be sensitive to what they need, but be more sensitive to what they do not need. Make them feel important by giving them a show that is entertaining without being rude or offensive. However, keep in mind that your goal is not to please everybody. That will be impossible to do. What you can do is please most of your audience, make others happy, touch others, or at the least keep others occupied until the program ends.

This article is for my good friend Jun. I know it's late. I hope this will still be useful.:-)

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

My One Unattainable

The other day my friend Joel and I were texting about how one unattainable guy could stand for all of the things that one can’t have. His was this gym instructor he’s got a total crush on for four years now. He asked me if I had one. I told him all I got are fleeting fancies. Nothing as torturing as his. I realize just now that I do. But like him, I am resigned to the fact that he can’t be mine. My one unattainable guy is my one in a gazillion chance of winning the lottery. But why do I then continue to pine for him? To hold him dear to my heart? To not forget him totally? What we have, we almost always take for granted. What we have, we almost always are not afraid to lose. It is the things that we cannot have that make us value what we have more. They encourage us to violate the status quo. They make us expect more from ourselves. They keep us going.

The winter will lose its cold,
as the snow will be without whiteness,
The night without darkness,
the heavens without stars,
the day without light,
The flower will lose its beauty,
all fountains their water,
the sea its fish,
the tree its birds,
the forest its beasts,
the earth its harvest -
All these things will pass before
anyone breaks the bonds of our love,
And before I cease caring for you in my heart.
May your days be happy in number as flakes of snow,
May your nights be peaceful,
and may you be without troubles.

france - matthew of rievaulx - 13th century

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Joel's Fiction

I found this really interesting fiction written by somebody named Joel from one of the Internet communities I’m a member of. His pictures looked pretty hot. Reading his literature made him hotter than expected.

I am standing in a corner, my back pressed against a wall, trying to keep myself within the two feet of dry ledge, safe from the rain. I remain unscathed mostly, except for my hair, glittered with spray and my jacket speckled with black spots where brown canvass is wet. My muscles tense with the impulse to hold myself in the cold night air, but instead I pretend, possibly bad at it, to look sexy, with a foot against the wall, hips thrust forward and a cigarette shared between my lips and fingers.

I pretend that I am not painfully conscious that I haven’t eaten dinner, nor lunch. I try to recall the last real meal I have eaten, but immediately shoo the thoughts away as the corners of my jaw slacken and my mouth water.

I smile at every passerby, hoping that my smile can pierce through the oiled fabric of umbrellas. All night, it has slid off like rainwater.

As tomorrow is named today in a flash of a second, I am aware that no other money-boys remain in the street.

I wonder if it shows, the ugly feeling of being the one at the school dance sitting down during lady’s choice. The music plays softly and I pretend to watch the dancers, or the lights or the way some unnamed wind has wandered into the school gym to play amid the cheap crepe paper decorations. As the second chorus comes, the hope that someone would ask me to dance because they like me would be replaced by the fear that somebody would ask me to dance because they were sorry that nobody was dancing with me. The song would end with me still sitting on my plastic chair, of course. Some girl is sitting down and, partly removing her first pair of high heeled shoes, would rub some soreness off her foot, yet smiling only wide enough to badly hide that she is overjoyed. Meanwhile, like a heavy gust of a warm air, the boy whom I wanted to dance with is walking with his chest in a huff, away from her, and fighting every urge to look back, ashamed by how wide and cheesy his grin is. I stretch my lips into a smile of my own and pull my eyebrows as high as I can to feign enjoyment.

Back to the present, I laugh aloud at the memory, though equally unclear to myself why I was laughing as to any of the passers by.

Maybe it was my laugh but suddenly you are standing in front of me. You will ask me for the time and I will say one o’clock; you mean how much and I mean a hundred. My price has been lowered severely by the passing of hours and also I am so happy to see you. You absent-mindedly brush-off some rain off my hair, pat my shoulders dry, while you yourself are standing in the rain. Here is where I hate myself because I imagine that you intentionally lingered your finger along my ear and my neck. You leave your room’s number and hotel and a stick of cigarette that will keep me company while I idle away a few moments before following you. During those few minutes the cigarette will burn and be flicked away, while I am slowly but surely falling in love with you. I assure myself that I am hungry enough to remember to ask you for my hundred after. Where your fingers were, my skin is still warm.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Love Doctor (Manghihilot ng Puso)

I don’t know what to think when new friends ask me for advice about their love life. Do I have the makings of Joe D’Mango? And here’s the thing. Most of these people don’t know me personally. I feel like a magnet for anonymous closet gays in need of friends to confide in! And I used to think that I’m the least approachable person I know. This guy below, I met him a few months ago. We both were looking for some “fun” but as luck (or unluck if there’s such a thing) would have it, we ended up being friends. Now he’s been fretting over how this guy he really digs shrugs him off. Read on to find out what I said about his situation.

