Tuesday, December 30, 2008


One more day to go and people will be tearing up their old calendars to post 2009. And, I am right now trying to smoke all in the pack of Marlboro tens that my dad just bought for me tonight...

My little conscience inside keeps on nagging at me. I can already feel the pressure that I have created myself.

But for the mean time, let me enjoy life!

Carpe diem!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Forced aguinaldo

Since the jeepney fare hiked to eight pesos for the first four kilometers, I swore to myself that I would never be arguing with any driver just like the others who sought justice for their pennies' worth. So, even if I traveled for less than four kilometers and the driver did not give me the change of my ten peso coin, I never complained. I just whispered, "Two-peso change is not worth a fight and delay for the rest of the passengers."

Recently, oil price roll-back pulled the regular fare down to seven pesos. Another wave of driver-commuter disputes quakes the road. But, I don't mind if the driver still takes eight pesos from my ten-peso coin. On the contrary, my nonchalance to this issue had been tested by an unanticipated scenario.

It was not really the nagging thought of being regularly late for work in two months that chagrined me this morning. I gave the driver two five-peso coins as soon as I took my seat in the blue route 11 multi-cab. (Take note that my route is Sasa-R.Castillo and that route 11 is out of its way.) Even if I had known that he is into joyride, I still wouldn't mind boarding in. Who cares about punctuality when I get used to the sweet juices of salary deduction?

We stopped at a gasoline station and by then I thought that he needed some coins for change. After a few minutes, the man who just had boarded paid a ten-peso coin and immediately, the driver gave him the change. I just wondered, "Does he really want me to pay exactly ten pesos for my less than four-kilometer ride?" But, I also thought that he did not know how much the fare should be because it was not his original route.

Before I got out, I asked Manong Driver for my change. (I guess, three pesos is now worth a fight.) He replied with a suspicious look, "I did not receive any ten-peso except for him (referring to the guy I mentioned)..." For Santa Claus' sake, why don't you give the driver his aguinaldo?! I really don't know what had gotten me that I wanted to lather this man. I had a good argument and it's the truth so, why not try?

I told him, "I had paid upon sitting here (you idiot)! You must have forgotten, but you have to give me my change." Still, with some gibberish and crossed eyebrows, he passed on a one-peso coin. Having suddenly realized how futile such effort had been, I simply took the change and went on my way. Squeezing the peso in my hand with a smirk, I reckoned, "Fuck this tardiness!"

Monday, December 22, 2008

The man in red shirt

As I passed by Agdao public market today, I noticed a commotion somewhere in the corner of the street. Before my jeepney moved away from the spot, the keenness of my eyes caught the man shivering like in a seizure with his back on the pavement.

I hadn't seen his face, only the rear view of his fetal position and his red shirt. (I am also wearing red blouse today.) But, the fact that I could still see him from a far means that there was no crowd hovering. Strangers trotted past him and just looked down, leaving a glance that revealed nothing but apathy.

I hope I don't know that person. I hope it will never happen to any of my loved ones or to my kith and kin. I hope it will never happen to me...

There are two things I asked myself today upon seeing that poor soul. First, why would someone help him anyway? This is the generation of which Charles Darwin's theory of "survival of the fittest" has remained consistent and valid. These people are victims of the perennial conquest of capitalism and bourgeois culture. These are people of different religions who worship their own gods to save themselves. These people are sometimes called Filipinos (by default) with hearts wishing to become some other race.

Second, why should I think about that man? I am not a certified pious believer of any organized religion. I am skeptical about Jesus Christ and his "father"--the god almighty, and to all proclaimed gods. I don't believe in hell, neither in heaven, but I do believe in the power of goodness to mankind. I think about the man because he's wearing red. The color of his shirt still sticks to my eyes. The redness is glaring more than the noonday sun. It is stirring my blood...

I hate the hypocrisy of the "spirit" of Christmas---the giving and sharing. In the guise of generosity is consumerism. Consumerism in spite of impoverishment. And so, I think about that man who does not happen to suffer alone. Fortunate he is that it came to him in this season.

Maybe someone out there would be conscientious enough to drop him a coin or pull his arms to drag him out of the road. Fortunate that bystanders still offered him such noncommittal glance while (who knows?) saying a short prayer to save his soul or to forgive themselves for not saving him.

