Sunday, September 28, 2008

In Perspective

Reading the article below put my loss in a different perspective. It might have been my fault that I put my new cellphone in my backpak where it could easily slip out of the pocket without me noticing, and took the bus because I was too impatient to wait for a cab. I was already running late. I cried over it, I'm not over it yet, I'm done with being sad, now I'm just burning in outrage.
You explode. You feel like crushing the world with your bare hands. Of course, you never realize that you’re an earthling and could get crushed along with the planet.

I am not an environmentalist but I love the planet. I would never attempt to do anything that would bring about its demise. I live here. And I’ll stay on. I’ve had more than my share of troubles and I’m still alive. Splash acid on my face, transform me into a tortured mythical character like Sisyphus, sentence me to reclusion perpetua - I’ll still be here and with smug optimism. Escape is possible. For some people, it’s inevitable especially in a country like ours. Pull some strings and you’re free again. Life is the best thing ever. You have no business taking it for granted. The point is, as long as you’re alive, there is something out there. You’ve got a problem? Sleep it over. Let the demons haunt you through the night. After all, tomorrow is just another day. The sun rises. Live it up.

Think selfishly. Think of yourself. Take care of yourself because essentially, there’s nobody else to pull you through. In the unlikely situation that someone abnormally selfless comes to the rescue, don’t hold your breath. It will depend on whether or not the help will actually work on you. And sometimes people are better off alone. It takes away some of the glory in making it through. Survive if you can and let that step up your worth and not owe it to someone else.

Do not depend on others and do not depend on God. He has too much trouble in his hands already, what with all the praying going on in places where your problem doesn’t mean anything at all. There’s a war out there. There’s drought and famine. There’s a whole community where only a few are spared of AIDS. There’s too much suffering in this world that God won’t even notice you. Just ask: Among billions of people, most of whom in distress, what makes your benign existence so especial that the boundless universe and God in his infinite glory should pay attention? Is there a God?

Do not say the deep sh!t you’re in is a part of God’s master plan, or that the Devil pushed you into that pit. That’s a shameless, cowardly excuse. And so is Psychology. It continues to come up with terminologies to explain aberrant behavior, which makes you less of a culprit. Oh, that was due to my excessive-compulsive disorder, or it was my alter ego, or I’m sorry if my being a nymphomaniac is making you uncomfortable. Just about every other thing that leads to something unpleasant has a psychological explanation that could extricate you conveniently. If you can’t find the correct term, simply abuse further the most abused defense of all time and state the obvious: I’m only human. You might as well say you’re a bacterium. The bottom line is, you did something wrong. You fcuked up. Whether or not it was intentional, it happened because you caused it to happen. The Law of Causality was still working last time I checked. Face the consequences. You’re responsible so shut up.
Originally written in March 2000 | taken from my Essay Portfolio

Monday, September 15, 2008


This is Samsung G810 and I'm inloved with it. Been so since I first saw it. Had one. Then lost it. Just today. My Globe SIM is gone with it. My number for 9 years; gone, just like that. My Smart number is still active. You can contact me there. To whoever's reading this: help me curse the thief. I hope it figures in an accident. I hope it uses my phone in a gas station, then the phone explodes in its face. I hope it uses the phone while crossing the street then gets ran over by a 10-wheeler truck, instantaneously fusing its molecules with the asphalt.

Friday, September 12, 2008


Breathe. You can take it easy now. I haven’t left. You know I won’t stay forever but when you reach out now, you can still grab hold of my shirt. But don’t pull me closer. You don’t wanna tear it up. I’m here and I’m not naked.

Don’t push it.

Yes, I don’t have time for you. I’m buried six feet under deadlines, ad hoc work requests, piles of papers; I hide behind my computer screen, behind megabytes of emails, at the end of my telephone lines… wanting to get away from professional crap. It’s what having a real job means and earning decent money. I know. It’s what most people think they want. They don’t know what they want. I don’t want them. I don’t have time for them. I don’t have time for you, I don’t have time for myself. Was it necessary for you to ask?

If I told you I’m seeing others would it ruin you? If I told you work doesn’t really eat my time and eat me would you tremble in outrage? If I told you I’m leaving would you run after me, or run away? What if I simply didn’t tell you anything? Would you stop asking? Can you stop asking?