Jonathan: Bad trip ako. Remember yung kwento ko sayo na ka text ko na na in-love ako at friends lang daw kami?

Ako: Oo. Bakit ano nangyari?

Jonathan: Umiiwas na kasi ako to forget the feelings I have for him. Nagtext kasi kanina. Bakit daw hindi na ako nagtetext. Sinagot ko siya. Sabi ko kapag ako nagtetext hindi ka sumagsagot. Pag di me text, sinasabihan mo ko na di nagtetext. Di ba ang hirap? Di ko na alam kung saan ako lulugar. Nakakabad-trip di ba? Ano gagawin ko? Napakamanhid nya.

Ako: Haay, ganito yan. If you think he is worth all the heartaches, by all means do what he wants you to do. Be there when he needs you. Disappear if he doesn’t. But if you think you deserve better, then it’s about time you do everything necessary to move on. Mahirap parehong gawin pero kelangan. Wag masyadong mabad trip. Tumutok sa ibang mga bagay na makapagpapabuti o makapagpapasaya sayo. Lilipas din yan.

Jonathan: How would you know if he’s worth the pain? Any sign?

Ako: Only you can tell if he’s worth it. But it’s not about him really. It’s about you. Does loving him make you happy or miserable? Does it make you a better person? Do you smile or cry when you think of him? Would you be happier with or without him? Ask yourself these practical questions to help you make your decision. Keep this in mind. Love doesn’t have to hurt all the time. It should nourish, not destroy. It should build, not demolish.

Jonathan: Thanks sa advise ha. Gagawin ko mga sinabi mo.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Results: Pangkama ba Ako o Panrelasyon?

Around three weeks ago I floated a survey on what people in my cyber community think of me based on how I look: pangkama ba ako o panrelasyon? The response was overwhelming it could put to shame the average voter turnout of the last presidential election (Hello Garci?). For details on how I came up with this silly survey, scroll down and read the entry Pangkama ba Ako o Panrelasyon?.

We’ve heard people talk about real beauty residing underneath the skin and so many are living testimonies to this. But we cannot deny that looks do most of the work when it comes to getting the attention of others. Most of the time, it’s the skin that decides whether anonymity becomes the status quo or otherwise. It’s how one looks that makes the first impression which, according to a study in Ireland in 2004*, has been validated as a strong determinant of the kind of relationship people will have with new acquaintances.

The role first impressions have in relationships is given more emphasis now as more and more people do most of their cruising on the net. The first impressions elicited by the pictures that people post on their personal sites in friendster or downelink or pic-link determine the future of, to the more seasoned cyber jocks, their sex life, and to the newbies, their love life. So I did the experiment to find out if my romantic life and sex life have a future in cyberspace. I got responses from personal friends and total strangers. Naturally, I had to invalidate the response from people who knew me personally to preserve the experiment’s assumption. Here are the results:

Forty seven percent (47%) said that I am panrelasyon or relationship-material.
Twenty seven percent (27%) said I am pangkama or a sex-object.
Thirteen percent (13%) said I am both.
The last thirteen percent (13%) said they cannot decide.

I think it is a relief that in these times of wanton anonymous sex made more convenient by the Internet, there are still people out there who prefer genuine relationships over carnal pleasures. There are still more people who believe that above good-looks or the lack of it, it’s what’s within that matters. And more importantly, for socially-awkward creatures like me, it is a blessing to know that cyberspace, with all the comforts of privacy and anonymity, may just indeed work wonders for our nonexistent love life.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Top Five in Two

Istorbo talaga ang trabaho sa pagboblog! To make up for my almost two weeks of silence, here are the top five things that happened to me during my days of toil and trouble:
1. I met this really awesome guy who I fondly call Botchok. He’s got to be the most thoughtful, caring, and generous person in the world. I hope we become really good friends. I just wish he feels the same way sans the things that he bugs me about every now and then (You know what I’m talking about big boy.).
2. I won another aerohiphop competition. I brought home a bag of Nova chips as prize. The misfortune is that my gym buddies gave me a new nickname because of that. They now call me SuperNova.
3. I bought myself a new iPod. I’ve been wanting to get a replacement for the one I lost two months ago. I got myself a 20G iPod photo. Neat. I named him juOn. He’s my new baby. He and I are now inseparable.
4. I was able to IRF 6 preschool textbooks. This explains why I have been scarce in aerohiphop classes in the last two weeks. I had to sacrifice some pleasure for work.
5. I finally got the time two Sundays ago to visit my grandmother in Bulacan. I wanted to be there because it was her birthday and it’s been a while since my last visit.
(Note: This list is not in any order of significance. I wrote them in the order that my brain cells filed them.)