I still think about that man as my questions gather... Would his friends dare to help him despite embarrassment? Or does he have any friend at all? If that would happen to me, would anyone pick me up because I had been good to my fellows during my sobriety? Or if Charles Darwin was still alive and had witnessed my shriveling life, would he just say, "Sorry dear, but you are the weakest link."?

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Hershey kisses from a stranger

Memorizing names is not my forte. I only remember faces and the look of the eyes of those people I encountered. But, I do talk to strangers.

The identical knitted beads on the wrists of the two women caught my attention while facilitating the registration of the Family Day of Overseas Filipinos and their families. I tried to read the inscription of white beads outstanding over the yellow translucent beads.

After filling out the form, they took their raffle tickets. And, before they went out, one of them gave me a pack of Hershey Kisses.

I already forgot her name, but she just came home from a country in Europe. (Well, I guess I also forgot where she worked.) She had worked there as a caregiver to an old woman for four years. She had a four-year old daughter in the Philippines whom she left months after she was born. She said she was just staying for Christmas. Then, off she would fly back to work.

She was smiling when she told me this story. But, I know that her happiness to be with her daughter that Christmas is more than my joy for the Hershey kisses I got for free from someone who was a stranger in the first few minutes.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Hard rain woke me up this morning. It seemed so kind to express what my heart feels... My feet were soaking wet on my way to work.

With the tapping of the raindrops on my umbrella, I heard myself singing Jann Arden's Elsewhere:

My heart is in my hands
My head is in the clouds
My feet have left the ground
My life is turning around and round
And every voice inside my head is telling me to run like mad
Oh bows and arrows, stars and sunset

Hey hey hey yeah
Hey hey hey yeah

Every heartbeat, every kiss just
Makes me wonder what all this is
Suits of armour
Hearts and arrows

Hey hey hey ye-eah!

And, I'm still humming it now...

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Early new year's resolution

Six years ago in November, I scribed on my journal that I had decided to smoke cigarette. It was not because I find it fashionable to see myself puffing while talking with drinking buddies and jamming on guitar with them.

Somehow, it came to me that a woman with a cigarette possesses authority over herself in a society that knows no woman of power. I found it liberating to implicitly slam all the male chauvinist pigs that I could destroy my respiratory system as much as they could; That I could be as daring and brave as they label themselves.

But, that's beside the point. I was actually moved by indignation to try smoking. I used to tell my parents that 'smoking kills' and that second-hand smoke affects my sister and I. I hated the futile spending for something that destroys one's system and contributes to global warming. I hated inhaling smoke of cigarette and even the smell of it. And, with all those too much hatred, I started smoking...

Then, I felt the soothing nicotine in my brain. It brought me out of depression... It sucked out the anxiety and senseless fear. I told myself that "I am the master of my body. I can quit this if I want." It was supposed to be a statement to be proven against all my friends who said that once you try it, you can never stop.

Remember, that was six years ago...

Since then, six years had passed that I never failed to list down 'quitting smoke' in my 'new year's resolutions' list. It's been six years also that I had been failing the resolution.

I never regret starting this habit or let's say addiction. But, I regret losing control of myself. I am supposed to prove that I can quit this when I want. Maybe, I did not want to stop in the past six years and was just drawn by social pressures. Or that in six years, my parents have been able to accept that I am one of them.

I had several attempts to quit. I had done it once for four months while jogging at least two kilometers a day. But, then I got tired of too much physical activities. And, my working condition did not allow me to do it regularly. My work had, instead, encouraged me to kiss butts again.

Then, my bedroom voice started bothering me. I could not sing enough to call it a performance. I could not swim enough to call it swimming. I could not run enough to convince myself that I used to run 21 kilometers before. I've been losing my endurance, my breath, my talent...

My dear friend told me last night, I would be losing more than that or almost everything I could have enjoyed if all the effects of this smoking beat me. She is right. I knew it before I started this. And, I told her to make this the first in my list for new year's resolution. She just said, "I don't believe that you believe in that."

I went home last night with the courage to sleep without my regular good night stick. Unfortunately (or fortunately in the opposite sense), I found a pack of red Marlboro above our fridge which my mom just bought from the grocery that afternoon. I knew how much they love me and they pretty much knew what I love.