I don’t ask questions. Personal questions. They’re cockroaches that impose their presence on personal space. They stink. They look repulsive. They deserve to be crushed. They must be reduced to pulp. I don’t care how people claim they’ve got nothing to hide and say a filthy fcuking cockroach wouldn’t be there in the first place if the insect wasn’t lured with filth. Like an ugly question, it’s there for its own goddamn reason. That in no way lessens the point of fact that it is cockroach. Let’s not justify its existence.

I might have gone out last night and had the greatest fcuk of my life. I might have held hands softer than yours will ever be. For all you know, it might be that the only reason why I can stay in this place is because I’ve got a house here and living with someone who offers to shelter me for as long as I want. Would you believe that? Will you assume that much if I didn’t answer your questions?

I don’t like questions. I will give you answers that I either want to give, or am prepared to give. Do you see now that it doesn’t matter? I don’t like giving answers. I don’t like surrendering sh!t about my personal life. That’s my own sh!t. I’ll deal with it my own way. I wouldn’t deal with it if I didn’t want to. When you stop liking me because of this, run away. You have the right. When it happens, for all your kindness, you deserve someone better. Who am I anyway but bait? Insects will surround me. That speaks for itself.

Now this is who I am. If you’ve got a problem with that, we do have a problem. For the meantime, I’m staying. But don’t take my space for your own. Don’t push your questions. Don’t get used to the comfort that I will answer. Take it easy. You’ve got a life to live apart from living it on my side of the world. The world is bigger than my hellhole. Take that for your own instead.

But we still got air around here. Let’s just both breathe. And drink. Right here. Today.
Originally written last week | midnight/drunken sentiments

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

For The Taking

I am tall, tan, medium built with a nice flat tummy. I am 21 years old, I have a boyish appeal and although talent scouts will not buzz excitedly and scamper to capitalize on my looks, I’m tempted to add that I’m charming. This sometimes deposits me right into pleasantly scandalous situations. I’m smart, eloquent, refined and intelligent with an independent mind. You may now gather that I have an attitude. Or ego. Acquisitiveness is a fine virtue.

I ferociously believe I have talent but that sometimes-humorless thing called fate has been pointing its finger at me and looking down its nose on me for quite some time now, having decided that I must remain a useless tissue matter. With mirthless passion, I hereby state the obvious: I am a bum. I couldn’t figure myself into a more productive state and not for lack of trying.

I station my bum-hood in Cavite at my sister’s apartment, which she shares with her husband. My immediate concern is to move out and have my own pad. I’d like to live in the Makati area. Not that I remarkably enjoy breathing poison among other threats to my existence. Only that like most people, it’s more reasonable for me to think that bigger opportunities are in bigger, more urbanized cities. And when I’m finally settled in, I shall set up a command post from which I could hunt for jobs. I do notice that the process looks more realistic when reversed: Paycheck first before the bills. Here again is my knack to play with chance.

I am not being ambitious, at least not at this point. I don’t want a penthouse right away wherefrom I could survey the expanse I might later plan to conquer. I don’t want an entertainment system whose acoustics could blast you off to Mars. A studio-type unit will do so long as it has its own bathroom with walls that I could touch without feeling sick. Of course, I need a cozy bedroom. I’ll bring along my portable stereo and stack of pirated CDs, and then I could live for as long as I have clean clothes to wear. When I run out, I’d have to run back to Cavite. It would be presumptuous of me to think that I’ll have a washing machine as soon as I move out.

I am hoping for a spacious enough pad where I could put some divisions between the bedroom and the living room and the kitchen. It might turn out to accommodate a maximum of just three people at a time. Nevertheless, how I will afford it, I do not know. We live in a place where the reward for hard work is insultingly, outrageously, and despairingly meager. It was a constant wonder how slum people could buy washing machines, TV sets, VCD players, etc. Middle class people in the province don’t even have washing machines. And yet, slum people still have money to spare. They periodically play lotto and drink beer and buy cigarettes and play tong-its and all the while wailing about and passionately complaining regarding how expensive living costs and blaming it all on the government. Aside from realizing that they don’t pay for the land they built their shanties on, I was belatedly enlightened by a news program, that the honest members of the population are the ones who shoulder the electric bills of some squatter areas as their unscrupulous consumption remains unmetered (I use the adjective Honest comparatively). No wonder. But grudgingly, I’ll say I don’t blame the poor entirely. The power company is inefficient and the government snails its way in addressing the housing problem. I don’t have to say that I’m relegating the blame in fear of a homemade explosive and a rusted ice pick.