Monday, August 15, 2005

Ang Tipo Kong Lalake

So what’s my type of guy? I know gym rats like me tend to be narcissistic—we get attracted to people of the same kind, i.e., the gym fit ones to other greek god-like men. But even before I started going to the gym, I’ve always been attracted to good-looking hunky men! Who wouldn’t? However, if you look at the scores (huh!) of men I’ve gone out with, very few of them fit my so-called idea of a perfect mate. Kaya ano nga ba ang tipo kong lalake? I don’t know the answer to that now. I can’t say no to good-looking gym-buff men but judging from the history of my love life (or sex-life for that matter), nothing’s better than the tender loving care of a sensitive and faithful man, regardless of how that man looks. Of course it would be like winning a lottery if I get both. But what are the chances? What I’m saying is that I don’t have an ideal man anymore. I’ve learned that the ideal man could be somebody. It could be your text mate who brought back the kilig in your life. Or the friend who starts noticing how your eyes sparkle. It could be that gym buddy who volunteers to spot you everyday. Or maybe that FX passenger you sat beside with this morning. It could be anybody. All you have to do is open your eyes and your heart. Be receptive. Do not hold back. Just you wait. He’ll come.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

My Make-over Formula

My dear friend Mica and I were talking over YM right after lunch. She said she was feeling depressed lately. She has come to realize that it was because of how she looked. She asked me if I could help her do a make-over on her. She mentioned she was inspired by my ugly duckling story, how I overcame my physical inferiority and my success in maintaining the body that I have now. More than a physical make-over, I told her that what she more urgently needs is a change in outlook. She isn’t ugly. In fact, I think she’s one of the more alluring women that I know. She might be a little on the heavy side but that’s because she gave birth and everyone knows it’s natural. Amazing make-overs start from loving yourself. This can be the impetus for you to do even the most impossible things to make your body and your soul happy. If you love yourself, you will start taking care of your body by eating right and exercising. If you love yourself, you will stay away from habits that make your body and soul deteriorate. If you love yourself, you will strive to live a healthy lifestyle. Vanity is never a good reason to look and feel beautiful. It should be love. Love yourself dear. It will work wonders. Take it from an ugly duckling.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Pangkama ba Ako o Panrelasyon?

I’m taking a poll of how I strike people based on how I look. The inspiration to this strange idea was a slice of conversation I had with a friend a couple of nights over dinner. We were talking about a lot of things when our conversation led to blogging. He told me about this blog he found in his friend network. One of the more interesting things he read in that blog was an article where the guy wrote about a conversation he overheard in his office: the topic of guys being pangkama or panrelasyon. I’m seeking out that particular blog myself because it seems like a good read. So this idea came to me. I thought it would be fun (translation: a total ego booster) and disappointing (translation: a bubble burster) at the same time. Initially, I floated the topic to a few friends in the office but I thought they are not the perfect specimen for this experiment since they know me personally. What I want are raw impressions. These I will get only from people who do not know me. Kaya ano sa tingin nyo? Pangkama ba ako o panrelasyon? I’m excited to find out the results.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Ayoko ng Tira-Tira

You’re the perfect lover. He’s saving you for last. Namputsa! Ano sya tsokolate? Itatabi mo ang pinakamasarap tsaka mo kakainin pag natikman mo na lahat? Crap!

This is not my story. A friend tells me how his girl friend left her boyfriend of 6 years because of this crap. Considering the length of time they have spent together and all the emotional investment, hell even the material investment they have made on the relationship, the girl had every right to expect, perhaps even demand, for marriage, if not now, at least soon in the future. After all, 6 years should be long enough for a couple to figure out where they are heading. She confronted him and he gives her that she’s-perfect-but-I-have-a-whole-life-ahead-of-me-so-I’ll-get-back-to-you-when-I’m-ready crap. Naturally, she left him. She had no future with the guy. It hurt her to leave but it was the best and most practicable decision. She was being set aside for later. A later which is uncertain. Nobody deserves that. And certainly, nobody with self-respect would want leftovers or carrions. Sino nga ba naman ang may gusto ng tira-tira?