I don't know. Like right now, I'm actually drinking coffee and about to smoke a stick before having lunch. But, I'm still thinking... Still trying to convince myself that I can still be who I was six years ago.

Christmas Wish

I don't believe in Santa Claus even when I was a kid. It was because I haven't seen reindeers yet... I don't believe in Christmas neither because I don't believe that Jesus Christ is the real god of all. Or I simply don't believe that there's a transcendental god who looks over us, just like Santa Claus watching over kids and listing down the names of the good ones to deserve a gift on Christmas eve.

But, because celebrating Christmas day has been a part of our traditions, I have always wished for something good to happen on that holiday or during the season. Something that would make me believe that miracles or magics could sometimes be true...

I have something in my mind that I want to happen not just in December but for the rest of the days to come. And, that deserves another story.

For now, I just wish that I will have all the discographies of jann arden, tori amos, paula cole, sophie zelmani, sarah machlachlan, bic runga, fiona apple, jewel, joni mitchell, indigo girls... I just want to listen to their songs as my heart sings (instead of christmas carols).

They somehow speak of my emotions...

Monday, November 24, 2008


My gay friend told me last night that I must have not gotten over my past relationship yet. I refused to believe him, but later I was convinced that he had a point. I should not have been bothered about the goings-on in his life after we broke up.

I actually don't care but I had reacted, and this act itself was a proof that I'm still affected. Well, maybe it was just my ego being attacked. But, whatever justification I may give, it still boils down to one thing---I care.

Absolutely, this "care" is born out from the respect I can pay to all the things that happened between us for almost two years. My gay friend said, it should not be thrown out to nothingness. At least, it deserves a good friendship. Then, he gave the idea of having a formal closure with him. A simple talk that aims to vent out all the unspoken emotions for the last time.

I'm not opposed to the idea. I guess, I'm pretty much prepared to face him, listen to whatever he says and after such tell him "Are you done? Is there any else you'd like to say?"

Feelings, according to Dr. Wayne Dyer, are not just emotions that happen to you but reactions you choose to have. He said, "If you are in charge of your own emotions, you don't have to choose self-defeating reactions. Once you learn that you can feel what you choose to feel, you will be on the road to 'intelligence'---a road where there are no bypaths that lead to nervous breakdown."

The decision to end our erroneous relationship was enough for me to learn to control my emotions. I am tired of choosing feelings that had just ruined my personality and relationships with other people. Such tragic experience was a great lesson for me to take charge of myself, "both thinkingly and emotionally".

I am all set to sail through the ocean without being worried if a storm shall come my way... I'm also looking forward to sail with someone beside me.

Entries from a journal

I always keep a journal since I was in high school and I'm still keeping some of my notebooks inside my closet. But, when I started doing things more than my usual routines, I have written only when my thoughts could no longer be contained. And, because I no longer intended to keep a regular journal, I just jotted down on the random pages of my notebook. They are all scattered thoughts that when collated could bring a picture of how I had been in the past few months.


November 15, 2007
4:00 p.m.

I'm hungry... But, instead of thinking of food, I think of you. This hunger is more than the scorches on the walls of my stomach. This is more than my stomach, greater than my desire to have enough food.

I couldn't think of any particular taste that I would like to eat right after this class. I'm thinking of more palatable than spaghetti... I couldn't think of anything else but you.

It is because any food served in front of me tastes better than anything that I find delicious when prepared by you.

But you are not sweet.. And no food could ever suffice this hunger because of this...


April 1, 2008
4:16 a.m. / 23-G

I guess, I've never been a good person to him... I want to continue our relationship until I learn how to love enough. I know I haven't shown enough love that he expects me to give him. But, I just would like him to know that I'm still willing to grow...


September 16, 2008
2:00 p.m. / in my bed

It's a lousy day for a birthday... I still want to sleep and just dream.

Dreams, according to my ghost chatmate, are all impossible... You make 'goals' to make them happen. "Dreams be dreams..." Jack Johnson says.

I'm not quite sure why I have felt the urge to write today. Maybe because I just love reading my journals and assessing my way of thinking... Like what I just did before writing here.

