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.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Letting Some Sunshine In

This is my first blog entry on the second day of my 27th year of existence. I think it’s time to make a change in my usually gloomy blog. I’d like to give you all guys a break from the disturbing soap opera I always write about. I should be done with focusing too much on the pains, hurts, and bruises. I resolve to minimize drawing inspiration from the negative and start mining the positive. I’m going to let some sunshine in.

One of the things that I’ll be doing regularly is an Oprah-ish list of positives. My first list would be the top 5 reasons that made my 27th birthday extra special.

1. I received a Goya white chocolate from Gil, C2 peach green teas from April and Jhena, Kisses chocolates from Jhena, carrot mini-cakes from Peter, Men’s Fitness July issue from Marie, a Toblerone from Ms. Grace, a really cute card from Textbook Editorial, and a blue Accel gym bag from myself. More than the gifts, I so dig the thought that came with them. Cliché but this is so true.
2. The call I received from my Mommy at 5:30ish in the morning.
3. The text I received from Marie at 5:30 in the morning. I had to do a special mention on this because this is the very first greeting I got.
4. The texts, calls, and Friendster messages I received from my family and friends (Jaybee, June, Tita Pining, Joyce, my brother Ian and his boyfriend Michael, Mica who never forgets my birthday, Iman, Dani, Jayge, Gary).
5. Al.

That was tough. This sunshiney business is proving to be more difficult than I thought it would be. I hope I get the hang of this.