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Right Here Waiting

Just when I thought I was fine, I receive a message from you a couple of weeks ago and I slide back to where I was when you left. I heard this song this morning and it says perfectly how I feel. This feeling doesn't mean anything though. I don't want it to mean anything but just me experiencing a few days of irrational behavior. I will be ok. Soon.

Oceans apart day after day
And I slowly go insane
I hear your voice on the line
But it doesn't stop the pain

If I see you next to never
How can we say forever

Wherever you go
Whatever you do
I will be right here waiting for you
Whatever it takes
Or how my heart breaks
I will be right here waiting for you

I took for granted, all the times
That I though would last somehow
I hear the laughter, I taste the tears
But I can't get near you now

Oh, can't you see it baby
You've got me goin' CrAzY

Wherever you go
Whatever you do
I will be right here waiting for you
Whatever it takes
Or how my heart breaks
I will be right here waiting for you

I wonder how we can survive
This romance
But in the end if I'm with you
I'll take the chance

Oh, can't you see it baby
You've got me goin' cRaZy

Wherever you go
Whatever you do
I will be right here waiting for you
Whatever it takes
Or how my heart breaks
I will be right here waiting for you

Thank you for not texting back. I honestly appreciate that so much. I love you.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Sa Dila ng Aking mga Mata

Mula sa singit ng saradong bintana
sa init ng araw ng Linggo ng katanghalian
pinagmamasdan kita, sinusubaybayan
hinuhubaran sa tingin, niyayapos sa hangin
katawan mong singkinis ng sariwang mangga
tingin pa lang nalalasap ko na, angking tamis ng iyong bunga
sa dila ng aking mga mata, tinikman kita
habang kamay ko nama'y malayang gumala
sa katawan kong mainit at basa
konting buhos mo na lang
ilang hilod mo na lang
maaabot ko na
prutas na mangga mong malasutla

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

My Gold-Plated Silver Medal

Note: I wrote this the morning right after the event I am describing.

I woke up this morning and checked the silver medal I won in last night’s aero-hiphop competition at Slimmers. It was there. I really did win.

I arrived a little past 5:30 at the gym and I was surprised at how big the event was. The place was spruced up, there was food, there were booths, and there was a band playing on the floor. The mood was festive. I immediately recognized the other participants since they were all garbed-up for the competition. I deposited my things in the locker and went out to get myself a flashy something to accessorize my outfit. I looked for trinkets at Red Lane and ended up buying a pretty cool yellow and black cap which I thought would match my black shirt and yellow rubber shoes.

I was back in the gym in no time. I saw some of the contestants warming-up and stretching. It seemed like they were serious about this. I changed and signed up. The contestants were asked to choose their own number. I leafed through the stack of numbers and chose number 27 (my age) not for any mystical or sentimental reason but so I can remember it easily just in case I lose it. Before the competition started, I did some warming up myself.

At 7ish, the contestants were asked to proceed to the dance floor. My friends and I wanted to occupy the same place we usually do during regular aero-hiphop classes. However, we decided to move a little bit to the center because the huge mobile speakers were blocking our view of the mirror. We were also afraid the speakers might restrict our movement.

It felt good dancing in front of an audience. I loved the attention. Being there at the center of everyone’s gaze felt so right for me. And it also felt good dancing with friends. That made the difference for me. It took the pressure off the competition. We were just enjoying ourselves.

After an hour and a half of dancing, the winners were announced. But before that, the other guy participants and I took a short break in the locker. Our spirits were so high. I had a nasty cramp though on my left calf. Thanks to my friend Jun who was also one of the best dancers in the competition, the cramp didn’t get worse. I got on the long sink and he let me stretch my legs until the pain subsided. He instructed me to stomp the leg on the floor afterwards to normalize the blood flow.

We went out when the winners were about to be announced. A special award was given to the participant with the best costume. It went to my friend Mac. I was teasing him because he has been consistently winning the same award in other competitions as well. The bronze award went to another friend of mine Maricel. She is a good dancer I must say and she definitely deserves it.

Now there’s the silver and the gold award left to be given out. In my mind, I knew it would go to me and Jun. We were the best dancers in our regular hiphop sessions and we were consistent in the competition. I’d be happy getting either. When number 27 was called for the silver award, I got up, acknowledged the cheers, and went straight to the judge who was giving out the medals and the prizes. I was happy not because of the award I got but more so because I was sure Jun would get the gold. When I got back to my group, I patted Jun on the back and told him I knew the gold would be his. The announcement of the gold award came as a shock. It didn’t go to Jun. It went to this girl who was a classmate of ours in the regular hiphop class. She didn’t stand out. She was a dark horse. In fact, when her number was called, there was a look of disbelief in her face.