I realized that it was not hard for me to enter into another relationship after the other... I mean, I was actually so blessed that I had not been one of those unattractive beings. And, it was not difficult for me to care for another man after getting over with someone. I'm just wondering whether or not it is a mere 'transfer of affection'. Or is there any pattern of my attitude in handling relationships?

Whatever it is, I find it so absurd to try to define or rationalize things or happenings in one's life. It's funny setting what's ought to be and what's not... Who says so?

In 25 years of experiences, whether or not I learned from those, I figured out that every single moment that you feel you're alive is life... Such is life!

There is no exact dogma, doctrine, pattern, principle, theory or whatever lexicons that one may associate with life.

Those who were done with life are not here to tell us that they had the right life or they had lived life to the fullest. Their lives are not models of how we should live ours. There is no final judgment neither...

Those who had experienced life earlier than others were able to build principles of their own for others to adhere because of what they had discovered on their journey. Each of us has his or her own journey, own life to unfold or learn.

Whatever happened to me in the past 25 years were all the makings of this life I have and will continue to live and enjoy.

It's the society which colors our minds to make us all in monochrome. It's the society that make us sad for not having the standards of life... or that we don't belong. It's the society which tells us to define life and make a good definition out of it. It's the society that keeps us weak so we can't stand alone and do what makes us happy or define our own happiness.

Fame, wealth, profession, reputation, beauty, health, yada yada yada... These are the 'Nirvana'... Most of humans believe that one of these mentioned is their end.

What if the end of life is to consume it until it ends by choice... consciously or subconsciously? Then, it might be easy! And, death would not be an object of anxiety.

My next 25 years (if I still want to stay this long) shall be another journey of unfolding the potentials of life... No standards, no expectations... Just purely living it all up to its end...

And, for this journey to be fun, I'm going to do what makes me happy...


September 18, 2008
2:30p.m. / E1C

He was actually calling me last midnight. I turned off my phone. This morning, my mother found a box hanging at our gate. She said that it's a gift from him.

It's a big box with a bear (stuffed toy) and small pillow (with a picture of Winnie the Pooh). Those are the stuff I had been telling him that I liked but never asked him to buy me.

I'm grateful and surprised... There's nothing more to it. I will keep them because I like them, not because I still love him.


September 24, 2008
11:00 a.m. / house

Yesterday was totally a tragic but fulfilling experience with a double jeopardy. My dad and I struggled through the hellish system of NSO for half day. And, my exams that night was another hell!

It's true enough that man doesn't live merely by eating and sleeping. He has to have something to do... I say and a philosopher named Marx said, "It's work... Man's essence is to work."

Well, 'work' can be a lot of things--profitable or not, pleasurable or not... as long as he's doing something aside from eating and sleeping. (Well, aside from sex also... Hahaha!)

Just like me who's trying to live like a human--to work--instead of just spending my day smoking and listening to Jack Johnson, I feel the need to move my ass and get to work. (My work at the moment is completing school requirements.)

They said, "Live for a day!" and I say "Carpe diem!"


Semptember 25, 2008
5:40 p.m. / H1C

I keep on telling myself that it's the mind that controls the emotions. Feelings are just products of our own thoughts.

Well, I just don't like my thoughts today...

7:00 p.m.

Here goes my cynical mind... Like in driving, I should utilize all my mental faculties to maneuver...


September 30, 2008
2:15 p.m. / Bed

Friends come and go... This is the stage in my life that I get hooked up in establishing new friendships. But, I don't think I will be successful in this pursuit. Time and conditions are not so favorable to me.

It must be because I am what I am and this kind of me simply doesn't allow anything that I'd like to happen. I know that it's time for me to get serious with life... Get serious with what I would like to die for.

Somehow, still within me, the core of my being is still clinging to the deep desire to spend my days with the people. I still want to serve the people in the way that my condition allows me...

When I die, I want my death to be as heavy as Mt. Apo...


October 2, 2008
6:30 p.m. / H1C

The beach is not so calm and not so noisy...
The sand dances with the waves in
the rhythm of the leaves of coconut trees.
The feet slowly join the swaying of the
monsoon... Birds are not singing but
chanting, alarming the heaven to save
the soul once the body drowns...


October 14, 2008

I saw the wide sky this afternoon. It was a battle of colors! It speaks of the havoc inside my heart. It's not calm but beautiful...