And then there are the migrants from provinces far away, hoping to find opportunities, as if by magic, in the metropolis. When their hopes get crushed, they say it’s the President’s fault. May I ask: Who decided to leave the province in the first place? These people are crazy blaming the consequences of their discontent on someone else, much like activists who know no other leisure except whining and wailing and causing traffic jam. They’re not helping any. If you don’t have a solution, shut the fcuk up. When you’re in the province, what you need is diskarte then you could eat talbos ng kamote and tuyo everyday without having to worry about steak or caviar. It’s healthy. And if you had even just a bit of land and an honest resolve, you cannot really go hungry. If you want more than that, decide to take the risk of migrating to the city but knock some sense into your head and face the challenge you so wanted to take, but were too fatalistic to comprehend.

I definitely plan to stay away from places where disgruntled migrants build boxes they call home. I’m sure discontent isn’t contagious but I’d rather play it safe. Then, for as long as I have my clothes and my music, I’d be fine. Talking about music, I used to listen only to R&B, disco, hip-hop and rap back in college. I went through college in a place where no one is allowed to listen to anything else. It was universal: Girl/Boy bands must be hated, clothing apparels must be imported, everyone must have a lighter skin tone. Everybody looked the same. Everybody smelled the same. Everybody felt cool. If I wasn’t listening to Eraserheads or Martin or Barry Manilow, it wasn’t because I had to be just as cool and hate everything local or old. I was deprived the embarrassment of being different since no store would sell a CD that couldn’t be patronized by everybody.

Cavite isn’t at all like that to a point where the most degraded form of vocalization may be worshipped. At least it’s a free country down here. There are people who formulate their own standard by which music is judged, just by looking at a singer’s face as if her eyes, nose, ears and mouth were shaped like note symbols arranged into a divine melody having the entire face as the G-clef (no offense to the long-chinned). And then there is this case where just because of her outstanding acting career, this artist’s album was awarded a platinum recognition. Her fans pay no respect about the distinction between Do and Re. Hell, everybody sings because our leaders sing specifically because of the ardent determination to be liked and get reelected.

I sing better. I wake up late and when there appears to be a concert inside my sister’s bedroom, you’d know I’m up. I love being challenged by high notes. In my relentless attempt to reach my third octave, I’m excitedly surprised that the mic is still working. When I grab the mic, you’d have to pray for reprieve. When I get my own place, I’m going to have it soundproofed. Don’t take this to mean that my voice is a torture to the ears. I’m now a sucker for ballads because I just realized that I could do good vocals. I’m annoyed that my friends invariably find this claim comical. Wait till I’m confident enough to exhibit myself onstage. I mean as a singer.

In the meantime, I’ll do my singing in my sister’s bedroom, bum around and eat. Chronic insomnia has again taken its grip on me. Now, before hitting the sheets at 4AM, whereupon I hibernate until the same time in the afternoon, I eat. Thank heavens I have good metabolism. My tummy is still flat unlike my male contemporaries who seem to grow mountainous over the midsection every year. Even so, I suspect that if you ran a scalpel over my wrist, a murky substance would gush forth: masticated rice. If you know of a job that fits someone with an overly healthy appetite, please approach me.

What else is there for me to do? I guess I’ll just point a finger back at fate. Not the index but the middle. I get jaded just thinking about life sometimes but I’m young. The world awaits me. I’ll move that damn mountain. For now, it’s in the form of my laundry.

I have what it takes to succeed. And hey, I’m a good citizen, okay? How can I still be jobless? I hear about evil people and con artists, hopelessly stupid people and unscrupulous politicians who are successful and filthy rich. I am more than commensurately enraged. Such knowledge in the face of my benign existence begets a more bitter appreciation. I’m not sure I’m complaining. Just angry, I guess. Life is unfair. I sing, eat and fantasize about my own place and a job for I wouldn’t wallow in an idealist’s agony knowing very well that in the first place, and I’ll say this over and over, nobody ever said that life is fair. Won’t waste time imagining that it is.
Originally written in May 2002 | taken from my Essay Portfolio