I don’t want to go into the nasty details, conspiracy theories, and hearsays about the judging. However surreal the results were, I’m happy for me. Of course I wanted the gold, but maybe not this time. I found gold elsewhere—from the friends, from the good time, from the good workout, from the praises of those who saw me. The silver medal isn’t bad at all. Mine’s plated with gold.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Fear Is the Enemy That Defeats Man

I’m right smack in the middle of this awesome book by Yann Martel called Life of Pi. Just this morning, I read Chapter 56 which is so far my favorite in the book. Before I share it with you, let me tell you something about the novel. It is a story told in the first person by the main character named Pi (pronounced like the mathematical symbol π), which is short for Piscine Molitor Patel. The origin of this weird name is another story in itself. I’ll do a proper review of the book when I’m done reading it. For now, I’d like to share with you Chapter 56. This portion of the story happens after the ship transporting Pi and his family to Canada sinks in the middle of the Pacific. He is separated from his family and the other passengers. His only companions in the lifeboat are a spotted hyena, an injured zebra, an orangutan, and a Bengal tiger. In this chapter, Pi talks about the greatest adversary he’s facing—fear.

Chapter 56

I must say a word about fear. It is life’s one true opponent. Only fear can defeat life. It is a clever, treacherous adversary, how well I know. It has no decency, respects no law or convention, shows no mercy. It goes for your weakest spot, which it finds with unerring ease. It begins in your mind, always. One moment you are feeling calm, self-possessed, happy. Then fear, disguised in the garb of mild-mannered doubt, slips into your mind like a spy. Doubt meets disbelief and disbelief tries to push it out. But disbelief is a poorly armed foot soldier. Doubt does away with it with little trouble. You become anxious. Reason comes to do battle for you. You are reassured. Reason is fully equipped with the latest weapons technology. But, to your amazement, despite superior tactics and a number of undeniable victories, reason is laid low. You feel yourself weakening, wavering. Your anxiety becomes dread.

Fear next turns fully to your body, which is already aware that something terribly wrong is going on. Already your lungs have flown away like a bird and your guts have slithered away like a snake. Now your tongue drops dead like an opossum, while your jaw begins to gallop on the spot. Your ears go deaf. Your muscles begin to shiver as if they had malaria and your knees to shake as though they were dancing. Your heart strains too hard, while your sphincter relaxes too much. And so with the rest of your body. Every part of you, in the manner most suited to it, falls apart. Only your eyes work well. They always pay proper attention to fear.

Quickly you make rash decisions. You dismiss your last allies: hope and trust. There, you’ve defeated yourself. Fear, which is but an impression, has triumphed over you.

The matter is difficult to put into words. For fear, real fear, such as shakes you to your foundation, such as you feel when you are brought face to face with your mortal end, nestles in your memory like a gangrene: it seeks to rot everything, even the words with which to speak of it. So you must fight hard to express it. You must fight hard to shine the light of words upon it. Because if you don’t, if your fear becomes a wordless darkness that you avoid, perhaps even manage to forget, you open yourself to further attacks of fear because you never truly fought the opponent who defeated you.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

When You Let Go, Hold My Hand As We Part

I am posting here a blog entry I read from a friend's blog which he also reposted from a blog he read. It's worth sharing so here it is.

I was 25 when i met the guy i wanted to spend the rest of my life with. We exchanged vows in a simple ceremony attended by our most intimate friends. After the wedding i went with my partner holding hands through our journey to my one-room flat overlooking the beach. He was a beautiful guy, chestnut hair, light brown eyes and a lean physique. Just what i wanted. I was a happy guy with a wonderful partner.

This was the scene of ten years ago.

The following days were as simple as a cup of pure water: we adopted a kid, I went into business and tried to make more money. When the assets were steadily increasing, the affections between us seemed to ebb. John became a college teacher. Every morning we left home together and got home almost at the same time. Our kid was studying in a boarding school.

Our "married" life seemed to be enviably happy. But the calm life was more likely to be affected by unpredictable changes.

Drew came into my life.

It was a sunny day. I stood on a spacious balcony. Drew hugged me from behind. My heart once again was immersed in his stream of love. This was the apartment I bought for him.

Drew said, "You are the kind of man who best draws boys' eyeballs. His words suddenly reminded me of my partner. When we just got married, he said, "Guys like you, once successful, will be very attractive to younger guys."

Thinking of this, I became somewhat hesitant. I knew I had betrayed John. But I couldn't help doing so.

I moved Drew's hands aside and said," You go and buy some furniture for your pad, O.K.? I've got something to do in the office." Obviously he was unhappy, because I had promised to go and see with him. At the moment, the idea of separation became clearer in my mind although it used to be something impossible to me.

However, I found it rather difficult to tell John about it. No matter how mildly I mentioned it to him, he would be deeply hurt. Honestly, he was a good partner. Every other evening we alternately prepare dinner, while the other is sitting in front of the TV. The dinner was ready soon. Then we watched TV together. Or, I was lounging before the computer, visualizing Drew's body. This was the means of my entertainment.

One day I said to him in a slight joking way, "suppose we separate, what will you do?" He stared at me for a few seconds without a word.

Apparently he believed that separation was something too far away from him. I couldn't imagine how he would react once he got to know I was serious.

When John went to my office, Drew had just stepped out. Almost all the staff looked at my partner with a sympathetic eye and tried to hide something while talking with him. He seemed to have got some hint. He gently smiled at my subordinates. But I read some hurt in his eyes.

Once again, Drew said to me, "Curtis, please don't make me wait long for us to live together. You don't love him anymore, leave, then we can stay together." I nodded. I knew I could not hesitate any more.

When John served the last dish, I held his hand. "I've got something to tell you," I said.
He sat down and ate quietly. Again I observed the hurt in his eyes. Suddenly I didn't know how to open my mouth. But I had to let him know what I was thinking. "I want to separate." I raised a serious topic calmly.

He didn't seem to be much annoyed by my words, instead he asked me softly, "why?". "I'm serious." I avoided his question. This answer turned him angry. He bolted from the table and shouted at me, 'You're one fucking sonnuvabitch!".

At that night, we didn't talk to each other. He was weeping. I knew he wanted to find out what had happened to our commitment. But I could hardly give him a satisfactory answer, because my heart had gone to Drew.

With a deep sense of guilt, I drafted an agreement which stated that he could own our house, our car, and 30% stake of my company. He glanced at it and then tore it into pieces. I felt a pain in my heart.

The man who had been living ten years with me would become a stranger one day. But I could not take back what I had said.

Finally he cried loudly in front of me, which was what I had expected to see, wanted to see. To me his cry was actually a kind of release. The idea of separation which had obsessed me for several weeks seemed to be firmer and clearer.

A late night, I came back home from Drew. I saw him writing something at the table. I fell asleep fast. When I woke up, I found he was still there. I turned over and was asleep again.

He brought up his conditions: he didn't want anything from me, but I was supposed to give him one month's time before separating, and in the month's time we must live as normal life as possible. His reason was simple: our son would finish his summer vacation a month later and he didn't want him to see our “marriage” was broken.

He passed me the agreement he drafted, and then asked me, "Curtis, do you still remember how I entered our room on the wedding day?" This question suddenly brought back all those wonderful memories to me. I nodded and said, "I remember". "You held my hand all the way.", he continued, "so, I have a requirement, that is, you hold my hand everytime we go out the house each day until the day we leave. From now to the end of this month, you must hold me from the bedroom to the door every morning."

I accepted with a smile. I knew he missed those sweet days and wished to end his marriage with a romantic form.

I told Drew about John's conditions. He laughed loudly and thought it was absurd. "No matter what tricks he does, he has to face it. You're leaving him for me." he said scornfully. His words more or less made me feel uncomfortable.

John and I hadn't had any body contact since my divorce intention was explicitly expressed. We even treated each other as a stranger. So when I led him out for the first day, we both appeared clumsy. Our son clapped behind us, "daddy is holding papa in his arms." His words brought me a sense of pain. From the bedroom to the sitting room, then to the door, I walked over ten meters with him close to me. He closed his eyes and said softly, "Let us start from today, don't tell our son." I nodded, feeling somewhat upset. I led him outside the door. He went to wait for bus, I drove to office.

On the second day, both of us acted much more easily. He leaned on my shoulder as i held his back. We were so close that I could smell the fragrance of his shirt. I realized that I hadn't looked at this intimate man carefully for a long time. I found he was not young any more. There were some fine wrinkles on his face. He was nonetheless still beautiful.

On the third day, he whispered to me, "The outside garden is being demolished. Be careful when you pass there."

On the fourth day, when I took his hand, I seemed to feel that we were still an intimate couple and I was holding my sweetheart in my arms. The visualization of Drew became vaguer.

On the fifth and sixth day, he kept reminding me something, such as, where he put the laundered shirts, I should be careful while cooking, driving, etc. I nodded. The sense of intimacy was even stronger.

I didn't tell Drew about this.

I knew he had buried all the bitterness in his heart. Again, I felt a sense of pain. Subconsciously I reached out a hand to touch his head.

Our son came in at the moment, the last day. "Dad, it's time to walk Pop out." He said. To him, seeing me holding John, almost embracing him, we being the two persons who love him most, had been an essential part of his life. He gestured our son to come closer and hugged him tightly. I turned my face because I was afraid I would change my mind at the last minute. I held his hand, walking from the bedroom, through the sitting room, to the hallway. His arms surrounded my waist softly and naturally. I held his body tightly, as if we came back to our wedding day. But his much frail appearance made me sad.

On the last day, when I held his hand I could hardly move a step. Our son had gone to school. He said, "Actually I hope you will hold me in your arms until we are old."

I held him tightly and said, "Both you and I didn't notice that our life was lacking of such intimacy."

I jumped out of the car swiftly without locking the door. I was afraid any delay would make me change my decision. I walked upstairs. Drew opened the door. I said to him, "Sorry, Drew, I won't leave John. I'm serious."

He looked at me, astonished. The he touched my forehead. "Are you crazy?." He said. I moved his hand off my head. "Sorry, Drew," I said, "I can only say sorry to you, I won't leave him. My marriage life, however illegitimate, was boring probably because he and I didn't value the details of life, not because we didn't love each other any more. Now I understand that since I led him into the home, we had our kid, I am supposed to have him until I am old. So I have to say sorry to you."

Drew seemed to suddenly wake up. He gave me a jab in the face. I staggered a bit, my lips bleeding. He then slammed the door. I walked downstairs and drove to the office.

When I passed the floral shop on the way, I ordered a bouquet for MY John. i never gave him flowers, but i felt it's the most appropriate thing to do after everything. As i thought of the words to put on the card. I smiled and wrote, "I'll hold your hand each time we go out every morning until we are old. Be with me forever."

Fuck Buddy

I chanced upon a friend of mine and his boy at People Are People in Glorietta. Actually, I saw them but I'm not sure if my friend saw me. No I didn't walk up to say hi. It just felt weird and I thought it would save me and my friend from some complication.

This friend of mine used to be my fuck buddy. Our relationship was one of the things that saved me from going bonkers when I found out my boyfriend cheated on me. It kept me from being totally shattered. It was a gift. It was a stroke of luck that we turned out to actually like each other as friends. I felt at ease with him and he felt the same way. I even thought he'd make a fine boyfriend. “It's not a good idea to turn fuck buddies into boyfriends.” That's what he told me when I vouched the idea stealthily. I thought he made sense. But I still like him.

A few weeks ago he told me he was seeing somebody. I felt happy for him seriously. I wished the guy would turn out to be good enough for him because he's such a nice guy and he deserves no less. And then I saw them together. I'm writing this while on the MRT taking a round trip. I'll get off when I figure out how I feel.

The 13

Here are 13 reasons why you should end a relationship.

1. When you cannot categorically say you still love each other

2. When you cheat and the other finds out about it

3. When you stop trusting each other

4. When the distance between you is not just a matter of space

5. When space and time becomes an issue

6. When you don't see each other as often as you used to

7. When daily calls become routinary duties instead of acts of love and longing

8. When you have to lie to protect the other from being hurt

9. When you are not sure where to bring the relationship

10. When you set aside the other for other concerns

11. When the relationship becomes second to everything

12. When you are not ready for a serious commitment

13. When you fall out of love.

Save yourselves from a more severe pain. Trust me. I know from experience.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

90/10 Principle by Stephen Covey

What is the 90/10 Principle? 10% of life is made up of what happens to you. 90% of life is decided by how you react.

What does this mean? We really have no control over 10% of what happens to us. We cannot stop the car from breaking down. The plane will be late arriving, which throws our whole schedule off. A
driver may cut us off in traffic. We have no control over this 10%.

The other 90% is different. You determine the other 90%. How? By your reaction. You cannot control a red light, but you can control your reaction. Don't let people fool you; YOU can control how you react. Let's use an example.

You are eating breakfast with your family. Your daughter knocks over a cup of coffee onto your business shirt. You have no control over what just what happened. What happens when the next will be determined by how you react. You curse. You harshly scold your daughter for knocking the cup over. She breaks down in tears. After scolding her, you turn to your spouse and criticize her for
placing the cup too close to the edge of the table. A short verbal battle follows. You storm upstairs and change your shirt. Back downstairs, you find your daughter has been too busy crying to finish breakfast and get ready for school. She misses the bus. Your spouse must leave immediately for work. You rush to the car and drive your daughter to school. Because you are late, you drive 40 miles an hour in a 30 mph speed limit. After a 15-minute delay and throwing $60 traffic fine away, you arrive at school. Your daughter runs into the building without saying goodbye. After arriving at the office 20 minutes late, you find you forgot your briefcase. Your day has started terribly. As it continues, it seems to get worse and worse. You look forward to coming home, When you arrive home, you find a small wedge in your relationship with your spouse and daughter. Why? Because of how you reacted in the morning.

Why did you have a bad day?
A) Did the coffee cause it?
B) Did your daughter cause it?
C) Did the policeman cause it?
D) Did you cause it?
The answer is D.

You had no control over what happened with the coffee. How you reacted in those 5 seconds is what caused your bad day. Here is what could have and should have happened. Coffee splashes over you. Your daughter is about to cry. You gently say, "It's ok honey, you just need, to be more careful next time." Grabbing a towel you rush upstairs. After grabbing a new shirt and your briefcase, you come back down in time to look through the window and see your child getting on the bus. She
turns and waves. You arrive 5 minutes early and cheerfully greet the staff. Your boss comments on how good the day you are having. Notice the difference?

Two different scenarios. Both started the same. Both ended different. Why? Because of how you REACTED. You really do not have any control over 10% of what happens. The other 90% was determined by your reaction. Here are some ways to apply the 90/10 principle. If someone says something negative about you, don't be a sponge. Let the attack roll off like water on glass. You don't have to let the negative comment affect you! React properly and it will not ruin your day. A wrong reaction could result in losing a friend, being fired, getting stressed out etc. How do you react if someone cuts you off in traffic? Do you lose your temper? found on the steering wheel? A friend of mine had the steering wheel fall off! Do you curse? Does your blood pressure skyrocket? Do you try and bump them? WHO CARES if you arrive ten seconds later at work? Why let the cars ruin your drive? Remember the 90/10 principle, and do not worry about it. You are told you lost your job. Why lose sleep and get irritated? It will work out. Use your worrying energy and time into finding another job. The plane is late; it is going to mangle your schedule for the day. Why take out your frustration on the flight attendant? She has no control over what is going on. Use your time to study, get to know the other passenger. Why get stressed out? It will just make things worse. Now you know the 90-10 principle. Apply it and you will be amazed at the results. You will lose nothing if you try it. The 90-10 principle is incredible.

Very few know and apply this principle. The result? Millions of people are suffering from undeserved stress, trials, problems and heartache. There never seem to be a success in life. Bad days follow bad days. Terrible things seem to be constantly happening. There is constant stress, lack of joy, and broken relationships. Worry consumes time. Anger breaks friendships and life seems dreary and is not enjoyed to the fullest. Friends are lost. Life is a bore and often seems cruel. Does this describe you? If so, do not be discouraged. You can be different! Understand and apply the 90/10 principle.
It will change your life.

Monday, July 11, 2005

12:01 AM

Naalimpungatan ako kaninang hatinggabi
Pagbiling ko sa aking kama,
Napadungaw ako sa bintana.
Naninilaw ang kalangitan.
Kasindilaw ng mga mata
Ng taong may hepatitis.
Kasindilaw ng mga mata
Ng taong palaging lasing.
Pagkurap ko, pagkakusot ng aking mga mata
Ang dilaw na langit
Ang aking mga mata,
Namamaga, namumula, namamasa.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Kailangan Mo.

Sana di na tayo kailangang magkalayo.
Ngunit kailangan.
Kailangan mo, ang sabi mo.
Kailangan mong harapin ang trabaho mo.
Kailangan mong harapin ang pamilya mo.
Kailangan mong harapin ang buhay mo.
Kailangan kong harapin na di ako isa sa mga prayoridad mo.
Kailangan kong harapin na huli ako sa mga kailangan mo.
Kailangan kong harapin na iiwan mo ako.
Sana di na kita kailangan pakawalan.
Pero kailangan.
Kailangan mo.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005


What does rain do to you? I love the rain! Everything about it. I love the wetness it leaves on my feet in my shoes. I love the dampness of my pants after walking through it. I love the coldness of the air that sticks to my hands like mittens during a storm. The smell of the air is different when it rains. The rain energizes me. It gives me back the strength that I lost during the scorching heat. It bathes me with invisible light particles that penetrate me right through the nucleus of every cell in my body. The rain quenches my thirst. It washes away worries, guilt, anger, love, passion, lust—leaving me raw, untouched, pure. I like the rain. It makes me who I really am.